In so many ways, Riverdale is a glorious festival of absurdity — and not just when it’s devoting an entire episode to the homoerotic tension of high school wrestling. One of the most delightful running gags on Riverdale is the use of almost-but-not-quite-right brand names: Veronica charges up a storm on a shopping website called Glamazon.com, and buys Fred Andrews an expensive wallet at Barnaby’s. Riverdale‘s faux-name practice is an homage to the original Archie comics, which used similar wordplay for products and celebrities — as when Bingo Skar of The Bottles visited Riverdale (Issue 155, in 1965). After Hal Cooper moved out of the house in the Jan. 31 episode, declaring “If you need me, I’ll be in a Sharebnb by The Register,” it was settled: It’s time to pick the 10 most amazing fake names on Riverdale.
1. “Five Seasons”
“It’s not the Waldorf nor the Plaza, but The Five Seasons, like all of Riverdale, has its charms.” — Veronica Lodge (Season 2, “When a Stranger Calls”)
Veronica is clearly underselling this establishment. A true luxury hotel knows that there’s no reason to settle for Four Seasons when you can have Five.
“Why can’t you just use Grind’em like every other gay guy?” — Betty Cooper, to Kevin (Season 2, “The Watcher in the Woods”)
Of course Riverdale’s answer to Grindr would sound more like a coffee shop than a gay hookup app.
“I thought about this a lot when I was in Shankshaw, and I’m done with Serpent life.” — FP Jones (Season 2, “House of the Devil”)
Riverdale is a major Stephen King stan, dropping references to everything from The Green Mile to Full Dark, No Stars. (And of course, there’s the upcoming tribute to Carrie: The Musical.) Love that the writers took their obsession one step further, shipping FP off to the bizarro version of Shawshank State Prison.
4. “American Excess”
“Reporting my American Excess card as stolen? Well played.” — Veronica Lodge to mom Hermione (Season 1, “In a Lonely Place”)
Commentary on our culture’s addiction to consumerism, and it rhymes with American Express? Well played indeed.
5. “Bean & Beluga”
“A chocolate-almond croissant from Bean & Beluga.” — Veronica Lodge (Season 2, “A Kiss Before Dying”)
In my imagination, Riverdale‘s take on Dean & Deluca will open right next to Grind’em and eventually put them out of business.
6. “Spiffany’s” and 7. “Glamergé”
“Hiram, was that a Spiffany’s bag I saw coming through the lobby earlier today? It looked about the right size for a Glamergé egg.” —Hermione Lodge (Season 2, “Silent Night, Deadly Night”)
Like Hermione Lodge would ever slum it by a displaying an overpriced, egg-shaped tchotchke from a store with “Spiff” in its name.
8. “Triple C”
“Of course, I don’t have a freakin’ spare. We’re going to have to call Triple C.” — Archie Andrews (Season 2, “Tales From the Darkside”)
Poor, striving Riverdale can’t even get quality roadside assistance! Maybe Greendale has Triple A, but Archie and his pals have to call Triple C.
9. “Vanity Flair”
“Betty, come on. An impossible situation is being invited to both the Vanity Flair Oscar party and Elton John’s Oscar party on the same night.” — Veronica Lodge (Season 1, “The Outsiders”)
There’s no rhyme or reason to which real brand names Riverdale uses versus which ones they choose to parody. Why namedrop some real networks (HBO, Netflix), events (the Met Ball), and cultural luminaries (Toni Morrison) but spoof something like Vanity Fair? Then again, why am I looking for order in the chaos that is Riverdale’s narrative storytelling?
10. “The Matchelorette”
“Tonight’s the season premiere of The Matchelorette and I would love to have my friends over to watch.” – Veronica Lodge (Season 2, “The Watcher in the Woods”)
God bless Veronica. Just when you think she’s a snob, you learn she’s a card-carrying member of Bachelor… that is, Matchelor Nation.