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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, and James in 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 under his breath and continues on his way.

James arrives at the harbour to see all the wonderful fresh fruits. James watches his trucks being filled and once they are, 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 boastful James.

Got yourself in a bit of a jam, eh James? What you might call a "sticky situation?"

Back at Lower Suddery, Percy is busy shunting in the yard when the stationmaster tells 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 mainline, for which Percy teases James for. Percy's driver soon intervenes and asks Percy if he can push the trucks of fruit. Soon, Percy is coupled to the trucks and sets off. Percy is in a hurry and is not paying full attention to the line. He has not seen that the points have failed and that he has been diverted into 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 had jumped clear, but Percy gets covered in squashed fruit. The Fat Controller sternly reminds Percy that while the points failure was not his fault, the railway is not a jam factory.

That night in the sheds, all the engines are silent, with Percy and James 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 GomezBig Mickey, a station and a warehouse from TUGS appear.
  • This episode marks Annie and Clarabel's only speaking roles in the third series.
  • This episode marks the first time a character angrily says "Be quiet!" instead of "Shut up!" 
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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? What you might call a 'sticky situation'?
  • James: Be quiet! It's not funny having jammed brakes!


  • Thomas: 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.
  • Voice: So?
  • Thomas: So, that means we learned a lot today. And therefore...
  • All engines: We're really useful engines after all!

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese James e Percy e um Dia de Fruta
Chinese 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
Norwegian Percy, James og den Fruktbare Dagen
Polish Piotrek, Kuba i Owocny Dzień
Romanian Percy, James și Ziua Lor Rodincă
Russian Перси, Джеймс и день фруктов
Serbian Persi, Džejms i Dan Pun Voća
Slovak Percy, Jakub a Ovocná Deň
Slovenian Poldi, Jakob in Uspešen Dan
Spanish Percy, James y un Día Fructífero
Swedish Percy, James och den Fruktbara Dagen
Thai วันโชคร้ายของเพอร์ซีและเจมส์
Ukrainian Персі, Джеймс і плідний день
Welsh Helynt

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs





  • Escape and other Stories
  • The Complete Series 3

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  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Classic Collection
  • Series Three and Series Four Double Pack




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