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Western Animation: Ratatouille

The eighth computer animated film by Pixar, Ratatouille (2007) is about a rat named Rémy who has a highly developed sense of taste and smell. Dissatisfied with eating garbage like the rest of his family, he wants to become a chef. When he winds up in Paris, he gets his chance to cook at the restaurant founded by his idol, Auguste Gusteau, by making a deal with the restaurant's garbage boy, Linguini, who (thanks to Rémy's interference) has been mistaken for a cooking genius. Rémy guides Linguini in the kitchen in a puppet-like manner so that Linguini doesn't lose his job, while Rémy gets the cooking experience (and critical fame) he desires.

For information on the preceding short Lifted or the follow-up short Your Friend the Rat, see the Pixar Shorts page. If you're interested in the tie-in game, go to this page.

For the actual dish that gave the movie its name, go to Snails and So On. Ratatouille is a garlicky stew of mostly squash, eggplant, and tomatoes, and whatever else the cook might have on hand that day and want to use up. It's not considered haute cuisine in France... more like provincial peasant food.

Ratatouille provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Deconstructed in the most pleasant way ever. Ego's review isn't just a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but it actually changed people's opinions about critics, showing that some can be more than complete assholes who like to complain just for the fun of it.
  • Accidental Kiss: Tugging on Linguini's hair while he's babbling to Colette causes him to dive forward and kiss her. Despite this not being what Rémy was aiming for, it stops Linguini from revealing their secret.
  • Adoring the Pests: Linguini befriends a rat, lets him into the kitchen, and later lets other rats in as well. (This results in the closure of the restaurant once the health inspector finds out that Linguini had been letting rats touch the food.)
  • Adorkable: Most of Linguini's scenes are this trope, due to him being so dang clumsy and awkward.
  • Amoral Attorney: Skinner's lawyer, after proving that the young Linguini is the rightful heir to Gusteau's restaurant, is perfectly happy to advise his client on how to cheat the boy out of his inheritance.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: A swarm of rats can tie and lock up two grown men.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: Ego looks cadaverous and evil until the very end of the film, where he appears to have gained some weight and lost his ghastly pallor.
  • Angrish: Linguini after Rémy has bitten him multiple times.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Here's some fun trivia the kids might not want to know: Male rats have huge testicles. Aren't you glad they didn't add it into the film?
  • As You Know: Skinner lets his lawyer read the entire stipulation regarding the restaurant in Gusteau's will before snapping "I know what the will says!"
  • Author Filibuster: Ego's speech at the end.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Using a shotgun to kill rats. You will make it pretty clear that you are a Badass Grandma and you will completely ruin the rats' day, but you'll be lucky to hit even one of the rats and the collateral damage will be disastrous.
  • Bad Ass: Pretty much everyone in Gusteau's kitchen except Linguini and Skinner.
    • Colette knows her way around the knives and is the self-proclaimed "toughest cook in the kitchen." No-one bothered to contradict her.
    • Horst, apparently, has gone to jail before. His stories included robbing the second largest bank in France with a ballpoint pen, killing a man with one thumb and creating the hole in the ozone layer over Avignon.
    • Pompidou managed to get himself banned from both Las Vegas and Monte Carlo.
    • Larousse was part of a resistance, although apparently they didn't win.
  • Be Yourself: A major theme in the movie, although it is mildly subverted because Linguini and Rémy only reach success in the first place because they are basically each other.
    Linguini: Let's think this out: you know how to cook, and I know how to... appear human.
  • Big Eater: Émile. Oh mon Dieu, Émile.
  • Biker Babe: Colette
  • Bittersweet Ending: Zig-zagged; this is a Disney film after all. Rémy manages to impress Ego with a simple ratatouille and, while he is surprised a rat was the one who did the cooking, Ego writes an honest review giving praise to him. However, Skinner and the health inspector had to be let out eventually, and of course they ratted, resulting in Gusteau's restaurant getting shut down. Ego loses his job and credibility, but he is still able to invest in a small bistro that eventually becomes just as successful. Rémy and his family are on staff along with Linguini and Colette, and have access to all the food they can eat, thus giving everyone a happy ending regardless.
  • Bound and Gagged: Done by the rats to both Skinner and a health inspector near the end of the movie to get them out of the way, if only temporarily.
  • Brandishment Bluff:
  • Break Up Make Up Scenario
  • Brick Joke:
    • Horst, who claimed to have killed a man with his thumb. When Chef Skinner is fired and tries to spy on the kitchen, Horst wordlessly holds up his thumb as a threat.
    • After Skinner loses his job, he calls the health inspector and tries to convince the man that there was a massive rat infestation at Gusteau's. The inspector replies in a bored manner that his next opening is in three months, unless something is cancelled. He is treated as one of Skinner's failed attempts to sabotage Gusteau's and forgotten. At the movie's climax, the inspector suddenly enters Gusteau's kitchen and sees dozens of rats in the kitchen, leading to an Oh, Crap moment.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Linguini, tired of the hair-ionette treatment, tells Rémy: "I am not your puppet! And you are not my puppet... controller... guy!"
    • "Appetite is coming and he's going to have a big ego! I mean Ego! He's coming! And he's going to order! Something... from our menu! And we're going to have to cook it!"
    • "And don't forget to stress its Linguini-ness."
    • And a mushroom zapped by lightning creates a taste that's "lightningy".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Subverted. The staff allows Linguini to be completely insane because he's a cooking genius. He's neither insane nor a cooking genius.
  • Caustic Critic: Anton Ego, and he lampshades the hell out of it in his final review.
  • The Cavalry: Rémy's family arriving to "man" the kitchen after the regular staff quit.
    Django: We're not cooks. But we are family. You tell us what to do, and we'll get it done.
  • Chekhov's Gag: "I killed a man. With this... thumb."
  • Chekhov's Skill: Linguini uses his rollerskating skill to become an incredibly fast waiter.
  • Cleopatra Nose: Colette
  • Comfort Food: Rémy served Ego ratatouille... which flashes him back to a time his mother made it for him when he was having a bad day, and it was so good that Ego gave the restaurant a rave review.
  • Crashing Dreams
  • Creative Closing Credits: It's a Pixar movie!
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Linguini is a complete failure as a chef, but is quite possibly the fastest and best waiter in France, when he needs to be.
  • Cursed with Awesome / Blessed with Suck: Rémy. What good is being a great chef with refined tastes if A) your Extreme Omnivore family thinks you're just being unnecessarily picky and B) you're more likely to be slaughtered than be allowed into a proper kitchen?
  • Daddy DNA Test: How Skinner, Remy, Collete and Linguini find out that Linguini is Gusteau's son.
    • It's Lamp Shaded that maybe Gusteau himself didn't realize he had a child, not because he died before Linguini's birth, but it may have been so long that he didn't remember being with Ranata.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Anton Ego. For a good 3/4 of the movie, he's this trope:
      Anton Ego: (about the restaurant) Finally closing, is it?
      Servant: No...
      Anton Ego: More financial trouble?
      Servant: No, it's...
      Anton Ego: ...announced a new line of microwave egg rolls, what? Spit it out!
    • Rémy counts when he talks. When he's around Linguini and the other humans, he's more of a Silent Snarker.
  • Death by Despair: Gusteau
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Colette's initial attitude towards Linguini comes off as rather... hostile but she becomes much mellower towards him as their relationship develops.
    • Anton Ego could count at the film's end. True, his defrosting is much more abrupt and dramatic, but he's undeniably a much happier and friendlier person afterwards.
  • Diegetic Switch: "Le Festin" playing over the finale. As the camera pans over the line outside the new restuarant, you can see a woman singing the song to her boyfriend.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Linguini with Colette, much to Rémy's chagrin. If you look closely, you can see that this is what caused him to spill the soup in the beginning, setting the whole plot into motion.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Chef Bernard Loiseau (who sold frozen food under his name too) committed suicide in 2003, soon after his restaurant lost a star in its Michelin rating.
    • Anton Ego's office, where he has consigned many a chef to infamy, is shaped like a coffin; also, his typewriter resembles a skull. Ego himself was designed after a vulture. The title of his column is given at the very beginning of the film: "The Grim Eater".
    • Skinner is based on the French star comedian Louis de Funès. Skinner also looks a little like Adolph Caesar.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Colette hits Linguini in the face on several occasions when she is upset with him. He never complains and she is still presented as completely sympathetic throughout the film.
      • She also stabs knives through his sleeves and threatens to kill him if he doesn't keep his station clean. While she probably didn't seriously intend to hurt him in either case, it's unlikely he would get away with doing the same to her.
    • It is heavily implied that a couple Rémy ran into had the woman try to shoot the man, but it's still Played for Laughs.
  • Dramatic Drop: Ego drops his pen when he first tastes Rémy's ratatouille.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Skinner reveals during a discussion with his lawyer that he is paranoid about the rat, thinking Linguini is trying to psyche him out. Skinner's lawyer notes that he had to take a second sample of Linguini's hair. When Skinner asks why, the lawyer says:
    Lawyer: The first time, it came back identified as rodent hair.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A few minutes into the film, a shadow of a dog can be seen against a wall while it barks off-screen. According to the DVD commentary, that dog is Dug from Up.
  • Epilogue Letter: Anton Ego narrating his glowing review in the final scene.
  • Escape Convenient Boat: Rémy attempts this twice; it doesn't work the first time, but does the second.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: Linguini's attempt at soup, quite literally. Rémy catches a whiff of it and chokes (quite a feat, considering rats don't have a gag reflex). But then, he is a particularly fussy rat.
  • Expressive Ears: Even though his behaviors and mannerisms are slowly becoming more human, Rémy has this in spades.
  • Face Palm:
    • Rémy facepaws a few times, mostly around Émile.
    • Colette while Ego is observing the kitchen in Gusteau's after his meal.
    • Gusteau does it in a deleted scene in which he is still alive after Skinner brings up the idea of "Corn Puppies."
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Inverted. Colette makes it clear that it's very difficult for a woman to get into haute cuisine, due to the sexism ingrained in the system, and that the only reason why she managed to become a professional chef was because she was willing to go through hell. (This is quite true; women have an extremely hard time making it in the culinary world, particularly in France.)
  • Foil:
    • Rémy is a talented chef who's determined to break free of the norm; Linguini is horrible at cooking and has no ambitions greater than holding a steady job.
    • As pointed out in the Technician Versus Performer section, Colette is a by-the-book chef while Rémy loves experimenting. Interestingly, they both hold Gusteau in high regard, but take different interpretations of his advice while adhering to his most cherished belief: anyone can cook.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: Ratatouille is set in "Paris, France, home of the finest restaurants and the greatest chefs in the world". The movie actually does a great deal to subvert this trope. Gusteau's philosophy was that "anyone can cook", which is derided by snooty food critic Anton Ego, and at the end, Ego is won over by the eponymous stew, considered a lowly "peasant dish", which brings forth warm memories of his childhood. Colette lampshades the trope, but points out that it doesn't mean the cooks themselves are at all snooty.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Thoroughly averted, as Disney is wont to do. Wine features prominently in the film, as it would in the real culinary world, and as noted below, Linguini is quite drunk in one scene, after having consumed almost an entire bottle of wine.
  • Food Porn: Pixar took extra care to make sure the food was delicious-looking.
  • Gay Paree
  • George Jetson Job Security
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has it's own page now!
  • Goofy Print Underwear: In one scene, Linguini seems to be wearing boxers with the logo of a certain other film by Pixar imprinted on them.
  • Head Pet: Rémy, while technically not a pet, rides on top of Linguini's head to control him while cooking since the chef's hat hides him from sight.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Something like this happens to Ego after he eats some of the ratatouille, and learns that the chef that made it is Rémy, after which he gives a more positive review of Gusteau's. Even after Gusteau's is shut down for rat infestation, when Ego loses his credibility as a food critic, he willingly funds the new replacement bistro.
  • Heroic Bastard: Linguini is Gustav's illegitmate son. That's the underpinning of half the plot.
  • Hot-Blooded: Colette qualifies based on her passionate introduction.
  • Humans Are Bastards: According to Rémy's father, anyway. It turns out that we're not really that bad (see below).
  • Humans Are Morons: Unlike Rémy's father (directly above), Rémy believes the humans are just ignorant, seeing that rats have traditionally been pests, anyway.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Gusteau says in an interview that you must always be strong and fearless, regardless of what people think of you... Just before he dies of a broken heart after getting a bad review and losing one of his five stars.
  • I'll Kill You!:
    Colette: (sweetly) I'll make this easy to remember: Keep your station clear (not so sweetly) OR I WILL KILL YOU!
  • Idiot Ball: When Linguini spills the soup, instead of doing something believable he starts throwing random ingredients into it while hoping nobody sees what he's doing. This is done purely to advance the plot by getting Rémy into the kitchen.
  • The Inspector Is Coming: two of them actually, at the same time. The main focus is on Anton Ego, an infamous restaurant critic whose review already cost the restaurant one of its star ratings. But while Rémy and the other rats are preparing the food, a health inspector shows up unannounced and sees all the rats.
  • In Vino Veritas: Averted. Skinner attempts this on Linguini, hoping that by getting him drunk, he will mention something about Remy, but instead he just starts rambling about how ratatouille doesn't seem like a very appetizing name for a dish.
  • Imaginary Friend: The Gusteau who floats beside Rémy when he wants or needs someone to talk to. He vanished for good when Rémy realizes he doesn't need Gusteau any more.
  • Impairment Shot: We get the blinking eye shot from Linguini's perspective as Rémy tries to wake him.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Rémy's ratatouille is so good that Ego freezes with wonder at the first bite.
  • Jerkass:
  • Justified Title: There's the obvious pun (which is lampshaded by Linguini for a Title Drop), but there's also the meal served up at the film's climax, and the name of the restaurant the main characters eventually start up.
  • Knife Nut: Colette pins Linguini's sleeve to a chopping board with three huge knives whilst explaining to him how difficult it was for her to get to where she was, and if the knives aren't enough, there's her smile when she warns Linguini not to mess up. She's most definitely a knife nut.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Rémy first experiments on pulling hairs to control Linguini, he comments "That's strangely involuntary!"
  • Large And In Charge:
    • Inverted; Skinner is in charge of a restaurant where all of his employees are about twice his height.
    • Played straight you realize that his predecessor was Gusteau, who we could safely assume to have been the largest person in the room.
  • Large Ham:
    • Ego is an unusual form of Ham, bringing something of an understated Pantomime Villain flavour to the proceedings.
    • Skinner too, of course.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Linguini, while ranting in front of Colette: "I love you-uur advice!"
  • Lethal Chef: Judging from Rémy gagging at the mere smell of Linguini's improvised soup, this is how he cooks without the rat's help. Linguini himself took a testing taste of said soup earlier... and immediately ran to the window to lose his lunch. Also, rats are physically incapable of vomiting, so the soup must be that bad to make Rémy gag. Considering some of the things Rémy's brother and father eat, he has to be used to really bad smells — especially since smell and taste work together.
  • Male Gaze: In a PIXAR movie! Hey, it is set in France, so it could have been way worse.
  • Marionette Motion: Rémy's control of Linguini.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While they mention several times that Gusteau is a figment of Rémy's imagination, he also tells Rémy several things that Rémy couldn't possibly know.
  • Mean Boss: Skinner.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Alfredo Linguini, a kind of pasta.
    • Also, Skinner (named after scientist B. F. Skinner, who performed experiments on rats to study animal behaviour).
    • "Auguste Gusteau" translates into "majestic palette", and "gusto" is related to words referring to the sense of taste or appetite (IE "gustatory"). A man with a sense of taste befitting royalty? He might just make a good chef.
      • Bonus points for "Auguste Gusteau" being an anagram.
    • Ratatouille initially seems to be used merely as a double meaning title; however, it later carries significance as the meal that impresses Ego despite its "peasant dish" status.
    • "Anton Ego", the critic.
  • Mentor Ship: Linguini/Colette
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: When Rémy's dad unites the rat colony to replace the kitchen staff.
  • Missing Mom: Linguini's mother is recently dead and Rémy's is never mentioned at all.
  • Mister Exposition: Skinner's lawyer. "I know what the will stipulates!"
  • Motion Capture: Averted. In the credits there's a logo that says: "100% pure animation! No motion capture used!" It's Pixar, this is a solemn oath of the staff.
  • Monumental View: Linguini's apartment has a magnificent view of the Eiffel tower.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Horst
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Just about everything Ego says before getting an excellent meal from Rémy.
  • My Car Hates Me: Happens to the health inspector.
  • Mysterious Past: Most of the chefs.
  • The Napoleon: Skinner
  • National Stereotypes: Virtually all French stereotypes make cameos here. Almost all are affectionate, however.
    Colette: We hate to be rude... but we're French. So long!
  • Never Say "Die": Averted at least twice humorously and once evilly by Skinner.
  • Noodle Incident: Horst tells a different version of how he got arrested anytime he's asked.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Averted: Pixar assumed the name of the movie might be hard to pronounce for Americans, so all posters included a phonetic guide under the name: (rat-a-too-ee)
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • Everyone except Linguini and the rats speak in French accents, save for a German and a Jamaican chef. Given his name, Linguini is probably Italian, but speaks with no such accent.
    • And Anton Ego, voiced by the very English-sounding, and very not-trying-to-hide-his-accent, Peter O'Toole. Though Ego could be English himself.
  • Oh, Crap:
    • When Linguini is about to reveal Rémy to Colette, Rémy forces Linguini to kiss her. Colette (understandably) pulls a can of mace on him and his half-terrified (the mace), half-ecstatic (the kiss) look is an animation feat.
    • Skinner, when he realizes Linguini's soup has left the kitchen.
    • Both Skinner and the health inspector get a moment after barging in the kitchen and seeing all the rats.
  • Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: One of the chefs at Gusteau's is said to have served time in prison, but he never tells the same story about why he went to jail twice. One of his claims is that he "killed a man... with this thumb"; we never know for sure, but simply showing that thumb to Skinner is enough to scare him off.
  • On One Condition: Had Linguini not claimed the inheritance his father left him within the first two years after Gusteau's death, Skinner would have inherited the restaurant.
  • One-Word Title: Ratatouille
  • Parental Abandonment: Rémy's mother was written out of the movie, Linguini's mother had recently died and his dad was Gusteau, who had also died a few years before. Although Rémy's separation with his father is a plot point, it's not quite as sad as that other movie where a rodent is separated from his father.
  • Parental Bonus: When Linguini is trying to tell Colette that he's being controlled by Rémy, he says that he has "...a tiny, little..." causing her to glance downwards briefly.
  • People Puppets: Linguini
  • Pet the Dog: Skinner tells Linguini he's sorry to hear about his mother's passing.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Anyone can cook." Starts off as the title of Gusteau's cookbook, and other characters repeat those three words later on, as well.
  • Posthumous Character: Auguste Gusteau, in a way. While the person himself is actually dead, he is seen through TV documentaries and as a figment of Rémy's imagination/conscience.
  • Precision Swear Strike:
    • "Welcome to hell" arguably counts; granted, the point is a comparison to the place, but it's still unusually heavy language for a G-rated animated movie.
    • Ego's claim that it's impossible to find any perspective in "this bloody town" is a better example. It's actually quite jarring, especially with the way he says it.
  • Properly Paranoid: Skinner strongly suspects that Remy provides something important to Linguini's success, and of course, he's right.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Ego
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Don't. You. Dare."
  • Punny Name: The movie itself, "ratatouille" being the name of an actual dish while the first syllable is also the main character's species. The same joke was made on Fawlty Towers, decades earlier, and similarly, in Discworld II, which expanded upon the rodent-name food puns (like vole-au-vents).
  • Pursue the Dream Job: Rémy is a cooking genius and he longs to become a chef.
  • Reality Ensues: Twice, both times showing that while a couple of main characters might change their minds abut rats, most people are still revolted by them.
    • Linguini comes clean about who's been doing the cooking, and the entire kitchen staff walks out.
    • Ego is thoroughly delighted with his meal, meets the real chef, and overcomes his initial skepticism to write a glowing review of him... but the health inspector still shuts the place down for swarming with rats. This one gets a Lampshade Hanging in the narration, no less.
  • Reassignment Backfire: Skinner, trying to get Linguini kicked out of the kitchen, gives him the task of cooking a recipe that Gusteau himself said was a disaster. To his shock, Rémy quickly fixes the recipe to the point where it is so delicious that everyone else in the restaurant wants it, running the cooks ragged to keep up with orders and convincing everyone else in the kitchen that Linguini is a master chef.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Linguini discovers an unusually intelligent rat who not only knows how to cook delicious gourmet food, but even washes his hands before doing so. Instead of alerting scientists to this incredible find and possibly becoming famous for it, he just keeps it secret and lets it make food for him. One would think there'd be a sizeable niche market in "come see a rat cook haute cuisine!"
  • La Résistance: One of the chefs was in one. They didn't win.
  • Roadside Wave: Happens to Skinner after being ousted from the restaurant.
  • Rousing Speech:
    • Subverted when Linguini reveals Rémy to the rest of the kitchen and tells them that if they have faith in this rat's culinary genius, they will all have a glorious future; they all promptly quit. Also played straight because Rémy's family, moved by Linguini's speech and willingness to stand up for Rémy, decide to help out and do the cooking.
    • Inverted earlier, as Linguini tries to inspire the cooks to make a 5-star-inducing dish for the harsh food critic Anton Ego. He fails to inspire anything but confused glances and yawning. Colette ends up doing the work for him with two sentences.
  • Say My Name Trailer: It comes complete with a pronunciation guide.
  • Scenery Porn: Pixar went to a lot of trouble to capture the look and atmosphere of Paris in the autumn.
    • The early scene where Linguini nearly throws Rémy into the Seine (which takes place near Pont Notre Dame in the east bank) is beautifully rendered and lit, with a touch of light fog adding to the mood.
    • Gusteau's restaurant, curiously, is a real restaurant in France, known in real life as the Tour d'argent (Silver Tower).
    • The rat-catcher's shop is also real (down to the window display as depicted). It's also a taxidermist, thus explaining the trophies in the window.
    • Almost indistinguishable, but in the beginning when Rémy ends up on the floor of the restaurant under the counters while hiding, there are tiny bits of food on the floor with him. They went to the trouble of detailing the crumbs on the floor that hadn't been completely cleared.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    Ego: The bitter truth that we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The producers got authentic Culinary Badass Thomas Keller, acknowledged by damned near all other professional chefs to be the greatest American chef alive right now, who owns and runs several high quality restaurants (he's the only chef in America to earn a three-star rating for two separate restaurants simultaneously) and is the author of several high-caliber cook books, to show how the craft works, and used Colette's mentoring montage to show that research off. That sequences serves not only to establish verisimilitude in that story, but also to develop Colette's character and encourage the heroes' and the audience's respect for her.
    • Look closely at what Rémy does with Linguini's toilet bowl soup — not all the stuff he's tossing in his readily recognizable, but the stuff that is (dressing, cream, shallots, etc.) more or less is turning it into a tomato bisque.
    • They also actually cooked some of the recipes used in the movie themselves, so that they could accurately render how foodstuffs look and react when being prepared via various cooking techniques.
    • The ratatouille variant that Rémy prepares for Ego at the end was invented for the film; Chef Keller was asked what he would do if a critic like Ego were to suddenly enter his restaurant and, in a moment of inspiration, created the dish.
    • If one looks closely, one can see that the chefs have small burn scars on the underside of their forearms.
    • And speaking of burns, why does Larousse have a torch? It's not just because he's a pyro; that's a pastry torch, used to melt sugar for crème brûlée and certain other dishes.
    • One of the animators jumped into a pool wearing a chef's uniform, so they could accurately render what such a uniform would look like soaking wet.
    • When Skinner gets Linguini drunk, special attention is paid to how both hold their wine glasses: Linguini, who doesn't drink much, incorrectly holds the glass by its bowl; Skinner holds it by the stem, which is considered correct, as heat from the hand won't transfer to the wine and warm it too much.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Look carefully, and you'll spot Bomb Voyage from The Incredibles on a street corner. Here, he's not so villainous: just a regular old French mime.
    • When Colette is introducing the other chefs she mentions one of them (the pyro) was a member of a failed Résistance (although he won't say which war) — cue the La Résistance music from Medal of Honor, which shares a composer with this film.
    • Possibly Colette herself: her last name is "Tautou", like the actress of Amélie. And Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, mostly known by her family name, is a famous French author.
    • The Health Inspector looks a little like Inspector Clouseau.
    • Ego's Flash Back is very similar to the famous madeleine scene from Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu.
    • The first thing Skinner says to Linguini on his first day as an official chef is "Welcome to hell."
    • The scene with the various Gusteau cutouts. One of them sounds like a certain rooster. Another, a cartoon of a literal corn-dog, talks like Scooby-Doo.
    • Not to mention that some of the loop group of Paris worked on this film. (Cue the end credits)
    • Émile also looks and acts a lot like Gus.
    • During the scene where the clan helps Rémy cook, he orders a steak really tenderized. The brawniest rat in the clan punches the steak repeatedly.
    Rémy: Stick and move!
    • When the old woman first attempts to fire her shotgun, an umbrella opens out of the end, quite reminiscent of a scene in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    • The proposed designs for Gusteau's line of foods, featuring the chef dressed in various regional costumes, is quite similar to the packaging of "Newman's Own" brand salsas and sauces.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: An odd variation — Rémy shuts Linguine up by "puppeteering" him into kissing Colette.
  • Significant Anagram / Repetitive Name: "Auguste" and "Gusteau" are anagrams of each other.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Rémy briefly witnesses a particularly extreme (though plot-irrelevant) one — the woman is pointing a gun at the man and threatening to shoot him. Rémy keeps running, but after a shot is fired into the ceiling near him, he does a Double Take and runs back — they're now kissing.
  • Slow Motion Drop: When Anton Ego drops his pen after one taste of Rémy's ratatouille.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Colette is very much aware that she is the only female chef in the restaurant and is a definite minority in the profession in general. She was forced to claw her way up and as a result feels that she has to be tough and defensive to succeed in a career she worked so hard for.
  • Soap Within a Show: A bizarre French soap opera appears on Linguini's TV
  • Sore Loser: Skinner
  • The Speechless: Rémy, a rat, is unable to communicate with Linguini, a human, throughout the whole film. The only time he speaks is to members of his own kind and to the audience (we can assume that this is Translation Convention at work), though technically the whole movie is him recounting how he got to where he is to a group of rats.
  • Spirit Advisor: Rémy, desperate to talk to someone, imagines up Auguste Gusteau. Rémy is fully aware that Gusteau is a figment of his imagination and he disappears when Rémy realizes he can rely on his own judgment. This is actually played with, for the most part it does seems like his imagination. But as the film goes on Gusteau starts to feel more like his own entity than Rémy's considering his reactions. Even Rémy starts to wonder when Gusteau departs his final words of wisdom on him. So it's more or less leave the audience to decide if it's really coming from Rémy's mind or Gusteau's actual ghost helping him.
  • Spit Take: Subverted. Ego starts one when he hears that Gusteau's is "popular" again, but pauses to check the label and decides his wine is too good to waste in such a fashion. Parental Bonus moment: That's a real wine, and far too good to spit out like that.
  • Squirrels in My Pants: Linguini's first attempt to carry Rémy around in the kitchen results in the rat slipping in his uniform and the boy drawing lots of attention with his gyrations. It gets worse when Linguini starts slapping Rémy inside his clothes in frustration, and the latter retaliate by biting.
  • Start My Own: After they lose Gusteau's restaurant thanks to a health inspector finding out about the rats. Rémy, Linguini, and Colette start up their own restaurant, a small bistro with Ego as a main investor and Rémy's clan both helping out in the kitchen as well as being served alongside humans. It turns out to be a huge success.
  • Stick Em Up: Sous-chef Horst says that he "once robbed the second biggest bank in France using only a ball-point pen." Of course, as Colette notes, he changes stories every time he's asked.
  • Straw Critic: Subverted. Ego is extremely hard to please, but his high standards are sincere, and when confronted with true culinary genius he recognizes and supports it, even when doing so jeopardizes his career.
  • Suddenly S Houting: Colette when tutoring Linguini.
    Colette: "Every second counts, and YOU CANNOT BE MOMMY!"
    Colette: "Keep your station clear, or I WILL KILL YOU!"
  • Take That: Some have seen Skinner's use of Gusteau's imagery as just a wee bit of a dig by Pixar at their distributor. A derivative, uncreative sellout plastering the image of a beloved, deceased innovator all over his less-inspired creations and a whole slew of cheap, worthless products; ring any bells? note 
  • Take That, Critics!: Some people have taken Ego's review to be an attack on the incredible willingness of critics to tear things apart for no good reason. Though film critics appreciated the fact this film shows it to be a more complex affair and that Anton Ego is ultimately very sincere about his high standards and will go out of his way to back a true genius.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Rémy starts throwing things around in the restaurant backyard after Linguini spurns him. It doesn't go very far since he's rather small, but he manages to break a wine bottle.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Colette is a Technician, and Rémy (controlling Linguini) is all Performer, and they both need to balance their game.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Who uses a shotgun against rats?
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Poor Rémy never really finishes any meal he makes, notably the "lightningy-cheese-mushroom-saffron" recipe from the beginning of the film, or when Linguini snatches him away from his omelette while rushing for work. Lampshaded and finally averted when Linguini (after being bitten a dozen times) notices how hungry his new friend is and gives him a piece of cheese.
  • This Is My Story: The movie starts with Rémy crashing through a window. The action is paused and he starts narrating with the following line.
    Rémy:This is me. I think it's apparent I need to rethink my life a little bit. What's my problem? First of all, I'm a rat, which means life is hard. And second, I have a highly developed sense of taste and smell.
  • Title Drop:
    • The eponymous dish has great significance in the movie's climax and the bistro that Rémy, Linguini, and Colette set up in the film's end is named "La Ratatouille."
    • However, this trope is also parodied when earlier Linguini brings up the subject of "ratatouille" for no other reason besides being drunk.
      Linguini: Ratatouille. It's like a stew, right? Why do they call it that? If you're gonna name a food, you should give it a name that sounds delicious. Ratatouille doesn't sound delicious. It sounds like "rat" and "patootie". Rat patootie! Which does not sound delicious.
  • Training Montage: Rémy and Linguini practicing their puppetry in Linguini's apartment, and Colette teaching Linguini how to work in a professional kitchen.
  • Translation Convention: We can hear the rats speaking English, but it's shown that the old lady at the start of the film (and presumably all the other humans) hears nothing but squeaks. And for that matter, all the humans in France speak English too.
  • True Companions:
  • Truth in Television: The rants Colette gives to Linguini regarding what it takes to be an effective and successful chef could have come, word for word, from any chef in the world who has ever had to take a brand new cook in hand and change him from a kitchen-halting speedbump into a frictionless part of the kitchen machine. And given the participation of Chef Thomas Keller in this movie, they most likely did. Yes, Chefs are really that strict in restaurants, considering you have to be on the constant move to get orders done and make sure customers are happy with it as well. High-class restaurants even moreso.
  • Tsundere: Colette
  • Viewers Are Morons:
    • American viewers, specifically. All the French text in the film was changed to English for American audiences, although it was kept as French for the British release. Although since the most popularly taught second language in the UK is French (also the country's closest neighbour) as opposed to the USA's Spanish, it kind of makes sense that the creators would presume more UK viewers wouldn't need the text translating for them.
    • Gusteau's is called a five-star restaurant, rather than having to explain that for élite restaurants (e.g. Michelin Guide) the highest rating is three stars (almost all restaurants would get zero stars). The filmmakers did not have the rights to use the Michelin guide, so they had to use their own rating system instead.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Anton Ego fits this trope to a T. He seems less interested in doing his job and more interested in acting on some bizarre vendetta against Gusteau's.
  • Visual Pun: Skinner's humiliating ousting from the restaurant and subsequent creepy determination to prove that a rat is involved somehow ends up driving him in Seine.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Linguini does this out a window after a brief taste of his own soup... before Rémy fixes it.
  • Welcome to Hell: "Now, recreate the soup."
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rémy, who is never quite understood by his father, but despite this, wants to be appreciated by him.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Lampshaded. Rémy's major struggle is the fact that humans think rats are gross; the movie shows them as just mischievous and self-interested at worst.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Rémy has to fight for his respect as a chef, through Linguini at least.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Linguini is furious when he catches Rémy helping his clan to steal food from the restaurant fridge.
  • When Elders Attack: A crazy old woman tries to shoot the rats with a shotgun, but completely and utterly fails.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When Rémy and Émile are cooking something on the TV antennae over chimney smoke, they are struck by lightning and their skeletons show.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Anton gave Gusteau's a great review... but since the rats tied up the health inspector — they had to release him — the restaurant got closed. But don't worry, Rémy soon gets his own restaurant.
  • You Dirty Rat:
    • Averted. Literally and metaphorically since Rémy's seen washing his hands, and even uses a Dish washer to wash loads of them when he asks for their help in cooking meals in the kitchen.
    • Played with when Skinner catches Linguini cooking he begins to call him something like "You dirty—," then notices Rémy and screams "RAT!"

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