Literature: Dork Diaries

Dork Diaries is a series of books directed at tween girls by Rachel Renee Russell. They follow the misadventures of Nikki J. Maxwell, a slightly bratty and shallow but still well-meaning and likable fourteen year old girl. The story begins when Nikki's family moves because of her father's job, and Nikki is transferred to Westchester Country Day, a private school that is much too fancy for Nikki's tastes. There, she meets Alpha Bitch MacKenzie Hollister, Chloe Garcia and Zoey Franklin (unpopular but awesome new friends), and Brandon Roberts (Nikki's crush, MacKenzie's crush, and overall Nice Guy).

There are 9 books so far, as well as a companion.

  • Book One: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Fabulous Life
  • Book Two: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Popular Party Girl
  • Book Three: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Talented Pop Star
  • Book Three and a Half: How to Dork Your Diary
  • Book Four: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Graceful Ice Princess
  • Book Five: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Smart Miss Know-It-All
  • Book Six: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Happy Heartbreaker
  • Book OMG: Dork Diaries: All About Me Diary!
  • Book Seven: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Glam TV Star
  • Book Eight: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not So Happily Ever After
  • Book Nine: Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-so-Dorky Drama Queen

Now features a characters page. Feel free to contribute.

Tropes found in Dork Diaries:

  • Animesque: Nikki is an artist who draws pictures in manga style and stick figure style.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Used a lot. A notable example is the scene where Nikki has to do a book report about Moby-Dick and finds the novel extremely boring. She proceeds to list off things she'd rather do than read it: clean the entire house with a toothbrush, brush her teeth with the toothbrush she cleaned the house with, visit her neighbor lady for a detailed update on her bunion surgery, and hang out with Brianna. Her reaction: "HANG OUT WITH BRIANNA?! OMG! I can't believe I just wrote that!"
  • Art Shift: In Tales from a Not-so-Dorky Drama Queen, since MacKenzie's drawing style is different from Nikki's.
  • Bland-Name Product: "Tic Toc Breath Mints", which show up in a few illustrations. It's normally averted though - the series doesn't have a problem using the names of real-life brands and companies.
  • Blondes Are Evil: The two most evil characters in the series, MacKenzie and Jessica, are both blonde.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In the first book, Nikki puts out a burning toaster by pouring orange juice over it. In the third book, her mom shops for a new toaster and Brianna comments that "Some idiot poured orange juice into our old [toaster] and it exploded and blew up our house. KABOOM!"
    • Nikki's "fairy repellent" from the second book turns up again when her dad finds it in the seventh book and she doesn't recognize it at first.
    • In the sixth book, when Nikki shows up to swim class with a float toy, she mentions that there's no rule against float toys in the pool, listing the rules: "1. No running! 2. No eating! 3. No horseplay! 4. No peeing in the pool!" When she mentions the rules again many chapters later, one more has been added: "5. No float toys!"
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Chloe and Zoey are always quick to tell Nikki when her plans or ideas kind of suck.
    • Subverted by Nikki as she often says something brutally honest, and then admits "but I just said that inside my head, so no one heard it but me."
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Nikki's "but I just said that inside my head, so no one heard it but me." whenever she is saying something, but is actually just thinking it.
    • Once an Episode: "Calling MacKenzie a mean girl is an understatement. She is a [insert dangerous animal] in [insert two fashionable items]!"
    • "WHATEVER!" is a standard response.
    • "I just HATE it when MacKenzie sashays!" whenever Nikki sees MacKenzie struts out of the scene in a fashionista-like manner.
    • MacKenzie frequently says "OMG" and "hon".
    • In Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen: "Yay me!"
      • Borrowed Catchphrase: Nikki uses it at the end of the book, after MacKenzie used it a thousand times in her diary entries.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Nearly the entire cast to varying degrees. Brianna is a neverending source of wacky ideas and plans, Chloe and Zoey's Zany Schemes can become quite over-the-top at times, Theo believes Hogwarts is real, and so on. Mr. Zimmerman from Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All deserves special mention for being completely scatterbrained, absent-minded, and very, very eccentric.
  • Comic Trio: Chloe or Zoey comes up with the insane/stupid plans, the other one agrees, and Nikki is left wondering whether or not she's flypaper for freaks.
  • Cool Loser: Chloe, Zoey, and Nikki would likely be popular if people gave them a chance.
  • A Day in the Limelight: MacKenzie steals Nikki's diary in Tales from a Not-so-Dorky Drama Queen and writes in it, allowing us a glimpse into her life.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The series is a somewhat obvious one to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, from both the main characters getting into predicaments and such right down to the non-canonical do-it-yourself installment between books 3 and 4.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Nikki is a loner and sits by herself during lunch before she meets Zoey and Chloe in gym class.
  • Establishing Character Moment: MacKenzie's first appearance has a path immediately clearing for her as people shout out compliments to her.
  • Evil Laugh: MacKenzie is often described as cackling like a witch.
  • Follow the Leader: The format of the books in general is glaringly similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
  • Girlish Pigtails: How Nikki's hair is usually worn. Her pigtails indicate that she's a girly girl.
  • Girl Posse: MacKenzie has a group of avid followers, the most prominent member being her best friend Jessica.
  • Gym Class Hell: Most of the awkward, embarrassing or frustrating moments that happen to Nikki in class are in gym class, from being Picked Last to failing at ice skating, having to deal with a Small Name, Big Ego karate teacher, or almost drowning in four feet of water.
  • Happy Dance: Nikki does "Snoopy happy dance" when she's pleased.
  • High School Dance: The entire plot of Not So Popular Party Girl revolves around two of them (MacKenzie's birthday party and the school Halloween dance), as well as an elementary school dance (Brianna's ballet class Halloween party).
  • Hostile Show Takeover: In the ninth book, thanks to MacKenzie stealing Nikki's diary and writing in it for some time.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: MacKenzie films Nikki and Brianna singing the Queasy Cheesy song and puts the video on YouTube in the third book. She doesn't tell people about it though... at first.
    • In the ninth book, an embarrassing video is made of MacKenzie and spread around the school. She's the one who puts it on YouTube herself to convince her parents that she's being bullied so they allow her to transfer schools.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Done several times in How To Dork Your Diary.
    "I know this might sound really crazy...! But what if Chloe actually turned my very private, dorky tales of WOE into a bestselling book series?!"
    "Unfortunately, parents, bratty kid sisters and brothers, friends, enemies, and even total strangers LOVE to read diaries that do NOT belong to them."
  • Love Triangle: Nikki and MacKenzie both like Brandon. Brandon is implied to like Nikki back.
  • Make Way for the Princess: After Nikki nearly gets killed trying to get through the hallway and to her locker, a path immediately clears for MacKenzie.
  • Only Sane Man: Nikki is the most normal of her trio, but Brandon is by far the most normal character of them all.
  • Popular Is Dumb: MacKenzie is smart enough, but Jessica (a popular girl who is a best friend to the school's Alpha Bitch) isn't all that bright.
  • Recycled In Space: Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls!
  • Running Gag: MacKenzie "sashaying" away, and Nikki then commenting on how much she hates that.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: Brandon, who is the photographer for the school newspaper.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Nikki mentions that she feels beautiful when she wears the Juliet costume for the Halloween dance.
    • Nikki almost says this word for word about... her dad in a suit. She says that she barely recognized him.
  • Shout-Out: In the third book, Nikki says she often sings Don't Stop Believin' because her dad loves it, and she finds it funny how everyone loves it again "because it's on a TV show.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Nikki falls for Brandon because he is sweet and kind.
  • Token Trio: Nikki (who is white), Chloe (who is Hispanic), and Zoey (who is black).
  • Two-Timer Date: At the climax of the second book, Nikki tries to: hang out with Chloe and Zoey at the Halloween dance (dressed as trash bags); be Brandon's date at the Halloween dance (dressed as Juliet); and help out at Brianna's ballet class Halloween party (dressed as a giant rat). It doesn't work out very well.
  • Women Are Wiser: Inverted; Brandon is the most sane character in the book.
  • Zany Scheme: Usually on behalf of Chloe and Zoey. The most insane of all has to be the "run away and live in the NYC library" plan from Not So Fabulous Life.