Sometimes, you just need a reset button for life.
The 52nd animated film from Disney's canon line-up
, Wreck-It Ralph
is about a villain living in the world of a 1980s
8-bit video game starring Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer
), as one of the many machines in an arcade center
. Ralph (John C. Reilly
) is fed up with being disrespected as the bad guy for 30 years straight, so he sees an opportunity to become a hero within the sci-fi Light Gun Game Hero's Duty
featuring Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch
). With his simple goal of winning a medal, he unwittingly brings a deadly enemy to another of the arcade's games, Racing Game Sugar Rush
, where he meets a "glitch" named Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman
) and tries to help her accomplish her goal of competing in a race. Meanwhile, Felix and Calhoun follow Ralph to Sugar Rush
to fix the problems he's caused in both of their respective worlds.
Directed by Rich Moore, who was a former director on The Simpsons
and later on The Critic
. It was released on November 2, 2012. Watch the teaser trailer here
, which was released during E3 2012. There's also a theatrical trailer
and international trailer
as well. The film is preceded by the animated short Paperman
Henry Jackman revealed
in an interview that a sequel is in early development. If made, it will be the fourth sequel in Disney's official classics canon, preceded by The Rescuers Down Under
, Fantasia 2000
This film provides examples of:
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- 0% Approval Rating: What Ralph suffers from at the start of the film with the Nicelanders.
- 3-D Movie
- 100% Heroism Rating: Felix, from those he rescues in his game (i.e. everyone). This doesn't help Ralph's self-esteem.
- Action Girl: Calhoun. By virtue of having "the most tragic backstory ever", Calhoun is the hardest, most intense, and most badass character in the arcade, let alone in her own game.
- Actually Pretty Funny: King Candy puts on a pair of glasses, hoping Ralph wouldn't hit him. Ralph just removes them and smacks King Candy with the frames.
King Candy: You hit a guy... with glasses. Heh heh, that's, that's well played.
- Adaptational Villainy: Zangief of Street Fighter is portrayed in the movie as a bad guy: in the Street Fighter lore he's a decent guy - not exactly a hero, but an Unwitting Pawn at worst. He doesn't know about the World Domination plot that the tournament is supposed to cover for.
- Added Alliterative Appeal/Alliterative Name: Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix, King Candy.
- Adult Fear:
- So who wants to have their sister figure lost in a National/Metaphysical Apocalypse Wow? Ralph certainly didn't, and King Candy preyed on his fear to ensure at any cost that Vanellope didn't race.
- As with Toy Story 3, being considered obsolete and forced out of work despite being perfectly capable of doing your job is pretty scary.
- Advertised Extra: A few posters were made with actual videogame characters in the center (like these) when in the film their roles are at most extended cameos.
- Affectionate Nickname: An interesting example, in that for Ralph and Vanellope, names like Major Body Odor and President Fart-Feathers become affectionate rather than insulting.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In an odd inversion, the Cy-Bugs, who, thanks to their simple, mindless, animalistic programming, are incredibly dangerous if they're let out of Hero's Duty. While every other NPC is, at the very least, self-aware and follows the game's parameters, the bugs do not—they are only kept in check by the beacon in Hero's Duty, which recalls and destroys them when the game isn't being played. If they ever escaped, they would never stop consuming and multiplying.
- The Alcoholic: Gene is frequently seen with a martini in his hand, and his floor/room of the building cake was rum cake.
- All-CGI Cartoon: Though with some moments of Art Shift into 8-bit graphics and other animation mediums.
- The Alleged Car: Vanellope's first car, dubbed the Lickety-Split, wasn't much to look at, didn't even have an engine, and was entirely pedal-powered. It's unlikely it would have ever offered any serious competition in the race and it was destroyed very easily by the other Sugar Rush racers... who finished the job for her.
- The All Solving Hammer: Felix's magic hammer, in the sense that it can fix anything he taps with it - including his own face after Calhoun punches him. It works against him in the Fungeon, though, causing the dilapidated window bars to get stronger when he hits them, and him to groan, "Why do I fix everything I touch?!"
- All of the Other Reindeer:
- Ralph is treated like this by the Nicelanders in his own game, but he at least gets treated with respect by the other villains in the arcade.
- The characters in Sugar Rush mercilessly bully Vanellope and keep her from participating in the races because she's a glitch.
- All There in the Script: A large number of minor characters (and one major character) never have their names mentioned in the film itself:
- Nicelanders Nolan (mustache and glasses), Roy (balding, gray hair and suit with bowtie), and Meg ("Sweet mercy! Without Ralph, we're doomed!") aren't namedropped, and several others aren't known to even have names at all.
- A few of the palette swap Sugar Rush racers' names briefly appear on the Jumbotron but aren't mentioned in speech: Nougetsia Brumblestain, Citrusella Flugpucker, Torvald Batterbutter, and Sticky Wipplesnit.
- Kohut and Markowski are the only Hero's Duty marines to be mentioned by name. Others with known (but unmentioned) names are Mac and Marco, revealed here.
- Brad Scott (Calhoun's fiancé in her backstory) is not named in dialogue, given that he only appears in flashbacks and speaks exactly six words. Only his first name is given in the credits. However, there is an interactive ''Hero's Duty'' comic that sets up the plot of the game, featuring Brad in a prominent role.
- And most conspicuously absent: Sergeant Calhoun's full name is Tamora Jean Calhoun. The film never mentions this; she doesn't even give her name to players in the introduction of Hero's Duty. Only the movie's website, art book, and some promotional art display cases at an "Art of Animation" exhibit at Disneyï¿½s Hollywood Studios ever made this clear. She's only mentioned by name once in the entire movie, where Ralph simply refers to her as "Calhoun" towards the end of the epilogue (and the credits just give her last name as well). There were originally going to be more scenes taking place in Hero's Duty where she would've been properly introduced, but they were cut due to changes in the movie's plot during development.
- Alpha Bitch: While everyone bullies Vanellope, as mentioned above, Taffyta Muttonfudge is the one who leads them in it; no bullying is shown without her orchestrating it.
- Always Night: The world of Fix-It Felix Jr. is like this, as are most of the older games, by virtue of technological necessity. Hero's Duty seems to be this by design, being a scary Bug War sci-fi first-person shooter. Sugar Rush is an inversion, at least until the Cy-Bugs start attacking.
- Ambiguously Jewish: The arcade owner, Mr. Litwak, has a very Jewish last name.
- Amazon Chaser: Felix, who falls for Calhoun. While Calhoun is a normal-sized woman in her own game (though a bit on the tall side), compared with Felix she might as well be Fasolt or Fafnir.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Most of the movie posters feature Ralph proudly flexing in front of a dark blue backdrop with various characters beside him depending on the poster. The Japanese poster◊ has a shocked Ralph and Vanellope racing on a track in Sugar Rush with a bright yellow backdrop, and is also the only poster to feature King Candy on it.
- Amusing Injuries:
- Felix has Calhoun repeatedly injure him to attract some Laffy Taffy in Sugar Rush, fixing himself with his hammer after each hit. Ralph also gets his fair share during his Training Montage with Vanellope.
- Vanellope suffers one herself during the Training Montage. She eats the car's dashboard in a crash and loses a tooth. Cue a tooth-spit and big toothless grin!
- Ralph inadvertently kills Felix when he crashes the party. Fortunately he can respawn, so no harm done. Killing the guest of honour is quite clearly a serious faux pas though.
- Markowski from Hero's Duty screaming like a little girl and knocking himself out running into a wall has to count!
- Cyborgnote ripping Cyril's... Zombie's heart out is treated like a big joke. Given how he's a zombie he probably doesn't really need it anyway.
- An Aesop:
- The Bad-Anon group gets it dead right from the beginning - "There's nobody I'd rather be than me."
- There's also at least two disguised moral lessons for the children in the audience: selfishness can have dire consequences, and bullying is uncool. Every one is unique and important and stereotypes are harmful. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
- Analogy Backfire: For Felix, when he finds himself in jail:
Felix: You don't know what it's like to be rejected and treated like a criminal!
Ralph: Yes, I do. That's every day of my life.
- Ancestral Tool: Felix's magic fixing hammer was given to him by his father (remember, he's Felix Junior).
- And I Must Scream: Because of the Cy-Bug's programming, King Candy/Turbo's ultimate fate is being forced to fly towards the beacon and be incinerated. All while he's fully aware of what's happening and trying to stop.
- And Show It to You: Kano rips out a zombie's heart during the Bad-Anon meeting, still beating, seemingly out of habit more than anything else. The zombie doesn't mind, though Ralph is put off by the mess.
- Animated Actors: All of the video game characters (except the Cy-Bugs) are self-aware and play their roles for the gamers. Ralph kickstarts the plot when he gets dissatisfied with his job and breaks character.
- Animesque: The Sugar Rush universe and its characters seem to take cues from "cutesy anime" templates. Its theme song is even a J-Pop number, sung by AKB48. The game itself is apparently a Japanese import.
- Sergeant Calhoun has very large animesque eyes hidden under her hair and apparently a tanto.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Vanellope acts like this around Ralph.
- Apocalypse How: Individual games are treated as the Regional version: a class 4 happens if a game is destroyed by viruses, and a regional class 6 happens if a game is unplugged. Sugar Rush narrowly averts a regional class 4, which would have escalated to a global class 4 had the Cybugs spread to the rest of the arcade
- Arc Symbol: The medals reflects/represents Ralph's desires and Character Development. The Hero's Duty medal he achieved through game-jumping represents his selfish need to be loved and respected, while the one given to him by Vanellope as an appreciation for helping her build a car represents his selfless devotion to his friend(s).
- Arc Words: "Going Turbo." And before you ask, yes, the capital T is important.
- As well as the Bad-Anon affirmation: "I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."
- Arm Cannon: As the first demonstration of their assimilation ability, a Cy-Bug that eats Ralph's rifle promptly morphs its forelimbs into rifles and chases after him.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Ralph's interrogation of Sour Bill.
Ralph: If Vanellope was never meant to exist, then why is her picture on the side of the game console?
- Artificial Stupidity: Spoofed with the PTSD-inflicted Hero's Duty soldier Markowski at Tapper's who constantly walks into a wall and repeats "We are humanity's last hope.....our mission: destroy all Cy-Bugs", as if suffering from faulty routing and looping sound files.
- Art Shift: The ending credits have the main characters moving through various eras of video game animation, though for obvious reasons they don't bother with present-day. This also happens in the film proper when Ralph moves from Pac-Man back to Game Central Station, not to mention his own game in the beginning. Overall, all of the characters (except those from Hero's Duty) are much more realistic and better-defined in their "private lives" than on their own game-screens; in fact Felix's adoration of Calhoun's "high definition" is somewhat puzzling, since he's not exactly 8-bit himself when he's off his own screen.
- There are some small details that differ between 8-bit and HD characters offscreen from their games, however. Even though both of them have 3D models, Felix has a fairly uniform color scheme and minimal shading, whereas Calhoun has a more realistic skin texture (even freckles, if you look closely) and her armor has dents/scratches in it, among other things. This distinction is lost when viewed from the credits, however, as everyone is depicted in 8-bit, 16-bit, or 3D-ish pixels throughout the sequence.
- Ascended Glitch: In-Universe, everyone wants to play as Vanellope in Sugar Rush because her glitching helps her win.
- Aside Glance: King Candy gives a very quick one during his extremely exposition-filled speech before the roster race when he says the phrase, "This event is pay to play; we all know this."
- Assimilation Backfire: The main villains include Cy-Bugs, which take on the features of whatever they eat. A Cy-Bug eats King Candy, who is assimilated a little too well and becomes said Cy-Bug's primary consciousness.
- Also, the Cy-Bugs from Hero's Duty are metallic from eating the metal environment around them. When they were in Sugar Rush, they ate and became the candy from the game, making it easier for Ralph to simply smash them - the exception being those that ate jawbreakers and are subsequently even tougher than the metal ones.
- As You Know: When King Candy is explaining the nightly roster race. Lampshaded in that he says, "we all know this."
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Cy-Bugs are drawn to the light when Hero's Duty is done for the round. It also doubles as a Chekhov's Gun.
- Attention Whore: Turbo was the best racer in the most popular racing game in the arcade. When a new racing game steals attention from him, he gets extremely jealous and jumps into the new game just to crash it. Unfortunately, his antics gets both the new game and his own game unplugged.
- Audience Surrogate: Not with a character but a setting. Sugar Rush, a mascot kart racer in Level Ate, is probably the easiest video game for anyone to understand and still remain unique to video games.
- There is also Moppet Girl, who hops between arcade games when they become plot relevant.
- Award Bait Song: "When Can I See You Again?" performed by Owl City. It's a bit more upbeat than most examples of the trope, but it's still got plenty of electronic synth, which is oddly fitting, considering the subject matter of the film.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Vanellope at the end when she is returned to her place as princess of Sugar Rush. She then subverts it in favor of being president.
- Badass Adorable:
- Badass and Child Duo: Ralph and Vanellope, though they're both pretty badass in their own ways.
- Badass in Distress: Felix goes to look for and rescue Ralph. Inverted when Ralph has to save Vanellope and Felix, and played straight when Vanellope stops Ralph from going through with his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Badass Driver: The Sugar Rush cast, crossing over with Badass Adorable. Turbo probably, and definitely Vanellope.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The Bad-Anon Affirmation is, "I'm bad and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."
- Battle Couple: Calhoun and Felix. The latter's even shown in the credits shooting Cy-Bugs with his wife.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Ralph brings his medal back to Fix-It Felix Jr. and Gene follows through with the deal to give up the key to the penthouse. But now no one is there to hang out with Ralph. Their game has already been marked "out of order" and set to be unplugged because of Ralph's and Felix's absence, so all the Nicelanders evacuated.
Ralph: I was just tired of living alone in the garbage!
Gene: Well, now you can live alone in the penthouse.
- Being Evil Sucks: It can really suck to be a video game villain. Nobody appreciates the hard work you put into your villainy, you don't get any of the glory like the hero does, and in Ralph's case, he's constantly hoisted and pitched off the edge of a tall building when Felix saves the day, only to go home to the dump and sleep on a bed made of broken bricks he broke in the previous rounds.
- Berserk Button: Ralph has two.
- Don't call him a bad guy.
- Don't mess with Vanellope.
- Don't call Calhoun a "Dynamite Gal." It triggers a flashback of the time she was Widowed at the Wedding.
- Be Yourself: Starts with Ralph being told this in the meeting.
- Big Applesauce: The Pac-Manorail station in Pac-Man has tiling that makes it look exactly like a New York subway station.
- Big Bad: King Candy, AKA Turbo.
- Big Bad Ensemble: The Cy-Bugs serve as secondary antagonists.
- Big Brother Instinct: Ralph towards Vanellope.
- Big Damn Heroes: Just when Ralph accepts his fate to save the Sugar Rush world, Vanellope jumps the ramp in Crumbelina's borrowed racecar and catches him in mid-air.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Felix gives Calhoun a quick kiss on the cheek in the spur of the moment. She responds with this trope. Complete with hearts floating around them.
- Big Good: Sergeant Calhoun.
- The Big Race: Once the arcade closes for the night, the Sugar Rush characters stage special races that are meant to decide who will be tomorrow's avatars.
- Big Red Devil: One attends the Bad-Anon meeting.
- Big Stupid Doodoo Head: Most of Ralph and Vanellope's dialogue consists of a volley of childish insults. Eventually this morphs into a way of showing affection.
See you later, President Fart-Feathers. Vanellope: Au revoir
, Admiral Underpants! Ralph:
And... farewell, Baroness Boogerface! Vanellope:
Goodbye, Major Body Odor!
- Cain and Abel: Subverted and then inverted. Ralph is clearly jealous of Felix being the favorite, but neither have ill feelings or are hostile towards one another. Felix eventually starts calling Ralph "brother" towards the end of the film.
- The Cameo:
- Ralph's villain support group consists of Clyde, Kano, Neff, Bowser, Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, Zangief and M. Bison, a yellow cyborg, Mishaela, and a zombie from House of the Dead.
- On an added level, Ryu, Ken and M. Bison's respective voice actors are Kyle Hebert, Reuben Langdon and Gerald C. Rivers, who voiced the characters in Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken.
- Q*bert appears in the movie, and is the one to tell Felix where Ralph went. He also appears in the Game Central Station with numerous other characters from his game, sadly homeless. They eventually make it back into a certain someone's game.
- Also in the station are Chun-Li and Cammy, a knight on an ostrich, the Paperboy from... well, Paperboy and the Paddles and Ball from Pong.
- Sonic himself appears in a Public Service Announcement at the station, telling everyone to be careful not to die in a game that's not their own, or else they won't regenerate afterwards. He's also visible in a few more places: dancing at Felix's party, seen walking around Game Central Station in two separate scenes (in background shots), Ralph crashes an escape pod into him (causing him to lose some of his gold rings), as a picture on the celebrity wall at Tapper's, seated on Felix's side of the aisle in the chapel at Calhoun & Felix's wedding, and a short sprite-animated scene as part of the end credits. Sonic is voiced by Roger Craig Smith, who has voiced him in the games since 2010. Additionally, many of the movie's dubs into other languages (including Dutch, German, French and Spanish) use Sonic's voice from the cartoons as the games never received dubs until Sonic Generations.
- The Celebrity Wall has several others, including Miles "Tails" Prower, Space Invaders, and others.
- And outside the game cameos, Tiny, the Tyrannosaurus rex from Meet the Robinsons, makes a background appearance in Game Central Station.
- Add Frogger, DigDug and Tapper to the list.
- The machines in the arcade, among the ones already listed, include Space Invaders, Defender, Dance Dance Revolution, BurgerTime, and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- The game that triggers the main villain's descent into villainy is RoadBlasters.
- Skrillex plays a DJ, and contributed to the music.
- The security guard at the Sugar Rush bake-a-kart factory is Beard Papa.
- Outside of the visual cameos, some of the sounds and voice actors are cameos themselves. John DiMaggio for instance has a cameo.
- Written on the subway walls (may be difficult to spot):
- There are several blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos, such as the Qix swirling around the laser display at the 30th anniversary party, and the three Pac-Man ghosts other than Clyde chilling in Game Central Station.
- In one quick shot in the terminal, you can see the dragon from Coryoon.
- Camera Abuse: In-universe, no less. The camera robot in Hero's Duty is used by Ralph to shield himself against one of the Cy-Bugs when it lunges at him. It collides with the camera, which breaks the videoscreen, and causes the game to end. The sentient robot gets pissed off at Ralph for doing this.
- Can Not Spit It Out: Several times the people in Ralph's video game ask him what is wrong, but Ralph can't vocalize that he feels disrespected.
- Cardiovascular Love: Hearts appear around Felix and Calhoun when they kiss, courtesy of long vines of Laffy Taffy.
- They also bloom in thin air around the couple when they share a Big Damn Kiss of victory at the end.
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Sugar Rush Speedway invokes this trope. The nine racers who will be on next day's roster are decided by a race held after the arcade closes, and the entrance fee is a coin; those who don't place in the top 9 don't get on the roster, thus can't earn any coins that day, so if they use the last of their coins to enter the qualifying race and don't place, they can never again be on the roster and thus can't ever get any more coins. This is done to keep Vanellope, supposedly a glitch, from racing, though why it hasn't yet caught any of the others is not explained. However since King Candy/Turbo does have access to the game's code and has proven he can alter character inventories, he probably can make sure that all of the other racers always have enough coins to enter.
- Ralph: "I'm gonna wreck it!"
- Felix: "I can fix it!"
- King Candy: "Have some candy!"
- Turbo: "Turbo-tastic!"
- Cat Smile: All the girls in Sugar Rush have mouths shaped this way by default.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Felix attempts this twice during the party scene. It didn't work the second time.
- Character Title
- Averted with the Japanese title, which is simply Sugar Rush.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Sgt. Calhoun mentions during Hero's Duty that the Cy-Bugs become what they eat. One of them eats Ralph's gun and then makes it part of its body, using the gun against him. In the climax, King Candy gets eaten by a Cy-Bug, causing him to transform into a Cy-Bug. Or more precisely, the Cy-Bug becomes him.
- The Diet Cola and Mentos volcano in Vanellope's hideout is fired repeatedly: it is used to illustrate the danger of Vanellope's glitch, used to clean up all the Cy-Bugs, and used to force Turbo to his permanent Karmic Death, once he had combined with a Cy-Bug he was forced into it. The unfinished ramp spanning it was then used by Vanellope to save Ralph.
- The medal is used to establish game jumping, enter Vanellope into the race, persuade Ralph to believe King Candy's story, and knock down the out-of-order sign to reveal Vanellope's true nature.
- Chekhov's Gag: When Vanellope comes into physical contact with other characters while glitching, the other will glitch as well. While seemingly just random the first time it appears, this ends up being useful to unmask Turbo by causing his King Candy skin to glitch.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Turbo is mentioned early on as a backstory element.
- Chekhov's Skill: Ralph's ability to break things and Felix's ability to fix things near instantaneously keeps cropping up. Parodied when Felix tries to mimic Ralph and break himself out of prison. With his magic hammer. It goes predictably. Ralph busts him out moments later.
- A noteworthy pair of examples of Ralph's Chekhov's Skill not working as previously shown are when he wrecks the Kart and the mountain.
- Vanellope's glitching. It gives her a neat Teleport Spam and helps reveal who King Candy really is.
- King Candy's ability to enter the 'operating system' turns out to be more than just a plot convenience for retrieving the Medal.
- Chekhov's Volcano: Diet Cola Mountain's Mentos stalactites are what defeat the Cy-Bugs in the end.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Ralph, Vanellope and Felix wear red, green and blue respectively. Calhoun also counts as yellow because of her hair, and the fireworks at the end.
- Church of Saint Genericus: The church Calhoun almost gets married in as part of the most tragic backstory ever. The same church where she marries Fix-It Felix in the end.
- Classical Anti-Hero: Ralph is the hero of the movie. He's also pretty much a loser.
- Classic Cheat Code: King Candy uses the Konami Code (entered through a Nintendo Entertainment System controller, no less) to access the source code for Sugar Rush.
- Closed Circle: Most of the plot takes place in Sugar Rush because Vanellope, being a glitch, is unable to leave her game.
- Color-Coded Characters:
- Ralph = Red and Brown
- Felix = Blue
- Vanellope = Green and Pink
- Calhoun = Yellow and Black
- King Candy = Purple As Turbo, it's Red and White.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
- According to the film makers, the characters colored venomous green are the ones who are truly evil. Note that Ralph is entirely green during his Hulk-like rampage through the stands. They were going to color Vanellope that way to signify her glitch status until they figured it made her look like a zombie. You can see what she would have looked like with green skin on the sign in the bakery forbidding glitches from entry.
- Ralph and Felix themselves may count. Felix is dressed in mostly blue, the color for peace and serenity, while Ralph is dressed in mostly red, the color for intensity and anger.
- Also, whenever Vanellope glitches, she turns shades of blue. However, Turbo turns shades of red when he is forced to glitch out.
- Commonality Connection:
- Though he is initially angry that she stole and lost his medal (which he himself stole), Ralph eventually decides to help Vanellope not just because it's the only way to get the medal back, but because her situation is similar to his but even worse - from living in the dump, ostracized by others, to seeing the medal as their means of finally getting their due - and they bond over their shared dreams.
- It's subtle, but Calhoun first agrees to let Felix come along after he says that it's his duty to fix what Ralph wrecks - something she would definitely understand.
- Constantly Curious: Vanellope when she first meets Ralph.
"Why are your hands so freakishly big?"
"Are you a hobo?"
- Contralto of Danger: The tough-as-nails Space Marine Sergeant Calhoun has the lowest female voice (she is voiced by Jane Lynch) and is by far the most overtly badass character in the movie.
- Contrived Coincidence:
- It's a good thing Markowski mentioned earning medals in Hero's Duty in front of Ralph.
- It's also a good thing that Calhoun stated that without a beacon there would be no way to fend off the swarm of Cy-Bugs that had invaded Sugar Rush, which gives Ralph an idea...
- It's a not-so-good thing that Felix called Calhoun a "dynamite gal", not knowing that is a Berserk Button for her, as it was what her late fiance used to call her.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Ralph forces Sour Bill to speak of King Candy's real intentions by licking him and putting him in his mouth. Given that Ralph is trying to be a good guy, and Sour Bill is made of candy, this comes disturbingly close to Carnivore Confusion territory.
Sour Bill: I SWEAR THAT'S ALL I KNOW! JUST PLEASE DON'T PUT ME BACK IN YOUR FILTHY MOUTH AGAIN!!!
- Covered in Gunge: This happens to Ralph quite a bit, especially in Sugar Rush (candy gunge, yes, but still).
- Cover Identity Anomaly: When Ralph first meets Vanellope he pretends to be a resident of Sugar Rush, but she sees through this lie immediately because he clearly knows nothing about the world.
- Covers Always Lie: Some of the posters which feature well-known game characters. Yes they're in the movie but they're not the focus of it. At best they're just cameo roles, or Sonic and Q*Bert, who provide important exposition. Q*Bert even becomes an Ascended Extra.
- Cranium Chase: In the Sugar Rush Speedway game, some of Taffyta Muttonfudge's fans are anthropomorphic lollipops, and when Ralph accidentally trashes the stands, part of the damage he does is to knock off the head of one such fan; which goes rolling along the ground whilst the body frantically chases it.
- Crapsaccharine World: Sugar Rush. It looks like a bright and colorful candy dreamland, but its characters (especially the racers) are mean-spirited, its ruler King Candy is corrupt, and outcasts like Vanellope are treated like dirt. Ralph himself gets a pretty cold welcome when he first arrives. And with The Reveal, we learn that it is so much worse than that. Lampshaded when Calhoun actually calls the game a "saccharine-saturated nightmare".
- Crapsack World: Hero's Duty. Dark, gloomy, infested with Big Creepy-Crawlies that want to kill you.
- Crazy-Prepared: Calhoun hid an auto-cannon in the skirts of her wedding dress.
- Hammerspace: A very large autocannon.
- When she gets married to Felix in the same church, that very same window is now covered in laser sights.
- Creative Closing Credits: Before the credits scroll, there is a sequence of the main cast playing through a multitude of games. This and the credits are represented in an evolving style, mirroring the evolution of games.
- Crossover Ship: In-universe example with Felix and Calhoun, who come from two different games.
- Crunchtastic: "Turbotastic!"
- Cry Cute: Vanellope starts crying when she discovers that Ralph has cut a deal with King Candy and doesn't want her racing anymore, then completely loses it when he smashes her kart. Ralph looks to barely be holding back waterworks himself.
- Cultural Translation: The Russian dub. Many of the jokes are replaced by something more relatable to former Soviet people, who missed much of the classic arcade era and are more familiar with console and PC games.
- Due to the issues of portraying a Husky Russkie in a Russian dub, Zangief instead speaks like a stereotypical Georgean: brash and macho.
- Saitine, instead of complaining about pronounciation of his name, instead says...
- The "One game at a time" gives way to this brilliant joke:
— Clyde: "You need to find a balance between life and games."
— Zangief: "Oh come on. You can have many lives, but just one game!"
- Curse of the Ancients: Felix seems physically incapable of swearing.
- Cute Machines: Larval Cy-bugs. Warning: trying to hug a baby Cy-bug may cause The End of the World as We Know It.
- Cyberpunk/Raygun Gothic: Hero's Duty features a weird portmanteau of both of these visual aesthetics.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Real-life version; the animators were so used to creating realistic believable movement that they actually had to study and unlearn some of their habits in order to get the movements of the 8-bit characters (Tapper, Nicelanders, etc) to look correct and good.
- Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: Cy-Bugs are always recalled and vaporized between Hero's Duty game sessions so they don't cause any more trouble than they have to. When Ralph accidentally activates one and sends it flying into Sugar Rush, it sinks into liquid taffy and Ralph thinks that's the end of that; it's dead and not worth worrying about. However, he doesn't actually confirm that the bug is dead, and Calhoun calls him out on this after finding its nest, where it feasted on candy and laid loads of eggs, making enough bugs to destroy Sugar Rush in minutes.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Invoked, lampshaded, and parodied with Calhoun. According to one of her subordinates, she was programmed with "the most tragic backstory ever": her husband-to-be gets eaten on their wedding day because she forgot to do a perimeter check. She unloads, screaming in horror, with a minigun she happened to have tucked away under her wedding gown, fueling her hatred for the bugs. Later, Felix calls her "a dynamite gal", which sets off a blackly hilarious series of flashbacks of her to-be-fiancé calling her the same thing.
- Dark Is Not Evil: True of certain members of Bad-Anon, and for a less literal use of 'dark', a major theme of the movie.
Zangief: Just because you are bad guy does not mean you are bad guy.
- Darkest Hour: Vanellope's dreams of being a full racer have been literally broken, while Fix-It Felix Jr. is set to be unplugged in a couple of hours. Then after Ralph returns, the Cy-Bugs are devastating Sugar Rush.
- Dark Reprise: The music that plays when the Sugar Rush characters bully Vanellope and destroy her kart is a darker version of the upbeat theme that plays during the roll-call for the race.
- Dead End Room: The NesquikSand Pit looks like this — and is, unless one can figure out how to attract the Laffy Taffies.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ralph definitely is one, in a world-weary sort of way. Vanellope is Little Miss Snarker.
- Death Is Cheap vs. Killed Off for Real: Sonic's in-universe Public Service Announcement explains the rules:
Sonic: If you die outside your own game, you won't regenerate. Ever. Game Over.
- This lends weight to the characters' actions through most of the film, as they spend the majority of it in Sugar Rush, where only Vanellope is a native. It finally happens to King Candy/Turbo, himself an immigrant to Sugar Rush, when he gets sucked into a cola/Mentos eruption by the programming of the Cy-Bug he's merged with.
- This will also happen, along with a full on Apocalypse, to whoever didn't make it out when the game's plug is pulled. This becomes a plot point twice because Vanellope cannot leave due to her glitch status.
- Deconstructive Parody: Of video games. Ralph and most of the other video game baddies are nice enough guys who are basically doing the jobs that no one else wants. After all, who would want a job where all you do is get beat up by The Hero?
- The movie becomes a Reconstruction into modern gaming by the end. Ralph travels worlds, battles a conspiracy, makes several difficult moral decisions, battles an evil mastermind in a climactic showdown and even pre-meditates a Heroic Sacrifice in the name of saving the one he loves. It's a plot very much like many popular modern games, undertaken by a character inspired by classic gaming.
- Defied Trope: The film's plot is a guy trying not to be a Punch Clock Villain, or at least break his 0% Approval Rating.
- Vanellope gets in Crumbelina's kart to save Ralph, who was going to commit a Heroic Sacrifice.
- After Calhoun's fiancé was killed at their wedding, her troops make sure her later wedding with Felix is covered in that spot as well.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Calhoun starts off cold, hard, and gruff. But after spending a little time with Felix, she (reluctantly) starts to soften up a little bit. After the movie's climax, she apparently softened up enough to marry Felix.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "I'm Fix-It Felix Jr. from the game Fix-It Felix Jr."
- Designated Villain: In-Universe, most of the bad guys are simply programmed to be bad when they're on-duty.
- Destination Defenestration: In 8-bit form, while on-duty in "wrecking mode", Ralph breaks open Gene's window and throws him out of it during game play.
- Destructive Savior: As well meaning as his intentions may be, Ralph is just programmed to wreck things.
- Determinator: All of the main characters exhibit constant and often stubborn determination in accomplishing their goals - which is used by the story itself several times to show how much they have in common. Felix and Calhoun both show a totally unwavering dedication to getting their jobs done, which briefly causes them to argue when they first team up. Likewise, Ralph and Vanellope never give up on obtaining the thing they think will make their lives better, even when they know doing it is a terrible idea. On the villainous side, Turbo will stop at nothing to give himself the spotlight - no matter who he has to attack to do it. Even when his previous selfish attempt failed so utterly that it put him and dozens of others out of their homes, all he learns from the situation is to do it again but more sneakily.
- Deuteragonist: Vanellope. In fact, the Disney Wiki uses this word for her.
- Difficult but Awesome: In-story, Vanellope's glitch is presented as a disability that seriously hampers her racing ability, but once she learns to control it, it becomes a very powerful special ability; this may be why, at the end, she becomes so popular with the players.
- Dimensional Traveler: All non-glitch characters can do this by "game-jumping", though they usually limit it to after-hours when the arcade is closed. Ralph actually starts out inside the support group in the Pac-Man Ghost House, his narration notwithstanding.
- Dirty Business: When Ralph wrecks the candy go-kart he and Vanellope made.
- Disaster Dominoes: When Vanellope and Ralph try to bake a kart, Ralph shoots a couple targets, meant to decorate the car. He ends up breaking one, which goes and knocks all the others and completely breaks the minigame. Surprisingly, they still manage to get a fully-functional car out of it, and a lot of trashed candy.
- Dreamworks Face: Ralph, on the movie poster.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Ralph, as demonstrated quite clearly at the anniversary party and elsewhere throughout the movie (particularly in the car factory when he breaks first the oven pump, then the various frosting and decoration makers).
- Does Not Like Shoes: Ralph is barefoot. It fits in with his "Wild Man" design. Also constitutes Barefoot Poverty, as Ralph lives in a dump in the Fix-It Felix Jr. world. He's even barefoot during the wedding of Calhoun and Felix. Possibly due to his feet being almost as oversized as his hands, and thus there are no shoes in his game big enough to fit him, especially since everyone else there is less than half his size.
- Does Not Like Spam: Played with. While Ralph has no problem with the cherries that come from Pac-Man, he does not enjoy the taste of chocolate. He gets better, symbolizing his desire to take life "one game at a time."
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Vanellope von Schweetz's glitching is almost treated as some kind of illness or disease similar to epilepsy or even Parkinson's Disease by the other racers. She even refers to herself as having "pixlexia". Also, the racers picking on her and eventually destroying the racecar she made is basically the equivalent of playground bullying in elementary school. The timing of when she "glitches" also is quite familiar to autistic people, whose autistic traits often come to the fore under the same circumstances that seem to trigger Vanellope's "glitching".
- The dialogue from the scene with the Laffy Taffy sounds like something from a bad S&M porno when taken out of context.
- Ralph is constantly stopped and singled out for "random" security checks by the Surge Protector, even though he is doing nothing wrong (aside from smuggling contraband in the form of fruit, which said guard misses completely). When Ralph is dressed in a Hero's Duty uniform, the guard ignores him.
- When Felix tells Calhoun about his last sight of Ralph, Felix's dialogue sounds more like it's coming from someone who failed to see the signs of a future suicide.
Calhoun: So what's with this Wreck-It joker, huh? Why'd he go AWOL?
Felix: I wish I knew, ma'am. He was acting all squirrely last night, going on about cake and medals, but I never thought he'd go Turbo.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: In Sugar Rush, all the non-racer characters are some form of sentient confectionery. This extends to King Candy's two police officers, who literally are donuts. Their names are Wynchell and Duncan, referencing two donut chains. For bonus points, Wynchell is a Long John, a type of donut more commonly found in the western US, where Wynchell's has the most locations.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Two straightforwards case and one invoking of the trope.
- Played straight. Calhoun delivers several forceful helmet-bashes to "Private Markowski" (actually Ralph). He is wearing full Space Marine armor, so it's doubtful that the blows even sting, but it probably still wouldn't have gotten by the censors if a male sergeant were slapping around a female private.
- Played straight again. Calhoun punches Ralph outright near the climax, after she realizes his selfishness has doomed the entire world of Sugar Rush.
Ralph: Nice move, kid! Now let's win this thing with no more surprises -
- Invoked. Calhoun provides Felix with a solitary Get A Hold Of Yourself Man slap while they are stuck in the NesquikSand, which reveals that the "vines" they can't reach are actually Laffy Taffy that happen to find the idea of Calhoun hitting Felix hilarious. Though the vines believe in the double standard, Calhoun clearly does not, and is reluctant to indulge the vines at Felix's insistence even when he reveals he can heal himself instantly. He does eventually get her to play along. Her concern is justified but averts any sort of female caretaker overtones since both are outside of their games at the time and so there's the possibility that if Felix can't heal himself properly, she could very well beat him to death.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Calhoun is voiced by Jane Lynch.
- Drives Like Crazy: To be expected in a racing game. In particular, Vanellope and her glitch/teleport. When, in the roster race, she teleports in front of her three main tormentors and causes them to crash out, she's driving backwards for a while.
- Driving Stick: The Sugar Rush cars have a clutch; neither Ralph nor Vanellope have any idea what any of the pedals are even called, and Ralph even refers to them as buttons at first. Cue hilarious Training Montage.
- Ralph's comment on the clutch could be a reference to the handful of arcade racing games that have a physical (but useless) clutch pedal, even when playing on manual transmission. A kid-friendly kart racing game certainly wouldn't dare to force people to use a realistic clutch.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Ralph appears to be trying to do this... in Tapper, appropriately enough. It's hinted to be fairly common with him, as when he doesn't show up for work, Felix first assumes he's passed out in the bathroom at Tapper's.
- Drunk on Milk: Even though it's implied that Tapper serves Root Beer, a few of the characters are seen intoxicated. Specifically, one of the soldiers from Hero's Duty. This is probably because the original Tapper was designed for bars and served Budweiser. The root beer version came later when the Moral Guardians protested a beer-serving game in kiddie arcades.
- Dub Name Change: Save Vanellope, all of the Sugar Rush racers got either their last names or their full names changed in the Brazilian version of the movienote . The Danish and Norwegian dubs changed every single Sugar Rush character's name, even changing Vanellope to simply Vanilla.
- Click to check their Brazilian names
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: The Nicelanders treating Ralph as "just the guy that breaks things" is what sets the story off.
- Dummied Out: In-Universe examples include Vanellope's home in Diet Cola Mountain, which she describes as looking like an unfinished level, and the reveal that she's only a glitch because King Candy / Turbo tried to delete her from the game's source code.
- Dungeon Bypass: In Hero's Duty, you are supposed to enter the tower, climb it from within, fight enemies along the way, and claim the medal. Ralph just climbed the outside and broke in at the top. And he did it without killing a single bug, perhaps because he did it while the game wasn't being actively played (so the bugs weren't active).
- Dying as Yourself: A rare villainous example. As the Cy-Bug King Candy is destroyed, it alternates between the hypnotized Candy and the protesting Turbo, the latter being in charge as the body is melted by the volcano.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Subverted, Ralph fully intends to sacrifice himself to stop the Cy-Bugs, but is saved at the last second by Vanellope.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Ralph struggles to be heroic and nearly destroys the arcade world because of his mistakes, but manages to fix things, earn well-deserved respect, and more than make up for the harm he unwittingly caused to his game and Sugar Rush.
- Easily Forgiven: Played with, humorously. In the end, Vanellope's bullies all scrounge for forgiveness, after she's revealed to be the rightful ruler of Sugar Rush. Vanellope orders them all put to death, then pardons them after they spend a good few seconds in pants-wetting, teary terror.
- It doesn't take very long for Felix to forgive Ralph for what he's put him through. This is partially because Felix is simply just too nice a guy to hold a grudge for long, and partly because he's got a taste of what things are like from Ralph's point of view for the first time.
- Shortly after, when Ralph breaks into Vanellope's Fungeon cell with her car now fully repaired. Granted, she would have to be pretty spiteful to turn down his help when she can choose between trying to accomplish her dream or staying locked up, but after a few apologies from Ralph, she's pretty much over what she saw as a devastating betrayal.
- Finally, when Sugar Rush is about to be destroyed by Cybugs, Vanellope forgives Ralph for inadvertently causing it and for causing her own impending death because she can't leave with a quiet "It's okay, Ralph".
- Edible Theme Naming: According to this press release, the characters in Sugar Rush follow this trope, and their plush toys will be scented.
- Besides Vanellope Von Schweetz, we have Jubileena Bing-Bing, Rancis Fluggerbutter, Gloyd Orangeboar, Taffyta Muttonfudge, Minty Zaki, Adorabeezle Winterpop, Swizzle "The Swizz" Malarkey, Candlehead, Snowanna Rainbeau and Crumbelina DiCaramello.
- The Eeyore: Sour Bill. Except when Ralph interrogates him, he always speaks with this monotonous voice that makes it clear he has clinical depression.
- Ejection Seat: Ralph's Escape Pod helpfully triggers one after it's already made a crash landing.
- Epic Fail:
- Subverted in the Bake-A-Car mini-game. Despite trashing the set, the resulting vehicle is miraculously functional.
- Played straight later on when Felix tries to finally wreck something by using his hammer to break the bars on his jail cell...only it causes the bars to become twice as thick.
Felix: Why do I fix everything I touch?!
- Eureka Moment: This happens with Vanellope when King Candy calls her a glitch while trying to ram her into a cave column, having her realize that she can glitch out of harm's way.
- Ralph has one before that when he throws his hard-earned medal at his game's monitor, dislodging the Out of Order sign on the other side... and giving him a clear view of Vanellope's image on the side of the arcade cabinet.
- Ralph has one later when Calhoun explains why the Cy-Bugs in Sugar Rush are much more dangerous due to the lack of a beacon to keep them in check.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Parodied when Calhoun yells for the troops in Hero's Duty to make their mothers proud, and Ralph shouts back that he loves his mama. Justified in that he's only "officially" a bad guy.
- Everyone Has Standards: Ralph definitely does not like Vanellope at all in the first act of the film, but he still gets very indignant when he sees her getting bullied.
- Every 10,000 Points: 25,000, in Felix's case.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Lampshaded during Vanellope's Transformation Sequence into a princess.
Vanellope: Whoa! Hey, what's with all the magic sparkles?
- The engine of her kart also spits sparkles when she guns it.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Vanellope originally invoked this trope since she was written as a princess but when she's turned back she wants to be President instead.
- Evil Laugh: Turbo breaks out some unending maniacal laughter that could rival the Joker during the climax - which only adds to his creepiness.
- Evil Minions: The Q*bert baddies eventually become these for Wreck-It Ralph himself during the bonus stage.
- Exiled from Continuity: Invoked In-universe. Vanellope, being a glitch, is unable to leave her game.
- Expository Theme Tune: Inverted. A song about Ralph and Felix is played right before the credits end.
- Expy: All of the principal leads in this film are expies of video game characters in some way. Disney also got the rights to use actual video game characters for cameos rather than just expies, a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Toy Story.
- Ralph himself is basically a human Donkey Kong. The hero of the game, Felix, is an imitation of Mario (or, as he was called back in Donkey Kong, Jumpman).
- The names Fix-It Felix and Wreck-It Ralph are similar to that of obscure franchise Hammerin' Harry complete with similar catchphrases. And indeed, the beginning of the film shows Ralph's house getting demolished to make place for a series of apartments, which is exactly what happens to Hammerin' Harry at the beginning of the game. Observe. Wreck-It Ralph also alludes to Wrecking Crew, which starred a hammer-wielding Mario.
- Sgt. Calhoun could be based on any number of commando characters from video games. But in particular she seems to be a cross between Samus and a Female Shepard, with the language kept family-friendly.
- Sugar Rush at first seems like any other kart racing game from the '90s, only it's themed on candy. But Rich Moore stated that his favorite current game is Mario Kart, which means that's the basic inspiration. Indeed, it seems like a cross between Mario Kart and Candy Land. Also, portions of the Sugar Rush race course are clearly taken from various Mario Kart 64 courses, with the candy theme substituted in.
- The creators admit King Candy's based on The Mad Hatter from Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland (who in turn was based on and voiced by Ed Wynn in his "Perfect Fool" persona).
- In regards to King Candy, Turbo, in addition to being the name of a Sega arcade game, is basically a knock-off of the marquee chalky-skinned mascot from the Bally/Midway game Rally X. His King Candy persona is one of The Wizard from The Wizard of Oz. He comes from another land (his own game), is leading his subjects on through manipulation and usurping the rightful ruler and having their memories locked away (Ozma and Vanellope), the hero comes to him for a favor (in Ralph's case, the medal he got from Hero's Duty), while he asks of something in return that involves the "villain" (Vanellope, which he calls "The Glitch", and smashing her candy car), and is ultimately a fraud hiding behind another image that makes the hero appreciate the things they have in life. Heck, there's even some cute allusions with the fact he's ruling over what can be considered Munchkins (the other candy racers) and has Oreo guards which chant in the same fashion as those from the movie.
- King Candy is also noted to have some unsettling similarities to Judge Doom due to both characters using disguises throughout the majority of their respective films and possessing unnerving true forms.
- In the same way that King Candy is an Expy of The Wizard of Oz Vanellope is seen as one for Princess Ozma in the sense that she's the rightful ruler of the kingdom and was ousted through trickery, and has no memory of who she really is. And like Ozma she's eventually restored to her rightful place.
- The arcade owner, Mr. Litwak, looks a very great deal like Walter Day.
- Extremely Short Time Span: With the exception of the introduction and the epilogue, the whole movie takes place within 48 hours of In-Universe time.
- Face Hugger: Ralph finds the medal but he accidentally hatches a Cy-Bug egg by stepping on it and the baby bug attacks Ralph by the face, sending him on an escape shuttle that blasts them to Sugar Rush.
- Fake King: King Candy wound up taking the throne from Vanellope before the events of the movie, erasing everyone's memories to fit. He's actually Turbo, having reskinned himself.
- Fake Memories: Everything the game characters remember about their backstory didn't actually happen; it's just part of their character design. It's specifically noted how, for Hero's Duty, Calhoun was designed with "the most tragic backstory ever". A second layer of fake memories were added to all the Sugar Rush characters after Turbo hacked the game and locked away their official memories, replacing them with altered ones so they'd all remember his "King Candy" persona as if he'd always been a part of their game and would think Vanellope, whose place he usurped, had always been a glitch.
- Fallen Hero: Turbo, though he's strongly implied to have been an asshole even before he became evil.
- False Reassurance:
Duncan: We're not going to hurt you, you little freak!!
- Family-Friendly Firearms:
- Played with. Calhoun and her men are initially equipped with what appear to be plasma-based collapsible rifles. If one looks very closely (and slows down the footage) in the scene where they're shooting at Felix when he first enters Hero's Duty, though, spent casings can be seen falling out of the rifles as they're fired, although they still appear to be shooting lasers/plasma. Calhoun herself, however, also keeps a sidearm that's clearly using ballistics. She even checks the magazine before game jumping to Sugar Rush. This probably got a pass because the first time she fired it was for intimidation and the second time, the targets were immune to bullets anyway.
- Averted with the taser that gets used on Ralph.
- Family-Unfriendly Death:
- King Candy A.K.A. Turbo gets eaten alive by a Cybug. That's pretty Family Unfriendly right there, but then it turns out one family unfriendly death is not the end for him and he goes all One-Winged Angel. Fortunately, Ralph defeats him (as well as all the other Cybugs) by causing the Diet Cola Volcano to erupt. Since "Turbo" is now just a Cybug with Turbo's memories, the Cybug's programming takes over and he starts flying into the geyser. Last thing we see of Turbo is him glitching between a hypnotized "King Candy" and his real face, which is screaming in horror as he flies into the geyser and immolates himself.
- King Candy manages to convince Ralph that, if Vanellope is promoted to playable status, the players will see her glitches and assume the game is broken, forcing the arcade to decommission the machine. While player characters and NPCs will manage to evacuate safely, glitches like Vanellope won't, and will get sucked alive into a painful black hole of deletion, along with the game environment.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence:
- Kano ripping out a zombie's heart at the meeting that opens the movie.
- The ways Cy-Bugs are dispatched in Hero's Duty. It's lampshaded by Ralph: "When did video games become so violent and scary?!"
- Fantastic Racism: The villains are treated so poorly that they need to create a support group, while the characters of Sugar Rush act this way towards any and all glitches (though it is possible this is wholly due to King Candy reprogramming Sugar Rush).
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Ralph's overalls are missing a strap. Vanellope's stockings don't match. Appropriately, the car that they make when they team up is similarly asymmetrical.
- Featureless Protagonist/First-Person Ghost: The player character in the lightgun shooting game Hero's Duty is a short, nondescript, voiceless robot on caterpillar treads with a gun in one arm and a (two-way) TV screen for a face; other Hero's Duty characters (like Calhoun) refer to it as the "first person shooter". When their game isn't being played, it does have some personality of its own — in particular, it takes offense at Ralph getting too close to it during gameplay and causing the player an untimely Game Over.
- Fictional Video Game:
- Three are the movie's major settings: Fix-It Felix Jr. is the game that Ralph and Felix come from. Sgt. Calhoun comes from Hero's Duty, and Vanellope comes from Sugar Rush. A fourth one called Turbo Time is also mentioned, but its lead character ended up destroying it and another game (Roadblasters) out of jealousy. Simplistic but faithfully recreated online versions of Fix-It Felix, Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush are available at the movie's page on Disney site.
- A real Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade game was manufactured by Disney to promote the movie at the 2011 D23 Expo. In addition, Disney recently had (though, likely still has going) a sweepstakes contest in which fans can enter to win one of their own.
- Final Boss: What Virus!!King Candy / Turbo invokes during the film's climax (see Boss Battle above).
- Final Death: As Sonic's PSA in the opening chapter explains, if a character dies outside of their game, they don't regenerate, essentially making out-of-game death stick. May be justified in the sense that only their native game possesses the code needed to spawn their next life, and it can't exactly go making a copy of them if it doesn't know that they died. This makes Ralph's (almost) Heroic Sacrifice all the more tense when breaking out of Cy-Bug!!Turbo's grasp.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Calhoun has... complications trying to get over her backstory.
- Flash Step: Vanellope's glitching, once she can control it, looks like either this or teleportation.
- The cheerful and straight-arrow Felix with the rough and cynical Calhoun.
- The jealous and attention-seeking Turbo as a dark reflection of Ralph's own dissatisfaction and jealousy stemming from his own situation. They both leave their games in order to take what they think is their due, but Ralph is ultimately good-hearted, cares about others and makes up for his mistakes whereas Turbo cares about no one but himself and is willing to ruin lives to get what he wants. Ralph was the antagonist in his home game and becomes a hero, whereas Turbo was the protagonist in his home game but becomes a villain.
- Ralph and Felix. The latter is loved by pretty much everyone, while the former...
- Ralph and Gene. Ralph is a large, powerful, imposing guy whose job is to wreck the penthouse, and he's capable of destroying nearly anything. But, outside of gameplay, he's pretty good-natured and wishes that people weren't afraid of him. "Big" Gene on the other hand has a squat stature and blips around with little 8-bit jerky motions that make him entirely non-threatening (both attributes shared by the other Nicelanders, all of whom essentially play the role of damsels in distress). However, he at least seems to have a big ego despite the fact that his job is for Ralph to throw him out of a window, and he has no problem getting in Ralph's face to try and intimidate him during the party.
- Food Porn:
- Sugar Rush, combining Level Atenote with Pixar-esque visuals. They actually did extensive research (as well as going through boxes of candy and confections) for the sake of it, and it shows.
- Ralph is also shown eating cherries as big as watermelons. "Fresh from Pac-Man."
- The cake at the party, with different flavors for each apartment, is pretty extravagant.
- Forced to Watch:
- Cy-Bug!Turbo intends to force Ralph to watch Vanellope be eaten by Cy-Bugs. Big mistake. In an inversion, his Turbo self can only struggle in horror as Bug-King Candy draws itself to a fiery doom.
- Also a rare non-villainous example when Ralph hangs Vanellope from a tree so that all she can do is watch helplessly as he destroys the car they built together, crushing her dreams in the process.
- Foreign Language Theme: AKB48, a Japanese idol group, provides the ending theme, "Sugar Rush", which also plays when Ralph enters the video game itself.
- Foreshadowing: Ooooh, bucket-loads...
- As Felix and Calhoun prepare to go into Sugar Rush after Ralph, there's a particularly subtle bit of foreshadowing among the graffiti on the wall. The word Turbo, and the 8-bit face of the man himself, before the tale of what "going Turbo" even means. And when we see Vanellope locked up in the Fungeon, one of the paintings on the wall is of a clown in a racecar doing Turbo's trademark pose.
- Several points in the film demonstrate that Vanellope's glitching extends to whatever she's in contact with, the first example being Taffyta. During the climax, this is how King Candy is exposed as Turbo.
- As early as the Bad-Anon scene, people tell Ralph of the dangers of "going Turbo" when he wishes to become a hero. It's referring to Turbo's insane game hopping, which resulted in two arcade machines being removed from the arcade. Before it gets properly explained by Felix, King Candy is the first person to hint that it means more than just abandoning one's game (even if it's technically become a euphemism for that). King Candy immediately assumes Ralph is there to steal his game and goes ballistic at the very idea, hinting that he's more familiar with the subject than he lets on. Later, we find out that Candy is Turbo, and has in fact done exactly that with Sugar Rush.
- Cy-Bugs become what they eat. It's demonstrated when one of them eats a gun. Then they go to a world of candy and become candy-themed. Then they eat King Candy/Turbo....
- There's also King Candy's box of code in the source code. All the boxes are uniform - even Vanellope's box clearly shown outside the main code, but King Candy's is at least three times as large, colored differently, and (if you look closely) is a mess of twisted code, all serving to indicate that there's a lot more to him than just one racer.
- Pay attention and you'll see Turbo's face among the other blue files. Really◊.
- Also, Vanellope's box in that same scene. It noticeably shoots off sparks from the connection points as the camera has it in focus, clearly implying that it was, at one point, connected to something. Since it isn't connected anymore, and King Candy is the only one who could access that area, it foreshadows that Vanellope isn't a glitch, she is an intended player character, and King Candy changed it.
- Watch carefully during the opening scene, when the camera is doing its pan through Litwak's arcade. You can get a clear glimpse of Vanellope's picture on the side of the Sugar Rush console, over an hour before the movie drops the Big Reveal. If you're thinking that something doesn't quite add up, hold onto that feeling. Also if you look even closer it gives even more foreshadowing if you see she is driving King Candy's car aka the vehicle the Ruler of Sugar Rush drives.
- This (fake) commercial for Sugar Rush, supposedly from 1997, clearly shows Vanellope as a playable character.
- When Vanellope first meets Ralph, she jokes about using the "royal we." Later on, when she's giving Ralph her hand-made hero medal she makes Ralph kneel and anoints him like a knight, saying that he is now "her royal chump." Even with her and everyone else's memories locked away, Princess Vanellope Von Schweetz is still subconsciously aware of who she's supposed to be. There's also the fact that she's the only character with "Von" in her name, and "Von" used to be for nobility.
- Right before they enter the car factory, Ralph and Vanellope sees a "No glitches" sign with the latter's face in it posted on the door that has a crown shaped logo on top of it. When Ralph punches the door, the crown logo also fell.
- Also during Vanellope and Ralph's first meeting, as Ralph climbs away from her until she's off screen, suddenly she's in front of him again on a higher branch, hinting at her teleportation powers later on.
- Ralph comments that King Candy's palace is pink. Candy insists it's clearly salmon. We laugh. But it actually belongs to Vanellope!
- Turbo's original game is a racing game.
- The second time Ralph and King Candy meet, Ralph is in a bad mood and tries several times to hit him. King Candy is genuinely afraid of Ralph and keeps dodging and avoiding his attacks, not just because he's a wimp, but because King Candy is outside his own game so if Ralph succeeded in striking him down, it would be game over for real for King Candy.
- King Candy recognizes Ralph when no one else from Sugar Rush does, though Ralph doesn't know him in turn. This is because King Candy is really Turbo, whose game came out around the same time as Ralph's.
- King Candy is an old man racing against a bunch of young children. He also has a different design than the others, with no racing uniform and different proportions. At first this just seems creepily laughable. But it wasn't intentional by the game's developers.
- Even for Sugar Rush, King Candy's cart is very feminine.
- If you look closely, you can see that King Candy's coattails look like a beetle shell.
- Combining this with Theme Song Reveal, this is Vanellope's theme, not played alone through most of the movie. In parts, it cuts an 8-bit-esque, "princessy" theme that was presumably original to "Sugar Rush".
- During the Turbo exposition scene, you may well notice that Turbo's voice is the same as King Candy's.
- As it shows the Arcade fast-forwarding, it shows arcade machines leaving while others arrive. One of the ones that leaves is Turbo Time.
- After Vanellope uses Ralph's medal, the latter arrives in the scene and wreaks havoc. Vanellope ultimately hides in King Candy's car. After everyone has their attention at Ralph, she runs and passed by Crumbelina's car. The former is her original car, while the latter is the one she'll use to rescue Ralph at the climax.
- The Cybug that Ralph accidentally brought to Sugar Rush is seen multiple times hinting that it might be important It is the same one that merges with King Candy.
- Vanellope seems barely able to drive at first, but once she manages to do a full lap on her practice track, her skill level suddenly goes way up, demonstrated by the way she executes a perfect turn-into-the-skid "drift" move on her way up to the ramp - a hint that she really is a coded racer character, not just a glitch that wants to be one.
- The horn on King Candy's racing cart (which actually belongs to Vanellope) plays "Hail to the Chief," hinting at Vanellope's eventual decision to be a president rather than a princess.
- For Your Own Good: King Candy's explanation to Ralph for his doing everything in his power to stop Vanellope from racing - if she wins and joins the roster, the players will see her glitching, think the game is broken, and it will be unplugged. Since glitches can't leave their own game, Vanellope will be trapped inside when the game is unplugged, and King Candy doesn't want her to die like that. Ralph uses the phrase after this conversation right before he smashes the cart he and Vanellope made together to keep her from racing. Ralph meant it. King Candy didn't.
- Four Philosophy Ensemble: Calhoun (The Cynic), Ralph (The Conflicted), Felix (The Realist), and Vanellope (The Optimist).
- Fourth Wall Observer:
- All the characters know they're in a video game. They have the ability to see the player, by looking at what is essentially the game's "camera". Fix-It Felix Jr. has a great big window in the sky, while Hero's Duty has the computer-screen head of the First-Person Shooter robot. The arcade is never seen from inside Sugar Rush, but due to the gameplay it can be assumed it has a similar system to Hero's Duty.
- During the last race of the movie, the camera is shown moving in behind King Candy in the usual way for racing games, as if he was the playable character. No other racers appear to have the same effect, and when seen later from different perspectives, there is no visible camera anywhere near him - though since the race was taking place after hours the "first person racer" would have no reason to be physically present then.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Turbo gets points for mugging to the movie's camera for a split-second, complete with his signature thumbs-up. See for yourself◊.
- There are two others that if one pays close enough attention, and/or remembers what Vanellope looks like from the trailer.
- The first is an early shot (from a different angle) of the Wham Shot mentioned later on down this page, during the 30-year time montage during Ralph's speech during the Bad-Anon meeting.
- The second is when Moppet Girl is reading the lit-up Sugar Rush placard, if you pause it when you see Taffyta standing in front of her kart, look at the tiny images beside her, more specifically the racer at the left of the top row, (closest to Taffyta).
- Friendly Enemy: At closing the two Street Fighters comment on their rough day and head to Tapper's together.
- Friendship Song: "When Can I See You Again?" is a song about a friend having to go, but wanting to know when they can meet again.
- A Friend in Need: Ralph to Vanellope.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Tapper is treated as the local bar, and all signs point to it being the original, un-Bowdlerized Tapper, with the original bartender and characters getting intoxicated. Yet a line of dialogue indicates that the beverage served is root beer. Averted with the Niceland penthouse; it has a fully stocked bar and the residents are frequently seen drinking martinis. Gene is drinking one when Ralph returns to his game with the medal.
- Also, in a flashback with Sgt Calhoun and her fiancé, they're seen with what appear to be glasses of wine.
- Funny Background Event:
- Some of the soldiers in Calhoun's platoon glance and smirk at each other during the whole Love at First Punch scenario with Felix.
- Watch the scenes in Game Central Station carefully. Of note is when Calhoun first describes the Cy-bugs to Felix, Sonic can be seen showing off to Gene the Turtle.
- Fusion Dance: What happens when King Candy meets a Cy-Bug in the climax.
- Game-Breaking Bug:
- In a flashback, Turbo's antics crash the new racing game brought in to replace him. Specifically, when he crashes into the player's car, the entire screen goes nuts with errors.
- As a logo gag, the Disney Vanity Plate at the end of the credits glitches out and shuts down because of all the characters meshing together, which itself counts as a Shout-Out to the same thing in Pac-Man.
- Game Changer: Ralph is convinced that it's pointless to continue helping Vanellope, as he feels any further assistance will doom her home game of Sugar Rush. Until Ralph notices official artwork of Vanellope on the side of the game cabinet and returns to Sugar Rush, now determined to get answers as to what's going on with Vanellope. Indeed, this new information ultimately leads to bringing down Turbo's horrid reign in Sugar Rush.
- Gamer Chick: Moppet Girl, that young blonde girl in the arcade.
- Genius Loci: Surge Protector is the surge protector.
- Genre Savvy: Just about everyone has Medium Awareness, the fact that a small percentage of the population doesn't is a plot point.
- Genki Girl: Vanellope, who can snap from calm and snarky one moment to literally bouncing off the walls as if on a sugar high while teleporting all over the place and cheering at the top of her lungs when happy or excited... though it's worth noting that the events of the movie are likely the first times she's had something to be excited about in a long time.
- Genre Blindness: The Cy-Bugs either do not or cannot realize that they're just game characters. Unusual for the trope, this makes them extremely dangerous since unlike other Bad Guys they don't know when to stop and the only thing keeping them in check is the end-of-game beacon.
- Invoked when Ralph tries to take part in the modern, ultra-realistic Light Gun Shooter Hero's Duty. The writers mention that the game's world was intended to be a place where Ralph, a throwback to 8-bit 1980s games, would be completely out of his depth, and it shows. The crowning moment was when Ralph tries to rush into the lab, believing it to be a safe haven from the Cy-bugs, unaware that a lab would be exactly the kind of place where the Cy-bugs would be coming from.
: I thought this was going be like Centipede
- Genre Throwback: In-universe: after the events of the movie, Fix-It Felix Jr. becomes a popular arcade game again, thanks to all the decommissioned arcade characters (like Q*bert) it now hosts, all of whom participate in gameplay and in bonus levels. Ralph says players love it for "being retro", which he figures means something like 'old, but cool'.
- Gentle Giant: Ralph, when not playing the bad guy. He does have his moments of clumsiness, though.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: While stuck in the NesquikSand with Calhoun, Felix confidently states that he can simply hop free. When that fails, he freaks out ("I'm hopless... this is hopeless!") and nearly drowns himself by flailing, forcing Calhoun to smack some calm into him. She even says "get a hold of yourself." This also ends up saving them as the slapstick attracts the Laffy Taffy to them.
- It's also said later by Ralph during Felix's rant about the troubles he went through searching for him.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- In the Bad-Anon, there's a villain named Satan, and Ralph uses the normal pronunciation. Satan corrects him that it's "Sah-Teen". The credits list him as "Saitine."
- During the Bad-Anon meeting, Kano rips the heart out of Zombie, a fatality taken straight out of the M-rated Mortal Kombat.
- Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive" is used in the film (during Vanellope's Training Montage) and soundtrack. The lyrics are full of Double Entendre.
- Pay close attention to Surge Protector's gaze while he's onscreen in the background. You'll know it when you see it.
- When she feels she's finished with it, Taffyta flicks her lollipop away as if it were a cigarette.
- The cruiser's ejector seat light is a group of arrows that light up in sequence and go up pointing right between the figure's legs.
- Things characters said:
- Vanellope tells Ralph to "move your molasses."
- King Candy says "Milk my duds!"
- Calhoun uses the term "pussywillows." Given context, it was meant to be taken sans-tree.
- Calhoun also uses the term "Bullroar" when responding to Ralph's claim that the Cy-Bug he brought with him was killed in a taffy swamp.
- Ralph calls King Candy "Pillow Pants."
- Ralph also addresses King Candy as "Nelly Wafer," a combination of "Nilla Wafer" and the insult "nelly."
- Vanellope is called the derogatory term "glitch," which is similar to another insulting term used towards unwanted women.
- Vanellope's line "Frosting, a buttload of frosting."
- Places and what's found there:
- The Bad-Anon is clearly modeled off alcoholic support groups.
- Ralph is clearly seen in the arcade game Tapper, which was a 1983 game where the player character is a bartender. The movie uses the Root Beer Tapper version, but the bartender is from the Budweiser-sponsored original rather than the Root Beer soda jerk. One of the space marines is even drunk, not to mention the Nicelanders usually drinking alcohol, adding rum to the cake, Pac-Man "eating" the Martinis, and the fact Gene is almost never seen on screen without a drink in his hand. This much alcohol it makes one wonder why they didn't just use the original Budweiser version.
- While sorting through the lost-and-found in Tapper, Ralph comes across Zangrief's briefs. Ralph later steals Markowski's uniform and uses those briefs to cover his, um, bits.
- Also, how did Zangief lose his trunks at a bar in the first place?
- When the camera pans over the candy audience, we first see "Assorted Fans" cheering with high-pitched voices. Then the camera pans over the part where candy "with nuts" sits. They cheer at a much lower pitch.
- Felix makes an offhand side-comment about Ralph ("He probably fell asleep in the washrooms of Tapper's again") that could imply that the latter drowns his sorrows in alcohol because of his depression. The fact that Felix knows this could mean that he does nothing to prevent it.
- On the Arcade's entrance door, there's a sign saying "No minors allowed after 10 PM".
- Glamour Failure: Vanellope's glitch causes this to happen to King Candy.
- Go Into the Light: The Cy-Bugs are programmed to be drawn to the beacon whenever Hero's Duty resets, in a manner very reminiscent of bugs being drawn to a bug-zapper. Played for Laughs at first... then very much Played for Drama during the climax. Also Virus!!King Candy/Turbo's last words.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Ralph and Felix are reasonably polite with each other when they aren't playing their game, though averted in the case of the Nicelanders who are rude, wary, insensitive, or all three towards Ralph.
- Good Bad Bug: In-universe example. Vanellope eventually learns to use her glitching as a teleport. In the ending, Ralph says the players love it.
- Good Is Not Nice: Central to Calhoun's character. Subverted in Felix's case: a good guy and also almost painfully nice.
- Good Needs Evil: Quite literally in this case. Without the villains/rivals/etc., many of the games would have zero gameplay. A game really is only as good as its villain. The plot is kicked off by the utter lack of appreciation Ralph receives for doing his absolutely vital job.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Any damage to characters in their games is reset quickly. However, character death is permanent if it happens in a game other than their native one.
- Felix tells Calhoun he can heal himself with his hammer so she shouldn't be afraid to punch him.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The destruction of Vanellope's car is shown with as much discretion as if it were a person. Played straight with Turbo, though he came back later.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Both Fix-It Felix and Sgt. Calhoun play this in different ways. Felix is a very polite, old-fashioned person and may not even know any words stronger than "goshdarn"; Calhoun uses very colorful language that sounds like it SHOULD be filthy.
Fix-It Felix Jr.: "I don't have to do boo; forgive my potty mouth."
- Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Ralph tries to give Vanellope a pre-race pep talk, but he can't avoid reminding her how much is riding on it. Fortunately she shakes it off almost instantly.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The reason why "going Turbo" is a bad thing (besides the fact a character in a game that is not their own will not regenerate upon death) is that Turbo, a protagonist of his own racing game, was upset at the attention a new racing game was stealing from him. He decided to enter that game, which caused glitches and got both games decommissioned. Turbo still hasn't learned from his lesson as King Candy.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: Well, everyone in the film. But averted with the Cy-Bugs, whose hard-coded imperative to "go into the light" cannot be overcome even by King Candy/Turbo.
- The Grovel: A non-romantic version. After he broke her heart to save her and the subsequent Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure, Ralph eventually comes to his senses and sincerely apologizes to Vanellope about him being such a dickhead and destroying her kart.
- Guest Fighter: Ralph is a playable character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, presumably in return for Sonic's appearance in the film.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Ralph punches things, Felix hits things with a hammer, and Calhoun fires guns. Yet this isn't really played straight, as Calhoun's firearms are treated as just as dangerous as actual firearms. Plus she can throw a mean punch when she has to.
- Hair Decorations: Vanellope wears a hair ribbon made of licorice and she has various types of candy stuck in her hair.
- Hammerspace: Everyone from Hero's Duty literally pull their weapons out of empty air.
- Hand Signals: As the arcade closes, Calhoun hears what she thinks is a Cy-Bug and raises a fist in the military "Hold" signal to alert her soldiers chatting behind her.
- Healing Shiv: Felix's hammer acts as this. Whether he wants it to or not.
- Heel: Zangief perceives himself as one.
- Pretty much all villains are this by the original wrestling definition. They go out and play bad guys but most of them are perfectly nice people off the clock.
- Heel-Face Turn: Ralph attempts to pull this off.
- The entire idea of "Face" and "Heel" and what it really means to be either is examined and played around with during the story.
- Heel Realization: Zangief had this epiphany while crushing a man's skull like a sparrow's egg between his thighs, but he learned to live with it.
- There's another example that actually sticks, unlike the Zangief example: when King Candy a.k.a. Turbo Racer's manipulations of Sugar Rush's code are fixed, the other racers all get their memories back... including the memory of Vanellope von Schweetz being their true ruler, and thus they realize that their jackass behavior to Vanellope earlier was completely inexcusable. They all quickly apologize and admit what heels they were.
- Heh-Heh, You Said "Doody": In an Overly Long Gag when Vanellope hears that Ralph's medal came from Hero's Duty, much to Ralph's complete annoyance. It's kind of something to expect when a character is being played by Sarah Silverman.
"'Bet ya gotta watch your step in a game called "Hero's Doody"!"
- Held Gaze: Between Felix and Calhoun when they get out of the NesquikSand. The moment gets exaggerated by the Laffy Taffies, that is, until Calhoun fires her weapon into the air to get them to knock it off.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Befitting her status as The Leader, Sgt. Calhoun doesn't wear any protective headgear even though every other nondescript generic NPC in her squad does.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ralph fully intended to go down with all the Mentos into the molten hot diet cola. Vanellope, in full control of her glitching, had none of that.
It's Game Over
for the both of you. Ralph: No
. Just for me.
- The Hero's Journey: Ralph's story hits almost all the major points.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: Some here and there, though a lot of the phrases used are downright strange even without being altered to fit video games. Also, everyone from Sugar Rush alters their phrases to be candy-based.
- Hollywood Hacking: The Sugar Rush game code that King Candy manipulates is a gorgeous example.
- Turbo is quite the programmer for an old 8-bit game character.
- Honor Before Reason: Felix sticks around Sugar Rush during the climax, even though his only weapon is a Healing Shiv, because he's determined to help Calhoun and Vanellope. Though, his healing weapon can repair Calhoun's weapons, so he isn't completely useless.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: The Cy-Bugs.
- Hub Level: Game Central Station (AKA the power strip), where one can travel between games.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Ralph and Vanellope.
- Hurricane of Puns: When Vanellope first hears about Hero's Duty, she starts making a string of Toilet Humour jokes about that title.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- After Ralph spends most of the introduction lamenting the fact that no one seems to appreciate him even though he's just doing his job, he gives the Surge Protector a very hard time for just doing his job. Justified by the fact that he's always stopped when entering and leaving Game Central Station and believes Surge Protector is just profiling, although considering that he is smuggling "contraband" (cherries from Pac-Man) kind of justifies Surge Protector's actions.
Mr. Surge Protector: Anything to declare?
Ralph: I hate you.
Mr. Surge Protector: I get that a lot.
- Taken even further in the Polish version:
Mr. Surge Protector: Anything to declare?
Ralph: I love you.
Mr. Surge Protector: Very funny.
- When Ralph comes across the Hero's Duty private, Markowski, in the lost and found at Tapper's, and asks to tag along back to Hero's Duty, but Markowski refuses, saying "Only the best and bravest serve in our corps!" A split second later, he sees a cockroach on Ralph's shoulder, screams like a little girl, and runs head-first into the wall, knocking himself unconscious. (Though, it may be a subversion after we actually get to see the gameplay inside Hero's Duty).
- Another example is Ralph's anger at Vanellope for stealing his medal. You know, the one he himself stole?
- I Did What I Had to Do: King Candy explains that he cannot allow Vanellope to race and get onto the roster, as her glitchy nature would put the game at risk of being unplugged and kill her in the process. Though it turns out that this is largely a fabrication.
King Candy: Do you know what the hardest part about being a king is? Doing what's right, no matter what.
- I Gave My Word: Inverted; Vanellope reminds Ralph.
- Played straight with Gene, who, after Ralph returns to Fix-It Felix Jr. with his medal, gives the wrecker the key to the penthouse.
Gene: Never let it be said that I'm not a man of my word. The place is yours, Ralph.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Calhoun's backstory was that her fiancé was eaten by a Cy-Bug on their wedding day after she forgot to do a perimeter check. This ends up being much sillier than it sounds, as the bug comes out of nowhere, and she immediately pulls out a giant minigun from under her dress and starts shooting, screaming in terror. She learned from her mistake, as seen during her wedding to Felix.
- Imagine Spot: Ralph has one when he's claiming the medal he "won" in Hero's Duty of him becoming the cente of attention in Niceland whilst Gene is seen sitting on Ralph's stump, crying 8-bit tears.
- He has another one of the fate that would befall Vanellope as King Candy describes it to him. It's considerably less funny than the first one.
- Improv: Unlike most animated films, the principal actors regularly recorded audio sessions together in the same room, a situation which led to a lot of improvising.
- Indestructible Edible: The jawbreakers found in Sugar Rush. At least until Ralph splits one in half. See Made of Indestructium for more info.
- Infinite Supplies: As seen by Ralph's sleeping place, when Felix fixes the building, he does not summon the bricks back, but creates new ones which he can do for an unlimited amount of time.
- Informed Attractiveness/Love at First Sight: In-Universe, Felix becomes enamored with Calhoun.
Look at that HIGH DEFINITION on your face! It's amazing!
- Felix, coming from an 8-bit game, might see her "realistic" face as more attractive, as lower definition characters look more cartoony.
- In-Joke: The code sequence that King Candy uses to access Sugar Rush's source code is the Konami Code.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Ralph, Felix, Vanellope and Calhoun each bear at least a slight resemblance to their respective voice actors. Check this image◊ for comparison.
- Inn Between the Worlds: Game Central Station.
- Innocently Insensitive: Felix did not realize how unsatisfied Ralph was with his situation until he gets a taste of it himself. The fact that Ralph is a nice guy and was so overly polite that he never says anything about it directly didn't help matters.
- Insistent Terminology: King Candy's palace isn't pink, it's salmon. This hints at the fact that he's a lying liar who lies.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: A refreshing aversion. There are those who see Vanellope's glitching as equivalent to a disability (she even calls it "pixlexsia.") However, she's also a well-developed character and accepts her glitch without Narm. In fact, she ultimately decides to keep her glitch because it improves her racing, even though finishing a race would've normally meant getting rid of it.
- Instant Expert: Vanellope picks up race driving with astonishing speed. Justified, as she was coded to be a racer, but was forced to forget how. When she says "racing is in my code", she's actually on to something.
- Insult of Endearment: Ralph and Vanellope start using these after a while.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Q*bert, with Felix having to translate.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The dinosaur from Meet the Robinsons is a game character.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Ralph and Vanellope.
- In-Universe Camera: The action inside Hero's Duty is displayed to the player by a camera robot that travels with the soldiers and simulates the first person perspective for the player. Naturally, they call it the "First-Person Shooter" and it suffers Camera Abuse.
- Ironic Echo: "Have some candy!"
- Ironic Echo Cut:
- Played for Drama after Ralph has stormed out of the penthouse celebration, determined to earn a medal.
Mary: He's not serious, is he?
Gene, scoffing: Of course he's not serious.
Ralph, to the bartender of Tapper: I've never been more serious in my life.
- It also has this when Vanellope shows off her kart, the "Lickety-Split", which is notably less impressive than the other racers'.
Ralph: (wincing) Sheesh, it looks like she built it herself.
Vannelope: (smugly) Built it myself.
- It's All About Me: Gene and Vanellope accuse Ralph of this.
- Pretty much Turbo/King Candy's motivation.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Satan insists on this pronunciation, which hints that he's from Satan's Hollow (there was a weak attempt to use an alternate pronunciation to keep the Moral Guardians at bay back in the day, no one paid any attention). Why have a villain from an obscure bottom-shooter with these legends? Well, the designer would go on to make TRON next.
- "I Want" Song: By no means official, but the fan-written song "A Chance To Be The Hero" by Daniel Edwards definitely works at explaining Ralph's identity crisis.
- A deleted scene on the Blu-Ray reveals that the writers had originally planned for Ralph to sing such a song in the movie... only to be interrupted from singing because he's completely tone-deaf. The audio commentary for this scene even mentions the trope by name.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Ralph putting Sour Bill in his mouth if he doesn't tell him King Candy's real plans:
"How many licks would it take to get to your center?"
- Jaw Drop:
- In a bit of Mood Whiplash, Pac-Man does this hilariously after Ralph accidentally destroys the Nicelanders' cake.
- Ralph and Felix do this when King Candy is revealed to be Turbo.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- Played with. King Candy's reasons for preventing Vanellope from racing are legitimate - if people think the game is glitchy, the game will be unplugged. Van being a glitch, she won't be able to escape to Game Central like the rest meaning she'll die. Of course, while the sentiment is true (no one wants a glitchy game, she can't escape and would die, etc.), Candy has ulterior motives and reasons for stopping her since it would unravel his long con, and he was the reason she was a glitch, instead of himself. Her glitching ultimately turns out to be a (possibly intentional) Good Bad Bug.
- Also, Mayor Gene delivers a lengthy and hurtful guilt trip to Ralph after Ralph returns to Fix-It Felix Jr. to find the game evacuated and soon to be unplugged. While Gene was the ringleader and most obnoxious of the Nicelanders who dismissed and ostracized Ralph (causing him to leave in the first place), him calling Ralph out on his selfishness and the shortsightedness of his actions is not only accurate, but it quite likely cuts deeper and hammers in his failure more coming from an antagonistic character like Gene than it would have coming from a consummate good guy like Felix.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ralph is a very decent person with a good heart, but is also selfish and has quite the temper on him. Though he always shows his better nature in time, he initially makes things constantly worse by acting only in his own best interest.
- Vannelope too. She's a mouthy, self-centered little brat, but she's still very likable once you're her friend and definitely a good person.
- Just the First Citizen: Vanellope ends up as this, after renouncing the throne and crown.
- Karmic Death/Laser-Guided Karma: King Candy/Turbo, who had called himself a boss thanks to the power-up his One-Winged Angel Cy-Bug provided, dies because of the very thing he thought would help him win and continue his mad spree of game-hopping/conquering—sure, he became one with a virus... a virus programmed to be drawn into the destructive beacon. So he's dragged into it, unable to escape... and fully aware the whole time.
- Kid Hero: Vanellope starts off as a Bratty Half-Pint, evolves into a Damsel in Distress, and eventually earns her hero stripes at the climax.
- Kids Are Cruel: The racers in Sugar Rush are just plain beastly to Vanellope, who acts like a jerk to Ralph (initially). However, this example is more complicated than most, as the other racers' cruelty wasn't really their doing; King Candy/Turbo messed with their programming code so they forgot who Vanellope was. They're very sorry when they find out.
- Kill Screen: The arcade version of Fix-It Felix has one when you hit 39 levels. And The Stinger after the end credits.
- King Mook: King Cy-bug, a.k.a. what happens when a Cy-bug ate King Candy.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: Among the fake advertisements Disney used for the movie, one of them is a commercial for The Fix-It Felix Hammer, having shoddy graphics, poor format, and obviously-stock pictures and videos.
- Kneel Before Frodo: The other racers after they remember that Vanellope was their princess.
- Kneel Before Zod: Played with. Vanellope gets Ralph to genuflect so she can give him the cookie medal she made for him.
- Konami Code: King Candy uses it to gain access and edit Sugar Rush's source code. It is indeed the code of all codes!
- Ladyella: A minor character from Sugar Rush is called "Citrusella Flugpucker" (it's a bluish recolor of Jubileena Bing-Bing).
- Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: An interesting and actually plot-critical example: Vanellope is featured prominently in the Sugar Rush cabinet art despite that she's supposedly a glitch and not supposed to even be in the game. This is what clues Ralph in that King Candy's hiding something and ultimately leads to the latter's plan derailing. In the end it actually proves to be a hint to an even bigger reveal: that Vanellope is actually the true ruler of Sugar Rush.
- Lampshade Hanging: "When did video games become so violent and scary?!" When you have Kano in your movie while parodying First-Person Shooter games, anything is possible.
- There is also one about the player character in first person shooters and how every body part except the arms is not visible. In Hero's Duty, the player character is just a robot with arms resembling those of the other characters.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: King Candy tampered with the code in Sugar Rush so that no one would remember who Vanellope was by locking everyone's memories up in a chest. Only Sour Bill knows of this incident, which he tells Ralph, but not even he remembers Vanellope's true identity.
- Laser Sight: During her programmed backstory, a bug crashed through the window of the church on Calhoun's wedding and ate her to-be husband. When she marries Felix in an identical church, there's dozens of Red Dots on the window from the rifles of all of Calhoun's guests making sure nothing like that happens again.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The official tie-in video games and coloring book came out before the film's debut. Both contain massive spoilers.
- Lava is Boiling Diet Cola: Almost literally in this case. While the main point was the drink's eruptive nature when it reacts with Mentos (Truth in Television due to their particular chemistry), the "molten hot Diet Cola" found in the volcano was also a likely shout-out to this video game trope, especially games like Mega Man 3 and Super Metroid.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
- Kano, of Mortal Kombat: he is never acknowledged by name onscreen, and in the script he is referred to as "Cy-borg". Though permission was gotten, one theory is that the name and character was PG-ified to avoid connecting the kid friendly movie with a game whose basic principle is inflicting massive bodily harm. Most people familiar with the game would still be able to tell who he is, though (despite him having a cybernetic arm which Kano doesn't have).
- Mario is referred to only by name and never makes an appearance. John C. Reilly made a joke that the film couldn't afford to pay for the rights, but the filmmakers actually did have permission to use himnote — they just couldn't figure out a way to fit him into the story (and, given Mario's iconic status, they felt a cameo appearance wouldn't do him justice).
- Though Rich Moore did state that, if a sequel is ever made, he'll give Mario a role.
- Left the Background Music On: Felix has just rescued Calhoun from a NesquikSand pit, and romantic music plays in the background as Calhoun gets all doe-eyed. Then the camera pans slightly to reveal that the Laffy Taffies are providing the music and have surrounded them in the shape of a heart. Calhoun fires warning shots into the air a couple times to get them to knock it off.
- Turbo has a theme of his own - a very dark version of the first few notes of his old arcade game Turbo-Time's theme. However, it is limited to very specific scenes due to him not appearing much in the movie, as himself anyway. It's most prominent in the climax.
- Vanellope has one as well: a descending melody that is played either whimsically or mournfully depending on the scene.
- Ralph's theme is the most blatant, playing as the title of the movie comes up and prominently throughout the following scene. It tends to appear in more sentimental moments, including his attempted Heroic Sacrifice.
- King Candy has a theme as well, a song that's actually a version of the Turbo Time version with a bar removed on every chord, possibly inspired by The Wizard of Oz. Since King Candy is actually an alias of Turbo, he has two letimotifs.
- Level Ate: The Sugar Rush world is made of candy.
- Like Brother and Sister: Word of God says that Ralph and Vanellope are this.
- Light Is Not Good:
- While on the surface Sugar Rush 's characters appear to be sickly sweet and nice, the irony is that pretty much every single inhabitant of the game is actually a pretty horrible individual. In truth, they were originally just as nice as they appeared, but King Candy, who is in reality Turbo in disguise, intentionally messed up Sugar Rush's programming code so none of the racers would remember who Vanellope von Schweetz really was. The second they get their memories back, light does in fact become good and they instantly apologize for how mean they were. "Candy-coated heart of darkness", as Ralph puts it.
- Turbo is a white character with a skeletal appearance. There's a reason this "protagonist's" name is used to describe a typically unthinkable act in the game universe.
- Lightning Bruiser: Ralph has a rather impressive running speed for someone his size, and is capable of punching things so fast that his arms blur, and he's able to pulverize stone into dust in less than a second. He does this in one scene to make a bed out of the bricks in the dump, and later to make a training race course for Vanellope.
- In the climax, King Candy in his Cybug form, despite being over twenty feet tall (and strong enough to toss Ralph around like a rag doll), can still move pretty damn fast.
- The Little Detecto: Calhoun's hand-held Cy-Bug detector.
- Logo Joke:
- The Walt Disney Animation Studios logo is rendered in 8-Bit graphics, with an 8-bit composition of "Steamboat Willie".
- The Disney logo used in The Stinger is a Kill Screen variation.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: This film has the most characters ever in a Disney film, with a whopping 188 different character models.
- Losing Horns: Sounds off once Vanellope's new car gets finished baking... after Ralph accidentally destroyed the minigame and spilled every ingredient onto it.
- Love at First Punch: Calhoun and Felix.
- MacGuffin: The Hero's Duty Medal. It represents Ralph's shallow wish for fulfillment of his desires, but ultimately proves to be an illusion, a lie which causes great damage to be done both to Ralph's own game and to all the games he's visited. And it is only after Ralph rejects that lie (i.e. throwing it against the game screen) that he discovers King Candy's deception (the "Out Of Order" sign taped on the other side of the screen falls off and reveals Vanellope is on the side of the Sugar Rush cabinet) and the way to correct his mistakes and become the person he truly wants to be.
- Made of Indestructium: Vanellope claims that the jawbreakers found in Sugar Rush are this, so she's quite impressed (and inspired) when Ralph manages to split one in half; if he can break that, an armored vault door would be no match for him!.
- Made of Iron: Ralph can be thrown several stories from the roof of an apartment building, slam face first into a concrete floor, and he'll still be ready to tear some more stuff up in the next level.
- Madness Mantra: "We are humanity's last hope... our mission, destroy all Cy-Bugs.......we are humanity's last hope... our mission, destroy all Cy-Bugs."
- Magic Countdown: The 1 minute countdown for the Build-a-Kart Minigame actually lasts 1 minute 14 seconds.
- Magic Skirt: Vanellope hangs upside down from a tree branch and her skirt remains static. Justified in that it's made of paper candy cups.
- Mama Bear: Interesting out-of-universe example. According to Jim Reardon (Head of Story), all the women on the film's story crew were very protective of the character of Vanellope throughout the entire developing process.
- An army of females in the film's fandom have passionately expressed their wish to protect/console Vanellope in some way.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Calhoun and Felix.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Arcade machine characters regularly visit other machines and interact on a daily basis. It's usually discouraged, since dying outside of one's own arcade machine is a permanent death. In a slightly meta example, Fix-It Felix Jr. becomes host to various arcade characters out of a job after the events of the film, making it popular in the arcade by players who think it's a retro throwback to old arcade games.
- May-December Romance: Played With. While they both appear as adults around the same age, Felix has been around for 30 years and Calhoun has only existed for one week, being from different gaming eras (8-Bit vs. High-Def).
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In his game, Ralph is a hulking, raging brute that fully intends to smash the building full of innocent tenants. When the game isn't being played, he is a Gentle Giant who appears to have a friendly, professional relationship with the other video game characters.
- The same can be said about the cameo villains. They're all nice guys, they just have to play the part they're in. Especially M. Bison and Kano.
- Meaningful Echo: See the Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad pledge.
- Meaningful Name:
- Tobikomi, the developer of the film's Original Generation games, is Japanese for "jump into", tying well into the game-jumping its characters embark upon.
- Wreck-It Ralph wrecks things.
- Fix-It Felix fixes things.
- Turbo was a race car driver.
- Each of the racers in Sugar Rush have one.
- Sour Bill is sour, aka grumpy at all times.
- King Candy is the ruler of Sugar Rush a candy-themed environment. He's actually Turbo.
- Vanellope Von Schweetz: Both names are a play on types of candy as well as Foreshadowing that she's actually of royalty and the rightful ruler of Sugar Rush.
- Tamora J. Calhoun's name is a parody of infamous female characters in similar-themed gaming genres. See the Shout-Out tab.
- Medium Awareness: 99% of the video game characters know they are video game characters. The plot hinges upon this, and the 1% who don't know.
- Medium Blending: The film is mainly in 3D, but the parts that use 2D sprites are well integrated into it. Even the NPCs of Fix-It Felix, Jr. always move in their 8-bit animation loops, no matter how they're rendered.
- Metaphorgotten: At several points in the story, Calhoun's dialogue becomes a mish-mash of metaphors and figures of speech. Here's but one example:
"The selfish man is like a mangy dog chasing a cautionary tale."
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Ralph manages to avoid destroying any worlds, but it's a very close thing. Especially after bringing that Cy-Bug into Sugar Rush.
- Milestone Celebration: In-universe. The movie begins on Fix-It Felix Jr.'s 30th anniversary.
- Perhaps coincidental, but Q*bert's cameo appearance in Wreck-It Ralph also coincides with the aforementioned character's 30th anniversary.
- Mind-Control Eyes: When the beacon is lit, the Cy-Bug's and Virus King Candy's eyes change from green to blue.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: It's not entirely clear who is in control after Turbo is eaten and assimilated by a Cy-Bug...his personality and mannerisms remain intact, but he can't resist the hypnotic call of a gigantic light beacon - in this case a fiery volcano eruption - which spells his ultimate doom.
- Minigame: In an in-universe example, the car-making factory from Sugar Rush.
- Missing Trailer Scene:
- There's a scene in which Ralph is chased by a swarm of Cy-Bugs while he is riding on Calhoun's cruiser to Diet Cola Mountain. In actuality, while riding to the mountain, he's not chased at all. The clip was most likely cut because it comes across as lightheartedly humorous (with Ralph flailing around and screaming), which would've been out of place in what is otherwise a serious climactic scene.
- Another missing trailer scene; there's a clip from Hero's Duty where one of the soldiers tells to Ralph "Get outta this game, buddy!" in the midst of the Cy-Bug attack.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Halfway through the second trailer we cut from Vannelope spouting Toilet Humor about the name Hero's Duty to an incredibly sad and intense montage set to "Some Nights." The next lines? Ralph being told that "we can't change who we are" and Vanellope lamenting that everyone says she's just a mistake. And that's just the trailer.
- The Toilet Humor scene happens mere seconds after Vanellope was face down in the mud crying over being bullied and having her pedal car smashed up by the other kids.
- Moral Dissonance: Some see Vanellope's lack of caring if her "glitching" gets Sugar Rush unplugged if she races as this. It could follow this was a knee-jerk reaction to (a) getting that close to living her dream as a racer, and (b) feeling that Ralph double-crossed her for talking with King Candy.
- Morton's Fork: Sugar Rush's daily roster is determined nightly with a race. Contestants have to buy their way in with coins won from previous races. This effectively locks Vanellope out of the game, because she can't race to win coins and has no coins to race with. Then Ralph came along with his medal.
- Mouth Cam: Used as Ralph interrogates Sour Bill, a minion of the film's main antagonist, by threatening to eat him.
- Mr. Exposition: In an odd, non-verbal sort of way. The girl with the glasses is able to provide the audience with information they'll need by playing Hero's Duty (which starts Ralph on the game campaign and gets some rules of video games explained to him), then dropping by Sugar Rush and being turned away, and then going to Fix-It Felix Jr. to discover Ralph isn't there.
- Done later with Felix when he has to explain what "Going Turbo" means to Sergent Calhoun since her game was only plugged in the past few days, which also shows what's at stake if he doesn't get Ralph back.
- Mr Fix It: He's not called "Fix-It Felix Jr." for nothing.
- Mugged for Disguise: But since Ralph isn't really a bad guy, the space marine helpfully knocks himself out so Ralph can mug him without resistance. Of course, considering his mental state and level of intoxication Ralph may have been doing him a favor. Stealing his underwear and putting him in Zangief's tights probably wasn't necessary, though.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The "beacon" is a glorified bugzapper.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When the characters of Sugar Rush realize who Vanellope really is, everyone panics, especially the other racers. Of course, they never realized the truth since their code had been manipulated by King Candy/Turbo.
- Before that, Ralph gets this threefold, first for crushing Vanellope's car into bits (even though he believes it is for the greater good, it's obvious he still feels this after the deed is done), seeing what his actions have wrought to his own game for running off, and finally when he realizes the Cy-Bug invasion of Sugar Rush was his fault.
- Another character as well - while Felix is actually upset with Ralph only because the latter game-jumped, he didn't realize just how badly the others in Fix-It Felix Jr. treated Ralph until Ralph compared said treatment with the treatment Felix got in prison. In this case, though, it was more guilt for not stopping others from treating Ralph badly, rather than Felix feeling bad for his own treatment of Ralph, who he at least tried to treat fairly, his reluctance owed to the Nicelanders' fear and loathing of Ralph.
- My New Gift Is Lame: Subverted. Vanellope seems to be staring in disappointed shock at the car Ralph helped her bake, but she's actually just overwhelmed to have a real car at all (all she had before was a pedal-powered box car made of wafers).
- Necessarily Evil: Video game villains are just playing the role of their game's Bad Guy opposing the hero (or player) because the game requires an antagonist, even if the villain-actors themselves are perfectly kind, noble, and reasonable people.
- Never Heard That One Before: The deadpan Mr. Surge Protector doesn't miss a beat when giving Ralph a security check.
Mr. Surge Protector: Anything to declare?
Ralph: I hate you.
Mr. Surge Protector: I get that a lot.
- Never Say "Die": Averted in the original as King Candy uses both "kill" and "die" in the climax, however in some dubs, like the Norwegian, his lines were changed from "...it'd be more fun to kill you" and "Let's watch her die together, shall we?" to "...it'd be more fun to get rid of you" and "Let's watch her disappear together."
- Never Trust a Trailer: In the trailer, there's a marine in Hero's Duty that tells Ralph "Get out of this game buddy!". In the movie, none of the marines or Sgt. Calhoun know that Ralph is in Hero's Duty (they think it's Markowski, the marine that Ralph saw at Tapper) until Felix comes in and tells them about Ralph appearing.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: In their game, the Nicelanders are the residents in distress in the penthouse that Ralph intends to destroy. When the game isn't being played, they act as snobby Jerkasses towards Ralph, especially Gene.
- Subverted by Felix, who despite the main character of the film being the embodiment of Mean Character, Nice Actor, is actually the only character in their game who is nice and respectful to Ralph.
- Nice Guy: Felix.
- Nice Hat: Most Sugar Rush racers have some outlandish sweets-themed hats or headgear.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Played straight twice with Ralph, whose antics nearly doom two games.
- Also, the entire plot was kicked off by the "good" residents of Ralph's game world treating him with contempt and fear outside arcade hours, even excluding him from the game's 30th anniversary celebration. Had they actually included him and acknowledged his importance to their world Ralph would not have felt the need to seek out his medal and none of the film would have even happened.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Both subverted and played straight in the fact that Ralph ends up saving the day in the end, yet he is still considered the "villain."
- The Nicknamer: Vanellope, as seen under Big Stupid Doo Doo Head, refers to Ralph as "Knuckles" at one point on account of his big hands.
- Nightmare Face: The Big Bad during The Reveal. Turbo/King Candy, when he starts glitching out while attacking Vanellope. His face flickers back and forth between his King Candy disguise, his rendered Turbo face, and his utterly terrifying skull-like 8-bit Turbo face, while red glitch lines flicker throughout his body.
- No Fourth Wall: The characters don't know they're in a movie, but 99% of them are aware that they're characters in video games. The 1% that doesn't is accurately described thus:
Calhoun: Cybugs are like a virus. They don't know they're in a game. All they know is eat, kill, multiply.
- No One Gets Left Behind: During the Darkest Hour, when Sugar Rush falls to the Cy-Bugs and everyone is trying to escape, Vanellope is found unable to leave the game environment because of her glitching. She remarks I Will Only Slow You Down which only spurs Ralph to attempt a Heroic Sacrifice to save Sugar Rush and Vanellope along.
- No, You: Ralph inverts this trope when he is about to sacrifice himself.
It's Game Over
for both of you [meaning Ralph and Vanellope]! Ralph:
No. Just me.
- Noble Demon: Zangief tries to explain this to the members of Bad-Anon. "You may be Bad Guy, but this does not mean you're bad guy."
- The Zombie as well. "Zangief say, labels not make you happy. Good? Bad? *groans* You must love you."
- Nobody Poops: Averted in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it gag. As Ralph is leaving Pac-Man a couple of restrooms can be seen near the exit.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: King Candy looks and sounds a lot like old-time comedian/actor Ed Wynn. (Who, perhaps not-so-coincidentally, was involved in several Disney projects in the '50s and '60s. Wynn's portrayal of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, in particular, appears to have been a strong influence on King Candy's characterization.)
- Non Indicative Name: In a bunch of cute kids with sweets-based names and theming, one would expect the one called Minty to have, well, a mint theme. Turns out that her theme is sour apple instead.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Sgt. Calhoun has the most realistic design of the four main characters, who are very cartoony. This is in keeping with the design of the game she comes from, which is also more realistic than the others.
- In addition, the designs of Ralph and Felix differ from Vanellope in that Ralph, Felix and anyone from their game have five fingers when Vanellope and anyone from her game have four. This is also in keeping with the design of the game Ralph and Felix come from, being an '80s Japanese-made arcade game.
- There's also King Candy, a beady-eyed old man in a game of big-eyed children and sentient candy. This is the first visible clue that he isn't supposed to be there.
- Not Good with Rejection: The plot of Turbo's backstory.
- The Not-Love Interest: Vanellope for Ralph. A lot of people who only saw her character design thought she was an extremely short adult (since when it comes to video game character designs, anything goes) and assumed she was the Love Interest (an online preview with multiple factual errors didn't help matters). She is supposed to be nine years old and is definitely not Ralph's Love Interest, although she and Ralph do become best friends.
- Not Quite Dead: Turbo and a Cy-Bug hide in Sugar Rush.
- Not So Different: Ralph and Vanellope. Sarah Silverman invokes this trope by name in Disney's Meet the Cast of Wreck-It Ralph clip.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Ralph was already having mixed feelings about destroying the kart, but Vanellope giving him a cookie medal that said "You're my hero" made it even more difficult. Ouch.
- Odd Couple: Felix and Calhoun. Admit it, you never saw it coming.
- Odd Name Out: Most of the Sugar Rush characters have cutesy and punny names, but then there's Candlehead...
- According to certain compelling evidence, it seems that Candlehead was originally intended to be Minty Zaki... but for unknown reasons, the name was instead given to a sour-apple-candy themed racer (originally named "Emmareld") at the last minute.
- Even more so for King Candy, whose name is noticeably simple for a game where everyone else has bizarrely fanciful names. Yet another clue to his true identity.
- Official Couple: Felix and Calhoun.
- Oh, Crap: Too many to count, but here's a few.
- Felix and the Nicelanders when Mr. Litwak puts up the "Out of Order" sign on their game.
Big Gene: Ladies and gentlemen, we're out of order!
- Ralph just before a baby Cy-Bug attacks him and makes him launch himself out of an escape pod. Not to mention when he first sees the action in Hero's Duty.
- Vanellope when she crashes her car into stalactites made out of Mentos... in Diet Cola Mountain.
- Felix has the most of these, from having pieces of ceiling fall on top of him to being shot at with machine guns outside of his game.
- Calhoun has a big one when she finally sees the Cy-Bug nest.
Calhoun: Doomsday and Armageddon just had a baby, and it is ugly!
- A smaller but just as pronounced one when the Cy-Bug initially escapes. All she does is stare wide-eyed and run her hands through her hair, in one of the only times we actually see her scared in the entire movie.
- King Candy when he sees Vanellope racing alongside him. Considering we know his scheme at this point, it's justified.
- Near the end, all the Sugar Rush Racers got one when Princess (or rather, President) Vanellope joked that they were going to be executed.
Calhoun: Oh, this place just got interesting.
- "Welcome to the Boss Level!"
- Ralph and Felix share one after seeing Vanellope's glitching reveal King Candy's true identity: Turbo.
- Ominous Visual Glitch:
- Vanellope gets pixelated during her glitching fits caused by King Candy rearranging the game's code to make himself the main character instead of her. She also sometimes causes anyone in contact with her to glitch; this is used to create the big reveal that King Candy is actually Turbo.
- The end title card glitches in a parody of the Pac-Man "kill stage". The same is done with the end of the Bit by Bit making-of documentary on the Blu-Ray.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Felix is one of these in his own game, as a few loose ceiling tiles is all it takes for him to go through his death animation (and instantly resurrect seconds later). Thankfully, he can take a lot more serious harm when he's in other games (necessary for the escape from the NesquikSand).
- One-Winged Angel: Turbo/King Candy after getting eaten by a Cy-Bug.
- Original Generation: Fix-It Felix Jr., Sugar Rush, Hero's Duty and Turbotime as well as their respective characters.
- Our Doors Are Different: King Candy's safe, which holds the source code for Sugar Rush, is secured with a Nintendo Entertainment System controller. In order to access it, King Candy uses the Konami Code.
- Pacifist Run: In-universe example - Ralph climbs the tower in Hero's Duty and grabs the medal while no one's playing it so he wouldn't have to fight a single bug.
- Pac Man Fever: Despite taking place in an arcade, they seem to be consciously averting it, presenting games from different eras (albeit fictional ones) and even having actual characters from different games a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Notably, Bowser and Eggman actually resemble their official artwork with stunning faithfulness.
- Palette Swap: The film used this for several of the background Sugar Rush racers. Both meta and in-game. Of course, when you have a racing game featuring Loads and Loads of Characters, and especially one from 1997, this is to be expected.
- Papa Wolf: Ralph will do anything to protect Vanellope. He even nearly gives up his life to save her.
- Parental Bonus: By the very nature of this movie, it's crammed to the gunwales with video-game references that nobody under 30 who isn't a gaming history buff is likely to get. Most people have at least heard of Pac-Man, but Dig Dug? Qix? Pong?
- Peek-a-Bangs: Calhoun's hair, surprising for a marine.
- People Puppets: When Fix-It Felix Jr. is actually being played, Felix is technically a slave who obeys the player's controls. The same could very well be said for any character that is directly controlled by a player, such as the First Person Shooter robot in Hero's Duty, and presumably the player's kart in Sugar Rush. Also inverted when Felix moves on his own during game time; the controls on the arcade console move by themselves.
- Percussive Maintenance: Felix's magic hammer fixes things by hitting them (which makes sense in his game). As it turns out, it can fix anything (including healing himself), and even if he's trying to smash his way out of a jail.
- Person as Verb: Felix explains what "going Turbo" is and why it's so dangerous: It was named for Turbo the racer, a hero who, out of jealousy, jumped into a newer racing game to upstage it. Which caused both games to glitch up, resulting in the unplugging and removal of both from the arcade.
- Pet the Dog: Ralph's giving the cherry away solidifies his good-person credentials.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Vanellope's princess dress. It is almost obnoxiously pink and frilly, and it's obvious Vanellope isn't exactly a fan.
- She has it on again at Felix and Calhoun's wedding. It's apparently tight around the collar.
- Calhoun's dress (which seems to be the same for both weddings) is pretty stunning.
- Pint-Sized Kid: All the characters from Sugar Rush apply, with the exception of King Candy.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: Felix is very sweet and gentle while Calhoun is serious and tough.
- Play Every Day: Sugar Rush has a feature where the character roster changes daily, determined in the game's world by nightly races. Vanellope is prevented from getting on the roster because she has no coins from previous races to pay her way in, only to finally have a chance by using Ralph's medal as a substitute coin.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Vanellope hugs Ralph at the end and tearfully tells him he could stay in Sugar Rush if he wants to.
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: When Ralph destroys Vanellope's kart. Only after he realizes that King Candy played him like a violin does Ralph make amends with Vanellope.
- Plucky Girl: Vanellope von Schweetz. She's probably Plucky Girl personified!!
- Police Brutality: Played for laughs. Two cops, depicted as donuts, beat Ralph (literally sugarcoated) in Sugar Rush with their batons.
- The Pollyanna: Vanellope von Schweetz.
- Portmanteau: Several of the Sugar Rush Racers' names are a combination of actual names and sweet treats. Here are some examples:
- Vanellope= Penelope + Vanilla
- Taffyta= Tabitha + Taffy
- Rancis= Francis + Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- The Power of Hate: Calhoun seems to run on this early in the film. Her whole life is about killing the Cy-Bugs that killed her fiancé.
- Power-Up: In-universe examples include pies for Fix-It Felix Jr. (which apparently render Felix invincible) and the insane candy-flavored weapons in Sugar Rush's kart races.
- Princesses Rule: This was the original plan for Vanellope in Sugar Rush.
- Princess in Rags: Vanellope is revealed to be this.
- Product Placement: The various licensed game characters don't really count, since that's what the movie's world is about; but Sugar Rush has lots of placement, notably Mentos, NesquikSand, and Laffy Taffy. One product notable by its absence is Diet Coke, as the game/movie calls it "diet cola" instead.
- The scene where the donut cops Wynchell and Duncan deploy the Devil Dogs to search for Ralph is basically the point where they lose all attempts at subtlety.
- The Subway cup in the arcade had more than its fair share of screen time.
- King Candy's guards are Oreos who chant, Oooor-REE-oooh. OOO-REEEEEEEEEEEEE-oh.
- One of the racers, Rancis Fluggerbutter, has a Reese's Peanut-butter Cup theme with his clothing and his car.
- Beard Papa's is an actual Cream Puff brand. With said character as the mascot, and in Sugar Rush, as the guard of the Kart Bakery.
- Progressive Era Montage: In the opening scene which speeds up 30 years from The Eighties until The Present Day as evidenced by the change of videogame platforms.
- Protagonist Title: Ralph is the protagonist of the movie, but not of the fictional video game within his movie. Both titles are Protagonist Titles, so that Ralph has the movie named after him but lives his life in a world named after his opponent Fix-It Felix Jr.
- Psychotic Smirk: Sergeant Calhoun sports one when Vanellope, restored to her true power as princess, orders all her bullies to be executed. She is, of course, joking.
Calhoun: Ohh, this place just got interesting.
- The tram from Pac-Man to Game Central Station is called the "Pac-Manorail."
- Sugar Rush is full of them. From the NesquikSand to the vines of Laffy Taffy, which is attracted to anything they find amusing.
- When King Candy is shot with frosting and is asked if he's okay, his response? "No, he just glazednote me!"
- Ralph telling Sour Bill to stick around after he attaches him to a flower full of sticky caramel.
- The "Fungeon". King Candy also attempts to explain it. The cells aren't even fun; Felix's is plain blank and Vanellope's is actually a really horrific, Monster Clown-abundant, Circus of Fear-esque one. Remember, this is for children.
- Vanellope stating that she has "pixlexia"note .
- Punch Clock Villain:
- How the video game baddies are portrayed; being the villain is their job. Off-duty, they're not all that bad. We even see two fighting-game characters comment on their rough day and then head to Tapper's together after the arcade closes.
- An in-universe example is Sour Bill, who knows that King Candy had some real dirt on his hands (although he doesn't remember the details), but still serves him unquestionably.
- Punny Name:
- Wynchell and Duncan, the donut cops, are named after donut chains.
- On a different note, Minty Zaki sounds a lot like "Miyazaki" (this was intentional) and DiCaramello, if you pronounce the "caramel" part as "carmel", sounds like "DiCaprio".
- Pyrrhic Victory: Ralph goes home with his medal, but it's not everything he thought it would be. He had to break a little girl's heart and his game is due to be unplugged, causing him to chuck the medal at the screen in disgust. Fortunately, the impact knocks the "Out of Order" sign loose and shows him how he can really be a hero.
- Ultra Super Happy Cute Baby Fest Farmer 3000: Sugar Rush is intended to be one.
- Unexpected Character: Show of hands, in a movie about video game characters, who expected a cameo from Beard Papa? For those unaware, Beard Papa is a Japanese-based restaurant chain that specializes in desserts, mostly cream puffs. There are 300 locations, but 250 of them are in Japan itself. He's the guard of the kart bakery in Sugar Rush.
- Unkempt Beauty/Unkempt Cutie: Sgt. Calhoun and Vanellope, respectively.
- The Unmasqued World:
- Averted; nobody ever realizes that the videogame characters are sentient and living in their own world. If something goes wrong (like Turbo invading a Road Blasters cabinet), they just think the game is glitching and call the arcade manager to look at it. And not even he really knows what's happening; all he does is slap "Out of Order" posters on the screens or replace the machines altogether.
- When the Q*Bert crew join the Wreck-It Ralph crew in their machine in the ending, the arcade-goers just assume that it's a fun retro remix of both games.
- Unusual Euphemism: All of the main characters except Ralph have a few phrases that are a little bizarre. Some of these are of the Hold Your Hippogriffs sense, but others are just quirky.
Sgt. Calhoun: (to Felix)
Who the holy hotcakes
are you? Though this line isn't actually said in the film
Sweet mother of monkey milk! Felix:
Jimminy jamminy! Vanellope:
C'mon, Ralph, move your molasses! Ralph:
Sweet mother hubbard! Felix:
Yikes on bikes! King Candy:
Milk my duds! Felix:
Oh my RAM!
- An important one mentioned by a few characters is the phrase "Going Turbo". This concept is a reference to another game character who decided to jump to another game and ended up destroying both that game and his own.
- Up, Up and Away!: Almost. During his attempted Heroic Sacrifice to save Sugar Rush, Ralph plummets down with one fist extended towards the ground in the classic Superman flying pose.
- Vader Breath: Invoked so that the audience realizes Ralph is hiding in the chocolate pond to escape being detected by the Devil Dogs and is using a wafer snorkel to breathe. Funnily, the sound doesn't come in until after the guards leave the scene, and (obviously) stops when Ralph removes the straw. The sound is identical to that of Darth Vader's breathing as it was made the same way: breathing with a scuba tank.
- Vague Age: While all game characters are technically immortal unless they die along with their game or outside of it, Ralph looks to be about in his 30s, albeit he's nine feet tall and 643 pounds, Felix and Calhoun seem to be in their late 20s, and Vanellope and all her racing rivals are supposedly about 9-10 years old.
- The games they come from (and by extension, the characters themselves) have different ages: Ralph and Felix have both been around for 30 years each, Vanellope's game has been around since 1997, making her chronologically 15 years old and Calhoun's game was only just installed a week before the events of the movie, making her the youngest character chronologically.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Turbo/King Candy, who is more than willing to murder children to stay in the spotlight.
- The Villain Makes the Plot: In-universe: Fix-It Felix Jr. is unplayable without Ralph there to smash up the building, leaving Felix nothing to fix to complete the level. Felix himself seems all too aware that a hero is only as good as his villain.
- Villainous Breakdown: King Candy slips into one after getting bypassed by Vanellope in the daily race for who gets to appear in the character roster, and resorts to trying to kill Vanellope with a car-part and getting his true form revealed.
King Candy / Turbo
: I'm Turbo!
! And I did not reprogram this world
to let you
, and that halitosis-ridden warthog
, TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!
- Villain Protagonist: Ralph is this if you take his label as a "bad guy" at face value, though in terms of actual character outside the game he lives in he's not really evil at all and has no malicious intentions at any point in the story. In the Real Life version of Fix It Felix Jr. however, Ralph is a straight Villain Antagonist.
- Villains Out Shopping: The film establishes that video game villains have social lives and such when not "engaged in their employment".
- Visual Pun: When Vanellope is locked up, you'll see several pics of things on the wall of her cell in the Fungeon: a sad clown, a lion, etc. There's also a doghouse, with only eyes showing out of the darkness inside. Because anyone in the fungeon is 'in the doghouse'.
- The Oreo guards chanting, "Oooor-REE-oooh. OOO-REEEEEEEEEEEEE-oh!"
- The duty joke is especially seen on the commercial for Hero's Duty, with that large earthly green triangle as the game's symbol with the title on top.
Narrator: Hero's Duty. It's the biggest doody of all.
- When King Candy has his true identity as Turbo revealed through Venelopeï¿½s glitching, he literally ï¿½goes Turboï¿½. This also counts for the Cy-Bug he merges with later on.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ralph and Vanellope.
- Vocal Dissonance: Save King Candy, none of the Sugar Rush racers have voices that fit their child-like appearances, instead sounding more like teenagers or even adults.
- The Von Trope Family: Vanellope Von Schweetz.
- Wacky Racing: Sugar Rush is basically a Sugar Bowl version of Mario Kart, right down to the ridiculous track hazards (giant rolling gumballs? check) and use of item boxes (of course it's funnier given that Mario Kart 8 was later released with a Sugar Rush-type track called Sweet Sweet Canyon).
- Wallbonking: As Markowski mutters his Madness Mantra, he can't seem to find the door...
- Wall Jump: Felix does one of these to avoid Calhoun's projectiles on his first trip into Hero's Duty.
- Was It Really Worth It?: When Ralph wins his bet with the Nicelanders, but realizes that his game is about to be unplugged due to his actions.
- Wham Line: Also counts as an Armor-Piercing Question.
Ralph: If Vanellope was never supposed to exist, why is her picture on the side of the game console?
- Wham Shot:
- The shot from Ralph's point of view that shows Vanellope on the side of the game console that leads to the above line.
- The shot of Vanellope's sparking box of code, meaning a.) she is not a glitch like everyone is saying and b.) someone (AKA King Candy) intentionally removed her from the game system.
- Vanellope making King Candy glitch, exposing him as Turbo. Even Ralph and Felix's jaws drop when this happened.
- What a Piece of Junk: Vanellope's new car ends up getting some very sloppy decorations thanks to Ralph accidentally breaking the kart-baking minigame, but she makes it from last place to first place when everyone else had a least a good minute head-start, meaning stats-wise it's probably superior to even King Candy's ride (given how fast she clearly is going when she overtakes him). And when Vanellope learns how to master her glitching, she can Teleport Spam it at will.
- What Does This Button Do?: Vanellope is asking this question with regard to the speed pedal of her freshly baked kart. Hilarity Ensues.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Ralph was given one by Gene, after the former returns to the Niceland Apartments with a medal in hand, but discovers that it's out of order. To add the twist to the knife, Gene sounded genuinely disappointed rather than being furious or being smug.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer:
- All Felix has is a hammer, however it fixes things. Noticeable when he tries to break out of the fungeon with it, with predictable results.
- Ralph's one talent is smashing things (and he does it well), and he uses it to get by as he ventures through the arcade. For instance, when constructing a track for Vanellope to practice on.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Ralph describes what happened after the climax in the end.
- Widowed at the Wedding: As described by one of the Hero's Duty NPCs, Sergeant Calhoun has the most tragic backstory ever: one in which her fiancé was killed by Cy-Bugs when she failed to do a perimeter check on their wedding day.
- Wistful Amnesia: Vanellope knows she's meant to be a racer.
- Wolverine Publicity: ZigzaggedTrope. While there is a movie poster that features only the four main characters, others have one of the four surrounded by some of the movie's many cameos. While the film's makers certainly crafted the story first, cameos are highly advertised - the Sega and Nintendo characters are right on the cover when they have very little to do or say. Most watchers expected them to feature far more heavily in the movie than they really did.
- The movie's character sometimes isn't even the most prominent character in the poster!note
- In-universe, this trope sets off the climax! Vanellope is prominently painted on the Sugar Rush arcade cabinet, the one piece of evidence King Candy had no control over covering in his quest for attention, and it's what clues Ralph in to how to make everything better! To gamers, they must be wondering why this raven haired girl is nowhere in the actual game!
- The Worf Effect: In his "Final Boss" cy-bug form , King Candy/Turbo is able to toss Ralph around like a rag-doll. That being said, Ralph was more focused on setting off the Cola and Mentos volcano instead of fighting.
- World-Healing Wave: Vanellope's victory causes the system to reset, undoing all the damage caused by the Cy-Bugs and King Candy/Turbo, as well as restoring her proper place in the game and the other characters' memories of her.
- Worth It: In the ending: Ralph's every in-game defeat becomes a chance to see Vanellope succeeding at her game.
- The cast of the Fix-It Felix Jr. game invite older video game characters to join in "Bonus Stages" in their world, even though death for them there would be permanent. However, given that only Felix has the most significant risk of dying in this world, the risk to their lives is at best negligible and it's a lot better than being homeless. Also, Felix is shown to be able to heal people as well as fix stuff, thus helping grant the outcasts and decommissioned characters a better life. Fans also theorize that Felix tampered with the code to integrate the outcasts properly - making them legitimate characters and safe from permadeath.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Despite being furious with Vanellope's stealing his medal and her constant wisecracks Ralph can't bring himself to hurt her and starts trashing the landscape instead to vent.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Ralph, being from an 80's platformer had no clue what kind of violence would be in a bug-infested, 21st Century, Science Fiction, First-Person Shooter. He thought it would be like Centipede.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Two deleted scenes from the movie show a game called "Xtreme EZ Livin' 2"
- You Are Who You Eat: Cy-Bugs become whatever they eat. During Hero's Duty gameplay, we see it demonstrated when a Cy-Bug eats a gun and sprouts ArmCannons. A Cy-Bug who starts eating the landscape of Sugar Rush becomes candy-coated. In the finale, a glitch-infected King Candy/Turbo is eaten by a Cy-Bug. Ralph then has a show-down with a terrifying glitch-infected King Candy/Turbo/Cy-Bug monster.
- You! Exclamation: Ralph to King Candy when King Candy drives up to meet him.
- And earlier when he finally finds Vanellope on the race track.
- You Need a Breath Mint: While not word for word, Vanellope, King Candy, and Sour Bill have commented on Ralph's halitosis.
- You No Take Candle: The House of the Dead zombie speaks in this manner.
- You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?:
I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There is no one I would rather be... than me.