‘One Tree Hill’: Bethany Joy Lenz’s Keepsake is the Perfect Reminder of Lucas and Haley’s Friendship

One Tree Hill featured many fan-favorite relationships over the years. Nearly a decade after the CW series’ end, some fans still rave over the long-lasting marriage between Haley James (played by Bethany Joy Lenz) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty). Other viewers rooted for Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton Morgan). Later on, Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) and Julian Baker (Austin Nichols) became a beloved power couple.

One Tree Hill had romantic relationships aplenty, but one of the most iconic relationships remained strictly platonic: Lucas and Haley. The two best friends stuck by each other from start to finish, even after Lucas moved away.

During an interview with Bush and Burton Morgan, Lenz revealed her favorite keepsake from One Tree Hill. Many fans may be delighted to hear that the item draws a sweet connection between Lucas and Haley.

Bethany Joy Lenz at the 'Ford V Ferrari' premiere in 2019
Bethany Joy Lenz at the ‘Ford V Ferrari’ premiere in 2019 | Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic

Lucas Scott and Haley James were best friends on ‘One Tree Hill’

One Tree Hill introduced viewers to Lucas and Haley in the pilot episode. Lucas’s mother, Karen Roe (Moira Kelly), owned a restaurant called Karen’s Cafe, where Haley worked as a server. The episode revealed that Lucas and Haley had been friends since they were young, as Haley came from a big family and felt Lucas’s small family needed her more.

Lucas and Haley proved their platonic love for each other time and time again. They always had each other’s back, even when they joined a more popular crowd at Tree Hill High School. Lucas and Haley often received the best advice from each other, and although they experienced fights, their friendship never disbanded.

When Lucas moved away from Tree Hill with Peyton, Haley often wrote letters to her friend to keep him updated on the town. He even returned in the final season for a brief scene to take care of Haley’s children, Jamie (Jackson Brundage) and Lydia.

During Lenz, Bush, and Burton Morgan’s One Tree Hill rewatch podcast, Drama Queens, Lenz revealed that the writers originally intended Haley and Lucas to have a romantic relationship. However, Lenz and Murray had “no chemistry,” so the characters remained friends. Thankfully, this dynamic ended up becoming very successful.

Bethany Joy Lenz says her favorite ‘One Tree Hill’ keepsake came from the pilot episode

During a discussion of the show for Interview magazine, Lenz told Burton Morgan and Bush that her favorite keepsake from One Tree Hill is the Julius Caesar book from the pilot episode. As fans may recall, Haley gave the William Shakespeare play to Lucas as a gift. Later in the teen drama, Lucas quoted the very same text: “There is a tide in the affairs of men.”

Bush and Burton Morgan took their own keepsakes from the One Tree Hill set. For Burton Morgan, it was the jacket that Peyton’s birth mother, Ellie (Sheryl Lee), gave her.

“That was an intense crying scene for me. My body has a physical reaction to that jacket,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bush kept quite a few mementos from her One Tree Hill days. She revealed that she kept a photo album filled with real pictures of her and Burton Morgan, which the show used on Brooke’s birthday. Additionally, she kept the “Brooke Davis for President” pin from the character’s student council election. That item has since held special meaning for the False Positive actor.

“When I think about why that’s the one thing I’ve displayed — next to a photo of the three of us — it’s because it symbolized something that at the time really embarrassed me, but now I respect,” Bush said. “Brooke Davis took the thing she was made fun of for and turned it into an anthem. She was this bad b—- who owned her s—. That’s something I’ve tried to emulate.”

Bethany Joy Lenz, Sophia Bush, and Hilarie Burton Morgan are taking back ‘One Tree Hill’ with ‘Drama Queens’ podcast

Lenz, Bush, and Burton Morgan have revisited One Tree Hill so long after its end for one important reason: to “reclaim” it. Burton Morgan and Bush, as well as other female cast and crew members, have previously spoken out about the abuse they experienced on set with creator Mark Schwahn.

“What I think is great and what I want to serve as an example is taking back work that is rightfully ours,” Burton Morgan told People of the podcast. “We put in a lot of work as young people, and we’re not responsible for the actions of other people. And so to reclaim that thing that’s ours and that we were excited about when we were 22, 23 years old is an empowering thing to do as a grownup lady now.”

RELATED: ‘One Tree Hill’: Hilarie Burton Thinks Peyton Sawyer Would be in ‘So Much Therapy Right Now’