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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story, the 2014 magazine story, the Malaysian DVD or the Thai DVD.

“I think I might have found something."
"We don't have time to find things, Winston.”
―Winston and Thomas

Happy Birthday Sir! is the nineteenth episode of the sixteenth series.


On the Fat Controller's birthday, Thomas pulls into Brendam Docks, where he meets Salty and Edward. Then the Fat Controller arrives in Winston, the new track inspection vehicle. The Fat Controller tells Thomas that, to celebrate his birthday, he is going shopping with his wife and mother. He goes on to tell Thomas that the tank engine must take Winston with him while he does his jobs. Thomas is pleased with his task and the Fat Controller tells Thomas to meet him back at the docks. After the Fat Controller leaves, Salty recalls a story that Edward had told him. A long time ago, when the Fat Controller was still a young man, he used to visit all of the stations on Sodor on his birthday in an open-topped carriage, pulled by Edward. Edward remembers how much the Fat Controller smiled whilst on his travels. Salty states that the carriage has been missing for years. Thomas and Winston are amazed by Salty's story. Soon, it is time for Thomas to start his jobs, so he and Winston head off. However, Winston does not have his mind on work; he is thinking about the Fat Controller's birthday.

At Maron, Thomas is coupled up to a flatbed of apples destined for Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm. Thomas tells Winston about his job, but Winston is not there. When he returns, he tells Thomas that he went to look for something. Thomas is not very happy, as looking for something is not being really useful. Thomas and Winston soon arrive at the Pig Farm and, as Thomas chats to Farmer Trotter, Winston rolls away. When he returns, Winston tries to explain that he was looking for something, but Thomas reminds him that looking for things is not being really useful and that being really useful means being reliable. At the Whispering Woods, Thomas is coupled up to a flatbed of logs. When Thomas looks to Winston, he is not there again. When Winston finally returns, he tells Thomas that he thinks he has found something. Thomas is not interested and insists that Winston travel in front of him on the same line so that he cannot be distracted again.

As Winston and Thomas travel through the Whispering Woods, Winston cannot help but look around. It is almost teatime and Thomas tells Winston to hurry up. Thomas speeds up, but does not notice Winston slowing down. Thomas hits Winston and the pair come to a stop. Thomas is worried that the Fat Controller will be angry, but Winston is smiling. He thinks he has found something that will make the Fat Controller very happy. Thomas finally asks Winston what he has been looking for and Winston tells him that he has been looking for the carriage that the Fat Controller used to ride in on his birthday. There, on an overgrown siding, is the rusty, old abandoned carriage - Winston had found it. Thomas decides they should take the carriage to Victor at the Steamworks so that it can be restored. Then they can give the Fat Controller the best birthday surprise of all.

At the docks, the Fat Controller is waiting as Thomas and Winston rattle in. Thomas apologises for being late and offers to take the Fat Controller to Knapford, where they can show him why they are late. Thomas and Winston, who is driven by the Fat Controller, soon arrive at Knapford. The Fat Controller is puzzled until Edward steams in, hauling the newly restored open-topped carriage. The Fat Controller is almost overcome with emotion when he sees it. Thomas and Winston both wish the Fat Controller a happy birthday and he thanks them for their special surprise.





US and CAN


  • Going by production order, this is the twentieth episode of the sixteenth series and the series finale of the sixteenth series. Because of this, this was also the last episode of the Nitrogen era for the series in production order.
  • This episode aired before Blue Mountain Mystery was released, meaning that the audience may not have known who Winston is.
  • This episode marks the only with a few things:
    • The only appearance of Winston in the sixteenth series, as well as his only episodic appearance in the Nitrogen-era.
    • The only time Winston is seen being driven by someone besides the Fat Controller.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things for Farmer Trotter:
  • A variation of Go, Go Thomas plays throughout the episode.


  • In the US dub, when Winston says "I think I found something that will make Sir Topham Hatt very happy," his mouth moves to say "the Fat Controller."

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Feliz aniversário senhor
French Une Surprise pour le Gros Contrôleur
Galician Feliz Aniversario Señor
German Eine Überraschung für den dicken Kontrolleur
Hungarian Boldog születésnapot, uram!
Italian Buon Compleanno, Signore!
Japanese トップハム・ハットきょうのたんじょうび
Korean 사장님의 생일
Norwegian Gratulerer med dagen, sir!
Polish Wszystkiego Najlepszego!
Romanian La Mulți ani, Domnule!
Russian Подарок на день рождения
Spanish ¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Señor!
Taiwanese Mandarin 生日快乐,总管
Turkish Mutlu Yıllar Efendim


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