- Riverdale -Ranking The 'Riverdale' Parents From Least To Most Villainous
Teen dramas wouldn't be nearly as fun if the parents didn't behave twice as badly as their children. Whether it's getting investigated by the FBI for embezzlement or sleeping with your daughter's boyfriend (Marissa Cooper's parents on The OC did both) the moms and dads of teen TV know how to raise the stakes while their kids are busy worrying about who to take to prom.
And then there are the parents on Riverdale, who really, really raised the bar on crazy.
Riverdale exists in a world where organ-snatching cult leaders run amuck and killer boardgames are a very real threat, so it's not exactly surprising that the parents on this show are, err, a complicated bunch. Even the most decent parents have their dark side on this CW series, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Yet some parents in the small town with pep aren't just chaotic — they're also total villains.
It's a sliding scale of evil, of course. Here are the Riverdale parents ranked from least to most villainous.
The father of Archie was possibly the only true pure soul left in this hellmouth of a town. The owner of Andrews' Construction just wanted the best possible life for his son and was always around to set Archie straight whenever he was veering off course. (Like, for example, that time he kind of joined the mob?) The episode that showed the aftermath of Fred's death — which happened on screen months after Luke Perry died following a stroke in March 2019 — is still one of the most heartbreaking in all of Riverdale history. This guy was really all good — which was a miracle given where he grew up.
Once Sheriff Keller, always Sheriff Keller, even though, technically, his title was revoked due to some shady local politics. (Why F.P. never thought to invite him back to the force, when F.P. deputized actual teenagers, I'll never know.)
Tom always seems a lot shadier than he actually is. He was one of the frontrunners for the Black Hood (those blue eyes!) but ultimately, ended up being nothing more than a red herring. He's always there for his son Kevin and while he did step out on his offscreen wife to have a late-night motel affair with Sierra McCoy, it turned into true love and gave us a cute step-sibling relationship between Kevin and Josie.
All around an unproblematic lady. She's also the only parent to be constantly shocked by the insane stuff that happens in Riverdale, which may be because she's not actually from there. Or is she?
We know so little about Mary's past because for most of the show, she's offscreen doing lawyer things in Chicago. She did tell Archie not to throw away his future in order to buy a gym in his hometown, though, which is a winning parenting move in my book. She's not villainous at all, but she has to be at least a little willfully ignorant not to drag Archie by the earlobes back to Chicago.
Once upon a time, Sierra was the mayor of Riverdale, and got up to her fair share of shady business, like accepting bribes from Hiram Lodge to demolish the Twilight Drive-In. On a normal teen drama, Sierra might be ranked higher for engaging in political corruption, but as a reminder, multiple parents are serial killers.
We've only met Josie's dad twice on Riverdale, but he did not make a great impression. While he did not kill anyone, the professional jazz player basically tried to murder Josie's dreams by not even staying for the entirety of her variety show performance. My heart! Josie deserves so much better.
The father of Jughead is a complicated figure, but also possibly the most beloved parent to on this list. At the beginning of the series, F.P. struggled with alcohol issues, estranging him from his family and causing his son to live in a drive-in movie theater. He also was the leader of the Southside Serpents, back when they were hardened adult criminals and not a glorified after school club that gave each member a matching leather jackets.
One thing that never changed was how much F.P. loved his family, and in the more recent seasons of Riverdale, it became clear just how far he would go to protect his son. Unfortunately, that meant doing vaguely villainous things like burying a body, attempting to assassinate Hiram Lodge, and beating a prep school student to a pulp. Mary Andrews simply would not get into these messes.
In the first season of Riverdale, Alice was the standard pushy, perfectionist mom who pushed Adderall on Betty and was generally hostile to everyone at PTA meetings.
Now, Alice is a much more complicated figure. She joined a cult that nearly killed both her daughters, only to later (like, way too much time later) reveal that she was working within the cult to take it down from the inside. She also covered up a murder committed by her not-real son Chic. In general, Alice lands on the side of "good," but she's an agent of chaos always.
I'll never forgive Gladys for bailing on Jughead, but she did him a favor, as when he caught up to her she was engaging in less-than-legal stuff out of her junkyard in Toledo. She's a terrible influence, but she did fight Penny Peabody in a pretty epic battle over Jughead. Sometimes, mama bear's claws just come out.
When she first arrived in Riverdale with her daughter Veronica she was the chillest wine mom in town, ready to start new and shed the stigma associated with being the wife of white collar criminal Hiram.
Oh how times have changed. Hermione's nearly as shady as her husband now, and always willing to go along with his schemes unless they diverge from her personal plans for money and power. She also straight-up murdered her secret lover Sheriff Minetta which there's really no coming back from.
Hiram is a mobster who built a prison so he could manufacture drugs with impunity. He's killed plenty of people, if not always by his own hand. Yet the reason he's so high on this list is because for whatever reason, he has spent seasons upon seasons trying to destroy his daughter's boyfriend's life, for no good reason at all. Did no one tell this man that high school relationships don't last forever? They'll break up eventually dude, let it go!
Betty's dad was a serial killer, but he'd probably be higher on this list if he wasn't so bad at his "job." (Killing, serially.) Despite attempting to murder dozens of people in the most David Fincher ways possible, Hal — who coined himself the Black Hood because he's dramatic like that — only succeeded at murdering a handful of Riverdale residents, none of whom were main characters. Rest in peace, Midge Kemp, we hardly knew ya.
Cheryl really did not stand a chance of having a normal upbringing. In addition to perpetually looking like she was just ripped from a Guillermo del Toro film, Penelope's hobby is poisoning people, something she's done since she offed her school principal at 16.
The one thing stopping Penelope from topping this list is her love of her son Jason (sorry, Cheryl) and the fact that her childhood was so messed up, it was almost inevitable that she would turn out this twisted. As we learned in the "Midnight Club" episode of Riverdale, Penelope was adopted by the Blossom family as a child in order to eventually marry her brother, Clifford. Ew.
So technically, Clifford only murdered one person that we know of, which is far fewer than some other people on this list. The problem is, that person was his son Jason Blossom, which is pretty much as evil a move as you can make. Also, he did it to protect his heroin trade, which is never a good reason to do anything.
Is Nana Blossom a murderer? Probably, considering she is a Blossom. However, Cheryl's elderly grandmother deserves to top this list is because she crafted the deranged, incestuous environment that no doubt led to Penelope and Clifford's murder spree later in life. She gave us two murderers for the price of one, making this spooky lady the most villainous of all the parents.