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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 who accuses Greg of stealing a Lego piece of his when that Lego piece is so tiny and insignificant and the situation was obviously an accident.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Greg's idea of a catchphrase in Double Down, which is "Bite my biscuits!"
    • When talking about the Wizard of Oz play his school is putting on, Greg says that getting to peg Patty Farrell with apples in front of a live audience would be a dream come true. He means he wants to throw them at her, but "pegging" also refers to a certain sexual act.
  • Adaptation Displacement: It used to be a very obscure webcomic on a site meant for elementary school-age children. Now it's a wildly popular book series with five movie adaptations.
  • Adorkable:
  • 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. Perhaps in response to this, later books show 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.
    • 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). 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? For that matter, was he actually willing to have them killed or was it that he simply didn't know how dangerous cutting off the power was?
    • 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.
    • Greg often claims that his parents and grandmother favour his little brother Manny. However, is this true, or is it just that they baby him due to his young age and Greg perceives it as favouritism out of jealousy?
    • Albert Sandy's main shtick is telling Greg, Rowley, and other students wild, untrue things. Is he lying, or is he very gullible and actually believes his wild stories?
    • Is the story Frew tells in "Old School" about his parents having him wake up at five o'clock six days a week to study against his will true, a lie, or an exaggeration?
    • Did Greg's bunkmates in "Old School" intentionally hang him out to dry after their chaperone, Mr. Jefferson, found the fish they'd put in the toilet or were they just feeling too awkward about the situation to say anything until it was too late? They still work as a team after this, after all.
    • From the perspective we see in the story, most of Greg’s friends and family are portrayed as idiots at best, and assholes at worst. However, as mentionned above, Greg is an Unreliable Narrator, and since the story is a retelling from his perspective, then are Greg’s friends and family really as bad as Greg portrays/sees them? Or is Greg deliberately exaggerating their worst traits and writing them as unlikable jerks to make himself look better by comparison?
  • Animation Age Ghetto:
    • The books were originally intended to appeal to all ages similar to many classic comic strips with their witty comedic writing and dramedy slice of life storylines. They were even intially going to market it towards adults. However, after the books became a popular to kids and due to the fact they had a cartoon art, they started slowly shifting more towards kids with wackier storylines and modern day pop culture references.
    • Due to the books' cartoony 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. If you were to talk to someone about Diary of a Wimpy Kid as an adult, they would probably think of you as weird, whereas with books like Harry Potter are seen as normal literature for adults. In fact, some moral guardians have attacked the books despite the books being aimed at kids 8-12.
    • This may be the reason why the books were adapted into live action and not animation until Disney acquired the rights to it by buying 20th Century Studios, despite being based on a cartoon since that way the movies could appeal to a pre teen crowd who thought animation would be too childish for them and were starting to watch live action media aimed at an older audience. It didn't help that American cartoons were going through some tough times around then.
    • This could be a possible reason as to why the animated movie got negative reception, since it was being compared to the live action movies by critics and not the books despite being based upon and being more accurate to the books, albeit with some major scenes left out.
  • Anvilicious:
    • 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 at least one anti-technology or device 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.
    • In The Getaway, regarding Manny having a box jellyfish in his bucket. 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 circuit breakers work, how to drive a car, learning to speak Spanish fluently after listening to a tutorial CD on a road trip and even being able to build a house with working water and electricity.
  • 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.
    • 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 too oblivious 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.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • In Old School, Frank remembers stabbing his best friend's butt with a spork over an argument, leading to his friend's mom spanking him. It's very humorous to see after all the times he's been neglectful and controlling of his sons.
    • In Big Shot, Susan signs Greg up for a basketball tournament despite his protests and Greg comments that he's pretty sure she's just trying to relive her own glory days through him. However, after finding out Greg sucks at basketball, she trades him over to the rival team after one of their players get injured with the belief that his bad play will cause her team to win. Unfortunately for her, Greg actually makes the final winning shot, leading to him celebrating with his new team while Susan has to drive home in shame. After the myriad of events that Susan roped Greg into over the series, it's very satisfying to see one of her busybodying plans finally backfire on her for once.
  • 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.
  • Cliché Storm: The later books of the series began to revolve more on Greg and his family issues than Greg's middle school life, and stories that involve them are pretty much just typical sitcom based stories involving them getting into trouble via Idiot Ball that has been done to death that it tends to overshadow the elements of what made the series stand out and makes it seem more like a Malcolm in the Middle rip-off.
  • 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.
    • The Long Haul. Some like it for its relatable plot while providing plenty of funny moments, while others hate it for adding some unrealistic elements to a series that was mostly grounded in reality (such as the pig), the shift in focus from Greg's middle school life to his family life, 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...
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Mad Pantser pantsing the vice principal. So offensive, so uncalled for, and yet so funny.
  • Crossover Ship: Some fans ship Greg with Nikki Maxwell from Dork Diaries, likely because both Dork Diaries and the Wimpy Kid series are about the misadventures of middle school kids who keep diaries that they recount their escapades in, despite the massive Fandom Rivalry.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience: There is something clearly off with Greg. He shows signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder due to him thinking he's more important than he actually is, manipulating his family and friends in his schemes, blames them for getting him trouble despite the fault being all his, not caring how other people feel and doesn't show regret unless he's in trouble. He clearly suffers from an undiagnosed Truman Effect since he thinks he's in a reality TV show in Double Down.
  • 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. 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.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Fans dislike Dork Diaries for being seen as a vastly inferior copy of the series.
    • A slightly less heated rivalry has built up between Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate, as they both revolve around prideful and lazy sixth-graders who enjoy drawing comics and they both had islands based on them in Poptropica. Naturally, fans often debate over which is the better of the two. In fact, the most prominent subreddit for Diary of a Wimpy Kid memes (r/LodedDiper) and the most prominent subreddit for Big Nate memes (r/ENSLAVETHEMOLLUSK) have something of a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis relationship. However, as of late, this rivalry has cooled down, and Wimpy Kid and Big Nate are more or less Friendly Fandoms.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some people just read the first three books and completely ignore the others.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Since it began, the book series has run primarily off of Greg being a complete Butt-Monkey and having an endless stream of unfortunate events happen to him. However, the first few books actually had plots that connected these events, while the more recent installments often consist of blatant Random Events Plots without an overarching storyline.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Oddly enough with Sonic the Hedgehog, most likely due to both fandoms being prominent in the deviantart community in the early 2010s.
  • 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. However, it very rarely lasts as long as it did in the book.
  • 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: In The Last Straw, Rowley sends Greg a valentine in the mail with a little candy heart attached to it. Greg seems weirded out at the gesture, remarking, "Sometimes I just don't know about that boy."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Rodrick stating (as part of his attempt at advice to Greg about Holly) that he "knows" tons of girls are secretly into him, portrayed in context as him being deluded, is amusingly apt in light of the many Real Life fangirls he has.
    • In The Long Haul, Greg suggests that the family rent an RV to carry their stuff in on the trip. This is shot down by Susan due to the gas mileage that RVs get. In The Deep End, the family uses Uncle Gary's RV for their road trip.
    • Hard Luck features an Imagine Spot where a grown-up Greg pays for an expensive meal at a restaurant using a simple drawing of a house. Look and behold, the rise of non-fungible tokens in early 2022, and an entire NFT restaurant, the Flyfish Club, is set to open in New York. This is even acknowledged and lampshaded on Jeff Kinney's official Twitter account.
    • In one book Greg tries to justify his not bothering to exercise with the idea that "in the future there'd be a pill to make everyone buff anyway" so it's pointless. Seemed impossible, right? Apparently not.
  • 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 and he’s so overall pathetic that sometimes you can’t help but feel for him.
    • 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 (although considering the type of person Heather is, 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 Badass: Manny is often jokingly portrayed as a brilliant mastermind, or even a god-like being. One popular meme compares him to Thanos.
  • 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.
    • Zoo-wee mama! Explanation 
    • "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 
    • "Think again, Shawn!" Explanation 
    • "Greg, will you please pass this note to Shelly?" 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 
    • "WHAT WAS GENERAL GRANT DOING ON THE THERMOSTAT?" Explanation 
    • "I'm sorry women." Explanation 
    • "I'M THE LAUGHINGEST LAUGHER THAT EVER LAUGHED! HA HA!"Explanation 
    • The title of the 16th book, "Big Shot", has led to a lot of Spamton memes, especially those editing him onto the book's cover. Jeff Kinney has joined in on the fun.
  • 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.
  • Movement Mascot: Manny Heffley became the face of an anti-police brutality movement on TikTok in 2020, with people drawing or painting graffiti of Manny's head next to leftist slogans. "The Manny will not be televised" became a rallying cry, based off the Gil Scott-Heron poem "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised".
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • During the climax of The Deep End, the RV's septic tank overflows, flooding the living area with the contents of the RV's toilet.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Fans will never forget about Manny's actions in Cabin Fever, with him shutting off power to the house (except his room) during a blizzard and leaving his entire family to starve and freeze to death all because they never taught him how to tie his shoes.
    • 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 shaped into a person more to his liking. He is more concerned about what he wants his son to be rather than what his son wants to be. Even though he redeems himself in the movies, it still doesn’t change what he did in the books.
  • 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. Greg comments that it was enough to give him nightmares.
    • Greg once has 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.
    • While Manny is a Spoiled Brat who has displayed signs of Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, 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: 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 then became 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.
  • Self-Fanservice:
    • Susan Heffley gets hit with this a lot. Fanart depicting Susan often gives her Hartman Hips and a massive bust, even though she's not particularly curvy in the books or in either of the movies.
    • Rodrick also receives this from time to time. In both the books and the movies, Rodrick has a very thin physique, but some fanfiction writers- particularly those who write "Rodrick x Reader" fanfics on sites like Wattpad- will describe him as having "abs" or "strong arms".
  • 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 sixteen with a seventeenth planned for October 2022, 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, disappearances of fan-favorites, no changes in the status quo, recent flanderization, over reliance on cynicism, convoluted stories and the random (if not, ridiculous) attempts at continuing the series, as well as storylines being recycled.
  • Squick: In the first book, Rowley is forced to eat the moldy, bacteria ridden slice of cheese that had been laying on the school's blacktop for a year and a half.
  • 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The very end of The Last Straw introduces a new girl into Greg's and Rowley's life, only to have her dump both at the beginning of Dog Days. That's a shame, since giving Greg a female friend could've changed his outlook and 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.
    • 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.note  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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Double Down mentioned the Cheese Touch for the first time since Rodrick Rules. This would seem like a perfect opportunity to mention Jeremy Pindle, as he was the last known person to have the Cheese Touch and it was never explained how he was affected after Greg passed it down to him. Instead, we just get a story about kids trying to relive the Cheese's glory, and Pindle remains a What Happened to the Mouse?.
    • 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. Considering the rest of the book is more of a Random Events Plot than usual, previous parts of the story could have been brought up again here. 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? There's a lot of potential that the book doesn't go into.
    • 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. Greg saying goodbye to all his friends as his family prepares to move to a new neighborhood has a particular "series finale" vibe. The move would've also meant a new supporting cast, particularly after most side characters had been sidelined for the past few books. Unfortunately, this gets reversed at the very end of the book, dooming Greg to Surrey Street once again.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring:
    • While it's a stretch to call it outright bleakness, 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 stupidity from all characters 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 stupid 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 five 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.
      • Hard Luck focuses on everyone being a jerk to each other and takes the books' cynicism up to eleven. Events include the teachers starting the Hero Points program to bribe kids into being nice (which leads to doctored points), Abigail using Rowley to make her ex jealous and dumping him without a word, Susan and her sisters nearly killing each other because of a ring, and despite feeling a bit bad for Rowely, Greg learning nothing from all of this.
      • 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, they just had to get messed up again. It's telling that the next book The Deep End finally gives them a Vacation Episode that ends well, though they suffer mightily to get there.
  • 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.
    • Rodrick is the Black Sheep of his family, is considered a "lame" musician, and is repeatedly rejected by Heather, a girl he has a crush on in the third movie. However, to many fans, he's the coolest character in the series, thanks to his Troubled, but Cute appeal, his interest in music, and the Adaptational Attractiveness and Character Development he gets in the movies.
  • Values Resonance: During The Deep End, the Heffleys' living situation at the beginning of the book, being forced to live together in Gramma's basement for the summer while their house is being repaired, is a natural continuation from the end of Wrecking Ball. But it was published during the COVID-19 Pandemic, so the gags about everybody going nuts while Frank struggles to work from home are more relatable than they otherwise would have been. Even the idea of the characters going on a road trip in an RV is an echo of 2020, as sales of those took off as the year progressed so people could take socially distanced vacations. Additionally, towards the end of the book, everyone at the campsite stocks up on supplies from the camp store.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!:
    • 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 to it as 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.
  • 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.
  • Woolseyism:
    • In the first book, a boy named Preston Mudd is named "Athlete of the Month" and has his picture put up in the hall with "P. Mudd" underneath it- which results in other kids calling him "Pee Mud". In the Spanish translation, his name was changed to Preston Zonn, and the other kids call him "pezón" (nipple). The Polish translation changes his name to Kris Bell, and the other kids call him both "kabel" (figuratively a snitch) and "kibel" (toilet), while in the Italian translation he's called Preston Shasott end the kids call him "pisciasotto" ("pees himself")
    • In Rodrick Rules, a student named Peter Uteger is mocked for his initials being "P.U." The German translation renames him to Peter Puttmann, and his initials are "P.P.", sounding like pipi (pee). The Polish translation changes the first name to Bill and his initials to "B.U.", so it sounds like booing. The Italian translation renames him Walter Creger, with the initials being "W.C." as in "water closet".
    • In The Long Haul, after the school bans the Underpants Bandits books, some kids sneak in their own copies. One kid brought in a Japanese version of a book and an illustration is shown of it. When the book was translated into Japanese, the bootleg copy was changed to Chinese.

    The live action movies 
  • 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.
  • Adaptation Displacement: To a small but notable extent, some older audiences are more familiar with the movies than the books due to the fact they watched it with their kids.
  • Awesome Music: The movies have a surprisingly stellar lineup of indie/garage rock/power pop songs in their soundtracks.
    • The end credits song for the first film, "What Do You Want From Me" by Forever The Sickest Kids.
    • Greg singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in the first movie.
    • In the second movie Rowley does a lip sync to "Tik Tok".
    • The song "Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones during the montage of Greg and Rodrick cleaning up the house in the second movie.
    • 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.
    • But let's not forget Theodore Shapiro's main theme from the first movie, which manages to capture the peppy and chaotic nature of Greg's life. Additionally, despite Edward Shearmur taking over composing duties for Rodrick Rules and Dog Days, he still kept this theme, with his versions being just as great.
  • 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?
  • Broken Base: Are the movies (well, the first three - the fourth one is majority agreed to be bad) 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: While The Long Haul movie is mostly despised, a handful find Mr. Beardo and his persistence to screw over the Heffleys at every opportunity one of the film's few highlights.
  • 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 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?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • 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.
    • In the first movie, there’s a scene where Greg wears a particular outfit to school only to walk into his class to find out that Rowley is wearing the exact same outfit as him as he "wanted to be matchers" much to Greg’s dismay. To make matters worse, everyone in the class begins singing, "Greg and Rowley sitting in a tree" causing Greg and Rowley to look at each other awkwardly.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There exists a significant portion of people who love the first three Diary of a Wimpy Kid films solely because of Rodrick Heffley; not only because he's a hilarious character, but also because he's a charismatic, edgy rock musician portrayed by the dreamy Devon Bostick.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Beardo does seem sympathetic throughout The Long Haul- that is, until he steals some of the Heffley family's personal belongings to get back at them.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Sequelitis: While the other movies have a mixed reception among the fans, The Long Haul is universally agreed to be terrible, between the controversial casting changes, the fact that it's an adaptation of what's considered to be the start of the series' Seasonal Rot, and the over-reliance on things like memes and social media.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: 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 guessnote . 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 Plot: The third movie gives us an Odd Friendship in Patty and Holly. Patty still acts like a Jerkass to other characters such as Greg and Rowley, but can be seen acting friendly to Holly, as the two are seen having friendly talks and playing tennis together. This could have been used to give Patty some Hidden Depths that would explain why Holly is willing to be her friend, and maybe even trying to act friendlier to Greg for Holly's sake, but their friendship mostly goes unexplored. It doesn’t help that she isn’t seen after the tennis game.
  • Vindicated by History: The first three films have received this in spades. Back when they were released, the films received mixed-to-negative scores from critics and audiences and were largely forgotten about in the immediate years that followed. In more recent years though, opinion towards the films has begun to soften considerably, with many, particularly fans of the books, growing fond of the films and appreciating them for their casting, faithfulness to the books, Character Development and having their share of genuinely great and humorous moments. Appreciation and fondness towards them has only grown more over time, partly thanks to glowing reviews from the likes of internet reviewers such as L.S Mark and Browntable.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: 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 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 like any of his co-stars or the character he’s supposed to be playing. It didn’t help that he couldn’t play the version of Rodrick people liked, he instead had to play a completely different character. Some viewers unfamiliar with the first three movies thought Rodrick was adopted. Lastly, unlike the other pre/teenage cast members, Devon Bostick has barely aged since the third movie.
    • The recasting of Susan from Rachael Harris to Alicia Silverstone didn’t do any favors either; like Rodrick, her version of Susan did a complete 180 from the original, and in the worst way possible.
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    The 2021 animated movie 
  • Critical Dissonance: The animated movie received favorable reviews by critics, whereas audiences and fans of the series gave it more of a negative reception. It currently holds a 73% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, while it has a lower 38% audience score.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: One criticism regarding this movie is that compared to the live-action movies, it's too short (with a runtime of only 58 minutes), which has the side effect of rushing the story by removing various elements between the Halloween scene and the climax.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general consensus of the animated adaptation is that while it's nowhere near as good as the first three live-action films, it's at least better than The Long Haul and is a faithful (if very rushed) adaptation, if little else.
  • Squick: The animated movie adapts the scene where Fregley apologizes to Greg for chasing him around with a booger by putting it on the letter so Greg can get him back. But, instead of being a tiny booger like it was in the book, it's a giant green lump of stringy snot. No wonder Greg blacked out after touching it.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The film cuts out the Safety Patrol story in the first book and first live action movie, which didn't sit well with a lot of fans due to it playing an important role in what causes the friendship of Greg and Rowley to break up. In the Disney+ movie, Greg and Rowley's friendship is broken from Rowley gaining popularity over the "Zoo-Wee-Mama!" comic that Greg came up with but willingly gave it to Rowley, which makes their break up feel very underwhelming.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot
    • In the Disney+ film, Greg and Rowley are playing with the Big Wheel before Rowley breaks his arm. Rowley suggests that if he and Greg act in the Wizard of Oz play, they'll make some friends, who'll let them sit at the lunch tables. Greg shrugs this off as taking too long. This is a major scene in the original book, but this is the extent it's brought up in the film. Rowley also mentions participating in the wrestling unit, a story arc from the first book, and wanting to run for student council (an arc from The Third Wheel). None of these arcs happen in the film, which could have helped a lot with its run time (it's barely under an hour).
    • Regarding the Safety Patrol subplot being removed, it might have helped a bit if the film brought in and re-contextualized more scenes from the book left out of the first live-action film (such as Greg and Rowley's failed Haunted House during Halloween and their failed ambush on the Whirley Street kids in the winter) to not only fuel Greg and Rowley's falling out a lot better, but also to have the film stand out, even if just a little, from it's live-action counterpart.
  • Uncertain Audience: The Disney+ animated movie ends up falling into this territory. While the movie is an adaptation of the first book and can be seen as though it's targeted at the fans of the series, all of the jokes and serious moments that were adapted from the first book are pretty much identical to how they were in the first book with nothing really new being added to them, which ends up making this movie not really all that entertaining for fans of the series since they already saw those moments. And newcomers aren't very likely to find this movie entertaining either due to the movie's basic jokes and rushed plot that wind end up making it hard to get into.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley:
    • Many fans feel the designs in the CGI animated film fall squarely into this territory as a result of the film trying to be faithful to the book designs. While the heavily exaggerated, ugly, noodly look of the characters look just fine in a flat 2D plain, in a fully 3D space, they come off as being incredibly off-putting and creepy looking instead. Manny in particular has received the most accusations of being this, with many finding his design to look terrifying in 3D.
    • Also, the scene where Greg does a Dreamworks Face looks really off.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Rowley in the animated film when he joins the school newspaper and publishes the Zoo-Wee Mama! comic strips despite them being originally Greg's idea, unfairly earning him fame and popularity. While one can argue that Greg wasn't a good friend to him because he broke Rowley's arm, Greg was right to call him out for copying his ideas instead of coming up with something original as he had suggested Rowley do. In the original book, Zoo-Wee Mama! was an idea of both Greg and Rowley, so at least Rowley had some ownership of the idea in that version.

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