Gregory "Greg" Heffley is a fictional character and the protagonist of the realistic fiction novel series Diary of a Wimpy Kid created by American cartoonist Jeff Kinney. He serves as the antihero and unreliable narrator of the series.
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid character|
|First appearance||Diary of a Wimpy Kid (webcomic, 2004)|
|Created by||Jeff Kinney|
|Portrayed by||Zachary Gordon (2010-12) |
Jason Drucker (2017)
|Full name||Gregory Heffley|
|Family||Frank Heffley (father)|
Susan Heffley (mother)
Rodrick Heffley (older brother)
Manny Heffley (younger brother)
Greg Heffley is mischievous, lazy, paranoid, arrogant, and dishonest. He is known to become jealous easily. He also tends to be a poor friend, something even he agrees with. He doesn't like taking the blame for negative events, and attempts to twist any situation he can in his favor, so that he may go up his "popularity ladder." Despite all of these negative traits, he has displayed a kinder side. Throughout the series, Greg's schemes to acquire money and popularity always backfire. He also enjoys playing video games.
His best friend is Rowley Jefferson (they often get into arguments). Rowley takes part in Greg's schemes and is sometimes a victim of Greg's manipulation and deception. The two have a very complicated relationship, as Greg sometimes takes advantage of Rowley's good nature, and his own schemes fail due to Rowley's foolishness, such as Rowley's "confession" to the vandalized wall. Rowley's parents, mostly his father, view Greg as a bad influence on their son. This is because Greg has a tendency for getting himself and Rowley into trouble.
At school, Greg receives bad grades, gets bullied, deals with the hardships of middle school, and is always trying to earn popularity points in order to gain attention and respect (though his plans to do so often result in either his own popularity dropping, or unintentionally boosting Rowley's popularity). At home, Greg has a mixed relationship with his family, especially with his younger brother Manny, who is overly pampered and protected by his parents (particularly his mother Susan). His mother tries to devise ways for Greg and his older brother Rodrick to get along but which never work out. Greg's father, Frank, is annoyed by Greg's antics and laziness and tries to make him more active. Greg has a love/hate relationship with his older brother, Rodrick. Greg is often tormented and bullied by Rodrick and is also the victim of his pranks yet they do care for each other deep down. In addition, he has inherited many of Rodrick's traits (such as laziness, large ego, disdain for sports, being a trickster, etc.). In fact, many of Greg's teachers dislike him because they originally had Rodrick as a student even though Greg's classroom behavior does not mirror Rodrick's.
A notable trait of Greg that becomes more apparent as the novels go on is his lack of logical and critical thinking. A lot of his actions are shown to have no thought or consideration prior to being acted out, and usually end in disastrous repercussions. This is shown in when he delays his family by drying his sock after stepping in a slush puddle while heading to an airport, and later burning the sock while attempting to dry it. Greg also has been shown to display constant forgetfulness as well as no linear thinking. A good example of this is when he constantly has to remind himself to put his socks before his shoes after a string of incidents involving him doing the opposite act.
Greg is a fan of video games and comic books and he sees them as talents, which annoys his father Frank. His greatest gift is for cartooning and dry humor, evidenced by the many comic strips he has drawn.
Another character trait of Greg is his paranoia, which sometimes seems to get the better of him. A notable example of this is in Cabin Fever, in which he is worried that his old doll, Alfrendo, will come back to haunt him, and the Santa's Scout doll that he fears is actually following him around before finally realizing it is Rodrick who is doing it.
Greg rarely learns from his ill-fated mistakes and continues to scheme and plot for his various goals. Because of this and his impulsive nature, he usually puts himself and others in trouble, and will often try to find another person to take the blame.
Neighboring Greg is his awkward, unpopular and eccentric schoolmate named Fregley, whose vast variety of oddities disgust and befuddle those around him, including Greg, who tries to distance himself from Fregley as much as possible. Though Greg detests the fact that he is next-door-neighbors with Fregley, the only time he has ever shown interest in acquiring friendship with Fregley is in the eighth book Hard Luck, where he becomes friends with Fregley (though this was really to Greg's advantage to become popular).
Greg is also noted for having many attractions to girls throughout the series, most notably a girl named Holly Hills, his classmate. His schemes usually fail in the hope of attracting girls though. One very notable example is The Third Wheel, where Greg attempts to use Rowley as a wingman to get himself a date for the upcoming Valentine's Day dance. He succeeds in obtaining the chance to take a girl named Abigail to the dance, but Rowley, who tags along as a third wheel, hence the name, proves to be a better date than Greg at the dance. This ultimately leads to Rowley and Abigail becoming a couple, setting the stage for Hard Luck.
Greg has also been known to be very clumsy, as he forgets his homework, and when he was eight, wet the bed. Despite his many flaws and the situations they have landed him in, Greg can be caring, intelligent, courageous, compassionate and thoughtful, and has done a number of good deeds to prove this, such as deceiving his classmates that he threw the cheese away (to save Rowley's reputation), helping Rodrick complete his science project, etc. Greg also showed unusual maturity when he chose to conceal his late Meemaw's diamond ring that he found in an Easter egg, not wanting to see his family fight over it because it had not been willed to anyone.
Rowley Jefferson is Greg Heffley's best and sometimes worst friend. Greg and Rowley get into a lot of trouble due to Greg's mischievousness and/or Rowley's naivety. They sometimes have falling outs and they get back together eventually. There are also times when Rowley is ashamed that he lied to Greg and was too ashamed to look at him, even when Greg is asking for help.
Technically, on a third-person view of the first novel and its film adaption, Greg becomes the antagonist while Rowley becomes the protagonist due to Greg getting extremely jealous of Rowley because he gets extremely popular while Greg became unpopular later throughout the novel and film.
The relationship between Greg and Rodrick is one of the most important relationships in the series. He is Greg's brother and a member of the band, "Löded Diper", and loves heavy metal music. They tend to fight and argue with each other. In Rodrick Rules, Greg had an embarrassing secret: he accidentally entered the ladies' restroom of Leisure Towers. Throughout the book, Rodrick constantly threatens Greg that he will reveal this secret to the world if he provokes or annoys him. In the end, however, the two bonds with Greg willingly helping Rodrick on his science fair project. Rodrick seemed to know that Greg had a crush on Holly Hills in The Last Straw because when they were staying in a hotel room, Rodrick deceived Greg by saying that the Hills family were staying in a room next to theirs. Greg believed this and Rodrick pushed him out of the door and locked it. Greg was also in his underwear, which made it worse for him. Rodrick tricks Greg into thinking that their father was going to sell Greg causing Greg to call the police and almost got Frank arrested and thus ruined Frank's surprise to the baseball game and ruined the father and son bonding that their mother attempted to set up for them.
In the movie series, however, Rodrick and Greg seem to get along much better than in the books. Their bonding was the main focus of the movie adaption of Rodrick Rules. Unlike the book, in which Greg only once willingly helps Rodrick, Greg and Rodrick work together several times, including cleaning up after the party (after Rodrick points out that Greg will get busted along with him should their parents find out, whereas in the book Rodrick simply blackmails Greg), attempting to keep the party a secret (in the book, the party does not come up until the photo was printed out), going to a convenience store and going crazy (did not happen in the book), putting fake vomit on people's cars (in the book, he does this with Ward), and running from an angry coach (did not happen in the book). Greg even sticks up for Rodrick during the Talent Show, when he convinces his mom to lift Rodrick's ban from performing.
In the movie adaption for Dog Days, Greg helps sneak Rodrick into the country club via a dumpster. He expresses worry when he believes Rodrick is crushed by the truck and is extremely relieved that Rodrick is revealed to be unharmed. He also manages to get Löded Diper to perform in a "Sweet Sixteen" for Heather Hills, who Rodrick has a crush on.
In the movie version of the Long Haul the two work together to make plans to go to a video game convention together and Rodrick sympathizes with Greg, at one point going as far as to tell Greg how their parents would normally expect bad behavior from him and not Greg and explains how Mom does not know how taking electronics away affects them due to never being a kid in the 21st century.
Manny is Greg's ridiculously pampered younger brother who always gets away with anything he wants; he is a toddler and the object of his parents' favoritism, to Greg's jealousy and chagrin. A spoiled child with privileges left undistributed to his elder siblings during their own early childhoods, Manny is easily perceived as innocent and adorable by adults, whereas in reality some of his actions in the past appear to implicate a far more manipulative, spiteful, and selfish nature as opposed to childlike innocence, the most prominent being in Cabin Fever, where he shuts off the entire house's electricity (save for his own room), stores all the food in his room, and lets the family suffer the backlash all because no one told him how to tie his shoes. Through his journal entries, Greg regularly complains of the adults' obliviousness to Manny's true destructive tendencies, many of which have ended in suffering, embarrassment, or punishment for Greg. Manny's relationship with his older brother is a strained one, as any moments of sincere playfulness or brotherly affection between the pair have unfairly ended in unintentional or undeserved consequences for Greg, which has been exemplified several times throughout the course of the series. It is for this reason that Greg seems to prefer to avoid spending time with his younger brother, and they seldom seem to hang around together alone voluntarily. Their relationship is strained further by the unfairness of the constant overindulgence with which Manny is privileged, such as the quality and quantity of Christmas presents that he receives, and how he is continuously spared from parental discipline. However, Manny has also displayed particular affection for Greg by calling him by the pet name "Bubby", making him a "gift" out of tin foil and toothpicks that Rowley accidentally sat on, etc.
Susan is Greg's mother who, throughout the series, often embarrasses her two elder sons. She is clueless, loving, and is very fond of her children, especially her youngest son, Manny, who she severely spoils. She loves her middle son Greg, though she unintentionally humiliates him at nearly every turn. She fails to see that her plans are always failing. She is always encouraging her children and tries to bring the family closer together. In Dog Days, she takes over Greg's summer vacation by doing activities to get him more active causing more problems, ruining his plan to play video games all summer. She does, however, fiercely defend Greg at school, even sometimes when he really should not be, and shields him from his father's anger. She tries to discourage Greg being around technology; however, her plan backfires on her badly and is forced to give up on her plan. She also wants to find good role models for Greg. Her idea of role models are those who have the same interests that she has: reading books, not playing video games and not watching TV. However, Greg is unable to bond with them because Greg cannot relate to them and does not share the same ideas as his mother, much to Susan's dismay.
Frank is Greg's father. Frank is annoyed by Greg (and also Rodrick) for his ridiculous antics and unimportant interests. The two have nearly nothing in common, and this has been displayed in the series numerous times. Frank gets upset that he has nothing in common with his 3 sons. Frank has a poor relationship with his kids. One major example is in The Last Straw, where Frank attempted to send Greg to a military academy named Spag Union, in the hope that it would reform Greg of his "wimpy" habits. But, being after "saved" by Greg from embarrassing himself at a party, Frank reconsidered the thought. By almost sending him to Spag Union and Frank's unpredictably, Greg develops a fear and paranoid that Frank might get rid of him and has trouble trusting his father. In Dog Days, Frank was going to take Greg out for a surprise; however, Greg believed that Frank was going to sell him and Greg called the police on him. Which later revealed that Frank was going to take him to a baseball game and ruined the father and son trip. Frank didn't speak to him for a while. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the two share identical opinions on the comic ‘Lil Cutie. Despite the fact that Frank is almost always strict with Greg, he still loves him, no matter how much his antics annoy him.
Holly Hills is Greg's crush, who was introduced in Rodrick Rules. Greg stated that Holly was the "fourth prettiest" girl in his grade and is very attractive.
In the same book, Greg tried to get Holly's attention by making jokes and random humor, however, it did not seem to attract her at all. Greg's attempts to talk to Holly and make his move always end up in failure. Greg heard that Holly and her friends were going to the Roller Rink. At the Roller Rink, Greg had to wear his backup glasses because he lost his contact lenses, and when talking to Holly, she mistakenly called him Fregley, which upsets Greg and causes him to lose interest in her.
In the same book, when signing yearbooks in the end, Holly signed Greg's yearbook stating that he was "Okay" and to "K.I.T." (Keep in Touch) which makes Greg have a slight interest in Holly again, but this goes away completely once Greg sees what Holly wrote in Rowley's yearbook—stating that Rowley is "cute". Greg writes back, pretending to be Rowley, stating that he wants to be "just friends".
In the movies, things play out differently. In Rodrick Rules, Holly Hills moved to Greg's school and Greg did things to get her to notice him, making a fool of himself half the time. When Holly called him Fregley, Greg did not lose interest and instead was simply upset. At Leisure Towers, Holly talked with Greg outside, saying that she was at her Grandfather's place at the retirement community building. Holly apologized to Greg about calling him Fregley, and Greg pretended that he did not know anything about that. She tells him that she can relate to him about her siblings giving her a hard time. She is more mature than her siblings. Greg and Holly become friends in the end.
In the Dog Days film adaption, Holly's role from the previous books had been expanded. Greg wants to become more than just friends with Holly during the summer, which implies that he wants to become her boyfriend. Greg gets Holly to sign his yearbook and was able to get her to write her number, but misses the last two numbers before leaving due to interference from Patty, Heather Hills and Rodrick. At the country club, Greg meets up with Holly as she is volunteering to teach tennis to little kids. Greg accepts an invite to play tennis with her the next day-in order to impress her, but Holly soon figures out that neither he nor Rowley know how to play tennis and teaches Greg personally while Patty teaches Rowley personally.
Later in the movie, Holly did not seem to have a problem when Greg sneaked into the Country Club. When Greg says he wanted to hang out with her, and almost reveals his feelings for her, Heather Hills comes by and interrupts. Rodrick has a big crush on Heather, and Greg manages to get Loded Diper in for live music at Heather's Sweet 16. After Rodrick's band fails and ruins Heather's Sweet 16, Greg apologizes to Holly, but Holly did not care due to her sister being mean. She felt her sister deserved what she got. Holly holds Greg's hand, showing that she has affection for him, and they get together, swimming at the Country Club pool with each other and Rowley.
In the Third Wheel book, while Greg tries to get a date to the school dance, Rowley tells him that a girl from the student council, Abigail Brown, has been "dumped" by her former date, Michael, because he needed to go to his family reunion, which was later revealed as an excuse to go out with another girl. Greg immediately jumps in, telling Rowley to tell Abigail that they could all go together as a "group of friends", and Greg hopes that after that night, Abigail will see how much of a "great guy he is", and get her to be his girlfriend. Greg does what he can to get Abigail to be his girlfriend, but is later rejected by her, so that she can go out with Rowley, Greg's best friend.
She has a more prominent role in the sequel, Hard Luck. Following the events of the previous book, Abigail begins to subtly dismantle the relationship between Rowley and Greg, including but not limited to moving Rowley to a different table, feeding him, and convincing Rowley to give up activities that he and Greg enjoy, like blowing bubbles in chocolate milk cartons. She also displays a manipulative side, as she takes advantage of Rowley's innocence and childlike behavior and subtly forces Rowley to think the same way SHE thinks, as well as being responsible for his change of appearance. Greg describes this as if Rowley does not own opinions anymore. This is an irritant for Greg throughout the book. She is also shallow, as she harshly dumps Rowley in favor of her former boyfriend, Michael. It is later revealed that she only went out with Rowley in order to make Michael jealous.
Fregley is a child who lives in Greg's neighborhood. Greg is not particularly fond of him because he acts strangely. In Dog Days, Greg's mom tries to get him and Fregley together for a "playdate". Greg neglects to do anything with Fregley, but that does not bother Fregley. He thinks that Greg is cool and wants to hang out with him. Greg is unaware of this and remains so throughout the books, although in Hard Luck, it is shown that Greg tries to make Fregley his best friend. However, this attempt fails, and somehow Fregley becomes the most famous student at Westmore Middle School, making Greg jealous.
Maddox first appears in Double Down after seeing Greg's balloon. He reveals that he has not played video games, watched TV, or used a computer, and goes crazy when he sees them. Maddox likes reading books, playing with LEGO and practicing his violin. Maddox is revealed to be selfish and refuses to share his good Legos and makes Greg play with worthless Legos. Because of this, Susan sees this as an opportunity for Greg to have a role model and wants Greg to be like him; however, Greg only came to see him to get the balloon. Things went bad when Maddox accused Greg of stealing a LEGO piece that was stuck to his arm and thus ending the play date. Susan was very disappointed and angry that Greg could not bond with Maddox like she was hoping for. Susan failed to see that Maddox was selfish and antisocial.
Angie Steadman only appears as an additional character in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film. Angie meets Greg and Rowley under the bleachers during P.E. Angie gives Greg and Rowley advice about middle school and being yourselves. She gets along with Rowley, but starts a rocky relationship with Greg after he egotistically declines her offer to join the school newspaper and refusing to listen to her. Greg did not want Rowley to be around her. However, Rowley hangs out with her anyway and listens to Angie's advice and this causes Rowley to be successful much to Greg's dismay. Angie did not hesitate to humiliate Greg by taking pictures of his humiliations much to Greg's dismay. Later, after Greg hit rock bottom due to his own arrogance, Greg later tells the whole school he ate the cheese instead of Rowley. Angie compliments him and see that Greg is slowly learning the error of his ways.
She is Greg's nemesis and enemy. Introduced in the first book, Greg bullied her in kindergarten and fourth grade. Patty Farrell is also Dorothy in the school play of The Wizard of Oz. Patty Farrell does an astounding rendition of "Memories" in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. She also beats Greg at a wrestling match when they join the wrestling team.
Chirag Gupta is one of Greg's schoolmates and a minor character in the books. He is characterized by his short stature. Although he and Greg are well-acquainted and generally amiable to one another, Greg started the "Invisible Chirag" prank in Rodrick Rules. During the summer the Gupta family were to move away but an unexplained alteration in their plans changed this. As a result, Chirag's classmates teasingly ignore his existence or presence for days on end, which aggravates and shocks him. Though Chirag has apparently forgiven Greg and his fellow schoolmates for concocting the prank, it is mentioned in one book that he takes advantage of his family's non-observance of the Christmas holiday, and no obligation to behave for Santa Claus, to pick on Greg.
In the movie adaptions, Chirag's role is enhanced and he is a close friend of Greg and Rowley. He also plays a considerably more prominent role in these films, appearing in adaptions of books in which he is absent or hardly mentioned. He was willing to help Greg after hearing the scouts disrespecting Greg's dad. He is depicted as being Indian-American. He is portrayed by Karan Brar.
In other works
Greg Heffley appears on Poptropica's 18th island, "Wimpy Wonderland," which revolves around the Wimpy Kid series. Greg has also appeared as a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2010. Poptropica's 28th island, "Wimpy Boardwalk," also revolves around the Wimpy Kid series. Wimpy Boardwalk was the first time that Greg was shown in color.
In the films
In the first three adaptions of the series, Greg was portrayed by actor Zachary Gordon. The first adaption Diary of a Wimpy Kid was directed by Thor Freudenthal. The film was released on March 19, 2010. It was released on DVD, iTunes, and Blu-ray on August 3, 2010. The movie stars Zachary Gordon as Greg, Robert Capron as Rowley, Steve Zahn as Greg's father, Rachael Harris as Greg's mother, Devon Bostick as Rodrick, Chloë Grace Moretz as a new character named Angie, and Connor and Owen Fielding as Manny.
The second film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was released by 20th Century Fox on March 25, 2011 worldwide and March 17 in Singapore with the old cast reprising as their roles. The film was directed by David Bowers and it follows Greg and Rodrick's mother Susan's misguided attempts to force the two brothers to bond with each other through a system called "Mom Bucks". It received mixed reviews from critics though it has received several awards and has been nominated for several nominations, mostly at the 33rd Young Artist Awards.
The third film in the franchise is titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and was released on August 3, 2012, with the old cast returning in their roles. Bowers returns as director, and the film follows Greg's rough summer break. It is the final film to feature the original cast.
The cast was completely changed for the fourth film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which was released on May 19, 2017 with Jason Drucker as Greg, Charlie Wright as Rodrick, Owen Asztalos as Rowley, Wyatt and Dylan Walters as Manny, Tom Everett Scott as Frank and Alicia Silverstone as Susan.
Although the character was acclaimed by critics in the books, the reception was not the same for the film; Rotten Tomatoes has said that Greg is an "unlikable protagonist". Pomeranz disliked the character of Greg Heffley, saying "I really thought he was unpleasant. I did not want to spend time with him. I couldn't wait for the end of this film." However, these were reviews for the first film and in her review of the Dog Days film, Abby West of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Greg is a likeable kid.[full citation needed]
- "WATCH: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Announces Its Brand New Leads for Fourth Film, The Long Haul".
- "Wimpy Wonderland Island Tour". www.poptropica.com.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie main page". 20th Century Fox. Jeff Kinney. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- David Stratton, Margaret Pomeranz (September 29, 2010). "29 September 2010". At the Movies. 29 September 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.