Apparently the shrink ray was created in (and stolen from) North Korea.note The map depictsthe wrong location, which is really West Hokkaido.
"Bank of Evil, formerly Lehman Bros."
Alternative Character Interpretation: Did Mr. Perkins set Vector up to steal the moon instead of Gru to help his son remain the most successful villain, just to spite Gru, or to help cover the loss of money loaned to Gru, considering how he mentions how "lucrative" stealing the moon would be, not to mention him seeming legitimately unconvinced that Gru could pull off the heist?
Base-Breaking Character: The minions are either the best or worst parts of the franchise, based on how much (or how little) you enjoy their brand of physical comedy. The fact that they have spawned many copies only adds fuel to the fire.
Crack Ship: An odd case with Margo and Vector. At most, Vector is 10+ years older than her in terms of age. Not mention that he kidnapped her and her sisters and planned to keep them for who knows what.
Crossing the Line Twice: Most of the visual gags qualify as a child-friendly version of the trope. A rocket landing on a playground? Not funny. A rocket landing on the spinner thing causing it to spin incredibly fast while the children cheer? Hilarious.
Ensemble Dark Horse: The minions. The studio saw this coming, and gave them featured roles in all the promotion. Kevin and Dave in particular.
Esoteric Happy Ending: Barring the possibility that Miss Hattie was simply too pissed off with Gru over his insulting her in Spanish to bother with any formalities, let alone verify who called to return the kids, between the climax and the epilogue with Gru and the kids which serves as the happy ending there had to have been some legal proceedings between Gru and Miss Hattie over custody of the kids which, for all the film's irreverent humor and Getting Crap Past the Radar, Illumination Entertainment apparently decided weren't worth depicting.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The film has a bank that invests in supervillany. Two years after the movie's release, it was revealed that HSBC had been knowingly laundering money for terrorists, drug smugglers, and tinpot dictators the world over.
The Minions are also massive in the Philippines, and there are even claims that some of the gibberish they mutter is actually Tagalog.
The franchise is also big in South America. In the countries on that continent, whenever a new Despicable Me film comes out, it will usually top the box office for at least three weeks. The Minions spin-off is also the highest-grossing film of all time in Chile.
The way Vector introduces himself to Gru is...either very socially awkward, a bad attempt at flirting or both.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: The Minions are a source of bile in various circles for all of the popularity and overuse they have gotten. In Minions and in Despicable Me 3 they were accused of ruining the franchise and stealing the spotlight that should have gone to Gru and the girls.
Jerkass Woobie: Gru himself qualifies as this. Sure, he's a mean guy, but look at all his flashbacks to him as a kid with his mom dismissing his claims that he'll go to the moon (and not being encouraging overall to begin with) and the utterly crushed looks on his little face. Not to mention his reaction to his adopted girls been taken away to keep it from being a distraction to him.
The sequel also revealed that Gru was a social outcast in school. The other kids completely avoided him and feared that if he touches them, they will get "Gruties." Seeing his heartbroken expression from this is just agonizing.
The minions. Somehow, they've mutated from a Mascot Mook to the symbol of "Facebook wine moms" everywhere.
I will stuff you all in the crust!
Gru's presentationExplanation Gru presents a slideshow to Mr. Perkins in an attempt to get funding for his scheme, with the girls messing with the third part. "I fly to the moon... I shrink the moon... I sit on the toilet... with-- what?)". This has been snowcloned to hell and back, most commonly having someone do a double-take at a blatantly idiotic third step of their plan.
Hella Gay Explanation Commonly on Reddit and Discord, images of Gru have been used to call other users "hella gay" depending on their positions in posts. Many variations have spawned, examples including "Ultra Gru", "Infinite Gay", and Cuphead's "Triple Gay" meme.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: When the movies were first released, the Minions were reasonably well-liked, to the point of becoming the franchise's Darkhorse Ensemble. However, between just how popular they are and the fact that they spawned a number of Suspiciously Similar Substitutes in other media, (such as the Happy Meal creatures in recent McDonald's ads and the lemmings in Norm of the North), nowadays many people find it hard to see what made them so popular in the first place. You can even see this in the aforementioned Inazuma Eleven crossovers (which were made shortly after the release of the first movie); the more recent the comments in the uploaded video get, the response to the crossover's existence gets gradually more negative.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Justin, the rambunctious kid from the movie's opening, is a decent match for Edith, given their love for destruction and mischief. However, they don't interact at all, Justin is never seen again after the opening, and they presumably live in different countries.
Take That, Scrappy!: There was a Jerkass man that ran a rigged shooting arcade game, cheating players out of their money, and not giving them their prizes just because it "wasn't knocked over" So when Mr. Gru blows up the arcade, and leaves the man in extreme pain, it's hard not to say, "he got what was coming to him."
The revelation that Vector is Mr. Perkins' son doesn't really amount to anything aside from Vector finding out that Gru stole back the shrink ray. This is made even more jarring by the fact that Perkins does not appear any later in the movie. Or even in any of the sequels, either, where it would have made perfect sense for him to return with a larger role.
Most "villain becomes a hero" stories have a hero to rise up against them. Wreck-It Ralph had Fix-it Felix, and Megamind had Metro Man. This movie doesn't appear to have any hero to rise up against Gru. Law enforcement is mostly lacking in this universe, and the Anti-Villain League wasn't introduced until the sequel, where Gru gives up villainy entirely.
Uncanny Valley: The CGI is noticeably more rubbery here than in the sequels, causing some character designs to look plastic and kind of weird looking at times. Possibly justified given this was Illumination's first movie.
Viewer Gender Confusion: Due to her short hair (at least compared to Margo and Agnes), deep voice and general tomboyish behavior, it can be pretty easy to mistake Edith for a boy.