- Anvilicious: A mild example, but it stands out from other Discworld stories involving ethnic conflicts such as Men at Arms, Thud! and Monstrous Regiment in that it explicitly uses a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Islamic world (Klatch) rather than shifting it to dwarfs and trolls and so forth.
- Although the main point is that the ethnic differences don't matter.
- Magnificent Bastard: Again, Havelock Vetinari. Prince Cadram is this too, but at the end is outgambitted by the former.
- Nightmare Fuel: The Dis-Organizer telling Vimes how things would have gone if he stayed.
"...Seven eh em...Organize Defenders at River Gate...Seven twenty-five...Hand-to-Hand Fighting in Peach Pie Street...Seven forty-eight eight eight...Rally Survivors in Sator Square...Things To Do Today: Build Build Build Barricades...bingeley...Eight oh two eh em, Death of Corporal Littlebottombottom...Eight oh three eh em...Death of Sergeant Detritus...Eight oh threethreethree eh em and seven seconds seconds...Death of Constable Visit...Eight oh three eh em and nineninenine seconds...Death of death of death of...Death of Constable Dorfl...Eight oh three eh em and fourteenteenteen seconds...Death of Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson...beep...beep...Things To Do Today: Die..."
- This part is really disturbing in the audiobook, due to the actor's change of the Dis-Organizer's voice due to Sanity Slippage.
- Fridge Horror: The 'other' Vimes picked up our Vimes' Dis-Organiser, meaning that as everything was going to hell around him he was hearing about this other universe where it had all worked out fine... though admittedly, things like "get captured by desert bandits" probably confused him too.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: A similar dispute between India and Bangladesh over New Moore / South Talpatti Island was resolved in March 2010, when the sea rose and covered it.
- The way the sunken city is ultimately described with its nonhuman artwork makes it sound rather like another city of squids.
- Positive Discrimination: Played straight and subverted - The Morporkian high command is comprised entirely of Upper Class Twits, while Prince Cadram is exceptionally intelligent and competent, with a reputation as a just and fair ruler, but is the villain of the piece. His brother, Prince Khufurah, on the other hand, is more street-wise and something of a layabout: charismatic, but given to enjoying the pleasures of life rather than the responsibilities of his position; this gives him a reputation as a wastrel.
- Theiss Titillation Theory: Explained thus when Nobby comes across some harem pants:
Vetinari: Curiously, the purpose of the clothing of the nautch girl or the exotic dancer has always been less to reveal and more to suggest the imminence of revelation.
- The Woobie: Poor Captain Jenkins, whose ship Vimes commandeers and then proceeds to basically smash to smithereens, on account of the fact that Vimes knows absolutely nothing about sailing. Jenkins was planning on selling weapons to the Klatchians, but still...
- And that poor Dis-organizer.