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“We must now try to run the branch line with Toby and a diesel. You have put us in an awkward predicament, Percy!”
―The Fat Controller scolding Percy

Percy's Predicament is the twentieth episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Branch Line Engines.


Daisy's time on the Island of Sodor is going badly for everyone concerned. Not only is she frightened of bulls and cows, she remains lazy, bad-tempered, stubborn, and refuses to do jobs she does not want to do.

Percy grumpily shunts trucks one day, as Toby pulls in noticing Daisy has once again refused to take the milk tanker truck, forcing Percy to make a special trip with it after his normal work is done. Wanting to help, Toby offers to take the milk if Percy fetches his trucks from the quarry in return. Their crews agree to this and Percy sets off.

Percy goes to the quarry to fetch the trucks. Having never been there before, he starts enjoying himself by ordering the trucks about. The trucks do not take kindly to a strange engine entering the quarry and giving them orders, so they decide to pay Percy out. Once arranged and coupled behind him, the trucks lure Percy into a false sense of security by following him so quietly that he thinks they are under control. When Percy sees a sign warning trains to stop, he whistles to the guard to apply the brakes, only for the trucks to then make their move and push him along down the line, leaving Percy whistling frantically for help. The signalman at the level crossing is too late to switch Percy to the runaway siding, and Percy swerves into the goods yard and crashes into a brake van, smashing it to pieces and perching himself on top of the remains of a truck. His driver and fireman had managed to jump clear, but Percy is left stranded.

The next day, Toby and Daisy help clear up the mess. The Fat Controller arrives too and is cross as he speaks to Percy, telling him that now the branch line will have to be run with only Toby and a diesel, leaving them in an awkward predicament. Percy, very much stuck in his own predicament, understands fully what he means. The Fat Controller tells Percy that he is going to be left where he is until everything else is cleared up, hoping the experience will teach him to be more careful with trucks in the future. The Fat Controller is also cross with Daisy and tells her off for her laziness, declaring that he sends lazy engines like her away. Daisy is left feeling ashamed of herself, but the Fat Controller has decided to give her another chance, given how hard she worked after Percy's accident. Daisy is happy and promises to work hard with Toby's help. Knowing Toby has a lot of experience with running a branch line, the Fat Controller is satisfied.

The next day, Thomas returns from the works, fully mended, and is happily reunited with Annie and Clarabel, who he takes for a run, while Percy is sent to the Works to be repaired. All the engines are now friends and Daisy learns a lot from Toby, leading her to become a Really Useful Engine. She even manages to shoo a straying cow off the line all on her own.




  • Stock footage from Percy Runs Away and Percy and Harold is used.
  • The small truck wears the Spiteful Brake Van's angry face.
  • A deleted photo shows that Thomas came back just before Toby was coupled up to Percy's flatbed.
  • In the English version, the sign says "All trains stop to pin down brakes," while in the Welsh release, it says "Stop! All trains [must] wait," and in the Norwegian version, it says "To all trains: Stop. Brakes must be checked," instead. However, the Norwegian sign was not used in the episode itself, only in a VHS trailer. In the episode, the narrator just says "Stop! All brakes must be checked!" instead.
  • For the US, this episode along with Daisy were never shown on Shining Time Station. They first appeared on Daisy and Other Thomas Stories in 6 October 1993. It aired on television on the Mister Moose's Fun Time episode, Art Appreciation Day in 1998.
  • This was one of few Thomas episodes to be featured on the Captain Kangaroo spin-off series Mister Moose's Fun Time on Fox Family Channel. This was also one of the few episodes from the second series to air on said programme.
  • This is the first episode to feature short wheelbase trucks with faces.
  • This episode marks the last two things for Daisy:
  • In the US, this episode first aired on the "Mister Moose's Fun Time" episode "Art Appreciation Day" on Fox Family.


  • Percy's trucks' faces continuously disappear and reappear.
  • Due to portions of the script being taken word for word from the original book, the narrator says "Percy had never been to the quarry before," even though he met Toby and collected a goods train from there in Percy and Harold.
  • When the narrator says "Percy had never been to the quarry before," he shunts four trucks together and there is a gap between the last two trucks and the brake van, but in the very next scene, a fifth truck appears and the brake van is now behind the last one.
  • When the first truck says "Pay Percy out!" its face is on the back end.
  • The 'All Trains Stop To Pin Down Brakes' hill is actually the elevated road area at Elsbridge Station but with track laid over it.
  • When Percy passes by the signalbox, the signalman moves slightly, since Percy's weight moves the ground where he is standing.
  • Just before Percy crashes into the brake van, a stone used to lift Percy on top of the trucks is seen on the track that the brake van is on.
  • Percy's cab reveals part of the motor casting after the accident, during the panning shot from Toby to Daisy to Percy.
  • After the accident, the van behind Toby has a face, but in a deleted scene, it does not have a face.
  • When Thomas couples up to Annie and Clarabel his driver is facing the back. However, when Thomas puffs away, his driver is still looking back.
  • When Percy leaves the Quarry and passes the scrap yard, his Brake Van is a BR 20 Ton, but when he passes the notice, is pushed by the crossing and Signal Box and runs into the yard, it is replaced with an SR 25. The stock footage in-between the notice and the crossing has a BR 20 ton.
  • Because stock footage is used, Percy's load of gravel changes into stone slabs and Percy is smiling when he cries "Help! Help!"
  • When the narrator says "'Come along,' puffed Percy," the truck on the right of the screen does not have a chain on his hook.
  • Percy only has half of his screw-link coupling.
  • When Percy crashes, his whistle is crooked.
  • Percy's left (viewer's right) cylinder is loose.


  • (after the accident)
  • The Fat Controller: We must now try to run the branch line with Toby and a diesel. You have put us in an awkward predicament.
  • Percy: I am sorry, sir.
  • The Fat Controller: You can stay there till we are ready. Perhaps it will teach you to be careful with trucks. (turns to Daisy) My engines work hard. I send lazy engines away! However, Toby says you worked hard after Percy's accident. So, you shall have another chance.
  • Daisy: Thank you, Sir! I will work hard, Sir. Toby says he'll help me.
  • The Fat Controller: Excellent! What Toby doesn't know about Branch Line problems isn't worth knowing. Our Toby's an experienced engine!


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Chinese 培西的困境
Czech Percyho potíže
Danish Percy kommer i klemme
Dutch Percy's Problemen
Finnish Pekan pulmallinen tilanne
German Percys Zwangslage
Hungarian Percy Bajba Kerül
Italian Daisy pigrona
Japanese かしゃにのりあげたパーシー
Korean 화물차들에게 당한 파시
Norwegian Percy i knipa
Polish Kłopotliwe Położenie Piotrka
Romanian Încurcătura lui Percy
Russian Перси в затруднительном положении
Serbian Persijeva neprilika
Slovak Percyho problémy
Slovenian Poldijeva nezgoda
Swedish Percy i Knipa
Thai เพอร์ซีชนอีกแล้ว
Ukrainian Персі у ніяковому становищі
Welsh Penbleth Pyrsi

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  • The Complete Series 2
  • The Deputation and other Stories

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