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“It made me feel like a Really Useless Engine!”
―Percy complaining about how Harold took the mail while being held up

A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter, later shortened to A Bad Day for Harold on some American and other British releases, is the fourth episode of the sixth series.


Percy is getting annoyed that Harold keeps on delivering the mail, even though it is his job, but Harold just says that is what friends are for. One morning, Percy is happily delivering the mail, but gets stuck at a broken signal. He cannot go past it since it is stuck at danger, so Harold has to be called to take the mail for him. Percy is not too thrilled about seeing Harold again, but there's nothing he can do since The Fat Controller had already sent for him to help. At first, the workmen load a few bags in his net, but Harold demands that all the mail should be loaded in so he is not slow, like Percy. So the workmen then load all the mail into the net, and Harold begins to set off.

Just as Harold sets off with the mail, the signal is fixed. Everyone tries to call Harold back, but he cannot hear them. Percy is upset and watches the mailbags disappear with Harold. Unfortunately, Harold's net becomes too heavy for him, his engine starts to sputter and rattle, and the heavy mail causes him to lose control. The mail net gets stuck in a tree and Harold falls down into a haystack. Percy is shocked and puffs over to Harold and asks if he is alright. Harold tells Percy to get someone to pull him out of the haystack, which he does at once.

Back at Tidmouth Sheds, Harold's engine is repaired and is flying again. Some of the engines tease Harold. He thanks Percy for helping him out of the haystack and Percy says that is what friends are for.




  • In a picture of Harold flying through Misty Valley, Toby and Henrietta are not present.
  • This was the only episode written by Simon Nicholson and the story by him in Dunkin Duncan until the tenth series episode, A Smooth Ride.
  • This is the last of the six episodes of the sixth series re-narrated by Michael Brandon in the US on PBS Kids and Michael Angelis in the UK on Nick Jr. with music composed by Robert Hartshorne.
  • When this episode was released on the Thomas and the Jet Engine Australian DVD/VHS, and when it aired on CITV in the UK and in the half hour airing Loyalty on PBS Kids (in the US) and Nick Jr. (in the UK), the widescreen version is used as the top and bottom of the scene is cropped, as are the left and right sides of the scenes.
  • On the old PBS Kids Sprout website, the Videos section listed this episode under its UK title.


  • When Percy stops at the broken signal, the steam disappears and then reappears due to a film cut.
  • In some close-ups of Percy at the broken signal, the track beside him stops at the background.
  • When Harold crashes into the haystack, he is smiling, and his rotor blades have disappeared.
  • Studio equipment and a crew member are visible in the reflection of James' carriage windows when he passes by the camera.
  • In the shot of Percy beside the haystack, Harold looks as if he landed on the haystack.
  • In a close-up of Thomas, a camera's shadow can be seen on James.
  • In the shot of Percy passing the church, he has three mail vans. In all the shots after that, he has two.
  • Throughout the episode, Harold's unhappy expression is visible behind his mouth whenever he is smiling.
  • When Percy arrives at the broken signal, his first mail truck shakes.
  • Henry has Gordon's whistle sound while Thomas and James blew their whistles.


[about the last time Harold took the mail when he was held up]
Percy: It made me feel like a Really Useless Engine!

Pilot: Maybe we should take the mail bags a few at a time. They're very heavy.
Harold: I'd have to make too many trips, and then I'd be as slow as Percy!


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese Mandarin 哈罗德直升机糟糕的一天
Czech Smolný Den Harolda
Danish Harveys Uheldige Dag
Dutch Een Slechte Dag voor Harold de Helikopter
French Un Mauvais Jour pour Harold l’Hélicoptère
Hungarian Harold Rossz Napja
Italian Una Giornata per l'elicottero Harold
Japanese うんのわるいハロルド
Korean 우펀물 나르기
Latin American Spanish Un Mal Día para Harold el Helicóptero
Norwegian En Dårlig Dag for Helikopteret Harold
Polish Zły Dzień Harolda
Romanian O Zi Grea pentru Harold
Russian Плохой день для вертолета Гарольда
Serbian Haroldov Loš Dan
Slovenian Helikopter Dolfe ima Slab Dan
Swedish Harold Helikopter har en Dålig Dag
Welsh Diwrnod Diflas Harold

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