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"Well, thank you, my dear. I knew this was my special birthday party, but I didn't know it was fancy dress!"
— Lady Hatt greeting her husband

Lady Hatt's Birthday Party is the fourth episode of the fifth season.


One Summer's Day, Bertie asks Thomas and Percy if they have noticed something different about The Fat Controller. Percy tells Bertie that he saw The Fat Controller staring into the clouds this morning and he wonders why. It was Lady Hatt's birthday and the Fat Controller had a new outfit to wear especially to the birthday party. Lady Hatt tells him not to be late and her husband tells her that he will be spic and span and right on time.

The Fat Controller is leaving work early to attend the party at Kirk Ronan. He tells the stationmaster that he will be taking the car when the engines are busy. He thinks it is reliable, but his mood soon changes when his car becomes stuck in a pothole with a flat tyre. He decides not to change it because it will dirty his suit and it will never do for his wife's party.

The Fat Controller then sees Caroline and explains the situation and hitches a lift in Caroline, but Caroline does not like going fast and she breaks down. George the Steamroller then arrives and insults Caroline, but his driver is more polite to The Fat Controller and offers him a ride to Thomas, who is just down the line. George enjoys rolling along the road, but not The Fat Controller, who quickly becomes covered in oil. George suddenly loses control and crashes into a muddy ditch close to where Thomas is taking on water and the Fat Controller catapulted waist-deep into the mud.

Thomas had never seen The Fat Controller in such a mess and he asks Thomas' driver for a ride, but Thomas' fireman had taken ill, so The Fat Controller offers to be Thomas' fireman. He worked hard and coal dust and soot flew everywhere and at last, Thomas arrives at Kirk Ronan, just in time. The Fat Controller quickly buys a bunch of flowers for the party and as the clock strikes three, The Fat Controller arrives, tired but triumphant. He gives his wife the flowers and she is most grateful and she knew it was her special birthday party, but she did not know it was fancy dress. Everyone laughs and then the party begins.




  • During the scenes where the Fat Controller rides in his car and Caroline, music is heard in the US and Japanese versions but not the UK version.
  • In the US version, the sounds made by the Fat Controller's car, Caroline and George are barely audible.
  • When the Fat Controller arrives at Lady Hatt's party, "Happy Birthday to You" is heard playing in the background.
  • This is the first episode in which Lady Hatt has a speaking role and the first time she is referred to by name.
  • One of the flowers the Fat Controller buys is really a stem of broccoli.
  • This episode marks Caroline and Jem Cole's last speaking roles to date.


  • When Caroline overheats, she lurches backwards and overheats again in slow motion.
  • When Lady Hatt says "I didn't know it was fancy dress," one of the people laughing is missing their eyebrows.
  • When the narrator says that George was enjoying "rolling along the lane," he looks angry. In the same scene, wires are visible on George.
  • When George crashes, the Fat Controller falls head first into the mud, but in the following scene, he is sinking feet first.
  • Jem Cole does not have any eyebrows.
  • Thomas' driver looks happy when he says "I'm afraid our fireman's been taken ill."
  • When the narrator says, "Later that day, the Fat Controller changed into his new suit," the Fat Controller is missing one of his eyebrows.
  • The clock strikes four times instead of three.
  • For the rest of the episode after George crashes, the Fat Controller does not have eyebrows.
  • When Thomas wishes "Good Luck!" to the Fat Controller, his driver's small scale model is wearing glasses even though the model didn't when Thomas starts going to the station.
  • It is said that Caroline spluttered with fury, but she looks sad.
  • When George drives into the muddy ditch, the Fat Controller suddenly disappears in one frame of film before the shot of him falling out.
  • Jem Cole disappears when the Fat Controller falls off George.
  • In a rare picture, Caroline's driver is smiling when she breaks down.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish La Fiesta de Cumpleaños de Lady Hatt The Birthday Party of Lady Hatt
Norwegian Lady Hatts bursdagsselskap Lady Hatt's Birthday Party
Italian La festa di Compleanno di Lady Hatt The Birthday Party of Lady Hatt
Swedish Födelsedagsfirande Birthday Celebration
Japanese ハットきょうふじんのたんじょうび Lady Hatt's Birthday
Danish Fru Hatts fødselsdagsfest Lady Hatt's Birthday Party
Hungarian A születésnapi zsúr The Tea Party Birthday
Chinese 海特夫人的生日派对 Lady Hatt's Birthday Party
Korean 생일파티에 가는 길 The Way to a Birthday Party
Slovenian Zabava za rojstni dan gospe Klobučar Lady Hatter's Fun Birthday
Greek Το πάρτι γενεθλίων A Birthday Party
Romanian Petrecerea de Ziua Doamnei Hatt The Birthday Party of Lady Hatt
Slovak Narodeninová párty Lady Hattovej The Birthday Party for Lady Hatt
German Lady Hatts Geburtstagsfeier Lady Hatt's Birthday Party
Russian День рождения Лэди Мэтт Lady Hatt's Birthday
Polish Urodziny Żony Birthday Wives
Dutch Het verjaardagsfeest van mevrouw Hoogsmahoed The Birthday of Lady Hatt
Thai งานวันเกิดภรรยาผู้ควบคุมอ้วน Birthday Wife, Who Controls Obesity

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