A Pretty Little Liars Cheat Sheet: Who Is A?

Really, any of the show's core cast could be her. Brush up on the existing conspiracy theories

Part Regina George, part Julian Assange, the anonymous villain A is the ultimate cyberbully on teen noir Pretty Little Liars. Arriving on the heels of  Alison’s disappearance, A torments four friends—Aria (played by FLARE’s July cover star, Lucy Hale), Spencer, Hanna and Emily—from hiding worms in their takeout Chinese to drugging one of them at the dentist’s office. Scratch from the suspect list previously revealed A underlings such as Mona and Toby, and the recently deceased Shana (too easy!). As Liars fans know, it’s the mastermind of The A Team, also known as Big A or Uber A, who we’re after now. As season five gets going (tune in to new episodes on M3 Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET), we’ve got our sights set on exposing the insane ringleader behind the Pretty Little Liars creepshow.

Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse)
Her deal Rosewood’s reigning popular girl had a million friends and a slew of secret enemies. After surviving a whack over the head with a shovel followed by a live burial (thanks a lot, Mom!), she returns home to Rosewood this season after years off the grid.
Frequently seen in Frills, lace, heart-shaped pendants and other cloyingly sweet pieces.
She’s A Being secretly still alive for the past four seasons casts some shade on her credibility.
She’s not A Tormenting the four people who have dedicated their high-school years to avenging your death? That’s cold even for an ace ice queen.

Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale)
Her deal Earnest, artsy (she watches black-and-white movies for fun) and so passionate about school she even dated her teacher.
Frequently seen in Bold prints, leather pieces and black-and-white stripes.
She’s A Online theorists posit that Aria has Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Their diagnostic criteria? The vegetarian once ordered a cheeseburger, a cloud of silence hovers over that year she spent in Iceland and she often gazes vacantly into mirrors.
She’s not A Do not judge Aria until you have run a mile in her heels! Like nearly everyone else on the show, she has suffered at the hands of A. Lest we forget the infamous Halloween train incident, when she was nearly hurled to her death.

Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson)
Her deal No giant leap forward for shattering blonde stereotypes, Hanna sucks at school but kills at shopping and sarcasm.
Frequently seen in Girly dresses, belted silhouettes and long necklaces.
She’s A She was close with Mona, the original A suspect, and their friendship even weathered such hardships as Mona hitting her with a car.
She’s not A When she was going to falsely confess to murdering rogue detective Wilden, Mona had to give her lessons in lying. A, on the other hand, has that particular skill down.

Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario)
Her deal An overachiever from a wealthy family, she’s as focused on exposing A as she is on getting into the right college.
Frequently seen in Iconic collegiate wear: uniform blazers, button-ups, tartan print and dress pants with neatly folded cuffs.
She’s A She did black out after mixing alcohol and Adderall the night of Alison’s disappearance…
She’s not A But when Alison returned home to Rosewood, she explained to the girls that she was attacked after she had  sent Spencer back to the barn sleepover. Phew!

Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell)
Her deal Life revolves around the swim team for this Rosewood sweetheart. The series’ portrayal of her coming out and same-sex relationships has earned it three GLAAD Media Award nominations.
Frequently seen in Anything denim. Also rocks tanks, knee-high boots and army surplus store finds.
She’s A Emily was head over heels for Alison, and we know what they say about a woman scorned.
She’s not A Surely A wouldn’t have to worry about cars crashing through her living room window, as Emily’s family endured.

Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding)
His deal If dating Aria while she was in his English class didn’t seem inappropriate enough, the season four reveal that he’s been using the girls as research for his true crime novel on the Alison “murder” seals his shadiness.
Frequently seen in Blazers, button-ups, ties and vests.
He’s A Lots of A’s schemes require something none of the girls have: an ID. Would someone really rent a plane to a 17-year-old?
He’s not A This quote PLL creator Marlene King gave E! News is pretty succinct: “Ezra is not A.”


An Evil Alison Twin
Her deal A popular theory is that Alison has an identical twin sister who impersonates her, which is (SPOILER ALERT) corroborated by the plot of PLL scribe Sara Shepard’s books, in which Alison has a secret twin, Courtney, an in-patient at Rosewood’s ever-popular psychiatric facility, Radley.
Frequently seen in Alison’s clothes.
She’s A A jealous sister with psychotic tendencies would have more than enough motive to stalk Alison’s besties.
She’s not A In the novels, Courtney was the girl who was buried—not Alison. King has promised that the season 5 will reveal who was really buried in Alison’s grave.

Photography courtesy of M3.

FLARE’s July 2014 Cover Star is…Lucy Hale!