Hiccup: Dad, I can't kill dragons. Stoick: But you will kill dragons! Hiccup: No... I'm really very extra sure that I won't.
Based very loosely on the book series of the same name, How To Train Your Dragon is a 3D Dream Works Animation picture released in 2010, directed by Chris Sanders and DeBlois. Its protagonist, Hiccup, is a young Viking who lives on the island of Berk, where men are tough, women are tougher, and dragons are evil, destructive, livestock-pillaging pests that must be destroyed on sight. Hiccup just wants to prove his worth - particularly to his father Stoick, the Viking chief - but Hiccup is gawky and brainy in a society that entirely values brawn.Then one night, during a raid, Hiccup manages to bring down the most elusive, feared dragon of all: a Night Fury. Of course, nobody believes him (no one's ever seen one, much less injured it), so Hiccup has to go alone to find the creature so he can kill it and prove his worth. But when he does find the trussed-up dragon, all he can see is a wounded, frightened animal - and frees him instead. So begins a clandestine friendship between two sworn enemies, as Hiccup nurses Toothless back to health, develops an artificial tailfin and riding gear, and becomes the first Viking ever to ride a dragon.It was later followed up with a short special episode, called The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon. Gobber, Hiccup and the other Viking teens head out to hunt down a supposed renegade dragon called the Boneknapper, a dragon that wears bones as armor. An additional pair of shorts, Gift of the Night Fury and Book of Dragons are being bundled together, presumably acting as a Christmas Special.Jeffery Katzenberg announced that this is Dreamworks' new franchise, apparently now dubbed with the more flexible title, Dragons. Further additions to the franchise include a TV series on Cartoon Network, titled Dragons Riders Of Berk and a theatrical sequel, currently titles Dragons 2: Secrets of the Ice Cave in 2014, with another sequel set for 2016. A live touring show, How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular is currently on tour and an online computer simulation in development for an as-of-yet unknown time.As you may have guessed, the film was a huge critical success; one of the highest (if not the highest) reviewed DreamWorks Animation movies ever, with a whopping 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, you might find it shocking that this was not enough to outscore the Pixar movie released the same year.For the book series, go here.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (Jay Baruchel) - It's not easy being the brainy son of a brawny Viking, but Hiccup is too smart to waste time feeling sorry for himself; he's going to become a Viking warrior his own way. Unfortunately, in the crude world of the Vikings, Hiccup's sophisticated observations and wry sense of humor only serve to make him even more of an outsider. When Hiccup befriends his vicious enemy, an injured wild dragon, he begins an exhilarating and complicated double life.
Toothless - A member of the one of the most feared dragon species, a Night Fury, he is injured when Hiccup captures him and attempts to kill him. When Hiccup spares his life, and nurses him back to health, Toothless shows Hiccup what he truly is; a highly intelligent, curious, affectionate and protective creature. He is scaled up from his size in the book so he can accommodate the mandatory Dragon Riding component of the film.
Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) - Stoick is the old-school chieftain of the brawny Viking tribe. A reluctant and confused parent at best, he doesn't understand his clever son. Hoping to bring out the man in his boy, Stoick sends Hiccup into dragon training, a dangerous test of battle strength.
Astrid Hofferson (America Ferrera) - Striking, energetic and tough, Astrid embodies the Viking way. Her competitive, determined persona makes her hard to impress, but Hiccup can't help but be smitten. When Hiccup begins to show the strain of leading his double life, Astrid is the first to be suspicious.
Snotlout Jorgenson (Jonah Hill) - He's mean, he's strong, and he smells horrible....In other words, he's the perfect Viking. In a village where "Only the strong can belong!" he belongs, big time. He constantly hits on Astrid, but ultimately fails.
Gobber the Belch (Craig Ferguson) - Gruff, grumpy, and crass, Gobber is the seasoned warrior appointed to drill the new recruits. He is also the peg-legged and hook-handed village blacksmith and employs Hiccup to keep him useful in the clan. Gobber means well, but he's full of bad advice, which he dispenses freely and comically.
Adaptational Badass: In the books, Toothless is essentially what the Terrible Terrors are in this film: an annoying, common pest. Here, he's part of a new species that's nicknamed "the unholy offspring of Lightning and Death." He lives up to that, to be sure.
Adult Fear: Stoick believing his son was dead after the fight with the Green Death. To make it worse, this was due to Stoick's own misguided actions that led to the above event.
Most of the Vikings have strange names, except Astrid, which is a real Viking name.
The featured dragons might also count: the Deadly Nadder, Hideous Zippleback, Night Fury, Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, and... the Gronkle?
All Dragons Are Cats: Toothless behaves much like a cat, with the purring, the nuzzling, the dragon-nip, and his playful pouncing. (And many of the other dragons exhibit very feline behaviors, especially with the way they enjoy being petted and scritched.) Physically, he looks like a salamander crossed with a cat crossed with Stitch, with bat wings. He also sleeps like a bat occasionally.
The animators studied a number of animals to get his movements, including cats, dogs and birds. One of the animators confirmed that the choice to make Toothless's behavior and appearance catlike came after watching a screensaver of a black panther.
All of the Other Reindeer: The entire village to Hiccup, because he's scrawny. This leads to his desperate attempts to prove himself and thus his initial encounter with Toothless.
All-Star Cast: If you've taken a look at the character section, you will see why. Averted in that it's a lot of recognizable names, but no overwhelming star power, as apparently finding the perfect voice for each characters was more important than who to name-drop on the adverts.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: The cover in most countries depict Hiccup and Toothless with a daring look on their faces. The Japanese cover however, alters their faces, giving them more happy expressions and removing their angry eyes. Also, Hiccup's hair seems to be blowing in the wind instead of remaining flat and Toothless is given puppy dog eyes.
Dragon Training results in quite a few of these, including a Running Gag of Tuffnut proclaiming, "Ohh, I'm hurt, I am very much hurt!", that carries over into the climax.
When Hiccup first tries to fly with Toothless, he suffers a number of indignities that would be severe injuries were he not an animated character.
When Toothless is squabbling over his meal with some Terrible Terrors, he breathes fire into one's mouth, resulting in something akin to the Fire Breathing Diner, but inflicting no lasting harm. Hiccup's "not so fireproof on the inside" observation also sets up a Chekhov's Gun for later.
By observing the various dragons' behavior, Hiccup is able to use that knowledge to handle dragons with a level of mastery that stuns his community.
Fishlegs during the fight against Green Death. The kid instantly deduces all of its physical/behavioral characteristics from a single quick look!
An Axe to Grind: We are dealing with Vikings here...Astrid throws them into trees as stress relief.
Badass: Stoick the Vast. In the expository scene, he encounters a dragon that can light itself on fire so he punches it in the face. It's said that when he was born he crushed the head of a dragon in his grip. Then, later in the film, he sees the a dragon's cavern absolutely filled with the things; easily thousands of them. What does he do? He screams and charges at them.
Badass Family: Hiccup and his parents (though his mother is dead and was only implied to be).
Bat Scare: When the vikings approach the dragons' nest, they go inside expecting to fight hordes of dragons. All the dragons fly out, fly past the vikings, and flee, without a single one attacking. Of course this only leads up to something even worse coming out of the cave.
Berserk Button: Toothless doesn't take kindly to Hiccup being threatened or hurt. In an attempt to protect him, Toothless even charges at Astrid when she shoves Hiccup onto the ground, though she was also attempting to protect Hiccup.
Beware The Cute Ones: Toothless and Hiccup. Both are small, slim, and seemingly harmless, but with their combined smarts they take down the biggest dragon in the series and survive.
Other than the fact that even the biggest baddest vikings are advised by the dragon hunter's manual to curl up and cry and pray that "the unholy offspring of lightning and Death" does not find him?
Be Yourself: The Viking community repeatedly tells Hiccup that everything about him is wrong. Gobber softens it by telling Hiccup to stop overcompensating, as it just makes things worse. Ultimately Hiccup uses his unique traits to save the community.
Big Bad: The Green Death is forcing the other dragons to hunt for it so it doesn't eat them, causing them to attack the Vikings and thus the plot.
Hiccup and his friends save Stoick and the other Vikings from the Green Death.
Stoick rescuing Toothless in the ocean after Hiccup nearly drowns in his own attempt to do so.
Big Eyes Little Eyes: Most visible on Toothless, who has light eyes and dark scales. They narrow and widen based on his mood. You want to stay away when they're narrow.
Bilingual Bonus: The song that first plays during the credits is partially in Icelandic. Also, anyone who can translate Futhark can read all of the untranslated runes (and realize they don't say what the characters claim they say).
Breath Weapon: It would be surprising if this didn't appear. Somewhat more realistic in that the dragons run out if they attack too much in a short span.
Each dragon has a different style of breathing fire. Some breathe gas like the traditional dragon, others spit flammable saliva, and most dragonfire seems to have a sort of corrosive nature to it (after the initial blast, it continues to burn like napalm). Night Fury blasts have exceptionally cool "lightning fire" look to it, and may even break the sound barrier.
Breast PlateHiccup's mother's breastplate was fashioned into helmets for Stoick and Hiccup.
Beginning: This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. [...] We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice, or mosquitoes. We have... dragons. End: This is Berk. It snows nine months out of the year and hails the other three. The food that grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here are even more so. The only upside is the pets. You see, most people have ponies or parrots. We have... dragons.
It begins with Hiccup opening his door, seeing dragons, and immediately slamming the door shut. It closes with Hiccup slamming the door upon seeing dragons flying about outside. The difference is that by the end, the dragons have been integrated into the community of Berk.
"Night Fury! Get down!" In the beginning, it's a terrified warning to troops in battle; at the end, it's a warning that playful Toothless is about to bound over the crowd's heads to reach Hiccup.
Almost every dragon training scene either comes from an earlier one with Hiccup and Toothless, or gets used later.
Even a couple of the anti-dragon lectures come in handy, notably the advice to go for the wings.
Hiccup's near death experience on Toothless: He finds out that pulling up sharply in a fall just whipstalls Toothless, almost causing them both to crash into the rocks. Guess what he forces the Green Death to do at the end, with its damaged wings?
One that looks like a joke: "Not so fireproof on the inside, are you, little guy?"
One that slips past you: Hiccup observing how Toothless tries to decelerate from terminal velocity by spreading his wings and can't quite manage it.
Fishlegs' ability to recite stats on dragons is the ability to analyze a dragon by anatomical observation. This becomes important when the teens encounter Green Death for the first time, and Fishlegs points out its strengths and weaknesses right away.
Being an apprentice smith counts; Hiccup's knowledge of how a bellows works becomes key.
Knowing that a dragon's fire is created like a flamethrower - by igniting a gaseous fuel.
Cowboy Bebop At His Computer: A whole series of them, concerning the giant dragon at the end of the movie. In-movie, it's only referred to as the Queen Dragon. Then the soundtrack names it the Green Death, obviously a Shout Out to the original novel. Then the McD toy referred to it simply as 'R.D.' A review subsequently named it the Red Death. The video game for the the Nintendo DS mentioned it as the Red Death. Word of God (in the DVD commentary) officially named it the Red Death. Nonetheless, it's still commonly referred to as the Green Death by consensus in the entry, in honor of the original book.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The Vikings vs. the Green Death. It had wiped out their rides home, their heavy weapons and was well on the way to wiping out them out as well — cue Stoick's and Gobber's plan for a Heroic Sacrifice — when the newly minted Dragonriders of Berk arrive to take the fight to the monster.
Curious as a Monkey: According to the "Book of Dragons", the Change-wing dragon often used its camouflage abilities to watch others and mimic their behavior.
John Powell only utilizes a few themes, so most themes either get this either straight or backwards. Within the first three minutes of the film there are around six themes, many of which will get thrown around in various places of the film.
The main 2-measure motif that is heard in F major during the DreamWorks logo reoccurs multiple times, sometimes being twisted to fit much more depressing chords. The violins are heard playing the motif repeatedly with false harmonics in "Wounded" where Toothless is seen trying to fly but failing, and at the beginning of "The Dragon Book." It is also reprised with the original chord progressions but in a rather melancholy C major near the end when Hiccup discovers that he's lost his foot, and must get used to walking on a crude prosthetic limb.
Both inverted and played straight with the Hiccup and Toothless friendship theme, heard most prominently in "Forbidden Friendship". The first time we hear it is in an ominous manner in D minor during the first encounter between the pair, and it then becomes lighter for the majority of the film, including a big chunk of "Romantic Flight." However, it is heard in a similar tone to the beginning when Hiccup inadvertently betrays Toothless by revealing that he knows how to access Dragon Island. There is also a slower, sadder version that plays at certain moments, including when Toothless is captured in the Kill Ring, and when he is about to drown in the battle with the Green Death.
Although minor, the English Horn theme near the very beginning that accompanies the peaceful village scenery becomes a theme for the battle only around fifty seconds later.
Nearly everyone with a speaking role in the movie at some point.
Even Toothless gets into the act a couple of times. Watch him roll his eyes and shrug elaborately (mimicking Hiccup) during Hiccup's "Dehdehdeh, we're dead" scene. He also rolls his eyes at Hiccup's timid pacing during the Test Drive flight - you can practically hear him thinking, "Come on, this is fledgling stuff."
Death Glare: Astrid gives one to Hiccup in the arena, after the Elder chooses him over her.
Astrid is at first contemptuous and then envious of Hiccup. That changes when she is taken for a spectacular ride with him on Toothless.
Toothless could count for this as well. The Night Fury is not the biggest fan of Hiccup in the beginning, but eventually he grows protective of Hiccup and as attached to Hiccup as Hiccup is to him.
Determinator: Toothless escapes from the same valley he was trapped in at the beginning of the film when he hears Hiccup in danger, climbing out through sheer force of will.
Disney Death: Hiccup. Though he doesn't come out completely unscathed.
Doing It for the Art: Tons of information on the Dragon wiki is dedicated to the dragons' various characteristics. This includes strength and weaknesses (Monstrous Nightmares are gifted with exceptionally good vision and have extend-able wings that allow it to intimidate enemies, but its large wings also render it slow-going on land), wing power (Night Furies are the only dragons capable of vertical liftoff), their personality traits (Deadly Nadders are extremely vain, evidenced by the generous amounts of time spent preening themselves), fire-breathing abilities (the Night Fury has an unconventional fire attack involving semi-solid mass set alight with an acetylene/oxygen flame), eggs (Gronckle eggs are the smallest of the species, barely larger than a marble), egg-laying habits (Terrible Terrors lay their eggs in the cracks of tree trunks) and even training tips.
Dont Think Feel: Hiccup tries consulting a cheat sheet for manipulating Toothless's prosthetic tail fin, loses it when they nearly crash into rocks, and has to rely on memory instead.
Dragon Riders: But of course. It's justified with Toothless, who requires a rider to operate his artificial stabilizer so he can fly.
Dragons Are Dinosaurs: The Green Death looks like an unholy cross between a turtle, an ankylosaurus and a T. rex, and is as big as Godzilla and it can fly. That particular winged beastie really gives the feel of a leftover ancient primordial dragon or maybe even a leftover dragon deity.
The Dreaded: The Night Fury. It's extremely fast, black, and it attacks at night using hit-and-run tactics. No one in living memory has actually seen one up close before Hiccup, and it's known only by reputation.
Dumb Muscle: Gronckles may be stubborn and lazy, but they're as temperamental and direct as an angry rhino.
Father, I Don't Want To Fight: Inverted at movie's start because Hiccup is upset that his Viking dad won't let him fight. When he is forced into training later on, it's not because his father is disrespecting his wishes, but rather that he doesn't believe Hiccup's protestations that he's really no longer interested in fighting dragons are genuine.
Flight of Romance: Astrid's first ride on Toothless turns into this for her and Hiccup after Toothless decides to play nice. The title of the track that plays during that scene is called "Romantic Flight"
Foreign Cuss Word: The name of the village is Berk, a British Rhyming-slang word that derives from "Berkshire Hunt." These days, its meaning has shifted to Jerkass. To Fracophonic Tropers, the island's name is "Yuck!"
A pair of twins among the Vikings, and a two-headed breed among the dragons.
In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example, during their first test flight, Hiccup tugs on his restraint, making sure it's secure. Guess what fails moments later.
Take notice of how much attention is given to shots of Hiccup's left foot, particularly whenever he rides Toothless. On that note: "it's not worth it unless you get a scar out of it."
In a bit more of a "recurring action" vibe: Toothless initially refuses to truly open up to Astrid while she's riding him and instead keeps messing with her until she says she's sorry - this resonates later when he doesn't show Stoick that he's saved Hiccup until after he apologizes.
A deleted scene has Stoic talking to Gobber about taking care of Hiccup, and he says that when he gets back he wants all of Hiccup's limbs intact.
Forging Scene: Funnily enough, Hiccup melts down a sword to reuse the metal for a replacement tail, rather than making a sword.
Funny Background Event: While Gobber and Stoick argue about what to do with Hiccup, early on in the film, Gobber spends much of the conversation fishing his false tooth out of his ale, where it fell when he performed a Spit Take.
Game Changer: The Game Changer is Hiccup discovering that dragons and humans are not mutual adversaries. The "kill on sight" directive in the Viking Handbook is fanaticism, and the dragons are raiding the Viking village under orders from an Evil Boss. The dragon revolution against the Red Death cements this change into Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
The helmet Hiccup eventually receives from his father. Made from his dead mother's breastplate. Cue the awkward silence. Part of a matching pair, indeed. (If you look quick, you can see Hiccup immediately stop caressing the helmet during this line).
There are two characters named Tuffnut and Ruffnut, and they're twins.
When the Gronkle who is offering the single fish to the Green Death is about to get eaten, it growls something that suspiciously sounds like "oh fuck!"
Astrid's Angrish during the last session of Dragon Training devolves into outright cursing, ending with what sounds like, "Aw, fuck it!" She's actually saying "munge bucket" but it is very hard to tell.
When Astrid finds Hiccup in the woods, she asks if he's training with someone, grabs his leather flight harness, and says, "It had better not involve this."
Give Geeks a Chance: Hiccup and Astrid. While his geekiness lead to the moment it was more proving that he wasn't a spineless screw up like everyone thought.
Grim Up North: According to Hiccup Berk is a neutral example: "It snows nine months of the year and hails the other three; the food that grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here are even more so."
Tropes H to M
Handicapped Badass: Gobber missing an arm and a leg, Toothless a tail fin and Hiccup his left leg. All of them are badass.
Held Gaze: The platonic version occurs between Stoick and Gobber in this movie when they grasp hands, looking each other in eye, before going off to distract Green Death together to buy their people some time.
Heroic BSOD: Hiccup goes through one after Toothless gets captured trying to save him and his dad disowns him.
Heroic Sacrifice: Gobber and Stoick had every intention of dying, but Hiccup and the kids arrive to back them up. (Big Damn Gunships?)
He's a Friend: "Astrid, Toothless. Toothless, Astrid". Before that, Hiccup says "She's a friend" to Toothless in order to calm him down and stop him from attacking Astrid.
He Who Fights Monsters: Stoick is well on his way, spouting slash-and-burn rhetoric towards the dragons and leading his men on an Ahab-esque quest to destroy the nest.He changes his mind after he realizes his actions almost killed his entire tribe, and Hiccup saved the day.
Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: Matching Fishlegs to the Gronkle seems to be set up with this in mind (it's just a third larger than him).
I Have No Son: Stoick to Hiccup when he misinterprets his son's refusal to kill dragons and warnings against taking on the virtually invincible Green Death as siding with the dragons against the Vikings.
Indy Ploy: Snotlout does this when he jumps from the Green Death so the twins can catch him.
I can't believe that worked!
Inferred Holocaust: Although not seen, it's stated outright that the casualties for the Viking/Dragon war in general were large.
Stoick: They've killed hundreds of us! Hiccup: And we've killed THOUSANDS of them!
Ink Suit Actor: The producers tried to animate Hiccup as closely to Jay Baruchel as possible. Jonah Hill also bears some similarity to his character Snotlout. While Stoick has too much beard to look like Gerard Butler, it's not too far off to see him playing the role in live action.
It Has Been an Honor: Stoic and Gobber all but say this when they clasps hands together and agree to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in order to buy time for the other adult Vikings to escape from Green Death.
One that's easy to miss: "I did this." Said first by Hiccup upon realizing he can't bring himself to kill Toothless and again by Stoick when he thinks that Hiccup is dead. Bonus points for Toothless being in both scenes, and in the same position to boot.
Another one that's easy to miss: "... So why didn't you?" At the beginning of the film, Hiccup wonders why Toothless didn't kill him, when all dragons are said to go for the kill. Near the end, Astrid questions why Hiccup didn't kill Toothless, pointing out that any other Viking would've done it.
"We have dragons."
Another blink-and-you-miss-it: During Hiccup's initial flight with Toothless, he slams into two rock formations while learning to control the stabilizer fin. During the closing narration, Fishlegs and his Gronckle slam into two sides of an artificial canyon in the village.
During the start of the movie, Hiccup does an impression of Stoick, essentially saying that his father wanted a tough, hardy viking of a son, instead of a "toothpick" like Hiccup. It may be funny then, but it's a blow to the gut when Stoick pretty muchs says the same thing when he disowns hiccup.
In a more lighthearted vein, the shouts that come every time a Night Fury is heard ("Night Fury! Get down!") becomes pretty funny/heartwarming in the end, as now people only shout it because Toothless has developed a habit of pouncing playfully.
Jerkass: Astrid starts out like this, before warming up to Hiccup and Toothless.
Jerk Jock: Snotlout, like the movies, is an arrogant jock but he eases up over time.
Jock Dad Nerd Son: Part of the driving force of the plot is that Hiccup doesn't live up to his father's expectations, and still saves the day with skill and smarts as opposed to brute force.
Hiccup:[sarcastically imitating Stoick] Excuse me, barmaid! I'm afraid you brought me the wrong offspring! I ordered an extra-large boy with beefy arms, extra guts and glory on the side! This here, this is a talking fishbone!"
Killer Rabbit: The Terrible Terror. Awww, look at that cute little-GAAH! IT BURNS!
Leitmotif: Several. John Powell did the soundtrack, and seems to have taken the approach of writing several melody leitmotifs (a "flying/Hiccup and Toothless" theme, a "holy shit, dragons!" theme, a "romance/Hiccup and Astrid" theme, and a theme for the Green Death, though the soundtrack calls it Green), as well as assigning each major character a signature instrument which tends to pop up in their scenes (warpipes for the Vikings, violins for Astrid, brass instruments for the dragons, etc). Hilariously, one of Hiccup's most recurring instruments is a tinwhistle. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.
Lightning Bruiser: Night Furies, described in the film as "the unholy offspring of Lightning and Death itself", of the Hard-hitting Speedster variety...
"...And never misses."
Logo Joke: During the Dream WorksVanity Plate at the very beginning. If you look closely, you can see Toothless flying past near the bottom of the screen. Since Toothless is a Night Fury, it's very hard to see unless you know it's there.
Made of Explodium: When the Green Death dies, she/it goes up in a (relatively!) minor mushroom cloud.
Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Astrid is the star pupil of dragon training. Hiccup is clumsy and generally ordered to stay inside. Emphasized in the beginning where Astrid has armor and Hiccup has an apron on, but gradually Hiccup makes a riding harness with pauldrons for himself.
Mass Hypnosis: Strongly suggested that the Green Death dominates the dragons with this — its presence always contains an odd crooning sound. Even Toothless is not entirely immune. As the Green Death in the book is all about singing, this is a subtle Shout Out to the original.
Massive Numbered Siblings: In the DS game it's implied that all the kids have siblings, except Astrid and Hiccup. They have names like Froglegs, Piglegs, Snuffnut, and Wartlout.
The village is named Berk, which should tell you all you need to know about the inhabitants, and why they decided to stay on an island regularly attacked by hungry dragons.
Hiccup is initially considered to be one giant mistake after another.
Astrid is a traditional Scandinavian name meaning 'divine and beautiful'; she is considered to be very attractive. It is also worth noting that she is the only one without an icky name, possibly because she's just so badass that she didn't need one to scare off trolls and gnomes.
Snotlout is kind of pesky and obnoxious. He gets nicer, but he's still annoying.
Fishlegs is thought of by many as useless and a hindrance, as legs on a fish.
Ruffnut and Tuffnut are... well, yeah.
Memetic Badass: The Vikings' absolute dread of Night Furies is an in-universe example.
Mix-and-Match Critter: The Gronckle, which looks like a cross between a bulldog, a bumblebee, and a toad.
More Teeth Than The Osmond Family: The Hideous Zippleback, Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare, Gronckle, and Green Death have rows upon rows of sharp teeth. Inverted with the Terrible Terrors, who appear to be toothless.
Multiple Head Case: Hideous Zipplebacks, which have two heads. They work well together, with one providing flammable gas, and the other a pilot light. Put them under the command of a pair of twins who never stop bickering, however...
Also, when Hiccup is reading the Dragon Manual, there is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it illustration of a four-headed Venus Flytrap-like dragon called the Snaptrapper.
Mundane Utility: Toothless is shown using his plasma blasts to make a bed of embers to sleep in.
My God, What Have I Done?: Stoick, after his I Have No Son moment right after he walks outside and the enormity of what he'd just done hits him. Another moment happens later, when he realizes that Hiccup was right about the dragon nest, and he's led his people into a fight they can't win, and then again when it appears Hiccup has died to save them.
Lampshaded - In the opening narration, Hiccup says that parents give their children hideous names to frighten off Gnomes and Trolls.
Most dragon species follow this rule, such as "Monstrous Nightmare", "Night Fury" and "Boneknapper". Even the "Terrible Terror" gets this treatment, and it's the size of a small dog (the 'voice' for the little guys was even provided by a chihuahua).
Astrid never said "You're so busted" when she found out about Toothless.
The TV-spots made the film look a lot more slapstick-y and goofy than it truly was (here was very little in the way of slapstick humor, and the film itself was more drama/action with humor thrown in), and suggests that everyone immediately embraces the idea that dragons can be tamed.
One of the funniest scenes from the trailer was Hiccup's "Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile." followed by Toothless smacking him with his ear. Both scenes happened, but were separate and unrelated to one another. The line was issued when Toothless tried his level best to throw Astrid off, but he'd whapped Hiccup earlier, when Hiccup made a mistake with his new flying rig.
Gobber's line "Welp, there go my undies" was never in the film. He has two lines that mention his undies earlier in the film, but never that particular one.
Also, the theatrical trailers make it appear that Toothless immediately liked Hiccup after being set free, when in the movie, his first action was to pin Hiccup to the ground, roar, and leave. He didn't become Hiccup's friend or even warm up to him until days later.
Commercials for it on Nickelodeon try to imply that Hiccup tries to hide Toothless in his house. However, the scene shown took place at the end, when the Vikings had already accepted dragons.
Averted by the final trailer, which did a pretty good job of conveying the film's dramatic aspects.
Never Say "Die": Averted. The words "kill" and "death" are used quite often.
Non-Standard Character Design: Unusual example in that it's one of the main characters. Toothless is noticeably different than the other dragons.
Nothing Is Scarier: In-universe reason for why the Night Fury is so feared; because nobody has ever seen one or knows anything about it. Its page in the Book of Dragons is blank.
Now Let Me Carry You: Hiccup takes care of Toothless for a majority of the story, from bringing him food to helping him fly after losing part of his tail. By the end of the story, it's Toothless's turn to help Hiccup when Hiccup loses his left foot and hasn't adjusted to walking with an artificial one yet.
Not So Different: Hiccup and Stoick, shown subtly throughout the entire movie, and highlighted in their Meaningful Echoes (each quoting the other without having heard the line from them). Gobber is aware of this from listening to them complain about one another, and eventually points it out to Stoick near the end of the film.
Gobber: Every bit the stubborn, bull-headed Viking you ever were.
At the end, Hiccup and Toothless are both maimed, and really depend on each other in the same way.
Stoick: Hiccup... Hiccup: Dad! Uh, I have to talk to you, Dad. Stoick: I need to speak with you too, son. Hiccup/Stoick:[They both take deep breaths and speak at once.] I've decided I don't want to fight dragons./I think it's time you learned to fight dragons. [beat] What? Stoick: Uh, you go first. Hiccup: No, no, you go first. Stoick: All right. You get your wish. Dragon Training. You start in the morning. Hiccup: Oh man, I should have gone first.
Number Two: Astrid's role in the climatic battle, directing the rest of Hiccup's flying corps in the fight against the Green Death while Hiccup tries to free Toothless.
Odd Name Out: Hiccup, Fishlegs, Snotlout, Ruffnut, Tuffnut and... Astrid? Astrid is actually a historically Norse name derived from old Norse "įss" (singular of ęsir) and "frišr" (beauty), meaning "divine beauty". Hiccup, Snotlout, etc, may "sound" viking-ish, but Astrid is a female name actually used in the viking era, as rune stones and manuscripts document. Interestingly, she's one of the few main characters whose name doesn't come from the original book.
The Green Death itself gets one a few minutes later.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Stoick appears to have discovered Hiccup's friendship with Toothless and asks why his son has been keeping it a secret from him. Hiccup tries to apologize, Stoick says he's actually proud... and Hiccup realizes that his dad is talking about Hiccup doing a good job in Dragon Training.
Organ Autonomy: The two heads of a Hideous Zippleback are distinct and do not share each other's thoughts. If the heads start arguing, the dragon can stall out, leaving it completely vulnerable to attack.
Our Dragons Are Different: It's implied that there are dozens of dragon species, each with a different method of killing you that runs the gamut from sonic screeches (Thunderdrum) to spitting boiling water (Scauldron.) They have limited ammunition, and how much they have varies from species to species (Except the Green Death, being the Ultimate Master Dragon, appears to have infinite ammo.) We only see seven species in the course of the movie: the Terrible Terror, Hideous Zippleback, Gronckle, Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare, and the Night Fury. Then there's the (unnamed in the film) Green Death, the grandaddy of all dragons.
Outrun the Fireball: Commonly done, and Astrid once outwalked the fireball. Also notable, at the climax, along the back of a humongous dragon. downplayed in that Hiccup doesn't make it out unscathed.
Papa Wolf: Twice in one scene! Hiccup is in the arena with one of the biggest and most dangerous dragons—the Monstrous Nightmare. On hearing Hiccup tell the entire village that they don't have to kill dragons, Stoic the Vast erupts in fury and slams his hammer on one of the metal bars, denting it. Then when the noise startles the dragon into attacking Hiccup, Toothless hears the boy's scream of fear from miles away, and although he can't fly at this point, claws and tears his way through the forest, breaks through the metal of the arena's cage, then attacks and successfully drives off a dragon three times his size. Stoick also charges in to rescue Hiccup from the Monstrous Nightmare as well, pulling Astrid to safety but unable to rescue Hiccup before Toothless does.
Parental Bonus: When the boys accidentally attack Ruffnut and Astrid during training:
Tuffnut: Your butt's getting so big, I thought you were a dragon! Snotlout: Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a "dragon-esque" figure...
Peek-A-Bangs: Astrid. They hid one eye for the first part of the movie and she brushes themm aside before pecking Hiccup's check, after their Flightof Romance.
Picky Eater: A dragon which happily devours fish won't touch a smoked eel, (which is most likely poisonous, considering the bright colors).
In the tie-in video game, there are certain items that some breeds won't eat. Less plausibly, Night Furies don't eat fish, despite Toothless happily gorging himself on it in the movie.
Pintsized Powerhouse: The Terrible Terror looks small and harmless, and it can be quite friendly but that doesn't mean that it's any less dangerous than the other dragon species; Tuffnut discovers this the hard way.
Planimal: Not really a plant per se, but the Snaptrapper dragon looks like a four-headed carnivorous plant and like a carnivorous plant uses a sweet smell from its mouth to lure in prey. In this case, Vikings with the smell of chocolate.
Poor Communication Kills: Hiccup and his father are having two different conversations before his final exam, and only Hiccup is aware of this. This leads to misery later when Stoick discovers the truth about Hiccup and the dragons.
Positive Discrimination: Astrid is established from the get-go as not only the most competent trainee, but the only competent trainee. The others (all but one are boys) can barely swing their axes in the dragons' general direction.
Post Victory Collapse: After his first confrontation with Toothless, Hiccup is breathing hard and clutching his heart. He picks up his knife, stands up, takes about three steps... and passes out.
Power Walk: Astrid and the rest of the Viking teens, sans Hiccup, in the intro.
Pragmatic Adaptation: The 'Vikings vs dragon war' doesn't exist in the books. However, Cressida Cowell approves.
Protectorate: Hiccup is this for Toothless, who will outwardly attack anyone who so much as seems like they will harm him.
The Queen's Latin: The adults speak with Scottish accents, even though they are supposed to be Vikings (albeit from an island in the general area of the genuinely Viking-populated Scottish Hebrides). The kids speak with North American accents.
Lampshaded when Hiccup derisively mimics his father, complete with accent.
Quirky Mini Boss Squad: Most of the dragons (with the possible exception of the Monstrous Nightmare) readily fit into this trope. The Vikings rather quickly realize it when they invade the nest, break it open, the dragons all head for the hills...and then they meet the real boss.
Razor Wings: There's a passing mention of the "Timberjack" species, whose wings can slice right through trees.
Reality Ensues: Near the end, all the teens get dragons of their own, and fall off within minutes of each other during the final battle because Hiccup is the only one with safety lines.
Reality Is Unrealistic: The filmmakers have admitted that they learned that real Vikings didn't wear horned helmets during their research, but they decided to keep them in because of audiences' expectations and perceptions. (Not to mention they had already added dragons.)
Recycled Soundtrack: "Battling the Green Death" features elements from "Dragon Battle," "Focus, Hiccup!" "Test Drive," and "The Downed Dragon" mixed into the song. Possibly a Boss Remix. However, John Powell's scoring is so tight that most soundtracks feature themes from other places, such as various motifs from "This is Berk" being reused in different keys and forms in "The Dragon Book," "New Tail," "This Time For Sure," "Astrid Goes For a Spin," "Romantic Flight," "Test Drive," and "Coming Back Around."
This pours over into a musical version of Meaningful Echo as the themes that are reused reflect parallels between when they were used. For example the falling section of "Test Drive" is used when Hiccup and Toothless have to catch someone out of midair.
Ridiculously Cute Critter: Toothless and some of the smaller dragons. For... er... some viewers, this can fall into Cuteness Proximity and reduce them to sentences entirely consisting of the words "Awwww!" and "So cute!"
RPG Mechanics Verse: Fishlegs spouts these during the first training session about the dragons they face.
Scare Chord: One in "The Downed Dragon" when Hiccup first sees the Night Fury, and one in The Dragon Book. A few other points accentuate something with music, but not to the full-blown Scare Chord effect.
Notably, in the end when Hiccup and Toothless disappears into smoke, leaving the Green Death spinning around confused.
Scenery Porn: Berk is fantastic from above, especially during Toothless' flight scenes. The clouds and Aurora Borealis are also gorgeous.
Sherlock Scan: Fishlegs' devotion to analysing dragon stats allows him to identify threats to avoid and weaknesses to exploit on Green Death with just a glance.
Several to The Black Stallion. Hiccup finds Toothless trussed up, just as Alec finds the titular stallion, and both are freed by a dagger. In many ways the animals are mirrors to each other, however: Toothless is calm in the trusses, and attacks Hiccup when freed, while the stallion flails furiously in the ropes; when freed, he runs away. They begin to bond when the Stallion saves Alec from a cobra, here, Toothless begins to bond to Hiccup when he's fed by him (even returning the favor!).
Tuffnut suddenly getting yanked into the fog by a then-hidden Hideous Zippleback was rather evocative of Stephen King's The Mist. Promptly lampshaded when Tuffnut runs back out of the fog, unharmed, yelling about how badly hurt he was.
A double-Shout Out to both the original book and Beowulf occurred when Tuffnut called The Green Death "Bride of Grendel". The young Vikings had to read Beowulf in the original book series.
There's also the scene when Ruffnut and Tuffnut step into the blind spot of the Nadder. Even down to the first couple of camera angles and character movements, it's unmistakably a shout out to Riddick in Pitch Black.
A possible one to The Road to El Dorado. When a nameless citizen is attacked by the stone jaguar, he says "I'm okay!", is promptly stomped upon, and says "I'm still okay!" In HTTYD, Fishlegs's Gronkle crashes. He says "I'm okay!", followed by the Gronkle flipping over on him and him saying "Less okay!"
In a meta example: One of the most-acclaimed portions of the movie by critics and audiences was the "Forbidden Friendship" scene, in which Hiccup and Toothless gradually bond together and form, well, a forbidden friendship(due to the ancient enmity between Vikings and Dragons). There is precisely zero dialogue in this entire sequence, which is told entirely through the soundtrack, the two's nonverbal interactions and body language.
All the writing is in Younger Futhark runes. The runes are used to spell out English text, though, and it almost never matches what the characters say it says.
The dragons exhibit many behaviors found in real-life animals. Hiccup's confrontation with and subsequent rapport with Toothless are almost entirely consistent with real animal behavior, though Toothless turns out to be much smarter then your average beast.
Toothless' flight physics are outstanding, and the "Test Drive" sequence is a great Shout Out to the learning curve that real pilots go through (the basic maneuvers, Hiccup's "flying by the numbers," etc).
Except for the horned helmets, the Viking attire is period-accurate. Astrid's distinctive striped shirt is pieced together with different weights and colors of yarn to show that it is made of naalbinding rather than continental knitting. (She is also the only one who wears a kransen circlet rather than a helmet.) Hiccup's tunic is based off the Birka style (a Swedish colony), and his trousers are made from the Thorsberg pattern (a German based colony).
Sleeper Hit: Even though the film debuted at #1 in the box office, its premiere weekend take was judged a disappointment and people hastily wrote it off as a de facto failure. However, the film developed such ecstatic word of mouth that the film just kept going and going until it arguably regained #1 in week 4 and definitely in week 5; it's a box office performance path that almost never happens nowadays! So, the "disappointment" became the spring pop culture sensation in 2010, finishing a shade under half a billion dollars worldwide when all said and done.
The Southpaw: As in the book, Hiccup is left-handed, although it is shown very subtly in the film and most viewers will only pick up on it after a close watching. His left-handness is a plausible reason for the other character's wariness around him, as being lefthanded in the past carried a stigma of potential evil with it.
Spit Take: When Stoick complains to Gobber that Hiccup doesn't listen, (a complaint Hiccup had voiced about Stoick just before) Gobber spits his ale back into its tankard, along with his fake tooth. See Funny Background Event above.
Spoof Aesop: "It's not what you look like. It's what's inside that he can't stand."
The Stoic: Surprisingly, Stoick can be pretty open with his feelings, at least to his best friend Gobber, and gets better in respect to his son Hiccup. He nearly cries when he tells Hiccup I Have No Son.
The Bully: Averted - Snotlout initially is set up perfectly to fulfill this role, but ultimately he comes off as boastful but not particularly mean; he doesn't poke fun at Hiccup any more than the other vikings and is one of the first to warm up to him after he starts to do well.
Tastes Like Friendship: Hiccup and Toothless share a fish (a raw fish...and Hiccup only gets to eat it after Toothless regurgitates some), and thus a friendship is started.
Taught By Experience: Expressly pointed out by Gobber in Dragon Training ("I prefer to learn on the job") but is also present when Hiccup rigs a new tail fin for Toothless and works a way where Toothless can fly again and he can ride him. He also learns all sorts of non-lethal ways to distract and/or subdue a dragon that no one else had known because he found such things when interacting with Toothless (they can't stand the smell of smoked eels, they get docile around a certain type of grass, they love getting their neck scratched).
Technically a Smile: Toothless does one of these when trying to imitate Hiccup. It's intended to come off as endearing rather than creepy, though.
Teens Are Short: All of the adult Viking warriors tower at least two heads above the Viking teens, but Hiccup's seen as the shortest. His first scene involves a balista he invented in his spare time.
Teleport Spam: Courtesy of cloud cover, fireballs, and super speed.
Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: A minor detail, but one of the heads of the Zippleback has more noticeable red lips than the other, reminiscent of lipstick.
Testosterone Poisoning: The men of Berk, for the most part. In many cases, literally - their nose hairs are braided.
Throw It In: The shot of Toothless opening his eyes after his wing temporarily blocks them from view was actually an animation mistake, but was kept in because it lent an eery quality to the rest of the scene.
Tomboy: Astrid and Ruffnut and every other woman on Berk too, by our standards. By Berk standards, they lean more towards Girly Bruiser.
Took a Level in Badass: Good Thor, Hiccup. Compare how he was in the beginning and how he is by the climax, and you will see the change.
Tsundere: Astrid is a Type A; she's tsuntsun to everyone but becomes more "deredere" as the plot progresses.
Toothless also likes to switch among affectionate, aloof, and hostile at the drop of a hat.
Trailers Always Spoil: Everything about this film, from the trailers to the promotional artwork and even the title itself spoil the fact that they're going to be riding dragons. The film is essentially a How We Got Here plot for the viewer.
Two Girls to a Team: Astrid and Ruffnut are the only girls on Hiccup's dragon rider team, and the latter is mistaken for her twin borhter.
Unflinching Walk: Astrid's introduction has her walking casually away from a spreading gout of dragon's breath. In Slo Mo, no less! The sequence is very impressive and is to show how Hiccup is in awe of her.
Universal Adaptor Cast: All save one of the actors playing the young Vikings have worked with each other before through various Apatow and Follow the Leader-esque R-rated comedies and play similar archetypes in this film that they embodied in their previous works (Adorkable Jay Baruchel, uber-nerd Christopher Mintz-Plasse, brash horndog Jonah Hill etc.). Of the six actors making up the film's young troupe, only America Ferrera (Astrid) had not been in a film with another actor in that group before.
Weaksauce Weakness: Dragons really hate the smell of smoked eels. Apparently, even in the middle of a fight a scratch and a touch under the jawline will send one to sleep.
Weather Dissonance: Hiccup describes the place as "a few degrees south of freezing to death" and says "it snows nine months out of the year and hails the other three" but the weather for most of the film is sunny, clear, and warm with only one storm and an instance of Ominous Fog, despite it being early winter. It's clearly a gorgeous day as he says the line. Considering Hiccup's status as a Deadpan Snarker, it's not too much of a leap to assume he was exaggerating for dramatic purposes.
Gobber: Oh, you've made plenty of marks! All in the wrong places!
Well Done Son Guy: Stoick to Hiccup, at least at first. He never really quits wanting his father's respect, but as the story progresses he's able to put other priorities first.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Said word for word by Gobber when convincing Stoic to let Hiccup join dragon training instead of staying in the blacksmith shop alone. Inverted in that it works.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The "a wet dragon head can't light its fire" dragon lesson is the only dragon-related Chekhov's Gun that doesn't get fired. It does somewhat misfire though, during dragon training against the zippleback.
Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Hiccup points out how ridiculous his name is, but explains the reasons for awful names (scaring off gnomes and trolls) and says that there are other people with worse ones.
Artificial Limbs: Gobber not only sports his normal hammer and such, but also a broom, eggbeater, and guitar.
Art Shift: Gobber's flashback stories are told in 2D animation.
Bad with the Bone: In this short it's revealed that the Boneknapper dragon uses the bones of dragons and other creatures to make itself a suit of armor. It also has multiple bones attached to the end of its tail to form a powerful warclub.
Comedic Underwear Exposure: Gobber's pants fall down after he gives the dragon back his bone, which had been holding up his pants for years.
Dark Is Not Evil: Once Gobber gives the Boneknapper back its bone which allows it to roar, the dragon is suddenly more amicable.
Demoted to Extra: Toothless. Since this is more Gobber's story than Hiccup's, it makes sense.
Happy Place: Snotlout is trying to find his when they're all under the ribcage and being attacked by the Boneknapper.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: After the Boneknapper gets its ability to roar back, Fishlegs notes its current roars appear to be a mating call. So this whole time it's been chasing Gobber because it was... frustrated.
Gilligan Cut: Snoutlout claims that he won't be dragged off on another adventure. Guess who's seen pouting on a boat two seconds later.
Lighter and Softer: Generally a sillier story then the movie, especially with Gobber's frequent embellishments. Even the fearsome-looking Boneknapper turns into a pussycat once he gets his bone back.
Spiritual Successor: to the Kung Fu Panda short "Secrets of the Masters," which used similar animation style and used a fusion of CGI mixed with traditional animation to tell several short stories.
Super Persistent Predator: When Gobber tells Hiccup and his friends of his past encounters with the Boneknapper Dragon, it's revealed that it has chased him ever since he unwittingly took a piece of the bone from its armor which it needed to roar, pursuing him on desert island, jungle, volcano, etc.
Vocal Dissonance: The Boneknapper, unlike other dragons, can not roar. The best it can manage is a squeak. Unless it manages to collect the required bones need to amplify its voice, and Gobber has the last piece.
You Have to Believe Me: The townspeople and the young vikings refuse to believe from Gobber that the Boneknapper dragon exists. His increasingly ridiculous stories of his encounters with one particularly stubborn Boneknapper throughout his life makes it even harder for them to take his claim seriously. Guess what happens in the end?
Cuteness Proximity: Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Snotlout immediately say "awwww!" after seeing the adorable baby Gronkle that lands on Fishlegs as Astrid has an Oh Crap moment in the background.
Delayed Reaction: Hiccup has this response when he discovers that Toothless has brought his helmet back to him at the end.
Genki Girl: Astrid seems to be developing into this.
Gilligan Cut: Hiccup says it's a good thing that the the explosive eggs won't hatch on Berk. Guess what happens next.
Happiness in Slavery: Toothless rejects and smashes Hiccup's gift of a new tailfin that lets him fly on his own.
Lethal Chef: Astrid invents a revolting new holiday drink called "yaknog."
Snotlout: You can really taste the yak.
Made of Explodium: Hatching Gronckle eggs explode rather violently. The adult dragons offset this by pushing them into pools of water.
Mind-Control Eyes: All the dragons' eyes shrink as they leave for an inexplicable mass migration, reacting almost similarly to when they were controlled by the Red Death. Even Toothless gets them suddenly even though he was only flying away to find Hiccup's helmet.
Mundane Utility: Turns out Nadder spines are great for hanging Snoggletog decorations!
Oh Crap: Astrid's reaction when the dragon eggs start exploding.
Astrid:The eggs explode? *nearby house explodes* The eggs explode!