Pinkie Pie starts her day off with some warm-up exercises, but being Pinkie, these are no mere aerobics, but the basics of being her, with the added bonus of making babies smile. The Cake twins, however, are not impressed, but as always, a blow to the head brings a smile to their faces. With that taken care of, Pinkie Pie sets off into town, taking the time to greet everyone, from Daisy Jo the cow to the elderly Mr. Waddles. She wishes Cheerilee a happy birthday, Zecora a happy day-after-birthday, and an advance happy birthday to Miss Matilda the donkey. Miss Matilda wonders how Pinkie Pie can remember all that, and Pinkie Pie chalks it up to caring for all her friends. Which sounds like a song cue to me!
In song, Pinkie explains her philosophy of life: make as many ponies smile as possible, and to demonstrate, she goes about town, cheering up blue ponies everywhere (including herself).
face to face with a dour donkey pulling a cart into town. Realizing that this is someone she doesn't know, she quickly introduces herself, but when the donkey doesn't reciprocate, she searches his cart for clues. Finding the initials C.D.D., she surmises his last name is Donkey, and proceeds to try every C name she can think of until she guesses his first name, much to the donkey's annoyance. Eventually he tells her his name is Cranky, just to shut her up, and even admits his middle name is Doodle. This, of course, sends Pinkie into a song, set to the tune of Yankee Doodle, about how they're now bestest friends. She attempts to get him smiling by nicknaming him Doodle, but this has the opposite affect, as he tells her "Nopony calls me Doodle!" and then continues on his way.
Pinkie struggles to comprehend what just went down, and illustrates her thoughts with felt. Realizing the only way to win Cranky over is to keep trying, Pinkie Pie approaches the donkey again. The very sound of her voice makes him speed up, but Pinkie is undeterred. She offers to show him around Ponyville, as a gesture of friendship, but Cranky rebuffs her, telling her that he's made plenty of friends in his travels around Equestria, and he doesn't need any more. He's come to Ponyville for peace and quiet, which is pretty much the opposite of Pinkie Pie. Hearing that he just wants to be alone with his memories, Pinkie Pie searches through the things in his cart, much to Cranky's horror. After she plays with one thing too many, Cranky sends her away, and Pinkie actually goes.
But being Pinkie, she doesn't stay gone for long, appearing with a wagon of her own: a Welcome Wagon, naturally. She proposes they be Wagon Buddies, which Cranky doesn't even dignify with a response. She does, however, get him to stop and receive the wagon's welcome with some puppy-dog eyes.
Cranky: Let's get this over withWith the touch of a button, the wagon springs to life with music and flags, and Pinkie sings a special Welcome song, which ends with a blast of confetti that knocks off Cranky's toupee. The wagon then douses them with cake batter, which Pinkie attributes to putting the cake batter in the confetti cannon and the confetti in the oven. Again. She takes it in stride, but Cranky just wants to find his toupee. Which Pinkie mistakes for a hairy spider and pummels.
Pinkie: That's the spirit!
calls upon the help of everypony in the square to get Cranky a new toupee, unintentionally calling unwanted attention to his baldness. In frustration, Cranky just plops a hunk of grassy dirt on his head and takes his leave. Pinkie begs Cranky to give her one more chance, and drags him to the spa. While the spa ponies give him the full treatment, Pinkie goes out and gets Cranky a gift, which he is loathe to take, telling her the spa trip was enough. But take it he does, and it turns out to be a new toupee, hoof-picked by Rarity. Cranky is pleased, but he still isn't smiling.
Any good will Pinkie may have garnered is put into a precarious position when she shows up at Cranky's new home to help him unpack. She peppers him with questions about his things, and is intrigued when she hears he lived in Manehatten while trying to find a special friend. She spots a scrapbook and takes a peek inside, but when she turns to ask Cranky about what she saw, she accidentally causes a lantern to fall, setting the book on fire! She douses the fire, but the damage is done. Cranky flips out on her, telling her that he will never ever ever ever ever be her friend. Which equals forever, for those of you keeping score at home.
At the library, Pinkie Pie laments her inability to make Cranky her friend, and Twilight, though sympathetic, tries to help her understand that Cranky just wants to be left alone, with Rainbow Dash (hanging out reading more Daring Do books) adding that Pinkie's crazy antics probably sealed the deal on his non-friendship. And Pinkie does understand, but she just can't let Cranky alone without properly apologizing for the scrapbook incident. Twilight head-desks.
And so the next day Pinkie Pie sets off for Cranky's cottage, where the donkey is still crestfallen over his ruined scrapbook. The very sight of Pinkie sends Cranky heading for the hills at a breakneck speed, but Pinkie manages to keep up with him, apologizing as they run. Cranky, however, refuses to accept her apology, no matter how many "reallys" she places in front of it. But there's no escaping Pinkie Pie, especially when she needs an answer from you, and she manages to pop up wherever he goes. Finally, he makes it back home and barricades the door. Pinkie knocks, but then all goes silent. Cranky dares to think he might be safe, until Pinkie comes down the chimney. Which has a grate, thankfully, so it's back to the door for her. The pink pony pleads for Cranky to forgive her, saying she'll do anything to make it up to him. But with the scrapbook ruined, there's nothing to be done, Cranky tells her, as that was all he had to remember "her" by. Having said too much, Cranky tells Pinkie to leave, and she turns to go. But then all the pieces fall together, and she rushes off.
they have Pinkie Pie to thank for this reunion. And so Pinkie reveals how she used Cranky's mention of a "special friend" and the things she saw in his scrapbook to realize he was talking about Matilda. And all because Matilda had a matching scrapbook with the exact same things in it, which she'd shared with Pinkie Pie.
Seeing that scrapbook, Cranky begins to reminisce about the night they met, all those years ago at the Grand Galloping Gala. He remembers going to her room the next day, only to find her already gone. Matilda tells him she left a note, but he never saw it. And he tells her how he spent the rest of his life going from town to town trying to track her down. He had, in fact, come to Ponyville to give up the search, and it turns out that's where she was all those years. Matilda then calls him Doodle, which Pinkie tries to warn her about. But Cranky just says that Matilda is the one exception. They share a donkey embrace, and Matilda kisses Cranky on the snout. This, at last, gets Cranky to smile.
With the two donkeys so happy, Pinkie feels the time is right to ask if her apology is accepted. And Cranky informs her that not only is it accepted, she's earned the right to be his friend. Which makes Pinkie so happy that she takes to the sky and ignites with fireworks. She immediately starts planning all the fun activities they can do together, but realizes that she should maybe dial it down a little. Cranky sends her off gently, so that he and his newly-found lady love can have a little quality time, while affirming that they're still friends. And so Pinkie Pie writes her letter to the princess, about how she's learned that there are different ways to be a friend. But she can't resist finishing off the episode with one last song, this time set to Yankee Doodle Boy. Neither Cranky nor Matilda appreciate this.
What just happened?
Miss Pie, are you trying to seduce me?
Pinkie as beaver