Riverdale is the kind of show where killer roleplaying games, cheerleaders doing archery, and drug rings for faux Pixie Stix aren’t enough to crack the top 10 of wacky things we’ve seen. With showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa set to maybe expand his television empire with The Brides, we’re looking at his most infamous creation to point out what makes it, well, so Riverdale.
Over the past four seasons, the Archie Comics series has gone from a clever teenage Twin Peaks tribute to one of the most inexplicable shows on television. Not even soap operas can compare with the shit Riverdale has pulled. We’ve seen schools turned into private prisons, countless secret siblings, maple syrup drug rings….and the Jingle Jangle.
You guys, the Jingle Jangle. We’ve compiled a list of Riverdale’s most baffling moments…so far. Be sure to watch the video to see them all in action. Trust me, these have to be seen to be believed.
10. Betty becomes the Gryphon Queen
In the season three episode “Outbreak,” Betty found herself trapped in a nunnery with a bunch of young women who’d all become addicted to a roleplaying game called Gryphons & Gargoyles. To convince them all to escape, she did the natural thing and disguised herself as the Gryphon Queen, a powerful mop-clad warrior who killed the Gargoyle King and took over his domain. It was a stupid plan in a world full of stupid plans but of course, they bought it.
9. Veronica opens a teenage speakeasy
Early on in season three, Veronica was trying to find ways to expand her soda shop business while also sticking it to Daddy. The perfect solution was right in front of her”or, rather, underneath her.
She turned the basement into a speakeasy for teenagers, complete with a secret door, cocktail attire dress code, and “mocktails” to ensure the underage patrons of the arts weren’t getting toasted (sure, Jan). Veronica’s made so many baffling business decisions over the years but the speakeasy was probably the silliest. Teenagers aren’t interested in cabaret music and ginger beer, they just want to get drunk and/or high and play Nintendo Switch.
8. Jughead’s teacher jumps out of a window without explanation
In the season four episode “Hereditary,” Jughead’s teacher Mr. Chipping interrupted his writing class to surprisingly jump out the window as his fellow students looked on, unconcerned. We later found out that Chipping was “murdered,” as he’s part of this giant conspiracy involving some teenage boy detective novels. But the scene was really clumsy, and also uncomfortable.
7. Archie fights a bear
This needs no further explanation.
6. Cheryl’s got a haunted doll sibling
Cheryl’s long been obsessed with the death of her twin brother Jason (more on that later), but in the season four episode “Halloween” we got something even more revealing. Nana Rose divulged that Cheryl was supposed to have a triplet but that she absorbed her second brother, Julian, in the womb. The ghost of that baby ended up inside a doll, one which Cheryl has since kept because this young woman needs serious psychological help.
5. Polly’s twins “levitate” in a cult ritual
Betty’s mum spent a lot of season three with The Farm, a cult that was harvesting organs and putting on high school productions of the Heathers musical to recruit new members (just wait). Early on, Betty got suspicious that the group was up to no good so she spied on one of their gatherings. She ended up seeing her sister’s twin babies tossed into a fire and then float up like magical trash on the wind. Sure, it was a hallucination caused by drugs Veronica’s daddy was using as part of a scheme to take control of Riverdale, but still. Cult babies.
4. “Dark Betty” is a serial killer-in-training
Dark Betty has long been a key part of Riverdale for reasons that I still have yet to decipher. She first made an appearance in season one, drugging a football player to get a confession out of him and also tempting Jughead with some light BDSM.
However, as things have gone on, Dark Betty has evolved from a black wig and pleather boots into an actual genetic disease. It turns out, much like her father (who was the Black Hood menace from season two), Betty has something called the “serial killer gene.” (I checked, it doesn’t exist.) Plus, she’s got a trigger word that will turn her into a mindless killer determined to destroy the dark side of herself by any means necessary. What even is this show?
3. The cult’s got a rocket
Just…read our recap.
2. The Heathers musical episode
When Riverdale first ventured into musicals with Carrie, the result was charming. All of that goodwill went straight out the garbage chute with their take on Heathers.
A cult classic film turned cult classic musical, the Riverdale version featured terrible choreography, hilarious imagery, and overuse of autotune. Plus, it chose to clean up some of the song lyrics with hilarious results (“go play duck duck goose”). The series is set to tackle Hedwig and the Angry Inch next time around and I shudder at the thought.
1. Cheryl keeps the corpse of her dead brother
No, you didn’t read that wrong. After being presented with the stuffed corpse of her brother Jason by The Farm, Cheryl didn’t do the sensible thing and report it to the police. She kept it in her family’s basement church. For an entire season.
You know, it’s true what they say: Riverdale’s gonna Riverdale.