The Evolution Of The Pretty Little Liars Friendships IRL

Eric McCandless/Freeform
Seven years ago, my sophomore high-school self became addicted to a little something called Pretty Little Liars. I anticipated each installment of the teen show as eagerly as I once did Christmas morning, if Christmas were actually a terrifying teen drama more convoluted than Game of Thrones.
Pretty Little Liars had, and still has, enormous appeal. In each episode, the four main characters carry out really, really bad damage control. While putting out one fire, the girls always let another fire spurt up in another room β€” or, more realistically, in some abandoned farmhouse on the other side of Rosewood, Pennsylvania they never knew existed.
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Now it's 2017, and the four main actresses have blossomed into veritable stars. In honor of the show's finale, I went into the time capsule of their Instagrams and captured the best cast photos from the early years. Pro tip: If you ever want to see how fashion, social media usage, and self-presentation change, take a trip through the Instagram accounts of your favorite celebrities. Once the photos with black and white frames start appearing, you know you've struck gold.
These photos are guaranteed to make you swoon for those good ol' PLL days. Here's to the end of an era.
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New poster for season 7?! "pretty LITTLE liars" !... πŸ˜‚

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

@shaymitchell
Some time in the '90s.

The ultimate Pretty Little Liars? The entire cast as children. We're happy to know Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) sported her signature head cock as a kid.
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Love

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

@ashleybenson
October 2011

I'll attempt a short poem.

The eyeliner, the waves.
2011.
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Round two with their real handles. The girls @ashbenzo and @shaymitch. Apparently my instagram is a moron.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

April 2012

Troian Bellisario is just learning Instagram! She corrects her co-stars' handles, which she'd written incorrectly.
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✌

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

April 2012

Alert: Lucy Hale's skull skirt and Shay Mitchell's denim mini indicate that yes, this is 2012.
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Buttahbenzo is back

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

@ashleybenson
April 2012

"Buttabenzo" is Shay Mitchell and Ashley Benson's friendship name. How does it compare to Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams' "Mophie"?
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Stoked/pissed @andyreaser @sleepinthegardn

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
June 2012

Was this taken in a bar mitzvah photo booth, or?
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A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

@ashleybenson
July 2012

Ashley Benson took this photo to confirm, once and for all, that she is the flyest.
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4 of my favorite gents. @longhaired_child @keeoone @julianmorris

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
September 2012

Before you sneer at Lucy Hale's Instagram editing aesthetic, look back to your pictures of 2012. We bet you placed a black border on all your photos, too.
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Celebrate Spirit day with me and @shaym wear purple if you got it.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

October 2012

2012, the era when Instagram was a landscape of subtle sepia-tinted selfies.
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❀❀❀❀ @longhaired_child

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

@ashleybenson
May 2013

This photo of Ashley Benson and Tyler Blackburn looks like it was taken in a high school parking lot after the rest of the students have left for the day, and only the beanie-wearing bad boys are left.
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My lover @itsashbenzo

A post shared by Tyler Blackburn (@tylerjblackburn) on

@tylerjblackburn
May 2013

Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do?
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@keeoone last day! He's leaving us for New York! Boo!

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

September 2013

Troian Bellisario says goodbye to Toby.
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@sleepinthegardn
August 2013

Let's talk about Shay Mitchell and Ashley Benson's highlights.
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@shaym and I just frenched our way into glory. Bienvenue a Paris.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

December 2013

If all of your photos aren't cloaked in red-tinted, Moulin Rouge-esque lighting, is it a girl's trip to Paris?
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Who is ready for some PLLs in wedding dresses tonight?!

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
March 2014

Question: How much does this resemble Aria's wedding dress?
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The ladies. Getting ready to go. @chevrolet #stingrayoasis

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

@sleepinthegardn
April 2014

They may not always be good at solving crimes, but they're fantastic at sunglasses.
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Why @ianmharding and I are never allowed to have scenes together. My stomach hurts so bad from laughing right now.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

@ianharding
May 2014

Since Troian Bellisario spent a chunk of her 20s playing a high schooler, we don't blame her for making out with poster. Who didn't?
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18 of 41

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
June 2014

This photo of Lucy Hale and Ian Harding looks like something you once took in the basement of your childhood home, after a third date with the school's most intellectual baseball player.
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WCW!!!!!!!

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

August 2014

This is long before Snapchat invented Faceswap. Clearly, Lucy Hale and Ian Harding were before their time.
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Love these humans. @keeoone @shaym

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
August 2014

Sort of a dorm room aesthetic, no?
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The babes @tylerjblackburn @keeoone @itsashbenzo

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
November 2014

It's 2014, so these four PLL cast members are still working hard on perfecting their duck faces. We don't blame 'em.
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My baby loveeeee @tylerjblackburn

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

December 2014

There just is something about seeing the PLL crew hanging out with their on-screen boyfriends on set.
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Hey ladies. @shaym @lucyhale89 @itsashbenzo love these three.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

July 2013

Is it just me or is "Time of Your Life" by Green Day playing in the background?
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#buttahbenzo you can't sit with us. STOP JUDGING ME! @shaym @itsashbenzo

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

September 2013

Further proof that the Liars are the mean girls of their high school.
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Ladies @sleepinthegardn @itsashbenzo @shaym

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
August 2013

I don't doubt that Troian Bellissario would be in charge of taking the entire cast's selfies.
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Nursin me back to health @actuallyharding

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
September 2013

All we can think is, "She. Was. So. Young." Who let her date her teacher?
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This one πŸ˜ƒ @lucyhale

A post shared by Tyler Blackburn (@tylerjblackburn) on

August 2014

The inter-couple friendships continue.
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@itsashbenzo and I love boars. And America.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

June 2014

Could this boar be A?
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@itsashbenzo yup. In your dreams...

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on

August 2014

Candid or not?
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@shaymitchell
June 2015

Like her onscreen boyfriend Ian Harding, Lucy Hale also rocked sunglasses in the summer of 2015.
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@sleepinthegardn
June 2015

Could "Spencer and the Hunks" be a new band name?
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National Donut day w/ @shaym #fbf #buttahbenzo #donut

A post shared by Ashley Benson (@ashleybenson) on

@ashleybenson
June 2015

National donut day!
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September 2015

According to her caption, Shay Mitchell questions Ian Harding's mental state every day. We don't β€”Β he was wearing mirror sunglasses in September 2015, way before they were chic. The guy clearly has foresight.
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This hot babe 😘 @lucyhale #ComicCon2015 #nyc

A post shared by Sasha Pieterse (@sashapieterse27) on

@sashapieterse27
October 2015

Where did the black-and-white selfie go?
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@shaymitchell
October 2015

Nothing like an eskimo kiss with your best friend's boyfriend, am I right? So far, Shay Mitchell has taken pictures with all of the PLL boys.
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#Ezrily ...stay tuned for a YouTube video coming soon with this guy πŸ“ΈπŸ˜œ

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

@shaymitchell
April 2016

There's a unique thrill that comes from seeing the men of PLL with other cast members.
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Capturing moments with one of my favorite people... @keeoone πŸ“Έ

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

@shaymitchell
February 2016

This photo of Keegan Allen and Shay Mitchell looks like one of those cartoons at the end of the New Yorker. What is going on here? We have Allen taking a selfie; Mitchell with an old-school camera; a broken-down sports car in the back.
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😈😈 #Lisaslildevils

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

@shaymitchell
April 2016

By this point, Mitchell and Benson are at least recognizable.
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August 2016

If this is work can we get in on it, too?
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In search of a koala and found @thehmc instead. Much better.

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

@lucyhale
November 2016

Granted, November 2016 isn't a vintage photo. But seeing Lucy Hale with her onscreen mom, played by Holly Combs, shows how the time has passed.
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