Relive the One Tree Hill Series Finale's Best Moments - Plus: Mark Schwahn Thanks the Fans

Warning: If you have yet to watch Wednesday’s One Tree Hill series finale, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, read on….

One Tree Hill — the little show that could and did, time and time again — came to an emotional end Wednesday night after nine seasons. But how did life pan out for Brooke, Haley, Nathan and the rest of the residents of the tiny North Carolina town?

The always-wise Haley James Scott set a fitting tone, telling the Tric crowd, “As most of you know, tonight is a very special night for us, so I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for being here. The time that we have spent together over the years has meant so much, and without you we would not be here tonight. Thank you. The night is yours, the night is ours, and it’s full of all kinds of surprises!”

More perfect words could not have kicked off the event, in which — Spoiler Alert! — everyone received a much-deserved happy ending.

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME… | The episode began with a trip down memory lane for the series’ three core characters — Brooke, Nathan and Haley — who, in present day, observed their younger selves. Emotional monologues from each accompanied the visually stunning scenes, and carried on throughout the episode up until the end. At that point, in memorable moments from Season 1 — Nathan at the free-throw line, Brooke cheerleading, Haley supporting from the stands — characters appeared to directly address their older selves with a wink and a nod, like, “We did it. We’re OK.”

STORMY WEATHER | After a season of very few ups and so many downs, Nathan and Haley shared a handful of what felt like earned, tender moments. The once again happy couple shared a romantic dinner, kissed — a lot — and took one last sexy, very sweet romp in the rain. (Longtime fans will appreciate that one.) Meanwhile, father and son exchanged an odd joke about kidnapping — too soon, guys — then engaged in the conversation Nate always longed for with his own father: the “you’re good enough and don’t have to be a star athlete” one. Upon hearing Jamie say that he needed to live up to his dad’s legacy, Nate assured him that whatever he chose to do and be in life would make him proud. All together now, awww. Later, Haley showed her son the wish box she shared with Lucas and even Nate, passing it on to Jamie to store all of his hopes and dreams — which, of course, consisted of besting his dad’s basketball scoring record.

HOME SWEET HOME | After Brooke confessed that her childhood house ” deserved better” than what her dysfunctional family gave it, Julian (aka Husband of the Year) went out and purchased it. Upon receipt of this major gift, a tearful Brooke — clearly speaking on behalf of fans — said, “I knew in my heart there was treasure here. And I found it.” (Sob!) In less-important-but-still-wonderful Brooke news: She and her parents successfully launched Baker Man — first the shopping site and then a storefront.

PRECIOUS MOMENTS | Foregoing their plan of a big wedding — mainly because Logan is the cutest kid ever! — Clay and Quinn quietly exchanged vows at the town courthouse right before legally adopting the aforementioned ball of adorableness. Of course, the kicker — for both Quinn and viewers — first came when Logan said to Clay, “You’re already my dad, Dad” and referred to Quinn as “Mom.” (Sob!)

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HURT | Mouth, shockingly, inherited half a million dollars from the late Dan Scott, and struggled with both accepting it and putting it to good use. Ultimately, in a full-circle moment, Tree Hill’s newest sportscaster founded an athletic scholarship in names of both Keith and Jimmy. His reasoning: So, that one day this good thing might “eclipse” the negativity surrounding his onetime friend’s horrific choice to shoot up Tree Hill High.

EVERYTHING ELSE | Chris Keller signed with Haley and Red Bedroom Records, finally getting that second chance he so deserved… Chase stayed Chase, becoming the owner of Tric and continuing to search for love… Gavin DeGraw provided the soundtrack to much of the finale, including an episode-ending performance of “I Don’t Want To Be” that showcased the entire cast dancing and singing along.

IT’S NOT GOODBYE… | The perfect hour ended with a flash-forward to the gang gathered in the Tree Hill High gym to watch a teenaged Jamie play basketball. (P.S. Yep, he beat Dad’s record.) Millie was preggers, Skills and Bevin (!) were a couple, all the little kiddies were grown up and everyone was as they should have been — happy.

As we told you earlier today, we invited showrunner Mark Schwahn to share any parting words with his immensely loyal One Tree Hill fans. Here is what he said:

Do you remember the way we used to use classic literature quotes on the show? Well, I often recall the one from Julius Caesar:

‘There is a tide in the affairs of men/Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;/Omitted, all the voyage of their life/ Is bound in shallows and in miseries./ On such a full sea are we now afloat,/ And we must take the current when it serves,/ Or lose our ventures.’

I always thought about that quote because opportunity presents itself sometimes and it’s not always obvious; sometimes it’s quiet. And this show was an opportunity to tell stories and to connect with people that I’ll never meet. We took the current when it served and it led on to fortune — for everyone! We all got closer to our dreams and our lives became exponentially better because of the show…. The fans, in their allegiance to the show, may not have known this, but they were giving us all quiet confidence in who we are, in our abilities, in our choices and in our instincts artistically. You may not have loved every episode — and a lot of people didn’t like the show at all! — but because there were fans that loved it, we all believed in it. We were proud not to be included; we decided to start our own club, and after 187 episodes, we were the cool kids. And I’m proud of that. And the fans made all of us better. They gave us things that are life-changing — and they might not have even known they were doing that.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. LaurenMC says:

    It was a nice, emotional episode and everyone got a happy ending, which I really enjoyed. I cried, I’ve been watching it for 9 years. However, I also thought they could have done more to acknowledge past characters like Lucas, Peyton, Karen, Whitey, etc. It was great to see Keith and Deb again in Dan’s death episode. I know certain actors probably couldn’t come back for various reason, but then they could have been mentioned more. Even just having Brooke on the phone with Peyton and saying ‘PSawyer” one more time would have sufficed. When Lucas appeared in the airport episode it was nice to know that he and Peyton are still happily married, but we never found out where they were or what they were doing… shame.

  2. lou says:

    I used to like Hilarie but when she refused to come back I stopped liking her, this show made her career and pretty much all she has done since is White Collar and well she could have taken time do to the finale. Just like I lost a little respect for James Lafferty when he said he was done with OTH and would only do a handful of episodes this season. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

  3. ggny says:

    would anyone else watch a Chase and Chris Keller spinoff? Those 2 were hilarious together last night

  4. Emma says:

    So sick of seeing people moaning about Lucas and Peyton, they left the show, get over it! It was a wonderful episode that the true fans will appreciate, Mark did a wonderful job. Nathan and Haley have always been the core couple and the moments like the cracker jack, and kiss in the rain were perfect. Brooke’s story finally came full circle which was great . Happy to see Bevin back with Skills! Lovely that Mouth and Millie are expecting. One Tree Hill has been in my life for 9 years, I’ve grown up with it, my Ipod is basically a OTH library. It has made me happy, sad, laugh and cry and I will truly miss it. Looking forward to buying the full box set and spending my summer reminiscing.

  5. Brandy says:

    I really liked it- Chris,haley&gavin performing(Gavin performing the theme song),the flashbacks and refences to the pilot /season 1(Haley eating mac&cheese&nathan giving her the bracelet from the cracker jack box,Haley passing on the hiding predictions to Jamie, like she used to with Lucas,Haley telling Jamie “there’s only one tree hill and it’s your home”like Karen told Lucas, Bevin making a appearance and getting back with Skills)Jamie and his friends throwing water balloons off the roof like Lucas/Haley/Peyton used to).i loved the scene of them all eating at Karen’s cafe and showing Peyton’s room/closet glad they played u2s One Tree Hill song too. I liked that everyone got a happy ending-Brooke has a good relationship with her parents, married and has kids, started a new business after loosing cob in season 8, Mouth&Millie are happy together and pregnant,Peyton &Lucas are happy together and have a baby-and reached their goals( Lucas wrote two books one was turned into a movie and tv show and Peyton owned a record label),Dan got redeention by saving Nathan & got forgiveness,Karen is happy with Andy raising Lily-i believe-Brooke &Haley reopened KarensCafe,Clay & Quinn got married and adopted Logan and are happy, Skills & Bevin are together, Nathan & Haley are happyily married with two kids and reached their dreams(Nathan playing in nba, Haley was a teacher, got back to her music, ran RBR,runs Karens Cafe.) Brooke made tentative peace with Tara. I’m gonna miss the show, but it wrapped everything up and everyone got a happy ending.

  6. Brandy says:

    I think it came full circle with Haley &Brooke reopening Karens, Brooke moving back to her old house, Haley passing down traditions to Jamie. I liked the flash forward.

  7. ally says:

    for me, lucas and peyton was one tree hill.. i mean thats a big statement to say, but I really liked their storyline the most and after they left, i just stopped watching. I was hoping that they kept it in secret, that lucas and peyton were really coming for the series finale. but they didnt :( the series finale just felt incomplete without them. it would be really nice for all five of them to look back at their old high school self. but still, I am sad that oth has ended.. I watched it in high school and now I am in uni.. feels like oth was a part of me growing up. goodbye oth :(

  8. Gerald says:

    Loved the show, but regarding. Hillary and Chad. Would it have killed them to include them in the retrospective pre-show? I would have liked to hear them thank the show and the fans.

  9. Me says:

    It was a great finale but if you are going to openly boldly state that there are going to be surprises you should have some like oh look there’s Peyton, lucus, Karen, deb, Rachel, among others! But it w a good close and a tear jerker in my case

  10. Christine says:

    I loved it! I have watched the last 9 seasons thru all the up’s and down’s, it has been awesome! I’m sad to see the end is here but I thought it went out with a great finish. I saw a video of Mark Schwahn and he said he liked to think that all the character’s from OTH would just keep going on in OTH, so to speak, and the end he gave us really gives us that impression. It really was great show! It will be missed :(

  11. Robin says:

    I rated it above average, but to me it was very close to being awesome…the only thing that kept it from being “awesome” was the lack of Lucas and Payton & Sawyer in the finale (in my opinion). It was great though! I loved it. Pleased with everything even the return of Bevin, and crazy antics by Chris and Chase…

  12. Mel says:

    I’m sure this has been mentioned, but for everyone who missed Lucas and Peyton’s inclusion in the finale keep in mind this was THEIR choice not to be involved. They were approached several times and just thought they were better than the show that brought them their big breaks (especially Peyton who had never acted before)

    I’m actually happy they weren’t included. It was nice to see Bevin and Skills back together again.

    • hallie says:

      Actually the actress who plays peyton is on another show and more then likely could get off to fly to do the finale. As well studios are very picky about allowing actors to do episodes for different networks but from what i have heard mark didn’t want peyton or lucas in the finale because he thought it would take away from the characters that were currently on the show and didn’t want the finale to be about them

  13. ealla says:

    The finale was great but they could have made the characters look a little bit older because it made it really confusing. At first i didn’t even notice all those years had gone past because the characters looked exactly the same. I only figured it out when i saw the boy with the “Scott” jersey and immediately knew it was Jamie. Then i had to go back again and make sense of all the kid’s faces they showed. That’s when i realized the little babies had all grown up.
    Come on Mark! You could have at least wrote blah blah years past or something if you couldn’t make the characters look older. Other then that, the finale was perfect.

  14. Jules says:

    I have been watching One Tree Hill since I was 14 years old and I became addicted to it. I thought the finale was wonderful! So many moments made me tear up. Each couple/character got great endings.
    Nathan/Haley: in the rain, the mac/cheese and cracker jack, honestly everything about them I loved! Those two are my favorites.
    Clay/Quinn: getting married and Logan calling Quinn mom was such a sweet and tender moment!
    Julian/Brooke: Brooke getting her happy ending that she deserves and Julian buying her childhood home!
    Chris/Chase: Hilarious!
    Mouth/Millicent: Loved that they were married and expecting at the end.
    Skills/Bevin: Together again! Just like it should be

    Loved the ending with Gavin DeGraw singing and the whole crew sining along then at Karen’s. The flashforward I was really happy with and seeing Jamie play basketball with the Ravens!

    I watched this show throughout my entire youth and I definitely will miss it. My best to Mark Schwahn and the cast and crew!

  15. Amy says:

    Perfect ending. The only nit pick was that the “parents” didn’t appear to have aged at the high school basketball game. It had to be 4-7 years later (what took Mouth and Millie so long).

  16. hallie says:

    I honestly thought it was good it wrapped up the current stories and gave a nod to the past what more could you ask for the ending seem to bring the show full cirlce. One tree hill started about two brothers and basketball and at the end when jamie came in it brought us back to season one pilot episode with nathan playing for the ravens and across town his estraged brother on the river court. Even though lucus wasn’t there his presence in that scene was felt.
    As for lucasa and peyton i think it would have been nice to see them but it wasn’t necessary we already got closure for them at the end of season six luke and peyton rode off into the sunset with their baby what more could you ask for.

  17. Todd Daughtry says:

    I started watching the show at the very beginning of season 5 when they flashforwarded past college. Now that OTH is finished I am so excited to go back and watch the complete series starting with the very first season episode 1!!! This show is the only show I have ever watched every week and never lost interest. I love everything about it … the music is A+, the small town feel is A+, and the characters of course are all A++ both past and present! I think what grabbed me and pulled me in was the fact that my wife’s name before we were married was Brooke Davis, and also that it was filmed in Wilmington, N.C. with which I live near and am familiar with a lot of the settings in the show. This show and the cast will be missed like old friends. Thanks Mark and the CW for an amazing ride, hurts to know it’s over but thankful for all the great memories!

  18. danie says:

    having lucas n peyton return wuld have bin a wonderful catch.they wer ma fav couple on this oth nevadles d series ended well.sad 2 sa gooodbye bt evritin gud has 2 come 2 an end.followed dis series for a long time n it chsnged ma life.d chracters,the music.the al jst seemed ril nt some kind of tot u stuff at dint make sense.evn aft peyton n lucas lft dey still kept it alive n dat was wondaful…………

  19. erin says:

    One Tree Hill was the greatest show ever There should’ve been a One Tree Hill Oth season 10 One Tree Hill Can be over it still needs another season

    If One Tree Hill got a Oth Season 10 There could been a episode where Dan and Karen already got Married and started their own family and raising Lucas and Nathan

    There could also be a One Tree Hill finale series where everyone in Tree Hill Karen and Lucas finally forgives dan for all of the things he has done and that would include and wrap up The One Tree Hill series

    • erin says:

      If One Tree Hill got a Oth Season 10 There could been a episode where Dan and Karen already got Married and started their own family and raising Lucas and Nathan

      There could also be a One Tree Hill finale series where everyone in Tree Hill Karen and Lucas finally forgives dan for all of the things he has done and that would include and wrap up The One Tree Hill series

  20. Deb says:

    I just finished watching all 9 seasons and I have experienced every emotion I think anyone could with this show. I’ve been angry, sad, happy, shocked, surprised, hopeful, felt loss, rage, & so much more. In the finale episode I was somewhat disappointed at the end when future teenage Jamie’s face is never shown but its alittle hard to do that when he’s really not one yet. Lol! I wish Payton and Lucus would of appeared in the last one also, I loved them so much also. I so wish u guys would do a 10th season, 11th, 12th and so on. :)

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  22. Pearl says:

    I love one tree Hill but i missed the last show for some reason i can’t find it on the Internet. Can you please tell me where to find it. I miss one tree Hill

  23. Elizabeth Rafferty says:

    i want to see more of them

  24. Kristina Cheyenne Speakman says:

    In my opinion, this series is the best series I have ever watched. It teaches you a lot. To always have hope, that forgiving someone could be for the best, and to always let someone you love know how you feel because you never know what could happen.

  25. Veronica says:

    The only thing lacking in the finale was Lucas coaching Jamie, Payton watching her daughter as a cheerleader. That would have been great!