Pretty Little Liars Wiki

Ian Thomas

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This article centers around Ian Thomas, a TV character. For another version check out Ian Thomas (Book Character).

The more you struggle the faster you sink, and you're sinking pretty quickly
Ian to Spencer
Ian Thomas
General Information




25 (at death)

Hair Color:


Eye Color:


Marital Status:

Married to Melissa Hastings at time of death


March 23, 1985 (passport)




Rosewood Field Hockey Team coach


Mr. Melissa (by Alison)


Unnamed Aunt
Melissa Hastings (wife)
Taylor Thomas
(daughter; deceased)
Spencer Hastings (sister-in-law)
Peter Hastings (father-in-Law)
Veronica Hastings (mother-in-Law)


Alison DiLaurentis (secretly dated)
Spencer Hastings (briefly dated)
Melissa Hastings (married)


Jason DiLaurentis
Garrett Reynolds
Eric Kahn


Mr. Tamborelli (formerly)
Arthur Hackett (formerly)


Spencer Hastings
Aria Montgomery
Emily Fields
Hanna Marin
Series Information


Video taping girls
Field Hockey


Series Information


-Had a secret relationship with 15-year-old Alison (exposed)
-Kissed his girlfriend's sister (Spencer) and had a short-lived secret relationship with her (exposed)
-Tried to murder Spencer (exposed)
-Used to get high on drugs with Jason (exposed)
-Spied on and taped young teenage girls (exposed)
-N.A.T. Club (exposed to The Liars)
-Was in Alison's bedroom with Garrett Reynolds, Jenna Marshall, and Melissa Hastings the night she was murdered (exposed to The Liars)
-May have known about or been involved with "A"



First appearance:

The First Secret (chronologically)

Last appearance:

A is for Answers(flashback)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (chronologically)

Portrayed By:

Carlo Marks (Pilot)
Ryan Merriman

Ian Thomas was Melissa Hastings' husband until his death. He was the coach of the Rosewood High field hockey team and a part of the N.A.T. Club when he attended Rosewood as a student. He was portrayed by Carlo Marks in the Pilot and by Ryan Merriman in all his other appearances.


Ian Thomas was friends with Jason DiLaurentis and Garrett Reynolds in school. The three formed a club called the N.A.T. Club, which is later explained to stand for "We See All" in Latin. He dated Alison, Melissa, and had a thing for Spencer. He was pushed from the church bell tower by Alison DiLaurentis after attempting to kill Spencer Hastings, although he survived the fall and later walked away. He was later found deceased with a suicide note. However, the suicide note is revealed to be a fake and composed of A's text messages in later episodes.



Ian Thomas (in the Pilot)

Pilot Ian

Ian is first seen in a flashback with Melissa in the Hastings' home. Alison tells Melissa that Spencer has something to say which Spencer quickly denies. He and Melissa leave after that.

Please, Do Talk About Me When I'm Gone

At the end of the episode Ian shows up during Alison's Memorial Dedication. Spencer is just about to begin her speech when she sees him.

Keep Your Friends Close

The liars are standing next to Hanna's locker when they spot Ian in the hallway of their school. Emily tells them he got hired as the new field hockey coach. They mention the break-up with Melissa and Spencer clarifies it was Ian who had dumped Melissa. Not the other way around. Later Spencer hears from her sister Ian's trying to take her out for coffee, but she doesn't want to. He had broken her heart and she is still getting over Wren. Spencer tries to apologize for what happened, but Melissa leaves upset causing Spencer to flash back to her first encounter with Ian:


Ian and Spencer are in the garden of the Hastings' where Ian is giving her some advice on her hockey skills. He stands behind her and shows her how to hold the stick. When he touches her arms with his hands tension arises and he proceeds to give her a gentle kiss on the back of her neck. A little surprised, Spencer turns her head and Ian kisses her passionately. 'Did you like that?', he asks her aftwerwards. Ian leaves a stunned Spencer alone in the garden, only for her to discover Alison was watching the whole thing, who begins to attack her immediately for it.

Later, at the Hasting house, we see Melissa sitting in her kitchen when Ian knocks on the backdoor. Melissa is not pleased, but Ian begs her to have coffee with him. The liars walk in on this conversation and Spencer, out of guilt, convinces her to go and make things better. The two of them leave and Spencer confesses her secret about Ian to the girls. They even even dated for a while after he broke up with Melissa. That evening, Melissa comes to tell Spencer she actually had a really good time with Ian, indirectly thanking her. From this point on, Ian and Melissa are dating again.

At Mona's birthday party the girls are lead by 'A' to the Alison+Ian-carving on a tree at Wright's Playground. They realize Ian was the older guy Ali was seeing. And in the last scene of the episode 'A' is watching the video of Ali the night she was killed, but now it's showing the person she's talking to: Ian Thomas.

Moments Later

Spencer comes home late after Hanna got into the car-accident at Mona's party. Melissa is comforting her when Ian shows up at the doorstep, his shirt unbuttoned suggesting he's staying with Melissa. He asks whether Hanna is alright and then informs Spencer he's cancelling Monday's practice.

During this episode the girls discover that the tree with the Alison+Ian-carving is gone. At the Hastings' house, Aria and Spencer are discussing what could've happened to it when Ian barges in to pick up two bottles of champagne. He is in a very celebratory mood and when Spencer questions him about it, Melissa joins them wearing a wedding dress and announces they got married that day. Aria and Spencer are both in shock.

The last scene shows A burning the tree-carving.

Know Your Frenemies


Melissa and Ian

Ian and Melissa are back from their honeymoon and Ian is moving into the Hastings' house. It becomes obvious to Spencer they are keeping secrets when she hears them having a hushed conversation in the house. Spencer encounters Ian the next morning in her kitchen making breakfast and he tries to make small talk, but she's on guard. Spencer spots the tag of Hilton Head on one of his suitcases and asks questions, mentioning Alison had been there as well. This makes Ian uncomfortable and their conversation dies. Because of this Spencer starts digging and finds out Ian was at Hilton Head the same time as Alison.

Shortly thereafter, Melissa tells her she's trying to get pregnant. Spencer is shocked they are moving things so quickly. Ian hears this and is not very happy Spencer knows. Later that evening after a long, fruitless search through Ian's boxes the liars receive a gift from 'A'. It's the video of Alison and Ian the night she was killed and A made it look like Ian choked her to death.

Careful What U Wish 4

Je Suis Une Amie

The Badass Seed

A Person of Interest

Someone To Watch Over Me

Monsters In The End

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ian is nowhere to be found after Melissa and Spencer get into a car accident, leaving Melissa's unborn child to be carefully monitored in the hospital. When Spencer is looking for Melissa's cell phone in the church, Ian attempts to kill her, learning that Spencer was the one leaving anonymous ultimatums on his phone. While there, he seems to admit to killing Alison and tells Spencer he's going to have to do the same to her.

In an attempt to escape, Spencer throws away the only piece of evidence linked to Ian: the flashdrive, with Ian's "footage." She runs throughout the church until finally Ian catches up with her, attempting to throw her over the bell tower landing. Spencer begs for Ian to let her go, with the rest of the Liars on the phone overhearing the exchange. Suddenly, a dark hooded stranger throws Ian over the landing where a rope ties around his throat hanging him off the landing. When, Hanna, Aria and Emily get to the church, they find a traumatized Spencer alone, with Ian hanging off the landing, seemingly dead. When the police arrive at the church, Ian is mysteriously missing.

It's Alive

In the beginning of Season 2, nobody believes the girls' claims that Ian killed Alison and tried to kill Spencer; they all believe he had simply run away, especially given the money found near the edge of Rosewood recently taken from his bank account, and the suitcase. Although Melissa does not believe Spencer at first that her husband is dead, she starts to wonder if Spencer might know something that she doesn't, reasoning that Ian would never leave his pregnant wife.

Later that night, Spencer finds Melissa's cellphone with a text from a restricted number, "Its not safe for me to tell you where I am." Together with the girls, Spencer (pretending to be Melissa) replied, "How do I know it's really you?" and receives the reply, "Ask me anything." Knowing that only Ian would know the answer, she asked, "What are we naming our baby?" In response, she received, "Taylor." However, it should be noted that she tells the answer aloud to the girls before receiving the response, and in the next episode, it is clear that they were being watched by a figure overhead.

Blind Dates

It is eventually revealed that Melissa and Wren were trying to help Ian by supplying drugs to him. However, when they arrive to the place where he is hiding, Melissa, Wren, and the Pretty Little Liars are all shocked to find Ian dead once and for all. He has a bloody shot to his head, a gun in his hand, and a letter lying on the ground that when the camera quickly pans over it, reads, "I killed Alison, I lost my temper because she knew too much. But there is only so much you can bury. It won't be that easy, but I know how to get rid of the pain. I can't run from the law. Come and find me. -Ian." The scene then cuts to the top of the room, where the imprint of a missing horseshoe is visible.

The Devil You Know

Emily finds, through discrete research, that the suicide and confession note was actually written by "A," revealing that Ian never really confessed to murdering Alison. In addition, as Officer Reynolds reveals based on forensic evidence that from the time that Ian's body was found, he must have been dead for approximately a week, it is clear that he could not have been the one sending text messages to Melissa. It seems that "A" was the real author of those texts, as the black gloved figure had possession of Ian's phone in "Blind Dates," before slipping it into Spencer's purse.

Based on this, it is possible that Ian actually did die in the bell tower in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or that "A" waited to kill him in the barn.

It is also revealed that Alison had waken up after falling down in the forest in the video footage of her last day alive. She is seen laughing with Ian before walking away from The Kissing Rock. It's not so clear to the girls after seeing this additional video footage that Ian killed Alison.

Ian's aunt, his only surviving relative besides the Hastings, wants nothing to do with Ian's death after his body is found. It is left to the Hastings to take care of the funeral. Surprisingly, Spencer is the one to encourage her parents to pay for his funeral, as she feels that Melissa needs it in order to find closure. Peter and Veronica follow her advice, and Ian is given a respectable funeral, complete with religious service and bells ringing in the church, no less. He is buried in the Rosewood Cemetery, where Alison is also buried.

Touched by an 'A'-ngel

Some time after Ian's death, Spencer is assigned to sift through Ian's old belongings and dispose of the last traces of him from the Hastings home. She finds his old yearbook, which shows that he had been a member of the N.A.T. Club along with Garrett Reynolds and Jason DiLaurentis. Jason had even signed his yearbook acknowledging their co-membership. The club seems to have been unauthorized by Rosewood High School, however, as the club is not mentioned in the index of clubs, nor in any other class' yearbook as far as Spencer can tell. Spencer then discovers that the acronym is Latin, and means "We see all."

The First Secret

Alison and Ian are seen in Spencer’s living room, with Alison flirting with Melissa’s then-boyfriend, who is holding a video camera in his hand. He films Alison talking about her grandmother in Georgia who was a sweater model. After a few more lines about her own photogenicity, she turns the camera on Ian and films him talking himself up. Alison immediately sets the camera down when Melissa and Spencer descend the stairs. Later Melissa and Ian, clad in Bonnie and Clyde costumes, attend Noel's Halloween's brother to be with Noel's older brother (Eric) and his friends. When Alison tries to get chummy with Ian, Melissa spins him around into a kiss, forcing Alison to walk away disappointed.

The Blond Leading the Blind

Another video of Ian on the day of Alison's death is revealed to the Liars. Ian is seen in Alison's room planting a video camera. Jenna and Garrett walk in, saying that they want out of N.A.T, and Ian springs the camera on them, compromising their position. An argument ensues.

Single Fright Female

The flash drive containing videos of the girls and Jenna and Toby that Spencer threw at Ian at the church surfaced during Season 3. It was later destroyed by Ashley Marin.

'A' is for A-l-i-v-e

Mona stated that she didn't push him off the bell tower and doesn't know who did it either.

A is for Answers

Alison DiLaurentis reveals she was the one who pushed Ian from the Bell Tower, however she also revealed that the fall didn't kill him, and she saw him stumble away.

Appearances (17/120)

Season 1 (12/22)

Season 2 (4/25)

Season 4 (1/24)

Book Comparisons

  • He had sandy blonde hair in the books.
  • In Ali's Pretty Little Lies, it was revealed that he never actually dated Alison in the books.
  • He witnessed Ali's murder in the books but he was drunk.
  • He never married Melissa in the books, only dated her.
  • In the books, Ian and Jason didn't like each other. But in the show, they were friends.
  • In the book, Ian's body was found in the Woods behind Spencer's home. In the show he was found in an old barn shed.
  • Along with Malcolm Cutler, Toby Cavanaugh, Jason DiLaurentis, Jessica DiLaurentis, and Kate Randall, his character has been played by a different actor/actress.
  • He never went to jail for being the number 1 subject in Ali's "murder" like what happened in the books.


  • Ian's passport reveals that he was born in Pennsylvania, USA (possibly in Rosewood).
  • He is played by Ryan Merriman and by Carlo Marks, who appeared in the "Pilot."
  • In The Badass Seed, Ian is seen packing his old trophies and things; he tells Spencer that they are going to be given to his mother now that he and Melissa have gotten married. However, later when the Hastings are arranging Ian's funeral in "The Devil You Know," Veronica says that Ian's only family is his aunt, implying that Ian had been an orphan; it could also mean that his parents didn't want anything to do with him.
  • In For Whom The Bell Tolls where Ian dies, the song "Time To Be Your 21" by Alexz Johnson is used in one of the scenes. Actor, Ryan Merriman who played Ian starred in the movie Final Destination 3 with Alexz Johnson.
  • Ian's cell phone number is 717-555-0143.
  • We found out in the Season 4 finale that Alison pushed Ian off the bell tower, and his reaction to seeing her indicates that he might have known that she was alive as he said "What are you doing here?".
  • His death was made to look like a suicide.
  • One reason he could've tried to kill Spencer in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" was because Melissa told Ian about killing "Alison" and tried to frame Spencer who was addicted to drugs at the time and could've made it look like she felt guilty and killed herself.


Melissa: Spencer can keep a secret.
Ian: I know she can.

Spencer: And no golf for the newlyweds?
Ian: Well, you know — we spent most of our time indoors.

Ian to spencer: The guilt was just too much for you

Ian to Alison: What are you doing here?

Ian Gallery


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Start a Discussion Discussions about Ian Thomas


    42 messages
    • Alison pushed Ian off the bell tower.  Then Mona wrote the suicide note.  I know it was Mona because it has been said that there are only tw...
    • His death is messed up
  • Ian is Alive

    15 messages
    • I think Ian is really dead... if he is not dead then we have another mysterious dead body to identify because someone was put into a casket!  
    • Thank u! ^

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