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Literature / Diary of a Wimpy Kid
aka: Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Long Haul

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First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary. I know what it says on the cover, but when Mom went out to buy this thing I SPECIFICALLY told her to get one that didn't say "diary" on it.
Greg Heffley
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A series of heavily-illustrated novels by Jeff Kinney based on his webcomic of the same name hosted on FunBrain, aimed at preteens. They tell the story of Greg Heffley, a self-proclaimed "wimpy kid" attempting to navigate the pitfalls and perils of middle school life. The books are presented as Greg's own journals, filled with handwritten notes and stick drawings of his daily adventures.

Greg's family includes his mother, Susan; his father, Frank; and his two brothers, Rodrick and Manny. Rodrick is older and often picks on Greg, whilst Manny is the baby of the family who can get away with anything. Other kids in the neighborhood include Greg's friend Rowley, and the strange kid Fregley, who lives down the block.

One of the most popular and influential children's book series ever, spawning a massive movement of similar children's realistic fiction book series presented as diaries that combine text and drawings.

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The books to date are:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2008)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (2009)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2009)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth (2010)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (2011)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel (2012)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck (2013)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2014)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School (2015)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down (2016)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway (2017)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown (2018)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball (2019)

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To date, there have been the following movie adaptations:

  • 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])

There is also a Do-It-Yourself Book (2008; expanded in 2011) and, tying in with the film adaptation of the first book, a making-of Movie Diary (2010; updated in '11 and '12 to include the sequels, and a separate one called The Next Chapter about the making of the Long Haul film in '17), as well as a Spin-Off book set in a Perspective Flip from Rowley called Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid (2019), which in turn received a sequel called Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure (2020).

See also Zombie Kid Diaries, a parody of this series which the author actually sued the creators over.

For tropes concerning the original webcomic, go here.


This series provides examples of:

  • Absent Animal Companion: In "Dog Days", Rodrick and Greg get a fish each. Greg's fish dies, but Rodrick's fish survives, yet still is never seen again.
  • Adults Are Useless: Most of the grownups in the books are idiots, to put it lightly. It's not only a genre trait of school-themed works, but also stories from the point of view of a teen. Averted with Vice Principal Roy, who is a Reasonable Authority Figure and punishes Greg when he deserves it.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Greg's mother shows up to school to bring Greg his lunch, while wearing her workout clothes.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: A few "weird" characters qualify for this trope.
    • Manny refuses to eat his food unless it's prepared in an extremely specific way and refuses to interact with any other kids his age.
    • Fregley exhibits a number of creepy or weird behaviors like flashing his chest hair, asking questions that consist of bizarre non-sequiturs (like "Does this scab smell funny to you?"), having his own made-up language and also having No Sense of Personal Space.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Sometimes, Rowley's actions are a bit suspect, especially with Greg. You'd think that a 12-year-old boy would realize that sharing a "Best Friends" locket (in the shape of a heart) with another 12-year-old boy isn't something that looks straight or realize that being a fan of a rather effeminate pop singer isn't exactly manly. It could be argued that he's just completely unaware of these things considering that he is a Cloudcuckoolander and is completely sheltered, however. Also supporting this is that he's the one who gets a girlfriend in The Third Wheel.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Manny is Greg's younger brother, who gets his way no matter what. Greg's mother even drives to Manny's preschool just to cut his sandwich because it wasn't how he wanted.
  • Art Evolution: The art used in the novels is less sketchy than the one in the webcomic, and as the series has gone on, the illustrations have gotten more and more cleaner and detailed.
  • Back for the Dead: The plot of Wrecking Ball is kicked off by the death of Aunt Reba, a minor character who only appeared in The Last Straw.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble:
    • Greg Heffley has plenty of enemies, mostly bullies or adults that look down on him. Namely Rodrick, Patty, Mr. Jefferson and in Cabin Fever, Manny.
    • The movies make the main villains more clear: Pete Hosey in the first, Bill Walter (the closest you're gonna get) in the second, and Heather Hills and/or Stan Warren in the third.
  • Big Brother Bully: Greg details various mean things Rodrick has done to him, from punching him to pushing him off a diving board to stealing his food.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Rodrick has eyebrows thicker than his lips, to judge from Greg's art.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Heffleys are definitely not a stable family. Frank's a Jerkass and Bumbling Dad, Susan's absolutely oblivious to how teenagers are nowadays, Rodrick's a step away from dropping out of school, Manny is a spoiled brat who can't seem to stay in school and Greg is a slacker who could very well end up like Rodrick.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: In the book Dog Days, the trope is exaggerated for Greg's birthday. His presents are lame, his birthday money in confiscated, his uncle's dog eats the cake, and his 'make-up' present of a fish is eaten by Rodrick's fish
  • Black Bead Eyes: Most of the characters have these. Unless they're wearing glasses of course, but even with that Patty Farrell is an exception.
  • Black Sheep: Several members of the extended family — especially Uncle Gary who is explained as having been married at least four times. It gets worse in The Third Wheel when he moves in with Greg and company.
  • Bland-Name Product: Several products throughout the series; these especially cropped up within the webcomic-to-book transition presumably to avoid copyright issues.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Taken Up to Eleven with Manny. He throws tantrums over things such as having mustard applied on his hot dog "wrongly" (he wants it vertically down the middle, not horizontally across) and not having his sandwich cut into slices.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: A lot of Greg's problems in school would be avoided if he wasn't so lazy. It's shown in books like Hard Luck and Double Down that Greg can be creative... when he's not forced to be.
  • Bumbling Dad: Frank spends most of his time trying to force his sons (mainly Greg) to do activities he considers “manly”, trying and failing to dismantle video games, and screaming about the “dagnab teenagers”.
  • Character Development: Throughout the books, Rowley learns to stand up for himself and grow a spine instead of blindly following people. By the end of The Third Wheel, he's also learned how to talk and relate to girls via the student council, becoming a couple with Abigail.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Throughout the series, Susan constantly says that Manny is special and very smart for his age. This finally pays off at the end of The Long Haul, in which Manny being completely fluent in Spanish saves everyone.
  • The Chew Toy: Greg is such a Chew Toy he could give Charlie Brown and Al Bundy a run for their money. Whenever he does something even mildly unethical karma goes into overdrive and screws him over, while whenever he does something good or productive he still gets screwed over anyway.
  • Children Are a Waste: Greg says that when he grows up, he wants to spend his money on himself and not a bunch of ungrateful kids. He also makes sure to dispose of his gum and Popsicle sticks properly out of fear of being cloned when he's rich and famous, and said clones come to his house asking for money.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several.
    • Patty Farrell has not appeared in the books following The Last Straw and the movie adaption of Dog Days.
    • Chirag, one of Greg's friends who was at times a plot central character, later disappeared following a brief scene in Cabin Fever.
    • Trisha, a girl from New Mexico was introduced and set up to be a major character at the end of The Last Straw. After a brief appearance in Dog Days, she's never heard from again. Justified since she ditched Rowley and Greg at the country club in the summer between the end of The Last Straw and the beginning of Dog Days.
    • Double subverted with Aunt Cakey — she made an early appearance in the webcomic, disappeared from it and never appeared in any of the other media... and then had a minor role in 2013's Hard Luck. As of The Meltdown, she hasn't reappeared.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Fregley is this to the point where he gives Osaka a run for her money in the weirdness department. At one point, he asks Greg "Do you want to see my secret freckle?" Furthermore, he's got his own weird slang, so when he needs to go to the bathroom he yells "Juice! Juice!"
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Rowley. He doesn't seem to be all that interested in girls, yet in Rodrick Rules he's managed to socialize with some of the most popular girls in his year. At the end of Book 7, he ends up in a relationship with Abigail. It doesn't last, but that he'd be used to make another boy jealous is impressive.
  • Cool Big Bro: Rodrick can be this when he wants to in the films, serving as something of a mentor to Greg. The books, however, have him remain a Big Brother Bully.
  • Cool Loser: Subverted. Greg wants to be seen as such by others (the reader included), but most will tell you that Greg is a dork.
  • Copycat Mockery: In the first book, when Rowley breaks his hand but Greg doesn't realise it's broken, he tries to cheer him up by saying, "Look, I'm your dad! Durr, durr, durr".
  • Cosmic Plaything: Greg. Other people also do bad things to him. In Old School, Grandpa chooses Greg's bed and Greg must sleep with Manny. Also, in The Ugly Truth, the Jeffersons hire someone to be Rowley's replacement friend. See The Chew Toy and Butt Monkey above.
    • The Heffleys as a whole seem to be this. For the crime of wanting to enjoy their vacation, renovate their house, and move to a nicer house, they get utterly screwed over because of pure bad luck.
  • Cut-and-Paste Comic: The artwork in the illustrations is reused constantly. (Explains why there is a Christmas Tree in the background when Greg is opening his Wonder Woman Underoos birthday present in July.)
  • Darker and Edgier: Cabin Fever has a far more serious and realistic tone than the rest of the series, with Greg and his family facing the genuine threat of freezing to death in a blizzard.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Greg, but his dad isn't really far behind him in levels of snarkiness.
    • Rodrick can get quite sarcastic at times. "Monkeys can't speak English, stupid."
  • December–December Romance: Grandpa Heffley is still into dating, as shown in Hard Luck and Old School. Greg is surprised by this.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • In the books, Fregley slowly became this, meriting only one mention in The Third Wheel. Though in Hard Luck Fregley does get a lot more attention. He becomes the most popular kid in school, because he can launch stuff from his belly button across the room. After disappearing completely for the next four books, he returns in The Meltdown for two jokes and has a cameo in Wrecking Ball.
    • Collin was a major character in the webcomic as Greg's second best friend but he only makes a brief appearance in the first book and most of the stuff he did in the webcomic is given to Rowley. He has a different design in the books as well.
  • The Dreaded: The Mingos, a gang of possibly feral children who appear in Hard Luck and The Meltdown.
  • Fat Best Friend: Rowley is Greg's best friend, and is chubby both in the book's art and in the movies.
  • Fictional Video Game: Various video games shown in the series include Twisted Wizard, Formula One Racing, Discovering the Alphabet, and Net Kritterz.
  • Film of the Book: Actually, film of the book of the webcomic.
  • First Day of School Episode: Throughout the series, Greg has flashbacks about his first days of preschool and kindergarten.
  • First-Person Smartass: Greg frequently makes snarky comments about the events that befall him.
  • Flanderization:
    • Rowley was simply gullible and slow on the uptake before becoming a kiddy kid. This Flanderization is countered by his Character Development, however; The Third Wheel even implies that he is maturing faster than Greg is.
    • Susan Heffley. At first she only showed concern if Greg did something she objected to, and was sometimes embarrassing and behind the times of what teenagers were into, such as trying to get Greg less interested in video gaming. Her stern attitude only showed if something severe had happened (such as Rowley's broken arm in the first book or the party that happened in Rodrick Rules). As of Hard Luck, however, Susan's character has essentially delved into a Think of the Children! type mother who shows extreme distaste to anything electronic to the point she gets the town as a whole to unplug (which she simply bribed her way through by getting elderly party-goers of Grandpa to sign the signatures she needed).
      • Susan has also gotten more selfish over time. While initially Susan only forced her family into embarrassing activities out of cluelessness to their feelings in the matter, by The Long Haul Susan forces the entire family into going on a surprise road trip, well aware of their complaints and not caring because she desires a perfect family.
    • Greg has become more of an unsympathetic person. In Cabin Fever, he and Rowley get in trouble and Rowley accidentally confesses with Greg's name. Greg is upset, but decides to accept his punishment without bringing Rowley into it. In Hard Luck, he's upset when people start abusing the school's system of rewarding people who are nice, and also fears that Meemaw's ring will break up the family and hides it where nobody will find it. In Double Down, he thinks about his deceased Nana and feels bad that he wasn't nice to her, saying that he hopes she's happy in Heaven and doesn't have to watch over "an ungrateful middle-schooler." But in Wrecking Ball, he tries to scam kids by selling them broken toys and celebrates his aunt's death.
    • Manny has had all his character traits exaggerated Up to Eleven. He started off as a Jerkass Spoiled Brat who played up how cuteness to get away with being a jerk to a borderline sociopath who leaves his family to die in a blizzard For the Evulz and blames it on not knowing how to tie his shoes. His mild Cloudcuckoolander traits were initially things you would expect a child to do, but nowadays he comes off as batshit insane and does things like hijack the family car and try to crawl down a toilet. His intelligence went from Susan claiming he’s smart for his age to justify his oddness to him building a house out of spare construction materials for shits and giggles.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Heffley Family
  • Gag Nose: Many background characters are drawn with one.
  • Gossipy Hens: A variation. Albert Sandy has a lot of stories to share at lunch, such as how a guy practiced jumping out of a hole that he made slightly deeper everyday until he was able to jump several feet in the air. Whether or not they’re actually true or if he's spicing it up or not is never revealed. Of course, the other kids believe him straight, though Greg has come to realize by The Meltdown that most of what he has to say is just completely phooey.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Greg and Rodrick. The latter has even slept one autumn from Sunday night to Tuesday morning.
  • Intellectual Animal: The pig seems to be this in Double Down. He can walk on two legs, is seen holding a toothbrush at one point, and uses a "See and Talk" toy correctly to say "Pig eat ice cream". In Old School, Greg receives a letter from the pig while on a school camping trip, reading "OINK OINK OINK." He isn't sure if Frank wrote it as a joke or if the pig can actually write.
  • Jerkass:
    • Greg can be a hard guy to like sometimes. When he and Rowley often try to accomplish tasks together, he usually makes him do all of the work while he takes all the glory. Also, there's his treatment of Chirag Gupta and pelting Patty Farrell with apples. (The movie makes this a little more justified, by portraying Patty Farrell as a Jerkass who is stuck on an insult he did in kindergarten.)
    • Let's just say that Rodrick would drive anyone to commit fratricide. He always abuses his brother for no good reason (and it goes way beyond the normal siblings-pick-on-one-another thing), and he never gets in trouble for it. He also has never been nice to Greg ONCE in the book. Even when Greg does something really nice for him at the end of Rodrick Rules, he doesn't ease up, even for a bit.
    • Manny is a horribly spoiled and bratty Karma Houdini, to the extent that he did not get punished in Book 6 when he left his entire family for dead in a blizzard.
    • Greg's dad is a bit of an asshole to his sons, and frequently forces them to engage in activities they dislike (i.e. sports).
    • Aunt Cakey in the webcomic (and later the books). Even though it's Manny she's responding to, passing off his displays of affection as a sign that he needs speech therapy is pretty cold.
    • Patty Farrell in the movies is selfish, annoying, and could nearly make Greg look like a saint in comparison.
    • The Pig that Manny forces the Heffleys to keep is, despite being insanely intelligent and almost human-like, a total jerk who only causes problems for the Heffleys, particularly Greg, for no reason at all.
  • Jerk Jock:
    • Kenny Keith seems to fit the description. However, Greg is a jerk to Kenny whenever he gets the chance and we don't see how Kenny acts around people he actually gets along with.
    • Subverted with Bryce Anderson. Greg tries his best to make him seem like one, but so far there's no real evidence that Bryce is one of these.
  • Karma Houdini:
  • Kiddie Kid: Greg's best friend Rowley acts like a seven-year-old. It's justified by the fact that he's extremely sheltered because of his overprotective parents. Manny might be a "baby kid", being older than 5 (two years have passed after he mentions that he's only 3), but still acting like a toddler.
  • Kids Are Cruel:
    • This is middle school, so kids mock, bully, and humiliate each other for kicks. Greg himself isn't above it; Chirag Gupta will tell you that firsthand.
    • Manny, especially in Cabin Fever, when he leaves the rest of the family to freeze to death.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Since The Long Haul, the books are usually single events rather than the usual random plot-relevant events. Double Down and The Meltdown avert this.
  • Lighter and Softer: The books when compared to the webcomic. And the movies to the books, which gives some hints that Greg's cynical worldview taints his journals and distorts reality.
  • Market-Based Title: The series has gone through many name changes.
    • First, there's the book series as a whole, the title of which often is changed in translation.
      • The Swedish title translates to "Diary for all my fans." This is a reference to how Greg says that when he becomes rich and famous, he'll give reporters his old diary to read so that he won't have to waste time answering their questions.
      • The Dutch title means "The life of a loser."
      • In Vietnam, it's called "Diary of a shy boy."
      • The French translation is "Journal d'un dégonflé," meaning "Diary of a wimpy kid." The "dé" appears to be crossed out, making the title translate to "Diary of a courageous kid."
    • The first book is just called Diary of a Wimpy Kid, so translators have often made up their own titles for it.
      • In Sweden, it's called "The feats of Greg".
      • In the Netherlands, it's called "Bram Boterman's logbook".
      • The title in Brazil replaces "Wimpy Kid" with a slang for idiot, "Banana".
  • Messy Pig: The pig that Manny and Susan accidentally win at the country fair and are stuck with, which they then leave at a petting zoo, then eventually come back for. It became the family pet, and has yet to be named. By The Meltdown, it had ran away over being excluded from the Heffleys' trip in the previous book, The Getaway.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Greg. His older brother Rodrick frequently bullies him and gets away with it through intimidation and covering his tracks. Meanwhile, his younger brother Manny makes himself a pest, but Greg can't do anything to him without getting into trouble with his parents.
  • The Millstone: The Pig causes nothing but trouble for the Heffleys by eating food it shouldn’t that belongs to them and making the most simple of tasks difficult. And that’s when it’s not actively trying to cause trouble. When it does, it usually results in a lot of property damage.
  • Moral Guardians: In-universe: Susan tries to be this as well with various rates of success.
  • Myspeld Rökband: Rodrick's band is called Löded Diper (although Greg remarks that his brother probably doesn't know how to spell "Loaded Diaper" anyway).
  • Never My Fault: You can probably count the number of times that Greg has (whether voluntarily or forced to) taken responsibility for something bad he's done or otherwise acknowledged that he made a mistake on one hand. Again, this book is probably (intentionally or not), an excellent exploration of the Protagonist-Centered Morality trope and the thought process of a borderline sociopath.
  • Noodle People: Everyone. Subverted with Rowley, Mr. Beardo, and a few other minor characters.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Greg started middle school in the first book and stays there. Jeff Kinney is on record saying Greg will be in middle school forever.
    • This was the reason why everyone had to be recast for the film adaptation of The Long Haul, since a Floating Timeline doesn't translate well and age is an unstoppable factor.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Mild example in the webcomic — Greg stays with a relative and complains over how boring it is. He then tells a story where him and Rodrick find an old board game at said relative's house. They open to find out that it was filled with spiders. Greg has a hard time opening boxes after that. The Do-It-Yourself book alludes to this, with Greg saying to write your worst nightmares, and shows a drawing of Greg parachuting into a yard full of giant tarantulas. Aside from these subtle references, this phobia is never brought up in the actual books.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Fregley is the master of squick without even trying.
    Fregley: Wanna see my "secret freckle"?
  • Only Sane Man: Greg sees himself as this. Even if he often does stupid things, he can be the snarky narrator to his clueless parents, his Dumbass Teenage Son older brother, and his odd and spoiled little brother. Greg's dad can also play this role, both in the books and the movies.
  • Parental Favoritism: Greg's parents clearly favor Manny, to the point where he's becoming a Spoiled Brat. Manny is allowed to get his way, such as throwing tantrums over minor things like how his sandwich wasn't cut the right way. And his parents let him do it.
    • Manny is also Gramma's favorite (all you need to do is look on her fridge for proof), to the point where everyone in the family (yes, even Susan) is aware of it.
    • Grandpa, however, will tell you straight up who his favorite is.
    Grandpa: Gregory is my favorite!
  • Parental Obliviousness: Susan seems to be completely unaware of modern teenage behavior. One notable example in Rodrick Rules is that she thinks that the other students at Greg's school would agree that walking into the ladies bathroom at the retirement home by accident was an honest mistake and they'll let him off easy.
  • Periphery Demographic: An in-universe example: Rowley's favorite musician is a European singer named "Joshie", but Greg looks at the album cover and immediately tells Rowley that Joshie's music is more than likely targeted at eight-year old girls. More or less confirmed in The Ugly Truth, when Rowley talks about the time when he went to a Joshie concert and is the only boy at the concert. (And the only one over 10, to boot.)
  • Perpetual Frowner: The default state of most characters sans notable exceptions like Susan.
  • Perspective Flip: The spin-off Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid is set from Rowley's point of view.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Zig-Zagged. Greg's mom doesn't appear to have a job, but he mentions that she runs an article in the newspaper, and it's implied she might have been a therapist (but one for younger kids if anything) but is implied to go to school. Otherwise... she's not really doing anything. Greg's dad escapes this because The Third Wheel shows a flashback of him bringing Greg to his office for Bring Your Kid to Work Day, boring Greg because he just works on his computer (although what he's doing on it is unknown). This is a justified example. The story's told from Greg's point of view. What would he know about what his parents do on a day-by-day basis?
  • Pretty Boy: Rowley's favorite singer, Joshie, is more or less described as being one of the sort. Emphasized in The Ugly Truth when Rowley goes to a Joshie concert and notices that he is the only boy in the audience.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Greg suffers from this big time. For example, in the second book, he mistreats Chirag Gupta by pretending he doesn't exist. If the same thing happened to him, he'd almost certainly complain about it and call the kid(s) doing it to him bulllies. The book series might actually be one of the best explorations of this trope, especially if one treats it as a look into the worldview, life and perceptions of a borderline amoral Middle School student.
  • The Quiet One: Manny. Averted at the end of The Long Haul where he has a conversation with two mechanics in fluent Spanish for almost an hour.
  • Really Fond of Sleeping: This applies to all three Heffley brothers:
    • Greg dislikes waking up early and often takes naps in the afternoon to feel rested.
    • Rodrick likes napping even more than Greg and once accidentally napped for a day and a half.
    • Manny hates being woken up from his naps.
  • Sadist Show: The books rely heavily on misfortune and the misery of everyone, but since it's Greg's diary, we see most of his misfortune and misery - he also could be an Unreliable Narrator for all we know.
  • Santa Ambiguity: While the webcomic clearly states that Santa isn't real, the books leave it ambiguous. A doll named Santa's Scout who initially reports to Santa at night changes position but Greg never sees him move and wonders if it's really Rodrick who moves him. Greg also doesn't believe in Santa, but he's very far from always being right.
  • Series Fauxnale: Wrecking Ball has the feel of a Grand Finale, having Continuity Nods and Call Backs to previous books, the amount of misfortunes the Heffleys can experience apparently reach their peak, a far more somber tone than the ref of the series, and focusing on an event (the Heffleys moving away) that could end the series. But in the end the Heffleys are forced to stay in the neighborhood and nothing really changes, except for the Heffleys’ house being destroyed.
  • Situational Hand Switch: In the eleventh book, Greg, who is right-handed, buys a French horn and learns the hard way that it's a left-handed instrument.
  • Slice of Life: The entire series is written around the perspective of an average teenager.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Extremely cynical for a children's book series (however, this might just be Greg's view on the world, as he's displayed some sociopathic styled tendencies, and thus this leaks into his journals). The main character, Greg, is a lazy, selfish, self-absorbed Jerkass with almost no redeeming qualities. Almost all the other child characters are Jerkasses & bullies as well. All authority figures are incompetent, and the school itself is a Sucky School. The only truly nice character in the main cast, Rowley, is coddled by his parents and abused by Greg (who doesn't seem to like him despite calling him his best friend). Greg's family is quite dysfunctional, and his father and older brother seem to actively hate him. Almost everyone who does something bad is a Karma Houdini.
  • Slipping into Stink: The aptly-titled book "Hard Luck" has Greg step in poop and mention that "normally, [he finds] poop as funny as the next guy" and remembers a man tripping and landing in horse poop as a time he laughed about poop.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Greg thinks everyone is an idiot except him. In The Last Straw, he's talking about his family's New Year's resolutions and about finding ways to improve himself...but it's not easy for him to improve himself because, in his own words, "I'm pretty much one of the best people I know". So he starts thinking of ways to "improve other people" and telling them what he doesn't like about them. In Wrecking Ball, he wants to have a holiday named after him. In Double Down, he outright says that he thinks the world revolves around him and that he believes his life is being broadcast on TV.
  • Soap Punishment: Greg ends up with this as a result of a failed attempt to tell on Rodrick for saying a bad word. Rodrick got off scot-free.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's Rodrick, not Roderick.
  • Spoiled Brat: Manny. Though one could argue he's not to blame; the fact his parents are the ones who spoil him rotten and never tell him the difference between right and wrong is practically child abuse.
  • Status Quo Is God: No matter what happens by the end of a book (ex. Greg meets a pretty girl neighbour wanting to be friends with him and Rowley), its always negated by the events of the next book (ex. she doesn't have any romantic interest in him at all and he immediately forgets about her).
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Rodrick in the book is Greg with thicker eyebrows and hair, so it's hinted Greg sees the resemblance between him and Rodrick, but considers Rodrick a nastier version of him.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Do-It-Yourself book features comic strips by some of the characters. Most of them fall under this. In Rowley's strip Action Fighterz, the only action was one character hitting the other with a Frying Pan of Doom. The rest of the page is just them discussing what's about to happen.
  • Symbol Swearing: When done in the series, characters have a speech bubble filled with random symbols.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Greg may not like his siblings very much, but he does feel sorry for them when they get the short end of the stick. He thinks Rodrick is grumpy because he's The Unfavorite in the family and he feels bad for Manny for being too afraid of other kids to make friends.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Besides the bullies at school, a lot of teenagers outside of Greg's school are portrayed as juvenile delinquents. Also, Rodrick, as an older teen, often acts aggressive and reckless. Frank believes this Up to Eleven and is noticeably more upfront with Greg after he turns 13.
  • This Loser Is You: The readers are meant to identify with Greg, who is not only a self-proclaimed "wimpy kid", but who regularly gets tormented from the bigger kids around him and hangs out with the likes of Rowley and Fregley. Probably not the best example of this trope though if he's meant to represent the average Middle School reader since Greg is just really lacking in places most would at his age would be decent or excel at and it's telling that most readers and tropers are quick to identify him as quite immoral.
  • Trip Trap: In The Ugly Truth, Greg does this prank on Rowley's dad.
  • The Un Favourite: Rodrick and Greg always get the short end of the stick, while Manny is pampered and spoiled. Especially Rodrick, more so than Greg (not by much though).
  • Themed Stock Board Game: Scrabble of all things. There's also one for Hot Potato.
  • Token Good Teammate: Susan. She's the only one who isn't a total Jerkass in the family. However, she is also the epitome of Stupid Good and can be rather selfish at times.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: With the exception of Rowley and Frank, the entire cast has grown far more selfish and cruel.
  • Too Unhappy to Be Hungry:
    • In one of the movies, Greg feels guilty about not owning up when Rowley gets punished for something he (Greg) did because Greg was wearing Rowley's coat. His mother Susan observes that he hasn't "badgered [her] for any snacks" and asks if he's OK.
    • In "Dog Days", Greg's fish dies, leaving him "bummed out", so he picks at his food over brunch.
  • Uncool Undies: In The Last Straw, Greg is given a pair of Wonder Woman-themed underpants that he is too ashamed to ever wear. However, after running out of clean clothes to wear, he is forced to wear them to a birthday party where his pants end up slipping down and revealing the underpants to everyone.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The books are a downright Sadist Show filled with incompetent characters whereas Greg seems to view himself as the Only Sane Man, but even his journal entries leave hints to the reader that all is not what it seems in his world. An example where it's Played for Laughs is during The Ugly Truth, Greg says that they got a good thing going whereas Rowley is shown pulling Greg up the hill.
  • Unsuccessful Pet Adoption: The Heffleys adopt a pig in The Long Haul. It seems as though the pig will stick around, but he escapes in The Meltdown.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Greg. Boy howdy, Greg. The movies downplay this a bit and make him a more fleshed out Jerk with a Heart of Gold, so if we take the movies as to what really happens behind the scenes, then Greg really needs to work on writing himself better in his journals.
  • Web First: This series started a webcomic. Then it adapted into a successful book series, which in turn was made into a series of films.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Because this is told in Greg's point of view, we never find out what Frank's job is. The Third Wheel reveals that he works in an office, though.
  • Women Are Wiser: Girls are portrayed as well-behaved and sensible, barely breaking any rules; meanwhile, the boys (except for Greg, Rowley, and Fregley) are portrayed as rude, mischievous, and complete troublemakers. The Meltdown Subverts this by introducing some girls who are just bad as the boys.
  • Written Roar: More than once, Greg and the other characters scream "SCREAM!!!"
  • Youngest Child Wins: Only in that Manny winds up getting treated much better than his siblings.

Well, we're out of trope examples, so I guess this is THE END.

Alternative Title(s): Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Dog Days, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Long Haul, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Last Straw, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Ugly Truth, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Hard Luck, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Old School, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Double Down, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Getaway, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid The Meltdown

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