- “Right now, I need you with me: I need Betty Cooper”
Betty and Archie have been best friends since they were kids. As teens, Betty develops a crush on Archie and wants to be with him, but is too shy about making a move at first. With support and intervention from Veronica and Kevin, Betty finally tells Archie and his reaction is confused, as if he didn't see it coming and doesn't get why Betty feels this way. After he makes out with new girl Veronica at Cheryl's after party and Betty's left, Archie goes to her house and breaks her heart completely by saying he doesn't consider himself "good enough for her", which really seems more like a poor excuse from a teen boy who doesn't know which foot to stand on.
Betty tells Archie that she forgives him, but realises she can't carry on being friends with him and that everything's changed between them. In an effort to uncover Jason's murder, Betty resurrects the school newspaper, which also provides a nice distraction, and seeks out Jughead's help. She is disappointed and hurt to discover that Archie has been sleeping with Ms. Grundy, but even more so when she uncovers Grundy's real identity. Thanks to Betty's efforts, the child predator leaves Riverdale and Betty recommits herself to Jason's investigation.
Once Betty and Jughead start dating, Archie starts exhibiting signs of jealousy. He tries to get both Jughead and Betty to tell him what's going on between them, but gets no real answer, which leaves him even more jealous as it may be serious between his two childhood friends. Archie starts focusing on music and gets help from Valerie, and the two start dating. They have fun until Archie gets swept up in courting Cheryl around and Valerie dumps Archie, who soon starts a fling with Veronica. All the while Archie tries to signal to Betty that he wants to be there for her and sticks up for her, such as when Chuck tells everybody about the hot tub torture.
In spite of the fact that he cares about Veronica, Archie is seen yearning for a chance with Betty, although he denies as much. It's clear Archie and Betty share a close bond and a history, which has both Veronica and Jughead worried that they may be second choices. With Betty and Archie both in relationships with other people, they find their way back to a friendship, although it's underpinned by subtext, mostly from Archie's side.
- “ A little part of me always thought...”
- —Archie tries to tell Betty
THE BLACK HOOD
After driving his Dad to the hospital Betty is the first person Archie calls to tell her what happened and she rushes to the hospital and envelops him in a hug along with Veronica and Jughead. Unbeknownst to Archie, Betty tries to guide and support Veronica in being there for him, which she has trouble with. Archie's shaken and only wants to wait in the hospital, but Betty convinces him to go home for a bit, as Veronica suggests. When Grundy's found murdered, Betty gets her Mom to find out what happened so that Archie may have some peace of mind.
While Archie creates the Red Circle as a result of his PTSD, Betty gets a letter from the Black Hood. After cracking the cipher and thinking it might be over, Betty receives a call from the Black Hood. Archie, now moving on after his fight with the Serpents, is level-headed enough to be there for Betty when she confides in only him, that the Black Hood is calling her. Archie is there when the phone calls happen and tries to help Betty make smart decisions, but she briefly lies to Archie when the Black Hood asks her to cut people out of her life. When she tells him what's going on, he wants to contact the Sheriff, but Betty pleads with him not to. She asks Archie to break up with Jughead for her and Archie complies to soothe her.
Archie tries to mend fences with Jughead and tells Betty that she should explain to Jughead what happened, but Betty holds off. After Archie gets the Ghoulies arrested during the street race, Betty gets in the car with Jughead. Archie looks at her, as if sad that Betty chooses to overlook that Jughead joined the Serpents and also worried about her safety. A lot is said silently in that brief moment, as if it's a turning point for the two who had been in this fight with the Black Hood together, but now are parting ways somehow. Betty looks at Archie apologetically, as if she's choosing Jughead over Archie. Archie looks at her as if he's simultaneously realising that something's changed between them, accepting it and feeling that much more hurt that Betty's leaving.
- “Are you crazy, no! Betty is NOT an option I am not letting you drag her into this mess”
- —Archie to Jughead
Although the couple is reunited, Betty keeps her sleuthing to herself and doesn't tell Jughead while Archie is still keeping an eye out for Betty in his friendship with Jughead. When Archie helps Jughead transport drugs, he's hurt to see how far gone his friend is, but puts his foot down once Jughead suggests getting help from Betty. They're both dumped on the same night by their partners and continue tracking down the backstory of Janitor Svenson when the Black Hood seemingly holds Svenson hostage. A visit with Rose Blossom informs a shaken Betty of her murderous family history and she's overcome. Archie tries to ground her and comforts Betty with how close they are to saving Svenson and ending the horror of the Black Hood. In the intensity of the moment, Betty kisses Archie who responds.
Betty seems shocked at her own action and swiftly turns to drive to Svenson's rescue. Archie looks momentarily sad that Betty might be regretting the kiss and says her name just after the kiss to somehow deal with what happened, but reneges. After digging up the grave and being held at gunpoint by the Black Hood, a terrified Archie consents to being buried alive as the Black Hood threatens to shot Betty, although he refused when the gun was only pointed at himself. Luckily police sirens distracts the killer and Betty hits him with the shovel and frees Archie. The Black Hood attempts to jump off a bridge, and Archie almost shoots him but the Black Hood is shot down by Sheriff Keller. Archie and Betty hug as their extreme and intense ordeal is finally over. The two meet up with Jughead and Veronica at Pop's and, sitting next to Archie, Betty only looks at him, distraught at what just happened, yet confused at what happened between them as well.
The first time they see each other back at school is as Archie and Veronica, kissing, walk into the student lounge and Betty seems sad, but not surprised that they have reconciled. Archie looks at her swiftly and seems to not believe that Betty has true feelings for him, or maybe not be ready to fully declare his to her. They proceed to sweep it under the rug, although they share stolen, hesitant glances, seemingly unable to face what is going on between them. Archie swiftly reveals to Veronica that he and Betty kissed as a way to deflect from his investigating the Lodge family. Betty, meanwhile, gets back together with Jughead but doesn't tell him about the kiss. Cheryl tells Jughead and as revenge, he and Veronica kiss briefly, but Betty and Archie don't talk about their kiss at all. Jughead and Veronica keep going head to head over her shady family business, with Betty also briefly fighting with her.
While Archie gets mad at Jughead when the latter accuses Veronica, Archie doesn't ever fight with Betty, nor does she fight with Archie over his supposed allegiance to the Lodges. When the school puts on a musical, Betty and Archie are cast as the main couple and Jughead, filming rehearsals, actually warns Archie not to "get any ideas" when he talks to Betty. For the first time, Archie tries to assuage Betty's feelings about Veronica to mend the girls' friendship and succeeds. After Midge's murder, Archie and Betty heatedly discuss the night of Svenson's death at Pop's with Jughead and Veronica visibly uncomfortable at any direct interactions between Betty and Archie.
Betty and Archie don't spend a lot of time together the following weeks when events in town come to a head. Once Betty learns that her father is the Black Hood, she talks to Archie during the riots and shows Archie all the frustration she feels while also feeling terrible that her father did this to her best friend's Dad. Archie assures Betty in the moment that he feels no resentment towards her and is more concerned with how she feels. Betty also goes to Archie's house and apologises to Fred Andrews on behalf of her family later.
Once things settle down a little and they're at school for Archie's inauguration as the new Student Body President, Betty is in the stands and beams at Archie with pride who shares her glance and smiles back. When Archie is abruptly taken by police and accused of murder, Betty is horrified and they look at each other as he's being taken away.
- “And as feelings that had long been buried shook loose, a boy looked out his window at the girl next door as if for the very first time”
- —Jughead narrating
- “A little part of me always thought -”
- —Archie almost confessing his feelings for Betty
- “Think about what you're asking. If there was even an iota of a chance that something could hurt you in any way, Betty wouldn't do it”
- —Jughead to Archie
- “When I think, Archie, of where I feel safest and most myself, I think of us in a booth at Pop's, but that's not true anymore”
- “I've never been good enough for you. I'll never be good enough for you”
- —Archie breaks Betty's heart
- “I have never felt, whatever it is I'm supposed to feel, with Betty”
- —Archie in the closet with Veronica
- “Actually, to clarify, Betty and Archie aren't dating, but they are endgame”
- —Kevin to Veronica
- bruises | LEWIS CAPALDI
- Betty and Archie have lived next door to each other since they were 4 years old and always been in the same class at school.
- KJ Apa (Archie Andrews) ships Barchie