It's no secret that unfortunate things happen all the time in Rosewood — I mean, the Liars only just returned to their hometown about five minutes ago and they've already had to deal with the murder of their former tormentor and the emergence of a new Big Bad who has a penchant for creepy emojis and eerie masks. Then there's the matter of Spaleb (Caleb and Spencer's relationship on Pretty Little Liars). This is problematic on many levels — the most obvious of which is the fact that Hanna and Caleb are soulmates. But, another thing that bothers me is the fact that Pretty Little Liars has always stayed away from the stereotype of intelligent, loyal young women competing over guys. In all fairness, Hanna totally gave Spencer her blessing and even urged her to tell Caleb about her feelings — so I don't blame Spencer at all, but I'm worried about the effect it'll have on their friendship. But the guys had no similar conversation and Caleb and Toby's friendship on Pretty Little Liars also needs to be taken into consideration — because this hookup from hell seems to be hurting a lot of people.
A promo for the March 1 episode "Burn This" shows Toby punching Caleb — and I think it's a pretty safe bet this swing is either related to a) Spaleb or b) Caleb's confession that he leaked Yvonne's medical records. Either way, it's definitely a bummer because we learned that during the time jump they formed The Brotherhood of Ex-Boyfriends and went on fishing dates together. It sounded like we were about to have a great bromance on our small screens, but it looks like that possibility is now off the table. Let's take a look back at the timeline of Caleb and Toby's friendship — because #ThePunch symbolizes the end of an era.
Oddly enough, Caleb and Toby didn't share any screentime until Season 4. During this season, they worked together on a number of occasions in an effort to solve the A mystery once and for all. They collaborated to investigate Wilden's murder and solve the mystery of Red Coat's identity. In the episode "Bring Down the Hoe," Caleb attempted to stop Toby from breaking into Dr. Palmer's car and they both ultimately realized they'd been set up by A. Later in the season, they staked out Mona's house together because neither of them trusted her. Throughout Season 4, their friendship was mainly the result of their shared goal of bringing down A and protecting their loved ones.
In Season 5, Spencer became concerned about Hanna's drinking and she was worried that Caleb was enabling her friend's unhealthy behaviors. At Spencer's request, she and Toby double-dated with Hanna and Caleb so they could hopefully talk through the problem. Toby expressed his concerns to Caleb and, although he initially became angry and stormed out of the room, it seemed like Caleb did take Toby's words to heart. He got his act together and was able to help Hanna cope with Ali's return in a healthy manner that no longer involved drinking every night.
Leading up to #ThePunch, Caleb and Toby had formed a great friendship. We learned that, during the time jump, they formed The Brotherhood of Ex-Boyfriends and went fishing together. Although we don't know every single detail of their friendship, it's safe to assume they got pretty close — they certainly had plenty of things to bond over and throughout Season 6B we've seen them casually stop by each other's places more than once. Plus, in Seasons 4 and 5 their friendship was mainly the result of their shared goal to find A and help their girlfriends — so, once these circumstances were off the table, they were able to form a more "normal" friendship and enjoy relaxing activities together.
Although Caleb and Toby's friendship probably won't be impacted as much as Hanna and Spencer's, it's still disappointing that so many platonic relationships are being disrupted due to Spaleb.