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"See? You can't get rid of a jinx that easily, Ten Cents."

Jinxed is the tenth episode of TUGS.


One night out at sea, Ten Cents and Sunshine find a mysterious tug named Boomer. He is just drifting as he has apparently broken down. He declines their offer of help, explaining that he is a “jinx” and wants nothing to do with anyone because he will bring them bad luck. The tug then explains that his original name was "Captain Harry", and that the supposed jinx began when a new owner painted over his original name and renamed him Boomer.

Events tend to confirm the story of the jinx. First Ten Cents' towrope (which he attaches to Boomer) falls into the sea. Then, when the tugs bring Boomer to Captain Star and he is restoked and restarted, his engine smokes. Captain Star orders Ten Cents and Sunshine to pull Boomer clear. As soon as he is clear, his engine strangely stops smoking. After this, Captain Star's megaphone falls out of the window, which has never happened before. He tells the tugs to take Boomer to Lucky's Yard.

On the way there, Boomer suddenly starts taking on water. He is quite happy as he sinks lower and lower - he has always wanted to sink, because he won't jinx anyone. But he comes to rest on a sunken garbage barge. Ten Cents fetches a rescue crane, Mighty Mo (who tries to lift Boomer), but just as he lifts him out of the water, his crane hawser jams and he is unable to lift him up any further.

The convoy is forced to awkwardly travel to Lucky's Yard, which lasts into the nighttime, but their journey comes to a catastrophic end when all the lights go out and they crash into Lucky's. A few days later, Boomer is finally repaired, and begins working with the Z-Stacks on the munitions contract. As he passes Zip, Zug and Boomer (who are hauling a barge of explosives), Ten Cents toots good luck to Boomer on his hooter and the explosives immediately detonate. Captain Zero instantly gets rid of Boomer. Captain Star decides to give him another try, using him only on very simple jobs, where nothing can go wrong - or so he thinks.

As Ten Cents also hooted as Boomer was being lifted out of the water by Mighty Mo, when Boomer tried starting his engine, and when Ten Cents first tried towing Boomer into port, Sunshine theorizes that Ten Cents' hooter may somehow be causing the jinx. Ten Cents (however) thinks this is nonsense. In an attempt to prove he is right, Sunshine organizes a test - he finds Boomer with a marker buoy, and tells Ten Cents to sound his hooter. Ten Cents does so, and nothing happens until the marker buoy sinks, much to everyone's surprise.

The following morning, Captain Star gives Boomer the simple task of towing a schooner out to sea, believing nothing can possibly go wrong. Ten Cents and Sunshine escort Boomer to the schooner without any mishaps, and Boomer starts off successfully. (Ten Cents is careful not to sound his hooter.) But later, Ten Cents and Sunshine see Boomer and the burnt-out schooner being towed in by the Fire Chief, who thought that Boomer went too fast and a spark from his stack caused the schooner to burn up, but Boomer says he was struck by lightning -- though the weather has been fair.

Captain Star's patience finally runs out. He has Sunshine take Boomer sent to Lucky’s Yard with strict instructions that he is "never to be used as a tug, ever again no matter what.”

Some weeks later, Ten Cents and Sunshine are surprised by Captain Star’s order to fetch Boomer and take him Up River. Ten Cents tells Sunshine how “there’s a ship's graveyard there, full of rusting hulks.” They fear the worst for Boomer, but when they see him, they find he has been turned from a tugboat into a houseboat. The pair escort Boomer to his new mooring ("Dun Tuggin'"), where he is very happy. Boomer thanks them both and apologizes for getting them into trouble. Ten Cents tells Boomer he hopes the jinx left him. Boomer tells him it's what the jinx could do to others that worried him the most. As Ten Cents whistles goodbye, a tree falls over, which seems to have been caused by the jinx. But Boomer assures them the jinx is gone; if it was still there, he reasons, the tree would have collapsed on him, or one of them.

The two switchers then say goodbye to Boomer, and go back to work. Boomer is once again happy; now he can rest during the summer and the trees can keep him in the shade. He is very happy there, because the jinx has been lifted.

Deleted Material

Main Article: Deleted Scenes

Early Writing Stages

In an early outline, misfortunes for Boomer (who was originally an unnamed independent switcher) included being struck by a ship and crashing into the sand banks while working for the Z-Stacks. His time (working in Bigg City Port ended when he was hit by a battleship) was holed, and sank.

Everyone forgets about the tug until Captain Star gets a new "very lucrative" contract from an Oil Tanker Company. He needs an extra tug to help O.J. and Warrior tow in a giant oil tanker. The tug is located by Grampus and lifted out of the water. As the tug helps O.J. and Warrior tow in the tanker, the oil loaded on the tanker spills out and sets the switcher and the sea ablaze. No tug can get close to the jinxed tug to save him and so he burns all night.

This outline was never completed due to the team not deciding on an ending. One ending had the jinxed switcher being purchased by a young farmer after the accident with the oil tanker, converted into a houseboat, and moved upriver. He admits to Ten Cents one day that he never enjoyed being a tug. Another ending would have had a Mexican buy the switcher and destroy him by crashing him into some rocks.





  • The original name of this episode was "Jinxed Tug"[1].
  • Going by production order, this is the first episode of the series.
  • A treatment plan for the episode was stamped on 14 October, 1987.
  • The scenes of Ten Cents and Sunshine first finding Boomer in the Estuary and all the scenes at Dun Tuggin' were filmed after a majority of Jinxed had been filmed. For instance, the first Estuary scene was filmed during the production of High Winds.
  • There is a deleted scene showing Big Mac and Warrior present with the floating cranes, as Boomer is being rescued from sinking. This can be found in a Castle Vision VHS advertisement and in the photo book. More footage from this scene was used in a rare prototype version of the show's opening sequence.
  • This is the first appearance of Boomer and his only speaking role.
  • This was one of only three episodes to be filmed at a length of 30 minutes, the other two episodes being Sunshine and Pirate. As a result, there are a lot of deleted scenes for this episode, a lot of which are featured in the photo book adaption of the episode, "The Unlucky Tug".
  • This episode marks Zak and Mighty Mo's last speaking roles.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Izzy Gomez.
  • Aside from narration, this is the only time Captain Star speaks without his megaphone.
  • According to Jeremy King, the wreck buoy was purposely painted with a hungover look in his eyes.
  • During the filming of this episode, a Yacht model was present on set, but was never seen within the episode, and never seen on set for pictures of other episodes.
  • Footage filmed during Sunshine, Munitions, Ghosts, High Winds and Up River is used within the episode.
  • The shot of Boomer and the schooner against the orange sky is used in the show's closing credits.
  • Zak is the only Z-Stack who has a speaking role in this episode, however Zip does have one exclusively in the Japanese dub.
  • The Fire Tug can be seen with a slightly unfinished model and prototype face throughout this episode until the scene when he brings in Boomer and the damaged schooner.


  • When the Fultan Ferry passes the Star Dock, it has Top Hat's whistle sound.
  • When Sunshine prepares to take Boomer to Lucky's Yard with Ten Cents, his bow ropes are moving whilst he is pulling the barge.
  • In the close up of Boomer's stern when he tries his engine, it's really Top Hat's stern - this is because footage from Up River is used.
  • When Boomer is at Lucky's Yard as a houseboat, he still has his front bumper but when he is at his new dock, his front bumper is gone.
  • When Boomer explains about the tree falling down, his close up shows him back at Lucky's Yard.
  • Because footage from Ghosts is used, Mighty Mo can be seen behind O.J. during the Raft Construction crash scene.
  • When Captain Star talks about Boomer and the Z-Stacks working on the munitions contract, Boomer is leading with Zip and Zug side-by-side the munitions barge. But in the next shot, Zip and Zug aren't side-by-side and the Z-Stack hauling the barge is Zorran. The munitions factory is also in the shot, when it should be Bigg City Port. This is due to footage from Munitions being used.

External links