[[quoteright:290:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Expendables_4204.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:290:No, this is not a Fan Made Poster]]

->''If [[RatedMForManly testosterone]] [[XMeetsY could mate with]] [[StuffBlowingUp an explosion]], this movie would be its offspring.''
-->-- '''IGN.com preview'''

A modest action movie franchise that intentionally contains [[GenreThrowback pretty much every trope associated with 1980s action movies]].

After the success of ''RockyBalboa'' and ''Film/{{Rambo}}'' (2008), Creator/SylvesterStallone became interested in making a film that brought together [[AllStarCast as many action stars he could get]] with careers ranging from the 80's to modern day. The basic premise goes along with some grizzled mercenaries based out of New Orleans who call themselves "The Expendables." Stallone leads them as Barney Ross, with Creator/JasonStatham as Christmas Lee, his closest friend. Rounding out the rest of the team is Creator/JetLi as Ying Yang, Creator/DolphLundgren as Gunnar Jensen, Creator/RandyCouture as Toll Road and Terry Crews as Hale Caesar. And, most famously, Stallone's box office rival Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger plays Barney's FriendlyEnemy Trench, who leads a rival team. Outside of that core group, many other stars have come and gone through the various movies, some as new allies and others as villains.

!!The Expendables (2010)
Opening with a mission to deal with boat hijackers, Gunnar is expelled from the team for his unpredictable behavior. Ross gets a new job from the mysterious Mr. Church (Creator/BruceWillis). He hires the team to go into a BananaRepublic and [[OneManArmy single-handedly]] take down a dictator's (David Zayas) regime. After a disastrous scouting mission, they learn Church is connected to the CIA and their real job is to upset the profiteering from a rogue CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts), who has a particularly nasty bodyguard named Paine (Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin). They agree the mission is suicide and doing CIA dirty work, but their contact Sandra (Giselle Itie) was captured by Munroe and they feel [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl obligated to rescue her]], and Gunnar is not [[HeelFaceTurn happy with being rejected from the team]].

!!The Expendables 2 (2012)
Opening with a mission to rescue a Chinese diplomat and introducing the new member to the team Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), Church confronts Barney and demands a new mission to redeem him from the issue with how he handled the job in the previous movie. They are paired with Maggie Chan (Yu Nan) to recover sensitive information regarding a secret plutonium stockpile in Eastern Europe. Their mission is upset by Vilain (Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme), a terrorist for hire leading his own team including his second in command Hector (Scott Adkins). Vilain humiliates the team and leaves one of them dead, with the rest vowing revenge. They chase after Vilain to stop his plans and are joined by lone wolf ally Booker (Creator/ChuckNorris) to finish the job.

!!The Expendables 3 (2014)
A third movie includes Creator/AntonioBanderas, [[Film/{{Blade}} Wesley Snipes]], Creator/HarrisonFord, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and Glen Powell joining the cast, and Creator/MelGibson confirmed as the film's villain. In this outing, Barney is forced to recruit both old and new allies alike to take down his former partner and co-founder of the Expendables, [[AwesomeMcCoolName Conrad Stonebanks]], who is determined to wipe the team out once and for all.

This series is the closest we'll probably get to [[http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/photoshop/2/5/8/33258.jpg?v=1 TV Tropes, the Movie]].

An [[DistaffCounterpart all-female]] SpinOff [[http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/gina-carano-is-the-first-to-sign-on-for-the-all-female-version-of-the-expendables is also being planned]]. Creator/GinaCarano, [[BattlestarGalactica Katee Sackhoff]], and [[YoureNext Sharni Vinson]] have signed up thus far, and the director has expressed an interest in such names as Creator/SigourneyWeaver and [[{{Franchise/Terminator}} Linda Hamilton]]. Also thrown into the mix: Creator/MillaJovovich, Creator/MerylStreep and Creator/CharlizeTheron.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Ross chops off a guard's hand and ''beheads another'' with his knife.
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Tool (Mickey Rourke) has a scene regarding a woman he could have saved in Bosnia, and the personal cost of not doing so. He laments that if he saved her, he could have saved what remained of his soul. His story inspires Barney Ross (Stallone) to go back to Vilena. It's probably the most powerful moment of the film.
** The sequel has the scene where Billy the Kid tells the story of losing several of his comrades during a firefight in Afghanistan, then returning to base to discover that a stray dog he'd adopted had been shot due to the base commander deciding to disallow animals on base. [[spoiler:Billy's funeral also counts, with Barney reading the letter Billy had written to his girlfriend, then asking aloud why so many people who deserve to live get killed, while people who deserve to die survive repeatedly.]]
* ActionGirl:
** Maggie in the sequel.
** Luna in 3.
* AdvertisedExtra: Commercials for the first film paid special attention to the scene between Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger, as it was the first time the trio had appeared on-screen together. Of course, that's the only scene that Willis and Schwarzenegger appear in.
** The sequel promises more action scenes for them. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome And delivered.]] On the other hand, there's the example under PutOnABus.
* TheAllegedCar: The planes in the first and second movies. Especially in the second.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese version uses the song [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xj9bjp_tsuyoshi-nagabuchi-kizuna_music "Kizuna"]] by Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: "I didn't come for you, dipshit! I came for ''her!''"
* AmazonBrigade: [[http://www.themarysue.com/female-expendables-film/ There are plans for the third film to feature female action stars.]] We eventually get just one.
* AntiHero: The Expendables.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Lee (loves his knife-throwing a bit too much) and Yang ("I would have win!"). "The Brit" is also a bit of a dick.
* AscendedMeme: Chuck Norris' character in general. He shows up and destroys an army by himself. Lampshaded with one of the ChuckNorrisFacts (the one about the King Cobra) used as a legend about the character.
* AudibleSharpness: Just about every time any blade is drawn or moved slightly through the air, there's always that familiar ''zzing'' sound.
* AttemptedRape: Averted, and then played straight. It looks like the bad guys are going to do this to Sandra when she gets forcibly thrown down on the table. But then she gets waterboarded instead. Later on, [[{{Mooks}} two random soldiers]] burst in and attempt to rape her, but Ross [[CurbStompBattle objects]]. And his objection [[{{Gorn}} is very, very sharp.]]
* AwesomeMcCoolname: [[PunnyName Hale Caesar and Toll Road]].
* AwesomePersonnelCarrier: The three armored vehicles used by the team in the beginning of ''2''. Part truck, part battering ram, rounded off with ironic phrases spray painted on their business ends. ("COMING SOON", "KNOCK KNOCK", "BAD ATTITUDE".) And speaking of '80s references, it's probably not a coincidence that "Bad Attitude" (B.A.) looks like something Series/TheATeam would have built, and is driven by the black member of the team...
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: Gunnar at the end of the first movie]].
* BackToBackBadasses: Ross and Lee.
* {{Badass}}: Just about every character played by a "name" actor.
* BadassBoast:
** Barney's "We are the shadow, the smoke in your eyes, the ghosts that hide in the night", which only appears in the trailers, and is the first line in the song "Diamond Eyes" by Shinedown, which was commissioned by Stallone himself. Too bad the song doesn't appear in the film, either (The extended cut fixes both issues, however).
** "We will ''kill'' this American disease!"
** "If you fuck with us in any way... ''my'' people will come and get ''your'' people."
*** In the sequel:
** "If she returns any different from the way she went, you and your bunch of psychotic mercenary cur ''will never be seen again in the face of the Earth''."
** "Are you afraid of me?" "No." "You really should be."
* BadassCrew: The Expendables.
* BadassGrandpa:
** One of the first images of the movie was a shot of Stallone's character, [[ShirtlessScene barechested]] and covered in tattoos. Nearly everyone was slack-jawed, saying, "''That'' guy is over 60?!"
** The series also stars 47-year-old (in the first film) RandyCouture, then-actively competing [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts mixed martial artist]] and MMA's original BadassGrandpa.
** ChuckNorris is ''72'', and looks no older than 40-50.
* BadassPreacher: {{Invoked}} in the sequel, where Christmas shows off his martial arts skills while disguised as a priest.
-->'''Lee:''' By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you... ''Man and knife.''
-->''(Proceeds to unload knife frenzy on some rooks...)''
* BadGuyBar: In the 2nd movie.
* BadToTheBone: ChuckNorris' first two appearances in the sequel draw a Leitmotif from [[Creator/ClintEastwood another, older, badass]] - namely, ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''.
* BaldOfAwesome: Lee, Mr. Church, Paine, Toll Road and Hale Caesar. Apparently hair is for sissies.
* BaldOfEvil: Paine, again.
* BananaRepublic: Zigzagged. Vilena is ruled by an at-first stereotypical evil generalissimo with a brutal army, and there's the classic determined rebel group fighting them. However, the movie does go back to the trope's real-world historical roots: the island's regime is actually controlled by an American profiteer, which was very often TruthInTelevision when the Banana Republic trope originated [[OlderThanTheyThink in the late 19th century]]. The generalissimo is actually a [[NobleDemon reluctant dictator who only accepted American money to help his country and got caught up in the power and dependent on their support]]. The determined rebels turn out to only be remotely effective because they are led by the general's daughter, and once he stops treating her easily the rebels pretty much evaporate. See also the MeaningfulName section.
* BandOfBrothers: [[spoiler:Why Gunnar is still with the crew at movie's end.]]
--> '''Lee''': ''(to Barney)'' "It's not easy being your friend."
--> '''Yin''': ''(nods)'' "It's not."
* BangBangBANG: Happens with all the gunfire, but particularly Caesar's automatic shotgun. He lays out why he loves his automatic shotgun, and it includes that hearing a shotgun spitting out 250 rounds a minute will scare the ''shit'' out of the enemy. Sure enough, after he uses it, he comments that the gun is frigging ''loud''.
* BareFistedMonk: Yang[=/=]JetLi. The second film put an emphasis on this by giving him an entire sequence where he takes out an entire squad this way. He also used [[ImprobableWeaponUser a pair of frying pans]].
* BashBrothers: All of the Expendables.
* BetterThanABareBulb: What were you expecting from an action film homage?
* {{BFG}}: Caesar wields a [[MoreDakka fully automatic]] drum-fed shotgun that fires 250 rounds a minute. They later get loaded with FRAG-12 rounds - ''grenade rounds.''
* BigBad: At first presumed to be General Garza, but later revealed to be ex-CIA agent James Munroe (EricRoberts).
* BigDamnHeroes: A truly, ''truly'' epic one when half the squad is pinned down in the tunnels under the palace. Enter Hale Caesar and suddenly all you hear is "[[BangBangBANG BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM]]" and [[{{Gorn}} chunks of guards go flying]] across the screen.
-->'''Caesar''': REMEMBER THIS SHIT AT CHRISTMAS!
** This is ChuckNorris' only role in the sequel, including [[spoiler: taking out a tank]] by himself!
* BlingBlingBang: Gunnar wields a Bowie knife with golden hand guards. [[HighlyVisibleNinja Despite fighting in night camo.]] On a similar note, Hale uses a shaving razor with a ''fluorescent green plastic handle'' as a melee weapon.
* BloodyHilarious: Many of the casualties, but any victim of [[ICallItVera Omaya Kaboom]] takes the cake.
* BoisterousBruiser: Everyone to some degree, but in particular Hale Caesar and Gunnar.
* BondOneLiner: "Now I can see inside you. And I see lies."
** From the sequel: "Rest in ''pieces!''"
* BondVillainStupidity: Munroe seems to be a CombatPragmatist, but falls into stupidity anyway. [[spoiler: After getting Barney to disarm himself via HostageSituation, Munroe wisely shoots him. After noting that he is still alive Munroe abstains from shooting him again and instead [[EvilGloating yells at him for ruining his plans]] [[GetOnWithItAlready long enough for Barney to get back up and for Lee to flank his position]] [[WhatAnIdiot and is promptly killed as a result]]]].
* BookEnds: The Expendables entering, and later, leaving [[FanNickname the Toolshed]] on {{Cool Bike}}s.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Gunnar seems to think he should have been a Viking warrior. Or at least, his AxCrazy interpretation of what Vikings were like.
* BottomlessMagazines: Subverted; everyone has run out of ammo for their main weapons, and even Barney's full-auto M1911s need reloading after a few shots, for obvious reasons.
** Barney's 1911s are not fully-automatic. He's simply using a technique (which Stallone apparently practiced for hours on the range) to very rapidly fire the pistols in semi-automatic. The shots of him laying down fire, dumping the magazine, reloading and resuming fire is not sped up - that's just how fast you can fire a 1911 with sufficient skill. (Also a testament to how tough the 1911 is.)
* BulletDodge: Done by Yang. PlayedWith, he jerks just in time as the bullet is fired, but still.
* CaliforniaDoubling: The "Albania" of the sequel was filmed in Bulgaria.
** Also in the sequel, the abandoned military "simulation town" is clearly a Hollywood studio backlot, most likely that of Warner Bros.
* CallBack: A good portion of the sequel features dialogue specifically referencing moments in the first film, including: a direct reference to Vilena, Yang and Gunnar "I would have winned" exchange, Gunnar referring to people as "insect", and Caesar's famous AA-12 shows up in the first scene.
--> '''Gunnar:''' Did you win?
--> '''Yang:''' Of course I win.
** Ross, like Tool before him, is given a chance to save women. Unlike Tool, he takes the opportunity.
* CasualDangerDialog: The guys standing around arguing as to who should kill who in the middle of a MexicanStandoff.
** During the climax, while General Garza barks orders to his men, Caesar remarks, "He's saying we're dead with an accent."
* CasanovaWannabe: Gunnar proves to be this towards Maggie in the sequel, clamming up attempting to impress her with a Rubik's Cube and firing off the [[IncrediblyLamePun lamest pun in the history of lame puns.]]
* CelebrityParadox: "Who's next, {{Franchise/Rambo}}?"
* ChaseScene: Twice.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Caesar's FRAG-12 rounds.
** How do you make an armored guard tower explode? Fire a few miniature warheads at it.
** His shaving knife is also used to save Ross from being shot in the back near the end of the finale.
** Gunnar giving Christmas his bowie knife. [[spoiler: Christmas later gives it to Munroe]].
** Ross and Lee's {{Quickdraw}} contest at the beginning.
** Played straight ''and'' averted with Sandra's drawings - they look almost intended to be tattoos, but nobody let Tool have a look at 'em. At the same time, the General is shown to share his daughter's appreciation for art, and designs his soldiers' warpaint at the end.
** Caesar describing the psychological effect of the sound of guns. He mentions that shotguns in particular scare the shit out of people. Later, when a couple of the team are pinned down...
-->'''Hale:''' Remember this shit at Christmas!
** [[spoiler:Gunner's degree in Chemical Engineering has been brought up early in the sequel. So when they get stuck inside a caved-in mineshaft, he uses his knowledge to concoct an explosive to blow up an escape route. [[SubvertedTrope Then it went pfft]], and the crew gets rescued by Trench instead....]]
* ChewingTheScenery: Monroe's final speech.
* CigarChomper: In part 2 both Ross and Trench are frequently seen with a cigar.
* ClassicallyTrainedExtra: Not in the usual sense. General Garza's two bodyguards, who look mind-boggingly similar to one another? Twin [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts MMA]] fighters Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who currently compete in the UFC alongside RandyCouture. Sadly, they're not seen in any hand-to-hand combat.
* ClusterFBomb - Church really likes swearing. Even when he's in a church.
* ColdBloodedTorture: [[spoiler: Munroe has Sandra mercilessly water-boarded in an attempt to make her confess "What the Americans want." Whether the use of water-boarding was intended to be a topical statement on the unsavory intelligence gathering methods of the US Government or [[RippedFromTheHeadlines an attempt at invoking recent news events that the audience might recognize]] isn't clear.]] The sequel had Maggie do this offscreen to a couple of Sang mooks.
* CombatBreakdown: Played straight and then inverted in the final fight between Barney and Vilain in the second movie. They start out trading bullets, but then decide to put their guns away after Vilain runs out of bullets, and Vilain even throws away the knife he took from Barney so they can fight bare-handed. But as the fight progresses, Vilain gets desperate enough that he actually snatches the knife back up to defend himself, and Barney counters by grabbing a heavy chain and using it as a weapon.
* CoolBike - Every Expendables member has one.
** Also the Rokon (2-wheel drive motorcycle) from the second movie. However, the Rokon is painfully slow, so it would not have been capable of [[spoiler: launching off a roof, clearing a 20-foot gap and taking down a helicopter]]
* CoolCar - Barney's pickup truck.
** Also the Smart car in ''2'' by virtue of its passengers being Schwarzenegger and Willis shoulder to shoulder, though it had to lose its doors to contain that much manliness.
* CoolShades: Appear here and there.
* CoolSword: The General brandishes one when he finally stands up to Monroe. In the spirit of authority figures who demand respect at the point of a naked blade. [[spoiler:Don't bring a knife to a swordfight, boyo.]]
* CombatPragmatist: All of the Expendables display a realistic disregard for the Marquis of Queensbury rules, making liberal use of GroinAttack, drawing pistols during protracted CQC bouts and teaming up on outnumbered foes.
* ConspicuousCG: Garza's palace collapsing. The explosions before that, however...
** Paine on fire. The compositing is [[IncrediblyLamePun painfully]] obvious.
** The blood as well. And potentially even the blade on Gunnar's knife looks to have been at least touched up, if not wholly fabricated.
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%%% The film's awesome moments were too manly for one page to handle, so we made several dedicated to just those - check the links on the top of the page.
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* CoversAlwaysLie: Tool? Suited up and ready to roll out with the team? [[NonActionGuy Riiiiight.]] The bad photoshopping should have tipped you off there. Some posters even add Steve Austin and Bruce Willis to the lineup, but that's a lesser case. One should note that Tool and Church (Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis, respectively) aren't in combat-appropriate uniforms. The sequel had JetLi appear like they always do, but he's PutOnABus at the end of the intro.
* CurbStompBattle: Christmas against Lacy's abusive boyfriend and his basketball team. Guess who walks out without a scratch?
* DamselInDistress:
** Sandra.
** Lacy becomes this to Lee when her latest boyfriend [[DomesticAbuse proves to be a jerk.]]
* DavidVersusGoliath:
** [[spoiler: Yang (Li) vs. Gunnar (Lundgren), who is about 1.5 times taller and at least twice as heavy. Subverting the norm, Gunnar would have killed Yang if Ross hadn't intervened.]]
** Used tactically by Yang during the fight. [[spoiler: By moving the fight under a walkway where Gunnar can barely stand up straight.]]
* DeadpanSnarker:
--->'''Lee''': What's he saying?
--->'''Caesar''': He's saying we're dead with an accent.
* DemotedToExtra: In order to accommodate the larger roles of Willis and Schwarzenegger, and the additional roles for Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Nan Yu, and Liam Hemsworth, a lot of the returning Expendables got the shaft. In particular, Yin Yang [[PutOnABus vanishes after the first ten minutes]] and Toll Road barely has any lines in the entire film. Yang made up for it by giving us JetLi's specialty before he left: a OneManArmy GoodOldFisticuffs beatdown for a good five minutes.
** Arguable for JetLi, as TheOtherWiki reports that scheduling conflicts with another film prevented him from participating in anything more than the first part of the film.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Gunnar.]]
* DomesticAbuse: Lacy's new boyfriend got a little carried away with his jealousy.
* TheDragon: Paine.
** Hector was this in the sequel, and quickly formed a rivalry with Lee.
* DramaticNecklaceRemoval: Done by Munroe to Sandra.
* DuelingStarsMovie: May just displace ''Film/FaceOff'' and ''OceansEleven''
* TheDulcineaEffect: Part of Ross' motivation. He seems to realize that it doesn't make much sense.
** Christmas defending the honor of his cheating ex could be interpreted as this.
* DynamicEntry: Trench plus a small tunnel-boring machine during the sequel.
** And, of course, the intro, featuring KNOCK-KNOCK, a giant battering ram on a jeep.
* {{Eagleland}}: Type 2 for the ex-CIA guys (Munroe and his baddies) who represent the nastier aspects of American activity in Central America. Not bad guys, though. Just gray.
* EasilyForgiven: [[spoiler: Gunnar]]
** In the sequel, [[spoiler:Lacey.]]
* EliteMooks: General Garza's special forces, identified by their red berets, jungle camouflage, and green-and-yellow facepaint. Notably, they're actually able to force the Expendables to seriously ''work'' to kill them, unlike the regular soldiers who they mow down with regularity. Dispensed with in the sequel, absolutely nobody but Vilain and Hector present any challenge to any of the team.
-->'''Ross:''' "Look at these clowns. Hand-picked monkeys."
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Most everyone gets one, but Gunnar's in the opening scene really sets the tone for the entire movie.
** "Warning shot!"
** [[spoiler:"It's good to hang pirates!"]]
** The new addition to the team, Billy the Kid, gets his by rescuing Barney and Lee from six mooks, sniping them in unison with Barney's pantomimed hand pistol.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** [[spoiler:Garza turns on Munroe]] because of this, and the fact Munroe isn't keeping his promises.
** Munroe alludes to it, saying that he was raised not to hit a woman...but he employs people who don't have "that moral dilemma."
** In the Extended Director's Cut it's mentioned that, even though the Expendables are mercenaries, they do abide by a simple code: "The target has to deserve it."
* EvilBrit: Err... the Brit. Also, Hector in the sequel. He's not specifically noted as such, but he speaks with a British accent and the actor playing him is British.
* EvilCounterpart: Towards the end of the first movie Monroe berates Ross for doing the CIA's dirty business and says they are basically the same, mercenaries who are dead inside and have no allegiances. Unfortunately for him Ross' character arc in the movie was doing something good not simply for money. In the sequel, Vilain seems to think of him and his men to be this, and gives the team a speech about it. In fact, it's the reason he doesn't kill them when he has the chance.
* EvilIsHammy: Eric Roberts as Munroe is a pretty triumphant example.
* FingerGun: Exaggerated in one scene of the sequel, when Barney treats his Finger Gun as if it were actually his revolver, complete with cocking the 'hammer'; subverted when all the baddies he 'fires' it at fall over dead as though he actually shot them; then double subverted when it turns out all the bullets were actually fired by FriendlySniper Billy the Kid.
* FiveManBand: -
** TheHero: Ross
** TheLancer: Lee and, to a slightly lesser extent, Yang. The latter was dropped in the sequel, however.
** TheBigGuy: Caesar, though most of them are pretty big.
** TheChick: Sandra. Maggie in the sequel.
** TheSmartGuy: Toll Road.
** SixthRangerTraitor: Gunnar
* FragileSpeedster - If this was a VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft party, Yang would be the striker. In his fight with Gunnar he was faster and more agile but Gunnar was a MightyGlacier who kept on taking his hits. The sequel puts him in LightningBruiser territory when he takes out a roomful of mooks bare-handed without taking a single scratch.
* FriendlyEnemy: Ross and Trench to each other. By the second film they have clearly come to respect, if not actually ''like'' each other.
* FromBadToWorse: In ''The Expendables 2'' the heroes get pinned down during a firefight, and Barney mentions that the only way they could win is if they have a tank. The bad guys then roll out a tank.
* FruitCart: They hit one during the ChaseScene at Vilena.
* TheGeneralissimo: The Expendables' mission is to eliminate one such general. He is ''slightly'' more sympathetic than the usual examples.
* GeniusBruiser: Toll Road is implied to be fairly well read, when the crew is heading back after their OpeningGambit doing something, most are maintaining their weapons or flying the plane while he is studiously reading a book. This occurs in both films, in fact.
** Gunnar has a degree in chemical engineering, just like Creator/DolphLundgren.
* GenreSavvy: The Expendables seem to be fully aware that they're in an action movie, and take full advantage of it.
* GenreThrowback - If Stallone, Willis, and Schwarzenegger's involvement doesn't tell you anything. Stallone wrangled even more 80s action stars for the sequel.
* GoryDiscretionShot: While the sequel offers up a lot of blood spatter, we cut away during the bit where Maggie performs some painful JackBauerInterrogationTechnique on a Sang mook.
* GroinAttack: Yang's fighting scenes ''will'' include several kicks to the balls. Used multiple times when Ross and Christmas take on a truckload of [[{{Mooks}} bad guys]] in the field. In the sequel, Maggie makes use of a groin kick during the team's ambush of the Sangs in the village.
* GrossUpCloseUp: The long focus on Tool's face during gives the audience a lovely view of his spit-moistened lips.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Munroe calls Garza's men out on this, for letting Ross and Lee into the country. Special mentions go to the idiot tasked with guarding Munroe and the General. He lets Gunnar walk in with a shotgun (!) because "He wouldn't let me take it from him."
** Actually that guard may be the brightest guy there. Gunnar is so huge he makes the compact Serbu Super-Shorty 12 Gauge look like a handgun and he's clearly out of his mind. Who wants to tell the [[{{AxCrazy}} Ax Crazy]] Viking he can't bring his shotgun if he wants?
* GunsAkimbo: Ross
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: Gunnar's "warning shot" to the pirate leader. It's worth noting that the victim of this single shot has his legs fall off and his upper body [[BlownAcrossTheRoom launched fifteen feet backwards into a wall]] rather than being horizontally bisected at the waist, which ''might'' have made sense by comparison. It does however set the [[RefugeInAudacity tone for the rest of the film]] rather nicely; not to mention [[EstablishingCharacterMoment establish]] [[AxeCrazy his character]].
* HannibalLecture: Monroe gives one, before [[spoiler: [[ShutUpHannibal being silenced by six bullets to the chest and a giant knife to the back]]]].
** Also subverted. Munroe is sure that [[spoiler: mercs were sent by the Agency after him. Ross responds by saying that he just came for the girl]].
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: [[spoiler:Gunnar is particularly indecisive version of this. First, he's kicked off the team for being psychotic, is promptly hired by Munroe to kill Barney, and nearly impales Yang. During the chase scene, he also seems to be trying to run down his allied mooks and also kills his overseer. Then he gets shot by Barney, and... is back on the team, having been forgiven. It's suggested he's been known to have problems with drugs and so long as he stays sober they trust him.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: General Garza starts having second thoughts when it's his own daughter being tortured by Munroe and Paine. Pity Garza [[InTheBack turns his back on Munroe]] to speak to his soldiers...]]
** SubvertedTrope: One of the rarest characters in film: [[spoiler:The sympathetic South American Generalissimo.]]
* HeHadAName: this is used during the confrontation between [[Creator/SylvesterStallone Barney]] and [[Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme Vilain]] in the sequel
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Trench, who is implied (and in the sequel, stated) to have his own team in the same manner as the protagonists.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Ross and Lee.
* HesBack: [[spoiler: ArnoldSchwarzenegger]] in the second film, both in-story and metafictionally - this was one of his first roles, after his tenure as Governor of California ended.
* HoistHeroOverHead: Gunnar does this to Yang.
* HopelessSuitor: Gunnar clearly has a huge crush on Maggie, but he is just too awkward and drunk around her to make any sort of sense.
* HollywoodDensity: The plutonium in the second film is handled easily; one man was shown to casually carry three rather large "bars" in his hands in one scene. In reality these bars are sealed storage containers, and are usually made from thick ''lead-lined'' steel, weighing no less than 20 kilo each.
** What actually makes them lighter than plutonium bars, because plutonium is one and half density of lead.
** Even worse, it looks like there's just about 200 cylinders with the plutonium. So each cylinder should contain around 25kg of plutonium and the critical mass of plutonium is around 10kg for a perfect sphere. So these cylinders would be ''very'' close to it. And then the villains stack them in a regular hexagonal grid. Can you say "criticality accident"?
* {{Homage}}: The movie is intended to be an homage to seventies and eighties action films, invoked with a thin story, ludicrous action and exploitative violence.
* HonourBeforeReason: Why Ross decides to finish the mission, despite the odds they're up against.
* ICallItVera: Caesar has names for his weapons.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The bad guys. Sometimes realistically, sometimes not. The climax of the first film does show this fairly realistically, as the Expendables open up by destroying the entire palace, and in the ensuing chaos they charge out and are constantly maneuvering and [[StuffBlowingUp blowing up vehicles and setting things on fire]], using speed, mobility, firepower, deadly accuracy, and intimidation to keep Garza's soldiers off-balance. In the sequel, the badguys are largely an army of poorly-trained East European militia and gangsters who aren't terribly accurate at best, and are getting mowed down constantly, often before being able to return fire. Also played somewhat for comedy when the group encounter a village where the menfolk had been taken away and the only ones left to defend the place was a handful of untrained civilian women who starts shooting on them. [[LampshadeHanging Christmas even jokes that the safest place to be is right in front of their guns]].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: The good guys.
** Munroe displays impressive ability with his pistol. [[spoiler: While restraining Sandra with one arm he manages to shoot Garze twice in the back and kill three of his guards before any of them got a chance to retaliate. These were elite soldiers wielding automatics under orders to fire on him immediately if he attempts betrayal. He was lucky of course; none of them started aiming at him until the camera pointed at them.]]
** Ross shoots a mook almost directly behind Christmas. Christmas isn't quite as confident in his ally's aiming skills.
** Occasionally averted, the most notable being near the end when Ross clearly fires many, many pistol shots before taking down just one soldier in a group of many.
** Ross's skills detonate the primer on a ''thrown'' artillery round, in such a way that it actually destroys the intended target.
** Billy the Kid was able to fall six guards surrounding Barney and Lee with his sniper rifle within about 2 seconds. He apologized for the delay. Later, he was [[BoomHeadshot head-shotting]] mooks cruising by on boats.
** A more subtle one toward the end of the second movie when Church, Trench, and Barney open up on the Sangs. They unload at full-auto on the massed Sangs, and not ''one'' nearby civilian is hit. Every bullet hits a Sang.
* ImprovisedWeapon: When he runs out of bullets Yang does work with some [[FryingPanOfDoom frying pans]]. In the sequel Christmas makes use of a thurible(!) while disguised as a Catholic priest. Not to mention Ross and Caesar's use of an artillery shell as a hand thrown weapon...
* InvincibleHero: The Expendables are infallible, indestructible ubermensch. They are not, however, [[TropesAreNotBad Boring]].
** Not so invincible in the second movie, where due to heavy fog, the Sangs are able to get the drop on them and take Billy the Kid hostage. The scene ends as a total failure for them, [[spoiler: with the prized item lost and Billy dead.]]
* IronicEcho: "You look nervous."
** "Question is, will you die like a man, or a sheep?"
** "Now, what?" [[spoiler:First spoken by Ross right before Billy is killed... later is spoken by Vilain right before he killed by Ross]].
* IronicNickname: Church, who curses up a storm and is generally un-church-like.
* ItsPersonal: [[spoiler: Billy's death]] makes the mission to retrieve the plutonium this for the team.
--> '''Lee''': What's the plan?
--> '''Ross''': Track 'em. Find 'em. ''Kill 'em.''
* ItsWhatIDo: Lee demonstrates to Lacy what he does for a living.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Church is not a nice guy and he and Barney do not like each other. Still, [[spoiler: when Billy is killed]] he offers sympathy to Barney and decides to give him more support. He also specifically told Ross to [[AFatherToHisMen make sure no harm comes to Maggie]]. It appears that he's usually only concerned about fellow CIA agents.
* JumpCut: Every fight scene is saturated with these. A shot will rarely be held for over three seconds, and tracking shots use JitterCam.
** They cut down on it somewhat in the sequel, and dispensed with JitterCam altogether, reportedly due to the fan complaints.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Gunnar.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: What Lee does to Lacy's boyfriend.
* KillItWithFire: How [[spoiler:Paine]] is killed.
* KnifeNut:
** Lee Christmas prefers to fight with his knives and will sometimes use a throwing knife instead of a pistol. Lampshaded by Gunnar, who carries a huge bowie knife himself, and later hands it to Christmas. Ironically, Statham's breakout role in ''LockStockAndTwoSmokingBarrels'' had his character get very creeped out by a KnifeNut.
** Tool as well, with whom Christmas has throwing knife competitions.
* LeeroyJenkins: Gunnar. It gets him kicked off the team.
* LetMeGetThisStraight: Lee to Ross.
* LighterAndSofter: There were rumors and even an official statement saying they were making the sequel PG-13. Probably due to the fandom backlash they ultimately went back on that idea and the movie is rated R like the original. It's been also said that the PG-13 was due to the removal of so much swearing in the script, a condition made by ChuckNorris before he'd join in. The final movie does have virtually no cursing, a contrast to the occasional ClusterFBombs from the first.
* LoudOfWar: Hale Caesar mentions how the sound of the AA-12 automatic shotgun is just as effective as any weapon on the battlefield. Never mind that it ''[[MoreDakka fires shotgun shells at something like]] [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill 110 rounds per minute.]]''
** More like 300, but low-balled at 250+ in Hale's heartwarming speech about his beloved Omaya Kaboom.
* LudicrousGibs: Averted. Mooks are mutilated, blown apart and cut through like wet tissue paper, yet there is little blood in the wake of any firefight and their viscera seems to be composed of boneless Kool-aid.
* MadeOfIron: None of the protagonists suffer meaningful injuries for the duration of the films. [[spoiler: Gunnar gets shot just above the heart and is hale and hearty by his next scene.]]
* TheManBehindTheMan: Munroe.
* ManlyTears:
** Tool lets out a few near the end of the story he tells to Ross, who can't see his face but the audience can.
** Most of the members during [[spoiler:Billy's funeral]].
* ManOnFire: [[spoiler:A CMOA results when Toll knocks down Paine with a flying punch while Paine is on fire.]]
* MeaningfulName:
** A pretty obscure one. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Christmas Lee Christmas]] was a mercenary during the real-life Banana Wars. GeniusBonus for history buffs, and a huge hint that the name is really an alias.
** The team's name "Expendables", given the plot of the movie, although it also borders on NonIndicativeName. [[spoiler: The CIA considered them expendable, but they showed themselves to be a {{badass}} crew of [[InvincibleHero invincible supermen]].]]
*** They are called the Expendables because Barney has become so jaded and dark over the years, that he believes the world would be no better off if he dies. Tool manages to convince him to change this.
** Is Mauser as a last name merely a cliched stock reference... [[ActorAllusion or a portmanteau of]] [[Film/TotalRecall1990 'Mars' and 'Hauser'?]]
** James Munroe could well be a reference to James Monroe, the U.S. president most known for formulating the "Monroe Doctrine", which served as a justification for U.S. meddling in Latin American affairs.
** Barney Ross was the name of an American boxer from the 1930s. His name could be a reference to the fact that one of Sylvester Stallone's best known characters is [[Film/{{Rocky}} a boxer.]]
** The name of the sequel's villain is... Vilain.
*** Considering the reference to sheep, and the fact that the name might allude to a [[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/villein "farm hand"]] could put this in PunnyName territory for vocabulary geeks.
* MoodWhiplash: Lamshaded and used in-universe. Maggie notes how the team bounces between light-hearted humor and dark nihilism concerning themselves. Barney notes that at this point they just try to keep things light for as long as they can, but they get pitch black dark when it's time to get serious.
* MoreDakka: About 60% of the film is pure dakka. Hale's AA-12 makes up 59.9% percent of that dakka.
** In the sequel, one scene stands out. After one battle, there's a single mook remaining. When he pops out, one of the Expendables shouts a warning, and all of them immediately and [[BlackComedy hilariously]] turn and fill him with about 200 rounds.
* MotiveRant: Munroe gives one.
* MulticulturalTeam: Barney, Caeser, Toll Road, and Billy are Americans, Christmas is British, Gunner is Swedish, Yin Yang and Maggie are Chinese.
** Explicitly pointed out (and mocked) in the sequel, when confronted by the women in the village:
-->'''Ross:''' We're Americans.
-->'''Lee:''' British.
-->'''Caesar:''' Blackfoot.
-->'''Maggie:''' Chinese.
-->'''Toll Road:''' (looking at team) [[DeadpanSnarker Retards.]]
* MyGreatestFailure: Not saving a woman attempting suicide in Bosnia is one to Tool. His [[HeroicBSOD telling the tale]] to Ross motivates him to go back to Vilena and save Sandra.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The monstrous bad guy played by Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme in the sequel is named Vilain. So basically "Villain" if it were pronounced with a French accent.
* NeverBringAKnifeToAFistfight: The team kick much ass using real weapons in CQC. Mooks? Not so much.
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: Tool clearly gets a kick out of taunting Lee by mentioning "Christmas time".
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Sandra stops Garza from killing Munroe. And [[spoiler: two seconds later, Munroe proceeds to kill Garza.]]
* NobleDemon: General Garza, though he's a dictator, he would rather be ruling peacefully than having to grow drugs for his CIA dealer. He even admits that his daughter is who he ''should'' have been.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Ross and Vilain's fight at the end of the second film is suitably brutal.
* NonIndicativeName: [[spoiler:[[EverybodyLives All of the "Expendables" survive]], even ''Gunnar''.]]
** [[spoiler:Billy the Kid]] dies in the sequel, though.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: DoubleSubverted. Sandra is left at Vilena [[spoiler:because she insists on staying]], but then Ross goes back for her. She still doesn't seem to leave, though.
* NoodleIncident: The Expendables talk between themselves about previous adventures in well-known hot spots of the Eighties and Nineties. Subverted in the case of Mickey Rouke's character - he describes a woman he could have saved in Bosnia. In the sequel, Billy the Kid talks about his prior tour of duty in Afghanistan.
** Mauser and Ross seem to hate each other due to a Noodle Incident, judging from their exchange in front of Church in the first movie.
* TheNotLoveInterest: Sandra to Ross. There seems to be some chemistry, but nothing ever comes of it - his primary reason for saving her is that she's a resistance leader.
** In the sequel, Maggie and Ross have even more chemistry than Sandra and Ross did. But Ross refuses to become involved with her because so many people who have gotten close to him have died.
* NotSoDifferent: Munroe attempts to make Ross believe that they are both mercenaries who are "dead inside."
* NowItsMyTurn: [[spoiler: Gunnar to Yang]]
* ObviouslyEvil: Van Damme's character in the sequel's last name is "Vilain", which is basically the word "villain" with a Francophone accent. [[ShapedLikeItself He is in fact a villain with a Francophone accent.]] Even Ross seems shocked at the idea. As if it weren't enough, Vilain used a satanic pentagram with goat horns as his gang's symbol!
* OffscreenTeleportation: Played to the hilt from the very first scene. When Gunnar attempts to lynch the pirate [[ItAmusedMe for the lulz]], Yang suddenly appears next to him after silently traversing his way between the cargo hold fifty feet below to the deck of the ship in under three seconds and engages him in a short CQC fight. Seconds later when Yang is at Gunnar's mercy, Barney follows suit, making the same trip just as silently and almost as quickly.
** The use of JumpCut in every fight scene means that the protagonists appear to fight like [[Film/{{X-Men}} Nightcrawler]].
* OffWithHisHead: Billy's [[BoomHeadshot headshots]] disintegrates heads in the beginning of the movie, and Ross later does it to [[spoiler: Vilain]].
* OhCrap:
** After the alarm is raised at the Garza's palace, the guys run into the ''entire'' army, and are forced to take cover and detonate the charges.
** The look on the BigBad's face when his escape helicopter explodes is ''priceless''.
* OneManArmy:
** "Four and a half men" but close enough.
** [[ChuckNorris Booker]], who cements it in his entrance when he [[spoiler: wipes out the entire force (including a main battle tank) that has the Expendables pinned down ''singlehandedly'']]. The team also notes that he works alone.
** The others get their moments from time to time. Yang in particular made up for his lack of CQC scenes in the first movie by kicking the hell out of a squad of mooks alone in the sequel.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname:
** Mr. Church devised his own nickname on the spot and suggests that Barney Ross (and possibly his entire team) is just an alias.
** Toll Road? Hale Caesar? Yin Yang? If those aren't aliases this might as well be called "[[JohnnyCash A Boy Named Sue]]: TheMovie"
* OutrunTheFireball: Several times. Usually by the bad guys, and it ''sometimes'' works for them.
* PrisonRape: Sandra [[AttemptedRape almost]] falls victim to this, but is saved by Ross.
* PsychoPartyMember: Gunnar.
* PunnyName: Toll Road, Hale Caesar, Yin Yang. In the sequel, the villain's name is... Vilain.
* PutDownYourGunAndStepAway: Vilain manages to get the drop on Barney and his crew in the sequel, and after a lengthy standoff, Barney agrees to drop their weapons and hand over the device. Vilain then expresses his respect for Barney and leads his men away. [[spoiler: Then he kills Billy as an afterthought to remind Barney that "respect must be earned."]]
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler: Yin]] who is present only for the opening mission of the sequel. He air drops out of the cargo plane with the rescued hostage after the mission and is never seen for the rest of the film. When asked when he'll be back, he replies "Maybe soon...maybe never. Maybe start a new life."
** RealLifeWritesThePlot: JetLi reportedly asked for a reduced role himself.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Invoked; the two soldiers who try to rape Sandra receive among the most brutal deaths in the movie.
* RatedMForManly: Look at the cast! It's like a singularity of manliness!
** Just see this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9N5dNkZ4Zk fan-made trailer]].
** A review shown in the trailer outright calls it the manliest movie ever made.
** ''TheDirtyDozen'' + ''TheMagnificentSeven X'' Every [[TheEighties 80s Action Movie]] ever made = The Expendables.
** [[WebVideo/BumReviews My testicles ran out and killed a wild boar! And ate it!]] - Chester A. Bum on TheExpendables.
* RealMenWearPink: Tool's obsession with "decorating" pretty much anything, whether it's Lee's head with a tattoo or a [[RockersSmashGuitars guitar he plans to smash]] once it's completed.
* RebelliousPrincess: Sandra, General Garza's daughter.
* ReCut: An extended Director's Cut of the first film was temporarily available via On Demand and is now out on Blu-Ray (only. Sorry, DVD fans). In addition to containing a bit of extra character development and tightened CG effects, this cut also uses [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Shinedown's "Diamond Eyes,"]] which was commissioned by Stallone specifically for use in the film, during the climax and again in the credits.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: General Garza]]
* RedRightHand: Vilain and his Dragon both have big neck pentacle tattoos with a goat (which, as Vilain helpfully reminds us, is Satan's pet).
* RedShirt: The interviews and promotional material of the second film made it clear that the plot would revolve around the team avenging the death of, "one of their own." Looking at the cast, it was the guys from the first film and Thor's little brother. No points for guessing who gets the axe.
* RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun: In the sequel, Mr. Church recaps the team's exploits in the original movie while talking to Barney.
* RetiredBadass: Apparently, Tool (Rourke) has retired from mercenary stuff, but can still easily hit a bull's eye with a knife.
* [[spoiler: {{Retirony}}]]: In the sequel,[[spoiler: Billy talks about how he's going to retire at the end of the month, he doesn't even make it to the end of the next day.]]
* RuleOfCool: The entire film. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Special mentions go to]]:
** Stallone's character uses a single-action revolver which he fires in bursts by fanning the hammer. Badass? Yes. Homage to classic Westerns? Probably. Utterly illogical? Who gives a fuck?!
*** Fanning is something a trained shooter could do. Taking down several targets in the process? [[ImprobableAimingSkills Not so much]].
** Ross and Caesar blow up a chopper by throwing a shell and then setting it off in midair. By ''shooting at it.'' Wait, aren't those things, like, built to make sure stuff like that doesn't happen? Fuck that! Who needs physics when you've got HSQ?
* RuthlessModernPirates: The African pirates at the beginning.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: Billy the Kid is brutally tortured and killed right in front of his crew by Vilain]].
* SameStoryDifferentNames: The story has invited comparisons to ''TheDogsOfWar'' and Creator/{{Dolph Lundgren}}'s earlier film ''Men of War.''
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Yin Yang drops out early in the film to deliver a Chinese national, though, in his words, there's a fifty-fifty chance he might make the separation from the team permanent.
* SelfDeprecation: At the very end of the sequel, when Church gives Barney an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-2 An-2]] biplane:
--> '''Barney''': That thing belongs in a museum!\\
'''Trench''': We all do.
* SequelEscalation: how do they top the previous movie's cast? Add ''Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme'', '''Creator/ChuckNorris''' and Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger back in action plus weapons grade [[NukeEm plutonium]] as the MacGuffin.
* ShellShockedSenior: Tool, when he reveals his guilt to Barney.
* ShirtlessScene: [[BadassGrandpa Sylvester Stallone's]] character and his ''insane'' abs.
* ShootTheDog: [[spoiler: Barney to Gunnar]]. In the sequel, Billy talks about his time in the military, specifically an event where his base commander literally shoots the dog. This was part of what lead to his being disillusioned with the military and ultimately joining the Expendables.
* ShortRangeShotgun: Awesomely averted with the AA-12. Helps it's loaded with frag rounds meant to go farther than usual.
* ShoutOut: The mercenaries posing as ornithologists for their recon is likely a reference to the film of ''TheDogsOfWar''.
** Mickey Rouke still has [[Film/IronMan2 Vanko's haircut and eye slant.]]
** The whole church scene.
** "What've we got? [[TwoAndAHalfMen Four and a half men?]]"
** Christmas acquiring a ruby from Burma. [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Alfred]] relates a similar tale, and closer to home Burma was the setting of the most recent Rambo film, starring...you know.
** The drilling vehicle that Trench (Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger) uses to bust the Expendables out of the collapsed mine bears a STRIKING resemblence to the drilling vehicle that Quade (also played by Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger) shoves a drill into in Paul Verhoeven's adaptation of ''Film/TotalRecall1990''. And of course, the homage to his actor's most beloved CatchPhrase as soon as he appears:
--> '''Trench:''' ''[[Franchise/{{Terminator}} I'm Back!!]]''
** Lee Christmas punches a guy into an airplane propeller, killing him in a manner similar to a famous death scene in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. Cemented as a ShoutOut by Lee's slightly LeaningOnTheFourthWall line afterwards (He was actually talking about his knuckledusters)
-->'''Lee:''' Nothin' beats a classic.
** In yet another shoutout to the series, in the end, upon seeing that the Expendables are to be taken back home in a very, very old Russian propeller plane:
-->'''Barney''': [[IndianaJones That thing belongs in a museum!"]]
* ShowyInvincibleHero: It wouldn't be an old school movie throwback without one.
* ShutUpHannibal: "I didn't come for you, dipshit; I came for her!"
* SinisterShades: In part 2, Vilain spends pretty much the entire movie wearing sunglasses, even when underground in a mine. He only takes them off when he's preparing to face Ross in a hand to hand combat fight to the death.
* SmugSnake: Eric Roberts is, shall we say, not straying far from his comfort zone here.
* SnowyScreenOfDeath: The footage of the custom office's CCTV when Barney shoots the camera.
* SpiritualSuccessor: This could easily be seen as a modern reimagining of ''Film/{{Commando}}'', especially the grand finale.
* StealthExpert: All the Expendables, as seen in the first and final fight, despite Barney running around with ''a high beam torch'' waving all over the place. Averted by Toll in the final fight, who just beats the shit out of all the guys he runs into.
* StormingTheCastle: Garza's palace. Not surprisingly, the plan involves blowing it up.
* StrictlyFormula: If you have seen ''any action movie ever'', you already know how the plot goes. Then again, you're proabably not watching it for the story anyway.
* StuffBlowingUp: TheMovie. Somewhere, Creator/MichaelBay is watching this movie, dabbing a tissue at the single [[ManlyTears Manly Tear]] at the corner of his eye, and whispering, "it's ''beautiful''". Then he throws away the tissue. And it explodes.
* SummerBlockbuster
* TakeThat: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fncp0sQvBM0 This trailer]].
--> "If we don't? If ''this'' loses to ''EatPrayLove''? '''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis YOU DON'T... DESERVE... TO BE... A... MAN.]]'''"
** One could see the Austin/Couture fight as a Take That from MMA to pro wrestling.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: the Extended Cut of the first movie has Shinedown's "Diamond Eyes" blaring as the crew storms the courtyard.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The guys' motto, it seems.
** A memorable moment in the sequel has the team finishing off a platoon of {{mook}}s and while standing together Barney calls out "One more!" and the entire team empties their collective arsenal into a solitary gunman.
** "[[BondOneLiner Rest in pieces!]]"
* ThrowAwayGuns: Sometimes to ditch extra weight, sometimes out of necessity. Special mention goes to Yang in the sequel, who throws his gun ''at'' a mook to knock them out before grabbing [[FryingPanOfDoom the frying pans]].
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: [[spoiler: If several .45 bullets doesn't end Munroe's life, a huge honking Bowie knife clear through the heart will.]]
* TitleDrop: Averted. While the name "Expendables" appears on weapons and motorcycle decals, the name of the group is never actually spoken. Some countries call the film ''[[CompletelyDifferentTitle The Mercenaries]],'' and that term shows up a lot.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Gunnar.
* TokenRomance: Averted. Nothing between Stallone and Sandra, which is nice considering how tempting it must have been. And while Statham also has a LoveInterest, most of their interactions concern the fact that she dislikes his lifestyle.
** Similarly averted in the sequel. It hints that Maggie has a crush on Barney and they have a verbally affectionate parting by the end, but nothing more.
* TooStupidToLive: The leader of the pirates. Seriously? You have a group of elite badasses who have all of their {{Laser Sight}}s directly on you, they have just tossed down a bag of money to peacefully let the hostages go. And you have the audacity and stupidity to ask for more money?
** It comes with the territory. As Lee [[LampshadeHanging so exasperatedly comments]]: "Well, what do you know. ''A greedy pirate.''"
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Subverted. Sandra is waterboarded for information on the Expendables but does not give in. Instead, Monroe needs to get his information from [[spoiler: Gunnar]]. Played straight in the sequel, with Maggie and her set of surgical instruments.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: [[spoiler: Gunnar is clearly seen lifting Ying over his head and over a sharp spike, which makes it obvious from the beginning he betrays the team. They try cheating by making his face blurrier and speeding up the action, but it doesn't work.]]
* {{Troperiffic}}: It even provides the page image.
* TrueCompanions: Plays with it. An early scene implies that the team try to maintain completely professional relationships and nothing else, which is the reason behind their {{Code Name}}s (Yang suggests he is in it only for the money, claiming he needs more to support his son). The only members who seem to be genuinely close friends are Barney, Lee and Tool. But in spite of that they trust each other with their lives and mid-way through the movie you see them rallying around Barney and his personal mission, the ending scene is everyone having drinks together. Becomes even more clear in the sequel when the entire team hangs out in a bar(even Lacy was there) together during their downtime, then shows again with them all being very visibly upset about [[spoiler: Billy's death]], with Gunnar even seeming to wipe a tear from his eye.
* UnexplainedRecovery:
** [[spoiler: Gunnar.]] Lampshaded by Barney.
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: [[invoked]] Basically the reason these films are made. In the first film there was specifically Creator/DolphLundgren vs. Creator/JetLi and Creator/SylvesterStallone vs. Creator/StoneColdSteveAustin. [[spoiler: Surprisingly enough, Stallone and Li are playing the heroes and are clearly outmatched by Austin and Lundgren]]. The sequel promised Stallone vs. Van Damme early on.
* UndersideRide
* TheUnfairSex: Averted. Lacey's cheating isn't portrayed sympathetically at all, but Lee does take her back after beating down her abusive boyfriend.
* TheUnintelligible: Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren and Schwarzenegger are all known for sometimes being rather hard to understand either due to their accent or just kind of growling out their words. Put them together in the same movie and it's even more noticeable.
* UnorthodoxReload: Played with - Barney reloads his M1911 normally, he just does it ''incredibly'' fast. With enough practice, any experienced shooter can do it, too. Now, doing it while being shot at by fifty men with assault rifles in the open...
* TheVillainMakesThePlot: Van Damme received a lot of praise for his role as the bad guy in the sequel.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Inverted: Barney and Trench hate each other's guts, but talk as if they were old buddies.
** Surprisingly, Yang and Gunnar are like this in 2, after having no shortage of real anger at each other in the first film. When Yang departs the group, Gunnar even sounds a little sad when he says, "Who am I going to pick on now?"
* WarForFunAndProfit:
** Ultimately averted by the end of the movie, finally going in to kick ass because an innocent woman's going to get murdered if Barney doesn't save her.
** Initally played straight for the rest of the team, since a $5 million paycheck made goo-goo eyes at them.
** And Barney was highly considering not rescuing the girl until he talks to Tool and realizes he'll get to deal with the guilt of not rescuing her for the rest of his life.
** Also averted in the sequel. Church accuses Barney of stealing the $5 million and threatens to make them disappear from the face of the earth unless they do another job to make up for it. Later, they decide to chase down Vilain [[spoiler: to avenge Billy]].
** Played straight with Vilain, though, who's only interested in selling the plutonium.
* WarriorPoet: [[spoiler:Lee Christmas, at the end.]]
* [[WeaponizedCar Weaponized Seaplane]]: with four machine guns hidden in the nosecone, and a fuel dump to ignite and use as a Fuel/Air Explosion. Very very good at spreading out a cushion of air that turns people's innards to jelly.
** In the sequel they have a new (though very similar) plane with what appears to basically be a small hand-loaded howitzer in the nose. However, it's not especially accurate given it can only shoot at exactly what the plane is pointed at, so it acts more like a tank cannon.
-->'''Ross:''' "You missed!"
-->'''Lee:''' "''[[InsultBackfire You're]]'' [[InsultBackfire aiming!]]"
* WeaponOfChoice - An interesting case in that each character has their preferred weapon, but all characters switch between guns and fists/knives to fit the situation - or are forced to [[ThrowawayGuns drop them due to situation change.]]
** Ross: [[TheGunslinger Handguns or pistols]], most notably a [[GunsAkimbo pair of M1911s]] and a [[RevolversAreJustBetter Colt Single Action Army]].
** Lee: [[KnifeNut Throwing knives]].
** Gunnar: [[KnifeNut Huge Bowie knife]], Grenade Launcher.
** Yang: [[BareFistedMonk His fists]]. More apparent in the sequel.
** Caesar: [[{{BFG}} Automatic shotgun with explosive rounds]], [[ImprobableWeaponUser straight razor]].
** Road: [[StuffBlowingUp Explosives]].
** Billy: [[FriendlySniper Sniper Rifle]]
* WifeBasherBasher: Yes, Lee's girlfriend left him for a violent drunk, but that doesn't mean he isn't going defend her honor by beating the ''absolute tar'' out of him and his fellow wife-bashing basketball-buddies in broad daylight for beating her.
* WorldOfBadass: Everyone but the girl fits in the first film; the girl [[ActionGirl is totally included]] in the sequel.
* WorldOfHam: Considering it's a movie with SylvesterStallone, Creator/DolphLundgren, Stone Cold SteveAustin and Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger, this trope was pretty much unavoidable.
* WorthyOpponent: Jean Vilain considers Barney one of these. Unlike many examples of this trope, however, that doesn't mean he is ''nice'' to Barney, and he [[spoiler: kills Billy]] just to remind Barney that "respect must be earned."
* WouldHitAGirl: Paine.
** Also, Lacy's new boyfriend.
** In part 2, Maggie beats the hell out of several mooks in hand to hand combat, none of whom seemed squeamish about trying to hit(or shoot) her.
* WrestlerInAllOfUs: A lot of wrestling moves are used, even though only one actor is a (professional) wrestler.
* WrittenInInfirmity: Randy Couture's ear deformity is now ''Expendables'' [[RedRightHand canon.]]
* YouALLLookFamiliar: The soldiers' black war paint allowed the director to keep re-using the same stuntmen and actors in close-up fights. Knowing bad 80s movies, this was intentional.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Gunnar gets upset with the Mook he's stuck with during his [[ChaseScene high-speed ambush]] of Ross and Yang, up to the point he crushes the [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Mook's head against the dashboard with his boot]].
-->'''Gunnar''': Insect.
** Munroe, to General Garza [[spoiler:after the dictator decides to kick his ex-CIA partners as well as the Expendables out of his country.]]
** In the sequel, Vilain does this to his laborers, shooting a few and leaving the rest entombed in the uranium vaults.
* YesNoAnswerInterpretation: Barney shoots [[spoiler: the team traitor Gunnar]]. He asks Barney if he's going to die. Barney just tells him that the shot hit him two inches above the heart. He takes that as a yes. [[spoiler: However, he shows up alive and healthy at the end of the film.]]
* YourMom: Let it not be said that Stallone [[TotallyRadical is not down with what the kids are into]].
-->'''Paine''': (''While torturing Barney'') How many men do you have?\\
'''Barney''': Just your ''mother''!
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