These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Applicability: Known as "The Fountainhead With Cooking In Place Of Architecture" in Objectivist circles, due to its protagonist longing to use his talent not for altruistic purposes like checking food for poison but "to make things, to add something to this world," his mentor who was a genius in his field and once considered the best but eventually fell from grace due to his unorthodox methods, its villain being an evil critic who likes to write trolling reviews For the Evulz, and its message that "not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."
If you look at the translated lyrics, you'll see that the song is basically a theme for Remy and the film; the tale of a thief who hates stealing while feeling that there wasn't a choice in the matter. Later on, the thief achieves and a new start in life through his passion and determination to break free.
Designated Villain: Anton Ego is like this, with his coffin-shaped room and menacing demeanor, despite only being a food critic. Subverted when he tastes the ratatouille and realizes he loves it, breaking his apparent intimidating facade. By the end, he's good friends with the main characters.
No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.
It's actually a very well-known concept in France, used in common speak through the expression "C'est ma madeleine de Proust" (it's my madeleine of Proust).
The reference to chef Boyardee is surprisingly significant,he was also a well-known and successful chef that was reduced to a face on prepared foods after his death.
The rat-catcher's shop, which is a Real Life store in Paris.
Whenever the rats appear in large groups. First there's the scene where the old lady shoots down her ceiling, revealing that ALL the rats have been living IN HER ROOF. Then there's the bit near the end where a swarm of rats chase the health inspector, swarm over his car (with him inside), interfere with the car's mechanics, and eventually bring him back, bound and gagged, to the kitchen, where they lock him in the freezer for who knows how long!
Periphery Demographic: The Onion AV Club noted that that this movie has a cult following amongst artists of all media, because it is one of the best at capturing the joy of creation. It is especially popular among culinary professionals.
Shout Out: 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?
Squick: Collette's reaction to seeing the rats working in the kitchen, but the audience knows that they went for a thorough cleaning in the dishwasher before starting.
Tear Jerker: Anton Ego's food-induced flashback. Some laugh, some weep.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Pixar's films are usually smart enough to entertain adults, but this is the first that honestly feels like it was made specifically for adults. It wasn't, but still.