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Western Animation: How to Train Your Dragon

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 DreamWorks Animation picture released in 2010, directed by Chris Sanders and DeBlois. The protagonist, Hiccup, is a young Viking boy 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 wants to prove his worth — particularly to his father Stoick, the Viking chief — but he is gawky and brainy in a society that 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 claim. But when he finds the crippled dragon, all he can see is a wounded, frightened animal. He frees the dragon, which he names Toothless, and thus begins a clandestine friendship. As Hiccup nurses Toothless back to health, they form a bond of trust, and ultimately they become an inseparable flying, fighting pair — just in time for an even greater monster to appear.

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, titled How To Train Your Dragon 2 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.

For the book series, go here.
For the character sheet, go here.

Characters include (for tropes see the page):

  • 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, who 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 Living a Double Life, Astrid is the first to be suspicious.
  • Fishlegs Ingerman (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) - Fishlegs was Hiccup's best friend in the book, but this position has been taken over by Astrid. Fishlegs is nervous and frightened to do perilous things at the best of times. Despite his size, he's much more confident quoting stats than facing dragons... but that's not saying much.
  • 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.
  • Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston (T. J. Miller and Kristen Wiig) - Tuffnut, a boy, and Ruffnut, a girl, are fraternal twins. Both are fiendish thugs with ferocious intents and foul tempers, especially regarding each other. Viking adrenaline-junkies, no situation is too risky for their kind of dangerous fun.
  • Spitelout (David Tennant) - Stoick's Second-in-Command. David Tennant was previously involved with How To Train Your Dragon by providing narration for the original books on audio tape.

Tropes from How to Train Your Dragon:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Hiccup and Astrid's conversation about why Hiccup didn't kill Toothless when he had the chance, allowing Hiccup to realize how strong he really is.
    Hiccup: Three hundred years and I'm the first Viking who wouldn't kill a dragon.
    Astrid: ...First to ride one, though.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Once with no chaser in a training stage and then with a chase in the climax.
  • 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.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Blink-and-you'll-miss it in Hiccup's opening and closing monologues:
    Opening: You see, most places have mice, or mosquitoes...
    Closing: You see, most people have ponies, or parrots...
  • Adoring the Pests: This film presents a more optimistic portrayal of this; despite dragons having a reputation locally for being pests, Hiccup chooses to free the dragon he captures instead of killing it, secretly sneaks away to visit and feed it in the woods, and eventually becomes emotionally attached to it. It is through this that he discovers that dragons aren't as innately violent as they're made out to be, a realization that, combined with his observation of their behaviour, leads to both himself and his local community coming to understand them better.
  • 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.
  • Aerith and Bob:
    • 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.
    • The Terrible Terror that tries to steal food from Toothless (as the commentary states, "Old vs. New") nuzzles against Hiccup and purrs. Oddly, though, they're meant to be based on terriers and bark like chihuahuas.
  • All Trolls Are Different: According to Gobber not only do they exist but they steal your left sock.
  • 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 There in the Manual: The Green Death's name, Hiccup's full name.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses a J-pop song called "Emerald" written by Becky♪♯.
  • Amazon Chaser: Hiccup is head over heels for Astrid, a girl who can kick his ass with her pinky finger.
  • 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.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • 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.
    • The running theme of the tie-in shorts, particularly the Olympics shorts and the Dragon Training Lesson teasers.
  • Anachronism Stew: Why are the Vikings Scottish? Because the Vikings had extensive settlements in the Hebrides of course! If the village was seven generations old, the colonists would have picked up some of the local accents.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In a world that's populated by dragons, Gobber gets an odd look from Stoick when he mentions trolls that steal socks.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Gobber had this happen to him, several times. At the end, this also happens to Hiccup.
  • Artificial Limbs: Quite a few, though on the low-tech side.
  • Artistic License - History: While it's pretty common knowledge, vikings did not wear horned helmets.
  • Artistic License - Physics: Most of the dragons don't have the proper wing to body ratio to allow them to fly particularly the Red Death.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: "Not so fire-proof on the inside, are you?" Also, wings and tails because 'a downed dragon is a dead dragon'.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Red Death.
  • Author Appeal: The Shout Outs to the horse movies, most notably The Black Stallion. The reason for this is because it is the director's favourite film.
  • Awesome by Analysis:
    • 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 Adorable: Toothless.
  • Badass Beard: Most prominently, Stoick. Again, Vikings.
  • Bash Brothers: Stoick and Gobber, buying some time while fighting the Green Death.
  • 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.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Used several times.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Vikings.
  • 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.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Toothless rescuing Hiccup in the kill ring.
    • 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).
  • Blunt Yes: Hiccup gives one to Astrid. It's a sign that he's starting to stand up for himself (and Toothless).
  • A Boy And His Dragon as the backbone of the plot.
  • Brawn Hilda: Most, if not all Viking women apply, due to the constant raiding. Women volunteer for voyages to the dragon's nest and are seen in the fighting crowds with weapons.
  • Break Up Make Up Scenario: Hiccup and Stoick.
  • 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 Plate Hiccup's mother's breastplate was fashioned into helmets for Stoick and Hiccup.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Hiccup uses this early on, describing his father's discontent in his son.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Gobber briefly mentions the "extra pairs of underwear" during the quiet before the Green Death battle.
    Stoick: When we crack this mountain open, all hell's going to break loose...
    Gobber: -in my undies. Good thing I brought extras!
  • Book Ends:
    • Hiccup's narration:
    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.
      • To add to this, the dragon Hiccup sees when he opens the door might be the exact same Monstrous Nightmare both times. Wild at the beginning, having been trained by Snotlout at the end.
    • "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.
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: The walls of the maze during one of the training sessions.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Lost Your Leg Punching Out The Frackin' Huge Volcano Dragon.
  • 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.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Hiccup tries to stop his father from attempting to destroy the dragon's nest, which would result in the Green Death dragon wiping them out.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one believes Hiccup when he says he hit and downed a Night Fury, seeing as Night Furies are incredibly dangerous dragons, and up to that point, no-one had ever even seen one, or at least seen one and lived to tell about it, much less wounded one.Not to mention that it seems like he's said it before too.
    Hiccup: It's not like the last few times, Dad; I mean I really, actually hit it!
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When Astrid first flies on Toothless.
    Hiccup: [Deadpan] Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile.
    • Hiccup also gets a cheery "Mornin'!" from a Viking in the middle of the battle at the start of the film.
  • Catch Phrase:
    Astrid: That was for [insert crime here]. That was for everything else.
    Tuffnut: Oh, I'm hurt! I am very much hurt!
    Hiccup: Thank you for summing that up.
    Hiccup again:You just gestured to all of me.
  • The Cavalry: Hiccup and his newly minted dragon rider corps.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: According to the "Book of Dragons", the Change-wing can use its colorful scales to disappear into any environment.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "A downed dragon is a dead dragon" and "Not so fire-proof on the inside, are you?"
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The dragons from the arena, which are later used as mounts for the other teens during the final battle.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • 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.
  • Close on Title
  • Colossus Climb: Variant: Snoutlout, after falling off his dragon onto the Green Death, switches to this.
  • Coming of Age Story: It is Hiccup's story of finding his place in the village.
  • Costume Porn: Save the helmets, the clothing is based off actual Viking attire, and it's even appropriate to their status.
    • Stoick and Hiccup both wear vibrant green—with decorative embroidery on Hiccup, while Stoick has extremely intricate armor and a bearskin cloak. There are no patches and very few signs of wear despite Hiccup being the blacksmith's apprentice, and Stoick being a seasoned warrior, implying their clothes are new.
    • Astrid's striped shirt and armwarmers are 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.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Hiccup's plan to teach Astrid and the others to train their own dragons to join the fight against the Green Death. Summed up in Hiccup and Astrid's Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene just before his plan:
    Astrid (referring to Toothless): I'll bet he's really scared now. What are you going to do about it?
    Hiccup: Probably something stupid.
    Astrid: Good. But—you've already done that.
    Hiccup (getting the idea): Then something crazy. (Heads for the dragon kennels)
    Astrid: That's more like it.
    • Later lampshaded when the other young Vikings hear his plan:
      Ruffnut: You're crazy! (leans in close and whispers) I like that.
  • 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.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Astrid's rant when Hiccup wins the training seems to devolve into outright profanity before she's interrupted.
    • "Look at that thing! It'snote  like the size of my-" [gets cut off by the Terrible Terror attacking his face]
    • And an unusual silent one by Stoick when he sees the Dragon Riders for the first time. You can clearly read "What the..." on his lips before the camera moves away.

    Tropes D to G 
  • Darker and Edgier: Though not that dark and edgy, the movie is much more serious than the book.
    • Meta-wise, it's also this to most of Dreamworks' previous animated films. The sequel takes it further.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hiccup. "And now the spinning. Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile."
    • 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.
  • Death from Above: A favorite tactic of the dragons.
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: The Terrible Terror is no bigger than a chihuahua. Subverted in that it's as vicious as its name suggests.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • 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.
  • Don't 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 and instinct 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.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Green Death.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: The impact of the Green Death into the ground results in a large mushroom cloud, which Hiccup and Toothless have to outrun. While dodging the Green Death's spikes.
  • Everything's Louder With Bagpipes: The song The Downed Dragon has a section at the end with bagpipes. It makes it pretty scary.
  • Eye Scream: Snotlout hits the Green Death in the eye with a Viking War Hammer. Repeatedly. This is downplayed, since all it does is piss it off.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Toothless was prepared to do this, and the fact that he was visibly scared without desperately struggling or lashing out was the main reason Hiccup decided not to kill him.
    • Toward the end, Stoick was prepared for a Heroic Sacrifice to save the rest of his people... cue Big Damn Heroes.
  • Fanfare: The track "Test Drive" plays when Hiccup and Toothless really learn how to fly, and it goes full sweeping and majestic as they do.
  • 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.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Five-Man Band:
  • 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!"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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 Stoick talking to Gobber about taking care of Hiccup, and he says that when he gets back he wants all of Hiccup's limbs intact.
    • Toothless, last of the Night Furies, is the most feared of all the raiding dragons despite being only a middle-sized dragon.
  • Forging Scene: Funnily enough, Hiccup melts down a sword to reuse the metal for a replacement tail, rather than making a sword.
  • For Science!: In a benevolent example, Hiccup tries to repair Toothless' tail without concern of the consequences of restoring a huge predator's ability to fly, which become apparent all too soon.
  • 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.
    • When Stoick tells Hiccup he has an entire village to feed and Hiccup responds that maybe the village could do with a little less feeding, a viking in the background touches his stomach and looks around as if to say "Am I that fat?"
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Gobber is the blacksmith and Hiccup, The Apprentice, is getting there.
  • 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 a Bad Boss. The dragon revolution against the Green Death cements this change into Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • The village of Berk. See Foreign Cuss Word.
    • There are two characters named Tuffnut and Ruffnut, and they're twins.
  • Giant Flyer: The Green Death.
  • 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.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Curiously, both Hiccup and Stoick have scars on the right sides of their faces. Stoick's isn't so noticeable with facial features and age, but when the light shines on Hiccup's mouth/chin at a certain angle, it clearly shows. What's concerning is that its dented inwards, something that most likely was created from a stab wound.
  • 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?)
    • Hiccup comes dangerously close to pulling one in the fight against the Green Death, and is only saved due to Toothless catching him after he is knocked unconcious in mid-air.
  • 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.
  • Horny Vikings: All of them have horns on their helmets.
  • 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.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Hiccup, as he wants to be respected by his village and his father, and hopefully get a girlfriend. All of which he does eventually achieve, just not quite in the way he expected.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Monstrous Nightmares attack after setting themselves on fire.
  • Indy Ploy: Snotlout does this when he jumps from the Green Death so the twins can catch him.
    I can't believe that worked!
  • 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.
  • In Name Only: This movie to How to Train Your Dragon. While some character names are the same, the plot and setting is otherwise completely different. (An article linked to on The Other Wiki said the new directors found the original story too "sweet and whimsical") The original author approved of the changes, it got stellar reviews and did very well commercially, though, so who's counting?
  • Instructional Title
  • It Has Been an Honor: Stoick 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.
    • Later, before Hiccup and Toothless face the Green Death, Stoick tells Hiccup, "I'm proud to call you my son." Mainly to make up for his I Have No Son moment earlier.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "We're Vikings, it's an occupational hazard."
    • "You just gestured to all of me."
    • 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!
  • Large Ham: Tuffnut.
    "Oh, I am hurt! I am very much hurt!"
  • 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.
  • Liar Revealed: Hiccup voluntarily ends the charade that he's an on-the-cusp dragon slayer, instead using his anointment battle to show his command of the creatures, much to the village's shock and his father's disappointment. Tropes Are Not Bad, as Hiccup's deception was out of an unselfish, kind motive, rather than a selfish one covered up for personal gain like it is routinely used for.
  • 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 DreamWorks Vanity 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.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Echo: All over the place. Sometimes crossing over into Ironic Echo.
    • "I'm sorry." First uttered by Astrid as Toothless terrifies her during his tumultuous temper tantrum, these words demonstrate the repentance of the speaker and show the Night Fury that he can trust them. After Astrid says "I'm sorry," Toothless mellows. After Stoick apologizes when he thinks Hiccup was obliterated in the colossal incineration of the Green Death, the cunning Night Fury unfurls his wings to reveal a relatively intact Hiccup.
    • "So why didn't you?" Said by both Hiccup and Astrid, about Toothless and Hiccup's refusal to kill the other, to drive home just how similar they are.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • 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.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: The village elder is the shortest and the oldest.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Hiccup and his classmates mount their dragons and swoop in to save Stoick and Gobber from the Green Death. The moment itself is Hiccup bonding Snoutlot to a Monsterous Nightmare.
  • Missing Mom: Hiccup's. It's never mentioned what happened to her. She's been confirmed to return in the sequel however.
  • 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.
  • Mood Dissonance: Awww, look at the cute little Gronckle. He only brought back one tiny little fiHOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT!?!?
  • Mood Whiplash: Gobber, constantly with the bad advice.
  • Mook Horror Show: Hiccup achieves the rare feat of putting an elder dragon god through this, first leading it into dense clouds, then seeming to surround it from all sides while being everywhere and nowhere simultaneously...
  • 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...
    • 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.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: The Zipplebacks.
  • Mundane Utility: Toothless is shown using his plasma blasts to make a bed of embers to sleep in.
  • Muscle Angst: Implied. Hiccup's sarcastic impression of his father mostly has him believing his father wanted a physically strong looking son.
  • 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.
    Hiccup earlier, at the downed Night Fury:
    "I did this..."

    Tropes N to R 
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
    • 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).
  • Never Trust A Commercial:
    • 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 (there 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.
    • 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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Stoick's staunch refusal to believe his son is throwing away the ideals he was brought up on and embraced, namely Dragons Must Die, and talking about making peace with them causes Stoick to slam his hand on some bars, which scares the Monstrous Nightmare Hiccup is trying to befriend and turns it to a scared beast. This nearly kills Hiccup if not for Astrid's intervention and helping Hiccup hold it off until more help comes.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Unusual example in that it's one of the main characters. Toothless is noticeably different than the other dragons.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted. Toothless' saddle and tail-fin go through several versions.
  • Norse by Norsewest: Seems to take place somewhere in the North Sea.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted in the film series, preliminary art for the first sequel shows that Hiccup and Astrid have grown considerably.
  • 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.
    • The Green Death's introduction where it rises up and eats a dragon is scarier than its later appearance because the first time around it's dark, you aren't expecting that, and you don't know anything about it except that it eats dragons. The second time, while it's still a deadly foe to the characters, the scene is well lit and the thing looks like a scaly bus.
  • 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.
  • No, You Go First:
    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 "ss" (singular of sir) and "frir" (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.
  • Oh Crap:
    • "Night Fury!"
    • There's a minor one when Hiccup brings Toothless into the village. A sheep notices and goes wide-eyed.
    • Astrid has two, which makes it all the more potent.
    Hiccup: It looks like they're hauling in their kill.
    Astrid: What does that make us?
    • And again, when she sees the Green Death.
    Astrid: What. Is THAT?
    • Stoick's face upon seeing the absolutely huge Green Death.
    • 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.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In the opening sequence, the Viking are fighting the dragons without a hint of fear. In fact, some seem almost amused by them. Then, someone shouts "Night Fury!" and as a collective whole they all browned their pants.
  • 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, Stoick 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 Flight of 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.
  • Punished for Sympathy: Hiccup's father discovers that Hiccup's success against dragons comes from understanding them rather than ruthlessly destroying them. Once Hiccup's compassion for the Night Fury Toothless comes to light, Stoick drops the hammer: "You're no son o' mine."
  • 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.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Hiccup, Astrid and the other Viking teens. Their dragons, too.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Tuffnut and Ruffnut.
  • 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.
    • The hero battles and defeats the Big Bad, however, he doesn't get away scot-free, but ends up losing a leg.
  • 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.)
    • At least for Hiccup, the helmet issue has been fixed in the sequel—he wears a period-accurate Viking helmet in the first teaser trailer.
  • 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.
  • Recycled: The Series: Cartoon Network has acquired the rights to air a series based on the film in 2012. The series remains truthful to the original film and further explores the characters and locations made for it.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Hiccup.
  • Redhead In Green: Stoick and Hiccup.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Everyone certainly feels this way towards dragons, but the trope is ultimately inverted.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: Astrid becoming Hiccup's Secret Keeper is the start of their budding relationship.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Fishlegs' tendency to quote the Dragon Fighting manual. It annoys everyone but it comes in handy later...
    • Gobber's advice never comes out right...
    • Ruffnut and Tuffnut chose the worst times to argue.
    • Snotlout hits on Astrid and is instantly rebuffed.
    • Tuffnut getting hurt and screaming how much he's in pain.
    • A random Viking crying out "NIGHT FURY!" whenever Toothless is sighted. Even at the end, when there's clear there is no danger from him — except being stampeded out of enthusiasm to get to Hiccup.
    • Astrid saying, "That was for [insert crime here]. And that's for everything else."
    Gobber/Stoick: You need to stop all...this. *gestures*.
    Hiccup: You just gestured to all of me!
    Hiccup: Thank you for summing that up.

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Hiccup is the low energy snarky guy and Astrid is the high energy straight forward girl.
  • Say My Name Trailer: Some of the advertising spots were Say "Dragons" Trailers.
  • 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.
  • Sexy Walk: Astrid seems to be doing this in her first scene, but it's hard to tell if she actually is, or if it's just how Hiccup sees her.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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!).
    • Toothless looks a lot like Stitch.
    • Gobber talks about how trolls will steal everyone's left sock.
      • And that's no coincidence, Chris Sanders and Dean De Blois designed both Toothless and Stitch.
    • Three Words: Plus Five Speed.
    • 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.
    • Hiccup and Astrid's ride didn't remind anyone of anything? Pretty sure it was a whole new world for those two. Or maybe she was wondering Can You Read My Mind?.
    • Ruffnut insults the Green Death by calling it a "butt elf".
    • The scene when Hiccup first tries to put the saddle on Toothless looks like the scene when Little Creek tries to put the saddle on Spirit.
    • Gobber's advice during dragon training: "Your most important piece of equipment is your shield! If you must make a choice between a sword or a shield, take the shield." Also Stoick says "Form your ranks! Hold together."
    • 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.
    • In the final scene before the credits, at one point they do a close flyby of one Viking drinking from his mug, only to spill it over himself when they pass too close, as a reference to a Running Gag where each time Maverick buzzes the control tower, the Air Boss invariably spills his coffee on himself.
    • 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!"
    • One to Chicken Run, of all things:
    Ginger: *slaps Rocky* That's for leaving, *leans in to kiss him* and this is for coming back.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Excellent examples throughout, such as when Hiccup must rely on instinct rather than his sheet.
    Hiccup: Then I won't speak. Just let me show you.
    • 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.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • All the writing is in a combination of Elder and 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).
    • See Costume Porn for clothing.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Astrid to Hiccup.
    [*momentary Post-Kiss Catatonia*] "I guess I could get used to it."
  • Shrouded in Myth: Very little is known about the Night Fury dragons, which make them all the more dangerous in the minds of the vikings.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Astrid quite literally to Hiccup, twice.
  • So Proud of You: Stoick of Hiccup. Eventually.
  • 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.
    • To be specific, he draws, cuts Toothless free, and uses blacksmith tools with his left hand but wields his knife (against dragons) with his right hand. He uses his left hand to reach towards the Monstrous Nightmare, although he uses his right hand to touch Toothless's nose both times. The last point aside, this seems to be rather symbolic.
  • 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."
  • Stealth Pun: Several of them.
    • Astrid, whose name means beauty, first appears walking away from a wall of flames. Because she's hot.
    • During Hiccup's test flight, he relies on a cheat sheet, but after having it blown out of his hands must rely on memory to guide Toothless through the canyon unscathed. He was winging it.
    • After Toothless warms up to Astrid and stops trying to scare her, Astrid gives Hiccup a kiss. Toothless was Hiccup's wing-man.
  • Stock Costume Traits: No, real Vikings never actually wore horned helmets. However, they got most other aspects correct.
  • Stop Helping Me!: In-Universe, Hiccup to Stoick, when the former is trying to show the Vikings that they don't need to fear the dragons. Stoick's 'help' nearly gets Hiccup killed by the Monstrous Nightmare that, seconds before, Hiccup was taming without issue.
  • Stout Strength: All the adult Vikings are rather large in the midsection, especially Stoick the Vast. Of the children only Fishlegs is like this.
    • Lampshaded by Hiccup early on.
    Stoick: Winter is almost here and I have an entire village to feed!
    Hiccup: Well, between you and me, the village could do with a little less feeding, don't you think?
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The Green Death is lit on fire from its mouth and falls to the ground as its wings are burnt up; it crashes into the ground head first and explodes like a vengeful 747.
    • Zipplebacks can create explosions when one head breathes gas and the other head generates sparks that ignite it.
  • Suggestive Collision: Between Astrid and Hiccup in the training ring while fighting the Deadly Nadder.
  • Super Speed: The defining characteristic of the Night Fury species. It neverfought the vikings head-on. Rather, it dive-bombed their village with fireballs and flew away just as quickly.
  • Squick: In-Universe, Hiccup's reaction upon discovering his helmet's origins. Also see Tastes Like Friendship, below.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Ruffnut and Tuffnut.
  • 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.
  • Training from Hell: Dragon training.
    Gobber: Today is about survival — if you get blasted, you're dead!
    Fishlegs: I'm really beginning to question your teaching methods!
  • Triumphant Reprise: As with the Dark Reprise above, the main motif of the movie is reprised in the scene and track entitled "Battling the Green Death" (around 4:50), and in the end song ("Coming Back Around").
  • 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 brother.
  • 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.
  • Unmanly Secret: Hiccup pretends to Astrid to have one to try to hide his secret about Toothless: "I, I'm through with the lies, I've been making... outfits! So, you got me. It's time everyone knew."
  • Unusual Euphemism/Oh My Gods!: The Vikings swear by Odin and Thor, as expected.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Hiccup whenever he tries to join a battle.
    Gobber: Oh, you've made plenty of marks! All in the wrong places!
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Hiccup learns things about dragons, such as not liking smoked eels, being distracted by reflecting lights, and getting high on certain grass (like catnip). The thing is those aren't the most valiant ways to take on dragons, so such tactics never occurred to them before.
  • 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.
  • "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.
    • Toyed with in that it is obvious even to Hiccup that his father loves and cares about his son, he just doesn't respect him due to his failures as a dragon fighter.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Said word for word by Gobber when convincing Stoick 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dragons hate eels, and anything shaped or colored like eels.
  • 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.
  • Weirder Than Usual: Astrid says to Hiccup something along the lines of "You're acting strange ...well, stranger."
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Toothless' flight scene convinces Astrid that dragons are not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • World of Badass: And Hiccup is the black sheep for not being one.
  • Wronski Feint: Used against the Green Death, after shooting its wings full of holes so it can't pull up.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Astrid's point to Hiccup in the Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene.
  • You Have Failed Me: A Gronkle failed to bring anything more than a single tiny fish back to Dragon Island. The Green Death turns the offering into a sacrifice.

Tropes from the Short Films:

    Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon 
  • Anticlimax: Gobber's treasure the Boneknapper has been chasing him for years for is a bone he uses as a belt buckle.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Done twice; firstly, the whole village believes that the Boneknapper is a myth and that Gobber made the story up — while them believing Gobber being stalked is fake is somewhat understandable, given the wild details Gobber includes in his stories (including being punched in the face by a frozen Viking, running across a sea infested with hammerhead sharks, and being saved by Thor himself), at the same time, believing the species of dragon doesn't exist is kind of bizarre. After all, they already believe in the (verifiable) existence of dragons like the Whispering Death, Snaptrapper and Fireworms. The second time, Gobber dismisses Fishleg's account that the Boneknapper's roar is used as a mating cry as "a myth", which seems rather two-faced given the circumstances. Admittedly, he's proven wrong seconds later.
  • Artificial Limbs: Gobber not only sports his normal hammer and such, but also, in his flashbacks, 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.
  • Crack! Oh My Back!: Gobber laughs at the top of the cliff and suddenly his back gives...
  • 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.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Boneknapper looks like it has two pairs of teeth due to wearing the skulls of two other dragon for its helmet and chin-guard.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The titular dragon.
  • Oh Crap: Hiccup and the crew when they realize the Boneknapper is right behind them.
  • Right Behind Me: Hiccup utters this line when he, Gobber, and his friends realize the Boneknapper dragon is right behind them.
  • Serial Escalation: Gobber's story of how he first met the Boneknapper dragon starts out believable enough but then becomes increasingly ridiculous as he recounts in each story being attacked by hammerhead sharks, then a hammerhead whale, then a hammerhead YAK (which bursts out a volcano no less), then being saved from the Boneknapper by the god Thor who strikes the ground with a thunderbolt and releasing the hammerhead yak riding the hammerhead whale who beats up the Boneknapper (of course the Boneknapper gets away every time).
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The Boneknapper dragon uses bones to perfect its skeletal armor.
  • 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?

    Gift of the Night Fury 
  • Babies Ever After: The point of the film, from the dragons' side.
  • Bad Liar: Fishlegs.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Meatlug nearly crashes into a wrecked viking ship while flying away from Berk. Hiccup and the dragons use it near the end when they need to transport a bunch of baby dragons.
    • The ship Gobber managed to wreck in Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, no less.
  • Christmas Episode/Christmas Special: See You Mean Xmas.
  • 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 dragon 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!
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Astrid trying to come up with a new tradition for Snoggletog after the dragons leave.
    • Fishlegs gets one as well, he didn't know that his dragon was female.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The baby dragons are adorable.
  • Say My Name: Three of the teens' dragons are named here: Fishlegs' Gronckle is Meatlug, Astrid's Nadder is Stormfly, and Snotlout's Monstrous Nightmare is Hookfang.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The DVD cover gives away the baby dragon reveal.
  • You Mean Xmas: The Vikings call it "Snoggletog."note 
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: All the kids' dragons, aside from Toothless, are this. Fishlegs is quite surprised to find that Meatlug has laid eggs. *Hottip* although its unclear whether all the dragons with young are automtically female, or if some dragon species practice male young rearing, which is seen through out nature


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alternative title(s): How To Train Your Dragon
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