Anyone can cook—or write Broadway-worthy musical numbers, as demonstrated by TikTok users around the world. Based on the beloved Pixar film Ratatouille (2007), Ratatouille the Musical became one of the most popular memes of 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic closing Broadway and keeping everyone at home, many people indulged in escapism by contributing to a wild thought experiment: what if Ratatouille was a musical? From that question came one of the weirdest examples of collaboration produced by the Internet, with fans composing and designing everything for this imagined musical, such as original songs, choreographies, set designs, and even costumes.
This underdog of a show grew so much that it is now officially a real-life, serious musical, with Tony Award-winning actors and Playbill programs. Although it still hasn’t graced the Broadway stages, Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical opened as a filmed concert on January 1, 2021. Profits from the streaming benefitted the Actors Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting entertainment and performing arts workers.
If you’re still craving more Ratatouille the Musical content, don’t fear: here is a ranking of every song performed in Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. (For scientific purposes—and the sanity of the writer—this article only includes the songs from the official Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical Playbill, as there is no possible way of accounting for all the wonderful creations made by the TikTok theater community.)
The orchestra is incredible throughout the entire show, and every single musician deserves a raise for this masterpiece. However, part of what makes Ratatouille the Musical uniquely charming is how fans were able to spin movie quotes into thoughtful, impressive lyrics. For that reason, the “Overture”—with only its instrumentals—never really stood a chance and took the bottom seat of this ranking.
A traditional villain song, “I Knew I Smelled a Rat” features Chef Skinner (played by Mary Testa) finally having his time in the spotlight. However, he has to share half of his spotlight with Remy and Linguini, as the two reach a breaking point in their friendship. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it is interrupted by a lot of plot and dialogue.
The second song of the show, “Trash is Our Treasure” serves as an exposition into Remy’s (Tituss Burgess) rat world, as his father Django (Wayne Brady) tries to convince him to give up being a chef and be content with simply being a rodent. It serves its purpose in the show, but it’s not one of the most memorable tracks, despite some good punchlines, including one really great burn at the year 2020.
Similar to “Megasix” from the musical Six, “Ratamix” is a quick run-through mix of all the songs from the show into one while the cast and crew take their bows. It’s a tad chaotic, but the company absolutely sells it. Listen to it if you’re in need of a quick burst of serotonin.
Full disclosure: as a Hadestown fan, I absolutely screamed in joy when I realized André De Shields was playing the role of Ego, the quasi-villain food critic of Ratatouille. Not only that, but his harmonies with Young Ego (played by Owen Anthony Tabaka) somehow pull off the same magical vibes from that sentimental flashback from the original film. It might not be a song to dance along to, but it is one of the most emotional tracks.
The show’s first song, “Anyone Can Cook” is similar to “Trash is Our Treasure,” but it instead introduces Remy’s chef aspirations as Chef Gusteau (Kevin Chamberlain) sings his now-famous motto. Again, not a bad track by any means, but it’s just not as great or as catchy as the ones in Top 5.
Let’s face it: This is the song that got stuck into everyone’s head and kick-started this whole thing. It’s chef’s-kiss worthy. Need I say more?
#4: “Anyone Can Cook (Reprise)”
It’s rare for a reprise to be better than the full song, but this song blows the original out of the water. This track has Linguini (Andrew Barth Feldman) wrapping his head around the plan of having a rat help him cook. The hint of pure madness and rock-solid faith in this track perfectly introduce Linguini’s character, turning the original song into a fun blast.
For the musical nerds reading this, this is the “Defying Gravity” moment of the show, where Remy first decides to take over Paris and be the chef he always dreamed of being. It’s kind of crazy how much emotion Burgess projects through vocals alone. The track is both a jam and a tear-inducing moment, capable of making anyone shockingly proud of this little chef.
#2: “Kitchen Tango”
I could write entire odes to this song, but to put it simply, Colette (Ashley Park) is finally given the appreciation she deserves. The lyrics are snarky and witty, capturing her glorious montage of teaching Linguini (and Remy) how to survive in the brutal kitchen. It’s the kind of song that gives you an uncontrollable urge to text your friend at 2 A.M. so you can duet this with someone.
Our first place contender was already mind-blowing on its own: Emile, Remy’s brother, rants about how rats eat trash, set to the jazziest tune possible. Then, they brought Adam Lambert for the role, and he proceeded to absolutely kill it, despite not needing to. If that wasn’t enough, someone looked at this and had a genius thought: “Hey, what if we brought the queens of Six to perform backing vocals and background choreography?” It’s extravagant and energetic. It’s catchy as all hell, and everyone is having the time of their lives while singing it. This track scores the top place in this ranking for being what the Ratatouille the Musical was all about: pure fun and good theater.