As is often the case with television shows, the One Tree Hill cast went through many changes over its nine seasons. In some cases, those changes made the show better, adding to the relationships and storylines in a positive way. In other cases, however, they just meant additional drama, which bogged down the series and ate up screen time for a plot everyone knew wouldn’t end well.
Some characters that hurt the series ended up making others look bad or contributed to others getting hurt (physically or emotionally). Some also didn’t add anything worthwhile to the story. If a character did anything to interfere with an existing relationship (or two), that automatically meant marks against him or her. Temporary love interests and stalkers (of which One Tree Hill had more than enough) fell into this category as well. Haley’s family members fell into both categories. While it’s always good to expand what you know about a main (especially original) character, that doesn’t mean a show should do so just for the sake of doing so. However, there were also characters that meant happily ever afters for some who weren’t so lucky in love, and that automatically earned them points.
With that said, here are the 16 Character Additions That Hurt One Tree Hill (And 9 That Saved It).
25 Hurt: Daunte Jones
Daunte was the loan shark Nathan went to when he needed money and his father refused to help him. When Nathan refused to throw the State Championship baseball game, Daunte retaliated. Though he meant to hurt Nathan, Haley, who was pregnant, intervened and ended up in the hospital. Luckily, she and their baby were fine.
However, Daunte will forever be remembered for what he did, and there was really nothing positive about his character (other than Rick Fox being on fans’ TV screens). Daunte was an awful person, especially since Nathan was a high schooler at the time and he took advantage of his financial situation.
24 Hurt: Alex Dupre
When Alex first arrived in Tree Hill, she wasn’t a good person, even though she pretended to be one publicly. She caused a lot of unnecessary drama, including an attempt to interfere in Brooke and Julian’s relationship. Fortunately, she didn’t cause permanent damage and the couple ended up together.
She also contributed to Millie’s dark path and substance abuse, as she encouraged the other woman to consume alcohol in her place in the beginning. Though Alex had her moments, and her relationship with Chase eventually became pretty stable, the bad outweighed the good about her character.
23 Saved: Lydia James
One Tree Hill didn’t introduce Haley’s mother until season 2, but she was an important part of the show. She (and Jimmy) supported Haley when she and Nathan got married, even though they were in high school. Considering how some people reacted to the news, that was something the couple needed.
Lydia then returned in season 7 and helped her daughters before she passed away. Haley struggled in the aftermath because they had a very close relationship. Lydia would always be remembered, even after her passing, because Haley named her daughter after her.
22 Hurt: Gigi
Gigi was fine in high school and as Mouth’s girlfriend then. However, then she returned as his intern and the character became a detriment to the series. She tried to break up him and Millie, which worked, even though nothing happened between Mouth and Gigi. Still, Mouth and Millie did (eventually) end up together.
However, Gigi should have let Mouth go after high school. She was right to break up with him instead of attempting a long-distance relationship. The series also should’ve let her go then. Drama for drama’s sake never works out well, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.
21 Saved: Julian Baker
Brooke Davis was unlucky in love for the longest time, or at least until Julian showed up. Though they didn’t get together right away, they did get their happily ever after and ended up getting married and having kids. If anyone deserved that, it was Brooke, and it was because of Julian she got it.
Julian could have easily hurt the series since he was Peyton’s ex-boyfriend and fans already saw the friends interested in the same man with Lucas. However, Julian turned out to be a good guy, someone who loved Brooke and bonded with her foster daughter, Sam.
20 Hurt: Chris Keller
Chris Keller had an attitude problem, one that didn’t go away even when he became less annoying. He also constantly interfered in relationships. He was a problem for Nathan and Haley’s marriage. He was also with Brooke, which affected her relationship with Lucas.
His appearances after that weren’t so bad. He did help his friends when they were stranded on the side of the road. He also helped look for Nathan when he was missing in the final season. Still, something always reminded fans of his bad moves, like when he named his guitar after Haley.
19 Hurt: Rachel Gatina
There was really nothing redeemable about Rachel on One Tree Hill. She interfered in Brooke and Lucas’ relationship, though she and Brooke did eventually become friends. Then, she lied to Cooper about her age and refused to let their relationship end quietly like she should have.
She also expressed interest in Nathan even though he and Haley were married, and she even used the car accident to try to get close to him. Finally, there was her relationship with Dan, which was better left forgotten for viewers as well as all involved.
18 Saved: Derek Sommers
Derek was Peyton’s half-brother. While his existence did lead to the awful fake Derek storyline, that’s not something that can be held against him. Instead, he ended up being there for Peyton when she needed him the most. She was understandably afraid after what fake Derek did to her, but her real half-brother helped her face and deal with that fear.
Though he only appeared in a few episodes, he was a member of Peyton’s family and one that didn’t bring any unnecessary drama to the series. He was pretty calm compared to most of the rest of the characters.
17 Hurt: Taylor James
On the one hand, it’s always good when family members of main characters show up. They help expand the series and usually reveal other sides to these characters. However, Taylor just caused drama.
Taylor strained Nathan and Haley’s relationship. She had been with Nathan before Haley, but the two of them kept it from Haley as part of a deal to keep each other’s secrets. That truth was always going to come out. Then, to make matters worse, she dated Quinn’s ex-husband later on in the series, which caused even more family problems.
16 Saved: Clay Evans
Clay started out as Nathan’s agent and was one of several new cast members to join in season 7. He had his bad moments, including his lack of serious relationships after he lost his wife, as well as bringing Katie into his and Quinn’s lives. Not remembering Logan wasn’t the best storyline for his character, but Logan was also a great kid. His addition led to the series showing another side of Clay.
Still, even through the bad times, he clearly cared about and was important to the Scott family.
15 Hurt: Victoria Davis
Brooke never had the best relationship with her parents, which was obvious since they were never even seen on-screen in the early seasons. However, Brooke’s relationship with her mother was showcased more once Victoria appeared.
Victoria appeared to care much more about their clothing business than about her daughter. She didn’t approve of Brooke’s decisions for the longest time and even tried to take control from her. It also said a lot about their relationship and Victoria that Brooke thought her mother could be behind the attack on her store and her.
14 Hurt: Cooper
Nathan’s uncle wasn’t the worst member of his family, but he still had his problems. He was inadvertently responsible for his nephew’s accident on the race track since he was the one to invite him there.
Then, he was in a relationship with high school student Rachel, though at least he couldn’t be blamed entirely for that since he didn’t know how old she really was. The smartest thing he did was leave Tree Hill after the accident, but he was still a bit of a troublemaker when he was around.
13 Saved: Quentin Fields
Quentin didn’t get off to the best start, but by the time he lost his life, he’d become a close friend of the Scott family and someone fans missed.
He was rude to Haley in class in the beginning, which could have made him someone viewers wanted to see gone, but he became a better person, as he defended Haley and bonded with Jamie and Nathan. His passing and funeral were as sad as they were because of those moments and because fans got to know him in relation to everyone else.
12 Hurt: Carrie
You might not have ever watched One Tree Hill, but there are some things you probably heard about, like the dog that ate Dan’s heart and the nanny who tried to ruin Nathan and Haley’s family.
Carrie first came in as Jamie’s nanny, and while she seemed great at first, that soon changed. She wanted Jamie to be her own child and tried to come between Nathan and Haley. She even went so far as to abduct Jamie, then abduct Dan. You know a character is bad if Dan was on the right side of a conflict.
11 Saved: Andy
Karen’s best relationship was obviously with Keith, despite the drama and family issues there with Dan. However, Andy was a really good second choice. He treated her well, and he never tried to take Keith’s place after the other man had passed away. He was simply there for Karen and her child.
Rooting for him and Karen didn’t mean rooting against her and Keith, because even he knew that Keith was always going to be first choice. Andy was the perfect way for the series to show that someone could love again after losing someone they loved.
10 Hurt: Ian Banks
Fake family members can be the worst, can’t they? It’s hard to forget the fake Derek (especially since the real one was so great). Ian Banks pretended to be Peyton’s half-brother, but he was really stalking her because she looked like the ex-girlfriend he lost and for whose passing he was blamed.
He abducted both Peyton and Brooke and held them captive in Peyton’s basement. While they managed to get away (and resolved their current issues) and learned of his tragic backstory, he was still a horrible person in Tree Hill.
9 Hurt: Lindsey Strauss
It wasn’t Lindsey’s fault that she turned out to be a negative part of the series. Really, the only strike against her that can be put on her was that she fell for Lucas Scott.
However, Lucas was never going to end up with anyone but Peyton (though Brooke was probably the best possibility for an alternative in the beginning). That didn’t stop One Tree Hill from having Lucas and Lindsey get engaged and even make it to their wedding day, though. Fortunately, that was where it ended, and they didn’t actually go through with the wedding.
8 Saved: Chase Adams
Chase and Brooke’s relationship wasn’t anything special, but it was probably exactly what Brooke needed in high school after the love triangle mess with Peyton and Lucas. It was a relationship that wouldn’t last and never could have had nearly as much drama as that triangle did.
His subsequent relationship choices (Mia, Alex, and Tara) weren’t the best, but they also weren’t the worst in the history of the series. Bringing Chase back after the high school years was a good way to bring back a familiar face who was a decent character with connections to the others.
7 Hurt: Quinn James
It wasn’t that there was anything necessarily bad about Quinn per say, but she wasn’t anything special either. Yes, she was Haley’s sister, but Haley’s siblings weren’t exactly the best. Sure, she was nowhere near as bad as Taylor, but Quinn was really just there. She was there to be Haley’s sister and she was there to be in a relationship with Clay.
The main problem was that she didn’t appear on the show until season 7 for the first time. At that point, fans were expected to just care about her because she was related to Haley, and the series never really did anything to make her stand out.
6 Saved: Millicent Huxtable
Millie was far from a perfect character, but in the end, she was good for the show and for Mouth. After all, before her, Mouth made poor choices in romantic interests, whether due to his feelings being unrequited or inappropriate (i.e., for his boss).
While her time as a model and the subsequent substance abuse were storylines that hurt the series, overall, she was a positive addition to the show. Millie and Mouth faced their fair share of problems, including infidelity and his ex-girlfriend, but they managed to get past all that to have their happily ever after.
5 Hurt: Felix
Felix was pretty much a horrible person to everyone in his life, including his sister. He hit on Haley, despite the fact that she had on a wedding ring, then assumed she was pregnant. His relationship with Brooke might not have been the worst of the series, but it was up there. It never should have even become friends with benefits.
However, the worst part about his character was how he reacted to his sister’s orientation and what he did to Peyton. He damaged Peyton’s locker because he didn’t like the rumors about his sister.
4 Hurt: Katie
At first, her only fault was that she looked like Clay’s late wife. However, once she learned that fact and looked up Sara, she basically pretended to be her. Before she exited the series, she was around much longer than she should have been. First, she shot both Clay and Quinn. Both survived their injuries, but that wasn’t the end of Katie’s time on One Tree Hill.
She then returned to try to end Quinn’s life, but Quinn managed to get the upper hand. There had already been enough stalkers on the show by that point, so Katie wasn’t a positive addition.
3 Saved: Jamie Scott
Any child of Nathan and Haley’s was always going to be a positive addition. Though he wasn’t their only child, he was the one fans knew the best because they had him at the end of their high school years and therefore he was around the longest.
Kids can be annoying on television shows, especially when they come in later in the show, but that wasn’t the case with Jamie. He was a cute kid and fans saw him have sweet moments with most of the cast, not just his parents, and be a big brother to Lydia.
2 Hurt: Ted
Brooke’s father was completely absent from her life for the longest time. He wasn’t even present for her wedding and he didn’t show up on the show until season 9.
He was definitely business first, family second, when he first showed up, especially with how he treated Brooke and their clothing business. While that eventually changed, his appearances felt a bit unnecessary and simply there because the series hadn’t introduced him before then and it was going to end. Considering all of the time the show spent on Victoria, there was really no need to repeat some of the same beats with Brooke’s father.
1 Hurt: Miranda
There were marks against Miranda from the moment she first appeared on the series. She initially showed up to close down Red Bedroom Records, which put her at odds with Haley. Even though she did intervene when a reporter wanted to discuss a scandal surrounding Nathan, that didn’t change how she was viewed.
The record label and Tree Hill clearly weren’t the right fit for her. The best thing that happened with her character was her having to return to England — and not agreeing to marry Grubbs in order to stay.
Were there any other characters additions on One Tree Hill that hurt or saved the show? Let us know in the comments!