Marta Balatico, nicknamed Penelope after the character she played in the in-universe show Mackenzie Falls, is the main antagonist in the Sonny With a Chance two-part episode "Sonny With A Secret". She initially appears as a cast member of Mackenzie Falls, but her hatred for Sonny drove her to outright villainy in the two-part episode, "Sonny With a Secret".
She is portrayed by Leslie-Anne Huff.
Role in the show
Marta first appears (although is referred to by her real name), in the episode "Legend of Candyface". But in that episode, she was just a supporting character. She despised Sonny because she and Chad Dylan Cooper were in love when she had a crush on Chad. Marta then planned on pretending to be Sonny's friend before ruining her reputation and then killing her.
In "Sonny With a Secret", Marta starts spreading lies about Sonny and ruining her friendship with So Random! by framing her for stealing both a necklace from a mall and her friend Grady's gold coin (later revealed to be Chocolate). She also exposes Chad's secret that he makes all his decisions based on fortune cookies (later revealed because his microphone was on) to the paparazzi and frames Sonny for it, causing Chad to break up with her. Marta also makes up a character named Vicky Sikowitz and passes her off as a real person to accuse Sonny of plagiarizing her for So Random!'s "'Sicky Vicky'" sketch. As a result, Sonny's friendships are ruined and she is fired by Condor Studios.
Sonny's best friend and co-star Tawni believes Sonny and takes her out of L.A incognito so Sonny can fire a cheese ball at her old high school's football game, as Sonny was scheduled to do. Later, everyone deduces Sonny was framed and learn that someone has made a bomb into a cheese ball and realize someone is out to kill Sonny. Chad and the So Random! Crew initially suspect Tawni to be the culprit as evidence was found on her dresser and set out to rescue and apologize to Sonny and take off in Chad's private jet.
Mid-flight, the jet's captain is revealed to be Marta incognito, who reveals to everyone that she was the one who framed Sonny and planned on killing her and framing Tawni, admitting her motive was all because Sonny loved Chad. Marta intended to leave the So Random! crew to die in a plane crash but offered to let Chad live if he agreed to date her. Naturally (and sanely) Chad refuses. Marta jumps out of the Jet with all the extra parachutes, leaving them to die. Luckily, Grady had a parachute on him because his mother advised him to never get on a plane without one. They all jump together on the same parachute, although it rips on the way down due to their weight. By luck, they survive the fall and land next to Tawni's car.
At Sonny's old high school, Marta appeared as Vicky Sikowitz at the football game to take Sonny's place. When Sonny arrives, "Vicky" lies and says she only wanted attention and lets Sonny take her place so that she'll get killed by the bomb. The others arrive as Sonny lights the fuse, Chad pushes her out of the way, Zora stops the fuse, and Nico takes the bomb out before it blows. Marta tries to make a break for it but is stopped and exposed by Tawni. After being exposed, Marta is arrested.
She never appears again in the show, but likely got life in prison because she attempted to murder five kids and frame another.
- Even though her real name is Marta Balatico, she is nicknamed and referred to as Penelope in Sonny with a Secret, because of the character she plays in the in-universe TV show: MacKenzie Falls.
- Because of her attempts to kill Sonny and leaving Chad and the So Random! crew to die, she is one of the darkest villains on a Disney Channel show (others being Gorog, Kaita, Jesse, Vice Principal Stern, and Victor Krane).