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“You know, there's more than one way to get jammed. We all learned that today. What's more, we also learned that sometimes when engines help each other out of a... 'jam,' things can still go wrong."
"So, that means we learned a lot today. And therefore..."
"We're Really Useful Engines after all!”
―Thomas cheering up the other engines.

Percy, James and the Fruitful Day is the twenty-fifth episode of the third series. It is based on the magazine story Percy Gets Jammed.


It is market day on Sodor, and James is on his way to the harbour when he sees Percy at Lower Suddery. Percy is late with his line of trucks, as he should already be at the next station by that point. James tells Percy that engines should always be on time and puffs importantly away. Feeling resentful, Percy mutters "bossy buffers" under his breath and continues on his way.

James arrives at the harbour to see all the wonderful fresh fruits being unloaded from the cargo ships. James waits as his trucks are loaded, then he sets off for the main line. During his journey, he meets Thomas, Annie and Clarabel and cannot resist boasting. Thomas knows that there will be trouble ahead for the boastful red engine.

Got yourself in a bit of a jam, eh James? A "sticky situation?"

Back at Lower Suddery, Percy is busy shunting in the yard when the stationmaster informs his driver that James' brakes are jammed and that Percy has to go and help him at once. Percy quickly sets off and soon finds James stranded on the main line, which gives Percy an opportunity to tease him. Percy's driver soon intervenes and asks Percy if he can push the trucks of fruit, to which Percy happily obliges. Soon, Percy is coupled to the trucks and sets off, leaving James fuming. Percy is in a hurry and is not paying full attention to the line. With the trucks in front of him, he has not seen that the points have failed and that he has been diverted onto a siding. Percy's driver sees the danger and applies the brakes, but it is too late. The trucks run straight into the buffers and Percy crashes into the back of the van in front of him. His driver and fireman have jumped clear, but Percy gets squirted and covered in squashed fruit. The Fat Controller arrives and sternly reminds Percy that while the points failure was not his fault, the railway is not a jam factory. And Percy sadly chuffs back home.

That night in the sheds, all the engines are silent, with James and Percy feeling very sorry for themselves as they are now both in disgrace. Thomas breaks the silence by reminding everyone that there is more than one way to get into a jam and that even when engines help each other out, things can still go wrong. One of the engines asks what the point is and Thomas points out that it means they learned a lot that day and therefore they are all Really Useful Engines after all, to which all the engines happily agree.




  • The truck in front of Percy has "NE" written on it.
  • Stock footage from the third series episode, Thomas, Percy and the Post Train is used, as is a deleted scene from the third series episode, Heroes.
  • Izzy Gomez, Big Mickey, the Fuel Depot Manager's office, a station and a warehouse from TUGS appear.
  • This episode marks:
    • Annie and Clarabel's only speaking roles in the third series.
    • The first time a character angrily says "Be quiet!" instead of "Shut up!"
    • The only appearance of the Logging Halt.
    • The last appearances of Brendam Drawbridge and The Three Way Road.
  • This episode aired alongside the second series episode, Percy and Harold on Storytime with Thomas.
  • This episode was broadcast in the UK on Ringo Starr's 52nd birthday.
  • Dishwasher soap was used for the projectile green liquid squirted on Percy. Additionally, the horn sound uses a slowed down version of Bertie's horn.
  • For the 1993 repeat of the third series on Children's ITV, this was the last episode before the terrestrial broadcast ended until the sixth series ten years later.


  • When James was meeting Percy at Lower Suddery, his tender body is not properly assembled to its chassis.
  • When James is watching his trucks being loaded, there are four open-topped trucks, but when he leaves the harbour, one of them has been replaced with a goods van.
  • When James leaves the harbour, the first truck is missing a face.
  • As Percy sets off with James' trucks, James' pony truck is derailed and Percy jerks back before starting. Percy's cab roof was also lifted.
  • There are eleven berths in Tidmouth Sheds instead of the usual six.
  • At the end of the episode, black glue is wrapped around James' funnel.
  • When James passes Thomas and the coaches, Annie is missing her name.
  • Because stock footage is used, one close-up of Percy's driver is at night.
  • When Percy crashes:
    • The van jolts up, but in the next shot it remains on the track.
    • He slightly shifts forward when he smashes into the van.
    • Percy is on the track when he crashes, but later he shown to be derailed.
    • His cylinder is dangling.
  • At the sheds some of the engines have wonky eyes.
  • Thomas has a couple problems with his eyes at the sheds.
    • They do not move the same time when the narrator says, "Still there was silence."
    • They slightly jolt up when he says that things can still go wrong when helping each other out of a jam.
    • His left eye (viewers' right) moves up when he says, "So that means we've learned a lot today."


James: Really reliable. That's me! Pity the same can't be said for Percy! Good-bye! [puffs away]
Annie and Clarabel: What was all that about?
Thomas: That was trouble. Trouble for James. Just wait and see.

Percy: Got yourself into a bit of a jam, eh James? UK dub: What you might call a 'sticky situation'?/US dub: A 'sticky situation'?
James: Be quiet! It's not funny having jammed brakes!
Percy: And not very reliable either. I'm surprised you let it happen, James! Nothing should stop us engines.

[after Percy's unexpected misadventure with the trucks and the jammed points]
Sir Topham Hatt: Percy, you are not to blame for the points failure, but I do not run a jam factory!
Percy: Yes sir-- no sir,

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese James e Percy e um Dia de Fruta
Chinese Mandarin 培西詹姆士和富有成果的一天
Czech Percy, James a Ovocný Den
Danish Percy, James og en Frugtbar Dag
Dutch Percy, James en de Soep
Finnish Hedelmällistä Yhteistyötä
German Heute ist Obsttag
Greek Ο Τζέρι, Ο Τζίμι και η λαϊκή αγορά
Hungarian Percy és James Gyümölcsöző Napja
Italian Locomotive nei pasticci
Japanese くだものれっしゃ
Korean 퍼시와 제임스가 사고나던 날 (DVD Acadamy)
쨈이 된 과일들 (JEI TV)
Latin American Spanish Percy, James y un Día Fructífero
Norwegian Percy, James og den Fruktbare Dagen
Polish Percy, James i Owocny Dzień (Original)
Piotrek, Kuba i Owocny Dzień (Alternate)
Romanian Percy, James și Ziua Lor Rodincă
Russian Перси, Джеймс и день фруктов
Serbian Persi, Džejms i Dan Pun Voća
Slovenian Poldi, Jakob in Uspešen Dan
Swedish Percy, James och den Fruktbara Dagen
Turkish Meyve Günü
Ukrainian Персі, Джеймс і плідний день
Welsh Helynt

Home Media Releases


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  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4