Prior research on callous-unemotional (CU) traits supports a deficit in recognizing fear in faces and body postures. Difficulties recognising others’ emotions may impair the typical behavioural inhibition for violent behaviour. However, recent research has begun to examine other distress cues such as pain. The present study examined emotion recognition skills, including pain, of school-excluded boys aged 11–16 years (N = 50). Using dynamic faces and body poses, we examined the relation between emotion recognition and CU traits using the youth psychopathic traits inventory (YPI) and the inventory of CU traits. Violent delinquency was covaried in regression analyses. Although fearful facial and fearful bodily expressions were unrelated to CU traits, recognition of dynamic pain facial expressions was negatively related to CU traits using the YPI. The failure to replicate a fear and sad deficit are discussed in relation to previous research. Also, findings are discussed in support of a general empathy deficit for distress cues which may underlie the problem behaviour of young males with CU traits.