Air date: November 19th, 1986
Adapted from: Branch Line Engines, "Thomas Comes to Breakfast"
Thomas' driver jokes that Thomas could almost run his branch line without him. Thomas doesn't realize he's joking though and becomes very conceited. He brags to Percy and Toby later at the sheds and both tell Thomas that he needs a driver, but to no avail.
The next morning, a fire lighter comes and starts the engines' fires. Thomas wakes up as the warmth spreads through his boiler and then realizes his opportunity to run by himself and prove Percy and Toby wrong by stopping and wheeshing in front of them. Thomas slowly starts moving along the track, but doesn't know that he's only moving because a careless cleaner has fiddled with his controls. Thomas realizes he can't do anything about it without his driver. At the end of the tracks sits the stationmaster's house. Thomas crashes through the front window just as the family is sitting down to breakfast. Plaster and broken glass are everywhere - the stationmaster's wife is furious with Thomas for ruining their breakfast.
After workmen lays rails through the garden, Donald and Douglas arrive and pull Thomas free of the house. Thomas' front has been badly damaged by his visit and is in disgrace.
Back at the shed, the Fat Controller tells Thomas off for his actions and tells him that a diesel railcar is going to be brought in to run his branch line while he's sent to the works for long repairs.
Tropes featured in the episode:
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Thomas takes his driver's compliments to heart a bit too much...
- Actually Pretty Funny: Despite being in the middle of lecturing Thomas, even the Fat Controller can't resist making a small grin at his predicament.
- Anachronic Order: In the US, this episode was aired before Toby, Donald and Douglas were introduced properly.
- An Aesop: Don't let little compliments go to your head.
- Bowdlerise: In the UK ending, The Fat Controller says to Thomas "You are a very naughty engine.", but in the US, he says "You're in a lot of trouble, Thomas.".
- Break the Haughty: This happened to Thomas who became conceited in believing he can go without a driver. He also got quite shaken when The Fat Controller informs him that a diesel railcar will do his work.
- Car Meets House: Steam Locomotive meets a stationmaster's house, actually. This is the second time one crashes into a building, the first being Duck and the barber shop in "A Close Shave", which was only four episodes ago.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Thomas crashes into the stationmaster's house, the stationmaster's wife chews him out for ruining her breakfast, even though she really should be concerned about the safety of her family and herself.
- Door Slam of Rage: After yelling at Thomas for ruining the family breakfast, the stationmaster's wife slams the door, causing more plaster to fall on Thomas.
- Downer Ending: Thomas breaks into the stationmaster's house, gets a stern talking to by the Fat Controller for taking his driver's joke seriously and is informed that a diesel is taking his place while he's at the works. Punctuated with the final shot of Thomas' miserable expression along with Percy and Toby's reaction.
- The Freelance Shame Squad: Donald and Douglas were amused with Thomas crashing the house, but still helped him out. Played a lot straighter with Percy and Toby in the end.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Donald's tender is seen merged into the signal box when Thomas pulls into Tidmouth and in the first close-up of Percy at Ffarquhar Sheds, meaning the episode was filmed at the same time as "Break Van".
- I Was Just Joking: Thomas took his driver's comment too seriously, and look at the trouble it got him into.
- Lost Food Grievance: The station master's wife is annoyed over Thomas ruining the breakfast she made for the family.
- Oh, Crap!: Thomas when he realizes he can't stop without his driver.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Then I'll stop and 'wheeeeeesh!'"
- Skewed Priorities: "Just look what you've done to our breakfast!"
- Space Whale Aesop: Never think that you can go without your driver, or someone will mess with your controls, causing you to crash into a stationmaster's house and it'll all be on you.
- Stock Footage: Footage from "Thomas and the Guard" is used in the beginning of the episode along with deleted footage of "Thomas, Percy, and the Coal".
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His driver joking that Thomas could manage without him was what caused all the trouble he got into.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Nothing was said about the careless cleaner after he messed with Thomas' controls, thus making him this. Doesn't help that this was also a problem the original story had.