Chad Applewhite is one of Nate's best friends as a major character. Chad is a short, chubby kid with red hair and freckles. Chad likes most kinds of food and admits to having a sweet tooth. He shows his love for eating quite often. He is on Nate's baseball and basketball team, but these are the only sports that he is known to play besides Fleeceball. He is a very relaxed kid and gets along with most people except for Marcus, Randy, and Nolan. Chad is known for his interest when someone mentions a phrase related to food. When Nate is trying to come up with a new name for Francis, Chad says he sometimes comes up with new names for himself. Nate asked for an example and Chad said that one of his nicknames is Tad. Chad is overweight and obese. Although he and his family attempt to help him lose weight, it seems very much as if he is incapable of doing so.
According to his baby picture, Chad didn't look very different than how he currently looks. The only difference is that he now has hair, and is probably grown more as well.
Chad is in the sixth grade just like Nate. When Nate Wright, Francis and Teddy sat with him during lunch because their table was stolen by Chester, the school bully. Nate accidentally called him Todd in Big Nate: In A Class By Himself. He is the second shortest kid in the school.
Chad Applewhite was on Nate's Fleeceball team. After the Kuddle Kittens claimed their victory over all the other teams including Randy Betancourt's team, the Raptors, Chad suggests they write a story about it, which Nate does. Chad was the hero of his baseball team when he managed to catch Randy's line drive in the overtime.
Timber Scout Troop
Shortly afterward, Chad was in the Timber Scout group which Nate is also in. He also starred in the "Peter Pan" play as Michael. During this, he accidentally smashes into a wall, nearly destroying the set for good.
Passage to Jefferson
Chad is a member of the P.S. 38 Cartooning Club along with Nate Wright, Francis Pope, Teddy Ortiz, Artur and Dee Dee. He and the cartooning club figure out ways to beat Jefferson Middle School together. He also breaks his tailbone, prompting the doctor to give him a tailbone pillow. When Nolan attempts to steal it, Nate fights him for it and breaks his dominant wrist in the process.
Chad makes a minor appearance in this book. He is seen partaking in the Trivia Contest with Nate, Francis, Teddy, and Dee Dee. He specializes in asking questions concerning meals. His list of specialties includes all three meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
In Nate's posse
For the first time, Chad is shown to have a crush on Maya. At one point, Chad is bullied by Marcus Goode, who calls him "Superchunk" hoping to show to everyone how sixth graders are "totally lame". He later raced with Maya and against Goode and Jacob, winning the event. Afterward, he joined Nate's group of friends. He once again assisted his friends to win a scavenger hunt at P.S. 38's centennial.
Chad is quite chubby, due to his obsession with food. He is also out of shape, as shown during the scavenger hunt when he is the only one panting while he and his friends dart across the halls while being coaxed by Dee Dee. However, he was shown skinny for a short time on August 17 and 18, 2015. He is also described as the shortest kid in his grade. He has the classic red hair and freckles. He used to have yellow hair. He always wears a black shirt with a yellow smiley face in the middle of it.
Personality and traits
Chad is short, chubby, and liked by all his classmates. He is respectful and enthusiastic, always supporting his friends. He likes food a bit too much, always hoping that there is something he can eat, and appearing in the most random of places when food is mentioned. Despite this unique taste, Chad is easy going and kind. He also fears snakes and clowns for obvious reasons. It is unknown why he is intimidated by yogurt, but it could be because yogurt is healthy and Chad tends to eat unhealthy foods.
- His major appearance was February 16 to 18, 2006.
- He has an obsession with eating and food. (Coincidentally, his last name is also Applewhite.)
- A similar character named Brad appeared in 1999. There was also another character called Chad, but they are most likely not the same one.
- Chad's first appearance was when Nate became Chad's life skills coach around 2006.
- At one point, he is said to be the smallest kid in the entire school. But now he is no longer the smallest kid in school ever since Breckenridge Puffington III moved in. (Breckenridge is a noticeably shorter than Chad).
- Until Chad first appeared, Nate was the shortest kid at P.S 38.
- In Big Nate: Goes For Broke, he breaks his tailbone after slipping on ice.
- Chad's doctor's name is Dr. Krensky. He is the one who gave Chad his inflatable donut when he bruised his tailbone to take the pressure off the tailbone.
- In Big Nate: Flips Out, it is revealed he is afraid of snakes, clowns, and yogurt. On October 6, 2018, it is also revealed that he is afraid of soccer balls and college.
- Also, in Big Nate Flips Out, Chad is in the Trivia Slam on Francis' Factoids.
- It is seen that Chad's mother is very protective of her son, but not to herself.
- He has never been mad, except in Big Nate In The Zone when Marcus was making fun of him for his chubbiness.
- For some reason now his appearance is much larger.
- He seems to resemble Liam and Derek, two of Nate's chess opponents. He has the same hairstyle, freckles, and hair color, and chubbiness.
- He has a pet hamster named Flora as said in "Big Nate: Lives It Up". In a 2012 comic strip, it is also revealed that he has a cat.
- He became the school's food critic on December 7, 2016.
- If he was a Harry Potter character he would be in the Slytherin house.
- Chad is the scout of Nate's little league team. He has helped Nate navigating through an opposing pitcher and about other teams that also have pastry names too.
- Chad is an Aries.
- Chad was hypnotized in the Chad To The Bone (story arc) to become a complete jerk.
- He has a pet parrot that used to say inappropriate language.
- He practices his oboe in the The Chapman House.
Behind the Scenes
- Chad's last name is Applewhite because while Lincoln Peirce was doing information on Nate's baseball team (which Chad is on), his last name was put on the back of his uniform, so Peirce chose "Applewhite" because it was old-fashioned and innocent, like Chad. (This was taken from the Big Nate website.)
- In recent years Chad has started to have a much larger role, appearing more and more often in the comic strip and also in the novels. In late 2019 specifically, he made a lot of appearances. This made some people annoyed, some saying Pierce was trying to replace Teddy with Chad, resulting in Pierce not putting him in the strip quite as often.
- Chad, Derek, Liam, another character called Chad are all drawn similarly.
- His head went from a square with a round top to a square. His ears have gone from pointy triangles to round semi-circles. He changed a lot.