If you watched Riverdale from when the very first episode aired or binged season one right before the second season premiered, chances are you have strong opinions on the show and pretty much every character who appears on it. The dark twist on the classic Archie comic series is full of milkshakes, mysterious characters, and angsty romance. But one of the best parts of the show is not hot redhead Archie, Betty & Veronica, or the “weirdo” Jughead. No, the best character is the snarky, sassy Cheryl Blossom. Cheryl is the perfect frenemy. Is she Betty’s friend, is she plotting to take Betty down? Who TF knows!

No one can really tell what Cheryl’s true motives are. That is what makes her so interesting. Her next move is always unpredictable. She literally burned her own house down to get back at her parents. She is borderline crazy, but all the best characters to grace the silver screen are. She brings the drama and it never fails to entertain. Long live the Queen of Riverdale, Cheryl Blossom.

1. She owns her title of HBIC.

Every high school has an HBIC and Riverdale High’s is Cheryl Blossom. She thrives on being in charge of her River Vixens. When she relinquished them to Veronica, albeit shortly, it was a terrifying moment. But the Cheryl we know and love came back, stronger than ever. She doesn’t even need little minions to do her bidding. Things just tend to work out exactly like Cheryl wants them to.

2. She doesn’t need a boyfriend to make her life interesting.

A heavy plot focus on Riverdale is relationships. Betty was in love with Archie first, then fell for Jughead. Then there was drama when Archie and Veronica got together behind Betty’s back. They’re in high school, so being lovesick makes sense. But Cheryl’s life is perfectly entertaining the way it is. She doesn’t need a boyfriend. In fact, a man would just hold her back. Cheryl is going straight to the top!

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3. She is never without her signature, flawless red lip.

The Riverdale crew is full of high schoolers, yet Cheryl treats every day like she is going to be photographed by the paparazzi. If there is anything to know Cheryl for, other than her strong personality, it is her red lip. Where does she get her lipstick? (The answer is CoverGirl, who is on their game when it comes to product placement on Riverdale, BTW.) How does it never seem to fade or bleed onto her teeth? She needs to teach us all her secrets to the perfect lip, too.

4. Her self-confidence is actually inspiring.

Again, in high school, people tend to hide behind their personalities when they’re insecure. You’d never think that Cheryl has a single insecurity. However, because Cheryl has her flaws, she is even more confident than some of the other characters. Cheryl is constantly talking about herself, describing her own strengths and what makes her so amazing. If you ever need a mantra to follow, follow Cheryl’s. Modesty is a trick made by the patriarchy! Cheryl is pretty much a feminist icon.

5. When she’s wrong, she’s actually willing to admit that.

Cheryl has been wrong about some of her frenemies. She is quick to judge, but she also watches people closely. After everything happened with Jason, she played the blame game quite a bit and a lot of focus came down hard of Jughead’s dad, FP Jones. But when it was revealed that Cheryl’s father actually killed his own son, Cheryl came a long way and wound up testifying in defense of FP (though she was being blackmailed), but she did seem to realize it was the right thing to do.

6. But she is almost never wrong, which is inspiring.

Her gut instinct is typically on point. Cheryl is very blunt about what she believes to be true. Rather than hiding behind lies, she calls it like she sees it. Her brute honesty might actually be the key to why she is never wrong. We can all take a hint from Cheryl, but maybe we shouldn’t be quite as blunt every time.

7. Family is very important to her.

Cheryl’s relationship with Jason was complex. There were hints at them being closer than most twins should be. But Cheryl was dedicated to her brother. So much so, she lied to everyone and tried to help him escape the town of Riverdale. She was willing to stand by her parents’ side until she realized just what they’d been hiding. Then she knew she had to avenge her brother after his untimely death.

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8. Her ability to tear someone down is legendary.

Being mean for the sake of being mean shouldn’t really be encouraged, but Cheryl is just so good at it. Most of the time, when Cheryl is throwing around insults, she isn’t really trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. She almost can’t help herself. Her little quick whips practically come out before she means to open her mouth. It makes you wonder if she stays up late thinking up insults, or if they all truly come naturally to her. It’s impressive either way.

9. She’s an ambitious leader.

As an HBIC, she needs to lead. She leads her River Vixens. She leads her friends when she’s on a warpath. She was ready to lead the hunt to find her brother’s killer. Cheryl has her sights set on big things. Her father had an empire, but she didn’t want that, she wants something of her own. Burning down her own house and starting over is like giving herself a clean slate to make even more of a name for herself.

10. Unlike every other character, she loves to call Archie out.

Archie is kind of the worst character on Riverdale. We all love him because he’s ripped and makes redheads look good. But he pulled a Troy Bolton and acted like making music and playing football was sooooo hard to do. He blows everything out of proportion, plays with people’s emotions, and makes bad decisions, and Cheryl makes sure to call him out for it. She has playful little jokes with him that remind us she really should be the show’s star.

11. She says what’s on her mind.

We should all take a lesson from Cheryl about not bottling up our feelings. If someone upsets her, she’s going to tell them. If someone is annoying her, she has an insult at the ready to knock them down a peg or two. She doesn’t hide behind lies or riddles. She flat out says what she feels. After she burned down Thornhill, she showed up at her mother’s bedside all in white to tell her how things were going to be moving forward. Her mother burned her, and she did it back — quite literally.

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12. You can never really tell if she’s an ally or an enemy.

We just can’t help but love a bit of complexity. Riverdale needs a villain that isn’t actually murdering people. Cheryl plays that villain well. But she’s a multifaceted character. She’s not just a mean girl, she has feelings and she wants to be included. She is on Betty’s side, but she also enjoys toying with Betty a bit. It is just Cheryl’s nature to play both sides as much as possible.

13. She is always ready to cause a little chaos.

When she spotted Veronica’s mom doing some shady dealings, Cheryl wasn’t going to let it go unnoticed. She didn’t wait an entire season to drop that bomb, she literally turned around and stirred up the drama right away. Cheryl thrives on craziness. So much so, it wouldn’t be a reach to think she ate drama for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It might be a hassle for her friends, but it is entertaining for the rest of us!

14. Her wardrobe is the definition of enviable.

Are these Riverdale kids really in high school? Everyone’s dressed like they’re ready for the runway. At the forefront of the fashion show is Cheryl. Has she ever repeated an outfit? No. Nothing is every rumpled, stained, or frayed. Her clothing is paired together perfectly. Her shoe game is on point. Even her jacket game is enviable.

15. She’s not afraid to show her vulnerable side

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Cheryl is not your typical mean girl. Despite her tough-as-diamonds exterior, she’s found a way to allow her vulnerability to make her better. She doesn’t lash out in times of trouble, she lets people in. Being vulnerable in front of others has helped her grow as a character. Instead of shutting down when she’s caught crying, Cheryl actually opens up about what is upsetting her which is really hard to do.

16. Even though she’s out for herself, she still has her friends backs when she needs to.

When the Pussycats needed a backup, Cheryl was quick to throw on a pair of ears and sing. Betty and Jughead guilted her into doing the right thing in defense of FP Jones. While she mainly looks out for herself, she isn’t without a heart. She gave Archie’s dad the “kiss of life” after he was shot, to repay Archie for saving her. She might seem misguided, but in reality, Cheryl means well(ish) to the very end.

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