Credit: ABC Family

We used to think that Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) and Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) were the best of friends, torn apart by Ali’s untimely (and fake) death. Now, we know their friendship was fractured before Ali disappeared, and that Spencer may have played a part in her disappearance. Here is the complete and very complicated history of Ali and Spencer’s friendship on Pretty Little Liars.


Before Ali’s disappearance

Ali and Spencer have always had a competitive and, sometime, combative relationship — perhaps, because they are similar in many ways. They are both strong, clever leader-types with overbearing families (including a shared brother) and a tendency for self-destructive behavior. It is implied that Spencer was the hardest of the Liars for Ali to manipulate. She didn’t go along as easily with Ali’s plans, and the queen bee was threatened by that. This is exhibited in flashbacks when Spencer called Alison out on her “taunting,” or even openly defied Ali’s dictums. Following “the Jenna thing,” Alison blackmailed Toby into taking the fall. She told the Liars not to follow her when she coerced Toby into it, but Spencer did, resulting in Alison pushing her away. Things come to a head when Alison sees Spencer kissing Ian, her sister Melissa’s boyfriend. Unbeknownst to Spencer, Alison is also secretly seeing Ian. Though it was just a one-time thing for Spencer, Alison insists that Spence tell Melissa, even going so far as to vaguely reference it when Melissa is in the room. Not cool, Ali.


The night of Ali’s disappearance

Credit: ABC Family

Spencer and Ali were fighting about Ian the night Ali went missing. Alison told Spencer that, if she didn’t tell Melissa the next day, then she would. Spencer agrees, but tells Alison that they are through as friends. Recently, Spencer has been remembering more about that night. She had forgotten what happened when she wandered out of the sleepover with the other Liars in the Hastings barn, due to her Adderall addiction. She is starting to recall flashes of another fight she had with Alison that night. She remembers picking up a shovel and yelling at Alison. Spencer is intensely afraid that she was the one to bury Alison alive that night. The next thing she remembers is wandering back into the sleepover and telling the other Liars that Ali was gone and she heard a scream. Yikes!


After Ali’s disappearance

Since Ali revealed herself still-alive self to the Liars in the Season 4 Halloween special, Spencer and Alison have not had a chance to be alone. There is an implication that Alison is afraid of Spencer, as she ran away from her rendezvous with Emily when Spencer crashed it. Did she know it was her alleged bestie, or was she just running away from an anonymous intruder? We don’t know. Though Spencer seems desperate to find her friend, she is also wary that Alison is still manipulating them. As referenced in her drug-induced film noir hallucination, she worries that Ali is using the Liars as bait to catch the person who is after her.

Did we miss anything vital to the Spencer/Alison friendship? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on March 4, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!