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“Well Oliver, so you don't know your own strength, is that it?"
"N-n-no, sir.”
―The Fat Controller and Oliver

Toad Stands By is the twentieth episode of the fourth season. It first aired in the US on the Shining Time Station special One of the Family in 1995 and re-aired in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Wildlife in 1996.


Oliver returns from the works after an earlier incident with the trucks that accidentally pushed him into the turntable well. Oliver seems as good as new but is worried about the trucks, thinking that he would rather not use them. The trucks, prompted by their ringleader, S.C. Ruffey, sing a rude song to spite him. Thomas, Percy and Duck are shocked and angrily order them to be quiet, but since they can't be everywhere at once, the trucks just continue singing where they aren't.

Toad, fearing that the matter may escalate, asks Douglas to speak with Oliver and gives him an idea. Oliver, feeling a sense of responsibility after what the trucks did to him previously, agrees with Toad. Following Toad's advice, Oliver handles the worst trucks two by two so he can handle S.C. Ruffey last. Oliver soon shunts S.C. Ruffey and his lieutenants and prepares to pull them, but S.C. Ruffey whispers to the trucks to hold back and they do. Oliver, however, is determined and simply pulls S.C. Ruffey apart, much to the horror of the other trucks and the delight of Duck and Toad.

The Fat Controller arrives and scrutinizes the remains, he attributes it to S.C. Ruffey's poor build due to material fatigue and design flaw and decides to have him repaired. Sometime later, the trucks become fearful of Oliver and whisper to each other not to anger him. S.C. Ruffey, who is now repaired, wisely remains silent.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Oliver the Western Engine.
  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-third episode of the fourth season.
  • Despite being aired and produced after Bulgy, it actually takes place before it.
  • This is S.C. Ruffey's only appearance, aside from a deleted scene in Horrid Lorry; his face was also reused for many other trucks in the fifth season.
  • Stock footage from Oliver Owns Up is used.
  • This is the fourth time where Douglas appears without Donald, the first being in Escape, the second being in Rusty to the Rescue and the third being in Thomas and Stepney
  • At the beginning of the episode, the scrapyard Oliver passes is really the Skarloey Railway Engine Sheds set redressed with scrap models of Thomas, Gordon, and Donald and Douglas.
  • Oliver no longer has a Brooklyn accent in the American narration.
  • In the Japanese and Italian narrations, the trucks' voices are still in English.
  • This is the only time tankers have faces until The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor. The faces are the same ones used on the Skarloey Railway's slate trucks.
  • The song sang from the trucks when Oliver arrives at the yard has the same tune of Pop Goes the Diesel.
  • Unlike all the other episodes based on the Railway Series adaptions, Thomas, Percy, and Duck angrilly say "Be quiet!" in this one, but that's not what they said to stop the troublesome trucks from being rude to Oliver as they actually said "Shut up!" in the original Railway Series story. This change occured since the production teams and script writers were probably accused of using a vulger/offensive phrase after the end of the second season's production.
  • The loud crashing sound effect heard when S.C. Ruffey falls apart has also been used in several other episodes, notably in the fifth season episode, Rusty and the Boulder, when Boulder damages the sheds at the yards, and in a few New Series episodes up until the twelfth season episode, Mountain Marvel.
  • This episode marks Oliver and Toad's only speaking roles in the fourth season and Toad's first speaking role in the television series.


  • In a close-up of the trucks singing, one truck has a broken buffer.
  • Before the trucks start singing, there are two trucks in-between Duck and Thomas. However when the trucks stop singing and are told to be quiet, they disappear.
  • Toad asks Douglas if he can work with Oliver, even though Oliver did not give Toad to Douglas after his escape in the TV series like he did in the Railway Series. This error is due to the fact that much of the episode's script is copied word-for-word from the original story.
  • When the trucks are singing, a spider can be seen crawling a van before the close-up of Duck.
  • When Oliver stops after going in between two rows of trucks, in one shot he is stopped just before two vans on either side, but then in the next shot he is between the two vans on either side.
  • When Oliver says "It's really my fault... I shouldn't have fallen in the turntable well," Henry's trucks wobble and then derail.
  • Douglas has Duck's whistle sound when he agrees to Toad's plan. At the end of the episode, Douglas has a different whistle sound.
  • In the close-up shots of Oliver when he is talking to Duck and Toad, plastic bases can be seen under his driver and fireman's feet.
  • When Oliver starts pulling the trucks, S.C. Ruffey is right next to Toad, but in the head-on shot of him groaning, he is several metres ahead of Toad.
  • When S.C. Ruffey collapses, his axles disappear.
  • Sir Topham Hatt who speaks to Oliver and looks all over S.C. Ruffey does not have any eyebrows.
  • In the American narration, when Oliver says "N-n-no, sir," George Carlin accidentally says "said" twice.
  • S.C. Ruffey, at the end of the episode, has two chains on his hook.
  • At Arlesburgh, a tanker's frame is tilted.
  • James has a different whistle sound.


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  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • The Complete Series 4

DVD Boxsets


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories


  • Thomas and Stepney (Norwegian VHS)












DVD Boxsets