The 39th Literature/{{Discworld}} novel, published after ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight''. His Grace Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch [[BlatantLies cheerfully volunteers]] for a holiday along with his family in that most dreaded of locations: the countryside. There are always things rustling through the undergrowth, you can never be sure that someone isn't hiding behind that hedge, and [[ArcWords there are no streets]]. Or are there?

His wife entertaining the local gentry and his son [[ItMakesSenseInContext becoming obsessed with poo]], Vimes [[BreadEggsMilkSquick goes for a walk, visits the local pub, gets into a fight with a blacksmith, and discovers that a murder has been committed]]. No one cares - after all, the victim was [[FantasticRacism just a goblin]]. But to Vimes, a crime is a crime and there must be a punishment. However, he has [[JurisdictionFriction no jurisdiction]], no body, and no clues. His only allies are his wife and his BattleButler. Then the local police, who ''have'' jurisdiction, turn up to arrest him. And his wife ''still'' [[FelonyMisdemeanor won't let him eat bacon sandwiches.]]

Continuing with themes introduced in ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', ''Snuff'' heavily deconstructs FantasticRacism in an even more {{Anvilicious}} manner (and of course, SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped). In contrast to the usual Watch novels this is a more Vimes-centric tale ŕ la ''Discworld/NightWatch'', although the rest of the Watch do feature sporadically throughout the novel. [[spoiler: Hell, Nobby Nobbs gets a goblin girlfriend.]] The second Discworld novel not to feature [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Death ]]
as a character.

Preceded in the series overall by ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', and in the Watch series by ''Discworld/{{Thud}}''. It is followed by ''Discworld/RaisingSteam''.
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!!Tropes:

* ActuallyIAmHim: The chicken farmer asks "Who do you think you are? Bloody Commander Vimes?" when told the boarders are police. Vimes asks him if he's always this lucky.
* ActuallyThatsMyAssistant: [[spoiler: Stratford tries to deliberately trick Vimes into this, but Vimes isn't fooled.]]
* ArcWords: "Murder is murder," usuallly in proximity to "Murder. The capital crime," or "Not all sins are forgiven."
** "Hang", the goblin word meaning survive. Hang tight, hang in there, hang together or hang separately, but most importantly, hang on.
** Also, "The Dreadful Algebra Of Necessity".
** "The ball dropped."
* AristocratsAreEvil: [[spoiler: The Shires magistrates, but very averted with the Colonel.]]
** Also defied by [[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard His Grace, His Excellence, His Blackboard-Monitorship, the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Lord of Ramkin Hall]]. And, by the end, [[spoiler:King of the River.]]
** Also by Lady Sybil and the Gordons. Mostly averted by the first (she has the SympatheticPOV, but it's a mistake to cross her) while the latter are nice enough if you're in the club.
** Lord Rust senior. He's ''incompetent'', yes, but not actually evil.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Vimes completely overturns the Gordon sisters' proprieties, perspectives, and futures, by asking them what it is they actually ''do''.
* AscendedExtra: EnsembleDarkHorse Willikins becomes a full main character in this novel, after largely remaining in the background in the past.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Col. Makepeace's old regiment, the Light Dragons, used to breed swamp dragons for use in warfare. It never worked, and inspired him to title his memoirs ''Twenty-Four Years Without Eyebrows''.
* AwesomeMcCoolName: ''Captain Murderer.''
* AwesomeMusic: [[spoiler: In-universe, this leads to the goblins being emancipated.]] Lampshaded by Vetinari: "One song!"
** Even more awesome [[spoiler: it was only one girl playing a harp for thirty minutes.]]
** [[spoiler: This music even inspires Vetinari to have the villain of the book killed off screen.]] "Not all sins are forgiven," indeed.
*** [[spoiler: It should also be noted that, while Vetinari has had plenty of people killed for pragmatic reasons, this is the first time he has ever killed someone purely out of moral outrage.]]
*** [[spoiler: And this, from a man who'd always preferred ''reading'' music to listening, as he'd never encountered a musician who lived up to his standards of precision or refinement. As Vetinari says, it touched people's souls, and reminded more than a few people that they actually have one. The fact that it was her own piece may also have been a factor, since the other reason he read his music was that it was closer to the mind of the composer.]]
* {{Badass}}: Sam Vimes kicks ass and takes names even more than usual.
** EmpoweredBadassNormal: The Summoning Dark from ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' has... ''left its mark'' on Vimes, meaning he can [[spoiler: see in the dark, understand goblin language and have a reliable witness to any events happening under the cover of darkness]].
** BadassBureaucrat: A.E. Pessimal, even though he's only mentioned briefly. He's now the Ankh-Morpork version of the IntimidatingRevenueService, keeping an eye on businesses and ''absolutely terrifying'' them just by showing up.
** BadassNormal: [[BattleButler Willikins]]' past as a hard-fightin' kid off the streets is well established.
* BadassCreed: The Ramkin's Family motto is "What we have, we keep".
* BadassCrew: Basically Vimes's Watch, family (Sybil) and staff (Willikins). Taking Willikins and Detritus on a walk meant Vimes and his son were accompanied by "enough firepower to kill a platoon."
* BatmanGambit: Vimes' impromptu lecture/rant to the Gordon girls turns out to have been one by Sybil for the benefit of their mother, and the whole party was organized around causing it.
* BatmanGrabsAGun: In this and other books, Vimes frequently worries that he could become a monster if something ever pushes him to act outside the law, and hoped that he'd never come across something horrifying enough to push him across the line. In this book, he finally does encounter something that, while technically legal, is horrifying enough to make him take action anyway, concluding that a crime is still a crime, even when there's no law against it.
* BattleButler: Willikins, showing more of the "battle" side than the "butler" this time. He still finds the time to make a mean cocktail. Without alcohol, at that!
* BattleInTheRain: Taken UpToEleven with a battle in [[spoiler: ''a storm'', on a battered ship, on a raging river about to experience a ''tidal wave''.]]
* BerserkButton: The devious puzzles of the ''Times''[='=]s new crossword compiler are the only thing that can drive the normally composed Lord Vetinari to what, from him, passes as a rant.
* BigBad: [[spoiler: Gravid Rust]]
* BilingualBonus: The 'avec' gag - The British-derived Ankh-Morporkian characters say that Quirmin ([[FantasyCounterpartCulture French]]) food is good, but uses too much "avec" - is never explained, but pretty easily found in the dictionary.[[note]] Avec is French for 'with', so obviously, it's written on menus and recipes a lot. Saying something was made with too much "with" is kinda silly. [[/note]]
* BizarreAndImprobableBallistics: Vimes tells Willikins an anecdote about Pelvic Williams, a snooker player who specialized in sinking balls via this trope.
* BlatantLies: ''So'' blatant that even Colon and Nobby spot it, when the tobacconist claims he's barely breaking even while sporting a new diamond tie pin and gold tooth.
* BookEnds: Early in the novel, Willikins tells how one of Sybil's ancestors bet he could see the smoke rising over Ankh-Morpork from atop Hangman's Hill in the Shires. When Vimes lights a bonfire to draw attention to his proclamation near the end of the book, the ''narrative'' bets it can be seen all the way to Ankh-Morpork.
* BoobyTrap: Lady Sybil's ancestors took their security seriously, and the Ramkin Hall strongroom has multiple locking mechanisms guarded by some of these. Guillotines are involved.
* BrickJoke: Jane Gordon's novel. ''[[spoiler:Pride and Extreme Prejudice]]''.
** Young Sam asks about the naked lady statues that decorate the bridge at the Ramkin estate. [[spoiler: When the damn slam appears behind the ''Wonderful Fanny'', Vimes catches an improbable glimpse of a naked female form within the debris, as it's destroyed the bridge and swept up the statues.]]
* BusmansHoliday: As stated in the blurb. [[spoiler: Played with. Vimes is relieved to have a crime to deal with... at least at first.]]
* CallBack:
** It's mentioned that the grounds of Ramkin Hall have a hoho (like a haha, but deeper), as mentioned in ''Discworld/MenAtArms''. (As well as a "hehe" and a "ho-hum", though whatever these might be is left to the imagination of the readers.)
** Also, Zoons are mentioned for the first time since ''Discworld/EqualRites''.
** The line "Sybil will go librarian" is a long-established {{running gag}} also appearing as the phrase "going librarian-poo" from an earlier book, which of course is itself a version of "going apeshit".
** Merkle and Stingbat's Very Famous Brown Sauce was previously mentioned in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards''.
** The bridge with the sculptures of artistically naked ladies. [[Discworld/{{Thud}} Urns means it's artistic]].
** Vimes's comment that he's never drunk starboard echoes a conversation from ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}''.
** Also, this isn't [[spoiler: Gravid Rust's]] first encounter with the long arm of the law: In ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' mention is made of how [[spoiler: Lord Rust's son]] got into a lot of trouble for shooting servants for putting his shoes on the wrong feet (most likely why he was made to leave Ankh-Morpork proper for the countryside). As Vimes put it then, "He'll have to learn right from left like the rest of us. And right from wrong, too." [[spoiler: Apparently, the lesson didn't stick.]]
** The notion of hermits sitting on poles is dismissed as impractical, due to the poor restroom options. In ''Discworld/SmallGods'', St. Ungulant solves this dilemma by having a second pole with a privy on it.
** Willikins's favorite music-hall entertainer mimics country and farmyard sounds, including that of a farmer whose boot has come off in a dung-coated paddock and who has nowhere to set his unshod foot down but muck. Mort contemplated a similar dilemma ''twenty-nine'' Discworld books ago, or thirty-four if you count the young adult novels.
** Vimes mentions that dwarfs allegedly eat horses on the quiet. In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', Gloria was accused of salivating while looking at another student's pony.
** Sybil's huge and exhaustively maintained list of friendships have been a running joke since ''The Fifth Elephant'', complete with Vimes thinking that she and the network of women like her wield tremendous behind-the-scenes power if they felt like it. We finally see that in action here.
** One of Beedle's books is titled ''The Wee Wee Men''. This is both a reference to the title of ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'', and to the same corruption of the title used in the book itself.
* CheerfulChild: Young Sam, poo expert, [[spoiler: instant friend to goblins]].
* ChekhovsGag: Also, early on Vimes isn't sure how you can own a mile of trout stream, because surely the bit of the stream that's yours is moving onto your neighbour's land? Much later, Colonel Makepeace reflects that he rents half a mile of stream, but can no longer run fast enough to keep up with it.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Young Sam is practically a saint.
* ClusterFBomb: Only by comparison to the other Discworld books, which have generally avoided outright swearing, but the repeated use of 'shit' and 'bitch' is quite noticeable.
* ColdEquation: Brought up specifically in A.E. Pessimal's concept of the "dreadful algebra".
* CollectorOfTheStrange: Inspired by a book, Young Sam begins making his own poo collection. Back in Ankh-Morpork, a fad for collecting smells has become popular enough that Dave's Pin and Stamp Emporium is extending its sign again.
* CoolOldLady: Granny Slick / Regret of the Falling Leaf.
* CombatPragmatist: There are continual references to the [[ContinuityNod Marquis of Fantailler Rules]] (the Disc's version of Queensbury Rules). Nobody in the book fights according to them. Not even the Marquis fought according to them, [[BlackComedy given how he stabbed his wife to death.]]
* ContinuityNod: Plenty.
** The goblins, first mentioned waaaay back and slightly elaborated upon in ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' are fully fleshed out.
** Wee Mad Arthur has embraced his identity as a Nac Mac Feegle.
** An elderly Lord Rust puts in an appearance.
** The Low King apparently even gave him Blackboard Monitor as a real title since ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'', and given the dwarven reverence for the written word, it's the highest, er lowest, er let's just say "most important" honor he can bestow.
** A.E. Pessimal, the bureaucrat looking over the Watch in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' is now the Watch's feared forensic accountant.
** Events in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' have left their mark on Vimes.
** Vimes' botched one liner reply "Burleigh and Stronginthearm" (to "on whose authority?") in ''Discworld/NightWatch'' is repeated more successfully by Willikins.
** Vimes's schoolroom had the same book of fairy tales as the Aching family, and he had the same reaction to the goblin on page seven as Tiffany.
** The book Vetinari reads at the beginning, whose author is actually willing to acknowledge Goblins having a culture and religion is [[Discworld/{{CarpeJugulum}} Mightily Oats]], whose religion-inspired liberal views had already been displayed with [[Discworld/{{UnseenAcademicals}} Mr Nutt]].
** This is the second time that a performer's [[Discworld/SoulMusic self-composed piece of harp music]] has touched the souls of an Ankh-Morpork audience.
** Willikins mentions how Young Sam enjoyed the game of looking for Dad when they were observing Vimes through a telescope. As mentioned in ''Thud!'' and shown in the Defictionalized ''Where's My Cow?'', Vimes once reduced Young Sam to delighted, squealing giggles by revising the latter to "Where's My Daddy?".
** The goblins are a good example of "edge people", as defined by Rincewind in ''The Science of Discworld II''. In this case, they're unfortunately in the process of being pushed ''over'' the edge.
** Dr. Lawn has been hiring Igorinas at his hospital. In ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'', an Igorina enlisted as an Igor because as a female she'd only been allowed to close up after operations, not initiate them.
** When Wee Mad Arthur takes on a group of guards at a plantation, he's described as a force that runs up your trouser leg and leaves you in no condition to fight whatsoever. No, not a GroinAttack, but a reference to his very first appearance in Feet Of Clay, where he takes down two humans, one of which where he runs up a trouser leg... and breaks the man's knee.
* ContrivedCoincidence: A very special [[SoulJar Unggue Pot]] manages to end up in a cigar which is sold to Sergeant Colon. It's said that this is why Fred and Nobby are still on the (now quite respectable) force -- {{contrived coincidence}}s happen to them ''[[WeirdnessMagnet all the time]]''.
* CricketRules: Parodied. It apparently takes so long to explain the rules of 'crockett' that [[UpToEleven the universe can end and be reborn in that time]].
** Which is in itself a [[ContinuityNod Continuity Nod]] to ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime''.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Feeney's badassery even takes Vimes by surprise. Meanwhile, Vetinari notices just how much [[spoiler: Sybil]] can get done when she puts her mind to it.
* DarkerAndEdgier: On par with ''Discworld/NightWatch'', ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight'' and ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' which are usually seen as the darker ones.
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: The gibbet in Dead Man's Copse still has a pile of crumbling bones beneath it as a legacy of this trope.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Stinky]]. No explanation is given, but it is slightly implied that [[spoiler: the Summoning Dark]] may have saved him.
** [[spoiler: The reference to Vimes' picture-book suggests he's a manifestation of childhood scary-goblin fears, like the bears and Scissor Man that Susan intimidated in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}''. One that's actually taken an interest in the normal goblins it was imagined to resemble.]]
*** ‘Stinky don’t need no badges, fellow po-leess-maan! Stinky worst nightmare all by himself! Remember a little boy? Little boy open book? And he see evil goblin, and I see nasty little boy! Good for us, little boy, that we were both right!’
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The [[spoiler: enslavement]] of the local goblins calls to mind both [[spoiler: the Holocaust (the neighbours turn the other way), the African slave trade]] and [[spoiler: the treatment of Australian Aborigines]].
** The tragic experiences of Miss Beedle's mother are similar to those of non-Native children or young women taken in by Native American tribes in the 17th to 19th centuries, only to be forcibly "rescued" and "re-educated".
** On a more mundane note, the plot of this book has more than a little in common with ''Discworld/FeetOfClay''.
** The ominously ticking owl clock that troubles Death/Bill Door in ''ReaperMan'' is also present in Miss Beedle's cottage to worry Vimes. Like Death looking out over fields of corn, Vimes has an epiphany looking down on the Ramkin land from a high place. Whether he wants to be or not, he is Lord of the Manor and has a responsibility to the land and the people to govern fairly. That means ''everyone'', including Goblins.
* DoubleMeaning: Vimes muses that all married couples probably have their own unique phrases they use to send each other covert messages, such as Sybil employs to warn him not to antagonize their dinner guests. Sure enough, he overhears one of the couples he'd been antagonizing use such NonSequitur phrases to scold one another as they're departing.
* DrinkOrder: Vimes' and Willikins' growing camaraderie is demonstrated by the latter having devised an alcohol-free beverage which entirely sates the former's lingering taste for booze, if not his body's yearning.
* EasyEvangelism: It takes about five minutes for any recurring Watch character to accept that goblins deserve the same rights as any other species, including [[NobleBigotWithABadge Sergeant Colon]]. Of course, given the make-up of the Watch (it's mentioned that goblins are pretty much the only sapient species not currently included), they're bound to be more understanding of the odder species on the Disc--they employ Nobby Nobbs, after all. [[spoiler: The rest of the Disc comes around once they see that goblins can create absolutely beautiful musical works, and therefore are not simply "vermin" to be ignored, enslaved, or exterminated.]]
** Although with Colon it takes [[spoiler: having a goblin soul accidentally get shoved in his head]] for a period of time to get him to come to terms with it all, and [[spoiler: the music wasn't just "absolutely beautiful"]], it was enough to make [[spoiler: Vetinari of all people]] take pause.
** Vetinari felt sympathy for the Goblins before the song was played, and in the opening pages, is discussing with Drumknott, his secretary, how terrible he finds their plight, that an entire race is regarded as vermin. And Vetinari is not a person typically known for having sympathy for anyone.
*** He does have very strict standards, however, as discussed in several other books.
** A more cynical way of looking at it is that, since Ankh-Morpork is a very rich superpower, the other rulers know better than to continue abusing a group they've recently extended full rights to, especially since it came about on behalf of the famous Samuel Vimes.
* EatsBabies: ''Everyone'' knows that goblins eat their own young. [[spoiler: They actually do, occasionally. As a MercyKill, when the famines get so bad that [[IDidWhatIHadToDo there is no way the child would survive anyway, and it's the only way for the grieving mother to survive and, hopefully, have another]]. They do save the babies' souls in a SoulJar, however.]]
* EntitledBastard: Gravid Rust, who first came to Watch attention in an earlier book for whipping a servant who laid out his shoes the wrong way round. Vimes commented then that [[{{Foreshadowing}} Gravid's learning right from wrong was more important than the servant knowing right from left]].
* EquivalentExchange: "Hearts must give", and Vimes must loan his picture of Young Sam for one of Tears of the Mushroom's unggue pots. Both are equally personal, and equally precious to the giver.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: "I'm a scallywag, not a damn murderer!"
* [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas Even Hotheads Who Pick Fights Love Their Mamas]]: Jethro insists that Vimes go on record promising not to retaliate against his mum before their fistfight begins.
* FaceFullOfAlienWingWong: Igor describes a tropical weevil that's been known to lay its eggs in people's brains, entering them through the ears and then exiting their skulls via the nostrils. Also, the NoodleIncident in which a crime was solved because something tried to lay eggs in Nobby's nose.
* FantasticDrug: The bad guys are involved in smuggling Crystal Slam, a very dangerous troll drug.
* FantasticRacism: In spades, directed towards the goblins. They're officially seen as vermin, and killing them [[spoiler: or even enslaving them and shipping them off to another continent]] is entirely legal. [[spoiler: At the end of the book, most major powers are passing legislations to regard them as sapient and under the protection of common law.]]
** Not surprisingly, the actions that the Goblins are forced to perform just to survive are used to "justify" the fact that they are treated the way they are. The thing is, the goblins are stuck having to perform these acts quite literally because they are hanging on the edge of survival. Let's put this in perspective: if a race is given no means of making an honest living, is hunted zealously where ever they are found, and is only, say, two feet to three feet tall and typically extremely malnourished due to poor diet and lack of a steady food supply, is it any surprise that they turn to thievery, will threaten uninvited strangers on sight, and are extremely "cowardly"?
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Quirm for France, as before.
* {{Flanderization}}: Willikins, formerly a model manservant with a perhaps somewhat checkered past (perhaps even a chessed and backgammoned one, at that), now cannot let a paragraph in which he figures pass by without it containing some or several references to his myriad methods of maiming menfolk, though at least he only seems to show this side of himself around Vimes.
** Stephen Brigg's reading of the audiobook gives Willikins an appropriately posh butler-type accent, but that makes his dialogue [[SophisticatedAsHell a little jarring]].
* ForeignQueasine:
** Averted, the Morporkians all like Quirmian cooking, but they do use too much [[YouKeepUsingThatWord avec]].
** Folks around the Ramkin estate are also partial to a bit of Bang Duck Suck (or Man Dog Suck Po on Sundays).
* {{Foreshadowing}}: At the start, Vimes is given a bucket and spade as a joke by the Watch, even though he's not going to the seaside. He retorts that he wishes it ''was'' the seaside, there's smuggling and piracy at the seaside. [[spoiler: Smuggling proves to be the impetus of the entire plot, and the most holidayish part of his holiday is when he ends up on the Quirm coast with Young Sam, catching winkles. He also commits what is arguably piracy in seizing Captain Murderer's ship, although it turns out not to be, since kidnapping Jethro was illegal even if kidnapping the goblins wasn't.]]
** Describing Colon's illness, Angua mentions that he acts as if he's very hot, even though his room is at a comfortable temperature. [[spoiler: The goblin infant whose SoulJar has afflicted him had died in a sweltering slave-shack in tropical Howondaland.]]
** Gravid Rust first came to Watch attention in an earlier book for whipping a servant who laid out his shoes the wrong way round. Explaining this to Vetinari, Vimes remarked that there was a lad who needed to know right from wrong as well as right from left.
* FreudianSlip: Vetinari of all people has one when he refers to the good ship ''Wonderful Fanny'' as, well... the ''Enormous Fanny''.
* TheGhost: Gravid Rust, the man behind the entire evil plot, who is introduced, plans, is arrested, exiled and [[spoiler: assassinated]], without ever appearing on the page.
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Implied between Vimes and Sybil.
* HamsterWheelPower: The Old Treachery riverboats are powered by oxen on treadmills.
* HandOrObjectUnderwear: The master bathroom's decorators used the ever-popular convenient piece of gauze to prevent its sculptures from becoming pornography rather than art. Why they bothered isn't clear, considering how the same bathroom's frescoes avert this trope. A lot.
* HappilyMarried: As usual, Sam and Sybil. If Sybil is ever annoyed at Sam, she's happy again by the end of their next conversation.
* HenpeckedHusband: The Colonel. [[spoiler: Until he [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome un-henpecks himself]].]] Also, to a smaller degree, Vimes.
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: Gravid Rust.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: One of the culprits is told he can't expect to be let off [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Feegle]] free.
* HorsingAround: Subverted. Vimes expects to make a complete fool of himself when Feeney and he have to ride overland to catch the ''Wonderful Fanny'', but [[spoiler: Stinky does something to his horse to make it cooperate and facilitate Vimes's not falling off]].
* [[DarkestAfrica Darkest Howondaland]]: the slave farm is deliberately located in one of the remotest, darkest and most inaccessible places on Disc.
* IllPretendIDidntHearThat: Vimes speculates aloud at the "remarkable coincidence" that [[spoiler: a Burleigh and Stronginthearm Piecemaker Mark IX could wind up in the hands of one of the mob outside Feeney's lockup, when the only one still existent is sealed up in his cellar at home. He knows that ''of course'' it's there, because Willikins and he sealed it up themselves. Just like ''of course'' he knows it'll still be there when he gets home and -- after a suitable delay for Willikins to put it back -- checks.]] Then he offers Willikins a raise.
---> '''Vimes:''' You may think you see me lighting a cigar, Willikins, but on this occasion, I think, you eyes may turn out to be at fault, do you understand?
---> '''Willikins:''' Yes, and in fact I am deaf as well, commander.
* InTheBlood: Willikins, presuming his own criminal tendencies to be an example of this, speculates that he could find out who his father was by visiting the cemetery at the Temple of Small Gods, shouting "Dad, I'm going to be a copper", and seeing which of the headstones starts revolving.
* InterspeciesRomance: It's mentioned that a troll and a dwarf have struck up a relationship. [[spoiler: Also, Nobby Nobbs gets himself a goblin girl ([[RunningGag though the jury is still out on whether this actually counts]]).]]
* TheJeeves: Averted spectacularly by Willikins. He is the old school brutal thug as a butler. But he can act like this when he wants to.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Jethro. [[spoiler:He's one of the few residents of the Shires who considers goblins to be people.]]
* JurisdictionFriction: The Shires are ''not'' subject to the law of Ankh-Morpork. Even though Vimes is technically the lord of his lands, he has no jurisdiction as a police officer - that belongs to the [[spoiler:self-]] appointed magistrates. To Vimes, though, the only jurisdiction he needs is that a murder has been committed, because murder is a universal crime.
* KarmaHoudini:
** Defied. Willikins serves the same role as Pepe in ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', [[spoiler: when the PsychoForHire escapes from custody again, instead of apprehending and returning him to police and having the justice system hang him, Willikins slits his throat in the night for going after [[OldRetainer young Sam]].]] [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind Vimes wanted]] to, and Vetinari asked if he gave the order, but Vimes' inner Watchman is still in control.
** And then played frustratingly straight with [[spoiler: Gravid Rust. Maybe. Then again, Lord Vetinari's people are watching him, and XXXX is a ''dangerous'' country, plenty of poisonous spiders...]]
*** [[spoiler:Not played very straight at all. The "lady" responsible for watching him is an Assassin, and after making the decision to send him, Vetinari remarks that [[ArcWords "not all sins are forgiven."]] ]]
** [[spoiler:Played straight with most of the magistrates.]]
* KickTheDog: Vimes cites a case when a man did something much worse than ''kick'' his dog, which Vetinari took as an indication of his personality and ordered his house searched for evidence of worse behavior. The man was hanged, but [[TortureCellar not for the dog]].
* {{Kidanova}}: Young Sam is (innocently) quite popular with ladies of every age. As well, Vimes notes he has a habit of taking the hand of any female he meets, one which will "serve him well in later years".
* KnightFever: Harry King, of ''Discworld/TheTruth'' and ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' fame, is now Sir Harold King.
* LampshadeHanging: Discussing Jane Gordon's literary efforts, Vimes goes off on a tangent about how an author might examine the psychology of police who must think like the criminals they pursue. Essentially, this is what Pterry has been using Vimes himself to do, all along.
* MamaBear: Sybil. [[spoiler: Vimes warns Stratford that if he were to try and harm Young Sam, Sybil will do things to him that even Willikins would think of as extreme.]]
* TheManInTheMirrorTalksBack: [[spoiler: Vimes has a moment like this while taking the ''Black-Eyed Susan'' back to the Shires, where his reflection warns him that Stratford won't stop at killing ''Vimes''.]]
* MeaningfulName: Subverted with Captain Murderer, who is a smuggler. That being said, he's still a horrible person.
** Played straight with Arachne, one of Vetinari's clerks who is very fond of spiders.
** Col. Makepeace ponders aloud whether his name is Meaningful or Non-Indicative, given his military background.
* MeaningfulRename: Mr. Jiminy's pub is called The Goblin's Head. [[spoiler: By the end of the novel, it's become The Commander's Arms.]] ''Very'' meaningful, when you think about it.
* MegaManning: Vimes is a quick learner, apparently, but even ''he's'' surprised when he manages to perfectly replicate [[spoiler: a [[IKnowKarate martial arts move]] used on him by Feeney.]]
* MemeticBadass: An in-universe example. Vimes' reputation for being one comes in handy several times.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Wee Mad Arthur]] gives one before doing what he does best.
* MrExposition: Willikins and Sybil act as this for Vimes, who is unfamiliar with how things are done in the country.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: It's mentioned that the Watch "appears to include at least one of every known bipedal sapient species, plus one Nobby Nobbs".
* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: Vimes suggests Feeney use "the old Bang Suck Cling Buck" on some villains, and Feeney remarks that that's a recipe for shoe polish. Played with when Vimes mis-remembers the name of one of Mrs. Upshot's Bhangbhangduc-style dishes, but the erroneous name turns out to be a different dish that's just not what she's serving ''today''.
* MythologyGag: Miss Beedle mentions having written fifty-seven books at the time she meets Vimes. The "Also by" page of ''Snuff'' lists fifty-seven titles, not counting the graphic novel adaptations of the first two Discworld books.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: The [[spoiler: Summoning Dark]] shows up out of nowhere to give [[spoiler: Vimes a way of understanding Goblin language.]]
* TheNonDescript: Startford, until he gets mad.
* NonHumanSidekick: Stinky. Serves as human-goblin liaison, is made special constable, keeps Vimes' secrets and helps him with the horse, and learns how to operate the clacks. He also may or may not be an avatar for the Summoning Dark, or some other supernatural entity.
* NoodleIncident: An account of how Fred and Nobby keep serendipitously stumbling onto major clues includes a case that was solved thanks to something that tried to lay its eggs in Nobby's nose.
** At some point in his law enforcement career, someone Vimes was arresting tried to kill him with a [[ShamuFu very large salmon]].
* TheNoseKnows: Billy Slick pegs Angua for a werewolf immediately, claiming he can smell it's so.
* NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont: Invoked by Vimes, who [[spoiler:gives Stratford a sabotaged crossbow to let him think he has the upper hand.]]
* OffscreenKarma: [[spoiler:Gravid Rust]] is strongly implied to be assassinated by one of Vetinari's Dark Clerks in the wake of the exposure of his shady dealings.
* [[OneManArmy One Feegle Army]]: Wee Mad Arthur takes on a batch of slave-owners with characteristic ease.
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: Continuing onward from ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals''. [[spoiler: Here you have scavenging cave goblins as well as more-or-less-human city goblins]]. Oh, and some of them are ''fantastic'' [[spoiler: musicians]].
* OutGambitted: Stratford is surprisingly cunning for a PsychoForHire. Fortunately, Vimes is even more cunning and manages to foil him at nearly every turn.
* PapaWolf: Vimes, as usual. Willikins is his backup. Between them and Sybil, Young Sam is the safest boy in the world.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Wee Mad Arthur is this even more than usual.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: Wee Mad Arthur's response to a slave-keeper on a tobacco plantation telling him there's no law out here? "Guess again."
* PrecisionFStrike: Sybil referring to someone as a bitch. It's actually quite jarring, given previous characterization.
* PrisonRape: Alluded to by Vimes when explaining why the Watch House lockup is ''infinitely'' preferable to the 'Tanty'.
* PsychoForHire: Stratford, to a tee. Definitely not the brains of operation, but doesn't flinch from killing to get a job done. When he marks Vimes as an enemy, he [[spoiler: tries to [[MoralEventHorizon sneak into young Sam's room]] at night.]]
** Also something of a deconstruction; [[spoiler: none of his murders or threatened murders are actually called for under his orders, and it is his actions that gets Vimes so involved and motivates his terrified allies to give King's evidence just to bring him down.]]
* PsychoSidekick: Willikins fully qualifies in this one.
* PunchAndJudy: "Feeney not only looked pleased as punch, but pleased as [[LongList Punch, Judy, the dog Toby, the crocodile and, above all, the policeman]]."
* PunchClockVillain: Flutter and some of the hirelings count as this, as they're mostly smugglers who have been dragged into a murder and slavery plot, and for the most part give up as soon as Vimes has identified himself. [[spoiler: Brassbound]], however, portrays himself as this but is actually [[spoiler: Stratford in disguise]].
* [[RaisedByOrcs Raised By Goblins]]: Subverted. [[spoiler: The Poo Lady]] is the daughter of a woman who was raised by goblins, and was forced to watch as a party of human "rescuers" brutally murdered the entire colony of goblins that had raised her with love all her life. Said child was then beaten, often, by her "rescuers" whenever she spoke in the goblin tongue (the only language she originally knew), did anything "goblin-like", and was forcibly educated to being more "normal". Said child escaped custody the second they let her out of the house.
* RiddleForTheAges: The exact nature of Stinky is never explained, but he's clearly no ordinary goblin.
* ARoundOfDrinksForTheHouse: Vimes several times buys a round for all the patrons in the local pub, generally as a way to earn their gratitude, and once in an attempt to avert a BarBrawl.
* RunningGag: Vetinari vs the ''Times'' crossword compiler, carrying over from Moist's books. She seems to be getting to him.
** Also, Vimes' tendency to accumulate increasingly-impressive and unwanted titles culminates (sort of), with him being declared [[spoiler: King. But (to his immense relief) only of the River, for his role in bringing the ''Fanny'' in safely.]]
** Specific to this book, the fact that any small child will be instantly and enormously entertained by any mention of [[ToiletHumor disgusting bodily functions]].
** Vimes mis-naming the various Bhanbhangduc-style recipes that Feeney's grandmother introduced to the region, all of which have names that sound like rude [[WordSaladTitle Word Salad]] in Morporkian.
* SavingTheWorldWithArt: Tears of the Mushroom's stunning harp performance convinces the elite of Ankh-Morpork and many visiting dignitaries that goblins like her are worthy of all the rights and legal protections extended to other sentient races. This saves her kind from ignominy, enslavement, and likely extinction.
* SexyDiscretionShot: When Vimes decides to take a relaxing bath, Sybil... joins him.
* ShamuFu: Apparently, someone once tried to kill Vimes with "a very large salmon".
* ShapedLikeItself:
--> You learned to smell blood. It smelled like metal. Now, people would say that metal doesn't smell, it does, but it smells like blood.
* ShoutOut: A rather blatant one; a young country noblewoman named [[JaneAusten Jane, who wants to be a writer.]] The themes of ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' are deconstructed by Vimes with ''extreme'' prejudice.
** Also a bit of a StealthPun; The [[PrideAndPrejudice Bennets]] become the Gordons who go on to design and wear Gordon's Bonnets. ('[[StockBritishPhrases Gordon Bennett]]' being a rather British exclamation of surprise or shock.)
** Other shout-outs to classic British fiction in a rural setting include, but are not limited to, Stella Gibbons' ''Literature/ColdComfortFarm'', Thackeray's ''Literature/VanityFair'', Trollope's ''Barchester Chronicles'', Orwell's ''AnimalFarm'' and the long-running BBC radio soap opera ''TheArchers''.
** The real-life case of Lord Lucan, who mistakenly murdered his children's nanny thinking she was his wife, and who disappeared without trace, thought to have escaped to Australia or South Africa with the closed-rank collusion of the British aristocracy (who together confounded and snarled up a police investigation by refusing to co-operate), is used here to illustrate the Discworld nobility's refusal to accept they are subject to the same law as anyone else. Even Sam Vimes had to give up investigating the Marquis of Fantailer's murder and flight to Fourecks in remarkably similar circumstances to Lucan's. Lucan's disappearance, amidst the absurd privilege enjoyed by British nobility, happened in ''1974''. And could so easily happen again tomorrow.
** Entrepreneur and SelfMadeMan Harry King has now been knighted, and he enters by throwing someone out of his office and telling them "You're fired!" It sounds a lot like a reference to Sir (now Lord) Alan Sugar, of the UK version of ''Series/TheApprentice''.
** ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'': At one point, when a sworn-in country lawyer attempts to arrest Vimes, he decides "not to let him do so that day". Immediately after, on his way to see the town constable, he informs Willikins that as a civilian he shouldn't get involved. Willikins tells Vimes that that is "a hell of a thing to say to him."
** After being sworn in as a special constable, Stinky tells Vimes that anyone who gets in his way will find he's their worst nightmare. "[[Film/FortyEightHours A goblin with a badge?]]" (No, says Stinky: "[[Film/TheTreasureOfTheSierraMadre Stinky don't need no badges]], fellow po-lees-man! Stinky worst nightmare ''all by himself''.")
** Though previously mentioned in ''Thud!'', one of the Watch's more recent constables is named Precious Jolson, a large Howondan-Morporkian woman and possibly a reference to either ''Literature/TheNo1LadiesDetectiveAgency'' or ''Film/{{Precious}}''. (''Snuff'' was written shortly after the film of the latter came to the cinemas.)
** Wee Mad Arthur's method of acquiring a steed for his flight to Howondaland is identical to the technique used in Creator/JamesCameron[='=]s ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', though not the first time something like has happened in the series.
** One of Sybil's ancestors won a bet by having Hangman's Hill made taller, a la ''Film/TheEnglishmanWhoWentUpAHillButCameDownAMountain''. Another had a run-in with a falling apple which satirizes the pop-culture account of SirIsaacNewton.
* ShownTheirWork: Living entirely on rabbits, as the goblins were doing before Miss Beedle intervened, really does lead to severe malnutrition due to vitamin and fat deficiencies.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC2RYiaM6WU "If you eat]] '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC2RYiaM6WU nothing but]]''' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC2RYiaM6WU rabbit, you will die."]]
** Known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation Rabbit Starvation]]
* SincerityMode: Vimes is surprised to hear Nobby call a goblin girl a young lady without [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall putting inverted commas around the word lady]].
* SingleStrokeBattle: [[spoiler: The fight between Willikins and Stratford]]. A fists-only version occurs between Jethro and the ''Queen'''s first mate.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Willikins is prone to switching from "gentleman's gentleman" to "street thug" here, especially when it's just him and Commander Vimes.
-->"No, sir, it's ''your'' house, and since I am your personal manservant I, by the irrevocable laws of the servants' hall, outrank every one of the lazy buggers!"
* SoulJar: [[spoiler: The "pot of tears" is a literal example; it's used to contain the soul of a {{mercy kill}}ed goblin child. Colon finds one in a cigar.]]
* SpitTake: Vimes' reaction to a Quirmian guard telling him [[spoiler: the goblin slaves from the ''Wonderful Fanny'' have been put on the ''Queen of Quirm'', bound for Howondaland.]]
* TemptingFate: While trying to catch up with the ''Wonderful Fanny'' during a storm, Feeney tells Vimes that they shouldn't have to worry about the storm unless it causes the build-up of a Damn Slam. [[spoiler: Three guesses as to what eventually happens.]]
* TitleDrop: Played with. Snuff is mentioned several times, but never in a context that is important to the plot.
* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Vimes chooses good right away, but he does get a bit angsty over it with hindsight. [[spoiler: It is suggested this is the corruption of the Summoning Dark taking hold, as previous books had him firmly on the Lawful side of Lawful Good. In many instances in this book, he's doing outright unlawful things for the greater good.]] The fact that he's out of his jurisdiction might also have been a factor in this.
* ToiletHumor: The subject of a RunningGag, with Young Sam's keen interest in poo.
* TookALevelInBadass: Feeney goes from a nervous, brow-beaten rookie to doing things that make Vimes explicitly [[{{Expy}} compare him to]] a young Carrot.
** Two of Carrot's first acts were to (misguidedly) arrest the head of the Thieves Guild and [[MomentOfAwesome knock out Detritus]]. Feeney is just as impressive, achieving both at once by [[spoiler: (misguidedly) arresting Vimes and knocking him flat on his back when he resists.]]
* TwistedAnkle: Pleasant Contrast, the goblin whose murder Vimes sets out to solve, stepped into a rabbit snare while fleeing her attacker.
* UnfortunateName:
** ''Gravid'' Rust. The colonel [[LampshadeHanging considers]] that clearly no-one involved in choosing it knew animal husbandry.
** Nor, presumably, did the parents of riverboat captain ''Gastric'' Sillitoe own a dictionary.
** Also, Captain Murderer and the riverboat, which Mr. Sillitoe named after his wife Francesca: the ''Wonderful Fanny''. Everyone else is hit in the face by the [[invoked]] AccidentalInnuendo. [[note]] If it's bad enough that American readers will see it as "nice ass", it's even more profane in British English (see CountryMatters).[[/note]]
** Mr. Praise-and-Salvation False feels compelled to explain the origins of his awkward name upon first meeting Vimes, even though they're in an extreme life-or-death situation at the time.
* VaporTrail: Vimes soaks a wooden tower in brandy and then leaves a trail of brandy leading away from it. He ignites the tower by dropping his cigar in the trail of brandy.
* VerbalJudo: Paradoxically, this time using this technique involves Vimes deliberately ''getting into'' a fight. It's just that he makes sure it doesn't have to really get real, and his opponent comes out subdued, if anything more so than if Vimes had just smashed his face in as he could have.
* VirginInAWhiteDress: Sybil mentions that a particularly ridiculous tradition (the maids must turn to the wall when being spoken to by a man) happened so the girls "wouldn't feel ashamed of wearing white on their wedding day.")
* VomitingCop: Vimes comes pretty close while pursuing the ''Queen of Quirm'' offshore, but averts this trope because he finally has bacon sandwiches and ''refuses'' to let seasickness forfeit his chance to enjoy them. [[spoiler: And also, possibly, because Stinky helped him endure it.]]
* WhamLine: "Inside that pot is [[spoiler: the soul of a goblin child]], and it's yours! ''[[SarcasmMode Congratulations]]!''"
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: What sets off the entire plot. No one seems to care that a goblin has been killed. For Vimes, on the other hand, [[AvertedTrope murder is murder]].
* WouldNotHitAGirl: Both Flutter and Willikins. [[spoiler: But especially Flutter, who doesn't tolerate goblins, but even he was truly horrified when Stratford killed a defenceless goblin girl.]]
** In [[BattleButler Willikins']] case, he applies this philosophy to every woman except [[TooKinkyToTorture Kinky]] [[BrainsAndBondage Elsie]].
* WrittenByTheWinners: For the goblins, all of history is this trope. According to ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', even TheEmpire wrote them off as too stupid and petty to be usefully evil. Pastor Oats' treatise is the closest anyone has gotten to a proper ethnographic description of their culture...because so many people refuse to believe they have one.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Subverted. The goblins speak like this in their own language, at least as far as [[spoiler: the Summoning Dark's]] translation is concerned. However, the two goblins we hear speaking Morporkian are both fairly fluent; one talks "as though she was taking the words out of a filing cabinet and carefully slotting them in place", and the other sounds like a typical working-class city boy.
** EloquentInMyNativeTongue: Their language is actually richly textured, with an enormous number of words for emotions, how colors mix together, and the like, but it doesn't necessarily translate well.