She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
—Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me"
One of the most common types of Love Triangle, named after characters from Archie Comics, wherein the main character ("Archie") is caught between two love interests with drastically different personalities. "Betty" is the sweet, reliable, everyday Girl Next Door type (if done wrong, this can mean: 'kind of dull'), whilst "Veronica" is more alluring, exotic and edgy, but has more of a mischievous or icy personality (which could mean 'kind of a bitch'). This translates to their physical appearances; Betty will be pretty but conservative in dress, whilst Veronica will be Ms. Fanservice in all her glory. As a rule, they will have different hair colors as per the Blonde, Brunette, Redhead trope.
The usual dynamic is that Betty, often the hero's best friend, is herself deeply in love with Archie (who might see them as Just Friends or being Like Brother and Sister, hence his obliviousness to her feelings), whilst Veronica is the sultry Ms. Unattainable. Archie is attracted to her, but she barely notices his existence. Betty will want the hero to be happy and thus suppress her own desires so she can help him win over Veronica. Another possibility is that Archie and Betty are already in a relationship, but then Veronica starts batting her eyelashes, causing friction between the couple. In cases of Arranged Marriage, Betty is the girl the parents prefer and Veronica is the one they reject.
Don't let the pronouns fool you. By no means is this trope limited to women or hetero relationships. If the two love interests are male, they are often characterized as the kind-hearted, politeNice Guy and the edgy Bad Boy. Another variant is Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor, with a rich but douchey "Veronica" and a poor but kindhearted "Betty", or a rich and kind but boring "Betty" and a spirited blue collar "Veronica."
Who the hero will end up with varies according to medium, story, and the values of the time period and culture where the story was made. Traditionally, Betty stood a better chance, at least if the story had a Happy Ending, due to conforming to social standards, whilst choosing Veronica would only lead the poor sap into ruin. Usually, the hero would spend the story chasing Veronica only to realize that Betty was The One — complete with a convenient 'appreciate what you've got' or True Beauty Is On The Inside Aesop. However, as attitudes to what is 'appropriate' sexual conduct have liberalized, it's more accepted for Veronica to have a chance at winning a happy ending too. If not with the main hero, than as part of a Beta Couple. Movies have traditionally favored Betty, but video games, comics and TV shows (especially long runners) have played this trope for all it's worth.
In case this wasn't complicated enough, sometimes a Third Option Love Interest makes their presence known to shake things up even further.
Movies have lately come to a compromise with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl; cute and non-threatening, yet exciting and different.
Do be aware that fans like to exaggerate potential relationships; Shipping would not exist without it. As a result there are likely to be multiple instances of an Official Couple (vindicated by Word Of God) that has some sort of Fanon-based "romantic rival" mirroring this trope. Even shows without such romantic entanglements in-universe can inspire Betty/Veronica debates amongst the Fandom; hence, Mary Ann/Ginger, Bailey/Jennifer, Janet/Chrissy, Velma/Daphne, etc.
See also Betty And Veronica Switch, where the presumed Betty and Veronica somehow switch roles.
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Macross in all its incarnations is a king of this trope, because it is actually built around it:
Super Dimension Fortress Macross had Lynn Minmay as the Veronica and Misa Hayase as the Betty. Minmay herself had a similar case, with Hikaru as the Betty and Lynn Kaifunn as the Veronica.
Macross 7 had a gender-reversed version of the trope, with Gamlin as the Betty and Basara as the Veronica.
Macross Frontier has Ranka as the Betty and Sheryl as the Veronica. In the second movie, The Wings of Goodbye: The End of the Triangle, it's resolved. Alto apologizies to Ranka for being unable to return her feelings and declares his love to Sheryl before going Missing In Action. Word Of God confirmes Alto comes back, Sheryl wakes up and relationship ensues
Subverted in Double Arts. When "Betty" (Ellie) tentatively inquires about Kiri's feelings for the obvious "Veronica" candidate (Sui), he practically goes into a Heroic BSOD. Turns out they already tried dating. And she dumped him. Three times. So much for thatLove Triangle...
In Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Misaki is the Archie, with her childhood friend Hinata as the Betty and her mysterious, popular, wealthy love interest Takumi Usui as the Veronica. Interestingly Hinata is a brunette while Takumi is a blond.
The Rebuild of Evangelion continuity comes down firmly on Rei's side, to the point that the love triangle is nuked. Asuka the Veronica never gets so much as a hint out to Shinji that she likes him, and once she realizes that Rei the Betty liked him first, she gives up her feelings without any fuss. There's also the fact that Asuka's bitch slap to Rei in the original gets blocked, and that Rei becomes the Barrier Maiden/Apocalypse Maiden in the film's climax.
Full Metal Panic inverts this: Chidori is the Veronica despite being the Ordinary High School Student, while Tessa, who is a captain in a covert paramilitary organization and has command of a submarine and several hundred troops, Sousuke included, is the Betty personality-wise.
To Love RU subverts this. Lala is the obvious Veronica, while Haruna is the obvious Betty, the twist being that Haruna is the one Rito chases (their inability to confess to each other is a Running Gag after while). Although Lala does end up bringing the two closer together(Rito goes from hyperventilating in Haruna's vicinity to being able hang out with her in a large group of friends). The series also seems to be leaning toward a Marry Them All, which requires Lala(She is the galactic princess, so if Rito marries her, the harem option comes into play. Lala actually suggests this, say, if she marries Rito, "the rules of Earth don't apply" . If you assume Lala is a given, this would make Momo the obvious Veronica, although she really does most of the chasing. It's that type of series.
In Nana, rock star Takumi would probably count as a male version of Veronica for Hachiko while Nobu serves as a male Betty.
In Naruto, you get this trope in spades with Naruto. There's Sakura who seems to be choosing between Naruto (Betty) and Sasuke (Veronica). Also in the above cases where Shikamaru and Sasuke are the Archies, we also have Ino. With Shikamaru as Archie, we have Ino as Betty (same team, parents are friends) and Temari as Veronica (foreigner, older). With Sasuke as Archie, you really have Sakura as Betty, Ino as Veronica and Karin as the Third Option Love Interest. And with Naruto as Archie, you get Hinata as Betty and Sakura as Veronica.
Almost every guy Kagome gets shipped with will be the Betty to InuYasha the Veronica, with the sole exception being Kouga.
Speaking of Kouga, he had Kagome as the Betty and Ayame as a mix of Betty (she was his childhood friend as well as very cute) and Veronica (she's somewhat of a Clingy Jealous Girl, and a pretty efficient Cute Bruiser.)
In an anime episode, Sango had Kuranosuke Takeda as the Betty and Miroku as the Veronica. Since Kuranosuke didn't appear again, well...
Bleach: the kind and pacifist Girl Next Door Orihime Inoue looks like a good Betty and the Tsundere Rukia seems to be a nice Veronica. Ichigo and Rukia are considered more than friends but less than lovers; on the other hand, Orihime already confessed her love for Ichigo but he wasn't conscious at the time to hear. Ichigo is more than willing to scale both Soul Society and Hueco Mundo in order to rescue both of them (in separate arcs) and has the 'other' help participate in the rescue: Orihime is the Barrier Warrior and healer in Soul Society who actually came up with the idea of rescuing Rukia, while Rukia recovers her Action Girl credentials by the time the Hueco Mundo arc kicks in and joins Ichigo's quest for Orihime heartily.
Other candidates for a Veronica or Betty includes Karate champ Arisawa Tatsuki, childhood friend of Ichigo, and Riruka Dokugamine from the latest arc.
On the other hand, the Fanon that has Orihime as a female Archie switches the deal around. Ichigo is a Hot Blooded potential Veronica who fights for his friends without hesitation while Uryuu Ishida is a booksmart potential Betty who methodically snipes the enemies with his bow and arrow... and maybe, maybe, there'd be a Cheryl Blossom in Ulquiorra's Man in WhiteNietzsche Wannabe. Except for the fact that, well, Ulquiorra is dead.
If we see Rukia as the Archie instead, a possible Love Triangle would have Ichigo as the Veronica with Renji Abarai as the Betty. Yes, Renji is as Hot Blooded and passionate as Ichigo, but on the other hand he has known and cared for Rukia ever since they were children (which happens more often than not with Betties) and became a Shinigami as well as a Vice-Captain for her sake. And, on Ichigo's side, there's the fact that he resembles an orange-haired Kaien Shiba, who was Rukia's juvenile crush when she was his lieutenant.
Love Hina has a pretty basic version of this: Cloudcuckoolander Mutsumi versus Tsundere Naru. Keitaro, however, makes his preference the latter quite transparent halfway into the series, no matter if she's the little girl of the promise or not.
In Hana Yori Dango, the heroine Tsukushi Makino is the object of both Rui's (the calm, supportive Betty) and Domyoji's (the violent, passionate Veronica) affections. Subverted in that Makino initially has unrequited feelings for Rui, while it is Domyoji who has (initially) one-sided feelings for her, and in that the Veronica triumphs while the Betty moves on to someone else.
Arguably a Deconstruction, in that Betty!Hikaru is the spoiled and child-like one, while Veronica!Madoka is the more reserved and selfless. The only true resemblence to a real Betty And Veronica is that Hikaru is middle-class and Madoka is rich (or middle-to-high-class in the anime), and yet both are as equally likable and deep as the other.
In Psychic Academy, this is played quite obviously through the Betty-esque Orina (AKA Sara), Ai's childhood friend, and the Veronica-esque Mew.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! (particularly the manga), Anzu Mazaki is shown being torn over her feelings between shy Covert Pervert Yugi Mutoh (Betty) and his darker alter ego Yami (Veronica).
The Kuno/Akane/Pig-Tailed Girl triangle of Ranma ½ is an interesting case. You could say Akane is the Veronica trying to be the Betty and Ranma is the other way around, but we're talking about the warped mind of Tatewaki Kuno here.
Akane's somewhat sheltered and naive due to being the youngest child in a middle-to-high-class and very traditional family. Well, at the same time, she's rather popular at school, shuns the boys who chase after her (specially Kuno), has a quick temper towards Ranma and despite her tries has very few traditionally feminine traits. These are all Veronica-ish qualities/flaws, so Kuno is somewhat right with this one.
Shampoo a Supreme Chef, works full-time in her grandma's restaurant, and can be almost kittenish when she's happy (pun intended). Also added is that she came from a lower-class setting than Akane, is a lot smarter than she looks, and is also multi-talented. She also pines after Ranma. That's quite a dosage of Betty-ness.
This becomes transparent when she's placed in contrast with Kodachi, whose upperclass lifestyle makes her a full-on Veronica, what with the Mad Love she feels towards Ranma pushing her to the point of being an active would-be hypothenuse murderer.
With Akane as the center figure, the bumbling Gentle Giant Ryoga can be considered the Betty to Jerk with a Heart of Gold Ranma's Veronica. And with Ranma as the snarky yet ultimately well-intentioned Betty to Kuno's delirious, hammy Veronica.
In the 3rd OVA of Boku No Pico, Pico finds himself in a B&V situation when he catches (the Veronica) CoCo fapping (then has sex with him). Later, he catches his boyfriend(?) Chico HAVING SEX WITH the Veronica. Think, Pico. Think REALLY hard.
Arguably, if Mukuro is the Archie then Chrome is the Betty to MM's Veronica. Both have shown to have feelings towards him, and MM has a one-sided rivalry with Chrome. Mukuro hasn't shown to have romantic feelings towards any of them, although he has quite a few Pet the Dog moments with Chrome.
In Angel Densetsu we have Ikuno as the Veronica and Ryoko as the slightly less scary and Ax Crazy Veronica Betty.
In School Rumble, Harima initially has his sights set on Tenma alone but it's clear from the start that he has no chance of winning her heart as she's already in love with Karasuma. The two girls who do express interest in him are Tenma's sister Yakumo and local OjouEri who fit the Betty and Veronica dynamic well.
And just in case your head isn't spinning enough yet, there are numerousfanon combinations of other characters with many of them bouncing back and forth between the Betty and Veronica roles depending on who their designated romantic rival is. To list all of them would take up half of this page, especially since this fandom is way more prone to OT3s than most other fandoms.
Death Note has Misa as Betty and Takada as Veronica when it comes to Light.
A genderswapped version in the Death Note spin off novel Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases is Beyond Birthday as the Veronica and Raye Penber as the Betty to Naomi Misora's Archie. Admittedly, the case for any feelings between Beyond and Naomi is debatable, but there is some fanfiction that would maintain otherwise.
If Setsuna of Angel Sanctuary is Archie, then Demon Princess Kurai is Veronica and sweet, kind-hearted Sara is Betty.
Elfen Lied gives Kouta (Archie) the conflicting and very different love interests Lucy (Veronica) and Yuka (Betty).
In Mekakushi no Kuni, Arou (Betty) and Namiki (Veronica) are rivals for Kanade's affections, even though Arou wins from Volume 2 onwards.
Takemoto (Betty) and Morita (Veronica) both fall in love with Hagu in Honey&Clover. Even though Morita wins Hagu's affections, neither of the guys end up with her.
Gakuen Alice: Mikan has Ruka (The Prince) and Natsume (The Bad Boy).
Shugo Chara!: Amu has Tadase (the Prince) and Ikuto (the Bad Boy).
Fruits Basket: Tohru has Yuki (the Prince) and Kyo (the Bad Boy).
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura has Yukito (the Prince) and Syaoran (the Bad Boy). Played with in the end: Yukito ended up with Sakura's brother, and by the time Sakura fell for Syaoran, he was far more of The Prince than the Bad Boy.
In the anime, Syaoran has Sakura (Betty) and Meiling (Veronica). Again, Sakura and Syaoran get together, and shortly before that Meiling says "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy!".
Complicating matters are other potential Veronicas or Cheryls: Mizore, Yukari and inner Moka.
In Peach Girl, Momo spent years with a crush on the chivalrous and polite Toji, until she finally gets him. They guy helping her out on the way is Kairi, a lecherous, school-skipping bad boy she discovers she now has feelings for. Throughout the series she bounces back and forth between them, until finally she ends up with Kairi.
Prétear seems to set this up between Himeno, Sasame and Hayate, especially in the manga. The anime is more... complicated.
Princess Tutu plays with this trope in a way that approaches Cyclical Trope levels. First, we have Fakir (the Tsundere Bad Boy) and Mytho (the Prince) for Ahiru. However , their roles are subverted in the second season with Fakir as the the Betty to the Raven Prince Mytho's Veronica. On the other hand, while Ahiru seems The Betty to Rue's Veronica... Rue's certainly The Betty to Princess Tutu's Veronica for Mytho. And if we bring Princess Kraehe in this, this starts all over again. Plus, Autor could be the Betty for Rue while Mytho is The Veronica.
The Hellsing anime has a twisted, 'sort of' affection triangle between Alucard, Integra Hellsing, and Seras Victoria that creates an animosity between the women. While Seras looks as the Veronica (being the one with sultry clothes and the newest addition to the Hellsing group) to Integra's Betty (long-standing bond with Alucard and with more tomboyish traits), personality and role wise could be switched: Integra's the Rich Veronica that has Alucard's affection while Reliable Betty Seras longs for it. Studio Gonzo claims that in the Anime, Alucard actually turned Seras because her eyes reminded him to Integra during her youth, but he was mistaken. The manga averts this situation with an emphasis on a platonic bond between Alucard and Seras, but curiously adding Les Yay subtext between Seras and Integra, and having Pip Bernadotte as Seras' Love Interest. However, Walter can be debatably considered an unlucky Betty to Alucard's Veronica to Integra's Archie. It was implied that was one of the many things that made Walter hate the vampire... and then pull a Face Heel Turn..
In Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, there are two different triangles that could be seen as this. The easier one is between Rena and Mion, with Rena as Betty and Mion as Veronica. Earlier, the twins Mion and Shion are set up as another one of these, but it's a little harder there to say who'd be Betty and who'd be Veronica. The best assumption would be Mion as Betty and Shion, who is introduced as a bit of an outsider and certainly has a bit more danger to her, as Veronica.
Gender-flipped in Kimi Wa Petto. Sumire, the tall, smart and successful businesswoman, made a rule that she would only date her equal. One day, she finds a down-on-his-luck dancer sleeping in a box and... takes him on as a pet. She names him Momo and they form a relaxed, if unusual relationship. Soon after this, Hasumi (Betty), her tall, dark and intelligent sempai from university appears. He's everything she's been hoping for, but when they start going out, she feels that she has to present her best side at all times, instead of the unconditional, doglike affection offered by Momo (Veronica). The dramatic tension between "I can be myself around him" and "He's everything I ever wanted" drives the plot.
In Tenshi Ni Narumon Noelle is Betty and Natsumi is Veronica for Yuusuke. Also, Muse is Betty and Silky is Veronica for Eros
Maison Ikkoku has a male version where Kyoko has to choose between the awkward, indecisive, but fundamentally kind-hearted Godai (Betty) and the suave, flashy Mitaka (Veronica). Godai himself encounters an interesting variation on this trope: although he has romantic options that play the Betty and Veronica options straight (his good-natured fellow student Kozue and his outspoken, sexually aggressive pupil Ibuki respectively), his true romantic interest, Kyoko, is a blend of the two types, as she is both a responsible, supportive, somewhat traditional young lady AND an independently minded woman with a temper who is unafraid to criticize Godai or defy her parents when necessary.
Kimi ni Todoke has two that overlaps, Sawako is Betty and Kurumi is Veronica for Kazehaya, who is the Betty and Kento is Veronica for Sawako. Color inverted since Sawako and Kazehaya are dark-haired.
Voltron has a male version. Boy Scout Keith (Betty) and Evil Prince Lotor (Veronica) both love Princess Allura. But Allura only loves Keith- so this may actually be a subversion. Some fans try to pair up Allura with the rebellious Lance (Veronica)- but in the canon anime and other series they show absolutely no interest whatsoever in each other, though.
Male example in Rose of Versailles: Andre is Betty and Fersen is Veronica. But Oscar realizes that her feelings for Fersen were just infatuation and that she truly loves Andre. And every woman in the kingdom has a crush on Fersen. And Fersen does not return Oscar's love.
Magic Knight Rayearth has a few possible instances of this trope, both male and female. Hikaru likes both Eagle Vision (Betty) and Lantis (Veronica). Umi is loved by Ascot (Betty), but she likes Clef as well (Veronica). And both Emeraude (Betty) and Alcyone (Veronica) are in love with Zagato- but he only loves Emeraude and dislikes Alcyone very much.
Wandering Son had this early on, between siblings. It was between a Bratty Teenage Daughter, her gentle trans sexual younger brother, and the boy who the former was attracted to who had accidentally fallen for her brother when he was dressed as a girl.
In Romeo X Juliet, Hermione is Betty while Juliet is Veronica (though Juliet herself can be kinda Betty-ish too). Subverted with Romeo and Tybalt, as the latter seemed to be a potential Veronica but it didn't happen.
GE - Good Ending has Shou and Yuki for Seiji, the protagonist. One is bubbly, the other one is more serious. One comes from a mid-class family background, the other one from a high class family. One is blond, one is black-haired.
In Ratman, Shuto's female admirers are both a mix of Betty And Veronica traits while still in stark contrast to one another. On one hand is Mirea Mizushima, his exotically gorgeous Yamato Nadeshiko classmate whom he's known for some time, however her family are the ones who turned him into the Anti-VillainProtagonist, Ratman. On the other hand is Rio Kizaki, who better fits the "cute and spunky" type, but is also the wealthy and tomboyish daughter of the Hero Association's president, and the two of them bond over their shared dream of being heroes.
Nana To Kaoru tries its best to steer clear of this. Kaoru is the Archie, but A) Tachi, the supposed Betty, is the Secret Keeper of Nana & Kaoru's 'breathers' and acts more like a little sister, continually trying to push them together; B) Kaoru has ZERO interest in Tachi; C) the titular couple are afflicted with oblivious to each other's love on a Charlton-Heston-epic scale and D) the whole thing is skewed by the fact both get tied up by him.
In Tenchi Muyo!, Ayeka is clearly the Betty (traditional, reserved) to Ryoko's Veronica (sultry, unreserved). And then it's subverted because some side materials reveal that Ayeka, who's seen as kinda prudish in canon, actually has more knowledge of S&M than most Betties have...
Gantz has calm, reserved normal Tae as Betty to Reika's Veronica, which it averts by Reika's cloning of Kei.
Beelzebub has Aoi to Hilda, but their places on the scale are debatable.
The one-episode Love Triangle from Kaleido Star had Sarah as Archie, Kalos as Betty, and Andy as Veronica. Sarah chooses Kalos — in fact, she had chosen him quite a while before and that's why she had stayed in the Stage in the first place. Andy never really stood a chance, and he immediately acknowledges it.
Another genderflipped example: In Eden of the East, Osugi (Betty) and Takizawa (Veronica) to Saki's Archie.
In The King of Fighters: KYO manga (a Spinoff from the KOF games), there are several prospect love triangles like this:
At first, Kyo Kusanagi is the Archie to Yuki's Betty and Athena Asamiya's Veronica. Since Yuki is already Kyo's girlfriend when Athena comes into Kyo's school to be closer to him and see how his powers are like, she "wins" this round.
If we have Athena as Archie, then Kyo switches to the Veronica while Sie Kensou is the Betty. As said above Kyo stays with Yuki, but Athena never really "switches" to Kensou anyway.
Later, due to a series of meddling and misunderstandings, Yuki becomes the Archie with Kyo as Veronica and Takaya Maeta as Betty. Maeta does get a serious chance to get closer to Yuki and Kyo hasothermatters to attend... but ultimately he gets better, Yuki stays by his side, and Maeta relents.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Mirai (Archie), Bright Noah (Betty), Liutenant Sleggar (Veronica) and Cameron Bloom (Third Option Love Interest). Sleggar dies few after he and Mirai share a kiss, Cameron is soon out of the picture until the Char's Counterattack movie, Mirai marries Bright.. Also Lalah Sune (a very... strange Archie), Amuro Ray (Betty) and Char Aznable (Veronica) And then Lalah dies protecting Char from Amuro.
Gundam X: Garrod Ran (Archie), Tiffa Addil (Betty) and Ennil El (Veronica). Tiffa already had the first round won since Garrod had a huge crush on her from the start, so she wins in the end too.
Gundam AGE: Flit Asuno (Archie), Yurin L'Ciel (Betty), Emily Amonde (odd mix of Veronica and Betty, as she's the Childhood Friend like most Betties but Yurin is that sweet and gentle) Yurin dies horribly, so Emily "wins" by default. While being aware that Yurin is The Lost Lenore, though.
And later there's Romary (Archie), Asemu (Betty) and Zeheart (Veronica). Bonus for the Ho Yay between Asemu and Zeheart. Romary is... very confused but ultimately chooses Asemu, since Zeheart is an Anti-Villain.
Well, two series of comics - one where Archie married Betty, the other where he married Veronica - were published to show potential resolutions of this. Now an ongoing series, Life with Archie: The Married Life.
A lot of the pairings in Spider-Man have been seen as analogues to the Archie Comics' Betty and Veronica, especially Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, even though the latter is a redhead, not a brunette. Gwen seemed to have won...until she died. Later, the comic briefly had Mary Jane as the Betty and Black Cat as the Veronica. Then Spidey hitched up with MJ and spent the next twenty years of real time in marital bliss with an understanding supermodelnothing happened.
Spider-Man writers seem to be fond of this trope. Originally it was a choice between "mature" brunette secretary Betty Brant (amusingly, the Betty) and the more girlish, flighty blonde Liz Allen (Veronica), who was briefly relieved by rich, stuck-up Gwen Stacy. After Betty left, Gwen became the sweet Betty and the Veronica role went to MJ. After Gwen's death MJ became the Betty and later on the Black Cat became the Veronica. Mary Jane in some ways subverted the Veronica role, though, as she always got on well with Peter's Aunt May (better than Gwen did, in fact) and always was the surrogate parents' choice.
The popularity of the trope manifests itself in the way characters are reinterpreted by readers so that they resemple the Archie archetypes more. This happens especially with Gwen Stacy - many of her fans incorrectly see her as a Girl Next Door like Betty Cooper (she comes from an upper-class Anglo-American family and Peter Parker only got to meet her when they started college because she lived in a different part of New York) and tend to downplay her beauty (Gwen was introduced as a high-school beauty queen and in one story she is taken along to the Savage Land to provide bikini-clad eye-candy). This popular misconception probably contributed to Gwen's reinvention in various adaptations, where she for instance becomes Peter Parker's high school classmate.
Ben Reilly had the spoiled and sometimes selfish blonde fashion student and the twisted, down to earth gothic girl. She was also the daughter of uncle Ben's murderer. In effect he had two Veronicas.
X-Men had a long-running Love Triangle with Jean Grey, Cyclops (Betty), and Wolverine (Veronica)...which was turned on its head during Grant Morrison's early 2000s run, which introduced a Betty And Veronica love triangle with Cyclops as the center figure, Jean as the Betty, and Emma Frost as the Veronica. Then Jean dies, with the writers claiming she won't be back, but absolutely no readers believe that since coming Back from the Dead is part of Jean's power set.
In the earlier days, the Jean Grey love triangle had Angel in place of Wolverine, as Wolverine hadn't been introduced yet.
Another example was the love triangle between Havok, Polaris, and Iceman with Havok as the Veronica and Iceman as the Betty. Havok and Polaris have been through hell and back together since the earliest days of the comic.
Taking Rogue as Archie, she has Joseph (Betty) and Gambit (Veronica), then she has Gambit as the Betty and Magneto as the Veronica.
Flash Gordon does this several times: Flash must choose between Dale (the Betty) and Princess Aura (the Veronica); Princess Aura must choose between Flash (the Betty) and Prince Barin (the Veronica). The 2007 series confuses things by throwing Baylin (the Veronica) into the mix. And gets canceled before a resolution can happen.
Except that Baylin was more interested in Barrin than Flash in that series, and Dale and Barrin more or less hated each other. Aura did briefly fall in love with a sweet native of Mongo who could be the Betty to Flash's Veronica (seeing as Flash was an action guy from a different world), however that lasted exactly one episode, with Ming strangling the poor native love interest in front of Aura. And then it was sort of implied that Aura's long-lost brother had some... affections for her, which she didn't seem to return. 'Twas a bit screwy...
In Silver Age Superman, Lois Lane was somewhat Veronica-ish compared to Clark's childhood sweetheart Lana Lang. In the early modern continuity, Lois, a brassy investigative journalist who wouldn't give Clark the time of day romantically, was the Veronica, while sensitive, feminine, openly-in-love-with-Clark Cat Grant was clearly the Betty.
In fact, Lois and Cat were respectively the Betty and the Veronica in Superman: Secret Origin, which once again re-established Superman's origin in the post-Infinite Crisis continuity.
And later, after Lois fell in love with Clark and discovered his secret identity, she viewed Wonder Woman as the Veronica on several occasions. This was an unfounded worry on her part though, since Supes and Wondy are Like Brother and Sister... although not in The New 52.
Tim Drake (3rd Robin) from the Batman series has had his own personal love triangle in the early run of his solo book. He was dating civilian Ariana Dzerchenko (Betty) but was attracted to vigilante Stephanie Brown (Veronica) at the same time. Ironic, because Ariana has Veronica's physical appearance and bitchiness, and Stephanie has Betty's physical appearance and tomboyishness. Ultimately, Stephanie wins the triangle, with her becoming his most high-profile (and longest) relationship in the series.
Even after Stephanie and Tim's breakup, her fake 'death', Tim dating a new girl called Zoanne and later Stephanie's subsequent return to Gotham — Stephanie was still the Veronica, this time to Zoanne's Betty. And again, Stephanie wins the triangle (technically), with Tim breaking up with Zoanne on the phone, and then calling up Stephanie to try and patch things up with her.
Any of Tim's civilian girlfriends will end up being the 'Betty' by default due to his working partnership/love-hate-on-off relationship with Stephanie (who is always the Veronica).
Speaking of Superboy (Conner Kent) and Robin III (Tim Drake), both have dated Wondergirl. It wasn't much of a triangle to begin with, but Tim could be Betty/the nice guy and Conner Veronica/the bad boy. With the new Teen Titans reboot, it seems like there's a possibility this triangle might be happening soon.
Comic strip Luann deals with this frequently, with main character Luann (the reasonably nice Betty) competing with vain cheerleader Tiffany (Veronica) for Aaron Hill (Archie).
Luann also had to choose between the nerdy Gunther (Betty) and the cooler Aaron (Veronica). At least until Aaron moved to Hawaii, making Gunther win by default.
Another example had a competition between Luann's brother Brad (Betty) and Dirk (Veronica) for the affections of Toni. Brad won.
Sleeper has a version of this with the main character Holden Carver, his former government coworker Veronica (Betty), and supervillain Gretchen/Miss Misery (Veronica). The end result is a truly spectacular and accidental Murder the Hypotenuse, with Veronica shooting Gretchen, thinking she was about to kill Holden, and Holden reflexively shooting Veronica dead. He then had an experimental surgery to cure his condition that left him in a vegetative state, with his superior creating a little mental world for him where he lives on a beach with both Veronica and Gretchen, making this a rare canononical quasi-OT 3 solution.
Lanfeust is a textbook example with the hero's fiancee Ci'an (the Betty) and her troublesome yet alluring twin sister Cixi (the Veronica). The two are TWINS: gentle, proper Ci'an packs a mean right when angered, while sex-obsessed Cixi sometimes shows a softer heart than her sister, sometimes inverting their role. He ends up with Cixi after she becomes awesome. Well, even more awesome. Lanfeust and Ci'an actually split up before that due to Ci'an falling for the finally grown up Or-Azur while Lanfeust realized he couldn't provide her with the stable life she aspired to.
Another X-Men example is Generation X, where Bald Black Leader Guy Everett's affections was one of many things spunky Jubilee (Betty) and beautiful, classy Monet (Veronica) butted heads over.
Possibly in Thor's case, Sif could to be his "Betty" and Enchantress (Amora) his "Veronica" or Jane Foster is Betty and Sif is Veronica.
The Golden AgeMAD romance spoof "Flob Was a Slob!" had everyday American girl Ramona Snarfle choosing between her childhood friend, Sheldon Flob, who'd rather be chasing butterflies, and handsome, adventurous Rackstraw Him, who happens to also be a drug pusher and philanderer.
Sin City has Dwight as Archie with badass prostitute Gail as Veronica and sweetheart waitress Shellie as Betty.
Incredible Hulk has Betty choosing between Bruce the Betty and Glenn the Veronica.
The Chaos War would also have Jarella as the Betty and Red She-Hulk aka Betty as the Veronica.
The Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth mini-series had a literal Betty (Swanson, an A.I.M. Hot Scientist who is disgusted by him) and Veronica (Chase, an ESU professor who had the hots for him). Unfortunately, the latter ended up being zombified, so he's stuck with the hot blonde who hates his guts.
British 1940's comic strip Buck Ryan had private investigator Buck's action secretary Zola (blond) as Betty, and his originally arch-nemesis Twilight (brunette, missing an ear) as Veronica.
Zot! Jenny is torn between Zot (Veronica) and Woody (Betty). Unusually, both acknowledge that it's Jenny's choice and they genuinely like each other. Also, Zot's blonde, while Woody's brown-haired.
Spy Boy: Spygirl and Bombshell. Even their fake identities in Alex's high school parody this.
And as of Dark Reign during which Namor joined the X-Men he's become the Veronica to Emma Frost/Archie and Cyclops/Betty.
The early nineties Namor series had a love triangle with Namor as Archie, Carrie Alexander (who helped him set up Oracle Inc. and her and her father cured Namor's blood chemistry imbalance) as the Betty and Phoebe Marrs (Rich Bitch who ran Marrs Corp with her brother, the two of them tried to ruin Oracle Inc. before Pheobe legimately fell for Namor) as Veronica.
Esoteric Card Games
Card VI "The Lovers" of the Tarot has, in many versions, the imagery of an Archie who needs to choose between a Bettie and a Veronica. It's meant to represent the choice between sense and sensibility, etc.
The Cincinnati Kid has a textbook Betty and Veronica love triangle, so much that the 2nd paragraph of this page sounds like it's describing this movie. Steve McQueen is the hero, a poker player dating Tuesday Weld (Betty) who is pretty, sweet, and kind of dull, but he's drawn to the wild and sexy Ann-Margret (Veronica), who is married to a friend of his but constantly flirts with him. True to form, Weld is a blonde and Margret is a redhead.
A "color-coded" triangle exists in film noirs The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946, Tension, and Out Of The Past (where the evil Veronica, Jane Greer, dresses all in white, as Lana Turner had in "Postman"). In the black and white film Dark Passage, both the Veronica and Betty characters (Agnes Moorhead and Lauren Bacall respectively) are brunettes, but Moorhead's character loves and is coded by the color orange.
Examples of this type of love triangle in Film Noir include:
The Maltese Falcon - Effie Perine is the Betty and Brigid O'Shaughnessy is the Veronica, with Sam Spade as Archie
Double Indemnity - Lola Dietrichson is the Betty and Phyliss Dietrichson is the Veronica, with Walter Neff as Archie
Laura - Both Diane Redfern and Anne Tredwell are Bettys to Laura Hunt's Veronica and Shelby Carpenter's Archie
Murder my Sweet - Anne Grayle is the Betty, Helen Grayle is the Veronica and Philip Marlowe is Archie
Detour - Although not really a love triangle, Sue is a Betty, Vera is a Veronica, and Al is the Archie
Mildred Pierce - Mildred is the Betty, Veda is the Veronica, and Monte is the Archie
Leave her to Heaven - Ruth is the Betty, Ellen is the Veronica and Richard is the Archie
The Big Sleep - Vivian is the Betty, and Carmen is the Veronica to Philip Marlowe's archie
The Killers - Lily is the Veronica, Kitty is the Archie, and Ole Anderson is the Archie
The Postman Always Rings Twice - Briefly, Cora was the Veronica, Madge was the Betty and Frank was the Archie
The Strange Love of Marhta Ivers - Tony is the Betty, Sam is Archie and Martha is the Veronica
Out of the Past - Anne is the Betty, Kathy is the Veronica and Jeff is the Archie
Sunset Blvd - Betty is, well, the Betty, Norma is the Veronica, and Joe is the Archie
John Hughes has used this binary triangle with some success. In Pretty In Pink, the traditional "Betty/Veronica" triangle exists between two boys and a girl (Blaine, Ducky, red-headed Andi)... Yet the unpleasant "Reggie" archetype is played by the blonde, wealthy James Spader, who seeks to sabotage his friend Blaine, an "Archie" type nice boy. The character of Duckie is comic relief, like "Jughead," but unique in that he's also a love interest. Pretty in Pink was originally shot to have her end up with the Betty (Ducky) as well, but thanks to Executive Meddling, that didn't happen.
Hughes also played this trope straight in Some Kind of Wonderful - a red-haired "Archie" (Eric Stoltz) loves a popular girl (Lea Thompson) with brown hair, but can't see that his blonde best friend (Mary Stuart Masterson) loves him.
This was also used in Sixteen Candles, when the male love interest is dating the blond cheerleader (Veronica) but spends most of the movie trying to hook up with the red-headed plain but not-superficial girl (Betty). The cheerleader gets this herself, when she leaves said male love interest (Veronica) for a geeky but sweet kid she went home with while drunk (Betty). And since that geeky kid had a crush on the plain red head, he himself chose the Veronica over the Betty.
Partially subverted in The Mask, where the Betty, a news reporter, sells Stanley out to the Big Bad, while the Veronica, the Big Bad's Moll, is the one who stays true and ends up with him.
The two fiances in Corpse Bride fit this trope—shy, proper, living Victoria is the Betty and the lively-but-dead Emily is the Veronica. Except that Victor specifically wants to marry Victoria; Emily was in the picture thanks to a rather weird Accidental Engagement.
Victor ALSO wants to marry Emily; but, knowing that doing so would kill him and would make Victoria as sad as she is herself without any chance of closure, she rejects him at the last moment.
Featured but skewed in Strange Days, where the Betty is an ass-kicking tough-as-nails limo driver who is devoted to the (slightly skeevy) main character, and the Veronica is a flaky, self-centred punk rock singer who broke the main character's heart and who he's been obsessed with ever since. The Betty wins out, mainly because the Veronica slept with the main character's best friend and conspired with him to frame the main character for two murders.
In Mormon movie The Single's Ward the protagonist dumps the non-Mormon Veronica for the Mormon Betty after he has an epiphany and realizes that he values his faith.
Terrence Malick's The New World applies this trope to the story of Pocahontas, who has to choose between John Smith (Veronica) and John Rolfe (Betty).
In Teen Wolf, the main character Scott Howard lusts after the blonde cheerleader Pamela, while ignoring his Hollywood Homely female best friend Boof (who is in love with him). When he becomes popular, he has sex with Pamela. In the end he becomes involved with Boof.
Also gender-flipped in Pirates of the Caribbean with Jack as the Veronica and Will as the Betty. Elizabeth must choose between them...not that there's ever much doubt about who she'll choose, seeing that she's been in love with Will from the beginning and never shows much interest in Jack. But still, the option was there (and fans in particular liked to explore it).
Slight variation in that neither of them was the man her father would have preferred her to marry, giving her a Third Option Love Interest on James Norrington, a suitor from her own social class. Will takes the Betty role by being a slightly less bad choice, as at least he's well-behaved. Usually.
In Death Becomes Her, Helen, a shy, timid Betty in the beginning of the movie, is desperately afraid her fiance Ernest will fall for Madeline, her childhood friend, who is a flashy actress and definite Veronica. Depending on how you define the roles, though, they become less distinct after the first fifteen minutes of the movie.
Mulholland Drive: Betty is, well, "Betty", and Rita is "Veronica". Initially subverted in that, instead of being two sides of a love triangle, they initially develop a lesbian relationship. It gets more complicated later on.
In Caveman, Atouk lusts after the sexy but shallow Lana. When she becomes interested in him, he rejects her for his friend Tala.
The plot of Two Lovers, although the brunette is the stable one while the blonde is wild. Another exception in the brunette and blonde appearing to be of equal attractiveness.
Star Wars. With Princess Leia Organa herself as the Archie, good-hearted, loyal, and friendly farmboy/Jedi Luke Skywalker is the Betty. Roguish, rough, and experienced Han Solo is the Veronica. Rather luckily (given the later revelation that she was Luke's Long Lost Sibling), she chose Han.
Inverted in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where the protagonist chases after the wholesome, apple-pie blonde all-American girl and ends up with the wild, exotic boob-flashing brunette from Hawaii.
Subverted in Not Another Teen Movie, where Janey, having to choose between Jake (The Jock who dates her only because of a bet with his Jerk Jock buddy) and Ricky (the annoying, whiny loser of a "friend"), chooses the former, causing him to have a change of heart, while the latter remains an annoying whiny loser.
The movie adaptation of The Phantom has Diana, Kit's ex-girlfriend, and Sala, the female leader of a gang of Air Pirates.
Cat People has the male lead falling for the beautiful, exotic, Serbian Irena, but later leaving her for his sweet, dependable, American coworker Alice. (Partly because Irena wouldn't sleep with him.)
A genderswapped version with Enkil as the Betty and Lestat as the Veronica to Akasha's Archie. Lestat most decidedly wins when Akasha murders Enkil in order to pursue Lestat. And then...
Akasha as the Veronica and Jesse as the Betty to Lestat's Archie. Jesse wins when Lestat turns on Akasha in order to save his Betty.
Bram Stoker's Dracula has (although Bram Stoker's Dracula does not) a genderswapped version with Mina as Archie, Dracula as Veronica and her much more average fiance Jonathan as Betty. Dracula dies, but it is not made entirely certain that Mina goes back to Jonathan.
On the other hand, one could view Mina as the Betty and Lucy as the Veronica to 'The Man Himself'. As it's a matter of Death rather than love, and Dracula does try for both, this is probably a subversion (or even just a nod to the trope rather than an instance proper.)
Made Of Honour is built on this. The story revolves around lead character Tom (Betty) falling in love with best friend Hannah (Archie) and stopping her wedding to ultra-perfect, royal Duke, Colin (Veronica).
In The Age Of Innocence, Newland Archer is engaged and eventually married to May Welland, a lovely but completely ordinary socialite (The Betty), while falling in love with her cousin Ellen, the family reprobate (The Veronica). This trope is played even stronger in the book, where May is blond and blue-eyed and Ellen dark-haired. Subverted somewhat in that in this case, the Betty is wrong for him, despite their similar backgrounds and upbringing.
The 2010 Rupert Grint movie Cherrybomb has another genderswapped version, with Michelle as the Archie, having to choose between the (relatively) safe and dependable Malachy (Betty) and the rebellious, dashing Luke (Veronica).
In Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the blonde Cristina (Betty) and the brunette (Vicky) are involved in a love triangle with Javier Bardem's character.
The Deaths of Ian Stone sets up the protagonist with a sweet-natured blonde Betty, then shifts him to dating an increasingly unnerving dark-haired Veronica as the Dream Within a Dream kicks in. Neither he nor the Veronica are even remotely human, and he loved her before abandoning her for the Betty who by all rights should have been his prey. The plot of the film is based in her attempts first to snap him out of it, then to get revenge.
Spider-Man 3 reverses the comics' version of the characters, casting Gwen Stacy as the Veronica and Mary Jane Watson as the Betty to Peter Parker's Archie. Peter eventually chooses Gwen while under the influence of the Venom symbiote, but manages to offend and alienate both of them with how much of a douche he's become.
In Clerks, Dante Hicks is dating Veronica (Betty) when an old flame from high school comes back into his life, Caitlin Bree (Veronica). Veronica brings him lasagna at work and is trying to get Dante back in school. Caitlin is engaged (but calls off the wedding), and cheated on Dante in high school. He winds up trying to go for Caitlin, and losing them both. Veronica dumps him, and Caitlin goes catatonic after screwing a random dead guy in the Quick-E-Stop's restroom, thinking it was Dante.
In Clerks II, Dante has another choice between his high-maintenance fiancee Emma (Veronica) and his boss, Becky (Betty). This time he actually gets the girl and ends up with Becky.
While the two female love interests in Cassandra's Dream aren't part of a love triangle, each being involved with one of the two brothers, their personalities fit perfectly the trope: Kate is the soft, reasonable girl next door, and Angela the sexy, intellectual actress.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street somewhat deconstructs the plot with the Johanna love triangle. To the audience it's very clear that Anthony (nice guy her own age) is Betty and Turpin (ruthless old pervert who raped her mother) is Veronica. However Turpin sees himself as a responsible gentleman Betty attempting to "shield Johanna from the evils of the world" by fending off a lustful young Veronica.
Wallace and Victor Quartermaine in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
She's Out of My League plays around with this. For Molly, Kirk is the Adorkable Betty and Cam, her ex-boyfriend, is the Veronica. Meanwhile for Kirk, the beautiful and worldly Molly initially seems the Veronica and his familiar ex-girlfriend Marnie is the Betty. However Molly is genuinely nice and Marnie is not.
The 1927 silent film It (not to be confused with Stephen King's IT) has reserved, aristocratic blonde Adela (the Betty) and sexy, fun-loving working class brunette Betty (the ironically-named Veronica) vying for Cyrus's affections. As Betty is the titular "it" girl and Cyrus is clearly attracted to her (even when he doesn't want to be) and oblivious of Adela's feelings for him throughout the entire film, it should be obvious which girl wins in the end.
The Olsen twins. Everything that they've ever been in. Ashley's character might be interested in fashion and modeling or be the cool surfer chick but will always be the boy-crazy Veronica while Mary-Kate's character might be a serious student or serious athlete but always the down to earth one.
Something New: Mark (Betty) and Brian (Veronica) for Kenya (Archie). Mark has no cultural or color divide to overcome and works a similar professional job and comes from an acceptable social status. Brian does not.
In a deleted scene from Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace runs a personality/pop culture test on Vincent Vega. One of the questions is "Betty or Veronica", and Vincent chooses Betty, claiming never having gotten Veronica's appeal. Which is made interesting by the fact that Mia is a total Veronica.
The Science Of Sleep: Stéphane is firmly a Betty and Zoé (an aspiring musician) has elements of being a Veronica.
The 1945 French classic Children of Paradise. Amid its Love Dodecahedron is the triangle between the mime Baptiste, the sultry carnival performer Garance (Veronica) and Nathalie (Betty), daughter of the manager of the theater where Baptiste is a star. In a variation on the usual formula, Garance loves Baptiste, but his shyness and her many other suitors stand in the way of their romance (also, both women are brunettes). Eventually Baptiste marries Nathalie, only to have Garance re-enter his life.
In the 1993 ski film Aspen Extreme, one of the main protagonists, TJ Burke, is involved in a love triangle between two very different women: a down-to-earth and beautiful radio DJ named Robin Hand (the Betty) and a seductive millionaire businesswoman named Bryce Kellogg (the Veronica).
A variant appeared in The Captain's Paradise, where Alec Guinness was married to quiet homebody Maud (Betty) but had the sexy and vibrant Nita (Veronica) as his wife in another port. Hilarity began ensuing when he mixed up his presents for them, making Maud ecstatic that he saw her as physically desirable and Nita thrilled that he was willing to acknowledge her domestic side.
Subverted in The Dark Knight Rises. Bruce Wayne/Batman is attracted to both Miranda Tate (CEO of Wayne Enterprises, as well as a prim and proper society lady) and Selina Kyle (Catwoman)...but Miranda turns out to be Bane's Man Behind the Man and the film's Big Bad, who wants to nuke Gotham.
In Dangerous Beauty, Marco Venier is caught in a love triangle between his dutiful, God-fearing, obedient wife, Giulia de Lezze, obviously the Betty, and the sensuous, promiscuous, dangerous courtesan Veronica Franco, who is, well, the Veronica. Interestingly, Veronica was very much a Betty herself, and she and Marco were in love in their youth, and wanted to marry, except that Veronica's family had no money for a dowry, forcing her to become a courtesan in order to support herself. The film in general has much more sympathy for Veronica, who is, after all, the title character, protagonist, and heroine, than for Giulia, whose only faults are that she is not as sexually adventurous as a courtesan, and that she resents the fact that her husband openly patronizes a courtesan.
This is a common theme throughout the novels of Jane Austen, of the heroine being torn between a dependable, caring man and a libertinish cad. She will always choose the former, but Austen will keep you guessing as to who it is. (The exception is Lady Susan, as she is an anti-heroine who is herself a Veronica.)
Mansfield Park: With Fanny, Edmund is the Betty and Henry is the Veronica; with Edmund, Fanny is the Betty and Mary is the Veronica; with Henry Crawford, Fanny is the Betty and Maria is the Veronica; with Maria Bertram, Rushworth is the Betty and Henry is the Veronica.
Emma: With Emma, George Knightley is the Betty and Frank Churchill is the Veronica.
The first is Hermione choosing between the famous, popular, mysterious and intense Viktor Krum (Veronica) and her good friend Ron (Betty). (Though personality-wise, Krum was a niceGuy who would have been a nice Betty if given the chance)
This trope is played with canonically on the Lily/Snape/James triangle. Snape's Pensieved memories show that Snape (who was in love with Lily all along) was originally Lily's best friend, while she wanted nothing to do with arrogant bully James. This changes and Lily eventually marries James, but interestingly it seems that this only happens once Snape switches to the Veronica (by insulting Lily and calling her "mudblood") while James becomes the Betty (by acting less arrogant and more mature once he left school). It's like a Betty and Veronica love triangle where Archie has no interest in the Veronica... whoever it may be at a given time.J.K. Rowling has expressed her dismay with the fact that All Girls Want Bad Boys in interviews, so this may simply be Lily defying that trope in combination with an Hourglass Plot.
Ron caught between his long time friend Hermione and the "fangirl" Lavender Brown.
Harry goes from Cho Chang, the "very pretty" popular girl with long dark hair, to his team-mate and best friend's little sister Ginny.
In Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, the titular character initially marries the charmingly ditzy Dora Spenlow (Veronica), and only later discovers and returns the love of the gentle, supportive Agnes Wickfield (Betty).
Piers Anthony's Isle of View (say it out loud) in the Xanth series resolves the Betty and Veronica love triangle between Prince Dolph and his two fiancees: Electra (sweet, willing, but unexciting) and Nada Naga (exotic, beautiful, but uninterested). By the time it's resolved a few books later, all three characters have been sufficiently Flanderized that there's no reason to care anymore.
Louisa May Alcott's Little Women has next-door neighbor Laurie decide between the outdoorsy and bookish girl-next-door Jo (Betty) and her rich, refined, exotic European-vacationing younger sister Amy (Veronica) ultimately settling with Amy, after Jo turns him down because she never liked him as more than a friend.
In R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse the blonde, brainless, surprisingly-innocent Serwe is Betty and the dark-haired, intelligent prostitute Esmenet is Veronica.
Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and all of its kajillion adaptations do this. The rebellious student Marius (Archie), the cultured and mysterious orphan Cosette (Betty), and the spunky, determined, and quite possibly not-right-in-the-head street urchin Eponine (Veronica), the winner being Cosette. However, this was inevitable due to Values Dissonance. Eponine was intended as a living critique of 19th century France's rigid class system: she never could get in a relationship with the (broke, but still) aristocratic Marius, because they just weren't considered equals.
And then there's Hugo's other classic, The Hunchbackof Notre Dame, with Phoebus' undeniably good-looking and marriageable fiance, Fleur-de-Lys (a "white-skinned beauty"), vs. the disturbingly beautiful golden-skinned, black-haired gypsy Esmeralda, with whom Phoebus is in lust, but afraid to be seen. Fleur-de-Lys and Esmeralda fit the traditional physical descriptions and relationship standings of Betty and Veronica, respectively, but Esmeralda (Veronica) is arguably a much nicer person, and destined to lose; thereby the trope is partially reversed.
The Man Who Laughs, where Gwynplaine is torn between the extremely sweet Dea and the rather perverted Duchess Josiana.
Stardust: Tristran has to make a Red Pill, Blue Pill choice between the magical shooting star Yvaine (Betty) and his former crush Victoria (Veronica). Yvaine wins.
Although you can argue that Victoria is actually the Betty (being the one Tristran was originally in love with and a normal human) and Yvaine the Veronica (being the magical, more 'exotic' choice and a bit of a Defrosting Ice Queen). It's a bait and switch of this trope, really.
In Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga, gender roles are switched—the protagonist, Bella Swan, has to choose between Edward and Jacob. Interestingly, which is the "Betty" and which is the "Veronica" depends on the reader: "Team Edward" readers see Edward as the Romantic Vampire Boy who's a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold while Jacob is a Manipulative Bastard who forces himself on her, once even emotionally blackmailing her into kissing him. "Team Jacob" readers, on the other hand, see Jacob as the Dogged Nice Guy who's always been there for her as her Childhood Friend, while Edward is a Stalker with a Crush turned Crazy Jealous Guy, even going so far as to remove part of her car's engine to keep her from visiting Jacob. Technically, Edward and Jacob are both Veronicas in terms of danger, since it's demonstrated many times throughout the series that both vampires and werewolves are always in danger of harming their human significant others. The only true Betty in the series is Mike Newton, and he was never really in the running anyway.
Honor Harrington gives an interesting example in which not the hero, but a supporting character, Hamish Alexander, gets torn between his beautiful, loving and brilliant, but invalid wife, Emily (the Betty), and lively, athletic and no less beautiful protege and subordinate, titular Honor Harrington. Being an Officer and a Gentleman, Hamish decided to simply suffer nobly in silence, which brought a truly monumental amount of problems for at least three books until he was whacked on the head by no other than his very wife. He then went on marrying both.
Honor was aware of Hamish's feelings but he didn't know that she knew, and had also chosen to suffer nobly in silence. Emily's Clue Bat had to work a lot of overtime that week.
Bridget Jones's Diary plays this fairly straight between Mark Darcy (Betty) and Daniel Cleaver (Veronica). The film version even describes them as "too good to be true" and "so wrong he might just be right", respectively. By the end of the books, Mark has won, although when Helen Fielding continued the column, apparently Bridget was still torn between them and ends up having Daniel's baby. Sigh.
Kushiel's Legacy has Imriel torn between his dutiful love for gentle brunette wife Dorelei, and his socially inappropriate and fairly kinky attachment to glamorous, feisty blonde heiress Sidonie, a Defrosting Ice Queen. Arguably Phedre, Hyacinthe and Joscelin fall into this as well, if only because of the complicated nature of Phedre's relationship with Joscelin.
In the Russian version of the tale The Shadow, written by E. Shwartz, the scientist Christian Theodore, after defeating his shadow, chooses to marry the faithful Annunciata, rather than the shallow (as it turns out) princess, his previous love interest.
Very early example: the eponymous hero of Daniel Deronda has to choose between sweet, emotionally fragile Jewish musician Mirah and shallow, socialite-fallen-on-hard-times Gwendolen. In a very unpopular move for the times, he chooses Mirah. It was so unpopular, in fact, that an American novelist actually wrote a "sequel," Gwendolen, in which Deronda reconverts to Christianity and marries Gwendolen!
Tipping The Velvet: In a rare lesbian example, Nan has to decide between her beautiful, faithless, music hall artiste ex Kitty and her feisty socialist girlfriend Florence. She chooses Flo. Partly ruined by the TV adaptation, which insists on turning the savvy Flo into an innocent wet weakling. It might be this change in focus that led many fans to complain she should have picked Kitty.
In Gottfried Keller's Green Henry (1854/55) the protagonist is torn between the sweet Anna and the passionate Judith.
In the novel as well as the film Starter For Ten, Brian Jackson is faced with a similar dilemma - he is heavily attracted to his sexy University Challenge teammate Alice (the somewhat 'slutty' Veronica) but somewhat attracted to intuitive activist Rebecca (a more forceful Betty who isn't the 'girl-next-door'), whom he doesn't realize he's better off with. He does realize he's better off with Rebecca and 'breaks up' with Alice (after she slept with his best friend).
In the Stephanie Plum series, the protagonist of the same name is caught in a love triangle between her childhood friend Joe Morelli and the more mysterious Ranger. However, Joe Morelli isn't exactly your run-of-the-mill goody-two-shoes Betty.
In the Dragonlance novels, red headed Tanis Half-Elven has to choose between Laurana, a sweet, innocent blonde elven princess, and Kitiara, a sultry brunette human warlord. After a great deal of indecision and whining about how horrible it is to have two gorgeous women in love with him, Tanis finally chooses Laurana, mainly because he feels responsible when Kitiara tries to resolve the triangle by kidnapping Laurana and attempting to have her killed.
In The Age Of Innocence, Newland Archer is engaged to the blond, blue-eyed, "perfect" - and completely superficial and ordinary - May Welland (the Betty), but falls in love with her dark-haired cousin Ellen, the family reprobate (the Veronica). Interestingly, the trope is somewhat inverted, as in this case, it's The Veronica who is more suited to him in terms of personality and interests.
In Everwild, Allie finds herself in a love triangle with Mikey (Betty) and Milos (Veronica).
Though at the time, Allie might have seen Mikey as the Veronica and Milos as the Betty, based on their attitudes.
In The Night Angel Trilogy, Kylar finds that he has feelings for the pure and well-meaning Elene (Betty), but also finds himself drawn to the violent and fiery Vi (Veronica) as well. In the end Elene sacrifices herself, leaving Vi and Kylar for each other...
Played straight in Stephen Donaldson's The Mirror Of Her Dreams, with Terisa, who has to choose between Geraden (Betty) and Eremis (Veronica). Geraden wins, since Eremis is evil and has been trying to kill Terisa and Geraden for most of the book. For added Squick, his intentions seemed to be to sleep with her, and then kill her.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier has a gender-flipped example: Pieter the son as Betty and Vermeer as Veronica, with Griet as the Archie.
Moonlight - which can be fairly described as "Twilight with werewolves" - plays this straight, but with a twist. Kayla, the heroine, identifies Lucas as the Bad Boy, and Mason as the "safe" guy. The twist is, even before Mason's Face Heel Turn, reading between the lines reveals that she's got it backwards. Lucas is gruff, aloof, and has an animal magnetism that terrifies her, but he also protects her, trusts her, and never forces her to do anything she's unable to cope with. Mason, while charming and intelligent, comes on to her rather insistently, acts possessive, demonstrates overt disrespect for Lucas (who more or less ignores him in return), and - most tellingly - uses beer smuggled on the trip to get Kayla buzzed before a night of stargazing.
In Barefoot Boy With Cheek by Max Shulman, Asa Hearthrug spends a chapter unable to decide between the patrician Noblesse Oblige and campus communist Yetta Samovar.
Subverted somewhat disturbingly in The Lover by AB Yehoshua, with the quiet day-in-day-out Adam intentionally fixing up his wife with young artist Gabriel as a lover, and later doing it with his daughter’s friend Tali.
In Dostoevsky'sThe Idiot, Prince Myshkin is forced to choose between Aglaia, a girl with a good reputation from a respectable household, and the scandalous, self-destructive Nastassya Filippovna. He chooses...poorly. Somewhat subverted in that Aglaia is very much a Tsundere which makes her pretty far from the typical Betty prototype.
Played straight in The Wheel of Time with Lews Therin Telamon's two love interests: the ambitious, dark-haired, dark-eyed channeler Mierin Eronaile, and the red-gold-haired Ilyena Moerelle Dalisar, who has no powers to speak of. He chooses Ilyena, then goes mad and kills her. Mierin's jealousy of Ilyena might have played a role in her decision to become Lanfear, the first of the Forsaken.
In Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, the hero Steven must choose between Annette Watson (Betty) and Renee Albert (Veronica). He chooses Annette.
In the later Vampire Academy books, Rose has Adrian become her Betty and Dimitri, her Veronica.
Matched by Ally Condie is about a dystopian society where everything you do, including your future spouse, is determined by statistics on you and your age group. Cassia has her "matching" ceremony where she is matched with her close childhood friend, Xander. However, the next day she sees that she is matched with Ky. She now must choose between Xander, the person society chose for her, and Ky, a rebellious "Aberration" who should not have beeen matched in the first place.
Discussed in Faking It by Jennifer Crusie about choosing between the muffin (Betty) and the doughnut (Veronica). The doughnut is exciting and fun and gorgeous, whereas the muffin just kinds of sit there, "lumpy, looking alike, no chocolate frosting." But while the doughnut is good for a one night stand, its sticky and no longer crispy the next morning. Muffins, however, taste better the next day, and are there for the long haul.
Played with in Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. Curt is the Betty, because he is probably the safest option for her especially after she gets pregnant. Curt is very wealthy and has a high status in her school. Matt could be either Betty or Veronica, depending on your point of view. Matt could be Betty because he is the one she's always wanted, her mother knows him, and he is also Chinese. He could be the Veronica because he is poor and for some parts of the book already has another girlfriend. In the end, Kimberly chooses neither. Matt marries his girlfriend, but Kimberly and him do share a kiss.
Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Deconstructed in the book Sweet Revenge! The book has Bobby Harcourt (Archie), Isabelle Flanders (Betty), and Rosemary Hershey (Veronica). Bobby and Isabelle were going to be married. However, Rosemary hated Isabelle's guts and had her framed for drunk driving that resulted in the deaths of three people. Isabelle ends up being ruined and loses everything. Bobby, in a Moment of Weakness (and lust) ends up having sex with Rosemary and marries her instead. By the book Sweet Revenge, however, things change. Bobby ends up realizing that Rosemary is a Jerkass with an It's All About Me attitude and decides to divorce her. Isabelle ends up back in a position of prominence and works hard to ruin Rosemary. Rosemary goes Ax Crazy, ends up losing everything, gets ruined, and is last seen placed in a mental institution, possibly to never become lucid again. Isabelle and Bobby did have a short dialogue, but it is painfully clear that it is too late for both of them to have the sort of relationship they once had. So Bobby, thanks to his foolishness, ends up with nothing in a sense, and is forced to realize that he wasted years of his life with the wrong woman.
In The Hunger Games, Gale is the Betty with Peeta as the Veronica as Katniss's Archie. However, it is possible to see Peeta as the Betty - blond, meek, kind and had a crush on Katniss since they were young - with Gale as the Veronica - dark-haired, handsome and more "dangerous".
Ivanhoe was fought over between Rowena (aristocratic, moody Betty) and Rebecca (kind yet exotic Veronica). Ivanhoe was already in love with Rowena from before Rebecca came into the picture, so yeah.
The quintessential flipped B/A/V love triangle has to be Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Rich, blond Linton being the Betty; dark, poor, dangerous (arguably psychotic) Heathcliff playing the Veronica; and selfish Catherine as the Archie.
The narrator of Richard Powell's Don Quixote, U.S.A. intended to remain true to his blonde girlfriend Sally (Betty), a photographer for Life, only to be increasingly attracted to the fiery brunette Conchita (Veronica), member of a South American rebel group and well-practiced user of a "burp gun."
In Kazuo Hishiguro's Never Let Me Go, and the film it inspired, Kathy is Betty and Ruth is Veronica to Tommy.
In I Can Get It For You Wholesale by Jerome Weidman, Harry Bogen's love interests are his childhood neighbor's daughter Ruthie Rivkin (whose friends call her "Betty", though the name doesn't stick with him) and hard-to-get actress Martha Mills. In the book he clearly prefers the Shiksa Goddess to Ruthie, whom he considers too Jewish-looking for his ambitions even if his mother approves of her; in the musical version he does ultimately end up with Ruthie.
In Vikram Seth's novel An Equal Music, Julia has the calm grounded James, and the moody Anti-Hero (and narrator) Michael.
Subverted in The Host. Ian and Jared fit the bill all right, the subversion being that the Archie is actually two people in the same body with Ian only interested in Wanda and Jared interested in Melanie. Honestly, it could be viewed as a metaphor for a guy loving you for you for your mind/personality vs. a guy loving you for your body.
In Looking for Alaska, Miles Halter (a.k.a. "Pudge")has to choose between Lara Buterskaya - a relatively "normal" Romanian immigrant and his girlfriend, and the titular Alaska Young - a "wild, self-destructive, moody, unpredictable, beautiful and enigmatic girl who captures Pudge's attention and heart."
Live Action TV
Lincoln Heights has the love triangle involving Charles (Archie), with Cassie as the (Betty) and Sage as the (Veronia). Also featured was Johnny Nightingale (Bety) and Devon (Veronica) for Lizzie (Archie).
Every third episode of Ally McBeal had this plot, either for Ally or one of her clients.
Degrassi The Next Generation has a gay (male) Betty And Veronica played straight — one boyfriend is a timid neat freak, and the other one is clueless and selfish.
Later on, KC is stuck in a Love Triangle with his girlfriend Clare (prudish and low-key) and new girl Jenna (upbeat and perky).
JT had a discussion with Toby about whether he should go back to Liberty who's like oatmeal or stick with new flame Mia who's as exciting a meatball sub. Unfortunately, we never got to see how this would have played out.
The Katie/Drew/Bianca triangle fits this. Katie is the Betty to Bianca's Veronica.
South of Nowhere is unique in that it features a "Betty" and "Veronica" lesbian romance - a blonde "girl next door" who falls for her troubled, petulant, dark-haired friend - with no "Archie" in the middle, after the first few episodes.
Season 3 features an interesting dynamic. There's a triangle between Spencer, Ashley and Aiden. Which is which is unclear.
There's also Spencer with Ashley (Betty) and Carmen (Veronica)
Gilligan's Island has the perennial question of "Ginger or Mary Ann?", where Ginger is the Veronica and Mary Ann is the Betty. However, this one didn't involve an actual love triangle between the characters - it was more of a perennial debate among viewers/fans of the show. See also Bailey and Jennifer of WKRP.
The Original Beverly Hills 90210 had Dylan (blend of Johnny Depp and James Dean) choose between Brenda (Betty) and Kelly (Veronica). He dated both for some time, until he finally choose Kelly. Some seasons later Kelly had to choose between Dylan and Brandon (Mr. Nice Guy).
Also done a lot in the new 90210, where love triangles abound: Ethan has to choose between his on-again-off-again girlfriend Naomi and the newcomer Annie; when he chooser her, it's Annie's turn as she's torn between Ethan and her ex- from Kansas; later on, Ethan develops feelings for Rhonda (the new Betty) and finally for Erin Silver, who in turn has to choose between him and Dixon (the white WASP jock with a newfound sentimental side vs the black official boyfriend who's also the new kid in town). During the second season, it's Adrianna choosing between Teddy and Navid (the blond jock womanizer vs the Iranian-American brunet nerd with a crush on her since childhood), and later on it's Silver choosing between Teddy and Dixon (the former having become a Betty and the latter now being manipulative and Machiavellian). Liam was also Veronica in season one (with Ethan being Betty and Naomi being Archie) and became Archie in season 2 (with Naomi being Veronica and Ivy being Betty).
Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the Betty to Xander's Archie. She was a genuine love interest for Xander, but he was far more drawn, in different ways, towards two different Veronicas: Buffy and Cordelia. (This being Joss Whedon, when Xander finally started to return Willow's interest, it trashed his relationship with Cordelia, nearly trashed Willow's relationship with Oz, and did not lead to Xander and Willow living together happily ever after.)
Early seasons also have the gender-flipped version with Buffy as Archie, her friend Xander as Betty and the vampire Angel as Veronica.
Buffy and Faith had a strong Betty And Veronica vibe going, although the guy playing Archie changed regularly. Xander, Angel, Riley, Spike, and Robin all took turns - usually fairly brief - in the Archie seat. For those keeping score, Buffy was simultaneously the Veronica to Willow's Betty and the Betty to Faith's Veronica. There's probably a lesson here.
Also subverted in early seasons in that Cordelia, an obvious Veronica, was interested in a seemingly willfully oblivious Angel, who only had eyes for Betty: the "good girl" Buffy (who's actually much more physically dangerous at this point, being the Slayer and whatnot).
Willow was also Oz's Betty, as opposed to sexy werewolf Veruca. Betty wins, but then Oz leaves, realising that he's a danger to people and has to go figure out his condition before he can be around her.
In season 8, Willow's girlfriend Kennedy was her Betty, with Willow's mentor/lover Aluwyn, the snake demon lady from a magical dimension, as Veronica.
In the Season 7 episode "Him" Dawn and Buffy fall in love with the same guy due to a love spell. Dawn tries to kill herself because she doesn't think she can compete with her big sister who slays demons and has rough sex with vampires.
A gender-flipped Angel example: Fred (Archie) had to choose between the tough, street-smart former gang leader Gunn (Veronica) and the bookish, nerdy Smart Guy Wes (Betty). (Ironically in Season 5 these roles are reversed, due to Wesley talking a level in badass and Gunn getting a brain implant). Eventually, she chose her Veronica, then broke up with him, turned to her Betty, died, became an ancient goddess, nearly killed both of them (one inadvertently), then Wes died. Long story.
Wesley had this vibe with his Dating Catwoman relationship with Lilah Morgan, versus his crush on Fred. Eventually he dumps Lilah for Fred, only to have his chances killed prematurely when Fred finds out about Lilah. Wes starts a brief relationship the following year, only for Fred to get killed.
In Dawson's Creek, Joey was at first the Betty to Dawson's Archie, while Jen was the Veronica. Later on the gender roles switched, and Dawson became the Betty to Joey's Archie, with Pacey as the Veronica.
In Teen Wolf, season two arguably has two: Scott is the Archie to Allison's Betty and Erica's Veronica, whereas in a gender swapped example, Lydia looks to be the Archie to Stiles' Betty and Jackson's Veronica.
In Veronica Mars, there's several instances of this throughout the entire series. Duncan (Betty)-Veronica-Logan (Veronica). Veronica (Veronica)-Duncan-Meg (Betty). Piz (Betty)-Veronica-Logan (Veronica). Even Wallace gets his brief moment of Love Triangulus. Weevil and a certain dead girl and their involvement in a past-tense love triangle, an example which is especially adequate for this trope.
Try not to be confused by the fact that the female lead's name is actually Veronica. The writers lampshaded the fact by having Veronica assume a different identity, using the name "Betty" as an alias when she needed to infiltrate a rival school (and claims to have come from a Riverdale High).
And ironically while as Betty she dresses preppy ala Veronica.
And all that doesn't cover the relationships of their parents. Between Celeste Kane(Veronica)/Jake Kane(Archie)/Lianne Mars(Betty), Jake Kane(Veronica)/Lianne Mars(Archie)/Keith Mars(Betty), and Lianne Mars(Veronica)/Keith Mars(Archie)/Alicia Fennel(Betty), you've got this trope everywhere in the series. Interestingly, All three of these were resolved by the single action of a 3rd party: Veronica(Mars) sending her own mother out of town to protect her father.
In Dark Shadows, the original supernatural soap opera, Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Barnabas Collins is torn between the memory of his fiancee, Josette du Pre, a Betty type, and the Veronica type (to the max) Angelique, the witch who gave him the vampire curse. At the end he gets over his torch for Josette, and avows to Angelique that he loves her. She is then killed (albeit not for very long), and Barnabas ends up with neither.
Unusually The OC had Cool Loser Seth end up with popular, beautiful, initially uninterested Summer (Veronica) while the seemingly kindred spirit Anna (Betty) was quickly dropped.
Chuck: For one or two episodes, Chuck has to choose between CIA Action Girl Sarah (Veronica) and sweet deli owner Lou (Betty). Later, there's a Gender Flip example when Sarah has to choose between Chuck (Betty) and her spy ex-boyfriend Bryce (Veronica).
In My So-Called Life, Brian Krakow is the love-struck, blonde boy next door (Betty). The protagonist Angela Chase (Archie) just can't see him because she's too busy lusting after bad boy Jordan Catalano (Veronica). Luckily, Brian and Jordan are Color-Coded Characters.
Given MSCL's unusual complexity (for a teen show), there was another, even more subtle one with Brian himself, with Sharon as Betty and Rayanne as Veronica. This essentially went nowhere as Sharon already has a love interest and Rayanne is a little too complicated for Brian to handle.
Far more blatant was Brian's dynamic in "Life of Brian", between the new girl Delia (Betty) and his long-held lust with Angela (Veronica). In true MSCL fashion, he ends up killing any chance of a relationship with Delia for just a whiff of a notice from Angela.
Gilmore Girls lives on this trope, with Rory playing Archie to the following Betty vs Veronica dyanmics:
Lorelai also plays Archie a few times, with her long-time, best friend Luke acting as Betty to Max, Alex, Jason and Christopher. He wins...eventually.
Grimm: Looks like Rosalee will become Monroe's Betty while Angelina is clearly his Veronica.
Given that Angelina is alive and well this may surface in future episodes.
Conversely Juliet would be the Betty and Ariel would be the Veronica to Nick.
Rosalee's ex boyfriend and Monroe are her Veronica (brooding freedom fighter) and Betty (sweet clockworker with an interest in the strange music they both love).
Nick and Renard may become this to Juliette (he had a flashback of their kiss, which may show that he is interested in her).
LOST: Jack (Betty), Sawyer (Veronica), and Kate (Archie). But in season five, it becomes: Juliet (Betty), Kate (Veronica) and Sawyer (Archie).
Gossip Girl has used this several times, most effectively with Blair having to choose between Nate (Betty) and Chuck (Veronica).
Quite ironically, during the first season, both Chuck and Nate were 50/50 Betty and Veronica: Chuck was the bad boy but was always there for Blair; Nate was the cute soulmate-type but in reality he'd cheated on her and was still in love with Serena.
Perhaps a better example (though not nearly as popular) is the way Vanessa acted as Betty for Dan, while Serena, Georgina and the Hillary Duff character were Veronica's, the latter being the one who pointed out how Dan had developed feelings for Vanessa.
Blair is the Veronica to Serena's Betty, with Nate as their Archie during Season 1. It could be argued that since Serena slept with Nate while he was dating Blair it technically makes her the floozy other woman (read: Veronica), but Blair is continuously the scheming mean girl to Serena's sunny, sweet do-gooder and their natures are constantly clashing. Plus strict adherence to color coding.
The third season of Friends has Ross choosing between Rachel (Betty) and Bonnie (Veronica). They're both blonde, but the trope still applies as Rachel was his best friend, on-again-off-again ex-girlfriend and the woman he'd been in love with since his teenage years and Bonnie was the exotic hypersexual newcomer. Subverted in an early episode where Phoebe has to choose between a bulky fireman and a sweet schoolteacher, only to find out both of them were both athletic and sensitive (i.e. not too different after all).
The second season love triangle between Ross, Rachel and Julie can also be seen as being an example of this. Although arguably, sweet, harmless Julie would be the Betty, with Rachel as the previously unobtainable Veronica.
Season 6 has Monica (Archie) choosing between self-doubting, long-time best friend Chandler and sophisticated, ex-boyfriend Richard. Apperance wise, its fits, as Richard is Tall, Dark and Handsome and Chandler is fairer haired and not considered very attractive. Monica still picks him.
A gay example, in an episode of Ugly Betty ("A League of Their Own"): Marc St James meets Cliff who he clicks with but asks a nameless (very hunky) model out instead, before being confronted by Cliff who was trying to ask him out.
Dexter has sensible, kind (and blonde) Rita as Betty to dark-haired, dangerous, manipulative former addict Lila as Veronica.
Interestingly, as he is a sociopathic serial killer, he'd likely be just as happy without either of them - but he needs them as cover.
Dobie Gillis had a revolving cast of pretty, money-hungry Veronicas, most notably Thalea Menninger. His constant and loving Betty was the somewhat tomboyish Zelda Gilroy.
Private Practice has also used this often, most obviously with Violet as the Betty, Charlotte as the Veronica, and Cooper as the Archie.
One Tree Hill has a similar situation among three of the main characters. Lucas(Archie) continues to flip between Peyton(Betty) and her best friend Brooke (Veronica).
Done Aborted Arc style in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. where the pilot introduces both the scholarly Amanda Wickwire (Betty) and saloon girl Dixie Cousins (Veronica) in what would seem to be an obvious set-up for a series love triangle. However, the chemistry between Brisco and Dixie was so immediate and obvious that the production team dropped Amanda for the rest of the series, even though her inventor father would appear throughout the series.
The BBC series of Robin Hood had (in its third season) the aristocratic Isabella as the Veronica, and peasant girl Kate as the Betty. The twist? Robin ends up with the Third Option Love Interest; Marian, who was killed at the close of season 2 and who he is reunited with after his own death in the series finale.
On the same show, in earlier seasons, Marian had the choice between Robin and Guy, who could fit into either trope. Guy was conservative and law-abiding (Betty) but also dangerous and tortured (Veronica), whereas Robin was an outlaw and a thief (Veronica) but also Marian's childhood sweetheart (Betty).
A final example: Djaq had her choice between amoral, thieving Allan-a-Dale (Veronica) and straightlaced, sensitive Will Scarlett (Betty).
In all examples, the Betty wins.
On The West Wing, Josh Lyman's assistant Donna (Betty) falls for him, while Josh (Archie) falls for political loose cannon Amy Gardner(Veronica). However, Josh is also a clueless Genius Ditz who has no idea that Donna is in love with him and is in denial about his own feelings, so he has absolutely no reservations about courting Amy, thereby making poor Donna's plight even worse.
Victorious: Has Beck (Archie), his long-term girlfriend Jade (Betty) and the popular Tori (Veronica). Played with in that Jade is more 'dangerous' while Tori is sweet-natured. But the two years Jade and Beck have been together pushes Jade firmly into Betty territory. (Especially as Tori is an exotic new student, who everyone adores and Jade is more of a loner). Apart from a brief break up, and almost kiss with Tori, Beck remains committed to Jade and they end the series still together, happy and very much in love
In the early seasons of Smallville in a gender-switched version, Lana is Archie with Clark as Betty and Whitney as Veronica even though Lana didn't want Whitney because he was a great football star and couldn't seem to see just how dangerous he was.
However, this is soon overshadowed by a non-gender-switched but an unusual version, with Clark feeling attraction to both Chloe and Lana. At first glance, Chloe dresses less modestly, Lana is the literal Girl Next Doorand Chloe lost her virginity when she was 15 while Lana remains chaste before Clark, so Chloe is more like Veronica and Lana more like Betty, but after some time it is clear that it isn't that simple. Lana is often described as the prettiest girl in school (being a part-Chinese adds to the exotic bit); Chloe has the first relationship with Clark; Chloe is deeply attacted to Clark while Lana is ambiguous and more difficult to get to; Chloe/Clark is natural being Just Friends (with her often being a help to A Friend in Need, even offering advice for Clark to chase after Lana a few times before and after she admits that she likes him too), Clark (at first) only has his eyes for Lana and is completely Oblivious to Love from Chloe, Lana is the unattainable one (at first) while Chloe is dying for his attention, and so on.
From late season four to six, Chloe knows Clark's secret but Lana doesn't. Which makes it more dangerous to hang out with Lana than with Chloe in a sense. Plus Lana being attracted to and later marrying Lex and Chloe being available from the beginning till season six. In season six and seven, while Chloe is dating Jimmy, it is pretty obvious that she still has great difficulty saying no to Clark, and Lana becomes a cunning, vengeful, lying Manipulative Bitch thanks to the Luthor teachings.
Engine Sentai Go-onger seems to fit this trope, as it features Sousuke as Archie to the sweet, unspoiled Saki (Betty) and the wealthy, shallow drama queen, Miu (Veronica).
This is also Lampshaded outright by Dr. K (of all people):
"I understand your dilemma. You find Ranger Series Red attractive because he represents the guy who can give you solid security: the boy next door, trustworthy, responsible, the kind you'd take home to mother. At the same time, you're hopelessly drawn to the excitement and danger of Ranger Series Black: the tortured and mysterious bad boy you think you can save."
A double-sided version of this trope can be found in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck is torn between golden boy Lee (Betty) and ex-athlete/resistance fighter Sam (Veronica), while she herself is the Veronica to Lee, with Dee as his Betty.
Dee herself has a Betty (Billy) and a Veronica (Lee Adama).
Kamen Rider Kiva gave Otoya Yuri (Betty - although more "troubled" than most examples) and Maya (Veronica) in 1986, while in the present day Mio is torn between old friend Wataru (Betty) and her foredestined husband Taiga (Veronica.) In both cases, the "Archie" figure dies.
Glee has Rachel as Betty and Quinn as Veronica to Finn's Archie.
This is subverted in the episode "Original Songs," when Quinn explains to Rachel that, however things might appear, she, Quinn, is actually the girl-next-door whom Finn will end up settling for, and Rachel is really the unattainable fantasy dream-girl.
Also Finn (Betty) and Puck (Veronica) to Quinn (Archie).
Rachel's Archie to Finn as Betty and (over the course of the series) Jesse, Puck, and Brody as Veronica.
Brittany has had a hand in quite a few of these. She was the Betty to Puck's Veronica when they both pursued Santana. She herself was the Archie when Artie (Betty) and Santana (Veronica) pursued her. She again was the Archie but with Santana as Betty when Brittany started dating Sam.
And now Blaine is the Archie to Kurt's Betty and Sebastian's Veronica. So far, he's loyal to Kurt, but never really turned down Sebastian's advances.
Artie (Betty) and Rory (Veronica) trying to woo Sugar.
Season Four has given us Ryder (Betty) and Jake (Veronica) vying for Marley. However, the fandom seems to be in agreement that the two boys have better chemistry with eachother than either of them have with her.
An interesting version on the Soap OperaGeneral Hospital (a very standard Soap Opera plot, as a matter of fact), which had Jagger being torn between Karen (The Betty) and Brenda (The Veronica). However, in this case, the trope is subverted, because (a) not only is the Veronica more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold than an outright bitch, it's she who futilely struggled to get Jagger's attention while the Betty had Jagger's undying love and devotion. Furthermore, the rebellious bad boy Jagger himself was the Veronica while Karen was undecided between him and golden boy Jason (the Betty), and this time, the trope is played straight, as Karen eventually dumped Jason for Jagger.
Dollhouse: Mellie (Betty), Paul (Archie), and Echo (Veronica). Subverted in that Mellie turns out to be a sleeper active planted by the Dollhouse.
30 Rock plays this trope straight for the second half of the fourth season with Jack (Archie) trying to choose between Nancy Donovan (Betty), a devout Irish Catholic and single mother who was his high school crush and Avery Jessup (Veronica), the fast-talking host of a political talk show who begins her relationship with Jack as a one-night-stand and whom Jack eventually chooses after learning that she is pregnant. There's even an explicit reference to this trope when Nancy doesn't think it's possible to be in love with two people at the same time, and Jack says, "It's possible. Haven't you ever read Archie comics?"
Scrubs does this quite a few times. First Dr Cox has to choose between his pregnant ex-wife Jordan (Betty), and Julia, the young, desired pharmaceutical saleswoman (Veronica). Played again when JD chooses between Elliot, one of his best friends, who needs comforting when a truck filled with her belonging is stolen (Betty) and Lisa, the pretty gift-shop girl (Veronica). And again when Elliot chooses between JD, her nerdy friend, who she's had an on-again off-again realtionship with, (Betty), and her hunky, dolphin-trainer boyfriend, Shaun (Veronica). Also, Played for Laughs Turk continually has to choose between spending time with either; JD his dorky best friend (Betty) or his wife, Carla, the sexy Latina nurse (Veronica). He always picks JD.
The Nanny is a show told from the point of view of a Veronica. Fran is the wild, lower-class "risky" option that Maxwell falls for, whereas his business partner, C.C. Babcock, is the "safe" Betty option. The Love Triangle only exists in C.C.'s mind, but that's besides the point.
C.C. herself is the Archie in a triangle with Maxwell (Betty) and Niles (Veronica). Like Maxwell, she eventually chooses the Veronica; the Betty wasn't the least bit interested, so that was probably a factor.
Torchwood has one, involving Rhys Williams as the Betty: Gwen (Archie) has to choose between Jack (Veronica) and Rhys (Betty). (Owen might also be a Veronica.) By the end of series 2, she'd chosen Rhys/Betty and during series 3 and 4 the love triangle virtually ceased to be.
Soap opera The Young And The Restless has been doing this for the past few years with Nick Newman (Archie) and his current wife Phyllis (a red-haired Veronica) and his ex-wife Sharon (Betty). Athough It appears Phyllis has left Nick for good because she's tired of fighting with Sharon over him.
Tomica Hero Rescue Fire had Ritsuka (Archie) caught between Tatsuya (Betty) and Tsubasa (Veronica). It's left open in the finale - the boys wrestle over Tama-chan's wedding bouquet so that one of them can marry Ritsuka, but Jun rescues the flowers and gives them to her. We then see that Tsubasa is still hung up on her and carries her picture with him, but Ritsuka is very happy when Tatsuya sends a letter.
True Blood has at least one every season involving Sookie as an Archie. In Season 1 it was between Dogged Nice Guy Sam and vampire Bill where she eventually chose Bill. In season 2, it was between Bill (this time as Betty) and Manipulative Bastard Eric. Season 3 brought in Alcide to vie with Bill, and in Season 4, Alcide was up against an amnesiac Eric. In Season 5, Sookie is mostly in the background due to Anna Paquin's pregnancy, so she didn't have her usual harem fighting over her.
Male version as well in Grey's Anatomy: For a little while, Meredith (Archie) hesitates between dark haired McDreamy Derek (more of a Veronica) and the nice McVet Finn (a complete Betty).
In the teen drama The Vampire Diaries, there are quite a few love triangles. The main triangle is the one between the heroine Elena, the hero Stefan and the anti-hero Damon. Stefan and Damon are also brothers. In this scenario, Elena (Archie) is torn between her soulmate Stefan (Betty) and her unpredictable, wild friend Damon (Veronica).
Katherine (Archie), Stefan (Betty) and Damon (Veronica)
Elena (Archie), Matt (Betty) and Stefan (Veronica)
Stefan (Archie), Elena (Betty) and Katherine (Veronica)
Stefan (Archie), Elena (Betty), and Caroline (Veronica)
Caroline (Archie), Matt (Betty), and Tyler (Veronica)
Caroline (Archie), Tyler (Betty), and Klaus (Veronica)
Stefan (Archie), Elena (Betty), and Rebekah (Veronica)
Jeremy (Archie), Bonnie (Betty), and Anna (Veronica)
Bonnie (Archie), Jeremy (Betty), and Luka (Veronica)
Bonnie (Archie), Jeremy (Betty), and Jamie (Veronica)
Vickie (Archie), Jeremy (Betty), and Tyler (Veronica)
Tatia (Archie), Elijah (Betty), and Klaus (Veronica)
In Hong Kong comedy drama To Catch The Uncatchable, female lead Vivi was torn between choosing between her sweet, handsome but dull and clueless personal trainer Jim and Detective Mok, who's snarky, smart and enjoys teasing Vivi but incredibly loyal and always helps her out in a tight spot. She lampshades to Detective Mok at one point, comparing the two to food. Jim was a plain tofu while Detective Mok was a tofu with more filling.
While it never comes up as a matter of potential relationships the character dynamic is still in full swing and played straight in That '70s Show with literal the girl-next-door Donna (Betty) and Jackie (Veronica).
Mad Men has shown instances of two such pairings. At work is the non-relationship version with simple, hardworking Peggy (Betty, or Mary Ann, if you prefer) contrasted to sultry, flirtatious Joan (Veronica, or Ginger). Outside of the office Don Draper's relationships tend to follow this pattern as well with wife Betty being cut more from the Veronica mold (cold, emotionally distant, former model) while most of Don's mistresses are typically more Betty-like.
Lost Girl has a bisexual version with female succubus Bo (Archie) having to choose between Dyson (werewolf and Veronica) and Lauren (human and Betty). That's at the start. Lines become more blurred as the season progresses
Reality TV dating shows in which a host of women try to win a man's heart will often set up the final two female candidates for the male's affections as this. Examples are Trista (Betty) and Amanda (Veronica) on the first season of The Bachelor and Paige (Betty) and Erin (Veronica) on the first season of For Love Or For Money.
The original V took this up to Evil Is Sexy levels with earnest blonde Resistance leader Julie (Faye Grant) and gerbil-swallowing brunette vamp Visitor leader Diana (Jane Badler).
Jeff as the Archie to Annie (Betty) and Britta (Veronica) in Community season 2.
Jeff himself is a Veronica to Troy's Betty where Britta (Archie) is concerned.
There's a clear example in Kyle XY with Amanda, Kyle's neighbor who's easy to talk to and plays the piano in a way that touches Kyle, compared to the heartless and ruthless Jessi.
Also Charlie is the Archie who cheats on his virginal girlfriend with the vivacious blonde and thus ends up losing both Betty and Veronica.
Switched At Birth has set this up with Daphne (Betty) declaring her feelings for Emmett (Archie), who in turn professes to only want Bay (Veronica). Complete with original trope-maker hair colours.
On Fringe, Peter was arguably the Archie to Fauxlivia's Veronica and Olivia's Betty. Fauxlivia only became a love interest for Peter because she was pretending to be Olivia, but she was definitely the more exotic option.
On Merlin, Lancelot du Lac (aka Lancelot brought back from the dead) is the Veronica to Gwen's Archie, with Arthur as Betty.
Parades End has an interesting variant. Valentine is the Betty personality-wise and Sylvia is Veronica, but Christopher is married to Sylvia, making Valentine the "dangerous" one.
In the Series/ season 3 episode "The Boost Job" this trope is hinted at, though it's attributed to two cars. In this case, Veronica is car salesman Penzer's exotic and Betty Eliot's slightly pimped muscle car, piloted by Nate.
Penzer: "Veronica's not for sale!"
Nate: "Veronica? So Betty was the fast one. Who knew."
The first season of Mork and Mindy had Mindy (Betty) vying for Mrk's affections with former high school classmate Susan (Veronica).
Arguably seen in "Skins", where Michelle is dating Tony (Veronica) whilst Sid (Definitely Betty. Oh so Betty.) is pining after her.
In an odd contrast to this lyric, Veronica was actually a big-city debutante in her initial introduction in the 1940s, in order to contrast with small-town Betty.
Dolly Parton's famous song Jolene paints the picture of this variety of love triangle. Jolene (with her "beauty beyond compare") is the Veronica, and the singer (who "cannot compete with you, Jolene") is the Betty. The song consists of "Betty" begging Jolene not to steal her man.
Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" features a love triangle between blonde Girl Next Door Taylor Swift and a dark-haired cheerleader rival... also playued by Taylor Swift.
In one of her lesser-known songs (The Way I Loved You) Taylor Swift takes the role of Archie choosing between her current boyfriend (Betty) who she describes as 'sensible' and who 'calls exactly when he says he will' and her 'wild and crazy' ex who is 'just so frustrating, intoxicating, complicated', who fills the role of Veronica. In the end, she chooses her ex.
"The Boy is Mine" by Brandy and Monica. While this isn't explicit in the song itself, if you look at the ladies' individual musical styles, Brandy is more a sweet girl-next-door while Monica has more of a street edge.
The video clip of Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend depicts Avril (as the Veronica) convincing the Archie to leave his uptight Betty girlfriend for her more interesting, more bullying self. Veronica wins.
Bryan Adams's "Run To You." The Archie sings about cheating on his Betty-esque girlfriend with his Veronica.
"She's got a heart of gold, she'd never let me down/ But you're the woman who always turns me on, you keep me comin' 'round."
The Statler Brothers' 1972 country hit "Do You Remember These" has a quick line, "Veronica and Betty" toward the end of songs, part of a longer list of 1950s nostalgia.
In Wicked, Fiyero and Glinda initially bond over their self absorption and love of living it large. They start going steady. Elphaba realises she loves Fiyero the day they rescue the lion cub, he starts to realise he has feelings for her ... It sorts itself out for the best eventually.
And then Elphaba and Glinda got Word of Gay'd. Yeah, it's complicated.
It's usually safe to assume that Everyone Is Bi in a Gregory Maguire story unless explicitly stated otherwise.
In Georges Bizet's opera, Carmen, Micaëla and Carmen are, respectively, a Betty and Veronica for Don José.
In Lady In The Dark, Liza Elliott, editor of Allure magazine, is unable to make up her mind between Kendall Nesbitt, the publisher who started the magazine for her, and hunky Hollywood actor Randy Curtis. She finally decides to reject both and Take a Third Option.
The Rainmaker has File (a Betty-type) and Starbuck (a Veronica-type) as rival love interests for Lizzie (same goes for The Musical version 110 in the Shade).
Thirteen has Brett in a Love Triangle with Kendra (Betty) and Lucy (Veronica). Meanwhile there's a friendship version of the trope where Evan has to decide between being friends with Brett and the cool kids (Veronica) or with the losers Patrice and Archie (Betty). Then there's a subtle one of Kendra liking Brett (Veronica) while being oblivious to Archie (Betty).
The Wildhorn musical adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde has the aristocratic Emma Carew as the Betty and prostitute Lucy as the Veronica. Several screen adaptations of the story have also used the trope, with Jekyll's fiancee (usually the daughter of Sir Danvers Carew) as the Betty and a prostitute/bar girl that Hyde picks up as the Veronica.
The musical Anything Goes has Hope Harcourt (Betty) and Reno Sweeney (Veronica) for Billy Crocker. Coincidentally, the actress who originally played Hope was named Bettina Hall; the original Reno was Ethel Merman.
The musical Girl Crazy (now best remembered for being Ethel Merman's stage debut as well as introducing the song I Got Rhythm) centers around a Betty And Veronica: Danny is stuck between simple mail carrier Molly (Betty, played by Ginger Rogers) and the saloon owner's glamorous daughter Kate (Veronica, played by Merman).
The musical Avenue Q has Princeton (Archie) going out with Kate Monster (Betty) before leaving her for Lucy T. Slut (Veronica). Don't worry; in the end he goes back to Kate.
The Phantom of the Opera has Christine choose between her childhood sweetheart and general Knight in Shining Armor Raoul (Betty) and the insane, brooding but more passionate Phantom. Subverted, as although Word Of God says that Christine loves The Phantom the most, in the end she chooses the Safe Option, Raoul.
Romeo and Juliet - Juliet's decision between her two suitors. Paris courts her in the 'proper' way, by asking her father's permission. Romeo falls in love with her, marries her in secret and kills a beloved family member.
Depending on the production, a rare gender opposite variation occurs in Jesus Christ Superstar with Mary Magdalene (Betty) and Judas (Veronica). To the point where in the 2000 film version Judas catching Mary and Jesus in an intimate position is what drives him to betray Jesus to the authorities.
Remakes of Dragon Quest V did this when the player has to choose between three women to marry. The Betty and Veronica in this situation is Nera/Flora and her sister Deborah respectively (remakes, because Deborah was not in the original.)
Arguably, Bianca is the actual Betty, Nera was the Veronica in the original version, and Deborah is the remake's Veronica, with Nera being an odd mix of both.
An interesting example occurs in Grandia II, since Betty and Veronica are the same person. The Betty, Elena, is a priestess, while the Veronica, Millenia, is a part of the evil god Valmar (his Wings to be exact), that's possessing Elena. The main character seems to be leaning towards Elena, though they don't really hook up. Also, Millenia separates from Elena near the end. Somehow. And keeps waiting for Ryudo, convinced that he will choose her over Elena.
Occurs in Final Fantasy VII: Cloud is given a choice between the Betty, Aerith, and the Veronica, Tifa, though it can be argued that Aeris/th, as the spunky up and at 'em last of a Dying Race, is the 'special' Veronica type, and the shy girl next door Tifa is a Betty type. In reality, both girls are a blend of the two archetypes.
Actually something of a subversion, since when we're introduced to them we're meant to think Aerith is the Betty and Tifa is the Veronica, but as we get to know them better we see that Tifa arguably has more qualities of a Betty and Aerith more qualities of a Veronica. At any rate, the original game loosely suggests Tifa as the Victorious Childhood Friend and the Compilation confirms this, though it's not entirely clear whether it would have been resolved this way if not for Aerith's death.
According to the author, the potential love interests for the player character in Planescape: Torment, Annah-of-the-Shadows and Fall-From-Grace, were inspired by Betty and Veronica. Weirdly, they both have a blend of features—Grace, the wealthy, worldly, educated, glamorous one is by far the more personable of the two; the guttersnipe, relatable Annah is more brash and sharp-tongued, but also younger and more inexperienced.
In Baldur's Gate II, if one has two or more of the female love interests in the party, multiple Betty and Veronica scenarios can exist. Sweet, innocent Aerie is definitely the most Betty-ish, with no-nonsense old friend but world-wise warrior Jaheira being somewhere between the two, and darkly exotic rogue drow Viconia being firmly a Veronica. (Alternatively, with all three—and it is possible to start a romance with all three, though obviously not finish it that way—one might be said to have a Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl situation, except there are no three-way fights over you, just two-way.)
Interesting variation happens in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, where the situation is set up as normal: Tia, the old friend with a crush on the hero as the Betty and Selan, the exotic and (somewhat) mysterious fighter as the Veronica. The variation being that not only does Maxim ends up with Selan (the Veronica), it also occurs midway through (or even as far back as the prologue chapter, arguably) the game
Otacon's love interests in the first two Metal Gear Solid games fit this trope: in MSG I, he has an unrequited crush on Dark Action Girl Sniper Wolf (Veronica), and in MSG II, it's revealed that his stepsister Emma (Betty) has been in love with him since childhood.
Also, in MSG III, Naked Snake/Big Boss has Paramedic (Betty) and EVA (Veronica).
Ephraim's sister Eirika actually plays this trope a bit more straight: her main options are Seth (the calm, collected and hunky bodyguard) or Innes (prince of another country whose personality and tongue are as sharp as his arrows — though in a variation, he is the childhood friend) There are also two potential Cheryl Blossoms who in themselves fit here well too: Saleh (Betty) is a soft-spoken Tall, Dark and Handsome magic user, whereas Forde (Veronica) is a Chivalrous PervertSleepyhead.
Either Innes or Tana can fall into this, too. Innes has Eirika as his Betty, with Action Girl Vanessa as an odd mix of Betty (have known each other since childhood) and Veronica (is very coolheaded and near-unemotional in battle)... and L'Arachel as the Cheryl Blossom. Meanwhile, Tana can end up either with dependable and kindhearted childhood friend Ephraim, or the also kind but very troubled (and sexy-looking) Cormag.
And if Natasha is seen as the Archie, then Joshua becomes the Veronica while Seth is the Betty,
The "main" Love Triangle of sorts in Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu had Deirdre as the Archie, with the kind and knightly Sigurd as Betty and the deeply troubled Arvis as Veronica. It ended horribly, when Arvis killed Sigurd before decimating his army. At the same time, Prince Lewyn had his own Betty And Veronica in Ferry (serious Lady of War whom he knows since childhood) and Sylvia (sexy dancer who's been travelling with him lately) - you can choose whom he picks as his girlfriend/wife, alongside Badass Princess Tiltyu as a Cheryl Blossom. Though Thracia 776 has a clear slant towards Ferry.
And 17 years later, the second lead Celice has the Proper Lady Lana and the Action Girl Larcei as this. In a subversion, both of them are his childhood friends.
Larcei has a similar predicament, too. Two Isaacsian noblemen, the brothers Johan and Johalva, have the hots for her: Johan is the Betty due to his Purple Prose-laden speech patterns and ultra-chivalrous view of their bond, while the hotheaded Jerk with a Heart of Gold Johanlva is the Veronica.
And then, there's Badass Princess Raquesis. Out of all her potential suitors (not counting Eldigan, that is), Beowulf is a cynical Punch Clock Hero Veronica and Finn is a Knight in Shining Armor Betty. Both of them might have won and then lost in Thracia: it's all but stated that Raquesis's eldest son Delmud is Beo's kid, while her youngest daughter Nanna is Fin's, though Raquesis herself is missing in action.
It's hinted in the Seisen game that Sigurd's sister Ethlynmight have been the Archie at some moment, with Duke Quan as the Betty (and the canon winner) and King Travant as the Veronica. It didn't matter in the end: Travant, despite whatever he thought of Ethlin, killed them both.
In the Zelda games, Link has several cases of these, usually with Zelda as the Betty. The most obvious example is in The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess, where Midna served as the Veronica.
Zelda does play the role of Veronica in some of her incarnations though, with Ocarina of Time providing a prominent instance of this where either Malon or Saria play the role of Betty. Then again, if you include Ruto or Nabooru, Zelda once again becomes the Betty. The main theme isn't so much what role Zelda is playing, but that Link is a total Chick Magnet.
If all of the content had made it into the final game, the hero of Neverwinter Nights 2 would have had the reasonable, down-to-earth Elanee (Betty) vs. the greedy and somewhat flighty Neeshka (Veronica) for male characters; and the kind and honorable Casavir (Betty) vs. the psychotic pervert Bishop (Veronica) for female characters. Arguably, as only the Betty characters made it into the final cut, they could remain in that role (though absent during actual play) to two new Veronica characters (the exotic golem-crafter Safiya for male characters and the textbook Casanova Gannayev for female characters) in Mask of the Betrayer.
Though thanks to the original game dropping severaltons of rock on your previous love interests, there is never really any love triangle to speak of. You are allowed to say you still love the dead romantic option from the original game when your love interest from Mask of the Betrayer confesses their feelings, but it seems kind of an afterthought.
Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark gives us the choice between technically dead paladin Aribeth (Betty) and exotic drow Defrosting Ice Queen Nathyrra (Veronica) in the second/third chapters. Though they both could technically be either, given the fact that your character has been adventuring with Nathyrra for quite a long time by the time you meet Aribeth.
The Neverwinter Nights community module A Dance With Rogues gives us two Betty characters and two Veronica characters, along with a fifth who could be either. On the Betty side we have the honorable and compassionate Anden and the kind and friendly bisexual Pi; on the Veronica side we get the psychotic pervert Vico and the drow noble Rizzen who thinks you are his slave. Bran is difficult to qualify, being far more in the Betty camp when compared to Vico and Rizzen but having many more Veronica characteristics than Anden or Pia.
The Bastard of Kosigan doesn't actually have any long-term relationships set out yet, but from implications in text Jehanne of Albret might play Betty to Alexandra de Velan's Veronica (slightly humorous, as Alexandra is actually your character's childhood lover).
Though sort of ruined, as Alexandra dies either if you kill her at the end of the second module or, if you don't, she dies in a cutscene at the end of the fourth, both events coming before Jehanne has any on-screen time.
The player gets to choose between childhood friend Dawn Star (Betty) and pampered princess Sun Lian/Silk Fox (Veronica). In an interesting twist, there is also a third option where you can have them both.
Female characters have the Lovable Rogue Sky, the more conventional option (Betty) or the lesbain choice Silk Fox (Veronica)
Also from Bioware, Mass Effect allows the player to choose from empathic and scholarly Liara T'Soni (Betty) and spunky Action Girl Ashley Williams (Veronica). These roles can justifiably be reversed when you consider that Ashley is a regular human and Liara belongs to an exotic race of psychic aliens who reproduce by banging very nearly everything that moves. The two will eventually confront one another, and you, if you don't turn one of them down.
Mass Effect 2 also has Kelly and Tali (Betty) vs. Miranda and Jack (Veronica) for males, and Jacob and Kelly (Betty) vs. Thane and Garrus (Veronica) for females.
In Breath of Fire II, there's Ryu's two love interests, Nina (Betty) and Katt (Veronica). Interestingly enough, Ryu actually has more opportunities to have romantic moments with Katt than Nina (even though both like him).
Given the trend of the Breath of Fire series as a whole, though, it's almost certain that he ends up with Nina, just like every other lead ends up with a Betty.
For the female Jedi Exile, there's Mical the Jedi Disciple (Betty) and Atton Rand (Veronica). Had all of the intended content made it into the final version of the game, they could have really fought over the PC, with a Dark Side Atton killing Mical in jealousy; as it is, he's still plenty jealous, though Mical mostly seems confused by it.
The game gives a (straight) male character two choices for a romantic plot: sweet pious bard Leliana who wants you to help anybody in trouble, and dark sexily-dressed witch Morrigan who is nauseated if you waste time on such peasants. As the game progresses you might discover things are not as simple as that- Leliana has a dark, most Veronica-ish past whereas Morrigan becomes a Defrosting Ice Queen.
Straight females may choose the chivalrous (albeit a bit childish) joker Alistair, or the cynical but pleasant Zevran.
A bisexual character's choices can throw out the Betty-Veronica dynamic. A bisexual female may be between two Bettys, Alistair and Lelianna, or set up a Veronica through Zevran. A bisexual male may be between two Veronicas through Morrigan and Zevran. And Isabela (see below) adds a throwaway quickie Veronica for characters of either gender - which can involve half the party depending on what the player has done.
In Dragon Age II this trope applies to the two female characters who can be romanced; Merrill and Isabela. Merrill is sweet, innocent, and rather naive. While Isabela is an exotic, voluptuous, sexually promiscuous pirate queen. Both of the male romance options in the vanilla game, Anders and Fenris, are brooding, Troubled, but Cute Veronica types, whereas chaste, devoutly religious DLC-only Sebastian is decidedly Betty.
Depending on what you choose and social links, the main character of Persona 4 can have this. Though his romantic life can go to many other female characters, Yukiko (Betty) and Chie (Veronica) can easily be this.
Used in The Saboteur with Skylar as the Veronica and the ironically named Veronique as the Betty.
Subverted in Grand Theft Auto IV where Niko has Michelle as Veronica, she betrayed him when it turns out she is working for Liberty News. He can continue his relationship with Kate, the Betty. That is until her death or refusal to be in Roman's wedding.
There's also Roman the Betty and Vlad the Veronica to Mallorie's Archie. Until Niko murders Vlad.
Played straight in In Famous with Trish (Betty) and Sasha (Veronica) to Cole (Archie). He loses them both with the former's death and the latter's capture by Kessler.
In the second game, we get another straight example with Kuo and Nix.
Resident Evil's Leon gets this in absolutely stupifying amounts due to the number of appearances he's made in the series and the fact that he's equal parts The Casanova and Chick Magnet. In RE2, he has Claire (Betty) and Ada (Veronica), although a long-lasting attraction is ultimately seen to exist between him and the latter (on the opposite side, he and Claire end up as good friends). In RE4, he has Ashley (Betty) and Ada (again, the Veronica), with his Mission Control Hunnigan functioning as the Cheryl at the end. The movie Degeneration has Claire (Betty) and Angela (Veronica). The only real exception to this is The Darkside Chronicles, and Manuela is shown to have a subtle crush on Leon.
Ar Tonelico 2 has a local dive therapist Luca as Betty and the lady knight princess Cloche as Veronica. But after the series of Character Developments their traits, personality wise, can be swapped.
Ar Tonelico 3 play this straighter. Saki is very Moe, while Finnel is a Tsundere and tom boyish club mascot who spends some times at the beginning trying to get close to the protagonist's best friend for a McGuffin.
In a subversion of the usual formula, the Veronica is actually nicer than the Betty; while not an ultra villain Tsubaki is a Clingy Jealous Girl who ends up falling into Love Makes You Evil territory, while Makoto is one of the few genuinely good people in the otherwise mostly Black and Gray MoralityBlazBlue. This extends into their present-day story interactions with Jin, as well - Tsubaki takes on an order to "bring him in" (read: kill Jin, but she doesn't know that), and fights him in his story and hers, while Makoto watches over him in Ronin-gai after he sustains injuries guarding her from Hazama (his story) or overextends himself getting her to safety after she fights Hazama (her story).
Another typically-unseen take on this trope is that Makoto actually ships Jin with Tsubaki.
Pibgorn: Pibgorn (Betty) and Drusilla (Veronica) both love Geoffrey, but when he chooses Pib, Drusilla goes along with it. Unusual in that Dru is a succubus.
Rip And Teri: The 'Betty' is Teri, a meek and somewhat nerdy English teacher. The 'Veronica' is Tatyana, a glamourous and gorgeous ex-super spy and TV station CEO. However, whilst Tatyana thinks that the hero still has a thing for her, he's actually madly in love with Teri. It kind of helps that, in their brief romance, Tatyana manipulated and betrayed him, however.
Cindy (Betty) and Dusk (Veronica) in Faux Pas. As far as Randy (Archie) is concerned, the kind and straightforward Cindy has already won, but sly Dusk won't let the issue drop.
College Roomies from Hell!!!: While Dave seems to have chosen Veronica (rich-girl-with-issues Blue) over Betty (survivalist-psycho-chick Margaret), Dave remains close to (and admittedly emotionally attached to) Margaret.
Oddly enough, Margaret, the so-called Betty, was the one that barely knew Dave existed at the start of the comic, whereas Blue, the Veronica, was in love with him off the bat.
MegaTokyo: Piro (Archie)'s current girlfriend, Kimiko, is an emotionally insecure struggling actress (Betty), whereas Miho, his ex, is a very dark and enigmatic Veronica.
Inversely, Erika's former fiance was a close friend from high school (Betty), while her current beau, an insane American hacker genius / zombie slayer, is most certainly the male equivalent of the Veronica.
In Scary Go Round, sensible Erin Winters (Betty) and Perky Goth Dark Esther (Veronica) competed for The Boy's affection. Esther won.
A more recent love triangle involves Esther's friend Sarah, with Ryan Beckwith as the independent, older Veronica. Carrot would be a safer Betty here if his chances of success weren't those of the Isle of Wight trying to invade China.
Girl Genius has Klaus as Veronica, Bill as Betty and Lucrezia Mongfish as Archie. Interestingly, the friendship between Klaus and Bill is stronger than either, and Klaus is determined to protect the naive Bill from the untrustworthy Lucrezia. He fails, bigtime.
Then there's the current generation of Sparks, with Klaus's son as Betty, the son of Lucrezia's most fervent supporter (besides the spider-riding people who worship her as a goddess...) as Veronica, and Bill and Lucrezia's little girl as Archie.
Played with/deconstructed/ripped apart/critically examined (it's the way of their tribe) in this strip of XKCD.
In General Protection Fault, there is initially a love triangle between Ki the Betty and Trudy the Veronica over Nick, who is torn between his feelings for the two of them and his lack of experience in dating and romance. He eventually goes with Ki.
In Questionable Content, Dora being mentally healthy and straightforwardnote though she eventually turned out to be more screwed-up than she appeared would be the Betty to Marten's Archie. Distant, emotionally impaired and mysterious Faye would be the Veronica. Dora wins.
Additionally, Angus has emerged as the Betty and Sven as the Veronica to Faye.
And recently, we have Marigold (Betty) and Faye (Veronica) to Angus. Which even more recently appears to have been resolved by a pairing of Angus and Faye.
Actually, calling any Questionable Content character other than Marten himself a "Betty" is quite a stretch.
In Penny and Aggie, idealistic Aggie is the Betty, and cynical, venomous Karen the Veronica, to Marshall.
Similarly, quiet, bookish Duane is the Betty, and rough-edged sk8er boi Rich the Veronica, to Penny.
Also, theoretically, the original point of the comic is that Penny is Veronica and Aggie is Betty (or the other way 'round, arguably, as Aggie's goth-ness could make her seem dark and mysterious). Their animosity stems from this difference, though there's no Archie between them.
In El Goonish Shive, Elliot happened to fall for both fellow (and stronger) martial artist Nanase and Sane Girl of the cast, Sarah. The triangle remains only for about five minutes after they all discover what's going on, though.
Misfile: Emily (the sensible Betty) and Missi (the wilder Veronica) both like Ash.
In The Dreamer, Bea finds herself trying choose between 21st century Ben and 18th century Alan, with Alan as the Veronica and Ben as the Betty. However, the twist is, that Ben is the "safe" one, but family-loving, apple farmer, puritan Alan probably has more Betty characteristics than Ben, so which is Betty and which is Veronica depends on your interpretation and the situation Bea is in.
It is also worth noting that even in the 18th century segments of the comic there is still a Betty and Veronica dynamic with Alan (Betty) and a young Alexander Hamilton (Veronica). Although, it's pretty obvious which one Bea loves best/chooses.
Gender-flipped in Goblins, with the cowardly Dies-Horribly and the Heroic Gremm both vying for the affections of Saves-A-Fox.
Sandra and Larisa from Sandra and Woo as Betty resp. a particularly chaotic Veronica. In this case, the Archie (Cloud) seems to clearlyprefer the Betty.
Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse has the goodhearted, blonde Barbie and the scheming, brunette Raquelle vying for Ken's affections. Barbie always wins. A Gender Flipped variation also occurs, in which faithful Ken competes with Ryan, Raquelle's boastful brother, for Barbie's affections. Ken always wins.
Clone High pushes this one to its logical extremes: Abraham Lincoln is madly in love with demanding, selfish, spoiled, slutty, gorgeous, popular Cleopatra (Veronica), while remaining completely clueless to the devotion of his best friend, spunky, intelligent, independent, creative, semi-goth Joan of Arc (Betty). In the end he realises that he really loves Joan, etc.
To a much lesser extent, Joan could be considered to be the Archie to Abe's Betty and JFK's Veronica.
Applies to Danny Phantom, where Danny is infatuated with Paulina, the shallow, beautiful "Veronica" of the school, ignoring the pretty, intelligent "Betty" at his side, Samantha Manson. The love triangle isn't clear at the beginning of the show, when Samantha and Danny are Just Friends, but eventually their feelings do grow for each other.
Parodied not subtly at all in South Park. In the two parter "Do the Handicapped Go To Hell?"/"Probably", Satan has to choose between his two gay lovers, and the Veronica happens to be Saddam Hussein. And the two rivals keep killing each other, but they're in Hell already, so they just keep coming back. Eventually, Satan just says "forget it" and dumps them both, deciding to forgo having relationships at all for a while. Based on advice from God.
The Movie has a gender flip version with Wendy as the Archie, Stan as the Betty and Gregory as the Veronica. It may have been imaginary, though, since Wendy chooses Stan at the end with no hesitation.
Disney's Pocahontas also genderswaps this with Kocoum as the Betty and John Smith as the Veronica, although the contest clearly ends when Kocoum dies.
Though this is also somewhat subverted as Pocohontas isn't torn between the two, she clearly doesn't want to marry Kocoum, it's more of a choice between her fathers's wishes and her own desires.
The sequel adds John Rolfe as a new Betty, though John Smith is largely absent anyway. In the end, Pocahontas follows the history books in winding up with John Rolfe.
Ace Lightning has Heather and Sam who both date Mark at one point or another and have seemingly conflicting personalities and yet are best friends. Kind of like the original Betty and Veronica, really.
Which is pretty true of the original Amazing Spiderman comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
One could argue that leading up to the dance Gwen was the Betty and Betty (ironically) was the Veronica, being the unattainable older woman. Black Cat might also count as the Cheryl Blossom.
It also adds a Betty and Veronica switch, where after Peter starts dating Liz, Gwen gets a makeover and becomes the sexy, unattainable one, while Liz becomes the needy, forgiving sweet girl. Apparently Peter is only interested in the Veronica at the time, whoever she may be.
Even though she has a few things in common with Veronica (being rich and a bit uppity), Lola from Robotboy still plays the part of Betty to Bambi's Veronica and Tommy's Archie.
Archies Weird Mysteries, natch. In one episode, a sea monster tries to woo Archie by taking on the guise of a girl combining Betty and Veronica's best features, prompting Betty and Veronica to form an Enemy Mine as they think they're the only ones who will fight for Archie. In the finale, a time-travelling future version of Archie is about to tell his past self who he finally got together with, only to be zapped away at the last moment.
In The Critic episode "Lady Hawke", Jay Sherman (the Archie) got into a triangle with Alice (the Betty) and his best friend Jeremy's twin sister Olivia (the Veronica). He chooses Alice at the end of the episode.
In X-Men Evolution, arguably Jean Grey is the Betty and Rogue the Veronica for Scott Summers/Cyclops.
Also, Cyclops could be said to be the Betty and Gambit the Veronica for Rogue in this series.
In Kappa Mikey, Mitsuki is the Betty and Lily is the Veronica to Mikey's Archie.
Hey Arnold! has Arnold having a crush on Lila (Betty) and admired by Helga (Veronica).
In "Arnie visits Arnie", Arnold is admired by Arnie's girlfriend Lulu (Veronica) and falls in love with Hilda (Betty). In turn, Arnold is the Betty to Arnie's Veronica for Hilda.
This occurs a few times in The Simpsons. In 'The Last Temptation of Homer', Homer almost has an affair with Mindy (Veronica), but chooses Marge (Betty). He also choose Marge over another Veronica, Lurleen Lumpkin, in 'Colonel Homer'. A gender subversion occurs when Marge chooses Homer (Betty) over an affair with Jacques (Veronica) in 'Life on the Fast Lane'.
Several hypothetical/future episodes have Lisa involved with Milhouse (Betty) while attracted to Nelson (Veronica).
Monster Allergy has Elena the Betty and Lay the Veronica when it comes to Zick. Lay has this with Zick as Betty and Teddy as Veronica.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Rich popular snobbish born with a silver spoon in her mouth Felicia Hardy as the Veronica and down-to-earth girl next door Mary Jane as the Betty. And then Felicia gets Character Development, a convoluted deal with Morbius... and becomes Black Cat.
Justice League Unlimited would have Hawkgirl and Vixen in these roles... but the challenge here is to determine who's who to John Stewart's Archie. On one hand Mari/Vixen is a world famous fashion model, very beautiful and glamorous while Hawkgirl is a more down-to-earth character and kinda One of the Boys. On the other, Hawkgirl is a redhaired alien woman with wings, which makes her a lot more exotic than the Eart-born Vixen will ever be.
Also they play this trope a step further making them frenemies rather than downright rivals. To the point that Mari is Genre Savvy enough to rescue herself and Hawkgirl from some enemies... via pretending that she wants to Murder the Hypotenuse.
In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, both quiet, reliable Jane Foster and sexy, dangerous Enchantress seem to love The Mighty Thor. However, he just doesn't like the Enchantress. Ultimately, Enchantress stops pursuing Thor's affections after becoming enslaved by Surtur the fire demon, and Jane breaks up with Thor after realizing that dating a superhero might endanger her.
Robbie the Reindeer has Donna (kind, sensible and voiced by Jane Horrocks) as Betty and Vixen (who lives up to her name) as Veronica.
The Legend of Korra puts Mako in the Archie position, choosing between Korra (the Veronica) and Asami (the Betty). Interestingly, a lot of the traits usually associated with each side are swapped around; ie. Asami is the richer, more traditionally beautiful one, while Korra is naive and from the country (well, Southern Water Tribe).
Though he dates Asami for several episodes, Mako eventually chooses Korra after her abduction induces a Love Epiphany.
In King of the Hill, Nancy Hicks-Gribble has been carrying on an affair with Veronica, John Redcorn, while married to her Crazy Survivalist husband Dale (the Betty).
Kick Buttowski Kick has two girls admiring him, Jackie the Loony Fan is the Betty, and Kendall who secretly likes Kick is the Veronica.
A gender-flipped version in ThunderCats (2011): Lion-O (Betty) has a crush on Cheetara (Archie) which makes Tygra (Veronica) jealous. She choses Tygra. Later on, a non-genderflipped version Lion-O is now the Archie, with Cheetara being the past Betty to his new love interest: Pumyra as Veronica.
Lance and Ilana have a bit of a Ship Tease in Sym-Bionic Titan. Later on, Lance shows some interest (whether or not it's romantic or Birds of a Feather is up for debate) in a girl named Kristin, who is the Veronica to Ilana's Betty. In a gender-flipped version, Ilana bonds with a boy named Jason, who is the Betty to Lance's Veronica.
Regular Show: Mordecai has Margret (his Betty) and C.J. (his Veronica).
Real life Betty/Veronica tensions = brunette, cute Judy Garland vs. fast, "Sweater Girl" Lana Turner, both in love with bandleader Artie Shaw.
More famously, Debbie Reynolds (Betty) vs. Elizabeth Taylor (Veronica). After Liz was widowed suddenly, Reynolds' husband Edwin "Eddie" Fisher (father to Carrie, and the best friend of Taylor's dead husband) left his family to be with Liz. The nation sided against Eddie and Liz, until Liz came down with a near fatal case of pneumonia.
The Notorious B.I.G. and his well-known triangle with Lil Kim and Faith Evans. Which is Betty and which is Veronica is not as clear as it seems, as he and Kim were intimate for years before he met Faith.
John Lennon (Archie)/Cynthia Lennon (Betty)/Yoko Ono (Veronica, in the "exotic and edgy" sense).