- ❝Look, cards on the table: you're not over Betty. And I'm not interested in being anybody's rebound. Besides, I'm more into girls anyways❞
- — Toni rejects Jug
Toni volunteers to show Jughead around Southside High on his first day, on account of FP being a Southside Serpent, and is surprised that Jughead isn't a Serpent. She advises Jughead to align himself with them to avoid retribution from the Ghoulies, another gang at Southside. After Jughead is beaten by them, he takes Toni's advice, but doesn't tell Betty and asks Toni not to either. Jughead decides to make a play for the defunct Red & Black, Southside High's newspaper and convinces his teacher to allow Jughead to resurrect it. Toni refers to it as his sanctuary at SH. She is a photographer and Jughead playfully convinces her to join as the Red & Black's photographer. Although Jughead's with Betty, he flirts with Toni almost from the moment they meet.
- ❝Yeah, all I need now is a photographer with an amazing eye and a hunger for social justice, and I think I’ll be set❞
- — Coy Jughead
As Jughead's not part of the Serpents, most of them are skeptical of him, but Toni stands by him and they spend a lot of time together at school and the paper. After Archie shoving a gun in Sweet Pea's face, leading to a rumble between the Bulldogs' and the Serpents, the Serpents are planning on retaliating with a pipe bomb. Jughead tries to calm the waters, but to no avail and tells Toni that his only option is to step into his father's peace keeping footsteps by joining the Serpents fully. Toni's trepidatious and warns Jughead of the dangers of, not only initiation, but life as a Serpent. Jughead tells her he was inspired by her to take up this mantle, when she told him that the Serpents might falter without FP's presence.
Toni does everything she can to support Jughead through the initiation process and the intensity brings them closer, although Jughead begins to realise that he's actively diving into something with Toni despite still being with Betty. After Jughead passes the gauntlet, he and Toni hang out together in his trailer as she tends to his injuries. They share a kiss, which turns into the making out. The next day, the eat breakfast at Pop's and Toni tells Jughead she's not interested in being a second choice and tries to say 'they're cool', to which Jughead seems disappointed, although he doesn't miss her point. She also tells him 'I'm more into girls anyways', perhaps to disarm any tension, but possibly also feeling rejected by Jughead somewhat, as he's on the rebound.
True to her word, Toni stays friends with Jughead and he now fully embraces and cherishes his place in Riverdale as a Southside Serpent. Whether adhering to Betty's request or not, Toni also checks in with Jughead, surmising that, in spite of what Jughead relays, he's in deep trouble with the Snake Charmer. When Jughead wants to put an end to Penny Peabody's involvement with the Serpents, in spite of FP keeping him out at all costs, Jughead goes to the teen members and asks that they help him with a plan he's devised. Toni steps up and recites the first law to Sweet Pea and Fangs, indicating that the right thing to do is support Jughead and she's successful.
After this violent action, they continue as friends and Toni gently teases Jughead about not dealing with the aftermath of his break-up with Betty. He writes a story, which he shows to Toni for her to read as they sit on the steps of Southside High. They're both surprised to learn that the school is being shut down, although Jughead goes to extremes to keep his newfound family in plain sight once returning to Riverdale High, while Toni and Sweet Pea are more focused on the fact that they're now in a school with means the possibility of a good education. To counter the school's biased policies, Jughead sets up the 'after school club' Swords & Serpents, so they may still have sanctum.
Toni lets Jughead interview her grandfather about the Uktena, the indigenous people of whom Toni and her grandfather are descendants, who originally owned the land Riverdale was built on. Jughead gets upset on their behalf and publishes an article that enrages Toni, who reads Jug on his usurpation of their narrative and history. Jug apologises to Thomas Topaz and the two join the Serpents, led by Toni, in a demonstration at Pickens' Day against the slaughter of the Uktena people by General Pickens. It peters out when Hiram Lodge undermines the gravity of the cause. Toni and Jughead stick together when Tall Boy accuses them of reigniting the city officials' vendetta against the Serpents.
Their activism against Hiram Lodge's nefarious family continues when they learn Southside High is being demolished. Jughead recruits the Serpents at 'Swords & Serpents' to chain themselves to the school in protest, but Toni opts out of this one. With Jughead back with Betty, and Toni starting a relationship with Cheryl they spend less time together than when at Southside High. They come together again as a serpent family when Fangs is accused of Midge's murder. Toni finds Jughead and shows him the footage of Fangs and Midge backstage at the musical. Fangs is imprisoned, but when he's released due to lack of evidence people are close to rioting and the foursome of Jughead, Toni, Fangs and Sweet Pea huddle together and recite their vow to protect their family.
After an innocent Fangs is shot amidst the mob outside the police station, Jughead, Toni and Sweet Pea rush him to the hospital. After staving off Sweet Pea leading the teen Serpents to riot over Fangs' shooting, Jughead gets a call from Penny Peabody saying she has his 'Southside Smurfette'. Jughead's horrified and hurries to meet Penny, despite a tied up Toni bravely yelling to him over the phone not to come for her. When he shows up, Toni tells him Penny's not alone — the Ghoulies come out of the shadows. But Jughead's brought back-up too, and Toni's let go. FP relays news from the sheriff's office that Fangs died from his gunshot wound, the Serpents (and Cheryl) vote to fight the Ghoulies, including Toni, despite Jughead's objections.
Jughead secretly makes a deal with Hiram to hand himself over in exchange for saving everyone else. FP finds him in the woods on the brink of death and Toni looks on, horrified. Jughead pulls through and learns that Fangs didn't die. Toni shows Jug that the aftermath of the rumble with the Ghoulies has left people homeless, who are now seeking refuge at the White Wyrm. Jughead leads a rescue mission when Cheryl brings him word that Hiram's Sheriff will try to "clear out" the Wyrm. Together, the Serpents march from the Southside to the Northside. FP retires from Serpent life and names Jughead the new Serpent King in his stead, while Toni looks on.
New Serpent Leader
After Archie's been wrongfully accused, Toni goes on holiday and Jughead tries to keep spirits high among the now displaced Southside Serpents, who are living in tents, while sending spies to keep an eye on Ghoulie activity. At the end of summer, Fangs discovers that the Ghoulies have taken Hotdog and Jughead gathers Toni, Sweet Pea, Fangs and Cheryl to go on a mission to get Hotdog back, although he cautions he doesn't want to rattle the Ghoulie cage. While they succeed, they are ambushed by Penny and the Ghoulies who assert that they'll be coming for the Serpents now that they've stepped on their old Southside land again. With Cheryl and Veronica, Toni discovers that the Ghoulies have turned the Whyte Wyrm into a Jingle Jangle lab. Toni and Jughead both attend the opening of Veronica's speakeasy, Le Bonne Nuit.
Toni joins Jughead, as well as Sweet Pea, Fangs and Cheryl, in playing Gryphons and Gargoyles in Dilton's secret bunker. They all get really invested in the game, so much so that Toni and Cheryl have to alert Jughead to Sweet Pea and Fangs wanting to start roleplaying, which Jughead halts. They play another game where Jughead unwittingly narrates Archie's escape from juvie and once Archie returns, Jughead's overjoyed to see his friend and Toni patches Archie's wound as they join a pact to keep Archie's whereabouts a secret. After Jughead leaves town with Archie, Toni becomes another victim of the seizures and Riverdale is quarantined with Jughead on the outside.
Within a month, Jughead's managed to get back into Riverdale while Toni has taken to stealing money with Cheryl from rich people for themselves. Meanwhile, the rest of the Serpents are struggling to make a living and Jughead gets them employment with Veronica in exchange for returning one of Cheryl and Toni's stolen goods. When Cheryl refuses to give it back, saying she doesn't care about the Serpents and challenging Jughead's leadership because he left with Archie, Jughead enforces Serpent rules and excommunicates Cheryl and Toni from the Serpents, along with Fangs who's been dealing drugs for the Ghoulies to help his sick mother. While Cheryl doesn't give a damn, Toni is livid at being thrown out of the Serpents, her home for most of her life and her blood, as her family were among the founders of the gang.
Toni leaves the gang and is gifted a new one, the Pretty Poisons, by Cheryl, bringing all the young female Serpent members, too. As the Serpents are losing ground in Riverdale to the new multitude of gangs suddenly appearing, Jughead arranges a meeting with Toni. Insincere hat in hand, he asks her to come back to the Serpents, but never apologises for how he acted and what he did. Toni lays down one demand for her return — that she become Serpent Queen. Jughead refuses this and Toni doesn't renege, which has Jughead attack Toni's position by claiming the Pretty Poisons are just a "vanity project" of Cheryl Blossom's with no real meaning or value. This venomous behaviour of Jughead's only drives them further apart as Toni retorts that the Serpents are no longer a family, inferring Jughead as the undoing of the gang's creed.
Toni and Jughead seem be attempting to make peace as they talk in the hallway at school. They're interrupted by noise and learn that a brawl has broken out between the Poisons, Serpents and Farmies. Both, now leaders of their respective gangs, are called into Principal Weatherbee's office, where he informs them of a burglary of the school's chemistry lab and accuses their respective gangs of peddling drugs, which they fervently deny as their gangs don't engage with drugs. Toni and Jughead, while not present for the rumblings, nor have they authorised any such behaviour, both seem irked by the unruliness of their new gangs, Jughead's now destabilised by unhappy former Gargoyles who like to stir things up. Toni later frantically seeks out Jughead's help when Kurtz is dropping Fangs from the first floor. Jughead and Sweet Pea race to catch him and break his fall, saving his life. Both Jughead and Toni are in the school musical. During rehearsals, Evelyn suggests a confessional which turns into relationship secrets being aired. While everything goes on, Jughead's just snacking in the back, exchanging looks with Toni.
They don't really interact as Jughead deals with his family issues and Toni gets involved with The Farm. They both attend junior prom, which is shortlived as the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King terrorise the event. While Jughead gets close to uncovering the identity of the Gargoyle King, Toni escapes The Farm after learning that they're harvesting people's organs. Toni gets drugged by Penelope Blossom, while Jughead is invited by who he discovers to be Penelope to the Blossom Hunting Lodge and forced to participate in a crazy hunt at the prey. Nana Rose wakes Toni and tells her she has to go and help her them. Toni, along with the Serpents and the Poisons, come to the aide of Jughead and the others and save their lives from Penelope's minions.
The summer before senior year, Fred Andrews is killed in an accident. Jughead is there for Archie and both Jughead and Toni attend a July 4th celebration in Archie's garden with fireworks, to support him. A few months later, as school starts up again, Cheryl decides to throw a party at her Thistlehouse when she's banned from doing so at school. Everyone attends and during the evening, Toni and Jughead talk and laugh just the two of them. They're interrupted by the Sheriff showing up and FP immediately tells Jughead he better not be drinking anything alcoholic. Toni looks at Jughead, concerned, as a deadpan Jughead demonstrably pours out the contents of his cup. Jughead is offered a place at a prestigious boarding school, Stonewall Prep, and transfers. As Jughead is mostly absent during the week and they are no longer at the same school, Toni and Jughead don't spend as much time together.
When Jughead fakes his death, Toni isn't told and really does believe that he's dead. Alice weirdly makes a documentary about it and interviews the Riverdale High students. Toni gets interviewed and emotionally talks about when they first met and how they spent a night together. She says that her and Jughead are quite similar and that their night together cemented their friendship. She also attends his funeral. She and Kevin sit together in the student lounge and read the obituaries celebrating Jughead's life, mourning him. After Jughead's 'come back to life', both Toni and he become drummers for their respective variety show acts.
- Toni – “Why the change of heart anyway? Why go from conscientious objector to full-fledged member?”
- Jughead – “Because of something you said”
- Jughead – “Great, so Archie started WWIII”
- Toni – “Northside has been dumping on us for years! Your Dad tried to keep the peace; avoid bloodshed. Now that he's gone idiots like Sweet Pea think there's only one path and one solution: violence”
- sign of the times | HARRY STYLES
- First kiss
- walking in the dark | ESCAPE-ISM
- ghost | ZZ WARD
The pairing was fairly common when it became canon on the series, but the ship was abandoned quickly by the writers in service of Jughead's previous pairing and a planned F/F pairing for Toni Topaz, although the latter has gotten little development. As of Season 4, it's a rare pair with a steady, continuous following which hopes to see at least this friendship and Serpent family bond sustained and prioritised throughout the series. Once Vanessa Morgan was hired, rumours quickly circulated that her character, Toni Topaz, might be getting romantic with Jughead and subsequently, fantatic Bughead shippers started inundating Morgan with death threats (which has also happened re: another pairing: Barchie).
- jopaz tag on Tumblr
- toni x jug posts on Tumblr
- jug x toni posts on Tumblr
Vanessa Morgan (Toni Topaz) on Toni, her conflict with Jughead in Season 3 and their relationship overall:
- ❝I think it leaves Toni and Jughead at a place where, they were super close and on the same page and - you know, Toni was Jughead's first friend on the Southside and they have that connection. And I think this is obviously causing a lot of problems for them. I think Jughead realised he shouldn't have ever kicked her out and that was a mistake. And I think Toni's just trying to hold strong on it, being like 'I wanna be the Queen of the Serpents if I'm coming back'. So it's just butting heads at this point and both being two stubborn people as, you know, Toni and Jughead are very similar❞
- — Vanessa Morgan, on Jughead expelling Toni from the Southside Serpents
- ❝I would love to see her still being the strong, confident, independent girl that she was when you met her in Season 2. She didn't take BS from anybody and I want us to make sure she sticks to that. And, I'd like to see her not forget about her boys — her OGs.❞
- — Morgan
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|