|This article is about Ian Thomas, a TV character. You may be looking for Ian Thomas (Book Character).|
|“||The more you struggle, the faster you sink, and you're sinking pretty quickly.||”|
— Ian to Spencer
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 of 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 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.
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.
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 Melissa doesn't want to. He broke 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 field hockey skills. He is standing behind her showing her how to hold the stick. When he touches her arms 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 afterwards. He then leaves Spencer alone in the garden, only for her to discover Alison was watching the whole thing, and who immediately begins to attack her for it.
Later, at the Hastings house, we see Melissa sitting in her kitchen when Ian knocks on the backdoor. Melissa is not pleased, but he 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 us the person she's talking to: Ian Thomas.
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, when Aria and Spencer are discussing what could've happened to it, Ian barges in. He came to pick up two bottles of champagne. He's 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 with the carving of Ali and Ian.
Ian and Melissa are back from their honeymoon and Ian is moving in with the Hastings. It becomes obvious to Spencer they are keeping secrets when she hears them having a hushed conversation late at night. Spencer encounters Ian the next morning in her kitchen. He's making breakfast and tries to make small talk, but she's beginning to feel very wary of him. 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 talk dies on an uncomfortable note. Because of this Spencer channels her inner-detective during her break at school 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.
The girls are talking about Ian and Alison when he comes into the kitchen. The girls panic, because the laptop on the counter shows a frame of the video with Ian's face full frontal. If he noticed it at all, he did not show it. Ian acts very casual towards them and even suggests jokingly Emily should ditch the swimming team for his field hockey team.
The next day at school Hanna notices Spencer's laptop is turned on when it should be turned off and safely tucked inside her bag. Spencer checks and finds a yearbook instead. All of them are convinced Ian was the one who took it.
After school Spencer talks to Ian to ask whether he might know where her laptop is. He says he doesn't, but Spencer isn't convinced. On top of that, she learns he will be chaperoning the dance at school, which surprises her even more. He tries to explain he just really feels more comfortable back in Rosewood instead of going to Philadelphia with Melissa. ”Or at least I used to be”. She wonders what's changed and he gives her some strange explanation about how people in small towns gossip. ”They think they know you, but they don't”. This only confuses Spencer more.
At the dance Emily has gotten herself completely wasted, because of issues with Maya. In her drunk state the anger towards Ian comes up to a boiling point and just when the liars try to get her away from the situation she bolts. Emily walks up to Ian and warns him they all know what he did and that he won't get away with it. Ian pulls Spencer apart and calmly asks her to explain. She evades the truth by telling him it's because she told her friends they kissed that summer. Ian gets frustrated with her and threatens that if she's lying, ”someone is going to get hurt”.
Spencer stops by Ian's office at school. She lets him know she won't be at practice that day. She tries to play it off casual, but Ian takes it personally and thinks she's avoiding him. Before it can turn into a serious argument Melissa walks in looking for Ian. When she seems to be siding with Ian, Spencer decides to come clean about her plans on tutoring Toby. Melissa and Ian are both in shock and don't understand. He is suspected of murder after all, but Spencer doesn't care and leaves them to figure it out themselves.
Ian is seen in the school's courtyard as Spencer and Melissa are talking. Melissa wants Spencer to stop being so hostile to her new husband. But Spencer tells her she's worried about her and implies Ian has something to do with Alison's murder, which angers Melissa quite heavily.
Later in the evening at home, Melissa relies the news on Spencer that she's pregnant with Ian's child.
Ian and Spencer share a conversation at her home. He is sorting through his boxes and everything seems alright until he asks her for help with sealing a box. Spencer flinches and it annoys Ian. He tells her he knows about what she told Melissa about him the other day and it's not cool. He clarifies he has nothing to do with Ali's murder, but because that statement is followed by hateful comments concerning Alison, Spencer's suspicions aren't subdued. He actually refers to Ali as a ”psycho-stalker” and implies she had it coming.
Later at school, Emily and Spencer witness Ian giving something to Jenna in a paper bag.
Ian comes in during drama practice mistaking it for the Varsity Booster club. This creeps the girls out and they flash back to a time they were all still mesmerized by Ian and the older clan.
Ali had sneaked the girls into a frat party with fake IDs. Ian was in attendance too, tipsy and flirting with a girl who wasn't Melissa. Later at the party, that same girl falls down the staircase and the liars see her unconscious body lying on the floor. When Emily looked up, she saw Ian standing at the top watching the scene. He has a calm demeanor and doesn't exactly look surprised or shocked by the accident. As the girl is being driven away in an ambulance Ian is seen giving his statement to a cop. After that he observes from the porch as Alison and the girls get into the police car to go home.
In the episode they find the trophy from Hilton Head, which they think belongs to Ian. There's a giant stain on the pedestal and they assume it's Alison's blood and this is what she was murdered with. They quickly decide to hand it over to the cops.
The next day at school the liars are approached by officer Barry. He is not amused and asks them whether they planned this. The girls aren't comprehending. Gloating, he explains to them the trophy is a fake and the blood on the pedestal comes from a rat. The girls will have to come with him for questioning, again. As they walk up to the police car, Ian is watching with an insidious smile.
At the Hastings' residence, Peter and Veronica comfort Spencer, who is clearly shaken up. They suggest a therapist for her, letting her know that they have serious reservations about her version of things. Ian deftly turns the tables on Spencer, taking the spotlight off himself and placing it on her recent, erratic behavior – which has become a growing concern for her family. Melissa and Ian portray Spencer's accusation as another way for Spencer to have everything her sister has or take it away driven by jealousy.
Spencer goes on a run and when she returns, she finds Ian sitting in the dark in her living room. Speaking of running, he wants to help Spencer run away and tells her she should take the help now while he's offering it. He emphasizes the urgency of the situation because when she's arrested, it'll be too late.
At the festival, Spencer and Ian continue to play a mental chess game with each other. They set up cupcakes for the booth, while chatty Mrs. Ackard brings up Hilton Resorts in South Carolina, and Spencer uses the opportunity to catch Ian in a lie.
Later at the festival, Ian corners Spencer and lets her know that she better be careful, because she is sinking fast. Spencer just purses her lips at him.
Later Spencer comes face to face with Ian again who is holding the crowbar. She expects him to strike her, but he is with the rest of the family, who are worried about her.They criticize the negligence of the management.
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, Ian sees a dark hooded figure coming his way. Ian asks the figure "What are you doing here?". The figure responded by throwing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Season 1 (12/22)
Season 2 (4/25)
Season 4 (1/24)
- 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.
- In the show he was never arrested for being the number one suspect in the Alison murder case. He was arrested 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, later revealed by I. Marlene King to be Mona and that it really was a suicide. Source
- 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?