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  • Banned in China: Henry Spots Trouble, a Season 19 episode revolving around Henry having a fear of chickenpox, was pulled from reruns in Australia due to parents complaining to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the show's primary broadcaster in Australia since Season 1) that the episode was promoting an anti-vaccination message (refusing to get vaccinated is often considered a taboo subject in Australia), due to The Fat Controller's line near the end of the episode where he tells Henry that chickenpox is "nothing to be afraid of". Despite the episode never being rerun on ABC Kids since the incident, it has still been released on DVD.
  • Blooper:
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    • In the small arc about Donald and Douglas, their names were painted on them at the end because of confusion...however they seemed to film some scenes out of order, or flubbed the models used because you can spot them with their name tags on.
    • See Special Effect Failure for a specific example.
    • Someone with a keen enough eye will notice switchboxes or props in the scene. Oops.
    • Sometimes engine's faces will placed improperly or have the wrong facial expression (in "Thomas And Trevor" for example, Thomas' facial expression is one same happy face model throughout the entire episode, no matter what emotion the narration claims he expresses).
    • Similarly, take a look at the moment in Coal where the Fat Controller says he will have to replace Henry if his troubles continue. He looks happy about it!
    • Despite most of the fandom praising its animation quality, Arc Productions makes many silly errors in their first few works: points being set the wrong way, Oliver and Duck being out of proportion with their surroundings (and in one instance, Duck towered over Oliver when they're roughly the same size), brake vans changing on a whim, James pulling narrow gauge coaches, and so on and so forth.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: The franchise has been doing this since the very beginning.
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    • The very first narrator for the series was Ringo Starr.
    • George Carlin narrated seasons 3 and 4 in the US, and also redubbed the previous two seasons.
    • Alec Baldwin narrated season 5 and 6 in the US, and even played Mr. Conductor in Thomas and the Magic Railroad as a nod to the character's portrayal in Shining Time Station.
    • Pierce Brosnan guest-narrated "The Great Discovery"
    • John Hurt played Sailor John in "Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasue", and in keeping with his trend, the character is given a Disney Death by the end of the film. The same special also featured Eddie Redmayne as Ryan.
    • Tina Desai voiced Ashima in "The Great Race". Reprises the role once again in Season 22.
    • Hugh Bonneville voices Merlin in "Journey Beyond Sodor". He also reprises the role in Season 22.
    • Peter André voices Ace in “Big World! Big Adventures!”.
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    • Shane Jacobson voices Shane in Season 22
  • Channel Hop: In the US, the show is now airing on Nick Jr., which is justified since Mattel apparently wants to take the franchise in a new direction, and the show left PBS Kids at the very start of 2018.
    • It was previous aired on PBS Kids Sprout until 2015 when NBC Universal took over the ownership and became Sprout.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The description for the Engine Roll Call music video on Nick Jr's website implies that all the engines on the show are tank engines. That's not true. For example, Emily, Gordon, James, Henry, Edward and Rebecca are tender engines, and Toby is a tram engine.
  • Creator Backlash/Creative Differences: While the Awdrys often cooperated with the show on early seasons, and even wrote some new novels for extra material, Rev Awdry was rather critical of its first attempts at original stories due to their lack of realism towards railways, most infamously "Henry's Forest", as well as "crane shunting" Thomas into unlikely stories to keep him the main character. Christopher Awdry also disliked some of his newer stories to contribute to the show, as well as being forced to make more Thomas-centric stories to tie in on its main character. Allegedly the Awdrys' ties with the show were more or less severed after the reverend wrote angry letters to Mitton and Alcroft about the state of the third and fourth seasons, considering them to be acting "pompous" with his work.
    • To a lesser extent original director David Mitton, who was cynical about the CGI transition, but otherwise had faith in the series going on after his departure.
    • HiT story executive Sam Barlow admitted that the constant rhyming theme of the CGI seasons (especially Season 15) probably wasn't a great idea.
  • Creator's Pest:
    • Daisy was like this to the staff members who operated the models, as she was troublesome to work with, hence why she didn't appear that much during the model era.
    • Henry is also notably hard to handle from the writing team’s point of view, due to his huge shift in personality after Season 8. In Season 22, he is Demoted to Extra and replaced by the more one-dimensional Rebecca. Henry’s appearances since his departure have also mostly been limited only to brief cameos, due to writers’ difficulty with writing him getting to a point where it’s better to just forget about him, leading to him possibly getting dropped from the series completely in the future.
      • Henry’s status as a Creator’s Pest even extended to the Railway Series, being Rev. W. Awdry’s least favourite character. He considered writing Henry out due to issues with the illustrator C. Reginald Dalby drawing him inconsistently. Awdry did plan to have Henry be scrapped after his accident in “The Flying Kipper”, but ultimately rewrote it to have Henry undergo a redesign instead.
      • Averted with Christopher Awdry however, who emphasized Henry's Grumpy Old Man traits and generally kept him in more consistent supporting roles, along with a new Day in the Limelight book in the form of Henry and the Express.
      • As a result of the show's popularity, the Awdrys were also pressured to write more Thomas-centric stories, especially in earlier points where the show was mandated to adapt stories from the novels only. Christopher Awdry mentioned being unsatisfied with several of the stories he made under this agreement.
  • The Danza:
    • Timothy is voiced by Tim Whitnall.
    • Sailor John is voiced by John Hurt.
    • Shane is voiced by Shane Jacobson (as of Season 22).
  • Defictionalization: Numerous railways hold licensed events known as "A Day Out with Thomas" that feature full-sized and fully-functional replicas of Thomas himself. Other replicas include James and Toby.
  • Development Hell: Thomas & The Magic Railroad was far changed from what it was originally. Even the main villain changed.
  • Dueling Dubs: There is much debate between whether the US or UK dubs are better.
  • Early-Bird Release: Most (but not all) episodes of Series 3 were issued on VHS in the UK before broadcast, using (supposedly) early versions with different narration and music.
  • Edited for Syndication:
    • Some scenes from later specials were cut out of the PBS Kids broadcasts, to allow for the "one hour with commercials" airtime.
    • Likewise, The earlier episodes of show itself was edited in the US so it could be aired as part of Shining Time Station.
    • Broadcasts of Season 7 in the US had their music replaced with themes from Seasons 8-12.
    • When The Adventure Begins, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, The Great Race and Journey Beyond Sodor aired on Nick Jr. in the US, the opening and ending were replaced with the theme and credits from seasons 19-21, and some parts were cut out to make room for commercial time. The latter three were also split into three half hour blocks.
  • Executive Meddling: Thomas and the Magic Railroad got butchered thanks to Sony Pictures executives being ignorami.
    • Specifically, the film was not received well by test-screen audiences, stating that the plot and main villain were too dark, despite the film being complete at that point. The end result was a mess riddled with plot holes that resulted in HIT Entertainment taking control when the film failed. Later, when HIT was planning on bringing Thomas back to the television screens in America, they chose PBS, whose educational stance forced the show to be retooled extensively from a show that could be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike with a subtle moral, to a show aimed at preschoolers with a blatan Aesop and writing that treats the audience like they're idiots.
    • For the first two seasons, it was mandated that all episodes had to be adapted from story material from The Railway Series. To get around this, the Awdrys wrote more volumes and standalone stories to be published specifically so the TV show could utilize them. This caused pressure for them however, as the TV series' popularity pushed them to write more stories based on the title character.
    • Word of God states "Day Of The Diesels" was also edited from a Darker and Edgier script.
    • The Shake Shake Bridge from Misty Island Rescue was originally supposed to be a girder bridge, which would sway when a character crossed it but was otherwise durable and safe. The animation team, however, were instructed to animate a wobbly old bridge that was falling to bits for the sake of merchandising, which resulted in the intended moral being butchered in the name of money.
    • According to a comment made by the episode's writer, Neil Ben, the aired version of "Wonky Whistle" differed substantially from the script he wrote for it.
    • According to Ryan Hagan, Season 17 was going to be only 20 episodes, with Season 18 having both "Spills and Thrills", and 19 having both "Dinosaurs and Discoveries" and "Start Your Engines". This was changed thanks to Japan, though this was not that bad.
    • Season 21 was originally supposed to be 26 episodes, but 8 episodes were cut from the season in order to increase the funding for Big World! Big Adventures!. Two of the axed episodes included A Day in the Limelight for Bulgy (hence his reintroduction in "Unscheduled Stops") and an episode for explaining Rosie being repainted red. Another likely axed episode would have involved Henry leaving the main cast in a more serious manner, since he left the group in a very rushed manner in "Forever and Ever" without any explanation or a proper farewell, likely done solely so that they could debut his replacement, Rebecca, in the following episode.
    • Part of the Nickelodeon contract meant that they would have exclusive rights to the content they would air and distribute for a period, resulting in Big World! Big Adventures! being released to DVD one year after it's premiere. They also requested half-hour specials rather than hour-long movies as annual tentpoles, likely due to their difficulty to air on the morning Nick Jr. block and split up into standalone episodes (as their ratings from Big World! Big Adventures! inadvertently proved). The latter was justified though, as the series had been producing features for a full decade when BWBA premiered, and sales for the movies had been gradually waning.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • It isn't uncommon to hear fans who've watched Shining Time Station call the narrator "Mr. Conductor".
    • Fans like to divide the series into "eras", with a name for each one.
      • Seasons 1 through 7 are called "The Classic Series", with two "sub-eras". 1 through 4 are the "Golden Age", 5 is "The Action Era", and 6 through 7 are the "Experimental Era".
      • Seasons 8 through 11 are known as either "The HiT Era" or "The New Series". Due to Season 12 not being fully CGI, it is sometimes treated as part of it.
      • Seasons 12 to Season 21 are known as "The CGI Era", with two "sub-eras". 12 through 16 are "The Sharon Miller Era" while Season 17 to Season 21 is "The Brenner Era", named after the head writers during those seasons. Seasons 8 through 16, as a whole, tend to be referred to as "The Dark Age" as a whole.
      • Season 22 onwards is dubbed the "Mattel Creations Era" due to HiT Entertainment being rebranded as Mattel Creations in 2017, or the "Big World! Big Adventures! Era" due to it being added to the show's title. Many fans also refer to it as "The Second Dark Age".
    • The Thomas Wooden Railway is often called the "Thomas Plastic Railway" by collectors, due to the abundant use of plastic in modern sets as opposed to the namesake material (though there are sets that are made solely out of wood for those who can afford them. Wood's more expensive than you think it is.).
  • Follow the Leader: Season 22 sees the franchise being retooled as Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The new series was created as an attempt to respond to falling merchandise sales, and the show constantly losing in the ratings to Nickelodeon’s massive preschool hit series PAW Patrol which has even managed to successfully dethrone Thomas as most popular brand among the 2-5 age group. The attempts to cash off of PAW Patrol’s success include shorter episode length, faster-paced stories, gimmicky fantasy sequences, episodes taking place in other countries, wild animals becoming more of a focus, and a simpler writing style (though still better quality than Seasons 9-16). Due to heavy demand from feminist groups, Edward and Henry also got written out of the main cast and replaced by series newcomers Nia and Rebecca, in an attempt to appeal to female audiences and minority groups. The series also moves to Nick Jr. in the US (after nearly 30 years on PBS) making it now air on the same channel as PAW Patrol itself. Needless to say, the response from older fans has been sharply divided, and many fear a second Dork Age is unfolding (albeit not as bad as the first one due to the writing team remaining the same, though with the increased Executive Meddling, this could still be a moot point).
  • God Never Said That: One major rumor surrounding P.T. Boomer before his full role was discovered was that he was planning on destroying Shining Time Station and replace it with a highway. An interview with Doug Lennox, the actor who played Boomer, said that though such a plan sounded quite villainous, was never in any version of the script to begin with.
  • I Knew It!:
    • When the "Big World! Big Adventures!" Series was announced, along with Nia and Rebecca taking Edward and Henry’s places respectively in the main cast, fans quickly speculated that Henry would be transferred from Tidmouth Sheds to Vicarstown. With the early Italian airing of “Confusion Without Delay” (Rebecca’s debut), this was confirmed via a brief shot of Henry and Rosie together. Unfortunately, there was no proper In-Universe explanation as to why Henry left, though fans have speculated that it may be due to Henry’s supposed new job of taking Mainland trains more frequently, if the opening scene of Journey Beyond Sodor is any indication.
    • Cinderthomtrooper, a staff member of the Thomas & Friends Wikia, speculated that Rachael Louise Miller would be the voice actress for new Steam Team member Rebecca. Come the release of a Behind the Scenes trailer for S22 on September 2nd 2018, and Miller was indeed revealed as Rebecca’s voice.
    • Another voice actor example. Following the early Italian airing of "School of Duck", and a leaked English voice cast listing for the episode, fans guessed Dexter the mobile classroom coach would be voiced by Mark Moraghan (former Seasons 17-21 narrator). They were indeed right.
  • Jossed: Due to Mattel marketing Big World! Big Adventures! (both movie and series) as a “reboot”, fans were worried that there would be no connection with previous seasons, and that old faves Edward and Henry would get completely dropped from the series due to being replaced in the main cast by Nia and Rebecca. This fear was shot down after the movie’s release, which featured the oldies in its opening musical number, along with a couple of minor appearances in Season 22.
    • Invisible Advertising: Despite a huge promotional push for the series initially, Nickelodeon pushed Thomas off the main channel in later 2018 and moved it over to Nick Jr. with little-to-no advertising for new episodes.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The 1999 Fox Family series Storytime With Thomas. It would feature two episodes from series 1-5, sandwiched with an episode of Britt Allcroft's other show The Magic Adventures of Mumfie in between. No VHS or DVDs were ever released of the show, and it was never sold to other networks.
  • Method Acting: George Carlin, who was used to performing before an audience, found it difficult recording his dialogue in an isolated booth, so Britt Allcroft put a teddy bear on the script stand for Carlin to "read to."
  • Milestone Celebration
    • "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" celebrates the 55th anniversary of the original books.
    • "Calling All Engines!" celebrates the 60th anniversary of the original books.
    • "Hero of the Rails" celebrates the 25th anniversary of the television series, as well as the 20th for the US.
    • "Misty Island Rescue" celebrates the 65th anniversary of the original books.
    • Both "The Adventure Begins" and "Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure" celebrate the 70th anniversary of the original books. The former is an Origins Episode, while in the latter, during the song "Never Overlook a Little Engine," Rex, Bert and Mike are riding on a giant birthday cake with "70th" on it.
  • Missing Episode/ No Export for You:
    • Season 12 hasn't been dubbed completely yet in Japan. However, they dubbed some episodes and released them as exclusives for Thomas Land.
    • Season 10 was left unaired on ABC TV in Australia, but was still released on DVD.
    • Allegedly same season was narrated by Pierce Brosnan (who narrated The Great Discovery and was intended to replace Michael Angelis. Following unexplained circumstances, Angelis returned to renarrate the season, and only a small clip of Brosnan's work on Season 12 was ever shown.
  • Lost Episode:
    • Though "The Missing Coach" was never finished, the production team took a few still shots corresponding to this story. When these got out on the Internet, for a while some people did think the entire thing had been filmed.
    • "Gordon Goes Foreign" was also going to be adapted, but was scrapped due to budget cuts. There was some concept ideas by one of the art directors, where they would reuse Henry's model.
    • There's an adaptation of "The Sad Story of Henry" that aired on The BBC in 1953. This adaptation used Hornby models to represent the engines (and, in fact, Hornby still continues to make licensed Thomas models to this day). It was infamous for having a mishap where Henry's model came off the tracks, so a stagehand had to put it back on. Allegedly, it only aired once, and it's unknown if BBC still has it in their archives, though given their policies in those days, it was likely junked.
  • Name's the Same: In the UK, Season 2 and Season 11 both had unrelated episodes titled "Dirty Work," but in the US, the former, taken from the Railway Series' Duck and The Diesel Engine, was re-titled "Diesel's Devious Deed." The US is not immune to this, however, as it had a Season 1 episode called "Thomas Saves the Day" (its British title was "Thomas and the Breakdown Train") and a Season 8 episode also called "Thomas Saves the Day."
    • The UK did this again with season 1 and season 11 where both episodes "Thomas in Trouble" (the US version of said season 1 episode is re-titled "Thomas Breaks the Rules". Also the season 4 and season 8 episodes name is entitled "Fish", which the name stays the same in all UK and US versions.
      • One episode of Season 22, "Thomas and the Dragon" came very close to this, due to the title being similar to Season 3's episode "Thomas, Percy and the Dragon".
  • Non-Singing Voice: In the UK dub of The Great Race, Percy and Emily have their US voices when singing.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Rupert Degas, who originally voiced Bertie, Butch, Dart and Flynn, departed following the production of Series 16 to focus on The Amazing World of Gumball. His roles were given to Keith Wickham, Matt Wilkinson, Steven Kynman and Ben Small respectively, who replicated the characters' original voices.
    • Ben Small, who originally voiced Thomas, Toby, Ferdinand for the UK dub, Stanley & Charlienote  for the US dub, and Rheneas, Owen, Flynnnote , and the Troublesome trucks for both dubs, left after Series 18 when HiT Entertainment wanted a fresh voice for Thomas and decided not to renew his contract. Following his departure, Thomas & Toby's UK voices are now provided by John Hasler and Rob Rackstraw respectively with the latter also providing Stanley's current US voicenote  and voicing Owen for both dubs, Steve Kynman provides Charlie's US voice, and for both dubs the Troublesome Trucks are voiced by Christopher Ragland. It's unknown who will take over the voices for Ferdinand are he hasn't had speaking parts since Ben's departure.
    • From Hero of the Rails through eighteenth seasons, James' US voice was provided by Kerry Shale. Starting with The Adventure Begins, he's now voiced by Rob Rackstraw. In the UK, Keith Wickham voiced him from Hero of the Rails through the majority of the twentieth season (Rob provides his voice in "Tit for Tat" for both dubs). Starting in Journey Beyond Sodor, he's now voiced by Rob full-time for this dub who gives him a more British accent as apposed to American accent he gives him in the US dub.
    • From Hero of the Rails through the sixteenth season, Mavis' US voice was done by Jules de Jongh. Starting with the seventeenth season, she's now voiced by Teresa Gallagher who was already doing her voice for the UK version.
    • Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure had several voice castings that changed when the characters later reappeared in the twentieth season:
      • Joe Mills voiced both Donald & Douglas. Now, Donald is voiced by Rob Rackstraw.
      • Daisy was voiced by Teresa Gallagher. She's now voiced by Tracy-Ann Oberman.
      • Newcomer Ryan was voiced Eddie Redmayne. Due to confirmation that Redmayne was only intended to be a guest star in the special, since the twentieth season he's been voiced by series regular Steve Kynman.
      • This special was the last time Keith Wickham voiced Percy in the UK as Nigel Pilkington replaced him for Season 19.
    • After Michael Brandon's departure, Martin Sherman took over the role of Diesel in the US. Following Martin's departure from the series in 2014, Diesel's US voice is now provided by Kerry Shale who was already doing his UK voice.
    • For the thirteenth through sixteenth seasons, Rosie was voiced by Teresa Gallagher in the UK dub while Jules de Jongh voiced her for the US dub. Starting in Journey Beyond Sodor, she's now voiced by Nicola Stapleton for both dubs.
    • In Japan, the entire show was recast after the eighth season when the show switched stations.
    • In The Great Race, Carlos was voiced by David Bedella. Replaced by Gabriel Porras in Big World! Big Adventures! onwards due to Mattel casting all the international characters with people from their respective country.
    • Shane the Australian Engine was voiced by Jonathan Forbes and Matthew Richardson in the YouTube shorts such as Great Race Friends Near And Far, as well as the shorts for the AFL. In Season 22, he is recast with Celebrity Voice Actor Shane Jacobson, in order to fit the aforementioned Plays Great Ethnics example.
    • Gina and Raul were voiced by Teresa Gallagher and Rob Rackstraw respectively in The Great Race. As of Season 23, they are now voiced by Anna Francolini and Federico Trujillo respectively, again as part of the Plays Great Ethnics example.
    • Bill and Ben were voiced by Jonathan Broadbent from Seasons 17 to 19. As of Big World! Big Adventures!, they are now voiced by Rasmus Hardiker and Matt Wilkinson respectively.
  • The Other Marty: Various voice actors in Thomas & the Magic Railroad were replaced during the post-production overhaul:
    • Thomas was initially voiced by John Bellis, a cab driver the crew met while shooting on the Isle of Man. He can be heard in one of the teasers.
    • The series' concurrent UK narrator, Michael Angelis, was the voice of Percy and James. Test audiences thought the characters sounded too old, and in the final version they're both Cross-Dressing Voices.
    • A few of the trailers feature Diesel 10's original voice actor, Keith Scott.
    • Rupert Degas was supposed to voice Diesel 10 in Misty Island Rescue, but he was replaced with Matt Wilkinson after his lines had been recorded.
    • Pierce Brosnan, who narrated "The Great Disovery", was originally going to replace Micheal Angelis and Micheal Brandon full time in both English dubs. Discovered footage reveals Brosnan got as far as recording some episodes of Season 12, though for unknown reasons, both Angelis and Brandon continued their roles after the film with the whole of Season 12 redubbed.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: "Hunt The Truck", a Christmas episode, aired in the UK on May 2019. Contrast with the episode's US airing, where it aired in December 2018.
  • The Pete Best: George Carlin joked about this after he replaced Ringo Starr.
  • Playing Against Type: George Carlin, the legendary comedian famous for his profane material played Mr. Conductor in the US version. Carlin stated in an interview he had taken the role with the direct intent of doing this and showing a different side to him.
    • He later claimed to have formed a close friendship with Britt Allcroft, both of whom found working in children's programming helpful for dealing with their own difficult childhoods.
  • Plays Great Ethnics: From Big World! Big Adventures! onwards, the international engines all have voice actors with a relation to their specific country.
    • New main cast member Nia is from Kenya. Her voice actress Yvonne Grundy is a black-skinned British actress who was born in Kenya.
    • Kwaku is voiced by another African-raced actor, Abubakar Salim.
    • Yong Bao finally gains a voice in the special, voiced by Asian-British actor Dan Li.
    • Ace the daredevil racing car is from Australia, and is voiced by Australian singer Peter Andre.
    • Shane, another returning international, is now voiced by Australian actor and presenter Shane Jacobson.
    • Carlos’ voice is recast with a culturally appropriate voice, Mexican-born actor Gabriel Porras.
    • An unnamed Chinese Diesel is voiced by Su-Lin Looi, another Asian-Brit actor.
    • Hong-Mei, a blue Chinese tank engine is voiced by Chipo Chung, an actress from the African country of Zimbabwe, but is part-Chinese and can do a Chinese accent, making her fit in this.
    • Hong-Mei's twin coaches, An An and Yin-Long are voiced by Siu-See Hung and Windson Liong, who are also British actors who are both part-Chinese.
    • Shane's coaches Aubrey and Aiden also have voice actors with Australian ties. Aubrey is voiced by Australian actress Genevieve McCarthy and Aiden is voiced by writer Tim Bain, who was born in Australia. Tamika the Australian railmotor engine is also voiced by another Australian actress, Rose Robinson.
    • Rajiv, Noor Jehan, Charubala and Shankar's respective voices (Nikhil Parmar, Sheena Bhattessa, Sanjeev Bhaskar) all have Indian background.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Michael White, also known as WhitehouseFilms, is a fan of the show who knew Andrew Brenner personally. Andrew Brenner invited him to work on the series, and White ended up writing "An Engine of Many Colours" and "Hunt the Truck", both of which are some of the most acclaimed episodes of season 22.
  • Prop Recycling: After TUGS was canceled, a majority of the models were used in Thomas up until the CGI switch.
  • Reality Subtext: Diesel's basis, the Class 08, was a diesel responsible for displacing countless steam engines, especially tank engines. Further emphasizing this is just how many Class 08s Sodor currently has.
    • The "Naughty" freight cars always causing havoc are based on the British practice through the 1970's of not fitting certain freight stock with automatic braking systems. These "unfitted" trains were only controlled by the braking force of the engine and the "brake van" on the rear. As was seen on the show it was quite tricky to keep these trains (or even just lose cars) under control. This can also be considered a case of Technology Marches On.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The original narrow gauge models were a challenge to work with - they couldn't produce their own smokenote , they required an external batterynote , and in general were hindered by their size. This led to the larger-scale models being developed for Series 5. As time went on and the larger models became used exclusively, the narrow gauge characters effectively became isolated from the rest of the cast because of the scale difference.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The show garnered it's own magazine series, with some of it's original stories actually adapted into episodes of the show itself in Seasons Three and Five. Incidentally the magazine's writer at the time eventually ended up lead writer for the show come Season Seventeen.
  • Recycled Script / Strictly Formula: Seasons thirteen through sixteen all followed an identical pattern: an engine is given an important job to do, but something else (usually an idea how else to do it, or simply not wanting to) keeps them from doing it. After making the same mistake three times, everything goes wrong, the engine learns the error of their ways and fixes everything Just in Time, says the moral of the story, followed by a Everybody Laughs Ending.
    • Ironically, this was also one of the reasons the original team stopped adapting stories from The Railway Series, feeling they had already adapted most of the unique stories their budget could handle.
    • The plot of Season 17's "No Snow for Thomas" is remarkably similar to Season 8's "Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough". Arguably a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, since reviewers who noted the similarities also commented that the former episode's plot is basically the latter's, but better.
    • Similarly "Duck In The Water" uses a lot of similar cues as "James To The Rescue", but is considered one of the best episodes of the CGI era.
    • Season 21's "P.A. Problems" is similar to the Ready Jet Go! episode "Sunday Drive". Both episodes involve the characters installing a new system (a public address system and a new dashboard software, respectively), but things go horribly wrong. In the end, the characters switch back to their old systems.
    • Season 22’s episode “The Water Wheel” is basically “Steady Eddie”, but set in China and with Thomas in the lead role instead of Edward.
  • Same Language Dub: The US version of the series is renarrated by American actors outside of Ringo Starr and Mark Moraghan's tenures (and even they had to rerecord many of their lines for the US version to use American terms and slang). The CGI series plays with this, while they have a voice cast for both regions, some characters use the same actors and so share recordings between both dubs.
  • Schedule Slip: This occurred to Thomas & Friends many times before (prior to HiT's takeover), but it took this trope happened many times right after the series switched to CGI.
    • It first happened in the UK when they aired Season 12, and some viewers are left confused about certain characters and locations (eg. Stanley and Great Waterton) that were already established that viewers didn't know before. This is because "The Great Discovery" hadn't been released yet, in which that's where the established characters and locations were properly introduced.
    • 2010 was the only year that show played two seasons, as production was still going after the series switched to full CGI.
    • Season 15 and 16 actually aired months before the specials that were meant to air in between, respectively. Like before, viewers would get confused on the new characters and locations that were actually suppose to be properly introduce.
    • Season 17 repeated the same thing, though it was much worse (despite the stories being better). The UK only aired the first ten episodes during June, then they stopped airing them until sometime before the release of "King of the Railway", which they only aired five more episodes until around Christmas, then again during Summer-Fall 2014, which by that point Season 18 was already starting to air. Australia and Japan already aired all the episodes (including the episodes from the Spring releases) by that point.
    • Season 18 was a bit more forgiving as yes, while they somewhat repeated what Season 12 did before, they at least manged to air them close towards the release of "Tale of the Brave".
    • Since Brenner's takeover, America has the Walmart exclusive DVDs where they included some never before seen episodes of the yet-to-be aired season. This can leave some fans having to wait longer than usual thanks to that.
    • Japan zigzagged this trope various times. While they already dubbed the current episodes in Brenner's run, they still haven't dub the other episodes made between S13-16 (Then again, this was because of the tsunami from 2011 that delayed it).
    • Even before the CGI switch, Japan was a bit late on dubbing. Best example was when they did season 8 in 2006, even though it was already finished in both the UK and US by that point, and we were already in Season 10.
    • Season 4 was released on VHS in the UK over a year before it was broadcast on TV. Cartoon Network would be the first to show it (and Season 5) in the country rather than ITV, who took the show back for Season 6.
    • "Thomas in the Wild" was supposed to air in the US, paired with "Number One Engine", but the former ended up being replaced by "What Rebecca Does" at the last minute. Despite this, the And Knowing Is Half the Battle segment from "Thomas in the Wild" ended up airing.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: A truly bizarre case. As we know, the Reverend would often base his characters on their real-life counterparts. Peter Sam is based on the locomotive "Edward Thomas" which works at the Talyllyn Railway in Gwynedd, Wales. In the Railway Series books, Peter Sam visited the Talyllyn Railway. This was in commemoration of the fact that the Talyllyn Railway repainted "Edward Thomas" to represent Peter Sam. Egmont, the publishers of the Railway Series books, caused a lot of controversy and backlash, when they complained that the real locomotive... is a violation of copyright. Apparently, they thought, the engine was infringing upon... yes you read right, itself. Needless to say, a compromise was eventually reached.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • The reason Seasons 8 through 16 took on a more educational, bland revamp was due to HiT wanting to secure a slot on PBS Kids, and overhauling it to meet their guidelines.
    • On that note, PBS sadly screwed over the show in its final years. Despite getting a national spot following the Mattel buyout in 2013, premieres were mostly inconsistent and only done in "event" weeks (usually spearheaded by the movie specials). On top of that, episodes mainly from the "Nitrogen" era (Seasons 13-16 in particular) were shown more often, compared to the newer episodes following the new slot. Because of this (and realizing a new and more consistent home was needed for the Big World! Big Adventures! season and movie), only 6 episodes from Season 20 were ultimately licensed for the US due to PBS' focus on newer programming, and Mattel chose to cut ties with PBS in December 2017, with the premiere of Journey Beyond Sodor (which was accompanied by one last episode to fill up the timeslot, "Mucking About"). The series moved to the Nick Jr. channel in the US in 2018.
    • Nick Jr. also has managed to screw over the show. While they aired Journey Beyond Sodor, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, and The Great Race as three-part specials rather than as complete ones (to make them easier to air and run as week-long events) to promote the following, Big World! Big Adventures! was promoted as "the premiere of the All-New Thomas and Friends", making no note of the movie being two hours long. The result was a series low in ratings (527'000 total) and following the glitched-up premiere of Number One Engine/Thomas in the Wild (the latter of which was mixed up with What Rebecca Does, which had a very glitched audio track), the series premieres moved over to Nick Jr. and the heavy-duty promotion the series initially had was gradually phased out. At the very least, despite the series now having little to no promotion and late night reruns, Season 23 was premiered on a regular basis; a new episode having aired every two weeks from May onwards.
      • SLOTLT, "A Most Singular Engine", "Philip's Number", "Very Important Sheep", and "Mucking About", were going to air on the main Nickelodeon channel on July 23-27, but they all ended up getting shunted (no pun intended) to the Nick Jr sub-network.
    • Even Mattel has screwed over the show for US audiences. They have not released all season 21 episodes on DVD or on digital servicesnote , and instead chose for them to only be on the Nick Jr channel. Then, they outright refused to release Big World! Big Adventures! on DVD or digital in the US, only having it be on, you guessed it, the Nick Jr channel. A lot of parents, children, and even the Periphery Demographic are understandably upset by this, especially since some people don't have Nick Jr at their houses. Eventually it turned out this was a side effect of the Nickelodeon contract (as they placed an embargo for the content they have the contract for), resulting in BWBA finally making it to DVD in September 2019.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: The Jack and the Sodor Construction Company episodes were released Direct-to-Video between Series 10 and 11, but were shot alongside Series 7. They were apparently held back due to the buyout by HIT Entertainment (the owners of Bob the Builder). It's noticeable because they're shot on 35mm film (as the series had been during the David Mitton era) rather than digital video, the episodes are four-and-a-half minutes long instead of seven, and Tidmouth Sheds is seen in its pre-Calling All Engines build.
  • Short Run in Peru:
    • Season 22 first aired in Italy in August of 2018, a month before the UK and US airdate.
    • Several episodes of Season 22 also aired in Australia before they did in the UK, despite the season being released around the same time (early September) in both countries. This is due to ABC Kids in Australia airing their block 7 days a week, while the Milkshake! block on Channel 5 only airs 5 days a week, on top of ABC Kids airing most episodes in a different order to the UK, meaning Australia will likely have aired every episode before the month is over. This meant that Australia completed the run of season 22 way before the UK and US, creating massive spoilers for the episodes (unless they, of course, watched the episodes on YouTube). The UK showed season 22 in week-long bombs for the first 3 weeks of September, but then went on hiatus until November 2018, when they aired "Samson and the Fireworks" for Bonfire Night. They then set premieres to Mondays throughout December, and randomly dumped episodes throughout February of 2019 before finally finishing the season in May 2019.
    • Season 23 aired in Mexico and the US as early as May 2019 before premiering in the UK in September. In addition, Digs & Discoveries aired in Canada and the US before airing in the UK.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: A frequent issue with the feature-length specials is that the toy previews typically give away many of the movie's twists and cast of characters.
    • For Blue Mountain Mystery, the merch spoiled that Victor was the yellow engine that fell into the sea.
    • For King of the Railway, the merch spoiled that the lost crown is hidden in the mine, and Stephen finds it.
    • For Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, the merch spoiled that Skiff makes a Heel–Face Turn and joins Sodor, while Sailor John gets the treasure but loses it in the sea.
    • Merchandise spoiled that in series 21, Rosie would take on a new job and livery.
  • Star-Derailing Role: Thomas and the Magic Railroad and A Simple Wish were arguably this for poor Mara Wilson. Magic Railroad ended up being her final movie before she decided to drop her film career in favor of her education.
  • Talking to Himself: Naturally the case for the pre-CGI era where all characters were voiced by the narrator. In a more conventional example, Keith Wickham voices several major characters in the CGI era, even more-so if looking at the UK dub specifically where he once voiced five of the eight characters in the Steam Team (Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy) as well as The Fat Controller. As the series went on however, Wickham's voice presence in the main cast diminished, due to James and Percy getting recast, while Edward and Henry left the group and got demoted to the background. As of the Big World! Big Adventures! series, Gordon is now the only member who Wickham still voices.
    • However, this is completely averted with the Skarloey Railway, as only Sir Handel and Skarloey share a voice actor, the aforementioned Keith Wickham.
    • Both Olivers' current Japanese voices are done by Yuta Odagaki. This actually comes into play with Marion for "SLOTLT".
  • Technology Marches On: In "Special Funnel", it's stated that the new funnel Peter Sam receives drastically improved his performance. His real life basis, Edward Thomas, was fitted with a Giesl ejector for a few years, but with inconclusive results - it was eventually removed in 1969.
  • Throw It In!: Much of Neil Crone and Kevin Frank's voiceover work in Magic Railroad - particularly the banter between Splatter and Dodge. They were originally hired to improvise material for the trucks.
  • Unfinished Episode: Several other adaptations of The Railway Series stories were planned during the early seasons:
    • The second season was supposed to feature an adaptation of "The Missing Coach". Half the episode's footage was filmed, however mid way through production the story was considered too complicated for young audiences so canned (leaving missing plot points in Donald and Douglas' introductory story as a result).
    • An adaptation of "Gordon Goes Foreign" was planned during Season Three, though low budgets prevented them being able to produce the story's original scenery and characters.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Andrew Lloyd Webber was interested in adapting the Thomas the Tank Engine stories into a musical for children, but then couldn't get the rights. He took the songs he'd written about trains and made Starlight Express.
    • A few discarded stories from The Railway Series were planned for adaptation early on, but were canned due to time and budget constraints, or being considered too complex for children's stories (eg. "The Missing Coach" and "Gordon Goes Foreign"). A few other stories that were more loosely adapted are also the result of this (e.g. "Tender Engines", which was originally planned to be closer to the novel's "Tenders For Henry" until budget prevented them from making a full model for the Flying Scotsman; one rumor says the model was complete, but was dropped accidentally and badly damaged, and with time and budget ruling out any repairs, the damaged model was attached to the completed tenders and the episode hastily rewritten).
      • "The Missing Coach" is notable in that it was actually filmed, but ultimately canned because Britt Allcroft thought that kids would find the plot of Donald and Douglas switching tenders too complex; it was to be the second season premiere, and was replaced by "Thomas, Percy, and the Coal". Multiple screenshots of the unaired episode still exist, and many YouTube users have made their own reconstructions of what the episode may have looked like using Trainz Simulator or the existing screenshots.
      • For "Gordon Goes Foreign", the Foreign Engine was to have been Henry with a different face, paint scheme, and added smoke deflectors. London would have been represented by a redressed version of the Tidmouth set. The story did, however, makes its way to the official YouTube channel as part of the Mr. Perkins Story Time series.
    • A feature length special was planned that would have involved The Fat Controller loaning the railway to the king of Sodor. For whatever reason, this special was scrapped and Blue Mountain Mystery took its place. It's unknown if any elements of the scrapped special ended up being reused in any of the later specials.
    • The show was originally planned as a BBC kids show, but after only one episode (Thomas and Gordon, obviously), the show moved to ITV instead.
    • Several classic characters were originally planned to be part of the core Steam Team for the show's 2004 revamp, but a need for a prominent female character in the main cast, coupled with problems on some of the models, resulted in the current cast of main characters.
      • Duck was one of the biggest considerations, and was actually going to be part of the Steam Team, but the need for a female character to appease parents who had accused the show of sexism overruled this. This led to much criticism for Emily, with many accusing her of replacing Duck. Andrew Brenner even included a nod to this in the fan-favorite episode "Duck and the Slip Coaches", and many fans found it funny, though some thought it was in Dude, Not Funny! territory.
    • A few characters have had alternate names in pre-production:
      • Derek from "Double Teething Troubles" was originally named "Paxman" after the brand of diesel engines utilized in the Class 17 design.
      • Some tie-ins give Porter the alternate name "Baldwin", possibly after Baldwin Locomotive Works (his basis in the final version was an engine by H.K. Porter, hence the name).
    • The first draft of the Season 13 episode "Splish Splash Splosh" was written with Billy in the role that ultimately went to Charlie (the two are basically interchangeable due to sharing the exact same basis).
    • The Season 15 episode "Kevin the Steamie" was originally to include appearances by Sir Handel, Peter Sam and Duke. But said appearances never materialized past the storyboard stage, and the narrow-gauge engines did not make their CGI debut until Season 16 (with Duke still being MIA).
    • Season 12:
      • During pre-production, an idea was proposed to give Annie & Clarabel CGI faces but have them be grey like most of the other characters. Ultimately, they kept their normal faces for that season as well as when the show transitioned into full CGI the following season.
      • There were considerations to keep the show in its "transitional" form from this season (ie. still using the models, but using super imposed CGI animation for expressions and human characters). However, since the models became an increasing issue to maintain budget-wise, the show ultimately transitioned to full CGI.
    • There was going to be a Spin-Off series titled "Jack & the Sodor Construction Company". As the name implies, it was going to star The Pack, putting little emphasis on the railway, though Thomas, Percy, and The Fat Controller were still prominent (Thomas and Percy even had larger-scale models built just to interact with The Pack). This idea was scrapped during the time HiT Entertainment bought the rights to the franchise, saying that it would've conflicted with a certain other construction-themed show that just so happens to also be owned by HiT. Episodes that were filmed were put exclusively on the DVDs "On Site with Thomas & Other Adventures" and "Thomas' Trusty Friends", with the first two episodes being aired as part of Season 6.
    • Pierce Brosnan was originally going to take over for both Micheal Angelis and Micheal Brandon as the series' narrator after "The Great Disovery", though he turned the offer down for unknown reasons, likely because of Brosnan being too busy or demanding too much money. Instead, Angelis and Brandon continued with their roles, and Brosnan was just billed as a Guest Star for "The Great Discovery".
    • During the early development stages of "Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure", an idea was considered to have Donald & Douglas return as they still do in the actual film, but with new blue liveries similar to the ones they sported in the Railway Series. However, this was rejected in favor of them keeping their original black liveries as how most remembered them.
    • Before Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure was put into production, a different special was proposed for the 70th anniversary year in 2015. This special would have seen the introduction of Vicarstown station brought forward by a year and would have also utilised the tramway featured in the set with three new tram characters being introduced. This special was not greenlit by Mattel, so it was ultimately scrapped.
    • Season 21 was originally going to be 26 episodes, but the delayed productions of the 19th and 20th seasons due to the fast-tracking of The Adventure Begins into Arc Productions' schedule as well as the announcement of Big World, Big Adventures and the funds required to produce it meant that 8 episodes had to be cut from the season. Also half the US dubs of Season 21 have yet to air/be available online. While it is unknown how these episodes would've played out, it is known that Rosie, who was meant to become more of an Ascended Extra, had her role severely downgraded and Bulgy lost out on having an episode focused on him. However, it can be assumed that some of the episodes have since seen the light of day across the 22nd and 23rd seasons
    • A variant of the Nabi SE themed after the series was to be released by Mattel, in similar vein to the American Girl, Barbie and Hot Wheels editions, as evidenced by this FCC approval page and unused assets hidden within the Nabi Mode launcher. For whatever reason this appears to have been shelved, as no further mention of it was made on either the Thomas and Friends or Nabi websites. It is likely that the scheduled release may have been marred by licensing issues, but this isn't confirmed. It is however possible to somewhat reactivate the Thomas and Friends theme by editing relevant values in build.prop, though some elements such as shortcuts to videos and other Thomas-related media are missing.
    • New Steam Team member Rebecca was originally going to be named Miranda, as revealed by artwork of her prototype liveries.
    • An early synopsis refers to Isla as Ruby. It's probably for the best that they renamed her, if only to spare the fandom from the inevitable RWBY jokes.
    • The fantasy sequence in "Hunt the Truck" had to be changed for the final episode as the original was considered "too depressing".
    • George was originally to appear in the episode "Free the Roads". However, the final episode has Max & Monty in his place as the episode's writer Michael White thought they were good choices for causing Bulgy to lose control.
  • The Wiki Rule: A Thomas & Friends Wiki, another Thomas and Friends Wiki, another Thomas & Friends Wiki, and another Thomas & Friends Wiki.
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