Most parents know about Thomas The Train. Kids love Thomas and his friends from the U.K. Island of Sodor, and there’s actually lots for kids to learn from the Thomas marketing juggernaut … about sharing, manners, and hard work.
The lessons about hard work are also there for parents if you listen carefully. They mostly come from Sir Topham Hat, the railroad magnate of Sodor and #10 on the Forbes fictional rich list. Sir Hat seems polite but is really kind of a dick. He’s constantly reminding his trains about being useful, saying things like “Today you were a very useful engine indeed” or “You’re one of my engines and you must be useful.” Despite how condescending his ‘Be Useful’ refrain is (top hat wearers are condescending a-holes by definition right?), it’s also useful career advice.