[[caption-width-right:350:''[[Discworld/SmallGods The turtle moves!]]'']]

->''"Stories are important. People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way round. Stories... have evolved... The strongest have survived, and they have grown fat... Stories etch grooves deep enough for people to follow... A thousand wolves have eaten grandmother, a thousand princesses have been kissed... Stories don't care who takes part in them. All that matters is that the story gets told, that the story repeats."''
-->-- ''Witches Abroad,'' describing the TheoryOfNarrativeCausality

''A world, and a mirror of worlds.''

The Discworld, a flat planet carried by four elephants standing on the back of a gigantic space-turtle (sex unknown), is the venue for [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Sir]] Creator/TerryPratchett's long running fantasy series.

The first few books were a straightforward parody of HeroicFantasy tropes, but later books have subverted, played with, and [[LampshadeHanging hung lampshades on]] practically every trope on this site, in every genre, and many not yet covered, as well as parodying (and in some cases, [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructing]]) many well known films, books, and TV series. The humour ranges from simple wordplay to wry reflections on the absurdities of life.

While all of the Discworld books exist in the same ConstructedWorld, with the same continuity (and roughly in chronological order, with a few exceptions), many can be loosely grouped into [[http://discworldreadingorder.azurewebsites.net different series]], following some of Pratchett's recurring characters. These include [[http://discworldreadingorder.azurewebsites.net/Rincewind Rincewind]] the incompetent "wizzard," the Ankh-Morpork [[http://discworldreadingorder.azurewebsites.net/TheWatch City Watch]] (which are usually mystery novels), [[http://discworldreadingorder.azurewebsites.net/TheWitches the Lancre witches]] (which lend themselves well to Shakespeare), and [[TheGrimReaper Death]]. Some books follow one-off protagonists who may or may not appear in supporting roles in other books.

In addition to the main characters, there is a large cast of recurring characters, including dodgy street trader [[HonestJohnsDealership Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler]] and [[AmbiguouslyEvil benevolent tyrant]] Havelock Vetinari ("benevolent" in the sense that he's actually concerned with the welfare of the city - individual people not so much - is scarily competent, and unlike his predecessors, has actual morals - surprisingly firm ones at that). Villains have included sociopathic geniuses, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, and the Auditors of Reality, [[ObstructiveBureaucrat cosmic bureaucrats]] who consider life too untidy to be tolerated.

As of August 2015, there are forty-one books in the series, five of them young adult, as well as several short stories. There are also [[SpinOff Discworld calendars, diaries, maps]], [[UniverseCompendium compendia]], three {{Video Game}}s[[note]]Four if you include the ''Colour Of Magic'' 1986 text adventure[[/note]], five {{Board Game}}s[[note]]One based on the Watch, one on the witches, one based on a power struggle for Ankh-Morpork, the {{Defictionalised}} chess-analogue Thud and one based on the semaphore system[[/note]], and a pen and paper [[TabletopRPG RPG]], each with [[WordOfGod additional background information]] about the Disc. All the books have been adapted for the stage, two have become animated series, and three (technically four, as ''The Colour of Magic'' and ''The Light Fantastic'' were filmed as a single story under the former title, but the second is a direct follow-on) have become live-action {{Made For TV Movie}}s. A police procedural based around the Ankh-Morpork Watch is in the works, and discussions are underway for cinema films of ''Mort'' and ''The Wee Free Men''

Because of his failing health, in [[http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2012/11/terry-pratchett-my-daughter-rhianna-will-take-over-discworld-when-im-gone a November 2012 interview]], Terry Pratchett revealed plans for his daughter, Creator/RhiannaPratchett, to take over the Discworld series in the event of his eventual AuthorExistenceFailure. She has since [[http://metro.co.uk/2013/03/04/rhianna-pratchett-on-reclaiming-lara-croft-and-having-discworld-creator-terry-as-a-dad-3522630/ clarified]] that this doesn't mean writing more books, but protecting his legacy (and she includes herself among the people it needs to be protected from). She is currently working on the TV series ''The Watch'' and the film of ''Wee Free Men''.

Terry Pratchett passed away at the age of 66 on March 12, 2015 due to complications from his Alzheimer's. His final novel, ''The Shepherd's Crown'' was published on August 27, 2015 - while Pratchett was working on another novel at the time of his death, this will not be published.

See also the [[Characters/{{Discworld}} character sheet]] for details on the more major of the series' LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, and the fan-run [[http://www.lspace.org/ L-Space Web]] for [[http://www.lspace.org/books/pqf/index.html quotes]] and [[http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/index.html annotations]] (which unfortunately hasn't been updated since ''Going Postal'', from 2004). There is a [[http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg reading order guide]] for those who would like to go through the books by internal series chronology.

The work of collecting book annotations has been continued on the ''[[http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Annotations L-Space Wiki]]'', who have picked up the baton and assembled a catalogue of annotations for all Discworld novels since ''Going Postal'', in the hoped-for event that the L-Space Web proper resumes full operations again. New contributors are always welcome!

The ''Discworld'' series was pre-dated by a [[ScienceFiction science-fiction]] novel entitled ''Literature/{{Strata}}''. While this isn't a ''Discworld'' book ''per se'', it does prominently feature a flat Earth, and it does seem to contain the seeds of many ideas that would feature in the ''Discworld'' books later on.

'''Warning: Some of the summaries contain spoilers.'''
[[folder:List of Discworld media]]
!!The main Discworld novels, in order of release. Brackets denote date of UK publication and main character(s) - standalone indicates that it is not part of a series. [[note]] Some sources (including the back covers of the Collector's Library editions) group the standalones based on concepts rather than characters, so ''Pyramids'' and ''Small Gods'' are the "Gods" or "Ancient Civilisations" series, while ''Moving Pictures'', ''The Truth'' and ''Monstrous Regiment'' join the Moist books as the "Industrial Revolution" series.[[/note]]
* ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'' (1983 - Rincewind the wizard)
* ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'' (1986 - Rincewind)
* ''Discworld/EqualRites'' (1987 - Granny Weatherwax the witch)
* ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'' (1987 - Death)
* ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' (1988 - Rincewind)
* ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'' (1988 - The Lancre witches, inc. Granny Weatherwax)
* ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'' (1989 - standalone)
* ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' (1989 - The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'' (1990 - Rincewind; originally published as an illustrated novel)
* ''Discworld/MovingPictures'' (1990- standalone, Wizards subplot)
* ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' (1991 - Death, Wizards subplot)
* ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' (1991 - The Lancre witches)
* ''Discworld/SmallGods'' (1992 - standalone, History Monks cameo)
* ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' (1992 - The Lancre witches, Wizards cameo)
* ''Discworld/MenAtArms'' (1993 - The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' (1994 - Death, Susan, Wizards subplot)
* ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' (1994 - Rincewind, Heroes)
* ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'' (1995 - The Lancre witches)
* ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' (1996 - The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' (1996 - Death, Susan, Wizards subplot)
* ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' (1997 - The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'' (1998 - Rincewind/Wizards)
* ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'' (1998- The Lancre witches, Uberwald)
* ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'' (1999 - The City Watch, Uberwald)
* ''Discworld/TheTruth'' (2000 - standalone, The City Watch cameo)
* ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' (2001 - History Monks, Death, Susan)
* ''Discworld/NightWatch'' (2002 - History Monks, The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' (2003 - standalone/The City Watch cameo, Uberwald)
* ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' (2004 - Moist von Lipwig)
* ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' (2005 - The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' (2007 - Moist von Lipwig)
* ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' (2009 - Wizards and new characters)
* ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' (2011 - The City Watch)
* ''Discworld/RaisingSteam'' (2013 - Moist von Lipwig, The City Watch cameo)

* ''The Witches Trilogy'' (''Equal Rites'', ''Wyrd Sisters'', and ''Witches Abroad'' in one volume, 1995, UK)
* ''The Death Trilogy'' (''Mort'', ''Reaper Man'', and ''Soul Music'' in one volume, 1998, UK)
* ''The City Watch Trilogy'' (''Guards! Guards!'', ''Men at Arms'', and ''Feet of Clay'' in one volume, 1999, UK)
* ''Rincewind The Wizzard'' (''The Color of Magic'', ''The Light Fantastic'', ''Sourcery'', and ''Eric'' in one volume, 1999, US)
* ''The Gods Trilogy'' (''Pyramids'', ''Small Gods'', and ''Hogfather'' in one volume, 2000, UK)
* ''The Rincewind Trilogy'' (''Sourcery'', ''Eric'', and ''Interesting Times'' in one volume, 2001, UK)

!!!Illustrated novels:
* ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'' (illustrated by Josh Kirby) (1990 - Rincewind; also available in paperback novel format)
* ''Discworld/TheLastHero'' (illustrated by Paul Kidby) (2001 - Rincewind, bits of The City Watch and Wizards, Heroes; republished with more illustrations)

!!!The young-adult Discworld novels:
* ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'' (2001 - standalone)
* ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'' (2003 - Tiffany Aching)
* ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'' (2004 - Tiffany Aching)
* ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'' (2006 - Tiffany Aching)
* ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight'' (2010 - Tiffany Aching)
* ''Discworld/TheShepherdsCrown'' (2015 - published posthumously in August 2015 - Tiffany Aching)

!!!Children's books:
* ''Discworld/WheresMyCow'' (illustrated by Mervyn Grant) (2005 - The City Watch; tie-in with ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'')
* ''Discworld/TheWorldOfPoo'' (illustrated by Peter Dennis) (2012 - tie in with ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'')

!!!Short stories [[note]]All collected in ''A Blink of the Screen'', along with various "squibs" written for fan events, the blurb for Cunning Artificer creations etc.[[/note]]:
* "[[http://www.lspace.org/books/toc/toc-english.html Theatre of Cruelty]]" (The City Watch)
* "Troll Bridge" (standalone - Cohen)
* "[[http://www.lspace.org/books/dawcn/dawcn-english.html Death and What Comes Next]]" (Death)
* "The Sea and Little Fishes" (The Lancre witches)
* "[[https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/a-collegiate-casting-out-of-devilish-devices/195991.article A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices]]" (Wizards)

!!!The [[PhantasySpelling Mapps]]
* ''The Streets of Ankh-Morpork'' (with Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Stephen Player) (1993)
** ''The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide'' (with Discworld Emporium staff, illustrated by Peter Dennis) (updated version of ''The Streets of Ankh-Morpork'', 2012)
** ''The Ankh-Morpork Map for iPad'' (fully zoomable and animated with achievements and narrated walking tours)
* ''The Discworld Mapp'' (with Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Stephen Player) (1995)
** ''The Compleat Discworld Atlas'' (with Discworld Emporium staff, illustrated by Peter Dennis) (updated version of ''The Discworld Mapp'', 2015)
* ''A Tourist's Guide To Lancre'' (with Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Paul Kidby) (1998)
* ''Death's Domain'' (with Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Paul Kidby) (1999)

!!!{{Made For TV Movie}}s
* ''Terry Pratchett's Hogfather'' (2006), an adaptation of ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}''.
* ''Film/TheColourOfMagic'' (2008), an adaptation of ''The Colour of Magic'' and ''The Light Fantastic''
* ''Going Postal'' (2010), an adaptation of ''Discworld/GoingPostal''

!!!Animated series
* ''Terry Pratchett's Discworld: Soul Music'' (1996)
* ''Terry Pratchett's Discworld: Wyrd Sisters'' (1997)

!!!Video Games
* ''The Colour Of Magic'' (text adventure, 1986)
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldMUD'' (text adventure, 1991)
* ''VideoGame/{{Discworld}}'' (1995)
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldII: Mortality Bytes'' or ''Discworld II: Missing, Presumed...'' (1997)
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldNoir'' (1999)

!!!Board Games
* ''Thud'' (2006)
* ''Discworld: Ankh-Morpork'' (2011)
* ''Guards! Guards!'' (2011)
* ''Discworld: The Witches'' (2013)
* ''Discworld: The Clacks'' (2015)

* ''From the Discworld'', Dave Greenslade (1994)
* ''Soul Music Soundtrack'', [[Music/HermansHermits Keith Hopwood]] and Phil Bush (1996)
* ''Soul Harmonics'', Lavington Bound (2011)
* ''Wintersmith'', Music/SteeleyeSpan (October 2013)

* ''The Discworld Companion'' (with Stephen Briggs) (1994). UniverseCompendium. Second edition as ''The Discworld Companion Updated'' (1997); third edition as ''The New Discworld Companion'' (2003), fourth edition as ''Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion ... So Far'' (2012).
* ''TabletopGame/DiscworldRoleplayingGame'', originally published as ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Discworld'' {{RPG}} (1998), and one supplement for it, ''GURPS Discworld Also'' (2001) (both with Creator/PhilMasters); the first book was later repackaged as ''Discworld RPG'' in 2002. A new edition, incorporating material from both the earlier books and other sources, and with the rules updated to ''GURPS'' Fourth Edition, was released in 2016.
* ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld I-IV'' (with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen) (1999, 2002, 2005, 2013)
* ''Nanny Ogg's Cookbook'' (with Tina Hannan and Stephen Briggs, illustrated by Paul Kidby) (2002)
* ''The Discworld Almanack'' (with Bernard Pearson) (2004)
* ''Discworld Diary'' datebooks (1998-2015): calendar-books seeded with original content about various Discworld institutions (the Watch, the University, the Guilds, the Igors, etc) that has made them ''highly'' sought-after by collectors.
* ''The Folklore of Discworld'' (with Jaqueline Simpson) (2008)
* ''The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld'' (quotations; compiled by Stephen Briggs) (2009)
* '' Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook to Travelling Upon the Ankh-Morpork & Sto Plains Hygienic Railway'' (with Discworld Emporium staff, illustrated by Peter Dennis) (2014)
* Several {{Radio}} adaptations on Creator/TheBBC
* Stage-play adaptations of many books, most originally scripted by Stephen Briggs for the Studio Theatre Club in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
* ''[[https://vimeo.com/77104562 The Duel]]'' (2015): Animated short made through Animation Hub by students of the Irish School of Animation and Trinity College Dublin, and approved by Trinity Adjunct Professor of English Terry Pratchett.

!!!Unpublished works
Barring Creator/RhiannaPratchett changing her mind and writing/completing these, or permitting someone else to do so, they will forever remain WhatCouldHaveBeen titles. According to his assistant Rob, there were ''ten'' unfinished novels in Terry's archives, which could have included other ''Discworld'' novels. Alas, they all got steamrolled.
* ''Scouting For Trolls'' was mentioned by Sir Terry in an interview as a possible future book. Some background material has emerged - scouting is extant in Ankh-Morpork according to one of the squibs in the '' A Blink of the Screen'' collection and a scene where Carrot is running a scout troop comprised of two rival gangs appears in ''Jingo''. A minor character in ''Raising Steam'' is mentioned to be a scout.
* ''Raising Taxes'' - at the end of ''Making Money'' Vetinari and Drumknott have a brief conversation about the need for reform of Ankh-Morpork's archaic tax system and Moist von Lipwig is mooted as a possible architect. The title was mentioned by Sir Terry during promotional tours for ''Making Money'' but the book appears to have been radically reworked into the ''Raising Steam'' novel instead.
* ''Running Water'' - mentioned once by Terry at a book festival as a potential book featuring Moist von Lipwig getting into either the logging industry, the canal industry or the piped water supply industry depending on which rumour is correct.
* The afterword of ''The Shepherd's Crown'' mentions some other ideas.
** ''Twilight Canyons'' - a group of elderly people solve a missing treasure mystery and foil the rise of a dark lord despite failing memories.
** ''The Dark Incontinent'' - presumably would have done for Africa what ''The Last Continent'' did for Australia with carnivorous plants and a crystal cave.
** An unnamed book about Constable Feeney from ''Snuff'' investigating a whodunit amongst the goblins.
** An unnamed sequel to ''The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents'' detailing his adventures as a ship's cat.


!!Tropes that are not specific to one character (or group of characters) ''and'' appeared in three or more books (anything else should go in those pages, since otherwise five sevenths of the tropes on this site would be listed):


[[folder:Tropes A to D]]
* AbsurdlyDedicatedWorker: If not attended, {{golem}}s will continue carrying out their last order indefinitely, potentially causing huge property damage. Other characters have mused that this is their approach to protest.
* AbsurdlyLongStairway: The Unseen University's Tower of Art is 800ft tall and along the inside edge of the building are some (very old and infirm) steps which spiral upwards and number 8,888.[[note]][[FridgeLogic After someone did the math on that]], it's also been pointed out that the steps are very small.[[/note]] Several wizard traditions require senior wizards climb those steps, then spend five minutes being out of breath and wheezing. There may be something supposed to happen after this, but since most UU wizards are elderly and overweight, few ever get enough puff back to carry them out. They still climb the spiral steps though, because it is ''tradition''.
* AbsurdlySharpBlade:
** Death's scythe and sword. Especially Death's scythe, which is described as "proverbially sharp" and can [[PaintingTheMedium cut the dialog]] ''in the book'' when it's swung. It exudes an aura of sharpness that extends several inches from the actual blade - ''because it is that sharp.''
** Carrot's sword is also very interesting. It is one of the very few swords on the Disc without a single hint of magic in it, making it more real than anything it tries to cut. Instead, it is a long and very sharp piece of metal designed specifically to cut through man, horse, and armour. It is also an extremely old sword. This makes sense, given its implied origin.
* AcademyOfAdventure: If the Unseen University doesn't have adventure happen to it, the wizards will make one (usually by accident).
* AddictionDisplacement:
** All Black Ribboner vampires turn to a particular obsession (coffee, photography, politics, et cetera) as a psychological substitute for craving human blood.
** Sam Vimes replaces alcohol with cigars.
** On the more psychological level, Vimes has channeled his obsessive tendencies into policing and detective work. He's even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] this, saying that what he needs is a support group where he can stand up and say, "My name is Sam and I'm a really suspicious bastard."
* AlienGeometries:
** One of the more disturbing features of the Unseen University Library is the way the dome of the Library is always overhead, no matter how far you seem to move on the floor in any direction. This is compounded by the fact that shelves of books, and occasional people among the shelves of books, are also clearly visible on the ceiling around the dome.
** The Tower of Bugarup University is about 20 feet tall on the inside, or as seen from the bottom -- but at the top, it's about half a mile tall.
** Unseen University itself is so afflicted with this trope that it has a ''faculty position'' entitled Professor of Recondite Architecture and Origami Map Folding, whom the others can consult if they need to find another staff member's office.
** [[AchievementsInIgnorance Bloody Stupid Johnson]] has this as his stock in trade, due mainly to his utter inability to perform basic math (when combined with the Disc's shaky reality). He has designed flat triangles with three right angles, a circle for which pi was precisely 3 (breaking space-time in the process), and laid out an apartment complex for which the various doorways and windows don't necessarily open out onto the garden of the same building in which they're set.
* AllWitchesHaveCats: Nanny Ogg has Greebo; Granny Weatherwax eventually has You. Tiffany's family has the cat Ratbag, although it loathes her (and the feeling is mutual).
* AllTheoriesAreTrue: Especially the morphogenic field, and anything involving the word "quantum".
* AllTrollsAreDifferent:
** The trolls are actually made of stone, instead of turning to stone. They sometimes go dormant for long periods of time and are mistaken for rocks.
** The legend of trolls turning into stone during the day is based on the fact that trolls are nocturnal: their brains are silicon-based and easily overheat, leading both to torpor and stupidity and startling intelligence under the right circumstances.
*** To wit, Detritus is once trapped in a freezer and slowly freezes to death. Just before he loses consciousness, he writes an equation in the condensation which explains the origin of life in its entirety. However, when the door is opened, the rush of warm air gets rid of the condensation and the formula. He is also once taken to the Klatchian desert and can barely move during the day.
*** Diamond trolls are capable of regulating their own internal temperature and are known for being extremely [[IncrediblyLamePun bright]]. Mr. Shine is an example of this.
** Also a major reason for the conflict between trolls and dwarfs: "Dwarfs are beings who spend most of their time digging through rock to find precious minerals. Trolls are essentially metamorphic rock wrapped around valuable minerals."
** Gargoyles are a subspecies of Troll. Their jaws are permanently stuck open, and they like to hang out on tall buildings as their primary foodstuff is pigeons (unlike regular trolls, who eat rocks). They're perfectly at home spending days on end staring at nothing.
** A troll's physiology also seems to represent the place it was born. Though most trolls have solid mountainous physiques, there's also Chalky (implied to come from chalk plains) and Brick (who was born in the city).
* AlternativeNumberSystem:
** Trolls apparently have a "base Many" system (actually base four). As in, "one, two, three, many, many-one, many-two..."
** In one book, Detritus appears to be counting in base-2 (binary). This makes sense, given that a troll's brain is made of silicon (like a computer chip).
* AluminiumChristmasTrees:
** Weirdly, a Senior Wrangler is a real thing. It is the student who gains the highest overall mark in mathematics at Cambridge University. (People who get Firsts are just Wranglers.) In fact, ''most'' of the bizarre practices and terminology at Unseen University are based on real {{Oxbridge}} examples.
** The "Clacks" system used in the later books is based on a system that was used in Europe during the Napoleonic wars. Semaphore towers were actually built.
* AmusingAlien: The Luggage.
* AngelsDevilsAndSquid: Gods, demons, and the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions. The first two groups are more similar than they'd like to admit ("[[GodAndSatanAreBothJerks the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters]]"), while the Things just want the light and shape of our reality and would kill us without even noticing if they ever got through. That's without mentioning the Auditors and other weirdness.
** ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' has a scene where pictures of particularly dangerous entities are shown. The picture of the most feared of all shows... an empty, hooded robe, hanging in mid-air. That's how Auditors appear. Angels and Demons have uses for humans. The Things From The Dungeon Dimensions would eradicate humans without noticing. Auditors are the only ones who are actually malevolent: they not only actively want to eradicate life, they want it to ''never have existed''.
* AnnoyingBackgroundEvent: Lord Vetinari's antechamber has a specially designed clock that ticks irregularly. By the time he lets his visitors in, they're severely stressed by the unrewarded anticipation of a tick that always come a fraction of a second too late or too early.
* ArabianNightsDays: Klatch is Arabian Nights Days in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', the first book Klatchians play a major part in, but by the time ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' rolls around it's more of a late-19th/early-20th-century ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia'' style Middle East, with a few ''Literature/ArabianNights'' elements left in.
* ArcNumber: 8. The Discworld has eight seasons and eight-day weeks, and its spectrum has eight colours (though only magically gifted people can see octarine). An [[MagicalSeventhSon eighth son of an eighth son]] becomes a wizard, and wizards themselves must never speak that number's name aloud for fear of extradimensional payback. There are eight Muses and eight circles of Hell. The Tower of Art at the Unseen University has 8,888 steps (more or less). There's a magic-sensitive metal called octiron and a magical gas called octogen.
** ''Discworld/MovingPictures'' contains one of the later references, with the passing grade for Unseen University exams being 88.
** In ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'', eight [[spoiler: rats with their tails knotted together make up the Rat King, Spider]].
** In the second ''Science of Discworld'', Ridcully demonstrates that magic is ineffective on Roundworld by saying "Eight!" aloud a few times, then hauling Rincewind out from under the table to show him that, no, nothing disastrous happened because of it.
** For the Auditors, three is a preferred number, because when three of them work together, each one can be monitored by the other two.
* AristocratsAreEvil: While there are a few good ones in the books, the aristocrats of Ankh-Morpork are generally a bunch of [[UpperclassTwit blithering idiots]] who are as incompetent in politics as they are in [[HollywoodTactics military]] [[WeHaveReserves matters]].
%%* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking
* BadassNormal:
** The watchman Sam Vimes. So threatening is he that the crime rate actually ''drops'' when Vimes leaves the city, since the criminal underworld knows what he'll do if it rises while he's away.
** The {{Chessmaster}} Havelock Vetinari is only very rarely taken by surprise. ''Everything'' else is either a {{plan}} of his or the results of one of his plans. The city ''cannot'' function without him.
** Cohen and the Silver Horde, a band of octogenarian barbarians. They're completely normal human beings who got ''very good'' at staying alive, and simply never dropped the habit.
* BadGuyBar:
** The Mended Drum (originally the Broken Drum - "you can't beat it"). Originally a seedy bar in the mould of the Wild West, and as such a favoured haunt of the Disc's many Heroes. In today's more congenial age, barfights at the Mended Drum are staged contests and severed limbs are carefully numbered so they can be surgically reattached.
** Biers, the bar for the differently-alive, including vampires, zombies, werewolves, bogeymen, ghouls, and various others too weird to fit in anywhere else. And one Mrs. Gammage: a nearly blind, dotty old woman who started visiting the pub when it was named the Crown and Axe, and hasn't even noticed that the normal clientele has been replaced by the... er, differently-normal. (She is, incidentally, a ''very safe'' dotty old lady; the regulars have apparently adopted her as a sort of unofficial mascot, and at least a couple of thieves who robbed her subsequently turned up without a drop of blood left in their bodies...)
* BanishingRitual:
** The classic banishing ritual at the end of the Rite of Ash'Kente, which summons Death, begins "Begone, foul fiend". DEATH has asked for this to be replaced with something less personally offensive.
** When the Lancre witches summon a demon to whom they ask the traditional three questions, the malevolent entity hangs around at the end and diffidently points out he hasn't been properly banished yet, so would they mind awfully? The youngest, Magrat Garlick, is given the dogsbody task by the older witches. Nanny Ogg, a very down-to-earth witch, personally considers the best banishing ritual of all the words "BUGGER OFF!" spoken with force and authority.
** Rincewind the Wizard has learnt that hand gestures count in magical spellcasting. The unspoken banishing ritual is a dread sign made with the right hand, [[FlippingTheBird involving the raised middle finger jerked upwards]]. This binds all entities and they have no choice other than to withdraw to their own chthonic plane of existence by the shortest possible route.
** A wizard called Albert tried to permanently banish Death from his presence, making himself immortal, by performing the Rite of Ash'Kente in reverse. Instead it teleported him to Death's house, where he got a job as his manservant.
* BattleButler: Quite literally, with Sam Vimes' butler Willikins. Both in the sense that he temporarily leaves the household for military service in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' (and proved quite ferocious as a sergeant, both in and out of battle), and in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' he turns up as a Special Constable, and [[spoiler: takes down two of the three Dwarf assassins without thinking about it, despite the fact that they surprised him by coming directly through the wall]]. Sam thinks how comforting it is at times like that to have a butler who can throw a common fish knife so hard it is extremely difficult to remove from the wall. He's also glad that the different street gangs they were in as kids had a treaty, so he never had to face Willikins in a rumble.
-->'''Willikins:''' A cap with sharpened pennies sewn to the brim.\\
'''Vimes:''' You could take an eye out with that!\\
'''Willikins:''' With care, sir, yes.
%%* BattleInterruptingShout: By several characters. %% Specifically?
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible: Like many {{Police Procedural}}s, the City Watch stories never make it easy to collect information.
* BegoneBribe: The ''modus operandi'' of the Beggars' Guild.
** Sometimes literally; Coffin Henry wanders around with a sign that reads "for sum muny I wunt folo you home".
* BeingHumanSucks: The orangutan Librarian of the Unseen University is much happier with his form after a magical accident and has taken precautions to prevent the wizards from making him human again.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Mustrum Ridcully and the wizards of UU may look like harmless, slightly overweight, cheerful old men. The entire purpose of UU is to keep them that way so they don't destroy the world. Before the University made magic and academic life pleasant, the plural of "wizard" was "war".
*** The Librarian also seems like a genial and harmless half-deflated inner tube, until someone says the M-word...
** Nanny Ogg is generally much nicer than Granny Weatherwax, which is why people tend to seek her out for help when they need it. She is, however, every bit as cunning and manipulative as Granny, if not more so. Pratchett himself hinted that Nanny may be even more powerful than Granny, but is smart enough not to show it.
** Subverted in short story "The Sea and Little Fishes"; Granny Weatherwax suddenly starts being nice to everyone -- which, naturally, makes them deeply suspicious.
** Death is pretty congenial, and does his job sensibly while trying to understand humanity as much as possible (even if most of the time he doesn't really get it). But if you threaten the nature of reality, ''seriously'' threaten his granddaughter Susan (which is pretty hard to do in the first place), or try to mess up his part of the universe, you had better start running like Rincewind and ''never stop running!'' He gets emotional over kittens as well.
** And then, of course, there's [[RuleNumberOne Rule One]]: "Do not act incautiously when dealing with small, bald, smiling, wrinkled, apparently harmless old men!"
** Carrot Ironfoundersson. More than once, the poster boy of goodness (to the point you imagine him with baby-smooth skin and living in the 1950s USA), has made others realize this about him.
* BerserkButton:
** For the love of God, ''don't'' ''say'' the M-word near the Librarian.
** Or call Granny Weatherwax a Crone, a Hag...
*** ... or an old woman.
** Or try to take Rincewind's hat away. Or any other wizard's.
* BetaCouple: Played with sometimes in the City Watch books, where there are two Official Couples: Vimes/Sybil and Carrot/Angua. Exactly which is the Beta Couple depends on the book: Vimes/Sybil are pretty clearly the Betas in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'', ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' and ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', but ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' sees a reversal of the situation that's looking pretty permanent. Even so, a number of books in the sequence (''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' and ''Discworld/NightWatch'') avert this altogether by not having Angua appear in them.
%%* BewitchedAmphibians: Nodded to many times, by both witches and wizards. %% Trope examples should give specific instances.
* {{BFG}}: Detritus of the Watch wields a siege crossbow, converted to fire bundles of arrows which burst into tiny projectiles at high speed. It can remove doors from their frames, their houses, and the world of objects larger than a matchstick. The only safe place to be when Detritus fires it is a hundred feet or more behind him.
* BilingualConversation:
** Any conversation with the Unseen University's librarian (an orangutan). His vocabulary is limited to "Oook" with varying punctuation, but everyone seems to know exactly what he means.
** The Death of Rats also. [[AC:Squeak.]]
* DivineBirds: Parodied with Blind Io, the TopGod of the local pantheon. His defining characteristic is that he has no eyes in his head, instead having a myriad of disembodied floating ones that observe the world for him. Like other sky gods, he uses birds as divine messengers, which is unfortunate because his bird of choice is ravens, which tend to cause trouble with all the floating eyeballs.
* BizarreAlienSenses: Golems, or at least Mr. Pump, are sensitive to something called "Karmic Signature", which Pump did not see fit to explain. They can also detect one another "singing" underground, through thousands of feet of soil.
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: Gods tend to throw these at people who annoy them, particularly atheists.
-->A bolt of lighting lanced through the clouds and hit Dorfl's helmet. There was a sheet of flame and then a trickling noise. Dorfl's molten armor formed puddles around his white-hot feet.
-->"I Don't Call That Much Of An Argument"
* BookEnds: ''The Colour Of Magic'', the first Discworld novel, features the first foreign tourist's visit to Ankh-Morpork. ''Raising Steam'', the last novel in the series published before Creator/TerryPratchett's death, features the introduction of the steam train to Ankh-Morpork, which makes tourist excursions to and from the city available to pretty much anyone.
* BooksThatBite: The magic books inside the Unseen University's Library have to be chained to their shelves. ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' describes a few of the books. The Necrotelicomnocon is bound in iron plates, the Guide to Levitation has been floating in the rafters for about a hundred and fifty years, and the ''Booke of Forbidden Sex Majyk'' is kept in a deep-frozen room and should only be read if you are over the age of 80 and, if possible, dead.
** To make matters worse, the books, apart from a fair number of them being able to rip the skin from your bones, they can ''read'' each other and ''learn methods to kill you with everything from magic to a door handle''. There's a very good reason why the students only venture into the library in large numbers (or scouting expeditions).
** The Octavo, the creator's own grimoire, is so powerful that it can overload the most powerful anti-magic spell in existence and change reality.
%%* BoyMeetsGirl: In the majority of books. Of course, there are generally complications, but that's why books have so many pages.
* BrawnHilda: Vimes' wife, Sybil Ramkin, right from her first appearance in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards''. In that one, some Palace Guards come to take her to be eaten by the dragon. She takes exception to being dragged off by a load of guards... with a broadsword. It doesn't work out for her, but two of her pets (Sam Vimes and a most peculiar young male swamp dragon) rescue her later on. It is noted on several occasions, as recently as ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'', that Sybil is descended from the kind of old aristocracy that kept its place by being more than able to defend themselves. Hence why even in ''Discworld/NightWatch'' a younger Sybil grabs a ornamental sword (or something else long and metal?) to defend herself when (stranger to her at that time) Vimes comes to the door. There were previous references to the martial activities of Sybil's male ancestors, usually in the context of her even tougher female ancestors looking after everything else, including caring for whatever portions of their male relatives made it back from battle. As well, given the later references to the family apparently never throwing anything away if it could possibly have any use, there's no reason to think that sword wasn't entirely functional. (Given how badly she handles a sword in the chronologically later events of ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' she probably didn't know how to use it, but that's not important when you consider the kind of help the family tends to hire and the fact that her father might well have been home.)
* BrickJoke: Happens quite often, even across books in the form of {{Continuity Nod}}s.
** In ''Discworld/TheTruth'', there's mention of someone trying to pass a parrot off as a dog by teaching it to bark and writing "[=DoG=]" on its feathers. In ''Discworld/TheLastHero'', Leonard of Quirm is shown feeding a bunch of birds, one of which is that parrot.
** A bar called The Broken Drum (You Can't Beat It!) burns down in the first book. It appears rebuilt subsequently throughout later books as The Mended Drum (You Can Get Beaten).
** Invariably, a remark about anyone with "eyes like gimlets" will lead to the other party asking "what, you mean that [[Characters/TheLordOfTheRings dwarf]] who runs the delicatessen on Cable Street?" It isn't until the nineteenth novel, ''Feet of Clay,'' that we learn there really ''is'' a dwarf named Gimlet and that he is well-known for his piercing glare.
** Similarly, due to widespread illiteracy in Discworld, there have been kings capable of turning whatever they touch into glod and at least one princess cursed to spin straw in glod. Glod is, in fact, the name of a notoriously short-tempered dwarf--short-tempered mostly because various kings and princesses keeps summoning clones of him into being without warning.
** In ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', Angua mentions in passing that Big Fido thinks that all wolves have names like Quickfang and Silverback, and laughs it off. We find out in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' that the full names of her parents are Baron Guye von Uberwald, aka ([[spoiler:Silvertail]]), and Seraphine Soxe-Blumberg, aka ([[spoiler:Yellowfang]]). Of course, they are family of ([[spoiler:werewolves]]), so....
*** Though in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', we're told that most true wolves don't have names, so much as descriptions. Gaspode attempts to translate one of these for the rather prudish Captain Carrot. They eventually settle on "Bum", which Carrot can choose to interpret in the way common in the US (vagrant, tramp, hobo) while remaining at least somewhat similar to the more precise translation [[spoiler:"Arsehole"]].
** Another one crops up in ''Discworld/NightWatch''. In ''Discworld/TheTruth'', one of the newspaper headlines is "CITTY's BIGGEST CAKE MIX-Up!!!". It's a story about a cart carrying several tons of flour overturning and causing a cart carrying a cartload of eggs to overturn, which in turn causes a cart carrying 30 churns of milk to overturn... Anyway, in Night Watch, after Vimes destroys a certain siege engine, we find out that it is not the biggest cake mix-up after all. As one of people who ordered the siege engine sent against Vimes: "Those oxen were really feisty, sir."
** There's a passing mention of some cheeses having put up a fight when the elves attacked an inn in ''Lords and Ladies''. This sounds like a joke, until ''Wintersmith'' introduces Horace the Cheese...
** In ''Moving Pictures'', C. M. O. T. Dibbler orders a thousand elephants for a production that never gets made. In ''The Compleat Discworld Atlas'' we are told that many menageries in the Circle Sea region now mysteriously contain far more elephants than they used to; recently-discovered documents indicate that a Mr. Dibbler is implicated.
* BunglingInventor:
** Bloody Stupid Johnson, whose works tend to warp reality when they're not outright useless. It is suggested that he possessed a form of inverse genius; not stupidity, but a form of intelligence that equated to genius in the opposite direction. His works include the Colossus of Ankh-Morpork, which fits in a pocket, an exploding sundial, a PortalNetwork apartment complex, a tower built with quicksand (it'd be built faster), several pipe organs, a shower that combines with a pipe organ and a geyser, a mail-sorting machine that receives letters from alternate universes, an ornamental cruet set capable of housing several families, a manicure device better suited to peeling potatoes... Quite impressively, he managed to create an explosive out of nothing but sand and water. A particularly good example being that garden of Patrician's palace, which includes:
*** A trout pond that, due to a mix-up with measurements, is one hundred fifty feet long, one inch wide, and home to just the one trout.
*** A beehive large enough to house 10-foot long bees.
*** A chiming sundial that explodes around noon.
*** A fountain that, when turned on, groaned ominously for five minutes and then fired a cherub a thousand feet into the air.
*** Cast iron garden furniture that has been known to melt on hot days.
*** A maze so small that people get lost looking ''for'' it.
*** Crazy paving that has committed suicide.
*** The "Ho-Ho", which is like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ha-ha ha-ha]] (a ditch that hides a fence) but much ''much'' deeper, and has to date claimed three gardeners.
---->''"To Bloody Stupid Johnson, scale was something that happened to other people."\\
"If you wanted a small ground-to-air missile, you just asked him to make an ornamental fountain."''
** Completely inverted with Leonard of Quirm, who invents, among other things, incredibly destructive siege engines as intellectual exercises, including cutting instructions and parts lists, a working submarine and spacecraft and what is hinted to be an atomic bomb.
* {{Butlerspace}}: Igors from ''Discworld'' are explicitly able to instantly appear right behind their masters when called. One even goes so far as to set a beartrap behind him as a test, but the Igor gets around it, being no stranger to "masters of an inquiring mind".
* ButtMonkey:
** Rincewind, obviously.
** Less obviously, Lord Vetinari, although to a lesser extent. He gets overthrown by a dragon and thrown into his own dungeon, gets shot, is turned into a lizard, gets poisoned, has to spend time in a submarine with Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs and pretends to be a street performer before being arrested, is knocked into a coma to be replaced by a fake version of himself, and on top of all this has to make sure that the city runs as it should while defeating the woman who writes the crossword for the Times.
** The Bursar, usually. In any novel where the wizards appear for long, he's likely to be the bystander who catches the friendly-fire flack.
** The ''Thieves' Guild Yearbook and Diary'' introduces a '''self-invoked''' example: Mr. Echinoid Blacksly, founder and sole member of the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Victims. He hires himself out to be robbed, mugged, or burgled in his clients' stead, as per the Thieves' Guild's pre-arranged appointment schedule.
* CandlelitRitual: Parodied with the Rite of [=AshkEnte=], which summons [[TheGrimReaper Death]]. The full Ritual takes lots of large candles, rare incense, a ceremonial octogram, and whatnot -- and it's all set dressing used by self-important wizards to lend some gravitas to something that can be done with three bits of wood and a couple drops of mouse blood.
* CanisLatinicus: Latatian, most of the time.
* CannotCrossRunningWater: Occasionally discussed, with regard to witches and wizards, but apparently averted in truth. Supposedly true for the undead, though Windle Poons manages it in ''Reaper Man.'' It's noted, however, that the Ankh river barely qualifies as "running" or "water" after passing through the city.
* CatchPhrase:
** Death: [[AC: There is no justice. Just me.]]
** Rincewind: "Oh shit I'm going to die!"
** Moist: "Trust me."
** [[TheIgor all Igors]]: "Yeth, marthtar."
** The Death of Rats: [[AC: Squeak.]]
** The Librarian: "Oook."
** Vetinari: "Don't let me detain you."
** Granny Weatherwax: "I aten't dead."
** DiscussedTrope by Vimes and Carrot in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'':
-->‘You know what I always say,’ he said.
-->Carrot removed his helmet and polished it with his sleeve. ‘Yes, sir. “Everyone’s guilty of something, especially the ones that aren’t,” sir.’
-->‘No, not that one . . .’
-->‘Er . . . “Always take into consideration the fact that you might be dead wrong,” sir?’
-->‘No, nor that one either.’
-->‘Er . . . “How come Nobby ever got a job as a watchman?”, sir? You say that a lot.’
-->‘No! I meant “Always act stupid,” Carrot.’
-->‘Ah, right, sir. From now on I shall remember that you always said that, sir.’
** Commander Vimes ''is'' fond of noting that in criminal cases, the motive is easier to find if you "follow the money".
* CatsAreMagic: Death is very fond of cats and gives them all nine lives. That said, the only cat who is really magical is Maurice, from ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents''. He gained sapience and speech by eating a rat who had, in turn, also eaten some magical garbage.
* CatStereotype: Granny Weatherwax's cat You is a pure white kitten, full of purity and innocence. Nanny Ogg's cat Greebo, on the other hand, is grey, and is older, wiser, and pure malevolent evil.
** Inverted: Greebo is actually afraid of You since their first meeting. Note well, the only other creatures that Greebo has ever feared were a Nac Mac Feegle and a [[Discworld/WitchesAbroad voodoo deity]] in the shape of a cockerel.
* CaughtInTheBadPartOfTown: Whenever a character finds themselves in [[TheCityNarrows The Shades]], (the most infamous and crime ridden slum in the city of [[WretchedHive Ankh-Morpork]]) it's essentially a countdown (usually a very short one) until multiple crooks try to mug or kill them.
* CerebusRollercoaster: The series has gotten darker and more mature over the years, all without quite losing its sense of humor. And yes, Pratchett even plays with this trope, contrasting the dark ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' with the moderately lighthearted ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' followed by the dark ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' followed by the moderately lighthearted ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' followed by the even more lighthearted ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' followed by the pitch black ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight''...
* ChalkOutline: Invoked rarely, and only for laughs. For example, the Ankh is the only river in the world you can draw a chalk outline on.
* ChameleonCamouflage:
** Susan Sto Helit.
** Granny Weatherwax.
** Granny's apprentice Tiffany Aching.
** Vimes has an uncanny ability to blend neatly into the shadows.
** The Wizards of UU can do this so well that they look more like what they're pretending to be than the real thing does.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn:
** Remember when the The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork was obese?
** Or when Death seemed to actively cause people to die rather than merely collect their souls?
** Remember when Granny Weatherwax was just a simple village witch?
** Or when Vimes was a depressive alcoholic?
** Or when most wizards were as skinny as Rincewind?
** Or when Willikins was ''just'' a butler?
* CharacterDevelopment:
** Or rather, ''setting'' development. Over the course of the series, Ankh-Morpork goes from a WretchedHive locked in MedievalStasis to a bustling SteamPunk CityOfAdventure. It's still a pretty much a WretchedHive, it's just that everyone is more civilized about it.
*** Can be attributed to Vetinari's own character development, which is enormous. In the first books he cares for the city but not the people in it, turns the watch into a joke and uses bodyguards, uses the dungeon to torture mimes, keeps an innocent if dangerous man locked up and considers killing another, has outlawed the press, tolerates that Trolls are kept as dogs and Golems as property, threatens the guild heads and wizards with death. He called the world a sea of evil with only bad people in it, and hoped for no afterlife. In the later books even the Queen of Faeris know better than to harm his citizens, he elevated the watch and lost the guards, uses the dungeon as a saferoom, gives condemned criminals a chance to atone, is furious when people imply he traded in lives or had someone killed, supports the press, emancipates and integrates species, is friends with the head wizard and the assassins refuse to take a hit on him. Also he avoided a war through strategic surrender, brokered peace between Trolls and Dwarves, and refused to pursue economic dominance via Golems. He states that there should be no slaves, not even to instinct, and that people should be moral superiors to an cruel/uncaring God. Basically he went from TheCynic, PragmaticVillain and EvilOverlord to AntiNihilist, ReasonableAuthorityFigure and BigGood.
** Somehow the Senior Wrangler became the romantic of the UU faculty, while averting this trope enough to still be interchangeable with the Chair and Lecturer.
%%* ChekhovsGun: Pterry is evidently a huge fan of these. If it's not in a footnote, then you can put good money on that aside bit of characterization, world-building, rule, or so forth to become vitally important near the end of the book.
%%** Or indeed, a much later book.
* ChessWithDeath: Although he can never remember the rules.
--> [[AC:Remind me again how the little horse-shaped ones move.]]
* {{Chronoscope}}:
** The Omni-scopes have the power to do this, although true to form the wizards spend a great deal of time and effort trying to eliminate that capacity, treating it as a bug instead of a feature. It seems all they wanted was an expensive version of a webcam.
*** The problem, it is revealed, is in STEERING the damn things. They tend to start out with random viewing coordinates, so it's very hard to see anything in particular with them. Most of them end up being used as shaving mirrors because almost everywhere they might look is effectively featureless space.
** Also from the Science of Discworld books, Hex is able to treat our entire universe as one of these. Fast fowarding, or rewinding to see specific spots in human history (our universe canonically exists in a snowglobe on a shelf in the Unseen University, a wobbly shelf).
* CircleOfStandingStones: The druids use stone circles as computers, flying them into place (the metaphor is extended by them having to build new ones every few months because the old ones are now obsolete). It being cheaper to build a new 32 [[IncrediblyLamePun megalith]] circle than upgrade a 16 megalith circle. This causes some friction with trolls (who are giant sentient rocks), who are often picked and dropped off miles away from where they were living.
* CityOfAdventure: Ankh-Morpork.
* TheCityNarrows: The Shades within Ankh-Morpork, where the cops (and criminals) never go for fear of not coming out alive. (Of course that makes it okay for those members of the Watch who aren't technically alive.)
%%* ClassicalMovieVampire: Usually subverted, but played straight sometimes.
* CleverCrows:
** Ravens living around the High-Energy Magic building at Unseen University have developed intelligence beyond their already-clever limits, and view the city panorama below as a sort of daytime entertainment. A couple of them bother gnome constable Buggy Swires on a stakeout, constantly pestering him for details.
** Quoth the Raven (yeah...) who starts off as a wizard's familiar in ''Mort'', and ends up becoming the steed for the Death of Rats in later books. He advises a number of protagonists and is clearly more level-headed than most characters on the disc.
* ClownSchool: The Fools' Guild, where young men are apprenticed to become court jesters and the like. Depicted as a terrible place where comedy is SeriousBusiness. A RunningGag is to compare the Fools' Guild to the Assassins' Guild, which it is directly next to, and [[BaitAndSwitchComparison make the Fools' Guild sound worse]].
* CommonTongue: Morporkian, fitting the city's cosmopolitan influence.
* ComicallyIneptHealing: The Guild of Barber-Surgeons seem to mostly be this, at least until former BackAlleyDoctor Dr Lawn rises high enough in the profession to make some changes.
* ConceptAlbum: Music/SteeleyeSpan's musical version of ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}''.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: Narrativium pretty much guarantees this. Pratchett explains this phenomenon by reasoning that the side with numbers has to think before hitting, whereas the hopelessly outnumbered side can just attack anything nearby and be pretty much sure it is an enemy, thus giving them an advantage. This makes sense in Discworld logic.
* ContinuityNod: Pterry generally tries to acknowledge continuity. The events in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' are used to explain many remaining continuity problems.
* CorruptPolitician: Subverted by Ephebe. They have the only elected politician on the disc, a new one is elected every five years on the basis of honesty, and they call him [[GeniusBonus The Tyrant]]. It's his actual title.
* CraftedFromAnimals: Nac Mac Feegles make plenty of gear from animal parts, but since they are wee people they make use of small animals; rabbit skulls are used as helmets, mouse leather is used for bagpipes etc.
* CrazyPrepared: Commander Samuel Vimes has set up numerous traps at his home and office to deal with those pesky Assassins, to the point that his name has been taken off the register for ''real'' assassinations, but some of the more mean-spirited instructors have begun sending out students to do "mock assassinations". If they can draw a bead on him with a crossbow, they pass. Good luck.
* CreatorCameo: Pratchett has cameos in all three of the TV movie adaptations to date. Not only that, he speaks the final line of dialogue in all of them.
* CrystalDragonJesus:
** The religion of Omnianism, which we get to see develop over centuries, clearly parallels Christianity. In the past its adherents were more of the "burn the heretics" type but in modern times the only crusades they go on are door-to-door pamphlet deliveries.
** Most of the nations of the Disc, in keeping with the standard fantasy setting, practice polytheism, with all the gods coexisting (and even sharing the same mountaintop abode, if they're popular enough). But actual religious practice is very modern: the Church of hammer-wielding thunder god Blind Io is suspiciously Anglican, while immigrants who worship Offler the Crocodile God keep vaguely Hindu-looking art around the house.
** The History Monks are somewhat Buddhist, while Genuans practice HollywoodVoodoo (though with made-up deities named after supermarket chains).
* CountingToPotato: Trolls have a counting system based on fours, rather than tens (apart from Detritus, who ends up counting in binary). As a result a troll counting "one, two, three, many"[[note]]and continuing "many-one, many-two" all the way up to "many-many-many-three" which is followed by "lots"[[/note]] comes across this way (leading to an InUniverse stereotype that trolls can't count past three).
* DeadlyBook: [[GreatBigLibraryOfEverything The Library of the Unseen University]] is full of books that do horrible things to people. In particular the Necrotelecomnicon (Written by Achmed the Mad, who preferred to be known as Achmed the I Just Get These Headaches) will drive mad any man who attempts to read it. Fortunately [[NoManOfWomanBorn The Librarian isn't a man]] (but an orangutan) so he has no problem with it.
* DeadlyDustStorm: The deserts of Klatch have these, to the point where all you need to do to sharpen a sword is hold it in the air for a little.
* DeathFromAbove:
** Don't go into wherever the Librarian has chosen as his base of operations if he considers you an enemy. He will generally drop down onto your shoulders and try to unscrew your head.
** Also a favorite of those Nac mac Feegle who ride large birds. Being both lightweight and nigh-indestructible, they only bother with a parachute if the ground is soft enough that clambering out of the hole they make would be embarrassing.
* DeFictionalization: A number of board/card games appear in the novels, and several of them have been given real life versions.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thud_(game) Thud!]] being one example. Stealth Chess, for example, is a [[VariantChess chess variant]]; Thud! is based on the ancient Norse game of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hnefatafl hnefatafl]], as befits a game of [[Myth/NorseMythology dwarfs and trolls]]. For trivia fans: The dwarf name for Thud is Hnaflbaflsniflwhifltafl (pronounced Hur-naffle-baffle-sniffle-wiffle-taffle) a rather more obvious connection to the Norse game.
** There are also rules for [[http://cripplemronion.info/ Cripple Mr. Onion.]]
* DemocracyIsBad: At least the people of Ankh-Morpork think so. Sam Vimes's ancestor "Old Stoneface" assassinated the last Ankh-Morpork king, and tried to introduce democracy but the people voted against it.
* DestroyerDeity:
** The novel ''Literature/{{Hogfather}}'' reveals that Death has a ''special'' room for the lifetimers belonging to ''very'' important personages. There is a very large one with a world-turtle engraved on it, carrying on its shoulders four elephants, which in turn support the entire Discworld. The implication here is that when the day comes for the last of its sand to run through, Death will square his shoulders, lift his scythe, and rise to the task... Discworld/SoulMusic, explores this further, it's Death's job to one day play the anti-chord that will end everything, using a pick made from the very tip of his scythe.
** Discworld goes even further with Azrael, the Death of Universes, who is so vast that nebulae are but twinkles in his eye, and his single word takes up a two-page spread on the text.
%%* DidNotGetTheGirl: Pterry seems fond of this one. In quite a few books, a relationship will be teased between the male and female lead, only for them to go their separate ways at the end.
* DigAttack: It is hinted that this is how Dwarfs carry out war underground. Dwarf war appears to consist in aggressive mining, digging and listening for the other side's tunnels and shafts, and breaking through either to launch direct assaults or else to sneakily undermine and collapse enemy delvings.
* DivineConflict: In the early novels, the gods of Cori Celesti are engaged in an aeons-long feud with the Ice Giants, who play their radio too loud and have refused to return the lawnmower.
* DivineRightOfKings:
** A lot of people on the Disc believe in this, which Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch '''hates'''. He bitterly notes that people are willing to put up with a lot of crap just because someone royal said so. His own ancestor, Suffer-Not-Injustice "Old Stoneface" Vimes, killed the last king of Ankh-Morpork, a horrific [[TheCaligula Caligula]] who was known for "[[ColdBloodedTorture entertaining]]" [[WouldHurtAChild children]] in the palace dungeons. Old Stoneface still gets made out as the villain of the tale, somehow.
** Carrot Ironfoundersson is almost certainly the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork, and is a kind and friendly soul who [[AllLovingHero loves everyone]] and [[MagneticHero is loved by everyone]]. In fact, he's such an excellent king that he refuses to take the throne (or even acknowledge his right), as Vimes and Vetinari are doing a fine job of ruling the city. Despite his affable nature, it's repeatedly made clear that the "divine right" of his ancestors revolved mostly around being really good at killing anyone who disagreed with them.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** Parallels are drawn between magic and nuclear power: borne out the structure of the universe, it's immensely powerful and can be employed for much benefit but has to be handled with great care. Places where it went wrong are left barren and toxic and may simply be craters, the waste products are dangerous and damaging for centuries afterwards, but generally it's perfectly safe to be around right up until the moment when it very much isn't. (Terry Pratchett was once a press officer for Britain's nuclear energy providers.)
** The wizards are a contentious group, clashing, talking over each other, getting distracted, going off on tangents and arguing over details, but they always figure out what kind of magical trouble is happening, what it means and what they need to do about it. Pratchett has quite a lot of scientist fans who say that this is very similar to the way scientific research really works, and is true for academia in general.
** One that sticks to the forefront is everything to do with female dwarfs seems to be just like gay people in the real world. ItMakesSenseInContext, as female dwarfs look so much like male dwarfs that a large part of Dwarfish courtship involves figuring out if the other person is actually a different sex from yourself. Recent attempts by some female dwarfs to assert their femininity haven't been met kindly by the more conservative factions.
*** A closer allegory may be {{Transgender}} people's plight in the real world. Since the Dwarfs are (at least on the surface) a OneGenderRace, any Dwarf identifying as the "wrong" gender gets about the same reaction as people beginning transitioning do in real life. There's even a case of "self-trans panic" in the books, wherein [[spoiler: the villain turns out to be a closeted "female Dwarf" who had a mental breakdown due to a combination of stress and cognitive dissonance--she was a prim and proper dwarf, but prim and proper dwarfs don't have dreams of wearing leather skirts and flowing chainmail dresses--brought on by the growing Dwarf Femininity movement.]]
* DoubleEntendre: The novels make fairly heavy usage of innuendo and oblique references to disguise more adult subjects, either for humor (drinking songs like "A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End" and "The Hedgehog Song"[[note]]At least the canon verses, all of which are cut off before any explicit lyrics[[/note]]) or for delicacy (King Lorenzo the Kind is only described as being "very fond of children" in the series itself - this is plainly doubletalk for "sadistic pedophile").
** And the seamstresses!
*** Which is [[BilingualBonus doubly effective]] in Dutch: the Dutch word for "sewing" also means "screwing", and as a result "seamstress" has always been a somewhat uncommon, but very recognisable euphemism for a you-know-what in the Netherlands.
*** This may also be a reference to [[TheLateMiddleAges Medieval and Renaissance literature]]. At that time, "seamstress" was such a common term for "prostitute" that it hardly counted as a euphemism. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarillo_de_Tormes Lazarillo de Tormes]] is one example.
*** Not just in medieval times -- up until the 19th century, at least, in some places.
*** Of course amongst the, ahem, seamstresses there is also a woman which can actually sew, for those customers who got it wrong.
* TheDon:
** "Legitimate Businessman" Chrysophrase the troll. Naturally, Pterry can't help but pun--high level troll gangsters are referred to as "Tons".
** Harry King fits the type as well, but he's not a criminal (though ironically, he is literally in the recycling business, which could also be called waste management, a stereotype for American Dons' "legitimate" businesses).
* DontFearTheReaper: Although he initially appears as a hostile figure, Death rapidly develops into a sympathetic and well-meaning public servant who takes an interest in humanity and does his best to ease people through their transition to the next world.
-->[[AC:Lord, what can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the reaper man?]]
* DownHereShot:
** The six-inch-tall Wee Mad Arthur introduces himself with "Down here, bigjobs".
** Dwarfs such as Cheery Littlebottom have also been known to utter the words.
* DuelingMessiahs: Watch Commander Sam Vimes (who believes, in a cynical kind of way, in trying to enforce [[ForGreatJustice justice]]) vs [[VetinariParadox benevolent dictator]] Lord Vetinari, in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''. Both want what's best for Ankh-Morpork, but they often butt heads when Vetinari's using some of his more... unsavory methods, while Vimes's policing just flat out ruins Vetinari's plans.
* DyingCandle: The arrival of DEATH is always heralded by any candles in the vicinity snuffing out.

[[folder:Tropes E to H]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The earliest books are quite different in tone, the characterization is different, things like troll biology are wildly different, all sorts of things. Sir Pterry spent some time building a plausible demiphysics based on the nature of the disc (eight seasons, a tropical belt at the edge and polar hub, etc), a mythology founded on that (the number eight, {{Eldritch Abomination}}s) and so on. Except for the occasional reference to the eight day week and the eight seasons of the year, most of that is dropped in favor of wicked good character pieces and archetype development.
* EatDirtCheap: Trolls eat rocks, though, as with ''actual'' food, there's grades and divisions of quality. It can even get stale.
%%* EccentricExterminator: ''Any'' rat catcher so far.
* ElementalPlane: Death's Domain and the Palace of Time. Both symbolizing their concepts as much as the {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s who inhabit them do.
* ElementNumberFive: Surprise.
* EliteMooks: The modern Watch is often viewed this way by people opposing them. Criminals and cons trying their usual tricks on "stupid guards" tend to be surprised by the smart tactics Vimes has instilled in his troops.
* EthnicGod:
** Some consider Tak the god of the Dwarfs; however, while the Dwarfs believe Tak made the world (as well as Dwarfs, men, and trolls), they don't worship him as a rule.
** Some human nationalities also have their own specific gods: Omnians worship Om, and Borogravians have Nuggan (though most of them actually worship the Duchess, who has posthumously become the equivalent against her will).
%%* EvilChancellor: It's pretty much a default rule of the Disc that any man made chancellor is a corrupt, scheming bastard, if he wasn't one already.
* EvilIsSterile: The Auditors. As the accountants of reality, they are the fundamental opposite of creativity, and loathe all forms of life, let alone creative thinking. Yet in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' they manage to create human bodies through mimicry and at least appear human, given a certain amount of UncannyValley.
%%* ExcuseMeComingThrough: An important element of the Law of Narrative Causality, complete with {{lampshade}} and two guys carrying a pane of glass.
* ExposedEyeballsAsEyes: Blind Io is the chief of gods. The most notable characteristic of his is that he has a piece of cloth covering where his eyes should be, and he instead uses lots of floating eyeballs in order to see.
%%* ExpositionOfImmortality: In a FantasyKitchenSink world populated by Anthropomorphic personifications, golems, gods, and wizards, you should expect plenty of this. The golems are one of bigger examples, given that they're made of rock and effectively unkillable. Several of the vampires who pop up get in on this, too.
* EyesAreMental: One of the laws of magic is that transformations can never change a creature's eyes. This rule holds even for gods.
* TheFairFolk:
** Elves. If you're thinking Legolas and Elrond, think again. In line with older folklore, they're without empathy, sadistic, abduct beings from their home dimensions and would be the only Discworld race to be AlwaysChaoticEvil if they didn't play by BlueAndOrangeMorality.
** The Nac Mac Feegle are ''not'' sadistic or otherworldly (some are downright friendly), but they're hardly happy little wood sprites. Picture a kleptomaniac, hard-drinking, bar-brawling Glaswegian in the body of a Smurf.
* FairyTaleFreeForAll: The series holds that such stories are archetypes, wanting to be repeated over and over again, so that there are dozens of Cinderellas, Sleeping Beauties, etc. ''Literature/WyrdSisters'' introduces the idea and provides Black Aliss as the WickedWitch of several stories and FairyGodmother of others, many years ago. ''Literature/WitchesAbroad'' plays more fully with this trope, with Lilith de Tempscire intentionally playing out stories and playing merry havoc with people's lives.
* FallenOnHardTimesJob: Is CutMeOwnThroatDibbler selling sausages? Then another stupid moneymaking scheme has just blown up in his face.
* FantasticNamingConvention:
** In the Agatean Empire, almost every male's name is number-adjective-noun, such as Nine Turning Mirrors and Six Beneficent Winds. Two Little Wang is particularly disgruntled about this...because he considers 'two' unlucky. Some characters lack the adjective and run it into one word (Twoflower, Ninereeds). WordOfGod [[invoked]] from Creator/TerryPratchett is "I think I pinched the Mayan construction."
** And then there's dwarf {{UsefulNotes/Patronymic}}s, which stack. So after a few generations you get Glod Glodssonssonssonsson.
* FantasticRacism:
** Dwarfs versus trolls.
** Humans versus trolls in some places.
** Just about everyone versus goblins.
** One book notes that on the Disc, normal racism isn't really prominent. Instead "Black and white get along in perfect harmony and gang up on green".
** Generally averted with Lady Sybil, who goes so far as to do those private conversations with her old friends who make unpleasant remarks about the people she is traveling with. Her internal dialog in one book mentions that she knows few trolls, but the trolls she does know are pretty much like everyone else: trying to raise their children and looking out for the next dollar.
** Vimes, who regards dwarfs and trolls as just people, has a ''thing'' against the undead, although he gets over it gradually as the series goes on and various types of undead prove to be useful members of the Watch.
** The undead (and werewolves) hate golems. The living races just have a tendency to view them as things, rather than people.
* FantasyConflictCounterpart: Later novels draw parallels to TheWarOnTerror. The terrorist actions of the fundamentalist "deep dwarfs" (who [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything cover themselves from head to foot]] because they consider it a sin to look on sunlight) are highly reminiscent of radical Islam.
* FantasyCounterpartAppliance: All over the place, with counterparts ranging from [=PDAs=] (the pocket imp Vimes uses) to the telegraph (the clacks system). In the beginning this was clearly done more with humour in mind, but over time these ideas have been extrapolated to have more complexity and effect on the setting. The clacks has recently been ungraded to take account of colour, not unlike fibre-optics...
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: As "Discworld is a world and a mirror of worlds", most cultures in the series have some real-life equivalent, often to create an AnachronismStew fantasy setting.
** Ankh-Morkpork started as a parody of the [[StandardFantasySetting fantasy]] CityOfAdventure exclusively populated by thieves, assassins, wizards, roving bands of heroes and [[YouAllMeetInAnInn tavern staff]]. With time, it developed into a cross between that, Elizabethan London and modern New York or London. Pratchett describes it as a cross between nineteenth-century Seattle, modern-day New York, and Victorian London.
** Lancre is part a [[StandardFantasySetting fantasy-land]] countryside of witches, farmers, small kingdoms, mountains, elves and such, and largely rural England, particularly UsefulNotes/{{the West Country}} or the Lake District. Perhaps more specifically Lancashire, especially the northern, more hilly and more rural, half, famous for the Pendle Witches of the early 17th century.
** {{Uberwald}} is equal parts the spooky Central European [[HauntedCastle don't-go-near-the-castle]] {{Dracula}} country, and the countries formed in the wake of the breakup of the USSR with just a hint of the Holy Roman Empire. The USSR itself and Stalin have their counterparts in the (offscreen) Evil Empire and Emperor respectively, which united Uberwald until their fall.
** The Counterweight Continent (no doubt that's just the Morkporkian name for it) is the FarEast, mostly Japan and China, although Thailand and its food gets a honourable mention, and a Discworld Expy of Korea sneaks into the last couple of books.
** Klatch is [[ArabianNightsDays Arabia]], but has a relationship with Ankh-Morpork of "the old enemy" mostly mellowed into tolerance, like Britain and France.
*** Klatch is large enough that different parts of it function as expies for Turkey, Ancient Egypt, the biblical Middle East, Arabia, Persia, and Pakistan, [[note]]"India" shades into the different region of Ghat[[/note]].
** XXXX (or Fourecks) is [[LandDownUnder a big canvas of Australian cliches]]. Its neighbouring "Foggy Islands" evoke the Maori name for New Zealand, "Land of the long fog".
** Quirm, on the whole, is France. Good food, but often too heavy on the "avec". On the other hand, its most famous resident, Leonard of Quirm, is a clear {{Expy}} of Creator/LeonardoDaVinci, one of the most famous Italians in history.
** Howandaland is sketched out as DarkestAfrica with a tantalising hint of white colonial Africa, but hasn't been seen much in the books. [[note]]it was revealed that at his death, Terry was working on a novel provisionally entitled ''The Dark Incontinent'', which would have tied together all the scattered hints and mentions of Howondaland in much the same way ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'' built on all the previously scalltered details about XXXX[[/note]]
** Ephebe is Ancient Greece and Tsort is Troy. Between them is the Egypt-inspired Djelibeybi.
** Genua is New Orleans, Louisiana in its first appearance, but in later books it becomes a counterpart of Italy. In still later books Brindisi became the Expy of italy.
** Llamedos is Wales. Complete with rain and extra consonants.
** The dwarves have elements of Jewish culture (JewishMother in particular), Scandinavians (see especially their names), and - obviously - the dwarves from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', a line from which was the direct inspiration for their complete lack of sexual dimorphism throughout most of the books. There is also a (small) faction of dwarven supremacists (e.g., ''Discworld/{{Thud}}''[='=]s Hamcrusher) who can be seen as having {{applicability}} to a large number of real-world conflicts that, due to the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement, are probably best not mentioned here by name.
* FantasyGunControl: Crossbows generally take the place of firearms on Discworld. Though only recently invented, firearms are by no means non-existent. The Assassins' Guild severely restricts the proliferation of firearms ''and'' crossbows that have been modified to the point that they can be about as deadly as firearms, as they feel that it would make killing too easy.
* FantasyPantheon: The gods play games with the lives of men and toss bricks and lightning bolts at atheists.
* FictionalColour: Octarine, the colour of magic (it's sort of a greenish purple).
* FictionalZodiac: The Disc has its own version of the zodiac. It involves such signs as The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars and Khefin's Eye 1-4.
* FireKeepsItDead: Zombies are very strong, immortal and able to sew themselves back together if need be. However, the older they get, the drier they get, and so they're understandably nervous around fire.
* {{Flanderization}}:
** Uberwaldian Dwarves were originally referenced as only vaguely religious. By the time of ''Raising Steam'' they're TheFundamentalist terrorists who look to Tak, previously remarked upon as playing an ancillary role in the creation of Dwarves, as [[CrystalDragonJesus the almighty font from which all good things flow]].
** Vetinari takes an interest in doing the crossword puzzle, regarding the person that composes them as a WorthyOpponent. Contrast his temperament in ''Raising Steam'', where he crows like a madman after "defeating" her and forcing her to retire.
* FlatWorld: People, fish, and sea monsters continually fall over the rim. As indeed does ''the sea'', but the ''Discworld Companion'' says "arrangements are made" to prevent it all draining away.
* FlipPersonality: Altogether Andrews, first introduced in ''Discworld/TheTruth''.
* FluffyTamer:
** Lady Sybil Ramkin and her dragons.
** Nanny Ogg and Greebo.
** Granny Weatherwax and You the cat.
* FoodGod: The Discworld has many:
** The Hogfather, in addition to being a SantaClaus Expy, has elements of a FoodGod specializing in pork products.
** Epidity, God of Potatoes, lord of a Potato Cult.
** There is a God of Custard, Nog-Humpty
** While the details are obscure, the Grace Bissonomy has divine associations with both oysters, or perhaps bivalve aqcuatic molluscs in general, and is depicted in iconography as brandishing a bunch of root vegetables that might be parsnips. Or perhaps carrots.
* FootnoteFever: They show up in most of the books to provide often-humorous clarification or deeper history on some topics.
* ForeignQueasine: Dwarfs eat rats, which the occasional human will sample. [[IAteWhat Probably just once]].
* FreudianTrio: The Lancre witches (Magrat: ego, Granny Weatherwax: superego, Nanny Ogg: id. Very, very id.)
* FriendlyNeighbourhoodVampire: All the members of the League of Temperance, who only drink animal blood taken from slaughterhouses. Or switch to something completely different -- coffee, anyone?
* GargleBlaster: Scumble, which is made from apples ([[RunningGag well, mostly apples]]). A few drops are enough to fell a troll. Nanny Ogg's particular recipe is known as "suicider."
* GemTissue: The Diamond King of the Trolls isn't just a flowery regal title. He really is made of diamond. Trolls are made of what is called ''metamorphorical rock'', where the silicon-based substance of their bodies is predominantly one form of inorganic silicon tissue: the stuff of their being is partly down to genetic factors, but can also be mimetic of the dominant rock of their surroundings. Many male trolls are simply "Granite" or "Marble" or similar: but female trolls tend to incorporate a lot more wholly and semi-precious gemstones, ie Ruby, Beryl, et c. And, of course, ''all'' trolls have diamond teeth - the only material strong enough to grind and break down rock.
* GenericistGovernment: Towns have mayors, maybe a council, but that's generally it.
* GeniusSlob: Though they are some of the smartest people on the Disc, the wizards of the Unseen University are essentially a bunch of celibate male students suffering from severe arrested development.
* GenreRoulette: While the whole series is predominantly {{Fantasy}}, the separate arcs within it often adhere to a secondary genre; notably, the City Watch books are also {{Murder Myster|y}}ies[=/=]{{Detective Drama}}s.
* GenreShift: As the series progressed, modern ideas and technologies have slowly entrenched themselves in the Disc, lifting the later books into having a strong flavour of UrbanFantasy.
%%* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Multiple times in every single book. For instance, much is made of the donkey/buttocks pun.
* TheGhost:
** Bergholt Stuttley "Bloody Stupid" Johnson, Discworld's most infamous inventor. His works are present throughout the series, but Johnson himself has never made an appearance. Probably because Sybil's grandfather shot the man when it looked like he was about to do work for the Ramkins.
** Messr Honeyplace, [[AmoralAttorney Mr Slant's]] vampiric partner at Morecombe, Slant and Honeyplace, has never made an appearance. Morecombe is also a vampire and the Ramkin's family solicitor (for multiple generations), but Honeyplace has not been sighted to date.
** Mrs Colon, who wins extra points for being The Ghost not only to the reader but also to the other characters, ''up to and including her own husband'', since she always works the exact opposite shift to him. Almost their entire marriage has been conducted through affectionate notes left on the kitchen table. Vimes speculates that their children were the results of particularly persuasive handwriting.
** Among supernatural entities, the Soul Cake Duck (the Disc's equivalent of the Easter Bunny) has been mentioned many, many times, yet never appeared even in novels where gods, holidays, or childhood beliefs feature prominently.
* GirlsWithMoustaches: All dwarfs, openly female or not, have long, flowing beards.
* GiverOfLameNames: Leonard da Quirm.
--> '''Leonard''': Well, because it's ''submerged'' in a ''marine'' environment, I call it the Going-Under-The-Water-Safely-Device.
* GonkyFemme: Dwarfs of all genders in Discworld look like small bearded men, so Cheery has to employ Tertiary Sexual Characteristics to show her femininity.
* GoodGuyBar: The Bucket. Do not try to [[MuggingTheMonster take the female watch officer hostage]].
* GoodIsNotDumb: Corporal Carrot '''IS''' this trope, though ObfuscatingStupidity has its uses.
* TheGoodKing: Shows up rather often: King Verence of Lancre, Rhys Rhysson the Low King of the Dwarfs, and Mr Shine the Diamond King of the Trolls all care for their people and want what's best for them. Carrot may qualify (see IJustWantToBeNormal below), but prefers his position in the City Watch while Vetinari governs Ankh-Morpork. In Carrot's defense, Vetinari does an excellent job of running the city, while Carrot believes he can serve it best as a copper.
* TheGrimReaper: [[AC: Death]] puts in at least one appearance in every single Discworld novel except ''The Wee Free Men'' and ''Snuff''.
* GuileHero: Moist, Vetinari (although his position on the hero-villain continuum is complicated), Nanny Ogg, and Granny Weatherwax, all in different ways. Carrot and (somewhat less so) Vimes also get moments of this.
* HadToComeToPrisonToBeACrook: The "learning to commit more serious crimes" variety is parodied when the Ankh-Morpork Thieves' Guild, an entirely legal organisation, runs official classes in the city's main prison, the Tanty.
* HangingUpOnTheGrimReaper:
** Attempted by many a character, with only temporary success at best. One was a distracted dwarf bread museum curator who said he didn't have time to die, as there was an entire collection of battle-breads left to catalog (he fades away shortly after), while Ipslore the Red puts his soul into his staff and passes the staff onto his son, a [[PhysicalGod sourcerer]] [[spoiler:who eventually has enough of his father's abuse and breaks the staff]], and Granny Weatherwax once played cards against Death for the lives of a baby and a cow. Death himself is rather bemused by all these attempts, since he sort of remembers everything happening at once, he knows they all die ''anyway'', since he himself lasts to the end of the universe and beyond. [[spoiler:It also turns out he couldn't do it if he wanted, such as when his adopted daughter and son-in-law die in a carriage crash: he cannot create life, only grant an extension by taking them to his realm where they don't age (his daughter was sixteen for more than thirty years).]]
** When substituting for the Hogfather, he does manage to bend the rules a bit: [[spoiler:when he's called to do his duty as death and take away the soul of TheLittleMatchGirl, he takes offense at someone dying so everyone else can feel luckier by comparison, so he gives her the gift of a future. And Albert throws snowballs at the angels who came to take her away.]]
* HappilyMarried:
** Commander Vimes and Lady Sybil.
** Fred Colon and his [[TheGhost unnamed wife]].
** King Verence and Queen Magrat of Lancre.
** Mort and Ysabell, [[spoiler:despite their death in a carriage accident]].
** Detritus is said to be Happily Married to Ruby in ''Thud!'', though they lack BabiesEverAfter.
** Averted by Carrot and Angua, who eventually do end up living together but seem to have no interest in or intention of getting married, despite being one of the series' [[OfficialCouple Official Couples]].
** Moist and Adora are ''finally'' married by the time of ''Raising Steam''.
** Effie and Harry King.
* HatOfAuthority: Witches and wizards depend on their hats as signifiers of their occult and social status. The Archchancellor's hat carries special (and magical) weight, its wearer being '''the''' Archchancellor. Moist von Lipwig also accrues various fancy hats as he is put in charge of different organisations.
* HatOfPower: The Archchancellor's hat has the memories of all prior Archchancellors and can bestow them as it chooses on anyone who wears the hat, as well as possessing significant magical abilities of its own. At one point it freezes a thief solid for stealing it.
* HaveIMentionedIAmADwarfToday: Played with; most of the time, it's the 6-foot tall Carrot who's doing the mentioning.
* TheHecateSisters: The typical arrangement of a group of Witches (which is not a hard and fast rule - some operate alone, and Nanny Ogg states they can operate in up to groups of four or five. Any more is a problem) is the Maiden, the Mother and... the ''Other One''.
* HegemonicEmpire: Ankh-Morpork used to be the more traditional type of Empire, but this way was more sustainable. The city-state only directly controls a small portion of land, but its economic influence throughout the continent is almost limitless, and its production is so great no one dares invade for fear of being deprived of the very tools needed for invasion. It's also the center of all information trade, giving it unequaled political clout in the region.
* HellBentForLeather: In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', the Dean gets a leather jacket with "Born to Rune" on the back. It doesn't come out often after that, but when it does, it should be an instant OhCrap for whatever the Wizards of UU are going to war against.
* HeWhoMustNotBeNamed:
** Inverted with [[spoiler: Lady Luck]], the only goddess who must depart if her name is spoken.
** Played straight with elves, as saying or even ''thinking'' their name too much tends to attract them.
* HorseOfADifferentColor:
** Vermine, "a more careful relative of the lemming" with black and white fur much prized by royalty and nobility for [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia lining their robes]]. Its fur is also much prized by the vermine itself; the selfish little bastard will do anything rather than let go of it.
** There's also the [[Discworld/SmallGods Scalby]], which is to Rats what Rats are to... [[BuffySpeak things that make them look like better things than Scalbies]]. Scalbies are described as "Carrion birds that would eat stuff that would make vultures sick. ''Scalbies would eat Vulture sick''."
%%* HoldYourHippogriffs
* HumansAreLeaders: Not too surprising, as humans appear to be the most populous species. But in Ankh-Morpork, dwarfs, trolls, and vampires are factions that Vetinari and the Watch deal with like any other guild.

[[folder:Tropes I to L]]
* TheIgor: An entire family of them that does henching and MadScience professionally. They also pioneer surgical techniques and do it almost recreationally; when an Igor is said to have his father's eyes, it's probably not a figure of speech. They may have been handed down through the generations (a good pair of hands are worth hanging onto as well). One of them has a pet dog made up of the pieces of many other pet dogs; though he's very upset when Scraps gets killed off, he consoles himself that it's only a matter of time until the next thunderstorm. Male Igors are [[KavorkaMan Kavorka Men]] and considered quite the prize for young women, whereas the Igorinas are [[CuteMonsterGirl cute monster girls]] mixed with HelloNurse - in lieu of scarred up bodies, they are mind-bogglingly attractive except for a bit of cute stitching for show, for example around a wrist like a tattoo, or in a celtic-like pattern on their cheeks. When we finally get an on-screen Igorina (in Discworld/MonstrousRegiment) she makes an off-hand remark that the scars from the stitching can be gotten rid of in 15 minutes with the right ointment. That means that Igors go around covered in scars ''because that's how Igors want to look''. Other books clarify that the igor stitches are actually clan markings.
* IJustWantToBeNormal:
** Susan Sto Helit desperately wants to lead an ordinary life, which is complicated by the fact that her parents are Death's adopted daughter and his former apprentice. And she's a duchess.
** Rincewind hates being forced into dangerous quests to save the world, and would like nothing more than to be bored the rest of his life.
** Carrot Ironfoundersson may also qualify, as despite the fact that he probably is the heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork, he prefers to be a copper.
* ImperfectRitual: Subverted, as usual. Wizard magic is often done with an elaborate ritual, but most of that is just for looks. Several books feature the Rite of Ashk'Ente, which only ''needs'' one wizard, three bits of wood, and a fresh egg. If you haven't got a fresh egg, a mouse will do. But wizards generally feel that if you don't have eight archmages chanting at the corners of an octagram filled with occult paraphenalia, you aren't doing it ''properly''. [[UnequalRites Witches]] are more practical; they're not above doing something impressive for [[YourMindMakesItReal headological purposes]] but when nobody's watching will take whatever shortcuts are available.
* IncrediblyLameFun: Trolls gamble by tossing something up and then betting on whether or not it will come down. (This is the Discworld. [[HeadsTailsEdge It might not.]])
* InsistentTerminology: The Assassins Guild does ''not'' "kill" or "murder" their targets. Common thugs murder, and the assassins are not thugs. So they "inhume" their targets.
%%* InstantBookDeal: Although in this case, it appears to be an aspect of the universe itself.
* InterspeciesRomance: Throughout the City Watch cycle we have Carrot (male human) and Angua (female werewolf).
* InventedInvalid: In later city watch books, the City Watch gives an allowance of days off for three grandmother's funerals per year.
* JerkassGods: Most of the gods are fairly weak and mundane, but some of the more powerful ones view human life as a game for them to manipulate. And some of the ''less'' powerful ones, too. Nuggan, for example, who seems to be the divine equivalent of someone who's gone pants-on-head neurotic.
* JobMindsetInertia:
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Vimes gets sent back in time to when the Watch was still a joke, and while he quickly ends up running it he forgets that he no longer has access to troll or dwarf officers. The fact that he's clearly used to being in charge despite looking like a nobody gets him noticed by the conspirators.
** ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'': Glenda is so used to being the Cloudcuckoolander's Minder for Juliet it takes her a while to notice that her (s)mothering is of no use to a natural fashion model.
** ''{{Discworld/Sourcery}}'': When confronted with his former professors, Rincewind briefly falls back into the role of a punished student, to everyone's embarrassment.
%%* JustFollowingOrders: Subverted, inverted, played with, deconstructed, and generally given hell from (at the very latest) ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' onwards.
* KarmaHoudini: It is practically stated in the books that Mustrum Ridcully brought the poor Bursar to madness. And he never gets his comeuppance for this!
* TheKingslayer: "Old Stoneface" Vimes, ancestor of the current Vimes, chopped the King's head after he was sentenced to death by a tribunal for his [[PedophilesAreEvil horrific]] [[ColdBloodedTorture crimes]]. He was the only one with the balls to do it. He was later executed, his body getting the [[AnArmAndALeg Osiris treatment]]. His [[NeverLiveItDown bad reputation]] was so ''powerful'', his descendants ''many generations later'' are still being bugged about it.
* KlingonPromotion: Standard practice at Unseen University until Ridcully arrives. His sheer unkillability rather spoils the attitude, and eventually the Wizards decide they actually rather like not having to constantly watch for their own impending death.
* LadyLegionnaireWear: The ladies of the Watch wear armor with this - in ''Men At Arms'' it's said that Angua, the first female to join the Watch, will need the blacksmith to hammer out her breastplate (which was the same issue as the male watchmen's) by quite a bit before she can wear it.
* LampshadeHanging: Just about every book not only includes a lot of [[PlayingWithATrope Trope Play]], but a lot of GenreSavvy characters who will know just what's going on, and will be in no way shy about stating it.
* LegendaryWeapon: The Sword of the Kings of Ankh. According to the ''Discworld Companion'', in the later years of the Ankh-Morpork monarchy, many fake swords started popping up in the hands of various claimants, to the point that King Blad claimed the throne on the basis of two bits of wood nailed together. It is generally agreed that the ''true'' sword must have been shiny, probably magical and always catch the light, and therefore can't ''possibly'' be Captain Carrot's, which is none of these things but just really good at being a sword.
** How good? It's an AbsurdlySharpBlade that routinely cuts straight through other swords and at one point, was driven straight through a man and ''the stone pillar behind him'' without much fanfare. The implied reason for its sharpness is that it is completely, boring lt non-magical; since this is the Discworld, this makes it fundamentally more real than just about anything it tries to cut. Needless to say, despite looking like an ordinary, slightly rusted sword, it's generally considered to be the real thing.
* LimitedUseMagicalDevice: The Octavo in the first ''Discworld'' novels is a tome that was used to create the world; it has eight spells left in it (one of which escaped and inhabited an unwilling wizard), which have to be spoken at the correct time in order for [[spoiler: the Discworld to spawn a litter of baby Discworlds]]. After this is done, the spells disappear.
* LiteralMinded: Most, if not all, books will have one or more of these characters, useful for hanging lampshades on metaphors and similes.
** Early books actually justify it. Dwarfs as a species evolved underground, and thusly metaphor and simile never caught on in their language, due to the dangers of not being able to communicate important facts (for example, the impending collapse of the ceiling) quickly, promptly and ''accurately''. Humans, meanwhile, had most of their capacity for imagination and metaphor bred out of them as a survival response to the Mage Wars, when reality was even ''looser'' in the Discworld than it already is, and so stray thoughts and idioms could become real if careless.
** One of the historical Patricians of Ankh-Morpork, Olaf Quimby II, manifested a particularly intense version of this as part of the inevitable madness that afflicted all past Patricians; he made metaphor and hyperbole illegal and punishable by death. [[DeathByIrony Eventually, he was stabbed to death with a pen by a disgruntled poet whilst personally testing the saying "the pen is mightier than the sword"]].
* LimitedAdvancementOpportunities: The number of wizards who can hold any given level of wizardry has been fixed by tradition for centuries, so no matter how talented a given wizard is, he'll only get promoted if someone higher ranked than him dies or gets promoted into a higher level himself. This lead to the "Dead Man's Pointy Shoes" tradition in which wizards used KlingonPromotion to create openings in the higher levels, which lasted until Mustrum stopped it by virtue of being [[AssassinOutclassin unkillable]].
* LivingCrashpad: The Bursar's been a target for this once or twice.
* LivingLegend:
** Granny Weatherwax, whose name among the trolls is Aaoograha hoa ("She Who Must Be Avoided") and among the dwarfs is K'ez'rek d'b'duz ("Go Around the Other Side of the Mountain"). She has taught respect to vampires and elves as well.
** His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes is known throughout his city as scrupulously honest and a man who, when upset, tends to spread his discontent around with a big shovel. So well known generally for inventing the first capable and honest police force of the city of Ankh-Morpork that cops throughout the plains are known as Sammies.
--> '''Vetinari:''' People know about you, commander. Descendant of a watchman who believed that if a corrupted court will not behead an evil king, then the watchman should do it himself [...] Sam Vimes once arrested ''me'' for treason. And Sam Vimes once arrested a dragon. Sam Vimes stopped a war between nations by arresting two high commands. He's an arresting fellow, Sam Vimes. Sam Vimes killed a werewolf with his bare hands, and carries law with him like a lamp [...] Watchmen across half the continent will say that Sam Vimes is as straight as an arrow, can't be corrupted, won't be turned, never took a bribe...
** Vetinari himself by the last book, known by name by ''the Faeries''.
--> '''Of the Lathe the Swarf:''' Just a goblin, yess, your queeniness. A goblin what is a citizen of Ankh-Morpork, and you know what that means, my lady. The dark one there gets upset when his citizens get killed.
** Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson, the rightful heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork (who just happens to like being a guard). His charisma is so strong it warps reality. Also, he has a punch that trolls respect.
** Rincewind (a Wizzard) is famous among some communities for his ability to run away from anything. And scream in 27 languages. He's also saved the Disc multiple times when running was no longer an option. At one point, after two head wizards almost go nuclear, another realizes that the last time that happened, the Disc was almost destroyed and Rincewind stopped it with a half-brick in a sock. He looks around and sees Rincewind putting his sock back on.
** Tiffany Aching is rapidly building herself a fearsome reputation.
** Cohen the Barbarian. Look up his description for details, but the short version is that he has managed to live to a very old age in a profession that typically has a very short life expectancy, and he's not retiring any time soon.
** Lu Tze among the history monks.
* LivingStructureMonster: Unseen University is explicitly described as a building complex that throughout its thousand year history has absorbed so much ambient magic that it is practically a living thing with emotions and a degree of sentience. ''Equal Rites'' has the witch Granny Weatherwax reaching out her mind and effectively ''borrowing'' it -- i.e., a sort of benign possession which a witch may only do with the mind of a living thing. She reads its mind and discovers it is frightened and fearful. Much the same happens in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', when the University dimly senses big trouble ahead, and doesn't like it.
* LovesOnlyGold: Dwarfs in the Discworld are often accused of loving gold. They retort this is not true. They only say that so as to get into bed with it.
* LowFantasy: Increasingly - starting around "Men at Arms", the focus shifts away from reality-warping threats and towards how a city like Ankh-Morpork would actually work. By "Going Postal" and "Making Money", we've got books about corrupt executives, bank fraud and the power of good press...that happen to also involve golems, wizards and banshees.
* LoyalPhlebotinum: Wizards' staffs, and the Luggage. Both are made from sapient pearwood, a strange, sapient kind of magic lumber that is extremely loyal to its owner.
* LuckySeven: Inverted -- eight makes many appearances as an occult number, most of them bad. Has a much stronger presence in the first two books, though.
** The reduction in bad references to either may have to do with Two-Flower accidentally destroying the Temple of the Sender of Eight. He only wanted a picture...
** It popped back in for a terrific LeaningOnTheFourthWall gag when Pterry finally started breaking Discworld books into chapters. In Discworld/GoingPostal, the chapter in between 7 and 9 is titled "Chapter 7A."

[[folder:Tropes M to P]]
* MadeOfPhlebotinum: This '{{verse}} can seem ordinary enough at first glance, until it's pointed out that, without heavy duty magic involved, a flat world on the back of a giant turtle that swims through space should be utterly impossible. The magic is so thick that it ''slows down light'' to create timezones on the Disc. Magic-heavy areas also completely and utterly play with the laws of physics, making the entire world plausible. In ''The Last Hero'' it is stated that if Cohen is successful in his plan to return fire to the gods (with ''interest'') it will disrupt all magic on the Disc for two years. When someone suggests that they can get by without magic, Ponder Stibbons replies that without magic the seas will run dry, sun crash into the Disc, etc etc. And this will not take place over two years, but within a few ''minutes''. Magic isn't just coloured lights, it holds the Disc together.
* MagicAIsMagicA: As Moist von Lipwig observes in ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', the eventual cost of doing everything by magic (magic having a very steep bill even for little things) is the reason that life on the Disc evolved {{steampunk}} technologies for the advancement of society, rather than FunctionalMagic. Whenever there needs to be a reason why the large number of highly skilled wizards of Unseen University cannot counter a problem with magic, one of the standard limitations is that it takes precisely the same amount of work (in the physics sense) to do something by magic as by any other means, and all the other mundane limitations (like action-reaction) as well. The result is that a wizard trying to pick a lock by magic expends most of his effort to keep his brain from squirting out of his ears. Moreover flying without aids (ie, a carpet or broomstick) is theoretically impossible for the same reason, although knocking a big weight off a high place and going up when it goes down is possible.
* MagicalCamera: Iconographs are little more than boxes containing a very tiny imp with a sketchpad and set of paints. Because the imps have no imagination whatsoever, the images they create are accepted as objective. The flash works by frightening a captive Salamander, a magical lizard which absorbs light and can release it suddenly.
* MagicIsAMonsterMagnet: Wizards tend to attract {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* MagicalLibrary: The library of Unseen University leads to other dimensions thanks to the sheer weight of accumulated knowledge distorting the space-time continuum. This is known as L-Space. The library itself is pretty much a universe of its own with all the magical books, library creatures such as the [[GrammarNazi thesaurus]] and lost tribes of research students inside. One of the more disturbing features of the Library is the way the dome of the Library is always overhead, no matter how far you seem to move on the floor in any direction. This is compounded by the fact that shelves of books, and occasional people among the shelves of books, are also clearly visible on the ceiling around the dome.
* MagicalSeventhSon: Except on Discworld, the magical number is eight, and the eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard. And the eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son is... [[Discworld/{{Sourcery}} very, very bad news.]]
* MagicalSociety: Unseen University serves this function, and is implied to be responsible for the fact that there aren't any magical wars any more, since all the wizards are busy with bureaucratic politics and enjoying the comforts of their station. (It is noted that in the bad old days, "the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'".) Witches, on the other hand, are much less organised, and many of them seem to like it that way.
--> The basic unit of wizardry is the Order or the College or, of course, the University. The basic unit of witchcraft is the witch, but the basic ''contiguous'' unit, as has already been indicated, is the cottage. -- ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies''
* {{Magitek}}:
** Due to his job before writing, Pratchett likes to compare magic to nuclear physics, hence the High Energy Magic Building and Ponder's staff talking of splitting the thaum. Known flavours of the thaum are: up, down, sideways, sex appeal and peppermint.[[note]]This is a ShoutOut to the somewhat fanciful names of the six "flavours" of quark in the Standard Model: up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom.[[/note]]
** And then there's... [[MagicalComputer Hex]].
* MasterPoisoner: Lord Downey, head of the Assassins' Guild, is rumoured to be this. There is no record of anyone Lord Downey may have wanted to inhume ever being poisoned, however. Which may just indicate that he's really good at it.
* MeatgrinderSurgery:
** Standard medical practice in Ankh-Morpork is hitting the patient over the head with a hammer. The only real doctor in the city is seen as crazy; when Vetinari is poisoned in ''Feet Of Clay'', Vimes calls in a ''horse vet'' to treat him, because many of Doughnut Jimmy's patients survive.
** Later on in the series, {{the Igor}}s can provide effective medical treatment, but they're likely to return to claim payment in the form of body parts once the patient is no longer using them.
** Dr. Lawn also seems to be subverting this trope in the city post-''Night Watch''. Of course, his methods come from Klatch, not the Sto Plains.
* MenCantKeepHouse:
** Suggested several times to be the case with the City Watch, particularly the canteen. The arrival of female Watchmen didn't seem to have any effect.
** Subverted in the case of dwarfs, as they tend to keep tidy homes no matter what sex (if any) they admit to being. Nor do you ever find rats or cockroaches infesting their houses, so long as the residents can hold a frying pan.
* MicroMonarchy: Lancre, in the Ramtop Mountains, and some of its neighboring kingdoms which are even smaller. Just about every flat spot in the Ramtops (of which there are precious few) is a kingdom. This has led to generational wars over getting hold of somewhere to store the coal.
* MillionToOneChance: Invoked whenever someone needs a long shot to happen. "Million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten."
* MiraculousMalfunction: The best-case scenario of allowing Bloody Stupid Johnson to build anything. Except organs, those he can seem to do, although the UU one is a bit, ''powerful''.
* MisfitMobilizationMoment:
** The reformation of the Night Watch into the City Watch, particularly in ''Discworld/MenAtArms''.
** Any story with the wizards will see one.
** Nanny Ogg's family is mentioned to do this if someone makes an unkind comment about any of them, even if it's a person they've been making comments about not minutes before.
* MotherNatureFatherScience: It's technically magic for both sides, but male (wizard) magic is shown in a more scientific light and tends to be about bending the forces of nature to the spellcaster's will. Female (witch) magic, on the other hand, tends to be more psychological and more about attuning yourself to nature.
** Those attitudes can also be seen as the exact opposite: while wizardry is about learning and using that which has already been known for thousands of years, witchcraft is about intimidating magic into doing whatever the witch damn well pleases.
* ModestRoyalty: Carrot is the last living descendent of the royal line. He denies it to anyone who asks, perhaps due in large part to Vimes's influence, but he does make use of near-supernatural royal charisma and occasionally drops by Vetinari's office to make gentle suggestions that are surprisingly often accepted.
* MonsterModesty: Trolls (except Detritus, who wears a watch uniform, and Chrysophrase, who wears a suit) mostly just wear a loincloth "to conceal whatever it was that trolls found it necessary to conceal". This is so much a part of their culture that male trolls will go to clubs to watch female trolls put on clothing. There's usually a riot by the second overcoat.
* MorphicResonance: Discworld has played a big part in popularising the phrase. Probably its most significant example is the law of magic that no shape-shifter, not even gods, can transform how their eyes look -- so their eyes always provide a clue to their real identity or nature.
* MuggingTheMonster:
** Usually [[{{Werewolf}} Angua]].
** Members of the Assassins' Guild also get this in a book or two.
* MuggleMageRomance:
** Not uncommon among witches. Magrat married Verence, the muggle king of Lancre. Nanny Ogg had a lot more romances, and ended up raising a large extended family.
** Wizards by contrast are contractually obliged to avoid this, since they have a small chance of fathering the living embodiment of WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity. There's mention of retired wizards pursuing romance, albeit quite carefully.
* MundaneUtility: Wizards. All the time. It goes hand in hand with their disdain for work.
* NameThatUnfoldsLikeLotusBlossom:
** Omnian names; which are half name, half psalm in the style of 16th century Puritans. Most go by the first word in their name, though.
** Most Goblins. It's also a grave insult to give them a nickname, although some of the younger ones don't mind.
* NationalWeapon: Dwarfs consider their battleaxes cultural artifacts, and will not part with them even when circumstances require them to relinquish all other weapons (at a diplomatic function, for instance).
* NeverMessWithGranny: It can be safely said that Terry likes his women strong. For every three women introduced in this vast series, two and a half are old ladies (whether little or otherwise) that can stop a running bull, and the rest are just like them, but younger. Of particular note are Granny Weatherwax, who put a demon in his place with a few threats, and Mrs. Cake (a medium, bordering on small), whom High Priest Ridcully compares to the things from the Dungeon Dimensions.
* NiceHat: Wizards, witches, and various other professionals have to have one. Much is made of the importance of having the right hat for any job, as assuring people that you are a ''real'' witch/wizard/postmaster/whatever is half the battle. Mustrum Ridcully, Moist von Lipwig and Nanny Ogg have practically made careers of it.
%%* NiceShoes: A recurring theme.
* NoahsStoryArc: There's an UrbanLegend about the founding of Ankh-Morpork that tells how a wise man foretold a Great Flood, gathered his family and hundreds of animals into a big ship, and rode it out. After a few weeks' sailing, the accumulated wastes from all the animals were filling up the vessel, so they tipped all the manure over the side, and built a city on the resulting dung-island.
* NobodyPoops: Averted; night-soil wagons provide an important clue in ''Thud!'', and ''Discworld/TheWorldOfPoo'' takes the aversion to extremes. Mort can also testify that Binky subverts this trope a ''lot''. Harry King, called "King of the Golden River", made a living out of the fact that everybody poops.
* NonHumanHead: Gods are often noted as looking like humans wearing cheap Halloween masks. Offler the Crocodile-Headed God is the one seen most often, but in ''{{Discworld/Pyramids}}'' the equivalent of the entire ancient Egyptian pantheon shows up.
* NoodleIncident:
** Several Ankh-Morpork-based books make references to "what happened to Mr. Hong when he opened the Three Jolly Luck Take-Away Fish Bar on the site of the old fish-god temple in Dagon Street on the night of the full moon." (The implication is something very nasty involving an EldritchAbomination, but even ''[[OutOfCharacterIsSeriousBusiness the Patrician]]'' doesn't know for sure.) He also left very quickly. The type of quickly that involves leaving behind a kidney and an ear hole.
** There's also the oft-mentioned fate of Vetinari's predecessor, Mad Lord Snapcase, who wound up being hung up by his figgin. A figgin is a small cake, so either there's a bizarre case of linguistic drift going on, or there really is some horrifying element to a man being suspended alongside a teacake.
* NoPronunciationGuide: It's a running gag that nobody on the disc seems to get the hang of silent letters, so you'll have an upper-class father declare that Susan's [[Discworld/{{Hogfather}} method of beating up bogeymen]] is very "persikological" (psychological), or Shawn Ogg wanting to tell a RousingSpeech to the townspeople [[Discworld/LordsAndLadies to encourage them to fight the elves]] and "pussike" (psyche) them up.
* NoSenseOfHumor:
** Granny Weatherwax. She understands humor on a conceptual level, but has absolutely no sense of humor and has no understanding of how or why jokes work.
** Death also has NoSenseOfHumor, being an anthropomorphic personification who doesn't understand human emotions. His brief attempts to inject humor into his work failed spectacularly.
*** Although he is getting better at it. "Since you believe in reincarnation, you'll be Bjorn again" was pretty good. Pity that the dwarf he told it to also had NoSenseOfHumor and didn't get that it was supposed to be a joke.
** Part of the reason that the Fools' Guild is so spectacularly ''bad'' at being funny is because they religiously follow, in Literature/{{Gormenghast}}ian tradition, the essays on punning, wit, jokes and humor written by Monsieur Jean-Paul Pune, who was run out of Quirm due to a combination of the (even more intense, at the time) literal-mindedness of his fellows and his own heavily implied ineptitude at actually being funny.
* NoSocialSkills: Death fails spectacularly at relating to people.
* NotSoExtinct: A lot of standard fantasy creatures are extinct, though that's often synonymous with "trapped in a parallel dimension".
** Giant, flying, fire-breathing dragons are shunted off in a dimension of their own. Their improbable biology requires magic to sustain, and the Discworld generally doesn't have enough magical energy around for them to exist anymore. There are exceptions, small pockets of high magic where dragons survive, and individual dragons can be summoned if enough magical energy is pumped into them.
** Elves are similarly stuck in their own dimension(s), although there are weak points where travel is possible - lots of them in the Ramtop mountains.
** [[spoiler: Orks]] were the foot soldiers of the defunct Evil Empire, and it's revealed in ''Unseen Academicals'' that the people of Uberwald have been exterminating the few survivors. [[spoiler: They haven't been entirely successful.]]
* NudeNatureDance: Alluded to, and then ''firmly'' averted more than once in the Discworld novels starring the [[TheHecateSisters three witches]]. [[LifeOfTheParty Nanny Ogg]] is probably game, but... no. Just no.
* OddlySmallOrganization:
** In Lancre, 90% of the civil service posts, along with every military position, is held by Shawn Ogg.
** The Ankh-Morpork City Watch, which in the first Watch book has a grand total of four people on the night shift, and in the final Watch book has a combined night and day watch of about 250. For a city of a million people. That's roughly one watchman for every four thousand people (for comparison, New York City's cop per capita ratio is about twenty times higher), and Vimes complains about how ''large'' the watch is, since he can no longer know every person under his command personally.
* OfficialCouple: Since Discworld is mercifully short on romantic drama, any couple whose initial courtship forms a sub-plot in one book are likely to follow this trope for the remainder of the series. Prominent examples include Vimes/Sybil and Carrot/Angua in the City Watch books, Magrat/Verence in the Witches books, Moist/Adora in the Moist von Lipwig books and Mort/Ysabelle in the Death books [[spoiler: (although the latter were KilledOffForReal in ''Soul Music'', they counted as this before their deaths and are still alluded to in this way by other characters)]]. While Tiffany and Roland were a bit young to start in with a romance right off the bat, later Tiffany Aching books see a touch of WillTheyOrWontThey develop between them, until eventually [[spoiler:Official Couple status goes to Roland/Letitia and Tiffany/Preston instead.]]
* OhLookMoreRooms: Death's Domain. The initial hallway is intimidating enough, but several of the rooms along it open up into cavernous chambers filled with books or hourglasses. Some get it worse than others. Entirely mundane people just see the entirely mundane bits. Those who see what's really there notice that the mundane bits in most rooms are tiny islands surrounded by vast oceans of empty floor...
* OhMyGods: Common, with the multiple gods the Disc sports. The dwarfs have their own, unique version - they don't believe in gods as such (Discworld dwarfs don't go in for belief, due to their lifestyles), but they have them anyway, because swearing to gods is better than going "Oh, Random Fluctuations In Space And Time!"
* {{Oktoberfest}}: The human population of {{Uberwald}} is pretty much this trope. ''Quaffing''[[note]]spilling whilst swinging the mug woidly[[/note]] of beer from ornate ceramic mugs with badly secured lids, whilst singing jolly songs like ''Ich bin ein Rattedarschedschwein'', is a RunningGag
* TheOmnipresent: Death, as should be expected, considering that he's one entity responsible for everyone on the Disc. It doesn't come up too much, though.
* OneHourWorkWeek:
** Seems to be all the wizards get up to these days, which is a pity since that would be Victor Tugelbend's dream job.
** Colon and Nobby are technically on duty as much as the next watch officer but often call it quits sooner rather than later.
* OneSteveLimit:
** Played oddly with the Unseen University head faculty introduced in ''Discworld/MovingPictures'': because they're known only by their titles, the first part of the title is effectively their first name, and so the Dean of Pentacles is the only Dean, the Lecturer in Recent Runes is the only Lecturer, the Chair of Indefinite Studies is the only Chair, and so on.
** Taken outside and given a good kicking by the Feegles: "No'-As-Big-As-Medium-Sized-Jock-But-Bigger-than-Wee-Jock Jock."
* TheOneWhoMadeItOut: Lancre is "the place people come from to become successful somewhere else" (usually Ankh-Morpork). Notably, Lancre has produced a quite disproportionate number of notable (and not so notable) wizards. There's not usually a whole lot of entertainment in the evenings, particularly in the winter...
* OnlySaneMan: Most protagonists have moments of this, but special mention should go to Ponder Stibbons.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness:
** Death is generally a calm and collected speaker, so whenever ''he'' loses his temper (at, say, New Death in Discworld/ReaperMan), you know shit just got real.
** Vetinari plays [[ByTheBookCop Sam Vimes]] like a fiddle and gets him to do the best job possible, but mainly by pissing him off first. Usually after such a meeting, Vimes would punch the wall outside Vetinari's office. [[HeroicBSOD Until one day he doesn't]]...
** An upset Nanny Ogg is bad to see, as Agnes notes in Discworld/CarpeJugulum. A Nanny Ogg that misses a chance to mock Agnes' AccidentalInnuendo, on the other hand, is rather dread-inducing, because then ''something is seriously wrong''.
* OriginalMan: The first humans to live on the disk were much more powerful than the ones that currently live on the disk. The gods remade mankind to be easier to deal with.
* OurBetterIsDifferent: The dwarfs use "lower" as a synonym for "better" where humans & co would use "higher". For example, their ruler is known as the "Low King". They also invert light and dark in terms of their desirability and descriptive uses.
-->"The first Brother walked toward the light, and stood under the open sky. Thus he became too tall. He was the first Man. He found no Laws and he was enlightened. The second Brother walked toward the darkness, and stood under a roof of stone. Thus he achieved the correct height. He was the first Dwarf. He found the Laws Tak had written, and he was endarkened." - from the Discworld dwarf CreationMyth
* OurDragonsAreDifferent:
** Swamp dragons are unstable, UglyCute little runts that manufacture volatile chemicals in their insides for firebreathing purposes and are prone to exploding violently.
** Noble dragons are your typical fantasy dragon, but have all disappeared for some reason. They seem to have retreated to fantasy but can show up under certain circumstances which always involve a lot of belief and/or magic. Examples are the Wyrmberg and ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' Though never stated, the implication seems to be that the dragons left due to the lessening of magical energy on Discworld, possibly due to the lack of Sourcerors.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Discworld dwarfs started out as an intentionally Flanderized parody of this trope. Later books subverted it by introducing Yiddish elements to their culture, among other things. Becomes a DeconstructedTrope with the introduction of Dwarf counter-culture (openly female dwarfs who wear leather skirts and braids in their beards) as well as Dwarf fundamentalists who violently oppose anything non-dwarfish.
* OurElvesAreDifferent: And a race of AlwaysChaoticEvil fantastical [[TheFairFolk sociopaths]]. They live in a parallel universe to the Disc called {{Fairyland}} and serve as a contrast to the Auditors. The Auditors are dull, bureaucratic demons who wanted everything to be orderly; elves are magical alien monsters that, unable to understand basic concepts like love or empathy, can only relate to other beings by causing them misery and spreading chaos.
* OurGargoylesRock: Living statues that eat pigeons and can stare down anything, used as watchmen and clacks operators.
* OurGodsAreDifferent: Gods on the Disc come in two basic varieties - your average God, who is a short-tempered git with as much self-control as a kid with a magnifying glass, and Creators, who create worlds and / of life. The Disk's Creator was apparently a pretty absent-minded one.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: ''All'' vampire myths are true in Discworld, but don't necessarily apply to any given vampire. There seem to be only two things that are true of ''all'' Disc vampires: their addiction to blood, which can be overcome only by [[AddictionDisplacement finding something else to obsess over]], and the belief that [[SdrawkcabAlias spelling their name backwards is a great way to fool people]].
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: They have great regenerative capabilities, are only truly vulnerable to silver and fire, can switch freely between wolf and human form unless they are in the light of the full moon (which renders them wolves), and they struggle with conflicting sets of instincts and thought processes after changing. (Being effectively a human/wolf mix, they also have a nagging tendency to compromise and think like dogs.) They're considered undead on the basis of "They're big and scary, they come from {{Uberwald}}, and they don't die when you stick them with a sword, what more do you want?" There are distinct varieties, too, within the traditional variety and without. There are yennorks, who are naturally born werewolves who are stuck permanently in one shape or the other. In ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' we're introduced to a pair of werewolves who more fit the Hollywood 'big humanoid mound of fur and muscle' stereotype, with an additional twist that one of them is a regular wolf most of the time, the other a beautiful girl, and they meet one another half-way one week a month. The werewolves of Discworld also illustrate a rarely-considered point: Humans hate werewolves. ''Wolves hate werewolves so much more.'' (This is because humans use werewolves as an excuse to kill wolves, and the opposite never occurs.) A lone werewolf is relatively safe mixing in a human community. A lone werewolf who stumbles into a pack of wolves generally has a very short life expectancy. An ability to spread the the condition through bites has been frequently mentioned, but never shown; from context it may be a myth.
* OutscareTheEnemy: A frequently recurring joke, showing up independently in ''Interesting Times'', ''Lords and Ladies'', and ''Jingo'', among others.
* OverlyLongName: Sir Pterry is fond of these. Vampires, Nac Mac Feegle, and a number of others can have very long names. Even Nobby. And, eventually, [[spoiler:His Grace, His Excellency, the Duke of Ankh Commander Sir Samuel Vimes, Blackboard Monitor and King of the River]].
* PaintingTheMedium: Has [[PaintingTheMedium/{{Discworld}} its own page]].
%%* ParodiedTrope
* PeltsOfTheBarbarian: The standard outfit of the barbarian heroes of the Discworld comprises a leather loincloth, a few scraps of metal, and an optional fur or leather cloak. Spoofed with Nijel the Barbarian in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', who is learning barbarian heroing from a book, and wears his loincloth over the top of woollen longjohns.
* ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest: This is a point that gets brought up in many, many, books. Having a reputation for being the best means you have to deal with all the inconveniences of that reputation. First, you have to live up to your reputation. Second, you have to deal with all the challenges it brings you, whether it's trying to carry out impossible challenges or dealing with everyone who wants to prove that they're better than you. A few specifics:
** Granny Weatherwax has to deal with every magic challenge simply because she is the best witch, even if she doesn't want to do it.
** Jason Ogg, the blacksmith of Lancre is the best blacksmith and farrier on the Disc, but the cost is he must take up every challenge; from the stupid (having to shoe an ant - he made an anvil from a pinhead) to the exceptional (forging silver shoes for a Unicorn and shoeing the beast). He simply is not allowed to refuse a commission.
** Vimes is the best policeman on the Disc, which means if there is a crime, even outside his jurisdiction, or while he's on vacations, if he hears about it he must investigate. Furthermore, he has to live up to his reputation as the most honest cop on the Disc, even when it would easier and more convenient not to do so. However, Vimes is aware that not just the Ankh-Morpork watch but cops all over the Disc consider him to be TheParagon, and he's frequently been in situations where he's had to put his own life in danger to avoid [[BrokenPedestal breaking that pedestal]].
* PhraseCatcher: The Auditors tend to provoke talk of "malignity".
* PimpedOutCape: The wizards wear very fancy robes.
* PimpedOutDress: Wizards in full regalia probably count. They are likened to what would happen if you found a way to inflate a Bird of Paradise covered in glitter.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: The Wizards are the senior staff of the Unseen University, and will do anything, ''anything'', to avoid actually having to teach students. The very concept terrifies them more than the threat of Great Big Green Things With Teeth.
%%* PlayingWithATrope: The creator's ''entire body of work'' does this.
* PlantHair: Trolls are made of rock and sometimes cultivate moss and lichens on their heads.
* PowerLimiter: The [[WizardingSchool Unseen University]] of the Wizards is full of bureaucracy, bickering, eating, lazing around, and pointless activities in general - all of which are found to have been '''very''' necessary when the system is temporarily overturned in ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' and ''[[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the entire wizarding population goes into all-out destruction-mode]].'' It turns out that the base instinct of a wizard is to build a magic tower and obliterate all other wizards until they're the last one (in fact, the the ancient plural of "wizard" was "war"). The current comforts, luxuries, and politics of the Unseen University act as checks to keep that instinct suppressed.
* PragmaticVillainy: Vetinari does not actually rule his realm with an iron fist. He has the novel idea of maintaining control by making people actually ''want'' to keep him in charge, or at the very least, make removing him from power an unsavory prospect. See VetinariJobSecurity. A case could be made for Vetinari being just as crazy as his predecessors, with the silver lining that his mania is an obsessive desire to see the city run smoothly. It helps that he has the inventive genius to back it up.
%%* PrettyInMink: When some characters want to glam up their appearance.
* ProfessionalKiller: Played with. Ankh-Morpork has an Assassins' Guild, but assassins have a certain style and code, involving wearing lots of black. There are plenty of [[PsychoForHire Psychos For Hire]], and if they're titled at all, they're just plain old "killers". Though since the Assassins' Guild is not fond of freelancers, in a very short time most of them wind up as plain old ''dead''. The Assassins seem more or less indifferent to those who are AxeCrazy for free, but if they start ''making money'' from it... There is also indications that the guild may only take a dim view of hired killers taking down people of certain classes, specifically those that conventionally hire Assassins. They don't take commissions on just ''anyone'', or just ''from'' anyone. Assassins are also loath to kill unless paid to. Their guild motto translates to "Never kill without payment".
* ProphecyArmor: Wizards and witches know when they're going to die, though wizards are forever trying to cheat death through various means, none of them successful in the end. [[WomenAreWiser Witches]] tend to use the time to make sure their cottage isn't messy and tidy up the place for their replacement.
* PunyHumans: If anything, this is played straighter in the ''Discworld'' books than in most fantasy. Most sapient races are flat out ''better'' than humans: dwarfs are tougher, stronger, and live longer (though Carrot, a human raised by dwarfs, is described as a dwarf scaled to 200%, so the strength bit is not inherent but more due to them working out by constantly mining), trolls and golems are near indestructible and incredibly strong (and trolls are incredibly intelligent when in cooler temperatures), vampires have all their standard strengths and can even learn to replace their lust for blood, werewolves are extremely capable in combat and have fantastic regenerative capabilities, pictsies are unbelivably strong and ferocious (gnomes are described as being as strong as a human despite being the size of a Barbie doll), Igors (if they count as non-human) are all brilliant surgeons and also great healers, and orcs can only be called superbeings. Humans do, however, seem to be the only race that produces wizards, witches, or sourcerers. Even ''one'' of the latter can potentially invert this trope. They're also the most numerous and gregarious, and have the most infectious culture. They're also the most innovative. A brief mention of how the "first men" all but destroyed the Disc in a fit of pique immediately after their creation suggests that the PunyHumans trope was subsequently invoked by their divine makers so that they wouldn't do it again. Among other things they were made considerably smaller.

[[folder:Tropes Q to T]]
* QuittingToGetMarried: Gender-flipped by wizards and witches, as wizards aren't expected to continue wizardry if they get married, but witches have no such restriction. Dr. Earwig, a wizard, left to get married, and Ridcully even says that he considers a wizard doing this to be "not retiring, it's the same as dying!"
* RainOfSomethingUnusual:
** On certain parts of the planet rains of fish are spotted occasionally, as a result of the Disc's BackgroundMagicField. When the field is exacerbated, one might encounter more exotic and dangerous things, like doorknobs.
* RapePillageAndBurn:
** It's been tried several times in Ankh-Morpork's past. The two standard results are: A) The invaders find themselves leaving the city several days later with confused expressions, armloads of tacky souvenirs, and suspiciously light wallets, or B) The city gains a new ethnic neighborhood and, eventually, some really interesting restaurants.
** Being old school barbarian heroes, Cohen and his Silver Horde have this as their MO. Being really '''old''' school barbarian heroes, they occasionally forget what order to do it in and Cohen has to remind the rest of the Horde which things to rape, and which to burn down.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The eyes of golems glow an unnerving red. A subversion since they're not evil, but people sure take it like they are.
%%* RedHerring: Pratchett uses this trope a LOT. You see it at least once in every Watch book, and in some of the others as well.
%%* ReferenceOverdosed
* RequiredRemarkOfRespect: Whenever Magrat Garlick namedrops her mentor, the late Goodie Whemper, the other witches always hastily add "may she rest in peace" (often spelled out as "maysherestinpeace").
* ResurrectiveImmortality:
** Vampires can be killed in a number of different ways, but will always regenerate when they eventually come into contact with blood.
** Werewolves have a lesser degree of the same quality, provided their death didn't involve [[SilverHasMysticPowers silver weapons]] or [[KillItWithFire a lot of flame and, presumably, howling.]]
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Mentioned many times, but especially in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' and ''Discworld/NightWatch''; a revolution only leaves blood and death in its wake, and changes nothing in the long run.
* RiskStyleMap: Used in the board game ''Ankh-Morpork''.
* RockMonster: Trolls are definitely made of rock, although their personalities are not particularly monstrous.
* RubberBandHistory: There are some instances of time travel: Dios in ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'', ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'', the wizards in ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', Vimes in ''Discworld/NightWatch'', and Death and Susan use it on occasion (''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' is more time manipulation than time travel). In these cases, history in the Discworld is surprisingly resilient (see ''Discworld/{{Mort}}''). Or maybe because of quantum, we only see the universe where the Discworld equivalent of Hitler winning (Ankh-Morpork being conquered in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', the coming of the ice giants, the Apocralypse, etc.) does not happen.
** But also averted in ''Discworld/SmallGods''. Lu-Tze converts a century of war and a vicious, totalitarian religion into a century of peace and a religious debate society by simply [[spoiler: sweeping dung into a pile in just the right place]].
* RuleOfFunny: Explicitly mentioned several times - one footnote makes reference to the "new rules of comedy" which state that the droll results of wild shots in the air must be told to the public.
* RunningGag:
** "Tiffany Aching was Aching all over".
** References to Leonard of Quirm's painting of the [[MonaLisaSmile "Mona Ogg"]], whose [[CheshireCatGrin teeth]] follow you around the room.
** Vetinari will often tell whoever he's talking to to look out a nearby window at what Ankh-Morpork has to offer, in the hopes that they will see Ankh-Morpork the way he sees it, as a great city all things considered, but usually they get sidetracked by fog obscuring the view or a dog peeing in an alley or something equally pointless.
** A variety of the deliberately-spaced phrase, "that was a pune, or play on words," often appear in the books whenever someone feels the need to emphasize said {{Incredibly Lame Pun}}s, ''particularly'' when they are already quite blatant to the audience and people around them.
** 'This was X. X was not simply the absence of Y. It was where you took Y and went all the way out the other side to come up with X.'
** 'In [Character]'s mind, X was something that happened to other people.'
** Any book with Nanny (and a few other books) will have someone tricked into drinking scumble, made from apples. Well, mostly apples.
** Anything that can be seen as shadow puppets draws the comment "Do deformed rabbit, it's my favorite."
** The Unseen University has a new Archchancellor in every book until Ridcully arrives in ''Discworld/MovingPictures'' and proves unkillable. Wizards believe strongly in KlingonPromotion, although not to the point of, say, missing a meal.
** Occasionally, someone will say (usually to a wizard) "you can't [do X], there's a rule -" only for the character to do it anyway and say "actually, it's more of a guideline". (This may be a CallBack to Usenet, where pedantic idiots would often flame others for "breaking the rule" that signatures "must" be no more than four lines; in vain would more sensible people point out that this was actually a guideline, drawn up in and for the days when there was no high-speed broadband, and the modems were slow enough that an extra line or two actually made a noticeable difference.)
** Vimes, who can't stand the nobility and ''loathes'' the very concept of kingship, has increasingly-impressive titles foisted off on him as the Watch books progress. This joke reaches its apex in ''Snuff'', in which he's declared [[spoiler: King ... but (thankfully) only of the River, as an honorarium for steering the ''Fanny'' through a dam slam.]]
** In the later books, the inhabitants of Ankh-Morpork have become aware that there is a werewolf in the City Watch...but for [[AmbiguouslyHuman some reason]], most assume that it is Nobby Nobbs.
** Moist von Lipwig keeps stealing Drumknott's pencils.
* SacredScripture: There are many: ''The Book of Om'', ''The Vengeful Testament of Offler'', ''The Cenotine Book of Truth'', ''The Scrolls of Wen the Eternally Surprised'', and ''The Living Testament of Nuggan'' (the only holy book to be published in a ring binder for frequent updates).
* SandIsWater: The Dehydrated Ocean. Technically not sand but a fourth state of water that occurs in a high density magical field.
%%* SanityBall: Let's just say there are only a few bouncing around.
%%* SavingTheWorldWithArt: Generally in the form of music, which can sway a court or preserve the entire universe.
* SecondVerseCurse: Parodied - the second verse of ''[[http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/We_Can_Rule_You_Wholesale We Can Rule You Wholesale]]'', the anthem of Ankh-Morpork, [[InvokedTrope purposely contains a bunch of mumbling]] since nobody will know it anyway.
* SecurityBlanket: Weapon of choice against bogeymen. Because of the nature of belief, if you pull the covers over your head the bogeyman thinks you cease to exist... so if you put a bogeyman under a blanket it causes severe, crippling existential questions.
* SentOffToWorkForRelatives: This is standard practice for dwarfs, who are sent to their already-established relatives (usually in Ankh-Morpork), learning a trade and sending money home. However, this doesn't seem to be a punishment, more of an immigration stereotype. Carrot Ironfoundersson was sent to join the Watch as he was a human raised by dwarfs.
* SelfProclaimedLiar: Casanunda's business card lists, among his other talents, "Outrageous Liar".
* SeriousBusiness:
** Humor, as far as the Fools' Guild is concerned. They have incredibly strict guidelines (okay, ''rules'') concerning the telling of jokes and being funny. Unauthorized joke-telling is severely punished, and the guild is almost completely devoid of warmth and happiness (and, ironically, humor). Graduates tend to be emotionally scarred for life.
** Contrast the cheerful students of the Assassins' Guild (just next door). Some things are still SeriousBusiness over there, but at least they can laugh. Assassins know that there are things that are serious (and they deal with some of the ''most'' serious things people who don't have to deal with magic deal with) and things that are not, how to tell the difference, and when each is in play.
* SeriouslyScruffy:
** Samuel Vimes prefers to conform to this trope, although his wife is quite insistent that he maintain appearances after he marries her. One of his monologues even notes his disgust at a palace guard's sword, since it didn't show any nicks and dents and clearly never saw any use (as opposed to a well maintained sword which still showed wear and tear).
** Lord Vetinari is a downplayed example, since he dresses in plain black clothes to avoid having to worry about his appearance in the first place.
* SexyCatPerson: When Greedo occasionally [[HumanityEnsues turns into a human]], he is described as a battle-scarred HellBentForLeather tough guy exuding enough [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys bad-boy sexuality]] to leave any non-lesbian woman who sees him practically catatonic.
* SheepInSheepsClothing:
** Commander Vimes. Nobles assume (or just like to think) he's a jumped up copper who married his wife for money. Since he's a perspective character in several books, it's very clear that he loves his wife and hates the money.
** Vimes's subordinate Captain Carrot also makes people wonder if his IncorruptiblePurePureness isn't just a front. ([[spoiler:It isn't, to the point where it's actually quite annoying to some characters]].)
** [[VetinariJobSecurity Lord Vetinari]], the Patrician of the city, often frustrates the ruling classes by honestly having no vices they can use to exploit him (although unlike Carrot, he's much more of a MagnificentBastard).
* ShoutOut: So very many that, before wikis existed, the fandom collected them into [[http://www.lspace.org/books/apf/index.html The Annotated Pratchett File]]. The APF annotations list appears to have been discontinued after about two-thirds of the books; the torch has been carried on by the [[http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Annotations Terry Pratchett Wiki]], which faithfully annotates the later books as well as adding extra detail to the earlier ones.
* SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers: Somewhat common, especially with Rincewind. The guy would be so obviously right in his cynicism... but Twoflower would come out fine anyway, leaving Rincewind looking like an idiot.
* SkeletonMotif: Death, being an anthropomorphic personification of, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin death]], lives in a pocket dimension where nearly everything - furniture, tools, his house, etc. - has some kind of bone-and-skull motif to it. Things that aren't are usually something that was brought in from the real world.
* SlasherSmile:
** Vimes.
** The werewolves in {{Uberwald}}.
** Death (by dint of having no other option).
* SlidingScaleOfContinuity: Most of the books are level 4 (Arc-Based Episodic).
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Played with. The tone of the books and most of the characters are definitely on the cynical side -- the idealistic ones tend to be portrayed as naive, dumb, or [[ObfuscatingStupidity putting up a front]]. However, the universe itself is idealistic: the good guys do triumph, almost always in a BigDamnHeroes way. This is explicitly due to [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality narrativium]]. In fact, a big thing amongst all of the Discworld heroes is that they use cynical means to achieve idealistic ends.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: In the early novels, Vetinari plays chess. Later, when "Thud" is introduced and made out to be the Disc's [[CallARabbitASmeerp chess analogue]], Vetinari keeps a rare board in his viewing room and plays a friend via clacks.
* SolitarySorceress: All witches tend to live this way (Nanny Ogg lives 'alone', but not so alone that she can't yell for somebody to come over). In this setting they live literally and figuratively on the fringe of society, and so are far enough from their communities that they aren't seldom seen by normal people, but not too far to reach if their help is needed.
* SparseListOfRules: We only ever find out the sections of the Assassins' Guild's school rulebook dealing with "no keeping a crocodile in your dorm room" and "no boys in the girls' dorm and vice versa".
* SpontaneousCrowdFormation: This is often called the official pastime of Ankh-Morpork. No matter what the citizenry are doing, if something interesting is going on, they '''will''' stop to watch it. As you might imagine, tends to transform into TheFreelanceShameSquad regularly.
* SpotlightStealingSquad:
** According to WordOfGod, any book set in Ankh-Morpork will eventually morph into a City Watch novel, no matter what the original plan -- which is presumably why so many of the later Wizards books involve them travelling away from the city. Moist von Lipwig was created specifically to counter this effect, since it's in his interests to avoid the Watch wherever possible, but even ''Discworld/RaisingSteam'' falls victim to this, with Moist and Vimes essentially dual leads.
** A similar situation obtains with Granny Weatherwax and the Ramtops, which is why the witch protagonist of ''The Wee Free Men'' lives in a previously-undepicted part of the Disc instead of the region where most of the Disc's witches are found -- she needed to live far enough from Granny that she had a chance to save the day herself before Granny arrived to take over.
* SquirrelsInMyPants:
** It's mentioned in a few books that putting Ferrets (or Weasels) down your trousers is a popular rural entertainment. In ''I Shall Wear Midnight'' there is much disappointment when the man who does it doesn't show up for a fair. [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16697_the-8-most-baffling-sports-from-around-world.html This is actually a real "sport".]]
** This is an attack strategy for the Nac Mac Feegle.
* SquishyWizard: All wizards on the disc are this by default. They love food, get winded rather easily, and many of them are also rather old. All of these traits are actually encouraged by wizard culture, and Mustrum Ridcully (Archancellor of the the Unseen University) is considered extremely eccentric for his enjoyment of exercise-heavy activities.
** Averted by Rincewind and the Librarian. The former has spent the majority of his life running away from things, and the latter is an orangutan. Possibly also by the wizards of the continent XXXX, and certainly by Bengo Macarona[[note]]D.Thau (Bug), D.Maus (Chubb), Magistaludorum (QIS), Octavium (Hons), PHGK (Blit), DMSK, Mack, D.Thau (Bra), Visiting Professor in Chickens (Jahn the Conqueror University (Floor 2, Shrimp Packers Building, Genua)), Primo Octo (Deux), Visiting Professor of Blit/Slood Exchanges (Al Khali), [=KCbfJ=], Reciprocating Professor of Blit Theory (Unki), D.Thau (Unki), Didimus Supremius (Unki), Emeritus Professor in Blit Substrate Determinations (Chubb), Chair of Blit and Music Studies (Quirm College for Young Ladies)[[/note]], who is athletic enough to be the backbone of the University's football team.
** Although he isn't technically a wizard (as he keeps deliberately failing his final exams), Victor Tugelbend also avoids this out of sheer laziness. (He finds it easier not to carry all that extra weight around.)
** However, until the accession of Archchancellor Ridcully created a sort of detente, these Squishy Wizards spent a lot of time making each other go squish - so HyperAwareness and ManipulativeBastard tendencies were survival traits.
* StopWorshippingMe: The Lady. One of the few examples of this trope in a universe where GodsNeedPrayerBadly. Explained by the fact that everyone believes in luck, even if no one worships it. There is a passing mention of an attempt by a group of gamblers to worship The Lady. They all died in a series of sudden, improbable events.
%%* SubvertedTrope: One of the major themes of the series. Not only for jokes, but people and situations often go in unexpected directions.
* SuccessSymbiosis: Commander Vimes pursues the law without favor, annoys the rich and power, upsets the finely-balanced alliances of the city's politics and generally makes a nuisance of himself to Lord Vetinari by thumping through his court like a bull in a china shop. This is exactly why Vetinari likes having him around.
* SuicideDare: Ankh-Morpork citizens spying a potential building jumper will start shouting advice on the best buildings to jump from. PlayedForLaughs, (like virtually everything else) in Ankh-Morpork.
* SuperDoc: See TheIgor above.
* SupernaturalRepellent: Parodied, especially in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', where much mirth is raised by recounting, in a Discworld context, all the things which Earth legends say are fatal to vampires. This ranges from the normal- garlic, and whatnot- to the more unorthodox- lemons, poppyseed, and carrots.
* SupernaturalSensitivity: Strong magic leaves strong residue, to the point that especially strong magic can leave magical fields behind that warp reality and last for centuries. Wizards (and cats) have the ability to see octarine.
* SuperStrength: The Nac Mac Feegle are strong enough to pick people up and throw them through the air, and it only takes four (one per hoof) to run off with a cow. While being ''six inches high''. If we had their proportionate strength, human could pick up ''buildings''.
* TakeOverTheCity: Many villains desire to conquer Ankh-Morpork. Subverted by Carrot Ironfoundersson, who has the 'right' to and almost certainly ''could'' (yes, even from Vetinari), but has opted not to.
* TalkingAnimal: Usually due to the magical equivalent of radioactive waste. Examples that appear in multiple books include Gaspode the Wonder Dog and the puntastically named Quoth the raven.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs.
%%* TitleDrop: Several of the books contain their title phrases at least once.
* TooDumbToFool:
** Trolls in general. Vimes describes [[OurTrollsAreDifferent Detritus]] as this in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'', almost word for word. In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' when Vimes sends troll guards to the bank, Moist comments that they're not too smart, but you can't talk them over to your side either.
** Fred Colon, acting in his role as cell warden. He's stupid, but he's not an idiot. He keeps the keys in a tin box in the bottom drawer of his desk. He also ends up wandering into investigating the key to one of the mysteries in ''Thud''. Due to this, Colon is one of the few people Lord Vetinari finds hard to deal with. Vetinari is so used to dealing with people who treat words as a form of warfare that virtually ''everything'' he says carries multiple connotations, implications, innuendo, traps, and suggestions. All of which reach escape velocity over Colon's head, making him nigh invulnerable to being played, tricked, warned, or helped.
* TooDumbToLive: To the degree that the Watch in Ankh-Morpork now consider entering the Mended Drum and calling yourself "Vincent the Invulnerable" a form of suicide. Needless to say, there are quite a few means of committing suicide in the city. Many of them involve typical Ankh-Morporkian stupidity and {{Berserk Button}}s, or just entering [[WrongSideOfTheTracks the Shades.]]
* TribalFacePaint: The Nac Mac Feegle have elaborate clan tattoos, to the extent that the books sometimes seem contradictory as to whether they actually have blue skin or not.
* TrademarkFavouriteFood:
** Rincewind becomes obsessed with potatoes by the start of ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', after spending a long time marooned on a paradisical island where they were pretty much the only food he was unable to get.
** Quoth the Raven likes eyeballs. A running joke in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' is him mistaking other small round items for them.
** Susan loves chocolates, except for nougat.
** Archchancellor Ridcully always puts a lot of spice on his food, especially [[BlazingInfernoHellfireSauce Wow-Wow Sauce]], a condiment so potent as to be downright dangerous.
* TrainingTheGiftOfMagic: This trope is at least strongly implied to be highly active in the series:
** In the earliest books, wizards (and presumably witches) are said to be able to see "octarine", the eighth color of the spectrum, the "color of magic". This isn't mentioned much in later books, but it still seems in those that magic is some sort of innate gift.
** It also seems that people with ''strong'' magical gifts, such as Eskarina Smith, can be dangerous to everyone around them if not properly trained. Even partly-trained but powerful casters can be dangerous to themselves; for example, "borrowing" an animal's mind can lead to a witch becoming lost in the animal's senses. Unseen University has a gymnasium lined with magic-proof materials where students are required to practice.
** The one attempt we see by untrained characters to work significant magic, in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'', involves lengthy rituals and external sources of power. Trouble is, they can produce an effect but have no control over it.
* TranslationByVolume: In the Discworld GURPS sourcebook, this is a skill called "Shouting At Foreigners". It is an actual skill that can be used instead of a foreign language. ''Many people think that they can get by in any language by speaking loudly, slowly and clearly in their own, or by dredging up a few half-remembered words from old stories and books. On the Disc, this sometimes works.''
%%* TropeOverdosed: So very, very much.
%%* {{Troperiffic}}: Most likely ''the'' best example on the entire site.
* TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside: Most heroes are not physical exemplars.
** A young Granny Weatherwax "might have been called handsome by a good-natured liar".
** Vimes is described in ''Guards! Guards!'' as a "skinny, unshaven collection of bad habits marinated in alcohol".
* TrueSight:
** Wizards and witches can see what's really there, on account of them having no WeirdnessCensor.
** Children seem to have this. Even when Death makes himself known, most adults won't even notice that he's a skeleton, because everybody knows that skeletons can't walk around and talk. Children don't know that, though, and they see Death as he really looks. Not that it bothers them at all. One of the few times he's openly seen by adults is during the performance of a play featuring the character of Death -- since they are expecting to see "Death", they see Death -- and he promptly gets stage fright, as he's unused to being seen by so many people at once.
* TWordEuphemism:
** The reformed vampires' refrain of "the B-vord".
** [[Creator/EdgarAllanPoe Quoth the Raven]]'s refusal to use the "N-word"[[note]] er, that's 'nevermore' and not the OTHER n-word. [[/note]].
** Don't forget to NEVER, EVER use the M-word near the Librarian of the Unseen University.

[[folder:Tropes U to Z]]
* UnEqualRites:
** Witches and Wizards are not to be confused. Witches are wise women who mostly work in rural areas (we do meet ''one'' urban witch), handling medicine, births, and funerals, all splashed with a bit of ritual for psychology's sake; they tend to form [[TheHecateSisters covens of three]]. Wizards are a parody of real world university academia, and they're especially similar to your average nuclear physics department given how dangerous magic is treated in the books. ''EqualRites'' explores the contrast between them.
** An early book mentions magicians, conjurors, and thaumaturgists; to extend the "wizards=academics" metaphor, they're basically the guys who got lower-level degrees. Conjurers have been compared to special effects guys- they find more work than wizards, not because they know more but because they make it more entertaining. Thaumaturgists are compared to [[TheIgor surly lab assistants]].
** Granny Weatherwax mentions warlocks in passing, describing them as men who try to be witches and usually wind up just looking damn silly.
** Fairy Godmothers, as seen in ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', are treated as a subset of witch who just happen to use "wizardy" tools, like the star-tipped wand (the distinction is kind of blurred; Granny Weatherwax played a witchy godmother in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', which starts as a parody of ''Sleeping Beauty'')
* UnreliableCanon: Early novels often contained contradictory elements, because Pratchett was more concerned with the quality of the story than with consistency. Later, he adopted a more consistent canon, but those early stories have still have a hard time fitting with it.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: If you're a major character with a potential love interest in a Discworld novel this is pretty much the only alternative to becoming an OfficialCouple after your first book. Usually involves the Wizards and/or the older Witches and usually PlayedForLaughs. Prominent examples include Nanny Ogg/Casanunda and Senior Wrangler/Mrs Whitlow. Granny Weatherwax/Mustrum Ridcully probably qualify under BelligerentSexualTension, with a slightly more serious tone invoking WhatCouldHaveBeen.
* TheUnwittingComedian: Bouncy Normo, the funniest clown who ever lived. In reality, the man was TheBore and yet everything he did made people laugh. His story heads straight into CrossesTheLineTwice territory when the narrator says that the despair of people laughing at him even as he begged them to stop eventually drew him to commit suicide. His hanging corpse was somehow considered an avant-garde comedy act by those who found him. It so funny in fact, that it stayed on the noose for weeks afterward.
* VancianMagic: Early books seemed to suggest that wizarding magic worked off a variant, where spells were in a sense living creatures that, when learned, took up residence in the wizard's brain, and were released again on casting. Later books dropped any mentions of the idea, although it was never actually [[{{Retcon}} rendered non-canon]] either.
* VowOfCelibacy:
** Wizards of Unseen University are generally expected to stay celibate. The common/official explanation is that it [[VirginPower interferes with their magic]], but as per the book ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', it's more likely to be a measure to prevent wizards from having descendants, because the [[MagicalSeventhSon eighth son of a wizard (himself an eighth son of an eighth son)]] is a dangerous super-wizard, and it's considered better to prevent wizards from having kids at all than to risk it. In later ''Discworld'' novels the UU vow of celibacy seems to have shifted in the same way as [[{{Oxbridge}} Oxford and Cambridge Universities]] (see Real Life), in that wizards can have relations with women, but can't get married.
** Esmerelda Weatherwax never had any (non-witchcraft) relations with men after Mustrum Ridcully left for Unseen University, which becomes a plot point when a unicorn shows up. In her case it wasn't really a vow, since she found it easier being the scary witch.
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma:
** The witches don't really let spelling apply to them.
** Carrot's approach to punctuation is basically a pin the tail on the donkey game.
** The head of the Greengrocers' Guild makes Carrot look like a grammatical genius.
* WaterfallIntoTheAbyss: The ocean falls off all sides of the Disc, but "[[{{Handwave}} arrangements are made]]" (it's probably quantum). There are even people who take advantage of this and have put a net around the edge (the "circumfence") to catch floating items for salvage.
%%* WateringDown: Several jokes about this.
* WeaponsGradeVocabulary: Lord Vetinari, a product of the Assassins' Guild's school where every graduate is expected to demonstrate lethal proficiency in at least one weapon, uses language to deadly effect.
--->"Do not let me detain you."\\
"No great rush!"
* TheWeirdSisters: The "coven" of the Lancre Witches (first introduced in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters''), formed by Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick (from ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'' onwards replaced by Agnes Nitt).
* WeirdnessCensor: It's pretty ironclad, as when anything that doesn't fit into what people consider "normal" (such as Death walking among them) is actively ignored. The complete lack of a Weirdness Censor is one of the abilities of wizards and witches; in the Tiffany Aching books, it's called First Sight.
* WikiWalk: Leonard of Quirm, the wizards of the university, and some many other characters are fond of these.
* WitchClassic: The pointy hats are very important, since a lot of being a witch is based on everyone else ''seeing'' you as a witch. The black clothes seem to be mostly because witches are practical and black is hard-wearing. Nanny Ogg and more recently Granny Weatherwax have cats. Broomsticks are generally only used by witches, even though they're made by dwarfs and can be flown by anyone, even without magical talent. One difference from the standard version is that although witches are AlwaysFemale, and Discworld magic is hereditary, witchcraft ''isn't'' passed down from mother to daughter here, it being considered that young witches should learn from another witch with a different way of doing things to prevent a family's magical style from coiling in on itself.
* WizardClassic: Most of the wizards in the series conform to this image, no doubt out of professional pride. Many avert it in some respects, however, such as in their method of KlingonPromotion or the fact that they intentionally avoid doing more magic than they have to. Rincewind is a classic wizard despite being hopelessly incompetent when it comes to spells.
* WizardingSchool: Unseen University, which exists as much to keep the current wizards out of trouble as it does to raise the next generation of them. There's also Bugarup University in [=XXXX=] and, just recently, Brazeneck University in Quirm, with references at least one more in Pseudopolis and possibly many others.
* WizardsLiveLonger: Barring [[KlingonPromotion fatal accidents]], most wizards live well past their nineties, even with their horrible BigEater habits. A wizard who lives past fifty can expect to live past one hundred. Witches are also pretty long-lasting. That said, they still age at the same rate. This is explicitly why so many of them are old men and women: they are old for most of their lives.
* TheWonderland: Not just different, but Prachett often takes time in the narration to explain just how different everything is, from how time flows to the shape of the world.
* WorldOfBadass: If you intend to mess with someone here, make sure they're not witches, wizards, watchmen, werewolves, dwarfs, trolls, Mrs. Cake, demons, gods, gnomes, [[RunningGag Mrs. Cake]], vampires, pictsies, heroes, assassins, the Luggage, [[RuleOfThree Mrs. Cake]] or, last but not least, the Librarian. It's a wonder that anyone else is left in the place.
** In fact, attempting to mess with Death is probably your safest bet on this world. The most he'll likely do is act confused/amused at your antics and walk away. (Note that this covers messing with Death himself. Mess with anything he ''cares'' about, and regret it.)
** If you think that you can take down a watchman, make sure they're not Vimes, Carrot, Angua, Detritus, or Dorfl. [[note]]Remember that he is lightning-proof (which is how he remains a living FlatEarthAtheist), functionally immortal, as he can be ground up and simply be re-baked), and very, ''very'' strong.[[/note]]
* WorldOfPun:
** Pratchett likes to include [[RunningGag at least]] one silly pune, or play on words, per book.
** The name of the countries Djelibeybi and Hersheba. Terry Pratchett's realization that American audiences weren't getting the Djelibeybi pun inspired the creation of nearby Hersheba, which most audiences in general aren't getting. (If you've heard of the candy, the Djelibeybi pun is criminally easy to get, due to it being mentally pronounced the same way, ''and'' {{lampshade|Hanging}}d when we're told Djelibeybi literally means "Child of the Djel." Hersheba is not as easy -- this is due to variation in pronunciation (the most obvious pronunciation rhymes with Bethsheba), the fact that it doesn't have a lampshade, ''and'' it doesn't have a book focused on it. Once you remember that some British accents add an ''r'' sound to words ending in 'a', though....
** The Ramtop Mountains are named after RAMTOP, the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum system variable which points to the top of user memory.
** Bhrian Bloodaxe, the first dwarf according to Discworld legend, is named after UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum game ''Brian Bloodaxe''.
* YouCantKillWhatsAlreadyDead:
** Zombies are much more resilient and stronger than humans, with watchzombie Reg Shoe taking a crossbow bolt through the chest and only complaining of the puncture holes in his armor. They are, however, very vulnerable to fire.
** Werewolves are apparently considered undead by the narration, with one surviving a fatal bullet wound as the bullet wasn't silver.