Cranky is a large grumpy dockyard crane, who works and lives at Brendam.
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.
Although he is naturally grumpy, Cranky has shown that he has a kind side too. Once he helped Thomas out of trouble when he and Percy were playing "Hide and Peep" by finding Percy in the dry dock.
In the seventeenth season, Cranky needed some help, so Kevin was sent to help him. However, Cranky refused the help, leading Kevin to fall into the sea. Cranky rescued Kevin, and apologised for being so mean. He later called Charlie silly when he told him about the elephant on the line, and warned Thomas about the icy tracks.
In Tale of the Brave, Cranky attempted to stop a ship that Gator was on, after Thomas thought that Percy was on board the ship. However, this resulted in Cranky breaking, forcing the ship to turn back.
Cranky was later unloading a crate from a ship at Brendam, but accidentally dropped the crate to the ground. Fearing the contents inside of the crate were broken, Cranky hid the crate out of sight, though it was later found and taken to the Town Hall.
The reason Cranky is so grumpy is because he was initially kept working day and night without rest. 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 sympathized 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 and 50s.
Cranky is painted olive with black and brown pulleys amongst his mechanism and two work plates on each side that read "CRANKY".
- Matt Wilkinson (UK; thirteenth season onwards)
- Glenn Wrage (US; thirteenth season onwards)
- Hisao Egawa (Japan; fifth - eighth seasons)
- Takaya Kuroda (Japan; ninth season onwards)
- Christoffer Staib (Norway; thirteenth - sixteenth seasons)
- Simen Sand (Norway; Day of the Diesels onwards, excluding the sixteenth season)
- Walter Wigand (Germany)
- Klaudiusz Kaufmann (Poland)
- Jarosław Domin (Poland; Timothy and the Rainbow Truck and Emily Saves the World only)
- Piotr Bajtlik (Poland; Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)
- Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada)
- Octavio Rojas (Latin America; thirteenth season onwards)
- Jeremy Luton (The Netherlands)
- Dan Shatzberg (Israel)
- Mauro Castro (Brazil)
- Ángel Amorós (Spain)
- Petri Hanttu (Finland; Misty Island Rescue onwards)
- Cranky can be dismantled and shifted to different locations, despite it never being mentioned or shown, however, there are some cases where Cranky has not been seen at Brendam.
- 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 held his crane arm to his body wrapped around a pipe between his nameplates
- Season 6:
- Two metal strips are shown replacing the chains
- Season 13:
- The design of his hook changes
- Season 5:
- 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.
- He, apparently, has a fear of elephants.
- According to an interview with Sodor Island Forums, Cranky is one of Mark Moraghan's favourite characters alongside Percy.
- ERTL (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (normal and deluxe versions; deluxe discontinued)
- Take-Along (discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (regular and remote control; remote control discontinued)
- Trading Cards (discontinued)
- LEGO (discontinued)
- My First Thomas
- Brio (discontinued)
- Wind-up (normal and metallic; Japan only)
- Limited Edition Collection
- New Block
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Thomas Town (discontinued)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Collectible Railway
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
- Motorized Railway