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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.

“I guess you can call it ~Wheelie Useful~!”

The Water Wheel is the fifteenth episode of the twenty-second series.


Thomas is given a water wheel to take to Tu Zi Quan to replace the old, broken one so as to bring water to the paddy fields. Although Thomas doubts that it looks strong enough, Hong-Mei tells him that it is made from bamboo, which is light but very strong and used for a number of things.

After Hong-Mei, An An and Yin-Long tell Thomas about the importance of the water wheel, he decides to take a shortcut to get it delivered quickly. Unfortunately, it is through a low bridge which accidently knocks the wheel off Thomas' flatbed without him knowing until it bounces right in front of him and Yong Bao.

The water wheel then races along the Chinese countryside with Thomas going after it. It even ends up swinging on the Chinese Breakdown Crane, on a mountain, and then down a river. Thomas, disappointed at having lost the water wheel, arrives sadly at the paddy fields. While Thomas attempts to explain what happened, the workers notice the water wheel flowing down the river. This is praised by the workers, who think that Thomas thought about having the wheel flow down the river and ask him to help them pull it into place. Thomas does so, and is impressed by the strength of the bamboo and its really usefulness.





US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Dan Li as Yong Bao
  • Chipo Chung as Hong-Mei and the Chinese Women
  • Su-Lin Looi as the Chinese Diesel
  • Siu-see Hung as An An
  • Windson Liong as Yin-Long, the Chinese Breakdown Crane and the Chinese Men


  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-first episode of the twenty-second series.
  • This episode has a similar plot to the twelfth series episode, Steady Eddie and Thomas Thinks Bamboo is Really Useful from the Really Useful Around the World series.
  • This episode marks the Chinese Diesel and the Male Chinese Breakdown Crane's only appearances in the twenty-second series, their first and only appearances in an episode to date and their last appearances to date; however, the Female Chinese Breakdown Crane does not appear.
  • This episode focuses on Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation as it was part of Mattel's partnership with the United Nations to promote 6 of the chosen Sustainable Development Goals.
  • On the Nick Jr. US airing of this episode, it was paired with An Engine of Many Colours.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Roda d'Água
Danish Vandmølle
Dutch Het Waterrad
Finnish Vesipyörä
German Das Wasserrad
Hebrew גלגל המים
Hungarian A vízkerék
Italian Il Mulino ad'acqua
Japanese ちゅうごくのすいしゃ
Korean 소중한 물레바퀴
Latin American Spanish La Rueda de Agua
Norwegian Vannhjulet
Russian Водяное колесо
Serbian Vodenični točak
Spanish El Molino de Agua
Swedish Vattenhjulet
Turkish Su Çarkı

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