‘Pretty Little Liars’ Has a Surprising Connection to ‘Riverdale’

Here’s a crossover no one saw coming: Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale. In the past, the two popular shows (and any related shows or spinoffs) were completely separate from each other. They had different networks (Freeform and the CW), different creators (I. Marlene King and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa), and different source materials (Sara Shepard’s books and Archie Comics). However, a recent episode of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin established a connection between the teen dramas, effectively putting Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale in the same universe. Read on to learn more.

Chandler Kinney as Tabby in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, which is connected to Riverdale
Chandler Kinney as Tabby in ‘Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’ | Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max

How is ‘Pretty Little Liars’ connected to ‘Riverdale’?

HBO Max’s new PLL spinoff, Original Sin, takes place in Milwood, the town next to PLL’s Rosewood. However, in episode 6, Imogen (Bailee Madison) and Tabby (Chandler Kinney) venture over to Rosewood to learn more about Angela Waters’ (Gabriella Pizzolo) mother. She was once a patient at Radley Sanitarium, which later became a hotel.

Maintenance worker Eddie Lamb (Charles Gray) — yes, the same Eddie Lamb from PLL, played by a different actor — tells Imogen and Tabby that when the asylum closed, the remaining patients moved to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy in Riverdale. This name should ring a bell to Riverdale fans, as it was once a home for “troubled youths.” The nuns who ran it had a long history of secrets, lies, and corruption.

There’s also a bonus connection between Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale in this episode: a mention of Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones in the CW series.

Do ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘Riverdale’ take place in the same universe?

For those who don’t know, Original Sin was co-created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the same writer in charge of Riverdale. In a recent interview with TVLine, Sacasa revealed the writers added that line while thinking it wouldn’t make it to the final cut. To their surprise, it did.

“So, yeah, I guess it does exist in the same universe,” he said.

But what does that mean for the original Pretty Little Liars and its other spinoffs, Ravenswood and The Perfectionists? Or Riverdale’s sister series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Katy Keene? As Sacasa told TV Insider, they’re all in the same universe, too.

“I don’t think [co-creator] Lindsay [Calhoon Bring] and I thought we would be allowed to even reference Riverdale since they’re such separate universes, but it kind of stuck and I guess it now means there’s a map of the East Coast under the Warner Bros. umbrella [where] you’ll find Riverdale, Greendale, Millwood, Rosewood, Ravenswood,” he said.

More ‘Riverdale’ connections could come in the future

Now that the creators have connected all these shows, it may be time to push the boundaries a little. Aguirre-Sacasa revealed to TVLine that he’s considered a crossover of sorts.

“Alex [Aiono], who plays Shawn, is obsessed with the idea of a rivalry between the Millwood High Steppenwolfs and the Riverdale Bulldogs,” he said. “I would love for there to be a football game between them. Who knows, though. If we did push it further, I don’t even know how far we’d be allowed to push the shared universes. It would great, though, that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, Calhoon Bring wants to bring back Lucy Hale, who starred in both Pretty Little Liars and Katy Keene.

“[I’d] love a world where all of the shows come together, and Lucy Hale is in duplicate playing Katy Keene and Aria,” she added.

Hold onto your hats, liars. This could get wild.

New episodes of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin drop every Thursday on HBO Max.

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