Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017 film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Long Haul Poster.jpg
Based on The Long Haul, The Third Wheel, Hard Luck & Old School
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) May 17, 2017(Philippines)

May 19, 2017 (USA)

May 20, 2017 (UK) [1]

Running time 91 minutes

Preceded by

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the 4th film of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film franchise and is based on the ninth and tenth books, and loosely based on the seventh and eighth books. Filming for the movie began in September in Atlanta, Georgia.[2][3] It was released on Friday, May 19th, 2017.[4]



The film opens up with the Heffley Family and Rowley entering Corny's Family-Style Restaurant. While seated at their table, Susan Heffley instigates a conversation about their upcoming road trip to Meemaw's house for her 90th birthday, which is met with a negative response from both Greg Heffley and Rodrick Heffley. Their objections are cut short when Susan sends Greg and Rowley into an indoor playground to help Manny, who has gotten stuck inside it. Greg ends up in a ball pit after falling down the slide and ends up with a diaper on his hand and begins to thrash his hand around while screaming wildly. A bunch of people notice him and run over with their cellphones to record him. The videos get posted on the internet, where Greg becomes known as a meme dubbed 'Diaper Hands'.

Later, at the Heffley residence, Greg complains to Rowley about his unwanted fame, as a meme. Shortly after, Greg learns that Player Expo is taking place not very far from Meemaw's house in Indianapolis. Greg's gaming idol, Mac Digby, will be attending, and Greg hopes to meet him and get in one of his videos so people will forget about his meme-age as Diaper Hands. He acknowledges that he will have to somehow sneak off from the road trip and attend the Expo without his parents' knowledge, however.

The Heffley family hits the road, where Greg, Rodrick, Frank, and Manny's devices are immediately confiscated by Susan, who wants the road trip to be absolutely technology-free. Later, after the boys complain they're hungry, Susan sends Greg and Rodrick off to a grocery store with a list of items to buy, but Rodrick veers from the instructions and instead buys a bunch of food he likes instead.

After arriving at a motel, Greg and Rodrick run to the pool to go swimming, but instead, find the pool drained and the hot tub occupied by the Beardo Family. After heading inside, Rodrick puts a pizza they were hoping to eat for dinner into a mini-safe, thinking it was a microwave. Discouraged, Frank and Susan tuck Manny into bed and get ready for bed themselves, but allow Greg and Rodrick to go back and get in the hot tub when they see the Beardos have left. Before going to the hot tub, Greg gets into the family car and takes his phone out of the bag Susan had put it in, and plans to use it discreetly. Later, when Greg and Rodrick are relaxing in the hot tub, Rodrick hears a notification from Greg's phone and discovers his plans to go to Player Expo. In a panic, Greg accidentally drops a bag of Cheez Curls into the hot tub, turning the water orange and making his body appear orange.

Greg discourages Rodrick from telling Susan, saying that they had a rock band video game tournament there that Rodrick could participate in. Liking the idea, Rodrick opts to go with Greg to the Expo. Going back into the motel room, Greg opens the bathroom door to find Frank sitting on the toilet, typing on his laptop. Frank explains to Greg that he was using it for work, and discovers Greg is in possession of his phone. They both agree to not tell Mom their secrets in order to keep her from getting mad and to let them continue to use their devices.

After cleaning up in the bathroom, Greg discovers that all of the sleeping places in the motel room had been taken, so he decides to sleep in the closet with only a pillow. His attempts to fall asleep are thwarted, however, when a loud, continuous banging noise disturbs him. He storms out of the motel room to find the Beardo siblings crashing a trolley full of cleaning supplies into a wall, over and over again. Enraged, Greg threatens to tell their father if they don't stop. Mad, the eldest sibling pushes the cart toward Greg, who dodges it just as Mr. Beardo comes out of his motel room. The cart crashes into the Beardo van, leaving a huge dent and scratch. The eldest then blames it on Greg. Ticked off, Mr. Beardo goes after Greg, who distracts him just long enough to make a getaway and hides out in the parking lot. After the Beardos have returned to their room, Greg goes into what he believes is his room, but is actually the Beardos. He wakes up next to Mr. Beardo the next morning, who yells and goes after him again, but Greg is able to slip into his own motel room quickly.

Later on that day, the Heffleys attend a country fair somewhere in the country. Susan had to use the restroom and instructs Frank to stay with the boys and keep an eye on them, then gives Greg and Rodrick money, which they spend right away on fried butter on a stick. Rodrick eats several of these, despite them being extremely unhealthy.

Greg then spots the Beardos, once again, walking near their location. He runs over to Frank, who is busy with a work call, and hands the responsibility of taking care of Manny over to Greg. The two of them go to the Livestock Show, where Manny correctly guesses a pig's weight and receives a baby pig as a prize. Greg and Manny return to Frank, where Mr. Beardo notices Greg and begins chasing after him. Greg and Rodrick meet up again and board the Alien Abduction ride, a spinning attraction that pins you against a wall. Somehow, Mr. Beardo drags himself onto the ride while it is operating and begins making his way over to Greg, who begins climbing up the wall and over riders' heads in an attempt to getaway.

While rolling over Rodrick to get to Greg, Mr. Beardo clutches Rodrick's stomach, which causes him to vomit. The vomit comes up and then falls down onto Mr. Beardo's face, which allows Greg and Rodrick to walk off the ride without any inconvenience.

After Susan returns from the bathroom, Manny reveals the pig he won to Frank and Susan, who are both in shock. Frank explains he was on a work call and wasn't actually present at the time Manny won the pig, so he couldn't reject the offer. He also accidentally slips out that Greg has been using his phone as well. In order to get back at them, Susan says they will keep the pig as their pet indefinitely.

When they get back on the road, Frank receives a work call and instructs everyone to remain absolutely silent since he couldn't actually get a week off. However, Rodrick begins chewing his gum very loudly during the call, so Susan opens up the sunroof and instructs him to throw it out, but begins to close it again when Frank complains about the noise from the wind. As it's closing, Rodrick takes the gum out of his mouth and throws it up, getting it stuck in the sunroof and making it unable to close. Distracted, Frank begins veering off his lane, which causes a big truck to begin honking at them, causing a chain reaction that eventually leads to the car running through a construction zone. After Frank and Susan pull over and get out of the car to discuss the situation, Greg reroutes the GPS to the address of the Player Expo convention.

The Heffleys, unable to take care of the pig, drop it off at Li'l Critters Petting Zoo, much to Manny's dismay. He cries quietly in his car seat as the car pulls out. The Heffleys get a hotel room late the same day, and early the next morning Greg and Rodrick sneak out using the excuse that they are going to get a present for Meemaw, while actually going to Player Expo.

While there, Greg begins playing a bunch of the games while Rodrick attempts to drum in the video game tournament, which he doesn't succeed at. Meanwhile, Frank and Susan get worried about the whereabouts of Greg and Rodrick since they hadn't returned. Susan calls the police to file a missing person report but takes back the call when she sees the two boys on live TV. They instead begin going to Player Expo to get the boys themselves. Greg finally sees his idol, Mac Digby, participating in a video game competition. Desperate to be in one of his videos, Greg instructs Rodrick to record him going up on stage with Mack so his popularity will boost. Greg sneaks on stage but freaks out when Digby notices him and begins yelling at him, causing him to unplug the power cord with his shoe. Digby is furious until Susan arrives, storming up onto the stage. She begins scolding Greg and grounds him from playing video games for life. During this, she reveals that he is Diaper Hands to the crowd, who now knows his real, full name and his popularity as a meme. They chant 'Greg Heffley, Diaper Hands!' as he is dragged off stage by Susan. Near the front doors, Susan opens up to Greg and says that all she wanted was a nice road trip that would bring the family together, and she accuses Greg of not caring. Greg responds by saying that Susan is the one who doesn't care about what he likes, which is why he had to sneak out to the Expo in the first place. Having given up, Susan hands her phone to Greg and tells him he can play whatever game he wants on it because she doesn't care anymore.

On the road again, the tarp on the boat that had been carrying the majority of their belongings, hitched to the car, flies off, and their suitcases, clothes and other items fly out all across the road. Forced to pull over, the Heffleys begin picking it all up again when the Beardo van pulls up and begins stealing suitcases and clothes in what Mr. Beardo calls 'payback.' Worried because the Beardos had stolen a suitcase with a present she had hoped to give to Meemaw, Susan and the family get into the car and go after the Beardos as they drive off. However, they are stopped by a long line of traffic and are forced to wait it out. Susan breaks down and begins crying, and Frank comforts her.

Greg, in the backseat, begins tossing food from his bag of Cheez Curls to seagulls on the roof of the car. The seagulls eventually fly through the sunroof in an attempt to get the bag of Cheez Curls, and Frank slams his foot on the accelerator and panics and makes the car go off an embankment and crash into a stack of hay, busting the radiator.

With their spirits crushed, Greg eventually convinces his family to keep ongoing. United again, the Heffleys get back in the van, ready to get to Meemaw's. However, due to the radiator, the AC must be cranked up all the way to keep the car moving.

Taking a back road, the Heffleys are greeted by a plethora of hunting and danger signs. A can of cinnamon rolls Rodrick picked up explodes from the heat, and Rodrick believes he had been shot and passes out. In the moment of confusion and the loud noise from the explosion, Frank had driven into a mud puddle.

Susan, Greg, Rodrick, and Manny get out of the car so there is less weight for the car to carry Frank attempts to get it out of the puddle, but is sprayed by mud that the turning wheel spews in their direction. Dirty and caked with mud, the family gets back in the car and pushes on, but stops once again when Greg notices the Beardo van outside a motel. They conspire to get their stuff back from them and wait until the Beardos head off to the hot tub until they break into their hotel room. They begin trashing the place, looking for their belongings, until they realize their stolen items were in the Beardo van, not in the motel room. However, Greg and Rodrick need to use the restroom, so they stay behind while Frank and Susan take Beardo's keys to get into their van. After washing up, Greg is alerted by Rodrick through a window that Mr. Beardo was approaching the bathroom. In a split-second decision, Greg hides in the shower behind a curtain while Mr. Beardo uses the restroom. Greg gives his location away, and Mr. Beardo finds him. but slips into the tub. Greg runs out and gets into the van. Frank throws the keys into a dumpster so the Beardos would lose time before they could pursue them and drive off.

The van eventually arrives at a dead end, and Frank drives the van up a hill before it eventually breaks down. Greg discovers that Meemaw's house is just down the hill, and they agree to push the car down it to get to the party so their car could be towed. They manage to get the car rolling down the hill, and Frank, Susan, Rodrick, and Manny (in his car seat), manage to jump into the car as it's rolling down the hill. Greg, however, lags behind and is forced to jump into the boat. The hill is bumpy, however, and the hitch comes undone, allowing the boat to diverge from the car and travel freely. Greg attempts to control it using the boat's wheel, but hits a stack of hay bales and is launched into the air. The boat flies over Meemaw's fence and lands in her pool, and the song Splish Splash starts playing.

The Heffleys end up celebrating happily at Meemaw's and get their car fixed, but the radiator breaks due to the AC not being cranked up all the way. A Spanish-speaking man who works for a towing company pulls over to assist them, but none of the Heffleys can understand him, except Manny, who speaks in fluent Spanish to the man and explains their current situation. It's implied that he learned this skill from a CD Susan put in during the road trip, which was a guide to learning Spanish. The man, Mr. Louis, tows their car, but Manny gives him instructions to the petting zoo where his pig is, and the two reunite.

In the end, Greg explains that although the road trip wasn't perfect, he still wouldn't change a thing. He says that Manny was allowed to keep his pig as a pet, Rodrick was able to get a new van, and Dad was able to explain having time off from work to bond with family. In the after-credits scene, two girls take selfies with Greg, who they recognize as Diaper Hands.


After the trailer of this film was released, countless memes and hashtags were made about the new cast such as #NotMyRodrick, which was a trend on Twitter in retaliation to Charlie Wright's portrayal of Rodrick in contrast to Devon Bostick, who was deemed superior by fans. There were a lot of backlashes, and many critics and fans consider this to be the worst film in the franchise thus far. It scored a 3.7 on IMDb, a 39 on Metacritic meaning “generally unfavorable reviews” and Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 19% rotten rating of approval. The film made only a little more than twice its budget.

Film critic Caillou Pettis of the YouTube channel TwistedFalcon scored the film a D, stating "This is the messiest movie I might have seen all year."[12]

Differences Between The Books And The Film

  • The road trip is for a casual summer holiday in the book but is about getting to Meemaw's 90th birthday and attending a gaming expo (for Greg and Rodrick) in the film.
  • Rowley appears in 3 scenes in the film while he only appeared on one page in the book.
  • Manny has a much less significant role than he did in the books.
    • For example, his tantrums about leaving the pig at the petting zoo are entirely removed.
  • The subplot about Greg becoming a viral meme on the internet meme is an original plot.
    • The Heffley's trip to Soak Central Water Park is entirely removed, likely having been replaced by the above-mentioned plotline.
  • The Beardo family is much more antagonizing towards the Heffleys in the film.
  • Greg accidentally enters the Beardos' hotel room after being blamed for getting Mr. Beardo's van scratched by his children, but in the book, Greg yelled at the kids and a kid told Mr. Beardo. Greg made a run for it to his room and not Beardo's room.
    • In the book this never occurred and Mr. Beardo was only angry at Greg for scolding his kids for playing with the cart. Also, Greg manages to return safely to his own room in the book and does not run into the Beardos until they are going to the fair.
  • The scenes of the Heffleys at the fair from the book are altered or completely removed, with new scenes added.
    • In the book, Rodrick entered the stinkiest shoe contest while he did not in the film.
    • Susan, Greg, and Manny were all present when Manny won the pig but in the film only Greg and Manny were present.
      • Also, Manny wrote his estimate for the hog's weight in the book as 243.1, but in the film, he vocally guessed the weight as 456.
    • Rodrick eats more deep-fried butter than he did in the book, causing him to vomit on Mr. Beardo.
    • Mr. Beardo catches up with Greg on a Gravitron ride while he did not catch up to Greg at the fair in the book.
  • The Heffleys falsely believe that the Beardos have stolen their clothes, wallets, and driver's licenses in the book, but this is later proven to be untrue after it was discovered Greg had the key he thought he had lost from Soak Central.
    • However, in the film, the Beardos are actually shown stealing Heffley's personal items after they fly out of the boat as "payback".
  • Meemaw was said to have died in Hard Luck but is alive in the film.
  • Flat Stanley is absent from this film.
  • Manny only speaks to one Spanish man who helps tow the Heffley's van, but in the book, he spoke to two men.
  • Greg is shown running around in his tighty whities which is reminiscent of The Last Straw, though the film is not based on this book.
  • Rodrick has a larger role in the film, interacting more with Greg and assisting him with the plan to go to the gaming expo.
  • The van that The Beardo's owned is a green Volkswagen Type 2 in the movie, instead of the purple version of The Heffley's minivan.
  • There are several other scenes from the Long Haul (book) that have been removed from the film.
    • Because the pig is given to the petting zoo on the same day Manny receives it, the following scenes that occur in between these moments in the book are removed.
      • The pig destroys Greg and Rodrick's hotel bathroom as well as eats the snacks and drinks from the minibar at the hotel.
      • Greg, Manny, Rodrick, and Susan visiting the place that claims to have "the biggest popcorn in the world".
      • The Heffley's visit to the museum of butter life-sized carvings of the US presidents.
      • The pig biting Greg's finger and the subsequent visit to the vet.
    • Visits to two restaurants on the way to the third visited hotel (which becomes the second hotel due to the omission of the above-mentioned events).
    • The incident at the pet cemetery with the Heffley's misleading a funeral procession.
    • The Heffley's planning to go to the beach (although the scene with the seagulls remained).
  • The road trip was also shortened to three days instead of one week.
  • Family Frolic, the magazine where Susan is inspired to take this road trip is also absent from the film, as it is Greg and Rodrick themselves who convince the family to go on the road trip.


  • This is the first film to have an entirely new cast, due to the former cast being adults now. This is confirmed because all of the confirmed cast members have not been in any other Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies. The entirely new cast is the main reason why this movie received very negative reviews from critics and fans.
  • This is the fourth film of the film series.
  • The short script shared for auditioners feature lines from Hard Luck, The Long Haul, and Old School
  • Despite the movie received very negative reviews, it is considered better than the animated film The Emoji Movie, which is considered by many to be the absolute worst movie of 2017.
  • This is the second film where the movie cover doesn't show the cartoon characters and the real visual characters.
  • This is the fourth film where an animal appears, making all the Wimpy Kid movies include animals.
  • Unlike the other films, which were filmed in Vancouver, this movie was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • This is the first film where supporting characters like Fregley, Patty, Chirag, and Coach Malone don't appear. However, in the Movie Diary, it was shown that in an original script, Fregley and Chirag were going to appear.
  • This is the second film not to feature Holly Hills, following the first film. Holly made her first appearance in the second movie.
  • An updated version of the Movie Diary containing info on this movie was released on May 9, 2017.
  • Jeff Kinney makes a cameo in this film, where he appears for only a few seconds, but has no lines.
  • "Player Expo" might be a possible reference to "Electronic Entertainment Expo" because they're both video game conventions, and they both take place in the summer.
  • Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad can be seen outside Player Expo on a wall, possibly representing Super Mario 3D World.
  • This movie shares parts from the books The Third Wheel and Old School and Hard Luck and ''The Long Haul''
  • This is the second film the Greg's Diary doesn't make an appearance (the exception is being the opening at the beginning of the film) after Dog Days.
  • This film could be a reboot since it doesn't follow the continuity of the first 3 films.
  • At the end of the credits of the film, it foreshadowed the 12th book The Getaway a few months before the cover reveal.
  • The Beardo's van getting scratched is a reference to the first film, where Greg accidentally scratched Pete Hosey’s Ford F150.
  • The Cheese made a cameo in this when the Heffley family is staying in the first motel.
  • A Groudon action figure can be seen when Greg gets his Atlas.
  • The Pig's drawing can be seen as a sign named "All yeh can eat buffet" in the Corny's restaurant and not Corny sez: Feed Yer Face.
  • There are a few Pop Culture references in this film.
    • A female character from the film Mad Max is mentioned when The Heffleys saw themselves covered in mud inside of the motel room The Beardos are staying at.
  • Greg mentions that the U.S. defeated the British in World War II, even though they were on the same side. However, he might have gotten it confused with the American Revolutionary War
    • Granted, this is not totally out of character, as Greg doesn't have a particularly good track record with history.
  • Greg has a W on his shirt in the movie poster.
  • The intro music is different from the first three movies
  • This is the third movie to show the Heffleys in the beginning as drawings and transform into their real appearances
  • In the Latin American version of the film, the Heffleys don't speak English since they speak Spanish, but Manny and Mr. Louis speaks English.


  • Greg accidentally enters the wrong hotel room after all the lights turn off and everyone going to bed, he didn't even know that he was in someone else's room until he woke up in the morning, his room key couldn't have been accessible to the wrong hotel room so how was he able to enter the wrong room and his room key accessible for both his room and the other room?


The last film was released in 2012, and because the original actors have become too old for their characters, it was largely believed that there would be no more films in the series. This changed when Jeff Kinney announced on Twitter that they were "gearing up" to make a movie for The Long Haul and that they first need a Greg and a Rowley.[13] In the tweet, he shared a link to the website for the online casting call [14] and during the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down's Virtually Live event (where Double Down's cover, color and title were revealed) Jeff Kinney hinted at this movie. Then a news article on the website of The Today Show revealed a few cast members names and stated the film would start filming in September, which it did. Jeff Kinney announced on Twitter that filming would start in September in Atlanta, Georgia.[15] After those announcements, the film was definitely going to happen.



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