The Joke's on Them
Season 1, Episode 8
Air date February 22, 2017
Written by Semaj5nodrog4
Episode guide
The "Special" Visitors
One of the Family
The Joke's on Them is the eighth episode of the first season of The Many Adventures on the Island of Sodor.


Many engines on the Island of Sodor like to be really useful. They like working hard and receiving praise for their good work by Sir Topham Hatt. However, there are some engines who tend to be less useful than others and like to play tricks instead, and no engine likes to do this more than Bill and Ben for they are the most mischievious engines on the island. They love playing with each other and playing tricks on the other engines, particularly the bigger ones. Though most of their tricks and jokes are harmless, there have been a few cases where Bill and Ben go too far and wind up in trouble with Sir Topham Hatt. Despite their cheeky deeds and behavior, Bill and Ben have proven themselves to be really useful on a few occasions, but only time will tell when they actually will.

One morning, at the China Clay Pits, Marion, the railway steam-shovel, was happily digging up clay and loading them into cars for Timothy, the little blue engine.

"Ah, nothing like a good digging to start your day," she smiled perkily. "Wouldn't you say the same, Timothy?"

"Ha ha, I guess so, Marion," chuckled Timothy. "I don't dig, you know, but I would assume it will get you ready and energized for the busy day ahead." Just then they heard Bill and Ben's whistles and the sounds of cars banging together. "Uh, especially if you will be working with those two," Timothy added exasperatedly.

"Huh, I know," muttered Marion. "They can be a bit tiring. What are they doing now?"

Timothy looked ahead and saw Bill and Ben bumping cars back and forth to each other. "Oh, playing some silly little game, I guess," he replied. "By the looks of it, they're probably trying to see who can derail those cars first."

"Here you go, Bill!" called Ben as he bumped them towards Bill.

"Oh, why thank you, Ben," said Bill, "and now here you go." And he bumped them back. The two of them were having great fun, but didn't notice that the more they bumped, the more stone fell out of the trucks.

Timothy noticed this, and decided to warn them. "Careful, you two," he advised. "You're spilling china clay everywhere. You'll likely going to cause an accident."

"Oh relax, Timothy," puffed Bill.

"Yeah," added Ben. "We know what we're doing. We'll be fine." But then there was trouble. Some rocks from the cars fell onto the rails and Ben hadn't seen them and when he bumped the cars, two of them derailed and spilt china clay everywhere. "Oops," said Ben.

Timothy was cross. "See? Now look what you two did," he scolded.

"What? How was it my fault?" huffed Bill. "It was Ben who bumped them."

"Hey, you were bumping too," snapped Ben.

"Yes, but you were the one who derailed them," retorted Bill.

"But you caused me to do that," argued Ben.

"Did not."

"Did too."

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Alright, that's enough, both of you!" scolded Marion as she rolled up. "You two need to learn to own up to your mistakes and stop trying to blame it on each other. It'll show that you too know how to be loyal, honest, and above all, really useful."

"Oh, calm down, Marion," said Bill. "We were just having a little fun, that's all."

"Yeah," agreed Ben. "It was just a little accident. It's not like Sir Topham Hatt witnessed us doing it."

"He could have though," warned Timothy, "and if he did, what will you two have done then?"

"Easy. I’ll just tell him it was Ben's fault," smirked Bill.

"Hey, wait a second!" hissed Ben. "That's not fair. You always…"

"Stop!" said Timothy, who was getting cross now. "You know, considering the amount of times you've been cheeky, mischievious, and causing trouble for Sir Topham Hatt, I'm surprised he hasn't punished you two severely yet. All those little scoldings seem to have no effect on you two because you still continue to be the same old troublesome engines."

Bill and Ben were offended. "Now wait a minute there, Timothy," hissed Bill. "We can be useful if we want to. We just like playing games because that's who we are. As a matter of fact, you could stand to have a little fun yourself, you know."

This made Timothy cross. "Maybe I could have some fun if you two would actually get some work done around here instead of goofing off all the time. Then maybe you two will understand the meaning of hard work and what it means to be a really useful engine."

Now Bill and Ben were cross. "Are you saying we're not useful?" hissed Ben.

"I'm saying…" began Timothy but before he could say anything else, the quarry master came up.

"Everyone, we will be blasting here for the next week starting tomorrow," he said. "Unfortunately, you all cannot work here as it'll be unsafe. However, I have received word from Sir Topham Hatt that he has found work for all of you in the meantime. He needs you to go to Duck's Branch Line and help with some of the construction that is happening on his line."

"Yes sir," replied Marion. "We can certainly do that."

"Very good," said the quarry master. "In fact, do you think you all could start today? We want to get the site ready so we can start first thing in the morning."

"No problem, sir," replied Timothy. "We can go as soon as you like."

"Excellent," said the master. "You two can go ahead now if you like, Marion and Timothy, but Bill and Ben, you can go once you clean up the mess you made."

"What?" exclaimed the twins. "But sir…"

"No 'buts,'" interrupted the master. "You made it, you clean it, now I suggest you two get started so you can get to your new job as quickly as possible."

Bill and Ben scoffed, but Timothy and Marion just laughed, then with a whistle and good-bye to the manager, Timothy and Marion headed off for Duck's Branch Line.

On their way, Timothy was still grumbling about the twins. "Honestly, Marion. I don't understand why those two never seem to learn. I mean, surely they know how much Sir Topham Hatt dislikes it when they cause trouble. You would think by now they would know better."

"Well, I can't argue with that last part, Timothy," agreed Marion, "but I think it's best not to worry about it. Yes, those two are very mischievious and it is frustrating, but they can still prove to be really useful engines to us and Sir Topham Hatt."

"Well I wish they would do that more often," sighed Timothy. "If only there was some way to get them to behave all the time so that they can get twice as much work done than they currently are." Marion just rolled her eyes, thinking Timothy was starting to be rather silly.

Soon they arrived at Arlesburgh West, where Duck was waiting for them.

"Hello you two," he whistled.

"Hello Duck," Marion and Timothy replied.

"Glad you could make it," puffed Duck, "and I take the two rascals are taking their time?"

"Yes, you could say that," puffed Timothy. "They're cleaning up another mess they made back at the clay pits."

"Huh, there's a surprise," Duck muttered sarcastically. "Oh well, as long as they get here eventually, everything will be fine, but in the meantime, we do need your help. You see, the branch line is being expanded nearby Arlesburgh and Oliver and I need your help with building the line because we have to maintain our usual jobs and you all will be responsible…"

But as Duck was talking, Timothy looked over to his right and noticed something small moving and when he got a good glimpse of it, he…"Aaaaaah!!!!"

Duck and Marion jumped. "Aaaah! Who? What? Where? When? How? Why? What is it, Timothy?" gasped Marion.

"W-w-w-w-what happened to James?! He's been shrunk!" cried Timothy.

"What?" exclaimed Duck. "What are you…" Then Duck looked over and saw it was just Mike.

"I'm not James!" replied Mike huffily. "I'm Mike, and there's no need to yell, you know, and I haven't been shrunk either, thank you very much."

Timothy was puzzled, but Duck and Marion laughed. "Don't worry, Timothy," soothed Duck. "He's part of the Arlesdale Railway, and he's often like that."

Timothy was still puzzled. "The Arlesdale Railway?" he pondered.

"Yes!" puffed Marion. "This is the railway I told you and Bill and Ben about that has the magic engines. Don't you remember?"

"Well, yes I remember that," replied Timothy, "but I honestly thought you made them up."

Mike cut in. "For the last time, we are not magic!" he scoffed.

"Oh relax, Mike," came a voice, which turned out to be Rex. "I think she knows by now that we are not magical. Don't you Marion?"

"Oh ho, yes I know," chuckled Marion. "I was just teasing Mike, that's all." Mike glared.

"Ha, ha," puffed Bert, as he also rolled up. "Well, regardless of what old stuck-in-the-mud thinks, I thought that was a pretty good joke, Marion."

Timothy stared the little engines in awe. They noticed this and were curious.

"Um, hello?" puffed Rex, breaking the silence. "Who are you?"

"Huh? Oh I'm sorry," replied Timothy. "My name's Timothy. I work with Marion at the China Clay Pits."

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Timothy," said Bert. "My name is Bert."

"And mine is Rex," added Rex, "and you already know Mike here, or as you called him, James." And he and Bert giggled as Mike just scoffed. Timothy couldn't help but giggle too.

"Sorry about that, mate," puffed Timothy to Mike. "It's just at a first glance, you look very identical to an engine on our railway, called James."

"Well, I can understand that," admitted Mike. "Quite a few people say I look like him, and I'm used to it...mostly."

"Yeah," agreed Rex. "In fact, visitors say we look like other engines from your railway too. For me, people say I look like Henry."

"And for me," added Bert, "people say I look like Gordon."

Timothy laughed. "You know, that is very true. All of you look like mini versions of those three engines. It must be hard to hear that a lot, doesn't it?"

"Eh, not really," smiled Bert. "We don't mind. In fact, we often joke with people that we ARE Gordon, Henry, and James and we've been shrunk. It's actually quite funny. Most of them know we're just joking, but others actually believe us sometimes."

"Ha, ha, that does sound quite funny," chuffed Timothy. Then he suddenly got an idea. "You know, I feel like that could work on a few engines as well."

"Oh I'll bet it would," chuckled Rex. "Who do you have in mind?"

"A couple of engines Marion and I work with," replied Timothy. "They are Bill and Ben."

"Oh yes," said Bert. "We've heard of them from Duck. From what he's told us, they would believe we're Gordon, Henry, and James."

"Exactly!" said Timothy. "That's why I was wondering if you all would be willing to help us out with something.” Then Timothy told everyone what he had in mind. After he finished explaining, everyone thought about Timothy's plan.

"That does sound clever," admitted Bert.

"It could possibly work," added Rex.

"A lot could get done if it works," Mike suggested.

"Oh I'm sure it will," said Timothy confidently. "So what do you say? Are you three willing to try it?"

The three engines looked at each other, and decided. "Well, considering what you told us about Bill and Ben and if you think this will make them behave and actually get work done," said Rex, "then yes, we'll do it."

Timothy was delighted. "Excellent!" he puffed.

"But we will tell them the truth afterwards, right?" asked Bert.

"Oh yes, of course," replied Timothy. "We'll just keep this up until the construction of the line is complete, that's all."

"Well, alright then," said Mike. "When they get here, we'll show them."

"Great! Thank you everyone!" said Timothy. "I'm sure this will all work out and everything will be alright."

"You're welcome, Timothy," replied the three little engines, and they went back to work.

Marion and Duck stayed behind with Timothy to talk to him about the plan.

"So? What do you two think?" asked Timothy.

"Well, I'm not sure about this," admitted Duck. "Bill and Ben are always cheeky and making jokes, and that's kind of what they are famous for, but it would be interesting to see if this really does work. Plus, this would be a way to give them a taste of their own medicine."

"Exactly! That's what I was going for!" exclaimed Timothy. "So what do you say, Marion?"

Marion thought for a moment, then answered. "I think this is rather mean to do to them, but your plan does sound like it will help get work done and keep them in order, so I guess …yes, I'll go along with it too."

"Perfect!" said Timothy. "Now we should probably get ready though. They are likely to arrive any time now."

"That's true," said Duck. "After all this talking, they are most likely on their way now." So with that, they dispersed and set to work.

Meanwhile, Bill and Ben were on their way to the branch line, but they were still cross with Timothy.

"What was his problem earlier?" grumbled Bill. "He was acting like our incident was the worst one of all. I mean, we were just having fun, that's all. It's not like we did anything dangerous."

"Exactly," agreed Ben, "and what was that about 'maybe you two will understand the meaning of hard work and what it means to be a really useful engine'? We proved we work hard on many occasions and showed we can be really useful, so what was he getting at?"

"I don't know," puffed Bill, "but you know what I say?"

"What?" asked Ben.

"I say we teach him a lesson and pay him back for all the things he said," replied Bill cheekily.

"Yes," agreed Ben. "Let's do it." And they continued on, sniggering.

Soon the twins arrived at Arlesburgh West and there waiting for them was Timothy.

"Oh look, Ben," said Bill. "There's Mr. Stick-in-the-Mud."

"Yes, I see him," replied Ben. "Have anything else to say to us?" he asked Timothy.

"Not really," smiled Timothy. "Only that you two better not cause any trouble, or else…" He paused.

"'Or else' what?" asked the twins.

"Or else," continued Timothy, "you two might get cursed."

"Cursed?" the twins looked at each other, and burst out laughing.

"What kind of silly nonsense are you playing at, Timothy?" chuckled Bill.

"Yeah," added Ben chuckling as well. "I mean, what are you saying? That some wizard will appear and curse us if we misbehave? Ha! What a load of rubbish! Even we wouldn't believe that for a second!"

Timothy smirked. "Oh really? Not even if there was proof before your very eyes?" And he looked over to his left.

Bill and Ben looked as well, and then saw the three little engines, and gasped.

"What the…?!" exclaimed Ben. "Are they…"

"Gordon? Henry? And James?" added Bill. "MINIATURIZED?!"

"Yes," replied Timothy. "Remember those magic engines that Marion told you about?"

"Well, yes," replied Bill, "but we didn't think they were real nor they would be Gordon, Henry, and James."

"Well now you know it's true," replied Timothy, "and that's not all. Apparently, they must remain like this…forever."

Bill and Ben went pale in the face. "Really?" whimpered Ben. "B-b-b-but for what a-a-and why?"

"For being naughty and mischievous and not following the rules," replied Rex mournfully, though he was really just pretending to be Henry.

"You three?" exclaimed Bill. "But you never cause trouble. What could you have possibly done to be turned into little engines?"

"Well, if you must know," replied Rex, "I've been punished for refusing to go out in the rain again and I was so bad this time, that Sir Topham Hatt sent me here where I was shrunken for life." The twins stared.

"And for me," added Bert, pretending to be Gordon, "I was going too fast again so Sir Topham Hatt gave me the duties of pulling trucks, but I refused to take them. I argued with him saying I wouldn't but we argued so much, that he lost his patience and sent me here as well."

"And lastly for me," said Mike, pretending to be James, "I was showing off my smart, red paint again and Sir Topham Hatt grew so cross with me, he sent me here and I've been punished as well. So now I'm here, stuck pulling these dreadful, dirty cars for coaches." Bill and Ben were amazed, and rather frightened.

"B-but how w-were you all turned into little engines?" asked Bill. "I-is there really a-a wizard around here that did that?"

"Yes," replied Mike, "and he goes by the name…of Fergus Duncan." Bill and Ben jumped.

"F-F-F-Fergus Duncan?!" exclaimed Ben, then he paused. "That sounds like a funny name for a wizard."

"Shhhhh!!!!" hissed Rex. "You better not let him hear that, or else he may just curse you and have you enslaved like the rest of us on the Arlesdale Railway, the railway of eternal punishment." Bill and Ben remained absolutely silent.

"So you see you two?" asked Timothy. "Unless you want to be turned into little engines, you may want to be on your best behavior while you are working here and not cause any trouble whatsoever. Understand?"

"Yes, yes, very clear," replied Bill hastily.

"Yes, indeed," agreed Ben nervously. "Absolutely and positively clear. We'll be very good, you can count on us."

"Good," said Timothy. "I'm glad to hear it. Now I believe your first job is to take this line of ballast up to the construction site. Think you two can make it there in time?"

"Yes, absolutely," said Bill, hurryingly buffering up to the back of the train.

"Yes, yes," said Ben, racing to the front. "We'll get it there in no time at all. No need to tell us twice."

"Excellent," said Timothy. "Thank you, Bill and Ben."

"Don't mention it, Timothy," said Bill. "We'll see you later." And then he and Ben quickly hurried out of the yard and heading for the construction site.

"Well," puffed Bert, after the twins were gone. "They really believed everything. Looks like your plan will work after all, Timothy."

"See? I told you," puffed Timothy. "As long as they believe you three are Gordon, Henry, and James, they will work hard and the construction will be done in no time."

"You know, you're right Timothy," puffed Mike. "The more they keep believing all of this, the more they will definitely be a big help."

"Just as long as nothing happens that could possibly ruin the whole joke, though," added Rex. "I mean, what if something happens that reveals to Bill and Ben that we are not the three big engines?"

"Don't worry, Rex," soothed Timothy. "I'm sure everyone involved with this won't reveal anything to them. Plus, we are rather far from most of the other engines, so chances of them finding out about this and telling Bill and Ben are highly unlikely."

"Well you do have some points there, Timothy," admitted Rex. "I guess we just have to hope nothing spoils the joke."

"Oh, calm yourself, Rex," huffed Mike. "Bill and Ben will not find out any time soon. We just have to pretend we are our respective engines and that's all. Also, from what I've heard about your engine, you're doing a pretty good Henry, considering you're worrying so much."

Rex snorted. "And you could be more like James and say you like coaches and taking passengers," he retorted. "That ought to be a challenge for you."

Mike squirmed. "Fair point," he muttered meekly, and everyone laughed.

Meanwhile, Bill and Ben were puffing hurriedly along the line, determined not to be cursed.

"Hurry Bill," called Ben. "We don't want to be late."

"I'm moving, I'm moving," huffed Bill. "Keep your pistons on."

Just then Duck passed by. "Hello you two!" he whistled.

"Sorry Duck," called Ben. "Can't talk right now. We have work to do."

"Yes, and trying not to get into trouble, or cursed for that matter," added Bill.

"What?" puffed Duck. "What are you…" But Bill and Ben were already gone. Duck was surprised. "Well, looks like Timothy's plan is working," he thought. "I've never seen those two work so fast." He paused, and chuckled slightly. "This might work after all."

At the construction site, Marion was there clear a way for the rails to be put down. She was a little unsure of Timothy's plan when she heard the sounds of Bill and Ben.

"Phew," sighed Bill. "We made it."

"And on time too," puffed Ben thankfully. "Oh hello, Marion."

"Hello you two," said Marion. "Glad to see you've made it, and rather early as a matter of fact."

"Really? Early?" said Ben. "Well, that's great to hear. Looks like we're doing pretty good already, right Bill?"

"Yes, definitely," agreed Bill. "Just have to keep this up all week, and there won't be any trouble at all."

Marion squirmed at this. "So I take it Timothy informed you two about the curse?"

"Yes," replied Ben nervously. "He told us everything."

"About poor Gordon, Henry, and James being turned into mini-engines and being stuck that way for the rest of their lives," added Bill. "It's such a shame."

"Yes, indeed," puffed Marion, who thought the twins were being silly.

"We also really did not believe you were serious about magic engines being around here, Marion," added Ben, "because no offense, you come up with the strangest ideas sometimes and ones that tend to be silly, but we know now you were telling the truth and we take back what we said before."

This got Marion's attention, and she was insulted. "Well, it's a good thing you admitted that," she puffed, "because otherwise I would have to tell the wizard about you two being rude to others, and you don't want me to do that, do you?"

"No! No! Please no, Marion!" cried the twins. "We're honestly sorry for saying that! Whatever you say, we'll believe it!"

"That's right, you better," said Marion sternly, "and you'd better watch yourself for the next few weeks, or else that wizard will have no trouble turning you two into tiny, little bees. POOF!"

The twins jumped. Then the construction foreman arrived. "There's some rails and sleepers coming in from Arlesburgh Harbour," he said. "Bill and Ben, I need you two to go and collect them."

"Yes sir, right away sir," replied the twins. "We're on our way." And they hurried off. The foreman was surprised, but was pleased they were on their way.

Marion thought for a moment. "You know, perhaps this will be fun after all," she thought to herself. "Keeping those two in line and having them believe all of this might actually help with everything. Timothy's plan, or rather joke, is actually perfect. Ha! Ha!," she chuckled. "Seems like instead of the joke being on everyone, the joke's on them! Anyone else agree?" But no one was listening. "Oh well, at least I'm the one who said it first," she muttered.

Soon everyone was hard at work and Bill and Ben were extra careful about what they did. They collected every material that was needed for the construction and got them to their destination without any trouble. In fact, after the first few days, because of them believing Timothy's warnings, work on the construction of Duck's Branch Line was getting done sooner than expected.

Timothy was pleased and even Marion was impressed. "Well Timothy," she puffed. "I must admit, your plan is certainly working out after all. I've never seen those two work so fast and so hard, and for three straight days too."

Timothy chuckled. "I told you this would work," he puffed. "As long as they keep believing that the three little engines are the three big engines, they will work harder and everything will be done in no time. And who knows: maybe they will remain this way this way from now on."

"Well, I wouldn't count on that, Timothy," warned Marion. "A joke can only go so far until it gets ruined. They're likely going to find out about this sooner or later."

"Well, like I said,” huffed Timothy, “we'll tell them the truth after the construction is over. So it won't be going on for the rest of their life."

"Well, alright Timothy," sighed Marion. "I just hope you know what you're doing."

"Oh I am," replied Timothy. "I know exactly what I'm doing." And then he went back to work, leaving Marion to think for a while.

Meanwhile, news about Bill and Ben spread down the line, for Duck was telling Gordon, Henry, and James about the trick that he and the other engines were playing on the twins.

"So they think the Arlesdale engines are us?" asked Henry.

"And they are worried that they will be turned into mini engines if they misbehave?" added James.

"Yep, that's correct," replied Duck.

Gordon burst out laughing. "Oh, I must say. Even though I'm not the one for jokes, this is the perfect one to play on those two engines. They certainly deserve it for being such little demons."

"Well I don't know," puffed Henry. "It seems like it's a little mean to do to them. I mean, they're harmless really, and it's not like they try to hurt others."

"Huh, says you," huffed Gordon. "I think this joke will size them up and teach them a thing or two about respect and being really useful."

"Well, I wouldn't stick with that if I were you, Gordon," advised Duck. "According to Timothy, after the construction on my line is finished, he's planning on telling Bill and Ben the truth."

"What? He can't do that!" exclaimed Gordon. "They'll just go back to their old mischievious selves and wreck havoc again!"

"Oh relax, Gordon," huffed James. "You're just worried that they might finally push you into the sea."

"I am not!" hissed Gordon.

"Well, whatever happens," Duck cut in, "just don't go near Bill and Ben for now. If they find out about all of this before construction is done, who knows what will happen."

"Don't worry, Duck," said Henry. "We're too big to go on your branch line anyway, so there won't be any trouble with that."

"Good," said Duck. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to my branch line." And he puffed away.

"Well, you two might be too big to go up there," boasted James, "but I'm light enough to go. So seems like you two will miss all the fun."

"What are you saying James?" asked Gordon.

"I'm saying I want to see this for myself," replied James.

"But if you do, then Bill and Ben will know it was a trick all along," warned Henry.

"Don't worry," huffed James. "I'll stay hidden and they won't even see me. Nothing will happen." And he puffed away, heading for Duck's Branch Line.

"Hmph, so he says," muttered Gordon.

Back at Arlesburgh West, Bill and Ben were loading ballast trucks and getting them ready to take to the construction site.

"Here you go, Bill and Ben," called Mike.

"Thank you, James," called the twins.

"You know, you might be smaller than usual, but you still prove to be really useful," puffed Bill.

"Oh why thank you," puffed Mike. "I certainly do work hard, you know. I think I work best when I'm taking cars and not passengers."

Bill and Ben were puzzled. "Really?" asked Ben. "We thought you always liked taking passengers."

Mike quickly realized his mistake. "Oh right, well…" he stammered, "I've been working on this line for so long, that I've gotten used to taking cars more than passengers, that's all."

Bill and Ben looked at each other, and shrugged. "Well I guess that makes sense," puffed Ben.

"Oh it does," replied Mike. "You two will understand sometime."

At that moment, James secretly arrived and was hiding, listening to the conversation. "Oh this ought to be a treat," he thought to himself.

"So James," asked Bill. "Do you think you will ever like taking passengers again?"

Mike squirmed at this. "Ummmm, possibly," he said slowly. "I mean, I've grown to like taking cars a lot and there are so many benefits of doing so."

"Like what?" asked the twins.

"Well, for one thing, they don't complain all the time," remarked Mike, "and for another, they don't cause you to be late either. So the way I see, taking cars is so much better than taking passengers any day."

James heard all of this, and was cross. "I would never say anything like that!" he blurted out.

Mike, Bill and Ben all looked back, and saw James.

"James?!" exclaimed the twins.

"Uh-oh," said James meekly.

The twins were speechless. "But how can there be two of you?" cried Bill. "Is there more magic that we don't know about?"

"Well, um, you see, uh…," said Mike, trying to come up with an excuse. "There's this, uh…"

"Oh give it up, Mike," said Rex who was nearby. "There's no point in pretending anymore."

"What?" puffed Bill. "What do you mean 'pretend'?"

"Rex, what are you doing?" whispered Mike hastily. "You're ruining the plan."

"Then we might as well ruin it all together," said Rex. "Bill and Ben, we have something to tell you. We are not Gordon, Henry, and James. We are different engines from them. My real name is Rex, his real name is Mike, and the other engine's name is Bert. Also, there really is no magic around here either."

Bill and Ben were shocked. "You played a trick on us?" said Ben.

"But why would you do that?" asked Bill. “What did we do to you?”

"Well to be honest," said Mike, "it wasn't our idea. It was your friend, Timothy's."

"Timothy?!" exclaimed the twins.

"Yes," sighed Rex. "He wanted to do this to try and keep you two in order while you helped with the construction."

"And from what he's been telling us," added Mike, "it was a way to teach you guys a lesson about misbehaving and being cheeky."

"Oh," murmured Bill. "He said that, did he?"

"Yes," replied Rex, "and we're very sorry for playing the trick on you. We hope you're not too mad at us."

The twins thought for a moment, then answered. "Well, since you apologized, you three are alright," admitted Bill. Rex and Mike were pleased.

"However," added Ben, "we need to talk to a certain little blue, oil-burning bully and teach him a little lesson."

"What?!" cried Rex.

"Come on, Ben," said Bill. "Let's go and find him." And with that, Bill and Ben huffed away to find Timothy.

"Wait, you two!" yelled Rex. "Stop! Whatever you're planning may not be the best idea!" And he started chasing after the twins.

Mike and James were left alone. "Now about you and your dislike of passengers," hissed James.

"Oh don't even start with me," huffed Mike. "I like what I want and you like what you want, so there." And the two began arguing.

Bill and Ben were still finding Timothy as Rex tried to keep up with them.

"Listen you two," he called. "Getting back at him will only make things worse. Please don't do it!"

"Oh don't worry," said Bill. "We won't do anything bad."

"Yep. We'll just talk with him," added Ben.

"I'm not convinced," said Rex. The twins rolled their eyes.

The three engines puffed into the town of Arlesburgh and up on the bridges. Just then, they saw Timothy up ahead pulling flatbeds of rails and sleepers.

The twins sneered. "What do you say, Ben?" said Bill.

"I say let's do it," replied Ben.

And then without warning, Bill and Ben charged forward. "Stop!" cried Rex, but it was no use.

Bill and Ben charged into Timothy's train and made him jerk forward.

"Ow! Hey!" yelled Timothy.

"Take that!" said Bill.

"Yeah, serves you right for tricking us!" added Ben.

But then there was trouble. The twins were unaware that the points were not set correctly and Timothy was going down the track that led to the sea. Timothy saw this and tried to apply his brakes, the flatbeds were too heavy.

"Help!" he wailed. "I can't stop!"

Duck had just arrived and didn't see Timothy.

"Look out Duck!" cried Timothy.

Duck stopped just in time as Timothy plummeted by. "Bust my buffers! What's going on?" gasped Duck.

Then there was trouble again. Timothy braked as hard as he could, but he plunged into the sea. Luckily no one was hurt, but poor Timothy was derailed and very wet.

Bill and Ben were worried. "Oh no," said Bill.

"What will Sir Topham Hatt say?" groaned Ben.

"He's not going to be happy, I can tell you that," said Rex. And he was right.

When help came to get Timothy out of the sea, Sir Topham Hatt was very cross.

"Bill and Ben!" he scolded. "I heard how well you two have been working all week and now, all of a sudden, you think it's a good idea to push another engine into the sea? Ooooh, what am I going to do with you."

"We're very sorry, sir," apologized Bill. "We never meant to push Timothy into the sea."

"But he played a mean joke on us and made us think that we would be shrunk if we misbehaved," protested Ben.

"What?" exclaimed Sir Topham Hatt. "What are on earth on you two talking about? You're not trying to make up another excuse, are you?"

"No sir, we're being honest," pleaded the twins.

Sir Topham Hatt eyed the twins, then he turned to Timothy. "Is this true, Timothy?" he asked.

Timothy sighed. "Yes, sir. It's true. I made Bill and Ben think that the Arlesdale engines were smaller versions of Gordon, Henry, and James. I told them if they misbehaved, they would be shrunk into smaller versions of themselves as well and remain that way for the rest of their lives."

Sir Topham Hatt was very surprised. "But why would you do that, Timothy? It's not like you to play tricks on other engines."

"Well, to be honest, sir," admitted Timothy sadly, "I did it so that they would work hard and so they would stop being so mischievious all the time."

Sir Topham Hatt pondered. "Well, I can understand that they were getting on your nerves, Timothy, but that is no reason to play on a trick them just to get them to behave. Let me do that for you."

"Yes sir," replied Timothy shamefully.

"Now I think you owe Bill and Ben an apology, don't you think so?" Sir Topham Hatt asked Timothy.

"Yes I do sir," replied Timothy, and he turned to Bill and Ben. "I'm very sorry for playing that trick on you two. I was just getting so fed up with your cheeky behavior and I was trying to find a way to make you two stop. But I see now, it is better to let you two be yourselves and not try to change who you are."

Bill and Ben smiled. "And we're sorry for bumping you into the sea," said Bill. "We were just mad at you and we should have known better than to do that."

"Very good," said Sir Topham Hatt. "Now, can I trust you all to behave and NOT play anymore tricks for the rest of the week?"

"Yes sir," replied the three engines.

"Excellent," said Sir Topham Hatt, "and I don't want to hear anymore nonsense about magical shrinking engines or whatever, because I have a friend who can actually perform magic and he won't hesitate to teach you all a lesson."

Everyone gasped. "Really sir?" they asked.

"No! I'm just teasing!" chuckled Sir Topham Hatt, and everyone couldn't help but laugh.

A little later, Bill and Ben took Timothy to the Steamworks to be repaired. Along the way, the twins spoke to Timothy.

"Say Timothy," said Bill. "I know it's a few days old, but Ben and I want to say that we're sorry for what we said to you back at the clay pits about not having fun."

"Yes," agreed Ben. "We were just mad that you said we weren't really useful."

"That's alright you two," replied Timothy. "Like I said, I was mad at you that day. I know you two can be really useful and work hard, and you certainly proved that the past few days."

"Thank you, Timothy," said the twins.

"And you know what else?" added Bill. "You actually can be fun after all."

Timothy chuckled. "Thank you, Bill," he smiled. "I take it that means you liked my joke?"

"Well, not exactly since you played it on us," admitted Bill.

"But we do have to admit it was a rather clever one that even we would not have come up with," finished Ben. "So yes, pretty good joke, Timothy."

"Oh thank you, guys," puffed Timothy.

"You know, if you want to," added Bill, "you could try doing that more often."

Timothy frowned. "Um, after what happened today, I think I'll wait a while to try it again."

Bill and Ben laughed. "We were just teasing, Timothy," chuckled Ben.

"Yes," said Bill. "Like you said, it's better to be yourselves and not try to change you are, and we certainly agree."

Then Timothy laughed as well. "That's right you two, and let's keep it that way. Agreed?"

"Most definitely!" agreed the twins.

Just then, they heard a commotion and saw James and Mike were still arguing.

"Passengers are cleaner than cars!" protested James.

"Not if they leave their filth in the coaches!" rebutted Mike.

"Ooooh," hissed James. "You are a stubborn engine, aren't you?"

"Not as stubborn as you, apparently," retorted Mike. This made James even crosser.

Bill, Ben, and Timothy looked at each other, and just laughed, and they continued on their way feeling pleased that they were friends once again.




  • References to the second season television episode, Wrong Road, and the television special, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, are made in this episode.
  • This episode marks Bill, Ben, and Marion's only speaking roles and Timothy's only appearance in this season of The Many Adventures on the Island of Sodor.


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