The Big Brother Diary Room

Judd in the diary room BB15
Big Brother 15 houseguest Judd in the Diary Room. courtesy CBS

Every season the Big Brother house undergoes changes in decor and theme, often with new or different rooms. One of the constants in the house, however, is the diary room (DR). The diary room is essential to the game, and one of the only places where the houseguests can freely speak their minds.

What Is the Diary Room?

The diary room is a private room in the house that can only be used by one houseguest at a time (with some exceptions).

It is so named because its main purpose is for the houseguests to discuss the game, their fellow competitors, and anything else that might be on their minds. It acts as a sort of confessional in which the houseguests can freely talk about strategy, alliances, fears, and hunches without their fellow houseguests hearing them. Staff members ask specific questions to get quotes for the show, and to get sound bytes for the purpose of foreshadowing. Of course anything said in the diary room is caught on camera, so any of this footage is fair game for the television show.

How Does the Room Work?

The diary room is located off the main living room, accessible through a door that is equipped with locks and a buzzer. There are two ways that a houseguest can gain access to the room. First, Big Brother can call any houseguest to the DR at any time, and he or she must respond.

The other way to get into the diary room is to buzz in.

If the room is free and there's someone from the staff available to talk to the houseguest, then he or she can be let in.

Other Diary Room Functions

The diary room is a pivotal part of the house and an essential tool for the game itself. While its main purpose is to record video "diaries," there are several other functions that the DR serves.

Some of these include:

  • Voting for eviction: When eviction night rolls around, the houseguests are called into the diary room one by one to submit their votes to evict. This is the main reason for the location of the DR, since it is easily accessible during live shows.
  • Rewards or special instructions: When a certain houseguest is chosen for a reward, such as the MVP twist in season 15, or needs to receive special instructions on the down-low, the DR is the most secure way to deliver news or instructions.
  • Recording farewell messages: Each week, the houseguests record good-bye messages to the nominees for eviction, and these messages are played after the eviction takes place. They are recorded in the diary room.
  • Recapping competitions, twists, or events: One of the most popular diary room segments shown on television is the recap of a competition or other event. Houseguests share how they were feeling during and after competitions, or how a twist has left them reeling. These segments often sound staged and slightly forced, however.
  • Sharing personal news: Every once in a while something happens in the outside world that a houseguest needs to be aware of. For example, during season 13, Evel Dick exited the game after receiving personal news about a friend. This type of message is always delivered via the diary room.
  • Leaving the game for reasons other than eviction: Sometimes houseguests are removed from the game for extreme rule violations, and occasionally they leave voluntarily. In both of these cases, which fortunately don't happen often, houseguests are removed through the diary room. There is a door in the DR that leads outside the house for just such occasions.
  • Departing for a reward: During almost every season, one of the Power of Veto or Head of Household competitions offers up a reward that entails a trip outside the house. The houseguests are blindfolded en route, but they first exit the house through the diary room -- they also return this way.

An Unseen Force in the Game

Those who watch the live feeds know that one of the game's rules is that houseguests not discuss their sessions in the diary room with each other.

In fact, houseguests are admonished by the voice of Big Brother whenever they attempt to do so. Even so, many houseguests have said that the questions asked of them in the diary room have been leading in nature, as if the show's staff is attempting to sway them one way or another. Others let on that they've been promised things or told secrets in the DR.

Whether or not this actually happens is open to speculation. It's entirely possible, but the other possibility is that the houseguests want to blame the folks in the DR for their own game moves, which may or may not be what they've promised to others.

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Grosvenor, Carrie. "The Big Brother Diary Room." ThoughtCo, Mar. 4, 2017, Grosvenor, Carrie. (2017, March 4). The Big Brother Diary Room. Retrieved from Grosvenor, Carrie. "The Big Brother Diary Room." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 22, 2017).