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Five reasons why Riverdale's Choni is true queer excellence

Contributed by
Jan 30, 2020

Ah, our beloved Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz, the ship that refers to itself onscreen as a ship, the queer excellence we’ve all been craving. From that first lingering gaze at the Serpents Drag Race to moving in together in Cheryl’s extremely creepy family estate, these two have been through it on Riverdale, but still, their love stands strong.

Sure, Choni has its naysayers, and sure, they have some valid points because this relationship is truly bonkers, but damn it, it’s still tender, committed, and it encourages both partners to be their best selves — whether that entails Toni taking control of her own gang or Cheryl learning to be a little bit gentler to the people around her. In the words of Vanessa Morgan herself, “They’re both these strong, confident girls, and they both let their walls down with each other and allow each other to be vulnerable. I think there’s something so beautiful in that.”

So do we, Vanessa! Here are some of our most beloved Choni moments.

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They had their first kiss right in the middle of conversion therapy

One of the best things about Toni is that she sees right through people, and she saw through Cheryl. When Riverdale’s favorite Blossom lashed out at Toni, Toni asked her what she was upset about, and the two ended up developing a fast bond. Cheryl’s mom did not love the sound of that, so she straight up sent Cheryl to conversion therapy, which is still legal in 31 states. Toni calls on the help of true ally Veronica Lodge, who wears a catsuit with a boob window to help her break Cheryl out of conversion therapy. This is also where Toni and Cheryl have their first kiss, right in the middle of an "it’s-great-to-be-straight" video. Truly iconic.

In the real world, there are a lot fewer conversion camps than there used to be, but queer people do still have a lot to worry about in the world. Cheryl comes out, but it’s not an action without consequences. Still, she’s not one to let the world’s perception of her weigh her down, and, only a few episodes later, says, “It pains me that the people of this town think being gay is anything less than rapturous.”

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They rescue each other many times

After that first save from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, saving each other from certain doom became a beloved pastime for these two. There is literally nothing they love more than iconic self-sacrifices. Toni got kidnapped by Penny, so Cheryl showed up with a bow and shot arrows all over the place until she was freed. When Toni almost lost an organ to a shady cult, Cheryl stayed behind so that Toni could escape.

Sometimes this entails Toni just plain old rescuing Cheryl from herself. Toni called Cheryl out for prioritizing herself and broke up with her for a while to pursue her own ambitions. Obviously, this left Cheryl an absolute wreck, and it took a whole musical episode to repair their relationship. Though Cheryl would be more than just about anyone could handle, Toni is up for the job!

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They're a true power couple

Listen, this is a phrase that gets used a lot to describe a couple of on-the-go self-starters in a committed relationship with one another, but there has never been a power couple like the Choni power couple and it has us over here readjusting our metric for “relationship goals.” Where to begin? First off, Toni joins the Vipers, the Cheryl-led cheerleading squad. Secondly, they join the Serpents together. Third, they become cat burglars. Fourth, they get kicked out of the Serpents, but FIFTH, they start their own gang of bow-and-arrow wielding warrior women. This is a couple that is out there breaking down walls and taking no names, and we are here for it.

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They definitely joined a cult together

Cheryl misses her twin a lot, and there’s been a few times where even her bond with Toni was under threat due to her sustained grief over his death. One of those times was when Cheryl almost broke up with Toni just so she could go talk to his spirit at the Farm, which turns out to be an organ-harvesting cult. Again, Toni wasn’t buying it, and she followed Cheryl in rather than lose her. When Cheryl realized that Betty Cooper was right about the evil inner workings of the literal cult they were in, she busted in and stayed behind so Toni could get free. The commitment! The bravery! We are forced to stan.

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They killed a guy, hid the body, then gaslit Cheryl’s family into thinking they were cannibals

Season 4 has been a little bit all over the place for our girls, but most relationships hit rocky times and our Choni is no different. Because 90% of the time their problems are entirely just “Cheryl’s family doing Blossom things,” Toni has been out here supporting her girl while trying not to notice that there’s some pretty whack stuff going on in that house.

As great as Toni is at focusing on the prize and letting the details lay where they lie, even she can’t fully ignore the fact that Cheryl’s family is extremely in her face at all times. For instance, when they all showed up and threatened to institutionalize her and freeze her finances. Cheryl’s Uncle Bedford attacks her, but Toni hits him over the head and kills him. Though murder is wrong, murdering Bedford feels so right, and Cheryl convinces Toni to hide the body rather than report it.

When we say “we have no idea where Choni will go next,” we really mean it, but we are here for it every day of the year.

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