The A-Team revealed! Pretty Little Liars didn’t share the identity of the show’s big bad until the final episode, but a few characters were unmasked throughout the series.

“The mystery is what made people talk about [the show]: Is Alison alive or dead? If she’s dead, who killed her? Who is A? The writers were masters, raising more questions and keeping the viewers on their toes for years,” Janel Parish, who played Mona Vanderwaal in the show, told Cosmopolitan in April 2017. Of course, she was one of the iterations of “A” that was unmasked during PLL‘s original run.

“We knew the original A would be Mona,” Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King shared in the same interview. “I was bombarded with tweets that said, ‘You can do anything you want but don’t change who A is.’ I never forgot that. I really believed the original A had to be Mona — but we had to do that in a way that still surprises the fans of the books. I knew who our show’s A would be at the end — who we haven’t revealed yet — but I didn’t know we’d have Little A in between that.”

The series was based on the books by Sara Shepard, however, things changed significantly from the novels to the show following that first “A” reveal.

While only one of the Little Liars — Troian Bellisario (Spencer), Ashley Benson (Hanna), Shay Mitchell (Emily) and Lucy Hale (Aria) — got to be “A,” Troian told Cosmo that “every single one of the girls tried to convince [the writers] that they should be A for a while.”

In the end, the only person who knew who the final “A” would be was Troian. Mainly because it involved her character. The big bad was ultimately Spencer’s long lost twin sister, Alex Drake.

“I was first told in the beginning of season 5. Marlene took me aside and told me, ‘I have an idea, but I don’t know if the network will let me do it,'” the actress told Elle in June 2017. “Then, she sat me down and explained this whole ending to me. She said, ‘You cannot tell anybody. It might not even happen.’ So I sat on it for over a year. Then at the end of season 6, she said, ‘We’re going to do it.’ It was like the starting gun at the races.”

Scroll through our gallery to see which PLL characters were unmasked as “A.”

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