Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel cover
The book's official cover.

Author/Illustrator/Cover Artist

Jeff Kinney


Abram Books (Amulet Books) (US), Penguin Books (Puffin Books) (UK)

Release Date

November 13, 2012


217 (234 including activity pages)

Preceded by

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Followed by

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck



Book Number


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel is the seventh book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It was released on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

Main Characters


Manny snurples


Greg talks about his baby days and explains (probably from his imagination) that before being born, he was in a dark place swimming and napping anytime he wanted, until being woken up by classical music that his mother Susan would send through "parental speakers". Susan would also tell Greg about her life through the speakers too and Frank would also tell him about his day at work. Greg then got tired of it and got out three weeks early. Then he explains how everything he got was a hand down from his elder brother Rodrick. Susan used to not let Greg crawl a lot and that resulted in Greg being way behind his playmates in the physical stuff. Greg finally learned to walk, but was in preschool by the time and was still quite behind his classmates. His classmates could do things like use zippers and buttons and many other things Greg was unable to, so he tried to slow them down by giving them wrong information. However, the teacher thought he wasn't learning well and called Susan and told her. Susan made him skip a grade to kindergarten, but he was scared there so he went back again.

Greg then explains whatever Susan did for Greg would not work for Manny as she uses a different technique. Manny's social skills are a bit bad, he also watches The Snurples, a show in which the characters have their own gibberish language and he also made imaginary friends to escape danger, have fun and get extra dessert. Greg's mother starts a Family Night thing where they go out or play games rather than watch TV, Greg then talks about the family restaurant, Corny's. Greg is doing house chores until he heard a knock and finds his Uncle Gary at the door. Uncle Gary had bought some Boston counter shirts after loaning some of Frank's money, but the shirts have a typo and he needed a place to stay in. Living with Gary is bad for the Heffleys, his nightmares make Manny shift his bed away from the wall and whenever Rodrick is kicked out of bed in morning, he has to sleep on the up part of the couch.

Greg explains how Gary has been trying to get a job, but whenever he gets one, he quits after a few days. One of Greg's teachers, Mrs. Moretta announces in Phys Ed that the ballroom dancing unit is starting and people should find a partner by writing their names in slips and submitting them. Greg explains he will be fine with pairing with anyone except for Ruby Bird, a girl in Greg's school who has a bad habit of biting people and was suspended for biting Mr. Underwood in the elbow. At the partner announcement day, in Greg's favor, Ruby is paired with Fregley, but Greg and four other kids were partnerless. The teacher paired them up with each other.

An assembly by Vice Principal Roy and Mrs. Birch announces new members for the Student Council. Greg cannot sign up due to him having three detentions, but sees Rowley could be perfect. Rowley signs up to be Social Chairperson. The winner of the President voting is Eugene Ellis who promised to replace the school's toilet paper with quilted toilet paper the teachers use. At Greg's house in his room, Uncle Gary played a future game when you are an adult, but Uncle Gary buys scratch tickets.

Javan Hill came out of the faculty room carrying a toilet paper for the bathroom


Javan Hill found that Pillow Soft Ultra toilet paper was being used by the teachers, not the kids. So Eugene went to the lounge and showed Mrs. Birch. The school introduces a program where students can bring in their own toilet paper. However, the plan backfires when some of the boys start a toilet paper fight in the cafeteria. The school then sets a rule that kids are only allowed to have five squares of toilet paper, much to Greg's dismay because he brought in twenty rolls. Now that the staff is checking peoples' bags and lockers to see if they had more than five, Greg decided to have his own bathroom stall to keep all of the toilet paper, but that backfired when people founded out that Greg was hoarding toilet paper. After this whole toilet paper experience, students learned that they are going to raise money of their own if they want something.  

The Student Council brainstormed ideas for a fundraiser, but most of the boys in the council decided on a mixed motocross/wrestling event. The fundraising community was formed, and, in the end, the Valentine's Day Dance becomes a school fundraiser. Greg tries to find a date, but it starts to fail. A pantsing fever starts in the school which is quickly stopped by Roy, but a kid under the bleachers quickly pantses him and escapes. Now he (or she) is dubbed as the Mad Pantser. Greg found a leather jacket of his Dad's, but in school, it is confiscated by his mother who said it was not a winter coat. Abigail Brown's boyfriend breaks up with her, and after that Greg and Rowley decide to go with her for the school dance. Greg heads to Rowley's house but he sees two bumps on his chin that looked like mosquito bites, but he realizes it's chickenpox. He tries to cover it up since the chickenpox has been contagious in school. 

Greg goes with Rowley and Abigail to Spriggo's. The host at Spriggo's tells him that gentleman have to wear sports jackets. Greg has to wear a smelly sports suit which makes them go to Corny's due to the dessert bar, however, Rowley and Abigail order expensive desserts which makes Greg lie that it's Rowley's birthday to make him get a free cake. At the dance, the theme is Midnight In Paris but old people take one half of the hall for their meeting, but the lights had to be on the gym for the old folks to have the meeting. Later Uncle Gary tries to sell the Botson T-shirts, but people were ripped off and wanted a refund. Uncle Gary distracts the kids by playing music, making elder people complain. When the volume was down, all the girls took out their CD players and danced. Meanwhile, Gary announces the final song and Greg danced with Abigail. But Greg sees pimples on Abigail which he thinks is chickenpox. Later they head home, Greg realizes the "chickenpox" on Abigail was a pimple. He doesn't think Abigail saw it that way, because she wasn't chatty with him on the way home.

At the end, Uncle Gary moves out after he wins $40,000 on a scratch card which he wasted a lot of the Heffleys money on to buy scratch cards. Greg ends up getting the chickenpox, but he gets to take a bath in peace, but the experience isn't like how he lived before he was born and when he opens his eyes, the towel next to the bathroom was gone. Greg says either someone's messing with him, or either Johnny Cheddar is at it again.

Extract quotes from the book

  • I looked for a way to escape, but I was trapped. Luckily, Abigail walked out of the bathroom at that exact moment and I grabbed her hand just before Ruby got to me. Abigail's makeup was a mess from all of the crying, but I didn't really care. I was just happy to have an excuse to get away from Ruby. And to be honest with you, I think Abigail was happy to see me, too, so I led her to an empty spot on the dance floor.
  • I'd never slow-danced with a girl before, So I didn't know where I was supposed to put my hands. She put hers on my shoulder, and I put mine in my pockets, but that kind of felt dumb. So we met in the middle, and that seemed about right.
  • And speaking of Rowley and Abigail, I heard that the two of them are a couple now. All I can say is if that's true, it makes Rowley 'the worst wing man in history.'
  • I'm supposed to stay home from school for at least a week. The good news is that with everyone out of the house, I can take a long bath without anyone bothering me.
  • Or at least I THINK I'm alone. Today I had a fresh towel next to the tub, and when I open my eyes it was gone. So either somebody's messing with me or Johnny Cheddar is at it again.
  • Everything probably would've been just fine, but at lunch someone threw a roll of toilet paper at somebody else, and within about fifteen seconds it was a total madhouse.
  • I couldn't find any cologne in Rodrick's junk drawer, but I DID find a bottle of that body spray they're always advertising on TV. I was a little nervous about using it, though, because if that stuff really works like they say in the ads then tomorrow night could be a nightmare.
  • I just watched everything play out from my spot against the back wall, wondering why I'd wanted to go to the dance in the first place. I was also to regret not wearing the body spray from Rodrick's junk drawer because Great Uncle Bruce's cologne was attracting people outside my age group.
  • Even my PACIFIER was a hand-me-down from Rodrick. I don't think he was ready to give it up, though, which explains why he never really liked me.
  • Every once in awhile, a few latecomers would walk in and turn right back around when they saw what was happening. But, at around 9:00, Michael Sampson came in hold hands with Cherie Ballanger.
  • Also the service is TERRIBLE at Corny's, so we always just get the buffet and serve ourselves.



Sneak Peek

This is a small 54 page sneak peek into the book given by Diary of a Wimpy Kid Wiki. You might need to click on the images to view them more clearly. There was also a 7 page sneak peek if you had pre ordered the book from Scholastic.

Major Events and Moments

  • Greg talks about the days when he was a baby.
  • Gary Heffley moves in with the Heffleys.
  • Rowley becomes the Social Chairperson.
  • Eugene Ellis becomes the President of Student Council.
  • Javan Hill becomes the Treasurer.
  • Hillary Pine becomes the Vice President. 
  • Olivia Davis becomes the Secretary.
  • The formation of the Dance Committee.
  • Greg tries to get a date for the Valentine's Day Dance.
  • Greg goes to the Valentine's Day Dance with Abigail and Rowley as a group of "friends".
  • Gary Heffley wins $40,000 from his scratch card and moves out of the house.
  • Greg gets chicken pox in the end.
  • Rowley and Abigail possibly became a couple. It is confirmed in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck that they are actually a couple until the end of the book.


  • This is the 7th book in the series.
  • Holly Hills was rumored to be Greg’s partner for the dance by many fans, but she wasn't even mentioned and only appeared in Greg’s relationship chart as liking Bryce Anderson. This could mean that Greg has given up on Holly. At the end of The Last Straw it was hinted after Greg wrote the fake letter from Holly Hills that he gave up on her due to being too hard to reach.
  • The Mad Panster’s identity is unknown.
    • He could be Anthony Renfrew since Anthony was the starter of Pantsing Fever, but it could also be somebody else.
  • There is an exclusive version of this book, which has Fregley’s secret note in the back. It's a poem by Fregley that shows why girls (specifically Ruby Bird) must go with him to the dance. You can also see it if you have the e-book version.
  • Rowley closes his mouth for the second time in the books on Page 166 while eating chocolate.
  • It was revealed that Rodrick might hate Greg because Susan gave Rodrick’s pacifier to Greg and Rodrick never wanted to give his pacifier up, but this might not be true because Rodrick doesn't act childish and Greg is not always true.
  • It is unknown what happened to Greg’s towel at the end of the story.
  • Rodrick has a much shorter role in this book, in most of the parts when the family gathers together Rodrick is not there.
    • Also, Rodrick doesn't bother Greg, making it the first book to not have Rodrick bully Greg.
      • Rodrick also does not have any dialogue in this book.
  • This is the first time a character's lies about it being another character's birthday at a restaurant.
  • Greg has his covers yanked off the bed by his father to wake him up for school. This is the second time this has happened in the series, the first being The Last Straw.
  • Greg apparently weighed only five pounds and seven ounces at birth - the average is seven pounds and eight ounces, meaning he was two pounds lighter than average, this hints why he was so thin and another hint is that he was born three weeks premature, as well as Greg mentioning that he never met Rodrick until a few days after he was born.
  • The book's title was originally Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Odd Man Out, but Kinney changed it to The Third Wheel for a reason. The twitter post is here.
  • Rowley and Abigail Brown remain a couple in Hard Luck, marking the first time either Greg or Rowley has had a relationship and even more remarkably over more than one book.
  • In this book even in the flash-backs Greg doesn't have buck teeth, this is the first book to feature a very young or baby Greg without buck teeth.
  • This book covers the months of January and February.
  • This is the first book where someone gets Chicken pox.
  • This the third time that Greg’s Diary is mentioned, the first is Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
  • This is the 3rd book in the series to have "the" in the title.
  • This is the second book to begin in January. The Last Straw was the first.


  • This is the second book to have an error in the length of a month. February had 5 weeks instead of 4. The first was Dog Days, in the month of June.
  • On Page 102, when Greg states the "motocross/wrestling event somehow morphed into a VALENTINE'S DAY DANCE", the capital "V" in "Valentine's" looks slightly different from other capital V's in the books.
  • On Page 172, Abigail appears to be taller than average when she touches the sixth line unlike the other scenes that appeared are even mid or low five lines or high four lines.
    • These mistake are usually not uncommon and happen in many other books.
  • Rodrick is shown much skinnier then he is in other books.
  • When Greg is cracking his knuckles on page 75, it is misspelled as "kkrack" instead of "crack".


Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Here is the video for The Third Wheel.


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