"An Attempt To Tip The Scales" is the fourth episode of the third season of One Tree Hill and the 49th produced episode of the series. It was broadcasted on October 26, 2005. It's party time in Tree Hill. A masquerade ball at Tric provides the perfect opportunity for Haley to win back Nathan's heart, and for Brooke to seduce Lucas. Punk-pop sensation "Fall Out Boy" performs amidst the costume madness, while Peyton tries to come to terms with the new mother in her life. Meanwhile, Dan gives Deb an ultimatum, but soon finds she's a much more worthy opponent than he thought.


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Lucas and Haley decide on what he should wear for the masquerade party

Haley and Lucas are in the shop trying on different costumes. Lucas refuses to come out, but Haley eventually forces him out in a caveman suit. After, he emerges as a pimp, a matador, a cowboy, a ninja, a hippy, Elvis, and finally, Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. He says this party is his chance to make his and Brooke's relationship exclusive and to get Haley to find out what Brooke wants. As he tries to get her to pick a costume out, Haley doesn't mind as nothing will impress Nathan enough. Meanwhile, Dan walks in on the mayor having sex with some hookers. He videos it and offers to make a deal, if he resigns, the video goes away and then he will endorse Dan for mayor. Peyton is designing wings in her room for the party as Brooke is going as the devil. She refuses to eat and tells Larry that she knows about the breast cancer, but this takes Larry as surprise as Ellie never told him. Deb goes outside to see Dan in her yard, she tells him to sign the divorce papers and leave. He offers to sign them if she signs for him being mayor. She signs and then finds out that the divorce has been postponed for 2 month, so she can stick by him to become mayor. As Deb tells him to forget it, Dan offers to leave Nathan alone, if she sticks with him, and she is forced to agree.

Haley is practicing her guitar and failing to try and make a new song. As she does, she notices Brooke designing her devil outfit who tells her she isn't sticking to the instructions. As she shows her her project, Haley is shocked at her outcome as it is really good. Brooke then decides on an outfit for Haley, the typical outfit to get your man to see you in a new light, but doesn't tell her what. Haley says she doesn't even think Nathan is going to come, making Brooke go to visit him. Brooke tells Nathan his wife is hurting and she hasn't written a song due to him not being there. Brooke gets him to think about it promising Haley will look hot as hell. Lucas goes by the cafe to see Haley and she tells him that Brooke wants him to go as Tommy Lee. As Haley walks into the kitchen, she watches from a distance as Lucas takes money out of the register, she is shocked by him as Lucas doesn't notice her watching him. Larry goes to see Ellie and she tells him that Peyton might have breast cancer, it is a small risk but she needs to be checked. Ellie tells him that she came out of remission and she sees it as karma. Ellie says she came back to get to know her daughter before it was too late, but if he wants her to leave, she will.

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Peyton shows her dad her 'angel of death' costume

Brooke is in Suburban Filth designing her outfit, another employee spots it and is impressed, Lucas then comes in and she is forced to hide it. Lucas says that his outfit is going to get her to become exclusive, but Brooke says her outfit will make him change his mind on the commitment issue. In the Scott house, Dan sees Deb arrive home with a very expensive new wardrobe. Larry goes in to see Peyton in her outfit, the angel of death. They talk about her mom and how much he misses her and the worst part was losing her so suddenly. He tells her that Ellie has a fair warning and maybe she could get to know her and even find out who her real father is. Nathan arranges to get together with someone tonight as he stares at him and a girl at High Flyers. He also tells them Haley can't know.

At the party, Haley arrives as rebellious Sandy from Grease with Brooke, dressed as the devil. Brooke gives her guidelines on how to look more sexy as Haley is less than excited to be in the very uncomfortable outfit. Mouth approaches them to tell them he is not going to spend his senior year chasing after someone who doesn't want him back, Haley agrees that is a good idea, making the situation very awkward. Dan gets home to hear Deb making some very suspicious noises. He storms in the room she is in, to find a personal instructor stretching her, in a very suggestible position. He asks where all his stuff is and Deb says she has to throw it out after the sprinklers came on after she'd thrown his stuff out the window. She tells him to find someplace else to sleep.

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Brooke sees Lucas with a girl dressed as Pamela Anderson, as her plan backfires

Back at Tric, Nathan is dressed as Batman, so he can see everything, without really being there. Haley goes over to see Peyton and Peyton tells her she is annoyed with her as she didn't bother to call Nathan while she was away, but also that Nathan just complimented her, so there is her in, if she still loves him. As Peyton goes to the bar, Lucas walks in as Tommy Lee. As he approaches Brooke, she laughs at how gullible he is as she hates Tommy Lee. As she laughs, another girl approaches him as Pamela Anderson and says they get back together. She asks him to dance, unless he is seeing someone, but Lucas says he will, as he isn't seeing anyone exclusively. Brooke storms off to Peyton and jealously eyes Lucas and the girl dancing. Deb gets ready to go to bed as she finds Dan naked in her bed, having found somewhere else to sleep. She furiously gets into bed and switches the light off. As Dan tries to sleep, she shocks him with a taser and forces Dan off the bed. In Tric, Haley is looking for Nathan as Karen walks around in a police uniform. She asks if she is okay as she has noticed money is missing and asks if it was her. Haley confesses it was and apologizes, taking the blame for Lucas. Karen says she is always there for her and shouldn't have lied.
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Haley kisses Batman

As Haley begins to carry the drinks around, someone trips her up and the crowd applause around her. Suddenly, Nathan picks her up and takes off his mask. He says that her outfit isn't really her and as Haley says she just wanted him to want her again, she begins to cry and apologize, she runs off humiliated with what she is wearing. Mouth goes to see Peyton and as they moan about how they don't want to be there, he suggests dancing to cheer up their mood and the two take to the dance floor. The crowd goes wild as they end and Karen gives a humiliating introduction to Fall Out Boy and, realizing no one is responding to her whoot-whoot's, she introduces Fall Out Boy to the stage. As they perform, Brooke walks out after seeing Lucas and the girl dressed as Pamela Anderson together. Brooke goes backstage to find Haley in tears, she tells her that Grease is a lie and that she is done playing games. She tells Brooke that she is a geek and a nerd, not who she is playing in this costume, but Brooke says she is a rock star. Haley insists she isn't anymore, that she is just Haley and that should be enough. As Haley leaves, Batman comes in through the steam. He sweeps her over and kisses her, before leaving her speechless backstage. Haley is back in her apartment as Lucas goes round to see if she was okay. She tells him that Nathan kissed her and then just walked off. As Lucas heads home, Haley tells him that she covered for him with the money from the cafe. She asks what's wrong and he tells her he has the heart condition HCM, which Dan has. Peyton goes to see Ellie and tells her that she is curious to get to know her but doesn't want to be as it is getting harder and harder to remember her other mom. She says that she already found out that she has picked up music from Ellie and knows she must have picked something up from Anna, maybe her art. Ellie assures her that she can't draw and that is from her mom. She offers to tell her anything she wants, but if she doesn't want to know anything, then that is fine too.

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Nathan asks Chris Keller to help Haley with her music

Nathan is at a bar with Chris Keller, the person who he arranged to meet. He asks Chris to help Haley with her music as he loves her and she loves the music. He warns him that if he touches her, he'll crush him. Chris then says he will do it, but it will cost him, but ends up taking Nathan's sandwich as payment. Nathan also asks for it to be kept a secret. As Deb sleeps, the phone rings. She answers to find Dan at the other end saying he loved her once and then proceeds to tell her that he has glued the phone and it sticks to her face. Once that is stuck, he blows an air horn through the phone into Deb's ear. Brooke gets home jealous of the 'Baywatch babe.' She tells her to be careful as Lucas' heart is more fragile than she thinks. Lucas gets home and puts the feather off Brooke's devil costume in his case with his medication. Peyton tells Larry she talked to Ellie, but she didn't ask who her real father is, as she already knows. Meanwhile, Ellie draws Peyton as an angel, showing she was lying about being bad at art. Chris Keller gets back to his apartment with the batman outfit lying on his bed, proving he was the one to kiss her in the Batman costume, even though Haley thinks Nathan was the one to kiss her. Chris smiles as he remembers the night he had.

Memorable Quotes

"Fine. Run for mayor, run for Miss Teen North Carolina for all I care. At least I won't be around to watch."
- Deb Scott to Dan Scott
"You know, the devil doesn't have sequins, or feathers, or breasts you know?"
"Well, in my universe, she does."
Haley James Scott and Brooke Davis
"Just figured it might be the perfect occasion to stop punishing your wife. Haley's really hurting Nathan. I mean come on, how hard would it be to stop by and smile at her and tell her she looks cute?"
"Harder than you think."
"She hasn't written a song since you guys split up. I guess her talent was tied to you. No Nathan, no music."
Brooke Davis tells Nathan Scott about his wife
"I thought you were playing hard to get."
"Actually, I believe you're the one playing hard to get."
"Doesn't mean we can't have a whole lot of fun in the mean time."
"Just means we'll be wearing a whole lot more clothes while we're having it."
"Right commitment thing. Think my costume's gonna help you change your mind."
Brooke Davis and Lucas Scott
"I thought you were going as an angel?"
"I am, the angel of death. Thought it was appropriate."
Larry Sawyer finds Peyton Sawyer in her outfit
"No pain, no gain girl. Now get your game face other game...ok, we'll work on that."
Brooke Davis tries to get Haley James Scott to look sexy
"Peyton, I don't understand why you're so pissed off."
"Really? You come back to town after months of being away and try to pretend like nothing happened...Haley, it's not me. I'm not that needy, but you didn't even call Nathan and anyway, I just don't like what you did. But you know, your husband just said you look hot. So if you do still love him, there's your in."
Haley James Scott finds out why Peyton Sawyer is so annoyed at her
"Alright, are you guys ready to see Fall Down Boy?"
"Fall Out Boy."
"Oh, right, right. Anyway, do I hear a whoot whoot?...Guess not, all right, well, without further ado, Fall Out Boy."
Karen Roe
"This is such a bad idea...I look like an idiot...This Grease thing is a lie. Like, what, you turn into some spandex-wearing, cigarette smoking hussy and you get your man? That doesn't work...Even if it did, that's not who I am. I'm a tutor. I'm a nerd."
"You're a rock star."
"Not anymore. I'm just Haley. That really should be enough. I'm done playing games Brooke. I'm just gonna go home...and there better be cookie dough."
Haley James Scott tells Brooke Davis
"Look. I don't want to be curious about you, but I can't help it. I am...I'm just scared...Of forgetting my mom, okay? Anna. I used to have one of her T-shirts that smelled like her, and I slept with it every night until one day, it started to smell more like me than it did her. And so I took it out and I tried every detergent I could find just trying to find that smell. And I couldn't. It was gone. And so now sometimes I test myself, you know, just to see if I can find that smell. And once in a while, I can but it's getting harder and harder."
Peyton Sawyer tells Ellie Harp about her mom and why she is so hesitant to get to know her
"Lucas thought he could make me jealous with that Baywatch bimbo. Two can play at that game."
"Brooke. Be careful. His heart's more fragile than you think."
Brooke Davis and Haley James Scott
"Haley? Are you Okay?"
"Yeah, if okay's, like heels that are killing me and underwear that's digging into my rib cage and i'm about five minutes from going home and binging on cookie dough."
-Karen Roe and Haley James Scott
"Where is all my stuff, Deb?"
"I gave it away."
"You what?!"
" I had to. It was all wet and smelly."
"And how did that happen?"
"The sprinklers came on by accident after I tossed everything out the window. That part was on purpose.
- Dan and Deb Scott


  • "Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, there is no privacy that cannot be penetrated. No secret can be kept in the civilized world. Society is a masked ball, where everyone hides his real character then reveals it by hiding."


  • "Invincible" - Ok Go
  • "If I Handle You With Care" - Trembling Blue Stars
  • "Trondheim" - Tom Freund
  • "More Of The Shame" - Buddy
  • "Bonbs Away" - Paris, Texas
  • "Girls, Girls, Girls" - Motley Crue
  • "She's A Sexy Thing" - Andromeda
  • "I Wanna Move You" - Erica C.
  • "Disco Inferno" - The Trammps
  • "Dance, Dance" - Fall Out Boy
  • "In Your Head" - Rob Grad
  • "Empty Room" - Marjorie Fair

This episode's title originated from the song An Attempt To Tip The Scales, originally sung by Bright Eyes...


Episode References

Season 3 episodes

Like You Like An ArsonistFrom The Edge Of The Deep Green SeaFirst Day On A Brand New PlanetAn Attempt to Tip the ScalesA Multitude of CasualtiesLocked Hearts and Hand GrenadesChampagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham FriendsThe Worst Day Since YesterdayHow a Resurrection Really FeelsBrave New WorldReturn of the FutureI've Got Dreams to RememberThe Wind That Blew My Heart AwayAll Tomorrow's PartiesJust Watch the FireworksWith Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We SleptWho Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of ThemWhen It Isn't Like It Should BeI Slept with Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About MeEveryday Is a Sunday EveningOver the Hills and Far AwayThe Show Must Go On

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