M*A*S*H: Season 2, Episode 17

For Want of a Boot (12 Jan. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War
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After months of waiting, Hawkeye finds that it may take more than a requisition form to get a new pair of boots.



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Episode cast overview:
Captain Futterman
Johnny Haymer ...
Patricia Stevens ...
Sheila Lauritsen ...
Susanne Zenor ...
Nurse Murphy (as Suzanne Zenor)


Supply sent 5000 diapers and 5000 pairs of rubber pants to 4077 in the middle of winter. It is no surprise when the new pair of boots Hawkeye ordered 3 months ago have not arrived. But it is a surprise the lengths Hawkeye and Trapper will have to travel to expedite the order. The supply sergeant wants a favor, the person doing the supply sergeant's favor wants a favor, and so on, and so forth, down the line. In 1/100 of the time it takes to construct a solid line of mutual back scratching, one unscratched back can cause the entire line to break. Will any of the promises made to further Hawkeye's boots be kept? Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

12 January 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title is from an ancient proverb: "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail." See more »


In the following episode "Operation Noselift" they have to bring in a specialist for a nose job. But in this episode Hawkeye offers Klinger a nose job for his hair dryer. See more »


[first lines]
Hawkeye: What did we get, Radar?
Corporal Walter Eugene O'Reilly: Uh, it's a mistake: 500 diapers and 5000 pairs of rubber pants.
Hawkeye: I'm glad you're all set for winter.
See more »


References Show Boat (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

Amusingly Special!!
9 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The opening scene of "For Want Of A Boot" consisted of Captain Pierce wanting a new pair of boots. Captains Pierce and McIntyre have a discussion in "The Swamp" to find out whom would supply Them new boots. In the opening clip of this episode, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake was going on report for being a farcical administrator at the 4077th ... specifically for not doing his job in relation to the nursing duties. The two of them would venture into Major Houlihan's tent to reconsider sending the report to General Mitchell ... if they gave in to a surprise birthday party for Major Burns in the mess tent.

The trek for finding new boots would begin immediately. Sergant Zale wanted his gums taken care of in Dr. Futterman's tent after his vacation. Dr. Futterman wanted to obtain a three-day pass to Tokyo. Corporal Klinger wanted Majors Burns and Houlihan to sign his Section Eight papers to obtain a discharge from the Army. Nurse Murphy wanted Corporal O'Reilly in her tent to plug in the hair dryer. Everything was in place ... or so it seem!!

At the birthday party, Majors Burns and Houilhan would obviously balk at signing Corporal Klinger's discharge papers. Nurse Murphy acted disappointed and shocked at Corporal O'Reilly's (lack of) appearance in her tent at the assigned time. Major Houlihan would then send her report to General Mitchell for Lieutenant Colonel Blake's court martial. Blake would rip Dr. Futterman's three-day pass to Tokyo. And finally, the snowball effect would (obviously) bite Dr. Futterman and Sergeant Zale in the rear ... for which Captain Pierce would not obtain his boots. A 16 out of 10!! Tons of spontaneity and wit!! Enjoy!! A++!! The zaniest M*A*S*H episode ever during its eleven-year run ... especially from the 1973-1974 Television Season.

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