- “Can I kiss you?”
- — Archie
Archie knows of Josie and the Pussycats, as they are famous in town, while Josie hardly knows who Archie is at the beginning of their sophomore year. Archie asks Josie if he can practice with the Pussycats, as he wants to work on his music, but Josie is very driven, focused and serious about their music, explaining their ethos to Archie and why she's doesn't think he could be committed enough, nor understands what it's like to be them. However, circumstances change when Archie gains a favour from Cheryl and Josie agrees, because she and Cheryl are close, to let Archie sit in on Pussycat sessions. After a while, during a session where the girls are stumped with their lyrics to one song, Archie makes a suggestion. Despite Josie's objections, Valerie defends Archie and Josie later comes around to his idea, as they all actually think it's good. They finish the song, and perform at the Taste Of Riverdale event, where Archie sneaks out to watch the Pussycats perform.
After getting a reference and support from Valerie, she and Archie start playing together, which Josie is very unhappy with. Valerie feels like she doesn't have a voice in the Pussycats and stands up to Josie, who dismisses her, feeling pressured by her parents to succeed. Josie feels betrayed by Val and looks for a replacement for Val, who turns out to be an Archie-scorned Veronica. Archie's pretty unaware of the chaos he's in the midst of and how hurt Josie is, but both he and Val are shocked to see the new Pussycats walking down the halls together. Before the 75th Annual Variety Show, which both the Pussycats, Archie and Valerie are performing at, Archie's invited to a dinner with his father and the Mayor, Josie's mother, along with Josie and her estranged father. Although on opposite ends of a feud, Archie and Josie get along at the dinner and Archie witnesses how harsh Josie's Dad is. Val later tells Archie she can't perform with him and the Pussycats reunite.
Halfway through their sophomore year, the Town Jubilee celebrating 75 years of Riverdale approaches. Josie is performing and during rehearsal, she and Archie talk about music. Josie commends that Archie's improved, but rejects his proposal to sing one of his songs about his friends at the Jubilee, as it's supposed to be a celebration encompassing the whole town. Following Archie saving Cheryl's life at Sweetwater River, Josie approaches Archie and says she's changed her mind, that she and the Pussycats would like to honour his actions by singing the song. When Archie's father is shot and in the hospital, Josie and the Pussycats show up to support Archie and Josie tells him that they are there for him. When Pop's risks being closed, Archie, though dishevelled, attends the Retro Night event set up to help Pop's stay afloat and watches as Josie, with Melody and Cheryl, performs on the roof.
Veronica's acquaintance from New York decides to have a party to celebrate Josie and the Pussycats, which Archie also attends. While there, St. Clair offers them jingle jangle, and both Josie and Archie, along with many others, take drug and trip. The following day, Josie and the Pussycats (along with Veronica) play the SoDale Gala Opening, where they leave to find Cheryl being drugged by Nick St. Clair in a hotel room and beat him up. Archie shows up later, furious over St. Clair, while Josie comforts a shaken Cheryl. After what happened, all the kids are reprimanded by their parents at Betty's house for taking drugs. Archie and the others learn that Josie's father had a drug problem, when Sierra scolds Josie. As punishment Archie and Josie, along with the others, are tasked with cleaning up Pickens Park. At Christmas, Archie helps his Dad sell Christmas trees on a lot in front of Pop's, where Josie and Kevin sing carols.
In the Spring, when Fred considers running for Mayor, encouraged by the Lodges and following Sierra's resignation, Archie seeks out Josie. He doesn't want his Dad in the criminal Lodges' crosshairs and asks Josie's help. Josie tells him her mother won't spill on the Lodges' dealings, but Archie asks if she can't discourage his dad from the job in other ways. The two team up and Sierra and Josie visit Fred and Archie, where Sierra firmly, but surreptitiously tries to talk Fred out of running. Later in the semester, Josie and Archie face off in the Student Body President elections where Josie and Reggie run against Betty and Jughead, and Archie and Veronica. Both Josie and Archie also participate in the school musical. After the Riverdale Civil War, Josie stands with Archie and the Southside students in an effort to finally unite the Northside and the Southside of Riverdale. She and Reggie tell Archie and Veronica in the student lounge that they're dropping out of the race to be Student Body President. After Archie wins, Josie sings the National Anthem at his swearing in ceremony.
With Archie accused of murder, he spends the summer in legal proceedings, which Josie attends. Along with everyone else, Josie's shocked when Archie takes the plea deal and goes to juvie. When Veronica sets a plan in motion to break Archie out of juvie, she also asks Josie for help. Josie poses as a server in the illegal underground fight club where Archie's forced to 'perform' and she helps create a distraction that she, Reggie and Kevin cooked up in chem lab so that Archie can't escape through the sewers. Josie helps a wounded Archie onto the backseat of their getaway car and she and Reggie take him to safety in the bunker. When Josie is questioned about Archie's location, she suffers a seizure in class.
Archie leaves Riverdale and goes on the run, while Josie recovers and continues as headliner of La Bonne Nuit. When Archie returns to Riverdale, he's not himself and feels out of place suddenly being back to ordinary life with school and the SATs, after fending for himself for months. To cope, Archie starts drinking during the day and hangs out at La Bonne Nuit one afternoon, where Josie rehearses. When he drunkenly badgers Reggie, Reggie gets security to show Archie out, but they're a bit overzealous. Josie sees from her podium and comes over to stop the security guard, saying Archie's her friend. Archie agrees to leave and Josie helps him out of the club. She brings him to his house, where she lobs the drunk Archie into his tub and gives him a wake-up call in the form of a literal cold shower.
Josie tries to talk to Archie afterwards, and he explains how antsy he's become and how he can't control it. Josie tells him that maybe he should try to channel it someway, through music or take up boxing with Kevin's dad. Archie suddenly leaves, still affected by his sojourn in the wilderness. After calling a truce with his outer and inner demons, Archie sobers up fully and seeks out Josie at the speakeasy. She lightly teases him and he thanks her for being there when he needed her. Taking her up on her offer, Archie asks if Josie would still be willing to sing together and she enthusiastically agrees.
Josie has an early audition for Julliard and is very nervous about it. Archie finds her in the rehearsal space at school, where she's crying and asks about it. Josie tells him that she was hoping to get a lift from Sweet Pea, and doesn't know how to get to the audition, on top of nerves. Archie notices the Sweet Pea remark and asks if they have a thing, but Josie refutes it. Archie offers to drive Josie there and help her prepare. At the audition, Archie sits in the back and gives Josie non-verbal reassurances that she'll be great. They hang out at Pop's afterwards, with Josie unravelling as she had so much hanging on getting into Julliard. She mentions that she's kept everyone at arms length to focus solely on music, implying that it especially weighed hard on her to go solo and lose her friendships with Val and Melody in the process. Archie assures her that she's not alone, that he is there for her and understands what it's like to feel distanced from the world around you.
Archie later spends time with Josie in the rehearsal space at school and they sing together for the first time in a while. Feeling the rush of the music and their connection, Archie moves the guitar from between them and they share their first kiss. Josie and Archie go to Pop's together and try to make plans for a date, but are both very busy. Josie supports him in trying to quell his PTSD, while Archie, despite it, is able to focus attention on her too. On a subsequent day at school, Josie asks Archie to come watch her performance at La Bonne Nuit, and Archie tells her about the fight he's getting paid to throw. When he tries to explain it away as 'the biz' to showbiz veteran Josie, she's unconvinced and tries to gently nudge Archie in the direction of going the long haul in turning his life around.
- “I know you're looking for something, we all are, in this messed up town, but, selling yourself out to be somebody's punching bag? No. You're worth more than that”
- — Josie
Inspired by Josie, Archie tries to back out and is threatened on his life, leading him to ask Tom Keller for help in the fight. After her performance, Josie shows up to cheer Archie on and support him. Archie does well, but doesn't win. Josie waits for him after the fight, cheers him up and he asks about the show. She asks if he wants to celebrate and, instead of milkshakes, they go back to Archie's room and sleep together for the first time. One day that Josie stops by the gym to see Archie, they find a seemingly homeless kid named Ricky hiding in a closet. Archie's starts yelling at him, but Josie steps in and they bring Ricky with them to Pop's and buys him food. When they talk about social services, he tries to run and they promise not to turn him over to the authorities.
When Riverdale High is setting up the annual school musical, Josie and Archie are both in the show, with Josie playing the lead. When Reggie announces himself and Archie as both single at the cast rehearsals, Archie seems a bit bemused, but doesn't say anything. Evelyn Evernever decides to throw a cast party at the Farm HQ where Archie and Josie get cosy in a corner. The following day, Evelyn wants everyone to talk about secrets, allegedly in order to bond the cast and use real emotions for their performances. Kevin and Fangs confess, leading a dumped Sweet Pea to lash out over his and Josie's fling by revealing to everyone that he saw her and Archie together at the cast party. Betty asks if they're dating, to which they seem to have different reactions; Archie in the affirmative, Josie not so much.
Archie goes to talk to Josie afterwards, who's upset that Sweet Pea just revealed her personal life to everyone. Archie agrees, but prompts Josie about defining their relationship. Josie says that they just got together cause they were both lonely and having a tough time and Archie feels rejected and leaves. While later training at his new gym, Josie shows up as Archie asked to talk with her. He asks to go first and tells her that, regardless of how they started out it's more than that for him. He asks Josie, if she feels something too, to give a real relationship between them a try. Josie says yes and they sing a duet. Josie comes to Archie's match in the Gilded Glove Tournament at the El Royale to cheer him on. She's bemused by Veronica's clear interest in Archie. Archie, meanwhile, almost kisses Veronica when she buys him a gift, despite the fact that he's with Josie.
Josie arranges to meet up with her Dad and asks to go on tour with him. Despite his reservations, he decides to come see her show at La Bonne Nuit. Archie and Josie meet with Veronica to talk about the charity concert they're putting on to help the Ransons and Archie has to leave and kisses Josie goodbye. When Josie's father doesn't show, Josie's sad though not surprised given his past behaviour, but he does turn up after all, telling her it was a test to see whether she could withstand the harshness of touring and is dedicated solely to music. Myles agrees to let Josie join his tour and she's ecstatic. While rehearsing at school, Archie drops by and Josie tells him that she's leaving for good. He asks if she'll return and she says maybe, but hints that she's hoping for New York. They have a sweet goodbye as Archie tells her he wanted to ask her to prom. They share a kiss goodbye and hug. When Archie's father is suddenly killed in an accident, Josie returns to Riverdale on the 4th of July to pay her respects and see Archie. Josie sings "Amazing Grace" a cappella at Fred's funeral.
- “I know you're looking for something in this messed up town, we all are, but selling yourself out to be somebody's punching bag? No. You're worth more than that”
- — Josie
- Josie – “I've given so much to this, and all along I've been saying, "It's okay, it'll be worth it". I've built up so many walls to focus on this one thing, and now I don't know what I'm gonna do. - And I'm alone”
- Archie – “Hey - you're not alone. I've been alone these last few months, either literally or feeling like I'm from Mars, and it sucks. So, maybe I can help you feel a little less alone”
- — Support
- “How you feelin', Red?”
- — Josie, gently teasing Archie
- “Look, Archie, I know we didn't talk much last year, and I can't even attempt to guess at the hell that you've been through. And maybe all you can do now is wallow in booze and pick fights. But personally? I think you need to channel your anger into something constructive. Like music, maybe. Or, if you're in the mood to hit things, Kevin's dad boxes at the gym. Either way, you've got to deal with your demons head-on”
- — Josie being a friend
- “Listen up, Andrews. You're in free fall, and I am not having it”
- — Josie
- what love can do | THE ASCOTS
- Josie and Archie buy food for Ricky, a homeless kid, at Pop's
- you got me hypnotized | GHOSTESS
- archie and josie sleep together
- we don't need another hero (cover) | ASHLEIGH MURRAY
- Archie's fight and Josie's performance
After they've started dating, this is quickly becoming a popular pairing in the fandom, despite the fact that Josie may leave the series after Season 3 concludes. The ship started with the series, as Josie and Archie spent a lot of time together at the beginning of Season 1. Interest dwindled as Archie started dating another Pussycat — Valerie — and after episode 6, Josie and Archie didn't share scenes together. Their lack of screen time in Season 2 also meant a rarepair status quo for the ship's popularity in fandom. In mid-Season 3 Archie and Josie start collaborating on music again, which sparked a renewed interest in the ship. Fanatics from the Varchie fandom are rude about this ship on social media.
- Ashleigh Murray (Josie McCoy) was bullied, harassed and hounded online with racist comments after Josie and Archie kissed. That is f***king inhumane behaviour that doesn't belong in civilised society.
- Robin Givens (Sierra McCoy) was so happy to see this storyline and this couple happen
Notes and references
|SHIPS||slash||Jarchie • Joavin • Kangs • Koose • Regchie|
|femslash||Beronica • Cheronica • Cherosie • Choni • Lopaz • McTopaz|
|het||Archeryl • Archosie • Barchie • Bughead • Chosie|
Chughead • Falice • Jeronica • Jopaz • JosiePea
McMantle • Midge x Fangs • Valarchie • Varchie • Veggie
|CHARACTERS||female||Cheryl Blossom • Josie McCoy • Veronica Lodge|
|male||Archie Andrews • Jughead Jones|