12 little errors and anachronisms you never noticed in 'M*A*S*H'
Radar just might be a time traveler.
The Korean War was waged from the summer of 1950 to the summer of 1953. Few pieces of pop culture better captured the conflict than M*A*S*H. Ostensibly, the TV show was a sitcom, but it truly chronicled the emotional toll of war.
Of course, M*A*S*H was not filmed during the war. The series aired from 1972–83, and was shot in Malibu Creek State Park in sunny Southern California. While it tried to be as period appropriate as possible, some small errors slipped through. Throughout the 11 seasons, you can spot many anachronisms — a little detail, reference or prop that belongs to another era.
Anachronisms are not unique to M*A*S*H. Heck, the rifle in The Rifleman, a Western which took place in the 1870s and 1880s, was a Winchester Model 1892. In the pilot episode of The Wonder Years, which takes place in 1968, Kevin and Paul read a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, a book published in 1971. And just one look at Joanie's perm proves that Happy Days was made in the 1980s, not the early 1960s.
But today we're focusing on M*A*S*H. Here are a dozen little goofs you probably never noticed.
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1. Futuristic funny books
Radar is a true comic book aficionado, but the lovable geek must be personal friends with the time-traveling Fantastic Four. His collection includes issues published in the 1960s and 1970s. Here we see him kicking back and reading Captain Savage and His Battlefield Rangers, No. 10, which hit the racks in January 1969.
2. A true Marvel
In a later episode, we see Radar tucked up with his favorite teddy bear and an issue of The Avengers. One minor problem — that comic was not created until 1963. The cover depicts the Black Panther, who first sprang out of Jack Kirby's brain in 1966. In "The Novacaine Mutiny," we see more of Radar's stash, including other issues of Avengers and Sixties-born Spider-Man.
3. Newtons' Law
Later in "Der Tag," B.J. holds up a package of Fig Newtons, in their clear plastic packaging from the 1970s, as seen in this vintage commercial. In 1950, the popular cookies would have come in the box seen in the inset.
4. Duke University
The 4077th gather in a tent to watch the Henry Fonda film My Darling Clemintine, an appropriate pick, as it was released in 1946. However, Radar stands up to amuse the room with his John Wayne impression. "I'm not gonna hit ya… I'm not gonna hit ya… Like hell I'm not!" he says in his best Duke drawl. Unfortunately, he is paraphrasing a scene from McLintock!, released in 1963. More evidence that Radar is in fact a time traveler.
5. Spinning a tale
"Baby It's Cold Outside"
The gang is gathered here to watch another movie, 1941's Sun Valley Serenade, an ice capade which starred Norwegian figure skater and film star Sonja Henie. Col. Potter notes, "This is supposed to be where she does a triple axel and ends up in a split." However, the first woman to execute a triple axel was Midori Ito in 1988. In fact, it wasn't until 1953 that Carol Heiss became the first woman to perform a double axel.
"Wheelers and Dealers"
The Officers' Club at the 4077th offers an array of amusements and amenities, including the pinball game Spot-a-Card. This machine was first manufactured by Gottlieb in August 1960.
7. Go Go Godzilla
Radar, who we have established in a time traveler, again slips up and reveals himself when he mentions, "Tonight's movie is The First Born of Godzilla." However, the massive monster did not make his debut until Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla.
8. Blob and weave
More classic monster movies are mentioned in Radar's presence in this episode. In the opening scene, Henry Blake mentions The Blob, which was released in September 1958.
9. Huey and the news
"For the Good of the Outfit"
It was not all pop culture goofs. There are some military anachronisms, as well. One subtle one can be found dangling from the ceiling in Henry Blake's office. Here, for example, we see a model Bell Huey UH-1 helicopter. The aircraft did not fly until 1956, and it is most associated with the Vietnam War.
10. On your marks
Potter uses a Smith & Wesson Model 19 snub-nosed pistol to start the crutch race. The Model 19 was not produced until the late 1950s.
11. Taking the M-I-C-K-E-Y
"The Colonel's Horse"
Radar spells out the name of B.J.'s father-in-law: "H-A-Y-D-E-N." Hawkeye sing-songingly adds, "M-O-U-S-E!" He is of course referencing the universally known "Mickey Mouse March," the theme song to The Mickey Mouse Club — which first aired in 1955.
12. Wayward wandering
"Mad Dogs and Servicemen"
Radar is bedridden, possibly with rabies. Margaret reads him a letter, in which the writer mentions two songs, Bo Diddly's "Diddy Wah Diddy" and Gogi Grant's "The Wayward Wind," both of which were released in 1956.
SEE MORE: 12 TINY LITTLE GOOFS YOU NEVER NOTICED IN 'I LOVE LUCY'
We can 'splain these minor slip-ups. READ MORE
When they had Movie Night, The 16mm Projector usually ran
by Igor hadn't been made until 1961. It appears to be a Bell &
Howell Model 535. This was the 1st year that B&H produced
an Audio Visual Projector that wasn't contained inside a Box.
The Projector you would most likely have seen in that time period
would have been a Model 285. This was a popular 16mm Sound
Projector used in many Schools in the 1950's...
They were details irrelevant to the plot of the show. Remember, these shows were cranked out on a WEEKLY bases -- there just wasn't time to research every tiny detail that really had nothing to do with the plot. PLUS, all of this was missed originally because we didn't have the ability to freeze frame and slo-mo the videos so you could look at each and every frame in detail just looking for this kind of crap. It's only Millennials who have started nick-picking stuff apart.