Thomas & Friends

season of television series

This is the Recap page of Thomas & Friends.

Note: For the episode titles, the US titles come after the UK titles. Episodes are listed in the order of their UK airdate.

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This is based on opinion. Please don’t list it on a work’s trope example list.

Thomas & Friends

Yes, even a children’s show about talking steam engines can get real darn sad.

2000 film by Britt Allcroft

Thomas and the Magic Railroad (originally under a working title Thomas and the Rainbow Railway) is a 2000 British-American feature film based on the TV series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Shining Time Station. The film tells the story of the caretaker of an enchanted steam engine, and a conductor whose magical gold dust is running low, both of whom enlist the help of Thomas the Tank Engine to defeat the evil Diesel 10.

Directed and written by Britt Allcroft.

Take the magic journey.(taglines)

Big World! Big Adventures! Series

Season 22 (2018-2019)

Season 23 (2019-2020)

Double-length episodes

Season 24 (2020-2021)

  • The characters’ faces, before the CGI era, can be quite hard to look at for some because of how well they portray their sorrow and remorse, especially after a large screw-up and especially with Henry’s face, which makes him look like a borderline Woobie. Thomas is another one that gets the saddest look, so good thing it’s only an occasional occurrence. This is sometimes accompanied by the characters shedding tears.
  • A song will generally play to add to the emotional scene and help you to sympathise with the characters. Henry in particular has a very downbeat version of his Leitmotif play in sorrowful moments of the earlier episodes.

The Sad Story of Henry / Come Out, Henry!

Edward, Gordon and Henry / Henry to the Rescue

Thomas’ Train / A Big Day For Thomas

Troublesome Trucks / Foolish Freight Cars

Thomas and the Guard / Thomas and the Conductor

  • In one scene, Henry bemoans his poor condition to Thomas, who was very dismissive of the issue, bluntly telling him that he’s “too fat (“slow” in the US dub) and he needs exercise”. You have to feel for Henry for his current condition. Ouch. This already sad and demoralizing scene for Henry becomes Harsher in Hindsight when we learn 7 episodes later that Henry needs special Welsh Coal to even function properly, making this scene feel less like Thomas berating his coworker for being lazy and more like him (intentionally or not) bullying a physically disabled person who practically needs special equipment (Or in this case, coal) to be able to even remotely function effectively at their job.
  • This already sad and demoralizing scene for Henry becomes Harsher in Hindsight when we learn 7 episodes later that Henry needs special Welsh Coal to even function properly, making this scene feel less like Thomas berating his coworker for being lazy and more like him (intentionally or not) bullying a physically disabled person who practically needs special equipment (Or in this case, coal) to be able to even remotely function effectively at their job.

Thomas, Terence, and the Snow / Terrence the Tractor

Trouble in the Shed

  • Edward, who helps out the Fat Controller by fetching coaches for the big engines to prevent the strikes is shunned by his fellow tender engines. In particular, Gordon, Henry and James hiss at Edward whenever they pass him and call him “black wheels”. Gordon even wheeshes Edward in front of The Fat Controller who is most unhappy at how badly Edward is being treated.
  • The ending could also count for Gordon, Henry and James who are left shut up in the sheds for the bad behaviour and the big engines begin to realise how silly they have been.

Coal / Henry’s Special Coal

  • After constant failings, the Fat Controller sadly informs Henry that he’ll have to replace him if his health doesn’t improve. Henry, and his driver and Fireman seem pretty choked up by that, and even the Fat Controller seems to take every action to avoid it happening. Thankfully his Welsh Coal is brought into the situation.
  • Despite it’s memetic status, Henry’s quote at the start of the episode “I suffer dreadfully and no one cares” can inspire some sympathy if one realizes that Henry’s failing condition is harshly dismissed by the other engines who think he’s not working hard enough.
  • Henry’s team and the Fat Controller make a test run to see what is wrong with Henry. As the narrator describes in a very lamenting tone, Henry tried very hard to push forward but couldn’t get enough steam, and his sad theme blares as he is miserably moves into a siding, lamenting he will surely be sent away now.

The Flying Kipper

Toby and the Stout Gentleman / Toby the Tram Engine

Thomas in Trouble / Thomas Breaks the Rules

Thomas and Trevor / A New Friend for Thomas

Dirty Work / Diesel’s Devious Deed

  • The ending; the Fat Controller sends Duck to Edward’s station after Gordon, Henry, and James made accusations of Duck telling the trucks false stories and names. Duck lets out a tear on his eye, knowing that his friends and (seemingly) even The Fat Controller have turned against him just as Diesel, who had made those names in the first place, watches him with a sinister grin on his face. Even though the accusations weren’t true, Henry appears to be the most visibly hurt when he tells his false name to the Fat Controller. Given how Henry was the first to stand up for Duck in the beginning of the story, having Duck allegedly insult him left him not only upset — but also feeling betrayed.
  • Even though the accusations weren’t true, Henry appears to be the most visibly hurt when he tells his false name to the Fat Controller. Given how Henry was the first to stand up for Duck in the beginning of the story, having Duck allegedly insult him left him not only upset — but also feeling betrayed.

Thomas Comes to Breakfast

All at Sea

Make Someone Happy

Rusty and the Boulder

  • Sir Topham Hatt personally inspecting the damage done by Boulder to the rail yards after it was inadvertently set loose by the mining conducted on the cliff upon which it stood. Seeing the severity of the damage, he sadly laments that they should have never disrupted its home, and orders the mine shut down. The somber music certainly is fitting, reminding of the far worse disaster it easily could have been. Perhaps the one to feel most sorry for is Boulder itself, as it is moved to a new home and Rusty remains true to his conviction that it has a certain mind of its own, remarking that it seems as though “its sighs are carried on by the wind, to where it once used to stand proud and silent”. It is quite impressive how much it makes you feel sympathy for an inanimate object of all things that has lost its home.
  • Perhaps the one to feel most sorry for is Boulder itself, as it is moved to a new home and Rusty remains true to his conviction that it has a certain mind of its own, remarking that it seems as though “its sighs are carried on by the wind, to where it once used to stand proud and silent”. It is quite impressive how much it makes you feel sympathy for an inanimate object of all things that has lost its home.

Jack Jumps In

Rusty Saves the Day

Emily’s New Coaches

Edward’s Brass Band

What’s The Matter With Henry?

  • Henry being teased mercilessly by Thomas and Percy when the two small engines think he’s blowing his illness out of proportion again. They go so far as to leave him a long line of heavy trucks to pull — which he does with a valiant effort, but doing so causes him to break down.
  • When Thomas and Percy find out Henry really is sick, they are deeply sorry and miserable. Keeping in mind that Thomas has dismissed Henry’s symptoms several times beforehand, and in this case even caused him to break down when picking on him over it. It’s no wonder in most later episodes Thomas takes Henry’s ill moments dead seriously.

The Spotless Record

Salty’s Stormy Tale

Fergus Breaks the Rules

  • Thomas, after obsessing over finding the end of a rainbow and thus neglecting his friends, becomes derailed. Seeing Percy on another line, he shouts and whistles for help, but Percy puffs on, seemingly taking no notice and leaving Thomas behind. Thomas sadly remembers that, because he was rushing to find the rainbow’s end, he brushed Percy aside when he wanted to talk earlier. Because of his silly obsession, Thomas has lost his best pal and is stranded without hope. But this is not the case. The rest of the episode turns into one long heartwarming moment, as we learn that Percy, in fact, did hear Thomas’ whistle, and was puffing on because he was in a hurry to get help! The message is passed from Percy to Harvey via a large number of other characters, all of whom are anxious to help their friend. Even more heartwarming because the helping characters include several others whom Thomas had spurned earlier.
  • But this is not the case. The rest of the episode turns into one long heartwarming moment, as we learn that Percy, in fact, did hear Thomas’ whistle, and was puffing on because he was in a hurry to get help! The message is passed from Percy to Harvey via a large number of other characters, all of whom are anxious to help their friend. Even more heartwarming because the helping characters include several others whom Thomas had spurned earlier.

Thomas and the Birthday Picnic

Thomas and the Statue

Toby’s New Shed

Season 18

Duck and the Slip Coaches

No Steam Without Coal

Season 19

Best Engine Ever

Goodbye Fat Controller / Goodbye Sir Topham Hatt

Season 20

The Missing Breakdown Train

Season 21

Springtime for Diesel

  • “Springtime for Diesel” has a surprisingly poignant one. After seeing Daisy was sent to the Dieselworks after he bumped her and hearing she might not be able to be fixed, Diesel lashes out at the others all day. However, at night, he comes into the Dieselworks to a seemingly asleep Daisy and, after a bit of stuttering, finally manages to speak his mind. The next day, Daisy is fixed thanks to new springs being delivered to the Dieselworks. But although Daisy is happy to be back, she treats Diesel coldly as she leaves, leaving him rather upset. Thankfully, things get better after that.
  • The next day, Daisy is fixed thanks to new springs being delivered to the Dieselworks. But although Daisy is happy to be back, she treats Diesel coldly as she leaves, leaving him rather upset. Thankfully, things get better after that.

Forever and Ever

What Rebecca Does

  • Victor letting Rebecca know she’s not a crane, water cannon, steam shovel type of engine. The heartwarming part is Kevin ACTUALLY trying to help Rebecca. No thanks to Victor, who didn’t even BOTHER to try to explain why she’s not the kind of engine who would need a crane, steam shovel and water cannons!
  • Rebecca ends up feeling depressed for the whole episode because she keeps comparing herself to Marion, Harvey and Belle. Cue an extra heartbreaking scene as she stops at Vicarstown to pull the express. Thomas tries to help her, but she just lets out a sad toot and leaves.

Wish you were Here

Laid Back Shane

Sonny’s Second Chance

Cleo’s first Snow

  • “The Island Song” could make some nostalgic and long-time fans tear up.
  • The song “That’s What Friends are For”, one of the most emotional pieces of music made for the series. But particularly sad is the final line in the original. One day we may be apart. And the distance may sadden our hearts. Friends together. Forever. We stay.

Tropes featured in the episode

Season 17 (2013-2014)

Season 18 (2014-2015)

Season 19 (2015-2016)

Season 20 (2016-2017)

Season 21 (2017-2018)

Stacy: Hello. Shining Time Station manger Stacy Jones speaking. Oh, yes. The 10:15 A.M. from Pelican Falls to Shining Time is right on schedule. You’re welcome. (BELL RINGS) At 10:00 A.M. to Lucy’s Leap is leaving now. Oh, Billy.

Diesel 10: Pinchy, you’ve captured the real me? I mean, th-that’s beautiful. I-I could cry.
Splodge: U-Uh, boss? Now, we’re here.

Season 9

Mighty: We have to get there before dark so we’ll have to work extra hard!

Percy: Rattler Gordon’s keeping us all awake!
Gordon: The only engine’s keeping the other engines awake! The little engines have very bad manners!
Narrator: But secretly he felt rather embarrassed.

The Fat Controller: The new Sodor Museum opens soon. Lots of very important people will be coming to the island for the grand opening.
Percy: What’s a museum?
Gordon: It’s a place where they put old things so people can stand and look at them.
The Fat Controller: I want you all to look your best so that everyone is to have a repaint.

Dock Manager: The generator at the fair has broken down. So there are no lights and all the rides have stopped working.
Thomas: The children will be very sad.
Dock Manager: Cranky has just unloaded the new generator. You must take it to the fair.

Rusty: Listen, Thomas. Skarloey is telling a story from the hills.
Skarloey: Long, long ago, there was an old engine called Proteus. His lamp was so bright you could see it from miles around. Proteus said it was a magic lamp. He promised that if any engine ever found the lamp, their wishes would come true.
Duncan: How would you know it was Proteus’ lamp?
Skarloey: First, you feel a rush of wind whenever the lamp is near, then you’ll hear a strange creaking sound. And finally, you’ll see it flicker on and off, off and on.
Peter Sam: I don’t believe there’s a magic lamp!

Peter Sam: The magic lamp, I know isn’t true! It’s just an old story, and quite silly too!

Thomas: Are you looking forward to seeing my statue?
Edward: It might not be your statue.

Gordon: That’s not Thomas!
Percy: No, it’s of all of us!

Trevor: Hello, Henry.
Henry: You’re very nice, Trevor. But you wouldn’t make a very good flagpole.

Percy: Look at the castle! I wonder who lived there!
Toby: A king and a queen, they rule the island and told everyone what to do. Percy, come along. We’ve got a lot to do today.

Thomas: I thought you broke down at the junction, and where are the trucks of tiles?
Dennis: I tricked you. There was nothing wrong with me at the junction. I just didn’t want to pull these heavy trucks. I’m a really lazy engine.
Thomas: I’ll pull you back onto the tracks, then I’ll be your back engine. That way, we’ll get the tiles to the school in double-quick time.

The Fat Controller: Dennis, you have caused confusion and delay!
Dennis: Thomas has shown me that being a Really Useful Engine is much better than being really lazy. Thank you, Thomas! From now on, I’ll try to be a Really Useful Engine!

Edward: It’s all my fault, sir. I asked Thomas not to tell you I couldn’t work. I was afraid of going for scrap. I’m very sorry. I should’ve talked to you this morning.
The Fat Controller: Yes. You should always tell me if you have a problem. You are a loyal hardworking and Really Useful Engine. I will send you to the fitter’s yard straight away.

Thomas: My train is long and heavy. If you take half of my trucks to the docks, I can go and find the golden eagle.

The Fat Controller: James and Edward, the tracks were icy and you were not taking care! You have caused confusion and delay!
James: Edward wanted to slow down, but I wanted to go fast so that I could pull the presents train.
The Fat Controller: You will not be doing that now, James. Edward, you are a reliable engine. You can pull the presents train, but you can’t pull it alone. It’s a very long train.
James: Sir, if I promise to go slowly and take care, can I be Edward’s back engine?
The Fat Controller: Only if you can puff slowly and carefully.
Narrator: James felt pleased.
James: Edward, I will learn to take care just like you!

Spin-Offs

Jack and the Sodor Construction Company

  • “A Visit from Thomas”
  • “Jack Owns Up”
  • “Own Site with Thomas’
  • “Percy’s Scary Tale”
  • “Kelly’s Windy Day”
  • “A Happy Day for Percy”
  • “A Tale for Thomas”
  • “Thomas and the Moles”
  • “Percy Helps Out”
  • “The Tortoise and the Hare”
  • “Thomas’ Trusty Friends”
  • “Alfie Has Kittens”
  • “Mud Glorious Mud”

External links

Season 13 (2010)

Season 14 (2010)

Season 15 (2011)

Season 16 (2012)

  • Alec Baldwin – Mr. Conductor
  • Mara Wilson – Lily Stone
  • Peter Fonda – Burnett Stone
    Jared Wall (young)
  • Jared Wall (young)
  • Michael E. Rodgers – C. Junior
  • Cody McMains – Patch
  • Didi Conn – Stacy Jones
  • Russell Means – Billy Twofeathers
  • Lori Hallier – Mrs. Stone
  • Laura Bower – Tasha Stone
  • Eddie Glen – Thomas
  • Kevin Frank – Dodge, Henry, Bertie and Harold
  • Britt Allcroft – Lady
  • Linda Ballantyne – Percy
  • Susan Roman – James
  • Colm Feore – Toby
  • Shelley-Elizabeth Skinner — Annie and Clarabel

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