- “Look, cards on the table: you're not over Betty. And I'm not interested in being anybody's rebound. Besides, I'm more into girls anyways”
- —Toni rejects Jug
Toni volunteers to show Jughead around Southside High on his first day, on account of FP being a Southside Serpent. She advises Jughead to align himself with the Serpents to avoid retribution from the Ghoulies, another gang at Southside. After Jughead is beaten by them, he takes Toni's advice, but doesn't tell Betty and asks Toni not to either. Jughead decides to make a play for the defunct Red & Black, Southside High's newspaper and convinces his teacher to allowe Jughead to resurrect it, which Toni refers to as his sanctuary at SH. She is a photographer and Jughead playfully convinces her to join as the Red & Black's photographer. Although Jughead's with Betty, he flirts with Toni almost from the moment they meet.
As Jughead's not part of the Serpents, most of them are skeptical of him, but Toni stands by him and they spend a lot of time together at school and the paper. Following Archie and the Bulldogs' rumble with the Serpents, and Archie shoving a gun in Sweet Pea's face, they are planning on retaliating with a pipe bomb. Jughead tries to calm the waters, but to no avail and tells Toni that his only option is to step into his father's peace keeping footsteps by joining the Serpents fully. Toni's trepidatious and warns Jughead of the dangers of, not only initiation, but life as a Serpent. Jughead tells her he was inspired by her to take up this mantle, when she told him that the Serpents might falter without FP's presence.
Toni does everything she can to support Jughead through the initiation process and the intensity brings them closer, although Jughead begins to realise that he's actively diving into something with Toni although he's still with Betty. After Jughead passes the gauntlet, they hang out together in the trailer and share a kiss, which turns into the making out. The next day, the eat breakfast at Pop's and Toni tells Jughead she's not interested in being a second choice and tries to say 'they're cool', to which Jughead seems disappointed, although he doesn't miss her point. She also tells him 'I'm more into girls anyways', perhaps to disarm any tension, but likely also feeling rejected by Jughead somewhat.
CLOSE FRIENDS & ACTIVISTS
True to her word, Toni stays friends with Jughead and he now fully embraces and cherishes his place in Riverdale as a Southside Serpent. Whether adhering to Betty's request or not, Toni also checks in with Jughead, surmising that, in spite of what Jughead relays, he's in deep trouble with the Snake Charmer. When Jughead wants to put an end to Penny Peabody's involvement with the Serpents, in spite of FP keeping him out at all costs, Jughead goes to the teen members and asks that they help him with a plan he's devised. Toni steps up and recites the first law to Sweet Pea and Fangs, indicating that the right thing to do is support Jughead and she's successful.
After this violent action, they continue as friends and Toni gently teases Jughead about not dealing with the aftermath of his break-up with Betty. He writes a story which he shows to Toni for her to read as they sit on the steps of Southside High. They're both surprised to learn that the school is being shut down, although Jughead goes to extremes to keep his newfound family in plain sight once returning to Riverdale High, while Toni and Sweet Pea are more focused on the fact that they're now in a school with means and a possibility of a good education. To counter the school's biased policies, Jughead sets up the 'after school club' Swords & Serpents, so they may still have sanctum.
Toni lets Jughead interview her grandfather about the Uktena, the indigenous people of whom Toni and her grandfather are descendants, who originally owned the land Riverdale was built on. Jughead gets upset on their behalf and publishes an article that enrages Toni, who reads Jug on his usurpation of their narrative and history. Jug apologises to Thomas Topaz and they join the Serpents, led by Toni, in a demonstration at Pickens' Day against the slaughter of the Uktani people by General Pickens. It peters out when Hiram Lodge undermines the gravity of the cause. Toni and Jughead stick together when Tall Boy accuses them of reigniting the city officials' vendetta against the Serpents.
RIVERDALE CIVIL WAR
Their activism against Hiram Lodge's nefarious family continues when they learn Southside High is being demolished. Jughead recruits the Serpents at 'Swords & Serpents' to chain themselves to the school in protest, but Toni opts out of this one. With Jughead back with Betty, and Toni starting a relationship with Cheryl they spend less time together than when at Southside High. They come together again as a serpent family when Fangs is accused of Midge's murder. Toni finds Jughead and shows him the footage of Fangs and Midge backstage at the musical. Fangs is imprisoned, but when he's released due to lack of evidence people are close to rioting and the foursome of Jughead, Toni, Fangs and Sweet Pea huddle together and recite their vow to protect their family.
After an innocent Fangs is shot amidst the mob outside the police station, Jughead, Toni and Sweet Pea rush him to the hospital. After staving off Sweet Pea leading the teen Serpents to riot over Fangs' shooting, Jughead gets a call from Penny Peabody saying she has his 'Southside Smurfette'. Jughead's horrified and hurries to meet Penny, despite a tied up Toni bravely yelling to him over the phone not to come for her. When he shows up, Toni tells him Penny's not alone — the Ghoulies come out of the shadows. But Jughead's brought back-up too, and Toni's let go. FP relays news from the sheriff's office that Fangs died from his gunshot wound, the Serpents (and Cheryl) vote to fight the Ghoulies, including Toni, despite Jughead's objections.
Jughead secretly makes a deal with Hiram to hand himself over in exchange for saving everyone else. FP finds him in the woods on the brink of death and Toni looks on, horrified. Jughead pulls through and learns that Fangs didn't die. Toni shows Jug that the aftermath of the rumble with the Ghoulies has left people homeless, who are now seeking refuge at the White Wyrm. Jughead leads a rescue mission when Cheryl brings him word that Hiram's Sheriff will try to "clear out" the Wyrm. Together, the Serpents march from the Southside to the Northside. FP retires from Serpent life and names Jughead the new Serpent King in his stead, while Toni looks on.
The pairing was fairly common when it became canon on the series, but was abandoned quickly in service of Jughead's previous pairing and a planned F/F pairing for Toni Topaz, although the latter has gotten little development.
- Toni – “Why the change of heart anyway? Why go from conscientious objector to full-fledged member?”
- Jughead – “Because of something you said”
- Jughead – “Great, so Archie started WWIII”
- Toni – “Northside has been dumping on us for years! Your Dad tried to keep the peace; avoid bloodshed. Now that he's gone idiots like Sweet Pea think there's only one path and one solution: violence”
- ―Real talk
- “Yeah, all I need now is a photographer with an amazing eye and a hunger for social justice, and I think I’ll be set”
- —Coy Jughead
- jopaz tag on Tumblr.
- toni x jughead tag on Tumblr.
- jug x toni tag on Tumblr.
- sign of the times | HARRY STYLES
- walking in the dark | ESCAPE-ISM
- ghost | ZZ WARD