Riverdale: 20 most shocking moments during the first three seasons

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Riverdale — “Chapter Eighteen: When A Stranger Calls” — Image Number: RVD205a_0136.jpg — Pictured: Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

7. Jughead’s Near-Death Experience

Episode: “Chapter Thirty-Four: Judgment Night” (Season 2, Episode 21)

There’s no doubt about it: Jughead Jones is, and always has been, Riverdale‘s most popular character. So you can imagine how stunned we all were by the possibility of his death. It sounds preposterous, right? Well, for a moment (or more accurately, a week), we all worried that we were going to bid farewell to our favorite beanie-wearing Serpent.

Following a season-long arc which saw the character continually ascend and descend through the ranks of the Southside Serpents, he sought to prove that he could carry on his father’s legacy as the Serpent King. But after getting in too deep with notorious Snake Charmer Penny Peabody, Jughead realized that she would never stop blackmailing him and, out of desperation, recruited his Serpents to attack her and remove her Serpent tattoo.

This would only prove to be a temporary solution as she would later resurface and align herself with the Ghoulies in an attempt to destroy the Serpents once and for all. Out of options, Jughead offered himself up as a sacrifice instead – a deal that Penny gladly accepted. However, the crooked attorney wanted to have her cake and eat it too as she decided that she would kill Jughead and still destroy the Serpents, telling him just as she unleashed her Ghoulies on him.

We were all left in a state of shock as we later saw an emotional F.P. Jones carry his beaten, battered and lifeless son through the trees of Riverdale. It seemed impossible and it seemed unlikely but, at that very moment, it seemed true: Riverdale’s aspiring novelist was dead.

After an excruciating week’s wait, we discovered that the resilient Serpent had, in fact, survived the ambush. But that doesn’t take away from the fear and shock we felt upon witnessing Jughead’s lifeless body in the season’s penultimate episode. Riverdale‘s finest have had many near-death experiences, but this one was just too close for comfort and, for a whole week, we bought it.