- Accidental Innuendo: One exchange featured in one of the ViDocs got replaced thanks to jokes about this.Dare: My hatch... (grunts) is... (grunts) jammed...noteBuck: (chuckles)Dare: How's yours?Buck: (sighs) Works great!
- Awesome Music: Arguably the best in the series. Martin O'Donnell's score is varied, from a sad jazz atmosphere to military bombast to thrilling and adventurous.
- Author's Saving Throw: Five years after ODST's original release, its campaign was rereleased for Xbox One as an apology for The Master Chief Collection's poor multiplayer launch. Gamers who'd played the MCC multiplayer shortly after launch got it for free, but even as paid DLC, it cost just five dollars.
- The game as a whole can be seen as this for those who felt Halo 2 lacked the big battle on Earth that the marketing promised.
- Complete Monster: Police Commissioner Kinsler is a brutal thug and Dirty Cop who took advantage of the chaos caused by the Covenant's invasion of New Mombasa to carry out his crimes without repercussion. The first time Sadie encounters him, Kinsler reveals his intention to rape and kill her. When Sadie escaped from him with the help of Kinsler's driver, Mike Branley, Kinsler swore revenge on both of them. After Vergil, a subroutine of the AI that maintained New Mombasa's infrastructure, prevents Kinsler from killing Branley and recapturing Sadie, Kinsler responds by shutting the AI down. This has the effect of grinding New Mombasa's evacuation to a halt and causing many unnecessary deaths. Kinsler's final attempt to capture Sadie has him threatening to murder her father if Sadie doesn't willingly turn herself in. When Sadie arrives at Kinsler's private train car, Kinsler's having his corrupt officers fire into the crowd of panicked refugees to prevent them from escaping on his train. Once Sadie's in his clutches, Kinsler reveals that he already murdered her father by flooding his lab with argon and then tries to have his way with her again.
- Demonic Spiders: Drones in Firefight, especially if the Tilt skull is on because that means their armor will deflect bullets (the best weapon to use against them otherwise is the SMG). If you're unlucky enough you'll even draw a Drone Major who has an energy shield. It's telling that Drones were cut from Firefight's next incarnation.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Jonas, a huge, bulky and somewhat overweight butcher selling kebabs to refugees escaping New Mombasa during the attack, not giving a care for his own safety, has become a huge fan favorite in part to his jovial attitude.
- Fridge Brilliance: "What am I supposed to do with this (sniper rifle) inside a Covenant ship?" Guess where the ODSTs aren't going?
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Inverted. The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers draw a lot of inspiration from the Mobile Infantry, and the most hated enemies, gameplay-wise, are the Drones.
- In his debut, Buck's game profile describes him as such: "Truly, if he were any better, he would be a Spartan". Fast forward to Halo 5: Guardians...
- It's Short, So It Sucks!: Although not a bad game, a common criticism of it is its short length (justified since it's an expansion) combined with a full-sized price tag (not so much).
- Part of this is because the Framing Device of The Rookie finding his squads stuff is free roam, but Halo had never been free roam, so most people just bounced from one objective to another instead of exploring and admiring the beauty of a post-apocalyptic future city and the audio drama hidden around it. Since theres no waypoints for those audio logs, it can take ages to find them all.
- Spiritual Licensee: This is the best adaptation of Starship Troopers this side of Aliens.
- Also has its' own Spiritual Licensee in the form of Helldivers, a Playstation-and-PC-only title that many describe as an ODST game in all but name.
YMMV / Halo 3: ODST