The family is first seen in Pilot at a party at the Waldorf penthouse. Nate and Howard are talking in a group about Nate's college plans. Howard explains that he's a Dartmouth man, but Nate interrupts and says he would like to check out west coast schools: USC and UCLA. Howard insists Anne wouldn't hear of it and Dartmouth is already too far away. Intimidated, Nate goes along with his father and says Dartmouth is his first choice. Later, Nate is talking to Chuck and says he wonders if they'll end up like their parents. After Nate and Blair break up, Nate tells Howard about it during their morning run. Howard advises him to get her some gifts to fix any problems, but Nate isn't really interested in fixing things with her. He explains to Nate that Eleanor Waldorf, Blair's mother, is planning on taking Waldorf Designs' stock public and he's been courting her for months to handle the deal but that can only be possible if Nate helps by ensuring Blair's loyalty.
In The Wild Brunch, Bart Bass is hosting the annual brunch for his foundation. At the brunch, Howard tries to get in Blair's good graces by telling her she looks lovely and asking where Eleanor is. Blair answers that she's in Paris. Howard again mentions he thinks she would be a great investment when Nate shows up. When the two of them are alone, he tells Nate that Blair seems happy and that means he did his part. He then introduces Nate to a friend who has opportunities for good internships.
It's Ivy Week in Poison Ivy. During an assembly at Constance Billard School for Girls/St. Jude's School for Boys, a mention of representing families makes Nate flash back to his run with his father. Nate again tries to mention west coast schools to Howard, but Howard replies that him and Anne didn't work this hard for him to make his own plans. He explains that Nate's future is Dartmouth, then law school, then Blair. Meanwhile, Dan is trying to get into Dartmouth for their writing program and tries hard to get the usher position. During interviews for usher positions, Nate explains to the interviewer that while it would be an honor to go to Dartmouth, because Howard always talked about it, he isn't sure it's his first choice. When results are posted, Dan finds out Nate got the position at the same time Nate does. Dan sarcastically says the choice makes sense, since he's second in their class and Nate is around last. He asks Nate how many libraries his dad had to endow to get the position, and Nate replies that he doesn't know anything about his family. Dan tells Nate to pick up the ivy rep's book and leaves. At the mixer, Nate fails at wooing the Dartmouth rep. He goes to get drinks and meets Dan, who's in charge of concessions. He tells him he's going to get some air and suggests Dan takes the drinks to him, to which he happily agrees. Howard overhears the conversation, and stops Nate before he has a chance to leave. He demands to know where Nate is going, and Nate says he's going home and admits he doesn't want to go to Dartmouth. The next day, Nate goes to meet Howard for their run and is surprised to find the Dartmouth rep there too. Howard lies to the rep and says Nate had to leave the party early due to a bout of food poisoning before explaining Nate is the captain of his lacrosse team and an all star cross country runner.
In Bad News Blair after Nate loses in Carter Baizen's poker game, Chuck bails him out. When Nate tries to pay him back, he finds his trust fund is zeroed out. He calls the bank, where he learns Howard drained the account weeks ago.
In The Handmaiden's Tale, Nate notices Howard acting extra on edge, complaining about the way his shirts are cleaned and being hostile towards Anne. She assures him that Eleanor knows that he's the best candidate to take her company public and she is going to choose him. He leaves for the office and Nate asks Anne if Howard is okay. She says he's fine and just stressed about work, although Nate doesn't believe that. Later, Nate invites Chuck over to go snooping with him. Chuck asks about his missing trust money, and Nate says when he asked Howard, he said he was moving accounts around and the money was back the next day. While looking through books, Nate finds a bag of cocaine. When Nate is unable to reach Blair to talk, he goes to Serena. She asks him if he's sure it's not old, but Nate says he's sure and that it explains everything. Serena advises that if Nate is right, he's probably scared and needs Nate right now. At Eleanor's party, Howard tries to get the deal from Eleanor. She replies that she's talking with Calvin Klein's people and she likes what they're offering. Anne, bored of business talk, tells Eleanor that when Nate and Blair get engaged, she wants her to have her grandmother's ring that Cornelius Van Der Bilt gave her. When Nate returns home from the Masquerade Ball, he finds Anne and Howard waiting for him. They explain that Howard got Eleanor to agree to the deal, but when Anne went to look for a bottle opener to open a bottle to celebrate, she found Howard's coke. She tells Nate that it's not hers and not his father's, and therefore must be his.
After finding the coke, Anne and Howard insist Nate go to a rehab facility to get help in Victor Victrola. Nate demands to know why Howard didn't admit the drugs were his, and he says work has him stressed and one of his colleagues offered him a bump and he didn't even like it. He promises Nate he'll flush the bag and that he won't end up in rehab. He asks Nate to meet him for drinks later. After school, Howard asks for a rain check on their drinks as he's stuck at the office. Nate decides just to go to the office, and sees Howard buying a fresh bag of coke. Meanwhile, Eleanor tells Blair that Anne showed her her ring. Blair excitedly asks if that means Nate is planning their future since he asked for the family ring, and Eleanor says yes. Later, Jenny shows up at the Waldorf penthouse and reveals to Blair that Nate mistook her for Serena and admitted he still has feelings for her. Back at the Archibald's, Nate tells Anne the drugs were Howard's. She refuses to believe him, and he begs her to listen and help. He tells her he saw Howard buying drugs, but she blames Nate, saying his latest rebellions are the cause. She walks away, telling Nate they have a dinner to get to. At the dinner, Howard again pushes Nate and Blair's future. Blair hesitantly tries the ring on, at his request, and Nate asks him to go smoke their cigars. Outside, Nate confronts his father, telling him he's sick of being sold out to make things happen. Nate, suspecting his father is high, tells him he's sabotaging everything. He tries to stop him from going back upstairs, but Howard punches him. The doorman flags down a passing police car, and they ask Nate if he's okay. Howard insist he's fine, but they reply they're talking to Nate. As a way to get his father help, Nate tells the officers to check Howard's pockets. On his way back inside, Nate slips the doorman money and tells him that his father went home sick. Upstairs, unbeknownst to Nate, Blair sees the whole thing. She comes downstairs and the two talk, about their feelings for each other and eventually break up. She tells him that his father needs him right now, and she doesn't. After the evening is over, Nate returns home to find Anne heading to the police station to meet with her lawyers and someone from the DA's office. Confused, he asks why she can't just pay his bail. She explains that his bail is set at a million dollars, because he's also being charged with embezzlement and fraud, and they have been building their case against him for awhile.
It's Blair's seventeenth birthday party in Seventeen Candles. Eleanor is panicked about what Howard's arrest means for her company and calls her lawyer to stop the deal, but Blair is more concerned with Nate's well being. At the Archibald home, Howard, Anne, Nate, and the family lawyer are meeting. Howard is acting cavalier, confident everything is just a misunderstanding. His lawyer informs him that the evidence against him is very real and the only reason he isn't in jail is because Anne could afford his bail. Nate asks about a plea, and Anne tells him to go get some rest because this is a conversation for adults. Later, Anne tells Nate she wants him to give Blair a special gift: her ring. Nate, suspicious of Anne's plans, asks if they're looking to get Blair's loyalty or Eleanor's and Anne admits that her lawyers called. He tells her him and Blair broke up, and she tells him to get back together with her. She blames him for the problems, saying it was his actions that caused the arrest. Feeling guilty, he calls Blair, and mentions that maybe they took their break up too hastily and that he has a special gift for her. After, Nate goes to see Chuck at The Palace. He explains that he's only getting back together with Blair to help his family. Chuck tells him that he shouldn't let his parents control his life because if it doesn't end now, when will it ever? At the party, Chuck lets it slip to Blair that Nate is using her to help his family but she doesn't believe him. Outside, Nate runs into Jenny and the two decide to take a walk together. He shows her Anne's ring, and she guesses it wasn't his idea. He tells her they broke up and that it was the right thing to do, and that while he wants to do the right thing, lying about his feelings isn't fair to either of them. Jenny tells him that things will only stop when he stops them. When Nate returns home, he tells his parents that he isn't going to give Blair the ring and that even though they think she can save them, he won't help. Howard tells him that there isn't anything he wouldn't do to save their family and he's sure Nate feels the same way. Nate replies that he better hope they don't call him to the stand.
Blair Waldorf Must Pie is the annual Thanksgiving episode. At the Archibald dinner, Anne mentions how she had to prepare things at the last minute as they were disinvited from the Waldorf's. She also mentions that she was asked to step down from the committee for the Snowflake Ball and wasn't asked back to the Lincoln Center Foundation. Nate tells her to stop, and Howard shushes him by saying he doesn't need Nate to fight this fight for him. Nate leaves the table. When he returns home, he goes looking for Howard but instead finds him passed out on the floor. He yells at Anne to call 911. In a flashback to the year prior, the Archibald's are shown having Thanksgiving at the Waldorf penthouse. Howard tries to leave to deal with work, but Anne doesn't let him, saying if he doesn't get the commission she'll write him a check herself. He leaves anyway. Later, Anne and Nate are shown at the hospital. She tries to downplay the situation, blaming his headaches but Nate reminds her the doctor said that with the amount of pills he took, he could have cured thirty headaches. He tells her that ignoring his drug problem almost killed him, and she insists that she isn't the one to blame. She tells Nate that he can blame whoever he wants just not her, and all she's done is make his life easier. Nate replies that she's been making his life impossible. She explains that her father William van der Bilt set him up with his own firm, gave them their house, their Hampton's house and their boat, and that Howard has never had to earn a dime. He says she needs to wake up, but she says that all he had to do was put on a suit and not get arrested and he couldn't manage to do that. She asks Nate if he really thinks she should give Howard more responsibility in the family, but is interrupted by a nurse saying he's awake. She stands to go see him, but Nate says he's going instead. When they talk, he asks how Anne is. Nate replies that she's going to be okay, and that they all are. He says he knows what happened wasn't an accident. Howard apologizes and that he can't get clean. Nate replies that the family needs him, that he needs him. In the last flashback, Blair's dad Harold Waldorf gives Anne and Nate leftovers for Howard, who left.
In Much 'I Do' About Nothing, Howard is newly released from rehab. He tells Nate he hasn't felt this good in years, and that his lawyer is feeling good about the upcoming trial. Both Archibald men are planning on attending Bart and Lily van der Woodsen's, wedding that evening, but Anne won't be able to make it. Nate is disappointed, since he wanted his parents to meet his new girlfriend Vanessa Abrams. Howard receives a phone call from a connect, and informs them that he'll slip out after the ceremony and not to draw attention to themselves. At the wedding, Howard greets Chuck, but him and Nate are still fighting over Blair. He tells the two that they've been friends for a long time and whoever she is, she's not worth losing their friendship over. Later, Chuck sees Howard meet with his connect. He sees Howard buy something from him, and instructs his security to keep an eye on him. During the reception, Chuck tells Nate that Howard asked to have his car brought around. Nate doesn't believe him, but Chuck insists that he saw him buying drugs. He apologizes for Blair, and Nate decides to go check on his father. Outside, he sees him pulling away and stops the car. He demands to know what he's doing, and Howard explains he left Nate an apology note at him. Nate says a relapse is okay, and Howard admits he bought a fake passport to skip town. Nate insists they'll get through the trial, but Howard confesses that he is guilty and facing serious jail time. He tells Nate to be the man of the family for Anne, and Nate replies it's been they way for awhile before punching him in the face, saying it was for Anne. Howard gets up and leaves. When Nate sees Chuck, they apologize and make amends.
In Never Been Marcused, Nate learns that the authorities have taken Howard's leaving town as an admission of guilt and have frozen the family's assets. Anne tells him that while they've been in the Hamptons, the FBI are going through their home in Manhattan and making an inventory of everything they own. Meanwhile, Nate has been sleeping with Lady Catherine Beaton, an older married woman. When he arrives back to the city and finds his home completely bare, he decides to ask Chuck for a loan. Chuck refuses, saying he's not liquid enough currently. However, Nate finds out that Chuck is secretly loaning money to Anne. Not wanting to rely on him, he agrees to continue the affair with Catherine as long as she pays him. When Vanessa finds out and advises Nate to end the affair in The Dark Night, Catherine tells her that if Nate ends things with her, she'll tell the FBI where Howard is hiding; as Nate confided to her where he is.
In The Ex-Files, when Vanessa and Blair find out Catherine is sleeping with her stepson and Blair's boyfriend Lord Marcus Beaton, they compete to end things and save Nate. Blair works out a deal with Catherine and Marcus that so long as she keeps silent about their affair, Catherine will keep quiet about Howard's whereabouts and pay off the Archibald debts, including his restitution. However, Vanessa goes to Catherine's husband and informs him of their affair. He sends them back to London and promises her that Howard will be safe.
When Nate visits Yale for a weekend in New Haven Can Wait, he finds that his legacy at the school includes most people there hating the Archibald family due to Howard's embezzling. In Chuck in Real Life, Dan finds out that Nate has been staying in the Archibald home with no belongings and that the home has been seized by the government. He convinces him to stay at the Humphrey loft for awhile, however he is kicked out in There Might be Blood after Dan sees a photo of him kissing Jenny. He decides to stay with Anne in the Hamptons for awhile.
In The Magnificent Archibalds, Anne and Nate return to New York and so does Howard. They stay briefly in a friend's apartment, as their home isn't suitable to live in. Howard explains that his life in the Dominican Republic is good, but it would be better if Anne and Nate came to live with him. Anne wants to go, but Nate is more hesitant to leave the city. Meanwhile, an FBI agent informs Vanessa, who informs Chuck, that Howard is planning to hold Anne and Nate for ransom money. He later explains to Nate that Howard was only able to get his hands on enough money to set himself up, and instead of getting a job, continued to live frivolously and was broke; and that he was trying to get in touch with the Van Der Bilt's, hoping they would pay him to leave without them. Nate is faced with a choice to either turn his father in, or let him escape. In order to put an end to the whole thing, Nate decides to turn his father in. Before the FBI arrive, Nate tells his father what he did and tells him that he won't be able to respect him unless he faces up to what he did. The two hug, and the FBI arrive to take him away. Nate holds a sobbing Anne. At the end of the episode, Nate and Anne return to their home, which has been returned to them.
In Gone with the Will, Nate, in an attempt to make amends with Dan, tells him that when everything with Howard went down, he learned who his real friends were: including Dan. He also admits that having his personal life out in the open was hurtful and challenging. In The Age of Dissonance, after being condescended to by the director of Constance/St. Jude's school play "The Age of Innocence, Nate breaks character onstage. He tells everyone that him and his family lost everything after Howard's embezzlement arrest and that he knows more about that than Julian, the arrogant director.
Nate sees his grandfather William for the first time since the scandal in The Grandfather, after being convinced by his cousin Tripp van der Bilt. The whole time, Nate was angry that William and the whole family abandoned him and Anne when they needed them. However, Nate is pleased to learn that William was never disappointed in him, and was actually proud of him for standing by Anne and getting Howard to do what was right. In Seder Anything, Blair makes a deal with William that if she convinces Nate to go to Yale, he will make her a bridesmaid in Tripp and Maureen van der Bilt's wedding. However, Tripp reveals to Nate that William was the one who had Howard investigated in the first place. Nate, who is Tripp's best man, says in his toast that despite William acting like he cares about family, he really doesn't because he tore Nate's apart. When confronted, Willam says that he had a talk with Howard and he denied his wrongdoings to his face, he was warned that action would be taken; which resulted in William's call to the SEC to prevent further damage to Anne and Nate. William also informs Nate about his deal with Blair.
In Easy J, Juliet Sharp's brother Ben Donovan hires some fellow inmates to jump Howard in prison, as a way to get revenge on Juliet become too close to Nate. He goes to see his father, and this is Howard's first onscreen appearance since The Magnificent Archibalds. Anne returns in The Witches of Bushwick, when Blair is interested in becoming the new face of the Girls, Inc. Foundation.
It's Thanksgiving in Gaslit, and Howard is excited about Nate and possibly Anne coming to see him. Nate admits that he can't get Anne to come see him, but Howard really wants to show her how much he's changed. When Nate arrives home later, he finds the family lawyer leaving papers for Anne. Curious, Nate intercepts them and realizes they're papers for Anne to divorce Howard. He asks Dan for advice, and Dan tells him that as much as it sucks, they'll probably be happier apart and that if kids could fix their parents problems, they would, but they can't. Dan continues that Nate can't find it really shocking, but Nate is more confused about why she wants out now, after he's been in prison for awhile. Nate finally gives the papers to Anne, who reasons that Howard left long before he was actually arrested and despite what Nate thinks, there is no way he's changed. She refuses again to see Howard. Before leaving for the Van Der Bilt Thanksgiving dinner, Nate goes to see his dad one last time and is surprised when Anne joins him. She says it's hard, but if her son is honestly asking her to do it, she will, but makes no promises. Nate asks what changed her mind, and she replies that while her and Howard made many mistakes, Nate wasn't one of them. After leaving the prison, Anne admits to Nate that she sees how much he has changed and thanks him for keeping their family together. She leaves the jail before he does, but before Nate can leave, a guard tells him that having Anne on his side will definitely help in Howard's upcoming parole hearing.
Anne is upset in The Townie, that she is being uninvited to parties left and right due to Howard being released from prison on parole. Nate reveals to her that Howard got a lease on a house and probably won't be living with them. Upset at this, Anne says that Howard really hasn't changed since he's using her to get out and then taking her money. However, after hearing Howard out, Nate learns that the house Howard rented was actually a house him and Anne went to when they were first married and she considered it her dream house. Nate realizes he messed up, and apologizes to Howard. When Nate goes back to Anne and explains things, she admits that she needs her socialite status and her lifestyle more than she needs Howard. Due to her not letting him come back, he plans to go to a halfway house. But Nate tells him that he told the parole board that he can stay with Nate and Chuck at their Empire penthouse suite.
After being released from prison in The Kids Are Not Alright, Nate worries that his father is not being responsible, as his parole rules include him having to get a job and report to a parole officer. After attending a party, Nate calls his father, as his parole officer can't get ahold of him. Howard insists he's having a job interview, but Nate doesn't believe him, as it's late at night. Meanwhile, an old Bass enemy, Russell Thorpe and his daughter Raina Thorpe have arrived in New York and want to buy and dismantle Bass Industries. It's revealed that Howard is having a job interview with Russell.
Nate finds out in Damien Darko about who Howard's new employer is, after he excitedly tells him about his new job. When Chuck finds out, he asks Raina to have him fired, as their working together is a conflict of interest. Raina refuses, saying Russell and Howard are old friends and she had no idea they lived together. Meanwhile, Howard discovers Nate tried to have him fired and gets upset with him. He tells Nate he would rather live in a halfway house than with someone who only halfway trusts him and moves out. He then goes to see Russell, where he informs him that there is no longer a Bass conflict of interest and anything he might need, Howard is willing to do.
In It-Girl Happened One Night, Howard reveals to Nate and Chuck that he was accidentally copied on an email about how Russell plans to breakup Bass Industries, despite the fact that it's more profitable kept whole. However, Chuck is skeptical since earlier that morning, he made a deal with Russell to prove how much Bass Industries is actually worth. At a party hosted by Chuck, Russell fires Howard. When Howard asks why, Russell explains that he leaked a private document, and despite the leak being what he wanted all along, he can't have people around he can't trust. After the party, Howard tells Nate and Chuck that when he turned in his Thorpe Enterprises keycard, he gave them the one to the gym at The Empire but kept the one to Russell's office. He also supplies them with passwords to all the accounts, but warns them to act quickly as they're changed weekly.
After Lily's sentence to house arrest, she's excited to see Anne and all her friends to help them make gift boxes for the Pink Party. However, she's disappointed when Anne arrives to tell her that it made more sense to do it at the house where it's being held. Seeing how sad Lily is, Rufus, Serena, and Eric get the Pink Party moved to the Van Der Woodsen penthouse in Petty in Pink. At the party, Anne informs Lily that after all she's done, there isn't a single woman at the party who didn't take at least a little pleasure in her downfall. She also tells her to fix her dress, since her house arrest ankle bracelet is showing. This is Anne's last appearance in the series.
In Beauty and the Feast, Nate's new interest Diana Payne tries to get Anne (who is mentioned but never shown onscreen) to give an interview on her side of Howard's arrest. Anne refuses. During this episode, Anne also tries to get Nate good internships; although he takes one with Diana at The NY Spectator.
After Nate's arrest, his girlfriend Sage Spence brings Howard back to help. Howard admits to Nate that he needs to take some of the blame for not setting a good example. He promises that they'll fix it, and he's being targeted due to his father's mistakes. Nate reveals that he really is guilty, and Howard is surprised. Once he makes bail, they see Bart at a party where he's being honored. Howard asks Bart to take his name off The Spectator, but he refuses saying it's not for sale, and he's taking too much pleasure in watching Nate struggle. However after Bart's death, the paper is solely Nate's. This episode is Howard's last appearance.
- Howard attended Dartmouth College.
- Whenever Howard and Anne fight, he brings her flowers and or jewelry to make her come around.