Main Page

This article is about 'the episode'. You may be looking for 'the magazine story'.
“It isn't wrong, but we just don't do it.”
―Gordon on Henry's whistling

Whistles and Sneezes is the twentieth episode of the first series. It is based on the stories Gordon's Whistle and Henry's Sneeze from The Railway Series book, Henry the Green Engine.


When Henry returns from Crewe after his accident with the Flying Kipper, Gordon is jealous that Henry now gets to pull the express and complains that he does not need a new shape. He also claims that Henry whistles too loudly at stations, saying that "it isn't wrong, but we just don't do it." Henry is upset by this remark, but Percy tells him he is glad that he is back and likes his whistling.

Later when Henry arrives at Wellsworth, Edward tells Henry that he was glad to hear his whistle, cheering Henry up. Suddenly, the sound of a high-pitched, droning whistle can be heard in the distance, much to the engines' confusion. It turns out to be Gordon, whose whistle is jammed. He flies down the hill and through the station. Edward is surprised, while Henry tells him what Gordon had said about whistling.

Gordon speeds down the line, the awful noise from his whistle continuing even when he reaches the last station. Gordon leaves the express behind and is taken to some fitters who hammer his whistle valve back into place, which causes the noise to finally stop. Gordon sneaks home that night to an empty shed, much to his relief. As the other engines arrive back, Henry softly says to no one in particular "It isn't wrong, but we just don't do it," but says nothing about whistles.

The next day, Henry takes a train feeling as well as ever and soon approaches a bridge where three boys are waiting. Henry whistles in greeting, but suddenly feels pain as the boys do not answer but instead throw stones on him and his train, breaking the coaches' windows.


Henry has plenty of ashes. Please keep all windows shut till we've crossed the bridge.

While unhurt, Henry's crew and the passengers are furious. The passengers want to call the police, but Henry's driver who has another plan to get their own back. After getting everyone to promise to keep the plan a secret, the driver tells them. The plan is to have Henry sneeze and release the ashes that are built up in his smokebox. The passengers are excited and on the way back from the other end of the line, the driver makes sure everyone is ready and to keep all the windows shut until the train has passed the bridge because Henry is about to sneeze. Although the driver tells the passengers Henry is as excited as everyone else, Henry is feeling too stuffed up to answer.

Soon Henry approaches the bridge where the boys are waiting with more stones. Judging the moment, the driver has Henry sneeze at exactly the right time, covering the boys from head to toe in soot. Henry goes home satisfied, knowing that thanks to a whistle and a sneeze he taught both Gordon and the boys a lesson they won't soon forget. 




  • Stock footage from Coal and The Flying Kipper is used.
  • In the restored version, the scenes of Percy coming back to the shed at night, Henry pulling the express, Henry arriving at Lower Tidmouth and the last scene had no fade effects.
  • When Gordon leaves Knapford, music can be heard in the US and international versions but not in some versions of the UK dub.
  • This is the only episode of the first series that is not re-narrated by Ringo Starr for Shining Time Station in the US, as well as the first series one episode narrated by George Carlin in said show.


  • In the beginning of the episode, Gordon's bumper is dented, and his right buffer is slightly crooked.
  • After Gordon criticizes Henry, Henry's face is not put on properly.
  • Because stock footage is used, Henry is in his old shape in a close-up of himself before reaching the bridge, his coaches are gone and the red stripe on his cylinder is peeling away.
  • In the close up of Henry, his coaches disappeared.
  • When Henry approaches Wellsworth, his eyes jitter before he stops.
  • In the first scene of Gordon going down Gordon's Hill, the camera is shaking.
  • In the shot of The Fat Controller telling Gordon to depart right away, there are three holes around his chin. Also, his right arm is chipped.
  • In the scene of the workmen hammering Gordon's whistle, there is a stain on Gordon's boiler. Furthermore, studio equipment is visible at the top of the screen.
  • At Tidmouth Sheds, some of the tracks are off-centered.
  • When Henry is seen puffing towards the bridge the first time, the branch of a tree on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen can be seen wiggling. This was done to emphasize the fact that the boys were throwing stones, but two shots later, it is obvious to see how it was achieved, as the branch is seen hanging over the line, where Henry could just run into it at the right moment.
  • In the scene when the coaches complained about the boys throwing rocks at their windows, there is a chip on the lining of Henry's tender.
  • In the wide shot of Henry puffing towards the bridge the second time, he is not moving for the first couple of seconds, and when he finally moves, the telephone pole near him shakes.
  • In the scene of Henry departing Lower Tidmouth, the sounds of him chugging are slightly delayed (they play after Henry starts moving).
  • In the shot of Gordon going down his hill, his wheels are moving slower than he is.
  • The tracks sink just before Gordon stops at Knapford.
  • Nobody at Knapford except the Fat Controller is holding their ears even though the narrator says they are.
  • In the original version, when Henry sneezes, a bush near the bridge changes shape. The restored version shows Henry with his wincing face as he is passing by before he sneezes with the bush in the same position, indicating a take of Henry passing underneath the bridge with his cross face was filmed after the shot of him passing with his wincing face.
  • When Henry sneezed at the boys, two of the boys are already covered in ashes before getting blown by steam.
  • As Henry leaves the bridge to head to the next station, the boys have disappeared from the bridge.
  • In the close-up of Gordon's whistle when the hammer hits it, the shed beside Gordon is gone.
  • In a deleted scene, Gordon’s eyes are wonky.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Apitos e Janeals
Chinese 鸣笛和打喷嚏
Croatian Zviždanje i Kihanje
Czech Hvízdání a Kýchání
Danish Med et Fløjt og et Nys
Finnish Vislauksuia ja Aivastuksia
French Sifflements et Éternuements
German Pfeifen und Niesen
Greek Οι Μικροί Σκανταλιάρηδες
Hebrew שריקות והתעטשויות
Hungarian Füttyszó és Tüsszentés
Italian Fischi e Starnuti
Japanese きてきとクシャミ
Korean 기적소리와 재채기
Norwegian Fløyter og Nys
Polish Gwizdanie i Kichanie
Romanian Fluierături şi Strănuturi
Russian Свистуны и чихуны
Serbian Zviždanje i Kijanje
Slovak Pískanie a Kýchanie
Slovenian Piskanje in Kihanje
Spanish Silbatos y Estornudos
Swedish Vissla och Nys
Thai เฮนรี่จาม
Ukrainian Свист і чхання
Welsh Gollwng Stêm

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets


  • Coal and other stories
  • The Complete Series 1

DVD Boxsets

  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Classic Collection
  • Series One and Series Two Double Pack










  • The Flying Kipper



  • Thomas the Tank Engine 2





DVD Packs







*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+