Emily Fields

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Emily Fields
Pretty Little Liars character
Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields
First appearance Novel:
Pretty Little Liars (2006)
(episode 1.01)
Last appearance Novel:
Vicious (2014)
Created by Sara Shepard
Portrayed by Shay Mitchell
Birthday November 19, 1993
Nickname(s) Em
Aliases Heather Murphy
Gender Female
Occupation High school student
Barista (formerly)
Bartender (currently)
Family Wayne Fields (father) (deceased)
Pam Fields (mother)
Significant other(s) Alison DiLaurentis
Ben Coogan
Maya St. Germain
Samara Cook
Paige McCullers
Talia Sandoval
Sara Harvey
Residence Rosewood, Pennsylvania

Emily Catherine Fields is a fictional character in the Pretty Little Liars book series by Sara Shepard. She is portrayed by Shay Mitchell in the TV series. She is a senior in high school and is looking to attend college for swimming.



Emily is described as having strawberry blonde hair. She has broad shoulders and skinny but muscular legs, and most often wears jeans and swimming T-shirts. For years she wears the friendship bracelet Alison made for her. Emily is also superstitious, although most of her superstitions are unique only to her; for example, making a wish at "4:56" instead of "11:11".[1]


In the television adaption, Emily's personality is generally the same as her book counterpart. She is the jock of the group and participates in competitive swimming. In the show, she is of Irish/Scottish, Korean and Filipino descent, with long dark hair and brown eyes, and her dress style is more fashionable. In addition, she is also a lesbian, not bisexual, and has not been shown to be superstitious. She eventually takes off the friendship bracelet Alison gave to her in an attempt to let go of her feelings for Alison. It showed in the pilot that Emily has feelings for Alison.[2]

Novel series[edit]

Emily is one of four primary protagonists in all fifteen of the Pretty Little Liars novels.

Emily was a friend of Alison DiLaurentis and deeply attracted to her.[3] She dated a boy named Ben Coogan before realizing her true feelings were for girls.[4] She falls for and secretly dates Maya St. Germain. When A outs Emily to the whole school, her parents force her to go to Tree Tops, a "de-gaying" rehabilitation center. Failing that, Emily is shipped off to Iowa to live with relatives; deeply unhappy there, she runs away. Her parents ask her to come home, stating that they will learn to accept Emily for who she is.[5] Emily comes to discover that she's actually bisexual, when she falls for and eventually sleeps with a boy named Isaac Colbert.[6] Although they break up soon after, Emily learns she's pregnant and secretly gives the baby up for adoption during summer break.[7] As a senior in high school, she accidentally meets Kelsey, a girl who Spencer framed for drug possession the past summer; Emily ends up falling for her, but the relationship is ended when Kelsey attempts suicide.[8] In Burned, while on a school-hosted cruise for spring break, Emily begins a new relationship with Jordan, a criminal who is on the run and being pursued by the FBI.

Having fallen in love with Alison in seventh grade, Emily strongly believes that Alison is the love of her life and frequently fantasizes about Alison still being alive and loving Emily back. Emily admits to being somewhat obsessed with Alison, priding herself on knowing everything about her. For a brief period of time, when Alison comes back as "Courtney", the two have a romantic relationship; Emily is heartbroken when Alison reveals it was all a lie.[9] Unbeknownst to the other girls, Emily attempted to save Alison from the DiLaurentis' burning Poconos house. Uncertain if her actions led to Alison's survival—and subsequently, the appearance of a new A, she feels tremendous guilt over it.[7]

Emily's closest friends are the other "Liars", and during the periods when they are not associating with one another, Emily is very lonely. She is quite popular at school, but feels as though she's not close with anyone. She is constantly searching for a "best friend" to take Alison's place. Though she is well-liked by the other Liars, they are often annoyed by how sensitive she is and her devotion to Alison, especially Spencer. Emily's insistence that Alison is alive often causes problems for them as a group.

TV series[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Emily is a sophomore at Rosewood High school in Rosewood, Pennsylvania, and a star competitive swimmer. A year prior to the start of the series, Emily had been best friends with Alison DiLaurentis, a cruel popular girl who went missing one day. At the beginning of the school year, Emily befriends a girl named Maya St. Germain, her new next-door neighbor whose family has moved into the old DiLaurentis house. Emily and Maya instantly bond, and the next day they kiss when Emily walks her home. With the appearance of "A", it is revealed that Emily is questioning her sexuality and may have been in love with Alison.[10] After Maya stays over Emily's house for a night, Ben, Emily's boyfriend, senses that Emily is losing interest in him; he attempts to rape her in the school locker room, but is stopped by Toby. Grateful and not wanting to deal with her homosexuality, Emily grows closer to Toby, despite the warnings of her friends, who believe him to be A/Alison's killer.[11]

Emily goes with Toby to Homecoming, much to the dismay of her friends; Emily later admits to Toby that she really wanted to come with Maya. Convinced by her friends that Toby is dangerous, the two get into a physical confrontation; as Emily tries to run away, she trips and hits her head, falling unconscious. Toby drops her off at the hospital in Rosewood, which convinces Emily that he is innocent. When a tornado warning traps everyone inside the high school, Emily finds herself haunted by memories of Alison. That day, she is outed by Detective Darren Wilden, who accuses her of destroying Alison's memorial in the park (when, in reality, Emily had been trying to salvage what she could from the wreckage). Emily tearfully confesses to her friends that she was in love with Alison; although surprised, they are instantly accepting of her being a lesbian.[12] "A" later mails Emily's mother a copy of the same picture of Emily and Maya kissing.[13] Although devastated, she doesn't confront Emily about it, instead later showing it to Emily's father when he returns home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Toby comes to visit Emily to prove that he is innocent, but when cats is arrested, he believes that she is responsible for it. Believing that Emily and Toby were involved romantically, Emily's father confronts her about it; after denying that anything is going on, she ends up coming out to her father, who is shocked.[14] Emily's relationship with her parents soon becomes very strained due to the truth about her sexuality, although her parents attempt to accept her by inviting Maya over to dinner. Although Emily's father soon warms to Maya, Emily's mother tells her that she is disgusted by Emily being gay. Believing Maya has corrupted Emily, she is able to have Maya sent away to "True North", a camp for juvenile delinquents, which causes Emily and her mother's relationship to suffer even more.[15]

When Emily re-joins the school's swim team after a brief hiatus, she finds herself in a rivalry with Paige McCullers, an excellent swimmer who had taken Emily's place in her absence.[16] Highly competitive, Paige lashes out at Emily with homophobic insults, later even physically threatening her. Soon after, however, Paige apologizes to Emily, explaining that she was jealous of how "easy" Emily's life seemed. After Paige's homophobic and demanding father accuses Emily of getting preferential treatment, Emily's mother stands up to him, which helps to repair the relationship between Emily and her mother. Paige apologizes for her father later that evening and comes out to Emily by kissing her. Having grown close despite their rocky start, Emily and Paige begin to secretly date. They break up when Emily expresses dissatisfaction with having to hide their relationship and after Paige gets jealous seeing a girl from another school, Samara Cook, flirting with Emily.[17]

Emily's father is sent to Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, to help with military training, and Emily's mother reveals to Emily that they are moving down to Texas to join him. Emily is dismayed, feeling as though she has only just begun to fit in at Rosewood.

Emily recalls a memory from the day Alison went missing: Alison visited her and gave her a snow globe, which, unbeknownst to Emily at the time, contained a key to a storage locker. Realizing Alison had hidden something away, the girls use the key to discover a series of videos that Ian Thomas had filmed. Believing that Ian is A/Alison's killer, the girls make plans to confront him. Their plans go astray when A kills Ian and take his body from the crime scene, leaving the police suspicious of Emily and her friends.[18]

Season 2[edit]

Hoping to convince her mother to stay in Rosewood, Emily considers faking a letter from a college swim scout; deciding it would be wrong, she rips up the letter. However, A makes an unaltered, undamaged copy and sends it to Emily's mother. Emily is able to stay in Rosewood, but feels guilty, confiding in Samara, her new girlfriend. When Emily's mother moves to Texas, Emily goes to live with Hanna.[19]

Ian is found dead of an apparent suicide, but Emily realizes that Ian's suicide note is actually a mash-up of lines from A's messages. Emily then stumbles upon Logan Reed, the messenger who had been sent to pick up money for Ian, after the girls blackmailed him in an attempt to reveal him as Alison's killer. When Emily relays this information to Officer Garrett, who has been assigned to "watch" the girls, he later pays off Reed to keep him quiet, preventing Emily from doing any further investigating.[20] Emily's relationship with Samara begins to suffer when Samara tells her she isn't interested in dating exclusively; they later break up after A forces Emily to give Samara's friend her phone number as a sign of flirtation.[21]

A concludes that Emily is the "weak link" in the group and begins to torment her as much as possible. That, combined with the added stress and guilt from the fake college letter, lands Emily in the hospital with a stomach ulcer. While there, it is revealed that A secretly dosed Emily with HGH, forever ruining Emily's chances of getting a swimming scholarship.[22] Emily then reunites with Maya, who is now living a few towns over; they both decide to take things slow and see if they are interested in rekindling their relationship.

Dr. Sullivan, the girls' therapist, goes missing, and the girls are forced to go on a mission to save her. A sends Emily to a barn in the woods; she ends up getting locked inside and passes out due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Emily is then visited by Alison, who explains that she knows the identity of A, but can't reveal it to Emily, shortly before kissing her. Emily is rescued by her friends, but remains uncertain if Alison is really alive or if it was just a dream. The girls are then arrested soon after, having been caught with a piece of evidence the police suspect to be the murder weapon used on Alison.[23]

Emily and the other girls plot to try and trick A by pretending Emily is being frozen out of the group. The plan is only moderately successful; however, the girls are able to get access to A's phone. Meanwhile, Emily is forced to deal with her new relationship with Maya, who is desperate to avoid getting sent back to True North. Emily later finds out that she couldn't go back because her soon-to-be killer was there and wanted Emily to go with her to San Francisco to save her. When Emily rejects leaving, Maya disappears. Emily believes Maya has run off to San Francisco to stay with some friends, and is distraught. She attempts to find Maya, to no avail. Things are soon complicated by Paige; having recently come out, she hopes to rekindle her and Emily's relationship.[24]

Emily's father returns to Rosewood briefly to attend a father-daughter dance. He later tells Emily that he has been assigned on another tour in Afghanistan. After his departure, Emily's mother makes plans to return home to Rosewood.

With the girls charged with the challenge of unmasking A at the school's masquerade ball, Emily is on edge. At the ball, she meets Paige; the two talk and come to the mutual agreement that for now, they will be just friends. After Mona is revealed to be A and subsequently arrested, Emily and the other girls come home to find the police at Emily's house. Emily's mother explains that Maya has been murdered and her body found at the DiLaurentis house. Upon hearing this, Emily breaks down, comforted by the other girls.[25]

Season 3[edit]

Now a senior, Emily has spent the last five months away from her friends, helping build houses in Haiti as well as partying and drinking heavily to the point of blackouts. She is still depressed over Maya's death, but is at the same time angry at being treated like she is "made out of glass". When the Liars reunite after their time apart, Emily goes missing during the night and is later found by the other girls standing over Alison's dug-up grave, unable to remember the events leading up to that point. Realizing it is a set-up, the Liars create an alibi for themselves and cover their tracks. Emily's guilt over what happened distances her even more from the Liars, and she finds comfort in Nate St. Germain, Maya's cousin, who has recently moved to Rosewood to attend Hollis.

In "That Girl is Poison" Emily discovers that her flask had been drugged with a sleeping pill, causing her to black out. In "Stolen Kisses", she learns that on the night she was drunk, she had visited Paige, kissing her before leaving. Paige feels guilty about what happened, believing she took advantage of her, and Emily is shocked and confused about this new revelation. That evening she returns to Paige's house and explains that she realized there was a reason she ended up at Paige's house when she was drunk: she wanted to be with Paige. The two kiss, rekindling their relationship.

Emily becomes depressed after watching old videos of Maya on Maya's website, but is cheered up by Paige. In "What Lies Beneath", Emily and Hanna discover that Maya had been hiding in Noel Kahn's family's cabin, and had never actually left Rosewood. Upset by this, Emily and Nate comfort one another, only to end up kissing. She confesses to Paige about kissing Nate, who explains that Emily is simply confused over her connection to Maya through Nate. Emily then rebuffs Nate's further romantic advances, stating that she just wants to be friends.

When the Liars suspect Paige of being "A" in the mid-season finale, "The Lady Killer", Emily steps in to defend her, putting up a wall between herself and the other girls. Stressed over the Liars' constant insistence of Paige's guilt and Garrett's upcoming trial, Emily joins Nate for the weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods. However, after being warned to "get out" by "A", Emily discovers that Nate was in fact at True North with Maya; Nate admits that his real name is Lyndon James. Angry at Emily for "taking" Maya from him, Lyndon reveals he has kidnapped Paige and plans to murder her in front of Emily. Emily escapes, but is caught by Lyndon in a nearby lighthouse while attempting to call 911. During the ensuing struggle, Emily stabs Nate, fatally wounding him. She then reconciles with the other Liars when they realize Paige is innocent.


Drusilla Moorhouse of E! Online writes that the character has "transformed from a confused girl to a badass babe".[26] The Florida Family Association has condemned the character for her sexuality, and General Motors has subsequently pulled their advertising. However, GM denied that they did so over the character's sexual identity.[27] The character debuted on After Ellen's Hot 100 at number seven.[28]


  1. ^ "Meet Emily Fields". Alloy Entertainment. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ "1.20 - "A Person of Interest"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  3. ^ Shepard, Sara (2007). Pretty Little Liars. Harper Teen. ISBN 978-0-06-200954-8. 
  4. ^ Shepard, Sara (2007). Pretty Little Liars: Flawless. Harper Teen. ISBN 978-0-06-205987-1. 
  5. ^ Shepard, Sara (2008). Pretty Little Liars: Unbelievable. Harper Teen. ISBN 978-0-06-088741-4. 
  6. ^ Shepard, Sara (2009). Pretty Little Liars: Killer. Harper Teen. ISBN 0-06-156611-X. 
  7. ^ a b Shepard, Sara (2011). Pretty Little Liars: Twisted. Harper Teen. ISBN 978-0-06-208101-8. 
  8. ^ Shepard, Sara (2011). Pretty Little Liars: Ruthless. Harper Teen. ISBN 978-0-06-208186-5. 
  9. ^ Shepard, Sara (2011). Pretty Little Liars: Wanted. Harper Teen. ISBN 978-0-06-156619-6. 
  10. ^ "1.01 - "Pilot"". 2010.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  11. ^ "1.05 - "Reality Bites Me"". 2010.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  12. ^ "1.09 - "A Perfect Storm"". 2010.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  13. ^ "1.10 - "Keep Your Friends Close"". 2010.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  14. ^ "1.11 - "Moments Later"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  15. ^ "1.13 - "Know Your Frenemies"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  16. ^ "1.15 - "If at First You Don't Succeed, Lie, Lie Again"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  17. ^ "1.21 - "Monsters in the End"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  18. ^ "1.22 - "For Whom the Bell Tolls"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  19. ^ "2.06 - "Never Letting Go"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  20. ^ "2.05 - "The Devil You Know"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  21. ^ "2.09 - "Picture This"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  22. ^ "2.08 - "Save the Date"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  23. ^ "2.12 - "Over My Dead Body"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  24. ^ "2.21 - "Breaking the Code"". 2012.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  25. ^ "2.25 - "UnmAsked"". 2011.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  26. ^ Moorhouse, Drusilla (February 14, 2011). "Pretty Little Liars Star Dishes on Lesbian Character, Anti-Gay Bullying & "Mind-Blowing" Season Finale". E! Online. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  27. ^ Fowler, Brandi (August 20, 2011). "Are Advertisers Quitting Pretty Little Liars Because of Lesbian Character?". E! Online. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  28. ^ Ebner, Juliette (July 11, 2011). "Drama Queen". Washington Blade. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]