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Whistles and Sneezes

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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 commenting on Henry's whistling

Whistles and Sneezes is the twentieth episode of the first season. It first aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episode Achoo in 1991 and re-aired in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Paint the Town Red in 1996.


One morning, soon after Henry has returned from Crewe in his new shape, Gordon is jealous that Henry now gets to pull the express and complains that he never needed a new shape. He also claims that Henry whistles too loudly in stations, saying that "it isn't wrong, but we just don't do it." For the first time since he got back, Henry stops feeling happy and is hurt at these words.

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 far-off and continuous whistle can be heard much to the engines joint confusion. It turns out to be Gordon, who flies down the hill and through the station. Edward is surprised, while Henry tells him what Gordon had said about whistling.

Gordon tears down the line, the awful noise from his whistle continuing until he reaches the last station which causes everyone, including The Fat Controller to hold their ears. Gordon leaves the express behind and is taken to some fitters who hammer his whistle back into place. Gordon sneaks home that night to an empty shed, much to his relief. As the other engines arrive back, Henry whispers that "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 don't answer but instead throw stones on him and his train, breaking the coaches' windows, which makes the passengers cross.

The passengers want to call the police but Henry's driver, however, 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 that Henry is about to sneeze.

Soon Henry approaches the bridge where the boys are waiting with stones. Judging the moment, the driver has Henry sneeze at exactly the right time, covering the boys from head to toe in soot, much to their shock.

Henry goes home satisfied knowing that, thanks to a whistle and a sneeze, he was able to teach Gordon and the boys a lesson they will not quickly forget.




  • This episode is based on the stories Gordon's Whistle and Henry's Sneeze from The Railway Series book Henry the Green Engine.
  • Stock footage from Coal and The Flying Kipper is used.
  • When Gordon leaves Knapford, music can be heard in the US and international versions but not in the UK dub.
  • This is the only episode of the first season that isn't re-narrated by Ringo Starr in the US.


  • Because stock footage is used, Henry is in his old shape in a close-up of himself before reaching the bridge. Also, his coaches disappear in this shot.
  • 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 emphasise 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 clearly seen hanging over the line where Henry could just run into it at the right moment.
  • In the wide shot of Henry puffing towards the bridge the second time, he's not moving for the first couple of seconds.
  • In the shot of Gordon going down his hill, his wheels are moving slower than he is.
  • In the shots of Gordon entering and leaving Knapford, nobody is holding their ears even though the narrator says they are.
  • In the unrestored version, when Henry sneezes, a bush near the bridge changes shape. The restored version shows Henry with his wincing face as he's 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.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Silbatos y Estornudos Whistles and Sneezes
Norwegian Fløyter og nys Whistles and Sneezes
German Pfeifen und Niesen Pipes and Sneezing
Japanese きてきとクシャミ Whistles and Sneezes
Finnish Vislauksuia ja Aivastuksia Whistles and Sneezes
Welsh Gollwng Stêm Steam Leak
French Sifflements et éternuements Wheezing and Sneezing
Croatian Zviždanje i Kihanje Whistling and Sneezing
Danish Med et fløjt og et nys With a Whistle and a Sneeze
Russian Свистуны и чихуны Whistleblowers and Sneezes
Ukrainian Свист і чхання Whistling and Sneezing
Italian Fischi e Starnuti Whistles and Sneezes
Hungarian Füttyszó és Tüsszentés Whistle and Sneeze
Czech Hvízdání a kýchání Whistling and Sneezing
Slovenian Piskanje in kihanje Wheezing and Sneezing
Chinese 鸣笛和打喷嚏 Whistle and Sneezing
Korean 기적소리와 재채기 Sneezing Whistles
Romanian Fluierături şi Strănuturi Whistles and Sneezing
Slovak Pískanie a kýchanie Wheeze and Sneeze
Polish Gwizdanie i Kichanie Whistling and Sneezing
Swedish Vissla och Nys Whistling and Sneezing
Serbian Zviždanje i kijanje Whistling and Sneezing
Brazilian Portuguese Apitos e Janeals Whistles and Sneezing
Thai เฮนรี่จาม Henry Cham
Hebrew שריקות והתעטשויות Whistles and Sneezes

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