These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
NOTE: Due to technical limitations, subjective tropes from multiple works are listed on this page:
The promos (and the intro itself!) to Blood Money played up the rivalry and ultimate confrontation between 47 and Mark Parchezzi III. However, in the actual game the two never cross paths at all until the end, and the ultimate result is a 5 second cutscene and a brief and anti-climactic shootout. The most you get with tension are the Agency's operatives getting killed...
Blake Dexter in Absolution. The chapter where you kill him is a short, timed (5 minutes, or less on harder difficulties) A -> B sneaking level that's pretty easy. When you get up to him, you immediately enter point shooting, giving you the opportunity to put a good amount of bullets in him right then and there.
Even better: wait until his back is turned, and you can sneak right up to him and garrote him like any standard mook.
It's actually no exaggeration to say that half the missions in Silent Assassin could count, but special mention goes to "St. Petersburg Stakeout" (where 47 moves from the subway through the sewer into a locked-off apartment building to snipe a general in a meeting) and "Shogun Showdown" (where 47 sneaks around a Yakuza leader's private castle to steal a missile guidance system).
How about the opera in Blood Money?
"Amendment XXV" where you must infiltrate the White House.
Absolution has several as well, with "Attack Of The Saints" being one of the best.
Jesper Kyd's score for each game (bar Absolution). Offers a lot of variability - from atmospheric ambient tracks to cerebral symphonies. Many fans regard the soundtrack of the second game to be especially memorable.
Designated Villain: Jade in Absolution doesn't really do anything evil and never does anything to directly harm Agent 47. Though he comments that she could have been a valuable ally and she might have betrayed Travis and flew right to avoid punishment, she ended up becoming a loose end to be tied up...
Vazano's popularity was addressed by IO in in a gameplay preview, where they made a Contract with the cop who abuses Vazano as the target.
Fan Dumb: Fans decrying the Intuition system in Absolution, complaining that it dumbs down the game while completely ignoring the fact that Intuition abilities are completely optional and their usefulness is reduced in the higher difficulty levels, becoming practically nonexistent in Purist (the hardest mode).
Blood Money has a mission where the character can disguise himself as a priest and officiate a shotgun wedding. Silent Assassin had him living with a priest.
One of the missions has guards grow extremely suspicious of running in the mansion, but it's completely accepted outside due to it raining.
In Blood Money, have you ever noticed when walking around disguised or not, that every NPC in your immediate vicinity will turn their head to follow you as you walk? This could be Hand Waved by by applying 47's mode of thinking to what the player sees: In 47's mind, every other NPC he encounters save the target(s) could potentially be either a witness or an attacker, therefore he makes sure he stays out of their actual and potential line of sight, hence the moving heads.
The ridiculous headlines in other languages make sense in the higher ratings, because the only people who don't believe your Silent Assassin kills are accidents are the tabloids.
In Absolution, during the strip club mission, one of the strippers in the dressing room can be overheard terrified that she's being asked to go to Hawaii. If you listen to the conversation outside between the bouncers and the cop, the cop claims they discovered a girl from the club brutally raped and murdered...with a postcard from Hawaii.
Worse you can also find a room, with nothing but a camera, a chair with duct tape on it and a big backround with palms and beaches on it.
In the same area you can even find the dead body of one such woman hidden up in the celling and throw it down to distract/scare the crap out of the Police Officers guarding the exit to the area.
Genius Bonus: Mark Parchezzi III wields a customized Colt M1911A1 with ivory grips. 47 wields customized AMT Hardballer(s). The Other Wiki describes the Hardballer as a "clone of the M1911". Parchezzi is a defective clone, while 47 easily kills him. The funny part? The Hardballers are often described as defective clones of the M1911A1.
In Blood Money, Attempting to garrote people on an uneven surface (say, stairs) leads to an instant kill rather than being forced to make the victim struggle for five seconds. It's very useful on the wedding level.
In Silent Assassin, opening and closing the map instantly completes certain actions, such as changing clothes, lockpicking, strangling with the fiber wire and using chloroform. Also in the same game, it's possible to abuse a bug with the double silver ballers to dual-wield any pistol with any other, resulting in unbelievably fast fire rate and no need to reload. Useless for a stealth approach, but undeniably fun.
Tapping the start button while the game is saving on harder difficulties in Blood Money will cause the game to preserve the number of saves you are allowed to make, at least on the Xbox platforms. This allows unlimited saving as if the game were on Rookie mode (Professional difficulty cannot be saved at all however).
In Absolution, during the cutscene that plays in the last part of the Orphanage mission, 47 will point whatever weapon he has in his hand at another character. This results in 47 pointing any number of objects—a shotgun, his fiber wire, a book—like it was a handgun. It makes what is otherwise a very serious scene utterly hysterical. For bonus points, you can threateningly point a loaded bible at someone while dressed as a priest.
Growing the Beard: Many fans agree that Hitman has gotten progressively better with each installment, with Blood Money being considered the best game so far.
In a series as dark and cynical as Hitman, the cutscene before the final level of Absolution stands out considerably. It shows Diana explaining her motives in taking Victoria from the ICA earlier on in the game. As she is talking, you can feel that she was being selfless and motivated by a genuine motherly love in regards to Victoria. The fact that she was willing and brave enough to do so despite knowing that Benjamin Travis would come after her doubles as a Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right.
47's brief interaction with Diana after shooting her. He doesn't finish her off immediately, and actually kneels down to comfort her as she bleeds out. To longtime players of the series, his line "There's still time" speaks volumes about the affection he had for this woman that he only met a handful of times.
Though the player character is Agent 47, it's not uncommon for people to refer to him as "Hitman".
Even the box of Blood Money seems to imply that the main character is called "Hitman".
In Absolution however, Blake and the police refer to 47 as "the Hitman", meaning that it is at least a nickname he's earned.
This is a possible case of Fridge Brilliance, canonically, until Absolution outed him 47 prided himself on killing his targets without anyone knowing he was there, and in the rare cases when someone did, he killed everyone that knew that he was an assassin and destroyed all evidence of it. As a result, hardly anyone outside of the Agency even knows 47 exists, and knowing his codename, at most 47 is an urban legend. If people both don't know his codename and also manage to see 47 trying to kill them, what else would they call him but a Hitman?
In universe, 47's original alias Tobias Rieper is this. He instructs Mei Ling not to call him this, as he says that it's no longer his name.
Among many examples, the aforementioned Knife Nut female assassin in Blood Money and the highly deranged Meat King's Party in Contracts.
In Absolution, during the Vixen Club mission, you can hear strippers talk about the "Hawaii" room with dread and before entering the club, you can see a police officer questioning some bouncers about "Hawaii". Later, you discover what the "Hawaii" room is: A room in a desolate building with just an armchair that has duct tape attached to the arms, a metal apparatus that is meant to hold and spread a person's legs apart, a camera, and a backdrop of a beach. Some women are killed later; others survive.
The chilling underground shrine also in the Vixen Club mission, filled with candles and covered with pictures of missing children...
Absolution is absolutely packed with this trope. The above-mentioned "Hawaii Room". Wade's massacre of Rosewood Orphanage, leaving blood slattered all over the walls and executed nuns littering the hallways. The Agency's elimination of the Waikiki Inn, complete with faceless mercenaries slaughtering innocent, begging civilians. The filthy, dank, rotting Hope County Jail, where a corrupt police force regularly beats prisoners to death and forces others to fight each other for their own amusement.
At the time, Contracts was the darkest installment in the franchise. Most of the original levels for the game are rather dark in both theme and lighting. Aside from the aforementioned Meat King's Party, the starting Asylum level is a maze of dead bodies, lab equipment and heavily armed S.W.A.T operatives gunning for you. You also end up going to a rather eerie British manor who's owners love practicing Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. There is also a rather horrifying outcome to failing the last of the Rotterdam missions. You get treated to a cutscene of Rotterdam going up in a puff of nuclear smoke.
Hitman: Codename 47 was a lackluster and buggy shooter with some very good ideas. Hitman 2 Silent Assassin is a swaggering juggernaut of a stealth series with some of the most inventive and well-designed levels to grace the genre.
If anyone ever uses the term "Hitman Trilogy", they're referring to 2-4. The first compilation pack of the series and the HD rerelease came with these three games, omitting the original - and Contracts is partially a remake of the original. Although the fact the original game was never ported to consoles probably also plays a large part in that.
The bad ending of Blood Money, where failing to twirl your control stick or press W despite no on-screen instructions will result in 47 being cremated alive. The beautiful rendition of Ave Maria playing over this does not help.
The sound of a heartbeat and your health bar flickering to life are a good hint...
Silent Assassin manages one in a brief cutscene of a clearly distraught Hayamoto Sr attending Hayamoto Jr's funeral. Even if they're leading figures of the Yakuza, no father should ever have to bury his son.
"Hidden Valley" and "At The Gates" in Silent Assassin. Long, bugged up the ass and covered in snipers that randomly target you. They're relatively easy once you know what to do, but good luck figuring it out!
The Mardi Gras mission in Blood Money. Three separate targets, only one of whom is labeled on your map. Of the two that aren't, one wanders the level through a massive crowd of extras that makes her virtually impossible to pick out and the other is situated in a randomly selected location, making the difficulty of getting to him based on how lucky you are.
Trying to achieve the Silent Assassin rating in the "Attack of the Saints" level of Absolution. Finding ways to kill your targets "accidentally" is easy enough, but then comes the risk of getting caught, which is even easier to achieve, plus the possibility of having your score deducted for non-target casualties getting involved.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: In Absolution, the reaction to parts of the fandom over the addition of a cover system, an optional "Intuition" mechanic that allows the player to sense enemies through walls and show the best route and kill possible, and tweaks to the stealth system in Absolution. Cue cries of dumbing down, consolitis, and the game being ruined. See Tough Act to Follow for elaboration.
Also, Jesper Kyd didn't compose the score in that game.
Tough Act to Follow <—> Contested Sequel: Silent Assassin, Contracts, and Blood Money were very well-received by fans and critics alike and have a lot going for them. However, while Absolution was modestly well-received, the majority of the fans' complaints regarding Absolution are in context to the previous games; "the previous games are less linear", "disguises worked better before," "I can't choose which weapons I want anymore," etc. It's not that Absolution is a bad installment, It's just that for some, Silent Assassin, Contracts and Blood Money are really tough acts to follow.
Unfortunate Implications: The "Attack of the Saints" trailer for Absolution featured Agent 47 killing a group of scantily-clad (i.e. PVC- and suspender-wearing) women dressed as nuns. This resulted in controversy, with some decrying the trailer because it was sexist, exploitative, disrespectful towards the Catholic religion or some combination of all three. Some defended the trailer on the grounds that Agent 47 has killed hundreds of men in his time, and that if Catholics are offended then they don't need to play it, whilst others counter that the men 47 kills are not generally used as Fanservice, and women don't get the most brilliant portrayals in video games anyway. IO Interactive later stated that the complaints about the trailer led them to give the Saints a more fleshed-out role in the story, included additional cutscenes and backstory before their appearance...which did not actually occur in the final game. That will be all.
Anticlimax Boss: Marc Navarone, who is presented as an incredibly dangerous assassin, maybe on the same level as Ringo. But when he gets the drop on Monaghan, he forgets to take the safety off on his gun. Monaghan theorizes that he's never actually pointed a gun at someone before, and simply shoots him.
Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Of Thee I Sing, the issue guest-starring Superman. That's right, the issue guest-starring Superman, written by Garth Ennis, the saint patron of mocking superheroes, gives the ol' Man Of Steel the biggest amount of respect Ennis has ever gave a superhero. This is the same comic series that featured both Kyle Rayner and Lobo were victims of Rape as Comedy. WOW.
Also Frances, Tommy's sister. Tommy barely gets to know her before she dies the way their mother did, and all he can do is kill his bastard father for it.
Also the end of Superguy where Sixpack, the ultimate joke drunk superhero of the comic voluntary and bravely sacrifices himself to a group of unstoppable demons called "The Angled Ones" to save the Cauldron from said demons destruction. When asked why he would do such a thing, Sixpack simply says, tears in his eyes "Cause that's what superheroes do." :Sniff, sniff: It's also hinted at the end of the arc that after all that, Sixpack was brought back to life, now sober and a proud AA member under his real name "Sidney Speck".
The final words of the series, as all the friends Tommy and Nat have lost over the series greet them at Noonan's bar.
Noonan: Drinks are on the house fellas, and there ain't no closing time. But you gotta leave your guns at the door.
The Woobie: Hacken becomes this towards the end of the series.