The 24th Literature/{{Discworld}} novel and the fifth in the Watch theme. The Scone of Stone, an ancient dwarven artifact, has been stolen, and without it, the new Low King of the Dwarfs cannot be crowned. It's up to Sam Vimes and the Ankh-Morpork City Watch to travel to Uberwald and unravel the dark conspiracy surrounding the theft. Also, Vimes fights werewolves.

Very significant in that it introduced the Clacks, [[GenreShift breaking the Disc's former tradition]] of MedievalStasis maintained by the ResetButton (as {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by [[GenreSavvy Lord Vetinari]]), and (along with the previous book ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'') began a theme of Uberwald being an important story setting that would continue for several books.

Preceded by ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', followed by ''Discworld/TheTruth''. Preceded in the Watch series by ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', followed by ''Discworld/NightWatch''.
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!!''The Fifth Elephant'' provides examples of:
* AboveGoodAndEvil: A number of the vampires and werewolves hold to this thinking; Vimes sees it as what people firmly under the Evil category would use as an excuse.
* AddictionDisplacement: Lady Margolotta is a "blood teetotaler" who has transferred her lust for blood to a lust for control/politics. And fine tobacco.
* AllAnimalsAreDogs:
** Werewolves have doglike tendencies that become a plot point. As the book itself puts it, anything part human and part wolf must have some dog in there.
** {{Subverted}} by actual wolves, which are ''not'' doglike at all, to the extent that Gaspode's usual street-dog repartee fails him entirely. Gavin non-verbally defies the trope by catching a stick Carrot tosses solely so he can ''very slowly'' bite it in half while staring directly at him.
* {{Ambadassador}}: Vimes is sent to Uberwald to be this. He brings Detritus with him for added Ambadassitude, and Skimmer later shows he's one of these too.
* ArcWords: "It is the thing, and the whole of the thing."
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** Vimes sarcastically finishes his list of titles with the fact that he was a blackboard monitor at school. His assistant mentions that he should hold it in reserve in the event of a tie. But subverted in that the dwarfs, with their belief in the importance of the written word, assume that a responsibility for ''erasing'' words must surely only be given to a very trustworthy person indeed.
** It also pops up again as a CallBack in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' and was given as a real title by Rhys between then and Discworld/{{Snuff}}.
* AssInAmbassador: Vimes is this both unwillingly, since he hasn't been outside of Ankh-Morpork very often, and willingly, since [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight Screw The Rules, He's Doing What's Right!]]
* AxCrazy: Wolfgang. Partly because he doesn't bother trying to control his violent nature as a werewolf and partly because he has been brought up by a family of [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Fantasy Nazis]].
* BadassBoast:
** "Down there it's the Lore, but up here it's ''[[{{Film/Rambo}} me]]''."
** Gavin's biting a thrown stick in half very slowly may qualify as a non-verbal example.
* BambooTechnology: The Clacks, though [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_telegraph based on a real system]], are inexplicably faster, far cheaper, and vastly more effective than the telegraph was when first introduced on Earth. Some reasons for their effectiveness are given in passing: Discworld has gargoyles, who are good at sitting around watching things and too uncreative to make many mistakes, and has no curvature, which means a signal can travel very far. Given they function as a parody of the Internet, anyway, this is mostly forgivable.
* BatmanGambit:
** Vimes attacks Wolf [[spoiler: with a flare, expecting his instincts to make him catch it]]. He acknowledges beforehand that it has a slim chance of working.
** The Game-playing werewolves employ this trope to put [[spoiler: Sleeps and Skimmer]] right where they want them.
* BedsheetLadder: Sybil escapes from her room at the Baron's keep this way.
* BerserkButton: Werewolves with certain words, like "bath" and "vet." Becomes awkward when Vimes mentions Lord Vetinari in front of some werewolves.
* BettyAndVeronica: Hinted at with werewolf Angua, who has run away from her human life with good, dependable Carrot and joined up with a "good friend" Gavin, a true wolf who is implied to be an old flame. She seems undecided as to whether she is going to return to Ankh-Morpork afterwards.
* BondOneLiner: Defied after [[spoiler:killing Wolfgang]], Vimes thinks of several of these but he realises that saying any of them would make him nothing more than a cold-hearted murderer, as it would mean he enjoyed what he did.
* BookEnds: The novel starts with Gavin the wolf hitching a ride to Ankh-Morpork in the back of a lumber wagon, and ends with Gaspode the Wonder Dog mooching a lift home to Ankh-Morpork on a coal barge.
* BoomerangBigot: [[spoiler:Ideas Taster Dee. Dee hates the fact that there are dwarfs who are openly female. The primary reason is that ''she's'' jealous they could do it while ''she'' can't]].
* CerebusRetcon: The Scone of Stone and B'hrian Bloodaxe are mentioned as throwaway gags in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' but become a serious and dramatic part of this story.
* ChekhovsGun:
** In the empty clacks tower, Vimes finds a mortar flare and reads the instructions, "Light fuse. Do not place in mouth." He also explains why it is a stupid weapon since it can't be aimed. Both of these come into play at the end of the book.
** ANightAtTheOpera turns out to be important later, although Vimes himself hadn't been paying attention to the plot.
* ColonyDrop: The titular Fifth Elephant lost its footing on Great A'tuin's shell in prehistory and collided with the Disc, breaking apart its Pangaea-type supercontinent and being responsible for Uberwald's fat reserves. That's the legend about it, anyway: there's another suggestion that the fat reserves are from a large number of megafauna (big animals) in the region that died suddenly and were miraculously preserved, in kind of a riff off of how people think of oil as "dead dinosaurs." The discussions of the importance of Uberwaldian fat to Ankh-Morpork's industries and modern living resembles discussions of how important oil is to the real world.
* CombatPragmatist: Huge parts of the book read like a love letter to this trope. Both [[BadassNormal the hero]] and [[DirtyCoward the villain]] show different shades of how it can work.
* ConvenientEscapeBoat: {{Subverted}} and {{Invoked}}, because werewolves really are ''very'' clever.
* CovertGroupWithMundaneFront: Skimmer pretends to be an ordinary clerk. He can be assumed retroactively to be a member of Vetinari's "dark clerks", who aren't mentioned as a group until ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' but are strongly implied to be {{Spiritual Successor}}s to Inigo's character.
* CoversAlwaysLie:
** Despite the enraged plummeting pachyderm on the cover of some editions, to say nothing of the title, the book is not actually about an elephant. Well, it ''is'' about an elephant, but a metaphorical, not literal, one.
** The blurb on the back cover of one of the editions is also extremely misleading, with statements like "It's up to the dauntless Vimes ... to solve the puzzle of the missing pachyderm". The "fifth elephant" is mentioned in the book as an Uberwaldian phrase meaning "something that is not what it seems", while the back cover makes it sound like Vimes is actively looking for the literal fifth elephant.
* DamselOutOfDistress: Once Sybil realises that she's a captive, she [[spoiler: escapes a barred window via BedsheetLadder, and lays out a werewolf with one of the iron bars]].
* DangerTakesABackseat: Wolfgang's pack are fond of a low-tech variant, waiting under a tarp in a ''rowboat'' for an unsuspecting quarry to climb aboard.
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: Gavin. Vimes's inner cynic can't help but notice this, even though he'll never say it to Carrot's face.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Vimes knows Wolfgang isn't finished due to these tendencies. He makes a short speech to Sybil comparing him to the men in Ankh-Morpork who will charge into insurmountable odds and won't give up until they're dead. One of the few times in the series that Vimes doesn't understand the irony of his and other people's statements.
--> '''Sybil:''' Yes, I think I know the type.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Sam Vimes taking tea with Lady Margolotta. She might not look too scary in a fluffy pink jumper, but Tantony runs out the door, revealing his ObfuscatingStupidity by reacting to Vimes's dismissal before Cheery translated it.
* DiggingToChina: Viewing the candle-dotted dwarf city far beneath Bonk for the first time, a flabbergasted Vimes murmurs that they've gone down too deep, presumably emerging on the underside of the Disc.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** The geopolitical plot, with shattered Uberwald harboring rich fat reserves needed to make candles for Ankh-Morpork, is a parody of central and eastern Europe's dependency on oil and gas from Russia -- right down to the metaphor of "the lights go off."
** On the other hand, the "traditional" dwarfs who find femininity sinful and demand it be hidden, wear shrouding robes, "prefer" their own laws over the law of a country they live in and possess fossil fuel can also make one think of various Muslim cultures.
** There are also [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazi werewolves]], for good measure.
** On a less serious note, mention is made of some people using the new communication system in crowded public places, to the annoyance of people in their general vicinity. Now are we talking about the clacks, or cell phones?
* DressCodedForYourConvenience: Subverted with Margolotta. She dresses like a [[TheFifties '50s]] mum but is probably one of the most dangerous and manipulative characters in the book. ([[MagnificentBastard Lord Vetinari]] is implied to have taught her a few tricks).
* DueToTheDead: Gaspode starts a memorial howl for [[spoiler:Gavin]].
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Although {{Uberwald}} was already Hammer-Horror-Transylvania, here it is expanded to take in {{Ruritania}} and the former Soviet Union -- mention is made of the now defunct "Unholy Empire", a neat combination of the USSR and Holy Roman Empire.
* FluffyTheTerrible: Gavin the wolf, so called because he once ate someone called Gavin. Well, parts of him.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** When Angua and Wolf fight, it's noted that they have to suppress their own lupine sides while doing so, to avoid mistakes. A cat pouncing on a fizzing fuse because it's moving is an example of the impulses they need to resist.
** At one point Vimes is reminded of some philosophical bastard who once stated that 'a government needed butchers as well as shepherds'. We found out who said that in ''Discworld/NightWatch''.
* FunWithAcronyms:
** [=BCBs=], or "Burnt Crunchy Bits," are impurities in the fat -- possibly a ShoutOut to [=PCB=]s (polychlorinated biphenyl) a persistent organic pollutant that is, fittingly, highly soluble in fat.
** Also, [[GadgeteerGenius Leonard of Quirm]] as usual can't come up with snappy names for his inventions - after he invents a clacks code machine for the Patrician, he contemplates it the "'''E'''ngine for the '''N'''eutralisation of '''I'''nformation by the '''G'''eneration of '''M'''iasmic '''A'''lphabets" (but says it doesn't roll off the tongue, failing to notice the acronym), a sly cryptography ShoutOut.
* FunWithForeignLanguages: Vimes can't ''quite'' speak dwarfish, introducing himself as "Overseer Vimes of the Look" and inadvertently using a form of the word 'dwarf' that indicates miscreant (which, as a policeman, is no doubt the term he used most often in street dwarfish).
--> '''[[ServileSnarker Inigo Skimmer]]''': "It is good for a diplomat to [[ObfuscatingStupidity appear stupid]]. I'd say you've made an excellent start."
* FurAgainstFang: Although it's more werewolves, vampires and dwarfs vs [[MeleeATrois everybody (and each other)]].
* GoodIsNotDumb:
** Exhibited by Sybil when she negotiates the fat trade between Ankh-Morpork and the Dwarfs.
** She's also the one who discovers Sleeps' secret room, because she wanted to re-carpet the embassy as a kindness for future occupants.
* GoodIsNotNice: Angua asks Carrot if he can "not be nice for once". Turns out [[HiddenDepths he's quite good at it, if he wants]].
* GoodOldWays:
** The setup for the whole plot is a major cultural schism between, broadly, the conservative mining dwarfs and the progressive city-dwelling ones.
** Angua angrily compares the hunts her brother stages with the ones her father staged, where the hunted man had an honest chance, and got a big bag of money and a banquet at the castle if he won. {{Deconstructed}} with Carrot's response that the men still died.
* GossipEvolution: Vimes correctly predicts how the gossip about his fight with bandits will evolve.
* GroinAttack:
** Backfires on the Bonk guardsman who kicked Detritus in the rocks and wound up walking with a limp.
** Implied to be the way [[CombatPragmatist Gaspode]] manages to [[spoiler:help Gavin during his fight against Wolf]].
* HalfHumanHybrid: There's a little discussion about the technicalities of werewolves interbreeding with both humans and wolves. They can't change, but depending on the non-werewolf parent they come out either as particularly clever wolves or hairy and boisterous humans.
** A few of them still involuntarily change to a wolf-man form (from either base shape) at full moon, and a few of these appeared in earlier books.
* HeroesFightBarehanded: [[IdealHero Captain Carrot]] doesn't use his AncestralWeapon when facing the Nazi-esque Wolfgang, preferring to [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Fight Like a Gentleman]]. This gives [[CombatPragmatist Wolfgang]] a chance to fight dirty.
* HesGotAWeapon: {{Invoked}} by Vimes' captors and {{Averted}} by Vimes himself. When he is imprisoned, someone smuggles a single-shot crossbow into his cell. Vimes notes that if you want to help someone escape, you send them a key; if you send someone a weapon it means you want him to die via this trope.
* HintDropping: Sybil keeps trying to tell Vimes that [[spoiler: she's pregnant]], but he's continually distracted by the mission and Watch duties.
* HowlOfSorrow: Gaspode starts a mourning howl, which is passed on into the night by unseen wolf packs. Given how small and mongrelly Gaspode is, this is something of an achievement.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: A tradition in Uberwald, where a peasant could legitimately win by outrunning the werewolf chasing him, gaining a substantial payoff. Still, the name is not very fitting, since in {{Uberwald}} you can hardly call humans the "most dangerous" creatures.
* IdiotBall:
** Carrot tries to use GoodOldFisticuffs against the AxCrazy Wolf. Vimes berates him for it after.
** Carrot's wolfish love rival, Gavin, attempts the wolf-equivalent moments later, to similar derision from Gaspode.
* ImpossiblyTackyClothes: Cheery and some other lady dwarfs put on some {{Pimped Out Dress}}es, to show off their femininity, but they go a bit too far. There's no point in throwing out centuries of tradition for a [[UnderdressedForTheOccasion twin-set]] once you've [[BattleBallgown heard of sequins]].
* InevitableWaterfall: While Wolfgang and company are chasing Vimes, he gets onto a boat. Of course this occurs.
* IntellectualAnimal: Gavin is a lot smarter than he looks, and is also one of the only characters in the entire series who appears to be immune to Carrot. In fact, based on the fact that he can keep the wolves from killing Angua, he may even ''be'' their equivalent to Carrot.
* InterspeciesRomance: It's implied that werewolf Angua and the ordinary wolf Gavin ([[IntellectualAnimal for the given value of "ordinary"]]) were once romantically involved, despite the oft-repeated point that werewolves and wolves are entirely different species. For that matter, Carrot (human/really tall dwarf) and Angua (werewolf) also count. Angua even compares Gavin and Carrot to each other by their admirable qualities.
* JustFollowingOrders:
** Played straight by Tantony, who gives this excuse [[spoiler:to Vimes after he let Sybil go with Serafine]].
** Vimes immediately answers by [[SubvertedTrope Subverting]] this: he orders Detritus to shoot Tantony, knowing that [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Detritus will tell him to shove it.]]
* JustToyingWithThem: Wolf and his cronies like to play with their food. As Angua points out, not even Vimes would have stood a chance if they'd just rushed him at once instead of giving him a "lead" and harassing him one at a time. Luckily for Vimes, they didn't know he had reinforcements coming.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Vimes kills Wolfgang with the distress flare from the clacks tower that his pack killed the operators of - the one the men never had a chance to use]].
* KilledMidSentence: [[spoiler:Skimmer is killed Mid-Verbal-Tic.]]
* KillItWithFire: Fire and silver are the typical ways to dispatch werewolves. [[spoiler: Vimes takes this to heart and launches a flare at Wolf, expecting him to catch it in his mouth]].
* KingpinInHisGym: Wolfgang likes to give his muscles an airing.
* LateToThePunchline: The narration notes this when Vimes is trying to explain what a "bottle covey" is to Sybil.
-->"Any normal person, they crawl off when they get a beating. Or they have the sense to stay down, at least. But sometimes you get one who just won't let go. You know what I mean? Idiots who'll go on fighting long after they should stop."\\\
"I think I know the type, yes," said Lady Sybil, with an irony that failed to register with Sam Vimes until some days later.
* {{Malaproper}}: Nobby memorably says "verysillymiditude" instead of "verisimilitude".
* MexicanStandoff: Skimmer and Vimes, with knives at each others' vitals.
--> '''Skimmer:''' Look down, Your Grace.
--> '''Vimes:''' Look down farther.
--> '''Skimmer:''' You really ''are'' no gentleman, then.
--> '''Vimes:''' Make a sudden move and [[GroinAttack neither are you]].
* MisterMuffykins: Margolotta owns one of these, although possibly it's as part of her BitchInSheepsClothing deception and not because of any actual inclination towards small yappy dogs. However, it's strongly hinted that it might not actually be a dog at all.
* MonstersAnonymous: Lady Margolotta is a member of a support group for vampires who don't drink blood.
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: Wolf, when Vimes comments on his having that name while being a werewolf.
* NobleBigot: Albrecht Albrechtsson by Rhys, who considers him a WorthyOpponent.
* NobleShoplifter:
** Carrot insists on leaving money behind when he takes food from isolated farmhouses whilst trailing a werewolf pack into the mountains.
** Just like Angua always pays for the chickens she kills under the full moon (because an animal wouldn't).
* NothingUpMySleeve: Inigo Skimmer has a specially designed palm dagger which allows him to remove people's heads with nothing more than a karate chop. Being a CrazyPrepared assassin, he also has little blades that come out of his shoes, a razor-edged hat, and an illegal spring-gonne. [[spoiler: None of which saves him in the end.]]
* NotSoDifferent: After Wolfgang's disappearance, Vimes explains to Sybil why he keeps his guard up by describing Wolfgang as "bottle covey" - someone who does not quit no matter how soundly he has been trounced. Sybil remarks that it sounds like someone she knows well. He only cottons on to this later.
* ObfuscatingStupidity:
** Skimmer tries this, but is too clever for his own good. At one point Vimes throws him an orange, and Skimmer lets it bounce off of him. At this point, Vimes knows that he is a professional, since an ordinary person would have either tried to catch it or at least flinched.
** Skimmer also advises Vimes that this is a good trait in a diplomat.
** Lady Margolotta is a more successful example, seeming pretty harmless for someone who knows Vetinari and apparently picked up a few things from him.
* OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope: The emergency signal flare rockets for the clacks tower have the warning "Do Not Place In Mouth". [[spoiler:This turns out to {{foreshadow|ing}} how Vimes kills Wolfgang (a werewolf that can only be killed by fire or silver): he tricks him into catching one of the rockets in his mouth before the flare goes off.]]
* PartialTransformation:
** Unlike the way the trope usually works, werewolves mid-transformation are momentarily disoriented and the [[MasterOfNone worst of both forms]]. Vimes uses this to kil-''[[HealingFactor defeat]]'' a couple of them in close combat.
** In the last part of the story, [[spoiler:Wolfgang gets stuck halfway between wolf and man, and is pretty fearsome.]]
* PlotArmor: Vimes reflects that Carrot may have this InUniverse, thanks to his royal destiny.
* PostClimaxConfrontation: Vimes and Wolf's last confrontation happens after the plot has been solved.
* PregnantBadass: [[spoiler: Sybil]], though it doesn't come out until after the climax.
* PregnantHostage: Done somewhat differently when [[spoiler:the diplomatic carriage carrying the Ankh Morpork delegation to Bonk is ambushed by bandits in the pass. Sybil is briefly held hostage as a bargaining chip, but at this point, Sam Vimes has no idea that Sybil is pregnant, and frankly, Sybil is a bit of a PregnantBadass about it, keeping her calm and ducking so her husband can shoot the bandit holding her, with a weapon she doesn't even know he has. She's actually trying (not for the first time) to get his attention long enough to gently break the news to him just before the ambush]].
* PunBasedTitle: On ''Film/TheFifthElement''.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Wolfgang and Co.
* ARiddleWrappedInAMysteryInsideAnEnigma: Lord Vetinari describes Uberwald as "a mystery inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma." Sergeant Colon misinterprets this and later refers to it as "[[{{Malaproper}} a misery wrapped in an enema]]."
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: Inigo.]] Who ever thought Vimes would [[spoiler:feel bad for an assassin?]]
* SavingTheWorldWithArt: Lady Sybil sings the "Ransom" aria from the great dwarf opera ''Bloodaxe and Ironhammer'', charming every dwarf in Bonk and convincing them to let her husband deliver the Scone to the Low King in person. This not only allows Vimes to clear his own name, but averts a terrible underground war that would've torn dwarf society apart.
* ServileSnarker: Skimmer, after a while. Vimes commends him on dropping his original deferential attitude.
* ShapeshifterModeLock: Apparently quite common in werewolves. Angua had a human-shaped sister and a wolf-shaped brother; Wolfgang killed the former and chased off the latter.
* ShapeshifterSwanSong: Downplayed--when [[spoiler:Wolfgang comes back the last time, he seems to be having trouble controlling his transformations, and is wobbling around the halfway point between man and wolf.]]
* ShoutOut:
** A wad of thick ones to Creator/AntonChekhov. The women who equip Vimes against the werewolves are a mash-up of references to Chekhov's works: they're three sisters, who are stuck in an old house with a [[Theatre/TheCherryOrchard Cherry Orchard]] and used to have an old Uncle named [[Theatre/UncleVanya Vanya]]. Their specific characterisations are also a mash-up of Chekhov's female characters from those books.
** Colon's frantic obsession with "missing" sugar is a shout out to the captain's obsession with strawberries in ''TheCaineMutiny''.
* ShroudedInMyth: The titular Fifth Elephant and the Scone of Stone. Even several of the political figures of Uberwald.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Cheery is showing shades of this. She's always been a good alchemist; now she's showing she's a good copper.
* SteamPunk:
** Though lacking actual steam engines, the Clacks in this book begins a trend of driving Ankh-Morpork from MedievalStasis over to this setting.
** Also, the traffic control subplot carried over from the previous Watch book. The traffic security came-- I mean, imps, for example.
* StopOrIWillShoot: Very consciously {{Averted}}. Vimes makes it a point to do it by the book and spell it out crystal clear to a perp he's in hot pursuit of: He is armed, and will respond with force if the perp continues to resist arrest. Vimes thus gives him ample time and opportunity to surrender. [[spoiler:Wolfgang doesn't. Vimes shoots him, having never expected him to take him up on it for a second. If he hadn't done it by the book, though, it would have been murder.]]
* TemptingFate: A subtle example appears in Wolfgang's chosen symbol of a wolf's head biting a mouthful of lightning bolts. [[spoiler: Granted, they're not literal fireworks, but symbolically it rates as this trope.]]
* TheNeidermeyer: Fred Colon is a reasonably competent sergeant of the City Watch. Promoted to Captain in the absence of Vimes and Carrot, he rapidly turns into a paranoid, arrogant, blatantly incompetent asshole. {{Subverted}}, however, in that it's clear that he's ''absolutely terrified'' by his unwanted authority and responsibility, and has ''no idea'' how to handle the burden of command.
* TheseusShipParadox:
** Brought up several times, generally in regards to a Dwarfish axe which has been passed down through the family for generations: sometimes the head needed replacing, other times the shaft, still more times the eye or the bit, but it's still the same ancestral axe.
** Played to the hilt in the book's climax, where [[spoiler: no one's terribly upset that the conspiracy to influence the Dwarfish succession involved destroying the Scone of Stone and replacing it with a perfect replica: the Scone had ''already'' been replaced many times over the centuries, but it had always remained [[ArcWords "the thing and the whole of the thing."]]]]
* ThirdLineSomeWaiting: While many Discworld books are TwoLinesNoWaiting or FourLinesAllWaiting, this one cuts to short scenes of Colon and his power trip, ensuing paranoia and inability to count to thirty as Acting Captain. This brings the much-needed funny to a primary plotline that is about as dark and serious as anything Pratchett has ever written.
* TooDumbToFool: Vetinari's insinuating way of speaking, which is usually enough to terrify anyone talking to him into submission, flies completely over Colon's head, even as Vetinari gets increasingly unsubtle about his feelings about Colon's work. (Amusingly enough, Colon is one of the many people in Ankh-Morpork terrified of Vetinari using sarcasm on him, even as he fails to notice it happening.)
--> "Lord Vetinari paused. He found it difficult to talk to Frederick Colon. He dealt on a daily basis with people who treated conversation as a complex game, and with Colon he had to keep on adjusting his mind in case he overshot."
* TrickedIntoEscaping: Vimes finds a particularly nasty weapon left for him in his prison cell. Thinking about it, though, he decides that whoever put it there is just trying to get him killed. Even armed, he wouldn't get far - but ''because'' HesGotAWeapon, his escape attempt would be more likely to end in death than recapture.
* TrivialTitle: Despite the enraged plummeting pachyderm on the cover of some editions, to say nothing of the title, the book is not actually about an elephant. Well, it ''is'' about an elephant, but a metaphorical, not literal, one. [[DisorganizedOutlineSpeech OK, OK, there is a literal elephant]], but it's a legend of something that may or may not have happened millions of years ago. The titular Fifth Elephant lost its footing on Great A'tuin's shell in prehistory and collided with the Disc, breaking apart its Pangaea-type supercontinent and being responsible for Uberwald's fat reserves; and is also a Uberwaldian phrase meaning "something that is not what it seems".
* {{Uberwald}}: Where the main plot happens.
* UncannyValley: {{Invoked}} InUniverse. Vimes notes than Lady Margolotta is trying very hard to look like a harmless middle-aged housewife, but she's missed it by ''just'' enough to give quite a chilling effect. Of course, considering who we're talking about, this could be entirely deliberate.
* UnfortunateNames: The town of Bonk. (This [[SeparatedByACommonLanguage is funnier]] in UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish[[note]]"bonk" being a fairly harmless word for "have sex with"[[/note]]) It cuts both ways, though: in the Uberwaldian language, "Morpork" means "an item of ladies' underwear" (Vimes wonders ''which'' item).
** Also note Bonk is supposedly more strictly pronounced Beyonk[[note]]This is a reference to Slavic languages having phonemic palatalization, and this being consistently ignored in transcriptions into languages which don't; which is to say, most of them. In this case, the initial 'B' is palatalized, which inserts a 'y' sound between it and the next vowel. In Cyrillic, it would probably be spelled Бёнк, which could also be transliterated "Byonk".[[/note]] For a bit of (probably unintentional) BilingualBonus, the proper Russian translation of "bonk", трах or трахнуть, retains the British double-entendre nature of the word--it can mean either "hit someone over the head" or "have passionate sex with someone".
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: Not only [[spoiler:Dee]], but it's strongly hinted that [[spoiler:the Low King]] is female as well. [[spoiler:According to ''Discworld/RaisingSteam'' this is indeed the case for The Low King]]
* UrineTrouble: Narrowly averted when Death, whom a fall-addled Gaspode has mistaken for a convenient tree, speaks up in protest. The poor dog nearly does himself an injury stopping himself from letting loose.
* VampiresAreRich: Lady Margolotta
* VampiresAreSexGods: Nicely subverted with Lady Margolotta, who is said to resemble an attractive, middle-aged housewife, and wears fuzzy pink sweaters with bat patterns. On the other hand, Vetinari's uncharacteristic pauses of nostalgic longing seem to indicate a special something she had with him. Whatever she is now, she might have had a much greater "presence" back in Vetinari's younger days.
* VerbalTic:
** Inigo has one, mhm mhm.
** Rhys Rhysson has one too, see? He even writes it down, see? Given Rhys is from Llamedos, it appears to be an attempt to give his speech a Welsh feel.
* VillainousBreakdown: At the end, [[spoiler: Dee is confirmed to have done it all specifically because of the growing Dwarf Femininity movement in Ankh-Morpork]]. Anyone who has been around a [[spoiler: {{Transgender}}]] person when they're first realizing what's going on inside them [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything could probably have quoted significant chunks of that discussion and the one that came afterward.]]
* WeaponForIntimidation: This is Vimes' philosophy, as opposed to Skimmer's.
* WerewolfThemeNaming: {{Averted}} with most of them, but ''Wolfgang'' is rather on the nose. Even better, he's called ''Wolf'' for short.
* WhamLine: Near the end of the book, the words [[spoiler:"I can't!"]] turn the nature of the EvilPlan on its head. In that one short sentence, it shows that while the conspiracy was perpetrated by traditionalists, it also showed that [[spoiler: ''jealousy'' was a significant factor too]].
** Come to think of it, the moment when Sybil gives up on HintDropping and just straight up tells Sam [[spoiler:she's pregnant]] certainly has this effect on ''him'' even if the reader caught on much sooner. Also doubles as a hilarious narrow aversion of NotListeningToMeAreYou.
%%* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Subverted
* WorldOfPun
** The [[PunBasedTitle title is a pun]] on ''Film/TheFifthElement''; interestingly the next two books also talk about the Discworld's own Fifth Element, Surprise.
** The Scone of Stone is a humorous reversal of the name--but not the concept--of the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were crowned, the Stone of Scone (pronounced "skoon"). The English, under Edward I, stole it in the thirteenth century; possession of it has been returned to Scotland, but the Scots are "asked" to return it for the coronation ceremony of the United Kingdom's monarch. Not only is the Scone of Stone's role a ShoutOut to the real coronation rituals of Britain, but a scone is (a) an old word for altar, and (b) a kind of pastry. Dwarfs do treat their baked goods very reverentially, and make them rock-hard. All that simply by reversing the words' order--but this is ''Pratchett'' we're talking about.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: [[spoiler:Dee]] is revealed to be this during the climax.
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