M*A*S*H episode
“Lt. Radar O'Reilly”
MASH Episode - 5x5 Lt. Radar O'Reilly
When Radar gets "promoted" to Lieutenant, he struggles to get the respect of his former enlisted buddies, whom he has to now give orders to in "Lt. Radar O'Reilly" in Season 5.
Season 5, Episode # 5
Number (#102) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Sandy Kenyon
Johnny Haymer
Lynne Marie Stewart
Jeff Maxwell
Raymond Chao
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: U-805
Writer(s) Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell
Director Alan Rafkin
Original airdate October 12, 1976
IMDb logo IMDB Lt. Radar O'Reilly
Episode chronology
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"Out of Sight, Out of Mind" (U‑806) "The Nurses" (U‑809)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Hawk's Nightmare" (U‑804) "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" (U‑806)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 5 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes


Lt. Radar O'Reilly was the 102nd episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, and, also the fifth episode of the fifth season of the series. Written by Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell, and directed by Alan Rafkin, it first aired on October 12, 1976.


To settle a poker debt, an officer forges promotion papers for Radar to become a Lieutenant.

Full episode summaryEdit

The gang ends a late night poker game when midnight strikes, with Radar winning the last pot. Hawkeye and B.J. are upset when they find out that a visiting Master Sergeant, named Woodruff (Sandy Kenyon) owes them both money and doesn't have the money to pay up.

Woodruff, who works in the office that issues promotions, offers up a promotion to either of the doctors instead of the money he owes them. Neither one of them wants to be a Major, but B.J. suggests "Lt. Radar O'Reilly."

A few days later, during mail call, Radar is stunned when he reads a letter from I-Corps to Col. Potter announcing his own promotion. Col. Potter beams with pride, and Klinger offers up Radar his first salute.

Now that he's an officer, it takes a lot of the 4077th to adjust. Frank is horrified, Hot Lips is frustrated, and Radar's friends Zale and Igor treat him like he's the enemy. Things go worse when Radar tries to teach Klinger to assume his Company Clerk duties, but finds Klinger disinterested.

It gets even worse--the nurse that has shown ardent romantic interest in him when he was a Corporal, now has no interest since he's not "forbidden fruit." Radar leaves horribly confused.

All the change ends up making Radar so miserable--he's a man without two worlds--that he comes to visit Hawkeye and B.J., feeling depressed. Hawkeye and B.J., realizing their joke has backfired on Radar, offer to try and get him busted back down to Corporal. Radar gleefully accepts the demotion.

Now that he's a Corporal again, the nurse is back to flirting with him, and he's pals again with Klinger, Zale, and Igor, who wait for him outside the nurse's tent to bust his chops, like they used to do.

Fun factsEdit

Col. Potter tries to verify Radar's promotion, even though Hawkeye and B.J. try and talk him out of it. Potter tries to operate the radio, and Hawkeye says: "Only two people know how to operate that thing: Radar and...Sgt. Marconi." B.J. mutters, "We'll never get him here." in what sounds like an ab-lib.

In this episode, we find out how Margaret got her infamous leather whip (it was a gift from her fiance Lt. Col. Donald Penobscott: "He knows how much I love fine leathers!").

Memorable line:  The argument between Radar and Klinger over how to handle the P.A. is broadcast to the camp. Klinger reads the announcement of the night's movie ("One Ticket to Broadway"), and after the cast list, he ad-libs: "...and Teddy, The Wonder Lizard."

Radar gets mad at Klinger, and yells: "There's no lizard in there!"

B.J. and Hawkeye hear all this, and B.J. helpfully adds: "There's no lizard in that picture."

Hawkeye: "That was 'Two Lizards to Broadway."'

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit