Vanellope von Schweetz is a video game character, originating from the kart racing game Sugar Rush, where she ruled as princess. Vanellope is an energetic child, filled with life and humor. Sadly, years of bullying has left Vanellope with a sour look on life and people, meaning she is often prone to heavy insulting and sassy remarks. Luckily, Vanellope was able to see the goodness in people through the friendship of Wreck-It Ralph. When Sugar Rush was taken over by King Candy, Vanellope became a glitch and was bullied and tormented by the citizens of the game as a result. She found sanctuary inside Diet Cola Mountain, where an unfinished race track lies, making it her home.
The raven-haired rascal is convinced that she was destined to drive. With a racer's spirit embedded in her coding, Vanellope is determined to earn her rightful place in the starting lineup. Years of rejection have left Vanellope with a wicked sense of humor and a razor-sharp tongue, however, somewhere beneath that hard shell is a sweet center just waiting to be found.
As a result of King Candy's scheme, Vanellope gained the ability to glitch to places in the blink of an eye. Even after the game was reset and Vanellope became leader once more, her glitching remained with her and ended up making her a fan-favorite as she was able to glitch in front of other racers during a race.
Once upon a normal day, Vanellope was lounging about in the candy tree forest when she encountered a man named Wreck-It Ralph, who claims to be part of the candy tree department. However, the minute Vanellope notices a "gold coin" atop the tree, she becomes very excited and makes way for it, ignoring Ralph who confesses to Vanellope, telling her that he's from a different game and desperately need the medal that she mistook for a gold coin. After "winning" the coin from Ralph and taking it for herself, Vanellope instead runs off to the race track starting line where the racers of Sugar Rush are prepared to pay their fees to race in the Random Roster Race; a daily race that determines which racers would be featured in the game's roster on the following day. Vanellope disguises herself and sneaks into the lineup to insert the medal for her coin, putting herself in the race officially.
Unfortunately for Vanellope, she is a glitch, and glitches are not allowed to race by orders of the Sugar Rush ruler, King Candy. The moment the king notices the glitch, he orders his security guards, Wynchel and Duncan, to arrest her, but they are distracted when Ralph arrives to reclaim his medal. The scene that follows distracts the king and allows Vanellope to escape, and the excited 9-year old heads to the junkyard with her junky homemade kart. Vanellope is then confronted by Taffyta Muttonfudge, the best racer in the game next to King Candy, and the other racing kids. They torment the girl calling her an accident waiting to happen and destroys her kart to prevent her from racing. Ralph witnesses the cruel bullying and sympathizes with Vanellope after the kids toss her into the mud, after which he charges out of hiding and scares the kids off. Vanellope however, was far too upset and embarrassed to even thank Ralph, who reacts badly to her snappishness and calls Vanellope a thief for stealing his medal.
Vanellope explained that she would return it the moment she won the race, but without a kart, both herself and Ralph were out of luck. In anger, Ralph begins to wreck things, including a jawbreaker, something that was rock solid. Witnessing Ralph's strength gives Vanellope the idea to have him break her into King Candy's kart factory in order to make a real kart so that she can really race. She convinces Ralph to help her by telling him that once she wins the race and the winner's prize and all the coins along with it, she'll return the medal. Ralph reluctantly agrees and the duo sneak into the factory. There, they build the kart together and bond during the chaotic process, while Ralph is amazed when he discovers that he can create as well as destroy. Because of a mistake in the decorating part, though, the cart is very different from what it was supposed to be. Disappointed, Ralph thinks the kart is broken and a let-down at first, Vanellope is more than happy to have a real kart in her possession. To finish their newfound "masterpiece", Vanellope and Ralph sign the kart.
Just then, King Candy arrives with his minions and attacks Ralph and Vanellope. The duo try to drive away but Vanellope has no clue on how to drive a real kart. Ralph instead gets the kart going and steers it by hand. King Candy, Wynchel, and Duncan are in hot pursuit until Vanellope glitches herself and Ralph into Diet Cola Mountain where she secretly resides. Inside, Vanellope shows Ralph her home and explains to him that because she's a glitch, she's bullied and tormented by everyone in the game. Not only that, she can't leave the game and escape her tormentors because glitches lack the ability to do so. She figures that if she wins the race, the others would stop treating her harshly and make amends.
With Ralph having experienced a similar story wanting to become a hero as opposed to the villain he is, he feels badly for the young girl, and the bad guy decides to build a track in the mountain so Vanellope can learn how to drive. Before long, Vanellope turns out to be a natural, and the duo begin to make way for the race, but not before Vanellope runs back into the mountain to get something. While she's gone, King Candy shows up to return Ralph's medal. King Candy then tells Ralph that he must not let Vanellope race, because if she won and became a character in the game, the players would notice her glitching and the game would be considered out of order and unplugged, with Vanellope being the only one unable to escape to Game Central Station, being left inside the game to die. King Candy then leaves Ralph with these thoughts.
When Vanellope returns, she gives Ralph a medal she made just in case they didn't win. It reads "You're my hero", and Ralph is more than thankful but he told Vanellope that racing might not be the best thing for her. Confused at Ralph's change of heart, Vanellope asks why, and Ralph told her that he was talking to King Candy. Before he could explain further, Vanellope noticed Ralph's medal around the former's neck and figured he ratted her out to the king in exchange for his medal. Vanellope decides to race without Ralph's help, but the bad guy destroys her kart anyway so that she can't race and possibly end up destroyed. Heartbroken, Vanellope runs off in tears, and the downhearted Ralph returns to his game. After Ralph's departure, King Candy captures Vanellope and imprisons her in his fungeon.
Arriving at his own game, Ralph, finding out it's about to be unplugged due to his game-jumping and everyone else had abandoned it in anticipation, throws a tantrum which lets him see the side of Sugar Rush's cabinet - specifically, the image of Vanellope featured prominently on it. Going back into Sugar Rush, Ralph interrogates King Candy's assistant, Sour Bill, to find out why this is. He learns that she was a legitimate character in the game, but King Candy hacked the coding of the game to remove her and all memory of her previous status from it, causing her glitchiness, and only by her crossing the finish line in an official race would the damage be undone and the original coding restored. Ralph then arrives with his friend Fix-It Felix, Jr. to rescue her, telling her what he had learned and reconciling. Felix fixes Vanellope's kart and the heroes rush to the Random Roster Race, which has already begun. Luckily, Vanellope's glitching gets her in second place, behind King Candy who tries to destroy Vanellope's kart by ramming into it. King Candy then attacks her and as he does, Vanellope's glitch reveals King Candy as Turbo, a character from an old racing game who was supposedly killed when his game was unplugged.
The evil racer tries to murder Vanellope and reveals that he reprogrammed the world while doing so. Vanellope is able to escape her death by glitching out of King Candy's grasp, and makes way for the finish line. Suddenly, a swarm of Cy-Bugs from the game Hero's Duty, invade Sugar Rush, and destroys the finish line. The citizens of the game are evacuated by Sergeant Calhoun, the lead character in Hero's Duty, and Ralph tries to evacuate Vanellope too. Sadly, Vanellope is unable to leave, but the child tells Ralph to go on. Ralph refuses to let her die and desperately thinks of a way to save her. Just then, Ralph remembers from his adventure in Hero's Duty that Cy-Bugs are attracted to light. Ralph hurries to Diet Cola Mountain and begins to wreck it, causing it to begin erupting. However, King Candy attacked Ralph and flew into the air. Vanellope, Felix, and Calhoun watch in horror as Ralph is taken into the air by the monstrous King Candy. Ralph is able to break free of his grasps and begins plummeting down to the mountain, sacrificing himself for Vanellope. When Vanellope sees Ralph plummeting, she takes one of the karts and catches him before he falls into the lava.
The lava beacon attracts all the bugs, including King Candy, and kills them. Vanellope and Ralph celebrate their victory and head back to the now fixed finish line. Vanellope crosses and the game resets. Vanellope then turns out to be a princess and the rightful ruler of Sugar Rush. The other citizens, whose memories were wiped during Turbo's reign, apologized to Vanellope and are pardoned. However, Vanellope decides to stay a glitch, but she still accepts to lead Sugar Rush as President Vanellope. Ralph then begins saying his goodbyes. Vanellope offers Ralph a private wing in the castle with her where he'll be happy and loved. Ralph warmly turns down the offer and explains that her friendship makes him happy enough, and that he has a job to do, playing the bad guy in his own game. Ralph and Vanellope bid farewell, but the two friends continually visited each other after hours. Vanellope also attended Felix and Calhoun's wedding ceremony. During the end credits, Vanellope and Ralph are shown constantly enjoying each other's company and also game jumping into numerous games.
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