* AuthorsSavingThrow: Creator/SylvesterStallone has said in interviews that he deliberately tries to cast guys who are either up-and-coming (Like Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin) and give them a nudge, or he tried to cast guys who got derailed (like Creator/DolphLundgren) and hopes it gives them a second chance. He has said this is why he wanted Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme and Wesley Snipes in the movie (he got them in the second and third, respectively), for example. He's also been trying to get roles for Michael Pare and Creator/StevenSeagal for upcoming installments.
* ClicheStorm: The film series [[EnforcedTrope quite deliberately]] uses every single trope common in the kind of hyper-violent '80s action films where Stallone made his career.
* CompleteMonster: [[RogueAgent Rogue CIA agent]] James Munroe is the BigBad of the first film. A drug smuggler and [[HiredGuns mercenary]], Munroe is responsible for his partner, [[TheGeneralissimo General Garza]], transforming the island of [[BananaRepublic Vilena]] into a PoliceState, using the people as labor in their drug operation. During his first scene, Munroe kills one prisoner, then derides [[EvenEvilHasStandards Garza]] for his lack of spine, forcing the [[NobleDemon General]] to murder a second prisoner in order to save face. When the Expendables raid Vilena, Munroe captures Garza's daughter, Sandra, who opposes her father's government, and has her [[WaterTorture waterboarded]] over Garza's objections. He contracts former Expendable, Gunnar, to kill the rest of the team, and when Garza turns on him following the Expendables' assault on Vilena, he shoots the General InTheBack, kills the rest of his security detail, and tries to make good his escape, though not before instructing [[TheDragon Paine]] and [[TortureTechnician The Brit]] to torture [[TheHero Barney Ross]], and taking Sandra hostage to use as a HumanShield. Caring only for [[OnlyInItForTheMoney his profits]], Munroe is willing to wreck an entire country [[{{Greed}} in order to increase them]].
%%Do NOT add CompleteMonster entries without going to the cleanup thread first.
* EvilIsCool: If the franchise is a love letter to 80's action movies, the villains are equally as fun to watch, it helps that they're played by Creator/EricRoberts, Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme and Creator/MelGibson.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fncp0sQvBM0 Call to Arms]] trailer reminds you not to watch it off your torrents but "in a fucking theater where violence belongs". However, [[http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/the-expendables-3-leaks-online-3-weeks-ahead-of-release-20140725 the third movie was leaked online prior to release.]] That line is also fairly wince-inducing in light of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Aurora_shooting mass shooting]] that took place in a cinema right around the second film's release.
* FoeYay: Mr. Church {{Lampshades}} this as he watches Ross and Trench trash-talk each other.
--> '''Church:''' You two aren't gonna start sucking each other's dicks or anything?
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The series does well there in general, with a fourth movie [[http://variety.com/2015/film/asia/expendables-4-secures-china-pre-sale-1201614508/ getting Chinese distribution rights and investments]] before it was even ''announced''.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Steve Austin plays a man who, as a plot point, WouldHitAGirl. Steve Austin has faced charges for domestic abuse in the past.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGPxlMpzqYQ This fanmade musical]] contains a chorus that says "PG-13 is for pussies". The third movie was rated PG-13, [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks much to the annoyance of fans]].
* HilariousInHindsight:
** In 2009, one year before the first film's release, Mickie Rourke had an apparition in Wrestling/{{WWE}} thanks to his success with ''Film/TheWrestler'' in order to work a storyline with Wrestling/ChrisJericho. As at first Rourke didn't trust the company, he brought with him an entourage of tough guys, including MMA fighter Frank Shamrock, boxer Clint Coronel and an Israeli bounty hunter, just in case he got double crossed or something. Naturally, after the film came out and this was made public, a fan in [[http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/10/17/6994427/wwe-chris-jericho-book-best-in-the-world-story-vince-mcmahon-fought-frank-shamrock-wrestling-news this page]] was quick to point out that Rourke had assembled his own team of Expendables for real.
** Talking about WWE, it has adopted [[ImageSong Diamond Eyes]] as one of their themes. From a film that featured a classically-trained wrestler (who also trained professional wrestling, actually) kicking a pro wrestler into a fire.
** According to Barney, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, Trench, wanted to be the President. In the 2007 film ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'', there is a President Arnold Schwarzenegger.
%%* HoYay: Quite a lot.
* HolyShitQuotient: Off the charts for the final fight, in all three movies.
* IAmNotLeonardNimoy: The titular Expendables, not that we're complaining; it's pretty much why we watched it.
%%* [[JustHereForGodzilla Just Here For]] [[strike:Godzilla]]''[[AllStarCast THE WHOLE DAMN CAST]]''
%%* MemeticBadass: TheMovie.
* {{Narm}}:
** Also the close-up of Ross stabbing one of the mooks who were going to rape Sandra. Doubles as SpecialEffectsFailure as the blood looks rather off in the shot and his knife kinda wobbles around unnaturally.
** Gunnar's taunt towards Yin Yang is pretty cheesy: "What are you, size two? ''Bring it, Happy Feet!''"
** The CGI blood, which led to a lot of mockery from detractors and even some of the film's fans.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The console game. The TowerDefense webgame, not so much.
* OneSceneWonder: Trench and Church, played by Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger and Creator/BruceWillis. Also, Creator/MickeyRourke, who has about 5 minutes of screen time yet gives arguably the best performance of the film.
* RomanticPlotTumor: The subplot of Lee's pining for Lacy and his bemoaning about being unable to get together with her because of his job as a mercenary which took up a good chunk of the first film.
* SpecialEffectFailure:
** The guard that Ross decapitated somehow managed to grow his head back between shots.
** [[spoiler:The flames covering Paine when Toll Road sets him on fire are obviously CGI.]]
** In many of the scenes involving mooks getting killed by the team it's painfully obvious that the blood is CGI.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: General Garza's twin bodyguards. What's the use of having two star MMA fighters like Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a film filled with many other fighters and martial arts experts if you don't work any hand-to-hand fight scene with them?
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: Many critics who didn't like the movie were nevertheless impressed by Creator/MickeyRourke's performance and wondered what such a dedicated performance was doing in a "brain-dead action flick". Oddly enough, a lot of critics, in a doubly inverted version of this trope, were expecting slam-bang action all the way through, but ''complained'' about the overuse of CGI (which was not a staple in 80s movies), the too-modern ShakyCam, and, most unexpectedly, it having ''too much plot.''