Spencer Jill Hastings is a fictional character, one of the five main characters who appeared in the Pretty Little Liars novels and its television adaptation. Created by American author Sara Shepard, she is member of the group known as the Liars, and is best friend to the four other members, who are also protagonists. The character was developed for television by the series' showrunner I. Marlene King, and appeared in each of the show’s 160 episodes during its seven-years-long run, from its premiere on June 8, 2010 to its finale on June 27, 2017. Spencer is known in the fictional town of Rosewood for her sophisticated charm and dedication to life goals. She is part of the extremely rich, powerful, old family Hastings; Spencer's parents, Veronica and Peter, are both linked to politics and her sister, Melissa, is likewise intelligent and uses her sarcasm and success to affect Spencer psychologically whenever possible. Spencer's characteristics and story have the same methodology in both books and television; however, there are some perceptual differences between the versions, since the television series doesn't follow the books' scripts.
|Spencer Jill Cavanaugh (Hastings)|
|Pretty Little Liars character|
Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings
Pretty Little Liars (2006)
"The First Secret" (2011)
"Till Death Do Us Part" (2017)
|Created by||Sara Shepard|
|Portrayed by||Troian Bellisario|
|Voiced by||Troian Bellisario|
|Full name||Spencer Jill Hastings-Cavanaugh|
Paralegal at the Hastings & Hastings firm
|Affiliation||The Liars |
The A-Team (Formerly)
|Spouse||Toby Cavanaugh (husband)|
Ian Thomas (flirt)
Wren Kingston (boyfriend)
Colin DeSoto (crush)
Zach Pennythistle (flirt)
Andrew Campbell (ex-boyfriend)
Reefer Fredricks (ex-boyfriend)
Ian Thomas (kissed)
Alex Santiago (ex-boyfriend)
Wren Kingston (kissed)
Caleb Rivers (ex-boyfriend)
Marco Furey (sexual relationship)
|Born||April 24, 1994|
|Family and relatives|
Veronica Hastings (mother)
Peter Hastings (father)
Mary Drake (biological mother)
Peter Hastings (father)
Veronica Hastings (adoptive mother; always believed to be her biological mother)
Alison and Courtney DiLaurentis (half-sisters)
Melissa Hastings (paternal half-sister)
Alex Drake (twin sister)
Charlotte Drake (maternal half-sister; deceased)
Jason DiLaurentis (paternal half-brother)
|Relatives in the novels||Daniel (maternal uncle)|
Genevieve (maternal aunt)
Penelope (paternal aunt)
Duncan (great-great-great grandfather)
|Relatives in television||Daniel Cavanaugh (father-in-law)|
Marion Cavanaugh (mother-in-law; deceased)
Mrs. Cavanaugh (step mother-in-law)
Jenna Marshall (step sister-in-law)
|Other||Olivia Caldwell (surrogate mother; only in the novels)|
For her role as Spencer, Bellisario was nominated thrice for Choice Summer TV Star: Female in the Teen Choice Awards, in which she won one. She was also nominated twice for Choice TV Actress: Drama, in which she won one of the two nominations.
Character in printEdit
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 known to have a dark side. She appears to suffer from rage-induced black outs, which leads her to question whether she had anything to do with the death of her friend Alison, and also shows signs of OCD. Spencer also suffers from drug addiction, which she began taking to help her improve her grades at a University of Pennsylvania summer school. She is the half-sister of Alison and Courtney DiLaurentis, as her father had an affair with Jessica DiLaurentis around the time of Spencer's conception. 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 the story, the sisters make up, and in the later books they share a strong bond.
- Ian Thomas: Spencer and Ian kissed prior to the first chapter of the series, and their flirt was condemned by Alison, who threatened to expose it to Melissa, who was Ian's then girlfriend.
- Wren Kim: Just like with Ian, Spencer kissed a boyfriend of Melissa. Wren moves in with Melissa to the Hastings' barn, and he and Spencer connect shortly after, culminating in them kissing and having sex — and being caught by Melissa, who ends her relationship with Wren and kicks him away. Spencer and Wren continue a secret date, but break up later. During the final book, Spencer meets with Wren again after months and they restart their relationship, with Melissa's blessing.
- Zach Pennythistle: Zachary is Veronica's boyfriend's son, and Spencer kisses him even after she discovered he is gay. Zachary's father caught them kissing and sent Zach to military academy.
- Colin DeSoto: They meet when Spencer is visiting her grandmother's house in the companion novel Pretty Little Secrets, and Spencer competes with Melissa for him. However, they discover that Colin is actually a 33-year-old married man with a child, and team up to get back at him by spiking his soda water with viagra before a tennis match.
- Chase and Curtis: After enlisting a blogger's help in finding "A", Spencer meets with blogger Chase and they share a mutual romantic attraction. However, she later discovers that the guy she thought was Chase was actually his brother, Curtis. She meets the real Chase at the end of the novel; though they do not begin an official relationship, it is implied that they will stay in touch. Throughout the final book, the two become closer during their mission to take down "A" and her accomplice.
Character on screenEdit
Spencer is a focused and intelligent girl. Unlike in the books, Spencer is more emotional and sentimental, and has great affection for her family and friends, and is also known to be more humorous than her book counterpart. 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.
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. It was later revealed that Alison asked Ian to kiss Spencer. Early in 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 from her home. Their relationship continued till Spencer said goodbye to Wren and told him that she couldn't stay with him anymore. Spencer and Wren seek each other again in the second season. Spencer and Alex Santiago were dating early in the first season. Alex confided the secret that he had been accepted into a tennis clinic to Spencer. Later, they broke up when "A" sent fake messages to Alex, making him believe that Spencer told his secret.
Spencer and Toby Cavanaugh had a friendly relationship in the second half of the first season, which developed later when they first kissed. Their relationship remained stable, until "A" threatened Toby's life to Spencer and she decided to end things. They hook up again when Spencer discovers he was working to take "A" down and they reunite at the town's square. However, it was later revealed that Toby was actually working with "A," making Spencer break up with him. Then, Spencer started to believe that there were some reasons why Toby joined the A-Team, and she discovers that he's alive and joined the team in order to protect her and to act as a double-agent. Their relationship stayed calm and on-going. In season 5, Toby becomes a cop, which makes his relationship with Spencer tough, since Spencer wants him to share all the information the police has, but Toby starts to prefer his duty. The love drought leads Spencer to other men — Jonny Raymond and Colin. 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. Spencer goes to London with Melissa and she meets Colin there. They have happy days together, until Spencer had to leave London, and they kissed. When Spencer returned to Rosewood, she and Toby resumed their relationship. In the mid-season finale, Spencer moved to Georgetown to study and she had a pregnancy scare and she and Toby realized they wanted different things in their lives, leading to a break up.
Following the series' five years jump on the mid-sixth season, Spencer and Caleb Rivers discovered their feelings for each other; they had sex and started dating later. They later broke up due to Caleb's feelings for Hanna. Spencer and Toby begin dating again in the series finale.
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 to stat the next school year. 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 (he liked Ali more). 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.".
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.
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, Hanna, 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.
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 not dead.
Following this, Spencer begins to try even harder to work out who A is, in order to make it safe for Alison to come home. Overwhelmed by both her investigation and school work, she begins abusing amphetamines. It is later revealed that she had abused them before and was addicted to them the summer prior to Ali's disappearance. This leads her to begin to question her own role in the death of the girl in Ali's grave that night. She eventually ends up being sent to rehab by her parents, and upon getting out, and meeting Ali in New York, is reassured that although her and Alison did fight whilst she was on the drugs, she did go back to sleep in the end.
With Alison's return, Spencer has a hard time getting used with her domination. Spencer struggles with the idea of her father being the killer of Jessica DiLaurentis. Spencer's rivalry with her sister Melissa is put to and end when Melissa reveals that she's the one who buried Bethany Young, in order to protect Spencer. Later, Spencer is arrested for Bethany's murder; however, she was released shortly after when the P.D. gets convinced that Alison is the one who is really responsible. Toby becomes a cop, which makes his relationship with Spencer tough, since Spencer wants him to share all the information the police has, but Toby starts to prefers to keep quiet. The love drought leads Spencer to other men — Jonny and Colin. Spencer and Melissa's relationship gets awkward again when Melissa lies to Spencer. In the season finale, Spencer and the others are arrested as accomplices to Mona's murder; however, on the way to prison, their van is hijacked by "A." and they get taken to A's 'DollHouse'
In the aftermath of the Liars' abduction orchestrated by "A," Spencer's old addiction surfaces again in order to relieve stress. A sleep disorder also recur due to the torture she had faced while being trapped in A'S Dollhouse, and it heavily intensifies the addiction, making Spencer ask for help from Dean, and old counselor, and Sabrina, the new-in-charge at the Brew who gives Spencer brownies with marijuana. Spencer starts to investigate who's behind the Carissimi Group and who Charles is. Meanwhile, her relationship with Toby remains untouchable. In the mid-season finale, it is revealed that CeCe Drake is "A," and the Liars finally gets peace.
Afterwards, Spencer moves to Georgetown in order to get involved with a future political career in Washington, D.C., and ends up in a lobbyist career. She returns to Rosewood five years later at Alison's request, and also to depose on Charlotte's release from psychological hospital. It is revealed that during the five last years she and Toby broke up because of the distance and the different future plans, and, following, she started a thrilling flirt with Caleb Rivers. Having to stay in Rosewood after Charlotte was murdered, she starts working on her mother's election campaign for Senate, while the daughter of the other candidate is Yvonne Phillips, Toby's current girlfriend. Spencer finds out that Charlotte was killed in a copycat manner off a murder she wrote an essay about in college, leading her to start thinking that the police could blame her for Charlotte's death.
A new stalker, now entitled as "A.D.", surfaces, resulting in tension. When a document about Yvonne's mother leaks and Caleb takes the blame, Spencer goes crazy, and Toby fights with him. Spencer, along with the other Liars, Caleb, Mona and Toby, elaborate a plan to take "A.D." down, but everything goes down when the stalker kidnaps Hanna.
In "The DArkest Knight", Spencer is shot by Uber A during the attack by Jenna and Noel. As Jenna is preparing to shoot her again, out of revenge for her and Charlotte, Mary Drake comes in and knocks Jenna out. Mary then cradles Spencer's body and reveals that she is indeed Spencer's mother, making Spencer the biological sister of Cece Drake. In season 7b, Spencer and the other liars receive a big board game called "Liar's Lament", and in the episode "These Boots Are Made For Stalking", it is revealed that Spencer is Mary Drake's second child. In the last half of the last episode, we find out that Spencer was locked up inside a "cell". While the "Spencer", who we saw kissing Toby and then having sex with, was actually Alex Drake, her twin sister, also known as A.D.. Alex, jealous of Spencer, wanted to have everything she never had, a family, friends, and even Toby, who she had "fallen in love with", so she kidnapped the real Spencer, pretending to be her all the time. And through the flashbacks, we are shown when Alex Drake impersonates her sister. It was Alex, not Spencer, who was with Hanna when Hanna was kidnapped. In the flashbacks, we are shown some examples of when Alex has "played" Spencer. Alex was the one who asked Toby for "one last kiss, just to say goodbye" in "The DArkest Knight". Spencer and Ezra, who had been kidnapped as well, escaped the cell, but soon were trapped with Alex. Spencer and Alex fought until the Liars plus Toby and Caleb found them. Both pleading to be the "real" Spencer, Toby figures out who the real Spencer is by asking what is her favorite poem in the book she gave him in "The DArkest Knight". The real Spencer responds with the correct response and Alex is arrested along with Mary Drake. Spencer and Toby resume their relationship and start dating again at the end of the series.
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