[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-PrettyLittleLiarsIntertitle_8165.png]]
''Pretty Little Liars'' is a television show based on a [[Literature/PrettyLittleLiars series of young adult novels]] by Sara Shepard. The series follows the lives of four girls Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of their leader, Alison. A year later, they begin receiving text messages from someone using the name "A" who threatens to expose their secrets including long-hidden ones they thought only Alison knew.

The TV series premiered in the summer of 2010 and as of 2014, is in its fifth season, with a sixth and seventh season on the way.
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!!Tropes:
* ADayInTheLimelight: "The First Secret" is pretty much all about Alison, as is "A is for Answers"
* AbsenteeActor: Only four regulars (no prizes for guessing which ones) have appeared in every episode so far.
* AcademicAthlete: Emily and Spencer.
* AdaptationDyeJob: Spencer, Melissa and Mona (blonde), and Emily (redhead) are brunettes, and Hanna and Kate (brunettes) are blondes.
* {{Adorkable}}:
** Lucas
** Mona as well, in flashbacks before Alison went missing.
* AdultChild: The ''majority'' of the adults on the show display the emotional maturity of the average teenager when it comes to handling money, relationships and family secrets, leading to some parental hypocrisy when they punish their teenage children for behavior as irresponsible as their own.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys.
** Caleb for Hanna, but he's a {{subversion}}. Once you move past the fact that most of his money comes from crime, he really isn't that bad a guy.
** In the eyes of Rosewood Toby is this for Spencer.
* AllMenArePerverts - sometimes it seems that Rosewood must be the perverts capital of America. The number of characters who lust after teenage girls is truly staggering - one is even a police officer and he dates a high school student without anyone raising an eyebrow. Many of the rest of the male characters have cheated on their partners.
* AloneWithThePsycho: [[spoiler: Spencer]] in "[=UnmAsked=]."
** She also winds up alone with Ian in the Season 1 finale.
** Emily with [[spoiler: Nate[=/=]Lyndon]] in the Season 3 mid-season finale.
** Subverted in 311/312 with Emily and Paige.
* AlphaBitch: Alison, Cece, Kate, and early Season 1 Mona.
* AlternateContinuity: A combination of AdaptationDecay and AdaptationExpansion.
* AmbiguouslyBi: Hanna seems to be pretty interested in other girls and is also offended when Shana doesn't flirt with her.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Emily. Caleb.
** Ambiguity removed for Emily in Season 4 when she describes her racial/ethnic background outright.
* AmbiguouslyEvil: Almost everybody at some point or another.
* AmbiguouslyGay: There's much speculation over whether Alison was just manipulating Emily or actually has feelings for her and was an ArmoredClosetGay.
** Mona seems even less ambiguous toward Hanna
* AntiHero: Alison. The liars can also be seen as this.
* ApologeticAttacker: Hanna kicks her boyfriend in the nuts by accident thinking he is A, then apologizes when he takes off his mask.
* AscendedExtra: Many of the key characters from the show were killed off or played minor roles in the books including Mona, Ezra, Jenna, and Toby
* AssholeVictim:
** Alison. She might have been only 15 when she died, but she managed to make so many people hate her that just about [[EveryoneIsASuspect every other supporting character in the show]] had a motive for her murder.
** Jenna, who [[spoiler:coerces her step-brother into an unwanted sexual relationship]] goes blind before the series starts and receives a lot of sympathy for it.
** The Liars, themselves, who don't deserve the torment they get but did let an innocent boy take the fall for a felony they knew they were responsible for. And who stood by as Alison tortured half of Rosewood.
* AttemptedRape: [[spoiler:Ben]] tries to rape [[spoiler:Emily]], but [[spoiler:Toby Cavanaugh]] saves her.
* AuthorAppeal: The show contains a lot of lesbian characters and the producer Marlene King is an out lesbian.
* BadassBookworm:
** Ezra, of a NonActionGuy variety. He repeatedly refuses to change Noel Kahn's grade, even when Noel threatens to tell the principal about Ezra's relationship with Aria. He sits at his desk, stoic, while Noel tells the principal, ready to face the consequences with dignity ... but as it turns out, [[spoiler: the principal doesn't believe Noel's story, since he has a history of cheating and lying.]]
** Spencer.
* BatmanGambit: In "Through Many Toils, Troubles, and Snares", the girls pull off a rather impressive one on A by [[spoiler: pretending to fight and quarrel with each other over fake evidence of A's identity, leading A to approach Emily with a deal.]] It doesn't quite work out like they'd hoped, since they don't learn A's identity, but they do come away with A's cell phone. A is understandably disturbed by this development.
* BerserkButton: Hanna goes off on Caleb for insulting JustinBieber
--> "You don't know the Biebs. You don't understand the Biebs ... or his hair."
* BerserkerTears: Emily cries when she stabs Nate after a long chase through the lighthouse.
* BettyAndVeronica:
** Emily dates Maya (Veronica), Paige (Veronica), and Samara (Betty). She also has feelings for Ali (who seems to be a mixture of the two).
** Aria with Ezra (Betty) and Jason (Veronica).
* TheBeautifulElite: Many of the characters on this show are very attractive.
* BiTheWay: Maya and Jenna.
** Alison fits this trope as well given that [[spoiler:in both the books and the show she occasionally pursues romantic encounters with Emily, who is in love with her]].
** Averted in Emily's case because it was revealed that she kissed Nate/[[spoiler:Lynden]] out of grief and emotional vulnerability rather than sexual attraction to him. Actually is bisexual in the books though.
* {{Blackmail}}: The messages A sends contains information on the girls secrets and they threaten to reveal them if the girls do not comply with what A wants them to do.
* BigEater: Hanna is forced to eat a whole box of giant cupcakes so A won't spill her secrets which makes her reminisce on her binge/purge days with Ali.
* BlatantLies: Mona's statement that Red Coat was always wearing an Alison mask, however in ''unmAsked'', she was visited by Red Coat in Radley. It's very unlikely that they would have let someone wearing a mask that looks like a dead girl into a mental rehabilitation facility.
** In the second season, Hanna threatens to sic her mother on Caleb's foster parent, claiming she's a lawyer with Dolce, Gabbana, and Leibowitz.
* BookDumb: Hanna. She once claimed that she couldn't even spell Louisiana, let alone know anything about its history.
* BrainyBrunette: Lucas and Spencer.
* BlindSeer: How does Jenna know so much, yet sees so little?
* BlondesAreEvil: Alison, Kate, and Cece. Meredith, the woman who has an affair with Byron, seems to have no regard for Aria or Ella's feelings.
* BodyguardBetrayal: Toby is Spencer's protector but he is really much better at luring her into the arms of "A".
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler:Maya was killed off in the season 2 finale.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest:
** Melissa and Jason made out prior to the events of the series. It was later revealed that they share a father.
** And let's not forget [[spoiler: Jenna's forcing her stepbrother Toby into a sexual relationship.]]
* BusCrash: [[spoiler: Maya]] who was last seen a few episodes earlier before it was revealed she was dead.
* ButNotTooBlack: Maya.
* CanonForeigner: Caleb, Paige, Garrett, Cece.
* CastingGag: Ashley Marin's daughter is played by a girl named Ashley.
** Ashley Marin once was in a murder-mystery soap, but last time, [[MelrosePlace she was the victim]].
** Creator/ClaireHolt as a girl who dates a [[H2OJustAddWater swimmer.]]
** So LucyHale's nemesis from ''Sorority Wars'' decided to get back at her by screwing her dad? That sounds about right.
* ChekhovsSkill: Alison's flying lessons.
* ChekhovsGun: Taken quite literally. [[spoiler:It's how Aria kills Shana in Season 5.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: A truly impressive example: The leader of the A-Team has been in Rosewood since day one, [[spoiler: teaching English at the local high school and maintaining an on-again off-again relationship with Aria.]]
** [[spoiler: Cece]], who only shows up in season 3.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Several Rosewood High students have disappeared without explanation such as Ben and Sean.
* ColdOpening
* ContinuityNod: "The First Secret" contains a scene from the pilot of Ali and Aria catching Byron cheating.
* ConveyorBeltOfDoom: In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", [[spoiler:Emily]] is put in a coffin and placed on one of these, with a giant saw at the end. The other Liars desperately try to free her, [[spoiler:but she is only saved when (one) Redcoat turns off the power.]]
* CreatorCameo: Sara Shepard, the books' author, appears as a substitute teacher for Ezra in the episode "Please Do Talk About Me When I'm Gone."
* CreateYourOwnVillain: Emily ultimately admits, they made [[spoiler:Mona]] the way she is.
** [[spoiler:Jenna]] is another example with episode 1x02 serving as her villainous OriginsEpisode. [[AmbiguouslyEvil If she is indeed a villain. It's hard to tell.]]
* CreepyChild: Seth in "If These Dolls Could Talk".
* CreepyDoll: The dolls that A sends to the girls, and the dolls in the doll shop especially the one resembling Alison near the end of "If These Dolls Could Talk".
* CurseCutShort In "It's Alive" Hanna says "This is bull--", only to be cut off by her mom.
* DarkSecret: The main characters and many of the recurring characters have skeletons in their closet.
* DeadAllAlong: Remember when Ali was missing? Oh yeah, she was actually dead. Buried under her parent's gazebo since the night of her alleged "disappearance". That is ,[[spoiler: until "A dAngerous gAme, when we find out she's really alive]]
* DeadPersonConversation: [[note]]Since Alison was never dead, all of these actually happened, except for the one with Hanna at the therapist's office[[/note]]
** Hanna has one with Alison while she is in the hospital, and then another in season two of the show at her therapist's encouragement. The latter is somewhat of a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Hanna.
** Emily has one of these with Alison in the second season after passing out.
** Spencer has one with Alison while sleeping off some pain meds in the second season. Played with in that the scene gives us some reason to believe that Alison may have really been there.
** Aria has one with Alison in the third season while hopped up on drugged tea.

* DeadlyPrank: The girls and Alison planned on using a firework to play a prank on Toby. It backfired, blinding Jenna in the process and leading her to harbor resentment towards the girls.
* DeathByAdaptation:
** [[spoiler: Maya who had lived in the books was killed off in the season 2 finale.]]
** [[spoiler: Wilden, who is still alive in the books, was found dead in the Season 4 premiere.]]
** {{Inverted}} with [[spoiler: Mona]], who fell to her death in the books, but survived the same fall in the Season 2 finale.
* DeconstructedTrope: Alison may either one of {{AlphaBitch}} or an exaggeration. She made so many enemies that [[spoiler: she nearly died ]] because of her actions, and her only friends seem to fed up with her now.
* DemotedToExtra: Mike used to appear regularly with the Montgomeries, but now it seems that he's always staying with whatever parent Aria isn't with at the time.
** Byron in Season 4 because Chad Lowe wanted to focus more on directing.
* {{Determinator}}: Spencer. Despite so many of her theories about Alison's killer or A's identity turning out to be wrong she keeps on relentlessly pursuing every lead. Jenna once said that Spencer reminded her of a hungry terrier.
* DirtyCop: Darren uses some questionable methods while he is investigating the murder of Alison although he doesn't do anything that is actually illegal. After Hanna gets arrested for shoplifting her mom starts a relationship with Darren to keep Hanna from getting in trouble. Thankfully she kicks him out of the house eventually. He usually targets Hanna for interrogation and harassed Emily in one episode. [[spoiler: Garrett as well.]]
* DisappearedDad:
** Averted in the case of Aria in the show, as her father refuses to leave the family when he and Ella separate.
** Tom Marin who has not been mentioned for some time.
* DisneyVillainDeath: {{Subverted}}. [[spoiler: Mona]] falls off Lookout Point in a fight with Spencer, but she lives.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The girls were friends with Alison during her heyday of blackmailing, torturing, and menacing everyone in Rosewood. For this, they are stalked, blackmailed and nearly killed by the A-team.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Averted. Jenna doing this to Toby is viewed as being a very horrible thing to do someone.
* DysfunctionalFamily: The Hastings family is always one upping each other. Love is about what you can achieve, not what you feel.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: When Hanna and Caleb are in the shower (he's bathing, she isn't) and he turns around, she likes what she sees...
* EstrogenBrigadeBait:
** Inverted; don't think that male viewers haven't noticed the four leads justify a name change to ''Gorgeous Little Liars''. The other females in the cast aren't exactly hard on the eyes either.
** Also played straight; most of the men on the show are plenty attractive enough to keep up with the women (which is to be expected, this being made by [[GossipGirl Alloy]] [[TheLyingGame Entertainment]] and all).
* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Mona and Nate/Lyndon.]]
* EvilFormerFriend: Mona was Hanna's best friend and has turned into her worst nemesis!
* ExactWords: WordOfGod promised in "A dAngerous gAme" the viewers would find out who ''killed'' Alison. It turned out that [[spoiler: no one killed her because she was rescued from the grave]]
* FairCop: Darren and Garrett
** Better examples would be Holbrook and Tanner
* FalseFriend: Mona is Hanna's best friend but only uses this to gather information on how to take the girls down as "A".
* TheFashionista: Mona and Hanna. When Spencer's room was searched by the police Hanna and she mentions the cops taking some of her shoes, Hanna's immediate reaction is to ask if the Tory Burches might not have been confiscated too. This becomes something of a running gag when she later notices her therapist wearing Tory Burch boots too.
* FilmNoir: Spencer went into a coma and had this type of dream.
* FindingJudas: Toby? Come on! We all felt sorry for you.
* FlirtyStepsiblings: One-sided with Jenna and Toby.
* FlyingUnderTheGaydar: Emily briefly flirted with Spencer's College-appliciant helper in order to get free tips after her swimming scholarship fell through. Spencer called her out on it.
-->''I'll tell you something I'm not confused about: The fact that this entire weekend you have conviniently forgotten to mention that you're gay.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** In the Halloween episode, the story that Ali tells the boy she and Hanna are babysitting will definitely jump out to anyone who has read the books, assuming the producers are going to keep that plotline intact.
** Lucas accidentally showing Hanna an online betting site before he shows the pictures of her collecting trash during her community service.
** Also Noel gives a speech about female bullying vs male bullying in "The Naked Truth"
** The fact that Ezra maintained a secret relationship with Aria for multiple seasons is eerily telling once you learn that [[spoiler: he also had a secret relationship with another plot-relevant teenage girl.]]
* FourGirlEnsemble: Care to guess?
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Aria (Melancholic), Hanna (Sanguine), Spencer (Choleric), Emily (Phlegmatic).
* FundraiserCarnival: A variation appears in place of Foxy.
* GenderFlip: Jenna and Toby's roles are switched.
* GirlPosse: The girls were this to Alison before her death.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Melissa and Spencer. Using the word war is only a slight exaggeration in this case.
* HalloweenSpecial: One each for the second and third seasons. The second season episode was a standalone prelude episode, while the one in the third season picked up right after the mid-season finale.
* HasAType: Hanna's estranged father shows up in the fourth episode of the first season to talk to Hanna about her recent behavior. Also, he has a new fiancee who looks a lot like Hanna's mother, with a daughter who looks like Hanna.
* HeelFaceTurn: Paige and Jason. Maybe Jenna too, but like everything else about her, it's hard to tell.
* HeroicBSOD: Aria after [[spoiler: Ezra's mom tells her that's she ruining his life.]]
** Spencer when [[spoiler: she finds out that her boyfriend Toby is part of the 'A'-team.]]
** Emily after [[spoiler:Maya]] is killed, and again after [[spoiler:she kills Nate, who killed Maya.]]
** Aria again in "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" after failing to [[SaveTheVillain rescue]] [[spoiler: [=CeCe=] Drake]] from falling. It's brief though, as it quickly becomes apparent that [[spoiler: [=CeCe=] is alive.]]
* HeteronormativeCrusader: Emily's mom. Her dad says "I'm not happy about this, either.", but he's clearly much more open and accepting of the situation than her mom, who cries in the pantry because Emily and Maya were playing footsy under the table at dinner. She ''tries'' to be okay with it for a while...
* HiddenVillain: A is the main antagonist of the show as they constantly blackmail the girls and have even attempted to kill them on several occasions. Their identity still is a mystery. [[spoiler: Mona was revealed to be working for somebody who is the real mastermind behind the whole A scheme.]]
* HollywoodNerd: Lucas and in flashbacks Mona, who are both Type 2.
* {{Homage}}:
** The season 2 finale ''unmAsked'' is one giant {{Homage}} to Creator/AlfredHitchcock's ''Film/{{Psycho}}'', complete with a creepy motel, a taxidermist motelier, and even an (almost) shower scene.
** Even ''mother'' makes a reference!
** The climatic bell-tower chase between [[spoiler: Spencer and Ian]] in the season 1 finale is an homage to Hitchcock's ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''.
** There's a ShoutOut in Season 3: Emily takes a job at the RearWindow Brewery.
* HospitalHottie: Wren.
* HotTeacher: Ezra.
* IdiotBall: Many problems that these girls face would be solved well ahead of time if they'd just approach things rationally or take common precautions -- such as ''calling the police'' every now and then. Think we're exaggerating? [[spoiler: When Aria's realized that Ezra's son has been abducted by someone posing as her, she merely follows the clue the kidnapper leaves for her rather than calling the police.]]
** Dr. Anne Sullivan holds it as well in Season 2: Her office completely lacks any kind of security system. Granted, this is seemingly a problem the rest of the population of Rosewood has too, but it's especially striking when displayed by a psychologist who is responsible for confidential patient files.
** Hanna may well have the Idiot wrecking ball for Season 4. Even though A has gleefully set up innocent people in the past ''repeatedly'', she still [[spoiler: steals her dad's (stolen) gun from her mom's closet, despite her mom telling her she didn't kill Wilden several times, and attempts to bury it. Cue police arresting her, and finally getting the very evidence needed to [[SelfFulfillingProphecy arrest her mom]].]] And while we're at it the entire mess with [[spoiler: Wilden]] can be traced back to her "subtly" telling him that she knew his secret and was going to tell everyone. NiceJobBreakingItHero.
* InformedAbility: It's well known Spencer plays Field Hockey but we never actually see her in games like we do with Emily's swimming.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Lucas suffers this badly. Apart from Hanna, he has literally no friends. Then Caleb comes along and they form something of a bromance.. then [[spoiler:Caleb hooks up with Hanna, the girl Lucas is desperately in love with.]]
* InsaneTrollLogic: [[spoiler: Mona]] claims that she started the A scheme as a means to get back at the girls, not for [[spoiler: their treatment of her, but for the fact that Hannah was spending more time with them and less time with her]], even though they'd barely hung out together at all after Alison's death and [[{{Irony}} it was in fact the A scheme that brought them together again.]] {{Justified|Trope}} though, as it's implied that [[spoiler: Mona]] was taking orders from someone else and her claims about her motivations are a lie.
* IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure: This happens in pretty much every episode via bullying texts/emails/random notes blowing in the wind from the evil "A".
* JailBait: Ezra is a paedophile/hebephilile with an attraction to JailBait. [[spoiler:He hooked up with Alison when she was at most ''fourteen'' years old. He then sets out to get Aria to fall for him, when she was only a year or two older than Ali was.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Alison definitely crosses into this trope. The reason why she is popular is because she is attractive, smart and charismatic.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: And yet she seems to really care for the four girls. Her [[spoiler: appearances in the present that suggest she may be alive]] seem to indicate she might have TookALevelInKindness
* JerkJock: Noel
* JustFriends: Hanna and Lucas.
* KilledOffForReal: Alison, [[spoiler: Ian, Maya, Garrett, Det. Wilden. And Alison is still alive]]
* LastSecondWordSwap: When Emily first meets Samara at a cafe.
-->'''Samara:''' Did Paige not tell you I'd be here?\\
'''Emily:''' No, she did, I just didn't expect you to be so... punctual.
* LoveTriangle: Oh, where do we start...
** The first part of Season 1 gives us Ezra/Aria/Noel, Sean/Hanna/Lucas, Melissa/Wren/Spencer and Ben/Emily/Maya. And in the case of the latter, when Ben is shortly [[PutOnABus taken out of the picture]], we get him replaced by Alison, who Emily has trouble letting go since she had strong feelings for her.
** Then, in the second part, we get Caleb/Hanna/Lucas and Paige/Emily/Maya (although she was PutOnABus at the time, so the triangle was mainly fanon).
** In the last episode, we get introduced to Aria/Ezra/Jackie, which is further developed in Season 2.
** And in Season 2, we get Ezra/Aria/[[spoiler: Jason]].
** A also forced Emily into one of these with Samara and one of her friends.
* LipstickAndLoadMontage: The opening credits, and it's a ''corpse'' that is [[DarkerAndEdgier dolled-up]].
* LipstickLesbian: Emily, Samara, and Maya. Averted with Paige in the first season, but played straight in later seasons.
* LesCollaborateurs: [[spoiler: The A Team.]]
* LesYay: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Alison, in order to manipulate Emily.
* MamaBear:
** Pam Fields defends her daughter from Paige's father. At the time, she hadn't really changed her views on homosexuality, she just had a reaction to someone hurting her daughter.
** Ashley Marin as well. There seems to be no line she won't cross to protect Hanna.
* LoveInterestTraitor: [[spoiler: Toby is one of A's accomplices and Spencer's greatest love.]]
** Topped by the reveal that [[spoiler:Ezra, Aria's love, is A.]]
* LuredIntoATrap: Spencer goes to meet Toby in the Fun House at a carnival and gets shoved into a tiny space instead.
* TheManBehindTheMan: "Unmasked" reveals that [[spoiler: Mona]] is not A but really just their pawn when the real A visits her at the end of the episode.
** The leader of the A-Team is revealed to be [[spoiler:Ezra.]]
* ManipulativeBitch: Toby tries to warn Darren that Jenna is this.
* MayDecemberRomance: A few of these occur:
** Aria and Ezra
** Spencer and Wren
** Darren and Ashley Marin
** [[spoiler:Alison and Ian]]
** Spencer and Ian
* MilestoneCelebration: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]], as the promos for "Miss Me x 100" make very little of the fact that it is the 100th episode compared to similar episodes of other shows. Instead, it mostly focuses on the upcoming confrontation between The Liars and Team Mona.
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold: How Toby Cavanaugh is played at first. Later on, he drops the "Misunderstood Loner" part. And as of Season 3, [[spoiler: maybe the "Heart of Gold" part too.]]
* MustHaveCaffeine: Spencer drinks ''a lot'' of coffee.
* NameDrop: The jump rope song at the beginning of "Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares" is clearly about the girls.
--> ''Ding dong, the bell / Someone fell / Pretty little lies / That liars tell''
* TheNicknamer: Alison frequently gave nicknames to people. They included Jenna the Jerk, Hefty Hanna, Pigskin for Paige, and Hermes for Lucas.
* [[NiceGuy Nice Girl]]: Emily.
* NiceGuy: Lucas [[spoiler: but as of "A Hot Piece Of 'A'", he doesn't seem so much like this anymore.]]
* NoDressCode: Some of the outfits the Liars (and other female characters) wear include very short skirts and cleavage; this probably would not be considered acceptable at a real high school.
* NoodleIncident: "The Jenna Thing", although it is revealed bit by bit throughout the first half of the second book, after which it turns into a gradual series of {{Reveal}}s.
* ObfuscatingDisability: [[spoiler: Jenna continues to pretend she is blind]], even after her surgery.
* TheOmniscient: A knows all of the main characters secrets and where they are at all times. Justified in that [[spoiler: Mona works for someone else meaning there is more than one person involved in the A scheme.]]
* OneHeadTaller: Noel Kahn who is played by 6'1 Brant Daugherty and Aria who is played by 5'2 Lucy Hale.
* OrWasItADream:
** Hanna is visited by Alison while she is in the hospital in a weird surreal dream-like state leaving us unsure where it was real or not. In the books, [[spoiler: Alison really did visit Hanna because she was still alive.]]
** Emily has one of these with Alison later after passing out from inhaling too much carbon monoxide. It's unclear as to whether or not Alison really IS alive or if Emily was just dreaming.
** Emily was rescued by someone and the fact that she was dragged away rather than carried suggests her rescuer was female.
** Spencer's "dream" is the most ambiguous. The only possible reason that doesn't make the viewer think that Ali was 100% alive is the fact that Spencer was on pain meds. The bottle was left open as was the door to her house.
* ParentalBetrayal: [[spoiler: Aria's Dad, Byron was with Ali the night that she died and goes to great lengths to cover it up]]
* ParentalNeglect: Spencer's parents are often missing when she needs them the most. When they are home they tend to neglect her in favour of Melissa. They also allowed Ian to live in their house, despite Spencer being terrified by him. Toby and Jenna's parents are literally never seen and apparently don't mind their teenage daughter dating an older guy. Aria's parents generally mean well but didn't notice Mike's depression or Aria being terrorised by A or her having a relationship with her teacher.
* PerkyGoth: Aria was one before Ali went missing.
* PlayingGertrude: Nolan North is only 14 years older than Torrey Devitto and only 15 years older than Troian Bellisario, and 16 years older than [[spoiler: Drew Van Acker]]
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Invoked by Paige's father. He claims that the only reason Emily won the coveted position of anchor on the swim team is because she is lesbian. Which is ironic because Paige is ''also'' a lesbian (though she was in the closet at that time).
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: "Grave New World" for ''Series/{{Ravenswood}}''
* PosthumousCharacter: Alison had been killed before the first episode and she only appears in flashbacks or dreams.
* ProductPlacement: The Microsoft Kin phone, Aria used it and showed off its Facebook app.
* PreppyName: Aria Montgomery, Spencer Hastings, Maya St. Germaine, and Mona Vanderwal for the girls. Ezra Fitz, Byron Montgomery, and Holden Strauss for the guys. Also Samara, who is an actual prep student.
* PutOnABus: Caleb literally leaves on a bus near the end of season one, after writing a letter to Hanna which Mona is supposed to deliver. [[spoiler: In the season one finale, he returns at the request of Lucas.]]
* PutOnABusToHell: Maya [[spoiler: is sent to juvie camp after Emily's mom finds marijuana in Maya's bag and lets Maya's parents know about this]]. She returned in the episode before the summer finale.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: Jenna and Aria.
* RaceLift:
** Emily is portrayed by Shay Mitchell who has mixed Filipino and Irish heritage. In the book, Emily is just plain Caucasian. Her mother even makes racist remarks about Maya.
** Also applies to Mona who is played by Eurasian actress Janel Parrish.
** Emily's father is Asian in the show.
** Wren is the opposite. He was Asian in the books, but white in the show
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Emily and Alison had this.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: With a touch of StalkerShrine, A's room in the finale of the second season.
* SaveTheVillain: The Liars have developed a habit of this:
** First, Spencer tried to save [[spoiler: Mona]] from falling off a cliff.
** Second, Hanna pulled [[spoiler: Jenna]] out of a fire, then helped Spencer save her after she was [[spoiler: nearly drowned.]] Note that [[spoiler: Jenna's]] villainy is still [[AmbiguouslyEvil ambiguous]], making these mostly perceived examples on the part of the characters.
** Third, Aria attempted to rescue [[spoiler: [=CeCe=] Drake]] from falling when the rope she was attempting to use to escape snapped. [[spoiler: Though it later turned out that [=CeCe=] wasn't a villain.]]
* SecondLove: Emily and Paige [[spoiler:after Maya dies]].
* SchoolgirlLesbians: Emily fits this trope with [[EvenTheGirlsWantHer more than a few girls]]. Emily and Maya, Emily and Alison, Emily and Paige, Emily and Samara.
* SecretRelationship:
** [[spoiler:Emily and Paige]] have one of these in the first season.
** [[spoiler:Spencer and Toby]] are forced to pretend they aren't still dating in the second season.
** Same goes for [[spoiler: Aria and Ezra]].
** [[spoiler:Ian and Alison]].
* SecretIdentity: A is the identity of who is stalking the girls and [[spoiler:Alison]] adopted an alias which was Vivian Darkbloom.
* SeriesContinuityError: In the pilot, Aria orders a cheeseburger despite being declared a vegan later in the first season.
* SexyShirtSwitch: Spencer is seen wearing Toby's shirts almost as often as he is. It's even lampshaded in one episode
* ShoutOut
** In "Touched by an A-ngel", Hanna says she "isn't in the mood to play VeronicaMars."
** Hanna also remarks in an episode that she's "done playing Series/CharliesAngels" and calls Spencer Creator/LucyLiu.
** Lucas, the kid who falls for the popular girl who gets with the jock like in the 80s Corey Haim movie ''Lucas''.
** Dr. Anne Sullivan is one to TheMiracleWorker
** During one of Emily's flashbacks in ''the Remains of the A,'' there is a quick shot that resembles Edward Hopper's famous painting ''Nighthawks.''
** Several to ''TwinPeaks'', including an FBI agent named Cooper and a video of Alison that closely resembles (in its content as well as its relevance to the plot) one of Laura Palmer (of whom Alison is arguably an {{expy}}).
* SexForServices: Hanna's mother engages in this to get her daughter out of shoplifting charges.
* SignatureSoundEffect: When the Liars' cell phones ring at the same time, 10 times out of 10, it's a text message from "A."
* SinisterSilhouettes: Played with. A isn't ''actually'' shown in silhouette, but is made to look like it by wearing a black coat and black gloves anytime she appears.
* SinisterSurveillance: A is pretty much always watching the girls as they have access to their phones, computers and seem to know what they are up to at any time.
* SixthRangerTraitor: Mona pretends to get texts from "A" and bonds with the girls over it. It is later revealed that [[spoiler: Mona is A]]
* TheSmartGuy: Spencer. Also, Caleb.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Toby Cavanaugh, Mona Vanderwaal, and Jenna Marshall.
* SpinOff: Once called ''Series/{{Ravenswood}} was launched in October 2013.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Alison, InUniverse. Despite being dead, she's still constantly in the local news
* SunglassesAtNight: Jenna has always been seen with her sunglasses on.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Trista and Samara share many similarities.
* TakeMyHand:
** Spencer tries to save [[spoiler: Mona]] this way in the Season 2 finale. She isn't able to, but [[spoiler: Mona lives.]]
** Aria tries to do the same with [[spoiler: [=CeCe=] Drake]] in ''Now You See Me, Now You Don't'', but fails. [[spoiler: Again, [=CeCe=] lives.]]
* TallDarkAndHandsome: Noel Kahn, Ezra, Garrett, Toby, Caleb, Darren and Lucas in the books.
* TeacherStudentRomance:
** Aria and Ezra of course.
** Plus Byron had one before the series with his student Meredith.
* TeensAreShort: Aria, Jenna, Mona, and Maya
* TeenDrama: Marketed like "''DesperateHousewives'' for teens".
* TheUsurper: Spencer is going out for Academic Decathelon Captain after Bradley is mysteriously injured but little does she know she is running against the most unlikely candidate, Mona who wins by psyching Spencer out.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Well there ''are'' therapists, they just tend to make things worse. [[spoiler:Wren]] might actually be evil.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: [[http://prettylittlebitchfaces.tumblr.com/ A hilarious tumblr dedicated to lampshading the constant and never ending use of the word on the show.]]
* ToplessnessFromTheBack: Spencer indulges in the practice.
* TreacherousQuestGiver: A gives the girls treacherous quests to cover-up their secrets.
* TreacheryCoverUp: Mona pretends to be crazy and pleads for the girls to forgive her for trying to kill Hanna.
* TroubledButCute: Toby and Caleb.
* TrueCompanions: The Liars are like this. They'll do anything to protect each other. In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", Emily also makes it clear that this attitude extends to [[spoiler: Alison]], despite how she's treated them in the past.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: None of Liars ever seem to wear the same outfit twice.
* WelcomeBackTraitor: After helping A do her dirty work, Lucas spills to Hanna after she confronts him about it in his bedroom.
* WhamEpisode:
** "Eye Of The Beholder" has [[spoiler: Jenna Marshall end up in the hospital when someone lures her to the [=DiLaurentis=] house with a text message and then sets it on fire.]] Fortunately, Hanna and Spencer save her.
** "If These Dolls Could Talk" tops it. [[spoiler: It starts with Spencer getting visited by Alison (which may or may not have been a dream) and also features Aria's parents threatening to send her to boarding school before Ezra gets fired and has sex with Aria. Also Spencer, Emily, and Hanna are ready to turn in Melissa when police show up arrest Garrett because Jenna gave Toby page 5 of the autopsy. Oh, and Jenna can now see.]]
** "Single Fright Female" reveals [[spoiler: Ezra has a son]] and [[spoiler: Paige is most likely part of the A team. Plus the end shows that there is more than one A]]
** "The Lady Killer" reveals that [[spoiler: Toby Cavanaugh]] is part of the A-team, while [[spoiler: Paige was the person he and Mona intended to set up as Maya's murderer, who actually was unsurprisingly Nate]]
** "A dAngerous gAme" [[spoiler: Toby]] AND [[spoiler: Ali]] are alive. [[spoiler: Mona]] makes a HeelFaceTurn and [[spoiler: Aria and Ezra break up]]. Lastly, someone tries to kill the girls and [[spoiler: Mona]] before [[spoiler: Ali]] pulls them from the fire.
** "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" tops them all. [[spoiler:Cece Drake is Red Coat, Alison is alive, and Ezra is the leader of the A-Team. Alison is also apparently trying to protect the Liars from the A-Team.]]
* WhamLine:
-->[[spoiler: '''Mona''']]: I've done everything you've asked me to.
* WhamShot: "Now You See Me, Now You Don't" gives a pretty jarring one. The leader of the A-team, also known as "Board Shorts", the guy who had a secret fling with Alison the summer before she was killed? It's [[spoiler: Ezra.]]
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Spencer gets from both Jason and the Liars in "Dead to Me"
** Emily lets Spencer have it in "Close Encounters" for [[spoiler: snooping on her meeting with Alison and scaring the latter off.]] By the next episode, Emily still is not speaking to her. As Emily is [[BewareTheNiceOnes easily the nicest and most forgiving]] of the Liars, this should be taken as a sign that Spencer has ''really'' messed up.
* VertigoEffect: When Emily discovers the bracelet made of teeth.
* YourCheatingHeart:
** Byron cheated on his wife with a university student named Meredith.
** Ian kissed Melissa's younger sister Spencer and had a relationship with [[spoiler:Alison]].
** Wren also cheated on Melissa with Spencer.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler: Toby tries to run Lucas over after he stops cooperating with Mona's threats]]
** [[spoiler: Mona is eventually ousted from The A Team, and becomes their new victim. To hammer this home, an attempt is made on her life in 4x02.]]
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