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The Expendables as a whole
- Action Heroes: Of course. It's the entire point.
- Badass Crew: Oh yes. If each of them are a One-Man Army, then God help you if they are together.
- Blood Brothers: Once you fight side by side with them, you are a brother (or sister) to them for life, even if you're not a part of the team.
- Cast Speciation: Even if some members have individual gimmicks, the team have many of them with similar roles. Yin Yang and Toll Road share the expertise of hand-to-hand fighting, a field in which Gunnar also excels; most of them carry big guns, not limited to their official artilleryman Hale; and, of course, most members could qualify as the big player of a smaller team.
- Combat Pragmatists: Using mooks as human shields, drawing guns in hand to hand combat situations, improvising weapons from everyday objects, strikes to the groin...all par for the course with these guys.
- Cool Old Guys: Before the addition of Liam Hemsworth and Yu Nan in the second film, Statham was the youngest actor in the group, he was 42 by the time of filming. Stallone is in his mid 60's, and Norris (the only cast member to have fought The Bruce Lee himself) is in his 70's.
- Dysfunctional Family: To some degree. They may argue, disagree, and even fight (very occasionally), but they really do love each other.
- Hidden Depths: The entire team. Although none of them show much interest in retirement, it's clear that they're all devoted to each other, and despite their occupation, they all have moral boundaries.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: They wouldn't be able to fight off hundreds of mooks if they all weren't damn good shots.
- Invincible Heroes: With so much muscle and machine guns, it's hard not to be this.
- Made of Iron: They suffer the occasional injury, but none of them are ever permanently debilitated.
- Private Military Contractors: They're mercenaries.
- Punny Name: Toll Road, Hale Caesar, Yin Yang...
- Rated M for Manly: Their entire lives revolve around mercenary work, and they're very good at what they do.
- Stealth Experts: While they have no problem with going in loud, they know how to get to their targets quietly when they need to.
- The Team:
- The Leader: Barney (top guy)
- The Lancer: Christmas (second in command)
- The Big Guy: Toll Road (best hand-to-hand fighter), Hale (strongest and with the biggest guns), Gunnar (biggest and meanest)
- The Smart Guy: Yang (smallest but skilled), Galgo (craziest but skilled), Doc (the medic)
- The Heart: Billy (youngest and least jaded)
- The Chick: Maggie (down-to-earth, only woman)
- The Team Benefactor: Tool (job organizer)
- Took a Level in Kindness: Gunnar in the sequels. And arguably everyone else on the team to varying degrees.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: They regularly insult and casually threaten to kill each another... But they're willing to die and kill for each other.
- Weapon of Choice: While all of the Expendables use assault rifles and submachineguns as their primary weapons, each of them uses a particular signature weapon as well.
Played By: Sylvester Stallone
The leader of the team, Ross is an aging pistolero and mercenary with a jaded attitude and the conviction that nothing he does is making the world a better place. He does possess an actual moral compass however, and tries to take jobs that hurt only the bad guys.
- A Father to His Men: Forgives Gunnar for betraying the group, and his main motivation in the second movie is trying to avenge the death of Billy
- Badass Grandpa: The oldest of the Expendables. But he's badass enough that he's survived doing his job for over 22 years.
- Bad Luck Charm: His "lucky" ring...
- Celibate Hero: Seems to actively avoid romance, despite his chemistry with Sandra in the first film and Maggie in the second
- Chain Pain: Uses one against Vilain.
- Cigar Chomper: Though not as much as Trench.
- Cool Bike: Barney has a custom chopper that he built himself.
- Cool Car: Barney's truck is a custom 1955 Ford F100, with armor plating and bulletproof windows.
- Cool Plane: Barney has a sea plane with hidden machine guns. In the sequel, it has an artillery gun mounted in the nose.
- Despair Event Horizon: Barney goes through one in the third film when Caesar is nearly killed by Stonebanks. Barney is so distraught that he temporarily disbands the Expendables and forms a new team of young recruits because he can't bear the thought of one of his friends being killed so close to retirement.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His weapon of choice, according to the official field guide, is brass knuckles(though he seems to actually prefer his pistols to anything).
- Guns Akimbo: Barney often fights with a Colt M1911 in each hand.
- The Gunslinger: He prefers pistols to other firearms, and he's the quickest shot on the team.
- The Hero: He's the leader of the Expendables, and their moral center.
- Hero's Classic Car: Drives a 1955 Ford F100 pickup truck, which turns out in a Chase Scene to have been heavily modified under the hood.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Lee Christmas.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: This is why Barney rejects Maggie's advances.
- Keep the Reward: Gives his share of the money to Sandra, rather than keeping it for himself.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He tries to be cynical and detached, but simply cannot stop himself from caring when it really does matter. In the rare, rare instances where his actions make a positive difference in the lives of decent people, his sour armor completely melts away.
- Meaningful Name: 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 a boxer.
- Quick Draw: Somewhat of his stock in trade, considering he favors handguns.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Barney loves to quick-draw his enemies using a snub-nosed Colt Single-Action Army.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied to have seen the death of so many brothers that he is able to keep his feelings completely in check when dealing with the loss of friends.
- Tranquil Fury: Tends to favor this over Unstoppable Rage, shown in the first and second films where he hardly raises his voice at the villains. Which is why it's so shocking when he flips out upon seeing Stonebanks.
- Weapon of Choice: Revolvers and pistols.
- When He Smiles: It's rare, but he shows a surprising tender warmth when he actually does get to make a positive difference in this world.
- Worthy Opponent: Vilain considers him one, and is elated when they finally get to fight.
- Wrestler in All of Us: During his fight with Vilain, Ross charges Vilain and delivers a full on power slam.
Played By: Jason Statham
The youngest member of the original team, Lee Christmas is a career mercenary and blade specialist, who serves as Ross' Number Two and reality check. He has a rocky relationship with his girlfriend, Lacey.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Milder example. He is good at this thing and he knows it, and is not above flaunt it a bit.
- Bald of Awesome: Being played by Jason Statham, this is a given.
- Deadpan Snarker: Is he ever, and seeing as how it's Jason Statham.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Former SAS.
- Knife Nut: Lee appears to prefer using his throwing knives to any other weapon.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Barney Ross.
- The Lancer: Ross's quick-witted second-in-command who, despite his rough demeanor, would be willing to put his life on the line for the sake of his friends.
- Meaningful Name: A pretty obscure one. Lee Christmas was a mercenary during the real-life Banana Wars. Genius Bonus for history buffs, and a huge hint that the name is really an alias.
- Mugging the Monster: Inverted. In The Expendables, monster mugs you!
- Number Two: Lee is this to Ross.
- One-Man Army: While all of the Expendables kill way, way more than their fair share of mooks, Christmas usually gets the lion's share; in the second movie he kills more than Toll, Gunnar, and Caesar put together - though about a third of those came from blowing up the bridge at the beginning of the movie. His kill count is well into triple digits before the opening credits.
- Showy Invincible Hero: Though most of the Expendables fit this already, Christmas is a particular example, with greater emphasis on theatrical techniques. Especially notable in the second movie, where Barney convinces him to do the whole church ambush by just appealing to his ego and the flashiness of the whole thing.
- Weapon of Choice: Knives of all types.
- Wife-Basher Basher: After he finds out that his ex-girlfriend's new partner is hitting her, he goes to the park, hears him call her a bitch, subjects said boyfriend to a Curb-Stomp Battle, and threatens to kill him if he hits her again. All without raising his voice.
- Warrior Poet: He busts out a limerick at the end of the first film.
Played By: Jet Li
The smallest and lightest member of the team, Yang is a close combat specialist who has known Ross since day one, and is the first one to follow him when he decides to go ahead with the mission to the island. He claims to have money problems, and is frequently mocked and belittled by Gunnar.
- Alliterative Name: Ying Yang
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: A mild example, but he's pretty confident in his skills.
- The Bus Came Back: Returns in the third movie, working for Trench in the film's climax.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Though not above using guns and knives.
- David vs. Goliath: In his battle with Gunnar. Although it's also an aversion of this trope; Yang would have been killed if Barney Ross hadn't intervened.
- Demoted to Extra: In the second movie, he leaves about ten minutes into the movie, and in the third, doesn't appear until near the end, where he's now working for Trench.
- Frying Pan of Doom: Uses two to take out five mooks in the opener of the sequel after his gun runs out of ammo.
- I Have a Family: He mentions having one on the first movie, which is the reason he demands money constantly. He admits to Barney that he was lying about it, but brings up the possibility that he'll start one someday.
- Large Ham: Especially when compared to most of Li's other roles.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Yang invokes this when he walks into a kitchen filled with knife wielding mooks and, being a true Combat Pragmatist, immediately draws his pistol. Only it's empty after the first shot.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The shortest member of the team in the first and second movies; deadly in close-quarters combat.
- Put on a Bus: Appears in the opening sequence at the start of the second film, but parachutes into China with the rescued official and isn't seen again. Prior to his leaving Gunnar asks when he'll return, to which he replies "Maybe soon...maybe never." leaving it open for the bus to come back.
- Token Minority: The only Asian in the team. Lampshaded in The Expendables 2. When asked by Gunnar who he'll get to pick on without him, Yin replies "You'll find another minority".
- Undying Loyalty: To Ross. When the rest of the team decides that returning to Garza's island is insane, Yang insists on accompanying Ross. When asked why his only reply is "friends die together". Somewhat subverted when he turns up working for Mauser in the third film because Trench pays him more.
- Weak, but Skilled: He is very petite, especially compared to the behemoths the team is mostly composed of, but he makes it up with martial skill, improvisation and grace.
- Weapon of Choice: His bare hands, with a side of whatever is readily available.
Played By: Randy Couture
A tough close-up combatant with a cauliflower ear and intellectual pretensions. Toll Road is the best physical fighter on the team.
- Badass Beard: By the sequel.
- Badass Bookworm: Toll Road is implied to be fairly well read. In the first movie, when the crew is heading back after their securing the hostage mission, most are maintaining their weapons or flying the plane while he is studiously reading a book with his reading glasses on.
- Badass Grandpa: Like many members of the team. Given that he's the one to eventually take out Paine, he may well be the most badass of them all in physical matters.
- Bald of Awesome: Though it is hard to see due to his uncanny skill to keep his hat on while fighting.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Generally punches, kicks, or throws mooks rather than using guns or blades (not that he doesn't also carry and use both).
- The Big Guy: Splits this role with Hale Caesar. Toll handles the closeup stuff, while Caesar is their artilleryman.
- Combat Pragmatist: After trading bumps with Paine, who had beaten down Barney earlier, Road resolves to Kill It with Fire.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Clearly believes himself to be more cultured than his pals, and it might be truth considering he was in college and likes to read, but never does anything to prove it in pragmatic context.
- Nice Hat: Wears a boonie hat as part of his uniform, and also in casual wear he wears caps and berets.
- Weapon of Choice: Like Lee, his bare hands, though with more emphasis on wrestling moves and throws than direct strikes.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Uses suplexes, powerslams and powerbombs when in physical battle. The actor, Randy Couture, is both an amateur wrestling champion and a trained pro wrestler.
- Written-In Infirmity: Couture's cauliflower ears.
Played By: Terry Crews
The team artilleryman, Hale Ceasar never enters a fight without a grenade launcher, a shotgun, or some other devastating fire support weapon. He's one of the more cheerful members of the team, and in terms of sheer muscular power, the strongest.
- Awesome McCoolname: It's not just a pun, it's a pretty cool sounding name too.
- Awesome, but Impractical: When he figures out using the AA-12 was a bad idea in closed quarters in the first movie.
- In the third film, when he uses a minigun. Just as Gunnar predicted, he has about 10 seconds worth of ammo.
- Bald of Awesome: Always bald, always awesome.
- Big Damn Heroes: Caesar and his AA-12 save the rest of the team in style in the climax of the first movie, wiping out every single mook that stood in their way."Remember this shit at Christmas!"
- The Big Guy: Splits this role with Toll Road, as the team's artilleryman. He's also Ross' go-to guy when freakish amounts of sheer physical strength are required.
- Blood Knight: Seems a bit too much over-enthusiastic about fighting, leading Toll Road to ask him to seek a psychiatrist.
- Boisterous Bruiser: While his teammates are usually more subdued, Caesar clearly loves what he does.
- Cool Gun: His AA-12 shotgun note . There's also his Milkor mutiple grenade launcher in The Expendables II that's loaded with buckshot rounds, though he actually only borrowed it from Gunnar.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gets in a few jabs here and there.
- Demoted to Extra: In the third movie, he gets badly wounded by Stonebanks and spends the majority of the film in the hospital to recover. He survives.
- I Call It "Vera": He refers to his AA-12 shotgun as "Omaya Kaboom" when talking to Toll Road in the first movie.
- Improbable Weapon User: A straight razor.
- Knife Nut: Though not as obsessed with blades as Lee Christmas, Hale's backup weapon of choice is a shaving razor. In the sequel he is also shown to carry a more normal combat knife.
- More Dakka: The team's resident expert in pouring down heavy ammo.
- Psycho Party Member: He is not the only who looks a bit nuts in this team, but his lust for violence and fighting arguably makes him the most vicious on the battefield.
- Scary Black Man: And he would be scary even not being the only black in the squad (which he ceases to be with Doc's arrival).
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Seems to think so, given his taste of using shotguns. Even after losing his beloved AA-12 to Trench, he gains a Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun and uses the aforementioned buckshot MGL.
- Twofer Token Minority: When Barney introduces the team to the villagers in the second movie as "Americans," most of the team corrects him. Hale's correction is to self-identify as a Blackfoot Indian, but it's hard to tell if he's serious or just being a smartass.
- Weapon of Choice: Shotguns, whether semi-auto or an AA-12 automatic.
Played By: Dolph Lundgren
A shellshocked lunatic with drug abuse and rage problems, Gunnar is a hulking bruiser who is willing to kill anybody, ally and enemy alike, having issues with Yin Yang in particular. He mellows out considerably by the start of the sequel.
- Back from the Dead: He was shot and apparently killed by Barney after trying to kill Yin Yang. However, it was Only a Flesh Wound.
- Blood Knight: Even worse than Hale, Gunnar definitely has fun killing and maiming.
- Boisterous Bruiser: After Caesar, he's the most extroverted of the Expendables.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Studied chemical engineering, before he quit to become a bouncer in order to impress a girl.
- Byronic Hero: He's more unstable than the rest of the team, suffering from a drug addiction and more willing to kill the teams' targets in needlessly cruel ways. He does mellow out after the first film.
- Casanova Wannabe: A subtler example, nonetheless, but Gunnar's occasional attempts to flirt with Maggie always fall flat.
- Cool Gun: In the sequel, he carries a Milkor MGL multi-shot grenade launcher as his primary weapon during both the opening rescue and during the airport shootout.
- Drugs Are Bad: Gunnar has a recurring substance abuse problem (heavily implied to be crystal meth), which helps to explain some of his attitude problems.
- Easily Forgiven: Despite betraying the team in the first movie, they don't seem to care much afterwards.
- Genius Bruiser: He's the team's chemical engineer, see Actor-Shared Background.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: In the first movie, he leaves the group due to a falling out with Barney and then joins Munroe's team. He later betrays them during a car chase to try to kill Barney and Yin Yang and gets shot by Barney. By the end, Gunner is back with their good graces and stays a face during the sequel.
- Knife Nut: Carries a huge bowie knife. During the climactic airport shootout in the sequel, this appears to be the ONLY weapon he is carrying as backup to his grenade launcher!
- Lightning Bruiser: In close quarters combat at least, though it's not his specialty. During his fight with Yang in the first film, he was fast and skilled enough to keep pace with the smaller man for most of the fight. Whenever he landed hits, Yang felt them. More than that, he's tough enough to immediately come back from a flurry of hits and a leg choke with a cheerful, "My turn."
- Pitiful Worms: This is his favorite type of insult.
- Psycho Party Member: He might not be the least sane in the team (Galgo and possibly Caesar beat him in that), but he is the least moral. He is willing to betray the team and murder one of his members with his own hands for a grudge.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Seen using shotguns from time to time.
- Token Evil Teammate: In the first movie and even became one of the bad guys for a brief moment.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Subverted. In the first moments of his fight with Yin Yang he seems that he is little more than an unskilled brawler who happens to be very burly. He soon reveals he knows very well how to use his strength and size. His strikes also seem very precise and karate-like, displaying an orthodox martial arts training not unlike Yin Yang.
- Weapon of Choice: Explosives and grenade launchers. He uses a sniper rifle in the third movie, probably in reference to promotional materials from the first film that described him as a sniper. He even mentions using a wrist-mounted computer to check weather conditions.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: Rejoins the team at the end of the first movie, having kicked his drug problem.
Played By: Mickey RourkeA former member of the team, Tool runs the tattoo parlour that the Expendables operate out of. He suffers from severe PTSD which is why he had to leave the team in the first place.
- Absentee Actor: For the sequels.
- The Casanova: Mainly implied. The first time we see Tool, he is accompanied by a gorgeous, buxom blonde young enough to be his daughter. Based on comments made by his friends he's good at seducing women though not so good at keeping them.
- Knife Nut: Not to the same extent as Christmas but he has his moments. He doesn't take part in fighting scenes so this is the only shtick he shows.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: It's implied that his love life isn't very successful.
- Manly Tears: Lets out a few during his monologue.
- Mission Control: Organizes the jobs that the Expendables go on.
- My Greatest Failure: Seeing a woman attempting suicide in Bosnia and doing nothing to stop it.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Tool's obsession with "decorating" pretty much anything, whether it's Lee's head with a tattoo or a guitar he plans to smash once it's completed.
- Retired Badass: A former member of the team and, if his knife-throwing is any indication, his skills are still sharp.
- Retired Monster: How he views himself.
- Sequel Non-Entity: He is not referenced in the second or third movies.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: To the point where he had to walk away from the team's jobs.
Billy "the Kid" Timmons
Played By: Liam Hemsworth
A new recruit in the second film, Billy is an Afghanistan veteran whose faith in the US Army has been shattered. He doesn't yet know if the mercenary life is for him but he doesn't have many other options.
- Cold Sniper/Friendly Sniper: When he's behind a scope, he's cool as a cucumber, emotionlessly mowing down mooks with single shots and even quietly apologizing for the delay in rescuing Barney and Ying Yang because he had to adjust for wind. Outside combat though, he's just an average young man dreaming of settling down with his French nurse girlfriend.
- Fragile Speedster: His speed comes in handy for scouting runs and for reminding Barney how old he is. He is killed off quickly.
- The Heart: He has yet to become as pessimistic as the older team-mates.
- Kill the Cutie: The youngest and most innocent member of the team is killed to motivate everyone else.
- Nice Guy: When compared to his teammates.
- New Meat: Though the Expendables aren't military, he seems to be their version of this - he's a new member of the group, doesn't seem to be as muscular as everyone else, and is nicknamed "the Kid". He also refers to Ross as "Sir", whereas everyone else just calls him Barney.
- Retirony: He's not sure that the mercenary life is for him and he's planning on finishing up at the end of the month.
- Sacrificial Lion: Billy's death makes the mission to stop Vilain personal.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: An unusually young example but his time served in Afghanistan shattered his faith in the American Military. Also an unusual example in the nature of the trauma; his commanding officer refused to use artillery on Taliban fighters who were hiding amongst civilians, which would have been a serious war crime. This caused his entire team to be slaughtered, leaving him with the guilt of failing them. Yet the same officer murdered a stray puppy he adopted during that battle on the grounds that an adorable baby animal would "soften" the soldiers and make them unfit for combat; an all too frequent and sad occurrence in the Real Life US Military.
- Tagalong Kid: Pretty old for the usual example but plays it straight nonetheless.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: He's fairly good looking.
- The Trope Kid: Named after Billy The Kid.
- Weapon of Choice: A Barrett M107 Sniper Rifle.
Played By: Nan Yu
A CIA agent assigned to assist the team during the second film, Maggie is a technical genius, and a physical match for any of the men on the team.
- Action Girl: Completely shatters the stereotype of the 1980's Asian damsel in distress; aside from being pulled away from flying debris once. She is intelligent, brave, completely independent and an equal to every male Expendable (and possibly even better when it comes to interrogation).
- Badass Bookworm: Arguably more educated than every man on the team, a fact that Barney grudgingly shows respect for.
- Biker Babe: She rides a motorcycle when she meets up with Barney.
- The Comically Serious: She's a bit more straight-foward than the rest of the team.
- Cultured Badass: She's fairly intelligent.
- Cunning Linguist: Speaks fluent English, French, Chinese, and Slavic languages.
- Dragon Lady: Averted: Possibly the first female Asian warrior in an American film who kicks ass but is decidedly not a mean-spirited and cynical ice bitch.
- Fire-Forged Friends: After fighting side by side with our heroes.
- Genius Bruiser: The most technologically savvy of the cast.
- The Heart: Aside from Billy The Kid, her empathy and connection to humanity is the least damaged of the band.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Maggie extracts crucial information from some of the bad guys using a torture kit containing several knives, scalpels, and other nasty-looking instruments (although it happens off-camera).
- Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: Despite her fairly major role in the movie (she's in it more than Jet Li), she wasn't included in the billing.
- The Not-Love Interest: Although there's definitely some romantic tension between Barney and Maggie, Barney refuses to let it go any further out of concern that he'll endanger her.
- One of the Boys: Able to simultaneously take the immaturity of the men in stride and bond with them through the camaraderie of sharing dirty jokes.
- Sixth Ranger: Although not officially a part of the Expendables, she is implied to be this for the franchise should it ever continue:Maggie: If you're in trouble, call me or you're dead.
- Team Mom: Able to be an emotional center and conscience for the team AND still be a badass too.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only woman on the team; and a complete equal as a warrior to every male Expendable. In every way. Including some truly awful dialogue early in the movie.
Played By: Antonio BanderasA former Spanish Armed Forces sharpshooter and Bosnian War veteran who fears nothing, Galgo is sharp and charismatic with a bark that matches his bite.
- Badass Spaniard: A former member of the Spanish Legion and portrayed by Antonio Banderas.
- Because I'm Good at It: He claims this is the reason he's a mercenary, rather than anything else.Galgo: All I know how to do is killing people! And! I! Am! Very! Very! Good at it!
- Bilingual Bonus: His name translates to "Greyhound".
- Blood Knight: Like he says above, the only thing he does well is kill people and he's desperate to get back to it.[in the middle of a gunfight] "This is the happiest day of my life!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Has a mad amount of enthusiasm, can't communicate without motioning around frantically, often says very bizarre and/or inappropriate things, likes to sing and dance and never, ever shuts up.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Seems like The Load when he first appears with his endless chatter and nervous manner but once he lets loose in the final battle... holy shit.
- Fearless Fool: Seems like this. Fortunately, he can more than back it up.
- Firing One-Handed: Momentarily does it with an AK-47 while doing a dance pose.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He quickly proves to be this, as none of the others can put up with his nonstop talking, but by the end they've accepted him as a member of the team.
- Happy Dance: Does one of these when Barney allows him to help out.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Subverted. He acknowledges that killing is the only thing he is good at but his obvious enthusiasm for joining the team in order to fight again downplays a lot his possible reluctance for it.
- Large Ham: And his body language is not less histrionic.
- Le Parkour: Very agile and graceful. His introduction has him doing pretty moves down from a scaffolding.
- Man Hug: Embraces Barney when he officially lets him join the team but Barney tells him to ease off.
- Motor Mouth: He never stops talking. Ever.
- Nervous Wreck: The poor guy really looks like he has a neurological condition or something.
- Quick Draw: Skilled at this.
- Psycho Party Member: Unlike other team members who see their job as a chivalry task at the best or a fountain of thrill at the worst, Galgo claims to be in there just for the mere act of killing. Then again, given the circumstances of his claim, it's not clear if it is the literal truth or just a desperate way to describe his own talents. Considering his background, it might be even a sign that he is not completely on his rocker.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied. He fought in the Bosnian War and saw all of his unit die, so it's entirely possible that his perennial anxiety is a Black Comedy take on post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Sole Survivor: Of his former team; ever since this happened, he's been desperately looking for work to no avail.
- Weak, but Skilled: He is among the lightest and least buff members of the brigade, but his aim, skills, finesse and guts make up for it.
- Weapon of Choice: Notable because he doesn't have one. He uses any weapon he can get his hands on.
Played By: Wesley SnipesOne of the original five founding Expendables, Doc managed to get himself imprisoned after attempting a solo mission that went horribly wrong.
- Badass in Distress: Part of the third film involves the Expendables rescuing him from a train filled with soldiers.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has a sense of humor to match even Lee's.
- Gagging on Your Words: He's pretty confident and snarky but it takes a lot of effort for him to thank the team for saving him.
- Knife Nut: He's particularly skilled with blades, describing himself as "the knife before Christmas." He was also apparently skilled enough with them to be capable of giving himself a clean shave, dry, without a mirror, using Gunnar's massive Bowie knife, while on a plane.
- The Medic: The two reasons Ross gives for rescuing him are that he is a medic and one of the original team members.
- Scary Black Man: Courtesy of Wesley.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied, notably when he chooses to sleep on the floor rather than in bed, probably due to eight years in a Hellhole Prison.
- Ungrateful Bastard: It takes him a while to actually thank the other guys for saving him but after that he's pretty nice.
- Weapon of Choice: Like Christmas, he's a Knife Nut and also favours a Steyr AUG.
Played By: David Zayas
The military dictator of a small island nation, General Garza runs a repressive Police State, and is deeply involved in the South and Central American drug trade.
- Alas, Poor Villain: After he realizes the kind of person he's become he's soon killed by Munroe.
- Anti-Villain: Although he's a dictator and a pawn of Munroe, he also feels guilty for what he and Munroe have done to his country.
- Badass Boast: Gives a good one at the end of his Rousing Speech."We will kill this American disease!"
- Badass Moustache: Has a nice 'stache going on.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: On the surface he and Munroe are this, but it becomes clear that Munroe holds the actual power in the relationship.
- Cool Sword: When Garza decides to be his own man and stand up to Munroe, he does so carrying a sword.
- The Dog Bites Back: Munroe goes too far when he tortures Garza's own daughter for information so Garza decides to stand up for himself. This ends poorly for him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His daughter, Sandra, is this to him."You don't kill your family."
- Even Evil Has Standards: See Noble Demon below. He disapproves of killing family members. He also seems to have a problem with the general level of callousness that Munroe displays; while Garza is willing to kill to maintain power, he's not nearly as casual about it as Munroe and Paine are.
- Four-Star Badass: We never get to see him fight, but this is certainly implied. After all, when you're a twenty-first century dictator you don't threaten a man with a sword instead of a gun unless you're also a certified badass.
- The Generalissimo: Garza is one of the rarest characters in Western film—the sympathetic South American generalissimo.
- Glorious Leader: If the posters of him all over the island are any indicator.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Killed by Munroe before he can complete his Heel–Face Turn or even realise that he and the Expendables are on the same side.
- Heel Realisation: Following his My God, What Have I Done? below.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Grows more and more unhappy with playing the role of the tyrannical oppressor. When Munroe has Sandra tortured it forces him into a Heel Realisation.
- Noble Demon: Quite a noble one, actually. Although he's a dictator, he would rather be ruling peacefully than having to oppress his people and grow drugs for his CIA dealer. He even admits that his daughter is who he should have been.
- Police State: Runs one.
- President Evil: As the dictator of an oppressive police state.
- Puppet King: Only in power thanks to Munroe's efforts.
- Redemption Equals Death: He dies soon after he turns against Munroe.
- Rousing Speech: Gives one to his troops from his balcony during his Heel–Face Turn, where he apologises for his actions and urges them to help him drive the Americans out.
Played By: Eric Roberts
A rogue CIA agent, drug smuggler, private military contractor, and all around bad guy, James Munroe defected from the agency to help Garza run his drug business. Completely ruthless, he is the power behind the throne.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Seemingly with General Garza, the two heads of the drug smuggling operation. Despite the official titles, it soon, however, becomes apparent that it's really Munroe in command.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Alluded to when talking about Sandra and how her relationship is with her father.Munroe: How did two obvious professionals pass right through security personnel, kill 41 soldiers and get away? With help, that's how. Everything's under control, except one detail, a daughter who wants her father and company dead and gone. Bad Shakespeare. Somehow the company parasites got to her. Look, she's your daughter, and that's tragic. But blood or not, she's goes. Call it the price of doing business.General Garza: You don't kill your familia.Munroe: Come around my house during the holidays, pal.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: He's a former member of the CIA who went rogue for personal gain. However, the CIA in general is not exactly evil. It's shady, but Bruce Willis's CIA Agent character is still a heroic figure (especially in the sequel), and Sandra is a CIA contact.
- Combat Pragmatist: Has no qualms about shooting someone in the back.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Has no idea why Ross comes after him, and is convinced that he must be doing it for the money. "What're they paying you anyway. I would have payed you twice as much. To go FISHING!"
- Evil Counterpart: Positions himself as one to Ross during his rant at the end. It would be more accurate to say that he's one to the team as a whole, as a CIA agent turned mercenary who is willing to cross far more lines than they are.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's willing to act polite, but he has no loyalty to anyone but himself.
- Greed: His primary motivation is to make as much money as possible.
- The Heavy: Of the first film. He's not as much of a fighter as the other characters, but he's the reason the Expendables are sent to Vilena.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Manages to not only take out Garza and three guards while restraining a struggling Sandra with the other arm, but to do so before any of them can so much as raise their weapons, let alone return his fire.
- In the Back: Shoots Garza in the back.
- Large Ham: He gets hammy on a few occasions.
- The Man Behind the Man: To General Garza. Garza may be technically in charge, but Munroe is the one financing him.
- Meaningful Name: His name is suspiciously close to that of US President James Monroe, who proclaimed South and Central America to be the US's backyard, and started the American tradition of interfering in those countries.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Subverted. Munroe leaves the fighting to The Dragon and appears to be a noncombatant. Then he pulls out a gun and mows down an entire room full of guards in about ten seconds flat.
- Only in It for the Money: Wants to make a lot of money; doesn't care how he gets it.
- Rogue Agent: A CIA operative turned drug smuggler.
- Sinister Shades: Seen wearing shades on occasion.
- Smug Snake: He has a lot of confidence, but lacks the combat ability of the series other villains.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Waterboarding her, on the other hand, he has no problems with.
Daniel "Dan" Paine
Played By: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Ex-US military and with ties to the Central Intelligence Agency, Paine is a private military contractor and Drill Sergeant Nasty who Munroe brings in to act as his right-hand man and train Garza's special force. A thug at heart, he handles the jobs that Munroe does not trust Garza's men to do properly.
- Bald of Evil: As nasty as he is bald.
- Beard of Evil: Has a bushy short beard, signature of Stone Cold.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Of Sandra. The Brit does most of the work but Paine still watches and provides assistance. He later starts to have Ross tortured as well.
- David vs. Goliath: The Goliath during his battles with both Ross and Toll Road.
- The Dragon: Oscillates between that and The Brute to Munroe.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: This part of his personality really shines through.
- Dumb Muscle: Averted. Paine looks the part of the huge, unintelligent thug, but his dialogue lines coupled with what Munroe says about him suggest he's ex-US military and actually quite bright.
- Man on Fire: How Toll Road finally deals with him.
- No Sell: Pretty much shrugs off anything Ross throws at him. It takes Road a lot of effort to have Stone Cold start selling.
- Rogue Agent: Most likely, given his association with Munroe and clear US military experience.
- Use Your Head: Does this during his fight with Ross, ending the fight with a flying headbutt and tackle.
- Would Hit a Girl: And waterboard her repeatedly.
- Wrestler in All of Us: He takes Ross out with a spear and performs a chokeslam on Road among other pro wrestling maneuvers. He is played by a former WWE superstar.
Lawrence "The Brit" Sparks
Played By: Gary DanielsA British torturer and martial artist in Munroe's employ, Lawrence Sparks is in charge of interrogating prisoners, which he does with extreme relish.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: If his sneers and cocky attitude are enough to judge.
- All There In The Website: According the promo material for the first Expendables' website his name is Lawrence Sparks.
- Badass Mustache: Of the Handlebar Moustache type.
- The Brute: He acts as Munroe's muscle.
- Evil Brit: As his nickname would imply, he's British and a nasty son of a bitch.
- Iconic Outfit: Wears nice suspenders to carry his holst.
- Lightning Bruiser: He is an impressive martial artist, trading a lot of throws and kicks with Ying Yang, and is tough enough to endure as much damage as everybody; even stabbed and weary, he is only overpowered after being double-teamed by Ying Yang and Lee.
- Made of Iron: Kicked, beaten, and stabbed, and yet continues to get back up without any discernible damage having been sustained.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: During the film.
- Smug Snake: Along similar lines to his boss.
- Torture Technician: Seems to be the one Munroe relies on the most when it's time to waterboard somebody.
Played By: Jean-Claude Van Damme
The villain of the second film, Jean Vilain is a mercenary and arms dealer who hopes to make a killing selling some lost plutonium to the highest bidder. He claims to admire and respect the Expendables and views Ross as a worthy adversary.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Firm believer of this.
- Badass Grandpa: His age clearly hasn't made him any less dangerous.
- Badass Longcoat: Always seen wearing one.
- Big Bad: Of the second film.
- Blood Knight: Absolutely overjoyed when he has to fight Ross and keeps demanding him to put up more of a fight.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Aside from his name, he makes his group's symbol a goat's head, which is shaped like a pentagram, and refers to it as the pet of Satan.
- The Coats Are Off: During his confrontation with Ross.
- Cool Shades: Wears them constantly until his final fight with Ross. He even keeps them on in a mine of all places.
- Determinator: Every bit as tough as the Expendables and just as willing to power through the pain.
- Face Death with Dignity: When Barney's finally beaten him, he pulls himself back up and turns to face him and accepts his impending death.
- Faux Affably Evil: He acts like a cheerful chap who treats everyone very non-formally and will often happily talk about philosophy. He also does so while brutally murdering innocent people.
- Fisticuffs Boss: Goads Barney to fight him hand-to-hand at the end of the movie.
- Foil: As Vilain himself notes twice on the movie, both him and Ross are "Natural Warriors" who live their lives in battle and can do that job better than anyone else. Vilain, however, is a merciless Blood Knight with no moral boundaries whatsoever while Ross is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who always tries to help people when he can.
- Hannibal Lecture: This makes up half of his dialogue.
- The Heavy: Although he's not the Expendables initial target, he becomes responsible for derailing their original mission.
- Knife Nut: He seems to favor blades and uses one to kill Billy.
- Large Ham: Not usually, but he has his moments.Vilain: ("OVER SO SOON? I WANT MY MONEY'S WORTH!")
- Lightning Bruiser: Very fast and agile but also resistant enough to No Sell half of Ross' attacks and strong enough to throw him to the ground with one kick.
- Made of Iron: Survives a fairly ridiculous amount of punishment in the final battle.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Van Damme is a polite and gracious gentleman who not only loves his fans, but is best friends with his ex-wife.
- Meaningful Name: Jean Vilain is the villain of the film. And he's played by Jean-Claude Van Damme.note
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name is pronounced similarly to "villain".
- Obviously Evil: Always wearing sunglasses, has a satanic tattoo and is named "Vilain".
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Averted - he tries giving one to Barney during their fight, but Barney won't die so easily.
- Sinister Shades: He even wears them when underground in a mine!
- The Social Darwinist: Gives off this vibe, particularly with his recurring "Man or sheep" speech.Vilain: Respect must be taught. For without respect, we're just people. Common, shitty people.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: Zigzagged. He seems very interested in selling the plutonium quickly and for a large amount of money but never speaks of what he would plan to do with such money. He also expresses excitement at what a potential 'game changer' introducing a large amount of such merchandise to the global power struggle would be.
- Worthy Opponent: Considers Barney one, enough so that when they finally face one another, he and Barney both discard their guns and knives and fight hand-to-hand.
Played By: Scott Adkins
Vilain's Number Two, Hector is his main enforcer and handles most of the unit's intimidation. He and Lee Christmas quickly develop a mutual dislike of one another.
- All There in the Script: Never named in the film itself.
- Beard of Evil: Has a sinister crop of facial hair.
- The Dragon: To Vilain - aside from being the only one of his minions with a name, he is easily the second most competent fighter.
- Evil Counterpart: To Lee - both are Knife Nuts who are clearly the second-in-command in their group.
- Knife Nut: Rarely seen without one.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: It's difficult to tell where he's supposed to be from. The actor who plays him is British but at times he sounds Russian.
- You Have Failed Me: Shoots a miner who's too tired to continue.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Buries the rest of the miners underground once the plutonium's been removed from the mine.
- Your Head Asplode: How he meets his end via helicopter blades.
Played By: Mel GibsonA founding member of the Expendables alongside Ross, Stonebanks became a ruthless arms trader. Believed to have been dead for years, he re-emerged and is out to end the Expendables.
- And Show It to You: "Why don't you cut me loose, I'll open your meat shirt and show you your own heart."
- Big Bad: Of the third movie.
- Establishing Character Moment: In his first appearance he deliberately foregoes shooting Barney in favor of wounding Hale before dropping a thermobaric bomb on them just to maximize the team's suffering.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Feels sorry for Luna when he holds the rookies hostage, since he has a daughter of his own. Not that it'll stop him from using her as bait and eventually killing her, though.
- Evil Former Friend: To Barney Ross.
- Kick the Dog: He critically wounds Caesar just to upset Barney, when he clearly had the opportunity to take a lethal shot.
- Made of Iron: Takes five bullets to the chest without body armor and survives long enough to taunt Barney before being finished off.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Aside from his art collecting, he's made billions from being an arms dealer and from what little is seen of his personal life it certainly shows.
- Motive Rant: Delivers one to the rookies when he holds them hostage, telling them how he and the original Expendables did the dirty work the U.S. government didn't want to touch to make them "look like heroes". Then when he started to work for himself, they tried to use his own team to kill him."I was an American, working for America. Was. They'd eat their own children. I'm gonna spare you that heartache."
- Not Quite Dead: Barney believes that he killed Stonebanks years ago but he survived and continued working under a different name.
- Not So Different: Claims that the only difference between himself and Barney is that Barney still has a conscience.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Stays away from the nuclear arms trade. This is not out of any moral imperative but because he doesn't want one customer killing off all the others.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Expresses this in the climax."How hard can it be to kill ten men? You think you could at least wound a couple?"
- To demonstrate how easy it should be, he shoots several of his own.
- To the Pain: Fond of making threatening speeches detailing exactly how someone is going to suffer.
- The Unfettered: Seems to take a great deal of pride in having zero moral scruples."Success, real success, is being willing to do the things that other people are not."
- We Used to Be Friends: Takes it really personally that Barney, a man he once regarded as a "brother", tried to kill him when he "went dark".
- Wicked Cultured: He collects art.
Played By: Gisele ItieThe daughter of General Garza, Sandra is a CIA informant who acts as the Expendables' guide to her father's domain.
- Attempted Rape: Sandra almost falls victim to this in prison.
- The Chick: The main female character of the first film.
- Damsel in Distress: At the end of the first film.
- Military Brat: She is The General's Daughter.
- The Not-Love Interest: There seems to be some chemistry between her and Ross but nothing ever comes of it. His primary reason for saving her is that she's a resistance leader and because he knows he'll regret leaving her.
- Rebellious Princess: Not really a princess, but given that she's the daughter of the leader of a military junta she might as well be.
- Spicy Latina: She shows no fear of her father or his goons.
Played By: Bruce Willis
The CIA agent who first contracted the team. Church is a very dangerous man.
- A Father to His Men: Church is very protective of Maggie and warns Barney Ross there will be dire consequences if any harm comes to her.
- Ascended Extra: In the first movie Church only appeared in a single scene. In the sequel he's around a lot more.
- Badass Grandpa: Like the other cast members, he's old but dangerous.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Being an agency spook he's always dressed nicely.
- Bald of Awesome: One badass bald guy.
- The Cameo: For the first movie anyway.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Averted. Although Church is indeed highly shady and is kind of a Jerk Ass (albeit with a heart of gold), he is still A Father to His Men and is still genuinely trying to make the world a better place. He supports the overthrowing of a Latin American Dictator and his Rogue Agent backer and the prevention of 5 tons of weapons grade plutonium from falling into the wrong hands. He even picks up a gun and fights along with the heroes when Barney calls him a Dirty Coward in the sequel.
- Heel–Face Turn: After Barney Ross calls out Church as a coward who sends others to do his dirty work, Church picks up a gun and decides to fight alongside the heroes.
- Ironic Nickname: Given how foul-mouthed he is.
- Line-of-Sight Name: We first meet him inside a church.
- Put on a Bus: The third movie quickly establishes that he's been replaced by Max Drummer.
- Bus Crash: Drummer explains in the third film that Church is "out of the picture", but whether he's actually dead or was just reassigned is never specified.
- Sequel Non-Entity: He does not appear in the third movie though he is mentioned.
Trent "Trench" Mauser
Played By: Arnold Schwarzenegger
A one-time friend of Ross', "Trench" Mauser runs his own mercenary group and occasionally crosses paths with the Expendables.
- Ascended Extra: Much like Mr. Church, Trench Mauser becomes a fairly important character in the sequel.
- Badass Grandpa: Like most of the others, his age hasn't slowed him down.
- Badass in Distress: Turns out to be the prisoner with a sack on his head in the sequel. The first thing he does once freed is ask for a big gun.
- BFG: His Weapon of Choice. In the beginning of II, he demands Hale to give him his AA-12 automatic shotgun because he just won't use a gun that is not big. He's later seen with the same AA-12 complete with a Badass Bandolier much like another sequel film of his.
- Big Damn Heroes: In II after Barney and his team had been trapped by Vilian with no way out.
- The Cameo: For the first movie anyway.
- Cigar Chomper: Unless he's in the middle of a battle Trench always has a stogie in his mouth.
- Hero of Another Story: Trench runs his own crew and is presumably out there doing the same sorts of things that the Expendables are. In the third movie he's joined by Yang.
- Meaningful Name:
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Ross constantly trade barbs but would (and do) go to incredible lengths to bail one another out of trouble.
- Weapon of Choice: An AA-12 shotgun. He initially takes Hale Caesar's, but he brings his own for the final battle in the second movie.
Played By: Chuck Norris
A lone gunman for hire, Booker was hired to eliminate some of Vilain's men, putting him in contact with the Expendables.
- The Ace: He makes everything he does look effortless. At one point he casually strolls by a line of enemies and wipes them out while barely looking at them or raising his gun.
- Badass Beard: Chuck's.
- Badass Grandpa: Though he might not seem it he is the oldest of the tough guys.
- Big Damn Heroes: Twice. First when he saves the Expendables while they're pinned down by the Sang and again when he joins them during the fight at the airport.
- Combat Pragmatist: He has no qualms with using one militiaman as a human shield while gunning down the rest then tossing said militiaman into an airport x-ray scanner and shooting him.
- Deadpan Snarker: With the bonus of being a reference to "Facts about Chuck Norris":Hale: I heard you were once bitten by a cobra.
Booker: Yep. And after seven agonising days... the cobra died.
- Hero of Another Story: While the Expendables were doing their thing he was already on his own separate mission fighting the Sangs. There are also stories told about him. Despite having never met him, Gunnar has clearly heard of him, asking "Aren't you the one they call The Lone Wolf?".
- I Work Alone: Says as much after saving the Expendables from the Sang. Despite that, he shows up to help the team during the final showdown. When Barney points out that he's supposed to be "The Lone Wolf", he admits that "sometimes it's fun to run with the pack".
- Leitmotif: The theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- Memetic Badass: In universe. The other Expendables know him by reputation.
- One-Man Army: Explicitly described as such on his official profile, and his first appearance backs it up when he casually and singlehandedly wipes out a Sang force that is overwhelming all of the Expendables. Including a tank. He only appears in the movie for five minutes, but in that time he kills more than half as many Sangs as Christmas does in the entire movie.
- Red Baron: "Lone Wolf". He doesn't need teammates and works alone. He's a literal One-Man Army to the point of absurdity.
- Unflinching Walk: At one point during the massive airport battle, he's shown casually walking along, firing his rifle one-handed from the hip and mowing down a dozen Sangs.
- Weapon of Choice: A G36C assault rifle with multiple magazines clamped together.
Played By: Harrison Ford
- Ace Pilot: Look at how he flies that Huey!
- Blood Knight: After the climax of the movie, Drummer tells Barney that fighting along side him and his team was the most fun he ever had.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Eventually averted with him; he's an elite-ranking CIA field officer, and unlike Monroe or Church, he appears to firmly be one of the good guys.
- It's Personal: Stonebanks tortured and killed several of his agents, which is why he gets involved personally.
- I Was Never Here: Says this before leaving with Trench and Yang to provide back-up for the Expendables.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's rather cold to Ross when they first meet but later goes out of his way to aide the Expendables, declaring it the most fun he's had in years.
- Precision F-Strike: Given the third film's PG-13 rating he's the only one to utter "fuck" during it.
- Retired Badass: Formerly a highly-regarded Major in the United States Air Force.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Mr. Church.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: His weapon of choice is listed as a helicopter.
Played By: Kellan Lutz
Played By: Ronda Rousey
- Action Girl: Of course.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Her weapon of choice on the official website is listed as "her bare fists, forearms, shins, thighs, feet, etc."
- Instant Expert: Being a bouncer and being a ruthless killer are two entirely different things yet Luna slips effortlessly into the latter role.
- The Smurfette Principle: Much like Maggie in the second film, she's the only woman on the team in the third one, and is apparently there to stay for a while.
- The Stoic: Does not emote very much.
Played By: Victor Ortiz
- The Quiet One: Generally the least talkative of the new recruits, unless he's talking about the weapons that he designed.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Uses one in the climax of the third movie.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's afraid of heights.
- Informed Attribute: This never gets mentioned in the movie, though two big scenes with him involve skydiving and climbing down a building. Perhaps he takes them as immersion therapy?
Played By: Glen Powell
- Gadgeteer Genius: He prefers drones and computer hacking over handling weaponry.
- Genius Bruiser: But that doesn't mean he can't handle a weapon. He's also pretty athletic, as he's introduced free-climbing up the side of a mountain and BASE jumping off when he loses his handhold.
- Non-Action Guy: Relatively speaking; he does not get as involved in the action as much as the others, preferring to use his skills with drones and computers.
- Playful Hacker: Shut down Seattle for three days because he could.
Played By: Kelsey Grammer