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Goodbye, One Tree Hill: The 8 Most Memorable Moments of the Past 9 Seasons

On Wednesday, One Tree Hill will conclude its ninth and final season, bowing into TV oblivion—but before it goes off to syndication purgatory or takes up residence on the 2 for $20 DVD shelf at Target, I’d like to take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from the past nine years.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is it meant to be. The awesome thing about a series as long-running and that features as diverse and sizable a cast as One Tree Hill is that there’s a little bit of something for everyone. These are the moments that stuck out to me. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below!


That '40s Show
Season 6, Episode 11: “We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)”

“We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)” was written by Chad Michael Murray as his homage to 1940s noir film. The Tree Hill gang got jazzy at Karen’s Café, manifested as a swanky nightclub in Lucas Scott’s overworked brain’s dreamscape. Dan played the villainous rival club owner, Haley the sultry singer, Brooke the down-on-her-luck lady in red, and Lucas himself appeared as the Rick Blaine of Tree Hill. And maybe the period costumes and retro cars were a little jarring at first, and maybe I spent half the episode trying to figure out what was going on (you know, when I wasn’t drooling over the throwback wardrobe), but it was fun, right? It was fun, insightful, and a playfully imaginative analysis of the roles that the residents of Tree Hill played at the time.


"I Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy..."
Season 3 (various episodes)

One of the weirder storylines of series' run, Peyton’s relationship with Pete Wentz severely strained my ability to take One Tree Hill seriously, and maybe that was the point. Or maybe The WB just wanted to milk all of that pent-up teen lust for the Fall Out Boy frontman before the band blew through its popularity and the network had to figure out who the new “cool” band was. I’m going with the former, because I like a show that can poke fun at itself. Or at the very least, acknowledge that this is a silly storyline.

On the bright side, that shot of Pete and the ladies putting on their make-up in the morning will never be anything less than amazing. I love a guy who can apply his own eyeliner.


A New Brand of Puppy Chow
Season 6, Episode 18: "Searching for a Former Clarity"

Back when Dan Scott was a super villain with a bad heart and before Rachel turned to the black market to solve that pesky problem, Dan tried to get a heart transplant the normal way... only to see his shiny new ticker get chomped on by a dog in the waiting room.

Yes, really.

It was hard to feel bad for the guy when I was laughing so hard. Not to mention the fact that he was still pretty much a raging douchebag at the time.


Peyton Takes a Stand
Season 2, Episode 10: “Don’t Take Me for Granted”

In Season 2’s “Don’t Take Me for Granted” (years before the debut of Glee), Peyton’s tentative friendship with new girl Anna Tagarro was tested when rumors of her sexuality began to spread through the halls of Tree Hill High School and Anna seemingly ditched her in response to them. Anna revealed that the reason she'd left her old school was due to similar gossip, and she didn’t want to bring them down on Peyton at Tree Hill. Anna confided in Peyton that she was, in reality, bisexual, and Peyton decided to stand up for Anna, herself, and “the next girl” by wearing a T-shirt on which she'd spray-painted the word “dyke.” She argued with the principal when he ordered her to change into something more appropriate, pointed out that no one had mentioned removing the “inappropriate” word from her locker, and finally, when ordered a final time to remove the shirt, whipped it off in the hallway and walked out in her bra. Booyah.


It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's B-dazzled, Baby Mama, and Shutterbug!
Season 8, Episode 14: "Holding Out for a Hero"

Brooke, Quinn, and Haley decided to don superhero personas to help out a high school girl who was being bullied by the Mean Girls. Oh, and Brooke developed an obsession with the movie Kick Ass (excellent choice, Brooke, one of my personal favorites). The trio took on the local bullies in stilettos and push-up bras and the visual of them carefully picking their way through the bushes was so ridiculous that it was brilliant. Kinda like the actual movie Kick Ass.

Okay, so Kick Ass was based on a graphic novel. I’d read a B-dazzled graphic novel. Just saying.


The Breakfast Club Comes to Tree Hill High
Season 4, Episode 13: “Pictures of You”

Okay, so I’m a sucker for playing the “let’s analyze the headspace of fictional characters” game. Also, anything that even vaguely looks like it was influenced by The Breakfast Club—which, to an extent, is anything post 1984 that’s willing to dabble in the few archetypes most high school populations can be segregated by at first glance. At Tree Hill, a teacher stated that the groups were Jock, Prom Queen, Geek, Friendly (code word for “slut”), and Loner. The students placed one another in each group, most were unhappy with where they ended up, and the teacher randomly paired everyone off in unlikely match-ups, and tasked everyone with taking honest photographs of their partners for publication in the yearbook. Lucas spent an hour with goth girl Glenda and revealed his novel-in-the-works. Brooke and Chase discussed the insecurities behind her confident façade. And the pictures themselves? Well they were works of art.


Jimmy Edwards’ Funeral
Season 3, Episode 17: "Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them"

I know the school shooting that led to Jimmy’s death is the type of moment that tends to make these kinds of lists; it should, because "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept" was an intense episode that frankly discussed an issue that is still very much front and center in a lot of schools all over the country. I’m going with the aftermath as my memorable moment, though. After all, it’s the aftermath of the tragedy that lasts the longest. Before Keith’s real killer was revealed to be Dan, everyone in Tree Hill assumed that it was poor Jimmy Edwards, including Lucas Scott. Lucas and the others embodied the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance and it was a small, solemn group of Ravens who joined Jimmy’s mom, the sole other person in attendance, at his funeral. One Tree Hill was, at times, very silly, with its Pete Wentz hook-ups and Rachel Gatina on the cover of Maxim before she was old enough to vote, but when it decided to be a serious show for serious viewers, well, One Tree Hill wore many hats over the course of nine seasons.


Haley James Scott’s Graduation Speech
Season 4, Episode 20: "The Birth and Death of Day"

There were a lot of beautiful moments at Tree Hill High’s graduation ceremony. I appreciated the Rachel shout-out because yeah, she’s a horrible person, but I never really thought she enjoyed being a horrible person. On that note, I would have loved Rachel getting her own chance at a redemption story. I mean, c’mon, Dan got one.

Anyway, there were some aww moments, and then Haley got up to the podium to give her valedictorian speech... pausing halfway through to giggle and apologize because she was in labor. Her little “oopsie” face when Nathan stood up to claim Daddy Duty sealed the deal.



Now it's your turn! What are your most memorable OTH moments?

Comments (42)
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i am confused this show ended few years ago on CW
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That day of the whole gang togeda d finale of season 4 ws so tuchin a cherish of frndship dy al stuk togeda bt dt epi ws realy tuchin
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When Jimmy Edwards was talking to Keith right before he shot himself. It was so heartbreaking and I totally was in tears.





I totally love OTH and it had so many moments. Weekend in the woods, dugged Brooke, Chris Keller (every scene), Cleen Teens.



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Greatest moment? The final end credits.
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All great moments. There were a couple more scenes/relationships that always stood out to me:



Haley's first time as a cheerleader.

Quentin getting shot and killed(and Jamie's reaction)

The Brooke/Lucas rain scenes

The Brooke and Sam relationship



The musical guest stars were always awesome, as were the soundtracks. I discovered Kate Voegele because of OTH. Will definitely miss this show.

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I feel like way too many of your favorite memories are from the later episodes, when in honestly, I think the show wasn't as good. It was at its best in the first few episodes, and those were disregarded. What about when Brooke popped up naked in Lucas' car and said that line, can you point to a moment when it all changes. Because it did for Lucas and subsequently everyone else on the show. I think the earlier seasons with the original cast deserves to be better represented.
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Never saw a single second of this show, but from these episode descriptions it seems really goofy. not what i thought it was. I think I keep getting it confused with the one that cop guy from Southland is on.
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You mean The O.C., which by the way was an excellent show as well!
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Nathan's car accident, Hayley's return, the ghost-Keith episodes (they actually WORKED), Karen's chair-throwing, Deb's gun, the role-reverse episode between Nate and Lucas, Brooke and Nate's sextape, Brooke and Chris Kellar's hookup, Hayley's earlier songs/performances, Peyton's mother's death, and quite a few others. Mostly earlier ones. Must have changed the writing staff in the later episodes.
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I have to say the best episodes of one tree hill were the high school season 1-4 after that it lost something and i continues to watch until chad and hillary left then it just wasn't worth watching without peyton and lucas wasn't as good but by far the school shooting and the time capsol were the best. I have to say that season three was by far my favorite season. I really liked the episode where chris keller and nathan go on there road trip to get the money back to get haley's demo funny episode.
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Im so wd u on ds d show lost d spark aftr 4 season n later wen chad n hilary lft neva did realy like d show bt ws realy lukin frward to wat cud b d end of dan...
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For me, it was the final episode of season four that will always stand out. That and the entire first two seasons, which were works of art.
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Off of the top of my head, the school shooting, "Lifetime Piling up" and "Pictures of You".

And of course the first season will always hold a special place in my heart.

I can't believe it's been almost 9 years... I was 10 when I started watching this show, it's been with me through my teen years. And even if , IMO, the show never got to the same level of the high school years again, I'm glad it's been around.
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707 -"Dan and Rachel bring Renee onto his chat show. But has Dan a few tricks up his sleeve? Meanwhile, Clay and Quinn reflect over their past loves - Clay and his late wife Sarah and Quinn and her earlier life with David." --the way the Clay and Sarah backstory is reveal is really well-done in this episode - one of the best episodes of the post high school years
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i luv the on and off relationship of brooke and lucas.i'm not in favor when brooke broke at with him just because her best friend is till in love with her boyfriend. i am heartbroken. but i always remember the time they were together. of course nathan and haley will be forever in my heart.
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I only saw 5 minutes of this show EVER. And it involved hot women in superhero getup's. That should have sold it for me, but even I found it too ridiculous.
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havent got 8 favourite moments of the show but i can list a few



loved dans death episode it was so emotionaly thought out mean like if dan scott tree hills baddest man can reduce you to tears then its gotta be a winner



loved brookes batchelorette party episode done like the hangover that just had me in stitches *skateboarding dog*



last seasons finale was so good in the sense as it was done as a series finale ending it would have had a good ending even if it did end last season
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Brooke and Jamie at Quentin's funeral, so heartbreaking.

Nathan in season 9 episode 7 when he chokes his captor "how's this for a comeback"



Also, Lucas walking in on Brooke and Chris Keller, in season 3, priceless
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i love this show it will be missed so much
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On and all,, this is a show that I would definitely miss when is gone
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I would add to that:

-Peyton's fake brother / prom episode where Peyton and Brooke are held hostage.

-Season 6 , with psycho Nanny Carrie and the cornfield chase. (The episode where she dies at the end)

-Season 8 , The thunderstorm episode, when Brooke almost dies and Katie attacks Quiin

-Season 9, the episode when Dan saves Nate and then dies.

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- Dan's death and his scenes with Haley/Nathan/Jamie/Debb and later Keith.

- Lydia's death

- Peyton finding Ellie in S3, followed by her shattering Ellie's ashes.

- Haley scenes when Nate is missing

- Fake Derek chasing Peyton/Brooke

- Development of the Brooke/Haley friendship

- Peyton's pictures ( People always Leave, etc )

- Clay finding out he has a son and Quinn's support

- Near death experience for Brooke in S8



To many great story-lines thought. Love this show and will miss it :)
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The episode that comes in mind is the one where the Nate/Brooke sex tape is revealed and the one after that. The Haley/Rachel slap, the Brooke/Peyton fight, the shocking revelation that Brooke and Nate slept together and the retuen of Psycho Derek!! It was great!
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this show had several good moments but I can't recall them all right now. it's cool it's on netflix now. the state championship game episode - was great all-around.
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Also, Peyton's drawings were so awesome! "People Always Leave" was the motto! I really wish Hilarie would have returned for the final season :( Okay I'm beginning to sound like an over-obsessed fan but this show is just that AMAZING!
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I love the moment in Season 3, where they had a dinner for Nathan and Haley before their second wedding and they reenacted some of Naley's greatest moments. Of course the standout was Peyton and Lucas's scene in the bedroom where Peyton couldn't get through because she truly loved him. It was some of Hilarie Burton's best acting. Leyton Forever!!!
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My favorite was when Lucas was in the airport and called someone asking her to meet him. It could have been Brooke, Peyton, or Lindsay. And I was glad that it's Peyton. Since the beginning I felt that they should be together but things kept them apart. And another favorite moment of mine was when Lucas and Rachel were on the basketball court and she stripped down to her undies.
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I really hoped that Lucas would end up with Brooke. I never liked him and Peyton, she was too damaged. I accepted it only when Brooke meet Julian...

But that telephone call was also one of my favourite moment, especially because I didn't have a clue!
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There are so many great moments from One Tree Hill, but one of the ones that stand out for me is "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly." Haley and Nathan having to explain loss to Jamie is heartbreaking. Basically the entire episode is heart breaking.
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Last episode of Season 4 was fantastic, and so was "Some You Give Away", and "Hundred", and "Just Watch the Fireworks", and "The Darkness on the Edge of Town"...and others....I lot of moments actually....
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I still remember the heart-eating dog episode... xD...
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Went on 5 years too much! And the real finale should have been Dan's death bed!

Notice hardly no one pics anything past season 4, what does that tell you, complete silliness~!

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I agree, I think the best years of the show were until season 5, then it became too quiet and the storylines became really boring
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A decent amount of people chose moments past season 4...
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I dropped the show after season 6, but it had some really good moments. I liked the season 4 finale with the guys at the basketball court. Dan shooting Keith was a really weird moment for me, because for at least a week afterwards I was almost certain that I'd only dreamt that it had happened. I also like the championship winning shot in season 4.
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Lol about half of the things on your list are my least favorites. To each their own!
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Here are mine, but in no particular order:



1.S02E03 Near Wild Heaven- Nathan&Haley's bachelor/bachelorette parties

2. S02E07 Let the Reigns Loose- Haley's first performance at Tric

3. S03E08 Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends- opening wake up sequence which includes Nathan, Lucas, Hayley, Brooke, and Chris Keller, While Deb&Karen graffiti Dan's billboard and the 'dates' from the Boy Draft

4. S03E18 When It Isn't Like It Should Be- Rachel takes the gang(and Pete Wentz) camping

5.S03E22 The Show Must Go On- Nathan&Hayley's Wedding

6. S04E13 Pictures of You- everyone teams up for an hour 4 a class assignment

7. S06E3 Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.- Quinn's funeral& aftermath of his death

8. S06E14 A Hand to take Hold of the Scene- Nathan&Haley double date w/Chase&Mia

9. S06E18 Searching for a Former Clarity- the movie deal ends, James Van Der Beek makes an awesome exit



This was very hard to narrow down! So many great episodes!
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oh yeah i forgto to mention the season 3 finale! It was the best finale of the entire show!
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9 Most Memorable One Tree Hill Moments for Me



9. The girls dance to "Wannabe" by Spice Girls in the Season 4 finale.

8. Haley's Graduation Speech and water-breaking in Season 4.

7. The dog eats Dan's heart in Season 6.

6. Psycho Katie shoots Clay and Quinn in Season 7.

5. Brooke and Jamie trapped in the car during the storm in Season 8.

4. Psycho Derek in Season 4.

3. Peyton shows up at the airport to meet Lucas in Season 6.

2. Dan, along with Chris Keller and Julian, rescues Nathan from the kidnappers and is shot in Season 9.

1. The school shooting when Dan murders his brother Keith in Season 3.
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Dan, Chris Keller, and Julian's rescue of Nathan might just be my favorite season 9 moment so far. :)
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Wow I don't remember any of these moments and I'm pretty sure i've seen just about every episode between the beginning and the moment they skipped ahead in time. I hate when shows do that. I'm surprised the school shooting episode didn't make the cut. I mean Keith DIED. Also I'm pretty sure Pete Wentz is the guitarist not the front man of Fall Out Boy but I mean they suck anyway so who cares.
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He is the guitarist, and also the frontman. They were alright until about a year before they started coming on the show
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