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‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ accounts got into the best Twitter beef of 2016

This is a trainwreck.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 23, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 4:30 am CDT

This is the tale of two parody accounts, both alike in dignity. One is @Thomas_Reacts. The other is @ThomasReacts_. They do the exact same thing, which is to mine the children’s TV and film franchise Thomas the Tank Engine for images that can be recontextualized with semi-relatable captions to create what we in the content game might call a “meme.” 

Sadly, the Internet wasn’t big enough for these two titans of Twitter comedy: @ThomasReacts_ stole jokes from @Thomas_Reacts. 

This, of course, did not go unnoticed by @Thomas_Reacts—which, by the way, self-identifies as “The *ORIGINAL* reactions page for the number one children’s TV show Thomas & Friends” in its bio. So step off.


Sadly, the bigwigs at Twitter Inc. were unable or unwilling to stanch the tide of brazenly duplicated Thomas the Tank Engine memes, otherwise the feud may have ended then and there. Instead, there was bloodshed. And even as @ThomasReacts_ deleted its cavalier replies to charges of plagiarism, @Thomas_Reacts doubled down with a vengeance.

The one-sided attacks from @Thomas_Reacts got so intense, in fact, that trolls on the sideline started firing back.




Eventually, BuzzFeed’s Alan White was able to broker an historic peace accord between the two reaction shot accounts. But the damage was done.

Fear not, though. In short order, @Thomas_Reacts was back to tweeting timely, top-shelf, and, above all, original stuff. Like this:

Hmm. What’s an image that says “time to log off forever”?

Ah, yeah. That’s it.

Screengrab via Thomas & Friends/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2016, 2:41 pm CST