Spencer Hastings

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Spencer Hastings
Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars.png
First appearance Novel:
Pretty Little Liars (2006)
"Pilot" (1.01)
Last appearance Novel:
Vicious (2014)
Created by Sara Shepard
Developed for television:
I. Marlene King
Portrayed by Troian Bellisario
Birth date April 28 , 1994 (age 22)
Full name Spencer Jill Hastings

Mary Smith
Jane Doe

Nicknames = Spence
Gender Female
Occupation Lobbyist
Family General:
Veronica Hastings (mother)
Peter Hastings (father)
Melissa Hastings (sister)
Alison DiLaurentis (half-sister)
Courtney DiLaurentis (half-sister)
Jason DiLaurentis (half-brother)
Ian Thomas (brother-in-law)
Significant other(s) Toby Cavanaugh
Caleb Rivers
Wren Kingston
Ian Thomas
Alex Santiago
Residence Rosewood, Pennsylvania
Status Alive

Spencer Hastings is a fictional character created in 2006 by author Sara Shepard. She is a character of both Pretty Little Liars' books and television series, and primarily appears as a "preppy girl" and one of the main protagonists of the stories. She is part of the group known as the Liars; and is best friend to the four other members, whose are also protagonists. Spencer is known in her town for her sophisticated charm and dedication to studies. She is part of the grand old family Hastings, which is extremely rich and powerful; Spencer's parents, Veronica and Peter, are both linked to politics and her sister, Melissa, is likewise intelligent as Spencer and, whenever she can, uses her sarcasm to affect Spencer psychologically.

Spencer's characteristics and history have the same methodology in both books and television. However, there are some perceptual differences between them, since the television series usually doesn't follows the books' scripts.

Personality In Television Spencer has a very driven, and humorous character in the television series. She is very competitive and strives to be perfect and win at everything. She is known for being the most intelligent and smart of the characters, and works hard to find out who A is. She is the one who figures out and decodes the mystery revolving around Alison, A and other characters and saves lives on the way. She also comes up with most of he genius plans to trap A. She is the most driven character, working hard to achieve the best, also created by her competitive family. She studies a lot and is obsessed about getting into a good college and is always correcting Hanna about her mistakes. Spencer is also very protective and caring of her friends, trying to keep them safe and always trying to help them out. She is a very helpful and active character. Another of Spencer's traits in the series is her sarcasm and dry humour. She is always full of witty comments, comebacks and funny stories. She is sarcastic to a funny point- with her famous 'hope breeds eternal misery' quote. She loves talking using puns and she is always full of bubbly funny stories to cheer up her friends. She is hilarious with her dry humour and witty comebacks. Although she strives to be perfect, she does have some imperfections. She is very strong-willed and stubborn. She is also extremely obsessive about finding things out and has trouble letting things go. Her boyfriend Toby is concerned about this as she is obsessive to a point she is putting herself in danger. She can be quite tense and distracted, something which her remarkable intelligence has cursed her with- to which she says , 'I just wish I could shut my brain off.' She becomes emotionally unstable and addicted to drugs, where she becomes very agitated and irritable, always ready to explode and undergoes IED. Hanna says this is because she is the clever one and 'being smart isn't all good' as this caused Spencer to snap when she becomes to wrapped in trying to find out what happened to Alison and then leading herself to uncover secrets she later wishes she hadn't.

Appearance She has brown, long, curly locks that compliment her lean face and milky skin. She has big honey brown eyes and high cheekbones. Her skin is olive and milky, and her lips are heart-shaped. She has pearly white straight teeth. She is very tall with long, lean legs. She dresses beautifully and stylish, and sometimes to suit her personality of intelligence.

For her role as Spencer, Bellisario was nomiated thrice for Choice Summer TV Star: Female in the Teen Choice Awards, in which she won won.[1] She was also nominated twice for Choice TV Actress: Drama, in which she won one of the two nominations.[2]

Character in print[edit]

Spencer is one of four primary protagonists in all sixteen of the Pretty Little Liars novels, starting with 2006's Pretty Little Liars. She is portrayed as a competitive girl who strives for perfection in everything she does. Spencer is willing to do whatever it takes to win, often to the detriment of herself and others. She is often quick to jump to conclusions and undergoes IED. She also suffers from drug addiction, which began to help her improve her grades in school. Spencer is the half-sister of Alison and Courtney DiLaurentis, her father had an affair with Jessica DiLaurentis the time of conception of Spencer. She participates in a summer program at the University of Pennsylvania to improve her IQ. Spencer has a permanent rivalry with her older sister, Melissa, who is also competitive. Throughout the series of books, the two discuss the implications of their individual successes of life, such as becoming the valedictorian of their classes and having winning essays. Throughout history, the sisters make up, and in the later books they share a strong bond.


Spencer has been romantically linked to some of the characters in the books. She and Ian Thomas, a former boyfriend of Melissa, kissed each other and flirted several times in the early books.[3] Spencer was also attracted to another boyfriend of Melissa, Wren Kim. In the first book, she had a crush on him;[3] following, the two had sex for the first time in the family barn.[4] Spencer and the young Andrew Campbell were in a romantic relationship during the entire second arc of the books; however, they broke up in Twisted.[5]

Character on screen[edit]


Troian Bellisario was cast as Spencer Hastings for the Pretty Little Liars television series adaptation in November 2009.[6]


Spencer is a focused and intelligent girl. Unlike books, Spencer is more emotional and sentimental, and feel a great affection for her family and friends. She's the most academically gifted of her friends, and in the running for valedictorian. Spencer is on the Rosewood Day field hockey team, and plays tennis at her family's country club. She lives with her father, mother, and "perfect" older sister, Melissa. She was the only one who could ever stand up to Alison, although they always made up.


Ian Thomas[edit]

Before the series' chronology, Spencer had a brief affair with Ian Thomas, her sister's groom at the time. Ian and Spencer kissed and Alison saw them together, and later she threatened to tell Melissa.[7] It was later revealed that Alison asked Ian to kiss Spencer.

Wren Kingston[edit]

In early the series, Spencer's sister Melissa was dating Wren Kingston. She was happy and confident, but Spencer and Wren started flirting and secretly dating. However, Melissa saw them together and banned Wren of her home.[8] Their relationship continued til Spencer said goodbye to Wren and told that she couldn't stay with him anymore.[9] Spencer and Wren seek each other again in the second season.[10][11][12]

Alex Santiago[edit]

Spencer and Alex were dating during the first season and they broke up when "A" sent fake messages to Alex, making him believe that Spencer told his secret.[13][14]

Toby Cavanaugh[edit]

Spencer Hastings and Toby Cavanaugh have a friendly relationship in the second half of season 1. In "A person of Interest" the two share their first kiss. Throughout the series they are a couple, but the two split during the time jump in season 6.

Jonny Raymond[edit]

Spencer and Jonny were friends while Jonny was living in the renovated barn of Spencer's family. He was discovered by the police and, before being arrested, kissed Spencer.[15]

Caleb Rivers[edit]

Following the series' five years jump on the mid-sixth season, Spencer and Caleb discovered their feelings for each other; they had sex and started dating later.[16][17]


Season 1[edit]

Spencer Hastings is the "preppy girl" of the group who strives to be perfect, because of her parent's high expectations. Her newly engaged and condescending sister, Melissa, moves into the family barn which Spencer had been turning into a loft for herself. Spencer finds herself attracted to her sister's fiancé, Wren, whom "A" warns Spencer not to kiss or "A" will tell. Wren does kiss Spencer and they are caught by Melissa, who insists that Wren move out.

Spencer starts dating a boy named Alex who works at her country club. Her mother initially dislikes him, but later reveals that he knew that she had a breast cancer scare. Spencer's field hockey coach is her sister's ex-boyfriend, Ian, whom both Ali and Spencer had a crush on. Spencer and Ali are always competing and she was the only one of Ali's friends who would oppose her from time to time.

At the beginning of the series, Spencer was against Emily hanging out with Toby but eventually grew to like him and has been spending more and more time with him. In the episode "Person of Interest", they spend time together in a motel room, as Spencer's parents have a hard time understanding her connection with Ali's murder. Spencer and Toby play scrabble, sleep in the same bed, and eventually kiss near the end of the episode.

In the following episodes, Spencer is told to stay away from Toby for her own good by her mother. Her sister Melissa was at the doctor and is asked all about Spencer's case. She then makes an arrangement to see him in private at the town's festival, only to be sent a fake text (presumably from "A") telling her to meet Toby in the clown house. When she enters, she is locked into a small space. She is found by Ian, her mother, and her sister.

When leaving, she sees Toby and almost leaves without speaking to him, but then rushes to him, hugs him and kisses him in front of her shocked family. She anonymously tells Ian to meet them in the woods with money as they say that they know his secret. However, Spencer and Melissa get into a car accident and Melissa is stuck in the hospital. Spencer goes to the church to get Melissa's phone and Ian is in the church waiting. She starts running upstairs and Ian tries to attack her but a mysterious figure appears and pushes Ian off the side and he dies. The rest of the girls arrive having been to the forest. They see the dead body and call the police.

When the police arrive the body is not there, leaving the rest of the town to think that the girls are liars. Spencer has a huge fight with Alison ending their friendship by telling Alison "You are dead to me" the night she went missing. Melissa now thinks that Spencer has been texting her as Ian after finding his cell phone in her purse which was planted there by "A.".

Season 2[edit]

In season 2, Spencer and Toby are dating. Toby does some yard work for the Hastings and digs up Spencer's old field hockey stick which she gave to Ali before she died. Spencer's father sees this and suspiciously takes the stick, and later burns it. After doing some further investigating, she reads Alison's autopsy results and finds that she was struck in the head with an object similar to a field hockey stick. While Spencer and Toby are making out in Toby's truck Toby believes he spots something in Jason DiLaurentis's upstairs window but tells Spencer to ignore it. Spencer weary, looks for herself and spots two figures in the window presumably spying on Toby and her, Spencer wants to "show these bitches she isn't scared of them" Toby protests thinking that it won't end up going over well when Spencer's father comes out of the house. When Spencer asks questions her father refuses to answer. After fighting with both Spencer and Toby, Spencer's father tells her to go home, Spencer ignores his wishes and gets into Toby truck and they drive away, while Spencer's father yelling at her to get out of the car.

When Spencer later arrives home she wants answers, and gets some, finding out that her father did something illegal for the DiLaurentis's implying that they had something on Spencer's family but not giving away that information. Spencer later discovers that Wren came back to Rosewood for her. In order to keep Aria away from Jason, Spencer informed Ezra that they found pictures of his girlfriend Aria in Jason's shed. When Spencer's Chuckie doll orders her to "keep Toby safe", Spencer resolves that the only way to keep Toby safe is to break up with him. Later, Toby is seen in the police station, professing his love to Spencer, but she unwillingly ignores him. She does seek Toby's forgiveness on several occasions, but he seems to ignore her and stay brooding.

In episode 19 she finds out that Jason is her brother. This information causes a divide in her family. During episode 20 Spencer and Wren rekindle their relationship, however Spencer was drinking during the event. It is Spencer that keeps digging into the "A" information, and is the one who eventually finds "A's" lair in the season 2 finale along with discovering A's identity...who turns out to be Mona. She is essentially kidnapped by "A," and during a scuffle accidentally pushes "A" off of a cliff, almost killing them. The rest of the girl's arrive shaken by the ordeal and finding out their tormentor's real identity. As the police arrive, Spencer is reunited with Toby, who says pretending not to love her back was the most difficult thing he's ever done. The two then make up passionately kissing as Spencer smiles happily while kissing him.

Season 3[edit]

Summer has passed since the unveiling of "A", and the girls think they are safe - little do they know they need each other more than ever. The first half of the season focuses on Spencer finding out who the black swan was: her sister. Melissa tells her she received the dress at her door - with a note threatening her to wear it - and she assumed that it was Mona. Spencer decides to believe her, but is still a little suspicious. She grows closer to Toby, even having sex for the first time in the episode "The Lady Killer". In the same episode, however, it is revealed (not to the liars, but to the audience) that Toby is a member of The A-Team. Hanna finds the key to A's new lair and gives it to Spencer. Toby sneaks into her house to retrieve it, not realizing Spencer set it as a trap to confirm her suspicions. She slaps him, after seeing him in the signature 'A jacket'. She doesn't tell her friends, rather keeping it to herself.

She gives the key to a private investigator and gives him a picture of Toby and her, before ripping it in half. She tells him in order to find where the key leads to, follow him. He leaves and Spencer disturbingly begins to rip her own half of the picture of herself. She begins to withdraw herself from her friends, and becomes emotionally unstable. She is angry, and starts to unravel and do things she knows she shouldn't (attacking Mona physically, and telling Jason that Alison was pregnant before she died with Darren Wilden, but had no physical proof). In the episode "Hot Water" she tells the girls the truth about Toby. Also in the same episode, she catches a glimpse of the girl in the red coat who is the leader of The 'A' Team, but fails to catch up with her. In the episode "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" she finds Toby's dead body and tells him, "I love you". After failing to track Mona down in the woods she is found by a hiker in the morning with small injuries to her face and arms and is admitted to the Radley hospital in a catatonic state. She is unknown by doctors at the time and is simply known as, 'Jane Doe'. When her identity is revealed to the Radley staff, Mona visits her. They have a long discussion and it is revealed in "I'm Your Puppet" that Mona somehow convinces her to join the A team. Spencer is the third known member of the A team.

In the Season 3 finale "A Dangerous GAme", it is revealed that Toby is alive. She meets him at a diner, and he reveals he only joined The 'A' Team in order to protect her. They get back together and have sex for the second time in a motel. Spencer hosts a fake party at a lodge where the girls are supposed to meet "Red Coat", when an unknown figure starts a fire, trapping Aria, Hanna, Emily, and Mona in the burning house. Toby leads Spencer in the woods to see who "Red Coat" is. Red Coat lands in a helicopter, and Spencer catches a glimpse of her face and says "Ali?". The girl in the red coat drags everyone out of the house, and Hanna wakes up, face-to-face with Alison. Although 3 of the girls (Spencer, Hannah, Mona) claim to have seen Ali, it is still not 100% sure that it was her, because it is possible it could have been a hallucination due to the effects of the fire. They drive and see Wilden's car dug up from the lake. They (including Mona)get a text: You're Mine Now. Kisses! -A, which is written in red font. They open the trunk, gasping and horrified at what they see.

Season 4[edit]

Spencer and her friends continue to be tormented by A. After Ashley Marin is suspected to have killed Wilden and is taken into custody, Spencer supports Hanna while her mom defends Ashley's case. She also supports Toby in finding out the truth about his mother even though she does not approve his trusting A for clues.

In the midseason finale, Spencer and her friends go to Ravenswood after receiving a puzzling clue from 'A.' There she and her friends discover that there are two red coats, one being CeCe Drake. Spencer chase the other red coat who leads her to A's Lair. Spencer presumes that the 2nd Redcoat is Alison. The second Redcoat leads Spencer and the other girls to an apartment, which when they enter and investigate, realize that it is A's Lair and after finding a wardrobe with blazers and shoes that 'A' is male, we later come to discover that it is Ezra's apartment and he is 'A'. While in the lair they discover that A has not only been following them but also Alison, and 'A' thinks that Alison will be in rosewood that night at a graveyard party. the girls discover what 'A' costume is and decide to also go to the graveyard party and try to find Alison before 'A' does. While looking for Alison, the girls find themselves separated in an old house, Spencer comes across 'A' while looking for Hanna and knocks 'A' out, however as she tries to unmask Ezra, she herself gets knocks out by Ezra. Once the girls are out of the house, they discover that Spencer's tires are slashed and then Ezra turns up out of nowhere and drives them back home. The girls see Redcoat and follow her to Spencer's garden and she turns around and we discover that it's Alison and that she is alive.

Season 5[edit]

Season 6[edit]

In Season 6B, set five years after the previous episode, Spencer is an up-and-coming politician in Washington, D.C.. She returns to Rosewood when Alison requests the girls help to have Charlotte, released from Welby, but when Charlotte is killed and the girls become suspects, Spencer is forced to stay longer than planned. Her love life soon becomes complicated, as Toby is dating Yvonne, the daughter of Veronica's campaign rival, and Spencer and Caleb have since become a "thing", although they are hesitant and unsure of where their relationship is headed.


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  2. ^ "Teen Choice Awards: 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Leads First Wave of Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Shepard, Sara (2008). Unbelievable. HarperTeen. ISBN 978-0-06-088739-1. 
  4. ^ Shepard, Sara (2007). Flawless. HarperTeen. ISBN 978-0-06-088733-9. 
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External links[edit]

Spencer Hastings at the Internet Movie Database