Follow TV Tropes


Characters / One Tree Hill Main Characters

Go To

    open/close all folders 

The Core Five

    Lucas Scott 

Lucas Scott (Portrayed by Chad Michael Murray)
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.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In the first season, he starts dating Brooke after Peyton's initial rejection to him; he ultimately admits to Peyton that he's been hiding his feelings for since the rejection because he doesn't want to be hurt again. Five years later, he winds up doing the exact same thing with Lindsay after Peyton asked him to hold off on his marriage proposal for a year; this time with the added bonus of repeatedly denying that he's doing it.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Peyton and Brooke.
  • Always Someone Better: Lucas felt this way about Nathan, especially very early on in the series.
  • Amicable Exes: With Brooke, eventually. They grow into this during the second season, before getting back together in the third season. After they split up for the final time at the start of the fourth season, they gradually become this over the course of the second half of the season.
  • Badass Bookworm: Lucas is very smart, a good student and he loves literature and writing.
  • Bash Brothers: With Nathan. Before, the two of them were rivals and enemies, but as the series progressed, Lucas became very close with Nathan and now they always have each other's backs.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Peyton, practically to Foe Yay levels, but it evolves into Unresolved Sexual Tension fairly quickly.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Archie to Peyton's Betty and Brooke's Veronica; later the Archie to Lindsey's Betty and Peyton's Veronica.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lucas is a nice guy but don't mess with him anyone he cares about.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Nathan.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Peyton. Both are brooding, deep, talented, artistic, introverted observers with a Dark and Troubled Past and Parental Issues. They are so similar that their haters feel they are Like Brother and Sister. It doesn't help that they are both blonde.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Episode 9x07, "Last Known Surroundings".
  • 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 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, Taylor, Rachel and Lindsey.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • Chances are if someone in Tree Hill is going to do something stupid to save someone else, it's going to be Lucas.
    • Especially notable with Peyton, as he's outright run straight into life threatening situations because she was in danger. When Luke tries to pass it off as him just being there, Skills points out that Lucas repeatedly chooses to be that guy for Peyton - it's part of what finally gets Lucas to realize that he's in love with her.
    • Deconstructed after Keith's death, as Karen finds out that he was the one to pull Dan out of the dealership fire months earlier - She outright asks if he ever thinks about what losing him to do to her when he's off running into burning buildings & schools with gunmen inside.
  • 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.
  • Cool Uncle: To Jamie as of season 5.
  • Cultured Badass: Luke starts off and finishes virtually every episode of his run on the show with a literary reference.
  • The Determinator: Lucas is very persistent and he's not the type to give up.
  • 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.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • Shaves his head at the start of the second season, to go along with his fresh start in Charleston.
    • Spends the first four seasons clean-shaven; after the 4-year time skip, he's got Perma-Stubble similar to Keith's.
    • After finding out that Lindsey has started seeing someone else in season 5, Lucas winds up getting a mohawk after several nights of heavy drinking. Haley promptly shaves it off after Jamie starts asking for one.
  • First Girl Wins: Peyton. Lucas chooses her over Brooke and Lindsey in season 6.
  • Freudian Excuse: Being abandoned by Dan at birth subsequently leads to Lucas struggling with rejection & putting his heart on the line for the majority of his time on the show - and it only gets worse following the four year Time Skip, when Peyton asks him to hold off his proposal for a year. He only gets over it in the fifth season after Peyton repeatedly asserts that she’s still in love with him, and Haley tells him to stop playing into the idea that being heartbroken is poetic.
  • 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.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: He's already on bad terms with his father. So upon learning the truth that his father killed his beloved uncle...
  • Guilt Complex: Lucas feels easily guilty for things and will end up blaming himself or feeling responsible for things that are his fault and things that aren't his fault.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He's genuinely kind, heroic, and protective of the ones he cares about.
  • Handicapped Badass: Continued playing basketball and being one of the Raven's key players despite having a fatal heart condition.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Lucas' love life has been a gigantic mess and confusion.
  • The Hero: Originally, the story is centered on Lucas and his relationship with Nathan. While Lucas is the hero, Nathan is the Anti-Hero.
  • Heroic Bastard: He's the hero of the series but his parents, Dan and Karen, never married.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nathan, even though they are half brothers.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Somehow the black-haired Dan and Karen conceived their blond son Lucas. Meanwhile, the black-haired Nathan is the son of Dan's blonde wife Deb.
  • Honor Before Reason: Lucas is all about doing the right thing as much as possible.
  • Ill Boy: He inherited the hereditary Hollywood Heart Attack of the Scott family.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Broody, used exclusively by Brooke.
    • Boyfriend, used by Brooke when they're dating
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: To match his Hair of Gold.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Solidified with Haley when they became in-laws.
  • Lovable Jock: He's a cool jock, but he's very likeable and isn't a jerk.
  • Meaningful Rename: Averted, but discussed - After his first game for the Ravens, Lucas toys with the idea of legally changing his name to Roe as he doesn’t want to give Dan the satisfaction of seeing his name on two Ravens jerseys. Lucas decides to keep the Scott name out of respect for Keith, but refuses to wear it on his jersey to spite Dan.
  • Momma's Boy; Especially in early seasons, Lucas is very close to Karen.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Lucas, the main character, is an aspiring writer.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Surpisingly, downplayed. Whilst he has one notable moment where he's stark naked aside from the pair of basketballs that he's using to cover himself, he only has a handful of shirtless scenes throughout the show.
  • Mr Fix It: A skilled mechanic, thanks to Keith.
  • Nice Guy: Not flawless (he has many questionable moments, especially when it comes to his girlfriends and love life), but he's a genuinely good, benevolent person.
  • No Name Given: A subversion, as whilst everyone in Tree Hill knows his surname is Scott, Lucas refuses to play for the Ravens with Dan Scott’s name on his jersey. As such, his jersey has a blank space where his name should be, and dialogue would seem to imply that team sheets simply list him by his first name. He starts wearing the name on his jersey in the third season, after Keith’s death.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dan abandoned Lucas when Karen was pregnant with Lucas. Instead, Dan married Deb and became a father to Nathan.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Haley. They have been best friends since childhood.
  • The Protagonist: Lucas is the main/central character of the first six seasons.
  • Put on a Bus: Episode 6x24, "Remember Me as a Time of Day".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lucas is the Blue to Nathan's Red. Lucas is more calm, composed, logical and practical, while Nathan is more hot-headed, overconfident, passionate and impulsive.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: With Brooke when they were a couple.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Lucas is the Sensitive Guy to Nathan's Manly Man.
  • Serial Romeo:
    Lucas: I'm the guy for you, Brooke Davis.
    Lucas: I was now and would always be in love with Peyton Sawyer.
    Lucas: Lindsey Evelyn Strauss... will you marry me?
  • Stalker with a Crush: By his own admission, he used to be this to Peyton before their Junior year.
    Lucas: Y'know, I used to watch you.
    Peyton: When?
    Lucas: Oh, Freshman year... Sophomore year... Both summers, actually.
    Peyton: Stop it... [Beat] What did you watch?
    Lucas: Your legs, mostly.
    Peyton: What?!
    Lucas: Ahhh, I'm serious. Y'know, from up close, they're a little chickeny—
    Peyton: Shut up!
    Lucas: But from where I was hiding they were pretty awesome, hehehe.
    Peyton: I'm not sure that's a compliment.
    Lucas: Oh it is, trust me.
  • Stern Teacher: Particularly to Q.
  • Tangled Family Tree: His little sister is also his cousin.
  • They Do: With Peyton in season 6.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: During Season 1. He gets better after several What the Hell, Hero? speeches from Keith, Nathan, Peyton, Haley & Karen.
  • Two First Names: "Lucas" and "Scott"
  • The Un-Favourite: Even though Dan was a pretty awful father to both of them, Nathan was definitely Dan's favorite son.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Peyton for most of the story.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Whilst it's never brought up on the show, Lucas' attempt to ruin Dan in Season 2 leads to him uncovering the ledger of Dan's fradulent activities at Dan Scott Motors, which leads to Deb attempting kill Dan after she finds out that she'd be implicated as it's her name listed as the owner on all of the dealership's records, which ultimately ends up with Dan murdering Keith.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: In an airport no-less. Lampshaded by Peyton.
    Lucas: It's me. I'm at the airport and I got two (plane) tickets to Las Vegas. Do you wanna get married tonight?
    Peyton: You're a mess! You can't just call a girl at the airport like that! You're a mess, Lucas Scott! But you're my mess!
  • Walking the Earth: The explanation for him being Put on a Bus is this.
  • Your Cheating Heart
    • With Peyton when he was with Brooke in Season 1.
    • With Peyton (Again) when he was with Brooke (Again) in Season 3, after Peyton was shot & losing 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 realizing he was still in love with Peyton.

    Nathan Scott 

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 a very skilled and good basketball player. He is known for his great athleticism and skills on the basketball court.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: With Peyton. Subverted with Haley, as they were already married by the time she became a cheerleader.
  • Amazon Chaser: He really loves Haley's toughness finding her more attractive in her badass moments.
  • Amicable Exes: With Peyton and arguably Brooke.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Lucas, to Jerkass levels. At first anyway.
  • Anti-Hero: Nathan started out as this to Lucas' The Hero. However, this later on changes when Nathan starts to change into a much kinder and nicer person as the series goes on.
  • Badass in Distress: Spends the majority of the last season as this, as he's been kidnapped.
  • Bash Brothers: With Lucas.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows one during season 5, after his Career-Ending Injury leaves him paralyzed.
  • Becoming the Mask: Originally he got closer to Haley just to annoy Lucas, but he ends up falling for her for real.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Both Brooke and Kylie imply this upon seeing him naked.
  • The Big Guy: Nathan is one of the bigger and taller guys as he stands at 6'2".
  • Big Man on Campus: Nathan is popular, athletic and well-liked by the girls at school.
  • Book Dumb: In early seasons. This is how he meets his future wife Haley, when she starts tutoring him in math.
  • 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 Ace:
    • He has a complicated and antagonistic relationship with his father, who moreso parades him (and to a lesser extent his mother) around as a trophy than having an actual healthy father-son relationship, his mother ignores him due to working all the time and she eventually backslides into drug addiction (though she gets better) and he was a big, arrogant manwhore with unstable relationships with women due to his troubled upbringing.
    • After the 4 time skip, in Season 5 - it turns out that whilst he *did* make it to the NBA Draft, his anger issues ultimately led to him being paralyzed after being thrown through a plate-glass window, and subsequently missing out on his lifelong dream had led Nathan into an alcohol fueled depression.
  • Broken Pedestal: In the first four seasons, Nathan frequently butts heads with Dan, but they ultimately do care about each other. Then Nathan finds out that Dan killed Keith.
  • Cain and Abel: He and Lucas start out this way. They grow out of it by the end of the first season, and Nathan defends Lucas from Dan. The season ends with them acknowledging each other as brothers and friends.
  • The Casanova: Pre-Haley.
    Nathan: You want me to write a list of every single girl I've ever...
    Haley: No, no, I guess not every single girl. You can cross Peyton, Brooke, and my sister off of that list.
    Nathan: You really think that's a good idea?
    Haley: Yes! And here. I'll make it easy for you. Take the phone book and just cross off the name of every girl you haven't been with.
  • Character Development: Over the entire course of the series, Nathan goes from a selfish, cocky, arrogant individual to a much nicer, kinder, selfless and understanding person.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Nathan's Game-Breaking Injury in the season 5 premiere will be the reason for his early retirement from the NBA in season 8.
  • Chick Magnet: Nathan is the most popular guy in the school, and attracts plenty of girls.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Between season's four and five. #23 - All-Time Leading Scorer, co-captain of the first Ravens team to win the State Championship.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nathan has his sarcastic, humourous and witty moments.
  • 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.
  • Deuteragonist: In the first six seasons. Following Lucas' departure, he became The Hero.
  • Disabled Hottie: Becomes paralyzed in season 5. He gets better.
  • Driven to Suicide: In season 5, due to his Career-Ending Injury. He gets better.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In season 5, his Career-Ending Injury leads him into an alcohol-fueled depression. He gets better.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Specifically Tim, his best friend in season one. There were signs, also lampshaded by Brooke, that he had more than just admiration for Nathan.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: At the start of season 5, Nathan has grown his hair out & has stopped shaving. He starts shaving again & cuts his hair as he starts trying to recover from his Game-Breaking Injury.
  • First Love: Despite his... friendly history prior to dating Haley, she is the only girl he's ever been in love with.
  • Freudian Excuse: His Jerk Jock behavior in season 1 is quite understandable with a father like Dan. 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 paralyzed 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.
  • Happily Married: With Haley. Their ship has been the most enduring ship on the show.
  • Heel–Face Turn: During season 1, thanks to Haley.
  • The Hero: Nathan becomes this in the seventh season onwards after Lucas leaves at the end of season six.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Haley. Nathan is 6'2" and Haley is 5'3", meaning Nathan is almost a whole foot taller than Haley.
  • Jerk Jock: Nathan's initial personality. Gradually, he sheds the "Jerk" part with help from Haley and Lucas.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's hard to believe he starts off as a total jerk in the first season, since he is a Nice Guy for most of the series.
  • Lady Killer In Love: He was a womanizer, before falling in love with Haley.
  • 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.
  • Love Redeems: The whole point of his Character Development.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Though Nathan was only mean during the first season, by the end of which he Took a Level in Kindness. Actor James Lafferty, by all accounts, seems to have been a very nice person right from the start.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The series' go-to guy for shirtless scenes. Being that Nathan becomes a professional basketball player, he also has plenty of scenes where he's working out.
  • 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 announcer tendencies 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 apologizes for it.
  • Opposites Attract: With Haley, of course.
  • Papa Wolf: Especially over Haley and his children.
  • Perma-Stubble: Grows one in the last seasons.
  • 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.
  • Rousseau Was Right: His entire season 1 plot.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Nathan is the Manly Man to Lucas' Sensitive Guy.
  • Sex God: Peyton comments on him being very good in bed, joking it was the only thing memorable about their relationship.
  • Shirtless Scene: He gets quite a few of these.
  • Take a Third Option: Towards the end of Season 1, Dan and Deb demand that he live with one of them, as they separate. Nathan eventually decides to live with neither, and emancipates himself.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He stands 6'2".
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Before his Character Development. And even after that, he still has his snarky, sarcastic moments.
  • Tragic Dream: In season 5. He got better.note 
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Introduced as a quintessential Jerk Jock, Nathan eventually decides to become a better person thanks to his interactions with Haley and Lucas.
  • Two First Names: "Nathan" and "Scott".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Season 5, Peyton calls Nathan out on his self-pity by pointing out that his paralysis isn't permanent & there are plenty of people in worse spots than him who would kill to have the second chance that he's giving up on.

    Peyton Sawyer 

Peyton Sawyer Scott (Portrayed by Hilarie Burton)
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.

  • Disappeared Dad: Peyton's father is often away for his work.
  • Doom Magnet
    Peyton: I lose everyone I care about. Any time I open up to someone, they walk out of my life or they die or they move away or they get shipped off to Iraq or they turn into freaking Norman Bates or...
  • Drives Like Crazy: Almost runs over her eventual husband Lucas Scott in the opening scenes of the show because she was searching the floor of her car for a dropped CD while driving.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Considering all she goes through during the series (And before it), it's safe to say that Peyton definitely earnt driving into the sunset married to Lucas & with a healthy baby girl.
  • Emo Teen: Borderline example. She's prone to Wangst at times, but then again she has her reasons...
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Bisexual character Anna Tagarro.
  • Expository Hair Style Change: In the third season, Peyton goes from curly hair to short & straight hair. She claims that it's because "long, blonde hair" was Ellie's thing, and she doesn't want to look anything like her. Ironically, the change in hairstyles actually makes her look more like her biological mother.
  • Fanservice Pack: While Peyton has always been attractive, she becomes increasingly Hotter and Sexier during the duration of her six-season stint.
  • First Girl Wins: Peyton gets chosen over both Brooke and Lindsey by Lucas in season six.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her abandonment issues stemming from her mother dying in a car accident when she was 8 years old. She gradually gets over them over the course of the first four seasons thanks to Lucas, as whilst she still has to go through Jake leaving Tree Hill & Ellie’s death, Lucas is still there throughout everything, including staying by her side after she gets shot during the school shooting. When Lucas has a heart attack hours after he & Peyton start a relationship, he’s shown that Peyton will never recover from losing him if he doesn’t go back.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Her name, Peyton, is unisex and could be a name used for both boys and girls.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Peyton in Seasons 1 to 4 - usually wearing jeans, band t-shirts & a leather jacket. Peyton in Seasons 5 & 6 - frequently wearing dresses & just dressing in a more feminine manner.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Brooke, her best friend since childhood. It gets strained in season 4, as they spend most of the season at each other's throats, but they get better near the end and in season 5 they are back to be closer than ever.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: With Lucas, repeatedly.
    • Played with in Season 1, as she ends her relationship with Lucas to spare Brooke's feelings rather than because Lucas wants Brooke more than her.
    • Played straight in Season 4. Despite realizing she's in love with him, Peyton tries to convince Brooke to take Lucas back on multiple occasions.
    • Played straight again in Season 5, after her attempts to convince Lucas not to marry Lindsey fall on deaf ears.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • P. Sawyer, used by Brooke & Skills.
    • Skinny Girl, used by Skills.
  • Irony: Considers "Celebration" by Cool & the Gang to be her saddest song, as it was playing in the hospital when her mother died.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Puts her self-defense training to use against Psycho!Derek after he returns & tries to abduct her on the prom.
  • The Lancer: To the Tree Hill cheerleaders and to the core five.
  • Missing Mom: Both her adoptive and biological mothers.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She had her moments during the high school years. Her Girliness Upgrade in her last two seasons didn't do her any harm either.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: In season 4, after Lucas' heart attack, Peyton is nervous about their romance because she fears that she will lose him, just like she lost everyone she loved.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Although she becomes Happily Adopted afterward.
  • Quirky Curls: Peyton's curly hair is one of her defining physical features.
  • Record Producer: Her job after the Time Skip.

    Haley James-Scott 

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.”
    Jamie: You don't wanna mess with Mom.
  • Adorkable: Shows from time to time, especially in the first few seasons.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nathan was definitely a bad boy when she started liking him in season 1.
  • Badass Bookworm: Definitely the bookworm part (she's very bookish and The Smart Girl of the Five-Man Band), and, as seen in Action Girl, she can be tough when she wants to be. 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.
  • Badass Teacher: Becomes one after the four-year jump. She gets an undeniably Badass Teacher moment when the new Moral 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The nicest of the main five, but do not underestimate her.
  • The Cheerleader: Subverted. She's nothing like the stereotypical cheerleader.
  • Cool Teacher: "Tutor Girl becomes Teacher Girl"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most prominent in the first season, but dies off a bit in the later episodes.
  • Dead Guy Junior: She named her daughter after her recently deceased mother.
  • Deuteragonist: She jumps between being this and the Tritagonist in the first six seasons. Upon her husband's promotion to The Hero in season 7, she clearly becomes the secondary focus.
  • Driven to Suicide: As a result of her depression in Season 7.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Haley Bob James.
  • Expository Hair Style Change: She donned all three hair colors in the entire duration of the show.
  • First Love: Nathan is her first and only love.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Her Embarrassing Middle Name.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Married the star of the basketball team, and was recruited as a cheerleader.
  • Girl Next Door: In season 1 Haley was the approachable "good girl", and Lucas' childhood friend, in contrast to popular cheerleaders Peyton and Brooke. Later she becomes a popular cheerleader too, but still remains the most down to earth of the three girls.
  • Go-Getter Girl: An incredibly smart and driven straight-A student, working as a waitress at Karen's Café and as a tutor at Tree Hill High. She is still this trope even as an adult.
  • High-School Sweethearts: With Nathan. They're generally regarded as one of the bedrock relationships of the series.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Haley was considered a brainy, barely pretty girl in the first season. Now she's a full-on example of Nerds Are Sexy and she's just as stunning as Peyton and Brooke.
  • Hot Teacher: After the four-year jump in season 5.
  • In-Series Nickname: A couple.
    • Hales - Originally used by Lucas, but everyone else eventually starts using it.
    • Tutor Girl - Used by Brooke.
    • Jailey - Used whenever someone teases her about her numerous arrests.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Solidified with Lucas when they became in-laws.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The Light to Brooke's Dark.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: While she has no problems being addressed as "Mrs. Scott", Haley mostly introduces herself in Full-Name Basis with her maiden and married surnames.
  • Mama Bear: Haley has firmly established herself as one. See: Nanny Carrie, Chuck's mom, Dan Scott, Rachel Gatina, Renee, Deb Scott, Taylor James, just season 9 where she helps in the kidnapping of a drug dealer in order to get her kidnapped by the mafia husband back.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: She has three sisters and three brothers.
  • Nice Girl: She made her mistakes too, but out of the main 5, she's the one with the least Jerkass moments. She's always gentle and down to earth, and almost never bitchy like Peyton and Brooke can be, unless you push her Berserk Buttons.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Compared to the already Ridiculously Successful Future Selves of the other main characters, Haley stands out. She is a teacher, an Idol Singer, a songwriter, a Record Producer, a business partner for two of her friends (Peyton and Brooke), a government volunteer of sorts, in addition to being a mother of two children.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her father died between seasons (Dialogue suggests it was during the 4 year Time Skip between seasons 4 & 5) whilst her mother died in season 7.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Lucas.
  • Plucky Girl: She's usually the most optimistic in the group. Usually...
  • Pregnant Badass:
    Rachel: You're lucky you're pregnant...
    Haley: No, honey, you're lucky I'm pregnant.
    • In the same season, she saved Nathan of a car attack and took the shock at his place. Pregnant and high school student don't prevent her to be badass.
  • Sexy Mentor: When she's tutoring Nathan in season 1.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: The shortest but the smartest of the core five.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: She has never been in love with anyone but Nathan, and never dated anyone else (the kiss with Chris Keller is the only exception) for all the nine seasons.
  • The Smart Girl: In terms of book-smarts, she's definitely the most intelligent of the core five.
  • Supporting Protagonist: In the final season, as Nathan spent majority of the show kidnapped, putting the focus on Haley finding ways to locate him.
  • Team Mom: Kind, gentle and nurturing, Haley is typically the most sensible and most responsible of the main group. She's usually the one people go to for advice or comfort.
  • Teen Pregnancy: With Jamie.
  • Tomboyish Name: Haley is definitely a feminine name. The rest of her name consists entirely of masculine names - Bob, James & Scott.
  • Two First Names: Three, "Haley", "Bob", and "James". Becomes four after marrying Nathan ("Scott").
  • We Named The Dog Indiana: Haley's middle name, Bob, comes from the James family's old house cat who despised being held, with her mother noting the similarity between the two as the newborn Haley kept squirming whenever someone held her.

    Brooke Davis 

Brooke Davis Baker (Portrayed by Sophia Bush)
Relationships are just too hard. Hooking up with boys is so much easier.

  • Abusive Parents: Her mom is definitely emotionally abusive, given the amount of insecurities Brooke has from interacting with her after they start working together.
  • Action Girl: Has her moments, namely taking out Psycho!Derek with Peyton in Episode 4x16; and attacking Xavier "X" Daniels in Episode 6x13.
  • Alliterative Name: Brooke Baker, after her marriage.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: A beautiful cheerleader and the most desired girl in the school.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Very much in the first half of season 1. She drops the aloof part and became more likable and approachable soon after.
  • Amicable Exes: With Lucas and Chase. And some others.
  • Badass Adorable: Brooke can be very tough, while still being her lovable self.
  • Beauty Mark: She has a tiny mole on her right cheek.
  • Better as Friends: Eventually realizes that this applies to Lucas & herself.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Peyton's Betty for Lucas' Archie.
  • Bound and Gagged: Along with Peyton in You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love.
  • 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 thirdnote  in the credits by Season Seven. She's also the character that everyone remembers first from the series above any of the Scotts.
  • Character Development: One of the most obvious and effective examples in the series.
  • The Cheerleader: A quintessential example at first sight. She fits the bitchy/slutty stereotype quite well early on (mainly in season 1), however she has more Hidden Depths than you can think, and she's a genuinely good person.
  • The Chick: Brooke is more or less The Heart of the group, especially in later seasons.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Brooke can be very snide when she gets angry, and a lot of times she's playfully snarky towards her friends.
  • Easily Forgiven: The longest someone holds a grudge against her is Peyton over the sex tape Brooke made with Nathan, and that only lasts two episodes - and even that only accounts for a day in-universe.
  • The Fashionista: Starts her own fashion company. Unlike most TV characters that fit this trope, Brooke runs her company in a very conscientious way, refusing to use real fur and demanding that one of her models gain ten pounds before she is allowed on her magazine's cover, stating "Anorexia is a disease, not a fashion statement.”
  • Full-Name Basis: More often than the other main characters.
  • Genki Girl: Especially in her high school days, Brooke was a wild and energetic party girl. She's much more mature in later years.
  • Good Bad Girl: She makes a big deal out of being able to "sleep around like a guy."
  • 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.
  • Hello, Nurse!: All the guys find Brooke attractive.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Peyton. Later she also becomes this with Haley.
  • Honorary Aunt: To her godson, Jamie.
  • Hot-Blooded: Very determined, impulsive and passionate.
  • 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.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • "B. Davis" by Peyton.
    • "Cheery" by Lucas.
    • "Pretty Girl" by Lucas, whilst they're dating.
  • 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.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The Dark to Haley's Light.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Early on she's closer to the Alpha Bitch side of things, but she's also very protective of people she considers friends, even if they aren't the typical popular people (note her friendship with Mouth).
  • Mama Bear: Towards her adopted daughter Sam.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: To Lucas, when they first start dating in season 1.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Series wide, she's probably involved in the most fanservicey scenes.
  • The Nicknamer: Comes up with nicknames for Lucas, Peyton & Haley.
  • Odd Friendship: Her friendship with geeky Mouth in high school.
  • Parental Neglect: Her parents weren't particularly interested in Brooke's life until she'd proven her worth as a clothing designer.
  • Plucky Girl: As Lucas said "Brilliant, and beautiful, and brave. In 2 years she had grown more than anyone I had ever known. Brooke Davis is going to change the world someday".
  • Really Gets Around: In high school. Peyton once remarked that she did it for a purpose, to show she could "sleep around like a guy," and Brooke herself stated, "screw the double standard." She grows out of it after the Time Skip.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Peyton.
  • Running Gag: Her Auto Erotica attempt to Lucas has been mocked, toyed and lampshaded by other characters throughout the series, including Brooke herself.
  • Second Episode Introduction: And appears in every episode following.
  • Second Love: To Lucas. He was in love with Peyton in season 1. While his interest in Brooke wasn't serious initially, he genuinely falls for her in season 2 and 3.
  • Self-Serving Memory: In regards to both of her break-ups with Lucas & falling outs with Peyton in Seasons 1 & 4.
    • In Season 1, whilst Peyton & Lucas were in the wrong to start a relationship behind Brooke's back, Brooke ignores her own earlier attempted sabotage of Lucas & Peyton's developing relationship (And by proxy, Nathan & Haley's relationship) because she wanted to sleep with him.
    • In Season 4, Brooke repeatedly ignores the circumstances behind their kiss in Season 3note  and that Peyton was willing to hide her feelings for Lucas if Brooke admitted she loved him.
  • Sex Goddess: Brooke is portrayed as being very good in bed and is not above boasting about it.
    Julian: [Lying breathless in bed post-coital] That was amazing. No wonder you were so popular in high school.
    Brooke: Excuse me? Sex did not make me popular. I made it popular.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Brooke doesn't seem to have much modesty. She is infamous for sneaking into guy's cars completely naked and casually climbs out of the pool in front of Felix after Skinny Dipping. Her video for the Time Capsule even involved her flashing her breasts so there could be a record of her body "at her peak". When that video is made public and goes viral, she's upset for a while... until Peyton points how high the video is ranking.
  • Shipper on Deck: Surprisingly, she became one for Lucas and Peyton, after season 4.
  • Stepford Smiler: As the show progresses it becomes more and more clear that her party girl behavior, upbeat (if sometimes angry) attitude, and her tendency to snark at people when they bring up sensitive topics is all to hide just how damaged her parents and her life experiences have made her. The more the others get to know her, the more she both opens up and the more easily they can tell when she's just pretending to be okay.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: With Nick Chavez in season 4.
  • The Tease: As stated above, she was the embodiment of this trope early on. Brooke certainly loves to flirt with boys. Of note is her sneaking naked into boys car's, which would later be known as her "move" and a series Running Gag.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Played with in the seasons 5 and 6's finale and premiere. Brooke was Lucas' first girlfriend & one third of the show’s long-running Love Triangle; however, after the four-year Time Skip between seasons 4 & 5, Brooke had fallen into this role due to the main Love Triangle being between Lucas, Peyton and Lindsey at that point.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Brooke was an absolute bitch during the first half of Season 1. She gets better after that.
  • Tritagonist: It wasn't until season 7 when Sophia Bush starts being billed thirdnote  after James Lafferty (Nathan) and Joy Lenz (Haley).


Other Main Characters

    Dan Scott 

Dan Scott (Portrayed by Paul Johansson)
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.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Karen, Deb, Rachel sure do. The last one subverts this as she only wants his money.
  • And Starring: In Seasons 7 and 9.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Keith.
  • Archnemesis Dad: This. Dan is this trope personified 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.
  • Back for the Dead: When he returns in season 9.
  • Badass Boast: Although it usually bordered (or resulted) on Tempting Fate.
  • Badass Grandpa: To Jamie, when he saves him from the Ax-Crazy Nanny Carrie.
  • Badass in Distress: In season 6 courtesy of Carrie. He made her pay for this soon after.
  • Big Bad: For the first 4 seasons.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: In Season 3 with Rachel.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Several times in later seasons, which is also lampshaded.
  • Bittersweet Ending: His Redemption Equals Death could have been much better if Lucas and Karen forgave him. Or at least heard how he genuinely regretted his actions.
  • Blond, Brunette, Redhead: Interestingly, the three notable women of his life all fit this with Deb being blond, Karen being brunette and Rachel being redhead.
  • Bound and Gagged: Spends the first few episodes of season 6 like this during his kidnapping, but You've Dug Your Own Grave, Now Lie In It is the only episode where he is gagged.
  • Broken Pedestal: Lucas already looks at him like this. After the truth about Keith's murder comes out, Nathan loses whatever respect he still had for Dan, and he ultimately loses his power & influence in Tree Hill.
  • Cain and Abel: With Keith. It doesn't end well.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: To an extent, whilst running Dan Scott Motors. He (For the most part) made an honest run at being mayor, aside from a few instances of blackmail.
  • Creepy Good: During the last two seasons, at least, where he's firmly one of the good guys, if an Anti-Hero, and still retains all the same mannerisms he had when he was a villain. Of note is the time when Quinn asked him for advice on how to kill someone, and he told her all the horrifying details of killing and then hiding a body, which involves dismemberment, in an attempt to get her to give up on it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh boy, Dan always has a sarcastic or witty comment to say or throw at someone. In fact, Dan is the source for much of the humour on the show.
  • Really Dead Montage: His dying episode in fact showed all his Near Death Experiences throughout the show.
  • Redemption Equals Death: His unforgivable deed was killing Keith; he made reparations with his time in prison, his efforts to be a good grandfather, and his rescuing of Jamie and, ultimately, Nathan. He is shot in the back with a bullet meant for Nathan and is led into Heaven by Keith, who forgives him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dan is the Red to Keith's Blue.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Arguably in the last four seasons.
  • Revenge Before Reason: When he believes that his brother Keith tried to kill him. Deb actually did, but when Dan learned the truth, it was too late...

    Coach Brian "Whitey" Durham 

Coach Brian "Whitey" Durham (Portrayed by Barry Corbin)

  • A Father to His Men: To the Ravens, but especially Lucas & Nathan - Whitey specifically delays his retirement so that he can take a job at a local college, and offer Nathan a basketball scholarship so he can continue to pursue his dream of playing basketball, and he finds a way for Lucas to remain part of the Ravens after his HCM forces him to leave the team.
  • And Starring: "Barry Corbin as Whitey".
  • Bald of Awesome: Bald? Yes. Awesome? Yes.
  • The Bus Came Back: In the season 6 finale.
  • Cool Teacher Most definitely.
  • Cool Old Guy: Just look at the way he interacts with the younger cast.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mainly around Dan.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He told Dan in the season 6 finale that maybe the reason the latter's still alive is because he can still achieve redemption. Three seasons later...
  • Like a Son to Me: Never had children with his wife Camilla, but sees the boys he coached as his boys, especially Lucas & Nathan.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Brian Durham is his full name. In season 3 he tells the Ravens how he received the nickname "Whitey".
  • Put on a Bus: After Season 4.
  • 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.
  • Team Dad: A father figure especially to Lucas and Nathan, but also to the other Ravens and sometimes to the main girls too.

    Keith Scott 

Keith Scott (Portrayed by Craig Sheffer)
It's funny, but I feel like I'm about to start the life that I always wanted.

    Karen Roe 

Karen Roe (Portrayed by Moira Kelly)
There's only one Tree Hill, Lucas Scott. And it is your home.

  • And Starring: "And Moira Kelly".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Karen is a genuinely nice person, as long as you don't make her mad. She certainly knows how to treat people like Dan.
  • Brainy Brunette: She's very intelligent and practical, and has more common sense than most of the other adults.
  • The Bus Came Back: Episodes 5x12 & 6x24.
  • The Cheerleader: She was one in high school.
  • Determinator: Started up her own business shortly after graduating from high school whilst simultaneously raising a new born Lucas, with no support from anyone other than Keith.
  • Good Parents: To Lucas, and later to Lily.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: After Keith's death. Complete with a daughter, Lily.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Karen is the Tiny Girl to Dan's Huge Guy.
  • Mama Bear: She's very protective of Lucas.
  • Odd Friendship: With Deb, the wife of the man who abandoned her.
  • Parental Substitute: To Haley and, eventually, Brooke; and she's willing to look after Jenny whilst Jake works at the cafe.
  • Put on a Bus: After Season 4.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has dark brown hair is notably pale.
  • Settle for Sibling: Karen was Dan's high school sweetheart, then when she got pregnant with their son Lucas he left, remarried, and had another son, Nathan. Karen raised Lucas as a single mother but was always friendly with Dan's much-nicer brother Keith before it blossomed into romance shortly before his death.
  • Team Mom: It's easy to be one when half of your son's friends have absent mothers, via death or other reasons.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Dan got Karen pregnant with Lucas right after they graduated high school.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Keith. It was eventually resolved. Unfortunately, Keith was killed before they got married.
  • Walking the Earth: As of Season 5 she travels around the world with Andy and Lily.

    Deb Scott 

Deborah Lee Scott (Portrayed by Barbara Alyn Woods)

    Marvin "Mouth" McFadden 

Marvin "Mouth" McFadden (Portrayed by Lee Norris)
Good evening ladies & gentlemen, and welcome to a historic night.

  • Adorkable: A geeky lovable Nice Guy. He attracts quite a few hot girls during the show.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Brooke and Rachel.
  • Alliterative Name: Marvin Mcfadden nicknamed Mouth.
  • The Artifact: In later seasons.
  • Ascended Extra: He was initially introduced as one of Lucas's friends from the River Court, and to serve as announcer for the Ravens games. With the Ravens not playing in Season 2 (Having lost their first playoff game at the end of Season 1), Mouth was given some character development beyond "The sports announcer kid" & was Promoted to Opening Titles in Season 3.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: To the point of smashing Brooke's windshield when he thought that she was having a "friends with benefits" relationship with Felix in season 2.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Mouth is this trope around the girls he likes, like Brooke and Rachel.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: He's friends with Brooke, Lucas and the other popular kids and dates several hot girls during the show.
  • The Heart: Even more than Brooke. Mouth is pretty much everyone's best friend.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: His crush on Rachel.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Skills.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Dateless: His whininess over a lacking lovelife, and complaining that all the girls see him just as a "good friend". However his love interests include Erica, Gigi, Shelley, Millie, along with a fling with Rachel (though she wasn't serious about it) and quite a few other very attractive girls.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Described in-universe as a "geek" and he's quite awkward and plain-looking compared to The Beautiful Elite he hangs out with. He kind of averts part of the stereotype due to the fact that he loves sports, unlike the typical Hollywood Nerd (although he just loves watching sports and commenting on games, while all the other male characters are athletes).
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Brooke in Season 2; To Rachel in Seasons 3 & 4.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Repeatedly trusts Rachel & gives her the benefit of the doubt, in spite of everything she does over the course of seasons 3 & 4. He finally wises up after she steals thousands from Brooke in season 5.
  • In with the In Crowd: Initially one of Lucas's friends from the River Court. Soon enough he, along with Lucas and Skills, becomes part of the popular crowd. So much that his old forgotten friend Jimmy felt ignored and mistreated by him, and it becomes a plot point in season 3. You know the story...
  • My Greatest Failure: The death of Jimmy Edwards. Whilst he gets better over time, it's clear that he's still affected by this at the end of the series, nearly a decade later.
  • Nice Guy: It's not hard to see why Mouth is able to befriend anyone so easily, despite not being the stereotypically cool guy. He's incredibly friendly, good-natured and loyal, almost to a fault.
  • Odd Friendship: With all the main characters, particularly cheerleader and Lovable Alpha Bitch Brooke.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Only his girlfriend Millicent calls him "Marvin".
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In season 3.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Skills' Manly Man.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In Seasons 2 through 4, thinks he's a lot cooler than he actually is - Such as his being offended when Shelley labels him a Geek in Season 4's "Pictures Of You" when asked to label him either a Geek, Jock, Prom Queen, Loner or "Friendly".
  • Unlucky Everydude: His perception, and he's probably this compared to the main five.

    Antwon "Skills" Taylor 

Antwon "Skills" Taylor (Portrayed by Antwon Tanner)

  • Adam Westing: According to Antwon Tanner, he pretty much is Skills in real life.
  • The Artifact: Just like Mouth, his character became more pointless in later seasons.
  • Ascended Extra: Like Mouth, was initially introduced as one of Lucas's friends from the River Court, but unlike Mouth, rarely appeared without the other River Court guys. In Season 3, he received the character development that Mouth did in Season 2, and was Promoted to Opening Titles the following season.

    Rachel Gatina 

Rachel Gatina (Portrayed by Danneel Harris)

  • Alpha Bitch: In contrast to Brooke's Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • The Baby Trap: Used this on Cooper. It doesn't end well.
  • Big Bad: Season 3 and the first half of Season 7. Rachel is the cause of many of the bad happenings in Season 3 such as turning the cheerleading squad wild and releasing the school's time capsule which leads to Jimmy bringing a gun to school.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: In Season 3 with Dan. Ironically they eventually become a couple in Season 7
  • The Bus Came Back: In Season 5 for a few episodes; later in Season 7.
  • The Cheerleader: An extreme version of the bitchy/slutty type of cheerleader. She immediately joins the cheerleading squad, much to Brooke's dismay.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rachel is quite adept. She often gets the last word in her Snark-to-Snark Combat with Brooke.
  • Evil Counterpart: She has a lot in common with Brooke. While Rachel has her Pet the Dog moments, she's pretty much Brooke without her redeeming qualities.
  • Evil Former Friend: To 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.
  • Evil Redhead: Has red hair and is a promiscuous, manipulative "bad girl".
  • Femme Fatale: Rachel is insanely hot and she knows it. She uses this to seduce and manipulate guys, in contrast to Brooke who is a more sympathetic Good Bad Girl.
  • Fiery Redhead: Just as fiery and outspoken as Brooke.
  • Formerly Fat: She was originally obese before undergoing plastic surgery treatments to alter her appearance.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Initially averted. When she arrives and joins the cheerleading squad, she's hated only by Brooke, but adored by the other cheerleaders. Later towards the end of season 3 she befriends Brooke; however in season 4 she plays this trope straight, she's not that popular anymore at school and no one in the core group seems to like her except Brooke and Mouth.
  • Freudian Excuse: She seems to have absentee parents. She used to be very fat and implied to be bullied because of this.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Despite being one of the show's Breakout Villains, she doesn't make an appearance until Season 3.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During Season 4, Rachel frequently has to point out how unreasonable Brooke is being in her treatment of Peyton. Brooke doesn't really have an argument when this happens.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Character Development make her a better person in season 4, and while still being a Manipulative Bitch, she shares a few genuine friendship moments with Brooke and Mouth. However her appearances in season 5 and 7 show her again as an unsympathetic Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
  • Karma Houdini: Suffers absolutely no punishment for releasing the contents on the time capsule & subsequently driving Jimmy Edwards to bring a gun to Tree Hill High.
  • Lady Macbeth: To Dan in season 7.
  • 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.
  • Manipulative Bitch: All the time, but how much she's actually good at this it varies. In one episode she gets Peyton drunk and puts her in Lucas's room, not because she wants Lucas and Peyton together, but just to mess with Brooke, who was dating Lucas at that time.
  • May–December Romance: With Nathan's uncle Cooper in season 3 and Dan Scott in season 7.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Even more than Brooke!
  • Pet the Dog: She has her good moments with Mouth and Brooke.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In season 4.
  • Really Gets Around: Described in-universe as "friendly" in the episode "Pictures Of You".
  • The Rival: To Brooke, initially. Later they become friends. Until season 5.
  • The Tease: Almost all her dialogue with men is dripping with sexual undertones.
  • Token Evil Teammate: To the Tree Hill cheerleaders.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Releases the time capsule because she wanted to cause drama, which ultimately leads to Jimmy Edwards taking a gun into school.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Brooke, after they become friends.
  • With Friends Like These...: Mostly towards Brooke, if only because no-one else in the group (With the exception of Mouth) likes her enough for this to qualify.

    James "Jamie" Scott 

James "Jamie" Scott (Portrayed by Jackson Brundage)

    Millicent "Millie" Huxtable 

Millicent "Millie" Huxtable (Portrayed by Lisa Goldstein)

    Julian Baker 

Julian Baker (Portrayed by Austin Nichols)

  • Adorkable: Not so much in his first appearances in season 6, where he's more stoic and confident. In later episodes he can be quite geeky and dorky though.
  • Amicable Exes: With Peyton.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Played baseball as a child, but admits he was more interested in the butterfly-catching side of things. He still is as an adult.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Calls Brooke's father out over his treatment of his daughter in Season 9.
  • Hollywood Nerd: He's kind of a movie geek, but still handsome.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Doesn't appear in the series until Season 6.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Jamie, who even served as his best man.
  • Lovable Rogue: Have you seen him grin? It's even described InUniverse as being rogueish.
  • Momma's Boy: Very close to his mother, in contrast having a distant relationship with his father.
  • The Movie Buff: Justified due to his job.
  • Nice Guy: A very honest, caring guy.
  • 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.
  • Perma-Stubble: In later seasons.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In season 7.
  • Rule of Three: Pointed out by Peyton as the third guy to be shared by herself & Brooke.
  • 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.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Eventually becomes this with Lucas.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Has this relationship with his father.

    Clayton "Clay" Evans 

Clayton "Clay" Evans (Portrayed by Robert Buckley)

    Quinn James 

Quinn James Evans (Portrayed by Shantel VanSanten)

    Alex Dupre 

Alex Dupre (Portrayed by Jana Kramer)

    Chase Adams 

Chase Adams (Portrayed by Stephen Colletti)

    Chris Keller 

Chris Keller (Portrayed by Tyler Hilton)

  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Though he doesn't seem to have a problem with it. The rest of the group eventually comes to accept him as part of the gang.
  • Full-Name Basis: Very often, both in-universe (by himself and other characters) and in fanon.
  • Odd Friendship: Forms one with Chase in Season 9. They remain BestFriends even after Chase slept with his girlfriend.
  • Hypocrite: When Chris first appears, he chastises Peyton over listening to bands like The Get-Up Kids & spouts the virtues of true punk rock & accuses the emo scene of selling out those virtues; by Season 4, he's made his name as a country singer singing cheesy ballads; then fast forward to Season 9, where it's revealed that Chris Keller's most recent hit was a jingle for breakfast pastries.
  • I Call It "Vera": He calls his guitar "Haley James". Nathan isn't happy when he hears it.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Doesn't appear in the series until Season 2.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On his better days. Yes, he's an egotistical jerk but it's mostly Played for Laughs and he's never been really malicious about it.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: In seasons 3 & 9, much humor and funny moments come from Chris's antics.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 9.
  • Recurring Character: In seasons 2, 3 & 4. He returned as a regular in season 9.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Although he's actually a talented musician.
  • Third-Person Person: Hilariously so, he refers to himself as Chris Keller, and it's made fun of by pretty much everyone.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Haley, Nathan, Brooke... most of them, really.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: