The first series:
- Author's Saving Throw: When Rob Liefeld quit the title, Fabian Nicieza famously salvaged the team by writing out Cable and bringing exiled New Mutants Sunspot and Rictor back to the team, as well as New Mutants supporting cast member Lila Cheney, as well as shifting the tone away from the grim and gritty to focus on team interaction amongst the core New Mutants holdovers. Furthermore, Cable came back to the team, less angsty and more stern but lovable father figure-like, Feral was written out, and Shatterstar was given a crush on Rictor that gave him more depth than being a generic warrior dude.
- Ho Yay: Rictor and Shatterstar. Recent events have made them a fully canonical couple.
- Iron Woobie: Neena Thurman/Domino Despite her husband being dead since before her introduction, she is frequently a case of, "Angst? What Angst??"
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Cable was at one point almost a poster boy for the excesses of 90's comics. He's since been turned into a much more well-rounded character fighting an endless war against an immortal, nearly invincible enemy.
- The Scrappy: Feral. It's honestly hard to imagine why her teammates keep her around.
The second series / X-Statix:
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Blink gained quite a fan following after a fairly short-lived existence in their mainstream storylines. She (or rather, her Alternate Continuity counterpart) got an upgraded role in the Age of Apocalypse storyline. She was so popular that she survived the destruction of that universe and became a main character in the Exiles spinoff (though it took five years).
- Edith "Edie" Sawyer/U-Go Girl: A fan favorite. This is probably why she was killed off.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A lot of "Liefeld-style"(angst, anger, guns, and innuendo)X-Force fans refused to have anything to do with X-Statix.
- Torch the Franchise and Run: although Milligan and Allred still did the Dead Girl spin-off mini afterwards.
- Wangst: Guy Smith/Orphan, aka Mister Sensitive. Oh, the wangst...
The third series:
- Crosses the Line Twice: Elixir, a much kinder and more peace-loving member of the team, gives Vanisher a fatal brain tumour? Harsh and a little bit depressing. The revelation that he made it the shape of the X-Men logo? Hilarious.
- Nightmare Fuel: Rahne's new, more bestial werewolf form is unsettling at best, but after she's kidnapped and brainwashed by The Purifiers, she rips off Angel's wings, then ends up killing and eating her father (though that son of a bitch really deserves it for what he did to Rahne in the first place). So yeah... Or there's ArchAngel going Ax-Crazy and killing most of the "Choir" that had wings grown from his and then falling insensate on a pile of corpses. Or...actually, there's some every few issues. Take your pick, though they're all trumped by the sight of Kimura slowly slicing off X-23's arm with an electric saw.
- Tear Jerker: X-23's dismissal from X-Force at the end of Second Coming. First, her immediate thought is that Wolverine is punishing her. Second, Laura's entire life up to that point had been defined by having someone to issue her orders — to the point that Wolverine notes early in the series that he suspects Laura was incapable of recognizing Cyclops's invitation as a choice and not a command. She is completely and utterly lost at the thought of having to find her own way, to the point that she is pleading and begging Logan to give her an order to follow. It's utterly heartbreaking to see her facade of strength crack and break down, and is a painful reminder just how truly damaged she is.
- Complete Monster: Sabretooth. While this is hardly out of character for him, he sinks to new levels of despicable pettiness when he reveals he started the entire Brotherhood scheme purely as an excuse to manipulate Wolverine into killing another of his own children, not caring about getting many of his comrades killed (not to mention all the emotional damage to X-Force themselves) in the slightest.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: Deadpool singing Miami Sound Machine's "Conga," while being tortured.
- Heartwarming in Hindsight: During Deadpool and Evan's talk, Deadpool comments that he'll probably never have kids hence why Evan is like a son or little brother to him. Not even a few years after this book Deadpool would learn that he actually has a daughter (Ellie Camancho).
- Even better, Evan helps save her when she's thrown out a window after Deadpool called him for help.
- Heartwarming Moment:
Evan: At my lowest point you were the hero who showed up to save me.Deadpool: ...That... that's the first time anyone's ever called me that...
- Nightcrawler asks Deadpool why he'd go on such a dangerous mission, especially since he lost his healing factor. His answer (well, second answer) was that he didn't want to let anyone down, because the X-Force is the closest thing he's ever had to a family. Remember, this is coming from the guy who's been mistreated pretty much his entire life, and has only ever had a handful of friends.
- Also Deadpool's heart-to-heart with Evan, in which he reassures him that he's a great kid and isn't anything like Apocalypse.
- Moral Event Horizon:
- Subverted with Fantomex shooting Kid Apocalypse, as he eventually revives Evan. However the fact that Deadpool is the only member of the team to object to Evan's death certainly paints a dark picture of X-Force as a whole.
- Sabretooth basically leaps across the horizon with glee. He manipulates things so that Wolverine is forced to murder his own son just for the pleasure of making Logan feel like shit.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Captain Britain. In a massive way. From wanting to wipe someone from existence to completely forgiving his slave-trading older brother, you have to wonder if the writer knows the character is one of the good guys.
- Squick: Absolutely everything about Blob-295.
- Stoic Woobie: Fantomex.
- Strangled by the Red String:
- Fantomex and Psylocke. Later turns out to be invoked. Fantomex knew Psylocke didn't really have feelings for him, but he had to make her question her devotion to Warren in order to acquire the courage needed to kill him.
- Future!Wolverine and Future!Psylocke are together. For... reasons?
- Unpopular Popular Character:
- Deadpool is popular with the fans, but tolerated at best by the rest of the team and actively despised by Wolverine. Most egregious example: when Fantomex shocks the team by killing kid!Apocalypse in cold blood, Deadpool takes the brunt of the team's wrath for openly questioning the killing. Leads to Dude, Where's My Respect?. Deadpool does garner a little more respect from his teammates after they've been through a few life and death situations, especially Wolverine and Fantomex, oddly enough.
- The Woobie: Deadpool and Kid Apocalypse.
Cable and The X-Force
- The Scrappy: Hope Spaulding, Bratty Half-Pint and former Mutant Messiah. Part of this is due to negative feelings regarding her role in the resolution of Avengers vs. X-Men where she eventually sides with the Avengers in taking down Dark Phoenix Cyclops, giving her the same image of race traitor and Avenger flunky that Wolverine and Havok also share. The other part comes from the existence of Teen Jean in All-New X-Men making Hope's other point as a character (the possibility that she's the reincarnation of Jean Grey) meaningless.
- Strawman Has a Point: The first arc involves the head of a Chick-Fil-A stand-in who bars mutants from eating in her establishments. When confronted, not only does she explain that her daughter was killed during Xorn's attack on NYC, but also points out that superhumans tend to cause insane amounts of collateral damage wherever they go. Thus, her desire to not see her customers and employees killed comes off looking pretty rational, all things considered.
The fourth series:
- Fan Nickname: Metal Gear X-Force, mostly due to Cable's appearance in the series, with a bandanna and eye-patch, being similar to that of Big Boss.
- Jerkass Woobie: Marrow, once we find out she lost her child.
- Tough Act to Follow: Replacing not only one but two X-force series, both of which ended without proper send-off for the teams, the new series wasn't received very warmly. It also garnered many negative reviews for its artwork and different writing.
- Wham Episode:
- Issue #5 - Marrow undergoes Volga's repowering treatment willingly while pregnant, well aware it might cause miscarriage. Which is what happened.
- Issue #6 - we find out what happened at Alexandria, why Hope is in coma an that Cable is dying from Murituri formula and using clones to prolong his life and then we find out that Meme is dead and has been dead since her first apperance. Meme we know is really Hope using her powers.
- Issue #7 - Fantomex secretly kills Cable's clones every day to overcome his inferiority complex. Domino is captured and has to witness the clone's death not knowing it is one, before being put into a mind control system.
- Moral Event Horizon: Fantomex crosses it either by killing ForgetMeNot or manipulating Hope in order to get more powerful and then gloating in her face about it.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Clarice Ferguson/Blink. Blink gained quite a fan following after a fairly short-lived existence in their mainstream storylines. She (or rather, her Alternate Continuity counterpart) got an upgraded role in the Age of Apocalypse storyline. She was so popular that she survived the destruction of that universe and became a main character in the Exiles spinoff (though it took five years).