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Gobber: "It's a life-debt. Barf and Belch will now serve Hiccup for the rest of their lives or until the debt is repaid. Whichever comes first."
Hiccup: "D-Does this mean we could be stuck with Barf and Belch forever?"
Tuffnut: "Does this mean we could lose Barf and Belch forever?"
Gobber: "Yes, and yes."

"The Zippleback Experience" is the sixth episode from Season 2 of Dragons: Race to the Edge. It was released on Netflix on January 8, 2016.


After Hiccup and Toothless save Barf and Belch from a deadly avalanche, the grateful Zippleback tries to repay its life debt by abandoning its Riders, Ruff and Tuff.
  — TV Guide[1]  

Major Events

  • Barf & Belch temporarily serve Hiccup.
  • Hiccup punches Snotlout.


The Zippleback Experiencetwo.jpg

The episode starts out with the Riders setting up a watchtower to the north of the base on a snowy hillside. The Riders are interrupted by the twins riding Barf and Belch down an adjacent hill. They accidentally start an avalanche, and Hiccup notices they are about to be overwhelmed by ice. Fishlegs and Astrid grab the Twins while Hiccup and Toothless grab their dragon. While getting off Toothless, Hiccup slips on his metal leg, which became bent during the rescue. Barf and Belch lift him back up, and he replaces his leg with the spare he keeps in his satchel. As a punishment for the whole fiasco, Hiccup gives the Twins the first two shifts of patrol duty.

Hiccup enters his hut and cries out in alarm as dozens of fish fall on his head. He assumes that it must be the Twins' doing and goes out to find them. He and Toothless are knocked out of the sky by Barf and Belch, who grab Hiccup, leaving Toothless to fall toward the ground. After Hiccup tells them to let him go, he dives after Toothless, plummeting to the ground, damaging his leg again. As he's switching out his leg a second time, Hiccup realizes it was Barf and Belch who left him all that fish, and with the dragon Rider-less, he wonders who is guarding the island.

The scene changes to show the Twins, who are arguing over who drove their dragon away; Ruffnut saying it was Tuffnut's attitude, and Tuffnut saying it was Ruffnut's smell. Hiccup arrives and explains where they've been, and pushes Barf and Belch towards them, saying they belong together. He leaves again on Toothless, and Barf and Belch throw the Twins off to fly after him.


Toothless and Hiccup realize Barf and Belch is behind them again, and perform several maneuvers to try and ditch him, to no avail. That night, when Hiccup's about to go to bed, Barf and Belch are still there, not wanting to be away from him. But he lays down and tries to go to sleep. Toothless scorches his sleeping area like he usually does before sleeping; the Zippleback watches and soon attempts to do the same, causing an explosion in Hiccup's hut. Hiccup exits his hut coughing and then collapses. He wakes up the next morning to his last leg is bent.

Gobber is fixing Hiccup's legs, while Barf and Belch 'dote' on Hiccup and Toothless. Gobber says that it's a life debt, that Barf and Belch will "now serve Hiccup for the rest of their lives, or until the debt is repaid, whichever comes first." The Twins and Hiccup have different viewpoints on this, Hiccup saying they could be stuck with Barf and Belch, the twins saying they could lose Barf and Belch, but either opinion is somehow the same: Barf and Belch will stay with Hiccup until they repay the debt.


Hiccup tries to convince Barf and Belch that he is in danger by falling through a gangplank, and hung upside down, but instead, the Zippleback plays 'Bat the Nut' with him. Afterward, the Twins help put him in danger by rolling logs down a hill, straight for him. This works, but the Zippleback hits a tree and gets knocked out. Toothless saves Hiccup by blasting the logs before they could hit him. The next scene shows the twins plotting more near-death experiences for Hiccup. They finally come up with a plan to make Snotlout into attacking him. So Snotlout ambushes Hiccup the next morning, knocking Hiccup down with a punch, and taking a couple swings with his axe, but Hiccup declares he is not going to fight him. Snotlout taunts him, saying the "future chief is a coward! Come on, hit me. You know you want to." So Hiccup gives in, and finally punches him, knocking him out. The Twins were disappointed that their plan to have Snotlout attack Hiccup failed although Snotlout getting punched and that Hiccup had the strength to knock Snotlout out cold left them in awe. Hiccup orders the Twins to meet him in the clubhouse right away, and to get some ice for Snotlout.

The scene changes to Hiccup pacing in front of the twins and Snotlout. They argue about what happened, which ends in Hiccup insisting he'll figure it out, by himself. Snotlout realizes that he's lost three of his teeth due to the fight from earlier. Hiccup leaves Toothless, and everyone else, to take a walk alone. He strolls through the woods, but when he's captured by Berserkers and a bag placed over his head, he thinks it's Snotlout and the Twins again. Eventually, the bag is taken off his head, and he sees he has been kidnapped by Dagur and Ryker instead. Dagur taunts him, saying that it doesn't take much to put in a watchtower, which they were starting construction of at the beginning. Dagur wants Hiccup to take them to every island the Dragon Eye has led him to. When Hiccup asks what if he doesn't, Ryker replies by pointing his sword at him and saying that he hopes he doesn't. They are interrupted by Barf and Belch spraying and igniting gas around the ship. Hiccup moves to stand in front of the Zippleback and they snap his bonds and as the first wave of Hunters/Berserkers is demolished, he grabs an axe.

The Zippleback Experienceeleven.jpg

Back on the Edge, Astrid worries about Hiccup, who is missing, yet Toothless is there, staring off into the horizon. Their worry is increased when they see Barf and Belch's distress signal, pushing the remaining Riders to go towards it on their dragons. The Twins hitch a ride on Toothless, much to his displeasure. Hiccup is holding off Hunters/Berserkers well until Ryker knocks him down and is about to strike, but the Zippleback knocks Ryker away. Dagur tries to shoot them but gets gassed. Hiccup flies away with Barf and Belch and nearly collides with the other Dragon Riders who don't notice him- until he is crashed out of the sky again by the twins, and they get knocked off of Toothless. Hiccup gets on Toothless okay, but the Twins and the Zippleback crash into the ocean, where the dragon is scooped up by Dagur in a net. Ruff and Tuff manage to free their dragon and fly out of the water victorious, happy to have their dragon back.

All is well and normal back on Dragon's Edge. "Normal for us, anyway," Astrid remarks, seeing the Twins play "Bat the Nut" and Snotlout randomly attacks Hiccup again.


  • Hiccup is revealed to have several spares of his metal leg. He even has one that resembles Gobber's (wooden leg).
  • Snotlout calls Hiccup "Hiccup Haddock" in this episode. Though in the books and other information sites, Hiccup's full name is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III.
  • Barf and Belch knock Hiccup side to side when he's hanging by a rope, which the Twins call Bat the Nut. They learned this in "Zippleback Down".
  • This is the fifth time Hiccup has been captured/kidnapped, and the first time in Race to the Edge.
  • This is also the third time Hiccup has been tied up when captured, fourth if you count an incident that occurred in the comic series.
  • The scene where Snotlout tries to get Hiccup to fight him is reminiscent of How to Betray a Dragon's Hero.
  • This episode proves that along with height, Hiccup has grown stronger, as he was able to knock out Snotlout and his three teeth with one punch and hold off a Berserker.
  • Despite being left handed, Hiccup punched Snotlout using his right arm.
  • Technically, Ryker was the only Dragon Hunter in this episode. All of the other men were in Berserker attire.




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