Chad Applewhite is one of Nate's best friends as a major character and a student at P.S. 38. 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. Despite loving food, he still plays sports, and is even on Nate's baseball, soccer, and basketball teams, but these are the only sports that he is known to play besides Fleeceball. He once subbed in for Nate as goalie when he got injured. He has also occasionally played ice hockey. He is a very relaxed kid and gets along with most people except for Marcus and Randy. 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 personal nicknames were Tad. Chad is overweight and obese. Although he and his family attempt to help him lose weight, it seems that he is incapable of losing weight.
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 has probably grown more as well.
Chad is in the sixth grade just like Nate. When Nate, Francis and Teddy sat with him during lunch because their table was stolen by Chester, the school bully. He is the second shortest kid in the school. Gina had a crush on Chad, but he didn't return the feelings. Chad then ran for class president against Gina who is madly in love with him, she tried to face him as an adversary, but she couldn't shake the feelings for her "Cotton Candy Cuddle Cub."
Chad Applewhite was on Nate's Fleeceball team. After the Kuddle Kittens claimed their victory over all the other teams including Randy's team, the Raptors, Chad suggests they write a story about it, which Nate does.
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 almost always wears a black shirt with a yellow smiley face in the middle of it.
In a recent comic, he compared himself with Artur, claiming he was "baby penguin" cute, as opposed to Artur, who is "dreamboat" cute.
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.
- He has an obsession with eating and food.
- 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.
- Until Chad first appeared, Nate was the shortest kid at P.S 38.
- He seems to resemble Liam and Derek, two of Nate's chess opponents. He has the same hairstyle, freckles, and hair color, and chubbiness.
- 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.
- He took the Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz and ended up in Slytherin, much to the surprise of Nate and Dee Dee.
- 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 until Uncle Pedro fixed his parrot.
- 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. 
- 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 as the tritagonist, resulting in Pierce not putting him in the comic strips quite as often.
- 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 has changed a ton over the course of the Big Nate comic strip.