One Tree Hill Changed My Life (Spoilers)
Ok, not really. That headline is a little misleading, but I did love that show. That is why I decided to write a full recap with my favorite characters, biggest heartbreaks, best moments and best quotes/lessons this show taught us.
My wife and I started watching One Tree Hill mid-June and were instantly hooked. Our goal was to finish the entire finale before Finn came. We were a few days late, but we made it. We finished and holy shit, it was SOOOO good. It is definitely in contention for my favorite TV show.
Boy Meets World has maintained that status for quite some time. I love the balance of both shows so OTH is certainly up there.
The show is centered around basketball, which is automatically a huge boost in my book. I also love the fact that it touches on real-life issues while also maintaining a certain level of reality to it.
Obviously, it is a tv show and there are certainly some far-fetched things like nanny Carrie or the fact that several people were murdered in the same circle of friends. Also, the fact that every single person in the show looks like a greek god is a little unrealistic. But hey, it’s TV.
I love that it touched on so many issues many people face throughout their lives. The show begins with the cast in high school where they are still trying to figure out who they are. I think most of us felt pretty lost in high school. It is such a weird age. We want companionship, but we’re still so young to understand the depths of it. We want to fit in and we care so much about what the popular crowds think. When in reality, it just isn’t worth it.
Then we move into adulthood, where we face issues like fertility, losing our jobs, making decisions based on what is best for our family, among other things. This show accurately depicts all of those things.
Aside from the rawness of the series, the theme song is one I can sing for hours. Literally every episode that had Gavin DeGraw’s big hit as the theme, I belted it…
I DON’T WANNA BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO BE LATELY.
You just have to sing it. Hell, the music in general is fantastic in this show.
The show features an incredibly strong character base and I love that it follows each one through life as they reach their trials and tribulations. With that being said, let’s begin with my 10 favorite characters.
10. Antwan “Skills” Taylor
How could you not love Skills? The token black guy who was always great for a one liner. I particularly loved when he said before Lucas married Lindsey, “maybe he will say the wrong name at the altar like Ross on Friends.” So one of my favorite shows references another one of my favorite shows…yassss!
9. Jamie Scott
I love kids. They always see the good in people before turning to the bad. Jamie always saw the good in people like his grandpa Dan and Quentin Fields. I love that they had him go on to break the scoring title held by Nathan. Jamie was awesome the second he came on to the show.
8. Keith Scott
Uncle Keith is the uncle all of us want. He is noble and wise. He was one of the most genuine characters on the show. He acted as a father to Lucas because Dan was too busy being Dan. Keith was the shit.
7. Whitey Durham
The typical old ball coach. He always had the best advice and loved his players. The scene that set it over for me with Whitey was when Dan came to him for advice. He loathed what Dan had become but took Dan in his arms and said you still have time to make amends. He didn’t give up on anyone. That is someone you can certainly admire. That is the stuff all coaches should be made of.
6. Chris Keller
Chris Keller definitely loves this. He is such a anarchistic asshole and talks in the third person. That alone makes him awesome in my book. I love that he came back later in the show and became a regular. He wasn’t the complete dick we thought he was after all. Chris Keller’s work here is done.
5. Marvin “Mouth” McFadden
Minkus!! I love Mouth. I relate to him more than anyone in the show because of his dream to pursue broadcasting. He quickly realized it wasn’t the most glamorous. He had to make tough decisions which resulted in demotions to protect his friends. That is a constant line you have to flirt with in the industry.
4. Dan Scott
The best redemption story of all time. Dan just knew how to get shit done. If anyone messed with Nathan, Jamie or Haley, bet your ass Dan Mother Fucking Scott was coming to save the day. I felt terrible for him for the last half of the show. It was evident he hated himself for killing Keith. In his defense, he thought Keith tried to kill him. By the end, I loved Dan. Ultimately, he is a guy you want on your side.
3. Julian Baker
There is no chance Julian was falling out of the top 3 for me. I wasn’t sure what to make of him when he first appeared. He seemed like an egotistical rich kid. Turns out, he was a great husband and father. I love that 90% of his jokes and lines were references to movies. I am picking up what you’re putting down Julian Baker.
2. Brooke Davis
What every single girl should strive to be! Brooke Freaking Davis is a god sent down from the heavens to make us all realize what a real woman is.
1. Nathan Scott
He spent his life trying to be the father he always wanted. I freaking loved watching him with Jamie in hopes that is what I have with my son. Nathan is a total bad ass on the basketball court as well. That counts for a lot in my book. Nathan Scott is the man. Numero uno starts and ends with Nathan Fucking Scott.
10 Biggest Heartbreaks
10. Quentin Gets Shot
Part of me died a little when Q was shot. He was on his way to becoming a better player and person. Just like that, he was taken away from us. RIP Quentin Fields.
9. Jamie Wants Nathan’s Attention
I died when Nathan found the shrine Jamie had in his closet of the life his father once lived. He wanted that guy back and each time Nathan failed to give his son the time of day, it broke me.
8. Jake Loses His Baby
That stupid bitch who took Jake’s baby after not wanting to be in her life for almost a year was the worst. When she finally got hold of Jake’s daughter, I don’t know that a show has ever made me so bad. If someone ever tried to take my son, they would be dead where they stand.
7. Quinn and Clay Get Shot
This was a sick joke. They were shot and then make it seem like it was all a dream. Then nope, it really happened. These two were finally together after sneaking around for so long only to have it temporarily ruined by that crazy psycho trying to be Clay’s dead wife.
6. Dan Dies
The ultimate redemption story. He died saving his son Nathan who resented him for so long. Ultimately he could not recover from the gun shot wound to his back. Seeing everyone standing at his bedside when he died killed me. There was so much time spent hating him and when push came to shove everyone was there. It is the saddest and at the same time happiest moment of the show.
5. When Julian Saved Brooke on the Bridge
Seeing Julian so desperate to save Brooke after that idiot Ian Kellerman knocked the flipped car off the bridge was dreadful. She was doing her best to save Jamie and then got trapped in the submerged car. Julian finally got her out and began freaking out. Although I knew Brooke wasn’t going to die, it still punches you in the gut.
4. Jamie Makes the Cape for Quentin
Jamie Scott for the win. Q had told Jamie how much he loved his cape to which Jamie said he wanted to make one for him as a surprise. Unfortunately, he never had the chance to give it to him because Q was murdered. He paid homage in the best way imaginable and draped a big red cape with the letter “Q” over the casket. Have I mentioned how amazing children are?
3. When Brooke Thought She Could Not Have Kids
Boy this one hit close to home. My wife and I’s biggest fear has always been not being able to have children. When the test came back that Brooke would not be able to conceive, it killed me. I can’t imagine what that pain is like, so my heart breaks for anyone who has to endure that.
2. Jimmy Edwards Kills Himself
The entire episode of the school shooting was the most raw and real. It was also probably my favorite episode. When Keith tried saving Jimmy, he was saying how he just wanted people to like him and at one point he beat his chest several times and just screamed “it hurts.” I have never felt more sorry for a TV show character in my life than I did for Jimmy Edwards.
1. Dan Kills Keith
I bawled like a baby the second Dan grabbed the gun and raised his arm toward his brother. Keith had just walked into a school to help Jimmy and save the all the kids who were held hostage and died at the hands of his angry brother. Keith’s death was the first really big “oh shit” moment of the show and for anyone who watched, I think it broke all of our hearts.
10. When Chase beats the shit out of Chuck’s dad
Anyone who hits a child is a piece of shit, period. I have no sympathy for people like that. Chase took a crowbar and beat the hell out of Chuck’s dad putting him in the hospital. Sometimes revenge is a dish best served cold. Good for you Chase. He had it coming.
9. Lucas Tells Peyton “Your art matters”
We all just want someone to believe in us. When Lucas told Peyton her art matters, it hit me right in the feels.
8. Nathan Scott Stare Down
The most savage moment of the entire show. Nathan single handedly took over a playoff game against the best team in the state led by fuck boy Damien West. They were trying to further injure Nathan which made me hate them even more. He had to get another jersey because he had blood on his…cue Lucas’s jersey. Nathan took over the game and drilled an and-1 three at the buzzer to tie. It all came down to the free throw. Nathan, instead of looking at the bucket, peered toward Damien (after he shouted “you got nothing, Scott”) and stared him down while shooting and drained the go ahead bucket for the win…fucking savage!
7. Lucas Beats Nathan to Join Ravens
In the very first episode Nathan was the main antagonist of the show. He was a typical butthole jock. If Lucas beat him at the River Court, he was on the Ravens. If he didn’t, he had to walk away. Just like that, the Scott brothers were on the same team. This entire scene was epic…the game and the celebration were what sports are all about.
6. Jamie Breaks Nathan’s Scoring Record
Beautiful way to end the series. Nathan said he wanted Jamie to be his own person and do what he wanted to do. Jamie said he wanted Nathan’s scoring title. He went and got it. Just beautiful. It wasn’t forced. It wasn’t because of his dad’s legacy. It is something his son wanted to do.
5. When Haley Tells Dan that She Will Tell Her Daughter How Much He Loved His Grandkids
Again, I love the redemption story of Dan. When he is on his death bed, Haley makes him feel better about dying when she says “when Lydia asks about her grandpa Dan, we will tell her how much he loved his grandchildren.” That moment was amazing. It gave him some sort of closure that they saw the effort he made in restoring broken relationships.
4. Nathan Makes the NBA
The whole story is centered around Nathan and Lucas and their pursuit of their dreams. After having his derailed by scandal after scandal, Nathan finally gets his shot when the hometown team Charlotte Bobcats sign him to their roster.
3. Brooke Finds Out She is Pregnant
Just when all hope is lost for Brooke about having children, she finds out she is pregnant through a blood test she submitted to help Chase out. I love this because as I said, that was such a massive fear for my wife and I.
2. Series Finale
I loved all of them singing to Gavin DeGraw “I don’t want to be” at the end of the show. You could tell it was genuine and they were all happy to be together. It was a perfect way to end the series.
1. Keith and Dan Make Up
This moment will make any person cry, unless of course you don’t have soul. When Dan is dying, he sees Keith who is there to take him to heaven and lets Dan know that he forgives him. Scared he is going to hell, Keith tells him he isn’t and that Dan is his plus-1. Amazing.
Best Quotes/Lessons OTH Taught Us
10. “Until you let someone in, you’ll always be alone.” – Chase
Let people in. Don’t shut them out because you will have a more fulfilling life filled with love from friends and family. For me personally, I have a great family several groups of friends ranging from all different parts of my life. I am very fortunate in that regard. Part of that is from me letting people in.
9. “The hardest part of saying goodbye is having to do it every single day.” – Nathan
When you lose someone, it is forever. Although you begin to manage your emotions of dealing with it over time, it never gets “easy.” I lost my grandma at 17 and my grandpa at 21. Living in their house, I am constantly reminded of them. A picture of us sits on my desk in my work space. I miss them terribly. We just learn to deal with it and I think about the great things about them.
8. “It’s hard when you miss people. But, you know, if you miss them, it means you were lucky. It means you had someone special in your life, someone worth missing.” – Nathan
Playing off the last quote, it is better to have lost love than have never loved. We are going to die at some point. Might as well love your friends and family in the process. We only have one shot, make it count.
7. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The artists, and the scientists, and the poets…none of them fit in at seventeen. You’re supposed to get past it. Adults, they see kids killing kids and they know its a tragedy because they used to be those kids. The bullies and the beaten and the loners. You’re supposed to get past it. You’re supposed to live long enough to take it back. Just take it all back.” – Mouth
This was said after the school shooting in reference to Jimmy Edwards. Too many times, people look at children and teens through a blind lens denying what they are going through. We look at bullying as the norm instead of doing something about it as if this what kids should have to endure. That is not ok. I completely agree with everything Mouth said in this quote.
6.“There comes a time when every life goes off course. In this desperate moment, you must choose your direction. Will you fight to stay on the path, while others tell you who you are? Or will you label yourself? Will you be honored by your choice?” – Lucas
Make your own way. Choose your own path. Be your own person. Don’t let others dictate how you live because you’ll never grow as a person that way.
5. “There’s no shame in being afraid. Hell, we’re all afraid. What you gotta do is figure out what you’re afraid of because when you put a face on it you can beat it. Better yet, you can use it.” – Coach Whitey
Use your fear as motivation. You shouldn’t let fear consume your thoughts and way of life. Find your fears, stare them down and overcome them.
4.”I don’t really think people can change, you know, at the end of the day you are who you are and it’s probably who you’ve always been.” – Brooke
I love this. It is so relevant to right now. We live in a world with people from all walks of life and you have to know when to scale back. I posted my thoughts on the Charlottesville shooting and I had someone tell me that we shouldn’t ever be silent. Walking away from certain fights is smarter than jumping in. Some people have been wired for years to hate others, you can’t erase that over night. It would take years and years to rewire the way someone thinks. People don’t change easy. They are who they are. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make the world a better place and let people hate on each other, but know the time and place. Understand it isn’t easy to change someone.
3. “Some people look a little different. Some people are a little different. I think that’s cool.” – Jamie
So simplistic. So honest. This is why I love children. This is how they think until they are taught to hate. Embrace differences of people. Some of us are short, tall, ugly, handsome, thin, fat, black or white. Most importantly, we are all people. As Ellen Degeneres said “if you take away the labels, you’ll realize we are fare more alike than we are different.” I also think it is cool that we are different.
2.”Happiness is a mood and it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired or hungry, it’s not permanent, it comes and goes and that’s ok. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness a lot more often.” – Julian
I love love love this. Too many people chase “happiness,” whatever the fuck that means. It is not a tangible goal to chase because it is an emotion. It is a feeling. Some days are better than others. Stop chasing things that aren’t there and you’ll be happier in the process.
1. “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” – Nathan
My wife and I both cried when Nathan said this in the show. It was the series finale when Jamie was coming out of the tunnel after they showed his scoring title on the wall. Life moves fast. My wife and I remember talking about our future at 17 and our future is now. As we are sitting there watching, we hear this quote and look over and there is our beautiful baby boy sleeping. This is our life. I love it more than anything. Enjoy all your moments.