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Recap / Thomas The Tank Engine S 2 E 13 Dirty Work

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U.S. Title: Diesel's Devious Deed

Air date: November 5th, 1986

The troublesome trucks continue singing at a sulking Diesel. Duck is horrified of the trucks' behavior and strongly orders them to stop. He then apologizes to Diesel for their rudeness. However, Diesel isn't interested in Duck's apology and blames him for making the trucks laugh at him. Henry, Gordon and James tell him that Duck would never do such a thing it, and even though the engines will have their disagreements, they would never tell any jokes about them to the trucks; it would be "Disgraceful, Disgusting and Despicable". Diesel isn't convinced, and his hatred of Duck grows to the point that he wants him to be sent away. Inspired by the engines' words about the trucks, Diesel decides to pay Duck out by telling lies about him to the trucks.

The next day, he tells the trucks that he was quite amused of their teasing towards him, and then tells them the a jokes about Gordon and claims that he heard it from Duck. He then warns them not to tell Gordon he said it. The trucks laugh uncontrollably and plan on paying Duck out for getting them to behave. As Gordon, Henry and James pass by, the trucks laugh rudely at them, calling them names in which they claim Duck had made them.


At the sheds, Gordon, Henry and James are outraged of what the trucks told them. They have an indignation meeting and agree to pay Duck out.

Later Duck is tired after a hard day's work no thanks to the trucks. He wants to rest in the shed, but the three engines block his way and furiously blow steam at him. They tell him that after hearing what the trucks said, they no longer respect him and respect Diesel at this point. Duck denies this and there's a huge argument.

The Fat Controller comes to stop the engines' arguments and he's told of the engines' accusations of Duck. The Fat Controller gives Duck a chance to explain, but Duck claims that he only wished he thought of those jokes himself.

Diesel comes forward and when the Fat Controller asks him what he knows, Diesel feigns shock at Duck's actions, but claims ignorance otherwise. The Fat Controller then tells Duck to go work with Edward at Wellsworth while he gets to the bottom of this. Believing that the Fat Controller is seemingly against him, Duck sadly does so while Diesel smirks triumphantly.


Tropes featured in the episode (YMMV here):

  • Actually Pretty Funny: While the trucks' singing infuriated him, Diesel admits that it was a good joke. Of course, he was playing up to them in part of his plan to send Duck away.
    • Also, The Fat Controller tried not to laugh at the names he assumes Duck had called the engines.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Gordon, James, and Henry introduce the Catchphrase "Disgraceful! Disgusting! Despicable!"
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Diesel.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Duck says this to the trucks who were still singing rudely to Diesel.
  • Break the Haughty: This happens to Duck, who was previously boastful about his Great Western heritage, when Diesel told lies about him to the big engines and The Fat Controller. He was sent to Edward's station with a sad look on his face. Though, to be fair on the Westerner, he did at least try to stand up for Diesel and apologise, but that didn't go down very well.
  • Call-Back: Gordon, Henry, and James blocking Duck's way of going to the sheds was similar of what Duck had done to them in "Duck Takes Charge".
    The engines: Yes! He did it to us! We'll do it to him, and see how he likes it!
  • Consummate Liar: Diesel.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The trucks easily believed in Diesel's lies and were eager to tell the engines the jokes in which they claim Duck made in order to get back at Duck for bumping him.
  • Downer Ending: Duck is sent to Edward's station as "punishment" while Diesel becomes delighted that his plan was a success.
  • Easily Condemned: Diesel rather easily convinces James, Gordon and Henry that Duck is a bully spreading bad names about them to the trucks. Arguably played deliberately given the trio's trademark arrogance and earlier insisting that Duck would never spread names about Diesel.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Henry states that while many engines have their differences, they would never tell them about it to the trucks.
  • Hypocrite: Diesel is angry with Duck for making the trucks laugh at him, yet he has no problem with making a laughing stock out of Gordon, Henry and James.
  • Irony: In "Duck Takes Charge", Duck and Percy had obstructed the three big engines from going to the sheds. Now the three engines are doing the same to Duck.... except the turntable isn't exactly blocked until Duck gets on it.
  • Malicious Slander: What Diesel pulls off.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Diesel.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Duck being sent to Edward's station.
  • Series Continuity Error: Duck confessed to The Fat Controller that he only wish that he hadn't thought of the names himself if the dome fits, which refers the events of "Gordon and the Famous Visitor" where Gordon loses his dome, which hasn't been adapted until season 3.
  • Shamed by a Mob: Duck is met with hostile showers of steam blown by Gordon, James, and Henry.
  • Single Tear: Duck lets one out on his left eye after The Fat Controller sends him to Edward's station, seemingly convinced that he made all of those nasty names.
  • Team Rocket Wins: Diesel manages to sully Duck's name, sending him away from the yard. One episode later however...
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Duck telling off the trucks for their singing, Diesel blames him for making him do that in the first place and this led to him telling lies about him.


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