‘One Tree Hill’ Fans Can’t Hear These 5 Songs Without Thinking of the Show

Music became almost like a character on One Tree Hill. Episodes of the WB/CW series got their names from songs or albums. And musicians made guest appearances. A music venue even became part of the storyline on OTH. Before that, Karen’s Cafe held open mic nights. 

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush, and James Lafferty on MTV's 'Total Request Live'
Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush, and James Lafferty on MTV’s Total Request Live | Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Fans of the TV show watched their favorite characters live out their lives to a unique soundtrack for nine seasons. Today, fans of the teen series can’t help but think of Tree Hill when they hear these songs. 

‘I Don’t Want to Be’ – Gavin DeGraw

First up is the theme song to OTH. Gavin DeGraw’s 2003 chart-topping song, “I Don’t Want to Be” will forever be associated with the series. Every week from 2003 – 2012 fans heard the musician’s song as the opening credits rolled and Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) dribbled a basketball through Tree Hill. 

The OTH cast even sang “I Don’t Want to Be” during a reunion in 2016, according to Entertainment Weekly.

RELATED: ‘One Tree Hill’: How Many Co-Stars Did Sophia Bush Date?

‘The Mixed Tape’ – Jack’s Mannequin

In One Tree Hill Season 3 Episode 15: “Just Watch the Fireworks”, Peyton Sawyer (Burton) manages to get major acts to perform at her breast cancer benefit concert including Jack’s Mannequin, Fall Out Boy, and Haley James Scott (Lenz).

She’s inspired to organize the event after her biological mother, Ellie, dies of breast cancer. The episode launched a soundtrack OTH fans could buy and featured Jack’s Mannequin performing “The Mixed Tape” to a packed venue.

‘Missing You’ – Tyler Hilton

Featured during a major moment between Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) and Haley is Tyler Hilton’s “Missing You.” In One Tree Hill Season 3 Episode 13: “The Wind That Blew My Heart Away”, Nathan admitted to being proud of Haley. 

The same episode also featured a memorable moment in the rain when Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) finally confronts Lucas.

Tyler Hilton performs during the Sunkist 'One Tree Hill' Friends with Benefits Tour
Tyler Hilton performs during the Sunkist One Tree Hill Friends with Benefits Tour | Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Not only did Hilton’s music get featured on OTH but he joined the cast of the show as an arrogant and sometimes lovable musician. 

‘Always Love’ – Nada Surf

The song from Nada Surf can be heard multiple times on OTH. Fans might remember the song when it’s revealed that Brooke wrote letters to Lucas but never sent them.

OTH isn’t the only popular teen series of the early 2000’s to feature music by Nada Surf. The band’s songs also got airtime on The O.C., the Fox program starring Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, and Benjamin McKenzie.

RELATED: ‘One Tree Hill’: Michael Jordan Played On the Same Courts On the Show

‘Dare You to Move’ – Switchfoot

The Switchfoot song is used multiple times during the series. Although the first time is a standout moment for Nathan and Haley.

In One Tree Hill Season 1 Episode 8: “The Search for Something More”, Nathan shows up at Haley’s house to apologize to her. Proclaiming that he “wants to be somebody who is good enough to be seen” with her, Nathan kisses Haley. And so begins one of the show’s central romances. 

These are just a few of the many songs featured on OTH. Stream the entire series on Hulu and listen for the music that’s become synonymous with the show.