Cranky is a tall, grumpy dockyard crane (hence his name) who lives and works at Brendam Docks.
Cranky bullied Thomas and Percy by delaying their loads and calling them "bugs". He later got his comeuppance after a tramp steamer crashed into him and had to be rescued by the two tank engines. Afterwards, he promised never to insult them. However, he still teases the engines, such as when Percy complained that there was too much work and when Henry arrived at the Docks in a barge full of fish.
Despite his lack of sleep, Cranky works very hard. But his working attitude makes the engines cross whenever they think that Cranky is too slow - as a result of their insults, Cranky can cause accidents.
The reason Cranky is so grumpy is because he was initially kept working day and night without rest and seems to have kept up his cranky attitude even though now he does get sleep. Cranky loves teasing the engines and has an intense dislike for Salty's stories. He rarely pays attention to tact due to his perpetual bad temper.
However, Cranky has at times shown a bit of kindness, such as when he sympathised for Percy when Thomas went missing on Misty Island.
According to an interview, Cranky is based on photo reference of various cranes from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Cranky is painted olive with black and brown pulleys amongst his mechanism and two nameplates on each side that read "CRANKY" in yellow.
- Season 5 - Cranky Bugs, Horrid Lorry, Baa! (cameo), Put Upon Percy (cameo), Something in the Air and Make Someone Happy
- Season 6 - Harvey to the Rescue, No Sleep for Cranky, The Fogman (cameo) and Thomas the Jet Engine
- Season 7 - Edward's Brass Band, Salty's Stormy Tale (cameo), Something Fishy (cameo) and Peace and Quiet (cameo)
- Cranky can be dismantled and moved to different locations, despite it never being mentioned or shown. However there have been cases where the dockside has been shown with Cranky nowhere to be seen.
- Before the script cut, Cranky was to have a much larger role in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
- In the aforementioned movie, he was located at Knapford Yards rather than Brendam Docks.
- One of Cranky's models used to be display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
- Cranky's ladder seemingly leads to nothing, and no door has even been seen - it is unknown how his crew is able to enter him. Furthermore, he has never been seen with a crew.
- Cranky's original Plarail and Wooden Railway models were painted light grey instead of olive green.
- Cranky has gone through several changes in the Television Series:
- Season 5:
- Chains hold his crane arm to his body wrapped around a pipe between his nameplates
- Season 6:
- Two metal stripes are shown replacing the chains
- Cranky was the first character introduced to the TV series who was not Railway Series-related.
- The My First Thomas model of Cranky is incorrectly painted blue instead of green.
- Season 5:
- ERTL (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (deluxe and normal versions; discontinued)
- Take-Along (discontinued)
- TOMY/TrackMaster (regular and remote control)'
- Brio (discontinued)
- Wind-up Trains (Japan only)
|Harold • Bulstrode • P. S. Cumberland • S.S. Kathryn • Dignity • Mermaid • North Star|
|Cranky • S.S. Roxstar • Lucinda • Tiger Moth • The Queen of Sodor • The Cranes • Tugboats • The Aeroplane • The Salvage Barges • The Canal Boats • The Mail Boat • The Paddle Boat • The Fultan Ferry • The Tramp Steamer • The Hot Air Balloon|