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YMMV / How to Train Your Dragon

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YMMV for the film version of How to Train Your Dragon, and the DreamWorks franchise overall:

  • Adaptation Displacement: Due to the film's enormous popularity, the book isn't very well-known about in comparison. note 
  • Adorkable:
    • There's been plenty of fan gushing at how cute the geeky Hiccup is. This should really be expected when he's voiced by Jay Baruchel.
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    • Toothless, "The Offspring of Lightning and Death", is also one of the biggest dorks, and nowhere does he prove it more than when he starts courting the Light Fury in the third movie.
    • Astrid can be a bit of an endearing dork when acting playful with Hiccup. Her adorkable side also came forth in Gift of the Night Fury when she tried different methods to bring in the holiday spirits.
    • Fishlegs is quite similar to Hiccup. He's a huge Lovable Nerd who likes to spout random dragon facts.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • After the final battle, Hiccup has but a few moments of remorse upon waking to find that he's lost his left foot and been given a metal replacement. But forget angst—there are dragons outside and they are now a part of the Viking village! There's also the fact that he lost his foot in battle like a real Viking — which he had wished for all his life before befriending Toothless. Finally, he gets a big kiss from Astrid meaning he has the local Action Girl as his girlfriend.
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    • There's also the fact that Hiccup just lets 15 years of abuse from his tribe slide off without any resentment towards them.
  • Award Snub:
  • Base-Breaking Character: Stoick. The. Vast. To a good portion of the fanbase, he counts as an Abusive Parent due to his tough words to Hiccup in the movie, and occasionally in the show. To another portion, he represents Parents as People who has to balance his job as chief and father.
  • Complete Monster (includes actions in Race to the Edge & the video game Dawn of New Riders):
    • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Drago Bludvist, a "madman without conscience or mercy", is the pinnacle of human evil in the franchise and a warlord seeking to use an Alpha he abused into loyalty to enslave as many dragons—and people—as he can. When the chieftains of various Viking tribes laughed off his ability to command dragons, Drago had his dragons burn them all alive, leaving only Hiccup's father Stoick to tell the tale. Years later, Drago forcibly enslaves all the dragons being kept in a safe haven by Valka by killing their Alpha, before promptly hypnotizing Hiccup's own dragon Toothless into firing upon him. When Hiccup's father Stoick takes the blow instead, Drago glances back in pleasure before commanding all his enslaved dragons to ravage Berk. In other instances, Drago orders failing minions such as Krogan and Eret executed for flimsy reasons; assassinated the noble King Stormheart and left his daughters orphans; and burned down the village of a group of pacifistic farmers who refused to join him. Drago acknowledges his thirst for power comes out of its own sake rather than a desire to avenge his fallen family, and is ultimately one of the few villains Hiccup was never able to reason with.
    • The Hidden World: Grimmel the Grisly is a tenacious, ruthlessly pragmatic dragon hunter and the one responsible for the near-eradication of the Night Fury species. Described as a single-minded predator who adores getting under the skin of his prey and pulling their strings, Grimmel stops at nothing to finish off Toothless to complete his genocide, and threatens to kill everyone Hiccup loves and scourge his island of Berk should he resist him. Grimmel tries to cow Toothless to his control by luring him in with the female of his species, the Light Fury, then threatens the Light Fury's life to force Toothless to corral all of Berk's dragons so Grimmel can butcher them and sell them all off. Grimmel has no qualms torturing and drugging dragons to force them to his control, keeping his six Deathgrippers loyal by subjecting them to their own venom and feeding them baby dragons. Grimmel briefly allies with the would-be warlord Eir Stormheart, provided her dozens of dragons to experiment on and bind to armor that kept them in states of constant agony and insanity, before backstabbing her and absconding with her research to create dragon shock soldiers of his own.
  • Crossover Ship: Due to how both films were released in the same year, there's a fair amount of Hiccup/Rapunzel.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ruffnut. Just ask /co/!note 
  • Fan Nickname: At the Sticks and Stones forum, the posters there have nicknamed the Red/Green Death the "Christmas" Death since no one really knows whether it is "Red" or "Green" since both movie and book disagree on that issue.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • People like to speculate what exactly happens if Hiccup and Toothless actually left without Astrid there to interrupt that plan, both seeing what Hiccup and Toothless are up to in the wider world in that allotted time and see what would happen to Berk without Hiccup there.
    • What would happen if Stoick had not interrupted when Hiccup was close to taming the Monstrous Nightmare?
  • First Installment Wins: Though the other two movies have their fans, both are also contentious for different reasons, like the Big Bad Drago being a Flat Character, several characters being underutilised and a poor tone balance in the case of the former and a highly divisive ending for the latter. As a result, there are plenty of fans who prefer the first movie for its charm and lacking said contentious elements, and this is reflected in its 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the sequels' lesser (albeit still high) 92% and 91% respective ratings.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Lilo & Stitch, mostly due to Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois' involvement with both original films and Toothless's uncanny resemblance to Stitch (the latter who Sanders made and voiced in the heyday of the Lilo & Stitch franchise). There's a huge amount of Fan Art of the two of them playing. And after the official reveal and later release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, this has expanded to include their Distaff Counterpart mates; Stitch's girlfriend Angel and Toothless's mate the Light Fury.
    • There's also a fair similarity plot-wise: an outcast child bullied by others in their community befriends a powerful, dangerous creature feared by all, managing to uncover a good and gentle side in the creature. Both the franchises TV series adaptations also have similarities in the episodic Gotta Catch 'Em All narrative, with the main protagonists trying to rescue experiments/dragons and learn how to use their unique abilities for good.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • During Hiccup's sarcastic, imitation of Stoick he complains that his father always wanted "An extra large boy with beefy arms, extra guts and glory on the side. This here — This is a talking fishbone". It seems hilarious at first, until you watch one episode in TV series and then near the end of the sequel. First, in the Riders of Berk episode, "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man", Stoick thinks the painting of his son as bigger and buffer than he is better than how Hiccup really looks sadly confirms Hiccup's rant which just crushes Hiccup who's already a major "Well Done, Son!" Guy; Secondly, the sequel reveals that Hiccup was born prematurely and it looked like he wasn't going to survive.
    • The Training Montage can be rough too after the sequels, since the captured training dragons become the students' beloved mounts. It's jarring seeing Astrid inches from putting an axe in Stormfly.
    • Toothless is captured in the first film after Hiccup stops him from firing at Stoick. The second film has a distressingly similar moment, though this time Stoick doesn't get out unscathed.
    • Stoick angrily disowning Hiccup after finding out about Toothless suddenly makes more sense after the revelations in the second film. Seeing him tame dragons likely made Stoick think that Hiccup would turn out like his mother, or even become another Drago Bludvist.
  • Inferred Holocaust: While there are no onscreen deaths, it's stated outright that there have been countless casualties on both sides from the war between Vikings and dragons, which is hardly surprising seeing that it's lasted for centuries before the film even begins.
    Stoick: They've killed hundreds of us!
    Hiccup: And we've killed THOUSANDS of them!
    • While the Red Death didn't get the chance to wipe the Vikings out, we see many of them are very close to the ships as it sets them on fire, which should have killed a number of them, but all we see are some falling into the water.
  • Memetic Molester: Ruffnut will grope anyone and anything.
  • Memetic Mutation: An alteration of the Jurassic Park logo featuring Toothless and the phrase "USELESS REPTILE."
  • Narm Charm: According to the DVD commentary, the scene where Astrid interrogates Hiccup about his Level Grinding before finding Toothless was supposed to be funny. The writers found the scene hilarious, but test audiences found Astrid showing up a few feet from where the dragon was hidden, about to discover Hiccup's secret, agonizingly suspenseful (which, the writers admit, was a good thing).
  • One True Pairing: Hiccstrid. Holy shit, is it sacred to the fanbase (just take a look at the comments on this video). Interestingly, it only became this after the TV show and the sequel came out, with many agreeing that the "romance" in the first film was tacked-on and lacking in depth.
  • The Scrappy: With the franchise concluded, the Twins and Snotlout have become this in regards to the film trilogy (although their incarnations in the TV show are well-liked). While Fishlegs is at least useful, the three others remain as obnoxious, bullying assholes with sub-par intelligences who engage in comedy skits (that many fans view as unfunny and obnoxious) that end up distracting from the main focuses of each movie.
  • Self-Fanservice: Thanks to her Ensemble Dark Horse position, Ruffnut gets a lot of this. In canon she's honestly not particularly pretty, largely because she looks a lot like her Half Identical Twin brother Tuffnut (who isn't particularly androgynous either). But just wait until you see how the fans draw her...
  • Signature Scene: The "Forbidden Friendship" scene where Hiccup and Toothless bond and the "Test Drive" scene where they have their first full flight over the sea are often cited as the most memorable, iconic moments in the entire franchise.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Astrid's feelings towards Hiccup can come off looking like a complete 180 going from a jealous training rival to showing romantic interest after sharing just one flight together on the back of a dragon.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The creators of the Arena Spectacular decided to go for an emphasis on realism when designing the animatronics, as the Walking With Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular had before it. Unfortunately, this misses the point of the designs (where the Dinosaurs franchise is known for its realistic CGI constructs, Dragons is known for it's memorably cartoony and exaggerated designs.) This attempt brought the dragons straight into the Uncanny Valley, with Toothless going from an adorable lizard-panther into something that can best be described as a nightmarish bat-toad.
  • Ugly Cute: Dragons in general. Except for the Red/Green Death, of course.
    • The Terrible Terrors remind one of hyperactive, firebreathing chihuahuas. Enter the awwwww factor when one of them snuggles under Hiccup's arm and purrs itself to sleep there. A bit of trivia: That particular Terror was voiced by Paco the Chihuahua, after sound designer Nia Hansen of Skywalker Sound saw a video of him on YouTube and paid his owners $100 for Paco's voice: video 1, video 2, local news article article 2.
    • Toothless is this trope. there are a few examples on the web
    • Gronckles, especially the one Hiccup tames with the dragon-nip and the poor little guy that gets eaten
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Quite a number of viewers thought that Toothless was a girl when he first appeared. Unintentional feminine symbolism shows up around Toothless throughout the first film, such as Toothless looking at a bird's nest with eggs in it and holding onto an unconscious Hiccup like a dog or cat would cradle a newborn puppy or kitten.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This film has been hailed as one of the finest creations of a 3-D Movie ever made with the visual enhancement making the flying (and falling!) scenes all the more enthralling on top of the conventional cinematic artistry.
  • The Woobie: Hiccup. Before Toothless, he's friendless, motherless, viewed as huge disappointment by his dad, bullied by his peers, ostracized by the rest of Berk and a failure at everything Viking society values.
    • Toothless for losing his tailfin and ability to fly, and possibly being the The Last of His Kind. (Or at least the only Night Fury among all the other dragons.)
  • Woolseyism: Swedish dub: The word "hiccup" is directly translated to "Hicka" in Swedish, but since and "a" at the end would be the feminine form if used on a person (male names with an "a" at the end exists in Sweden, they're just very rare), they went for "Hicke", which would be the masculine form (pronounced "Hic-KAY").

YMMV for the book series:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Hiccup once a book nearly gets murdered, eaten, drowned, and at worst gets nightmares later in life as an old man. He remains chipper about triumphing over ordinary Viking life, at least until Book 9.
    • Then subverted in Book 12, where Hiccup from the trauma loses his memory.
  • Broken Base: Most of the fanbase agrees that Snotlout has a Dying Moment of Awesome, but not everyone agrees whether or not said moment redeemed for all of Snotlout's horrible actions, including his multiple attempts on Hiccup's life.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Alvin the Treacherous, Hiccup's Arch-Enemy, is a man defined by his greed and lust for power. In his first appearance, Alvin manipulates the Hairy Hooligan tribe to help him find Grimbeard the Ghastly's treasure, betraying them by going to place them in slavery and letting his tribe eat Hiccup and his father Stoick. Upon escaping Grimbeard's treasure cavern, Alvin schemes with a small party of Romans to kidnap the Hooligan and Bog-Burgular heirs to incite a war between them to form a dragon army to claim the treasure from the caves for himself. Alvin later manipulates Humongous Hotshot to kill Hiccup and steal the Fire Stone for him so he can use it to command the Exterminators on Lava Lout Island and let him conquer the Barbaric Archipelago. On Berserk Island, Alvin sacrifices Hiccup and his friends to the Beast of the Berserk forests. Becoming the leader of the Vikings when the dragons trigger a war, Alvin enslaves countless humans—killing them en masse for whatever reason—to find the Dragon Jewel so he can become the King of the Wilderwest. When Hiccup becomes the King of the Wilderwest and tries to end the war between humans and dragons, Alvin breaks the truce by stealing the Dragon Jewel from him and attempts to use its power to wipe out every dragon.
    • Excellinor the Witch is Alvin's equally horrid mother whose silver tongue conceals a heart of ice. Excellinor is first introduced having a sadistic game with Hiccup—whoever guesses the other's identity gets to kill them. When the Viking tribes have a sword-fighting competition to become the King of the Wilderwest, Excellinor would sabotage the others, even kidnapping Hiccup's father, just so Alvin would have an easy victory. When Hiccup confronts her in her hut, Excellinor slashes at him with poisoned nails, then exposes him and his father to condemn them into slavery. With Alvin as the ruler of the humans' side in the war against dragons, Excellinor happily has countless humans enslaved in Prison Darkheart, falsely promising them their freedom if they find the Dragon Jewel. Excellinor manipulates Hiccup's cousin Snotlout to bring him to her, then proceeds to have Hiccup tortured, and when that proves useless, she has his friend Camikazi dumped into the waters to drown. When peace is almost achieved between humans and dragons, Excellinor, along with Alvin, steals the Dragon Jewel and has him try to unleash its plague to wipe out all dragons. Even when peace has been achieved, Excellinor tries one last mad attempt on Hiccup's life, forcing the dragon Furious to make a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Camicazi, for being a Badass Adorable, taking on several grown swordsmen on her own, and acknowledging that Hiccup is "not bad for being a boy". Some fans wish she had been added to the movie.
    • People also like Thuggory, the only sane Viking teen who isn't Fishlegs from another land — the Meathead Island — who admires Hiccup's ability to talk to a murderous Green Death and rallies the other boys to go with Hiccup's plan. Then he takes the Slavemark to support Hiccup and his friends follow.
    • Eggingarde has a following for being a Creepy Child that is scared of a monster in the Slavelands that she doesn't like to talk about because "it's bad for morale". She creeps out Hiccup and the reader with the tale he wheedles out of her about Fishlegs.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Alvin before he lost his hair got this treatment in-universe. He was quite a charming with the ladies apparently.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In Book One, Valhallarama punches Hiccup affectionately to show how happy she is that he is alive. The ensuing books reveal that because she is a Missing Mom that she and Hiccup have a strained relationship; it comes to a head during Hiccup's Disney Death in Book Twelve, and Valhallarama can't even avenge her supposedly dead son on the Island of Tomorrow.
    • In Book One as well, the Hairy Scary Librarian becomes irritated when Gobber reveals that he's stolen a library book many years ago. Come Book Six, we learn that Hairy kills any book thief on sight in the library if they don't put their plunders back on the shelf.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Any mention of Grimbeard The Ghastly, as well as his son Hiccup Horrendous Haddock II, Hiccup III's ancestor, after Hiccup learns their tale in Book 8.
      • The Dragon Whisperer's Way in the library. We soon learn why Grimbeard closed the library down after losing his temper at the Wodensfang, and then at his son Hiccup II.
      • Grimbeard's last letter, regretting how "treasure" tore his tribe apart, hence why he hid it. In How To Break a Dragon's Heart we learn thanks to the witch that Grimbeard also allowed a jealous son named Thugheart tear his tribe apart because of envy for Hiccup II, and murdered another son thinking Hiccup II was a traitor.
    • In Book Three, Hiccup while a Roman prisoner waits for a week for his father to come rescue him because as far as he can see escape is hopeless and he hopes his father loves him enough to find him. Stoick arrives with the Bog Burglars chasing him, right after Hiccup has rescued himself, Fishlegs, Toothless and Camicazi. In a Book Twelve flashback, long before he met Toothless, Hiccup wrote a plea letter to his mother while a prisoner in the Murderous Mountains, and she wrote, "You are a hero. Rescue yourself."
  • Iron Woobie: Valhallarama of the White Arms in How to Betray A Dragon's Hero.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Grimbeard the Ghastly.
    • Snotlout for some in book 11, when we see him lose everything and realizing that even if he kills Hiccup, no one will follow him. Hiccup, despite injured and at swordpoint, convinces Snotlout to drop the sword and join him instead.
  • Love to Hate: Alvin and his mother the witch Excellinor. They are the villains, but boy are they clever.
  • The Scrappy: Snotlout eventually earns this status in-universe after he betrays Hiccup one time too many.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Haddock family tree reveals that Snotlout Jorgenson has a sister named Adelaide, but she never actually appears in the story. It's not known if she's an older sister, or a younger one, if she's questing during the series or not even born, given Baggybum might have conceived another child after Snotlout dies with the need for an heir. We also don't know the relationship she and Hiccup have with Hiccup and Snotlout being Cain and Abel.
  • Toy Ship: Camicazi and Hiccup are usually shipped together, since they can be Back-to-Back Badasses and get along well.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • The Hairy Scary Librarian. Sure, he is Ax-Crazy and hoarding all the books in the library for himself and killing anyone who tries to steal said books, but he gives the thieves fair warning to return the books before he slices them up, and gets sent to the Amber Slavelands because Hiccup frames him for stealing a Murderous Stealth Dragon. And when the witch lies to him about receiving freedom, he switches sides quite easily after settling his score with Hiccup.
    • Furious as well. With the Trauma Conga Line that ensued after he lost his older brother Hiccup II, Hiccup III's ancestor, you can't blame him for believing that Humans Are Bastards. While he doesn't hate Hiccup III personally, he doesn't want dragons to become slaves again or destroyed by the Dragon Jewel, and in his future vision he sees that Hiccup will become the Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds for dragons.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Grimbeard the Ghastly, Hiccup's ancestor. It's hard to feel compassion for a guy that had no qualms about enslaving the dragons and people alike after the Wodensfang tried to talk sense into him, abandoning his infant son for being a runt and stealing him from his Mama Bear wife, allowing his wife to wander into the wilderness and presumably die of starvation, and then kill said son when the latter was trying to hold a peaceful protest for enslaved dragons. Then instead of fixing the mess he created, he banished the living son that he knew was a traitor, leaving an idiot heir on the throne, and rode off into the sunset after setting booby traps for his treasure and Lost Things He dug his own grave the minute that he wouldn't take the Dragonmark.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Except that it is, despite the amount of violence and trauma.
  • The Woobie: Ho boy, there are many.
    • You've got Hiccup himself, who has to undergo a huge Trauma Conga Line to become the Last Great viking Hero.
    • His ancestor Hiccup II also has to count, given he has a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story and quite a traumatic childhood.
    • His friend Fishlegs who is an asthmatic orphan and fellow runt; when he tries to find his ancestors on the island of Berserk, the Berserkers laugh at him.
    • Stoick the Vast is also a bigger Woobie here than he is in the movies because he is Dumb Muscle who loves his son and does the best that he can as a (mostly) single parent, chief, while not comprehending that the world needs to change and that change has a price. Not to mention that with his son nearly dying once a book he goes through a lot of Adult Fear.

  • See here for YMMV for the DVD short film Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon.