Despite being based on the quintessential American town from Archie Comics, the CW's Riverdale could not be more outside of anyone's reality. After all, what small town resident has to deal with a secret twin popping up to steal their fortune or a serial killer who preys upon youths indulging in party drugs? While The CW series couldn't be further from real life even if it did include a Sabrina, the Teenage Witch crossover, there is one question about this twisted version of Americana that is quite puzzling. Where, exactly, does Riverdale take place?
Surprisingly, the TV series has never really told us — and, seemingly, purposefully so. In one season 2 episode, "The Town That Dreaded Sundown," Archie (K.J. Apa) receives a fake I.D., which should tell us what state Riverdale is in. Instead, he receives a card with just the town of Riverdale listed.
It makes sense why the writers would want to keep the real world location of Riverdale somewhat of an enigma. As Jughead (Cole Sprouse) tells us time and time again in voiceover, Riverdale represents all small towns that have a dark underbelly. Still, while the CW series wants to keep this factoid about the show as mysterious as the true identity of the Black Hood, it hasn't stopped at least one fan on Reddit from uncovering where Riverdale could be located. Redditor srq2033 took to the message board to post some clues about Riverdale's potential place on a map.
So, where is Riverdale supposed to take place? Evidence suggests — New York.
"First, it's mentioned that Riverdale is in Rockland County. For those who don't know this is the area on the western side of the Hudson River (west side of Tappan Zee Bridge)." writes srq2033.
Many fans have pointed out that there is only one Rockland County in the United States, and that it is located in New York. However, there are plenty of other clues that point to Rockland County being the specific place where Riverdale is "supposed" to be on a map. Srq2033 adds:
"Nyack and Ramapo are located in this county. Ramapo, in the Native American language of Lenape, Ramapo means 'sweet water' just like Sweet Water River in Riverdale."
"In [season 1, episode 12], Jughead is on a bus bound for 'Mamaroneck.' Mamaroneck is a town in Westchester County just north of New Rochelle and south of Harrison."
Then there's the little clues, writes srq2033, like the fact that the characters refer to Manhattan simply as "the city," something that New Yorkers tend to do where people from other states do not. (It also took no time for Archie to go and beat up Nick St. Clair at his NYC prep school, suggesting that the town in Riverdale is pretty close to the Big Apple.) Riverdale also seems not all that far from Canada, as workers from Montreal are referenced numerous times in the series. The drive would take several hours, but it's more plausible than if Riverdale was located in, say, Indiana.
Will Riverdale ever confirm or deny these suspicions? It's unclear. Fortunately, we'll have at least one more season to find out: Riverdale was just renewed for season 3, giving us plenty of time to look for signs that the characters are all in a New York state of mind.