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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.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Astrid, possibly. She's pretty much solely attracted to Hiccup, but when Heather pops up again in Race to the Edge as a badass and very driven Action Girl, Astrid rhapsodises over how "intense" she now is, becomes Heather's closest confidant, and explicitly says when telling Heather that she has a place at Dragon's Edge, "I'm here."
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Although not seen, it's stated outright that the casualties for the Viking/Dragon war in general were large.
    Stoick: They've killed hundreds of us!
    Hiccup: And we've killed THOUSANDS of them!
    • 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: Completely inverted; 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.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Violence isn't always the best solution, parents don't always know what's best for their kids, and just because something is a tradition does not mean that it is necessarily right.
  • Strangled by the Red String: As great as this film is, 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.
    • Also, the Red/Green Death. Due to Astrid's comparison of it to a beehive's queen, almost everyone refers to it as female. According to the books and Chris Sanders, the dragon is actually male, though there's really no indication one way or another in the movie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Any person or creature, small or large, has worth and value. And often loyalty wins out over brute strength or charisma.
    • People who become leaders often need to make difficult decisions for the good of their tribe. Sometimes these decisions may result in even greater destruction.
    • Terrible traditions can change, but change often comes at a great price. In Hiccup's case, change destroys his whole world.
    • Giving second chances to people is important, even when they engage in Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Still, it's not a decision to be made lightly.
    • Kind people suffer the most, simply because the world is a cruel place, but kind people also make the world better.
  • 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.


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