From left to right: Betty, Jughead, Archie, Veronica, and Reggie.
Originally known as MLJ Comics (after its three founders), Archie Comics soon took the name of its most popular character, a teen named Archie Andrews, who debuted in Pep Comics #22, 1941 in a story drawn by Bob Montana. A cast slowly grew around him and his buddies, and by the mid-1950s, the world had mostly normalized into the cast we'd now recognize. Preaching that Status Quo Is God, a large array of stock plots and occurrences (the Love Triangle of Archie, Betty, and Veronica; Jughead conspiring against Reggie or women; Ethel chasing Jughead; Reggie chasing Midge and confounding Moose; Dilton being smart; Chuck obsessing over comic books; Archie and Jughead running afoul of the teachers, etc.) have become among the longest-running themes in fiction. With the start of Dan DeCarlo as primary artist in the '60s, Archie Comics created its "house style".Though the eternal love triangle is the core of the strip, and only the Big Four (Archie, Jug, Ron & Betty) have any kind of long-running success in solo books, the recurring cast is actually huge. With romance so core to the books, its fanbase is inevitably mostly female (gazing at issues featuring 'dress up' and 'design outfits for the girls to wear', this should be unsurprising). But many men also grew up reading the books as boys. Archie Comics is also famous for keeping everyone the same age, and altering only the dress styles — making Archie Comics a stereotype-laden snapshot of each decade. Bell-bottom jeans, Nehru jackets, citizens band radio, disco, etc. are all brought in as new fads and then slowly dropped as new fads come in.Well known for being available in newsstands and grocery store checkout magazine racks everywhere (partly due to it also being one of the only comic books that still publish digest-sized issues, perfect for stocking near the checkouts), Archie Comics come and have come in MANY titles, including Archie, Archie Digest, Archie Double Digest, Betty, Veronica, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, Jughead with Archie, Archie's Pals and Gals, Tales from Riverdale High... It's still meant for kids, but (as this article proves) there's a large number of adults who still read and enjoy them out there.While Archie Comics is best known for its comic books featuring Archie and/or other "Riverdale" characters, their output has never been limited to those characters. Archie published stories with a number of superhero characters, including the Shield, a patriotic hero who actually predated the more popular Captain America, the Hangman, the Fly, the Jaguar, and others. Starting in the early 1970s, these and other "non-Riverdale" titles have often been published under the "Red Circle" imprint. Archie has also published a number of licensed titles over the years, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures. The two most successful non-Archie titles have been Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats, both of which were spin-offs of the original Riverdale series. Both of them spawned several animated series, and while the film version of Josie was unsuccessful, Sabrina the Teenage Witch was one of the most popular teen sitcoms of the late 90s / early 2000s.Archie Comics pushed for the creation of The Comics Code, and more or less ran it. Archie was the last publisher officially adhering to the Code when it ceased to exist in early 2011. Unofficially, they had ceased following it decades ago, but nobody noticed because things like sex, drugs, or violence were never really part of the Archie universe anyway.Archie also appears in Newspaper Comics form, courtesy of Creators Syndicate.More information and activities: http://www.archiecomics.com/Comic book features associated with Archie Comics:
Accidental Athlete: One story has Archie and Betty walking by the football field while the team is practicing. Archie says that if they were in an old movie, a stray ball would fly in his direction and he'd kick it it fifty yards, thus earning him an instant spot on the team. To Archie's chagrin, when a stray football does make it their way, it's Betty who kicks it straight between the uprights. It seems that "they don't make old movies the way they used to."
Alliterative Name: Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Dilton Doiley, Coach Clayton, Trula Twyst, Evelyn Evernever, and a few others. Some are nicknames or titles, but it still fits. And possibly the best example in this group: Marmaduke Merton Matowski "Moose" Mason.
Aluminum Christmas Trees: Surprisingly, Jughead's trademark beanie was once a real fashion accessory of 1940s teenagers called a "Whoopee Cap": the teens would cut their father's old fedoras into the jagged-edge rim shape, pin buttons on it, and wear them as a fashion statement. Long before that, this style of hat was popular among adult factory workers and mechanics. Nowadays, it has mutated into a form unique in itself, no longer much resembling the real-life version, and just makes Jughead look like a kook.
Art Evolution: There was a massive one in the late 1960s, coinciding with Dan DeCarlo's promotion to the artist for nearly all Archie comic covers. Soon, all the new artists were mimicking his style as the 'base' Archie, though a few older artists continued to draw their own way. It was enough that the clothing styles are all that can define most stories from the 1960s until now, when a few more "out there" artists like Fernando Ruiz have put their own stamp on the "DeCarlo Style".
Then there's the "Dynamic New Look" art style, which goes for a more realistic approach. It's only used for specific story arcs, though.
Berserk Button: Jughead kicks ass on a pair of robbers when they try to steal the Chocklit Shoppe's hamburger supply.
A much more prevalent example is the extremely jealous Moose, who gets very angry whenever anyone hits on his girlfriend Midge, leading him to usually hit them as punishment. This also applies to Midge herself, who becomes just as livid whenever another girl hits on Moose.
The interesting thing about them being that Betty and Veronica are inseparable best friends. They have each other's backs 99% of the time, it's just that they both want the same guy (and he's head over heels in love with them both). Stranding the 3 of them on a deserted island would either lead to murder...or it might be their private idea of Heaven.
The first issue of Life With Archie: The Married Life actually includes a display of an Archiemultiverse. Dimensions include "The Happy Days of the 1940s-50s," "The Fantasy World of Little Archie," and "Archie's New Look," among others.
Butter Face: Big Ethel, in her early days. Eventually Fail Polish set in big time, to the point that in the '90s she was downright attractive with just a bad Pebbles Flintstone haircut.
Canon Foreigner: For "The New Archies", a version featuring the group set in their middle school era, the characters of Amani and Eugene were created. "Fangs" Fogarty and Ambrose appear in the elementary-setting "Little Archie". None of the four made it to the mainstream continuity in anything other than a one-shot or cameo.
Ambrose's abscense in the main stories is explained once by him moving away. There is one main story where he comes back for a visit and rekindles with Archie.
Canon Immigrant: Betty's older siblings, Polly (a reporter) and Chick (a spy). Both debuted in the Little Archie stories of Bob Bolling when older teens were needed for the kiddie-based tales. Later on, he added them to the mainline continuity as successful siblings who'd moved out of the Cooper household. Betty's Diary stories made the most use out of them- otherwise it depends on the writer (they weren't even at her Future Wedding!).
Cavalier Consumption: Jughead is normally apathetic and somewhat aloof. The only thing he openly takes seriously is food. This results in his eating during serious discussions, with other characters getting annoyed at him. However, more often than not he really is paying attention and is simultaneously thinking on two levels: About his food and about the discussion at hand.
Celibate Hero: Jughead doesn't so much hate women anymore as he is simply not interested in romance, believing it complicates a guy's life and taxes his funds. This doesn't keep girls from hitting on him, though. Big Ethel is usually the one who pursues him, although in one story all the girls in Riverdale pursued Jughead because he was the only guy not wearing an overpowering cologne at a school dance, much to his chagrin. His blatant misogyny was altered by 1989 into being conflicted problems over women, as he had many romantic liaisons during the '90s: Joani Jummp, Debbie, January [McAndrews], Anita the crippled girl, etc.
He also has a magical hatpin at one point that attracts girls. In a subversion, the pin (sometimes) makes him want to be with girls.
In one story, he gets a date with a girl named Terri thanks to Reggie trying to make her think Jughead's the "Second-Best Romeo In Town" but with the pin drawing Terri to Jughead, Reggie gets thwarted—and the small-scale Villainous Breakdown he goes through once Archie told what went on is priceless.
It was explained in one comic that Jughead stays away from girls because he's witnessed how much grief they cause Archie.
Archie: I wonder where he found Her?
Reggie: You wouldn't believe me even if I told' you!!
Character Development: Betty was initially shown as a more typical "domestically talented" girl, and often rather ditzy. By the 1960s, the Women's Lib movement had converted her to the more familiar tomboyish/girly-girl mix, and boosted her intelligence by a great deal.
Jughead has also gone through a transformation, from a one-note girl-hater (often blatantly misogynistic to the point of "hating dames") into a character sometimes conflicted (the Joani Jumpp years, the recent "New Style" arc, dating a handicapped girl, etc.) about love for women, ultimately returning to the less complicated world of food.
In the Archie's Marriage Omakes, Moose realizes that he's being abusive and possessive towards Midge, and breaks up with her. He also calms down a lot, presumably to avoid an assault charge now that he's an official adult.
Chased Off into the Sunset: A story had Jughead timing Archie for the latter's partaking in a track meet, where he is astonished to learn that he just broke the record for being the fastest there is. Come the day of the track meet, after Archie wins the race, Coach Kleats then reveals to Archie that Jughead's stopwatch is actually a lot slower than Archie, which angers Archie so much that he starts chasing Jughead at the end of the story.
Childhood Friend Romance: Betty, the Victorious one, when Archie marries her. Romance sweeps the entire town when this happens.
Of course, she turns into the Unlucky one when he marries Veronica, complete with unemployment. Naturally, the latter gets by pretty well when he marries the former instead.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Used too frequently to even list all the victims. A comic with a fairly large base cast that constantly introduced new recurring characters in nearly every year, this happens a lot. Ask old-school fans about "Adam the Alien", Jinx Malloy, January McAndrews or Cricket O'Dell. Even Cheryl Blossom got this in the 80s. A few characters are actually shown moving away (Cheryl in the late 1990s), but most are just casually ignored with no mentions after a few years of appearances. We'll see where the new pair of Asian girls, Wendy Weatherbee, and others end up.
Many characters (Jinx, Cricket) simply got Demoted to Extra, while others, like Frankie Valdez, were shown having moved back to Riverdale. With Archie Comics, it's hard to tell if someone's really been dropped, as an occasional comic will have one of these minor age-old characters reappear as if nothing was different. Not to mention the Digests that reprint old stories.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Betty and Veronica both become more than a little crazy whenever another girl takes an interest in Archie. Less commonly seen is how Midge goes nuts whenever another girl shows too much interest in Moose.
With Midge it's done as a lampshading of Moose's usual jealous behavior.
Clock Discrepancy: In a comic, Big Eater Jughead is in class, and informs the teacher, Miss Grundy, that "his stomach" says its lunchtime. She reminds Jug that the clock on the wall reads 10 before noon. At that moment, the school janitor Mr. Svenson enters the classroom with a ladder. The purpose? To adjust the clock, which he said was running ten minutes slow.
Comic Book Time: Archie and the gang have been in high school for nearly seventy years.
Crossover: Most of the characters in Archie Comics are accepted to be set in the same universe, so it's reasonable for Sabrina to show up in an Archie story, or for The Archies to perform alongside Josie and the Pussycats. The biggest example is the Civil Chore(s) story, where the writers get as many characters as they can think of together for a single-page spread.
Crushing Handshake: A story had this happen to Mr. Weatherbee when congratulating substitute hall monitor Maria Rodriguez for teaching the other students not to run in the halls. Maria is actually a lot stronger than she looks so she crushes the bee's hand while giving him a handshake. The last panel shows Mr. Weatherbee getting his hand bandaged by Miss Grundy.
Cuteness Proximity: Characters are prone to this in general, especially Betty and Veronica. But what might be the most notable example was when Chuck marched around town being a jerk for some reason, and Archie stopped this by putting a kitten in his path. Chuck immediately picked up and played with the kitten.
"Secrets of the Deep", one of those adventure-oriented stories, had an evil treasure hunter shooting at the gang with a spear gun and setting an electric eel on them!
Which is nothing compared to 2013's Afterlife With Archie series, a straight hardcore horror written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, creator of the comic adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand and an upcoming film remake of Carrie where Sabrina and her aunts zombify Jughead's deceased dog, who in turn bites Jughead, unleashing a plague of zombies upon Riverdale. In addition, the series contains several risque jokes and Veronica wears a Sexy Whatever Outfit to the Halloween dance while Betty wears a Naughty Nurse Outfit (although at one point a character still says "Hades" instead of "Hell"). It is highly likely that this comic would not have been publishable had Archie Comics not withdrawn from The Comics Code.
To give you an idea of just how disturbing it is, they brought a model of a sandwich with Veronica's severed head to Comic-Con!
These things change within stories drawn by the same artist, too, especially the design of Veronica and Archie's homes. Dan DeCarlo said in an interview that the publishers once tried to make him establish a consistent look for the interior of Archie's house, but he found it was too limiting.
Depending on the Writer: Many characteristics of the characters vary over the years and between writers. Variable character traits include: Jughead's hatred of women (misogyny versus avoidance of romance), Betty's obsessiveness regarding Archie (ie. is she crazy, or just a standard young girl in love?), Veronica's bitchiness, Reggie's evil, Mr. Lodge's heartless businessman tendencies, and Archie's womanizing. Various character traits are up for grabs as well — Archie is either the best or the worst athlete on any given sports team, Jughead is either a poor or very good student, and Betty's siblings tend to disappear depending on what the current writer knows about her past.
Josie and her early friends were very much opposite-gender versions of the Archie gang- a redhead hero, a quirky best friend, a blonde nice character and a brunette nasty one competing over the hero, etc.
Gender-flipped in a Betty and Veronica comic that sees the young woman meet a wealthy, brunette young man named Don Sodge, and his middle-class, blonde friend Benny. The similarities they share with Betty and Veronica go so far as to have both of them trapped in a Love Triangle with a redheaded young woman, Andi Archer. After Betty and Veronica decide to go home, Veronica and the guys awkwardly share this exchange:
Don: Is it because you don't think we have anything in common? Benny: Is that it? Veronica: Gulp! No! Absolutely not! In fact, we have too much in common! 'Bye!
Don't Try This at Home: One story where Veronica directly addresses the reader has her cautioning them not to follow her example, saying that she's rich and spoiled and hatching evil schemes is "expected" of her.
Double Standard: Used in one of the comics, when Midge gets annoyed with Moose for hitting men merely for talking to her. During the course of the day, Midge catches him helping out Betty and Veronica with various things and points out to him that if she were being that friendly with a boy, he'd be furious. Moose decides that she's right and promises to ease up. Turns out that this was all set up by Midge to begin with and Betty and Veronica were in on it. This turns into Hypocritical Humor when we see that Midge goes just as crazy whenever another girl takes a romantic interest in Moose.
Dumb Blonde: Betty Cooper used to be this in some early stories, before Women's Lib put the kibosh on that. She was often confused, ditzy and a total loser compared to Veronica, rather than the smart, funny, athletic girl we all know today.
Subverted in a story where Archie shows up at Betty's house to beg her to mend a torn pocket for him in time for his date with Veronica. Betty pretends to be so ditzy and disorganized that it takes her about eight hours to do the simple repair job, during which time Archie is forced to stay there with her and stand up Veronica entirely.
Melody would also count. There was a story in which she was certain that nylons were an endangered animal and that Josie and Alexandra's fake fur coats were made from "cute, cuddly orlons".
Long before (as in nearly two decades before) Melody there was Suzie who was in many ways a Proto-Melody being a very sweet natured and gorgeous but clueless blonde.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Archie's first story establishes that the titular hero actually hates his first name and insists on the nickname "Chick". This peculiarity is entirely forgotten by the second story.
Egocentric Team Naming: Archie named his rock-n-roll group "The Archies." You'd think Reggie (if no one else) would have a problem with that.
That Wilkin Boy featured Bingo's band the Bingoes, who were just Expies of the Archies.
Expy: Archie has Expies in Wilbur Wilkin (though Wilbur actually debuted first, he quickly became like Arch) and Bingo Wilkin years later. Both were clumsy guys who were girl-crazy. Both had Reggie-like antagonists and Jughead-like weird friends as well.
Even Jerkasses Have Standards: When Cedric, the best friend of Jason Blossom, sabotages Dilton to have Pembrooke Academy (his and Jason's school then) win a quiz show, Moose manages to win on a sports question, and then clobbers Cedric when he found out what Cedric did to his "little buddy." Jason, understandably, congratulates the Riverdale team and leaves Cedric hurting.
Eyes Always Shut: Jughead, famously. 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. In one comic he went to an eye doctor and passed with flying colors with his eyes still closed. These days the artist seems to compromise with his eyelids drooping but not quite closed most of the time.
Fanservice: To an amazingly large extent, considering that Archie is mostly for girls. Artist Dan DeCarlo was a cheesecake art king, and featured the girls in the skimpiest bikinis allowed in any era, to say nothing of major sexpots like Melody (who suffered Clothing Damage at least once) and Cheryl.
This was parodied in one story, in which Betty and Veronica stumble across a nudist camp. When they tell Mr. Lodge later, they say that they'll never be nudist...as they go off in their bikinis.
The popularity of DeCarlo's cheesecake art was such that the company released its first glossy hardcover book (think coffee table reading) called The Art of Betty & Veronica. While the book mostly explores how the art style of the comics has changed over the years, it's no small coincidence that the cover features Betty and Ronnie modeling in swimsuits.
First Episode Spoiler: The third strip of the newspaper comic revealed that actually, Veronica's so rich that she has a private chauffeur take her to school, making Archie look pretty stupid with his bragging about owning his very own car.
Five-Man Band: They often trade roles depending on the writer, but this is the most common arangement:
Five-Token Band: Sort of; while not meeting the numbers requirements, virtually all of the new class of characters are of a non-white ethinicity, as if the Editors are deliberately building a "one of each type" mentality. Lightly subverted in that the new characters now include a rare four Asians — one Chinese, two Japanese, and one Indian.
Flash Forward: Archie Marries Veronica and Archie Marries Betty, which are set after the gang has graduated from college.
Follow the Leader: The Archie series was meant to capitalize on many of the "Andy Hardy" features of the era. Its own popularity soared enough that near-countless rip-offs were created, some by Archie Comics itself. "That Wilkin Boy", "Josie" and "Wilbur" were all Archie-made blatant rip-offs (though Josie got re-tooled). Lampshaded in the "Archie Marries Veronica" timeline, when Betty's post-Archie boyfriends include Andy Hardy, Henry Aldrich and Richie Cunningham.
"Freaky Friday" Flip: One comic has Dilton accidentally switch Archie's and Mr. Weatherbee's minds, making each the two spend one night and one day in the other's life. To help remind readers that Archie and Mr. Weatherbee had each other's minds, "Archie"'s word and thought balloons have pictures of The Bee in them, and "Mr. Weatherbee"'s word and thought balloons have pictures of Arch.
Fur Bikini: Betty and Veronica tended to wear them in "Archie 1" Caveman-era stories.
Furry Fandom: There was one story where Archie, Betty and Veronica studied Animal Stereotypes in Lit class, and started matching classmates with animals they resembled in temperament or body type; the character would morph into an anthropomorphic version of the animal. The story ended with a catfight- with both Betty and Veronica as Cat Girls.
The Gay Nineties: One writer, Al Hartley, did a few stories with the Archie gang in the 1890s: dedicated to telling everyone how much better things were back then. Weirdly, these were written in the 1970s, long after the craze for gay Nineties nostalgia had died. Check it out here (with added snark for your reading pleasure).
Gender Bender: In "The Great Switcheroo", Sabrina the Teenage Witch's cat Salem casts a spell that changes the sex of everybody in Riverdale. The story plays a bit like a Gender Flip in execution, as none of the transformed characters know what their "true" sex is supposed to be, but it "really" happened, and Sabrina's eventual reversal spell isn't actually a Reset Button. There's even video evidence suggesting that the gang spent a day as the opposite sex, even if none of them remember it.note Archie #636 (2012)
A 1950s storyline focused on the cluelessness of women. Archie's mom goes into a frenzy trying to find her purse, which Mr. Andrews exasperatedly reveals has been in front of her all along; Archie learns from this situation and later willfully ignores Veronica while she desperately searches for her own purse, until it is, again, found to be right in front of her. Mr. Lodge then compliments him on his understanding of females.
Another "classic" example of this ended up being reprinted in a more modern double digest. It demonstrated the ridiculousness of working professional women. The reader is invited to consider how silly it would be to have women in men's jobs, with funny vignettes portraying women failing in a number of professions including police officer and doctor.
Geographic Flexibility: Riverdale has been shown having a local beach, a mountain range, a river, a lake, several ponds, cold winters and hot summers; and has been described as either a tiny one-school town or a fairly large city, with an airport, a stock exchange, large businesses and TV studios... basically anything any story could need, ever, just for the sake of convenience.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In a 1959 Christmas story, when Veronica asks Archie what he's going to give her dad for Christmas, he simply responds, "The bird!" Veronica is understandably offended until Archie shows her the canary he intends to present to Mr. Lodge. Another story featured Mr. Cooper trying to force Archie to marry Betty after catching them in what appeared to be a semi-nude state.
Another instance: The boys plot a "Save Our Beazly" campaign upon learning that the school chef will be downsized. One boy prompts that they should make bumper stickers, just using the initials. The others quickly hush him up. Wonder how that one skipped the censors.
A recent story has Archie as a news reporter. After Jughead mixes up the cue cards, he begins the news with "It looks like that jackass is up to his old tricks again!" with a picture of Mr. Lodge in the background. Veronica is upset until the mistake is corrected. The news story was referring to an actual jackass, not Mr. Lodge.
Once Betty was moping around the school. Someone (I think it was either Miss Grundy or Mr. Weatherbee) told her to stop "mooning around". Betty was shocked, thinking she was being accused of mooning people.
Betty mentioned two friends to a third friend of hers: Ronnie and Juggie. When he meets Veronica("Ronnie") he assumes she's Juggie...possibly because of her jugs.
There's one where Veronica panics because she thought Betty and Archie showered together, and another where she nearly freezes to death because she thinks Archie and Betty are sleeping together.
Reggie sabotages Archie's jalopy to take Veronica to a dance. Veronica, hearing a false story from Reggie, feels sorry for Archie, while Reggie assures her that he's probably "enjoying himself".
Another strip has Archie going to a gift counselor to ask for an idea of a birthday present for Mr. Lodge. The counselor's suggestion? Her phone number.
Archie is in a women's store as a favor to Betty. One of the sales clerks has this line:
Is there something you'd like to see in a nightgown...like me?
Veronica dresses up as a flower at a masquerade party, so, to impress her, Reggie dresses up as a bee. Subtle.
In a Frank Doyle/Dan DeCarlo story from 1962, Betty and Veronica try to live the way boys do, and wind up using male tactics to pick up a couple of handsome boys. At the end of the story, Jughead arrives as Archie is watching the couples leave:
Jughead: Would you care to explain what just happened?
Archie: Aw! They're making out like they're boys!
Jughead: I can see that they're making out! Now would you explain the rest of it?
One cover shows Archie buying Veronica a frisbee for her birthday. When he speaks about how surprised she'll be to get it, Betty informs him that Veronica is expecting a "pearl necklace" (in double-sized bold blue text no less).
Another cover has Archie saving Betty from drowning, and talking about how he had to "beat off" three other guys to do it (in double-sized bold RED text this time). Yeah, they knew what they were saying.
Headdesk: After ignoring a warning from his mom that it looks like rain and he might catch a cold if he goes out, Archie and Jughead both get soaked and head for Veronica's place. After going through a sauna and doing laps of a pool to try and avoid getting sick ("No germ would be stupid enough to stick around for that punishment") Archie gets home and...sneezes. "Banging your head against a wall is not an accepted cold medicine!"
Held Back In School: Jughead discovering he had never graduated grade school had to do a make-up test to avoid this.
Hello, Nurse!: Various characters nearly always draw this reaction ? Cheryl Blossom and Melody Valentine, most often. Veronica tends to do so on bikini covers. Betty usually only does if and when she dresses up for an occasion to one-up Ronnie.
Helping Granny Cross the Street: A 1970s issue of Archie's Joke Book had a one-page joke in which Moose carried Miss Beazley, the high school lunch server, across a busy street, ignoring her protests. After they reach the other side, she tells him that she didn't want to cross the street in the first place.
Archie and Betty come across Jughead and an old woman cross the street, and they find it sweet on Jughead's part...until they learn that she's his aunt and that it was she who was helping Jughead.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Archie and Jughead, obviously. More so in Juggie's case than Archie's, since Archie's shown hitting on anything in a skirt, and will readily bail on his best friend.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Most schemes hatched by the characters will backfire in one way or another. When Archie is trying to save money for his date with Veronica even though he promised to take Betty for a drive in the country, he tries to keep Betty distracted from wanting to buy lunch. He ends up getting a speeding ticket, which Betty points out is a lot more expensive than if they'd stopped for hot dogs and ice cream.
One story had Archie, Betty and Veronica participating in some charity bike ride. Veronica decides to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, acting like she had fallen off of her bike. Unfortunately for her, the "injury" meant that she couldn't be at the dance that night. Veronica gets mad and kicks her bicycle. This time, she does injure herself.
Once, Veronica tricks Betty into humbling a chauvinistic Archie in tennis, only for Ronnie to play the hapless beginner in her own match against Archie, even though Veronica is already shown as being better at tennis than Betty. The manager of the country club later recruits Archie to be a representative in a mixed doubles tournament, and Veronica suggests herself, naturally, to be his partner. Archie instead chooses who he believes is much better than him, Betty. Whoops...
Hollywood Magnetism: There was a story in which Archie acquired a very large magnet, which he carried in the back seat of his car. As he and Jughead traveled, the magnet attracted anything and everything that was made of metal.
Hollywood Pudgy:invoked Brigitte is meant as An Aesop on judging people by their appearances, as she's Riverdale's only fat girl. Unfortunately, they made her as pretty as most of the female cast (just with a double-chin), and only slightly overweight.
"Home Alone" Antics: One story has Archie and Jughead house-sitting for Mr. Lodge. Although the mansion has a sophisticated security system, the boys decide to play it safe and add some extra anti-burglar defenses, involving the usual buckets of water, tin cans, flypaper, etc. Of course, Mr. Lodge comes home and walks into all the booby traps.
Hustling The Mark: In one story, Mr. Weatherbee reveals that when he was younger, he used to hustle people at “pitching pennies". Miss Grundy, who claims to be bad at the pastime, convinces him to show off his skills in a friendly game. If Mr. Weatherbee wins, Miss Grundy buys him lunch and if Miss Grundy wins, he buys her a dozen roses. It turns out Miss Grundy is an expert at the game and she easily defeats him.
Improbably Cool Car: Archie's jalopy, believe it or not. In 1941, the 1916 Ford Model T was a car around 8-9 years older than Archie himself (completely believable). In 1980, it was a museum piece.
The 1966 Mustang that replaced it has gone through a similar process - a believable cheap beater in 1983 (even as a convertible), a pricey, sought-after classic now. Time to scan the schematics for a '99 Honda Civic into the AJGLU-3000...
Incompatible Orientation: Veronica tries her hardest to flirt with Kevin. Too bad he happens to be the only gay man in town.
Informed Attractiveness: Veronica is usually treated in-story (more commonly early on) as more attractive than Betty, despite being famously the same face & body with new hair. It's excusable when one considers that Ronnie dresses much better, often showing more skin, and Betty can compete on an even keel whenever she stoops to Ronnie's level (ie. dressing in skimpy gowns/bikinis).
One story even makes fun of this, when Archie thinks he's talking to Veronica, only to find out that it's Betty trying out a black wig.
Pat Kiernan, the reporter covering Occupy Riverdale, is the morning anchor for NY 1, a 24-hour cable-news television channel focusing on the five boroughs of New York City. (He's also known for playing himself or a reporter in several TV and movie cameos, and hosting/"question reading" a few game shows in the 2000s. The Other Wiki has more info on his career.)
Jail Bait: Somewhat has Unfortunate Implications in the sense that grown men have discussed how hot Betty and Veronica are for years, but in every incarnation, they're never older than 17. At least they're drawn as busty, curvy grown women and not obviously meant as pedo-bait.
Made a bit understandable in the case of people who grew up reading the comics. Betty and Veronica started out as a Precocious Crush: for many young boys.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Reggie Mantle is a mean-spirited prankster much of the time, but he takes steps to prevent anyone actually being seriously hurt either by his pranks or anyone else. Veronica functions as the female equivalent.
Know Your Vines: One comic ended with the revelation that the corsage Archie gave Veronica to wear at the prom was poison ivy.
L Is for Dyslexia: Moose. He fits all the classic signs, including excelling at sports. In the late 1980s, soon after the publication of a certain best-selling book on dyslexia and intelligence, Miss Grundy tested Moose for dyslexia. She, and other students, began giving him special tutoring geared to his learning style. (It may have come off like a Very Special Episode to a lot of cynics, but to some who actually suffer from the condition, it was likely quite touching).
The Married Life features the same subplot as a reasoning for Moose's seeming incompetence. Miss Grundy refused to believe that Moose is legitimately stupid, and this convinced him to improve his lot in life.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One comic cover (Betty and Veronica No.46, 1994) has Veronica using the barcode as an earring. "Betty: Only Veronica could turn a UPC Box into something chic!"
Long Runner: Famously so- Archie should be in his 80s by now. It predates nearly every comic book superhero but the very originals, and 99% of any "Teen" genres.
Loser Gets the Girl: Archie's not a good student, not exactly handsome or well-built, and is usually a clumsy, poor athlete. Yet Ron & Betty fight over him, and he has no problems getting dates with any other random girl in Riverdale.
Manipulative Bastard: Trula Twyst, the arch-nemesis of Jughead. She uses her powers of persuasion (bordering on mind control) to, on separate occasions, convince him he loves her, give up hamburgers, give up his master revenge plan on her, etc. Her first appearance features her convincing Jug he likes her, just so she can get the attention of all the other boys in town for "seducing the un-seduceable".
In one story, though, he knew enough about sports to help Riverdale win a quiz show with "Sports" as the category.
Ms. Fanservice: Cheryl Blossom defines this trope, being too sexy for 1980s comics (allegedly the reason why she was written-out), and then coming back in the 90s as basically Pamela Anderson with red hair. Melody qualifies for the Josie-verse characters.
Caption: One glance is enough to reveal the whole dirty plot to the astute Captain Hero!
Jughead: Aha! I can see the whole dirty plot on account of I am so astute!
Never Bareheaded: Jughead is seldom seen without his signature crown-shaped hat.
Never Trust a Trailer: Okay, so how many times has it been claimed that "Archie will finally choose between Betty and Veronica in this comic—no, seriously! Wait...why are you putting the comic back on the shelf? HEY! HEY YOU GET BACK HERE!! WE'RE SERIOUS, IT'S TRUE!!"?
Never Wake Up A Sleepwalker: One comic has Jughead, for some unexplained reason, sleepwalk through almost all of his entire school day. To avoid waking him up, the teachers give all of their students tests. During lunch, Jughead stays asleep but eats the food off of everyone's trays. He eventually wakes up when the school bell rings, suffering from no ill effects. The other students aren't very happy.
No Celebrities Were Harmed and Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Pretty much every real-life celebrity, TV show, company, movie or comic book company has some kind of mock name attached to it — e.g., Bruce Sprongsteen, Montana Jones and the Final Adventure, etc.
No Going Steady: The teens seem to believe in this. Though the girls get mad when they see Archie date another, it's generally acknowledged that everyone just dates whomever, whenever, and there's no "cheating" going on. Most newly-introduced characters are one-shots.
Not So Different: Archie, Reggie, Moose and Jughead once proposed having an RC race after school, but then they had their toys confiscated by the faculty. At the end of the story, the boys didn't get their cars back, but the race is still on...with the teachers playing the toys at the gym.
Only Six Faces: Legendary in pop culture for it. The entirety of the teenage female cast possesses the exact same frame and facial make-up, to the point that Betty and Veronica can switch identities with wigs. Only intentionally "busty" or "curvy" girls, like Cheryl Blossom and Melody Valentine, are different, as well as Gonk characters like Ethel, or Hollywood Pudgy Brigitte. Lampshaded in one issue where Betty wearing a simple brunette wig is enough for Archie (presumably the man who loves her) to mistake her for her rival Veronica.
It should be noted that Archie thought he was going crazy at the time because everything he'd been seeing that day wasn't what it looked like (a soda can that was really a radio, an old bus that was really a snack bar, a banana phone, etc.) and just wanted to meet someone "normal." It didn't help that Betty acted like Veronica to fool Archie at the time.
There's a story meant to directly lampshades this, Betty and Veronica swop hair colors just to Mind Screw the rest of the gang. All the guys get Archie's haircut and a red dye job to teach them a lesson.
Overprotective Dad: Mr. Lodge isn't very fond of Archie dating Veronica, mostly because accident-prone Archie typically destroys something valuable whenever he visits the Lodge mansion. Other stories avert this trope when Archie and his friends rescue Mr. Lodge from crooked thieves, blackmailers or business rivals.
Panty Shot: Li'l Jinx was most prone to this, as were Betty and Veronica in the Little Archie series. As teens, panty shots were limited to cheerleader bloomers and tennis outfits, but on rare occasions, they (and even Sabrina) were seen solely in their skivvies.
Performance Anxiety: One story involved Reggie getting stage fright during his first attempt at stand-up comedy, leading to Jughead heckling him, which got Reggie mad enough to reply and then go into the rest of his routine.
Portal to the Past: Several characters have gone down Memory Lane and met their counterparts from the 1940s or '50s. The street also served as a Portal To The Future, when Archie decided to go up Memory Lane and see what would happen after he decides who to marry.
Present Peeking: Archie bought his mom a sweater for her birthday, and asked Veronica to hide it at her house. However Veronica's mom snoops around for her anniversary present and finds the sweater! What's more, she loves it! But her husband, billionaire Mr. Lodge, had actually bought his wife a mink coat.
Pretty in Mink: Veronica has loads of furs, but other characters wear fur occasionally.
Progressively Prettier: Jughead's mom, Big Ethel, and Archie's & Betty's mothers have all been altered into more attractive forms in the past couple decades. A few of the fathers (Betty's father, Hal, for one) have also lost their original white hair, being recoloured in collected digests.
Public Domain Character: Archie Comics never renewed copyrights for anything they published before 1950s, and yes, this includes all the issues of Pep Comics and Archie published up to this point. This would make pre-1950 versions of the characters public domain. The reason why we haven't seen anyone else doing their own versions of Archie's gang is because Archie Comics trademarked the characters' designs (that and Archie Comics is notoriously litigious about anything even remotely related to their characters).
Put on a Bus: Cheryl Blossom, just gradually vanishing in the 1980s, had this done to her once her re-introduction in the 1990s wore out its welcome, and she moved away. They brought her back within a couple of years, this time without her own series.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Archie #635 had the "Occupy Riverdale" movement, making Riverdale the most recent area it's affected.
Replacement Flat Character: Cheryl Blossom is basically a bitchier, meaner version of Veronica, amplifying most of her negative traits. In Cheryl's own series, her Pembrooke friends contain many worse examples of her personality.
January Andrews, time traveler from the future, is said to be a distant descendant of Archie Andrews. She is a Gender Flip of Archie — identical to him in all ways save slightly different hairstyle and breasts. She is a recurring character who usually appears in Jughead stories. Somewhat disturbingly, Jughead is always shown to be romantically involved with her.
There have been at least two other skits in the past, one with the same idea as The Great Switcheroo.
Scenery Porn: Depending on the artist, although Bob Bolling in particular seemed to love nature scenes.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Played straight with Veronica and inverted with her father, as she will often attempt to utilize her clout to get what she wants, while Mr. Lodge will chide her for doing so.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Frank Doyle, Archie's most prolific writer from the '50s to the '90s, loved having the teenaged characters burst into inappropriately sophisticated verbiage for no reason (except Rule of Funny).
Veronica: Wouldst thou mind removing yon nose from mine business, friend?
Betty: Forsooth, my pretty prevaricator! Itty-bitty Betty exits forthwith from your web of intrigue!
This kind of talk often appeared in films and books about teenage characters. It was probably originally intended to reflect the kids' response to Shakespeare in English or Dramatics class, by going around talking like that.
Dilton is the biggest target for this. One comic lampshades it brilliantly. Archie is attempting to look up a the definition of a word, Jughead suggests he should save time by asking Dilton. Dilton's explanation reflects his usual penchant for scientific jargon. A steamed Archie berates Jughead for his advice, claiming he now has to look up the definitions of several more words.
Sexy Santa Dress: Betty, Veronica, Sabrina and other girls would wear them quite frequently during Christmas issues, at least on the covers.
Shameful Shrinking: In a story, Veronica invites Archie to a "high society" party. She berates him like crazy while briefing him for the event, e.g. "You have nothing in common with these blue-bloods, but there's no point in advertising it". At the end, Archie is barely up to Ronnie's socks. Then Archie runs into Betty, who tells Archie what a great guy he is. Arch walks away literally 10 feet tall.
Shipper on Deck: Jughead, for Betty & Archie. He doesn't like Arch's obsession with the ladies, but Betty is a friend and the least-bad option in his mind.
Shoo Out the New Guy: Many characters over the years were introduced with great fanfare as potential regulars, and then dropped instantly when readers weren't interested.
One notable example was Adam the Alien, introduced simultaneously in all three flagship titles (Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica) in 1979, with captions promising that he'd have lots of wacky adventures at Riverdale High. He never appeared again.
Shout-Out: An old Comics Curmudgeon joke is that the Archie newspaper comic is written by a computer, the "Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000", or "AJGLU-3000" for short. In 2008, a crossed-out "AJGLU-3000" showed up on Archie's T-shirt, and the phrase has been used numerous times since then to refer to the school's computer system.
There was a shout out to Sailor Moon. Betty and Veronica were pursuing a man named "Maxfield Standin" who looked exactly like his source material.
In one comic, Veronica owned a Hedgehog, and named it Sonic.
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Archie, Jughead and Betty were all fairly young in their first 1941 appearance, resembling pre-teens. By the next issue, they were full-on teenagers.
Spanner in the Works: The vast majority of plots and schemes in any given Archie story end up derailed by this trope.
Spinoff Babies: "Little Archie" was one of the earliest (the 1960s), taking place in the gang's elementary school years. For some reason, Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy were working at their school. "The New Archies" (an Animated Series and a comic, both short-lived) came in the 1980s, and was based around their pre-teen years in middle school. The former appears to actually be in continuity (told nowadays as flashbacks), but the latter, with several replacement characters (Eugene for Dilton, among others), is mostly forgotten.
During the "Pureheart the Powerful" series, the little Archies all became superheroes, too.
Spoiled Sweet: An Alternate Character Interpretation of Veronica. The two regularly compete for Archie's attention, but are shown to actually be best friends with each other. When Veronica buys a new wardrobe, she takes all of her old stuff and gives it to Betty — these are still nice clothes.
Status Quo Is God: Is it EVER. No matter how big a story, or how glorious a cover, things will revert back to normal by the end of the storyline. Ethel still chases Jughead, Archie still can't decide between Betty & Ronnie, Reggie still plays pranks, Jughead goes back to avoiding girls and being single, all the relationships are the same, etc. When there's 60 years of stories, and Digests re-using old stories, that tends to happen. Even newly introduced characters are 99% likely to be doomed to the C-List and Trivia questions within a few years (Cricket O'Dell, Ginger Lopez, Marie & Frankie, etc.).
The only exceptions seem to be Cheryl Blossom's re-introduction in the 1990s, and successful newcomers Chuck & Nancy in the 1970s, alongside a few gradual shifts in characterization between the 1950s and now. For instance, Betty changed in the 1970s from a stereotypical Dumb Blonde, to a self-confident Tomboy who could easily run rings around Veronica in terms of physical skills from athletics and auto mechanics.
Straight Gay: Kevin Keller, introduced in the comic as a normal, positive gay character for kids to read.
Subliminal Advertising: There was a story published in 1992 in which Archie talks the gang into going to have a picnic in the woods so they enjoy nature, but they all bring along electronic devices to distract themselves with. Throughout the story, all sorts of real life products pop up in the artwork — Veronica's eating a Fruit Roll-Up in the first panel, Archie's sipping from a pack of Capri Sun (and from when it was doing a promotion for Yo Yogi!, no less) when he notices Jughead's playing a handheld electronic game, Jughead pulls out a box of Cap'n Crunch when Archie falls in the river... They actually justified this by the fact that these products were all being given out in baskets to kids who joined the Archie Fan Club at the time.
Another story from 1992 opened with Archie and Jughead playing Super Nintendo. Boxes for actual Super Nintendo games were all on the floor in front of them.
Teen Genius: Dilton Doiley has served in this role for decades.
Teen Superspy: At the height of the spy craze during the 1960s, Archie Comics did a series called "The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E." that featured the Archie gang as secret agents.
More recently, Betty and Veronica have appeared as 'Agents B & V'.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: One comic created an in-universe example, after Archie and Veronica watched a movie adapted from one of Veronica's favorite romance stories. When Archie asked her afterward if she liked it, she exclaimed that she loathed it, and spent the rest of the night nitpicking every way the movie deviated from the original events. However, she also developed a crush on the male lead actor, which swiftly eclipsed her hatred of the changes.
They Fight Crime: "The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E." in the 1960s (and just recently restarted), the 1965 "Pureheart the Powerful" (or "Captain Pureheart") stories, which engendered their own comic books, and "Archie's Explorers of the Unknown" in the 1980s.
Valerie of Josie and the Pussycats. She was featured as his love interest in a crossover supplement story, and the idea became popular enough that she returned several times as his permanent girlfriend. She even received her own Married storyline alongside Betty and Veronica, wherein Archie chose to go into music rather than go into business. He and Valerie become a husband-wife singing duo, and even have a Dark Skinned Red Head baby who follows in their footsteps.
Time Travelers Are Spies: In one comic, Jughead accidentally travels back in time to the The American Civil War and is mistaken for a Confederate spy (one of the suggestions being that the S on his shirt stands for "Spy" or "South").
Token Minority: Valerie, arguably one of the first in all of comics, debuting in 1969, followed by Chuck and his girlfriend Nancy in the 1970s, and Frankie & Maria, a Latino pairing also debuting then, but not catching on as well.
Other black and Hispanic characters have shown up with lower degrees of success, like Ginger Lopez, and in the early 1990s, very short-lived characters with disabilities (Anita and Jeff).
It took a little longer for the Asian characters to catch on. But instead of one character to represent all of Asia, they've had a number of Asian girls (Tomoko, Kim, Kumi?). To say nothing of the Indian boy Raj.
Totally Radical: A notorious case. For example, one late-'80s story had a lifeguard tell a surfing Veronica, "I really dig the way you attacked those waves with your rad moves". Around the same time, an in-house ad for an Archie calendar featured a cartoon teenager, sporting a ridiculous multi-coloured mohawk, oversized shades that Elton John would reject, and mismatched-colour clothes, telling the reader, "I ordered mine!" Like gnarly, daddy-o, if a rad hepcat teen like him bought one, I better slap down the bread too, yo yo yo.
Played with in a story titled "Lingo Lesson". In it, Archie talks like this, as does a brownie troop that his mom leads. It drives Archie's dad nuts.
Two-Teacher School: Heavily averted. Sure, Miss Grundy and Mr. Weatherbee are usually the only teachers to take a major role in a story, but the school's custodian (Mr. Svenson), cafeteria worker (Miss Beazly), science teacher (Prof. Flutesnoot), another elderly teacher (Miss Haggly), two coaches (Kleats and Clayton) and even the Bee's secretary (Miss Philips) have shown up repeatedly over the years, and many have even received major roles in stories.
Two-Timer Date — Archie often dates both Betty and Veronica at the same time.
Uncle Pennybags: Mr. Lodge is actually a really nice guy-it's just that being one of the main victims of Archie's clumsiness has a tendency to drive him crazy.
Vandalism Backfire: Jughead boards a passenger train. The conductor yells at Jug to move his suitcase out of the aisle, but refuses. After another passenger trips on the suitcase, Jughead still refuses to move it, so the conductor throws the valise off in-motion train. Jughead then says he learned his lesson, and will never leave things where people can stumble over them. After the conductor expresses a little remorse for acting so ruthlessly, Jug calmly adds "...it wasn't even my suitcase."
Lethal Chef: A recurring component of Ronnie's character, and something Betty has over her. One particular issue had Ronnie demanding to cook a meal for Archie (to one-up Betty, of course), and such was the tragedy that a line of sympathetic boys said their goodbyes to poor Arch, including Reggie.
Wedding Day: It was perhaps the most long-awaited invocation of this trope ever when Archie married Veronica. Needless to say, it also led to quite a bit of fan arguing. But then it turned out to be all just a dream. And then they did it again when Archie married Betty (also just a dream).
Where The Hell Is Springfield?: Either that or "Riverdale" would have been perfectly accurate; they're the two most famous examples of this trope ever.
Wolverine Publicity: Cheryl Blossom 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 a mere extra.
Women Drivers: Played straight before the '60s, usually subverted any time after that.
Writer on Board: In the '70s Al Hartley occasionally infused his conservative Christian beliefs into the comics until the publishers told him to knock it off. Later in the decade he licensed the characters for the explicitly evangelical Spire Christian Comics.