I know Jughead is the eternal bachelor, but that hasn’t stopped me, along with a lot of fans and Archie Comics, Inc., from visualizing what it might be like for Jughead to be in a relationship. There have been Debbie, Ethel, Joani Jumpp, Trula Twyst, and January McAndrews, but the two girls I’m going to focus on are the two that are currently tied up with the eternal player, Archie Andrews-Betty and Veronica. So in the vein of the current Archie Comics event Archie Marries Veronica, let’s see what would happen if Jughead was with either Betty or Veronica.
Believe or not, there’s a rather big fanbase for this couple. Whether it makes you gag or makes you think delightful thoughts, there is definitely something about the couple that tickles the brain.
The main thing that probably draws people to this pairing is the obvious tension between the characters. Veronica hates Jughead’s laid-back approach to life; Jughead hates Veronica’s yuppie, privileged rich-girl attitude. The type of hatred that they have towards each other is sometimes written in a way that is reminiscent of quite a few love/hate relationships seen on television shows, like Maddie Hayes and David in Moonlighting, Laura and Remington in Remington Steele, Sam and Diane on Cheers, and more recently, Temperance and Seeley on Bones. Also, textual evidence shows that they have a more complicated relationship than what is seen on the surface.
In a story from Jughead’s Double Digest #99, “Shakespeare, Anyone?”, Jughead and Veronica are cast in a play where they had to kiss. Being surprised that Jughead is actually a good kisser, Veronica develops a crush on him that is only stopped when Juhgead goes to desperate measures (“desperate measures” resulting in him eating an onion and garlic sandwich to drive Veronica away). Also, in Veronica #177, Jughead saves Veronica from an awful boy and she feels indebted to him (this is not the first time it’s been written that Jughead defends Veronica).
If Jughead and Veronica did happen to end up together, it would be entertaining, to say the least. A relationship where there is a lot of back-and-forth snappy, hard-hitting banter and palpitating tension would be extremely fun to write and draw. That kind of relationship would also be a lot of fun to read; TV watchers are often happily strung along with love-hate relationships, so if they are happy with watching them on TV, they’d be equally as happy reading about them in a comic book.
For many, this couple is practically canon. It’s not really a question of whether or not Jughead has a little bit of affection for Betty. They both enjoy being in each other’s company; Jughead loves her cooking and defends her when Archie acts like a jerk and rejects her over Veronica, and Betty often confides him when she’s troubled about her lovelife and friendship with Veronica. Even many of the writers have commented on how if they had their way, they would pair Jughead with Betty in a heartbeat, so of course, there’s going to be a lot of textual evidence toward this pairing.
In one issue, there’s a panel where Jughead said that if he ever had a girlfriend, he would think about asking Betty and another where Jughead is actively defending Betty’s honor (actually, there are quite a few where Jughead is telling Archie off in Betty’s defense):
And plenty of other covers and scenes in various issues where the writers more than indulge their Betty/Jughead leanings:
(his line seems out of character to me…)
(alternate universe story)
If Betty and Jughead were actually a canon couple, I can imagine that their relationship would be pleasantly stable and satisfying. But it also has the potential to get extremely fluffy, something that wouldn’t happen with Jughead and Veronica. But the most important thing is that Betty’s heart would finally stop being broken once and for all.
Which one do you think is better? Or do you think Jughead should stay a bachelor? Sound off below.
Wanna read more about Jughead’s lovelife? Click here.
Want musical accompaniment? Listen to how these two pairings might sound in musical form:
Veronica/Jughead (I figured the tension seen in the Argentine Tango was the best way to represent Jughead and Veronica’s relationship)
At Last – Etta James
*Thanks to the users/submitters on the livejournal community Never Noticed Before for some of the B/J scans.