Too Many Cooks is the seventeenth episode of the first season.
The station receives a package of Schemer's new sandwich spread. They then get a call from the mayor complaining to Schemer that his package never arrived and is annoyed. Double checking, Schemer did not send it to the mayor. The kids suggest he send the box that they had received, leaving one jar for themselves. Schemer decides that will be best.
Mr. Conductor arrives just before heading off to go fishing. He says Schemer needs to learn to be patient and not think of only himself, which leads him to the story of Gordon.
Later, Schemer is waiting for the train, while everyone else tries his spread. They all scream as it is very bad. An angry Schemer tries it and makes faces and squirms. He blames it on his mom as it was her recipe. Looking at it, he says he put in all the right ingredients, the last being cocoa powder. Everyone explains to Schemer that "C Powder" means chili powder.
Matt and Tanya later talk to Harry about Schemer. They all agree he is silly and not serious. As they walk out, Schemer adds fuel to the fire by wearing a wig, moustache, and talking in a high, odd voice. The mayor then walks in to the station looking for Schemer, claiming he will not recognize his face, but only his voice. Stacy helps to hide Schemer. The mayor is complaining about his spread and says if he does not get a new spread soon, Schemer will be in big trouble.
After he leaves, everyone tries to help him. Stacy calls his mother to confirm the recipe and the kids go with her to get the ingredients. To relax, Schemer plays the jukebox, with a montage of the other three making the spread. When it finishes, Schemer tries the new spread and says that he is genius, much to Tanya's dismay.
When he and Stacy wait for the train, Mr. Conductor arrives. Matt says Schemer has not learned anything. Mr. C says he may not have learned anything, but the kids have learned about helping others, just like Gordon did.
The mayor returns and praises Schemer for his new sandwich spread. Schemer says he was responsible for it. Stacy snaps and says that his mother invented it and that Stacy, Matt, and Tanya made it a bit better. Schemer's mother calls and says she was disappointed in him. He feels bad, but Stacy reminds him everyone has slip ups.
- Mr. Conductor
- Stacy Jones
- Harry Cupper
- Matthew Jones
- Tanya Cupper
- Mayor Flopdinger
- Schemer's Mother (on telephone)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Edward (mentioned)
- Henry (mentioned)
- Gordon (mentioned)
- James (mentioned)
- Percy (mentioned)
- Annie and Clarabel (mentioned)
Gordon prides himself on never having had an accident, unlike Henry who came off the rails whilst pulling the Flying Kipper, and is keen to emphasise the fact when Henry calls him "lazybones". Gordon is later called upon to take a special whilst resting in a siding, but much to his horror, finds out it will involve taking freight cars! He tries every trick to avoid having to do so, namely refusing to help his fire, meaning Edward has to push him to the turntable to be made ready. But Gordon has other ideas and tries to jam the table as he had done before. His plans go awry and he ends up slithering into a ditch and spending the remainder of the day there. The big engine is hauled free by Henry and James later that night, and crawls back to the shed in disgrace.
Thomas makes rude comment about Gordon's accident by referring to a "Funny, musty sort of smell" which can only be "ditch water!". Gordon is cross about being reminded about the accident, but doesn't get a chance to answer. Still as ‘puffed up’ as ever, decides to run past a DANGER board when sent to collect cars at a mine. He knocks his Driver and Fireman off the footplate and once past the board, the ground opens up beneath him and he ends up falling down into the mine shaft. Sir Topham Hatt organises for Gordon to come to his aid and pulls him back onto the rails again. Both engines are now in disgrace, and find a common bond in their dilemmas. They decide to form an alliance, and help one another in future.
Jukebox Band Segment Song
- Casey Jones
- This is the first appearance of the mayor of East Shemp who introduces himself as Osgood Bob Flopdinger.
- Schemer's mother reveals that his first name is Horace.
- Schemer's mother's telephone number is 555-3387.
- The shot of Tito stopping Tex and Rex's discussion of why buffalo nickels aren't made anymore was used for the Band's oval in the "clip show" title sequence.
- Mr. Conductor tells both stories to Matt and Tanya in this episode.