Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Big Nate

Go To
The very first book in the series. Nate still can't resist hogging the cover.
"The point is, I want to use my talents for more than just memorizing useless facts. I'm meant for bigger things. I am... destined for greatness!"

The Big Nate chapter books are a book series by Lincoln Pierce based on the comic strip of the same name. The first one, Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, was published in 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers. Books 1-6 were published by HarperCollins, while the last two books were published by Balzer + Bray.

The books contain further adventures of Nate and his friends Francis, Teddy, Chad, and Dee Dee in a blended comic strip/text format. Eight books in the series have been published, which are as follows:

  • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself: The first novel in the series. At the beginning of the school day, Nate gets a fortune cookie that reads, "Today you will surpass all others" and Nate spends his day trying to make it come true, while getting lots of detentions from teachers in the process.
  • Big Nate: Strikes Again: The second novel in the series. Nate finds himself both working on a social studies project with Gina and on a fleeceball team with her. He's afraid that Gina will hinder his fleeceball team's success, while Gina thinks the same about him and the social studies project.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Nate: On a Roll: The third novel in the series. After losing his skateboard in a creek, Nate is eager to win a better one in a Timber Scouts contest to sell the most wall hangings. Artur provides plenty of competition, however, and Nate has to beat him to the prize.
  • Big Nate: Goes for Broke: The fourth novel in the series. Due to problems at P. S. 38, the students are sent to their rival school, Jefferson, temporarily. They are determined to break Jefferson's winning streak against P. S. 38... and in all the drama, Nate breaks his arm. This is the first chapter book to include Canon Immigrant Dee Dee.
  • Big Nate: Flips Out: The fifth novel in the series. After Nate supposedly loses an expensive school camera and accidentally reveals to the entire school Francis' Embarrassing Middle Name, Francis breaks their friendship. Nate wants to become neater so he can find the camera if he still has it, and is hypnotized by Teddy's uncle. It works, and he is praised by the teachers for his neatness, but he feels miserable in his new personality.
  • Advertisement:
  • Big Nate: In the Zone: The sixth novel in the series. After Nate suffers a particularly bad string of terrible luck, Chad lends Nate his good luck charm. Nate's life suddenly takes a sharp turn for the better, but it builds a rivalry between Nate and the seventh graders, especially Marcus.
  • Big Nate: Lives it Up: The seventh novel in the series. A new kid arrives in school named Breckenridge Puffington III, and Nate is assigned to be his "buddy" and show him around. Unfortunately, the kid has a fascination with plants and is annoying to Nate when he's around. Meanwhile, the 100th anniversary of the school is approaching, and the historical records written by a former student are much more interesting than Nate thought they would be.
  • Big Nate: Blasts Off: The eighth and currently final novel in the series. Nate fights with Randy one too many times and they both get sent to peer counseling to work it out. The school's annual Mud Bowl is approaching, and Nate is on the team to beat Jefferson... and maybe impress a new girl at school, Ruby Dinsmore.

So far no more books have been planned for the series. Internet rumors of supposed 9th and 10th books generally have no basis in Word of God.

On February 19, 2020, it was announced that Nickelodeon had greenlit an Animated Adaptation based on the series.

These tropes are destined for greatness!

  • Adaptation Distillation: The novels tend to combine many different story arcs from the comic at once. For example, the time when the students had to temporarily go to Jefferson because their own school was full of mold was combined with the "We have to beat Jefferson at something" arc.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Just like in the strip, when Nate becomes neater in Big Nate: Flips Out he becomes so neat that he can no longer enjoy anything.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In Big Nate: Flips Out when Nate is hypnotized into becoming neat, it works...too well. Nate starts wearing a suit and tie to school, can't eat Cheez Doodles because he's disgusted by the cheesy powder all over them, and even blows a chance to catch Nick when he runs into a desk and must stop to clean up.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In Big Nate: In the Zone, was Chad's and Nate's good luck really due to the "lucky foot", or was it all a coincidence?
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Or rather, never trust a preview. The sneak peeks at the end of each book are sometimes misleading as to what is going to happen in the next book. For example, the preview to Big Nate: Lives it Up made it look as if Nate would be sticking up for Breckenridge all the time, whereas in the book Breckenridge is an annoying Tagalong Kid whom Nate dislikes. The preview of Big Nate: In the Zone is probably the worst, as it shows Nate making the school honor roll and the all-star sports team, as well as Jenny falling in love with him when he gets lucky. None of those things happen in the book.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: There's a girl with glasses and black hair who is only referred to by Nate as "That weird girl whose name I can never remember." Although in one storyline of the comic, the same girl appeared with the name Becca, and Nate had no trouble remembering her name.
  • Unfortunate Names: A new kid 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: 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.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: