- Broken Base: The story in a nutshell.
- Character Rerailment: Towards Jax (retroactively from Special Forces and Deadly Alliance), the game seem to be closer in line with Jax's original characterization. Justified in that it's supposed to be a retelling of MK2.
- Demonic Spiders: Shadow Priests. They "always" appear in pairs, can call down lightning, teleport, shoot energy bolts at you, grab you to drain your health, and, if you leave them alone, they "will" summon Tarkatans to fight you, and buff any other enemy around. Luckily, they aren't any more durable than the other enemies, so take them out first.
- Dork Age: Kung Lao's portrayal in Shaolin Monks. He's jealous of Liu Kang, when in the past he had only cared for the protection of Earthrealm. It became canon as of Armageddon, with his ending, and sticks in Mortal Kombat 9, although there he at least has the primary motive of avenging his ancestor's death at the hands of Goro.
- Goddamned Bats: Tarkatans show up in almost every stage once they're introduced. On their own they aren't any harder than any other mook, but they tend to come in groups.
- Narm Charm: Whereas the voice acting in Mortal Kombat: Deception seemed to be unintenionally hilarious and terrible, there's a lot of moments in Shaolin Monks where they seem to be squarely aiming for deliberately corny acting and lines in a meta design, a la Black Dynamite.
Kung Lao: (to Liu Kang, after Sub-Zero freezes the area around) You know what they say about a cold day in Hell... this is it.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Mileena.
- What an Idiot: This could be applied to everybody. Liu Kang and Kung Lao fall really easily to Shang Tsung's trap and Raiden never tries to stop them from fighting his assassins. Raiden does stop them, but right at the end when Tsung is already done with his plan.