Greg Heffley

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Greg Heffley
Diary of a Wimpy Kid character
Wimpy kid.jpg
Greg Heffley
First appearance Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Created by Jeff Kinney
Portrayed by Zachary Gordon
Full name Gregory Heffley
Nickname(s) Greg
Species Human
Occupation Student
Family Frank Heffley (father)
Susan Heffley (mother)
Rodrick Heffley (brother)
Manny Heffley (brother)</
Religion Roman Catholic
Nationality American

Gregory "Greg" Heffley is the main protagonist of the realistic fiction book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid created by American cartoonist Jeff Kinney.


Greg is selfish, lazy, greedy, rude, arrogant, deceptive, egotistical and conniving, and throughout the series, his schemes to gain popularity in his middle school, attract girls, and acquire money always backfire, landing him in several dilemmas. Greg's best friend is Rowley Jefferson, who takes part in Greg's schemes, and is a victim of Greg's manipulation and deception. The two have a very complicated relationship, due to Greg always taking advantage of Rowley, and his schemes failing due to Rowley's idiotic behavior and stupidity. Rowley's parents seem to view Greg as a bad influence on their son, mostly his father, as his brashness and habit for getting himself and Rowley in trouble are found irritating to them. At school, he receives bad grades and is always trying to get popularity points in order to gain attention and respect. At home, Greg has a mixed relationship with his family, especially with his bratty younger brother Manny, who is ridiculously pampered and is protected by his parents (particularly his mother Susan). Susan is extremely clueless about Greg, and usually embarrasses him. Greg's father, Frank, is annoyed by Greg's antics and laziness, and tries to make him more active. Greg is tormented and bullied by his older brother, Rodrick, and is also the victim of his pranks. Despite the fact that he detests Rodrick, he has inherited many of his traits (such as laziness, large ego, disdain for sports, etc.). Because of this, it is the reason why many of his teachers despise him, because they originally had Rodrick as a student. Another negative character trait of Greg is his paranoia, which seems to get the better of him, such as in Cabin Fever, where he is worried his old doll, Alfrendo, will come back to haunt him. Greg rarely learns from his ill-fated mistakes and continues to scheme and plot for his various goals. Neighbouring Greg is an awkward, unpopular, eccentric schoolmate named Fregley, whose many oddities disgust those around him, such as Greg, tries to distance himself from Fregley. Greg is also noted for having many attractions to girls throughout the series, notably a girl named Holly Hills. In the film series, Greg is portrayed by Zachary Gordon.

Relationships with other characters[edit]

Rodrick Heffley[edit]

The relationship between Greg and Rodrick is complicated and perhaps the most important relationship in the series. They tend to fight and argue with each other. In Rodrick Rules, Greg had an embarrassing secret, which was of him accidentally going into the ladies' bathroom of Leisure Tower. Rodrick throughout the book kept on threatening Greg that he will reveal it if he provokes or annoys him. 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 the Hills family is staying in a room next to theirs, Greg believed it and Rodrick pushed him out of the door and locked the door. Greg was also in his underwear making it worse for him. Although they tend to fight a lot and will not show their feelings openly, they love each other more than anything else. Rodrick and Greg are rarely seen getting together, however at the end of Rodrick Rules, Greg and Rodrick bond and end up getting along with each other. Although he does not express it, Greg worries about his brother many times and doesn't want to see him sad. It is clear that Greg is closer to Rodrick than he is with their younger brother, Manny, whom they both dislike.

Rowley Jefferson[edit]

Rowley Jefferson, as he appears in the books

Rowley is Greg's best friend who he views an infantile, dimwitted, and childish boy who needs his guidance in learning to conform to middle school standards. Regardless, Greg decides to take him under his wing, however Greg more frequently proves to negatively influence his friend than to set a positive example for him, earning himself the distrust of Rowley's parents. Greg's self-absorption often leads him to prioritize his desires and needs before the needs of those around him, so Rowley is commonly affected by this and sometimes even left to receive the blame for Greg's own wrongdoings. However, the kinks in their relationship are not always caused by Greg; Rowley has displayed acts of selfishness of his own in the past, particularly in the first book, when he plagiarized a comic strip for the school newspaper that Greg created, "Zoo-Wee Mama!" and earns the admiration of his schoolmates and denied having stolen credit for the concept that Greg played a greater role in devising than he did. Still, Rowley often bears the brunt of Greg's carelessness and has been a victim of injury and desertion in the past due to Greg's behavior. Greg also envies his friend for the exotic vacations that he often takes with his parents and the advantages of an only child that Rowley possesses over Greg. In the eighth book, Hard Luck, he betrays Greg for his girlfriend Abigail and is the major antagonist of the book along with Abigail until the end when they become friends again.

However, in the movie, while Greg initially has his obnoxious personality (to a slightly lesser degree), he still becomes less self-absorbed and was much nicer to Rowley in later films. The turning point is in the end of the first film, where Greg goes and takes the blame for eating the cheese because he felt bad for fighting and took responsibility for his actions.

Manuel "Manny" Heffley[edit]

Manny is Greg's ridiculously pampered younger brother and always gets what he wants; he is a toddler and the subject of his parents' favoritism, to Greg's jealousy. Manny always gets away with things, leaving Greg in awe. Spoiled with privileges left undistributed to his elder siblings during their own childhoods, Manny is easily perceived as innocent and adorable by adults, whereas reality seems to point out otherwise as some of his actions in the past appear to implicate a far more manipulative, spiteful, and selfish nature as opposed to childlike innocence. Greg regularly complains through his diary entries 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's 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. It also is strained 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. Albeit it can be argued that some of Manny's past actions responsible for causing his brothers pain just might have been committed without awareness of the severity of such misdeeds because of his young age, it has primarily been evidenced that Manny simply derives pleasure from tormenting his siblings, or realizes the power that his parents' favoritism holds over him.

Susan Heffley[edit]

Susan is Greg's mother, who besides Rowley, is known throughout the series to embarrass 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 second eldest son Greg, though she humiliates him at nearly every turn. She is always encouraging her children and tries to get them all together. In Dog Days, she takes over Greg's summer vacation by doing activities to get him more active, ruining his plan to play video games all summer. In Cabin Fever, she lets Manny off scot-free, after he selfishly let the family almost freeze and starve to death by turning off all the electricity in everyone's rooms except his own and storing all the food in his room.

Holly Hills[edit]

Holly Hills is Greg's crush, who was introduced in The Last Straw. Greg stated that Holly was the "4TH prettiest girl in his grade" and is very attractive.

In The Last Straw, Greg tried to get Holly's attention by making jokes and random humor, however, it didn't seem to attract her whatsoever. Greg's attempts to talk to Holly and make his move always end up in failure. At the roller rink, Greg had to wear his backup glasses, and when talking to Holly, she mistakenly called him Fregley, making Greg upset and 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) making Greg have a slight interest again, but goes away once Greg sees what Holly put in Rowley's yearbook stating that he was cute, making Greg write back as Rowley stating that he wants to be "just friends".

In the movies, things play out different. In Rodrick Rules, Holly Hills moved to Greg's school and Greg seemed to do things to get her to notice him, making a fool of himself half the time. When Holly called him Fregley, Greg didn't lose interest and instead was 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, with Greg pretending he didn't know that. Greg and Holly become friends in the end.

In the Dog Days film adaption, Holly's roles from the Last Straw and Dog Days books have been expanded. Greg yearns to become more than just friends with Holly during the summer. Greg gets Holly to sign her yearbook and was able to get her to write her number, but misses the last 2 numbers before leaving. 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 but Holly figures out that he nor Rowley know how to play tennis and teaches Greg personally while Patty teaches Rowley personally.

Later in the movie, Holly didn't seem to have a problem when Greg sneaked in to the Country Club, when Greg saying he wanted to hang out with her, almost revealing 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 didn't care due to her sister being mean, she felt her sister deserved what she got. Holly holds Greg's hand, showing that she has affections for him, and they get together, swimming at the Country Club pool with Greg and Rowley.

Allusions from other works[edit]

Greg Heffley appears on Poptropica's 18th island, Wimpy Wonderland, revolving around the Wimpy Kid series.[2] Greg also appeared as a balloon in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Greg returns in Wimpy Boardwalk on Poptropica.

In the films[edit]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2010 American comedy film directed by Thor Freudenthal and based on Jeff Kinney's book of the same name.[3][4][5] The film was released on March 19, 2010.[6] It was released on DVD, iTunes, and Blu-ray on August 3, 2010.[7] 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.


Although the character 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".[8] 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."[9] Later two more films, Rodrick Rules (2011) and Dog Days (2012) were released.


  1. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Funbrain. Family Education Network. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Breznican, Anthony (September 29, 2009). "First Look: 'Wimpy Kid' actor embraces being 'a likable jerk'". USA Today. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (August 3, 2009). "Steve Zahn to star in 'Wimpy Kid'". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ McCarron, Heather (October 12, 2009). "Nothing 'Wimpy' about local author's success". Milford Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie main page". 20th Century Fox. Jeff Kinney. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ David Stratton, Margaret Pomeranz (September 29, 2010). "29 September 2010". At the Movies. 29 September 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.