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Recap / Thomas the Tank Engine S1 E3 "The Sad Story of Henry"

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U.S. Title: Come Out, Henry!

Air date: October 16th, 1984

Once an engine attached to a train was afraid of a few drops of rain.
He went into a tunnel, squeaked through his funnel, and wouldn't come out again
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It's a very rainy day on Sodor, and Henry is pulling some coaches full of passengers. He runs into a tunnel and stops.

Henry's driver and fireman argue with him but he refuses to come out, claiming that the rain would spoil his green paint with red stripes. The guard blows his whistle and waves his flag, but Henry instead blows steam at him.

Just then, an important man arrives in another train. It's Sir Topham Hatt; better known as the Fat Controller. He decides that Henry will be pulled out of the tunnel. Attaching a rope to Henry, all the passengers try and pull him - except for the Fat Controller, citing that it's his doctor's orders - but Henry doesn't move. Moving to the other end of the tunnel, the passengers try to push Henry out, but with the same results.

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Thomas arrives to help, and the passengers try telling Henry that the rain has stopped. Henry still refuses to move, believing the rain will begin again soon, so Thomas tries to push Henry out, but even with another engine pushing, Henry remains in the tunnel.

The Fat Controller admits defeat and tells Henry that he is going to get what he wanted. Soon, the rails are taken up, and a brick wall is erected in front of Henry.

All Henry is able to do now is to watch the other engines pass through the other tunnel. Henry soon regrets his actions, as he sees Edward and Gordon run by. Edward always toots a hello with his whistle, while Gordon always laughs saying it serves him right. Henry has no steam to answer them, and the soot and dirt from the tunnel ruins his green paint with red stripes anyway.

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Henry is left in the tunnel cold, dirty and lonely. He now wonders if he will ever be let out to pull trains again.

Tropes featured in the episode (YMMV here):

  • Achilles in His Tent: Deconstructed. Henry refuses to come out of the tunnel due to his fear of the rain spoiling his paint. As a result, he's bricked up and left there indefinitely. Eventually resulting in his paint getting spoiled for real.
  • And I Must Scream: Henry is left to rot in the tunnel for "Always and always and always" (“Until he’s ready to come out” in the US version) at the end; the narrator even mentions how Henry has no steam left to answer with. He quite literally has no coal, and he must steam.
  • Bowdlerise: Several examples in the North American localization.
    • In the UK version, The Fat Controller bricks Henry in the tunnel "for always and always and always." However, in the North American version, he bricks him in the tunnel "until he's ready to come out".
    • The UK version states the workmen bricks Henry in the tunnel so he wouldn't get out anymore while the North American version states they bricked him up so that the other engines wouldn't bump into him.
    • Finally, the UK narration stated that Henry deserved to be bricked up and then asks the audience if they agree, but in the North American version, the narrator asks the audience how long do they think Henry will learn to overcome his fear of the rain.
  • Bottle Episode: The majority of the episode takes place in the tunnel.
  • Composite Character: Thomas takes the place of an unnamed engine who tries to push Henry out of the tunnel.
  • The Dandy: Henry cherishes his "green paint and red stripes".
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Henry blowing steam at The Fat Controller, who happens to be the man in charge of the railway.
  • Dirty Coward: Played straight with Henry. His fear of the rain ruining his paint has made him less concerned about taking the passengers to their destination.
    Henry: I'm not going to spoil my lovely green paint and red stripes for you!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Henry's punishment counts as this.
  • Downer Ending / You Are Grounded: The Fat Controller punishes Henry by bricking him inside the tunnel forever due to the engine's stubbornness in not coming out of the tunnel. The last shot is seen as a sad and lonely Henry wondered if he would ever pull trains again.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: While Edward was friendly in passing by Henry in the tunnel, Gordon passes by, amusedly telling him it served him right.
  • Grounded Forever: In the UK version, Henry's punishment for refusing to leave the tunnel is being bricked up for "always and always and always."
  • Jerkass: Henry considering how stubborn he was in not leaving the tunnel, not to mention showing his lack of concern for the impatient passengers.
  • Lame Excuse: The Fat Controller didn't help the passengers to pull and push Henry out of the tunnel because the doctor had forbidden him to do so.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Henry getting bricked up.
  • Narcissist: What else would you call somebody who prioritizes their appearance over their job? Especially when it needlessly inconveniences so many people.
  • Overly Long Gag: "Green paint and red stripes" has been said for no more than five times.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: This episode takes place in the rain and Henry goes to stay in the tunnel to prevent it from spoiling his paint. Subverted in that it stopped raining, but Henry thinks that it will again soon.
  • Rule of Three: It took three attempts for The Fat Controller to get Henry out of the tunnel, but it didn't work. First, pulling him, then pushing him from behind, and third have Thomas push the train.
  • Stubborn Mule: Henry.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Henry's fear of the rain.

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