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Warning: SPOILERS for Ralph Breaks The Internet are in play. If you're not caught up with the movie, please bookmark this page, and come back once you're current.
On top of all of the adventures and comedic commentary that Ralph Breaks The Internet offered to its audience, perhaps the two most meta gags that were presented in the film are the ones that came during the film's ending credits. Yes, in case you were wondering, there's two scenes snuck into the film's ending crawl, and both have some interesting implications.
This is the last chance to turn around before being spoiled, as we're about to jump into the mid and post-credits sequences from Ralph Breaks The Internet, and go over what specifically happens in their gags. More importantly, we'll also be going over just what makes them so funny in the first place. Now let's leave the arcade and plunge into the funny bone of the internet!
The Adventures Of Pancake And Milkshake
What happened: The mid-credits sequence to Ralph Breaks The Internet is a gag we've actually seen in the trailers, with a slight, but crucial alteration. During the film's credits, we cut to little Mo (who looks oddly similar to the baby version of Moana's protagonist) as she's driving home with her mother. As it turns out, the two are returning from the movies, having seen Ralph Breaks The Internet themselves.
The mother asks her child what she thought of the movie, and as she's playing on her tablet, she responds how she thought the film was OK. But she does voice one criticism before going back to the game on her tablet: there was a gag in the film's trailer that she didn't see in the movie, and she's kinda sad about it. Who among us wouldn't be disappointed by losing out on some cute rabbit and cat video game action?
Right on cue, Mo continues to play "Pancake and Milkshake" on her tablet, and seconds later Ralph invades her game. As it turns out, that very sequence that was shown in the trailer (and can be seen below) plays as we've seen it, leaving Mo traumatized as Fun Bun explodes off screen from eating too many pancakes.
Why this joke's great: In a movie that laser focuses on the beast that's known as the internet, Ralph Breaks The Internet plays into a lot of the common jokes about internet fandom. With the scene that was described not taking place during the film's narrative proper, the audience is left to ask themselves just where that scene went in the shuffle.
The fact that it then kicks in during the mid-credits slot it's placed into not only delivers on the scene that was promised in Ralph Breaks The Internet, it also adds that little twist of laughing at such discussions during any film's closing credits.
Seeing as this is a movie that dissects its audience and the media that they use to voice their approval and disapproval of their various fandoms, this joke is one of two that hits home with the savvy moviegoer. Though that's nothing compared to the final gag that closes out the film.
A Special Look At Frozen 2
What happened: While it might not seem too early for a look at next year's Frozen 2, the very last gag at the end of Ralph Breaks The Internet makes a promise of such a clip - only to treat the audience to one of the oldest gags on the internet.
As the closing credits come to an end, a title card with voice over comes up, promising the audience the first footage from Elsa and Anna's big sequel. Surely this couldn't be a prank, could it? Both princesses were in the film and Disney is known for teasing new projects in their Marvel Cinematic Universe all the time.
Just as the viewer is about to catch wise as to what Ralph Breaks The Internet is about to do, a mouse cursor clicks the link that's supposed to help audiences let go of their anticipation for Frozen 2, only to unveil a music video. One where Ralph, Fix-it Felix, and some of the Slaugher Race gang dance and sing to Rick Astley's big hit "Never Gonna Give You Up," complete with a reenactment of said song's music video.
You can actually see this gag for yourself as well, as Astley himself shared his own sort of Rick Roll on his Facebook page:
Why this joke's great:__Known to internet archaeologists as one of the earliest pranks that has confounded users of the information superhighway, the Rick Roll is a joke that plays directly to the older portion of the audience.
While the kids or young adults in the audience may not know or remember how prevalent this setup of a false promise for sought-after information, followed by a formerly obscure '80s hit in its place, those of us who remember dial-up modems, Netscape browsers and AOL's great and bountiful empire are bound to laugh the hardest.
The bonus layer of meta-humor comes from the fact that as early as this morning, Rick Astley himself posted most of this gag as a Rick Roll of his own. Just when you think you may have missed him somehow appearing in the film you saw last night and/or needed to keep an eye out for him at the theater in the next couple of days, up comes a rendition of Astley's big chart-topper. And as an added cherry on top, it's John C. Reilly's musical pipes delivering that sweet sweet nostalgia to your ears.
There's undoubtedly a lot of easter eggs, sight gags, inside jokes, and sly references we've probably missed in Ralph Breaks The Internet, and we'll cover them in due time. But for now, just going over those two parting shots that Disney used to close their film out strong is enough incentive for folks to go see the film a first or second time.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is in theaters now, and it'll never run around or desert you.