One Tree Hill

Season 2 Episode 20

Lifetime Piling Up

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 10, 2005 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
356 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lying in a coma after his race car accident, Nathan dreams of what life would have been like if Dan had stayed with Karen and Lucas instead of marrying Deb and raising him. In this imaginary world, Lucas would have been raised with the Scott wealth and stature, and Nathan would have been the one growing up on the wrong side of the tracks.moreless

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  • Underrated

    I don't know why some fans didn't like this episode. I love AUs and I love this episode. After Nathan's accident, he's in serious condition and is in surgery. While, in surgery he has a dream. In this reality everything is reversed. Dan married Karen and raised Lucas. Keith is the big man and Dan works for him. Dan's also the Ravens assistant Coach. He loves to drink like Keith did. Lucas and Peyton are in the type of relationship Nate and Peyton were in the first 4 eps of S1. Karen is a successful business woman who's cheating on her husband Dan with Keith. Deb raised Nathan alone without Dan's help or her parents money. She owns a bar called "Deb's Den" Brooke has one scene in this episode. She didn't have any in the original Pilot. Lucas is the jerk Nathan use to be in S1. Nathan is the good kid Lucas was in the beginning of S1. Tim is Lucas' best friend and Haley is Nathan's best friend, but unlike the brother/sister relationship that Luke and Haley had , Nathan and Haley are clearly in love but neither has done anything about yet. Haley cannot sing in this world. Nate hangs out at the Rivercourt with his best buds Mouth, Junk, Fergie and Skills. Everything is different. Nathan isn't going to play for the Ravens like Luke did in S1. Both boys are trying to be the one who gets picked to go to High Flyers, a basketball camp that exist in real reality of the show, too. The boys have a one on one like in S1, but whoever wins gets to go to the camp. Peyton overhears Lucas talking about making sure Nate doesn't make it to their one on one. She tells Haley who tells Nathan, but Luke and his buds still kidnap Nate and do him the same way Nate did Luke in "Are You True" In this version Lucas throws Nathan's phone in the water so he can't call anyone. In the AU, Peyton shows up and gives him a ride to the one on one. For this one on one the adults are there too, including Whitey. They know about the one on one and don't have a problem with it. Earlier Whitey told Nathan that he wanted him to beat Lucas at the one on one. Nathan beats Lucas like Luke beat him in S1 and Nate gets to go to HFs. After his win, Haley tells him "They haven't invented words for how much I love you" she then gives him the Naley bracelet back and it then turns to a wedding band. She disappears and the court is empty with only Nathan on it. He starts yelling her name and then wakes up from his dream. Luke is there by his bed side. He tells Lucas about his dream. Luke tells him he called Haley even though Nate told him not to. Peyton and Brooke are there, too. Nathan then makes up with Deb and she tells him she's sorry and they will get away from Dan. Dan then enters the room. When everyone is gone he calls Haley who's at the airport heading for Tree Hill. He tells her to not come home because he doesn't want her to. He hangs up and she's standing there looking very sad.

    I love how even in this word Naley is meant to be. There is a scene where they are eating cracker jack by the docks and he pulls out a bracelet in the prize packet and gives it to her. He tells her "Don't say I never gave you anything" She tells him the last prize was a fake tattoo with a random number on it. In the real world she got a real tattoo with his jersey number "23" In the AU, Deb believes they're going to get married one day and Nate tells her to cut it out. Their chemistry is amazing in this episode, too. Luke and Hales make amazing friends, but Nate and Haley make even better friends. But their chemistry is so different they're not going to always be just friends. The way he looks at her in class while they're talking says it all.

    There's a funny scene where Tim suggests to Lucas that he does what Nathan did to Haley in "Are You True" and Luke tells Tim that that's the dumbest idea ever. lol

    I was never a fan of Karen and Keith, so I find it funny that even in the AU, Dan is keeping them apart. I also like how Keith slept with Dan's wife in both words.

    Like in "Are You True" Brooke is naked, but it takes place in the boy's shower at school, not a car and it's Nathan not Lucas that's in the shower. This is how she introduces herself to Nathan like she did Lucas in "Are You True"moreless
  • A One Tree Hill, "What If" Episode

    Nathan is in surgery and dreams of a life where everything is reversed. Dan married Karen instead of Deb. Deb doesn't drink and runs a business called "Deb's Den" in the location of Karen's Cafe. Nathan and Haley are best friends. Haley is tone deaf. Lucas is the town jerk and is dating Peyton. Keith owns the car dealership and Dan works for him. Karen is rich and owns several cafes. Dan is still all about basketball and still kind of a bad guy, but he is a bit of a wuss. He is also asst. coach of the Ravens. Dan is the boozy one instead of Keith.

    This is a bit of a filler episode. Instead of having the whole episode be everyone just waiting around the hospital while Nathan is in surgery they had it be a dream of Nathan's. It was a really good episode. The "alternate reality" that Nathan dreams about is really good and really funny. It's interesting to see what life could have been like for everyone if Dan had married Karen instead of Deb. I love all the references to "real life." With Nathan and Haley at the dock with the cracker jack. He gave her the bracelet and she talked about finding a tattoo of a random number in one which was a reference to her "23" tattoo. I love that the dream ended with a one-on-one game and had them saying the same lines from the pilot and having the same song play when Nathan makes the winning basket.

    I also love how it transitioned at the end to the point where Nathan realized he was dreaming and calling out for Haley. I wish when he called her he didn't tell her to stay away. She needs to come home so they can be a family again.

    I love that Lucas was there when he woke up just like in season 1 after Lucas' accident when Nathan was there when he woke up.moreless
  • Fortunately OTH didn't choose this way.

    I believed this episode could be really great but I guess I misunderstood...

    Clearly James Lafferty had to be Nathan and Chad Michael Murray Lucas. This episode was a déjà-vu, all was the same. Peyton, Brooke etc... Karen was a bit***, sleeping with keith, Dan was a jerk and Deb was ... Deb...

    Nothing happened... and I can't believe that if you change your life, you can have the same than an another person... c'mon, if Nathan was not rich, would he be a total jerk like Lucas was? I can't believe it... Is Lucas a bad guy? Nah can't believe it. You are who you are. Period. That can't change so much even if you have a different life.

    Peyton was the same! And no kidding, she was going out with Lucas because he was popular? Hey c'mon Lucas is not Nathan, why does she go out with him? She'd rather like Nathan right... and Brooke? She never had a crush on Nathan so why would she go out with him, naked in a bathroom. Ahhaha. I can't believe it :p

    Well this ep had no sense... (and you could see some drawings that Peyton made when she was with Lucas like the shooting on the heart, some mistake I guess).moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show one tree hill nathan is still lying in a comer after hitting the wall really hard with the race car and so he is lying there dream if dan would of stayed with karen and lucas would of been raised by the two of them with health and the status that nathan gets when he steps on the court and nathan would of just been raised by deb a pill addict and gone down the wrong side of the tracks this was a good ep i thougth and it was very interesting to see how things would play out in that dreammoreless
  • Season 2, Episode 20.

    Wow, I really like the idea for this episode. Nathan is in a coma and dreams about what life would be like if Dan married Karen and raised Lucas, and ditched Deb and Nathan. I liked when Keith called Dan "Boozy." Haha. Deb's Den. I like it. Hehe. I liked seeing Nathan and Haley as just friends. I liked when Deb said, "You two are gonna end up married one day." Could Mark Schwahn be foreshadowing something for the series finale? I love Nathan a lot more than Lucas. I don't really like Lucas, so I didn't really mind that much when Nathan was picking on him, but in reverse, it's sad and cruel. Hehe, great episode.moreless
Leonard Wheeler

Leonard Wheeler


Guest Star

Ron Clinton Smith

Ron Clinton Smith


Guest Star

Deja Dee

Deja Dee


Guest Star

Antwon Tanner

Antwon Tanner

Antwon "Skills" Taylor

Recurring Role

Brett Claywell

Brett Claywell

Tim Smith

Recurring Role

Cullen Moss

Cullen Moss

Junk Moretti

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • After Nathan awakens, Brooke and Peyton both kiss him goodbye. He mentions to them that he knows they both want him. Brooke says "In your dreams." This is an obvious reference to the fact that with Nathan taking Lucas's place in his Alternate Universe dream, he would have ended up in the love triangle with Brooke and Peyton, as opposed to Lucas.

    • The license plate on Lucas' car says it's from Keith Scott Motors.

    • Deb's own last name is Lee, which Nathan also used in this episode.

    • In the dream, when Nathan finds the bracelet in the crackerjack box, Haley says "score, last time all I got was a tattoo with a random number on it". This is a reference to the tattoo that she got on her back of Nathan's jersey number.

    • Rest in Pieces by Saliva is played when Nathan shoots the winning basket. This is an elegant mirror to the Pilot episode when the same song plays as Lucas shoots the winning basket against Nathan.

    • Spoiler alert!:
      During the scene where Lucas and Nathan face-off at the river court, Lucas dunks the ball. But in the shot where his back is turned, it can clearly be seen that this isn't actually Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) but a body double.

    • During the scene when Lucas and Peyton are in her room fighting, look at the door to her closet. There is the picture of her, Lucas, and Brooke shooting the heart, which probably wouldn't have happened in this reality.

    • In the scene where Lucas is driving in his car with Peyton, he nearly hits Nathan who is walking across the street. If you look at the driver's seat when the angle is in front of the car, it is obviously not Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) who is driving the car but a stunt double.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Deb: Nathan, I...
      Nathan: I love you Mom. I mean that. And I know I've been a jerk lately to you, to everybody else. I'm sorry.
      Deb: You've been hurting.
      Nathan: It doesn't matter. I know you're just trying to be a good mother.
      Deb: I haven't been a good mother Nathan. But that's going to change now.
      Nathan: What are you talking about?
      Deb: I need to be stronger for you, and for myself. So while you're healing from this, I'm healing too. I promise you.
      Nathan: Whatever it is, I got your back. Do you ever wonder what life would be like, if Dan married Karen and just stayed out of our lives?
      Deb: All the time. Why?
      (Door opens and Dan enters)
      Dan: Glad to see you're awake, son.

    • Nathan: Wanna hear something really messed up, though? I thought I died, and went to heaven.
      Lucas: No kidding.
      Nathan: Yeah. Only heaven was a place where Dan chose your mom over mine. And Haley was tone deaf. Turns out it was only a dream. I did kick your ass in one-on-one though.
      Lucas: Well, I guess it was a dream then, huh?

    • Deb: You know you two are gonna end up married someday. (looking at Haley and Nathan)
      Nathan: Stop it. We've known each other forever. We're just friends.
      Deb: Hmmm good place to start.
      Nathan: Keep dreaming.

    • Keith: Ah lemme guess... dog ate your work ethic?
      Dan: Nah, I had to go by the uniform place sign off the new Ravens logo.
      Keith: Like Whitey's actually gonna let you make the decision.
      Dan: C'mon Keith, it's early. Don't start.
      Keith: I'm the boss here. Maybe you should have married Deb. You might have gotten her parents' money. Things will be different.
      Dan: Can we just leave the past in the past?
      Keith: Yeah, that's what you're best at, isn't it?

    • Alternate Reality Peyton: Why do you have to treat him like that? It could easily have been you, you know... if your dad had married his mom instead of yours.
      Alternate Reality Lucas: Like that was ever gonna happen.

    • Nathan: Don't come home, Haley.
      Haley: Nathan, I have to come home.
      Nathan: No. You don't. You have to go after your dream, just like I have to go after mine. Cause if we don't, then we're just gonna end up regretting it. And we're gonna end up resenting each other.
      Haley: Nathan, I wouldn't...
      Nathan: No, we don't know that. Nobody knows what's gonna happen. Whatever choice you make today is gonna affect the rest of your life. So, don't come home, Haley... cause I don't want you to.

    • Haley: I'll save you the trouble faux-dilocks. He's not into cheerleaders.

    • Peyton: You're a tutor right?
      Haley: You're jackass' girlfriend right?

    • Haley: Dude, nothing is ever gonna happen for you if you don't put yourself out there. You gotta shoot for the stars.

    • Haley: You and Brooke Davis. Captain of the Cheersluts! That's hard to picture.
      Nathan: Yea, I'd say hard's the right word.

    • Dan: Oh hey, I gotta cut out early for basketball practice okay?
      Keith: Just about the time the bars open up, right boozy?

    • Skills: Nate, uh, I'm your best friend right? So I feel like I can tell you this. Stop being so damn modest and come out here so we can keep you humble.

    • Whitey: Oh and uh, be sure to let the door hit you (Dan) in the ass on the way out.

    • (After Lucas almost hits Nathan with his car)
      Nathan: Daddy teach you how to drive?
      Lucas: Yeah, he sends his love. Now get out of my way, loser.

    • Nathan: Douglas Adams once wrote, "He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream, and he sometimes wondered whose it was, and whether they were enjoying it."

  • NOTES (4)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 on CNBC-e

    • James Lafferty (Nathan) provides the voiceover in the beginning of this episode, which is typically done by Chad Michael Murray (Lucas).

    • Featured Music:
      "Transform" by Aeon Spoke
      "Holdin" by Billy Livesay
      "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional
      "Hard to Love a Man" by Magnolia Electric Co.
      "Rest In Pieces" by Saliva
      "What It Is To Burn" by Finch
      "Hold You In My Arms" by Ray LaMontagne

    • There are a lot of similarities between this episode and the pilot episode. Exact lines are used from the pilot episode only the character who says them is changed. Some of the same music was used and some of the clothing styles were the same.