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Film / Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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A series of film adaptations of the beloved book series of the same name. The films, like the books, chronicle the misadventures of self proclaimed "wimpy" kid, Greg Heffley, as he navigates through the perils of middle school life, getting into all sorts of shenanigans along the way, along with his best friend Rowley and his Dysfunctional Family, which include his big brother, Rodrick, his parents, Susan and Frank, and his little brother Manny.

To date, the series consists of four live action films and three animated films:

Films — Live Action

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012; combines material from The Last Straw and Dog Days)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017; all-new cast)

Films — Animated

A three minute 2D animated short in the style of the novels was also released in 2012 titled Class Clown, featuring the cast from the first 3 films. It is included in the Dog Days DVD/Blu-Ray as a bonus feature.

For tropes shared by both the films and books, go to the books' page.

The live-action films provide examples of:

  • Accidental Good Outcome: In Rodrick Rules, Rodrick's band Löded Diper plays a song called "Exploded Diaper" and no one appears to be interested until Susan starts dancing in the background for the fun of it. The audience loves her moves and starts cheering, and the performance becomes a hit.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Most of Greg's classmates (Fregley, Chirag Gupta, Patty Farrell, Holly Hills) were just minor characters in the books overall, with major appearances happening in spontaneous novels. Here, their roles are greatly expanded.
      • Fregley's and Chirag's signature moments (Fregley's sleepover with Greg; the "Invisible Chirag" prank) are kept in the adaptation, but they are also shown to be hanging out with Greg and Rowley (most evidently shown in the Wilderness Explorer scenes) — implying they're good friends with them.
      • Patty Farrell was, at worst, a minor nuisance who happens to come off as more sympathetic than Greg. Here, she's Greg's archenemy throughout the entirety of the film trilogy.
      • Holly Hills, while Greg's love interest in book 2 and 3, doesn't really pay much attention to Greg and only makes a cameo appearance in book 4 when Greg is thinking about her sister, Heather. Here, she ends up becoming one of Greg's closest friends with clear signs of a Relationship Upgrade at the end of the third film.
    • Stan Warren was mainly shown to be Frank Heffley's boss in the books, nothing else. Here, he's one of the main antagonists of Dog Days, being the rival Wilderness Explorer troop master and a camp fraud who openly looks down upon Frank, leading to a climatic scene where Greg and co. infiltrate his campsite and ultimately expose him.
    • Heather Hills was only shown in Dog Days as just the sister of Holly Hills and another unrequited crush of Greg with no character displayed whatsoever. Here, she's one of the main antagonists of Dog Days, being a massive jerkass surpassing that of Rodrick.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the books, Greg's jerkish behavior and his less-than-stellar relationship with most of his family and friends is Played for Laughs. In the movies, it's played more seriously and usually leads to a Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure which Greg has to resolve by the end.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Rodrick. His film self plays up the Loveable Rogue angle, with a few gratuitous Shirtless Scenes for extra fanservice. It helps that he's played by the very handsome Devon Bostick.
    • Bill Walter is quite a bit more handsome in the movie than he is in the book, where he's depicted as a hairy middle-aged man with a beer gut.
    • A cuteness variant. In the books, Manny looks like, in the author's words, a "buck-toothed alligator." In the movies, Manny looks like an adorable toddler to better play up his Deliberately Cute Child shtick (and because it's hard to find a kid that looks like a buck-toothed alligator in the real world).
  • Adaptational Context Change: The "Muddy Hand" story from Dog Days is presented in the movie as an old campfire story narrated by Fregley rather than a horror movie. Prior to that, Rodrick Rules has a horror movie that is heavily based off of it, though the antagonistic figure is a disembodied foot.
  • Adaptational Explanation: In the intro of the first book, Greg specifically told his mom to get him a journal to write in that didn’t says "diary", but she didn’t listen to him for some reason. The movie intro reveals that she brought the diary simply because it was cheaper than a blank book.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Rodrick. The movies have him start off as an antagonist like his book counterpart, but the second and third films add more depth to his character by having him bond with Greg, becoming more of a Cool Big Bro.
    • Holly Hills, to some extent. In the books, she barely notices Greg even exists. In the movies however, she legitimately becomes good friends with him, actually giving him good advice on his relationship with Rodrick, and gets into a Relationship Upgrade by the end of the third film.
    • Chirag and Fregley. While the film adaptations do keep their signature moments (i.e., the "Invisible Chirag" prank, Fregley's weird fetishes), they are also shown to hang out with Greg and Rowley at times, implying they are good friends. The Wilderness Explorer scenes in particular have them help both Greg and Rowley prank Stan Warren in retaliation for the latter's insult towards Frank Heffley.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In the book, Rodrick's opening prank is him telling Greg that he slept through the entire summer, and that he needs to get ready for his first day of school. Here, Rodrick tells Greg the week before the actual first day that he overslept and needs to rush to make it in time. Let's just say, Greg comes off as much, much less of an idiot for falling for the second one rather than the firstnote .
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Zigzagged with Chirag. In the books, Greg plays a cruel prank on him for no reason, so Chirag's hostility towards Greg is very understandable. In the movies, he is extremely condescending and arrogant for no real reason, leaving Greg the more sympathetic one in the "Invisible Chirag" prank. That being said, Chirag does hang out with Greg in the movies more so than the books, and even has more elements of heroism like warning Greg and Rowley of the "Cheese Touch" and helping Greg prank Stan Warren as a means to defend Frank's honor.
    • Patty Farrell. In the books, Patty is at worst a Teacher's Pet and is only implied to be an Attention Whore — in fact, she's never directly interacted with Gregnote. In the movies, she's a nasty two-faced egomaniac who goes out of her way to antagonize Greg.
    • Bill Walter. In the books, he's just a well-known addition to Rodrick's band who hangs around for the entirety of the series. In the films? He casually abandons Rodrick after the latter is initially banned from performing at the talent show; Rodrick understandably kicks him out after he is reinstated.
    • Heather Hills. In the books we don't learn much about her, but what we did learn never implied she was the snobby stuck-up bitch she is in the movies.
    • Stan Warren. In the books, he doesn't receive much characterization, but the film portrays him as an arrogant jerkass.
    • Susan Heffley. In the books, she an overbearing mother, but it's implied that she cares for her family. In the first three movies, she's much nicer. She may do things that embarrass her boys, but that's because she just wants them to be happy and safe. She even scolds Frank for taking away Greg's video games in the third movie. However, in the Long Haul movie, she acts like a nagging mother that only cares about getting to Meemaw's house and having control over her family's electronic devices. She even scolds Greg for almost waking up Manny because he nearly got hit by a car, instead of asking Greg if he was okay!
  • Adaptational Modesty: Very downplayed with Greg but because Zachary Gordon was an underage minor during the filming of the first three movies, a few scenes involving Greg in his underwear are removed such as the scene where the pants he borrowed from Rodrick fell down, revealing his Wonder Woman underwear.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Westmore Middle School can retroactively be considered this as of 2023, due to that year's book, No Brainer, establishing that Greg's school was always called "Larry Mack Middle School".
  • Adaptational Nationality: Abe Hall, the last kid to get the Cheese Touch in the book, becomes a German exchange student named Dieter Muller.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: All of the Heffley's in the film series are nicer.
    • In the books, Greg is a huge Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. The movies defy this, as while in the first film he is almost as much of a jerk as he is in the books, he gradually humbles out and by Rodrick Rules and Dog Days he is ultimately more sympathetic. It helps that many of his larger Kick the Dog moments are removed and others are made more justified by the circumstances. Because of this, Greg's rivals Patty and Chirag get the Adaptational Jerkass treatment in order to make Greg's actions more understandable.
    • Rodrick starts out pretty similar to his book counterpart, but he does go on to be a Cool Big Bro in the second and third movies.
    • Frank in the films makes more of an effort to be a good father to his sons, and while still strict on them, he's actually less so than Susan is.
    • Susan doesn't force the others to do the things only she wants like she tends to do in the books and she is more understanding of Greg's problems.
    • Even Manny is noticeably less of an Annoying Younger Sibling and never reaches the Troubling Unchildlike Behavior territory.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Patty Farrell. In the books, she was just an academic nuisance to Greg who happened to come of as more sympathetic than him. Here, she's Greg's Arch-Enemy who openly antagonizes Greg even before the events of the films out of Disproportionate Retribution regarding Greg making fun of her in kindergarten.
    • In the books, Greg uses the "Invisible Chirag" prank on him for no reason other than to haze him For the Evulz. In the film adaptation of Rodrick Rules, Chirag antagonizes Greg for his lack of progress in impressing Holly, which leads to Greg's "Invisible Chirag" prank. As a matter of fact, the rivalry between Greg and Chirag in the film intensifies to the point where the prank ends with Chirag going as far as to disguise himself as Holly and lure Greg into a Circle of Shame.
    • Heather Hills was just one of many Greg's unrequited crushes who appeared here and there in Dog Days, but has little to no characterization whatsoever. In the film adaptation, she's an absolute selfish snob who treats everyone around her like dirt, something Greg is appalled by.
    • Stan Warren, like the aforementioned Hills, had just a minor role in the books (as Frank's boss) with little to no characterization whatsoever. Here, he openly bullies Frank and his troupe in the Wilderness Explorer scenes, which leads to a climactic prank concocted by Greg, Rowley, Chirag, and Fregley.
    • In the book version of The Long Haul, Greg worries Mr. Beardo will beat him up for scolding his children, and later assumes the Beardo family stole their stuff, but it turns out the Beardos never did anything villainous and were just having an ordinary family vacation. In the movie, Mr. Beardo actively starts chasing Greg with malicious intentions, starting by chasing him at the country fair, (albeit with the extra justification that his daughter damaged his car and blamed it on Greg, who then proceeded to accidentally sleep in his bed after escaping), and then he steals a suitcase that falls off their car with the explicit purpose of payback from before.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: The Dog Days movie is a combined adaptation of that book and The Last Straw. The other movies also occasionally feature jokes and setpieces from other books, but Dog Days flat-out combines the main plots of both books.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The characters in the movies are much more layered than how Greg portrays them in his diaries, making them seem more human and more like people you would most likely meet in real life.
    • Speaking of characters, some of their roles in the films are much expanded compared to the books. The most notable examples include Patty Farrell, Fregley, Chirag Gupta, Holly Hills, Bill Walter, Stan Warren, and Heather Hills.
    • The movies expand on the school that Greg goes to; it's called "Westmore Middle School" and has a hornet as its mascot.note 
    • The mother-son dance was added to the first movie mostly to bridge the gap between Greg and Rowley's initial falling-out and their fistfight on the playground. Greg tries to talk to Rowley again, but gets turned away, which is followed by Rowley and his mother performing a dance that gets widely cheered. Later at the playground, Rowley approaches him seemingly not angry... to ask Greg to give him back a game he left at his house once since Collin is sleeping over. Thanks to envy over Rowley's popularity combined with his own bitterness at being rejected, Greg isn't feeling too charitable.
    • Rodrick's Wild Teen Party has much more depth in the film compared to the book it is adapted from.
      • In the books, Greg is locked in the basement all night until Rodrick needs help cleaning up from it. In the movie, Rodrick locks Greg in the basement, only for him to find a phone down there and call Rowley to come rescue him (to which Rodrick finds out and also locks him). When his parents call, Greg threatens to tell their parents about the secret party if Rodrick doesn't let him and Rowley out, so Rodrick lets the both out. Both Greg and Rowley attend the party, the latter actually becoming the life of it.
      • And in the aftermath of the party, their parents don't find out until they go through the camera and see a picture accidentally taken of the party. In the movie, it's a little more complicated. Susan finds out earlier when a bathroom door they had to replace has no lock on it, which their father had questioned in the books, followed by Greg revealing bits and pieces of Rodrick inviting people over. However, their party is ultimately exposed via camera, much like the books, except this is followed by a massive commotion from the entire Heffley family (minus Manny). This actually makes Susan and Frank's punishment toward Greg much more understandable, as Greg did help Rodrick with setting up the party and joined him alongside inviting Rowley (not to mention lying to Susan about this being a "band rehearsal"), unlike the books where Susan and Frank assumed Greg was a part of it and wrongfully accuses him.
    • The magic act is performed by Rowley, with Greg as his last-minute assistant in the talent show, unlike the books where Greg (standing-in for Rowley) and Scotty don't even qualify. Even better, the audience reception (with the exception of Patty Farrell, obviously) was overwhelmingly positive.
    • While Rowley only appears briefly in a flashback in the book version of The Long Haul, the movie has him actually show up in person. Granted, his movie appearance isn't particularly long, but he does have more of a role in the film.
  • Alliterative Name: When Greg and Rowley finish their magic act near the end of Rodrick Rules they call each other "the Remarkable Rowley" and "Greg the Great".
  • Alpha Bitch: Heather Hills in the third movie. She is pretty, rich and popular, and uses this as an excuse to treat everyone, including her sister, like dirt.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • Subverted in the first movie. While at a school dance, Rowley dances with his mom. Greg expects it to go terribly... only to find out that she and Rowley are actually really good dancers, and everyone else likes it.
    • Played straight with Susan, whose worst moment is unintentionally causing Greg to suffer a massive Humiliation Conga in the roller rink intro of the second movie.
  • An Aesop: Each movie has one:
    • It's important to put your friends before other people. Greg learned that in the first movie where he stood up for and took the heat for Rowley. Although everyone is now scared of him because they think he has the Cheese Touch, Greg doesn't care because he's friends with Rowley again.
    • As the second movie demonstrates, siblings and families may argue a lot but that doesn't mean they don't love each other. This is best shown with Greg and Rodrick bonding throughout the movie.
    • For the third movie, some parents' personalities clash with their kids' but that doesn't mean they don't love each other.
    • For the fourth movie, you shouldn't let one embarrassing incident take over your life.
  • Art Evolution: In the first movie, the Imagine Spots done in the style of the books were done in cel-shaded CG. In the sequels, while they are still cel-shaded, the fact that they were computer-animated is less obvious.
  • Art Shift: Sometimes the perspective will change from live-action to animated versions of the book illustrations.
  • Awkward Poetry Reading: In Rodrick Rules, Greg reads a poem Rodrick made about what life was like a hundred years ago. As he speaks, there are illustrations in the background describing the historical inaccuracies (such as deserts being full of snow and giant spiders roaming the planet). This gets him laughed at by his classmates.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Tensions between Greg and Rowley reach its peak when they get physically confrontational, courtesy of Patty Farrell's and the Westmore students' urging. However, their absolutely pathetic fight is broken up by the three teenagers, which kickstarts the film's climax.
  • Bathroom Control: When Rodrick is mad at his little brother Greg for being in his room, he chases him into Greg's room. When Greg says, "Time out, Rodrick; I have to pee", Rodrick replies, "No timeouts - only death!". Eventually, however, Greg goes to use the bathroom anyway and is jumped at by Rodrick.
  • Bedmate Reveal: In the fourth film, Greg wakes up in the hotel, and sees Mr. Beardo sleeping next to him. He then freaks out and wakes everyone up.
  • Be Yourself: The moral of the hilariously Eighties-tastic movie Greg watches in one of his classes.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Coach Malone fends off the teenagers (and recognizes their leader as Pete Hosey in the process) from the first movie, as opposed to them leaving on their accord in the book.
    • Greg himself does this to Rowley twice, first by taking the blame for Rowley eating the cheese, then taking over as Rowley's magic assistant in the talent show when Scotty has stage freight.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Zigzagged in the first movie. While Greg doesn't achieve popularity and ends the year with the "Cheese Touch", his friendship with Rowley mends and both boys are genuinely at their happiest. That being said, they end up featured in the yearbook as "Cutest Friends."
  • Bird-Poop Gag: The second movie has Rowley's bird poop on Patty.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Whenever the first movie is shown on Cartoon Network, the scene where Greg pees on Rodrick is cut and the bathroom scene is cut shorter.
    • Speaking of the first movie, Rodrick saying "crappy" is instead changed to "queasy" on Disney Channel airings.
  • Bratty Food Demand: In the first movie, when Greg is imagining his adulthood with him as a pampered rich man, he demands that his servant replace his ice cream sundae as he wants the vanilla on the bottom and chocolate on the top.
  • Break the Haughty: The first film centers around Greg's desperate attempts to be popular all the while leaving Rowley on the short end of the stick. It takes nearly all of his attempts going awry and even Rowley ditching him for Greg to eventually redeem himself by taking the fall for him on eating the Cheese.
  • Bridal Carry: In the second movie, Greg's dad has to do this to him while in the middle of a roller-skating rink.
  • Broken Aesop: Dog Days has An Aesop about owning up to mistakes when you make them. Greg's father Frank lectures him on this, and Greg's confession to him in the climax of the film is what finally fixes the trust issues the two have been dealing with for most of the movie. Problem is, Frank is a Bumbling Dad who doesn't follow his own advice — earlier in the film, he and Greg inadvertently ruin a pot roast his wife had been preparing for supper, and rather than telling her this, he allows her to serve it anyway while avoiding eating any of it himself.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • In Rodrick Rules, Rodrick is ecstatic to get Bill Walter into his band, especially in preparation for the talent show. As proven by Frank, Bill is nothing more than a jerkass who kicks Rodrick out of his own band — leading to Rodrick himself kicking Bill out when the latter is reinstated.
    • In Dog Days, Frank is initially shown to look up to his neighbor, Stan Warren. Thanks to Greg and his friends, Frank finds out that Stan is a jerkass and a fraud, causing him to vocally lose whatever respect he once had.
      Frank: Stan, you're a phony!
  • Canon Foreigner: The first movie features a character named Angie played by Chloë Grace Moretz who was not in any of the books. She mysteriously disappears in the sequels without explanation.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Quite a handful of characters from the first film mysteriously disappear in the sequels, the most notable being Angie Steadman (the 7th-grade girl that makes attempts to help Greg and Rowley adjust middle school) and Collin Lee (Rowley's substitute best friend after leaving Greg).
  • Climax Boss:
    • After spending the entirety of the first movie tormented by Rodrick, Greg ends up getting the last laugh by pulling a Batman Gambit in Manny reading one of Rodrick's magazine, ultimately getting him in trouble. He still has his issues with Rowley he needs to settle though.
    • The peak of Greg and Rodrick's bonding moment in the second film has them running away from Coach Malone after mistakenly pulling a prank on him. However, the following scene has everything fall apart between Greg and Rodrick's friendship when their forbidden Wild Teen Party is exposed.
    • The Wilderness Explorer scenes in Dog Days culminate with Greg defending his father's honor by pulling an elaborate prank on Stan Warren with Rowley, Chirag, and Fregley. This leads to Stan exposed as a fraud and eventually falling for the prank despite a few initial miscalculations. However the movie isn't over just yet, as there's still Heather Hills' Sweet 16 that Greg, Rowley, and Rodrick attend to.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Spoken by the Safety Patrol teacher in the first movie.
  • Creator Cameo: Jeff Kinney appeared in the second and third movies as Holly Hills' dad.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Like the book it's named after, the Rodrick Rules focuses more on... well, Rodrick.
    • Frank gets much more characterization in Dog Days compared to the other movies (a homage to his expanded role in The Last Straw).
  • Demoted to Extra: Manny. In the books, he gets a large amount of page-time (mostly when he's bugging Greg) but the movies reduce him to a background character and he gets very few lines. Justified due to child labor laws limiting how much screen-time a child actor can get.
  • Deuteragonist: Each film in the trilogy has someone playing a major role in Greg’s life that he needs to sort out his issues with. In the first film, it’s his best friend Rowley. In the second film, it’s his brother Rodrick. In the third film, it’s his father, Frank.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In the movie when Rodrick catches Greg and Rowley in his room, Rowley clings to Rodrick's leg to hold him off.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Patty holds a massive grudge over Greg because he insulted her in kindergarten. And the movie deals with the characters entering middle school.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: When Rodrick cleans the house after a party, he sprinkles some pretzel crumbs on the carpet so the house's condition isn't suspiciously good.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The moldy cheese in the first film is treated as such. As Chirag Gupta warns Greg and Rowley, anyone who touches it becomes an outcast.
    • Taken humorously with some of the scary stories shared, most notably Rodrick's "Devil Worshippers" in the first film, and Fregley's "Muddy Hand" in the third film.
    • Spag Union is definitely portrayed as this in the third film, as Greg does everything he could to impress his father in hopes of not being sent there.
  • The Dreaded Toilet Duty: Downplayed. Greg accidentally pees on Rodrick because the latter startled the former while he was peeing. Susan, the boys' mother, makes Greg clean up, partly as punishment but mostly more of a "you made this mess, you clean it up" kind of deal.
  • Embarrassment Plot: A sub-plot in The Long Haul includes Greg becoming a meme known as "Diaper Hands" from getting a diaper stuck on his hand at the ball pit.
  • Entertainment Above Their Age: Invoked in the first movie. Greg lures Manny into reading Rodrick's magazine Moto Mamas by putting a Tootsie Roll in Rodrick's backpack so that he can get Rodrick in trouble.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: One scene shows a roach approach the cheese wanting to eat it, but then leaves disgusted after one bite.
  • First Day of School Episode: The first movie focuses on Greg's first day of middle school.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Everything with Greg's treatment of Rowley, en route in trying to be popular. Greg openly disapproves of his clothes, Joshie, and his "Zoo Wee Mama" comic. However, this reaches its peak when Greg gets away with Rowley being falsely accused for abandoning the Kindergartners during a safety patrol mission. It's no wonder why Rowley eventually calls out of Greg for his self-centeredness and leaves him.
    • Rowley mentions to Greg that all he has to do is "be himself" and people will like him. Rowley is proven right that despite his childish interests and personality, he ends up becoming more popular than Greg, even though the latter tries way too hard to be "cool."
    • Rodrick's defense attempt in the second film after Susan grounds him is by telling his parents that Loded Diper is taking off now that Bill Walter is in the band; Frank isn't fazed, outright stating that "Bill's kind of a jerk." He is proven right when Bill abandons Rodrick in the talent show, enough for the latter to kick him out when he is reinstated.
    • Rowley attempts to show Greg his newfound interest in magic, even asking him to be his assistant in his Talent Show magic act — only for Greg to turn it down out of fear of embarrassing himself. When Scotty ditches Rowley in the Talent Show out of stage freight, guess who ends up replacing him in the act?
    • Holly Hills outright mentions how much of a jerkass Heather Hills is when she bonds with Greg at the retirement home. Boy, was she right coming into Dog Days when Heather is introduced.
    • When Rowley's mom expresses disappointment on her son's behavior at the amusement park, Greg tries to get Rowley to brush it off only for Rowley telling Greg he doesn't know what it's like, assuming Greg is more used to getting in trouble. Fast forward and Greg clearly is not in a good place emotionally-speaking after Frank expresses disappointment to him for everything that happened at the country club.
  • Foul Ball Pit: In The Long Haul, Greg lands in a ball pit at Corny's after going down a slide to catch Manny. He digs through the pit to look for Manny and finds that a diaper is stuck to his hand, so he starts screaming about it. This goes viral.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the first movie, when Greg and Manny are having breakfast, you can see Ice Age playing on a TV in the background.
    • Also in the first movie, during rehearsal for the school play, one of the kids can be seen playing Mario Kart DS.
    • During The Stinger of Rodrick Rules when Greg and Rowley are checking out their YouTube video, you can see that while the video only got 4 views, it received 24,963 comments.
    • In the third movie, the news report near the end has a ticker filled with strange news items, such as "High school kid accidentally eats salad", and "New 'square' wheel fails to impress".
    • In the Long Haul movie, the Beardos' van has a Florida license plate.
  • Garbage Hideout: In the film adaptation of Dog Days, Rodrick hides in a dumpster while he waits for Greg to sneak him into the club. He gets trash dumped on him when Greg takes too long and is not amused.
  • Gassy Gastronomy: In one scene, Susan asks her son Greg if he drank all the soda. He burps while trying to say no.
  • Gender Flip: In The Long Haul, the older of the three Beardo children (who were all males in the book) was changed into a girl.
  • Generation Xerox: A blink and you'll miss it moment during the corn dog scene in the second movie shows three kids similar to Greg, Rowley and Fregley sitting on the cafeteria floor like they did in the first movie.
  • Gross Gum Gag: At the start of Rodrick Rules, Fregley offers some pizza to Greg and Rowley, but they don't know until after they start eating it that it was used pizza found on the floor. Greg suddenly finds a used wad of gum in his mouth, which Fregley takes off of him and sticks behind his ear, saying he'll keep it for later.
  • Grossout Fakeout: In "Rodrick Rules", Greg goes to church, having sat on a candy bar. A little girl notices the stain and exclaims, "Poop! He's pooped his pants!".
  • Hated Item Makeover: When Greg tries to "fix" his friend Rowley, i.e. make him less dorky, one of the things he does is paint over Rowley's bike, which has a picture of a popstar named Joshie on it. Rowley protests this, saying, "But Joshie is cool!".
  • Hate Sink:
    • Patty Farrell pretty much exists to give Greg someone more arrogant and unpleasant than to put up with (especially when he mellows out in the second and third films). Throughout the trilogy, Patty is not only shown to be a two-faced, and hot headed student body president; she takes every chance to take a potshot against Greg, due to a grudge from being teased by Greg in kindergarten, even beating him up twice over it. She also threatens to ruin the theatre teacher's job if she doesn't get the part she wants. It doesn't stop her from being superficially friendly to other students, and she gets little to no comeuppance throughout.
    • Heather Hills is Holly's older sister, and their differences couldn't be any more stark. Perhaps a nastier bully than Roderick. Throughout Dog Days, she's portrayed as a callous, self centered alpha bitch, who spends her screen time either insulting or bullying someone, and getting outraged when her demands aren't met. She wouldn't even help pool goers when she was on lifeguard duty. When her Sweet Sixteen is accidentally ruined by Roderick, ending with her humiliation, even Holly agrees she deserves it.
    • Also in Dog Days, Stan Warren is a neighbour to the Heffley's, initially shown to have a better family life than the Heffley's. Later on, it turns out Stan is a petty arrogant scout leader, belittling and insulting Frank behind his back. It also turns out he's lying about being a better camper as he included several modern day conveniences in his camp.
  • The Heavy: While each film mainly focuses on Greg trying to survive middle school (summer in the third) and work around his relationships, it doesn’t come without his antagonists.
    • The first film is a Big Bad Ensemble between Rodrick Heffley, Patty Farrell, and Pete Hosey. Greg is tormented by Rodrick at home and Patty at school. However, Pete emerges as a bigger threat compared to the two, actually attempting to physically harm Greg and Rowley, and (in the climax) force-feeding the latter into eating the disgusting cheese.
    • While second film mainly centers around Greg’s relationship with Rodrick and trying to impress Holly, the closest thing the flick has to an antagonist ensemble are Chirag Gupta (whose Jerkass behavior leads to Greg playing a prank on him) and Bill Walter (who is revealed to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing by kicking Rodrick out of his own band when Susan forbids the latter into performing).
    • The third film also has an antagonist ensemble between Stan Warren, The Rival wilderness leader to Frank’s group, and Heather Hills, Holly’s Jerkass sister whose nastiness vastly surpasses Rodrick’s.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • While not a true villain by any means, Greg has one at the end of the first film when he stands up for Rowley after he ate the cheese. For the rest of the trilogy, Greg has noticably developed as a character and was a better friend to Rowley.
    • Rodrick has a more concrete one after Greg sticks up for him at the end of the second film. Throughout the third film, Rodrick is, for the most part, a Cool Big Bro to Greg and has a major Big Brother Instinct moment when he finds out Frank is serious about considering Spag Union for Greg.
  • Helping Another Save Face: The students are aware that the Cheese has been partially eaten and begin to turn on Rowley until Greg steps in and claims he ate it, directing the embarrassment towards himself instead of his friend.
  • Humiliation Conga: Greg suffers one at the beginning of the second movie, which finishes with him falling into a cake and subsequently getting beaten up by the irate birthday girl and her friends.
  • Idiot Ball: Greg thinking the school play would actually incorporate the scene where the trees throw apples at Dorothy and he would be allowed to hit Patty with some.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: In Dog Days, Greg mistakenly believes that he knows how to play tennis because he's played Ultimate Tennis on the Wii, which is "basically the same thing".
  • Implausible Deniability:
    Frank: (displaying a photo of Rodrick's party on the TV screen) Can you explain what you're doing in this photo?
    Rodrick: That's not me.
    Frank: (lowers eyes) That's not you?
    Rodrick: (averts eyes) Nope.
  • Insecure Protagonist, Arrogant Antagonist: Greg is an Easily Embarrassed Youngster like in the books, whereas Patty, his Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, is arrogant and entitled.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!:
    • In the second movie, Greg and Rowley get a successful viral video out of Susan and Löded Diper, "Lame Band with Crazy Mom Dancing!" Rodrick is enraged.
    • And then there's the "Diaper Hands" subplot in the fourth film...
  • Intentional Weight Gain: Just like in the book, Greg doesn't want to wrestle with Fregley during wrestling class, so he tries to gain weight. Unlike in the book, he first tries eating a lot, then his father Frank suggests he go on an exercise routine and become buff, but Greg declines after learning this would take approximately three months. However, eating doesn't make him gain weight either, so he just borrows his mother Susan's ankle weights.
  • I Will Tear Your Arms Off: When Greg accidentally damages Pete Hosey's truck, the teen leader flips out:
    Pete Hosey: Are you kidding me?! I'm gonna rip off your arms and punch you in the face with your own FISTS!
  • Kiss of Life: Rodrick gets one of these when he pretends to be drowning in order to attract Heather Hills, who's working as a lifeguard. Unfortunately, Heather ignores him, and Rodrick gets the Kiss of Life from a big burly guy, despite Rodrick being both conscious and obviously breathing.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Rodrick gets this in the first movie after Greg pulls a Batman Gambit by having Manny reading one of Rodrick's magazines and Susan catching the latter with it. So much for all the times he's tormented Greg and gotten away with it.
    • For Greg in the second movie: Chirag Gupta is actually the one who gets the last laugh in Greg's "invisible Chirag" prank by tricking Greg into acknowledging him by pretending to have Holly want to meet Greg, only for it to be Chirag dressed like Holly instead. The result is Greg losing the little game as Chirag celebrates and the nearby Circle of Shame laughs at him.
    • Patty Farrell actually gets her comeuppance in the second film when she is pooped on by Rowley's bird after all those years antagonizing Greg, most recently unnecessarily criticizing his magic performance.
    • Bill Walter gets a taste of his own medicine when a reinstated Rodrick kicks him out of Loded Diper after Walter himself initially abandons Rodrick in the talent show. And Rodrick echoes it back word-for-word.
      Rodrick: Hey Bill! Know what? When we're done tonight, you're out of the band!
      Bill: What?
      Rodrick: That's Rock n' Roll bro!
    • Stan Warren spends the entirety of the Wilderness Scout scenes antagonizing Frank and his troupe, only to be exposed as a fraud, falling for Greg and co.'s prank, and having the rest of his troupe desert him. Greg mentions he now coaches badminton for kindergarteners.
    • Heather Hills's party is ruined unintentionally by Rodrick (and by her own rage nonetheless), but she had it coming with her rude, stuck-up attitude throughout the entirety of the third film.
  • Lifeguard Fanservice: Rodrick throws himself into a pool and pretends to be drowning so that the lifeguard, the attractive Heather Hills, will give him mouth-to-mouth. Unfortunately for him, Heather is pretty apathetic about lifeguarding and it's a man who comes to his "rescue" instead.
  • Ludicrous Gift Request: In the adaptation of the first book, Rowley is seen sitting on Santa's knee and asking for a puppy, a cat, and a gumball machine.
  • Missing Child: In the movie adaptation of The Long Haul, Rodrick and Greg sneak off to a video game convention and their mother Susan notices they're gone. However, she sees them on TV and goes to the convention to tell them off.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Rodrick in the first three movies, thanks to several Shirtless Scenes and a heaping dose of Adaptational Attractiveness.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Tagline for the first movie being "It's not a diary. It's a movie!" is a nod to Greg's famous "It's not a diary. It's a journal!" quote in the books.
    • Greg having a cowlick (called a "wimpy spring" in the Movie Diary) could be read as a nod to his book counterpart having only three strands of hair.
    • Perhaps not intentional but in The Long Haul movie, Susan is played by the blonde Alicia Silverstone. In the book, Susan reveals that she once dyed her hair blonde.
    • From the same movie, Greg wears a Twisted Wizard shirt, a game that he enjoys playing in the books.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The three teenagers who forced Rowley to eat the cheese (and tried to get Greg to do the same) went un-named in the books. They are given the names Pete Hosey, Wade and Carter in the first movie.
  • Nose Nuggets: In the first movie, just like in the book, Fregley (possibly due to a sugar high) chases Greg with a booger on his finger and then sends it to him on a piece of paper.
  • Odd Reaction Out: When Greg and Fregley wrestle, and Fregley wins, the crowd claps for him. When Coach Malone tells them to clap for Greg too to be polite, only Rowley (Greg's bubbly best friend) does.
  • Oh, Crap!: Greg and Rowley at the end of the second movie when Rodrick finds out that they uploaded his talent show performance to YouTube with Susan dancing on stage.
  • Outfit Decoy:
    • Chirag completely fools Greg by dressing up as Holly with a wig, girls' clothing, and props to match the height and skin color. For extra measure, he wins the "Invisible Chirag" prank in the process.
    • To trick Coach Malone, who is chasing him and Rodrick in the 2nd movie, they put their hoodies on clothes stand in the mall. Sure enough, Malone sees the hoodies from behind and tackles them to the ground, only to find that they're mannequins.
  • Petty Childhood Grudge: Patty Farrell hates Greg and is a rude Academic Alpha Bitch to him because he insulted her in front of their classmates when they were only in kindergarten.
  • Pottery Barn Poor: There are several instances of this in the films:
    • In the first movie, Greg and Rowley go off to the "rich part of town" on Halloween because the families living there give away more candy, when the decor of Greg's and Rowley's own houses (including Rowley's Cool Starship bed), tends to say that their own section of town isn't too badly off.
    • In the Movie Diary book, it's pointed out that Greg's pants were specifically faded to show that his clothes are hand-me-downs from his older brother, Rodrick. We can only assume that it's just the pants, because all of Greg's shirts look brand new.
  • Product Placement:
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus in the first film shows a TV set playing Ice Age, another 20th Century Fox production.
    • Greg and Rowley are seen playing the Wii in the first movie.
    • Greg is shown to own an Xbox 360 during the scene in the second movie when Manny uses a cookie to ruin the former's game disc.
    • YouTube is prominently featured in the second movie.
    • Rodrick uses a Snickers bar as a tool to humiliate Greg during the church scene.
    • Greg owns a PSP in the third movie.
  • Retraux: In the film version, "It's Awesome to Be Me" appears to have been made in the 1980s, complete with obviously outdated fashion. The book describing the film's production even lampshaded it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Greg is definitely the Blue Oni to a few people that are close to him.
      • To Rowley: Rowley the is childish, naive, and cheerful Red Oni compared to Greg as the (slightly) moodier and somewhat socially insecure Blue Oni.
      • To Rodrick: Rodrick is a Large Ham that blasts loud music and clearly has No Indoor Voice in a lot of the scenes that he's in. Greg on the other hand is much quieter by comparison and would rather spend time playing video games and writing in his journal.
    • While both have their hammy moments, Susan is arguably the more erudite, reasonable Blue Oni compared to Frank's more-hammy, slightly-carefree at times Red Oni.
    • Patty Farrell is definitely the more aggressive, highly competitive Red Oni compared to Holly Hills' sweeter, Nice Girl Blue Oni.
    • In terms of the other major male characters at Westmore Middle School, Fregley is the disgusting, weirdo Red Oni compared to Chirag's more intellectual Blue Oni.
  • The Reveal: In the second film, there is a scene where prior to the Heffleys going to church, Manny calls out "poopy" to Greg, revealing a chocolate stain on Greg's pants as a result of a smooshed Snickers bar placed under him. Greg immediately accuses Manny (understandably so), but then the next shot reveals Rodrick putting the wrapper in his pocket with a smug smile to complement it.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: There's at least one moment in every one of the live action films that briefly depicts the Heffley family and Rowley in the style of their original 2D illustrations against the live action setting, before going back to their live action forms. Usually in their introductions.
  • Scarily Specific Story: Rodrick scares Greg and Rowley with a story he made up to explain how Devil Worshipper Woods got its name. He makes a big point of the two victims of the devil worshippers being middle school kids, just like Greg and Rowley.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Terence, a character from the horror film The Foot is shown to do this when he sees the titular disembodied foot.
  • Secondary Character Title: Given that Dog Days is a combination of the titular book and The Last Straw, Sweetie the dog is barely in it and could be removed from the movie without affecting the plot much.
  • Serenade Your Lover: In the third movie, Rodrick tries to win Heather Hills with Justin Bieber's "Baby". Given she loathes Rodrick and the series' tendency for Comedic Sociopathy (and the fact that Rodrick isn't a good singer), it goes downhill pretty fast.
  • Shout-Out: In the movie adaptation of the first book, Greg's mom tells him something along the lines of: "It's our choices who make us who we truly are..."
  • Stereotypical South Asian English: Chirag Gupta speaks in a strong Indian accent, which is a major difference from his book counterpart, whose name is the only indicator of his ethnicity. His actor, Karan Brar, actually had to work with a dialect coach to get the accent right.
  • Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity: Inverted. Holly Hills is sweet, caring, and Greg's love interest. Meanwhile, Patty Farrell is aggressive, rude, and Greg's biggest enemy.
  • Title Drop: A non-verbal one in the second movie, when one of Rodrick's friends scribbles "Rodrick Rules" on the Heffleys' bathroom door.
  • Totally Radical: The It's Awesome to Be Me filmstrip in the first movie.
  • Trailer Spoof: A trailer for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul film starts out as yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, until the Black "W" Symbol appears and fades to cartoon Greg Heffley in disguise of muscle and cape. When the announcer says "Wimpy", Greg deflates like a balloon as the disguise failed (the animation is actually reused from the first movie). Then the real trailer starts.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: In "Rodrick Rules", Rodrick puts a chocolate bar on Greg's car seat to make it look like he crapped his pants (in the book, Greg sat on it by accident).
  • War Reenactors: In the third movie, one of the many activities Frank forces Greg to participate in with him is a Civil War reenactment. Greg, of course, ends up ruining it.
  • Wham Line: Happens twice in each of the first three movies to signify Greg's strained relationship with someone close to him.
    Rowley (1st movie): You know what Greg? You're not a good friend. (later) Don't call me. Don't come by my house. We're done.
    Rodrick (2nd movie): You're my brother. But you'll never be my friend. (later) You are so dead!
    Frank (3rd movie): $260 worth of smoothies, what were you thinking?
    Greg: Aren't you mad?
    Frank: No... I'm just disappointed.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • In the original film, Greg auditions for his school's production of the Wizard of Oz. Impressed by his soprano singing voice, the theater teacher suggests that he play Dorothy. Cue abrupt cut to a promotional poster of Greg dressed as Dorothy, complete with smock dress and pigtails.
    • In Rodrick Rules, Chirag dresses up as Holly to play a prank on Greg.
    • In "Dog Days", Greg is left nude in the country club pool after attempting to perform a high dive to impress Holly Hills. He is eventually forced to don a pair of pink girl's shorts in order to leave.
  • Woken Up at an Ungodly Hour: When Rodrick Heffley pranks his younger brother Greg by pretending the latter had slept all week and it was now time for school, when it was actually around four in the morning, Greg ends up waking his parents and other brother Manny, who grumble at him to go to bed.
  • Wrong Bathroom Incident: In Rodrick Rules, Greg steals his diary back from Rodrick in Leisure Towers and hides in the first bathroom he comes across so he can rip out the pages. He sees a woman's legs in the stall next to him and realizes he's in the wrong bathroom. He is then mistaken for a "peeping tom" and the very angry old ladies start to attack him until he swaps himself with one of the other women and sneaks out.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Dog Days, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Long Haul


"At least I wasn't humiliated"

Greg is relieved he wasn't humiliated... only for Rowley to accidentally embarrass him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TemptingFate

Media sources: