* BestKnownForTheFanservice: Quite literally in this case. The scene where Erika Eleniak pops out of a giant cake while topless is one of the most-remembered scenes from this film.
* CompleteMonster: More or less lampshaded by Strannix when Krill decides to drown most of the ship's crew in order to bain Ryback into killing himself trying to save them.
** The villains in 2 are even worse; they are plotting the deaths of 8 million people for profit. Several of them are also clearly sadists.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Krill's acts of hostility towards Ryback, beginning with spitting in the chef's soup.
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: Many of Casey Ryback's improvised actions count as these, including but not limited to blowing up a Chinook using paint thinner and blowing up the submarine with a little help from his friends. Also Ryback kissing Jordan when he's asked to "show us some moves" by his crew.
* CrowningMomentOfFunny: Krill in a dress and makeup, asking Strannix if he needs psychological help, to which Strannix shakes his head.
** And in the second film, Travis Dane using the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower for his threat video.
* CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming: Ryback working with his mates, and their sadness over the deaths of some of their number. Also Ryback's DueToTheDead moment, taking a few moments to cover the captain's body in a show of respect to his murdered friend even with the situation around him still dire.
* GodModeSue: At ''no'' point does it ever look like Ryback is in trouble.
** And yet it's still remarkably subdued compared to Seagal's usual characters - Ryback is far less respected than the standard Seagal protagonist, for starters.
** Also, the hostages are supporting cast are usually in a lot more danger, so the movies still manage to have some tension.
* RetroactiveRecognition: A young [[GreysAnatomy Katherine Heigl]] as Ryback's niece (and DistressedDamsel) in the sequel.
* TheScrappy: Invoked, for humour. That one annoying balding guy in the glasses working for the Pentagon in the sequel. When he makes a lame quip about space being called space because there's so much of it, an admiral tells him never to speak again.
* TearJerker: Ryback draping the dead Captain's uniform over his body, after Ryback finds the captain killed in cold blood.