This article contains major plot spoilers! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
This article is about the book, to see the article about the series, see Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series)
- Greg Heffley
- Rowley Jefferson (Antagonist)
- Rodrick Heffley
- Manny Heffley
- Frank Heffley (Dad)
- Susan Heffley (Mom)
A 6th grader named Gregory Heffley is starting middle school. He starts the book by saying that he won't be writing his feelings in the diary, preferring to call it a journal instead. Greg then says that the only reason he agreed to get a journal was so when he becomes rich and famous, he'll give the diary to the reporters rather than answering questions about his childhood. He then reveals that it is his first day of middle school, and tells the reader that they better be careful when choosing a seat, because the teacher may say that your seats are permanent. Stuck with Chris Hosey in front of him and Lionel James behind him, Greg says that next time he's just going to sit down in the middle of a bunch of "hot girls", but ponders his decision, saying girls are complicated. He then says that Bryce Anderson is the most popular boy in his grade on the "popularity" scale. Greg says that he may be around the 19th mark. He tries to explain the popularity status to Rowley Jefferson, but suspects that Rowley isn't really getting the message. The next day, Greg heads to the basketball court and notices the rotten piece of cheese laying on the asphalt, and he hopes that the Cheese Touch won't start again.
At one point, Greg is kicked out of the house by his dad, Frank Heffley, because Greg isn't getting enough exercise. So he just goes up to Rowley's house to play video games, and then runs through the neighbor's sprinkler to make it look like he had been sweating.
Greg tries to listen to a CD with a Parental Warning sticker, but is caught by Mrs. Craig at school, and by his Dad at home. He is glad when Rodrick gets in trouble after Manny brings one of his magazines (which features a bikini-clad woman reclining over the hood of a car) to show-and-tell and Susan thinks the magazine is sexist so Rodrick has to apologize to women. Greg turns his attention back to school, and decides to run for Treasurer in order to impress the girls. Since his campaign openly speaks against the rival candidate, Marty Porter, his posters are confiscated by Vice Principal Roy. As a result, Greg gives up on his political career.
Greg is excited for Halloween, calling it his and Frank's favorite holiday. He invites Rowley to the Crossland High School haunted house, but regrets his decision when he is chased by the Chainsaw Alley Guy in the Chainsaw Alley. After that experience, Greg comes up with an idea to make money, and tells Rowley that they could build their own haunted house in the Jefferson's basement. Mr. Jefferson puts a stop to the plan, after he catches Shane Snella underneath a bed, too scared to come out.
Halloween finally arrives, and Greg and Rowley are forced to go with Manny, Frank Heffley, Jeremy Mitchell, and Mr. Mitchell. Greg and Rowley finally break away and make up for lost time, but are sprayed with a fire extinguisher by a truckload of teenagers passing them on the street. Greg threatens to call the police, and when the teenagers start to turn around, Rowley and him take off and go to Gramma's house. They make monkey noises at the teenagers from the window, but when they call Susan and say that they are going to spend the night there, she demands that they come back home. The two travel down Snake Road and manage to make it to Greg's house in one piece, but are ambushed by Frank, who accidentally splashes water on them from behind the bushes. It turns out that Frank does this on Halloween as a prank to teenagers passing by.
Greg becomes interested in working out and gaining muscles after being forced to wrestle with Fregley during a wrestling unit in Phys Ed. He tries to convince his parents to buy a weight set, but Susan says he has to buy it himself. Greg decides to make his own weight set, but Rowley breaks it trying to make it lighter as he found it too heavy. Greg decides to cheat on a Geography test, because he sits by a map with the answers, but Patty Farrell tells the teacher, causing Greg to fail. So he gets his chance after Mom makes him sign up for the school play of The Wizard of Oz. He notices Patty earning the spot of Dorothy and decides to be a tree so that he can peg her with apples. He gets the part but Mrs. Norton says they won't be throwing apples, much to Greg's dismay. He then tries to get cut from the play, but fails.
Greg predicts that the play will be a disaster and whines that Mrs. Norton created a song for the trees that he dislikes. The big night arrives, but Rodney James (who is playing The Shrub) gets stage fright, and it starts late. Greg hops onto the stage where Manny calls him "Bubby". Luckily, Greg redirects the nickname to Archie Kelly. He decides to keep quiet when the song starts causing the other trees to be quiet as well. Patty yells from the sidelines and Greg throws an apple at her, followed by the other trees and Toto. Patty's glasses break and the play is forced to shut down. Relieved by not having to worry about his nickname, Greg starts to create his Christmas wish list, but only wants a game named Twisted Wizard. Christmas arrives and Manny receives everything he wanted while Greg receives a framed picture of Uncle Charlie, a Lil Cutie book, and a red sweater originally for his Christmas Donation. He doesn't like either. Greg gives Rowley the book of Lil' Cutie comics and he gives Greg a Big Wheel. Greg is then in trouble after an accident while playing with Manny on New Year's Eve (accidentally making him swallow thread he thought was a spider) and makes a vow never to play with him again.
Greg Heffley makes up a game with the Big Wheel: knocking the rider off with a football. He successfully manages to knock Rowley off, but at the cost of Rowley breaking his arm. With Winter Break over, Rowley is babied by the girls, so Greg tries the same motive, but fails. He signs up for Independent Study, but all the boys are kicked off due to a misunderstanding. Greg then decides to sign up for the Safety Patrol and recruits Rowley as well. They get assigned to walk kindergartners home every day at twelve, which Greg doesn't like very much in itself, but, much to Greg's delight, he gets to have free cocoa and miss Algebra.
Greg wakes to a pile of snow and calls Rowley for a shot at building the world's biggest snowman, and created the base only for the snow to stop. The two then agree on rolling the snowball down the street to teach the Whirley Street Kids a lesson. The following day, Greg destroys Manny's miniature snowmen and his snowball is destroyed by Dad, much to Rowley's fury. The two get in a fight, but are accidentally hit by the Whirley Street Kids who are sledding. Back at school, Greg decides to team up with Rowley to create a comic strip for the school newspaper for a chance to get popular. The result is Zoo-Wee-Mama!, but Greg abandons the comic for Creighton the Cretin. Greg wins the contest, but his comic is changed heavily, earning him a punch.
Rowley is called to Mr. Winsky's office to discuss about terrorizing the kinder-gardeners in front of Mrs. Irvine and is suspended from the Safety Patrol for the time being. Greg recalls the incident and remembers that he had chased the kids with a worm while wearing Rowley's coat. Mom tries to figure out what's wrong and tells Greg to do the right thing which he decides is letting Rowley take the blame. Greg tells Rowley he was the one who terrorized the kids, much to Rowley's anger. Greg says he did the right thing taking into account to follow Mom's advice, but Rowley turns Greg in. Mr. Winsky says an anonymous source had said Greg was responsible and he was relieved from duty while Rowley gets a promotion. Greg decides to get revenge on Rowley, but instead warms up to him so he could come along with him to Six Flags in June. However, Rowley rejects him to Greg's anger.
Greg notices Rowley has been hanging out with Collin Lee and sees the two going on a sleepover. To make him jealous, Greg decides to sleep over at Fregley's house, but regrets his decision after Fregley chases him with a booger. Greg falls asleep, wakes up at two in the morning, and sneaks out of the house. Without Rowley, Greg spends time in Rodrick's room and decides to become popular by winning a spot on the Class Favorites page. He then decides to go for Class Clown.
To win, Greg decides to make fun of Mr. Worth's substitute, but it turns out to be Susan (his Mom). He drops the idea and reads the school newspaper, noticing that Zoo-Wee-Mama has replaced his comic. After school, Greg tells Rowley that he has to give him credit for an idea they came up together, but Rowley says he was the one who came up with the comic. Greg and Rowley start fighting,and kids started cheering them on, Greg starts ridiculously throwing his fists around, and Rowley, as Greg puts it "pranced around like a leprechaun", but finally they get ready to strike. But before they could, a group of teenagers pull up and grab Greg and Rowley while the others run off. Greg recognizes the bullies from Halloween night and starts to worry when he spots the cheese nearby. The Halloween bullies make Rowley eat the cheese, but Greg says he's allergic to milk to get out of it. The teenagers make Rowley finish off the cheese and leave the two behind. The next day, the students wonder where the cheese went and Greg lies that he threw it away. Greg then realizes that he has the Cheese Touch now as everyone runs away from him.
The Safety Patrol went on their field trip to the Six Flags and Chirag Gupta moves away. Greg and Rowley reconcile their friendship while Greg states having the Cheese Touch wasn't that bad. On the last day of school, he opens a yearbook and sees Rowley as the Class Clown. Greg throws away the yearbook into the trash can and says Rowley can have Class Clown, but if he gets over his head, he's telling everyone who ate the cheese.
- The book is also known as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons, mainly to differ it from Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series).
- It was originally published on the Internet as a slightly different book at FunBrain.com.
- The book was also once a #1 New York Times best-seller.
- This book covers the most months in the series at 10 months.
- It has two missing words with underscores in place of each letter. One is ‘eat’ on page 210 and the other is ‘cheese’ on page 217.
- This is the first book in the series.
- Greg is the first character to appear, second is the bully punching Greg, third being the news reporters.
- This is the first red book (the second is Double Down).
- This book was made into a Film in 2010 by 20th Century Fox.
- Greg is too tall on page 159.
- Greg's waist is too high on page 152.
- The cover art has a slightly stretched and thicker lined version of Greg, this has been corrected on an "Authentic Product" tag that appears on some T-Shirts and other products.