Riverdale, the show based on the classic Archie comics, is quite possibly the worst Netflix show in existence. Besides the incestuous undertones, the mild homophobia, and just the writing in general, here are the top 15 worst moments in the show, and trust me when I say, it was hard to narrow it down.
15. Jailhouse Rock
Now I don’t watch the show so if you’re looking for context, go somewhere else. All I can really tell you is a vague synopsis of the scene; Archie is in jail (???) and the cheerleaders decide to absolutely ruin Elvis for everyone by performing Jailhouse Rock for him. For those of you who enjoy cringing, you can find the video on YouTube, but I’ll warn you- yikes.
14. Every Time Veronica says ‘Archiekins’, or ‘Daddykins’… or anything ending with kins.
The title is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s basically Veronica’s most iconic, ‘quirky’ thing when she ends any word and/or name with the suffix “Kins”. What does it mean??? No one really knows. Maybe we’ll find out in season 5.
13. Betty’s Fake Brother
My younger sister used watch Riverdale religiously and I remember when Betty discovered she had a secret brother named Chic who was a male prostitute and then it turns out he’s not her real brother and he killed the real one and pretended to be the real one when he was the real fake one and the real secret one was dead and … this just sounds like a fever dream.
12. FP is a Sheriff?
Jughead’s dad FP Jones was arrested in late-season one for some shady gang stuff and to put it simply it was not a good time. Fast forward to now, he was elected sheriff? I’m not sure how the laws work in this backwards universe but I’m pretty sure it would take longer than a few months to go from a criminal to a sheriff. But then again I’m pretty sure laws don’t exist there.
11. Dark Betty
Early in season one its discovered Betty has a dark side- which was very cleverly named “Dark Betty”. Basically, she puts on a dark wig and lingerie and gets mad about stuff. I remember she almost drowned someone in a hot tub during a Dark Betty phase… and it was never mentioned again. She was also briefly a cam-girl, I’m not really sure what that was about but who am I to judge? Needless to say, this weird little bit has not been addressed and probably never will be. So that’s cool.
10. Archie’s Murder/Stage Fright Dilemma
For those of you who suffered through season one with me might remember a time where Archie was the Troy Bolton of Riverdale High and there was a constant inner struggle between music and sports. He was briefly a song-writer and performed in his school talent show, but here’s the kicker; he was nervous. Oh no.
The writers of Riverdale made the conscious decision to have Archie deal with his stage fright with the same drama and severity as an actual murder… in the SAME episode.
9. Betty’s Initiation
Now there’s a lot to unpack in this one, I don’t even know where to start. Basically, FP Jones retires from being the Serpent Leader and they throw him a retirement party. Betty decides this is a good time to join the gang, knowing full-well the female initiation is… an exotic dance routine.
It all starts when Archie and Veronica (who sub-textually are on the verge of a break-up) are singing Mad World karaoke at the party. Veronica gets upset and dramatically runs off, and I’m not sure what was going on in Betty’s mind but it must have been along the lines of “now’s the perfect time to strip”. So she does just that, and it’s just… so awkward. Like, middle school dance while your dad is chaperoning kind of awkward.
Also, her mom was literally there to see it all.
8. Jason and Polly’s quasi-incestuous relationship
Once again, there’s a lot to unpack here. Basically these two dated for a while and *cough cough* conceived a child *cough* without knowing they were second cousins. Who knew Riverdale was based in Alabama?
7. Betty’s dad is a serial killer?
During season two there was a very strange plotline with a Zodiac-like serial killer called the Black Hood. He shot Fred Andrews for committing adultery, murdered Geraldine Grundy in Greendale for being a child predator (I’ll let that one slide), attacked on Moose and Midge for… doing drugs? I’m pretty sure he tried to bury Archie alive too. Anyways, turns out it was Betty’s dad Hal the whole time, and his motive was to rid the town of sinners, because that’s up to him for some reason. Anyways, this was never addressed either.
6. The Red Circle
In order to combat gang violence, Archie comes up with a brilliant idea to make his own gang. Fight fire with fire, right? Anyways they call the gang the Red Circle and post a cringe video of all the football boys wearing red masks (and shirtless) and then Archie threatening people. What makes t so much better is that Veronica mad t-shirts to support the gang and handed them out to the whole school. I think this lasted about one episode.
In the beginning, the cheerleading troupe led by “Cheryl Bombshell” (oof) is apparently the most important thing for Riverdale females, so Veronica and Betty try to join and attempt to boost themselves by kissing… with the excuse that “all guys go for it.” So yeah, faux-lesbian kissing for no reason… in the FIRST episode.
The cherry on top is that a still from this scene was used as a promo pic before the show aired, and the LGBTQ+ community went “oh cool, maybe we’ll actually get representation”, and then they got the opposite.
4. Archie and Grundy
As mentioned in number 7, The Black Hood kills a woman named Geraldine Grundy for being a child predator. Her prey? Archie Andrews.
They had a very intimate relationship in the first season, which just… should not have happened, because ick. The part that bothers me the most is that if Grundy was a man and Archie was a younger girl there would be an absolute outrage. We call that a double standard. Female child predators exist too, people.
3. Jughead’s “I’m Weird” Speech.
This whole speech is just the most god-awful 2014 Wattpad-esque speech ever written. It immediately became a meme and to this day it is still used. If you feel like dying a bit inside, go look it up on youtube or click the link below.
2. Cheryl’s “Suicide”
The show took a pretty dark turn at the end of the first season when Cheryl attempted suicide by plunging herself into a freezing river. I’ll hand it to them, that scene was well-written and dramatic, but my hope for Riverdale’s future was shattered when they pulled her out of the ice and took her to Veronica’s mom Hermione, who just happens to hate Cheryl. They left her alone with Hermionie and then split up to go have sex to an imagine dragons song. So sucks for Cheryl I guess.
1. High School Football
Tada, this is it. The worst Riverdale moment of all time.
Archie is in jail and he meets another guy and they exchange backstories, and Archie feels sorry for him… because he never got to play high school. Here’s a still from the scene, and the video below.
I just have a few questions. Why did he drop out in grade four? Are you legally allowed to do that? Who would buy drugs from a nine-year-old? Is high school football really that great? WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS?
So that’s it folks, probably the worst and most difficult list I ever had to make. If you didn’t lose brain cells just by reading this then I don’t trust you.