Parent reviews for Pretty Little Liars

Common Sense says

Tantalizing mystery plays up glamour, sexiness in teen life.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 132 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 643 reviews
Adult Written byFabMamaOf3 August 23, 2011

Pretty Little Liars: A-okay!

As a parent, who also has a degree in psychology, I just thought I would put my opinion on here. I am a younger mother (27) and I have 3 children, 2 of which are daughters. At this point my children are too young to watch or even grasp the show; however, if my children were older, 14+ I would not have an issue with them watching this. Yes, I would not want them cussing, no parent does, however this show is ultimately harmless when it comes to the sexual innuendos, kissing scenes are extremely short, the 'sex scenes' really dont show anything. I actually enjoy this show, myself. There are so many parents on here saying, 'God I hope our children don't behave like this', but the reality of it is, most teenagers do behave like this. Most of us did when we were in high school (okay, didn't have a relationship with a teacher, but still), most of us did have sex, drink, say curse words, and bicker with our friends and frenemies. Overall I think it is an okay show for kids to watch. If you have issues with it, then you need to be talking to your child. Do not just sit around and expect tv to teach them what to do. I remember learning about sex, in explicit ways, from my friends, because I, like many of the women that I know, had parents who were not open and honest about sex, and made it uncomfortable for you to talk to them. Bottom line, YOU are the parent, not the TV. YOU set the rules, and it is YOUR responsibility to teach your child right from wrong. If you have a good relationship with your child a tv show isn't going to change that. There is no point in blaming ABC Family, for what you are not talking to your children about. Because trust me, if they dont learn it from you they WILL learn about it from someone. Better step up and talk to your child now, and quit blaming the media!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Parent of a 2, 4, 10, and 11-year-old Written bybpm01 December 11, 2010

Not appropriate for teens even.

I would not let my child watch this show until she was at least 16. My biggest issue is one of the girls is 16 and having an affair with her teacher who is in his early 20's. They make it seem totally okay and very exciting. This is in no way appropriate for a 14 year-old! Another character keeps sleeping with her older sisters boyfriends who are also in their 20's and she is like 16. Do people not understand that is illegal? So why would it be ok for a young teen to watch? There is also murder, drugs, alcohol and lying. It has no messages in it I would want my kids to learn.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent Written byGaga Fan March 26, 2011
Whether to watch this show depends on your child. I read the books as has my 14 year old and we watch in with our 10 year old. My 14 year old daughter is not impressed by the mean girls and thinks the relationship between Aria and Ezra is inappropriate. My 10 year old is male and just enjoys it for the mystery storyline and and shuts his eyes during the kissing. I don't have a problem with the lesbian storyline, but I can see where others might. It depends on your family and their values. It's definitely milder than Gossip Girl and Skins. My kids are not adversely effected and don't emulate the behavior of the characters. If your kids would admire these girls and want to make similar choices, I would not watch this show!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byangiechaaya April 6, 2015

Amazing show

This tv series is definetly for kids 10 and up. It has a great story line and a great message to kids or adults which is don't be rude or mean or blackmail anybody because it will come back to bite you. There may be some drinking but thats what teenagers do once their old enough. There is some vilonce and scary scenes but it isnt too bad. There is alot of kissing and maybe once or twice a season there is a sexual reference but it shows nothing, maybe just a shadow of the back of their skin or them in a blanket but nothing too bad. The only swearing they do is the word bitch and ass thats all. There is a lesbian couple but that is reality and people 10+ should know about it. This show is great for kids 10+ and I enjoy the show and its plot alot.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byMariah K. November 29, 2016

Emily's Sexuality

I happen to love the show. I watch it because it's endlessly entertaining. Most of what I feel has already been said. But I do feel compelled to say how disheartening it is to see so many people's main gripe with the program be that one of the girls is a lesbian. If you're homophobic, then yes, this show will likely bother you. Pretty Little Liars is imperfect, but one thing I have always loved is that Emily's sexuality is portrayed as valid. Her friends are fiercely supportive. She has girlfriends and goes on dates. She is also portrayed as more than just her sexuality. Emily has goals and dreams and talents just like all the other characters in the show. If you want media that sends a message of acceptance, inclusiveness and tells your child that it's okay to be who they are, then Emily being gay should not be a concern - it should be exciting. Seeing yourself in the media makes you feel less alone. That's especially important for young kids.
Parent of a 2, 14, and 14-year-old Written byprettylittlelia... March 3, 2011

tweens and teens are okay

I love this show because it teaches children what life is like starting at about high school. They will know what kind of behavior to watch out for and stuff like that.
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byclaire123 January 15, 2011

11 year olds can handle it!

i think this is a good show and kids over 11 can handle everything in it, my daughter is in 5th grade and can handle the storyline. she has read all of the books and asked to watch the show. 11 year olds are capable of this show!

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written byrachel b. May 22, 2020

Common sense media exaggerates a lot

PARENTS:... Before explaining that this shows is one of the best that I've seen here's my explanation. Common sense media exaggerates a lot when they say that there's a lot of sex they refer to as kisses and not inappropriate they just appear some make out's but not very bad.
This is a great series for a 13-year-old. SEX: there's not much it's less sex than glee. LANGUAGE: They say bad words but not like very bad. I just want to say if your child is educated it's great.
Adult Written bySpartyon May 26, 2011

I really like Pretty Little Liars ages 11 & up

Pretty Little Liars is a pretty good show I really like it a lot. It has a positive message that being a bully isn't cool and it has good role models. I think 11 & up can handle this show and if they know from right to wrong parents shouldn't have a problem with this show.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written by90210fan February 2, 2011

for tweens and teens

Love it read all the books parents this show isn't as bad as gossip girl if u let ur kids watch teen shows let them wat ch it

This title contains:

Positive role models
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byelizabeth mc August 3, 2010
I saw the commercials for this show and thought it might be fun for my daughters to watch. They are 11 and 13. I also saw that a lot of their friends were watching the show, and so I didn't do my homework. I have learned a huge lesson, and strongly oppose any child being exposed this show or these books. Everything about this show is meant to shock and to normalize bad behaviors. ABC Family definitely needs to take the family out of its name with this type of programming. They are really targeting young viewers. It amazes me how inappropriate most "teen" books are and that middle school aged children are reading them. I watched the last episode where two best friends casually kiss. I really could not believe this was on TV. It was a very provocative scene that didn't seem to have anything to do with being gay, but more of one girl being seduced by one of her "best friends" who was just out to hurt people. It really trivializes what a gay teen might be going through. I am at a loss. Not to mention the teacher student relationship and the cheating parents and so on and so on. Just terrible role models all around for kids. The mystery part can be scary for kids, too. Sure kids may "know" about some of this stuff, but to show it on a "family" television station and make it seem okay and normal is very irresponsible. Guess that is the world we live in.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byelissa.meyer May 24, 2019

Appropriate for Tweens

I think Pretty Little Liars is fine for tweens ages 12 and up. Yes, there is kissing and one clique member is attracted to a teacher, but nothing happens. As far as sex goes, I don’t think parents have to worry about anything other than a few same/opposite gender kissing. I know some parents aren’t ok with that, but I personally don’t have a problem. I think the overall message of this show is to not do things that can be used against you later. Because of this, I marked this show saying that it has positive messages. Now, I’m not going to recommend that teenage girls lie, cheat, and steal things, but I do think that the OVERALL show leaves god messages for older kids.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byKatie O. November 1, 2016

Just Say No

As an educator and mother I can't think of any redeeming qualities of a show that displays such a vial lack of morals and values. Shame on the creators of this trash, especially for targeting it for children. Unbelievable.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written by[email protected] August 21, 2010

fine for someone else's kids

I told my 13 yr old if it was so important to watch it, she needed to read the books first, then tell me if she felt is was appropriate. So far, no books...Maybe she IS the only 13 year old not watching it, but I didn't say she couldn't, just put some conditions on it.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byanniegray369 January 12, 2021

Great mystery show for tweens and teens!

Pretty Little Liars is a fun mystery show full of suspense and drama and romance. My daughter watched it 3 years ago when she was 10 and loved it, it's her favourite show now. There is lots of lying (often to parents), some cheating, occasionally some excessive drinking, and one teen takes drugs (although you never see her taking them and she has to go to boot camp when her parents find out). HOWEVER, your kids don't copy what they see on TV! TV is for entertainment, past the age of 7 your kids don't need shows with "good messages". The only good message in PLL is loyalty, most of the stuff they do is kind of bad, but your kids won't copy them if they are responsible! Teens don't act like this in real life, it's all hammed up for the show so don't worry about your kids trying to be like the main characters. The only bit I might worry about is the teacher-student relationship. I think it's a good idea to talk to your kids about how this is illegal and wrong before they watch it. The show tries to lower the weirdness level by making the teacher only about 4 years older and they met before he became her teacher and it's the student who keeps saying they should stay together, but if you look at it as if it was real life it is still illegal and wrong. Halfway through Season 2 he stops being her teacher so it stops being weird luckily. But make sure to talk to your kid about how this is not okay, so that they don't get the wrong idea from the show. The rest of the stuff they already know.

VIOLENCE: There is much more suspense than violence (some scenes have lots of drama and suspense emphasized by scary music.) The main plot of the show involves a teenage girl's murder but you never see her body. A few dead bodies, but they are more eerie than scary. Barely any blood and no gore in the entire 7 seasons. Most dead bodies are just pale people lying on the ground with no blood, one is hung with a rope but you only see him after he has been hung and his face is very pink, that's all. Someone is stabbed (not fatally), some blood but no gore. At one point, in the almost pitch black, the sillhouette of a teenage boy's body lies on the floor next to an axe. The girls can't see (and you can't either) but it is suggested he has been decapitated. There is a dark roundish object at the bottom of the stairs that could be his head. It sounds much worse than it is - no gore whatsoever.

SEX: Lots of kissing and cuddling. Occasionally a guy is seen shirtless. "Sex" scenes never involve having sex. The couple kiss and cuddle a lot, make their way to the bed and lie in it kissing, and then the scene ends. In some of those scenes they take their tops off (the girl always has a modest bra or vest on, no real nudity) and while they are kissing the camera shows their backs or arms to give the impression they are about to have sex. Afterwards the characters reference that they had sex, but never anything explicit. Consent is almost always confirmed with "are you sure?" "I'm sure." One character is gay, this is referenced a lot while her semi-homophobic parents try to understand her coming out. In a flashback, we see that her best friend (the one who died) once took advantage of her sexuality and kissed her, before telling her she wasn't interested. She has girlfriends and ends up in a stable relationship with another girl in the last season, who becomes pregnant with their child. If you're not okay with one of the main characters being gay, you might not wish to show your children this show as it is very pro-LGBTQ (although, again, it won't turn your child gay if they see a gay girl on TV so if that's the issue then it's fine).

LANGUAGE: The word "bitch" is used pretty frequently, often by the girls to each other in a joking way (e.g "wake up, bitch"). "Ass," "damn," "hell," "oh my god" (as an exclamation) are also used, but the only swear word used is "bitch".

DRINKING/DRUGS/SMOKING: The girls sometimes drink a little at parties in the later seasons when they're old enough. Parents also drink a little at parties or events. At one point in the first season, one girl brings a flask of alcohol to a party when she is underage and her friend (also underage) drinks it all after a phone call with her long-distance girlfriend who she thinks might have moved on. She gets very drunk but regrets it in the morning. Sometimes characters drink excessively or get drunk but there are usually repercussions. A mother finds drugs in her daughter's girlfriend's bag and the girlfriend is sent to boot camp.

Overall this is a great show, and if your kids are responsible at all they will not copy the characters (although, again, probably remind them that the teacher-student relationship is wrong while he is still her teacher). I recommend it for 11+. If your child is clued up and okay about all the stuff in here they can probably watch it at 10, and if you are worried your child will get scared or grossed out by the kissing then best to leave it until they are 12 or 13.
Adult Written byLilah27 July 22, 2020

Pretty Little Liars

This show was great for my 11 and 13 year old daughters. The fact that some people are saying 18+ is ridiculous! I can see where you are coming from but as long as your kids understand what is right and wrong, there is no harm done. Besides, kids have to see the real world, a teen doesn’t need to be babied, they need to become adults capable of their own decisions.
Adult Written byMaddie.m March 14, 2020

Let your kids watch it! the best show!!

This is the best show for teens (13 and up) because there is literally not a really good show like this one that has no swearing or (really quick) sex scenes. If you are concerned, watch it with your teen!!

This title contains:

Positive role models
Parent of a 13-year-old Written by12YearOld.Ratings April 19, 2019

One of my favourite shows

This is so good. It took me like a month to finish like 4 Seasons Yikes I was addicted. 22 episodes per season all episodes are around 40 minutes. This is really good, but they kinda stretched it out to season 7 I think they should have stopped it on season 6
Adult Written bysorryfornotsorry February 28, 2016

the show sucks

The main characters are idiots and they have a bad infulence on teenagers. And PLL is a waste of time.Kids shall not spend their time in front of tv for watching lame tv series ,,thats all

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byBerrybones July 5, 2011

Pretty Little Reservations!

I decided to watch an entire show first so I could decide whether I would let my teen (13) watch it. In the last minute, they showed a teen dead on the ground with a gun next to his body. He had just shot himself in the head. Not entertaining. I think I'll hold off on that decision for a while.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff

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