9x04 Father's Day
First Aired: Dec. 08, 1980 on CBS
Summary: Margaret's father "Howitzer" Houlihan tells her he'll be coming to the came for a visit. She struggles to impress him without much success. The attire and attitudes of Hawkeye and B.J. make that task much harder; they're trying to hide a whole frozen cow diverted to them by a grateful…
Series Main Characters
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: Well, that gal is the best thing that ever happened to me!
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Is that so? Well, you sure have a funny way of showing it.
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: I beg your pardon?
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Margaret's busted her britches trying to please you, but you don't seem to give a tinker's damn!
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: Forgive me, Colonel, but what business is that of yours?
Col. Sherman T. Potter: It is my business because I care about her. That gal seems to think you have no use for her.
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: Well, I flew halfway around the world to see her, didn't I? That should say it all.
Col. Sherman T. Potter: It doesn't say enough when all you can do is find fault.
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: What do you mean by that?
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Well, for openers, walking out on her in the middle of O.R. didn't exactly boost her morale.
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: [looking away from Potter] That had nothing to do with Margaret!
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Really? Then what did it have to do with? [Alvin does not respond]
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Was it the doctors' Tom Foolery? [Alvin still does not respond]
Col. Sherman T. Potter: Was it the blood? [Alvin looks up]
Col. Sherman T. Potter: [walks a step away and turns around again to face Alvin] Let me tell you something, Alvin, I've seen tougher birds than you who couldn't take it!
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: It shouldn't be happening to me.
Col. Sherman T. Potter: You mean you'd sooner let her think she was a failure than admit you were about to lose your lunch? You'd rather crush her feelings than let on you're human like the rest of us?
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: Colonel...
Col. Sherman T. Potter: You're so busy being 'Howitzer Al' Houlihan you can't even let your own daughter know you love her?
'Howitzer' Al Houlihan: Colonel, you raise your family and I'll raise mine.
- Goof (continuity error): Margaret's father Colonel "Howitzer" Al Houlihan visits the 4077th, despite the fact that Margaret had earlier implied to Henry Blake that her father was dead.
- Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): After Al tells Margaret he is too tired to talk to her,we then see him in the officers club having a drink. However, it's possible and not even particularly unlikely that he was using "too tired" as an excuse to avoid the conversation, as opposed to actually being in the state he claimed to be in.
- The title references Father's Day which is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 52 countries similar to the Mother's Day celebration. The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington.
- Margaret's father, Alvin Houlihan, was a retired colonel whose nickname was "Howitzer Al". He served under General MacArthur, and kept a signed photo as a memento. He also gave his wife an engraved pistol for a wedding present that Margaret kept with her.