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Pretty Little Liars Wiki
We should stop blaming "A" for everything that goes wrong in our lives, and start blaming ourselves.
Spencer to Aria

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno is the seventeenth episode of Season 3 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired on January 29, 2013.



Spencer is having a nightmare in which she and Toby are making out passionately, and then he strangles her. She wakes up gasping for air. Aria and Emily talk about not having heard from Spencer. Pam brings Emily a package that has just arrived in the mail from Nate's, or Lyndon's, family. Inside are a bunch of old birthday cards she sent to Alison along with her biology notebook. Ashley asks Hanna about seeing Mona in school. Hanna says she's fine and makes a reference to Caleb helping her out with Mona. Byron calls Meredith's father, who says his daughter might be off her meds. There is no plan to press charges. Byron talks to Aria about feeling like he's failing at his job to protect her.


Aria asks Spencer how her anniversary with Toby went, and she and Hanna notice that Spencer is acting weird. Also, Aria still hasn't told Ezra about Maggie and his son. Emily shows Aria and Hanna the notebook. Inside there is a conversation between Alison and somebody whose handwriting they faintly remember but can't place a name on it. There is a reference to Toby, and someone called the "Beach Hottie". Aria leaves Ezra a voicemail, asking to meet up.


Hanna overhears Paige talking on the phone with Caleb and realizes that Caleb is the one who stuck a cow brain into Mona's locker. Emily shows Spencer the notebook and asks her if Ian might be the Beach Hottie. Spencer is snappy and says she doesn't understand why they're still being loyal to Alison. Emily makes her read the portion that talks about Alison meeting with Toby after he was sent to juvie. Reading the notebook, we flash back to Alison visiting Toby in the juvenile facility. She thinks he was the person writing notes to people as "A" while Jenna was in the hospital. He says it wasn't him and that he wish he knew who was doing it because he'd love to help them. He thinks that Alison and her posse deserved to get those notes.


In the present day, Spencer starts to cry. She tells Emily that she and Toby broke up but she isn't ready to talk about it quite yet. During class, Spencer gets a text from Aria saying that Ezra broke up with her and that she wants to meet in the park. Spencer storms out of Ella's class, stating that it's a waste of time and won't prepare her for the real world. In the park Spencer finds Ezra sitting on a park bench. She starts to yell at him for dumping Aria, but he has no idea what she's talking about. Spencer then completely spills the beans about Maggie and him having a child.


At the police station, Pam mentions the package Emily received to Officer Barry Maple. Looking through the notebook, Emily notices a photo of Alison with CeCe in Cape May. Ezra shows up at school and confronts Aria about what he's learned from Spencer. He's upset because she is the person he's supposed to trust. Ezra walks away and Aria immediately gets a text from "A:" "Thought you needed a little push, so I pushed "send" for you."


Wilden overhears Pam's conversation and tells Pam that he knows exactly what Emily is going through, with what happened at the lighthouse. He says what Emily experienced will haunt her forever, even in a situation where she acted in self-defense. Aria drops by Spencer's place and tells her that she knows she was set up by "A." Spencer doesn't think they should blame "A" for everything and wonders if they might deserve what's happening to them. She suggests that maybe if they hadn't told so many lies, "A" wouldn't have a reason to keep on torturing them. Furious that Spencer is defending their enemy, Aria storms out.


Emily asks CeCe who the "Beach Hottie" was in Alison's notebook. CeCe says that Alison never told her who that was. Upon seeing the picture of her and Alison in Cape May, CeCe tells Emily the memory of when they were there. A desperate and distressed Alison follows CeCe to a restaurant and tells her that she thinks she might be pregnant. She says that if the guy whom she had the unprotected sex with finds out, "He's gonna kill me."


Aria calls Hanna, who tells her that she is following Paige. Hanna tracks down Paige to a lesbian bar. Spencer texts somebody that she wants to meet them, adding that nobody else can know. Emily and Aria talk about the possibility of Alison being pregnant. It's possible the information wouldn't have showed up on her autopsy. They both think she should take the information to the police and Emily offers to go down there. Hanna spots Paige talking with a woman at the bar. It was Shana.


Trying to eavesdrop, Hanna gets a cocktail ordered for her by one of the lesbians there. Hanna later tries to maneuver herself around the dancing women, so she could listen in on Paige and Shana's conversation better. She gets thrown out when a girl splashes her drink on Hanna and is consequently mistaken for underage drinking. She ends up at the police station and runs into Emily, who hands in the notebook to Wilden. They spot a picture of Wilden and friends in Cape May.


Spencer meets with a private investigator and gives him the "A key" along with a picture of Toby. She tells him to follow Toby and find out where the key goes. Hanna ends up telling her mom everything; she thinks Caleb is trying to protect her from Mona and so she followed Paige to a lesbian bar and ended up getting caught for underage drinking. She also thinks that Paige may not be completely loyal to Emily while Emily knows nothing about the lesbian bar meeting.


Ezra tells Aria that he's spoken with Maggie and doesn't blame her for not telling him right away. However, he's leaving town for a few days to meet his son. Aria asks if she can call him and he begins to cry over the whole situation before getting into his car and driving away. 


At the end, a lady with red nails in a red coat uses a blow torch on a bobblehead Hanna doll.


  • "Out of the frying pan, into the fire", is a popular idiom, meaning that while you get out of the problem, you'll find yourself in a worse situation. "Inferno", on the other hand, means "hell". Thus, it is possible that the Liars, have to deal with a new, more important problem they never expected so far.


  • The Liars are still unaware of Toby's real intentions, due to the fact that Spencer chose to keep it a secret from them.
  • This is the second-longest Pretty Little Liars episode title to date, the first on being Season 1 episode If At First You Don't Succeed, Lie, Lie Again.
  • Emily finds a notebook that's contains messages between Ali and an unknown person, later discovered to be CeCe. Besides talking about a guy called "beach-hottie", Alison wrote about her visiting Toby in juvenile detention. 
  • It was discovered that Alison was not with her grandmother for the summer, but was, in fact, in Cape May.
  • Emily found out a secret about Alison: she thought the she was pregnant. 
  • Emily received a box (linked to Lyndon James) containing cards Emily sent to Alison. Emily already found one in Maya's bag in What Lies Beneath.
  • It is revealed that Caleb put the cow brain in Mona's Locker in She's Better Now.
  • This is the third time, or fourth time (depending on if the blond in the red coat that Hanna saw was the Big A), that we have seen the Big A.
  • We now know for sure that the Main A is a female.
  • This is the first appearance of Shana in the show, outside of Pretty Dirty Secrets.
  • In the flashback scene when Ali visited Toby, Ali showed Toby a message that said: THE BLONDE LEADING THE BLIND! -A, which is also the name of the Season 2 episode namely, "The Blond Leading the Blind".
  • In Eye of the Beholder Spencer says something similar- "Out of the frying pan, into the volcano."


Unnamed girl to Hanna: Who's this peroxide piece of trash?!

Spencer to Miles: How does this work?

Ashley to Hanna: What's a pink drink? Is it code for something gay?

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Featured Music

  • "Until It Hurts" by Fransisca Hall (Spencer's heated nightmare with Toby)
  • "Talk to Me" by Madi Diaz (Spencer meets with the PI)
  • "For Feeling" by Tic Tic Boom! (Hanna arrives at the club)
  • "She's Got It So Phat" by Bosshouse Music (Hanna dances at the club)
  • "Alibi" by The Strange Familiar (Spencer is seen sobbing in her car)


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Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno has a photo gallery.