At first glance, a TV series based on the Archie comic series doesn't seem like it would be totally heartbreaking. These popular (and adorable) stories follow the lives of Archie Andrews and his friends Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper. Of course, there's drama because both girls are in love with him, but the tone is light and funny.
Riverdale, the teen series based on the Archie world, is definitely much darker than the source material. Premiering in 2017 with a fourth season starting in the fall of 2019, this show is just as popular and it's following the tradition of adolescent dramas with cliffhangers and juicy twists. There are many scenes in this show that have made audiences feel a lot of feelings (or even cry in some cases). Here are 10 times that Riverdale broke our hearts.
10 Cheryl Deals With Jason's Death
The first season of Riverdale centers around Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and her brother Jason's (Trevor Stines) murder. It's heartbreaking to watch Cheryl deal with the death of her twin. Sure, at first it seems a little creepy because they were so close, but fans soon learn that Cheryl comes from a truly awful family.
The Blossoms want money above anything else, and to say that their mansion is freezing cold would be an understatement. Even though we want to say that Cheryl's a jerk, we can't help but feel badly for her.
9 Fred Is Shot In The Diner
It was so much fun to watch Luke Perry play Archie's (K.J. Apa) dad, Fred Andrews. The fact that Molly Ringwald plays Archie's mom Mary is even more amazing. Riverdale did a great job with the casting.
Riverdale broke our hearts in the season one finale, "Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter," when Fred is shot in the iconic diner, Pop's. This is made even more terrifying by the fact that the man with the weapon is wearing a mask and he wants the contents of Pop's cash register. Archie attemps to save everyone and, instead, Fred is the one who gets in the line of fire. It's so sad to watch and even more heartbreaking now that Luke Perry has tragically passed away.
8 Alice's Treatment Of Betty
Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) isn't very kind to her daughter Betty Cooper (Lili Reinheart), at least in the early episodes of Riverdale. She's never pleased with the way that her daughter is living her life and she has so many strict opinions and rules.
Alice's treatment of Betty is heartbreaking because no one should have a mom like that. It doesn't seem like she wants Betty to be happy or have fun, and she definitely doesn't approve of Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes).
7 Jughead Has A Terrible Home Life
Jughead Jones is famous for his massive appetite and funny personality in the Archie comics. He's an even bigger part of the TV adaptation and helps tell the tale of Jason's murder in the first season, often penning a story of his own while sitting at Pop's.
At first, when watching the show's first season, we were focused on Jughead's chemistry with Betty. But it soon became clear that Jughead has a lot going on in his home life, and none of it is good. We were heartbroken when learning that Jughead's dad is an alcoholic and his sister Jellybean and mom moved away. Instead of going with them, Jughead lives in the Twilight Drive-In where he's also an employee.
6 Jughead Could Be A Member Of The Serpents
In the season one finale, we learn that Jughead could be part of the SouthSide Serpents, the gang that his dad F.P. Jones (Skeet Ulrich) runs.
This is another time that Riverdale broke our hearts because we know that this is a dark, dangerous path for this character to go down. Jughead is sweet and doesn't have any place in the Serpents. He doesn't want to turn out like his father, but this might be part of the whole "self-fulfilling prophecy" thing. It's sad to think about Jughead getting in trouble like this.
5 Polly's Secret Pregnancy
Every family on this show is pretty complicated, but Betty's might take the cake in terms of confusing. In the first season, we keep hearing about how Betty's older sister Polly (Tiera Skovbye) and Jason were in love. As it turns out, she's pregnant with his baby and her family sent her away to Sisters of Quiet Mercy.
Polly's secret pregnancy broke our hearts because it magnified how both Polly and Jason's parents were completely devastated by this relationship, which seems crazy (but, hey, this is a teen drama so these things happen). It's sad to think about Polly having to live somewhere else during this time in her life. She also has to deal with the loss of Jason as well as not having her family's support.
4 Veronica Thinks Her Mom Wanted Fred Dead
In the season two premiere, "Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying," Veronica thinks that her mom Hermoine (Marisol Nichols) wanted Fred dead and set it up. It's impossible to imagine accusing your parent of something like this and not ruining your relationship.
Veronica and her mom already don't have a Lorelai/Rory type of mother/daughter connection since there's the whole issue of Veronica's dad being in jail and her mom wanting to always keep up appearances.
3 Jughead And Betty Split Up
Yes, we know that Jughead and Betty (or Bughead as fans call them) do reunite, but when they split up in the fifth episode of season two, "Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls," it's so tough to watch.
Of course, Betty doesn't want things to end at all... but her hands are totally tied. The Black Hood says that if they don't end their relationship, he's going to end Jughead's life. Yup, that's definitely motivation. Archie makes the awkward speech to Jughead since Betty finds it impossible to make it happen herself.
2 Archie Dumps Veronica
Riverdale has a few sad breakups, and our hearts were broken once again when Archie dumps Veronica in "Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter" (season 3, episode 6).
Just like Betty wants to stay with Jughead, Archie wants to stay with Veronica. Unfortunately, the world that they live in has other tragic plans. When we heard Veronica say, “Don’t you make me say goodbye to you, Archie Andrews” it was difficult not to have tears in our eyes. Hiram had been making life completely miserable for Archie, so this is what resulted.
1 The Luke Perry Tribute
Once the news broke that Luke Perry had died of a stroke, it was clear that Riverdale would have a tribute to the kind and wonderful actor. The show broke our hearts all over again (and made us miss Luke Perry a lot) with an episode that said "In Memoriam" and listed his dates, 1966-2019.
As the creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wrote on Instagram, "Tonight’s episode of #Riverdale finds Fred doing what he does best--helping Archie. It is dedicated to Luke, as all episodes will be for the rest of our run."