This article contains major plot spoilers! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
- Greg Heffley
- Rowley Jefferson
- Gary Heffley (Main Antagonist)
- Frank Heffley (Dad)
- Manny Heffley
- Susan Heffley (Mom)
- Rodrick Heffley
Greg talks about his baby days and explains (probably from his imagination) that before being born, he was in a dark place swimming and napping anytime he wanted, until being woken up by classical music that his mother Susan would send through "parental speakers". Susan would also tell Greg about her life through the speakers too and Frank would also tell him about his day at work. Greg then got tired of it and got out three weeks early. Then he explains how everything he got was a hand down from his elder brother Rodrick. Susan used to not let Greg crawl a lot and that resulted in Greg being way behind his playmates in the physical stuff. Greg finally learned to walk, but was in preschool by the time and was still quite behind his classmates. His classmates could do things like use zippers and buttons and many other things Greg was unable to, so he tried to slow them down by giving them wrong information. However the teacher thought he wasn't learning well and called Susan and told her. Susan made him skip to kindergarten, but he was scared there so he went back again.
Greg then explains whatever Susan did for Greg would not work for Manny as she uses a different technique. Manny's social skills are a bit bad, he also watches The Snurples, a show in which the characters have their own gibberish language and he also made imaginary friends to escape danger, have fun and get extra dessert. Greg's mother starts a Family Night thing where they go out or play games rather than watch TV, Greg then talks about the family restaurant, Corny's. Greg is doing house chores until he heard a knock and finds his Uncle Gary at the door. Gary had bought some Boston counter shirts after loaning some of Frank's money, but the shirts have a typo and he needed a place to stay in. Living with Gary is bad for the Heffleys, his nightmares make Manny shift his bed away from the wall and whenever Rodrick is kicked out of bed in morning, he has to sleep on the up part of the couch.
Greg explains how Gary has been trying to get a job, but whenever he gets one, he quits after a few days. One of Greg's teachers, Mrs. Moretta announces in Phys Ed that the ballroom dancing unit is starting and people should find a partner by writing there names in slips and submitting them. Greg explains he will be fine with pairing with anyone except for Ruby Bird, a girl in Greg's school who has a bad habit of biting people and was suspended for biting Mr. Underwood in the elbow. At the partner announcement day, in Greg's favor Ruby is paired with Fregley, but Greg and four other kids were partnerless. The teacher paired them up with each other.
An assembly by Vice Principal Roy and Mrs. Birch announces new members for the Student Council. Greg cannot sign up due to him having three detentions, but sees Rowley could be perfect. Rowley signs up to be Social Chairperson. The winner of the President voting is Eugene Ellis who promised to replace the school's toilet paper with quilted toilet paper the teachers use.
The school introduces a program where students can bring in their own toilet paper. However, the plan backfired when some of the boys started a toilet paper fight in the cafeteria. The school then set a rule that kids are only allowed to have five squares of toilet paper, much to Greg's dismay because he brought in twenty rolls. Now that the staff is checking peoples' bags and lockers to see if they had more than five, Greg decided to have his own bathroom stall to keep all of the toilet paper, but that backfired when people founded out that Greg was hoarding toilet paper. After this whole toilet paper experience, students learned that they are going to raise money of their own if they want something.
The Student Council brainstormed ideas for a fundraiser, but most of the boys in the council decided on a mixed motocross/wrestling event. The fundraising community was formed, and, in the end the Valentine's Day Dance becomes a school fundraiser. Greg tries to find a date, but it starts to fail. A pantsing fever starts in the school which is quickly stopped by Roy, but a kid under the bleachers quickly pantses him and escapes. Now he (or she) is dubbed as the Mad Pantser. Greg found a leather jacket of his Dad's, but in school it is confiscated by his mother who said it was not a winter coat. Abigail Brown's boyfriend breaks up with her, and after that Greg and Rowley decide to go with her for the school dance.
Greg goes with Rowley and Abigail to Spriggo's, but before he goes there he tries to cover up two pimples on Rowley's chin which he thinks are chicken pox, which has been contagious in Greg's school. At Spriggo's he has to wear a smelly sports suit which makes them go to Corny's due to the dessert bar, however Rowley and Abigail order expensive desserts which makes Greg fib that it's Rowley's birthday to make him get a free cake. At the dance the theme is Midnight In Paris but old people take one half of the hall for their meeting. Later Uncle Gary tries to sell the Botson T-shirts, but people want their money back after seeing the typo. Greg sees pimples on Abigail which he thinks is chicken pox, causing them to leave the dance later.
At the end, Gary moves out after he wins $40,000 on a scratch card which he wasted a lot of the Heffleys money on to buy scratch cards. Greg ends up getting the chicken pox, but he gets a free bath but the experience isn't like how he lived before he was born and he thinks he wasn't alone in the bathroom.
Extract quotes from the book
- I looked for a way to escape, but I was trapped. Luckily, Abigail walked out of the bathroom at that exact moment and I grabbed her hand just before Ruby got to me. Abigail's makeup was a mess from all of the crying, but I didn't really care. I was just happy to have an excuse to get away from Ruby. And to be honest with you, I think Abigail was happy to see me, too, so I led her to an empty spot on the dance floor.
- I'd never slow-danced with a girl before, So I didn't know where I was supposed to put my hands. She put hers on my shoulder, and I put mine in my pockets, but that kind of felt dumb. So we met in the middle, and that seemed about right.
- And speaking of Rowley and Abigail, I heard that the two of them are a couple now. All I can say is if that's true, it makes Rowley 'the worst wing man in history.'
- I'm supposed to stay home from school for at least a week. The good news is that with everyone out of the house, I can take a long bath without anyone bothering me.
- Or at least I THINK I'm alone. Today I had a fresh towel next to the tub, and when I open my eyes it was gone. So either somebody's messing with me or Johnny Cheddar is at it again.
- Everything probably would've been just fine, but at lunch someone threw a roll of toilet paper at somebody else, and within about fifteen seconds it was a total madhouse.
- I couldn't find any cologne in Rodrick's junk drawer, but I DID find a bottle of that body spray they're always advertising on TV. I was a little nervous about using it, though, because if that stuff really works like they say in the ads then tomorrow night could be a nightmare.
- I just watched everything play out from my spot against the back wall,wondering why I'd wanted to go to the dance in the first place. I was also to regret not wearing the body spray from Rodrick's junk drawer, because Great Uncle Bruce's cologne was attracting people outside my age group.
- Even my PACIFIER was a hand-me-down from Rodrick. I don't think he was ready to give it up, though, which explains why he never really liked me.
- Every once in a while, a few latecomers would walk in and turn right back around when they saw what was happening. But, at around 9:00, Michael Sampson came in hold hands with Cherie Ballanger.
Sneak PeekThis is a small 15 page sneak peek into the book given by Diary of a Wimpy Kid Wiki. You might need to click on the images to view them more clearly. There was also a 7 page sneak peek if you had pre ordered the book from Scholastic.
Major Events and Moments
- Greg talks about the days when he was a baby.
- Gary Heffley moves in with the Heffleys.
- Rowley becomes the Social Chairperson.
- Eugene Ellis becomes the President of Student Council.
- Javan Hill becomes the Treasurer.
- Hillary Pine becomes the Vice President.
- Olivia Davis becomes the Secretary.
- The formation of the Dance Committee.
- Greg tries to get a date for the Valentine's Day Dance.
- Greg goes to the Valentine's Day Dance with Abigail and Rowley as a group of "friends".
- Gary Heffley wins $40,000 from his scratch card and moves out of the house.
- Greg gets chicken pox in the end.
- Rowley and Abigail possibly became a couple. It is confirmed in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck that they are actually a couple.
- Holly Hills was rumored to be Greg’s partner for the dance by many fans, but she wasn't even mentioned and only appeared in Greg’s relationship chart as liking Bryce Anderson. This could mean Greg has given up on Holly. At the end of The Last Straw it was hinted after Greg wrote the fake letter from Holly Hills that he gave up on her due to being too hard to reach.
- This is the 7th book of the series.
- The Mad Pantser’s identity is unknown.
- He could be Anthony Renfrew since Anthony was the starter of Pantsing Fever, but it could also be somebody else.
- There is an exclusive version of this book, which has Fregley’s secret note in the back. It's a poem by Fregley that shows why girls (specifically Ruby Bird) must go with him to the dance.
- Rowley closes his mouth for the second time in the books on page 166 while eating chocolate.
- It was revealed that Rodrick might hate Greg because Susan gave Rodrick’s pacifier to Greg and Rodrick never wanted to give his pacifier up, but this might not be true because Rodrick doesn't act childish and Greg is not always true.
- It is unknown what happened to Greg’s towel at the end of the story.
- Rodrick has a much shorter role in this book, in most of the parts when the family gathers together Rodrick is not there.
- This is the first time a character's lies about it being another character's birthday at a restaurant.
- Greg has his covers yanked off the bed by his father to wake him up for school. This is the second time this has happened in the series, the first being The Last Straw.
- Greg apparently weighed only five pounds and seven ounces at birth - the average is seven pounds and eight ounces, meaning he was two pounds lighter than average, this hints why he was so thin and another hint is that he was born three weeks premature, as well as Greg mentioning that he never met Rodrick until a few days after he was born.
- The book's title was originally Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Odd Man Out, but Kinney changed it to The Third Wheel.The twitter post is here.
- Rowley and Abigail Brown remain a couple in Hard Luck, marking the first time either Greg or Rowley has had a relationship and even more remarkably over more than one book.
- In this book even in the flash-backs Greg doesn't have buck teeth, this is the first book to feature a very young or baby Greg without buck teeth.
- It covers the months of January and February.
- This is the first book where someone gets Chicken pox.
- This the third time that Greg’s Diary is mentioned.
- This is the second book to have an error in the length of a month. February had 5 weeks instead of 4. The first was Dog Days' June.
- On Page 102, when Greg states the "motocross/wrestling event somehow morphed into a VALENTINE'S DANCE", the capital V in Valentine's looks slightly different from other capital Vs in the books.
- On Page 172, Abigail appears to be taller than average when she touches the sixth line unlike the other scenes that appeared are even mid or low five lines or high four lines.
- These mistake are usually not uncommon and happen in many other books.
- Rodrick is shown much skinnier then he is in other books.
- On page 204, there was two had on "had had enough". It should be only one had instead of two, this error was corrected in spanish version, but the error was repeat in page 41, there was two "de" on "de DE VERDAD". It should be only one had instead of two.