Study Guide

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Chapter 1

By John Green and David Levithan

Chapter 1

Will Grayson

  • This story begins with a little flashback from our friendly narrator, Will Grayson.
  • Will remembers that his dad once told him that he could pick his friends and that he could pick his nose, but he couldn't pick his friends' noses. Nice one, Dad.
  • Now that he's older, Will realizes this is pretty much all wrong. After all, if you could pick your friends, then Will wouldn't have ended up stuck with Tiny Cooper.
  • Tiny is really huge and really gay, and he and Will have been best friends since fifth grade.
  • Well, except for last semester in high school when Tiny kind of did his own thing and Will branched off with a new group of friends.
  • Of course, this new group of friends doesn't talk to him anymore because he wrote a letter to the school newspaper sticking up for Tiny, who was both really gay and a really good football player.
  • Apparently, the word "b****squealer" was tossed around and Will quickly found himself with no friends again. Except, of course, for Tiny Cooper.
  • Now it's February and Will is sitting next to Tiny in their pre-calculus class and Tiny is telling Will that he's so in love.
  • Will isn't very impressed because Tiny is always falling in love with some new boy. Tiny thinks Will is a bit cynical because Will doesn't seem to believe in love and basically has two rules in life: Don't care too much and shut up.
  • After class, Tiny's friends Gary (who's gay) and Jane (who may or may not be gay) tell him that everyone thinks Tiny is in love with Will. Tiny thinks the whole thing's a bit laughable, but Will tells him to let people know it's not true.
  • So Tiny announces, in typical Tiny fashion, that he is not in love with Will… by pirouetting down the hallway and singing. Sigh.
  • As Will heads to class, people tease him about being Tiny's boyfriend. Will pretty much ignores them because he doesn't seem too bothered by it and also because he has that whole rule about shutting up.
  • That night, Will is home alone (his parents are doctors and off at work) when Tiny calls to tell him that their favorite band, Neutral Milk Hotel, is playing a reunion show in Chicago that night.
  • Will rushes out to pick up Tiny; they meet Gary and Jane at the dive bar where the band is playing. But they quickly find out that the show is for cool kids over twenty-one only. Seems Tiny, Gary, and Jane all have fake IDs, but Will is out of luck. Bummer.
  • Naturally, Tiny comes up with a plan—if Gary hits him right when they get up to the bouncer, Will can sneak in during the commotion. Not only is this pretty inspired thinking on Tiny's part, it also works.
  • Inside the bar, Will makes his way to the stage, but when the band finally comes out they don't look much like Neutral Milk Hotel. They don't sound much like them either. Um, because it's not them. Darn you, Tiny Cooper.
  • Will is pretty annoyed because this band clearly stinks and obviously used Neutral Milk Hotel's good name to get people to come to their cruddy show tonight. But just then a weeping Tiny Cooper comes up behind him.
  • It seems that Zach, the boy that Tiny was so in love with that morning, has broken up with him via Facebook status. Burn.
  • Tiny is freaking out because they were totally, madly, truly in love, so he starts buying shots. Jane realizes this is going to be an issue because Tiny Cooper is on his way to being both super drunk and super huge.
  • So Will and Jane get Tiny into the car and head home. He's pretty hysterical and pretty drunk, but they finally get him into his room where he promptly collapses on the floor.
  • Of course Will and Jane can't move Tiny, so they put a pillow under his head and blanket over him. Before they leave, Will notices that the passed-out Tiny has all kinds of snot draining out of his nose.
  • They can't get Tiny up, so Will decides there's only one thing he can do. He proves his dad wrong again when he picks Tiny's nose for him. Gross… but also pretty funny.