Pretty Little Liars, or ‘PLL’ as it is called by fans, is an immensely popular television series, at least in its genre. The series, which first premiered in the year 2010, went on to have as many as 7 seasons comprising 160 episodes in all, thanks to its immense popularity since its initial days itself.
Developed by I. Marlene King, Pretty Little Liars is loosely based on the novel series by the same name, written by Sara Shepard. Why are we saying - loosely based? Well, you will discover as you read this article till the end! In this article, we disclose some of the hidden and biggest backstage secrets of the series that can truly take you by shock.
11. Pretty Little Liar's Shot on the Same Sets as "Gilmore Girls"
Remember the comedy-drama series “Gilmore Girls” which aired in the 2000s? Well, many of the parts of Pretty Little Liars have been shot on the same sets as this show, taking a clue from the similar theme and setting.
For example, the backdrop of the Apple Rose Grille where the lead actors hang out in Rosewood is actually the same set as which you get to see as Luke’s Diner on Gilmore Girls! In fact, there are many more elements like the white-steepled church and the gazebo in the town square, along with the houses and storefronts, which are similar in both the shows.
So if you are a fan of either Pretty Little Liars or Gilmore Girls, you can have a fun time watching the shows and identify g the similarities in the backdrop of certain scenes. Interesting, wouldn’t it be?!
10. Sara Shepard Appeared on the Show Twice!
Well, we bet you didn’t notice this. Sara Shepard, who is the author of the novel series on which the show PLL has been loosely based, has made two distinct cameos on the show in different episodes.
Her first appearance was in season one of the show itself (episode 7 to be precise). In this appearance, she played the role of Miss Shepard, a substitute teacher. The second time she appeared in the show was in season 5, episode 24, in which she played the role of a news analyst.
Now that you know the season and episodes where the ‘author herself’ appeared, go have a replay of the show and spot her right away!
9. Spot the Director I. Marlene King
It’s not just the author of PLL who can be spotted in the show, but the creator & director of the show I. Marlena King also makes an appearance. Marlena can be spotted in the season finale, where she does a cameo as the photographer for the wedding ceremony of Aria and Ezra.
Remember the comic incident when the photographer interrupts the proceedings of the wedding suddenly, as her phone goes off. Well yes, she’s the director there, playing that role!
8. DiLaurentis iI an Anagram for "Liars united."
Well, this is something truly interesting! DiLaurentis is the last name of Alison, and if you observe it carefully, it is an anagram for the words “Liars United”. This means that the letters of the phrase ‘Liars United’ can be rearranged to form the word “DiLaurentis”.
Well, this hidden twist is neither coincidental nor notional. Liars do actually unite after the funeral of Alison DiLaurentis, showing her last name actually makes a lot of sense and was chosen consciously. Mind-boggling it is, phew!
7. Toby is Dead and Maya is Alive!
Toby actually dies in the book. Yes, you heard it right! There are stark differences between the storyline shown in the television series and that in the original novels. As per the novels, when Toby discovers that Emily is aware of his secret relationship with his sister in the past, he panics, to an extent that he overdoses on pills in the woods and passes out.
Similarly, the character of Maya actually stays alive in the novels. We told you, the television series Pretty Little Liars is ‘loosely’ based on the novel series ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Now you know, why? Imagine how different the course of the series had been if the book was followed to the T - just imagine!
6. Real Ages of the PLL Actors
Have you ever tried to guess what would have been the real ages of the PLL actors? Well, if you did, we bet you would have got it all wrong! The PLL actors are actually older than the teen characters that they look like and play on the show.
For instance, Lucy Hale played the role of a 16-year-old teen girl Aria Montgomery, while she herself was 20 years old at that time, Similarly, Tyler Blackburn, who was 23 years old, played the teenage character of Caleb Rivers. In for some more shock? Bianca Lawson played the role of 16 years old Maya, while she was 31 years old - that’s more than double the age of her character!
The only exception of the show was Sasha Pieterse, who at 13, was the youngest on the show and actually played a character matching her age (that of 15 years old Alison DiLaurentis).
5. Ashley Benson and Tyler Blackburn Dated (in real life!)
Ashley and Tyler fans in the house?! Well, you would be pleased to know that this awesome duo actually came pretty close and started dating during the shooting of the show. In fact, Ashley actually cried on the sets when she got to know that the characters of Spencer and Caleb would be hooking up on the show. That’s how attached she got to Tyler and his character Caleb!
Their growing relationship became evident with the many Instagram posts that they posted together as a couple. In fact, they dated for several years, at least till the show was on. However, ever since the end of the show, they seem to have grown distant.
Nevertheless, this relationship can easily be called one of the biggest things that brewed up in the backstage of Pretty Little Liars!
4. Everyone Wanted to Play Spencer
Did you know that the character of Spencer Hastings was the most sought after role for many people in the cast? Firstly, Tammin Sursok wanted to play the role of Spencer and even auditioned for it. However, she ended up with the role of Jenna Marshall. Similarly, Shay Mitchell had also originally auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings, but could not bag the role which eventually went to Troian Bellisario.
Well, if you ask us, we can’t imagine anyone else playing Spencer. Bellisario did it the best!
3. Hale Did Not Know about the Identity of "A", All Through the Show
Can you believe this?! Lucy Hale, who played the role of Aria Montgomery (one of the four main characters) on the show, was not allowed to know who ‘A’ was. The identity of ‘A’ was the central point of the show’s mystery plot and the main hook for the audiences, but at least the cast got to know about the mystery. Well, they knew, but not Hale.
Hale, in an interview, herself revealed that she has a reputation of not being able to keep the secrets to herself, and revealing things to the press. Therefore, the makers of the show made it a point that the mystery of ‘A’ is not revealed to her at any cost, or else it was certain that the secret will be out in the open.
In fact, Hales goes on to add that she tried everything she could, including listening against the doors and bribing the executive directors of the series but could not actually dig out the secret identity of ‘A’. This one is an interesting backstage secret of Pretty Little Liars, isn’t it?
2. Emily Fields is Actually Bisexual (in the book)
This is another deviation from the original storyline that we get to see in the TV series. Emily Fields, one of the prominent characters of Pretty Little Girls is shown to be a lesbian in the series. However, when one refers to the original novels, one discovers that she is not a lesbian but a bisexual character.
Well, if Emily were bisexual, who do you think she would end up with - Ali or Paige? Nevertheless, this existing twist could be possible only in the book, as Emily doesn’t give two hoots to the boys in the series!
1. Tattoo Connections
Now, this is one fact about the show and its cast that not many know, and this is absolutely enthralling. The leading actors of the show have something etched to them, that will stay with them forever - quite literally!
When the show was finally wrapped up, the cast members got the first letter of the name of the characters that they played, tattooed on the side of their index fingers. This was their way of immortalizing these characters and the amazing time they had while playing them for the show. Tell us, how cool is that!
Well, now you know that the mystery of ‘A’ was not the only mysterious thing about the series Pretty Little Liars, right? There’s a lot that went on backstage of the show, which is very interesting to know for a fan. The biggest secret s your favorite teenagers are adults, and they've done a bang-up job at it.