One Tree Hill Wiki
One Tree Hill Wiki

“You can’t kill Dan Scott.”
―Dan Scott[src]

Daniel Robert "Dan" Scott is the biological father of Lucas and Nathan Scott. Dan learns about Lucas when Karen falls pregnant in high school. Unfortunately, he left her to pursue a relationship with Deb Scott, who falls pregnant a few months after Karen did with their son, Nathan Royal Scott. Dan asks Karen for custody of their son Lucas, which was turned down by Karen out of fear that Lucas would become like him. This was something that comes as a shock to Lucas after Dan tells him to go find out the truth from his mother. After being turned down for custody, Dan began to despise Lucas, also due to the fact that Lucas was raised by Keith Scott, Dan's older brother. Dan's marriage with Deb came to an end as Deb tried to kill Dan in order to break away and divorce him. As a result of too much pressure under choosing sides, Dan's younger son, Nathan, decides to emancipate himself which was suggested by his girlfriend, now wife, Haley James Scott. With the opinion that Keith's intention was to kill him and take his son, Dan shoots Keith in the Tree Hill High School hallway, killing him. Dan had always been jealous of Keith. He was the man whom Karen gave all her attention besides Lucas to. Keith was the man Lucas thought of as his hero. Dan didn't have that with his eldest son, no matter how much he wanted to. Keith had been telling Jimmy Edwards, a student who had brought a gun to school, causing a school lockdown and now was trying to kill himself that it gets better. Dan thought Keith was talking to him, which made Dan think, "It doesn't get better." This all was why Dan shot Keith. And now Keith was going to be a father to Karen's second child, Lily Roe Scott, which was unknown to Karen until after Keith's death. Lily was born the same day that Dan's younger son Nathan becomes a father, to Jamie Scott, his first born child, a son, with Haley. Dan decides to let Jimmy Edwards, the boy who commits suicide in the hallway of Tree Hill High School take the blame for Keith's death, even fooling Lucas into believing that it was Jimmy that killed his uncle.

Dan now tried to play a role in the life of unborn Lily, helping with the pregnancy. Lucas soon finds out the truth about Dan murdering Keith, yelling to his mother, "He killed Keith, he shot him!" Pointing at Dan after catching his mother and father making out. Dan accused Lucas of needing psychological help and recommended he gets some. The day that both Lily and Jamie come into the world was the same day that Dan turned himself into the police for murdering Keith, giving up his soon-to-be relationship with Lily along with his spot as mayor, along with his successes over the years and his relationship with Karen. "My name is Dan Scott," he says to the front desk of the police station. "I killed my brother." After years in jail, Dan Scott was set free and soon forms a strong bond with his grandson, Jamie. With the thought he might have died due to his heart condition, Dan left his grandson and instead turned his attention to Rachel Gatina, his new wife. He started to preach about redemption in an attempt to win back the love and support of his family that was taken away the day the trigger of the gun used to kill Keith was pulled. Dan received a heart transplant as well. He later forms a strong bond with Jamie and Lydia Scott, his granddaughter via Nathan and Haley. Unfortunately, Dan only met his granddaughter via Lucas and Peyton, Sawyer Scott once. Dan also decided to help out at Karen's Cafe, run by Haley and Brooke.

When he learned his son was still missing, Dan went on a hunt to retrieve his son. He ended up killing most of the men working for Dimitri, the main kidnapper. After soon finding his son, Nathan and Dan were spotted by Dimitri. Dimitri took out his gun and aimed at Nathan. Ever since Nathan was little, his father had nothing but love for him. This was proved when Dan jumped in front of Nathan, the bullet going through Dan's back. After shooting Dan, Dimitri was then distracted while telling Nathan that he will "join his father" referring to how his father had a bullet in his back. Nathan then pulled out a gun from his back pocket and shoots Dimitri, killing him. Dan was then taken to a hospital by Nathan and Julian, Brooke's husband. Dan was awake at the hospital, saying his last words to his grandchildren, Deb, his daughter-in-law Haley, and Nathan. Lucas did not show up for Dan, which was understood by Dan, considering Dan had never been there for Lucas' life, so, "why should Lucas be there for his." Dan later died while laying in the hospital bed, surrounded by Nathan, Haley, Jamie, Lydia, and Deb. While slowly making his way to hell, Keith meets Dan halfway, telling him he forgave him and took him to heaven. Dan's transformation over the course of the whole series has been noted as the most remarkable out of all transitions on One Tree Hill. He goes from the controlling father, to the dangerous murderer, to the man who took a bullet though his skin for the sake of his son.

Character arc[]


Daniel Robert "Dan" Scott was the second child and son of Royal and May Scott. Dan grew up with an older brother, Keith, whom he didn't get along with that well, and was pushed by his father to become a great basketball player. During his teen years he dated the cheerleader Karen Roe who became pregnant with his child just before the end of high school. Before that, he took his team to the state championship, but he didn't like Whitey's plays and chose not to play. The team lost the championship and that is when he and Whitey hate each other. Dan promised to be with her, but he eventually abandoned her. At college, he met Deb Lee and dated her. After a few months Deb became pregnant and Dan decided to marry her. Karen gave birth to a son, Lucas Eugene Scott, a few months before Deb would give birth to Nathan Royal Scott.

Season 1[]

Dan was portrayed as the original villain in the beginning of One Tree Hill. Dan and Karen Roe had a relationship in high school which led to her being pregnant. Dan left Karen behind and went off to college at Carolina and met Deb. A few months later Deb was pregnant as well. He married Deb and Karen gave birth to Lucas whereas a few months later Deb gave birth to Nathan. In the beginning of Season 1, Dan was shown to only care about one his sons, Nathan. Whereas, he left Lucas to be with his mother, Karen. Dan never acknowledged Lucas until Lucas' junior year in high school because Keith Scott, who was Dan Scott's brother, talked to Whitey, who was the coach of the junior varsity basketball team. Keith convinces Whitey to give Lucas a chance to be on the team which Dan wouldn't like to happen. Lucas was granted a spot on the basketball team by the coach, Whitey. Dan was furious with the fact that Lucas will be on the team and turns Nathan against Lucas. Dan tells Nathan that they've worked too hard and they don't need someone like Lucas to take Nathan's spot on the team. However, Lucas does take Nathan's spot as shooting guard which makes Dan even more furious. Lucas finds out that Dan actually tried to have joint custody of Lucas but Karen refused. Through out the season, Dan pushes Nathan too far to the point where Nathan actually takes drugs. Towards the end of the season, Deb and Dan are in the process of going through a divorce and Nathan breaks away from Dan because his girlfriend, Haley taught him to be a better person. Nathan moves out of the house and goes into an apartment. The final scene of Dan of Season 1 was him having an heart attack which plays a major role in later seasons.

Season 2[]

At the beginning of Season 2, Dan had a heart attack. Deb found him on the floor and called 911. Dan let Keith take over the dealer ship while he got better, making him Vice President. When Dan got out of the hospital Deb let him stay until he got better and he tried to make things better with Lucas. Lucas decided to help Dan with rehab but it failed as Dan reverted back to his old ways. Dan finds out he is going to be fine. When Deb asks if he's going to be okay he Dan was paying Jules to be with Keith. Dan deliberately tells Karen that Deb and Keith slept together. Dan finds out that Lucas has HCM and tells him if he moves in he'll pay for his HCM medication. When Nathan and Lucas end up in jail Karen bails them out but Dan takes the credit. Dan and Karen go to court to see who Lucas wants to live with and Lucas says Dan. When Keith finds out Dan paid Jules to be with him he goes to the dealership and they get into a fight. When Nathan ends up in the hospital he was there for him. Dan finds out that Karen was dating Andy her college professor. Dan goes to Andy's class and exposed that he was dating Karen. Nathan was having money problems and Dan says he'll pay the bills only on one condition. Haley has to sign a annulment. Dan tests Lucas's loyalty to him by planting a ledger and a duffel bag of counterfeit money in the ceiling of his dealership office. Lucas fails this test and Dan says that now Lucas means nothing to him and he is no longer paying for his HCM medication and his college fund was terminated. On the season finale of Dan receives a bottle and a note that says " For all you've done". Later that night the dealership was set on fire.

Season 3[]

Dan survived the fire at the dealership, however, without any recollection of who caused the fire, and how he managed to survive it. He made it his mission to find who did it, and get his revenge on the culprit. Initially staying with Deb during the duration of his recovery, Dan retreated again to the beach house. After seeing Lucas standing near a bonfire, part of Dan's memory in regards to the arson is triggered and he remembered seeing Lucas there. Convinced that he was the one that had tried to kill him, Dan followed Lucas to the high school gym where he nearly strangled him. Due to Peyton's intervention, enlightening Dan that Lucas didn't kill him as much as save him, he released his son.

After having the dealership fire ruled as an accident, Dan ran for mayor. Blackmailing Deb into supporting his candidacy, by offering her a deal -support for Nathan's well-being- she stood by his side during the entire election while her best friend, Karen, was running against Dan. However, Dan's campaign was more than once dented by Deb's attempt to embarrass him. Eventually winning the election, Mayor Dan got access to the Fire Departments rulings that the dealership fire was an accident and the police reports, Dan set out the discover the truth. Discovering that his brother, Keith, had bought the same kind of liquor with which he was drugged only hours before the fire, Dan was convinced that he had found his culprit. This information and his thirst for revenge drove Dan to the point where he shot Keith at point blank range in the hallway of Tree Hill High during the school shooting. Successfully blaming Jimmy who had only moments before took his own life, Dan managed to remain unpunished for this crime.

During Nathan and Haley's second wedding, Deb came clean to Dan, telling him that she was the one that had tried to kill him instead of Keith. Overcome by grief and guilt, Dan started seeing Keith's Ghost everywhere.

Season 4[]

Cooper and Rachel got into a car crash, which forced Nathan to try and save them. Dan later visited the hospital after he heard of the turn of events. After learning that his son was alive and well, Dan assaulted Deb at the hospital. Nathan goes to Dan for help with money and he says no. Nathan tells Dan about Daunte and Dan helps him. Dan goes to Daunte and tries to make a bargain with him. When Nathan wins the game Daunte gets angry and runs over Haley and crashes into a wall. Nathan starts punching him and before the cops show up Dan tells Nathan to go. He takes the fall for his son. Dan faces murder charges for what happened to Daunte. Dan is released from jail and Deb attempts suicide. Dan finds Deb and calls the ambulance. He tells them to take her to rehab. He helps Karen out in various ways like making her a crib, fixing her dinner, and helping out at the cafe. Dan gets strange texts and messages written on the walls at work and home from an anonymous person. Dan finds out the person who sending him texts and messages is Abby Brown. He goes to her house and tells her she didn't see anything. Also she didn't see him kill and threatens her and mom. Abby goes to Lucas's home and tell him that his father killed his uncle. Lucas attacks Dan after walking in on him and Karen kissing. Lucas tells Karen that Dan killed Keith, but Dan convinces Karen that Lucas is delusional and needs help. Lucas then steals Deb's gun. While Dan and Karen are eating dinner Lucas confronts Dan in front of Karen, having set him up by sending him a message from "Abby". Karen collapses and Lucas fires a warning shot at Dan, telling him not to touch her. Karen is rushed to hospital with eclampsia and has an emergency c- section. On the season 4 finale Dan goes to the police station and turns himself in for Keith's murder. Karen visits Dan in jail and refuses to forgive him and that when her daughter is old enough, she will tell her that her father loved his younger brother very much, and that brother took her father away from her for her entire life. Dan attempts to hang himself in his jail cell with a bedsheet, but the sheet breaks and Dan curls onto the floor, crying. 

Missing years[]

He was locked up in the Tree Hill Prison for murdering Keith.

Season 5[]

Dan returns to Tree Hill after being paroled.  He attempts contact with his sons, who want nothing to do with him, so he begins following and watching his family.  Because of this, he is able to rescue Jamie from Carrie after she kidnaps him from Lucas' wedding.  After this, Dan has some "secret" meetings with Jamie while he's at school. Jamie wished that Dan would go to his 5th birthday party but he was not allowed to but that didn't stop him from giving him a birthday present. The present was Nathan's first jersey growing up. Later that night, Nathan goes to the beach house to tell Dan that he had no business going to the party and for him to stay away from him and his family. In which Dan gives him some papers. Nathan looks over the papers only to discover that Dan has left the beach house to Nathan and his family. Dan then lays the harsh truth that he only has 6 months to live because of his heart condition (HCM) and needs a heart transplant. Lucas pays Dan a visit because he thinks he's lying and tells him that he's going to check up on if he's dying or not only to find that he really is telling the truth this time. Much to Dan's chagrin, however, he finds that he is second on the donor list and even attempts to smother the number one candidate with a pillow until finding the card Jamie had given him and sees that there is hope. Dan finds out later that the candidate has died and now Dan is number one on the donor list. Dan's happiness is short-lived however, as an unknown party hits Dan with their car when he leaves from the hospital. 

Season 6[]

Dan is held hostage by Carrie, who hit him with a car outside the hospital just as the pager to alert Dan that a heart had been found for transplant. Carrie takes Dan to a remote house and remodels a room to look like that of one in a hospital to fool Dan when he comes to.

Carrie drives Dan's black SUV in front of Jamie's school, leading Haley and Jamie to believe he was still alive, but when Haley attempts to investigate, the SUV pulls away.

Dan attempts to break free, but when he discovers the shallow grave where Carrie buried her son, she knocks him out and chains him to the bed again. Carrie eventually makes contact with Deb in the park and contacts Haley as Dan's "hospice nurse", hoping to lure Haley into a trap and kidnap Jamie again.

Dan comes to again and finds Haley inside the house, but before Haley can help Dan, Carrie knocks out Haley and then goes after Jamie, who is in Haley's SUV. Jamie breaks out the window and runs into the corn field, with Carrie giving chase. Haley finds Jamie, but when her cell phone goes off as Nathan calls, Carrie gives chase again. As the three exit the field and run back in front of the house, Deb knocks out Carrie with a bottle of champagne.

Dan comes out and tells Carrie the police are on their way. Carrie laughs and tells Dan they will never catch her, and Dan responds by shooting her in the chest. Carrie gets up, but Dan shoots her again in the head, killing her once and for all. Dan is exonerated by the authorities and returns to Tree Hill to reconnect with Jamie. Eventually, Dan is placed back on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Jamie discovers the beeper going off in his room, and Dan goes to the hospital for surgery. However, as the heart is brought into the hospital for transplant, the courier trips, the ice chest containing the heart opens, and a dog belonging to a drug addict eats the heart. Dan angrily goes into the ocean and demands the tide take him away, but he survives. He later tells Nathan and Lucas they are good sons and he is sorry for all he's done.

Dan is waiting to die in the season finale when he visits Whitey at his ranch. Dan demands Whitey shoot him, but instead Whitey embraces his former player and tells Dan there's still time for redemption.

Dan goes to Lucas' house and finds Peyton on the porch with their newborn baby, Sawyer. Dan asks Peyton if he can hold his granddaughter. Peyton is hesitant at first, but she relents. As Dan departs, he encounters Karen and Lucas, who are returning from a visit to the cemetery to Keith's grave. The pair walk by Dan without saying a word.

Season 7[]

The season jumps to a point where Dan has a new wife, Rachel Gatina, who graduated with Dan's sons, Nathan and Lucas. Dan is living in Los Angeles, with Rachel. Dan has his own television show called Scott Free Redemption, where he tells people to "step into the light and make yourself right." Rachel serves as the show's producer. Dan had convinced his audience that he is a miracle as he was supposed to die from heart failure 14 months prior. It is later revealed, however, that Rachel paid a couple to take their son off life support so that Dan could get the son's heart and had black market surgeons perform the heart transplant. Dan also helps to clear Nathan's name during the Nathan/Renee Richardson pregnancy scandal by inviting her to his show and having her confess in public that Nathan did not get her pregnant after subjecting her to a fixed lie detector test and taking pictures of her body language. Dan and Rachel claim to love each other, but they prove themselves to still be the selfish people they were years before. Dan returns to Tree Hill with Rachel in order to seek redemption, although his family (minus Jamie) refuse to forgive him. After being confronted by Mary, mother of the late Jimmy Edwards, Dan begins to see how wrong it is to profit off the deaths of Keith and Jimmy. Dan announces that the show filmed at Tree Hill High is his last and he is giving all his wealth away to charities and donations. Dan divorces Rachel, leaving her with nothing as he departs by bus from Tree Hill. 

Season 8[]

After his departure in Season 7, Dan is now working as a chef at a diner outside of Tree Hill. Quinn James, Haley's older sister, goes to visit him, asking for his help to murder Katie Ryan, who was responsible for shooting her and her boyfriend Clay Evans as she is tired of having to live in constant fear of Katie returning to harm them even further. Dan convinces Quinn that murdering someone is something that you can't take back. Eventually Quinn takes his advice and she leaves.

Nathan later visits Dan at the diner, giving him a picture of his newborn daughter Lydia and the first baseball that Jamie hit to win the game. It is revealed that Dan is living at the diner as well, as he closes it up and has dinner, smiling at the picture of Lydia. 

Season 9[]

Dan returns in season 9 because he loses everything when the diner burns down. He convinced Haley to let him stay with them for a few days, saying he has nowhere else to go. Nathan finds out about this and orders that Dan has to leave once he returns from scouting in Europe. Dan also helps Haley out as a chef at Karen's cafe, but has to deal with a heckler who is appalled that Haley would hire a murderer to work for her. Haley learns that Dan burned his diner down on purpose to be closer to his family and has him arrested and kicked out of their home when she believes that he planned for Nathan to get kidnapped so that Nathan would never make it home and he could stay longer. Dan then begins to live in a trailer at Julian's soundstage, where he compiles clues to find Nathan. Dan notices an emblem on the wall of a building behind Nathan in the video he sent Jamie, and after assaulting a prison medic, Dan gains the trust of a Russian prisoner, who tells him that the emblem belongs to a group of assassins and that it isn't good if they have Nathan held hostage. With the help of Haley, Dan is able to capture and interrogate a drug dealer who has ties with Dimitri and learns the location of the warehouse where Nathan is being held hostage. Dan goes into the warehouse where Nathan is held with the help of Julian and Chris Keller, he kills most of Dimitri's men and while trying to save Nathan, Dan takes a bullet and saves Nathan's life. He is still alive but is shown in the hospital thinking that he will not live "this time". Eventually, he does die in the hospital with Nathan, Haley, Jamie, and Lydia by his bedside. All of them reconciled with Dan. His brother Keith takes him to the other side once he has died, telling Dan that he forgives him.


Just before his death with two of his grandchildren. ("Danny Boy")

In the series finale, Mouth receives a $1,000.000 check from Dan's estate. The money was a thank you from Dan when Mouth quit his job to protect Nathan, who was then under fire from rumors that he had an affair with Renee Richardson, rumors which turned out to be false when Renee failed a lie-detector test on Scott-Free Redemption. Mouth uses the money to start a scholarship fund in honor of Keith and Jimmy.



Romantic Life[]


  • Former Mayor of Tree Hill
  • Former Car salesman
  • Owner of Dan Scott Motors


  • Dan Scott is one of the few members of the original main cast to appear across all nine seasons of One Tree Hill.
  • The character's role in the series changed dramatically over the course of One Tree Hill's nine-season run, initially serving as the primary antagonist during the first season, as well as a secondary antagonist during seasons two and three. During later seasons, however, Dan evolved into more of an anti-hero between seasons four and eight before ultimately dying a hero during the ninth and final season.
    • Dan's characterization as the "bad brother" was similar to the characterization of his son, Nathan, during the first season. Both characters served as foils and occasional rivals to their respective older brothers, who were seen as the "good" ones: Keith and Lucas. As the series progressed, however, both Dan and Nathan evolved into a better versions of themselves.
  • While Dan refused to acknowledge Lucas as his son during the first season, the second season revealed that he kept photos and news clippings from Lucas's childhood in a drawer in his office. When Lucas discovered these mementos, he learned from his mother, Karen, that Dan had initially tried to become involved in Lucas's life shortly after his birth. However, fearing Dan would become a negative influence on her son, Karen refused his offer to pay child support in return for visitation rights.
  • During his imprisonment in the fourth season, Dan's prison identification was 6655321.
  • While Dan eventually made amends with his younger son, Nathan, as well as his son's family before his death in the final season, he never reconciled with his elder son, Lucas.
    • While Dan remained estranged from Lucas and his daughter-in-law, Peyton, he was allowed to meet his granddaughter Sawyer before the family left Tree Hill at the end of the sixth season.
  • Dan is the first and only character to have an episode named after him ("Danny Boy").
  • He was the second, as well as the last, main character to die during the series, the first being his brother Keith. Additionally, his death was the last of any character in the series before its conclusion.
  • Dan hated the woods.