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"It isn't wrong... but we just don't do it!"
— Gordon
Whistles and Sneezes

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

December 11th,
1984 (UK)
May 1st,
1987 (AUS)
August 14th,
1990 (JPN)
November 25th,
1991 (US)
November 11th,
1996 (US)
March 17th,
1998 (GER)
January 10th,
2008 (HUN)

Previous episode

The Flying Kipper

Next episode

Toby and the
Stout Gentleman
Toby the
Tram Engine

Whistles and Sneezes is the twentieth episode of the first season. It first aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episode "Achoo!"


One morning, soon after Henry returned from Crewe in his new shape, Gordon, who is jealous that Henry now gets to pull the express, starts to complain and asks why Henry got to have time off and be sent away while the other engines had to do his work. He then starts to bitterly moan that Henry whistles too loudly at 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, but Percy reassures him that he likes his whistling. Gordon leaves to pull the express, but not before self-importantly telling Henry to think about what he said.

Henry arrives at Wellsworth where Edward is waiting. 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. Edward notes that it sounds like Gordon's whistle, but Gordon never whistles like that.

Edward is right, it is Gordon, who flies down the hill as fast as he can. He does not stop, speak, or even look at Henry and Edward as he screams straight 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 station. Everyone holds their ears and the Fat Controller screams to take Gordon away and have the noise stopped. Gordon leaves the express behind and is taken to some fitters who stop the whistling by knocking 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 quietly murmurs that "It isn't wrong, but we just don't do it". Whistles, however, are never mentioned.

The next day, Henry takes a train feeling as well as ever and enjoying the run. The coaches run behind happily and Henry soon approaches a bridge where three boys are waiting. Henry whistles in greeting, but suddenly feels pain as the boys, rather than waving or taking his number, instead drop stones on him which breaks the glass of the coaches windows.

Nobody is hurt, but Henry and the passengers are furious and want the police called. Henry's driver, however, has a plan to get their own back. After getting everyone to promise to keep the plan a secret, the driver tells everyone that Henry is going to "sneeze" at the boys. Henry and the passengers are satisfied and proceed to the station.

Lots of people wait at the station before the bridge, eager to see what will happen. The driver warns everyone to keep their windows shut until they are past the bridge. The plan is to have Henry release the ashes that are built up in his smokebox by sneezing.

Soon Henry approaches the bridge where the boys are waiting with stones. Judging the moment, Henry's driver has him sneeze at exactly the right time, causing Henry to cover the boys from head to toe in soot.

Henry goes home that night feeling very happy knowing that, thanks to a whistle and a sneeze, he was able to teach Gordon and some boys a lesson they will never forget.




  • This episode is based on the stories Gordon's Whistle and Henry's Sneeze from The Railway Series book, Henry the Green Engine.
  • In the UK narration, Gordon says that Henry goes galivanting off to Crewe. In the US narration, the mention of Crewe is omitted.
  • Stock footage from Coal and The Flying Kipper is used.
  • This is the first time an engine sneezes. The second time was in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • In the restored version, a few fade effects are missing.
  • At the end of the UK narration, the narrator says, "Henry went home very pleased with himself. He had taught Gordon and silly boys a lesson, with a whistle and a sneeze". In the US it's changed to, "Henry went home, hoping that next time he saw Gordon and the boys, they would have learned not to be so mean".
  • This is the only first season episode Ringo Starr did not narrate for the US.


  • Edward was in the shed when Gordon criticised Henry, so why would Henry need to explain it to Edward?
  • Because stock footage is used, in a close-up of Henry before the boys throw the stones, he is in his old shape.
  • The boys were already "ashed up" before Henry sneezed at them.
  • The UK narration says Henry taught Gordon a lesson with a whistle and a sneeze, but Henry didn't necessarily teach him a lesson, rather, Gordon really learned it for himself.


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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