May 14th, 1989
Word's Out is the sixteenth episode of the first season.
There's not a soul in sight at Shining Time Station and the Jukebox Puppet Band remark how quiet it is. Tito suggests that they make some noise to liven things up, and begin to jam and play a rocking instrumental tune very loudly.
Schemer and Stacy enter the station while the music blares. In a "Genius Time" moment, Schemer decides that instead of turning the station into an amusement park. Stacy chides him about his ideas that always end up getting them into trouble. Schemer insists that this time will be different. He goes on to describe that he'll bring in weight-lifting equipment but he'll first need to get rid of the silly-looking jukebox. This causes the puppets to stop playing.
A train passes through as Stacy answers the phone. The caller is trying to give Stacy new train schedule information, but the noise and rumble of the passing train makes it difficult for her to hear. She asks them to wait a moment until she's able to hear them better. As she's about to receive the information, another train rushes by and Matt and Tanya come in. The caller tells her that trains will not be stopping at Shining Time Station that day. She asks why and is given an explanation.
Harry runs in to ask Stacy why their morning express went through without even slowing down. Stacy reveals that the railroad rerouted all of their trains as a test to see if they can do without their station. The kids react in dismay just as Mr. Conductor appears on the Picture Machine and calls everyone over for a special meeting. To fortify their courage and pick up their spirits, he drops a nickel into the Picture Machine and shows them a music video. When the video is over, Mr. Conductor reminds them that no matter how bad things are, they must always be good to themselves. Harry, Stacy, Matt and Tanya all voice their agreement as Mr. Conductor sparkles away.
A woman is seen looking around the station and Stacy and Harry greet her by name. When Tanya asks who just came in, Harry whispers that it's Midge Smoot, the town gossip.
Schemer comes running into the station dressed in gaudy exercise clothes. Midge greets him and immediately begins fishing for gossip by asking what he's been up to lately. He's glad that she asks, he tells her that he's turning the entire station into a health club as soon as the trains quit stopping there.
Midge Smoot is buoyed with the new exciting gossip that Shining Time Station is closing. She asks Stacy if it's true as she's putting a canceled notice over the train timetable. Stacy tells her that it's only for today. Midge then runs over to the children to pry additional information out of them. The kids act surprised and deny the rumor. The kids feed her made up excuses. Matt tells her that a new huge building will be built nearby and that there will be bricks and construction material all over the place. Tanya follows his lead and tells Midge that Stacy is going to be the new head of the railroad. Midge is surprised at the news and goes off to find Stacy.
The kids are self-conscious of their fibs and almost sit on Mr. Conductor. He questions their sincerity after hearing them tell Midge Smoot lies. He warns them that if they go around telling lies they'll end up being like Diesel. He then tells them the story about how Diesel's lies got Duck into trouble.
Mr. Conductor tells them that if someone continues telling lies, it will become a habit. He wants them to remember the three "do's": do stand up straight, do tell the truth, and the third one is to never sit on top of him, he's not an egg.
Midge Smoot returns still looking for Stacy. Schemer joins her while shadow boxing. Midge tells him what Matt Tanya told her. Schemer is surprised by the news and Midge coyly adds that it's always good to have friends in high places. Schemer picks up on this and begins to say nice things about Stacy. When they see her emerge from the workshop, Midge immediately runs up and begins pandering to Stacy. As Schemer fawns over her, Midge peppers Stacy with questions about her job.
After Midge took a bite of one of Schemer's candy bars, she hurt one of her teeth. Matt and Tanya come over and confess that the things they told her earlier weren't true. She chides herself for skipping her dental checkup. Stacy brings Midge into the workshop to see if Harry has anything to treat a toothache. He makes Midge an ice pack which gives her enough relief for her to say her dentist is in Doodlehaven. Unfortunately they can’t get her there as the trains no longer stops at Shining Time Station. Stacy is firm as she tells Harry that they'll have to get a train for Midge. Harry telephones Ben the switchman. Midge later exits the workshop with Harry just as a train pulls in. Stacy tells her that they managed to get a train to stop for her and escorts Midge to catch her ride.
Stacy asks Harry if he thinks they'll get into trouble for stopping a train against the railroad's orders. Harry jokes that they can’t take any more trains away from them, as they don't have any. Matt and Tanya give Stacy and Harry happy face badges that they made to cheer everyone up. When Mr. Conductor appears on the Information Desk, they offer him one as well. He tells them how proud he is that they told Midge Smoot the truth, and rewards them by telling them the rest of the story about Duck and Diesel.
Afterward, Mr. Conductor tells the kids that like Duck, if you try to do what's right, things will usually work out for you.. He hopes that things will also work out for Shining Time Station and vanishes.
Stacy answers the telephone. She's told that they had no right to stop that train and what they did was against the rules. But everyone in Doodlehaven is talking about how wonderful they are for their good deed. Stacy adds that Midge had contacted J. B. King personally to get some of their trains back. Schemer comes in having heard the news, gives up on the idea of a health club and mentions that he'll be keeping the old jukebox after all. The Jukebox Puppet Band members celebrate by performing “Jesse James" with Tito singing the lead.
Stacy gives Harry a big hug exclaiming that Shining Time Station is back in business. The episode ends with her donning her stationmaster hat at the Information Booth just as a train arrives.
- Mr. Conductor
- Stacy Jones
- Harry Cupper
- Matthew Jones
- Tanya Cupper
- Midge Smoot
- J.B. King (mentioned)
- Duck (mentioned)
- Diesel (mentioned)
The Freight Cars continue singing and laughing at Diesel until Duck orders them to be quiet. Diesel blames Duck for what had happened, but the other engines know it wasn’t done on purpose, as they would never tell about their differences to the cars. This gives Diesel a spiteful idea and begins telling lies to the cars, claiming that Duck told them. This is untrue, but the cars believe every word – Gordon a “Galloping Sausage”, James “Rusty Red Scrap Iron” and Henry is “Old Square Wheels” – and when the three engines realise this, they confront Duck and refuse to let him enter the shed. Sir Topham Hatt is told all, but Diesel claims to know nothing, so he sends Duck away to Edward’s Station. Duck tearfully departs, leaving Diesel smirking quietly with triumph.
Duck arrives at Edward’s Station and tells Edward about Diesel’s lies. Edward knows Duck isn’t horrid at all and makes him welcome to his yard. But whilst helping his freight train up the hill, the cars break away and chase Duck down the line. Duck tries his best to keep them under control, and ends up crashing into a barbershop, where upon he is lathered by the annoyed Barber! However, the barber forgives Duck when Sir Topham Hatt arrives and explains everything. He praises Duck for his brave actions, adding that he never believed Diesel and sent him packing. After being washed and mended, Duck returns home to a hero’s welcome.
Jukebox Band Segment Song
- Jesse James
Cartoons and Song
- Be Good To Yourself
- Cartoons in the song:
- Chicken A La King (1937)
- Bunny Mooning (1937)
- Little Lambkin (1940)
- Small Fry (1939)
- Hawaiian Birds (1936)
- All's Fair At The Fair (1938)
- This is the first appearance of Midge Smoot.
- Though not explicitly stated, this episode is a follow-up to Episode 15, "Promises, Promises". Besides resolving the issue of Shining Time Station losing its trains, it also features the third story in the Duck and Diesel trilogy of Thomas stories.
- The song “Be Good to Yourself” was released on video as part of “Shining Time Station Singsongs Vol. 1”.
- The person heard on the other side of Stacy's telephone conversation in this episode are actually sped-up versions of T.S. Elliot reading a few lines from his poems "The Naming of Cats" and "Growltiger's Last Stand".