Big Nate is a comic created by Lincoln Peirce. The main character is Nate Wright, a 4'6" sixth-grade underacheiver who lives with his clueless dad and older sister. 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 Poptropica world, and has inspired tons of chapter novels and comic collections that began releasing as early as 1992 with more planned for future releases.
Adaptation Distillation: 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.
Book Dumb: 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 Ms. Godfrey?)
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.
Butt Monkey: 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.
Lampshade Hanging: Sort of. 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.
Status Quo Is God: 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... twice (Angie and Kelly) but he broke up with Kelly and Angie broke up with him.
He once beat Artur in chess... 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.
Unknown Rival: Artur has no idea that Nate is constantly trying to one-up him. It really doesn't help that Artur is naturally better at several things than Nate, as well as being incredibly modest and Born Lucky to boot!
Vomit Discretion Shot: When shown a kielbasa wisher at the county fair after a particularly stomach-churning ride, Nate suffers from this off-panel.
What You Are in the Dark: 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 'sleeze-ball 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 from Belarus and not familiar with this type of things) 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.