|“||A list of suspects, of course. People with grudges against us, many of them members of Riverdale's founding families, I'm sorry to say. Someone in this town killed Jason.||”|
|— Clifford to Sheriff Keller[src]|
The Blossoms are also the proud owners of the Maple Syrup business. Which Clifford used to run an undercover drug operation. However, Jason learned of his father's drug trafficking, which resulted in Clifford killing Jason in order to protect his secret. Despite his best effort to keep his drug dealings under wraps, news of this, as well as Jason's murder eventually became public knowledge. And with law enforcement at his door, Clifford chose the coward's way out, by hanging himself in the Blossom family barn. He was also a business associate of the Sugarman, as he would have secret business meetings with him over by his home when Cheryl and Jason were kids, that was until he passed away.
He was also personally responsible for Hiram Lodge's arrest. Clifford sought to be free of a previously negotiated deal in which the Blossom Maple Farms must pay Lodge Industries monthly fees. It was discovered by Veronica Lodge that the Blossoms were making payments to them for over 75 years. That is until Hiram's arrest, when the payments suddenly stopped.
Clifford was born and raised in Riverdale, alongside his twin brother Claudius Blossom. The relationship between the two brothers would best be described as "a modern-day Romulus and Remus". Eventually, however, it became clear that their parents were grooming Claudius to inherit the Blossom business empire.
When Clifford was 8 years old, the Blossoms went to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy orphanage to adopt a redheaded girl to bring into the family and groom to become Clifford's wife. Penelope was chosen and taken to meet young Cliff at Pop's where they shared a milkshake.
On their 14th birthday, while down by Sweetwater River, Clifford threatened his brother Claudius with a rifle, telling him of the "Blossom curse", in which one twin often met a violent end, often at the hands of the other. Although Clifford spared Claudius' life, the latter was terrified enough to run away from home that very night. Claudius' disappearance devastated their mother, Rose Blossom, who could not even bear to speak his name thereafter.
Cliff then attended Riverdale High School with Fred, Hermione, FP, and his future wife Penelope among others. It was during this time that he would come to forge a fairly hostile rivalry with Hiram Lodge.
In the years to come, Clifford went on to inherit the Blossom business and soon married and had two children with Penelope, twins Cheryl and Jason. He never once revealed the existence of his twin brother to his children. While Jason and Cheryl were kids, Clifford would have secret meetings with the Sugarman at Thornhill, the family's home. During the Sugarman's visits, Penelope would take Jason and Cheryl upstairs to there rooms, hiding them from the Sugarman's shady drug business with their father. As she had seen him as a monster, trying to protect Jason and Cheryl from him. Clifford also had plans for Jason, as he was preparing to groom him so he could eventually take over the family business. However, Penelope disagreed with Clifford, after finding out about his plans for their son, and fought hard against them.
Years later, on July 11th, in the basement of a southside bar known as a the Whyte Wyrm, Clifford Blossom murdered Jason, his own son, in cold blood, for finding out about the Blossom's real business, selling drugs in and out of Riverdale, and threatening to expose him for his crimes.
Upon the mysterious drowning of his son, Jason, during a boating accident with sister Cheryl, Cliff and Penelope retrieved their daughter from the shores of Sweetwater River and joined the authorities. Cliff proceeded to yell at the police as they failed in finding his son, despite dragging the river in search of him. Eventually, Jason's body was found washed up on the shores of Sweetwater by Kevin Keller and Moose Mason, and Cliff and his wife stood aside and watched as their son's body was taken away in a body bag.
Cliff, Penelope and Cheryl arrived at the morgue to identify Jason's body. As the cloth was pulled off his head, Cheryl turned away in horror, as did Penelope, however, Cliff was far less emotional than the two ladies, mutely staring at the corpse of his son. The night of the annual fall Pep Rally, Cliff and Penelope sat in the front row of the bleachers as Mayor McCoy dedicated the event to the memory of Jason. Shortly after the performance of the River Vixens and Josie and the Pussycats, he and Penelope became concerned as Cheryl raced off the stage crying.
When Sheriff Keller interrogated Cheryl about the lies she had told regarding her last encounter with her brother, Penelope and Cliff interrupted in a state of anger and abruptly ended the meeting. Cliff demanded to know why his daughter was a suspect in his son's murder case. As they rushed Cheryl out of the office, Penelope wondered why Cheryl didn't contact them, to which Cliff replied that Cheryl was a liar.
Despite the recent tragedy, Cliff and his wife decided to attend the first annual Taste of Riverdale, in which Penelope had a brief, physical altercation with Alice Cooper. Appalled that Alice would dare print Jason's autopsy results in the Register, Penelope slapped Alice on sight and then became very emotional recalling what had happened to her son. Cliff held her and tried to calm her down, calling her "sweetheart".
Investigating Jason's Death
The Blossoms received a surprise visit from Sheriff Keller as he conducted his investigation into Jason's murder. Everyone in town had their own suspicions, neighbor suspecting neighbor. During that time, Riverdale bared a striking resemblance to Salem, during the witch trials.
As Cliff and Penelope made their way to the main room, where Jason's memorial would be held, they informed Sheriff Keller of their plan to narrow down the suspects in the murder of their son. Cliff explained that the list consisted of people that hold grudges against the Blossoms, many of them being from the founding families. Someone in Riverdale killed Jason, he was sure of it.
That night, the Blossom family were joined by Veronica Lodge at dinner, where Cliff informed Veronica of the town's founding, that being from the maple industry, this is also where Sweetwater River got its name from. He proceeded to make a snide comment about her father, who was currently imprisoned. He assumed that the experience must've been difficult for Veronica, having to watch her father dragged out in handcuffs, to which she agreed.
After learning of Polly Cooper's escape from the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, the Blossoms orchestrated a search party, however, witch hunt would appear to be the more accurate term. With the news of Polly's recent escape moving throughout town, Cliff wondered if it was possible that Polly had escaped before, maybe on the day that Jason was murdered. He then learned that Polly was pregnant with Jason's child during a press conference held by Alice Cooper. Cliff, Penelope, and Cheryl arranged a meeting with Betty at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe hoping to further discuss their plans for Polly and the baby. He and Penelope were relieved to learn that they were safe, he went on to tell Betty that money would never be a problem for them.
In an effort to halt the construction by Andrews Construction on the new land development, Cliff hired Fred Andrews' crew the day off, offering them a bigger job and two years work. Later that day, he was confronted by Fred for his devious actions, to which he explained wasn't personal. The land once belonged to his family as they founded their maple empire on it, they were in the process of reacquiring the land but the mysterious buyer stole it right from under them. Cliff couldn't go after the mysterious buyer, so he went after Fred instead, the way Fred's boss did his secret deals led Cliff to believe that he had a limited amount of funds. It's a great plan with the exception of him bleeding Fred out in the process, which Cliff was unbothered by.
Fall of the Blossom Empire
Thicker than blood, more precious than oil, Riverdale's largest business had been maple syrup since the town's founding, and the Blossoms had been in control of the lucrative trade since the beginning. Via a brief flashback, the Blossoms, Jason included, sipped from glasses of their delicious syrup in a similar fashion that one would enjoy fine wine. Alas, with the heir to the family business dead, many people wondered who would inherit the family business in Jason's place, it certainly would not be Cheryl. All the while having to watch their backs from attack within their own ranks as the board of trustees came to Riverdale in the wake of Jason's death.
The next day, as the Blossom tree tapping ceremony commenced, Cliff stood at the front, scroll in hand, as he quoted "Nearly 100 years ago, Grandfather Blossom came to this sacred maple grove. The annual tapping ceremony portends each season's bounty." While he had performed the ceremony many times in his lifetime, and so did Jason when he came of age, that year, Cheryl would perform the ceremony in his place. Thankfully, it went off without a hitch as Cheryl tapped the tree perfectly, which both Cliff and Penelope were seemingly proud of her for.
After the group photo, Cliff took the opportunity to have a quick chat with Archie as he was Cheryl's escort, in which he admitted to being taken aback at Cheryl's choice, considering how Cliff and Fred did not have the best relationship. He reminded Archie that his family could be quite generous to the right people, which is why Cliff wanted him to attend the banquet they were hosting later that week at the Belmont Lodge as Cheryl's escort. Archie was not too sure he should attend since he was an Andrews, and banquets were not their type of scenes, but this was precisely why Cliff wanted him to come, people like the Andrews were the bedrock of their town.
The following day, as Cliff had Archie suited by his tailor for the banquet, Archie wondered if the Blossoms could help his father's company instead of helping him get into the music program, as Andrews construction was having a difficult time. Cliff was impressed by Archie's loyalty towards his father, he could not imagine that Jason would have ever done the same for him, it spoke to Archie's character. However, they had already given Brandenburg Music Academy a call, and they were excited to meet Archie, but as a sign of good faith, Cliff agreed to sit down with Archie and discuss what he could do for Fred.
During the banquet, Cliff talked about how they had been tested that year as a town, a company and a family, and while it was not Jason's hand that staked the maple, it was the hand of hope. After his speech, Cliff informed Archie that he had decided to help Fred after all what Archie had done for them, the Andrews had a bright future with them. Although Cheryl was an intelligent girl, the trustees were skeptical of having her play an active role in the company, but if someone with Archie's character were at her side to temper her erratic behavior, they would be more inclined to let her in. Essentially, it was about painting a picture, and having Archie with Cheryl created an appealing picture.
After his talk with Archie, that subsequently led to a dispute with Cheryl, Cliff chatted with Penelope outside the lounge, while the trustees were satisfied, uncle Bedford kept asking about the drive-in land. Cliff was close to regaining the land, and Hermione Lodge would crumble in the process, but they never imagined that she would be so resourceful. Penelope wondered what would have happened if Cliff had sent her to jail, instead of Hiram, unaware that Archie was listening. As the trustees left town the following day, Cliff assured Penelope that they weren't out of the woods just yet.
Death of the Blossom Men
As he got dressed that evening Polly secretly watched him from the doorway, during which time she discovered that his hair was actually grey, and in public, he'd wear red toupées. Angered by her invasion and discovery, Cliff slammed the door in Polly's face. Later that day, following the revelation that Cliff and Penelope were in possession of Nana Rose's heirloom ring, though not present for the conversation, it was revealed via Penelope how they recovered it. The last time Clifford saw Jason was the day he rid himself of the Blossom family, wanting nothing more to do with the name or lineage, including the ring, which he threw in Cliff's face as a final rebuke. Cliff then gave the ring to his wife for safekeeping.
The following night, after Penelope drugged Polly's milkshake with a relaxer, putting her to sleep but leaving the babies unharmed, Cheryl wondered if the story behind how they recovered the ring was true, which Cliff replied that it was. Jason rejected their way of life and business, even after he had been groomed to take over the empire. Cliff now realized that was a mistake, he should have been nurturing Cheryl, Jason never had the stomach, but she was a Blossom through and through. Before Cheryl could leave for the Homecoming, they asked for the whereabouts of the ring, in which Cheryl revealed that she flushed it, that way if Polly ever told anyone, there'd be no proof, only her word against theirs.
Following the arrest of FP Jones for Jason's murder, Penelope wept angrily and told her husband that she wanted FP dead for what he had done to her son. Unbeknownst to either that Cheryl was watching, Cliff held Penelope as she cried and promised to take care of him.
After hearing of FP's arrest, Clifford went down to the station that night, and threatened FP to keep his mouth shut and confess to Jason's death, or else Jughead would share the same fate as Jason. However, he told everyone else a different story of why he went to the station. The next morning at the breakfast table, he told Polly that he looked their son's "killer" in the eye, and now they could finally have some peace.
In the late hours of the night, a thunderous knocking could be heard all throughout Thornhill, and to his surprise, as he answered the door, it was the Coopers, coming to take Polly home. However, in the process, Alice exposed them of the incest that they had been hiding from Polly: Cliff's grandfather wasn't just the killer of Hal's grandfather, they were also brothers, thus making Polly and Jason relatives, third cousins to be exact, which the Blossoms didn't have a problem with. However, the Coopers did as they stormed out the house with Polly in tow.
The following night, as he and Penelope ate dinner, Cheryl entered the dining room, and said "You did a bad thing, Daddy. And now everyone knows." She had proof that he killed Jason, as there was surveillance video from the night he took Nana Rose's heirloom ring from Jason's pocket and shot him in the head. However, Cliff did not work alone, as FP and Joaquin DeSantos cleaned up the crime scene and dumped Jason's body in Sweetwater River after the police had already searched the place.
Unfortunately for Cliff, the video had made its way into the hands of Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy, so it wouldn't be long before the police came looking for him. After being confronted by Cheryl in the dining room, Clifford had hung himself in the Blossom family barn before the police could get to him.
Following a gunshot wound Fred Andrews sustained during a supposed robbery at Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, Fred began to dream as he went in and out of consciousness, during which time Clifford appeared. He sat in the crowd, alongside Jason, as Archie and Veronica got married.
|Editor's Note: The events that transpire in Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Midnight Club take place during a flashback set in the 90's of Alice, FP, Fred, Sierra, Hermione, Penelope, Marty, Daryl, Hiram, and Tom in their junior year of high school.|
Clifford is approached by Penelope, who, relinquished of any reluctance she may have had, agrees to be Clifford’s life partner, telling him that she wants to live in Thornhill forever because the world outside is too dangerous.
Clifford appears in Archie's dream. She sits at the table alongside Jason, Cheryl, Pop, Penelope, Reggie, Hiram, Hermione, Hal, Alice, Kevin, Tom, Sierra, FP, Jellybean, Toni, Jughead, Betty, and Mary in his dining room. Archie asks where his father is, to which Arti replies that Archie was supposed to go get him.
At Thistlehouse, Cheryl awakens to find her mother, father, brother, and her Nana Rose standing at the end of her bed. Penelope has Julian in hand, explaining that they’ve come to give Julian Cheryl’s body.
Cliff was a middle-aged man of average build, with pale skin, blue eyes and red hair. These are traits found in several members of the Blossom family. With Clifford being the wealthy man that he was, his wardrobe unquestionably reflected this, often wearing well-tailored suits. Originally, he was thought to have red hair, similar to every other member of the Blossom family, which was true once upon a time, however, it was revealed that Cliff actually had prematurely grey hair. He wore a variety of red wigs to conceal that fact, though several residents of Riverdale are already aware.
Clifford Blossom could be a very generous man when he wanted to be, but he never did anything out of the goodness of his heart. Cliff's generosity was limited and conditional. For instance, after putting in a good word for Archie Andrews at a prestigious music academy, which Clifford was more than happy to, he in return asked Archie if he could escort his daughter, Cheryl to the Blossom Banquet, as it would have looked good for their family in front of the Board of Trustees. He was also a cold-hearted and cruel man, often treating his family poorly. He cared more about appearances towards the Board of Trustees than Cheryl's feelings or desires. Even further proof of his cruelty was demonstrated when he killed his own son, Jason in cold blood, without hesitation, due to Jason's disinterest in his drug front.
|“||And Clifford, he killed my son.||”|
|— Penelope to Betty.[src]|
The relationship Clifford and his wife, Penelope was easily defined as an unhappy marriage, although they were often seen together. After Jason's death, their relationship became even more strained, but they continued to stand by each other, more so during the investigation, even working together to compile their own list of suspects. After it was revealed that Cliff was actually the one responsible for the death of their son and that he had merely framed FP, Penelope finally snapped and murdered Clifford with pufferfish venom, staging it as a suicide.
|“||You did a bad thing, daddy... And now everyone knows.||”|
|— Cheryl to Cliff[src]|
The father-daughter relationship between Clifford and Cheryl was quite strained and distant following Jason's death, especially when he and Penelope found out that Cheryl helped Jason runaway on a boat ride out to Greendale. While their relationship prior to Jason's death is mostly unknown, Cheryl had often referred to her brother as the golden boy, suggesting that their parents at the very least, treated Jason better than they did her. Clifford looked at Cheryl as nothing more than a train wreck, which he told Archie Andrews during one of their conversations at the Blossom Banquet. Coming as no surprise, their relationship worsened after she found out that Clifford was Jason's killer.
|“||Turns out, maple syrup was a front for his true business. Transporting heroin from Montreal on his trucks. A narrative quickly emerged. That Jason Blossom learned about dear old Dad's drug running, and threatened to expose the truth. Which led to Jason's abduction at the hands of a Southside Serpent named Mustang. And then to Jason's murder at the hands of his father.||”|
|— Jughead Jones and Alice Cooper about Clifford and Jason[src]|
The father-son relationship between Clifford and Jason Blossom is difficult to describe given the events that transpired between the two of them. While little is known of their relationship, it is presumed to have been filled with hate and disdain despite the fact that according to Cheryl, Jason was the golden-boy who could do no wrong. Clifford groomed Jason to take over the family business. However, Jason didn't share this desire which led to Jason's demise at Clifford hands. Once Jason learned of Clifford's illegal transportation of heroin to Montreal on the maple trucks, he attempted to run away and start his life over with his then pregnant fiancé, Polly Cooper. Unfortunately for Jason, Clifford learned of his plan to run away and so he killed Jason.
- "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam" (dream)
- "Chapter Sixty-Three: Hereditary" (dream)
- "Chapter Sixty-Five: In Treatment" (mentioned)
- "Chapter Sixty-Six: Tangerine" (mentioned)
- He wore a wig to hide the fact that his hair wasn't red like the rest of his family, instead, it was grey.
- Sheriff Keller concluded that Cliff was the one and only Sugarman, though he was also known by many other names, such as the "Maple Man" and the "Delivery Man", to name a few. However, the Black Hood, Cheryl and Penelope contradicts Sheriff Keller's statement.
- The Black Hood had Betty begin her search with Cheryl where he states that she's "the daughter of the Sugarman's former supplier, Clifford Blossom."
- Cheryl told Betty that "as children, mother told us tales of how daddy was friends with the so-called Sugarman."
- After Cheryl confronts Penelope about the Sugarman, Penelope states the following: "Over the years, there were many Sugarmen each taking over for the last. When Clifford decided to groom your brother to take over the family business he wanted him to meet the current Sugarman. I protested, but your father insisted and God help me so began the terrible series of events that led to Jason's death." She then proceeds to tell Cheryl that Robert Phillips is The Sugarman, a supreme drug lord dealing with the likes of the Ghoulies.
- See also: Category:Images of Cliff Blossom