There’s a new street drug sweeping through Riverdale… and its side effects may include uncontrollable giggling when you hear its name said aloud.
In Season 2, the CW’s teen drama has not only introduced a roving serial killer, but also an illicit party drug known as “jingle-jangle”: a white powder served in Pixy Stix-like straws that delivers an energetic, euphoric high to its users. It’s the drug of choice among Riverdale’s rebellious youth this season — and its name has led to quite a few stifled laughs among the cast.
“Can you imagine having to say ‘jingle-jangle’ on screen over and over again? I think we didn’t stop laughing for the first four episodes,” Cole Sprouse (Jughead) confessed to TVLine during a recent visit to the show’s Vancouver set. Marisol Nichols, who plays Veronica’s mom Hermione, had a similar reaction when she first heard the drug’s name: “My reaction was ‘Jingle-jangle? Jingle-jangle?’ Alright,” she remembers with a laugh.
But the drug is no laughing matter to Riverdale’s parents, who see the jingle-jangle craze as another sign of moral decay in their idyllic town. First mentioned by Sheriff Keller in the Season 2 premiere, jingle-jangle is one of the drugs dealt by Archie’s teammate Reggie, who promises it’ll “keep you up for days… in more ways than one.” He sold some to Midge and Moose, who downed a few straws during a steamy make-out session — which was interrupted when the Black Hood killer put a few bullets into Moose. (The Black Hood is punishing sinners, and doing jingle-jangle is definitely a sin.)
So where did the ridiculous name come from? As usual, it springs from Archie comics lore: “Jingle Jangle” is the title of a psychedelic 1969 single and album from the pop group the Archies. Sprouse recalls asking showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa what the name meant, “and he sent us… this classic, twisty, ’70s, drug-trippy ‘Jingle Jangle’ song, and then it all made sense.”
Even squeaky-clean Archie got in on the jingle-jangle craze a couple weeks back, with Veronica’s old friend Nick St. Clair offering it around at a party, and the whole gang (minus Betty) indulging. “That was a really fun scene to shoot, just because we were all goofy and we had music playing,” Casey Cott (Kevin) remembers. But the next day, their parents found out and went ballistic, and Sheriff Keller couldn’t accept Veronica and Josie’s testimony about Nick’s attempted date rape of Cheryl because they still had jingle-jangle in their systems. See, kids? Don’t do drugs… with silly names.
The town’s jingle-jangle supply may have permanently dried up, though, now that Jughead’s Southside High teacher Mr. Phillips was identified as the drug supplier known as “the Sugar Man” and arrested. Oh well… it was funny while it lasted. (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)
Share your thoughts on the jingle-jangle craze, and Season 2 of Riverdale so far, in the comments.