How to Train Your Dragon (animation)
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.
Stoick: It's time, Hiccup...
Hiccup: Can you not hear me?
Stoick: This is serious, son. When you carry this axe [gives him an axe], you carry all of us with you. Which means you walk like us, you talk like us, you think like us. No more of [gestures to Hiccup] this.
Hiccup: You just gestured to all of me.
Hiccup: This conversation is feeling very one-sided...
Based very loosely on a series of books for younger readers, How To Train Your Dragon is a 3D Dreamworks Animation picture released in 2010, directed by Chris Sanders and DeBlois. Its protagonist, Hiccup, is a young Viking 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 just wants to prove his worth - particularly to his father Stoick, the Viking chief - but Hiccup is gawky and brainy in a society that entirely values brawn.
Then one night, during a raid, Hiccup manages to bring down the most elusive, feared dragon of all: a Night Fury. Of course, nobody believes him (no one's ever seen one, much less injured it), so Hiccup has to go alone to find the creature so he can kill it and prove his worth - only when he does find it, all he can see is a wounded, frightened animal. So begins a clandestine friendship between two sworn enemies, as Hiccup nurses Toothless back to health and becomes the first Viking ever to ride a dragon.
It was later followed up with a short special episode, called The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon. Gobber, Hiccup and the other Viking teens head out to hunt down a supposed renegade dragon called the Boneknapper, a dragon that wears bones as armor. An additional pair of shorts, Gift of the Night Fury and Book of Dragons, are being bundled together, presumably acting as a Christmas Special.
Jeffery Katzenberg announced that this is Dreamworks' new franchise, apparently now dubbed with the more flexible title, Dragons. Future ventures in the franchise include a TV series on Cartoon Network slated for 2012. A live touring show, How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular is currently on tour and an online computer simulation in development for an as-of-yet unknown time.
A sequel film, How to Train Your Dragon 2, was released in summer 2014 and has been revealed to be the middle of a trilogy; the final installment, How to Train Your Dragon 3, is slated for 2018 and is rumored to cover material from the end of the book series about the disappearance of dragons from the world.
For the book series, go here.
- 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 and Ruffnut.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adult Fear: Stoick believing his son was dead after the fight with the Green Death. And this was due to Stoick's own misguided actions that led to the above event.
- Aerith and Bob:
- Most of the Vikings have strange names, except Astrid, which is a real Viking name.
- The featured dragons might also count: the Deadly Nadder, Hideous Zippleback, Night Fury, Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, and... the Gronkle?
- All Dragons Are Dogs: Toothless behaves much like a dog, but more like a cat, with the purring, the dragon-nip and pouncing. Physically, he looks like a salamander crossed with a cat, with bat wings. He also sleeps like a bat. 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.
- Alliterative Name: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. Of course, it's never said in full.
- All of the Other Reindeer: The other teenagers to Hiccup. Actually, the entire village, to Hiccup.
- All-Star Cast: If you've taken a look at the character section, you will see why. Averted in that it's a lot of recognizable names, but no overwhelming star power, as apparently finding the perfect voice for each characters was more important than who to name-drop on the adverts.
- All There in the Manual: The Green Death's name, Hiccup's full name.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses a J-pop song called "Emerald" written by Becky♪♯.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Hiccup. For no clearly defined reason.
- Amusing Injuries: All over the place with both Dragon Training and Hiccup first trying to fly with
- Anachronism Stew: Why are the Vikings Scottish?
- Arbitrary Skepticism: In a world that's populated by dragons, Gobber gets an odd look from Stoick when he mentions trolls that steal socks.
- An Arm and a Leg: Gobber certainly had this happen to him, several times. Surprisingly, also happens to Hiccup.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Astrid breaks Hiccup out of a minor Heroic BSOD by forcing him to explain why he didn't kill Toothless when he had the chance.
- Artificial Limbs: Quite a few, though on the low-tech side.
- Gobber has a pegleg and a hook, that can be changed out for a mace, hammer, tongs, paddle, or tankard.
- Toothless has a very complicated artificial tailfin made for him by Hiccup.
- Hiccup, after losing part of his left leg.
- Asleep for Days: Hiccup wakes up several days after the final battle with Toothless watching over him.
- Attack Its Weak Point: "Not so fire-proof on the inside, are you?" Also, wings.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
- 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.
- Applies to Fishlegs as well, especially against Green Death. The kid instantly deduces all of its physical/behavioral characteristics from a single quick look!
- An Axe to Grind: We are dealing with Vikings here...
- Badass: Stoick the Vast. In the expository scene, he encounters a dragon that can light itself on fire. So, he punches it in the face. It's said that when he was born he crushed the head of a dragon in his grip. Then, later in the film, he sees the a dragon's cavern absolutely filled with the things; easily thousands of them. What does he do? He screams and charges at them.
- Badass Adorable: Toothless.
- Badass Beard: Most prominently, Stoick. Again, Vikings.
- Badass Bookworm: Hiccup, eventually. There are hints he may develop into a Gadgeteer Genius.
- Badass Family: Hiccup and his father.
- Badass Pacifist: The dragon-taming results from Hiccup being friendly to the dragons instead of defending himself. Think about that for a second. That takes more courage than just killing them on sight.
- Battle Discretion Shot: Used several times.
- Beard of Barbarism
- Berserk Button: Toothless doesn't take kindly to Hiccup being threatened or hurt. He even charges at Astrid when she merely shoves him down in an attempt to protect him.
- Beware The Cute Ones: Toothless.
- Be Yourself: The Viking community repeatedly tells Hiccup that everything about him is wrong for his community. Ultimately he uses his unique traits to save the community.
- Big Bad: The Green Death. It's forcing the other dragons to hunt for it so it doesn't eat them, causing them to attack the Vikings and thus the plot.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Toothless rescuing Hiccup in the kill ring.
- Hiccup and his friends save Stoick and the other Vikings from the Green Death.
- Stoick rescuing Toothless in the ocean after Hiccup nearly drowns in his own attempt to do so.
- Big Eyes, Little Eyes: Toothless' pupils 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).
- Blood Knight: It was said in the DVD commentary that even though all the dragons will fight, the Monstrous Nightmare fights simply for the joy of fighting.
- Blunt Yes: Hiccup gives one to Astrid. It's a sign that he's starting to stand up for himself (and Toothless).
- A Boy And His Dragon
- Brawn Hilda: Most, if not all Viking women are some variety of this.
- Breath Weapon: It has dragons, so naturally this comes into play. There's a bit of realism in that the dragons don't have limitless shots; they run out if they attack too much in a short span.
- Each dragon has a different style of breathing fire. Some are like a flamethrower, others are like spitting out a firebomb and much of the fire seems to have a sort of corrosive nature to it (ie after the initial blast it continues to burn much like napalm). The fire that Toothless makes has an exceptionally cool "lightning fire" look to it.
- Not to mention it probably breaks the sound barrier. Yeah, it's that fast.
- Breast Plate Hiccup's mother's breastplate was fashioned into matching helmets for Stoick and Hiccup - aaaaawkward...
- Well, not quite matching.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Hiccup uses this early on, describing his father's discontent in his son.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Gobber briefly mentions the "extra pairs of underwear" during the quiet before the Green Death battle.
Stoick: When we crack this mountain open, all hell's going to break loose...
Gobber: -in my undies. Good thing I brought extras!
- Book Ends:
- Hiccup's narration:
Beginning: This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. [...] We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice, or mosquitoes. We have... dragons.
End: This is Berk. It snows nine months out of the year and hails the other three. The food that grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here are even more so. The only upside is the pets. You see, most people have ponies or parrots. We have... dragons.
- It begins with Hiccup opening his door, seeing dragons, and immediately slamming the door shut. It closes with Hiccup slamming the door upon seeing dragons flying about outside. The difference is that by the end, the dragons have been integrated into the community of Berk.
- Bookshelf Dominoes: The walls of the maze during one of the training sessions.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Lost Your Leg Punching Out The Frackin' Huge Volcano Dragon.
- Calling the Old Man Out: When Hiccup tries to stop his father from attempting to destroy the dragon's nest, which means the Green Death dragon would wipe them out.
- Cassandra Truth: No one believes Hiccup when he says he hit and downed a Night Fury. It seems like he may have said it before, though.
Hiccup: But it's not like the other times, I really hit one this time!
Astrid: That was for [insert crime here]. That was for everything else.
Hiccup: Thank you for summing that up.
Tuffnut: Oh, I'm hurt! I am very much hurt!
- The Cavalry: Hiccup and his newly minted dragon rider corps.
- Celebrity Voice Actor: Again, just check the character section for the film.
- 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."
- 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.
- And one that looks like a joke: "Not so fireproof on the inside, are you, little guy?"
- And 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 actually the ability to analyze a dragon by anatomical observation. This becomes important when the teens encounter Green Death for the first time, and Fishlegs points out its strengths and weaknesses right away.
- Even being an apprentice smith counts; Hiccup's knowledge of how a bellows works becomes key.
- And knowing that a dragon's fire is created like a flamethrower - by it igniting a gaseous fuel.
- Close on Title
- Colossus Climb: Variant: Snoutlout, after falling off his mount and landing on the Green Death, switches to these tactics.
- Coming of Age Story: The focus of which is Hiccup.
- Media Research Failure: A whole series of them, concerning the giant dragon at the end of the movie. In-movie, it's only referred to as the Queen Dragon. Then the soundtrack names it the Green Death, obviously a Shout-Out to the original novel. Then the McD toy referred to it simply as 'R.D.' A review subsequently named it the Green Death. The video game for the the Nintendo DS mentioned it as the Red Death. Finally, Word of God (in the DVD commentary) settled the whole morass by officially naming it Green Death. Nonetheless, it's still commonly referred to as the Green Death in honor of the original book.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The Vikings vs. the Green Death. It had wiped out their rides home, their heavy weapons and was well on the way to wiping them all out as well -- cue Stoick's and Gobber's plan for a Heroic Sacrifice -- when the newly minted Dragonriders of Berk arrive and manage to take the fight to the monster.
- Curious as a Monkey: According to the "Book of Dragons", the Change-wing dragon often used its camouflage abilities to watch others and mimic their behavior.
- Curse Cut Short:
- Astrid's rant when Hiccup wins the training seems to devolve into outright profanity before she's interrupted.
- "Look at that thing! It's like the size of my-" [gets cut off by the Terrible Terror attacking his face]
- Darker and Edgier: Though not that dark and edgy, the movie is much more serious than the book.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Toothless.
- Dark Reprise:
- The main motif piece of the movie which is found in the track "Test Drive", is reprised 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 during the first encounter between the pair, and it then becomes lighter for the majority of the film. However, it is heard in a similar tone to the beginning when Hiccup inadvertently betrays Toothless by revealing that he knows how to access Dragon Island. There is also a slower, sadder version that plays at certain moments, including when Toothless is captured in the Kill Ring, and when he is about to drown in the battle with the Green Death.
- Deadpan Snarker: Hiccup. "And now the spinning. Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile."
- Pretty much almost everyone with a speaking role in the movie at some point.
- Even Toothless gets into the act a couple of times. Watch him roll his eyes and shrug elaborately (mimicking Hiccup) during Hiccup's "Dehdehdeh, we're dead" scene. He also rolls his eyes at Hiccup's timid pacing during the Test Drive flight - you can practically hear him thinking, "Come on, this is fledgling stuff."
- Death From Above: Naturally, a favorite tactic of the dragons.
- Death Glare: Astrid gives a big one to Hiccup when he's chosen over her as the champion of dragon training by the Elder. If looks could kill, it would make a Night Fury look like an infant Terrible Terror.
- Defrosting Ice Queen:
- Astrid is at first contemptuous and then envious of Hiccup. That changes when she is taken for a spectacular ride with him on Toothless.
- Toothless could count for this as well. The Night Fury is not the biggest fan of Hiccup in the beginning, but eventually he grows protective of Hiccup and as attached to Hiccup as Hiccup is to him.
- Determinator: Toothless escapes from the same valley he was trapped in at the beginning of the film when he hears Hiccup in danger, climbing out through sheer force of will.
- Disney Death: Hiccup. Unusually for this trope, he doesn't end up completely unhurt.
- Doing It for the Art: Tons of information on the Dragon wiki is dedicated to the dragons' various characteristics. This includes strength and weaknesses (Monstrous Nightmares are gifted with exceptionally good vision and have extend-able wings that allow it to intimidate enemies, but its large wings also render it slow-going on land), wing power (Night Furies are the only dragons capable of vertical liftoff), their personality traits (Deadly Nadders are extremely vain, evidenced by the generous amounts of time spent preening themselves), fire-breathing abilities (the Night Fury has an unconventional fire attack involving semi-solid mass set alight with an acetylene/oxygen flame), eggs (Gronckle eggs are the smallest of the species, barely larger than a marble), egg-laying habits (Terrible Terrors lay their eggs in the cracks of tree trunks) and even training tips.
- Don't Think, Feel: Hiccup tries consulting a cheat sheet for manipulating Toothless's prosthetic tail fin, but tosses it away when they're going to crash into rocks and flies instinctively.
- Dragon Riders: But of course. It's justified with Toothless, who requires a rider to operate his artificial stabilizer so he can fly.
- Dragons Are Dinosaurs: The Green Death looks like an unholy cross between a turtle, an ankylosaurus and a T. rex, and is as big as Godzilla. And it can fly. That particular winged beastie really gives the feel of a leftover ancient primordial dragon. Or maybe even a leftover dragon deity.
- Dumb Muscle: Gronckles may be stubborn and lazy, but they're as temperamental and direct as an angry rhino.
- Everyone Is Right-Handed: Hiccup is left-handed, although it is shown very subtly in the film and most viewers will only pick up on it after a close watching. His left-handness is a plausible reason for the other character's wariness around him, as being lefthanded in the past carried a stigma of potential evil with it.
- Not to mention, it is also an allusion to the book where Hiccup is also left-handed.
- Everything Makes a Mushroom: The impact of the Green Death into the ground results in a large mushroom cloud, which Hiccup and Toothless have to outrun. While dodging the Green Death's spikes.
- Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: The song The Downed Dragon has a section at the end with bagpipes. It makes it pretty scary.
- Eye Scream: Snotlout hits the Green Death in the eye with a Viking War Hammer. Repeatedly. This is a slight subversion, since all it does is piss it off.
- Expy: Astrid for Camicazi from the book series.
- Extra Eyes: The Green Death has six eyes, three on each side.
- Face Death with Dignity:
- Father, I Don't Want to Fight: Subverted in that, at movie's start, Hiccup is actually upset that his Viking dad won't let him fight. When he is forced into training later on, it's not because his father is disrespecting his wishes, but rather that he doesn't believe Hiccup's protestations that he's really no longer interested in fighting dragons are genuine.
- The Film of the Book
- Five-Man Band
- Eventually, Hiccup is The Hero, Astrid is The Lancer, Ruffnut and Tuffnut are together The Big Guy, Fishlegs is The Smart Guy (remember him quoting all those stats?), and Snotlout is, by process of elimination, The Chick. Snotlout is the first beside Hiccup that bonds with one of the dragons. He sets the emotional pace that the others follow.
- Arguably, at the start, Hiccup is a combination of The Chick and The Load. The villagers want to go off on a dangerous mission if it means not having to babysit him!
- The dragons: the Monstrous Nightmare, Zippleback, Gronckle, Night Fury (reported to be the most intelligent species), and Nadder (among the most beautiful and vain of the dragons). The Terrible Terror can be the Team Pet.
- Flight of Romance: Astrid's first ride on Toothless turns into this for her and Hiccup after Toothless decides to play nice.
- As a bonus, the title of the track that plays during that scene is called "Romantic Flight"
- Fluffy Tamer: Hiccup
- Fluffy the Terrible: Toothless the Night Fury. Mixes with Deathbringer the Adorable a bit, considering how Toothless acts toward those friendly to him.
- Foreign Cuss Word: The name of the village is Berk, a British Rhyming-slang word that derives from "Berkshire Hunt." These days, its meaning has shifted to Jerkass. To Fracophonic Tropers, the island's name is "Yuck!"
- A pair of twins among the Vikings, and a two-headed breed among the dragons.
- In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example, during their first test flight, Hiccup tugs on his restraint, making sure it's secure. Guess what fails moments later.
- Take notice of how much attention is given to shots of Hiccup's left foot, particularly whenever he rides Toothless.
- And on that note: "it's not worth it unless you get a scar out of it."
- In a bit more of a "recurring action" vibe: Toothless initially refuses to truly open up to Astrid while she's riding him and instead keeps messing with her until she says she's sorry - this resonates later when he doesn't show Stoick that he's saved Hiccup until after he apologizes.
- Forging Scene: Not for a sword, but for a replacement tail.
- For Science!: In a benevolent example, Hiccup tries to repair Toothless' tail without concern of the consequences of restoring a huge predator's ability to fly, which become apparent all too soon.
- Funny Background Event: While Gobber and Stoick argue about what to do with Hiccup, early on in the film, Gobber spends much of the conversation fishing his false tooth out of his ale, where it fell when he performed a Spit Take.
- Gaussian Girl: Astrid's first appearance, as part of an Unflinching Walk away from a burning house in Slo Mo.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Gobber. Hiccup is getting there.
- Game Face: Toothless gets named because his teeth are retractable, and extend only when the Night Fury is eating or being aggressive. A rare Dark Is Not Evil example.
- Genius Bruiser: Fishlegs, once he gets some confidence.
- Gentle Giant: Fishlegs again.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The helmet Hiccup eventually receives from his father. Made from his dead mother's breastplate. Cue the awkward silence. Part of a matching pair, indeed. (If you look quick, you can see Hiccup immediately stop caressing the helmet during this line).
- And the village of Berk. See Foreign Cuss Word.
- There are two characters named Tuffnut and Ruffnut, and they're twins.
- When the Gronkle who is offering the single fish to the Green Death is about to get eaten, it growls something that suspiciously sounds like "oh fuck!"
- Astrid's Angrish during the last session of Dragon Training devolves into outright cursing, ending with what sounds like, "Aw, fuck it!" She's actually saying "munge bucket" but it is very hard to tell. If you know what "munging" is, "Aw fuck it" is almost preferable.
- Give Geeks a Chance: Hiccup and Astrid. Because you totally didn't see that coming...
- Green-Eyed Monster: A possible interpretation for Toothless's initial dislike for Astrid could be -- other than hatred for attacking Hiccup -- jealousy as well.
- Not to mention that Toothless is a monster with green eyes.
- Half-Identical Twins: Tuffnut and Ruffnut.
- Handicapped Badass: Gobber and Toothless. And the obvious... Hiccup.
- Held Gaze: The platonic version occurs between Stoick and Gobber in this movie when they grasp hands, looking each other in eye, before going off to distract Green Death together to buy their people some time.
- Heroic BSOD: Hiccup goes through a bit of one after Toothless gets captured trying to save him Granted, it's really short.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gobber and Stoick had every intention of dying, but Hiccup and the kids force a subversion and turn it instead into You Shall Not Pass with their Big Damn Heroes (Big Damn Gunships?) arrival.
- 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. But he gets better after he realizes his actions almost got his entire tribe killed, and Hiccup ended up saving the day.
- Horny Vikings
- 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 though).
- I Have No Son: Stoick to Hiccup when he misinterprets his son's refusal to kill dragons and warnings against taking on the virtually invincible Green Death as siding with the dragons against the Vikings.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: Hiccup, as he wants to be respected by his village and his father, and hopefully get a girlfriend. All of which he does eventually achieve, just not quite in the way he expected.
- Incendiary Exponent: Monstrous Nightmares attack after setting themselves on fire.
- Indy Ploy: Snotlout does this when he jumps from the Green Death so the twins can catch him.
I can't believe that worked!
- Inferred Holocaust: Although not seen, it's heavily implied that the casualties for the Viking/Dragon war were really significant. It's very unlikely that everyone survived the battle with the Green Death.
- 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. And 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.
- 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."
- Irony: While Toothless lost his tail stabilizer when Hiccup was trying to kill him, Hiccup lost his leg while Toothless was trying to save him.
- It Got Worse: The whole scene of "I have no son", in that tall, backroom place.
- Jerkass: Astrid starts out like this, before warming up to Hiccup and Toothless.
- Jerk Jock: Snotlout still. But he gets better!
- 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!
- Large Ham: Tuffnut.
"Oh, I am hurt! I am very much hurt!"
- Leitmotif: Several, actually. John Powell did the soundtrack, and seems to have taken the approach of writing several melody leitmotifs (a "flying/Hiccup and Toothless" theme, a "holy shit, dragons!" theme, a "romance/Hiccup and Astrid" theme, and a theme for the Green Death, though the soundtrack calls it Green), as well as assigning each major character a signature instrument which tends to pop up in their scenes (warpipes for the Vikings, violins for Astrid, brass instruments for the dragons, etc). Hilariously, one of Hiccup's most recurring instruments is a tinwhistle. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.
- Lightning Bruiser: Night Furies, described in the film as "the unholy offspring of Lightning and Death itself", of the Hard-hitting Speedster variety...
"...And they never miss."
- 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.
- Made of Explodium: When the Green Death dies, she/it goes up in a (relatively!) minor mushroom cloud.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Astrid and Hiccup
- Mass Hypnosis: Strongly suggested that this is the mechanism that the Green Death dominates the dragons -- it sings an irresistible song to them. Even Toothless is not entirely immune. As the Green Death in the book is all about singing, this is a subtle Shout-Out to the original. When the singing stops...
- Massive-Numbered Siblings: In the DS game it's implied that all the kids have siblings, except Astrid and Hiccup. They have names like Froglegs, Piglegs, Snuffnut, and Wartlout.
- Meaningful Echo: All over the place. Sometimes crossing over into Ironic Echo.
- Meaningful Name:
- The village is named Berk, which should tell you all you need to know about the inhabitants, and why they decided to stay on an island regularly attacked by hungry dragons.
- Hiccup is initially considered to be one giant mistake after another.
- Astrid is a traditional Scandinavian name meaning 'divine and beautiful'; she is considered to be very attractive. It is also worth noting that she is the only one without an icky name, possibly because she's just so badass that she didn't need one to scare off trolls and gnomes.
- Snotlout is kind of pesky and obnoxious. He gets nicer, but he's still annoying.
- Fishlegs is thought of by many as useless and a hindrance, as legs on a fish.
- Ruffnut and Tuffnut are... well, yeah.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: The village elder.
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: Hiccup and his classmates mount their dragons and swoop in to save Stoick and Gobber from the Green Death.
- Missing Mom: Hiccup's. Heavily implied that she was killed by a dragon, which explains Stoick's attitude toward them.
- More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: The Hideous Zippleback, Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare, Gronckle, and Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus (the giant antagonist dragon) have rows upon rows of sharp teeth. Subverted with the Terrible Terrors, who actually appear to be toothless.
- Mood Dissonance: Awww, look at the cute little Gronckle. He only brought back one tiny little fiHOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT!?!?
- Mood Whiplash: Gobber, constantly.
- Moody Mount: Toothless.
- Multiple Head Case: Hideous Zipplebacks, which have two heads.
- Subverted in that the two heads work together quite well, 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...
- Also, when Hiccup is reading the Dragon Manual, during the scene when he is flipping through the pages muttering "Extremely dangerous...extremely dangerous..." 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.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Stoick, after his I Have No Son moment right after he walks outside and the enormity of what he'd just done hits him. Another moment happens later, when he realizes that Hiccup was right about the dragon nest, and he's led his people into a fight they can't win, and then again when it appears Hiccup has died to save them.
Hiccup earlier, at the downed Night Fury:
"I did this..."
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
- Lampshaded - In the opening narration, Hiccup says that parents give their children hideous names to frighten off Gnomes and Trolls.
- Most dragon species follow this rule, such as "Monstrous Nightmare", "Night Fury" and "Boneknapper". Even the "Terrible Terror" gets this treatment, and it's the size of a small dog (the 'voice' for the little guys was even provided by a chihuahua).
- Never Trust A Commercial:
- Astrid never said "You're so busted" when she found out about Toothless, which was a little disappointing.
- The TV-spots made the film look a lot more slapstick-y and goofy than it truly was (actually, there was very little in the way of slapstick humor, and the film itself was more drama/action with humor thrown in), and suggests that everyone immediately embraces the idea that dragons can be tamed.
- One of the funniest scenes from the trailer was Hiccup's "Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile." followed by Toothless smacking him with his ear. Both scenes happened, but were separate and unrelated to one another. The line was issued when Toothless tried his level best to throw Astrid off, but he'd whapped Hiccup earlier, when Hiccup made a mistake with his new flying rig.
- Gobber's line "Welp, there go my undies" was never in the film. He has two lines that mention his undies earlier in the film, but never that particular one.
- Also, the theatrical trailers make it appear that Toothless immediately liked Hiccup after being set free, when in the movie, his first action was to pin him to the ground, roar into his face, and leave. He didn't actually become Hiccup's friend or even warm up to him until days later.
- Not to mention commercials for it on Nickelodeon try to imply that Hiccup tries to hide Toothless in his house. However, the scenes shown for this were actually at the end, when the Vikings had already accepted dragons.
- Averted by the final trailer, which did a pretty good job of conveying the film's dramatic aspects.
- Never Say "Die": Averted. The words "kill" and "death" are actually used quite often.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted. Toothless' saddle and tail-fin go through several versions.
- 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 foot yet.
- Not So Different: Hiccup and Stoick, shown subtly throughout the entire movie, and highlighted in their Meaningful Echoes (each quoting the other without having heard the line from them). Gobber is aware of this from listening to them complain about one another, and eventually points it out to Stoick near the end of the film.
Gobber: Every bit the stubborn, bull-headed Viking you ever were.
Hiccup: Dad! Uh, I have to talk to you, Dad.
Stoick: I need to speak with you too, son.
Hiccup/Stoick: [They both take deep breaths and speak at once.] I've decided I don't want to fight dragons./I think it's time you learned to fight dragons. [[[Beat]]] What?
Stoick: Uh, you go first.
Hiccup: No, no, you go first.
Stoick: All right. You get your wish. Dragon Training. You start in the morning.
Hiccup: Oh man, I should have gone first.
- Number Two: Astrid's role in the climatic battle, directing the rest of Hiccup's flying corps in the fight against the Green Death while Hiccup tries to free Toothless.
- Odd Name Out: Hiccup, Fishlegs, Snotlout, Ruffnut, Tuffnut and... Astrid? Astrid is actually a historically Norse name, meaning "divine beauty". Hiccup, Snotlout, etc, may "sound" viking-ish, but Astrid was actually a name many females in the viking era had. Interestingly, she's one of the few main characters whose name doesn't come from the original book.
- Oh Crap:
- There's a minor one when Hiccup brings Toothless into the village. A sheep notices and goes wide-eyed.
- Stoick's face upon seeing the absolutely huge Green Death.
Stoick: Odin, help us...
- The Green Death itself gets one a few minutes later.
- Oh God, with the Verbing!:
"And now the spinning. Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile."
- 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 then realizes that his dad is talking about Hiccup doing a good job in Dragon Training.
- Organ Autonomy: The two heads of a Hideous Zippleback are distinct and do not share each other's thoughts. If the heads start arguing, the dragon can stall out, leaving it completely vulnerable to attack.
- Our Dragons Are Different: It's implied that there are dozens of dragon species, each with a different method of killing you that runs the gamut from sonic screeches (Thunderdrum) to spitting boiling water (Scauldron.) They have limited ammunition, and how much they have varies from species to species (Except the Green Death, being the Ultimate Master Dragon™, appears to have infinite ammo.) We only see seven species in the course of the movie, however: the Terrible Terror, Hideous Zippleback, Gronckle, Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare, and the Night Fury. And then there's the (unnamed in the film) Green Death, the grandaddy of all dragons.
- Outrun the Fireball: Commonly done, and Astrid once outwalked the fireball. Also notable, at the climax, along the back of a humongous dragon. Subverted 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, Stoic the Vast erupts in fury and slams his hammer on one of the metal bars, denting it. Then when the noise startles the dragon into attacking Hiccup, Toothless hears the boy's scream of fear from miles away, and although he can't fly at this point, claws and tears his way through the forest, breaks through the metal of the arena's cage, then attacks and successfully drives off a dragon three times his size. Stoick also charges in to rescue Hiccup from the Monstrous Nightmare as well, pulling Astrid to safety but unable to rescue Hiccup before Toothless does.
- Parental Bonus: When the boys accidentally attack Ruffnut and Astrid during training:
Tuffnut: Your butt's getting so big, I thought you were a dragon!
Snotlout: Of course, there's nothing wrong with having a "dragon-esque" figure...
- Peek-a-Bangs: Astrid.
- Picky Eater: A dragon which happily devours fish won't touch a smoked eel, probably what made it such an almighty stink to dragons. This gets a bit silly as, in the tie-in video game, there are certain items that some of the breeds won't eat. And in the game, a Night Fury (which is the breed of dragon Toothless is) will not eat fish.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Terrible Terror looks small and harmless, and it can actually 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, or in this case vikings with the smell of chocolate.
- Poor Communication Kills: Hiccup and his father are having two different conversations before his final exam, and only Hiccup is aware of this. This leads to misery later when Stoick discovers the truth about Hiccup and the dragons.
- Positive Discrimination: Astrid is established from the get-go as not only the most competent trainee, but the only competent trainee. The others (almost all of whom are boys) can barely swing their axes in the dragons' general direction.
- Post Dramatic Stress Disorder: Hiccup, after his first confrontation with the downed dragon, breathing hard and clutching his heart, 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, pull this off.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: And how! But the original author, Cressida Cowell, approves.
- Pressure Point: Hiccup learns a pressure point on the necks of dragons, which if tickled with but a single finger will cause the dragon in question to roll over like an adorable giant kitten. Though the experience of the animators owning cats of their own is the primary inspiration of these scenes, it still bears a strong resemblance (especially for Asian audiences) to the combat acupuncture based fight scenes of Wuxia films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Once Upon a Time in China and Anime like Fist of the North Star.
- Protectorate: Hiccup is this for Toothless, who will outwardly attack anyone who so much as seems like they will harm Hiccup.
- 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.
- Razor Wings: There's a passing mention of the "Timberjack" species, whose wings can slice right through trees.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Hiccup, Astrid and the other Viking teens. Their dragons, too.
- Rapunzel Hair: Tuffnut and Ruffnut.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: The filmmakers have actually 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.
- 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.
- This pours over into a musical version of Meaningful Echo as the themes that are reused reflect parallels between when they were used. For example the falling section of "Test Drive" is used when Hiccup and Toothless have to catch someone out of midair.
- Recycled: the Series: Cartoon Network has acquired the rights to air a series based on the film in 2012. Apparently, the series will remain truthful to the original film and further explore the characters and locations made for it.
- Redheaded Hero: Hiccup.
- Redhead in Green: Stoick and Hiccup.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played straight by everyone's feelings towards dragons, ultimately subverted.
- The Reveal Prompts Romance: Astrid and Hiccup.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Toothless. And some of the smaller dragons. For... er... some viewers, this can fall into Cuteness Proximity and reduce them to sentences entirely consisting of the words "Awwww!" and "So cute!"
- RPG Mechanics Verse: Fishlegs spouts these.
- Running Gag: Several.
- Fishlegs' tendency to quote the Dragon Fighting manual. It annoys everyone. But it comes in handy later...
- Gobber's advice never comes out right...
- Ruffnut and Tuffnut chose the worst times to argue.
- Snotlout hits on Astrid, and gets instantly rebuffed.
- Tuffnut getting hurt and screaming how much he's in pain.
- A random viking crying out "NIGHT FURY!" whenever Toothless is sighted. Even at the end, when there's clear there is no danger from him -- except being stampeded out of enthusiasm to get to Hiccup.
- Astrid saying, "That was for [insert crime here]. And that's for everything else."
Gobber/Stoick: You need to stop all...this. *gestures*.
Hiccup: You just gestured to all of me!
Hiccup: Thank you for summing that up.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Hiccup and Astrid.
- Say My Name Trailer: Some of the advertising spots were Say "Dragons" Trailers.
- Scare Chord: Quite a few are part of the soundtrack. Get used to them. Well, two, anyway. 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 it's Hiccup and Toothless that disappears in smoke, leaving the Green Death spinning around confused.
- Scenery Porn: Berk is fantastic from above, especially during Toothless' flight scenes.
- Not just Berk either - do clouds and aurora borealis count as scenery though?
- Sherlock Scan: Fishlegs' devotion to analysing dragon stats allow him to identify threats to avoid and weaknesses to exploit on Green Death with just a glance.
- Several to The Black Stallion. Hiccup finds Toothless trussed up, just as Alec finds the titular stallion, and both are freed by a dagger. In many ways the animals are mirrors to each other, however: Toothless is calm in the trusses, and attacks Hiccup when freed, while the stallion flails furiously in the ropes; when freed, he runs away. They begin to bond when the Stallion saves Alec from a cobra, here, Toothless begins to bond to Hiccup when he's fed by him (even returning the favor!).
- Toothless looks a lot like Stitch.
- Gobber talks about how trolls will steal everyone's left sock.
- Three Words: Plus Five Speed.
- Tuffnut suddenly getting yanked into the fog by a then-hidden Hideous Zippleback was rather evocative of Stephen King's The Mist. Promptly lampshaded when Tuffnut runs back out of the fog, unharmed, yelling about how badly hurt he was.
- A double-Shout-Out to both the original book and Beowulf occurred when Tuffnut called The Green Death "Bride of Grendel". The young Vikings had to read Beowulf in the original book series.
- Hiccup and Astrid's ride didn't remind anyone of anything? Pretty sure it was a whole new world for those two. Or maybe she was wondering Can You Read My Mind?.
- Ruffnut insults the Green Death by calling it a "butt elf".
- The scene when Hiccup first tries to put the saddle on Toothless looks like the scene when Little Creek tries to put the saddle on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. He even says the same thing Little Creek did: "Today, dragon/horse, I am going to ride you".
- Gobber's advice to 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 Nadderhead. Even down to the first couple of camera angles and character movements it's unmistakably a shout out to Riddick in Pitch Black.
- Show, Don't Tell: Excellent examples through out, such as when Hiccup must not think but feel.
Hiccup: Then I won't Speak. Just let me show you.
- Shown Their Work:
- All the writing in the movie is in real 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).
- "Shut Up" Kiss: Astrid to Hiccup.
[*momentary Post-Kiss Catatonia*] "I guess I could get used to it."
- Slap Slap Kiss: Astrid quite literally to Hiccup, twice.
- Sleeper Hit: Even though the film debuted at #1 in the box office, its premiere weekend take was judged a disappointment and people hastily wrote it off as a de facto failure. However, the film developed such ecstatic word of mouth that the film just kept going and going until it arguably regained #1 in week 4 and definitely in week 5; it's a box office performance path that almost never happens nowadays! So, the "disappointment" became the spring pop culture sensation in 2010, finishing a shade under half a billion dollars worldwide when all said and done.
- So Proud of You: Stoick of Hiccup. Eventually.
- The Southpaw: Hiccup.
- 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 prosthetic tooth. See Funny Background Event above.
- Spoof Aesop: "It's not what you look like. It's what's inside that he can't stand."
- Stock Costume Traits: No, real Vikings never actually wore horned helmets.
- 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.
Stoik: Winter is almost here and I have an entire village to feed!
Hiccup: Well, between you and me, the village could do with a little less feeding, don't you think?
- Stuff Blowing Up:
- The Green Death is lit on fire from its mouth and falls to the ground as its wings are burnt up; it crashes into the ground head first and explodes like a vengeful 747.
- Zipplebacks can create explosions when one head breathes gas and the other head generates sparks that ignite it.
- Suggestive Collision: Between Astrid and Hiccup in the training ring while fighting the Deadly Nadder.
Tuffnut: Ooh! Love on the battlefield!
- Super Speed: The defining characteristic of the Night Fury species it seems. It never actually fought the vikings head-on. Rather, it dive-bombed their village with fireballs and flew away just as quickly.
- Squick: In-Universe, Hiccup's reaction upon discovering his helmet's origins. Also see Tastes Like Friendship, below.
- The Stoic: Surprisingly, Stoik can be pretty open with his feelings, at least to his best friend Gobber, and gets better in respect to his son Hiccup. He nearly cries when he tells Hiccup I Have No Son.
- Tastes Like Friendship: Hiccup and Toothless share a fish (a raw fish...and Hiccup only gets to eat it after Toothless regurgitates some), and thus a friendship is started.
- Taught By Experience: Expressly pointed out by Gobber in Dragon Training "I prefer to learn on the job." but is also present when Hiccup rigs a new tail fin for Toothless and works a way where Toothless can fly again and he can ride him. He also learns all sorts of non-lethal ways to distract and/or subdue a dragon that no one else had known because he found such things when interacting with Toothless (they can't stand the smell of smoked eels, they get docile around a certain type of grass, they love getting their neck scratched).
- Technically a Smile: Toothless does one of these when trying to imitate Hiccup. It's intended to come off as endearing rather than creepy, though.
- Teens Are Short: All of the adult Viking warriors tower at least two heads above the Viking teens, but Hiccup's seen as the shortest.
- Teleport Spam: Courtesy of cloud cover, fireballs, and super speed.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: A minor detail, but one of the heads of the Zippleback has more noticeable red lips than the other, reminiscent of lipstick.
- Thigh-High Boots: Astrid qualifies for this trope, though it's tricky to tell what her Zettai Ryouiki she qualifies for, because her boots really cover her thigh.
- Tomboy: Astrid and Ruffnut. Possibly every other woman on Berk too, by our standards.
- Took a Level in Badass: Good Thor, Hiccup. Compare how he was in the beginning and how he is by the climax, and you will see the change.
- Tsundere: Astrid is a Type A but becomes more "deredere" as the plot progresses.
- Toothless also likes to switch among affectionate, aloof, and hostile at the drop of a hat.
- Theme Twin Naming: Ruffnut and Tuffnut.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Everything about this film, from the trailers to the promotional artwork and even the title itself spoil the fact that they're going to be riding dragons. The film is essentially a How We Got Here plot for the viewer.
- Training from Hell: Dragon training.
Gobber: Today is about survival -- if you get blasted, you're dead!
Fishlegs: I'm really beginning to question your teaching methods!
- Triumphant Reprise: As with the Dark Reprise above, the main motif of the movie is reprised in the scene and track entitled "Battling the Green Death" (around 4:50), and in the end song ("Coming Back Around").
- Two Girls to a Team: Astrid and Ruffnut.
- Unflinching Walk: Astrid's introduction has her walking casually away from a spreading gout of dragon's breath. In Slo Mo, no less! The sequence is very impressive and is to show how Hiccup is in awe of her.
- Universal Adaptor Cast: All save one of the actors playing the young Vikings have worked with each other before through various Apatow and Follow the Leader-esque R-rated comedies and play similar archetypes in this film that they embodied in their previous works (Adorkable Jay Baruchel, uber-nerd Christopher Mintz-Plasse, brash horndog Jonah Hill etc.). Of the six actors making up the film's young troupe, only America Ferrera (Astrid) had not been in a film with another actor in that group before.
- Unusual Euphemism, Oh My Gods: The Vikings swear by Odin and Thor, as expected.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Dragons really hate the smell of smoked eels. And apparently, even in the middle of a fight a scratch and a touch under the jawline will send one to sleep.
- 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 complete snarker, it's not too much of a leap to assume he was exaggerating for dramatic purposes.
- Walking Disaster Area: Hiccup whenever he tries to join a battle.
Gobber: Oh, you've made plenty of marks! All in the wrong places!
- "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.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Said word for word by Gobber when convincing Stoic to let Hiccup join dragon training instead of staying in the blacksmith shop. Subverted in that it works.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Hiccup and Toothless' first maneuver in Test Drive is a left turn.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The "a wet dragon head can't light its fire" dragon lesson is pretty much the only dragon-related Chekhov's Gun that doesn't get fired.
- It does somewhat misfire though, during dragon training against the zippleback.
- 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.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Toothless' flight scene. That is all.
- Wronski Feint: Used against the Green Death, after shooting its wings full of holes so it can't pull up.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Astrid's essential point to Hiccup in the Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene.
- You Have Failed Me...: A Gronkle failed to bring anything more than a single tiny fish back to Dragon Island. The Green Death turns the offering into a sacrifice.
Tropes for the DVD short film Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon:
- Anticlimax: Gobber's treasure the Boneknapper has been chasing him for years for is a bone he uses as a belt buckle.
- The Boneknapper looks utterly terrifying, but it can not roar.
- Artificial Limbs: Gobber not only sports his normal hammer and such, but also a broom, eggbeater, and guitar.
- Art Shift: Gobber's flashback stories are told in 2D animation.
- Bad with the Bone: In this short it's revealed that the Boneknapper dragon uses the bones of dragons and other creatures to make itself a suit of armor. It also has multiple bones attached to the end of its tail to form a powerful warclub.
- Crack! Oh, My Back!: Gobber laughs at the top of the cliff and suddenly his back gives...
- Dark Is Not Evil: Once Gobber gives the Boneknapper back its bone which allows it to roar, the dragon is suddenly more amicable.
- Demoted to Extra: Toothless. Since this is more Gobber's story than Hiccup's, it makes sense.
- Happy Place: Snotlout is trying to find his when they're all under the ribcage and being attacked by the Boneknapper.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: After the Boneknapper gets its ability to roar back, Fishlegs notes its current roars appear to be a mating call. So this whole time it's been chasing Gobber because it was... frustrated.
- Gilligan Cut: Snoutlout claims that he won't be dragged off on another adventure. Guess who's seen pouting on a boat two seconds later.
- I See London: Gobber's pants fall down after he gives the dragon back his bone, which had been holding up his pants for years.
- Lighter and Softer: Generally a sillier story then the movie, especially with Gobber's frequent embellishments. Even the fearsome-looking Boneknapper turns into a pussycat once he gets his bone back.
- More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: The Boneknapper looks like it has two pairs of teeth due to wearing the skull bones of other dragons for its armor.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The titular dragon.
- Oh Crap: Hiccup and the crew when they realize the Boneknapper is right behind them.
- Right Behind Me: Hiccup utters this line when he, Gobber, and his friends realize the Boneknapper dragon is right behind them.
- Serial Escalation: Gobber's story of how he first met the Boneknapper dragon starts out believable enough but then becomes increasingly ridiculous as he recounts in each story being attacked by hammerhead sharks, then a hammerhead whale, then a hammerhead YAK (which bursts out a volcano no less), then being saved from the Boneknapper by the god Thor who strikes the ground with a thunderbolt and releasing the hammerhead yak riding the hammerhead whale who beats up the Boneknapper (of course the Boneknapper gets away every time).
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The Boneknapper dragon uses bones to perfect its skeletal armor.
- Super-Persistent Predator: When Gobber tells Hiccup and his friends of his past encounters with the Boneknapper Dragon, it's revealed that it has chased him ever since he unwittingly took a piece of the bone from its armor which it needed to roar, pursuing him on desert island, jungle, volcano, etc.
- Vocal Dissonance: The Boneknapper, unlike other dragons, can not roar. The best it can manage is a squeak. Unless it manages to collect the required bones need to amplify its voice, and Gobber has the last piece.
- You Have to Believe Me: The townspeople and the young vikings refuse to believe from Gobber that the Boneknapper dragon exists. His increasingly ridiculous stories of his encounters with one particularly stubborn Boneknapper throughout his life makes it even harder for them to take his claim seriously. Guess what happens in the end?
Tropes for the DVD short film Gift of the Night Fury
- Babies Ever After: The point of the film, from the dragons' side.
- Bad Liar: Fishlegs.
- Chekhov's Gun: Meatlug nearly crashes into a wrecked viking ship while flying away from Berk. Hiccup and the dragons use it near the end when they need to transport a bunch of baby dragons.
- The ship Gobber managed to wreck in Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon, no less.
- Christmas Episode/Christmas Special: See You Mean "Xmas".
- Cuteness Proximity: Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Snotlout immediately say "awwww!" after seeing the adorable baby Gronkle that lands on Fishlegs as Astrid has an Oh Crap moment in the background.
- Delayed Reaction: Hiccup has this response when he discovers that Toothless has brought his helmet back to him at the end.
- Genki Girl: Astrid seems to be developing into this.
- Gilligan Cut: Hiccup says it's a good thing that the the explosive eggs won't hatch on Berk. Guess what happens next.
- Happiness in Slavery: Toothless rejects and smashes Hiccup's gift of a new tailfin that lets him fly on his own.
- Lethal Chef: Astrid invents a revolting new holiday drink called "yaknog."
Snotlout: You can really taste the yak.
- Made of Explodium: Hatching Gronckle eggs explode rather violently. The adult dragons offset this by pushing them into pools of water.
- Mind Control Eyes: All the dragons' eyes shrink as they leave for an inexplicable mass migration, reacting almost similarly to when they were controlled by the Red Death. Even Toothless gets them suddenly even though he was only flying away to find Hiccup's helmet.
- Mundane Utility: Turns out Nadder spines are great for hanging Snoggletog decorations!
- Oh Crap: Astrid's reaction when the dragon eggs start exploding.
Astrid: The eggs explode? *nearby house explodes* The eggs explode!
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The baby dragons are adorable.
- Say My Name: Three of the teens' dragons are named here: Fishlegs' Gronckle is Meatlug, Astrid's Nadder is Stormfly, and Snotlout's Monstrous Nightmare is Hookfang.
- Took a Level in Badass: Hiccup has become even MORE amazing of a flyer than he was at the end of the first film. In his spare time he practices stunts like jumping off of Hiccup's saddle in midair and diving down the sky with him!
- Trailers Always Spoil: The dvd cover gives away the baby dragon reveal.
- You Mean "Xmas": The Vikings call it "Snoggletog."
- Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: All the kids' dragons, aside from Toothless, are this. Fishlegs is quite surprised to find that Meatlug has laid eggs.
- a tiny dragon