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UNMARKED spoilers ahead.

Fridge Brilliance

  • Ralph seems unfamiliar with the Internet going by how the trailers are put in, while Vanellope seems to be a bit more familiar but seems just as overwhelmed. Why is that? Because of the years their games came out in-universe; Ralph's game is from the 1980s, meaning that it's a retro game that had so much data in it. So the internet itself would be an explosion to the senses for him. Meanwhile Vanellope's game is from the late 90s, about 1997. So it's sensical she's more aware of the internet due to being a bit more advanced in terms of hardware.
    • Except it's Ralph who points out they need to go to the Internet in the two theatrical trailers. It could be a case of rearranging lines for the trailers, though.
    • It also explains a bit about their personalities. Ralph comes from an era where video games in arcades were strictly formulaic, the same routine every playthrough. Sugar Rush advertises as a selling point that it will constantly swap riders and has access to different tracks every day. Vanellope, released at the same time as gaming was becoming cognizant of gameplay experience as well as score, would have the same longing as her developers: The ability to do something new every day.
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    • Also, Ralph and Vanellope going their separate ways at the end but still keeping in touch via social media is exactly what the internet is supposed to do - allow long-distance relationships to form and stay strong over time.
  • Some have complained that the traditionally animated Disney Princesses don't look like themselves in this computer-generated animation, especially if you compare them to their appearances to other CGI works like Sofia the First and Kingdom Hearts. Well, remember that in-universe, these are digital versions of the Disney Princesses, so of course they're stylized, kind of similar to Disney Infinity.
    • Likewise, they're all also a bit Flanderized, but note that they're being found on Oh My Disney, an official, Buzzfeed-like blog run by Disney. Oh My Disney is a very lighthearted site that just runs goofy promotional articles and quizzes, so of course the Disney characters found there wouldn't be very serious versions of themselves either.
    • The official guide book to the movie (as well as a July 2018 interview with producer Clark Spencer) mentions that the actual princesses themselves are not what we see in the movie; these are simply one-dimensional avatars of them that reside on a website for the purpose of showing up in "Which princess are you?" online quizzes. As they are essentially caricatures of the real characters, it makes sense that they don't have much personality.
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    • Merida's slightly irked reaction to Snow White's singing might be because her own film, Brave, has no in-universe musical numbers. Or it could be because Snow White is now blocking her in the shot. Or both. Sadly, the only other character who could reveal the answer to this, Moana, has her head completely blocked by Snow White in the shot.
    • The former theory may be supported by the fact that Merida actually doesn't say anything at all when the others are talking about songs.
    • Merida being harder to understand could mean that in-universe, she toned down her accent in her own movie, and in a more casual setting she's speaking in her natural accent.
      • That and she's from the other studio.note 
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    • When the princesses all relax while Vanellope visits, it looks like a slumber party.
    • Of course the Princesses are not as perfect as they're made up to be by Disney. They're Animated Actors who have to keep up their "perfect" appearances for the majority of the time they're in public. Moreover, many of the problems they have (i.e. Jasmine being allergic to cats and Snow White needing glassesnote ) were never actually addressed within the worlds of their own movies, so any knowledge of said problems would only be kept among themselves.
    • The fact that the Princesses don't know anything about modern fashion makes a lot of sense when you think about it. For as long as they've been around, the Princesses have embodied not only the ideals regarding the social roles of women at the time their movies were released, but also the fashion standards upheld in the settings of their respective films. Now that they've met a Princess who embodies the newer and more progressive ideals of women's roles and fashions, it only makes sense that they would follow suit.
  • When you stop and think about it, Vanellope was cursed. Turbo/King Candy cursed her and everyone in the Sugar Rush game to forget who she really was and made her unable to leave her game until she made it recognize her as a part of it by completing a race. He just used technology rather than magic to do it. And in this universe, it might as well have been magic.
    • Also, she was imprisoned by Turbo/King Candy in her own castle, no less!
  • Of course an Internet-focused adventure would have "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the second theatrical trailer. The Rick Astley song was made that well-known through the Internet. And it would be an appropriate way to end the actual movie.
    • While the song is usually played ironically as an internet meme, Ralph is afraid Vanellope is going to give him up, and he's determined not to let go of her. In the end, Vanellope assures him that she never wanted to stop being his friend. The song applies to both of them from different ends.
  • A major subplot in the film involves Ralph becoming an internet meme, and people in the real world being confused at how out-of-nowhere his sudden memetic popularity is. Ralph is a retro video game character, and that sort of thing happens with them all the time. (See: Bowsette, Knuckles, etc.)
  • Why wasn't Disney allowed to make a joke about Kylo Ren in this movie, but could do so with C-3PO? Because of the roles they play in their movies. C-3PO was always a bit of a comical character in Star Wars, and goes through quite a bit in the movies, including being taken apart by Ugnaughts and getting his head swapped in a battle droid factory among other things. Kylo Ren, on the other hand, is a major antagonist whose bouts of rage are meant to be more frightening than funny. It's clear that Lucasfilm sees their newest villain character as much more than just a Psychopathic Manchild, and they want to hammer home the point that Ren is more than just that.
  • In a movie about learning to let your loved ones go and be separated from you, there is one Shadow Archetype for Ralph, other than the Ralph clones and the amalgamation: Double Dan. It's clear he's close to his brother (literally), but it's only because his brother cannot function on his own. He barely expresses any personality, if he has one beneath his catatonic state. But in comparison, Vanellope is not like that, she's an independent young lass who needs to be her own person, and Ralph has to accept that in order to be a better person.
  • There are some Disney Princess films involving someone (often a strong male character) letting their loved one go to set off on a new adventure (e.g. King Triton learning not to be an Overprotective Dad to Ariel, the Beast getting redeemed after he lets Belle go to see his father, and the Sultan letting his daughter choose who she wants to marry so she'll be happy). Ralph learns that he has to let Vanellope go to live her best life.
  • You look at how Vanellope acts in a game, she actually tends to more just do her own thing. The main reason Sugar Rush's wheel gets busted is because Vanellope actually starts fighting the player for control, instead of letting them control her. The resulting fight (Vanellope trying to stay on Ralph's track vs. the player trying to get back to heading for the finish line) is what breaks the wheel. And this behavior isn't surprising for Vanellope compared to the other characters... she's been acting on her own, unselected, for years while Turbo was masquerading as King Candy. She's not used to surrendering control to the player... add in her eagerness for something new and exciting, and she wasn't going to listen to the player. Her move to Slaughter Race actually suits her as she's going from a PC to an NPC, as part of Shank's crew. No players to control her... she can do what she likes and that's one of the things she loves. Plus, unlike Turbo, or Ralph himself, her actions don't end on her "Going Turbo" because, as Vanellope herself points out, there's plenty of other racers in Sugar Rush, and she's not an indispensable part of the game, unlike Ralph; and her presence in Slaughter Race doesn't affect the game in any negative way, as Turbo did when he turned Vanellope into a social pariah and a glitch in her own game, so Shank has no problem adding her program to the game's settings.
    • It's interesting to note that Vanellope might've been starting to "go Turbo" in her own game actually. She wants more out of life... she's tired of the same old, same old. And as Zombie says so bluntly in the first movie, wanting more out of life than what you have is "going Turbo". The difference with her and Ralph is that Vanellope didn't initially have any sort of an outlet for her desire, as there's apparently no other racing games for her to go to in the arcade (and it would probably be seen as "going Turbo" anyways). But also unlike both Ralph and Turbo, when she discovers Slaughter Race, she doesn't just insert herself into the game... she actually gets help from the characters there and they help her get integrated; in contrast to Turbo's complete usurping of the leadership, or Ralph taking a marine-suit when he gets the chance and interfering in the gameplay.
  • Of the two solutions presented by KnowsMore, the one that he suggests is impossiblenote  ends up being the one that is ultimately used.
  • Why didn't Ralph get bored with his game at all? Think about it: Vanellope is a Game-Breaker so she wins every time. Ralph's game is Nintendo Hard so he never knows when a player will win!
    • On top of that, Ralph's game involves a lot more repetition. Sugar Rush from what we see, involves racing around one large track, one lap. There's not gonna be much, if any, repetition in one game of Sugar Rush. Fix-It Felix Jr. on the other hand, presumably plays like Donkey Kong, where the gameplay just keeps going and going with the same thing, speeding up and getting faster until you die enough times to get a game over. Ralph's gonna be used to the repetition and routine. Vanellope... not so much.
    • Another reason Ralph might not get bored with his game is because he plays a different role in it than Vanellope. Vanellope is a player character in a racing game, but Ralph is the villain in an endless game. As a player character, Vanellope has to follow commands from the player, which doesn't sit well with her desire for greater freedom. This is best seen when Vanellope defies the player when Ralph creates the new path for her. Ralph, on the other hand, HAS agency over his actions in-game. And while Ralph is tossed over the side of the building each time Felix repairs all of the windows, the game allows him to come back and try again, only now Ralph is faster and stronger, and this keeps going until Ralph wins. The actual, real-life Fix-It Felix Jr. game has Ralph react to the player's decisions, so it's possible that Ralph remains engaged with his game because different players have different styles.
    • Additionally, as mentioned above, Vanellope spent the first 15 years of her game's existence having to fend for herself, due to Turbo taking over Sugar Rush. Although she was socially ostracized/bullied and desperately wanted to be a racer that entire time, she would have become used to a life where she could more or less spend her time as she pleased rather than being subject to the daily routine of a playable character. Other than making sure she kept her hiding place a secret, she was able to roam around and keep her own schedule (we see her hanging out in the candy cane forest and building a kart in the junkyard, and her bed contains a doll that she had to have made herself). After 15 years of unstructured life, it's not that surprising that she would eventually get bored with racing on the same three tracks every day under the player's command (or even as an NPC when not chosen). Given that she is almost certainly a top-tier character as well, she probably made the Top 9 in the Random Roster Race most of the time and ended up on the playable roster most days, so she wouldn't have frequent days off either.
  • There's a lot of doom and gloom about what happens if (or, more realistically, when) Litwak's closes for good, but if you think about it... the characters have access to the internet now! Yes, it will be sad to lose their home, but when it happens, they can travel to the internet and find somewhere new. Think about how happy a Nicelander would be as an NPC in a game like The Sims!
    • It's not as bad as people think, actually. It's shown that while the world ceases to exist when the machine is turned off, everything picks up where they left off once it's plugged in again. Except for the ones dismantled for parts (like the Sugar Rush steering wheel), arcade machines nowadays are almost always sold off to fans and collectors, not thrown away. This includes broken games, as there are communities dedicated to repairing them. Retro gaming is trendy as of this movie's release, and that means even if Litwak's closes down, most to all of those machines can be sold off at a pretty decent price. If Sugar Rush is that rare, for instance, people will probably pay money in the 5-digit range even if it's unpopular at his arcade. The only times when an arcade game is not sold off to individuals for home use are when the game is new and demand is proven low, like the arcade version of Pokkén Tournament, upon which they're returned to the manufacturer (though in this case, the world of the game didn't last that long to begin with).
    • Not to mention emulation and Abandonware archives are very much a thing on the Internet with sites like Classic Reload archiving hundreds of old video games for free download.
  • So Vanellope jumped into another game and ended up liking it there so much she got her code integrated into it. In other words, Vanellope just became a Guest Fighter! And it'd make sense that no-one in the arcade would think that's weird: Sonic already did it.
  • Ralph's overprotectiveness, even to the point of being Yandere-like, for Vanellope makes sense considering that she is probably his first genuine friend he has ever since his game got plugged in, and they've been inseparable for six years. When Vanellope wants to leave the arcade and join Shank in Slaughter Race, it isn't too hard to imagine that Ralph would take this very hard and leads to him making rash decisions to keep her with him: in Ralph's mind: he's about to lose the only true friend he ever had to somebody else she has just met online.
  • YouTube savvy viewers will easily know that the "sneak peek" for Frozen 2 at the end of the credits is a fake, the title font is not the official one and instead one that is typical and easily made by fans on YouTube and fan arts.note 
  • The reason Slaughter Race NPCs act like real adults when not in game mode? It's a mature-rated game.
  • How was Shank able to keep up and pass Vanellope even though she was in the best car in Slaughter Race? The car Shank borrowed belonged to players with a high enough level to try what seems to be the final mission. Plus, said car was originally crewed by two players, opposed to just Shank. Meanwhile, Ralph is nine feet tall and six hundred and forty-three pounds. All that extra weight and drag is going to affect a racing vehicle's performance.
    • The dialogue between the two human players indicates that Shank is the final boss of a chain of missions. A lot of racing games give boss NPCs more aggressive Rubber-Band A.I. to give the player a harder race.
  • Ralph is basically a human Expy of Donkey Kong. Since the original Donkey Kong was practically a Lighter and Softer video game version of King Kong, it makes sense that Ralph's darker clone will act a bit like the titular ape of that movie.
  • It might come as a bit of a non-sequitur to see the virus target Ralph based on his "insecurity" in the psychological sense rather than the computer security sense. However, actually that's what it always did: it targeted Vanellope's glitch because not because the bug opened a security hole, but because it was something she still felt a bit insecure about. That being said, the fact that a virus could be designed to specifically target emotional instability still has some weird implications that are not fully explained.
    • Realizing this adds new meaning to Double Dan's statement that with Arthur "people will only get hurt if you're stupid". By the nature of how Arthur works, that's technically true.
  • The difference between Ralph game-hopping in the first movie and Vanellope doing the same here is a good example of "The Bus Factor"—what's the minimum number of employees that can get hit by a bus before things go to hell in a handbasket in the workplace? The higher the number, the better. For "Fix-It-Felix Jr.", if it's not a generic Nicelander, it's one—if either Ralph or Felix leave, the game is toast. For "Sugar Rush", accounting for the random roster(meaning there have to be some extra characters to be swapped in and out so no-one suspects anything), it'd be around five—While some long-time players might miss the racer with the Game-Breaker power, as long as nine racers are on the character selection screen, the game can still function, and unless someone goes to the arcade every single day for a while, players are likely to think they just keep missing Vanellope being an option. Bonus points for the fact that the game survived a long time without Vanellope before the events of the first movie, which could be another reason why Vanellope doesn't think twice about abandoning her game and Ralph doesn't think to use that to talk her out of it; it's been fine without her before, after all.
  • The reason why Naveen is so happy to kiss Ralph in the climax, despite having no bisexual tendencies in his original film? It's the Internet version of Naveen, and characters in online fan fiction and fan art often go through Adaptational Sexuality compared to their canon version...
  • When the wifi router is first plugged in, who gets to play Mr. Exposition and explain what the internet is like to all the '80s and '90s video game characters present? Sonic the Hedgehog, the one video game character in the crowd famous for having his own official Twitter account.
    • Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast was also one of the first consoles with internet capabilities.
  • As pointed out below as Fridge Horror, the insecurity virus Arthur disappears from the movie after generating the Ralph clones, so it's never shown getting destroyed or contained. Except what happens in real life when a virus that widespread attacks the internet? The internet shores up defenses against it. Corporations turtle up and start upgrading their cybersecurity. People and smaller companies start downloading security updates and patches. Computer hardware manufacturers start publishing lists of their products that are and are not affected by the virus so their consumers know if they need to upgrade. By the end of the day, the only systems Arthur will be able to infect will be those systems that weren't protected against it after the events of this movie.
    • Which is the other reason Double Dan said not to let it get loose outside Slaughter Race. He's in the business of selling viruses and malware on the black market. If one of his viruses is allowed to infect the greater internet, it will be neutralized, and Double Dan can't sell that virus anymore.
  • Vanellope's migrating and integration to Slaughter Race is Hand Waved as something Shank casually pulls off off-screen. Online games are constantly patched and updated nowadays, so it really is that simple.
  • Double Dan is stated to sell his viruses for a living, meaning he probably charged for Arthur. How did Ralph pay for it? With the surplus Buzzybucks he didn't spend on the steering wheel.
  • The Ralph viruses not only try to keep Vanellope from leaving, but also attack Ralph. Because Ralph's insecurities include a nasty case of self-loathing.

Fridge Horror

  • Speaking of Turbo, many websites offer ROMs of old games, including arcade classics. Add this to the backwards-compatibility craze of nostalgia and porting.... There could be thousands of Turbos out there waiting for a chance to get back into the arcade. Since all of these clone-Turbos would be based on the same code, they would all be as insane as the original.
    • That all depends on if the uploaded ROM is based on our Turbo: as far as anyone knows, other Turbos in other Turbo Time games haven't done the same thing, and even if they did there are plenty of games and sites on the net to distract them from wrecking everything or getting to Litwak's. Though that does raise a few questions if our Turbo can overwrite another clone and hijack him...
    • Or a game could have another swarm of AI beings that can't tell when a Game Over happens, like the Cy-bugs in the first movie. Then again, Hero's Duty did receive an online version of it.
  • What Ralph does in the trailer with the pastry-feeding mobile game is basically "Going Turbo". He inserts himself into a game, while someone is playing it; starts messing around in it, breaking some of its elements; renders the game unplayable (or, if anything, that little girl certainly won't be playing it any longer); and causes it to get unplugged by the owner. Sure, that bunny may be revived immediately (since it died in its own game), but the girl's mother could end up deleting the app, which is the equivalent of unplugging the game. Nice work, Ralph. This can only lead to good things.
    • A bigger Fridge Horror: Notice that the baby is in the car, and while it's not fully shown, it appears that her mom (maybe) is at the wheel. And as soon as the little girl screams, we see her mom jolts, and we even hear a braking sound, suggesting that she hit the brakes in reflex when hearing her baby girl. Again, remember, this happens on the road; braking (or worse, swerving) at the wrong time on the move is not pretty.
    • Thankfully this whole particular scene is just a part of The Stinger in the credits parodying trailer scenes, but what Ralph ends up doing to the internet ends up being much much worse.
    • Also one for the company that made the game. Thanks to the trauma poor little Mo will get from this incident, her mother file a lawsuit that will ultimately put the company out of business.
  • For what exactly someone else was bidding a steering wheel to Sugar Rush arcade? To replace a broken and/or missing part. And he got outbid. Guess what happens to the characters from that particular arcade.
  • That poor little girl is probably never going to get that infamous image out of her head. Pray for her.
  • The Disney Princesses acting hostile might seem out of character for some, but given that this is the internet, chances are that they probably have a very good reason to act that way, given the nature of the internet.
    • Not to mention that the website they are on also has a page for DISNEY VILLAINS. So...yeah, they could also be hostile as their enemies could be routinely antagonizing them.
      • On the other hand, Disney villains could be similar to video game villains, i.e. not actually evil, just playing their part in their respective movies.
    • Also a bit of Fridge Brilliance, as having the villains always going after them may also have prompted them to receive training so that they can deal with their nemeses and other threats should all other security measures fail.
  • The virus is unaccounted for at the end of the movie, still on the loose in the internet.
  • The fact that the search bar is a sentient being who's aware of what you're searching. Just imagine all the weird, embarrassing, or even downright disturbing searches KnowsMore has to deal with. For instance, the one guy who uses KnowsMore's services to find an old girlfriend.
    • And the fact that it had results in the hundreds.
  • So, Sonic seems pretty aware of what the internet is. But exactly how much does he know about the internet? Does he know about his fanbase... including its more cringeworthy aspects?
  • So how much time will Ralph and all his friends at the arcade have left? Arcades are a dying business, especially if a game like Sugar Rush can barely make enough for a replacement part. Is Vanellope moving on to an online game actually a sign of things to come? Do they know how to handle a full business shutdown?
    • With retro gaming and cabinet restorations becoming more popular and commonplace, there has been some recent renewed interest in the arcade business. However, most modern arcades have moved to a pay-by-the-hour format with all machines on free play rather than relying on quarters for income, so the profitability of one particular game would be harder to determine. That would make Litwak's Arcade an outlier nowadays, and chances are that if it were to go out of business, its games would be purchased either by collectors (as mentioned above) or more modern arcades where they would be relatively safe from permanent unplugging as long as they continued to physically function. That does raise a different Fridge Horror issue, though — if Ralph, Felix, or Calhoun weren't able to escape to the internet before Litwak's shut down, they could potentially be separated permanently, unless they managed to find another Wi-Fi router.
  • Anyone else a little disturbed that the TRON game not only has a virus, but Litwak has neither unplugged it or repaired it? In that universe, anything virus-related turns out to be very ugly. It might be mitigated only slightly by it being a standalone console.
  • What would happen if the game’s developers noticed Vanellope suddenly appearing in Slaughter Race and realized her being an unauthorized addition to the game? Could they leave her be or try forcibly deleting her from the game?
    • Considering that the company behind Sugar Rush is bankrupt, Vanellope is effectively abandonware and she'd probably shapeshift herself like Turbo did. As for now she's just a harmless Easter-egg.
      • Maybe even a helpful one—she was the most popular racer in Sugar Rush for 6 years, and those players, if they're not yet in Slaughter Race's target age group, will eventually be so, long after Vanellope seemingly vanished from the Sugar Rush roster. And her Game-Breaker glitch-teleport is still shown to work in that game. If word gets out, that could be several new players attracted to the game by her presence, which means a lot of additional revenue. With no threat of being hit with a copyright lawsuit, it'd be in the best interest of the game developers to let her stick around.
  • The swarm of Ralph-viruses basically crashes the whole internet. Take a look at how much the modern world has grown increasingly reliant on the internet—beyond social media and gaming, to shopping and transportation, and even things like banking, medical info, and jobs—and imagine a virus that can effortlessly shut all of that down. Something like that would likely cause Planetary Societal Disruption in our world if it was temporary, and Societal Collapse if it was long-term. The humans in this movie have no idea how big of a bullet they dodged.
    • A bit melodramatic, don't you think? How do you figure that we'd get societal collapse when just merely 2 decades ago, the world functioned fine without widespread Internet connectivity? All the Internet does is make various aspects of your life more convenient, it is by no means necessary for the world to function.
    • This is actually addressed up in Fridge Brilliance. Every time there's a widespread virus outbreak, the companies maintaining the internet's infrastructure harden their own defenses to it and push updates to their partners and end users to make sure they're protected as well. This effectively immunizes most of the internet against the virus; the only systems that can be affected by it are systems that failed to update. So there's no global outage. No societal collapse. No Apocalypse How.
  • Characters from games with incompatible or obsolete formats must be showing up in the internet every few years or so. At least there's projects like Flashpoint and the Internet Archive to give them homes, but still.
  • Ralph's clinginess to Vanellope has some pretty worrying implications...
    • A bit of brilliance and horror on this subject: video game characters like Ralph, Vanellope, Calhoun, and Felix are a case of Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity and a science fiction version of Animals Lack Attributes writ large. While Vanellope chides Ralph for "lying to a child" in the first movie, we're not told exactly what apparent age (as compared to a real flesh-and-blood human child) she and the other "child" racers in Sugar Rush are supposed to be; viewer estimates range from about seven to eleven. Add the number of years their game has been plugged in at the arcade (since 1997 in Sugar Rush's case) to this apparent age, and Vanellope & company should be mentally about 22-27 years old (in the first movie) and 28-31 years old (in this movie). It's also worth remembering that video game characters never age physically, only (perhaps) emotionally; while Vanellope's Character Development involves what some might consider a Coming-of-Age Story, Ralph (full-grown adult, probably physically comparable to a 21-year-old man, which makes him mentally about 51 in the first movie and 57 here) doesn't really mature much beyond being socially reintegrated into his (static) society, and learning to accept the changing nature of his friendship with Vanellope.
    • This isn't really too important to the stories in either of these movies anyway, but while Calhoun in particular seems to have some knowledge of reproduction ("Doomsday and Armageddon just had a baby, and it is UGLY!!!") and human nuptials programmed into her, neither she nor Felix seem to have or need any actual reproductive organs, though they do some foster parenting for Vanellope's fellow racers in this movie; neither do they seem particularly heartbroken about lacking these attributes. In plain fact, with the exception of games altered by filthy-minded game hackers and games made by pornographers, all video game characters probably are, like Lara Croft, just flesh textures overlaid on a Barbie Doll Anatomy wireframe under their clothes. They can do all the kissing and hugging they want, but actual sex acts are a foreign concept to them. Ralph and Vanellope not only lack these attributes, but don't even seem to have or need any of Calhoun and Felix's capacity for romance.


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