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Western Animation / Ratatouille

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"What I say is true — anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great."
"Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."
Anton Ego

The eighth computer animated film by Pixar, Ratatouille (2007) is about a rat named Rémy (Patton Oswalt) who has a highly developed sense of taste and smell. Dissatisfied with eating garbage like the rest of his family, he yearns 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 (Brad Garrett), by making a deal with the restaurant's garbage boy, Linguini (Lou Romano), 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.

Played in theaters with Pixar short Lifted. The movie has a follow-up short titled Your Friend the Rat released the same year. If you're interested in the tie-in game, go to this page. The Ratatouille characters also have a series of levels in the Kinect Rush: a Disney-Pixar Adventure, and Rémy appears in Kingdom Hearts III as a supporting character who puppets Sora into preparing his delicious recipes the same way he does it to Linguini in the movie. There also exists a ride at the Disney Theme Parks based on this movie known as "Rémy's Ratatouille Adventure", opening at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris in 2014 and at Epcot in Florida in 2021.

Anyone can trope:

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    Tropes A to G 
  • Aborted Declaration of Love: When Colette's about to leave, incensed that Linguini has seemingly thrown her aside after winning over Skinner, Linguini attempts to get her to stay: "I would have followed your advice to the ends of the Earth because I love you...r advice." Thanks to Remy, he gets to confess his feelings with a Big Damn Kiss a minute later.
  • Accentuate the Negative: Deconstructed in the most pleasant way ever. Ego's review 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.
  • An Aesop: Gusteau's cookbook establishes the Arc Words of "Anyone can cook" and, while true in a basic sense, the movie tempers that blanket statement with some realistic caveats. "Ghost Gusteau" reminds us that "anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great" and Rémy cautions that "anyone can. That doesn't mean anyone should." But ultimately Ego sums up the true Aesop of the movie with "Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere."
  • Amazon Chaser: Linguini has this for Colette. She threatens him with several knives to make it clear she doesn't play around and he better listen to everything she says during his apprenticeship. After she pulls the knives out of his sleeve, he says, "Wow" with an amazed tone.
  • Ambiguous Criminal History: Horst the sous-chef has done time, but nobody knows what for because he changes the story every time. He's claimed to have robbed the second-largest bank in France using only a ballpoint pen and killed a man with his thumb, among many other things.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Considering the technology and vehicles, it would be easy to assume that Ratatouille is set in the 1950s-60s; however Gusteau's will is dated to 2004. This does corroborate with Ego's quick childhood flashback, as this was not how the world looked like, clothing and decorating-wise, in the 1910s-20s.
  • Amoral Attorney: Talon Labarthe, 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 and cook up gourmet meals for a restaurant full of diners on par with a team of professional chefs. If Rémy is any indication then they can also learn how to read fluently.
  • Amusing Injuries: As Mustafa bursts back into the kitchen to let everyone know that Linguini's dish is a great success, he rams the door right into Skinner's face.
  • Anchovies Are Abhorrent: When Gusteau was alive, he liked experimenting with recipes, but his sweetbread dish with anchovy licorice sauce was a complete disaster. Remy revises the dish without the anchovy sauce and it becomes a success.
  • 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.
  • Angry Chef:
    • Colette is a fierce, tough woman striving to make it in a traditionally male dominated industry and the only woman in the kitchen staff. When saddled with teaching Naïve Newcomer Linguini, she warns him that being a restaurant cook is not like "playing in the kitchen with mommy"; she does eventually soften as they get to know each other and sees that he actually follows her advice, complete with taking notes.
    • Skinner, the current head chef at Gusteau's. He is arrogant, ill-tempered, and diminutive, ruling the kitchen with an iron fist. When he catches Linguini adding ingredients to a soup, he threatens to draw and quarter him.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Generally, male rats have huge testicles. For obvious reasons this is completely omitted from the character design of Rémy and his family.
  • Anti-Interference Lock Up: The rats cooking in the kitchen chase after the health inspector and Chef Skinner and toss them Bound and Gagged into the food storage room, so that the restaurant won't be forcibly closed right in the middle of Anton Ego's visit. The rats have to let their captives go afterwards, and the restaurant is shut down.
  • Armed with Pepper Spray: Colette is holding up a can of pepper spray during her Accidental Kiss with Linguini, which she puts down when they both realize they like it.
  • Artistic License – Awards: French cuisine has traditionally been rated by the Michelin Guide. Although the film says Gusteau's was a five star restaurant and lost two stars, the Michelin rating system actually only goes to three. The stars are meant to highlight truly outstanding restaurants as most listed in the guide are fine, respectable establishments but don't have any stars. A restaurant receiving even a single star is considered to be a shining example of haute cuisine.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Rémy gags when he catches a whiff of the soup Linguini has clumsily doctored. Rats are physically incapable of vomiting. Rule of Funny applies, of course, as it shows just how bad Linguini's cooking is.
    • Onions and scallions can cause anemia when ingested by rats so despite Rémy taste-testing many of the dishes he prepared, license is taken that he never ingests enough to trigger a toxic reaction.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Skinner has one when talking to Linguini about the soup he thinks Linguini concocted.
    Skinner: They think you might be a cook, but do you know what I think, Linguini? I think you are a sneaky, over-reaching little— [spots Rémy trying to escape out the window and gasps] RAT!!
  • 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 stipulates!"
  • Author Filibuster: Ego's speech at the end.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Using a shotgun to kill rats. You will make it pretty clear that they should Never Mess with Granny 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. By the time Mabel has a clear shot of Émile, she's out of cartridges; after she reloads and fires again, the ceiling collapses from all the holes she's blown in it.
  • 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 Brother Instinct: Rémy realizes Émile is about to get caught in a trap set by Skinner, and saves him, causing himself to be caught in the trap. Émile immediately rushes off to get Django to set Rémy free.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: At Rémy's urging, Linguini plants a kiss on Colette to stop him from revealing his secret. Cue Relationship Upgrade.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Skinner when he realizes the soup he thinks Linguini cooked is leaving the kitchen.
    • Skinner after Talon gives him a valid confirmation that Linguini is Gusteau's son. He says it six times first, increasing in volume each time, before culminating in the Big "NO!" that ends the line.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Rémy does this to the Gusteau cut-outs in Skinner's office while trying to get the key to the food storage room.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Rémy manages to impress Ego with a simple ratatouille and, while surprised he is a rat, writes an honest review giving him full credit and praise, without revealing his identity. However, Skinner and the health inspector had to be let out resulting in Gusteau's restaurant getting shut down. Ego loses his job and credibility, but invests in the bistro Linguini and Colette set up that becomes quite successful. Rémy is part of the staff along with Linguini and Colette, and continues in his role as a chef. It's implied Colette becomes the head chef, what with her happily ordering Rémy back to the kitchen after he finishes narrating the movie. What's more, the new restaurant has dining quarters that keep rat patrons and Rémy out of sight.
  • Blessed with Suck: Rémy is gifted with an acute sense of smell and taste as well as an active curiosity towards humanity's ability to create. This leads him to want to become a cook. Unfortunately, he's a rat and his Extreme Omnivore family thinks he's just being unnecessarily picky and most people just see him as a dirty, filthy rodent that should never be allowed in a proper kitchen.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Rémy admits that he and his dad have different viewpoints on the food they take from humans and he can understand Django's perspective. Django says that taking garbage is better than risking their lives in the kitchen. His reasoning is that humans throw out garbage rather than protect it personally, and they don't have a chance to be picky what with the world wanting to kill them. He shows Rémy a ratcatcher shop where rodent bodies are mounted in the window, saying that it's why rats need to keep a low profile. Rémy believes, on the other hand, that it's stealing because humans often make things rather than take them, and he wants to earn his way to a good meal rather than stay a scrounger. He tells his dad that what they put into their bodies and minds has an impact and they have a choice to do better. What's more, the only way to move past being a body display for a ratcatcher is to fight for change, and be willing to risk your life for it. They come to a compromise at the end; Django sees Linguini standing up for Rémy and realizes that not all humans are bad, agreeing to help his son in the kitchen. Rémy in turn admits that his dad may have been right when a rat infestation gets Gusteau's closed, that sometimes having a low profile is pragmatic. The rats at the new Ratatouille restaurant are proper patrons, paying for their food, but staying hidden from the human populace. Django also admits he's proud of Rémy for sticking to his guns.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played with. Mabel fires at least 10-12 shells from a pump shotgun whose magazine tube is nowhere near long enough to hold them all, but she does eventually have to stop and reload.
  • 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.
  • Brain with a Manual Control: A variation. Rémy gains absurdly precise control over Linguini's body by sitting on top of his head under his chef's hat and pulling his hair. Don't think about it too hard, because that's all the explanation you're going to get.
  • Brandishment Bluff: Horst excels at this. He says that he "held up the second biggest bank in France using only a ball-point pen" and "I killed a man. With this thumb". Horst later catches his former boss spying on them and invokes a silent threat by showing him the thumb.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Between Rémy and Linguini. Upset that Linguini rejected his cooking advice in favor of Colette's, Rémy allows his family to raid the food storage area. When Linguini discovers this, he orders Rémy to leave and not come back. However, Linguini cracks under the pressure of not being able to cook without him leading to a reconciliation.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When Ego makes his visit to inform Linguini about his upcoming review, he taunts him by saying he is "slow for someone in the fast lane". Linguini's response is to call Ego "thin for someone who likes food", prompting a collective gasp from everyone present. Ego actually needs a minute to respond, stunned that Linguini was that brave.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Linguini, tired of the hair-ionette treatment, tells Rémy: "I'm not your puppet! And you're not my puppet... controlling... guy!"
    • "Appetite is coming and he's going to have a big ego! I mean Ego! The critic! He's coming! And he's going to order!... Something... from our menu! And we're going to have to cook it! ...Unless he orders something cold!"
    • "And don't forget to stress its Linguini-ness."
    • And a mushroom zapped by lightning creates a taste that's "lightningy".
    • "[Linguini]'s toying with my mind like a cat with a ball of... something!"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The kitchen staff overlooks Linguini's incredibly odd behavior while cooking because of his "culinary genius".
  • Call-Back: 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.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Patton Oswalt (Remy) regularly discusses food in his standup. In one set, he discussed being miserable at a Hollywood after-party because he was on a diet and thus unable to eat the food at the buffet. Feeling miserable, he runs into Brian Dennehy (whom he met earlier at the party), his plate piled high with food, who then gleefully says to him, "Character actors! Who gives a fuck if we're fat?!" Which Oswalt stated lifted his feelings and allowed him to enjoy the buffet. Guess who plays Remy's dad.
    • Ian Holm, the voice of Skinner, had previously played the proprietor of a restaurant that was popular and profitable by serving mundane dishes instead of haute cuisine, in the film Big Night.
  • Caustic Critic: Anton Ego, and he lampshades the hell out of it in his final review.
  • The Cavalry: Rémy's family arriving to run 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 Army: Rémy's family arriving to help keep the kitchen running.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Linguini's letter to Skinner from his mother, the DNA test, and Gusteau's will. Put together, these stipulate that Linguini is the true owner of Gusteau's as Linguini is Gusteau's son, and when Rémy brings these to Linguini later, Skinner is fired and Linguini becomes the owner of Gusteau's.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The health inspector, whose presence is ironically foreshadowed by Skinner:
    Skinner: Do you know what would happen if anyone knew we had a rat in our kitchen? They'd close us down. Our reputation is hanging by a thread as it is. Take it away from here. Far away. Kill it. Dispose of it. Go!
  • Chekhov's Skill: Linguini uses his rollerskating skills to become an incredibly fast waiter.
  • Chubby Chef: Gusteau and Pompidou.
  • Comfort Food: Rémy serves Ego ratatouille... which flashes him back to a time his mother made it for him when he was having a bad day. It was so good that it causes Ego to realize that when Gusteau said "anyone can cook" he meant "Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere". Even a lowly rat.
  • Company Cross References: A couple to The Incredibles:
    • When Linguini considers sneaking Rémy into the kitchen in his trousers, we get a brief glimpse of his boxers which have the Incredibles logo imprinted on them.
    • During the Good-Times Montage, Linguini and Colette skate past a mime who heavily resembles Bomb Voyage.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back:
    • Once Linguini realizes Rémy can understand him and even help him keep his job, he says "Okay, I'm going let you out now. But we're together on this. Right?" When Rémy nods his head in agreement, Linguini releases him from the jar only for Rémy to immediately flee into the night. As he runs away, he turns to see Linguini wet, forlorn and defeated, Rémy has a change of heart and returns.
    • After Linguini reveals Rémy to his staff, all of them abandon him. However, after remembering Gusteau's motto of "Anyone can cook", Colette returns to help them.
  • Cooked to Death: Subverted when Remy gets accidentally put in the oven but he escapes in time.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Chef Gusteau is a celebrated and successful cook but he encourages experimentation even when you fail. One of his recipes veers into this trope as he once came up with a sweetbread dish that everyone agrees was a disaster.
    Colette: Sweetbread a la Gusteau: Sweetbread put in a seaweed salt crust...with cuttlefish tentacle, dog rose puree, geoduck egg, dried white fungus? Anchovy licorice sauce.
  • Crashing Dreams: Linguini has an anxiety-fueled dream where he's a waiter serving Anton Ego, who announces that he wants Linguini's heart "roasted on a spit" to eat. An extremely loud heart-beat sound begins playing as Linguini reacts in horror and Ego cackles evilly... which then fades into Colette knocking on the door, startling him awake.
  • Creator Cameo: Thomas Keller, one of the culinary consultants for the movie (who designed the version of ratatouille used in the film) appears as the blond American guest who asks the waiter if the chef of Gusteau's had something new.
  • Casting Gag: In a standup routine before this movie was made, Patton Oswalt described meeting and having a conversation with Brian Dennehy, who encouraged him to continue acting at a movie premiere after party. Oswalt also spoke of how miserable he was that night because he was on a diet and unwilling at first to partake in any of the food. That said, his resistance eventually breaks down and he begins shoveling food in his mouth (very much unlike his character in the film) and feeling terrible about himself when all of a sudden, Brian Dennehy, as if he had seen Oswalt looking miserable, joins him and exclaims loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, "CHARACTER ACTORS! Who gives a fuck if we're fat?!" As he proceeds to join Oswalt in chowing down on the food. Dennehy plays Django, Rémy's father.
  • 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.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • As Rémy is biting Linguini you can catch the latter saying "Son of a—".
    • During the car breakout scene you can hear Rémy saying "What the—."
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Skinner berates Linguini when he messes with a soup which leaves the kitchen without the head chef's approval and ends up being served to a food critic:
    Skinner: You are cooking? How dare you cook in my kitchen! Where do you get the gall to even attempt something so monumentally idiotic? I should have you drawn and quartered! I'll do it! I think the law is on my side! Larousse, draw and quarter this man — after you put him in the duck press to squeeze the fat out of his head!
  • Daddy DNA Test: Skinner is desperate to know if Linguini is actually Gusteau's son. Skinner's lawyer obtains a hair from Gusteau's old toque and Skinner provides some hair from Linguini which confirms him as a legitimate heir.
  • The Dead Rise to Advertise: In-Universe. Chef Skinner uses the late Gusteau's image to sell many frozen foods, just changing his outfit to match whatever stereotype fits the food he is selling.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Anton Ego's primary mode of communication is an aloof, condescending snark.
      Anton Ego: [about Gusteau's] 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 when he's able to talk, spreads a good share of snark.
  • Death by Despair: Gusteau died of broken heart after Ego's review causes his restaurant to lose one of its stars. Gusteau's death caused the loss of another star as per tradition.
  • 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. It helps that there's an element of Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy thrown in.
    • Anton Ego by the film's end. His defrosting is much more abrupt and dramatic, but he's undeniably a much happier and friendlier person afterwards.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Linguini has a tendency to make impulsive decisions without thinking of the potential consequences:
    • When he accidentally knocks the soup over on his first day as a cleaner, Linguini's first instinct is attempting to fix the soup — even though he doesn't know how to cook — by watering the pot down and haphazardly filling it with random ingredients. The resulting soup tastes horrible, and had Rémy not fixed it, Linguini likely would have been fired for food tampering.
    • After their Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure, Linguini throws Rémy out of the restaurant, even though he can't cook by himself. Naturally, this lands him in trouble the following day, as he's unable to cook anything until Rémy comes back.
  • Diegetic Switch: "Le Festin" playing over the finale. As the camera pans over the line outside the new restaurant, you can see a woman singing the song to her boyfriend.
  • Disappeared Dad: Gusteau himself was this to Linguini. Justified in that Gusteau never knew he was a father in the first place, and only Renata, Linguini's mother, was aware that Linguini was in fact Gusteau's son.
  • 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.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: When Rémy is working as a "poison-sniffer" at the beginning of the movie, he repeatedly proclaims each piece of food as "clean" until he gets bored and starts with variations like "cleanerific", "cleanerino" and finally:
    Rémy: [After sniffing] Close to godliness.
    [Other rat looks puzzled]
    Rémy: ...which means "clean". You know, "cleanliness is close to..." [Beat; looks at the other rat again and stops] Never mind. Move on.
  • The Door Slams You: As Mustafa bursts back into the kitchen to let everyone know that Linguini's dish is a great success, he rams the door right into Skinner's face.
  • 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 her actions were consistent with the way we see Skinner treat his kitchen staff, it's unlikely he would get away with doing the same to her.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: When Rémy and Émile are discovered by Mabel early in the film, she goes for the most extreme form of pest control available: a pump action shotgun. She shoots the rats several times but misses, and when Émile is helplessly dangling from the ceiling lamp, she gets a clear shot as he cowers. She pulls the trigger, and nothing happens. While she reloads, they make their escape.
  • Dramatic Drop: Ego drops his pen when he first tastes Rémy's ratatouille.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Colette often mentions that she has to fight tooth and nail to gain respect as a chef, which is why she gets irritated about Linguini supposedly surpassing her. Once she gets over finding out that it was Rémy actually doing the cooking, she and Rémy start working together as a team. When Skinner and the health inspector closedown Gusteau's; Linguini and Colette open a new restaurant and she becomes the head chef and boss in the kitchen as evidenced by her calling Rémy back to work.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Rémy discovers that he's found his way to Paris when he climbs onto the rooftops and sees the Eiffel Tower. It's visible from Linguini's apartment and the final shot of the movie is of the sign for the La Ratatouille bistro with the Tower in the background.
  • Epilogue Letter: Anton Ego narrating his glowing review in the final scene.
  • Escape Convenient Boat: Happens twice to Rémy, first when fleeing Mabel and her shotgun, he is able to use the cookbook he's carrying as a makeshift boat to escape into the water and (almost) catch up with his family. Second, when fleeing Skinner, he is able to escape by jumping from boat to boat on the Seine until Skinner's pursuit is ended when he fails a jump.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Talon, Skinner's lawyer, knows full well of and seems to support Skinner's frozen foods sold in Gusteau's name. He also advises him to wait for the deadline of the will to pass and then fire Linguini. But even he seems to be unnerved of his client's conspiracy rant, especially when he keeps talking about the rat. He seems to think Skinner was starting to go insane, wondering out loud if he should be concerned about him.
  • Evil Laugh: Ego in Linguini's nightmare. He does this as we zoom in on Linguini's terrified face, and then suddenly yells as it echoes out when Colette comes to in his office.
  • Expressive Ears: Even though his behaviors and mannerisms are slowly becoming more human, Rémy has this in spades.
  • Eye Cam: Rémy finds Linguini asleep on the floor after he spent the night cleaning up the restaurant. Rémy tries to wake him by crawling on his head and pulling his eyelid up. We cut to Linguini's eye-frame POV showing Rémy waving at him as it slowly closes and Linguini falls back to sleep.
  • Eye Recall: Ego has a vivid recollection of his loving mother triggered by his first taste of Rémy's dish... the same one she made to comfort him when he scraped his knees as a child.
  • Face Palm:
    • Rémy facepaws a few times, mostly around Émile.
    • Colette while Ego is observing the kitchen in Gusteau's after his meal.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Django is this to Rémy, because he thinks humans are dangerous and that there would be no way that his son could realistically live out his dreams. He comes round near the end because he's impressed by Rémy's determination and Linguini's courage.
  • Fat and Skinny: Émile is the Fat to Rémy's Skinny.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Inverted with Colette. Although her appearance is rather tom-boyish, she is a professional chef in a French haute cuisine restaurant. This is because it's very difficult career for a woman due to the sexism ingrained in the system and her drive to succeed causes her to focus more on her skill and ability than her appearance.
  • Finger-Tenting: Acerbic food critic Anton Ego steeples his fingers while relishing the fact that his bad review cost Chef Gusteau's restaurant one of its stars.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Ego demands his assistant "spit it out" — then does a Spit Take when the assistant does.
  • 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. On the other hand, Linguini is attractive and, well, human, making him a great maitre d'. Rémy is a blue rat, and it's best he remains hidden and in the kitchen, not interacting with the public.
  • Food Porn: Pixar took extra care to make sure the food was delicious-looking.
  • Forceful Kiss: Remy pushes Linguini into suddenly kissing Colette, almost leading her to pepper spray him. Fortunately, it works out.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As Rémy is running through walls, he passes an arguing couple with the woman holding the man at gunpoint. The gun goes off near Rémy, who runs back to investigate. The man forces the gun from the woman's hand and they start kissing. Colette and Linguini initially start off like this, with Linguini intimidated by Colette, and Rémy creates a similar situation between them, as Linguini falls on Colette, kissing her as she pulls a mace spray on him.
    • Linguini gets Distracted by the Sexy on his first night in Gusteau's when Colette passes by him. The two end up falling in love later in the film.
    • Skinner says after Linguini traps Rémy in a jar that of anyone found out the restaurant had a rat in the kitchen, they would be shut down. Sure enough, when word does get out at the end that Gusteau's had the rat colony in it, the restaurant is closed down.
    • Linguini mentions ratatouille while drunk in the scene with Skinner. At the end, when Ego comes to Gusteau's again, Rémy cooks the dish for him. It also forms the name of the bistro in the final scene.
    • During the dream sequence involving Ego, Linguini asks what he would like and is dressed as a waiter, not a chef. During the climax, Linguini takes on the role of waiter while Colette and Rémy prepare Ego's meal.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Rémy got left behind at the beginning because he went back to get the Gusteau cookbook.
    • Rémy ended up in Gusteau's kitchen because Linguini was Distracted by the Sexy when Colette passed him and knocked the pot off the stove causing Rémy to become incensed at Linguini's attempt to "fix" the soup.
    • Rémy found out Linguini was Gusteau's son (which in turn led to Linguini becoming Gusteau's new owner) because of Émile telling his friends Rémy could steal from the food storage room for them.
  • Freeze-Frame Introduction: In both the teaser trailer and the movie, Remy is introduced running for his life, the film freezing as he jumps toward the camera; then, in voice-over, he begins narrating "This is me..."
  • Free Wheel: When Remy redirects Linguini from hitting a cactus, he falls onto the floor and a plate rolls off screen as part of the debris.
  • French Accordion: Michael Giacchino's score was his usual orchestral style, but with added accordion parts in several tracks to fit the French setting, most notably the main theme "Le Festin" (which even got an accordion-solo reprise at the end of the "End Creditouilles" medley).
  • Friend Versus Lover: Though Linguini initially goes along with Rémy without question, after hooking up with Colette, he begins to prioritize her over Rémy to the point of repeatedly discarding his instructions in favor of hers. At one point, during a bout of Acquired Situational Narcissism, Linguini even goes as far as to completely discard Rémy and say that Colette is the reason he's so good at cooking instead, causing them to fall out.
  • Funny Background Event: As Colette is asking what Solène LeClaire had to say about the soup, Rémy is still trying to make a discreet break for the window, resulting in a moving colander.
  • Gaslighting: Chef Skinner is under the impression that Linguini is doing this — trying to make him see a phantom rat everywhere after he ordered the rat killed. "Am I seeing things, am I crazy, is there a phantom rat or is there not, but oh, no! I refuse to be sucked into his little game..." There actually is a rat, however, and Linguini isn't trying to gaslight him. He is, however, suffering a Sanity Slippage because of seeing the rat, but not being able to catch Linguini with him.
  • Get Out!:
    • Skinner telling Linguini to get out of the food storage room after asking what he (Linguini) was doing in there.
    • Linguini orders Rémy and the other rats out after discovering them raiding the kitchen, and warns Rémy to never come back before slamming the doors on him.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: When Linguini considers sneaking Rémy into the kitchen in his trousers, we get a brief glimpse of his boxers which have The Incredibles logo imprinted on them.

    Tropes H to M 
  • Hard Truth Aesop: The movie emphasizes that while seeking change is good and improves the world, that not everyone will accept it. Despite Rémy proving to several people that a rat can cook, Gusteau's still gets shut down on the grounds of a rat infestation. He can only make an incremental difference by bonding with the humans who appreciate him.
  • Head in a Vise: When Skinner catches Linguini messing with the soup, he threatens to, among other things, put him on the duck press "to squeeze the fat from his head!"
  • 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.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Rémy's father thinks that his refined and sensitive palate is utterly useless to a rat, who's supposed to be able to tolerate eating garbage, but Rémy winds up proving him wrong when it turns out he can identify when food has been poisoned and saves the rats' lives. Unfortunately for Rémy however, this winds up getting him assigned as the group's designated poison-tester, something he isn't remotely satisfied doing with his life.
  • 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 there's a more positive review of Gusteau's. Even after Gusteau's is shut down due to a rat infestation, and he loses his credibility, he invests in the new bistro.
  • Heroic Bastard: Linguini is Gusteau's illegitimate son. That's the underpinning of half the plot.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Despite his intelligence and culinary skill, Rémy is still a rat and is treated as vermin whenever humans see him. The only people who treat him as a chef are Linguini and (eventually) Colette and Ego.
  • Honor Before Reason: Even after learning the circumstances of how his meal was prepared, Ego gives a positive review to Gusteau's, knowing there would be risk to his career if the truth came out.
  • Hot-Blooded: Colette qualifies based on her passionate introduction.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with Rémy crashing through a glass window with a book over his head. The first part of the story is spent explaining how he got into that predicament.
  • Humans Are Morons: Rémy believes that humans are just ignorant, and that positive change is possible and decides to try and make that change.
  • Humans Are Special: Rémy is fascinated by the creativity of humans compared to other species, with food being the most prominent example.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Rémy's father believes this of the human race and that they will always see rats as vermin and nothing more. He graphically illustrates his point when he takes Rémy to Aurouze, a pest control shop that's been around since 1872 and ghoulishly hangs dead rats caught in their traps in their front store window.
  • 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!
  • Imaginary Friend: Possibly. The Gusteau who floats beside Rémy when he wants or needs someone to talk to. He vanishes for good when Rémy realizes he doesn't need Gusteau any more.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Rémy's ratatouille is so good that Ego freezes with wonder at the first bite. When Skinner sees Ego starting to happily eat the rest of the dish, he tries it and is so surprised by the taste he breaks his facade and immediately storms into the kitchen demanding to know who prepared it.
  • Inside a Wall: After escaping the sewers, Rémy has to navigate through ceilings and walls to be free.
  • The Inspector Is Coming: During the climax, there are two "inspectors" in play. One is expected, the other is not. The main focus is on the planned arrival of 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.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Rémy: You didn't think I was gonna stay forever, did you? Eventually, a bird's gotta leave the nest...
    Django: We're not birds. We're rats. We don't leave our nests. We make them bigger.
    Rémy: Well maybe I'm a different kind of rat.
    Django: Maybe you're not a rat at all.
    Rémy: Maybe that's a good thing.
  • In Vino Veritas: Subverted: Skinner gets Linguini drunk on wine in order to invoke this trope, but instead Linguini just rambles about how ratatouille doesn't seem like a very appetizing name for a dish.
  • Irony: When Anton Ego comes in to review Gusteau's he initially tells the Maitre d' that he wants to order some perspective. When Rémy prepares the elegant "confit byaldi" version of ratatouille, the magnificent tastes transport Ego back to his childhood when it was lovingly served to him by his mom. When he writes his review he reflects on the caustic nature of the critic and how easily they can destroy those who dare to create. He also admits that he now fully understands Gusteau's motto "anyone can cook". The meal, it seems, has given him considerable perspective.
  • Jerkass:
    • Skinner. He rules the kitchen with an iron-fist and prohibits anyone from showing any creativity. His mandate is to always follow Gusteau's recipes to the letter. Yet on the side, he has created a line of Gusteau frozen foods that cheapen and devalue the reputation of this wonderful cook while he makes considerable money from it.
    • Anton Ego at the beginning. Near the end, however, Ego becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Anton lambasted Gusteau's restaurant for declining standards — which it had under Skinner's stewardship. It's hinted at with Skinner wanting to commercialize Gusteau's name to serve fast food, like Mexican food (from a famed French chef.)
    • Skinner might be a petty tyrant who considers the meals to be business, not art, but a rat in a kitchen is a massive health and business risk. In fact, this gets Gusteau's closed by the end of the movie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Django. He is a Fantasy-Forbidding Father and dislikes Rémy being a picky eater, but it's also clear he loves both his sons and wants to keep them out of danger.
  • 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.
  • Kill It with Fire: After Linguini takes over Gusteau's and cancels the frozen foods, the crew celebrates by burning them (and the promotional billboards) out back.
  • Kindness Button: Rémy manages to press Anton's by serving him an elegantly prepared ratatouille. The taste is so wonderful that he flashes back to a childhood memory where the dish was a Comfort Food lovingly served by his mother.
  • Knife Outline: The original promotional poster shows Rémy pinned to a wall by a fork on his right paw and surrounded by all sort of kitchen knives.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Rémy first experiments on pulling hairs to control Linguini, he comments "That's strangely involuntary!" Plus Rémy's comment about this puppet-controlling idea being 'crazy' can be a subtle lampshade over how fantastical it is.
  • 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 flavor to the proceedings.
    • Skinner too, of course.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Skinner gets a lot of this as the movie goes on.
    • He tries to keep Gusteau's will from Linguini in the hopes of keeping the restaurant for himself and intends on firing Linguini — Gustaeu's son and the rightful owner of the restaurant — once it expires. When Rémy finds the documents and gets them to Linguini despite Skinner's efforts, Skinner ends up fired and kicked out of the restaurant himself.
    • After being kicked out of the restaurant, he is treated like a pest by his former staff the same way he treated Rémy.
    • Late in the movie, Skinner traps Rémy in a cage and intends to force him to develop a new line of frozen foods in retaliation for Rémy getting him fired. After being freed, Rémy returns the favor when Skinner bursts into the kitchen during the dinner service by trapping him in the freezer — alongside the health inspector Skinner tried to call earlier in the movie — until the service is over.
  • Last-Name Basis: Linguini's first name is Alfredo, but he is always referred to by his surname, except by Larousse when he first points him out to Skinner when they first meet, and by his mother in her letter to Skinner.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Linguini, while ranting in front of Colette: "I love you-uur advice!"
  • Lethal Chef: Rémy gags at the mere smell of Linguini's improvised soup (doubly applies to Rule of Funny about the fact that rats are physically incapable of gagging), and Linguini himself tasted it and immediately ran to the window to lose his lunch. It's played with in that Linguini never claimed to be a cook; he accidentally knocked the pot of soup off the stove, spilling some, and was trying to cover his mistake by refilling the pot with water and grabbing whatever was at hand that seemed "culinary". Given that he was panicked and tossing in stuff at random, it's little wonder it turned out so horrible.
  • Liar Revealed: Subverted. Linguini eventually reveals the truth behind his excellent cooking to the rest of the staff to prevent them from killing Rémy and to raise their low morale after Ego arrives to review their food. The kitchen staff quits, but only because they think Linguini has suffered a mental breakdown and is now attributing his cooking skills to a non-talking rat (from their perspective). Only Colette returns when she sees Gusteau's famous motto on the window and realizes that Linguini may not be crazy after all.
  • Lonely Bachelor Pad: Linguini's initial place of residence is one of these. In his own words, "I know it's not much, but it's... not much."
  • Loose Lips: Emile is happy to keep Rémy's secrets about food at first, but he spills the beans that his little brother has prime access to fresh food. Cue hordes of rats showing up night after night.
  • Male Gaze: After Linguini and Colette get together, there's a slow pan up of Colette as they work in the kitchen, presumably from Linguini's perspective.
  • Marionette Motion: Rémy's control of Linguini.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Colette and Linguini, especially when Colette starts mentoring Linguini and is initially cold and hostile towards him.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While it is asserted several times (especially from himself in these instances) that the Gusteau the Rémy talks with is merely a figment of Rémy's thoughts, he also tells Rémy several things that Rémy couldn't possibly know.
  • Mean Boss: Skinner. Being an Angry Chef in charge of the most famous (and formerly five-star) restaurant in France, this is a given.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Alfredo Linguini, a kind of pasta.
    • Also, Skinner (named after scientist B. F. Skinner, who performed experiments on rats to study animal behavior).
    • "Auguste Gusteau" translates into "majestic palette", and "gusto" is related to words referring to the sense of taste or appetite (i.e. "gustatory"). A man with a sense of taste befitting royalty? He might just make a good chef. Bonus points in that "Auguste Gusteau" is an anagram.
    • Ratatouille initially seems to be used merely as a double meaning title; however, it later carries significance as the meal that that is served to Anton Ego despite its "peasant dish" status.
    • "Anton Ego", the critic speaks to everyone around him in a haughty and patronizing manner.
  • 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 not mentioned at all in the movie; her only appearance is as a drawing in the Your Friend The Rat short.
  • A Mistake Is Born: Downplayed. It's clear that Gusteau did not know about Linguini's existence so his birth was not a planned event. However we are given very little information about Gusteau's relationship with Renata and the nature of their affair.
  • Mister Exposition: Skinner's lawyer. "I know what the will stipulates!"
  • The Mockbuster: Video Brinquedo attempted to cash in on the success of this film with Ratatoing, a movie with a plot that was completely different although infinitely more idiotic, but with a setting identical enough to be considered copyright infringement. Except instead of Paris it was, for Creator Provincialism reasons, Rio de Janeiro.
  • Mood Whiplash: A three-layered version of this early on. The mood goes from pleasant as Rémy is listening to Gusteau talking on the TV, then to shock as Rémy learns Gusteau's restaurant lost its coveted five-star rating and a heartbroken Gusteau died shortly after, then to panic when Mabel wakes up, sees Rémy and Émile and starts firing at them with a shotgun.
  • Mouthy Kid: The young rat at the end when Rémy is telling his story.
    Rémy: [referring to Ego] He's doing very well as a small business investor. He seems very happy.
    Young Rat: How do you know?
    [Rémy pulls back some shrubbery to reveal Anton Ego in the dining room, smiling and offering "cheers" to other patrons.]
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Horst, who comes up with a different story every time someone asks what he did time for.
  • My Car Hates Me: Happens to the health inspector when the rats come after him. By the time the car does start, the rats have swarmed all over it.
  • Mysterious Past: Most of the chefs. Lalo was runaway who became a circus acrobat, Horst has done time, Pompidou has been banned from Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, and Larousse ran guns for the Resistance.

    Tropes N to S 
  • The Napoleon: Skinner, as he is probably about half the height of everyone else in the kitchen.
  • 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 Mess with Granny: The little old lady whose house the rats are living in at the start of the film seems like a regular person. She's aware she might have a rat problem and uses rat poison like anyone else would but otherwise pays it little mind. When she finds a rat in her house however, her first instinct is to pull out a freaking shotgun and begin blasting holes everywhere. When her ceiling collapses and she's confronted with the full extent of the infestation she busts out a gas mask and poison gas she just happened to have lying around. And to top it off, despite terrifying the swarm into fleeing forever, she hunts them down to the river with her shotgun determined to kill as many of them as possible!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Skinner is preparing to test Linguini's cooking mettle but the boy is a horrible cook. Before this happens, Skinner notices Rémy discreetly trying to escape the restaurant and sets the whole kitchen on him. Once captured, Skinner orders Linguini to take the "rat" away and kill him at a discreet location. This allows Rémy and Linguini to form a cooking team that saves Linguini's job and establishes him as a notable chef in the restaurant.
  • Nightmare Face: Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus. Rémy is in Gusteau's office and finds the folder containing his will and opens it to reveal several newspaper articles reporting the rise of "Chef Linguini". One article has a photo of him that was obviously taken when he was unprepared. However, the blank look on his face coupled with wide eyes and solid black irises gives him a creepy, undead vibe. Check it out here.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Despite taking notes avidly from Colette, Linguini doesn't think to do the same with Rémy's recipes. When he has to work one night without Rémy in the climax, he has a breakdown as the chefs are demanding instructions.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Anton Ego, voiced by the very English-sounding, and very not-trying-to-hide-his-accent, Peter O'Toole, which is odd since flashbacks show Ego grew up in a very provincial part of France. He even uses the British expletive "Bloody" in his dialog.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Linguini does this to Rémy when he comes to look for him in the kitchen after their fight and apologies for losing his temper whilst going on how Rémy has never let him down before and how he was the best most trustworthy friend he has all the while unaware that Rémy had brought his entire family to pillage the kitchen as revenge for their argument. Cue an Oh, Crap! from Rémy when his cover is blown.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: When Skinner finds out Rémy does all the cooking Linguini takes credit for, he captures Rémy and offers a deal: Rémy develops a new line of frozen foods for Skinner and Skinner doesn't kill him.
  • Offscreen Crash: One of Rémy's attempts to puppeteer Linguini into flipping an omelette sends it flying through Linguini's apartment window. The camera stays focused on the broken window, and Rémy and Linguini's reactions, instead of following the further sounds of chaos.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rémy and Émile early on when Mabel wakes up and starts firing at them with a shotgun.
    • Rémy and Émile when Mabel is about to shoot the latter while he's hanging from a light. Thankfully she was out of cartridges.
    • Rémy when he ends up in a pot that's about to be put in an oven. He leaps out a second before the door closes.
    • Rémy when he realizes that Linguini is watching him fix the soup. The Depth of Field blur even vanishes at that moment.
    • Skinner, when he realizes Linguini's soup has left the kitchen.
    • Two at the same time. Skinner gets one when he sees Rémy trying to escape out the kitchen window (fearing for the restaurant's reputation), and Rémy as well when he realizes Skinner has seen him and alerted everyone else to his presence.
    • Linguini has one when he accidentally knocks the jar Rémy is in into the river Seine. He then dives in after him to rescue him.
    • Rémy and Linguini when Skinner encounters them in the pantry, before Linguini turns off the lights and hides Rémy under his hat. Rémy gets a second one a moment later when Linguini's about to crash into the waiter.
    • 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 after he reads Renata's letter and learns Linguini is Gusteau's son.
    • Skinner when he sees Rémy in his office with Gusteau's will and Renata's letter in his mouth and again when Colette presents Gusteau's will and informs him that Linguini is now the owner of the restaurant.
    • Rémy, after Émile accidentally blows the rats' cover during the raid Rémy orchestrated on 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 reasons Horst gives for going to prison is that he "killed a man... with this thumb"; we never know for sure, but he shows that thumb to Skinner before he kicks him out of the restaurant.
  • One-Word Title: Ratatouille
  • Only One Name: Obviously all the named rats, as well as all the cooks in the kitchen other than Colette and Linguini (Colette's surname is Tatou according to Skinner) and Linguini's first name is Alfredo.
  • On One Condition: Gusteau's will stated that Skinner would inherit the restaurant on the condition that no heir came forward within two years after Gusteau's death.
  • 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.
  • Parents Are Wrong: Rémy is a rat who wants to be a chef, but his dad wants him to eat garbage like all the other rats. Eventually, Rémy proves himself as a chef and his Dad learns to accept it.
  • People Puppets: Linguini.
  • Persona Non Grata: Colette warns Linguini to never play cards with Pompidou, one of the other chefs, because he has been banned from Las Vegas and Monte Carlo.
  • Pet the Dog: It's mentioned offhand that Skinner respects Colette's opinion, recognizing her as a good chef. They have a few nights a week where they have a chat after the dinner rush, according to the chef that teases Colette when Skinner invites Linguini for a chat instead. In fact, this is why Skinner decides to give Linguini a chance to prove himself because Colette vouched for him and pragmatically pointed out it would look bad if they fired a garbage boy that made a review-worthy soup.
  • 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.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Colette, along with the other chefs in the French restaurant, has considerable skill with knives. She also uses them to pin Linguini's sleeve to a chopping board with whilst explaining to him how difficult it was for her to get to where she was.
  • 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.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Skinner is a piece of work, but he also is a businessman. Thus, he won't fire a garbage boy if a chef makes the case that firing him for making a soup a reviewer liked would go against the restaurant's branding and mission statement. He also grudgingly accepts Linguini's growing success while trying to sabotage him subtly, and plans behind the scenes to cheat him out of his inheritance.
  • Precision F-Strike: Ego's claim that it's impossible to find any perspective in "this bloody town" is an example. It's actually quite jarring, especially with the way he says it.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Near the beginning of the film, after Rémy survives the sewer rapids and crawls up to the rooftops, a shadow of a dog can be seen against a wall while it barks off-screen. The DVD commentary, confirms that the dog is Dug from Up.
  • Properly Paranoid: Skinner strongly suspects that Rémy provides something important to Linguini's success, and of course, he's right.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Colette does this to Linguini after Rémy makes him stop Colette adding sauce to a dish: "Don't. You. Dare."
  • Pun-Based Title: "Ratatouille" is the name of an actual French dish which plays an important role in the climax of the film while the first syllable is also the main character's species. At the very end, the same pun is used for the name of Linguini and Colette's new bistro, "La Ratatouille", which depicts a rat on its sign.
  • Pursue the Dream Job: Rémy is a cooking genius and he longs to become a chef.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Gusteau's staff are a colorful bunch of characters all united through their shared passion for cooking: a former acrobat, a compulsive gambler, a man who did time for an unknown incident, a resistance gun-runner, a Hot-Blooded woman with a short temper, and a man whose actions are controlled by a rat on his head.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Invoked in-universe by Linguini when he defends Rémy, and explains that the rat is the real cook while he has no actual talent. As he points out, "I know it sounds insane, but, well the truth sounds insane sometimes!" Sadly, it just wasn't enough.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Played With Colette, although her initial demeanor was harsh and unforgiving, this is due to her uphill battle to become a chef while facing sexist standards. However, her advice helps Rémy and Linguini improve in the kitchen, when she could have easily "let them drown" as she points out later.
    • It's implied that Gusteau was one, given that his motto is "Anyone can cook" and his entire staff is full of colorful characters united by their ability to cook.
  • 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.
  • Red Is Heroic:
    • Linguini has auburn hair, wears red shoes, rides a red bike and is the film's deuteragonist.
    • Inverted when Skinner steals Lalo's scooter to chase after Rémy.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Following The Big Damn Kiss, Colette and Linguini go from master-and-apprentice to full-on lovers.
  • La Résistance: Larousse ran guns for "the Resistance". Which one is never made clear because apparently they didn't win.
  • Roadside Wave: Happens to Skinner after being ousted from the restaurant, right as his Humiliation Conga is nearing its peak.
  • Rousing Speech:
    • An inverted example occurs when 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.
    • A Double Subversion occurs at the end of the film. 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. However, Rémy's family is moved by Linguini's speech, decide to help out and do the cooking.
  • The Runaway: Lalo is a Cirus Runaway, becoming an acrobat in a circus after running away from home at the age of 12. He in turn was fired for flirting with the ringmaster's daughter.
  • Say My Name: Émile and Rémy do this to each other when they reunite outside Gusteau's.
  • "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.
  • Screaming Woman: Mabel when her ceiling falls in, bringing the entire rat colony with it.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!:
    • A thwarted example occurs when Linguini tries to bail just before Colette tastes Rémy's soup but Horst grabs him before he could escape.
    • All of the other chefs do this to Linguini after he admits that he has no talent and claims that a rat is the true cook.
  • 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.
  • Showing Up Chauvinists: Colette is the only female chef at Gusteau's, which, as she tells Linguini, required her to be better and tougher than anyone else to be taken seriously. As Linguini's mentor, she's a Stern Teacher who doesn't hesitate to intimidate him with her knife skills.
  • 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 sequence serves not only to establish verisimilitude in the 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. The traditional Provençal dish takes chunks of fried veggies and stews or bakes them in a casserole; slicing the vegetables into rounds and baking them in the oven is a variant called confit byaldi, invented in the late 1970s as a diet-friendly nouvelle cuisine variation of the old favorite. Moreover, the specific version prepared on-screen—involving two sauces (a piperade and a vinaigrette) and a different presentation are entirely Keller's. (A version of the recipe was published to go with the publicity for the movie. — be warned that it takes a long time to make if you don't have a brigade of sous-chefs or helpful rats behind you.)
    • If one looks closely, one can see that the chefs have small burn scars on the underside of their forearms.
    • When cutting vegetables while controlling Linguini, Remy uses the back of the knife to scrape the pieces off the board, considered the correct way to do it to avoid damaging the knife's edge.
    • 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.
    • Even the rats' social structure appears to have been researched, as they are accurately described as a "colony" rather than a swarm or pack, and Rémy's father comes across as more of a foreman on a job site than a commander or monarch, as befits rats' very fluid group dynamics.
    • It's a subtle point, but when Anton Ego, Linguini, Colette and Remy abandon Gusteau's to open a sidewalk bistro, they had a lot of company: at the time, a lot of famous French chefs were moving away from the signature restaurant model and into these sidewalk bistros, which proved immensely popular in Paris. Thomas Keller's restaurant, the French Laundry, also runs on this bistro model.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: An odd variation — Rémy shuts Linguini up by "puppeteering" him into kissing Colette.
  • Significant Anagram: "Auguste" and "Gusteau" are anagrams of each other.
  • Skeleton Motif: Food critic Anton Ego has a gaunt, skeletal appearance befitting his role as The Dreaded among restaurateurs. To bring the point home, his office is shaped like a coffin, and his typewriter resembles a skull.
  • 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.
    • Colette starts out as a hardcore lady chef trying to get ahead in a system whose rules were written by a male-dominated hierarchy, and Skinner assigns Colette to be Linguini's mentor after she spares him from being fired. Later on, Colette thinks that Linguini is ignoring him when he was actually cooking in his sleep, and just when Linguini is about to tell Colette his secret, Rémy pulls on Linguini's hair and he accidentally kisses her, with a romantic relationship blossoming between the two of them.
  • Slow-Motion Drop: When Anton Ego drops his pen after one taste of Rémy's ratatouille.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • Solene LeClaire, the food critic who inadvertently tries Remy's soup. She only appears in one scene where she says one word and never interacts with Remy or Linguini, but her rave review of Remy's soup convinces Skinner not to fire Linguini and kickstarts Remy and Linguini's alliance.
    • Git the rat is a minor character, but because Emile told him about Remy's food, he got Remy to steal food from the kitchen. This causes Remy to discover the documents in Gusteau's office that prove Linguini is Gusteau's son, in turn resulting in Linguini ousting Skinner from the restaurant.
  • Smart Animal, Average Human: There's the clumsy and unskilled human Linguini and the intelligent and culinarily gifted rat Rémy who controls Linguini's movements.
  • Smooch of Victory: Colette gives one to Linguini during Anton Ego's final review.
  • 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.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Remy's job in the rat pack is detecting any poison in food that is found.
  • Snooty Haute Cuisine: While Chef Gusteau worked to convey the message that "anyone can cook", he never says anyone can cook haute cuisine and the movie does showcase that French Cuisine Is Haughty.
    • While the restaurant Gusteau's is shown to have lost a star (technically two), it should be noted that, in the French rating system, a restaurant receiving even a single star is considered to be a shining example of haute cusine and the residents of Paris clearly flock to Gusteau's because of its reputation for fine dining.
    • Anton Ego is the personification of the snobby eater who feels that only haute cuisine could come close to meeting the exacting standards of their palate. This is best demonstrated by Ego's taste for Chateau Cheval Blanc, an extremely expensive vintage.
    • Even the signature dish of ratatouille falls under this trope. While ratatouille is generally a simply-prepared, provincial, peasant dish, the version created in the film is a glorified haute cuisine version called confit byaldi that takes about four hours to prepare.
  • Soap Within a Show: A bizarre French soap opera appears on Linguini's TV.
  • Sore Loser: Skinner.
  • Spanner in the Works: Renata ends up being a posthumous one. She gives Linguini a sealed letter to deliver to Skinner so that her son will get a job. The letter reveals that Linguini is Gusteau's illegitimate son, which would entitle him to the chef's fortune. This upsets Skinner's plan to inherit Gusteau's fortune as his second-in-command.
  • Spelling for Emphasis: When Skinner fires Linguini due to thinking he's trying to cook, he says, "You're fired! F-I-R-E-D, fired!".
  • 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.
  • Standard Snippet: Strains of "La Marseillaise", the French national anthem, are heard during the opening Pixar logo, Mickey Mousing with the movement of the jumping lamp.
  • Start My Own: After they lose Gusteau's restaurant due to the health inspector finding out about the rats. Rémy, Linguini, and Colette start up their own small bistro with Ego as a main investor. Judging by the line outside the door as the camera pulls back for the final shot, it seems to be a success.
  • Stealth Insult:
    Rémy: You could fill a book, a lot of books, with things Dad doesn't know. And they have, which is why I read.
  • Stick 'em Up: If Sous-chef Horst is to be believed, he says that he "once robbed the second biggest bank in France using only a ball-point pen."
  • Stock "Yuck!": When the restaurant patrons demand something new from Luigi, jealous Chef Skinner demands that he make a particular dish which calls for veal stomach. Even Collette gets a squicked out look on her face as she asks the other chefs if they have any of it "soaking."
  • 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 Shouting:
    • Colette when tutoring Linguini.
      Colette: Every second counts, and YOU CANNOT BE MOMMY!

      Colette: Keep your station clear, or I WILL KILL YOU!
    • Horst has a habit of doing this when things start to go wrong.
      Horst: He changed it AS IT WAS GOING OUT THE DOOR!

      Horst: It's your own recipe! How can you not know YOUR OWN RECIPE?!
  • Super Window Jump: Rémy's introduction.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In trying to rally his kitchen staff, Linguini comes clean that he has no talent at all and Rémy has been doing the cooking, but he never demonstrates this claim in detail. Despite the intention that this will rally everyone to support the restaurant and impress Ego, all his staff see is Linguini pick up a rat and put it on his head and then raise his arms while spouting nonsense about the rat being a great cook. The look on Horst's face when he turns in his apron is one of sadness and pity. It seems the cooking staff quits because they believe Linguini has gone insane from the stress.
    • When the health inspector arrives at Gusteau's, he gets Bound and Gagged by the swarm of rats. This doesn't save Gusteau's and merely prolongs how long it would stay up until the inspector shut it down; they had to let him go eventually.
    • Thanks to the involvement of Rémy's family, the meal with Ego turns out to be a success and even the honest reveal of Rémy as the chef does not stop him from writing a glowing review of Gusteau. However, when the inspector shuts down the place, Ego loses his job and credibility as a food critic for so highly recommending a rat-infested restaurant.
  • Swarm of Rats: Yeah, the rats are sympathetic characters here, but they still can invoke this imagery when needed. Notably when Rémy's father and a part of his clan swarm the car of the health inspector to stop him from raising the alarm too soon about the rat-infested restaurant. Played for Laughs, as they then come back with him gagged and tied.

    Tropes T to Y 
  • Tablecloth Yank: When Skinner is chasing Rémy, he falls into the Seine near a boat. As he falls in, he grabs the cloth on a table that a couple is sitting at, with their place setting remaining undisturbed while they remain oblivious to what just happened.
  • Take That!:
    • The end credits feature a quality assurance guarantee certifying that "no motion capture or any other performance shortcuts were used in the making of this film." At the time, mo-cap animation was a very common trend in American cinema.
    • An In-Universe one: What was Ego's latest negative review on Gusteau's? "Gusteau has finally found his rightful place in history right alongside another equally famous chef: Monsieur Boyardee".
  • 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. It can also be seen as a Take That! to critics who have fun at negative reviews, which has become far more common with the rise of YouTube critics, for example.
  • 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.
  • Taught by Experience: Learning from the health inspector's surprise visit, the new restaurant has a dining area hidden from the humans that is accessible to Rémy's clan and they can honorably get food. Only Rémy, Colette and Linguini are seen in the kitchen which makes it easier to keep Rémy's participation hidden.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Because of Skinner's iron-fisted rule of the kitchen, Colette is an experienced Technician forced to follow Gusteau's recipes to the letter. Rémy is the Performer creating dishes driven by his sense of smell and taste. During the preparation of Ego's Ratatouille dish they make a great team as they pool their skills together, especially as Colette is finally given permission to improvise.
  • Teeny Weenie: When Linguini tries to confess to Colette about Rémy (until Rémy forces him to kiss her) he says something along the lines of "I have a tiny... uh, little...". Cue Colette briefly glancing down, as though she thought he was referring to a different dirty little secret.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Who uses a shotgun against rats?
  • There Was a Door: While being chased by Mabel, Rémy escapes through the only exit within reach: straight through the window.
  • 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.
  • Token Minority: One of the cooks is Black and speaks with a slight Jamaican accent.
  • Training Montage:
    • Rémy and Linguini practicing how to cook together in Linguini's apartment. The time is compressed into a montage that starts off with many humorous failures to show how far Rémy has to go before he gains the smoother control showcased in the rest of the montage.
    • Colette teaching Linguini how to work in a professional kitchen.
  • Trainee from Hell: Linguini can not cook, and for Rémy, teaching him is very difficult. It takes them several tries to find out how they can cook together with Rémy not speaking the human language and Linguini not knowing anything about cooking. They figure it out, but it is made clear in the Training Montage that to cook that way is at least as challening for Rémy as it is for Linguini.
  • Translation Convention: We can hear the rats speaking English, but it's shown that Mabel, 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. Also the part of Colette had it way more difficult than any of the male cooks to get into a star-prized restaurant as Gusteau's is very true, since female chefs are rare, especially in France.
  • Tsundere: Colette turns out to be one. She appears hostile and confrontational at first when mentoring Linguini, but warms up to him when he takes her cooking advice and they eventually get together.
  • Under Strange Management: After Gusteau's restaurant gets shut down, Linguini opens his own place. He has to admit to food critic Anton Ego that he is hopelessly out of his depth as a chef; the real culinary genius is Remy the rat, whom Linguini keeps under his toque. Further, almost the entire kitchen staff is composed of rats, taking direction from Remy. Surprisingly, this works out so nicely that Ego agrees to keep Linguini's secret.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Skinner is justifiably angry when he catches Linguini "cooking" since these dishes are prepared at professional standards and one screw-up could cost the restaurant another star.
    • He tells Linguini to get rid of Rémy because if it was found out that there was a rat in the kitchen, Gusteau could be closed down. He is ultimately proven right when the health inspector orders the restaurant shut down due to a rat infestation.
    • He also has every right to be suspicious of the claim that Linguini is Gusteau's son, considering he shows up to apply for a job less than a month before the will's deadline expires.
  • Villain Respect: When he catches Rémy in his trap, Skinner admits he does indeed express extraordinary culinary abilities. However, he also claims that while his skills are worthy of respect, Rémy himself, as a rat, is entitled to none.
  • 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.
  • Wham Line: Or rather, Wham Lines.
    Skinner: [Linguini] is not Gusteau's son! Gusteau had no children!
    • And later, In-Universe, when Rémy reads Renata's letter: "Alfredo is Gusteau's son". This is true for Rémy and for Gusteau's ghost, as the real Gusteau never lived long enough to know he was a father.
    Rémy: He's your son?!
    Gusteau: I have a son?!
  • 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?:
    • Colette tells off Linguini for spending so much time with the press rather than doing his job as a cook and cooking. She does so by hustling him away from the press conference after Ego intimidates Linguini.
    • Linguini is furious when he catches Rémy helping his clan to steal food from the restaurant food storage room, so much so he tells Rémy to never come back.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Skinner fails this. He finds out that Renata's letter reveals that Linguini is Gusteau's son, but she just wants him to hire the boy and give him a stable job. The right thing to do would be to give Gusteau's massive fortune to his legitimate child, rather than leaving it with his second-in-command. Skinner verifies with his lawyer via DNA test if this is true, and on finding out it does, he plans to wait until Linguini misses the window to claim his inheritance and then fire him so no one is suspicious. Unsurprisingly, Linguini and Colette agree to fire Skinner after they find out the truth and claim his inheritance in time.
    • In contrast, Ego passes this test beautifully. When Rémy's ratatouille dish impresses him, he agrees to wait after hours to meet the real chef when Linguini and Colette tell him they didn't cook it. Then he finds out the whole wild story and sees evidence firsthand that a rat can cook and puppeteer humans. Does he discredit Gusteau's? Tell scientists about this breakthrough between human and rodent communications? No. Instead, he writes a rave review of the meal and acknowledges that the chef there is the best in town and he looks forward to trying more. Later, he helps fund the new restaurant that Colette and Linguini start and happily keeps their secret.
  • When Elders Attack: Mabel tries to shoot the rats with a shotgun, but completely and utterly fails.
  • Wine Is Classy:
    • Done as part of one the best visual gags in the movie. Anton Ego hears of Gusteau's success while drinking a glass of red wine and starts a Spit Take. He then stops himself, checks the label on the bottle, and carefully swallows. Freeze-Frame Bonus: That's a real winenote , and it's far too good to waste like that.
    • In addition, while waiting for his meal at Gusteau's he nonchalantly asks for a Chèval Blanc 47, widely regarded in wine circles as the best wine vintage ever bottled.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus. While Rémy is cooking a mushroom over a chimney, he and Émile are struck by lightning and their skeletons show.
  • You Dirty Rat!:
    • The trope is discussed by Linguini when Rémy tries to be modest regarding his fixing Linguini's soup:
      Linguini: Look, don't be so modest, you're a rat for pete's sake. Whatever you did, they liked it.
    • Played with when Skinner catches Linguini cooking; he begins to call him something like "You dirty—," then notices Rémy and screams "RAT!"
      Chef Skinner: They think you might be a cook, but you know what I think, Linguini? I think you are a sneaky, overreaching, little -- RAAAT!
  • You Do Not Want To Know: One of Rémy's attempts to puppeteer Linguini into flipping an omelette sends it flying through Linguini's apartment window. Rémy looks out the window and cringes from watching the ensuing offscreen chaos. Curious, Linguini tries to remove his blindfold to see what's happening, but Rémy pushes the blindfold back over Linguini's eyes while still cringing.
  • Your Other Left: Uttered by Django when he and Emile are pushing stone sculptures off of a balcony to break open a car trunk to rescue Rémy.


Video Example(s):


...Now Recreate the Soup

In "Ratatouille, Linguini has returned to the restaurant after shocking everyone with his success in making soup. Unimpressed, Chef Skinner tells him "Welcome to hell. Now recreate the soup."

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / WelcomeToHell

Media sources: