Riverdale: 20 most important characters on the show

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Riverdale — “Chapter Thirty: The Noose Tightens” — Image Number: RVD217a_0142.jpg — Pictured: Vanessa Morgan as Toni — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

14. Toni Topaz

Who doesn’t love Toni Topaz? She boasts probably the coolest of all the strange character names and approaches life with a take no prisoners attitude.

Vanessa Morgan first appeared as the born and bred Southside Serpent in the second season when Jughead transferred schools. She quickly took him under her wing. Before long, the two sides of town converged into one, and Toni fell for queen bee Cheryl Blossom. You could say they found love in a hopeless place.

For the most part, Toni isn’t among the most important characters in any given episode. She’s often involved in Serpent squabbles or relationship stories with Cheryl, but she’s not one of the ringleaders calling the shots during the Black Hood or Gargoyle king investigations.

If anything, Toni’s the dependable team player you want on your side. She’s always ready to stick her neck out for her friends, new and old.

But Toni’s most important quality is representation. She’s the kind of LGBTQ+ character that we don’t often see on television because she isn’t just one thing. Television often places queer women into a box, but Toni characteristically defies being placed in any boxes.

Cheryl and Toni’s relationship ranks among the most special queer couplings in teen drama history, given its origins dating back to breaking Cheryl out of conversion therapy. From her loyalty to her ambitions, Toni’s level head deserves a bigger presence as the new leader of the Pretty Poisons.