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. He studies a lot.
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.
One day in preschool, Francis Pope, started snoring. This caused Nate Wright, a classmate to hit him on the head with his Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox. Somehow, this made them friends.
Later on in the third grade, the friendship between Nate and Francis became so strong that both of them swore each other to secrecy about their biggest secrets. Nate told Francis he was frightened of cats, and Francis told Nate that his middle name was "Butthurst".
Big Nate: A Class by Himself
One day, Francis was rereading his social studies textbook for fun. Little did he know, Nate saw him doing this from his window and then Nate panicked and thought there would be a test at school that day. At the bus stop later that day, Francis walked up to Nate who ripped up something. Francis asks Nate what he was doing and then Nate admits that he was trying to forge his dad's signature to try and get out of that days test. Francis then told Nate that there was no test and told Nate why he was reading the textbook. Francis also adds that he likes the tests that Mrs Godfrey gives which makes Nate whack him with his notebook. Francis then throws his notebook at Nate which knocks Nate to the ground.
Later that day, Francis noticed that Nate was unusually happy. Francis asks Nate why he's so happy. Nate shows the fortune to Francis, saying that he's always been "destined for greatness". Francis then remarks that they can rule out academic achievement as a possibility for Nate to be great in, which results in Nate hitting Francis with his notebook for the second time that day.
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 loud snoring. By the time they were 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.
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.
- Across Big Nate, including both the comics and books, he and Nate Wright making fun of each other is common. But as stated in Big Nate Strikes Again, that is how their friendship operates.
- Francis was very chubby as a baby as a result of baby fat.
- He is a member of the P.S. 38 cartooning club.
- Francis and Nate are neighbors.
- In Big Nate: Flips Out, his biggest secret is that his middle name is Butthurst.
- He is obsessed with trivia.
- Francis eats his lunch in alphabetical order.
- Despite Nate unfavorable view of Mrs. Godfrey, Francis likes her a lot.
- Francis was the captain of the Trivia Slam team "Francis's Factoids".
- 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.
- In Big Nate: From the Top, Francis said he lives next to an orthodontist.
- He once gave Nate some dental floss which Francis got for Halloween when trick-or-treating on a house owned by a dentist.
- He has a lot of allergies.