Spoilers for tonight's Riverdale episode 'Nighthawks', below.
Part of Riverdale's darkness came to light tonight, at least for viewers, when we saw Reggie talking to Archie about supplying him whatever drugs he needs to help get him through the situation with his father -- including something called "Jingle Jangle." The name comes up again when Midge Klump asks Reggie what he knows about the drug.
But what is "Jingle Jangle?" It turns out it does exist in Archie Comics history, but it's not quite what you think.
"Jingle Jangle" was a popular novelty song by The Archies, a fictional garage band founded by, you guessed it, Archie Andrews and his friends Reggie Mantle, Jughead Hones, Veronica Lodge, and Betty Cooper. The band was part of the animated TV series The Archie Show and the song, which was released in 1969, was the second-most popular single released by the band, behind the iconic "Sugar, Sugar." While it's quite a distance from a novelty bubblegum pop song to the most mysterious drug in Riverdale, having Reggie be dealing "Jingle Jangle" is a clever tie to song's canon history.
And the "Jingle Jangle" song isn't the only jingly element from Archie history that might be coming into play. A nonhuman character in the Archie universe, Jingles is a magical elf employed by Santa Claus who shows up in Riverdale just in time for Christmas. Jingles isn't exactly the jolliest of creatures, though. He's clumsy and hot-tempered though usually manages to make things right. He's also visible only to children, which kind of sounds almost like a possible side effect of Riverdale's "Jingle Jangle" substance.
And considering that Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has already shared the title of this season's Christmas episode it sounds like a weird, drug-fueled elf hallucination might fit right in. Last month, Aquirre-Sacasa posted the episode's title page revealing that this year's holiday episode will be titled "Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night."
Fans can find out just how serious "Jingle Jangle" ends up being by tuning into Riverdale on Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.