Teenage life is often dramatic, but never more so than for the main characters of Pretty Little Liars. After Ali disappeared, her friends Hanna, Spencer, Aria, and Emily were totally lost and while a stalker kept chasing them, they still went to class, fell in love, and fought with each other.

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Rosewood is not an easy place to grow up, but it is the perfect setting for a juicy teen drama. When Ali and his friends came of age and experienced all that young adulthood had to offer, pretty Little Liars often perfectly portrayed this time of life.

10 Feeling stubborn about choosing a mate

From Aria and Ezra hanging around in the beginning to Hanna and Caleb’s secret beginning of their romance, many of the main characters in pretty Little Liars They have been stubborn with their love lives.

While Aria’s friends and family were nervous about the age difference between her and Ezra, not to mention the fact that he was a teacher at Rosewood High, she stood her ground and continued to see him anyway. When Hanna’s mother was concerned that she would let him live in her house without telling her, Hanna shrugged, as her feelings for Caleb were already very strong. This is true to the experience of being a teenager, as dating advice is hard to listen to.

9 A teenager who thinks he knows more than his parents

Pretty Little Liars Byron Aria Ella

The Byron affair came to light in season one, and Aria was understandably devastated. She didn’t tell her mom at first, and A tormented her with this information.

Aria was enraged at her father, and didn’t want to hear his side of the story or realize that maybe there were problems in her parents’ marriage that she wasn’t aware of. Aria believed that she knew more than her parents, and decided that her father was an idiot and that there was nothing else to the story. If he were older, perhaps he would have seen the nuances in a relationship and realized that his father was only human and was incredibly sorry for his mistake. Nothing excuses what Byron did to his family, but he was not the monster that Aria felt he was.

8 Follow a friend’s joke or idea

pll jenna

Every time the liars saw Jenna Marshall, it was a horrible reminder of the joke they called “The Jenna Thing.”

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Before Ali disappeared and when she was still Rosewood’s queen bee, Ali wanted to play a prank on Toby, but instead Jenna lost her sight. The other girls knew this was wrong and they weren’t sure of this idea from the start. But, instead of listening to their instincts and telling Ali not to do it, they accepted it. This was a painful but realistic story, as it is difficult for many to defend themselves when they are so young and want to belong to a social group.

7 The pressure to perform well academically and enter college

pll braid spencer

From stealing her sister Melissa’s essay to becoming addicted to pills, Spencer put a lot of pressure on herself, but it was also the environment around her.

In a posh and posh city like Rosewood, everyone has money and everyone has high expectations. Students do well in school and enter the ivy leagues. Spencer’s struggles echo those of many teenagers. He knew he had to get good grades in order to get into a great school, and that consumed many of his waking hours during his high school years.

6 Feeling insecure about physical appearance

pll ali and hanna

Hanna could have picked up where Ali left off and become a beloved part of Rosewood High, but she was still struggling inside. He reminded Hanna of her past eating disorder and made her eat cupcakes in a scene from the first season.

Through the character of Hanna, pretty Little Liars The teenage experience was right, as Hanna felt insecure about her appearance. She wasn’t comfortable in her own skin, and it took her a while, maybe even after graduating from high school and being able to leave A behind for a while, to feel better and more confident.

5 The desire to be popular and loved

pll liars scared

The main characters are all friends because of Ali and, before her disappearance, she was the most popular person in the school. Everyone loved her, feared her, and wanted to do what she said.

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pretty Little Liars does a great job of showing what it’s like to be in high school and wanting to be popular and loved. Ali had this wish, as did his friends. While she could be mean and manipulative and knew all their secrets, they were afraid of what would happen if they confronted her too boldly.

4 Dances and school events play an important role in daily life

Hanna and Aria dressed up for the homecoming dance in Pretty Little Liars

In the first season episode “There’s No Place Like Homecoming,” the Liars attended the Homecoming, and the show is spot on in pointing out that high school students care a lot about big events like dances.

The characters also cared a lot about whom they took as dates. Hanna realized that Emily wanted to ask Maya, so she made sure Maya attended the dance. The Liars also starred in a play together at the beginning of the series, which is true to life as many high school students engage in at least one extracurricular activity.

3 First love and heartbreak

pll toby spencer crying

All of the Liars experienced first love and heartbreak during the show’s first few seasons. Toby and Spencer fell hard and fast in love with each other and were devastated when they broke up. Hanna, Aria, and Emily also seemed to have their first serious relationships with Caleb, Ezra, and Maya.

Falling in love and then everything falls apart is definitely a common part of the teenage experience, and PLL He excelled in portraying this aspect of young adulthood. Every kiss and every look felt like the most important thing that had ever happened, and every argument and breakup was so difficult.

two Sibling competition and family problems

pll spencer melissa

While Melissa and Spencer began to understand each other later in the series, they seemed to hate each other at the beginning of PLL. They were competing with each other, and Melissa always wanted Spencer to feel a step backward, and this was really difficult for Spencer. Aria also struggled to get along with Mike and was concerned for his well-being.

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PLL He perfectly understood this part of the adolescent experience, as it can be difficult to get along with siblings and not constantly feel compared to them. All of the liars dealt with the family drama as well, from Spencer discovering the secrets her parents kept from her to Aria’s parents’ divorce.

1 Having a secret life and not telling parents everything

The Wine Moms pll

pretty Little Liars It always focused on the mystery and romantic lives of the girls, but their parents also had some screen time.

The main characters lived a secret life when they were in high school, trying to figure out A’s next move and what level of danger they were actually in. They didn’t want to say much to their parents and although they knew their moms cared about them, they didn’t feel comfortable telling them what was going on. This sounds true to life, as many teens want to keep dating and friendships private.

NEXT: Pretty Little Liars: The Main Characters, Ranked By Work Ethic

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