Western Animation: Archie's Weird Mysteries
Archie's Weird Mysteries
is the most recent animated adaptation of the Archie
comic book, airing from 1999 to 2000 (two seasons). Unlike the usual goofy nature of the series, this show actually showcased the gang getting into supernatural adventures and having to tangle with monsters, ghosts and other paranormal or extraterrestrial activity. DiC Entertainment
provided the animation and the series, while still fairly comedic, actually drifted into dark territory sometimes (though not by much; think of something along the line of Goosebumps
Worth a look if you can find videos or DVDs of it. The entire series is available on DVD as of February 2012.
Currently airing in reruns on Qubo
's Night Owl block.
Archie's Weird Mysteries
provides the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Betty and Veronica step up to the task if needed.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Something is Haunting Riverdale High" focused on Dilton building a device that wound up phasing himself, Archie, Midge, and Big Ethel into another plane of existence, basically turning them intangible and invisible. The episode revealed more about Midge and Ethel beyond Midge simply being Moose's girlfriend and Ethel chasing Jughead. Dilton also sadly notes that the only time anyone talks to him is when they need help with science (which is also true given the episode format). He was missing for an entire day and no one noticed before Archie became intangible. After they get turned back to normal, Archie decides to spend the rest of the day with them.
- "Dance of the Killer Bees" was another episode which focused on Ethel, as we learn she's also president (and the only member) of the Bee Keeping Club. Archie also inspires her to run for Prom Queen alongside Betty and Veronica, and she wins.
- Aesop Amnesia: Lampshaded in one episode where Archie wonders if Veronica's experience as a giant would teach her a lesson about discrimination before deciding that unlikely.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "Little Chocklit Shoppe of Horrors" has a new computer program installed to help run Pop's shop. As you may have guessed, it didn't take long for it to decide humans were the weak link in the system.
- Alien Invasion: A few times.
- Aliens Speaking English
- All Just a Dream: The episode "Dream Girl" does this.
- Alternate Timeline: "Alternate Riverdales", the second in a trio of connected episodes focusing on time travel.
- And I Must Scream: Mega Mall Shop of Horrors was about teenagers were being lured into a cursed mall, being turned into store window dummies if they had no more cash on hand. When Archie was freed, he mentioned that he could see and hear everything but just couldn't move at all.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Veronica in one episode.
- Based on a True Story: In-Universe, Archie's own Weird Mysteries article is often based on his adventures. On weeks when he doesn't have adventures, his articles turn into stories about crab people from the future and checkout lines slowing due to time manipulation.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Many, many times.
- Betty and Veronica: The originals, no less.
- Between My Legs: Both Veronica and Betty in "Dream Girl".
- Big Eater: Jughead, as usual. One episode theorizes his daily calorie intake exceeds 40,000.
- Book Ends: Some episodes begins and ends with Archie writing an article for his school newspaper. The ending usually has him going over an Aesop and the ending lines being, "In a little town called Riverdale."
- Bound and Gagged: Betty, Dilton and Veronica are tied and gagged with duct tape when thrown into a death trap in "Little Chocklit Shoppe of Horrors".
- The Cassandra: Archie becomes one.
- Cassandra Truth: Lampshaded by Reggie in one episode.
Reggie: Newsflash: The World Does Not Revolve Around Archie Andrews and His Overactive Imagination!
- Chick Magnet: Whenever something female and supernatural rolls into town, its first target is Archie. Lampshaded in one episode when Reggie asks Betty what it is about Archie that keeps attracting girls.
- Christmas Episode: "The Christmas Phantom". The episode is actually based on Santa Claus answering Archie's wish for a weird mystery.
- Clark Kenting: Used in "Supreme Girl vs. Dr. Arachnid" with Supreme Girl and her alias, Olga Capucchi.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Naturally, Archie Comics published a tie-in comic book (thus, making the book a Recursive Adaptation). It was notable for featuring Riverdale characters like Cheryl Blossom who never appeared on the show.
- Compressed Vice: Since most episodes start off by showcasing whatever character trait will complicate this week's problem, some of them can come off as this, such as Archie being a schedule freak in "Dream Girl".
- Continuity Nod: Despite some low-level Negative Continuity, there are some small nods.
- In "Attack of the 50 Foot Veronica", Jughead apparently likes to go for an "evening think" to ponder mysteries. He meets up with Archie in "Curse of the Mummy" on one of these.
- Lucina's dog in "Cinemadness!" still makes the meowing sound it did in "Zombies of Love!".
- Contrived Coincidence: Played straight in one episode. In order to stop a giant pudding monster from growing out of hand, Archie and his friends need to drop a rain formula from the sky by someone who has a plane and can fly it. It just so happens that Reggie's uncle has a plane and Pop Tate has an aviator's license.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Subverted in "Monster in the Night." The executive did buy the silence of the victims, but only because his company did end up fixing the formula problem that was causing mutations and wanted to prevent the negative press from closing the new Riverdale plant, which would hundreds of jobs for the town.
- Cross Over: The comic book series did an issue guest-starring the original Mighty Crusaders, visiting from a parallel universe.
- Darker and Edgier: It still retains its comedic values, however.
- Death by Materialism: The villain of "Mega-Mall of Horrors!" was a man who made a Deal with the Devil to slate his material desires. The ending, where he and his mall are pulled underground for losing all his victims, implies the devil came to collect him instead.
- Death Trap: If there's ancient ruins, there's death traps. Even the idol in "Me! Me! Me!" was originally surrounded by them; an effect expertly recreated by the museum the gang needs to retrieve it from. Why a museum would even have death traps is a good question.
- Double Meaning Title: "Green-Eyed Monster" talks about the jealousy Betty and Veronica have over new girl Dorsa Finn and Dorsa Finn, having green eyes, being a sea witch who transformed herself into Archie's ideal girl to keep him to herself.
- Dramatic Irony: After relating her nightmare about a redheaded vampire to Betty, Veronica insists it wasn't the vampire angle but the red hair part that scared her. Considering the object of Veronica's affection has red hair, this is either the case or she simply didn't want to admit she was scared of vampires.
- Dream Sue: In "Dream Girl", Archie ends up engaging in some lucid dreaming and turns it into this.
- Early Installment Weirdness: "Attack of the Killer Spuds" feels somewhat different than future episodes, particularly the voice-acting being different than others.
- Enemy Mine: Betty and Veronica in "Green-Eyed Monster".
Betty: Longer than I could remember.
Betty: Wouldn't have it any other way.
Veronica: Then let's join forces and submarine this new Dorsa girl.
Betty: Glub, Glub.
- Scarlet with Archie, Jughead and Reggie when Medlock starts favoring Veronica over her.
- Everyone Dies: The entire cast gets turned into vampires in "Archie's "Halloween of Horrors." Of course, they do get better....
- Evil Laugh: The narrator who gives previews of the episodes does this in "Me! Me! Me!"
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: This exchange from "Fleas Release Me":
Jughead: (discussing on how Reggie is missing werewolf criteria) What exactly is a pentagram, anyway?
(the scene changes to a police badge worn by the police officer shown earlier in the episode, bandaging his hand)
- Expy: Visiting superhero Supreme Girl is a clear nod to Superman with her Flying Brick powers and element weakness. Her foe, Dr. Arachnid, harkens to Spider-Man foe Dr. Octopus with his Combat Tentacles-style arms.
- Even Reggie Has Loved Ones: He stops a gang of trolls from hurting some kindergartners because he had a young niece named Amy staying there. He comforts Amy and make sure she's safe before heading off.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: One episode had the gang dealing with mutated bees. In a surprising twist of fate, Big Ethel saves everyone by dousing the Queen with smoke, thus becoming the new queen, and commanding the other bees to never come back.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
- Mega-Mall of Horrors: The villain never expects Jughead to not be greedy and remain loyal to Pops' Chocolate Shop when the mall closes it.
- The Vampire Arc: Medlock fails to understand the concept of friendship when he betrays his most loyal servant, who ends up turning against him.
- Little Chocklit Shoppe of Horrors: The Stanley 9000 doesn't understand why Pop values personal attention and people's safety over efficiency. It instead believes humans are inefficient and must be destroyed.
- Fantastic Aesop: Respect your family traditions, kids. They may be the only thing keeping a giant worm from destroying your home town.
- Fetish: Dorsa the sea creature has a thing for red-haired men. Naturally, her latest target is Archie.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Reggie. The gang usually saves him because it's the morally right thing to do, but he does come through in the clutch.
- Fountain of Youth: In "Twisted Youth" all the adults become young from drinking bottled water. The reason is because a special crystal was found in the spring that bottled the water and is thus causing them to become young.
- Genre Blind: So...after a lot of times where Archie suspects something, and it'd turn out to be real, you'd think that people would realize he's not kidding, right? Nope.
- A couple of episodes have people believe this, though.
- Gentle Giant: Moose. This is best shown in the final episode where he befriends the rival wrestler—a robot—and gives him a new job helping his father at the mechanic shop he runs.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar/Scenery Censor: When Veronica suddenly outgrows her swimsuits and then wraps herself up in a Cabana, many of the partygoers look at her with a smile on their faces. It's pretty clear they saw Veronica naked.
- Granola Girl: Betty has traits of this.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The subject of "Archie's Date With Fate". Archie is the only one who remembers everything due to his previous use of the time belt.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Everyone gradually turning into Veronica which spread like a virus. Ironic if you're a Resident Evil fan, which actually had a Virus called T-Veronica.
- Heel-Face Turn: Scarlet, the vampire girl in the second and third episode of the vampire arc.
- Hidden Depths: "Something is Haunting Riverdale High" reveals that Midge is training in gymnastics because she wants to be a stuntwoman, and Big Ethel is knowledgeable of old coins and interested in magic.
- Hypocritical Humor: "Twisted Youth" showed this relating how the adults were trying to kill everyone's fun until we see them as teenagers....
- The Huge Mall That Wasn't There Yesterday: "Mega Mall Of Horrors"
- Intrepid Reporter: In this continuity, Archie writes for the school paper and actively looks for engaging stories. Of course, most of the girls he meets consider him a Hot Scoop.
- Invisibility: "Invisible Archie" has Archie and Reggie becoming invisible after accidentally spilling Dilton's potion on themselves. Reggie proceeds to act like H.G. Wells' invisible man.
- "Something is Haunting Riverdale High" had Archie, Dilton, Midge, and Ethel turned invisible and they were in another plane of existence.
- It Came from the Fridge: One beast was a giant pudding monster, given life by a growth formula.
- It's All About Me: Veronica in "Me! Me! Me!", of course, due to a spell which, as you can imagine, didn't pan out so well.
- I Was Quite a Looker: In "Twisted Youth", any adult drinking a specific brand of bottled water becomes younger. This is especially noted when Miss Grundy turns young.
- Jerkass: Reggie. He was already one in the comics, but there he's sometimes been a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Jerkass Genie: Reggie inadvertently releases one in "Compu-terror".
- Kill and Replace: "Attack of the Killer Spuds" revolves around the titular spuds trapping victims in a Lotus-Eater Machine state while potato-grown clones spread over the planet, using them as a perpetual food source.
- Lover Tug-of-War: Betty and Veronica pull this on Archie at their most petty.
- Magic Pants: Averted in "Attack of the Fifty Foot Veronica" (if you don't count her earrings, which oddly grew with her).
- Man in a Kilt: Archie in "The Day the Earth Moved".
- Mayfly-December Romance: Implied in "Green Eyed Monster" where Dorsa outlives her husbands. To be fair, She's a sea creature who kept those "husbands" trapped with her forever. It was just a source of will power for whomever could survive her.
- Me's a Crowd: Veronica learns the hard way that the world's all right with only one of her in "Me! Me! Me!".
- Mundane Solution: In "Brain of Terror", the only way to reverse a brain growth helmet that Moose has been constantly using is to cross the wires. Dilton dismisses it until Moose does it in the end. Also counts as a Brick Joke.
- Mummy: Seen in "Curse of the Mummy". He was a pharaoh who was in love with an ancestor who looked similar to Betty...but kept constantly stalling their wedding. When she died, he was so upset that he desecrated all the statue faces, shattered every mirror and even carved off the face of his own sarcophagus. He came back to life after Archie kept taking pictures of him, and stopped when every picture got ripped in half.
- Muscle Angst: Archie and Reggie both go through this in the episode "Invisible Archie" due to Betty & Veronica's attention being focused on some large jock.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: "Archie, Reggie, Veronica, Betty! Jughead, too!"
- My God, What Have I Done?: Betty and Veronica both experience this in "Dance of the Killer Bees". While both are running for Prom Queen, neither of them thought they'd lose against Big Ethel and spent most of the episode "feeling sorry for her," until Ethel told them she had fun running against them even if she probably doesn't win. Betty and Veronica then both felt horrible for being so condescending when they realized Ethel deserved to win, as she just spent her time earnestly campaigning instead of trying to tear down her competitors, like the two girls had been doing to each other.
- Never Say "Die": Played with. Some alternatives like "slain" are used, but the show will pull out "death" and "die" in serious situations.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Subverted in "It Came From the Sewers". Despite being mutated, Peanut, Jughead's pet alligator, still remembers his owner and he eventually is taken to Florida to be taken care of.
- Nice Guy: The robot lookalike of Reggie in "Reggie or Not". The climax features the robot and Reggie trying to out nice each other and Reggie winning because if the robot really was that nice, he'd let Reggie win.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: There are some episodes where Archie or his friends will be blamed for the trouble.
- Archie buying two dice for his car in "Driven to Destruction" results in his car coming to life and going Yandere on him.
- "Fleas Release Me" has Reggie dressed as a werewolf and scaring Archie, Betty, and Veronica. The consequence is that the sheriff (who is the real werewolf) takes Reggie into custody for the werewolf attacks around Riverdale.
- "Attack of the 50ft Veronica" has the titular character of the episode getting herself zapped with the growth ray. Guess what happens?
- "Green-Eyed Monster" would have Betty and Veronica trying to get rid of Dorsa. Not only the attempts failed, but also Archie losing his trust in them.
- Veronica is unknowingly responsible for getting Dr. Arachnid the means to defeat Supreme Girl.
- "Zombies of Love": Veronica accidentally leaving the magic salt that made Archie a love-obsessed zombie at Pop's Choklit Shop (which Pop unknowingly used to flavor some french fries that everyone ate) caused many of Riverdale to become love obsessed zombies over here.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Medlock, the vampire master, actually had all the cards that the prophecy foretold would bring about darkness. But then he betrays Scarlet, his most loyal servant, by taking away her youth to revive himself. This backfires when it turns out Scarlet was suppose to be girl to help him take over the world.
- Noodle Incident: We don't know why other than he must have done something to tick her off, but for some reason Jughead is very afraid of the Tooth Fairy.
- Our Vampires Are Different: For starters, they are completely fine in direct sunlight as long as they are in human form or even smoke.
- A single bite is all that is needed to turn someone into a vampire. The spell can only be broken is the original vampire is destroyed (or at least turned back into a human). It is also implied the Master can change vampires back into humans like he did to Scarlet.
- Vampires are never explicitly said to be dead people, and could just be parasitic demons, that can convert humans. Archie unusually refers to them as living hundreds of years, as opposed to them being immortal or undead. Of course, that could be Handwaved with Never Say "Die"...
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Turning into a werewolf requires a werewolf bite, the full moon, and possession of a pentagram (which is only defined as a "five-pointed star", so a sheriff's badge works just fine). Putting something silver on the werewolf will turn it back and prevent further changes.
- OOC Is Serious Business: "Beware the Glob". Pops thinks the boys saying there's a glob monster made of pudding is just a joke (despite his shop being overrun by giant cockroaches and a sentient computer) but when Jughead, burger obsessed food junkie that he is, says there's no time for burgers, something must be wrong.
- Periphery Demographic: In-Universe. Archie's column is apparently read by government agents because of all the weird stuff he's up to.
- Similarly, Veronica using the school's gossip column to report on Supreme Girl gives Dr. Arachnid an advantage for most of the episode.
- Prophecy Twist: Used in the three-story arc upon the chosen one who could defeat Medlock.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Betty and Veronica, judging from the color of their dresses.
- Robotic Reveal: Subverted the first two times and then played straight in "Reggie or Not". First, Archie uses a magnet on the Reggie-bot and it sticks to his chest, but it's because the robot has a cookie tray on him that he was going to give to Betty. Then, Archie tosses a bucket of water on him, but the robot senses it and bends over just in time, leaving Veronica soaking wet. Last, Archie is almost run over by a truck and the robot pushes him out of the way...but half of the robot's face got scraped off.
Jughead: Holy Cosmic Muffins! Archie was right!
- Reed Richards Is Useless: How the hell does Dilton not get have government agents knocking on the door asking for him to come up with inventions for them to better mankind? Even if a lot of his inventions wind up setting up the plot somehow, it's because they're irresponsibly used or they malfunction.
- Well, the fact they malfunction in the first place might be a bit of a turnoff.
- Royal Brat: Veronica, though she's shown to learn her lesson.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Several times. Naturally, the plot is cramming them back in.
- Secret Test of Character: In "Driving to Distraction", one is given to Archie, due to basically ignoring his friends in favor of his car, so the fuzzy dice he buys make the car go Yandere. Lampshaded by the person who gave him the fuzzy dice, who complains that they "always want to do it the hard way".
- Scary Librarian: Shown in "A Haunting of Riverdale". The ghost of Quiet Violet is haunting the library for two reasons: 1) to make sure all the people who had overdue books returned them and 2) finally meeting up with Jughead to make amends to their first meeting and encouraging him to go to the library again.
- Shout-Out: Betty actually dressed as Lara Croft in Misfortune Hunters.
- Shirtless Scene: Archie gets one in the episode "Green Eyed Monster". He's surprisingly buff.
- Jughead gets one too, in "The Day The Earth Moved".
- Story Arc: Two major ones that made up three-part episodes. One dealt with vampires, and the other dealt with time travel.
- Teacher/Student Romance: When Ms. Grundy is turned into a teenager, she starts coming on to Reggie. By the time he starts coming around to the idea, she's turned back to normal.
- Television Portal: Used in "Cinemadness!".
- Title Drop: "Archie's Weird Mysteries" is also the name of Archie's school paper column.
- Unreliable Narrator: In "A Haunting in Riverdale", the former head librarian is haunting the town. Jughead remembers going to said library, where she bullied him and scared him away from the library, yelling at him for playing with the globe, telling him a book that interested him wasn't for little boys, and finally yelling at him to be quiet because he was laughing. However, when the ghost is asked on what happens, she presents a different version. She did come up and tell him to stop playing with the globe because it almost fell down on him. She did take away a book he wanted to read because it was falling apart and needed to be repaired. And she finally did admit to telling him to be quiet because he was making too much noise.
- Valley Girl: Betty's darkest nightmare is turning into one of these and losing her I.Q.
- Witch Doctor: Lucinda, whom the gang consult on occasion to help them in "Zombies of Love" and "Cinemadness".
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Pulled on Archie in an episode where he unleashes video game monsters on Riverdale. Their leader goes after him for shamelessly killing so many of his men and bragging about it.
- Whole Plot Reference: "Attack of the Killer Spuds" to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There was also Little Chocklit Shop of Horrors to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A cute little alien does it to Archie and the gang so he could gain their trust and make an alarm disruptor device so he can collect Riverdale's plutonium and sell it on the black market.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Betty's convinces that Gleebo, the cute little alien of "Extra Terror-estrials", is like ET The Extraterrestrial, in that he wants to go home and needs to build a transmitter. However, she's hit with the hard truth, Gleebo is a rude, quick tempered thief, the machine he was building wasn't a communicator but a device to hack into security systems and the two ugly alien menaces chasing him were in fact police trying to apprehend him. Guess she saw that movie too many times.
- Yandere: When Archie's car comes alive, it becomes this.