Biological materials such as bone, teeth, and nacre boast remarkable structures and toughening mechanisms, many of them unmatched by engineering materials. In these materials, fracture toughness is key to fulfill critical structural functions and achieve high strength, reliability, robustness, damage tolerance, and notch performance. In this article, we review and discuss some of the main toughening strategies found in hard biological materials. In particular, we underline a “universal” strategy where well-defined microarchitectures, stiff building blocks, and weak interfaces operate in synergy to resist crack propagation. These natural materials have been inspiring the development of a myriad of synthetic materials that duplicate some of these features at the nanoscale and at larger scales. While recent materials show impressive properties, duplication of the architectures and mechanisms seen in natural materials still presents formidable challenges.