YMMV / One Tree Hill

  • Actor Shipping:
    • A contingent of fans shipped Chad Michael Murray & Sophia Bush, largely because of their former real life relationship. Considering these fans were usually Brucas fans shipping their characters, Chad gets a lot of flack from some of the shippers, with them blaming his divorcing Sophia for the end of Brucas sometime later.
    • A number of fans shipped Chad Michael Murray & Hilarie Burton. It's helped by the fact that Burton refers to Murray as her BFF.
    • Whilst not neccesarily shipping them, a number of fans have commented that it's somewhat sad that James Lafferty & Bethany Joy Lenz/Gaelotti aren't closer, considering their characters close relationship.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Nathan trying to kill himself - Is he a selfish jackass doing it because he can't play basketball, or is he doing it out of fear that he's going to become a Generation Xerox of Dan?
    • Is Dan Scott genuinely trying to atone for his mistakes, or just doing it for a quick buck? Or is it a little bit of both?
    • Brucas fans view Peyton as a whore who intentionally broke up Brooke & Lucas so she could have him for herself. See Shipping Goggles below.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the 2007 Writer's Strike caused production on One Tree Hill to be halted (Much like every other show in America that season) after episode 5x12 was completed, The CW ordered 6 more episodes to round out the season & finish the plot arcs for Season 6 to start fresh.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Peyton. Half of the fanbase loves her, the other half despises her... Though a lot of her haters are die hard Brucas fans.
    • Lucas as well, mostly for anyone who's sick and tired of him having love revelations about a different girl every week.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Jamie & Gavin DeGraw playing "I Don't Wanna Be" at the start of the Season 5 finale. Cute? Yep. Does it make any sense, and is it referred to afterwards? Nope.
  • Complete Monster: Xavier 'X' Daniels. In the first two episodes of Season 6, he assaults Brooke & kills Q in cold blood, before he finally gets arrested after kidnapping Brooke's foster daughter Sam. However, because there was nothing concrete to tie him to Q's murder, he gets released from prison in Season 9, and promptly starts stalking Brooke & Julian. What truly qualifies him for this trope is that unlike every other villain on the show, Xavier isn't motivated by greed or a freudian excuse - he does all of his crimes simply because he's a sadistic bastard.
  • Crazy Awesome: Chris Keller.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • A portion of the fanbase think Quinn is this.
    • Alex Dupre, who actually hijacked another character's plot in Season 8 after Jana Kramer decided to launch a music career, and the producers decided that Alex was now also a singer, in addition to being an actress & model.
    • Jamie was considered cute and adorable in the beginning, but some fans started getting tired of him especially since he seemed to get more and more screen time, even more than his parents. However to be fair, Jamie getting more screen time was at least partially a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, due to Bethany Joy Galeotti being pregnant & going on maternity leave during Season 8, forcing Haley to have a vastly reduced role during the later episodes of the season.
  • Critical Dissonance: While it did receive favorable reviews, especially for a teen drama, it's a lot more popular with audiences than critics.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Lucas for much of the first two seasons.
      • During season 1, he actively pursues Peyton until Brooke wins him over, before cheating on Brooke with Peyton & essentially wrecking their friendship, before further complicating things when goes on to sleep with another girl around the same time - this is either intentional or lampshaded, as it's pointed out by various characters that Lucas had Took a Level in Jerkass since joining the Tree Hill Ravens.
      • Then the following season, he goes on to abandon his loving mother in her time of need to move in with the asshole father who abandoned him (Albeit because Dan's blackmailing him into doing so), doesn't tell his Uncle (& surrogate father figure) that the afforementioned asshole father had hired a prostitute to seduce him & break his heart, and in the process of trying to find something to ruin Dan, manages to ruin the relationship he'd developed with his half-brother since the start of the series.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Peyton for Brucas fans. She may be easily the poster girl for this trope.
    • Similarly Brooke for some Leyton fans. Though it was much more evident before season 6; after that Leyton fans have simply resorted to remarking "We won. Sincerely, Team Leyton" rather than getting into an argument on the matter.
    • Lucas for Jake/Peyton & Julian/Peyton fans.
    • Julian for Brucas fans.
    • Nathan for Haley/Lucas shippers.
    • Intentionally invoked with Chris Keller - Fans initially liked him, thinking he was there to be Peyton's new love interest, until they realised he was there to cause problems for Nathan & Haley, at which point this happened. The show would later invert this situation with Julian, by introducing him in a way that made it appear he was there to cause problems for Lucas & Peyton, before revealing he was there as Brooke's new love interest.
  • Dork Age:
    • Season 2 can be considered this, thanks to a number of reasons - Felix & Anna largely being unliked by the fandom, the season ending by hitting a Reset Button on Lucas & Nathan's relationship, the Brooke/Lucas/Peyton love triangle being ignored until the final episodes of the season, and Haley being absent for a large part of the season. Many people considered the only worthwhile things to come out of the season to be Brooke's Character Development & Chris Keller.
    • The Lucas & Peyton less seasons 7 & 8.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ian Kellerman, you can still find people arguing his innocence even after he admitted to being the driver who nearly killed Jamie & Brooke in episode 8x11. Just to be clear, it's not a case of the evidence pointing to him, it's a case of him outright admitting this when confronted about it.
  • Ear Worm:
    • Lindsey's song insulting Peyton, and Peyton's rebuttal in 5x09.
    Lindsey: My name's Peyton, Fake Blonde Peyton; I don't have a boyfriend 'cause I'm a bitch.
    Peyton: Her name's Lindsey, Man Face Lindsey; and her fiancé proposed to me first; with the very same riiiiiing! [Jazz hands]
  • Ending Fatigue: For some, the Grand Finale - Gavin DeGraw performs "I Don't Wanna Be" at Tric's 10th Anniversary show, with the Season 9 cast in the crowd singing along, interspersed with shots of the group (And their children) hanging out at Karen's Cafe after hours. Then the final Time Skip occurs, with the cast attending a Ravens basketball game & repeating the closing monologue from episode 5x13, over shots of them standing & cheering as the Ravens come out on to the court.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • Brooke was initially introduced to be a female friend for Peyton and wasn't even in the show's pilot. Regardless, she grew to be a major character and by the end of the series, was the only character to appear in every episode (Well, not counting the pilot).
    • This was also the case with Millie - Initially, she was only supposed to be in one episode, but the producers liked her so much they brought her on full-time.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Rachel and Nanny Carrie.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • The Official Couples are Lucas/Peyton and Brooke/Julian but there are fans who prefer Lucas/Brooke and Jake/Peyton.
    • Clay/Sara also count. A lot of people prefer them to Clay/Quinn. But then, Sara is a Post Humous Character...
  • Foe Yay:
    • Brooke and Peyton's usual Les Yay became this when they were at each other's throats over Lucas.
    • Brooke and Rachel.
    • Lucas and Peyton before their Season 1 hook-up, and following their break-up during the 4 year Time Skip. While it's a case of (Un)resolved Belligerent Sexual Tension, the antagonism they showed in those moments were so strong it fits to Foe Yay.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Dan's transplant heart being eaten by a dog. Karma's a bitch.
    • The first episode of season 3 uses the the season 2 opening titles. The episode jumps ahead 3 months after the title sequence, but before that? Still at the time of the second season finale, so the use of those opening titles makes sense.
    • Why was Nathan the only member of the Ravens side that won the State Championship who had his number retired? Whilst Lucas was co-captain with Nathan, and both he & Skills were considered instrumental in the Ravens' winning the championship, Lucas left the team before the post-season began & Skills only joined the team at that point, with Skills taking Lucas' original number & Lucas taking a new number upon his return - whilst both Skills & Lucas were important in the Ravens winning the championship, Nathan was the only one of the three to be part of the team all season.
  • Fridge Horror: Sawyer being sick during Brooke and Julian's wedding might only be seen as an excuse because Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton can't come. But if you consider Lucas having HCM or even Peyton having Placenta Previa, not to mention Peyton's critical state when she gave birth to her, it's possible Sawyer being sick is a lot more serious than simply a little girl not feeling weel enough to fly to a wedding...
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Lucas giving Julian relationship advice about Brooke in "Searching For A Former Clarity" is this when you realise Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) divorced Sophia Bush (Brooke) & she had since begun a relationship with Austin Nichols (Julian) in real life. Before the show ended, this could be seen as Hilarious in Hindsight; however, after the end of the final season it was anounced that Bush had split up with Nichols & moved the scene fuller into "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • The jokes about Chuck's mom being an alcoholic became this when Season 9 revealed that Chuck's father abuses the two of them. No wonder she turned to alcohol.
  • Growing the Beard: Seasons 5 and 6 could be seen as this due to the massive Re Tool due to the 4 year Time Skip.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Lydia, Haley's mom, assuming that Haley is pregnant when Haley comes to talk to her and her dad about getting married to Nathan. She wasn't pregnant then, but in Season 4...
    • "The whole point of Friends with Benefits is there's No Strings Attached"
    • This scene from Dawson's Creek.
    • The opening scene of third season "Locked Hearts and Hand Grenades" features Lucas having a dream, within a dream that Haley was having, which was itself a dream Nathan was having. Come 2010, Inception made the idea of a "dreams within a dreams" into a meme.
    • The Les Yay subtext with Peyton & Brooke, plus Anna kissing Peyton, after Hilarie Burton played a lesbian doctor on Grey's Anatomy.
    • The O.C. debuted the same season as One Tree Hill, and ended after four seasons. In it's series finale, Show Within a Show The Valley was stated to have been renewed for additional 5 seasons - the same number of seasons that One Tree Hill ran after it's rival show was cancelled.
    • The WB/UPN merger into The CW happened during production of the show's third season. At the time, there was much debate over which shows would survive the merger, with Mark Schwahn noting on a DVD commentary track that one analyst made the comment "When was the last time One Tree Hill had an episode about something that mattered?". The episode in production at the time news of the merger broke was 3x16, the school shooting episode.
    • Late in the third season, Lucas reveals that since professional basketball was out of the question, his dream was now to become a published author & wound up doing so in the 4 year time skip after season 4. Lucas' actor Chad Michael Murray wrote the graphic novel Everlast, which was published in 2013.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Two examples, both without dialogue - In the Season 4 finale, there's a shot of the 12 graduating seniors paired up - Lucas & Peyton, Nathan & Haley, Brooke & Chase, Rachel & Mouth, Bevin & Skills, and... Junk & Fergie. Likewise, at Lucas & Peyton's wedding, there's a brief series of shots showing the various couples who aren't married; namely Mia & Chase, Mouth & Millie, Skills & Lauren, and again, Junk & Fergie. With the two of them glancing at one another.
    • Skills & Mouth saying "I love you" to one another. Whilst trying to gross each other out of the apartment by walking around naked.
    • In Season 8, Skills gets a mannequin made. And specifically asks for it to resemble, and names it after, Lucas.
    • Tim is this to Nathan, so very much.
  • Hollywood Homely: Millie! Millicent Huxtable was made out to be a complete Plain Jane who guys never really looked at, until she met Mouth. Millie is actually very beautiful, but apparently no guy could see it because wearing glasses somehow makes you invisible to every guy except Mouth. Apparently, nobody in the One Tree Hill Universe has ever heard of the Meganekko trope before.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Sophia Bush has said in interviews that she is considered the "curvy" one in the cast, which is pretty ridiculous.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dan has his moments.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Brooke.
  • Les Yay: Lampshaded by Rachel Gatina in-show, for Brooke and Peyton.
    Brooke: Hi, back-stabbing supposed-to-be-best-friend and all.
    Peyton: Hi, forgot-to-say-good-morning sneery-grouch-a-lot.
    Rachel: I'm outta here, over-possessive-best-friends-with-weird-lesbian-energy... and Haley.
    • There's a ton over the course of the series. When they're not fighting, Brooke and Rachel experience this.
    • And let's not forget that time Bevin kissed Rachel, supposedly to prove to Rachel (Who was contemplating the possibility that she was gay) that she wasn't gay.
    • Brooke also once ordered two exotic dancers: One for Mouth and one for herself.
    • Sam lampshaded Brooke and Peyton's lesbian tendencies towards one another.
    • Brooke also once jumped onto and straddled Lindsay, thinking it was Lucas in the bed. Lindsay then responded that hadn't happened to her since college.
    • Whilst trapped in the library, Mia suggests they say what they like about each other - Peyton & Brooke immediately list her boobs & lips.
    • Brooke & Peyton go Skinny Dipping together in the Season 2 opener, and it's implied that it's not the first time.
    • Even Peyton seems to be aware of it, as in episode 5x12, Brooke tells Peyton she came back to Tree Hill because she wants to have a baby, and Peyton's response is a confused "...With me?"
  • Magnificent Bastard: Dan Scott. Whilst he has his moments over the show's run, perhaps his most blatant example of this is using his murder of his own brother & subsequent framing of a suicidal teenager to get his own television show by cashing in on his redemption.
  • Memetic Mutation
  • Moral Event Horizon: One of the clearest cases in any media. Dan Scott - all around Jerk Ass, bad father, and Corrupt Corporate Executive, but nothing too bad. Until he kills Keith - his own brother - in cold blood, pins the murder on Jimmy Edwards, and uses Keith's death to worm his way back into Lucas & Karen's lives.
  • Narm:
    • During Season 2, Lucas briefly dates Anna & breaks things off with her by telling her that whilst he likes her, there's someone that he's been lying to himself about in regards to how he feels about her & that she's currently slipping away. At the same time this is happening, Peyton is in the midst of a downward spiral & had earlier snapped at Lucas over being a bad friend, so one would assume he was referring to her. Nope, he was talking about Brooke who's big drama causing Lucas to feel like she was slipping away was... dating Felix.
    • When Lucas confronts Nathan about potentially throwing the State Championship final & starts naming the people this is going to affect, he mentions Mouth, who is not even part of the Ravens team in any way, alongside Whitey (Who's about to retire) & Skills (Who's relying on the State Championship win for a college scholarship).
    • The infamous "dog-eating-the-transplant-heart" scene. The music tells us it's supposed to be sad, but it really looks like a scene out of Scrubs.
  • One-Scene Wonder: One major complaint on Lucas's return in season 9 was his scenes being limited to the airport and that his only interactions were with Haley, Jamie, baby Lydia and Quinn.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Dear God, so many. The first was arguably Naley, for Nathan/Haley, which has actually been referenced in the show. Others include: Leyton (Lucas/Peyton), Brucas (Brooke/Lucas), Jeyton (Jake/Peyton), Brulian (Brooke/Julian), etc. Brulian has also been name-dropped on the show by the (female) Alex.
    • Peyton/Lucas sometimes go by Pucas by people who ship Brooke/Lucas.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Clay & Quinn for Lucas & Peyton. Not helped by both characters being a pastiche of various characteristics that Lucas & Peyton had.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Dan Scott who went from a utterly dislikable villain (and a murderer) to a more human Jerkass Woobie from season 5 onwards (mainly thanks to his interactions with Jamie) and finally to the main hero in season 9, according to pretty much everyone, his Crowning Season of Awesome.note 
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Peyton & Brooke both generally receive this treatment from the opposite side of the Leyton/Brucas shipping war. Leyton fans don't let Brooke live down her bitchier days of Season 1 or the hypocritical way she behaves towards Peyton & Lucas considering she made a sex tape with Nathan; whilst Brucas fans accuse Peyton of only wanting Lucas when she can't have him. However, Peyton arguably gets the worse treatment, due to Lucas marrying Peyton whilst Brooke becomes a Shipper on Deck for the couple after the 4 year time skip.
    • Lindsey, despite not actually doing anything wrong aside from starting to date Lucas during the 4 year time skip, is generally portrayed as a rude territorial bitch who antagonizes Peyton and/or Brooke in any post-Time Skip fanfics - so in other words, she's treated the exact same way that Peyton percieves her to be acting in the first half of season 5.
    • Jake will occasionally be portrayed as a crappy boyfriend in Leyton focused fanfics, so that Lucas can once again save Peyton. More often than not, he's just the guy who loses Peyton due to timing or her realising she loves Lucas.
  • Seasonal Rot: Seasons 7 and 8 for some fans.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Felix and Anna aren't liked at all. This was probably the intention with Felix, though.
    • Alex "I have no purpose outside of getting in the middle of long since established relationships" Dupre. Outright hijacking another character's plot (The annual "Red Bedroom Records discovers a new artist" plot) in Season 8 doesn't help matters.
    • Quinn James, largely because she comes off as whiney & received a lot of Character Shilling.
  • Ship Mates:
    • The Lucas/Brooke and Jake/Peyton fanbases. On the other side of the coin, the Lucas/Peyton and Brooke/Julian fanbases usually (but not always) coincide.
    • Meanwhile the Naley fans can get along perfectly with any of the above shipper groups. Or they can Pass the Popcorn while the other shipper groups fight.
  • Shipping Goggles: Brucas fans have a habit of vilifying Peyton and arguing that it's all her (And to a lesser extent, Lucas's) fault that Brooke & Lucas split up at the start of season 4, with Brooke being completely blameless. Never mind that Peyton was willing to hide her feelings for Lucas if Brooke were to admit that she was in love with Lucas, that it was Brooke who wasn't willing to fight for the relationship, or that Peyton actually tried to help Lucas win Brooke back.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • The Leyton vs Brucas war (which started in Season One) is one of the most infamous examples and is still going on, even after the series came to an end in 2012. Keep in mind that Lucas & Peyton got married and had a kid before leaving at the end of season 6, with Brooke as the bridesmaid & godmother!
    • Leyton vs. Brucas, Leyton vs. Jeyton, Brulian vs. Brucas, Naley vs. anyone who dares to come between them, etc, etc, etc...
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The Psycho!Derek arc can basically be summed up as advising the viewers to be careful about how much of themselves they put online, as anyone can see it. Bonus points for occurring as social networking was about to take off.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Peyton's art.
  • Truth in Television: Unlike many TV shows and movies, naming conventions in One Tree Hill are almost always age-appropriate — you've got young characters named Nathan, Lucas, Peyton (a female), and Haley, and older characters named Deb, Karen, and Whitey. Partly averted with Mouth, whose real first name is Marvin — highly unusual for a young white male in the early 21st century. Also with Dan, as Daniel is a common male name in America spanning multiple generations.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Despite the use of Comic-Book Time, One Tree Hill is clearly set over the course of the early 21st century.
    • After Keith is involved in a car accident in season 1, he's described as being lucky to have only had a .09 blood alcohol level & would have been trouble if it was .01 higher. As of 2007, the law was changed so that .08 was classified as legally drunk.
    • Everyone uses flip phones until the fifth season, at which point more & more smart phones start popping up.
    • Pete Wentz in season 3. Peyton lists off his musical accomplishments circa 2005, and he's still in the "guy liner" phase of his life.
    • The wardrobes of the characters, especially in the first 4 seasons, are clearly of their era.
    • Slamball is heavily featured in season 6, clearly placing the season in 2008 due to the sport fading away obscurity after a brief revival that year.
    • Contemporary musical artists start turning up to play at Karen's Cafe & Tric.
    • Several characters are depicted as owning guns, with it being considered the logical response to Brooke being assaulted. As of the mid-2010s, the debate regarding gun ownership & gun control was a lot more heated, and it would be unlikely that as many guns would have been seen being owned by the main characters.
    • LeBron James is specifically referred to as being in his rookie year in the NBA during season 1.
    • A sub-plot in a late season 5 episode features Skills buying Jamie a Wii for his birthday, and struggling to find one. On top of that, Jake brings Lucas a PlayStation 2 in season 1 as a gift from the team, whilst season 5 onwards shows various characters playing on the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360.
    • Nathan dresses as Batman for a costume party in season 3, specifically in the Batman Begins costume. Similarily, Logan has a Green Lantern ring that was a piece of merchandise for the 2011 film.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Deb Scott. Whilst the viewer will likely feel sympathy for her being married to Dan due to how cruel he is to both her & Nathan, that doesn't excuse her from throwing herself into her work in order to avoid Dan's cruelty towards Nathan & just sitting to the side ignoring the situation when she was at home. Once Nathan finally grows sick of his home life & gets emancipated, Deb acts like he abandonned her & starts showing anger & jealousy towards the only real bright spot in Nathan's life (Haley). Even her descent into alcoholism & prescription pill addiction didn't really win her any compassion from the fans (or her family) since she was a Jerk Ass before and during it. Then to top it all off, Deb is indirectly responsible for the death of Keith, thanks to Dan believing it was Keith who set the fire at the Car Dealership that nearly killed Danm instead of the true culprit - Deb. Whilst Deb does get her life in order towards the end of season 4, her only purpose after the Time Skip is to be Jamie's nanny and hook-up with Skills.
  • Wangst:
    • Peyton, according to some fans.
    • Anna throughout season 2.
    • Mouth as well regarding his whininess over a lacking lovelife, although he maybe just was looking at the wrong kind of girls.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Dan's donor heart gets eaten by a dog. Dog, backwards, is God.
  • The Woobie: All the main characters have their moments.
    • Peyton, for everything that happened to her in the first four seasons & her backstory.
    • Jimmy Edwards. Just watch 3x15 & 3x16.
    • Abby Brown - Was one of the students held in the Tutor Centre during the school shooting, before being released by Jimmy due to her diabetes. Subsequently, Abby is the sole witness to Dan killing Keith, and spends the remainder of the school year hiding at home, pretending to be catatonic out of the fear that no-one will believe her.
    • Clay Evans - Met the love of his life, married her & had a little boy together... And then she suddenly dropped dead in the kitchen, and Clay was so traumatised by this, that he blocked out all memories of his son & took several years to even accept his wife's death.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Season 9, following the Seasonal Rot of Seasons Seven and Eight, with the Darker and Edgier storyline of Nathan being kidnapped by Eastern European assassins.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/OneTreeHill