21 One Tree Hill Moments That Gave Bad Adult Expectations


One Tree Hill is one of the absolute best teen dramas of all time.


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Sorry, we don’t make the rules.

It was filled with tons of juicy drama, including love triangles, murder plots, affairs, and angsty speeches in the rain.

But the most unrealistic part of One Tree Hill? The way it presented adulting.

Here are 21 times One Tree Hill just got adulthood so, so wrong:

Spoilers ahead!!!

First, when they jumped to four years after high school graduation (so basically RIGHT after college graduation), and every character except Mouth had a career:

Especially Brooke, who was full-on CEO of a fashion company with her own magazine:

Which she was…somehow able to run from Tree Hill:

Remember when Brooke literally just walked into a lady’s house and bought it?


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I still don’t get this. The woman was obviously still living there if she was cooking and her cat was there. Did she just leave the litter box and all her clothes behind??

And then adopted a baby???

And became the foster mom of a teenager?????

Don’t even get us started on Lucas. The boy got a book deal ONE YEAR after high school, and then it was optioned for a movie:

He also was basically just given his childhood home. Good for him, we guess?

Lucas was also an assistant coach for his college basketball team as a FIRST-YEAR STUDENT. And then Whitey just let him take the reins the next year:

Let’s talk about Peyton. She wasn’t as successful after the time jump — her job was assistant to the assistant to a record label president. However, she was somehow able to afford her OWN pretty nice apartment in LA (not to mention, she could apparently afford to buy Lucas’s book whenever she wanted):

And then she came back home, had a house to stay in for free, and was literally given a giant office space by her ex-boyfriend and a loan from her best friend to start her own record company:

Which she did!! And she signed a band super quickly! Not only that, but her first discovery (Kate Voegele, who was in the band, lol) ended up becoming a huge star. She literally didn’t seem to have any other clients, but lived off of that and was able to quickly pay Brooke back:


Fred Norris / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

Let’s jump forward a bit to Quinn. She was a successful photographer, which is cool. Except…we saw her do maybe three photo shoots over the course of the show?

And Clay somehow had time to go to college, get married, HAVE A CHILD, and become a successful pro sports agent by like his mid- to late twenties. He also owned the most massive beach house we have ever seen, even after he lost his job:

Let’s also talk about Nathan and Haley, who got married at 16 and had a baby before they finished high school:

Okay, we get that Nathan probably had a sports scholarship and Haley probably had an academic scholarship. But in the “three years ago” flashback, it didn’t seem like either of them had a job (also, how would they have had time? They were raising a child). How did they even pay for their apartment or food or anything for Jamie?


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Before you mention Haley’s music career, we know she took a hiatus in college, and she’d clearly already spent her money from the tour with Chris, since the power got turned off in Nathan and Haley’s apartment in Season 4 because they didn’t have enough money.

We know they bought their big-ass house in Tree Hill with the money Nathan received for his shoe deal. But college athletes don’t make money, he never made it to the NBA, and Haley was a teacher. How did they maintain the house and keep up with the utilities?

And how on earth did Haley pay for a full-time nanny?

In fact, how did any of them deal with having kids and getting married so young? Literally everyone on this show was married with children like before they even turned 25.

What are even the chances that Tree Hill High was willing to hire THREE different students from their class, despite all the trouble they caused, just four years after graduating? Also, how did Skills and Lucas get hired as co-coaches but then not teach gym or anything else?


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We have never heard of a high school sports coach who wasn’t also a teacher.

Alright, one final thing: health insurance. They ALL had serious injuries and health complications. Almost none of them had jobs where their employer would pay for their healthcare. How were they not buried in debt for their many trips to the hospital?


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We’re starting to think that one doctor who was legitimately always treating them no matter the season gave them the Scott family discount.

Oh, One Tree Hill, you wonderful, wonderful fantasy!

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