Is there any show on TV more batsh*t crazy than One Tree Hill? What started as a simple story about estranged half brothers, basketball, and narcissistic parents turned into a saga of evil nannies and kidnapping storylines. Through nine season, the show progressively went farther and farther off the rails and it was amazing to watch. One Tree Hill always knew how to give us a good “OMG” moment.
As most of us have probably realized, One Tree Hill has been wiped from Netflix as of yesterday, so what better way to celebrate its legacy than by breaking down the most insane things to happen on OTH? Keep reading for the most nutso storylines the show ever did (in no particular order, BTW)!
1. A dog eats the heart Dan needed for his transplant
Episode: Season 6, episode 18 – “Searching For a Former Clarity”
This isn’t only one of the craziest moments on One Tree Hill but one of the craziest ever on television. When villainous Dan (Paul Johansson) learns there is a heart for his much-needed transplant, he’s overjoyed. Once he’s at the hospital, however, chaos ensues. When the nurse holding the cooler with Dan’s heart trips, the unsecured cooler top pops open and spills the heart and about five ice cubes (how TF was that heart staying cold?!) onto the floor. And once it’s on the floor, a golden retriever runs over and EATS IT. Sure, dogs aren’t usually allowed to just hang out in hospitals and that cooler definitely should’ve been latched down, but this is Tree Hill and anything goes.
2. Everything involving “Psycho Derek”
Episode: Season 4, several episodes
One of the very first stalker storylines One Tree Hill ever did involved “psycho Derek” (Matt Barr), a guy pretending to be Peyton’s (Hilarie Burton) estranged brother after becoming obsessed with her live streaming her life (which most of us probably could’ve guessed was a bad idea).
He stalked her, attacked her, and got her art tattooed on his back. Not to mention covered his entire room in pictures of her. And that was just the first time he showed up. He pops up again later after somehow walking away despite Peyton pushing him out a window. He completely ruins Peyton and Brooke’s (Sophia Bush) prom night — though they finally take him down with a cheerleading routine.
3. The school shooting episode
Episode: Season 3, Episode 16 – “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept”
One of the most shocking episodes of One Tree Hill wasn’t shocking because of how unrealistic it was but for how possible it really was. When former friend of the group/alienated teen, Jimmy Edwards (Colin Fickes) comes to school with a gun, everything changes for the high schoolers of Tree Hill. Peyton gets shot in the chaos and students are held hostage by Edwards as he grapples with his decision. It’s all very raw, and terrifying.
The scariest scene comes at the very end, though. Keith (Craig Sheffer) enters the school in order to try and talk Edwards, a kid he’s known for years, down from killing someone. It almost works — but Edwards ultimately ends his own life after realizing what he’s done. Suddenly, Dan enters the school, grabs the gun Edwards had and shoots his own brother, Keith, killing him in cold blood. Dan’s crime wouldn’t be discovered until much later but it remains one of the most heartbreaking moments in One Tree Hill history.
4. Peyton has a weird, short-lived romance with Pete Wentz
Episode: Season 3, several episodes
What the what?! After Fall Out Boy comes to perform in Tree Hill (which, LOL how?) Peyton and Pete Wentz connect. He comes to visit her after she’s shot and even goes on a getaway trip with the gang. And makes pancakes. It’s all super fanfiction-y, yet definitely every teen girl’s dream at the time. They didn’t end up together because, well, duh, but thnks fr th mmrs, Pete.
5. High profile artists like Fall Out Boy and Andrew McMahon come to perform at a small club in Tree Hill, North Carolina
This is more of a general “WTF, One Tree Hill?!” kind of thing. Big name bands came to Tree Hill to perform at TRIC, a club that, by the way, is basically run by teenagers. Even before that, big names like Sheryl Crow came to stop by for small acoustic performances at Karen’s Cafe because sure, why not? Not like they have anything better to do.
6. Haley and Nathan get married in HIGH SCHOOL
Episode: Season 1, Episode 22 – “The Games That Play Us”
Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) and Nathan (James Lafferty) got married when they were 16 years old. When I was 16, I couldn’t even decide if I wanted to go to college or not, let alone figure out who I’d be with for the rest of my life. Luckily, their gamble paid off and “Naley” went on to be the ultimate power-couple in the show and total relationship #goals. They’re definitely still your OTP. Sometimes when you know, you know. But this is still totally insane — especially the fact that her parents were like, totally down.
7. That time Dan hired a woman to seduce his brother and they almost got married
Episode: Season 2, several episdes
Almost as effed up as the time Dan killed his brother is the time he hired a woman to break his heart. Keith and “Jules” (Maria Menounos) — real name Emily — made it all the way to the altar before the truth came out.
Despite actually falling for Keith, Jules/Emily left him at the altar in order to get the money Dan had promised her. The two reconcile briefly later before Keith realizes that Emily is not the “Jules” he fell in love with. Somehow, despite this, Keith was always a class act and still tried to redeem his lost-cause brother and eventual murderer.
8. Haley left high school to go on tour
Episode: Season 2, Episode 13 – “The Hero Dies in This One”
After meeting Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton) — one of the funniest One Tree Hill characters BTW — Haley decides to pursue her love of music professionally. Her decision to record and perform with Chris puts a strain on her relationship with Nathan and almost ends it when Chris asks her to go on tour with him and his band. But somehow, academic-conscious Haley who never did a damn thing wrong in her whole life decides to skip out on half of high school to go with him. She eventually comes home, repairs everything she ruined by leaving, and kind of sets music aside afterward. Haley’s parents let her get married and go on tour as a teen — it’s crazy she turned out as well-adjusted as she did.
9. Dan gets caught in a fire at his dealership and Lucas saves him
Episode: Season 2, episode 23 – “The Leavers Dance”
Dan Scott can definitely hold a grudge. When he gets caught in a fire at his dealership he does everything he can to find out who caused the fire — including running for mayor solely to get access to the case information. He initially thinks the son he abandoned, Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) started the fire, but it eventually comes out that Lucas (against his better judgment, TBH) was the one who saved Dan’s life. It was really Dan’s ex-wife, Deb (Barbara Alyn Woods) who tried to burn him alive — but as it turns out, killing Dan Scott is really hard.
10. Pregnant Haley gets hit by a car after the basketball team wins the championship and then Lucas has a heart attack
Episode: Season 4, Episode 9 – “Some You Give Away”
This crazy episode culminates in one of the most chaotic, emotional scenes of the series. And it’s underscored with some great music, by the way. After the basketball team wins the championship that Nathan was supposed to throw to please his bookie (because high school gambling?), his bookie, Daunte (Rick Fox) runs then-pregnant Haley over with his car and leaves her in the middle of the road. As Lucas comes to help her, he has a goddamn heart attack right there.
With all the heartbreak, this scene does have one of the best things that Dan ever did for his kids, though. After Daunte hits Haley, he himself hits a tree, prompting Nathan to pull him out of the car and beat the ever-living crap out of him. When Dan realizes Daunte is dead, he sends his son away and smashes his fist on the ground, taking the blame for the beating to keep Nathan out of prison. Dan wasn’t always the worst.
11. The limo accident on the bridge after Haley and Nathan’s wedding
Episode: Season 3, Episode 22 – “The Show Must Go On”
Since they got married as 16-year-olds, Nathan and Haley didn’t have an official wedding. That was rectified on the season three finale, but they probably wish they hadn’t after what happens post-wedding. Nathan’s Uncle Cooper (Edward Michael Trucco) had been having a relationship with a high schooler, Rachel (Danneel Ackles), and the girl went and fell in love with him. When he started to rebuff her advances she got hella drunk at the wedding and let everyone know they’d slept together.
The two end up speeding down the road in a limo fight as they leave the wedding. Of course they go over a bridge, and of course, she twists the wheel so they end up in the river below. Nathan jumps in to save them, almost dies himself, and is eventually “saved” by his dead uncle Keith. The f?
12. Brooke and Jamie almost drown after their car is pushed off the bridge into the river below
Episode: Season 8, Episode 11 – “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
Another near-death situation on the bridge. After Brooke comes to young Jamie’s (Jackson Brundage) rescue during a horrific storm, she ends up trapped in a car with him that’s sent careening into the river below. Brooke actually almost dies, but she’s revived by Julian (Austin Nichols) at the last minute. Maybe everyone on One Tree Hill should really stay away from bridges from now on?
13. They’re all super successful right out of college
Episode: Season 4, several episodes
After the shows fourth season, they jumped ahead four years past college and straight into adulthood. At that point, most of our main characters were really making it big in life. And the ones that weren’t soon found success. At this point, in their early 20s, Brooke had her own clothing line, Lucas had written a bestseller, and Nathan had found professional basketball success (before losing it…). Soon after, Peyton opened her own record label and Mouth (Lee Norris) becomes a news reporter. Having such success RIGHT after college is its own kind of insane, at least in the experience of myself and all my friends.
14. “Stay out of it, Nick Lachey!”
Episode: Season 6, Episode 23 – “Forever and Almost Always”
When Nick Lachey came to make music at Peyton’s record label, he probably should’ve known he’d be dragged into Tree Hill drama. Brooke takes him as her date to a wedding to make Julian jealous and gets totally stuck in all their craziness. At one point when he tries to interject into a conversation he’s told “stay out of it, Nick Lachey!” cementing the singer’s legacy as that guy who got yelled at on One Tree Hill. It was pretty amazing.
15. Deb and Skills Hook up
Episode: Season 5, Episode 17 – “Hate is Safer Than Love”
When the teens start running out of people to date, apparently they have to turn to the parents. When Antwon “Skills” Taylor (Antwon Tanner) and Deb are anonymously matched up on a dating site, they start up a relationship despite the fact that Skills is a good friend of her son’s and daughter-in-law’s and frequently babysits her grandson. Eventually, everyone finds out about the romance and sort of comes to accept it? But like, did these two even share a scene together before they were suddenly f#$%ing?! They broke up during the next season since Skills wanted kids and that ship had sailed for Deb.
16. Katie impersonates Clay’s dead wife and tries to kill him
Episode: Season 7, Episode 22 – “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You”
One Tree Hill loves a good stalker storyline. When a prospective client of Clay’s (Robert Buckley) bears a striking resemblance to his dead wife, he can’t help but be intrigued. Unfortunately, client Katie (Amanda Schull) soon becomes obsessed with Clay and tries to take the place of his dead wife. When he turns her down and refuses to leave his girlfriend for her, she doesn’t take it well. And by “not taking it well,” we mean that she shows up at their home and shoots them both, disappearing into the night. She’s eventually taken down by Clay’s girlfriend, Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) during the same storm that almost takes Brooke down.
17. Dan saves a kidnapped Nathan in an elaborate, action hero scheme
Episode: Season 9, Episode 10 – “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will”
After Nathan is kidnapped by Eastern European thugs because of basketball reasons, Dan desperately tries to find and save his son. When he does find out Nate’s whereabouts, he recruits Julian and Chris Keller (cause, again, why not?) for the action-packed rescue. Dan’s coming in hot, shooting people left and right and acting like Jean Claude Van Damme up in there. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your stance) Dan is shot in the rumble. At least he goes down doing one last actual good deed — saving his son.
18. Everything involving Nanny Carrie
Episode: Seasons 5 and 6, several episodes
Where do we begin with this bag of crazy? When Nanny Carrie (Torrey DeVitto) is first introduced, she seems like a caring and sweet caretaker for Jamie. Soon we find out that she’s anything but sweet. Her obsession with Nathan and Jamie leads her to try and seduce Nathan. Her failed attempt leads Haley to fire her and get her TF away from her family. Unfortunately, Carrie comes back with a vengeance and kidnaps Jamie in order to keep him for her own. Jamie is rescued, but Carrie is far from done.
Carrie returns when she hits Dan with her car, houses him in her in-home hospital and tries to lure Jamie to her. When Haley and Jamie show up at the house and realize that f*cking Nanny Carrie is there, sh*t goes DOWN. Haley’s knocked unconscious, Jamie runs through the property from Carrie, and Deb comes in the clutch with a wine bottle to crazy Carrie’s head. Once she regains consciousness, she gets shot by Dan — twice — to ensure she can never come after their family again. Just some typical small-town North Carolina stuff, right?