|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End|
The book's official cover.
Abram Books (Amulet Books) and Puffin Books
October 27th, 2020
224 (217 reading pages)
Bright & dark blue, pool floor and water ripple texture
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Book 16 (chronologically), Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories (release order)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End is a book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It was released on October 27, 2020. A teaser was released on Amazon on February 13th, as well as a release date. The cover of the book was revealed on May 26th, 2020.
In The Deep End, book 15 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney, Greg Heffley and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip, ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
But things take an unexpected turn, and they find themselves stranded at an RV park that’s not exactly a summertime paradise. When the skies open up, and the water starts to rise, the Heffleys wonder if they can save their vacation – or if they’re already in too deep.
Greg tells about how his family is doing tough because of them all staying in one room. He explains they live in Gramma's basement because their house is destroyed, referencing the events of Wrecking Ball. They all sleep in one room, and Greg sleeps next to Rodrick. He wanted to stay in the guest room, but it was taken by Sweetie. Then Greg tells that when Gramma's friends visit her, the family must stay in the basement, but they can't go to the bathroom. They can't go to the kitchen either, so Rodrick just heated the pizza in the dryer once. There's no TV too, so they entertain themselves with a puppet show by Susan. Susan says they can just use their imagination, but Greg dreams about sending Rodrick to space every time. When Frank has a meeting, they must sit quietly, which is hard because of Manny. Greg can solve Gramma's puzzles, but Manny always wants to put the last piece. Sometimes they play a board game as a family, but they have to choose the easiest one because Manny can't handle complicated rules. They have to go to bed before it's even dark because they are on Manny's schedule. Manny's favourite picture book he reads when going to bed is about the Noah's Ark, where Noah saved all animals from a storm on his ship. The illustrations in Manny's book make it look like a big flood was a lot of fun. But Greg thought that if the drawings were more realistic, people wouldn't buy it. Greg says that if he was Noah, he would not save snakes and scorpions. He would use the extra space to save more cute animals. Luckily, Noah didn't find a place for fish, but they probably didn't know the flood was happening. But Greg doesn't understand why Noah let birds on the ark because they could've flown. Greg also wonders what awesome animals lived before the flood and didn't make it to the boat. Noah was stuck on the boat for 190 days with his wife and three children, so every time Greg thinks about Noah, he's feeling better. Susan is happy because the time slowed down when they are together, but Greg didn't like it. Rowley was on another trip to Europe - Greg tried to give Rowley hints so he could go with Rowley, but the boy didn't understand. Susan said that they could travel using imaginations, but Greg didn't like the idea. When they all thought about the place they can go to in real life, Frank wanted to go to a bunch of Civil War battlefields. Manny wanted to go to the Animal Safari park. Susan wanted to visit places in their own country. And Greg and Rodrick wanted to go to the Thrills and Spills park. That's because they have a new Track Jumper coaster. Susan said these rides were not for Manny, but Greg didn't want to go to the Storybook Village Park, which is for kids. Greg suggested that every member will go on their holiday. But Susan wanted to spend time as a family.
Gammie asked Frank to get rid of Uncle Gary's camper van parked in her driveway for two years. That gave the family the idea to go camping to different places with the van, stopping for the night when they felt like it. Susan added that they will have different adventures. That made Greg even feel bad for Rowley because he will go to a boring museum and Greg will have wild adventures. Greg is worried that Susan will turn this trip into an educational one, though. But Greg doesn't want to learn anything on the journey.
The family came to the camping superstore to buy everything they needed Greg went to the part of the store with the high-end gear because he wanted to camp comfortably. But Frank said these things are for serious campers and made Greg put them back. Then Frank picked some fishing rods. Rodrick and Manny started picking serious gear, like weapons, so Susan stopped them. Rodrick was disappointed, so Greg thinks he wanted to go trophy hunting on the trip and decorate the kitchen. The family was ready, but Susan asked a salesperson if they have the right kind of equipment. Then the salesperson started telling them about bears, and that they must tie up their trash and hang, so bears wouldn't reach them, and that they should buy wolf urine to scare the bears away. Greg decided to get better grades at school, so he wouldn't get a job as a wolf urine collector. The man also told them to take bug spray, and Greg was on board with that, because Albert Sandy once told him about a boy who was sucked dry with a mosquito. Then the man gave them a compass and a snakebite kit. If things really will go bad, to get a flare gun. Then the family went out of the shop but had to return because they left Rodrick sleeping in a hammock there. When they came to the camper van, it was a total mess. The family cleaned everything up. But the van was comfortable: there was a stove, a bathroom with a shower, a refrigerator, a kitchen table, and some other stuff, so everyone was happy. But they kept finding Uncle Gary's dirty underwear there! Finally, the Heffleys hit the road. Mom said they must record their adventures and then become a popular family on the Internet. Greg was happy too, and it was good that he could use the toilet on the road. The only thing he didn't like was no safety seat belts. Susan let Manny go into the front seat so he could "drive", but he started laying into the horn and cursing, then Susan saw Greg and Rodrick using their phones. So she put the phones in a plastic box with a timer on top. Greg knew what it was because he saw Susan reading about it in parenting magazines. Greg and Rodrick tried to break that thing, but couldn't! Playing Animal Bingo was not interesting too, because they couldn't identify half the animals. When they wanted to stop for the night, Frank wanted to stop at a place called Culpepper's Ravine, but there were tons of other trailers. Greg then talks about how he wanted to be born a little earlier to discover something, because then they name it after you. But now only the lame stuff is left undiscovered. One time in the planetarium in Greg's town, you could pay ten bucks so they could name a planet after you. But Greg worries that since Susan didn't put his last name on the sheet, because some other Greg could say the planet is his. The family found a lake with nobody near it and decided to stop there. The air-conditioning in the van was not working, so they relaxed in the river. Suddenly Greg saw a million little shining things under the water, thinking it was piranhas coming right to the family. Greg almost got out of the water, when he felt the fish nibbling him. He explained he was lucky he was in one piece, but he realized ALMOST one piece. He had a scab before they got in the water, but it was gone. Suddenly a truck with two angry guys drove to them. The family suddenly found out the lake was a fish hatchery! So they quickly drove away from the guys on the trailer. Then they decided to spend the night at a field, but they were chased out again because it was somebody's farm. The family found a good field where they could stop, but Susan and Frank had to sleep on the table. Greg slept above the cabin with Rodrick. Manny slept in a cabinet in the kitchenette setup he made, and he was comfortable there. Then Greg found out he could hear everything when Susan goes to the bathroom, so he pretended he cannot hear anything, and woke Rodrick up.
The family then realizes that they slept in a public little league tee-ball park, and got out of there before a kid broke a taillight with a ball. Greg then suggested to go to the Family Adventure Center, however, most of the activities had an age and height requirement, so then they signed up for the Fun Float, in which Manny is only big enough for. During it, there was a shallow area in the water, causing the family to walk in the water. Greg then noticed that his tube got punctured, so then Manny used the cooler and Greg took Manny's tube. They then get stuck with a bunch of people, so Greg manages to squeeze through when the river got wider. However, he went to far and got tossed from his tube in the area in which the water was rough. Greg then calls for help, but the people didn't hear him, but his family is totally useless when it comes to emergencies. Greg then loses his bathing suit, so then he uses the cooler to block his privates. Then he finds the RV. After that, the family agrees that their trip was off to a terrible start. Greg tells Frank he should just admit this trip was a disaster and they should head back to Grammas. But Frank says they shouldn't turn around now because they didn't do any real camping.
Frank then said there was a national forest a few hours away from the van and they could stay there for the night. Greg wasn't too happy about the idea but at least it wasn't the basement. They spent the night at the carpark and the next morning they headed for the forest.
The next night while camping in the forest, Rodrick and Greg's Dad prank the rest of the family by Greg's Dad tell them about a story where a ranger told Greg's Dad and HIS dad while camping. The ranger tells them that he used to have a dog named Matilda who got lost one night. Then he said when he gave up looking, he could hear the ghost of Matilda. When Greg's Dad is done telling the story, Greg hears howling from a nearby bush. At first he thinks it is the ghost of Matilda, but then he realizes that it was all a prank. But Greg's Dad got distracted while roasting marshmallows, and then burnt his knee. He planned on having baked beans later, but the fire burnt on his knee caused him to drop the can of baked beans, which explodes and makes a mess on the side of the RV. Everyone then goes inside, but then a bear comes along and licks the mess on the side of the RV. Manny then goes back outside and shoots a flare from the flare gun , then a ranger of the forest then goes to Greg's RV and tells them that shooting the flare gun was reckless, because it could cause a forest fire. Then she tells them that they'll have to leave first thing in the morning.
They then go to Campers' Eden, a luxury campsite with other people visiting, unlike the forest. They then were amused by the fact that the resort has a gaming room, a pool, a sandpit, and a lake with canoes and kayaks. There was also a bathhouse to take hot showers, in which got Susan excited the most about. There was a sewer hook-up in the campsites also. Susan asked for a campsite next to a lake, however the lot was full and the economy section was the only spots left. While Frank was flushing the sewage tank, Greg explored the resort. Unfortunately, the arcade in the gaming room had a few games in which Greg wasn't interested in playing. There was a pool table, but the kids used fruits instead of pool balls. The swimming pool wasn't that good either. The parents were not supervising their kids, and also, some kids got drifted out into the deep end, which was a problem since due to the people on the high dive. There was no lifeguard, meaning people can do whatever they wanted to do. Greg went to the hot tub next, but the hot tub was full of dogs and a cat. There was a laundry place, a snack shack, and a deluxe campsite. Luckily, the family was in spots away from the motorcycle gang and the pet-friendly row. Since the campsites had narrow spaces in between, the people decided to use the roofs of their campers. Susan tried to get to learn about the neighbors, however the people liked to keep to themselves. Then, a siren alarm from the main lodge made sounds, meaning there was a skunk on the campsites. The skunk then ate the Heffley's dinner. Greg talks about how when God created the animals, he gave them abilities to defend themselves, but when it was the time to create human beings, the good ideas were used up. Greg guesses that God made up for it by giving humans brains, but Greg would've gone with quills. Greg gets the idea to not take a shower until college so he can scare off people with smelling bad. The family then gets sprayed by people, ruining their hot dogs. It turns out that 9PM is the time in which people go to bed.
The next day, Greg gets woken up by a person who was doing wood carving on his campsite. Greg was about to scold him, but Greg decides to let him go after he used a chainsaw. Susan explained to Greg that the bathhouse needed coins to operate the showers, and move the family's clothes from the washer to the dryer. Greg didn't like the fact he had to be in a public building to shower, due to the fact that he needs privacy, and talks about his comfort in the bathroom. The bathhouse had men and women, in which Greg dislikes the fact. It turns out that the line was long is that there were only three shower stalls. Though Greg enjoyed the hot water, the people next to him was chatting with him. Before Greg rinsed the shampoo in his hair, the shower stopped. Greg tried to put the coins by himself, but a person took his stall, so then he left to rinse his hair in the sink, in which the water was free. Greg was surprised to find out that the chainsaw guy put the clothes in the floor, but let him go another time.
Later in the camper van, Susan tells Greg to find new friends in the site rather than using electronics. Greg is reluctant, but is forced to go with a random group when Susan is about to embarrass him. He follows them where they're going and they introduce themselves. The shortest member and leader of the pack is 'Juicebox' and other members are 'DooDoo', 'Weevil', 'Fivehead', 'Cutter', 'Regular Marcus', and 'Big Marcus'. Greg presumes they're all just codenames so he introduces himself as 'Jimmy Dogfish'.
When they head down to the shallow spot in the stream, Greg finds out the reason the other guys went there was to talk. They started by talking about which superhero would win in a fight, which turned into which superpower was best. That turned into a debate over what animal you would fight if you were sentenced to death.
Then, the guys argued over whether it'd be better to fight a person with a head of a shark or a shark with the head of a person. This then led to a fistfight between everyone except Greg. Afterward, Greg states he's nervous about hanging with people who get physical to solve problems. Juicebox tells Greg that because he is the new guy, it's his job to show him the ropes.
The guys showed Greg around the camping lot. Greg figured that they had been coming here for years.
Then, they went to the bathhouse window and sprayed the wood carving guy. But when he heard Cutter laugh, it was game over. Luckily, the gang knew all the good hiding spots at the camp and hid in a bin near the snack shack.
They went down the hills and played some physical games. When everyone thought they had enough fun, some teenagers threw some watermelons to ambush them. Juicebox said that the teenagers were ready to strike back. The gang took their guns and then, Greg Heffley refused. The team told him that he was in his gang. Juicebox asked his team that one of them have to vote to be the decoy. Big Marcus's gun was now Greg's because he was the chosen decoy.
Big Marcus then paddled to the middle of the lake and the teenagers opened fire on him when they saw him, which allowed the rest of Juicebox's Gang to sneak up on the teenagers and shoot them. By the time their water guns were empty, the teenagers were soaked in water however the water only made them mad which lead them to chase the gang past the main lodge. During the chase, Big Marcus came out of nowhere and knocked them over which allowed the other part of the gang to have extra time.
They used this extra time to reload their water guns using soda machines at the snack shack, Cutter also grabbed a few bottles of ketchup and mustard. When the teenagers arrived, the gang sprayed them with their water guns again. A few seconds later, the snack shack got filled up with bees due to either the soda or ketchup.
Juicebox's Gang then ran to the hiding spot they hid in earlier to catch their breath. Everyone seemed to be in the mood to celebrate defeating the teenagers, however Juiceboxwas worried as the teenagers would be coming for them, and the camp director would be mad if they found out they messed up the snack shack. Cutter decided to make a PACT that if one of them got caught, nobody would rat anybody else out. The penalty for breaking the pact was argued with the pool noodle gauntlet or having to wear underwear on your head, some kids said it had to be their dad's underwear and they had to walk past the pretty girl's campsites at lunchtime. The boys started arguing over whether the underwear should be clean or dirty, and that gave Greg a chance to get out of there.
The next day Susan didn't have any big plans much to Greg's relief, because he just wanted to lie low for the rest of the trip. Susan went to the camp store to get groceries, and came back with a flyer for a pool party. Nobody was excited, but Susan said it could turn their trip around. Greg though it would be nice to go, since it was really hot and sticky the last few days, so he could go and cool down.
Greg went to the camp store to get plastic utensils, but on his way back he ran into Regular Marcus hiding in a trash can. Regular Marcus told Greg that he found posters all over the campsite advertising a free ice cream sundae party at the lodge, which Marcus took from the laundromat and showed to Greg, who immediately realized was a TRICK, and it was really to find out who trashed the snack shack, using free ice cream as bait. Regular Marcus was going to go into the lodge earlier along with the rest of the boys, but he didn't have his water gun, so he had to go back and get it, and when he arrived, the door was locked and he peeked inside to find the camp director telling the boys they would have to scrub every inch of the snack shack with toothbrushes. Juicebox Threw Greg under the bus by blaming the mess all on him, breaking the pact. The camp director asked Juicebox to help him find "Jimmy Dogfish".
Greg didn't want to be at his campsite when Juicebox and the camp director showed up, so he urged his family to eat quickly so he could get to the pool party. Greg figured that area would be safe, but he was wrong. the combination of nighttime and loud noise sparked chaos, even among the grown ups, the dads turned the shallow end of the pool into a whirlpool, and somebody had greased the slide. There was a movie at the other end, which Greg says should've been something more family friendly.
Susan wanted to do activities in the grassy area, and she wanted to do everything. They couldn't win the balloon popping contest, which involved sitting on a balloon to pop it, because Manny couldn't pop the first balloon, due to being too light. Frank entered the beer belly contest, but couldn't even make it past the first round. Manny entered the hot dog eating contest, and actually got first place, and Greg didn't even know Manny could pack away that much food. Greg and Rodrick entered a dizzy stick relay race, where you had to spin a baseball bat five times and then tag the next person, but they were playing against two guys who barfed from eating too many hot dogs. Susan wanted Greg to enter the mother-son dancing contest, but he refused to do it, so Susan got Manny instead. Greg entered the pie eating contest but his seat was too close to the pool, which was holding the belly flop contest, which too many people got on the diving board, causing it to bend over.
After the party, Susan got the family to go for a nice swim. They found an inner tube so big, it looked like an airplane tire. They climbed on, but got flipped over. Susan was done, and Greg felt bad, because he knew how much she wanted that night to be special. A few stragglers came to the pool, but they contained the teenagers, as well as Juicebox with the camp director, Greg dove underwater to stay hidden, but at that moment, a bright flash of light happened, like someone took a picture underwater. Greg surfaced to find that a thunderstorm was under-way, the teenagers, Juicebox, and the director were long gone, but Greg had to move it to get back to the camper to avoid being struck by lightning. Greg left the pool area, but was lost in the darkness combined with the rain. Lightning struck, and it sounded like it hit something, and the skunk siren went off, stressing Greg even more. Greg tried to go into the deluxe campers, but no-one would let him inside. Greg finally made it back to his camper, where his family was waiting, and Greg was relieved to find his family, and though that the storm came at the perfect time, only for the Heffleys to realize that a skunk got into the camper and sprayed everyone. The family tried to deal with the odor by wearing ketchup and Uncle Gary's cologne.
The next day they realized the camper stunk as well, and they had to throw away all of their food. Greg went down to the camp store to get the ingredients, only to find people hoarding everything they can. Doo-Doo (who didn't seem to mind Greg's odor, since he was smelly himself) told Greg that lightning struck the bridge the previous night, breaking it in the process, meaning that the supply truck couldn't get onto the property to supply the camp store, which caused Greg to panic since it meant that nobody could get OFF the property either. Greg went back to the camper, and Susan said that they shouldn't panic and should focus on getting rid of the odor. The Heffleys were able to use the hot tub since dogs don't like the smell of skunk spray either, and were scared off.
By the time the Heffleys were done however, things had gotten off of the rails. The camp store ran out of water bottles, and people went to the spigot to fill up their containers, but took more than they needed, and the well ran dry. People went to get water from the showers, but they ran out of coins, so quarters were like gold, and one woman sold her wedding ring for seventy five cents. Some people got frustrated and raided the arcade, as well as the laundromat, which was going to stink after everybody ran out of clean clothes. Eventually someone got the bright idea to take the big plastic tank off the top of the bathhouse, which rolled off of the roof spilling half of its contents before spilling the other half out at one of the horseshoe pits, turning it into quicksand. Some people tried to salvage what they could, but they ended up getting stuck and had to be rescued by a biker. Around dinnertime, people got hungry. While some people had food to last them for a few days, everybody else was depending on getting groceries from the camp store, so people went CRAZY. A bunch of people raided the snack shack, and one person stole a giant bag of food from the pet-friendly area. The animals, according to Greg, must've gotten the sense that things got out of control, so they banded together, and when one of the neighbors fired up their grill to make hamburgers, a pack of dogs made its move. A few people ate the leftover hot dogs from the pool party, and the teenagers salvaged some of their slingshot ammunition down at the field, and Greg was nervous that people would become cannibals and start to eat EACH OTHER, so he took his shirt off to show he didn't have a whole lot of meat on him. Greg was worried about the weather, and a flash flood was coming that night, which was the LAST thing the camp needed. Susan said that they shouldn't panic and that by morning someone would repair the bridge and everything would go back to normal, but by nightfall things got a whole lot worse, and bikers started tipping over deluxe campers when they thought they were hoarding canned food. The Heffleys had to get out of there, and Greg remembered that the stream had a shallow spot, and expected his family to call his idea stupid, but the bikers tipped over another camper a few doors down, and they were ready to try just about anything. They moved their RV but forgot about the sewer hookup, and tore it up. The RV started to roll down hill, and they started the engine. They found the shallow spot and drove across it, but the RV got stuck, and the exhaust tore off, and the sewer hookup was underwater which caused the toilet to back up. The Heffleys escaped to the roof of the RV, and were floating downstream towards the bridge. The Heffleys used cushions to float away, but Manny jumped into the driver's seat and steered the Camper to the right, where it snapped into place on the bridge, fitting like a puzzle piece, and then He shot off the flare, alerting everyone, who then drove across the makeshift bridge, which took a full hour, and when the very last motorcycle crossed the bridge, all the family could hear was the rain. The next morning the campground had emptied out, and the Heffleys were the only ones left, and Camper's Eden actually lived up to its name. Two days later, the supply truck came back to resupply the camp store, and that night, they all ate like kings. They had the whole lake to themselves, and they actually had fun. Greg did make a few good memories during his trip, but he was right about how it took a miracle. Greg didn't want to go through all that drama again, and said that the next thing they could do was just do something boring like mini-golf. Greg was really looking forward to telling Rowley about his vacation, but he could leave out the not so great parts, and change a few details, because he couldn't let the truth get in the way of a good story.
- This is the fourth time that Jeff Kinney's name does not appear in the center of the cover picture.
- This is the first time that the cover's text and the spine are distorted. This is due to the pool water effect.
- This is the fourth book to not have the word "Diary" written in yellow after Dog Days, Hard Luck, and The Meltdown.
- This is the first book to feature characters that are not part of the Heffley family on the cover picture.
- This book cover is the one with the most characters featured in it.
- This is the second book with a different cover texture, the first being Wrecking Ball.
- This is the third book in the series to take place during summer vacation, the first two being Dog Days and The Long Haul.
- It is the fourth book that Greg has gone on a trip: the first three being The Long Haul, Old School, and The Getaway.
- This is the second book since Dog Days in which the months in the book have August.
- This is the first book where the Heffley-family as a whole has a happy ending, as they're ultimately able to enjoy their vacation despite all the misfortunes they suffered beforehand.
- This is the fifth book to have to swear words as symbols.
- 401 words are written in all-capital letters in this book.
- This is the first book that didn't have tape on the cover.
- Whenever Greg does a jigsaw puzzle, Manny always insists on putting in the last piece. At the end of the book, Manny steers the Heffleys' RV into the broken bridge to fill the gap, which Greg describes as snapping in "like a puzzle piece".
- Fregley appears as a character on the exclusive Target poster of this book, but does not appear in the actual book.
- The Pig also makes a cameo appearance as one of the animals drowning in the water when Greg talks about Noah's Ark.
- Ward also makes a cameo appearance, albeit only by name, on Rodrick’s phone when Greg and Rodrick’s phones are taken away, revealing that Rodrick was texting Ward when he had his phone. Ward hasn’t appeared since Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth.
- This is the second time the family accidentally leaves Rodrick behind, the first being in The Getaway, when Rodrick is left in the water on the ocean tour.
- Greg's console resembles a Nintendo Switch Lite, or at least, a Nintendo Switch.
- Spider-Man is referenced when Greg confesses his comfort in the bathroom.
- In the Penguin UK version of the book, the words for "The Deep End" are more inflated compared to Amulet version.
- The ending of the story is based on Noah’s Ark, which is mentioned in the book
- This is one of four books where swear words are turned into symbols; the others being Rodrick Rules, The Long Haul and The Last Straw.
- Greg does jigsaw puzzles in this book, despite an incident in Cabin Fever in which he finds a nest of crickets in a box of puzzles giving him a fear of them.
- It's possible that he got over his phobia or that someone else opened the box.
- Greg says he's kept the name "Bubby" from Manny for over 5 years in the first book, however in this book he says Manny is 3.
- Although, this isn’t the first time this has happened. In The Ugly Truth, Greg says that sometime after he was eight or nine, Manny was born.
- Greg and Rodrick are shown too tall on page 184 and 187.
- In page 124, when the chainsaw guy picks up his stuff another machine appears in the second illustration.
- In page 39, word "this" is too close together.