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Franchise-wide

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: A franchise-wide case that has affected the portrayal of the titular creatures in each installment. This largely rests on how evil the Predators are perceived by both the writers and audiences.
    • The first film leaves it somewhat ambiguous as to whether the Predator is an honorable hunter looking to challenge itself or just an asshole Blood Knight who delights in killing things.
    • The second film more clearly depicts the species as a Proud Warrior Race Guy culture.
    • The Alien vs. Predator films depict the Yautja as being a mix of both sadistic blood knights and a Proud Warrior Race Guy culture.
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    • Predators and The Predator introduce new Predators that are more sadistic and an overt case of Egomaniac Hunter.
    • Also, how advanced they are and whether or not they "earned" it. The comics pretty much settle on them having a sort of tribal style culture, with sport hunting as the cornerstone. Some extrapolate their "primitive" culture to indicate the Predators themselves are primitive, and their advanced technology came from stealing it from or being uplifted by a Precursor of some kind. Others look at how intelligent and adaptable many of the individuals the films show are, and conclude the Predators are a very intelligent and technologically advanced species, they just like their tribal hunt-based society.
  • Awesome Music: Alan Silvestri is on point for the first two movies (so much so that John Debney's score for Predators is essentially an adaptation of Silvestri's work).
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  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Contested Sequel: In spite of the Sequelitis, there is a sizable portion of viewers who argue that Predator 2 and/or Predators are decent sequels and even superior to the first in the case of the former.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The first films, at least, attempt the Aesop that "sports hunting is bad." But the Predators specifically go after victims that can fight back, making the hunt a true test of skill against skill, and (nuclear self-destruct options aside) are rather graceful losers. No shame in testing your skill against, and being bested by, a truly challenging opponent. All-in-all, Predator hunting is rather different than typical deer or duck hunting humans engage in. . . and when humans did engage in sport hunting against things that could hunt them back, they drove several of those species to near-extinction.
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  • Evil Is Cool: Given its bizarre weapons and technology and the unique design from Stan Winston, the Predator inevitably became another popular slasher villain along the lines of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. It also holds the distinction of being a very popular and almost iconic species and antagonist in science fiction culture.
  • Evil Is Sexy: For certain kinds of fans, the Yautjas/Predators are definitely this. They all suffer a major case of Butter Face, being aliens that have bizarre and downright nightmarish faces yet have smoking hot, toned and very muscular bodies. Doesn't help that for the most part, their outfits don't really leave much to the imagination. As for the most part they are usually wearing Loin Cloths and fishnets. Some fans sprinkle in a little bit of Self-Fanservice to turn Yautjas into Mr and Ms Fanservice. The latter are usually even depicted as Amazonian Beauties.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • While it may be due to the crossover between the two, both the Alien and Predator series have overlap thanks to both being 80's sci-fi horror series revolving around monsters, in addition to sharing numerous creators and actors between the two such as special effects by Stan Winston, James Cameron having input and actors such as Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen.
    • Terminator has an overlap in interest with the series, owing to also being a violent 80's sci-fi series sharing numerous creators and actors with the Predator films, particularly Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Averted. The less well-received second film was written by the Thomas Brothers who wrote the first film and the fourth film by script doctor Shane Black, which was ill-received to the point of being a potential Franchise Killer.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Not so much in the first film, but in Predator 2 and Predators most of the Predator's victims are unsympathetic drug lords, criminal scum, or heartless soldiers, leading to the viewers inevitably siding with the Predator on account of its slasher-like charisma. The only time the viewer has any reason to root for the protagonist against the Predator in the former is when it starts attacking police officers and armed civilians while the line is more blurred in Predators. Taken Up to Eleven in Predators, where two Predators fight each other in the climax.
  • Self-Fanservice: As noted under Evil Is Sexy. Quite a lot of fans, especially the more lewd-loving ones, tend to give the Yautja's a heaping dosage of this. Interestingly enough, there seems to be two camps when it comes to this trope. One camp is to downplay the Yautja's Butter Face, by making their faces either a bit more easier on the eyes or a little more humanized yet still keeping it's alien aspects. While others just outright keep the nightmarish faces (or stylize it to make it easier to draw) and just make their bodies even more fanservice-y (i.e. turning female Yautja's into an Amazonian Beauty while the male ones can either just be decently hunk-ish or wouldn't be too out of place in the Bara Genre).
  • Sequelitis: None of the sequels have earned the level of acclaim or success that the original film has with The Predator suffering particularly hard due to the credentials of the director and cast. Though Predator 2 and Predators have definitely gained better appreciation over time, largely thanks to the Alien vs. Predator films and The Predator being more divisive films.
  • Too Cool to Live: Most of the predators' victims are commendably formidable fighters themselves, but the special mention goes to those the predators choose to claim their skull and spinal cord as trophies for putting up a heck of a fight for them before winning. Also, any predator in the films who is killed by their opponent.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Given that Stan Winston was involved with the special effects, the Predator suits and cloaking device still look amazing years after they left theaters.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: The design of the titular alien is based on Adjudant Booba from Dengeki Sentai Changeman, yet odds are that if you were to show someone a picture of the latter, they'd assume it's either based on or ripping off the former - even Super Sentai itself seems to agree with this, since it's homaged the Predator several times.

The first movie

  • Award Snub: Losing the Visual Effects Oscar to Innerspace. Not so much for the loss, as Innerspace had some amazingly impressive and innovative special effects itself, but more for the fact this was the only Oscar any of the films were nominated for.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Blain, who rocks a magnificent mustache, declares himself "a goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus", doesn't have time to bleed, and fights with a minigun. Thus, it comes as a surprise to many first-time viewers that this lively character is the second casualty of the film.
    • Mac, who initially seems unassuming (or at least as much as this cast can get unassuming), but memorably wigs out to Scary Black Man levels after the Predator toys with him too much.
  • First Installment Wins: While some of the sequels have their fans, the original Predator is by far the most well known and revered film in the franchise and is universally considered to be an action classic.
  • Fountain of Memes: Virtually every single one of the main characters has an infamous action or one-liner.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Hawkins’ dirty jokes revolving around sex are a lot more disturbing after it turned out Shane Black was friends with a registered sex offender, to the point of providing him minor acting roles.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The film depicts the CIA as meddling in South America because of communism. This became a lot more harsher due to the Iran Contra scandal that burst later that year.
    • Similarly, the film's willingness to paint the government as shady can be much more harder to look at after John McTiernan acknowledged to lying to the FBI.
  • He Really Can Act: We're given the rare sight of Arnold Schwarzenegger being straight-up terrified by the bigger, tougher opponent who's relentlessly hunting him. Plus, his traumatized Thousand-Yard Stare in the final shot.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Of course, any movie with Arnie and Jesse Ventura is funnier because of their subsequent political careers, but lesser known is that Sonny Landham (Billy) also tried to run for Kentucky Governor and Senator. Carl Weathers later mocked this with a spoof campaign commercial: "Vote for me. I was in Predator!"
    • Arnold would later star in The Expendables and accuse Sylvester Stallone of liking to fight in the jungle.
    • Dutch declares that his team is "not expendable." Dutch's actor appears in The Expendables franchise, but none of the rest of the actors in his platoon.
  • Ho Yay:
    • When Dutch and his old friend Dillon reunite, they have a arm wrestling match with prolonged eye contact throughout and smiling.
    • This little bit when Blain is refused of tobacco:
      Blain: Bunch of slack-jawed faggots around here! This stuff will make you a Goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus — just like me!
      Poncho: (showing his gun) Then strap this on your sore ass, Blain.
      [Billy laughs]
    • When Blaine is killed, everybody on his team is upset, but his 'friend' Mac is absolutely devastated. He becomes almost suicidally vengeful and explains to a concerned Dutch that Blaine was his friend, with special emphasis on the word. He also insists he be the one to put Blaine's dead body in a poncho and takes one last drink before leaving his canteen upon Blaine's body for burial. His parting words "Goodbye, old friend". Later that night, he's looking up at the moon, sullen: "Here we are again, bro. Just you and me".
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Predator itself is a dangerous, cunning and honourable warrior. Hunting in Republic of Val Verde during a Guerrilla War, the Predator stalked and killed numerous insurgents and elite forces, including a band of Green Berets. Cautiously hunting Dutch's group, it picked them off one by one as they split up, careful not to let itself be outnumbered even with its superior technology. Avoiding their first trap, they eventually catch it in a net, which it escapes by firing its Plasmacaster rapidly. Feigning ignorance of Mac and Dillon's presence when they pursue it, the Predator turns the tables and kills them both. Finally confronting Dutch, whom had figured out how to exploit the Predator's thermal imaging tech, the creature is so impressed that, even when it had Dutch in its clutches, it lets him go and disarms itself to fight him unarmed. The hunter is finally beaten when it falls into a trap Dutch had set and only because Dutch made two traps. Noble and terrifying, the Predator hunts for sport, will not go after those it doesn't consider a threat and is an alien icon that spawned an entire franchise.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Some of the one-liners are downright legendary.
      Blaine: Bunch of slack-jawed faggots around here, this stuff'll make you a Goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus — just like me!
      Blaine: "I ain't got time to bleed."
      Dutch: "If it bleeds, we can kill it."
      Dutch: "Stick around."
      Dutch: "Knock knock."
      Mac: "Anytime."
      Dutch: "Ruuuuun! Goooooo! Get to da choppa!"
      Dutch: "You're one ugly motherfucker."
    • Billy's laugh and the Predator's variation of it.
    • Dutch and Dillon's handshake became an image known as the Epic Handshake meme.
    • The use of handheld miniguns.
    • "The only movie starring two future Governors."Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The Predator's plasma caster and Blaine's minigun.
  • Narm: "GET TO DA CHOPPA!" Though many fans view it as Narm Charm, particularly given the memorable sequence that immediately follows.
  • Narm Charm: Ol' Painless. Bringing a gun that weighs at least 81 lbs / 19 kg and requires thousands of rounds of ammunition and a portable power supply on a stealthy hike through the jungle is a complete Violation of Common Sense, but it's such an awesome weapon, used the film's Ensemble Dark Horse, and contributes so much to the action scenes that it gets a pass for being so much darned fun.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: While most of the Licensed Games are decent, the NES version is an exception. Arnie wearing pink pants, the Final Boss being a giant Predator head, among others.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Try to recognize Shane Black under Hawkins' 80s geeky glasses.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • Handheld miniguns are hardly revolutionary now that several action movies have imitated or parodied them.
    • Visible invisibility isn't as exciting now that works like Halo have imitated it.
    • Back in its time, the film itself was considered shocking as it broke the action movie mold by having Arnie and his friends defeated by a stealthy being that used its brain and deception to defeat them and, in turn, is only beaten in the end by some quick thinking on part of the hero. Nowadays, it's common practice for action movies, especially after Die Hard, to have their protagonists rely on their brains instead of heavy firepower and shooting stuff.
  • Signature Scene: Dutch and his squad unloading absurd amounts of ammo blindly into the jungle (the Predator is hit exactly once and that was before the firestorm started).
    • The Predator removing his mask to reveal its very ugly face, and going "hand-to-hand" against Dutch.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The blank-firing adapters are visible in the barrels of Arnie's crew's guns.
    • Later in the film, the Predator is seen swinging during daylight when it is nighttime in one shot.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • As Mac affectionately lays a whiskey flask on Blaine's body to Alan Silvestri's mournful yet warm and gentle trumpets:
    Mac: Goodbye, bro.
    • Later that night, Mac is on guard and looking at the stars whilst going over Vietnam memories with Blaine. Throughout this sequence, he's chewing tobacco — tobacco that everyone refused when Blain offered it to them in the helicopter.
    • The thousand-yard-stare Dutch (who by this point has gone from a confident jockey super-human to a withering, traumatized wreck that has lost everyone he loved) gives in the film's final shots.
  • Too Cool to Live: Dutch's entire team (even Dillion) is this. Each of them is an entertaining and likeable One-Man Army with a unique skillset, and they're all dead by the end of the film's second third so that Dutch can fight the Predator one-on-one.
  • Tough Act to Follow: None of the sequels have managed to match the level of popularity the first film has, with most of the follow-ups being dismissed as coming short or mediocre.
  • Uncanny Valley: Several unusual audio examples, from the creepy distortions the Predator hears when the men speak to its bizarrely human laugh at the end.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Blain calls the others "slack-jawed faggots" when they politely refuse tobacco.
    • Mac casually drops "Chinaman" into a conversation with no irony.
  • Vindicated by History: While a hit with audiences, Predator was not well received by critics at the time (although Roger Ebert gave it a positive review) and its Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes scores reflected this. In more recent times, critical attitudes have warmed and it has even gone on to be featured on several "best of" lists. (It's also picked up a reputation as one of the manliest movies ever.)
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The film has been noted as an allegory for The Vietnam War — an unseen enemy who is well versed in camouflage, defeating a "superior" American force. (The Predator's technological advantage notwithstanding.)

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