Sir Topham Hatt: Mob Boss or Just an Abusive Pimp?

Sir Topham Hatt: Mob Boss or Just an Abusive Pimp?

By Liv of Live By Surprise

Is it just me or are there some shady things happening on the island of Sodor? Call me a lazy mom, but when you have a 3-year-old and Netflix, TV is a great way to keep your kids quiet, not breaking anything, and entertained. But after watching a few episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine (or quite possibly the entire series), you, too, might start to question exactly what the creators are up to.

Where the hell is the Island of Sodor anyway?

The trains claim to be transporting “cream, chocolate and strawberries” in addition to their impressive passengers, including world famous opera stars and other “important visitors”– really, though, how the hell did a small island that looks like you could walk across it get that many trains, a round house, a helicopter, and a whole mess of other infrastructure?

Is “strawberries and cream” code for some kind of drug smuggling? If Alicia Botti is a “world famous” opera star, what the heck is she doing singing in the town square once a week? And what’s with all the parades and parties? How do they have enough people to attend? And for that matter, how do they even have enough people to run the railroad in the first place? Sometimes I wonder if the story is based on The Godfather with Sir Topham Hatt at the top of the syndicate. I was truly concerned when the Thomas and The Horse episode came on, because I wondered if the horse head would end up in someone’s bed.

Are any of them “Useful Engines”?

Every single one of Thomas’ coworkers is a complete asshole. Talk about a poisoned work environment. They’re constantly trying to get the other engines in trouble, and I would go so far as to describe each of them as a bully.

And, really, useful engines my ass. Thomas seems more intent on avoiding work in any way possible. Every week Thomas finds some new and interesting way of slacking off. He’s always, “Let’s make friends with bird!” or “Oh look, a horsie!” Fuck that, Thomas, you have a job to do. Stop getting distracted by every squirrel on the line. Those strawberries were due an hour ago. Or maybe Thomas really is Topham’s bitch. Maybe he’s constantly screwing up because he’s into the whole punishment thing.

Is Sir Topham Hatt a Mob Boss or Just an Abusive Pimp?

While I keep waiting for Topham to bring out the brass knuckles, let’s just have a quick chat about the cycle of abuse. Thomas is like Hatt’s crack whore – he’s abused and keeps coming back for more. Every week, Thomas does something fucking stupid. Topham reams him out and suggests that yet again he’s caused confusion and delay (code for “WTF, bitch? Can’t you get anything right? Do I need to use my belt?”). Thomas tells Topham that he’s always right and Thomas is a bad engine and that makes everything OK again. Now Thomas is a “very useful engine”? And the next week it’s like it never happened and the whole cycle repeats all over again.

And maybe a passing mention of all the sexual innuendo: “Flatten my Funnel!” “Bust my buffers!” “Flatten my fender!” “Rattle my rods!” “Bust my boiler!” “Pumping pistons!” “Shunting trucks,” and “Hauling freight.” Really, Thomas? Really? Is this a show about an innocent train or is the real truth that “Topham” is a code name for a sadistic pimp?

What do you think? I suppose it is possible I’ve been watching too much Thomas and I’m looking for excuses to turn it off…or maybe the show actually is a thinly veiled, candy-coated introduction to a much darker world.


About the Author

Liv is the pseudonym for a rocking forty year old working mother of three who remarried after a terrible divorce, had a terrible car accident and almost lost her leg, and yet continues to have a positive attitude.  Her work has been featured on ScaryMommy, HuffPost and The Mid, and she’s a contributing writer at You can also check out her blog: Live By Surprise.