In Nevada, Emma had lived with many foster families, her current one before she took Sutton's place was with her foster mom, Clarice, and her perverted foster brother Travis. She also had her best friend Lexi Samuel in Neveda with her.
In the Pilot, we see that Emma had been in touch with her long-lost twin.
Sutton, before she took a trip to Paris for the summer. When, one day, Clarice is missing $500 dollars along with a Bruce Willis autograph, Travis immediately blames Emma.
Emma tries to convice Clarice that Travis did it. Travis tells his mom to search Emma's bag, where she finds her hundred dollar autograph by Bruce Willis.
Clarice calls the police. When she goes outside to talk to them, Travis proposes a deal to Emma: sleep with him, and he'll make the cops leave. Emma knocks Travis out and runs away. After calling Sutton, Emma takes a bus to Phoenix.
Life in Arizona / Season One
The series begins with Emma jogging around her neighborhood an goes to her temporary foster home to her pervy foster brother Travis who constantly tries to sleep with her, and her cruel foster mother Clarice who's just using Emma to get money. In her room Sutton calls her and starts a video chat with her, Emma asks when can she see her in person, Sutton tells her they'll be together soon and that she needs to find her birth parents.
Later that day when Travis tries to seduce Emma, Clarice calls them into the house. Clarice is furious because he money is missing. Travis frames Emma and tells his mom to look in Emma's bag. Clarice finds a hundred dollor bill signed by Bruce Willis. Clarice leave to call the police. Travis tells Emma he'll get the police to leave, if she puts out. Emma whacks Travis with her tennis rackett and flees to Pheonix where Sutton lives. When Emma arrives in Pheonix, Sutton asks her pose has her for a couple days, while she travels to L.A. following a new lead on their birthmother. Emma agrees and Sutton leaves for L.A.
Ethan confronts Emma about not being Sutton. She denies it. He kisses her and immediately knows that he is right.
Emma goes to the cabin where Sutton said to meet her. Ethan is there instead. Ethan tells her that he is Sutton's secret boyfriend and that he knows about Sutton's birthparent search. Sutton does not show up.
Emma returns home and the police tell her someone broke in and her laptop is gone.
Emma and Ethan become friends. He is the only one who knows her secret identity and she starts to develop feelings for him because they become close. Ethan says he is deeply in love with Sutton.
Sutton videochats with Ethan and confronts her about not telling that switched places with her twin. Sutton then asks how Ethan figured it out and he tells her that he knew when he kissed Emma. Sutton gets very tense, reminds him that she's his girlfriend, and tells him that she loves him. Ethan says that he loves her too.
Homecoming time comes. Emma runs for homecoming queen against Nisha, only because Nisha exposed Mads' relationship with her dance teacher, Eduardo. Ethan gives Emma secret dance lessons. Emma begs Ethan to come to homecoming, but Ethan says he doesn't want to go. Uuntil Sutton reveals that she never planned on going public with her relationship. He ends their videochat in anger and shows up at the homecoming dance wearing a tux. Emma is awarded homecoming queen The whole school stares in disbelief, as the local bad boy dances with "Sutton" and then kisses her in front of the whole school.
Emma says that they can't date and it's wrong, but after anoher kiss she changes her mind.
Sutton sees the homecoming pictures and is furious, because she doesn't feel they are broken up. She is staying with Thayer (Mads older techie brother). Sutton knows that he has a crush on her, so she uses him. She sleeps with him without caring for him and he is hurt. Thayer kicks Sutton out of his house.
Ethan videochats with Sutton and officially breaks up with her.
Emma finds out that Sutton and Thayer had sex. She doesn't tell Ethan for days 3 days, so Ethan starts to not trust Emma. Emma said she hid it because she didn't want the same thing to happen to her as happened to Thayer - she wanted to make sure their relationship was real. Ethan gets over it, but at this point Emma is doesn't trust that he is over Sutton.
Sutton is very angry at Emma for stealing her boyfriend and tells her she is returning home to take her life back. Emma decides to leave town, but Ethan begs her to stay. On the twins' 17th birthday, Emma decides to stay because she loves her new life and Ethan. Sutton has arrived home on her birthday and sets up a romantic meeting with Ethan. When Sutton (as Emma) videocalls Ethan, he tells her that he is in love with her and that he never loved Sutton. Sutton (as Emma) tells Ethan to meet her at the cabin, where she kisses him passionately. He instantly realizes that he is kissing Sutton. Emma arrives at the cabin to see this kiss.
Sutton agruges that Emma stole her life and her boyfriend and demands that she get out of town. Sutton exits for her family birthday party and Ethan tells Emma that she needs to stay, confess her existance, and live the life she always wanted with her real twin sister. Emma feels guilty for everything she did to Sutton's life already and decides to skip town, leaving Ethan heartbroken.
Emma calls her old girlfriend Lexi in Nevada, who tells her to stay also and gives her the same advice as Ethan. Emma decides to lister to her friends and go to Sutton's birthday bash. She finds Ethan first and they kiss passionately again.
Meanwhile Sutton is driving to her birthday bash and a person jumps out of the backseat. Sutton screams, loses control of the car, and goes into Howley Lake. She tries to escape the sinking car.
When Sutton doesn't come home, Emma is worried. She decides to tell everyone that she is not Sutton and hope the the Mercer family will adopt her. Right before she is about to spill her secret, a dark figure appears at the door outside. Emma assumes it is Sutton, but the dark figure rushes away distracting the conversation. Emma goes after the figure and mom follows. It's who she thought was Annie Hobbs (suspected birthmother). Kristin recognizes her as Annie Sewell, who goes by Rebecca now.
Sutton's car is found at the bottom of the lake and Emma believes Sutton is dead. Emma recieves a gift wrapped in white paper and black bow which is a piece of Sutton's dress with a note "Keep on being Sutton... or you're next." Ethan and Thayer think Sutton's playing one of her Lying Games on Emma. Later in the bedroom, Thayer tells Emma and Ethan that he suspects Annie Hobbs killed Sutton. Then Sutton comes through the window...
Emma, Sutton, Ethan, and Thayer go to the cabin to talk. They conclude that her car wreck wasnt an accident because of the note Emma recieved. Sutton cut on her head in the accident, so Emma is told to keep playing Sutton, until it heals. Sutton almost gets caught by Kristin during this time because Sutton is moody around family. Emma tells Sutton she shouldn't take what she has for granted.
Emma leaves with the Mercer's to go to the banquet. Sutton texts that someone broke into the house. Kristin see's Sutton's and her wound at the house, so Emma is sent to the cabin until further notice.
While Suttona nd Ethan are at school, Emma and Thayer bond. Ethan and Sutton realize Derek was the snake that Annie was talking about. Emma takes Sutton's place again. They see him. Later Derek turns up dead. Ethan is pinned for murder. Ethan and Sutton escape together.
After telling Mads the truth about the twins and murder attempt, Mads and Thayer work together to prove Ethan innocent. Someone saw Alec there and there is an incriminating photo.
Sutton tells Emma that Ethan and she slept together when they escped together. She also tells Ethan that Emma slept with Thayer while they were gone. Emma and Ethan break up again after he admits he kissed Sutton.
Kristin thinks Ted cheated with Rebecca.
The kids all try to figure out if Rebecca knows anything about Alec's where abouts on the night of Derek's murder. Emma fails to get Rebecca to admit that Alec killed Derek, but Sutton and Rebecca plotted Alec's imprisonment already. Rebecca is the twin's birth mom.