- Annoying Video Game Helper: Jack Mathers is, in gameplay terms, Immune to Bullets unless he's holding his gun. Unfortunately, Captain Rush feels the need to wrestle with Jack and kick the aforementioned gun across the room, which makes Jack invinciblenote . That said, this is the point where constantly shooting at Mathers is the best way to rack up points from the hit combos.
- A similar situation occurs in 5 when Robert is fighting against Keith. The battle becomes roughly 75% Robert vs. the boss, 25% the boss versus players. Unlike the Jack/Captain Rush example, the sequence is a Knife Fight, with Robert and the boss moving incredibly fast on the screen, making it risky to shoot Robert and earn score deductions if players are going for a high score run. Also, unlike Captain Rush, Robert isn't actually trying to help you, and would probably be quite pleased if you ended up getting killed.
- Awesome Music: The series' entire soundtrack, but the Japan-only 3D Sound Ensemble takes the cake.
- Cliché Storm: It's hard to take any of the stories seriously.
- Demonic Spiders: Red Mooks who, on their first shot, have a 100% chance of hitting you. Crisis Zone has the worst variety of them - though they come with a warning beep (alongside the red reticule that denotes a hit), they also fire extremely fast, even at the default difficulty. Knife-wielders that either suddenly pop up in front of you or throw knives from afar also count, as it's hard to tell if a thrown knife will hit you or not.
- Meanwhile, the first game never tells players any warning if a shot will hit or not (though the rule about red Mooks always being accurate still applies; if you see them, duck). Later games are at least kind enough to show the distinct red reticule effect a split-second before the harmful bullet hits.
- The clawmen from Time Crisis 3 deserve a mention: quick, agile and jumps all over the place, making targeting them difficult, with the penchant of appearing suddenly in front of you and attack with their claws, which never misses on account of being a melee strike. If this is your first time facing them in 3, chances are you'll lose a few lives to them.
- Crisis Zone has several machete-wielding enemies who attack just as quickly as the clawmen in 3 with no on-screen warning whatsoever. First-time players always take hits from them.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Several, with the major ones being Buff Bryant from Time Crisis II, Victor Zahn, Randy Garrett, and Alicia and Daniel Winston from 3, and Marcus Black and Gregory Barrows from Time Crisis 4.
- Evil Is Sexy: Kantaris.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Just try playing Time Crisis II after the twist that Robert Baxter, II's 2P character, is a VSSE traitor in 5.
- "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
- Often, the Final Bosses - the first one is a gun duel with Wild Dog, Ernesto Diaz of 2 attacks you with a Kill Sat (complete with rockets and Frickin' Laser Beams), Giorgio Zott in 3 uses a Sword and Gun in tandem before Dual Wielding rocket launchers, 4 forces players to climb up a Human Ladder of US Marines to get in range of Gregory Barrows, and 5 where the boss fights you with some sort of Humongous Mecha.
- The Final Boss of 5 being one of the protagonists from Time Crisis II, in a series where the only other character to appear in more than one primary installment aside from his partner is Wild Dog.
- Memetic Badass: Wild Dog, who refuses to die. He's come back so many times that fans have given up hope for a Final Death and assume his latest defeat to simply be yet another one where he walks away from.
- Moral Event Horizon: Wild Dog in the first game had a moment that pissed off most players when he shoots Rachel in the back and laughs as Richard Miller cradles her wounded body before the boss battle takes place.
- In Alicia's "Rescue Missions" for the console version of 3, you fight the traitorous Jake Hernandez in a crowded area, where not only does he turn it into an active war zone, but does it in lieu of innocent civilians (something no other villain, not even Wild Dog, has ever done). He also grabs a young girl and an elderly women to use as Human Shields as he shoots at you. What does he do after he's done with them? Throws her to the floor, and kick her on the back. You hardly feel sorry about killing him at the end of Alicia's campaign.
- In the fifth game, Robert Baxter went rogue on the VSSE by selling out their intelligence to terrorist organizations around the world. Three months before the events of the game, he killed Christy Ryan, the Damsel in Distress from the second game who had been investigating the traitor's identity. He proceeded to frame his ex-partner Keith Martin as the traitor and Christy's murderer. Note that Christy Ryan happened to be Keith's girlfriend.
- Most Annoying Sound: Get used to the "life lost" sound, especially when red soldiers show up.
- Narm: Not only Captain Will(iam) Rush's name, but some of his lines when fighting Jack Mathers.
Rush: "What are you planning to do with those Terror Bites?"Jack: "We're going to DESTROY this country!"Rush: "WHERE IS YOUR PATRIOTISM?"Jack: "What GOOD is PATRIOTISM?"
Rachel: "Don't come! It's a trap! Oh no!"
- This whole fight is full of this, especially with Beth narrating the "wrestling match" between Rush and Jack, Jerry Lawler-style (minus all the loudness). And then there's the "F...!"
- And who could forget this incredible one from the first game.
Wild Dog: "Hey Miller, check out my new toy!"
- Wild Dog's voice in Project Titan. Why did they give him such an unfitting, yet cheesy and high-pitched voice? In fact, he seems to have gone a few octaves too high by 5. Nearly half of what he says in the games bear mention.
- Also from Project Titan is a random chef who attacks Miller for no real reason in the third part of the first level.
- Barrows had this to say during his Final Boss introduction.
"You two are —(pause, as if he's unsure about what he is saying) —gonna die here!"
- Narm Charm: Wild Dog's Famous Last Words in 2, while cheesy, retains its badass factor as he manically laughs just as he blows himself up.
"VSSE! You fools!" BOOM
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The Terror Bites in 4; their Leitmotif doesn't make it any better. In the "Complete Mission" mode for the console version, they're shown eating some of the terrorists alive.
- 5's fifth stage has you fight enemies that cannot "feel pain or fear". With the lifeless way they move and attack, they're zombies in all but name. And the Big Bad wants to spread the drug that causes this around the world, starting with New York...
- Polished Port: To compensate for the late release of the home port of Time Crisis II (the arcade game was released in 1997, the Sony PlayStation 2 port arrived in late 2001), it featured completely redone and updated graphics and additional cut scenes to make the transitions between levels more natural and expanded the story (what little there is, anyway), including bonus levels, extra modes, and unlockable content to extend longevity.
- The Scrappy: Jakov Kinisky from 2 falls into this since his treatment of Christy Ryan was utterly reprehensible, and he wasn't cool like Buff Bryant or entertaining like Ernesto Diaz enough to make up for it. It also didn't help his voice actor decided to use the cheesiest, most grating Russian accent available when voicing him, or that his fight has him running away like a coward through most of it.
- Shocking Swerve: The reveal in 5: True Mastermind Edition that Keith was set up as a VSSE traitor and that Robert is the traitor can seem absolutely out of nowhere, especially when no motive is given for why the latter turned coat off-screen in the first place.
- So Okay, It's Average: Project Titan, due to its even-more-generic than usual plot, Out-of-Character Moment for Wild Dog (when has he ever wanted to use killer robots to Take Over the World?) and his ridiculous new voice, absurdly boring combat, and Richard Miller's hair is a slightly different color than it was in the original.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: Some songs in 2, particularly the Final Boss theme and the end credits is similar to "Hummel Gets the Rockets" from The Rock. Also, the ending theme to Crisis Zone rhymes with "Fighting 17th" from Backdraft.
- Tear Jerker: Robert being the VSSE traitor. He and Keith used to be partners, working side by side on VSSE missions together, and was the Player 2 character of Time Crisis II. Fast-forward to Time Crisis 5 and Robert's turned heel and gone rogue. During the hunt for him, he assassinates Christy, the VSSE auditor he and Keith helped rescue during Time Crisis II, who had since become Keith's girlfriend. He casts suspicion on Keith, fingering him to the VSSE as the likely perpetrator. Keith is forced to go on the run trying to find the real culprit and clear his name, not knowing his ex-partner had set him up all along. It doesn't help that Keith looks to be in pretty bad shape during Time Crisis 5, with his general unkempt appearance and an eyepatch.
- That One Boss: Sherudo from the first game is a knife-thrower, to which knives are really hard to time when it comes to dodging. Worse, he brings a bunch of knife-throwing lackeys to cover him!
- In the Sony PlayStation port, it becomes possible to shoot them out of the air, provided you're ridiculously good or lucky. Hitting whoever threw them seemed to make a thrown knife miss as well.
- Randy Garrett from Time Crisis 3 is a boss version of the Clawmen, who are already Demonic Spiders. He also brings along two other upgraded Clawmen as lackeys with their own health bars. Just like the regular Clawmen, Randy and his lackeys are quick and agile, giving players minimal time to react when they lunge at the screen.
- That One Sidequest: The original game is the only one in the series where you can obtain extra lives. But the way to do so is extremely difficult: you have to kill 40 enemies without missing a single shot!