Wreck it, Ralph. Who would have thought that a bad guy could ever be the good guy? That for once, the real good guys could look up to the bad guy and be wowed by their heroic deed, to step to the side to allow the glory to shine not on themselves but on another? Ralph from the video game Wreck it, Ralph is one such character that is known by others to be the bad guy of the game, Fix It, Felix Jr. Ralph is tired of being the bad guy and being disrespected by the Nicelanders, a motley crew of apartment dwellers who rely on Felix Jr. to fix the damage Ralph has done to the apartment.
Interestingly, at the start of the game, Ralph lives in a stump on his own patch of land. That is, until a bulldozer comes along and pushes his stump with him inside out of the way to allow construction to begin on an apartment building. Ralph discovers that his stump has been moved all the way to the junkyard. Naturally, Ralph is angry about this, and perhaps rightly so. It is no surprise then that he wrecks havoc on the Nicelanders’ Apartment building, seeking out his method of justice for himself and a way to qualm his rage. Every time Felix Jr. fixes the apartment, he is given a medal and Ralph is thrown off the roof of the building to land in the mud down below.
Disgraced, humiliated, tired of being disrespected and poorly treated, Ralph confides to his fellow bad guys at Bad Guy Anon that he no longer wants to be the bad guy. Who can blame him? The members of Bad Guy Anon are horrified and believe Ralph is going turbo, a way of speaking that links back to the first bad guy named Turbo who abandoned his game and took over another game. Remarkably, even the bad guys have a sense of respect for the programing, reminding Ralph he “can’t mess with the program.”
All Ralph wants is to be respected, particularly from the Nicelanders. The only way he can gain their respect and admiration is if he wins a medal on his own, but Gene the Nicelander doubts Ralph will ever achieve his goal of winning the medal. What Gene doesn’t know is that it was never Ralph’s goal to win a medal. His goal was to be respected and liked by even the Nicelanders.
His quest for this leads him seeking his own medal. He is led to a new game called Hero’s Duty when he takes over the role of a game character of that game. Succeeding in the dangerous mission and gaining his medal, Ralph is unfortunately taken to another game, Sugar Rush.
Sugar Rush is where Ralph meets Vanellope von Schweetz, a cute little girl who is determined to be the next biggest racer. Except for one problem. Vanellope is a glitch who doesn’t know how to drive. Their first meeting doesn’t go well, particularly when Vanellope steals Ralph’s medal to use it to enter the race being hosted by King Candy. Ralph ensues chase and determination to get his medal back, but cannot get it back without Vanellope’s help. Ralph and Vanellope work together to build Vanellope a racing car and Ralph, painfully, teaches her how to drive. Ralph soon learns that Vanellope is not too different from himself. She is ostracized, disrespected, and forced to live on her own in the Diet Mountain Cola with garbage and dirt around her and a cola spring that explodes broiling hot liquid every time a Mentos falls into it.
Ralph takes on the role as Vanellope’s hero, quickly becoming a fast inspiration and huge supporter of her. When King Candy manages to trick Ralph into preventing Vanellope to race, his dreams are shattered, and he no longer cares about being respected by the Nicelanders. It is not until he discovers that Vanellope’s picture is on the side of the game console that he puts two and two together. He returns to Sugar Rush and forces King Candy’s right hand man, er right hand candy man, Sour Bill to spill the beans. Ralph quickly learns that Vanellope was indeed a racer but King Candy destroyed her code. To become a real racer again, she only needs to cross the finish line.
With Fix it Felix Jr.’s help, Ralph and Vanellope race against time and against Cy-bugs from Hero’s Duty infesting the game. Their biggest obstacle is King Candy. King Candy is determined to see Vanellope destroyed, no matter what it takes. Only by Ralph sacrificing himself does King Candy meet defeat. Like all true friends, Vanellope helps Ralph, saving him from a horrible fate that would have surely been his end.
Because of Ralph’s help, Vanellope quickly becomes her true self, which is Princess and the rightful ruler of Sugar Rush. His actions and heroic deed lead to the Nicelanders gaining respect for him and thus, treating him better, just as he wanted all along.