The Pretty Little Liars series has taken us fans on a wild and emotional rollercoaster.
We've gone hard for their friendships, relationships ("Haleb" and "Spoby" forever!), and all of the girls' families. The show has kept us reeling for seven seasons straight, but if you're like me, then you've also caught a lot of cool lessons from the show.
Most lessons from Pretty Little Liars are sweet and light-hearted.
Hanna has taught me to stop cheating myself out of the good things in life, since she annoyingly does it all of the time. Aria has taught me to fight for the love that I want as long as it's worth it. Spencer has promoted a woman's ability to be smart and sexy at the same time. Emily has taught me the power of being kind, compassionate, and vulnerable.
The Greatest Lesson From The Show Comes From Their Friendship With Alison DiLaurentis
It doesn't matter how nice and innocent Alison DiLaurentis turned out to be. The one thing all of the girls acknowledged over and over was that their high school friendship with her was the cause of all their troubles with the stalker "A."
Before Alison disappeared from Rosewood, she was known as a huge bully to everyone who knew her. She was vindictive, manipulative, and destructive. She made Mean Girls' Regina George look like a pussycat.
Alison bullied Mona Vanderwaal mercilessly for her clothing and for being too nerdy. She taunted and teased Paige McCullers for being too masculine and awkward. Lucas Gottesman was also one of Alison's victims, as she also teased him for being too nerdy.
Alison did more than just tease these people in the hallways of Rosewood High. She made it her business to embarrass them daily and have them ostracized.
It was also Alison's handmade explosion that left another classmate and neighbor, Jenna Marshall, completely blind. Marshall had to use a walking stick, wear sunglasses, and learn braille. Though she attempted many times to regain her sight via expensive surgeries, she never could.
Again, bullying — even in retaliation — is never OK. Still, it says a lot about a person who bullies people so badly that a group of them want to see her and her friends dead.
The Liars Never Stood Up To Alison Like Real Friends Should
Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily allowed Alison to bully them and watched as she did it to other people. They never even told on her when she caused the explosion that left Jenna with a permanent disability. Jenna, as annoying and evil as she is, never got justice for that, which would make anyone upset.
This is why "A" took the war to them once Alison was considered dead, although she returned to the city years later and proved she wasn't.
Because these girls played small and let their friend terrorize their school and the community in general, their entire high school lives were stripped away from them and their adult lives filled with chaos.
Emily lost her dream to swim professionally, lost her girlfriend to a senseless death, was put in a position to have to stab someone, and had her family home destroyed.
Spencer turned to substance abuse and was checked into a mental hospital. Aria lost her relationship handfuls of times and had her little brother dragged into the mess.
Both Hanna and her mother were accused of murder multiple times. Heck, all of the girls were accused of murder multiple times. They were also kidnapped and tortured.
All of them tried to move on from Rosewood once high school ended, but were dragged back because of legal issues concerning "A." None of them have been able to sleep soundly for all of these years and neither have their families.
At the end of this finale, I hope all of them realize just how not worth it their initial friendship with Alison DiLaurentis truly was.
It's important to call your friends out on their crap and hold them accountable instead of settling for someone in your circle who mistreats people for sport. Keeping someone around like that may not create all of the destruction that our Pretty Little Liars endured, but it will certainly bring some bad karma your way.
Let's all be wiser and do what Hanna, Aria, Spencer, Emily, and even, Alison, all wish they had done.
Teleport from Rosewood to Hogwarts with me for a sec and take this J.K. Rowling's Dumbledore quote to heart:
There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
Friendship is about more than just sleepovers, giggling over guys, and watching chick-flicks. Real friends call each other to the carpet when they need it and love each other more for it in the end.