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Literature / Making Money

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Moist: Why will anyone want to kill me?
Vetinari: I couldn't say, Mister Lipwig. But there was at least one attempt on your life when you were innocently delivering letters, so I expect your career in banking will be an exciting one.

The 36th book in the Discworld series, Making Money returns us to Moist von Lipwig, who has taken to breaking into his own building and stealing his own possessions to alleviate the boredom of living a more virtuous life. Since Going Postal, he has become a major figure in the city and is tipped to become the next chairman of the Merchant's Guild. Vetinari, realizing that Moist would be much more useful if he redirected this bored energy towards a new project, offers him the chance to revamp the Royal Mint in much the same fashion as he revived the Post Office.

Topsy Lavish, the current majority shareholder of the Royal Bank of Ankh Morpork, spies Moist for what he is immediately — a dirty, scheming crook who she can certainly trust. Naturally, when she dies not long after meeting him, she leaves all of her shares to her pet dog... and leaves her pet dog to Moist. Her family, objecting to the bank falling into the hands of a non-relative, go to great lengths to bribe, torment and even attempt to kill Moist.

Meanwhile, Moist's fiancee Adora Belle Dearheart has been away on a dig, and Moist has been fighting off the advances of Gladys the golem. While both of these seem relatively innocent, they will eventually evolve into much bigger problems, which could cause Moist even bigger issues should things go wrong...

Preceded by Thud!, followed by Unseen Academicals. Preceded in the Moist series by Going Postal, followed by Raising Steam.

Making Money provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Allergy: Aimsbury the chef is allergic to garlic — not the aromatic root vegetable, the word. Whenever anyone mentions it in his presence, it causes him to freeze for fifteen seconds, throw the knife he's typically holding straight ahead of himself, then yell in Quirmian (i.e. French) for four seconds. Due to this, he's employed to cook for a dog, whose meals seldom include any mention of ga— er, that stuff.
  • Above Good and Evil: Justifying necromancy... Er, Post-Mortem Communications.
  • Actually Not a Vampire: Mr. Bent. Vetinari, too. Probably.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Moist's wisecrack about not wanting to make a habit of being hanged manages to get even Vetinari to smile a little.
  • Actual Pacifist: Moist is more comfortable being threatened with a sword than he is holding one.
  • Allergic to Routine: After making the Post Office feasible again and outwitting the bad guy of the last book, Moist quickly realizes that Victory Is Boring. If he isn't doing something insanely risky - such as flirting with Adora - he can't cope.
  • Always Someone Better: Cosmo is actually an intelligent and competent Chessmaster outside of his obsession with Vetinari, but Vetinari still makes him look like an idiot child. Compare and contrast their ways of subtly threatening someone. Cosmo makes a few oblique references to the past, making it clear he remembers what this person did and what they would not like to come out. Vetinari, on the other hand, chats about genuinely completely unrelated topics, well aware that the person he's talking to knows exactly what he has over them without having to say a word about it.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Vetinari asks Mr. Bent, currently in his clown getup, a difficult math question to see if he is still him. With some discomfort, reverting back to a more middle ground from the super-uptight old Bent was and the super-silly clown Bent, he is able to answer the question.
  • Army of Lawyers: There's one surrounding the Lavish family, and each time one or all of them interject, there's a little footnote noting how much money they earned in doing so.
  • Arrow Catch: Gladys catches one of the Assassin's Guild "warning shots", stopping it so suddenly that it catches fire.
  • Arrowgram: Moist von Lipwig receives a message by black arrow with impeccable italic enamelling in white down the side: The Guild of Assassins. Where style counts.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Averted, Pratchett did quite a bit of research into economic theory before writing the book, and it shows (the British gold hullabaloo notwithstanding). The book goes over a number of flaws of the gold standard, though it doesn't mention any flaws of a floating currency such as manipulation of the supply. This is largely excused from the move to a golem standard only happening at the end of the book.
  • Bag of Holding: The Cabinet of Curiosity is an unusually large and complex version. While its "resting" state is a perfectly ordinary cabinet, within it is a seemingly-infinite number of drawers containing anything that could possibly exist in eleven dimensions that isn't currently alive, isn't pink, and can fit in a cubical drawer 14.14 inches on a side. "Unfolded", it looks like a skyscraper-sized tree built of shelves.
  • Battle of Wits: Moist battles several.
    • When testing out the idea of paper currency, Moist engages the most shrewd business minded men in the city, the poorer vendors who could spot a wooden nickel a mile away, and are slower to come around to certain new ideas because upsetting the status quo could cause them to lose a substantial amount of money and suffer greatly for the loss. So, Moist knows if he wants to win over people with this new paper money currency, these are the men to beat.
    • Later, in the courtroom, Moist is up against the blackmailing Cosmo and Cribbins on one side and the law with Mr. Slant on the other. He fears trying to fight both so he can stay out of jail and deal with his blackmailers as it is a tricky situation. One Courtroom Antic later, and Moist sees the only truly smart move to play is to come clean and confess to his past crimes. Cosmo, Cribbins, and Slant act like he sucker punched them in different ways.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Moist loves doing this, but most notably, busting an expert stamp forger out of prison to design his paper money for him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • While he doesn't actually go berserk, Vetinari is not happy that Moist thinks he's the kind of man who would poison harmless old ladies in order to further his schemes.
    • In an involuntary variant, Aimsbury the dog-food chef has an "allergy" that makes him throw knives and scream in Quirmish if he hears the word "garlic".
    • Mr. Slant hates it when a simple legal trial ends up getting him confused and flustered especially in front of all those who are attending Moist's trial. He ends up giving such a Death Glare. This makes plenty of people agree to not do anything.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lady Deidre Waggon, the author of an old fashioned book on etiquette and household management, has a section in said book on disposing of dead bodies "so as to avoid Scandal".
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Lavishes hate each other only slightly less than they do the lower classes.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Mr. Bent's absence of a sense of humor is called "Nichtlachen-Keinwortz" syndrome, literally "not laughing - not a word."
    • At one point, Lord Vetinari, who normally prefers crossword puzzles, is seen playing the Discworld's version of Sudoku, here called Jikan no Muda. In Japanese, this means "a waste of time".
  • Blood Iron: There's a rumor that Lord Vetinari's cane contains a sword made from the blood of a thousand men, given Vetinari's the pragmatic sort it's unlikely on both counts, but that doesn't stop Cosmo from commissioning a "duplicate". The smith knows the impracticality as well and just makes a regular Sword Cane with some rust stains.
  • Body Horror:
    • As a part of Cosmo's attempts to mimic Lord Vetinari, he wears a copy of the Patrician's ring that is much too small for his hand. The blood supply to his finger is so severely compromised that the finger eventually becomes gangrenous, only being unnoticed because of the gloves Cosmo wore. We don't get a proper description of the result, but it has "green mushrooms" and Moist notes the "colors" and the "wriggling things", and the stench causes a bystander to throw up. Moist tricks Cosmo into exposing the ring to direct sunlight, and the special properties of the metal it's made of cause the ring to get super-hot and burn his finger clean off (saving his life from further gangrene and resulting septicaemia).
    • And then there's Cribbins' exploding dentures, which finally give up the ghost and violently shatter while inside his mouth. "He made a noise like someone trying to scream, except that even screaming was too painful".
  • Bookshelf of Authority: The 351-year-old zombie lawyer Mr. Slant cows his opposition with a milky Death Glare that makes them horribly aware that he himself wrote half of the large leather volumes they all keep in their offices to impress clients.
  • Boxed Crook: Moist, of course. He tries to set this up with Owlswick, only to realize that Vetinari would have given him the same offer Moist got anyway.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Lady Waggon's Book on Household management has many tips for the aspiring lady, including "Any bodies found during a week-end party should be disposed of discreetly, in case of scandal."
  • Brick Joke: Right at the end, Moist takes a faceful of custard pie. Vetinari tastes a dollop and announces it is pineapple flavour. The joke goes at least back to the start of the previous book, Going Postal — Vetinari and Moist have both just got past the pineapple. note 
  • Bring Them Around: Moist needs to convince the highly traditional Mint to print paper money, Mr. Bent off the gold standard, and the public to accept paper money as worth its printed value.
  • Brought Home the Wrong Kid: Moist's mother sometimes brought the wrong child home from school, he's so nondescript.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: The Fools' Guild entrance has one. Fortunately, Vetinari knows it's there and pushes it over before going through the door.
    Vetinari: I don't know why they persist in this, I really don't. It's not funny and it could hurt someone.
  • Butterfly of Transformation: Cosmo invokes this as he's psychologically breaking down.
  • Call-Back: Going Postal had ended with Vetinari trying to entrap Reacher Gilt into running the Mint, which ended with Gilt choosing to die instead. That's why Moist is approached to do the same job.
  • Canis Latinicus: As noted above, Lord Vetinari justifies his appointment of Moist with the ancient and venerable legal precedent of Quia ego sic dico, literally translated as "Because I said so".
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: At least two of these are amongst the problems bedeviling the bank and its accompanying mint, which is why Moist is called in. The first is that, despite years of adulterating the metal to try and counter this specific problem, the cost of the raw metal and labor needed to make the money is worth more than the value of the coins produced! Secondly, because all coins have to be handmade, employees at the mint have to create their own wages... as well as the currency for general use by the population. The result is that they literally earn money faster than they can physically make it!
  • Circular Reasoning: The Department of Post Mortem Communications can't be called necromancy:
    Moist: So what you are saying is that necromancy is a very bad form of magic performed only by evil wizards, and since you are not evil wizards, what you are doing cannot possibly be called necromancy?
    Dr. Hicks: Yes.
    Moist: And what defines an evil wizard?
    Dr. Hicks: Well, for a start, doing necromancy.
    Moist: And because you're not evil wizards, what you're doing can't be called necromancy.
    Dr. Hicks: Exactly!
  • Comically Small Bribe: Cosmo offers Moist $10,000 for Mr. Fusspot, even though he'll get twice that every year for watching him plus a lot of other perks. He later explains to the other Lavishes that this was meant to be insultingly small; Moist would worry about their inevitable attempt at a takeover if they did nothing, but now he thinks they're just idiots.
  • Consequence Combo: Topsy delivers an awesome one of these. "The sum of $20,000 annually will be paid for performing this duty, which I beg you to accept. If you do not... your arse will belong to the Guild of Assassins."note 
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Cosmo Lavish wears gloves to hide the ring he wears, both because it's stolen property and because it's made of stygium, a metal that glows white-hot in sunlight.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Moist is obligated to do this with Mr Fusspot, since he's the actual chairman (chairdog?) of the bank.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Stanley's favorite Pin Emporium, mentioned in Going Postal, is briefly mentioned as becoming a Pin and Stamp Emporium. One of the subplots is Vetinari's use of the Device from Thud! And Moist wonders why an axe is stuck in the table in the Rats Chamber...
    • The jobs Moist gets at the start of this book are the exact same jobs that were offered to his Evil Counterpart at the end of Going Postal, which he... refused.
    • Mrs. Cake from Reaper Man makes an appearance, as does her daughter.
    • Owlswick Jenkins, startled by something Moist says, asks if there are people who commit suicide professionally. In The Truth, William de Worde interviewed and was rescued by a former steeplejack who threatens to commit suicide professionally.
    • At one point, the numbers-obsessed Mr. Bent thinks to himself that he'll get pi to even out eventually. In Moist's first adventure, a large part of the Post Office's problems were caused by an invention which contained a small, alternate universe where pi was exactly three.
    • One of the problems that the mint is facing is that it costs more money to make the physical money than its actual monetary value is worth. Moist invoked the need to avoid this same problem back in Going Postal when he invented stamps, bringing up in passing that a penny-value stamp shouldn't actually cost the post office a penny to make.
    • When Pucci makes her futile attempt to discredit Moist's new paper currency, everyone immediately cottons onto the idea by likening it to the stamps that Moist invented. Stamps had, in fact, been established as having become an informal paper currency within Ankh-Morpork since their invention.
    • One of Moist's many alternate identities was a "wool salesman" who regularly sojourned at the same men's lodging house that William de Worde lived at in The Truth.
  • Cool Old Lady: Topsy Lavish is pegged by Moist as "a Mark I Feisty Old Lady". His internal monologue offers a fairly in-depth description of the type.
  • Counterfeit Cash: Moist decides to pre-empt the problem of counterfeit paper bills by recruiting the best counterfeiter in Ankh-Morpork to design the bills. Even if it means springing him out of jail where he is awaiting the death penalty for counterfeiting stamps.
  • Courtroom Antics: During Moist's trial, Mr. Fusspot is propelled across the courtroom floor by a vibrating dildo he's using as a chew toy. Moist quickly decides that a world where something like that can actually happen can handle someone like him being in charge of a bank, and confesses to everything.
  • Crazy-Prepared: If Moist ever needs to leave town under a different name (again) he has a wide range of options.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: None happen (unless you count an Assassin being taken down with balloon animals, which is at least unusual) but Vetinari discusses one. "One of my predecessors used to have men pulled apart by wild tortoises. It was not a quick death."
  • Cypher Language: Adora Belle's use of "golem language" is phonetic English rendered in Enochian characters.
  • Deadly Environment Prison: Subverted. When placed in the same scene and offered the same choice as in Going Postal, Moist theatrically goes to test the depth of the "alternative"...only to find that now it's an ordinary exit door, because this time Vetinari really is giving him the option to refuse.
  • Didn't See That Coming: By the end of the book, Cosmo and Cribbins plan on blackmailing Moist with his dirty past if he survives the trial. So, after seeing Mr. Fusspot's antics with his new "toy", Moist decides to just confess to his previous crimes, robbing those two of any ammunition.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Topsy's late husband, who had whole closets of unusual sex toys that amuse Adora Belle and trouble Moist. And provide Mr. Fusspot with a chew toy.
    Moist: Did he often "work" late?
    Vetinari: With astonishing regularity for his age, I understand.
    • Also Professor Flead, former head of the Necromancy Department at Unseen University. Shamelessly perverted and incapable of being much older for the same reason he's the former head — he's dead. At the end of the book Moist makes a deal with him that sees him bound to the Pink Pussycat Club for the rest of time, which is like paradise for him — when he was alive, he thought seeing a woman's ankles was saucy.
  • Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: According to Professor Flead, in the language of ancient Um a single word can mean dozens of things depending on its context. This leads to the reveal that a passage thought to refer to "four golden golems" actually means "four thousand golems".
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Vetinari asks Moist to run the Royal Bank and the Mint. After surveying the place, Moist declines. Vetinari asks him to sign a statement to that effect and assures him that the matter won't be raised again. That night, Mrs Lavish, the current chairwoman of the bank, dies and leaves her share in the bank to her dog and the dog to Moist. Moist understandably thinks that Vetinari may have had a hand in Mrs Lavish's death, a belief that makes Vetinari quite angry. Her death was entirely natural- she was an old lady who'd been quite ill for some time- but given the timing, you can't really blame Moist for thinking it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Mr. Fusspot is safe from guild Assassins, because killing a little lap-dog looks really bad on one's resumé.
    • The Assassins also won't accept a contract on someone who already has one, so by hiring them to kill Moist if he fails to protect Mr. Fusspot, Topsy was actually protecting him from her murderous in-laws. Although this case is less "standards" than "rules".
    • Vetinari does a lot of morally ambiguous things for the good of the city, but killing old ladies isn't among them. To imply that he would commit such an act is a very dangerous move indeed.
    • Moist will admit to his crimes in a courtroom, but takes umbrage at being compared to the Lavishes, who have committed far worse atrocities than he ever did.
    • Moist notes he learned a lot from his old partner-in-crime Cribbins, and then spent a good many years trying to unlearn it.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Moist gets rather excited about the sound of Adora Belle speaking the language of the golems.
  • Exact Words:
    • Adora Belle sees nothing wrong with the golden golems leaving the dig site without her telling the dwarfs who are supposed to check everything she is taking with her because, technically, she isn't taking them. They just happen to be following her golems out of the site, underground.
    • Cosmo hires Heretofore to be his Drumknott when he learns that he used to be a secretary at the palace - but that's not what Heretofore actually said at the interview. He'd actually said that he'd once worked at the palace, and once been a secretary. They were separate positions - the job he'd held at the palace was gardener.
    • Pucci Lavish doesn't exactly confess to her family's crimes, because a confession suggests guilt. What Pucci does is more bragging.
  • Fate Worse than Death: For Topsy Lavish, having to stay with the Lavishes after her death. She instead gets buried at Small Gods.
  • Fantastic Nuke:
    • It's mentioned that "if you don't think of building fifty-foot high killer golems first, someone else will", and later Moist points out that "if you don't think of not using fifty-foot high killer golems first, someone else will."
    • A Shout-Out to Mary Gentle's Ash: A Secret History, where very large imposing golems are used as devastating weapons of war that allow an invading army to conquer a continent.
    • Adora's find of 4,000 mindless golems, each 15-20 foot tall and capable of multi-ton feats of strength is considered tantamount to a declaration of war just by existing. Dealing with this is a major feat of act 3.
  • Fantastical Social Services: Each of the Moist books focuses on a different one; in this case, modernising the Ankh-Morpork bank and mint involves determining what money means in a world that runs on narrativium and popular belief.
  • Fantasy Metals: Stygium, a rare jet-black magic metal favored by rich Assassins for signature rings. While stable in small quantities, such as those needed for a ring, larger shards (even enough to make a small blade) build up to an unstable critical mass. The Assassins' predilection for the metal stems from its main quality: it absorbs virtually all light that touches its surface, rapidly heating it unless it's kept in darkness, fitting their preferred style. Even a few moments of sunlight are enough to turn the ring white-hot.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Cosmo attempts to train himself to emulate Vetinari's use of this, complete with a special device. The results are less than ideal. Members of the "Vetinari ward" regularly hold eyebrow-raising competitions.
  • Fiery Redhead: Topsy Lavish was apparently one in her youth. In her old age, she tries to shoot Death with crossbows.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "Joshua liked to be in control. Oh yes, didn't he just." Moist later discovers a closet full of S&M equipment in Joshua Lavish's room.
    • When trying to find out about Mr Bent's mysterious past, Moist discovers a diary entry saying that some 'funny looking men' appeared at the bank asking about him. Probably meant to be taken quite literally, as Bent used to be a clown.
    • Likewise, Harry King tells Moist that there's something 'funny' about Bent. Then there's his strange manner of walking. And his unnaturally large feet.
    • As Professor Flead explains how the Umnians worshipped gold, he offhandedly mentions that they clothed their priests in it. This is the key factor in how Moist deals with the four thousand golems.
  • Formally-Named Pet: Topsy Lavish's dog and eventual chairman of the bank is named Mr Fusspot.
  • Gone Horribly Right: This turned out to have happened in the backstory of Mr Bent- his clown father came back for him, taking him away from his conservative, humourless mother. As anyone could see that Bent had natural clown talent, rather than send him to the Clown Guild to be taught, his father dressed him up like one and put him out in front of the circus audience where, to Bent's horror, they laughed at him.
  • Gonky Femme: Gladys, the "female" golem from Going Postal, returns. This time, she catches the attention of Adora, who gets quite miffed with a golem adopting the submissive, quiet role advised by Lady Deirdre Waggon (especially when Gladys forms a romantic attraction to Moist). So she gives Gladys a copy of Releventia Flout's feminism treatise to read, turning her into a burgeoning feminist.
  • Good with Numbers: Mr Bent is a genius in matters of finance and numbers. It's mentioned that he's working on Pi in his spare time and is confident that it will give in before he does. It's such a major part of his character that when he actually makes a mistake (due to being distracted by Moist) his assistant has a Freak Out and the rest of his staff makes a run for it.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Vetinari does a sudoku-equivalent in the Times which is called Jikan no Muda — rough Japanese for "waste of time".
  • Gratuitous Latin: Vetinari's claim that his actions in appointing Moist to government positions are justified under the legal grounds of "Quia ego sic dico". note 
  • Groin Attack: Owlswick kicks Moist in the crotch and does a runner, not realizing Moist is just disguised as a watchman and is trying to help him break out of prison.
  • Hat of Authority: Moist gets a top hat upon being made bank manager. He promptly covers it with glitter and gold leaf.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Mr. Bent is very rigid about his beliefs and so strict about accuracy to the point that the cashier staff is absolutely terrified of making a mistake in front of him. However, when he disappears Moist learns that not only did he keep the bank running, he was beloved by the same staff because his attention to detail and high standards meant that he demanded the best from his staff and fought for them to be paid accordingly (no small feat considering the greedy owners of the bank). It also meant that any former employee of his could land pretty much any job in the plains just because of the prestige. All in all, it becomes evident that he cared about the workers as much as he cared about the work.
  • Hollywood Restraining Order: After Pucci has pushed into Cosmo's study:
    Cosmo: ... and you are forbidden to come within fifteen yards of me. I have an injunction.
    Pucci: And you're not allowed to be within twenty yards of me, so you broke it first.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: Moist gets out of being blackmailed by Cosmo Lavish and Cribbins by shamelessly admitting that he's a former con-artist.
  • Honey Trap: Pucci tries to be one; Moist sees her and takes off in the other direction at top speed. Turns into a Brain Bleach moment, as his appalled memory cells try to die.
  • How Many Fingers?: Igor - with an actual jar full of them.
  • Hypocrite: Mr Bent hates anything and everything he deems silly, worships the cold logic of numbers, loves the bank, and hates Moist for manipulating the people through sheer charisma and making people believe with “smoke and mirrors”. However his view of all things silly is skewed, Moist’s changes are actually benefiting the bank, he’s manipulating numbers to hide how the Lavish family have wasted the gold, and he’s a clown by birth.
  • Idiot Ball: Moist calls himself on holding it because he did not check out the vault on day one with a lawyer, an (al)chemist and a guard to check on the status of the gold. Also for getting into the first cab he saw without thinking. A year ago he never would have made that mistake.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Moist is rather annoyed that his career of inventive and non-violent crime only got two paragraphs in the Tanty Bugle. Vetinari notes that the editor doesn't seem to consider a crime newsworthy unless the victim is found in three alleyways at once.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Cosmo towards Vetinari (see below).
  • I Know Kung-Faux: There's a reference to sloshi, the art of Martial Arts Clowning.
  • The Illegible: Many people writing mail in Ankh-Morpork manage to bungle addressing it so badly that it lands in the Blind Letter Office; even if it's literally legible it still says things like "Duzbuns hopsit pharmerrc"note  or "My brofer John, tall, by the brij" that have to be deciphered.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Hubert's hair extends straight up five inches to a perfect flattop. Moist wonders in passing if he uses glue to keep it upright.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Bent uses a pink balloon animal to strangle a would-be assassin.
  • Infraction Distraction: In the opening, Moist breaks into the Post Office. He conceals the evidence by broadly implying that he's not alone in bed.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Department of Postmortem Communications are not necromancers. (Technically true, since necromancy officially means consulting the dead to learn about the future. Contacting them to figure out what's going on in the past or present doesn't count.)
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Cosmo Lavish is plotting to overthrow Lord Vetinari by becoming Lord Vetinari. His plans to achieve this go as far as to steal the Patrician's boots and jewelry, and copy his manner of dress and facial hair at all times. Later, we find there is an entire ward of a hospital devoted to people who think they're Vetinari.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Moist, when the Lavishes denounce him for stealing the bank's gold, accuse him of being a fraud, and insult his fashion sense.
  • It's All About Me: Pucci, whose Screw the Rules, I Have Money! remarks incriminate her entire family.
  • Just Testing You: When Mr. Bent has a paper corrected by one of his younger employees and suffers a breakdown, Moist initially wonders why he simply didn't claim he was testing them.
    "Even school teachers know that one!"
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: The Discworld novel inverts the stereotype. Protagonist Moist von Lipwig recalls how, as a boy, he used to hide his meat under the vegetables rather than eat the former. Justified, as Moist's grandfather ran a dog kennel and, apparently, had saved all the tastier bits of pigs or chickens for his dogs.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: A mild form: Vetinari hands Moist a sword while questioning him, so he can confirm that Moist is more afraid when he's holding a sword than he is when Vetinari is. A subtle but brilliant Continuity Nod back to Guards! Guards!!, in which the maddened Lupin Wonse screamed at Vetinari "You think you're in control just because I've got a sword and you haven't!"
    • Could be considered as a Continuity Nod for Moist, to the scene in Going Postal where Moist kills a banshee and pukes right after he does so, showing to the reader that he hates violence, even when it is done in order to save his own life.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Pucci Lavish has an incredibly inflated ego, and repeatedly shows that she is nowhere near as intelligent, socially adept or attractive as she believes herself to be. Most prominently is the scene where she tries to denounce Moist's new paper currency, with Moist observing to himself that she is completely failing to exploit the attention she has as well as having no clue how to steer public opinion, especially because she's angry that they're all disagreeing with her by proclaiming the paper currency to be a good idea.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cribbins tries to take Adora hostage after Moist foils his blackmail scheme, only for Cribbin's stolen dentures to give up the ghost at that moment and break apart in his mouth, nearly killing him.
  • Last Disrespects: Topsy Lavish's funeral is attended by her in-laws; a family of rich, selfish, squabbling assholes who do nothing but glare at each other throughout the ceremony, waiting for each other to start something so they can sue each others' pants off. Nonetheless, Cosmo considered it a "decently dignified occasion" spoiled only by Hubert, who was the only one actually mourning and blubbering all over the place.
  • Laughing Mad: Mr. Bent starts laughing, mirthlessly at first and then maniacally, as he cracks up and embraces his clown heritage.
  • Mad Artist: Owlswick Jenkins, who is a genius at recreating images he observes, but is wracked with emotional problems and doesn't seem to understand the consequences of his actions.
  • Mad Mathematician: Mavolio Bent, who can see the answer to an equation just by looking at it and considers a mistake to be the worst of all sins one could commit, is noted by Moist to be a little unstable, especially in regards to his obsession with the gold standard. After making a mistake himself, Bent briefly goes completely over the edge.
  • Mad Scientist: Topsy's nephew Hubert Turvy, a Mad Economist, who built a hydraulic computer to calculate the flow of money. Although, in the same style as many of Discworld's da Quirm inventions, the computer is based on a real-world device — the MONIAC, devised in 1949.
  • Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: Semi-jokingly invoked by Moist and Adora Belle as part of their regular Snark-to-Snark Combat. When Moist asks if she's found giant war golems, Adora Belle claims that "only a man would think of that" (Moist retorts that that's their job - if they don't think of giant war golems, someone else will do it first!). Later, Moist claims that only a woman would assume (as Adora Belle is currently doing) that just because she's got what she considers an ironclad explanation for why what she wants to do is the correct thing to do, everyone else is just going to go along with it.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Some of the fundamentals of martial clowning, such as lethal balloon animals and "battle-planking".
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The counting room clerks, realizing that Mr Bent is about to discover his own mistake, all bolt for the exits at once.
  • Master Forger: As part of his efforts to move the economy out of gold standard, Moist finds the forger who'd been making his own perfect versions of Ankh-Morpork stamps and recruits him to design paper money.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Those dentures... cursed, or just malfunctioning? Anoia, goddess of Things Stuck in Drawers, is in great debt to Moist for the increase in publicity he's given her, and he also did offer a prayer to her before the trial. A badly-fitting pair of dentures, stuck in Cribbins' "drawers" for years, may very well be within her domain. Moist decides to make an offering just in case.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Mild, in-universe case; Moist reflects that you never see a tall, slim Hubert, and Hubert Turvy is no exception.
    • Also a meta-version for the Lavishes: the adjective of 'lavish' means 'sumptuously rich, elaborate or luxurious', and the Lavish family are definitely that. Also, the Lavishes mentioned by name are all named after luxury items: i.e. Cosmo = Cosmopolitan, a cocktail that is generally regarded as sophisticated; for added PTerry trademark wordplay, cosmopolitan is also a term meaning worldly-wise and experienced in the world at large. Pucci = fashion house that came to prominence during the 1950's; fans include Marilyn Monroe, and Madonna. Cosmo's name also nods towards Cosimo de Medici, a banker who sought political power rather more successfully, and who had an ally named Puccio Pucci (ancestor of the fashion house founder).
    • Mavolio Bent's name references the teasing that he has a dark secret. "Mavolio" is a play on the name of Shakespearean stuffed shirt Malvolio from Twelfth Night, whose name means "ill will." His surname Bent can be used colloquially to mean "dishonest" or "corrupt."
  • Memetic Mutation: One occurs In-Universe: Vetinari's "I do believe it is pineapple". Barely a chapter later, a political cartoon references the line, with Vetinari saying "THIS does NOT taste of pineapple!"
  • Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Lampshaded with Gladys. It's noted that classifying one golem as female has, somehow, made the generic golems male.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Topsy can barely see over the top of her desk, and when she swings at Moist with her cane she hits his knee.
  • The Mistress: Topsy was the mistress, became the wife, and was aware that newer models were coming along. She explained that keeping this all open made it very convenient for everyone's schedules.
  • Mugging the Monster: Well, in fairness, who would have imagined that Mr. Bent would represent any kind of physical threat, let alone to Professional Killer Cranberry and his hired thug? The former ends up garrotted with a balloon animal, while the latter is apparently kicked to death.
  • Multilayer Façade: Topsy discusses Moist's relationship with Adora in these terms.
    "I suspect you like her because she can see your inner self. Or at least an inner self you've left inside just in case."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Sloshi, the clown martial-arts, as demonstrated by the maddened Mr. Bent.
  • Napoleon Delusion: In the end, Cosmo is taken to a lunatic asylum which has a whole ward full of people who also think they're Vetinari.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: What Cosmo thinks is happening when he's locked in the Vetinari Ward. Where better to hide Lord Vetinari from his enemies while he's recovering from an injury than in a hospital ward full of madmen who all believe that they are Lord Vetinari? In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if some of the other inmates at the asylum are under the same delusion.
  • Nerds Are Naïve: Hubert Turvy, who spends all his time in a cellar tinkering with the financial modelling system he invented, is a genius in economics and engineering, but is completely clueless when it comes to the cutthroat politics of his in-laws, despite this being a large part of what he's modelling. He's also uncomfortable talking to women. Moist von Lipwig describes him as "not used to things that don't come with a manual."
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Cosmo's attempt to bribe Moist with a bank certificate is exactly what gives Moist the idea of paper money.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • We never get any details on the pastime of Extreme Sneezing, except that Ventinari considers it insanely dangerous.
    • During the epilogue, mention is made of a seat in the front row of the Pink Pussycat Club being unusable (mainly because Professor Flead is now haunting it). The managers decide that they can live with it due to an undescribed incident that occurred when they tried to take the damn thing away...
  • No Sense of Humor: Mr Bent is quite proud of having no sense of humor whatsoever, claiming it's a formally-diagnosed condition. It's more likely him overcompensating for his upbringing.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The Department of Post-Mortem Communications is full of these. They're fake, though. Except for old Charlie, who will remind you, a shade proudly, that he's the backbone of the department.
  • Not My Driver: Moist has two nasty run-ins with a Lavish due to getting in the first black coach he sees. Nobby and Colon are there to point out how Genre Blind he's getting the second time.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Mr. Fusspot is missing and Gladys is stirring the large pot. (Mr. Fusspot got lost in the bank and Aimsbury later finds him in the cool room. Gladys was just cooking the sheep's head.)
  • Not With the Safety On, You Won't: Moist prevents Owlswick Jenkins from committing suicide by eating a tube of highly toxic paint because he made the same mistake as a lot of amateurs and left the cap on.
  • Oblivious to Love: Mr Bent is unaware of Ms Drapes' feelings for him until she flat-out tells him at some point near the end. Moist, by contrast, sees the way she looks at him and knows exactly what's going on then and there.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • After breaking the forger out of prison to make bills for him, Moist realizes that it had already been Vetinari's plan and he'd just mucked it up.
    • A rare one from Vetinari towards the end, when Drumknott relates that the political cartoon in the Times includes a likeness of Mr. Fusspot - whose last significant appearance had been with a vibrating dildo in his mouth. Fortunately, because the editor of the newspaper is one of the rare sensible people in Ankh Morpork, the cartoon is perfectly G-rated.
  • Old-Timey Ankle Taboo: Professor Flead has been dead for several centuries but is still as randy as he was when alive. So when Moist makes a deal with him to let him haunt a strip club, he asks if it's "smutty" and if the women show their ankles.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Mr. Bent's clerical mistake is treated akin to a genuinely pious man unintentionally blaspheming. It takes all the senior clerks working together, double-checking and triple-checking the work, before they come to the frightening conclusion that it has actually happened.
  • Out with a Bang: Topsy Lavish's husband. Topsy was not actually present at the time.
  • The Perry Mason Method: Used accidentally. When Mr. Bent and Miss Drapes reveal how the gold was really stolen, the arrogant Pucci Lavish goes on an epic tangent that not only confirms it but confesses to several other crimes her family has committed. The Watch present at the trial can't get a word in edgewise to tell her she has the right to remain silent, and end up writing it down and waving it at her.
  • Pet Heir: Mr. Fusspot, done by Topsy out of good-humored spite towards the Lavishes. This turns out to actually be a very clever way of screwing them over in the long run, and it works like a charm.
  • Pink Means Feminine: When told the Cabinet of Curiosities won't hold anything pink in it, Adora Belle Dearheart declares that it's obviously not made for a young girl.
  • Plank Gag: Mr. Bent uses this with a ladder when he barges in on Moist's hearing.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation/Dragon Their Feet: Cribbins, who shows up after the trial to try wringing money out of Moist in some way.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Moist actually resorts to prayer at one point. He prays to Anoia, one of the gods he claimed gave him inspiration to locating the funds in Going Postal. She rules over things getting stuck in drawers. If one considers a "mouth" a "drawer", then it could be she answered by the end of the book.
  • Pretty in Mink: Pucci shows up wearing furs at one point. Whether it's Fur and Loathing isn't clear though.
  • Pun-Based Title: Both the literal (minting/printing currency) and figurative (earning money/getting rich) senses of "making money" apply.
  • A Rare Sentence: When trying to stop Vetinari from being humiliated by a rogue clown with the Squirting Flower Gag, Moist shouts "Look out, he's got a daisy!", then does a mental double-take when he realizes what he just said.
  • Reality Changing Miniature: The Glooper becomes this, much to the distress of its creator. He reluctantly takes advantage of this when he discovers the vault empty by refilling the flask representing the vault, causing gold to materialise in the actual vault.
  • Red Herring: We are repeatedly told that everyone suspects Mr. Bent of being a vampire. So often that the Genre Savvy reader knows he must be something else, and is perhaps thinking of other unusual Discworld races like Mr. Gryle the banshee from Going Postal. In the end, Mr. Bent turns out to be a clown.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The whole concept of paper money is Refuge in Audacity itself, since it has no inherent value, and its worth is only established by consensus. Which makes Moist von Lipwig the perfect man to run a bank.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • The Lavish family is an influential and prolific family but they never made an appearance before this book. For the most part it's justified since not a lot of Discworld characters operate on the same level of society as them, but even in later Watch books when Vimes is rubbing elbows (or butting heads as the case may be) with Ankh Morpork's elite they never receive a single mention.
    • Knowing the Lavish family, this could be a) because no one wants to be sued by their travelling army of lawyers for mentioning them or simply b) they're so damn petty and mean that no one wants to acknowledge them unless it's required. They didn't do anything important in the previous books, so everyone's narrative ignored them!
  • Replaced with Replica: Cosmo pays a lot of money to get his hands on Vetinari's stuff, including clothing. When he wants Vetinari's Sword Cane (supposedly made from the iron contained in the blood of a thousand men), his assistant makes one instead, as getting the real is too hard and because the one he makes is closer to Cosmo's idea of the sword Vetinari would have.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Cosmo's journal full of attempted signatures looks a lot like one: "Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari Vetinari".
  • Running Gag:
    • Moist stealing Drumknott's pencil.
    • When the Lavishes' lawyers do something, a note of how much it costs their employer pops up.
  • Sanity Slippage: Cosmo Lavish begins the story as a somewhat sane, if not very efficient, Manipulative Bastard. Over the course of the story, his obsession with Lord Vetinari, coupled with his rotting finger slowly poisoning him, makes him increasingly more unhinged, to the point that he ends the story in an asylum for people who think they are Vetinari.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • At the beginning, Moist says this almost verbatim after seeing the state of the Mint and the Royal Bank. Vetinari lets him off the hook, only for Topsy Lavish to die and basically drag him into the position via weaponized inheritance.
    • Heretofore, when Cosmo's madness reaches critical mass.
  • Sequel Hook: Vetinari outlines his plan to move Moist into the business of taxation once he's gotten the bank and mint running properly. Which is actually averted, because the next time Moist appears he's dealing with steam trains not taxes.
  • Series Continuity Error: A slight one: students of the Department of Necro- ahem, Postmortem Communications call the black robes and skull rings "Babe Magnets". However, Lords and Ladies makes it clear that magnetism is an obscure force in Discworld, almost wholly unknown to the Wizard community, and the word "magnetism" doesn't exist at all; the only ones with any sort of familiarity with it are Blacksmiths, who refer to it as "The Love of Iron". Although Ponder Stibbons seems curious about it at the end of that book, it seems unlikely to have been studied beyond the High Energy Magic department, certainly not to the point of being given a name and being used as an idiom by students of a different department.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Cosmo waits until the very end of his first meeting with Moist to drop this one. Just as Moist gets out of the coach, Cosmo pointedly adds "My regards to your young lady," then drives off. Moist is not very impressed by the statement.
    Moist: [shouting after him] Why didn't you add "We know where your children will go to school"?
  • Shoot the Builder: As part of his obsession with Vetinari, Cosmo Lavish hires craftsmen to make a signet ring like Vetinari's and a device that tugs at his eyebrow so that he will start reflexively raising his eyebrow like the patrician does. He has his enforcer kill both men once they finish their work to keep his obsession secret (the jeweler who makes the ring doesn't help his case by engaging in a bit of blackmail). This backfires on Cosmo since the ring is far too tight (although he's too enthralled with it to notice) and the eyebrow device is faulty and gives him a black eye. The dead craftsmen are in no position to fix them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • We've got Moist making paper money that is noted to be worth only what we think it is. We've got a man who's obsessing over a pair of boots. We've got a little dog. We've got Moist revitalizing his top hat. We've got a lady golem that does the ironing. Mr. Jenkins considers a battleship as a motif for the bills he's designing. Adora Belle gives Moist a golem horse, which he rides. Dibbler asks for enough money for a barrow. All of these are pieces in Monopoly, a finance-based boardgame.
    • And guess what: in the next book, Raising Steam, Moist acquires a set of railway stations as a necessary incidental detail. A possible Discworld book mentioned by Pterry was Running Water note , which could have dealt with piped water supplies and sewage works. Adora's clacks line is the local version of the telephone company. All of these reflect the public utilities on a Monopoly board.
    • The scene where Moist and Adora briefly believe Gladys the Golem has killed Mr. Fusspot is based on the "bunny boiler" scene from Fatal Attraction.
    • Mr Bent's Backstory may be inspired by John Major, who was said to be the only person who ran away from the circus to become an accountant.
      • His clown persona, meanwhile, appears to be largely based on the famous late 18th to early 19th century clown Joseph Grimaldi, particularly his catchphrase "Here we are, again!"
    • Moist's notion that "food will get you through times of no gold better than gold will get you through times of no food" is a Shout-Out to The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers' philosophy that "dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope."
    • Vetinari uses the line "I couldn't possibly comment," which could be a reference to House of Cards (UK). (Which was also referenced in the Sky TV adaptation of Hogfather - Ian Richardson, who played Urquhart in House of Cards, voices Death and the adaptation has Death say it.)
    • Gladys, after reading a feminist treatise, declares "The sisters are doing it for themselves." Moist wonders what "it" is, exactly.
    • The Glooper is a pastiche of Real Life's MONIAC, aka the Phillips Hydraulic Computer, which really did simulate the economy by using the flow of liquid to represent the flow of money.
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: The actual purpose of clowns, at least in Vetinari's opinion. "They are tragic, and we laugh at their tragedy as we laugh at our own. Life is but a banana peel propelling us toward the open manhole cover of doom, and all we can do is sing as we go."
  • Stock "Yuck!": Invoked and discussed with Aimsbury's menu largely consisting of organ and offal-based foods, since he primarily cooks for Mr. Fusspot, the bank manager who is also coincidentally a little dog. Moist finds the dishes revolting, having grown up on such fare and wanting to never experience it again, but chokes it down because there's no alternative. For added hilarity, Adora ironically loves those same dishes, because they remind her of a particularly beloved grandmother.
  • The Stoic: Vetinari reacts to everything in a restrained and dignified manner. When forced to enter a clown college, he gravely warns his companions to "expect... fun."
  • Soul Jar: Not for a soul, but Igor moves Owlswick Jenkins's bad memories and anxieties into a turnip, which becomes rotten and partly alive, rolling around its glass enclosure.
  • Straw Feminist: Gladys becomes one of these after reading books written by other straw feminists. This is actually something of a step-up, as she had previously obtained her advice on how women should act from an outdated etiquette handbook for "proper young ladies".
  • Summon Bigger Fish: When Moist explains to Vetinari why there are mongooses in the letter boxes. They were introduced to keep down the snakes, which they put there to get rid of the toads, which they encouraged because of the snails, which got there themselves to eat the stamp glue. Vetinari then notes brightly that they were saved the trouble of introducing the snails. (This is presumably a reference to the "The Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly" song, itself a use of the trope.)
  • Summoning Ritual: The Professor of Necromancy... Er, Post-Mortem Communications makes great use of dribbling candles, and pentagrams, because he knows the spirits they are trying to summon won't come if it doesn't look right.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of Moist's tricks is to invoke this trope as a Bait-and-Switch — covering up the fact there's a woman in his bed just subtly enough that the hearer will assume that there is one and that they've seen through him... when in fact there isn't one at all, he just wants to keep them out of his room.
  • Sword Cane: Vetinari's walking stick is widely considered to be one (specifically, one forged from the iron in the blood of his enemies) but it's fairly ambiguous as to whether it actually is (fairly unlikely, since he favors stilettos as personal weapons). Although it's almost certainly not made out of the blood of his enemies even if it is one.
  • Take Five: Vetinari tells the employees of the Blind Letter Office that it's time for them to take their tea break, so he can talk to Moist. He actually has to add "Somewhere else" because they try to take their tea break in the Blind Letter Office at first.
  • Taking the Bullet: Moist saves Vetinari from public humiliation by taking a Pie in the Face for him. Of course, this being Vetinari, the chances of him getting hit were near non-existent in the first place. Because he knew Moist would jump in front of it.
  • Tastes Like Purple: As a side effect of Igor transferring all of Owlswick's neuroses into a turnip: "It sounded like the smell of raspberries tastes."
  • Thanatos Gambit: Mrs. Lavish's will hands her money to Mr. Fusspot, makes Moist his guardian... and sets up a contingency contract on him with the Guild of Assassins if the dog doesn't live out its natural life. Which, the book notes, prevents anyone else from simply taking out a contract on Moist.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Justified by Vetinari's unflappable nature — if he didn't say it out loud, there'd be no way for anyone else to tell.
    Vetinari: But now the city works, Mr Lipwig. We progress. We would not do so if the ruler was the kind of man who would kill elderly ladies, do you understand?
    Moist: I never said -
    Vetinari: I know exactly what you never said. You refrained from saying it very loudly. I am extremely angry, Mr Lipwig.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Igor has to ask Hubert to say this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The craftsman who makes the replica of Vetinari's signet ring for Heretofore attempts to blackmail him for more money in exchange for his silence by pointing out that even if making the replica isn't technically illegal, anyone who wants an exact replica of Vetinari's signet ring and is willing to pay that much can't be up to anything good. What he didn't realise is that anyone who wants the replica and was willing to pay that much would almost certainly be willing to kill him to get what they want, and he'd already made the ring.
  • Tranquil Fury: Moist's clumsy insinuation that Vetinari had Topsy assassinated to get his hands on the bank makes the Patrician possibly angrier than we've ever seen him in the entire series. If he hadn't said so out loud, there may have been no way of knowing.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Provides the page quote. Moist is slightly disappointed with how little space ten tons of gold actually occupy.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Mr. Bent, probably to his mother's disappointment.
  • Under New Management: Moist Von Lipwig as the new management of the Mint.
  • Unfortunate Names: Apparently, Topsy Lavish's maiden name was Turvy. As it is implied that she used to be either an exotic dancer or music-hall girl, Topsy could quite probably be a stage name (or pole name as the case may be). On the other hand, this is Ankh-Morpork, where people are regularly given names such as Legitimate First. It's entirely possible that was her real name.
  • Vomiting Cop: An unnamed guardsman on the removal of Cosmo's glove.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: In a Shout-Out to Twelfth Night, the austere and humourless bank clerk Mavolio Bent, a man who ran away from the circus to join a bank, suddenly re-asserts his destiny and heritage as a circus clown.
  • Wealth's in a Name: The Lavish family are majority shareholders in the Bank of Ankh-Morpork.
  • Wham Line: "There are more than one hundred and twenty things it can mean, but in this case, taken in conjunction with the rest of the paragraph, it means 'a thousand'. Four thousand golems, I think you'll find."
  • Who's on First?: Because the Glooper leaks and visitors are given raincoats, Hubert replies to Moist's introduction, "I am Moist", with "Perhaps we should put the raincoats nearer the door."
  • The Window or the Stairs: Moist is given the same choice as he was at the start of Going Postal, only to discover that the "bottomless pit" room is now perfectly normal. When he asks what happened to it, Vetinari claims to have no idea what he's talking about.
  • Worrying for the Wrong Reason: The drink Splot, a sort of Klatchian Coffee up to eleven. People are often reassured when they hear Splot is nonalchoholic...until they're told it's because "alcohol wouldn't survive."
  • Worthless Currency: Moist's biggest challenge when introducing paper money is convincing people used to coins that it isn't worthless, even though Ankh-Morpork coinage already has a precious metal content lower than seawater and the Post Office's stamps've served as a de-facto paper currency for a while already. After the bank's gold reserve turns out to be missing, he gets them to accept paper backed by the buried golems, but not fiat currency like he wanted.
  • Wrote the Book: Mr. Slant wrote half of the impressive-looking books in any lawyer's office.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Dr. Hicks mentions a squid in the corridor. When Moist asks him about it, he says "You would not want to know about the squid."
    • In a minor variation, the mint employee asks Moist not to ask about a certain coin. When Moist absently does so, he replies he's glad Moist asked.
  • You Fool!: Bent is having some trouble with his clown inner self and it calls him You Fool!, doubly troublesome to him because he doesn't want to be an idiot or a literal Fool.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Anyone involved in Cosmo's obsession with Vetinari, once they've delivered whatever Cosmo paid them to procure.