YMMV / Diary of a Wimpy Kid


  • Accidental Innuendo: Greg's idea of a catchphrase in Double Down, which is "Bite my biscuits!"
  • Adaptation Displacement: It used to be a very obscure webcomic on a site meant for elementary school-age kids. Now it's a wildly popular book series with equally popular movie adaptations.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Greg really a major Woobie who suffers both being The Unfavorite and being bullied in school or is he an Unreliable Narrator who over exaggerates the cruelty he suffers to downplay his own Jerkassness?
    • This makes more sense if you assume The Movie is the actual depiction of events, since many scenes had to be changed for dramatic tension (eg. Greg writes that he scared kindergartners with a worm, which led to his expulsion from the Safety Patrol, while in the movie he abandoned them in a pit at a construction site.)
    • Some people take it one step further and categorize Greg as a sociopath. However, it should be noted that he does have occasional Pet the Dog moments not motivated by greed, such as the What You Are in the Dark episode at the end of Cabin Fever where he goes out of his way to deliver a wrapped present to the church toy drive. He also was trying to get some money and he (un-purposely) cleared out all the snow around the church looking for the spot he said that he wanted the cash to be left at.
  • Anvilicious: Cabin Fever seems to really really be giving one the point that the author hates the school system.
  • Award Snub: Averted. The series' many victories at the Kids Choice Awards are viewed as monumental upsets over the likes of Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and The Fault in Our Stars.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The end credits song for the first film, "what do you want from me?"
    • Greg singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in the first movie.
    • In the second movie Rowley lip synched "Tik Tok".
    • Rodrick's band singing their original song; Exploded Diaper. Even better when you consider that in the books, Greg described his music as horrible.
    • In the third movie Rodrick does a rock cover of Justin Bieber's Baby.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Greg himself. Due to his less than desirable traits, he's either seen as an unlikable protagonist who really shouldn't be rooted for, or a sympathetic character with a hard life who's balanced out by those same traits.
  • Broken Base: It isn't impossible to find people who believe that the books up to The Last Straw were the best, and then the series undergoing a decline in quality due to focusing less on a school-related plot-line and more on the antics of Greg and company (such as The Long Haul and The Getaway). It doesn't help that the timeline of the books usually now take place in two months at the longest instead of taking place over a good few months.
  • Crazy Awesome: Rodrick when he wants to be.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Mad Pantser pantsing the vice principal. So offensive, so uncalled for, and yet so funny.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • While it's a stretch to call it outright darkness, the sheer amount of unlikable characters (for instance, the main character Greg already suffers from an unrealistic number of glaring flaws he hardly notices) and sheer amounts of What an Idiot from all characters moments can really be a bother when trying to find something to root for and keep going. Despite being sold as realistic fiction, the story is set in a world of incompetence where bad things happen to bad people, although this world is interpreted from Greg's obvious Protagonist-Centered Morality. The movies were a bit better about this, giving Greg and Rodrick better personalities and lessening some of the What an Idiot moments, but that doesn't say too much.
    • The two biggest offenders are:
      • The ending of Cabin Fever, wherein Manny's Jerkass tendencies are taken Up to Eleven as he cuts off the power to the house in the middle of a blizzard with the exception of his own room, leaving the rest of his family to DIE and yet he still doesn't get punished.
      • The entirety of The Long Haul. The book's plot is mostly a series of misfortune events caused entirely by the family being completely idiotic or some form of Ass Pull.
  • Designated Hero: Greg himself to some readers. While he is sympathetic in several ways, some feel that his Jerkass tendencies out-weigh his good qualities and makes him too unsympathetic as a result. It doesn't help that he's frequently mean to Rowley and some of his other classmates, always attempts to downplay his own faults, and rarely learns from his mistakes. The movies made an effort to make Greg more sympathetic, and arguably succeeded.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Rodrick. Usually the Big Brother Bully falls easily into The Scrappy, but Rodrick is not that bad...largely due to being played by a cute actor in the movies and the fangirls having a crush on him (see Ensemble Darkhorse).
    • Greg himself. Every character who is mean to him gets hated and demonized by fans (except Rodrick), even when it's clear that Greg, who is far from a nice guy, did something to deserve it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • First Installment Wins: The first movie used more content relevant to the books.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Read the books and you will notice that Rodrick, Rowley, Manny, and Fregley are all drawn in a rather unflattering style. This makes sense because Greg doesn't like them and wants to depict them negatively. However, Rowley is much less attractive in the movie, so it can be assumed that Greg is trying to make him look better.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The books and the first movie are extremely popular in Singapore. It's actually so popular among Singaporean crowds, Fox decided to release the sequel over there 8 days before the US and the rest of the world.
  • Ho Yay:
    • From the movie:
    Rowley: Hey Bryce, cute bum!
    • Rowley and Greg have many moments between each other.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The comic strip Wacky Dawg stopped being funny when the comic stopped making jokes and was about the dog essentially becoming a mouthpiece for the opinions that the creator had - sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?
    • In the 3rd book, Greg said that in the future, everyone will have a personal robot that tells you whatever you need to know. The iPhone 4S, anyone?
    • In the first movie, Rowley rejects Greg's offer to get ice cream. Fast forward to the next time he ran into ice cream...
    • On top of that, Rowley breaks his arm. Robert Capron would later play another character in a Haunting hour episode who breaks his arm...and then ANOTHER one who does so.
    • In Cabin Fever, Rowley asks Greg if he wants to build a snowman.
    • In the 11th book, Greg is planning on making a movie. What's next, befriending a girl with leukemia against his will?
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Let's not sugar coat it. Greg is lazy, self-centered, a mild example of a Small Name, Big Ego...but he suffers from Middle Child Syndrome, gets picked on by bullies at school and Rodrick at home and Rowley's parents consider him to be a bad influence on their son. It's really easy to see why he's prone to Jerkass moments. Not to mention that little if any of his plans are successful, which in really turns him into a Iron Woobie.
    • Rodrick is a huge bum who mistreats Greg on a daily basis, but he has his occasional woobie-ish moments, particularly in the movie version of Rodrick Rules. He even loses his chance of getting Heather Hills to like him.
  • Memetic Mutation: #NotMyRodrick, see They Changed It, Now It Sucks below.
  • Most Annoying Sound: In-universe, the fake motion-activated witch in Double Down. It has an incredibly loud cackle that goes on for two minutes, can be triggered by almost any nearby movement, and won't turn off even after the batteries are removed.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Manny crosses this in book six when he shuts down all power in the house except for his room, so he can be pampered while he leaves his family to die. In his defense, he probably didn't know it'd kill them and as for the pampering part, well, toddlers are often self-centered.
    • In the first one, a gang of teenage bullies make Rowley eat the cheese. Keep in mind, in the book, Rowley was temporarily traumatized by the incident.
  • Never Live It Down: Manny's actions in the climax of Cabin Fever which nearly caused Greg, Rodrick, and his mother to freeze to death, followed by his lack of punishment.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The picture of Alfrendo on page 188 of Cabin Fever.
    • Manny's drawings after accidentally watching Greg's horror movie in Rodrick Rules. Also an in-universe example, as Greg was frightened by them.
    • Old School gives us the story of Silas Scratch, a crazy former farmer living in the woods. He's rumored to kill children who get too close to his shed, and it's said that at least one poor kid was left traumatized after encountering him. The stories about him were made up by Greg's Dad to scare campers away from the maintenance shed.
    • In Double Down, The Spinetinglers books give Greg nightmares, which are described in the book. The cackling witch is also an example of this.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The defense that "It's a journal, not a diary!" was used by another 11 year old kid before Greg existed.
    • The comic strip Wacky Dawg stopped being funny when the comic stopped making jokes and was about the dog essentially became a mouthpiece for the opinions that the creator had. Something similar has actually happened in real-life Newspaper Comics, Mallard Fillmore and Non Sequitur, decades before the first book.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • Everyone. The print publishers chose to market it as a kids' book but Word of God is that it was written as a nostalgia trip for adult readers "...like The Wonder Years".
    • Some of the problems that Greg faces involve issues that only older readers would be able to relate to; for example, in the webcomic, Greg loses his progress during the game Twisted Wizard because his mom turned the console off, and the game doesn't let you save. How many children do you think are familiar with older game systems that lack a save feature anymore?
  • Retroactive Recognition: Hey, Angie is Carrie! And Rodrick is Jasper Jordan!
  • Sequelitis: Many fans of the series think the books have been getting progressively less funny with each new installment. It doesn't help that the number of books is going on twelve with no end in sight, and much like your average sitcom, nobody is allowed to grow up or change.
  • The Scrappy: Manny for quite a number of people, thanks to not only his inability to get in trouble for anything no matter how big of a mess he causes, but also for often coming out on top no matter the trouble he causes, either. For many, his actions in Cabin Fever, in which he cut the power to the house (except his own room) during a blizzard, and locked himself in his room with heaters and a ton of food while his hungry brothers and mother struggle to remain warm and suffering no consequences for doing so was the breaking point, and he hasn't gotten better since. (Especially in The Long Haul where he's nothing but a hindrance to the family and their trip most of the time and gets a pet pig for his troubles.)
  • Snark Bait: Good god, the trailers for the film adaptation of The Long Haul have been snark bait since day one. See They Changed It, Now It Sucks.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The Long Haul mentions a book series that's Captain Underpants with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. The boys in school are crazy about it, but the adults don't want them to read it because of all the potty humor. Kinney really drives the message home: You can't tell kids to read and then tell them not to read what they actually enjoy just because it's got some harmless toilet humor.
  • Squick:
    • In the second movie, Greg eats the melted chocolate on his bum because everyone thinks it's poop. Even though it isn't, it's still really gross.
    • Rowley getting a tooth lodged into his forehead in Old School.
    • In the same book, Melinda getting food poisoning.
    • Greg and the pig throwing up in Double Down.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The general reaction to the reveal that the film adaptation of The Long Haul will have an entirely new cast. To be completely fair, the original cast members have grown up significantly since the last movie, so this is to be expected; though why they replaced the adult cast members is anyone's guess. This has gotten to the point that the first trailer has more dislike than likes overall. Arguably the largest point of contention when it comes to the live-action adaptation of The Long Haul is replacing Rodrick's wildly popular original actor Devon Bostick with newcomer Charlie Wright (Bostick even made a video of himself reacting to the trailer). It got to the point where the hashtag "#NotMyRodrick" went viral on Twitter. And when it was finally released in theaters, it got abysmal reviews (19% on Rotten Tomatoes; 41 on Metacritic) and was the franchise's lowest-grossing open, to the surprise of no one.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Greg is very unlucky and unpopular in-universe, but is liked by fans for being The Woobie (or a Jerkass Woobie at worst) and a relatable Cool Loser.
  • Values Dissonance: Greg being humiliated for accidentally entering the women's restroom in Rodrick Rules (2008) becomes more controversial to modern viewers considering how much of a taboo subject "Bathroom Panic" has become since 2016.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Boy howdy. Some of the choices Greg makes are borderline Face Palm-worthy at times. There are numerous times throughout the series where Greg would have gotten out of trouble easily had he just explained what had happened to get himself there. 90% of the time, however, he opts to run away or try to make himself look better instead, often getting himself in even more trouble than he already was as a result.
    • Outside of those moments, there are plenty of times where other characters are guilty of this. For example, in The Ugly Truth, Greg's Uncle Gary has gotten married (for the fourth time) and during the wedding reception, for seemingly no apparent reason one of the best men decides to tell everyone (including the bride Sonja) that Gary had wanted to leave Sonja for her sister and only agreed to marry her because he thought everyone present for his accidental proposal would beat him up if he said no. Uncle Gary makes no attempt to deny this. Needless to say, Gary's marriage doesn't last, and he's single again by his next appearance because someone couldn't keep his mouth shut.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rowley, since Greg constantly takes advantage of him.
    • Sweetie when he becomes overweight and immobile.
    • Greg, although he doubles as a Jerkass Woobie.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/DiaryOfAWimpyKid