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There have been several explanations for the 'S' on Jughead's shirt. Artwork by Stan Goldberg.
|First appearance||Pep Comics No. 22 (December 1941)|
|Portrayed by||Sam Whipple (Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again)|
Hal Stone (radio)|
Cameron Andrews (radio)
Arnold Stang (radio)
Howard Morris (The Archie Show, Archie's TV Funnies, The U.S. of Archie)
Michael Fantini (The New Archies)
Chris Lundquist (Archie's Weird Mysteries, The Archies in Jugman)
|School||Riverdale High School|
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|Relatives||Forsythe Pendleton Jones, Jr (father), Gladys Jones (mother), Jellybean Jones (sister), Souphead Jones (cousin), Bingo Wilkin (cousin)|
Jughead Jones is a fictional character in Archie Comics who first appeared in the comic in December 1941. He is the son of Forsythe II; in one of the early Archie newspaper comic strips, he himself is identified as Forsythe Pendleton Jones III (and in one strip, likely due to continuity error, as Forsythe Van Jones). He has a white sheepdog named Hot Dog and a younger sister, Forsythia "Jellybean" Jones.
Jughead (sometimes shortened to Jug or Juggie) is the best friend of Archie Andrews. He is seen as lazy, obsessed with food, and generally uninterested in girls. He stands at 6 ft (1.8 m) and 140 lbs (64 kg) and can be identified by his long nose, half-closed eyes, "S" sweatshirt, and crown-like button beanie hat, called a whoopee cap.
Concept and creation
Bob Montana has stated that unlike other characters in the series who were based on people he knew, Jughead was a character he imagined. Montana's widow Peg Bertholet stated that high school friend of Montana's named Skinny Linehan supposedly had some of Jughead's peculiar traits. Bertholet has stated that the S insignia refers to a location called Skunk Hill in Haverhill, Massachusetts which Montana turned into Squirrel Hill. The S alludes to combination of the location and Montana's elementary school athletic team near Haverhill called the Tigers. Bertholet has stated that S stands for "'Squirrel Hill Independent Tigers,' and you couldn't abbreviate it any other way."
History and character
Jughead generally has a characteristic wry and sarcastic sense of humor. He is considered a bit of an oddity, but prefers his nonconformism as opposed to going along with others styles. His many quirks make him the butt of teasing and abuse from Reggie, Veronica, and even other classmates and teachers. Many episodes involve Reggie and Jughead trying to outdo one another with pranks and bets, and Jughead almost always comes out the victor. He is revealed to be extremely clever and creative when necessary and he often takes advantage of Reggie's and his other tormentors' weaknesses (and has fun all the while).
In the earlier comics, a running gag involved various characters trying to discover Jughead's real name, while Jughead thwarted their efforts. In one story, Archie Andrews and Reggie Mantle go to the school office, where a woman tells them that Jughead's real first name is Steve. After Archie and Reggie leave the office, the audience learns that the woman is actually Jughead's aunt who has just lied as a favor to Jughead to help keep his real first name (Forsythe) hidden. In another story (issue #1 of "The Jughead Jones Comics Digest" June 1977) we find out he is named after his ancestor who is an American hero. For a brief time, Jughead started to use his given name in honor of his ancestor. After learning that this ancestor was married nine times, Jughead reverted to his nickname. In the Little Archie series, his real name is revealed by Miss Grundy at the start of class.
Another mystery that follows Jughead's character is the meaning of the "S" on his sweatshirt. This remains a mystery to this day, although many stories have hinted at a meaning. In Jughead #30 (1992), when his psychiatrist, Sara, asked him "why an 'S'?" he replied "I dunno! My third cousin was called skinny..." Recently, the triangular banner on the cover of issue 140 of Archie & Friends shows that the "S" stands for Silby, as in Silby high school, where he attended for a few months as a freshman. At one time after his sweater was filled with holes due to what he thought was a moth when it was actually a chemical accident caused in lab class, he simply reveals that the S on his sweater stands for "soup, sandwich, steak and all kinds of goodies!" after his friends ask him.
Jughead is known for his ability to consume unusually high quantities of food in a single sitting without getting sick or gaining weight (although he sometimes sports a potbelly after particularly large meals), and this is attributed to his unusually high metabolism. Jughead is a preferred customer of most of Riverdale's food establishments, especially Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe, except when he is unable to pay his tabs. In one story, he was given a "Restaurant Club Card" and ate out on high-class foods. However, when he found out how much interest the card charged, Pop Tate loaned him the money on the condition that he eat only at the Chocklit Shop.
Jughead's love of food has given him heightened senses. He can identify food in a can by smell without opening it. His taste buds can detect the slightest flaws in prepared food. As such, he is a respected food critic, as well as a gourmet cook himself. Once, when he sought out Miss Grundy's help as he dabbled in creative writing, she suggested that he write about what he knew. The result was his "Forsythe P. Jones Cookbook". In another story, Betty asked Jughead to give the owner of the ice cream shop where she worked some pointers on how to improve the shop's products.
Jughead’s ability to eat so much without gaining weight is attributed to a very rare and realistically implausible metabolism. One reference to this was in one issue, in which a gym hired him to show people how to stay as fit as he was. Unfortunately, his metabolism proved to be unique, so everyone else at the gym simply gained weight. This was the result of Jughead introducing his specialty orange smoothies to the members, whose caloric content would easily counter any weight loss efforts they made. Jughead once claimed that he weighed 300 pounds after a meal.
Jughead frequently participates in eating contests. Once, students from an adjacent town's high school challenged Riverdale to an eating contest, pitting their chubby undefeated champion against Jughead. Jughead handily beat the other guy, with room for more food. In a citywide eating contest, he had to eat a colossal burger made up of sixteen different burgers. Jughead also set two world records for eating pizza; one for speed-eating a pizza, and one for eating the most pizzas in one sitting—twelve.
His appetite is so large that even if he eats before such contests, he is rarely too full to compete. For example, Riverdale’s rival high school once sent a girl, Jane Dough, to take Jughead to various restaurants and feed him as much as possible. Amazingly, Jughead still managed to win the contest. Jughead explained to her that top athletes need to constantly train in order to stay in shape. In actuality, Jane helped him "train" for the eating contest when they went out.
However, close analysis reveals that he is not selfish when it comes to food. Once, after spending his allowance on a large bag of sweets, he met a young boy outside the store who couldn't afford any. Reluctantly, Jughead gave the boy his bag, but felt better for it afterwards, when he saw how happy the candy made the boy. In a similar story, Jughead met a homeless person who liked the same kind of pizza as him, and decided to give him the pizza he had just purchased. In another, after winning three pizzas a week for six months for being a pizzeria's millionth customer, he donates it all to a soup kitchen where he volunteers.
One running gag is his visiting restaurants that promise "all you can eat" specials. The luckless restaurant closes shortly thereafter.
Jughead is almost always seen wearing his trademark beanie with both a round and square pin. This type of crown-shaped cap, called a whoopee cap, was popular among boys in the 1930s and 1940s. It was made from a man's felt fedora hat with the brim trimmed in a zig-zag and turned up. Bottle caps could be 'pinned' in place using the cap's removable cork lining. In the 1920s and 1930s, college freshman were sometimes required to wear them for initiation purposes, and such caps were often worn by mechanics. Similar caps appeared on The Andy Griffith Show (worn by Goober Pyle) and in Death Wish (worn by Jeff Goldblum as Freak #1). Jughead's hat was recolored in black in the Filmation cartoons and pink in The New Archies. Over the course of the character's publication, Jughead's hat has evolved from a modified fedora to its more recognisable "crown" appearance.
Though some view the hat as strange and immature, Jughead considers it a good luck charm and when it is taken from him, misfortune comes his way. While on the school baseball team, Jughead was pulled aside and reprimanded by school principal Mr. Weatherbee for wearing the hat instead of a proper baseball uniform cap. Jughead complied, but then started performing so badly that Weatherbee was forced to relent.
In the "Time Police" comic, there is a double of his beanie given to him by an unknown benefactor (later revealed to be himself) that allows him to travel in time.
Family and friends
Jughead's best friend is Archie Andrews, despite their personality difference. Archie was the first person that Jughead met upon moving to Riverdale, and he is often dragged into Archie's schemes and antics. Jughead is usually the first one to bail Archie out of trouble (though some times he only makes things worse). Jughead, extremely loyal, is willing to do almost anything to help his friend, something that Archie occasionally takes for granted.
Reggie is another one of Jughead's close friends, though his and Jughead's relationship is defined by their constant competition. Reggie never loses an opportunity to insult Jughead ("needle-nose" being his favorite nickname) and Jughead often responds with tricks to aggravate Reggie. Though it often appears they hate each other, and neither will admit otherwise, they really do care for one another. Jughead will even help Reggie escape being injured when Moose Mason is angry with him.
While Jughead is generally uninterested in girls, he does have a soft spot for Betty Cooper. Betty is a great cook, which is one of the reasons that he loves to hang out with her, and the two are generally open to each other about their feelings. Jughead also provides a shoulder to cry on whenever Betty has trouble with Archie or Veronica. One of the few things Jughead does not like about Archie is how he takes Betty for granted. Many people interpret their relationship as a potential romance (see below). They seem to have crushes on each other in many comics and in the Archie show.
Jughead and Veronica Lodge are constantly arguing. Veronica cannot stand his laid-back attitude witticisms, and Jughead enjoys teasing her and making her lose her temper with clever comebacks. Although at times, he relishes causing her to get angry because sometimes he sees her as an uncaring selfish snob. He once told Veronica he was "mad with passion" for her, and began popping up wherever she went, to get her off his back after she criticized him publicly. They were once cast together in a school play, which required them to kiss. Due to the way Jughead kissed her, she was caught up in the moment and fell in love with him for a while. However, Jughead managed to get her over her crush, with the help of a garlic and onion sandwich.
Jughead's other friends include Dilton Doiley and Moose Mason. Other than Dilton, Jughead probably gets along with Moose better than the other boys because of his non-confrontational attitude (and his lack of interest in Moose's girlfriend Midge). Jughead’s nerdy ways and lack of interest in sports and girls probably account for how well he gets along with Dilton.
Jughead's family includes his father, also named Forsythe (who generally goes by Fred), his mother Gladys, and in later comics, his younger sister Jellybean. He also has many eccentric relatives including slightly-addled Uncle Herman, or "Doc Jones", a daffy and slightly pompous inventor whose creations usually wreak havoc on Jughead and/or his friends and his lookalike younger cousin, Souphead. Other one-time relatives appear frequently. Jughead also tells many stories of his ancestors, who prove to be quite as interesting as himself. A 1970s "Archie" cartoon episode featured Jughead's paternal grandparents—both of whom resemble Jughead.
Another acquaintance of Jughead's is Trula Twyst, Riverdale High's budding pop psychologist, who is constantly trying to analyze Jughead to determine what makes him so odd. The two share a strange love/hate relationship that would have gone much smoother had they not met the way they did- Trula tricked Jughead into dating her in order to become more popular.
In the "Mad Magazine" universe, Jughead's doppelgänger is nicknamed Bottleneck. Bottleneck wears a beanie that resembles a broken bottleneck. His best friend (and fellow juvenile delinquent) is Starchie.
Jughead's Time Police was a series that began in 1990 featuring Jughead as a hero of the 29th century and a member of the Time Police, an organization that ensures history to remain the same for the future's sake. In this series, the beanie gives Jughead the ability to time travel by thinking. With his supervisor, Marshal January McAndrews, Jughead repairs disturbances in the past.
Other spin-offs include Jughead's Diner in 1990, where he ran a diner with an eclectic cast of patrons; and Jughead's Fantasy, resulting from Jughead's Folly, lasted for three issues and featured Jughead's dreams of various alter-egos, including "Sir Jugalot", "Peter Goon--Private Eye", and "Son of Hercules". Jughead also featured in Explorers of the Unknown, playing Squint, a daredevil escape artist.
Love interests and relationships
Jughead is known for his lack of interest in girls, which sets him apart from Archie and Reggie. Ironically, this often attracts girls rather than repel them. His most ardent admirer is Big Ethel, a gangly, awkward, but very friendly girl who chases after Jughead at every opportunity, despite Jughead's constant and blunt refusals. Recent storylines have shown a decrease in her obsession with him, and even show her dating other guys. This makes Jughead surprisingly jealous. Jughead secretly enjoys the attention, although he claims he only puts up with Ethel's company if she offers him her cooking. In the story "Phood Phobia", Archie and Dilton Doiley discover another reason for Jughead's immense appetite: girls make him nervous, and he turns to food for comfort. When confronted with this, Jughead is stunned; finding out that girls are the reason he enjoys food makes him lose his appetite.
Although Jughead usually doesn't seem interested in love, there have been several strips where he somewhat enjoys himself with Ethel, and he even occasionally professes an interest in Betty. Jughead usually doesn't like any long-term relationships, largely due to the observation (gained from watching Archie's romantic entanglements) that dating complicates a guy's life and deprives him of cash that could be used to buy burgers.
There has also been one strip where Jughead tells Betty that if he was to ever kiss a girl willingly, it would be her. In the early years, they were frequently seen together Jughead comics, and she often tried to flirt with him. This toned down after only a few years, but there have been occasional hints of a possible romance. Writers and fans alike of Archie Comics sometimes make comments on how they want them to end up together, but that would end the love triangle between Archie, Betty, and Veronica that has become an essential part of the comics. Still Jughead still enjoys Betty's company and her food whenever she cooks.
One of the common misconceptions about Jughead is that he is a misogynist. This has been disproved many times. In the 1942 Archie #1, it states that Jughead "hates dames - they keep him awake!" However, following the development of his character, Jughead has been depicted as disliking romance and the ways it leads young men to make fools of themselves, but not women. In one story, Jughead says, "I don't hate girls - I just love food more!". In another story, when he saw how upset Miss Grundy was on her birthday, it was Jughead who rallied his fellow students to cheer Miss Grundy up.
Another thread that has run through stories in recent years involves a psychic experience he is supposed to have had, caused by an odd pin he wears on his hat. In the early 1990s, Jughead had three girlfriends: Debbie, Joani, and January McAndrews. The latter is Archie's descendant in the future, who starred with Jughead in Jughead's Time Police, a short-lived spinoff comic about their adventures traveling through time.
In another story, he describes that the reason why he does not chase after girls is because of a childhood heartbreak, sustained before he moved to Riverdale. Little Jughead befriended Joani and they had a puppy love relationship. Jughead's family moved to Riverdale, and he had to leave Joani behind. Determined not to go through any heartbreak again, he swore off girls, keeping little Joani's picture in his wallet as a reminder.
That changed when Debbie moved to town, and Jughead began to overcome his old heartbreak as they started dating. However, during this time, Joani suddenly came to town for a visit. Now a young woman, she told Jughead that she never forgot him and still had a crush on him. The two shared their first kiss together. Before Jughead decides whether he wants to pursue a relationship with Joani, she leaves him - but with a promise that they will be together again. The comic strip even had Jughead say, "Sometimes, life is just more interesting than burgers and shakes."
For a time, Debbie and Joani served as Jughead's own love triangle. Fans did not like the change, however, so both girls disappeared and Jughead reverted to his old independent lifestyle. A few years later, a girl named Trula Twyst appeared. She tends to drive Jughead crazy with her ability to predict his next moves, and at some point, they developed a love-hate relationship.
Jughead was the drummer for The Archies. In one four-part story, which included many flashbacks of Jughead's life, Archie had commented that the reason he'd chosen the position of drummer was that he was too introverted to play at the front of the stage. Another reason was that he could put food in his drums to eat while he played.
He has also professed a love for jazz music, once detailed in an issue of Jughead Magazine where he develops an obsession with an obscure jazz drummer named "Crazy" Willie Jim. After collecting his records, Jughead finally met Jim, who was now very old, ailing and reclusive, playing on a street corner. Jughead convinced Jim that he was trustworthy and they became fast friends. Jim even played with The Archies at one of their gigs. Jim died very soon after, so Jughead sat in with Jim's friends on the corner to play one last, mournful version of "St. James Infirmary Blues".
In spite of his reputation as slow and lazy, Jughead is frequently shown to be extremely intelligent, and often surprises his skeptical friends (notably Reggie Mantle and Veronica Lodge) with his vast knowledge on a wide variety of subjects, including history, Shakespeare, sports, and science. In several issues, Jughead has demonstrated that his IQ is well above average. He is an extremely good student, which exasperates his teachers when he sometimes pays them no attention.
His intelligence varies from story to story. In many cases, he has trouble keeping decent grades, but was once given an award for being the best student in the school. Once, in Little Archie, it was revealed that as a student, Jughead was second only to Dilton Doiley. His intelligence is displayed by his sharp wit, the occasional deep insight, and the odd chance he gets to upstage or outsmart Reggie Mantle. In one issue, Mr. Weatherbee tries to cut down on Jughead's food consumption, only to realize that Jughead's brain stops functioning without massive amounts of food. Professor Flutesnoot implies that Jughead's brain burns all the calories, which keeps him thin.
Jughead is also a talented artist, and refers to his works as his "Dipsy Doodles", which feature in one-page comic strips. Often, what he paints comes to life or becomes a real, three-dimensional object. Another recurring gag, featured in the 1960s, was "Professor Jughead", where he would wear a gown and mortarboard and lecture to his fellow teenagers about subjects he considered relevant. However, the content of the lesson was often nonsensical and useless in real life. One strip explores the fact that Jughead is seldom drawn with his eyes open by noting that Jughead has the unusual ability to "see" with his eyes completely shut, and not see with them open.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games, reading comic books, and skateboarding. It was also noted in one issue that he has an interest in Japanese anime and manga as well, with titles such as Sailor Lunar, Dragon Tall 33, Tech Robo, and Tragic Knight Sayearth. In the late 1980s, Jughead became obsessed with the skateboarding subculture, and his interests and taste in fashion were revamped to fit this. A number of short-lived characters were added to the Jughead comics, including his paraplegic African-American crush Anita; blind rival for Ethel's affections Jeff and his guide dog Spike; and heavy metal band The Potholes. However, this makeover only lasted for a few years.
Jughead rarely takes an interest in sports, but has a few unexpected athletic talents. These are often side effects of his other activities. For example, he is a very fast runner due to his constant evasion of Ethel and his determination to be at the front of the lunchline every day. Coach Kleats often tries to recruit him for various school teams, usually without longterm success. Over the years, he has been seen as a basketball player, baseball pitcher, martial artist, swimmer, dancer and gymnast.
Often, when Jughead attempts to join a team, he ends up with an undesirable menial task, such as water-boy or equipment manager. However, he often takes part in less strenuous school activities, such as the school newspaper, the Blue and Gold. His reputation as a food critic and his unbiased views of the school teams make him a valuable member of the staff. In some stories, Jughead has been shown to have supernatural abilities that are never seen again. These include controlling weather, giving the evil-eye, learning the skills presented in any book he reads, and predicting the future.
In the "Super Teens" stories (where several of the main Archie characters are secretly superheroes), Jughead could become Captain Hero, gaining a caped costume and more muscular physique (varying from story to story), but retaining his crown-shaped cap. Captain Hero appeared when Jughead recites the magic incantation (similar to Green Lantern's oath):
Teeny weeny magic beanie pointing towards the sky; give me muscle, power, strength - form a super guy!
Captain Hero often seemed to possess just the right powers for the problem at hand. These were never completely defined, but he maintained certain "stock" superhuman powers, such as flight, enhanced strength and resistance to injury. Early on, Captain Hero was often the most serious and competent of the Super Teens, and the others would defer to his leadership, in contrast to Jughead's perceived status as Archie's sidekick and a generally lazy individual.
Hot Dog is Jughead's dog, though when he first appeared in Pep Comics # 224 (December 1968), he belonged to Archie. Because of some confusion between the Archie Comics artists and the Filmation animation studio, Hot Dog switched owners frequently when he started appearing more. Hot Dog was eventually given a permanent home at Jughead's.
Hot Dog is a long-haired mutt who resembles a sheepdog. He usually thinks like a human in that his thoughts are presented in voice-over (or thought bubble in the comics) to the audience as asides where the dog's mouth does not move. Hot Dog is lazy, constantly hungry, and has a dislike for Reggie Mantle, much like Jughead. When Jughead's family objected to Hot Dog living indoors because he was covered in dirt, Dilton Doiley built Hot Dog a doghouse full of whimsical inventions, which was the kickoff plot for the miniseries Hot Dog.
Hot Dog is usually considered a member of Archie's Gang. He is also the mascot for The Archies. In the Filmation series, he is often seen pretending to "conduct" the band. He tends to be attracted to Veronica’s pedigreed dogs, and even had a litter of puppies with one of them, a poodle named Lucretia. In the 1970s Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hot Dog had a sidekick, Chili Dog, who was smaller and red haired. A running gag was the two dogs' "battles" with Sabrina's cat Salem Saberhagen.
In the TV movie and subsequent comic book To Riverdale and Back Again, which portrayed all of the characters fifteen years after their graduation from high school, Jughead has become a psychiatrist. He has a successful private practice outside of Riverdale, but was divorced and is raising his young son Jordan, who Archie jokingly refers to as Jughead Junior.
In the comics, his career is usually expected to have something relating to food, due to his love for it. More than one story has suggested that when Pop Tate retired, Jughead would buy his restaurant and take it over. In the Life with Archie: The Married Life series beginning in 2010, Jughead has taken over Pop's from Pop Tate and has renamed it Jughead's which later spanned a franchise in each respective universe. He ended up abandoning the franchise to operate the original shoppe in Riverdale. Also in the series, he ends up marrying Midge Klump in one universe, and Ethel in the other.
In other media
Jughead was featured in a Filmation-animated segment for Sesame Street spotlighting the letter J.
- "I'm Learning To Share!: Search term: "Jughead's hat"". Learning2share.blogspot.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Erickson, 2005. p.92
- Appelo, Tim (November 8, 1991). "Forever Archie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- e.g. Jughead with Archie Digest Magazine (110). April 1992. Missing or empty
|title=(help)(cover), "The One-Millionth Customer!". Jughead's Double Digest Magazine (70). Oct 2000. ISSN 1061-5482.
- Jughead and Friends No. 25 (February 2008)
- Jughead's Double Digest #99: "Shakespeare Anyone?"
- December "Did You Know?"[dead link]
- July "Did You Know?"[dead link]
- October "Did You Know?"[dead link]
- Ask the Archivist, "Why did Jughead give up girls?"[dead link]
- Jughead Jones Digest Magazine #81
- November "Did You Know?"[dead link]
- Life with Archie: The Married Life 1
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows 1 (2nd ed.). McFardland and Company. ISBN 07864-2255-6.
- Official website
- Archie's Pal, Jughead at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.