Ever since the Big A reveal on Pretty Little Liars shattered our high expectations, we thought about giving up on the show entirely (at least until we change our minds when it returns in January 2016). Instead of focusing on our disappointment, let’s remember the show’s better twists, turns and reveals that drove us crazy and made us gasp in horror.
10. Melissa buried Bethany alive (season 5, episode 11)
The Hastings family has always kept secrets but this one was the biggest. While earlier seasons painted Melissa as cold and heartless, her confession in this episode showed that she was always looking out for Spencer’s best interests. After thinking her sister killed Alison, Melissa took the body (later revealed to be Bethany Young) and buried it. Now that’s showing your sister some love!
9. Bitch can see! (season 2, episode 24)
Throughout the second season, Jenna mentioned getting surgery to regain her sight but it turned out to be ineffective. However, at the end of this crucial episode, she smacked a fly on her mirror and checked out her make-up. This confirmed that “Bitch can see!” This scene made viewers scared about what the scary Jenna Marshall would do next.
8. Maya’s murder (season 2, episode 25)
While Mona may have unmasked herself as A in this episode, it was far from the only twist. The look on Emily’s face after hearing about Maya’s death is enough to break your heart. However, several fan theories keep pointing out that Maya could still be alive and this list may need updating if that ever gets revealed.
7. Maya’s killer is revealed (season 3, episode 12)
We always knew he was bad news. When Nate St. Germain revealed himself to be Lyndon James, Maya’s obsessive ex-boyfriend, we couldn’t wait to see justice served. But we would much rather learn that Maya is secretly alive! After all, Lyndon never actually said he killed Maya.
6. The original A is unmasked (season 2, episode 25)
This may not have shocked book fans but the execution of the plot was still just as intense. When Mona unmasked herself as the original elusive stalker, it was a well-paced twist that adds up if you re-watch previous episodes (unlike the CeCe Drake story). Also, in a neat contrast from the books, Mona survived after falling from a cliff, keeping even the most knowledgeable fans on their toes.
5. Alison is alive! (season 3, episode 24; season 4, episodes 12 & 13)
Three key episodes made this shocker a big deal for fans. When we saw Alison standing over Hanna after pulling the girls out of the burning Thornhill Lodge, it wasn’t the biggest surprise since most people were thinking about the twin theory from the books. However, when Mrs. Grunwald revealed that she did, in fact, pull a very much alive Alison DiLaurentis out of the ground, it created several new mysteries. Then, in the Halloween episode, Ali turned around, faced the girls, and said four simple words: “Did you miss me?” We did miss her and we were excited to see more of her.
4. Mona’s murder (season 5, episode 12)
How could someone outsmart the original A? We refused to believe this and even wondered if Mona escaped and faked her death. But when A opened her car trunk and revealed Mona’s lifeless body, our dreams were destroyed. After all, it seemed obvious that she was dead! However, this is thankfully contradicted later.
3. Mona is alive! (season 5, episode 25)
After A captured the girls and put them in the doll house, they entered a room and saw a girl wearing Alison’s trademark yellow top. We wondered if it could be Ali or maybe even a twin to keep that theory alive. But when she removed the mask, we were shocked to find out it was actually Mona. As much as creator and executive producer I. Marlene King (and Janel Parrish, the actress portraying Mona) promised that Mona was really dead, this twist stopped us from trusting her forever.
2. Is Ezra on the A team!? (season 4, episode 12)
We had no idea what was happening when Ezra walked into an “A”-like lair but we couldn’t stop screaming at our TVs. A social media campaign even encouraged fans to post selfies of their reactions. The shocked facial expressions for this episode were probably what the writers were aiming for with the recent Big A reveal.
1. Toby’s “betrayal” (season 3, episode 12)
This twist happened right as the series started to dominate social media. For weeks leading up to this episode, the TV spots teased the Shorty Award winning campaign for the #TheBetrAyal hashtag. This was such a guarded secret, that the scene was actually shot with different actors under the black hood. When Toby turned around to reveal himself as Mona’s “assistant,” we felt more betrayed than the actual characters. While we later learned that Toby was just doing this to protect the girls, this iconic scene still blows us away each time we see it.