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Left to Right: Betty, Jughead, Archie, Veronica, and Reggie.

The Slice of Life Comic Magazine.

The classic American comic book series Archie Comics stars a a teenage boy named Archie Andrews. It debuted in Pep Comics #22, 1941 in a story drawn by Bob Montana. A cast slowly grew around him and his buddies, and by the mid-1950s, the world had for the most part developed into the cast we'd now recognize. Preaching that Status Quo Is God, a large array of stock plots and occurrences (the Love Triangle of Archie, Betty, and Veronica; Jughead conspiring against Reggie or women; Ethel chasing Jughead; Reggie chasing Midge and confounding Moose; Dilton being smart; Chuck obsessing over comic books; Archie and Jughead running afoul of the teachers, etc.) have become among the longest-running motifs in fiction. With the start of Dan DeCarlo as primary artist in the '60s, Archie Comics created its "house style" – one that lasted all the way til 2015, when artists Fiona Staples, Adam Hughes, and Erica Henderson were brought onboard to reinvent the visual look of Archie and his associates in main continuity.

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

With romance so core to the series, its fanbase is inevitably mostly female (gazing at issues featuring 'dress up' and 'design outfits for the girls to wear', this should be unsurprising). But there is a significant fanbase of men who grew up reading the books as boys. Archie Comics is also famous, or infamous, for keeping everyone the same age, and altering only the fashion and accessories… making Archie Comics a stereotype-laden snapshot of each decade. Bell-bottom jeans, Nehru jackets, citizens-band radio, disco, etc. are all brought in as new fads and then slowly dropped as new fads come in.note 

Well known for being available in news-stands and grocery store checkout magazine racks everywhere (partly due to it also being one of the only comic books that still publish digest-sized issues, perfect for stocking near the checkouts), Archie Comics come and have come in MANY titles, including Archie, Archie Digest, Archie Double Digest, Betty, Veronica, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, Jughead with Archie, Archie's Pals and Gals, Tales from Riverdale High... It's still meant for kids, but (as this article proves) there's a large number of adults who still read and enjoy them out there.

In 2015, the original Archie series (which had been running since 1942) ended at issue #666, giving way for a modern reboot spearheaded by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, and sporting a more realistic art style (not the first time they've tried it). Further titles have been announced, all existing within the same new continuity: Jughead (by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson), Betty & Veronica (by Adam Hughes), and Life With Kevin (by Dan Parent).

However, the digest-sized Archie comics have kept the original art and writing style, and are still ongoing.

Archie Comics shares a universe with Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats. The three frequently reference each other, often crossover with each other, and Valerie, a member of the Pussycats, has even been a Third-Option Love Interest for Archie.

Archie also appears in Newspaper Comics form, courtesy of Creators Syndicate.

More information and activities:

Comic books featuring the Archie characters:

Archie Comics Adaptations:

Archie's Comics provide examples of:

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  • 90% of Your Brain: In a story, Archie recites this statistic to his friends. Moose exclaims that 10% is "almost less than half our brains". Archie muses if the statistic is too high in some cases.
  • A Cappella: In one story, while the Archies are driving to a concert, their van keeps breaking down and they have to take apart their instruments to fix it. When when they finally reach the concert, they're forced to improvise and sing without instrumental accompaniment.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Big Ethel for Jughead.
  • Accidental Aesop: In-Universe. One story had Mr. Weatherbee assigning Archie to give a speech to the male students on a subject that interests them. He chooses inflation and has Betty, Veronica and Ethel help him demonstrate its effects. Big Ethel is shown in an early 20th-Century swimsuit that covers her whole body, Betty in a standard one-piece suit, and Veronica in a bikini to symbolize "The Shrinking Dollar." Mr. Weatherbee compliments Archie on his speech, but tells him, "There's only one problem, Archie. You have the entire class looking forward to further devaluation." In other words, if you go from a full suit to a one piece to a bikini, the next step would be...
  • Accidental Athlete: One story has Archie and Betty walking by the football field while the team is practicing. Archie says that if they were in an old movie, a stray ball would fly in his direction and he'd kick it it fifty yards, thus earning him an instant spot on the team. To Archie's chagrin, when a stray football does make it their way, it's Betty who kicks it straight between the uprights. It seems that "they don't make old movies the way they used to."
  • Accidental Hero: A comic had Jughead failing as a security guard until he tripped and fell on a guy who turned out to be a shoplifter.
  • Accidental Proposal: In one of the Xmas issues, Moose shows Jughead a jewellery store window with a birthstone ring. He then asks Jughead to find out from his girlfriend, Midge, if she'd like that ring for Christmas. So later, Jug casually asks Midge if she would like the ring in the store window. Midge kisses Jughead and runs off in ultimate excitement. Turns out the jeweller had since placed a diamond engagement ring in the birthstone's spot. Since Moose is normally so jealous that he's known to hospitalize other guys for merely talking to Midge, Jughead is now seriously in deep doo-doo.
  • Adaptation Expansion: A story where the gang gets the local woods slated to be logged declared a national park was expanded into a multi-issue story where the logging company counter-protests because the employees won't have any work if they can't cut the trees.
  • Addiction Displacement: In an eighties story on the dangers of smoking, three teenagers unintentionally create a false fire alarm by chain-smoking in the boys' washroom at school. At the end, they apologize to the principal, Mr. Weatherbee, and inform him that from now on, whenever they have nicotine cravings, they'll chew gum instead.
    Weatherbee: Egad! Another habit I don't approve of. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.
  • The Alleged Car: A running joke on Archie's jalopy. It's a red Ford (a Model "T" in the classic strips and a Mustang convertible in the modern ones): "Found On Road, Dead."
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Multiple covers have Archie, Reggie (and some other boys) show interest in cheerleaders (often Betty and Veronica), and easily distracted by them during the games.
  • Alliterative Name: Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Dilton Doiley, Coach Clayton, Trula Twyst, Evelyn Evernever, Gertrude Grundy, Fred Flutesnoot, Waldo Weatherbee, and a few others. Some are nicknames or titles, but it still fits. And possibly the best example in this group: Marmaduke Merton Matowski "Moose" Mason.
  • Ancestral Name: In the Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty arc, Archie has fraternal twins, who are named Archie Jr. and Veronica/Betty Jr. (depending on which girl he marries).
  • Animal Motifs: Discussed in one story, where the gang learns about the trope in English class. It ends on a "cat fight" between Betty and Veronica, where they're represented by a white and black cat-woman, respectively.
  • Art Evolution:
    • There was a massive one in the late 1960s, coinciding with Dan DeCarlo's promotion to the artist for nearly all Archie comic covers. Soon, all the new artists were mimicking his style as the 'base' Archie, though a few older artists continued to draw their own way. The shift to the unified "house style" was total enough that the clothing styles are all that can define most stories from the 1960s until now, when a few more "out there" artists like Fernando Ruiz have put their own stamp on the "DeCarlo Style".
    • Then there's the "Dynamic New Look" art style, which goes for a more realistic approach. It's only used for specific story arcs, though.
    • As of 2015, Archie ended their old Archie series that had been going for over 600 issues with a brand-new series with a completely new look. The new look is of the more realistic style used in most American comics.
  • The Artifact:
    • While the setting as evolved over the decades, Pop Tate's Choklit Shoppe has been stubbornly treated as an anachronism for decades since at least the The '60s, such when it had to compete with a new pizzeria.note  There have been multiple stories of it being nearly closed and demolished while there have been attempts to update it like making it an independent fast food restaurant in the The '70s and The '80s and an internet cafe in the The '90s. In real life, independent diners do still exist and aren't even particularly uncommon, of course, but the place has a very old-timey vibe, and Pop himself looks like he just stepped out of a time warp.
    • Another one is Ol' Betsy, which went from being a believable clunker in the 1940s to a collector's item/museum piece by the 1980s. In Life With Archie, the car was finally written off and replaced with a Ford Mustang—which is on its way from being a believable clunker to a collector's item/museum piece.
    • Jughead's trademark beanie is a Whoopie Cap, made by taking a felt fedora and modifying the brim, which were popular among young boys in the 1920's. This was a dated thing to wear even when the comics first came out, but is so ridiculously obsolete now that most people only know about it because Jughead wears it.
  • Artistic License – Education: Moose constantly gets away with assaulting other students in and out of school with no consequence.
  • Artistic License – History: In one 1990s strip, Miss Grundy was putting on a play about American heroes or some such theme. She assigned Archie and Jughead the part of astronauts, and Betty the role of Florence Nightingale.note 
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • One story involves a new kid in town coming out of nowhere to become the star player on Riverdale's baseball team, playing shortstop. His leg is then badly injured when a player on a rival team spikes him, but he reinvents himself as an ace pitcher and leads Riverdale to the championship. It would be a great story if it wasn't utter bullcrap. As anyone who's ever pitched at any level could tell you, it is impossible to pitch on an injured leg, at least with any degree of competency.
    • In another issue where Betty becomes a race car driver, the flag bearer at the racetrack waves a checkered flag at the start of her first race. The checkered flag is supposed to signal the end of a race.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: In one strip, a bored Jughead decides to interact with citizens and write down the "dumb questions" he invariably comes across, and present a novelty trophy to the person who delivers the dumbest. Archie gets in on the act, and soon they're approached by Big Moose, who asks Jughead (who's holding a pad of paper and pencil) if he's going to write something down. When Jughead artfully dodges the question and Moose departs, a perplexed Archie asks his friend why he didn't just hand the truly deserving Moose the trophy right there. Jughead replies, "Would you want to give Moose a prize for "dumbest question?". Jug himself then observes, "Hey, that was two more dumb questions right there!", and promptly writes them down.
  • Asleep in Class: One time (or maybe more) Jughead painted eyeballs on his eyelids so he could sleep in class and look like he wasn't sleeping.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: One story has Coach Kleats enlist the gang to help him test some new "Super Mod" sporting goods he's considering buying for Riverdale High. The salesman claims the Super Mod items unbreakable, safe and fun, but the gang soon proves otherwise. Moose accidentally breaks the "bounce-a-lots" he and Archie test because of his weight, Reggie nearly hits Betty and Midge with a high-speed throw when playing "basket catch" with Jughead because he can't control where the ball goes, and they all fall asleep while the salesman is reading out the rules to a tennis-like game played with gloves. The gang is so bored they tell Coach Kleats that they want to play with traditional sporting equipment like basketballs and baseball bats. That pretty much seals Kleats' decision not to buy the Super Mod junk.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: This sequence. "I'd like to compliment you on your good work... WHEN YOU DO SOME!"
  • Banned in China: In-Universe example. Veronica proudly shows off a bikini she bought that had been banned in Boston.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: There is not one person in the universe who knows what a nipple is.
  • Batman Gambit: Reggie and Veronica played a prank on Archie by making up a story about how Mr. Weatherbee was looking for him. Then Weatherbee turns up and he really was looking for someone, to represent the school on a trip to the capital. After Archie recommends Reggie and Veronica, Weatherbee sends various messengers to summon the two to his office (the first of which is Archie himself), but Reggie, thinking that Archie is playing the same gag on him, rebuffs them each and every time. Weatherbee eventually gets fed up, and trails the next messenger, so when Reg and Veronica ignore the summons one last time, he was there, and he sent them off to detention.
  • Beauty Contest: Beauty contests, often of an impromptu sort, were a staple of stand-alone Archie stories during The '70s and The '80s in particular. Most often, they took place at the beach. A frequently-used premise had the contestants — which nearly always included Betty and Veronica — attempt to sweet-talk the judge(s) — usually Archie, and sometimes Reggie as well — into voting for them. If Midge was a contestant, this inevitably meant her boyfriend Moose threatening the judge(s) into voting for her (a reversal of the usual Green-Eyed Monster Moose plots where merely glancing at Midge from a distance would earn Archie or Reggie a curb stomp).
  • Berserk Button: Jughead kicks ass on a pair of robbers when they try to steal the Chocklit Shoppe's hamburger supply.
  • "Better if Not Born" Plot: In one story, an angel shows Cheryl Blossom what things would be like if she hadn't moved to Riverdale. It turns out that the other characters are much better off without her. Betty becomes a supermodel dating a prince, Archie is vice-president at Lodge Industries and Happily Married to Veronica, who is now much less selfish and even involved in all sorts of charity work, and Jughead is the mayor. In the end, Cheryl misses the point and decides that making their lives more complicated is her purpose in life, so she goes back to the life she has. And the angel gets demoted.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • The Trope Namer.
    • The interesting thing about them being that Betty and Veronica are inseparable best friends. They have each other's backs 99% of the time, it's just that they both want the same guy (and he's head over heels in love with them both). Stranding the three of them on a deserted island would either lead to murder… or it might be their private idea of Heaven. In one comic, Veronica states that they only fight over unimportant things, like boys.
    • It was also originally the Trope Namer for Third-Option Love Interest, back when it was known on this wiki as The Cheryl Blossom, after the aforementioned character.
  • Betty and Veronica Switch: Interestingly, despite being the Trope Codifier for Betty and Veronica relationships, it gets blurred once Betty tries to kill Archie in an issue.
  • Big Eater: Jughead is pretty much the biggest example of this in all fiction.
  • Big Fancy House:
    • The Lodge Estate, home of the insanely wealthy Veronica Lodge.
    • The Blossom Mansion, Cheryl Blossom's home that's so large it has a tram just to get to Cheryl's bedroom in the "west wing". Archie even comments how her house makes The Lodge Estate look like a cottage.
  • Bland-Name Product: The comics tend to use thinly-disguised brand names quite a bit.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl, since the latter's debut. Betty, Veronica, and Archie, of course.
  • Bond One-Liner: A non-lethal version occurs following the televised Riverdale v. Pembrooke trivia challenge, when Moose discovers that one of the Pembrooke players deliberately injured his buddy Dilton before the match. As Big Moose begins pounding on the luckless cheater, Jughead comments that "You know, Archie, it's true what they say ... there's just too much violence on television."
  • Bothering by the Book: Invoked in one 4-panel comic. Weatherbee institutes a dress code that stipulates that all male students must wear a suit. Archie comes in a Zoot Suit (a garishly-colored, baggy suit with a pocket watch, intended for clubbing), not out of malicious compliance, but because he wanted an excuse to wear it to school. Weatherbee tears up the notice.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Cricket and Midge.
  • Brand X: Done frequently, with many exceptions. See Subliminal Advertising, below.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Veronica's (seemingly forgotten) cousin Leeroy. Also frequently used by kids in general.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Frequently used – characters will "talk to the audience", and several #100 issues will have the characters deciding exactly how to celebrate their "100th issue".
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Soooo many...
  • "The Breakfast Club" Poster Homage: Has done this a couple of times:
    • One variant cover of Archie Marries Veronica puts Veronica, Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Reggie as Allison, Bender, Brian, Claire, and Andrew respectively.
    • A variant of Veronica #293 (marketed as Kevin Keller #3) has Betty, Reggie, Archie, Kevin, and Jughead in the aforementioned positions.
  • Broad Strokes: One theory about the comics is that they all take place in parallel universes, which would nicely take care of plenty of Canon problems, along with the many comics that seem to be almost complete duplicates of previous plots. Not to mention the age problems. Later made Ascended Fanon. The first issue of Life With Archie: The Married Life actually includes a display of an Archie multiverse. Dimensions include "The Happy Days of the 1940s-50s", "The Fantasy World of Little Archie", and "Archie's New Look," among others.
  • Butter Face: Big Ethel, in her early days. Eventually Proggressively Prettier set in big time, to the point that in the '90s she was downright attractive with just a bad Pebbles Flintstone haircut.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Moose has a very limited vocabulary.
    Moose: "Duhhh hey! Who are you calling an Idiom!?"
  • Candy Striper: In issue #12 of the "Betty & Veronica Spectacular" (published in the earlier 90's), Veronica volunteers as a Candy Striper when Betty is hospitalized for exhaustion. Veronica inadvertently causes havoc at the hospital while trying to take care of Betty.
    Veronica: Guess what Betty? I'm your Official Candy Striper!
    Betty: [to herself] Now I'm really sick!
  • Canon Foreigner: For "The New Archies", a version featuring the group set in their middle school era, the characters of Amani and Eugene were created. "Fangs" Fogarty and Ambrose appear in the elementary-setting "Little Archie". None of the four made it to the mainstream continuity in anything other than a one-shot or cameo. Ambrose's absence in the main stories is explained once by him moving away. There is one main story where he comes back for a visit and rekindles with Archie.
  • Canon Immigrant: Betty's older siblings, Polly (a reporter) and Chick (a spy). Both debuted in the Little Archie stories of Bob Bolling when older teens were needed for the kiddie-based tales. Later on, Kathleen Webb added them to the mainline continuity as successful siblings who'd moved out of the Cooper household. Betty's Diary stories made the most use out of them- otherwise it depends on the writer (they weren't even at her Future Wedding!).
  • Captain Geographic: Some of the superheroes.
  • Cavalier Consumption: Jughead is normally apathetic and somewhat aloof. The only thing he openly takes seriously is food. This results in his eating during serious discussions, with other characters getting annoyed at him. However, more often than not he really is paying attention and is simultaneously thinking on two levels: About his food and about the discussion at hand.
  • Celibate Hero: Jughead doesn't so much hate women anymore as he is simply not interested in romance, believing it complicates a guy's life and taxes his funds. This doesn't keep girls from hitting on him, though. Big Ethel is usually the one who pursues him, although in one story all the girls in Riverdale pursued Jughead because he was the only guy not wearing an overpowering cologne at a school dance, much to his chagrin. His blatant misogyny was altered by 1989 into being conflicted problems over women, as he had many romantic liaisons during the '90s: Joani Jummp, Debbie, January [McAndrews], Anita the disabled girl, etc. He also has a magical hatpin at one point that attracts girls. In a subversion, the pin (sometimes) makes him want to be with girls. In one story, he gets a date with a girl named Terri thanks to Reggie trying to make her think Jughead's the "Second-Best Romeo In Town" but with the pin drawing Terri to Jughead, Reggie gets thwarted – and the small-scale Villainous Breakdown he goes through once Archie told what went on is priceless. It was explained in one comic that Jughead stays away from girls because he's witnessed how much grief they cause Archie.
    Archie: I wonder where he found Her?
    Reggie: You wouldn't believe me even if I told you!!
  • Character Blog: The Archie comics website has character blogs for Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, and Jughead.
  • Character Development:
    • Betty was initially shown as a more typical "domestically talented" girl, and often rather ditzy. By the 1960s, the Women's Lib movement had converted her to the more familiar tomboyish/girly-girl mix, and boosted her intelligence by a great deal.
    • Jughead has also gone through a transformation, from a one-note girl-hater (often blatantly misogynistic to the point of "hating dames") into a character sometimes conflicted (the Joani Jumpp years, the recent "New Style" arc, dating a handicapped girl, etc.) about love for women, ultimately returning to the less complicated world of food.
    • In the Archie's Marriage Omakes, Moose realizes that he's being abusive and possessive towards Midge, and breaks up with her. He also calms down a lot, presumably to avoid an assault charge now that he's an official adult.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • Archie's first story establishes that the titular hero actually hates his first name and insists on the nickname "Chick". This peculiarity is entirely forgotten by the second story.
    • Jughead's more misogynist tendencies have disappeared over the decades.
    • Betty was originally a Clingy Jealous Girl. She also lacked her tomboyish traits, which didn't start appearing until the 1960s.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: A story had Jughead timing Archie for the latter's partaking in a track meet, where he is astonished to learn that he just broke the record for being the fastest there is. Come the day of the track meet, after Archie wins the race, Coach Kleats then reveals to Archie that Jughead's stopwatch is actually a lot slower than Archie, which angers Archie so much that he starts chasing Jughead at the end of the story.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Unknown to the rest of his trivia team, a Pembrooke player injures Dilton Doiley so that he can't compete for Riverdale. Riverdale wins on the final question anyway, and when Pembrooke team captain Jason Blossom realizes the injury was no accident, he spurns his teammate and says "I'm shaking hands with a winner" as he walks over to congratulate Riverdale.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The Riverdale High v. Pembrooke Academy trivia challenge comes down to one final question about a football star. Riverdale's team includes the surprise competitor Moose Mason, who happens to be the school's resident jock.
  • Chick Magnet: Jughead has a magic pin that, when worn in his hat, makes him irresistible to women. Since Jughead himself is normally uninterested in romance, the pin's rare appearances are usually accidental.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Betty, the Victorious one, when Archie marries her. Romance sweeps the entire town when this happens. Of course, she turns into the Unlucky one when he marries Veronica, complete with unemployment. Naturally, the latter gets by pretty well when he marries the former instead.
  • Christmas Every Day: In one issue, Jingles allows Archie to repeat Christmas Eve for a day so Archie can have more time to prepare, but the computer he used to turn back time gets frozen into a loop.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Used too frequently to even list all the victims. A comic with a fairly large base cast that constantly introduced new recurring characters in nearly every year, this happens a lot. Ask old-school fans about "Adam the Alien", Jinx Malloy, January McAndrews or Cricket O'Dell. Even Cheryl Blossom got this in the 80s. A few characters are actually shown moving away (Cheryl in the late 1990s), but most are just casually ignored with no mentions after a few years of appearances. We'll see where the new pair of Asian girls, Wendy Weatherbee, and others end up.
    • Many characters (Jinx, Cricket) simply got Demoted to Extra, while others, like Frankie Valdez, were shown having moved back to Riverdale. With Archie Comics, it's hard to tell if someone's really been dropped, as an occasional comic will have one of these minor age-old characters reappear as if nothing was different. Not to mention the Digests that reprint old stories.
    • Little Archie features two new characters; Ambrose The Woobie and Fangs Fogerty who is essentially a proto-Moose. These characters never appear and are never mentioned in the regular high school-age comics with no explanation for their absence, though one could just assume that they moved out of Riverdale between the events of both comics.
  • Cliffhanger: Any time Betty and Veronica try to make Archie choose between them in any media ever. True, the whole franchise runs off the Love Triangle, but it really does have to end some time.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Betty and Veronica both become more than a little crazy whenever another girl takes an interest in Archie.
    • Less commonly seen is how Midge goes nuts whenever another girl shows too much interest in Moose.
  • Clock Discrepancy: In a comic, Big Eater Jughead is in class, and informs the teacher, Miss Grundy, that "his stomach" says its lunchtime. She reminds Jug that the clock on the wall reads 10 before noon. At that moment, the school janitor Mr. Svenson enters the classroom with a ladder. The purpose? To adjust the clock, which he said was running ten minutes slow.
  • Comic-Book Time: Archie and the gang have been in high school for nearly seventy years. Someone once wrote in to the Archie letters column demanding an explanation for this, theorizing that the characters must be really, really dumb if they can't graduate. Reggie Mantle (yes, the character) responded by explaining that he and the other characters had simply been stuck with eternal youth.
    • Despite the fact that Jughead is usually the most offbeat and non-conformist of the group, in recent decades he tends to be the one shown experimenting with new fads or subcultures of fashion. He has 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 now awkwardly inserted through editing, like an obvious change in lettering. The modern references will tend to feel anachronistic in context of the art, obviously made in a different era.
    • And usually they don't bother to correct the art to reflect any such changes. 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.
  • Confound Them with Kindness: There's a story where Betty starts off despairing over the utter lack of courtesy she witnesses at a supermarket. As a consequence, she starts a project where she acts nothing less than utterly kind to the most disagreeable person she can think of: Reggie. After enduring some of Reggie's barbs, she simply laughs it off as him being witty. He then gets so confused that he doesn't commit his usual list of offenses (e.g. poking fun at Archie's clumsiness, Dilton's nerdiness, or flirting with Midge) and instead casually greets the people he usually picks on. When Betty hears the gang chatting about his unusual behavior at Pop Tate's, she's triumphant.
  • Congestion Speak: Archie somehow catches a cold after spending the storyline curing Veronica of hers. As she walks by Archie's window, his final line is:
    Hey, thad souds like Verodiga.
  • Congruent Memory:
    • There was one Betty and Veronica comic where Veronica was studying for a test while lying on the floor of her room. When the day of the test came around, she couldn't remember any of the information — until she lay down on the floor of the classroom in the same position she'd studied in.
    • In another story, Jughead could throw snowballs easily, but couldn't get the same feeling when handling a normal baseball.
    • In the same vein, Jughead was once scouted for the opera thanks to his bombastic singing voice — unfortunately, he only sang well in enclosed spaces because he did most of his singing in the bathtub.
  • Coquettish Lip Biting: Betty and Veronica have done more than their fair share of lower-lip biting over the many, many years of the comics' publication. Usually in response to Archie.
  • Covered in Kisses: Happens regularly to Archie, often from Betty.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Believe it or not, there have been a few stories where this trope is inverted to prove a character's innocence, to prove that a painting is a forgery, etc.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The prevalent example is the extremely jealous Moose, who gets very angry whenever anyone hits on his girlfriend Midge, leading him to usually hit them as punishment. Reggie is the most frequent victim of Moose's anger.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In one Christmas story, Veronica is revealed to keep two boxes of tree decorations: one full of cheep stuff when Archie and Jughead decide to help decorate and inevitably ruin things, and one full of nice stuff when she's alone with Betty so they can decorate it properly.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: In the Crossover Archie Meets the Punisher, a criminal the Punisher has tracked to Riverdale looks very similar to Archie. The story also ends with Wolverine learning about a dangerous mutant who looks like Jughead.
  • Crippling the Competition: When Riverdale and Pembrooke high schools meet for a trivia championship, one of the Pembrooke players realizes Dilton could potentially beat them all single-handedly, and arranges for him to "accidentally" trip down a staircase before the match. Not only is Dilton too concussed to play, but there's no provision for substitutes, meaning that Riverdale has to compete short-handed.
  • Crossover:
    • Most Archie Comics characters are accepted to be in the same universe, so it's reasonable for Sabrina to show up in an Archie story, or for The Archies to perform alongside Josie and the Pussycats. The biggest example is the Civil Chore(s) story, where the writers get as many characters as they can think of together for a single-page spread.
    • Or that time The Punisher showed up in Riverdale in Archie Meets the Punisher, one of the oddest crossovers in the entire history of comics.
    • Or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Coming to us in 1991 we have the '87 cartoon versions of the turtles getting vomited out of a floating, dimension spanning cow’s head (Cudley the Cowlick). Archie and the green team eventually join up and rescue Veronica from a kidnapping attempt, and still have time to get their pizza eating on before the turtles return to their own dimension.
    • There also was a crossover with Tiny Titans.
    • Issues 641-644 have one with Glee, where Dilton finds a way to Lima, Ohio and accidentally ends up swapping some characters around. Dilton, Veronica and Jughead end up at McKinley High, and vice versa.
    • In issue 627, we have a six part miniseries where monsters are unleashed onto poor Riverdale and only rock gods KISS can save the day.
    • The Simpsons: A brief gag in the episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts" has Homer being tossed out of a car, which then cuts to reveal Archie, Jughead, Reggie and Moose in the jalopy, and Moose says to Homer, "Duh, stay outta Riverdale!" and they drive off. Makes you wonder what Homer did in Riverdale that got him the boot. Later, Homer bitterly reads an issue of Archie Comics, muttering "Stuck-up Riverdale punks! Think they're too good for me!"
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A non-combat version with Coach Kleats. He appears to be a slow-and-overweight gym teacher and coach, and indeed, he can't run well and would kill himself if he slid into a base. But he can still hit every pitch out of the park or thread a needle with a high-velocity football pass, which is why he never had to run in either sport.
  • Crushing Handshake: A story had this happen to Mr. Weatherbee when congratulating substitute hall monitor Maria Rodriguez for teaching the other students not to run in the halls. Maria is actually a lot stronger than she looks so she crushes the 'Bee's hand while giving him a handshake. The last panel shows Mr. Weatherbee getting his hand bandaged by Miss Grundy.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Characters are prone to this in general, especially Betty and Veronica. But what might be the most notable example was when Chuck marched around town being a jerk for some reason, and Archie stopped this by putting a kitten in his path. Chuck immediately picked up and played with the kitten.
  • Dainty Little Ballet Dancers: In one story, Archie and Reggie make fun of Veronica's "sissy" ballet instructor, until he uses dance moves to beat up some thugs threatening them. The two then enroll in his ballet lessons.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The original Life with Archie series (1958-1991) featured longer, more "adventure" oriented stories than the typical Archie titles, including elements like five-alarm fires, attempted kidnappings, and... mysterious Satanic boxes that melt people's faces off. Similarly, Archie at Riverdale High typically had a dramatic feature story for its issues, while Betty and Me in the 1970s had an adventure story series within called "Betty Cooper, Betty Cooper," which had the feature character having bizarre adventures of her own. For instance, one story has Betty seeing Archie knocked on unconscious in a head-on collision in his car, then pursued by a half-crazed man and sheltered by a quiet shopkeeper who hides in a magic mirror.
    • The Married Life, which follows up the What If? storyline "Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty", itself a revival of "Life with Archie". Both storylines feature a dramatic soap opera-stlye depiction of the issues of married life. Both timelines end tragically with Archie dying in the "The Death of Archie".
    • "Secrets of the Deep", one of those adventure-oriented stories, had an evil treasure hunter shooting at the gang with a spear gun and setting an electric eel on them.
    • Which is nothing compared to 2013's Afterlife with Archie series, a straight hardcore horror written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa,note  where Sabrina zombifies Jughead's deceased dog, who in turn bites Jughead, unleashing a plague of zombies upon Riverdale. In addition, the series contains several risque jokes and Veronica wears a Sexy Whatever Outfit to the Halloween dance while Betty wears a Naughty Nurse Outfit (although at one point a character still says "Hades" instead of "Hell"). It is highly likely that this comic would not have been publishable had Archie Comics not ended The Comics Code. To give you an idea of just how disturbing it is, they brought a model of a sandwich with Veronica's severed head to Comic-Con!
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • The physical and geographical characteristics of Riverdale and its local landmarks change seemingly at will.
    • These things change within stories drawn by the same artist, too, especially the design of Veronica and Archie's homes. Dan DeCarlo said in an interview that the publishers once tried to make him establish a consistent look for the interior of Archie's house, but he found it was too limiting.
  • Depending on the Writer: Many characteristics of the characters vary over the years and between writers. Variable character traits include: Jughead's hatred of women (misogyny versus avoidance of romance), Betty's obsessiveness regarding Archie (ie. is she crazy, or just a standard young girl in love?), Veronica's bitchiness, Reggie's evil, Mr. Lodge's heartless businessman tendencies, and Archie's womanizing. Various character traits are up for grabs as well – Archie is either the best or the worst athlete on any given sports team, Jughead is either a poor or very good student, and Betty's siblings tend to disappear depending on what the current writer knows about her past. Even Betty and Veronica's status as best friends, while usually fairly consistent, has fluctuated in the past, with at least one story showing them outright hating each other. Enough that one could imagine that the comic spans multiple Alternate Universes. Actually, that would explain a lot. In fact it's implied this is canon, though the universes aren't separated by decades.
  • Detachable Doorknob: One story has Archie learn that Hiram Lodge has a distaste for tarnished brass. Seeking to get on his good side, Archie removes a doorknob from the Lodge mansion, and takes it home to polish it. When he returns, Archie tries to reattach it, but only succeeds in pushing the shaft out through the other side. He leaves the knob in its collar, intending to remedy it later. When Hiram Lodge returns home, it's during a rainstorm, and he tries to rush through his front door before he gets soaked. The knob comes off in his hand to his great chagrin. He quickly deduces that Archie is behind his predicament, and asks himself if Archie would like to have that brass doorknob for lunch.
  • Dinner Order Flub:
    • Archie takes Veronica to a fancy, Middle-Eastern restaurant which is so authentic the staff doesn't speak English. Archie assures Veronica that he ordered lamb, but Veronica says it doesn't taste right. Archie flags down a waiter, points to the meat, and asks, "Baa baa?". The waiter replies, "No! Hee-haw, hee-haw!"
    • This one-page gag:
    Betty: I heard that when Archie took you out to that fancy restaurant last night, he placed his order entirely in Chinese! I'll bet you were surprised!
    Veronica: (fuming) You bet I was! It was an Italian restaurant!
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Some of the 60's-70's era "The Archies" comics.
  • Dispel Magic:
    • The Rich Bitch Alexandra Cabot from Josie and the Pussycats series can cast witchcraft spells, but these are fragile spells whose effects are ended by as little as Melody Valentine snapping her fingers, which Melody is wont to do.
    • Sabrina has cast a few of her spells so weakly, they were negated by three claps.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Gender-flipped in a Betty and Veronica comic that sees the young women meet a wealthy, brunette young man named Don Sodge, and his middle-class, blonde friend Benny. The similarities they share with Betty and Veronica go so far as to have both of them trapped in a Love Triangle with a redheaded young woman, Andi Archer. After Betty and Veronica decide to go home, Veronica and the guys awkwardly share this exchange:
    Don: Is it because you don't think we have anything in common?
    Benny: Is that it?
    Veronica: Gulp! No! Absolutely not! In fact, we have too much in common! 'Bye!
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • Archie would occasionally have this problem very times that see a cute girl. Once he somehow managed to trip over a floor buffer in a hallway that had been two frames earlier completely clear.
    • Another notable example is Veronica deliberately pulling this trope on the boys in gym class, much to Coach Kleats' annoyance. Archie gets back at her by strolling through the girls' gym class in the same way.
    • One story had Mr. Weatherbee asking Archie to take some important forms to Professor Flutesnoot. Along the way, a beautiful blonde girl asks him for directions. Veronica sees this and worries that Archie might be interested in her. She smooches him to make him lose interest in the blonde, but he's so dazzled by the kiss that he actually gives the papers to Coach Clayton. Coach Clayton goes to see Mr. Weatherbee, who gives Archie the forms a second time. Archie again gets asked a question by the blonde, Veronica smooches him again, and this time he's so dazzled he gives the forms to Miss Grundy. Mr. Weatherbee starts the whole thing over again, and this time follows Archie to find out what's happening. He catches Veronica smooching Archie a third time. He angrily declares Veronica's lips "off-limits during school hours", even as Archie is still dazed.
  • Don't Try This at Home: One story where Veronica directly addresses the reader has her cautioning them not to follow her example, saying that she's rich and spoiled and hatching evil schemes is "expected" of her.
  • Double Standard:
    • This is actually a frequent occurrence, with guys always being given the short end of the stick. Whenever there's a competition between guys and girls, the guys will be made extremely arrogant and put the girls down (even when this makes them Out of Character) before being on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, but on the few occasions the guys actually win, it's always very close and ends with the focus on the girls in a way that encourages the reader to feel sorry for them. Then again, the target audience is young girls, so...
    • Guys are also constantly assaulted by girls in various ways – slapping, kicking, pushing, hitting with their purses, being thrown into a river, and other various ways that would realistically result in some sort of legal trouble, yet they're just laughed off. On the very, very, very rare occasion a girl gets hit by a guy, it's never anything even close to what girls have done to guys over the years, and a huge deal is made out of it.
    • Used in one of the comics, when Midge gets annoyed with Moose for hitting men merely for talking to her. During the course of the day, Midge catches him helping out Betty and Veronica with various things and points out to him that if she were being that friendly with a boy, he'd be furious. Moose decides that she's right and promises to ease up. Turns out that this was all set up by Midge to begin with and Betty and Veronica were in on it. This turns into Hypocritical Humor when we see that Midge goes just as crazy whenever another girl takes a romantic interest in Moose.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: Frequently. There is at least one story where Archie accidentally knocks off the head on a statue of a local businessman; he has it repaired in time for the official unveiling of the statue, but when the curtain comes off, we find out the repairman screwed up and put the head of a pig on instead. Oops.
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • Betty Cooper used to be this in some early stories, before Women's Lib put the kibosh on that. She was often confused, ditzy, and a total loser compared to Veronica, rather than the smart, funny, athletic girl we all know today.
    • Subverted in a story where Archie shows up at Betty's house to beg her to mend a torn pocket for him in time for his date with Veronica. Betty pretends to be so ditzy and disorganized that it takes her about eight hours to do the simple repair job, during which time Archie is forced to stay there with her and stand up Veronica entirely.
    • Played straight with Moose.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first comic, the characters were preteens. Veronica and Reggie weren't introduced until several issues in, The familiar "Archie style" wasn't around until Dan DeCarlo began drawing the comics. Instead, the characters looked like more typical semi-realistic comic characters.
    • Archie's Mad House which ran under various titles from 1962 to 1982 originally focused on the usual Riverdale gang, albeit with noticeably more surreal and zany humour than the other titles. Starting from issue #19 Archie and his friends disappeared entirely and the comic shifted to focusing on oddball gag comics about monsters, sci-fi and so on featuring a mix of one off and recurring new characters, including Breakout Character Sabrina Spellman who first appeared in this comic in issue #22.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Archie named his rock-n-roll group "The Archies". You'd think Reggie (if no one else) would have a problem with that note .
  • Embarrassing Ad Gig: In one comic, Jughead's baby sister Jellybean stars in a baby food commercial. While they're filming, Jellybean is revealed to hate the baby food, so Jughead has to eat it instead. When it's shown on TV, Jughead is shown to not be happy about it.
  • Era-Specific Personality: Betty was originally portrayed as feminine and somewhat of a Dumb Blonde. Archie leaned heavily towards Veronica for a period and thus Betty was often trying to break them up. Fans often note Betty seemed outright yandere in older works, however she was eventually mellowed down into the sweet tomboy we know today.
  • Even Jerkasses Have Standards: When Cedric, the best friend of Jason Blossom, sabotages Dilton to have Pembrooke Academy (his and Jason's school then) win a quiz show, Moose manages to win on a sports question, and then clobbers Cedric when he found out what Cedric did to his "little buddy." Jason, understandably, congratulates the Riverdale team and leaves Cedric hurting.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Jughead, famously. He'll open them if shocked or surprised, and spent a good deal of the 1990s with them consistently as open as everyone else's, but usually it's his trademark along with the hat and sweater. Other characters often point this trait out, and it's usually seen as him being too lazy to open them all the way. In one comic he went to an eye doctor and passed with flying colors with his eyes still closed. These days the artist seems to compromise with his eyelids drooping but not quite closed most of the time.
  • Fake Charity: In "The Virtuous Villain" in Archie at Riverdale High #89, Cheryl Blossom, Jason Blossom and the other Pembrooke Academy snobs are looking for a new way to torment the Riverdale townies. The "Master of Machiavellian Merriment," Sidney Snavely, suggests that they trap Archie, Betty and Veronica into giving money to a fake charity to "Save the Hermit Hugabear." They don't realize that Sidney always has his own hidden agenda. Deciding that he is getting neither profit nor credit out of this scheme, Sidney waits till the collection is in full swing and then 'exposes' the scam; resulting in him being hailed as a local hero, and the perpetrators spending a night in jail.
  • Fake Faint: In one comic, Veronica informs Archie that she is on a diet — and so is he if he wants to date her. But they were already on a date when she said this, and Archie, aghast at being forced to skip dinner, "faints from hunger" on the sidewalk. His friends quickly move to get some smelling salts from malt-shop-owner Pop Tate; upon hearing that Archie lifts his head and says, "And tell him to put some ketchup and pickle on it!"
  • Fanservice:
    • To an amazingly large extent. Artist Dan DeCarlo was a cheesecake art king, and featured the girls in the skimpiest bikinis allowed in any era, to say nothing of major sexpots like Melody (who suffered Clothing Damage at least once) of Josie and the Pussycats and Cheryl.
    • This was parodied in one story, in which Betty and Veronica stumble across a nudist camp. When they tell Mr. Lodge later, they say that they'll never be nudist… as they go off in their bikinis.
    • The popularity of DeCarlo's cheesecake art was such that the company released its first glossy hardcover book (think coffee table reading) called The Art of Betty & Veronica. While the book mostly explores how the art style of the comics has changed over the years, it's no small coincidence that the cover features Betty and Ronnie modelling in swimsuits.
  • Female Gaze: Not as utilized as its Spear Counterpart, but there have been well-drawn hunks that the girls would admire (or said hunks admiring girls). Sometimes a Double Standard would be lampshaded.
    Archie: Say! What's going on? (catching Betty and Veronica viewing through binoculars)
    Veronica: Just a little harmless boy-watching!
    Archie: It's unheard of!
    Veronica: You just heard of it!
  • Femininity Failure: One issue had Veronica teaching Betty to be more ladylike (which was essentially her teaching Betty to be identical to her mannerisms). Everything was going well until she spotted a couple of kids playing catch, which ends with her joining them and landing in a tree in retrieving the ball when it got stuck up there. While Veronica is annoyed with the turn of events, the kids all laud Betty as a hero.
  • First-Episode Twist: The third strip of the newspaper comic revealed that actually, Veronica's so rich that she has a private chauffeur take her to school, making Archie look pretty stupid with his bragging about owning his very own car.
  • Five-Token Band: Sort of; while not meeting the numbers requirements, virtually all of the new class of characters are of a non-white ethnicity, as if the Editors are deliberately building a "one of each type" mentality. Lightly subverted in that the new characters now include a rare four Asians — one Chinese, two Japanese, and one Indian.
  • Flash Forward: Archie Marries Veronica and Archie Marries Betty, which are set after the gang has graduated from college.
  • Fooled by the Sound: In one comic, Jughead is revealed to be able to mimic certain sounds perfectly, and this fools a few people, such as Veronica, who hears him imitating a tearing sound, and she thinks she ripped her pants. This is then turned on its head when Moose beats up Reggie for flirting with Midge and Principal Weatherbee wonders if Jughead is mimicking a street brawl.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: In one story, Archie and Jughead are dressed as vampires and accidentally get invited to a party full of real monsters, who are celebrating because this is the one day of the year they can walk around normally.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Archie is Sanguine, Veronica is Choleric, Betty is Melancholic and Jughead is Phlegmatic.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Much of the clothing the girls wear.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip:
    • One comic has Dilton accidentally switch Archie's and Mr. Weatherbee's minds, making the two spend one night and one day in the other's life. To help remind readers that Archie and Mr. Weatherbee had each other's minds, "Archie"'s word and thought balloons have pictures of The Bee in them, and "Mr. Weatherbee"'s word and thought balloons have pictures of Arch.
    • One issue of Veronica own book featured a mystical pendant that swapped her with her own mother for a day. The two need to attend a fancy party together, and predictable shenanigans ensue.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: The cook at the Lodge house is Gaston, a very temperamental French chef.
  • French Maid: The Lodges have some of these in their mansion. In one instance, Archie is too attentive to a new one, for Veronica's tastes.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Betty and Veronica sometimes have this dynamic.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Archie at the center, with Jughead as the friend vs. Betty/Veronica.
  • Funny Phone Misunderstanding: In a newspaper strip (republished in the comic book under "Gag Bag" as usual), Archie is a bit puzzled when he picks up Veronica dressed for a royal ball. When she says "Didn't you invite me to the 'Royal Society's Big Countess Affair'?", Archie replies that she should get her phone fixed. The final panel has Veronica slightly horrified as they drive up to "Rural Society's Pig Contest and Fair".
  • Fur Bikini: Betty and Veronica tended to wear them in "Archie 1" Caveman-era stories.
  • Game Show Appearance: Teams from Riverdale High and Pembrooke Academy face off for a trivia bowl in one story.
  • The Gay '90s: One writer, Al Hartley, did a few stories with the Archie gang in the 1890s: dedicated to telling everyone how much better things were back then. Weirdly, these were written in the 1970s, long after the craze for gay Nineties nostalgia had died. Check it out here (with added snark for your reading pleasure).note 
  • Gender Bender: In "The Great Switcheroo", Sabrina the Teenage Witch's cat Salem casts a spell that changes the sex of everybody in Riverdale. The story plays a bit like a Gender Flip in execution, as none of the transformed characters know what their "true" sex is supposed to be, but it "really" happened, and Sabrina's eventual reversal spell isn't actually a Reset Button. There's even video evidence suggesting that the gang spent a day as the opposite sex, even if none of them remember it.note 
  • Gender Incompetence: Seen in a lot of older Archie stories, usually typical of the era:
    • A late 1960s or 1970s storyline focused on the cluelessness of women. Archie's mom goes into a frenzy trying to find her purse, which Mr. Andrews exasperatedly reveals has been in front of her all along; Archie learns from this situation and later willfully ignores Veronica while she desperately searches for her own purse, until it is, again, found to be right in front of her. Mr. Lodge then compliments him on his understanding of females.
    • Another "classic" example of this ended up being reprinted in a more modern double digest. It demonstrated the ridiculousness of working professional women. The reader is invited to consider how silly it would be to have women in men's jobs, with funny vignettes portraying women failing in a number of professions including police officer and doctor.
  • Geographic Flexibility: Riverdale has been shown having a local beach, a mountain range, a river, a lake, several ponds, cold winters and hot summers; and has been described as either a tiny one-school town or a fairly large city, with an airport, a stock exchange, large businesses and TV studios... basically anything any story could need, ever, just for the sake of convenience.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Big Moose is in a rut no one wants to go near him, except for Dilton. He stands on a chair to stand face-to-face with the big lug, and propmtly slaps some sense into him.
  • The Ghost: In the 80s the character Sybil "Granny" Foon was mentioned several times. She is a well-known personality in Riverdale, a 104-year old woman who is very spry and athletic (having ended up in the hospital after a skiing accident on her 104th birtday).
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: While on a wilderness outing with Archie, Betty becomes covered with mud and washes off in a nearby lake,only to have her clothes stolen by a homeless boy. Archie loans her his shirt to cover up with while they track down what happened.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Frequently it shows Archie pulling these off for Veronica, who is hard to please. Some examples: making a giant Valentine card for her, building a heart out of snow and spelling "Archie Loves Veronica" in coal, buying her jewelry he can't afford...
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: In one issue, the Riverdale team shows up to a football game, and the rival team is female. One Curb-Stomp Battle later, Archie and Reggie are moping around, depressed, when Betty and Veronica ask to be shown how to "shoot baskets with this horse hide"[a football]. Reggie and Archie walk off with the girls in hand, going "When will you learn football is a man's game!" The girls wink at each other.
  • Harsh Talent Show Judge: One story has the main group participate in a "Dance With Celebrities" contest. One of the unnamed judge is constantly mocking the contestants while giving 0 to negative scores. Even when Veronica's performance impresses him enough to give her team a 10/10, he doesn't actually praise her, but simply expresses relief that it was enough to make him forget Archie's terrible one.
  • Headdesk: After ignoring a warning from his mom that it looks like rain and he might catch a cold if he goes out, Archie and Jughead both get soaked and head for Veronica's place. After going through a sauna and doing laps of a pool to try and avoid getting sick ("No germ would be stupid enough to stick around for that punishment") Archie gets home and...sneezes. "Banging your head against a wall is not an accepted cold medicine!"
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Various characters nearly always draw this reaction. Veronica, Cheryl Blossom and Melody Valentine, most often.
    • Veronica and Cheryl, when "dressed" in bikinis (especially in the covers for Veronica) or in other skimpy outfits. Betty usually only does so if and when she dresses up for an occasion to one-up Ronnie.
    • Betty and Veronica themselves are not immune when see an handsome boy. Especially their boy.
  • The Heckler: When Reggie tries his hand at stand-up comedy, he freezes with stage fright. Jughead saves Reggie by heckling him, knowing that would make him mad enough to fire back and then continue with his routine.
  • Held Back in School: Jughead discovering he had never graduated grade school had to do a make-up test to avoid this.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street:
    • A 1970s issue of Archie's Joke Book had a one-page joke in which Moose carried Miss Beazley, the high school lunch server, across a busy street, ignoring her protests. After they reach the other side, she tells him that she didn't want to cross the street in the first place.
    • Archie and Betty come across Jughead and an old woman cross the street, and they find it sweet on Jughead's part… until they learn that she's his aunt and that it was she who was helping Jughead.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Jughead was a prominent example of this till the writers began toning his misogyny down in the 1980s. By the 21st century it had virtually disappeared, though he remained uninterested in romance most of the time.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Archie and Jughead, obviously. More so in Juggie's case than Archie's, since Archie's shown hitting on anything in a skirt, and will readily bail on his best friend.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Most schemes hatched by the characters will backfire in one way or another. When Archie is trying to save money for his date with Veronica even though he promised to take Betty for a drive in the country, he tries to keep Betty distracted from wanting to buy lunch. He ends up getting a speeding ticket, which Betty points out is a lot more expensive than if they'd stopped for hot dogs and ice cream.
    • One story had Archie, Betty and Veronica participating in some charity bike ride. Veronica decides to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, acting like she had fallen off of her bike. Unfortunately for her, the "injury" meant that she couldn't be at the dance that night. Veronica gets mad and kicks her bicycle. This time, she does injure herself.
    • Once, Veronica tricks Betty into humbling a chauvinistic Archie in tennis, only for Ronnie to play the hapless beginner in her own match against Archie, even though Veronica is already shown as being better at tennis than Betty. The manager of the country club later recruits Archie to be a representative in a mixed doubles tournament, and Veronica suggests herself, naturally, to be his partner. Archie instead chooses who he believes is much better than him, Betty. Whoops...
  • Hollywood Magnetism: There was a story in which Archie acquired a very large magnet, which he carried in the back seat of his car. As he and Jughead traveled, the magnet attracted anything and everything that was made of metal.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: One story has Archie and Jughead house-sitting for Mr. Lodge. Although the mansion has a sophisticated security system, the boys decide to play it safe and add some extra anti-burglar defenses, involving the usual buckets of water, tin cans, flypaper, etc. Of course, Mr. Lodge comes home and walks into all the booby traps. Hilariously, Archie and Jughead sleep soundly through the racket.
  • Hot Teacher: One issue from The '70s features a young female substitute teacher so attractive that all of her male students are too distracted with the floating Heart Symbols above their heads to pay attention to their schoolwork.
  • Hustling the Mark: In one story, Mr. Weatherbee reveals that when he was younger, he used to hustle people at “pitching pennies". Miss Grundy, who claims to be bad at the pastime, convinces him to show off his skills in a friendly game. If Mr. Weatherbee wins, Miss Grundy buys him lunch and if Miss Grundy wins, he buys her a dozen roses. It turns out Miss Grundy is an expert at the game and she easily defeats him.

  • I Ate WHAT?!: Veronica and Reggie after learning they had mealworms.
  • I Can't Dance: In a story Dilton doesn't know how to dance, so he builds a pair of shoes that dance for him, making him a sensation at the school dance. Then lightning strikes, the shoes go whack, and things don't end well.
  • Ice Queens: Veronica and Trula.
  • Impending Clash Shot: Used as The Stinger to Archie Meets The Punisher as Wolverine is about to pounce on Jughead.
  • Improbably Cool Car:
    • Believe it or not, Archie's jalopy Ol' Betsy! In 1941, the 1916 Ford Model T was a car around 25 years old, which would make it 8-9 years older than Archie himself (completely believable). It had also been the butt of many jokes for almost 20 years by that time as well (one of the reasons they were so common in silent comedies). By the 1980s, however, the Model T had become a collector's item and museum piece, and it seemed rather strange that Archie would be driving one. Ol' Betsy was destroyed for good in Life With Archie #238 (printed 1983).
    • The 1966 Mustang that replaced it has gone through a similar process – a believable cheap beater in 1983 (even as a convertible); a pricey, sought-after classic now. Time to scan the schematics for a '99 Honda Civic into the AJGLU-3000
  • Incompatible Orientation: Veronica tries her hardest to flirt with Kevin. Too bad he happens to be the only gay man in town.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Veronica is usually treated in-story (more commonly early on) as more attractive than Betty, despite being famously the same face and body with new hair. It is excusable when one considers that Ronnie dresses much better, often showing more skin, and Betty can compete on an even keel whenever she dresses in skimpy gowns/bikinis. One story even makes fun of this, when Archie thinks that he is talking to Veronica, only to find out that it is Betty trying out a black wig. Another story has Betty spending the night at the Lodge mansion and wearing one of Veronica's robes. The next morning both Hiram Lodge and his butler mistake Betty for Veronica, and assume that she dyed her hair blonde.
  • Inherently Attractive Profession: Betty and Veronica, along with any number of other girls, will occasionally be attracted to the beach lifeguard just by virtue of him being a lifeguard. As you might imagine, Archie and Reggie are jealous of all the attention they get.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • KISS, when they crossed over with Archie.
    • Pat Kiernan, the reporter covering Occupy Riverdale, is the morning anchor for NY1, a 24-hour cable-news television channel focusing on the five boroughs of New York City. (He's also known for playing himself or a reporter in several TV and movie cameos, and hosting/"question reading" a few game shows in the 2000s. The Other Wiki has more info on his career.)
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Whenever Betty or Archie's eye color is mentioned in the script of pre-reboot comics, it is almost always blue. In one story, Betty suggests that this is a good reason for the two of them to become a couple.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Archie Meets The Punisher.
  • Interclass Friendship:
    • Betty and Veronica. Betty is not dirt poor, but everyone in Riverdale is poor in comparison with the super-rich Lodge family. When they are not feuding over Archie, they're good friends. And when they are, it's mostly friendly.
    • Also Betty and Cheryl Blossom in an older storyline. After Cheryl (who is wealthier than Veronica) is emotionally hurt by one of Veronica's pranks, Betty is there to provide comfort and to restore Cheryl's confidence. Resulting in Betty being promoted to Cheryl's best friend, and Cheryl and Veronica actually competing for spending as much time as possible with Betty.
  • Involuntary Smile of Incapacitation: In one comic, Archie slips on some ice and falls down, injuring his ankle in the process. He looks up with a dazed smile and Veronica lampshades the trope by saying, "Stop smiling and answer me!"
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum
  • It's Fake Fur, It's Fine: Fur is occasionally stated to be this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Reggie Mantle is a mean-spirited prankster much of the time, but he takes steps to prevent anyone actually being seriously hurt either by his pranks or anyone else. Veronica functions as the female equivalent.
  • The Jinx: Jinx Malloy, a recurring character (of the "causes bad luck in others" variety). He's so infamous in Riverdale that when he goes out, he wears disguises so no one will run away in terror at his approach.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty:
    • A comic from the early 70s starts with Reggie yanking away a pennant from Jughead and saying "Take your hands off!" Jughead replies "I can't, they're attached to my arms!" and proceeds to drive Reggie crazy with his incessant recital of "Dem Bones." Later Jughead realizes he may have gone too far and seeks to apologize. He finds Reggie half way around the bend and tells him "I didn't want to upset you." This drives Reggie even crazier as he didn't accept it as a valid apology.
    • Archie himself turns into The Prankster / Karmic Trickster in a story about a fake rubber hand he borrows from the art class. He uses it to play practical jokes on Reggie and Big Moose, getting them in trouble with Mr. Weatherbee. Jughead, who disapproves of Archie's behavior, thinks a hand clinging to the outside of a window sill is Archie's fake hand and nudges it off, only to find it was the janitor. Jughead, Reggie and Big Moose wind up serving detention, with Archie delivering a final needle ("I sure wish I could give you a hand!") As Archie laughs outside, three arms from the detention room reach out towards him.
  • Karmic Jackpot: This trope is used often, for example with either Archie or Betty encountering a poor-looking man who they help out, while Reggie mocks them for it. Later, either the poor guy turns out to be a wealthy man who lends Archie a fabulous car for a week, or Reggie ends up stranded at a mall with no money to call for a tow truck after his car breaks down.
  • Kavorka Man:
    • Archie and the other guys aren't ugly, but the men of the Archie universe aren't drawn as sexily as the girls are, yet they often get tons of girlfriends no matter how jealous (Moose), conceited (Reggie), or two-timing (Archie) they are.
    • Betty lampshades this trope way back in the 50s when complaining how guys can get away with "looking like tramps" and girls have to take time and effort to look nice for a date.
    • Originally Archie was drawn as ugly yet he was still popular with girls. Eventually this was toned down to "average looking" and then again later to "attractive".
  • Kids Prefer Boxes:
    • An old issue showed the gang as cave people, given presents by Santa: modern clothes packaged in the sorts of boxes high end stores once used. They find the modern clothes useless, but thank the strange red guy for the wonderful gifts - the immensely useful boxes.
    • Betty makes paintings, and one is finally bought by a man raving about how it was just what he needed. He then tosses the painting away as he leaves, continuing to rave about the frame.
  • Klotski: The website has a Java puzzle called "Traffic Jam", in which the player must move Archie's red car to the exit by rearranging other vehicles in the parking lot. A physical version of this has been sold under the name "Rush Hour".
  • Know Your Vines:
    • One comic ended with the revelation that the corsage Archie gave Veronica to wear at the prom was poison ivy.
    • A second was even worse - Archie lost his trunks in a deep swimming hole, and the bush-based covering Jughead made for him was identified by Betty as poison oak.note 
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jughead sometimes delivers this to Reggie. In one story, Reggie is hassling the rest of the gang with his rollerblades. He goes so far as to scare Midge into falling off the curb and ruining her brand new pants. Moose is soon out for blood, wanting to know "where's the no good creep what made muh gurl cry?!?" Jughead then assures Moose that he'll catch the culprit by standing behind a fence. Jughead then dares Reggie into jumping the fence...and coming right at Moose. The story ends with Moose shaking a telephone pole while the rest of the gang watches.
    Jughead: I've got to admit it. That boy can really jump!
    Betty: I've never seen anybody skate up of a telephone pole before!
    Veronica: And so quickly!
  • "L" Is for "Dyslexia":
    • Moose. He fits all the classic signs, including excelling at sports. In the late 1980s, soon after the publication of a certain best-selling book on dyslexia and intelligence, Miss Grundy tested Moose for dyslexia. She, and other students, began giving him special tutoring geared to his learning style. (It may have come off like a Very Special Episode to a lot of cynics, but to some who actually suffer from the condition, it was likely quite touching).
    • The Married Life features the same subplot as a reasoning for Moose's seeming incompetence. Miss Grundy refused to believe that Moose is legitimately stupid, and this convinced him to improve his lot in life.
  • Last of His Kind: A meta example—Archie Comics is pretty much the last mainstream American comic book that has virtually nothing to do with superheroes (crossovers notwithstanding).
  • Lazily Gender-Flipped Name: "The Great Switcheroo" issue involved Salem making everyone change sexes. Most characters fall under Sobriquet Sex Switch, but Archie's name has the lazy and funny part right there as his name gets changed to "Archina".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One comic cover (Betty and Veronica No.46, 1994) has Veronica using the barcode as an earring. "Betty: Only Veronica could turn a UPC Box into something chic!"
  • Lethal Chef: A recurring component of Ronnie's character, and something Betty has over her. One particular issue had Ronnie demanding to cook a meal for Archie (to one-up Betty, of course), and such was the tragedy that a line of sympathetic boys said their goodbyes to poor Arch, including Reggie.
  • Loose Tooth Episode: In a Little Archie storyline, the titular character presents his parents with a tooth just before going to bed. But they don't have any "tooth fairy" coins available. After Fred knocks himself out to get some change from the neighbors, they realize that the tooth in question was from their dog, Spotty.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: Archie's not a good student, not exactly handsome or well-built, and is usually a clumsy, poor athlete. Yet Ron & Betty fight over him, and he has no problems getting dates with any other random girl in Riverdale.
  • Loser Team Mascot: In one story, Betty's team has a rule that whoever turns up to the game late has to be the mascot as punishment.

  • Madonna-Whore Complex: Betty is usually written as perfectly virtuous, or with very minor flaws, widely admired by the other characters of Riverdale, and more interested in school, sports, and friends than boys, with the exception of her true love Archie. She dresses and acts much less provocatively and flirtatiously than Veronica, but is often rewarded for her virtue by attracting boys anyway. Veronica uses blatant sex appeal to try to attract boys and doesn't have a true love (many stories imply she doesn't really love Archie) but instead is interested in several different boys. Not surprisingly, she's also written in about half the stories as selfish, snobby, spoiled, stupid, and often downright evil. In stories where she and Betty compete over a boy, Veronica tends to lose, especially if she tries to vamp it up.
  • Male Gaze: For generations, even after The Comics Code, there have been a lot of fanservice-y drawings of the teenage Betty and Veronica, their friends, Katy Keene, and other women. There have been a lot of jokes using the gaze whenever Archie is gazing at pretty girls and commenting on their figures while another friend is waxing lyrically about nature or math.
  • Malt Shop: Famously, Pop Tate's. Almost as famous as Arnold's on Happy Days.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Trula Twyst, the arch-nemesis of Jughead. She uses her powers of persuasion (bordering on mind control) to, on separate occasions, convince him he loves her, give up hamburgers, give up his master revenge plan on her, etc. Her first appearance features her convincing Jug he likes her, just so she can get the attention of all the other boys in town for "seducing the un-seduceable".
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Cheryl Blossom in a cover from her mini-series "Cheryl Goes to Hollywood" homage Marilyn.
  • Meet Your Early-Installment Weirdness: Traveling down Memory Lane often results in this with 2008s characters find themselves face to face to face to face with their version of the 1950s!
  • Miserable Massage: In one story, Reggie wrenches his back doing a stunt dive. Archie takes him to the clinic, where they're shown in to the masseusse (which Archie dismisses as quackery). Archie gets a cute one, while Reggie gets a Battleaxe Nurse who does more harm then good.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: There's a story in which Veronica has Archie masquerade as her dad at the school's father-daughter dance, since Mr. Lodge had to go on a business trip. She gets angry with Archie at some point and then he goes outside, where he finds Mr. Lodge, who cancelled said business trip so he could go to the dance. Mr. Lodge arrives at the dance, but Veronica, still angry with Archie, attempts to expose him and finds out the hard way that she's yelling at her father.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: One story had Archie's mother borrow his jacket and accidentally leave a tube of lipstick in the pocket. Betty and Veronica later borrow Archie's jacket and find the lipstick. They think that Archie is seeing another girl because the lipstick isn't either of their brands, and angrily confront the baffled Archie. Betty and Veronica both dump Archie, but then they realize that this will just make him go after the girl they think he's seeing now. They both come back and smooch Archie to show that they're better than the competition. The story ends with Archie's mother realizing what she did and apologizing if she caused him any trouble, but a love-dizzy Archie just tells her to cause as much of it as she wants.
  • Mistaken For Destitute: In one Pat the Brat story, Pat's parents realize they spoil their son too much, so they decide to buy less toys for him. He misses the point and thinks this means they're poor, so he complains about this to the neighbors. The neighbors then offer charity to Pat's family, to the annoyance of Oswald, who sets the record straight for all of them.
  • Mistaken for Racist: In a comic where Veronica has a party. She tells Archie that she doesn't want certain friends of his there. Since he's hanging out with Chuck and Jughead at the time, he thinks she means Chuck (who's black) and becomes angry. Turns out she means Jughead, who tends to be a slob and rather greedy with the food.
  • Mistaken for Santa: In one comic, Reggie and Veronica fall into a house's chimney by mistake. A little girl sees them in the fireplace and happily exclaims that Santa and his wife must have arrived.
  • Mistaken for Spies: In one of the time-travelling strips, Jughead ended up in the middle of The American Civil War and was immediately accused of being a spy for the South, until Abraham Lincoln himself pardoned him.
  • Moose Are Idiots: Referenced, as the person named Moose is the Dumb Muscle. In one story, though, he knew enough about sports to help Riverdale win a quiz show with "Sports" as the category.
  • Motivation on a Stick:
    • Jughead Jones was convinced to ride a stationary bike (using a bag of potato chips) this way in one story.
    • In another story, a variant is used to motivate to run faster for the track team. Jughead is outfitted with a special harness with a mirror in front that is positioned to let him see the photo mounted in back, so it looks like his Abhorrent Admirer is always right behind him.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Veronica. It is pretty much a given that she will be wearing the most-revealing outfit of any given strip, especially the beach-themed ones. Sometimes she has even been arrested for wearing "indecent" bikinis on public beaches – and the artists show it!
    • Cheryl Blossom defined this in The '80s (where it got her written out of the books) and The '90s. Dan DeCarlo gave her a Pamela Anderson clone body, with even larger breasts and buttocks than was normal for Riverdale girls, and was frequently seen in skimpier clothes than all the others. In one beach storyline, she tried to go topless.
  • Mud Wrestling: Incredible as it may seem for the G-rated comic, a 1970s story had Betty suffer amnesia and end up being exploited as a sideshow mud wrestler.
  • Named After the Injury: In one strip, Chuck makes a comic about Archie as a superhero named Otterman. The villain of the story is a pirate named Captain Rook, and his parrot is named Pegleg, who has a peg leg.
  • Narration Echo: A favorite gag of writer Frank Doyle.
    Caption: One glance is enough to reveal the whole dirty plot to the astute Captain Hero!
    Jughead: Aha! I can see the whole dirty plot on account of I am so astute!
  • Never Bareheaded: Jughead is seldom seen without his signature crown-shaped hat.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Okay, so how many times has it been claimed that "Archie will finally choose between Betty and Veronica in this comic – no, seriously! Wait… Why are you putting the comic back on the shelf? HEY! HEY YOU GET BACK HERE!! WE'RE SERIOUS, IT'S TRUE!!"?
  • Never Wake Up a Sleepwalker: One comic has Jughead, for some unexplained reason, sleepwalk through almost all of his entire school day. To avoid waking him up, the teachers give all of their students tests. During lunch, Jughead stays asleep but eats the food off of everyone's trays. He eventually wakes up when the school bell rings, suffering from no ill effects. The other students aren't very happy.
  • New Baby Episode: One early comic involves the birth of Jughead's sister Jellybean.
  • New Technology Is Evil: Archie comics has this as a standard plot where the characters get some new trendy tech and everything goes wrong with it with the characters' usual shticks until they ultimately reject it. If the tech in question stays around in real life for at least a decade, then it just becomes part of the background in the stories without comment. An example is the answering machine in the 1980s, which was the focus of a Veronica story which ends with her throwing it out and vowing to take all future calls personally, while now, that device is just a standard appliance all the characters have.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When a presidential candidate once visited Riverdale High (he's an alumnus there), Archie, with his camera, snaps a picture of him catching a tripping Miss Grundy (an old friend of his). A sleazy tabloid reporter cons Archie into selling that camera (film included), and proceeds to use his paper to spin tales regarding the two surrounding the picture, ruining the reputations of both Grundy and the candidate. To Archie's credit, once he realizes he's been had, he immediately tries to set things straight.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed and Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Pretty much every real-life celebrity, TV show, company, movie or comic book company has some kind of mock name attached to it – e.g., Bruce Sprongsteen, Montana Jones and the Final Adventure, etc.
  • No Going Steady: The teens seem to believe in this. Though the girls get mad when they see Archie date another, it's generally acknowledged that everyone just dates whomever, whenever, and there's no "cheating" going on. Most newly-introduced characters are one-shots.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Archie gets Veronica a young tree for her birthday and offers to plant it on the Lodge lawn. Once she chooses a place and Archie plants it, Veronica changes her mind. Archie then has to dig it up and plant it again, and then Veronica changes her mind a second time, and then multiple times. By the time she finally finds a place she likes, the Lodge lawn looks like a minefield from Archie constantly digging the tree up. Mr. Lodge comes home just then, and Archie shows him the tree...only for Mr. Lodge to explode, since he just had his lawn resodded. Mr. Lodge then chases Archie off his property, screaming that he'll tear Archie apart as Archie cries for help. The strip ends with Jughead watching Archie run by and tells him that life's too short to be running everywhere, only to then notice Mr. Lodge chasing him and say that if Archie doesn't step on it, his life will be even shorter.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: The teenagers have been in high school for decades, with the exact same teachers and principal. In fact, the various publications commonly tout Archie as the world's oldest teenager. This trope is exactly why Life With Archie: The Married Life was conceived— to show what could happen if the characters did all grow up (in fact it had two separate arcs about "What if Archie married Betty?" and "What if Archie married Veronica?"). There was also Archie's Weird Mysteries, which showed a middle-aged Archie during a Time Travel episode.
  • Not Rare Over There: In one comic, Jughead loses his hat and is none too concerned, telling Archie not to worry about it and going home. Archie, believing it to be an irreplaceable staple of Jughead's personality, goes to great lengths to retrieve it. When he returns it to Jughead at home, Jughead thanks him, but shows him that he has a cupboard full of them since they tend to get lost or damaged over the years.
  • Not-So-Forgotten Birthday: A Little Archie Comics story presented a subversion of this. Veronica tells Archie that she thinks her dad has forgotten it's her birthday - and he has, because he's busy making plans for next week's Founder's Day celebration. Fortunately for him, Archie thinks he's planning a surprise party for Veronica and rounds up everyone to take part in it.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That:
    Jughead: For your information, G. I. Jack is an action figure!
    Archie: Not that there's anything wrong with boys playing with dolls if they want to!
  • Not Where They Thought: In one comic, Mr. Weatherbee is yelling at Archie and his friends for supposedly loitering in the school hallways. Archie informs him that they're actually at the mall. Mr. Weatherbee misses the point and tells them not to be late for class.
  • Now You Tell Me: Said by Archie at the end of "Off the Cuff" where Jughead starts wearing a shirt with info on the cuffs to impress Mr. Weatherbee. Archie decides to borrow it to try it himself, but he just ends up making the pricipal angry. Jughead explains at the end that he actually has multiple shirts to impress different teachers, and Archie borrowed the one used to impress for Mrs. Grundy.
  • Off to See the Wizard: Betty and Veronica each starred in their own versions of this trope:
    • Betty's story featured her as Dorothy, wearing a pair of ruby sneakers coveted by Veronica as the Wicked Witch of the West. Archie, Reggie and Jughead played the roles of the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, Mr. Lodge was the Wizard and the Good Witches of various compass points were played by characters like Big Ethel, Midge and Nancy.
    • Veronica's story also featured her as Dorothy, carrying the "ruby credit card" and pursued by Cheryl Blossom, who took over the Wicked Witch of the West role and had her brother Jason as a winged monkey. The male characters all reprised their roles, while Betty became the Good Witch of the North.
  • Old Beggar Test: Played With in a story. Archie wants to take Veronica out to a concert but can't afford the tickets. Veronica buys them and then tries various ways for Archie to stumble across them so it seems like he's the one treating her rather than vice versa. At one point she hires a homeless man to ask Archie for the directions to Main Street. Archie tells him, "You're on Main Street." The homeless man rewards him by giving the two tickets as a present, but Archie sees through the ruse and goes away after yelling at the man, who is then stuck with a quizzical look and two concert tickets.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Archie and Betty go on one in a story set in The Gay '90s.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: There are few stories with the gang dressed up in old-timey swimsuits ("bathing costumes").
    • One story actually had Riverdale transported back in time, and when they went to the beach Veronica was very nearly arrested for wearing a swimsuit where you could see her (gasp!) ankles and shoulders!
    • A Sabrina story had her entering a swimsuit pageant against her aunts' wishes. They punish her by going to the pageant and then magically dressing her in old-timey swimsuits that nearly cover her up. Sabrina is humiliated, but to everybody's surprise she wins the pageant. The judges didn't see much difference between all the beautiful girls in their revealing bikinis, but they were impressed by how quickly she somehow managed to change swimsuits.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Jughead Jones' real name is Forsythe. Similarly, his sister Jellybean Jones' real name is Forsythia.
    • Pretty much everyone in the comics goes by a nickname, which usually are just shortened versions of their names (Archie is named Archibald, Betty is named Elizabeth, Moose is named Marmaduke, etc). Only Veronica gets called by her name often, and even then you'll see it as "Ronnie" or "Ron" just as much.
  • Only Six Faces:
    • Legendary in pop culture for it. Post-Art Evolution, the entirety of the teenage female cast possesses the exact same frame and facial make-up, to the point that Betty and Veronica can switch identities with wigs. Only intentionally "busty" or "curvy" girls, like Cheryl Blossom and Melody Valentine, are different, as well as Gonk characters like Ethel, or Hollywood Pudgy Brigitte. Lampshaded in one issue where Betty wearing a simple brunette wig is enough for Archie (presumably the man who loves her) to mistake her for her rival Veronica. It should be noted that Archie thought he was going crazy at the time because everything he'd been seeing that day wasn't what it looked like (a soda can that was really a radio, an old bus that was really a snack bar, a banana phone, etc.) and just wanted to meet someone "normal". It didn't help that Betty acted like Veronica to fool Archie at the time.
    • There's a story meant to directly Lampshade this, Betty and Veronica swap hair colors just to Mind Screw the rest of the gang. All the guys get Archie's haircut and a red dye job to teach them a lesson.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Riverdale plays almost exclusively against Central City, an entire city with a population of nothing but criminals, cheaters, and con artists, all of whom hate everything pertaining to Riverdale. The one time a Central player was portrayed sympathetically was when Archie and Chuck saved his life, while his friend abandoned him to die so he could win the race.
  • Our Nudity Is Different:
    • In one of the strips set in The Gay '90s, Archie has this reaction to a swimsuit that bares Veronica's… shoulders.
    • Another, set in the 19th century, has Betty and Veronica nearly arrested for wearing men's swimwear — a t-shirt and knee-length trunks combo.
    • When Betty and Veronica, in a story, meet their old version of The '50s (through the Memory Lane), Veronica is called out by the two girls for her "skimpy" outfit that includes exposing her midriff.
  • Out Sick: Zigzagged. Riverdale discovers a speedster, whereupon they field him a shortstop. There, he easily snags anything to hit the pitcher's right. A crosstown rival team gets a thug on base, where the thug deliberately slams his cleats into the speedster's leg, hobbling him. However, it turns out that the speedster can also throw Major League-grade pitches, whiffing rival batters with even greater ease.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Used more than once, with Jughead and Betty pulling this on Reggie and Veronica, respectively.
  • Parent Service: The comics have always had quite a bit of Male Gaze in their depiction of the many attractive teenage girls in the cast.
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: When Big Ethel wanted to care for a badly injured Jughead (he got hurt trying to run away from her), he fled the hospital.
  • Performance Anxiety: One story involves Reggie getting stage fright during his first attempt at stand-up comedy, leading to his frenemy Jughead heckling him, which gets Reggie mad enough to reply. Reggie then successfully completes his routine, just as Jughead planned.
  • Pimped-Out Car: Archie once had a shiny new exterior installed over his beloved beat-up antique jalopy. It didn't fool anyone for long because "Betsy's" interior was as broken-down as ever.
  • Playing Up the Stereotype: In one comic, Jughead tells Betty that Archie might give her more attention if she pretends to be a Dumb Blonde. All this does is annoy him. Betty later angrily tells Jughead that the secret to being a dumb blonde is following his advice.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Reggie, the most comedic and magnificent jock in Riverdale.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Archie relies on this trope and most of its subtropes for its humor. In fact, the 2003 Free Comic Books Day comic revolved around hanging a lampshade on it. A kid from the "real world" arrives in Riverdale and points out the repeated cases of misunderstanding and poor communication. Everyone agrees to be more understanding and wait for explanations. And the Universe is instantly boring!
    • In one particular comic Archie tried to book a flight to Texas for Mr. Lodge, but due to the worker misunderstanding him over the phone, he accidentally books him a flight to Alaska.
  • Portal to the Past: Several characters have gone down Memory Lane and met their counterparts from The '40s or The '50s. The street also served as a Portal To The Future, when Archie decided to go up Memory Lane and see what would happen after he decides who to marry.
  • Power Outage Plot: In one story, a power outage has the Andrews family playing board games by candlelight. By the time the power comes back on, they're having so much fun they decide to keep playing instead of going back to their electronics.
  • Present Peeking: Archie buys his mom a sweater for her birthday, and asks Veronica to hide it at her house. However, Veronica's mom Hermione snoops around for her anniversary present and finds the sweater! What's more (thinking her husband Hiram bought it for her), she loves it! But as it turns out, Mr. Lodge had actually bought his wife a mink coat.
  • Pretty in Mink: Veronica has loads of furs, but other characters wear fur occasionally.
  • Progressively Prettier:
    • Jughead's mom, Big Ethel, and Archie's & Betty's mothers have all been altered into more attractive forms in the past couple decades. A few of the fathers (Betty's father, Hal, for one) have also lost their original white hair, being recoloured in collected digests.
    • In early comics, Archie was a rather dorky looking character with buck-teeth and unattractive design. He was later softened up and became more attractive by the late 1960s.
  • Propping Up Their Patsy: One story has Archie freaking out over Mr. Weatherbee wanting to meet his father, believing he's in big trouble. After failing to sabotage their meeting several times, he has Reggie barge in their meeting to confess to a list of potential wrongdoings that might have warranted this meeting, then defending those wrongdoings in hopes to reduce the sentence. While he's at it, Reggie adds some of his own wrongdoings to Archie's "confessions".
  • Protagonist and Friends: The Spin-Off Jughead and Friends.
  • Public Domain Character: Archie Comics never renewed the copyrights for anything they published before the 1950s – and yes, this includes all the issues of Pep Comics and Archie published up to that point. This would technically make the pre-DeCarlo versions of the characters public domain. The reason why we haven't seen anyone else doing their own versions of Archie's gang is because Archie Comics trademarked the characters' designs… that and Archie Comics is notoriously litigious about anything even remotely related to their characters.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: Parodied in one comic, where dumb jock Moose pushes Archie into a puddle when his girlfriend Midge is concerned about stepping in the water when crossing the street.
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: Veronica Lodge on several occasions brags about being fashionably late. On one occasion she explicitly says "better fashionably late than tackily early" though she's a hypocrite in as much as she has no patience for Jughead's tardiness.
  • Put on a Bus: Cheryl Blossom, just gradually vanishing in the 1980s, had this done to her once her re-introduction in the 1990s wore out its welcome, and she moved away. They brought her back within a couple of years, this time without her own series.

  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Archie #635 had the "Occupy Riverdale" movement, making Riverdale the most recent area it's affected.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: One story saw Reggie hot to date Veronica, going to ridiculous extremes to get her to acknowledge him. Veronica, sick of his antics, blows up at Reggie and his utter obnoxiousness. She proceeds to run through a laundry list of all his character deficiencies (chauvinism, penchant for mean-spirited pranks, egomania), and tops that all off with the parting shot of "who ever told you you were God's gift to women, anyhow?
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Veronica is sometimes this due to her often bitchy personality, black hair, and penchant for wearing red.
  • Redheads Are Ravishing: Parodied in one story where Betty and Veronica come at Archie demanding whether he prefers blondes (i.e. Betty) or brunettes (Veronica). He (rather wisely) tries to dodge the unwinnable question by picking redheads—as in himself, comparing redheaded men favorably to blond and brunet men (respectively Dumb Blond Moose and untrustworthy Reggie). This leads to several rounds of the girls Moving the Goalposts to defeat his Loophole Abuse, until finally an actual redheaded girl shows up and he goes off with her, affirming his preference for redheads.
  • Religious Redub: In the 1970s and 80s, artist Al Hartley produced an officially licensed series for Spire Comics in which all the characters were born-again Christians. The storylines and art were generally the same as you would find in a regular issue except with Archie and Betty quoting the Scriptures and preaching the gospel to their friends.
  • Remote Control Ruckus: Comic Digest, Issue 86 shows Archie and Reggie having a remote-control war, and Veronica commenting to Betty, "I knew it was a mistake getting two remote controls!"
  • Replacement Flat Character: Cheryl Blossom is basically a bitchier, meaner version of Veronica, amplifying most of her negative traits. In Cheryl's own series, her Pembrooke friends contain many worse examples of her personality.
  • Request for Privacy: Archie and Veronica are stuck babysitting her young cousin Leroy. Archie offers him a dollar to leave the room, and he accepts. Veronica is clearly hoping Archie wants privacy to make out with her, but he starts playing with Leroy's slot cars instead.
  • Rhyming Title: A lot of the stories have use this, especially the short strips, such as "Late Fate", "Donation Flirtation", "Fashion Compassion", etc.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, Spoiled Brat, and the Alpha Bitch, sometimes: Veronica defines all of these, but she's often shown with the "secret heart of gold" routine as well. Cheryl Blossom is a more authentically bad version (though still has her nice moments, because she had her own series for a while). Libby Chessler, seemingly a creation of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series, is both and the Trope Namer for the latter.
  • Rip Tailoring: One story has Betty and Veronica coming to school wearing the exact same outfit. Veronica sabotages Betty's dress, creating a tear in the bottom part of the skirt. Instead of going home to get her dress replaced, Betty just sews the tear into a fashionable (and very Fanservice-laden) addition.
  • Role Swap AU: The Betty & Veronica Friends Forever "What If?" volume has two.
    • One story has Betty and Veronica be in love with Jughead, while Archie is his best friend whom they could barely tolerate. However, after Jughead picks Monique (Veronica's chef's niece) during a Cooking Duel, the two girls find themselves falling for Archie as he enjoys their cooking more than Monique's.
    • Another story has Betty as the rich heiress (with Smithers being her butler) and Veronica as the normal girl. Although the Lodges eventually win the lottery and becomes rich, and Veronica immediately starts behaving as her usual Rich Bitch self.
  • Rule 34:
    • The company is known for coming down hard on Slash Fics featuring its characters, to the point where will no longer accept any kind of Archie comics-related fanfiction. That ban however only refers to the comics though. When Riverdale came they added a fanfic section for that and some of the animated adaptations have sections as well. and Archive of Our Own also still accept Archie fanfics though.
    • They don't look too kindly on parodies either – Robot Chicken's got pulled (Fair Use? What's that?). The only reason The Simpsons got away with it is because they paid the company.
  • Rule 63:
    • January McAndrews, time traveler from the future, is said to be a distant descendant of Archie Andrews. She is a Gender Flip of Archie – identical to him in all ways save slightly different hairstyle and breasts. She is a recurring character who usually appears in Jughead stories. Somewhat disturbingly, Jughead is always shown to be romantically involved with her.
    • A 2012 story, "The Great Switcheroo," provided canonical examples in Archie #636.note  In the story, Sabrina's cat Salem casts a Gender Bender spell on the entire population of Riverdale, not to mention Josie and the Pussycats too.
    • There have been at least two other skits in the past, one with the same idea as The Great Switcheroo.
  • Sauna of Death: In a comic book, Veronica was placed in an overheating steam cabinet and left to die by a supervillain. Jughead (who was in superhero mode) was charged with rescuing her, but didn't do a very good job of it. Losing quite a bit of weight and starving in the ordeal, she consumed a vile concoction the beanied one had prepared earlier for his lunch so as to fatten back up a bit — grossing everyone, including the bad guy, totally out.
  • Scenery Porn: Depending on the artist, although Bob Bolling in particular seemed to love nature scenes.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Played straight with Veronica and inverted with her father, as she will often attempt to utilize her clout to get what she wants, while Mr. Lodge will chide her for doing so.
  • Second Prize: Zig-Zagged during a storyline about athletic competitions against other schools. Riverdale's star athlete Reggie is felled with a sprained ankle. Archie is sent to take Reggie's place and, in every event, the former is eating everyone's dust, placing second and third place. However, Dilton Doiley points out that the tournament is based on a points system for which is highly beneficial to place consistently. As a result, Archie's scores add up to an eventual victory for Riverdale.
  • Secret Diary: One story had Betty losing one of her diaries (to be more exact, the one she wrote about her moments with Archie in) and was worried that Veronica would get her hands on it. To make matters worse, Veronica overheard her and offered $100 to anyone who turned it in to her. Fortunately for Betty, Mr. Svenson returned it to her before anyone else could find it.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In later issues, the series took to Lampshade Hanging some of the Running Gags and cliches from over the decades, most prominently Archie's commitment issues.
    • The cover of the October 2014 Archie Comic has Jughead dressed as a zombie for Halloween, while Archie, Betty, and Veronica laugh over how ridiculous the premise would be.
  • Self-Made Man: Sometimes Mr. Lodge is written has being born into a wealthy family or he's written as building his own wealth from a middle-class existence. And the trope is subverted in this comic.
  • Self-Parody: The "Night At the Comic Shop" issue had comic book characters come to life. One of the characters was "Wilbur", who dresses pretty much identical to Archie's old design (except with a "W" on his cardigan). He's described as a "wacky teenager who's always chasing girls" and true to art Veronica shows attraction to him. This is actually a clever double self-parody; on one level Wilbur is a parody of Archie. On another, Archie Comics are using a pre-existing character for the Genius Bonus of "Yeah, back in the day Archie had spawned a Fountain of Expies, we ripped off our own character for some reason".
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    • Frank Doyle, Archie's most prolific writer from the '50s to the '90s, loved having the teenaged characters burst into inappropriately sophisticated verbiage for no reason (except Rule of Funny).
    Veronica: Wouldst thou mind removing yon nose from mine business, friend?
    Betty: Forsooth, my pretty prevaricator! Itty-bitty Betty exits forthwith from your web of intrigue!
    • This kind of talk often appeared in films and books about teenage characters. It was probably originally intended to reflect the kids' response to Shakespeare in English or Dramatics class, by going around talking like that.
    • Dilton is the biggest target for this. One comic lampshades it brilliantly. Archie is attempting to look up a the definition of a word, Jughead suggests he should save time by asking Dilton. Dilton's explanation reflects his usual penchant for scientific jargon. A steamed Archie berates Jughead for his advice, claiming he now has to look up the definitions of several more words.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Betty, Veronica, Sabrina and other girls would wear them quite frequently during Christmas issues, at least on the covers.
  • Sexy Sweater Girl: The girls really fit into their sweaters.
  • Shameful Shrinking: In a story, Veronica invites Archie to a "high society" party. She berates him like crazy while briefing him for the event, e.g. "You have nothing in common with these blue-bloods, but there's no point in advertising it". At the end, Archie is barely up to Ronnie's socks. Then, Archie runs into Betty, who tells Archie what a great guy he is. Arch walks away literally 10 feet tall.
  • Shipper on Deck: Jughead, for Betty & Archie. He doesn't like Arch's obsession with the ladies, but Betty is a friend and the least-bad option in his mind.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy:
    • Many characters over the years were introduced with great fanfare as potential regulars, and then dropped instantly when readers weren't interested.
    • One notable example was Adam the Alien, introduced simultaneously in all three flagship titles (Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica) in 1979, with captions promising that he'd have lots of wacky adventures at Riverdale High. He never appeared again.
  • Shout-Out:
    • An old joke from The Comics Curmudgeon is that the Archie newspaper comic is written by a computer, the "Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000", or "AJGLU-3000" for short. In 2008, a crossed-out "AJGLU-3000" showed up on Archie's T-shirt, and the phrase has been used numerous times since then to refer to the school's computer system.
    • There was a shout-out to the DiC dub of Sailor Moon. Betty and Veronica were pursuing a man named "Maxfield Standin" who looked exactly like his source material, Nephrite/Maxfield Stanton. Maxfield had a wife named Molly, the dub name of Nephrite's love interest Naru.
    • In one comic, Veronica owned a hedgehog, and named it Sonic. (Archie, you'll recall, published a Sonic comic from 1993-2017).
  • Show-and-Tell Antics: In one comic, Li'l Jinx is told she may not bring an expensive vase to school for show-and-tell; it's fragile, and there is really nothing exciting about it. So instead, she brings a bent golf club she found in the trash — she recalls how "excited" dad was when he jumped up-and-down on it after missing an important putt!
  • Showing Up Chauvinists: Token Evil Teammate Reggie Mantle likes to opine that boys excel at various activities ranging from sports to chess to puzzles, while girls are mere cheerleaders. Either Betty Cooper or Veronica Lodge will challenge Reggie to a contest in which he comes up short. After one issue handed Reggie a series of defeats, he comments to Archie, "Betty and Ronnie often speak of equality. Why do you suppose they want to lower themselves to our level?"
  • Silly Prayer: One short strip had Veronica's young cousin praying to God to make Montreal the capital of Canada. When Veronica asks why he asked for that, he replies because that was what he had answered on his geography test.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Big Ethel focuses like a laser on Jughead.
  • Slapstick: The female characters don't get it as often as the males, but it does happen. Various stories have had Archie accidentally whacking Betty with a surfboard, Veronica getting beat up by Midge when the latter thinks Ron is hitting on Moose, and even Archie's mother slipping on her too-clean floor after Archie and her husband Fred come back to polish it after feeling guilty for leaving her to do all the housework by herself.
  • Slut-Shaming: Both Veronica and Cheryl Blossom have been criticized many times by other characters for dressing too provocatively, being too flirtatious or 'easy', and going out with too many boys. Usually the story will cast the girls in a bad light for this (worse than for male casanovas like Archie) and often punish them at the end.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Dilton.
  • Snowball Fight:
    • Turns up quite a bit during winter. If Dilton Doiley gets involved, expect him to bring in an automatic snow thrower.
    • One story had Veronica fed up with her friends' immature snow-throwing behavior, bonding with Dilton who shares her condescension... until she discovers he's stashed away a freezer full of snowballs, planning ahead for the summer.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Archie, Jughead, and Betty were all fairly young in their first 1941 appearance, resembling pre-teens. By the next issue, they were full-on teenagers.
  • Something Else Also Rises: In one story set in the Prehistoric Ages, Veronica is pleased when Archie makes her the model for his mud statue, and kisses him. You can see a volcano in the background shoot a boulder out of its mouth.
  • Something-itis: When Archie is being examined by the school doctor.
    Archie: I think I've got the bug that's going around.
    Doctor: Yes, I know. It's called "Dodge-an-exam-itis".
  • Spanner in the Works: The vast majority of plots and schemes in any given Archie story end up derailed by this trope.
  • Spinoff Babies: Little Archie was one of the earliest (the 1960s), taking place in the gang's elementary school years. For some reason, Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy were working at their school. The New Archies (an Animated Series and a comic, both short-lived) came in the 1980s, and was based around their pre-teen years in middle school. The former appears to actually be in continuity (told nowadays as flashbacks), but the latter, with several replacement characters (Eugene for Dilton, among others), is mostly forgotten. During the "Pureheart the Powerful" series, the little Archies all became superheroes, too.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Combined with Accidental Aiming Skills in Life With Archie #144 where Robbing Hood (Archie) is in an archery contest against the Sheriff of Nuttingham (Reggie). Archie's awkward disguise causes him to face the opposite direction to the target. His arrow bounces off a tree, a shield and a spear before hitting the centre of the target: splitting Reggie's arrow.
  • Spoiled Sweet: This was Archie creator Bob Montana's basic interpretation of Veronica. In his stories and strips, she's pampered but pleasant except on rare occasions (usually when Archie does something incredibly stupid and earns her wrath).
  • Spy Catsuit: Betty and Veronica wear black catsuits when acting as "Agents B & V".
  • Squee: When a character squeals in delight, their word balloon will be filled with quite a few "EEEEE"s.
  • Status Quo Is God: Is it EVER. No matter how big a story, or how glorious a cover, things will revert back to normal by the end of the storyline. Ethel still chases Jughead, Archie still can't decide between Betty & Ronnie, Reggie still plays pranks, Jughead goes back to avoiding girls and being single, all the relationships are the same, etc. When there's 60 years of stories, and Digests re-using old stories, that tends to happen. Even newly introduced characters are 99% likely to be doomed to the C-List and Trivia questions within a few years (Cricket O'Dell, Ginger Lopez, Marie & Frankie, etc.). The only exceptions seem to be Cheryl Blossom's re-introduction in the 1990s, and successful newcomers Chuck & Nancy in the 1970s, alongside a few gradual shifts in characterization between the 1950s and now. For instance, Betty changed in the 1970s from a stereotypical Dumb Blonde, to a self-confident Tomboy who could easily run rings around Veronica in terms of physical skills like athletics and auto mechanics.
    • One early story highlights this trope when Mr. Weatherbee, perplexed that perpetual troublemaker Archie hasn't been sent to detention in quite awhile, reaches out to Ms. Grundy, who relates that Archie has been on his best behavior lately. Weatherbee tracks down Archie and suspiciously asks him what he's up to. Archie replies that he's been staying out of trouble (and detention) so that he can keep an eye on Reggie, his rival for Veronica's affections, as Reggie's efforts in that regard seem to have stagnated. Weatherbee, fairly exasperated at this point, grills Reggie as to what's going on, to which Reggie states that since Betty (Veronica's rival for Archie's attentions) seems to have given up the fight, he's no longer able to use her efforts as a distraction for Archie (giving him a window to pursue Ronnie), causing him to give up his scheming. Principal Weatherbee at last confronts Betty, asking why she has seemingly forsaken her attempts to woo Archie, to which she states that she has recently adopted a philosophy to "be satisfied with what you have", which should lead to happiness. Mr. Weatherbee then gives Betty a total "hoo-rah" speech about going after what you want, accepting no excuses, which motivates Betty to chase Archie again. Reggie is then reinvigorated to pursue Veronica, causing Archie to renew his vigilance, making him get into trouble and exiled to detention. Weatherbee and Grundy both exhale a relieved "back to usual" in the end.
  • Straight Gay: Kevin Keller, introduced in the comic as a normal, positive gay character for kids to read.
  • Strangely Specific Horoscope:
    • Big Ethel is on the beach when she reads her horoscope that says she'll meet a pair of stars today. Swooning with anticipation of meeting the likes of Paul Newman, a wave suddenly crashes over her. When the water recedes, two starfish are clinging to her.
    • Veronica is on a tennis court, hoping to win a tennis match and thus a winning "cup". Her horoscope says she will definitely get a cup today. But her hopes are dashed when Archie approaches and offers her a cup... of coffee or tea.
  • Stripperific: Everyone in the Archie series. Betty and Veronica tote Fur Bikini outfits, and Archie and Jughead both wear an incredibly small Loincloth. Fanservice for all.
  • Subliminal Advertising:
    • There was a story published in 1992 in which Archie talks the gang into going to have a picnic in the woods so they enjoy nature, but they all bring along electronic devices to distract themselves with. Throughout the story, all sorts of real life products pop up in the artwork – Veronica's eating a Fruit Roll-Up in the first panel, Archie's sipping from a pack of Capri Sun (and from when it was doing a promotion for Yo Yogi!, no less† ) when he notices Jughead's playing a handheld electronic game, Jughead pulls out a box of Cap'n Crunch when Archie falls in the river... They actually justified this by the fact that these products were all being given out in baskets to kids who joined the Archie Fan Club at the time.
    • Another story from 1992 opened with Archie and Jughead playing Super Nintendo. Boxes for actual Super Nintendo games were all on the floor in front of them.
    • Somewhat less subliminal: Comic issues would often have single-page spreads in between stories where the Archie gang advertised a specific product – rollerblades, candy, whatever. Got weird when the exact same ads showed up in Sonic comics.
  • Summer School Sucks: Subverted in a storyline where with Riverdale High being painted, Principal Weatherbee decides to hold summer school at the beach. A day later, Archie points out that usually they spend their school days looking forward to the weekend, with this setup it's reversed!
  • Suntan Stencil: A story, in which Archie is dating Veronica, has Archie wondering about getting a tattoo or something for Veronica, then dozing off at the beach under a blanket with two small tears in it. On waking up, he discovers that he's one-upped the other beachgoers by getting 'branded' with a 'V'. On his forehead, no less.
  • Superstition Episode:
    • One where Betty notices it is Friday The Thirteenth, and prepares for it. Unknowingly, she set off Disaster Dominoes that missed her, but got everyone around her involved.
    • There was one other, with Archie bringing misfortune on himself trying to avoid bad luck – and not being careful.
  • Suspender Snag: In one story, Archie decides to try out suspenders for a day, but after Reggie's pranks (including getting pantsed in front of a bunch of girls) and various instances of his suspenders getting caught, he goes back to wearing a belt the next day.
  • Take a Third Option: This is the solution for the "My Father's Betrayal" story, where Veronica is put into conflict with her father who is trying to build an industrial park over a well known forest. While Veronica is right about the land being loved by people of the community, Mr. Lodge points out the economy is struggling and people need the new jobs the factory will produce. Eventually, when Veronica gets injured at a protest rally, he realizes the error of his ways and decides to have a smaller industrial park built so the forest won't have to be torn down.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Archie says this to Betty after they both get soaking wet in this story, which really has to be read to be believed.
  • Tamer and Chaster: Archie Comics featured quite a bit of fanservice from the 40s-80s and had several issues that had the characters making sexual references. Afterwards, Archie made an attempt to portray their characters as chaste. This included censoring sexual jokes in re-issues, essentially banning certain issues from being re-issued, and attempting to outright retcon Cheryl Blossom away in the early 2000s. Eventually, Archie did away with these restrictions and in the 2010s began embracing the Hotter and Sexier treatment.
  • Tastes Like Purple: In one story, a hit on the head gives Jughead touch-to-taste synesthesia, so whatever he touches makes him taste something different. For example, Pop Tate's jukebox feels lime-flavored.
  • Teamwork Seduction: Betty and Veronica have pulled this trick a few times, usually with them ruining it by fighting again. Since the two girls are best friends, though, "threesome" endings are rare but not completely out of the question (in a PG-rated sense, of course).
  • Teen Genius: Dilton Doiley has served in this role for decades.
  • Teen Superspy:
    • At the height of the spy craze during the 1960s, Archie Comics did a series called "The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E." that featured the Archie gang as secret agents.
    • Betty and Veronica have appeared as 'Agents B & V'.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: One comic created an in-universe example, after Archie and Veronica watched a movie adapted from one of Veronica's favorite romance stories. When Archie asked her afterward if she liked it, she exclaimed that she loathed it, and spent the rest of the night nitpicking every way the movie deviated from the original events. However, she also developed a crush on the male lead actor, which swiftly eclipsed her hatred of the changes.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: For Archie, there's:
    • Cheryl Blossom, the former Trope Namer. Famously came in as a "third choice", and temporarily had a legit shot at taking over. In the 90s, the Love Showdown storyline, where Betty and Veronica escalate their competition for Archie, ends in Archie choosing Cheryl Blossom instead (although the Status Quo is restored in a follow-up special). Since then, however, she has apparently started going out with the nerd of the cast after getting to know him on the internet, in a Throw the Dog a Bone moment. Despite being Archie's third option, there never was an "Archie Marries Cheryl" comic.
    • Valerie of Josie and the Pussycats. She was featured as his love interest in a crossover supplement story, and the idea became popular enough that she returned several times as his permanent girlfriend. She even received her own Married storyline alongside Betty and Veronica, wherein Archie chose to go into music rather than go into business. He and Valerie become a husband-wife singing duo, and even have a baby who follows in their footsteps.
  • Through His Stomach:
    • This is an area where Betty always wins over Veronica.
    • Big Ethel tries this all the time on Jughead. He's certainly willing to tolerate her presence when food is forthcoming, but it never gets her any closer to a date (unless you count the time it takes him to eat, and considering it's Jughead that can't be very long).
  • Time-Travelers Are Spies: In one comic, Jughead accidentally travels back in time to the The American Civil War and is mistaken for a Confederate spy (one of the suggestions being that the S on his shirt stands for "Spy" or "South").
  • Token Minority:
    • Valerie, arguably one of the first in all of comics, debuting in 1969, followed by Chuck and his girlfriend Nancy in the 1970s, and Frankie & Maria, a latino pairing also debuting then, but not catching on as well.
    • Other black and Hispanic characters have shown up with lower degrees of success, like Ginger Lopez (who was later made into an Ascended Extra in Afterlife with Archie), and in the early 1990s, very short-lived characters with disabilities (Anita and Jeff).
    • It took a little longer for the Asian characters to catch on. But instead of one character to represent all of Asia, they've had a number of Asian girls (Tomoko, Kim, Kumi?). To say nothing of the Indian boy Raj.
    • They introduced a gay character in 2010. This caused Moral Guardians to flip out and somehow relate it to President Obama or the Democrats' then-majority in Congress, and resulted in backlash against the Moral Guardians. It was also a major game-changer in American culture as a whole. Archie Comics has a decades-long reputation as a bastion of "traditional values" due to its rather chaste world and lack of violence or cursing (plus everything Al Hartley did back in the 70's, official or not). Thus, when Archie introduced Kevin Keller and refused to back down, it made national news – after all, if such a conservative place as Riverdale has no problem with a gay man in their midst, then why should anyone else in America take issue?
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Betty.
  • Too Much Alike: In one Betty And Veronica story, the titular girls bumped into two cute guys in the mall, Jon and Benny, who were pretty much their Spear Counterparts. By the end of the story, Betty and Veronica decided that they wouldn't make a good match because they have too much in common.
  • Totally Radical:
    • A notorious case. For example, one late-'80s story had a lifeguard tell a surfing Veronica, "I really dig the way you attacked those waves with your rad moves". Around the same time, an in-house ad for an Archie calendar featured a cartoon teenager, sporting a ridiculous multi-colored mohawk, oversized shades that Elton John would reject, and mismatched-color clothes, telling the reader, "I ordered mine!" Like gnarly, daddy-o, if a rad hepcat teen like him bought one, I better slap down the bread too, yo yo yo".
    • Played with in a story titled "Lingo Lesson". In it, Archie talks like this, as does a brownie troop that his mom leads. It drives Archie's dad nuts.
  • Town Girls:
    • Of the original main girls, Midge is a short-haired softball player, Veronica is a Lovable Alpha Bitch, and Betty is the Girl Next Door with a mix of tomboyish and girly hobbies. Originally, all three were girly girls, but later years changed that.
    • In the Gender Flip issue (Archie #636), the female counterparts of the three main boys fit. Reggie's counterpart, Regina, happens to be Reversedale's premier Alpha Bitch, while Archie's own Archina is a rather typical girl, and JJ, female counterpart of Jughead, is some big eating Snark Knight!
  • Tricked into Signing: In one comic story, Reggie decides to write up a petition protesting litter on the beach. Archie is eager to be the first to sign it, so Reggie has him sign it with a nice and large signature before he's even drawn up the petition content. Evil-hearted Reggie then writes up a love note to an anonymous girl. With Archie's signature below it, the note is sure to unleash Betty and Veronica's wrath.
  • Two-Headed Coin:
    • Archie and Moose wind up tied for the last spot on a school trivia team. Archie knows Moose has been working hard and deserves the spot, so to save Moose's pride, he proposes a coin toss to determine who's chosen... and quietly uses a two-headed quarter to make sure Moose wins.
    • Another had Reggie offer to flip a coin with Moose for something, offering the deal of "Heads I win, tails you lose." Moose immediately recognizes that Reggie is scamming him... because he assumes Reggie has a two-headed coin. He demands they use his coin instead.
  • Two-Teacher School: Averted. Sure, Miss Grundy and Mr. Weatherbee are usually the only teachers to take a major role in a story, but the school's custodian (Mr. Svenson), cafeteria worker (Miss Beazly), science teacher (Prof. Flutesnoot), another elderly teacher (Miss Haggly), two coaches (Kleats and Clayton), and even the Bee's secretary (Miss Philips) have shown up repeatedly over the years, and many have even received major roles in stories.
  • Two-Timer Date: Archie often dates both Betty and Veronica at the same time.
  • Ugly All Along: One Future!Archie storyline features Ethel giving herself a make-over to attract the attention of a local hunk. She manages to win his affection but eventually feels bad about lying to him and decides to show him her true appearance. Later, it is revealed that the hunk is actually a scrawny and unpopular teen named Marvin Zinklemann who gave himself the same make-over procedure to attract the ladies. The two then decides to get to know each other for real.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Mr. Lodge is actually a really nice guy – it's just that being one of the main victims of Archie's clumsiness has a tendency to drive him crazy.
  • Underwear Swimsuit: In one issue, one girl was showing off a sexy new two piece bikini that she found in Veronica's bedroom. Veronica informed her that it wasn't a bikini, it was her underwear, to which the girl immediately freaked out because she was wearing a bra and panties at the pool (the joke being, of course, there's no difference between a two piece bikini and underwear.)
  • Unexpected Kindness: In the comic "Archie Got Game", Ms. Grundy has confiscated Archie and Jughead's video games. Later, Archie and Jughead see her looking annoyed (it's actually because Mr. Weatherbee yelled at her for indirectly causing Mr. Hassle to miss a meeting) and they fear that she's about to scold them. To their surprise, she gives their games back to them and begs them to not bring them to school again (Mr. Weatherbee has told her to get the games off school premises).
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Betty and Veronica are classic examples of this trope. It's also one of the rare instances when is justified for both girls. Veronica obviously has the money to buy whatever clothes she wants...and as for Betty, in some stories she's developed an impressive wardrobe of her own because Veronica just hands off any clothes she gets tired of to Betty. Not that Betty necessarily minds, since Veronica's generosity allows her to keep up with Ronnie in fashion despite her much more limited finances.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In "The Mediator", Archie and Jughead are fighting and Reggie asks what happens. Archie explains he was hanging with Veronica who was fawning all over him and asked if he could borrow money from Jughead. Jughead then refused not wanting to spend his fifty cents on a girl and their fight made Veronica angrily storm away. Jughead explains that was not the case: in reality, Veronica was fed up with spending time in Archie's broken car and demanded he buy her a soda to make up for it. Seeing the desperate Archie thinking fifty cents could get him by, Jughead bluntly said no.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: In the first issue of Archie Comics, Pep Comics #28, Archie had just moved into the neighborhood, albeit a couple years younger than he was in later issues and with the nickname "Chick", and tries in his first issue to impress his neighbor Betty Cooper to try to get her to date him through dangerous stunts which she believes make him look arrogant. After Veronica moves in during "Archie Comics 1", the whole dynamic was changed to a Betty and Veronica format where Betty has a really big and sometimes obsessive crush on Archie.
  • Unsound Effect: In one episode, Slamdunk!
  • Uptown Girl: Veronica and Archie.
  • Vandalism Backfire: Jughead boards a passenger train. The conductor yells at Jug to move his suitcase out of the aisle, but refuses. After another passenger trips on the suitcase, Jughead still refuses to move it, so the conductor throws the valise off the in-motion train. Jughead then says he learned his lesson, and will never leave things where people can stumble over them. After the conductor expresses a little remorse for acting so ruthlessly, Jug calmly adds " wasn't even my suitcase."
  • Vehicle-Based Characterization: Archie is a typical American teenager, with lots of ambition but not much funding. His jalopy is the cheapest possible automobile that borders on The Alleged Car, the perfect vehicle for a Starving Artist musician playing local gigs for pittance or charity.
  • Video Phone: Veronica of the future once got one installed, only to switch back to normal phones because her friends called while she was doing face masks or when she'd just gotten up.
  • Virtual Celebrity: With the onslaught of manufactured bands like The Chipmunks and The Banana Splits in the era, the creators tried out this trope, using The Archie Show as their vehicle. Sugar, Sugar was the band's only number one hit. Not to say that their music was bad as records generally sold well and were actually catchy and well written, but as with other manufactured bands, they were a fad and mostly catered to a niche once the fad died.

  • Wacky Racing: Archie's RC Racers
  • Wardrobe Malfunction:
    • A story in Veronica volume 201 had the girls discover a collection of old-style bathing suits and try them out in the water. The boys didn't really appreciate the cover-everything styles... until it became clear that the old fabric couldn't stand up to water anymore and disintegrated, leaving Betty, Veronica and the rest naked in the ocean. Heck, this even happened to Mrs. Lodge who tried out one of the suits at a pool party.
    • In "It Seams So Sad", Cheryl stole a dress that Veronica designed and wore it to a party just to laugh in her face - only to find out at that point what a bad seamstress Veronica was. The whole dress ripped apart in front of everyone. (Of course, as humiliating as that was for Cheryl, the story didn't quite end on a high note for Ronnie either...)
  • Wealth's in a Name: The comics liked to play with this by taking an already-famous name and making it into this trope. Examples: Hetty Greenstuff (a play on Hetty Green, the richest woman in America around the turn of the century), and Mr. Vanderbuck (play on Vanderbilt). They also played it straight at least once, with the "Van Gelt" family ("gelt" being the Yiddish word for money).
  • What If?: Several. The most famous are the "Archie Marries Veronica/Betty" storylines and the ideal sequel Life With Archie: The Married Life.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Either that or "Riverdale" would have been perfectly accurate; they're the two most famous examples of this trope ever. We know that it's in a formerly-Confederate state near the ocean, but not a desert or farming state. According to Word of God, it's literally "Anytown, USA."
  • Win Her a Prize: Betty or Veronica have occasionally asked this of Archie.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Cheryl Blossom exploded onto the Archie scene on her 1990s return, quickly getting one limited series after another. Finally, she got her own series and was a constant feature. Eventually, backlash set in, and she was actually written out of the books again before the decade was over, was almost outright retconned outnote , and became a mere extra. Cheryl eventually returned to being a major character after Afterlife with Archie.
  • Women Drivers: Played straight before the '60s, usually subverted any time after that.
  • Worthless Currency: Subverted in a story where the gang finds an old chest in the basement of Pop's Chok'lit Shoppe that contains, among some other Civil War memorabilia, a bunch of Confederate money. It proves immensely valuable as Pop's landlord was evicting him to build a strip mall on the land and the chest was found while helping Pop move, and the money helps prove that the Chok'lit Shoppe is a historical landmark and thus can't be torn down.
  • Wrench Wench: Betty is absurdly talented with auto repair and other forms of masculine expertise. This makes her either more or less attractive to the boys, depending on the story.
  • Writer on Board: In the '70s, Al Hartley occasionally infused his conservative Christian beliefs into the comics until the publishers (who were, are, and have always been Jewish) told him to knock it off. Later in the decade he convinced Archie to license the characters for the explicitly evangelical Spire Christian Comics.
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Al Hartley's rose-colored view of the 1890s as a time free from the ills of modern society… and apparently free from the ills of the 1890s as well.
  • You Meddling Kids: There is an issue where Archie and Jughead solve a crime and the crooks are being led away in restraints by the police. One crook complains about being stopped by a bunch of dumb kids and Jughead fires back "This 'dumb kid' is not the one wearing handcuffs!"
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: This is a recurring punchline:
    • In one comic, Principal Weatherbee hires Jughead to write jokes for his assembly speech when a particular kind of joke is really popular. Then Weatherbee hears two girls complaining about the jokes. When he asks Jughead what happened, Jughead tells him that the jokes are completely lame now. When did they become uncool? "Oh, yeah. When word got around that [Weatherbee] was telling them."
    • In another comic, Archie worries that his band's latest song may not be well-receved…because Mr. Lodge loves it.
    • In one memorable story, a reporter decides to write a story on Archie's popularity. After the article comes out, all of Archie's friends ostracize him. And when the reporter writes about Archie's fall from grace, the gang become incensed at the reporter for saying such things about Archie. Mr. Weatherbee sums this up thusly, "You see, Archie was popular until I said he was popular. Then, when you wrote abut him being unpopular, he became popular again!"
    • In another story, Veronica shows off her skills as a trendsetter by making Jughead's hat the next big thing. After the entire school is wearing hats like Jug's, Veronica (fed up with seeing that hat everywhere) puts an end to the fad by having the teachers wear the hats.
  • Your Television Hates You: One story had Archie and the gang trying to find some way to escape the heat on a scorching summer day. Eventually they retreat into an air-conditioned movie theatre. The movie showing is called Way Down Below, which they assume will be a Sub Story. It turns out to be set in Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • Zipperiffic: A story has Reggie boasting to Veronica how his outfit is so this. Jughead then draws him with another zipper, on Reggie's mouth.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Archie


Robot Chicken

After attempting to talk to the children of his school Mr Weatherbee is flipped off by his own students

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

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Main / FlippingTheBird

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