Thomas the colonialist tank engine and Sodor the capitalist nightmare

I hate Thomas the Tank Engine. I hate it. I think Thomas is a naïve arrogant asshole who sacrifices other trains to further his career and suck up to the Fat Controller. Sodor is quite frankly a capitalist nightmare. Trains are sent to the scrapyard if they’re not Useful. And we all know what that means – it means they’re executed. They execute workers who don’t work hard enough! Anyone who isn’t Very Useful is goneburger. There are no unions in Sodor that’s for sure. And that’s not even the most fucked thing about Sodor either. Don’t get me started on how lacking the representation of women is on the show. The women trains are actually girl carriages. You don’t need to have a masters in gender studies to read between the lines on that one. Either they have no personality (Daisy) or they spend all their time giggling and chasing after Thomas and the other dudebro engines nagging them (Annie and Clarabelle). I feel like there’s a weird subtext about lady trains and that time of the month as well but I’m very tired and certainly not very useful right now.

What about Hiro? Poor Hiro was taken as a slave. He dreams of his homeland. But when he’s too old to work anymore, after a lifetime of service, do you think his “owners” will let him go home? Hell no! Coz this is Sodor and life on Sodor is an endless grind of working until you die. You’re Helpful or you create Confusion and Delay and you’re dead. Hiro ends up wasting away in the damn forest! But this is a better fate than being slaughtered by Topham Industries AKA The Government. Thomas finds him and of course Thomas dobs him in to “help” him get back to his home. Thomas signed Hiro’s death warrant and he didn’t even realise because he can’t see beyond his white privilege. He doesn’t know that one day he won’t be useful anymore. And ain’t nobody going to save him then.

I especially hate Thomas the Tank Engine because my son loves it because somebody bought him one train and that was it. It’s like an addiction. It’s toddler crack. And he can’t say “Thomas the Tank Engine” he says “Thomas the Asian” and when we are out IN PUBLIC he yells at me to get him an Asian. Or he yells “WE-AHS MY ASIAN MUMA” and I have to really loudly yell “I don’t know where your ENGINE is. Maybe your ENGINE is in the car. No I won’t buy you another ENGINE”. And someone one day will buy your child a Thomas train and that train won’t fit on the tracks you have. And the tracks you have won’t go with the other tracks someone will buy you. And you will have eight different tracks that don’t go together and you will need a second mortgage to actually build just one figure eight track and have the trains to go with it.


I hate Jeff from the Wiggles. Fuck you Jeff. Why are you always sleeping. You don’t do anything. Do you know how much I want to sleep Jeff? But if I just go to sleep instead of looking after my kid I’ll be reported to the authorities. Do your job Jeff.

I hate Elmo. My husband keeps telling me that Elmo is three and a half and I have unrealistic expectations about his behaviour. But fuck that. Elmo is an entitled little prick. And Abby – I hate Abby. Why do the adults on Sesame Street never stop Abby from doing her “magic” when they know she will fuck it up? Why is there so little adult supervision on that street? They all pop in for a song but then they just piss off after rattling off a few numbers or some dictionary definition. Maybe hang around and actually stop Abby. She’s out of control. And stop whining Big Bird. How old are you anyway?

What is up with Mr Noodle. Just no. Why does an adult man need to be taught how to throw a ball. And why does he live in the closet of a three-and-a-half year-old’s house?!?!


Maisy, you are illogical. Why would a mouse be friends with a chicken? Why is everyone always shaming Eddie for not fitting into places. He’s a fucking elephant. What did you expect?

Rock on Scuffy the Tug Boat. Don’t let the man bring you down. They might be telling you not to chase waterfalls and to please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to but that’s because they’re classist. You have just as much right to hang out with the barges as any other boat. Keep on keeping on Scuffy.

And the worst: Love You Forever. Damn woman! Leave your kid alone. Let him sleep! When he turned nine you should have been assessing your health. It’s just not good news when you’re that fixated on your child not growing up. Getting on a bus at night and breaking into his house so you can sniff him when he’s a grown ass man? That’s NOT RIGHT. And if you had to call him to tell him you’re sick, you clearly don’t have a great relationship – and that’s probably because YOU ARE BREAKING INTO HIS HOUSE AT NIGHT AND TOUCHING HIM WHILE HE SLEEPS! And dude, I know your childhood was hardcore what with your mum creeping on you every night and not respecting your boundaries, but you need to break the cycle!

So I guess it’s just Jay’s Jungle, Play School, and Margaret Mahy books in this house.

Jay, you’re great. You just keep being a lovely, singing, handsome man. While I think it’s mildly narcissistic that the island you live on is shaped like a J, and it’s weird that your “friend” is a talking lighthouse I’m willing to let that slide because of your soft, sensuous singing voice. You keep being you Jay.

Justine and Jay - I ship them.

Justine and Jay – I ship them.

This post is dedicated to my sister who is the best person to rant to about Thomas. I love you Jo.

If this makes you angry and you want to comment all angry-like: Relax, it’s a joke, it’s meant to be a laugh…

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35 Comments on “Thomas the colonialist tank engine and Sodor the capitalist nightmare

  1. The moral lessons in Thomas are also TERRIBLE!

    What’s that Thomas, you ignored instructions AGAIN just because YOU wanted to do something and as a result put yourself and others in danger while screwing up Sir Topham Hat’s plans? Don’t worry, after you get fixed at The Works I’m sure you’ll be rewarded by getting a chance to do it all over again as if you never fucked it up in the first place!

    • You will absolutely hate Clifford the Big Red Dog then, for all the same reasons. Why that menace hasn’t had his tail-wagging arse sued off yet, I’ll never know.

  2. oh my gosh, I laughed until I nearly cried! I have the Thomas song in my head and it’s been at least 20 years since I last heard it! So I’m torn, I love you for being honest but I hate you a little for planting this terrible seed in my ears. Kidding… Kinda.

  3. Thomas the tank engine: Misty island rescue is what they play in hell, on repeat. Seriously one boy loves the song at the end and the other screams in terror at the evil train laughter straight after it.
    So it’s the race to make sure the DVD is off at the magic sweet stop spot.
    What sort of sick bastard puts evil train manic laughter on a kids programme??

  4. Brilliant writing again. I love your blogs!

    It reminds me of a time way back in the dim and distant past, when I lived in Scotland and I used to get a lift to work. One day the guy was running late and left me in his lounge with his young son. The kid just kept looking at me, pointing and saying ‘fucked’. Over and over again.

    I said to the guy later about his son and he burst out laughing – turns out his son was a massive Thomas fan and he said anyone with a suit and tie on looked like the Fat Controller to him. So ‘fucked’ was instead ‘Fa Ct’, the only bit of Fat Controller he could actually say.

  5. This was so good I snort laughed and then read bits out to my work friend.

  6. Oh yes! Love you forever!!! That book is creepy. I ready it to my son once and it has never been touched again.

  7. Ha ha! My son has started crying when Elmo comes on ‘the street’. I am so proud, he’s nearly four now though so other things are out too. Barney (standing applause) and…Abbey. He’s not in to her anymore either. Thanks for your blog posts, they are gold.

  8. 🙂 Fortunately, my toddler has never really been bothered by Thomaa. Instead he’s obsessed by ‘Fireman Sam’, the cartoon take iof a sleepy Welsh village which has about 50 houses but you only ever see about 12 characters. Each episode revolves around the life and heroics of Firemsn Sam who is generally picking up the pieces due to the stupidity of one of the other characters or sorting out the results of another scheme by naughty ‘Norman’, who quite framkly needs locking up in some kind of young offender’s institution while his mother gets investigated by Social Services for her terrible parenting. Most of the fires could be sorted with a small fire extinguisher, but no, out comes a fire engine/ helicopter/ sea rescue boat, wasting taxpayers money. Don’t get me started on the different vehicles, as these seem to be eating away at my bank account as he wants to collect the entire series,
    It’s ok, I keep telling myself, he’ll move on to a new obsession soon!

    • Pontypandy is the preschoolers Midsomer. It must have seriously depressed property prices!

  9. I could not agree with you more about Thomas the Tank Engine. Even when I was a kid, the books and the TV show just pissed me off. I instinctively loathed it. My cousin was obsessed with the whole thing whereas it just gave me the complete and utter boke. Then, when I was an adult and had my own kids, I came to Thomas the Tank Engine with fresh eyes and was horrified by the messages it contained. The fact that even the reinvented/reimagined/rebooted version of the show not based on the outdated books still conveys messages and values that are completely outmoded and have no place in the 21st Century is actually astounding. And the rampant commercialism of the Thomas industry means that our kids are being spoon-fed this crap. I am so relieved that none of my four boys rebelled against me and was lured over to the dark side of Sodor. They all hate it too. I love them for that. And other stuff too but definitely also for that.

    And the Wiggles is just bloody creepy from start to finish. And don’t get me started on Tellytubbies, Caillou or Barney. So much ghastly preschooler TV.

  10. Oh, Boganette. I love you. I wish you’d post every day as my pregnant hormonal breastfeeding body looks forward to the laughs.

  11. Ha! But I still I love “Love You Forever.” My mom used to read it to us and has passed on our old copy which retains the original – mom drives her car to her grown son’s house with a ladder and climbs in his window and picks him up and rocks him like she’s always done. I don’t understand it… But I love it.

  12. Don’t pick on Jeff. I’m pretty sure he has narcolepsy and that’s a real medical condition.

  13. I had never heard of “Love You Forever” until I read the “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” version at The Toast, and from what I understand I don’t think it needed much twisting. Or…. any. That’s some creepy mother.

  14. The no girls in Thomas always pissed me off even though I was a fan, but the show that REALLY got under my skin was Barney. The number of hours I spent watching it as a tween while being babysat by my aunty whose 3 year old daughter was obsessed was too much to bare.
    Our revenge: my aunt made her a Barney piñata for her birthday (she was just as keen to bash the crap out of that purple monster as we were). Whacking it with sticks was great, but cutting its head of with hedge clippers because the paper mache was too hard was priceless.

  15. What about “Bananas in Pyjamas”? That rat is a bloody criminal and not even a good rodent let alone a good friend. He lies and cheats and is greedy. He plays tricks on everyone in Cuddle Town to get himself a few bucks, or in this case “munchy honey cakes”, literally stealing food from the mouths of his “friends” and all they can say is “Oh that rat in a hat!”! No consequences whatsoever. Mind you the bananas are just as bad, instead of sitting Rat down and telling him to cut the crap ir next time they’ll call the authorities, they just play a trick back on him. When the moral of every story seems to be “an eye for an eye” it makes me wonder what the next generation is subconsciously ingesting about life lessons.

  16. Reverend Audrey (who wrote the original stories) was a terrible mysogynist, hence the lack of female characters. He was not very popular in railway preservation circles as many volunteers were/are women and he thought they had no place working on railways. The original stories were all based on real things that had happened on railways, but it’s become very silly then, and the franchise is a horrible money-making machine now.

  17. Sodor is quite clearly the petty fiefdom of some billionaire colonialist eccentric – the first concern is that an island the size of Anglesey has that many branch lines, such a quantity of infrastructure, and indeed, such topographical variety. It’s absurd.

    Additionally, I despise “Guess How Much I Love You?” in a way similar to “Love You Forever”. I always found it a bit lame, and then my husband was reading it for the first time to our daughter and suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, just give it a rest, Dad! Your son is just trying to tell you something – stop trying to get the final word and outdo him every time.” Clearly, it touched a nerve, but he is absolutely right. Big Nutbrown Hare is a dick.

  18. Pingback: QOTD: Boganette on Thomas the Tank Engine | Boots Theory

  19. Haha love u forever! We also have a bunny one where the mom bunny basically hunts down the little dude every time he says he needs a break. That’s my interpretation of it of course but it gives me the creeps. I always feel like saying to my kids, “hey if u ever needed a little space from me I think I’d just let u have it. Come back when u want to – you know where I am.” We also have a book that’s called ” I love you very.” Wtf? It’s totally grammatically incorrect. More than once I’ve looked at the inside cover thinking “who the hell publishes this shit? It’s not even right. Just put a ‘much’ on the end of it people. It’s only one more word.” Thank you for this public format to air my grievances! ?

  20. I completely agree. I gave away I’ll Love You Forever Because I found it soooooo creepy. Like really truly creepy.

    And I hate Pokemon. Yours is probably a little young for it yet, but the whole premise seems to be capturing wild animals, keeping them hostage in tiny balls & only taking them out to train or fight and they are forced to fight other animals. I think it sets my kids up to run illegal dog or rooster fights, I swear. It’s all levels of wrong.

    And Curious George…a monkey – set loose to do whatever & usually exactly the opposite of what he’s been asked to do…making a huge much up of it & somehow it’s always okay in the end anyway…or worse yet, better for him having disobeyed. Grrrrrrr

    • Oh god. Curious George. I lay the blame for our son’s relentlessly destructive curiosity squarely at the door of Curious George. Sure, disobeying always turned out fine for bloody Curious George. With us it usually results in spending thousands on reaming out blocked sewers, replacing furniture and repairing walls.

  21. Omg but what about Caillou?? I hate that little bald whiny brat

  22. Yes yes yes! And I’ve always found Maisy very self-involved, particularly in light of the fact that Tallulah has obviously recently undergone chemotherapy. Unless she has alopecia in which case, I apologize.
    Also Peppa Pig has a vet and a doctor. Why?

  23. Please do something on Dora! I’m about to give birth again after two and a half years of sleep deprivation and am up with bloody insomnia of all things at 4am, so I KNOW something’s wrong with Dora but I’m not making the connections! By the way am so utterly stoked a friend put me onto your writing – loads of love from ex-Wellingtonian living in Timmas x

  24. Wow pretty strong stuff. Regarding Jeff from the Wiggles. Did you know the reason Jeff kept falling asleep was because he had a blockage in one of his heart arteries and had to undergo major life saving surgery? It started out as a bit of a joke how he always felt tired. This is the main reason he retired from the Wiggles while still staying on as a writer. As a grandma, I think the Wiggles are great. Their music is easy to sing to and they are real people. They are non judgemental. I have been to one of their live shows and they are amazing musicians. They also give a ton of money to charity. I suggest you get a copy of Ukulele Baby – its not only entertaining by informative as well. Or invest 50 bucks in a uke, find an online tutor and provide your own entertainment for your children instead of moaning.

    • Chill out Shirley it was just a joke. I’ve got nothing against Jeff or any of the other Wiggles. The only purpose of this post was to make people laugh.