Archie Comics

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    A typical cover gag. Note the Male Gaze.

    Originally known as MLJ Comics (after its three founders), Archie Comics soon took the name of its most popular character, a teen named Archie Andrews, who 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 mostly normalized 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 themes in fiction. With the start of Dan DeCarlo as primary artist in the '60s, Archie Comics created its "house style".

    Though the eternal love triangle is the core of the strip, and only the Big Four (Archie, Jug, Ron & Betty) have any kind of long-running success in solo books, the recurring cast is actually huge. With romance so core to the books, 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 many men also grew up reading the books as boys. Archie Comics is also famous for keeping everyone the same age, and altering only the dress styles - 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.

    Well known for being available in newsstands 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.

    While Archie Comics is best known for its comic books featuring Archie and/or other "Riverdale" characters, their output has never been limited to those characters. Archie published stories with a number of superhero characters, including the Shield, a patriotic hero who actually predated the more popular Captain America (comics), the Hangman, the Fly, the Jaguar, and others. Starting in the early 1970s, these and other "non-Riverdale" titles have often been published under the "Red Circle" imprint. Archie has also published a number of licensed titles over the years, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures.

    Archie Comics pushed for the creation of the Comics Code, and more or less ran it. Archie was the last publisher adhering to the Code when it ceased to exist in early 2011.

    Also available in Newspaper Comics form, courtesy of Creators Syndicate.

    More information and activities can be found here.

    Media associated with Archie Comics:

    In 2016, The CW began broadcasting a Live Action Adaptation of Archie called Riverdale. As described by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it is an updated "current day" version of the characters and their world, with an equal mix of classic elements and new twists, and just a touch of Darker and Edgier. Aguirre-Sacasa says, "We're getting to the realness and the complexity of the characters. We're not going to arbitrarily make it dark, but we'll get real with these characters and make it a little bit weird, like Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet, which is one of my favorite movies." At the same time, he adds, "There will absolutely be humor in this. The voice will have a sardonic, ironic edge to it. The characters will be witty and funny, and every story will be a quintessential Archie story with a twist to it. The humor will always be part of the bread and butter."

    Archie Comics is the Trope Namer for:
    • Betty and Veronica: 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 3 of them on a deserted island would either lead to murder... or it might be their private idea of Heaven.
    Archie Comics provides examples of the following tropes:
    • Abhorrent Admirer: Big Ethel for Jughead.
    • The Alleged Car: A running joke on Archie's jalopy.
    • Alliterative Name: Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Chuck Clayton, Dilton Doiley, Coach Clayton, Trula Twyst, Evelyn Evernever, and a few others. Some are nicknames or titles, but it still fits. And possibly the Most Triumphant Example in this group: Marmaduke Merton Matowski "Moose" Mason.
    • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Surprisingly, Jughead's trademark beanie was once a real fashion accessory of 1940s teenagers called a "Whoopee Cap": the teens would cut their father's old fedoras into the jagged-edge rim shape, pin buttons on it, and wear them as a fashion statement. Long before that, this style of hat was popular among adult factory workers and mechanics. Nowadays, it has mutated into a form unique in itself, no longer much resembling the real-life version, and just makes Jughead look like a kook.
    • 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. It was 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".
    • 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.
    • Bait and Switch Comment: This sequence. "I'd like to comment on your good work... WHEN YOU DO SOME!"
    • Barbie Doll Anatomy
    • Berserk Button: Jughead kicks ass on a pair of robbers when they try to steal the Chocklit Shoppe's hamburger supply.
      • A much more 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. This also applies to Midge herself, who becomes just as livid whenever another girl hits on Moose.
    • Big Eater: Jughead is pretty much the biggest example of this in all fiction.
    • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Betty, Veronica and Cheryl, since the latter's debut. Betty, Veronica, and Archie, of course. Or Melody, Valerie and Josie.
    • 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".
    • 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.
    • Butter Face: Big Ethel, in her early days.
    • 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.
    • 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, he 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 crippled 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.

    Archie: I wonder where he found Her?
    'Reggie: You wouldn't believe me even if I told you!!

    • Character Blog
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Comic Book Time: Archie and the gang have been in high school for nearly seventy years.
    • Completely Missing the Point: When Archie Comics announced the introduction of new, openly gay character Kevin Keller, they argued that Riverdale is meant to represent a safe place for everyone, so it only made sense that gay teens would find acceptance there too. Several conservative writers then went on to complain that Archie Comics, a series built around the entire premise of a love triangle, was no place for "sexuality."
    • Congruent Memory
    • Conviction by Contradiction: Believe it or not, there have been a few stories where this tropes is inverted to prove a character's innocence, to prove that a painting is a forgery, etc.
    • Criminal Doppelganger: In the Crossover Archie Meets The Punisher, a criminal the Punisher has tracked to Riverdale looks very similar to Archie.
    • Crossover: Most of the characters in Archie Comics are accepted to be set 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Disney Acid Sequence: Some of the 60's-70's era "The Archies" comics.
    • Distaff Counterpart: Josie and her early friends were very much opposite-gender versions of the Archie gang- a redhead hero, a quirky best friend, a blonde nice character and a brunette nasty one competing over the hero, etc.
    • The Ditz: Melody
    • 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: 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.
    • 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.
      • Melody would also count. There was a story in which she was certain that nylons were an endangered animal and that Josie and Alexandera's fake fur coats were made from "cute, cuddly orlons".
    • Dumb Muscle: Moose
    • 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.
      • That Wilkin Boy featured Bingo's band the Bingoes, who were just Expies of the Archies.
    • Everytown, America: Riverdale
    • Expy: Archie has Expies in Wilbur Wilkin (though Wilbur actually debuted first, he quickly became like Arch) and Bingo Wilkin years later. Both were clumsy guys who were girl-crazy. Both had Reggie-like antagonists and Jughead-like weird friends as well.
    • 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.
    • Fan Service: To an amazingly large extent, considering that Archie is mostly for girls. 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) 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 they go off in their bikinis. Mr. Lodge quickly points this out to Archie, as both have a laugh.
    • Fan Vid: This Darker and Edgier fake trailer.
    • First Episode Spoiler: 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-Man Band: They often trade roles depending on the writer, but this is the most common arangement:
    • Five-Token Band: Sort of; while not meeting the numbers requirements, virtually all of the new class of characters are of a non-white ethinicity, 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, which is set after the gang has graduated from college.
      • Actually Michael Uslan is exploring both options, as he's also produced an Archie Marries Betty arc, and is introducing two new Archie titles that will continue both storylines. Check here for more details.
        • Which makes the initial press coverage a case of trolling the fanbase.
          • Which is basically admitted in an interview in the hardcover collected version, where he says nearly word for word "How do you piss of the internet? Tell them Archie is marrying Veronica and not Betty".
    • Follow the Leader: The Archie series was meant to capitalize on many of the "Andy Hardy" features of the era. Its own popularity soared enough that near-countless rip-offs were created, some by Archie Comics itself. "That Wilkin Boy", "Josie" and "Wilbur" were all Archie-made blatant rip-offs (though Josie got re-tooled).
    • 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.
    • French Cuisine Is Haughty: The cook at the Lodge house is Gaston, a very temperamental French chef.
    • Friend Versus Lover: Archie at the center, with Jughead as the friend vs. Betty/Veronica.
    • Fur Bikini: Josie and the Pussycats in the comics wear them occasionally, particularly Melody compared to the others' typical one-pieces.
      • Betty and Veronica tended to wear them in "Archie 1" Caveman-era stories.
    • Furry Fandom: There was one story where Archie, Betty and Veronica studied Animal Stereotypes in Lit class, and started matching classmates with animals they resembled in temperment or body type; the character would morph into an anthropomorphic version of the animal. The story ened with a catfight- with both Betty and Veronica as Cat Girls.
    • The Gay Nineties: 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).
    • Gender Incompetence: A 1950s 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. These were surely standard fare in many media in those days.
      • Another "classic" example of this got into a recent double digest about 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(woman) 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.
    • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In a 1959 Christmas story, when Veronica asks Archie what he's going to give her dad for Christmas, he simply responds, "The bird!" Veronica is understandably offended until Archie shows her the canary he intends to present to Mr. Lodge. Another story featured Mr. Cooper trying to force Archie to marry Betty after catching them in what appeared to be a semi-nude state.
      • Another instance: The boys plot a "Save Our Beazly" campaign upon learning that the school chef will be downsized. One boy prompts that they should make bumper stickers, just using the initials. The others quickly hush him up. Wonder how that one skipped the censors.
      • A recent story has Archie as a news reporter. After Jughead mixes up the cue cards, he begins the news with "It looks like that jackass is up to his old tricks again!" with a picture of Mr. Lodge in the background. Veronica is upset until the mistake is corrected. The news story was referring to an actual jackass, not Mr. Lodge.
      • Once Betty was moping around the school. Someone (I think it was either Miss Grundy or Mr. Weatherbee) told her to stop "mooning around". Betty was shocked, thinking she was being accused of Mooning people.
      • Betty mentioned two friends to a third friend of hers: Ronnie and Juggie. When he meets Veronica("Ronnie") he assumes she's Juggie...possibly because of her jugs.
      • There's one where Veronica panics because she thought Betty and Archie showered together, and another where she nearly freezes to death because she thinks Archie and Betty are sleeping together.
      • Reggie sabotages Archie's jalopy to take Veronica to a dance. Veronica, hearing a false story from Reggie, feels sorry for Archie, while Reggie assures her that he's probably "enjoying himself".
      • Another strip has Archie going to a gift counselor to ask for an idea of a birthday present for Mr. Lodge. The counselor's suggestion? Her phone number.
      • Archie is in a women's store as a favor to Betty. One of the sales clerks has this line:

    Is there something you'd like to see in a me?

      • Veronica dresses up as a flower at a masquerade party, so, to impress her, Reggie dresses up as a bee. Subtle.
      • In a Frank Doyle/Dan DeCarlo story from 1962, Betty and Veronica try to live the way boys do, and wind up using male tactics to pick up a couple of handsome boys. At the end of the story, Jughead arrives as Archie is watching the couples leave:

    Jughead: Would you care to explain what just happened?
    Archie: Aw! They're making out like they're boys!
    Jughead: I can see that they're making out! Now would you explain the rest of it?

    • Grand Romantic Gesture: Frequently
    • Head Desk: 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!"
    • Hello, Nurse!: Various characters nearly always draw this reaction ? Cheryl Blossom and Melody Valentine, most often. Veronica tends to do so on bikini covers. Betty usually only does if and when she dresses up for an occasion to one-up Ronnie.
    • 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.
    • Hollywood Pudgy: Brigitte is meant as An Aesop on judging people by their appearances, as she's Riverdale's only fat girl. Unfortunately, they made her as pretty as most of the female cast (just with a double-chin), and only slightly overweight. If done-up properly, she could have easily become a Big Beautiful Woman.
    • Hot Mom: In the "Little Archie" stories, Little Archie's mom is depicted with a thin, bodacious body and long hair, much different from her pudgy, older self in the regular stories.
    • Ho Yay: Jughead and Archie. Jughead's also recently started hanging out frequently at restaurants with Kevin, the token gay guy.
    • I Can't Dance
    • 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 & body with new hair. It's excuseable when one considers that Ronnie dresses much better, often showing more skin, and Betty can compete on an even keel whenever she stoops to Ronnie's level (ie. dressing in skimpy gowns/bikinis).
      • One story even makes fun of this, when Archie thinks he's talking to Veronica, only to find out that it's Betty trying out a black wig.
    • Intercontinuity Crossover: Archie Meets The Punisher
    • It Runs on Nonsensoleum
    • It's Fake Fur, It's Fine: Fur is occasionally stated to be this.
    • Jail Bait: Somewhat has Unfortunate Implications in the sense that grown men have discussed how hot Betty and Veronica are for years, but in every incarnation, they're never older than 17. At least they're drawn as busty, curvy grown women and not obviously meant as pedo-bait.
    • Jerkass: Archie could be seen as this, due to the countless times he has cheated on basically every girl he's ever dated, and refuses to choose between Betty or Veronica, instead stringing both along. And he complains about this.
      • In fairness, he has seldom if ever cheated on anyone he was officially "going steady" with at the time - witness stories about "pinning" and so on. It's pretty clear that in the vaguely 1950s-ish culture where the stories are set, everyone agrees that there's no commitment unless there's commitment.
    • 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.
    • Know Your Vines: One comic ended with the revelation that the corsage Archie gave Veronica to wear at the prom was poison ivy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Long Runner: Famously so- Archie should be in his 80s by now. It predates nearly every comic book superhero but the very originals, and 99% of any "Teen" genres.
    • 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.
    • 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".
    • Mistaken for Gay: Alternate Character Interpretation of Jughead for many years was that his misogyny was just a cover-up that he was in the closet. Now that the comic is set to debut an openly gay recurring character (no, really), the rumors have died down a bit. Of course, the first friend said new character makes in Riverdale is Jughead, so... (Veronica even makes this connection, misinterpreting Kevin giving Juggie a heart-shaped box of chocolates)
      • Alternatively, Jughead could be asexual and aromantic because he cares far more about food than he does pursuing relationships. (However most people tend to assume he's gay)
    • Moose Are Idiots: Referenced, as the person named Moose is the Dumb Muscle.
    • Ms. Fanservice: Cheryl Blossom defines this trope, being too sexy for 1980s comics (allegedly the reason why she was written-out), and then coming back in the 90s as basically Pamela Anderson with red hair. Melody qualifies for the Josie-verse characters.
    • 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!!"?
    • 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.
    • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Part of The Gay Nineties story.
    • Only Known by Their Nickname: Forsythe "Jughead" Jones and Marmaduke "Moose" Mason.
    • Only Six Faces: Legendary in pop culture for it. 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 lampshades this, Betty and Veronica swop hair colors just to Mind Screw the rest of the gang. All the guys get Archie's haircut and a red dyejob to teach them a lesson.
    • Our Nudity Is Different: In one of the strips set in The Gay Nineties, Archie has this reaction to a swimsuit that bares Veronica's... shoulders.
    • Overprotective Dad: Mr. Lodge isn't very fond of Archie dating Veronica, mostly because accident-prone Archie typically destroys something valuable whenever he visits the Lodge mansion. Other stories avert this trope when Archie and his friends rescue Mr. Lodge from crooked thieves, blackmailers or business rivals.
    • Panty Shot: Li'l Jinx was most prone to this, as were Betty and Veronica in the Little Archie series. As teens, panty shots were limited to cheerleader bloomers and tennis outfits, but on rare occasions, they (and even Sabrina) were seen solely in their skivvies.
    • Performance Anxiety: One story involved Reggie getting stage fright during his first attempt at stand-up comedy, leading to Jughead heckling him, which got Reggie mad enough to reply and then go into the rest of his routine.
    • Pimped-Out Car
    • Portal to the Past: Several characters have gone down Memory Lane and met their counterparts from the 1940s or '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.
    • 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.
    • Public Domain Character: Archie Comics never renewed copyrights for anything they published before 1950s, and yes, this includes all the issues of Pep Comics and Archie published up to this point. This would make pre-1950 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Retool: "It's Josie!" was a fairly simple series, featuring Josie as a red-haired everygirl who had a snarky, odd-dressing best friend, a nice blond and a nasty brunette fighting over her, a rich rival, etc. Basically a girl Archie. When the cartoon studios asked the Archie company for another group to mimic the success of "The Archies," Josie suddenly shifted into being defined by her existence in a band. Best friend Pepper was dropped, Black Best Friend Valerie was added, and the whole comic was now a "travelling band" one instead of a regular teen book. Opinions varied, but guess which version is the most famous?
    • Rich Bitch: Veronica used to be this, before Character Development moved her into the Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory. Early stories portrayed her as almost explicitly evil on occasion.
    • 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.
    • 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-related fanfiction.
      • still accepts them though.
      • They don't look too kindly on parodies either; Robot Chicken's got pulled.
    • Rule 63: January Andrews, time traveler from the future is said to be a distant descendant of Archie Andrews. She is simply a gender flip of Archie being identical to him in all ways save slightly different hairstyle and breasts. She is a reoccurring character usually appearing to Jughead. The disturbing part is that Jughead is always shown to be romantically involved with her in each of her appearances.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Sexy Santa Dress: Betty, Veronica, Sabrina and other girls would wear them quite frequently during Christmas issues, at least on the covers.
    • Shiny Midnight Black: Veronica and Reggie's hair are full-blown examples, complete with large blue highlights. Most every dark-haired character counts as well -- plain brown or dark hair is almost unknown. Midge, Dilton, Jughead, many of the parents, etc., all possess this.
    • 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 Comics Curmudgeon joke 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 Sailor Moon. Betty and Veronica were pursuing a man named "Maxfield Standin" who looked exactly like his source material.
      • In one comic, Veronica owned a Hedgehog, and named it Sonic.
    • Single-Target Sexuality: Big Ethel focuses like a laser on Jughead.
    • Smart People Play Chess: Dilton.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Spoiled Sweet: An Alternate Character Interpretation of Veronica. The two regularly compete for Archie's attention, but are shown to actually be best friends with each other. When Veronica buys a new wardrobe, she takes all of her old stuff and gives it to Betty - these are still nice clothes.
    • Spy Catsuit: Agents B & V.
    • 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.
    • Story-Breaker Team-Up Archie Meets The Punisher.
    • Invisible to Gaydar: Kevin Keller, introduced in the comic as a normal, positive gay character for kids to read.
    • Stripperific: Everyone in the Archie I series. Betty and Veronica tote Fur Bikini outfits, and Archie and Jughead both wear an incredibly small Loin Cloth. Fan Service 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.
    • Sweater Girl: The girls really fit into their sweaters.
    • 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.
      • More recently, 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.
    • They Fight Crime: "The Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E." in the 1960s (and just recently restarted), the 1965 "Pureheart the Powerful" (or "Captain Pureheart") stories, which engendered their own comic books, and "Archie's Explorers of the Unknown" in the 1980s.
    • Third Option Love Interest: Cheryl Blossom
    • Through His Stomach
    • Time Travelers Are Spies: In one comic, Jughead accidentally travels back in time to 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, 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've introduced a gay character in 2010. This caused Moral Guardians to flip out and somehow think this was related to the Democratic majority in congress, and resulted in Internet Backdraft against the Moral Guardians.
    • 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-coloured mohawk, oversized shades that Elton John would reject, and mismatched-colour 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.
    • Two-Teacher School: Heavily 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 recieved major roles in stories.
    • Two-Timer Date -- Archie often dates both Betty and Veronica at the same time.
    • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Betty, when Archie Marries Veronica, complete with unemployment. Naturally, Veronica gets by pretty well when Archie Marries Betty instead.
    • 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.
    • Unsound Effect: In one episode, Slamdunk!
    • Uptown Girl: Veronica and Archie.
    • Victorious Childhood Friend: Betty, when Archie marries her. Romance sweeps the entire town when this happens.
    • 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.
    • Wacky Racing: Archie's RC Racers
    • Wedding Day: It was perhaps the most long-awaited invocation of this trope ever when Archie married Veronica. Needless to say, it also led to quite a bit of fan arguing. But then it turned out to be All Just a Dream. And then they did it again when Archie married Betty (also just a dream.)
    • 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.
    • 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, and is now a mere extra.
    • Women Drivers: Played straight before the 60s, usually subverted any time after that
    • 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.