Greg Heffley is a middle school boy tormented by his own ambition. He desperately tries to gain social success through a series of stunts and hustles, none of which work. Meanwhile, his loyal friend, Rowley, is simultaneously the victim of Greg’s selfish antics and a successful climber of the social ladder (eventually, leaving Greg behind). Greg loses his only friend after he fails to own up to one of his many wrongdoings, instead allowing Rowley to take the blame. So you might be thinking, Greg is going to become more empathetic and regain his friendship with Rowley. You’d be half right. Rowley and Greg do become best friends again, but only after Greg adopts a nihilistic worldview and accepts his role as a menace to the social order.