[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bignate_8345.jpg]]

''Big Nate'' is a comic created by Lincoln Peirce. The main character is Nate Wright, a 4'6" sixth-grade underachiever who lives with his clueless dad and older sister. His friends and teachers at school have the biggest focus, with Nate's very smart best friend Francis, his other best friend Teddy, and others. Other kids at his school include DramaQueen Dee Dee, all-around NiceGuy Artur, Nate's crush Jenny (who, in turn, hates him), and annoying genius student Gina. The strip gained fame through the Big Nate Island on Poptropica and produced a series of (very popular) chapter books and collections. The strip debuted in 1991 and is still running.

It is also the basis of a {{VideoGame/Poptropica}} world, and has inspired tons of chapter novels and comic collections that began releasing [[OlderThanTheyThink as early as 1992]] with more planned for future releases.

The comic can be found [[http://www.gocomics.com/bignate#.U4FCq9K-r-k here]]. Reading from the beginning is not required but recommended.

!! Provides examples of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: Nate to Jenny. Also, Kim to Nate.
* ActingUnnatural: At a yard sale, Nate finds a comic book that he guesses is worth ''much'' more than what it's being sold for. When he prepares to buy it, he stumbles over his words and gets ''very'' nervous, causing the owner to get suspicious of the comic book's actual worth, and keep the comic book instead.
* AdaptationDistillation: The young adult novels often will combine several of the comic's story arcs at once. For example, the time when they had to go to a rival school (Jefferson) because their own school was full of mold was combined with the "We have to beat Jefferson at ''something''" arc.
* AffairHair: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted.]]
** When Nate was dating Kelly, his dad thought he had found one of these on Nate's shoulder after one of their dates. Turns out it was Spitsy's hair.
** Nate once found a long hair on his shoulder and thought it was from a girl who liked him. It was actually Mrs. Godfrey's hair.
* AnimeHair: Take a look at Nate's hair.
** Lampshaded:
-->'''Francis''': Hey, I just noticed...why is your hair shaped like that?
-->'''Teddy''': Yeah, on the sides, you're bald, but on the top, they look like...
-->'''Francis''': Hairy stalagmites!
** Though Nate does admit that an ice cream scoop that they made to look like his head using "Kisses" (conical chocolates) is pretty inspired.
* AppealToObscurity: Nate uses this trope when telling Francis why he needs to take it slow in working on his cereal mascot competition design.
-->'''Nate''': Creating a truly memorable cartoon takes ''time!'' ... Remember for every Tony the Tiger or Cap'n Crunch, there's a Perky the Platypus!
-->'''Francis''': Who?
-->'''Nate''': Exactly.
* ArchEnemy: Nate considers Mrs. Godfrey, Gina and Artur as this, frequently regarding their behavior with the remark, "Oh, how I ''hate'' her/him."
-->'''Nate''': Like Comicbook/{{Superman}}, I have ''many'' arch-enemies!
* ArtEvolution: Besides the rougher lines of the early strips, the characters started off taller and skinnier, than became shorter and squatter, with some adjustments to the head proportions taking the art to its current style.
* AsideGlance: Most everyone does this at some point in reaction to Nate.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Nate's new arcade game rival is a mouthy kid named T.A. When Francis asked him what T.A. stands for, the kid smugly replied that it stands for Thor Almighty. Of course, this isn't his real name, as proved when his mom called him "Bradley" later.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In one arc where Nate watches it rain instead of snow over winter break, Nate wishes it would snow so he could "be outside ''doing'' stuff". The rain starts to change into snow. Before long, Nate's dad wants the driveway shoveled...
* BerserkButton:
** Do not mention anything involving school to Nate during the summer.
** Do not mention college money to Nate's dad.
** Practically everything for [[TheBully Chester]].
** Mr. Czerwicki is this to Mrs. Czerwicki, where the slightest mention of her marital life will lead to an angry rant about how things aren't working out.
** Chad is awfully weight-sensitive. Pressuring him to lose weight is pretty much the only way to make him flip out.
* BeyondTheImpossible: The capacity of Nate's locker. It can apparently fit an amount of things that wouldn't be able to fit in a standard school locker, as shown by the pictures. In two separate Sunday strips Chad is able to walk ''into'' Nate's locker without having it explode all over him, yet it explodes all over Randy seconds later. He's even been shown to have items such as a Picasso drawing, an autographed photo of Abraham Lincoln, and a Faberge egg ("Careful with that. It's breakable.") in his locker. One may wonder why he complains about having no money while he has stuff he could sell for a tidy profit in that thing. On a less valuable note, he also once pulled a ''perfect, entirely edible ice cream cone'' right out of his locker, without anything covering it.
* BookDumb: Nate, very much so. He's a chess prodigy and a pretty good soccer goalie and comic-artist, but he only does average work in subjects such as science and literature, an constantly fails in history (maybe because it's taught by Mrs. Godfrey?)
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: [[http://www.gocomics.com/bignate/2008/08/15 This.]]
* BrilliantButLazy: Traces of this can show in Nate. In order to astound and frustrate Gina, he once found out what book of brain teasers she was using, bought an identical copy, and memorized the answer section... over the course of one night, taking him about eleven hours. This from a student who regularly gets "C" grades and lower in social studies.
* TheBully: Chester, mainly. Also Randy, who enjoys insulting Nate and his friends ([[spoiler:at least, until he and Nate become friends in the book ''Big Nate Blasts Off]]), and many kids from Jefferson school, especially Nolan.
** In ''Big Nate Lives it up'', [[spoiler:it was revealed that Breckenridge was one when him and Nate were in preschool. Nate didn't know he was Breckenridge, though, because then he was called Bobby. Breckenridge also doesn't remember bullying Nate as a child.]]
* ButtMonkey:
** Despite Nate acting like a {{Jerkass}} sometimes, there are matters where circumstance can just be plain cruel. This is usually seen where he tries to something nice for Jenny, only for misfortune to occur and making her angry at him.
** Dad even more so. He is the butt of many jokes, and everything he does is an EpicFail.
* BumblingDad: Martin Wright is generally incompetent, being unable to stick to a fitness regimen, having horrible golf skills, and making a mockery of himself every Halloween with his incredibly disappointing treats.
* CanonImmigrant: Dee Dee was developed in the book series, and then made her way into the comic's supporting cast.
* CasanovaWannabe: Nate, despite his obstinate belief that "he and Jenny are destined together", would frequently try to flirt with any pretty girl he sees. He rarely succeeds, of course.
** He had three girlfriends. His first broke up with him while the second and third he broke up with them. He was a pretty good boyfriend (though we rarely saw the second, her being in a different school.)
* CatchPhrase: "Cripes" for several, and "Oh, how I hate her" and "Spitsy, you idiot" for Nate.
* CheckAndMate: A common theme is someone playing chess with Nate, acting bold and saying things like "I've got you now!" and then Nate will promptly destroy them on the next move and walk away with a smug smile.
* CloudCuckoolander: Chad comes off as this due to his childlike innocence, which includes playing with a mushroom and acorn, and wanting to wear a bunny costume to make a superhero movie.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: When Nate has to get a math tutor, he thinks that it's all about "getting to meet girls" (he wants a female tutor) and thinks that the ''real'' point, improving his grade, is just a "fringe benefit".
* CollectorOfTheStrange:
** Coach John collects ''kidney stones.''
** Mr. Galvin collects potatoes in the shape of president faces.
* CosmicPlaything: While Nate does deserve his misfortune every now and then, most of the time, the fates are mean to him. ''Especially'' when he's interacting with Jenny or Ms. Godfrey.
* DeadpanSnarker: Just about every character at one time or another. Kim is more deadpan than snarker, but she can get out there at times.
* DemotedToExtra: Ellen started as one of the main characters, but as Nate's friends and teachers became more important, she appeared less and less.
* DoesThisMakeMeLookFat: Once when buying school supplies, Francis tried a backpack on and asked Nate, "Does this backpack make me look fat?"
* DramaQueen: Dee Dee, as one of her main character traits. She ''is'' the president of the drama club, after all. Ellen can be this as well.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Coach John.
* DrunkWithPower: Nate ''thinks'' Mrs. Godfrey is this due to to how many times she has given him detention (despite it really not being that much more than any other teacher). He even mentions the name of the trope in one strip.
** Nate himself also became this when he got to be a hall monitor in an early strip ([[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness a position that he ironically thinks is boring later on]]), abusing his hall monitor privileges. Nate subsequently got his hall monitor status taken away for this.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: When Nate scored an outstanding 94 in his final Social studies exam, thus sparing him from summer school, Mrs. Godfrey congratulated ''Gina'' for tutoring him so well, much to Nate's dismay. Principal Nichols also mistook Nate's claim of him scoring so high in the test as his latest Prank Day shenanigans.
* DumbBlonde: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] with Gina and Ellen. They are both over-achievers and teacher's pets.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The strip started off being more about Nate's home life and his relationship with his family, but it soon shifted more to school and Nate's friends. He also started off as more of a victim with Mrs. Godfrey as a SadistTeacher rather than a jerk with a fair but stern teacher who deserved every punishment he got. Francis was also more like Nate, and had a shared dislike for Mrs. Godfrey. Teddy didn't exist at all in the strip at first, and first appeared a few years into the strip's run, where he was introduced as the new kid. Now, Teddy's one of the most common characters in the strip. Also, the art style was a lot less cartoony and more realistic.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: Trying to explain something to Chester is like walking on thin ice because he is [[BerserkButton very touchy about certain things.]] As such, many conversations Nate has with Chester end up like this. Nate tries to tell him something, realizes he's said something that offends him, and hastily tries to recover. Often, it ends up with Nate getting stuffed into a garbage can or something similar.
* TheFaceless: Chester, who we almost never see except for his arm in some occasions. The most that we've ever seen of him at one time is his body from the neck down. He's implied to have a mustache, though.
* FanDisservice:
** Any strip that shows Dad shirtless/in shorts.
** Also, in one strip, Nate dreams that he is stripped naked in class. His parts are covered up by his leg, but still, ew.
* FauxHorrific: In one instance where Francis brings a trivia book to school, Teddy and Nate scream [[BigNo "NO!"]] as he starts reading factoids from it. Nate also screams in terror sometimes when Mrs. Godfrey shows up.
* FlatCharacter: A few of the recurring characters are these.
** Jenny is this. We really don't know much about her personality or who she is (earlier strips showed her as one of the most popular girls in school), as she only really shows up so Nate can flirt with her. One strip showed that even ''Nate'' doesn't know that much about her, showing that she really is only there to be Nate's love interest, and not much else.
** Sheila, Francis' girlfriend. Along with Jenny, she was established early on as the "popular girl", and after awhile started going out with Francis. Sheila has appeared less and less as the strip goes on, and she was never a major character to begin with, so she never really got any character development.
* FunnyForeigner: Artur. He is from Belarus and has trouble speaking English sometimes.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The whole point of Femme Fatality's existence.
** In another strip, after which Nate has lost a student-faculty basketball game to Mrs. Godfrey, in the following newspaper story, he dubs her the "faculty {{dominatrix}}."
** In one story arc, Nate is assigned a beautiful girl for his locker partner. This girl's name? Amanda [[ParentalBonus Woodcock]].
** In one of Nate's "The Snuggles Family" comic strips, the family goes on a road trip and the kids in the family wave to truck drivers. The girl wonders why [[FlippingTheBird one driver is waving with only one finger.]]
* GiveGeeksAChance: Ellen dates comic book geek Gordie, while Sheila dates Francis (although their relationship, as well as Sheila herself, is currently OutOfFocus).
* HiddenDepths: Chad owns a Peruvian snake venom extruder, which he left in Nate's locker in one strip.
-->'''Nate''': There's more to Chad than meets the eye.
* HypocriticalHumor: Nate occasionally wanders into this. For example:
** When Nate was going out with Angie, he was annoyed that many other boys liked her and were trying to pick her up, despite Nate himself doing that with Jenny when she ''already had'' a boyfriend.
** During summer vacation, Nate mentions how weird it is for Francis to be reading a book while it's a beautiful day outside. Nate is watching TV inside as he says it.
* IronicEcho: The main source of humor.
* {{Jerkass}}: Nate and his friends act like these toward one another, though Nate's is a bit more emphasized because of his one-sided rivalry with Artur.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Despite Nate's envy of Artur, he does admit to liking him as a friend and does do nice things for him when it counts, such as comforting Artur when he lost a chess match. When Nate's ego and severely misplaced priorities aren't interfering, he's really a nice guy.
* LameExcuse: Uncle Ted is a master of this. When Nate asked him to help painting his grandparents' house, Uncle Ted reasoned that he doesn't know how to use a brush. Another time, he claimed to have contracted malaria.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: A recurring joke is Nate is working on a comic strip, then decides to make a change in the strip, which shows up in the actual comic. (Example: Nate is drawing, then decides to make the lines thicker, which thickens the lines of the actual strips.)
* LoveLetterLunacy: In the arc that resulted in Jenny and Artur [[OfficialCouple becoming a couple,]] Nate was tasked by Jenny to deliver a love letter from her to Artur. It was hard for Nate to do, considering he'd had a crush on Jenny for a long time.
* LiterallyLaughableQuestion:
** In one series of strips, Nate's grandparents pay him money for painting their house. When his dad takes him back home, Nate asks if that was enough money for college. Nate's dad completely cracks up, and Nate thinks to himself, "Probably not the best question to ask in a moving car."
** When Nate and Teddy get sent to detention in one strip, Mrs. Czerwicki asks what they've done this time. Nate and Teddy try to explain, but then burst out laughing.
* ManChild: Uncle Ted. He still lives with his parents despite his age, and constantly makes up [[LameExcuse lame excuses]] to get out of doing work. Nate's grandmother has said that he can't do his own laundry.
* MediumAwareness: In-universe. In one of Nate's "The Snuggles Family" comic strips, a character gets hit in the eye with a flying heart that usually floats around the characters.
-->'''Mother''': Look out! INCOMING!
* NewJobAsThePlotDemands: Coach John. He started out as the instructor for a soccer camp Nate and his friends were attending, then became a regular gym teacher at Nate's school. He's been shown having many other jobs as well, including water safety instructor, substitute school nurse, and yoga teacher. School Picture Guy also falls into this when he's not being the, well, school picture guy.
* NiceGuy: Artur, who is constantly nice to Nate despite the latter's animosity. He once spent his holidays in his hometown and returned with a nice souvenir for Nate. And the rare instances in which Nate won over him, Artur graciously congratulates him. It's ''very'' hard to get Artur mad or upset, and despite his constant luck, remains humble.
* NightmareFetishist: Coach John is obsessed with showing his students disgusting surgeries, and even goes so far as to show them his ''kidney stone collection.'' Ewww.
* NoIndoorVoice: Coach John.
-->'''Coach John''': AWRIGHT, LADIES!! TIME TO SWEAT OFF THAT WINTER FLAB!!
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: School Picture Guy is never given a real name, despite him appearing not only for school picture day. Nate has only ever referred to him as "school picture guy", even to his face.
* PhraseCatcher: Chad's inherent adorableness leading to great accomplishment frequently gets "Behold, the power of Chad!"
* ThePigPen: Nate, with his sloppy room, locker, and personality, fits this pretty well.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Gina is this. Francis can also be this. Gina's frequent buttkissery is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in [[http://www.gocomics.com/bignate/2012/01/16 this strip.]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Nate and Francis, respectively. Nate is bold and headstrong while very self-absorbed, while Francis is smarter, quiet, and wiser than Nate.
* RunningGag: Oh, so many.
** Nate's [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes fear of cats.]]
** Nate's massively messy locker. It just flows into the corridor!
** Nate's EpicFail at getting Jenny to like him/breaking up Jenny and Artur.
** Prank Day.
** Francis's Book of Facts.
** Dad's EpicFail at golf.
** Nate trying to make Spitsy more dog-like.
** Nate trying to prove dogs are better than cats with Spitsy as an example, only for Francis's cat, Pickles, to [[CurbStompBattle utterly school Spitsy.]]
** School Picture Guy always screwing up Nate's picture.
** The baseball team's lame team names.
** Monopoly on New Year's Eve.
** Nate's dad buying/making lame Halloween snacks.
** Artur mentioning goats.
* SadistTeacher: Nate thinks of Mrs. Godfrey as this. It's a self-fulfilling opinion, as most other people only think of her as a SternTeacher who is only so harsh to Nate because he frustrates her so constantly.
** Coach John appears to be this as well.
* SarcasmMode: The other main source of humor.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Francis and Nate, respectively.
** Nate plays sports, like baseball and soccer, more than Francis does, though Francis usually plays because Nate does. Nate is also much bolder than Francis is (with almost ''anything''), and is very competitive. Nate also thinks of himself as very manly, even more than he really is, which makes him very self-absorbed.
** Francis is more interested in his grades than sports, and is more of a realist than Nate. He'll usually consider the consequences more than Nate does, and is more mature and mellow. Francis was also described by his girlfriend, Sheila, as "sensitive and sweet...he's more like a girl than a boy."
* ShoutOut: Nate has very ComicStrip/{{Calvin|AndHobbes}}-esque hair.
** In one arc, School Picture Guy wore a lobster suit to a dance with a sign on it saying, "Rock Lobster".
* ShowWithinAShow: Nate's comic strips. The series include Dr. Cesspool (an incompetent operating room surgeon), Action Cat (a cat who only gets hit by vehicles, only appeared in the beginning of the strip), The Snuggles Family (an "All-American" family that strives to be normal), Dan Cupid (a cupid who helps out people in love), and Celebrity Interview (two reporters, Biff Biffwell and Chip Chipson, who interview fictional characters), among others. Occasionally, one of Nate's comic strips will take the place of a regular strip, sometimes for a entire week-long arc.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Jenny and Artur, much to Nate's disgust. Also Ellen with Gordie or Kenny.
* SilentSnarker: About half of the strip's sarcastic humor is portrayed in the characters' thoughts. This most heavily applies to Sherman the gerbil, whose thoughts can be read by the reader Garfield-style, but the characters can only detect facial expressions applying to his thoughts.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Nate. For all his self-proclaimed greatness, his "fame" in school comes from his failures.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: Francis, Gina, and Peter.
* SpikyHair: Nate. See AnimeHair above.
* StatusQuoIsGod: If things start going Nate's way in all but a few areas, expect him to get beaten down back to normal in short order.
** He has had girlfriends (three), but he broke up with Kelly and Trudy and Angie broke up with him.
** Nate once beat Artur in chess, finally... [[spoiler:but he was ''intentionally'' playing bad in order to make Nate feel better.]]
** He did once get Jenny to go with him to a dance... only for him to find his ex, Angie, crying. He spent the dance trying to cheer her up and helped her with the fight she and her current boyfriend were having, but Jenny hated that he spent all of the dance talking to another girl and hated him more.
* TakeThat: Some strips, against certain aspects of school. For example, there have been bashes against bullying (and teachers' obliviousness to it), the amount of homework students get assigned, and others.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: In-universe example: Nate's "wholesome" comic strip series "The Snuggles Family" is this on purpose. The family is so happy all the time that symbols such as smiley faces, hearts, and lollipops float around them. They always do kid-friendly things in the strips, such as going on a road trip (where they [[ComicallyMissingThePoint actually didn't go anywhere; they just drove around for a week]]) and "rent a G-rated movie". Then there are the names: the mother is ''literally called'' "honey", as her real name is never said in the strip, the youngest daughter is named "Punkin", and the family's surname is actually "Snuggles".
* UnfortunateNames: A new kid introduced in ''Big Nate Lives it Up'' is called Breckenridge Puffington III. He clearly doesn't like his name, and for good reason, as he's always getting mean nicknames based on it.
* UnknownRival: Artur has no idea that Nate is constantly trying to one-up him. It really doesn't help that Artur is naturally better at two things Nate prides himself in (chess and drawing, though the former is always the issue and the latter not so much), as well as being incredibly modest and BornLucky to boot!
* UnreliableNarrator: Nate, in his comics that tell about his life. He always tries to make people whom he likes seem better (i. e. himself) and people whom he ''doesn't'' like painted in the worst possible light. This leads to plenty of untrue scenarios, as one might guess. For example, in real life, Ellen and Kenny starting to go steady was Kenny's idea, and they liked each other fairly equally. In Nate's comics, their relationship is completely one-sided on Ellen's part, and Kenny doesn't seem to be interested in Ellen at ''all'', looking like he'd rather be with ''anyone'' else.
* TheVoice: Chester. He never appears on-screen, and all we ever see of him is his speech bubbles and the after-effects of his violence.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Nate, Francis, and Teddy constantly makes fun of each other, yet still hang out together.
* VomitDiscretionShot: When shown a kielbasa wisher at the county fair after a particularly stomach-churning ride, Nate suffers from this off-panel.
* WingdingEyes: In one strip, Nate heard from Francis that the romance novel industry generates over 1.3 billion dollars a year, and his eyes turned into dollar signs as he got an idea. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Francis.
-->'''Francis''': Your eyes look funny.
* WhamLine: Almost literally. During the story line where Nate and Angie meet at summer school, Nate accidentally says that he's both a tutor and a detention monitor. Angie gets mad at him when she finds out it's not true, and Nate says that he was just trying to impress her, to get her to ''like'' him. Angie responds by punching him. Then she thinks, "[[spoiler:I ''do'' like you, you jerk!]]"
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In ''Big Nate Goes for Broke'', Randy steals Nate's clothes during the school dance, he was never mentioned nor seen in the book after this.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark:
** At a certain point, Nate's crush Jenny asks him to deliver a crush confession to his (one-sided) arch-nemesis, Artur. Nate initially refuses though she persuades him to do so. At one point it occurs to him that no one would know if he just threw it away. However, he mentions it would be a 'slaezeball thing to do' and tells himself he hates not being one as he goes to deliver the note to him.
** Further added when Nate must begrudgingly explain the note to Artur (being an exchange student and mildly naive) and tells Artur he is free to puruse Jenny when Artur comments his reason for not doing so during a sooner period was to spare Nate's feelings. Despite the envy Nate holds for him as well as his {{Jerkass}} moments, this shows he does do the right thing and that he does care for his friends.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Nate has a phobia of cats. This fear was utilized as a plot point in some arcs, such as when Mrs. Godfrey brings her cat to class, and when the family takes care of a lost cat until the owner comes.
* WorldOfSnark: See DeadpanSnarker above.
* YourMom: Yo mama smackdowns are a favorite pastime of Nate and his friends.
-->'''Nate''': Yo mama's so fat, when she talks to herself, it's a long-distance call!
-->'''Teddy''': ''Yo'' mama's so fat, she eats with three utensils, a knife, a spoon, and a ''forklift!''
-->'''Nate''': Yo mama's so hairy, her knuckles have sideburns!
** Nate once tried to teach Artur how to go about doing a yo mama smackdown. It...didn't go so well.
-->'''Nate''': Now pick somebody and say something about their mama!
-->'''Artur''': Hokay. Peter! [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Your mother makes very delicious oatmeal cookies!]]
-->'''Peter''': Thanks, dude.
-->'''Nate''': Artur, Artur, Artur.
-->'''Artur''': Is true! They are lip-smackin' good!