YMMV / Archie Comics

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Reggie's jerkassery has become something of an Informed Attribute over the years, as his character has definitely softened and become more sympathetic while characters (including himself) still describe him as "Rotten Reggie". It's gotten to the point where many readers consider Reggie to be the everyman who represents teens as a whole instead of the Jerkass Proud Elite.
      • Also, his obsession with Archie. Some fans believe he is in love with Archie but hiding it. Others insist that every action Reggie takes towards him, no matter how violent or cruel, is actually his reaching out to Archie in his own twisted way. It's hinted in-series that Reggie is jealous of how Archie is loved by everyone for who he is while Reggie has to put on a strong front.
    • Believe it or not, arguments have popped up surrounding Betty: Is she a Housewife/Proper Lady in waiting (pro) or a Yandere in waiting (con)? This article from MightyGodKing is definitely in the Beyond-Yandere column. A large portion of this is due to Characterization Marches On.
    • Opinions on Veronica generally surround which part of Rich Bitch or Jerk with a Heart of Gold she fits the most.
    • Why exactly Betty and Veronica like Archie, to the point of fighting over him constantly, but don't mind his fickle heart, is up for multiple interpretations. Some fans think that the two have Unresolved Sexual Tension and may not even know it.
    • Jughead has been interpreted as asexual by many, or as being in love with Archie but hiding it. The latter got especially popular when Kevin appeared, and he and Jughead got along easy. However, there was a story arc that addressed this directly; it turns out it's a case of The One That Got Away.
      • Has now been confirmed in the reboot that Jughead is canonically asexual!
    • Is Archie a milquetoast goodie-goodie who borders on being a Canon Sue instead of the everyman he's meant to be? Also, is he just an absent-inded date, or is he so selfish, fickle and manipulative as to be after Anything That Moves?
  • Base Breaker:
    • Every main character, especially Betty. Each character drifts from likable to completely insane. The disparity is due to Characterization Marches On.
    • Also, Kevin Keller is the odd combination of this and Ensemble Darkhorse. On one hand, he has many followers who think of him as a surprisingly interesting character for being a positive portayal of an openly gay character. Others think that he is slowly usurping Reggie's place in the Five-Man Band, noticing that he is appearing less and less in favor of Kevin.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: A few readers know the series only for the beautiful girls drawn by Dan DeCarlo, especially Betty and Veronica. There is a reason why they appear so often in bikini or other skimpy outfits..
  • Character Tiers: Yes, one exists.
  • Dork Age: The years the Archie gang appeared in the Christian fundamentalist Spire Christian Comics.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Jughead is pretty popular, especially with nostalgic fans.
    • Sabrina the Teenage Witch became so popular as to get her own comic series and several TV shows.
    • A recent comic had Sabrina switch everyone's gender. Fans really want more of Reggie's Distaff Counterpart, Regina, who is a proper Alpha Bitch.
      • Archina, Billy, and especially J.J. are very popular (a picture of them and Regina can be found here)''. Archina has cute Girlish Pigtails and people enjoy her reverse harem more than the usual version, while J.J.'s fashion choices, apathetic personality, and Big Eater qualities make her attractive to people (much more so than normal Jughead).
  • Face of the Band: Archie is this to his friends in The Archies.
  • Foe Yay: A Harry Lucey comic had Archie dating Reggie after Veronica was unavailable.
  • Fridge Logic: Just why was "Cousin Leroy" always there without any other members of his immediate family, anyways?
    • If Big Moose is too dumb to tell what 2 + 2 is, or where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is, then how the heck did he make it all the way to being a junior in high school?
      • He's a star athlete, usually the best one in any sport they compete in. And, Dilton did tutor him well enough to get a 75 on a science test so he [Moose] could stay on the basketball team.
      • One Very Special Episode tries to establish Moose as a dyslexic, which could at least explain some of his poor schoolwork.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The franchise is (or was, at least in the 1980s and 1990s) very popular in Mexico, such that a theater play existed there, not to mention many of the spin-offs are still published in Mexico to this date.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Of course, being such a long runner, this is to be expected. In one comic, done when mobile phones were new, Sabrina (way before her sitcom days) crashes into a telephone pole while talking to one while flying on a broomstick. (Little would anyone realize how dangerous distracted drivers would become.)
    • One digest featured a series of stories wherein the conditions within the school after Mr. Weatherbee had installed surveillance cameras brought up comparisons to Nineteen Eighty Four and was followed up with a series of stories dealing with corrupt bankers, crippling regulatory edicts from the government against private business ownersnote , and stifling the freedom of the press by arresting a journalist [Reggie's father] for printing a negative story. Such incidents have not only happened in real life, but in greater magnitudes since the time of printing.
    • Ever since Jughead got confirmed as asexual, Trula Twyst's attempts to get him "interested" in girls seem a lot less like a gag and a lot more like Cure Your Aces.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: There's some of this too, naturally. An example is Dilton saying that it would be years before anyone gets to the moon.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Frequently with Archie, as Jughead's famously not interested in girls. Jughead dating a future descendant of Archie doesn't help matters. With Jughead the woman-avoider, though, this is usually more on Jughead's side.
    • The most closeted character is probably Reggie, a classic over-compensator whose obsession with Archie frequently turns into an open man-crush. Reggie becoming attracted to Archie in drag a few times doesn't help.
    • Betty and Veronica also have quite a bit of Les Yay between them. Which in modern times has had many a fan wonder why they just don't forget Archie.
    • One particular issue from the 60s involved a predator on the loose kissing all the high school girls and running off before they can be identified. Archie and Reggie assume it is Jughead until the person kisses Archie. Reggie still thinks it's Jughead however Archie thinks it's a girl. It turns out it was Betty. She wanted to secretly kiss Archie but devised a plan to kiss random girls and throw him off. Yes, including Veronica. Betty's plan doesn't make much sense but she has at least kissed girls in canon.
  • Hollywood Homely: Big Ethel can be this, depending on the artist.
  • One True Threesome: Over the years as Betty and Veronica have become friendlier and friendlier, shipping both with Archie in a full threesome relationship has become incredibly popular.
  • Recycled Script: Used often and unabashedly, due to the incredible number of stories already in existence and the short timeframe of an Archie Comics reader. And, of course, no one would notice because they were for kids. Anyone who's been reading for more than a decade could easily pick up a Digest collection and find that only the cover story was new to them.
    • One digest twice featured short strips with Jughead walking into a haberdashery and asking the man behind the counter to take a tie out of the window because he couldn't stand the sight of it or it was so ugly it gave him a headache every time he walked past the store.
    • The same Jughead gag showed up in two different digests released in the same week of that month.
      • It's been worse. One digest reused a near-exact version of a joke in two comics on the same page.
    • This was (possibly) lampshaded on one of the covers. Archie mentions that the comics will now be printed on recycled paper. Either Jughead or Reggie responds, "Your jokes have been recycled for years!"
      • Both, actually. They did the same gag twice.
    • A big, current example: several of the "New Look" stories have just been taken (characters, whole sections of dialogue, etc.) from the "Archie Novels" series from the early 1990s. Moose & Midge's break-up, Veronica & Betty fighting about Nick St. Claire, and Archie moving away were all topics taken.
    • There's also the faithful Archie Joke Generating-Laugh Unit 3000, always good for an oldie but goodie, and noted courtesy http://joshreads.com/
    • Joked about in an episode of Friends where Chandler sells a story to the company where Archie temporarily becomes Reggie's butler to earn some extra money, based on his own time working as Joey's assistant. Joey fails to see the parallel but does wind up remembering that they've done a similar story in the past.
  • Shipping: A common Fan Fic concept features Jughead paired up with someone, usually Betty. Some writers themselves have commented that they'd like to see the two put together, but ultimately can't break up the ultimate Love Triangle at the heart of the stories.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: It's borderline encouraged. Betty/Archie vs. Ronnie/Archie has been a long-standing debate for decades, even if many people are basing it on second-hand knowledge as they've never read the series. Archie/Jughead, Betty/Jughead, Ethel/Jughead, Betty/Reggie, and Reggie/Veronica are often added into the mix, too.
  • Strawman Has a Point: One of the Love Showdown comics has Cheryl's Jerkass brother Jason taunt Archie by saying, "At least I'm not some freckled-face goofus who can't make up his mind about a woman." That's a perfect description of Archie.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Big Ethel. As detailed in this blog post, she was a character who was ugly and physically unattractive, yet was also a confident and kind-hearted person who never let her looks get in the way of her pursuit of Jughead. While that would seem like interesting fuel for some stories revolving around her, she actually only made occasional appearances in the comics (the Spire-produced Christian-themed comics that gave her a bigger role don't count), most of which played off her physical appearance for cheap laughs. It doesn't help that A) Jughead was eventually given his own Love Triangle with two new characters, with Ethel being Demoted to Extra for the time being, and B) starting around the 1980's, her appearance began gradually changing from being "the poster child for Gonk" to simply "plain" (which, as pointed out in the previously-linked blog post, ruins the potential "ugly on the outside, beautiful on the inside" message, and instead unintentionally sends the message that the concept of "ugly" characters is completely unacceptable).
  • Values Dissonance:
    • One old strip had Archie's dad flip out over Archie asking for ten whole dollars for gas.
    • On the other hand, considering how notoriously cheap Archie's dad is, this joke might be even funnier now.
    • The much bigger values dissonance comes from any depiction of gender roles throughout the years. Mild stuff like what it means when a guy in the '50s gives a girl his class pin / class ring (that he wants to go steady with her), to more heinous things like how just the idea of a woman being a doctor or a lawyer is a punchline, or how Jughead used to called a "woman-hater" which sounds needlessly misogynist, while today he'd be called asexual.
    • Ugliness used for comedy doesn't fly as well anymore so Ms. Grundy, Big Ethel and Archie himself have been given subtle facelifts over the decades. With Archie it happened quickly but Ethel in particular looks unrecognizable.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit:
    • And how! (the trope was originally YKTTW'd as Emo Jughead). Despite the fact that Jughead is usually the most offbeat and non-conformist of the group, he was always the one shown experimenting with new fads or subcultures of fashion. He's been an Emo Teen, a Goth, a skateboarder, a punk, etc. over the years, generally hopping on as a sign of his own counter-culture compared to the more milquetoast cast.
    • Sometimes digests include old stories reprinted with modern cultural references such as American Idol awkwardly inserted through text. The obvious change in lettering doesn't help.
    • And, at other times, they don't bother to correct the art. One story printed at least twice has Archie's grandparents showing vacation movies first recorded to video tape and, in the second run, burned on DVD, but the art in both versions clearly shows them handing a VHS tape to Archie to queue up.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Jughead's Diner was a bizarre story even by Archie standards. Jughead was the owner of a restaurant in Dinersville, which inhabited a parallel universe.
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