* AuthorsSavingThrow: Creator/SylvesterStallone has said in interviews that he deliberately tries to cast guys who are either up-and-coming (Like Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin) and give them a nudge, or he tried to cast guys who got derailed (like Creator/DolphLundgren) and hopes it gives them a second chance. He has said this is why he wanted Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme and Wesley Snipes in the movie (he got them in the second and third, respectively), for example. He's also been trying to get roles for Michael Pare and Creator/StevenSeagal for upcoming installments.
* BaseBreaker:
** There is a split on opinions on Billy the Kid. One half of the fanbase are willing to say that he was well-acted and functioned well within the team and for the most part is respected for not being as obnoxious and cliche as he could have been [[spoiler: and for facing death like a hero.]] The other half... well... just see WhatTheHellCastingAgency below.
** Galgo the crazy Spanish legionary is a plain LoveItOrHateIt. People see him as either a walking, breathing CrowningMomentOfFunny or the lowest point of an already defficient film.
* BrokenBase: The fact that the third movie [[http://collider.com/the-expendables-3-rating/ will be rated PG-13]] in contrast to the R ratings of the first two movies. Also, when a PG-13 rating was announced for the second movie, many fans were upset. Let's not forget that [[http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/the-expendables-3-leaks-online-3-weeks-ahead-of-release-20140725 the third movie was also leaked online]] before it could be released in theaters, with many fans fearing that the movie might not do well at the box office because of this leak.
* ClicheStorm: The reason it exists. [[TropesAreNotBad In this case, it's not necessarily a bad thing]].
* CompleteMonster: [[RogueAgent Rogue CIA agent]] James Munroe is the BigBad of the first film. A drug smuggler and [[HiredGuns mercenary]], Munroe is responsible for his partner, [[TheGeneralissimo General Garza]], transforming the island of [[BananaRepublic Vilena]] into a PoliceState, using the people as labor in their drug operation. During his first scene, Munroe kills one prisoner, then derides [[EvenEvilHasStandards Garza]] for his lack of spine, forcing the [[NobleDemon General]] to murder a second prisoner in order to save face. When the Expendables raid Vilena, Munroe captures Garza's daughter, Sandra, who opposes her father's government, and has her waterboarded over [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes Garza]]'s objections. He contracts former Expendable, Gunnar, to kill the rest of the team, and when Garza turns on him following the Expendables' assault on Vilena, he shoots the General IntheBack, kills the rest of his security detail, and tries to make good his escape, though not before instructing [[TheDragon Paine]] and [[TortureTechnician The Brit]] to torture [[TheHero Barney Ross]], and taking Sandra hostage to use as a HumanShield. Caring only for [[OnlyInItForTheMoney his profits]], Munroe is willing to wreck an entire country [[{{greed}} in order to increase them]].
* ContestedSequel: The third movie has its moments but, due to its PG-13 rating, new characters not fitting the casting aesthetic ([[MetaCasting young actors without the same credentials as the veterans]]) taking up screen time, and that the movie made #4 at the box office on its opening weekend, it's seen as a misstep in the series. Stallone acknowledged this, and says the fourth movie should WinBackTheCrowd.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Well, it uses Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly's theme whenever [[Creator/ChuckNorris Booker]] appears.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Antonio Banderas as Galgo practically made Expendables 3 worthwhile. A rare occasion when a MotorMouth is the fan favorite, the fact he was genuinely funny ("I needed a job! All I wanted to do is kill people! And I do that ''very well!'' Goddammit!") and managed some pathos with his backstory helps.
* EvenBetterSequel: Just for the sake of adding more names, more action and LOTS more in jokes, ''2'' was almost uniformly better received than the first one.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment / HarsherInHindsight: Steve Austin plays a man who, as a plot point, WouldHitAGirl. Steve Austin has faced charges for domestic abuse in the past.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fncp0sQvBM0 Call to Arms]] trailer for the first movie reminds you not to watch it off your torrents but "in a [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] theater where violence belongs". However, [[http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/the-expendables-3-leaks-online-3-weeks-ahead-of-release-20140725 the third movie was leaked online prior to release.]]
*** That line is also fairly wince-inducing in light of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Aurora_shooting mass shooting]] that took place in a cinema right around the film's release.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGPxlMpzqYQ This fanmade musical]] of ''The Expendables'' contains a chorus that says "PG-13 is for pussies". The third movie was eventually rated PG-13.
* FoeYay: Mr. Church {{Lampshades}} this as he watches Ross and Trench trash-talk each other.
--> '''Church:''' You two aren't gonna start sucking each other's dicks or anything?
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: [[http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-china-expendables-dark-knight-rises-spider-man20121010,0,3607540.story The sequel outgrossed both The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man in China.]]
* HilariousInHindsight: WWE has adopted [[ImageSong Diamond Eyes]] as one of their themes. From a film that featured a classically-trained wrestler kicking a professional wrestler into a fire.
* HoYay: Quite a lot.
* {{HSQ}}: Off the charts for the final fight, in all three movies.
* IAmNotLeonardNimoy: The titular Expendables, not that we're complaining; it's pretty much why we watched it.
* [[JustHereForGodzilla Just Here For]] [[strike:[[JustHereForGodzilla Godzilla]]]]''[[JustHereForGodzilla THE WHOLE DAMN CAST]]''
* MemeticBadass: TheMovie.
* MemeticMutation: "Track 'em, find 'em and kill 'em!"
* {{Narm}}: "I SAID: ARE YOU A REAL TOUGH GUY?!"
** Also the close-up of Ross stabbing one of the mooks who were going to rape Sandra. Doubles as SpecialEffectsFailure as the blood looks rather off in the shot and his knife kinda wobbles around unnaturally.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The console game. The TowerDefense webgame, not so much.
** NoProblemWithLicensedGames: The tie in game [[VideoGame/{{BROFORCE}} Expendabros]] shows the movie's spirit quite well; the only way it can get better is if it had oneliners.
* OneSceneWonder: Trench and Church, played by Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger and BruceWillis. The sequel gives them more screentime and action sequences. Also, Mickey Rourke, who has about 5 minutes of screen time yet gives arguably the best performance of the first film.
* RomanticPlotTumor: The subplot of Lee's pining for Lacy and his bemoaning about being unable to get together with her because of his job as a mercenary which took up a good chunk of the first film.
* {{Sequelitis}}: The third film, due to being rated [=PG13=] and adding unnecessary new characters played by lesser-known actors who are taking the screentime from the bigger name actors whose appearance were the whole point of the franchise, has drawn much criticism.
* SoCoolItsAwesome: The entire series. Considering the fact that they are the revival of the action movie genre, this is to be expected.
* SpecialEffectFailure: The guard that Ross decapitated somehow managed to grow his head back between shots.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks:
** There was some grumbling at the news that ''The Expendables 2'' would cut most hard profanity from the script to accommodate Creator/ChuckNorris at his request. Once the movie came out, though, this was subverted; pretty much everyone agreed that swapping out a few F-Bombs for an appearance from the MemeticBadass himself was a good trade.
** Early reviews have bemoaned that ''III'' is both PG-13 and devotes an unnecessary amount of screentime to the younger Expendables. After the film bombed at the box office, Sylvester Stallone admitted that it was a "mistake" to lower the film to PG-13 and he promised that fourth film in the franchise will return to an R-rating.
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: Many critics who didn't like the movie were nevertheless impressed by Mickey Rourke's performance and wondered what such a dedicated performance was doing in a "brain-dead action flick". Oddly enough, a lot of critics, in an odd version of this trope, were expecting slam-bang action all the way through, but ''complained'' about the overuse of CGI (which was not a staple in 80s movies), the too-modern ShakyCam, and, most unexpectedly, it having ''too much plot.''
* ViewersAreGeniuses: The legion song Antonio Banderas's character sings in the third film and his hilarious "marching" are not random antics, but a obscure cultural joke. The motions and noises he does are actually the steps of the Spanish Legion parade during Holy Week in the city of Seville, something only a viewer very acquainted with the culture of Spain could recognize.
* WhatTheHellCastingAgency: While the fandom seems to be rather accepting of a [[TheSmurfettePrinciple female presence]] on the team, the more vocal reaction to Liam Hemsworth being cast is vehement to say the least. Reasons vary; from him being too young, to not having an action movie to his credit, [[note]] Film/TheHungerGames was being made at the same time as The Expendables 2, both films being produced by Lionsgate, so he was probably cast to cash in on the films success, which, in the eyes of some, doesn't help his case much.[[/note]] to his relationship with MileyCyrus. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Don't ask.]]
** Though people stopped complaining once that found out that [[spoiler: his character dies not even 20 minutes into the film]]
** Kelsey Grammer in ''III''.
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