Adaptation Displacement: The TV show has overtaken the book series in terms of popularity. When PLL is referenced somewhere, including on This Very Wiki, it is most likely that the author is referring to the show, which has a different plot and characters to the books.
Is Mona a Psycho Lesbian who is in love with Hanna and will do anything to get her away from her friends, including hurt her?
Kate genuinely wanted to be friends with Hanna before Hanna insulted her mom.
Arc Fatigue: It took until Season Six for the main characters to solve the mystery of A's true identity, motivations and goals. There's more than one A. The first was Mona and the second was Charles DiLaurentis the long-lost sibling of Jason and Alison.
Alison is probably the biggest example (in the show's continuity at least). Flashbacks show she was a highly manipulative Alpha Bitch whose destructive tendencies ruined a lot of people's lives, but there is a lingering question of whether the worst thing she did ( blind Jenna Marshall) was worth the worst thing that happened to her ( be forced to fake her death and go on the run for several years otherwise she would be murdered). And now that she's returned, fans are torn between thinking that she's become genuinely remorseful or that she's just the same as before and is merely limited in her depravity by the fact that there's still a crazy person trying to ruin her life, and that she'll pick up right where she left off once this "-A" thing finally blows over. Her divisiveness also informs fan opinions of characters like Mona, whose actions can suddenly look a lot better or a lot worse when put in perspective.
Ezra is either a total heartthrob and his relationship with Aria is a gripping storyline or he's weak-willed pervert for hooking up with one of his students and both he and Aria handle the situation like idiots. The fact that he had sexual relations with Alison when she was fourteen and planned to write a book about it increased perception of him as the latter.
Aria became one in season 7 due to being the only one of the Liars whose professional and personal life wasn't being screwed with in some way.
BLAM: Word of God has confirmed the ghost girl Ashley sees is an homage to the books and has nothing to do with any storyline.
BLAM Episode: "Shadow Play" puts everyone in Rosewood into a black and white detective movie in the 1940s. It happens because Spencer over-indulged on study-aid medications. The events of the episode are essentially All Just a Dream.
The nuclear level boredom introduced with the Ezria plotlines in Season 3 have turned the fandom into people who can't stand Ezria and people who will defend it to their death. The fact that Aria and Ezra aren't being targeted by A while the other three liars are constantly having their lives and love life screwed with isn't helping.
Spencer's mental breakdown. Some think that it's an outstanding acting performance while others find it incredibly irritating, or an incredible acting performance for what looked like an incoherent, stupid filler plot-line.
A's supposed true identity at the finale of season 5 has proven to already be quite divisive with the fanbase.
Cargo Ship: Mona and the board game made by AD to control and torture the Liars. She is very intrigued by it and spends her time trying to understand it by sensually caressing it and calling it 'beautiful.'
Alison from the book series kills her twin sister in a fit of rage for simply switching places with her, kills Ian because of his relationship with Courtney, and later on kills Jenna simply because she knew the secret. Besides that, Alison pretends to be Ian in an IM conservation, stalks the girls as the second A, repeatedly blackmails them, and feeds them false information. She then tries to have someone else framed for her misdeeds. In the last book, when she appears, she manipulates Emily's feelings for her, pretends to be friends with Hanna, tries to steal Aria's boyfriend, and then attempts to kill the girls of the book. She also sends Hanna fake tickets and has her sent to a mental institution. Alison even stated in her letter that she was glad that she had killed Jenna.
Lyndon James, an Arc Villain from seasons 2 and 3, is an obsessive and psychopathic stalker who met Maya St. Germain at a juvenile detention camp. After a brief relationship, she returned home to rekindle her relationship with Emily, at which point Lyndon stalks her and eventually murders her. He then plots to murder Emily next, expressing a desire to kill anyone close to her. Pretending to be Maya's cousin, Lyndon lures Emily with false friendship and briefly considers letting her live when he thinks he has a shot, before finding out she's a lesbian. At which point, he abducts Emily's girlfriend and plots to force Emily to watch as he kills her for his perceived rejection. It's also implied Jenna Marshal is next when he learns she witnessed Maya's murder. While attempting to kill Emily, Lyndon is fatally stabbed, and while Caleb is comforting Emily, Lyndon gets a hold of the gun and shoots Caleb before he dies, although Caleb ultimately survives. Despite having nothing to do with the "A Game", Lyndon is one of the most evil characters on the show for his ultimately selfish motives and deranged personality.
Charles DiLaurentis is essentially a Spear Counterpart to Courtney from the books, but way more dangerous and sinister. He's the long-lost child of the Di Laurentis family that nobody apart from his parents knew about and he was in Radley before breaking out. The only real difference between them (not counting their gender) is that he has a much larger role in the plot: The worst thing Courtney ever did was take over Alison's life (and she wasn't nearly as much of a bitch as Book!Alison). Charles is heading up the A scheme, kidnapped the main cast members, and subjected them to all manner of horrors. The comparison gets even closer with The Reveal that Charles isn't really a Spear Counterpart at all, being a trans-woman. In other words, Ce Ce is the long-lost DiLaurentis sister, just like Courtney.
Critical Research Failure: In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't," Toby sees a form with an address in London on it at West Devonton Street, W1B 3AH. It's a real postcode... but it corresponds to Regent Street, which isn't a residential area (there is no West Devonton Street anywhere in the UK).
Crosses the Line Twice: It can be pretty uncomfortable hearing the Liars continually make jokes about Jenna's blindness, especially given that they inadvertently caused it.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The show has a nasty habit of making somebody look unequivocally guilty of being A, and then revealing that they're either totally innocent, or guilty of something comparatively minor. It's starting to bite them in the ass five years in, with fans now casting suspicion on characters we are likely supposed to find likable or sympathetic. Parts of the fanbase still don't totally trust Toby, despite the fact that he's been on the straight and narrow since Season 3, and was only working with A in the first place to protect Spencer. And let's not even get started on how much it looked like Ezra was conclusively A in Season 4.
Designated Hero: Lucas in the first series. He has no hesitation speaking his mind about how Hanna supposedly deserves better than Sean. Except... all Sean's done "wrong" is not have sex with her. Granted, Hanna really wanted to do it with him, but Lucas is only treating it as a big deal because he's attracted Hanna and wants to be with her.
Designated Villain: Sean, as a consequence of the above. He doesn't feel ready to have sex with Hanna and the show frames it like he's being a bad boyfriend for feeling that way, even though he has a right to his personal boundaries.
Draco in Leather Pants: Ezra is this not just for the fanbase, but for the writers as well. They just seem to forget the part where Ezra had been with Alison when she was only fourteen, and intentionally set out to be with a fifteen-year-old girl and don't think it's worth mentioning solely because he isn't the Big Bad.
Mona. Plenty of fans seem to forget all she did as the Original A- and in season three as The Dragon, and bash the Liars for being "mean" to her.
Growing the Beard: At least according to critics, who initially saw the show being slow-paced and not standing out from other teen shows of the time. However, the show's critical reception has grown significantly since its debut.
Harsher in Hindsight: On their first date, Samara tells Emily "Ghosts of first girlfriends make tough competition"
Heartwarming in Hindsight: In "the Lady Killer" After killing Nate, Emily is given a Cooldown Hug by Caleb, and then Nate shoots Caleb the heartwarming part comes in when you realize that Emily was actually in Nate's shooting range so the only way that it could have been Caleb and not her who was shot was if Caleb pushed her out of the way.Awwwwwww
In "If These Dolls Could Talk" Alison visits Spencer, and claims that since Alison and Spencer share Jason as a brother, that they're practically sisters, assuring her that "[Spencer] deserves a decent sister." Flash to the final season, where not only have Spencer and Melissa grown much closer (see the example below), but it also turns out that since Spencer and Alison's respective mothers were twins biologically speaking, Spencer and Alison are both cousins and half-sisters.
In the pilot, Melissa forces Spencer to move out of the barn, not caring about how upset this makes Spencer, who begrudgingly accepts this with only a passive aggressive complaint. In the finale, Melissa once again asks Spencer if she, Melissa, could move into the barn and Spencer back into her room. This time, not only does Spencer assert herself and refuse, but Melissa happily accepts this.
Paige's dad saying that Emily only made anchor because she's a lesbian, can make people laugh a few episodes later when we find out Paige in also a lesbian.
In the first episode, Emily had a boyfriend, Ben Cooke, before coming out. The actor who played him now plays a newborn gay vampire in the The Vampire DiariesSpin-OffThe Originals. The show also features Claire Holt (Samara, Emily's third girlfriend) as straight Original Vampire(ss?) Rebekah.
Alison making fun of Hanna's weight becomes funnier in later seasons when Ashley Benson is still roughly the same size while Sasha Pieterse has gained weight probably meaning Alison probably weighs more than Hanna. Although in the final season there is a good In-Universe reason, i.e. Alison's pregnancy.
Might be Harsher in Hindsight, given that Sasha Pieterse has spoken out about bullying she's gotten from fans of the show because of this.
From the beginning, Spencer and Alison have both been frequently suspected (both in fan theories and by characters in the series) of murdering someone (supposed victims being the person who was buried That Night: Alison, the real Alison, Courtney Dilaurentis, Sarah Harvey, or Bethany Young and Mona Vanderwaal in season five). By the end of the series, Alison and Spencer are the only Liars - even when including Mona - who haven't murdered anyone!
For years, Aria has been the prime suspect for many fans who believe her to be A. In season seven, Aria actually ends up being blackmailed into working for AD, and she quickly turns out to be terrible at it!
Lucas. He's not made out to be unattractive when he's really attractive, he's not hidden behind glasses or terribly bad clothing, he's just a typical nerdy guy with 'no game'.
After a season of being generally Put on a Bus through 'home schooling', he comes back as a semi-regular guest star, and has apparently gone and got himself a fashion adviser.
Mona in the TV flashbacks also fits this. she looks exactly the same except with the glasses and pig tails, suddenly she's an unwanted, unpopular ugo.
We're expected to believe that pre-series Hanna was lonely and unpopular (prior to Alison befriending her) because she was overweight. Even at her heaviest, she's still played by the absolutely gorgeous Ashley Benson, still very wealthy, and if anything, was even kinder to people at the time than she is in the present day, if a little less confident. It strains credibility that everybody in Rosewood would be that shallow.
Hollywood Pudgy: Hanna is continually described as being fat a year before season one. However, in the flashbacks she looks pretty much the same, just wearing frumpy clothing. Subverted in episode 13 where she's wearing a fat suit.
Idiot Plot: In order to cover up their involvement in an apparent prank gone wrong, four girls allow a blackmailer to push them into ever more illegal activities rather than admit their initial foolishness to the police. See What an Idiot! below and the Headscratchers page for detailed examples of ways in which the Liars stupidity has contributed to their victimization.
Informed Wrongness: The Liars feel compelled to cover up Hanna having hit Elliott with her car. Spencer even calls it first-degree murder. This is completely wrong, for Hanna tried desperately to hit the brakes and stop the car when she saw Elliott in front of her. Also, even if she didn't, the whole reason why that happened in the first place was that he was chasing down Alison in an attempt to kill her. Basically, Hanna saved someone's life by killing him, accident or no.
Iron Woobie: Alison. Despite being nearly murdered and having to spend over two years on the run, she still keeps up her confident smile and has done whatever she can to help the girls
TV Verse Jenna. She comes off as creepy and kind of a bitch, plus she abused and raped her stepbrother, but nonetheless, she got blinded in a fireworks accident the Liars caused and had someone try to set her on fire., and her girlfriend was killed by Aria.
TV-Verse Alison. She was a total bitch who caused everyone - even her friends - a lot of trauma in her heyday, but she had to go into hiding because someone wanted to kill her, and risks her life to protect her friends.
Emily has 3 girlfriends In-Universe and feelings for Ali. She also has been paired with Hanna and Spencer out of universe and there is a popular crossover ship between her and Santana Lopez (played by Identical StrangerNaya Rivera). And some fans also pair her up with Toby (due to them having dated on the books) and Nathan.
Of the hetero variety, there's Hanna. She has been not only shipped with Caleb, but fans have also paired her with Lucas, Wren, Mona, Darren, and all of the Liars (particularly Aria), to name a few.
Les Yay: Believe it or not, this can happen in a show with a canon lesbian.
Mostly between Emily and Hanna with Emily staying with the Marins in Season 2 and agreeing to be Hanna's Romeo.
Aria and Spencer are also rather close. In "Unmasked" Spencer even dubs them Team Sparia to the glee of shippers.
"Birds of A Feather" introduces Aria and Hanna, particularly where Aria comforts Hanna after Caleb breaks up with her. Not to mention their moms. Ashley and Ella seemed to have something.
In-Universe Alison encourages this in her friendship with Emily as a way of manipulating her, but might have also caught real feelings for Emily.
And some fans have also picked up Hanna/Mona as well...
One-sided with Spencer and Alison, Spencer imagines herself slow-dancing with Ali and then later imagines herself on a date with her.
Mona and Spencer, they practically drowned in Foe Yay back in season three, and the tension is still there.
LGBT Fanbase: Thanks to Emily, the show has a huge lesbian following.
Like You Would Really Do It: The final season went heavy on the fanservice, which led to a resurgence of one of the most popular and enduring fan theories: that Aria was the ultimate mastermind behind the A scheme, or at least was fated to play an integral role in the A-Team. The exploration of this idea in 7B could well be a Take That, Audience!. While Aria does end up joining the A-Team as The Mole, her reasons for agreeing are sympathetic and the awful things she does on A.D.'s orders eat her up inside.
Jenna found herself on the far side of the line when a flashback showed her raping Toby.
Ezra being revealed to have hooked up with Allison when she was fourteen, and then deliberately set out to seduce Aria when she was 15 was this for many views. The show itself seems to be trying to go down the path that "at least he's not A", as if that somehow makes up for being a creepy stalker who makes a habit of targeting underage girls for sex.
Narm: The cringe-making scene with Emily being chased at Homecoming and screaming for help. Admittedly Shay Mitchell, gorgeous beyond belief though she may be, has always been the least likely of the four leads to get praise for her acting, but good grief... (In fairness, she does get a LOT better as the series goes on.)
Never Live It Down: A lot of people have a serious problem with Paige trying to drown Emily in Season 1.
Obvious Judas: Toby is on of the A's, there was always something about him...
One-Scene Wonder: The disbarred doctor-turned-alcoholic the girls visit in season 7, and his haunting advice about what the human heart craves and returns to in the end.
Replacement Scrappy: Fans of Jason don't like Jake, because they were hoping he would get with Aria after her breakup with Ezra
Paranoia Fuel: A psycho-stalker is out there with a grudge against you and knows all of your deepest, darkest secrets. This person has no name, no face, is willing to kill to get what he or she wants, and is able to be anywhere at anytime.
Periphery Demographic: Though the show is intended for teenagers, Emily's storylines have drawn a lot of adult lesbian and bisexual women to the show.
It also has an adult male following for... other reasons.
Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: Theories that any of the Liars is actually A usually come off this way, especially when one considers just what exactly would have to be wrong with somebody to put in the amount of dedication it would take to stalk, harass and threaten the three people closest to you for months on end, lie and play-act constantly and never break character or get caught even once. All four Liars have had scenes in which they react realistically to something A has done when nobody else is around, which, if that girl was A, would be either a Plot Hole or a symptom of a severe disassociative mental disorder.
Nate is probably the one character who is universally disliked by the fanbase. It started before he appeared when it was speculated that he may date Emily and while the two do kiss, Emily wasn't really interested. On top of that he killed Maya and tried to kill Emily.
Byron is not well liked either by characters on the show or fans. Comes with being an unfaithful husband who forces his daughter to lie for him.
Alison, in-universe, by everyone but the Liars, their families, CeCe, and Ezra.
Talia, Emily's girlfriend in Season 5 is someone that all shipping factions can agree that they hate.
Screwed by the Network: However it's not really the network's fault in this case. Due to the agreement signed by Disney when it bought what would become ABC Family, the name "Family" has to be kept in the name of the network. As a result, series with adult themes and sexuality, such as this series, are targeted regularly by parents groups and moral guardians who feel a show like this in inappropriate for a network called ABC Family (even though if Disney had its way, it would be airing on a network called XYZ, and the show is actually tame compared to some of the series airing on the main ABC network, such as Scandal). A double-whammy is that for much of its early history the series was dismissed by viewers who assumed that because it was made for a network called ABC Family, it must be "just for kids."
Should be no surprise that slash shipping is incredibly popular among the fandom. Many like pairing off the Liars, with Aria/Spencer (the Mama Bear s) and Hanna/Emily (the Like an Old Married Couple, esp after Emily moves in with Hanna's family) being the most common ship-mates, with Alison being the wildcard and having popular pairings with all of them.
Surprisingly, Emily has some popular ships with other boys (esp Toby), despite being a lesbian.
Shipping Bed Death: The reaction a lot of the fanbase had when the controversial Ezra/Aria relationship went from it's forbidden sneaking-around phase to (mostly) out-in-the-open stage in season 3.
Lucas/Hanna and Caleb/Hanna fandoms, although Lucas much more minor role in later seasons combined with the very solid canon Caleb/Hanna relationship (which was rescued by Lucas) killed it off.
Squick: Something even the show acknowledges is that Cece being Charles/Charlotte means that in her earlier appearances when identity wasn't revealed, to get close to Jason, she willingly dated her own brother.
Spencer in Radley Sanitarium, imagining her friends sitting around her, tearfully telling them that they can't count on her anymore.
Emily's devastated reaction when she learns Maya is dead.
Alison finding out that Shana betrayed her.
From the book series, Courtney being buried under Alison's name after her body is discovered, and her parents never finding out what truly happened to her.
The ending of "I'm A Good Girl, I Am" where the court finds Alison guilty of murder and the rest of the girls get arrested as accomplices.
A/ Cece/Charlotte's backstory. She was born male and wanted to be a girl, but her father wouldn't let her and threw her into Radley where she was framed for murder. Once she finally gets out, she accidentally almost kills Alison thinking she was Bethany and to top of it she found her mother, the one person who always cared for her dead and was forced to bury her.
Take That, Scrappy!: The character of Sara Harvey was never well-liked, so most fans were glad to see Emily punch her in "Game Over, Charles" after she was revealed to be Evil All Along.
The hard plastic masks of Alison (and later Melissa and Emily) that start appearing from Season 3 onward.
The opening of the series could count too; the first time you see it, it appears to be a girl getting dressed up, but it seems really off... then it becomes obvious very quick that it was a corpse being dolled up.
Sara "Shower" Harvey We should sympathize with this character for obvious reasons, but instead she is potentially the most loathed character in the entire PLL universe. Why? Six words: "I need to take a shower." Of course "Game Over, Charles" revealed that she wasn't meant to be sympathetic and was Evil All Along.
The main 4 Liars, especially Spencer, have a habit of believing that whoever A is trying to frame for being Ali, Maya, or Bethany's killer or being A is absolutely guilty, and that there is no chance that they could be framed, and yelling at and being very unpleasant and hostile towards them or anyone who thinks they may not be guilty. After Toby, Jenna, Caleb, Ian, Jason, Garrett, Lucas, Melissa, Byron, Mike, Ezra, Ali, Noel, and less important characters like Leslie they would learn to start gathering more evidence before jumping to conclusions. Especially since they keep being framed for different crimes, with Toby and Spencer constantly saying that they don't jump to conclusions for this reason... before jumping to conclusions.
Toby. In the show, the poor boy is Blamed for a murder he didn't commit and then subsequently gets ragged on by the whole town. And even before that the one friend he had was ashamed to be seen with him in front of her friends for a long time, and he was coerced into a relationship with his stepsister that he certainly didn't want. Then his girlfriends' family didn't want her seen with him because she was a person of interest in the same murder case. Every time the boy's on screen something bad is happening to him.
TV-Verse Spencer counts too. Her parents favor her older sister Melissa, her and her friends are constantly in danger, being nearly killed (by her sister's boyfriend and her classmate) and framed for murder multiple times. She can't even relax in a hot tub without freaking out about someone spying on them. Then she eventually has a mental breakdown and ended up in the Radley Sanitarium and afterwards develops addiction to drugs to try and stay awake to track "A" and decode Alison's diary. And now, it turns out that her real mother is Mary Drake.
Lucas, especially how he reacts after he reveals his major secret at the party thrown after Hanna comes home from hospital. It really shows that whilst Allison's relationships with the girls were manipulative and cruel, it was nothing compared to how they treated other people. Lucas being part of any scene together with Hanna and Caleb as a couple might as well have "HIS HEART IS BREAKING" written in giant letters on screen every time it happens.
To a lesser degree, Ashley Marin, who has become aware of the fact that someone called A is threatening her daughter and wants nothing more than to help out, except that her daughter refuses to tell her anything and is angry with her for seeking help from the only other person she thinks can provide it. Admittedly, Hannah has an excellent reason to not want her mother in the loop, but still...
From the book verse, Jenna. The poor girl is brutally bullied at school ( they even gave her an apple, soaked in toilet water for crying-out-loud!) all seemingly out of jealousy of her Snow White-ish beauty; sexually abused by her step-brother; when she finally fights back Jenna & Courtney plot to get Toby sent away by setting off fireworks she gets blinded. and then she is killed. By Alison. Whose twin befriended Jenna. Jenna was killed by who she thought was her only friend.
Charles/Charlotte Di Laurentis She was thrown in Radley by her own father at a young age most likely because he, at the time wanted to be a girl. While institutionalized s/he gets pinned with the murder of Marion Cavanaugh by real culprit Bethany. The only person who would visit her was her mother, and it seems like she was locked up in there for years until she finally gets a chance to be herself as Ce Ce Drake. Then, she accidentally almost kills her own sister Alison and watches as their mother unknowingly buries her alive.
Toby being on the A-Team was abandoned, as a few episodes later it was revealed that he was only on the team to protect Spencer. Spencer joining forces with Mona to get answers was scrapped quickly; it hardly lasted an entire episode. Ezra being "A" was a red-herring as well. He was just writing a book and was doing research.
It could be argued that the entire show has been wasted. The writers keep throwing around red-herrings and make almost everyone suspicious so they can pin whoever they want as being involved with A and Alison's murder, many mysteries have not been answered, and plotlines keep getting scrapped. It's evident as viewership is dropping and there are complaints on the Pretty Little Liars Facebook page about the show being painfully dragged out and not getting any answers.
A sends the four a video of Ian and Alison together, but Ian promptly deletes it when he accesses Spencers computer. It never occurs to any of them that unless Ian hacked Spencer's e-mail account as well, then A's original e-mail still exists, video attachment and all.
What's more, he's able to access it because the PLL's decide to go turn it into the police "during lunch" and Spencer leaves it in a locker that he, as a school coach, has access to. And the characters knew this! Perhaps they should have gone directly to the police and accepted the consequences for missing first period. They repeat this mistake again when Emily is the only one who retains some crucial videos and leaves the laptop unlocked in her room, when she knows people can come and go as they like, as they're selling the house. They really should think about dropbox, emailing a copy to themselves on an account only they know about, thumb drives hidden in places nobody else knows about, etc.
Hannah didn't really consider her options when holding who she thought to be A at gun point. not only does she not shoot her when she started to run away. But when Not A jumped to another building, Hannah still never even considered that a gun is a projectile weapon, and if anything the person in the mask has just taken any chance they had of rushing her off the table.
Ezra didn't think this whole book publishing thing through. If anything about his and Aria's and (previously) Alison's relationship got out in the public, he would quickly end up in prison.
The book is published in the five years between 6x10 and 6x11, and he apparently suffered no ill will for it.
The new prize goes to Kenneth Di Laurentis. He has a daughter who claims to have been kidnapped as well as an ex-wife who was murdered and he seems to think it's a good idea to leave her home alone and go on overnight trips.