Why Archie Is Actually The Worst Character On 'Riverdale'

Stay away, ladies of Riverdale High. Stay away!
by Eliza Thompson
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This post contains spoilers for the first eight episodes of Riverdale.

Now that Riverdale is in the second half of its first season, it’s time to discuss something very important. You may have noticed this thing as early as day one, but in the course of eight episodes, it’s now as impossible to ignore as Cole Sprouse’s biceps in a tank top. Are you ready? Here it is: Archie is an asshole, of the highest order.

To be clear right upfront, I want to note that I am only talking about the Archie of Riverdale and not the Archie of the comics. Until reading Afterlife With Archie in preparation for the possibility that the show is about to go full zombie, I had not read an Archie comic since the first Clinton administration. Some of the Riverdale cast wasn’t even alive back then. Maybe comics Archie is nice! I doubt it, since he’s been stringing two different women along for the entire span of his career, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

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Riverdale Archie, however, is a different story. Every single woman who has ever had the misfortune of speaking to a man has known a guy like Archie—the guy who on the surface seems super-sweet and loving but uses his “kindness” as an excuse to act like a douchebag. He’s the male feminist who doesn’t understand why he needs to shut the fuck up at the protest, the pro-choice coworker who talks over you in meetings, the guy friend who never understood why coming over to spoon you at midnight might send the wrong signal.

This is different than a fuckboy, mind you. A fuckboy is never mistaken for a nice guy. Fuckboys advertise themselves as fuckboys, either via clothing or attitude, but you love them anyway. Chuck Bass is a fuckboy. Zayn is a fuckboy. But Archie is something different. Archie is hiding his fuckboy-ness under the guise of golly-gee-whiz dopiness and amiability, and that makes him dangerous.

Here is a selection of bad things Archie has done since the show began: Cancel a road trip with his best friend so he could stay home and make out with his girlfriend, who was his teacher. Reject his other best friend’s romantic advances, only to get jealous when she started dating the first best friend. Make out with another girl at a party where the rejected best friend was right there, aware that he was making out with another girl. Lie about what he was doing on the morning of his classmate’s disappearance to protect himself. Crash a baby shower for his friend’s unstable sister. Yell at his friend in the middle of that baby shower for not telling him that his dad was a gang member. Yoko the Pussycats because he wanted help with his stupid songwriting (and I know that’s a sexist invocation of Yoko, but I only use it here because you know Archie is the kind of guy who thinks Yoko Yoko’ed the Beatles).

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Somehow, through all of this, everyone still seems to think Archie is a nice guy. He’s not the king of Riverdale High or anything, but in general he seems well liked, and he’s certainly not having any trouble with women. In addition to attracting the illegal advances of Mrs. Grundy and unrequited love of Betty, Archie has made out with Veronica, Valerie, and according to the promo for the next episode, Cheryl. To paraphrase Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You: What is it with this dude, he have beer-flavored nipples?

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Archie’s most egregious display of assholery came during Thursday’s episode, “Chapter Eight: The Outsiders.” While trying to find out who was responsible for trashing his dad’s construction site, Archie went in search of the Southside Serpents at the gloriously spelled Whyte Wyrm. He got upset with Jughead for not wanting to come along, even though—Juggie’s familial connection to the Serpents aside—declining to sneak into a biker bar, underage, on a school night, is a completely reasonable thing to do. After finding out that the real reason Jughead didn’t want to go was because his dad was a Serpent, Archie, as mentioned, decided to crash Polly’s baby shower to confront him about it.

His beef was that Jughead kept his dad’s Serpentry a secret, because Jughead supposedly can tell Archie anything, but it’s extremely obvious that Jughead hasn’t felt that way since the canceled road trip. He didn’t tell Archie that he was homeless and living in the school or that he was dating Betty, so if they’re really like “brothers,” they need to work on their communication skills. Yet Archie, in his all his egotistic ineptitude, decided the best place to talk about this was at a baby shower for Jughead’s girlfriend’s sister. Betty didn’t know that Skeet Ulrich was a Serpent, either, so Archie also got to embarrass Jughead in front of her, which you know was intentional revenge for Betty moving on after Archie’s rejection, right into the arms of his best friend. Of course she moved on, you dope! Jughead is hot, and you didn't want to date her.

In conclusion, Archie is the absolute worst, and I hope he finds time between football practice and songwriting (you can’t have both, you greedy twerp—leave the songwriting to the kids without six-packs) to stop whining and do some soul-searching. Otherwise, when the killer of beautiful gingers comes back to Riverdale for a second hit, no one will even miss him. 

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Follow Eliza on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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