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Riverdale: How Dumb Is Archie Andrews?

As Smash Mouth would say, he isn't the sharpest tool in the shed

Kaitlin Thomas

We need to talk about Archie Andrews (KJ Apa). Specifically, we need to talk about how dumb he is.

Television hasn't seen the dim-witted likes of Riverdale's hilariously nicknamed ginger stallion in quite a while, at least not in a character occupying the lead role of a series. As the star football player with a pure heart of gold and a deep desire to become a Serious Musician, Archie is adorably dense but frequently frustrating in his ignorance.

The majority of the time Archie's obliviousness is harmless and it's sometimes hard to fault him for the things he doesn't know he doesn't know, but now that we're in the second half of the show's freshman season (it has already been renewed for Season 2) and there's still, apparently, a murderer on the loose, we have to ask: just how dumb is Riverdale's leading man?

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Well, let's take a look.


KJ Apa, Riverdale

Diyah Pera/THE CW

1. He didn't know who Bob Dylan was

It's universally acknowledged that Archie's dream of becoming a singer/songwriter is one of the silliest plotlines in a series that also featured a character pouring maple syrup in a hot tub as if this wasn't a plumbing nightmare. Still, we theoretically support Archie's ambitious, if almost certainly unachievable, dreams because he's basically just a puppy dog. That being said, we absolutely cannot take him seriously after learning he has no idea who Bob Dylan is. You go sit in the corner and think about your life choices, Archie.

2. He wore a varsity jacket to a funeral

Come on, Archie! I don't care if that is the only jacket you own, don't you think it's just a little disrespectful to show up to a funeral at the totally amazing but improbably constantly-surrounded-by-fog Gothic mansion of your deceased classmate wearing a bright blue and yellow varsity jacket? This kind of ridiculousness is what could put you at the top of the list of suspects for who killed Jason Blossom.

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3. He wore a varsity jacket to the Serpent's bar

If you want to blend in to the surroundings while you do some recon, Archie, this is probably not the way to do it. Also, nothing screams "I shouldn't be in this bar because I am a teenager in high school!" louder than an obnoxious varsity jacket. Good grief, son.

4. He didn't know his best friend's dad was a Serpent

Yes, Riverdale is a small town and small towns definitely have their secrets, but the fact that Archie somehow didn't know that the father (Skeet Ulrich) of his so-called best friend was a Serpent is also pretty outrageous. It's not as if he's been trying that hard to hide his sketchy connections, what with hanging out with a bunch of Serpents all the time. But then again, Archie also didn't know Jughead (Cole Sprouse) was homeless for a good chunk of the season so Archie's problems extend beyond not knowing the criminal status of his BFF's dad to reveal that maybe Archie is actually just a terrible friend. See also: not telling Veronica (Camila Mendes) he was dropping her for Valerie during the variety show and about 100 other instances.

5. He had sex with his teacher

Look, we could be here all day discussing how dumb it was for Archie to engage in sexual activities with his sexy music teacher while underage and under her tutelage -- and how dumb the show handled that situation -- but this is also much bigger than just Archie. For some reason TV writers who work on shows aimed at young, impressionable tweens and teens have gotten it in their heads that a student/teacher relationship is sexy and shocking, but let's call it what it is: statutory rape. Don't do this, kids.

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6. He didn't know Betty was in love with him even though it was painfully obvious

This is a common issue that pops up in most teen-oriented dramas (see: Dawson's Creek's entire first season), so we should let it slide. And there's even a chance that Archie was well aware of Betty's (Lili Reinhart) feelings for him but chose to play dumb so she wouldn't be hurt. But in the end it really doesn't matter and is just another example of Archie's complete obliviousness to the world around him.

7. "I was born alone. I'll die alone. I'll sing alone."

What even is this crackpot garbage you're spewing, Archie? Do you hear yourself when you speak? Also, most people are born alone. Well, except for the Blossoms, I guess. Whatever. You get the point.

8. He thought Valerie quitting the Pussycats was a good idea

He actually says this! In what possible world is that considered good news, bro? Do you ever think about anyone else, like, ever?

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9. He does not appear to appreciate his father is Dylan McKay

OK, so this one may say more about us and why we watch Riverdale than it does Archie. But maybe if Archie wasn't so dumb all the time we wouldn't only be watching the show for the parents.

Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)