Riverdale’s Hottest Street Drug ‘Jingle Jangle’ Is Actually a Reference to a Song By The Archies
It's actually steeped in Archie history.
True to Riverdale form, the second episode of the second season left more questions in its wake than it answered. Why is Cheryl Blossom always in lingerie? Did Smithers really go home to take care of his mom? Why is Betty’s mom always lurking around high school events? When did Reggie become a drug dealer? And what the hell is Jingle Jangle? It’s the last question, though, that stuck out the most in Chapter Fifteen: Nighthawks, which chronicled Betty’s quest to save Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe from the brink of extinction. In fact, that plot line—which had Betty reminiscing about her first Orange Freeze and grilled cheeses shared with Archie, the Vixens on cleaning duty, and a PG rendition of Kelis’ “Milkshake” by Josie and the Pussycats plus Cheryl Blossom—might have shared the most overlap with the comic series from which the TV show hails.
Well, outside of Jingle Jangle.
What we did learn about Jingle Jangle from the show is that it’s apparently Riverdale‘s hottest street drug. The drug comes up when Midge approaches a newly cast Reggie played by Charles Melton to score some for herself and her boyfriend Moose. Reggie obliges, making plans to deliver it to Moose. The deal later goes down at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, which Betty’s pesky, narc mother witnesses and snaps pictures of on her phone, because of course she does. She even blames Betty for it later, saying, “You do know that several drug deals went down here tonight, right? You’re almost singlehandedly responsible for giving crime a haven in Riverdale.”
Unfortunately for Betty, she will have to live with that thought forever because just as Moose and Midge take Jingle Jangle, ingesting it like Pixie Dust in a striped straw, which is just as laughable as its name, they are snuck up on by the masked man who killed Ms. Grundy and attempted to kill Archie’s dad Fred Andrews. Minus the Jingle Jangle, it’s a scene straight out of Zodiac, where a couple sitting in a car listening to another Donovan song get approached by a stranger and killed.
Not everyone dies upon ingesting Jingle Jangle though as Archie learns. After Midge seeks out the drug from Reggie, Archie does the same, looking for something that will help fuel his mission to protect his recovering father. “Jingle jangle?,” he clarifies with Reggie, as confused as the rest of us, after the jock suggests it.”That will keep you up for days in more ways than one,” Reggie tells him. Later, Reggie describes the drug as “uppers,” “clearly the last thing [Archie] needs” after the redhead tackles his classmate thinking Reggie is the masked man. Reggie, does have a point there.
What you might not know about Jingle Jangle is that this isn’t the first time it has been affiliated with Archie. Jingle Jangle also happens to be the name of a 1969 song by the cartoon band The Archies. It’s an melisma-filled, drum-propelled upbeat love song with lyrics like “When trying to untangle the jingle from the jangle/ It’s easy if you listen from your heart.” Yeah. It doesn’t make any more sense than the fact that high school kids would be coveting a drug named Jingle Jangle. As Lili Reinhart tweeted last week when the drug was first mentioned, “When the cast first heard the drug name ‘jingle-jangle’….”
Nonetheless, take a listen to the song below as we await to see the aftermath of Jingle Jangle next week on Riverdale.
Lili Reinhart talks boy bands, Lizzie McGuire, and more: