This book manages to create a CMOH and a CMOA at the same time with just three words: "I have worth."
When an entire hall full of wizards and dignitaries is trembling in fear that another magical war is about to erupt... it sorts itself out, but Ponder Stibbons thinks to himself that the last time such a thing happened, Rincewind stopped it with a halfbrick in his sock. He then glances over at Rincewind, and realizes that not only is he still in the hall, he's putting his sock back on.
Ponder himself achieves a modest one, simply by politely and intentionally talking Ridcully's and the ex-Dean's ears off long enough for them to calm down and refrain from starting a magical war.
Ponder getting two otherwise stubborn, old wizards to listen to him is a major moment of awesome. And the fact that he does that by revealing that he has so many jobs that he could just rule the University (also, the fact that he manages to be better at all of them than any of his predecessor was at just one of them). Ridcully even ask how could no one notice, and Ponder answers that no one did because all the reports about his ever growing number of roles were reported to the same person, Ponder himself.
The overall loyalty Mr. Stibbons shows to the UU deserves a mention. He didn't even ask how much more he would make as a Bursar at Brazeneck University.
At the beginning of the book, Ponder is shown thinking very carefully about how to report to Ridcully the fact that they have to play a match of football to keep their meals, and the fact that he does because he already had found a fallacy (namely, they had just to play, not to win or anything). It's shown then that not only Vetinari already foresaw that, but he aready had a countermeasure ready.
When we find out Pastor Oats from Carpe Jugulum has named his axe Forgiveness. He doesn't show up too much, and never during the main story, but he has turned into a Badass.
"For Mister Oats, the crusade against evil is not a metaphor."
Mr. Nutt in general, being a humble erudite who has memorized the contents of several libraries, but also is incredibly strong and wise. It would make for an annoying Elves are Better / Canon Sue reaction if he wasn't an orc. Discworld orcsare different. But the best example would have to be towards the end, right after the climax of the book, before the laugh — when surrounded by a mob of people chanting Orc! Orc!, expecting to see him react in... somefashion, they slowly stop when he just doesn't. He then politely addresses them over a megaphone, proving that he finally understands Ankh-Morpork's working class football culture.
Mr. Nutt: Gentlemen. Yes, Indeed, I am an orc and will always be one. And may I say that it's been a privilege to play here today and to see you all. But I do gather now that being an orc in this city may be seen as something of a problem to some of you. So I would ask you to excuse me if I request that this matter be sorted out between us now. He drops the megaphone to roll up his sleeves, and begins to whisper. Mr. Nutt: Come on if you think you're hard enough.
And then entire crowd starts capping and cheering him because of the sheer awesomeness of that.
Mr. Nutt's interview with the reporter. She was being a snot about the fact that he was an orc, and he pulled her chain with the first three answers. Then she asked him why the lads thought he was such a great trainer, and he launched into a page of monologue touching on 4-space physics, vaguely Germanic philosophy, teamwork, and some fairly deep metaphysics.
Reporter: Could you give that to me a bit more simply? Mr. Nutt: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought I had.
Perhaps made even better by the fact that judging by the fact that it is Nutt, I doubt he was insulting her and he probably really thought he'd put it simply.
Camp Gay Pepe dealing with Andy after getting fed up with his treatment of Mr. Nutt (and everyone else) throughout the book, doing something to his face with a very, very sharp knife... It's never explained exactly what he did, only that Andy will never have to pay for another drink in town with scars like that. Oh, and then, (paraphrased) "Just to show that I'm not a complete bastard, here's something to put on your wounds..." It's a slice of lemon. Which Andy only discovered after he wiped it across his face.
Nightmare Fuel-filledBrick Joke: early on in the book it's mentioned that a man with one eye can often get a free drink at any bar. It implies that Pepe blinded him in one. He'd still be able to see with the other, after all.
Ponder Stibbons gets one, for sure. He has been given so many jobs (seeing that he is the only one that will do anything) that he has more than half of the votes on the University Council. By himself.
Glenda telling off Vetinari. And then telling off Lady Margolotta.
Telling off? She stared downLady Margolotta. And won.
Even Vetinari thought that was awesome. And funny.
Before that, her telling off a roomful of wizards, saying they don't understand anything about football. And saying that their uniforms will "make them look like they've got bosoms!"
Vetinari getting "drunk".
Fridge Brilliance: Vetinari absolutely is drunk - he's just very good at acting sober. To the point where the only noticeable difference is that he's more talkative and his pseudo-Sudoko solving skills aren't quite as good as usual (although still frighteningly impressive). Which makes one wonder what else he might be hiding under that facade...
Note that the result of the talkativeness is that his thought process, usually hidden to the world behind a thick layer of cunning, becomes just a bit more visible. So he says out loud a lot of the reasoning he'd usually keep to himself, and Vetinari in full reasoning mode is always awesome. But personally the most awesome of all was when he mentions that if there is an ultimate being, it is our duty to become their moral superior. Because not only is Vetinari saying screw you to the gods, he's admitting that despite his carefully cultivated reputation of a ruthless tyrant he actually strives to be moral.
How about "Ball lost! Substitute ball!"? Remember... the ball shall be called the ball, and if it's played with as the ball by 3 players (ie. Nobbs (no relation), Nutt, and Trev).
or the fact that it was the enemy team's captain who gave them the opportunity to implement it very quickly. Says a lot about the man that he was willing to ensure fair play by ensuring his team lost.
"Because if anyone has poisoned our Librarian, then, although I am not, by nature, a vindictive man, I will see to it that this university hunts down the poisoner by every thaumic, mystic and occult means available and makes the rest of their life not only as horrible as they can imagine it, but as horrible as I can imagine it. And you can depend on it, gentlemen, that I have already started work on it."
The librarian recovers sometimes after that, and makes and absolutely spectacular entrance.