'Riverdale' Episode Titles Have A Hidden Meaning You Definitely Missed

by Billy Lorusso
The CW

You probably clicked on this article because you, like so many of us, are addicted to the mystery, drama, and intrigue of the CW's magnum opus Riverdale. If that is the case, as I suspect it is, and you can't get enough of Archie and the rest of the Riverdale crew, then you're also probably someone who lives for fan theories and secret details about the show. Well, you've come to the right place: Put on your listening ears and have a seat, my Riverdale brethren, because today's topic is the hidden meanings in Riverdale episode titles.

Right about now you might be thinking to yourself, "Hidden meanings in episode titles?! There's no way they'd be that obvious..." but it looks like you are wrong. TBH, I thought the same thing, but I guess it does make sense. Riverdale has a thing for hiding clues in plain sight (*cough* Clifford Blossom), and this is just one more way the show's creators have toyed with us over the past year.

If you look closely at the titles of each episode, you'll notice that each is named after an old movie (or, in some cases, a close variation on the title of an old movie). As it turns out, aside from being a cool nod to the past, those titles are selected after each episode is written and they are meant to hint at what might take place during the episode.

WOAH. Talk about hiding in plain daylight. Throughout all of Season 1, episodes like "The River's Edge" (Episode 1), "The Last Picture Show" (Episode 4), "Heart of Darkness" (Episode 5), "Anatomy of a Murder" (Episode 12), and "The Sweet Hereafter" (Episode 13) have all taken their names from popular movies, each with a plot that hints at what happens in the episode.

According to the show's executive producer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, this is, of course, on purpose. Indeed, the writers select each episode's title after they have written it, and the title always alludes to a film with similar themes. The showrunner recently spoke with Teen Vogue about this clever little detail, telling the outlet,

We usually work on the episode, and then, as we're going to the end of the breaking of the story, we're like, 'What's the title of this episode?,' and then we have a list of provocative titles. Often the stories guide us.

These hidden clues don't just go for Season 1 episodes, either. No siree; Season 2 is up to the same old tricks. So far, episodes like "A Kiss Before Dying" (Episode 1), "The Watchers in the Woods" (Episode 3), and "Death Proof" (Episode 6) have taken their titles from famous movies, and perhaps the most obvious reference this season has been Episode 5, "When A Stranger Calls," which focuses almost entirely on Betty receiving strange phone calls from the Black Hood.

Of course each episode title is only a small clue as to what will happen in the episode, not a dead giveaway. That being said, if there are any amateur sleuths out there looking to uncover secrets from later on in the season, several future episode titles have been revealed so far including "Tales from the Darkside" (Episode 7), "The Blackboard Jungle" (Episode 10), and "The Tell-Tale Heart" (Episode 13).

If those episode titles are, in fact, ~hidden~ clues about what's to come this season, then we are definitely in for even more darkness, mystery, and suspense in Riverdale. Who knows what will happen, though, after all, Riverdale does love to surprise us.

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