11 January 2019, 11:50 | Updated: 11 June 2020, 19:31
Who is the best character on Riverdale? There’s only one way to find out…
There’s long been a debate around who the best character on Riverdale actually is. For some of us, we have our solid favourites but for the rest of the fandom, things tend to shift from episode to episode as the characters evolve and… well, die.
Here at PopBuzz HQ, we all pledge allegiance to several different characters so we decided to end the madness once and for all and rank every single character in the show to find out who *actually* is the best. Arguments amongst the team were had, filibusters in favour of certain characters were performed but in the end, there was one clear winner.
READ MORE: Riverdale season 5: Release date, cast, spoilers and news
The rules are simple: The character has had to have appeared on screen and/or have an actual name. Character development, character actions and motives have all been considered. And please note: Only the CHARACTERS have been taken into account, this ranking is not based on the ACTORS.
Are we clear? Are you ready? Every single character from Riverdale ranked. Who will be crowned King or Queen? 3, 2, 1… GO.
104) Hal Cooper
Shot Fred Andrews for no reason. Tried to kill Cheryl for no reason. Killed Midge FOR NO REASON. Terrorised his own daughter. Tried to kill his own daughter. Cheated on his wife. Tried to kill her too. Tried to scam her out of inheritance money. Told her to abort her unborn baby. Told his other daughter to abort her babies. Was literally a serial killer.
103) Penelope Blossom
As Riverdale’s resident lady of the night, Penelope has been serving looks AND tea while Clifford is rotting in the ground. But however iconic she might be, it turns out that she was just as – if not more – villainous as him. She still spent years emotionally abusing her own daughter, literally drove her to conversion therapy and then orchestrated an entire scheme to murder everyone in Riverdale. A great villain, but a terrible terrible person.
102) Clifford Blossom
Clifford Blossom. Where do we begin? Bad wigs, for a start. Terrible wigs. And um, don’t know about you guys but shooting your own son point blank in the head is like, very bad, huh?
101) Nick St Clair
Spoiled rich kid, so hyped off his own privilege that he thinks he can come in heeeeere, sexually assault my girls and try to beat up my boyfriend Archie Andrews?! HELL NO.
100) Nick St Clair’s parents
Can you please come and collect your son?
99) Miss Grundy
One of the worst characters to ever grace the streets of Riverdale. Honestly.
98) Hiram Lodge
As deliciously devious and interesting as he is, Hiram really is a terrible terrible human, isn’t he? The shady mob boss business dealings can be forgiven but the fact that he used a sixteen year old boy as a pawn in his petty little game, tried to destroy his relationship with his father and then ruined his life by framing him for murder? YOU’RE A GROWN ASS MAN, SIR! PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE!
97) Edgar Evernever
Don’t care if he has great abs… the man has been out here harvesting the organs of teenagers and taking advantage of vulnerable people for God knows how long. LOCK HIM UP!
96) Sister Woodhouse
She can choke.
95) Tall Boy
Once upon a time, we all thought we could trust Tall Boy. He seemed like the kind of guy you’d want on speed dial just in case anything bad ever happened, ya know? A real ride or die. Turns out, he was a traitor.
Mustang had a hand in the torturing and murdering of Riverdale’s golden child, Jason Blossom and he was also one of the only Serpents dumb enough to get killed on the job. SAD!
93) Major Mason
Dressed up as the Gargoyle King in order to scare his son straight.
92) Joseph Svenson
We mean… did he ever really have anything to do with Hal’s Black Hood bullshit or was he just an innocent man roped in via blackmail? Either way, it doesn’t matter – he still tried to kill Betty and Archie.
91) Marty Mantle
He beat his own son?
90) Warden Norton
Don’t care if he was caught up in a game of Gryphons and Gargoyles, the man was a mess!
89) Oscar Castillo
You probably don’t even remember him. He was the guy who told Archie his writing wasn’t quite as iconic as he thought it was. Harsh but fair. Harsh but fair.
For style and aesthetics alone, Malachai would easily be top ten with that jawline and signature studded leather jacket. But him and his gang tried to destroy Riverdale, almost killed Jughead in the process so… it’s gonna have to be a no.
87) Sheriff Minetta
Hot but… terrible.
86) Gladys Jones
A messy bitch who lives for drama. At first, Gladys had all the makings of a great character but in the end, she was willing to risk her own son’s life rather than give up her drug empire. There’s parents with questionable morals and then there’s… that.
85) Francis J. DuPont
He can go in the bin.
84) Mr Honey
He can go in the bin too. Sorry about it.
83) Mrs Wright
He brought too much beef to the table. And we already have enough beef in Riverdale as it is.
81) Paul Sowerberry
Apparently he’s Hiram’s attorney from season one but we don’t recall. Probably corrupt, seeing as he’s dealing with Hiram. Sorry!
80) The Sugar Man/Robert Phillips
The sheer nerve of Mr Phillips to sell drugs in the same school where he teaches?! I’d say it was genius but he was stupid enough to get caught so… bye.
Beat up Chic at the motel then turned up to the Cooper house with nothing but a sad switch blade. Go back to Centerville, Marcel. No one cares.
77) Shady Guy
We barely knew the shady guy but he was clearly up to something shady.
76) Penny Peabody
A snake of the highest order. Teaming up with the Ghoulies after being banished by the Serpents and returning to beat up a sixteen year old and leave him for dead? We know Jughead skinned her first but that was just out of line!
75) Claudius Blossom
Conspired with Penelope to kill Nana Blossom by pushing her down the stairs and became part of Hiram’s evil gang of villains, shifting Fizzle Rocks all over the damn shop. He might have brilliant dinner table banter but he’s as shifty as his twin brother.
74) Evelyn Evernever
This. Grown. Adult. Is. The. Sneakiest. Cult. Recruiter. I. Have. Ever. Met. Do! Not! Trust! Her!
73) Daryl Doiley
Hands down, the most suspicious of all the parents on that fateful night at school back in the 90s. Also, WHO KILLED HIM?!
72) Myles McCoy
Josie’s dad had was pretty strict at the start. But he redeemed himself in season 3 when he came to watch Josie perform at La Bonne Nuit and invited her on tour with him. You know what that is? GROWTH.
A liar! A scammer! And apparently, the kid who’s been playing the Gargoyle King this whole time!
70) Laurie Lake
We knew she was not to be trusted. AND WE WERE RIGHT.
69) Cassidy Bullock
From the second we met him in the store at Shadow Lake, we knew he was fishy. Lo and behold, later in the episode he shows up with three pals in black hoods and attempts to rob the Lodge Lodge.
Little shit. But deserved better.
66) Principal Featherhead
Any principal who issues Saturday detentions is just doing the most. Take a day off, Featherhead!
65) Ms Appleyard
Omgggg, just let the girlies do their cheerleading in peace!!
64) Mr Chipping
Deserved more screen time. We hardly knew her!
Also deserved more screen time. We hardly knew him either!
61) Bret Weston Wallis
Bret tried it but he simply did not have Donna’s villainous range.
60) Randy Ronson
59) Mrs Ronson
RIP to her son!
58) Ginger Lopez and Tina Patel
Never voted in the battle between Cheryl and Veronica for Head Cheerleader. After all that’s happened over the past few years, don’t they know how important it is to GET OUT AND VOTE?!
57) Ethel’s Mum
Deserves better but doesn’t get enough screen time.
56) Brooke Rivers
Mary Andrews’ girlfriend? Love her!
55) Principal Weatherbee
Weatherbee means well, it’s not his fault everyone who surrounds him is absolutely useless. We mean, he was literally driven into a cult for Christ’s sake. The man needs a break! Hope he’s ok!
54) Peaches ‘n’ Cream
Seems like a ride or die. She can stay.
53) Farmer McGinty
He 100% needs to come back again to spill more tea on the Riverdale Reaper and Nana Blossom’s involvement with that gang of murderers. It’s what we deserve.
52) Small Fry
Despite proving himself to be a loyal son to the iconic Poppa Poutine, Small Fry broke into the Lodge’s apartment and attempted to murder Mi Amor and our beloved Mija. Not a smart move, Small Fry. You got what you deserved.
51) Poppa Poutine
If I ever decided to become part of the mob, I’d wanna be in Poppa Poutine’s organisation. Mainly because he has the best poutine.
50) Mrs Mulwray
Easily pressured into committing fraud and faking official documents but seems fun! (Also, did we ever find out if she was Hiram’s mistress or not?)
49) Jason Blossom
He’s never actually spoken so this seems unfair. But if Cheryl stans him then… what she says goes, we guess?
48) Polly Cooper
Polly has been MIA for the majority of this show but that doesn’t mean she’s about to get away with anything. On one hand, she’s pretty fuckin’ shady and on the other hand, she’s just a poor bb who got brainwashed by a cult.
47) Chuck Clayton
His efforts in the school musical were much appreciated but he needs more screen time to really flesh out that redemption arc.
46) Coach Clayton
Unproblematic fave who cut his own son from the football team after the playbook got out. He also seems to be one of the only parents in this town with some morals. Bring him back.
45) Agent Adams
At first he was an FBI agent shadowing Archie, then he was revealed to be linked to the Lodge family and THEN he double crossed the Lodges by working with Lenny and Carl. PICK A SIDE, ADAMS!
He’s shady but he knows how to run a good scam. Could be valuable if you ever needed to form a heist team but remember to scam him before he gets the chance to scam you.
42) Moose Mason
My boy’s been through a lot. His girlfriend was murdered by Hal Cooper, he was shot by Hal Cooper… Moose needs a break, you know? Hope he’s doing ok x
41) Ben Button
Of all the people in Riverdale, you know that this boy has some tea! He really did have the potential to be Riverdale’s Gossip Girl but then he killed himself in the name of the Gargoyle King. SUCH A WASTE!
40) Dr Curdle Jr
THIS GUY! He’ll do anything for an envelope of money.
39) Katy Keene
Turnings looks, stunting pretty, she’s the spin-off from New York City xoxo
38) Donna Sweett
Honestly? Donna Sweett is the most iconic villain Riverdale has ever had. End of discussion.
37) Trev Brown
Valerie’s unproblematic brother. He quit the football team after he saw Chuck’s playbook and spilled the tea to the amateur sleuths about its whereabouts. A legend. We stan.
36) Ethel Muggs
Ethel is a real mixed bag. Sometimes she’s a real one, sometimes she’s so infuriating that you just wanna scream and shake her. She sent those poison pen letters all because she wanted to be Carrie in the musical (petty) and she really let the team down when she got all up in that Gryphons and Gargoyles mess. But, at the end of the day, Ethel isn’t the worst.
Andre doesn’t deserve the slander he gets but unfortunately that’s what you get when you fall into bed with the Lodges and end up dying on the job. Also, Smithers was the best at guarding doors. SORRY ABOUT IT!
34) Mrs Burble
Absolute legend. How do we go about hiring her as our therapist?
33) Charles Smith
He’s been in this show for all of 5 minutes and he’s already top tier. FBI King. Wears the fuck out of a suit. And he’s cute. *chants* Please don’t be a murderer! Please don’t be a murderer! Please don’t be a murderer!
32) Dilton Doiley
If you had asked us during season 2, we would have 100% included Dilton on our dream fictional heist team; knows his way around the woods, has access to fire-arms if needed, has a good underground hide-out. But now, we can’t include him. Because he’s dead. And that’s a real shame. Peace out, Dilton.
31) Hot Dog
12/10, would not let him get kidnapped by the Ghoulies and be starved for three months.
14/10, would not abandon after selfishly pleading guilty to committing a murder I knew full well that I didn’t do.
29) Juniper and Dagwood
Honestly the most underrated characters in this whole show. The things they have seen! The things they must know!
The purest soul who only wanted the best. Deserved none of what Hiram threw at him but at least he’s safe at the bus station away from the mob dealings at the Pembrooke now. God speed, Smithers. See you again someday.
27) Nana Rose
The way she literally risked breaking every bone in her body by crawling to the phone to let Toni know that Cheryl had been forced into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy was legendary. HOWEVER, due to recent developments, it sounds like Nana Rose might actually be more evil than we thought.
26) Tom Keller
Sure, he had his off days as Sheriff but lemme tell you something about Tom Keller… the man will fight if you need him to. One third of the Hot Dads of Riverdale™ brigade, Keller is ready to take on whatever comes his way.
25) Sierra McCoy
Resigning as Mayor of this godforsaken town was the best thing that Sierra could have ever done. Free from the drama that comes with being mayor, she’s bagged herself a Hot Dad of Riverdale™ and is now lawyering up (free of charge?) for the teens of Riverdale.
24) Melody Valentine
Melody is one of the most underrated characters on this show and she deserves some more screen time, some more dialogue and some GOD DAMN RESPECT. BRING HER BACK. WHERE IS SHE?
23) Midge Klump
MY JINGLE JANGLE QUEEN DESERVED BETTER!
22) Toni Topaz’s Grandpa
IDK, he seems like a legend. Would love to see more of him.
21) Munroe Moore (Mad Dog)
This king saved Archie’s life and risked his own in doing so. He deserves the world. Also, very good abs.
20) Hermione Lodge
Hermione has been like three different people throughout this whole show. She’s gone from nice hard working lady to scheming mob wife and potential Lodge king pin to woman trapped in a miserable marriage with a dangerous gangster. However, deep down, to us, she’s still that wholesome mum who wants nothing but the best for mija.
19) Valerie Brown
A keyboard legend! A vocalist! A songwriter! And honestly? A really great character who had potential. Come back, Queen… we miss you!
18) Reggie Mantle
It’s been a long time coming but Reggie is finally getting his time to shine. As long as he never double crosses Ronnie and continues to support her hopes and dreams, he’s good with us. So far, so good!
17) Mary Andrews
Mary is… the mother I never had. The sister everyone would want. The friend everyone deserves. I don’t know a better person. Probably the only parent in town (when she’s here, of course) who has a clue and is not afraid to call Archie out on his bullshit. Honestly, Riverdale doesn’t deserve Mary.
16) Fangs Fogarty
The unsung hero of the Serpents and a potential romantic interest for Kevin. After almost losing him to a gunshot in season 2 and then again, with The Farm in season 3, he has become more and more important to our daily survival. We have decided to stan… forever.
15) Sweet Pea
If Sweet Pea asked us to give up our entire life as we know it to run away with him and join the Serpents, we would say yes. He can be hot-headed and make rash decisions at times but you know what, we’re chalking that down to passion. Sidenote: No one – NO ONE – wears a turtle neck quite like Sweet Pea.
14) Josie McCoy
Contrary to popular beliefs, Josie is not just a musical plot device. Josie is intelligent, she’s talented, she’s brilliant, she’s show-stopping, she’s amazing, she’s spectacular, she is a taker of no bullsh*t, she is assertive, she is driven… There was still so much to explore with Josie but she’s gone to New York now and we hope she thrives. It’s what she deserves.
13) Joaquin DeSantos
Ever since Joaquin got on that bus to San Junipero, our lives have never been the same. When he came back in season 3 as a prisoner in juvie with Archie, we thought our dreams had come true. Cut to four episodes later and Joaquin was found blue-lipped, dead as shit in an arm chair at Sunnyside trailer park. He didn’t deserve to fall victim to Gryphons and Gargoyles. He deserved to runaway with Kevin and live happily ever after. Goodnight, sweet serpent prince, we’ll miss you!
12) Archie Andrews
Despite all his flaws, Archie Andrews is one of the most selfless people in Riverdale. Yes he can often be frustrating, yes he’s an idiot for falling for Hiram’s petty schemes but he’s a 17-year-old boy! Archie will do anything to help anyone, whether they’re a friend or not – he saved Cheryl’s life for God’s sake! Human embodiment of a Gryffindor. Harry, Ron and Hermione are shaking.
11) Pop Tate
LEGEND! OUTSOLD! WE STAN! HE DID THAT! YOUR FAVE COULD NEVER!
10) Jellybean Jones
Before we even saw her on-screen, we knew Jellybean was going to be a legend – and we were right. This lil’ Doc Martens-wearing, slingshot-wielding baby mechanic is everything.
9) Kevin Keller
Kevin is literally the one friend that we all deserve – he’s kind, he’s thoughtful, he’s loyal, he’s funny, he’s there when you need him, he’s brilliant at giving advice, he has expert delivery on those witty one liners, he watches RuPaul’s Drag Race. Honestly, if we all had a Kevin in our lives, we would be better people. All I want for my birthday this year is a nice boyfriend… for Kevin.
8) Jughead Jones
Over the seasons, Jughead has gone from strength to strength, he’s matured and has finally stepped into his own light. Did you ever think the same Jug from season one would haul his ass to Greendale with Penny Peabody in tow, skin her and leave her in the dust? (Not his finest hour but then again, she did almost have him killed…)
Let’s face facts, without Jughead, Archie would be dead (probably) and several murder investigations would still be on-going so it’s safe to say that the boy has earned his stripes.
7) FP Jones
Yes, FP has done some very bad things, but they were done to protect others; the whole Jason cover up and jail stint? To protect his son. Burying the shady guy’s body? To protect Alice and Betty. And yes, he’s been a bit shit when it comes to parenting but who in this town isn’t? The most important thing is: he’s here and he’s doing his best. OK?????
At the end of the day, FP Jones is the kind of guy who, if you came to him with a problem, would solve it at whatever cost. And then he’d invite you for a drink afterwards – which you would politely decline because you know he’s trying to stay sober. We love a dad with an extensive plaid shirt collection who will lay his life on the line for those he loves. (Also, have you seen him wearing glasses?!!!)
6) Toni Topaz
This Southside legend is the ONE. Toni really came into her own and she’s only just getting started.
Never boring, a loyal friend and has your back even if you aren’t affiliated with her gang… we don’t deserve Toni. None of us deserve Toni. Except Cheryl – Cheryl deserves Toni. BUT AS MUCH AS WE ALL LOVE CHONI IN THIS HOUSE – Toni doesn’t deserve to just be someone’s love interest. My girl needs a backstory and she needs screen time so she can cement herself as the serpent queen she was born to be.
5) Fred Andrews
The number one dad in Riverdale and the purest of the pure but not without his flaws. Fred Andrews is the king of staying in his lane and minding his own business. He has never pretended to be someone he’s not and he’s never judged others for their shortcomings or mistakes.
This king remains HUMBLE and he stays grounded. Honestly, if I had to trust anyone with my life, it would be Fred Andrews. If there’s anyone in this town who deserved better, it was Fred. The heart and soul of Riverdale.
4) Veronica Lodge
On paper, Veronica is a recipe for disaster. A spoiled rich kid from the city accustomed to a life of diamonds, pearls, fine leather goods and Cristal mimosas for breakfast, all expensed on daddy’s American EXCESS card. But over the past few seasons, you’ll agree that V has truly cemented herself as a key player in Riverdale and has single-handedly saved the town from its beige existence.
She’s one of the only people in this god damn town brave enough and smart enough to stand up to her morally corrupt father. She’s always one step ahead of every scheme. She fights her own battles. She’s a successful businesswoman. She’s always first in line to fight for her friends too, no matter what. If something in the town needs saving, she’s saving it.
Let’s face it, she’s honestly more qualified to be the Mayor than literally anyone at this point… #Lodge2020.
3) Alice Cooper Smith
From the stone cold, untrustworthy one-time murder suspect to one of the most multi-faceted, most valuable and best characters in town? Alice invented character development.
Is Alice the best parent on the show? Absolutely not but that doesn’t mean her actions come from a place of hatred or malice. Alice is a complex and vulnerable character who’s been through a lot of shit and all she’s ever wanted for her kids is to not have the messy life that she had. Her decisions are often misguided but at the end of the day, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect the kids – including going undercover to save her eldest daughter from a cult. (Lol, soz to Betty for all that emotional trauma.)
2) Betty Cooper
Betty is Nancy Drew, Elle Woods, all of the Pretty Little Liars, Detective Olivia Benson from SVU and Judge Judy all rolled into one. Without Betty, the Black Hood would still be at large, no one would have discovered the USB stick with the CCTV footage of Jason’s murder, Cheryl may never have escaped Thornhill, FP would still be in jail, the Black Hood, The Farm…
She’s selfless, she stands up for what she believes in, she’s trying to make Riverdale a better place… without Betty, Riverdale would be very different.
1) Cheryl Blossom
Cheryl Marjorie Blossom is, without a doubt, the BEST character on Riverdale. She is never without a bold red lip (which she invented), she always brings the fire (literally), she will not stand for your bullsh*t and she has the ability to end you in one fell swoop with a witty line and a savage nickname.
But there’s more to Cheryl than just sass and aesthetics, though. Like Alice, Cheryl isn’t just a one-dimension clap-back generator and she’s not your textbook mean girl. Beyond that stone-cold facade, Cheryl is an incredibly vulnerable person, looking for a place to finally belong. Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen Cheryl go from a foil to the core four to an integral part of the squad and now, a powerhouse who stand in her own light. She’s gone from living under Penelope’s thumb and seeking her approval to literally not giving a fuck. And she’s also embraced her own sexuality, something she was made to feel ashamed of in the past.
Cheryl has been through it (she’s still going through it tbh) but now, our emancipated Queen has a kick-ass girlfriend on her arm and she is reclaiming her time.