- "'I wish I was your dad,' he said angrily. 'If I was, you wouldn't talk about taking stupid shop courses."
- ―Chris Chambers
Christopher "Chris" Chambers is one of the four boys from protagonist group circle of friends in the short story The Body from Different Seasons, as well as the film Stand By Me, based on the story. In Stand By Me, he is portrayed by River Phoenix in the film and instead of having lived in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine (which is the case in The Body), his hometown of Castle Rock was stated to be in Oregon instead of Maine.
Chris grew up in a family of alcoholics, and is constantly looked down upon by the entire town just based on this association, despite not actually possessing any of their general ill nature himself.
Chris is an average build, mid-height 13 year old boy with slightly tanned skin, short light brown hair and green-blue eyes. He's usually shown in a loose white t-shirt tucked into high waisted cuffed jeans with black converse shoes. Towards the beginning of the movie, he is shown with a packet of cigarettes rolled into his right sleeve.
During the Labour Day Weekend of 1959 (1960 in The Body) at 12 years old, Chris sets off alongside his closest friends, Gordie LaChance, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio to find the body of a boy their age named Ray Brower who attended school in a neighbouring town, Chamberlain. He had been reported missing and Vern's brother's best friend Charlie Hogan had confided in him that the boy Ray Browers was indeed dead as a result of a passing train that had hit him whilst he was out picking blueberries near Back Harlow Road.
On their way to find Ray Browers' body, Chris confided in Gordie about his anger and frustration with being treated like the rest of his family, even though he had never done anything to earn such a reputation personally. Ultimately, Chris and the others finally located the corpse and faced off against his brother and the hoodlum gang which also included Vern's older brother. Through Gordie's courageous actions, they saved the body and made the decision to just make an anonymous phone call reporting Ray Brower (in The Body, it was the hoodlums who made the anonymous call).
As he grew up, he remained friends with Gordie until college, but as of hitting full high school fell out of friendship with Vern and Teddy. He, with Gordie's help, managed to let go of much of his anger towards his family image, and put in a tremendous amount of effort in high school - enough to eventually become accepted into University.
Chris died in a fast food restaurant as the result of a fatal stabbing he suffered while trying to stop a fight. In The Body, Chris was, at that time, a student in University. In Stand By Me, Chris had succeeded in law in the college courses he took and had ultimately became an attorney before being killed.
His death lead to an older Gordie at the 'ripe old age of 34' getting the hard material to write a story based on them, even detailing his killing.
- "It's like God gave you something, man - all those stories you can come up with."
- "You're just a kid, Gordie."
- "If your parents are too fucked up to do it, then maybe I should."
- "Not if I see you first."
- "Do you wanna be the Lone Ranger or the Cisco Kid?"
- "You're gonna have to kill me Ace."
- "Skin it."
- "I just wish I could go some place where no one knows me!"
- "I'm never gonna get out of this town am I, Gordie?"
- "Yeah, but you're gonna be stupid for the rest of your life."
- "Why don't you go home and fuck your mother some more?"