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 this show Frank's birthday is in the dead of winter but in Season 5's "Most Unforgettable Characters" his birthday seems to be on a fairly warm spring day. 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

Quid pro Quo
1 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not much new here. It's the same plot used on numerous occasions, going back to the long underwear saga. Hawkeye needs new boot; his are full of holes and it is horrible outside. It involves with a series of requests, beginning with needing Hot Lips to back off on her letter to the General concerning Henry's incompetence. Of course, in order to get this, the guys must throw a birthday party for Frank Burns. Then another series of "if's." Everything becomes a delicate balance in a kind of "House that Jack Built" thing or, in this arena, a set of falling dominoes. It's entertaining. Once again, it requires a date with a nurse who has no interest in doing this (unless she gets something in return). If you don't overlook the lack of originality, you may enjoy this.

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