Deb 1
Deb Lee
Biographical information
Full name: Deborah Helen Lee
(full name)
Deborah Helen Scott
(former married name)
Birthdate: July 23
Status: Alive
Occupation: Former:
Co-owner of Karen's Cafe
Co-owner of TRIC
Other information
Nickname: Deb (by everyone)
Boozy (by Dan)
Nanny Deb (by Jamie)
Debutante Ball (by Skills)
Gender: Female
Hair color: Blonde
Eye color: Brown
Height: 5’ 6”
Marital status: divorced from Dan Scott
Significant Other/s: Dan Scott
Antwon "Skills" Taylor
Keith Scott
(One-Night Stand)
Buck-O the clown
(one-night stand)
Family: Cooper Lee
(younger brother)
Daniel "Dan" Scott
Nathan Scott
(son, with Dan)
James "Jamie" Scott
(grandson, via Nathan and Haley)
Lydia Scott
(granddaughter, via Nathan and Haley)
Haley James Scott
(daughter-in-law, via Nathan)
Lucas Scott
(former stepson)
Series information
Portrayed By: Barbara Alyn Woods
First Appearance: "Crash Into You"
(episode 1.03)
Latest Appearance: "Danny Boy"
(episode 9.11)
Episode Count: 75

Deborah Helen "Deb" Lee (formerly Scott) was Nathan Scott's mother, Jamie and Lydia Scott's grandmother and the ex-wife of Dan Scott. Her marriage to her college sweetheart Dan was initially stable but became strained when Lucas and Karen became more involved in their lives. Her desperation to get Dan out of her and Nathan's life led to a drastic change in her personality as she started to take desperate action to free herself, including an attempt on Dan's life. Her fear of her ex-husband led her to develop an addiction to prescription pills which, through the support of her family and friend Karen, she eventually beat and overcame. She eventually returned to Tree Hill after a brief absence to become Jamie's nanny and, with Dan repenting for his crimes, she has taken a more carefree and relaxed approach to life.


Character arc

Season 1


Deb visits the cafe to ask Karen for a clean slate. ("Crash Into You")

After spending some time away from her family due to her work, Deb finally returned thrilled to see her husband and her son but she soon became aware of her family's struggles - with the relationship between Nathan and Dan becoming ever more strained and Lucas and Karen having a greater presence on their lives. She also felt increasingly distant from her son, not even knowing what he liked anymore and she brought up her concerns about her family to Dan saying that she felt powerless to stop him from pressuring Nathan into being a success in basketball. Dan, however, blamed Deb's constant absences and her involvement in her work for Nathan's distance from her. Deb then visited Karen's Cafe and talked to Karen to told her that, despite the fact that Dan chose her, she was jealous of her and Lucas's relationship. She then told Karen that her history with Dan didn't have to be their history and they could be friends. Having decided that she didn't think Nathan was happy Deb decided to return home and cut back on her job to ensure that Nathan would be okay. ("Crash Into You") ("All That You Can't Leave Behind")

In a bid to salvage her marriage, Deb took the opportunity of the upcoming Small Business League dinner to spend some much needed alone time with her husband - without basketball. However, upon arriving at the dinner Deb discovered she and Dan were seated with Keith and Karen and she knew an awkward night would ensue. During the night, an increasingly drunk Keith asked Deb why she stayed with Dan, even though she was clearly unhappy in her marriage and Deb responded that sometimes he was still the man she fell in love with - and she had Nathan to think about. ("Every Night Is Another Story")

Deb and Dan's marriage started to strain when her friendship with Karen started to develop and she invited both Karen and Keith to the annual basketball appreciation party and, having decided to stop hiding from her past, Karen agreed to join her and attend the party, much to Dan's dismay. However, Karen came to Deb's aide when the bakery supplying the cakes to the party delivered them to the wrong place and Karen agreed to bring cakes from the cafe, making Deb extremely grateful. At the cafe, the following day, Deb and Karen talked as Karen received a letter inviting her to join a six week cooking course in Italy but Karen was insistent that she couldn't go because of Lucas and the cafe. To try and persuade Karen to leave, Deb told Karen that she would run Karen's Cafe for her while she was away. Karen eventually agreed to let Deb help her and she left Deb in charge. Returning home, Dan was furious with Deb for agreeing to this without asking him but Deb remained insistent that she was going to help Karen. ("Life in a Glass House") ("The Search for Something More")


Deb threatens Dan when she discovers he didn't tell her about Nathan's overdose of amphetamines. ("With Arms Outstretched")

Deb's decision to run Karen's Cafe meant that she once again became was forced to spend time away from her family, caused Dan and Deb to come to blows once again. However, when Nathan overdosed on amphetamines in order to boost his performance and beat his father's scoring record; Dan decided not to tell Deb knowing that she would blame him for Nathan trying to improve his game. When Haley questioned Deb on how Nathan was, she discovered the truth and went to check that her son was okay. Back at home, she confronted Dan about how her son nearly died and Dan decided not to tell her. Dan, however, protested that Deb isn't there for him anymore now that she's running the cafe, prompting Deb to kick him out of the house telling him to pack a bag and get out, but he returns anyways with regret not being the best dad he could be. ("With Arms Outstretched")


Deb persuades Karen to go to Italy by agreeing to manage the cafe for her. ("The Search for Something More")

Season 2

During season 2 Deb has to live with the fact that she did not call 911 right when she found Dan. On top of this Deb also found out that Nathan and Haley got married the day before. She blames Haley for Dan's heart attack and him being in the hospital because she can't bare to blame herself. Deb also creates a partnership with Karen, when she opens Tric her new nightclub. Deb continues to take pills, throughout season 2. She also tries to get Nathan to divorce Haley, after she leaves to go on tour.

Season 3

All through season 3, Dan begins looking for whoever set the dealership on fire. He first suspects Lucas, then Keith, eventually killing Keith and blaming it on the school shooting getting away with murder. It is revealed that Deb is actually the one who drugged his drink and set the place on fire, tired of his constant abuse and manipulation.

Season 4

Deb starts off the season back on pills and is back to her old junkie ways. Dan, along with Karen, Nathan, Haley and a therapist, throw Deb an intervention, to which she storms out. Because of this, Deb is angry at Karen, to whom she throws out of Tric. She is arrested after writing a fraud prescription, for more pills. When she learns that she may be facing up to 3-4 years of prison time, Dan Scott proposes he get her out of there, as long as she signs 'Tric' back over to Karen. During the trip to the state championship game, Deb takes pills and falls asleep. Karen can't take much more so she drives her to rehab instead of taking her to the game. Away at rehab, Deb feels as though she doesn't deserve to be there and constantly insults the other patients. She finally has enough, and attempts to escape. A staff member finds her and tells her that it is a volunteering program, and all she had to do was sign out. In "Resolve", Dan tells her that he never loved her and settled for her since Keith had Karen. This angers her, and she goes to find comfort in Nathan. Deb accidently pushes Haley, to which Nathan responds by saying "Mom just leave and stay out of my life and we'll call it even" and pushes her out. Deb returns home and attempts suicide by taking all of her pills. By the end of the season, Deb is healing and healthy and ready to take care of baby Jamie while his parents go to their last high school party.

Missing years

Not much is known about Deb during the missing years. She is obviously living in Tree Hill as she comes to be Jamie's nanny in season 5.

Season 5

Deb returns to Tree Hill to be Jamie's new nanny after Carrie is fired for her sexual advances and Nathan and Haley cannot find an ideal nanny that isn't a threat to their marriage. Deb meets a stranger on an erotica website and learns that it is Skills Taylor, Nathan's best friend and former classmate. Although initially wary of dating due to their age difference, they eventually give in to their temptations and have a secret relationship behind Nathan's back. 

Season 6

She is dating Skills who she met online.  Deb is brought in by Haley who asks her to be Jamie's nanny. Jamie is required to call Deb "Nanny Deb" instead of "Grandma". Deb and Skills make their relationship public during Quentin's funeral and although Nathan is disturbed by it, he eventually accepts as Skills makes Deb happy but he doesn't want to see their affection in front of him. Deb manages to rescue Jamie and Haley from Carrie, who was intending on killing Haley and Dan so that she could take Jamie for herself as a replacement for her deceased son. 

She breaks up with Skills after keeping a long time relationship because she says he deserves to have kids, and Deb doesn't want kids. 

Season 9

Deb returns back to Tree Hill to console Haley during the time that Nathan is kidnapped. Deb visits Dan in his trailer, where he has been gathering evidence to find out Nathan's whereabouts and he assures her that he is going to find their son. Deb manages to convince Haley to put her trust in Dan because even though he's done horrible things in the past to not earn their trust, he is their only hope in finding Nathan. Deb picks up Jamie and Lydia from the airport when Lucas and Peyton sent them back. She stays when she hears that Dan is dying, and says her goodbyes. It is unknown if she stays in Tree Hill after his passing.



Deb is the mother of Nathan, the grandmother of Jamie and Lydia, the mother-in-law of Haley. Her relationship with her son was first hard but with years they became close and Deb supported Nathan and his wife during Haley's pregnancy. She has a close bond with her first grandchild Jamie. During a period Deb was his nanny and took care of him when his parents worked. Her relationship with Nathan's second child, Lydia, is presumably good.

Romantic Life

Deb was married to the father of her son, Dan Scott whom she had been dating since they were in college. However they later divorced and she was in a relationship with Skills in Season 6.


She is very nice and caring. When she was an alcholic, she was crazy and a lunatic. She was born wealthy, unlike Brooke she never flaunted her money. She has a good relationship with her brother Cooper. She always hated Dan, because he bullied their son Nathan into something he wasn't. She finally stood up to Dan, when Nathan almost died of an overdose. She was also worried about what Nathan was becoming, when Dan influenced him. When she was clean and sober, she was a very good mother. Mostly when Nathan and Haley got married. She was mad at Haley stealing his son from him, but she warmed up to her and she was the best thing for him. She was more like Haley James Scott on the show and she was more like her. She was funny and smart. When Jamie was born, she was a good grandmother and when Nathan and Haley needed a nanny. She took over and become a good grandmother. She was happy Dan finally behind bars, when he turned himself when he killed Keith. She set the dealership fire to get rid of him, everyone understood and doesn't blame her. Keith took a bullet for her, but Keith was never charged. She also felt bad about what happened that day. But when Dan killed Keith, it was never about the dealership fire. When Deb told Dan, it was that set the fire. He could have killed her in a minute. She and Dan finally patch things up in season 9. She and Karen are good friends, they both run Karen's Cafe and Tric together. They were both victims of Dan's bullying and both care about their sons.


In season one, it is mentioned that Deb travels doing "business".

Later in the seasons Deb becomes a partner along side with Karen Roe at Karen's Cafe, and Tric. In a much later season, Dan gets Deb to sign full partnership of Tric over to Karen after Deb was arrested.


  • Deb is the only main female character (with the exception of Karen and Peyton) to not appear in Season 7 and Season 8.
  • Deb is the second former main character to appear in the ninth and final season of OTH. Lucas was the first and Keith was the third.
  • After the death of Keith. Deb left town as she thought it was her fault that Dan killed his brother.
  • The third season revealed that Deb was the hooded figure who attempted to kill Dan by fire in the season two finale.
  • When she was clean and sober, she is a good mother to Nathan Scott.  She is very loyal to him. 
  • She always hated Dan bullying his son which is why she became an alcoholic.  
  • She finally stood up to him, when she saw Nathan collapsing in the Gym.  He almost overdosed of steroids to live up to Dan's record.  
  • She and Karen were the victims of Dan's bullying and both of them are really protective of their sons.  
  • She was Jamie's nanny and she was a good grandmother to him
  • She is similar to Haley James Scott on the show.  
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