M*A*S*H episode
“The Price of Tomato Juice”
MASH Episode -4x16 Radar with Tomato Juice
Radar delivers Tomato Juice for Col. Potter in scene from the episode "The Price of Tomato Juice".
Season 4, Episode # 16
Number (#88) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s)
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: G-519
Writer(s) Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds
Director Gene Reynolds
Original airdate December 16, 1975
IMDb logo IMDB The Price of Tomato Juice
Episode chronology
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"Mail Call...Again" (G‑518) "Dear Ma" (G‑515)

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"Mail Call...Again" (G‑518) "Hawkeye" (G‑520)

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Season 4 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes


The Price of Tomato Juice was the 88th episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, and, also the 16th episode of the fourth season of the series. Written by Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds, who also directed the episode, it first aired on December 16, 1975.


What seems to be a simple request to request to get tomato juice for Colonel Potter becomes a ridiculous, complicated ordeal when Major Burns asks for something in return.

Full episode summaryEdit

Radar sits down to lunch with a glass of tomato juice, which Col. Potter takes notice of, having not seen it in years. Radar offers him his glass, which Potter gratefully accepts, savoring every drop. After Potter leaves, Radar gets the idea of procuring tomato juice regularly. He asks Klinger how they can get more, but Klinger says there's no chance--the can of it arrived by mistake, so it would have to be ordered specifically by the Requisition Officer--Frank.

Radar enlists Hawkeye and B.J. in the cause, to see if they can help. They go to Frank, who will order the tomato juice in return for a favor--getting a pair of stockings, for...someone. They agree, and go to Klinger for the stockings, who says he'll give them up only if he gets a two-day pass for some R&R. They agree, and get Radar to sneak a pass by Col. Potter. Potter notices, and refuses to sign, but Radar lays it on thick, saying Klinger is really stressed and needs some relaxation.

Potter goes along, but needs to check with Gen. Barker, who has asked all commanders to not issue any R&R passes to Seoul for the next few days. He calls Barker and asks if he can send Kllinger. Barker agrees, but asks if Potter wouldn't mind sending Hot Lips to Seoul, as well. Potter asks Hot Lips, and she's thrilled at the idea of going to cocktail parties on the arm of a General, but she tries to pretend it's a selfless act.

With Margaret packing to leave, the whole house of cards begins to collapse. Without Hot Lips around, Frank is depressed, and refuses to order the tomato juice.

Radar, in a panic, turns to Hawkeye and B.J. for help, so they try something desperate--sending Hot Lips some flowers and a card proposing marriage from Frank.

They then go the other way, sending a note "from Hot Lips" to Frank (who is getting drunk in the Officers Club) saying she wants to get together. While he's in a good mood, Radar gets him to sign the requisition for the tomato juice.

Frank and Margaret get together, and the whole thing falls apart. Meanwhile, a car for General Barker arrives, ready to pick up Major Houlihan. Hawkeye and B.J. offer up a dolled-up Klinger, looking like a 1940s movie starlet, ready for a night on the town.

The next morning, Radar delivers another can of tomato juice, complete with white towel over his arm and served on a tray. Potter refuses it. Hawkeye, B.J., and Radar are stunned--doesn't he love tomato juice? Potter does, but he forgot he's allergic to it.

Fun factsEdit

  • This episode is reminiscent of the Season Two episode "For Want of a Boot", where one favor begets another, and then another, and then another...
  • Favorite Line: In the showers, Frank is talking, when Hawkeye interrupts him, staring at the top of Frank's head. He says "Wait a minute", grabs his towel, and smacks Frank in the head. Frank says, "Did you get it?" Hawkeye: "Get what?"
  • This episode may contain an unscripted blooper: when the handle on the bug spray atomizer breaks, Hawkeye looks surprised, then swats at the intruding fly with it. Gary Burgholl comes out with a very un-Radarlike, "What the hell was that?"
  • The METV version has Klinger coming back from Seoul claiming General Barker "Saved" KLinger. This is usually cut out of syndicated versions.

Guests stars/Recurring castEdit