Ravens for life! One Tree Hill hooked viewers in with its dramatic story lines — but the cast’s real-life friendships are what keeps fans talking about the teen series nearly 20 years after its premiere.
“We’ve known each other for almost two decades now. Our friendships have changed immeasurably,” Sophia Bush exclusively told Us Weekly in December 2020 of her dynamic with BFFs — and former costars — Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz. “We’ve been through so many stages of life together. But I think something that we really cherish — Hilarie and I were talking about this not too long ago — is just having, interestingly enough, as we’ve all gotten older, having our friendships deepen even more.”
Bush, Burton and Lenz played high schoolers Brooke Davis, Peyton Sawyer and Haley James Scott, respectively, on the CW series, which premiered in 2003. While the show ended in 2012 after nine seasons, the women’s bond has remained intact.
“We all got to go through this wild ride together and it’s a thing that’s ours. No one else can really share it with us in the way that we can,” Bush, who cohosts the “Drama Queens” podcast with her two pals told Us. “It’s such a special thing to leave a journey like that and maintain really deep and trusted connections and we all are able to support each other and inspire each other and it’s something I just really cherish.”
Through the years, the show’s leading ladies aren’t the only ones who’ve kept in touch. The teen drama — which followed the lives of half-brothers Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) and their complex relationship as basketball players and siblings — also created long-lasting friendships among the show’s male actors.
Lafferty and Stephen Colletti (who played Chase Adams), for example, reunited in 2020 to write, produce and star on Hulu’s Everyone Is Doing Great.
“We lived enough life to realize and look back on our lives since One Tree Hill had actually ended to say things have been absurd and difficult and wonderful at the same time, enough for us to find some real humor here and a story to tell,” Lafferty told Entertainment Weekly at the time of the show, which is loosely based on their real-life experiences since leaving the teen series. “And we built some characters around some of these experiences that we’ve had or this world that we’ve been exposed to, and what we ended up doing was finding a story that both of us could really relate to.”
One Tree Hill also starred Lee Norris (Marvin “Mouth” McFadden), Paul Johansson (Dan Scott), Antwon Tanner (Antwon “Skills” Taylor), Barbara Alyn Woods (Deb Scott), Jackson Brundage (Jamie Scott), Moira Kelly (Karen Rose), Barry Corbin (Whitey) and Craig Sheffer (Keith Scott).
Shantel VanSanten, Austin Nichols and Robert Buckley joined the cast in later seasons as Quinn James, Julian Baker and Clay Evans, respectively.
Scroll down to see the cast of One Tree Hill’s best reunion moments over the years: