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Why Does Jughead Wear an S Shirt on Riverdale?

Image Source: The CW

The CW’s Riverdale has found interesting ways to pay homage to Archie Comics, but one of the coolest is through its costume choice. While the period costumes symbolize the past 75 years of the comics, the characters’ ensembles also take inspiration from their comic-book personas. Not only does Jughead’s iconic crown get a modern update on the show, but the character also sports shirts with the letter “S.” While this is obviously a callback to the comics, where Jughead usually wears a sweater with an “S,” we couldn’t help but wonder: what does the letter actually stand for?

Image Source: Archie Comics

Well, it turns out, it’s actually one of Archie Comics’ biggest mysteries. Throughout the series, there have been multiple jokes about the hidden meaning ranging from “starving” to “sandwich,” but we’ve never been given an official answer. The only time we’ve gotten close is during a storyline when Jughead’s family is about to move away from Riverdale and he decides to let Archie in on the secret. Right before he tells him the truth, though, Jughead’s dad knocks on the door and tells him they’re not moving after all.

While Archie Comics has never revealed the meaning, the widow of Archie comic strips’ creator, Bob Montana, has. According to Peg Bertholet, it actually stands for the town Riverdale is based on, Skunk Hill in Haverhill, MA, where Montana grew up. As Bertholet added, Montana’s elementary school mascot was the Tigers, so “Jughead’s S meant ‘Squirrel Hill Independent Tigers,’ and you couldn’t abbreviate it any other way.”

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