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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the annual story, the German DVD or the French DVD.

“Look at me, Thomas! I'm as shiny as a trumpet!”

Best Friends is the twentieth and final episode of the twelfth series. It is also the final episode made with models, due to the show switching to full CGI in the next series.


Thomas and Percy are best friends, and always love to work together. No matter the job, if they are working together, they will get the job done.

One day, Thomas and Percy are shunting at the quarry when Neville puffs up. He informs the engines that the brass band is going to play. Because he likes the brass brand, Percy is upset that he never gets to pull them. Thomas suggests that Percy goes to the wash down and look as shiny as a trumpet. That way, it will be more likely that the Fat Controller will pick him. Percy happily puffs off. Just then, the Fat Controller arrives, and gives Thomas the job to collect the brass band after he has had a wash. Thomas is worried since Percy wanted to pull the train. Percy soon returns and is very happy. Thomas claims that he has another job, and chuffs away. Percy happily whistles, but Thomas is too worried to whistle back.

Thomas is having his wash when he sees Percy. He hides in the nearby shed, and Percy passes right by. Thomas is relieved. Soon, Thomas has collected Annie and Clarabel, but it is not the last time he sees Percy. Worried, Thomas decides to take the long way. He thinks that he will be able to avoid Percy, but he still finds Percy. Thankfully, Duck has a goods train, so Thomas hides behind the train. Percy rolls right past. With a quick "thank you" to a puzzled Duck, Thomas continues on his journey.

But by the time Thomas reaches the docks, he is late. He already feels bad enough, but he notices some mail vans, and knows Percy is coming and tells the band to hurry, but one of the players forgets his instrument, so Thomas has to wait. Now Percy will catch him, and Percy does. Percy feels betrayed and asks Thomas why he did not tell him because he tells him everything. Thomas tries to whistle to cheer his friend up, but it does not work, and Percy does not whistle back. Thomas feels guilty as he puffs out of the docks.

When the concert is nearly over, the Fat Controller orders Thomas to take the band back. Knowing that Percy is pulling the mail, Thomas asks if they could switch jobs. The Fat Controller agrees. Thomas rushes off to find Percy, but the concert is almost over. At last, Thomas finds Percy, but he is still upset. Thomas suggests to switch jobs, and Percy's face lights up again. When all the work is done, Thomas promises Percy that he will always tell him everything.




  • Behind the scenes footage for The Great Discovery included Pierce Brosnan reading the script of this episode.
  • Extended stock footage from Percy and the Left Luggage is used.
  • This episode aired before The Great Discovery came out in the UK, meaning the audience may not have known what Great Waterton was.
  • This was the only episode for a few things:
    • The only episode written by Anna Starkey.
    • The only twelfth series episode in which Duck does not speak.
  • This episode was never released on DVD or shown on television in Japan. It has only been shown in Thomas Land's 3D Theatre.
  • This episode marks a few things for Neville:
    • His first speaking role since his debut in the ninth series.
    • His only appearance in the twelfth series.
    • His final appearance.
  • This was the final episode for many things:
    • The final episode to be aired in the 2000s.
    • The final live-action episode. From Hero of the Rails until the twenty-fourth series, all footage uses CGI animation.
    • The final episode shown in fullscreen in Germany and other countries that had the show in fullscreen from the first to twelfth series.
    • The final episode filmed at Shepperton Studios.
    • The final episode directed by Steve Asquith and to involve him in production.
    • Dino Athanassiou's final episode as animation director.
    • The final episode to be narrated by Diego Brizzi in Latin America, Dário de Castro in Brazil and Yu Dong-kyun for Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • Duck's final appearance until the seventeenth series episode, Henry's Hero.
    • Outside of posters, the final appearance of Great Waterton, though it would later be mentioned in Tale of the Brave.
    • The final episode where all characters are voiced by the narrator.
    • The final appearance of the Salt Vans until Journey Beyond Sodor.
    • The final appearance of the Cattle Trucks and GWR Ventilated Vans.
    • The final episode to have a running time of seven minutes until the twenty-second series episode, Number One Engine.
    • The final appearance of the Tar Tankers until the twenty-third series episode, Chucklesome Trucks.
    • The final appearance of the GWR Ventilated Vans in the television series.
    • The last episode until the seventeenth series episode, The Thomas Way to use both model and CGI engines.
    • The last episode aired by Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • The last episode produced, recorded and mixed in Korean by STORM Studios for Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • The last episode directed by Shim Sang-bo and Choi Ok-joo for Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • The last episode translated by Seo Seung-hee for Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • The last episode imported (copyrighted) by C4U Media for Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • The last episode released on DVD by C4U Media in South Korea.
    • The last episode video edited by Shin Seon for Kids 1 in South Korea.
    • Thomas, Percy, Duck, Annie and Clarabel's final appearances in the model series.


  • In the US narration, after the Fat Controller tells Thomas his job, he says "Thank you," but he mumbles.
  • When Percy arrives at the docks, only Thomas' face is not in the right position.
  • When Thomas and Percy are whistling at each other, no steam is emitted.
  • When Thomas hides behind Duck with Percy passing by, the former has no face.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Ótimos Amigos
Chinese Mandarin 最好的朋友
Croatian Najbolji prijatelji
Czech Nejlepší přátelé
Finnish Paras Ystävä
French Les meilleurs amis
German Beste Freunde
Indonesian Sahabat
Italian Il migliore amico
Japanese ベストフレンド
Korean 최고의 친구 (Kids 1)
단짝 친구 (EBS)
Latin American Spanish Mejores Amigos
Polish Najlepsi Przyjaciele

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