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The series resulted in two movies, McHale's Navy (1964) and McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965), and a Distaff Counterpart spin-off series, Broadside (1964, one season).
A new McHale's Navy movie was released in 1997, starring Tom Arnold as Quinton McHale Jr.
The series provides examples of:
- Armed Farces
- During the War
- Evil Roy: Lt Elroy Carpenter.
- Fair for Its Day: Fuji, the Japanese POW, was often written to the more benign aspects of the Japanese stereotype, but still was a useful member of the cast who gained some character development (or, as much as you can garner in a sitcom...). During the last season, the PT-73 Gang meet up with the 442nd RCT, the all-Nisei combat unit fighting in Europe. Even though some Hilarity Ensues over Fuji being accidentally "recruited" into the unit (read: to keep Binghampton from realizing they smuggled a POW across half the world, they dressed him in an Army uniform and were trying to palm him off as a detached 442nd member, never suspecting the genuine 442nd were in the vicinity), the 442nd are portrayed as normal Americans doing their job in the war.
- Military Brat: Ensign Parker, a hopeless schlub from an illustrious military family who is nevertheless bound and determinied to somehow carry on his family's tradition of service.
- Military Maverick
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Sub-Lieutenant Clivedon
- Reality Is Unrealistic: McHale's uniform cap badge is smaller than everyone else's by a noticeable amount. This is not an error. In fact, all the other caps, which used 1960's vintage hat badges, are in error. The badge McHale wears in the series is personally owned by Ernest Borgnine, who is a genuine World War Two Navy veteran and came from his time in the service.
- Retool: In its final season, the series moved from the Pacific theater to Italy.
- The entire premise of the show itself came from a retool: The pilot episode was called "Seven Against the Sea," an installment of "Alcoa Presents", and was a gritty war drama, featuring McHale as a serious leader trying to keep the men on his PT boat alive after a shattering Japanese attack. One of the producers, however, wanted to do Sgt. Bilko in the Navy. He ordered the shore-side business angle (which included running a laundry and still and McHale's rapport with the native chiefs) ramped Up to Eleven, and the dramatics jettisoned. The rest is history.
- Screw the War, We're Partying
- Spiritual Successor: McHale's Navy shares many behind-the-scenes people with The Phil Silvers Show and in many ways is Sergeant Bilko in the Navy.
- Welcome Episode: The pilot has Capt Binghamton assign Naive Newcomer Ensign Charles Parker the job of making McHale's men behave the military way.
- World War II
The contemporary spin-offs provide examples of:
The 1997 movie provides examples of:
Vladikov: What do you think of my stealth boat, David?
David: Very stealthy, sir.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: McHale has dealt with the villain before, and once punished him by taking him (while unconscious) to get McHale's name and face tattooed across his entire torso. Backwards so it can be read in a mirror.
- The Film of the Series
- Generation Xerox
- Shoot the Messenger