Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is the second book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It mainly focuses on Greg Heffley's relationship with his older brother, Rodrick. The book was released on the Friday, February 1 2008 and was preceded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid and succeeded by The Last Straw. Rodrick is the main antagonist of this book and much of the plot is influenced by him.
- Greg Heffley
- Rodrick Heffley (Main Antagonist)
- Rowley Jefferson
- Manny Heffley
- Susan Heffley
- Frank Heffley
- Grandpa Heffley
Greg starts his new journal by briefly explaining how his summer went which included a swim team and an embarrassing secret only he and Rodrick know about. With the school year starting, Greg remembers that he still has the Cheese Touch---he remembers that he got it during the last week of school but totally forgot about it over the summer. Greg ends up passing it on to a new kid in his homeroom class named Jeremy Pindle. Greg states how his best friend, Rowley, went to South America for the summer, and how Rowley gets caught up in whatever fad is going on, an example being Joshie. He then states that in French, he is getting a pen pal. Greg then writes how his Mom has been trying to get him and Rodrick to bond, but doesn't work out after she spots Rodrick pushing Greg. Greg states that Rodrick can treat him anyway he wants, because he knows the most embarrassing thing that happened to him over the summer and decides to dig some dirt of his own. Unluckily, she got the idea to use Mom Bucks for the two of which they could cash in for real dollars. The problem was: each Mom Buck was for a penny.
Meanwhile, his Dad works on a replica of the Civil War, telling Manny and Rowley that the furnace room is off limits. Rowley starts telling Greg of his trip, but leaves after Greg starts talking about his life. Frank tries to sneak out to work on his replica, but he is caught by his wife and forced to go to bed early with Manny . Following that, Frank decides to take Greg to the mall every Saturday to escape hearing any of Loded Diper's practices and seeing Bill Walter. Returning home, Frank manages to get rid of teenagers crowding his driveway much to his wife's dismay. Greg then changes focus to Manny and how he broke one of his video game consoles. Manny tries to give him tinfoil with toothpicks to make up for Greg's loss, but Greg loses it. Greg states that he got his first pen pal letter from Mamadou Montpierre, but decides to write in English instead of French.
He also states that Rowley ended up sitting on Manny's 'gift' and he throws it away. Meanwhile, Rodrick is forced to type his own paper by Susan, but finally gets Frank to do it for him to his delight.
Greg notices the arrival of his old friend, Chirag Gupta, and is thrilled to see him back, but decides to pay a practical joke he got from his mom, the Invisible Chirag. The whole class gets in on the joke, but Chirag manages to find their weakness: Rowley. Greg does some quick-thinking and manages to keep the joke going. Chirag reports Greg to Vice Principal Roy, but he gets the names mixed up, thinking the victim was a boy named Sharif, allowing the prank to carry on. Rowley's birthday is coming up, so Greg tells his Mom to pay for a gift. Greg starts to complain the he doesn't have any money so Susan creates the Mom Bucks program as a way to get cash. Rowley's birthday party starts and he receives a diary, much to Greg's horror. On top of that, Chirag tells his Dad about the joke and Mr. Gupta tells Susan.
Susan takes Greg to Rowley's house, who reveals the truth in no time flat and takes Greg to Chirag to apologize. Chirag decides to forgive him and so does Greg as they reconcile their friendship. Susan, however, is mad Greg lied to her and makes him be truthful, but allows him to stop after Greg proves himself. Career Day is at school and Greg notices Rowley talking about nursing with girls and decides to read his diary to see if they're talking about him, but in order to do that, he needs a key to open the diary. He cashes in half of his Mom Bucks to buy the same exact diary as Rowley's in order to get the key. Using the key, Greg opens Rowley's diary, but spots nothing except for recorded Dinoblazer Action Figure battles' that Rowley got on his birthday. On Saturday, Manny is taken to Gramma's house and his Mom and Dad leave for the weekend. Rodrick calls his friends and tells them he's hosting a party. Greg decides to keep his mouth shut to experience the party because he has never seen a high school party, but Rodrick traps him in the basement. The following day, Rodrick blackmails Greg into helping him clean up the mess. The two switch the bathroom door as they see that someone has doodled one it right when their parents return.
Greg states that Rodrick is lucky Manny wasn't there as he is a huge tattletale and remarks how he is starting preschool. Greg then recalls how he thought in preschool he was going to marry ice cream due to a joke pulled by a classmate, but his Mom explains the joke and he throws it back at the kid, but not to the same effect.
Greg starts the month being bugged by Rodrick until Dad notices that there is no lock on the bathroom door, but doesn't connect the evidence to Rodrick's relief. Greg then decides to let his parents know about Rodrick's party without him finding out. He then gets another letter from Mamadou, but finds it dumb they have to write letters instead of e-mails. A few nights later, Greg heads to Rowley's house and meets Leland. The two friends are soon addicted to Magick and Monsters, but Susan becomes suspicious of their activities so she observes a game. She then buys a ton of books for Greg and Rodrick to play to further their bond and improve their skills, but Rodrick destroys Greg's characters in no time.
The school sends a letter to have parents get their students private music lessons after Music Education is cancelled to budget cuts. Susan has Rodrick give Greg and Rowley drum lessons for Mom Bucks, but it doesn't work out. At Rowley's house, Greg finds the play money Susan uses for her Mom Bucks and takes the whole stash and hides it in his bed. He tests out his new money by handing them to Susan, who accepts it without blinking and checking. Greg lies saying he'll buy a stamp for Mamadou, but after receiving a picture, he states he killed any chance of him writing back. The next day, Greg is in a hurry to write a paper for History and Rodrick tries to sell him a old paper, as he had the same assignment, but Greg refuses. However, he states that he was desperate, and he reluctantly hands him the money. However, he notices that it is of no use and flunks History.
Rodrick then tries to cash his Mom Bucks in, but Susan knows Rodrick did not earn a single Mom Buck and she never put that big of money into circulation and cancels the program. During Thanksgiving, Rodrick and Greg get in a fight over who has to greet Aunt Loretta first and then dine with the family.
Susan sends Frank to pick up pictures from Thanksgiving, but he comes back with a picture from Rodrick's party. They severely punish Rodrick. Because Greg didn't say anything about it, they suspect that he was hiding it from them and give him a two-week video game ban. Knowing the brothers can't be trusted, Susan and Frank drop the two at the Leisure towers where Grandpa lives. Greg learns his lesson and decides to never cover for Rodrick again. Susan and Frank gets Rodrick to start working on his science project himself and he manages to come up with one. The school announces a big Winter Talent Show which gets Rowley and Rodrick excited. Going crazy, Frank ends Rodrick's punishment two weeks early just so his band practices someplace else. Greg invites Rowley for a sleep over, but injures him in front of Manny. Manny squeals on him and Susan makes Greg Rowley's replacement for his magic act with Scotty Douglas. The two fail to make it into the talent show (the only act to do so) while Rodrick completes his project early to squeeze more band practices in.
Unfortunately, Rodrick's science teacher states Rodrick's experiment didn't meet the expectations and Susan and Frank tell him he'll have to miss the talent show to work on his project. Rodrick declines and says that if he and his group win, they plan on sending the performance to a big record label, and if said record label agrees to a contract with Rodrick's band, Rodrick plans on dropping out of school and doing the band full time. The Talent Show starts and Rodrick asks Greg to film, but he declines so Susan volunteers. Loded Diper doesn't win anything and their footage is unusable because Susan talks the entire time. One of the band members remembers that the school filmed the show, but that turns out to be junk as well, as when it finally gets to their performance, the camera-operator ends up focusing on Susan when she starts dancing.
Rodrick blames Greg and spills his secret to his friends who have little siblings his age. Greg reveals that he accidentally walked into the women's restrooms at the Leisure Towers and got trapped. He then tries to beg to his Mom if he can transfer to another school. Susan disagrees and Greg wishes he kept up his pen pal relationship to move to France and hide there to wait for it to blow over. The next day, Greg is cornered by students but they congratulate him rather than tease him. Greg finds out that the story had got mixed and realizes that when Rodrick called his friends and told them Greg's secret, and when they told their siblings in Greg's grade about what happened, the details got totally mixed up: so the story went from Greg accidentally walking into the women's bathroom at Leisure Towers to him infiltrating the girls' locker room at Crossland High School. Greg didn't want to set anyone straight, and becomes very popular with the guys at school, who start calling him the "Stealthinator"---someone even made him a "Stealthinator" headband. However, the girls weren't impressed as the boys by the story.
At the end of the story, Greg explains that Rodrick sort of got his wish for his band to get noticed, because the video of Susan dancing at the talent show is now all over the internet, and Greg says that everyone now knows Rodrick as the drummer from the "Dancing Mom." Both Greg and Roderick are being teased about it at school, but Rodrick's more embarrassed about it than Greg (who isn't actually in the video), and Greg admits that he does feel kind of bad for Rodrick. If he doesn't turn in a science project, then Rodrick will flunk out of school. Greg decides to help his brother the last time with his science project and hopes Rodrick realizes how lucky he is to have Greg as a brother.
A film of the same name, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (film) was released on March 25, 2011. It followed the major plot of the book, but with small changes. It was met with a mixed critical response and was released for home media on July 19, 2011.
- This is Rodrick's biggest appearance in a book, but all the other books has him reduced his role making him have more minor appearances.
- This book covers 4 months which is the 3rd highest in month covering in the series.
- In this book, Manny says he is only 3, but this can't be correct, as in the first book, after he yells 'bubby' at Greg on the stage, Greg says he's been able to keep that nickname quiet for 5 years, meaning Manny must be at least 6, but his size and behavior contradict him from being 6. However in the online book Manny says "I'm only five!"
- In a movie known as Avengers: Age of Ultron one of Hawkeye's kids are seen reading this book.
- On page 150 it mentions that Greg didn't have anything to turn in to Mr. Huff during third period. However, on page 13 Mr. Huff is described as Greg's seventh period teacher.
Reference to Dates
In the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the actual date of events isn't usually given, as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is meant to be timeless and could have happened at any time. Here are some dates that are mentioned in the book:
- October 27 - The date seen on the bottom right hand corner of a photo accidentally taken by Bill Walterduring Rodrick's party (March 12th in the online book).
- October 31 - Greg mentions that Manny joins pre-school for the first time as his class was having their Halloween party.