Dad's Army Wiki
When You've Got to Go
Series 8, Episode 2
Air Date 12th September 1975
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures ?
Previous episode Ring Dem Bells
Next episode Is There Honey Still for Tea?
List of episodes

When You've Got to Go is the second episode of the eighth British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally broadcast on Wednesday 12 September 1975.


Wilson and Mrs Pike are having tea waiting for Frank to come home from his call-up medical. When Frank arrives home, his mother is unpleasantly surprised when he tells her that he has passed A1 (in spite of his chronically bad chest, his painful sinuses, his weak ankles and recently acquired nervous twitch), and has requested to be put in the RAF. At the evening's parade, Mainwaring and the platoon are deciding what to do to celebrate Private Pike's departure. They decide to have a dinner at the Fish and Chip restaurant.

Later on, Mainwaring is having a meeting with the blood donor people who ask him how many pints of blood he and the platoon will be able to donate. He originally says 50, but after learning that the Wardens have also promised 50, he then changes his mind and says 100. Mainwaring soon discovers he has bitten off more than he can chew, as all but two members of the platoon are ineligible to donate blood due to medical conditions or being overage. Hodges arrives to rub it in to Mainwaring, but is interrupted by Corporal Jones who states that he has been down to the POW camp and gathered 80 Italian soldiers. Hodges then states that he still wins because he reached his target. Jones then replies that he hasn't, as he has also brought down 17 nuns as well. With Mainwaring, Pike and the Vicar making donations as well, it brings the total for the platoon to 100 pints. Meanwhile, one of the doctors has discovered that Private Pike's blood type is so rare that you won't find another one like him in 10,000.

The platoon are sitting in the restaurant having a fish and chip dinner in honour of Private Pike. After Wilson says a few words, Pike says that he would like to tell them all a funny story. He mentions the results of the blood drive and how rare his blood type is, and that if he was wounded in the Air Force, they would not be able to provide him with a blood transfusion. Frazer states that "so far the story hasn't been highly comic." Pike then adds that the Air Force won't have him and that he's not going, and that he didn't want to tell the platoon straight away, as he's never had a dinner in his honour before.


This episode contains a light reference to an uncomfortable fact; Mainwaring says to the Italian soldier, "Your government should be more careful about who it chooses for friends", the soldier then replies "Oh, you can talk. What about Stalin?"; while the Allies bravely fought against an evil dictator (Hitler) who killed millions of people, they also allied themselves with another dictator who also killed millions of people: Joseph Stalin.