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Webcomic / Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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Original cover.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2004 Slice of Life webcomic written by Jeff Kinney that was hosted on the children's website FunBrain. As of 2021, it is no longer available to be read online.

It's about 12-year-old Greg Heffley, who receives a diary (which he insists on calling a journal) from his mother, much to his chagrin. Greg's mom strikes a deal with him and tells him if he writes a little each day in his diary, he will get to opt out on one chore on Saturdays. Greg agrees to this, but it's mostly because he hopes it will be useful when he becomes famous and doesn't want to answer annoying questions. He then chronicles all of his misadventures during the start of the school year all the way into summer vacation.

In 2007, Kinney published the first novel, which is a condensed version of the original webcomic. The novel quickly became a bestseller, spawning several books and later on, two series of films.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid contains the following tropes:

  • Cloneopoly: Susan institutes a "Mom Bucks" program for her sons, where she gives them play money in exchange for doing well, and they can give back to her in exchange for real money. Greg eventually discovers that the bills are actually from a board game called "Zoo-Opoly", and steals some from a game box to pass them off as Mom Bucks he earned. This plot point also appears in the book and movie adaptations, but the book version doesn't name the board game, while the movie version calls it "Pay Up".
  • Comically Missing the Point: Greg's Aunt Cakey doesn't like kids, but she does buy them some legos to play with. She then glues the legos into a solid brick so they can't be scattered around.
  • Covers Always Lie: In-universe. Greg wants to read a fantasy book that has a racy cover and his mom confiscates it. Greg's irritated partly because there's nothing like that in the book anyway.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Greg writes an allegory story for school involving a monkey attempting and failing to fix a car, then shows it to Rodrick, who is fixing his own car. When Rodrick gets it, not only does he tear up Greg's story, but he tells all his friends about Greg's embarrassing incident in the retirement home toilets.
  • Eye Scream: Greg's pet angelfish has its eyes ripped out by Rodrick's fish.
  • The Faceless: A character in the webcomic named Herbie Reamer. He's the leader of a gang of bullies and the reason why no sane kid in Greg's school stays on the basketball courts past 3:00.
  • Hype Backlash: In-Universe. Greg is shown as being incredibly anxious to play a video game called "Twisted Wizard 2" and then says it's the lamest game ever made (mainly because of a horrible control scheme).
  • Loud Sleeper Gag: Greg is staying with his grandfather at one point, and is woken up by him having a night terror and yelling, "There are monkeys in the walls!"
  • Padding the Paper: When Greg has to write an essay on chimpanzees, he doesn't know much about them, so he types in a large font, plays with the margin sizes, draws pictures, and at the end, he writes, "Well, it looks like I'm almost out of paper, so I guess this is—-" and then a giant "THE END". This scene is re-used in The Last Straw.
  • Nature Tinkling: Susan confiscates Greg's book due to thinking it's too "racy" because of the picture on the cover. The raciest scene Greg can think of is when a dwarf tries to use the bathroom in the woods, but bees chase him and he runs back to the camp with a bare bum.
  • Single Sex Offspring: The Matthews family, who would later become the Hills family in the books. They have a mother, a father, and five daughters— Lori (the inspiration for Heather), Piper (the inspiration for Holly), Jennifer, and two unnamed daughters. Greg's dad Frank teases Mr. Matthews that if he had a hundred more kids, they'd all be girls, and Greg (who has crushes on Piper and Lori) says that if Mr. Matthews did have a hundred more daughters, the world would be a more attractive place.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: The webcomic has Gregory go to the dentist once, which has pictures of all the people who never brushed their teeth in their lives or never even used floss. This unfortunately doesn't do anything to help Gregory with his fear of the dentist... and you can bet your ass that a lot of people are afraid of someone with metal tools poking around in their mouths.
  • Sneaking Snacks: Greg hides in the laundry hamper to find out who's been stealing the lunch treats and discovers that his dad is the thief.