Pretty Little Liars is over now but there are still many unanswered questions and moments fans return to, wondering how it even happened. The show is filled with skilled manipulators and liars. One of the most skilled would have to be Aria Montgomery. She lied about being unfaithful, secret romances, joined the A-team and did some blackmailing of her own. However, there are a few things about this character that don’t always make sense in the grand scheme of this dramatic teen show.
Aria’s relationships are, by far, the most debated out of all the characters of the show and her decisions are often the most in question. She makes a lot of moves out of desperation and over the years it’s become clear that she certainly has a dark side.
Whether it was the writers making an odd choice about where to take her epic romance with ex-teacher, now husband Ezra Fitz, or a hypocritical decision or simply her lack of resolve in certain matters, there are times when this fan-favorite appears to not make any sense to the audience. Over the years going from being loved to being hated by audiences on repeat, to even being suspected of being the show’s real villain. It’s no wonder Aria often leaves you wondering what she’s doing and why. This makes her one of the most dramatic and deliciously complicated characters of the show.
And so, to de-tangle some of the confusion, here are 20 Things That Don’t Make Sense About Aria Montgomery.
20 20 NOT CONTINUING WITH MARTIAL ARTS
Given her prior experiences it should be no surprise that at least one of the Liars decided to get some self-defense under their belt. Aria finally got herself some lessons at the beginning of season 4 under the instruction of Jake, who she started dating, seemingly ending her martial arts career.
By season 4 Aria had been blackmailed, drugged, attacked, even locked in a box with a body about to be pushed out of a train. The only suggestion that she continued or training, or at least remembers it, is in 7x13 when she puts Sydney’s arm in a lock. So here’s hoping the time gap was filled with at least a little training.
19 19 ARIA’S ADMISSIONS LETTER TO TALMADGE
Mid-college application panic Aria discovers that she has sent in an application to a college that has Jackie on the admissions board. That would be Ezra’s ex-fiancé that she blackmailed under the influence of A in season 2. Despite the warnings from Emily, Aria wrote and sent in a scathing letter to Jackie about Ezra robbing her of her high-school experience.
Given her history with A and the revealing of that relationship during Ezra’s employment at Rosewood High could send the person she loves to prison, it seems strange that she’d even be willing to risk it. Regardless, it ended up being the catalyst for the couple’s longest break-up at the end of season 5.
18 18 LETTING HOLDEN PUT HIMSELF IN DANGER
In season 2 Aria’s old childhood friend, Holden, returns to Rosewood High. Aria finds out that Holden is seriously into Tang Soo Do (a Korean martial art), competing in tournaments and training. On its own, no problem. The fact that Holden has an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) makes it another matter entirely.
Since the doctor decided not to operate the AAA is likely to be small and at low risk of rupture. Still, trauma to the chest is definitely not a safe way to go, and could cause the AAA to burst, resulting in Holden’s untimely passing. She keeps this to herself and continues her secret rendezvous with Ezra using Holden’s ‘dates’ as a cover.
17 17 WHEN SHE TOLD EZRA TO TAKE THE JOB AT ROSEWOOD
At the end of season 3, Ezra is offered his position at Rosewood High once again, after being railroaded by Aria’s father when their relationship originally came out. Finally, these two are out in the open and taking this job would effectively nuke their relationship, yet Aria gives him the go ahead.
Given the ramifications of teacher-student relationships and the ever-constant threat of A, throwing Ezra back into the frying pan is a huge risk. Aria’s nightmare of a daydream of A sending photos of them to the school and Ezra being escorted away in handcuffs at the beginning of season 4 means she’s certainly aware of the risk, yet she told him anyway.
16 16 ARIA FORGIVING SPENCER AFTER SHE took MALCOLM
The Liars are no strangers to trauma but when Toby is revealed as a member of the A-team to Spencer on their one-year anniversary and later assumed gone when she finds a body believed to be him, that’s the breaking point for Spencer. While in Radley, Mona tells her that Toby is still alive. Desperate, she joins the team and takes Malcolm, leaving him at the carnival for a panicked Aria to find.
When Spencer reveals her identity by sending Hanna a photo for Malcolm to identify her, the secret is out. No anger from Aria about taking Ezra’s son for her plan, just an offer of help. Ironically, when the situation is reversed years later Spencer does not show Aria the same immediate forgiveness.
15 15 ARIA’S BROTHER DATING MONA
Tormenting someone you care about is not normally met with affection and romance and yet, that’s exactly what happened in season 4 with Aria’s younger brother Mike and the original A, Mona Vaanderwal. After Mona and Mike meet in a counseling discussion group they both find they have a lot in common and begin a romantic relationship.
Mona steadily earns forgiveness from the Liars across the seasons, but clearly being this close makes Aria deeply uncomfortable. Mike doesn’t know the full extent of the pain Mona inflicted on his sister and her friend, and, whilst the Liars know there were mental issues involved, it doesn’t evaporate the entire year filled with fear caused by Mona.
14 14 KISSING EZRA’S BROTHER
Over the seasons it is no secret that Aria has an unfortunate habit of kissing all the wrong people. In season 3 that included Ezra’s brother Wesley, who kissed Aria after a day of helping her with her photography. Aria had been missing Ezra and clearly, Wesley had a lot in common with both Ezra and Aria.
The two got on well and Wesley became a reminder of Ezra and the easier moments before the Malcolm bomb dropped. Whilst Wesley definitely initiated the kiss, Aria still went along with it for a moment before realizing exactly what she was doing and the consequences if she continued.
13 13 ARIA’S FLIRTATION WITH JASON
The Liars have distrusted Jason (Allison’s brother) from the beginning of season 1. So when Aria begins to cultivate an odd friendship with him, that becomes a flirtation, it’s a bit odd for the Liars. Jason ends up being innocent of some of the things her friends accuse but even beginning this strange dynamic, which ended up leading to a kiss, while she was still with Ezra was self-destructive and uncharacteristic for someone so untrusting.
In fact, discovering this outside romantic threat is exactly what prompted Ezra to reveal his relationship with Aria to her parents. Naturally, this did not go as hoped, further divided her parents and sneaking around once again.
12 12 ARIA DATING NOEL
Aria’s short stint dating her old crush Noel, was just uncomfortable to watch. Clearly, her feelings for Ezra were as strong as ever, and the fantasy of popular guy Noel that Aria had at the age of fifteen, was clearly not everything she dreamed. Aria was already beyond her years and just experienced a mature, like-minded relationship.
To then back-peddle into something that made her visibly unhappy was simply frustrating. She clearly still had feelings and the relationship had no clear ending, simply changing when Aria forgave Ezra who was then blackmailed by Noel. This revealed his rather slimy characteristics and made him the new suspect one for the role of A.
11 11 ARIA DATING JAKE
Aria has a single session with Jake, only a little while after her separation from Ezra and kisses him in the middle of her very first defense class. It seemed like Aria might have needed some single-time this season, but she traded up to instantly begin a new romantic entanglement. This was once again a short on-off romance but often there was simply no shared interest.
The show painted them as incompatible very early on so when they got together it didn’t make much sense. Eventually, the chemistry that fuelled the relationship was over-shadowed by her romance with Ezra and the relationship ended when she chose Ezra.
10 10 ARIA and liam
Aria’s family life has felt the full weight of the destruction of being unfaithful. Her father was unfaithful to her mother with his student when she was in high school and it resulted in her parent’s separation and eventual divorce. Let alone the drama with Zach while he was engaged to Ella Montgomery. Aria is definitely aware that her interactions with Ezra so far have been hurting Liam.
The road to Ezra and Aria returning to their couple status was long in sight so the audience was unsurprised, but one can’t help but feel for her current boyfriend (another ‘secret’ relationship at her job) who put his trust in Aria while she worked closely with her ex.
9 9 NOT TELLING EZRA ABOUT HIS ‘SON’
Of all the bomb-shells to not tell your partner, the fact they have a child they don’t know about is definitely not one anyone would want to have to deal with. Aria struggles with the knowledge after Maggie (Malcolm’s mother) requests time to figure out a way to take care of it herself.
Aria chooses to respect Maggie’s wishes and says nothing so Maggie can do it herself, until Spencer ruins it by giving away the secret. Unfortunately, it’s a no-win situation for Aria, but given how lies have been their biggest issue, you’d think she’d find a way to let him know she had a secret, but it just wasn’t hers to tell.
8 8 NOT COMING FORWARD TO THE POLICE ABOUT SHANA
Not coming forward about crimes has almost ruined the Liars multiple times, and they even devise a plan to tell the police about Shana and eventually confesses to Ezra. It was clear self-defense but she said nothing. This could potentially be the next blackmail arranged by A and could be much worse if she doesn't turn herself in and explain the situation.
Especially given the sudden re-appearance to Rosewood by Alison and the police’s prior knowledge of A from the experience with Mona. Surprisingly the police did not connect the girls to the crime. Instead, Shana’s passing remains unsolved and Aria will continue to be haunted by her passing for the rest of her life.
7 7 LYING TO THE POLICE ABOUT SEEING ANDREW IN THE DOLLHOUSE
Aria and all the Liars have been falsely accused and framed multiple times. So when Aria, fresh out of the Dollhouse and traumatized, identifies someone she didn’t see (Andrew), it is beyond hypocritical. Lying has become natural to Aria, that much is clear, but a lie like this has consequences for her, for the case and for someone innocent.
It was a desperate act, but given every lie that had Aria or one of her friends sitting in a police interrogation room falsely accused, one might think she’d tell the truth so that they can be certain they have the real torturer behind bars. Still, she owned up and recanted her statement, facing her mistake.
6 6 NOT TELLING THE GIRLS SHE JOINED THE A-TEAM
Aria is not the first Liar to trade up for the A-team in desperation for a loved one, but she had no plan to tell the girls, unlike Spencer. Given she knew about Spencer’s previous plan it’s surprising that she doesn’t find a way to tip them off. Still, if someone had ammunition that could get your fiancé locked away in prison because of something you did then it’s expected you would do whatever it took.
It was a desperate situation and Aria, with everything on the line did what she thought she had to. Still, this is hardly the first A nightmare and after all these years it’s surprising she doesn’t use the resources of her own team.
5 5 GOING UNDERCOVER TO MEET EZRA’S HIGH SCHOOL EX
Pretending to be an Undergraduate teacher’s assistant called Amy, Aria decides to infiltrate a school to have a chat with Ezra’s high school ex. Ezra’s mother paid off Maggie to end a pregnancy when she was eighteen. This event was a catalyst to their break-up and Ezra changing his entire plan.
Changing his last name to Fitz and changing his college plan to Hollis. Needing to find out more Aria snooped, stalked and met with the ex. Thereby discovering that perhaps the pregnancy didn’t end the way Ezra thought it had. Clearly, Aria has picked up a skill or two from A, this all blows up when Maggie ‘randomly’ decides to check in on Ezra.
4 4 LYING TO EZRA ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO HAVE CHILDREN
The Liars can’t seem to kick old habits, so when Aria finds out she can’t have kids she doesn’t tell Ezra right away. In desperation to hear a different answer, she seeks multiple opinions before telling Ezra. While others would likely do the same, this couple has weathered storms that would break pretty much anyone else.
So when she finally reveals her devastating secret to Ezra before their wedding but initially omits the part about getting multiple opinions that breach of trust couldn’t come at a worse time. Ezra forgives her and has no issue with her inability to have children in the traditional sense, but it’s still another lie this far into the story.
3 3 NOT TELLING HER MOTHER ABOUT HER FATHER’S lies
Of all the secrets to keep, this is probably her biggest. Aria and her mother, Ella, are certainly close and Aria’s sense of family was very dependent on their traditional little unit of four. This is completely shattered when she sees her father having a relationship with his college student, Meredith. Her father asks her to keep this private and, to keep the family together, she agrees.
It’s something she clearly struggles with but she keeps the secret for over a year before A takes it out of her hands. This is a huge breach of trust for her mother and leaves the mess even bigger than it would have been had Aria or her father came clean.
2 2 DATING HER TEACHER
After her father had a relationship with a student himself, Aria got into her own teacher-student relationship. Although she didn’t know Ezra was going to be her teacher when she met him, she still found out almost instantly after starting their romance.
Ezra initially tried to stop the relationship once he realized his error but Aria pushed forward with her feelings until she eventually succeeded and the two began their forbidden relationship. Still, it’s no secret that a relationship between a student and a teacher is a problem and even beginning to pursue that relationship was not the wisest decision. Aria is a highly intelligent person and pursuing those feelings given the stakes seems unlikely.
1 ARIA TAKING EZRA BACK
‘Ezria’ was Aria’s main plotline and the over-arching epic love story of the show. The writers still continued this after the biggest reveal that completely and utterly destroyed Aria’s trust. It is revealed he knew who she was when they started dating, approaching her, knowing she was under-age and having previously dated Alison.
He decided he would do anything for the story and was using the information from Aria to write a book about Alison’s passing. Aside from being way out of character for Ezra, Aria actually takes Ezra back. Realistically, jumping in front of a bullet or not, no one would ever step back into a relationship built on that much betrayal.
Is there anything else about Aria from Pretty Little Liars that doesn't make sense? Let us know in the comments!