No one really knew what to expect when Riverdale started airing back in 2017. And while it’s clearly nothing like the classic Archie comics that the show was based on, what we got instead was a genre-bending series that is a masterclass on camp. Now, this isn’t to say that the show isn’t divisive. Six years later and most people still don’t know what to make of the show. Love it or hate it, Riverdale has earned its place in modern pop culture.
As the show winds down and approaches its finale, now is a better time than ever to re-examine the show through the best moments of one of its most iconic characters: Veronica Lodge. Here are Camila Mendes’ best moments as Veronica Lodge.
10 Standing Up to the Serpents
Fierce is one word that perfectly encapsulates Veronica Lodge. And while there are many moments that show off how vicious Veronica is, standing up to over a dozen Southside Serpents is surely up there on the list.
Cheryl, Kevin, and Veronica are minding their own business and are trying to enjoy a movie that they’re seeing when the Southside Serpents cause a stir at the drive-in. Kevin tries to get them to settle down, but they just ignore him. Fed up, Veronica stands up and berates them and asks the Southside Serpents, “Do you know what happens to a snake when a Louis Vuitton heel steps on it?”
9 Veronica Performs All That Jazz
When Veronica is called into the principal’s office to explain why there are rumors linking her to criminal activity, she responds in the most Veronica way possible. While the principal advises her to stay out of the public eye and maybe take a break from school until everything is settled, Veronica opts to invite everyone to La Bonne Nuit for a special performance and a press conference.
That night, Veronica, Cheryl, and Toni perform All That Jazz from the musical Chicago. Afterward, Veronica proceeds to admit that the rumors are true. However, she also adds that her father forced her to commit those crimes.
8 Tricking Hiram to Get Back Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe
When it’s revealed that her father secretly owns Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe, and by extension La Bonne Nuit, Veronica hatches a plan to take the establishment from her father Hiram Lodge. After Hiram and Archie agree to a boxing match, Veronica baits him into allowing La Bonne Nuit to take on bets for the fight. Hiram even offers to help by getting his friends in on the action.
Unbeknownst to Hiram, Veronica reports these illegal activities to the authorities. And since Hiram technically owns La Bonne Nuit, he takes the fall. This moment is significant as it marks the first time Veronica has come to bouts with her father and won.
7 Surprising Archie in Prison
In a cruel twist of fate, Hiram frames Archie for murder at the end of the show’s second season. And while Archie has added protection in the form of his new allies the Southside Serpents, things are still incredibly difficult for Riverdale’s favorite redhead.
To show support for her beau, Veronica visits Archie in prison. Now, a simple visit would be out of character for Veronica. This is why she brings the entire Riverdale cheerleading squad with her and performs Jailhouse Rock outside the prison.
6 Turning Down Harvard
There are two things that you need to know about Veronica: she sticks to her principles and she’ll do anything to spite her father. So much so that she even turned down the opportunity to go to Harvard when she realized that her father made backroom deals to get her in.
This should put the nepo baby allegations to rest, as this clearly shows that Veronica isn’t afraid to do things her way no matter the consequences. This moment is a testament to how much of a badass she truly is.
5 Veronica Bets Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe
When Veronica decides to turn her speakeasy into a casino, she enlists the help of the mobster Elio Grande. Elio obliges, as he sees this as a great opportunity to make money.
During opening night, Elio starts cheating at all the casino’s games. This puts the casino and Veronica in danger, as they may be taken for all they’re worth. To put a stop to this, Veronica challenges Elio to a game of blackjack. To entice him even further, Veronica even bets the deed to Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe. The mobster agrees and bets all his winnings for the night. What Elio didn’t know was that Veronica planned all of this from the start and had a rigged deck of cards ready so that he could scam the scammer.
4 Veronica Becomes a Witch
To say Riverdale has changed a lot since its first season is a gross understatement. Despite starting out as a typical teenage drama series, the show spun out of control in the best way possible. Perhaps the best example of this is when Veronica became a witch.
The beginning of the show’s sixth season introduced Rivervale. Rivervale is a parallel universe to Riverdale, where the supernatural forces reign supreme. This has brought along a couple of unique problems, most notably the deaths of Archie, Jughead, Toni, Fangs, and Dagwood. Luckily, all is not lost as help comes in the form of everybody’s favorite witch, Sabrina Spellman. Sabrina speaks of a ritual that can bring back the dead. The only problem? They need six witches to perform the ritual.
To bring their loved ones back from the dead Betty, Tabitha, and Veronica all agree to become witches. To do so they must complete a ritual that involves signing their name in the Malleus Maleficarum, pledging their loyalty to Hecate, and performing a witchy dance.
What’s so great about this scene is that it shows that Veronica will do anything for the people she cares about. Despite her cold and rigid exterior, there’s nothing that Veronica cherishes more than her loved ones.
3 Veronica Kicks Her Father Out of Riverdale
By now you may have realized that Hiram and Veronica have a very complicated relationship. Things come to a head when Hiram becomes mayor of Riverdale, as he attempts to destroy the town to make way for his SoDale land development.
To stop him Veronica and the rest of the people of Riverdale abduct Hiram and bring him to the outskirts of town. At gunpoint, Veronica tells his father he has a choice: leave and never return, or they’ll turn over evidence of Hiram’s criminal activity to the FBI. This was one of the coolest scenes in the series, as it saw all the characters band together to defeat a common enemy.
2 Veronica Performs Toxic
Considering the number of musical performances that Camila Mendes has on the show, you’d think she was related to Shawn Mendes. And while all of Camila Mendes’ musical performances on the show are beyond stellar, her rendition of Britney Spears’ Toxic might just be the best one.
After figuring out how her new poison abilities work, Veronica is distraught as the poison in her body makes it dangerous for people to be around her. To make matters worse, Reggie is pressuring her to sell her casino, or else he’ll go to the shareholders and stage a hostile takeover.
Despite the situation, Veronica is unfazed. To fend off Reggie and the shareholders, she gets everyone together at the casino for a special announcement. She declares that the casino is doing well under her ownership, and she’s the best person to steer it to greater heights. She then breaks into her rendition of Toxic. This moment is iconic because it shows Veronica at her best — completely unapologetic for who she is and all that entails.
1 “Maybe That Reckoning Is Me”
Considering that Veronica has taken on gangs and the occult forces alike, you may find it surprising that the moment that takes the top spot involves the cheerleading tryouts from the show’s pilot episode. But we just had to put this on top of this list due to how impactful the scene is.
When Betty and Veronica try to be a part of the River Vixens, Cheryl tries to get in their way by skewing the results of the tryouts. Veronica doesn’t let this slide and calls Cheryl out. She warns her that, “Eventually, there will be a reckoning. Maybe that reckoning is me.” We personally can’t see a better way to introduce who Veronica is and what she stands for.