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"Pretty Little Liars" Was A Show None Of Us Should Have Been Allowed To Watch As Teenagers, And Here Are 27 Bizarre Moments To Prove It

I am deeply concerned for these teens.

Hi, my name is Kelly and I am an absolute sucker for teen drama shows. One Tree Hill, Degrassi, The O.C., Gossip Girl...the list goes on and on!

screenshot of comment: "Does this author watch any other genre"
Kelly Martinez / BuzzFeed

I realized I was missing a pretty crucial area in my teen drama curriculum, though: Pretty Little Liars. So, during quarantine, I decided to make it my binge-watch, and I got hooked.


While the show is definitely my guilty pleasure, I also thought a lot of aspects of it were pretty messed up. So, here are 27 effed up things about Pretty Little Liars that you notice as an adult:

Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead!!!

Note: Some of the following contain mentions of sexual assault and grooming.

1. Let's start with the obvious: Ezra, a grown man, dating Aria. Not only was she a teenager, she was his student! And then they got MARRIED.

Aria and Ezra at school
Freeform / Courtesy Everett Collection

I know her parents were initially upset about it, but after a while they were just like, "Oh well, I guess we just have to accept it." Um, no?? Get your daughter away from this man!

2. And don't even get me started on the revelation that Ezra KNEW Aria's age from the start. Not to mention, he only started dating her because he was writing a book about her friend's disappearance, which...also creepy.


Oh, and let's not forget Ezra's fling with Alison. I know he claimed she lied about her age, but come on. This was clearly a pattern with Ezra.

3. Speaking of age differences, why did nobody think it was creepy that all of Melissa's boyfriends hit on Spencer, who was only like 16? Spencer's family even seemed to blame her for Wren and Melissa breaking up. Ugh.


4. In fact, pretty much every adult in this town seemed to date a high schooler at some point. Like, did nobody think this was an issue?

police offer grabbing student by the shoulders

5. The whole revelation about Jenna sexually abusing Toby, her stepbrother, was honestly super horrifying and sad. And it was just...kind of brushed off? They barely mentioned it again after Season 1.


6. Speaking of Toby, I loved his and Spencer's relationship initially, but then he let her think he was dead?? And just casually joined the A Team to "protect" her?!

meme of Toby saying "babe why are you mad, all I did was pretend to be dead and work with the people who wanna kill you"

Toby, Spencer literally went to Radley because she was so distraught! How was any of this for her benefit??

7. I know this one gets brought up a lot, but it cannot be overstated: Paige literally tried to DROWN Emily. And then they dated on-and-off for the rest of the series.

Paige shoves Emily under water
Ron Tom / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

8. The show honestly killed off Maya for no reason. I mean, what was the point of the "stalker who pretended to be her cousin" arc? It literally had nothing to do with the central mystery.


9. I know this is super common on teen dramas, but it's kind of wild how often the parents just dipped on this show. I swear one of them took a trip abroad every other episode.

Aria's parents

10. Almost none of the parents on this show knew how to parent. The girls needed serious therapy, but the parents' idea of helping them was sending them to a crappy therapist for like a month, and telling them they couldn't hang out anymore.


11. Obviously, the parents did so many effed up things on this show, but Mrs. DiLaurentis just burying her daughter ALIVE really takes the cake. Wouldn't you at least check her pulse more carefully?

meme of Alison's mom burying her alive saying "sorry honey"

12. Why didn't Ezra ask for a paternity test as soon as he knew about Malcolm? I do not understand anything this man does.

Ezra and Malcolm

13. Alison literally had an entire town, including her friends' parents, wanting her dead at just 15. It's almost impressive.

Alison the night she disappeared

14. The N.A.T. Club is creepy as hell. Like, REALLY creepy. The whole "club" was literally just them spying on underage girls and then bragging about it in the yearbook.

Jason's signature in Ian's yearbook: "N.A.T. forever"

15. Oh, and while we're on the subject of Jason, remember how he dated CeCe, his cousin/sister?

Jason and CeCe

Let's just let that sink in for a second.

16. Why does nobody talk about the fact that Melissa faked a full-term pregnancy and stillbirth? Like, she just walked around with a fake baby bump for months?! What exactly was her plan here?

meme of Melissa's fake baby bump

Also, y'know, the fact that she killed Bethany.

17. Speaking of pregnancies, A impregnating Alison with Emily's eggs was beyond messed up. I don't think we talk about this enough.


And of COURSE Wren was the father. Because this wasn't weird enough already.

18. Radley absolutely needs to be investigated and, honestly, probably shut down.

Spencer in Radley

They had no issues with letting their underage patients just hang out on the roof at night??

19. I don't think it can be overstated how absolutely bonkers it is that Spencer's dad fathered multiple children with other women — including Spencer's identical twin — yet he and Mrs. Hastings just stayed together and pretended to be a happy, normal family?

Spencer's parents

And they lived right across the street from one of his children too!

20. Mike dating Mona, who literally tortured his sister, was actually pretty messed up. If my sister dated someone who literally tried to kill me multiple times, I would NOT be okay with it.


Oh, and he also helped Mona fake her own death.

21. How exactly did Toby just suddenly become a policeman basically overnight? Especially since he had a record of his own.

Toby in uniform

Then again, Rosewood clearly didn't have high standards. Half of the cops in this town were dating teenagers.

22. Did the girls ever even do homework or study? I think there was like one episode about the SATs or something, but other than that, they were basically always ditching school because of A.

the liars studying for once
Freeform / Everett Collection

Yet they all magically graduated on time, even Alison. Make it make sense!

23. Aria killed Shana, felt guilty for like two episodes, and then just moved on with her life. Damn, girl.


But it's okay, because Ezra has a master's degree in American literature! 

24. It's still wild to me that none of the girls told an adult or anyone about A when they first started getting the texts. I understand they wanted to protect their own secrets, but geez, they literally had someone trying to kill them and ruin their lives 24/7.

the girls looking scared
Freeform / Courtesy Everett Collection

25. The Christmas party episode was so bizarre, especially Ezra just chilling there with a bunch of his high school students. Cringe.


26. Rosewood was supposed to be a pretty small, insignificant town, yet it was always hosting huge fashion shows and had famous people like Adam Lambert randomly coming through and getting stuck on murder trains.

Adam Lambert

This was definitely a thing on One Tree Hill too.

27. Finally...WHO approved that ending????!


I don't think you have to be an adult to get this one.

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