Allegedly Free Game: You can play the game itself for free, but several of the weapons and all of the clothing options are locked if you don't pay the money for them.
They apparently tone this down a little. Many of the previously cash only weapons are now purchasable with in game credits, including the permanent purchase.
A.K.A.-47: Subverted. Most weapons, unlike the prior Battlefield game with this business model, use their actual designations, with a few exceptions. The in-game "M16A2" is actually the A4 model, evidenced by the removable carry handle/rear sight assembly, the M110 sniper rifle is actually a Mk 12 SPR (a specialized sharpshooter variant of the M16), and the in-game SVD Dragunov is actually an NDM-86, a Chinese clone.
Anti-Air: All the maps with aircraft in them have surface to air missile turrets at various locations.
Bling Bling Bang: Many individual weapons in the game come in three flavors; basic, veteran, and elite. Each version is more expensive and deadlier than the last, with the elite version being decked out with a tan paint job either on some parts or on nearly the whole weapon to denote how bad-ass they are compared to the other versions.
Players who scored one thousand kills with the Desert Eagle pistol between June 29 and July 6, 2012 were rewarded with a limited-edition stainless steel version.
Bling of War: Players who pre-ordered Battlefield 3 received a special beret and shotgun for one of their soldiers.
Body Armor as Hit Points: An update introduced the ability for players to buy body armor for their character, which increased the amount of damage you can sustain before being killed.
Booby Trap: The "Dead Man's Trigger", which allows you to drop a hand grenade when an enemy gets too close to your corpse after you've been killed. The Claymore anti-personnel mines used by the Recon kit can also qualify.
Boom, Headshot: Shots to an enemy's head deal extra damage, and the player will even get extra points for putting rounds into an enemy's cranium. This applies to all guns in the game, not just sniper rifles as is usually the case with this trope.
Bottomless Magazines: The emplaced missile launchers and vehicle-mounted machine guns have a limitless amount of ammunition on hand (up until someone destroys them, that is).
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Inherited from the prior game, this comes in three flavors: buying beefed up versions of the regular guns (as well as upgrades to increase their effectiveness), buying specialized Money-Only guns, or your typical Experience/Free Credit booster.
Car Fu: You can turn your enemies into roadkill with every vehicle in the game. Even aircraft can get in on this.
Character Level: You can increase your soldier's combat performance through training using points earned during gameplay, giving you the ability to throw grenades, plant mines, carry more ammo, pilot aircraft, etc. Some weapons and clothing options are also locked and cannot be purchased until you reach a certain level.
Cold Sniper: The Recon class carries a sniper rifle which is laser-accurate and will have NO compunction about using it to decimate every enemy unlucky enough to stray into their crosshairs.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The two teams wear different-colored uniforms, and have blue (friendly) and orange (enemy) name tags over each soldier and any occupied vehicle. Friendlies will also have a blue X appear over them when your weapon's sights are brought over them.
Cool Mask: Several different balaclavas are available clothing options. Several uniforms also come with a bandanna that covers the mouth & nose, and the fighter pilot helmet comes complete with an oxygen mask.
Cool Shades: Another clothing option available for your soldier.
Combat Medic: The Medic class carries a belt-fed machine gun as their primary weapon.
Critical Annoyance: As in BF2, aircraft, tanks, and APC's will have flashing lights and alarms start blaring when they take critical damage, warning you to get the hell out before said vehicle goes boom.
Death from Above: The F-35 Lightning II, MiG-29 Fulcrum, AH-64 Apache, Mi-28 Havoc, WZ-11, and Little Bird are all adept at delivering this. The UH-60 Blackhawk and Mi-17 Hip don't pack quite as much firepower, but are equipped with door-mounted machine guns.
Don't forget mortar strikes.
Do Not Run with a Gun: You can't run and shoot at the same time, though you can throw grenades and drop mines while running, and you can fire your weapon while walking, but at the cost of reduced accuracy.
Fragile Speedster: The fast attack vehicle is the quickest ground vehicle and is armed with a machine gun, but can't take much damage at all.
Friendly Fireproof: Unloading the magazine of your weapon into your buddy next to you might piss him off, but won't cause him any harm.
Gatling Good: The Miniguns on the Blackhawk and Little Bird helicopters.
Gauls with Grenades: One of the clothing sets available includes French Army gear, but the French aren't a playable faction in the game.
Goggles Do Nothing: Among the various clothing customization options for the player's character is a set of goggles or several types of helmets with goggles on them, but other than making your soldier look cool, they serve little other purpose.
Good Guns, Bad Guns: Averted; each class on both sides can use any of the weapons available to that class, such as an Assaulter on the Russian team using an M16 and a Recon on the US team using an SVD Dragunov. Furthermore, the Engineer class for both sides is issued an RPG-7 rocket launcher.
Grenade Launcher: The Engineer class was recently given one of these in the form of the XM25. It fires grenade rounds that detonate after reaching a distance programmed in by the user, the idea being to allow the player to take out enemies hiding behind cover. The light and heavy tanks are also equipped with smoke grenade launchers used to protect them from enemy anti-tank missiles and RPG's. The M16 available to the Assault class has an M203 slung under the barrel, but it's purely for show and not usable.
Guns Do Not Work That Way: The Engineer class' RPG-7 fires rockets that home in on tracer dart-tagged vehicles, despite none of the rockets fired by the real RPG-7 having any kind of guidance after launch. The game also uses the Bad Company M16 model, which has the ejection port and brass deflector on the wrong side of the weapon. Several weapons are also shown firing more rounds than they would be able to carry in real life; like the HK416 holding 35 rounds in a 30-round magazine.
Hyperspace Arsenal: The default outfit for the player is a set of fatigues with no visible place to store extra ammo for the various weapons you can carry (which themselves conveniently disappear when not in use). The various outfits the player can purchase remedy this by having magazine pouches, pistol holsters, and/or backpacks as part the sets, but that still doesn't explain where all the other weapons go.
The Engineer class is possibly the worst offender; in addition to his primary weapon and sidearm, he can carry an RPG-7 rocket launcher, an XM-25 grenade launcher, anti-tank mines, a repair tool, and ammo for all his weapons without looking like a Walking Armory.
I Have the High Ground: Several maps include towering construction cranes, which make excellent sniping perches. Recon and Medics are also fond of hanging out on the roofs of buildings and raining death and destruction down on those below.
Improvised Weapon: Taking a page from BF2, the Medic class can use their defibrillator to zap the hell out of an enemy in close quarters.
It's Raining Men: The player will occasionally parachute into the map after being killed, particularly if all the control points are held by the enemy team. The player can also use their weapon while descending, making for a form of Death from Above. Furthermore, the player comes equipped with a parachute from the start so can use any aircraft as a means of airborne insertion behind enemy lines.
Kukris Are Kool: A kukri was added to the game in December 2013 as an alternative melee weapon.
Loads and Loads of Loading: After taking its time connecting to a server while flashing various messages indicating all the steps when all it needs to say is "Joining...", the game pauses for several seconds on the confirmation screen as if to assure the player that a connection has actually been established. Then the game displays another loading screen which lasts around a minute. No one knows what's being loaded at this point since the connection has supposedly already been established, models are stored locally (and couldn't be loaded in a minute anyway), and score board and current state wouldn't take a minute to receive.
If you're launching the game for the first time after installing, a loading dialog box is displayed in addition to the game's ordinary loading splash screen.
Magical Defibrillator: The Medic class carries one of these that can revive a fallen ally no matter what kind of devastating mutilation he's incurred, so long as he wasn't in a vehicle when he expired.
It can also be used as a weapon.
Magic Tool: The Engineer class' repair tool can repair any vehicle or mounted weapon even if it's on the brink of blowing up (so long as it doesn't take damage quicker than the tool can repair it).
Make the Bear Angry Again: The game has the Russians fighting with the US, so obviously someone got the Russkies royally pissed.
Missile Lock On: The ground-based and aircraft-mounted anti-aircraft missiles take several moments to lock onto enemy aircraft, at which time the targeted pilot will have an alarm go off, giving him the opportunity to deploy countermeasures.
More Dakka: Many weapons in the game have "veteran" and "elite" versions available that have increased magazine capacity and do more damage than the basic version. The latest version of the game allows you to customize most weapons (with the exception of pistols & shotguns) to make them even more lethal.
Never Trust a Trailer: The release trailer had a segment showing combat on the Operation Road Rage map from BF2, but that map has yet to be included in the playable map roster. Possibly subverted in that there's talk on the forums of it being planned for a later update, but this has not happened as of yet.
Player Guided Missile: The tripod & APC-mounted anti-tank missiles must be steered to their target by the player until impact. Justified in that most of them are wire-guided missiles like the TOW which function that way in real life.
Poles with Poleaxes: A desert-pattern Polish Army uniform is among the available clothing options, but the Polish military is not a playable faction.
Prop Recycling: Some from Battlefield 2 (notably the vehicles) and Bad Company, most notably they reused the M16A2 model. The M203 Grenade Launcher on it cannot be used.
Some of the newer weapons added to the game use the BF3 models.
Quick Melee: Pressing the button the player's combat knife or kukri is equipped to will make the player-character perform a quick slash with it which is a one-hit kill on any enemy it hits, after which the player will go back to whatever weapon or gadget they were using before.
Qurac: The game recycles several maps from BF2 which are set in generic urban middle-eastern locales, such as Karkand and Sharqi.
Rare Guns: The game has several weapons that in real life are either in limited production or never made it past the prototype stage, such as the XM8 series and the XM25.
Ridiculously Loud Commercial: Not a commercial, but there is a significant jump in volume when the game displays the loading screen after the server browser.
Reverse Grip: Each class comes with a combat knife as a default melee weapon, and when it's used the animation shows the player-character slashing with it held this way.
Sawed-Off Shotgun: A double-barreled shotgun with sawed-off barrels and stock was added in late September 2012.
Shoot the Medic First: Considering the fact that the Medic class both heals other players AND carries a belt-fed machine gun, it makes sense that he'd be high up on any smart player's target priority rating.
Short Range Shotgun: The shotguns available in the game are some of the most lethal anti-infantry weapons in the game in close quarters, but their effectiveness drops off rapidly the further away the target is.
Sprint Meter: Averted. Your soldier can run and jump practically forever and never get tired.
Standard FPS Guns: As typical of a Battlefield game, we've got SMGs, Shotguns, a Rocket Launcher, Pistols, Assault Rifles, and Machine Guns.
Stuff Blowing Up: On top of just about any weapon mounted on a vehicle (and a few emplacements), all four classes have Grenades, the universal Anti-Vehicle weapon, and Engineers have a rocket and grenade launchers. The Recon and Engineer classes can also plant anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines, respectively.
Universal Driver's License: Subverted. By default, you can't drive Helicopters and Airplanes without training, but you can drive tanks, boats (except for the aircraft carriers on some maps), and cars from the get go.
Urban Warfare: Many maps have the two teams battling in built-up cityscapes.
We Are Not the Wehrmacht: Subverted. One of the clothing sets available is desert-pattern Bundeswehr gear, but the Germans are not a playable faction in the game.
What the Hell, Player?: Countless examples will be encountered at one point or another while playing, ranging from incompetent to downright malicious players doing things such as crashing a jet into the middle of their own base kamikaze-style and wiping out all the other available aircraft and vehicles. Reactions to these incidents can range from Gosh Dang It to Heck!, to a Precision F-Strike, to a full-on Cluster F-Bomb.
You ALL Look Familiar: Despite the player being able to customize the facial features and clothing of their in-game character, 99% of the people you see while playing will look exactly the same with the only difference being the tan (US) or green (Russian) uniforms. Averted in later patches which enabled players to view each others' customizations.