The Birthday Girls was the 11th episode of Season 10 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 230th overall series episode. Written by Lee H. Grant and directed by Charles S. Dubin, it originally aired on January 11, 1982.


While Margaret tries desperately to get to Tokyo for her birthday, the camp helps an injured cow give birth.

Full episode summaryEdit

Margaret is excited over her upcoming birthday, which she's made special plans to celebrate - heading off to Tokyo to meet up with a friend for what sounds like a romantic weekend. She arranges Klinger to drive her to Seoul, but she won't say what she's so twitchy about.

A Korean farmer comes into camp with his pregnant cow, looking for help, but none of the doctors know how to do it, so they call a veterinarian at I-Corps. Meanwhile, Col. Potter informs Margaret that I-Corps has approved the use of the drug Levophed, and the lesson on how to administer it must be delivered to her nurses immediately, conflicting with her trip.

She begs Winchester to do it for her (since it must be done a major), who agrees only when he gets Margaret to offer in return a particular classical recording while she's in Tokyo.

Kllinger is busy arranging a lottery as to the birth of the calf, so busy he forgets about driving Margaret to Seoul. She grabs him while he's rounding up prospective customers and they jump in the jeep and drive off. On the way, Margaret insists they take a rougher - but presumably faster - route, since they're running late. Klinger tries to argue, but she orders him to do it. As Klinger warned, their jeep hits a huge pit hole, and breaks down.

Meanwhile, back at the 4077th, the cow goes into labor, but there's a complication - its heart rate is much too fast, and it might die in the act of giving birth.

Miles away, Klinger has to break the news to Margaret that the jeep isn't going anywhere. She won't accept that, and begins walking. Klinger tries to reminder her how dangerous that is, and can't understand why she's so hell bent on getting to Seoul. Margaret partly breaks down and admits its her birthday, and how - just this once - she wanted to celebrate it on her own terms, in her own way. Hours later, the cow's condition gets worse. Hawkeye, B.J., and Potter get the idea of trying out the recently delivered Levophed on it, since it's supposed to do the exact thing the cow needs - raise blood pressure.

Night falls, and Klinger and Margaret are stuck together, spending the night in the jeep. Klinger tries to be comforting, even offering her a custom-made birthday hat, but Margaret remains stiff and humorless. But over time they get to talking, and Margaret reveals that she's a little jealous of Klinger because he has a home town that he loves. Margaret, being an Army brat, never stayed in one place for long, so she never developed any close friends. She reveals her loneliness and sadness, and she and Klinger get to know each other better.

They eventually make their back to the 4077th, tired and dirty. The Levophed worked its magic on the cow, and the calf has been born safely. Turns out the winner of the lottery was...Margaret, who bought a ticket just to shut Klinger up and get him moving! Klinger didn't take in the haul he was planning, just a measly ten bucks. Margaret asks for the money, saying "There's somebody I want to buy a present for."


  • In comic relief Nurse Kellye is particually annoying by continually asking about the history of Levophed (Although as a nurse all she would need to know is what type of medicine it is and how it is to be used...not its history); Winchester gives everything he knows about Levophed [Very little]; this part is in the syndicated part of the episode but not the remastered episode. In Hey, Look Me Over (TV series episode) she also adopts the same "comic relief" tone while claiming to Hawkeye "How" interesting she is as a person.
  • Houlihan wears her dress uniform..but not her campaign decorations,

Guests/Recurring castEdit

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