Riverdale has just solved its greatest mystery. No, I'm not talking about the identity of the Black Hood — that is one question we will likely be asking until the season 2 finale. What I'm talking about is something that fans have been wondering about from day one: What state does Riverdale take place in? It turns out, anyone who picked any of the 50 states was completely incorrect. In fact, Riverdale isn't located in a state at all — because Riverdale is a state.
This isn't some fan theory — this is canon, thanks to Riverdale's musical episode, "A Night To Remember." As Refinery29 television writer Ariana Romero pointed out, the license plate on the back of Archie's car makes it as clear as day: Riverdale has achieved statehood.
On the back of Archie's Pontiac, you can see the word "Riverdale" at top, followed by "The Sugar Maple State." While the New York State tree is the sugar maple, this is not a New York State license plate — that would say the Empire State, with New York at the top. In fact, there is no Sugar Maple State — which implies that, umm, Riverdale is its own entity.
See for yourself below:
This actually isn't the first piece of evidence that suggests Riverdale is a state and not merely a small town with secrets. When Archie (K.J. Apa) purchases a gun, he uses a fake ID that does not list a state — just Riverdale.
Of course, the real explanation for this is that Riverdale, the show, does not want to place the town in any state — and will do anything possible to hide where the town is supposed to be located. That's why, if you try to put the pieces together, you'll come up empty. (It's only hours away from NYC? But looks like Vancouver?) In that way, Riverdale might as well be its own state — it's a place that does not exist within any bounds that you or I would recognize.