Riverdale's Betty Cooper is everything we'd want a present-day version of the character to be. Like in Archie Comics, she's warmer than freshly baked pie at Pop's and her high ponytails are on point. However, the reason why she's a Riverdale fan favorite is because she's way more of a badass than in the comics. Betty doesn't take crap, and is a budding detective. Who wouldn't want to hang with the youngest Cooper?
That being said, sweetheart Betty can have a bit of a mean streak. She may get teased about being Little Miss Perfect, but Betty sometimes acts like it by lording righteousness and judgment over those she loves. It's rare she shows her ugly side but when she does, look out. You don't want Betty Cooper as an enemy...and sometimes you don't want her as a friend. Here is Riverdale: 10 Things About Betty We All Choose To Ignore.
10 Freezes out Veronica
Riverdale has been praised for straying from its source material with regards to one of the world's most famous love triangles: Archie, Betty, and Veronica. Instead, Betty and Veronica agree early on to not let a boy come between them and have since held firm on that promise.
While B&V may be racking up Bechdel test wins, this wasn't the case at the start of the show. Even after learning of Betty's crush on Archie, Veronica still gave in to her lusty feelings. Things got pretty steamy between Varchie in a game of "Seven Minutes in Heaven". Naturally, Betty was hurt. Veronica seemed eager to make things right and sent Betty a pile of gifts, including an offer for manicures.
Sure, in a way it's like Veronica's trying to buy Betty off. But her heart's in the right place. While Betty is initially accepting of Veronica's apology, she later changes her mind, giving Ronnie the cold shoulder. Teen love is complicated, we get it. Yet, Betty takes things a step further, inviting Cheryl out for manicures to spite Veronica. Cheryl, as in the one who body-shamed Betty and instigated the "Seven Minutes in Heaven" in the first place. While Petty Betty gets over Archie pretty fast, sometimes she needs to learn to get over herself.
9 Dark Betty
Out of fairness to everybody's favorite Cooper, Dark Betty is more the fault of the show itself than the actual character. Viewers are left confused as to how to interpret this femme fatale alter-ego. Are we supposed to be titillated by her severe black wig and lacy undergarments? Or are we meant to be disturbed by Betty's darkness? Even Lili Reinhart herself has commented on the misfire that was Dark Betty. She's as awkward as she is problematic.
Betty is nothing if not self-aware, yet her darkness is her blindspot. Sometimes she worries about not being able to control herself. Other times her dark side appears to be a conscious choice, nothing more than a bit of spice in the bedroom with Jughead. Either way, it doesn't work. Since Season 2, Betty appears to have hung up her black wig for good. Nobody's complaining.
8 Her arbitrary morality
Betty Cooper cares about her friends. When she shows concern for them and their choices, she usually has a pretty good reason. However, the problem with always being right is that it's hard to not come across as smug. Betty's definitely guilty of that.
Another problem is that Betty is content to be Officer Safety most of the time, but lets her seemingly staunch morals fall by the wayside at other times. She had reservations galore about Jughead joining the Southside Serpents. Then all of a sudden, she's helping him prepare for a drag race against a rival gang. Is she aware this isn't Grease? Does she have a clue that these races are more likely to end in death and dismemberment than a big, flashy musical number? Betty plays both sides of the morality fence and they're equally annoying.
7 Blackmails Cheryl
Betty eventually accepts the Serpents, even going on to join them herself. That's appropriate, because Betty can sink lower than a snake. When FP is on trial for murder, nobody's surprised that Betty pulls out all the stops to try and save her boyfriend's dad. But she takes things one step too far by blackmailing Cheryl into testifying on FP's behalf. Betty threatens to leak the recording of Clifford Blossom murdering his son, Cheryl's brother, Jason.
Cheryl may be a mean girl of the worst order, but exploiting her grief is just stomach-churning. Jason was the one person who made Cheryl feel loved and with him gone, she's trapped with her deranged family and almost no allies. Betty exploiting this tragedy is the worst thing she's done to date. Never mind Dark Betty; this is straight-up Evil Betty.
6 Gets Archie to break up with Jughead for her
While Betty may sink to unspeakable lows on behalf of her man, she doesn't always treat Jughead with the respect he deserves. Sure, in this instance Betty is acting under duress from the Black Hood. She doesn't want to break up with Jughead and can't bring herself to do it. She's not entirely unsympathetic here.
But c'mon, Betts. Sending a messenger to do the deed? Talk about all kinds of uncool. For a genius detective, one would think Betty might be able to "break up" with Jughead but secretly find a way to slip him a message about what's really going on. Yes, Betty was scared and not thinking straight. But if anyone else were in her situation, she would advise them to go to the police, no matter what the Black Hood threatened to do. Bughead is the best couple on the show. Nobody's allowed to threaten its sacredness—not even Betty herself.
5 Ends her friendship with Veronica in the meanest way possible
Betty gets a partial pass for this one, too. Cutting ties with Ronnie was another instruction from the Black Hood. But did Betty's approach really have to be that cruel? She all but pulls out a dictionary as she hits Veronica with almost every word that's insulting to a woman. It's possible that Betty feared a more tactful approach wouldn't satisfy the Black Hood. However, Betty's so convincing it gives the viewer pause. As much as Betty loves Veronica, does she really feel these things about her deep down? Luckily, as with the Jughead breakup, this falling out was short-lived. Leave the mean girl stuff to Cheryl, Betty. Blood-red isn't your color.
4 Lets Chic die
Like father, like daughter. Oh, how people forget that sweet, wholesome Betty pre-meditated Chic's murder. She knew the Black Hood—or as Betty likes to call him, "Dad"—targeted "sinners". Creepy Chic was the biggest sinner of them all, making him catnip to the Black Hood. Betty shows almost no qualms about luring Chic to his death. Nor about pulling a gun on him. Yeesh. And here people thought SoDale wasn't safe.
In terms of entertainment value, all hats—or hoods—off to Betty. The Chic storyline grew old rather fast. But Betty's cold-bloodedness is all sorts of chilling. It looks like someone took Take Your Daughter to Work Day a little too seriously.
3 Remains Serpent Queen
Let's get the Serpent Dance out of the way. Was it the most awkward strip tease in history? No doubt. But it was Betty's choice to make and nobody should shame her for that. If anyone deserves judgment, it's the Serpents and their skeezy, sexist initiation practices.
Here's where Betty is at fault: she remains Serpent Queen despite barely being involved with the gang at all. The only reason she has the title is because she's Jughead's girlfriend. If anyone should be Serpent Queen, it's Toni. She's shown nothing but loyalty to them and was a devoted friend to Jughead. In fact, when Jughead wants to welcome her back into the gang—of which he never should have kicked her out in the first place—Toni's sticking point is that she wants to be Queen.
Betty may not know all this, but that's exactly the point. She doesn't involve herself in club business. Keeping her position as Serpent Queen makes about as much sense as making Sweet Pea editor-in-chief of the Blue and Gold.
2 Her pyromania
Fire isn't the solution to your problems, Betty. When you have an issue with someone, you use your words, not your lighter. As cousins, Betty and Cheryl have precious little in common, except for a certain...spark. When Alice sells the Cooper home to go live on The Farm, Betty takes a page out of Cheryl's playbook. She takes a candle to the living room curtains. Betty's rationale is that her home life has gone up in flames metaphorically; might as well make it literally, too.
Alas, she only manages to singe a wall. But Pyro Betty strikes a match again, this time to Jughead's family trailer. She and Jughead discover Gladys has turned it into a Fizzle Rocks cookhouse. Jughead wants to clear it out and keep it, but Betty points out he's being sentimental. She's right and it was a cute moment for Bughead as they watched the trailer burn. But Jughead would do well to remember that if he ever has a fight with Betty...keep her away from the matches.
1 Her treatment of Kevin
When the viewer first meets Betty, she's in her bedroom with Kevin, mooning over Archie. One gets the feeling this happens a lot. Kevin doesn't seem to mind and in fact, seems like a great listener and true-blue friend. Yet when Veronica comes to town, Betty seems to drop Kevin like a lit match—and we all know she loves doing that.
Going forward, Betty and Kevin only seem to interact when Betty's condemning him for something. Betty was definitely right to be concerned about Kevin's cruising habit. She was legitimately afraid for his safety, so telling Mr. Keller was the right thing to do. But Betty didn't really stop to talk to Kevin or show any real sympathy for why he was cruising in the first place. Kevin is the first openly gay kid in a small town. He's lonely and doesn't have the romantic luxuries his straight friends do.
Then there's The Farm of it all. Again, Betty is scared for Kevin's well-being when he becomes a Farmie. So why doesn't she, I don't know, listen to Kevin about his woes? The poor guy is heartbroken with Moose's departure but instead, Betty's railing against him for being a sheep. Walking across hot coals really does sound easier than withstanding Betty's judgmental death stare.