Air date: April 28th, 1992 (UK), November 25th, 1991 (US)
Thomas finds out that Bertie is upset that the railway failed to deliver tar to mend the bumpy roads. Thomas assures that he will find the solution to the problem. Meanwhile, James is complaining about having to shunt trucks while Percy is away at the harbor, but Gordon advises him to pretend to be sick, so he does so. Thomas agreed to take James' trucks, but the trucks, as usual, decide to play some tricks...
Tropes featured in the episode:
- Alliterative Title
- Break the Cutie: After getting snapped at by Bertie, manipulated by James and pushed into a river by the trucks, Thomas' positive outlook starts to fade. Luckily things get better from there.
- Fantastic Racism: Bertie's attitude on the railway failing to deliver the tar, but he soon became happy that the roads are mended in the end.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gordon and James, who, despite tricking Thomas into doing James' work, apologize to him when he ends up having an accident.
- Misplaced Retribution: James angrily bumps the Troublesome Trucks, but instead, they decided to play tricks on Thomas since "one engine's as good as another".
- Nice Guy: Surprisingly, it's Thomas who agrees to take James' trucks, despite the fact James was faking his illness. He even showed no hard feelings when James apologized for tricking him. This was a large pivot into Thomas' Character Development into a wiser and more altruistic engine, compared to the arrogant Bratty Half-Pint he was in the previous seasons.
- Playing Sick: What James does to get out of shunting.
- Taking Advantage of Generosity: James plays sick to get kind natured Thomas to pull his workload. He feels bad when it leads to the trucks pranking Thomas.