Early-Bird Cameo: Bravado turns up for a single chapter in Griffon's Goblet where he is perusing his own adventure that has nothing to do with Daring's current one at the Summit. He helps Daring get the key needed to steal back the eponymous Goblet from Ahuizotl's minion in exchange for helping him get his hoofs on a satchel of unknown contents. It's implied later to be one of the pieces of Star Swirl's staff that he ends up losing and has to help Daring recover later on.
It's believed that Mistress Spark's background appearances were intended to be Early Bird Cameos that never came to pass.
Early Installment Weirdness: Because the author didn't know it would be a series yet, Daring Do and the Sapphire Stone is the only book not to explicitly include supernatural elements; the Sapphire Stone is never even hinted to have any supernatural powers. It is also the only book where Daring goes on the expedition completely by herself, she does not own Calypso yet, and it is surprisingly short, making it seem no less epic but set in a vastly smaller world than what is established later.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Tinker's Seal. It took several near-death experiences, an invasion of soulless soldiers, more Artifacts of Doom than you can shake a stick at, and an explosion that could have taken the Everfree Forest off the maps, but the artifacts were secured, and Krastos and the Assembler were finally taken down.
Eat the Evidence: In Daring Do and Marey Sue's Totally Awesome Adventure Daring decides to get rid of the fanfiction by feeding it and, unintentionally, it's author to a goat.
Eldritch Abomination: The Great Intellect in Curse Of The Yeti, The Great Beast of Chaos mentioned in Alicorn's Shadow. Krastos, Smooze, Nightmare Inti and the Assembler from the Expanded Universe.
Enemy Mine: Several Expanded Universe works involve Daring Do and Ahuizotl teaming up to stop another villain from destroying the world with an Artifact of Doom, like in Amber Of The Smooze and Scepter of the Chaos Beast.
Bravado and Daring (who normaly compete with each other) have one at the start of The Staff Of Star Swirl Daring and Ahuizotl have a canonical one near the end of the book. It lasts all of five minutes before he double crosses her for his own aims. Even Daring acknowledges that it was stupid to trust him to any degree.
Daring: Yeah...Should have seen that one coming.
Equine Resources: The Assembler, who uses whatever flesh it's gotten to create new members for its army, and recycles existing constructs for raw materials as it sees fit.
In Anne Bonfire and the Unsightly Beauty Mark, Beauty Mark has ponies melted into still aware goo and then injected into herself to keep her pretty or to tone up her assets.
Everything's Better with Monkeys: The eponymous Shrine of the Silver Monkey has a primate based theme going for it. Including a giant gold statue of a multi-armed... bipedal thing. It then comes to life to stop Daring. Scary stuff.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Sebastius doesn’t really understand how a conscience works, and Bravado can’t manage to explain it to him.
Evil Is Hammy: Another must have for the villains in this series. Ahuizotl is the most obvious example, though.
Evil vs. Evil: The Blood Diamonds eventually set Wou Ban and Colonel Talonus against each other. Talonus wins, but is weakened.
Exact Words: Inti was too clever for his own good when he tried interpreting the whispers of Nightmare Moon in a way that suited his goals. See Fate Worse than Death below.
Professor Neighton, attempting to control Sobek, believes that he'll be safe from him because Sobek craves horseflesh, and Neighton is a pony. This is quickly and horribly subverted.
In Short Stuff and the Amazing Vacuum Dr. Flux reassures Short Stuff that he made sure his invention wouldn't absorb 'every race he could think of'. The never seen before creature on the other hoof he didn't think of.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear: In Ring of the Marengeti, both griffon guards are dispatched in this way. Don't buck with sea lizards.
Expanded Universe: One of the more expansive of Equestrian literature. Originally, Expanded Universe works were not required to be in-canon with each other, but with increasing collaboration between authors, and especially after the massive work that was the Tinker's Series, this line is becoming increasingly blurred. Furthermore, information revealed in the Tinker's Series has been adopted as background canon for EU works, even for authors who don't write sequel material to it, because many of the original authors had given their input to that series.
Expy: Platinius from Griffon's Goblet is Mane Retief in a less comic setting.
The Diamond Dogs in Trials of Unity are Expies of the three Diamond Dogs in J.R.R. Tackien's The Miniature.
Fuergott, from the Expanded Universe book Burning Heart has been dubbed by displeased fans as a ripoff of both Inferno and Sweeney Trot, in that she is a fire-based villain with a tragic backstory. Other fans claim that a few similarities do not a ripoff make.
Sterling Silver, from Cloudfall Conspiracy, has been accused by some critics as an Expy of Sebastius Mareton.
Face Death with Dignity: Assuming it actually died, the Assembler, in Tinker's Seal. It recognizes the leyline's detonation as being (potentially) fatal to Krastos, and simply considers his duties to be fulfilled.
Fanfare: The music for one of the plays got fillies humming it for years.
Fantastic Nuke: In Tinker's Seal, we have Daring blowing up a Leyline by feeding it Chaos Magic then setting off a large explosion next to it. Leylines are normally extremely stable, the use of Chaos Magic to destabilize one only really exists in theory.
The Colt Leader's death by My Skull Runneth Over in Universal Cracks, as her access to the Multiverse overloads her ability to control it, causing countless thousands of Alternate Realities to flow through her.
Felony Misdemeanor: The crazy pony insisting that no pony should play ping pong may be on to something....
And the Assembler to Krastos, in the expanded universe.
Food Porn: The three paragraph long description of the grasses, herbs, and wildflowers in the Marengeti certainly got this tropony drooling!
And that flower garden in Purloined Stone.
Foreign Queasine: The griffon territories use a wide variety of meat-based dishes, which is sickening enough for most Equestrians. However, wild horse meat is considered a delicacy, which as the closest non-sentient relative to ponies, makes it particularly Squicky.
The chilled horse brain scene can be nauseating for first-time readers.
The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: A part of The Cove of Candles has a plot twist turn out to be that certain events of the book may not have been real, an illusion cast by Blackmane. The thing is, the book never tells you which parts were and weren't grounded in reality.
Friendly Rival: Bravado, a dark grey Spanish pony falls under this heading. Like Daring, he is a treasure hunter. Unlike Daring, though, he sells what he finds to the highest bidder. There are no hard feelings between the two, however; they often help when the other is in danger. Subtle hints have been dropped in several books that suggest there may be more than just a rivalry between them... Several fans have latched on to this insinuated relationship, creating fanfictions with scenarios that range anywhere from unrequited love, torrid romance up to outright marriage.
Gambit Pileup: Holy horseapples, Griffon's Goblet. Daring wants to get the goblet for a museum, Ahuizotl is playing Hawkwings like a string bass in order to take over the griffons, Platinius is desperately improvising to prevent an international incident, Nimbusbeak wants revenge on Hawkwings for backstabbing her for a promotion, and Copperbeak's Nightwings are stirring the pot everywhere.
Gas Whole Victim: Gas Whole, the Colt Leader's draconic abuser, enjoyed tormenting her relentlessly. When he eventually threatened the Colt of Smooze, she broke him, flayed his scales, eviscerated him, and used his blood as a slide down the mountain side.
GASP!: in the original canon series the main characters rarely do this, although minor or supporting characters who are caught off-guard do.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Having a magical lock that can only be unlocked with your horn could be innocent by itself. However, the following line of dialogue HAS to be intentional.
Just hurry up and stick it in already!
I see you're using your pay as wisely as ever, sister dear.
Genre Savvy: In Equestria and the Attack of the Jello Slimes, the Jello Slimes studied how the army worked and for any civilian heroes, which is how this involves the Daring Do cast, that might pose a threat to them to take out.
Genre Shift: Chapter 4, "Disappearance" in The Wooden Mask is much more Noir-like than the rest of the book, with Herpy aggressively trying to find any lead-ins to Daring.
Gondor Calls for Aid: When Herpy manages to mobilise a whole group of past characters including Bravado, Outback Jack, Desert Rose, Mirror Dreams, and Swinn and Dell in Temple Of Nightmare Moon. Even Tabula Rasa provided the directions, and Starlight lent them her airship... and Coco Pie provided snacks!
A similar reunion occurs in Tinker's Seal, with all of the above and more rallying together to hunt for Steam Whistle's inventions.
Gone Horribly Right: The Colt Leader's Draconic abuser claimed he only abused her the way he did to make her strong. And she was. Strong enough to kill him at least.
Gone Horribly Wrong: In Equestria and the Attack of the Jello Slimes the Jello Slimes were an attempt to make a moving food source based on creatures known as slimes. It worked for a while but a batch of them became intelligent and took over.
In 'Tinker's Seal, both Mareton's beating at the hooves of Claddie and the Blanks getting an impromptu lesson on firearms courtesy of the Marksmare are covered up by the book's most heartwarming moments.
In The Surgeon of Marabia, we never hear a description or narration of Sebastius Mareton getting chopped up; we just hear Swinn and Dell’s comments on it. Similarly, later in the book, when Sebastius tears his limbs off to escape his bonds, his eyes are closed, so we don’t get very much description there either.
Guilt By Association Gag: The ‘’The Surgeon of Marabia’’, Bravado didn’t even do anything to deserve his arrest (as he complains repeatedly). Even Zulu admits his crime was ‘being in a thieves’ market’.
Heh Heh, You Said X: No matter how dangerous the situation may be in the Cove of Candles, Daring can't help but inwardly snicker whenever Blackmane so much as mentions the poopdeck.
Hero of Another Story: Every time Bravado shows up except for Star Swirl's Staff he is always doing something completely different from Daring, they always end up trading favors and (usually) part ways with a little flirting. Derring is also implied to be having her own adventures while not working with her sister.
A major theme after Mareahnee falls in Caverns of R'ni.
Hijacked by Ganon: Daring Do and the Cove of Candles was originally played up as featuring a completely new antagonist, the ghost of Blackmane. Guess who shows up two thirds of the way through as the real villain? This ends up happening in every book except Legacy of Nightmare Moon and Spear of the Windigos.
Played With in ''The Staff Of Star Swirl, Daring spends about half of the book thinking that Ahuizotl is the one she's working against only to learn a third party is the real enemy. He reclaims his role as villain after pulling a Enemy Mine for all of five minuets
By the time Ring of the Marengeti came out, they didn't even bother pretending anymore. Ahuizotl's minions show up in the very first chapter, and even on the cover.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Inti. It seems that, even imprisoned in the Moon, Nightmare Moon should not be underestimated.
In Ring of the Marengeti, Ahuizotl's habit of using the artifacts in his doomsday plots literally comes to bite him in the flank as he is the first target of Sobek.
In Cloud-Held Eternity, after Daring returns to her normal age and saves Shifty Gaze from the crumbling architecture of Cloudyon, he tries to throw her back into the Fountain of Youth, only for an expectant Daring to dodge and cause him to fall in himself.
In Anne Bonfire and the Unsightly Beauty Mark Beauty Mark melts down ponies into still aware goo and injects them as a beauty product. In the end she too is melted down. Then accidentally injected into Anne's backside.
Horror Hunger: After Snazzy Shades puts on the ‘Windigo’s Frozen Soul’ amulet:
He only got found out when Professor Storm Talon, finally getting around to having his leg re-adjusted after mis-aligning it in Temple of Nightmare Moon, pointed out that he could taste fresh horse meat in the cupcakes and while as a griffon that's not a problem, it was supposed to be illegal to sell meat-based products in Equestria without clearly labeling them (most meat-based foods being pet food anyway).
And when they find Trot preparing to carve Lightning's corpse, Storm Talon draws a knife. Sweeney tries to use the Staff fragment, which liquifies his flesh and muscle.
Putting on the ‘Windigo’s Frozen Soul’ amulet lets said frozen soul possess the wearer, who will then try to hunt and eat ponies. Snazzy Shades’ reaction when the necklace is removed is one of denial turning to slow horror.
Subverted in Anne Bonfire and the Unsightly Beauty Mark. When Beauty Mark mentions how an encounter with magically bought to 'life' food led her down the path of using Pony Resources Anne assumes she's this. She's not.
Immortal Life Is Cheap: Since the entire premise of The Surgeon of Marabia is that the characters find a magical potion that can cure death, you can bet the characters will have to die a lot to show this off. In fact, The Surgeon of Marabia features the deaths of more major characters than any one story!
Well, that’s depending on how you count ‘major’. Plenty of characters died in the Blood Diamond Books; just because the characters in each didn’t do anything outside of their book doesn’t mean they aren’t major characters.
Impostor Reinie Has No Accent: In the Young Daring Do Expanded Universe book Return of the Fire of Friendship, Lady Blue-Blood noticed that Lady Dove did not tap the rigging with a forehoof thrice for good luck anymore, and investigated. King Mayhem got wise to her investigation.
The Incitatus: King Hammerhoof in Platinum Crown. He is a clear expy of the historical Incitatus...
Dride, the drone leader of the changeling swarm in the semi-final Blood Diamonds book, is paranoid, incompetent, petty, and has random migraines and violent fits, with only some of his problems being caused by his Blood Diamond's thrall.
In the Blood: Darrin is so far the only member of the Do Family to display no interest in archaeology. Even then it's heavily implied in The Trident of the Seaponies and at the start of The Trials Of Unity (where he refuses to partake forcing Derring to ask Daring for help) that it's mostly out of bitterness from the Parental Abandonment.
In the Hood: Sebastius temporarily dons one of these during The Surgeon of Marabia to hide his missing eye and ruined legs. A duplicate of the cloak is used later on Bravado to hide the fact that he’s tied up.
In Medias Res: Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone, the first novel of the series, starts off with, "As Daring Do trekked through the tropical jungle, the wet heat sapped her energy and slowed her every step. If only she could escape this oppressive atmosphere and fly up into the cool blue sky, but her crash-landing in the jungle had injured her wing and she was grounded for a few days. Few days. It might as well be a few months. Or a few years!" The reader only finds out who she is, why she was on a plane, why she is on this mission, and her relationship with Ahuizotl through flashbacks over the course of the next few hundred pages. But before exposition, we get ACTION!
In Memoriam: Gusty Lulamoon was given a mention in the introduction to Tinker's Seal, with a short biography written by her college friends and longtime housemates J. Thunderlane Hurricane and Ember Roundup, who described her as a great writer and a great friend.
Beatrix Lulamoon is slated to provide one in the upcoming Alicorn Amulet
Insistent Terminology: Outside of Equestria and other equine-held lands, most creatures use the more obscure -"body" suffix as opposed -"pony", as in "anybody", "everybody", or "nobody".
Also, in books where Changelings are featured as characters, they use their equivalent of these words with the even more obscure -"ling" suffix, such as "everyling" or "anyling". This becomes a plot point in Return of the Fire of Friendship, as Lady Dove's ingrained and habitual use of these words tips Daring off to the fact that Dove is the disguised Changeling.
Insufferable Genius: Derring-Do is damn good at what she does. Unfortunately, she'll never skip an oppotunity to let you know it. (especially if Daring Do is around)
Ironic Echo: At the start of Griffon's Goblet, Daring states to her class that most archeology is done in an archive, looking through tomes and scrolls because "there is no large checkmark indicating the right place." Guess what she finds on the large tile sealing the Knight's tomb?
A heart-wrenching one happens in the Blood Diamonds novel Never Forgive Me: As Kimmy was originally to be Kimono of Harmony Sentai Ponyranger but changed at the last minute, she used Kimono's Catch Phrase, "This... is why I live out of town." When Daring finds her delusional, she's just been advising an imaginary Bad Liar about supposed "welcome signs" that she tells Daring are obviously a present. She then comments the Catch Phrase.
It May Help You on Your Quest: In Short Stuff and the Amazing Vacuum, this is Short Stuff's stated reasoning behind taking the vacuum with her to find Page and Header. It's actually because she thinks it's too dangerous to leave with Flux.
Killed Off for Real: It seems that this was supposed to be the case for Ahuizotl, after Daring Do shoots him in the head with a cannon in Temple of Nightmare Moon, especially given his conspicuous absence in Legacy of Nightmare Moon. Fan outcry resulted in his return in Shrine of the Silver Monkey.
Seems to have been finally played straight at the end of Ring of the Marengeti, considering he was Sobek's first victim, there's no mention of him after the beast is defeated, and it's the last printed book of the Core 16. Of course, given the nature of the Expanded Universe works, it's likely he'll still be making plenty more appearances in the future, possibly with some Lampshade Hanging.
Played more straight with Inti, although he wasn't exactly killed. It's possible that he could return, but the lukewarm fan response to Legacy of Nightmare Moon makes this unlikely.