Characters: Archie Comics
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Archibald "Archie" Andrews
Archibald "Archie" Andrews
The star of the series, introduced in December, 1941. Known as the "Typical Teenager", Archie is clumsy, girl-crazy, dopey but occasionally bright, and constantly forced to juggle between Betty and Veronica in an epic Love Triangle
. He's the centerpoint of everything, having the most Giant-Size series and digests of all the characters, and most everyone in the series is important to him in some way.
- A Boy and His X: Little Archie and his puppy, Spotty.
- The Alleged Car: His famous jalopy, "Ol' Betsy". Even in modern stories (where the jalopy—way too old to even be a realistic "lemon" anymore—has been replaced by a model merely four decades old) it's a heap, frequently breaking down, exploding or leaking oil.
- This carries over to the 3000 series that sees Archie driving around a hover-car version of his Mustang. It still has a tendency to break down.
- Alliterative Name
- Art Evolution: His bow-tie and yellow-checkered pants are long gone; the same goes for the ancient-looking school sweater (most of the time, anyway). Also, his 40s buck teeth and really ugly appearance have vanished.
- Big Brother Worship: as Little Archie, he is good friends with, and looks up to, Betty's older brother Chic.
- Big "NO!": In Life With Archie: The Married Life issue #36, he shouts out this trope as he sees Wendell's gun pointed at Kevin Keller before jumping into the fray and in the line of fire.
- Depending on the Writer: Is Archie one of the best players on a sports team? Or does his klutziness apply there, making him a benchwarmer who can barely play? What sport is he even playing? It totally depends on what story the writers want to tell. His success with girls tends to vary based on the kind of story as well — he'll either have an easy time getting any girl's number, or he'll be nervous about asking someone out.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- His first demand in his very first panel? "Call me Chick!" instead of Archie or Archibald. This was dropped within months.
- Early Little Archie strips portrayed him as a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk, to put it very mildly.
- Famous Last Words/Dying Declaration of Love: In Life With Archie: The Married Life: "...I've always loved you..." He says this as he is dying of a bullet wound. And for an extra arm twister, he confesses his love in front of Betty and Veronica! In both universes!
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
- The Fundamentalist: During the period in which Archie Comics produced evangelical tracts, he would pray to God to smite his enemies. And it worked.
- Golden Snitch: in a school scavenger hunt, one of the items is a "willing tycoon", so Archie promptly asks Mr. Lodge to come to the designated meeting place before the time expired. The actual focus of the story, Betty and Veronica, rack up points for many items, accumulating 2,200 points. How much points did Archie get for summoning Mr. Lodge? 5,000. The in-universe Fridge Logic of why Ronnie never bothered to actually call Mr. Lodge, her own father, for the hunt, was immediately lampshaded.
- He-Man Woman Hater: In the earliest of Little Archie strips, Archie had a vehement hatred towards girls and went out of his way to beat up Betty and Veronica for little-to-no reason.
- The Hero
- The Hero Dies: Towards the end of Life With Archie: The Married Life. His death was already announced beforehand in April 2014, but its nature not revealed until three months later.
- Heroic Sacrifice/Taking the Bullet: In both continuities of Life With Archie: The Married Life, he ends up taking the bullet for Kevin Keller before dying near the end.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jughead, though Arch ditches him for tail at a moment's notice.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Most of his schemes will backfire in one way or another.
- Kavorka Man: He's not ugly by any means, but even in-universe he's described as being nowhere near as attractive as he should be considering the types of girls he pulls.
- Loser Gets the Girl: Despite being portrayed as having only average intelligence, looks, and skills, Archie usually has 2 or more girls vying for his attention. Sometimes his kind attitude is seen a plus, but other stories have him be more oblivious usually towards Betty.
- Love Triangle: Among fiction's most iconic and famous. Will he choose Betty or Veronica?
- Red-Headed Hero
- The Rival: To Reggie, sometimes.
- The Runaway: Little Archie was once punished by his parents that he contemplated pulling this. He tells Betty that he might have gone through with it, if it weren't for a mysterious stranger who warned him against running away. To that day Archie doesn't know who the stranger was, and would have liked to thank him/her. When Archie time travels to the past, he finds out that it was he was the stranger all along, just in time to talk his younger self from running away.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Reggie's Manly Man.
- They Fight Crime: His frequent adventures fighting spies, or his stint as "Pureheart the Powerful", usually pulling a Follow the Leader act at a current crime-fighting fad (The Man From UNCLE, Superhero stuff).
- Two-Timer Date: Arguably the most famous example. How many times has he accidentally set up dates with Betty and Veronica for the same time again?
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: in one story, Archie gets a part-time job helping put up traffic signs. He decides to drop by the Lodge Mansion before putting a couple of sings up ("Stop" and "Detour - Turn Right") in their designated places just to visit Veronica. ALL passing vehicles saw the signs outside the estate, and go into the driveway, causing a serious traffic jam. And Archie thinks Mr. Lodge is placing the blame on him the second Lodge saw him, and runs away angrily, completely unaware that he really is the cause of the whole mess! One of the few times Mr. Lodge had good reason for prohibiting Archie from entering the estate.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Draws this a lot from Jughead (usually) over his shabby treatment of Betty.
Elizabeth "Betty" Cooper
Elizabeth "Betty" Cooper
The pretty, popular, all-around Nice Girl
, introduced in December 1941, during the very first story. Initially portrayed as a good cook who was a bit flighty, Betty was modified post-Women's Lib into a feminist who was masculine as well as (opposed to instead of, making her unusually three-dimensional for a comic book character) feminine, becoming a Jack of All Trades. Portrayed as the "Nice One" in the eternal Love Triangle
- Art Evolution: Her hair changed a bit from the jump in styles during the 1950s, going from standard long, flowing, curled locks to her signature ponytail. Only the occasional new hairstyle has ever been used since (usually the "long hair plus ponytail" look).
- Betty and Veronica: Herself as Betty.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In the story "A Woman Scorned" in Archie #156.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Blonde.
- Character Development: A lot of it- initially, she was very flighty and kind of a "Dumb Blonde", and usually entirely focused on domestic pursuits. By the 1960s, she'd morphed into a combination of a tomboy and girly girl. She also used to be much more desperate to pick up Archie, and was nearly always a definite loser for his heart. Only later did Archie actually seem to want to date her most of the time.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Archie.
- Depending on the Writer: Whether or not Betty is a sore loser or a sad loser depends on who's writing. Her obsessiveness over Archie varies as well.
- Dumb Blonde: Her early characterization, a lot of the time.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic.
- Girl Next Door
- Kindhearted Cat Lover
- Love Triangle: The nicest of the trio.
- Only Six Faces: Famously identical to Veronica except the hair.
- Prayer Pose: In the evangelical 1970's Archie strips, Betty was constantly praying.
- Satellite Character: Many would be surprised to know that Betty has two adult siblings- Chic the government spy, and Polly the successful reporter. Neither appear very often.
- The Smart Girl
- Supreme Chef: Especially in comparison to Veronica.
- Sweater Girl
- Team Mom: To the point where she can be nurturing towards strangers.
- Tomboyish Ponytail
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Veronica. The two started out the series back in the 1940s as bitter rivals, but some time around the 1950s were morphed into best friends / rivals in love. They still viciously fight each other over Archie, and occasionally play oneupsmanship, but for the most part (and Depending on the Writer) they're completely believable as close friends who just happen to share everything together, including character flaws and boyfriends.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Betty, an aspiring writer, decided to show her new novel's synopsis to her friends, and they quickly peg it as Betty writing about them, despite Betty insisting it's all fictional. (to be fair, the names Betty made for the expies are very thin alterations to the character they're based on: Artie, Jarhead, Ox, just to give the more obvious examples) The gang quickly gets offended about the characteristics of their novel counterparts, and Betty had to trash her novel and write a new one.
- Wrench Wench: Women's Lib led to Betty taking on many tomboyish traits, including being the best mechanic in Riverdale. The boys either see this as a turn-on, or just use her to get their cars fixed, depending on the story.
- Yandere: Back in the old days, she could be seen as this. In one notable issue, she actively tried to MURDER Archie, after he broke one last date.
Veronica "Ronnie" Lodge
Veronica "Ronnie" Lodge
Debuting in April, 1942 (only a few months after the series started), Veronica is a seductive rich girl and the girl most likely to get Archie's heart racing. Sometimes spoiled, often vain, and frequently prone to temper tantrums, she gets several moments in each story to show that she's got a heart of gold underneath her attitude. Her father, Hiram, was a major character (arguably the most important of the parental characters), but mother Hermione was at-best a Satellite Character
. "Cousin Leroy" was a fixture of the comics for a long time, hanging out at the Lodge house as a bratty prankster-type of young kid.
- Alpha Bitch: If Cheryl Blossom isn't around, she can often lean towards this, especially when she and Betty fight over Archie.
- Betty and Veronica: Herself as Veronica.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunette.
- Brats with Slingshots: Her rarely-seen-anymore Cousin Leroy was this, in a strictly 1950s-60s bent.
- Character Development: Used to be an awful, truly heinous bitch, and was vastly controlling, selfish and egotistical. She's been on a steady decline since the '50s, gaining the heart of gold and becoming Betty's actual friend to go along with their romantic rivalry.
- Characterization Marches On: Her usual Alpha Bitch personality was rarely seen throughout "Veronica's Passport".
- Depending on the Writer: Is she an evil Rich Bitch or is she a really Nice Girl who's a bit spoiled?
- Everyone Has Standards: Sometimes, the people from the same social standing as her family are too snobby even for her.
- The Face: She's The Chick and her skills are mostly social instead of practical, but she contributes by being the only one with unlimited wealth and resources.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
- Friendly Enemy: With Betty, although this depends on the writer.
- Generation Xerox: all of her ancestors are gifted businessmen much like Hiram himself. When she sets her mind to it, Veronica can also be an effective one.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: She'll snap whenever she feels humiliated or threatened, and is the character most likely to undertake a Revenge Plot. She usually just reserves her wrath for anyone who hurts her friends...and sometimes Jughead.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: No matter how mean she can be to her friends, she's always the first to come to their defense — even Jughead's.
- Idle Rich
- Informed Attractiveness: With the same face and body as every other girl in Riverdale, Veronica is nonetheless sometimes described as the most attractive. One story even has Archie saying that "Betty is beautiful on the inside, but Ronnie is beautiful on the outside!", and it only takes a tiny effort to get her to pry him away from Betty.
- It's Fake Fur, It's Fine: One Digest had an old strip about her fur clumsily edited to say "Fake Fur" every time she mentioned what she was wearing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Being mean most of the time, Veronica gets many Pet the Dog moments to offset this, often revealing her good side deep-down.
- Lethal Chef: Her Jell-O is tough and chewy. In one strip, news of Archie's impending feast of Veronica's cooking results in a line of boys saying their heartfelt goodbyes- even Reggie!
- Lots of Luggage: Wealthy, spoiled Veronica Lodge has been known to bring a great deal of her extensive wardrobe along with her when traveling, regardless of the destination.
- Ms. Fanservice: It's pretty much a given that she'll be wearing the most-revealing outfit of any given strip, especially the beach-themed ones. Sometimes she's even been arrested for wearing "indecent" bikinis on public beaches- and the artists show it! Later on, Cheryl Blossom takes her crown.
- Old Money: She is part of an old money family from New York (based on a real life family from Boston), and her father moved to Riverdale to try (unsuccessfully) to avoid her being a Spoiled Brat like her peers.
- Only Six Faces: Famously identical to Betty except the hair.
- Pet the Dog: Often quite mean, and almost always very demanding, Ronnie will usually come to Betty's aide if she's in need, and can generally be counted on to feed some poor people or take care of some orphans.
- Pretty in Mink: Still wears furs occasionally.
- Rich Bitch: Often shows tendencies towards this, especially to Jughead. Her superheroine code-name was "Miss Vanity" for a reason.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Oh yeah. Her spending habits are legendary, as well as her father's frequent blow-ups over her rampant Credit Card use.
- The Rival: To Betty and Jughead.
- Satellite Character: Cousin Leroy was one to her. A bratty little kid, he was seemingly there more for childish pranks and someone to be younger than the main characters than anything else- it rarely even came up that he was from a rich family.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money! And Connections!: Rarely invokes these to cheat, but her ability to schmooze and get what she wants from rich and powerful people has helped the gang out on many an occasion.
- There was one time she was sent to a school in Rome full of nasty girls that reduced her to tears on occasion. When she realizes that she was accidentally picked up at the airport by the wrong person and bought to a reform school instead of a business school, the headmistress starts sweating as soon as Veronica says her last name is actually "Lodge" and picks up the phone to call her dad. She basically begs Ronnie not to ruin her life.
- Spoiled Brat: To poor Mr. Lodge's exasperation. He actually sent her to Riverdale High instead of a private school to try and avert this.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Sometimes.
- Tsundere: Most likely to snap at Archie if he steps out of line.
- Uncle Pennybags: Veronica is a female version in many stories, happily letting her friends enjoy her mansion. She's also been depicted in a couple of stories as pawning off clothes that she doesn't want anymore on Betty...which actually leads to Betty having a pretty fancy wardrobe herself.
- Veronica's father Hiram Lodge is also depicted as this in some stories, namely on those occasions when he isn't throwing a fit over Veronica's spending sprees or Archie destroying yet another expensive possession.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Lampshaded many times, including on one occasion that she had a shop that sells her hand-me-downs.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Betty. The two started out the series back in the 1940s as bitter rivals, but some time around the 1950s were morphed into best friends / rivals in love. They still viciously fight each other over Archie, and occasionally play oneupsmanship, but for the most part (and Depending on the Writer) they're completely believable as close friends who just happen to share everything together, including character flaws and boyfriends.
- Walking the Earth: Technically speaking, her mini-series "Veronica's Passport".
Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III
Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III
Archie's best pal, debuting in December 1941 alongside Archie and Betty, Jughead was a noted woman-hater at first, famous for being the Big Eater of Big Eaters. An overall weirdo, he tended to follow his own path, avoiding the girl-crazy antics of his male co-stars. Initially a misogynist, he recieved Character Development
and eventually became more disinterested in romance as much as anything, and actually made friends with girls like Betty. Some stories in the early 90s played with romance for Jug, but were ultimately short-lived. He became an older brother in the 1990s, gaining a sister in Jellybean (aka "Forsythia").
- A Boy and His X: Jughead and Hot Dog (who actually appears in teen-era stories, unlike Archie's dog Spotty).
- Aborted Arc: Jughead's Love Triangle with Joani and Debbie didn't last more than a year, despite how well-known it is amongst adult Archie fans. The fans at the time obviously didn't take to it. His "Punk" phase with the mohawk was even shorter.
- Alliterative Name
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Surprisingly, his trademark beanie was once a real fashion accessory of 1940s teenagers. They would cut their father's work caps into the jagged-edge shape and wear them. Nowadays, it just makes him look like a kook.
- Art Evolution: His mother underwent a shift in the mid-90s (around her pregnancy), changing from basically "Jughead in a wig" to a normal-looking woman. Lately, she seems to have shifted back a bit.
- Berserk Button: Any time food is threatened, Jughead gains superhuman strength. Reggie and assorted minor bullies and robbers have all fallen victim to this.
- Big Eater: Among the most iconic examples in all of fiction, especially in the West. Often eats things that are literally impossible in real-life, such as burgers over ten feet in diameter, or fifty burgers in one sitting.
- Brilliant but Lazy: He is second only to Dilton in intelligence. Sometimes he is not even lazy, as he wins awards for his great marks.
- Celibate Hero: Jughead was initially misogynistic, but is now usually uninterested in pursuing romance, preferring the simpler (and less painful) world of food. Many stories have played with this, trying to figure him out. The answer reached in the 1990s was that he liked some girls, but love was so complicated (his first crush broke his heart by moving away when they were kids) that he ultimately returned to the simple joys of eating.
- Character Development: Jug was normally a cynical woman-hater at first (even going to near-impossible lengths by today's standards), slowly warming to Betty over the years as a friend, but by the 1990s, writers frequently toyed with giving him girlfriends (he even had his own Love Triangle for a while!). He's still a non-dater, but he clearly has female friends now, and no longer freaks out and runs if they touch him accidentally.
- One story in the 70s featured him going bowling with Betty and having an epiphany that he could just be friends with a girl without any of that mushy romantic stuff.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Depending on the Writer: Jughead's woman-hating can vary, as some arcs actually show him with an interest in some girls. Also, he's either one of the a lazy, poor student, in spite of his intellect, or one of the best students in school.
- All Drummers Are Animals: He's not exactly a wild child, but he's certainly the weirdest member of The Archies.
- Embarrassing First Name: Forsythe. Even his parents call him Jughead, as do the teachers.
- He was so much used to this, that, in one story, when Mr. Weatherbee decreed that Jughead be addressed by his first name, Juggie couldn't even respond to anyone calling him.
- Eyes Always Shut: Famously his default expression. He'll open them if shocked or surprised, and spent a good deal of the 1990s with them consistently as open as everyone else's, but usually it's his trademark along with the hat and sweater. Other characters often point this trait out, and it's usually seen as him being too lazy to open them all the way. One older comic even displayed his eye states as backwards, where keeping his eyes open rendered him blind but he was able to weave his way past obstacles as if they weren't even there upon shutting them again.
- Famed In-Story: in the "Jughead Time Police" series, he has gained a reputation for being one of the world's greatest crimefighters. To the point that the local museum has dedicated a whole wing to showcasing his life story.
- Flat Character: His girlfriend Joani was a case of this- having few characteristics besides an obsessive love for Jughead. The other half of the Love Triangle, Debbie, was more of a rocker chick with her own attitude, but often fell into this as well.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
- Gag Nose
- Guile Hero
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Archie, though ol' Arch tends to ditch Jug at the nearest possible moment, in search of tail, so this is more from Jughead's end.
- In Little Archie, this extends to their pets Spotty and Hot Dog.
- Iconic Item: it wouldn't be Jughead without his beanie.
- Intellectual Animal: Hot Dog's a lot smarter than he lets on, much like his owner.
- The Lancer
- Love Triangle: Jughead developed a crush on a new girl named Debbie in the early 90s, and right then, Joanie Jummp (a childhood girlfriend) came back into his life. The resulting mess followed many similar Archie storylines, including the girls being best friends with each other (often hanging off of Jug simultaneously).
- Mistaken for Gay: For years Wild Mass Guessing and Alternate Character Interpretations placed Jughead as this, which made a joke in the first Kevin Keller adventure so funny. Veronica, not knowing Kevin is gay, gave him a giant heart-shaped box of chocolates. Kevin wanted to turn Veronica down (and didn't like the chocolates anyway), so he gave the box to Jughead, who would eat anything. Veronica sees this and, having just found out before that Kevin is gay, starts crying that even Jughead is stealing boys away from her now.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Always goes by Jughead (he despises "Forsythe", his real name). Trula Twyst calls him "Juggers" as a mock-name.
- The Rival: Trula Twyst, a psychiatry-obsessed student who frequently butts heads with Jug, manipulating him and trying to figure out what makes him tick. She founded the "J.U.S.T. Cause", devoted to curing his girl-hating. Also Veronica, who steals Archie away from his best friend. And then Reggie, who is locked in an eternal prank war with Jug.
- Shipper on Deck: He ships Archie and Betty and becomes visibly annoyed whenever Archie chooses Veronica instead.
- While addressing the readers, Jug pointed out that he sees Betty as the lesser of two evils, since "Nobody shares with Veronica Lodge".
- Smarter Than You Look: He may appear to be slow and uninterested, but Jug is actually pretty intellectually gifted and astute.
- They Fight Crime: Aside from his adventures alongside Archie's spy-fighting and superhero antics, Jughead was a member of the Time Police for a brief period. Teaming with Archie's descendant January McAndrews, they sought to fix time anomalies.
- Through His Stomach: A frequent victim, this trick nearly always works.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Hamburgers.
- Two-Timer Date: Once accidentally did this with Joani and Debbie, thanks to a magic genie. The irony was not lost on him.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: has a cousin that looks exactly like him — Nathan. Problems arose for Jug when Nathan shows up in Riverdale, and starts unintentionally ruining Jughead's reputation; for the unaware, Nathan is The Casanova. Yeah. There's also Jug's other, more recurring cousin, Souphead, who's basically a Mini-Jughead.
- The Unreveal: Jughead often wore a shirt with a large "S" imprinted on it. In one story, Jug and his family were going to move to a new city. He was going to reveal to Archie the meaning behind the "S," but once it was revealed that Jug wasn't moving after all, he decided to save the secret for another time.
Reginald "Reggie" Mantle
Reginald "Reggie" Mantle
A jerk and prankster, Reggie is a romantic rival with Archie for Veronica's affections, and has an even less pleasant rivalry with "Spindle-snoot", aka Jughead. Usually, Veronica is not that interested in him, but if he has the money and the car to get where Archie can't, it's "see you, Archiekins!" Occasionally delves into being a good person deep-down, depending on the story. Reggie debuted in the summer of 1942, completing the five-man ensemble at the heart of the series.
- The Big Guy
- Bullying a Dragon: Any time Reggie tries to play a joke on Moose or date Midge without Moose knowing, you just know things won't end well for Reg.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes. At other times, he's a "Hyuk! Hyuk!" type of over-acting Ham. Either way, he's the first one with a derogatory gag.
- Depending on the Writer: How much of a jerk is Reggie, anyways? He's either a conniving, scheming prankster who actively hates Archie and Jughead, or he's actually just their sarcastic friend.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Used to distinguish Reggie from even worse antagonists. For example, when Reggie lost the class president nomination to Kevin Keller and David Perkins, David proposed a team up between the two, and subtly suggested smearing Kevin with anti-gay propaganda. Reggie, a man who just a few panels before was explicitly lying by promising everyone no homework and free iPads if he won, angrily asserts that he might be rotten, but even he's not rotten enough for homophobia.
- Much like Lex Luthor and his reputation to NOT be a dick on Albert Einstein's Birthday, Reggie is also like this on Christmas.
- Freudian Excuse Featured most prominently in the Freshmen Year prequel series. Unlike his friends who all have really close, tight-knit families, Reggie often comes home to an empty house. One particularly effective page has then 14-yr old Reggie sitting alone in the kitchen for hours, hoping in vain that his cool, upperclassmen friends will contact him. Nobody calls.
- Jerk Jock: Great athlete and obvious jerk.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: How close he is to one or the other depends on the story- he's often an enormous prick to everybody, playing pranks all the time, but some stories either have him temporarily warm up Grinch-like, or establish him as someone who hangs out with the gang regularly. Some stories have the rest of the gang defend him as "our jerk!", and often times he's seen palling around with Jughead, his arch-enemy in other stories.
- Large Ham
- Missing Mom: Borderline case. Unlike the other characters in the Main 5 who often have stories featuring their parents, only Reggie's dad, Ricky Mantle, who works for the Riverdale Gazette, makes consistent appearances. On the rare occasions where his Mom might appear in a panel, she goes unnamed and her appearance changes every time.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Plays bass guitar in the garage band, and gets the least fan mail out of all the members of 'the Archies' quintet.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Shows that he's Not So Different from his pals, Archie and Jughead. Once Archie, Reggie, and Jughead attended a party hosted by a group of wealthy Riverdale youth who were recruiting new members for their club. Archie is initially given a pass because he dates Veronica but Jughead is immediately dismissed as a boor. Offended on Jug's behalf, Archie leaves too. Reggie is allowed to stay, however all the rich boys refer to him as Reginald and mock the lower class for using an Affectionate Nickname. Reggie realizes that prefers his friends' casual attitude and chooses to hang out with Archie and Jughead instead.
- Pair the Spares: According to Life With Archie: The Married Life, he ends up with whichever girl Archie doesn't choose.
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Tempting Fate: Every time he tries to date Midge.
- The Rival: A romantic one for Archie (Reggie likewise chases Veronica), a prank-based one for Jughead.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Archie's Sensitive Guy.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Thinks really highly of himself, despite evidence on the contrary.
- The Proud Elite: He comes from a well-to-do family, gets high grades, is captain of whatever sports team is the focus of the story, tends to have women swooning over him, and boy does he know it. Hilariously, he's a triple-layered jerk: Aloof and rude to people in general, beneath that a fun-loving prankster Jerk Ass to his circle of friends, and beneath that has a genuine heart and sincerely cares deeply about his friends.
- Too Dumb to Live: infamously the one in the comics to actively pursue Midge on an alarming basis. How many times has he tried flirting with the girl, even when her boyfriend was nearby? He should know that Moose is going to beat him up.
- Sees an article about sharks while at the beach, and he decided to catch one to be a hero? We get this exchange:
Archie: What do you know about catching sharks?
Reggie: Plenty. I watch all those shark movies on TV, don't I?
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Archie. Sometimes with Jughead too. One story that involved Reggie getting Stage Fright during his first attempt at stand-up comedy led to Jughead heckling him, which got Reggie mad enough to reply and then go into the rest of his routine.
"Big" Ethel Muggs
"Big" Ethel Muggs
Ethel, before and after the makeover.
A large, skinny, buck-toothed ugly girl, primarily shown as psychotically chasing after Jughead
to play off of his girl-hating nature for cheap gags. It was played so cruelly at first that Jughead even made fun of her appearance on a frequent basis! By later decades, she was developed into a Nice Girl
with a crush, and even had other male interests for a while. She debuted in May, 1962, and underwent a visual evolution in the early 2000s, become more homely than hideous.
- Ascended Extra: Ethel got a major boost in the Christian-themed Spire-produced comics of the 1960s, being featured as a main character alongside Archie, learning about the Christian faith.
- Character Development: She was originally stupid (complete with Moose-ish "d-uh"s) in addition to ugly.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Jeffrey, a blind boy, was introduced into the strip in the mid-90s as a love interest for Ethel. It didn't pan out (largely because it screwed with the popular dynamic, and because Ethel herself was virtually the tenth-most-necessary character, so there was no room for a Satellite Character of her very own).
- Demoted to Extra: This was her fate when Jughead had his own Love Triangle with Joani and Debbie. Years of chasing Jughead, and now he hooks up with two new hotties? Poor Ethel had a couple strips dealing with this (once helping Jug out when he accidentally offended Joani), but it was too depressing to really focus on, so it was mostly dropped until that storyline was done.
- Depending on the Artist: Just how gawky and ugly she is can change between artists, not to mention her current case of...
- Gonk: In an aversion to Only Six Faces, Ethel was given a skinny and flat-chested body, a single buck tooth and a hairstyle that was absurdly old-fashioned even for the 1960s.
- Huge School Girl: Her height earned her nickname.
- Love Triangle: With Jughead and Jeffrey (a blind boy) for a brief period in the 1990s. Jeffrey was nice to her and liked her, and Jughead even seemed to be jealous and wanted some attention. It didn't last.
- Only Six Faces: An exception, much to her chagrin. She is literally the only unattractive teenage girl in Riverdale.
- Progressively Prettier: Ethel's Gonkishness has faded a bit over time, giving her a more normal-looking face, to the point where some issues make her look honest-to-God attractive. Most of the time, though, she's still gawky and a bit too thin.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: when Archie goes out with her in a Not a Date story, he was actually stunned by her change in appearance.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Almost entirely focused on Jughead, to the point of insanity. A few stories have shown her with interests in other boys, who even returned the favour (Dilton, Jeffrey, even Archie), but most of these were either one-shot stories or short-lived escapades.
- Through His Stomach: A common way for her to con Jughead into dates. Either by cooking food herself, or promising to pay for his meals, she'll get him one way or another.
The pint-sized, bespectacled super-genius of the Archie Universe, Dilton features heavily in nearly any story requiring genius, robots, science fiction or wacky inventions. If a story with him doesn't involve his smarts, it's usually his shyness around girls. Dilton—named as such—debuted in the Archie daily comic strip in 1948 and moved to the comic books in 1950. Interestingly, various "bookworm" characters shown before him in the comic books had many of his traits, and even his visual appearance.
- Alliterative Name
- Brains and Brawn: Brains to Moose's Brawn.
- Breakout Character: A background character just beneath the main cast, he's had a starring role in several stories, and even had his own series once- Dilton's Strange Science, featuring his sci-fi adventures with girlfriend Danni.
- Canon Discontinuity: Poor Dilton has hooked up with Danni Malloy and blazing hottie Cheryl Blossom in continuity, but both were ignored alarmingly quickly — Cheryl went right into a fan-voting contest to see who her next boyfriend was going to be. Who knows where his relationship with Brigitte will go?
- He even got to date Veronica in one story, after she became so fed up with Archie and Reggie fighting over her that she resolved to go to the dance with the next boy who came by...who just happened to be Dilton.
- Expy: He was replaced in cartoon spin-off The New Archies for Eugene, a black kid with most of the same personality traits, to add a Token Minority to the cast that wasn't Chuck.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Informed Attribute: He and Moose were often said to be the best of friends in some stories (Wikipedia even mentions it) — this was rarely reflected in the actual events of the series.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Type IV (see Teen Genius)
- Pair the Spares: With Brigitte, as both were background characters (her more so than him) with no one else in their lives.
- Phrase Catcher: the "Explorers of the Unknown" series inverts this; when someone starts thinking up a smart plan, another character would immediately say, "I thought Gizmo (Dilton's character) is the genius!".
- Shorter Means Smarter
- The Short Guy with Glasses
- Smart People Play Chess
- Slobs Versus Snobs: When he debuted in the daily strip, Dilton had the vaguely effeminate dress and snooty manners of a stereotypical early 1900s snob—thus his surname Doiley (i. e. a lace doily, cliched effeminate-snob gear).
- Teen Genius: Leads to the most out-there stories in Archie comics, frequently defying reality beyond mere "cartoonish" conventions. Robots, aliens, super-computers and the like are mundane things to him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His relationships with Danni and Cheryl Blossom vanished without a trace.
Chuck Clayton and Nancy Woods
Chuck Clayton and Nancy Woods
During the 1970s, Archie Comics added a black friend to the main cast. Chuck was initially a jock, and shown equally as friendly as the rest of the cast, but later years morphed him into the official "Artist" of the group, and many stories involved him and girlfriend Nancy (added a few years after him, in order to give him a girl), and her frequent annoyance with him ignoring her in favor of art. Chuck debuted in 1971, Nancy in 1976.
- The Ace: name a sport, any sport. Chuck will always be one of the best athletes.
- Alliterative Name: Chuck.
- Black and Nerdy: Chuck, from the 1990s onward. Less nerdy in terms of being a loser than simply an over-committed comics geek and artist.
- Black Best Friend: Both of them, for Archie and Betty, respectively. Neither are actually the best friends of the pair, but it still fits.
- Character Development: Chuck was initially a pretty generic guy until they started focusing on his artistic career. A bit egotistical and snarky, even, but he eventually just became obsessive and dorky.
- Flat Character: Nancy has very few unique character traits, being one of the least-used recurring female characters (the teachers and mothers of the cast, plus Betty, Ron, Midge and Ethel). She's pretty much "Generic Nice Girl" unless she's getting angry at Chuck for ignoring her for his art career.
- The Nineties: Chuck starts to sport a fade or a flat-top.
- Official Couple: One of the very few in the comics.
- Satellite Character: Nancy was originally one for Chuck, and later became one for Betty (in scenes where Ronnie wasn't necessary to be a talking post).
- School Newspaper News Hound: Nancy was often this in later years to give her something more to do than being Chuck's girlfriend.
- Sequential Artist
- The Seventies: Chuck's decade of origin can be pretty obvious in stories from that era, thanks to his big afro.
- Token Minority: One of the first in Archie Comics, coming in a bit later than Valerie of the Pussycats.
- Token Trio: Chuck was often grouped with Archie and Betty this way in the 1970s.
- Why Don't You Marry It?: Nancy sometimes feels like she's playing second-fiddle to Chuck's artist pasttime, and she calls him out on it like this.
Marmaduke "Big Moose" Mason and Midge Klump
Marmaduke "Big Moose" Mason and Midge Klump
A hulk of a man, Moose is dumb to the point of mental retardation at times, and has a good heart, but God help you if you mess with "My Gurl". Midge is basically a Flat Character and either someone for boys (usually Reggie) to covet, or as a token "third friend" to Betty and Ronnie.
The Pembrooke-born snob who debuted in 1982 as kind of a "third choice" seductress that took Riverdale by storm. She was short-lived, but made a surprise return at the end of "The Love Showdown", becoming a major recurring character. She spent most of the 1990s in various Limited Series and her own book, but eventually most of that was dropped and she became a minor supporting character.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead.
- Character Development: She became nicer as her own series moved forward, replacing her Rich Bitch persona with that of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She disappeared twice before ending up a permanent, though sporadic, character.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Some of her sexier antics seem extremely bizarre for a children's comic book series, and even rival the Fanservice in Image Comics.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The personality (sometimes) used in her own series. She became much less conniving, but still a glory-hound.
- Ms. Fanservice: Took the crown from Ronnie right away. Dan DeCarlo gave her a Pamela Anderson clone body, with even larger breasts and buttocks than was normal for Riverdale girls, and was frequently seen in skimpier clothes than all the others. In one beach storyline, she tried to go topless.
- Only Six Faces: A notable aversion, as her body type was different than the famously-similar other Archieverse girls, but her face was as well — she had thicker lips and lashes than everybody else.
- Put on a Bus: She was actually written out in the late 90s as actually moving away for a while. This lasted a few years, and she returned (without her own series this time) as a minor character.
- Replacement Flat Character: Was this to Veronica, being a hotter, snobbier, richer girl who won Archie over with sex appeal, once Veronica had become a nicer individual. Cheryl actually needed her own Niles once her own series moved forward and revealed her nicer side as well.
- Third-Option Love Interest: The former Trope Namer. Famously came in as a "third choice", and temporarily had a legit shot at taking over.
- Villain Protagonist: A few of the stories in her own series were this.
- Wolverine Publicity: Cheryl exploded onto the Archie scene on her 1990s return, quickly getting one limited series after another. Finally, she got her own series and was a constant feature. Eventually, backlash set in, and she was actually written out of the books again before the decade was over, and is now just a recurring character.
One of the newest characters added into the series. Kevin's the new kid in town who's quickly become good friends with Jughead and Veronica. He's also interested in becoming a journalist, and the local news paper publishes his articles now and then. He was introduced in 2010 as one of the first positive portayals of an openly gay character in a series aimed for children — to put it mildly, it was huge
. Kevin's introduction and accompanying mini-series sold out faster than any previous Archie comic, and spawned his own graphic novel within two years. Now he has his own permanent series, which already had a staggering number of pre-orders before it even hit shelves.
- Alliterative Name
- Big Eater: Kevin shares Jughead's voracious appetite.
- Cat Smile: His face seems to be permanently stuck◊ in this expression, even when frowning.
- Foil: To Jughead. Jug and Kevin bonded instantly over their mutual love of food, but in other ways they're total opposites. Jug is straight but can't stand women, Kevin is gay but loves all the girls in town. And while Jughead hates Veronica (or at least "frenemies" hates her), Kevin and Veronica have fast become best friends.
- Gay Best Friend: To Veronica after she gave up on seducing him. To Jughead when they discovered that they both enjoy food.
- Hot Scoop: Male example.
- Incompatible Orientation: Veronica never stood a chance.
- Military Brat
- New Transfer Student
- Straight Gay
- Token Minority: He's the only (out) gay recurring character. All his dates so far have been with one-shot walk-ons.
- Wolverine Publicity: Not only did Kevin's introduction issue and own mini-series sell out (enough to warrant a reprint of both under a variant cover), but just his presence on the cover is enough to sell out other series, as the Life with Archie issue that featured his wedding was practically sold out before it even went to print (the only places to get it now include the Archie Comics mobile app, and one of the Life With Archie paperback compilations).
A psychiatrist's daughter, Trula becomes obsessed with manipulating the emotions of people, especially one Jughead Jones. It's never quite clear if she has romantic feelings towards "Juggers" or if she's just doing it for the sheer fun of it, but she's become a fairly important fixture of the Jughead books since her debut in the late 1990s.
- The Chessmaster: Jughead is merely a lab rat; once the Riverdale High student body witnessed what she could do (turning the uber-misogynist Jughead into her willing slave), she became the most popular girl in school... her real object all along.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Depending on the Writer: Usually it's a question whether or not she likes Jughead, but a few times she's outright stated it (and one writer had her kiss him!).
- Femme Fatale: More or less. Doesn't use sex as much as her brainpower and manipulation, though.
- Fiery Redhead
- More Than Mind Control: Her unique powers of persuasion.
- Only Six Faces: Slightly averted. Resembles the other girls, but her nose is usually depicted as a bit more triangular in shape.
- Psycho Psychologist : A supreme one. She once convinced Jughead to not like hamburgers.
- The Rival: To Jughead.
- Smug Snake: Nearly everything she says is done with an evil smirk.
The Riverdale High Faculty
The Riverdale High Faculty
A rather large cast of characters, though only a handful are fairly prominent. Major castmembers include Mr. Waldo Weatherbee (the obese school principal), Miss Geraldine Grundy (a token crabby teacher), Coach Kleats (an obese old-school football coach), Coach Floyd Harry Clayton (Chuck's father, a more in-shape coach), Prof. Elmer Benjamin Flutesnoot (the Chem & Sciences teacher), Miss Bernice Beazley (a crabby cafeteria worker) and Mr. Svenson (the gag-foreigner Swedish janitor). Less characters include Miss Haggly (another crone of a teacher), Miss Phlips (The Bee's secretary), Mr. Grimley (a long-suffering guidance counsellor prone to ulcers) and Vice Principal Patton Howitzer (a nasty drill sergeant).
Josie James and The Pussycats
Sabrina Spellman, The Teenage Witch
Sabrina Spellman, the Teenage Witch
Originally introduced as a one-off character in the 1960s, Sabrina became one of Archie's major secondary characters over the years, often having her own comic book, several Animated Series
and, most famously, her own Sitcom
in the late 90s/early 2000s. Her shtick is Exactly What It Says on the Tin
, a teenager who's secretly a witch and is being raised by her two spinster aunts (also witches, natch) to learn the use of her powers. Supporting characters include her (mortal) boyfriend Harvey, and Salem (a human turned into a cat as punishment for trying to conquer the world). Sabrina's stories, by their nature of involving magic, tend to be quite fanciful or outlandish, and she wasn't above hosting horror anthologies back when those were popular. While Sabrina's stories are usually set in her own hometown, she'll also occasionally appear in stories set in Riverdale (as a visiting friend of Archie, Jughead, and the gang).
For more on Sabrina, see her own page
Wendell the Busboy
Wendell the Busboy
A mysterious individual who appears in the last quarter of the remaining issues of Life With Archie: The Married Life
. Not much is known about his life, except that he was taken in as a new busboy of the Chocklit Shoppe by Jughead. Lately, however, Wendell has been stalking Kevin Keller
and his husband Clay Walker for a long time now and hates getting his pictures taken. It seems that there is something very shady about him... It is later revealed by the end of the series that he is a Heteronormative Crusader and a gunman who shot Clay during one of his robberies in Issue #22 and later goes on a rampage by shooting down gay employees in the Southport Mall in Issue #30, and is now seeking to end Kevin's life when his attempt to stop Kevin from becoming a senator on gun control fails. It will have to take a Heroic Sacrifice from Red-Headed Hero Archie to save the day...
- Beard of Evil: Starts growing a goatee as the story moves on to Issue #36.
- Beneath Suspicion: Almost no one suspected that he is the shooter until Issue #36.
- Black Best Friend: Almost to the point of stalking Kevin and Clay around.
- But Not Too Black: His skin tone can be this.
- Dramatic Drop: Drops the dishes when he fears that his cover may be blown in Issue #36.
- The Dreaded: Armed with a gun and filled with a strong hatred for homosexuality, he strikes fear in the hearts of the LGBT people. It's no surprise that Agent Mitchell and his team fear for Kevin's life.
- Heteronormative Crusader: Wendell fits this trope down to a T.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: He baffles the police and Archie and his friends to the point when they're not sure if he has an agenda, or if the shooter can be found or revealed.
- Mysterious Stranger: He is this to Jughead, Archie, and their friends.
- Only One Name: He prefers to be secretive and mysterious with this trope.
- The Reveal: In Issue #36, when Agent Mitchell and his team learn that the suspect is among everyone in the after-party, Wendell fears that his cover may be blown and drops the dishes in an attempt to conceal his identity by hiding among the crowds. But from the time that Archie shouts out, "HE'S GOT A GUN!" when he pulls out his gun to shoot Kevin, up to the time that Archie pulls out a Heroic Sacrifice, we all know who Wendell really is.
- Scary Black Man: Kevin and Clay refer to him as this. They both turn out to be right when he makes an assassination attempt on Kevin.
- Stalker Without a Crush: He becomes totally obsessed over Kevin and Clay so much. So much that he wants to kill Kevin for his marriage to Clay and for becoming a gay senator on gun control.