In honor of OTH’s nine season run, I’ve made a list of my top ten favorite episodes of all time. Most of the episodes are from the earlier seasons, mostly because that was when I loved OTH so much I would watch each episode a good five times. But, I tried to include the later years too. Tell me about your favorite OTH episode or memory in the comments!
TOP 10 ONE TREE HILL EPISODES (in no particular order):
1) “The Search for Something More” 1 x 18 – This episode is probably the one I have watched the most—my go to OTH classic. Nathan takes Haley on their first date while Brooke and Peyton go to a college party. This episode was awesome for so many reasons: the birth of Naley, Brooke/Peyton bonding, Lucas/Brooke bonding, and an added bonus of Sean Ferris guest staring as a high school boy Brooke hooks up with. Greatness.
2) “Spirit In the Night” 1 x 17 – At an away game, Nathan and Lucas find themselves unlikely roommates, as do Brooke and Peyton. Meanwhile, Haley is forced to join the Cheerleading team for the Sparkle Classic, and Mouth shows off his dancing skills. A sweet, fun episode with a lot of great Scott brother moments.
3) “Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking” 2 x 16 – (aka the one where Jake and Peyton “totally do it”) Just about everyone’s lives get turned upside down on the day of Keith’s wedding to Jules. When the episode ends, most of our beloved Tree Hillers are left in flux, and none are happy about it. (Did I mention that Jake and Peyton have sex?!)
4) “Lifetime Piling Up” 2 x 20 – Nathan is in a coma and dreams of an alternate universe in which Dan chose Karen and Lucas over Deb and Nathan. The role reversal is so complete, even the brothers’ basketball strengths are switched. Plus, the callbacks to the pilot are awesome. The River Court remains sacred ground.
5) “How a Resurrection Really Feels” 3 x 9 – Chris leaves the role of sexy villain behind, becoming a loveable idiot, when he forces Nathan to participate in a poker game to win back money that was meant for Haley’s music career. Meanwhile, the girls get into some trouble of their own, and Brooke creates ‘Clothes Over Bros’.
6) “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” 3 x 16 – This was the most shocking and devastating episode of OTH. It was also brilliant, and risky. When social outcast, Jimmy, brings a gun to school, all hell breaks loose as Nathan and Lucas play hero, and Dan uses the confusion to commit an unspeakable crime.
7) “Some You Give Away” 4 x 9 – Leyton is resurrected during the culmination of the past three seasons: a State Championship win for the Tree Hill Ravens.
8) “Hundred” 5 x 12 – On the day of Lucas’ wedding to Lindsay, OTH took things to a whole new level of crazy—courtesy of crazy Nanny Carrie—and never looked back.
9) “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will” 9 x 10 – In this crazy awesome episode of the last season, the boys launch a rescue mission for Nathan, and Brooke finds herself at Xavier’s mercy. This episode deserves to be recognized if only because it features the AMAZING teaming up of Chris Keller, Julian, and Dan Scott.
10) “Pilot” 1 x 1 / “One Tree Hill” 9 x 13 – The one that started it all, and the one that finished it. Cheesy? Maybe, but that’s what OTH is, a little cheesy, but a whole lot of fun. (Also the pilot will get you addicted, if you don’t want to see what happens after the huge Lucas/Nathan one-on-one showdown, you don’t deserve to be in Tree Hill.)
“You Gotta Go There to Come Back” 1 x 10 – So many great things are happen in this episode, I don’t even know where to begin. Naley cuteness, Dan/Nathan conflict (over golf!), Leyton and Brucas…the list goes on. But, the main reason this episode is awesome is that Jake Jagielski reveals to the world that he can sing! Oh, and that he is a (teenage) single father. This was the first episode with Jeyton sparks present, and the first episode all viewers discovered their love for Bryan Greenberg. Thank you, One Tree Hill.
“To Wish Impossible Things” 1 x 18 – Boy Toy auction = instant juiciness. Lucas, Nathan, Tim, Jake, and even Mouth, are all bought for an evening of what is supposed to be harmless fun. This episode was a great mix of the ridiculous (Tim) and the down-right heartbreaking (Nicki). Plus, one of the season’s biggest bombs is dropped at the end of this episode.
“Unopened Letter to the World” 2 x 15 – The time capsule episode gave each high-school character a chance to reveal something personal about themselves: Lucas finally reveals his intentions regarding Dan, and Anna comes out of the closet (almost). This touching episode is also a personal favorite of mine because Jake takes Peyton out on a date—long live the Jeyton romance!
“The Wind That Blew My Heart Away” 3 x 13 – Every TV addict knows that a natural disaster episode translates into a great hour of television, and this one is no different. Brucas and Naley both have their romantic moments in the rain, as Peyton bonds with her biological mother and Mouth remains his super cool self.
“The Show Must Go On” 3 x 22 – For the 3rd season finale, Mark Schwahn decided to leave the lives of beloved characters Cooper, Rachel, and, most importantly, Nathan at risk after a crash on the bride. Add in a second Naley wedding and answers about who tried to kill Dan in the last season finale (finally!) and you’ve got what could be considered the beginning of OTH’s descent into complete madness. Also, someone’s pregnant??
“For Tonight You’re Only Here to Know” 5 x 9 – The first basketball game with Lucas and Nathan as coaches of the Tree Hill Ravens proved that you never really leave high school…especially on TV. Tempers run high when the girls get locked in the high school library, and Jamie shows off just how cute he can be in a mini Raven uniform.