Parents just don't understand. And they really don't understand when their daughters are being tracked down by an omnipotent stalker who likes to mess with their lives as if they were her own living dolls. (Kids these days, right?) The parents of Pretty Little Liars aren't exactly bad people, but they're also not great at being, well, parents. (Except for Ashley Marin. No one goes to bat for our girl Hanna like mama bear Ashley.) Sure, Spencer, Aria, Hanna, Emily and Ali's parental units certainly have it a lot harder than the moms and dads of your average, non-stalked teen, but you'd think that they would have picked up a few critical skills after dealing with the A nonsense for two years. Instead, they're getting drunk and locked in basements.
We can't fault the parents too much — I mean, they are Rosewood residents, which means that bad decisions are in their blood — but they certainly don't behave like any of the parents in the real world. We may not have a Caleb Rivers in our lives, but those of us living in the real world can be grateful that our parents do not behave like the ones we see on screen every Tuesday.
Here are some of the biggest differences between how actual parents act, and how Rosewood's not-so-finest behave.
REAL PARENTS: Call The Cops (Or At Least The School) When They Learn Their Daughter Is Dating Their Teacher
PLL PARENTS: Get Mad For Like, A Minute, And Then Make Peace With It And Invite Said Teacher To Thanksgiving With Nana
Yeah, okay, so Aria's dad had long been macking on one of his own students by the time Ezria became a thing, but two wrongs definitely do not make a right. Had Aria's parents actually broken up the happy couple, Aria may never have found out about the whole "I was using you to write a book about the other underage girl I dated" thing, and, really, wouldn't that have been better?
REAL PARENTS: Don't Have A Secret Love Child With Their Next Door Neighbor (At Least, Not Without Moving)
PLL Parents: Do
It's pretty despicable that Spencer's dad had an illicit affair with his neighbor and Ali's mom, but it's downright mind-blowing that neither party decided it might be in each other's best interest to move away. You know what happens when high schoolers don't know that they're related? They date, and it's awkward for everyone.
REAL PARENTS: Let The Law Handle Their Daughter's Shoplifting Habit
PLL Parents: Sleep With The Arresting Officer To Keep Him Quiet
Love you, Ashley, but bedding the cop with a bizarre interest in your daughter is not exactly the best course of action. Community service would have done Hanna some good.
REAL PARENTS: Have A "Drugs Are Bad" Talk With Their Teen After They Learn Their Daughter's GF Smokes Pot
PLL Parents: Have Their Daughter's GF Shipped Off To A Christian Anti-Drug Camp
Emily's mom has definitely improved since her days of gay-shaming and Altoids box snooping, but let's not forget that she ratted Maya out to her parents over a singular joint.
REAL PARENTS: Make Sure To Hire A Trusted Adult To Care For Their Sick Teen
PLL Parents: Ask Their Mistress To Do It
It was already way weird for Aria's dad to ask his mistress to take care of his daughter, but things got downright scary when Meredith drugged Aria in order to steal back Ali's diary. Maybe hit up Care.com next time, will you, Byron?
REAL PARENTS: Don't Leave Their Teens Alone, Especially When They're Always On The Verge Of Being Murdered And/Or Kidnapped
PLL Parents: Find Any Excuse To Leave Town, And Then Are Surprised That They Don't Know What Their Kids Are Up To
Look, I get it: sometimes life comes up. But, after all the trouble that Aria and Mike have gotten into over the years, you'd think that Byron wouldn't take a teaching job in Syracuse (which is like five hours away from Rosewood, no big deal) and leave his kids alone in a town where their peers seem to get murdered weekly.
REAL PARENTS: Don't Bury Their Daughter Alive To Protect Their Other Daughter Who Accidentally "Killed" Her (But You Know, Not Really)
PLL Parents: Well, You Know The Story
Ali's parents definitely take home the top prize for being the worst parents in Rosewood, and could definitely compete for the title state-wide.
No matter how much your parents drive you crazy, you can sleep easy knowing that they'll never pull the stunts that some of these PLL parents did.