A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Some positive themes around friendship and doing the right thing. On the negative side, seems to endorse flouting teachers' authority (though sometimes it seems justified) and being anti-school.
Positive Role Models
Nate and friends have some positive attributes, like having high self-esteem and trying to be good friends, but they do display a lot of negative behavior that doesn't really have a constructive resolution. Causing trouble, flouting authority, and disobeying adults is generally depicted as positive behavior without any sort of consequence.
Some racial diversity among the main characters. A well-rounded girl main character in Dee Dee, but she's really the only girl character who gets appreciable screen time. The boys are fairly stereotypical, not following the rules and goofing off in class. Some jokes that are based on stereotypes of people with mental illness, military veterans, single dads, and other groups.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Some mean characters and verbal aggression (including teachers insulting kids). Cartoon slapstick violence that's often implied (happening off screen with sound effects), including a teacher purposefully smashing a kid into things after he misbehaves and older bullies fist-fighting Nate. Occasional weapons like a mace and saw are shown but not used on camera.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some episodes focus pretty extensively on Nate's crush on Jenny. Fleeting joke about rats multiplying during mating season.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Mean characters and verbal aggression (including teachers insulting kids). Insults and put-downs, but no actual cursing.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Big Nate is an animated TV series based on Lincoln Peirce's hit book and comic series. Just like in the books, TV's Nate (voiced by Ben Giroux) doesn't like school, is always getting detention, and tries to pull off pranks on his unsuspecting teachers. Nate enjoys getting in trouble and flouts his teachers' authority (though sometimes that seems justified). While Nate is generally kind-hearted and a supportive friend, parents who prefer media with an unimpeachable lead role model may want to skip this one. Expect some slapstick violence and offscreen fighting, plus other violence that's implied with sound effects. While there's no swearing, characters do insult each other and sometimes make jokes based on stereotypes. Some characters are mean, including teachers who insult kids and punish them physically. While not in every episode, some storylines revolve around Nate's forever crush on classmate Jenny (Chandni Parekh).
Is It Any Good?
Like the book series the show is based on, the TV show is likely to be loved by kids and to divide parents. On one hand, Big Nate faces extremely relatable middle-schooler problems: wanting to be liked by his peers, having a crush on a girl who's not interested in him, and having a teacher who is bent on making his life miserable. On the other hand, some of the antics that are silly in comic-book form come off as slightly meaner and more violent when translated into animation. Some parents may prefer not to have a character with such an anti-school, teacher, and rule-following attitude (though others will think it's all in good fun and not a big deal). Kids will find Nate hilarious, some grown-ups might find the negative humor a bit off-putting. The first episode of the series, for example, features a character with violent, anti-social tendencies that are played for laughs. It won't be every grown-up's cup of tea. Fans of the comics and books will like seeing their hero come to life, but parents of kids who haven't yet been introduced to Nate might be wary.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.