Cool Starship: The TSAB L-class cruise patrol warship "Arthra". The Fan Subs called it "Asura", which many fans prefer over the official spelling.
Cute Giant: One episode had a kitten come into contact with one of the Jewel Seeds, which granted its wish of wanting to grow up... and grow it did, becoming as tall as the trees. Despite being giant, it still acted like a kitten, not aggressive at all. Provided the page image for Mega Neko.
Dramatic Wind: Used to great effect during Nanoha and Fate's talk on the bridge.
Dungeon Bypass: Chrono does one in the finale, apparently because he couldn't find the door to Precia's inner sanctum.
Excessive Steam Syndrome: While not a spaceship, Raising Heart usually discharges some kind of gas after any particularly impressive attack.
Considering the sheer amounts of energy being thrown around, it's probably coolant, or at least ambient gas that gets superheated by accident. It's apparently a design feature, since the vents have caps that pop off to let it happen.
Not just RH; Bardiche and really, most other Intelligent Devices and Armed Devices do this. Especially with a cartridge system. This kind of supports the theory that Magi-Link Cartridges generate a lot of waste heat, if not for the AI system decompiling the Magic As Programs attacks in split-seconds and then cooling down in-between. In other words, AI split-second overclocking in weapon forms.
It even gets supported by the side materials: Nanoha mentions her new Raising Heart jury-rigged with a cartridge system is a total maintenance nightmare.
Evil Plan: A strange example as it there isn't one until Fate shows up. Yuno just needed help recovering artifacts scattered by an accident. Eventually its revealed that Precia wanted the jewel seeds to revive her real daughter and 'go back to way things used to be.
Face Fault: Nanoha gets one in the first episode, when her father asks what a ferret is.
False Camera Effects: Episode 1 includes a brief sequence of Nanoha running that is made to look like it was filmed with a hand-held camera.
First Name Basis: Nanoha tells Fate to call her by her name so that they can become friends.
Say My Name: A soft-spoken and adorable example. It's even the name of the last episode.
Frilly Upgrade: Significantly less than most examples in the genre, with later seasons trying to see how much metal parts they can jam into Nanoha's barrier jacket before she start resembling an actual mecha.
Humongous Mecha: Precia deploys a variety of robots that clearly fall into the category to defend her lair in the finale. Nanoha proceeds to smack them down like she was an escaped Super Prototype from a Gundam show.
Genre Shift: Within the course of the original thirteen episodes, the series shifts from typical Magical Girl fare to something more dramatic as well as becoming more action oriented in the process. By the end of the season the action and drama aspects have become central to the series.
Phantom Zone: There is a spell called "Barrier" that pushes everything half a dimension over. The city is still there, but all non-magic users are no longer present, and thus cannot witness the light show. However, fights without barriers enclosing them leave massive collateral damage — like Nanoha's first, the cratered site of which she fled from upon hearing the sirens of incoming emergency vehicles.
Power Levels: Nanoha's average magical power is given to be 1.27 million, while Fate's is 1.43 million. All other mentions use letter rankings.
The Power of Friendship: Saved Fate's life arguably. Of course, given the definition of "befriend" in use by the Nanoha fandom, it can also be employed to blow you up.
Xanatos Gambit: Nanoha and Fate's final battle is one for the Time and Space Administration: Nanoha's victory or defeat is irrelevant. They would prefer she won (and thereby arrest Fate and recover the jewel seeds) but if she doesn't Chrono will step in and finish off the worn-out Fate. If nothing else the battle will allow them to track Precia's location.
Adaptation Distillation: It fixes many of the pacing and writing problems of the first season, and in general alters things to be more consistent with later seasons. It also animates some of the All There in the Manual material, largely about Precia, painting a clearer picture overall.
Ascended Meme: The Movie Sound Stage Side F'', gives the popular meme known as "Befriending" amongst english-speakers a nod, as Arf jokingly explains to an increasingly worried Erio and Caro that the only way to make life-long friends is to blow them up first.
DVD Commentary: Provided by Subaru, Teana, Erio, Caro, Vivio, Fate, and Nanoha.
The added revealation of Precia final thoughts as she falls to her presumed death makes things MUCH worse. To elaborate: Precia finally realises that Fate, although is not Alicia, IS still her daughter and Alicia's little sister. This is the same little sister that Alicia herself always wanted, and was one of last the things Alicia made her mother promise to get for her.
Panthera Awesome: The little kitten that encounters a Jewel Seed in the movie, instead of a Mega Neko, turns into a giant, demonic, black panther, which sprouts large bat wings.
Take My Hand: In the manga after their final fight, Nanoha falls off a rooftop and Fate catches her. First she grabs her by the hand and then holds her with both arms Superman style. They were both too tired and beaten up to fly so they had an emergency water landing shortly after. Still a great rescue, especially since Fate jumped after her so fast the stretcher she was on disintegrated.
Voodoo Shark: The first season had a few minor plot points that were later Ret Conned. For example, in the original series Nanoha was the one who thought up Raising Heart's staff and cannon modes herself, but after season one all new devices have predetermined forms and require hardware upgrades for new ones. Naturally, when they remade the first season for the movie, they made sure it was consistent with the later seasons. However, this opened up a new Plot Hole. While Raising Heart having its staff and cannon modes pre-loaded makes sense, it's never explained why Yuuno didn't try using either mode before handing the device over to Nanoha.
Actually, since Raising Heart is an Empathic Weapon, it's possible that Yuuno simply wasn't a good enough match for it.
Wham Episode: The fifth chapter of the manga is especially shocking, when you consider the first four chapters were a manual. It summarizes the entire movie in 21 pages.