- Awesome Music: The first Universal Soldier trailer features tracks from... Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Total Recall (1990).
- Complete Monster: Andrew Scott from the first movie was a sergeant in The Vietnam War, where he goes renegade as he starts butchering civilians and kills his own squad when they try to stop him. He cuts off the ears of his victims and wears them in a necklace. He orders Private Luc Deveraux to kill the two remaining "traitors," two Vietnamese children, doing the job himself when Deveraux refuses. Both are reborn years later as memory-wiped Super Soldiers. As soon as Scott regains his memories he kills his controllers and goes on a blood-filled vendetta across the States to punish Deveraux for disobeying his illegal orders back in Vietnam, graphically killing anyone who gets in his way. At the end he takes Deveraux's elderly parents and his love interest hostage, awarding all of them the death penalty. Despite claims earlier in the film that he thinks he's still fighting the insurgents in Vietnam, Scott later plainly admits that he's fully aware where he is and what he's doing, and his only motive is revenge for Deveraux refusing to partake in his atrocities.
- Evil is Cool: Andrew Scott, as expected from a Big Bad character played by powerhouse action star Dolph Lundgren. Also martial artist Van Damme as Face–Heel Turn Fallen Hero ex-protagonist Luc Deveraux in Day of Reckoning.
- Narm: Thanks to Jean-Claude Van Damme's accent, some of Deveraux's lines end up becoming hilarious. His lack of emotion. Does. Not. Help.
If you belivv.. AHDEED, DENADID.
- Sophomore Slump: The made-for-TV movies and The Return are disliked by most fans. Said films are retconned officially.
- Spiritual Licensee: Not so much the first movie, but Regeneration is practically a Serial Numbers Filed Off adaptation of the original Metal Gear Solid. Day of Reckoning dials it back, but keeps many thematic similarities.