* 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 reason it exists. [[TropesAreNotBad In this case, it's not necessarily a bad thing]].
* CompleteMonster: Rogue CIA agent James Munroe is the Big Bad of the first film. A drug smuggler and mercenary, Munroe is responsible for his partner, General Garza, transforming the island of Vilena into a PoliceState, using the people as labor in their drug operation. During his first scene, Munroe kills one prisoner, then derides Garza for his lack of spine, forcing the 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 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 in the back, kills the rest of his security detail, and tries to make good his escape, though not before instructing Paine and The Brit to torture Barney Ross, and taking Sandra hostage to use as a HumanShield. Caring only for his profits, Munroe is willing to wreck an entire country in order to increase them.
%%Do NOT add CompleteMonster entries without going to the cleanup thread first.
* FandomBerserkButton: Never bring up the [[{{Bowdlerise}} PG-13 rating]] to hardcore fans of the series. Just don't. There's a reason why [[Film/TheExpendables3 the third movie]] got a lot of backlash.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fncp0sQvBM0 Call to Arms]] trailer for the first movie 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: [[http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-china-expendables-dark-knight-rises-spider-man20121010,0,3607540.story The sequel outgrossed both The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man in China.]] 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.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** WWE has adopted [[ImageSong Diamond Eyes]] as one of their themes. From a film that featured a classically-trained wrestler kicking a professional wrestler into a fire.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGPxlMpzqYQ This fanmade musical]] of ''The Expendables'' contains a chorus that says "PG-13 is for pussies". [[{{Irony}} Ironically, the third movie was eventually rated PG-13]].
%%* 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.
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The console game. The TowerDefense webgame, not so much.
* OneSceneWonder: Trench and Church, played by Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger and Creator/BruceWillis. The sequel gives them more screentime and action sequences. Also, Mickey Rourke, who has about 5 minutes of screen time yet gives arguably the best performance of the first 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.
* SoCoolItsAwesome: The entire series. Considering the fact that they are the revival of the action movie genre, this is to be expected.
* SpecialEffectFailure: The guard that Ross decapitated somehow managed to grow his head back between shots.
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously: Many critics who didn't like the movie were nevertheless impressed by Mickey Rourke's performance and wondered what such a dedicated performance was doing in a "brain-dead action flick". Oddly enough, a lot of critics, in an odd 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.''