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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the US VHS/DVD.

“You should see the situation from Cranky's point of view. He's high up in the air, coping with wind, rain and baking sun, then he looks down and sees you two little engines being annoying! No wonder he calls you bugs!”

Cranky Bugs is the first episode of the fifth series. It aired back to back with Horrid Lorry on Storytime with Thomas in the US.


Thomas and Percy enjoy working at the docks, but find themselves one day delayed when a new crane named Cranky starts pushing his weight around and calls them bugs. Thomas and Percy inform James and Gordon about Cranky and are surprised to know the big engines agree with him; while Gordon believes that cranes need a lot of attention like him, James tells Thomas and Percy to think about how Cranky feels - he is high up in the air and has to cope with inclement weather, and then looks down on the two engines annoying him.

Matters are made even worse when Cranky finds out Gordon and James agree with his ways, causing him to be more bossy. He tells Percy to shunt some trucks closer to him. Percy is too upset to concentrate and he pushes the trucks too far, leading Cranky to drop a crate of sand on top of Percy. Cranky then tricks Thomas by telling him to shunt his flatbeds to the outside line, so that it will be easier for Cranky to load up. As Thomas does so, Cranky leaves the loads beside the trucks, rather than in them. This series of setbacks causes confusion and delay, which makes the Fat Controller most upset with the aforementioned incidents. Unfortunately, he is unaware of Cranky's bad behaviour, so he assumes Thomas and Percy are responsible, and sends the two tank engines to their sheds to consider how they will improve themselves the next day. Thomas and Percy are both also upset, with Cranky.

That night, a terrible storm rages across Sodor. Henry, Gordon, James and Duck have taken refuge in the harbour shed. Duck is sure that they will be safe, but a tramp steamer loses control, runs aground into the dockyard and destroys the shed, causing the roof to fall in, trapping Duck and the big engines and knocking Cranky over in the process. When the storm is over, the Fat Controller tells Cranky that Thomas and Percy are coming to help him so that he can help the other engines. Cranky realises that he needs to apologise to the two tank engines and tells the Fat Controller to tell Thomas and Percy how sorry he is for being rude to them. The Fat Controller realises that Cranky is the culprit for the incidents and that he owes the two tank engines an apology as well.

Thomas and Percy come to the rescue, and Cranky is soon upright again and rescuing the engines from what remains of the shed. Cranky then mistakenly calls his rescuers "mites" and Percy - offended that Cranky has reverted to his insulting attitude - attempts to leave. Thomas warns him not to move as he's still attached to Cranky, but Percy accidentally pulls him down again.

Cranky still looks down on Thomas and Percy, but ever since that stormy night, he never causes trouble for them again, knowing they may bite back.




  • Stock footage from Henry's Forest is used.
  • Big Mickey, S.S. Vienna and Izzy Gomez from TUGS can be seen. The LT Warehouse that is first seen when Cranky leaves the loads beside Thomas' trucks was also seen in the TUGS episode High Tide, in the scene where Top Hat confronts the Z-Stacks at the Canal.
  • According to an interview with Mike O'Donnell, it took him and Junior Campbell at least a week to create the music for this episode, on average it would take a week to create music for three episodes but they found it particularly hard as this was the first episode of the fifth series.[1]
  • This is the first episode of several things:
    • The first episode aired by EBS in South Korea.
    • The first episode to be narrated by Alec Baldwin in the US, Gro Solemdal in Norway for the VHS, Tommy Kenter in Denmark and Kim Il in South Korea.
    • Butch and Cranky's first appearance in the series.
    • This was David Maidment's first episode as the railway consultant.
    • The first episode of Takeshi Aono voicing the Fat Controller in the Japanese dub.
    • The first episode to use the phrase, "confusion and delay," which would become the Fat Controller's catchphrase starting in the sixth series episode, Dunkin Duncan.
    • This is the first episode made without the help of the Rev. W Awdry himself since his death in 1997 or Christopher Awdry.
    • The first time that the Fat Controller's car is seen moving on-screen.
    • The first episode since the second series episode, Wrong Road to feature Gordon's second series alarmed face mask.
    • The first time Thomas' suspicious face is used.
  • In the first shot of Brendam, there is a truck that has the number eight written on it.
  • The barrel the Fat Controller stands on near the end of the episode is the "Best Quality Diesel Oil" barrel from the fourth series episode, Bowled Out.
  • Concept art shows that Edward was originally going to be in the episode during the tramp steamer scene, but his role was replaced by Duck for some unknown reason. In the same concept art, the tramp steamer would have hit a fuel tanker that would have resulted in an explosion.
  • Despite his appearance in the episode, Henry does not appear in the nameboard sequence at the end of the episode in the Japanese dub.
  • The wooden section of the Skarloey Engine Sheds appears at the docks.
  • This marks the last time Percy speaks in the series premiere until the eighth series premiere episode.
  • A creaking sound is heard while Cranky starts tipping over and falling to the ground in the US and International dubs.
  • Class 40's theme from Bowled Out, when he breaks down is heard here.


  • When Cranky complains about the load and the engines, Thomas and Percy both have flatbeds in front of them. But when Cranky bangs the load down and the camera turns to Thomas and Percy, the flatbeds are not coupled to them.
  • Gordon's buffers and middle lamp iron are crooked throughout the episode.
  • Cranky has a gap between his face plate and eyes, after he drops the crate on Percy.
  • When Cranky says, "You must have known my arm can't reach you there!", the narrator says he was complaining, but Cranky is wearing his laughing face mask.
  • In the UK dub, the narrator says that Cranky and the big engines were trapped by the docks, but Duck is not a big engine.
  • In some close-ups of Cranky, his eye mechanism is visible through his windows.
  • When Gordon says, "Thank you. What would I have done without you?" his lamp is not attached to his lamp iron.
  • Cranky's position at the docks changes between the day and night sequences.
  • Thomas's dome is crooked in some scenes.
  • In the Korean dub, Gordon's line "Oh thank you, what would I have done without you?" was translated as "크랭키, 너 때문에 살았어" (keulaengki, neo ttaemun-e sal-ass-eo), but that is considered poor grammar, and said sarcastically, also it translates to as "Cranky, I lived for you" and it makes no sence. "크랭키, 너 덕분에 살았어" (keulaengki, neo deogbun-e sal-ass-eo), should be the correct sentence.


  • Cranky: You're/You are useless little bugs! If you put these trucks/freight cars on the inside lines, then I wouldn't have so far to travel!
  • Thomas: UK dub: Rubbish! We always arrange our trucks like this, and no crane has ever complained before! / US dub: Rubbish! No crane has ever complained before!
  • Cranky: Well, I'm complaining now! [he drops his load on the ground]


  • Gordon: Cranes are airy-fairy things, they need a lot of attention like me, in fact.
  • James: You should have seen the situation from Cranky's point-of-view. He's high up in the air, coping with wind, rain, and baking sun. Then he looks down and sees you two engines being annoying! No wonder he called you "bugs”!


  • Cranky: (to Percy) Come on! Come on! Push those trucks/freight cars closer to me!


  • Cranky: Push your trucks/freight cars onto the outside line. It's easier for me to load up.
  • Narrator: So Thomas did, but Cranky left the loads beside the trucks/freight cars, not in them.
  • Cranky: You must have known my arm can't reach you there!
  • Narrator: This mix-up caused confusion and delay.


  • The Fat Controller: Thomas and Percy, this new crane has an important job to do. I have heard that you have not been helping him today. You will go to your sheds and consider how you will improve yourselves tomorrow.


  • Narrator: UK dub: Cranky and the big engines were trapped at the docks. / US dub: Cranky and the engines were trapped at the docks.
  • Duck: We're sure to be safe in the shed!
  • Narrator: But he was wrong. The engines had no idea that they were about to be put in great danger by an old tramp steamer. (US and International dubs only: [the steamer's horn honks]) It was out of control and running aground straight into the sheds. [The tramp steamer loses control, and accidentally crashes into the sheds, knocking Cranky over]
  • Cranky: AAAAHHHH!!!
  • Henry, Gordon, James, and Duck: (trapped in the sheds) HELP!
  • Cranky: I CAN'T!


  • The Fat Controller: Thomas and Percy will help you, and then you can help the other engines.
  • Cranky: Oh, please. Hurry. And tell them I'm sorry I was rude to them.
  • The Fat Controller: So it was you. I owe those engines an apology.


[after Cranky has saved the engines in the shed]

  • Gordon: Oh, thank you! What would I have done without you?
  • Cranky: Well, I had to be rescued before I could help you, but I never thought it would be a couple of b-b-
  • Narrator: Cranky was about to say bugs, but he quickly corrected himself.
  • Cranky: "Small engines". Thank you, I'll never be rude again. However, you two mites are in my way, so move over!
  • Percy: Pah! He's back to bugging us! [lurches backward]
  • Thomas: Don't move! You're still attached to Cranky!
  • Narrator: But it was too late.
  • [Cranky falls again]


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese O Resgate de Cranky
Chinese Mandarin 克兰奇及小鬼
Czech Crankyho Hmyz
Danish En Krævende Kran
Dutch Kranige Vlooien
French Les Microbes de Félix
German Unnütze Käfer?
Greek Ο νευρικός γερανός
Hungarian Cranky-t Megleckéztetik
Italian Cranky la Gru
Japanese クレーンのクランキー
Korean 거만한 크랭키 (EBS)
작다고 무시하면 안 돼요 (Adongmoonhak)
Latin American Spanish El Rescate de Cranky
Norwegian Sinte Cranky
Polish Pasożyty (Original)
Robaczki Karolka (Alternate)
Romanian Ifosele lui Cranky
Russian Недовольные жуки
Slovenian Živko in Žužka
Swedish Sömnlösa Gnällis
Taiwanese Mandarin 壞脾氣的克雷
Welsh Chwain

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs



  • Cranky Bugs and Other Thomas Stories
  • The Greatest Stories

DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets


  • Happy Ever After (VHS)


DVD Boxsets









DVD Boxsets