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Billy's Party is the seventh episode of the third season.
It's Thanksgiving and everyone is very busy. Midge Smoot is attending the high society Thanksgiving party hosted by the Wellington-Hoovingtons, Ginny is preparing to have Thanksgiving at her house with her nephew and his wife, and Billy has been invited to join the Boomers and the Hobos, whom he describes as very special railroad people. But Billy is delayed in setting off as J.B. King asks him to repair the locomotive "Old Dependable" to handle the amount of crowds needing to board trains home for Thanksgiving. Schemer is also into the activities, as he dresses up as a Pilgrim hoping that people will give him presents so he can say "thanks for giving" to them in return.
Meanwhile, the Jukebox Puppet Band is taking some time off from performing, sitting in their dressing rooms while Chef Tito "dresses the turkey." To pass the time, they sing "We Gather Together." Tito returns with a live, very well-dressed turkey. But when Rex asks what's for dinner, Tito reveals a platter of vegetables, much to the turkey's delight.
Back in the station, Dan, Becky, and Kara are griping about Thanksgiving, with its lack of presents and the need to keep their clothes clean. They look under a large tureen and find a sunbathing Mr. Conductor. Mr. Conductor explains to them that Thanksgiving is a time to stop and think about what to be grateful for, like food and great friends. To further illustrate his point, he tells them the story about how Thomas and his friends helped some very grateful villagers in "Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure."
After Mr. Conductor's story is over, the kids go ask Billy about the Boomers and the Hobos, but before Billy can explain, they hear Ginny outside with Stacy and rush out to learn that her new dog, Mr. Filthy, destroyed her turkey. So Billy offers to take her to a place in Dillylick that sells pre-cooked turkeys.
Later, while making paper turkeys, the kids ask Stacy about the Boomers and the Hobos, and she explains that the Boomers are traveling railroad people, such as drivers and conductors, and that the Hobos are people who would hitch a free ride on the railroads. The Boomers and the Hobos were once enemies, but after the Hobos' saved the Boomers' lives from a big accident by closing a switch that got stuck, the Boomers came to the Hobos' campfire that night and shared their Thanksgiving dinner with them. Having realized that they have a lot of railroad stories to share with each other, they agreed to spend their Thanksgiving together from then on. Stacy goes to explain that every Thanksgiving, the Hobos and the Boomers would gather from all over the country and invite a very special railroad person as the guest of honor, and that year that person is Billy.
After Stacy's story, the kids watch a music video in The Picture Machine about Thanksgiving. As soon as the song is over, Billy returns and prepares to leave, but then he hears the kids telling Stacy that Schemer got on the last train hoping that passengers would give him presents and that the train left before Schemer could get off. So Billy decides to use Old Dependable to catch up to Schemer. As Billy leaves, Stacy and the kids depart as well.
After Billy gets Schemer home, he returns to the station, runs to get cranberry sauce for his party, and rushes outside to catch the last train, but misses it. Billy sadly returns to the empty station and sits down, wondering what to do next, when Stacy comes in. She had guessed Billy might miss the last train and didn't want him to be alone on Thanksgiving. Ginny appears carrying her turkey, having told her nephew and his wife to meet at the station instead. Then J.B. King appears and asks Billy if he can attend the Thanksgiving party too, who which Billy says yes. Midge Smoot arrives next, having decided not to attend the Wellington Hoovertons' Thanksgiving party since she hardly knew them and she prefers to spend the holiday with people she knows anyway. The kids then come in and sit down, and Schemer appears with some peas for the Thanksgiving dinner.
After saying grace, they all sit around and have a good Thanksgiving dinner. Mr. Conductor, who is also having his Thanksgiving dinner under the tablecloth, asks Dan to pass around his homemade cookies. Mr. King notices the tiny-sized cookies and is delighted at another sign of Mr. Conductor's existence.
- Mr. Conductor
- Stacy Jones
- Billy Twofeathers
- Dan Jones
- Kara Cupper
- J.B. King
- Midge Smoot
- Ginny Johnson
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Sir Topham Hatt (mentioned)
- Thanksgiving is approaching, and Thomas is excited to be delivering letters and parcels to his friends in the Mountain Villages. However, he is sad to be pulled out of deliveries to do another job - leaving Percy to pull all the mail trucks himself. However, Percy soon learns that the village is cut off by deep snow, and the villagers need help. He hurries back to the airfield to rouse Harold, and soon finds Thomas and Terence on their way with a gang of workmen to help save the day. Toby and Harold do their bit too by delivering Thanksgiving food for everyone, and the villagers are very grateful. That night, they decide to repay the engines by decorating Tidmouth Sheds from top to bottom just in time for Thanksgiving, and give the engines a very special surprise when they wake the next morning!
Jukebox Band Segment Song
- We Gather Together
Cartoons and Songs
- This is the only Thanksgiving episode.
- Becky and Kara reference the holidays, Christmas and New Year's Eve.
- The Thomas story in this episode "Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure", was originally a Christmas-themed episode titled "Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure". The holiday was changed to Thanksgiving to fit this episode, as Thanksgiving is an American holiday making the episode heavily edited making it the shortest Thomas Story in the US.
- Ginny's new dog goes through three names in this episode, from "Rex, the Wonder Dog" to "Mr. Filthy" and finally "Mr. Get Out of There", the last two were given because of the dog's bad behaviors like dancing around in garbage and stealing the turkey.
- This is the first and only time the Jukebox Puppets are not in their usual performing room during the entire episode.
- The turkey who joins the Jukebox Puppets, with his monocle and top hat, is reminiscent of Charlie McCarthy, a character popularized by ventriloquist Edgar Bergen in the 1930s.
- Old Reliable and Old Dependable were mentioned.
- The locomotive Billy drove in this episode later appears in one other episode, Billy's Runaway Train and the special, Queen for a Day.
- Thomas and Percy's Mountain Adventure is listed in the credits as its UK title "Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure".