When Pretty Little Liars first aired on ABC Family (soon to be Freeform), we were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young fangirls and fanboys. Five years and five-and-a-half seasons later, Marlene King and her team of writers have transformed us into rabid theorists trying to figure out if there was any meaning behind that zoom in on so-and-so’s face after such and such happened. The only problem is that PLL fans have picked through every moment and line in the series and have found enough plotholes and continuity errors to drive them crazy.
If you’ve ever had a moment watching the Liars in action and just thought to yourself, “I can’t with this show anymore,” join us in reviewing 10 times (out of many) when King caused us to lose our minds.
Any Time Aria Wore a Terrible Outfit
We’ll let this collage speak for itself.
Dr. A, DDS
One of the creepiest moments early in PLL happened to Hanna… at the dentist’s office. After getting knocked out, A performs some oral surgery to insert a tiny message into Hanna’s mouth for the Liars to read later. We were glad A didn’t remove all of Hanna’s teeth, but attaching a warning to her tooth was pretty bad.
Remember when they found this barrel in the storage unit, made a big deal about it for three episodes, and we ALL thought that Mona’s body was in it? Remember when the writers completely dropped the topic and Marlene later revealed it was just a cadaver Cece had stolen from the university? The fans will never forget, that’s for sure!
Alright, we get it, ABC Family. You wanted to do a spin-off of a super successful show and thought that you could use the original show to promote it, but did you really need to dedicate so much time to Ravenswood? The Haleb ship is one of the biggest treasures in PLL fandom, and sending Caleb off with some ghost girl while the love of his life was getting harassed by some mysterious creep was probably not the best idea! Also, if Grunwald was a psychic, couldn’t she have given the Liars/Caleb some clues as to who A really was? Sorry/not sorry, but we’re glad Caleb came back to Rosewood.
How the ‘A’ Stole Christmas
Speaking of weird episodes, what was going on with this Christmas special? We had a Ghost of Christmas, a.k.a. Mona, popping up in Ali’s dreams; Hanna warning some little girls she catches bullying with the words: “In Rosewood, bitches get buried” (classy); Cece reappearing with Parisian perfume for Ali; and more random moments. The only upside was the Sexy Santa scene that the PLL guys gifted fans. Overall, there were some clues to A, but this episode was definitely a filler we could have done without.
Ezra’s Secret Research
Sweet, sweet Ezra. When the writers started painting our adorable teacher in a darker light, fans were nervous he was on the A-Team and out to get the Liars. After finding out his real reasons for hanging out with the girls and hooking up with Aria, we really wished that he had just been on A’s team. Instead, viewers discovered that he’s an aspiring crime novelist who’s been using the Liars as material for his book. Seriously, Marlene?!
The Jason and Ashley Hook-Up
There’s a lot of romance and sexual tension in almost every episode of PLL, but we were still slightly shocked when Jason DiLaurentis and Ashley Marin hooked up! There was no build-up or evidence that there had been any interest between the two of them, and Ashley was still dating Pastor Ted. To make it even more awkward, Hanna finds out about her mom’s indiscretion when she catches Jason buttoning up his shirt as he walks down their stairs. Luckily, Ashley comes to her senses and keeps it a one night stand, but we still don’t understand how the affair was supposed to move any storyline forward.
The Liars’ Time in the Dollhouse
The creepy doll motif has popped up multiple times, but PLL writers took A to another level by putting the Liars (plus Mona) into a real-life dollhouse. Seriously, everything that happened in this dollhouse was creepy, and we’re still not 100% sure where A got the money/skills to create such a disturbing lair. Important to note: Mona had to dress up like Alison the entire time (including a wig and mask), the Liars woke up naked with chips planted into their necks, and they were all forced to play “games” that A set up. A even had a punishment set up for any girl that didn’t do what she was told: a dark hole where they would get no food or water. Everything you just read really happened on the show, and, yes… we also can’t believe it!
Sara Harvey’s Big Secret
There were so many guesses as to who the Black Widow/Red Coat was, and it looked like — for a while — things were setting up Jenna as the culprit. Marlene even tweeted to a fan the lady in black was “PLL end game.” Of course, we didn’t learn our lesson to never trust Marlene, and we got a random new character named Sara Harvey. OK, it turns out we got a clue about Sara in Season 4, but fans were still pissed when all the build-up about an important character led to some random side character that didn’t get actual screen time until the very end! Once the Liars found out, Emily basically did what we all wanted to do…
#SummerofAnswers and the ReveAl
More like the Summer of LIES and more unfinished storylines. We basically learned that summer to never trust Marlene (or her Twitter account) with our hearts again.
Spoiler: At the end of the first half of Season 6, we finally found out who A was… Cece Drake, a.k.a. Charlotte/Charlie, a.k.a. Alison and Jason’s transgender sibling. You read that correctly. Cece Drake, who dated Jason, is his sibling and the Liars’ tormentor. WHAT?! Charlotte admittedly had a pretty sad backstory, but the lead up to the reveal made the finale fall flat. Not to mention we were just left with even more questions! This ranks pretty high on the list of terrible plot twists, right beside Dan’s confession to being Gossip Girl.
Despite all the terrible twists and turns Pretty Little Liars has taken over the years, we’re probably going to keep watching! Prepare for your loyalty to PLL and Marlene King to be tested again when the series returns on January 12, 2016 with the midseason premiere and the introduction of a new enemy, the Big Bad!
For everything you’ll ever want to know about Pretty Little Liars, check out the Pretty Little Liars Wikia, home to 913 pages about the show.