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Western Animation / How to Train Your Dragon

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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.

"This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word, sturdy. It's been here for seven generations, but every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunset. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes. We have... dragons!"
Hiccup, Opening Monologue

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 Dean 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's gawky and brainy in a society that values brawn. Deeming Hiccup to be too weak to fight dragons head-on, Stoick assigns Hiccup to apprentice under Berk's blacksmith, to create weapons and gadgets to use against the dragon hordes.

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—compared to other species of dragons, Night Furies are so rare that virtually no one has ever actually seen one (much less injured one), 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 and sees just how scared the mighty creature is, he ultimately can't bring himself to do it. He frees the dragon, which he later 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.


The movie was followed by two sequels and other media, starting its own franchise.

Recently, DreamWorks announced a film adaptation of Cowell's book The Wizards of Once, which was still in development.

For the character sheet, go here.

How to Train Your Dragon provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to C 
  • Abusive Parents: Downplayed and later subverted with Stoick the Vast. While he and his son do genuinely love each other, their relationship is distant and strained because of Hiccup's constant antics and Stoick's open disapproval, though it's clear that Stoick's strict demand for Hiccup to conform is not borne out of malice, but out of concern for Hiccup and the tribe's well-being. In the third act, Stoick disowns Hiccup in a moment of anger when he discovers his friendship with Toothless, though he clearly regrets doing this and takes it back during the final battle. Stoick ultimately sees the error of his ways when Hiccup and Toothless work together to defeat the Red Death, and proudly accepts his son for who he truly is, allowing their relationship to be much stronger in the franchise's subsequent installments.
  • 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.
  • Action Girl:
    • Astrid lives and breathes this trope, as a trainee dragon slayer. Just look at her first appearance in the film.
    • Ruffnut also counts, but she is overshadowed by Astrid.
  • 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.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While still somewhat gruff and insensitive in this adaptation, Gobber is a much more kindhearted and understanding mentor to Hiccup, while his book counterpart is a Drill Sergeant Nasty.
  • 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 behavior, leads to both himself and his local community coming to understand them better.
  • 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 Animals Are Dogs:
    • Toothless behaves much like a mix of cat and dog, with the purring, the nuzzling, loyalty, playfulness and his reaction when Hiccup wakes up after their battle with the queen dragon is very happy puppy. He also has some horse characteristics too. The directors wanted people to see their own pets in Toothless, and drew inspiration from real-life animals. (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. He was originally modeled off wolves as seen in the art book.
    • 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.
    • Meatlug wags her tail and one of the animals that inspired the look of the gronkle was a bulldog. Zipplebacks and Monstrous Nightmares don't really show as many puppy-cat traits like the other dragons do.
  • All a Part of the Job: When Chief Stoick is putting together a task force to look for the dragon nest, he dismisses a complaint of "Those ships never come back" with "We're Vikings. It's an occupational hazard." "Viking" technically isn't an occupation, but he's implying "Viking warriors" or "Viking explorers" or "Vikings who frequently participate in dangerous escapades."
  • 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: 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.
  • All There in the Script: The Red Death's name, Hiccup's full name.
  • All Trolls Are Different: According to Gobber not only do they exist but they steal your left sock. Made even more amusing when you realize he has only one leg, and his right leg is the one that's replaced. So technically, he only has "left socks" to steal. More likely, he's just misplacing them.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses a J-pop song called "Emerald" written by Becky♪♯ as its theme song.
  • 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.
  • Anti-Smother Love Talk: In a very loose sense of "smothering". Hiccup's father Stoick and his right-hand man Gobber are having a discussion about Hiccup's tendency to get into trouble. Gobber suggests Stoick put him through dragon training along with the other teens. When Stoick objects that Hiccup gets into enough trouble without being required to be face-to-face with a dragon, Gobber bluntly reminds him that he can't be Hiccup's only shield against danger.
    Gobber: You're not always going to be there to protect him. He's going to get out there again. He's probably out there now.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In a world that's populated by dragons, Gobber gets an odd look from Stoick when he mentions trolls that steal socks. Of course, dragons are so common in this setting that they qualify as a completely normal, everyday animal.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Gobber had this happen to him several times, to his left hand and left leg. At the end, this also happens to Hiccup, costing him his left foot.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Astrid, in the Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene. When Hiccup laments that his life would have been easier if he had just killed Toothless in the first place, Astrid comments, "Yep. The rest of us would have done it. So why didn't you? ...Why didn't you?"
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Hiccup demands to know why Astrid wants an answer to the above Armor-Piercing Question, she answers, "Because I want to remember what you say. Right. Now."
  • Artificial Limbs: Quite a few, though on the low-tech side.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Dragons, with their vertebrate body plan, should not have the ability to have wings, there is nowhere to put them. Vertebrates with wings always use converted upper limbs (e.g. birds and bats)
  • Artistic License – History: A common clichè incorporated in media, but Vikings in real life 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, which is breaking the Square-Cube Law just by existing, much less flying.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Hiccup and the other riders target the Red Death's open mouth with their dragons' fire. "Not so fire-proof on the inside, are you?" Also, wings and tails because 'a downed dragon is a dead dragon'.
  • 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 Red 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 Adorable: Toothless is a Night Fury, "The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself", but he's also a large-eyed animal capable of "smiling" at Hiccup.
  • Bash Brothers: Stoick and Gobber, buying some time while fighting the Red 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 Bolas: Hiccup builds a crossbow-like bola-throwing device in order to take down a dragon. Prior to Hiccup unveiling his crossbow, Gobber chides Hiccup for trying to join the other Vikings in defending the village from the attacking dragons, citing Hiccup's inability to wield hammers, axes, or even throw a bola, the bola in question being grabbed by another Viking and immediately used to capture one of the dragons mid-flight.
    Gobber: You can't lift a hammer, you can't swing an axe, you can't even throw one of these!
    Hiccup: Okay, but this will throw it for me!
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Used several times.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Several of the Vikings sport sizable beards to go along with their fighting skills—especially Stoick.
  • Benevolent Monsters: While the Vikings know the dragons to be fearsome and dangerous, Hiccup slowly discovers that they're actually not that bad. Most of the pillaging takes place at the behest of a colossal Dragon Queen.
  • Betrayal by Offspring: Stoick sees his son Hiccup's befriending a dragon as a betrayal, as the Vikings and dragons have always been fighting each other.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Toothless and Hiccup. Both are small, slim, and seemingly harmless, but with their combined smarts they take down the biggest dragon in the movie and survive.
  • 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 Red 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 Red 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).
  • The Blacksmith: Gobber and Hiccup.
  • Boats into Buildings: Most structures in the village of Berk are built out of Viking longships, and the iconography of the dragon figureheads at the prow of the ships is carried over into the architectural trappings. Fearsome "Monstrous Nightmare", "Deadly Nadder", and "Hideous Zippleback" dragon head carvings adorn the gables of houses and the village's meeting hall.
  • Bookends:
    • 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 a playful Toothless is about to bound over the crowd's heads to reach Hiccup.
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: The walls of the maze fall upon each others during one of the training sessions.
  • 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 have a familial version when Hiccup makes it clear that he's not going to be the dragon-killer his father wants him to be. It takes Hiccup and the other riders showing their skills riding to change his mind.
  • Breast Plate: Hiccup's mother's breastplate was fashioned into helmets for Stoick and Hiccup.
  • 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.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Hiccup uses this early on, describing his father's discontent in his son.
  • Bring It: Hiccup taunts the Red Death into chasing him and Toothless during the climax this way.
    Hiccup: Come on, that the best you can do?
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Gobber briefly mentions the "extra pairs of underwear" during the quiet before the Red 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!
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Hiccup loses his lower left leg punching out the frackin' huge volcano dragon.
  • The Bully: Subverted — 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 Red 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 a 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!
  • Casting Gag: Snotlout's father, Spitelout, is voiced by David Tennant, who had previously narrated the audio versions of the original How To Train Your Dragon book series (and continued to narrate the books released after the film).
  • Catlike Dragons: All dragons show a few cat-like behaviors, like chasing light spots and rolling around in catnip-like grass. Toothless is the most cat-like both in his behavior and appearance.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • When Astrid first flies on Toothless.
      Astrid: AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!
      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.
  • Catchphrase:
    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: You just gestured to all of me.
  • The Cavalry: Hiccup and his newly minted dragon rider corps show up to help the Vikings (and indirectly, the other dragons) defeat the Red Death.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Stoick gives Hiccup his very own viking helmet to keep him safe in the ring. Hiccup is flattered by the gift, but visibly cringes when he learns that it's half of his mother's breast-plate, with Stoick wearing the other half as his helmet.
  • 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?"
    • Also, at the end of the movie, "Heavily armored skull and tail made for bashing and crushing! Steer clear of both!" Hiccup tries but can't avoid the tail in time.
  • 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 Red 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 Red 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: All three movies forego any opening credits and show the title card as the last shot before the end credits roll.
  • Colossus Climb: Variant: Snoutlout, after falling off his dragon onto the Red Death, climb over its head to attack its eyes.
  • 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.
  • Counting Bullets: When they take on the Red Death, Hiccup tells Ruffnut and Tuffnut, "Find out if that thing has a shot limit! Make it mad!"
  • Coup de Grâce: During a training test against a dragon, Hiccup's training instructor insists to him that a dragon will always go for the kill... unaware that the dragon that Hiccup had injured earlier had spared his life after he spared his.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Hiccup's plan to teach Astrid and the others to train their own dragons to join the fight against the Red 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 Red Death. It has wiped out their rides home, their heavy weapons and is 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 uses 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.
    • "It's [a tiny dragon] 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 two-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 Red 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.
  • David Versus Goliath: Hiccup and Toothless against the Red Death.
  • 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."
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: The Terrible Terror is no bigger than a chihuahua. Subverted in that it's as vicious as its name suggests.
  • Death Glare:
    • Toothless pins Hiccup against a wall and gives him a very intense one, followed by a billowing roar after he's set free from the snare.
    • He also gets one from Astrid in the arena, after the Elder chooses him over her.
  • 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through: During the final fight, the teens make a lot of noise to throw off the Red Death's senses. As for the dragons they're riding...
  • Disney Death: Hiccup appears to have been killed by the Red Death's inferno, though it turns out he's fine and Toothless was just waiting for Stoick's apology before showing such. 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.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: During the climax of the movie, Stoick and the Vikings are able to scare the dragons off of their island, followed by cheers all around. Then the ground starts shaking...
  • Downer Beginning: Hiccup's tribe are in a war with dragons and his tribe (including his father) think of him only as a screw-up.
  • 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 Red Death looks like an unholy cross between a turtle, an ankylosaurus and a T. rex. It's 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.
  • Dragon Variety Pack: There are dozens of varieties of dragons. Most of them follow the European body plan, but they come in all shapes and sizes and have behaviors based on different animals. In the setting, dragons are divided into a number of classes, each holding a large number of species: Strike (fast, powerful, and intelligent Lightning Bruisers), Stoker (particularly focused on the use of fire), Boulder (themed around rocks and the earth; many Boulder-class dragons are either adept diggers, rock-eaters or both), Tracker (distinguished by keen senses, such as smell or eyesight), Sharp (possessing a variety of bladed or piercing Natural Weapons), Tidal (marine dragons of various sorts) and Mystery (dragons that don't fit anywhere else).
  • Dramatic Drop: After Hiccup apparently forces the Hideous Zippleback back into its cage using his bare hands, Fishlegs drops the bucket he's holding in this manner while everyone stare at Hiccup in shock.
  • Draw Aggro: At the climax Stoick the Vast plans on doing this to buy time for his fellow Vikings to escape the monstrous dragon. Gobber joins him to help ensure their sacrifice won't be in vain.
  • 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.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The scene of Hiccup looking over the different dragons in the book features several that don't appear in the movie, but do have sizable roles in the series Dragons: Riders of Berk.
  • Easily Forgiven: Hiccup is quite forgiving of his tribe, considering that after all the crap they've put him through for years he forgives them instantaneously.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: The impact of the Red Death into the ground results in a large mushroom cloud, which Hiccup and Toothless have to outrun. While dodging the Red 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.
    • Extremely different tone for this song, but "Flying With Mother" also features pipes.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Hiccup gets hit with this when Stoick realizes his son has been to the nest, after Toothless gets captured in the Kill Ring
    Stoick: The nest? You've been to the nest?!
    Hiccup: Did I say nest?
    Stoick: How did you—?
    Hiccup: No, Toothless, Toothless showed us; you need a dragon to get there!
    [beat; Stoick gets a "Eureka!" Moment]
    Hiccup: Dad, No!
  • Eye Scream: Snotlout hits the Red Death in the eye with a Viking warhammer. 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.
    • Toothless has another moment like this in the fight against the Red Death, trying to break free of his chains at first, but seemingly allowing himself to drown afterwards. Though this could just be him losing consciousness from lack of oxygen.
    • 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.
  • Fantastic Aesop:
    • Don't judge dragons. They have hearts too!
    • Also, while there may be belligerents on either side (The Red Death and Stoick), they and their attitudes don't necessarily speak for everyone, and peaceful reconciliation is possible and should be strived towards. This is, of course, told with Dragons and Vikings.
  • 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: The movie was based on a book, though only the premise and character names.
  • Fire Means Chaos: Everything burns in the Downer Beginning, when dragons assault Berk. The Final Battle also has the Vikings' fleet on fire and Toothless chained to one of the ships.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The main human and draconic antagonists of the films all fit the archetypes. Stoick, who is arguably an antagonist to Hiccup of the first film, is an old-fashioned warrior who believes in brute strength and simple tactics and fits the Fighter mold, while the Red Death, a powerful and ferocious dragon who bullies smaller dragons and relies on its own force, also can be considered a Fighter. Drago, a vicious dragon tamer, and his mind-controlling Bewilderbeast are Mages, able to use non-physical abilities to pose a major threat to the heroes. Grimmel and his Deathgrippers can be classified as Thieves, with their reliance on swift attacks, venom and dishonest tactics, although Deathgrippers have the strength to be called Fighters.
  • 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 francophone tropers, the island's name is "Yuck!"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A pair of twins among the Vikings, and a two-headed breed among the dragons.
    • Toothless choosing to spare Hiccup after he spares him, despite his training instructor telling him that dragons will NEVER do such a thing.
    • 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." Also Gobber's mention of how trolls exist, and they steal your socks, only the left ones though, well Hiccup won't have to worry about that anymore will he?
    • 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.
    • Gobber mentions to Stoick that Hiccup's going to get into danger again, and Stoick can't always be around to protect him. Guess what happens to Stoick in the sequel?
    • Astrid makes an offhand comment about Hiccup never being where he should be. This is what leads to someone having to take the bullet for Hiccup more than once.
    • 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.
    • When Hiccup drops his axe during dragon training, the Nadder dragon stops attacking him and just stares at him, curious. This coupled with the earlier scene where Toothless spares his life hints that the dragons aren't actually as vicious as the Vikings think they are.
  • 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.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Right at the start of the movie just before the DreamWorks logo fades away, keep an eye on the stars in the background...Toothless can just barely be seen flying by.
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but during the opening sequence, one of the dragons in the sky can be seen carrying away not a sheep, but Gloria from Madagascar.
  • From Zero to Hero: Zigzagged in the original with Hiccup. He is the son of the chieftain, but his lack of bloodthirst and strength isolates him from the rest of the village. These traits prove incredibly useful, however, for approaching and studying dragons. These unique traits allow him to find a solution to his tribe's dragon crisis.
  • 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 Red Death cements this change into Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Hiccup and Astrid. While his geekiness lead to the moment, it is more about proving that he isn't a spineless screw-up like everyone think.
  • 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. The second movie reveals that Cloudjumper gave Hiccup that scar when he was a baby, before carrying off his mother during a dragon raid. Apparently some dragon horns cut like knives.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The book about dragons which Hiccup consults is supposed to be this when it comes to dragons, but is disappointingly lacking in information.
    Hiccup: [reading] "Burns its victims, buries its victims, chokes its victims, turns its victims inside-out... Extremely dangerous, extremely dangerous... kill on sight, kill on sight, kill on sight... Night Fury. Speed unknown. Size unknown. The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself. Never engage this dragon. Your only chance: hide and pray it does not find you."
  • 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."
  • Gunship Rescue: If you consider dragons as the technological equivalent of gunships, then the Big Damn Heroes rescue of the Viking expedition from the Red Death counts.

    Tropes H to M 
  • Handicapped Badass: Gobber is missing an arm and a leg, Toothless a tail fin, and Hiccup his lower left leg after the final battle.
  • Hands Off My Fluffy!: Played for Drama when Toothless barges in during Hiccup's final exam. Hiccup realizes that Toothless is trying to protect him, but the other Vikings just see a Night Fury, ignoring Hiccup's pleas to stop.
  • Hates Reading: Gobber assigns the kids some reading while they're stuck inside due to the rain. Ruffnut and Tuffnut are not pleased about the prospect, treating it as if it's a Fate Worse than Death.
    Tuffnut: Wait, you mean read?
    Ruffnut: While we're still alive?
  • 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 Red 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 Red Death, and is only saved due to Toothless catching him after he is knocked unconscious 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.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: When Astrid once again loses to Hiccup in dragon training, she can be heard yelling phrases such as "Son of a half-troll!" and "Buck it!"
  • Horns of Barbarism: The various viking tribes are typically shown wearing helmets adorned with large horns.
  • Horny Vikings: "Viking" is treated as their cultural name, to begin with, rather than a type of job description. Besides that they're classic Hollywood Vikings, complete with the horned helmets, the huge beards, the dragon-headed ships and culture heavily centered around aggressiveness, martial skill and combat.
  • 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 Red Death as siding with the dragons against the Vikings.
    Stoick: You've thrown your lot in with them. You're not a Viking. You're not my son.
  • 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.
  • I'm Okay!: Fishlegs, after he crash-lands his Gronkle. Then it falls on him.
    Fishlegs: Less Okay...
  • Incendiary Exponent: Monstrous Nightmares attack after setting themselves on fire.
  • Indy Ploy: Snotlout does this when he jumps from the Red Death so the twins can catch him.
    Snotlout: 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?
  • Intimate Hair Brushing: In the second film, Astrid is seen putting little braids in Hiccup's hair. He leaves them there because she's the one who did them.
  • Instructional Title
  • 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.
  • 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 Red Death.
    • Later, before Hiccup and Toothless face the Red Death, Stoick tells Hiccup, "I'm proud to call you my son." Mainly to make up for his I Have No Son! moment earlier.
  • Jerkass: Astrid starts out like this, before warming up to Hiccup and Toothless.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Stoick is right in what he says after the big-dragon-fight intro, Hiccup is not a dragon killer — a fact that Hiccup himself admits when they meet again later that night.
  • Jerk Jock: Snotlout 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!
  • Karmic Injury: Hiccup's trap disabled Toothless by taking his left tail fin, which required an Artificial Limb in order to fly again. At the end of the film, Hiccup loses his left leg, which is purposely paralleled with Toothless's missing tail fin. Discussed in the sequel that this may have been purposeful on Toothless's part.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Terrible Terror. Awww, look at that cute little-GAAH! IT BURNS!
  • Kill on Sight: The Book of Dragons describes every dragon depicted as dangerous and should be killed on sight. The only exception is the Night Fury which the book says you must hide from.
  • Large Ham: Tuffnut.
    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 Red 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: Justified. 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. Hiccup's deception, however, was out of an unselfish, kind motive, rather than a selfish one covered up for personal gain like the trope is routinely used for. Also, unlike other examples, he had a legitimate reason to keep the secret as they would have killed Toothless if they had found out.
  • 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."
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Stoick the Vast is a big and bearded man who is every bit a typical Viking warrior whose main defining feature is his strength. Stoick's son Hiccup is a rather scrawny weak kid who is more of a Gadgeteer Genius than a fighter. Despite this, Stoick cares for his son and eventually becomes proud of him as well.
  • 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.
  • The Low Middle Ages
  • Lucky Translation: The French version of "useless reptile" adds a nice rhyme to it: "reptile inutile!"
  • Map Stabbing: Stoick the Vast stabs a dagger into where he thinks the dragon's nest should be on a map while talking about going on an expedition to find the aforementioned dragon's nest.
  • 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 Red Death dominates the dragons with this — its presence always contains an odd crooning sound. Even Toothless is not entirely immune. As the Red Death in the book is all about singing, this is a subtle Shout-Out to the original.
  • 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 Red 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 could scare off trolls and gnomes without the need for one.
    • 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.
  • Memetic Badass: The Vikings' absolute dread of Night Furies is an in-universe example.
  • Midflight Water Touching: Hiccup has his first test flight on Toothless over the sea. They fly close to the water, and at some point Toothless touches the water with his wing. Later, when Hiccup takes Astrid on a flight with Toothless, the dragon dives underwater mid-flight to mess with her.
  • 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 Red Death. The moment itself is Hiccup bonding Snoutlot to a Monstrous Nightmare.
  • Missing Mom: Hiccup's mother is only mentioned once during Stoick and Hiccup's talk in the blacksmith stall, indicating that she's long dead. The second film would later elaborate more on what actually happened to her, including the fact that she's still alive.
  • Mistaken for Insane:
    • Discussed when Gobber tries to reassure Hiccup that the dragons won't kill him. He claims that, due to Hiccup's scrawniness, "they'll see you as sick or insane and go after the more Viking-like teens instead."
    • Discussed again when Stoick says that if someone had previously foreseen that Hiccup would go from being his usual persona to winning at dragon training, he would have thought the person was mad.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The Gronckle, which looks like a cross between a bulldog, a bumblebee, and a toad.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: Some of the offshore rocks near Berk are carved to resemble fierce Vikings. During Hiccup's flight with Astrid, bonfires can be seen blazing in their open mouths.
  • Monster's Favorite Petting Spot: Hiccup discovers that giving scrichies at a specific spot under a dragon's chin causes them to flop over. He discovers it on Toothless, then goes on to use that trick during Gobber's training, much to Astrid's dismay.
  • Mood Whiplash: During Hiccup and Astrid's first visit to the Dragons Nest, we see a happy Gronckle flying over to the food dump and only droppig a single, half-eaten fish. This cute moment is interrupted with a sudden Scare Chord as the Red Death rises from the depths and eats the Gronckle whole.
  • 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...
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Hideous Zippleback, Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare, Gronckle, and Red Death have rows upon rows of sharp teeth. Inverted with the Terrible Terrors, who appear to be toothless.
  • Mouthing the Profanity: During the climax, Stoick mouths "what the hell" after seeing Hiccup and the others ride in on dragons.
  • Multiple Head Case:
    • 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. They usually work well together, though, 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 have two tails in addition of their two heads.
  • 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:

    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 Trailer:
    • 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 is (there is very little in the way of slapstick humor, and the film itself is 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 is Hiccup's "Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile," followed by Toothless smacking him with his ear. Both scenes happen, but are separate and unrelated to one another. The line is issued when Toothless tries 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 likes Hiccup after being set free, when in the movie, his first action is to pin Hiccup to the ground, roar, and leave. He doesn'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 takes place at the end, when the Vikings have already accepted dragons.
    • Averted by the final trailer, which does a pretty good job of conveying the film's dramatic aspects.
  • 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.
    • Towards the end, Stoick's obsession with killing every single dragon makes him ignore all of Hiccups warnings. It ends with him leading almost 90% of his clan into a death trap, with some being eaten or burned alive. If it weren't for the teens, he would have caused the end of his people out of stubbornness.
  • 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 Red 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. It's still something like a kilometer long and at least four stories tall, so even out in the open it's scary enough that Stoick, the in-universe Memetic Badass who punches with his bare fist a Monstrous Nightmare almost without a care, regrets pissing it off.
      Stoick: Odin help us.
  • 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.
  • 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 Red 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 "áss" (singular of æsir) and "friðr" (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 Red Death.
      Astrid: What. Is THAT?
    • Stoick's face upon seeing the absolutely huge Red Death.
    • The Red Death itself gets one a few minutes later.
    • During the opening sequence when Stoick is fighting the Monstrous Nightmare. The dragon tries to breath fire and can't, and gets an "Oh crap!" look in its eyes, to which Stoick replies, "Yer all out..."
  • Oh God, with the Verbing!: Hiccup's famous line towards the beginning of what ultimately ends up as his Flight of Romance on Toothless with Astrid.
    Hiccup: And now, the spinning. Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile!
  • Oh, My Gods!: The Vikings swear by Odin and Thor, as expected.
  • 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 brown their pants.
  • 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 Red Death, being the Ultimate Master Dragon, who 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) Red Death, the grandaddy of all dragons.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Commonly done, and Astrid once outwalks 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 butts are getting bigger, we thought you were a dragon.
    Snotlout: Not that there's anything wrong with a "dragon-esque" figure...
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Astrid. They hid one eye for the first part of the movie and she brushes them aside before pecking Hiccup's check, after their Flight of Romance.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Many of the Vikings in this franchise wear big pelts, from Stoic's huge fur cape to Gobber's fuzzy vest.
  • 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.
  • Pint-Sized 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.
  • 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 At least, not in those books which came out before the movie.. 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.3
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Because I want to remember what you say. Right. Now."
  • 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 Miniboss 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.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Hiccup, Astrid and the other Viking teens. Their dragons, too.
  • Razor Wings: There's a passing mention of the "Timberjack" species, whose wings can slice right through trees.
  • 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.
  • Redhead In Green: Stoick and Hiccup both have red hair, but their outfits have green in them.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: The Red Death is a dragon the size of a mountain.
  • 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.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • In the shorts and TV series that follow the film, all of the main riders' dragons are visibly affectionate with Hiccup, some even more so than with their actual riders. It becomes apparent why when watching the first film's training montage, where Hiccup uses the tricks he learned from Toothless to pacify and tame all of them without violence. They remember the fact that he was the first human to treat them with kindness.
    • That small scar Hiccup has on his face, only visible in a few scenes? In the second film, we see how he got it, and it becomes more important.
  • 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 RPG-sounding rules 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 choose 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."
    • This routine:
      Gobber/Stoick: You need to stop all... this. [gestures].
      Hiccup: You just gestured to
      all of me!''
    • And also...
      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 straightforward 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 Red Death spinning around confused.
  • Scenery Porn: Berk is fantastic from above, especially during Toothless's flight scenes. The clouds and Aurora Borealis are also gorgeous.
  • Seadog Peg Leg:
    • Gobber the Belch is a Viking with an artificial arm and leg, both which he made himself.
    • Hiccup, who gets his own peg leg at the end of the first movie could technically count as well.
  • 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 analyzing dragon stats allows him to identify threats to avoid and weaknesses to exploit on Red 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. And that's no coincidence, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois designed both Toothless and Stitch.
    • Gobber talks about how trolls will steal everyone's left sock.
    • Plus Five Speed.
    • Tuffnut suddenly getting yanked into the fog by a then-hidden Hideous Zippleback is 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 is.
    • Hiccup has a sketch of a flux capacitor on his wall.
    • A double-Shout-Out to both the original book and Beowulf occurs when Tuffnut calls The Red Death "Bride of Grendel". The young Vikings had to read Beowulf in the original book series.
    • Hiccup and Astrid's ride doesn't remind anyone of anything? Pretty sure it is a whole new world for those two. Or maybe she is wondering Can You Read My Mind?.
    • Ruffnut insults the Red 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.
    • The Vikings' hall is lit up by historically accurate candles, rather than the Hollywood Torches many other films opt for.
  • 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.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Astrid to Hiccup.
    Hiccup: [momentary Post-Kiss Catatonia] I guess I could get used to it.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Astrid quite literally to Hiccup, twice—after he takes her on a flight with Toothless, and after he returns to a new, dragon-friendly Berk.
  • So Proud of You: Stoick to Hiccup, eventually. Though at first enraged that Hiccup is defending dragons over the Vikings, Hiccup and the others' assault on the assault on the Red Death proves that Hiccup is more than capable of being a leader, and that Stoick was wrong.
  • 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.
  • Spoiler Cover: The DVD cover not only shows Hiccup riding Toothless, but Astrid riding her new dragon as well. Astrid and the other young vikings didn't ride dragons until the Big Damn Heroes moment in the film's climax.
  • Spoof Aesop: "It's not what you look like. It's what's inside that he can't stand."
  • Squick: In-Universe, Hiccup's reaction upon discovering his helmet's origins. Also see Tastes Like Friendship, below.
  • 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.
  • 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!.
  • 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 Red 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.
  • Stunned Silence: Gobber, Snotlout, Astrid, Fishlegs and the twins are understandably shocked when Hiccup is able to scare the Zippleback into its pen. He is actually concealing an eel that only the dragon can see from that angle, something they're very afraid of.
  • 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 never fights the Vikings head-on. Rather, it dive-bombs their village with fireballs and flies away just as quickly.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • When Hiccup is learning to ride Toothless, he has to design a saddle with safety lines so he doesn't fall off. Near the end, all the teens get dragons of their own, and fall off within minutes of each other during the final battle because they don't have their own saddles yet.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Hiccup, the village runt, used to dream of killing a dragon after never having done so for real. He eventually got the chance to do so when a contraption he made manages to down not just any dragon, but a Night Fury, which no Viking had ever slain before him. Had Hiccup killed Toothless, he would likely have become known as a legendary Dragon Slayer. Instead, he realizes that Toothless is not the murderous abomination everyone in the village see dragons as, and shows kindness to him, even though it means he will go home empty-handed. Little does he know this will be the first step to ending the Dragon War and that eventually he will become legendary... in a different way.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Ruffnut and Tuffnut.
  • 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.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Stoick's helmet, and the one he gives to Hiccup before the penultimate exam, was made from the breastplate of Hiccup's Missing Mom. Stoick feels that wearing it helps to keep his wife close.
  • 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.
    • Some of the trailers also spoiled the appearance of the Red Death, the queen of the Dragons' Nest, even though this character's existence is a major twist in the second half of the film.
  • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: Hiccup and Toothless towards each other. Both films and a lot of the TV series are basically a demonstration of how far they'll go to save and support each other.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Unwanted Assistance: When Hiccup 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.
  • Up Close with the Monster: Hiccup the Viking goes looking for the Night Fury dragon that he caught in a net. Hiccup shows mercy to the dragon by removing the ropes and freeing the dragon. The dragon pounces on Hiccup, pins him down and roars right in his face, but then returns the mercy by leaving instead of killing him.
  • 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.
  • Weirder Than Usual: When first confronting Hiccup outside the stall, Astrid points out that he's been acting weird recently. Or rather, weirder.
  • "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 isn't used to the heroes' advantage in the climax. Though it's subtly implied that Toothless needs to dry himself, having fallen into the water with the ship, before firing at the Red Death.
  • 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dragons hate eels, and anything shaped or colored like eels.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Toothless's flight scene convinces Astrid that dragons are not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • World of Badass: Practically ever villager in Berk, even Fishlegs, is capable or brave enough to fend off the dragons that terrorize their village. Hiccup is the black sheep for not falling into this.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Astrid's point to Hiccup in the Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene, when Hiccup blames himself for the Vikings getting access to the nest via Toothless. Astrid assures him that Hiccup has done enough by choosing not to kill Toothless out of empathy, and taking lengths to learn more of him.
  • You Have Failed Me: A Gronkle fails to bring anything more than a single tiny fish back to Dragon Island. The Red Death turns the offering into a sacrifice.


Video Example(s):


How to Train Your Dragon

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's gawky and brainy in a society that values brawn. Deeming Hiccup to be too weak to fight dragons head-on, Stoick assigns Hiccup to apprentice under Berk's blacksmith, to create weapons and gadgets to use against the dragon hordes.

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—compared to other species of dragons, Night Furies are so rare that virtually no one has ever actually seen one (much less injured one), 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 and sees just how scared the mighty creature is, he ultimately can't bring himself to do it. He frees the dragon, which he later 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.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / LowFantasy

Media sources: