As one of the most storied shows in television history, M * A * S * H dealt with as much slapstick comedy as it did with the horrors of war and the dramatic tension that comes from being a doctor in a military-occupied zone. It was a tricky balance to strike, but the team behind the show did it perfectly, along with a brilliant portrayal from actors such as McLean Stevenson and Loretta Swit.
And, of course, what show would be complete without a little romance on top of it? M * A * S * H never prioritized the romantic subplots of the show, but every now and then, the characters found themselves in a fling (or, for some, a marriage). These are the romances from the M * A * S * H gang that were most approved by fans of the show.
M * A * S * H Relationships That Fans Got Behind
Hawkeye and Carlye
One of the things fans rooted for the most throughout the history of M * A * S * H was Hawkeye’s happiness. Whether that came from returning home to Crabapple Cove Maine, talking to his father, or falling in love, it did not matter. He had endured so much that he deserved to be happy and as such an engaging character, viewers love to have answers to questions about Hawkeye.
This is why it was so hard to watch the potential love of Hawkeye’s life walk away in the season four episode, “The More I See You.” Here, Carlye (Blythe Danner), a nurse with whom Hawkeye shared a common law marriage, reveals that she has to move on from Hawkeye. They had such great chemistry together and it was crushing to watch them part.
Sherman and Mildred
A marriage that has one person who is essentially married to the military, as well, is not always one that seems primed for success. But the bond between Mildred and Colonel Sherman Potter was too strong to ever be weakened by the trials of the Korean War.
If anything, the tribulations made their partnership even stronger. Occasionally, Potter and Mildred would lose their tempers with one another in a remote capacity. But they always supported each other, through thick and thin. That is definitely a sweet marriage worth getting behind.
BJ and Peg
Like Colonel Potter and Mildred, the marriage between BJ and Peg is not one that viewers were able to see too frequently. Sure, BJ spoke a lot about how much he missed Peg and how he would do anything to get home to be with her and their daughter again. But Peg only appears twice, whereas BJ had plenty of best episodes in M * A * S * H.
She appears in a home movie film reel that BJ cries while watching at the 4077th. And she appears in the troubling episode, “Dreams,” as a vision of what BJ is missing, as a result of his dedication to the medical world. Fortunately, BJ did find his way back to Peg in the series finale of the show.
Margaret and Charles
In all fairness, Margaret Houlihan and Charles Winchester III were never said to be a couple. However, there were often hints in the episode scripts that the two would be a perfect pairing. Granted, they might have just been good friends, but many have speculated that Margaret’s actions for Charles in the series finale pointed towards greater feelings.
As the two grew as likable characters, they also grew closer together. It seemed like Margaret and Charles would do absolutely anything for one another. As smart and sophisticated people, they might have also made for a good romantic pairing that many fans were rooting for by the time the series finale rolled around.
Klinger and Soon-Lee
In one of the sweeter relationships on the show, Klinger and Soon-Lee truly sacrifice a lot for one another. Klinger was always depicted as the kind of guy who was looking for a relationship and for love, rather than just meaningless hookups. So when he finally found someone to settle down with, it was magic.
It also happened to be Soon-Lee, a loyal and caring woman who was so easily infatuated with by Klinger that he decided to stay in South Korea after the war was over to help Soon-Lee, his new bride, look for her family. There may be some worst things the gang in M * A * S * H did, but one of the positives was the romance between Soon-Lee and Klinger.
M * A * S * H Relationships That Fans Rejected
Margaret and Hawkeye
The writing team behind M * A * S * H flirted, from time to time, with the flirtation between the male and female leads of the show, Margaret Houlihan and Hawkeye Pierce. Fortunately, the “Hot Lips” nickname was stripped away from Margaret over time, thanks to the efforts of Loretta Swit.
This change also came when Hawkeye and Margaret were stuck together in a dangerous shelling scenario. Believing their time was limited, they ended up sleeping together. This complicated their relationship on the show, with questions that were not resolved (not even with that series finale kiss) over the course of the show. But they always had a mutual respect that seemed to suit them better as friends and colleagues, rather than lovers.
Margaret and Frank
The biggest relationship on the show is one that only ran for about four seasons or so before it was pushed aside. At the outset of the show, Margaret and Frank have a sexual tryst with one another. They think they keep their affair secret, but everyone in the 4077th knows about it.
Not only is Frank married, but his two-timing nature also results in him treating Margaret poorly. Maybe they were a good match since they were both sticklers. But once Margaret evolved into a more three-dimensional human being, it was time for her to shove Frank aside.
Radar and Patty
Whilst there are many best episodes of M * A * S * H, When Gary Burghoff began the arc that would send Radar O’Reilly off the show, many thought his character would depart with a new girlfriend. That is what seemed to be implied by Radar’s connection with Patty while waiting to return to the 4077th.
Instead, Radar returned home to help his mother on the family farm and Patty was never mentioned again. Many fans who were partial to Radar’s earlier flirtation with Linda Nugent, however, were quick to say goodbye to Patty and hope that future spin-offs might bring Radar and Linda back together instead.
BJ and Carrie
If anyone ever remarks that they were not the biggest fan of BJ, they will likely point to the later story lines for BJ Hunnicutt as the reason why. When he grew his famous mustache, many felt that BJ’s moral code began to drop.
However, it was clear that BJ was suffering the effects of the war, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, this manifested in his seeking companionship in Carrie, a nurse at the unit. It was an affair that almost went too far in a potential betrayal of Peg. Absolutely no fan ever wanted to think that BJ could do such a thing.
Margaret and Donald
It might seem like Margaret is featured in a ton of these entries and it’s largely because she was the only major female character for large swaths of the show. This should have been remedied from the minute the original film came out, but as it was, she ended up in many of the romantic pairings over the years.
But true fans of M * A * S * H know that Margaret deserved so much more than just being an object of affection for the male characters to gaze at. That is why when she finally married Donald, it was all too much of a relief when they eventually got divorced. He was not the man to help Margaret feel happy in her love life and fans were delighted that she got away from him before the commitment was too grand.
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