One of the most popular teen drama TV shows from the early 2000s was One Tree Hill – a show set in the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina following the lives of the Scott brothers and their closest friends, love interests, and family members. The first four seasons were set in high school, while the later five seasons followed the characters in their adulthood.
Over the course of nine seasons, One Tree Hill introduced tons of characters and naturally had a lot of guest stars. Some amazed us with their outstanding performances, and others surprised us by merely being on the show. There have been many interesting guest stars on One Tree Hill and picking the ten most memorable wasn't easy, but we gave it a shot.
10 NICK LACHEY
In one of those typically ludicrous scenarios you could only ever get on One Tree Hill, Nick Lachey – to the 1990s kids known for his boy band 98 degrees, and to the younger generations known as Jessica Simpson’s ex-husband and contestant on Dancing with the Stars – flies to Tree Hill to convince Haley to allow him to record one of the songs she’s written.
Apparently, due to a mix-up at the label, Haley’s song became available for artists to record and Nick just had to have that song. To make things more interesting, it turns out that Nick and Brooke used to date, so Brooke decides to use him to make her ex, Julian, jealous. She succeeds, prompting Julian to make several jokes about boy bands and high room temperature. Spoiler alert: it ends with Julian getting punched.
9 TORREY DEVITTO
In one of One Tree Hill’s most bonkers storylines (and the competition here is pretty damn strong), we are introduced to Carrie who becomes Jamie’s nanny in season five. While she seemed normal upon first glance, Carrie turned out to be batshit crazy. She slowly started tearing the Scott family apart, seducing Nathan while Haley wasn't around and aiming to ultimately replace Haley as Nathan’s wife and Jamie’s mother.
Not even firing her worked because she came back and took Jamie. In the end, she was shot and killed by Jamie’s grandpa Dan. Crazy Nanny Carrie, as she came to be known, was portrayed by Torrey DeVitto who at the time wasn't that big a star. After her short run on One Tree Hill, DeVitto starred on Pretty Little Liars and is currently starring on Chicago Med.
8 GAVIN DEGRAW
As any One Tree Hill fan knows, Gavin DeGraw sings the show’s opening theme “I Don’t Want To Be”, which was taken from the singer’s first album Chariot and essentially launched his career. So, it was a pretty big deal when DeGraw made a guest appearance on One Tree Hill. In season one episode “You Gotta Go There To Come Back”, Peyton runs into DeGraw at a CD shop and asks him to do a low key gig at Karen’s café, which he accepts and performs the theme song.
DeGraw made three more appearances on One Tree Hill, including the series finale in which he is seen performing at TRIC’s 10th-anniversary party. DeGraw performed “Belief,” “Soldier,” and of course “I Don’t Want To Be." One Tree Hill had many great musical moments and musical guest stars, but DeGraw holds a special place in the hearts of the fans.
7 EVAN PETERS
Evan Peters is best known for his portrayal of Quicksilver in the X-Men movies, but he’s also starred in the superhero comedy film Kick-Ass, as well as FX’s critically acclaimed anthology horror series American Crime Story. However, before he became such a huge star, Evan Peters played a small part on One Tree Hill. Peters portrayed a teenager named Jack Daniels – we kid you not, that was his name.
Jack was a friend of Sam Walker, the girl who Brooke catches stealing and later becomes her foster mother. Jack Daniels was a troubled but sweet kid who lived with his abusive brother. After escaping his brother’s clutches, Jack left Tree Hill and went into foster care.
6 ASHLEY RICKARDS
Ashley Rickards is best known for portraying Jenna Hamilton on MTV’s teen comedy-drama Awkward. However, before she became the main smart, sarcastic, and witty teenager on the show, Rickards guest starred on One Tree Hill to master her craft. Ashley Rickards made her first appearance as Sam Walker in season six episode “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream: Part I” and she tried to steal from Brooke’s store.
But, despite the fact that the two got off on the wrong foot, Brooke decided to become Sam's foster parent at Haley’s request. The two women grew closer after the kidnapping incident and Brooke even wanted to adopt Sam. But, just when we all started to really like Sam, she left to live with her biological mom.
5 ROBBIE JONES
Quentin Fields was sadly yet another tragic One Tree Hill story. Introduced in season five, Quentin was one of the students at Tree Hill High School. When we first met Quentin he was arrogant, disrespectful, and angry. However, with the help of his English Literature teacher Haley, her husband Nathan, as well as his coach Lucas, Quentin started to change his ways.
Pretty soon everyone grew to love him, including little Jamie Scott who idolized him. Sadly, Quentin was shot and killed in season six, leaving us all heartbroken. Quentin Fields was portrayed by Robbie Jones, who is set to appear on ABC's legal drama The Fix.
4 JAMES VAN DER BEEK
One Tree Hill is just one of the many TV dramas that center around the lives of a group of teenagers. Years before One Tree Hill started airing, Dawson’s Creek was one of the most popular teen shows on TV. The series starred James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams, Meredith Monroe, and Kerr Smith.
James Van Der Beek, who portrayed Dawson Leery on Dawson’s Creek, had a guest appearance on One Tree Hill. Van Der Beek played the eccentric and egotistical movie director Adam Reese who was supposed to direct the film based on Lucas’s novel "An Unkindness of Ravens". Reese was a real jerk who actually celebrated the movie’s cancellation because he got paid for doing nothing.
3 AMANDA SCHULL
In season seven, following Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton’s departure from the show, One Tree Hill added two new main characters – Clay Evans and Quinn James. Clay, portrayed by Robert Buckley, was Nathan’s agent and friend with a complicated and tragic past. The sudden passing of his beloved wife Sara left him broken and unwilling to move one.
Sara was portrayed by Amanda Schull, who is best known as Dr. Cassandra Railly on 12 Monkeys and Katrina Bennet on Suits. But Schull didn’t just portray the sweet and loving Sara, she also played Sara’s disturbed lookalike, Katie Ryan. While we all loved Sara, Katie gave us the chills, so kudos to Amanda Schull!
2 JOE MANGANIELLO
Before he became a huge star with roles in films such as Magic Mike, Justice League, and shows like True Blood, Joe Manganiello appeared on several episodes of One Tree Hill. Manganiello made his first appearance in season six as Owen Morello, a bartender at TRIC, a former alcoholic, drug user, and Brooke Davis’ short-term love interest.
After playing the old will they, won’t they game for a while, Brooke and Owen started dating, but their relationship came to an end when Brooke said she wanted kids. Owen was a likable character, up until he slept with Brooke’s friend Millicent, that is.
1 COLIN FICKES
Most One Tree Hill fans will agree that the show peaked in season three. The season as a whole has some of the best character arcs and development on the show, however, the highlight of season three is, without a doubt, “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” – aka, the school shooting episode. Tackling the grave issue of gun violence, this episode lifted One Tree Hill to new heights.
And we’d be remiss not to mention Colin Fickes, the actor who portrayed Jimmy Edwards, the distraught boy responsible for the shooting. Fickes, who turned in perhaps the best performance by an actor in the show’s entire run, played Jimmy with incredible nuance, allowing us to see the world through Jimmy’s eyes and empathize with him.