'One Tree Hill' Series Finale: 24 Moments That Made Us Cry

Wed, April 4, 2012 11:59pm EST by 59 Comments

Warning: Don’t read this post until you’ve watched the ‘One Tree Hill’ series finale. It contains so many beautiful spoilers.

Mark Schwahn told me he wanted to make the series finale feel like “a quintessential One Tree Hill episode,” and that’s exactly what he delivered April 4: introspective voiceovers, unforgettable performances, and a look into the future that wrapped up nine years of story into an hour-long love letter to the fans of “the little show that could.”

So, without further adieu, here are the 24 moments that reduced me to a ridiculous Andy Puddle during the final hour of One Tree Hill:

1. The opening shot of Tree Hill with the show title looming in the sky.

2. The characters, as grown ups, looking back at their 17-year-old selves.

3. Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) going through the old box of predictions.

4. Brooke (Sophia Bush) running her fingers along the records in “Peyton’s bedroom”

5. Haley singing at Tric for the last time — and beautifully, I might add.

6. Clay (Robert Buckley) asking Logan if he could be his dad again: “You’re already my dad, Dad!”

7. Nathan (James Lafferty) giving Jamie (Jackson Brundage) advice on the river court: “Play sports for you, and not for anybody else.”

8. Logan calling Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) “mom.”

9. Nathan giving Haley the bracelet in the Cracker Jack box.

10. Quinn telling Clay she wants to marry him: “I just want to be your wife… before we adopt our son.”

11. The very existence of Bevin. Love that bitch and miss her every day.

12. Mouth (Lee Norris) talking about the Dan Scott foundation: “What you do matters, and how you do it matters.”

13. Nathan and Haley kissing in the rain. They should always be in the rain.

14. Julian (Austin Nichols) walking Brooke through her old house: “Welcome home, Brooke Davis.”

15. Clay and Quinn tucking Logan into bed: “Goodnight, son. We love you!”

16. Jamie putting his own prediction in the box on the rooftop: “It’s a magical place, son. There’s only one Tree Hill, Jamie Scott, and it’s your home.”

17. Brooke crying by her high school locker with the NOFX sticker: “I wake up sometimes and I miss it.”

18. Gavin DeGraw performing “I Don’t Wanna Be” at Tric.

19. Haley reading Julius Caesar at Karen’s Café.

20. Millie (Lisa Goldstein) wearing a wedding ring — hello, time jump! — and being pregnant with Baby Mouth!

21. An excellent use of U2‘s “One Tree Hill.”

22. Nathan looking at 17-year-old Jamie’s “all-time lead scorer” jersey in the gym at Tree Hill High School.

23. The beautiful moment when you realize Skills (Antwon Tanner) and Bevin are dating, or at least banging.

24. The freeze frame of Jamie (from behind) in his Raven’s jersey.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Remember when Mark Schwahn talked about the One Tree Hill fans who started watching the show in high school? How they’re now out of college? Well, I’m one of those fans. When the pilot first aired in Sept. 2003 — when Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) first towed Peyton’s (Hilarie Burton) car and changed the course of so many people’s lives — I was a junior in high school. Now here I am, nine years later, and I’m writing about the series professionally. I’ve never found myself connecting with characters like I have with the residents of Tree Hill, and I may never again. For me, for the actors, for all of you, this is the end of an era. And it’s been an incredible one.

Good night, Tree Hill.

What did YOU think of the final trip to Tree Hill? Which moments had you reaching for the tissues, and which characters will you miss the most? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below — one last time.

— Andy Swift

Follow Andy on Twitter for more One Tree Hill talk

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Posted at 4:30 PM on September 12, 2014  

I actually just started my 16th time in all watching the show I love it my favorite couple was Nathan and Haley but Lucas and Peyton are a close second but for the most part Nathan and Haleys relationship is what made me cry most They are the ones that make it the farthest and that is pretty good for Haley hating Nathan at first

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Jason brody

Posted at 1:09 PM on November 14, 2013  

even if you watch 3-4 times you won’t get bored. its a show that we all will like and there should be a new season of One tree hill.
We all will watch it. Its something that we never say no to.

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Posted at 4:58 PM on August 3, 2013  

No television series has ever left a mark on me like One Tree Hill has. It is a show that can be used as therapy, i would know cause I’ve used it countless times. It reminds you that even when everything goes wrong, everything fails, its still not the end. That you can still get another chance, that what you do and who you are really does matter. Lucas’ words ring in your ears helping you carry on, Peyton’s art showing you that, they, the world, is not you, Nathan and Haley reassuring you that love does survive and it shows up in the most unexpected places.
I love this show more than words can describe. I feel a special affiliation with every single character. Even though its ended and I will miss the excitement of watching a new episode, it will always be there, nine beautiful seasons, to help me whenever i need it because: “Somebody told me this is the place where everything’s better and everything’s safe.”

There is and will always be just one Tree Hill <3

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Laurel Honig

Posted at 10:53 PM on July 5, 2013  

gavin degraw didnt preform “i dont want to be” at tric

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Posted at 4:25 PM on August 3, 2013  

Yes he did. Season 9 Episode 13. He performed a total of three songs. He saved ‘I Don’t Wanna Be’ for last and while he sang it, they showed the cast in the middle of the crowd singing every word with him.

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Jenn Clevenger Langley

Posted at 6:26 AM on May 29, 2014  

yes they did and I LOVED it but when re watching the finale on netflix it doesn’t show that or all of them with their children at Karen’s cafe very dissapointing as I loved both of those scenes

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Posted at 5:57 PM on May 30, 2014  

That’s extremely unfair! Those are the absolute BEST bits! I love love love how they show all of them together, even after all those years, all the hard times they were still friends and now their children would be friends. However I did miss the presence of Lucas and Peyton in that scene, if they were there it would just be the icing on the cake

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ashley galea

Posted at 1:57 PM on June 18, 2013  

I started to watch one tree hill with a friend of mine witch it turned into a everyday thing i couldn’t belive how real it all seemed its a show that shows ups and downs fun times and bad times but most of all it shows you that anything is posiple and for me that means something this show made me look at my life in a diffrent way that i didn’t think was posible but it is..A few things i think should happen is more secsions of one tree hill to find out about mouth and melly and there baby if they get married if skills and beving get back together and what happens how backerboys turns out how lucas and his family are and do they come back or even why did they leave so many diffrent things that could make one tree hill more episodes or how bout all the kids what there doing are there lives like there parents what is there hopes and dreams …..I don’t think one tree hill should only go up to secion 9 episode 13 cuz i belive there is more so please all lets get more of one tree hill ……its a story that can touch our hearts and make us belive that anything is posible…I belive one tree hill stands for hope dreaming intagertey belives and so much more ……thanks for aloweing me to tell the world what i feel about this show ,,,,,its a show that ill never forget and a show that allowed me to watch people grow as friends family and themselfs and i’m happy i got to watch it

a big fan of one tree hill
Ashley Galea

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Posted at 8:57 AM on January 17, 2013  

I didnt watvh oth at the beginning then my friend got me obsessed I loved all the serious so touching the final episode! Am soo guna miss oyh :( by far the best tv show ever made :)

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Posted at 12:09 AM on February 27, 2013  

My friend got me so hooked that I stayed up until 2 in the morning most nights watching every moment from the start. Now that I have just finished the series, I feel a deep hole in my heart. One Tree Hill is the best show ever! I will always love it! Naley 4 ever!

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Ally Wesley

Posted at 5:08 AM on December 30, 2012  

Just finished watching the entire series for the third time omg i luv it!!! So inspiring and truly amazing!! Does anyone know who plays logan as his older self? Not Pierce Gagnon but when everything flashes forwards and we see him and Lydia and the Baker twins. I really need to know who plays all of them so please reply ASAP!!💜💜💙💙❤❤💙💚❤❤💜💜💘💗

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Nadia Naqvi

Posted at 9:19 AM on December 27, 2012  

One Tree Hil!!!! One of. The best show ever!!! They Teach How Too Manage friendship how to respect eav other how to show their love they show u really love how to love each other #nd each and everything One Three Hill is one of the bestttttttt showwww ever I really really really Hope that they actresses are they the are on TV Screen bcz often the actresses are not…. and I am seriously cryied over that the show is not going o.n TV anymore plllz please please bring One tree hip back with. An other story an other background butt with the same actresses ONE TREE HIL please come back!!!!!!!

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Posted at 12:16 AM on September 25, 2012  

I haven’t truly loved One Tree Hill for a few years now. I started watching when I was a teenager and kept up with it, but I haven’t felt the magic for a while. That being said, I bawled in the final scene. It reminded me so much of why I loved the show when I was younger. When Nathan looked up at Jamie’s jersey next to his on the wall and then Jamie rounded the corner as a Raven, I remembered that I watched this show when I was younger because of its incredible spirit and the characters’ yearning for meaning, love, and friendship. Nathan grew up so much over the course of this show (they all did), but seeing him looking at his son’s accomplishments with so much pride and joy in that last scene was simply beautiful.

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Posted at 12:31 AM on September 5, 2012  

I was 17 at the start of the show and am
26 now. The earlier years were written WAY better. They were meaningful and the words always touched my heart. This last season (9), I must say, was probably the most disappointing thing I’ve ever watched. I expected so much more to be delivered in the final season as well as the final episode. The only scene that really touched me was watching Jamie with his ravens jersey from behind. Everything else was really rediculous. I mean dans acting in this season was awful. Almost the entire season focuses on the kidnapping of Nathan and I just think that was the dumbest most far fetched topic. One episode about that would have been bad, but as many as there actually were was just sad to watch. The last season seemed thrown together. It didn’t seen like the same writer.
I loved this show so much that I’ve made my fiancé promise to spend a weekend in “tree hill aka Wilmington nc” with me to see if I love it as much and if I get that same “magic” feeling I get when I watch the show. I hate having something bad to say about it but ughhhhhhh I could have done a better job!

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Posted at 5:47 PM on May 14, 2012  

I haven’t seen it yet as it hasn’t been aired in the UK,I’m so terrible I’ve just read the finale write up,can’t wait for it,I’ve been watching it from the start and my teenage daughter started watching it from season 6,we loved every episode.

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Posted at 6:58 PM on May 12, 2012  

When haley lost her mom it made me realise tat even death cant keep you from the one you love so much

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Posted at 2:39 AM on May 2, 2012  

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Posted at 7:26 AM on April 27, 2012  

When Quinn steels the brownie out of Logan’s hand in Karen’s cafe.

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Posted at 6:16 PM on April 21, 2012  

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Alexandra DeBellis

Posted at 2:51 PM on April 17, 2012  

I love the top 24 moments

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Cherry Marie

Posted at 5:29 PM on April 11, 2012  

I loved it but just i wish Peyton and Lucas would came back at least in final scene Where all them are sitting watch Jamie.

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Posted at 1:03 PM on April 11, 2012  

I just watched the finale and it was heartbreakingly awesome. I was visiting my home town of Wilmington in 2003 and went by the studio to find out where the last few episodes of Dawson’s Creek were filming that day and the security guard and I got to talking and he told me about a new show that would be filming there with the code name: The Ravens. He told me a little about the show and I was hooked right from the start. I saw them filming a few times after that and the cast was very friendly. I never missed an episode and never gave up on this show. The finale was done beautifully. I was sad not to see Peyton, Lucas, Karen, Deb, Jake, or Rachel. I am not a fan of Quinn and mostly found her highly annoying. I did love Clay & Logan though and so I tolerated her in the scenes they shared. I was very sad that when Lucas came back, she got to see him while Brooke did not. For me, the best part of the finale was when we heard those opening notes to “I Don’t Wanna Be” and everybody sang along. That was perfect.

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Posted at 6:35 AM on April 7, 2012  

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Posted at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2012  

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Posted at 10:02 PM on April 5, 2012  

Did anyone else get the feeling because the way they ended it that there might be a 2nd generation of OTH? I LOVED the finale & just watched it again…

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Posted at 11:07 PM on April 23, 2012  

While the finale moment was happening and when the show went off i was saying to myself there should be a second generation to the show where jamie has kids and logan starts high school and more

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Posted at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2012  

I would LOVE for there to be a 2nd generation of One Tree Hill….I honestly just discovered this show a few months ago…actually after the series ended…but fell in love with it…I started at season 1 on Netflix and went through every episode all the way to the finale…i loved every single episode…I’m sure we aren’t the only fans hoping for a 2nd generation of the show…heck…I’d love for them to bring it back period!! I related in one way or another to someone in every episode…especially Brooke dealing with not being able to get pregnant and wanting to give Julian a child….as for Dan….in the beginning I could not stand the man…but the writers showing that a person can change and there is a chance for redemption….for everyone…the episode where Dan, Chris Keller and Julian go to rescue Nathan was my favorite….it made me cry more than the finale…i agree with the majority that Peyton, Lucas and Sawyer should have been included in the dinale…i hate the way Brooke lost touch with Peyton…that frienship was such a big part of the show in the beginning…I could go on and on…I’m just thankful for Netflix having the entire show…I’m gonna go back and start from the beginning again!! One more thing….BRING ONE TREE HILL BACK….there is a petition on Ipetitions.com requesting for the show to be brought back….go sign it!!

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Posted at 4:36 PM on September 12, 2014  

darn saw this 2 years too late would love for a second generation One Tree Hill have always loved One Tree Hill. Wish I saw the petition back then would have immediately signed

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