Trivia / One Tree Hill

  • Actor Allusion
    • In episode 7x08, the guys discuss their favorite sports movies. Skills, played by Antwon Tanner, mentions Coach Carter as his—Antwon Tanner was one of the stars, and Mark Schwahn, the show's creator, was a co-writer. Nathan, played by James Lafferty, mentions Hoosiers, and one of Lafferty's early roles was in a movie based on the Hoosiers.
    • On Dawson's Creek, Dawson (played by James Van Der Beek) dreamed of being a movie director. So when Van Der Beek appears in Season 6, he's a director...a high-strung, womanizing, cocaine-addicted director who wants to subject Lucas's movie to all kinds of Executive Meddling - namely to have Lucas end up with his best friend Hayley whilst Peyton dies, mimicking Dawson's two big relationships.
    • One of Peyton Sawyer's defining characteristics is her love for music - Hilarie Burton was working for MTV as a VJ prior to being cast as Peyton, and continued in the role alongside her shooting schedule for One Tree Hill for a time.
    • During Lucas & Peyton's wedding reception in episode 6x23, Julian rants about Brooke bringing Nick Lachey as her date, asking how he can compete with "the guy from Dancing with the Stars" & when Missy points out that he's thinking of Nick's brother, Julian then snaps "Laguna Beach then!" which Chase retorts was "Some other tool." The tool in question was Stephen Colletti, who plays Chase.
  • Channel Hop: By virtue of the WB & UPN merging into The CW.
  • Colbert Bump: "I Don't Want To Be" being used as the show's theme gave sales of Gavin DeGraw's debut album a significant boost.
  • The Danza: Among the bit players, it's happened a couple times. Skills Taylor, whose actual name is Antwon, is played by Antwon Tanner. Bevin Mirskey, his one-time girlfriend, is played by Bevin Prince.
  • Dawson Casting: The show itself was an example of this (the only one close to high school age was James Lafferty, who was 18 when production started) during the first four seasons. Part of the reason for the four-year jump was so the actors could play characters close to their ages. However, the practice was amusingly lampshaded during Season 6, when Lucas' book about their high school years was becoming a movie. Everyone joked about who they wanted cast in their role, and when Lucas replied they were supposed to be high school students, the response was usually "But have you seen how old the actors playing high school students are these days?"
    • Zig-zagged with Stephen Colletti (Chase Adams) - Like the rest of the cast, he was an example of this when Chase was introduced in Season 4, being 20 years whilst Chase was a high school senior. After the 4 year Time Skip, he was an inversion, as he was now 2 years younger than the character.
    • Applies to Jackson Brundage (Jamie Scott) much in the same way as the original cast - Jackson was several years older than Jamie when he was first cast, but subsequent time skips at the end of both Seasons 6 & 8 brought Jamie to the same age as his actor.
  • Development Gag: Lucas writes a book about his time growing up in Tree Hill, called "An Unkindness of Ravens", the original title for the series. In Season 6, the book is adapted into a film which is ultimately cancelled, with Julian instead adapting the book into a television show in Season 9, just like One Tree Hill started as a movie before Mark Schwahn adapted his pitch to be a television series.
  • Directed by Cast Member:
    • Paul Johansson (Dan Scott) - Episodes 2x17, 3x07, 3x18, 4x06, 4x15, 5x02, 5x08, 5x15, 6x04, 6x19, 7x10, 7x14, 8x15 & 9x03.
    • Moira Kelly (Karen Roe) - Episodes 3x19 & 4x12.
    • Chad Michael Murray (Lucas Scott) - Episode 6x14.
    • Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley James Scott) - Episodes 6x16, 7x17 & 8x09.
    • James Lafferty (Nathan Scott) - Episodes 6x20, 7x07, 8x05 & 9x06.
    • Sophia Bush (Brooke Davis) - Episodes 7x09, 8x06 & 9x12.
    • Austin Nichols (Julian Baker) - Episodes 8x18 & 9x07.
  • Dueling Shows: With The O.C., which debuted the same season.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: God knows how many hairstyle/color changes there have been between seasons.
    • Just try to keep track of Haley's hair color changes and styles (dark brown, light brown, blond-ish, long, short...) over the course of the series.
    • Brooke goes from no bangs in Seasons 1 and 2 to bangs in early Season 3.
    • Peyton goes from long curls in Seasons 1 and 2 to shoulder length & straight in Season 3, before gradually going back to long curls by the end of Season 4, with varying shades of blonde during this time. In Seasons 5 & 6, her hair goes from blonde to brunette.
    • Lucas shaves his head in Season 2, grows his hair out over the next two seasons; goes for a more mature haircut in Season 5, briefly has a mohawk, shaves his head again, and then grows his hair back out over the course of Season 6. When he returns in Season 9, he's grown his hair out & has gone brunette.
    • Nathan shaves his head in Season 3 & grows it out over the course of the next two seasons. At the start of Season 5, he's grown a beard & has longer hair due to his depression, before going back to his more sensible haircut & being clean shaven. He shaves his head & opts for Perma-Stubble again in Season 9. Other than that, he actually has the same haircut throughout the show.
  • I Am Not Spock: In one interview, Paul Johansson tells the story of one fan who hit him with her handbag because he was "so mean to that boy" and he had to explain to her that he was an actor and not Dan Scott.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Lucas Scott is one of the best basketball players in the Ravens line-up... But Chad Michael Murray cannot play basketball. In the DVD Commentary for the first season finale, the cast all get a good laugh about how the one time Chad was supposed to miss, he couldn't stop putting it in the hoop; and the Season 5 Gag Reel features a montage of Chad's misses, hilariously matched up with 6-year old Jackson Brundage repeatedly making free-throws.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Try to like Dan Scott. Go on, try. Watch some behind-the-scenes features, however, especially gag reel moments with Jackson Brundage (Jamie), as well as interviews with him along with word of mouth, and you'll see Paul Johansson is a perfectly likable guy.
    • Danneel Harris, who plays Rachel, is said to be a very sweet person in real life.
  • The Other Darrin: Peyton's dad Larry switches actors between Season 2 and Season 3. Guess Peyton doesn't notice he looks a little different when he comes back from sea...
  • Playing Against Type: Kevin Federline as a douchey musician? Not a stretch. Said musician being the lead singer of a rock band instead of a rapper, means this trope is in effect.
  • Postscript Season:
    • Whilst it has all the hallmarks of a Postscript Season, this wasn't the case with Season 5 - Season 4 wraps up most of the loose ends from the first 3 seasons, and ends with the main characters graduating from high school whilst Dan Scott begins his prison sentance for murdering his brother Keith, and Season 5 saw a massive retool thanks to the 4 year Time Skip; Mark Schwahn states on the Season 5 DVD that when they were planning Season 5, it was decided to go with the Time Skip because they'd already done most of the typical college storylines whilst the characters were in high school, and it allowed more freedom with the plot since they could pick up with the characters returning to Tree Hill after college & they would be able to jump right into Jamie starting school rather than having him age naturally.
    • Season 9. Season 8 wraps up all of the character arcs, and even features a Book End to the very first shot of the series as it's closing shot, however The CW renewed the series for a final Season 9, which featured James Lafferty absent for half of the season, after Nathan was kidnapped in episode 9x03 and provided closure to the few loose ends left from Season 8, namely Quinn & Clay get married and ultimately, Dan Scott's redemption.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Karen's going to Italy in Season 1 was written so Moira Kelly could go on maternity leave.
    • Lucas's tattoo in Season 1 was necessitated by Chad Michael Murray getting his initials tattooed there durinng the production of the season.
    • Haley leaves to pursue her music in Season 2, and is subsequently Demoted to Extra for a large chunk of the season, because Bethany Joy Lenz was on the One Tree Hill tour at the time.
    • Whilst Peyton's room was constantly changing over the course of the first four seasons, the wall behind her bed (Which held the gallery of images relating to people who were no longer in her life) vanished during the third season. This was in part because Hilarie Burton reprised her role of Peyton Sawyer in the music video for "The Mixed Tape" by Jack's Mannequin, and the video featured Peyton repainting that part of the room.
    • Rachel's Maxim cover shoot in Season 4 mirrors an actual photo shoot that Daneel Harris, Sophia Bush & Hilarie Burton did for the magazine.
    • Deb doesn't show up until "What Do You Go Home To?" in Season 5 due to Barbara Alyn Woods being on maternity leave.
    • Skills begins Commuting on a Bus in Season 7 due to Antwon Tanner's real life legal issues.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) and Sophia Bush (Brooke) were began dating, got married & finally divorced during the production of the first two seasons.
    • Sophia Bush later dated James Lafferty (Nathan), and their break-up, started a relationship with Austin Nichols (Julian) that lasted until after the series ended.
    • There's also the reason Murray and Bush broke up in the first place - Murray flirting with and, after the divorce, starting a relationship with a much younger extra who was one of the cheerleaders.
    • Hilarie Burton (Peyton) married Ian Prange, one of the show's assistant directors.
  • Technology Marches On: Seasons 3 & 4 are set during 2006, as indicated by Keith & Jimmy's tombstones listing his death as taking place in 2006. Season 5 follows a Time Skip of 4 years, which would place the season in 2010, around the time smartphones started to become common place. Whilst the show had the foresight to have Peyton & Brooke using iPhones, by 2010 it's a visibly outdated model & some characters (Notably Lucas, by this point a publisher writer) still shown using the cellphones from the previous season. Season 9 depicts Jamie using a PSP, yet further time skips place the season around 2016 - The console's succesor was released in 2012.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda:
    • A long standing rumour amongst the Brucas fans is that Brooke & Lucas were meant to stay together, but Chad Michael Murray & Sophia Bush's real-life divorce led to the producers ressurecting the Lucas/Peyton ship instead. There has never been any word or evidence from anyone involved with One Tree Hill to confrm this, with Word of God repeatedly asserting it was always Lucas & Peyton.
    • After the airing of episode 9x07, featuring the return of Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott, Sophia Bush was forced to come out & dismiss rumours that she had asked not to have any scenes with Murray, noting that she actually said told Mark Schwahn to write scenes with Lucas meeting with the rest of the old gang if he wanted.
    • The actual circumstances behind the departures of Chad Michael Murray & Hilarie Burton at the end of Season 6 have never been confirmed. Amongst the rumours of both actors wanting more money, are rumours that one of the two was willing to return but the producers didn't want to keep one half of the pairing without the other.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • One Tree Hill existed for several years as a pitch for a film titled "An Unkindness of Ravens".
    • The series was originally going to be set in Illinois, the home state of creator Mark Schwahn. Executives suggested the producers look at warmer states, and the production settled in North Carolina, which allowed for the show to use Wilmington (The town where Michael Jordan grew up & base for Capeside, Massachusetts) as the base for Tree Hill.
    • Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz/Galeotti) was not in the original pilot. Instead, it had a different character named Reagan portrayed by a different actress.
    • Chad Michael Murray was originally slated to play Nathan, which would explain why Lucas is blonde like Deb instead of a brunette like Dan and Karen.
    • Jimmy Edwards was originally planned to be part of a Laurel & Hardy esque duo with Mouth, but the show's budget in season 1 forced them to cut the character after the second episode. With that in mind, imagine how the series would have played out if Jimmy was still around in the first three seasons & subsequently had no reason to bring a gun to Tree Hill High in episode 3x16.
    • Whitey's wife Camilla was originally going to be seen speaking with Whitey early in the first season, before it was revealed that she had died before the series began. This idea was later used in Season 7 with Clay & Sara.
    • Quinn was originally only going to be around for a year.
    • Peyton & Lucas were intended to return for Brooke's wedding in episode 8x13, but those plans were dropped when scheduling conflicts meant that neither character was able to return.
  • Written by Cast Member: Murray wrote Episode 6x11, "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)".
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