Things are not as they seem in Riverdale. The CW show based on the infamous and beloved Archie comics is not light-hearted and fun like what you remember. Instead, the characters you know (like girl-next-door Betty Cooper, the fierce and fabulous Veronica Lodge, and the totally clueless Archie Andrews) are all discovering new things about a murder that happened in their seemingly quiet town. Only a handful of episodes of this murder mystery have aired, but this show is already keeping us on our toes. Along with the drama comes some important life lessons that we can all take away from the show. As we watch the characters we love navigate life (and, well, death), we learn some things along the way. There are other non-mysterious things going on here, too, like love, friendship, and frenemies. While we can’t exactly learn how to best handle a mysterious murder in our hometowns, we can learn some other essential life lessons from Riverdale. Here are 15 of them.
15 Stand Up To Bullies
Cheryl Blossom is the Queen Bee, and when Veronica could easily take that role away from her, she chooses to be kind instead of ruthless. But Cheryl rules the cheerleading squad with an iron fist. She lets Veronica on the team... but not Betty. She taunts Betty about the relationship Cheryl’s brother Jason (the dead guy) had with Betty’s sister Polly (who became pregnant with Jason’s child and was sent away by her parents). Veronica goes into total destroy mode. She gives Cheryl her “reckoning” and refuses to take a spot on the team if Betty is not allowed on as well. She lets Cheryl know that she knows exactly the kind of girl Cheryl is and Veronica will not tolerate it under any circumstances. After Cheryl says she wants “fire” on her team, Veronica makes it clear to her when she says, “My specialty is ice.” You go girl.
14 Don’t Kiss Your Best Friend’s Crush
Betty and Veronica may be totally different from each other but they become fast friends when Veronica moves to town. But Betty has to be a little intimidated by Veronica, a confident vixen. When Veronica and Archie (Betty’s lifelong crush) are paired together for a game of 7 Minutes in Heaven, Betty feels betrayed and heartbroken. It's one thing to see the guy you like with someone else, and it's totally another to see the guy you like with your best friend. Veronica feels horrible, however, and tries super hard to win her best friend back. The saying “bros before hos” is totally true. Friendship is way more important than any guy. Luckily, Veronica is able to earn Betty’s trust back and salvage their friendship. While some guys may seem hard to resist (like Archie, who puberty hit in a big way over the summer...) it's just not worth it in the long run.
13 Forgive Others
This has already happened time and time again in Riverdale, and the best example is Jughead and Archie's friendship. Unlike the goofy sidekick from the comics, Jughead is deeply introspective and, truthfully, kind of emo. Naturally, he doesn't exactly get along with some of Archie’s new friends, as Archie is in the popular group. Not only does Archie essentially ditch Jughead for some meathead jocks, but we learn that Archie canceled their planned Fourth of July road trip. Archie didn't have a good excuse, either, because he was probably with Ms. Grundy, the teacher he was seeing over the summer. Jughead knows the true Archie and is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Jughead is totally sold on Archie’s sincere apology. Solid, long-term friendships are important to maintain. You should definitely not let something frivolous (or maybe even something a little bit bigger) come between you and a friend.
12 Don’t Crush On Who You Can’t Have
Poor Betty can’t catch a break. She has been hopelessly in love with Archie for eons now, and Archie just doesn't feel the same way. He sees her as a friend and she is essentially “friend-zoned.” We see how much pain this causes Betty. We definitely think that you should stay away from friend-crushes. If things aren't flirtatious from the beginning, you are probably just a friend. Still, even after being turned down, Betty continues to hold a candle for Archie. Girl, give it up. If he doesn't want you, he does not want you, and you are probably way too good for him. Don't hold onto a last inkling of hope -- that will just drag things on. Tell him “Boy, bye” and start the process of moving on, as difficult as it may seem. Fortunately, Betty seems to be digesting this message and is beginning to move on to a new relationship with Jughead.
11 Pursue Your Passions
Archie has a lot of expectations put upon him. His dad wants him to work in construction and his coach wants him to focus on football, but creating music is what makes Archie the happiest. While juggling a bunch of hobbies may be tough, Archie refuses to give up his one true passion. Enter Josie and the Pussycats. These girls are here to inspire Archie to chase his musical dreams. When Archie helps them write a song, he is totally and completely in his element. Some people may not take him seriously, but he will fight for his dreams. It takes some time, but eventually, Archie’s dad supports him and even creates a studio. Archie eventually decides he wants to study music in college and turns down being football captain to focus on his music, which we think is super dedicated. Even stage fright will not stop this kid. We love it.
10 Family Isn’t Everything
Best case scenario, you have the love and support of your family. The kids on Riverdale are not so fortunate. There is the uptight and judgmental Alice Cooper, who tries to control everything Betty does. Honestly, we don't get what her deal is. Rest assured, the rest of the town hates her too. Oh, and then there is the whole “sending away your pregnant daughter” thing. Pretty terrible way to deal with the situation, if you ask us. Of course, then there is Veronica’s dad with the embezzlement scandal, which negatively affects the rest of his family in a major way. Her mother forces consent for things Veronica did not consent to and Veronica’s parents are just generally horrible people. Jughead’s dad is estranged from him and in a motorcycle gang called the Southside Serpents. Not exactly “Father of the Year." Even minor characters like Josie have unsupportive parents. Poor kids honestly, we are surprised they turned out okay.
9 Don’t Get Involved In Affairs
Archie and Ms. Grundy are in a pickle. Their tryst is illegal, but revealing it may help solve Jason's murder. Archie wants to do the right thing and tell the police the truth about where he was that night, but Ms. Grundy insists that he doesn't or she will get in huge trouble. Affairs (aka relationships you are not supposed to be in) are always messy. Always. There is no situation where the relationship works out and the couple gets a happy ending. So yeah, we are judging Ms. Grundy pretty hardcore for being a grown woman sleeping with an underage boy. That is just messed up. Secret relationships may seem hot at first, but quickly get out of control when it comes down to it. You can easily date someone who is not off-limits, so why don’t you? Things are much easier that way. We just don't get this.
8 Don’t Tell Lies
This one is not obvious, but Riverdale is full of examples of people keeping secrets all the time. For instance, Cheryl knew that her brother Jason was actually trying to fake his own death... and then ended up dying for real. We mean, there is lying to a teacher about a homework assignment and then there is lying to the police about a murder. Probably best to be truthful instead, Cheryl. Of course, whoever murdered Jason is going to stay quiet, but everyone else keeping their mouths shut to cover their own butts is hindering the investigation. There are so many elements to what went on the fateful night Jason died, and if everyone was honest, perhaps something could be pieced together about the murder. Just stop lying, you guys. Stop trying to save your own agenda and do the right thing by telling the truth. There is no reason to lie, being truthful is the way to go.
7 Stay Away From The Shaming
When Veronica goes on a date with hot-shot Chuck Clayton, he manages to spread the rumor that Veronica gave him a “sticky maple..." whatever the heck that is slang for. While the information was false and Veronica eventually got her revenge, what if she had hooked up with him? Is that anyone else's business? If anything, Chuck should be the one losing his good reputation since he proved himself to be an absolute jacka$$. Making fun of people is not cool in general, but shaming (aka calling someone out on provocative behavior or making comments about their love life) is just, ironically, trashy. It turns out that Chuck has been doing this to tons of girls, setting up a perfect squad for Veronica to exact her revenge. The news of Chuck’s actions is broken in the school newspaper, and now girls know to stay away from Chuck Clayton.
6 Conquer Your Fears
Archie’s passion is music, but putting yourself out there, especially lyrically, can make you very vulnerable and give you some major stage-fright. Archie is not ready to sing his songs in public, even though he is ready to share what he has created. Fortunately for him, he is able to come up with a compromise by having Josie and the Pussycats perform his song. Josie was not sold on Archie writing songs for them at first, but then he proved himself to her with his natural skill. Maybe Archie should write about Jason's murder instead of Jughead. Hmm... While Archie may not be on stage rocking out just yet, he knows he will eventually have to face his fears if he wants his dreams to come true. Working with Josie and the Pussycats and sharing his music with others are very important steps and exactly what he should be doing.
5 Go For the Kiss
While things may not be going too well for Betty on the Archie front, she does as least have the admiration of Jughead, who is working with her to try to solve Jason Blossom’s murder. There are times when the hint is not taken (like Betty with Archie) and then there are times where the moment is just right. Jughead can sense the right moment for him and Betty and goes in for the kiss. Luckily for Jughead, it ends up working out in his favor. Betty is flattered and seems to like him back. A new romance is sparking between the two and it was, all thanks to the brave steps Jughead took to win over his crush. While this may not go over well 100 percent of the time, Jughead was able to sense that Betty either felt the same way or at least would not hurt him if he bared his feelings.
4 Leave The Past In The Past
The tension is high in Riverdale not only between the teenagers but between the adults, too. One would think once you reach a certain age, you become too mature for all the drama, but these crazy adults prove that theory totally wrong. One major feud is between Cheryl’s family, the Blossoms, and Betty’s family, the Coopers. It may seem random and petty, but there is more to it than meets the eye: Betty learns that Cheryl’s great-grandfather murdered Betty’s great-grandfather, starting up the feud that would last in the families for generations to come. This is honestly such a stupid thing for Betty and Cheryl’s parents to be upset about, seeing as it didn't even directly involve them! The feud provided a snag in Polly and Jason’s relationship, making them star-crossed lovers. Totally unnecessary in our opinion. Just let it go. Don’t hold grudges against people who had nothing to do with the issue itself. This is a feud that should just be left in the past.
3 Nobody Likes A Jerk
After joining the football team, Archie encounters the typical jocks that you would expect at any high school. They treat girls as conquests and are not nice to people who are different from them. It is no wonder that Jughead disapproves of Archie’s new crew -- especially considering one of them, Reggie, refers to Jughead as a “spooky, scrawny pathetic internet troll too busy writing his internet manifestos to get laid.” Ouch. Now that is just harsh. The pot is stirred even more when Archie’s coach has Archie and Reggie compete for the role of team captain. Unlike Reggie, Archie does not let his pride get to him: when the title is offered to him, he declines, knowing that half of his attention would be on music and that Reggie would do a better job at giving his all. While Reggie stresses too much and puts in a great amount of attention to his reputation, Archie is effortlessly popular by just not being a jerk.
2 Don’t Be Cocky, Be Confident
Cheryl Blossom, a popular girl, is disliked yet feared by her peers. Veronica Lodge’s arrival proves that it is unnecessary for Cheryl to be going to the lengths that she is. Veronica is sexy yet sweet, gaining her points with everyone. For example, after Betty gets mad at Veronica for kissing Archie, Veronica goes above and beyond and does anything and everything to win back Betty’s approval. She gets her flowers, cupcakes, and even a mani-pedi date. She, unlike Cheryl, knows how important being a friend is. It's definitely possible to be both pretty and chill. Veronica used to be like Cheryl, but turned over a new leaf and is so much cooler for it. She is confident but not stuck-up, which can be a very fine line. Veronica shows that sometimes nice guys finish first. Archie knows this to be true too, by being a good-looking jock without any of the nastiness that we expect to come with it.
1 Don’t Judge Others
A lot of judging goes down in this small town. Veronica and her family are knocked down a peg or two when her father is arrested for embezzlement, forcing Hermione (Veronica’s mom, not the one from Harry Potter...) to get a job as a waitress. Cheryl holds this over Veronica’s head as if being a waitress is something to be ashamed of. We don't know about you, but we have respect for anyone who works hard at what they do. Then there's Betty’s psycho mom who judges every move that her daughters make. She even sends one of her daughters, Polly, away when she gets pregnant. Betty has to literally seek out her sister in order to talk to her, which is super sad. If Mrs. Cooper were a little more relaxed and non-judgmental, maybe the Cooper’s would be a happier family unit. And Jughead may wear dark colors and hang out by himself a lot, but that is no reason for the football team to give him crap either. Basically, just be nice. Take a walk in someone else’s shoes. See, you can learn a lot from a really fun and campy teen drama!