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Sorry, sis. A team is only as strong as its weakest player. [src]
  — Tuffnut  

Tuffnut Thorston is a teenage member of the Hairy Hooligan Tribe. He is the fraternal twin of Ruffnut Thorston in the movie franchise and they are constantly arguing with each other, often to the point of physical violence against each other or other Berkians, though never seriously enough to separate them for too long. In the first film, including the first two television series, and in the shorts, he's 14 years old, 17 or 18 in Dawn of the Dragon Racers and Dragons: Race to the Edge, and 19 in How to Train Your Dragon 2. His dragon is a Hideous Zippleback named Barf and Belch, which he shares with his sister.

Official Description

Tuffnut, 19, is one half of the bickering, unkempt brother-sister twins known as Ruff & Tuff. Though slow on the uptake, Tuffnut is brazen and fearless, making him a dangerous combination in any scenario.
Hes always up for defying orders and taking on deadly odds - the crazier, the better. The only things holding him back are his uncooperative sister and her half of the two-headed dragon they share. Tuffnut's inability to ditch Ruffnut means that she's forced to watch Snotlout and Fishlegs compete for her affection. It's enough to make him want to blow things up.
  Viking Guide  


History Banner Default
Click here to view the biography of Tuffnut Thorston.


Although never said throughout the show, Tuffnut seems to be the dominant twin. Together, he and his sister love to get into trouble, even if it means getting scolded by the chief of the village. Tuff likes the idea of Ruff being in danger (he stated that when Ruff was on fire one time, he just watched for a while before he decided to help put her out). Tuff enjoys the chance to argue and wrestle with his sister, although it usually ends with Ruff overpowering him, either verbally or physically. He shares many similar traits with his sister. The only thing that seems to be apparent in difference is he enjoys gross things as opposed to his sister (as seen in Gift of the Night Fury, when he smiled as Toothless put Hiccup's drool-covered helmet on his head). Despite having a close sibling relationship, Tuff is understandably frustrated when he has to share everything with his twin sister, but he's willing to make amends with Ruff to save his dragon. Although sharing a rivalry with his sister, on occasion, he will help her if she is in trouble. He often thinks highly of his own skills, claiming that he was the world's deadliest weapon. In the television series, Tuff appears to show a thrill-seeking and masochistic personality, displaying an attraction to dangerous situations and seems to enjoy or looks forward to whatever bodily harm he receives. Like Ruffnut he often has a sick toothy smile on his face. He seems to be forgetful and perhaps more suggestible.

Ruffnut and Tuffnut seem to actively cultivate the impression of being completely crazy, competing between themselves to outdo each other's outlandish behavior. This, along with downplaying their intelligence and exaggerating their difficulty paying attention, dramatically lowers everybody's expectations of them, allowing them to do virtually no work.

In "Total Nightmare", he and Ruff appear to be very keen on theatre, acting in a very theatrical manner and using almost Shakespearean words and phrases, which suggests they may actually be very smart. In addition, during "A View to a Skrill, Part 2", not only did he decide to keep track of the Frozen Skrill on Outcast Island, he successfully went undercover as a Berserker named 'Buffnut' and avoided arousing suspicion among the Berserkers, even gaining Dagur's praise for making up a poem on the spot.

In "Living on the Edge", Tuffnut told Snotlout to read more, implying that he often reads, although he was never seen doing so on screen.

Physical Appearance

In both the television show and the first movie, Tuffnut wears a dark brown long furry animal vest with a very light pale green tunic that goes all the way past his hip. Around his waist, there's a brown sash-like belt that is tied around. He also wears light grey-blue pants and dark brown furry boots. On his arms, he wears a long brown arm cloth armband that starts at his elbows and ends at his wrists. His helmet is studded with four horns: the top two are bull-like, and the bottom two resemble ox horns. Without his helmet, his long blond hair, that ends with a brownish tint, is unevenly divided in the middle and appears to look like dreadlocks, particularly in the second film his teeth are somewhat uneven. His necklace's pendant is a large claw or tooth that may have come from a dragon. He's relatively skinny and tan skin with dark-blue eyes. His vest is slightly lighter in the television series. In the second film, it is confirmed that Tuff has an older appearance as well as new clothes. He now wears a dark greenish-blue tunic with a dark gray fur vest over it, black cloth arm bracer that starts at the wrist and ends at the elbow with studs at the top, a studded armband above the bracer on the left arm, one spiky, leather shoulder guard on the right shoulder, brown sash-like studded belt around the waist, red pants, and green boots with black hardened caps at the knees, three studded thin belts, and prints that resemble a bit like a Hideous Zippleback. His helmet appears the same, only the bottom horns are turned inward and have metallic-like tips near the end. As seen How to Train Your Dragon 2, it is revealed that he has adopted a dreadlocks hairstyle. In Dragons: Race to the Edge, his vest is lighter.

Just like his twin sister, Tuffnut sports dragon scale armor in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

In the How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, Tuffnut wears a red sleeveless top and greenish pantaloons. He has a black helmet with one full horn on the left side and only a stub on the right, so that he and Ruffnut don't tangle their helmet horns (Ruffnut's helmet horn is on his right). Interestingly, Tuffnut has two false blonde braids hanging from the helmet.

Abilities, Skills, and Talents

Fighting: Tuffnut and Ruffnut are almost equal in terms of strength and speed. They are both skilled in fighting, usually sparring violently with each other when they are arguing. In the television series, Ruff is shown to be slightly better at fighting when facing her brother, often overpowering him in sparring matches and duels, as well as winning verbal arguments. However, Tuffnut has proven perhaps more effective than Ruffnut in combat and battle tactics as can be seen in Twintuition where Tuff single-handedly takes on an entire dragon hunter base and wins (for the most part), and Edge of Disaster, Part 1/Edge of Disaster, Part 2 where Tuffnut's (and initially Astrid's) defense holds long enough for the other dragon riders to save them. Tuff is strong enough to carry his sister for a sum of time without getting too tired. It has been shown in the television series that the twins are the only ones who are not affected by Barf's gas, which can cause disorientation and a sick feeling, possibly because they are either immune or have gotten used to it.

Tuffnut is shown to have an extremely high pain tolerance, perhaps the highest among the Dragon Riders. This can be seen when he has instructed others to attack him for his own amusement and appears to enjoy being hit at times. He has even been seen to take a rock to the head, only to end up laughing afterward as well as taking several swings from a mace to the head from Ruffnut, which he requested, and appear to recover very quickly. As a Thorston, Tuffnut has an extremely tough skull, which allows him to endure blows to his head.

Tuffnut has shown some hand-to-hand combat skills in the TV series. He managed to whack several Giant Screaming Eels with Hiccup's prosthetic leg, fight off armed Dragon Hunters with a broom, defeating several Berserkers with a mace, going toe-to-toe with his cousin Gruffnut, and he was able to temporarily hold his ground against Ryker Grimborn, who is a much more experienced warrior.

Stealth and Survival Skills: While his sister beats him in conflict, he has superior survival and stealth skills. He was able to stake out on his own on Dragon Island and even managed to sneak up on a Changewing, a pretty much invisible Dragon.

Intelligence: Tuff does not seem to be too bright. He's unable to sit still and pay attention without fighting and/or getting into trouble with his sister, causing most of the other Viking Teens to doubt their abilities. Often, the others of the group have to explain to him (and Ruff) when they're about to execute a plan. Despite his inability to pay attention, he always knows how to make people or dragons angry, often proving helpful for him to act as a distraction or bait. Recently in the television series, Tuff has been shown to often have outbursts of intelligence and a smarter outlook on life, alongside Ruff, revealing that the twins are much more intelligent than they initially seem. which suggests that they simply choose not to think.

The twins also have a strange ability (purposely or not) to get in trouble no matter where they are, even in an empty room. Tuff, as seen when he sneaked onto Outcast Island, seems to have some ability in humor and acting, as he was able to convince Dagur that he was a Berserker and more so, for Dagur to like him even more, as seen in the episode "The Night and the Fury". Tuff is also able to speak "post-lightning Snotlout" (which is gibberish that Snotlout may speak after being struck by lightning), and is the only known Viking to speak it (this was seen during the events of "A View to a Skrill, Part 1").

Dragon Training and Riding: He is moderately skilled in training dragons, as shown in several episodes. Tuff was able to spot a Changewing once, as seen in "Gem of a Different Color". Tuff was even able to sneak up on one and tie it down. Tuff trained a Terrible Terror and taught him how to ram heads with his sisters ("Worst in Show"). Tuff showed impressive skills in training a Typhoomerang (Torch), despite being caught in a trap at the time as well as being able to teach him basic hand signals and simple obedience ("Zippleback Down"). He did well training their dragon Barf & Belch but he claims he did more of the work than his sister did ("Free Scauldy"). He was also able to train the Night Terrors as pets ("Team Astrid") and call them ("Edge of Disaster, Part 2").

Pranking Skills: With the help of his sister they are a great team to make many pranks on yaks. As shown their prank on Snotlout to believe he was going to die showing to make everyone believed. They also did some "yak-tipping" ("How to Pick Your Dragon"). They even decided to turn their pranking skills into a profession ("Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Part 1").

Acrobatics: Tuffnut has been shown to be fast enough to perform somersaults.

Understanding abstract images: It is shown that in the episode: "Buffalord Soldier", he and Ruffnut are shown to be experts at understanding abstract art and images. He was able to tell that a few drawings made a map. He was also able to guess the abstract images Ruffnut was holding.

Officiator: Tuffnut was learning to become officiator from his mentor but he never completed as his mentor jump off the cliff. Though he clearly knew a lot more than he thought as he didn't realize when Fishlegs was teaching him as he made his own sister and Fishlegs to be untruly married. Though he made them feel like perfect couple as they did seem to be happy at the end as Fishlegs felt very scared and uncomfortable at first, though he learns the truth that Tuffnut never completed his lessons.


Ruffnut Thorston

Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1 Main article: Ruffnut and Tuffnut's Relationship
That's my sister out here, Astrid. If this goes wrong and we don't save her, I couldn't live with myself. [src]

Ruffnut and Tuffnut have a strong love/hate sibling relationship. Although most of the time quarreling and fighting over trivial things in life, they show an inseparable bond with each other and rarely spend too much time apart. They both enjoy the feeling of pain, especially if the pain is inflicted on the other twin. Tuffnut, in particular, has even stated that he had merely watched Ruff when she was caught on fire once before deciding to help her.

On occasion, Tuffnut is willing to help his sister. Tuff showed concern for her, asking her to leave Scauldy behind when the Changewings were approaching and was happily riding Belch afterward, watching his sister who was safe, despite the sacrifice she made for Scauldy to make his escape. After she says goodbye to Scauldy she starts to feel sad, but Tuff quickly teases her about her looking like a boy, in which Tuff succeeds in making Ruff smile again.

During the events of the episodes "Edge of Disaster, Part 1" and "Edge of Disaster, Part 2", When Ruffnut is kidnapped by the Dragon Hunters, Tuffnut's main focus is to get his sister back. He even goes as far to fight Ryker head on to save her.

As twins, Tuffnut and Ruffnut share a strong invisible connection towards each other. They have the ability to understand each other's thoughts and ideas without speaking, as shown several times to finish each other's sentences or to have the same idea at the same time. They also have the ability to stay together as they are rarely too far apart for a long time. Wherever one twin goes, the other twin is never far behind, even if they intentionally try to stay away from each other. Ruff and Tuff also work incredibly well together (when they want to) and can synchronize themselves to do the same actions at the same time.

Barf and Belch

Hiccup-toothless-how-to-train-your-dragon-1 Main article: Ruffnut, Tuffnut and Barf and Belch's Relationship

Being their dragon, the twins had to share riding it. The twins care tremendously about their Dragon, although not as much as Hiccup. One head is loyal to each twin (Barf and Ruff, Belch and Tuff) and on occasion, the heads will fight each other when the twins fight each other. Usually, the heads will work in unity if they feel that their riders are in danger and feel that their rider's constant quarreling is annoying. Both dragon and Rider are willing to risk their necks to save each other. Tuff even states that Barf and Belch is his "totally awesome dragon" that he shares with his "totally un-awesome sister". Several times during the television series, Barf and Belch are seen to be extremely protective of their Riders when they are in danger, as shown as they are willing to fight a several enemies, such as a wild Typhoomerang ("Zippleback Down") and a Scauldron, to defend Ruffnut ("Free Scauldy"), as well as leaving the cave on Dragon Island to search for Ruff ("The Night and the Fury"). Despite specifically being Belch’s trainer Tuffnut does, in fact, care for both personalities of the dragon. During the events of "In Dragons We Trust", Tuffnut is shown hugging both Barf and Belch farewell after Mildew’s trickery gets all dragons banished from Berk.


No chicken left behind! [src]
  — Tuffnut  

Tuffnut first meets Chicken in the episode "When Darkness Falls". He loves his chicken and seems to be able to speak to it. When it came running to him, he understood that it was telling him Ruff had been captured by the Dragon Hunters. Right before he attacked Ryker, Tuff threw the chicken down the cliff to help fight the Dragon Hunters. He is shown to be quite overprotective of her but he kind of treats her more than a pet as if it was his girlfriend. He also kissed her once.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

Not a lot of screen time is shown between the twins and Hiccup. Most of the time, they follow Hiccup's commands, although not always done in the right way. On occasion, they disobey him or misinterpret his orders. Despite Hiccup doubting their abilities most of the time, he acknowledges their abilities to work together if they want to. He gains respect for the twins when they figure out the idea to "fight fire with fire" and Tuffnut's ability to train Torch ("The Zippleback Down"). Although finding them annoying from time-to-time, Hiccup is shown to care for them as he and the other Viking Teens attempt to find them after their disappearance and was relieved to find out that Ruff and Tuff were both okay. He also acknowledges their decision to follow Alvin's ship to spy on him ("A View to a Skrill, Part 2"). They also care about Hiccup, (even though it's hard to tell), like when they, along with the other Riders, were very happy to see that he was alive after the battle with the Red Death and when he fell down a hole. When Hiccup ascends to become the new chief of the Hooligan tribe, Tuffnut can be seen cheering for him.

Astrid Hofferson

When you have a shot at Loki'ing Astrid, you've gotta take it. [src]
  — Tuffnut  

Although they rarely interact in the show or movie, they remain neutral to each other and will work together when it comes to it. Most times, Astrid will get angry if they do something wrong, especially if it's because they're not paying attention or just being silly. Like Hiccup, she doubts their abilities as Dragon Trainers due to their inability to pay attention, once stating 'You know, we don't have to bring them every time', although it is assumed that she gained respect towards the twins when they put out the fire and trained Torch. On occasion, she will punch Tuff if he angers her, although Astrid is never shown on-screen to hit Ruffnut. Astrid was one of the Vikings who attempted to find the twins after they were blasted out of the sky ("A View to a Skrill, Part 2"). It is presumed that off-screen, she had attempted to find them although Stormfly soon grew exhausted, showing that she does indeed care for the twins.

Snotlout Jorgenson

Snotlout and the twins share a close relationship. Often times, the twins will follow Snotlout and act as one of his supporters when he bullies Hiccup and possibly Fishlegs as well in the first film. In the game, they listen to Snotlout's plan to cheat in the competition against Hiccup/Astrid. Snotlout often thinks the twins are incredibly dumb and in return, they sometimes exclude Snotlout from their ideas, as seen during Auvandil's Fire in the episode "Fright of Passage". Although sometimes siding with Snotlout, they occasionally bully him back, like how they fooled him into thinking he was dying ("The Flight Stuff"). Tuff also made things up when Snotlout was pursuing his sister by telling him that she likes terrible terrors.[3] It's presumed that Snotlout had attempted to find the twins (as stated by Hiccup) after they disappeared after being blasted out of the sky, which shows his apparent caring personality towards them ("A View to a Skrill, Part 1").

Fishlegs Ingerman

Fishlegs and the twins rarely show any screen time together. Sometimes, the twins are seen to bully Fishlegs because of his size, although Fishlegs bests the twins in terms of knowledge. The twins, particularly Tuff, find it annoying that Fishlegs knows a lot of things. Fishlegs attempted to find the twins after they were blasted out of the sky along with Meatlug but ends up over-exhausting his dragon. Even so, he offered to join Hiccup on his search again and shows worry when Hiccup tells him that there was no sign of them. ("A View to a Skrill, Part 1", "A View to a Skrill, Part 2") Just like Snotlout, Tuff played pranks on Fishlegs when he was pursuing his sister by telling him that his sister had a sixth toe.[3]

Stoick the Vast

Stoick is well aware that the twins are capable of causing dangerous accidents and pranks, as well as notorious for causing mischief. Ruff and Tuff show a level of respect for Stoick, possibly because he's Hiccup's dad, but also like to make fun of him when he's not around. He's the one who possibly created the saying "Where there's smoke, there's the twins." ("Zippleback Down").

In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Tuffnut and the other Dragon Riders were deeply saddened by Stoick's death, and fired a flaming arrow to Stoick's ship, showing that he had always respected and honored his chieftain.


Following its attack, Tuff became infatuated with Heather's Razorwhip, Windshear. Tuff loved its style and was even willing to marry it. He almost did, thinking he was dreaming until Heather snapped him out of it ("Have Dragon Will Travel, Part 1").


Tuffnut has shown to agreed with Snotlout that Meatlug is a slow dragon making Meatlug feel upset about herself. He even is shown to have a good relationship with her when he had made Fishlegs and Ruffnut got married by accident and she called Meatlug his sister. He even plays with Meatlug by making her bull cow ride.


  • Tuffnut is a character from the book How to Train Your Dragon, unlike Ruffnut who is an original character created for the film franchise.
  • It is revealed in the episode "Sandbusted" that Tuffnut will cry when he hears the word "tears."
    • However, in previous and later episodes, the word "tears" is mentioned and Tuffnut doesn't cry.
  • His name indicates the phrase "tough".
  • In the video game, it's said that Tuff is the older twin by five minutes, but Ruff is slightly taller. However, it should be noted that in the episode "Snuffnut" of Race to the Edge, Ruffnut (upon seeing a Changewing she believed to have eaten Tuffnut at the time) exclaimed "a Changewing ate my baby brother!"; implying that in fact, she is the eldest. It is unclear at the moment which is actually true.
  • Tuff appears to have a favorite blanket, as it is seen and heard many times in the series: "Give it back, it's my blanket!", although it was always said while he was sleeping, or possibly, dreaming.
  • In the books, Tuff has the same name as his father (Tuffnut Senior), so his name in the Book Series is Tuffnut Junior, which, ironically, means his name would be T.J. Thorston, the same first name as his voice actor.
    • Tuffnut is also an only child in the books.
  • While Tuffnut is shown eating chicken early on in the series and the first film, he seems to no longer do so since he befriended Chicken.
  • Tuff's vest is a different shade of gray in the series.
  • Tuff is the only character from the movie who did not appear in any of the Racing for the Gold clips.
  • Ruff and Tuff are one of the only Vikings on Berk who has a known sibling, in this case, each other. Other only known Viking siblings Dagur and Heather, and Ryker and Viggo ("The Night and the Fury").
  • Ruff and Tuff are one of the only Vikings on Berk to have more than two horns on their helmets (The twins have four horns). The only other person to have more than two horns on their helmet is Mildew with six horns (but he joins the Outcasts later on).
  • Tuffnut gets far less focus and screen time than his sister in the sequel movie.
  • Tuff is the only known Viking that speaks "post-lightning Snotlout" (which is a gibberish language developed by Snotlout after he has been struck by lightning, allegedly a dozen times)
  • Both Ruff and Tuff have trained a large dragon and later released into the wild. It's also possible that the dragons they trained (Torch by Tuff and Scauldy by Ruff) are counterparts to each other.
    • Scauldy was trained by Ruff, Torch was trained by Tuff.
    • Scauldy is a Tidal Class dragon (dwells within the water and sprays water), while Torch is a Stoker Class dragon (dwells on land and manipulates fire and air to attack).
    • Scauldy was hostile and a danger to the Viking Teens, while Torch was more civil and friendly from the beginning.
    • Scauldy was the one who was saved by Ruff and Torch was the one who saved Tuff.
  • The twins seem to show a level of intelligence when they caught the Eel Pox in "The Eel Effect", doing experiments on air resistance, inventing ice cream, and speaking with advanced vocabulary.
  • In the episode "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", he develops a crush on a mace he dubs Macey. This is still carried on in Race to the Edge.
    • In "Twintuition", Macey 'dies' in an attempt to hold back the flood gears to save the Riders, and is given a proper Viking Funeral in a water trough.
  • It is possible that Tuffnut has either a tattoo or a birthmark that looks like a tattoo, on the left side of his body.
    • This is revealed in the first movie in a conversation between Fishlegs, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut when Fishlegs gasps; "[at Tuffnut] Your mom let you get a tattoo?" to which Tuffnut returns with "No, it's a birthmark.". Ruffnut then challenges his statement with, "Uh, I've been stuck with you since birth, and that was never there.". At this Tuffnut says, "Yes it was, you've just never seen me from the left side until now."
      • It may be a birthmark, as, so far as we know/have seen, Ruff is always on Tuff's right side.
    • The mark is not seen, as the camera is intentionally panned away; possibly to prevent from encouraging teenage tattoos, or to create an aura of mystery, or because Tuff was making it all up.
      • However, many different characters like Dagur have tattoos.
  • It is revealed that Tuffnut once trained to be an officiator, but he never completed his training since his mentor jumped off a cliff.
  • In Race to the Edge, Tuffnut has sectoral heterochromia; most of his irises are a dark grey-blue, however, towards the top they are a yellowish-brown color. For unknown reasons, his eyes are a solid and brighter blue in all other appearances in the movie franchise.
  • Tuff and Ruff both reference things from the modern day such as hospitals, ice cream, popcorn, sliced bread and even a spin-off pig latin (dubbed "boar latin" by the twins) for humorous effect. 
  • Ruff and Tuff seem to be much smarter than they pretend to be as Ruff knew what a rhetorical question was ("Edge of Disaster, Part 1") and Tuff knew about symbiosis and parasitism as well as Mesopotamia ("Living on the Edge").
  • Tuff seems to know a lot of Spanish as he speaks full sentences of it countless times throughout the tv series, or speaks in English with a Spanish accent. It is unclear whether or not he really is fluent, or has just picked up phrases. It is likely, however, that he does indeed know Spanish as a second language. How or why is unknown.



  1. Shaw-Williams, Hannah. (Date Published - June 30, 2018). How to Train Your Dragon 3 Interview: Director Dean DeBlois. ScreenRant.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dradon site logo Tuffnut Thorston in the Viking Guide.
  3. 3.0 3.1 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Deleted Scene: The Outhouse Scene

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