Berk's annual festive sporting competition, the Thawfest games, is underway and all the teens are participating with the dragons for the first time in Viking history. Hiccup is determined to finally best Snotlout, who constantly gloats about being the reigning Thawfest champion, but Hiccup's successes begin to make him arrogant and boastful, much to Astrid's displeasure and disappointment.
- Abusive Parents: When Snotlout's winning streak is threatened, his father Spitelout becomes rather menacing and leaves Snotlout a nervous mess at the prospect of losing. Seeing this is what eventually leaves Hiccup to throw the match to let Snotlout win.
- Always Second Best: Astrid to Snotlout in the Thawfest Games. But if this year is the norm, than it can be blamed on the other competitors messing her up.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Hiccup, after finally starting to win the Thawfest games after being the underdog for years, takes this trope and runs with it.
- Angst: The prospect he was going to lose Thawfest brought Snotlout to near tears and hyperventilating while riding Hookfang.
- Captain Obvious: During the final match of the Thawfest games, Gobber makes obvious commentary on Hiccup's status, which Stoick tells him he knows.
- Fractional Winning Condition: Those who win the most medals wins Thawfest. Since half of the contests are physical and the other half are on dragonback, Snotlout and Hiccup make a tie and are forced to do a tie-breaker race to decide who wins that year.
- Freudian Excuse: Snotlout's sore-winner attitude stems from his father who pressures him into winning.
- Graceful Loser: Astrid mentions that this is what she has always liked about Hiccup.Astrid: You know what I always liked about you, Hiccup? You were always a gracious loser.
- Made of Iron: Snotlout takes a giant rock to the face during the tie-breaking event, and just shrugs it off with a grin.
- My God, What Have I Done??: Hiccup appears to have a minor version of this just as he was about to beat Snotlout. Realizing what the desire to win was doing to him, he decides to throw the race.
- Shooting Gallery: One of the events is a contest where the dragons have to shoot enemy targets while avoiding friendly ones.
- Smooch of Victory: Inverted. Hiccup gets one from Astrid at the end of "Thawfest", though it's for doing the right thing instead of winning (he could have, but threw the match for Snotlout's sake).
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: Hiccup intentionally loses to Snotlout in the Thawfest games. Snotlout gets to keep his family's winning streak, while Hiccup gets a secret approving beam from his father and a kiss from Astrid; definitely good consolation prizes.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Snotlout does this after each event he wins during the Thawfest Games. When Hiccup starts winning, the points make him rather annoying too.
- Whole Plot Reference: The plot is a condensed version of the Goosebumps novel "How I Learned To Fly," particularly the interaction between hero and rival and the resolution.