Created by Bob Montana and John L. Goldwater, Jughead Jones was first introduced in "Pep Comics" Issue #22 way back in 1941, alongside his very best friend and polar opposite, Archie Andrews. In the days when “Archie Comics” was wholesome, the panels were filled with innocent teenage life and romance, which Jughead wanted nothing to do with. However, he was always there to help his starry-eyed pal Archie with his witty and realistic brand of wisdom.
Jughead is best known for his insatiable burger addiction, signature whoopee hat, aversion to dating and being the laziest kid in Riverdale, but there are also a lot of little facts about Jughead throughout his 78-year history in “Archie Comics” that you may not know. But don't worry, we're here to fill in the gaps with these 15 bits of Jughead trivia!
15 HE HAD A BROOKLYN ACCENT
Based on the comics, we know Jughead as an average teenager born and raised in a middle-class family in suburbanite heaven, otherwise known as Riverdale. He has two loving parents and a baby sister whom he calls Jellybean. However, when Jughead was first introduced back in 1941, his character was written with a very obvious and rather strange accent unlike the rest of Archie’s squad. This differentiated Jughead as an outsider. His goofy accent was an eclectic mix of Brooklyn and Bronx articulation and common territorial slang.
At the time both boroughs were well-known as the neighboring working class towns of Manhattan. Jughead isn’t from Brooklyn or the Bronx, so why exactly was he introduced with a silly accent? Our best guess is that, at the time of Jughead’s original creation, it was the easiest way for readers to discover that he was the outlier of the group. The more we got to know Jughead, we learned that he is the complete antithesis of his best pal Archie Andrews, giving their beloved friendship the perfect balance.
14 HE WAS A TOUGH STREET KID
Again, back in the 1940s, when Jughead first graced the panels of "Archie Comics," he was depicted very differently than he is now. He wasn’t a goofy, lazy nerd with the perfect timing for his unique brand of blunt yet sage advice. Nope, he was drawn as a tough guy (with the accent), who was feared on the streets. We know you’re thinking… how could anyone be intimidated by Jughead? He’s not a street kid, he’s a generic middle-class kid from Riverdale, right?
Aligning with the purpose of his silly accent, Jughead’s creators had to find a way to give him his worldly level of cynicism and intelligence since he never once picked up a schoolbook to learn. So, of course depicting him as a tough guy street kid was the easy way of giving Jughead “street smarts.” This kid never studied or left Riverdale as far as we know, but he’s a literal genius with a sense of wisdom that cuts like a knife through Archie’s trivial pursuits. Still, we can’t imagine Jughead running the streets like a king even though his popular hat resembles a crown.
13 HE HAD WORKING-CLASS ROOTS
During the 1940s, the working-class family was seen as being poor and struggling to achieve the all-American dream. This origin story of Jughead’s upbringing and environment goes along with his once tough-guy persona and silly accent. It was just a simple trope used to show that Jughead wasn’t like the rest of Archie’s friends. Jughead was introduced as a stereotype, which everyone understood to be true during that time, as most teens had no choice but to work (like Jughead’s creator himself) to help support their own families.
Most early Archie comic books involved class warfare between Jughead, who had a poor family, and characters like Veronica and Reggie, who came from the upper crust of high-society. At the time, socio-economical struggles were an everyday worry for most families. Eventually, like all long-running comic book series, Jughead dropped this controversial origin story and turned into just another middle-class kid from the suburbs of Riverdale.
12 HIS SHIRT IS A REFERENCE
One of Jughead’s biggest mysteries has to do with his sense of style (or serious lack thereof). We all know why he hears his lucky whoopee hat, because when he takes it off he has really, really bad luck. But why on earth is he always sporting clothes splattered with the letter S? At one point, we were so close to the mystery being solved unit a knock on a door ruined everything!
In one storyline, Jughead and his family had to move away from Riverdale because his dad got a new job, so he was finally going to let Archie in on the big secret. But just as Jughead was seconds away from telling Archie, his dad knocked on the bedroom door and said they weren’t moving away anymore – and that was the end of that. According to Bob Montana’s widow, the "S" is a reference to the old Skunk Hill neighborhood of Haverhill, Massachusetts, the river town that fictional Riverdale is based on.
11 HE HAS VERY STRONG LEGS
Despite Jughead spending most of his time playing video games and being rather lazy, he is surprisingly athletic. In fact, throughout his 70-year run in Archie Comics, he’s been recruited for the high school's various sports teams, but never followed through. You would think that with the amount of junk food he consumes and how often we see him sitting on his ass not doing a damn thing, that his legs would have wasted away by now.
However, his legs are the strongest thing about him. He is constantly running towards the school cafeteria for food and arrives much earlier than everyone else. As skinny as he is, he is described as having a very high metabolism, which helps. He is also forced to outrun all the hormonal teenage girls that have been chasing him for years. So, thinking about it that way, Jughead really does get plenty of exercise from either running to or running away from things.
10 HE PICKED UP MOOSE
Moose is easily the most muscular and largest character within the Archie Comics universe. He is well-known as the most athletic yet dumbest student at Riverdale high school – the epitome of a dumb jock, which wore off in later comics. Look, the guy picked up a car using only his own strength and he was the saving grace before the clock ran out in almost every big game. So, how did Jughead manage to pick him up?
Considering we just learned that Jughead has superhuman strength in his legs from running all the time, his legs are so muscular that he was able to pick up the biggest kid in school and hold him up in the air with hardly any effort or struggle at all. In fact, Jughead didn’t even break a sweat. It was just another way the writers sneakily snuck into the comics that Jughead can do just about anything else that his peers can do without having to put any effort into it. Ironically, it was that exact type of laziness that drove his teachers, especially Miss Grundy, absolutely insane. Jughead is a modern mystery, if you ask us; or, he's just a natural talent.
9 FOOD MAKES HIM SMART
The biggest staple of Jughead's existence is his affinity for food. His stomach continues to be a bottomless pit and no matter how many burgers he shoves into his face, he is never physically satisfied. His hunger is often at the center of his sometimes silly storylines, like when he won the Ohio burger eating contest, or when he identified canned foods using only his heightened sense of smell. Some critics have said this side of Jughead’s character romanticizes unhealthy eating habits because he never puts on a single pound or plays outside.
Because of this, the writers found a very clever way to explain why he is not morbidly obese and his belly never bursts through his belt. Essentially, his body is as naturally efficient as his skill set; all of the food he eats makes him smart, not fat. As it turns out, Jughead eats “brain food,” meaning the ridiculous amount of junk food he consumes goes straight to his brain and not his belly. This, mixed in with his inhumanly high level of metabolism and constant running, is just another quirky yet perfectly explained attribute to explain the mystery that is our beloved Jughead.
8 HE TRADED HIS METABOLISM FOR A MEGA BURGER
Speaking of his insanely high level of metabolism and worldly intelligence, Jughead was once easily tricked into giving all of that up because he was desperate to try a Mega Burger. In "Jughead" #200, he tries a new restaurant in town run by Darlene, a witch in disguise. She gives him his heart's desire, the mega burger, in exchange for his metabolism. This turns out to be Jughead’s biggest mistake. Over the next month, Jughead eats like he normally does, but starts breaking chairs and busting out of his clothing and can’t stop packing on the pounds.
The gang tries to trade Darlene other virtues to get Jughead's metabolism back -- Archie's pure heart, Veronica's status, Betty's compassion -- but Darlene swindles them all. Jughead eventually confides in Sabrina, and the two hatch a plan to get the gang's virtues back. Ahhh, what a great lesson Jughead (and we) learned!
7 HE WAS A SKATER BOY
In a short 4-issue run, Jughead got a complete makeover and started hanging out with new friends with names like Slug and Slick. This was “Archie Comics'” desperate attempt at appealing to the slacker kids of the 1990s, complete with an issue all about virtual reality. All of a sudden Jughead had a parted down the middle haircut and was wearing baggie hoodies and even baggier pants. Then, he started riding a skateboard everywhere, even to his grandma’s house.
This reincarnation did not sit well with Jughead fans, however, nor did this newfound persona make any sense for Jughead’s character. At the time, you can easily tell that the writers knew nothing about this newfound subculture of skater punks. He sported braids on the sides of his head and a fashionable new mohawk. You may not have any recollection of this exact hairstyle whatsoever, but it is possible that Jughead secretly started rocking out to bands like Nirvana and Bad Religion. Needless to say, this version of Jughead didn’t last very long. Plus... WHERE WAS HIS HAT?
6 HIS HAT WAS A TIME TRAVEL MACHINE
Speaking of his hat, the good luck whoopee cap made famous by mechanics in the 1940s, held a special place in Jughead’s heart as his one and only good luck charm. In many storylines over the past 70 years (or so), if Jughead wasn’t wearing his signature beanie, very bad things would happen. In response to this supernatural phenomena Jughead never takes off his signature lid. Also in the 1990s, a spin-off comic named “Time Police” turned his hat into a time travelling machine.
Jughead was recruited by a historical society to help right the wrongs of the past and keep history intact. Meanwhile, his friends agonized over who to take to the high school homecoming dance, which is actually extremely important for your average teen. Sadly, this comic series was short-lived and Jughead's magical hat went back to being a good luck charm. The oddest bit from “Time Police” is that Jughead met January McAndrews in the future, a descendent of Archie Andrews.
5 HE STARTED A ZOMBIE OUTBREAK
In a successful attempt at throwing the entire Archie Universe into the genre of modern adult horror, Jughead became a zombie in “Afterlife With Archie.” This is just one of many alternate reality comics involving Archie and the gang. “Afterlife With Archie” is chock-full of subject matter never explored in any other title the line published before, like extensive realistic violence, some gore, necrotic themes, and even a bad word here and there!
It all started with Jughead’s faithful four-legged canine companion Hot Dog. After Reggie runs over and kills Hot Dog, Jughead runs off to find Sabrina (the teenage witch) to bring him back from the dead. However, when Hot Dog returns, he is a zombie dog. He bites Jughead, turning him into patient zero of the horrific outbreak. It became a battle of wills when everyone’s best friend is trying to kill them, while they desperately search for a cure for the contagion that Jughead spread all over Riverdale
4 HE WAS CAPTAIN HERO
For a very long time, “Archie Comics” were the only books not focused on superheroes until they all became silly superheroes in “Super Teens," which kind of just made fun of the popular genre. Jughead’s superhero persona was simply named Captain Hero, who was summoned by reciting a goofy jingle, like the Green Lanterns' famous oath: "Teeny weeny magic beanie, pointing towards the sky; give me muscle, power, vigor, form a super guy!"
Of course, his hat has something to do with it! Captain Hero had an arsenal of bizarre weaponry (like exploding bubble gum), and demonstrated other unique powers like super-breath and transforming his head into a steel drill for no good reason at all. He also wore a silly-looking tight blue spandex suit donned with a cape. All of the teens had a superpower called mind-fogging in which they could made all of the residents of Riverdale forget their secret identities.
3 HE MARRIED MOOSE'S GIRLFRIEND
Although Moose looked like a typical bully, he was always far from it. Moose is one of the nicest kids in school, often seen volunteering and helping out kids in need. He never really had a big problem with any other character unless they messed with his girl, Midge Klump. Moose was very protective over Midge and became angry and uncontrollably jealous if another boy even looked her way.
So, when Jughead married Midge in a future alternate-universe timeline and impregnated her, you can just imagine how Moose responded. This all happens in "Archie Marries Betty" issue #605 when Midge finally decides she has had enough of Moose’s jealous outbursts towards Reggie. She breaks up with him for good and soon falls in love with Jughead, the same guy that has shown no desire for women or men. The two even (GASP!) had sex! SPOILER: that's where babies come from.
2 HE USED TO BE A PLAYER
Going back to Jughead never showing any interest in romantic relationships, interestingly, there were quite a few women in his life that he actually went on real dates with or had short-lived relationships with. At one time, he had multiple girls on his arm at once, turning him into the quintessential stereotype of a billionaire playboy. Meanwhile, his best pal Archie is obsessed with trying to get a date.
Surprisingly, Jughead has had many women in his life when he was first created. He often dated the girls that Archie wasn’t already dating at the time like Betty and even Veronica. After all, the entire series was based on a romantic love triangle centered on Archie, but Jughead was the next best Archie alternative! He was even really mean to his first girlfriend Ethel, often making jokes at her expense before he turned into a girl hater and eventually had no care at all.
1 HE IS NOW ASEXUAL
Considering the introduction of Kevin, the first openly gay character to grace the panels of “Archie Comics,” many began to question why Jughead had zero interest in either women or men or… any romantic relationship whatsoever. In “Jughead” issue #4, he is finally confirmed by writers Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson as being asexual, at least in their particular run.
Speaking at New York Comic Con, Zdarsky explained, “They didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead -- because I’m very romantic -- and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in 'Archie.' I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.”
Jughead sure has been through a lot of change over the past 70 years. Can you think of any weird or obscure Jughead facts? Sound off in the comments!