If you’re anything like me, you remember watching “Pretty Little Liars” in your years as a preteen and a young teenager. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, it follows four high school girls – Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer – who are being harassed by a mysterious stalker known only as “A” following the death of their best friend, Alison. My sorority recently did a “Pretty Little Liars” trivia event, which reignited my obsession with the show and even led me to start re-watching it (I may or may not have already gotten through season one). My friends and I like to argue which of the “Liars” is the best character, and it sometimes gets more intense than a presidential debate. Here are my rankings for best PLL character. If you disagree with me, you’re wrong.
- Hanna Marin – Hanna is the BEST! She is such a loyal friend and always tries to do the right thing. When “A” steals her mom’s money, Hanna sacrifices her own comfort and safety to play along with “A’s” game and get it back. She befriends Lucas when no one else will and calls out Mona when she tries to make fun of him. Hanna also would have done anything for her boyfriend, Sean. When her friend, (and love interest), Caleb needs a place to stay because he is in foster care, Hanna risks getting in trouble with her mom to let Caleb sleep in her basement. She is always willing to do anything to help the people she loves no matter the cost to herself, and that is what makes Hanna by far the best character.
- Emily Fields – Emily gets second place because she’s unproblematic, even though her character is probably the most stagnant and least developed. Emily is incredibly kind and helps a girl on the swim team who is struggling with her sexuality despite the fact that this girl severely bullied and even attacked her. Emily has to struggle with the fact that her mom does not accept that she is gay, but she handles the situation with grace and never really lashes out. Emily is hard working and never gives up. She always holds onto hope that Alison is still alive.
- Spencer Hastings – Spencer is pretty stuck up and self-centered, but she is a strong leader for the group. Spencer is a classic over-achiever who is constantly pressured by her rich, high-profile family to succeed. Spencer often gets caught up in herself and thinks her own petty, rich-person problems are more important than everyone else’s. However, she is brave and is the person who keeps digging and asking questions to learn the truth about Alison’s death and “A.” She has the courage to befriend Toby Cavanaugh and assert that he did not kill Alison despite everyone else blaming him. However, she is also not the best because she tends to have a habit of hooking up with whichever guy is engaged to her sister at the time, (I’m not sure how Melissa never ends up murdering Spencer during the series TBH).
- Aria Montgomery – We’ve reached the bottom of the rankings. Don’t get me wrong, Aria is a cool character and the parts of the show that involve her are always really entertaining. However, there are some issues here. Let’s start with the fact that she’s dating her high school English teacher who’s like ten years older than her (while she’s his student and a minor). She lied about her age to him when they first met, but then came clean when she found out he was her teacher on the first day of school. She also hides her affair from her friends and family and goes to see him in secret. Considering a lot of young girls watch this show, Aria’s probably not setting the best example here. Aside from that, when her dad cheats on her mom, she keeps it a secret from her mom to protect her dad. Obviously, this creates some moral issues. Overall, Aria is kind of whiny and self-centered, and tends to have a habit of not making the best decisions.