- Veronica: "I'm sorry, Ethel. For everything my family did to yours."
- Ethel: "It's not your fault what your dad did, and you were there for me when no one else was. More than once."
- ―Veronica and Ethel mend their friendship[src]
After Veronica is slut-shamed by football player Chuck Clayton and vowed to get revenge, Betty contacted her for a meeting. Veronica arrived to find it was a gathering of all the girls that were abused by members of the football team, the Riverdale Bulldogs. Ethel Muggs was one of the girls and was willing to go on record. She revealed that she had helped Chuck with a calculus problem in the library the year before and then, the next day, Chuck began spreading sexual rumours about her. Ethel also revealed that Chuck and the other players kept score of their 'conquests' in a playbook, rating the girls by points. However, when she had gone to Principal Weatherbee about it, he couldn't find any proof. Incensed, Veronica vowed to stop boys responsible.
From Trev Brown, a former player on the team, Betty was told where the playbook was might have been hidden and she, Veronica, Ethel, Cheryl and Kevin broke into the high school after hours to retrieve it. Betty and Veronica then planned to get Chuck to confess to what he had done, with Ethel offering her house for them to use to accomplish it. Betty and Veronica tricked Chuck and gave him a sticky maple of his own, while Ethel secretly watched, smiling to herself. With the proof provided by the playbook as well as Chuck's recorded confession, the ladies got Chuck and his good squad cut from the football team.
Several classmates were disturbed by Ethel's reading of an extremely dark poem, specifically Kevin and Veronica, which resulted in Veronica taking a personal interest. While Veronica was moved by Ethel's poem, she could also tell it was coming from some place dark, which led her to ask if Ethel was alright. Ethel admitted that everything was not okay within the Muggs household as her parents had been constantly fighting, but they would not tell her why. In an effort to cheer her up, Veronica invited Ethel over for lunch and pampering at The Pembrooke.As promised, Ethel had lunch with Veronica, Kevin, Betty, and Veronica's mother Hermione, however, due to all the stress she had been undergoing at home, Ethel wasn't feeling hungry. Her living situation hadn't gotten any better, as her parents were still fighting, and after some bad luck with their savings, they were going to have to sell the house. At that moment, Veronica realised that she and Ethel had more in common than she originally thought because the Lodges had also lost everything several months prior, but Veronica reminded Ethel that she still had her family and friends. After learning that Ethel's surname was Muggs, Hermione took Veronica out of the dining room and informed her daughter that Ethel's father was one of the people who had done business with Veronica's father and he likely lost a lot of money in the scandal, maybe everything he had. The next day, Veronica invited Ethel back over to The Pembrooke, where she surprised her with expensive clothing and jewellery as gifts. However, Ethel didn't feel comfortable accepting them, she just wanted to be friends.
Just as life seemed to be getting better for Ethel, her father attempted to end his life after swallowing an entire bottle of pills. Hearing about it from Kevin, Veronica was devastated and broke down in the bathroom at school, knowing her father made this happen. Later, Veronica went to the hospital with Betty to see Ethel and were greeted by her and her mother. Before she left, Veronica revealed that she was Hiram Lodge's daughter, the man who was at fault for destroying the lives of the Muggs. Ethel asked if that was true and Veronica admitted it was. Veronica then went on to apologize for her father, but Mrs. Muggs wanted actions, not words.
The next day at school, as Ethel prepared for class, she was approached by Veronica, who was sorry for everything her family had done. Ethel forgave her and explained that Veronica was not responsible for her father's actions, not to mention Veronica had been there for Ethel during her time of need multiple times. She then offered Veronica the desk next to her if she wanted it and they resumed their friendship.
- "You're the bravest of them all, Ethel Muggs."
- —Veronica to Ethel[src]