In addition to fighting serial killers and wearing seasonally confusing clothing, the teens of Riverdale like to spend their time making music. They sing. They do cheer routines. They stage talent shows. They long for musical careers! And this week, they’re even putting on a musical. If we’ve learned anything from the rest of Riverdale’s musical performances, it’ll be both needlessly dramatic and oddly sexual.
To help prepare for whatever Kevin Keller’s production of Carrie: The Musical may bring, we went back through all of the show’s previous musical numbers — only scenes where characters actually perform a song for an audience, no sad guitar strumming, Archiekins — and ranked them by the most important factor in this wild television series: How horny are they, exactly?
13. Josie and the Pussycats, “Our Fair Riverdale” (Season 1, Episode 11)
This is your standard alma mater jam, which means it has as much sexual energy as the Pythagorean theorem.
Horniness quotient: So low that the CW didn’t even bother putting the video online.
12. Archie, “I’ll Try” (Season 1, Episode 6)
Archie sings his very own song at the talent show and emotes with all the force of someone who really just wants to be understood. It’s more sweet that horny, but like any college freshman trying to convince the world of his emotional depth with a guitar and a song that resembles “Wonderwall,” it’s also a little horny.
Horniness quotient: Like guy on the quad who just wants to stare deeply into your eyes, it’s not quite horny.
11. Josie and the Pussycats, “All Through the Night,” (Season 1, Episode 1)
This synth-pop morphine drip is a pretty sultry Cyndi Lauper outing, but the Pussycats can only elevate its seduction so much at the first school dance of the year — mostly because the song was dedicated to Jason Blossom. Who, you know, was murdered by his dad.
Horniness quotient: Oh God, now we’re thinking about Jason’s dad again. Murder is not sexy!
10. Archie, Veronica, and Josie and the Pussycats, “Share It With You” (Season 1, Episode 13)
As the first season came to an end, the dream team of Josie and the Pussycats ft. Veronica and Archie united for this sweet little melody about sharing things with each other. It’s pretty sedate — parents are watching and smiling! — but also about sharing their love and their hearts with each other.
Horniness quotient: As much sexual tension as you’d get from the average picnic.
9. Veronica and the Pussycats, “Union of the Snake” (Season 2, Episode 11)
Get it? They’re hoping this Duran Duran classic will help parlay a union between the Southside Serpents and the non-gang-related townsfolk, but if that doesn’t work, Veronica can also do some belly-dancing arm movements and call it a day.
Horniness quotient: We give this three out of ten Le Bons. There’s some weird sexual energy in this gazebo, but we just can’t explain why.
8. Josie and Veronica, “Bitter Sweet Symphony” (Season 2, Episode 12)
On the one hand, it’s bad idea to try to outdo Cruel Intentions at its own sad, sexy teen game, especially if you’re also staging your scene in a church. On the other, inserting the Verve into the middle of a confirmation ends up being a gloriously ridiculous little homage. Have a character hide jingle jangle in a cross, Riverdale!
Horniness quotient: How horny is God? Don’t answer that.
7. Archie and Veronica, “Kids in America” (Season 1, Episode 11)
These horndogs decide to perform Kim Wilde’s one-hit wonder at yet another school dance, mostly to taunt the other students with their burgeoning romantic and sonic connection.
Horniness quotient: The student-parent crowd is far more focused on its wholesome, synchronized whoa-ah! arm movements than grinding, giving Varchie the perfect outlet to get their flirt on. These two can make anything horny!
6. Josie and the Pussycats, “All for Me” (Season 1, episode 3)
Josie and the Pussycats’ original song is all inchoate teenage rebellion, with short dresses and dim lighting and swaying and leather. It’s not quite fully formed, but it definitely has a vibe.
Horniness quotient: [Giggles.] [Sways.] [Laughs.]
5. Josie and the Pussycats, “Sugar Sugar” (Season 1, Episode 2)
The Pussycats are joined by the River Vixens — fantastic squad name, by the way — for a little halftime song-and-dance routine to pump up the crowd for sports reasons. And by “little halftime song-and-dance routine” we mean “gyrating in short skirts” and “adding groovy hip-hop beats to ’60s standards.”
Horniness quotient: A master class in transforming a genuinely saccharine song into a soft-core cheerleading extravaganza for teens.
4. Josie and the Pussycats ft. Veronica, “I Feel Love” (Season 1, Episode 6)
The teens opt for full catsuits for this take on Donna Summer, which comes with some very dramatic hand choreography. There’s a lot of swaying and making googly eyes at the audience, which is awkward because the audience is mostly parents.
Horniness quotient: Far too horny for a school event.
3. Josie and the Pussycats ft. Veronica, “Out Tonight” (Season 2, Episode 5)
What song should you perform for your parents’ business events? How about Rent’s ode to breaking rules and staying up late? Using the lyrics from the film version, for some reason, Josie, Veronica & Co. perform with all the intensity of 30-year-olds who would actually know and remember Rent.
Horniness quotient: Too horny to pay rent.
2. Josie and the Pussycats ft. Cheryl, “Milkshake” (Season 2, Episode 2)
The town’s idea for saving its beloved greasy spoon involves the one thing that’s guaranteed to sell: sex appeal, baby! All the Pussycats have to do is croon Kelis’s innuendo-laden tune in booty shorts, and the customers came to the yard — er, Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe — in no time.
Horniness quotient: As horny as skipping last period to get to second base under the bleachers — hey, wait a second. How’d these three get on the building’s awning? This is a safety hazard!
1. Archie, Veronica, and Betty, “Mad World” (Season 2, Episode 8)
This Gary Jules cover has everything. Archie and Veronica refusing to finish their verse as a singing collective. Betty jumping in to save the day, and then proceeding to do the most depressing striptease in the hopes of seducing her boyfriend and receiving general gang acceptance. But, of course, Jughead isn’t too happy about it, although his father seems pretty jazzed, if we’re being honest.
Horniness quotient: Everyone’s gonna need some serious therapy.