Overview… an easygoing, wisecracking, and easily bored surgeon from Boston. “Trapper” John McIntyre is stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M*A*S*H unit) during the Korean War. Like most everyone else in camp, Trapper wants the casualties to stop, the war to end, and to be shipped home as soon as possible. If it were not for his unmarried friend “Hawkeye” Pierce also hating the army’s rules, regulations, and red tape as much as he does; his own non-conforming adventurous spirit; and a very lenient Coronel Blake tolerating the twosome’s shenanigans, Trapper would likely go mad being stuck in the army.
Personality… optimistic, charismatic, risk taking, and self-confident. Trapper and Hawkeye Pierce act like two Marx Brothers – chasing nurses, drinking martinis from a homemade still, and playing pranks on “by the book” types, specifically Majors Burns and Houlihan. Despite Trapper’s loyalty to his partner in crime, he is not the silent Harpo. He speaks his mind when he witnesses an injustice, such as the time a soldier brought with him into camp a “moose” – a 17-year-old personal servant girl. Outraged, Trapper exclaimed, “Do you believe that? That slob bought a human being.” Beyond righting wrongs, Trapper is often fearless in crisis situations, such as helping Hawkeye defuse an undetonated bomb that fell into the compound, walking into a minefield to rescue a young child that wandered into it, and removing a live grenade attached to a wounded soldier in the operating room. Trapper John McIntyre is an excellent surgeon despite being limited to perform what he calls “meatball surgery” – “We get them ready for Tokyo fast, not much time for technique. We’re closing them up before we can get our hands out.” Because he does take his job so seriously, he must break the tension by making others laugh, often using fellow doctor Frank Burns as the butt of his jokes. Once Frank defended himself by saying that he never had any complaints from his patients. To which, Trapper quipped, “How many talking horses are there?” Then there are those times that he and Hawkeye drive Major Margaret Houlihan too far, making her request a transfer out of the 4077th. Yet, even she admits having fallen under this married man’s spell, telling Trapper, although completely soused at the time, “I really could’ve gone for you. That curly blond hair and that crooked smile and you’re really built too, you know, you son of a gun.”
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