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Waldo Weatherbee is the Principal of Riverdale High School, nicknamed "the Bee" by his students. (Either his first name or his middle name is William, revealed to be the only student of his graduating high school class with William as part of his name.) He is reportedly "pompous and short-tempered" though generally respected by school faculty and students alike. Waldo suffers the consequences of various mishaps caused by his students, particularly Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle. His ire is often justly aimed at the trio but seldom offers any punishment other than detention.

The Bee is in his early 60s and approaches retirement age, a fact pointed out by several stories over the years. The students do not enjoy the prospect because they appreciate his constant efforts for the welfare of the school and the various people affiliated with it. Storylines focusing on him depict his efforts to get a higher budget approved for his school. His past has been depicted in some detail. In high school, he had been known as "Wild Willie" and an even greater prankster than Jughead and Reggie combined, a fact he has studiously tried to keep hidden until it was revealed accidentally by Archie's father (the reaction of the students? they were excited to hear about it because it humanized him and deepened their respect for the responsible man he had grown into). He used to be a star athlete at high school and college before going into teaching. He has spend a few years as a soldier and served in the front lines of a war; due to the sliding timescale concept, exactly which war has differed over the years. World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War have been all specifically mentioned. While aging and out of shape, the Bee retains enough athletic and combat skills to surpass several boys and younger men when the need appears. The main difference with his youth is that this strenuous effort now leaves him with severe back pain for the following days.

Interestingly enough, a number of parallels have been drawn between the high school aged Weatherbee and Jughead Jones. Like Jughead, Weatherbee had been a highly intelligent slacker in high school, with a penchant for pranks and a similar reputation as a bit of a kook (as revealed by Archie's parents). Like Jughead, Weatherbee adores food, and like Jughead, he has shown Olympic levels of running speed to get to the cafeteria when a favorite food is served that day. Also like Jughead, Weatherbee has shown little interest in romance, though in Jughead's case there is the clear implication that he will someday outgrow his "girl-hatin' man's man" adolescent stage whereas Weatherbee's bachelorhood (or widowhood) has never been explored in any of the stories. Finally, several stories have indicated that Weatherbee is one of the few characters to share Jughead's working class roots (a fact that makes him proud to have risen through hard work and dedication to the position of principal).

Modern stories have introduced his twin brother Tony Weatherbee and niece Wendy Weatherbee. Tony is a former biker and womanizer, currently owning his own motorcycle shop and putting an effort as a single dad. Tony used to be part of a love triangle with a young Geraldine Grundy and Hermione (the later Mrs. Lodge). Wendy is interested in exotic animals and has several unusual pets, like snakes. She has been one of numerous love interest to Archie but appears much less frequently than Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge and Cheryl Blossom.

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