The trend started with Aria and Ezra, but continued with Jenna and Garrett, a high schooler and an adult police officer. Jenna was a manipulative, popular teenager and Garrett was a cop in Rosewood. They had a secret relationship, hidden from the other students and townspeople. Ian Thomas was Melissa Hastings' husband, marrying her after a whirlwind romance. This bit of drama didn't go anywhere particularly interesting, meaning there wasn't really any payoff for the creepy backstory.
The first girl Emily ever dated, Maya St. Germain was a bold step forward for LGBT representation on the show. Essentially leaving her boyfriend for her, the change in Emily was immediate, as she seemed noticeably more at peace with herself. Watching Emily and Maya explore their relationship full of all kinds of firsts for Emily was sweet, and had the added conflict of Emily not immediately coming out to her family.
Yet that was exactly what happened when Ashley Marin Hanna's mother started dating police officer Darren Wilden while he was investigating her daughter for a pair of crimes. It's one thing for a mother to parade her new boyfriend around her house with her teenage daughter around, but another thing entirely for her to date him while he harasses her daughter and her friends. Officer Wilden was wildly unprofessional, and Ashley having an affair with him in spite of this just damaged her ability to seem like a caring, involved mother.
Jenna Marshall appears a few times on this list, mostly in the "Hurt" section, but this one was the exception. Jenna's other relationships all felt more like abuse than actual couples, but in Noel Kahn, she found her match. Noel was as evil and manipulative as Jenna was, and watching the two characters scheme together was just fun.
It didn't hurt that actors Tammin Sursok and Brant Daugherty had good chemistry together, and fans realized that they were much more interesting to watch when they had an equal to bounce off of. They made for great antagonists, but all good things must come to an end, especially when Noel perished in the final season. To get fans interested in the new show, a character from the original, Caleb Rivers, was transported over to the other town.
Fans didn't flock to the new show and it was canceled after just one season, and some were miffed that Caleb and Hanna's relationship was interrupted for it. Aria met Jake, a martial arts instructor, in the fourth season, and there was an immediate attraction between them.
This was a couple that could have gone the distance, if Aria hadn't met him while still pining for Ezra Fitz. This couple was far from perfect, but at least it didn't feel outright sleazy. What is it with Spencer Hastings and the men who date her sister? While Troian Bellisario and Julian Morris had incredible chemistry, this couple combined two hallmarks of several negative relationships on Pretty Little Liars -- an adult dating a teenager and betrayal. Things got even messier later on, when Wren got romantically involved with both Hanna and Spencer's secret, evil twin, Alex Drake.
This couple, which started out as another in a long line of creepy relationships involving grown men was also used as part of a lackluster twist at the very end of season 7. Yeah, it was not great. Alison DiLaurentis had a habit of dating men who had bad relationships with one of the Liars, and then somehow having a worse relationship with that man.
This was the case with Ian Thomas, as his relationship with Spencer definitely wasn't great, but his involvement with Alison was just weird. Another relationship that occurs entirely through flashbacks, Alison and Ian secretly dated while he was on a break with Melissa. This tryst ended when Alison disappeared, and it doesn't really add much to the overall story. How do you redeem a character known primarily for her ice-cold, calculating nature?
One of the best ways has always been to put them in a relationship with the purest character around. Emily Fields was always the most caring and loyal of the Liars, and while her attraction to manipulative queen bee Alison puzzled some, it soon became one of the most popular couples in the fandom. By the end of the series, Emily and Alison had children together and were planning to get married, hoping to spend the rest of their lives together. Fans wouldn't have it any other way. If you're going to write a TV romance, go all the way, with no half measures.
Hanna and Travis had a relationship between seasons four and five, and there was never a moment between them that felt particularly compelling. Hanna was essentially using Travis to keep her mother out of prison, and Travis wanted things to be more serious. As it was, the relationship was always stuck in neutral, never boasting the highs and lows of the other stormy affairs on the show. Sometimes, all a TV relationship needs to do is stir up some drama. That's definitely what the on screen pairing of Spencer and Caleb did, as these two characters didn't actually get together until the final season.
There was an attraction between them and obvious chemistry between the actors, but there was one problem: Caleb was Hanna's biggest romantic interest in the series, making it all feel like a betrayal. Hanna and Caleb had been one of the most central couples of the whole show, and fans were shocked when they broke up during the timeskip. Compounding the drama was Caleb's new relationship with Spencer-- the only time in the series two of the Liars went for the same person.
This couple may not have lasted, but it gave the last season just the kick it needed. Spencer goes back to her house when she hears someone in the bushes. It turns out to be Toby who is taking a break from work because he wanted to give her flowers for their anniversary. They kiss and she says that they're beautiful as she puts them in a vase. Toby sees an "A" key on her counter, but Spencer says that it was Melissa's.
Toby has to go back to work so they kiss again and say "I love you". Later that night, Spencer calls Toby to make sure is okay because he was driving back in a storm. He tells her that he'll make it back before it really hits. Thinking Spencer is not home, Toby sneaks into her house to get the "A" key back. To his surprise, Spencer has the key because she figured out he was A from seeing the Radley card at his place. When he walks toward her, she slaps him for everything he did to her and her friends. Before either of them can say anything else, Spencer's mom comes home and he runs out as Spencer cries in her mom's arms.
A broken-hearted Spencer goes to Toby's loft to hear an explanation about what she just saw tonight. When he doesn't answer, she tries to get in with her key but the locks got changed. Spencer begins to break down crying in front of his door realizing that the guy she is in love with, is apart of the A-Team. Just then, a black hooded figure starts chocking her as she wakes up from the bad dream.
At school, Spencer breaks down crying in front of Emily saying that her and Toby broke up.
Later on, Spencer hires a Private Investigator to find out what room the key is too. She also gives him a picture of her and Toby together, saying if he follows that guy he'll find the room. But before she gives it to him, she rips herself out of the picture so she doesn't have to remind herself of everything that he put her through. After Spencer finds the empty 'A' room, she starts sobbing because it seems that Toby doesn't care for her, despite being A. She goes to the mausoleum where Ali's remains got buried.
After the other girls and Jason have left, she spots Toby's mother's vault near to Alison's and uses the key to A's Lair to scratch Toby's name into the marble next to his mother's name, signalling that he is dead to her. Back at the motel Toby is staying at, Spencer still seems skeptical of Toby. She tries to give him the cold shoulder, but when he admits that Mona doesn't know where he is staying and that he doesn't know anything about Red Coat except for her leadership, she begins to believe him. Spencer says she understands why Toby made the decision to join the A Team, as she has made the same one.
But she also adds that she doesn't entirely believe him because she hasn't seen him hurting in the same way she has been. Toby is saddened by this, and begins to cry and Spencer realizes that this has been hurting him just as much as it has been hurting her. She tries to console him and apologize and the two end up kissing each other.
A few scenes later, Spencer and Toby are seen kissing each other, having sex, and cuddling than spooning. Spencer tries to convince Mona that Emily, Hanna, and Aria are on their way to the cabin, as she has just spoken to them. Mona tries to question her further, but Spencer ignores her and kisses Toby and hugs him, to which Mona looks disgusted. After getting off of the phone with Red Coat, Mona hands Toby a flashlight.
Spencer doesn't know what's going on. Mona taunts her, saying, "It sucks being lied to. Spencer realizes she has been set up. Out in the woods, it is actually revealed that Toby previously informed Spencer of this plan and she played along with it. Toby reminds her that the objective is for her to see Red Coat, not the other way around. Later in the episode, Spencer and Toby are in her kitchen and Spencer is reading out Wilden's murder report in the newspaper while Toby makes her breakfast.
Toby tries to take Spencer's mind off of the murder and forces her to eat the breakfast cooked for her by her 'boyfriend'. Spencer says she likes the way that sounds.
She then asks for more coffee, and against his better judgment, Toby agrees to pouring her one more cup. He gives her a quick kiss and they're about to leave, but when Spencer says she should ditch and spend the day with him, he hastily says that he has a job. His phone then rings, but upon seeing the caller, probably A Toby puts it in his pocket.
Spencer asks him what's wrong and says they don't keep secrets, but Toby denies keeping any. Spencer tells him about the events of the previous night, but it doesn't seem like breaking news to him. Before Spencer can get any more suspicious, Toby leaves in a hurry. While ripping up her first draft of her college essay, Spencer asks Toby why he is at her house. He confesses to moving the RV, because A had something he wanted. Spencer gets mad and questions how he knew where Mona had parked it. Toby replies that A already knew.
Spencer continues to yell until Toby gets out a transcript from Radley of the night that his mother killed herself. Toby is looking through his mother's transcript again, while Spencer researches more about Tippi's phone number. Realizing Toby's stressed out and upset, Spencer approaches him. He says he wants to find out more about his mom, but it's not in the transcript. She looks at him for a moment and tells him that the other girls are going to find out about what he did with the RV.
Toby says he knows, and then stands up. Spencer informs him that they should probably tell the girls before they find out, but Toby says he doesn't have the courage to do it. She gives him the address, and they're about to go, but Toby tells her that he's going alone, since Spencer has to worry about Melissa.
She asks him why he has to go now, and he says, "Now is all I've got. The girls don't believe her at first, until Spencer admits it's true. The other girls are shocked by this revelation, and upset with her. They're about to reveal it to Hanna, but Hanna says whatever they need to say can wait, so she still doesn't know yet. Unfortunately, Spencer cannot tell them the reason he moved the RV, due to the fact that she promised Toby she wouldn't until he's ready.
Later on, Toby comes over to Spencer's house. She tells him that the other girls know he moved the RV, and are upset with her. Toby says he can't tell them the reason he moved the RV because then he'll never know what really happened to his mother.
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Spencer understands, but she's still annoyed. She knows she has to win her friends' trust back. Toby tries to apologize for all of this, but Spencer simply says "I know", implying that she's still a little bit upset. He points out some creepy things in Ravenswood as they continue to drive. When they arrive at where they think she is, a creepy man says he's the only one here, and continues to trim the bushes.
Spencer grabs Toby's hand and tells him they should leave, and then they drive back into some location in Ravenswood. Grunwald in a building, and she rushes in to get answers. When Toby notices she's gone, he rushes into the building while Spencer begins confronting Mrs. Grunwald seems to be lying, as she says she knows nothing about Alison, Spencer gets irritated and then leaves the hair salon with Toby. Toby tells Spencer she needs to let go and stop trusting birds, Spencer gets a little frustrated. She says that she may be trusting birds, but he's trusting -A.
Shana begins to get into Jenna's car, and Toby points it out. They get back into Spencer's car, and Spencer starts driving quickly so she can keep up with Jenna and Shana. Unfortunately, they lose Jenna and Shana when a dead crow hits their car. The three of them discuss it a little bit, and then Toby asks Caleb for a minute alone with Spencer, and Caleb jokingly says they can, but they shouldn't start making out or something.
Spencer laughs a little and says that she missed him while Caleb and him were playing 'Hardy boys', but now isn't the time for that. She goes into the kitchen with Toby and they talk. They go into his truck and Toby turns it on, when music starts playing.
The music is Toby's mother singing, and he begins to cry. Spencer doesn't want him to trust -A anymore, but he doesn't listen. Spencer meets with her friends, and they're wondering why she keeps sneaking around with Toby. Hanna asks her if she's pregnant, causing Emily to tell her to shut up. Spencer reveals that Toby is getting gifts about his mother's death. Later on, Emily tells her to tell Toby not to trust -A.
At the hoedown dance, Spencer and Toby arrive, with Emily by their side. Spencer says that she doesn't know the difference between a two-step and a polka, so she asks Toby if he'll lead. He says sure, but then jokes and asks what a polka is. She calls him and messages him multiple times, but he doesn't respond. He's really in his loft, very upset about what happened the set-up with A. Toby starts walking out of his loft and to the Brew, when he sees Shana.
Shana drops a paper on her way out, so Toby picks it up and reads it. It reveals information about Wren and Melissa. Toby immediately calls Spencer. It's implied that she invites him over, because he is at her house in the next scene. Toby keeps pointing out that Wren is her ex-boyfriend. After they change the subject from Wren, Spencer confronts him about leaving. She expresses how concerned and scared she was that A had done something to him.
She tells him he can't disappear anymore. He tells her that he usually leaves when he feels like the walls are closing in on him, but this time, he stayed for her. He tells her that she was right about A. She tells him that she doesn't want him to stop looking, but he says that he doesn't want A's version of the story, and that's as close as he wants to get to A ever again. She wipes a tear off her face, and Toby takes her hands.
The next day, Spencer is with her friends. She's on the phone with Toby as they reach the magic show in Ravenswood.
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Spencer says, "I love you" over the phone to him before she hangs up. In Who's In The Box? He gets out as her friends leave, and Spencer and Toby reunite in front of Rosewood High. They hug each other, and Spencer asks about his mom, until Mona drives by quickly, making the subject change to her.
Later, Spencer is at Toby's loft. They continue to talk about his mom. Their conversation leads to the subject of Radley. Spencer and Toby confront a woman from Decladine about the issue with his mother. Spencer backs him up. At Spencer's house, Toby compliments Spencer's work. She suggests that he talks to his dad about the thing with his mom, and he says he will, but he has more important things.
By that, he means Spencer. He kisses her, but she pulls away when her dad comes home. Toby starts to talk about how smart she is to her dad. Hastings about Radley, and he says that Radley could be shut down. He reveals that Spencer's dad cancelled on their meeting. Spencer says that she doesn't think that meeting with her dad is a good idea, anyway, since they don't know the real reason he wants to help.
She thinks her dad is hiding something. Toby half-jokes that they don't know a lot of things, such as "Astrophysics, Portuguese, how to make flan". He insists that he should do this, and Spencer seems reluctant, but she agrees to talk to her dad about it. She gets up to leave, but Toby pulls her back to the couch to kiss her. They start to make out on his couch, and then Spencer says she knows how to make flan. Toby jokes and says he's not surprised. They both laugh before starting to make out again. Later, after Spencer gets into an argument with her dad, she goes to Toby's loft and asks if she can move in with him for a while.
In Close Encounters , Spencer is in Toby's loft in the morning after she moved in with him. She is wearing Toby's boxers and shirt. There's a knock at the loft door, and it's her dad. He's surprised to see her there, since she lied and said she was with Hanna. Toby comes out in only a towel, starting to say, "Spence, I got the hot water Spencer's dad tells Toby to put some pants on, and then they have a talk about Radley. Spencer finds out that her dad has an ulterior motive for wanting Toby to sign the Radley papers. She calls Toby and tries to warn him. When she goes to his loft after she's just followed Emily, she discovers that Toby's already signed the paper.
She's upset that her dad manipulated him into signing it. Toby gets upset and tells her to let it go. He gets up and walks away. In Shadow Play , noir Toby interrogates Spencer for much of the episode. However, when they go to an interrogation room, Spencer and Toby end up kissing. Later, Toby hits Ezra and rescues the girls.
He keeps telling Spencer something that she doesn't understand, and then Spencer goes back to reality, and realizes what Toby said in her hallucination. In Free Fall , Toby returns for real, and reunites with Spencer at school. Spencer is initially distant due to her drug problem, but she claims she isn't mad at Toby for taking the money, but rather disappointed. Toby says his mom wouldn't have been disappointed because she would want him to make his life full and share it with the people he loves.
Toby asks, "You wanna start by sharing a sandwich? Spencer agrees, and they hug at school.
Spencer and Toby have lunch together. Toby tries to make plans to get alone time with her, but she seems distant and busy. The bell rings, and they hug and kiss before Spencer leaves, even though Toby can tell that something is wrong.