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Literature / Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever is the 6th book in Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Like the rest of the series, the book focuses on Greg Heffley, his family, and his friends. As you can tell by the series' title, it seems that nothing goes right for him.

In this book, Greg gets in trouble when he vandalizes the school while putting up posters for a holiday bazaar. As if the threat of being sent to jail wasn't bad enough, a snowstorm traps his family inside their house. With Greg's little brother Manny on the loose, what could go wrong?


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Cabin Fever provides examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: After Greg asks for money in an unmarked envelope left underneath the church recycling bin, he shovels the entire front of the church looking for the bin while wearing a ski mask. The next day, the newspaper declares him a hero for saving the church's soup kitchen.
  • Allegedly Free Game: In-Universe. Net Kritterz is a fictional Virtual Pet game Greg is addicted to. The game requires real money to mainly gain Kritterz Kash, and the pet needs new items to be happy. This causes Greg to beg his parents regularly for money, before he is forced to earn money by himself.
  • Author Tract: The book mocks games like Webkinz that just involve taking care of a virtual pet and require real money to keep a pet happy.
  • A Weighty Aesop: Greg gets hit by this when his school starts promoting good eating habits and replacing junk food with healthy food.
  • Bland-Name Product:
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    • Greg is addicted to a online game called Net Kritterz, a parody of online pet games like Moshi Monsters and Webkinz.
    • Greg and Rowley play a Mad Libs-esque game called Wacky Sentences.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Susan cannot see without her glasses, and when Manny breaks them, she can't get a new pair due to a snowstorm.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • "I can name at least half a dozen jobs I can never have if I can't grow a beard or a mustache or at least dome decent stubble." The jobs Greg lists? Magician, pirate, lumberjack, artist, cop, and... criminal.
    • Rowley brings some home videos and suggests that he and Greg watch some. They're titled "Rowley's 5th Grade Play", "TRIP TO [obscured by another DVD]LIA", and... "Rowley's Birth."
  • Buffy Speak: Embarrassed to say the name "Drummies" out loud, Greg orders them at the Bazaar by calling them "those chicken leg thingies."
  • Christmas Episode: Christmas approaches as Greg fears that he will be arrested by the police for "vandalizing" the school, and he hopes that he doesn't have to spend Christmas in jail.
  • Commercial Pop-Up: Rowley's family recorded a Christmas special long ago, and the year they recorded it there was a storm warning at the bottom of the screen. Now whenever Rowley watches the video, he calls Greg to tell him there's a snowstorm coming. Greg used to fall for it until one day when Rowley called him about a snowstorm during summer vacation.
  • Constantly Lactating Cow: Greg mentions that his dad wouldn't let him take home a goat that he won from the state fair. Greg thinks that the goat would be able to give him milk whenever he wants, despite the fact that the goat wouldn't have any kids if it is the only goat that he would have.
  • Creepy Doll: Greg's lost Alfrendo baby doll. Things went From Bad to Worse when Greg found it again.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Greg's school replaces the soda vending machine with a bottled water machine as part of its effort to get its students to eat healthier. Where do they put it? Right next to the water fountain.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Manny warps up the password to Greg's Net Kritterz account, messes up the family's TV's parental controls, cuts the power to the rest of the house save his room, and even STEALS ALL THE FOOD FROM THE KITCHEN! All of this? Because no one taught him how to tie his shoes!!
    • Manny throws a tantrum at Greg just because he didn't put mustard on his hot dog like he wanted.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: After Greg's school stops selling an energy drink called Rowdy Riot, several students who have been drinking several cans of it on a regular basis start to suffer from withdrawal.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo:
    • An ornament depicts young Greg and Rodrick bathing in the sink. Greg says that he has tried to throw that one out multiple times, but Mom won't let him.
    • A picture in a scrapbook is of Greg crying while on a horse, captioned "Help!" and "Gregory isn't happy on his first pony ride." Greg says that he was actually scared of the guy handling the horse, who got cropped out of the picture.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "Nasty Pants" in the 6th book. It's implied that that's actually his name, however, as Greg calls his mother "Mrs. Pants". Or Greg simply didn't know his name himself.
  • Faint in Shock: In a flashback, Greg passes out (with X's for eyes) when he finds a puzzle box full of crickets.
  • Fundraiser Carnival: Discussed. Greg recalls having participated in a "walk-a-thon" to earn money for the school and wonders why that even helps. At the end, he is given a "cheap yo-yo" that broke almost instantly and Rowley is given a Chinese finger trap that he gets his fingers stuck in.
  • Gaslighting: Greg believes Rodrick was doing this to him with the Santa Scout.
  • G-Rated Drug: The energy drink Rowdy Riot. After Greg's school stops selling it, kids who drank it regularly and frequently start to get withdrawal symptoms like the ones actual drug addicts have.
  • Hypocritical Humor: This book shows that there is no playground equipment at Greg's school. Despite this, the kids are not allowed to sit down at recess, and one illustration shows a teacher yelling at a kid for sitting down when she's doing the exact same thing herself.
  • Karma Houdini: Manny shuts down all power in the house except for his room; steals food, water, toys, and a space heater; breaks Susan's glasses; and leaves the rest of the family for dead during a blizzard. Despite all this, he receives absolutely no comeuppance whatsoever for his actions. Their mother only gives Manny a talking-to... in which he blames all his brattiness on no one teaching him how to tie his shoes.
  • Lie Detector: Parodied in Cabin Fever when the school is vandalized. The police come there to question the worst troublemakers, but it's obvious that their "foolproof lie detector" is just a photocopier with a label taped to it reading "Lie Detector". Whenever the troublemaker says something they don't like, they hit a button to copy a sheet that says "He's lying". Predictably, they fail to catch the real culprits.
  • Market-Based Title: Cabin Fever is renamed often partly since not every language has a word for cabin fever.
    • Its Swedish title is "Manny's Maneuver'', which is a Spoiler Title about the cause of the blackout that befalls Greg and his family.
    • The Dutch title roughly means "Don't panic!"
    • In Spain, it's called "No exit!"
    • The Latin American title is "Trapped in the snow!"
    • In Brazil, it's called "House of Horrors."
    • In Portugal, the name is "Get me out of here!"
    • Its Vietnamese title is "Stuck."
    • In Italy, it's called "Save yourselves, anyone who can!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-universe: Greg explains that he has a phobia of puzzles because when he opened a box of puzzles once, it was full of crickets.
  • One Episode Fear: Exclusively in this book, Greg is afraid of crickets.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: A box of Bac'n Snax has the slogan "Made with REAL animal by-products" printed on it.
  • Potty Emergency: Greg and Rowley discuss what will happen if Rowley has one of these while in a box. Greg gives him a bottle, but then Rowley asks what happens if he has to go #2. Then Greg says he shouldn't think about that until it's really time to.
  • Potty Failure: It is revealed in that Greg had a bed-wetting calendar when he was eight. He once wet the bed five nights in a row.
  • Restaurant-Owning Episode: A subplot in this episode is Greg and Rowley opening up their own "Holiday Bazaar." They get the food right (microwavable chicken wings), but the entertainment (a cardboard box themed to look like a Pac-Man cabinet) and advertising don't go as well.
  • Shout-Out: Greg, annoyed by Manny wanting mustard across his hot dog, talks about watching movies starring a preteen who finds out he has magical powers and goes to a special school.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Singer Krisstina claims to be internationally famous, but Greg doubts that she's even performed in another state after one look at a piece of her merchandise which featured a huge list of venues she performed at, all apparently local.
  • Technologically Blind Elders: Exaggerated when Susan asks Greg to show her how the microwave works.
  • Totally Radical: The healthy replacement for French fries is called "Extreme Sports Stix" and comes in a cool box, but it is easily seen to be just sliced carrots.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The Holiday Bazaar is never mentioned again after Greg is accused of vandalizing the school.
    • Manny hacks Greg's Net Kritterz account and disables it by changing the password, preventing Greg from being able to log in. It's never mentioned again after that, likely meaning Gregory's Little Friend died.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The school's healthy replacement for French fries is called "Extreme Sports Stix". It's just a Totally Radical attempt to make sliced carrots cool.
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