[[quoteright:216:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tugs_5181.jpg]]

-->''"The tugboat, for its size, is the most powerful craft afloat. And the Starr Tugs are the power behind the docks and waterways that make up the Bigg City Port."''

From the makers of ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' comes a [[ScrewedByTheNetwork short-lived]] sister series. Set in Bigg City Port in TheRoaringTwenties, it chronicles the adventures of the Star Tugs, a fleet of [[CoolBoat Thomas-esque boats with faces]] as they compete for contracts with their biggest rivals, the Z-Stacks.

What really sets this show apart from Thomas is the maturity of the stories. There are dangerous perils that the Tugs have to deal with, such as being crushed by a wayward ocean liner, or the risk of being scrapped.

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!!This show provides examples of:
* TheAce: Hercules, the largest and strongest of Captain Star's fleet.
* [[AFatherToHisMen A Father To His Tugs]]: Captain Star
* AffablyEvil: Zebedee, especially in "High Winds".
* AlliterativeName: Names to be exact, with the Z-Stacks being named Zorran, Zebedee, Zak, Zip and Zug, working for Captain Zero.
* [[LondonGangster Australia Gangster]]: Johnny Cuba.
* BigBrotherMentor: The older tugs often act this role to Ten Cents and Sunshine.
* BigDamnHeroes:
** Warrior and Big Mac in "Warrior" when they stop Izzy from capsizing after he runs aground.
** Zebedee of all characters in "High Winds" when he helps the Star Tugs dock the Princess Alice liner during a windstorm.
* BritishAccents: Ten Cents has a Cockney accent, while Sunshine is a Geordie. Big Mac is [[ViolentGlaswegian Glaswegian]], Top Hat has an upper-class accent, while Hercules has a sort of CaryGrant thing going on. And yet it's set in America...
* BritishBrevity: The show ran for 13 episodes.
* CatchPhrase: Hercules tends to call everyone "m'dear" and "sweetheart."
** Warrior says [[UnusualEuphemism "Sufferin' stacks"]] when surprised or alarmed.
* TheCharmer: WordOfGod says that Hercules displays these tendencies. It can be seen a little in the show.
* CoolBoat
* CoolOldGuy: OJ
* CutAndPasteTranslation: Aired as part of ''SaltysLighthouse'' on TLC with American accents re-dubbed over the characters, name changes, and other edits.
* TheDandy: Top Hat is absolutely this, and often mocked by his fellow tugs because of it.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to ''Thomas the Tank Engine'', and done well. Some Tugs risk their lives to protect their friends.
** It ''is'' meant for a slightly older crowd, after all.
* DeadpanSnarker: Big Mac and Top Hat
* [[DramaQueen Drama King:]] Top Hat, again
* DrillSergeantNasty: Bluenose
* DumbMuscle: Warrior.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Zorran may be willing to play dirty when competing with the Starr Tugs for contracts, but "Munitions" shows he treats dangerous jobs with the utmost caution and respect.
** He also chastises Zip and Zug for trapping Ten Cents and Sunshine at a fuel depot in "The Big Freeze", because [[PragmaticVillainy without the emergency lighthouse barge they had, both the Starr Tugs and the Z-Stacks would have lost out on contracts to supply a luxury liner]].
* EverythingIsBetterWithExplosions: Billy Shoepack thinks so. Also, many episodes have some sort of explosion or another. Given that co-creator David Mitton had once worked on Thunderbirds (where things exploded pretty much on a regular basis), this is hardly surprising.
* {{Expy}}: The Pirates in control of Sea Rogue and his uncle are clearly based on [[Series/CaptainScarletAndTheMysterons The Mysterons]].
** The Star Tugs can be considered ones to [[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine The Steam Team]]. Specifically:
*** Ten Cents - Thomas
*** Big Mac - Gordon
*** O.J. - Toby
*** Top Hat - James
*** Warrior - Henry
*** Hercules - Edward
*** Sunshine - Percy
* TheFaceless: Captain Starr and Captain Zero. The closest we see of any human is a megaphone.
* FiveBadBand: Zorran: [[BigBad Big Bad]], Zebedee: [[TheDragon The Dragon]], Zak: [[TheBrute The Brute]], Zug: [[EvilGenius Evil Genius]], Zip: [[DarkChick Dark Chick]]
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: Ten Cents
** TheLancer: Top Hat
** TheBigGuy: Warrior and Big Mac
** TheSmartGuy: OJ
** TheChick: Sunshine
** TheSixthRanger: Hercules
* ForcedIntoEvil: The Green-Eyed Pirates force Sea Rogue to steal barges of cargo for them, threatening to sink his uncle if he refuses.
* GeniusDitz: Warrior
* GoodColorsEvilColors: The Star Tugs are all painted yellow with red, white, and blue smokestacks, while the Z-Stacks are all painted brown with black smokestacks.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Ten Cents and Sunshine.
* HighClassGlass: Top Hat.
* HonorBeforeReason: Bluenose likes to put orders before common sense.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Top Hat
* TheJinx: Boomer.
* KilledOffForReal: Big Mickey the Crane, though this depends on whether you're watching it on TV or video.
** At least Big Mickey would have a quiet happier future in Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends, along with various other models.
* KindheartedSimpleton: Warrior is a clumsy idiot, but also a hard worker who always means well.
** IdiotHero
* TheKlutz: Warrior.
* LastOfHisKind: O.J., the last paddleboat tug in Bigg City.
* MeaningfulName: The tramp steamer "Krakatoa" from the episode "Munitions".
* MeaningfulRename: Before Boomer was, well, Boomer, his name was Captain Harry. Unfortunately, like the urban legend goes, renaming a ship gives bad luck...in this case, bad luck to Boomer himself.
* MightyGlacier: What else would you expect from boats?
* NationalStereotypes: Izzy Gomez has a mustache and sombrero, sleeps a lot, has a very goofy accent and is notoriously cheap.
* NewTransferStudent: Sunshine from "Up River". Not a school per se, but [[TransferStudentUniforms has a different paint job]] until he's accepted at the end of the first episode.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In "Up River", Billy Shoepack uses his dynamite to free Sunshine from a log jam. Unfortunately, the force of the explosion turns the logs into a massive battering ram heading straight for Bigg City.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Zug's voice and appearance is very similar to Creator/PeterLorre.
* NoodleIncident: It's not entirely clear what happened between Captain Zero and Johnny Cuba, but Zero is still pretty sore about it.
* OhCrap: Happens twice in "Up River"
** First, when Big Mac realizes the logs trapping Sunshine have caught fire.
** Second, when Warrior gets stuck on the wrong side of the barricade.
* OminousFog: "Ghosts".
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Top Hat, again.
* SceneryGorn: "Munitions" features a ten-minute sequence of the docks blowing up.
* SceneryPorn: The harbor, the docks, the boats....
* ShipTease: No pun intended, between Hercules and Lillie.
* SixthRanger: Near the end of the series, Grampus the submarine joins the Star Tugs.
* ShoutOut: The Line "Goodnight Vienna" is a direct reference to [[ThomasTheTankEngine Ringo Starr's]] album of the same name.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: There are three female characters with lines in the show (Lillie, Sally and Pearl). The liners are always referred to as "she" but that may just be because of the nautical term, as they don't appear to be sentient like the other ships.
* SpeechImpediment: Grampus lisps when he talks.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Co-producer Robert Cardona would go on to produce the Canadian series ''TheodoreTugboat''.
* SuicideAsComedy: Boomer, in an extremely light-hearted example.
* RedOniBlueOni: Captain Starr speaks mostly in a calm and controlled way but Captain Zero yells at his tugs and shakes his megaphone whenever he speaks.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Not exactly the theme music, but there is a dramatic piece of music played whenever a Tug is acting heroically.
* UpperClassTwit: Bluenose and Top Hat.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Big Mac.
* WatchWhereYoureGoing: In "Warrior", The Shrimpers say this to Warrior when he cuts across them. Warrior apologizes and tells them that they should look where they're going.
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