In case you’re not watching this season of Riverdale — and why aren’t you, it’s based on the Archie comics but everybody is really hot now — all you need to know is that there’s a major plotline that revolves around a fake drug called “jingle jangle.” It’s sold in pixie sticks and it will, apparently, mess you up. We never learn the chemical composition of the stuff, but Archie starts taking it to keep himself awake while protecting his house and father from murderers for days on end. Dramatic!
Anyway imagine my joy, as a Riverdale stan, upon walking down the aisles of Trader Joe’s the other night to discover a stack of tins containing a seasonal food called … jingle jangle. “Jingle Jangle: The seasonal treat will sweep you off your feet,” read the display, in what I took to be a clear drug reference. I snapped a picture, tweeted something dumb about the Southside Serpents, one of Riverdale’s resident gangs, and continued shopping. But my interest was piqued. Was there someone working at Trader Joe’s who, like me, has brooding thoughts about Bughead and Graham Phillips’s guest role on the show this season? Could I find them and also maybe befriend them? The answer: No. A kindly TJ’s representative informed me after I sent them possibly the most deranged email they’ve received this month that their Jingle Jangle — which is a chocolate-covered mix of pretzels, caramel corn, cookies, and peanut-butter cups — predates the show. “Trader Joe’s Jingle Jangle was introduced years ago,” the rep said. “It’s just a fun name that plays off of sleigh bells referenced in Christmas carols, since it is a holiday item. It’s also a fun way to describe the sound customers might hear when they give the tin can a shake.”
I followed up — it’s what intrepid teen reporter Betty Cooper would do — just to be sure: “Safe to say it has nothing to do with a fake drug distributed to teens in pixie sticks on a television show?” “Very safe to say,” the rep, who certainly had better things to be doing with her day, replied.