|“||I'm Toni Topaz. I was supposed to give you the full animatronic tour of Southside High, but some of the robots went insane and started killing the guests, so, we'll just wing it.||”|
|— Toni to Jughead[src]|
Toni is a student at Southside High, and a member of the Southside Serpents, who was suspected to cause trouble for Jughead and Betty's relationship, however, it was revealed by her that she was "more into girls". She also knew that Jughead was still reeling over the breakup between him and Betty. More than just a friend and confidante, Toni acts as Jughead's guide into the world of the serpents. After Jughead transferred to Southside High, he re-opened the school's newspaper, known as "The Red and Black" and recruited Toni as the school photographer. She also bartends at the Whyte Wyrm and is currently working on an investigation with Jughead on the Black Hood.
Toni is a vivacious member of the Southside Serpents, who is known for her signature pink hair and impressive appetite.
Much of Toni's early life remains unknown; however, she grew up in Riverdale and, at some point in her young life, it is presumed she completed the Serpents Initiation in order to join the Southside Serpents, though it remains unknown whether she met fellow Serpent, Sweet Pea, before or after joining.
Toni commented under Chuck Clayton's post of him and Veronica Lodge, in which he claimed to have given her a "sticky maple". In response to this post, Toni commented "No gracias". Notably, the spelling of Toni was different, being spelled in its masculine form, Tony.
Southside High's Welcome Wagon
Toni arrived at school that morning to find Jughead Jones, Southside High's newest student passing through security. While taking a quick photo of him, Toni called out to Jughead by his first name, Forsythe Pendleton Jones III, before introducing herself as his mentor. She was supposed to give him the full animatronic tour of the school, however, she joked that with some of the robots going insane and killing people, they would be forced to wing it. Toni made sure to tackle the basics as she guided Jughead throughout the school. The classrooms don't have Wi-Fi. The bathroom stalls don't have doors. And the school paper, The Red and Black, had long since been closed down due to budget cuts. To their right was a rare glimpse of Jingle Jangle (highly addictive gutter drug) being consumed in its natural habitat. On to the cafeteria, where she informed Jughead of the Ghoulies, a rival gang of drug dealers, street racers, and rumored cannibals. As for her and Jughead, they sat on the other side of the cafeteria with the Southside Serpents, which Toni failed to mention earlier, though her affiliation to the Serpents is precisely why she volunteered to be his mentor. However, Jughead would rather sit alone, which baffled Toni considering that he was a Serpent by blood; the son of FP Jones. Toni advised Jughead to stick with the Serpents. Should the Ghoulies discover that he's alone and vulnerable, they'll attack.
Later that day, she joined Jughead in the Red and Black offices to help him unpack after receiving approval from staff to revive the school paper. She congratulated him on finding his safe space. All he needed now was a photographer with an amazing eye and a hunger for social justice, looking to Toni in hopes that she would agree to join him. However, before Toni got the chance to reply, they were interrupted by Sweet Pea and two fellow Serpent members, who were wondering if Toni and Jughead would be joining them at the quarry. Although Toni was prepared to leave, Jughead declined Sweet Pea's offer, which left him feeling a bit upset considering that Jughead had come to them in the past for assistance. They were good enough for him to ask for help, but not good enough to hang out with, Sweet Pea concluded. While Jughead appreciated what they had done for him and his father, he was through with the Serpents, which angered Sweet Pea, enough to make him attack. Fortunately, Toni was there to keep the two of them apart, telling Sweet Pea that Jughead just wasn't that into him.
That night, Toni accidentally walked in on Jughead kissing his girlfriend, Betty Cooper. Toni apologized for the intrusion, sarcastically remarking that she didn't see the sock on the door. Betty was not at all what Toni had pictured. She imagined someone more resembling of Emily the Strange. Jughead then pulled an old kettle pot out of the box of items that Betty had brought over. Surprisingly, Toni had brought one off her own, commenting that great minds think alike.
Toni joined Betty and Jughead in FP's trailer the next day, following an attack on Jughead, presumably orchestrated by the Ghoulies. However, he lied to Betty, telling her that the cuts and bruises were the result of a motorcycle incident. While cleaning him up, Betty was initially worried that Jughead was going to tell her that he got jumped by the Ghoulies, which according to Toni, the Serpents would never allow because they had Jughead's back. Even though he wasn't an actual member, there was still that connection of family loyalty. Before leaving for school, Betty asked Toni if she could keep an eye on Jughead while she was gone, to which Toni replied that she was all over it. Once Betty was gone, they were able to speak freely. Toni reminded Jughead that she had warned him about the Ghoulies and how they would attack. She was hoping that this would serve as a lesson to take the threat more seriously.
The following day in the cafeteria, Jughead voluntarily joined her and Sweet Pea at the lunch table. It would seem that he had finally realized the severity of the threat, as well as accepted their offer to join them.
Cracking the Cipher
Toni sat alongside Sweet Pea and Fangs Fogarty in the school's cafeteria as the three of them watched Archie Andrews' message to the Black Hood, where he threatened to hunt the killer down. With Fogarty becoming more anxious to earn his Serpent stripes as the day grew on, they could think of no better way for him to earn his way into the gang than for him to bring them the head of the Northsider in the video. Unfortunately, Jughead advised them against such action, claiming that he knew the guy in the video, who he described as being a lame target. If they actually sought to prove something, Jughead suggested that they got after the Black Hood, though as Sweet Pea explained, this wouldn't be in their best interest. The Black Hood was doing their work for them by going solely after Northsiders, essentially making him a hero.
Later that day, Toni found Jughead in the Red and Black offices reading Beware of the Zodiac. She noted that while it was a decent read, she preferred Robert Graysmith's definitive books on the subject. Jughead's phone then began to ring. Calling him, was Betty, though he chose to ignore it. Jones, Jones, Jones, you disappoint me, Toni said. If serial killers were an interest of his, Toni suggested that he check out Ted Bundy, Albert Fish, Aileen Wuornos. However, as Jughead explained, none of them fit the profile. Unlike most serial killers, the Black Hood wore a mask. He's most likely someone consumed with self-loathing. Conversely, he also sent letters and cryptos to the press. Admittedly, Toni was a "true crime junkie". Toni confessed that she didn't stop by for a friendly chat, she was seeking Jughead out, hoping that he would help her crack the Black Hood's cipher that was posted in the latest print from the Register.
The following night, Toni, Jughead, Betty, and Kevin convened in FP's trailer. where the four of them work together in an attempt to decode the cipher. Betty remarked that the codes looked familiar, though she couldn't quite place them. Toni suggested that she loosen her ponytail, which she swore was a joke, though the awkward tension was apparent. Back on the topic of cracking the cipher, Toni explained that she was looking for doubles letters, such as double L and four-letter words like kill. It was then that Jughead began to question why the Black Hood chose now to start killing. From what little they knew of the Black Hood, he was obsessed with cleansing the town of sinners and hypocrites, seemingly attacking anyone with ties to the north side, which Toni referred to as fake news. All the Northsiders ever did was demonize the south side, so it came as no surprise that they would suspect the killer of being from there. Betty's defense was that she was merely stating facts, though Toni made a point of addressing how drugs in town were sold mainly to north side crackheads. She then turned her attention to the Red Circle, or as she preferred to call them the Red Psychos. She was surprised that Betty hadn't already come out to say that she thought the Black Hood was a Serpent, as they all knew how much Betty hated the Serpent, proving this claim to be true as she outed Jughead for hiding from Betty the fact that he sat with the Serpents at lunch. Having said that, she decided to leave.
A War on the Verge
With a war brewing between the Northside and the Southside, Sweet Pea and Fogarty decided to take matters into their own hands after the Register published an article falsely accusing the Southside Serpents of randomly attacking Northside teen, Dilton Doiley, when in actuality, he stabbed himself, with his own knife, during the rumble between Serpents and Bulldogs. Though she was not compliant in their revenge scheme, Toni joined them in the courtyard as they announced their plan of blowing up the Register with a pipe bomb to Jughead, who objected to the bombing due to the fact that blowing up a building would only make matters worse. He asked that they hold off from exacting revenge until he could talk to Archie, but they weren't inclined to listen due to growing tired of Jughead's peaceful means of resolution. Furthermore, they didn't even know which side Jughead stood on. He couldn't be half a Serpent. As Sweet Pea and Fogarty exited the courtyard, Jughead took a seat next to Toni, upset that Archie started World War III. Toni explained to Jughead that the Northside had been dumping on them for years, but FP managed to keep the peace to some degree, and avoid bloodshed. However, now that he's gone, idiots like Sweet Pea, only saw one path to solving the problem; violence.
Toni sat quietly in the Whyte Wyrm, alongside Fogarty, as Jughead entered the bar, wearing the Serpents jacket given to him by Tall Boy. Jughead claimed that he wished to stand with them, just as his father led them. However, if Jughead truly wished to be a member of the Southside Serpents, he would first have to survive the initiation.
The next day, while leaving Southside High with Jughead, Toni asked him how the first trial of his initiation was going with guarding the Beast, otherwise known as Hot Dog. Jughead replied that he stinks, and constantly barked on top of having no boundaries, though it was tradition that every new recruit take care of Hot Dog, Toni explained. She then went on to tell Jughead that the Hot Dog under his guardianship was their third Hot Dog, thus making him a third generation, much like Jughead (i.e. Forsythe Pendleton Jones III).
Later, at the Sunnyside Trailer Park, Toni assisted Jughead in his reviewing of the six laws to being a Southside Serpent, which were, "a Serpent never shows cowardice", and "if a Serpent is killed or imprisoned, then their family will be taken care of". Unfortunately, Jughead failed to cite the remaining laws. Toni instructed him to focus and take the trials seriously. Jughead swore that he was taking it all seriously, though between Hot Dog and the laws, it was a bit overwhelming. Why the sudden change of heart, Toni asked. She couldn't quite figure out why Jughead wanted to go from conscientious objector to full fledged member. Much to Toni's surprise, Jughead replied that his sudden change in direction was because of her prior statement in regards to his father being responsible for keeping Serpents like Sweet Pea inline. Someone needed to step up, in order to keep an all out war from erupting. Jughead believed he was the right person for job. Pleased to hear that he was in fact taking the trials seriously, Toni decided to continue with the review.
Back at the Whyte Wyrm, after what was presumably a successful review of the serpent laws, Toni observed from afar, as Jughead cited all six laws of being a Serpent. In closing, the entire bar shouted "in unity their is strength." Upon completion, it was time to move on to the third trial, which called for Jughead to retrieve a knife from inside the cage of a venomous rattle snake. Taken by surprise with Tall Boy's request, Jughead looked to Toni for reassurance, who nodded her head, as if to tell him to follow through with the trial. Trusting Toni's judgment, Jughead showed no fear in retrieving the blade, however, he was bitten while doing so. Little did he know, the snake's venom glands had been removed, which Toni neglected to inform him of, as the third trial was a test of courage. As he wrapped his hand with gauze, Toni explained that it would all be worth it in the end, "you're almost a Serpent now, Juggie", she said. Having referred to him by this name for the first time, there was a bit of awkward tension left between the two.
The following night, Toni dropped by the trailer to warn Jughead about the final step in his initiation. She told him that if he was having any second thoughts, now would be the time to back out because the final trial, the gauntlet, was on a whole other level. He remarked that he would be fine if the gauntlet was anything like the Beast. Though, he didn't appear to be taking her warning seriously. Toni explained if he joined the Serpents, he had to be willing to die for them, because they were willing to die for him. As for his Northside friends, he'd look up one day, and they'd all be gone. That's what happens when you join a gang, the Serpents were no exception. Jughead thanked Toni for stopping by, telling her that she can consider him warned.
One day had passed since Toni warned Jughead to back out the initiation if he had any second thoughts, and it was time for him to complete his final trial. Toni stood on the sideline with Fogarty and Tall Boy as Jughead prepared for the gauntlet, which consisted of a number of Serpents surrounding him on both sides, and forming a path, that would lead him down to Sweet Pea. Disallowed from fighting back, Jughead was forced to walk down the path, as the Serpents landed delivered punch after punch, one after another, attacking him like a pack of wild animals. Despite the ongoing attack, Jughead continued down the path until reaching Sweet Pea. Battered and bruised, Jughead asked if that was all they had to offer. Sweet Pea, while wearing brass knuckles, delivered a massive punch, knocking Jughead to the ground, instantly. After regaining consciousness, Jughead stood to his feet and shook Sweet Pea's hand as a sign of great respect after passing the finale trial. Having completed the initiation, Jughead was accepted into the gang, and handed his Serpents jacket by Toni.
Afterward, Toni and Jughead returned to the trailer, where she congratulated Jughead on officially becoming a Serpent. As he held an ice pack to his face, Toni pointed out that he was going to have a difficult time hiding his brand new double-headed Serpent tattoo from Betty, though Jughead would come to inform her that he and Betty broke up, thus making his tattoo a non-issue. Toni then gazed into his eyes, as he gazed into hers, just before she went in for a kiss.
At Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Toni thanked Jughead for allowing her to stay at his trailer for the night. Unfortunately, with her uncle continuously locking her out the house, she'd have to find another place to stay. "my trailer is your trailer", Jughead responded. The two Serpents went on to discuss what she referred to as a "PG-13 grope session". Cards on the table, Toni knew that Jughead wasn't over Betty. Furthermore, she was more attracted to girls, revealing her bisexuality. Unbeknownst to Toni and Jughead, who were conversing within the diner, Betty arrived just outside with Archie, though they did not enter.
Shortly after arriving at Southside High, Toni and Sweet Pea were arrested by Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy, who came kicking in their doors in search of Jingle Jangle, though the Sheriff and the Mayor were unaware that the Ghoulies were responsible for the drug dealing.
A couple days had passed since her arrest, and Toni was released, as was Sweet Pea. So, the two of them attended the street race over Dead Man's curve between Jughead and Malachai, leader of the Ghoulies. Should Jughead win the race, then the Serpents remain autonomous and the Ghoulies refrain from selling Jingle Jangle at Southside High any further. However, should the Ghoulies win, they gain control over Sunnyside Trailer Park and the Whyte Wyrm. Usually, the honors of flag girl go to Toni, but she was replaced with Cheryl Blossom, who referred to her as "Cha Cha", a reference to the "First Lady of Drag Racing", Shirley Muldowney. Fortunately, the race was intercepted by Sheriff Keller and the police department, which resulted in Malachai getting arrested, and Jughead winning the race.
The next day, at school, Toni walked along the hallway with Jughead, to whom she revealed that while some Serpents were giving Jughead props for challenging the Ghoulies to a street race and beating them, others hate that he cut a deal with Sheriff Keller, because it put them in bed with the police. Jughead stated that this was Archie's doing, which they both were aware of. However, others weren't. With the police finally apprehending the Sugarman, who was revealed to be Mr. Phillips, teacher and adviser of the Red and Black, Toni and Jughead watched as they escorted him down the hall and out the building.
FP's Retirement Party
While at the Whyte Wyrm, Toni was pleased to hear from Jughead that FP would be released from prison soon. The Serpents erupted into applause in regards to the announcement. Jughead planned to bring his father up to speed on their plans with Mayor McCoy, which would supposedly "bring the Southside back". With this, Tall Boy derived an issue, as he opposed sitting down with the Mayor. In an attempt to resolve the dispute, Jughead decided to put the decision to a vote. If the Serpents disagreed with Jughead's decision to negotiate and compromise with the Mayor, then he would stand down, however, if they agreed, he would move forward with the plan as scheduled. Toni stood to her feet, asking for a show of hands as she said "all those who stand with Jughead and think that Tall Boy should shut the hell up". Many of the Serpents within the bar raised their hands in agreement with Jughead's peaceful resolution with the Mayor, Toni and Sweet Pea included.
A couple days later, while tending the bar, Toni received an unexpected visit from Betty, who wished to throw FP a retirement party at the Whyte Wyrm. They had a stage, Betty noted. She asked if Toni would be open to bringing in a karaoke machine. Why not, Toni answered. Beyond the party planning, Betty explained that she had stopped by to talk to Toni about Jughead. Betty had been walking the razor's edge ever since Jughead joined the Serpents. But the entire time, she was thinking that as soon as FP got home, everything would be better because he would be there to protect Jughead. But with FP retiring, that left Jughead unprotected, which concerned both Toni and Betty. With that being said, Betty sough to keep an eye on Jughead herself, to make sure that as deep into the snake-infested waters as he went, that he didn't do something that would put himself in danger. You want to be a Serpent, Toni asked. Serpent adjacent, Betty replied. Byrdie, another member of the Serpents, laughed hysterically until Toni told her to shut up. Byrdie told Betty that the only way to join the gang was to perform the "Serpent dance", which as Toni explained, was an outdated and sexist Serpent tradition of initiation for its female members. Toni attempted to get it outlawed, but she failed. Misogyny dies hard, she remarked. She then told Betty that she didn't want to know what the Serpent dance entailed, but Betty was determined.
The next day, Toni sat at a table with Jughead as they discussed his father and Penny Peabody, otherwise known as the Snake Charmer. Toni asked if Penny had called Jughead for any favors since the last one, where she requested that he deliver a crate of drugs to a warehouse in Greendale. Jughead explained that he only owed her one favor, and that he technically repaid his debt.
The following night, Toni worked from behind the bar during FP's retirement party. She offered Jughead a drink as he looked nervous, but he declined. She then silently observed as Betty entered the bar with her mother, Alice Cooper, a former member of the Southside Serpents.
Later on in the night, Archie and his girlfriend, Veronica, performed "Mad World" in front of the entire bar. However, after they abruptly ran off the stage, the crowd began to boo. Though, the booing ceased once Betty took to the stage, during which time she performed the "Serpent dance". Afterward, she and her fellow Serpents celebrated as FP got on stage to announce that he was no longer retiring, and that he would continue to reign as king over the Serpents.
Taking out the Snake Charmer
As Toni, Fogarty, and Sweet Pea wrapped presents in the Whyte Wyrm, they were joined by Jughead, who while still new to the Serpents, had not the slightest clue as to what they were doing. Toni explained that it was a Serpent tradition to give back to the young and elderly of Southside every year through Toys for Tots and Meals on Wheels. Jughead remarked that he was always down for charitable works. He was then confronted by FP for not being in school. Though, Jughead informed him that it was a half day due to Christmas break. With that being the case, FP left Jughead in charge of looking over the Whyte Wyrm while he was gone. Notably, he took Sweet Pea and Tall Boy with him.
Toni gather with Jughead, Sweet Pea, Fogarty and many of the other young Serpents to discuss Penny Peabody, who had roped FP into dealing drugs for her. Jughead explained that he knew this because Penny had him doing it before FP got released from prison. Since then, she had dragged in Tall Boy and Sweet Pea. Jughead didn't want the Serpents end up like the Ghoulies. Furthermore, he doubted that any of them became Serpents merely to be at the beck and call of a drug Queenpin like Penny. The path that the Serpents were currently headed down only ended in two ways, jail or death. Which is why in the interest of self preservation, Jughead wanted to take out Penny before she could take out the Serpents. However, Sweet Pea wasn't sure that his plan was wise, especially considering that the Snake Charmer had helped some of them in the past. Though this admittedly came at a price, several favors to be exact. Jughead promised that if they didn't stop Penny that night, she was going to get every single one of them in on the business of drug-running. The only remaining question was whether or not they were willing to risk their lives in order to FP's life. "What is the first law", Toni asked. "No Serpent stands alone", Sweet Pea replied. Having said that, Toni, Sweet Pea, Fogarty, and the others agreed to assist Jughead in stopping the Snake Charmer.
That night, led by Jughead, the young Serpents, hidden behind snake masks, entered Penny's warehouse, placed a black hood over her head, and carried her away. Toni removed the hood from over her head after they drove her out to Greendale, as she had been banned from returning to the Southside. While they didn't care where she set up shop, it wasn't going to be in Riverdale or with the Serpents. If she sought to deal drugs and extort people, that would be done elsewhere. Penny laughed at them, then pulling up the sleeve of her leather jacket to reveal her Serpents tattoo, stating that Serpent law prohibited them from hurting one of their own. With that being said, it was time that she learn that her tattoo didn't make her a Serpent considering that she hadn't been honoring their ways. Toni and Sweet Pea held Penny down as Jughead pulled out a knife, and forcefully removed her tattoo with said knife, which was an excruciatingly painful process.
Toni is a beautiful teenage girl, with dark brown hair with stand-out light pink highlights. Additionally, she has a small frame, light brown skin, and almond-shaped, brown eyes. Toni also appears to love wearing jewellery, as she is seen to be wearings rings, earrings, and occasionally seen with different types of necklaces. She also has a bellybutton piercing. Like Jughead, she is also seen to be wearing a hat sometimes, while at other times, she is seen to be wearing her iconic bandana.
Toni shares similar traits with Jughead, such as seeking out justice and the truth in journalism. For those reasons, Jughead offered her a chance to join Southside High's newspaper, the Red and Black, as the photographer.
Toni is both loyal and accepting to those whom she makes an instant connection with, as seen with Jughead. With him, she has shown a near instantaneous loyalty. Despite Jughead not being an official member of the Southside Serpents gang, Toni and the rest of the Serpents have demonstrated that they are willing to protect him at all costs, as they consider him one of their own, identifying Jughead as a "Serpent by Blood". Though, Toni has exhibited more than just loyalty towards Jughead. Proven by a kiss they shared in the trailer, Toni has been shown to have romantic feelings for Jughead.
She and Jughead also share a sense of humor, a particularly sarcastic one, as seen when she suggested that Betty loosen up her Ponytail to help her think better. Above all else, Toni is very outspoken about her feelings towards the negativity in which they are viewed by Northsiders, while she on the other hand sees them as the privileged, that's constantly looking down upon them and demonizing them for their actions.
Toni is also very open about herself as seen with Jughead, she admitted to him that she also took an interest in women like she did with men. Admitting to Jughead that she is a bisexual, and isn't ashamed to admit that she is.
- Main article: Jughead and Toni
The friendship between Jughead and Toni began when Jughead transferred to Southside High after being forced to leave Riverdale High School. They quickly became good friends. Knowing that Jughead was a Southside Serpent, bonded by blood, the son of FP Jones, Toni volunteered to be his tour guide of both Southside High and the Serpents. Since then, Toni has consistently had his back along with the rest of the Serpents, as they consider Jughead family. She's shown a great amount of loyalty towards Jughead while also giving him advice when needed, especially when it comes to surviving Southside High and the Ghoulies.
Toni and Sweet Pea are good friends within the Southside Serpents, who are often seen together, and due to their gang ties, the two are expected to be willing to die for one another. It is currently unclear how they met or how long the two have known each other since. Despite their friendship, Sweet Pea and Toni appear to be polar opposites, with the former being hot headed and often irrational, while the latter is far more even-tempered and collected. Toni has displayed a capacity to calm Sweet Pea, under occasion. She stepped in the middle of an altercation between him and Jughead, that unfolded in the Red and Black offices, which ended with Toni escorting Sweet Pea out after Jughead refused to join them.
The relationship between Toni and Betty is rather quite complicated at the moment. When the two first met face to face with each other at Southside High inside of The Red and Black office, they appeared to be on good terms with each other. However, the two girls had an argument, when they were by Sunnyside Trailer Park, with Kevin and Jughead, trying to decipher the cipher that was from the Black Hood. The argument first began when Toni called out Betty for thinking that the idea of the Black Hood was a Serpent, looking down on Southsiders as criminals, due to there status. Ever since that day, the two ladies weren't seen to cross paths with each other, until recently, at the Whyte Wyrm, when Betty came to Toni seeking out advice from her on how to become a Serpent to keep an eye on Jughead.
- She is Riverdale's first (openly) bisexual character.
- According to showrunner, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Toni is Jughead's guide into the Serpent world. She has a lot of the same interests as Jughead – it's almost as if she's a female Jughead, which means she is trouble.
- In the Archie Comics, Toni has short bubble-gum pink dyed hair.
- See also: Category:Images of Toni Topaz
Season 1 Screencaps