main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Characters: Big Nate
     Main Characters 

Nate Wright

The title character. Nate is a sixth grade straight-F student, self-proclaimed ladies' man and Renaissance Man, and quite short (4'6" to be exact). His crush is Jenny, who hates him, and his sworn enemies are Gina and Mrs. Godfrey.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Believes that he and Jenny are destined together and uses every possible opportunity to pursue her. Jenny, for her part,does not like him back and barely tolerates him as an aquiantance
  • Anime Hair: At one point, his friends try to make fun of him by making an ice cream cone with ice cream that looks like his hair. Nate admits that while he's not happy with it, it is a creative use of "Hershey's Kisses."
  • Arch-Enemy: He has a few for different reasons:
    • Gina: Him being a slacker and her a kiss-up straight-A student, they clash very frequently. Nate's friends commented they have a Love/Hate relationship however.
    • Mrs. Godfrey: His social studies teacher. Somewhat one-sided, he does not like her at all and they clash the most frequently. While most of it is Nate's doing, there are times where she also shows her frustration with him. Her favoritism to his older sister may have been a part of it.
    • Randy Betancourt: The school's Top Jerkass. Whenever he is messing with someone, Nate will usually be the one to step in and Randy is also one to retaliate.
  • Berserk Button: Notably, mentioning school during the summer or bringing up the possibility that he can be outdone.
  • Book Dumb: Nate is amazing with random trivia (basketball, Peanuts, etc.), yet still earns horrible grades, though it is unsure how much is it from a lack of effort and how much from intelligence.
    • He's also a chess prodigy (even going to the occasional state tournament), and only earns horrible grades in Ms. Godfrey's history class. Every other class hovers around a grade of C. He appears to be quite good at pranking as during the 'Prank Day' sessions. At one point, bringing in a flying squirel and a moose to school (going for a Rocky and Bullwinkle theme.)
  • Casanova Wannabe: The day Nate's advancements will actually work will be Armageddon.
    • Averted, during the summer of 2001, he got a girlfriend named Kelly. Unfortunately, he broke up with her the following year, (they met in soccer camp and was seldom seen, going to a different school).
    • Even earlier, he had a girlfriend named Angie in the summer of 1997, who he met at Summer School. She broke up with him six months later, on Valentines' Day.
  • Catch Phrase: "Spitsy, you idiot" and "Oh, how I hate her."
  • Cosmic Plaything: His streak of bad luck, especially when trying to do something nice for Jenny, cements his status as this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: What'd you expect from the Yo Mama King/Nickname Czar/King of the Trash Talk?
  • Dirty Kid
  • Even Jerks Have Standards: In the strip in which Jenny asks Artur out, she gives Nate the fateful note. He considers disposing it, before deciding that's too sleazy even by his standards.
  • Follow Your Nose: Nate's sense of smell is so keen that at several points he identifies several things to crazy specifics (blindfolded) just by smelling them.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Teddy and Francis put up with him more than they hang out him. Lampshaded in one strip, where Nate loudly wonders why one would hang out with people they don't like, and, in the next panel, Francis and Teddy had disappeared.
  • Genius Ditz: Is able to plan out complex pranks with precision, but is unable to name a Chinese emperor.
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Jenny.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nate is often seen sticking up for those needing it and will give a helping hand in his own way (such as when a student is dealing with someone annoying or that's a jerk, Nate lures them to his locker and opens it, blasting them away with the crammed junk.) His reasons for not being nice as often might be a result of having a huge streak of bad luck.
  • Luminescent Blush: Whenever he gets embarrassed or angry.
  • Missing Mom: His mother divorced his father when he was young, and he doesn't really know her all that well.
  • The Pig Pen: : He's a slob, and the homework he submitted is always in a mess (crumpled up, stained with various food scraps, etc)
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: Is this to Jenny.
  • Selective Obliviousness: No matter how many times, ways, or just flat-out statements of hate for him he gets, Nate still believes that deep down, Jenny likes him.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Frequently boasts of his own greatness, even though he rarely achieved anything.
  • Stalker with a Crush: It is mentioned that he once played a "Love You Like a Love Song"-esque song in order to impress Jenny.

Francis Butthurst Pope

Nate's best friend, a bookish, school-loving, at times borderline butt-kisser. He's, among other things, a Neat Freak, Nice Guy, and Deadpan Snarker.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Berserk Button: He does not take nicely to having his Book of Facts taken away.
  • Nice Guy: He is definitely the nicest of the trio, although his know-it-all tendencies can get annoying.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: It is mentioned that he has Mrs. Godfrey's birthday in his planner. Also, in the Jefferson saga, upon learning that they're going to Jefferson, Francis shows up in Jefferson garb.
  • Running Gag: His obsession with The Book of Facts.

Teddy Ortiz

Nate's other best friend, who matches Nate in prankster tendencies. On the rare occasions that anyone agrees with Nate, it will most likely be Teddy. His parents are mathematicians, as evidenced by his middle name being the square root symbol.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Embarrassing Middle Name: The square root symbol (it's mentioned that his parents are math majors).
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Teddy delights in gross stuff.
  • Only Sane Man: generally when one of his friends is being annoying... but that doesn't necessarily mean Nate, as he is far more socially adept then Francis.

     Supportng Characters 

Marty Wright

Nate's dad. The epitome of a Bumbling Dad, who is divorced, sucks at sports, and on the occasions that Nate is not the Butt Monkey, expect Dad to be.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Berserk Button: It's not a good idea to mention college money to him. He's also rather volatile while working his taxes.
  • Bumbling Dad: Hits pretty much every single note, and seems to have "Epic Fail" written on his attempts to do anything.
  • Butt Monkey: If Nate isn't the one getting the Butt Monkey treatment, it's usually his father who takes up the role.
  • Dirty Old Man: Enjoys Nate's "Femme Fatality" comics, and has an Anna Kournikova screen saver.
  • Fan Disservice: Special mentions go to this gem and...shudder...this.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Guy with ambiguous hair color gets a raven-haired kid and a blonde kid.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Quite a bit. Examples include: Confiscating Femme Fatality when he has an Anna Kournikova screen saver, telling Nate to eat healthy when in fact he has a rather decent-sized sweet stash, etc.

Ellen Wright

Nate's older sister, who drives Nate crazy. Has grown to less significance as the strip goes on.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Dumb Blonde: Averted. Nate sees her this way, but she's very smart and was a Teacher's Pet of Mrs. Godfrey, Nate's current Social Studies teacher.
  • Foil: To Nate. She is a Ditzy Genius and Crazy Cat Lady to Nate's lazy intelligence and dog love.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Frequently beats up Nate (at least in the earlier strips.) To be fair, he is usually provoking her when she tries to beat him up.
    • Averted somewhat. While she's shorter... this is compared to other adult characters, and only by a few inches. This can also be explained by her being a teenager still. Compared to Nate and his friends, she is about twice as tall.

Clara Godfrey

Nate's teacher and Arch-Enemy. While not as evil as Nate often describes her (because only Umbridge could be that evil), often shows blatant favoritism.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Arch-Enemy
  • Comically Missing the Point: At one point, Nate sneaks into her desk to see if he can find his research paper topic. Mrs. Godfrey catches him, but the thing she notices is that Nate ate her Skittles.
  • Evil Smells Bad: According to Nate, her breath stinks of dead fish.
  • Parental Favoritism: Quite blatant. A recurring gag is that Gina will answer a question (without raising her hand and usually with a loud "OOH!", but when Nate does the same thing, she shoots him down.
    • The novels seem to indicate that she far preferred Nate's sister Ellen over Nate. Given what sort of things Nate gets up to, that's not really a stretch.
  • Sadist Teacher: While Nate does bring a lot of it on himself, Ms. Godfrey is usually unfair to him. Though granted, she is sometimes a Reasonable Authority Figure.

Jenny Jenkins

Nate's long-running crush who is often annoyed and angered by him. Despite this, she manages to have something of a friendship with him. Is currently dating Artur. As of a 2013 strip, she has moved away to Seattle.

Provides Examples Of:

Artur Pashkov

A transfer student from Belarus, who is Nate's Foil. While he is probably the nicest character in the strip, he has a one-sided rivalry with Nate (from Nate's point of view). Has a severe case of Does Not Understand Sarcasm.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Innocently Insensitive: Has taken Nate's displays of dislike for Jenny dating him the wrong way a couple times.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • When asked if he wants to play table football, he jumps on a table.
    • When asked if he had ever played soccer, Artur responded that no, he hadn't... because he isn't from America, and it was called football there.
  • Metaphorgotten: See Literal-Minded.
  • Nice Guy: Negative emotions are practically nonexistent to Artur, though Nate annoyed him once or twice.
  • Unknown Rival: Nate has a massive grudge against Artur for being better than him in several things (particularly, chess and drawing, two skills Nate prides himself on, though the latter is never addressed.). To make matters worse, Artur is not only better at them than him, he's so darn modest about it!
    • Nate says he likes him just fine, but Artur's lack of misfortune seems to bother Nate (compared to his own status as Cosmic Plaything)

Gina Hemphill-Toms

Nate's other arch-enemy, Gina is the polar opposite of Nate, getting straight A's and never letting him forget it. Basically, she's Ellen all over again, just a whole lot less ditzy.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Takes pride in her academic achievements, and generally treats other people like shit.

Uncle Ted

Nate's lazy uncle who still lives with Nate's grandparents.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Basement-Dweller: He lives with his parents and spends most of his time watching "Battlestar Galactica".
  • Lazy Bum: Hoo boy. As if "still lives with his parents" wasn't enough of a hint.
Baby BluesCharacterSheets/Newspaper ComicsBloom County

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy