- Accidental Innuendo:
Ego: If I don't love it, I don't swallow!
- Depending on how coarse your mind is, Remy face and body language as he's forcing Linguini's "Shut Up" Kiss onto Colette looks a little bit like he's, er... "climaxing."
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: As crazy as it seems (to American viewers at least), the pest control shop with all the dead rats hanging in the window is an actual store in Paris. It's called Aurouze, and it's been around since 1872.
- 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 Designated Villain being a critic who seemingly likes to write trolling reviews For the Evulz. It's ultimately the same critic's very high standards that leads to the film's Central Theme that "not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere." He then redeems himself by becoming a small business investor.
- Audience-Alienating Premise: Who knew that a rat controlling a human so he could cook would be such a hit?
- Awesome Music:
- Michael Giachino's whips up another jazzy and insufferably catchy score for a Brad Bird film. The scene of Remy imagines delicious combinations being represented by two different kinds of music fusing is one of the best visualizations in the whole film, and of food in general. And the cue for Colette's Training Montage re-arranged as a bombastic mambo number for the credits just takes the cake.
- There's also a number of spontaneous slap-bass guitar riffs hidden throughout which are just the cherry on top.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The scene with the arguing couple where the woman attempts to shoot the man before they launch into passionate kisses. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
- Broken Base: Ratatouille, while one of Pixar's consistent hits, is seen by some as a bit dull compared to its other movies (not counting its less well-reviewed movies such as both Cars installments).
- Crowning Music of Awesome: "Le Festin".
- 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.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Horst. Guess why. That, or his THUMB OF DOOOOOOM!
- Genius Bonus:
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.
- Anton's food-induced Flashback hails from Marcel Proust's concept of "involuntary memory". Quoth In Search of Lost Time:
- 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.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Considering the film is set in France, it shouldn't be a surprise that it was a smash hit there.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Colette's angry monologue about how much she had to fight tooth and nail to be the only female cook at Gusteau's becomes a little awkward after Pixar faced serious criticism over its lack of female leads in its movies, even moreso with female staff members of this and other animation studios claiming it resulted from a lack of projects headed by women.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The scene where Remy practices puppeteering Linguini, specifically the clip where the camera focuses on Linguini's right hand as he reaches for a tomato and ends up knocking over a wine glass, can remind some watchers of their experiences playing Surgeon Simulator 2013.
- I Am Not Shazam: The film's title comes from a dish featured in the movie's climax (and the obvious pun on "rat"), not from any of the characters.
- Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: It also liberally uses plenty of French stereotypes.
Listen, we hate to be rude, but we're French!
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The rat-catcher's shop, which is a Real Life store in Paris.
- Linguini's nightmare.
- 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 pantry for who knows how long (They eventually release him).
- Seeing a swarm of rats chasing after him is clearly Nightmare Fuel for the health inspector. His failed escape attempt plays like something from a horror movie, running for his car, not being able to start, then being rushed by a swarm of rats.
- 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.
- 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.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: With the exception of Horst using his deadly thumb off-screen, most we ever learn about the kitchen staff is what Colette briefly tells Linguini during the training montage. And what she tells him is fascinating!
- Tear Jerker: Anton Ego's food-induced flashback. Some laugh, some weep.
- Unfortunate Implications: The river boats and the manouche jazz that plays during the party scene draw clear parallels between the rats and the Romani people. (Some early concept drawings make this even more obvious, showing rats with headscarves and earrings.) Considering that Romani have been treated as thieving vermin themselves for much of their history, it's not a great connection to be making, even if the rats are portrayed sympathetically.
- 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.
- Woolseyism: The title of the movie. In the Spanish dub, it would have the same title: "Ratatouille". However, rat in Spanish is "rata", and it's pronounced exactly the same as in the word "Ratatouille", so the pun is more subtle.
- Demonic Spiders: The bubble-wrapped shrimps are extremely fast and can rapidly change directions on the move, making it exceedingly hard to defeat them without taking some damage first.
- Good Bad Bugs: In both restaurant levels, it’s possible to jump right into the soup pan that houses the strangely-hostile lobsters. The results are pretty hilarious.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? – The dream sequences certainly give off that vibe, as you travel through the worlds of dancing bakery, cheese, vegetables, fruit cocktails and even a world of dishwashing at a couple points. There are floating bits of fruit/bread/etc. as platforms, soft cheese acting as trampolines in the related level and even a shark-fin-like knife blade swimming in the world of dishwashing.