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Charlie first arrived on Sodor to help out on the railway. He was said to be the favourite engine of The Mainland Engines. When Thomas was to show him around, Charlie convinced him to have fun instead of bringing Allicia Botti to her concert.
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 realised that everyone has different opinions about snow.
In the seventeenth season, 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 again. Charlie then reported the elephant to Harold who took Charlie seriously. Soon, the elephant was recaptured. Charlie was not pleased about not being taken seriously and vowed never to tell another joke. Unfortunately, Charlie's promise to himself didn't last long.
In the eighteenth season, 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. Later, while 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.
In The Great Race, Charlie was one of the engines who wanted to go to The Great Railway Show, but he wasn't 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 favourite 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 completing jobs foremost, are important if 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 humour.
Charlie is based on a Manning Wardle L Class 0-6-0ST. Billy is another member of this class.
Charlie is painted dark purple with light purple lining, brass fittings and red wheels. He has the number "14" painted in gold on his cab sides and brass nameplates with his name in white on the sides of his saddletank.
- Charwelton, a Manning Wardle O Class preserved at the Kent and East Sussex Railway, is also numbered 14.
- Charlie has the most voice actors in the US dub who do not voice him at all in the UK dub as well (with the exception of The Great Race), with three.
- Charlie has undergone a few changes since his introduction:
- Season 17:
- The silver ring around the cap of his lamp disappeared.
- The Great Race:
- He gained four rivets above each of his front buffers.
- Season 17:
- Wooden Railway (normal and battery-powered; battery-powered discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (normal and talking; discontinued)
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Capsule Plarail (Japan only)
- Collectible Railway
- Boss (discontinued)
- Push Along
- Classic Minis
- Robo Minis
- DC Super Friends Minis (as The Riddler)
- Sweets Minis
- Glow in the Dark Minis
- Engine Adventures