The Little Engine That Couldn't
Season: 1
Production code: 111a
Broadcast order: 21
Written by:
Joshua Pruett
Storyboards by:
Calvin Suggs
Directed by:
Robert F. Hughes
Broadcast Information
U.S. Premiere:
March 22, 2017 [1]
International Premieres:
see below
Paired with
The Llama Incident
Story arc(s)
Counteragent Arc
Who's gonna get excited about an antique fire truck?

Melissa Chase

The Little Engine That Couldn't is the 21st episode in the first season of Milo Murphy's Law.

Episode Synopsis

When Melissa's dad drives her and Milo into town on a decommissioned fire engine, chaos ensues.


Milo and Melissa visit Mr. Chase at the Fire House as he is cleaning up an old fire engine that's to be delivered to a museum. As usual Mr. Chase is apprehensive about Milo's presence, but is impressed when he learns about Milo's considerable knowledge, and agrees to let the pair ride with him. Meanwhile, Balthazar Cavendish and Vinnie Dakota have received another pistachio-guarding assignment, only to find that their newly assigned vehicle is a tandem bicycle, which Cavendish sees as yet another instance of their superiors demeaning them. The fire engine goes out of control as Mr. Chase is driving it to the museum, and smashes Cavendish and Dakota's new bike; spotting Milo, the pair chase after him with Cavendish determined to find out the truth about Milo.

Milo puts his best efforts into keeping the engine from crashing or causing any severe destruction, though they do end up dragging an old trolley car that's been converted into a diner. Cavendish and Dakota board it and confront Milo, but since he is not a time-traveling agent he has no idea what they're talking about; he then acts to rescue several cats, one of whom bears more than a passing resemblance to Cavendish. The pair ends up being thrown off the engine after the trolley car becomes detached, and the engine finally comes to a stop in front of the firefighting museum tangled with a Tyrannosaurus Rex display from the Natural History Museum that arouses popular interest. Mr. Chase then admits that he and Milo have more in common than he had first thought, as Milo's efforts to contend with Murphy's Law are not unlike his own career as a firefighter.


For a full transcript of "The Little Engine That Couldn't", click here.


The image gallery for The Little Engine That Couldn't may be viewed here.


International Airings

  • July 21, 2017 (Southeast Asia)
  • August 31, 2017 (Disney Channel Israel)


  • The episode title is a pun on the old children's book The Little Engine That Could.
  • This is the first episode that does not feature Zack at all, making Milo the only character to have appeared in every episode.
  • Milo has an interest in antique fire engines ever since he learned that his grandfather was saved by one after somehow accidentally eating too many balloons.
  • Elliot Decker's scream is heard in this episode and is credited, but he never actually appears.
  • Some Phineas and Ferb extras can be seen when the firetruck crashes through the museum. Most notably the woman who shouts "My watermelon" in Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across The Second Dimension.
  • The dinosaur is the same dinosaur that was frozen in the Phineas and Ferb episode It's about time.
  • The cat that resembles Cavendish got a big liking from fans, who dubbed him "Catvendish", "Balth Jr." and even "Balto".


  • The stripes on the American Flag outside the fire department are arranged in reverse. (They're supposed to go red white red, not white red white.
  • When Milo rings the bell just before asking to drive, his hand clips in front of the rope instead of around it after pulling it down.
  • Right before the fire engine starts to knock down the strip mall signs, as it's turning the corner, Balthazar's body disappears.
  • The three people standing in the breezeway between the Natural History Museum and the fire Engine Museum suddenly disappear.
  • In the courtyard between the two museums, in the foreground, a man's yellow shirt and blue pants change to brown and tan.
  • The four people in the foreground of the museum courtyard change dramatically in relative size to one another and to the grid etched in the concrete.
LETC 191
LETC 192


  • WWII Arial Combat - One of the falling cats is seen standing erect and saluting. There are several reports of downed pilots doing this after they bailed out of their plane, particularly in the earlier part of the war.



The Math Book
Episodes Next:
The Llama Incident
v - e - d Episodes
Season 1 Going the Extra MiloThe UndergroundersRooting for the EnemySunny Side UpThe Doctor Zone FilesThe NoteParty of PerilSmooth Opera-torWorked DayThe Wilder WestFamily VacationMurphy's LardSecrets and PiesAthledecamathalonThe SubstituteTime OutWe're Going to the ZooSchool DanceBattle of the BandsThe Math BookThe Little Engine That Couldn'tThe Llama IncidentMissing MiloStar StruckDisaster of My DreamsA Clockwork OriginPerchance to SleepwalkSome Like it YachtBackward to School NightWorld Without MiloThe RaceLove TobogganThe Island of Lost DakotasFungus Among UsMilo Murphy's Halloween Scream-A-Torium!A Christmas Peril
Season 2 The Phineas and Ferb EffectSnow Way OutTeacher FeaturePicture DayAgee Ientee DiogeeGame NightPace Makes WasteCake 'Splosion!Lady KrillersDoof's Day OutDisco Do-OverThe Ticking ClockManaging Murphy's LawField of ScreamsSpy Little Sister!Milo's ShadowSick DayFreefallMilo's WorldDog Walker, Runner, ScreamerNow I Am a MurphyAbducting Murphy's LawThe Goulash LegacyThe Dog Who Knew Too MuchAdventure BuddiesRide Along Little DoggieLook at this ShipCast Party
v - e - d Primary Story Arc Episodes
B.O.T.T. Introduction Arc The Doctor Zone FilesSmooth Opera-torWorked DayFamily VacationMurphy's LardSecrets and PiesThe SubstituteTime Out
Counteragent Arc Time OutWe're Going to the ZooSchool DanceThe Little Engine That Couldn'tStar StruckMissing Milo
Pistachions Arc The SubstituteThe Llama IncidentMissing MiloPerchance to SleepwalkThe RaceFungus Among UsThe Phineas and Ferb Effect
Doofenshmirtz Arc The Phineas and Ferb EffectAgee Ientee DiogeeCake 'Splosion!Doof's Day OutDisco Do-OverThe Ticking Clock
P.I.G. Arc Snow Way OutPicture DayGame NightLady KrillersDisco Do-OverManaging Murphy's Law
Octalians Arc Managing Murphy's Law
Episodes in Italics indicate an episode that doesn't center around the subject of an arc but is still related to it.