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.
- Charlotte's Web (1973): In the first film, Tool (Mickey Rourke) notes that he wants to give Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) a "Charlotte's Web" tattoo.
- Cobra (1986): In the first movie, Jet Li's character Yin Yang gets into the back of Barney Ross's truck to fire back at the armed goons just like that title character (who was portrayed by Sylvester Stallone) did.
- Crank (2006): In the second film, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) points his fingers like a gun to note to Billy "The Kid" (Liam Hemsworth) in which direction to snipe the armed soldiers surrounding both him and Lee Christmas (Jason Statham). The way he does this finger pointing is also a reference to Statham's character in the 2006 action 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.
- Desperado (1995): In the third film, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) exclaims the line "How hard is it to kill ten guys!?" A similar line was said by the villain in this 1995 Antonio Banderas film.
- Die Hard (1988): In the first film, pirates take over a ship and take hostages in a similar fashion just like any of the Die Hard movie or any film(s) inspired by the aforementioned 1988 movie. In the first and third film, both films end with Barney Ross and the gang trying to escaped from the building by going from floor to floor while engaging armed guards of the main villain. In the second movie, Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger) says the famous line from the 1998 film ("Yippee-Ka-Yee!") after noticing how big of a hero Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) wants to act like.
- Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990): In the second movie, Jean Vilain (played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) and his minions take over an airport, engage the security guards and heroes.
- First Blood (1982): Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Trench Mauser makes a blatant reference to Sylvester Stallone's character John J. Rambo during the church scene by saying: "Give this job to my friend, he loves playing in the jungle." In the second movie, Trench mentions the title character "Rambo" when he notices just how brutal Booker (Chuck Norris) is when it comes to mowing down enemy soldiers.
- Happy Feet (2006): Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) mocks Yin Yang (Jet Li) during their fight by teasing: "Bring it Happy Feet!" due to how short Yin Yang is in comparison to him.
- Judge Dredd (1995): When Sylvester Stallone's character Barney Ross shoots Mel Gibson's character Conrad Stonebanks to death after their prolonged fight scene, he does a play on the "I Am The Law!" line by instead shouting "I Am The Hague!" 
- 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.
- Predator (1987): In the second film, at the beginning rescue sequence, the team has a battling rams with the words "Knock knock" written on them which is the line used by Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Dutch in the 1987 cult classic film. In the third film, Hale Caesar (Terry Crew) uses a mini-gun type weapon against the Somalian pirates which is similar to the one that Bill Duke's character Mac uses in the 1987 film. Later in the third film, Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger) gets to say the noted line from that late 80s movie: "Get to the choppa!" when helping Max Drummer (Harrison Ford) and Yin Yang (Jet Li) save the rest of the mercenary team on the rooftop.
- 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. 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."
- Star Wars (1977, A.K.A. Star Wars- Episode IV: A New Hope): In The Expendables 2, Dolph Lundgren's character Gunner Jensen is wearing a T-shirt which has this movie's villain Darth Vader on it. In The Expendables 3, Harrison Ford's character Max Drummer swoops in a vehicle to rescue the mercenaries at the last minute in a similar fashion to his signature Han Solo role in Star Wars.
- The Terminator (1984): In the second film, Trench Mauser (Arnold Schwarzenegger) briefly shouts "I'm back!", which is a play on of the actor's typical one-liner which he first made famous in the 1984 film as "I'll be back." Earlier in the same film, Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) briefly calls Trench a Terminator and threatens to kill him if Trench doesn't return his weapon to him.
- 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.
- 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.