At the beginning of season 1 of Riverdale, Betty and Cheryl loathe each other, and their difficult relationship is fueled by anger and confusion about Polly and Jason’s romance. However, when it transpires that the Blossom and Cooper families are actually related and that Cheryl and Betty are actually distant cousins, they begin to recognize a mutuality and look out for each other.
Although they do develop a bond, Cheryl in particular can be manipulative and nasty, and both characters do some awful things to each other during the course of the series.
Cheryl Body Shames Betty
As an excuse not to let Betty join the Riverdale Vixens, Cheryl remarks that Betty already has “too much on her plate” while glancing at her school lunch tray. Additionally, Betty recalls that Cheryl previously said she was “too fat” to join the cheerleading team.
Not only is it ridiculous to suggest that people of all shapes and sizes cannot do specific sports, but it is also completely inexcusable for Cheryl to comment (especially negatively) on Betty’s weight. Sadly, this is just one of the many times Cheryl is politically incorrect and causes offense.
Cheryl Accuses Polly Of Killing Jason
During one of Riverdale‘s best mysteries, Cheryl is naturally keen to know what happened to Jason and who killed him. During a makeover at Betty’s house, Cheryl begins to quiz Betty about Polly and ends up yelling that Polly killed Jason because she is “crazy”.
Not only is this accusation unfounded (Polly is also devastated by Jason’s death and has nothing to do with his murder), but it is a horrible thing for Betty to hear, as she is already so worried about her sister. Acting in this malicious and aggressive way is pretty classic Cheryl, but fans do understand her irrational behavior as being caused by her grief.
Cheryl Sends Round A Photo Of Betty And Archie Kissing
While hiding that Jughead is still alive in order to uncover the secrets of Stonewall Prep, Archie and Betty pretend to develop feelings for each other and stage a kiss. In classic Riverdale teen drama style, Cheryl sees them, takes a photo, and sends it to many of her classmates.
Although Cheryl actually does exactly what they want and expect her to (and it is all part of the plan), it is confirmed that Cheryl is not in on that plan. Cheryl just enjoys creating drama and chaos, and is happy to embarrass her cousin in the process.
Betty Doesn’t Issue An Apology For Cheryl’s Murdered Ancestor
When Cheryl finds out that her ancestor was murdered by Riverdale residents (including Betty’s, Archie’s, and Jughead’s families) she is outraged and wants Riverdale to issue a public apology. However, Riverdale is ungoverned and in chaos at this time, and Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Archie are trying to organize the chaos, refusing to prioritize Cheryl’s request.
Although Betty and her friends have good reason to delay Cheryl’s request, it is clearly really important to Cheryl. Perhaps Betty could have been more receptive to Cheryl’s request and explained more fully when it could be prioritized.
Cheryl Encourages Archie And Veronica To Kiss At Her Party
When Cheryl hosts a school dance after-party, she manipulates a game of seven minutes in heaven to make Veronica and Archie kiss, in hopes of hurting Betty by getting her caught up in a Riverdale love triangle. Of course, Betty is distraught and leaves the party feeling betrayed.
Although Cheryl is upset about the death of her brother and blames Betty’s sister Polly, this is still a very hateful and unnecessary thing to do. Even if Polly had killed Jason (which she didn’t), it wouldn’t be Betty’s fault. Betty blames Veronica and Archie in this situation, and Cheryl gets off lightly, seemingly because such behavior can be expected from her.
Betty Convinces Cheryl To Go Undercover At The Farm
When Betty becomes highly suspicious of the Farm (of which both her mother and sister are members) she herself cannot go undercover because she has already made her feelings about the Farm so clear. She talks Cheryl into helping who, upon seeing Jason, joins the Farm for real.
Pretending to join the Farm is very dangerous for Cheryl, who is already so emotionally vulnerable following her family tragedy. Although Cheryl fakes a hard exterior, Betty knows Cheryl’s sensitivity and puts her in a position where Cheryl almost has her organs harvested.
Cheryl Tells Jughead About Betty And Archie’s Kiss
When investigating the identity of the notorious Riverdale Black Hood, Betty and Archie share a kiss outside Cheryl’s house. Cheryl sees, and when she isn’t invited to a couple’s weekend away at Veronica’s lake house, she calls Jughead and tells him as payback.
Although Betty and Jughead are not together at the time of the kiss, this causes chaos between the friends. While Jughead does deserve to know, Cheryl should not have been the one to tell him, and her intentions were simply to get back at the group for not inviting her.
Betty Threatens To Kill Cheryl
After so much ridicule from Cheryl, when Cheryl says awful things to Betty about her sister in her own home, she finally snaps and tells Cheryl to leave before she kills her.
This is the beginning of a mysterious side of Betty that grows during the series: Dark Betty. However, although this is a very serious threat, fans can’t help but sympathize with Betty. Cheryl is repeatedly and relentlessly nasty to Betty and blames her for things that are outside of her control. Fans like seeing Betty stand up for herself and challenge Cheryl (although they recognize this was not the right way to go about it).
Cheryl Asks Betty About Polly In Front Of The Cheer Squad
Blaming Betty’s family for Jason’s death, Cheryl probes Betty about her sister’s mental health in front of Veronica and the rest of the cheer squad. Betty is deeply concerned about her sister and knows very little about what is actually going on with Polly, and is so deeply uncomfortable and upset during the encounter that she digs her nails into her own palms.
This really is one of Cheryl’s meanest moments, disguised as trying to get Betty to show passion to demonstrate she is a good candidate for the Riverdale Vixens. Cheryl has one, very dishonorable, intention in this encounter: to hurt Betty.
Betty Blackmails Cheryl Into Testifying For FP
In order to get FP’s prison sentence reduced for his involvement in Jason’s murder cover-up, Betty blackmails Cheryl to testify in court saying she and her family forgive FP. She threatens to release the video of Cheryl’s father killing Jason to prolong her family’s suffering.
Although Betty has noble intentions of freeing her boyfriend’s father, threatening Cheryl in relation to the loss of her brother really is a low blow. It’s no surprise that Cheryl finds this inexcusable, although she hides her hurt with bitterness, in classic Cheryl style.