‘Gilmore Girls’ Made a Subtle Nod to Chad Michael Murray Leaving for ‘One Tree Hill’

Chad Michael Murray spent nearly a decade playing Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill. Before becoming associated with the TV show as the sensitive, book-loving, basketball-playing teen, he portrayed the polar opposite on Gilmore Girls

Chad Michael Murray’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ character has a crush on Rory Gilmore 

Chad Michael Murray visits 'The IMDb Show' in 2019
Chad Michael Murray visits The IMDb Show in 2019 | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

RELATED: What is Chad Michael Murray’s Net Worth?

Prior to becoming synonymous with the fictional town of Tree Hill, Murray spent time in another charming yet pretend locale: Stars Hollow. On Gilmore Girls, he plays Tristan Dugray, a classmate of Rory Gilmore’s (Alexis Bledel) at Chilton. 

Murray makes his first appearance as Tristan in Gilmore Girls Season 1 Episode 2: “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton.” Although he’s considered the most eligible guy at the prestigious private school, Rory finds Tristan annoying. 

For example, when Rory starts school at Chilton, Tristan doesn’t call her by her name. Instead, he refers to her as Mary. Tristan continues to be a source of annoyance for Rory. And it’s only later in the show Rory learns Tristan has a crush on her. 

According to his acting credits on IMDb, Murray played the part of bad boy Tristan in 11 episodes from 2000 to 2001. 

Chad Michael Murray’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ character, Tristan Dugray, leaves Chilton for military school

The writers behind Gilmore Girls dispense with Murray’s character in the show’s second season. It comes after some drama involving Tristan, Rory, and her boyfriend, Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki). 

In one of the final episodes of Gilmore Girls Season 1, Rory and Dean break up. In the aftermath of their split, Rory goes to a Chilton party. Hurting over her breakup, Rory shares a kiss with Tristan. 

After Rory and Dean get back together, the kiss between her and Tristan becomes an issue. Rory debates whether to tell Dean what happened. Deciding not to tell him, she asks Tristan to keep it a secret.

Chad Michael Murray attends the premiere of 'The Score'
Chad Michael Murray attends the premiere of The Score | Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

RELATED: How Many Times Has Chad Michael Murray Been Married?

Murray makes his final appearance as Tristan in Gilmore Girls Season 2 Episode 9: “Run Away, Little Boy.”

The episode finds Tristan and Rory preparing for their second kiss, this time for a school production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But out of nowhere, Murray’s character says goodbye.

Tristan tells Rory his dad is sending him to military school in North Carolina. The line is a nod to Murray’s new gig on One Tree Hill, filmed and set in North Carolina.

Had Murray continued playing Tristan on Gilmore Girls, the show might have explored a relationship between him and Rory. But no one knows because the actor left for One Tree Hill

Chad Michael Murray doesn’t play Tristan Dugray in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’

Many of the Gilmore Girls cast members showed up to participate in Netflix’s 2016 revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. However, Murray wasn’t one of them.

According to what Liza Weil, who played Paris Gellar, told ET at the time, Murray couldn’t make it work with his acting schedule. But that didn’t stop Tristan from getting a mention in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The revival shows the back of Days of Our Lives actor Anton Narinskiy, pretending to be Tristan.

RELATED: ‘Gilmore Girls’: The 4 Most Comforting Episodes to Watch Right Now