What's With All Of The Apples On 'PLL'?

by Sara Steinfeld

If there's one thing about Pretty Little Liars that we can rely on, it's that every little thing has the potential to be important and immensely confusing. We probably see a million tiny clues about A's identity and motives every five seconds on the show, but don't know about them until weeks, months, or years later, just because everything is so subtle and also I. Marlene King is almost too devious for her own good. But something that has come up over and over again that I have noticed is this: Pretty Little Liars ' Apples have weaved in and out of the show in subtle and not-so-subtle ways since Season 1, so what secrets can they reveal? Do apples tell us something about Charles DiLaurentis? Can they tell us more about anything?

Right now you might be thinking to yourself, "Wow, Sara, you're really reaching with this one. I mean, apples? Seriously?" Well, hear me out. I think we've all come to understand after five seasons that we can't write anything off as a coincidence when it shows up more than once, and even the smallest of details can play a huge role in solving this seemingly never-ending mystery. If apples have been around since Season 1, then they're supposed to be there, and we're supposed to notice them. I mean, the main diner in Rosewood is called the Apple Rose Grille, for crying out loud.

Basically, if apples end up being completely insignificant, then Marlene and I are going to have to have a conversation about concise writing and her overuse of extraneous detail. Here are five things that the apples could represent:

They Were The First Clues Referencing Old Campbell Farm

We, of course, learned in the Season 5 finale that Spencer's parents used to take the kids apple picking at Old Campbell Farm, a name that set off alarm bells for everyone who thought that Andrew Campbell could be Big A. All of these apples could have been referencing this very place, alerting us to its importance before we even knew that it existed. Oh, and on top of that Marlene king posted the following picture with a verrrry interesting caption around the time of the finale:

Coincidence? I think NOT.

They Allude To Peter Hastings' Indiscretion

Remember when Ali said this Spencer back in Season 1, Episode 3? This was long before we knew that Jason DiLaurentis was Spencer's half brother, which, before we knew about the whole Charles-is-Jason's-twin theory, is what I thought the whole "bad apples" thing referred to. But Ali could be suggesting so much more: Maybe she knows that Peter had more than one affair, resulting in more than one child. Maybe this whole apples motif is there to suggest that Charles is Peter Hastings' child, too.

They Hint At The Theory That Wren Kingston Is A

Because, you know, the whole play on the phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." This one's not super likely, but I just miss looking at Wren's beautiful face. Even if he came back as Big A, I'd love to see him back on the show again.

They Hint At The Theory That Ezra Is A

OK, OK, hear me out. I think, for the most part, we've all kind of gotten past the idea that Ezra is A, and this one is admittedly a bit of a stretch. But take a look at this Instagram post by the_pll_sherlock before you move on:

There are a lot of plays on apple pie that have happened throughout the show. Who loves pie, arguably a little bit too much? Aria and Ezra. Since I never got on board with the "Aria Is Big A" theory, that just leaves Ezra. Also, apples and teachers go hand-in-hand. Either way, something tells me we haven't learned all of his secrets just yet.

They Show Up To Indicate When Someone Knows More Than They're Letting On

Symbolically, apples represent knowledge. They can also represent, temptation, immortality, and Original Sin, but let's focus on the knowledge thing for now. It's not like apples are always around — that is, they're not in every scene. But when they do show up, it could indicate that the person they're around knows more than they'd have us believe. For example, Ali was eating them at Hanna's house right before her trial, and we know she's always hiding at least one secret; Talia was making an apple pie before she told Emily that she was married; Ezra had an apple on his desk when we thought he was A; and Lucas once wore a shirt that read "I love apple pie." Honestly, King and the show's writers have done weirder things than play with symbolism, so this one could be one to watch in future episodes, especially as we learn more about Old Campbell Farm.

But then again, I was convinced that Toby was A for a long while, so this could just be PLL throwing me for yet another loop.

Images: Screengrab/ABC Family; justpeachieq/Tumblr; Alloy Entertainment; Giphy (2); imgfave