* 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 in the first movie (and got him in the second), for example. He's also been trying to get roles for Michael Pare, Creator/StevenSeagal and Wesley Snipes 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.
* ClicheStorm: The reason it exists.
* 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]].
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Well, it uses Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly's theme whenever [[ChuckNorris Booker]] appears.
* 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: Steve Austin plays a man who, as a plot point, WouldHitAGirl. Steve Austin has faced charges for domestic abuse in the past.
* 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 both 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.
* 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.
* RealitySubtext: Possible case in that Barney's speech following [[spoiler: Billy]]'s death could also apply to the death of Stallone's son in RealLife:
-->'''Barney Ross:''' Why is it the ones who deserve to live, that want to live the most, die - and the ones that don't deserve to live, keep on going?
* 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 ChuckNorris at his request. Once the movie came out, though, pretty much everyone agreed that swapping out a few F-Bombs for an appearance from the MemeticBadass himself was a good trade.
* 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.''
* 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]]
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