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Literature / Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid

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Rowley: Hi! I'm Rowley Jefferson and this is my book! Now I have a diary just like my friend Greg!
Greg: It's a journal! And he totally stole my idea!
— Dialogue from the official trailer

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid (also known as Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal) is a Spin-Off of Jeff Kinney's series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, told in a Perspective Flip written by Greg's best friend Rowley Jefferson. It was released on April 9th, 2019.

On February 13, 2020, a sequel called Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure was announced. It was originally planned to be released on April 7, 2020, but was delayed to August 4, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This book is presented as Rowley's in-progress manuscript for a fantasy novel, interspersed with his comments on how Greg's suggestions for it — most of which relate to its potential for marketability and merchandising — are affecting the story as it unfolds.


This book provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: During their sleepover, Greg turns on an "invisible force field" between his side of the room and Rowley's to keep him out. Said "force field" consists entirely of Greg simply yelling "ZAP!" whenever Rowley tries to cross. Subverted hilariously by the fact that this is enough to keep Rowley out of his side for the entire night.
  • Adaptation Expansion: How Greg and Rowley exactly became friends is expanded on in this book, building off of them meeting in the first book.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not clear if Rowley's grandfather, Bampy, is the same grandfather from Rodrick Rules, due to their differing designs. Mr. Jefferson resembles Rowley's grandfather from Rodrick Rules more than Bampy, but calls Bampy his "dad", although referring to your parents-in-law as if they were your own parents is normal as well.
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  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The book is mainly drawn in Rowley's art style. When the two's drawings are shown together, you can clearly see the difference.
  • Author Avatar: In-universe. Awesome Guy resembles an older Rowley.
  • The B Grade: Downplayed. Rowley gets an 89% on a math test and is disappointed with himself because he usually gets higher. (Greg, on the other hand, is proud that he got a higher score than usual.) However, what really sets him off is when his teacher learns he helped Greg cheat and is disappointed in him.
  • Bears Are Bad News: One of Greg and Rowley's "Zoo-Wee Mama!" comics is about someone dreaming that he's about to be eaten by a bear, only for him to realize that because the bear can talk, this is a dream, but the bear tells him that he's also about to be eaten by a bear in real life.
  • Brain Bleach:
    • Rowley was mooned by Manny, who seems to treat it as a secret between the two of them.
    • Greg mentions having seen his grandpa naked, citing this as why he's against X-Ray Vision powers.
    • Rowley complains in his diary about having to see Mr. Heffley in his underwear (briefs and shirt) when he comes to scold him and Greg for causing trouble at their sleepover.
  • Call-Back:
    • Rowley references the events of the first book in which he created the popular "Zoo-Wee Mama!" comic for the school newspaper and he and Greg got in a fight over it that ended with him eating the Cheese. Rowley apparently has a problem with eating cheese now.
    • The first part of the book is a direct adaptation of a scene from the first book, down to Rowley mentioning a book called How to Make Friends in New Places and telling Greg a knock-knock joke.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Greg copies every single detail off of Rowley's test, which, of course, gets him caught. Greg gets punished for it and Rowley gets lightly told off for knowingly letting Greg cheat off of him.
  • Claiming Via Flag: Greg claims to have planted a flag on the grounds of Rowley's house before it was built, meaning he claims everything on it. Rowley is about to give his bike to Greg for this reason until his dad stops him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Having learned about Greg's awful behavior, Rowley's parents tell him that maybe he should find some new friends. Rowley decides that Greg takes up too much of his time for that to be a possibility.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rowley has to use his dad's laptop and looks up "Can people lay eggs?" while he's at it, which might bring to mind the events of Dog Days.
    • Joseph O'Rourke and Mr. Yee from The Meltdown are mentioned, but neither are shown on-screen.
  • Cowboys and Indians: A vignette focuses on Greg and Rowley playing "Vikings and Ninjas."
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe. Greg believes that if he and Rowley create a successful superhero comic, they can sell the movie rights and get rich from the movie's success. In real life, it hasn't worked out quite as well, at least in the superhero genre. Stan Lee filed a lawsuit against Marvel Comics in 2002 for not giving him profits for using the characters he created (Spider-Man and X-Men) in their movies as according to their contract (partly because despite creating these characters, he doesn't own them - Marvel does). Jim Starlin also made a similar complaint in April 2019 (shortly after this book was released, coincidentally enough) that he wasn't paid as well as he should be for the creation of numerous characters (Thanos, part of the Guardians of the Galaxy) despite the financial success of their films. Justified, as Greg is still in middle school and clearly has little-to-no idea how these things work.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Inverted with Amazing Guy. The reason he's so nice is because he was raised by Good Parents. Greg thinks this is lame.
  • Didn't Think This Through: One of Greg and Rowley's "Zoo-Wee Mama!" comics is about an artist who has just completed his piece, only to find that the canvas is too big too fit through the door.
  • Disappointed in You: Rowley's math teacher and Precocious Crush says she's disappointed in him for helping Greg cheat on a test. Rowley bursts into tears, writing that it felt worse to hear that then it would have been to just get detention.
  • The Ditz: Greg changes the context of Rowley's art of Awesome Guy from a Martial Pacifist into a ditzy Failure Hero.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: The book ends with Rowley's parents telling him he should find some new friends. Rowley says that Greg takes up all of his time, but as his mother says, they're still "best friends" because they get on each other's nerves a lot.
  • Epic Fail:
    • While trying to copy off of Rowley during a math test, Greg copies everything, including Rowley's name. Ms. Beck naturally catches on.
    • While having a No, You-type argument, Greg argues "No You times INFINITY", which Rowley counters with "No you times infinity SQUARED". He thought he won that fight, but then Greg wins with a "No You times infinity squared plus ONE". Rowley concedes.
  • Good Behavior Points: One anecdote focuses on Greg creating a rewards system for Rowley called "Li'l Goodies" — granting him a point for doing humiliating tasks, with Rowley getting a "fantastic prize" (hidden under a sheet) once he earns 50. Rowley does so, and Greg claims that the points reset at the start of each month, meaning he needs 50 more. Upset, Rowley rips the sheet off the "prize", finding that it's a basket of Greg's dirty laundry. Despite this, Rowley still plans to go for the "even better" prize that's worth 100 Li'l Goodies.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Rowley often talks about Greg being a great friend, but Greg's actions say otherwise and it's very obvious to the reader.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After telling Rowley that if he's such a baby, he should go sleep in Manny's room, Greg is later punished by his dad to sleep in Manny's room. Greg also gets upset that Rowley has more fun playing with Manny.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: On the opening pages before the story, Greg and Rowley make comments about the book. Rowley says that he wrote the book himself, and Greg points to Jeff Kinney's name and asks "Oh yeah, then who's this guy?" After the last page, Greg says that he told the readers the book would be bad.
  • Mind Screw: One of Greg and Rowley's "Zoo-Wee Mama!" comics is about two cavemen in 20,000 B.C. celebrating Christmas, only for one of the two cavemen to point out that Christmas hasn't been invented yet.
  • The Noseless: Rowley's artstyle shows none of the characters with noses unless he's purposely drawing them as gonk in his comics or it's a collaboration with Greg. He lampshades that Greg has a problem with this art style.
  • Not So Similar: While Rowley's diary is made with similar techniques to Greg's (such as depicting characters with similar facial expressions and using CAPITAL WORDS to make emphasis), their completely different mentalities are explored in the book.
  • Only in It for the Money: Greg's mainly interested in making a superhero story because you can make millions by selling the movie rights to a superhero franchise, and rejects any suggestions that aren't marketable.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Lampshaded, Greg points out that Awesome Guy's super-suit has to conceal his identity (Rowley's original design didn't even have a mask), so he redesigns one that also has a mask that covers his entire head.
  • Perspective Flip: Up until this point, we've only seen the Wimpy Kid universe from Greg's point of view, but this book will instead show the perspective of Rowley, who is more virtuous (yet less mature) than Greg.
  • Pet the Dog: When Mr. Hardy gives everyone a C (a passing grade) for their final grade, even to Rowley, who was the only one who did the work that Mr. Hardy didn't even look at, Greg stands up for Rowley and says that he deserves a better grade because of that. This is in spite of Greg telling Rowley to just join in on being off-task throughout the semester. It is lessened a bit when Rowley suggests this is payback for Rowley getting Greg out of Tevin's party, but Greg remarks that Rowley has to do a lot more to pay Greg back for this.
  • Potty Failure:
    • Greg and Rowley pee their pants when they think a monster is after them at one of their sleepovers.
    • At the sleepover at the end of the book, Rowley urinates out the window in the morning. Mr. Heffley might have seen it.
  • Ship Tease: Between Awesome Guy and Nurse Beck, given that they're both stand-ins for Rowley and Ms. Beck, of which the former has a crush on the latter.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spin-Off: Of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
  • Stylistic Suck: Rowley's drawings are less refined than Greg's. The book also doesn't contain any commas.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Any time Rowley claims that he's not in love with Ms. Beck. He could be telling the truth, though, given that he doesn't seem to think that it's necessarily wrong or romantic to admire her personality and like how she smells, although he then says he'd like to buy a sports car and give her a ride everyday, and how Amazing Guy has a female nurse friend named Beck...
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Downplayed. In the original Wimpy Kid series, Greg portrays himself as smarter and cooler than Rowley, painting Rowley as a childish hindrance to Greg's supposedly inevitable fame. In Awesome Friendly Kid, Rowley has new stories to tell where Greg is more obviously a jerk than he seems to be in the Wimpy Kid books. However, even in the older books, it's clear Greg is an Unreliable Narrator and Rowley, for all his nerdiness and naivety, is more popular due to being a Nice GuyAwesome Friendly Kid just makes it clearer. Greg also comes across as less sympathetic in Awesome Friendly Kid because there's less focus on the Heffley family, so Greg's Middle Child Syndrome and Butt-Monkey status, the main reason he's sympathetic in the original books, is more downplayed.
  • There Was a Door: In one of Rowley's first Awesome Guy comics, Awesome Guy sees the Awesome-Signal in the sky while at work, so he runs down the hallway to the exit sign as he changes into his super-suit. He breaks through the wall next to the door.
  • Title Drop: The very first illustration in the book is Rowley's father telling him, "Rowley you are an awesome friendly kid."
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Greg frequently drags Rowley into his messes by tricking or shaming him into doing so.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: When Rowley shows his pitch for his new book to Greg and thinks they could both be famous together, the latter isn't even proud in the slightest, calling the title "stupid" and hitting Rowley with the page. He even tells Rowley that he could replace him with any moron in his book. In the trailers, Greg tries to tell the audience that Rowley ripped him off and even attempts to discourage the audience from reading the book.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Played with. While Rowley is more honest and open in comparison to Greg, he has the mentality of a child and is always blind to Greg's mistreatment towards him.
  • Vignette Episode: While the main Diary of a Wimpy Kid books tend to have a main theme or plot, this one is just a series of random journal entries written by Rowley. Downplayed near the end, in which the vignettes get longer and the last half of the book consists of about three stories.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
    • Greg laughs at Rowley's idea for a superhero: Awesome Guy, who has the power of kindness, his "Dark and Troubled Past" is that he had Good Parents and was given powers after being struck by a double rainbow, and that in his civilian life, he's a nurse at an urgent care clinic. Meanwhile, Greg's opinion of what a good superhero is falls more in line with '90s Anti-Hero.
    • Before that, Greg and Rowley come up with superheroes whose powers aren't the best, like "Healthy Snacks Man."
  • With Friends Like These...: Rowley already showcases Greg's unsupportive and assholish behavior in the book, and yet somehow he still considers Greg to be his best friend in the world.
  • You Owe Me: Rowley accidentally gets Greg out of a kid's terrible birthday party by falling into a pit full of stinging bees. Greg promises Rowley he'd do him a favor in return someday. Later, Greg stands up for Rowley to get a better grade from an unfair teacher. However, Greg insists that Rowley now owes him a bunch more favors for that incident, with the party incident only being the beginning.