Moist: Why will anyone want to kill me? Vetinari: I couldn't say, Mister Lipwig. But there was at least one attempt on your life when you were innocently delivering letters, so I expect your career in banking will be an exciting one.
The 31st book in the Discworld series, Making Money returns us to Moist von Lipwig, who has taken to breaking into his own building and stealing his own possessions to alleviate the boredom of living a more virtuous life. Since Going Postal, he has become a major figure in the city and is tipped to become the next chairman of the Merchant's Guild. Vetinari, realizing that Moist would be much more useful if he redirected this bored energy towards a new project, offers him the chance to revamp the Royal Mint in much the same fashion as he revived the Post Office.Topsy Lavish, the current majority shareholder of the Royal Bank of Ankh Morpork, spies Moist for what he is immediately — a dirty, scheming crook. Naturally, when she dies not long after meeting him, she leaves all of her shares to her pet dog... and leaves her pet dog to Moist. Her family, objecting to the bank falling into the hands of a non-relative, go to great lengths to bribe, torment and even attempt to kill Moist.Meanwhile, Moist's fiancee Adora Belle Dearheart has been away on a dig, and Moist has been fighting off the advances of Gladys the golem. While both of these seem relatively innocent, they will eventually evolve into much bigger problems, which could cause Moist even bigger issues should things go wrong...Preceded by Thud!, followed by Unseen Academicals. Preceded in the Moist series by Going Postal, followed by Raising Steam.
Actual Pacifist: Moist is more comfortable being threatened with a sword than he is holding one.
Allergic to Routine: After making the Post Office feasible again and outwitting the bad guy of the last book, Moist quickly realizes that Victory Is Boring. If he isn't doing something insanely risky - such as flirting with Adora - he can't cope.
Altum Videtur: Vetinari's claim that his actions in appointing Moist to government positions are justified under the legal grounds of "Quia ego sic dico". note roughly, "Because I say so."
Armor-Piercing Question: Vetinari asks Mr. Bent, currently in his clown getup, a difficult math question to see if he is still him. With some discomfort, reverting back to a more middle ground from the super-uptight old Bent was and the super-silly clown Bent, he is able to answer the question.
Arrow Catch: Gladys catches one of the Assassin's Guild "warning shots", stopping it so suddenly that it catches fire.
Artistic License - Economics: Averted, Pratchett did quite a bit of research into economic theory before writing the book, and it shows (the British gold hullabaloo notwithstanding). The book goes over a number of flaws of the gold standard, though it doesn't mention any flaws of a floating currency such as manipulation of the supply. This is largely excused from the move to a golem standard only happening at the end of the book.
When testing out the idea of paper currency, Moist engages the most shrewd business minded men in the city, the poorer vendors who could spot a wooden nickel a mile away, and are slower to come around to certain new ideas because upsetting the status quo could cause them to lose a substantial amount of money and suffer greatly for the loss. So, Moist knows if he wants to win over people with this new paper money currency, these are the men to beat.
Later, in the courtroom, Moist is up against the blackmailing Cosmo and Cribbins on one side and the law with Mr. Slant on the other. He fears trying to fight both so he can stay out of jail and deal with his blackmailers as it is a tricky situation. One Courtroom Antic later, and Moist sees the only truly smart move to play is to come clean and confess to his past crimes. Cosmo, Cribbins, and Slant act like he sucker punched them in different ways.
Bavarian Fire Drill: Moist loves doing this, but most notably, busting an expert stamp forger out of prison to design his paper money for him.
While he doesn't actually go berserk, Vetinari is not happy that Moist thinks he's the kind of man who would poison harmless old ladies in order to further his schemes.
In an involuntary variant, Aimsbury the dog-food chef has an "allergy" that makes him throw knives and scream in Quirmish if he hears the word "garlic".
Mr. Slant hates it when a simple legal trial ends up getting him confused and flustered especially in front of all those who are attending Moist's trial. He ends up giving such a Death Glare, it makes plenty of people agree to not do anything.
Beware the Nice Ones: Lady Deidre Waggon, the author of an old fashioned book on etiquette and household management, has a section in said book on disposing of dead bodies "so as to avoid Scandal".
As a part of Cosmo's attempts to mimic Lord Vetinari, he wears a copy of the Patrician's ring that is much too small for him. His finger eventually becomes gangrenous because it can't get any blood, and in the end Moist tricks him into exposing the ring to direct sunlight, which due to the special properties of the metal it's made of, causes it to get superhot and burn his finger clean off (saving his life from further gangrene and resulting septicaemia). We don't get a proper description, but it has "green mushrooms" and Moist notes the "colors" and the "wriggling things".
And then there's Cribbins' exploding dentures. "He made a noise like someone trying to scream, except that even screaming was too painful".
Boxed Crook: Moist, of course. He tries to set this up with Owlswick, only to realize that Vetinari would have given him the same offer Moist got anyway.
Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Lady Waggon's Book on Household management has many tips for the aspiring lady including "Any bodies found during a week-end party should be disposed of discreetly, in case of scandal."
Bring Them Around: Moist needs to convince the highly traditional Mint to print paper money, Mr. Bent off the gold standard, and the public to accept paper money as worth its printed value.
Canis Latinicus: A noted above, Lord Vetinari justifies his appointment of Moist with ancient and venerable legal precedent of Quia ego sic dico.
Contest Winner Cameo: Dr. Hicks' name and a bit of his description come from a charity auction winner.
Circular Reasoning: The Department of Post Mortem Communications can't be called necromancy:
Moist: So what you are saying is that necromancy is a very bad form of magic performed only by evil wizards, and since you are not evil wizards, what you are doing cannot possibly be called necromancy? Dr. Hicks: Yes. Moist: And what defines an evil wizard? Dr. Hicks: Well, for a start, doing necromancy. Moist: And because you're not evil wizards, what you're doing can't be called necromancy. Dr. Hicks: Exactly!
Consequence Combo: Topsy delivers an awesome one of these. "The sum of $20,000 annually will be paid for performing this duty, which I beg you to accept. If you do not... your arse will belong to the Guild of Assassins."
Conspicuous Gloves: Cosmo Lavish wears gloves to hide the ring he wears, both because it's stolen property and because it's made of stygium, a metal that glows white-hot in sunlight.
Consulting Mister Puppet: Moist is obligated to do this with Mr Fusspot, since he's the actual chairman (chairdog?) of the bank.
The jobs Moist gets at the start of this book are the exact same jobs that were offered to his Evil Counterpart at the end of Going Postal, which he... refused.
Mrs. Cake from Reaper Man makes an appearance, as does her daughter.
Owlswick Jenkins, startled by something Moist says, asks if there are people who commit suicide professionally. In The Truth, William de Worde interviewed and was rescued by a former steeplejack who threatens to commit suicide professionally.
At one point, the numbers-obsessed Mr. Bent thinks to himself that he'll get pi to even out eventually. In Moist's first adventure, a large part of the post office's problems were caused by an invention which contained a small, alternate universe where pi was exactly three.
Crazy-Prepared: If Moist ever needs to leave town under a different name (again) he has a wide range of options.
Cypher Language: Adora Belle's use of "golem language" is phonetic English rendered in Hebrew-style characters.
Something close to it, anyway: "Why", for instance, is spelled "U/V/W"-"H"-"I/Y", which would mean the pool of letters is similar to Latin, except for some reason R and M are the same.
Didn't See That Coming: By the end of the book, Cosmo and Cribbins plan on blackmailing Moist with his dirty past if he survives the trial. So, after seeing Mr. Fusspot's antics with his new "toy", Moist decides to just confess to his previous crimes, robbing those two of any ammunition.
Dirty Old Man: Topsy's late husband, who had whole closets of unusual sex toys that amuse Adora Belle and trouble Moist. And provide Mr. Fusspot with a chew toy.
Moist: Did he often 'work late'? Vetinari: With astonishing regularity for his age, I understand.
Also Professor Flead, former head of the Necromancy Department at Unseen University. Shamelessly perverted and incapable of being much older for the same reason he's the former head — he's dead. At the end of the book Moist makes a deal with him that sees him bound to the Pink Pussycat Club for the rest of time, which is like paradise for him - when he was alive, he thought seeing a woman's ankles was saucy.
Mr. Fusspot is safe from guild assassins, because killing a little lap-dog looks really bad on one's resumé.
The Assassins also won't accept a contract on someone who already has one, so by hiring them to kill Moist if he fails to protect Mr. Fusspot, Topsy was actually protecting him from her murderous in-laws.
Vetinari does a lot of morally ambiguous things for the good of the city, but killing old ladies isn't among them. To imply that he would commit such an act is a very dangerous move indeed.
Moist will admit to his crimes in a courtroom, but takes umbrage at being compared to the Lavishes, who have committed far worse atrocities than he ever did.
Moist notes he learned a lot from Cribbins, and then spent a good many years trying to unlearn it.
Exact Words/Metaphorically True: Adora Bella sees nothing wrong with the golden golems leaving the dig site without her telling the dwarfs who are supposed to check everything she is taking with her because, technically, she isn't taking them. They just happen to be following her golems out of the site, underground.
"Joshua liked to be in control. Oh yes, didn't he just." Moist later discovers a closet full of S&M equipment in Joshua's room.
When trying to find out about Mr Bent's mysterious past Moist discovers a diary entry saying that some 'funny looking men' appeared at the bank asking about him. Probably meant to be taken quite literally, as he used to be a clown.
Bent's strange manner of walking.
Formally Named Pet: Topsy Lavish's dog and eventual chairman of the bank is named Mr Fusspot.
Gratuitous Japanese: Vetinari does a sudoku-equivalent in the Times which is called Jikan no Muda — rough Japanese for "waste of time".
Groin Attack: Owlswick kicks Moist in the crotch and does a runner, not realizing Moist is just disguised as a watchman and is trying to help him break out of prison.
Idiot Ball: Moist calls himself on holding it because he did not check out the vault on day one with a lawyer, an (al)chemist and a guard to check on the status of the gold. Also for getting into the first cab he saw without thinking. A year ago he never would have made that mistake.
Infraction Distraction: In the opening, Moist breaks into the Post Office. He conceals the evidence by broadly implying that he's not alone in bed.
Insistent Terminology: The Department of Postmortem Communications are not necromancers. (Technically true, since necromancy officially means consulting the dead to learn about the future. Contacting them to figure out what's going on in the past or present doesn't count.)
Just Testing You: When Mr. Bent has a paper corrected by one of his younger employees and suffers a breakdown, Moist initially wonders why he simply didn't claim he was testing them.
"Even school teachers know that one!"
Kill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand: A mild form: Vetinari hands Moist a sword while questioning him, so he can confirm that Moist is more afraid when he's holding a sword than he is when Vetinari is. A subtle but brilliant Continuity Nod back to Guards! Guards!!, in which the maddened Lupin Wonse screamed at Vetinari "You think you're in control just because I've got a sword and you haven't!"
Could be considered as a Continuity Nod for Moist, to the scene in Going Postal where Moist kills a banshee and pukes right after he does so, showing to the reader that he hates violence, even when it is done in order to save his own life.
Last Disrespects: Topsy Lavish's funeral is attended by her relatives, a family of rich, selfish, squabbling assholes who do nothing but glare at each other throughout the ceremony, waiting for each other to start something so they can sue each others' pants off. Nonetheless, Cosmo considered it a "decently dignified occasion" spoiled only by Hubert, who was the only one actually mourning and blubbering all over the place.
Mad Artist: Owlswick Jenkins, who is a genius at recreating images he observes, but his wracked with emotional problems and doesn't seem to understand the consequences of his actions.
Mad Scientist: Topsy's nephew Hubert Turvy, a Mad Economist, who built a hydraulic computer to calculate the flow of money.
Although, in the same style as many of Discworld's da Quirm inventions, the computer is based on a real-world device — the MONIAC, devised in 1949.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Those dentures... cursed, or just malfunctioning? Fridge Brilliance: Anoia, goddess of Things Stuck in Drawers, is in great debt to Moist for the increase in publicity he's given her. A badly-fitting pair of dentures, stuck in Cribbins' "drawers" for years, may very well be within her domain...
Meaningful Name: Mild, in-universe case; Moist reflects that you never see a tall, slim Hubert, and Hubert Turvy is no exception.
Memetic Mutation: One occurs In-Universe: Vetinari's "I do believe it is pineapple". Barely a chapter later, a political cartoon references the line, with Vetinari saying "THIS does NOT taste of pineapple!"
OOC Is Serious Business: Mr. Bent's clerical mistake is treated akin to a genuinely pious man blaspheming. It takes all the senior clerks working together, double-checking and triple-checking the work, before they come to the frightening conclusion that it has actually happened.
Out with a Bang: Topsy Lavish's husband. Topsy was not actually present at the time.
The Perry Mason Method: Used accidentally. When Mr. Bent and Miss Drapes reveal how the gold was really stolen, the arrogant Pucci Lavish goes on an epic tangent that not only confirms it but confesses to several other crimes her family has committed. The watch can't get a word in edgewise to tell her she has the right to remain silent, and end up writing it down and waving it at her.
Prayer Is a Last Resort: Moist actually resorts to prayer at one point. He prays to Anoia, one of the gods he claimed gave him inspiration to locating the funds in Going Postal. She rules over things getting stuck in drawers. If one considers a "mouth" a "drawer", then it could be she answered by the end of the book.
Red Herring: We are repeatedly told that everyone suspects Mr. Bent of being a vampire. So often that the Genre Savvy reader knows he must be something else, and is perhaps thinking of other unusual Discworld races like Mr. Gryle the banshee from Going Postal. In the end, Mr. Bent turns out to be a clown.
Remember the New Guy: The Lavish family is an influential and prolific family but they never made an appearance before this book. For the most part it's justified since not a lot of Discworld characters operate on the same level of society as them but even in later Watch books when Vimes in rubbing elbows (or butting heads as the case may be) with Ankh Morpork's elite they never receive a single mention.
Room Full of Crazy: Cosmo's journal full of attempted signatures looks a lot like one: "Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari".
We've got Moist making paper money that is noted to be worth only what we think it is. We've got a man who's obsessing over a pair of boots. We've got a little dog. We've got Moist revitalizing his top hat. We've got a lady golem that does the ironing. Mr. Jenkins considers a battleship as a motif for the bills he's designing. Adora Belle gives Moist a golem horse, which he rides. Dibbler asks for enough money for a barrow. All of these are pieces in Monopoly, a finance-based boardgame.
The scene where Moist and Adora briefly believe Gladys the Golem has killed Mr. Fusspot is based on the "bunny boiler" scene from Fatal Attraction.
Mr Bent'sbackstory may be inspired by John Major, who was said to be the only person who ran away from the circus to become an accountant.
The artist Owlswick's assumed name "Clamp" might be a shout-out to CLAMP.
Moist's notion that "food will get you through times of no gold better than gold will get you through times of no food" is a Shout-Out to The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers' philosophy that "dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope."
So Unfunny It's Funny: The actual purpose of clowns, at least in Vetinari's opinion. "They are tragic, and we laugh at their tragedy as we laugh at our own. Life is but a banana peel propelling us toward the open manhole cover of doom, and all we can do is sing as we go."
The Stoic: Vetinari reacts to everything in a restrained and dignified manner. When forced to enter a clown college, he gravely warns his companions that "there might be... fun."
Summon Bigger Fish: When Moist explains to Vetinari why there are Mongooses in the letter boxes. Arguably more of a "swallowed a spider to catch the fly" type thing...
Summoning Ritual: The Professor of Necromancy... Er, Post-Mortem Communications makes great use of dribbling candles, and pentagrams, because he knows the spirits they are trying to summon won't come if it doesn't look right.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of Moist's tricks is to invoke this trope as a Bait and Switch — covering up the fact there's a woman in his bed just subtly enough that the hearer will assume that there is one and that they've seen through him... when in fact there isn't one at all, he just wants to keep them out of his room.
Sword Cane: Vetinari's walking stick is widely considered to be one (specifically, one forged from the iron in the blood of his enemies) but it's fairly ambiguous as to whether it actually is (fairly unlikely, since he favors stilettos as personal weapons). Although it's almost certainly not made out of the blood of his enemies even if it is one.
Tastes Like Purple: As a side effect of Igor transferring all of Owlswick's neuroses into a turnip. "It sounded like the smell of raspberries tastes."
Thanatos Gambit: Mrs. Lavish's will hands her money to Mr. Fusspot, makes Moist his guardian... and sets up a contingency contract on him with the Guild of Assassins if the dog doesn't live out its natural life. Which, the book notes, prevents anyone else from simply taking out a contract on Moist.
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Justified by Vetinari's unflappable nature — if he didn't say it out loud, there'd be no way for anyone else to tell.
Vetinari: But now the city works, Mr Lipwig. We progress. We would not do so if the ruler was the kind of man who would kill elderly ladies, do you understand? Moist: I never said - Vetinari: I know exactly what you never said. You refrained from saying it very loudly. I am extremely angry, Mr Lipwig.
Unfortunate Names: Apparently, Topsy Lavish's maiden name was Turvy. As it is implied that she used to be either an exotic dancer or music-hall girl, Topsy could quite probably be a stage name (or pole name as the case may be). On the other hand, this is Ankh-Morpork, where people are regularly given names such as Legitimate First. It's entirely possible that was her real name.
Vomiting Cop: An unnamed guardsman on the removal of Cosmo's glove.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: On first read, Cosmo's childhood recollection of Mr. Bent as "the stuff of nightmares" sounds like yet another hint he's a vampire. Re-reading after The Reveal, it indicates that young Cosmo must've had a clown phobia.
The Window or the Stairs: Moist is given the same choice as he was at the start of Going Postal, only to discover that the "bottomless pit" room is now perfectly normal. When he asks what happened to it, Vetinari claims to have no idea what he's talking about.