M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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Hot Lips and Empty Arms 

A friend's letter causes Margaret to re-evaluate her life in the 4077th and request a transfer.



(as Linda Bloodworth), | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Nurse Watson


It is mail call at the 4077. Henry gets a film from The Tabasco Film Company of Havana, Cuba and Frank gets the latest on his stock portfolio. And Margaret is in the worst possible mood. She, too, received a letter that day (and a photograph) from a nurse with whom she trained in the States, Trisha Spaulding. Trisha married a doctor Margaret rejected; Trisha has the children, house, swimming pool, cars and the life Margaret could have had. All of this causes Margaret to reevaluate her life. She dumps Frank and asks for immediate transfer. Frank writes to his wife; Hawkeye and Trapper bring Margaret a bottle of "champagne." This starts Hotlips on an unaccustomed toot. With injured Marines imminent, a drunk Head Nurse could be a Major problem--and it would go on her permanent record. If ever Margaret had a friend (or two), this would be the time for them to volunteer for duty. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

15 December 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Henry's line, "Looks like you've already been dipping your bill" is clearly looped. See more »


When Hawkeye and Trapper are trying to sober up Margaret by giving her a cold shower, you can see that Trapper's shoulders and the front of his t-shirt are wet, presumably from previous takes. See more »


Maj. Frank Burns: Margret, you've been drinking.
Margaret: Correction, I *am* drinking.
Maj. Frank Burns: Margret! That's liquor!
Margaret: Right, Rev. Davidson.
See more »


References Flash Gordon (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

Margaret's Attempted Departure
27 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Margaret Houlihan receives a letter from a friend who is married and rich, with the same guy Margaret rejected. She now realizes that her life is empty. All the things her friend has have eluded her. She decides to change her life by asking for a transfer. Trapper, Hawkeye, and Henry try to get her to reconsider, using the same methods that have driven her to this point. She even considers Frank Burns Army issue. She calls him Ferret Face at one point. Their discussion as she drops the bomb on him is priceless. What follows is a Margaret who gets loaded and begins to act like every stereotypical drunk you've ever seen. It is still pretty hilarious as the guys try to sober her up before a battalion of Marines send their casualties. She actually bonds with her adversaries and what's interesting is that there is no carry over from this into the next episode. She and Frank start up where they left off.

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