It's hard to imagine our fave Pretty Little Liars characters being played by anyone other than the people who have been cast in each role, but in an alternative universe there's a PLL that looks very different.

See, it turns out a number of the stars we've come to know and love in certain parts originally auditioned for other roles. It's fun to think about the PLL that could have been, so we've rounded up our favorite "you originally auditioned for what role!?" stories here.

Lucy Hale (Aria): Crazy as it sounds, Lucy didn't just audition to play Aria — she auditioned for Hanna (Ashley Benson), too! Fortunately, the people in charge of casting clearly realized Aria was the role for her.

Sasha Pieterse (Alison DiLaurentis): Sasha also originally auditioned for Hanna. We prefer her as the ultimate mean girl, though.

Shay Mitchell (Emily): Shay is so sweet in both real life and on screen, it's hard to imagine her as tough, neurotic Spencer (Troian Bellisario), but that's the role she originally tried out for. Even she admits Emily is a much better fit!
 
Janel Parrish (Mona Vanderwall): Shay wasn't the only one vying for what became Troian's role: Janel also went out for Spencer.

 

Brendan Robinson (Lucas Gottesman): Brendan originally tried out for Mike Montgomery (Cody Christian). He was deemed too old for the role — no kidding! — but was called back for Lucas, which turned out to be the perfect fit.

 

Brant Daugherty (Noel Kahn): It sounds like the PLL casting department knew they wanted to use Brant, but took a while to find the right role for him. He originally auditioned for Ezra (Ian Harding), and then Toby (Keegan Allen). He was turned down for both parts, but third time's the charm, and he wound up as awesomely creepy Noel Kahn.

 

Bianca Lawson (Maya St. Germain): Bianca was perfect as free-spirited, dearly-departed Maya, but she originally auditioned to play Hanna. We guess the snarky It-girl was a popular character to try out for! Somehow, after seeing Bianca as the artsy Maya, we can't imagine her as the much-ditzier Hanna.

 

Keegan Allen (Toby Cavanaugh): As a fan pointed out in the comments, Keegan originally auditioned for Wren (Julian Morris). Ironically, he ended up playing the character who actually won Spencer's heart in the end (at least for now!).
 
Catch the return of PLL Season 3 on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.

 

Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.