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Small Details You Missed In Riverdale

"Riverdale" is a supernatural drama series that follows five teens as they try to understand the odd, and often sinister, occurrences in their town of Riverdale. Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) are high school students put through the wringer as they try to solve murders, navigate the dangerous politics of gang rivalries, and even gain supernatural powers at one point.

Over the course of seven seasons, the series has been filled with interesting characters, relationships, cults, and even some plot holes. Audiences can watch as Betty tries to understand how her genetics could influence her future, Archie fights a bear, and Veronica and her family play intricate games of mind chess for control over the town. In short, "Riverdale" is nothing short of dramatic and exciting, even if it seems a bit outlandish at times.

That doesn't mean there aren't some small details worth noticing. Settle in as we take you through a spoiler-filled tour of the sleepy town of Riverdale, showing you the small details you missed, from iconic movie and musical references to location names rooted in true crime.

An iconic street in horror

Fans of classic horror franchises may recognize the street that Betty and Archie live on during their time as teens in the city of Riverdale. Just three minutes into the first episode of the series, the camera pans across a street, highlighting that the intersection is Elm Street and Third Avenue. As audiences meet the main characters, we zoom in on Betty's house along Elm Street. Archie lives in the house directly across from her, which is evident when she and Kevin (Casey Cott) look across to his window from her bedroom.

The popular franchise this is referencing is none other than "A Nightmare on Elm Street." While neither Betty nor Archie's address is an exact match for heroine Nancy Thompson's at 1428 Elm Street — Betty's house number is 111 and Archie's is 2037 — Betty's house does have another resemblance to the Freddy Krueger-led horror films. In the first movie, the door to Nancy's house is green. However, in the Dream World, the parallel universe in which Krueger lives, the door to the house is red, like Betty's house. Some even argue the houses look pretty similar. 

It's definitely a blink-and-you-miss-it detail from the first episode that adds to the chilling nature of the series, especially as Betty and Archie try to stop a serial killer in Season 2, just like the teens of "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

A nod to a Guillermo del Toro film

Throughout the first season of "Riverdale," the group of teens tries to solve the murder of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines), Cheryl's twin. When the fifth episode of Season 1 opens, Jughead is discussing the Thornhill mansion, the home of the Blossoms, and how it is the "spooky home" every town has. As he continues his monologue, Cheryl appears at the top of the stairs inside the home, wearing a red dress and carrying a candelabra as she approached her brother's coffin. The entire scene is a dream sequence in her mind. 

The look is reminiscent of what Lucille Sharpe wears in Guillermo del Toro's gothic masterpiece "Crimson Peak." Lucille has similar promotional images of wearing a red dress and wielding a candelabra. The shared imagery also hints at the similarities in the sibling relationships in both projects.

Lucille has an odd relationship with her brother Thomas, much like the relationship between Cheryl and Jason. Both sets of siblings are close in a way that can be a bit unnerving at times. In the case of the Sharpe siblings, this relationship is rooted in a difficult childhood that caused them to band together. With the Blossoms, their connection results in Cheryl placing Jason's corpse in the family home, regularly visiting it and talking to it like it's still a living person. 

A fictional place from an anthology series

Season 1 takes audiences through several twists and turns. When Kevin's romantic partner Joaquin DeSantos (Rob Raco), a member of the Southside Serpents gang, is accused of being involved with Jason's murder, he decides to go on the run. Kevin meets Joaquin at the bus depot as the teen prepares to hop on a bus and get out of town. 

Those with eagle eyes may have caught the destination for the bus: San Junipero. While that may just sound like a tourist or resort town that he could disappear in, it is actually a callback to the science fiction anthology series "Black Mirror." Those familiar with "Black Mirror" know that each episode features a new tale that usually makes us think about our relationship with technology.

The fourth episode of "Black Mirror" Season 3 is titled "San Junipero." The episode takes place in the titular location, a beach town, as two young women meet and begin a romantic relationship. However, all is muddled when it's revealed that San Junipero is actually a simulated reality. In real life, both are old women who disagree on whether they want to be in the simulated reality forever when they die.

It's an interesting detail that hints not only at the wild nature of the series but also that Riverdale may be present in an altered state of reality similar to that of San Junipero.

A reference to the Overlook Hotel

In Season 2, the teens are still grappling with everything sinister happening in Riverdale, especially with the Black Hood on the loose. Spending a weekend at the Lodge family cabin at Shadow Lake should help the group "relax and unplug," in the words of Veronica. A couples-only weekend brings the chance for romance, and for Jughead to write his book, in Episode 14 of the season.

What you may have missed was the hint to the iconic Stephen King film adaptation "The Shining" in one of the bedrooms of the "Lodge lodge." The pillows on the bed Veronica and Archie use have a familiar pattern. If you look close enough, the pattern of the pillows is a match for the carpet of the Overlook Hotel. It's hard not to recognize the hexagonal shapes once you see them. They even pop up again as throw pillows on the couch later on in the episode.

The callback to "The Shining" is perfect, considering what happens while the teens are at the lodge. Not only is there someone wielding an axe, someone dies while surrounded by greenery. It isn't a hedge maze, but the forest surrounding the lake house is just as dense and hard to navigate as the maze Jack was in.

A quote from a previous role

Audiences may have recognized Skeet Ulrich when he appeared as FP Jones. Not only does he play Jughead's father, but the actor has also had iconic roles in the "Scream" franchise, "The Craft," and the CBS series "Jericho." When FP serves time in prison during Season 2, Jughead and Archie visited several times. Jughead is put in a difficult position with the Southside Serpents and the Ghoulies (the rival gang in Riverdale) and regularly needs guidance.

During a solo visit in Season 2, Episode 7, where he is trying to confirm his father is okay after hearing he was hurt by members of the Ghoulies he's incarcerated with, Jughead looks a bit shellshocked. As FP sits down and picks up the phone, he greets his son with, "What's up? It looks like you've seen a ghost." This is incredibly similar to what Skeet says as Billy in "Scream" as he admits that he's one of the people behind the mask. "What's the matter, Sydney? It looks like you've seen a ghost." 

For people who know the actor's past work, it's a fun play on one of his most iconic roles and lines. It is also another callback to classic horror franchises, just like some of the other small details we've discussed so far.

A prison number from a popular musical

It isn't "Riverdale" if someone isn't being sent to jail at some point. During Season 2, Jughead's father spends some time in prison after the events of Season 1. He isn't always there alone. His son regularly comes to visit him, trying to gain insight into how to handle gang relations and prevent himself and Archie from being blackmailed by Penny Peabody (Brit Morgan), leader of the Ghoulies. 

Like other prisoners depicted in the media, FP wears a jumpsuit with a prisoner number. This number may be familiar to fans of musical theater and their film adaptations. FP's prisoner number is 24601. That also happens to be the prisoner number of Jean Valjean in the adaptation of "Les Misérables." Played by Hugh Jackman in the film, Jean Valjean is referred to as "Prisoner 24601" by Javert, a prison guard. The musical, and subsequent film adaptation, is based on the book by Victor Hugo. The number appears in the book, but not to the same extent as it does in the musical adaptation.

It's certainly a different detail compared to the horror and gothic film references across the series, but it's still a fun Easter egg to those who recognize it. It won't be the last musical detail we share with you on this list, either.

The same license plate number from a horror staple

Jean Valjean's prisoner number isn't the only familiar number in the series. In Season 2, Episode 13, Betty walks in on her mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) cleaning up a crime in their home. It turns out Chic's (Hart Denton) drug dealer showed up at the house and Chic killed him. After helping her mother clean up the scene, Betty is left with immense guilt, so much so that she tells Jughead that she can't sleep or eat. The only thing left to deal with is the individual's car, which has been sitting on the street for a few days. 

With Jughead's help, the two teens hotwire the car and take it to the swamp to sink it. Jughead says, "Norman Bates makes it look so easy," referencing the classic 1960 horror film "Psycho." That isn't the only reference to the film in the scene. If you take a look at the license plate of the car, the number reads NFB 418. This is the same license plate number as Marion Crane's car in the movie.

Like the other horror movie details we've mentioned, it's a great nod to a classic piece of horror media. It's also one of the toughest on this list to make out, due to how quickly the numbers are on screen and how dark the scene is.

A callback to DC Comics

Fans of the series may know "Riverdale" is based on the characters and stories from Archie Comics. There are several nods to this in the series, but what you may have missed was a reference to the classic DC Comics character Batman. 

The end of Episode 21, Season 2 intentionally mimics a scene between Batman and Robin from the "Batman: A Death in the Family" comic storyline. In the scene, Batman is carrying a bloody Robin, who later dies from his injuries. In "Riverdale," it's FP carrying Jughead after he was nearly beaten to death by the Ghoulies. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, but Jughead doesn't have the same fate as Robin. 

Showrunner and Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted about the imagery the night before the episode aired, causing audiences to spend the next 24 hours trying to figure out who would represent the characters in the comic panel and if they would share Robin's fate.

With The CW a hub for DC Comic-related television shows, and "Riverdale" being based on a series of comics itself, the inclusion of another comic universe featured on the network, and what Aguirre-Sacasa calls "one of the most iconic images in modern comics," is a great addition for those who noticed it (or read the showrunner's tweet).

A reference to two real murderers

When "Riverdale" enters Season 3, the show takes on the seemingly real game of Gryphons and Gargoyles and deals with the aftermath of Archie's trial. Archie is standing trial after being charged with the murder of Cassidy Book, the individual killed at the Lodge's lake house in Season 2, Episode 14. While Archie isn't responsible for the crime, he is framed for it. As his trial comes to a close, the jury is stuck in a deadlock, with no verdict reached. 

Rather than sit through another trial, Archie takes a plea deal for "time served plus two years in juvenile detention" for pleading guilty to manslaughter. Against his lawyer's (who is also his mother) wishes, Archie accepts. The detail to note is the name of the juvenile detention center he's headed to: the Leopold and Loeb Juvenile Detention Center.

Nathan Leopold Jr. and Robert Loeb were two college students sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of a teen boy in 1924. The two confessed to what they did. The court case that ensued was popular in the media, much like high-profile cases are today. 

Only those with an interest in true crime may pick up on this detail. The reasoning for their inclusion isn't clear, especially if the goal was a familiar name to those who follow true crime cases, but it certainly would only be picked up on by those familiar with the case.

A Stephen Sondheim song

Between trying to get Archie out of juvenile detention and being opposed to the actions of her father that put Archie there, Veronica still had the time to make a trade with Hiram (Mark Consuelos) so she could own Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, the local diner. It isn't enough for it to be just a diner though. Underneath it, she opens La Bonne Nuit, an alcohol-free speakeasy for the teens of Riverdale to hang out at.

Josie (Ashleigh Murray) regularly performs at La Bonne Nuit. In Season 3, Episode 11, she sings "Sooner or Later," a song written by the late Stephen Sondheim. It was sung by Madonna originally for the film "Dick Tracy." Like "Riverdale," "Dick Tracy" is based on a set of comics and features detectives (well, in "Riverdale's" case, teen detectives) solving crime.

The lyrics to the song also fit in well with the series. The individual is speaking about how they "always get [their] man," which is reminiscent of Veronica's journey earlier in the season to bust Archie out of juvie. It's also a reminder of everything that Veronica and Archie go through during the series, and how they usually end up on the other side together.

A familiar face from Baxter High

Those familiar with Archie Comics may also know that Sabrina from "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" is from the same universe as the Riverdale teens. When the series was announced by Netflix with the same showrunner, fans were hopeful the two would connect. There were plenty of "Riverdale" Easter eggs across "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," but what fans may not have noticed was a familiar face from Baxter High in "Riverdale's" fourth season.

In Season 4, Episode 10, Betty meets Billy Marlin (Ty Wood) while investigating the accusations that another high school was intentionally hurting players of rival teams. Billy is a football player at Baxter High, the high school that Sabrina goes to, who had his arm broken by a member of another team. He appears throughout "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina."

With the hope that the two shows would formally crossover at some point — which did happen when Sabrina appeared in the sixth season of "Riverdale" — Billy's appearance would mean the crossover happened earlier than fans may have noticed. While Billy isn't one of the main characters in "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," his brief appearance in "Riverdale" solidified the connection between the two shows. 

A prop from a Broadway musical

The "Riverdale" musical episodes have become quite iconic. From "Carrie: The Musical" to "Heathers," fans all have their opinions on the place of these episodes in the series and how effective they are. In Season 4, Episode 17, audiences were treated to "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," with Kevin in the titular role.

The costumes the teens wear for the musicals are always fun to see, but the creative team behind "Riverdale" took it one step further with this musical episode. In an interview with Den of Geek, Casey Cott revealed they were actually able to use one of the props worn by John Cameron Mitchell, the actor who originated the role of Hedwig on Broadway, in the movie adaptation. "Actually I was wearing the wig that John Cameron Mitchell wore in the 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' movie in our episode — which was crazy cool," the actor shared with the outlet.

Cott got to see the actor play the role on Broadway. To wear the same wig as him, while playing the same role, is a fun detail for any Broadway, "Hedwig and The Angry Inch," or John Cameron Mitchell fan. Plus, it adds to the authenticity of Riverdale High School's production.