Thomas the Tank Engine is described as being a cheeky, fussy engine. He often gets into scrapes, usually by being over eager to do things best left to bigger and more sensible engines. But clouds never last long in Thomas' life and he is soon bustling about again, playing his part in the yard and on his very own branch line, of which he is extremely proud.
He loves teasing the others, especially the bigger engines, such as Gordon and on occasion brags about his superiority, but is always brought down to earth in due course by anyone willing to correct him, especially the Fat Controller and his two coaches, Annie and Clarabel. If Thomas has one major character flaw, it is that he is forgetful and rather impatient. However, he is also optimistic, idealistic and altruistic with a heart of gold.
A friend to all engines and a popular member of the Fat Controller’s Railway, Thomas is No.1 and does his best every day to live up to that through helping his friends and those that he cares about. He lives to be a Really Useful Engine and encourages everyone else to do the same. He likes to be better than James and Bertie in races. He can, however, also get annoyed about being useful such as the time when Rosie followed him around because she idolised him so much.
Despite all this, he does have his pride, and will sometimes take wrong advice at the wrong time - such as from Ace or Sailor John, as well as refusing help even when he needs it.
Why He's Really Useful
- His personality trait as a tank engine who wants to see the world, but is always fussy and cheeky is quite an excellent concept put together.
- He is very optimistic, kind, cheeky and hard-working.
- He is a character everyone can relate to, a lot judging by the Railway Series and the television series.
- He is a very famous iconic character because of his colour/color, livery, and the number one.
- His wish from Season 1 had come true when he went on an adventure to go around the world in S22 and "Big World! Big Adventures!".
- His branch line is the most worthy fit for the North Western Railway.
- His popularity lead him to sorts of things like him getting an American spin-off, having his own balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2014, having him his own Robot Chicken sketch in 2012, and making his debut in the 2015 Marvel film, "Ant Man".
- Made many friends with international engines such as Ashima, Nia, Gina, Rajiv, Yong Bao, Beau, Sam, etc.
- His iconic friendship between him and Percy.
- He is very caring for many of the engines like Nia, Edward, Henry, Rebecca, Emily, James, Molly, Gordon, Rosie, Stepney, Duck, Percy, Toby, Daisy, Ryan, and the list goes on. And he is also especially caring and respectful with the Fat Controller.
- His design is true to the original E2 classes, and his model for the TV show is beautifully made.
- He loves his coaches Annie and Clarabel very much and shows very great care with them, too.
- Overtime, he grew more mature as the series went on.
- His theme tune from S1-7 and "The Adventure Begins" hold true to his personality.
- He knows when to call out on an engine if either being immature or when being stubborn.
- His teal green colour/color in "The Adventure Begins" makes him look great in green.
- His voice roles for both dubs in the UK and the US sound quite like his character, though Martin T. Sherman has the best voice role for Thomas out of all of them.
- His first line: "Wake up lazybones, why don't you work hard like me"?
- His Nitrogen Studios, Arc Productions, and Jam Filled CGI models look spectacular.
- He got flanderized terribly during S12-16. In these seasons, we went from a cheeky and fussy, yet optimistic protagonist to a moronic idiot and complete brain dead airhead who screws everything up one time too many, and never listens to any directions he is given by Sir Topham Hatt or the other engines.
- Similar with Ash Ketchum, he too has done stupid things in the following examples:
- In Season 7's "What's the Matter With Henry?", Thomas and Percy don't believe that Henry is sick, and both engines ask the yard manager at the coaling plant to give Henry more trucks. To be fair, this was an episode made during the Britt and David era's last lakes, and of course we do see both acting cheeky like in the Railway Series and the first two seasons.
- He was at his absolute worst in "Wonky Whistle", where he leaves the Steamworks too early to have his whistle fixed after he has to do a special job to pick up a trailer of animals to go to the country show, not to mention, he almost injured a workman trying to fit the whistle onto him, and he nearly rips a man's hand off when he has to close the door properly. Jesus! Thomas was never that impatient before, and of course, he never gets punished or told off for that, even after realizing his whistle is wonky and even when the animals escape from the van to how horrible his whistle sounds.
- "Saved You!" was an episode from Season 12 that ruined and destroyed the image of what made Thomas the Tank Engine a great character and turned him to a total idiot who screws everything up to his own benefits (which is not the kind of character he was). His own ways of being a hero of all things have really made him act completely and unnecessarily stupid. One example in the same episode is when he notices a water tower being lowered down onto Duck's flatbed, he really thinks Duck would get hit badly by the loose water tower if it was going to fall on him, but actually, it turns out Duck was having Rocky lower the tower onto his flatbed because the tower was setting loose.
- In "Misty Island Rescue", Thomas believing his fact that he makes only good decisions because Sir Topham Hatt told him after rescuing Diesel made him go his own way of him being selfish to the point he thinks what he does is good enough for him, refuses to help the Logging Locos when they needed to make oil in order to make steam, and he in this film makes bad decisions and doesn't seem to care that much about the other engines. Well, telling Diesel he will never be useful because of his appearance is one thing, but this is his pride we're talking about. Don't forget he also says a lot of crap rhymes like "I make good decisions that's what I was told, I will not be fearful, I'll be brave and bold". In fact, that saying does not make Thomas look good, instead it makes him more hypocritical and arrogant whenever he says this. Even if he was wrong in the end, the portrayal he was given was very inexcusable.
- In "Day of the Diesels", when he was talking to Belle, he gives her the negative, but racist impression that all diesels are devious considering that in the same film, there were friendly diesels like Den, Dart, Mavis, and Salty. Also, he ignores Percy for no reason, even when he is doing nothing. Yes, Percy believing Thomas isn't his friend anymore because of him interacting with Belle and Flynn is very silly, but the way Thomas is with Percy is very neglectful. Also, for one moment, he tells Percy to find Flynn's hose, but after Percy didn't manage to find the hose Flynn needed to put out fires, Percy comes back him and Thomas asks him "where he has been" during the scene where Flynn stays at Tidmouth Sheds in Percy's spot. So much for him and Percy being "best friends" of all things.
- In the infamous "Thomas and the New Engine", not only he has called Neville out for being friends with diesels (which that reason counts as railway racism), he calls out Neville for pulling both his favorite coaches. Really, Thomas. You agreed to the Fat Controller you were to warn the other engines not to cross a broken bridge! How can you be such an a**hole over that?! Not to mention, the way it is came off as completely mean spirited, and these reasons to antagonize Neville and to throw out rumors about Neville is a real big low in the model era for Thomas. Worst of all, he never got punished in the end for it despite him telling Neville he was wrong. Even if you admitted to your mistake, he would have his branch line taken away and be left in the shed a whole month for that.
3. His basis was not very useful in real life.
- Thomas was the first character introduced in the TV series, with Edward being the "real" first character introduced in the Railway Series books.
- Thomas was the first Railway Series character to have a number. According to Brian Sibley, Awdry used the number one because it was the easiest to draw.
- Christopher Awdry lost the original Thomas toy when he was in the United States. However, it was recreated in 2015 for a 70th anniversary sizzle. The second version of the original toy was made as a thank you gift by Michael White.
- Thomas' LBSC number, 70, was actually carried by a real LB&SCR locomotive, an A1 named "Poplar" currently preserved by the Kent & East Sussex Railway. The number also represents the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series.
- According to The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt on the 2001 Official Website, Thomas was given his name by the engine workshop which built him.
- A Wooden Railway toy of Thomas along with one of Stepney's appeared in the second series of The Big Bang Theory in the thirteenth episode, The Friendship Algorithm.
- Following Mr. Conductor in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Thomas became the second character to narrate in first-person.
- Thomas' red lining on his bunker was absent after season three until "The Adventure Begins".