- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: At one point, Mr. Pin thinks about how Mr. Tulip mainlines bath salts. This is simply part of the joke about Tulip snorting everything he can find. Thirteen years later, the mention of bath salts has its own special meaning.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Look at the cover currently pictured on the main page, where Vetinari has blond hair. This was long before The Film of the Book of Going Postal, which cast a blond Vetinari and surprised many readers by doing so.
- Magnificent Bastard: In addition to Vetinari, who's always one, William shows signs of becoming one, particularly in any scene where he has to deal with threats to the press, such as his handling of Slant.
- Nightmare Fuel: The book describes images resulting from dark light photography in very vivid detail. Then near the end, where one of the photos comes true...
Lord de Worde had inclined to the old proverb that as you bend the twig, so grows the tree. William had not been a particularly flexible twig. Lord de Worde had not, himself, been a violent man. He'd merely employed them.
- Various allusions to William's childhood.
- Likewise, the equally vague allusions to Mr. Tulip's childhood. It's suggested he's forgotten most of it for a reason.
- The final fate of the New Firm, or at least, the thing that finally gets them. It's a lot like, if Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd had ended up in that crematorium instead of Bond in Diamonds Are Forever... drawn out for pages of anticipation.
- Older Than They Think: