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    Charlie (Thomas & Friends)

    He tries to be a playful engine, but he is poorly written, making him unlikable.
    Gender: Male
    Type: The purple Billy
    Species: Steam Locomotive
    Portrayed by: Matt Wilkinson (UK)
    Glenn Wrage (US, 2009-2011)
    Ben Small (US, 2012-2014)
    Steven Kynman (US, 2016)
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Thomas & Friends
    First appearance: Play Time
    Last appearance: Counting on Nia

    Charlie is a character from Thomas & Friends. He is a playful purple saddle tank engine who lives and works on the Island of Sodor, and is the North Western Railway's number 14 engine. He works as a shunter in Knapford Yards.


    Charlie first arrived on Sodor to help out on the railway. He was said to be the favorite engine of the Mainland engines and his old controller. When Thomas was to show him around, Charlie convinced him to have fun instead of bringing Allicia Botti to her concert.

    He later convinced Edward to have fun instead of bringing the Fat Controller's car to the mechanic. This resulted in more chaos when Edward suggested repairing the car at the Sodor Steamworks.

    When Flynn was going on the roads for the first time, Charlie teased him by calling him a "big wobble on wheels". Later, in winter, Charlie pretended to be a talking snowman, which made Henry rather scared until Charlie realized that everyone has different opinions about snow.

    Once, he came across an elephant on the line. But when he tried to inform the other engines, they just thought he was telling one of his jokes. Charlie then reported the elephant to Harold, who took Charlie seriously. Soon, the elephant was recaptured, but Charlie was not pleased about not being taken seriously and vowed never to tell another joke. Unfortunately, Charlie's promise to himself did not last long.

    Later, Caitlin left her coaches with Charlie in the Knapford Yards while she went to the Steamworks. Just then, Thomas arrived and left Annie and Clarabel. When Caitlin came back to collect her coaches, Charlie - distracted by telling Caitlin a joke - accidentally shunted Annie and Clarabel with Caitlin's coaches, resulting in Caitlin pulling them with her train to Ulfstead Castle and the Mainland. He also seems to be primarily based in the shunting yards by this point.

    When the Great Railway Show was being held, Charlie was one of the engines who wanted to go to the show, but he was not chosen and was left on Sodor to do the other engine's jobs.


    Charlie has a reputation for being a really fun engine. He has an unquenchable desire for fun, games and play, and is said to have been the favorite engine of the Mainland controller. Charlie can get easily distracted by his japes, sometimes distracting others in the process. He can be pouty, huffy, and teasing at times, but he always wants everyone to be enjoying themselves. Often though, Charlie has to learn that the opinions of others, keeping calm and working hard to complete jobs foremost, are important when wanting to be a really useful engine. He has a good working relationship with Edward - often calling him "Eddie" - who is sometimes capable of taking Charlie under his wing, and Thomas, who Charlie enjoys racing and sharing in the fun with. Being a fun-loving, playful scamp, cheeky Charlie is popular at parties and fairs, is well liked by the children, and known for his youthful humor.

    Why He's Really Unfunny and Caused Confusion and Delay

    1. His jokes are very corny and unfunny.
    2. He thinks engines should only play and joke around, which is not true, as they must work as well.
    3. His comic-relief personality and jokes can get annoying after a while. Even then, they are lacking themselves.
    4. He is careless, as in "Ho Ho Snowman" he and Thomas are seen shunting trucks at the bottom of Gordon's Hill, which is dangerous, as the hill is on the mainline. There could have been a crash!
    5. He can be rude to other engines at times.
      • In "Ho Ho Snowman", he tricks Henry into thinking he is a talking snowman, which terrifies him.
      • In "Charlie and Eddie", he says that Edward is too old to be any fun, and he doesn't even apologize for it.
    6. He is a Karma Houdini as he barely gets punished for his stupid actions.
      • In "Play Time", his first appearance, he tells Thomas to race him, which causes Annie and Clarabel to become uncoupled from Thomas and leave Allicia Botti and the rest of the passengers behind. Thomas ends up getting scolded by The Fat Controller, while Charlie gets off scot-free.
    7. Heck, he's even related to Billy, who is also another pointless and annoying character.
    8. He was solely created to sell toys, like most of the characters introduced in both the HiT and Sharon Miller eras.
    9. His voice can be annoying depending on the dub.
    10. He sometimes makes pointless appearances in episodes where he serves no purpose in the storyline, with "Splish Splash Splosh" being a great example.

    Playful Qualities

    1. He has a nice design.
    2. He becomes more tolerable in the Andrew Brenner era (seasons 17-21).
    3. He was at his most decent in "Not Now Charlie".
    4. He apologized to Henry in "Ho Ho Snowman".
    5. He did kind of get karma in "Splish Splash Splosh" and "Not Now Charlie".
    6. Unlike Billy, he is not as rude to the other engines.
    7. Thankfully, after season 18, he was reduced to just a background character with no dialogue.


    • Charlie is based on a Manning Wardle L Class 0-6-0ST. Billy, another infamous character in the series, is another engine of this basis.
    • Charlie's number 14 could have been inspired by Charwelton - a Manning Wardle O Class preserved at the Kent and East Sussex Railway also numbered 14. However, Charlie is an L Class while Charwelton is an O Class. Another likely origin for Charlie's number is the fact that he was the fourteenth standard gauge engine to appear in the CGI series.
    • Charlie is the first new character in a CGI season.
    • Charlie was the last character to get his own book in My Thomas Story Library.
    • The Big Book of Engines states "Although Charlie is from the Mainland, he wears number 14 on Sir Topham Hatt's Railway."
    • Charlie was not in the original script for "Splish Splash Splosh". Billy had the role of the engine getting splashed at the signal by Thomas instead.
    • Charlie shares his name with Edward's driver.
    • Charlie's whistle sound is a stock sound effect which was previously used for the engine in the 1957 war-drama film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, but in a higher pitch. It would later reused for the character Pramath in the 2013 Disney movie, Planes and the Disney mobile game Toy Story: Smash it!. In fact, the sound was sourced from LSWR N15 Class 4-6-0 No. 30777 "Sir Lamiel" and recorded in c.1953, 31 years before the series first aired.


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