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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Ugly Truth cover.jpg
Number 5
Release date November 9, 2010
Author Jeff Kinney
Illustrator Jeff Kinney
Preceded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Succeeded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth is the 5th book of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The book was released on Tuesday, November 9, 2010.

Main characters



It's been two weeks since Greg Heffley had a fight with his ex-best friend, Rowley Jefferson. Then he finds out that Rowley's parents found a replacement best friend: a hired role-model from a company called "Cool Brian".

At the first day of school, they were given textbooks that are hand-me-downs since the school can't afford to buy new ones. Greg attempts to score popularity points at school with a textbook that was previously owned by Jordan Jury, the most popular student in the grade above Greg's. He also posts edited photos on the Internet in an attempt to try and convince others that he has a fun life (which he doesn't, or at least not above average.), because he thinks that everybody was having a greater time than him. However, he got caught by Susan when he was in the middle of recording a New Year's Eve party.

In Health class, everyone in Greg's grade has to take Advanced Health, which covers what Greg calls some "top-secret" stuff. After a few days, Nurse Powell splits the girls and boys up for the day. She puts up a video for the boys to watch that talks about puberty, which Greg explains that it was possibly the same video Frank watches at Greg's age. The video turned out to be very gross and disgusting, much to Rowley's horror. As a result, Rowley never plays with the "Cool Brian" guy, and avoids the older kids at school because he is afraid that he is going to "catch puberty".

Greg attempts to audition for a local ice cream advertisement for an ice cream company called "Peachy Breeze." Greg fails his audition partly because Susan sees him as too old and partly because he dropped the ice cream when attempting to jump up and click his heels when saying the slogan. Greg then explains how he is discriminated because of his age by his own family, stating he was the center of attention when he was younger and is now ignored more often due to Manny, his younger brother. Greg is then informed that his Uncle Gary will marry for the fourth time. Greg explains about "the Talk" given by his great-grandmother, Gammie, a polite but sly and clever old woman. The last person that had ever received it was Rodrick, meaning that during the time where the wedding happens, Greg will have "The Talk".


Susan Heffley, Greg's mother, announces that she will be going back to college for a few months in order to stimulate her mind. As a result, the Heffley men must take care of themselves, and most stability falls apart. Food is often ruined or not cooked properly so they need to eat out, and Frank Heffley, Greg's father, sprains his ankle, when they try to go out to eat. As Susan usually does the chores around the house, Greg is left with little clean clothes to wear. Greg also complains that he must take more time to do his homework, since Susan often helps in the way of giving him all the answers, and his father, Frank Heffley, makes him do the work on his own and helping very little.

Greg was also given the responsibility of waking himself up. He tries a better alarm clock than his older one, which didn't work, a wind-up clock. The constant ticking noise from the clock reminded him of a bomb, causing him to be on edge all night. As a result, Greg accidentally set off the fire alarm at school in his sleep-deprived state, but manages not to get caught. After the alarm, a rumor has passed throughout which says that the fire alarm squirts out some invisible liquid, and the security will know who was touching the fire alarm if you wash your hands. As a result, the school was dismissed early because no one was washing their hands, and they are in the middle of flu season.

Greg faces more misfortunes, such as facing a serious, ill-tempered, paranoid dentist instead of going to a fun dentist center where Greg has a crush on one of the hygienists there, failing a high-grade Health class assignment, where he must take care of an egg like it is a baby because Susan cooked it, and dealing with an extremely lazy maid whom Susan hired to clean the house who refuses to do Greg's laundry, hogs the TV, and takes naps in Greg's bed.

At school, a "Lock-In" is organized where boys and girls Greg's age have a supervised slumber party in the school auditorium. It turns out to be a disaster, in which there are nearly little to no girls, excess amounts of chaperones, all technology is confiscated, party games which bore Greg, an incident where the chaperones think one of Greg's team members of a game photographed their posterior, until Tyson Sanders tells Mr. Tanner that the picture was of his elbow. The boys start to make fart noises. When David Rosenburg brings a tuba from the music room. The heater turned off and air conditioner went on. By that time it was so cold in the auditorium the boys packed themselves together like sardines to preserve body heat. At about 1 in the morning, the boys noticed a guy from the towing company towing Mr. Palmero's car, parked in a handicapped spot. They try to get his attention to break them out of the school, but he never heard them. At 3, there was a pounding sound on the door that woke all the kids up. There was a bunch of angry parents standing outside. Apparently, the parents were trying to call their kids, but due to Mr. Tanner taking the cell phones, they got into a panic. The parents who came to the school took their kids home with them. Leaving Greg and Rowley, the only two kids without cell phones.


Greg gets sick. Susan tells Greg she is going to the library to study. At noon, he saw a lot of cars parked on their lawn in his window, and he could hear a lot of talking and the TV downstairs from his room. When Susan decided to come home from the library early to take care of Greg, she finds out about the maid's lazy self, as well as finding her watching with other maids. After this, she fires Isabella for good.

Rowley comes to school with a large pimple on his forehead when Greg came back. He explains that he is becoming a man. This makes Greg wonder about when he'll start puberty, but after talking it over with his parents, they both reveal that they were actually both late bloomers, so if Greg's anything like them, he probably won't be starting puberty for another few years or so.

The next day, Greg and Rowley were both invited to one of Jordan Jury's notoriously wild parties, and Greg thought that maybe it was his book and/or Rowley's pimple, but it was pretty clear that they were best friends. Greg then explains about the wild parties Jordan Jury holds, which were legendary and there are a lot of girls in there.

Unfortunately for Greg, Susan doesn't let him go, because the party takes place on the same weekend as his Uncle Gary's wedding. Greg tries to convince her to make him not go to the wedding, but Susan tells him that he is playing a major part in it and he can't let Uncle Gary down. Greg also tries to call Rowley and tell him that he can't go since Greg has a wedding to go. Rowley angrily replies that he doesn't care and he is going since he is almost a grown-up now.

Greg is humiliated and bored at the wedding for many reasons. Mostly, Greg thought he was a groomsman at the wedding party and will have a good time when Susan explains to Gammie that they are picking up Greg's tuxedo. However, during the day of the wedding, Greg was the Assistant Flower Boy, and he was actually wearing the same white tuxedo as Manny, much to Greg's dismay. After the wedding, Greg receives "The Talk" from Gammie, which he has been nervous about. Gammie explains to Greg the stress and horrors of becoming and being an adult and growing old both physically and mentally, which causes Greg to enjoy his late childhood for now.

Once Greg gets back to school, he realizes that while the wedding may not have gone well, it's ultimately a good thing that he didn't go to Jordan's party—while the party itself was apparently pretty crazy, it turns out that the only reason that Jordan invited kids from Greg and Rowley's grade to the party was to basically use them as servants. Greg also discovers that Scotty Douglas won the Peachy Breeze competition, although he couldn't get the slogan right.

At this point, Susan stops going to college for now and returns to the family, much to Greg's delight. Also, Greg and Rowley ultimately become friends again after Greg decides to make the first move in patching things up instead of just waiting for Rowley to come to him—the book ends with him explaining that Rowley has grown a whole inch and a half since the summer, and he explains they can take it one step at a time and can be friends, at least until high school because Rowley can be a good person he can have at his side.


The Ugly Truth was originally going to be the final book in the series. Jeff Kinney found the book "very, very difficult to crack"[1] and stated, "I've been struggling with trying to figure out if Greg is a cartoon character or a literary character. If he's a cartoon character, he should stay the same age forever. But if he's a literary character, he needs to grow up and move on."[2]

On the subject of if he would write a sixth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, he said, "I always thought that kids would be satisfied if the story wrapped up nice and neat over a certain number of books. But recently, I've been wondering if kids care about that at all" and concluded that the books are more about jokes than telling stories, and that he would keep writing books as long as he could think of jokes for them.[2] "I like Wimpy Kid very much and can imagine that universe expanding but I'd like to do something else as well."[3] He then said that he plans to write "two more" books.[4]

Kinney found the book difficult to write, saying that "[i]t was definitely some different subject matter to be writing about, especially knowing some of my audience are second and third graders. I had to pull the Seinfeld trick and write about the thing without really saying what I was writing about. Hopefully I walked that line."[3]

The original title for this book was Rowley's Revenge. The cover depicted Rowley stepping on a manhole cover that Greg is coming out of.[5]


  • On page 112, Frank's right arm is missing.



Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese なんとか、やっていくよ
Nantoka, yatte iku yo
I Will Do It Somehow
Spanish La cruda realidad The Crude Reality
French La vérité tout moche The Ugly Truth
Dutch Niet te doen! Impossible!
German Geht's noch? Are You Crazy?
Italian La dura verità The Hard Truth
Polish Przykra prawda Bitter Truth
Welsh Poenau Prifio Growing Pains