- A few pages in and not only is the conflict established, but a very funny scene occurs where in the mad scramble to get back home, the two sons gets mixed up in the process and the fathers had to come back and get the right son back while accusing the other of being a kidnapper.
- The sons themselves share a glance while their fathers squabble. A glance which communicates the age-old message of kids finding the foolishness of their parents utterly mortifying.
- The scene in the war room:"Why are our people going out there?" said Mr Boggis of the Thieves' Guild."Because they are showing a brisk pioneering spirit and seeking wealth and... additional wealth in a new land," said Lord Vetinari."What's in it for the Klatchians?" said Lord Downey."Oh, they've gone out there because they are a bunch of unprincipled opportunists always ready to grab something for nothing," said Lord Vetinari."A masterly summation, if I may say so, my lord," said Mr Burleigh, who felt he had some ground to make up.The Patrician looked down again at his notes."Oh, I do beg your pardon," he said, "I seem to have read those last two sentences in the wrong order..."
- The rest of the conversation is also filled with hilarity, from Vetinari pointing out that their last warship sank hundreds of years ago, to the head of the armorers guild boosting about how many weapons he's been making before Lord Vetinari drags out of him how many of those weapons were sold to Klatch to Lord Vetinari pointing out how the guilds and nobles have been weaseling out of paying their taxes (which could have been used to fund the war) and them hurriedly changing the subject.
- Lord Vetinari, dictator of Ankh-Morpork, juggling and shilling a game of guess-which-cup-the-egg-is-under. Later revealing that he actually never learned to juggle, and he always knows where the chicken is. After running Ankh-Morpork with even a small measure of efficiency, what he's just pulled off is a cake-walk.
- The few times that Vetinari is ever caught off-guard.
- Any time that Vetinari finds something amusing is also usually pretty epic.
- Especially when it comes across pretty subtly/ambiguously. When Vimes says, "In my opinion, no surgeons anywhere have cleaner sawdust on their floors than the ones in this city," it's mentioned that Vetinari coughs, which is possibly because he's trying not to laugh at Vimes' amazing zinger, or maybe he's just trying to redirect the conversation. It's always fun to pay attention to Vetinari's tendency to cough/look away/cover his mouth whenever Vimes gets off a clever line.
- Vimes' internal monologue when he talks about investigating the attempted assassination of Prince Khufurah, and wonders who of the Ankh-Morpork bigwigs at the table might be behind it:"I'm putting my best men on the case". Who's looking worried? "Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs." Who's looking relieved?
- The Prid of Ankh-Morpork. note "The Prid?"
"I'm afraid so, sir."
- Hostage negotiation: Some thieves stealing from a jewellery store unwisely take the pretty watchwoman as a hostage. We come across the scene as Angua is holding them hostage while Captain Carrot reads out crimes for them to confess to.
- Leonard of Quirm offhandedly makes a comment quite pertinent to the story, and Vetinari makes it halfway back through his elaborate trap system after leaving the room before it registers. He then comes back as quickly as possible, straightens himself out (this is all described in sound effects only), comes in, sits calmly down and says, "You did WHAT?!"
- Leonard's undoubted genius has one notable weakness: naming things. He designs (in his own words) a submersible marine vehicle... which he decides to then name the 'Going-Under-The-Water-Safely-Boat.'
- Nobby's crossdressing act, when the narrator points out the complete and utter aversion of the Attractive Bent-Gender trope, because this is Nobby Nobbs we're talking about, and it gets even better when Nobby turns into an exaggerated caricature of a Straw Feminist and has to be constantly reminded that he is not, in fact, a woman.Corporal Nobbs's appearance could best be summarized this way.
One of the minor laws of the narrative universe is that any homely featured man who has, for some reason, to disguise himself as a woman will apparently become attractive to some otherwise perfectly sane men with, as the ancient scrolls say, hilarious results.
In this case the laws were fighting against the fact of Corporal Nobby Nobbs, and gave up.
- For added hilarity, Nobby soon realised that he could utilize his newly obtained feminine wiles to obtain food from the enemy force. When he reveals this, there's a moment of pure horrified silence from all those present, with Angua's thousand yard stare speaking volumes, as they all dread to think what he means... until Nobby reveals that he told the Klatchian quarter master that he would take off his clothes and scream, unless given food.
- "I've only been a woman ten minutes and already I hate you male bastards."
- The fact that after Nobby's being given what seems to be an extremely auspicious reading, Mrs. Cake feels compelled to go back to her crystal ball and doublecheck. And then spends the rest of the morning laughing.
- When Vimes finally confronts 71-hour-Ahmed, where Vimes gloats about how he saw right through a murder scene, which had been manipulated to make it seem like Klatchians had been responsible. Ahmed's response: "Yes, you did." The way poor Vimes just deflates as it sinks in how thoroughly he's been manipulated.
- Ahmed, who had previously spent all his time interacting with Morporkian characters in full lecherous-pidgin-speaking-camel-driver mode, adopts the drawl of a Morporkian upper class gentleman, having attended the Assassins Guild school while in Klatch, on the grounds that it pays to be a Funny Foreigner wherever you go, because everyone assumes that foreigners are a bit stupid. Vimes' dumbfounded reaction - despite having seen through Ahmed's Obfuscating Stupidity by this point - is brilliant.
- He briefly reminisces about his time at the Guild school, and off-handedly remarks that after seven years of boarding school with the sons of gentlemen, life among the D'regs and other supposedly barbarian tribes of Klatch is a positive breeze by comparison.
- The truth revealed, he then spends the rest of the book subtly Trolling Vimes - a chief example being when Vimes orders everyone to mount up, caught up in the chase (in this case, going after Cadram for the false flag operation and assassination attempt on his brother). Ahmed responds by salaaming and telling him that it would be a pleasure to be led by a white officer. Offendi. He then also tells Vimes that if he wants to stop a camel, he should hit it with a stick and go "huthuthut!" Needless to say, this has the exact opposite effect.
- And while Ahmed enjoys messing with Vimes (responding to Vimes' line about "different strokes for different folks" with, "I find the one at shoulder height usually suffices"), putting him off-guard wherever possible, he is completely baffled by Carrot's improbable charisma - particularly after Carrot has just separated a squabbling Morporkian soldier and a fearsome D'reg warrior who'd once hit a man so hard his nose ended up in his ear, like a primary school teacher dealing with two bickering children.
- Lord Vetinari, under arrest for treason, asks in an unduly helpful tone if it's possible to be dragged through the streets in chains on a hurdle. Nobby later reports from the sports shop that they don't have hurdles but they do have a ping-pong table for $10; they also have a small trampoline but Colon thought that would be a bit ridiculous. Imagine Lord Vetinari bouncing up and down maintaining a perfectly deadpan expression...
Carrot: Traditionally, traitors are dragged to their place of execution on a hurdle. And then you're hung, drawn and quartered. I know about the hanging and quartering but I'm not sure how you're drawn, sir.Vetinari: Are you any good with a pencil, captain?Vimes: No, he's not!Vetinari: Do you actually have a hurdle?Vimes: No!Vetinari: Oh? Well, I believe there's a sports equipment shop in Sheer Street. Just in case, Sir Samuel.
- Also, the rather offhand comment that maybe they should get some manacles, in case this happens again.
- The minaret:Can you think of any reason why I should be carrying an inflatable donkey?Well, you -One that you wouldn't mind giving to your dear mother?
- About Snowy Slopes:Angua: He's an assassin, is he?Carrot: No, he just kills people for money.
- (In Ankh-Morpork, there really is a difference between Assassins and those who 'just kill people for money'. Especially if you ask the Assassins.)
- Willikins switching back and forth between his usual super-smooth butler persona and Sergeant Rock with Suddenly Not-Shouting. Two examples:"I'LL CUT YER TONKER OFF'F YER YER GREASY - Oh, is that you, Sir Samuel?""Huh? Willikins?""Indeed, sir." The butler straightened up."Willikins?""Do excuse me one moment, sir KNOCK IT OFF YOU MOTHERLOVIN SONS OF BITCHES I had no apprehension of your presence, sir."(Later)"Oh yes, sir. But as it transpired-""We knew there was somethin' wrong when the mutton barrels started to explode," muttered Private Bourke. "The biscuits was pretty lively, too. Turned out bloody Rust'd bought a lot of stuff even a rag'ead wouldn't eat-""And we eat anything," said 71-hour Ahmed solemnly."PRIVATE BOURKE YOU 'ORRIBLE MAN SPEAKIN' OF YORE COMMANDIN' OFFICER LIKE THAT YOU WILL BE ON A CHARGE I apologize, Sir, but we are feeling a little faint."
- It's mentioned that Lord Rust suffers from Selective Obliviousness; if someone says something he doesn't like, he erases it from his mind. But when Unseen University's Dean reports that Leshp is gone, Rust finds himself unable to erase the Dean; there was too much of him.
- Prince Cadram, in spite of being the Big Bad of the book, is something of an Upper-Class Wit who actually has sensible things to say about the way some people treat Klatchians, so he has some funny moments of his own. Including, after a large collision between his forces and Ankh-Morpork's, he remarks (having been told that Lord Rust thought that Klatchians were the finest soldiers in the world, when led by white officers), "Oh, dear. Perhaps I should have had them led by white officers." Seeing as the Morporkian army was, he timed that perfectly.
- Earlier, he is told that the Morporkians have been saying that he will run away in terror after getting "a taste of cold steel". Cadram asks for some cold steel, theatrically licks the blade, and then says that somehow or other, he's not terrified at all.
- That scene at the end, where in the middle of Vimes leading the parade again, an unlicensed theft occurs and he gives chase, leading to a bit of confusion as everyone else follows suit. The poor thief looks behind him to see half of Ankh-Morpork's upper class bearing down on him.
- The Stealth Pun when Carrot and Angua are interviewing the gnoll Stoolie about the attempted assassination, and Angua is disgusted by the fact that Stoolie has grass growing on him. In other words, he's a Grassy Gnoll.
- Also, "grass" and "stool-pigeon" are slang for "informant".
- The end, where poor Sidney Pickens has the whole of Ankh-Morpork chasing him after he snatches a purse without showing his card from the Thieves' Guild.
- Ridcully tries to stop this only to be trampled.
- The Make-Words-With-Tiles-That-Have-All-Been-Mixed-Up Game is funny, because of things like "I don't think the gentlemen need to know those words, Nobby" and the fact that the scene is introduced with Colon being extremely tense as if something important is happening, but he's just terrified of the prospect that he might actually win and have to face some kind of rebuke from Vetinari (and his Fascinating Eyebrow) if he does. It also dips into Boggles the Mind, as Colon plays the word "avoid" (which he'd like to do to everything going on) and Vetinari changes it into "unavoidable" (which the situation actually is.)
Funny / Jingo