Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell
The ladies of Pretty Little Liars have been on one wild ride throughout the show's past four seasons.
What began with a simple anonymous text message from the omniscient "A" has turned into a complicated mystery with the foursome at the center -- (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell) — never knowing who to trust. The series has seen several people don the hoodie and assume the identity of A, even more characters die, secrets surface, relationships get destroyed and even one person, the thought-to-be-dead Alison (Sasha Pieterse), return. As the show, now in its fifth season, hits the milestone 100th episode, TVGuide.com chatted with the cast and creative team to find out their favorite episodes, most wacky plotlines, saddest character deaths, which story received the most backlash and more!
Marlene King, executive producer: The Season 4B finale. I had the pleasure of writing and directing so it made it very special. We were very true to [Sara Shepard's books], and this episode was the end to that story in a lot of ways with the pilot and this finale as the bookends.
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Oliver Goldstick, executive producer: The first "bottle episode" I did when Emily (Mitchell) and Alison (Pieterse) kiss in the library. It was so contained with not a lot of action, and we all got to know each other. Also, the first one I directed when Spencer (Bellisario) was at Radley, and she danced with Alison to Dionne Warwick.
Joseph Dougherty, executive producer: The first ones that come to mind are the ones [I] wrote, so the noir episode and the Halloween on the train episode. Also the episode that opens with the girls in their orange jumpsuits. We got a little ahead of the curve there; that was long before Orange Is the New Black.
Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis: The black and white episodebecause it was so much fun for us and such a treat. All of our wardrobe was from the '40s Warner Bros. costume lot, and our crew members dressed up too.
Brant Daugherty as Noel Kahn: Hands down, it's the one named after me in Season 3, "The Kahn Game." We not only meet my brother, but we get into my lair.
King: I'm the one who has to call them and tell them they're dying, which I hate, so they're all hard, but when I saw how fans were so devastated by Maya's (Bianca Lawson) death -- that affected me greatly.
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Goldstick: Maya. She didn't deserve that.
Ashley Benson: Season 4 finale [when Alison's mom was buried].
Shay Mitchell: Any time a character leaves I'm so sad, but speaking on Emily's behalf, Maya.
Craziest story line
Troian Bellisario: [When Red Coat] flew the plane. Every once in a while I'm like, "Did we jump the shark?" But everyone was OK with it.
Daugherty: I always thought it was bizarre the way Noel reacts to Aria and Ezra (Ian Harding) being together and starts to stalk Ezra a bit and blackmail him. Is it jealousy or that he knows something?
Dougherty: Anything Mona (Janell Parish)-related so Mona in Radleywould be my choice.
Goldstick: Flying the plane, but we did set that up when she was in Brookhaven taking flying lessons. I think we go for the outrageous because Alison gives you the license to go there. She's mythic in her meanness and naughtiness!
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Plot that received the most backlash
King: People were really shaken up by Ezra not being A. And going back to [when we revealed] Toby (Keegan Allen) as A, that was the one where the earth shook for awhile. We had a lot of broken hearts that night.
Goldstick: Ezra's reveal. I'm not a person who follows social media, but certainly I know [ what was big]. It was Season 4, and we had to run with the ball and we also we had set a lot up early on with clues, and they were in denial! There was a specific scene in Season 2 where Aria almost went in his drawer and he wouldn't let her and instead put his arm around her and looks back at the drawer. So the playoff was exciting for me.
Doughtery: Fans tend to be very passionate about the relationships and they tend to look at "Ezria" as something untouchable that should be perfect. I keep saying, "If it was perfect, you wouldn't watch it!"
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Bellisario: The whole thing with Aria and Ezra is hilarious because to me I'm like, "Dude, get this guy out! He's obviously using you," but everyone's like, "Ezra to the death!" No, he is bad for her, this is unhealthy and you're teaching people bad relationships. So that's one relationship I can't get behind.
Worst thing your character has done
Pieterse: Alison has done so many bad things but "the Jenna thing" was pretty terrible. That's probably the worst she's done in the sense that someone got hurt. She's blackmailed people, but blinding someone is pretty irreversible. Now she's a totally different person and she's been emotionally wounded so I'm sure that's one of her biggest regrets.
Ian Harding as Ezra Fitzgerald: My [secret] was pretty nutty where I've been lying this whole time and writing a book. I thought, "Wow, that's ballsy."
Favorite scene or plot
Harding: This Halloween I had a fight scene with Troian in the gas mask which was fun but awkward to shoot. I could only see out the sides. We also had a fake thing of gardening shears that she hit me with but it didn't hurt because it was rubber. I got some serious whiplash though.
Hale: The one where Aria got to trash Ezra's apartment, and I go a little crazy. I got to show a different side to Aria's character. She's had it the easiest out of all the girls so far so it was fun to go a little wild.
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Bellisario: Spencer's story lines dealing with her mental fragility whether it's her drug addiction or mental breakdown. Those have always been my favorite because ... it felt real to me, especially the Adderall [plot]. I felt it was handled in a true and beautiful way.
Daugherty: One of my favorite moments is when I break up with Mona, and she gives me the necklace back that I gave her. The director said, "It would be great if you chuck it in the trash." I will never forget the look on Janell's face as she walks away.
Benson: The Halloween episode where I was fat Britney Spears.
Dougherty: People really care a lot about Emily and Paige (Lindsey Shaw), and it's been a great luxury for me to write about those two characters. I got a lot of response to (the love scene in the noir episode) and they realized doing it the way we did it was actually more romantic.
Ryan Merriman as Ian Thomas: I really liked the [episode] in Season 2 when I died...I got to be shot in the head which was fun. I took a bunch of pictures for my friends with the hole in my head.
Most coveted wardrobe
Mitchell: Hanna and Spencer. I'm a girly girl so I'll take the heels over sneakers.
Benson: Spencer's or Emily's.
What's your favorite PLL moment? Go behind the scenes with the cast for the 100th episode:
Pretty Little Liars Airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC Family.