"Crash Course In Polite Conversation" is the twelfth episode of the first season of One Tree Hill and the 12th produced episode of the series. After Peyton receives the devastating news that her father is lost at sea, she and Lucas take an overnight trip to Hilton Head to identify a body that has washed ashore. Overcome with emotion, Peyton kisses Lucas. Meanwhile, an unexpected visit from Dan's parents leaves the Scott family in turmoil as numerous family secrets are revealed at Dan's birthday dinner.
With her dad now not going away as often, Peyton decides she wants to give her Dad a present for when he returns. Enlisting the help of Brooke and Lucas, Peyton decides to fix her Dad's car off as he hasn't used it for a long time. Lucas is put in charge of getting the engine running while Peyton and Brooke are in charge of waxing and cleaning the car. Meanwhile, at the Scott household, the parents of Dan visit, Royal and May Scott. Unknown to them that Dan has moved out and that him and Deb have split up, the two arrive on their doorstep with a plan to celebrate Dan's upcoming birthday. Inviting the couple in, Deb is later forced to visit Dan to tell him that his parents are here. Dan persuades Deb to not tell them about their divorce as they will only make it worse. Reluctantly, Deb agrees. Later, Royal goes to visit Karen at her cafe. Haley, unknown to who he is, tells him that Karen is on a cooking course. Royal is happy for Karen and asks after Lucas, but when asked to leave a name, Royal won't and leaves the cafe. Deb then emerges from round the cafe, obviously aware of who just asked after Karen.
Peyton finds that there is a category 3 hurricane where her Dad is meant to be on his boat. Beginning to worry, Brooke and Lucas attempt to calm her down but Peyton knows that something could be wrong with her Dad. Later, Lucas and Brooke finally get the car working and looking in good condition, they begin celebrating just as Peyton walks out the house crying. Her Dad's boat is missing and she needs to go and identify a body to see if it is Larry's. Meanwhile, Nathan asks Haley to the dinner and she accepts. As the guests arrive, Whitey is invited along with Keith and Royal soon makes it clear where Dan got his pushy attitude when Dan is bigged up about his great playing in high-school, and his game could have only got better if he hadn't damaged a knee forcing him to pull out. As Haley arrives, Royal pretends he doesn't know her and greets her as a stranger. Receiving the hint, Haley does the same back.
In order to get to identify the body, Peyton has to go on a 4 hour drive into the middle of the storm. Both Brooke and Lucas volunteer to go but as Brooke realizes the dangers of the trip, she says she will stay and see if the phone rings with any news. Lucas and Peyton set off on their journey and on their way, Peyton thanks him as Lucas establishes his relationship is just a friendship with Peyton by adding that is what friends are for. At the dinner, Dan is doing his best to protect his Dad from the different news that could make him disappointed in his son. Firstly, Dan lies about Nathan quitting the team and this is followed up by the lie that the Tree Hill Ravens still hold the record of the undefeated title, which they lost in their previous game. As the dinner continues, Haley pulls Nathan to one side and tells him about what happened in the cafe that morning. Shocked and confused, Nathan questions what exactly his Granddad was doing keeping touch with Karen as well as asking after Lucas. They are both forced to return to the table with this secret underwraps.
As Lucas and Peyton are on their way to see her Dad, they both find out that the bridge linking their journey is closed due to the extremity of the storm. The two are told to rent a motel room as they can only get across at 6 am the following morning. Taking the advice, Lucas and Peyton rent out a room. In the room, Lucas offers to sleep on the floor, but Peyton insists they both sleep on the bed. Peyton shows Lucas a bracelet her Dad gave her, which Lucas tells her to keep close to her heart to keep him safe. Back at the Scott dinner, as Royal begins asking Nathan about the team and realizes something isn't right, Nathan breaks the lies and tells his Granddad that he has quit the team. Royal begins shouting at Nathan as Nathan eventually reveals about him going to the cafe. Deb is forced to butt into the conversation and tells him that it is Dan's fault not Nathan's as Dan is the problem. As May realizes how pressured her grandchild has been into playing basketball, May turns on Dan asking him how he could do something like this after what they went through with basketball. Unaware of this, Royal demands and answer to what they are talking about.
May reveals to Royal as well as the rest of the table that Dan didn't actually have an unhealable knee injury, but Dan didn't enjoy basketball at college anymore so she gave him a way out, to lie. The rest of the table leave awkwardly or either storming away in shock with what just has been revealed about Tree Hill's pushy father. Later, Dan tells Nathan that the basketball was different in college and therefore, he didn't enjoy it. But by quitting basketball, he made the worst decision of his life and the reason he pushes Nathan is to not let him have a life of regret. Nathan tells Dan he will never end up like his Dad living a life of regret. Before going to sleep, Deb says she can't be mad at Dan for all the lies as she has realized tonight that she has been living a lie by staying with Dan.The following morning, Peyton and Lucas go to identify the body. As the body is revealed to Peyton, a sigh of relief is let out as she soon realizes the body isn't Larry after all and he may still be okay. Leaving the building, Lucas calls Brooke to tell her the good news, but Brooke was just calling them to tell them that Peyton's dad has been found and he is fine. Ending their call to Brooke, Peyton realizes she has left her bracelet from her dad at the motel. The two rush back to the motel to find the bracelet. The next morning at the Scott's household is very awkward. May and Deb are in the kitchen talking about what lengths they go to to protect their sons. As Dan enters the kitchen, May tells him not to let history repeat itself, but Dan ignores her and walks out. Outside, Nathan finds Royal to tell him that if Dan was willing to lie to him for so many years, he must have really loved him to save him from disappointment from his father. At the breakfast table, Royal gives Keith his first compliment since getting back, but is just a way to make Dan jealous. May then gives Dan a birthday present. Opening it up, Dan finds out it is a quilt made of his old basketball jerseys. Happy with his present, May tells Dan he still has a lot to be proud of.
Returning to the motel, Lucas and Peyton search for her bracelet , which is found under the quilts. Relieved, Peyton starts crying as Lucas comforts her. The two then look at each other before kissing and end up undressing each other. As the two lie on the bed, Lucas' necklace gets caught in Peyton's hair, making Lucas remember Brooke as she bought him that necklace. The two end it there and decide to go back home. On their way home, Peyton tells Lucas they just got carried away and it meant nothing. Lucas questions this and then Peyton reveals that it did. Dan goes to see Deb and thanks her for not making the situation worse by telling them about the split. but Deb tells Dan that she has been lying by staying with Dan and walks away from him. As Royal and May leave, Nathan tells Haley he is returning to basketball even though Haley thinks it is a good idea to leave basketball and let go of the control, but Nathan thinks it is the only way to get out from his controlling father, by being better than him. Arriving home, Peyton and Lucas are greeted by an oblivious Brooke as the two of them exchange looks of guilt for what went on before their trip home.
- "Back off Royal, I've had enough of your crap. Nathan is not the problem"
- "In college, his knee injury, it wasn't permanent. Danny quit, and I helped him"
- - May Scott about Dan quitting basketball
- "I'm in a hurry to find out if my Dad is dead, it's kind of surreal"
- "You see son, you still have a lot to be proud of"
- "We got carried away, it didn't mean anything"
- "It didn't?"
- "Course it did"
- "Overdrive" - Katy Rose
- "Fools At The Table" - Matt Beckler
- "Maybe Tomorrow" - Stereophonics
- "Escape" - Smith Point
This episode's title originated from the song Crash Course In Polite Conversation, originally sung by Gameface.
- Karen does not appear in this episode.