Study Guide

Airplane! Scene 6

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Scene 6

Scene 6

  • Ted sits with Elaine, begging her to remember how things were for the two of them in the beginning. It's clear that she does remember, but she says that things can never be like that again as long as Ted insists on living in the past.
  • Meanwhile Ted has another flashback; this time he's recovering in an army hospital.
  • Elaine's there with a distraught Ted, where it's revealed that the mission he commanded went awry, and six of Ted's men died. "Seven," Elaine corrects him. "Lieutenant Zipp died this morning." George Zipp will go on to become an important name for Ted in Airplane!
  • This scene also includes the first of many "What is it?" jokes, this time having to do with headquarters.
  • The sequence ends with another meta, self-aware gag, where Broadway legend Ethel Merman plays a soldier in the hospital experiencing PTSD who thinks he's Ethel Merman.
  • "War is hell," Ted responds in perfect deadpan.

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