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It won't be that easy, Bitches!

Reality Bites Me
Season 1, Episode 5
Air Date July 6, 2010
Written by Bryan M. Holdman
Directed by Wendey Stanzler
Episode Guide
Can You Hear Me Now?
There's No Place Like Homecoming

Reality Bites Me is the fifth episode in Season 1 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired July 6, 2010 and is the 5th episode overall.



Still reeling from the haunting message scrawled across Spencer’s vanity, the next morning the girls discover an additional, even spookier message from "A" – this one in the form of a video of the girls the previous night that was clearly recording them from inside Spencer’s closet. It is sent in a text to Hanna as an attachment. The girls reveal that they have unblocked their phones. They then go upstairs and open the closet to find the lipstick that was used to write the message on the vanity - Aria thinks it is the same shade of red that Jenna wears.


At Aria's house, Aria hears her parents arguing with each other from her room. They discuss the possibility of Byron moving out. After Byron leaves, Aria unwittingly reveals to her mother that she knew about the affair for a year. Ella is hurt and surprised, but not mad at Aria.


As a penance for crashing Sean’s car, Hanna is forced to take a filing job in his mom’s dental office working with kids. On her way from work, her shopping bag containing her uniform sneakers, and at that moment, she bumps into Sean. Sean lets Hanna know that he tried to take the blame for the car, but Hanna owns up to it herself. She brings up going with him to homecoming, and he says he'll think about it. Just then, a blonde cheerleader picks up Sean to drive him to school.

Mr. Sheldrake congratulates Spencer on her win.

In the hallways at school, the girls talk about who the perpetrator could have been. Just then, Mr. Sheldrake walks over congratulating Spencer on her 'win' in the Golden Orchid competition.


In chemistry lab, Emily asks Toby where he was the night before (slightly suspicious that he might be "A"). He replies that he was at The Grille doing homework, where he normally studies to get away from Jenna and her noisy machines.


Aria then meets up with Ezra in his classroom to see if he can make plans after school. He lets her know that he will be reading some of his work later at a bar. Thrilled, Aria asks if she can come, and Ezra bashfully agrees warning it could get ugly if it doesn't go over well.


While on her way to work at Dr. Ackard's office, Hanna spots Jenna in the building's elevator. She is seen applying that same shade of red lipstick, leaning into the mirror as she applies a fresh coat.


At Spencer's home, Peter is sitting on the living room couch, reading. He greets Spencer as she comes home, letting her know that he bought her buttercreams, her favorite cookies. Spencer takes this as a sign to mean that he's spoken to Wren if she's in his good graces again, but actually he's heard about the essay win from Mr. Sheldrake. (Wren was right; he would forgive her as soon as she scored an academic achievement.) He then invites Spencer to play a doubles match the following day with a prospective client named Andrew Newhoff and his daughter.


At work, Hanna follows Jenna to her floor and she has been seeing a psychiatrist in the same building as Dr. Ackard's practice. Meanwhile, Emily and Toby’s surprising friendship grows even stronger, as both begin to take an interest in each other. Emily appreciates Toby's artwork on his lab notebook. They discover they have the same taste in music and agree to meet later at The Grille.


At the poetry reading, an old college friend of Ezra's named Hardy is in attendance as well. He spots Aria, who is clearly there to support Ezra and introduces himself as Ezra's old roommate; in turn, Aria admits that she is Ezra's student. Ezra then comes over, surprised to see Hardy, and the three hang out, playing darts, eating French fries, and sharing old college stories with Aria. Hardy is quick to pick up on Aria and Ezra’s scandalous relationship, warning Ezra that it could bring him more harm than good down the line. His opinion gets to Ezra, who later makes a comment to Aria about not having been in college.


Excited about their upcoming tennis game, Spencer practices serving at the club. There, she meets an attendant named Alex, who comments on Spencer's game. Meanwhile, Hanna, jealous of Sean's new interest in this cheerleader, checks out her social networking page. Her name is Amber, and Hanna totally resents her. Ashley reassures her daughter that Sean isn't necessarily dating this girl, just because she has been driving him to school. Hanna also fills Ashley in on the fact that Tom is engaged, and she is somewhat taken aback. Just then, "A" sends a shocked Hanna an attached file of Maya and Emily kissing in an email.


Emily and Toby are scheduled to meet, but when Emily arrives at the cafe, she sees Spencer and Hanna. Too embarrassed to socialize with Toby in front of them, she reluctantly blows him off. They fill Emily in on the Jenna lipstick situation. Later, the waitress hands Emily the mixed CD Toby has left for her, leaving Hanna to believe Maya made it for her and encourages Emily not to be scared to pursue a non-conventional relationship, as Hanna will support her. However, Emily takes this to heart regarding Toby.


Peter asking Spencer to play a doubles match with him had seemed like an olive branch, but it turns out to be nothing but a business venture: Peter wants to hand the win to their opponents, a potential business partner, thus signing the dotted line. She reluctantly throws the match. Afterwards, she finds a fast, unlikely friend in Alex, who picks up on the fact that they were playing games. The two make plans to hang out sometime outside the club.


At Aria's home, Mike approaches Aria with his concern about Byron and Ella fighting, feeling vulnerable, but Aria tells him that it isn't their business. Meanwhile, their parents are arguing about the affair. Ella has found out that the woman is Meredith, who she stupidly and embarrassingly befriended. She is angriest about the fact that Byron unfairly used Aria to hide the relationship from her.


Ashley discusses relationships with Hanna at home. After bumping into Sean on her way to his mother's office, Hanna finds out that Amber is not Sean's love interest; she is a fellow member to "Real Love Waits," the virginity club at school. Sean expresses to her that he never meant to let her down; he's just serious about his abstinence pledge. So, Hanna decides to keep close tabs on Sean by joining his abstinence club in order to spend time with him.


When Aria accidentally leaves her phone at Ezra’s overnight, he intercepts a message from "A" in an attempt to stop the buzzing noise – and, assuming it’s a friend of Aria’s she’s confided in about their affair, quickly puts a stop to their relationship indefinitely.


Later, Peter is ecstatic about Spencer's help in scoring the client. At that moment, Spencer admits to her dad about stealing the essay for the contest, as she expresses that her dad's throwing the match has taught her success is more important than honesty or integrity.


Later the next day at the Grille, an upset Toby tries to ignore Emily when she comes to sit with him, but gives in when she presents him with a mix CD of her own. She apologizes for blowing him off, and he accepts. And Spencer does meet up with Alex for their date, while Aria makes dinner for Mike and herself, trying to shield him from the negativity in their household.


  • Keegan Allen (Toby) revealed in an interview that Toby was supposed to die in this episode but Marlene changed her mind. [1]


  • Toby is reading "Catcher in the Rye" in the café, a nod to Spencer's tutoring him in French later on.
  • After Spencer complained to Wren that her family had changed their opinion of her as a result of the kiss, he had assured her that as soon as she scored another academic achievement, she would be back in her parents' good graces. Wren was proved correct in this episode when Peter came around to Spencer, offering her candy after he heard about her winning the "Golden Orchid" for her essay.


  • During chemistry class, Toby asks Emily "so whose house did you stay at last night?" However, his lip movement doesn't match the words he's saying.
  • In a text message from A, the video attached is labeled as "", but on the actual video it is shown as "," with the last two digits swapped.
  • Jenna leans into her reflection in the elevator to apply her lipstick. She's supposed to be blind. This is possibly a deliberate error by the filmmakers to make the characters and viewers doubt that Jenna is blind.


  • "Reality Bites" is the title of a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama featuring the directorial debut of Ben Stiller, starring himself, Winona Ryder, and Ethan Hawke.
  • "Reality Bites Me" may be a play on the film title, with the reality of "A" constantly plaguing the Liars' lives.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


Featured Music

  • "Heard It All Before" by Meiko (Aria tells the girls about the letter "A" sent Ella)
  • "I Will Follow" by Katie Herzig (Hanna runs into Sean)
  • "Always A First Time" by Jets Overhead (Aria and Ezra flirt after class)
  • "Lie To Me" by Evolove (Aria hangs out at bar with Ezra and Hardy)
  • "Somebody Else" by Aidan Hawken (Spencer meets Alex at the country club)
  • "Light It Up" by Love Grenades* (Emily blows off Toby to sit with her friends)
  • "All Those Pretty Lights" by Andrew Belle* (Emily looks at Toby's mix CD in bed)
  • "No Matter How Hard We Try" by Jaylene Johnson (Emily meets Toby at the Grille)


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Reality Bites Me has a photo gallery.

Memorable Quotes

Hanna: It'll help me get over my fear.
Sean: You're afraid of dentists?
Hanna: Children. Your mom is making me hand out sugar-free lollipops to six-year-olds. They don’t bite at that age, do they?

Toby [to Emily]: Different is good. I like different... This town has too much of the same.

Hanna: I’m sorry, but if you’re going to cheat, you might as well do it with somebody who deep conditions their hair occasionally.
Spencer [handing her a bagel]: Here, put something in your mouth besides your foot.

Jenna [to Hanna who is watching her apply lipstick in the elevator]: Do you like the color?

Ashley: Don’t give him too much space. I tried that with your father, and he found a woman in Maryland who graduated with honors from William and Mary and loves to golf.
Hanna: How do you know that?
Ashley: I Googled her.

Aria [to Ezra]: You’re a teacher; I’m the student, remember?

Hardy [to Ezra]: When this is all over, she’s gonna get her diploma. You’re gonna get a pink slip… and an orange jumpsuit.

Ezra: How many of your friends did you tell?
Aria: I didn’t.
Ezra: Because if A knows, I’m thinking that B and C and everybody else does too.

Sean: This club I joined, RLW. It stands for Real Love Waits. Go ahead, make a joke.
Hanna: Is it some kind of holy roller virgin society?

Spencer: You’re right. I am competitive. I’m just not sure it’s something I want to celebrate anymore. By the way, you don’t have to read my essay… Because I stole it, but I’m going to win a big fat award, so I’m guessing you’re okay with that because winning is all that matters, right?

Ella [to Byron]: You used our daughter to hide this from me. How could you do this to me? I don't even know who you are.

Spencer: Maybe he took a break from sitting on his porch and pulling the heads off of squirrels.

Hanna [to Sean]: What are you doing with that skinny latte who drives you around?