- “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.”
- ―Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph (or simply Ralph) is the eponymous protagonist of the 2012 Disney animated feature film of the same name, and its sequel, "Ralph Breaks the Internet".
Video Game Role
- “I'm gonna wreck it!”
- ―Wreck-it Ralph
In the fictional arcade video game, Fix-It Felix, Jr., Ralph, serving as the game's antagonist, is in a rage of his forest home being destroyed by construction of a new apartment building. Ralph shouts out "I'm gonna wreck it!" and begins to demolish the building by destroying the windows, as revenge. As Felix comes in to save the day, Ralph throws down bricks, attempting to stop the hero from undoing his immense damage. However, Felix succeeds in repairing the apartment building and, at the end of the game, the Nicelanders who live in the apartment throw Ralph off the top of the building, sending him falling into a puddle of mud.
Despite his hulking nature and villainous programming, Ralph is ultimately a sweet, well-meaning character. He is also extremely casual and somewhat laid-back. Though surrounded by over-the-top personalities (such as the excessively gruff Sergeant Calhoun or the magnanimous Felix), Ralph carries himself in a manner that's considerably more human, and less caricatured. However, a direct result of his programming, Ralph is also a destructive bumbler with an admittedly explosive temper. As such, he can occasionally fall into fits of rage, causing him to rampage and cause destruction to objects around him. This is what ultimately motivates Ralph's unpleasant reputation in Niceland, and the arcade as a whole, as well as the reasoning behind the bad-guy's insecurities and antisocial behavior. Even so, Ralph makes earnest efforts (in a rather passive-aggressive manner) to suppress his temper and wrecking habits for the sake of those around him, as well as himself—especially during social events like the 30th-anniversary celebration that took place at the beginning of the film. His programming and constant mistreatment make this a difficult feat to accomplish, however.
Ralph was a fairly selfish character at the start of the film; his goal was to win the respect and hearts of other video game characters by retrieving a medal, but uncaringly causing havoc—including thefts, physical intimidation, and breaking Arcade bylaws by game-jumping along the way. He was also arrogant, blinded by his own self-interest, and had little regret in causing damage during his pursuit for a medal. Nevertheless, his intentions were pure at their core; he did not wish to become a hero for the sake of becoming one. Instead, he spent years living with the belief that only heroes were capable of making friends and garnering appreciation for their work, prompting him to change his reputation in hopes of receiving what he believes to be "good-guy exclusive" luxuries. Being that he spent thirty years facing prejudice and abuse, Ralph's lengths to achieve his goals had few bounds, with his breaking point having been reached.
Upon meeting the young, feisty misfit Vanellope, Ralph learns that having medals and an abundance of praise isn't what makes a good-guy, but showing love and care for others, does. Loving and valiant, Ralph went through great lengths to ensure Vanellope's happiness and safety, ultimately at the expense of his own, thus allowing him to evolve from selfish to selfless over the course of the movie.
He is also shown to be extremely protective through his friendship with Vanellope, as he continuously protected her from various antagonists throughout the film, and was willing to bring legit, physical harm to those who unfairly opposed and discriminated her. This is partially out of relatable sympathy for the young glitch, as she had endured treatment similar to Ralph's own experiences, showing Ralph's desire to help those as unfortunate, or even less so, than himself. This is also seen during the first half of the film, where Ralph charitably bestowed stolen cherries to homeless Q*Bert and his colleagues, as their game was unplugged, leaving them without food and substance. Ralph's care for others was also showcased during the finale, where he invited homeless video game characters to live in Niceland as his neighbors.
Though he doesn't exactly appear to be much of an intellectual, Ralph actually proves to have some intelligence to him, as he has the ability to concoct plans and effective courses of action on the spot, using his brawn to his advantage in creative ways. This is notably seen during his adventures in both Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush, as well as the climax.
Ralph is nine feet tall and muscular with spiky dark auburn hair, light brown eyes, thick eyebrows, rosy cheeks, and has a big pink nose. He wears a red-and-orange shirt with two yellow buttons up, and brown single-strapped overalls. He usually does not wear shoes. Underneath his shirt is a teal undershirt.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Ralph is seen as having immense superhuman strength. He has shown being able to lift objects many times his own size and weight in the film. Ralph has demonstrated his strength multiple times, such as being able to bring down a building by smashing it with his own two hands, being able to lift a car of the ground with no stress, and he was able to smash through the walls of King Candy's "Fungeon" with a single punch. Also, Ralph was able to bring down the Mentos stalactites with a few smashes to the ground, and other feats demonstrating his supernatural strength level.
- Superhuman Speed: Ralph can move at speeds greater than what is naturally possible.
- Superhuman Durability: Ralph also has seen being superhumanly durable. He was able to withstand a strike from King Candy in his Cy-Bug form (which would have severely injured an ordinary human being), being hit by Venellope's cart multiple times, and even falling many stories from buildings in his game without sustaining damage.
- Semi-Immortality: Ralph, being a video game character, also is semi-immortal, meaning that he can never age, but can die from being killed outside of his game, which he would be incapable of regenerating from.
- Indomitable Will: Alongside these, Ralph has demonstrated a strong force of willpower that is not commonly seen. Ralph has a sheer will, completely free of evil or lack in belief. Whenever Ralph puts his mind to something, he never gives up no matter how difficult the task at hand seems. For instance, Ralph was able to push himself to get a Hero's Medal even though others said it couldn't be done.
- Master-Wrecker: Living up to his name, Ralph is an excellent wrecking man. He is capable of completely obliterating buildings, huge objects, and taking down large structures all with his brute force.
Story in His World
Within Litwak's Arcade, where video game characters live, breathe, and have their own personal lives to indulge in after closing hours, Wreck-It Ralph is a video game bad-guy who constantly suffers discrimination amongst the citizens of the arcade—more specifically, the inhabitants of Niceland. Because of his role as the villain of the game, the Nicelanders have developed a fear of Ralph, excluding him from all events and forcing him to live out in the town's dump, as opposed to the quaint apartment building where the other citizens live. The years of relentless mistreatment has shook Ralph to his core, eventually birthing the bad-guy's desire to change the program in hopes of having a better life. On the 30th anniversary of his game, Fix-It Felix, Jr., Ralph attends Bad-Anon support group meeting to relieve the stress he's been feeling for the last 30 years, this being the first time he has ever done so. There, Ralph confesses that he no longer wishes to be the bad guy, shocking the other members of the meeting who fear Ralph may be "going Turbo". Ralph reassures the others that he only wants a better life, but wanting to change the program can be very dangerous in the arcade, and can even result in a game getting unplugged.
After the meeting, a downhearted Ralph returns home and finds that the citizens of his game, and several other invited guests, are having an anniversary party without him. Ralph gets Felix to invite him in, but the Nicelanders are less than pleased to see the former. The awkward moment turns into a heated argument between Ralph and the mayor of Niceland, Gene, who sees Ralph as nothing more than a villain ineligible of receiving love or appreciation. A frustrated Ralph believes earning a medal, like Felix does at the end of each gameplay session, would give him the respect he deserves, and Gene indirectly agrees. However, Gene then claims Ralph earning a medal is impossible as he's just the "bad guy who wrecks the building", angering Ralph to the point of destroying the anniversary cake, shocking everyone. With Gene's opinions on Ralph seeming more down-to-earth than ever before, Ralph vows to somehow win a medal, in order to prove his worth. Though Ralph was serious about the declaration, Gene scoffs the matter, doubting the bad-guy's chances of actually finding a medal, given his profession.
The Medal of Heroes
Ralph then heads to Tapper's, to ask the bartender if he knows of such a game that presents bad guys with medals. After searching through Tapper's lost and found box, Ralph instead runs into a soldier from a game called Hero's Duty who tells Ralph that a medal is given to the bravest of the brave: the Medal of Heroes. The soldier then spots a cockroach on Ralph's shoulder, freaks out, and flees, inadvertently running right into a wall and knocking himself out. Ralph then seizes this opportunity to win a medal and steals the soldier's armor and sneaks into the game. However, it's not at all what he had hoped. Hero's Duty instead turns out to be a violent game infested by deadly creatures known as the Cy-Bugs. After blundering in the game, crossing several deadly obstacles, and flying an aircraft for the first time, Ralph finally 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, a kart racing game.
Meanwhile, Fix-It Felix Jr. is put out of order due to Ralph's absence. Mr. Litwak, the owner of the arcade, reluctantly decides that if the game doesn't work the following day, it would be unplugged. To save the game, Felix journeys off to find Ralph and teams up with the leader of Hero's Duty, Sergeant Calhoun, to do so. Back at Sugar Rush, the Cy-Bug apparently drowns in a taffy lake, but unbeknownst to Ralph, it instead creates a nest underground. During his catastrophic entrance into Sugar Rush, Ralph accidentally loses his medal, which is soon stolen by a little girl named Vanellope. Vanellope uses the medal to insert herself into Sugar Rush's upcoming race, as every racer needs to pay admission with one gold coin. Ralph tries to capture Vanellope to get his medal, but the ruler of the game, King Candy, sees the assault and orders his guards to capture Ralph. Ralph is taken to the king's castle where he meets King Candy himself, and his minion, Sour Bill. Ralph explains that he's only in Sugar Rush to retrieve his medal after Vanellope stole it, but the king tells Ralph the medal is now nothing but code and can only be retrieved when someone wins the cup at the end of the race. Ralph then openly decides to steal back the medal once the race is won, but King Candy orders him to leave the game or be imprisoned.
Ralph escapes to find some racers to help win back his medal, but he instead finds Vanellope being tormented by the racers. Ralph scares them off, feeling sympathy for the child, and after the racers retreat, Vanellope explains that she was going to return his medal the moment she won the race. Unfortunately, the other racers destroyed Vanellope's kart as she is banned from racing because she was said to be a glitch and that glitches don't race. Ralph then goes at a fit of rage as he was now without any apparent chance of getting his medal back. He begins to wreck the nearest things and even splits a huge jawbreaker in half. Impressed by Ralph's strength, Vanellope proposes a deal that he breaks into King Candy's kart factory where karts for the game are built to built a new cart so that she can win the next race and return his medal. Ralph reluctantly agrees and the duo heads off. At the factory, Ralph and Vanellope work together to make the kart, which comes out perfect for Vanellope despite its repulsive appearance. Ralph and Vanellope then sign the kart and begin to bond together when Vanellope's excitement over the haggard kart proves that Ralph can do more than wreck things and is actually capable of bringing happiness to others. However, the moment is short-lived as King Candy and his minions arrive to apprehend Vanellope.
Ralph is able to stall the antagonists by spraying King Candy with glaze and frantically orders Vanellope to start the kart to make the escape. However, Vanellope reveals she doesn't know how to drive a real kart, forcing Ralph to use his fists to manually drive them to safety, with Candy and his goons in hot pursuit. Vanellope directs Ralph throughout the chase, eventually directing him to a secret entrance into Diet Cola Mountain, thus successfully evading the king. Inside, Ralph berates Vanellope on her neglect to mention her lack of driving skills, feeling hopeless that his medal will never be regained. In that moment, Ralph reveals the importance of the medal, and how it's his only way of earning respect within his game, which Vanellope relates to her motivation to win the race. Vanellope also reveals Diet Cola Mountain to be her secret home. Unfortunately, the area in which she sleeps is rather abysmal and unkept, though it's the best she can manage with the hardships she regularly faces. Ralph feels sympathy for Vanellope, her home reminding him of his own shabby ways of living, and feels the urge to legitimately help her win the race; not only for his medal but also for her happiness.
Using his physical strength, Ralph creates a man-made race track within the mountain, to teach Vanellope the ways of racing, despite not knowing much about racing, himself. Eventually, Vanellope is revealed to be quite skilled, giving Ralph confidence that his medal is his for the taking, and allowing the two to subsequently make way for the race. Before they do, however, Vanellope excitedly returns to the mountain to retrieve something.
During her absence, King Candy arrives, alone and supposedly unarmed. Ralph angrily attacks the king nevertheless, feeling spiteful due to Candy's treatment towards himself and Vanellope. King Candy is able to subdue Ralph's temper by revealing the latter's medal, which he mysteriously managed to retrieve. In return for returning the medal, Candy asks the opportunity to have his voice heard, explaining his reasonings behind Vanellope's harsh treatment. According to Candy, should Vanellope win the roster race, she'll be added to the roster and become available for players to use as an avatar. The downside to this is Vanellope's glitching, which would have the players and Litwak believe the game is broken, resulting in the Sugar Rush cabinet being unplugged. Not only would the citizens of the game become homeless, but Vanellope, being that glitches can't leave their game, would be trapped and die alongside the cabinet. King Candy asks Ralph to somehow keep Vanellope from the race for her own safety, which the latter solemnly accepts.
After Candy takes his leave, Vanellope returns with a surprise for Ralph: a homemade medal with the inscription "You're my hero". Vanellope states she made the medal just in case they were unsuccessful in winning Ralph's original medal, touching the bad-guy, and making the following actions all the more difficult. The emotionally-wrecked Ralph then tries to dissuade Vanellope from racing, but when Vanellope notices Ralph's medal, she believes he has ratted her out to the King for it, and the two begin to argue. Ralph tries to explain how Vanellope's life is at risk, but she won't listen. Vanellope declares that she no longer needs Ralph's assistance and shall go on without him. However, fearing for her safety, Ralph hangs Vanellope on a lollipop tree and goes to wreck her kart. Vanellope screams for him to stop, but Ralph crushes the kart, along with her dreams of racing and getting a better life. Distraught, Vanellope glitches off the lollipop tree and looks to Ralph through tears, saying he really is a bad guy. The young glitch then runs off heartbroken and Ralph, feeling downhearted, returns to his game with both of his medals.
When he returns, he finds that all the Nicelanders, except Gene, have fled to Game Central Station. Gene tells Ralph that when Felix left to look for him and never returned, everyone panicked and fled. Gene also informs Ralph that Litwak will be unplugging the game in the morning. Ralph apologizes for the event, but Gene hands over the keys to the penthouse as promised, and leaves as well. The miserable Ralph then stands on the balcony of the apartment building, regretting everything he's done, especially ruining Vanellope's only chance of a better life. It was in that moment, Ralph realized how awful he's been and throws his medal at the screen of the game, accepting that he's no hero. The impact of the medal knocks off the out of order sign and reveals the Sugar Rush cabinet. On the cabinet, Ralph notices Vanellope's picture featured prominently on it, making him suspicious of the king's words. Ralph rushes back to Sugar Rush to find answers. When he arrives, Ralph finds Sour Bill, who is cleaning the wreckage of Vanellope's kart.
By licking him as a method of torture, Ralph gets Sour Bill to reveal that King Candy hacked into Sugar Rush's codes and tried to erase Vanellope out of existence, turning her into a glitch. He also reveals to Ralph that if Vanellope crosses the finish line in an official race, the game will reset and she'll no longer be a glitch. Bill then tells Ralph that Vanellope and Felix are both trapped in King Candy's fungeon. Determined to set things right, Ralph collects the pieces of Vanellope's destroyed kart and barges into the fungeon where Felix is imprisoned. Ralph confesses to Felix that he ran off to try to be a good-guy because he was tired of being rejected and treated like a criminal, which was his everyday life for the last 30 years. Beginning to understand how he can't change who he is, Ralph asks Felix to fix Vanellope's destroyed kart, promising that he will never try to be good again if Felix does so. Feeling proud of Ralph for showing that he cares for others and is now on a selfless mission, Felix happily complies.
Sugar Rush Showdown
With the repaired kart, Ralph breaks into Vanellope's cell and apologizes for his previous actions. With all forgiven, he, Vanellope, and Felix rush to the already-started Random Roster Race. Along the way, Ralph instructs Vanellope to simply cross the finish line to become a real racer, though the raven-haired girl is not only determined to finish but to win. As a result of her glitching, Vanellope passes the other racers within minutes, eventually coming to second place, behind King Candy. Meanwhile, Ralph and Felix watch the events unfold on the jumbo screen before the former is confronted by an infuriated Sergeant Calhoun. Calhoun informs Ralph that the game is moments away from destruction, as a hoard of Cy-Bugs have been bred underground, spawned from the baby Cy-Bug he brought into Sugar Rush during his initial arrival. Just then, the Cy-Bugs explode from the grounds and begin to ravage through Sugar Rush, prompting Felix and Calhoun to evacuate the citizens. As they do, a swarm of Cy-Bugs begins to destroy the finish line, forcing Ralph into battle for the sake of Vanellope.
Back on the race track, Vanellope passes King Candy, but the king rams into her kart in an attempt to destroy it. Vanellope fights him off and King Candy begins to glitch as she does. As Ralph fights off the bugs, Felix tells him to turn to the screen to see Vanellope and King Candy fighting. Vanellope's glitching causes King Candy to glitch also, making his facade fall and revealing himself to be Turbo, the supposedly deceased racer whose game-jumping caused the unplugging of two cabinets, coining the phrase "going Turbo". Both Felix and Ralph are shocked and speechless at the revelation. Meanwhile, Vanellope is able to escape Turbo, but just then, more Cy-Bugs explode from the sides of the track as she approaches the finish line. Vanellope's kart is caught in the explosion, which sends her falling off the track, prompting Ralph and Felix to come to her rescue. As they do, the Cy-Bugs destroy the finish line.
Seeing as the game has little to no hope of survival, Ralph grabs Vanellope and heads for Game Central Station, but Vanellope, still being a glitch, is unable to leave. Despite this, she softly tells Ralph to go without her, but Ralph refuses to leave Vanellope to die as he desperately thinks of a way to save her. When he overhears Calhoun telling Felix that the monsters can't be stopped without a beacon, Ralph quickly formulates an idea to erupt the Diet Cola Mountain, hoping that the lava light will be mistaken for a beacon, which will attract the Cy-Bugs. He borrows Calhoun's hoverboard and flies to the top of the mountain, where he begins to smash its crater of mentos with his fists. Just as Ralph is about to bring down the crater, Turbo (who has transformed into a Cy-Bug monster after being consumed by one) arrives and attempts to kill Ralph. They battle, but Turbo gains the upper hand by lifting Ralph into the air, where he is forced to watch helplessly as the bug swarm closes in on Vanellope. Giggling, Turbo darkly declares it's game-over for the two.
Ralph resigns himself to his fate and breaks himself free from Turbo's grasps. As he falls toward Diet Cola Mountain and his death, Ralph recites the Bad Guy Affirmation he learned at Bad-Anon and tightly grips Vanellope's medal. Having plummeted from an altitude high enough, his one forceful smash sends the entire crater of mentos barreling down. He is then saved by Vanellope, who uses another racer's kart to race into the mountain and catch him. Together, the two escape the mountain and fall safely into a pond of chocolate as massive amounts of mentos plunge into the lava, causing the mountain to erupt. The eruption of Diet Cola Mountain produces a beacon that attracts all the Cy-Bugs, including Turbo, and vaporizes them for good, saving Sugar Rush and the entire arcade. In a moment of rejoicing at having survived a near fatal catastrophe, Ralph finds himself swimming in chocolate and loudly announces his new found love for chocolate (which he previously hated).
Back at the track, Felix restores the finish line, allowing Vanellope to complete the race. Once the finish line is crossed, the Sugar Rush game resets, restoring the kingdom to its original settings. Additionally, Vanellope's codes are also restored, and she is then revealed to be the true ruler of the game. At this time, the arcade is about ready to open, so Ralph and Vanellope bid each other farewell. Before he can depart, Vanellope tearfully offers him a room in her castle where he'll be happy, to which Ralph humbly denies the offer, telling her that their friendship is enough to keep him happy and that he has a responsibility of his own, finally accepting his important role as the bad-guy of his game. After many salutations of farewell and humorous name-calling between the two, Ralph heads back to Fix-It Felix, Jr. with Felix, just in time to show Mr. Litwak that the game is working again, sparing it from being unplugged.
During the finale, it is shown that the Nicelanders have finally learned that Ralph is an important part of the game and begin to treat him better. Nicelander Mary even bakes Ralph his own cake. Also, Ralph and Felix invite the homeless video game characters (including Q*bert) to help them out on the "bonus levels" of their game during gaming hours. This new addition has also brought new-found popularity to Fix-It Felix, Jr. Ralph and Felix have also built new apartments for the new characters, making Niceland a home for them, as well. Ralph is also present at the wedding of Felix and Calhoun, serving as Felix's best man and is even shown to be shedding some tears as the bride and the groom officially tie the knot. Finally, Ralph explains in his narrative that being thrown off the roof is the best part of his day due to being able to get a perfect view of Sugar Rush and of Vanellope racing.
Many times, Ralph and Vanellope are able to see each other from each other's cabinet, causing the two to happily wave to each other. As a result, it turns out that Ralph doesn't need a medal to show he is good, as, through Vanellope's friendship, he's able to see the goodness within his own heart. During the end credits, it is shown that Vanellope and Calhoun regularly visit Ralph and Felix and vice versa, and the friends regularly have game-jumping adventures together.
On Sora's Team
Ralph and all the other citizens of the Arcade gladly joined to see worlds other than their own game worlds. As they travel they help Sora to thank him for clearing their games from Heartless and Nobody viruses.