|This article centers around Ian Thomas, a book character. For another version check out Ian Thomas, a TV character.|
Ian Elizabeth Thomas was the boyfriend of Melissa Hastings as well as Spencer's crush. He was found dead by Spencer on the evening of her family's fund raising event. The real Alison DiLaurentis killed him in order to stop him from figuring out the truth about her sister's death.
Ian is described as having "all-American good looks", with curly brownish-blond hair, hazel eyes, athletic figure and an "I am going to inherit my dad's company at 25" smile.
Ian Thomas dated Melissa Hastings in high school, but he had a wandering eye and flirted with both Spencer Hastings and Alison DiLaurentis. Alison never returned his interest and even told a few girls from field hockey that she thought he was pretty creepy. When Courtney DiLaurentis took over Alison's life she was creeped out by his flirtatious ways too. She never liked Ian but she knew Spencer did so she asked Ian to kiss Spencer, and in return she "Ali" would kiss Ian. Things soured when Ian forced a kiss on Ali and her boyfriend saw and dumped her on the spot. Ali finally agreed to the kiss and told Ian to meet up with her in the woods. However that never happened and Ian saw two blondes arguing in the woods bordering Ali's and Spencer's homes. At the time Ian was slightly drunk and dismissed what he saw, knowing it could've been Spencer or anyone else in the neighborhood. He returned to Melissa's den and thought no more of it.
Ian breaks up with Melissa a while after the disappearance and moves to California. Several years later, he comes back as the coach for Spencer's field hockey team. He and Melissa decide to date again, but he reverts to his flirtatious ways when he's around her sister. Their relationship doesn't last for long when the case of Ali's death is reopened for investigation. Officer Wilden grills the two about their activities on the night of the sleepover but Ian lies about his location and the nature of his relationship with "Ali", calling it nothing more than flirting and teasing. He was apparently asleep with Melissa in her den, but in actuality he snuck out to meet Ali. The two were drinking beforehand and Melissa was especially wary of revealing that fact to her family. When Mona Vanderwaal is revealed to be "A," she claims Ian Thomas killed Alison, pointing to her last diary entry about the ultimatum as evidence.
Spencer's foggy memory about that night sharpens afterward and she sees Ali arguing with someone. She envisions that someone to be Ian Thomas. Her testimony and Mona's statement help to incriminate Ian and set a trial in motion. Ian is furious and insists he's innocent. The trial is temporarily stalled when Ian's mother has a terminal illness that becomes severe; he is thus placed under house arrest to be with his family. However, he sneaks out several times to investigate and prove his own innocence. He even visits Spencer to plead with her, but she remains convinced of his guilt. He tells her he saw two blondes in the woods that night. He seems to be catching on to the DiLaurentis family secret, but he is still unsure if his guess is accurate. Before he could even prove his innocence, Spencer finds him dead near the back of the woods bordering her family home. She and her friends rush to inform the cops, but his body disappears by the time Wilden comes out with them. He is believed to be alive when Spencer receives IMs from a screen-name claiming to be him. "Ian" indirectly reveals the affair between Spencer's dad and Ali's mother by hinting that she, Melissa, and Ali all have some distinct resemblances. Later, his corpse is found in Ali's family home in the Poconos, rotting for weeks. He clearly was not the person who spoke with Spencer online.
Melissa Hastings: Ian was romantically involved with Melissa in high school and for a short while post-grad. While he does seem to care for her, he also doesn't seem to be interested in having a monogamous relationship with her. Melissa clearly has stronger feelings for him and that shows when he is wrongly accused of killing Alison. She never fully believed he was guilty and even felt concern for his well-being during his mother's sickness.
Spencer Hastings: Ian and Spencer never have a full on relationship, but they flirt several times and even share a kiss. Even though Spencer still has a crush on him in her teenage years, she refuses to hookup with him out of guilt about Melissa. Their friendship deteriorates when she accuses him of killing her best friend.
Alison DiLaurentis: Ian flirted constantly with Alison when she was a sixth grader. Ali occasionally flirted as well but actually thought he was a bit creepy for hitting on her. Interestingly, Aria's drawing of the Time Capsule Flag announcement highlights this dynamic: Ian looks rather lovesick in her drawing, while Alison, who he stares at, pays him no mind. Several years later Ali kills Ian before he could publicize the existence of a twin sister.
Courtney DiLaurentis: When Courtney became Ali she flirted with Ian as well but just like real Ali she was creeped out by him. She convinced Ian to kiss Spencer knowing she had a crush on Ian if "Ali" kissed Ian. Courtney backed out of the deal once things started getting serious with her boyfriend. However Ian forces a kiss on Courtney and her boyfriend sees and dumps her. Feeling Ian's relationship should get wrecked like hers she promises Ian that kiss if he meets her in the woods. Unfortunately they never meet and Courtney gets pushed down the gazebo hole by Alison.
Jason DiLaurentis: The former hates the latter for taking Melissa away from him. He's also highly irritated by Ian's interactions with Ali and nearly got into a fight with him on the day of the Time Capsule Flag announcement.