- "Why are your hands so freakishly big?"
- —Vanellope asking Ralph why his hands are oversized.
Vanellope von Schweetz is the deuteragonist of Wreck-It Ralph. She is an energetic character from the racing arcade game, "Sugar Rush" and is considered a "glitch" by King Candy and the other racers, which she is constantly hated and picked on for being. Ralph feels Vanellope's pain and despite Ralph and her not getting along that well at first, as time passes, they both eventually become friends and help each other out. She is voiced by Sarah Silverman.
Vanellope appears to be a talkative, fun-loving, childish, tomboyish and energetic child who seems to be Ralph's best friend. Teleporting (aka "Glitching") is her favorite superpower.
Vanellope first appears on a candy tree in the candy tree forest when Ralph climbs up the same tree, trying to get the medal he got from Hero's Duty. When Vanellope questions where he comes from, he claims to be from the candy tree department, and is alone at the moment. Vanellope continues to bother him as he tries to get the medal. While having an argument with him, she notices the medal and immediately challenges Ralph to a race to get it. She gets it first but he grabs it from her, but he loses it when the double stripe he is standing on breaks and she gets it. Hanging from another double stripe, he confesses that he is not from the candy tree department and Vanellope calls him out on lying to a child. As he asks for his medal back, Vanellope simply says that the medal is hers now and she skips away and also tells Ralph he is hanging from the double stripe, which breaks, causing him to fall into the taffy lake.
Vanellope puts on a disguise just as the other racers are about to hand in their coins. Vanellope follows the racer Candlehead and after Candlehead deposits her coin, Vanellope gives the medal away. King Candy notices her just as she drops her disguise. Realizing who she is, King Candy calls security to get her. As she runs away to her scrap kart, Ralph lumbers in, covered in taffy, wanting his medal. As the guards and racers run away and hide, Vanellope manages to outwit Ralph again and he ends up stuck in a giant cupcake. The guards start beating Ralph with their batons and Vanellope drives away in her kart. However, Taffyta, Rancis, and Candlehead call the other racers to find her, but four of those racers stay behind.
Vanellope stops and gets out of her kart in a junkyard and starts working on her kart. She then hears the other racers drive in and they surround her. Vanellope fails to impress them and after Taffyta fails to convince her not to be in the race she rips the steering wheel from the kart. Vanellope tries to stop her but Taffyta hits her with the steering wheel and the other racers start smashing the kart. She tries to pull them away but fails. She finally manages to pull Taffyta away from the kart but she knocks Vanellope into a mud puddle. Ralph, who had managed to escape, sees this and, feeling sorry for Vanellope, charges at the racers, who drive away in their karts. Vanellope gets out of the mud and tries to see if she can fix her kart, but realizes she cannot. She tells Ralph she can't get him his medal back, causing him to start hitting a jawbreaker. He splits it in half and Vanellope, realizing how strong he is, makes a deal that if he gets her a kart, she'll win the race and get his medal back.
When Vanellope and Ralph sneak into King Candy's factory, they have a hard time baking a kart. The kart turns out misshappened, but Vanellope is overjoyed that she finally has a real kart. The two are interrupted when King Candy and his guards confront them and chase them to Diet Cola Mountain, where they escape the guards by entering a secret entrance to the mountain. Inside the mountain, Vanellope introduces Ralph to her home, where he finds out that she suffers from bullying and neglect from the citizens from Sugar Rush. Pitying her, he decides to teach her to race. She instantly becomes excellent at racing, and the two prepare to join up in the Random Roster Race. Before they leave, Vanellope returns to the mountain to collect something. During the time she is gone, King Candy drives by and convinces Ralph that if she races, the gamers will believe the game is broken and Sugar Rush will be put out of order, but because she is a glitch, she cannot leave and will die when the game is unplugged. King Candy leaves right as Vanellope comes back with a medal she made for Ralph. Ralph, worrying for Vanellope's safety, tells her that she cannot race and destroys the kart when she believes that Ralph sold her out to King Candy and tries to leave without him. Heartbroken, Vanellope runs away and Ralph returns to his game. Vanellope is found by King Candy and imprisoned soon after.
Meanwhile, arriving at his own game, Ralph, finding out that it is about to be unplugged due to his game-jumping and everyone else having abandoned it in anticipation, throws a tantrum, during which he throws his medal at the glass of the cabinet which lets him see the side of Sugar Rush's cabinet, on which an image of Vanellope is featured prominently on it with her original white tracksuit and cart. Going back into Sugar Rush, Ralph interrogates King Candy's assistant, Sour Bill (who is sweeping the remains of Vanellope's kart), 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 having her cross the finish line in an official race would the damage be undone and the original coding be restored. Ralph then takes the pieces of the kart and goes to the fungeon to rescue his friend Fix-It Felix, Jr., whom he begs to fix the kart, the only hope for Vanellope. Ralph breaks into Vanellope's cell and rolls in her kart now repaired, confessing to her that he has been an idiot, a real numbskull, a selfish diaper baby, and a stink brain. Vanellope, along with Ralph and Felix, rushes to the Random Roster Race, which has already begun. Ralph instructs her to just cross the finish line to be a real racer as she does not have to win, but Vanellope, proclaiming herself to be a real racer already, is determined to win the race. Luckily, Vanellope's glitching gets her in second place, behind King Candy, who then tries to destroy Vanellope's kart by ramming into it. As King Candy attacks her, Vanellope begins to glitch nervously, causing the king to glitch as well. King Candy is then revealed to be Turbo, a character from an old racing game who was supposedly killed when his game was unplugged and took over Sugar Rush as King Candy. The evil racer tries to murder Vanellope by ramming her into an oncoming stalagmite and reveals that he has reprogrammed the world while doing so. Vanellope is able to escape her death by glitching out of King Candy's grasp, and makes her way for the finish line. Suddenly, a swarm of Cy-Bugs from the game Hero's Duty, which have been breeding in the catacombs underneath Sugar Rush, explode from the sides of the track. Vanellope's kart is caught in the explosion, which sends her falling off the track, prompting Ralph and Felix to come to her rescue, but the Cy-Bugs destroy the finish line. Sergeant Calhoun, the lead character in Hero's Duty, orders the citizens of the game to evacuate by heading for the Game Central Station. Ralph also tries to evacuate Vanellope, but Vanellope, still being a glitch, is unable to escape. Despite this, she accepts her oncoming death and tells Ralph to go without her, but Ralph refuses to leave her to die and desperately thinks of a way to save her. Ralph then overhears Calhoun telling Felix that the bugs cannot be stopped without a beacon and quickly comes up with an idea to erupt Diet Cola Mountain, hoping to have the erupting lava act as a beacon. With Vanellope being protected by Felix and Calhoun, Ralph hurries to the top of Diet Cola Mountain and begins to smash the crater of mentos, but is attacked by King Candy (who had transformed into a Cy-Bug after being consumed by one). Vanellope is forced to watch as King Candy flies into the air with Ralph in his grasp.
While this is occurring, a swarm of Cy-Bugs turn their attentions to killing Vanellope, Felix and Calhoun, and King Candy forces Ralph to watch the horrific scene from the air. Fortunately, Ralph is able to break free of Candy's grasp and plummets down to the mountain, sacrificing himself for Vanellope, and brings the whole crater down into the volcano with one forceful smash. When Vanellope sees Ralph plummeting, she glitches past the bugs, takes Crumbelina's (a racer in Sugar Rush) kart, and glitches into Diet Cola Mountain, where she is able to catch Ralph before he falls into the lava. Together, they escape the volcano just 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 King Candy, vaporizing them for good and saving Sugar Rush and the entire arcade. After Felix fixes the finish line, Ralph pushes Vanellope's kart, with Vanellope inside, across the line, and the game resets. Suddenly, Vanellope magically transforms into a princess, revealing her to be the rightful ruler of the kingdom. Taffyta, Candlehead, Rancis and the other racers, whose memories have been restored after being wiped during King Candy's reign, remember Vanellope's rank as a princess. Horrified about their mean attitudes toward her, they apologize to Vanellope, begging for her forgiveness, but Vanellope decrees that everyone who has bullied her to be executed. This makes the racers react in horror and break down in tears about their impending death. However, Vanellope reveals that she is just kidding and accepts their apology. Ralph is surprised to see Vanellope as a princess and thinks that as her real self, but Vanellope, who glitches out of her princess attire to show her real self, explains that though the code may say she is a princess, she is really a racer with a greatest superpower: her glitching abilities that she decides to retain, as she feels thankful to have this power that has helped her and Ralph save Sugar Rush. However, she still accepts to lead the kingdom as "President Vanellope von Schweetz". At this time, the arcade is about to open, and as Ralph prepares to leave Sugar Rush, Vanellope hugs him and offers Ralph a private wing in the castle with her where he will 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, after a few rounds of humorous name calling between the two. After Ralph leaves with Felix and Calhoun, the other Sugar Rush racers surround Vanellope as they reconcile with her, befriend her and accept her back into the game. During the finale, Vanellope, seen in her princess attire, serves as the maid of honor at the wedding of Felix and Calhoun. It is also shown that, due to her glitching abilities, Vanellope has become a fan-favorite in Sugar Rush. Now that she's able to control her glitching, she uses it to pass by the other racers as a special ability. During the end credits, Vanellope and Ralph, along with Felix and Calhoun are shown constantly enjoying each other's company and also game-jumping into numerous games.