- 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.
- Otto, coming upon the burned remains of The Times offices, assumes that "It vas a mob, yes? Zere is alvays a mob, sooner or later. Zey got my friend Boris. He showed them zer black ribbon but zey just laughed and—" Hinting that reformed vampires are in danger from, essentially, lynch mobs.
- Being wrongfully accused of and arrested for attempted murder and embezzlement is nightmarish enough; but it's also strongly implied that if Vetinari is pardoned by a new Patrician (thereby completing his character assassination), he'll meet a swift end through being 'retired' afterwards, with no chance to clear his name. Even worse is the fact that Vetinari is unable to argue in his own defence, as his head injury wipes his memory of the attack. Suddenly Vetinari's decision to sleep through most of his incarceration is a lot more understandable...
- Older Than They Think: