Monster M*A*S*H

No Sweat was the 11th episode of Season 9 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 209th overall series episode, Written by John Rappaport and directed by Burt Metcalfe, it originally aired on February 2, 1981.


We're having a heat wave! The 4077th deals with a sudden heat wave in their own personal ways: Klinger disassembles the P.A. system, Charles goes through all of his tax returns and bonds, B.J. stresses over a letter from Peg, Margaret develops a severe case of prickly heat, and Colonel Potter can't get a good night's sleep.

Full episode summary[]

The 4077th is in the middle of a heat wave, keeping everyone from sleeping.

Col. Potter wanders into his office to get a sleeping pill, and is shocked to find Klinger having taken apart the P.A. system, in an attempt to learn a new trade: TV repair. Potter warns that the P.A. - now it dozens of parts all over the floor - had better be back together and ready by morning.

B.J. is keeping Hawkeye up by constantly reading and re-reading a letter from Peg, which he's clearly angry about. Winchester is also up, utilizing the large empty tables in the Mess Tent to figure out his family's taxes, thrown into chaos by their unscrupulous accountant.

Margaret, meanwhile, has a brutal case of prickly heat, causing a severe rash on her rear end. Normally she would just use medicinal lotion, but with all the cases the 4077th has had, they're fresh out.

A wounded soldier arrives, and Hawkeye and B.J. tell Klinger to order a chopper to come pick the young man up in the morning and take him to an air-conditioned hospital. But since Col. Potter is the only one who can do that, Klinger has to wake him up from the first good night's sleep he's had in days.

Klinger is hesitant, and tries to gently wake Potter up. Turns out the sleeping pill has worked so well that Potter starts sleepwalking, and is actually able to order the chopper (upon Klinger's urging) while still being asleep.

B.J. reveals what's bugging him - their house's gutters are clogged, and Peg needs to handle it. Hawkeye can't believe that's what's causing B.J. such anguish ("That's grounds for a Hardship Discharge if I ever heard one"), but B.J. is humorless on the subject - he builds this minor problem up in his mind until he's imagining Peg having an affair with a neighborhood handyman!

As the night wears on, people have to keep waking up Col. Potter - Winchester needs the combination to the safe (to get some carbon paper to finish up his taxes), and then Margaret has him order some of the much-needed lotion, to be brought on the chopper on its way to pick up the wounded soldier. Despite all these interruptions, Col. Potter never actually wakes up.

Igor wanders into the Mess Tent to start breakfast, and, in an attempt to cool Winchester off, stupidly turns on the giant fan, causing the reams of paper to fly all over the tent.

Margaret's rash on her rear end gets revealed to the whole unit when their conversation is accidentally broadcast over the P.A., finally fixed by Klinger. Its then broken again by an enraged Margaret when she hears laughter from all over the compound.

The next morning, Col. Potter is chipper from finally getting a good night's sleep, having no memory of all the interruptions. Margaret, unable to sit down during breakfast, is tired of all the butt jokes at her expense. When Potter mistakes this and says, "At ease, Margaret", she shoots him a look that could kill.

Research notes/Fun facts[]

  • Potterism: Great Caesar's salad, Klinger
  • Hooligan: If those two clowns learn I have a rash on my rear end...I'LL Never Hear the end OF it" (an would have been appropriate if the two Jokseters were Hawkeye and Trapper John {Only now BJ is being used as a substitute for Trapper John)
  • Jo Ann Thompson makes an unedited appearance in this episode. Her character is addressed as Jo Ann several times, thus establishing her identity. She does not have any lines, although she has plenty of time on camera, assisting Hawkeye in the O.R. and tidying up after the operation.
  • Near the end, it is likely that Margaret only knocks the microphone to the ground rather than smashing the P.A. set - otherwise Klinger would never have fixed it in time for the announcements in the morning.
  • Klinger quotes: Television is the wave of the future "which means busted sets by the millions" and "Max Klinger will be there to reap the whirlwind of outrageous repair prices."
  • BJ has copies of "The Angry Hills" by Leon Uris and "Rally Round the Flag Boys" by Max Shulman by his bedside. These novels were published in 1955 and 1958, respectively, years after the Korean War ended.

Guests stars/Recurring cast[]

Willam Shanner as Doctor Stephen Smith