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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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, the Assembler and the world-eater from the Expanded Universe.
  • Eldritch Location: Steam Whistle's workshop in Tinker's Seal. The creation and (temporary) containment of so many insane artifacts combined with centuries of abandonment has seriously messed up the place.
  • Electric Torture: The asylum Sebastius spent his foalhood in used this as a means of therapy and, according to Sebastius Mareton, even killed some of the patients this way accidentally.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Ahuizotl had one of these for two books before it was never mentioned again.
  • 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.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the Expanded Universe book The Skull of Ages, Marshal Goldstar briefly considers testing the power of his death ray on the lost city, but decides against it because he's unwilling to commit cultural genocide.
    • In Almost Got 'Er, Mareton gives a very... graphic description of his current plans for Daring and Herpy. Rex, Swinn, Dell, and, yes, even Ahuizotl all react with the appropriate amount of disgust.
    • In the Core Sixteen, even other mobsters hate Noteworthy Smith.
    • Sebastius would never become a psychologist, because "even I have standards".
  • Everypony Can See It: The chemistry between Stalwart Shield and Mirror Dreams in Alicorn's Shadow. Of course, they're too busy fighting with each other to notice.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Grouchy exists mainly for this reason. Also, The Valley of Grouchy.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The Amethyst Penguin from the Expanded Universe novel of the same name. And real penguins show up in chapter seventeen.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Sebastius doesn’t really understand how a conscience works, and Bravado can’t manage to explain it to him.
    • The world-eater is deaf to any dissuasion from his goal of total multiversal annihilation, as nothing lasts forever anyhow.
  • 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.
    • In Daring Do and the Disembodied Voices one of the things that increases the rate of disappearance is familiarity with Daring. That dosen't mean it had to be friendly as Ahuizotl finds out to his cost.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: In Ring of the Marengeti, both griffon guards are dispatched in this way. Don't buck with sea lizards.
    • In Seven-Sided Chest, Caballeron runs afoul of a Cipactli.
  • Expansion Pack Past: The Young Dering Do series is quickly becoming this.
  • 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.
    • Masra in Cloudfall Conspiracy.
  • Faking the Dead: The Steelclad Sorceror pretended to die and locked himself in his crypt for a few centuries to avoid everypony that worshipped him as a hero.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Sweeney Trot. Also, in the Extended Universe, Fuergott.
  • 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.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Inti. Oh dear Celestia, Inti.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The crazy pony insisting that no pony should play ping pong may be on to something....
  • Fighting from the Inside: The only way to overcome the Wooden Mask is to let it take control of you - and then defeat it with the Power of Love.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Averted in the Star Quest trilogy; a mental-chronological-aclimation spell is included in Princess Luna's time-pull summon.
  • Foil: Platinius is this to Ambassador Hawkwings.
    • 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.
  • Forgettable Character: Many villains can't remember who Darrin is when meeting him again, and even forget his name after a clear reintroduction just moments ago!
    • Herpy has a similar problem with Swinn and Dell: he knows who they are, he just seems physically incapable of remembering their names.
  • For Science!: Dr. Zerato claims this as his motivation.
  • Fortune Teller: Mirror Dreams in Alicorn's Shadow. She tries to coach Daring through the academic portion of dream interpreting after her first encounter with the titlar Alicorn's Shadow, but alas...
    • Though Daring can at least make educated guesses regarding the visions after the second and third encounters, thanks to Mirror Dreams's tutelage.
    • She also pops up again later in the series, most notably at Canterlot University. Her showdown with Nagridge was EPIC.
  • Fountain of Youth: Central to the plot of Cloud-Held Eternity.
  • 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.
  • Funetik Aksent: Part of Claddie's charm.
  • 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!
    • Also,
    I see you're using your pay as wisely as ever, sister dear.
    Lepus: I've got to get into the vul— vault.
    • Then, Daring sees that he's still ogling them and proceeds to threaten him with gelding.
  • Genius Bruiser: Darrin-Do. While he was always physically larger than both of his older siblings, and acted as the brains behind every single one of their operations, Darrin didn't prove that he had the "Bruiser" part until The Temple of Nightmare Moon where he became the only person in the entire series to single-hoofedly overpower all of Ahuizotl's minions in a straight up fight, and even landed a solid hit on the big man himself.
  • 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.
  • Ghost Pirate
  • 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.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Attic Fan's death. We only get to hear him scream for help while the Assembler scraps him whole while he's awake, for his involvement in the Colt of Smooze.
    • 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.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The pieces of Star Swirl's Staff.
  • Gratuitous Andalusian: Bravado occasionally slips into his mother tongue.
  • Great Offscreen War: The third Griffon-Diamond Dog War, which ended not long before the series is set.
  • Group Hug: Unity ends with the entire Do clan engaging in one.
  • 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’.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Ahuizotl vs. Bravado in Staff of Star Swirl the Bearded.
  • Happily Adopted: Linnet Bird is very happy with the Bloom family.
    • Amber of the Smooze reveals that Short Stuff was adopted by Professor Ed and his wife.
  • Haunted House: Normally a staple of such stories, this only comes up in about half of the books and two Cold Opens. Differing standards and practices for children's literature mean that their existence could only be implied in the Young Daring Do books.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bravado dies protecting Daring and Storm Talon early in Seven-Sided Chest.
  • 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.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • A little past halfway through Blood Diamonds, Miss Do has a pretty bad one when she almost kills the bandit leader.
    • In Alicorn's Shadow, Derring goes through one after a particularly nasty Breaking Speech by Sebastius Mareton.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Winchester Tock's Start of Darkness.
    • A major theme after Mareahnee falls in Caverns of R'ni.
  • High Turnover Rate: The only three consistent members of the Griffon Embassy are Hawkwings, Platinius and Silvia Clawson. Few others show up more than one book and Expanded Universe works do a Lampshade Hanging on this by claiming that few can stand dealing with Hawkwings and to a lesser extent Silvia.
  • 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.
    • In Daring Do and the Crystal Statue Agate not only gets turned into crystal by his artifact and shattered, but his hoof picked mercenaries take parts of him as impromptu payment leaving him with heavy scarring.
    • In The Student, Silvia Clawson is hit by a spell that puts her in a feral state. It ends poorly for the mook who cast it. And their Zompony leader.
  • Horror Hunger: After Snazzy Shades puts on the ‘Windigo’s Frozen Soul’ amulet:
    “I’m suddenly feeling really, really… hungry.”
  • Hotter and Sexier: The rather infamous erotic comic series by John Poniesco.
  • Howling to the Night
  • "I Want" Song: Mirror Dreams gets one in the Bridleway verison of Alicorn's Shadow.
  • I Kiss Your Paw : In Silvia Clawson and Her Little Pony, Silvia says that she'll make Caballeron do this but reveals shortly afterward that she's joking.
  • I'm An Equinitarian/I Ate WHAT?!: The evil baker Sweeney Trot from Staff of Star Swirl the Bearded made everypony in Trottingham unwitting cannibals.
    • 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).
    • Explain Explain Oh Horseapples: Daring notes that "That doesn't make any sense. There aren't any horses around here, only— Hey! Where's Lightning?"
      • 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.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: How Reaper!Winchester Tock’s scythe works.
  • 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.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Sebastius and Bravado and the two guards with them die in the Marabian prison theater in The Surgeon of Marabia.
  • Impossible Theft: Unfortunately for Snazzy Shades, his thieving skills avail him not in snatching artifacts from ancient temples. Taking the artifacts from Daring after she’s already retrieved them, on the other hoof…
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail: Impostor Reinie Has No Accent, because 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 Caligula:
    • The Incitatus was King Hammerhoof in Platinum Crown. He is a clear expy of the historical Incitatus... Incitatus' Ergaster ...right down making his pet ape a senator.
    • 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.
  • 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)
  • Insult to Rocks: Using "soulless" as an insult around the Steelclad Sorceror pisses him off more than anything else.
  • 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 Catchphrase, "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 Catchphrase.
    • In City of Anarchy, when talking about the Idol of Boreas Kitty Hawk claims 'That's dente. You don't have it, we don't have it' with an irritated Daring pointing out the Night Wings still win with it gone. Later Kitty Hawk asks Daring about the now destroyed Witch Tear and she throws this line back in her face.
  • 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.
  • Joker Jury: Trial has one.
  • Just Toying with Them: There are numerous occasions where Ahuizotl could finish Daring Do off, but he lets her go or sticks her in an easily-escapable deathtrap because that's more fun.
  • Kaiju: Sobek from Ring of the Marengeti
  • Karmic Death: Sweeney Trot. Sure, it was pretty nasty, but you can't say he didn't deserve it.
    • Even more karmic was the death of Mrs. Hoovett. Evil as Sweeney is, she had to go.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Probably the only reason why the Pikmin are included in certain scenes.
  • 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.
  • Kill It with Fire: One weakness of the Smooze, though it requires at least six fully-grown dragons to do much damage.
  • Knife Nut: Dr. Zerato. He also has a thing for hypodermic needles.


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