Riverdale is based on the characters from Archie Comics and put the teenagers and their parents in a small town where anything, usually very, very, bad can happen – and it does.
Some of the storylines are quite impossible, especially taking into account a character's age or past. If you just look at some of the major threats, there have been multiple people who have taken lives, gangs, and now a cult, just over the course of three seasons.
Furthermore, for a town that started off hating its one gang, more have risen up in the past couple seasons and now, it's odder if someone isn't part of or starting one.
What started as a show about teenagers returning to high school following a summer vacation has evolved into one where it's unclear when exactly these kids are preparing for life after graduation. Some of them have jobs or hold titles they shouldn't at their ages. It's not just the students, either. Law enforcement has been, at times, a joke, and even the person in charge in season 3 trying to fix that probably shouldn't be sheriff.
Finally, problematic behavior is only briefly addressed, and rather than get these kids the help they need – or even have more than one conversation about it – everyone tends to move on.
Here are 25 Things Wrong With Riverdale Everyone Chooses To Ignore.
25 School Doesn't Matter
This is common for television shows in which the main characters are in high school or college. There's nothing interesting about seeing them sitting in class, taking tests, and going about their daily education.
However, it also means these characters tend to have too much else going on to properly devote the care and attention to their education. That's true for the Riverdale students.
They did study for and take the SATs in season 3, but the only part of that that was realistic was Archie's struggles. What wasn't realistic was that he was the only one having problems, considering everything else going on in the town.
24 The Number Of Gangs In The Small Town
In season 1, there were the Southside Serpents. Northsiders disliked them, and criminal activity was easily blamed on the gang. Very few were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
In season 3, the Serpents are just one of several gangs in Riverdale – and this is a small town, so it's utterly ridiculous. It's going to get to the point where everyone is part of a gang (or a cult). Furthermore, everyone has seemed to stop seeing gangs as bad at all. Instead, anyone can create their own gang, which might as well be an after-school club.
23 The Farm's Presence At Riverdale High
Considering everything else that has happened on Riverdale, the existence of a cult like The Farm shouldn't be a big deal. However, it's also something that the adults shouldn't want the kids involved in – and they especially shouldn't be making it easier for its members.
However, that's the case with The Farm's presence at the school. In fact, Principal Weatherbee is a member of it, as revealed when he joined the applause led by cult leader Edgar Evernever at the musical.
Before that moment, he let the members of the cult meet at the school, and they even held their hands over flames in a science classroom. Why wasn't that a bigger deal?
22 A Teenager Is The Leader Of A Gang
Jughead Jones went from "I'm a weirdo" to King of the Serpents in two seasons. Not only is that illogical, but it's wrong on so many levels.
Back in season 1, the Serpents mainly shown were those hanging out with FP (a.k.a. adults). Now in season 3, the Serpents seen are mostly teenagers.
But it's utterly ridiculous that a teenager is leading the gang and no one sees a problem with that. FP doesn't see anything wrong with his son following in his footsteps already. It's probably why it was so easy for Cheryl and Toni to start their gang, which is led by the latter.
21 Teenagers Solve The Town's Major Crimes
The police department in Riverdale has been, simply put, a joke. Tom Keller is a great father and, recently, boxing mentor, but when he was the sheriff, he wasn't the one solving the major crimes of the town. (Let's not even talk about Sheriff Minetta, considering his connection to the Lodges.)
It's true the adults have, on occasion, been involved in the investigations into the shadier happenings of the town. However, they're not the ones who crack the cases. The teenagers are even the ones investigating a crime connected to the adults' past in the Gargoyle King in season 3.
20 FP Is Sheriff
FP has come a long way from his introduction and his time in prison in season 2. He's become one of the best parents in Riverdale, something no one would have said when Jughead was homeless in season 1 and FP was drinking.
However, there's no way that, despite the fact that he's cleaned up his act, he'd be able to go into law enforcement. Yet he's now the town's sheriff. That shouldn't even be a possibility, yet somehow, he's also one of the very few options to take the position in the town. He may also end up doing a pretty good job, considering he's already going after those dealing illegal substances.
19 FP Deputized the Serpents
Deputizing those who don't belong in law enforcement is the new black apparently. The similarities between Arrow and Riverdale continue as FP, now the sheriff, deputized the teenaged Serpents in season 3. Episode 17 even saw them undergoing training. So, was it any wonder that Jughead then decided they might as well act as the DEA to handle illegal substances activity in the town?
While it's fun to laugh off things like this and just accept them as part of Riverdale's charm, it still boils down to an adult accepting that his and others' children are acting like cops when they should be focused on their education.
18 The Quarantine That … Wasn’t?
Remember when Hiram had the governor put the town under a quarantine following multiple people dealing with seizures? No? It's okay if you don't because it was never actually really seen on-screen. Instead, the quarantine went into effect at the end of season 3 episode 8, and when the next episode began, time had passed and it was over.
Considering it was this major event that was supposedly something to be worried about – Who was stuck on the outside? Who was trapped inside? – it was ridiculous that none of it took place on-screen. Yet fans were supposed to just accept it and move on (and they did).
17 Archie's Relationship With Miss Grundy
Remember when Archie was involved with his teacher, Miss Grundy? Fortunately, the series acknowledged how wrong their relationship was. He was underage, and she was his teacher.
However, what the show didn't bother doing was following up on how that relationship had affected Archie after it was over. Instead, the focus moved to Archie's next relationships. He went on to be involved with Valerie and Veronica.
Since the Betty/Archie/Veronica love triangle is in the comics, fans expected that and let it go. Still, his and Miss Grundy's relationship should have been further explored in terms of its ramifications.
16 The Teenagers' Tendency To Turn To Arson
The teenagers are actually really lucky that the adults are awful law enforcement officers or just simply don't care what they do. Otherwise, Cheryl, Betty, and Jughead would be facing arson charges.
Cheryl burned down her house. Betty set fire to hers after Alice sold it, though she just scorched the living room a bit.
Most recently, Jughead discovered Gladys had turned the Jones' old trailer into a lab to make illegal substances. So, he and Betty burned it down to disrupt his mother's business.
This is problematic, yet by the last fire, it wasn't surprising whatsoever. In fact, that was the only thing Betty and Jughead could've been doing before the musical.
15 Veronica Runs A Speakeasy
A speakeasy is a place where grown-up beverages are sold, and they were popular in the times when doing such was illegal. Now, they're more retro-style bars.
In Riverdale, Veronica runs one out of the basement of Pop's – and like most of what the teenagers do in this town, the illogical nature of it is ignored. It's a great place for everyone to hang out in and take to the stage should they so choose to do so, but why is it okay that Veronica's running one?
Furthermore, how is she managing to do so, work part-time at Pop's, and attend school? Why is this something that the characters and fans just accept?
14 Everything About The Sisters Of Quiet Mercy
The Sisters of Quiet Mercy used to be a home for troubled youths – or at least, that was what it was on the surface. The truth is it was a dark place, even before the Farm took it over.
As seen through the Cooper family, it was a place to have a child in secret.
It was also the place where Penelope Blossom sent her daughter, Cheryl, because she didn't like her daughter's preference.
It has pretty much always been (and will probably always be) quite the disturbing place, but it's also very much part of Riverdale's stories.
13 Alice Doesn't Act Like A Parent To Betty In Season 3
Betty has never had the best parents, but season 3 takes it to a whole new level. Alice is all about the Farm, and that means completely ignoring how bad of a mother she's being to Betty.
Alice took all of the money set aside for Betty (so if she wants to go to college, she needs a scholarship or to look into student loans). She sold their house and doesn't seem to care where Betty is living.
The problem here is that the focus is more on how cult-y the Farm is than on the lack of parenting by Alice.
12 Archie's Love Life
Teenagers can spend some time being single, even on The CW shows and especially after a breakup. Unfortunately, it appears that can't be true for Archie Andrews.
He started out in a bad relationship at the beginning of the series by dating his teacher, Miss Grundy. There's been nothing wrong with his relationships since – except for the fact that he keeps jumping from one to the next. It seems like he's never single for long. Furthermore, even if fans know that one of his romances is going to end, they expect him to be back with Veronica or with another girl sooner rather than later.
11 Jughead Was Homeless
The Jones family may now live in what used to be the Coopers' house, but Jughead's living situation was very different in season 1. The episode in which the drive-in closed was the same one that fans found out that he'd been living at his place of work. It wasn't until a few episodes later that Archie discovered Jughead was then living at the school.
After that, Jughead moved in with Archie and his father before eventually returning home (to the Jones' trailer). However, no one ever addresses the fact that at one point, Jughead didn't have a home.
10 The Serpent Initiation Dance For Women
No one expects a gang to be clean and participate in G-rated behavior. However, the Serpent Initiation dance for the women was awful. They should have gotten rid of it years ago (if not never created it in the first place).
As Betty learned, the women had to do the traditional dance with a pole on the stage at the Whyte Wyrm. She even took the stage to do so, as her mother watched – and her mother didn't stop her.
Since the Serpents have changed since then (and Betty is now their Queen to Jughead's King), it's been forgotten, but the fact that it did exist is despicable.
9 Betty's Brief Time As A Webcam Girl
Riverdale teased that Betty has a dark side since the beginning. Just look at what she and Veronica did to Chuck. At the time, she put on a dark wig, one that reappeared in season 2.
Before Betty knew that Chic wasn't really her brother, he introduced her to talking with strangers via a webcam. For a (very) brief time, Betty became a webcam girl. Then, the series seemingly forgot that ever happened because it was a very serious – and dangerous – problem that should have been addressed. It's a shame that it wasn't.
8 Why Is Riverdale A Hotspot For Sketchy Behavior?
Riverdale is a small town. It has places like Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, an old-fashioned diner. Yet it's also the site of multiple gangs, people who have taken lives, and now, a cult that has taken over the town.
It's utterly ridiculous, yet fans are supposed to ignore that this is all a bit much for one small town – and they do.
Just as one problem is taken care of, another (more serious) one arises. An explanation for why all this craziness is happening now would be nice, but it's unlikely that viewers will ever get one.
7 The Adults Rarely Parent Their Kids
Some of the parents in Riverdale are great. Fred is easily the best parent in that town. However, for the most part, it seems like the adults rarely parent their kids. Sure, that would make for boring television if they were constantly keeping their children from getting up to the types of shenanigans that make the series so crazy, but a little effort would be nice.
Instead, the parents are up to their own mischievous behavior or joining cults and trying to recruit their kids or the ones taking the lives of others.
6 The Lack Of Follow-Up About That Body
In season 2, Betty, Jughead, Alice, and FP covered up the loss of a life. The blame can solely be put on Chic, Betty's fake brother.
However, the others still did some sketchy stuff to make sure no one found out about it. Betty and Alice cleaned the house. Betty and Jughead got rid of the car. FP took care of the body. Then, the four of them met at Pop's to discuss how they'd keep it a secret.
That's something that should weigh on all their minds for a long time. It doesn't. Now, it's simply only brought up when it can be used as blackmail.
5 The Early Criticism Of The Serpents
When Riverdale first introduced the Serpents, it was as what anyone would expect from a gang. They and where they lived were seen as the bad parts of the town. They were easily blamed for pretty much everything.
Even when they were the ones being attacked, they still were seen as being in the wrong. No one in the town saw anything wrong with that, even after finding out that a Serpent wasn't responsible for taking Jason's life in season 1.
There have been some bad Serpents, just like there are bad Northsiders. However, now everyone's joining gangs in Riverdale without acknowledging that they were once the ones criticizing the Serpents.
4 Archie Antagonized The Serpents
Back in season 2, before Archie relied on the Serpents for protection while in juvenile detention, he was very much against the gang. In fact, he was the one to escalate a fight and antagonize the Serpents. In fact, he pulled a gun on Sweet Pea. However, back then, the South Side was still seen as being in the wrong, so that wasn't treated properly in-story.
At the time, Archie was convinced the Black Hood was a Southsider, which was supposed to excuse his behavior. It did not, yet the show acted as it did.
3 How Intense Jughead And Penny's Conflict Got
On the one hand, Jughead and Penny's conflict made sense because everyone in a gang can't be amenable. There have to be bad apples, and Penny was one of them.
On the other hand, it went much too far, but fans were expected to accept the violent actions both committed against the other.
Jughead, a teenager, cut her tattoo out of her arm. That took the character – and the show – to a dark place it didn't need to, but it wasn't addressed properly. Instead, she then retaliated by doing the same (and almost causing the end of his life).
2 The Blossom/Cooper Family Secret
Years ago, one Blossom brother took the life of another, and the family split in two. They became what viewers know as the Blossoms and Coopers, making Betty and Cheryl cousins.
That also made Jason and Polly, the parents of twins, related, a fact that wasn't revealed until after he'd lost his life.
That doesn't change the fact that keeping that secret meant that twist occurring in their relationship.
It was completely wrong for that family connection to be kept secret, yet it was, and now, that's ignored. Instead, Cheryl just calls Betty "cousin" occasionally.
1 Cheryl Followed Josie
In season 2, Josie had a secret admirer that went too far. Cheryl "helped" her investigate and even blamed Chuck for the following. However, it turned out that it had been Cheryl who was responsible.
Yet the series never gave this – or Josie – the attention it deserved. Rather than focus on what Cheryl's lies and behavior did to Josie, the focus shifted to Cheryl as she learned to accept who she was by the end of the season.
It's a shame that it wasn't treated with the respect it should have been and fans were expected to forget what Cheryl had done.