* ActorAllusion: Lots:
** Christmas's girlfriend not knowing what he does--and him [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge promptly showing her]]--is a reference to ''Film/{{Crank}}'', another Creator/JasonStatham movie.
*** "Give this job to my friend here, [[Franchise/{{Rambo}} he]] [[Film/{{Predator}} loves playing in the jungle]], right?" Said to Creator/BruceWillis, who also had a [[Film/TearsOfTheSun battle-in-the-jungle film of his own.]] Then followed by this quip: "What's his problem?" "He wants to be president". This is a clear reference on Schwarzenegger's political career and the old buzz about him running for president.
*** Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger and Creator/SylvesterStallone are regarded as the best in their field; two musclebound action heroes and leading men who seem to be stuck in a friendly rivalry with each other; it's a mystery to everyone why they don't just work together. That's just their characters in the movie of course. In the real world that was only true in the eighties.
*** Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin has his climactic fight showing nothing but wrestling moves, fighting [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts mixed martial artist]] and Greco-Roman wrestler (as well as a fellow classically trained pro wrestler) Creator/RandyCouture.
*** While the car chase with Stallone driving a classic yet modified vehicle is similar to the one in ''Film/{{Cobra}}''.
*** In the chase scene, Creator/DolphLundgren wields one of the prop guns Thomas Jane used in ''[[Film/ThePunisher2004 The Punisher]]'', a role he had [[Film/ThePunisher1989 previously played]].
* AllStarCast: ZigZaggedTrope. In casting the film, Stallone decided to go for actors who were past their glory days. No one is A-list material anymore, and some never were. But their names still cast long shadows. Per Wiki/TheOtherWiki:
-->On his approach to casting, Stallone explained that he was looking particularly for actors who had not experienced recent significant success in film, saying: "I like using people that had a moment and then maybe have fallen on some hard times and give them another shot. So we’re always looking for actors like Michael Biehn and Michael Paré. I like those kinds of guys. Someone did it for me and I like to see if I can do it for them."
** Also given a nod in the sequel, where the team watched new blood Billy The Kid running full-tilt up a slope and Christmas asks Ross:
--> "Remember when you could do that?"
* BilingualBonus: the Somali in the film is legitimate, hilarious Somali.
* 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 at the time competed in the UFC alongside Creator/RandyCouture. Sadly, they're not seen in any hand-to-hand combat.
* DirectedByCastMember: The film is directed by Stallone himself, though he would later step down from the director's chair for the sequels.
* DuelingMovies: Was released around the same time as the [[TheMovie film]] versions of the ''Film/TheATeam'', ''Film/TheLosers'', and ''Film/{{Red}}'', as all four are very similar on the surface. ''Film/{{Machete}}'' also covers similar ground.
* DuelingStarsMovie: May just displace ''Film/FaceOff'' and ''Film/OceansEleven''
* FakeNationality: The "Somali" pirates that don't even look remotely Somali.
* PlayingAgainstType:
** Many ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' fans were surprised to see Angel Batista, one of the most consistently friendly, even-tempered, decent characters from that show, as a military dictator exploiting his island to fuel the drug trade.
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: Not to be confused with a 1989 Vietnam War movie, a 2000 made-for-TV movie, or two musical bands (one American and one New Zealand) with the same name.
* ThrowItIn:
** Bruce Willis ad-libbed his jab at both Arnold and Sylvester about going down on each other; Stallone was initially disgusted, as revealed in commentary, but the line set the scene so well that it was kept.
** The seaplane was supposed to be an unarmed escape vehicle, but in between filming, Stallone noticed one of the crew climbing out from the nose hatch, learned that it was accessed from inside the plane, and was immediately inspired to turn the seaplane into a gunship.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme declined to be in the film, as he did not like the character Stallone had created for him, but he regretted his decision and went to appear in the sequel, whose villain was largely based on what Van Damme wanted to do with the character.
** Creator/StevenSeagal was offered a cameo in the film, but he turned it down due to problems with producer Avi Lerner.
** MMA fighter Anderson Silva was offered a cameo just like the Nogueira brothers.
** Terry Crews' role was written with Creator/WesleySnipes in mind. The role was almost filled by Creator/ForestWhitaker, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Snipes would end up appearing in the third film.
** Creator/KurtRussell and Music/FiftyCent were offered parts but declined, and there are rumors that Creator/ChuckNorris and Creator/BruceCampbell was approached as well. Website/IMDb claims Creator/DannyTrejo, Creator/DenisLeary and Alan [[{{Series/Firefly}} "Wash"]] Tudyk were approached for certain roles that were written out when they had scheduling conflicts. Stallone wanted ''all of them'' if he could so we aren't sure if he wanted the [[AwesomenessIsVolatile universe to explode]].
* WrittenInInfirmity: Randy Couture's ear deformity is now ''Expendables'' [[RedRightHand canon.]]


----