PLL has treated mental illness badly. I'm rewatching rn and the lines abt the "nut house" calling people psycho bitches and crazy. the suspect everyone: Ian, Ali, Paige, Melissa, ANDREW, Mona, Garrett, Jenna, Toby, Ezra, Byron.. literally they think half of Rosewood is out to get them. They ruined so many people's lives with their suspicions: Ian's & garrets death, Ali going to jail. They may not have many enemies from the start but they shouldn't be questioning how they ended up with so many.
Yeah but here’s my odd opinion: in THIS context, I think the girls’ comments were somewhat okay.
I feel like with PLL, a lot of people just take the face value and always ignore the context in which said thing is happening in. Yes, Hanna called Charlotte an “it”. BUT in THAT context, we have to remember where Hanna’s headspace was: she was just kidnapped by A, and now she’s left outside to freeze and rot in the rain overnight, and she THINKS that A is a dude but isn’t 100% certain. She’s frustrated, she’s angry, and most importantly, SHE HAS NO KNOWLEDGE AT ALL THAT THIS PERSON IS TRANSGENDER. If the writers made Hanna call Charlotte an “it” AFTER her reveal that she is transgender, then… yeah, that is totally wrong. But we just can’t ignore the context in which the “rude” thing was said. So back on topic: the girls frickn hate Radley. Spencer unwantingly spiralled out of control there and that place spawned many villains for them. They don’t like it. They hate Radley. So I feel like them mocking mental illnesses by naming their drinks after illnesses, in this context, is fine. They had just gone away for 5 years and now they’re back to the place they hate. They don’t want to be there. But they’re forced to because of Charlotte, again, a person connected to Radley.
So in this context, I think it’s understandable. Could they have gone without it? Yes, merely to avoid all this messy for/against friendly conversations.
What would be absolutely horrible is if Marlene (I think she wrote this episode?) went to a bar after work and said “can I have a nut-house cocktail?” And that just isn’t happening. She wrote these lines for these girls in their own context. If such insults were used in everyday life outside of the PLL context, yeah, that’s wrong on so many levels. But. We. Can’t. Ignore. Context. With anything.
I hope I haven’t started an unfriendly debate now. I know 90% of people will disagree and think I’m heartless for saying it’s okay Charlotte was called an “it” and that these Radley jokes are okay. But please remember my underlying point: these comments inherently are wrong on so many levels - we do not call transgender people “it” and we do not mock mental illnesses, but in these contexts given the state of minds of the characters when they said it, they’re not so bad. “But Marlene knew Charlotte will be transgender so she shouldn’t have written that line for Hanna?” No! Because she’s writing FOR Hanna, who doesn’t know Charlotte is transgender. Context context context. So many people will disagree with me but hey, any opinion is valid.