As far as trashy CW melodramas go, One Tree Hill certainly tries to be the least trashy. The tale is about friendship, brotherhood, basketball, and unlikely musical cameos. It even tries to be somewhat intelligent by including quotes from classic literature in the endings of the episodes. It’s kind of weird.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. While drowning its viewers with unlikely scenario after unlikely scenario, there are moments in the series that defy all logical explanations. They are just plain crazy. These funny, weird times on One Tree Hill will have you thinking (if only for a moment) that Riverdale is normal by comparison…
10. Nanny Carrie the Psycho Nurse
Every primetime drama seems to explore the ‘pyscho killer’ storyline at some point. One Tree Hill is no exception, the titular town being a breeding ground for crazy during its nine-season run. The strangest of these has got to be Nanny Carrie, a former nurse, who develops an unhinged obsession with Nathan and his son, Jamie. She eventually kidnaps Jamie, but is foiled by Dan Scott.
However, she later enacts her revenge. Carrie kidnaps Dan in an attempt to lure Haley, and by extension, Jamie into her clutches. ‘Nurse Carrie’ goes from continually drugging the helpless Dan to relentlessly chasing Jamie through a cornfield. It’s a whirlpool of crazy that is emblematic of how far One Tree Hill can go.
9. Dan Scott’s Redemption Arc
Oh man, oh man. Where to start with this? Dan Scott is objectively one of the most despicable characters on the show. He constantly abuses his sons Lucas and Nathan and makes trouble for Karen and Keith. Everyone knows that Dan kills the latter – his own brother – but beforehand, he pays a girl to pretend to fall in love with him and then break his heart. ‘Jerk’ is an understatement, no?
However, the writers think that, after all this, they can redeem Dan. By Season Seven, the elder Scott has his own TV Show (despite the fact, he’s, you know, a convicted murderer) and marries Rachel Gatina, a girl of whom his kids went to school with. Dan eventually goes on to save his kidnapped son, Nathan, and eventually dies, everyone forgiving him including his late brother, Keith, who invites him into heaven. Dan’s arc feels like a contrived, implausible PureFlix Christian movie and ranks amongst the show’s most absurd storylines.
8. Everyone is Successful Right Out of College
One Tree Hill, despite its melodrama, is at its heart, an optimistic show. However, there are moments when it can be a little too optimistic. This is best exemplified in the show’s fifth season when most of the cast are successful right out of college. Lucas is a successful author and high-school coach and Brooke is a world-famous fashion designer, both only 22 years of age. One Tree Hill certainly has its funny moments, but this might just top them all.
Look, to be be fair, not everyone in the cast graduates into success. Mouth has trouble getting a job initially and Nathan gets a career-ending injury that has him bound to a wheelchair (and whose frustration tests his marriage). But by Season Six, both have amazing careers and live happily ever after. In addition, Peyton Sawyer, who quits her job due to her company’s inherent misogyny, doesn’t take long to start a successful record label of her own. Look, there’s nothing wrong with an optimistic happy ending – it’s just a bit…you know, too easy for them, isn’t it?
7. Stalker with a Crush
One Tree Hill was a show that tried to break the boundaries of absurdity. Season after season, the craziness only increased and the ‘WTF’ moments got more WTF. While the show was always a bit farfetched and ‘out there’, Season Four is arguably where the shark jumped tenfold, when Peyton’s psycho stalker turns up pretending to be her long-lost brother.
Now, to be fair, One Tree Hill competently throws us a red herring by having ‘Psycho Derek’ blonde, good-looking and artsy. At first, it’s believable to think she’s Peyton’s brother because of these elements. However, things start getting crazy when Derek starts obsessively taking pictures of her. He then hires a prostitute to dress up like his ‘sister’ whom he abuses. This is before he tries to assault Peyton twice – the second time occurring after he gets pushed out a window!
6. Haley and Nathan Get Hitched in High School
Haley and Nathan get hitched not once, but twice in high school. I guess you boil it all down to impulsive adolescence and stupidity, but it still rather stupid. Why? Firstly, Haley and Nathan have only known each other for maybe six months before their first wedding (the first four seasons tackle one half of a school year per season). At the start of the season, Nathan was robbing school buses for fun, bullying Haley’s best friend and treating Peyton like crap! It’s just so unreal.
5. The Parents Are Never Around
Fun fact: The CW Network has always had a version of having parents in their teen shows. After all, when you have these beautiful-looking twenty-five-year-old teenagers to show off in every scene, why waste valuable screen time on some old person (In CW Land, 35 constitutes old). Often, the writers have difficulty incorporating the older characters into the narrative, and they are eventually jettisoned altogether.
Karen Roe, Dan Scott, and Deb Scott are around, sure. And Uncle Keith Scott was there for two-and-a-half seasons, okay. But Brooke Davis’s mother doesn’t enter the picture until Season Four when Brooke is an adult. As for Peyton’s dad, he appears on and off during Seasons One and Three – but is never to be seen again. Meanwhile, while Haley’s parents are around for two minutes, they promptly disappear without explanation. What is this show’s obsession with orphans?
4. One Tree Hill‘s Depictions of Heaven
By no means is it a bad thing to depict heaven in TV or film. The only problem is when a grounded teen drama suddenly tries to tackle the supernatural. The writers began incorporating heaven and purgatory into the stories – and playing it painfully straight. As such, it comes off as an undeniably weird aspect of One Tree Hill.
In the Season Four episode “Songs to Live and Die By”, Lucas meets Keith’s ghost in Purgatory and, through some vague ghostly words, Keith hints to Lucas that he doesn’t have the whole story regarding his death. Later on, in the season’s penultimate episode, “The Birth and Death of Day”, Karen visits heaven briefly, where a white-shirted Keith stands amongst some lilies. From this supernatural visitation, Karen is inspired to call her newborn ‘Lily’ (cringe).
3. Peyton Managed a Bar in High School
In the magical teen fantasies of the CW, teenage bartenders aren’t rare. Liam from 90210 and Veronica from Riverdale come to mind. However, One Tree Hill has a teen bartender of its own – Peyton Sawyer. And what’s more, Miss Sawyer not only runs the place – she successfully gets bookings for huge stars like Jimmy Eat World and Lupe Fiasco. While being a junior, then senior in high school.
How on Earth Peyton manages this is unclear. Not only does she have a high school workload to contend with, but she must also deal with psycho fake-brothers, a dying mother, love triangles, dating Pete Wentz, and the almost-constant absence of her father. How does she even manage to graduate among all this?
2. Peyton and Fall-Out Boys’ ‘Pete Wentz’ Date
The fact that Tree Hill, a small North Carolina town, somehow hosts huge musical acts in an under-18’s bar (owned by a teenager!) is absurd enough. However, One Tree Hill goes the extra mile in absurdity by having 28-year-old Fallout Boy singer Pete Wentz begin a relationship with 17-year-old Peyton Swayer. Er…what? This episode makes is one of our top weirdest moments from One Tree Hill.
Okay, so One Tree Hill is a teen fantasy series (let’s call it what it is). But the strangest thing about this is how casually Pete Wentz’s presence is treated. There is no big storyline and no big deal is made – he’s simply there. He even accompanies the gang on a camping trip and does his make-up with the girls. And it’s weird I wrote that and the fact this is an actual thing that happened on One Tree Hill.
1. A Dog Eats Dan Scott’s Heart
Season 6’s “Searching For A Certain Clarity” has a stoner’s dog eat Dan’s heart. It feels strange just typing that, especially since this scene belongs more in Scrubs than One Tree Hill. But alas, strange or not, the scene is as real as you and I. Not much can be said of the weirdest (and funniest) One Tree Hill moments – just watch this clip and see for yourself.
What do you think are the funniest and/or weirdest moments on One Tree Hill? Do you agree or disagree with our list?