Anti-Climax: A humorous moment where Kat warns you that you'll need to get through "five floors of hell" while ascending an office building. How do you do it? Walk into the elevator. The electronic display will then read a few random numbers, and then switch back-and-forth between the third and fourth floors above your starting position. All while Elevator Music is playing.
Dante: ...She was right. This is hell.
Anti-Frustration Features: Enemies will be less aggressive when out of sight, keeping you from getting blindsided too often. Still better keep your fingers on the dodge button, though.
Ascended Glitch: Lag Cancel has always been a mostly official Good Bad Bug in the previous games, but Dm C is the first game in the series to actually show off weapon cancelling in official media. In particular, one of the loading screens shows off a neat weapon cancel with the Rebellion's Helm Breaker.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Kyle Ryder a.k.a. Mundus controls pretty much the entirety of Earth's economy. He's also pretty much invincible under most circumstances, and supremely strong under all others. He also seems to have a large degree of control over the chaos of Limbo.
Audible Sharpness: The Angel Arms produce some kind of muted shouting effect when used.
Awesome yet Practical: The Tremor technique involves slamming the ground so hard it breaks. It also does triple damage compared to other moves, and increases your Style Rating very fast, especially if you hit multiple enemies/targets with it.
Bald of Evil: Both Mundus and Lilith, though the latter does cover herself with a wig.
Because You Were Nice to Me: Kat is loyal to Vergil to the point of near-worship because he once saved her from abuse and gave her a purpose. That is until the revelation that he was using her and wants to rule over the humans, at which point she chooses Dante, who has by then also earned her loyalty but cares for her as an equal.
Bedlam House: Dante is seen moving through a demonic asylum in the very first trailer.
Big Bad: Mundus is a large-size businessman. He turns into a colossus when you actually fight him, though.
Big Brother Mentor: Vergil takes Dante back to their old home to help Dante recover his lost memories of his childhood... and to get some new powers, namely turning his sword into a greataxe or scythe at will.
Bizarrchitecture: Limbo, being a demonic shadow of the real world, has some of this. Also, the city actively tries to kill you and otherwise impede your progress by squishing walls around you, tearing chunks of the floor away and revealing infinite space underneath, stretching rooms to many times their original length, demolishing environments until there's only floating chunks of debris left, and giving orders to the mooks.
Blade on a Stick: The Arbiter. Dante can turn his sword, Rebellion, into a greataxe. Or a scythe called Osiris.
Blind Mistake: The second time Dante meets Phineas, the latter hears him approach and assumes he's under attack again.
Blind Without 'Em: Phineas, a several-thousand-year-old prophet and inventor. He's completely blind in his flesh-and-blood eye, but his mechanical eye not only grants him sight, but some control over the chaos of Limbo.
Bond One-Liner: Another skill added to Dante's repertoire. It's especially notable during the boss fight against Poison, where he gives one for every stage of her boss fight.
Competitive Balance: The Demon weapons Arbiter and Eryx and both slow, heavy and used For Massive Damage. The Angel weapons Osiris and Achila are weak but their attacks cover a wide radius and the latter is ridiculously fast. Rebellion is somewhere in the middle in terms of damage and close to Osiris in terms of speed.
Devil but No God: Vergil mentions that the angels and devils have been at war for thousands of years. You'll saw your way through hordes of devils, but the only angel you'll meet or even hear specific mention of is your deceased mother, Eva.
Don't Explain the Joke: After an instance of Limbo really messing with you by repeatedly lengthening a bottomless room of a church you're trying to escape from, which you escape using your grappling hook weapon...
Dante: Well that just seemed to drag on forever. *Beat* Church.
You were expecting the much-hyped succubus to be some kind of tantalizing beauty? No. Just... no◊.
Mundus'... girlfriend Lilith, as well, especially once she ditches her wig. Oh, and it gets worse; you fight her as a boss while she uses her unborn child as a golem/shield, while the background music screams "Hey! You! What the fuck is wrong with you!?"
Fetus Terrible: Played with by The Spawn of Mundus. It may be a hideous demonic abomination that Lilith is able to bring out of her body so it can fight while carrying her rather than vice versa, and it quite eagerly tries to kill Dante, but there is no reason to believe that it is consciously evil rather than that it is an oversized infant with demonic powers that only understands attacking Dante as what its mommy taught it is "play time."
Flipping the Bird: Dante gives the middle finger to demon news pundit Bob Barbas during their fight.
Foreshadowing: In mission 3, Vergil details the entire history of Sparda, who turned on Mundus rather than let humanity be enslaved. He also basically gives away the twist and ending of the game itself.
Dante is the hot-headed Id, motivated mostly by strong emotions such as anger and lust, and often not thinking his actions through.
Vergil as the cool, analytical Super-Ego, a planner driven by ambitious end goals he is willing to make fairly cold-hearted sacrifices to achieve.
Kat is the human, mediating Ego, emotional but loyal to Vergil's higher ideals. She not only is between the brothers in temperament but acts as a go-between, and she tempers some of Dante's harsher nature. Unfortunately, she is revealed to have little influence on Vergil, which leads to the trio's split when he dismisses her as a mere human in announcing his plan to rule over them.
Generation Xerox: Two sworn brothers stand at the precipice of conquering the human world. One, driven by affection for a woman, turns on his brother and defends the humans from his ambitions. Feeling betrayed, the defeated retreats to the demon world, swearing revenge. Now, are we speaking of Sparda and Mundus, or Dante and Vergil?
Genre Savvy: Mundus. During the introductory cutscene, he suddenly cuts off his revelling at the prospect of owning the entire world, concerned about a "loose end": Dante, the only living Nephilim, the only race potentially capable of killing Mundus. So he sends in a hunter demon, which messes with Dante's life for a bit and ensures that mission 1 has a boss fight in it.
Get Back Here Boss: Inverted by Poison and Mundus; you're expected to move between platforms during the fight, causing them to chase you. Poison will retaliate by destroying said secondary platforms.
Hero with Bad Publicity: The demon run "Raptor News Network" regularly smears Dante on-air and labels him a terrorist
Hero Insurance: Inverted. Dante here is outright accused of being a terrorist because nobody can see him battle the demons in Limbo, only his leaving behind a trail of destruction. Dante himself, helpfully, couldn't care less what people call him.
Hostage for MacGuffin: In a nice twist, it's the heroes who arrange the trade, demanding Kat in exchange for Lilith and Mundus' unborn child. Too bad Vergil has to go and kill their hostages before the exchange is complete.
Hotter and Sexier: The opening all but shows Dante having a threesome with two of the dancers of a strip club.
Hybrid Power: A better example with that version of Dante who is half-demon and half-angel, and thus has access to weapons with both demonic and angelic power.
I Ate What?: The soft drink known as Virility is made from the poisons secreted by a giant, deformed succubus monster.
I Call It Vera: Dante's guns Ebony and Ivory. He also calls them "girls."
I'm Standing Right Here: Vergil almost completely ignores Kat when talking to Dante about how they, the Nephilim, should be ruling over the human race now the demons are gone because humans are weak, only paying her any attention when Dante makes him. It's really not played for laughs.
Invisible to Normals: Limbo. Those of inhuman origins can get dragged in, and Mediums can see it (albeit somewhat blearily), but to everyone else in the world, stuff that happens in Limbo might as well not happen. Except when it involves Ferris wheels or newscasters.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Vergil, after being defeated by Dante, goes from only briefly hesitating before running to help his vision of Kat, though he sees her as weak, to spitefully and remorselessly bragging about killing Dante to his vision of their mother
Knife Nut: The Hunter's main weapon is a large knife.
La Résistance: The Order, a resistance group fighting Mundus and his demonic forces.
Dante's hair turns white and his clothes red when using Devil Trigger.
All the Cosmetic Award examples are quotes of characters from the original series, most of them from Dante, but a few from other characters as well.
In one of the first small scenes, an explosion causes a long haired white wig to land on Dante's head, making him look like the previous design of the character (which was used in all previous installments of the franchise). After a pause, he says "Not in a million years" and just shrugs the hairpiece off.
Naked First Impression: Kat first meets Dante when she knocks on his trailer door and he opens it without bothering to put anything on. He then proceeds to hold a brief conversation with her, still naked. It's also, apart from the preceding montage of him having a threesome, how he is introduced to the audience.
Not so Fast, Bucko!: Much like the old continuity, some bosses don't stay dead once you've defeated them. In Poison's case, however, her second fight is more of a platforming sequence with some nice atmosphere and one-liners.
Opposites Attract: The Angelic Eva and Demonic Sparda were married, before Mundus had them both killed.
Orphanage of Fear: Dante was raised in various demon run orphanages and institutions.
Our Demons Are Different: The most glaring example being Poison: succubus are usually portrayed as very attractive, winged demonesses, while Poison herself is a vulgar, disgusting and multi-armed caterpillar monster.
Pietà Plagiarism: The flashback of Eva's death has a shot where Dante cradles his mother's corpse. Also count as an inversion seeing as a Pièta usually involves the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus (ie. mother cradling son).
Post-Modern Magik: On one side, Demons are trying to take over the world via banking, news pundits, CCTV, club scenes and soft drinks, and on the other, the human resistance has a witch who carries her Eye of Newt in spray cans and magic symbols printed onto stencils, and on two different occasions, powerful magic spells are linked to computer servers.
Pregnant Hostage: In an unusual twist, it's the heroes who take Lilith hostage specifically because she's pregnant with Mundus's Enfant Terribleso they can trade her for Kat. They don't bother being nice about it either, since both she and the Fetus Terrible are clearly monsters, but Dante's mildly uncomfortable with it whereas Vergil kills them both in the middle of the hostage exchange to provoke Mundus.
Real Time Weapon Change: DMC1 allowed switch between two weapons, DMC3 between four weapons, DMC4 between seven. DmC between eight. To elaborate, on one hand you use the triggers to switch stances, on the other hand you use the D-Pad to change the Angel weapon (left), the Demon weapon (right) and the fire-arm (up), Rebellion being the default melee weapon when you're not holding a trigger.
Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Virility mascot is a cutesy-looking slug with four anime eyes. Becomes amusing when the Succubus it represents shows up.
Rule of Symbolism: When in Limbo, most of the real world is hard to see through all of the fog and twisted landscape. What's left that's easy to see? Gambling machines and carnival rides. Apparently your addictions really will follow you into hell.
One of the first things Dante says when he learns Ophion Demon Pull is "Get over here."
Sequel Hook: Several are set up at the end. Now Limbo is merged with the human world and demons and humans co-exist which may cause problems down the line, Vergil leaves after the battle to places unknown (and does so again after Vergil's Downfall) And Dante has now sworn to protect humans and has developed his powers further as Indicated by his hair slowly becoming white in the end scene like his Devil Trigger.
Ship Tease: Kat and Dante. Although the close friendship that develops between them never becomes explicitly romantic, they share several moments that are generally seen by the fandom to have romantic undertones, but it would probably be in poor taste to give Kat a romance arc with a guy she's just met, in light of the revelation that she was sexually abused.
Simplified Spellcasting: To cast a spell to affect Limbo, you can spend hours mixing ingredients and setting it up just so...or you can prepare the ingredients in an aerosol can and spray it through a stencil.
Dante chews Vergil out for shooting Lilith and her fetus in the middle of exchanging her for Kat, while Kat's still in the crossfire and again when he announces his plan for them to rule over the weak, subservient human race, right in front of Kat.
Mundus also calls Dante out for the above incident, never mind that he killed Sparta's wife and has been trying to kill his children ever since. Dante, despite having plenty of ground to claim innocence or point out Mundus's hypocrisy, instead taunts him about it.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: When all you have for platforming is a medium-range grappling hook and a double-jump, if you're stuck, there's a good chance that you just need to look up.
The SWAT team that storms The Order's base shoot Kat in the shoulder as soon as they enter the server room, even though she has her arms raised in surrender and no way to defend herself.
Vergil has no issue gunning down a defenseless Lilith and her demon child.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Dante gets a moment of this. Stuck in Limbo, he tries to make the best of a panicked, helpless Kat by giving her step-by-step instructions on how to peacefully surrender to a SWAT team so that they at least don't shoot her. Then they bust through the door and shoot her.
Yin-Yang Bomb: Dante and Vergil themselves, who have the powers of both Demons and Angels.
You Remind Me of X: Phineas notes that Dante isn't just like Sparda; he also bears resemblance to his mother, Eva.
You Will Not Evade Me: The Devil Pull and Angelic Lift skills, which bring enemies to you and you to enemies, respectively. You can accompany these skills with a kick or an uppercut if your timing is right.