Nathaniel Archibald is a "Waspoid", good-looking Lacrosse player at the elite St. Jude's School for Boys. His mother, Mrs. Archibald, is a French socialite, and his father, Captain Archibald, is a former Navy captain and a wealthy banker. He smokes copious amounts of marijuana and was once caught and sent to drug rehabilitation for buying a dime bag in the park. Nate's buddies are Anthony Avuldsen, Charlie Dern, and Jeremy Scott Tompkinson, But his best friends are Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf who is also his on-again, off-again girlfriend.
Nate's family resides in a gracious townhouse right off Park Avenue on the exclusive Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, and his mother's French socialite family owns a summer chateau in Nice. He is a fan of sailing like his father, and wished to do that instead of attending Yale with then-girlfriend Blair, although he expressed interest in attending Brown University, at the end of the series he sails around the world with a friend of his father's, Captain Chips White to avoid getting in between Blair and Serena again.