Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Main Page

“'Toothache'?/He hasn't got a toothache. He's got teething troubles. That means he's new and is causing/this causes some problems. In his case, it's (in) his cooling system.”
―Duck explaining Derek's teething troubles to Bill and Ben

Double Teething Troubles is the twelfth episode of the fifth series. It aired back to back with Bye George! during the second airing of Storytime with Thomas in the US.


Bill and Ben have been working hard in the clay mines and quarries near Brendam Docks. Their jobs are important and can make them naughty, especially when it is very hot and dirty for the twins.

One day, Bill and Ben indeed become very naughty and argue over who has rights to some trucks in front of them. When BoCo shows up he tries to break up the twins and warn the two of getting in trouble with the Fat Controller, but the two ignore him and collide into each other and derail at the points when they both try to take the trucks. The Fat Controller eventually intervenes and warns Bill and Ben to behave better and threatens to send them to their sheds, should they persist. He then decides to send a diesel to help them, and hopes that he will make a good impression. BoCo also suggests that the twins just simply go back to work right away. Meanwhile, the Fat Controller has doubts about the idea; he is concerned that the new diesel may have teething troubles more than confusion.

The Fat Controller is right; the new diesel, Derek, is having issues while going up Gordon's Hill, and, while halfway up his engine coughs and breaks down causing black smoke to billow out of his exhaust. BoCo is then prompted to rescue him, who apologises for the breakdown and explains he has teething troubles. The news soon spreads, and Thomas tells Percy about Derek's teething troubles. Percy misunderstands Thomas, and thinks this means the diesel has "toothache." Percy then tells Bill and Ben about Derek and wishes them good luck, as they know they need another to help out. The manager then arrives and sends the twins to take their loads from the quarry to the docks, where they will be resting as there is hard work to be done the next morning.

That evening, Bill and Ben take their loads to sidings by the quay and head off to the sheds where Duck is resting. Duck notices the twins' worried looks and tells the twins that "teething troubles" means that Derek is new but is having frequent breakdowns which (in his case) is his cooling system, making the twins even more nervous.

The next day, Bill and Ben prepare their load of trucks until Derek arrives at the Clay Pits and helps the twins with a long train of China Clay trucks by pushing from behind with Bill and Ben pulling at the front. However, during the journey, they come to a hill and another breakdown from Derek occurs from overheating. Bill and Ben pull him and the trucks and it works.

That night, the Fat Controller arrives at the sheds and congratulates Bill and Ben for their hard work and explains that Derek is sent to the works. The twins agree to manage their work alone and apologise to BoCo for being rude and explain that Derek was very friendly. Then Duck explains that friends always say goodnight to each other, and so they do, but all four engines still talk about Derek and his teething troubles all night long.




  • This episode is based on the inept attempts of the new Class 17 Paxman diesels to bank trains up to Ebbw Vale that occurred during David Maidment's time as Area Manager in South Wales; they would run hot halfway up the bank and cut out, leaving the Class 37 to pull the train and banker.
  • Stock footage from Cranky Bugs is used, though this is in slow motion.
  • Teething troubles usually occur while steam engines, diesels, and other machinery are operating for the first time after being constructed or restored to working order.
  • One of the trucks in this episode has S.C. Ruffey's face.
  • This episode marks the last of two things:
    • BoCo's last appearance if not counting a stock footage cameo in Stepney Gets Lost. However, if BoCo's stock footage cameo counts, this episode marks BoCo's last speaking role.
    • The last appearance of the China Clay Pits until Tale of the Brave, excluding a stock footage appearance in Stepney Gets Lost.
  • This episode marks the only episode of a few things for Derek:
  • Derek is never mentioned by name in this episode. His name is only mentioned in merchandise.
  • This episode marks Bill and Ben's only appearances in the fifth series.
  • Despite his appearance in the episode, Percy does not appear in the nameboard sequence at the end of the episode in the Japanese dub.
  • S.S Vienna, The LT building, the steel company and a large brown building from TUGS appear in the episode
  • The wooden section of Trevor's shed from Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party can be seen behind Derek at the clay pits.
  • Alec Baldwin uses a high-pitched voice for Bill and Ben in the US dub, similar to how George Carlin performed the characters. In all further appearances, he uses his normal speaking voice.
  • The Korean title of this episode shares the same name as Break Van.
  • Derek shares almost a similar chassis to The Diesel from the fourth series episode, Bowled Out.


  • It is said that Bill and Ben heard an unfamiliar whistle, but diesel locomotives have horns, not whistles. Also when the narrator says that line, there is a crew member's shadow on top of the coal chute in the top right corner.
  • A grey cord can be seen in Bill's cab when he is in the shed at the end.
  • When BoCo tells Bill and Ben to stop arguing, his front wheels are derailed.
  • When Bill and Ben crash into each other, Bill's eyeballs are gone for a second since they were moved too high or too low.
  • During the first night scene in the shed, a grey cord can be seen stretching along Bill's side.
  • When Percy leaves Thomas, Thomas' eyes are wonky.
  • The train next to Thomas passes him twice.
  • A rare picture from The Ultimate Diesel Guide shows Derek smiling after he overheats.


  • Bill: "That's my line of trucks!"
  • Ben: "'S'not. S'mine! Yours is over there!"
  • Bill: "S'mine!"
  • Ben: "S'not!"
  • Bill: "S'mine!"
  • Ben: "S'not!"
  • (BoCo shows up)
  • BoCo: "Stop quarrelling you two or the only thing you'll have left to share is..."
  • (Bill and Ben race towards the trucks/freight cars, but they collide with each other at the points and derail)
  • BoCo: "...trouble."
  • Bill: "Silly!"
  • Ben: "Silly yourself!"
  • The Fat Controller: UK dub: Bill and Ben, behave yourselves or I shall send you to your sheds! / US dub: Bill and Ben, behave yourselves! It is (also) clear to me that we need another diesel to help out. There is only one available. He's new and keen to make an impression.
  • BoCo: If I were you, I'd get back to work right away. (leaves)
  • The Fat Controller: I hope the new diesel doesn't cause even more confusion. He's bound to have teething troubles.


  • Percy: "Hey you two! This new diesel's got toothache. Good luck!"
  • Bill: "Why does Percy want to wish us good luck?"
  • Ben: "Because he knows we'll need it! A diesel with toothache must be the worst diesel of all!"


  • Ben: Come on! Come on! Push harder, you silly diesel!
  • (Derek tries as hard as he could, but it doesn't work.)
  • Derek: "I'm overheating again!"
  • (the train suddenly stops)
  • Bill: "Oh pah!"

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Albanian Dy Herë Probleme me Ingranazhet
Brazilian Portuguese Um Novo Amigo
Chinese Mandarin 双重牙齿有问题
Czech Otrkávání
Danish Diesel har startvanskeligheder
Dutch Kinderziektes
French Les Jumeaux et Les Problèmes des Débutants
German Kinderkrankheiten
Greek Διπλό δυσκολίες στο ξεκίνημα
Hungarian Fogas Gondok
Italian Un Diesel Novellino
Japanese なかよくやろうよ
Korean 쌍둥이 기관차
Latin American Spanish Problemas de Convivencia
Norwegian Bill og Ben er urolige
Polish Kłopoty Żółtodzioba (Original)
Problemy Wieku Dziecięcego (Alternate)
Romanian Durerea de Dinți
Russian Двойная проблема с зубами
Slovenian Začetniške težave
Swedish Tvilling Trubbel
Welsh Trafferthion

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



  • Cranky Bugs and Other Thomas Stories

DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


  • Happy Ever After (VHS)









DVD Boxsets