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  • Acceptable Targets: As a satirical series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid always makes fun of certain people. For example, Maddox Selsam in Double Down is a Straw Character representing kids raised in the present time without modern comfort. He has never seen a video game before, is never allowed to eat junk food, has a large bookshelf in place of a TV, practices violin and constructs Master-Builder-level LEGO sets in his free time. Oh, and he's a Jerkass.
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  • Accidental Aesop: The Long Haul movie has one: while online pictures/videos of someone getting into embarrassing situations can be hilarious, the subject of said picture/video will hate having one of their most humiliating moments immortalized where anyone can see it.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Greg's idea of a catchphrase in Double Down, which is "Bite my biscuits!"
  • Adaptation Displacement: It used to be a very obscure webcomic on a site. Now it's a wildly popular book series with three equally popular movie adaptations.
  • Adorkable: Rowley is a naive and gullible Kiddie Kid who doesn't have a mean bone in his body. While his friend Greg finds him too childish, Rowley is actually portrayed as one of the most likable characters and even becomes a Clueless Chick Magnet on more than one accasion.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Given that everything is written from Greg's perspective, it's inevitable.
    • We all know that Greg is an Unreliable Narrator who over exaggerates the cruelty he suffers to downplay his own Jerkassness, but some people take it one step further and categorize Greg as a sociopath. However, it should be noted that he does have occasional Pet the Dog moments not motivated by greed, such as the end of Cabin Fever where he goes out of his way to deliver a wrapped present to the church toy drive, or a point during Hard Luck where he hid a diamond ring worth millions specifically to keep his family from breaking apart from the fighting.
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    • Manny is a horribly spoiled child due to his parents' unrealistic favoritism towards him (to the point where he never gets punished in the slightest for even committing the most immoral of acts; see Moral Event Horizon below). It is also shown that Manny is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who acts friendly when they're around and considering that neither Greg or Rodrick are saints in particular, he's favored due to the parents thinking he's the sweetest kid in the house. However, in regards in Cabin Fever, was Manny willing to have his family killed for not tying his shoes or was it for no real reason whatsoever and made up the "excuse" because he knows his mother will easily forgive him no matter what, even if whatever he did was for the pettiest of reasons?
    • Frank is either a Jerkass who mistreats his sons or just an occasionally stern but well-meaning father, just like he is in the movies.
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    • These interpretations make complete sense if you assume The Movie is the actual depiction of events, since many scenes had to be changed for dramatic tension (for instance, Greg writes that he scared kindergarteners with a worm, which led to his expulsion from the Safety Patrol, while in the movie he abandoned them in a pit at a construction site.)
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Due to the books' cartoon art style, they haven't been taken seriously by many book critics even though they have plenty of interesting insights for adults as well as kids. In fact, some moral guardians have attacked the books despite the books being aimed at kids 8-12.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Cabin Fever seems to really really be giving one the point that Jeff Kinney hates the American education system.
    • The Meltdown opens up with a huge Author Tract about anthropogenic climate change.
    • Due to Jeff Kinney's personal thoughts on the subject, every book after The Long Haul (including Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid and besides Double Down) has had an anti-cell phone scene.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In The Last Straw, Greg is suddenly revealed to be wearing contact lenses, and he then has to wear backup glasses. His eyesight was never brought up before or after the reader learns this.
    • Manny having a box jellyfish in his bucket in The Getaway. Greg never mentions Manny bringing the bucket with him on the snorkeling trip, and it appears briefly in one picture. Also, why would he need to bring it with him on a snorkeling trip?
    • Pretty much anything random that Manny is revealed to be skilled at is this considering that nothing is ever shown to build up how he masters this stuff like Manny knowing how the circuit breakers work and how to drive a car, and being able to speak in Spanish fluently even though that for his age it takes more than just a year or two to master speaking in a foreign language.
  • Author's Saving Throw: In the books, Greg is a horrible person who treats everyone around him like garbage and never learns anything, but the movies actually made him more sympathetic and he’s much closer to his friends and family. Same goes for the rest of the cast.
  • Awesome Music: The movies have a surprisingly stellar lineup of indie/garage rock/power pop songs in its soundtracks.
    • The end credits song for the first film, "What Do You Want From Me?"
    • Greg singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in the first movie.
    • In the second movie Rowley lip synched "Tik Tok".
    • Rodrick's band singing their original song; Exploded Diper. Even better when you consider that in the books, Greg described his music as horrible.
    • In the third movie Rodrick does a rock cover of Justin Bieber's Baby.
    • Also, "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys (during Rowley and his mom's dance in the first movie), "When They Fight, They Fight" by Generationals (near the end of the first movie), "Danger! High Voltage" by Electric Six (when Rowley and Greg suit up at Halloween), and "This is War" by Ben Kweller, among others.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Greg himself. Due to his less than desirable traits, he's either seen as an unlikable protagonist who really shouldn't be rooted for, or a sympathetic character with a hard life who's balanced out by those same traits.
    • Rodrick also counts too. Either he's liked, particularly for his charisma, or hated for his massive Big Brother Bully attitude towards Greg.
    • Both Susan and Frank also fall under this. They are either seen as funny characters who show plenty of times that they love their sons despite their shortcomings, or they are seen as neglectful idiots who are too irresponsible and oblivious that they should not be legally allowed to raise their sons and are the source to Manny's Spoiled Brat status.
    • To a lesser extent, Rowley. Some like him for being one of the few genuinely nice characters in the series, while others find him too dumb to even sympathize with.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Chirag dressing up as Holly to prank Greg for ignoring him in the movie version of Rodrick Rules. To put things into perspective, in the book, "The Invisible Chirag" is a prank that was started by Greg and went on for a few days, or even a few weeks. In the movie, it gets only one scene without much importance to the plot. Even weirder is, how did Chirag set this up when everyone was in on the prank? Why did he choose to dress up as Holly instead of doing something less time consuming? Why did some kids pop up out of nowhere just to laugh at Greg? As bizarre as that scene was, it's never mentioned again and was probably only added to give Chirag some payback.
  • Broken Base:
    • It isn't impossible to find people who believe that the books up to The Last Straw were the best, and then the series undergoing a decline in quality due to focusing less on a school-related plot-line and more on the antics and bad luck of Greg and company (such as The Long Haul and The Getaway). It doesn't help that the timeline of the books usually now take place in two months at the longest instead of taking place over a good few months.
    • The movies (well, the first three, due to the failure of The Long Haul) aren't exempt from this either. Are they good adaptions of the books onto the big screen and feature a much more truthful light of Greg's actions, or are they just as overblown and inane? Particularly Dog Days gets a lot of flak from people who were put off by the fact the film was rushed as soon as possible so the actors would have one last role before growing too old.
  • Character Rerailment: After spending the past few books Flanderized into a total moron, Wrecking Ball brings Rodrick’s Jerkass traits back to the surface and even features Löded Diper again, though he still comes off as a moron.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Did Dog Days start the series' decline? Some enjoy hearing about Greg's summer and find it as good as the previous books, while others don't like the lack of school-related plots and think it cheapens the ending of The Last Straw.
    • Cabin Fever is either liked for its more serious and realistic tone, while still having some very funny jokes, while others find it irredeemable because of Manny's despicable behavior and dislike that the snowstorm doesn't start until the end of the book.
    • The Long Haul. Some like it for its relatable plot while others hate it for adding some unrealistic elements to a series that was mostly grounded in reality (such as the pig) as well as its shallow conflict, and is seen by some fans to be where the series really started going downhill. The film version, on the other hand...
  • Crazy Awesome: Rodrick when he wants to be.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Mad Pantser pantsing the vice principal. So offensive, so uncalled for, and yet so funny.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • While it's a stretch to call it outright darkness, the sheer amount of unlikable characters (for instance, the main character Greg already suffers from an unrealistic number of glaring flaws he hardly notices) and sheer amounts of What an Idiot! from all characters moments can really be a bother when trying to find something to root for and keep going. Despite being sold as realistic fiction, the story is set in a cynical world of incompetence where bad things happen to good people, although this world is interpreted from Greg's obvious Protagonist-Centered Morality. It becomes even worse in later books when the humor just revolves around the Heffleys having bad luck. The movies, however, attempt to fix this by giving the characters better personalities and lessening some of the What an Idiot! moments, even having Greg and Rodrick reconcile after their biggest schism in the Rodrick Rules movie, as they now treat each other much better. It even carries over into Dog Days, where Greg is horrified at thinking Rodrick was being loaded into a garbage truck, and upon seeing his brother is okay, hugging him tightly, to which Rodrick is obviously touched.
    • The four biggest offenders are:
      • The ending of Cabin Fever, wherein Manny's Jerkass tendencies are taken Up to Eleven as he cuts off the power to the house in the middle of a blizzard with the exception of his own room, leaving the rest of his family to die and yet he still doesn't get punished.
      • The entirety of The Long Haul. The book's plot is mostly a series of misfortune events caused entirely by the family being completely idiotic or some form of Ass Pull. The film version is even worse and is one of the reasons why fans disown the movie, besides the changed cast of course, given that the first three movies notably made the stories less of a hassle to sit through.
      • The entirety of The Getaway, for many of the same reasons as The Long Haul. Yet another series of unfortunate things happening to the family who just want to relax, with most of their misfortunes either being caused by their own idiocy or just bad luck.
      • The last two pages of Wrecking Ball end up ruining the Heffleys chance of having a new home after all the trouble they went through. Just when things were finally looking up for them, the author just had to go and mess things up again!
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Rodrick. Usually the Big Brother Bully falls easily into The Scrappy, but Rodrick is not that bad...Being a "cool" guy who likes music and a charismatic Mr. Fanservice, he becomes the movies's Ensemble Dark Horse and fans claim that he's a "saint" compared to the rest of the family and is just a victim mistreated by his parents. Except that, even in the movies, we see him acting like a Jerkass much more than all his family members (including Greg), since Frank and Susan are never abusive or malicious, while Rodrick clearly takes pleasure in bullying Greg, as seen in many scenes before his Character Development.
    • Greg himself. Every character who is mean to him gets hated and demonized by fans (except Rodrick), even when it's clear that Greg, who is far from a nice guy, did something to deserve it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The movies generated a huge fanbase for the supporting cast.
    • Rodrick has a legion of fangirls. Blame the movie for that. It gives him Adaptational Attractiveness, turning him into Mr. Fanservice. You can see why people absolutely adore Devon Bostick as him. Additionally, it portrays him as a Troubled, but Cute Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Frank Heffley, with it depending on the fans' impressions. For one, he's much closer to Greg in the movies than he is in the books and consistently supports and encourages him even if they don't see eye to eye. It's topped off by him strengthening his bond with Greg throughout the Dog Days film. It helps that he’s played by the outrageous Steve Zahn.
    • The second and third movie turned Holly Hills into one. In the books, she was little more than a Satellite Love Interest for Greg and he only liked her because she was the prettiest girl in his grade that wasn't already taken and only had one line. In the movies, they were actually allowed to interact in full, with many fans loving their chemistry and similar problems and personality traits. Because of this, Greg/Holly is probably the only thing that the fans ship (seriously).
    • Angie Steadman, the tritagonist from the first movie. Jeff Kinney added her to appeal to the female demographic and it actually worked. She stands her ground, says some of the things the audience is thinking, acts as a great Big Sister Mentor to Greg and Rowley, and gives a ¡Three Amigos! vibe to their dynamic. You'd be amazed at how many people want her to be in the books. It helps that her actor went on to become a successful child actor in her own right.
  • Epileptic Trees: There is interpretation of this series that the film trilogy is the actual depiction of events and the books are just exaggerated accounts on Greg's part.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans dislike Dork Diaries for being seen as a vastly inferior copy of the series.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • The movie trilogy is quite popular amongst the fanbase. However, practically everyone ignores that The Long Haul reboot film ever happened, perhaps even more so than the book it was adapted from, largely due to the replacing of the original actors which led to bizarre casting choices, the Denser and Wackier tone and the painful attempts at being hip with the kids, especially for a series that was beloved for being timeless.
    • Taking it further are fans who ignore even the books in favor of the first three movies due to them being Lighter and Softer with the "Shaggy Dog" Story and What an Idiot! moments toned down. Given that it's easy to view the first three movies in their own continuity with the fourth as a soft reboot, many fans of the films like to believe that Greg's adventures ended with the Dog Days movie instead of him getting into further trouble shown in the further books and movie.
  • Fanfic Fuel: In the second movie, Holly is revealed to have a spoiled younger sister. If Greg and Rodrick like Holly and Heather, who knows what Manny would think of Holly’s kid sister?
  • Genius Bonus: Two of the secondary characters in The Meltdown are the Garza twins, who have their own made-up language that nobody but them can understand. This is a real phenomenon known as cryptophasia.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The books and the movies are extremely popular in Singapore. It's actually so popular among Singaporean crowds, Fox decided to release the sequel over there 8 days before the US and the rest of the world.
  • Ho Yay:
    • From the first movie:
    Rowley: Hey Bryce, cute butt!
    • Rowley and Greg have many moments between each other, especially since Rowley bought them both a friendship locket that’s clearly made for girls.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The concept of Rowley’s comic “Zoo-Wee-Mama” somewhat precedes the popular webcomic Webcomic Name, both of which always have a character proclaiming a repeated phrase to serve as a punchline of each strip.
    • In The Last Straw, Greg said that in the future, everyone will have a personal robot that tells you whatever you need to know. Virtual assistants and smart speakers, anyone?
    • In the first movie, Rowley rejects Greg's offer to get ice cream. Fast forward to the next time he ran into ice cream...
    • On top of that, Rowley breaks his arm. Robert Capron would later play another character in a Haunting Hour episode who breaks his arm...and then ANOTHER one who does so.
    • In Cabin Fever, Rowley asks Greg if he wants to build a snowman.
    • In Double Down, Greg is planning on making a movie. What's next, befriending a girl with leukemia against his will?
    • In the expanded do-it-yourself book, there's a section called Diary of an Awesome, Friendly Kid which showcases some diary entries from Rowley's perspective. Eight years later, it would become a fully-fledged book.
    • Geese being unusually aggressive in Double Down becomes much funnier after a certain indie game gave geese a Memetic Psychopath status.
    • A comic strip called Wacky Dawg stopped being funny when the creator started using the dog to voice his own personal opinions and stopped focusing on jokes. Sound familiar? This also seems to be the case with the books themselves in the eyes of several longtime readers.
    • In the second movie, Rowley lip-syncs Tik Tok. Later, along comes the app of the same name that is known for videos of people lip-syncing songs.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Greg is lazy, self-centered, a Small Name, Big Ego and a bad friend to Rowley...but he suffers from Middle Child Syndrome, gets picked on by bullies at school and Rodrick at home, nobody likes him, he never gets anything nice from his relatives, and Rowley's parents consider him to be a bad influence on their son (though to be fair they're not wrong). It's really easy to see why he's prone to Jerkass moments. Not to mention that little if any of his plans are successful, which in reality turns him into a Iron Woobie.
    • Rodrick is a huge bum who mistreats Greg on a daily basis, but he has his occasional woobie-ish moments, particularly in the movie version of Rodrick Rules or when he got blamed for something that was clearly Manny's fault. He even loses his chance of getting Heather Hills to like him (though that was probably a good thing).
    • Manny is also sort of this. He's a Spoiled Brat who almost made his family freeze to death and constantly makes his brothers' lives a misery, but the reason he does that stuff and gets away with it is because Susan and Frank spoil him to the point that they never tell him anything that is right from wrong, and they have never once punished him for anything that he does wrong in this series. It has even rendered him completely friendless. For a kid who's never been raised to know what is right from wrong, Manny may not have the best future ahead of him compared to his brothers.
    • Frank is a strict, bad-tempered, and shallow jerk who tries to force his sons to be the people he expects them to be, but he gets made fun of by his boss and coworkers because of how wimpy and pathetic Greg is. The third movie has him get lied to by Greg and at the scouting trip, the rival troop makes fun of him.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • #NotMyRodrick (being the poster child for DOAWK memes), see They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.
    • "Ploopy!" Manny only said it a few times in The Last Straw however, but is used more often than "Bubby" by the fanbase.
    • "Rodrick has filled a condom with Diet Coke, froze it, and bashed Manny over the head with it. Manny has fucking died," as posted by a Frank Heffley parody Twitter account.
    • The Cheese Touch has become quite popular.
    • "I'M NOT GAY, GREG," from the 25 Years Later fanfic, where Greg (who came out to Rowley in their youth) tries to visit Rowley in despair when Frank is dying from cancer. When Rowley finds Greg on his doorstep, he says this before slamming the door in his face.
    • ManosExplanation 
    • "Good one, Manny!" Explanation 
    • During the Black Lives Matter protests throughout June 2020, graffiti of Manny began to appear around the United States. These images would be accompanied by the phrases "ACAB" note  and "The Manny will not be televised."
    • Blowouts are fucking funny. Explanation 
  • Memetic Psychopath: Fans like to exaggerate Manny's bad tendencies and make him into either a God or a killer.
  • Moe: The movie version of Holly Hills, which portrays her as a lovable, sweet Girl Next Door who likes and loves everyone, despite being one of the most popular girls at school. She even signed Rowley's yearbook saying "you are so cute," with "cute" being underlined three times.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In the first one, a gang of teenage bullies make Rowley eat the cheese. Keep in mind, in the book, Rowley was temporarily traumatized by the incident.
    • Manny crosses this in book six when he shuts down all power in the house except for his room, so he can be pampered while he leaves his family to freeze.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Frank's most memorable moments in this series is in The Last Straw, where he selfishly tries to toughen up his son to make him look good in public, to the point where he tries to send Greg to a military school to have him being meld into a person more to his liking, all of which he seems more concerned about what he wants his son to be rather than what his son wants to be.
    • Manny's actions in the climax of Cabin Fever which nearly caused Greg, Rodrick, and his mother to freeze to death, followed by his lack of punishment.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Manny's drawings after accidentally watching Rodrick's horror movie in Rodrick Rules, one in particular depicts a scary, demonic face with fangs that takes up an entire piece of paper.
    • The picture of Alfrendo on page 188 of Cabin Fever. It depicts a waterlogged baby doll with a missing eye, and parts of its body have been chewed away, exposing metal wire.
    • Greg once has an imagine spots of people getting shot out of an airplane and himself being tied up and killed by a spider in The Getaway.
    • Rodrick buys a plastic witch that cackles loudly while its eyes glow red in Double Down. Greg's dad takes out the batteries, and yet the witch still cackles.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The defense that "It's a journal, not a diary!" was used by another 11 year old kid before Greg existed.
    • The comic strip Wacky Dawg stopped being funny when the comic stopped making jokes and was about the dog essentially became a mouthpiece for the opinions that the creator had. Something similar has actually happened in real-life Newspaper Comics, Mallard Fillmore and Non Sequitur, decades before the first book.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • Everyone loves the books. The print publishers chose to market it as a kids' book but Word of God is that it was written as a nostalgia trip for adult readers "...like The Wonder Years".
    • Some of the problems that Greg faces involve issues that only older readers would be able to relate to; for example, in the webcomic, Greg loses his progress during the game Twisted Wizard because his mom turned the console off, and the game doesn't let you save. How many children do you think are familiar with older game systems that lack a save feature anymore, especially in the age of autosaving and flash memory?
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In more recent books, Manny’s status as a Spoiled Brat has began to be heavily downplayed, to which he acts more like a normal child that looks up to his brothers, due to him becoming Out of Focus.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Greg usually acts like a self-absorbed jerk, and even treats his best friend (who he doesn't even like) badly. While this is not unrealistic behaviour for a teenager, some viewers paint him as a sociopath for it. This got so massive that Jeff Kinney responded to it by stating Greg is not a sociopath, and he based the character off himself as a child. This response didn't help as now some people think Kinney himself is a sociopath.
    • Manny is a Spoiled Brat who doesn't know any better, but the fandom turns him into an outright psychopathic Enfant Terrible. Even on this very wiki he is seen as the Token Evil Teammate of the Heffley siblings because of his actions in Cabin Fever, despite the fact that he becomes Out of Focus after that, and in most books he's not much worse than Greg and Rodrick.
  • The Scrappy:
    • While she and her husband have more of a divisive status, Susan gains this status entirely in the movie adaptation of The Long Haul, where she seriously Took a Level in Jerkass by trying to make the road trip go according to her plans only while not caring about what her family wants to do, she grows a pathological hatred for modern technology as she preaches in the beginning of how children are too addicted to their phones and she spends most of the film trying to take her family's phones away to the point of grounding Greg for life from playing video games (which goes against the previous film of where Susan tells Frank that he can't take away what his sons love), and she accidentally humiliates Greg at the game expo while being unapologetic about it. And despite her actions being considered by the fans to be wrong, the movie portrays her in the right, even after Frank reasonably explains to her that Greg should be allowed to enjoy modern technology.
    • The unnamed pig the Heffleys get in The Long Haul is often seen as a terrible addition to the series. He usually fails to be funny because most of his gags revolve around him being a useless source of trouble (the family getting into trouble via Ass Pull is already getting old) and/or acting unrealistically human-like, which is just jarring in a series that's otherwise grounded in reality. It doesn't help that he only became the family pet due to Manny's insistence, and that the author overused him to the point where even those who didn't hate him in the first place think he overstayed his welcome. It's likely the backlash against the character was the reason he was absent from The Getaway, and him running away from the Heffley family and not being found in The Meltdown.
  • Sequelitis: Many fans of the series think the books have been getting progressively less funny and more boring with each new installment. It doesn't help that the number of books is going on fifteen with no end in sight, and much like your average sitcom, nobody is allowed to grow up or change. Jeff Kinney has stated on Twitter that he wants to write "at least 20" books. A lot of fans have also shown annoyance at the lack of character development and recent flanderization, over reliance on cynicism, and the random attempts at continuing the series, as well as storylines being recycled.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The Long Haul mentions the Underpants Bandits series that's Captain Underpants with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. The boys in school are crazy about it, but the adults don't want them to read it because of all the potty humor. Kinney really drives the message home: You can't tell kids to read and then tell them not to read what they actually enjoy just because it's got something you don’t like.
  • Squick:
    • The first book features the moldy cheese that lies on the baseball court for a very long time. And then Rowley is forced to eat it... In Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, it is revealed that Rowley is now too grossed out to eat anything containing cheese.
    • In the second movie, Greg eats the melted chocolate on his bum because everyone thinks it's poop. Even though it isn't, it's still really gross.
    • Old School has the most out of any book in the series.
      • Rowley getting a tooth lodged into his forehead.
      • The stew at Hardscrabble Farms is all the leftovers at the end of mealtime combined, and has been around since Greg's dad was Greg's age. A girl named Melinda tries to get sent home early by eating it and gets food poisoning.
    • Greg and the pig throwing up in Double Down.
    • One of the many criticisms about the Long Haul film (besides the replacement cast) is the overuse of gross-out humor, which wasn’t present in the original three films.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The introduction of an unrealistic behaving pig to the family in The Long Haul, which was already one of the more polarizing books in the series, was this to many fans, considering the series is rather down to earth. Ascended with The Meltdown making a clear mention that the pig was put in a kennel for Christmas vacation, and he ended up running away, explaining why he was absent from The Getaway without a mention.
    • The general reaction to the reveal that the film adaptation of The Long Haul would have an entirely new cast. The original cast members had grown up significantly since the last movie, so this was to be expected; though why they replaced the adult cast members is anyone's guess. This reached the point that the first trailer still has more dislikes than likes overall. Possibly the largest point of contention when it comes to the live-action adaptation of The Long Haul is replacing Rodrick's wildly popular original actor Devon Bostick with newcomer Charlie Wright (Bostick even made a video of himself reacting to the trailer). It got to the point where the hashtag "#NotMyRodrick" went viral on Twitter. And when it was finally released in theaters, it got abysmal reviews (19% on Rotten Tomatoes; 41 on Metacritic) and was the franchise's lowest-grossing open, to the surprise of no one. As of December 23, 2017, the trailer has 4.5 times more dislikes than likes. As of the same day, most of the video's comments include or only feature the hashtag #NotMyRodrick.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The very end of the third book introduces a new girl into Greg's and Rowley's life, only to have her dump both at the beginning of the fourth book. That's a shame, since giving Greg a female friend could've changed his outlook somed bring out a softer side to him. It could’ve also been a great opportunity to do a ¡Three Amigos! status. Humorously, the third movie which adapts Dog Days has Holly, who this time around is nicer to Greg and shares a surprisingly similar chaotic home life to him, filling in the role fans wanted the new girl to have by joining him and Rowley on summer fun times.
    • Come to think of it, Greg doesn't really seem to get the fact that you can have more than just one friend, and most of the characters who could've filled Greg's social circle (Fregley, Chirag, Tyson, Christopher) end up being One-Shot characters at best or they simply forget Greg at the end of it. In the movies though, Fregley and Chirag seem to be part of Greg's circle of friends and help him out with some of his plans.
    • Collin was Greg's other best friend in the online version, but most of his important roles were given to Rowley and he didn’t appear until the third act of the book version. Why did they do that? We have no clue.
    • Greg’s old best friend from the online version, Ben isn’t used in the books at all.
    • Abigail could've also filled that role, but Greg himself admits that they have mutual dislike for one another, Abigail because of the Noodle Incident at the dance and Greg because she's monopolizing Rowley's attention.
    • You'd be amazed at how many people want Angie to appear in the books or at least succeeding movies.
    • When Susan does suggest Greg to befriend some other kids in The Meltdown, Greg outright refuses because he looks down on others for extremely petty reasons and thinks that Rowley is all he needs.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The movie making scenes in Double Down come in at the very end of the book, and all that happens is Greg and Rowley are chased by geese after they film the introduction. What if Greg's movie was an adaptation of a Spineticklers book? What if he tried multiple different genres of movies before deciding on a horror film? What if he composed a soundtrack with his French horn? What if his weird dreams gave him ideas for things in the movie?
    • If it wasn’t for Status Quo Is God, Wrecking Ball could’ve been a good opportunity for a good new direction for the series to go in.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Greg is very unlucky and unpopular in-universe, but is liked by fans for being a Jerkass Woobie at worst and a relatable Cool Loser.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!:
    • In Cabin Fever, Greg plays a Webkinz-like game. It's very hard to get the reference.
    • Grandpa is shown to be a Facebook user in Old School (having accidentally CC'ed all the grandparents for what was meant to be a movie night with a friend), although Greg refers it to the "Internet".
    • The Meltdown has a page where one kid is seen dabbing while pretending to be a statue. Granted, it's only a one-off gag and that would probably happen even today, but still. It also mentions selfies.
    • Another criticism about the movie version of The Long Haul is that it has so many mentions and jokes about gaming conventions, memes, YouTube stars and social media.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Some of the choices Greg makes are borderline Face Palm-worthy at times. There are numerous times throughout the series where Greg would have gotten out of trouble easily had he just explained what had happened to get himself there. 90% of the time, however, he opts to run away or try to make himself look better instead, often getting himself in even more trouble than he already was as a result.
    • A notable example in the first movie is when he actually believed that the school play would retain the scene where the trees pelted Dorothy with apples. Of course a school play isn't going to have a student be pelted with apples.
    • In Rodrick Rules, Rodrick is sick on the day he's supposed to get his school picture in his sophomore year. Susan asks Frank to look around and find a photo of Rodrick and send it to the school.
      • You'd Expect: Frank would try to look for a picture of Rodrick that resembles Rodrick today.
      • Instead: He sends the school a photo of Rodrick when he was in SECOND grade. Even Greg is amazed at how badly his dad screwed up.
      • Even Worse: The school actually used that picture and put it in the yearbook.
    • From the same book, Greg tells a story of how he was hired by some of his neighbours to take care of their dog while they went away on a trip for the whole summer.
      • You'd Expect: Greg would check up on the dog once or twice each day to make sure they get fed properly and don't make any messes.
      • Instead: In the final two weeks, Greg decides to leave the dog alone until the day before the neighbours come back so he can clean up whatever mess was made in one go.
      • As a Result: Not only does the dog use the bathroom all over the house, but by dumb luck, the neighbours chose to come home a day early. In the end, Greg does not make a single penny.
    • Yet another example from Rodrick Rules. When Greg is running late on a History project, Rodrick offers to sell him his old assignment in exchange for 20% of Greg's stash of counterfeit Mom bucks.
      • You'd Expect: Rodrick would follow a similar plan as Greg when the latter first got his hands on the money: Only use a few Mom bucks at a time and to actually earn a few on his own so Susan doesn't get suspicious.
      • Instead: Rodrick tries to cash $20,000 all at once to buy a used motorcycle. Not only that, but he did it before even earning a single Mom buck on his own.
      • As a Result: Susan is immediately suspicious and eventually finds out about Greg's counterfeits. She ultimately ends the Mom bucks program quickly after.
    • In The Ugly Truth, Greg's Uncle Gary has gotten married (for the fourth time) and during the wedding reception, for seemingly no apparent reason, one of the best men decides to tell everyone (including the bride Sonja) that Gary had wanted to leave Sonja for her sister and only agreed to marry her because he thought everyone present for his Accidental Proposal would beat him up if he said no. Uncle Gary makes no attempt to deny this. Needless to say, Gary's marriage doesn't last, and he's single again by his next appearance all because one person couldn't keep his mouth shut.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Even ignoring the #NotMyRodrick controversy, Charlie Wright being cast as Rodrick in The Long Haul is simply baffling to many people, since he doesn't look at all like any of his co-stars or the character he’s supposed to be playing. It's gotten to the point that some viewers unfamiliar with the series thought that Rodrick is adopted.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rowley, since Greg constantly takes advantage of him.
    • Greg, although he doubles as a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Sweetie when he becomes overweight and immobile.
    • Fregley turns into this in Hard Luck, when it's revealed that he has no friends. It's so bad that even Greg (yes, the same Greg who previously used him to make Rowley jealous) feels a bit bad for him.

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