You know, I shoot the ball, and it goes in. I don't ask questions. I don't think about it. That's just the way it is.
Lucas Scott is the son of Karen Roe and Dan Scott. He was abandoned by his father for his other son, Nathan Scott and raised by his paternal uncle Keith Scott. Lucas had a passion for basketball and played at the River Court with friends such as Marvin "Mouth" McFadden and Antwon "Skills" Taylor. It was this passion for basketball that saw Lucas be recruited to the Tree Hill Ravens, and be forced to interact with Nathan on a daily basis.
Adorkable: Lucas is a bit of a nerd and has his dorky moments.
Cain and Abel: Lucas is the Abel to Nathan's Cain, originally. However, the two eventually grow out of their rivalry by the end of the first season, and in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Nathan defends Lucas from their father Dan. The season ends with them acknowledging each other as brothers and best friends.
Chick Magnet: Lucas gets a lot of female attention and he has attracted almost every single female character on the show, including Peyton, Brooke, Nicki, Anna, Rachel and Lindsey.
Cool Loser: Originally, Lucas is a bit of a loner and a social outcast. He doesn't fit in with the popular crowd as opposed to his half brother Nathan, who is a star athlete. He gets popularity soon enough, however, after he joins the basketball team
Embarrassing Middle Name: Eugene. His middle name is rather old-fashioned. Although there is nothing really wacky or unusual about his middle name, it doesn't really fit in with the rest of his name. Or even with a cool name like Lucas.
First Girl Wins: Peyton. Lucas chooses her over Brooke and Lindsey in season 6.
Generation Xerox: Lucas is pretty much like Keith in terms of personality, temperament, outlook, etc. Like Keith, Lucas is the older but unfavorite son of his father and had a Cain and Abel dynamic with Nathan. Fortunately, he and Nathan worked things out unlike Dan and Keith. Post-Time Skip, he becomes a Cool Uncle towards Jamie much like Keith was to him.
With Peyton (Again) when he was with Brooke (Again) in Season 3, after Peyton was shot & loosing blood during the school shooting, and whilst Peyton realises she's still in love with Lucas soon after this, nothing else happens between them until Brooke admits she's not in love with Lucas anymore. Not that it stops Brooke from being convinced that they were sneaking around.
With Peyton (Yes, again) when he was with Lindsey in Season 5. They kiss once, before Lucas proposes to Lindsey (That very night) but then nothing happens until after Lindsey leaves him at the altar after realising he was still in love with Peyton.
Nathan Scott (Portrayed by James Lafferty)
Sometimes what you call "everything," I call "nothing."
Nathan Scott is the son of Deb Lee & Dan Scott. Under the watchful eye of his father, Nathan was raised with a basketball in his hands from the moment he could walk & eventually became the star player of the Tree Hill Ravens. However, Nathan is threatened when his half-brother Lucas joins the team & with an eye for Nathan's girlfriend Peyton Sawyer.
The Ace: Nathan is very skilled and good basketball player. He is known for his great athleticism and skills on the basketball court.
Bound and Gagged: He spends a large chunk of the final season in this position during his kidnapping, but Catastrophe and the Cure is the only episode where he is gagged.
Broken Streak: Was the only cast member to appear in every episode, until episode 9x03.
Cain and Abel: He and Lucas start out this way. They grow out of it by the end of the first season, and in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Nathan defends Lucas from Dan. The season ends with them acknowledging each other as brothers and friends.
Defrosting Ice King: In season one, he starts off being very icy, arrogant and selfish indeed. Thankfully, Haley and Lucas activate the metaphorical radiators and Nathan gradually realizes that he wants to be a better person than he's been.
As seen in the episode "Lifetime Piling Up" when Nathan dreams of what life would have been like if Dan had stayed with Karen and Lucas instead of marrying Deb: Lucas, not him, would have been the popular Jerk Jock.
Game-Breaking Injury: Nathan is thrown through a plate glass window during the 4 year Time Skip after season four, and was paralysed from the waist down. He eventually recovers after months of rehab, and eventually makes it to the NBA. However, the injury comes back to haunt him in season eight, and he's forced to retire.
Generation Xerox: Much like Lucas takes after Keith, Nathan takes after Dan... Sort of. Whilst he starts out similar to Dan, he becomes a better person than Dan ever was during his Junior year, and whilst his life follows a similar path to Dan's, Nathan frequently does the opposite of what Dan would have done (Or actually did) in that spot.
Like Father, Like Son: Subverted. Although Nathan is much like Dan at the start of the series, he progressively starts to change and become a much nicer, humbler and kinder person. His relationships with both Lucas and Haley have a strong effect on Nathan's change in personality and outlook.
The Nicknamer: It's revealed in Season 8 that Nathan is the one who coined Mouth's nickname, after getting fed-up of Mouth's wannabe sports anouncer tendancies at the River Court, declaring "You have a big mouth" & promptly punching him in it. When it's brought up, Nathan admits he doesn't remember doing that, but apologises for it.
Old Shame: Nathan hates the person he was before he met Haley.
Really Gets Around: Prior to meeting Haley. It's actually quite gross once you realize that he's slept with Peyton, Haley, Brooke in the sex tape, and lost his virginity to Haley's older sister...Taylor.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nathan is the Red Oni to Lucas' Blue Oni. Nathan is more hot-headed, overconfident, passionate and impulsive, while Lucas is more calm, composed, logical and practical.
I guess I'm just a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside a bitch.
Peyton Sawyer is a rebellious cheerleader who shows her emotions through her art and love for music. With a deceased mother & father away for work most of the time, Peyton spends most of her time alone, or with her best friend Brooke Davis.
Action Girl: Has her big "Action Girl" moment in Episode 4x16, "You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love" when she & Brooke fight off Psycho!Derek.
The Cheerleader: Though she only does it because her mother was one. Every other aspect of Peyton's personality runs opposite to this trope, that Ellie commented that it seemed odd that Peyton was a cheerleader.
She's Got Legs: As noted by Lucas in the second episode. note When Lucas failed to catch the ball passed to him during a ballgame, Peyton mocked him, specifically his hands. Lucas then retorted with this trope.
Haley James Scott (Portrayed by Bethany Joy Lenz/Galeotti)
The point is, at the end of the day all your bluster and BS don't mean anything to math, because math don't care, and neither do I.
Action Girl: Haley, interestingly, started out as the gentlest character of the three main female characters but she most probably embodies this trope the best over the course of 9 years. Haley’s toughness and her tendency to fight has been referenced in the show by various characters. Also, Haley has been mentioned as being the character who’s been in jail the most as evidenced by her nickname “Jailey.” Among her highlights, she beat down a woman who alleged that she was pregnant with Nathan’s child (and she went to jail for it). got into a fight with the mom of the boy who was bullying Jamie, she attacked her sister Taylor in two separate seasons, and she bitch-slapped Rachel in her Crowning Moment of Awesome.
Badass Teacher: Becomes one after the four-year jump. She gets an undeniably Badass Teacher moment when the newMoral Guardian Principal demands that she make a live apology for the "crime" of printing Sam's essay in the school newspaper, just because it mentions sex, drugs, and violence. Haley instead tells her class that she told them to write about the truth and that she's proud of them for doing so, says that she'd be a hypocrite if she made a fake apology, and leaves the room, urging her students to always stand up for the truth.
Break the Haughty: Her Season 2 arc - After being a massive bitch in Season 1, she learns in episode 2x03 that her parents are struggling financially & proceeds to undergo a large amount of Character Development over the course of the season as she struggles to adapt to life now that she's no-longer the rich girl.
Breakout Character: Brooke was brought on as comic relief character to stir the pot and later grew to being billed third in the credits by Season Seven. She's also the character that everyone remembers first from the series above any of the Scotts.
A Date with Rosie Palms: After Rachel catches Brooke treating herself to one of these, she coins the phrase "Brooke-ing yourself." It subsequently became a euphemism both in-universe and among the fans.
Hands-Off Parenting: Her parents relocate to Los Angeles towards the end of her Junior year, and Brooke moves in with Karen until the summer, before moving around Tree Hill every so often in her Senior year. It's rather telling that Brooke's reaction to Karen laying down ground rules for her is to happily hug her.
Hypocrite: Her treatment of Peyton in season 4, following Peyton confessing that she had feelings for Lucas, considering that Brooke made a sex tape with Nathan on one of his many single night break-ups with Peyton
Law of Inverse Fertility: Following the 4 year Time Skip, Brooke desperately wants to start a family. In Season 7, Brooke's told that she can't have children ever, but then in Season 8, Brooke finds out she's pregnant in the final episodes of the season & has twin boys in the season finale after a Time Skip.
Third Option Love Interest: Played with in the seasons 5 and 6's finale and premiere. Brooke was Lucas' girlfriend before Lindsey, who is his third serious (and at the time, current) girlfriend. However, the main Love Triangle at the time was Lucas, Peyton and Lindsey.
Tritagonist: It wasn't until season 7 when Sophia Bush starts being billed thirdnote In two occasions however, Sophia Bush was actually billed second right before Joy Lenz after James Lafferty (Nathan) and Joy Lenz (Haley).
Hidden Depths: Is a fantastic dancer, and once perfectly replicated a rival cheerleading squads dance routine by memory, much to the surprise of Brooke & the rest of the cheerleaders. After that, whenever the Ravens cheerleaders need to come up with a new dance routine, they go to Mouth.
Laser-Guided Karma: After revealing to Dan that the only reason she's with him is his money, Dan gives everything away to charities & various people who need it more than he does, and hands Rachel divorce papers. When she says she'll sue him for half of everything he's worth, her lawyer points out that half of nothing is still nothing.
We Used to Be Friends: With Brooke & Mouth - In Episode 5x11, Rachel destroyed her friendship with Brooke by stealing Brooke's money and leaving. When she came back in Season 7 as Dan's wife, Mouth told her he wouldn't speak with her until she mended bridges with Brooke & paid her back, whilst Brooke threw Rachel's money back in her face & asserted that they weren't friends anymore, nor would they ever be again.
Demoted to Extra: During the second half of Season 8, to the point that his only appearance in the Season Finale (Which was written as the Grand Finale) is wearing a chicken suit in an audition for Millie's old field reporter job.
Genre Savvy: Very at Brooke's wedding, he tries to prevent all the things that happened at past Tree Hill weddings
Meaningful Name: His first name could either be from the typical maiden name Theme Naming of the female leads or his maternal Grandfather's first name. On the other hand, his second given name clearly came from his paternal uncle and godfather.
Morality Pet: Most of Quentin (Pre-shedding of his Jerk Jock persona) & Dan's likable moments involve Jamie.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Never referred to as James unless he's in big trouble, or when he's introducing himself when he's still a young boy.
Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Displays a love of hip-hop & rap music when he's little, with Nathan actually playing old school hip-hop to quiet him down as a baby.
Odd Friendship: Julian's a director/producer from Hollywood who has little interest in sports. Contrast this with pretty much every other male character in the show, several of whom make their living through sports.
Shout-Out: Will frequently make reference to films in his dialogue.
"And just because I referenced Dirty Dancing doesn't mean I'm not serious!"
Sixth Ranger: Bonus points for being introduced in the sixth season. In addition, he's actually the final addition to the gang when the core five are still complete. He even married the remaining single girl of the five, though two seasons after his introduction.
Happiness doesn't come cheap. Hell, if it did, we would all be smiling.
Abusive Parents: Throughout the entire first season, it's made very clear that Dan is more concerned about his legacy as basketball player than Nathan's well being, with him practically bullying Nathan to play basketball "his" way. In episode 1x21, "The Leaving Song," Dan takes over as coach of the Ravens due to Whitey needing surgery, and the viewer sees how bad Nathan had it growing up. Dan's father, Royal Scott, is stated to have been just as bad as Dan was, treating Dan the same way he was treating Nathan.
Archnemesis Dad: This. Dan is this trope personified a thousand times over, both to Lucas (Dan initially alternates between pretending Lucas doesn't exist one minute, and then treating him like a smelly pile of dog poop the next minute) and Nathan (who he uses as a mere vessel for his own self-loathing). In one early episode, Nathan is about to score the winning shot at the annual Father-Son Basketball Game at the high school, when Dan aggressively moves in to stop him, despite the game being for laughs, growling "I couldn't let you beat me, son!". Yeah, that pretty much says it all. Honestly, along with Lionel Luthor from Smallville, Dan is probably the best example of this trope on TV (appropriately enough, Dan and Nathan's relationship in the first few seasons is A LOT like Lionel's and Lex's in the first few seasons of Smallville).
The Atoner: Complete with his own talk show and book deal. Yeah, he's one of those "atoners." That being said, he genuinely does regret killing Keith, and he does try to be a good grandfather to Jamie.
Our Ghosts Are Different: When Keith appeared as a Spirit Advisor to Lucas, his ghost appeared as an adult (the age when he died). Ditto to Karen. However, when Dan had visions of his ghost, Keith always appeared as a child (around 11-12 years old). The only time Keith appeared as an adult ghost to Dan is during the latter's death.
Blondes Are Evil: Subverted. She's not a bad person and she actually tries to be a good mother for Nathan, but her Destructive Romance with Dan led her to all her troubles and bad decisions, including many desperate attempts to get Dan out of her and Nathan's life.
Cool Uncle: Because he was roughly 12 when he became an Uncle, his relationship with Nathan comes off more like an older brother & significantly younger brother. He even makes an effort to have a relationship with Lucas, who actually isn't related to him in anyway.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Lets Jake show up to basketball practice late, leave early, and outright skip sessions without so much as a stern word, purely because of Jake & his parents struggling to find someone to watch Jenny.
Lampshade Hanging: His return in Season 3 serves as one for his suffering Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, as Jimmy became very bitter over being abandonned by his friends from the River Court, and began hating the entirity of the Tree Hill High student body because they didn't notice when he accidentally overdosed & was missing from school for several weeks.
Ambiguously Gay/Bi the Way: Fans still debate whether Anna was gay or bisexual. Word of God states that Anna's bi, but says she's gay when coming out to Felix, because her brother was so homophobic, that saying she was gay felt like stronger declaration for her.
Freudian Excuse: He felt guilty and was very devastated for his girlfriend's death when they were both involved in a car accident. He was obsessed with Peyton because she apparently was very similar to Maggie, his dead girlfriend.
Third Option Love Interest: Played with in the seasons 5 and 6's finale and premiere. Lindsey is Lucas' current/recent girlfriend and the Love Triangle was between Lucas, her and Peyton. However, Lucas also "called" Brooke to propose.
Killed Off for Real: Even after already having a champagne bottle smashed over her head & being shot non-fatally, Carrie promises Dan that she'll come back for Jamie again. Dan then shoots her, fulfilling the promise he made the last time she tried to kidnap Jamie.
The Big Guy: Plays alongside Nathan in the "Slashers" Slamball team, and basically spends his time making sure no-one lays a finger on Nathan, due to his back issues.
Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: The Owen/Brooke ship doesn't really have any resolution during Season 5, largely due to the Writers Strike costing the season 4 episodes & Manganiello not being available for the last six episodes, which were produced after the strike. He returns midway through Season 6 as a member of Nathan's Slamball team, before suffering a relapse & sleeping with Millie in the very same episode which started the Brooke/Julian ship. He was Put on a Bus the following episode.
It's All My Fault: Blames herself for Brooke being assaulted by Xavier, after she complained about Brooke to her friend Jack, Xavier's younger brother. To be fair, she only learns about this after Brooke takes her into her home.