- “I'm not alone”
- — Archie, about Jughead
Jughead and Archie have been best friends since they were kids, but a rift between them occurs in the summer before their sophomore year, partly because, unbeknownst to Jughead (or anyone), Archie has an affair with Riverdale High's music teacher, but mostly due to the secret Grundy and Archie keep that they were at Sweetwater River on 4 July and heard a gunshot. Jughead is visibly wounded that he doesn't recognize his former best friend, but is still willing to give Archie advice about Betty.
When Jughead sees Archie and Grundy together he confronts Archie, who tells Jughead about what they heard on July 4. Jughead underlines the severity of the situation, imploring Archie to tell the authorities and to realize that Grundy is just using him. Archie basically threatens Jughead not to tell anyone, at which Jughead is appalled. Reggie accuses Jughead of having killed Jason and Archie steps in between them and tells Reggie off, leading to a fight. Archie decides to come clean and apologizes to Jughead for how he treated him, to which Jughead replies they'll mend it over time and their friendship starts anew.
Although Archie rejected Betty, Jughead feels guilty after kissing Betty and she becomes an unspoken point of contention between the two formerly close friends, who struggle to adjust to this new development. Archie notices that they've gotten closer and tries to ask Jughead, who seems nervous about what it will do to their friendship. Once Jughead struggles with his father, Betty is there for him and Archie sees that she and Jughead are in a relationship.
- Jughead – “You keep killing me”
- Archie – “War is hell, Jug”
- — Playing Freudian video games
Jughead moves into the Andrews home and, although Archie states he's fine (and is also with Valerie, kisses Cheryl and later hooks up with Veronica), there are a lot of little moments to suggest that Archie's angry with Jughead, or jealous, because Jughead is with Betty. This happens when an enraged Archie goes to the White Wyrm to confront the Serpents, who Archie believes beat up Moose and Archie's bailed out by FP, learning that he's a Southside Serpent. Archie reacts by barging in on Polly's baby shower at The Pembroke and confronting Jughead with the information in front of everyone, indicating Archie especially wanted Betty to hear.
This only brings Betty and Jughead closer, with Archie's ulterior motives noticed by nobody but Veronica. In spite of this, they continue their friendship and Jughead keeps living at the Andrews' house. Though Archie usually spends Jughead's birthday with him and is well aware of Jug's aversion to celebrating the event, his break-up with Valerie prompts him to get drunk and invite crashers in to turn the birthday into a kegger. Jughead tells Archie he hurt him, but they don't really resolve anything and both are more focused on their romantic woes.
Northside vs. Southside
Although Betty, Jughead, Archie and Veronica all help each other out and work to free FP from prison, also saving Cheryl from drowning, they are slowly moving along separate paths after Fred Andrews is shot. Jughead supports Archie, who is spiralling and takes vigilante action, though not revealing that he gets help from the Serpents and has been semi-inducted. The former best friends start to lead separate lives as Archie teams with Dilton and Reggie to form the 'Red Circle' while Jughead starts attending Southside High. When Archie dumps Jughead for Betty, he's brutal as he realizes Jughead is joining the Serpents, but Archie saves Jughead from prison when Mayor McCoy raids Southside High, and they later fall out when Archie reveals to Jug he called the police to get the Ghoulies arrested.
In spite of this, Jughead seeks out Archie for a favour when Penny Peabody comes collecting Jughead's "debt" and asks him to deliver drugs. Although finding it insane, Archie recognizes that Jughead is in the deep and resolves to be there for him, to make sure he doesn't get hurt. Jughead thanks Archie for being there for him and, after being confronted with the notion that Peabody has given the drug recipients his name, yearns more than ever for his normal life. Jug tentatively asks Archie if they can maybe look into the Riverdale Reaper together, at the library, but Archie unceremoniously turns him down, then tries to smooth it over, but Jughead recoils and a heaviness hangs between them.
- Archie – “Can't you get out of this somehow, Jug?”
- Jughead – “What part, exactly?... I can try. Hey — I'll try”
- — Growing divide
Despite the growing distance, now not only stemming from Betty being implicitly between them, Archie attends FP's retirement party at the Whyte Wyrm. After their respective break-ups, Jughead goes all in on being a criminal (like Archie feared) when he cuts Penny Peabody, while Archie and Betty kiss. Archie doesn't tell Jughead and they semi work together when Southside and Riverdale High are being fused. Following this things get sort of muddled, as both Archie and Jughead, respectively, dive headfirst into criminal life, Archie with the mob and Jughead with the gang and becoming an accomplice to Alice/Chic's murder of a random guy, whom Jug and FP help Betty and Alice dispose of.
The conflict between Archie and Jughead ends up being, not over Archie's morality and Jughead being lost in gang crime, but the gang vs. Archie militia/fascist mob tendencies, seemingly out of nowhere. Their rift surrounding Betty is cemented when Cheryl reveals to Jughead that Archie and Betty kissed, which leads to Jughead and Veronica sharing an awkward revenge peck. Archie and Jughead talk to each other in the woods the day after, and Jughead muses on the fact that the four of them are an unlikely unit, indicating they could break apart at any moment and seemingly posing the question of whether his and Archie's friendship will stand the test of adolescence and time. Simultaneously, Jughead's ire with Veronica and her father leads to Archie defending Veronica against Jughead's accusations.
Jughead finds out about Hiram's for-profit prison scheme, which Archie randomly is on board with and they have a divisive confrontation when Jughead chains himself to Southside High in protest of its demolishing and Archie, tasked by Hiram, is the one who comes and cuts the chains off of Jughead, leading them away. Following this, the two face off as opponents in the student president elections. Archie forms a new gang - The Dark Circle - with some of the Bulldogs and sets one of Hiram's mobster connections' car on fire. A temporary lull occurs when everyone stars in the school musical and Jughead films backstage, warning Archie to his face in front of Betty not to get "too cosy" with her while Archie and Betty are portraying the musical's couple.
After Midge's murder tensions between the Bulldogs and the Serpents at school ramp up, with Archie and Jughead in the middle trying to keep everything calm. When it's leaked that Fangs and Midge had an affair, the Bulldogs run rampant with Archie finally seeing the light, dropping his mob-Hiram-apprenticeship thing and helping Jughead by trying to keep the Bulldogs at bay, lead by Reggie. Jughead bands together with his Serpent family and in spite of everyone's best efforts, Fangs ends up shot outside the Sheriff's station. During the riots, the boys stay in contact, trying to keep their respective factions in check and safe. Jughead sacrifices himself to the Ghoulies, but survives and he and Archie lead the targeted Serpents away from the Whyte Wyrm to temporary sanctum on the Northside.
Jughead briefly stops and looks back to the Southside, but Archie beckons him onwards, as a symbolic cementing of their friendship starting to heal. With the Southside and Northside teens now united, Archie decides to have them stand together against Weatherbee, who wants to expel the Southside students, and they are victorious. Archie's plan ensures his election as Student Council President and Jughead attends his swearing in ceremony at school, just in time for Archie to be arrested for alleged murder and taken away.
Juvie and elusion
For three months of summer, Jughead tries to organize the Serpents, who are now homeless and living in tents on the Northside and support Archie, who is going on trial for murder. The last day before summer they boys go to their childhood summer hangout to swim, along with Betty and Veronica, and camp out. Archie tells them that maybe, after how he acted last year, he does deserve to go to prison. When a hung jury lead to a mistrial, Archie decides to take a deal from the prosecution for two years in juvie. Jughead is shocked at Archie's choice, which Archie makes to spare his loved ones another drawn out process.
While Archie's in jail, Jughead is on the periphery of Dilton Doiley's death and find a connection to the roleplaying game that may have cost Dilton's life — Griphons & Gargoyles. After another death, Jughead decides the best way to find the truth is to start playing the game. Meanwhile, Archie is broken out of juvie by Betty, Josie, Kevin, Reggie and Veronica. They bring him to the bunker as he's now a wanted man and Jughead is overwhelmed with shock and joy at finally seeing Archie free, and hugs a wounded Archie.
Jughead and Betty take the first shift watching Archie, but Betty sends Jughead, who hasn't slept, home. Jughead runs into The Gargoyle King on his way through the forest and goes back to the bunker. Archie wakes up at Jughead and Betty's discussion about disciples of the GK and Archie tells them about Joaquin. Jughead decides to interrogate Joaquin, who is then murdered and left at the Serpents' quarters as a warning. Archie, after getting his infected wound cured with Kevin's help, decides to find the coerced witnesses to clear his name. When he and Kevin find the boys dead in the mines the Warden mentioned to Archie, one is barely alive and they bring him to a hospital. The kid dies at the hospital and Archie decides that, by proxy, all of his loved ones' lives are threatened by Hiram Lodge. Kevin stays behind to tell Mr. Andrews that Archie left, but that he's not alone. Jughead decided to go with Archie and the two trek out of Riverdale together.
After a long stretch, Archie suggests that they rest at a farm. Jughead's wary, but agrees and they're met with unfriendly ire. While Archie likes it there and agrees to spend the night, Jughead takes note of the strangeness and goes to further explore in town, discovering that all the men are gone and that Hiram's the culprit. Archie, meanwhile, is knocked out by Laurie Lake after revealing his identity as she aims to trade his life for her father and brother, who are enslaved by Hiram. Jughead returns to the farm in time to talk Archie out of attacking Hiram in frustration, and they narrowly escape. On the road again, Jughead suggests they go visit his mother in Toledo, Ohio.
When Jughead and Archie arrive at Gladys and Jellybean Jones', Gladys assumes the two are involved in a romantic relationship, stating that there "always seemed to be something between them". Jughead tells Gladys that they are on the road together, but not "together" together. Archie agrees, saying that their relationship is a "bromance". Later in the episode, Archie hears Gladys telling Jughead that Hiram has put a bounty on anyone who is helping him, and that it is safer if Archie continues on his own. Jughead is wary of the proposal, telling his mother that Archie is his best friend and that he will not desert him. Archie walks into the room and says that Gladys is right, and he can't keep putting people in danger because of him. Jughead reluctantly agrees, and the two share a heartfelt hug before going their separate ways.
Apart for a month, Jughead manages to get back into a quarantined Riverdale, while Archie roams the Canadian woods with Vegas, as a ranger of sorts. After Archie's attacked by a bear, he becomes delusional from the pain and sees Jughead as he was a little over a year earlier, the time when Archie feels he started to go wrong. Archie also dreams of Gargoyles & Gryphons, while Jughead is still uncovering the Gargoyle King mystery back in Riverdale. After being treated at the hospital, Archie returns home to Riverdale with a serious case of PTSD, although he doesn't really try to let anyone in on how he's doing. He and Jughead meet up at Pop's, along with Betty and Veronica, and Archie learns the SATs are afoot, which Jughead helps quiz him for, along with Betty. Jughead attends Veronica's surprise welcome home party for Archie at La Bonne Nuit, but Archie leaves in discomfort shortly after arriving. Unable to relate to anything routine, Archie is more than willing to oblige when a chaotic Jughead shows up and asks Archie to be the bait for the Gargoyle King, thinking it's their chance to unmask him as Hiram Lodge.
- Archie – “Will you help me?”
- Jughead – “(smiles) Obviously”
- — Lancer
At a local gym where Archie's boxing, he happens upon a lost kid who seems to be homeless. After taking in the kid, Ricky, Archie leaves him at Pop's while he's in school, but Ricky's chased away and Archie gets help from social services. Archie goes to Jug's house to tell him about Ricky and that gang members scared him off. Archie thinks it may be connected to G&G and the Gargoyle gang, so Jughead helps by getting the Serpents looking for Ricky. Jughead takes Archie to the cave where Kurtz was holed up and they find Ricky. Archie later finds out that Ricky branded himself with the 'sacrifice mark' as part of G&G and Ricky stabs Archie. Afterwards, the Serpents clear out the cave previously home to the Gargoyle gang to set up as new Serpent headquarters. Jughead tries to cheer him up, but Archie's weary from the constant attempts on his life and distress he's going through. Jug suggests that they force the issue to get through it once and for all.
- just me and you | THE DREAMLINERS
- the boys leave Greendale
- hell or highwater | ADDIE HAMILTON
- get together | BAHARI
- Archie gets Jughead legal advice from his mother
- i can feel you now | WILD FUTURE
- Archie finds Jughead living at the high school
- no stranger | SMALL BLACK
- Archie finds Jughead in Pop's
Jarchie is the most popular slash ship in the fandom. Aside from its rich comics background, the ship took off immediately as their estrangement at the beginning of the series was easily interpreted as a dealing with an ex after a break-up. The ship was very downplayed in the show's ill-conceived second season, where Jughead spends a lot of time calling Archie stupid and making fun of him. The pairing saw a resurgence of screen time in the third season, where the mutual affection between the characters was re-established. On AO3, Jarchie is the second most written ship for Archie and Jughead. It is also the sixth most written ship in the Riverdale (TV Series 2017) tag.
- jarchie posts on Tumblr
- jughead x archie posts on Tumblr
- archie x jughead posts on Tumblr
- They consider each other brothers.
- They are the only two of the "Core Four" (Veronica, Jughead, Archie and Betty) who have not shared a kiss.
Notes and references
|SHIPS||slash||Fanghead • Jarchie • Joavin • Jugpea|
Kangs • Koose • Regchie
|femslash||Beronica • Cheronica • Cherosie • Choni|
Lopaz • McKlump • McTopaz
|het||Archeryl • Archosie • Barchie • Beggie • Bughead • Chosie|
Chughead • Falice • Jeronica • Jopaz • JosiePea • Klangs
McMantle • Midginald • Valarchie • Varchie • Veggie
|CHARACTERS||female||Cheryl Blossom • Josie McCoy • Veronica Lodge|
|male||Archie Andrews • Reggie Mantle • Jughead Jones|