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“Well, little Thomas, now you know what hard work means, don't you?”

Thomas and Gordon, retitled Thomas Gets Tricked in American releases, is the first episode of the first series and the first episode of Thomas & Friends altogether. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.


Thomas is a blue tank engine who works at a big station on Sodor. His job is to fetch coaches for the other engines and then take them away when the engines are done pulling them. Thomas thinks he works the hardest and is often very cheeky to the bigger engines, especially Gordon, the biggest and proudest engine, who pulls the express, Thomas likes to startle him by whistling loudly.

One day, Gordon returns from a long journey and wants a rest, so he finds a siding to sleep in. Then Thomas sneaks up and gives a cheeky whistle, telling Gordon to wake up and work harder, and runs off, laughing. This is the final straw for Gordon, and instead of falling back asleep, he vows to teach Thomas a lesson by showing him what hard work really is.

The next morning, Thomas' crew is unable to make him start. Gordon and the passengers impatiently wait at Knapford station for Thomas to bring the coaches. Finally Thomas starts; he hurries to get the express coaches and brings them to the station platform behind Gordon. Gordon then enacts his plan, he quickly backs down, couples to his train and hurries his passengers to get in. Thomas usually pushes from behind the express to help them get a good start, but is always uncoupled from the coaches first. This time, however, Thomas' crew forget to uncouple him and Gordon quickly starts off, with Thomas being pulled along. Gordon races through the Sudrian countryside to show Thomas how hard it is to pull the express. It is not long before Thomas is quite out of breath and his wheels ache, but he is forced to go on.

After a while, the express comes to a stop at Wellsworth station. Thomas has never gone so fast before, and is very tired and feels very silly. He is uncoupled from the train, gets turned around on the turntable and moves into a siding where he has a long drink from the water tower. Then he puffs wearily home; having learned not to act so cheeky toward Gordon ever again.




  • The George Carlin narration was previously very hard to find on home video as the only release available was on the 1995 Thomas Gets Tricked re-release from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring George Carlin's narration with four extra episodes, until it was released on Thomas' Halloween Adventures in 2006.
  • The events of this episode were retold for the 2015 special, The Adventure Begins.
  • Music cues from this episode were used in some audiobooks of Thomas & Friends, which were only released in Germany.
  • A clip from this episode was used in the 1995 CiTV special Simply the Best.
  • In the Japanese dub, the narrator says that Sodor is a part of the United Kingdom.
  • On the digital release of the first series, this episode features an excerpt of one of Ringo Starr's narrations when Gordon stops at Wellsworth.
  • On the Shining Time Station episode, A Place Unlike Any Other and the Thomas' Halloween Adventures DVD, the last few seconds of the episode are cut.
  • The model that would later be used for Elizabeth II in the fourth series, can be seen in this episode.


  • In the first shot of Thomas, studio equipment is reflected off of his smokebox. In the same shot when he starts rolling his eyes, his face moves just a little bit.
  • When Gordon is first seen pulling the express, the reflection of some studio equipment can be seen in the lake.
  • When the narrator says "It was nearly time for the Express," there are no coaches on the track next to Gordon. When Thomas puffs in, they suddenly appear.
  • Gordon was waiting outside platform 2 for his coaches, but when Thomas puffs in, Gordon and his coaches are outside platforms 3 and 4.
  • In one scene, there is a set of points leading from the track outside platform 5 to the track outside platform 4. In the next scene, it disappears.
  • Just before Thomas reaches the water tower, the background shows trees and bushes instead of Wellsworth.
  • When Gordon and Thomas leave Knapford Station they immediately go through Henry's tunnel, but that would be impossible since Henry's tunnel is located on the opposite end of the line. And when they exit the tunnel, the tracks bounce in the air.
  • When Gordon is sleeping in the siding, his buffers are crooked.
  • When Thomas stops inside Knapford at the beginning, Henry is in his new shape.
  • When Thomas wakes Gordon up the second time, the buffers in the siding in front of Gordon are not connected to the track, Thomas moves a little and his smoke vanishes due to a film cut.
  • In a rare picture, there is no one in Gordon's cab as he and Thomas cross the viaduct.
  • When Thomas backs onto the turntable at Wellsworth, he looks more annoyed than tired.
  • When Henry leaves the station, Gordon's eyes are a bit wonky.
  • When Thomas says "Hurry (up) yourself!" the coaches cannot be seen in front of him.
  • When Henry and James puff out of Knapford, two of Henry's wheel arches are missing.
  • When Thomas puffs into Knapford in the opening scene, Henry has no coaches. In the next scene, he leaves the station with coaches, a van, and a brake van.
  • In the restored version:
    • An unidentified object obstructs the camera-lense in the top-left corner of the shot when James and Henry pass by at Knapford.
    • Studio equipment can be seen as Gordon pulls Thomas around the bend.
    • In the closeup of Thomas being tired out, the train in front of him is missing.
    • When the train crosses the viaduct, the edge of the set is visible.
    • Just before Thomas starts puffing to the water tower, the track ends behind him.
    • In the closeup of Gordon smiling, there is studio equipment in the background, Thomas and the express disappear, his tender bounces a little, and the tracks behind him end.
    • When Thomas backs onto the turntable, a camera stand is visible.
  • In a promotional picture when Thomas and Gordon are about to go through Henry's Tunnel, the hills cut off to the background.

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas Aprende uma Lição
Chinese 托马斯和高登
Croatian Tomica i Gordon
Czech Tomáš a Gordon
Danish Thomas og Gordon
Dutch Thomas en Gordon
Finnish Tuomas-Veturi ja Jori
French Thomas et Gordon
German Thomas und Gordon
Hebrew תומס וגורדון
Hungarian Thomas és Gordon
Icelandic Tommi og Gyrðir
Italian Una bella lezione
Japanese トーマスとゴードン
Korean 토마스와 고든
Norwegian Thomas og Gordon
Polish Tomek i Gabryś
Romanian Thomas şi Gordon
Russian Серьезный урок
Serbian Tomas i Gordon
Slovak Thomas a Gordon
Slovenian Tomaž in Gorazd
Spanish Una lección para Thomas
Swedish Thomas och Gordon
Thai บทเรียนของโธมัส
Welsh Tomos a Gordon


View content
Name Published Publisher Highlights Photo
Thomas and Gordon 1985 Dean and Son
  • Board book
Thomas 2003 Egmont
Thomas (Book & CD) 2007 Egmont
  • My Thomas Story Library book
  • The book was released with a CD narrated by Michael Angelis
Thomas the Tank Engine Book Pack 2015 Egmont
Thomas and Gordon 2016 Random House

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs (UK)



VHS/DVD Box sets (US)


DVD Box sets (AUS)
















DVD packs (ROM)









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