One Tree Hill

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2003 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
669 votes

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Episode Summary

Aside from a love for hoops, it would seem that Lucas and Nathan are two young men with little in common, but they are bound by the dark secret that they share the same father. Nathan is the star of the high school basketball team and local town hero, while Lucas is the only child of a single working mom. Now the two boys' lives collide when a twist of fate puts Lucas on Nathan's team and the half-brothers compete, not only for control of the court, but also for the heart of Peyton Sawyer, Nathan's beautiful, flaxen-haired girlfriend.moreless

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  • pilot oth

    Bro this is so good

  • the great beginning for the teen grama will provide the success!

    the pilot is the most important episode for the show. it's the beginning of the long story that should take the breath of the viewers away (well, at least it should be interesting enough so they would come back to watch it again). and I should say that Mark Schwan and all cast and crew pulled it off!

    it introduces teenagers: Lucas Scott -- handsome outsider, Nathan Scott -- cool bad guy, Peyton Sawyer -- deep cheerleader, Haley James -- nice girl. and the life of these kids and even of their parents (Mr. Devil Dan Scott, Mrs. Angel Karen Roe, Mr. Nice Guy Keith Scott and Mr. Wise Man Whitey Durham -- who's not actually a parent but still very important person for these teens) is what "One Tree Hill" is about. and it's also about basketball -- the game that started everything and that connected all of them.

    just want to say that after watching this pilot I will come to the TV-screen every single time it'll show the new episode of the show!

    FAVE SCENE: Luke talks to Peyton while taking her car.

    FAVE QUOTE: Lucas (to Peyton): Why are you a cheerleader? No offense or anything, but you're about the least cheery person I know.moreless
  • Where it all started.

    This one of my favorite OTH episodes and one of my favorite Pilots ever. They say time brings on change and boy what a change it was over the years. Even though no one likes the other, it's the beginning of something beautiful. Brooke is not in this episode, but that doesn't even matter. It's an awesome start for the show. Deb is not in it either. The episode starts with two brothers, but two very different lives. Lucas Scott is the street kid, the bookworm, the bastard kid who's father doesn't want to claim him. He's the outsider. Nathan Scott is his polar opposite. He's the most popular boy in school. The star basketball player. The rich boy and most important daddy's boy. Dan Scott married Nathan's mom and raised Nathan. Lucas Scott was raised by his mother and Uncle Keith, his father's big brother. Nate and Luke are strangers. They don't talk, they don't even like each other. But there is one person Lucas does like. Nathan's cheerleader girlfriend Peyton Sawyer. Lucas is best friends with a pretty, but smart and shy girl named Haley James. If it were up to the boys, they would go through life never being friends or brothers, but thanks to their uncle and a wise old Coach that's all about to change. Luke being the "I'm too cool for the popular crowd" type of person he isn't going to just join the team. Lucas challenges Nathan to a one on one game. Lucas wins, he joins the team. If Nathan wins, Luke never joins the team. Luke wins and he's now a Raven's basketball player. Everyone is in a different place. Nathan is a jerk to everyone around him. Lucas hasn't made any major mistakes yet and he's not a popular kid. Peyton is bitter because no one she hangs out with really knows her or understands her. Haley is quiet and an outsider with her best friend Lucas. Dan is a jerk to everyone around him. Keith drinks a lot and let's things hold him back. Karen let's Dan stop her from moving forward. Whitey is still Whitey. He doesn't take crap from anyone and he's a father and grandfather to everyone. Great start to a great show.moreless
  • The Beginning....

    I honestly don't remember why I watched One Tree Hill in the first place. When it started I had already been watching 7th Heaven for a few years and the year before I started watching Gilmore Girls and Everwood. I guess I figured one more couldn't hurt, but I don't know. I saw the previews for it and thought it looked good and now here we are 9 seasons later and I have seen every episode. And while those other shows are gone, I'll miss One Tree Hill the most!!

    The Pilot for One Tree Hill was an incredible beginning to an amazing show!! I love going back and watching it because you can really see how much they've all grown. Both the characters and the actors. It's amazing to see how far they have all come since it all began.

    There are some great moments in this episode that truly help to define the series. We see the first time Lucas and Peyton talk to each at the infamous lake and while I never noticed it until I recently watched it again, you can see "Comet" on the side of her car. We also hear for the first time what Lucas will eventually title his book that he gets published, "An Unkindness of We see the rooftop of Karen's Cafe where Lucas and Haley play miniature golf. This rooftop also becomes the site of water balloon fights (with both balloons and other things), predictions, and a photo shoot. And we of course see the iconic River Court!! It's a place that basically became it's own character. I think almost every character set foot on that court at least once. It's a magical place!! This episode is also the first time we see Jimmy Edwards, who I have to say I myself forgot about after this episode and the next until he showed up again in season 3.

    We learn so much about these incredible characters in this one episode. This episode was truly an amazing beginning to a show that no one thought would last past one season let alone the 9 we have ended up with. It's the little show that could and I'm glad it did. I couldn't imagine my life without it!!moreless
  • It begins.

    Woah. This show was so much more bearable in the early years. I actually enjoyed this.

    Lucas was somewhat likeable. I really liked his relationships with Karen, Haley and the River Court team. And of course with Peyton. They have a lot more chemistry than her and Nathan anyway.

    Nathan is much better as a nasty character; he had more charm and spunk. Dan was better as the pushy and horrible father rather than the cold murderer. No Brooke? Very strange considering what a big part of the show she becomes.

    Keith was a nice guy too, and his relationship with Karen and Lucas is nicely built.

    Overall, a good first episode because it sets up a lot of tension and lots of direction for the series to go in. AND it wasn't that soppy or annoying.

Melissa Claire Egan

Melissa Claire Egan


Guest Star

John Keenan

John Keenan

Officer Wayman

Guest Star

Samantha Shelton

Samantha Shelton


Guest Star

Shawn Shepard

Shawn Shepard

Principal Turner

Recurring Role

Bryan Greenberg

Bryan Greenberg

Jake Jagielski

Recurring Role

Cullen Moss

Cullen Moss

Junk Moretti

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (18)

    • Featured Music:
      "Drift" by Forty Foot Echo
      "24's" by T.I.
      "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional
      "Farewell Transmission" by Ohia
      "Never Enough" by Bosshouse
      "Your Boyfriend Sucks" by The Ataris
      "Money Bags" by Runaway Cab
      "The Aftertaste" by Ben Lee
      "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" by Jet
      "Lapdance" by N.E.R.D
      "What It Is to Burn" by Finch
      "Rest In Pieces" by Saliva
      "EZ" by Pete Yorn

    • Number: 23

      This episode airs on Sept. 23, 2003. 23 is an important number in One Tree Hill. Nathan's jersey number is 23, like former NBA player, Michael Jordan.

    • was the real-life website that showed Peyton (Hilarie Burton) on the webcam in her room. Now it doesn't, but still contains some of her drawings.

    • The guy on the bridge that runs with the ball in the beginning of the episode (and that we can see in all credits) is played not by Chad Michael Murray but by Mark Schwahn's friend.

    • The piercing in Nathan's left nipple is fake.

    • Guest star John Keenan is credited as "Officer Wayman" in the end credits, but, during the episode, Principal Turner refers to him as "Chief Wayman."

    • Many of the episodes are named after punk-rock songs, in reference to Peyton and her expertise in the field of rock.

    • When Peyton's in her room playing with the photo on her computer, the guy in the photo is Mark Schwahn, who is the creator and executive producer of the show.

    • You can also see Samantha Shelton in the crowd scenes when Nathan and Lucas are playing their one on one game.

    • In the scene where Whitey comes into the library to call Lucas into the gym to join the team, you can actually see the character of Reagan, (Samantha Shelton) who was recasted before the pilot aired. She is sitting on the left side of Lucas, and looks at Lucas when Whitey calls his name, but doesn't say anything.

    • "Karen's Cafe" used to be Jen's Radio Station on Dawson's Creek.

    • The gym in which they play basketball is the one where Michael Jordan played high school basketball. As soon as they learned this, the producers decided to use it for the show.

    • In the very first Ravens game we see, it is Mark Schwahn, creator of One Tree Hill who shouts 1,2,3 Ravens after the group huddle.

    • In the very first Ravens game we see, creator of One Tree Hill Mark Schwahn is sitting on the bench as a team member.

    • The actress who plays the girl who kisses Nathan while on the school bus appears once again as the bartender at a party at Dan's house in "Life in a Glass House" later in the season.

    • Rest in Pieces by Saliva is played when Lucas shoots the winning basket in his game against Nathan. (Briefly before the game an instrumental version of the song is played.)

      In Episode 220 when Nathan in his dream after the racecar accident, shoots the winning basket as Lucas, the same song is played.

    • The reason Peyton gets in on the drivers' side of the truck is because there was a alligator/crocodile on the passengers' side so Hilarie Burton couldn't get in that way. -- it says that in season 1's extra's of the DVD.

    • When Lucas comes home after the game with Nathan he sees his mom waiting for him. He throws the basketball onto the porch to hug his mom. Then they turn to go inside and Lucas leaves his basketball outside.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Karen puts dinner on the table
      Karen: Haley would you like to join us?
      Haley: Hell yes!
      Karen(to Lucas): So how was your day honey?
      Haley: Good!
      Karen looks at her
      Haley: I mean good is a relative term considering a third of the world is starving right? Which doesn't change the fact that I am clumsy as hell. Did I tell you I tripped today. Yeah, totally bit it...face down...butt in the air.
      Karen(chuckles softly): Haley!
      Haley: Too graphic? Sorry I'll be quiet now.

    • Mouth: Did you see that?! Someday men will write stories about that block. Children will be named after it. Argentinean women will weep for it.

    • Mouth: Junk Morretti joins us now. Junk, you care to make a prediction?
      Junk: Sure. I predict you guys will be the two biggest morons out here.

    • Haley: I was attacked by a flock of crows last week! I'm totally serious!
      Lucas: By the way, it's a murder.
      Haley: What?
      Lucas: More than one crow is a murder .
      Haley: I don't know what the hell you're talking about.
      Lucas: A parliament of owls, an exultation of larks, a murder of crows.
      Haley: I think that is why people think you're weird, right there.

    • Whitey: I remember when Dan told me Karen was pregnant right after their senior year in high school. I told him he should honor his scholarship and go to college.
      Keith: I'll tell you one thing: you did Karen a favor. And Lucas, too. Now maybe you can do me one.

    • Haley: So, Luke, what are ravens? I mean, more than one?
      Lucas: An unkindness.

    • Lucas: (talking about basketball) I loved it and I was good at it. I mean, you ever had something that you knew that you were better at than almost anybody else?
      Peyton: Sex. (Lucas raises an eyebrow) Joke.

    • (talking about Lucas)
      Peyton: So what if this guy plays? Are you really that threatened?
      Nathan: I'm not threatened by anyone.
      Peyton: Well, then, why do it?
      Nathan: To prove I'm the best.
      Peyton: Ok, so, what if he wins? What does he get?
      Nathan: He gets you.

    • Peyton: So, why'd you just tell me all that? I mean, we don't even know each other.
      Lucas: Maybe that's the point.

    • Dan: So, you just walk away...
      Whitey: Well, well, Dan Scott.
      Dan: Half the team suspended, Nathan triple-teamed the rest of the season, and you say nothing.
      Whitey: The inmates will not run the asylum.
      Dan: You're despicable, you know that? Letting the dreams of this team just vanish. You're full of crap!
      Whitey: It comes with old age, Danny, constipation.

    • Haley: The magazine pages are sticky again, little perv. Hey, Luke! You've been reading this?
      Lucas: I don't know, Haley. Is that the "Why do I hang out with these people?" issue, because you're on the cover of that, right?
      Haley: Actually it's the "My best friend is an idiot" issue, and there you are.

    • Karen: We've asked nothing of you, and you have delivered in fine fashion.

    • Lucas: Come on. Let me give you a ride. I'll let you insult me.
      Peyton: First of all, you don't know me. Second of all, you don't know me. God, why are guys such jerks?!
      Lucas: Guys or Nathan?
      Peyton: Him. You.
      Lucas: I don't know. We share the same father.

    • Lucas: Can I ask you a question?
      Peyton: It's a free country.
      Lucas: Why are you a cheerleader? No offense or anything, but you're about the least cheery person I know.

    • Nathan: Don't worry, dad. Your dreams are still safe.

    • Lucas: (to Whitey) I say people who pray here are wasting their time. God doesn't watch sports.

    • Whitey: I'm still the coach and this is still my team.
      Nathan: Whatever you need to believe.

    • Lucas: No foul, basket counts, besides you won't score again.

    • Nathan: What do I want? What do you want, man? I mean, other than my girlfriend and my spot in the lineup, huh? None of us want you on the team, man. I don't want you. The guys don't want you. My girlfriend sure as hell doesn't want you. But here's the deal. You and me, one on one. You can name the time and place. If you win, I'll quit the team. If I win, you crawl back in your little hole, and you remember your place in all this. Time and place, baby. Time and place.

    • Keith: When I was a kid, my father took me to Raleigh to see David Thompson play. I was nine years old. I couldn't have cared less about basketball. But when Thompson stepped on the court, he was so young, so quick, and just so graceful, that I was mesmerized. I couldn't take my eyes off him until late in the game. And I look up at my dad, and he's got tears in his eyes. 14,000 strangers and my father's crying because he's so beautiful. He played with such poetry that he made us feel like we were a part of it. You have a gift, Luke, and it's a crime not to let people see it, to hide it in the park. It's a damn shame.

    • Lucas: Guys kept teasing me about it... about how Nathan's dad was my dad, too. So I asked my mom, and she said he wasn't. But I'd get home, and I'd hear her crying in her room. I knew it was true. So I never went back. I told my mom it was because I didn't want to have to see his face. But, it was mostly because I didn't want her to have to.

    • Karen: Then you said something I'll never forget. You said you felt bad for the kids who never figured it out, because when they grew up and had kids of their own, there wouldn't be any gifts on Christmas morning. You're a good kid, Luke. But sometimes I feel like you're sitting out your life on account of me, and I don't want that for you. My past is not your future, okay?

    • Dan: Yeah. And this bet tonight is that a joke, too? Or would you really quit the team? You have everything to lose here and nothing to gain.
      Nathan: Sometimes what you call "everything," I call "nothing."

    • Lucas: Did you change your hair?
      Karen: If by "change" you mean "drag a brush through it", then yeah.

    • Peyton: So, what did you bet?
      Lucas: I win, Nathan stays on the team.
      Peyton: Why?
      Lucas: Because it's the last thing he wants. And anyway, it's not about him.

    • Lucas: (voiceover) There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune but omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current when it serves or lose the ventures before us.

  • NOTES (11)

    • Although credited, Sophia Bush (Brooke Davis) does not appear in this episode.

    • The German title for this episode is "Brüder" which means "Brothers".

    • James Lafferty (Nathan) was cast for One Tree Hill after meeting with Mark Schwahn for auditions on the motion picture, The Perfect Score. James lost that part to his current co-star on the show, Bryan Greenberg (Jake).

    • One Tree Hill is shot in Wilmington, NC, coincidentally the same location as fellow WB show, Dawson's Creek.

    • International Titles:

      -France: Les Freres Scott ("The Scott Brothers")
      -Brasil: Lances da Vida ("Throws of Life")
      -Bulgaria:("Lonely Tree On The Hill")
      -Finland: Tunteet Pelissa ("Feelings In The Game")
      -Greece: Filoi gia panta ("Friends Forever")
      -Hungary: Tuti Gimi ("Cool High School")
      -Israel: Migrash Beyti ("Home Court")
      -Mexico: Hermanos Rebeldes ("Rebellious Brothers")
      -Poland: Pogoda na milosc ("The Weather for Love")
      -Italy: La Sfida ("The Challenge")
      -Russia: Xolm odnogo dereva ("One Tree Hill")
      -Germany: One Tree Hill

    • The series One Tree Hill, was originally scheduled to debut midseason on the WB but was shifted to fall when replacing new series Fearless, which had production problems and was not able to bow out in time for fall.

    • Production on this new series began on August 12, 2003 on the first episode after the pilot.

    • One Tree Hill (or Ravens as it was originally named) was first created to be a 2 hour movie.

    • In the commentary, Mark Schwahn mentions that in the scene where Peyton comes out of the bathroom in the towel after Nathan, he came out instead of Peyton as a joke.

    • This episode did not feature the regular opening credits for One Tree Hill.

    • In the original pilot, Lucas Scott's best friend was named Reagan and played by actress Samantha Shelton. After the show was added to the fall schedule, the role was recast and the renamed Haley James.


    • "One Tree Hill" is a track of the album The Joshua Tree by U2.

      It was later said by executive producer Mark Schwahn that when he was coming up with the ideas for this show, he had intentionally wanted it to be called "The Ravens", but decided that was too sports-oriented. Since at the time he was listening to the song "One Tree Hill", he decided to name the town Tree Hill and to name the show One Tree Hill.

    • Lucas: (To Peyton) It's me inside your head, you know, the song...

      It's lyrics from the song Linoleum by NOFX on the album Punk in drublic.

    • Haley: It's not some type of Joey loves Dawson scenario.

      That is referring to the old WB show Dawson's Creek. Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton guest-starred in Dawson's Creek. Also, One Tree Hill is filmed in the same city.