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Headscratchers: Pretty Little Liars
TV SHOW:

  • Why is "liars" in the title? What are the lies?
    • It's a carry-over from the books. After finding the body of Ian Thomas, they try to take the police to it, only to find that it's disappeared and become known as "Rosewood's Pretty Little Liars." Also they are keeping secrets about certain things. (The Jenna Thing, for example.)
      • In Killer, the sixth book, they also claim that they saw Alison alive. Of course, no one believes them, and they end up looking like they're lying to cover up for Ian jumping bail, among other things. Amusingly, their "Liars" title actually ends up helping them in Stunning — Emily uses it as a defense as to why they were at a crime scene, after having received an anonymous note.

  • The attitude the Liars have with the video evidence was already stupid once (the video with Alison & Ian that they didn't even attempt to copy, leaving (supposedly) Ian free reign to get Spencer's laptop and cancel it) but to repeat it exactly the same with the videos found in Alison's lunchbox (Emily had them on her laptop AND NOWHERE ELSE, and not only did she leave her laptop unprotected, but even TURNED ON. Predictably, (probably) A cancelled them (along with the rest of Emily's files). Stupid much?

  • Do these girls ever think anything through? They know by now that A is constantly watching them and will punish any mistake they make. Yet they all continue to do incredibly stupid things. One recent one being Spencer stealing then pawning her sister's wedding ring, only to have it turned into horseshoe. That was stupid enough even without A involved.
    • I totally agree. My contention is not with Spencer's decision, but with the writers. How can the owner of a pawn shop or whatever it was, hand over one person's ring to someone else? (even if they suspected the ring wasn't Spencer's?) And then take Spencer's 2000 dollars and hand her a worthless horseshoe? What kind of idiot would give 2000 dollars for a horseshoe?? And does A have a camera in the pawn shop too? How else could A have known Spencer went there with Melissa's ring; it could have been anything, the Hastings are wealthy and probably have a lot of jewellery.
    • It was implied that the owner of the pawn shop believed that Spencer had stolen the ring and wouldn't go to the police when the deal went south.

  • Hello, Emily, your father is a colonel or whatever in the US Army. They do not take kindly to their family members being stalked and blackmailed. Tell him everything and get it over with before you know... you get involved in another murder investigation or someone else gets run over or you end up in hospital with your sporting career about to get ruined by A.. oh wait, that already happened.

  • I've always thought it was ridiculous how A seemed to know everything, and how he/she had such impeccable timing. I mean, unless A was spirit or something, or had a magical 24/7 access into these girls heads, I couldn't see how the writers were going to explain A's omniscience.
    • Eg: Remember when A snuck Ian's phone into Spencer's bag, and it rang just when she and Melissa were really starting to open up to eachother... I mean, how could A have timed it so perfectly?? It was late at night!
    • Or, worse, how on earth could A have known that Hanna's mom stole that money from her workplace? And that they hid it in a box of pasta? Are there cameras everywhere now?? Even inside the kitchen cabinets??
    • And are random motel rooms bugged now too? Remember when Toby and Spencer "sleep" together, and then there's that mysterious green bag which turns out to have ice in it, with a note saying "you're getting colder".
    • Also, the psychiatrist's office is totally bugged by A-Team (hey, that's a good name, now that we know A is more than one person...)Anyway,the shrink's office is also devoid of a security system or camera. It's easy to get in and plant Mr Fitz's diploma (?!) and a cake walk to get in, trash the place, get out, all without leaving finger prints. WTF??
      • And apparently Mr. Fitz's place is also easy to break into... and he didnt notice that his diploma was missing. It was framed and hanging there. Geez, when people are this stupid, no wonder they're such sitting ducks for A.
    • Also, what was A doing that whole year when Aria and family were in Iceland? How did Aria's return trigger the A messages?? And did A start shadowing Aria the minute she landed? I mean, A knew that Aria had met and made out with Ezra Fitz before either of them knew they were going to be teacher and student.
    • And what the hell kind of town is this... don't they believe in security systems? Especially after what happened to Alison? I would have thought that every family with a young daughter would have run out to buy security cameras and alarms. But NOPE... that security in Rosewood homes is lax is an understatement. Windows are left wide open, doors can be easily unlatched, people can enter homes by stealth with their eyes closed (note the pun? Jenna reference... tee hee since she is one of our villians). Not only can they film the girls, but also plant things, like lipsticks, messages, incriminating evidence... and deleted things from laptops, or replace laptops with yearbooks. Have they never had CSU sweep the area? Jesus Christ!!
      • Adding insult to injury is the fact that Emily's house has an alarm system (mentioned in 2.08), while the rich and paranoid Hastings apparently haven't bothered to install such a thing either in their home or the lakehouse.
    • And what was the deal with Emily's cereal in Season 2 Episode 10? The box she chose just happened to be the one A had tampered with? Can you even imagine the preparation that must have taken? First, collect enough "As" from a big box of Alpha-Bits. Second, replace the mini box Alpha-bits with all As plus threatning message. Third, re-seal the cereal box liner with such finess that Emily doesn't suspect anything until she lifts her spoon. Fourth, re-seal the mini box of Alpha-bits. Ok, so let's say someone went to all that trouble... how did they know she would choose Alpha-bits? Was that the only cereal available in their cafeteria?
    • And how the hell is A always one step ahead? Like recently, A removed page 5 from Ali's autopsy report. I mean, not only is A an omniscient mindreader, he/she is apparently a pre-cog too.
      • The finale took this up to 11. Apparently, A can not only leave a huge box on Spencer's porch with no risk of being spotted, A can also break into Emily's car and leave the doll, again with no fear of being spotted. Is A a team of MI-5 trained ninjas?
    • In the early "Homecoming" episode, the PLL's order Chinese food and the cookies that come with the meal have a message from A. Let's assume that A bought the cookies online and didn't need to make them, as such sites exist. How did A know the PLL's would be ordering Chinese just before homecoming, which was presumably a spur of the moment decision? How did A add them to the bag, without a trace?
    • And now has the ability to replace Chinese food with worm filled dirt.
  • Now, with the NAT club revelation, the girls have concluded (which frankly they should have done long ago) that A is more than one person. Ok, now the impeccable timing might be explained—- there is one person watching each girl. Let's just suspend disbelief here and operate under the assumption that these four teenagers are important enough to be monitored 24/7. But it still doesn't explain how they receive perfectly timed messages at school, or how, when they have whispered conversations, a text or note appears out of nowhere. I mean, unless the girls themselves are bugged, (or A has managed to outfit their phones with a high tech bugging device)that kind of precision in timing is just not possible. And I totally agree that the girls should tell their parents everything. I mean, Ian is *dead*... and as much as I respect teenagers (like Harry Ron and Hermione) I really think they should tell their parents... all this about how "no one believes them" because "they're pretty little liars" is just stupid. I mean, what have they ever done to earn that distinction? They all seem to have a great relationship with their parents.
    • I think phones and computers bugged is the only reasonable conclusion at this point. It's odd that the girls haven't thought of this yet.
      • They did, in episode 2 of season 1. It didn't help at all though.
    • The reason they won't tell isn't that they fear they'll be disbelieved, but that they fear A will hurt their parents. They don't want another Dr. Sullivan on their hands.
  • When the therapist the girls are seeing realizes who A is, why could she not tell Emily over the phone and have her pass it on? Why was it necessary for her to have all of them meet her in person? Especially when she knew for a fact that A was listening to her.
    • We know that A and Dr. Sullivan were working together though (though Dr. S was probably coerced), it may have just been a set-up in order to get the Liars to play A's game and end up with the murder weapon.
    • I doubt that. Knowing A, it's more likely that she was blackmailing Dr. S than that she was a willing participant. Dr. Sullivan says "I did everything you asked", implying that she was taking direction from A, as opposed to working as a partner. Plus, A handed her a folder with something in it, which I would assume was information she had on Dr. Sullivan. Also, the look on Sullivan's face was closer to the look of a victim than that of a co-conspirator. If you accept the theory that she was being blackmailed, it makes her decision make even less sense. Consider this: If she was being blackmailed when she was realized A's identity, she would never have told them that she knew who A was in the first place, because she'd be afraid of what A would do. Which means there was no reason at the time why she couldn't just say A's name over the phone. (As long she's revealing to A that she knows her name, she might as well say it out loud, after all.) By insisting on meeting in person, she gave A time to get to her.
  • Why are the girls STILL keeping 'A' a secret? They assume that 'A' will reveal all their secrets, seemingly missing the fact that by playing 'A's game they're generating more secrets than they would've ever had. They're convinced A will ruin their lives, but the only thing 'A' had on them was the Jenna thing, which they could've honestly said was Alison's plan all along. Now with the events of the second season's summer finale, should they continue to keep their silence, not only will they suffer more than ever before, all four girls will be carrying the Idiot Ball.
    • Emily is on record as using HGH, her parents would never trust her again if they found that out. She also forged a letter from Danby, which is kind of serious business. Aria is having an affair with an older man who could potentially get arrested and definitely fired from his job. It would also completely ruin her family. Hanna's mom stole money from a bank, which is obviously illegal, and Hanna suffers from bulimia which would be humiliating to reveal publicly. Spencer was already a person of interest, so the Jenna thing would only make her look more guilty. It definitely makes sense, in perspective, why the Liars wouldn't A spilling all their secrets, and it's meant to be ironic that by doing everything they can to keep those secrets buried, they only make things worse.
  • How did Jackie expect to get away with plagiarizing a paper on Théodore Géricault? The academic community studying Romantic painter is absurdly small. Did she think nobody would notice? On the flip side, how did A figure it out? Is A, in addition to being an omniscient ninja, a student of French art?
    • A was shown to be learning French though, which explains how A would know what the original paper was about.
  • The constant Continuity Snarls, especially regarding Toby. It is established in the second episode that he was always the creepy kid that no one liked. Then the Prequel episode where Alison met Jenna showed that Emily had already been sorta friends with him (which can be passable since Emily is a nice person) and the latest episode gives us this wonderful flashback where Alison of all people was in a possible relationship with pre-Jenna Toby. This is also coupled with the fact Toby is his present-day Bishonen self in the flashbacks and not radiating the creepy aura he supposedly always had is just plain Retcon especially since other characters are always consistent with their past selves (Hanna is fat, Mona and Lucas are nerdy, etc...)
    • It's safe to assume that his mother's suicide, his father's subsequent remarriage and especially his relationship with Jenna are what made him the creepy outcast we meet in season one. All of that happened past Allison flashback.
  • Why did Emily keep the keys to Wilden's place instead of putting them in a place where everybody had just looked while they weren't paying attention or, you know, just make a quick copy of them, and ending up costing her mother her job? So far the only answer I have is 'She's Too Dumb to Live'.
  • Okay a couple of things have caught my attention. First off the Jenna thing:In the books the prank involved a firecracker while in the s1 flashback Ali states that she is using a stink bomb. Um I get how a firecracker could cause Jenna's blinding but a stink Bomb? People were always setting off stink bombs at my high school and no one was ever blinded nor did the building ever catch fire. To make matters more complicated the wiki constantly states that a firecracker was used in both the show and the books,wth? Secondly in season 1 the girls learn of Toby and Jenna's incestuous relationship by reading Toby's therapy file but wouldn't a therapist,upon learning of such a thing,have informed their parents? Yet according to the show the only people who actually know are Toby,Jenna,The girls,Ali,Ian,and probably A.
    • Regarding the firecracker/stink bomb thing, remember Alison called it a stinkbomb. She was probably lying. Also there were actual firecrackers kept in the place she threw the "stinkbomb" so the reason things got out of hand was because those caught fire (I'm not saying a stinkbomb could set off firecrackers, but there was a chain reaction either way). And as for the therapy file...did anyone ever actually report that file missing? Or trace it to Hanna? If the therapist doesn't know they read it, what's there to report?
      • Hi,OP here. First off,Yay the Stinkbomb\Firecracker thing finally makes sense to me,Thanks! Now as for Jenna and Toby's...relationship I meant that it seemed like the therapist knew before the file went missing as it was already noted in the file itself and if that was the case wouldn't he have told the parents? In fact shouldn't Jenna have been upset that Toby told,considering how desperate she was to get Ian's video before anyone else could see it and blow the whistle on her. On the other hand there are a whole bunch of other inconsistencies in this (and pretty much every other show/Movie series/Book series)so maybe i should just chill. oh and to answer your question Yes the break in was reported(the police are there when Hanna tries to return the file the next day)but no one ever seems to connect it to Hanna or the other girls.
      • I'm not really sure how Doctor-Patient confidentiality really works but I don't think the therapist is allowed to report anything unless Toby is a danger to himself or others. Of course, that stuff probably should have come out in the open anyway after Toby was accused of murder since the "danger to others" thing is in effect but I think that could be handwaved by saying Toby's relationship with Jenna has nothing to do with Alison so it should be irrelevant to the case. Also, remember the file told them that Jenna and Toby only had a relationship, not who instigated it. The video was much more revealing, hence Jenna wanted it (she wanted the file too for that matter, but settled for the liars telling her that it was destroyed). But yeah, this show is way too inconsistent sometimes (especially in the early episodes since it feels the producers weren't sure if they want to follow the book or make their own stuff).

  • Where in the hell are Toby and Jenna's parents?! I haven't seen season 4 yet so maybe they show up there but shouldn't they have have turned up sooner? Jenna is blinded and later goes through major eye surgery,Toby spends most of season 1 as suspect #1 in Ali's disapearance yet not once do we ever actually see any parents. The closest we get are Toby and Jenna mentioning them sometimes and the whole Toby's biological mother comitted suicide thing.

  • In season 1 who is the blond girl that Spencer sees in Maya's bedroom window? This happens in the books too but neither version really explains what's going on. This takes place while Maya's family lives in the Dilaurentis house and they are black so it can't be Ali,Courtney,or Cece(in the show). Is Spencer just hallucinating or something?

  • Prehaps I'm wrong but was there was supposed to be some connection between "A",Mrs.Potter's death,and the James Leland impersonator?
    • I think that's just a dropped storyline. There are a lot of dropped storylines that were started in season 1 and leaded to nothing. You could tell that there was more to this Potter/Leland/lasagna box storyline (I am guessing that shit was supposed to go down with Ashley).

  • Why is it that Ezra is treated like Pedophile for dating Aria(okay yeah a teacher dating his student is pretty wrong)but no one raises an eyebrow over Garret(who's about the same age as Ezra)dating Jenna?
    • I think you answered your question. The problem with Ezra and Aria is not so much the age difference, but the fact that Ezra is a teacher at Aria's school, AND to make matters worse, she is actually a student in his class. This makes for some serious abuse potential, and it's why I never hopped on the Ezria bandwagon; their relationship means that he controls Aria's grade and her standing within the class. He might favor Aria in class, giving her better grades than students who work just as hard if not harder, or vice versa if the romance soured. (I don't think Garret's necessarily the same age as Ezra, FWIW, I actually think he's a bit younger.)
    • That, and there's the fact that the show frames Ezra/Aria as some sort of forbidden, epic romance, while Jenna's relationship with Garrett isn't portrayed in a very positive light.

  • So how did Ian,Garret,Jenna,and Melissa get into the Dilaurentis house and up to Ali's bedroom without Ali's parents noticing?

  • By the end of the Pilot we know that Ali is *dead* but then why does "A" continue wording the texts as though he/she is Ali? This is espcially confusing in the fashion show episode as in the message on the over head A refers to Ali's dresses as though they belong to "A" herself but just earlier "A" called Ali an evil bitch monster by hijacking the slide show. The hell?
    • It's been hinted that A is/was fascinated with Ali. That's why he has creepy pictures all over his lair. Also, it might be because A wants to be ironic. If you really think about it, A and Alison aren't that different, both using Liars' secret for amusement. Also it was revealed that Mona was the main A from season 1 to seasons 2 and she pretty much wanted to be Alison so...

  • You know how "A" had to pick the lock on Peter Hastings Desk to steal the gun? Well Peter had to unlock that same desk drawer when he finally discovered that the gun was missing and to do that he would have had to relock the drawer after "A" picked the lock,so why didn't he notice that the gun was gone earlier when he relocked the drawer?

  • So apparently Toby was the A Team member that Dr.Sullivan met at the diner which may explain how they know each other and how he helped her at the end of S2 but then WHY doesn't she tell the girls that Toby is part of the A team or that there was a whole A team rather than just one teenage girl with mental problems?

  • Mid season 2 Jenna apparently goes off for her eye surgery but later she returns still blind in both eyes. Then later she does get one eye done and Toby says that the other eye is going to be done later. Okay so far so good but then there was that business with Jenna pretending that the surgery had failed and after that all of a sudden BOTH eyes can see but Jenna never got surgery on the other eye! I suppose it could be argued that she got the other eye done between seasons 2 and 3 but then how could Jenna drive in the S2 finale if only one eye sees?

  • In season 3 it's revealed that one of the windows of the psychiatric hospital day room is wide open,presumably it was Mona's plan B after the staff discovered that someone was letting a patient sneak out at night. Correct me if I'm wrong but don't such instatutions usually have bars or alarms on the windows specifically to keep the paients inside the hospital?

  • What is it with all the gay / bisexual women on this show? They can't ALL be put their in order to give Emily someone to have UST with, can they?

  • And why are there so many gay women in Rosewood? I mean, it's kind of weird and unrealistic. So many gay women and not one gay man?

  • How much trouble could the girls actually get into for the Jenna thing? Ali was the one who got the idea and threw the damn stinkbomb/firecracker into the shed. True they should've tried harder to stop Ali(though it's unlikely that they could've)but they technically weren't responsible for what happened were they?

  • So I was rewatching season 1 and this jumped out at me. When the Hastings learn that Spencer dated Ian it puts suspcision on Spencer but not Ian? How does that work? The Hastings don't believe her about Ian but shouldn't the fact that Ian dated Spencer make Spencer's claims that he dated Ali more Plausible?

  • How was Garret ever implicated by page five of Ali's autopsy report? Ali was smacked upside the head with a shovel,Garret smacked a tree with a field hockey stick and may have never even touched the shovel. This makes no sense at all!

  • Who is in Alison's grave?

  • Did we ever find out who pushed Ian off the belltower and messed with his body?

LITERATURE:

  • Ok The second "A" The real Ali mentions how Courtney ruined her life by sending her to a mental institution in her place, blinded Jenna, had an affair with Ian when he was already dating someone else and much too old for her anyways, but considers the worse thing she did was changing her girl posse? I don't get it. In fact I don't get he whole particular grudge against the four girls, I mean the first "A" had a pretty solid thing against the four, but really after Killing her twin why take it out on them?
    • I always assumed it was because they helped cement Courtney's deception. When they broke into her yard with the intention of stealing the Time Capsule flag, they encountered Courtney, and mistook her for the real Ali. She didn't know who Ali's friends were and she needed someone to help verify her identity, so she buddied up with the girls. Basically, it was partially their fault that Courtney was able to take over Ali's life. If I were in Ali's position, I'd be pretty pissed about that too.
    • Maybe so but that seems a bit extreme, not to mention they were innocent (at least in this) they didn't know that the searching for the time capsule flag would have such consequences.
  • Why did Alison (the real one) visit Hanna?? I mean, it's never hinted that she was trying to harm Hanna or anything, and it's later established that she HATES the Liars so why visit her, and actually be sort of nice to her (the only thing she does is comfort her and say "I'm okay. I'm okay") ??
    • You have to remember, she LOVES messing with the Liars' heads, she did it for lulz
  • Okay so the first things that "A" catches them doing seems like Ironic Echoes of the secrets that only "Ali" knew Spencer was kissed by Ian and made out with Wren, Aria conducted a secret relationship with her teacher the way her father did with his student, Emily kissed "Ali" and Maya ...except Hanna, I don't understand how her secret was echoed in what she was doing.
  • Courtney never tried to drown Alison in the books, where is that idea coming from? I think this Alison apologist has Courtney and Alison mixed up.
    • Huh? Are you referring to the prequel book,Ali's Pretty Little Lies? Yeah in that book Courtney says she tried to strangle Ali rather than drown her as previous books said but there are two possible explanations: 1.Ms.Shepard just forgot what she'd previously written or 2.Ali lied about what happened when she told the others about Courtney. Given that Ali's Pretty Little Lies strongly implies that Courtney was never actually insane and Ali manipulated things to make it seem that way,it's not too far fetched to assume Ali lied.

  • How is it that no one is able to tell Alison and Courtney apart? Yeah I know they are identical twins but even their family,who should know them best,cannot differentiate between the two. They are able to switch places WAY too easily,their parents at least should have noticed that something was off. Apparently even DNA doesn't help, since in the first arc the police identify the dead girl as "Ali" but from what I understand (although I could be mistaken)not even identical twins have the exact same DNA(very similar but not the same)so shouldn't a trained analyst be able to determine that the girl in the grave was NOT Ali,even if they didn't know there was a twin?

    • Well the Liars can be forgiven since A) They hadn't known there was a twin, B) They never knew real Ali that well pre-switch so they probably never got physically close enough to be able to memorize every minute detail of her appearance, C) it had been years since they had seen Ali so any minute details different between their Ali and Real Ali wouldn't have been noticed, D) it had been years and people change so when Real Ali posed as Their Ali any minute differences could be passed off as puberty or body modification. As for her family well... from her behavior in Ali's Pretty Little Lies I don't think Ali's mom was a good mother, beats me on her dad and Jason though.
      • OP here. You've got a point about the girls themselves and maybe Ali's parents are just that clueless,considering how eaisly Ali manipulates them in Ali's Pretty Little Lies and how easy it was for Courtney pull a twin switch but that still doesn't explain how the crime scene tech's failed to determine that the girl in the grave wasn't Ali. It's specifically mentioned that the body was identified as Ali through Dna but I'm pretty sure that identicle twins don't have the same Dna(they certainly don't have the same fingerprints or footprints). That's a rather extreme mistake to make,espcially in the middle of a murder investigation.

  • What was up with that magazine detailing Hannah's stay at the psychiatric centre? Was it real or not? Hannah seems to think it is but if such an article WAS published,the hospital would be in so much trouble it's not even funny. However if it's fake(which seems to be implied)where did it come from? Iris specifically mentions that such magazines are contraband and if Iris is responsible how did she get Hannah's medical information or make such a convincing fake magazine? Before someone says a computer,was it ever specified that the paients get computer privilges? Even if they do,they would likely be closely monitered so Iris would have likely been caught. "A" could have made it but wasn't it mentioned that Iris never gets any vistors? Which brings me back to where the magazine even came from in the first place...

  • In Deadly, it is revealed that Nick and Ali have planted evidence to frame the girls for Tabitha's murder and for being A, including rerouting all text messages through the girls' cell phones, planted their fingerprints on all physical evidence, and faked a security video of them committing the murder. The part about the cell phones, I can believe, but how is it possible to falsify the fingerprints and the video well enough to fool the FBI? The video especially - even if Nick were a professional visual effects artist, I cannot suspend my disbelief to imagine that level of deception realistically working.

  • Why didn't Jenna just tell her parents that Toby was molesting her? He was already down to his last chance before being sent away and telling their parents would have been easier, so why the whole scheme with Courtney and the firecracker?
    • You honestly expect a terrified eleven year old girl to make the rational choice? She was clearly scared of what he might do in retaliation.
    • "What he would do in retaliation?" Um when was Toby ever implied to be violent? He molested Jenna and peeped in windows but there is never any indication(that I recall)that Toby was ever violent. Besides surely the parents would've sent him away as soon as possible after hearing what he did and if that had to be delayed for some reason protect her from Toby? Besides if he did anything worse afterward as retaliation that would just get him in worse trouble. However I see your point about Jenna being scared and not thinking rationally.
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