10 Ways Pretty Little Liars Tricked Us Into Thinking Aria Was A – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

10 Ways Pretty Little Liars Tricked Us Into Thinking Aria Was A

In the vast realm of the Pretty Little Liars fandom, Aria Montgomery emerged as a prominent suspect in the enigma surrounding the true identity of A. The constant stream of clues seemed to point directly at her, captivating the attention of fans worldwide. The series revolved around the intertwining lives of Aria, Emily, Hannah, and Spencer as they embarked on a relentless quest to unravel the mystery behind the person who stalked and tormented them, known solely as A. Each season introduced a new A, taking over from the previous one, heightening the intrigue and suspense. Prior to the conclusion of Pretty Little Liars, devoted fans took to social media platforms to engage in in-depth analysis, dissecting the reasons why they firmly believed that Aria embodied the elusive A. Despite the ample opportunities to cast Aria in the role of A, she ultimately never assumed that position. Over the years, the discourse surrounding Aria’s potential as A has persisted on platforms like YouTube and Reddit, as speculation continues to thrive regarding showrunner I. Marlene King and the original intentions of the writers. Some enthusiasts argue that Aria would have made a superior A compared to the characters who eventually assumed that mantle, fueled by the numerous clues scattered throughout the series that seemed to allude to this conclusion.

In the realm of Pretty Little Liars, Aria displayed a propensity for cycling through cell phones at a conspicuous pace. In the inaugural season alone, she seamlessly transitioned between three different phone models. Notably, Aria did not adhere to a single model once she made the switch, utilizing them interchangeably without providing any explanation. Viewers were left to fill in the gaps, speculating that if Aria were indeed A, she would have required multiple phones to communicate with the Liars. The significance of the multiple phones resurfaced in Season 2, Episode 20, titled “CTRL-A,” when Aria cancels a dinner with Ezra. Curiously, Ezra receives the message from an unidentified caller instead of directly from Aria’s phone. In a series where every minor detail holds weight, this occurrence stood out. The only other character who communicated from an unknown number was A, further fueling suspicion. Furthermore, it is crucial to note that Aria’s cancellation of the date foiled A’s plan to expose her relationship with Ezra. This sequence of events appeared too conveniently orchestrated to be mere happenstance.

Throughout the Pretty Little Liars series, Aria demonstrates a penchant for fabricating details about her life. While all the girls occasionally resort to falsehoods, Aria seems particularly prone to lying about trivial and insignificant matters. For instance, when Aria first encounters Ezra in the pilot episode, she conceals her true age. Similarly, when she encounters Maggie, she fabricates her name and age. In the series premiere, Aria orders a cheeseburger but subsequently wavers between claiming to be a vegetarian and a vegan, depending on convenience. These instances represent just a few examples of Aria’s proclivity for distorting basic life details. While some of these discrepancies could be attributed to potential continuity errors, they undeniably added to the mounting suspicion surrounding Aria.

During Season 3, Episode 13, titled “This Is A Dark Ride,” Aria finds herself aboard the Halloween Train, where she crosses paths with Adam Lambert. Attempting to introduce herself, Aria encounters interference from a passing train, rendering her voice inaudible. Undeterred, she resorts to writing her name on a foggy window. Everything appears ordinary until she scribes the second “A” in her name. Strikingly, this “A” bears an uncanny resemblance to A’s signature. The slightly diagonal middle line intersects with the two sides, with one side appearing longer. This similarity arouses suspicion among viewers.

During Mona’s confinement in Radley Sanitorium, Hanna and Aria clandestinely infiltrate the facility to glean crucial information regarding their tormentor. Mona initiates a conversation using a code she and Hanna had devised during their friendship. She utters the cryptic words, “Miss Aria, you’re a killer, not Ezra’s wife.” Deciphered, this cryptic phrase translates to “Maya knew.” Initially, these words appear inherently suspicious, but the show dismisses them as Hanna successfully decodes the message. Unfortunately, Pretty Little Liars fails to clarify the significance of Maya’s knowledge. Maya’s absence of any connection to A or her demise raises questions about the literal interpretation of the sentence. Theoretically, had Aria been A, Mona could have acquired this knowledge from her visit by A to Radley in the Season 2 finale, subsequently attempting to subtly alert Hanna. Ultimately, this theory proves to be unfounded, leaving the purpose behind the code unresolved.

In Season 2, Episode 25, titled “UnmAsked,” the Liars conjecture that A will attend the masquerade ball disguised as the Black Swan. To their surprise, Aria dons a black and red striped dress that strikingly resembles the attire depicted in a poster of the Black Swan. This subtle parallel between Aria’s outfit and the Black Swan’s image further fuels the speculation surrounding her potential association with A.

Throughout the series, A consistently displays an infatuation with dolls, utilizing them as symbolic representations of the Liars on multiple occasions. In Season 1, Episode 10, titled “Keep Your Friends Close,” Aria’s mother, Ella, imparts a memorable piece of wisdom: “People aren’t dolls; you can’t just play with them and put them back in the box when you’re done.” This quote gains renewed significance as A continues to interact with dolls in subsequent seasons. Had Aria indeed been intended as A, this conversation would have served as a clever foreshadowing device.

A, known for relentlessly targeting the Liars’ loved ones, deviates from this pattern in Season 4, Episode 16, titled “Close Encounters,” when A inserts knives into Jake’s punching bag. At this point in the narrative, Aria and Jake have severed ties, refraining from any form of communication after Jake divulges Ezra’s outburst of anger in Rosewood. The presence of knives in Jake’s punching bag, coinciding with this revelation, suggests that A possesses a vested interest in protecting Ezra.

When Aria first becomes aware of Ezra’s book, she expresses her desire to scrutinize every page to ascertain the priority he assigned to her. Subsequently, she informs the other Liars that Ezra believes he possesses insight into A’s identity and Alison’s killer, implying that she has perused its contents. Rather than sharing the book’s contents with her friends, Aria opts to incinerate it in Season 4, Episode 21, titled “She’s Come Undone.” This suspicious act further fuels speculation that she may be attempting to conceal information unveiled by Ezra. After all, if Aria were indeed A, she would undoubtedly strive to eradicate any potential evidence that could expose her true identity.

During the initial season of Pretty Little Liars, the writers, led by I. Marlene King, were still in the process of constructing the long-term storylines. Consequently, numerous details underwent modifications upon entering the second season. An example of such alterations is the revelation that A is ambidextrous, switching from being left-handed to right-handed. This transformation adds to the perplexity and enigma surrounding A’s true nature.


As the captivating saga of Pretty Little Liars unfolded, the intricate web of clues and theories captivated viewers, prompting them to scrutinize every minute detail. The character of Aria Montgomery emerged as a prime suspect, leaving fans enamored with the notion that she may indeed be A. While the series reached its conclusion without Aria assuming the role of A, the lingering debate and speculation persist on various online platforms. The allure of Aria as a potential A stems from the numerous breadcrumbs scattered throughout the show, each hinting at the possibility of her true identity.

In the Pretty Little Liars fandom, Aria Montgomery was a prime suspect for the true identity of A due to the constant clues pointing to her. Pretty Little Liars followed Aria, Emily, Hannah, and Spencer as they tried to uncover the identity of the person stalking and torturing them – known by the name A. The series went through multiple As, each taking over for the last. Before Pretty Little Liars ended, fans took to social media to dissect why they believe Aria is A. Despite the opportunities to make Aria into A, she never took over that role.

In the years since the finale, the conversation surrounding Aria as A has continued on YouTube and Reddit, with continued speculation that showrunner I. Marlene King and the writers originally planned Aria to be A. Others think Aria would’ve been better than the characters who filled the role of A and the passion for this theory comes from the numerous clues throughout the series that pointed to this conclusion.

RELATED: Pretty Little Liars: Cast And Character Guide

10 Aria Possesses Multiple Phones In Pretty Little Liars

This collage shows six of Aria's phones in Pretty Little Liars.

In Pretty Little LiarsAria cycles through cell phones at a noticeable rate. During the first season alone, she switches between three models of phones. Aria doesn’t stick to one model once it’s changed, either. She uses the phones interchangeably without any mention of why. Without any explanation, viewers were left to fill in the blanks. If Aria was A, she would’ve had multiple phones to text the Liars from.

Attention is drawn to the multiple phones again in Pretty Little Liars season 2, episode 20, “CTRL-A” when Aria cancels dinner with Ezra. Rather than coming from her phone, Ezra gets the message from an unknown caller. In this series, every little detail counts. The only other character who texts from an unknown number is A. It’s also important to note that her canceling the date circumvents A’s plan to expose Aria and Ezra’s relationship. This whole encounter arguably felt too convenient to be a coincidence.

9 Aria Seems to Lie About Basic Life Details

Aria and Ezra sit together at the bar in the pilot episode of Pretty Little Liars.

Aria lies about basic life details throughout the Pretty Little Liars series. Though all the girls lie at different points, she seems to lie more about small, unimportant details. For example, when Aria and Ezra first meet in the pilot, she isn’t forthright about her age. Later, when she meets Maggie, she lies about her name and age. In the first episode of the series, Aria orders a cheeseburger but then proceeds to oscillate between being a vegetarian and vegan whenever it’s convenient. These are just a few examples of Aria lying about basic life details. Many of these issues could’ve been continuity errors in Pretty Little Liarsbut they increased the suspicion towards Aria.

8 The A In Aria Looks Like A’s Signature On The Halloween Train

Aria smiles on the Halloween Train with her name written on a foggy window behind her.

During Pretty Little Liars season 3, episode 13, “This Is A Dark Ride,” Aria meets Adam Lambert on the Halloween Train. She tries to introduce herself twice, but the noise from a passing train drowns out her voice. She decides to write her name on the foggy window. Everything about this seems normal until she writes the second “A” in her name. The “A” looks identical to A’s typical signature. The middle line, which is slightly diagonal instead of flat, crosses over the two sides with the line looking longer on one side. This similarity made many viewers suspicious.

Related: The 10 Best Pretty Little Liars Episodes Ranked

7 Mona’s Cryptic Message Called Aria A Killer

Mona sits on her bed in Radley Sanitorium staring into the distance with a blank expression.

When Mona is in Radley Sanitorium, Hanna and Aria break in to speak with her unsupervised as they need information about who is tormenting them. Mona starts speaking in a code that Mona and Hanna made up when they were best friends. She says the words, “Miss Aria, you’re a killer, not Ezra’s wife.” With the code, this breaks down into “Maya knew.” The words seemed suspicious to begin with, but the show writes it off when Hanna decodes the sentence.

Unfortunately, Pretty Little Liars never explains what Maya knew. She wasn’t killed by or connected to any version of A. Following Maya’s death, it begs the question whether the sentence was actually literal rather than code. Theoretically, if Aria was A, Mona would’ve learned this when A visited her at Radley at the end of Pretty Little Liars season 2 and she could’ve been trying to clue in Hanna. This turned out to be untrue since Aria wasn’t A, and it left questions about the code unanswered.

6 Aria Wore A Version Of The Black Swan Costume

Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Aria stand together at the masquerade ball in Pretty Little Liars.

In Pretty Little Liars season 2, episode 25, “UnmAsked,” the Liars believe that A will be at the masquerade ball dressed as the Black Swan. When they arrive at the ball, Aria is dressed in a black and red striped dress that looks suspiciously similar to one iteration of The Black Swan‘s poster. When A changed from Mona to the next person, this detail only added fuel to the fire about Aria being A.

5 Aria’s Mom Tells Her She Can’t Play With People Like Dolls

Aria and Ella sit together at a diner in Pretty Little Liars

Throughout the series, A shows an obsession with dolls, using them to represent the Liars on multiple occasions. In Pretty Little Liars season 1, episode 10, “Keep Your Friends Close,” Ella tells Aria, “People aren’t dolls; you can’t just play with them and put them back in the box when you’re done.” The memorable quote was brought to mind again when A was seen interacting with more dolls in later seasons. If Aria was intended to be A, this conversation would have been a clever piece of foreshadowing.

Related: The Best Quote In Each Season of Pretty Little Liars

4 A Puts Knives In Jake’s Punching Bag When He Talks Bad About Ezra

Knives with bloody tips stick out of Jake's punching bag in Pretty Little Liars.

Oftentimes, A hurts the Liars by attacking their loved ones. This changed in Pretty Little Liars season 4, episode 16, “Close Encounters,” when A puts knives in Jake’s lucky punching bag. At this point in the story, Aria and Jake are broken up. They aren’t even speaking after Jake told Aria about Ezra having an outburst of anger in the middle of Rosewood. The knives appeared in Jake’s punching bag at the end of that very episode. Based on the timing of the attack on Jake, it seems that A has a vested interest in protecting Ezra.

3 Aria Burned Ezra’s Book In Pretty Little Liars

Aria reads the notes that Ezra wrote about Ali's death.

When Aria first learns about Ezra’s book, she says that she wants to read every page he wrote to know what he put above her in importance. She later tells the other Liars that Ezra believes he knows who A is and who killed Ali, implying that she read the pages. Rather than sharing them with the liars, Aria decides to burn the book in Pretty Little Liars season 4, episode 21, “She’s Come Undone.” The suspicious action made many believe she was trying to hide information that Ezra uncovered. After all, if she was A, she’d want to destroy any evidence that could reveal her identity.

RELATED: Pretty Little Liars: What Happened To Alison (& Why She Was Disappeared)

2 Aria’s Doll Is Dressed Like A in Mona’s Lair

In A's lair, dolls of the Liars sit next to each other with Aria dressed in a black hoodie and pants.

When Spencer and Mona go to A’s lair, they look around at the items. Spencer notices a dollhouse with Barbies that look like each of the liars. Every doll is dressed in the style of the character except for the Aria doll. Instead of her unique and eclectic style, the doll wears a black zip-up hoodie and dark pants, a typical outfit of A. The only thing her doll is missing is a pair of black, leather gloves. If Aria was A’s accomplice, that would explain the doll’s attire. She could’ve easily worked with the first A and then taken over when A went away.

1 Aria & A Are Both Left-Handed

A holds up a black zip hoodie on a hanger with their left hand in Pretty Little Liars.

During season 1 of Pretty Little LiarsI. Marlene King and the writers were still plotting out the long-term storylines. As such, many details changed when entering the second season. One example of this is that A switches to using their left hand dominantly instead of their right. This change stays fairly consistent throughout the rest of the series, only changing when someone else on the A-Team is filmed in their hoodie. Many viewers looked at this as a hint at A’s identity.

A number of characters use their left hand dominantly, including Alison DiLaurentis, Paige McCullers, Cece Drake, Jason DiLaurentis, Wren Kingston, and Aria Montgomery. Mona’s also ambidextrous, using both hands dominantly at different times. It turns out this detail did hint at A’s identity in Pretty Little Liars; it was simply misinterpreted as Aria due to the other clues pointing in that direction.

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