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Literature / Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

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Here's a hint: this book contains Toilet Humour.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is the 2nd book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Releasing in 2008, this book follows the same example as the first book of Greg writing in his diary with simple illustrations.

This book heavily features Greg's brother, Rodrick, and Greg's grandparents. Major moments in this book include Rodrick playing with his band in a talent show, Greg enjoying a Dungeons & Dragons knockoff, Greg's mother inventing a monetary system for them, and Greg trying to prevent Rodrick from telling about an embarrassing secret.

Rodrick Rules provides examples of:

  • Accidental Good Outcome: Greg writes a story called Rory Screws Up. In it, a monkey named Rory accidentally rings the doorbell (though it's not specified how he did so). His owners think he's smart and give him bananas as a treat.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This book has a focus on Rodrick.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Rowley celebrates a birthday party, although he doesn't get older and his age is unstated.
  • Agony of the Feet: When Rowley sleeps over at Greg's house, he gets up to use the bathroom every five minutes, and whenever he returns he kicks a pillow across the room. This annoys Greg, who puts one of his dad's dumbbells under the pillow the next time Rowley uses the bathroom as a prank. When he comes back, Rowley ends up breaking his big toe, and Greg has to fill in for him at the talent show auditions.
  • Alliteration & Adventurers: Greg plays a game called Magick & Monsters.
  • Annoyingly Repetitive Child: Rowley (who's about twelve or thirteen) lies that he has to use the bathroom before kicking a pillow down the stairs. He does this every fifteen minutes, and Greg is initially amused, but he becomes sick of this. As such, he hides a heavy weight under the pillow in case Rowley tries to kick it again, resulting in Rowley breaking his toe.
  • Antagonist Title: Rodrick is at his most antagonistic in this book, blackmailing Greg all over the book with an embarrassing secret.
  • Awkward Poetry Reading: During the talent show, Charise Kline reads a poem about global warming, while Terrence James plays a harmonica while riding a unicycle. Greg notes that those two do not go well together, presumably because of all the noise (and/or because playing the harmonica on a unicycle is too silly to combine with such a serious poem).
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Greg is introduced to a game called Magick and Monsters, an obvious Dungeons & Dragons analogue.
    • There's also mentioning of a book Greg repeatedly does book reports on called Sherlock Sammy Does It Again, with Sherlock Sammy being an equivalent of Encyclopedia Brown.
  • Car Ride Games: Greg tries to entertain Manny in the car by making silly faces, but when Manny laughs so hard that he sprays apple juice out his nose, their mother says "You could've killed him!", which makes Manny cry.
  • Chekhov's Gun: All the details that allowed Greg's embarrassing secret to unfold the way it did were introduced to the reader in a previous segment where Greg and Rodrick stayed over at their grandfather's apartment.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Susan plays Magick & Monsters with Greg, Rowley, and Leland.
    Leland: You run into a pack of orcs... and they look HUNGRY!
    Susan: We give them all of our food!
    (Greg facepalms)
  • Concert Episode: Rodrick plays in his band for the talent show. They become famous, but only because of Rodrick's mother's ridiculous dancing.
  • Crappy Homemade Gift: Manny breaks Greg's video game device and tries to make him an Apology Gift. Unfortunately, being only three, the best he can come up with is a ball of tinfoil with toothpicks poking out, which Greg's friend Rowley accidentally sits on.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Discussed by Greg. He says that he used to have to do Rodrick's fundraisers for him, but now Rodrick makes Manny do them.
    Greg: Um... hello, sir... would you like to help support...
    Man: Not interested!
    Manny: Wood you wike some chokwits?
    Man: How precious!
  • Does Not Like Spam: Greg hates watercress salad, which his grandpa always serves because Rodrick tricked him into thinking Greg liked it.
  • Embarrassing Initials: Peter Uteger was the smartest kid in Greg's class until Greg and several other students teased him for having the initials P.U. As a result, Peter stopped raising his hand and became a C student. Greg admits that he feels bad about this, but it's hard for him not to take credit.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: During his sophomore year, Rodrick was Out Sick on Picture Day, so Susan told Frank to send in Rodrick's freshman photo, but somehow Frank screwed up and sent in Rodrick's second grade photo instead, and that's what ended up in Rodrick's high school yearbook.
  • Embarrassment Plot: Rodrick blackmails Greg with an embarrassing secret, which turns out to be accidentally walking into the women's bathroom at a senior home and being mistaken for a "peeping Tom".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Rodrick may drive Greg crazy, but Greg doesn't want him to flunk out of school, so he offers to help Rodrick with his science project.
  • Exact Words: Rodrick drives Greg home from swim practice, but makes him ride in the back. He then slams on the brakes each time they stop so that Greg hits his head. The next time Rodrick drives Greg, Greg asks him to please go easy on the brakes. What does Rodrick do? Say "okay", but then go over every speed bump he can.
  • Glass Eye: Greg imagines what it would be like if he had a glass eye—he would use it to play tricks on his friends, but mainly to cheat on tests by aiming his glass eye down at his paper and looking at a smart kid's paper with his real eye, "and the teacher would be too dumb to notice."
    Greg: Unfortunately, I DON'T have a glass eye. So if Mom asks me why I flunked my pop quiz in Pre-Algebra today, that's my excuse.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Greg's mom tells him that if he lies again he'll be grounded for a month. The result is that Greg starts to use Brutal Honesty and absolute literalism until she can't stand it anymore and makes him stop — not out of a deliberate attempt at payback, notably, but rather because he genuinely thought that that was what he was supposed to do.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Rodrick's plan to permanently ruin Greg's life by making an embarrassing secret public (After Rodrick got hold of Greg's first diary while they were visiting Grandpa at his retirement home, Greg managed to get it back and locked himself in the bathroom to destroy it, only to find out that he locked himself in the ladies room. He got caught out later.) fails spectacularly when he tells the secret to his friends who have younger siblings who attend Greg's school, only for the message to get so screwed up when, apparently according to a bit of Greg's guesswork, said friends tell their siblings who tell their friends about the story to the point where it turns into an entirely different story where Greg infiltrates the girls' changing room at Crosslands High School. This earns Greg a boatload of respect with the majority of the students for apparently pulling off a ballsy stunt, at the cost of the female students being absolutely disgusted.
  • Good Behavior Points: Susan creates a system called "Mom Bucks", in which Greg and Rodrick can earn a currency called Mom Bucks in place of actual money by doing chores. One Mom Buck is worth only a penny, so that a hundred would be equal to only one dollar. She ultimately abandons the system when Greg attempts to cheat it after finding a large amount of the board game currency used for Mom Bucks at Rowley's house.
  • Gossip Evolution: After all the footage of Rodrick's band performing at the talent show proves unsuitable to send to record companies, he takes it out on Greg by repeating an incident where Greg accidentally locked himself in the ladies' room at their grandpa's retirement home. This backfires for Rodrick, since the story gets mutated into Greg sneaking into the girls' changing room at Crosslands High.
  • "Harmful to Pets" Reminder: Greg makes a book report about moose and notes that moose will eat just about anything, so he lists some things that moose do not eat, such as bubblegum, metal, and pizza. There is an illustration of a chef offering a moose pizza, only for the moose to turn it down.
  • Hopeless Auditionees: Greg and Scotty are the only people to not get into the talent show. This is due to Greg not handing Scotty any of his props for his magic act.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Susan frequently calls out Greg for lying to her but she lies occasionally too, such as the one time she pretended to call the dentist when finding out Greg wasn't brushing his teeth.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: When Rodrick tells Greg that Rowley's new babysitter Leland is the biggest nerd in high school, Greg is reluctant to play "Magick and Monsters" with him, but it turns out that he really likes it. Subverted in the fact that he ends up agreeing with Rodrick that Leland is the biggest nerd in the school.
  • Incessant Music Madness: Listening to Löded Diper practicing for the talent show drives Frank insane, to the point where he ends Rodrick's punishment two weeks early just so Rodrick will be out of the way.
  • Inept Aptitude Test: Greg takes a test for Career Day at his school. He thinks he'll be a billionaire with a mansion, but the test gives him the result "clerk."
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure:
    • Greg stated in his science project that the moose, along with humans, evolved from birds. The teacher was not amused.
    • Rodrick when he attempts to write an essay.
      Frank: Well, for starters, Abraham Lincoln didn't write To Kill a Mockingbird.
    • Greg has a project in history class where he has to write a poem about the 1900s. Rodrick had the same assignment when he was in middle school, but as Greg says, "Rodrick was even worse about doing his research than ME."
      Sometimes I sit and wonder
      About stuff I don't know
      Like what the heck the earth was like
      A hundred years ago.

      Did cavemen ride on dinosaurs?
      Did flowers even grow?
      Well we could guess but that was back
      A hundred years ago.

      I wish they built a time machine
      And they picked me to go
      To check out what the scene was like
      A hundred years ago.

      Did giant spiders rule the earth?
      Were deserts filled with snow?
      I wonder what the story was
      A hundred years ago.

  • Irony: Rodrick shares Greg's secret to everyone he knows, expecting his entire school will make fun of him. Instead, miscommunications turn it into the best day of Greg's life.
  • Just Following Orders: When Greg's mom wants Greg to no longer lie, he tells every single truth from the fact a that a two-hundred-pound kid can't play basketball due to his weight to the fact that Rowley's grandfather might not be alive next year.
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: After everything Rodrick put Greg through in the book, he is thoroughly ruined toward the end, with a chain of misfortunes hitting him in rapid succession. In the end, he is so cornered Greg helps him out of pity.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Greg talks about Rodrick's science project the previous year, which was called "Does Watching Violent Movies Make People Think Violent Thoughts?" It was really just an excuse for Rodrick and his friends to watch horror movies on school nights, because they never did any research, so Greg and his parents had to do all the work. Greg tried to imagine what teenagers would draw after watching horror movies, but Susan thought his drawings were disturbing, and only let him watch G-rated movies for the rest of the year. Ironically, Manny ended up watching horror under Susan's nose, and his drawings were even worse afterwards.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • When Susan joins the Magick and Monsters session at Leland's house, she decides she wants her character to be the mother of Greg's character. Greg lies that his character is an orphan, which Susan believes...but then she ends up simply naming her character "Mom".
    • After Rodrick gets grounded for throwing a wild party, Frank makes him get out of bed at 8 a.m. Rodrick, who loves to sleep so much he once slept for 36 hours straight, manages to find a way around this rule: he drags his bedding into the living room and sleeps on the couch until dinnertime.
  • Loud of War: When Rodrick's garage band attracts loitering teenagers, Greg's dad fights back by playing classical music from a boom box in the window.
  • Memetic Mutation: In-Universe example: The local cable channel captures Greg's mom dancing while taping Löded Diper's performance while recording the winter talent show. After being uploaded to the internet, the video is dubbed "The Dancing Mom video".
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Mom's attempt to make Greg and Rodrick resolve a fight consists of writing down what they did wrong and making them draw pictures of it (something she did with misbehaving kids as a preschool teacher). Greg draws a picture of baby Rodrick crying after being called a name and Rodrick draws himself pushing Greg off a cliff into the mouth of a hungry shark.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Played with when Greg has to draw what he thinks teenagers would draw after watching violent horror movies (as part of Rodrick's science project). Played straight when Manny accidentally watches one of the movies from the same project, then draws a bunch of pictures that scare Greg when he finds them. (It's never explicitly stated that the movie actually scared Manny; in fact, the picture in the book just shows him looking at the TV confused.)
  • Nobody Likes a Tattletale: Greg is not happy with the fact that Manny's constantly ratting him out. He notes that he used to be a tattletale until the day he was cured of the habit; he overheard Rodrick swearing, so he spelled it out and Susan gave him the Soap Punishment and didn't punish Rodrick for saying it first.
  • Noodle Incident: Subverted. Greg talks about how Rodrick is blackmailing him with an embarrassing secret that isn't revealed until the end of the book. He got stuck in the woman's bathroom at the old folks home.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rodrick, fearing his parents will find out about his party, has this reaction when Frank uses the bathroom and asks, "Didn't this door used to lock?".
    • Greg has this reaction upon discovering that Rowley's parents suddenly switched babysitters from Heather to Leland.
    • Greg has this reaction upon discovering that Rodrick told his secret to everyone he knew who had a sibling Greg's age.
  • One-Letter Pun: A kid named Peter Uteger was said to be the only kid who broke the "last-name rule", a rule where kids with last names that started with letters earlier in the alphabet got called on more by the teacher, and therefore were smarter. However, once people found out what Peter's initials sounded like out loud, it was over for him. Nowadays, he doesn't raise his hand at all, and he's pretty much a C-student.
  • Overly Prepared Gag: The new instalment of Creighton the Cretin Greg creates based on Scotty’s terrible magic act ends with one of the kids telling the title character “That’s not even a magician’s hat, it’s an Abraham Lincoln hat”. Anyone paying attention to the previous page will note that Creighton’s top hat is indeed taller than Scotty’s.
  • Playing Sick: Upon seeing Rodrick with the flu, Greg's parents decide to take a vacation for a few days while Manny stays at Gramma's house. The instant his parents leave, Rodrick jumps up and calls his friends, revealing that he was just faking sick.
  • Remote Control Ruckus: When Mr. and Mrs. Heffley suddenly start acting extremely lovey-dovey in front of Manny, Greg realizes it's because they found a crude picture Manny drew of two people yelling at each other and himself crying. He then realizes it's actually meant to be him and Rodrick fighting over the remote control, but decides not to tell their parents about that.
  • Rock Bottom: By the end of the book, Rodrick has essentially hit this: His science project ends up being a complete waste of time, and without a makeup project, he’ll not only fail Science, he’ll flunk out of school all together. To make matters worse, his band both lost the school wide talent show, and the recording of the performance intended for record companies was ruined by Susan, who both commented over the tape and them danced to it, resulting in her embarrassing dance moves going viral and Rodrick (and Greg to a lesser extent) getting teased over it. And his attempt to humiliate Greg by revealing how he accidentally entered the women's bathroom at Leisure Towers backfires when the rumor is warped and Greg instead becomes popular for apparently infiltrating the girl's dressing room at Crosslands High School. Despite everything that’s happening, Greg decides to take pity on his brother and help him make a new science project. While the outcome isn’t revealed, it’s clear that Rodrick is still in school at least.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Greg's mom forces Rodrick to play Magick & Monsters with Greg. On the very first turn, Rodrick (the DM) declares that everyone falls into a hole and died.
    Rodrick: You and your group of nerds fall into a pit and it's full of dynamite and you blow up. The end.
  • Stupid Good: In-Universe, Greg's mom plays Magick & Monsters this way. For example, her solution to the party being attacked by a band of orcs is to give the orcs all of the players' food. She then gets the idea that the game is a good way to teach Greg and Rodrick to get along better. It fails miserably.
  • Take That!: Sherlock Sammy is a parody of the Encyclopedia Brown series. Each novel has the same plot, where some adult commits a small crime and makes some stupid mistake, and then Sherlock Sammy solves it and makes the adult look like an idiot. ("Your first mistake was that you forgot to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit!" or "Your first mistake was that you forgot to convert miles to kilometers!" in some translations) In the webcomic, he actually names Encyclopedia Brown.
  • Teacher's Unfavorite Student: At least two of Greg's new teachers dislike him on principle because they had his big brother Rodrick (a Book Dumb slacker and delinquent) in their classes a few years ago. His history teacher Mr. Huff glares at him and makes him sit in a chair right next to the teacher's desk, and his pre-algebra teacher Ms. Lee watches him like a hawk.
  • Toilet Humor: Greg's "secret" is that he once walked into the wrong bathroom at Leisure Towers.
  • Unspoken Retort: Greg says he uses Sherlock Sammy books as material for his book reports. The illustration shows Sammy telling a man that he should've converted Celsius to Fahrenheit, and a police officer thinks, "Geek!"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jeremy Pindle is never seen nor mentioned after Greg gives him the Cheese Touch.
  • Why Don't You Marry It?: Greg has a flashback to when he was little and a kid named Quinn asked him if he liked ice cream. Greg responds, "Yeah!" and Quinn says, "Then why don't you marry it?" Greg then thinks that he will literally get married to an ice cream cone. When his mother explains it, he tries the joke out the next day:
    Greg: You're gonna grow up and get married to some ice cream! Ha!
  • Wild Teen Party: A major plot point in the book: Rodrick has one when Frank and Susan leave. (When the parents take another weekend trip later on, Greg and Rodrick stay with Grandpa so this won't happen again.)
  • Wrong Bathroom Incident: Near the end of the book, Rodrick texts Greg's secret to everyone he knows: during the summer when they were staying with their grandpa at Leisure Towers (an assisted living center), Greg ran into the bathroom while trying to hide from Rodrick and locked himself in a stall, but it turned out to be the women's bathroom. He couldn't leave because it was never empty, and he was eventually caught and mislabeled a "peeping tom". He expects to come into school the next day and be bullied, but the constant spreading by mouth warps the story into him sneaking into the girls' locker room at Crossland High School and taking photos, making all the boys think he's incredibly cool.
  • You Are Grounded!: As punishment for throwing a wild party, Rodrick gets grounded for a month (but Frank ends the punishment two weeks early, because he's going bonkers listening to Löded Diper practice every day), and Greg gets a two-week video game ban because he was in on Rodrick’s secret.

S is for spanking. It's what you should do to Rodrick if he ever leaves this site without asking first.


Video Example(s):


Rodrick's Party

When Rodrick's parents go on a weekend vacation, Rodrick throws a party. His younger brother Greg invites his friend Rowley, who ends up livening up the party.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / WildTeenParty

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