Franchise: Archie Comics

From left to right: Betty, Jughead, Archie, Veronica, and Reggie.

Archie Comics, originally known as MLJ Comics, after its three founders, 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 for the most part developed 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 motifs in fiction. With the start of Dan DeCarlo as primary artist in the '60s, Archie Comics created its "house style" – one that lasted all the way til 2015, when artists Fiona Staples, Adam Hughes, and Erica Henderson were brought onboard to reinvent the visual look of Archie and his associates in main continuity.

Though the eternal love triangle is the heart of the series, and only the Big Four (Archie, Jug, Ron, and Betty) have any kind of long-running success in solo books, the recurring cast is actually huge, and has only grown as the decades passed. It's very possible to have an Archie story where none of the Big Four appear at all.

With romance so core to the series, 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 there is a significant fanbase of men who grew up reading the books as boys. Archie Comics is also famous, or infamous, for keeping everyone the same age, and altering only the fashion and accessories… 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.note 

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.

In 2015, the original Archie series (which had been running since 1942) ended at issue #666, giving way for a modern reboot spearheaded by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Further titles have been announced, all existing within the same new continuity: Jughead (by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson), Betty & Veronica (by Adam Hughes), and Life With Kevin (by Dan Parent).

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 predates 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.note  The two most successful non-Archie original titles have been Sabrina and Josie and the Pussycats, both of which were spin-offs of the original Riverdale series. Both of those comics spawned fairly popular 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. As of 2015, a live-action television series, Riverdale, is currently in development at The CW.

Archie Comics pushed for the creation of The Comics Code, and more or less ran it for the entirety of its existence. Archie was the last publisher officially adhering to the Code when it ceased to exist in early 2011.note  Unofficially, they had stopped following it decades earlier, 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:

Comic book features associated with Archie Comics:

Other Media associated with Archie Comics:

This company's works provide examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Big Ethel for Jughead.
  • 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."
  • The Alleged Car: A running joke on Archie's jalopy.
  • 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": 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. The shift to the unified "house style" was total 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.
    • Sabrina the Teenage Witch has gone "manga-style".
    • As of 2015, Archie ended their old Archie series that had been going for over 600 issues with a brand-new series with a completely new look.
  • Artistic License – Sports: One story involves a new kid in town coming out of nowhere to become the star player on Riverdale's baseball team, playing shortstop. His leg is then badly injured when a player on a rival team spikes him, but he reinvents himself as an ace pitcher and leads Riverdale to the championship. It would be a great story if it wasn't utter bullcrap. As anyone who's ever pitched at any level could tell you, it is impossible to pitch on an injured leg, at least with any degree of competency.
    • In another issue where Betty becomes a race car driver, the flag bearer at the racetrack waves a checkered flag at the start of her first race. The checkered flag is supposed to signal the end of a race.
  • Asleep in Class: One time (or maybe more) Jughead painted eyeballs on his eyelids so he could sleep in class and look like he wasn't sleeping.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: This sequence. "I'd like to compliment you on your good work... WHEN YOU DO SOME!"
  • Banned in China: In-Universe example. Veronica proudly shows off a bikini she bought that had been banned in Boston.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: There is not one person in the universe who knows what a nipple is.
  • 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.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Trope Namer.
    • 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 three of them on a deserted island would either lead to murder… or it might be their private idea of Heaven.
    • It was also originally the Trope Namer for Third-Option Love Interest, back when it was known on this wiki as The Cheryl Blossom, after the aforementioned character.
  • Betty and Veronica Switch: Interestingly, despite being the Trope Codifier for Betty and Veronica relationships, it gets blurred once Betty tries to kill Archie in an issue.
  • Big Eater: Jughead is pretty much the biggest example of this in all fiction.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl, since the latter's debut. Betty, Veronica, and Archie, of course. Or Melody, Valerie, and Josie.
  • Brand X: Done frequently, with many exceptions. See Subliminal Advertising, below.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Veronica's (seemingly forgotten) cousin Leeroy, also frequently used by kids in general
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Frequently used – characters will "talk to the audience", and several #100 issues will have the characters deciding exactly how to celebrate their "100th issue".
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Soooo many...
  • Broad Strokes: One theory about the comics is that they all take place in parallel universes, which would nicely take care of plenty of Canon problems, along with the many comics that seem to be almost complete duplicates of previous plots.
  • 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.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Moose has a very limited vocabulary.
    Moose: "Duhhh hey! Who are you calling an Idiom!?"
  • 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 absence 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!).
  • Captain Geographic: Some of the superheroes.
  • 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 Blog
  • 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.
  • Congruent Memory
  • Covered in Kisses: Happens regularly to Archie, often from Betty.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Believe it or not, there have been a few stories where this tropes is inverted to prove a character's innocence, to prove that a painting is a forgery, etc.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: In the Crossover Archie Meets the Punisher, a criminal the Punisher has tracked to Riverdale looks very similar to Archie. The story also ends with Wolverine learning about a dangerous mutant who looks like Jughead.
  • Crossover: Most Archie Comics characters are accepted to be 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.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The original Life With Archie series (1958-1991) featured longer, more "adventure" oriented stories than the typical Archie titles, including elements like five-alarm fires, attempted kidnappings, and... mysterious Satanic boxes that melt people's faces off.
    • The Married Life, which follows up the What If? storyline "Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty", which was itself a revival of the "Life with Archie" series. Both story lines feature a dramatic soap opera-stlye depiction of the issues of married life. Both timelines end tragically with Archie dying in the "The Death of Archie".
    • "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,note  where Sabrina zombifies 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 ended 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!
    • Archie vs. Predator decides to go both ways by keeping the overall light tone of the original comics while also brutally murdering everyone.
  • Depending on the Artist: The physical and geographical characteristics of Riverdale and its local landmarks change seemingly at will.
    • 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. Even Betty and Veronica's status as best friend, while usually fairly consistent, has fluctuated in the past, with at least one story showing them outright hating each other.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Some of the 60's-70's era "The Archies" comics.
  • Dispel Magic:
    • The Rich Bitch Alexandra Cabot from Josie and the Pussycats series can cast witchcraft spells, but these are fragile spells whose effects are ended by as little as Melody Valentine snapping her fingers, which Melody is wont to do.
    • Sabrina has cast a few of her spells so weakly, they were negated by three claps.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • 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 women 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!
  • The Ditz: Melody
  • 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.
    • This is actually a frequent occurrence, with guys always being given the short end of the stick. Whenever there's a competition between guys and girls, the guys will be made extremely arrogant and put the girls down (even when this makes them Out of Character) before being on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, but on the few occasions the guys actually win, it's always very close and ends with the focus on the girls in a way that encourages the reader to feel sorry for them. Then again, the target audience is young girls, so...
    • Guys are also constantly assaulted by girls in various ways – slapping, kicking, pushing, hitting with their purses, being thrown into a river, and other various ways that would realistically result in some sort of legal trouble, yet they're just laughed off. On the very, very, very rare occasion a girl gets hit by a guy, it's never anything even close to what girls have done to guys over the years, and a huge deal is made out of it.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: Frequently.
  • 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.
  • Dumb Muscle: Moose
  • 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.
  • Everytown, America: Riverdale
  • 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.
  • Era-Specific Personality:
    • Betty was originally portrayed as feminine and somewhat of a Dumb Blonde. Archie leaned heavily towards Veronica for a period and thus Betty was often trying to break them up. Fans often note Betty seemed outright yandere in older works however she was eventually mellowed down into the sweet tomboy we know today.
  • 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 modelling in swimsuits.
  • Fan Vid: This Darker and Edgier fake trailer.
  • Female Gaze: Not as utilized as its Spear Counterpart, but there have been well-drawn hunks that the girls would admire (or said hunks admiring girls). Sometimes a Double Standard would be lampshaded.
    Archie: Say! What's going on? (catching Betty and Veronica viewing through binoculars)
    Veronica: Just a little harmless boy-watching!
    Archie: It's unheard of!
    Veronica: You just heard of it!
  • Femininity Failure: One issue had Veronica teaching Betty to be more ladylike (which was essentially her teaching Betty to be identical to her mannerisms). Everything was going well until she spotted a couple of kids playing catch, which ends with her joining them and landing in a tree in retrieving the ball when it got stuck up there. While Veronica is annoyed with the turn of events, the kids all laud Betty as a hero.
  • 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 ethnicity, 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.
  • For Halloween Im Going As Myself: In one story, Archie and Jughead are dressed as vampires and accidentally get invited to a party full of real monsters, who are celebrating because this is the one day of the year they can walk around normally.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Archie is Sanguine, Veronica is Choleric, Betty is Melancholic and Jughead is Phlegmatic.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Much of the clothing the girls wear.
  • "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.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: The cook at the Lodge house is Gaston, a very temperamental French chef.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Archie at the center, with Jughead as the friend vs. Betty/Veronica.
  • Fur Bikini: Betty and Veronica tended to wear them in "Archie 1" Caveman-era stories.
  • 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).note 
  • 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 
  • Gender Incompetence: Seen in a lot of older Archie stories, usually typical of the era:
    • 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 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?
    • The horror series Afterlife With Archie is dead set on this trope.
    • A Funny Background Event during a football game sees a middle-aged man using binoculars to ogle cheerleaders, even though they were only a couple of feet away. His wife, who was standing right beside him, was obviously displeased.
    • 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.
    • While Archie and Veronica are dancing, "I thought you were going to do the mashed potato." and she replies, "After the dance, Archie."
    • Some of Cheryl sexier antics seem extremely bizarre for a children's comic book series, and even rival the Fanservice in Image Comics.
    • Over in Josie and the Pussycats, Valerie told Josie that their van broke down on the highway, and was asking for money for repairs. Josie says that she's also broke, but it doesn't matter, since the van will probably be torn frame by frame by road pirates by the time the girls get there. Now, read this exchange:
    Valerie: I left Melody in it, to guard it.
    Josie: If those roadway pirates see her frame, they won't bother stripping the van!
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Frequently
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: In one issue, the Riverdale team shows up to a football game, and the rival team is female. One Curb-Stomp Battle later, Archie and Reggie are moping around, depressed, when Betty and Veronica ask to be shown how to "shoot baskets with this horse hide"[a football]. Reggie and Archie walk off with the girls in hand, going "When will you learn football is a man's game!" The girls wink at each other.
  • 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.
    • Hilariously, Archie and Jughead sleep soundly through the racket.
  • Hot Teacher: One issue from The '70s features a young female substitute teacher so attractive that all of her male students are too distracted with the floating Heart Symbols above their heads to pay attention to their schoolwork.
  • 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.
  • I Can't Dance: In a story Dilton doesn't know how to dance, so he builds a pair of shoes that dance for him, making him a sensation at the school dance. Then lightning strikes, the shoes go whack, and things don't end well.
  • Impending Clash Shot: Used as The Stinger to Archie Meets The Punisher as Wolverine is about to pounce on Jughead.
  • 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.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • KISS, when they crossed over with Archie.
    • 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.)
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Archie Meets The Punisher.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum
  • It's Fake Fur, It's Fine: Fur is occasionally stated to be this.
  • 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.note 
    • 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.
  • Kavorka Man: Archie and the other guys aren't ugly, but the men of the Archie universe aren't drawn as sexily as the girls are, yet they often get tons of girlfriends no matter how jealous (Moose), conceited (Reggie), or two-timing (Archie) they are.
  • 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 except 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.
  • Male Gaze: For generations, even after the Comics Code, there have been a lot of fanservice-y drawings of the teenage Betty and Veronica, their friends, Katy Keene, and other women. There have been a lot of jokes using the gaze whenever Archie is gazing at pretty girls and commenting on their figures while another friend is waxing lyrically about nature or math.
  • Malt Shop: Famously, Pop Tate's. Almost as famous as Arnold's on Happy Days.
  • 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".
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Cheryl Blossom in a cover from her mini-series "Cheryl go to Hollywood" homage Marilyn.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: Traveling down Memory Lane often results in this.
  • Moose Are Idiots: Referenced, as the person named Moose is the Dumb Muscle.
    • In one story, though, he knew enough about sports to help Riverdale win a quiz show with "Sports" as the category.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Veronica. 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.
    • Cheryl Blossom defined this in the 1980s (where it got her written out of the books) and '90s. 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.
    • Melody was this for Josie and the Pussycats, wearing the skimpiest outfits and drawing all the male attention.
  • Narration Echo: A favorite gag of writer Frank Doyle.
    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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When a presidential candidate once visited Riverdale High (he's an alumnus there), Archie, with his camera, snaps a picture of him catching a tripping Miss Grundy (an old friend of his). A sleazy tabloid reporter cons Archie into selling that camera (film included), and proceeds to use his paper to spin tales regarding the two surrounding the picture, ruining the reputations of both Grundy and the candidate. To Archie's credit, once he realizes he's been had, he immediately tries to set things straight.
  • 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 Allowed to Grow Up: The teenagers have been in high school for decades, with the exact same teachers and principal. In fact, the publication commonly tout Archie as the world's oldest teenager. This trope is exactly why Life with Archie: The Married Life was conceived— to show what could happen if the characters did all grow up (in fact it had two separate arcs about "What if Archie married Betty?" and "What if Archie married Veronica?"). There was also Archie's Weird Mysteries, which showed a middle-aged Archie during a Time Travel episode.
  • 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.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Part of The Gay Nineties story.
  • Old Beggar Test: Played With in a story . Archie wants to take Veronica out to a concert but can't afford the tickets. Veronica buys them and then tries various ways for Archie to stumble across them so it seems like he's the one treating her rather than vice versa. At one point she hires a homeless man to ask Archie for the directions to Main Street. Archie tells him, "You're on Main Street." The homeless man rewards him by giving the two tickets as a present, but Archie sees through the ruse and goes away after yelling at the man, who is then stuck with a quizzical look and two concert tickets.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Forsythe "Jughead" Jones and Marmaduke "Moose" Mason.
  • 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 Lampshade this, Betty and Veronica swap 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.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: In one of the strips set in The Gay Nineties, Archie has this reaction to a swimsuit that bares Veronica's… shoulders.
  • Overprotective Dad: Mr. Lodge isn't very fond of Archie dating Veronica, mostly because accident-prone Archie typically destroys something valuable whenever he visits Lodge Manor. 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.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Used more than once.
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: When Big Ethel wanted to care for a badly injured Jughead (he got hurt trying to run away from her), he fled the hospital.
  • 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.
  • Pimped-Out Car: Archie once had a shiny new exterior installed over his beloved beat-up antique jalopy. It didn't fool anyone for long because "Betsy's" interior was as broken-down as ever.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Reggie, the most comedic and magnificent jock in Riverdale.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Archie relies on this trope and most of its subtropes for its humor. In fact, the 2003 Free Comic Books Day comic revolved around hanging a lampshade on it. A kid from the "real world" arrives in Riverdale and points out the repeated cases of misunderstanding and poor communication. Everyone agrees to be more understanding and wait for explanations. And the Universe is instantly boring!
  • 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.
  • Protagonist and Friends: The Spin-Off Jughead and Friends.
  • Public Domain Character: Archie Comics never renewed the copyrights for anything they published before the 1950s – and yes, this includes all the issues of Pep Comics and Archie published up to that point. This would technically make the pre-DeCarlo 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.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: Parodied in one comic, where dumb jock Moose pushes Archie into a puddle when his girlfriend Midge is concerned about stepping in the water when crossing the street.
  • 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.
  • Rich Bitch: Veronica used to be this, before Character Development moved her into the Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory. Early stories portrayed her as almost explicitly evil on occasion.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, Spoiled Brat, and the Alpha Bitch, sometimes: Veronica defines all of these, but she's often shown with the "secret heart of gold" routine as well. Cheryl Blossom is a more authentically bad version (though still has her nice moments, because she had her own series for a while). Libby Chessler, seemingly a creation of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series, is both and the Trope Namer for the latter.
  • Rule 34: The company is known for coming down hard on Slash Fics featuring its characters, to the point where will no longer accept any kind of Archie-related fanfiction.
    • still accepts them though.
    • They don't look too kindly on parodies either – Robot Chicken's got pulled (Fair Use? What's that?). The only reason The Simpsons got away with it is probably because Fox has better lawyers.
  • Rule 63:
    • 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.
    • A 2012 story, "The Great Switcheroo," provided canonical examples in Archie #636.note  In the story, Sabrina's cat Salem casts a Gender Bender spell on the entire population of Riverdale, not to mention Josie and the Pussycats too.
    • 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.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Lately the series has taken to Lampshade Hanging some of the Running Gags and cliches from over the decades, most prominently Archie's commitment issues.
    • The cover of the October 2014 Archie Comic has Jughead dressed as a zombie for Halloween, while Archie, Betty, and Veronica laugh over how ridiculous the premise would be.
  • Self-Made Man: Sometimes Mr. Lodge is written has being born into a wealthy family or he's written as building his own wealth from a middle-class existence. And the trope is subverted hard in this comic.
  • 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 joke from The Comics Curmudgeon 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. (Archie, you'll recall, has published the Sonic comic series since 1993).
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Big Ethel focuses like a laser on Jughead.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Dilton.
  • 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.
  • Spy Catsuit: Agents B & V.
  • 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 like athletics and auto mechanics.
  • Straight Gay: Kevin Keller, introduced in the comic as a normal, positive gay character for kids to read.
  • Stripperific: Everyone in the Archie I series. Betty and Veronica tote Fur Bikini outfits, and Archie and Jughead both wear an incredibly small Loin Cloth. Fanservice for all.
  • 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.
    • Somewhat less subliminal: Comic issues would often have single-page spreads in between stories where the Archie gang advertised a specific product – rollerblades, candy, whatever. Got weird when the exact same ads showed up in Sonic comics.
  • Superstition Episode:
    • One where Betty notices it is Friday The Thirteenth, and prepares for it. Unknowingly, she set off Disaster Dominoes that missed her, but got everyone around her involved.
    • There was one other, with Archie bringing misfortune on himself trying to avoid bad luck – and not being careful.
  • Sweater Girl: The girls really fit into their sweaters.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: This story which really has to be read to be believed.
  • 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.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: For Archie, there's:
    • Cheryl Blossom, the former Trope Namer. Famously came in as a "third choice", and temporarily had a legit shot at taking over. In the 90s, the Love Showdown storyline, where Betty and Veronica escalate their competition for Archie, ends in Archie choosing Cheryl Blossom instead (although the Status Quo is restored in a follow-up special). Since then, however, she has apparently started going out with the nerd of the cast after getting to know him on the internet, in a Throw the Dog a Bone moment.
    • 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.
  • Through His Stomach: This is an area where Betty always wins over Veronica.
    • Big Ethel tries this all the time on Jughead. He's certainly willing to tolerate her presence when food is forthcoming, but it never gets her any closer to a date (unless you count the time it takes him to eat, and considering it's Jughead that can't be very long).
  • 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.
    • They introduced a gay character in 2010. This caused Moral Guardians to flip out and somehow relate it to President Obama or the Democrats' then-majority in Congress, and resulted in Internet Backdraft against the Moral Guardians.
      • It was also a major game-changer in American culture as a whole. Archie Comics has a decades-long reputation as a bastion of "traditional values" due to its rather chaste world and lack of violence or cursing (plus everything Al Hartley did back in the 70's, official or not). Thus, when Archie introduced Kevin Keller and refused to back down, it made national news – after all, if such a conservative place as Riverdale has no problem with a gay man in their midst, then why should anyone else in America take issue?
  • Too Much Alike: In one Betty And Veronica story, the titular girls bumped into two cute guys in the mall, Jon and Benny, who were pretty much their Spear Counterparts. By the end of the story, Betty and Veronica decided that they wouldn't make a good match because they have too much in common.
  • 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.
  • Tricked Into Signing: In one comic story, Reggie decides to write up a petition protesting litter on the beach. Archie is eager to be the first to sign it, so Reggie has him sign it with a nice and large signature before he's even drawn up the petition content. Evil-hearted Reggie then writes up a love note to an anonymous girl. With Archie's signature below it, the note is sure to unleash Betty and Veronica's wrath.
  • Two-Teacher School: 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.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: In the first issue of Archie Comics, Pep Comics #28, Archie had just moved into the neighborhood, albeit a couple years younger than he was in later issues and with the nickname "Chick", and tries in his first issue to impress his neighbor Betty Cooper to try to get her to date him through dangerous stunts which she believes make him look arrogant. After Veronica moves in during "Archie Comics 1", the whole dynamic was changed to a Betty and Veronica format where Betty has a really big and sometimes obsessive crush on Archie.
  • Unsound Effect: In one episode, Slamdunk!
  • Uptown Girl: Veronica and Archie.
  • 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 the 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 " wasn't even my suitcase."
  • Various Tomboyish tropes including:
    • Boyish Short Hair: Cricket and Midge.
    • Ice Queens: Veronica and Trula.
    • 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.
    • They Clean Up Nicely: Betty, Ethel, Valerie, and Veronica.
    • Tomboyish Ponytail: Betty.
    • Tsundere: Valerie and Veronica.
    • Wrench Wench: Betty is absurdly talented with auto repair and other forms of masculine expertise. This makes her either more or less attractive to the boys, depending on the story.
      • Valerie was also this.
  • Video Phone: Veronica of the future once got one installed, only to switch back to normal phones because her friends called while she was doing face masks or when she'd just gotten up.
  • Wacky Racing: Archie's RC Racers
  • 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).
  • What If?: Several. The most famous are the Archie Marries Veronica/Betty storylines and the ideal sequel Life with Archie: The Married Life.
  • 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 (who were, are, and have always been Jewish) told him to knock it off. Later in the decade he convinced Archie to license the characters for the explicitly evangelical Spire Christian Comics.
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Al Hartley's rose-coloured view of the 1890s as a time free from the ills of modern society… and apparently free from the ills of the 1890s as well.

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