Ridiculous Pretty Little Liars Plot Lines You Forgot Happened

It’s been a very long, twisty road, PLL Army, but we’re finally at the end of the road.

Season 7(B) of teen drama Pretty Little Liars kicks off tomorrow, and honestly, it’s about time. Regular viewers got sucked into the mystery of “Who Is A?”, the mysterious person who stalked, tortured, and harassed teenage girls for years. Everyone became a professional conspiracy theorist, taking every single hint on the show and turning it into their own personal A lair.

And fans can attest that throughout the seven years there has been more than enough red herrings and insane moments that either made us question what the eff was going on, or why the eff we’re still watching this show. And there are so many of them that it’s hard to remember every single one. Before we dig into the final 10 episodes, let’s take a look back at the previous 150 episodes and see just how many ridiculous plot lines we’ve had to accept as canon over the past seven seasons.

  • Before Emily came out as a lesbian, she had a boyfriend named StraightGuy. At one point, he attempted to assault her in the girls’ locker room, but Toby came to rescue and beat him up. Tender is the Toby/Emily friendship.
  • While glamping, A hits Hanna with a car. At this point in the timeline, Mona is A. Mona aka Hanna’s BFF, hits her with a vehicle.
  • Spencer, the most scholarly of the liars, willingly takes off her bra in order to get back on the Decathlon team. It’s the Sixteen Candles underwear scene of Rosewood.
  • Rando You’ll Never Meet Again #4 is Duncan Albert, a dude who used to be Alison’s secret summer boy toy. He arrives to Rosewood in hopes of meeting with “Vivian Darkbloom” (TL;DR) and ends up meeting Aria. He happens to have his pilot’s license, so natch he invited her up in his two-seater for a romantic fly over Pennsylvania. And then he LETS ARIA, WITH NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, STEER THE GD PLANE.

  • Caleb just lived in the school. IN the school.
  • Mona falls off a cliff. And lives.
  • Emily gets a gift from A, and instead of a Tiffany’s necklace, she gets a necklace made of out teeth – teeth that belonged to her dead girlfriend.
  • Speaking of teeth (BECAUSE THAT’S THE TYPE OF SHOW THIS IS), instead of giving a teeth necklace to Hanna, A decided to play dentist by performing surgery on her while she was unconscious, and then left the world’s tiniest message in her tooth.

  • The girls became models for a bridal show (again, they’re teenagers), and Spencer finds out that her corset wasn’t the most comfortable because it had finger bones in it. Duh.
  • Ravenswood.
  • In order to relieve stress for a v important swim meet that could determine her collegiate future, Emily rubs muscle lotion cream on herself to make her calm down. Except the cream was actually poisonous steroid cream that A obvs had a hand in. At the hospital, Em got even more bad news, because doctors discovered the steroids in her blood, which is never good for someone who wants to be a professional swimmer.
  • Aria’s dad’s mistress (and later Rosewood High teacher) Meredith, tends to a sick Aria, not in a ‘let me make you chicken soup’ kind of way, but in the ‘i’mma slip drugs into her hot tea’ kind of way. And then she locks her inside her bedroom, but when Aria tries to get out, Meredith knocks her unconscious. Hanna and Emily arrive to help save Aria, but then Meredith locks them up too. Reminder: all these girls are high schoolers.
  • Spencer gets trapped in a sauna:

  • Spencer and Aria get trapped in a freezer:

  • Emily and Jason get trapped in an elevator:

  • Emily gets trapped in a coffin (which is on a conveyor belt closing in on a chainsaw):

  • Aria gets trapped in a box on a Halloween train (with a dead body):

  • Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna all get trapped in a dollhouse (complete with replicas of their own real bedrooms):

  • Not only does Spencer have an Adderall addiction, but it’s actually a relapse since she was hooked on the drug before. There’s even a scene where Maddie Ziegler shows up in Spencer’s drug-addled dream:

  • During one of PLL’s famous Halloween episodes, a little girls shows up at Hanna’s house looking for her mom. Instead of, I don’t know, calling the police (which everyone in Rosewood apparently has an aversion to), Hanna’s mom Ashley leaves her alone in one of their rooms, but when she comes back to find her, little girl is gone – BECAUSE SHE WAS A GHOST.
  • There was a bird named Tippi who repeatedly sang a phone number
  • And this. This is what Toby looks like in jail:

The Trouble With End gAme

It’s been one week since the big -A reveAl on Pretty Little Liars, and per the Internet, there’s a mixed bag of emotions on who turned out to be torturing this group of teenagers for three (?) years.

***SPOILER – BUT REALLY IF YOU WATCH THIS SHOW YOU SHOULD’VE SEEN IT ALREADY – ALERT***

To me, it seems like 80% of fans are upset that -A turned out to be CeCe Drake aka Charles DiLaurentis aka the transgender Charlotte DiLaurentis, while 20% are happy with the turn of events. When I watched it, I wasn’t immediately angry, or annoyed, or much of anything really. I think the word to best describe it would be… ambivalent?

ed note: finding riggins/taylor kitsch BTS gifs on the interwebs is pure gold

I’ve seen every episode of the show since the pilot, and stuck with it for six seasons, looking for clues and reading theories, but not going too far down the rabbit hole like those die-hArd fans. I think a theory that most fans concluded was the most likely was that Wren, the hot British doctor, would be A, and that made sense to me. Annddd it turned out that was wrong.

Now that I’ve had a week to digest the whole CeCe/Charles scenario, what I’m really annoyed with when it comes down with it, is this trend of TV writers stringing along their viewers for a long period of time just to result in fan fury. For those of you who aren’t into teen dramas like I am, the best thing I can compare this to is the How I Met Your Mother finale.

Last year, after nine seasons, we discovered the titular Mother dies of an undisclosed disease, and 2030 Ted is telling his kids the story basically as a way to indirectly ask them if it’s okay that he moves on and dates Aunt Robin. Yes, in a spectacular two-hour finale of How I MET YOUR MOTHER, we see Ted meet The Mother after Robin and Barney’s wedding, a fast forward which features Robin and Barney divorcing, Lily and Marshall having another kid (that they probs didn’t really want), The Mother dying (RIP Tracy McConnell), and the show coming full circle with Ted standing outside Robin’s apartment with a blue french horn.

It’s not that I hated that Ted went back to Robin in the end, because, meh, whatever, but it’s the fact that the creators kind of misled the viewer into thinking the endgame was How Ted Mosby Met His Wife, not How Ted Mosby Fell In Love Again. Things were looking up at the end of season eight, when we see The Mother/Tracy McConnell for the first time. It was exciting to see flash forwards of her and Ted happily together, and her meeting the other four BFFs. I was looking forward to their happy ending in 2030. But when the series finale came, fans’ worst fears came true, and Tracy was dunzo. To me, she was used as a plot device, a minor character in the overarching storyline just to show the viewer that in fact, Ted had been in love with Robin the whole eight years we’ve spent watching the show. It was a plotline that had been brought up multiple times in the show, but we viewers dismissed it because it was clear that each Robin and Ted had moved on.

HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas revealed after the series finale that they had this plan of Robin and Ted coming together in the series finale since season one. Hey, remember in the pilot when Ted made it clear he called Robin AUNT Robin on purpose, because Carter and Craig wanted us to know that she wasn’t the mother? It clearly implied those two kids didn’t belong to Robin, and thus the viewer was hooked for the next nine seasons to find out who that Mother was.

Although not explicit in its title, Pretty Little Liars has done the same. It’s a mystery drama that in the pilot, is set up that this group of four girlfriends discover their other BFF, Allison, is dead after she went missing. The girls each receive threatening messages from a mysterious -A, and for the next six seasons, we went deep into the world of Rosewood, its many characters, and tried to uncover the identity of this psycho -A.

Those theories that I mentioned before – hardcore fans of PLL take down every note, every detail, scour over every minute clue that is shown in each episode and compile them in one huge Internet Bible as if the world of Rosewood is real. There have been five and a half seasons of twists and turns, and turns and twists on top of those, and red herrings and actual clues mixed in that it makes my head actually hurt.

prop clue board or the inside of a PLL fan’s brain?

Pretty Little Liars is in no way considered on the same level as mysteries like Twin Peaks or even classified in Netflix’s Thought-Provoking, Cerebral Dramas. However, the conceit of the actual program, like How I Met Your Mother, is interesting and intriguing, but the execution of the conclusion was nothing less than self-gratification, a bit condescending and overall, disappointing.

The point is, there is so much build up to the end game, not just in PLL, but in other shows like Lost or Gossip Girl, where the entire series is built upon and beloved because you’re hoping for resolution at the end. You put your trust in the writers that they’re leading you on through this (often times) exhaustive journey to be rewarded with a satisfying end. The problem, I think, is that sometimes writers get so wrapped up in their own vision of how their project is going to wrap, that they put fan service to the wayside. In recent years, I can think of shows like Parks and Recreation and Friday Night Lights that ended on notes that were accepted and praised by the fans. Although there are fewer and less ‘dramatic’ stakes for Leslie Knope taking a Washington D.C. job than, say, Emily almost getting chopped up by a buzzsaw thanks to -A, those shows reached endings that were the best outcome for the characters and not a blatant put-upon vision from the creators of the shows. So TV writers who are probably not reading this, I hope that you take into consideration that sometimes dragging out a story just to prove a point isn’t the way to go. And hey, PLL writers, there’s still time – we still have another season and a half for you to win our trust back. Make it count.