A list of the various cultural and popular movie/TV show references, tributes and homages in The Expendables film franchise and television show.

While the film contains countless other references, traits and characteristics of the film's performers including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas, only actual films and shows will be listed here for now.



  • Attack Force Z (1982): Mel Gibson's villain character Conrad Stonebanks is the same rank and division (former SASR- Special Air Service Regiment) as Gibson's character in this obscure 1982 WWII film.




  • Dark Angel (1990, A.K.A. I Come in Peace): After the heroes gun down one random henchman in the cemetery yard, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) says the line from this 1990 Dolph Lundgren film: "Rest in pieces!"
  • Death Race (2008): In the second film, when the team of heroes comes to save the captured Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Trench says "Cut me loose, Frankenstein!" This is a reference to the identity of Jason Statham's character in that 2008 film, which is also a remake of a 1976 Sylvester Stallone movie.
  • Demolition Man (1993): In the first film, when Trench Mauser walks out of the Church, Mr. Church asks Barney Ross what Trench's problem is and Barney answers "He wants to be President." This references how Schwarzenegger was mentioned in the 1993 film as being president in that futuristic setting as well as the fact that actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has tried unsuccessfully to promote changes to the law so that a foreigner like him could run for President of the United States of America.

In the second film, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) tosses the head of Jean Vilain onto the ground after shouting to the other mercenaries "Heads up!", a one-liner which Stallone uses in the end fight of that 1993 film.

In the third film, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) threatens Doc (Wesley Snipes) that if he tries anything, he'll "smash him into pieces." In the 1993 film, this is what happens to Snipes' character in the climatic fight with Stallone's character.









  • Lethal Weapon (1987): In The Expendables 3, Mel Gibson's character Conrad Stonebanks tauntingly shouts the line "Come On, Kill Me!" much like Gibson's iconic character Martin Riggs does in the 1987 film.
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998): Furthermore in the same aforementioned Expendables sequel, Stonebanks also uses the "Four Feathers" names to dub all the captured members of the Expendables team. This was also done in the 1998 film by the Riggs character to mockingly name four goons who he was arresting.


  • The Magnificent Seven (1960): The various crew members argue in 2010's The Expendables about who's faster with a knife as opposed to a quick draw revolver just like in that Western film.






  • Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985): In the second film, Maggie (Nan Yu) inquires why Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) is so nervous at times being around her. Ross replies that bad things have happened to the people he's gotten close to. This is presumably a reference to how Rambo's love interest in the 1985 sequel (who was also of Asian descent) got killed by the villains due to being around him. Also in the second film during the fight scene in the airport Booker( Chuck Norris)shows up next to Trench and trench says "who's next?, Rambo?" as a reference to Rambo.In the third film, Luna (Ronda Rousey) remarks about Barney Ross' plan to spray the building Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) has them trapped in with bullets: "It's a great plan, if it was 1985."


  • "Sesame Street" (1969 - present day): Randy Couture's character Toll Road remarks about his funky-looking, cauliflower ear by saying the same line as the Muppet Oscar the Grouch: "It ain't easy being green."


  • The Terminator (1984): In the second film, Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) briefly calls Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger) a Terminator and threatens to "terminate" him if Trench doesn't return his weapon to him. And later in that same film, Trench says his signature "I'll be back" before Church calls him out and say that he'll be back. Trench, in response, sarcastically replies "Yippee-Ki-Yay"
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991): In the second movie, when Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger) comes to save the team in the mining vehicle, the musical score by Brian Tyler briefly imitates the Terminator 2 heavy percussion tunes of Brad Fiedel's score for that 1991 film.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003): Mauser briefly shouts "I'm back!", which is a reference to his T-850 character after lunging its helicopter down underground to save John Connor and Kate Brewster from the T-X.
  • Total Recall (1990): When Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger) saves rescues the team using the mining vehicle, he is told by Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) that he'll kill Trench if Caesar doesn't get his weapon returned to him and Trench replies "In his dreams," which is a play on the themes taking place in this 1990 hit film. Trench's mining vehicle also bears resemblance to the one driven by one of the 1990 film's villains Benny.
  • The Transporter (2002): In the second movie, Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) has a brief line where he notes that the team's mission is running behind schedule by stating that they're "20 seconds late," which is the line Statham's character Frank Martin states commonly in the better known Transporter movie franchise.







Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.