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Headscratchers: Archie Comics
  • Why don't both Betty and Veronica just tell that flip-flopping, two-timing, pseudo-cheating doofus to shove it?
    • They enjoy being friendly rivals to one another. When something goes wrong, they don't blame each other, they blame him - so they've got sense enough to tell that he's being an idiot about it. Therefore, they must be sticking around for the fun of it.
    • Phrased more concisely: fucking with Archie's head is all either of them want out of the relationship.
    • They are friends, and each would rather lose Archie to the other than to anyone else—specifically, Cheryl Blossom.
    • They're teenagers, a demographic known for poor relationship choices.
    • Actually, they've tried. They once spent several minutes roasting Archie to a crisp, realizing that they should just dump him, then they both went "You first." Then they realized that whatever it is about Archie, they can't resist it.
    • Because then they'd lose their only excuse to Catfight.
    • Betty and Veronica are both at that age when emotionalism and hormones trump wisdom and common sense (for that matter, so is Archie). Most of us have gone through the same thing — it's just that most of us haven't had our four years of teenager silliness last for five plus decades in a comic book!
    • Obligatory Les Yay explanation here. What?
    • Since the continuity of the series is rather shaky, exactly how much of a "flip-flopping, two-timing, pseudo-cheating doofus" Archie is in each instance. In general, he's a sweet, well-meaning guy who is respectful to the girls (even if he has trouble making up his mind about which one he prefers), and that all seems to appeal to both girls. There are several comics in which Veronica comments on how she likes that Archie is more modest and punctual than Reggie, so yeah.
    • Those grids on the sides of his head emit hypnotic rays.
    • The only other guy in town worth a damn is Jughead, and he's more interested in hamburgers than romance. If he ever alters his policy on dames, they might have someone to dump Archie for.
  • I've never understood the whole Betty vs. Veronica debate to begin with. Okay, maybe the comic medium is obscuring the fact that Veronica is actually more beautiful, but then again, they've pointed out that Betty can sub for Ronnie in a pinch using just a wig. Aside from appearance, you have personality. Now, Archie's a good ol' boy who almost certainly is headed for eventual marriage and family. And if you take a good look at his choices, only one of the girls is going to make a loving wife and caring mother. Short of an act of God, Veronica couldn't possibly fulfill Archie's future needs, so why keep chasing her?
    • Just to clarify the bad match: Veronica is always conscious of status, class, and money; Archie is never comfortable in any situation involving these qualities, and is always relieved to find a way out of the social engagements Veronica ropes him into. Barring some adolescent pranks, Archie is fairly bad at deception and manipulation, whereas Veronica is a consummate pro, frequently using her considerable resources to push Archie into a situation that suits her desires (sometimes in direct conflict with Archie's own desires). I could go on. Why would any man date a woman like that? This is what baffles me.
      • The answer is in your terminology. They are boys and girls, not men and women, ranging from 15 to 17, as I recall. They are going to be immature. The art from the '90s, at least, made them look like they were in their early to mid 20s, so this can be very easy to forget. Recent artwork has been slightly better for making them look like teenagers.
      • Besides that, you have to remember that it is a simplified art form we're seeing them through.
      • And I have it on good authority that Veronica sucks like a proverbial hoover.
      • If, when you say "sucks", you mean the kind of activity I think you mean, then the hoover isn't the slightest bit proverbial.
      • Well, let's not forget that Veronica is probably one of the most popular and damned hottest girl in the school... and Archie is lucky enough to have her come after him. He's still a guy, and even though Betty might be the better choice, he can't so easily ignore a hot piece of ass like Ronnie.
      • Veronica has class and style and a larger-than-life "starlette" quality to her like that of a young Jackie O or Lauren Bacall. Even Betty has admitted that Veronica leaves people in awe of her (the fact that Betty is NOT in awe of her is one of the things Veronica admires about Betty). Naturally, Archie is in awe of Veronica, but in his case, he even manages to get dates with her.
      • In the original comics, Archie was less in love with Veronica than he was in love with her money and status.
      • In some depictions (it was never known for consistency), Betty comes on very strong. This can be unsettling. Veronica appears relatively unobtainable, and looks more appealing for that reason.
      • As a former teenage boy, it's definitely the girl I got to date half a time then dropped I pined over for a year and her friend who would have gone out with me at the drop of a hat I hardly knew the existence of.
      • In one storyline, Archie does dump Veronica for Betty because of that. In the story, Betty is chosen to be a model in a shampoo commercial and Archie is very impressed. Veronica gets jealous and forces her dad to pull strings so that she can be the model instead. Instead of turning his attention to her, Archie points out that Veronica was already so rich and socially high that he was only just managing to keep pace to go out with her. Now that she was going to be a famous model, it was all too much and he felt he couldn't hold on to her anymore. Veronica ultimately ends up screaming at her father that she won't be the model, either out of a desire to be with Archie again, or jealousy that he'll be with Betty.
      • To expand on the whole idea of Archie being unable to resist Veronica's beauty, I remember one story I read in the late nineties (don't know if it was recycled or not) when they're at the beach and Dilton encourages Archie to make a pro/con list for the two of them. Betty trumps Veronica in every category and Archie, in a moment of clarity, realizes how stupid he's been the whole time. He runs up to Betty and is about to tell her what he's finally realized. Betty asks him what it is, and Veronica passes by right then in a sexy swimsuit, turning his head. He says "That Veronica is the girl for me."
  • What bugs me is that there's supposed to be this big rivalry between Betty and Veronica that has Archie agonizing over whom to date when it's obvious that Betty is barely a player. 90% of the time, Archie is dating Veronica, and half of the few times poor Betty manages to get him on a date, the joke turns out to be that Archie ditches her to go out with Veronica because the only reason he was dating Betty was that Veronica was unavailable. When is Betty going to realize she doesn't mean anything to Archie and just move on?
    • Note that this isn't about who Archie should choose, but that the story is presented as if Archie actually has a choice. I've never seen anything that suggests Archie goes on more than a couple dates with Betty here and there. The rest of the time he uses her unrequited love to get free baked goods, help with his homework and free car repairs.
      • Maybe back in the 50s/60s, but more recently, Archie dates Betty just as often as he dates Veronica.
      • Well, in the earlier stories he dated Veronica just to get free Everything Else. Back in the day, Archie was more of a scheming slacker, Ronnie was more of a snob, and Betty was more of a Stalker with a Crush. That all three of them are essentially wonderful people at heart is a more recent development.
    • There is a very rare dynamic in play in the Archie/Veronica/Betty relationship. It is so rare, that often, it goes unnoticed, as we try to morph it into a more familiar FMF gestalt. But, what is really playing out here is a typical "I'm in love with my best friend's girl" situation, only with the genders reversed. We're not accustomed to seeing a female in the "buddy with unrequited love" role, so most people morph it into "Archie is torn between two lovers"; this puts our focus back on the male, which is a cultural thing. Now, go back and reread these stories, but, in your mind, assume that the focus is on Betty as the "point" on the triangle, torn between loyalty to Veronica and her desire for Archie, and it will all become clear.
    • Next week: I deconstruct the Moose/Midge/Reggie symbiosis, using Hegelian principles, and meaningful passages from Kierkkagard.
      • Just as long as you leave Jughead/Big Ethel/Dilton alone. Heidegger freaks me out.
    • This troper has seen a number of times when Archie leaves Veronica for Betty, usually after he comes to some sort of realization that Veronica isn't worth the trouble.
  • Spoiler Alert: A new issue of Archie has Archie proposing to Veronica.
    • Spoiler: And a couple of issues later, he will leave Veronica to marry Betty.
      • Actually it isn't that he leaves her. It's more like he ends up going back down Memory Lane, back to the fork, and then takes the other road.
      • Either way the story is setup so as the "wrong" choice (being with Veronica) is done first, and the the "right" choice (being with Betty) is done last. In these circumstances the last option depicted is always meant to be the right one.
      • Plus while both marriages are separate whatifs, Archie experiences both in one long story, and when compared and contrasted it is the Betty marriage that is shown to be the "right" one for Archie.
      • Well "right" might not be the correct term. Easy seems more like it, the Veronica marriage seems to have more obstacles for them to go through. It'll make the nice house, twins, and happy family they have in the original miniseries all the more deserved.
    • In the Archie Marries Betty/Archie Marries Veronica Alternate Universe, the girl Archie don't pick ends up with Reggie. While this sort of makes sense with Veronica, why would Betty actually pick him over her other Love Interest, Adam?
      • Settling, perhaps?
  • And how come Veronica never picked Reggie? Maybe because he usually goes after Midge and picks Mousse?
    • Because Reggie is vain and self-centered enough to annoy her. As goofy and poor as Archie is, there are times when it's apparent that Veronica appreciates his modesty and sincerity, which Reggie rarely displays.
  • How long have they been in high school?
    • Over sixty years, specifically since December 22, 1941. Next question.
    • But wha-
    • NEXT!
    • One story explores a great What If? and actually shows that Archie is extremely compatible with Ethel! They find several things they have in common, have a very wonderful night out, and he even thinks about how, "Ethel is just so nice, hardly demanding on me like Betty and Veronica."
  • Also, notice: nearly all of the questions dealt here are about Betty and Veronica. Does that actually mean anything, or I'm just reading too much into it?
    • I dunno - I'm half-convinced that Betty and Veronica are practically the actual main characters of this comic and Archie is just a Decoy Protagonist.
  • I know, they changed it now it sucks, mileage varying and all that...but why is so much of the artwork now so BAD? Sabrina anime especially.
    • They're ending the "edgy realistic" stlye they use after one last issue, and as far as I can remember the cheap "anime" remixes are flops that are all getting canned.
  • Why doesn't Betty just leave Archie for Jughead. I do remember one comic where she confided in him about how Archie would never pick her, and he got very upset over it.
    • P.S. They would make an awesome couple, with Betty's love of cooking food and Jughead's...well...love of food.
      • Wouldn't surprise me, considering there was a comic where Jughead proposed to Veronica just so he could have access to her extensive kitchen.
      • The only issue is that usually Jughead is depicted as being rather asexual, with his only love being for food. He usually considers girlfriends more trouble than they're worth.
      • Just because Jughead considers girls to be more trouble than they're worth doesn't mean that he's asexual. After years of dealing with the drama and hassles of relationships, this heterosexual male has given up on girls for the time being. It could also be that Jughead is trying to live life to the fullest before becoming tied down (no offense to female tropers).
      • I'll go along with Jughead being asexual, but heterosexual? Not so much. His unrequited love is definitely for Archie. Why else is he always so dismissive of Archie's woman problems? He's just waiting for Archie to see the light.
      • Jughead gay? Never gone along with that thought. He's unmotivated and the only girl he's compatible with has a crush on his best friend. I take it as he doesn't do anything because he wants Betty to naturally realize Archie x Veronica is going to happen and can't be stopped. He doesn't want to cause a rift between himself and Archie or have her still pining over him. Fits into that 'Betty is the main character' thing quite well too.
      • Canonically, he's straight. He has a childhood female friend from the town he was in before he moved to Riverdale—and points out to Archie that's why he was in a bad mood when they met—and dated her for a while when she moved to Riverdale. He also claims he secretly like's Ethel, and was absolutely stunned by how hot she became in the "Return to Riverdale" movie. And he had a son, though he was divorced. That childhood friend, Joani, moved to Riverdale, with Juggie also having feelings for another girl, Debbie. He also liked Janurary McAndrews, Archie's descendant.
    • I think he's one of those straight men who just think women aren't worth the effort.
  • This troper only noticed recently that none of the sentences in these comics ever end in just one period, but either '...', '?' or '!'
    • A lot of comics are like this, only using end-of-bubble punctuation when it's expressive. Dunno why.
      • Something to do with them being easier to make out and see on the page than a simple full stop when the comic is printed. At least that was the idea originally, these days it probably doesn't matter and it is more a holdover from an earlier time.
      • With old printing technology, a period or dot could be mistaken for an error and cleaned-up by editors. Using an exclamation mark or question mark solved that problem.
    • You're supposed to read the comics in William Shatner's voice
  • Moose and Midge. Barring Rule of Funny.
    • How is Moose even in high school? Several comics have shown that he still has trouble doing basic arithmetic!
    • Why is he not in jail, either? He's clearly been guilty of countless cases of assault and battery.
      • Read the answer above: He's. An. Athlete.
      • Being an athlete might get him through school, but not above the law.
      • Oh how I wish that was true in real life...
    • Midge herself has got to be the least faithful girlfriend in the series. Any time Moose is out of town, she instantly decides to date other guys. And even after an argument or supposed break-up, she still goes crawling back to Moose.
  • Mr. Weatherbee is entirely too powerful, and too petty, for a school principal. Public high school principals don't have the power to expel students. How many times have I seen Archie stumble over his feet and cause a huge calamitous mess and get "expelled" for it? Too many to count.
    • When has Mr. Weatherbee ever expelled Archie? He's sent him to detention more times than there's even hours in a high school curriculum, but not once have I ever seen him actually expel, or even threaten to expel Archie. The closest was once asking Archie to transfer to another school, and that was more of a joke.
    • There was one comic where Mr. Weatherbee expelled Archie. Archie left the school wondering what he was going to tell his parents. After a little while, Mr. Weatherbee felt guilty and went to find Archie. He found him playing video games in an arcade, and he was so angry that he marched in there and told Archie to report back to school immediately. One of my favorites.
  • Why is Archie not in jail!? He's broken HOW MUCH of Mr. Lodge's shit now? That SHIT IS PRICELESS!
    • Because Mr Lodge knows that his little girl will never forgive him if he sends Archie to jail.
    • It's also probably heavily insured.
    • You can't arrest someone for being terminally clumsy/careless.
      • (Outside of negligent homicide. Which would be a little dark for these comics.)
    • The funny thing is that he isn't really clumsy. He once showed he was an excellent juggler, much to Ronnie and Lodge's surprise. Then he tripped on the way out...
    • Because for every dollar Archie has cost Mr. Lodge in destroyed valuables, he's probably saved Mr. Lodge an equivalent amount by thwarting the various thieves, blackmailers and corporate rivals that try to rob him blind. Mr. Lodge being targeted for his wealth and being saved by Archie and the gang is one of the series' stock plots, after all.
  • When does the series take place? Instead of keeping it in the 40s like most comics, it appears to be in the 21th century with no signs of a retcon.
    • It's always been set in present day. It's just that since it's a Long Runner, that sort of makes earlier comics look not-so-present day. Because of the lack of any actual story lines, the time period doesn't ever really matter because it'd just be the same characters and jokes just with different outfits.
    • It's always "present day". "Present day" changes all the time. In the 70s it took place in the 70s, now it takes place in the 2010s.
  • How exactly is it that every time the characters go on vacation, and mamy times otherwise, they get entagled in some criminal affair? With the number of criminals they've aprehended, why don't they all have medals of honor?
    • That's what happens when you combine Long Runners, Negative Continuity, and throw in the occasional Wacky Adventure. The series doesn't have much of a real timeline, ya just gotta take it like it is.
  • Why is there a contest? Archie obviously prefers Veronica. Granted it's for the wrong reasons, but still! He almost always picks her over Betty, gladly does anything she says, and is more than happy to blow of Betty for Veronica. Why doesn't he just go out with Veronica? I mean, I know he likes Betty, too, but he likes Veronica more.
  • Why does Kevin have blue eyes? It's jarring when everyone else has colorless, black eyes.
  • Why doesn't Archie just talk it out with the two ladies, and go out with them both? They're both interested in him, he's interested in them both, why not? ...Besides the obvious "defiant of societal norms"... or "being stupid".
    • Because Archie knows he's on to a good thing. He fears if he actually had the conversation with them, they'd make him choose and he'd loose one of them. Whereas if things stay as they are, he's got it made.
    • The girls have also been shown to be competitive when it comes to dating him. Highly doubt they'd settle for what would essentially be a tie between the two of them.
  • How many of these questions could be answered with, "Because then Archie Comics would no longer have stories to tell and would go out of business"?

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