Francis Butthurst Pope (or simply called Francis), is the deuteragonist of "Big Nate" and is Nate's #1 friend (despite his #1A friend, Teddy), although he is a bit of a nerdy geek according to Nate. He is also the electric guitarist for Nate's garage band, Enslave the Mollusk. Francis is very intelligent and excels in school.
Much to Francis' annoyance, Nate often expresses the superiority of dogs to cats, because he is a dog lover who hates cats due to his ailurophobia. Francis rebuttals with his evidence of the superiority of cats, though the evidence usually pops up by itself. Francis doesn't mind dogs nonetheless.
"Get in trouble! Right! How do I do that?"
Francis even owns a cat named Pickles, whom Spitsy, the dog of Nate's neighbor (Mr. Eustis) is engaged to. Although Nate and Francis make fun of each other, making fun of each other is how their friendship works, as said in Big Nate Strikes Again.
Francis is friendly to his Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Godfrey and to Artur Pashkov, contrary to Nate's feelings. Francis' mother, to which he described, in Big Nate from the Top, was "quite slender."
He first appeared on 01/17/91. He was at first Nate's best friend and then one of his two best friends when Teddy Ortiz appeared. He dates Sheila and is also friendly with both Mrs. Godfrey and Ellen which alienates Nate and is often the scene of many comic strips. Francis appears very often in the comic strip and is known to be very fond of his facts.
According to his baby picture, Francis was kind of chunky. Nate even said, "I didn't know you wanted to be a sumo wrestler!"
Nate and Francis became best friends in kindergarten at naptime. When Francis began snoring, Nate hit him on the head with his Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox, and that is how they became friends. Francis has been in every Big Nate book.
Francis began to get annoyed with Nate's messiness and called him a slob.
Later, when Francis is attending the yearbook meeting with Nate and Teddy he is made by Nate to be the co-editor with Gina because Nate does not want Gina to be the sole editor and make the yearbook about herself.
During the meeting, Nate came up with the idea to take candids for the yearbook. However, Mrs. Godfrey would never let Nate have one of the school cameras so he convinces Francis to borrow one for him. Francis obliges but tells Nate to be very careful with the camera because if it gets broken or lost, Francis will be forced to cop the blame.
In the yard, Randy steals the camera to taunt Nate and throws it in the air. Luckily it is caught by Nick Blonsky, who gives Nate a lecture on being more careful with school equipment.
Nate stores the camera in his locker but when he goes to take it back out he cannot find it. Francis blames Nate for losing the camera because Nate is a slob. Nate disagrees and he and Francis have a shouting match. Their friendship falls out because Nate out of pure anger accidentally spilled out Francis's secretive middle name.
Nate is unhappy that he is no longer friends with Francis so he gets hypnotized to become neater. Nate finds that being hypnotized is very uncomfortable and stops him from doing things that he likes. Francis was getting bullied by Randy in the cafeteria so Nate stands up for Francis and gets into a fight with Randy. After the fight, Nate is taken to principal Nicholas's office.
When he gets back to his locker he finds the camera back in it. He tells Francis who is happy, then Nick Blonsky comes and brags that he stole the camera and that they had no proof that he did it. Luckily Dee Dee taped the whole conversation on her phone and Nick was suspended for a whole week. Francis and Nate become friends again and Nate finds out that he'd became un-hypnotized during the fight with Randy.
Francis has orange hair and a noticeable gap in his teeth. Francis always wears a green shirt with an 'F' in the center of it. He also wears jeans and circular glasses. His outfit changes in the summer, in which he wears a T-shirt version of his normal shirt and shorts, and the winter, where he wears a jacket or coat instead.
Personality and Traits
Francis has been shown to be very kind and friendly to other people. Although he is smart and caring, he is also geeky; his geekiness can become annoying toward his friends, like Nate and Teddy (like whenever Francis gets a new book of facts). Francis is highly intelligent for affairs relating to the school. Francis can also sometimes be shown/called a nerd, mostly because he sometimes carries around a book of tons of facts.
Along with Teddy Ortiz, Nate Wright is Francis' best friend at home and school. Like Teddy, Francis is also annoyed by Nate's irrational and sometimes annoying behavior, especially in comic books. The two first met in kindergarten, where Nate hit Francis on the head with a Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox to cease the sound of his snoring. In third grade, their friendship became so strong that both of them swore each other to secrecy about their darkest secret.
Nate was frightened of cats, and Francis' middle name had the word "butt" in it. In both elementary and middle school, the two of them got into several fixes, but they always tend to make up. According to Nate, the fact that they occasionally pick on each other is part of the way they're friendship operates.
One incident where Nate broke their third grade secret and Francis thought Nate lost a camera he had lent to him led to a temporary, intense hatred for each other that nearly tore apart their friendship altogether.
The only thing Nate seems to hate about Francis, in general, is his aptitude for being neat and a goody-two-shoes, which Francis probably knows. He is also very annoyed when Francis talks to him about trivia. Nate especially is dismayed when Francis brings a new edition of the Book of Trivia.
According to Nate's Q-scores he made, Nate dropped Francis' score to an 89 from a 93 just to get on his nerves.
Teddy Ortiz is the other of Francis' two best friends. They tend to tease and pick on each other but according to Nate, this is how their friendship operates. Like Francis, Teddy also finds Nate to be somewhat to a good bit annoying.
According to Nate, Francis thinks Gina Hemphill-Toms to be a "pain." Although Francis has been seen a numerous amount of times working cooperatively with Gina. At an unknown date, Francis and Gina were forced to work together as Co-Editors on the Chronicle, after Gina attempted to take full control of the position.
Francis respects Mrs. Godfrey as a favored teacher in the comics starting in the mid-1990s. Francis is also one of Mrs. Godfrey's favorite students, and Mrs. Godfrey could be Francis's favorite teacher (with the possible exception of Mr. Rosa). Francis can also be seen brown-nosing Mrs. Godfrey in some comics.
Sheila Stapleton is Francis' girlfriend. Their relationship seemed to last throughout most of the school year, though it is possible they met in elementary school. Sheila is also willing to respect Francis' friends, namely Nate Wright, even though Nate thinks their relationship is annoying to him. According to him, Francis is not himself around Sheila (likely correct).
At one point, in the very early years of Big Nate, Francis had a crush on Ellen Wright, Nate's older sister. However, his crush ended in 1992, when he had a sleepover at Nate's, and found out how Ugly/scary she looks when she wakes up and doesn't tidy things up. Ellen Did not like Francis back and probably had no idea Francis was crushing on her.
Despite Nate unfavorable view of Mrs. Godfrey, Francis likes her a lot.
Francis was the captain of the Trivia Slam team "Francis's Factoids".
Francis and Gina are overall the same when it comes to intelligence. One year, it is revealed that his GPA (grade point average) was 99.5, and Gina's was 99.8. Francis also compares himself to Gina, while Nate compares himself to Artur and Teddy to Jay-Z.
His name is a reference to Pope Francis.
He wants to be an epidemiologist.
In Big Nate: Flips Out, he and Nate have a falling out when Nate loses the camera that Francis borrowed for him, but they make up when it is revealed that Nick Blonsky, an obnoxious person stole the camera much to his own fun.
In Big Nate flips out Randy bullies Francis by making fun of his middle name, calling him butt-boy and butt-hurts.
At the end of Big Nate flips out Francis prefers Nate as being messy rather than a neat freak.
Although Francis prefers cats, he still doesn't mind dogs, unlike Nate, who loves dogs but hates cats. Nate always starts arguments with Francis about why dogs are better than cats, but the argument is always blown out of the water by a subsequent event, in favor of Francis.
Francis is the first character to appear in comics who is not related to Nate.