When Greg first starts writing in his diary, there’s a few things he wants to make clear. It’s a journal not a diary (durr!). And he doesn’t even want to keep a stupid journal anyway, his mum’s making him.
Hilarious and angst-filled, the opening of the first book is one of the most defining moments in the entire series. Helping to shape how we see good ol’ Greg, the start of this book sets the tone for what’s to come. Reading it back makes us fall in love with the books all over again.
The whole ‘Cheese Touch’ cooties thing comes a close second, along with Greg being a tree in the school production of the Wizard of Oz, obvs. Bravo!
It can be tough to live under the shadow of an older brother, but when push comes to shove (shoving each other, we mean) siblings will be there no matter what, right?
Our top moment in this book is Greg’s ultimate fear coming true; Rodrick finds Greg’s diary, and just as he predicted, makes fun of him; the second instalment actually does have the word ‘diary’ on the cover, you see.
We also love the story about Greg walking into the ladies’ toilets by mistake (picking up the nickname “Stealthinator” on the way), and that time he thought he would marry ice cream is up there with the best, too.
New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken and our fave moment in this instalment is when no one is sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. Greg’s Dad is on a diet but is eating brownies on the sly, his mum says she’s going to start going to the gym but spends her afternoon slumped in front of the TV. Even his little brother vows to give up his dummy (didn’t even last a full minute, according to Greg). And in typical Rodrick fashion, his brother doesn’t come up with any resolutions at all (even though he could do with a few!).
Anyone who has optimistically set goals for the year ahead will be able to relate to Greg’s family and their broken resolutions!
We couldn’t resist a giggle at learning Greg’s childhood nickname: “Ploopy”, either!
Rowley’s dad gets fed up of Greg’s constant criticism, so having “tasted the country-club life”, he’s forced to spend his summer by the dreaded [dum-dum-dummm] ‘local pool’.
As far as Greg is concerned, going to the local pool is one of the most traumatic experiences of his life to date; “I don’t see why Mom and Dad bother to try and protect me from horror movies and stuff like that if they’re gonna expose me to something about a thousand times worse.”
We know how you feel, Greg! *shivers*
Since Greg and Rowley had a bust-up, Rowley’s parents have hired Greg’s ex-best friend, ‘Cool Brian’ – a wholesome big brotherly figure – and now Greg is on the hunt for a new bestie. The part of this book that had us laughing hysterically was Greg considering likely candidates: mosquito-magnet Christopher, bathroom bandit Tyson and, of course, Fregley (Greg ruled him out a long time ago anyway).
We all know that feeling when your friend leaves you in the lurch and you frantically consider trying to find a replacement. One of the things we love about Greg is that no matter how wild and outlandish his adventures and imagination, we can still relate to everything he’s going through.
We’ll be your new best friend, Greg!
In this book, the Heffleys get snowed in, but it’s the Christmas references that captured our imagination. Greg’s mum puts a ‘Santa’s Scout’ (aka a creepy elf doll) in the house and Greg and Rodrick are suddenly on their best behaviour (just in case the elf-like doll is feeding Santa intel). Rodrick, however, has other ideas and is dishing the dirt on Greg to Santa’s little helper.
We think the funniest part, though, is that someone is moving the doll around the house each morning so that nowhere is safe. Greg’s even starting to doubt that it’s Rodrick moving him – could the doll… move itself???
Siblings. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Greg’s had his fair share of worn, slobber-covered hand-me-downs from his brother Rodrick. And the gem of this book is when Greg’s reminiscing about when Manny was born, inadvertently revealing his fear of umbilical cords. Terrified that one day it might pop up somewhere, this strange and somehow compelling fear is what grips Greg about the miraculous process of birth. Gross as it is, we can’t help but hesitate when we switch on the lights, terrified we’re going to find it ourselves. Eeek.
The worst thing ever has happened – Greg’s best mate Rowley has got a… GIRLFRIEND! And appears to have completely lost his mind in the process. Defaulting to the royal ‘we’ just nine days into a relationship, Rowley doesn’t even have his own opinions anymore.
We all know that moment in life when friends get into relationships and suddenly vanish. They completely transform into a different person and you feel like you don’t know them anymore. That’s what’s so great about this part of the book – and the series in general – Greg is so relatable. Even his most random thoughts spring from a place that secretly makes complete sense to adults and children alike.
Seagulls can be haughty fellows, and when Greg carelessly tosses one little insignificant cheese curl out of the car window to a seagull, he doesn’t think much of it. Little does he know that he’s about to initiate a seagull attack – feathers and cheese curls all over the place. Hilarious as it is to imagine a seagull flying into the car, lured by a trail of cheese curls, there’s an important lesson to be taken from this: don’t feed the gulls!
We also totally love that Greg’s little bro Manny accurately guesses the weight of a baby pig (which becomes a new addition to the family before going on an eating rampage and eventually being given away to a petting zoo!). Phew… that was close!
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade… or so the saying goes. Our favourite bit from this one is when Greg and his pal Rowley set up a lemonade stand, but need a few rather basic pointers. From not knowing that you need to actually squeeze the juice from the lemons, to getting juice in his eye, setting up a lemonade stand is harder than Greg thought it would be.
On the bright side, Greg learns about some of the tough challenges facing budding entrepreneurs – complaints. Of course, that’s until he has his best idea of all: fitness water!
OK, OK, so we said that we’d do 10 of the best moments from the books, but we’re so excited about the book that’s coming out next month, we just couldn’t help but pick our favourite bit from that one too. We’re sure that once the full book has been released, it’ll sneak its way up to our No. 1 spot, but until then, we’re leaving it at number 11.
A sneak peek at Double Down reveals a section where Greg’s talking about what his departed nana is doing with her time up in heaven. His mum’s said that nana watches over him but, after some contemplating, Greg concludes that really she should be “reading romance novels, not watching some middle-school kid doing his homework every night.”
Then, suddenly, he decides there’s something rather creepy about the idea of dead relatives watching over him. In fact, he’d rather not think about them – not even a little bit… not even at all.