Betty and Veronica

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Spoiler: No.

She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts

She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me"

One of the most common types of Love Triangle, named after characters from Archie Comics, wherein the main character ("Archie") is caught between two love interests with drastically different personalities. "Betty" is the sweet, reliable, everyday Girl Next Door type (if done wrong, this can mean: 'kinda dull'), whilst "Veronica" is more alluring, exotic and edgy, but has a more 'troublesome' or 'dangerous' personality (which could translate to 'a bit mean'). This translates to their physical appearances; "Betty" will usually be more plain (or at least as close as Hollywood gets), whilst "Veronica" will be Ms. Fanservice in all her glory. As a rule, one will be blond and the other dark or red haired.

The usual dynamic is that "Betty", often the hero's best friend, is herself deeply in love with "Archie" (who might see them as Just Friends or being Like Brother and Sister, hence his obliviousness to her feelings), whilst "Veronica" is the sultry Ms. Unattainable who, despite attracting the hero's attention, barely notices his existence. "Betty" will want the hero to be happy and thus suppress her own desire to help the hero in his quest to win over "Veronica". Another possibility is that "Archie" and "Betty" are already in a relationship, but then "Veronica" starts batting her eyelashes, causing friction between the couple. Historically, "Betty" is the parents' choice, and "Veronica" rejected.

If the two love interests are male instead of female, they are often characterized as the kind-hearted, polite Nice Guy and the hunky 'Bad Boy'. It's not unusual for the main character to fall for the prince-like good guy who's probably rich but not in touch emotionally, and only later fall for the Tall, Dark and Handsome romantic rebel.

Whom the hero will end up with varies according to media, story, and values of the time period and culture where the story was made. Traditionally, "Betty" stood a better chance because she conformed to more 'acceptable' moral norms, whilst choosing "Veronica" would only lead the poor sap into ruin. Usually, the hero would spend the story chasing "Veronica" only to realize that "Betty" was The One—complete with a convenient 'appreciate what you've got' or True Beauty Is on the Inside Aesop. However, as attitudes to what is 'appropriate' sexual conduct have liberalized, it's more accepted for "Veronica" to have a chance at winning a happy ending too. Movies have traditionally favoured "Betty", but video games, comics and TV shows (especially long runners) have played this trope for all it's worth.

Comfortable and safe, Betty does not shake up your world. Picking Betty means you are happy with your life options and don't want to change things too much. Veronica is completely different from what you are used to. Veronica opens your mind to new possibilities and changes your world. Choosing Veronica suggests you are dissatisfied with the options life has given you and you want something else (even if you don't know what the "else" is).

In case this wasn't complicated enough, sometimes a Third Option Love Interest makes their presence known to shake things up even further.

Do be aware that fans like to exaggerate potential relationships; Shipping would not exist without it. As a result there are likely to be multiple instances of an Official Couple (vindicated by Word of God) that has some sort of Fanon-based "romantic rival" mirroring this trope. Even shows without such romantic entanglements in-universe can inspire Betty/Veronica debates amongst the Fandom; hence, Mary Ann/Ginger, Bailey/Jennifer, Janet/Chrissy, Velma/Daphne, etc.

Named for the two female leads of Archie Comics, which made this plot famous (although it's far older than that).

Before you add an example, consider which character is the Betty and which one is the Veronica. If you can't tell which is which, your example might fit better on a different Love Triangle page.

Examples of Betty and Veronica include:


Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Macross in all its incarnations is a king of this trope, because it is actually built around it:
    • Super Dimension Fortress Macross had Lynn Minmay as the Veronica and Misa Hayase as the Betty. Minmay herself had a similar case, with Hikaru as the Betty and Lynn Kaifunn as the Veronica.
    • Macross 7 had a gender-reversed version of the trope, with Gamlin as the Betty and Basara as the Veronica.
    • As does Macross Plus, where brash and rebellious Isamu is the Veronica, and serious and caring Guld seems to be a Betty. And then it puts everything on its head in The Reveal, because Guld, a psychotic would-be rapist, is The Atoner who got Redemption Equals Death moment in the end; while Isamu wanted Myung to be happy, and thus removed himself from the picture, becoming something of a Death Seeker, but after Guld's Redemption Equals Death he and Myung stay together..
    • Macross Frontier has Ranka as the Betty and Sheryl as the Veronica. In the second movie, The Wings of Goodbye: The End of the Triangle, it's resolved. Alto apologizies to Ranka for being unable to return her feelings and declares his love to Sheryl before going Missing In Action.
  • Subverted hard in Double Arts. When "Betty" (Ellie) tentatively inquires about Kiri's feelings for the obvious "Veronica" candidate (Sui), he practically goes into a Heroic BSOD. Turns out they already tried dating. And she dumped him. Three times. So much for that Love Triangle...
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion offers perhaps the best example of how subjective this trope can be. In Japan, Rei is seen as the Betty because of her gentle disposition and general reservedness, whereas the Fiery Redheaded foreigner Asuka is the cultural Veronica because her forceful and aggressive personality is just so strange to the generally reserved Japanese public. Contrast this with more demonstrative Western audiences, who see the more outgoing, more human, more badass, and more overtly in love Asuka as the familiar Betty, and the bizarre, cold, and strangely unsettling Rei as the exotic Veronica. Then add in Kaworu, a Gay Third Option Love Interest so popular in fandom that he was made canon in almost all the alternate continuities.
  • In School Days, the Betty is Sekai, the Girl Next Door friend of the main lead with simple short hair and a bubbly personality, while the Veronica is Kotonoha, the Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Ojou who's shy but extremely popular among the boys because of her looks. Then both of them reveal surprising sides to their characters...
    • Not really, Sekai has Betty looks but Veronica personality (being a straightforward girl who uses Fan Service with a Smile in her part-time work) while Kotonoha's Veronica looks conceal her very Betty-ish behavior (shy, sheltered, target of abuse from other girls who are jealous of her beauty and wealth). Then again, It Gets Worse really soon.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Kazumi Yoshida is the Betty and Shana the Veronica.
  • Full Metal Panic! inverts this: Chidori is the Veronica despite being the Ordinary High School Student, while Tessa, who is a captain in a covert paramilitary organization and has command of a submarine and several hundred troops, Sousuke included, is the Betty personality-wise.
    • Also, one may count Kaname the Betty to Mizuki's Veronica, if only for one episode (the one where the latter insisted Sousuke acted as her boyfriend so her friends wouldn't know she had broken up with her real boyfriend). They later become friends and this subplot is never brought up again.
  • Zero no Tsukaima does this, with noblewoman Louise facing off against peasant girl Siesta.
  • In Nana, rock star Takumi would probably count as a male version of Veronica for Hachiko while Nobu serves as a male Betty.
  • In Naruto, you get this trope in spades with Naruto. There's Sakura who seems to be choosing between Naruto (Betty) and Sasuke (Veronica). Also in the above cases where Shikamaru and Sasuke are the Archies, we also have Ino. With Shikamaru as Archie, we have Ino as Betty (same team, parents are friends) and Temari as Veronica (foreigner, older). With Sasuke as Archie, you really have Sakura as Betty, Ino as Veronica and Karin as the Third Option Love Interest. And with Naruto as Archie, you get Hinata as Betty and Sakura as Veronica.
  • In Inuyasha, Ordinary High School Student Kagome is the Betty and Dark Magical Girl Kikyo the Veronica. (Who once was more Betty-ish)
    • Almost every guy Kagome gets shipped with will be the Betty to Inuyasha the Veronica, with the sole exception being Kouga.
      • Speaking of Kouga, he had Kagome as the Betty and Ayame as a mix of Betty (she was his childhood friend as well as very cute) and Veronica (she's somewhat of a Clingy Jealous Girl, and a pretty efficient Cute Bruiser.)
    • In an anime episode, Sango had Kuranosuke Takeda as the Betty and Miroku as the Veronica. Since Kuranosuke didn't appear again, well...
  • Bleach: the kind and pacifist Girl Next Door Orihime Inoue looks like a good Betty and the Tsundere Rukia seems to be a nice Veronica. Ichigo and Rukia are considered more than friends but less than lovers; on the other hand, Orihime already confessed her love for Ichigo but he wasn't conscious at the time to hear. Ichigo is more than willing to scale both Soul Society and Hueco Mundo in order to rescue both of them (in separate arcs) and has the 'other' help participate in the rescue: Orihime is the Barrier Warrior and healer in Soul Society who actually came up with the idea of rescuing Rukia, while Rukia recovers her Action Girl credentials by the time the Hueco Mundo arc kicks in and joins Ichigo's quest for Orihime heartily.
    • Other candidates for a Veronica or Betty includes Karate champ Arisawa Tatsuki, childhood friend of Ichigo, and Riruka Dokugamine from the latest arc.
    • On the other hand, the Fanon that has Orihime as a female Archie switches the deal around. Ichigo is a Hot-Blooded potential Veronica who fights for his friends without hesitation while Uryuu Ishida is a booksmart potential Betty who methodically snipes the enemies with his bow and arrow... and maybe, maybe, there'd be a Cheryl Blossom in Ulquiorra's Man in White Nietzsche Wannabe. Except for the fact that, well, Ulquiorra is dead.
    • If we see Rukia as the Archie instead, a possible Love Triangle would have Ichigo as the Veronica with Renji Abarai as the Betty. Yes, Renji is as Hot-Blooded and passionate as Ichigo, but on the other hand he has known and cared for Rukia ever since they were children (which happens more often than not with Betties) and became a Shinigami as well as a Vice-Captain for her sake. And, on Ichigo's side, there's the fact that he resembles an orange-haired Kaien Shiba, who was Rukia's juvenile crush when she was his lieutenant.
  • Love Hina has a pretty basic version of this: Cloudcuckoolander Mutsumi versus Tsundere Naru. Keitaro, however, makes his preference the latter quite transparent halfway into the series, no matter if she's the little girl of the promise or not.
  • In Hana Yori Dango, the heroine Tsukushi Makino is the object of both Rui's (the calm, supportive Betty) and Domyoji's (the violent, passionate Veronica) affections. Subverted in that Makino initially has unrequited feelings for Rui, while it is Domyoji who has (initially) one-sided feelings for her, and in that the Veronica triumphs while the Betty moves on someone else.
  • Kimagure Orange Road. Kyosuke is torn between Hikaru (the ever-doting Betty) and Madoka (the Wild Child Veronica).
    • Arguably a Deconstruction, in that Betty!Hikaru is the spoiled and child-like one, while Veronica!Madoka is the more reserved and selfless. The only true resemblence to a real Betty And Veronica is that Hikaru is middle-class and Madoka is rich, and yet both are as equally likable and deep as the other.
  • In Psychic Academy, this is played quite obviously through the Betty-esque Orina (AKA Sara), Ai's childhood friend, and the Veronica-esque Mew.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! (particularly the manga), Anzu Mazaki is shown being torn over her feelings between shy Covert Pervert Yugi Mutoh (Betty) and his darker alter ego Yami (Veronica).
  • Melfina from Outlaw Star gets an inverted version of this with Gene and Harry. Of course, when the "safe" choice is a foul-mouthed Badass Longcoat, you just know the "bad boy" is going to have some serious issues.
  • Possibly lampshaded in Cowboy Bebop. To Spike there isn't much choice between Julia, (his long lost Love Interest), and Faye, (Ms. Fanservice) as he's madly in love with Julia and things with Faye never go beyond a proto-UST stage. However it's somewhat telling that when Jet asks Broken Bird Faye what Julia was like, Faye responds with "Ordinary. A beautiful, dangerous ordinary that you can't leave alone", which perhaps defines the roles of the two.
  • The Kuno/Akane/Pig-Tailed Girl triangle of Ranma ½ is an interesting case. You could say Akane is the Veronica trying to be the Betty and Ranma is the other way around, but we're talking about the warped mind of Tatewaki Kuno here.
    • Akane's somewhat sheltered and naive due to being the youngest child in a middle-to-high-class and very traditional family. Well, at the same time, she's rather popular at school, shuns the boys who chase after her (specially Kuno), has a quick temper towards Ranma and despite her tries has very few traditionally feminine traits. These are all Veronica-ish qualities/flaws, so Kuno is somewhat right with this one.
    • Shampoo a Supreme Chef, works full-time in her grandma's restaurant, and can be almost kittenish when she's happy (pun intended). Also added is that she came from a lower-class setting than Akane, is a lot smarter than she looks, and is also multi-talented. She also pines after Ranma. That's quite a dosage of Betty-ness.
    • You can argue it both ways though. Akane is very kind-hearted and nice when not being upset, and often stands up for others even if it brings her problems. And while Shampoo can cook and can be very demure around Ranma, but most of the time she's Tsundere bordering on Yandere and can be very manipulative and even cruel, like with Mousse and sometimes to Ranma himself. Shampoo also has an exotic quality, and her sexiness is sometimes played up too, especially compared to Akane who is a tomboy who attempts to be more feminine. So in this sense Akane may be the Betty instead.
    • This becomes transparent when she's placed in contrast with Kodachi, whose upperclass lifestyle makes her a full-on Veronica, what with the Mad Love she feels towards Ranma pushing her to the point of being an active would-be hypothenuse murderer.
    • Although this being an Unwanted Harem situation, it's not so much about Ranma being torn about which one to choose (though he is attracted to both girls, he feels much more attracted to Akane), but torn because he's engaged against his will to both women (Akane being an Arranged Marriage, Shampoo an Accidental Marriage) and rejecting one in favor of the other would bring lots of trouble for the THREE of them. This triangle also includes a Third Option Love Interest, in the form of Unlucky Childhood Friend and Bokukko, Ukyo Kuonji.
    • With Akane as the center figure, the bumbling Gentle Giant Ryoga can be considered the Betty to Jerk with a Heart of Gold Ranma's Veronica.
      • And with Ranma as the snarky yet ultimately well-intentioned Betty to Kuno's delirious, hammy Veronica.
  • In D.Gray-man, Allen arguably has two main love interests in the story thus far: Lenalee Lee (Betty) and Road Kamelot (Veronica). Given that Lenalee is one of his closest friends and Road is a sadistic killer, not really much choice there. Allen also doesn't seem all that romantically interested in them, either.
  • In the 3rd OVA of Boku no Pico, Pico finds himself in a B&V situation when he catches (the Veronica) CoCo fapping (then has sex with him). Later, he catches his boyfriend(?) Chico HAVING SEX WITH the Veronica. Think, Pico. Think REALLY hard.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Tsuna's main two canon love interests are Kyoko (Betty) and Haru (Veronica). But since he hardly interacts with them compared to all the manly (ahem) bonding he does with all his male guardians, most people don't support him witheitherof them.
    • Arguably, if Mukuro is the Archie then Chrome is the Betty to MM's Veronica. Both have shown to have feelings towards him, and MM has a one-sided rivalry with Chrome. Mukuro hasn't shown to have romantic feelings towards any of them, although he has quite a few Pet the Dog moments with Chrome.
  • In Angel Densetsu we have Ikuno as the Veronica and Ryoko as the slightly less scary and Ax Crazy Veronica Betty.
  • In School Rumble, Harima initially has his sights set on Tenma alone but it's clear from the start that he has no chance of winning her heart as she's already in love with Karasuma. The two girls who do express interest in him are Tenma's sister Yakumo and local Ojou Eri who fit the Betty and Veronica dynamic well.
  • In Skip Beat!, it's Gender Flipped with Kyoko's two competing love interests, Ren (male Betty) and Shou (male Veronica).
  • Kallen and C.C. of Code Geass fill these roles towards Lelouch, although which one takes what role is subject to change over the course of the story.
    • Shirley is a much more straight Betty, although then there's still the question of who between Kallen and C.C. is the Veronica.
    • Euphemia would have Suzaku as Betty and Lelouch as Veronica.
  • In Gokinjo Monogatari, one of the main characters, Yuusuke, is involved in a Love Triangle with wild and sexy Ms. Fanservice Mariko and his 'Girl Next Door'-ish Extreme Doormat classmate, Ayumi. Since this is a Yazawa Ai manga, things don't quite look as stereotypical as they can be described...
  • Urusei Yatsura has Shinobu as Betty and Lum as Veronica (LSD version).
  • Axis Powers Hetalia, with its Loads and Loads of Characters, gets lots of Love Triangle combinations set up in fanworks that deliberately invoke this dynamic. Even the most canon-supported ones have been played with by fans to extensive degrees:
  • Strawberry Panic has two of these Schoolgirl Lesbians triangles: Nagisa with Tamao as the Betty and Shizuma as the Veronica, and Hikari with Yaya as the Betty and Amane as the Veronica.
  • Death Note has Misa as Betty and Takada as Veronica when it comes to Light.
    • A genderswapped version in the Death Note spin off novel Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases is Beyond Birthday as the Veronica and Raye Penber as the Betty to Naomi Misora's Archie. Admittedly, the case for any feelings between Beyond and Naomi is debatable, but there is some fanfiction that would maintain otherwise.
  • If Setsuna of Angel Sanctuary is Archie, then Demon Princess Kurai is Veronica and sweet, kind-hearted Sara is Betty.
  • Elfen Lied gives Kouta (Archie) the conflicting and very different love interests Lucy (Veronica) and Yuka (Betty).
  • In Mekakushi no Kuni, Arou (Betty) and Namiki (Veronica) are rivals for Kanade's affections, even though Arou basically wins from Volume 2 onwards.
  • Takemoto (Betty) and Morita (Veronica) both fall in love with Hagu in Honey&Clover. Even though Morita wins Hagu's affections, neither of the guys end up with her.
  • Higashi no Eden: Saki has Oshugi (Betty) and Akira (Veronica).
  • Gakuen Alice: Mikan has Ruka (The Prince) and Natsume (The Bad Boy).
  • Shugo Chara: Amu has Tadase (the Prince) and Ikuto (the Bad Boy).
  • Fruits Basket: Tohru has Yuki (the Prince) and Kyo (the Bad Boy).
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura has Yukito (the Prince) and Syaoran (the Bad Boy).
  • Kitchen Princess: Najika has Sora (the prince) and Daichi (the bad boy).
  • Vampire Knight: Yuuki has Kaname (The Prince) and Zero (The Bad Boy).
    • However, the roles could potentially be switched. Zero is her "safe, comfortable friend", while Kaname is the exotic one that she believes she literally can't have.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Tsukune has Outer Moka (Betty) and Kurumu (Veronica).
    • Complicating matters are other potential Veronicas or Cheryls: Mizore, Yukari and inner Moka.
  • In Peach Girl, Momo spent years with a crush on the chivalrous and polite Toji, until she finally gets him. They guy helping her out on the way is Kairi, a lecherous, school-skipping bad boy she discovers she now has feelings for. Throughout the series she bounces back and forth between them, until finally she ends up with Kairi.
  • Prétear seems to set this up between Himeno, Sasame and Hayate, especially in the manga. The anime is more... complicated.
  • Princess Tutu plays with this trope in a way that approaches Cyclical Trope levels. First, we have Fakir (the Tsundere Bad Boy) and Mytho (the Prince) for Ahiru. However , their roles are subverted in the second season with Fakir as the the Betty to the Raven Prince Mytho's Veronica. On the other hand, while Ahiru seems The Betty to Rue's Veronica... Rue's certainly The Betty to Princess Tutu's Veronica for Mytho. And if we bring Princess Kraehe in this, this starts all over again. Plus, Autor could be the Betty for Rue while Mytho is The Veronica.
  • An odd instance of this happens in Sakende Yaruze, where the Betty is a disillusioned, embittered 35 year old man and the Veronica is a younger male Vamp.
  • The Hellsing anime has a twisted, 'sort of' affection triangle between Alucard, Integra Hellsing, and Seras Victoria that creates an animosity between the women. While Seras looks as the Veronica (being the one with sultry clothes and the newest addition to the Hellsing group) to Integra's Betty (long-standing bond with Alucard and with more tomboyish traits), personality and role wise could be switched: Integra's the Rich Veronica that has Alucard's affection while Reliable Betty Seras longs for it. Studio Gonzo claims that in the Anime, Alucard actually turned Seras because her eyes reminded him to Integra during her youth, but he was mistaken. The manga averts this situation with an emphasis on a platonic bond between Alucard and Seras, but curiously adding Les Yay subtext between Seras and Integra, and having Pip Bernadotte as Seras' Love Interest. However, Walter can be debatably considered an unlucky Betty to Alucard's Veronica to Integra's Archie. It was implied that was one of the many things that made Walter hate the vampire... and then pull a Face Heel Turn..
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, there are two different triangles that could be seen as this. The easier one is between Rena and Mion, with Rena as Betty and Mion as Veronica. Earlier, the twins Mion and Shion are set up as another one of these, but it's a little harder there to say who'd be Betty and who'd be Veronica. The best assumption would be Mion as Betty and Shion, who is introduced as a bit of an outsider and certainly has a bit more danger to her, as Veronica.
  • Gender-flipped in Kimi wa Petto. Sumire, the tall, smart and successful businesswoman, made a rule that she would only date her equal. One day, she finds a down-on-his-luck dancer sleeping in a box and... takes him on as a pet. She names him Momo and they form a relaxed, if unusual relationship. Soon after this, Hasumi (Betty), her tall, dark and intelligent sempai from university appears. He's everything she's been hoping for, but when they start going out, she feels that she has to present her best side at all times, instead of the unconditional, doglike affection offered by Momo (Veronica). The dramatic tension between "I can be myself around him" and "He's everything I ever wanted" drives the plot.
  • In Tenshi ni Narumon Noelle is Betty and Natsumi is Veronica for Yuusuke. Also, Muse is Betty and Silky is Veronica for Eros
  • Maison Ikkoku has a male version where Kyoko has to choose between the awkward, indecisive, but fundamentally kind-hearted Godai (Betty) and the suave, flashy Mitaka (Veronica). Godai himself encounters an interesting variation on this trope: although he has romantic options that play the Betty and Veronica options straight (his good-natured fellow student Kozue and his outspoken, sexually aggressive pupil Ibuki respectively), his true romantic interest, Kyoko, is a blend of the two types, as she is both a responsible, supportive, somewhat traditional young lady AND an independently minded woman with a temper who is unafraid to criticize Godai or defy her parents when necessary.
  • Kimi ni Todoke has two that overlaps, Sawako is Betty and Kurumi is Veronica for Kazehaya, who is the Betty and Kento is Veronica for Sawako. Color inverted since Sawako and Kazehaya are dark-haired.
  • Voltron has a male version. Boy Scout Keith (Betty) and Evil Prince Lotor (Veronica) both love Princess Allura. But Allura only loves Keith- so this may actually be a subversion. Some fans try to pair up Allura with the rebellious Lance (Veronica)- but in the canon anime and other series they show absolutely no interest whatsoever in each other, though.
  • Male example in Rose of Versailles: Andre is Betty and Fersen is Veronica. But Oscar realizes that her feelings for Fersen were just infatuation and that she truly loves Andre. And every woman in the kingdom has a crush on Fersen. And Fersen does not return Oscar's love.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth has a few possible instances of this trope, both male and female. Hikaru likes both Eagle Vision (Betty) and Lantis (Veronica). Umi is loved by Ascot (Betty), but she likes Clef as well (Veronica). And both Emeraude (Betty) and Alcyone (Veronica) are in love with Zagato- but he only loves Emeraude and dislikes Alcyone very much.
  • Ayashi no Ceres includes a male example: Yuuhi, the Badass Normal, is Betty, while Touya is Veronica, what with his dark and Mysterious Past.
  • Wandering Son had this early on, between siblings. It was between a Bratty Teenage Daughter, her gentle crossdressing younger brother, and the boy who the former was attracted to who had accidentally fallen for her brother when he was dressed as a girl.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi could have had this, with Kaoru between the sweet, innocent Yamato Nadeshiko Aoi (Betty), and the wilder, worldly Blithe Spirit Tina (Veronica). This would have also reversed the usual color coding, as the former is brunette (sorta), while the latter is blond. However, the Veronica never really had a chance, in this case.[1]
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl has a Les Yay variation. Tomari is a tomboyish Tsundere, while Yasuna is a Yamato Nadeshiko.
  • In Romeo X Juliet, Hermione is Betty while Juliet is Veronica.
  • Winry Rockbell and Rose Thomas in the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist play this to Edward Elric. Though both of them fail in the end.
  • Mawaru Penguindrum's Kanba Takakura is kind of an an Archie, with his little sister Himari as the Betty and Masako Natsume as the Veronica.
    • Alternatively, Kanba can be seen as the Betty to Himari's Archie and Sanetoshi Watase's Veronica.
      • Aaaaand later Shouma becomes the Betty to the Face Heel Turned Kanba's Veronica.
  • GE - Good Ending has Shou and Yuki for Seiji, the protagonist. One is bubbly, the other one is more serious. One comes from a mid-class family background, the other one from a high class family. Heck, one is blond, one is black-haired.
  • In Ratman, Shuto's female admirers are both a mix of Betty and Veronica traits while still in stark contrast to one another. On one hand is Mirea Mizushima, his exotically gorgeous Yamato Nadeshiko classmate whom he's known for some time, however her family are the ones who turned him into the Anti-Villain Protagonist, Ratman. On the other hand is Rio Kizaki, who better fits the "cute and spunky" type, but is also the wealthy and tomboyish daughter of the Hero Association's president, and the two of them bond over their shared dream of being heroes.
  • Nana to Kaoru tries its best to steer clear of this. Kaoru is the Archie, but A) Tachi, the supposed Betty, is the Secret Keeper of Nana & Kaoru's 'breathers' and acts more like a little sister, continually trying to push them together; B) Kaoru has ZERO interest in Tachi; C) the titular couple are afflicted with oblivious to each other's love on a Charlton-Heston-epic scale and D) the whole thing is skewed by the fact both get tied up by him.
  • In Tenchi Muyo!, Ayeka is clearly the Betty (traditional, reserved) to Ryoko's Veronica (sultry, unreserved).
  • Gantz has calm, reserved normal Tae as Betty to Reika's Veronica, which it averts by Reika's cloning of Kei.
  • Beelzebub has Aoi to Hilda, but their places on the scale are debatable.
  • Highschool of the Dead has childhood friend Rei (Betty) vs. Saeko (Veronica)

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Archie Comics' Betty and Veronica, obviously. There have been storylines claiming to finally resolve the love triangle, but they never seem to actually fulfill this.
    • Well, two series of comics - one where Archie married Betty, the other where he married Veronica - were published to show potential resolutions of this.
  • Not dwelled upon too much, but Kim Pine is Betty and Ramona Flowers is Veronica to Scott Pilgrim. In the movie, Knives Chau assumes Kim's Betty duties.
  • John Romita, one of the artists on the Spider-Man comic book, deliberately made Gwen and Mary Jane into a Homage to the Archie Comics' Betty and Veronica respectively. Gwen seemed to have won...until she died. Later, the comic briefly had Mary Jane as the Betty and Black Cat as the Veronica. Then Spidey hitched up with MJ and spent the next twenty years of real time in marital bliss with an understanding supermodel nothing happened.
    • Spider-Man writers seem to be fond of this trope. Originally it was a choice between rich somewhat stuck-up ish Liz Allen (Veronica) and mature secretary Betty Brant (amusingly, the Betty). Then the choice was between sweet Gwen and frivolous party girl MJ. Then MJ swapped roles and became the Betty and Black Cat become the Veronica.
      • In recent issues it seems to be going towards Carlie = Betty and Black Cat = Veronica.
    • Ben Reily had the spoiled and sometimes selfish blonde fashion student and the twisted, down to earth gothic girl. She was also the daughter of uncle Ben's murderer. Which of the two is Betty and which is Veronica depends on your point of view.
    • The Ultimate Universe swaps them, making Mary Jane the Betty and Gwen the Veronica. Then Peter chooses Mary Jane and his relation with Gwen is Like Brother and Sister...until a recent issue where, post time skip, it's shown that he is dating Gwen.
      • Ultimate Kitty Pryde is the second Veronica of the post-Gwen Stacy I era (Black Cat was the first). The current Gwen (II) is a clone and rather Betty-esque.
        • As noted on it's page, USM seems to have these roles as balls. Since Gwen I both roles are always taken. The situation has recently been reversed with Gwen II hugging the Betty ball (in Peter's thoughts, anyway) and MJ finally catching the Veronica one.
  • X-Men had a long-running Love Triangle with Jean Grey, Cyclops (Betty), and Wolverine (Veronica)...which was turned on its head during Grant Morrison's early 2000s run, which introduced a Betty and Veronica love triangle with Cyclops as the center figure, Jean as the Betty, and Emma Frost as the Veronica. Then Jean dies, with the writers claiming she won't be back, but absolutely no readers believe that since coming Back from the Dead is literally part of Jean's power set.
    • In the earlier days, the Jean Grey love triangle had Angel in place of Wolverine, as Wolverine hadn't been introduced yet.
    • Another example was the love triangle between Havok, Polaris, and Iceman with Havok as the Veronica and Iceman as the Betty. Havok and Polaris have been through hell and back together since the earliest days of the comic.
    • Taking Rogue as Archie, she has Joseph (Betty) and Gambit (Veronica), then she has Gambit as the Betty and Magneto as the Veronica.
  • Flash Gordon does this several times: Flash must choose between Dale (the Betty) and Princess Aura (the Veronica); Princess Aura must choose between Flash (the Betty) and Prince Barin (the Veronica). The 2007 series confuses things by throwing Baylin (the Veronica) into the mix. And gets canceled before a resolution can happen.
    • Except that Baylin was more interested in Barrin than Flash in that series, and Dale and Barrin more or less hated each other. Aura did briefly fall in love with a sweet native of Mongo who could be the Betty to Flash's Veronica (seeing as Flash was an action guy from a different world), however that lasted exactly one episode, with Ming strangling the poor native love interest in front of Aura. And then it was sort of implied that Aura's long-lost brother had some... affections for her, which she didn't seem to return. 'Twas a bit screwy...
  • In Silver Age Superman, Lois Lane was somewhat Veronica-ish compared to Clark's childhood sweetheart Lana Lang. In the early modern continuity, Lois, a brassy investigative journalist who wouldn't give Clark the time of day romantically, was the Veronica, while sensitive, feminine, openly-in-love-with-Clark Cat Grant was clearly the Betty.
    • In the modern continuity before the 2011 reboot, their roles were reversed: Lois was the Betty, with her sweet and caring personality and more conservative clothing, while Cat was the Veronica, having become more aggressive and flirtatious with her co-workers, including Clark. And let's not mention that Cat also underwent plastic surgery to obtain breast implants. This is understandable as Lois was married to Clark, while Cat had undergone a personality change to deal with her son's death.
      • In fact, Lois and Cat were respectively the Betty and the Veronica in Superman: Secret Origin, which once again re-established Superman's origin in the post-Infinite Crisis continuity.
    • And later, after Lois fell in love with Clark and discovered his secret identity, she viewed Wonder Woman as the Veronica on several occasions. This was an unfounded worry on her part though, since Supes and Wondy are Like Brother and Sister.
  • Superman's clone Superboy had to choose between journalist Tana Moon (the Betty) and his agent's daughter Roxy Leech (the Veronica). Then his cellular matrix started to decay, and he was recreated with Roxy's genes, making them Like Brother and Sister. Then he fell in with Knockout (another Veronica) before realising she was evil. Then Tana went on sabbatical, and came back just to get killed.
  • Tim Drake (3rd Robin) from the Batman series has had his own personal love triangle in the early run of his solo book. He was dating civilian Ariana Dzerchenko (Betty) but was attracted to vigilante Stephanie Brown (Veronica) at the same time. Ironic, because Ariana has Veronica's physical appearance and bitchiness, and Stephanie has Betty's physical appearance and tomboyishness. Ultimately, Stephanie wins the triangle, with her becoming his most high-profile (and longest) relationship in the series.
    • Even after Stephanie and Tim's breakup, her fake 'death', Tim dating a new girl called Zoanne and later Stephanie's subsequent return to Gotham—Stephanie was still the Veronica, this time to Zoanne's Betty. And again, Stephanie wins the triangle (technically), with Tim breaking up with Zoanne on the phone, and then calling up Stephanie to try and patch things up with her.
    • In Red Robin, Tam is now the new Betty to Stephanie's Veronica. And Lynx is the Third Option Love Interest.
    • Any of Tim's civilian girlfriends will end up being the 'Betty' by default due to his working partnership/love-hate-on-off relationship with Stephanie (who is always the Veronica).
  • Speaking of Superboy (Conner Kent) and Robin III (Tim Drake), both have dated Wondergirl. It wasn't much of a triangle to begin with, but Tim could be Betty/the nice guy and Conner Veronica/the bad boy. With the new Teen Titans reboot, it seems like there's a possibility this triangle might be happening soon.
  • Comic strip Luann deals with this frequently, with main character Luann (the reasonably nice Betty) competing with vain cheerleader Tiffany (Veronica) for Aaron Hill (Archie).
    • Luann also had to choose between the nerdy Gunther (Betty) and the cooler Aaron (Veronica). At least until Aaron moved to Hawaii, making Gunther win by default.
    • Another example had a competition between Luann's brother Brad (Betty) and Dirk (Veronica) for the affections of Toni. Brad won.
  • The comic adaptation of Captain N: The Game Master had Princess Lana as the Betty, while the Veronica was none other than Samus Aran.
  • Sleeper has a version of this with the main character Holden Carver, his former government coworker Veronica (Betty), and supervillain Gretchen/Miss Misery (Veronica). The end result is a truly spectacular and accidental Murder the Hypotenuse, with Veronica shooting Gretchen, thinking she was about to kill Holden, and Holden reflexively shooting Veronica dead. He then had an experimental surgery to cure his condition that left him in a vegetative state, with his superior creating a little mental world for him where he lives on a beach with both Veronica and Gretchen, making this a rare canononical quasi-OT3 solution.
  • Lanfeust is a textbook example with the hero's fiancee Ci'an (the Betty) and her troublesome yet alluring twin sister Cixi (the Veronica). Note that the two are TWINS: gentle, proper Ci'an packs a mean right when angered, while sex-obsessed Cixi sometimes shows a softer heart than her sister, sometimes inverting their role. He ends up with Cixi after she becomes totally awesome. Well, even more totally awesome. Lanfeust and Ci'an actually split up before that due to Ci'an falling for the finally grown up Or-Azur while Lanfeust realized he couldn't provide her with the stable life she aspired to.
  • Another X-Men example is Generation X, where Bald Black Leader Guy Everett's affections was one of many things spunky Jubilee (Betty) and beautiful, classy Monet (Veronica) butted heads over.
  • Possibly in Thor's case, Sif could to be his "Betty" and Enchantress (Amora) his "Veronica" or Jane Foster is Betty and Sif is Veronica.
  • In Donald Duck and Friends, arguably Daisy Duck is the Betty (in spite of her Tsundere tendencies) and Kay K/ Red Primerose the Veronica for Donald Duck/DoubleDuck.
  • The Golden Age MAD romance spoof "Flob Was a Slob!" had everyday American girl Ramona Snarfle choosing between her childhood friend, Sheldon Flob, who'd rather be chasing butterflies, and handsome, adventurous Rackstraw Him, who happens to also be a drug pusher and philanderer.
  • Sin City has Dwight as Archie with badass prostitute Gail as Veronica and sweetheart waitress Shellie as Betty.
  • Incredible Hulk has Betty choosing between Bruce the Betty and Glenn the Veronica.
    • The Chaos War would also have Jarella as the Betty and Red She-Hulk aka Betty as the Veronica.
  • The Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth mini-series had a literal Betty (Swanson, an A.I.M. Hot Scientist who is disgusted by him) and Veronica (Chase, an ESU professor who had the hots for him). Unfortunately, the latter ended up being zombified, so he's pretty much stuck with the hot blonde who hates his guts.
  • British 1940's comic strip Buck Ryan had private investigator Buck's action secretary Zola (blond) as Betty, and his originally arch-nemesis Twilight (brunette, missing an ear) as Veronica.
  • Zot Jenny is torn between Zot (Veronica) and Woody (Betty). Unusually, both acknowledge that it's Jenny's choice and they genuinely like each other. Also, Zot's blonde, while Woody's brown-haired.
  • Spy Boy: Spygirl and Bombshell. Even their fake identities in Alex's high school parody this.
  • Girl Next Door Cherry and Rich Bitch Lola from Cherry Comics (which is hardly surprising given it began life as an x-rated parody of Archie Comics).
  • The Trope Namer example is deconstructed in Criminal: The Last of the Innocent, where after years of unhappy marriage to the shallow, adulterous and manipulative "Veronica" Expy, the "Archie" stand-in realizes he made the wrong choice and really should have stayed with the "Betty" Expy. Unfortunately, his solution to the problem... well, let's just say there's a reason the series is called 'Criminal'.


Esoteric Card Games[edit | hide]

  • Card VI "The Lovers" of the Tarot has, in many versions, the imagery of an Archie who needs to choose between a Bettie and a Veronica. It's meant to represent the choice between sense and sensibility, etc.

Film[edit | hide]

  • The Cincinnati Kid has a textbook Betty and Veronica love triangle, so much that the 2nd paragraph of this page sounds like it's describing this movie. Steve McQueen is the hero, a poker player dating Tuesday Weld (Betty) who is pretty, sweet, and kind of dull, but he's drawn to the wild and sexy Ann-Margret (Veronica), who is married to a friend of his but constantly flirts with him. True to form, Weld is a blonde and Margret is a redhead.
  • A "color-coded" triangle exists in film noirs The Postman Always Rings Twice, Tension, and Out Of The Past (where the evil Veronica, Jane Greer, dresses all in white, as Lana Turner had in "Postman"). In the black and white film Dark Passage, both the Veronica and Betty characters (Agnes Moorhead and Lauren Bacall respectively) are brunettes, but Moorhead's character loves and is coded by the color orange.
  • John Hughes has used this binary triangle with some success. In Pretty in Pink, the traditional "Betty/Veronica" triangle exists between two boys and a girl (Blaine, Ducky, red-headed Andi)... Yet the unpleasant "Reggie" archetype is played by the blonde, wealthy James Spader, who seeks to sabotage his friend Blaine, an "Archie" type nice boy. The character of Duckie is comic relief, like "Jughead," but unique in that he's also a love interest. Of course Pretty in Pink was originally shot to have her end up with the Betty (Ducky) as well, but thanks to Executive Meddling, that didn't happen.
    • Hughes also played this trope straight in Some Kind of Wonderful - a red-haired "Archie" (Eric Stoltz) loves a popular girl (Lea Thompson) with brown hair, but can't see that his blonde best friend (Mary Stuart Masterson) loves him.
    • This was also used in Sixteen Candles, when the male love interest is dating the blond cheerleader (Veronica) but spends most of the movie trying to hook up with the red-headed plain but not-superficial girl (Betty). The cheerleader gets this herself, when she leaves said male love interest (Veronica) for a geeky but sweet kid she went home with while drunk (Betty). And since that geeky kid had a crush on the plain red head, he himself chose the Veronica over the Betty.
  • Partially subverted in The Mask, where the Betty, a news reporter, sells Stanley out to the Big Bad, while the Veronica, the Big Bad's Moll, is the one who stays true and ends up with him.
  • The two fiances in Corpse Bride fit this trope—shy, proper, living Victoria is the Betty and the lively-but-dead Emily is the Veronica. Except that Victor specifically wants to marry Victoria; Emily was in the picture thanks to a rather weird Accidental Engagement.
    • Victor ALSO wants to marry Emily; but, knowing that doing so would kill him (literally) and would make Victoria as sad as she is herself without any chance of closure, she rejects him at the last moment.
  • Featured but skewed in Strange Days, where the Betty is an ass-kicking tough-as-nails limo driver who is devoted to the (slightly skeevy) main character, and the Veronica is a flaky, self-centred punk rock singer who broke the main character's heart and who he's been obsessed with ever since. The Betty wins out, mainly because the Veronica slept with the main character's best friend and conspired with him to frame the main character for two murders.
  • While not a love-triangle set-up, it's worth noting that in Heathers, Winona Ryder's exotic and popular character is named Veronica, while her quieter, slightly dowdy childhood best friend she has dumped to join the popular crowd is named Betty, in obvious reference to Archie comics.
  • In Mormon movie The Single's Ward the protagonist dumps the non-Mormon Veronica for the Mormon Betty after he has an epiphany and realizes that he values his faith.
  • Terrence Malick's The New World applies this trope to the story of Pocahontas, who has to choose between John Smith (Veronica) and John Rolfe (Betty).
  • Also gender-flipped in Pirates of the Caribbean with Jack as the Veronica and Will as the Betty. Elizabeth must choose between them...not that there's ever much doubt about who she'll choose, seeing that she's been in love with Will from the beginning and never shows much interest in Jack. But still, the option was there (and fans in particular liked to explore it very much).
  • In Death Becomes Her, Helen, a shy, timid Betty in the beginning of the movie, is desperately afraid her fiance Ernest will fall for Madeline, her childhood friend, who is a flashy actress and definite Veronica. Depending on how you define the roles, though, they become less distinct after the first fifteen minutes of the movie.
  • Mulholland Drive: Betty is, well, "Betty", and Rita is "Veronica". Initially subverted in that, instead of being two sides of a love triangle, they initially develop a lesbian relationship. It gets more complicated later on.
  • Shark Tale has longtime friend Angie as the Betty and The Vamp Lola as the Veronica.
  • In Caveman, Atouk lusts after the sexy but shallow Lana. When she becomes interested in him, he rejects her for his friend Tala.
  • The plot of Two Lovers, although the brunette is the stable one while the blonde is wild. Another exception in the brunette and blonde appearing to be of equal attractiveness.
  • Star Wars. Good-hearted, loyal, and friendly farmboy/Jedi Luke is the Betty. Roguish, rough, and experienced Han is the Veronica. Rather luckily (given the later revelation that she was Luke's Long Lost Sibling), she chose Han.
  • Inverted in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where the protagonist chases after the wholesome, apple-pie blonde all-American girl and ends up with the wild, exotic boob-flashing brunette from Hawaii.
  • Brutally subverted in Not Another Teen Movie, where Janey, having to choose between Jake (The Jock who dates her only because of a bet with his Jerk Jock buddy) and Ricky (the annoying, whiny loser of a "friend"), chooses the former, causing him to have a change of heart, while the latter remains an annoying whiny loser.
  • The movie adaptation of The Phantom has Diana, Kit's ex-girlfriend, and Sala, the female leader of a gang of Air Pirates.
  • Cat People has the male lead falling for the beautiful, exotic, Serbian Irena, but later leaving her for his sweet, dependable, American coworker Alice. (Partly because Irena wouldn't sleep with him.)
  • Queen of the Damned has:
    • A genderswapped version with Enkil as the Betty and Lestat as the Veronica to Akasha's Archie. Lestat most decidedly wins when Akasha murders Enkil in order to pursue Lestat. And then...
    • Akasha as the Veronica and Jesse as the Betty to Lestat's Archie. Jesse wins when Lestat turns on Akasha in order to save his Betty.
  • Bram Stokers Dracula has (although Bram Stoker's Dracula does not) a genderswapped version with Mina as Archie, Dracula as Veronica and her much more average fiance Jonathan as Betty. Dracula dies, but it is not made entirely certain that Mina goes back to Jonathan.
    • On the other hand, one could view Mina as the Betty and Lucy as the Veronica to 'The Man Himself'. As it's a matter of Death rather than love, and Dracula does try for both, this is probably a subversion (or even just a nod to the trope rather than an instance proper.)
  • In The Age Of Innocence, Newland Archer is engaged and eventually married to May Welland, a lovely but completely ordinary socialite (The Betty), while falling in love with her cousin Ellen, the family reprobate (The Veronica). This trope is played even stronger in the book, where May is blond and blue-eyed and Ellen dark-haired. Subverted somewhat in that in this case, the Betty is wrong for him, despite their similar backgrounds and upbringing.
  • The 2010 Rupert Grint movie Cherrybomb has another genderswapped version, with Michelle as the Archie, having to choose between the (relatively) safe and dependable Malachy (Betty) and the rebellious, dashing Luke (Veronica).
  • In Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the blonde Cristina (Betty) and the brunette (Vicky) are involved in a love triangle with Javier Bardem's character.
  • In My Best Friend's Wedding, Julia Roberts' sarcastic, redheaded New Yorker (Veronica) tries to stop her best friend Dermot Mulroney (Archie) from marrying sweet, blonde, blue-blooded Cameron Diaz (Betty). She doesn't succeed.
  • The Deaths of Ian Stone sets up the protagonist with a sweet-natured blonde Betty, then shifts him to dating an increasingly unnerving dark-haired Veronica as the Dream Within a Dream kicks in. Neither he nor the Veronica are even remotely human, and he loved her before abandoning her for the Betty who by all rights should have been his prey. The plot of the film is based in her attempts first to snap him out of it, then to get revenge.
  • Spider-Man 3 reverses the comics' version of the characters, casting Gwen Stacy as the Veronica and Mary Jane Watson as the Betty to Peter Parker's Archie. Peter eventually chooses Gwen while under the influence of the Venom symbiote, but manages to offend and alienate both of them with how much of a douche he's become.
  • In Clerks, Dante Hicks is dating Veronica (Betty) when an old flame from high school comes back into his life, Caitlin Bree (Veronica). Veronica brings him lasagna at work and is trying to get Dante back in school. Caitlin is engaged (but calls off the wedding), and cheated on Dante in high school. He winds up trying to go for Caitlin, and losing them both. Veronica dumps him, and Caitlin goes catatonic after screwing a random dead guy in the Quick-E-Stop's restroom, thinking it was Dante.
    • In Clerks II, Dante has another choice between his high-maintenance fiancee Emma (Veronica) and his boss, Becky (Betty). This time he actually gets the girl and ends up with Becky.
  • While the two female love interests in Cassandra's Dream aren't part of a love triangle, each being involved with one of the two brothers, their personalities fit perfectly the trope: Kate is the soft, reasonable girl next door, and Angela the sexy, intellectual actress.
  • Betty Schaefer and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.
  • Batman and The Joker for Vicky Vale in Batman.
  • Sweeney Todd has the titular character as Betty and Judge Turpin as Veronica for Lucy Barker.
    • Lucy is also Betty and Mrs. Lovett is Veronica for Todd.
  • Wallace and Victor Quartermaine in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
  • She's Out of My League plays around with this. For Molly, Kirk is the Adorkable Betty and Cam, her ex-boyfriend, is the Veronica. Meanwhile for Kirk, the beautiful and worldly Molly initially seems the Veronica and his familiar ex-girlfriend Marnie is the Betty. However Molly is genuinely nice and Marnie is not.
  • The 1927 silent film It (not to be confused with Stephen King's IT) has reserved, aristocratic blonde Adela (the Betty) and sexy, fun-loving working class brunette Betty (the ironically-named Veronica) vying for Cyrus's affections. As Betty is the titular "it" girl and Cyrus is clearly attracted to her (even when he doesn't want to be) and oblivious of Adela's feelings for him throughout the entire film, it should be obvious which girl wins in the end.
  • The Olsen twins. Everything that they've ever been in. Ashley's character might be interested in fashion and modeling or be the cool surfer chick but will always be the boy-crazy Veronica while Mary-Kate's character might be a serious student or serious athlete but always the down to earth one.
  • Something New: Mark (Betty) and Brian (Veronica) for Kenya (Archie). Mark has no cultural or color divide to overcome and works a similar professional job and comes from an acceptable social status. Brian does not.
  • In a deleted scene from Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace runs a personality/pop culture test on Vincent Vega. One of the questions is "Betty or Veronica", and Vincent chooses Betty, claiming never having gotten Veronica's appeal. Which is made interesting by the fact that Mia is a total Veronica.
  • The Science of Sleep: Stéphane is firmly a Betty and Zoé (an aspiring musician) has elements of being a Veronica.
  • The 1945 French classic Children of Paradise. Amid its Love Dodecahedron is the triangle between the mime Baptiste, the sultry carnival performer Garance (Veronica) and Nathalie (Betty), daughter of the manager of the theater where Baptiste is a star. In a variation on the usual formula, Garance loves Baptiste, but his shyness and her many other suitors stand in the way of their romance (also, both women are brunettes). Eventually Baptiste marries Nathalie, only to have Garance re-enter his life.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • This is a common theme throughout the novels of Jane Austen, of the heroine being torn between a dependable, caring man and a libertinish cad. She will always choose the former, but Austen will keep you guessing as to who it is. (The exception is Lady Susan, as she is an anti-heroine who is herself a Veronica.)
    • Sense and Sensibility: With Marianne as the Archie, Brandon is the Betty and Willoughby is the Veronica.
    • Pride and Prejudice: With Elizabeth, Darcy is the Betty and Wickham is the Veronica.
    • Mansfield Park: With Fanny, Edmund is the Betty and Henry is the Veronica; with Edmund, Fanny is the Betty and Mary is the Veronica; with Henry Crawford, Fanny is the Betty and Maria is the Veronica; with Maria Bertram, Rushworth is the Betty and Henry is the Veronica.
    • Emma: With Emma, George Knightley is the Betty and Frank Churchill is the Veronica.
  • Harry Potter has a number of examples starting with Hermione choosing between the famous, popular, mysterious and intense Viktor Krum (Veronica) and her good friend Ron (Betty).
    • This trope is played with canonically on the Lily/Snape/James triangle. Snape's Pensieved memories show that Snape (who was in love with Lily all along) was originally Lily's best friend, while she wanted nothing to do with arrogant bully James. Of course, this changes and Lily eventually marries James, but interestingly it seems that this only happens once Snape switches to the Veronica (by insulting Lily and calling her "mudblood") and James to the Betty (by acting less arrogant and more mature once he left school). It's like a Betty and Veronica love triangle where Archie has no interest in the Veronica... whoever it may be at a given time.
    • Ron caught between his long time friend Hermione and the "fangirl" Lavender Brown.
    • Harry goes from Cho Chang, the "very pretty" popular girl with long dark hair, to his team-mate and best friend's little sister Ginny.
  • In Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, the titular character initially marries the charmingly ditzy Dora Spenlow (Veronica), and only later discovers and returns the love of the gentle, supportive Agnes Wickfield (Betty).
  • Piers Anthony's Isle of View (say it out loud) in the Xanth series resolves the Betty and Veronica love triangle between Prince Dolph and his two fiancees: Electra (sweet, willing, but unexciting) and Nada Naga (exotic, beautiful, but uninterested). By the time it's resolved a few books later, all three characters have been sufficiently Flanderized that there's no reason to care anymore.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov has oldest brother Dmitri caught in a Love Triangle between the aristocratic Betty, Katerina Ivanovna, and the less-than-reputable Veronica, Grushenka.
  • In R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse the blonde, brainless, surprisingly-innocent Serwe is Betty and the dark-haired, intelligent prostitute Esmenet is Veronica.
  • Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and all of its kajillion adaptations do this. The rebellious student Marius (Archie), the cultured and mysterious orphan Cosette (Betty), and the spunky, determined, and quite possibly not-right-in-the-head street urchin Eponine (Veronica), the winner being Cosette. However, this was inevitable due to Values Dissonance. Eponine was intended as a living critique of 19th century France's rigid class system: she never could get in a relationship with the (broke, but still) aristocratic Marius, because they just weren't considered equals.
  • The Man Who Laughs, where Gwynplaine is torn between the extremely sweet Dea and the rather perverted Duchess Josiana.
  • Stardust: Tristran has to make a Red Pill, Blue Pill choice between the magical shooting star Yvaine (Betty) and his former crush Victoria (Veronica). Yvaine wins.
    • Although you can argue that Victoria is actually the Betty (being the one Tristran was originally in love with and a normal human) and Yvaine the Veronica (being the magical, more 'exotic' choice and a bit of a Defrosting Ice Queen). It's a bait and switch of this trope, really.
  • In Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga, gender roles are switched—the protagonist, Bella Swan, wants to be with Edward (mysterious, pale, creepy) but Jacob (long-time best friend, genuinely cares about her), who she does have some romantic feelings for, wants to be with her.
  • Honor Harrington gives an interesting example in which not the hero, but a supporting character, Hamish Alexander, gets torn between his beautiful, loving and brilliant, but invalid wife, Emily (the Betty), and lively, athletic and no less beautiful protege and subordinate, titular Honor Harrington. Being an Officer and a Gentleman, Hamish decided to simply suffer nobly in silence, which brought a truly monumental amount of problems for at least three books until he was whacked on the head by no other than his very wife. He then went on implementing the Tenchi Solution, marrying both.
    • Notable in that Honor was aware of Hamish's feelings but he didn't know that she knew, and had also chosen to suffer nobly in silence. Emily's Clue Bat had to work a lot of overtime that week.
  • Bridget Jones's Diary plays this fairly straight between Mark Darcy (Betty) and Daniel Cleaver (Veronica). The film version even describes them as "too good to be true" and "so wrong he might just be right", respectively. By the end of the books, Mark has won, although when Helen Fielding continued the column, apparently Bridget was still torn between them and even ends up having Daniel's baby. Sigh.
  • Kushiel's Legacy has Imriel torn between his dutiful love for gentle brunette wife Dorelei, and his socially inappropriate and fairly kinky attachment to glamorous, feisty blonde heiress Sidonie, a Defrosting Ice Queen. Arguably Phedre, Hyacinthe and Joscelin fall into this as well, if only because of the complicated nature of Phedre's relationship with Joscelin.
  • In the Russian version of the tale The Shadow, written by E. Shwartz, the scientist Christian Theodore, after defeating his shadow, chooses to marry the faithful Annunciata, rather than the shallow (as it turns out) princess, his previous love interest.
  • Very early example: the eponymous hero of Daniel Deronda has to choose between sweet, emotionally fragile Jewish musician Mirah and shallow, socialite-fallen-on-hard-times Gwendolen. In a very unpopular move for the times, he chooses Mirah. It was so unpopular, in fact, that an American novelist actually wrote a "sequel," Gwendolen, in which Deronda reconverts to Christianity and marries Gwendolen!
  • Tipping the Velvet: In a rare lesbian example, Nan has to decide between her beautiful, faithless, music hall artiste ex Kitty and her feisty socialist girlfriend Florence. She chooses Flo. Partly ruined by the TV adaptation, which insists on turning the savvy Flo into an innocent wet weakling. It might be this change in focus that led many fans to complain she should have picked Kitty.
  • In Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series, protagonist Takeo must choose between relatively normal Kaede and Ninja Maid Dark Action Girl Yuki.
  • In Gottfried Keller's Green Henry (1854/55) the protagonist is torn between the sweet Anna and the passionate Judith.
  • In the novel as well as the film Starter for 10, Brian Jackson is faced with a similar dilemma - he is heavily attracted to his sexy University Challenge teammate Alice (the somewhat 'slutty' Veronica) but somewhat attracted to intuitive activist Rebecca (a more forceful Betty who isn't the 'girl-next-door'), whom he doesn't realize he's better off with. Of course, he does realize he's better off with Rebecca and 'breaks up' with Alice (after she slept with his best friend).
  • In the Stephanie Plum series, the protagonist of the same name is caught in a love triangle between her childhood friend Joe Morelli and the more mysterious Ranger. However, Joe Morelli isn't exactly your run-of-the-mill goody-two-shoes Betty.
  • In the Dragonlance novels, red headed Tanis Half-Elven has to choose between Laurana, a sweet, innocent blonde elven princess, and Kitiara, a sultry brunette human warlord. After a great deal of indecision and whining about how horrible it is to have two gorgeous women in love with him, Tanis finally chooses Laurana, mainly because he feels responsible when Kitiara tries to resolve the triangle by kidnapping Laurana and attempting to have her killed.
  • In The Age Of Innocence, Newland Archer is engaged to the blond, blue-eyed, "perfect" - and completely superficial and ordinary - May Welland (the Betty), but falls in love with her dark-haired cousin Ellen, the family reprobate (the Veronica). Interestingly, the trope is somewhat inverted, as in this case, it's The Veronica who is more suited to him in terms of personality and interests.
  • In Everwild, Allie finds herself in a love triangle with Mikey (Betty) and Milos (Veronica).
  • In The Night Angel Trilogy, Kylar finds that he has feelings for the pure and well-meaning Elene (Betty), but also finds himself drawn to the violent and fiery Vi (Veronica) as well. In the end Elene sacrifices herself, leaving Vi and Kylar for each other...
  • Played straight in Stephen Donaldson's The Mirror of Her Dreams, with Terisa, who has to choose between Geraden (Betty) and Eremis (Veronica). Geraden wins, since Eremis is evil and has been trying to kill Terisa and Geraden for most of the book. For added Squick, his intentions seemed to be to sleep with her, and then kill her.
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier has a gender-flipped example: Pieter the son as Betty and Vermeer as Veronica, with Griet as the Archie.
  • Moonlight - which can be fairly described as "Twilight with werewolves" - plays this straight, but with a twist. Kayla, the heroine, identifies Lucas as the Bad Boy, and Mason as the "safe" guy. The twist is, even before Mason's Face Heel Turn, reading between the lines reveals that she's got it backwards. Lucas is gruff, aloof, and has an animal magnetism that terrifies her, but he also protects her, trusts her, and never forces her to do anything she's unable to cope with. Mason, while charming and intelligent, comes on to her rather insistently, acts possessive, demonstrates overt disrespect for Lucas (who more or less ignores him in return), and - most tellingly - uses beer smuggled on the trip to get Kayla buzzed before a night of stargazing.
  • Noblesse Oblige and Yetta Samovar in Barefoot Boy With Cheek by Max Shulman.
  • Subverted somewhat disturbingly in The Lover by AB Yehoshua, with the quiet day-in-day-out Adam intentionally fixing up his wife with young artist Gabriel as a lover, and later doing it with his daughter’s friend Tali.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Slithering Shadows", Conan the Barbarian tosses off The Vamp at the realization that his slave girl is watching.
  • In Dostoevsky's The Idiot, Prince Myshkin is forced to choose between Aglaia, a girl with a good reputation from a respectable household, and the scandalous, self-destructive Nastassya Filippovna. He chooses...poorly. Somewhat subverted in that Aglaia is very much a Tsundere which makes her pretty far from the typical Betty prototype.
  • Some V. C. Andrews books gender-flip this trope: the Casteel series has Boy Next Door Logan as the Betty and Troubled but Cute uncle Troy as the Veronica for Heaven, the Cutler series has devoted stepbrother Jimmy as the Betty and creepily obsessed blood brother Philip as the Veronica for Dawn, and the Landry series has half-brother Paul as the Betty and bad boy Beau as the Veronica for Ruby. And yes, one of the suitors will turn out to be blood-related to the heroine. No exceptions.
  • Played straight in The Wheel of Time with Lews Therin Telamon's two love interests: the ambitious, dark-haired, dark-eyed channeler Mierin Eronaile, and the red-gold-haired Ilyena Moerelle Dalisar, who has no powers to speak of. He chooses Ilyena, then goes mad and kills her. Mierin's jealousy of Ilyena might have played a role in her decision to become Lanfear, the first of the Forsaken. Also played straight among Rand, Lews Therin's reincarnation, Elayne, Ilyena's reincarnation, and Mierin again: Rand chooses Elayne, though their relationship is complicated by the Tenchi Solution Elayne works out with Rand's two other girlfriends.
  • In Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, the hero Steven must choose between Annette Watson (Betty) and Renee Albert (Veronica). He chooses Annette.
  • In the later Vampire Academy books, Rose has Adrian become her Betty and Dimitri, her Veronica.
  • Matched by Ally Condie is about a dystopian society where everything you do, including your future spouse, is determined by statistics on you and your age group. Cassia has her "matching" ceremony where she is matched with her close childhood friend, Xander. However, the next day she sees that she is matched with Ky. She now must choose between Xander, the person society chose for her, and Ky, a rebellious "Aberration" who should not have beeen matched in the first place.
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami has this as its central plot as Watanabe (Archie) is torn between Naoko (Veronica) and Midori (Betty).
  • Discussed in Faking It by Jennifer Crusie about choosing between the muffin (Betty) and the doughnut (Veronica). The doughnut is exciting and fun and gorgeous, whereas the muffin just kinds of sit there, "lumpy, looking alike, no chocolate frosting." But while the doughnut is good for a one night stand, its sticky and no longer crispy the next morning. Muffins, however, taste better the next day, and are there for the long haul.

Davy: What's Simon?
Nadine: Doughnut. With sprinkles.

  • In Sabatini's Scaramouche, Aline and Climene.
  • Played with in Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. Curt is the Betty, because he is probably the safest option for her especially after she gets pregnant. Curt is very wealthy and has a high status in her school. Matt could be either Betty or Veronica, depending on your point of view. Matt could be Betty because he is the one she's always wanted, her mother knows him, and he is also Chinese. He could be the Veronica because he is poor and for some parts of the book already has another girlfriend. In the end, Kimberly chooses neither. Matt marries his girlfriend, but Kimberly and him do share a kiss.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Deconstructed to a brutal degree in the book Sweet Revenge! The book has Bobby Harcourt (Archie), Isabelle Flanders (Betty), and Rosemary Hershey (Veronica). Bobby and Isabelle were going to be married. However, Rosemary hated Isabelle's guts and had her framed for drunk driving that resulted in the deaths of three people. Isabelle ends up being ruined and loses everything. Bobby, in a Moment of Weakness (and lust) ends up having sex with Rosemary and marries her instead. By the book Sweet Revenge, however, things change. Bobby ends up realizing that Rosemary is a Jerkass with an It's All About Me attitude and decides to divorce her. Isabelle ends up back in a position of prominence and works hard to ruin Rosemary. Rosemary goes Ax Crazy, ends up losing everything, gets ruined, and is last seen placed in a mental institution, possibly to never become lucid again. Isabelle and Bobby did have a short dialogue, but it is painfully clear that it is too late for both of them to have the sort of relationship they once had. So Bobby, thanks to his foolishness, ends up with nothing in a sense, and is forced to realize that he wasted years of his life with the wrong woman.
  • In The Hunger Games, Gale is the Betty with Peeta as the Veronica as Katniss's Archie. However, it is possible to see Peeta as the Betty - blond, meek, kind and had a crush on Katniss since they were young - with Gale as the Veronica - dark-haired, handsome and more "dangerous".
  • Ivanhoe was fought over between Rowena and Rebecca.
  • In The 39 Clues' second series, Cahills vs. Vespers, Evan - Amy Cahill's boyfriend - is the geeky, kindhearted, concerned Betty, while Ian - who had a brief relationship with her in the previous series - is the Veronica, a snarky, handsome Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Newcomer Jake Rosenbloom is a Third Option Love Interest.
  • The quintessential flipped B/A/V love triangle has to be Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Rich, blond Linton being the Betty; dark, poor, dangerous (arguably psychotic) Heathcliff playing the Veronica; and selfish Catherine as the Archie.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Lincoln Heights has the love triangle involving Charles (Archie), with Cassie as the (Betty) and Sage as the (Veronia). Also featured was Johnny Nightingale (Bety) and Devon (Veronica) for Lizzie (Archie).
  • Every third episode of Ally McBeal had this plot, either for Ally or one of her clients.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation has a gay (male) Betty and Veronica played straight—one boyfriend is a timid neat freak, and the other one is clueless and selfish.
    • Names please?
    • Later on, KC is stuck in a Love Triangle with his girlfriend Clare (prudish and low-key) and new girl Jenna (upbeat and perky).
    • JT had a discussion with Toby about whether he should go back to Liberty who's like oatmeal or stick with new flame Mia who's as exciting a meatball sub. Unfortunately, we never got to see how this would have played out.
  • South of Nowhere is unique in that it features a "Betty" and "Veronica" lesbian romance - a blonde "girl next door" who falls for her troubled, petulant, dark-haired friend - with no "Archie" in the middle, after the first few episodes.
    • Season 3 features an interesting dynamic. There's a triangle between Spencer, Ashley and Aiden. Which is which is unclear.
    • There's also Spencer with Ashley (Betty) and Carmen (Veronica)
  • Of course, Gilligan's Island has the perennial question of "Ginger or Mary Ann?", where Ginger is the Veronica and Mary Ann is the Betty. However, this one didn't involve an actual love triangle between the characters - it was more of a perennial debate among viewers/fans of the show. See also Bailey and Jennifer of WKRP.
  • The Original Beverly Hills, 90210 had Dylan (blend of Johnny Depp and James Dean) choose between Brenda (Betty) and Kelly (Veronica). He dated both for some time, until he finally choose Kelly. Some seasons later Kelly had to choose between Dylan and Brandon (Mr. Nice Guy).
    • Also done a lot in the new 90210, where love triangles abound: Ethan has to choose between his on-again-off-again girlfriend Naomi and the newcomer Annie; when he chooser her, it's Annie's turn as she's torn between Ethan and her ex- from Kansas; later on, Ethan develops feelings for Rhonda (the new Betty) and finally for Erin Silver, who in turn has to choose between him and Dixon (the white WASP jock with a newfound sentimental side vs the black official boyfriend who's also the new kid in town). During the second season, it's Adrianna choosing between Teddy and Navid (the blond jock womanizer vs the Iranian-American brunet nerd with a crush on her since childhood), and later on it's Silver choosing between Teddy and Dixon (the former having become a Betty and the latter now being manipulative and Machiavellian). Liam was also Veronica in season one (with Ethan being Betty and Naomi being Archie) and became Archie in season 2 (with Naomi being Veronica and Ivy being Betty).
  • Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the Betty to Xander's Archie. She was a genuine love interest for Xander, but he was far more drawn, in different ways, towards two different Veronicas: Buffy and Cordelia. (This being Joss Whedon, when Xander finally started to return Willow's interest, it trashed his relationship with Cordelia, nearly trashed Willow's relationship with Oz, and did not lead to Xander and Willow living together happily ever after.)
    • YMMV but early seasons also has the gender-flipped version with Buffy as Archie, her friend Xander as Betty and the vampire Angel as Veronica.
    • Buffy and Faith had a strong Betty and Veronica vibe going, although the guy playing Archie changed regularly. Xander, Angel, Riley, Spike, and Robin all took turns - usually fairly brief - in the Archie seat. For those keeping score, Buffy was simultaneously the Veronica to Willow's Betty and the Betty to Faith's Veronica. There's probably a lesson here.
    • Also slightly subverted in early seasons in that Cordelia, an obvious Veronica, was interested in a seemingly willfully oblivious Angel, who only had eyes for Betty: the "good girl" Buffy (who's actually much more physically dangerous at this point, being the Slayer and whatnot).
    • A gender-flipped Angel example: Fred (Archie) had to choose between the tough, street-smart former gang leader Gunn (Veronica) and the bookish, nerdy Smart Guy Wes (Betty). Eventually, she chose her Veronica, then broke up with him, turned to her Betty, died, became an ancient goddess, nearly killed both of them (one inadvertently), then Wes died. Long story.
    • Wesley had this vibe with his Dating Catwoman relationship with Lilah Morgan, versus his crush on Fred. Eventually he dumps Lilah for Fred, only to have his chances killed prematurely when Fred finds out about Lilah. Wes starts a brief relationship the following year, only for Fred to get killed.
    • Willow was also Oz's Betty, as opposed to sexy werewolf Veruca. Betty wins, but then Oz leaves, realising that he's a danger to people and has to go figure out his condition before he can be around her.
    • In season 8, Willow's girlfriend Kennedy was her Betty, with Willow's mentor/lover Aluwyn, the snake lady from a magical dimension, as Veronica.
  • In Dawson's Creek, Joey was at first the Betty to Dawson's Archie, while Jen was the Veronica. Later on the gender roles switched, and Dawson became the Betty to Joey's Archie, with Pacey as the Veronica.
  • In Veronica Mars, there's several instances of this throughout the entire series. Duncan (Betty)-Veronica-Logan (Veronica). Veronica (Veronica)-Duncan-Meg (Betty). Piz (Betty)-Veronica-Logan (Veronica). Even Wallace gets his brief moment of Love Triangulus. Not to mention, Weevil and a certain dead girl and their involvement in a past-tense love triangle, an example which is especially adequate for this trope.
    • Try not to be confused by the fact that the female lead's name is actually Veronica. The writers lampshaded the fact by having Veronica assume a different identity, using the name "Betty" as an alias when she needed to infiltrate a rival school (and claims to have come from a Riverdale High).
      • And ironically while as Betty she dresses preppy ala Veronica.
    • And all that doesn't cover the relationships of their parents. Between Celeste Kane(Veronica)/Jake Kane(Archie)/Lianne Mars(Betty), Jake Kane(Veronica)/Lianne Mars(Archie)/Keith Mars(Betty), and Lianne Mars(Veronica)/Keith Mars(Archie)/Alicia Fennel(Betty), you've got this trope everywhere in the series. Interestingly, All three of these were resolved by the single action of a 3rd party: Veronica(Mars) sending her own mother out of town to protect her father.
  • In Dark Shadows, the original supernatural soap opera, Friendly Neighborhood Vampire Barnabas Collins is torn between the memory of his fiancee, Josette du Pre, a Betty type, and the Veronica type (to the max) Angelique, the witch who gave him the vampire curse. At the end he gets over his torch for Josette, and avows to Angelique that he loves her. She is then killed (albeit not for very long), and Barnabas ends up with neither.
  • Unusually The OC had Cool Loser Seth end up with popular, beautiful, initially uninterested Summer (Veronica) while the seemingly kindred spirit Anna (Betty) was quickly dropped.
  • Chuck: For one or two episodes, Chuck has to choose between CIA Action Girl Sarah (Veronica) and sweet deli owner Lou (Betty). Later, there's a Gender Flip example when Sarah has to choose between Chuck (Betty) and her spy ex-boyfriend Bryce (Veronica).
  • In My So-Called Life, Brian Krakow is the love-struck, blonde boy next door (Betty). The protagonist Angela Chase (Archie) just can't see him because she's too busy lusting after bad boy Jordan Catalano (Veronica). Luckily, Brian and Jordan are Color Coded for Your Convenience.
    • Given MSCL's unusual complexity (for a teen show), there was another, even more subtle one with Brian himself, with Sharon as Betty and Rayanne as Veronica. This essentially went nowhere as Sharon already has a love interest and Rayanne is a little too complicated for Brian to handle.
    • Far more blatant was Brian's dynamic in "Life of Brian", between the new girl Delia (Betty) and his long-held lust with Angela (Veronica). In true MSCL fashion, he ends up killing any chance of a relationship with Delia for just a whiff of a notice from Angela.
  • Gilmore Girls lives on this trope. In the first season, Rory is dating sweet, safe Dean (Betty) and being pursued by rich jerk Tristan (Veronica). When Tristan is Put on a Bus, the Veronica mantle is taken up by bad boy intellectual Jess. When Rory goes to college, she has to choose between Nice Guy Marty and wealthy alpha male Logan. After Rory chooses Logan, Jess returns, having turned himself around, and becomes the Betty to the new Veronica.
  • Grimm: Looks like Rosalee will become Monroe's Betty while Angelina is clearly his Veronica.
      • Given that Angelina is alive and well this may surface in future episodes.
    • Conversely Juliet would be the Betty and Ariel would be the Veronica to Nick.
  • Lost: Jack (Betty), Sawyer (Veronica), and Kate (Archie). But in season five, it becomes: Juliet (Betty), Kate (Veronica) and Sawyer (Archie).
  • Gossip Girl has used this several times, most effectively with Blair having to choose between Nate (Betty) and Chuck (Veronica).
    • Quite ironically, during the first season, both Chuck and Nate were 50/50 Betty and Veronica: Chuck was the bad boy but was always there for Blair; Nate was the cute soulmate-type but in reality he'd cheated on her and was still in love with Serena.
    • Perhaps a better example (though not nearly as popular) is the way Vanessa acted as Betty for Dan, while Serena, Georgina and the Hillary Duff character were Veronica's, the latter being the one who pointed out how Dan had developed feelings for Vanessa.
    • Blair is the Veronica to Serena's Betty, with Nate as their Archie during Season 1. It could be argued that since Serena slept with Nate while he was dating Blair it technically makes her the floozy other woman (read: Veronica), but Blair is continuously the scheming mean girl to Serena's sunny, sweet do-gooder and their natures are constantly clashing. Not to mention strict adherence to color coding.
  • The third season of Friends has Ross choosing between Rachel (Betty) and Bonnie (Veronica). They're both blonde, but the trope still applies as Rachel was his best friend, on-again-off-again ex-girlfriend and the woman he'd been in love with since his teenage years and Bonnie was the exotic hypersexual newcomer. Subverted in an early episode where Phoebe has to choose between a bulky fireman and a sweet schoolteacher, only to find out both of them were both athletic and sensitive (i.e. not too different after all).
    • The second season love triangle between Ross, Rachel and Julie can also be seen as being an example of this. Although arguably, sweet, harmless Julie would be the Betty, with Rachel as the previously unobtainable Veronica.
  • A totally gay example, in an episode of Ugly Betty ("A League of Their Own"): Marc St James meets Cliff who he clicks with but asks a nameless (very hunky) model out instead, before being confronted by Cliff who was trying to ask him out.
  • Dexter has sensible, kind (and blonde) Rita as Betty to dark-haired, dangerous, manipulative former addict Lila as Veronica.
    • Interestingly, as he is a sociopathic serial killer, he'd likely be just as happy without either of them - but he needs them as cover.
  • Dobie Gillis had a revolving cast of pretty, money-hungry Veronicas, most notably Thalea Menninger. His constant and loving Betty was the somewhat tomboyish Zelda Gilroy.
  • Private Practice has also used this often, most obviously with Violet as the Betty, Charlotte as the Veronica, and Cooper as the Archie.
  • One Tree Hill has a similar situation among three of the main characters. Lucas(Archie) continues to flip between Peyton(Betty) and her best friend Brooke (Veronica).
  • Done Aborted Arc style in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr where the pilot introduces both the scholarly Amanda Wickwire (Betty) and saloon girl Dixie Cousins (Veronica) in what would seem to be an obvious set-up for a series love triangle. However, the chemistry between Brisco and Dixie was so immediate and obvious that the production team dropped Amanda for the rest of the series, even though her inventor father would appear throughout the series.
  • The BBC series of Robin Hood had (in its third season) the aristocratic Isabella as the Veronica, and peasant girl Kate as the Betty. The twist? Robin ends up with the Third Option Love Interest; Marian, who was killed at the close of season 2 and who he is reunited with after his own death in the series finale.
    • On the same show, in earlier seasons, Marian had the choice between Robin and Guy, who could fit into either trope. Guy was conservative and law-abiding (Betty) but also dangerous and tortured (Veronica), whereas Robin was an outlaw and a thief (Veronica) but also Marian's childhood sweetheart (Betty).
    • A final example: Djaq had her choice between amoral, thieving Allan-a-Dale (Veronica) and straightlaced, sensitive Will Scarlett (Betty).
      • In all examples, the Betty wins.
  • On The West Wing, Josh Lyman's assistant Donna (Betty) falls for him, while Josh (Archie) falls for political loose cannon Amy Gardner(Veronica). However, Josh is also a clueless Genius Ditz who has no idea that Donna is in love with him and is in denial about his own feelings, so he has absolutely no reservations about courting Amy, thereby making poor Donna's plight even worse.
  • In the early seasons of Smallville in a gender-switched version, Lana is Archie with Clark as Betty and Whitney as Veronica even though Lana didn't want Whitney because he was a great football star and couldn't seem to see just how dangerous he was.
    • Another example could be that Lana is Archie with Clark as Betty and Lex as Veronica
    • Chloe is Archie, Jimmy is Betty and Davis is Veronica
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger seems to fit this trope, as it features Sousuke as Archie to the sweet, unspoiled Saki (Betty) and the wealthy, shallow drama queen, Miu (Veronica).
  • Power Rangers RPM has a gender flipped version: Action Girl Summer is torn between Hero and by-the-book Scott (Betty) and the brooding cyborg Lancer Dillon (Veronica).
    • This is also Lampshaded outright by Dr. K (of all people):

"I understand your dilemma. You find Ranger Series Red attractive because he represents the guy who can give you solid security: the boy next door, trustworthy, responsible, the kind you'd take home to mother. At the same time, you're hopelessly drawn to the excitement and danger of Ranger Series Black: the tortured and mysterious bad boy you think you can save."

  • A double-sided version of this trope can be found in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck is torn between golden boy Lee (Betty) and ex-athlete/resistance fighter Sam (Veronica), while she herself is the Veronica to Lee, with Dee as his Betty.
    • And of course Dee herself has a Betty (Billy) and a Veronica (Lee Adama).
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Neighbours, when Donna is working through her feelings for Ringo (Betty) and Andrew (Veronica). She and Kate mention several examples of this kind of triangle, including Blair, Nate and Chuck, Buffy, Riley and Angel, and Archie, Betty and Veronica. Amusingly, Kate doesn't recognise the last one.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva gave Otoya Yuri (Betty - although more "troubled" than most examples) and Maya (Veronica) in 1986, while in the present day Mio is torn between old friend Wataru (Betty) and her foredestined husband Taiga (Veronica.) In both cases, the "Archie" figure dies.
  • Glee has Rachel as Betty and Quinn as Veronica to Finn's Archie.
    • This is subverted in the episode "Original Songs," when Quinn explains to Rachel that, however things might appear, she, Quinn, is actually the girl-next-door whom Finn will end up settling for, and Rachel is really the unattainable fantasy dream-girl.
    • Also Finn (Betty) and Puck (Veronica) to Quinn (Archie), Rachel's Archie to Finn (Betty) and Jesse (or Puck) as Veronica.
    • And now there's Brittany being the Archie to Artie's Betty and Santana's Veronica. It's a bit of a Tear Jerker though, since Santana confessed her feelings to Brittany and Brittany chooses Artie instead.
    • And now Blaine is the Archie to Kurt's Betty and Sebastian's Veronica. So far, he's loyal to Kurt, but never really turned down Sebastian's advances.
    • Then there's the unusual Cooter/Beast/Sue triangle with Sue as the Veronica or the "tall, pretty blond" as Beast puts it.
  • An interesting version on the Soap Opera General Hospital (a very standard Soap Opera plot, as a matter of fact), which had Jagger being torn between Karen (The Betty) and Brenda (The Veronica). However, in this case, the trope is subverted, because (a) not only is the Veronica more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold than an outright bitch, it's she who futilely struggled to get Jagger's attention while the Betty had Jagger's undying love and devotion. Furthermore, the rebellious bad boy Jagger himself was the Veronica while Karen was undecided between him and golden boy Jason (the Betty), and this time, the trope is played straight, as Karen eventually dumped Jason for Jagger.
  • Dollhouse: Mellie (Betty), Paul (Archie), and Echo (Veronica). Subverted in that Mellie turns out to be a sleeper active planted by the Dollhouse.
  • Thirty Rock plays this trope straight for the second half of the fourth season with Jack (Archie) trying to choose between Nancy Donovan (Betty), a devout Irish Catholic and single mother who was his high school crush and Avery Jessup (Veronica), the fast-talking host of a political talk show who begins her relationship with Jack as a one-night-stand and whom Jack eventually chooses after learning that she is pregnant. There's even an explicit reference to this trope when Nancy doesn't think it's possible to be in love with two people at the same time, and Jack says, "It's possible. Haven't you ever read Archie comics?"
  • Scrubs does this quite a few times. First Dr Cox has to choose between his pregnant ex-wife Jordan (Betty), and Julia, the young, desired pharmaceutical saleswoman (Veronica). Played again when JD chooses between Elliot, one of his best friends, who needs comforting when a truck filled with her belonging is stolen (Betty) and Lisa, the pretty gift-shop girl (Veronica). And again when Elliot chooses between JD, her nerdy friend, who she's had an on-again off-again realtionship with, (Betty), and her hunky, dolphin-trainer boyfriend, Shaun (Veronica). Also, Played for Laughs Turk continually has to choose between spending time with either; JD his dorky best friend (Betty) or his wife, Carla, the sexy Latina nurse (Veronica). He always picks JD.
  • The Nanny is a show told from the point of view of a Veronica. Fran is the wild, lower-class "risky" option that Maxwell falls for, whereas his business partner, C.C. Babcock, is the "safe" Betty option. Of course, the Love Triangle only exists in C.C.'s mind, but that's besides the point.
    • C.C. herself is the Archie in a triangle with Maxwell (Betty) and Niles (Veronica). Like Maxwell, she eventually chooses the Veronica; as noted, the Betty wasn't the least bit interested, so that was probably a factor.
  • Torchwood has one, involving Rhys Williams as the Betty: Gwen (Archie) has to choose between Jack (Veronica) and Rhys (Betty). (Owen might also be a Veronica.) By the end of series 2, she'd chosen Rhys/Betty and during series 3 and 4 the love triangle virtually ceased to be.
  • Soap opera The Young and The Restless has been doing this for the past few years with Nick Newman (Archie) and his current wife Phyllis (a red-haired Veronica) and his ex-wife Sharon (Betty). Athough It appears Phyllis has left Nick for good because she's tired of fighting with Sharon over him.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Fire had Ritsuka (Archie) caught between Tatsuya (Betty) and Tsubasa (Veronica). It's left open in the finale - the boys wrestle over Tama-chan's wedding bouquet so that one of them can marry Ritsuka, but Jun rescues the flowers and gives them to her. We then see that Tsubasa is still hung up on her and carries her picture with him, but Ritsuka is very happy when Tatsuya sends a letter.
  • True Blood has a male version, with Sookie (as an Archie) having to choose between her brunette boyfriend Bill (as Betty) and the Big Bad blonde Eric (as Veronica).
  • Male version as well in Grey's Anatomy: For a little while, Meredith (Archie) hesitates between dark haired McDreamy Derek (more of a Veronica) and the nice McVet Finn (a complete Betty).
  • In Hong Kong comedy drama To Catch The Uncatchable, female lead Vivi was torn between choosing between her sweet, handsome but dull and clueless personal trainer Jim and Detective Mok, who's snarky, smart and enjoys teasing Vivi but incredibly loyal and always helps her out in a tight spot. She lampshades to Detective Mok at one point, comparing the two to food. Jim was a plain tofu while Detective Mok was a tofu with more filling.
  • While it never comes up as a matter of potential relationships the character dynamic is still in full swing and played straight in That '70s Show with literal the girl-next-door Donna (Betty) and Jackie (Veronica).
  • Mad Men has shown instances of two such pairings. At work is the non-relationship version with simple, hardworking Peggy (Betty, or Mary Ann, if you prefer) contrasted to sultry, flirtatious Joan (Veronica, or Ginger). Outside of the office Don Draper's relationships tend to follow this pattern as well with wife Betty being cut more from the Veronica mold (cold, emotionally distant, former model) while most of Don's mistresses are typically more Betty-like.
  • Lost Girl has a bisexual version with female succubus Bo (Archie) having to choose between Dyson (werewolf and Veronica) and Lauren (human and Betty). That's at the start. Lines become more blurred as the season progresses
  • Reality TV dating shows in which a host of women try to win a man's heart will often set up the final two female candidates for the male's affections as this. Examples are Trista (Betty) and Amanda (Veronica) on the first season of The Bachelor and Paige (Betty) and Erin (Veronica) on the first season of For Love Or For Money.
  • The original V took this up to Evil Is Sexy levels with earnest blonde Resistance leader Julie (Faye Grant) and gerbil-swallowing brunette vamp Visitor leader Diana (Jane Badler).
  • Community episode "Pascal's Triangle Revisited" ends with Jeff (Archie) struggling to make a decision after both Britta (Britta) and Professor Slater (Veronica) confess their love for him. He ends up taking a Third Option Love Interest in Annie (Cheryl).
    • Jeff as the Archie to Annie (Betty) and Britta (Veronica) in Community season 2.
  • There's a clear example in Kyle XY with Amanda, Kyle's neighbor who's easy to talk to and plays the piano in a way that touches Kyle, compared to the heartless and ruthless Jessi.
    • Also Charlie is the Archie who cheats on his virginal girlfriend with the vivacious blonde and thus ends up losing both Betty and Veronica.
  • Switched at Birth has set this up with Daphne (Betty) declaring her feelings for Emmett (Archie), who in turn professes to only want Bay (Veronica). Complete with original trope-maker hair colours.
  • On Fringe, Peter was arguably the Archie to Fauxlivia's Veronica and Olivia's Betty. Of course, Fauxlivia only became a love interest for Peter because she was pretending to be Olivia, but she was definitely the more exotic option.
  • On Merlin, Lancelot du Lac (aka Lancelot brought back from the dead) is the Veronica to Gwen's Archie, with Arthur as Betty.
  • How I Met Your Mother has had several Love Triangles involving this trope.
    • Season 1 has Ted (Archie),Robin (Veronica), and Victoria (Betty).
    • In season 4, Stella is torn between Ted (Betty) and her ex boyfriend Tony (Veronica).
    • Much of the first half of season 7 evolves around the love triangle between Barney (Archie), Robin (Veronica), and his new girlfriend Nora (Betty).
    • Around the same time, Robin finds herself in the Archie role when she must choose between Barney (Veronica) and her new boyfriend Kevin (Betty).
  • Season 3 of The Office had Pam (Betty) and Karen (Veronica) vying for Jim's affections.

Music[edit | hide]

  • This dynamic is perfectly captured with the lyric "your debutante just knows what you need, but I know what you want"
    • In an odd contrast to this lyric, Veronica was actually a big-city debutante in her initial introduction in the 1940s, in order to contrast with small-town Betty.
  • Dolly Parton's famous song Jolene paints the picture of this variety of love triangle. Jolene (with her "beauty beyond compare") is the Veronica, and the singer (who "cannot compete with you, Jolene") is the Betty. The song consists of "Betty" begging Jolene not to steal her man.
  • Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" features a love triangle between blonde Girl Next Door Taylor Swift and a dark-haired cheerleader rival.
    • It's interesting to note that in one of her lesser-known songs (The Way I Loved You) Taylor Swift takes the role of Archie choosing between her current boyfriend (Betty) who she describes as 'sensible' and who 'calls exactly when he says he will' and her 'wild and crazy' ex who is 'just so frustrating, intoxicating, complicated', who fills the role of Veronica. In the end, she chooses her ex.
  • A Brazilian country sertanejo song called "O Grafino e o Caipira" that tells the story of a rich city guy (the Veronica) and a hick (the Betty) fighting over a pretty girl. In the end, she gets tired of their fighting and goes for the cowboy
  • "The Boy is Mine" by Brandy and Monica. While this isn't explicit in the song itself, if you look at the ladies' individual musical styles, Brandy is more a sweet girl-next-door while Monica has more of a street edge.
  • The video clip of Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend depicts Avril (as the Veronica) convincing the Archie to leave his uptight Betty girlfriend for her more interesting, more bullying self. Veronica wins.
  • Paul and Storm's "More Than Two" mentions the Trope Namers and Takes A Third Option
  • Bryan Adams's "Run To You." The Archie sings about cheating on his Betty-esque girlfriend with his Veronica.

"She's got a heart of gold, she'd never let me down/ But you're the woman who always turns me on, you keep me comin' 'round."

  • The Statler Brothers' 1972 country hit "Do You Remember These" has a quick line, "Veronica and Betty" toward the end of songs, part of a longer list of 1950s nostalgia.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • In Wicked, Fiyero and Glinda initially bond over their self absorption and love of living it large. They start going steady. Elphaba realises she loves Fiyero the day they rescue the lion cub, he starts to realise he has feelings for her ... It sorts itself out for the best eventually.
  • In Georges Bizet's Opera, Carmen, Micaëla and Carmen are, respectively, a Betty and Veronica for Don José.
  • In Lady in the Dark, Liza Elliott, editor of Allure magazine, is unable to make up her mind between Kendall Nesbitt, the publisher who started the magazine for her, and hunky Hollywood actor Randy Curtis. She finally decides to reject both and Take a Third Option.
  • The Rainmaker has File (a Betty-type) and Starbuck (a Veronica-type) as rival love interests for Lizzie (same goes for The Musical version 110 in the Shade).
  • Thirteen has Brett in a Love Triangle with Kendra (Betty) and Lucy (Veronica). Meanwhile there's a friendship version of the trope where Evan has to decide between being friends with Brett and the cool kids (Veronica) or with the losers Patrice and Archie (Betty). Then there's a subtle one of Kendra liking Brett (Veronica) while being oblivious to Archie (Betty).
  • The Wildhorn musical adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde has the aristocratic Emma Carew as the Betty and prostitute Lucy as the Veronica. Several screen adaptations of the story have also used the trope, with Jekyll's fiancee (usually the daughter of Sir Danvers Carew) as the Betty and a prostitute/bar girl that Hyde picks up as the Veronica.
  • The musical Anything Goes has Hope Harcourt (Betty) and Reno Sweeney (Veronica) for Billy Crocker. Coincidentally, the actress who originally played Hope was named Bettina Hall; the original Reno, of course, was Ethel Merman.
  • The musical Girl Crazy (now best remembered for being Ethel Merman's stage debut as well as introducing the song I Got Rhythm) centers around a Betty and Veronica: Danny is stuck between simple mail carrier Molly (Betty, played by Ginger Rogers) and the saloon owner's glamorous daughter Kate (Veronica, played by Merman).
  • The musical Avenue Q has Princeton (Archie) going out with Kate Monster (Betty) before leaving her for Lucy T. Slut (Veronica). Don't worry; in the end he goes back to Kate.
  • The Phantom of the Opera has Christine choose between her childhood sweetheart and general Knight in Shining Armor Raoul (Betty) and the insane, brooding but more passionate Phantom. Subverted, as although Word of God says that Christine loves The Phantom the most, in the end she chooses the Safe Option, Raoul.
  • Romeo and Juliet - Juliet's decision between her two suitors. Paris courts her in the 'proper' way, by asking her father's permission. Romeo falls in love with her, marries her in secret and even kills a beloved family member.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Remakes of Dragon Quest V did this when the player has to choose between three women to marry. The Betty and Veronica in this situation is Nera/Flora and her sister Deborah respectively (remakes, because Deborah was not in the original.)
  • Played with and in doing so arguably averted in Skies of Arcadia, where Vyse is between the Mysterious Waif Fina and his best friend Aika, who happens to be a Pirate (to be fair, Vyse himself is also a pirate). The aversion comes from the fact that aside from a few Ship Tease moments (which seem to lean towards a Tenchi Solution if anything) the plot is wholly unconcerned with the main characters' love life, unlike the vast majority of RPGs to come out around the same time.
  • An interesting example occurs in Grandia II, since Betty and Veronica are the same person. Not to mention that the Betty, Elena, is pretty much a priestess, while the Veronica, Millenia, is a part of the evil god Valmar (his Wings to be exact), that's possessing Elena. The main character seems to be leaning towards Elena, though they don't really hook up. Also, Millenia separates from Elena near the end. Somehow. And keeps waiting for Ryudo, convinced that he will choose her over Elena.
  • Occurs in Final Fantasy VII: Cloud is given a choice between the Betty, Aerith, and the Veronica, Tifa, though it can be argued that Aeris/th, as the spunky up and at 'em last of a Dying Race, is the 'special' Veronica type, and the shy girl next door Tifa is a Betty type. In reality, both girls are a blend of the two archetypes.
  • According to the author, the potential love interests for the player character in Planescape: Torment, Annah-of-the-Shadows and Fall-From-Grace, were inspired by Betty and Veronica. Weirdly, they both have a blend of features—Grace, the wealthy, worldly, educated, glamorous one is by far the more personable of the two; the guttersnipe, relatable Annah is more brash and sharp-tongued, but also younger and more inexperienced.
  • If one has two or more of the female love interests in the party in Baldur's Gate II, multiple Betty and Veronica scenarios can exist. Sweet, innocent Aerie is definitely the most Betty-ish, with no-nonsense old friend but world-wise warrior Jaheira being somewhere between the two, and darkly exotic rogue drow Viconia being firmly a Veronica. (Alternatively, with all three—and it is possible to start a romance with all three, though obviously not finish it that way—one might be said to have a Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl situation, except there are no three-way fights over you, just two-way.)
  • Interesting variation happens in Lufia II, where the situation is set up as normal: Tia, the old friend with a crush on the hero as the Betty and Selan, the exotic and (somewhat) mysterious fighter as the Veronica. The variation being that not only does Maxim ends up with Selan (the Veronica), it also occurs midway through (or even as far back as the prologue chapter, arguably) the game
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd's two most obvious love interests are Colette, his blond, quiet, gentle Victorious Childhood Friend (Betty) and Sheena, the raven-haired, tough, exotic Action Girl (Veronica). The game lets you decide who he ends up with (including neither), thanks to the multiple endings.
  • Otacon's love interests in the first two Metal Gear Solid games fit this trope: in MSG I, he has an unrequited crush on Dark Action Girl Sniper Wolf (Veronica), and in MSG II, it's revealed that his stepsister Emma (Betty) has been in love with him since childhood.
    • Also, in MSG III, Naked Snake/Big Boss has Paramedic (Betty) and EVA (Veronica).
  • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, lead character Ephraim can choose between sweet, innocent, determined Tana or upbeat, cheerful, crazy (and rich!) L'arachel. but don't underestimate the fact that he can have an ending with his twin sister Eirika too.
    • Ephraim's sister Eirika actually plays this trope a bit more straight: her main options are Seth, the calm, collected and hunky bodyguard, or Innes, prince of another country whose personality and tongue are as sharp as his arrows (In a variation, the one whom she has known since childhood is Innes.) There are also two potential Cheryl Blossoms who in themselves fit here well too: Saleh is a soft-spoken Tall, Dark and Handsome magic user, whereas Forde is a Chivalrous Pervert Sleepyhead.
    • Either Innes or Tana can fall into this, too. Innes has Eirika as his Betty, with Action Girl Vanessa as an odd mix of Betty (have known each other since childhood) and Veronica (is very coolheaded and near-unemotional in battle)... and L'Arachel as the Cheryl Blossom. Meanwhile, Tana can end up either with dependable and kindhearted childhood friend Ephraim, or the also kind but very troubled (and sexy-looking) Cormag.
    • To a smaller degree, Kyle can be in this predicament too. Syrene is the childhood friend Lady of War, while Lute is the Strange Girl Lady of Black Magic.
    • And then we have Rebel Prince Joshua. Natasha, the Proper Lady White Magician Girl, is the Betty; meanwhile, Marisa is the Sugar and Ice Girl Action Girl Veronica.
  • The "main" Love Triangle of sorts in Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu had Diadora as the Archie, with the kind and knightly Sigurd as Betty and the deeply troubled Alvis as Veronica. It ended horribly, when Alvis killed Sigurd before decimating his army. At thre same time, Prince Levin had his own Betty and Veronica in Fury (serious Lady of War whom he knows since childhood) and Sylvia (sexy dancer who's been travelling with him lately) - you can choose whom he picks as his girlfriend/wife, alongside Badass Princess Tiltyu as a Cheryl Blossom. Though Thracia 776 has a clear slant towards Fury.
    • And 17 years later, the second lead Celice has the Proper Lady Lana and the Action Girl Lakche as this. In a subversion, both of them are his childhood friends.
    • Lakche has a similar predicament, too. Two Isaacsian noblemen, the brothers Johan and Johalva, have the hots for her: Johan is the Betty due to his Purple Prose-laden speech patterns and ultra-chivalrous view of their bond, while the hotheaded Jerk with a Heart of Gold Johanlva is the Veronica.
    • And then, there's Princess Lachesis. Out of all her potential suitors (not counting Eltoshan, that is), Beowulf is a cynical Punch Clock Hero Veronica and Fin is a Knight in Shining Armor Betty. Both of them might have won and then lost in Thracia: it's all but stated that Lachesis's eldest son Delmud is Beo's kid, while her youngest daughter Nanna is Fin's, though Lachesis herself is missing in action.
    • It's hinted in the Seisen game that Sigurd's sister Ethlin might have been the Archie at some moment, with Duke Cuan as the Betty (and the canon winner) and King Trabant as the Veronica. It didn't matter in the end: Trabant, despite whatever he thought of Ethlin, killed them both.
  • In the Zelda games, Link has several cases of these, usually with Zelda as the Betty. The most obvious example is in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, where Midna served as the Veronica.
    • Zelda does play the role of Veronica in some of her incarnations though, with Ocarina of Time providing a prominent instance of this where either Malon or Saria play the role of Betty. Then again, if you include Ruto or Nabooru, Zelda once again becomes the Betty. The main theme isn't so much what role Zelda is playing, but that Link is a total Chick Magnet.
  • If all of the content had made it into the final game, the hero of Neverwinter Nights 2 would have had the reasonable, down-to-earth Elanee (Betty) vs. the greedy and somewhat flighty Neeshka (Veronica) for male characters; and the kind and honorable Casavir (Betty) vs. the psychotic pervert Bishop (Veronica) for female characters. Arguably, as only the Betty characters made it into the final cut, they could remain in that role (though absent during actual play) to two new Veronica characters (the exotic golem-crafter Safiya for male characters and the textbook Casanova Gannayev for female characters) in Mask of the Betrayer.
    • Though thanks to the original game dropping several tons of rock on your previous love interests, there is never really any love triangle to speak of. You are allowed to say you still love the dead romantic option from the original game when your love interest from Mask of the Betrayer confesses their feelings, but it seems kind of an afterthought.
    • Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark gives us the choice between technically dead paladin Aribeth (Betty) and exotic drow Defrosting Ice Queen Nathyrra (Veronica) in the second/third chapters. Though they both could technically be either, given the fact that your character has been adventuring with Nathyrra for quite a long time by the time you meet Aribeth.
    • The Neverwinter Nights community module A Dance With Rogues gives us two Betty characters and two Veronica characters, along with a fifth who could be either. On the Betty side we have the honorable and compassionate Anden and the kind and friendly bisexual Pi; on the Veronica side we get the psychotic pervert Vico and the drow noble Rizzen who thinks you are his slave. Bran is difficult to qualify, being far more in the Betty camp when compared to Vico and Rizzen but having many more Veronica characteristics than Anden or Pia.
  • The Bastard of Kosigan doesn't actually have any long-term relationships set out yet, but from implications in text Jehanne of Albret might play Betty to Alexandra de Velan's Veronica (slightly humorous, as Alexandra is actually your character's childhood lover).
    • Though sort of ruined, as Alexandra dies either if you kill her at the end of the second module or, if you don't, she dies in a cutscene at the end of the fourth, both events coming before Jehanne has any on-screen time.
  • In Jade Empire, the player gets to choose between childhood friend Dawn Star (Betty) and pampered princess Sun Lian/Silk Fox (Veronica). In an interesting twist, there is also a third option where you can have them both.
    • Female characters have the Lovable Rogue Sky, the more conventional option (Betty) or the lesbain choice Silk Fox (Veronica)
  • Also from Bioware, Mass Effect allows the player to choose from empathic and scholarly Liara T'Soni (Betty) and spunky Action Girl Ashley Williams (Veronica). These roles can justifiably be reversed when you consider that Ashley is a regular human and Liara belongs to an exotic race of psychic aliens who reproduce by banging very nearly everything that moves. The two will eventually confront one another, and you, if you don't turn one of them down.
    • Mass Effect 2 also has Kelly and Tali (Betty) vs. Miranda and Jack (Veronica) for males, and Jacob and Kelly (Betty) vs. Thane and Garrus (Veronica) for females.
  • In Breath of Fire 2, there's Ryu's two love interests, Nina (Betty) and Katt (Veronica). Interestingly enough, Ryu actually has more opportunities to have romantic moments with Katt than Nina (even though both like him).
    • Given the trend of the Breath of Fire series as a whole, though, it's almost certain that he ends up with Nina, just like every other lead ends up with a Betty.
  • In Uncharted: Among Thieves, brand-new Action Girl sidekick Chloe Frazier is Veronica, and Intrepid Reporter Elena Fisher becomes the Betty.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II, the Handmaiden Brianna (Betty) and Visas Marr (Veronica) fight over the male PC.
    • For the female Jedi Exile, there's Mical the Jedi Disciple (Betty) and Atton Rand (Veronica). Had all of the intended content made it into the final version of the game, they could have really fought over the PC, with a Dark Side Atton killing Mical in jealousy; as it is, he's still plenty jealous, though Mical mostly seems confused by it.
  • Dragon Age: Origins gives a (straight) male character two choices for a romantic plot: sweet pious bard Leliana who wants you to help anybody in trouble, and dark sexily-dressed witch Morrigan who is nauseated if you waste time on such peasants. As the game progresses you might discover things are not as simple as that- Leliana has a dark, most Veronica-ish past whereas Morrigan becomes a Defrosting Ice Queen.
    • Straight females may choose the chivalrous (albeit a bit childish) joker Alistair, or the cynical but pleasant Badass Spaniard Zevran.
      • A bisexual character's choices can throw out the Betty-Veronica dynamic. A bisexual female may be between two Bettys, Alistair and Lelianna, or set up a Veronica through Zevran. A bisexual male may be between two Veronicas through Morrigan and Zevran. And Isabela (see below) adds a throwaway quickie Veronica for characters of either gender - which can involve half the party depending on what the player has done.
  • In Dragon Age 2 this trope applies to the two female characters who can be romanced; Merrill and Isabela. Merrill is sweet, innocent, and rather naive. While Isabela is an exotic, voluptuous, sexually promiscuous pirate queen. Both of the male romance options in the vanilla game, Anders and Fenris, are brooding, Troubled but Cute Veronica types, whereas chaste, devoutly religious DLC-only Sebastian is decidedly Betty.
  • Depending on what you choose and social links, the main character of Persona 4 can have this. Though his romantic life can go to many other female characters, Yukiko (Betty) and Chie (Veronica) can easily be this.
  • In Fading Hearts Ryou is stuck in a Love Triangle between Rina (Betty) who loves him and Claire (Veronica) who he loves. Bonus Points here since the girls' personalities and even hair colours parallel those of the Archie Comics characters.
  • Both redheaded love interests in The Witcher; Shani, The Medic who wants to protect the child and Triss the high society mage who wants to use him, but is better capable of controlling keeping his power under control.
  • Used in The Saboteur with Skylar as the Veronica and the ironically named Veronique as the Betty.
  • Subverted in Grand Theft Auto IV where Niko has Michelle as Veronica, she betrayed him when it turns out she is working for Liberty News. He can continue his relationship with Kate, the Betty. That is until her death or refusal to be in Roman's wedding.
    • There's also Roman the Betty and Vlad the Veronica to Mallorie's Archie. Until Niko murders Vlad.
  • Bully has couple of these: Beatrice (Betty) and Mandy (Veronica), Pinky (Betty) and Lola (Veronica). That is until Zoe comes to the picture.
  • Gender-flipped example in Kingdom Hearts: Kairi has two love interests who are both childhood friends to her, Sora and Riku. You know who wins pretty early in the series.
  • Played straight in In Famous with Trish (Betty) and Sasha (Veronica) to Cole (Archie). He loses them both with the former's death and the latter's capture by Kessler.
    • In the second game, we get another straight example with Kuo and Nix.
  • Resident Evil's Leon gets this in absolutely stupifying amounts due to the number of appearances he's made in the series and the fact that he's equal parts Casanova and Chick Magnet. In RE2, he has Claire (Betty) and Ada (Veronica), although a long-lasting attraction is ultimately seen to exist between him and the latter (on the opposite side, he and Claire end up as good friends). In RE4, he has Ashley (Betty) and Ada (again, the Veronica), with his Mission Control Hunnigan functioning as the Cheryl at the end. The movie Degeneration has Claire (Betty) and Angela (Veronica). The only real exception to this is The Darkside Chronicles, and even then Manuela is shown to have a subtle crush on Leon.
  • Ar tonelico series uses this on the twin token love interest. Aurica is sweet and quiet, while Misha is easy-going, cheerful, and has an exotic problem with her body.
  • Ok.... in the game called Catherine Vincent (Archie) has to decide between his longtime girlfriend Katherine (Betty, note the "K") and sexy stranger Catherine (Veronica, note the "C"), and the choice kicks off the plot of the game. Katherine is hinting that she might be pregnant and its time for them to get married while Catherine might be stringing Vincent along and is hinted to be causing nightmares in which men die in their sleep. Get all that?
  • Mina Tang and Scarlett Lake in Alpha Protocol.
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin has our protagonist Tatsuya (Archie) a pick between a fellow school age student with an obvious crush on him Lisa, (Betty) and the older teen magazine reporter and all around cheerful Maya. (Veronica) However, this game also has a Gay Option Cheryl Blossom with Jun. Guess which one alot of the fangirls go for? (Male gamers tend to lean towards Maya)
  • Mega Man Star Force Geo (Archie) has Luna (Veronica) the local class president, who is more interest in Geo as Mega Man, and Sonia (Betty) a teen pop singer who is very much interest in Geo himself.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Fate/stay night has a very subtle application in either Rin (brunette, rich, adored-by-the-male-school-populace "Veronica") and Saber (blonde, simple, virtuous "Betty") inadvertently and unconsciously vying for Shiro's (redhead "Archie") affections; or Rin and Sakura (though not blonde, is the simpler, much more well-mannered parent-friendly choice).


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • In Fans!, Rikk is the subject of a Love Triangle between Rumy, the quiet, shy but centered and focused Betty, and Alisin, the hedonistic, outgoing but self-loathing and unpredictable Veronica, both of whom are equally devoted to and passionately in love with him. Over most of the series, Alisin had the upper hand, which led Rumy to channel her feelings into ensuring that Rikk was happy with Alisin instead. Somewhat uniquely, everyone in the Love Triangle become so close that they eventually decide to form a three-way romantic relationship.
  • Pibgorn: Pibgorn (Betty) and Drusilla (Veronica) both love Geoffrey, but when he chooses Pib, Drusilla goes along with it. Unusual in that Dru is a succubus.
  • Rip and Teri: The 'Betty' is Teri, a meek and somewhat nerdy English teacher. The 'Veronica' is Tatyana, a glamourous and gorgeous ex-super spy and TV station CEO. However, whilst Tatyana thinks that the hero still has a thing for her, he's actually madly in love with Teri. It kind of helps that, in their brief romance, Tatyana manipulated and betrayed him, however.
  • Cindy (Betty) and Dusk (Veronica) in Faux Pas. They're both vixens, but Dusk's fur is darker.
  • CRFH: While Dave seems to have chosen Veronica (rich-girl-with-issues Blue) over Betty (survivalist-psycho-chick Margaret), Dave remains close to (and admittedly emotionally attached to) Margaret.
    • Oddly enough, Margaret, the so-called Betty, was the one that barely knew Dave existed at the start of the comic, whereas Blue, the Veronica, was in love with him off the bat.
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space: In the "space arc", Arthur has to choose between the outspoken but basically nice Action Girl Guenevere (Betty) and the ambitious and amoral enchantress Morgan La Fay (Veronica). The First Girl Wins, although only after the Second Girl is disqualified.
  • Megatokyo: Piro (Archie)'s current girlfriend, Kimiko, is an emotionally insecure struggling actress (Betty), whereas Miho, his ex, is a very dark and enigmatic Veronica.
    • Inversely, Erika's former fiance was a close friend from high school (Betty), while her current beau, an insane American hacker genius / zombie slayer, is most certainly the male equivalent of the Veronica.
  • In Scary Go Round, sensible Erin Winters (Betty) and Perky Goth Dark Esther (Veronica) competed for The Boy's affection. Esther won.
    • A more recent love triangle involves Esther's friend Sarah, with Ryan Beckwith as the independent, older Veronica. Carrot would be a safer Betty here if his chances of success weren't those of the Isle of Wight trying to invade China.
  • Jean Poule and Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob.
  • Girl Genius has Klaus as Veronica, Bill as Betty and Lucrezia Mongfish as Archie. Interestingly, the friendship between Klaus and Bill is stronger than either, and Klaus is determined to protect the naive Bill from the untrustworthy Lucrezia. He fails, bigtime.
    • Then there's the current generation of Sparks, with Klaus's son as Betty, the son of Lucrezia's most fervent supporter (besides the spider-riding people who worship her as a goddess...) as Veronica, and Bill and Lucrezia's little girl as Archie.
  • Played with/deconstructed/ripped apart/critically examined (it's the way of their tribe) in this strip of Xkcd.
  • In General Protection Fault, there is initially a love triangle between Ki the Betty and Trudy the Veronica over Nick, who is torn between his feelings for the two of them and his lack of experience in dating and romance. He eventually goes with Ki.
  • In Questionable Content, Dora being mentally healthy and straightforward[2] would be the Betty to Marten's Archie. Distant, emotionally impaired and mysterious Faye would be the Veronica. Dora wins.
    • Additionally, Angus has emerged as the Betty and Sven as the Veronica to Faye.
      • And recently, we have Marigold (Betty) and Faye (Veronica) to Angus. Which even more recently appears to have been resolved by a pairing of Angus and Faye.
    • Actually, calling any Questionable Content character other than Marten himself a "Betty" is quite a stretch.
  • In Penny and Aggie, idealistic Aggie is the Betty, and cynical, venomous Karen the Veronica, to Marshall.
    • Similarly, quiet, bookish Duane is the Betty, and rough-edged sk8er boi Rich the Veronica, to Penny.
    • Also, theoretically, the original point of the comic is that Penny is Veronica and Aggie is Betty (or the other way 'round, arguably, as Aggie's goth-ness could make her seem dark and mysterious). Their animosity stems from this difference, though there's no Archie between them.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Elliot happened to fall for both fellow (and stronger) martial artist Nanase and Sane Girl of the cast, Sarah. The triangle remains only for about five minutes after they all discover what's going on, though.
  • Misfile: Emily (the sensible Betty) and Missi (the wilder Veronica) both like Ash.
  • Sakana has a rare gay example, with Taisei as the Betty and Arata as the Veronica for Yuudai's Archie. This is an interesting example, as the Archie previously dated the Veronica, but broke up because of the Veronica being horribly abusive towards him. He clearly chooses the Betty now, but the Veronica isn't one of those to surrender easily...
    • There's also a switch in their roles in that the Betty is the exotic newcomer while the Veronica is the old acquaintance. Both also fit the Tall, Dark and Handsome stereotype.
  • In The Dreamer, Bea finds herself trying choose between 21st century Ben and 18th century Alan, with Alan as the Veronica and Ben as the Betty. However, the twist is, that Ben is the "safe" one, but family-loving, apple farmer, puritan Alan probably has more Betty characteristics than Ben, so which is Betty and which is Veronica depends on your interpretation and the situation Bea is in.
    • It is also worth noting that even in the 18th century segments of the comic there is still a Betty and Veronica dynamic with Alan (Betty) and a young Alexander Hamilton (Veronica). Although, it's pretty obvious which one Bea loves best/chooses.
  • Gender-flipped in Goblins, with the cowardly Dies-Horribly and the Heroic Gremm both vying for the affections of Saves-A-Fox.
  • Sandra and Larisa from Sandra and Woo as Betty resp. a particularly chaotic Veronica. In this case, the Archie (Cloud) seems to clearly prefer the Betty.
  • In Our Little Adventure, Angelika, being the Veronica, trashes Emily as mousy.

Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Clone High pushes this one to its logical extremes: Abraham Lincoln is madly in love with demanding, selfish, spoiled, slutty, gorgeous, popular Cleopatra (Veronica), while remaining completely clueless to the devotion of his best friend, spunky, intelligent, independent, creative, semi-goth Joan of Arc (Betty). Of course, in the end he realises that he really loves Joan, etc.
    • To a much lesser extent, Joan could be considered to be the Archie to Abe's Betty and JFK's Veronica.
  • Applies to Danny Phantom, where Danny is infatuated with Paulina, the shallow, beautiful "Veronica" of the school, ignoring the pretty, intelligent "Betty" at his side, Samantha Manson. The love triangle isn't clear at the beginning of the show, when Samantha and Danny are Just Friends, but eventually their feelings do grow for each other.
  • Parodied not subtly at all in South Park. In the two parter "Do the Handicapped Go To Hell?"/"Probably", Satan has to choose between his two gay lovers, and the Veronica happens to be Saddam Hussein. And the two rivals keep killing each other, but they're in Hell already, so they just keep coming back. Eventually, Satan just says "forget it" and dumps them both, deciding to forgo having relationships at all for a while. Based on advice from God.
    • The Movie has a gender flip version with Wendy as the Archie, Stan as the Betty and Gregory as the Veronica. It may have been imaginary, though, since Wendy chooses Stan at the end with no hesitation.
  • Disney's Pocahontas also genderswaps this with Kocoum as the Betty and John Smith as the Veronica, although the contest clearly ends when Kocoum dies.
    • Though this is also somewhat subverted as Pocohontas isn't torn between the two, she clearly doesn't want to marry Kocoum, it's more of a choice between her fathers's wishes and her own desires.
    • The sequel adds John Rolfe as a new Betty, though John Smith is largely absent anyway. In the end, Pocahontas follows the history books in winding up with John Rolfe.
  • In The Fairly OddParents, Tootie is the Betty and Trixie is the Veronica to Timmy Turner's Archie.
  • Ace Lightning has Heather and Sam who both date Mark at one point or another and have seemingly conflicting personalities and yet are best friends. Kind of like the original Betty and Veronica, really.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man has Gwen Stacy as the Betty, similar to some of her comic book presentations, but it is Liz Allen who is given the status of the Veronica whom Peter goes out with first. Mary Jane only fits the Veronica role for a quick bit of Ship Tease—she went on one blind date with Peter, but during the first and second seasons at least she doesn't harbor much serious interest in him other than as a friend. Whether this would have changed if the show had continued is unknown.
    • Which is pretty true of the original Amazing Spiderman comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
    • One could argue that leading up to the dance Gwen was the Betty and Betty (ironically) was the Veronica, being the unattainable older woman. Black Cat might also count as the Cheryl Blossom.
  • Even though she has a few things in common with Veronica (being rich and a bit uppity), Lola from Robotboy still plays the part of Betty to Bambi's Veronica and Tommy's Archie.
  • Archie's Weird Mysteries, natch. In one episode, a sea monster tries to woo Archie by taking on the guise of a girl combining Betty and Veronica's best features, prompting Betty and Veronica to form an Enemy Mine as they think they're the only ones who will fight for Archie. In the finale, a time-travelling future version of Archie is about to tell his past self who he finally got together with, only to be zapped away at the last moment.
  • In The Critic episode "Lady Hawke", Jay Sherman (the Archie) got into a triangle with Alice (the Betty) and his best friend Jeremy's twin sister Olivia (the Veronica). He chooses Alice at the end of the episode.
  • In Total Drama World Tour, Gwen is the Betty and Courtney the Veronica to Duncan's Archie.
    • Also, Cody could be the Betty and Trent the Veronica for Gwen in season one, and Trent the Betty and Duncan the Veronica in season two.
    • Also in World Tour, Cody is the Betty and Duncan is the Veronica to Gwen. And then you have Sierra forming another love triangle with Cody...it's quite the Love Dodecahedron, really.
    • In Revenge of the Island, Zoey is the Betty and Anne Maria is the Veronica to Mike's Archie
  • In The Secret Saturdays, Doc Saturday could to be the Betty and Leonidas Van Rooke the Veronica for Drew Saturday.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Tony has Pepper (Betty) and Whitney (Veronica). Pepper has Tony (Betty) and Gene (Veronica).
  • In X-Men: Evolution, arguably Jean Grey is the Betty and Rogue the Veronica for Scott Summers/Cyclops.
    • Also, Cyclops could be said to be the Betty and Gambit the Veronica for Rogue in this series.
  • In Kappa Mikey, Mitsuki is the Betty and Lily is the Veronica to Mikey's Archie.
  • Hey Arnold! has Arnold having a crush on Lila (Betty) and admired by Helga (Veronica).
    • In "Arnie visits Arnie", Arnold is admired by Arnie's girlfriend Lulu (Veronica) and falls in love with Hilda (Betty). In turn, Arnold is the Betty to Arnie's Veronica for Hilda.
  • This occurs a few times in The Simpsons. In 'The Last Temptation of Homer', Homer almost has an affair with Mindy (Veronica), but chooses Marge (Betty). He also choose Marge over another Veronica, Lurleen Lumpkin, in 'Colonel Homer'. A gender subversion occurs when Marge chooses Homer (Betty) over an affair with Jacques (Veronica) in 'Life on the Fast Lane'.
    • Several hypothetical/future episodes have Lisa involved with Milhouse (Betty) while attracted to Nelson (Veronica).
  • Monster Allergy has Elena the Betty and Lay the Veronica when it comes to Zick. Lay has this with Zick as Betty and Teddy as Veronica.
  • Jimmy Timmy Power Hour has Jimmy as Betty and Timmy as Veronica to Cindy.
  • Spider-man: The Animated Series. Rich popular snobbish born with a silver spoon in her mouth Felicia Hardy as the Veronica and down-to-earth girl next door Mary Jane as the Betty. And then Felicia gets Character Development, a convoluted deal with Morbius... and becomes Black Cat.
  • Justice League Unlimited would have Hawkgirl and Vixen in these roles... but the challenge here is to determine who's who to John Stewart's Archie. On one hand Mari/Vixen is a world famous fashion model, very beautiful and glamorous while Hawkgirl is a more down-to-earth character and kinda One of the Boys. On the other, Hawkgirl is a redhaired alien woman with wings, which makes her a lot more exotic than the Eart-born Vixen will ever be.
    • Also they play this trope a step further making them frenemies rather than downright rivals. To the point that Mari is Genre Savvy enough to rescue herself and Hawkgirl from some enemies... via pretending that she wants to Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • In Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, both quiet, reliable Jane Foster and sexy, dangerous Enchantress seem to love Thor. However, he just doesn't like the Enchantress.
  • Robbie the Reindeer has Donna (kind, sensible and voiced by Jane Horrocks) as Betty and Vixen (who lives up to her name) as Veronica.
  • In Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, you have Marina, who is engaged to be married to Proteus (the Betty), but develops a romantic interest in his old roguish friend Sinbad (the Veronica). While she may not have been IN LOVE with Proteus, she cared about him enough to go with Sinbad to ensure that he retrieves the Book of Peace from Eris so that Proteus won't have to die for his screw-up. In the end, when Proteus realizes that Marina loves Sinbad, he privately breaks off the engagement and lets her leave Syracuse with Sinbad and his crew.
  • Adventure Time has the sweet scientist Princess Bubblegum as the Betty and the radical musician Marceline the Vampire Queen as the Veronica to Finn's Archie. However, things get a little more complicated with the introduction of the quick-to-anger Flame Princess as the Cheryl Blossom.
  • The Legend of Korra puts Mako in the Archie position, choosing between Korra (the Veronica) and Asami (the Betty). Interestingly, a lot of the traits usually associated with each side are swapped around; ie. Asami is the richer, more traditionally beautiful one, while Korra is naive and from the country.
  • In King of the Hill, Nancy Hicks-Gribble has been carrying on an affair with Veronica, John Redcorn, while married to her Crazy Survivalist husband Dale (the Betty).


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Real life Betty/Veronica tensions = brunette, cute Judy Garland vs. fast, "Sweater Girl" Lana Turner, both in love with bandleader Artie Shaw.
  • More famously, Debbie Reynolds (Betty) vs. Elizabeth Taylor (Veronica). After Liz was widowed suddenly, Reynold's husband Edwin "Eddie" Fisher (father to Carrie, and the best friend of Taylor's dead husband) left his family to be with Liz. The nation sided against Eddie and Liz, until Liz came down with a near fatal case of pneumonia.
  • Blonde Jennifer Aniston as the Betty, brunette Angelina Jolie as the Veronica, Brad Pitt as... Archie? The tabloids had many, many field days with this, as did the broadsheets...
  • The Notorious B.I.G. and his well-known triangle with Lil' Kim and Faith Evans. Which is Betty and which is Veronica is not as clear as it seems, as he and Kim were intimate for years before he met Faith.
  • John Lennon (Archie)/Cynthia Lennon (Betty)/Yoko Ono (Veronica, in the "exotic and edgy" sense).
  1. Note that Tina is still "innocent" in one way (ie, still a virgin).
  2. though she eventually turned out to be more screwed-up than she appeared