Big Nate Goes for Broke
Goodreads ratings
4.45 / 5

"Big Nate Goes for Broke" Characters Analysis

By Lincoln Peirce

graphic novels | 224 pages | Published in 2012

Soon to be an animated series from Nickelodeon! "Big Nate is funny, big time!"—Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy KidBig Nate is going for broke in the fourth novel in the hilarious New York Times bestselling series by Lincoln Peirce! This time, Nate and his friends are in the Ultimate Snowdown—a wintry snow-sculpture competition against the bullies from Jefferson Middle School, who beat P.S. 38 at EVERYTHING!But as the rivalry between P.S. 38 and Jefferson Middle School escalates, will Nate be able to save the day? And finally win against his biggest rivals?This hilarious, comic-strip adventure is perfect for reluctant readers and fans of Jeff Kinney and Raina Telgemeier.Includes a sneak peek of Big Nate Flips Out!


Estimated read time: 9 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Nate WrightProtagonist
Francis PopeNate's best friend
Teddy OrtizNate's friend
Jenny JenkinsNate's crush
Mrs. GodfreyNate's teacher
Gina Hemphill-TomsClassmate
Chad ApplewhiteClassmate
Artur PashkovClassmate
Randy BetancourtClassmate
Nate's DadNate's father
Nate's MomNate's mother
Ellen WrightNate's older sister

Role Identification

In "Big Nate Goes for Broke," Nate Wright is the protagonist and main character. He is a sixth-grade student who faces various challenges and adventures throughout the book. Other important characters include Nate's friends Francis Pope and Teddy Ortiz, his crush Jenny Jenkins, his teacher Mrs. Godfrey, and his classmates Gina Hemphill-Toms, Chad Applewhite, Artur Pashkov, and Randy Betancourt. Nate's parents and older sister, Ellen Wright, also play minor roles in the story.

Character Descriptions

  • Nate Wright: Nate is a spirited and imaginative sixth-grader. He is known for his mischievous behavior, sarcastic wit, and love for drawing comics. Nate is often seen wearing red high-top sneakers and a baseball cap backward. He has unruly black hair and a mischievous smile.
  • Francis Pope: Nate's best friend, Francis, is a loyal and somewhat nerdy companion. He wears glasses and is often seen wearing a striped shirt. Francis is known for his encyclopedic knowledge and love for chess.
  • Teddy Ortiz: Teddy is another one of Nate's friends. He is often portrayed as the joker of the group and is known for his sense of humor. Teddy has curly hair and is often seen wearing a hoodie.
  • Jenny Jenkins: Jenny is Nate's crush and a popular girl in school. She has long blonde hair and is often seen wearing fashionable clothes. Jenny is friendly, smart, and athletic.
  • Mrs. Godfrey: Mrs. Godfrey is Nate's strict and no-nonsense teacher. She is often depicted wearing glasses and is known for her demanding teaching methods.
  • Gina Hemphill-Toms: Gina is a smart and ambitious classmate of Nate's. She is often seen wearing a headband and is known for her excellent grades and organizational skills.
  • Chad Applewhite: Chad is a classmate of Nate's and is often portrayed as a bully. He is tall, muscular, and has a tendency to pick on Nate and his friends.
  • Artur Pashkov: Artur is a new student from Belarus and is often portrayed as the "perfect" student. He is friendly, polite, and excels academically.
  • Randy Betancourt: Randy is another classmate of Nate's and is often depicted as a troublemaker. He is known for his rebellious attitude and pranks.

Character Traits

  • Nate Wright: Nate is impulsive, funny, and creative. He often gets into trouble due to his mischievous nature but has a good heart. He is determined and persistent in pursuing his goals.
  • Francis Pope: Francis is intelligent, cautious, and a bit of a rule-follower. He is a loyal friend to Nate and often provides him with advice and support.
  • Teddy Ortiz: Teddy is outgoing, funny, and adventurous. He often lightens the mood with his jokes and is always up for trying new things.
  • Jenny Jenkins: Jenny is friendly, athletic, and popular. She is kind to Nate and often encourages him in his endeavors.
  • Mrs. Godfrey: Mrs. Godfrey is strict, disciplined, and demanding. She expects her students to work hard and follow the rules.
  • Gina Hemphill-Toms: Gina is organized, ambitious, and academically inclined. She is determined to succeed and often takes on leadership roles.
  • Chad Applewhite: Chad is aggressive, bullying, and often picks on Nate and his friends. He enjoys exerting his dominance over others.
  • Artur Pashkov: Artur is polite, intelligent, and well-behaved. He is often admired by his classmates for his academic achievements.
  • Randy Betancourt: Randy is rebellious, mischievous, and often gets into trouble. He enjoys playing pranks and causing disruptions.

Character Background

  • Nate Wright: Nate is a sixth-grader who loves drawing comics, playing sports, and getting into adventures. He has a somewhat chaotic home life and is often seen navigating the challenges of school and friendships.
  • Francis Pope: Francis is Nate's best friend and has been by his side since elementary school. He is known for his knowledge, love for chess, and cautious nature.
  • Teddy Ortiz: Teddy is one of Nate's close friends who shares his sense of humor and love for fun. He often joins Nate in his escapades and provides comic relief.
  • Jenny Jenkins: Jenny is a popular girl in school, and Nate has had a crush on her for a long time. She is friendly and athletic, often participating in school sports events.
  • Mrs. Godfrey: Mrs. Godfrey is Nate's strict and demanding teacher. She expects her students to work hard and follow her rules. Despite her tough exterior, she genuinely cares about her students' success.
  • Gina Hemphill-Toms: Gina is a high-achieving classmate who excels academically and is often seen as the model student. She is organized, ambitious, and determined to succeed.
  • Chad Applewhite: Chad is a classmate of Nate's who often bullies him and his friends. He enjoys exerting power and control over others.
  • Artur Pashkov: Artur is a new student from Belarus who joins Nate's class. He is polite, intelligent, and quickly becomes popular among his classmates.
  • Randy Betancourt: Randy is a troublemaker who often gets into mischief and enjoys causing disruptions in class. He is known for his rebellious attitude and pranks.

Character Arcs

  • Nate Wright: Throughout the book, Nate goes through various character arcs. He learns the importance of perseverance, takes risks, and faces the consequences of his actions. He also develops a deeper understanding of friendship and learns to appreciate the people who support him.
  • Francis Pope: Francis remains a loyal friend to Nate throughout the story. He provides advice and support, helping Nate navigate the challenges he faces.
  • Teddy Ortiz: Teddy continues to be Nate's humorous sidekick and is always ready for new adventures. He adds comic relief and lightens the mood throughout the book.
  • Jenny Jenkins: Jenny remains a friendly and supportive presence in Nate's life. Although she doesn't play a central role in the story, her presence influences Nate's actions and thoughts.
  • Mrs. Godfrey: Mrs. Godfrey maintains her strict and demanding teaching style throughout the book. However, she also shows moments of care and encouragement towards Nate, acknowledging his potential.
  • Gina Hemphill-Toms: Gina is portrayed as a high-achieving student who remains focused on her studies and organizational skills. She provides a contrasting character to Nate's more carefree nature.
  • Chad Applewhite: Chad's character arc revolves around his interactions with Nate and his friends. He occasionally shows moments of vulnerability and a desire for acceptance.
  • Artur Pashkov: Artur's character arc focuses on his integration into the class and his growing friendships with Nate and his friends. He showcases his kindness and intelligence throughout the story.
  • Randy Betancourt: Randy's character arc revolves around his mischievous behavior and the consequences he faces. He learns valuable lessons about the impact of his actions on others.


  • Nate and Francis: Nate and Francis share a deep and longstanding friendship. They support each other through their adventures and provide emotional support when needed.
  • Nate and Teddy: Nate and Teddy have a close bond, often getting into mischief together and sharing a similar sense of humor. Teddy adds humor to Nate's life and provides a light-hearted presence.
  • Nate and Jenny: Nate has a crush on Jenny and often daydreams about impressing her. Their relationship evolves slowly, with Nate trying to catch Jenny's attention through his actions.
  • Nate and Mrs. Godfrey: Nate and Mrs. Godfrey have a teacher-student relationship, with Mrs. Godfrey often reprimanding Nate for his behavior. Despite this, Mrs. Godfrey recognizes Nate's potential and occasionally shows moments of encouragement.
  • Nate and Gina: Nate and Gina have a somewhat competitive relationship due to their contrasting personalities. Gina often surpasses Nate academically, leading to a friendly rivalry.
  • Nate and Chad: Nate and Chad have a strained relationship, with Chad often bullying Nate and his friends. Chad's behavior creates tension and conflict throughout the book.
  • Nate and Artur: Nate initially feels threatened by Artur's arrival but later develops a friendship with him. Artur's presence challenges Nate's insecurities and leads to character growth.
  • Nate and Randy: Nate and Randy have a somewhat chaotic relationship, with Randy often instigating trouble and Nate occasionally getting caught up in it.

In conclusion, "Big Nate Goes for Broke" features a diverse cast of characters with distinct personalities, relationships, and character arcs. Nate Wright, the protagonist, undergoes personal growth and navigates the challenges of school, friendships, and his crush on Jenny. The interactions between Nate, his friends, and the other characters provide an entertaining and relatable story for young readers.