The Leaving Song
Season 1, Episode 21
Air date: May 4, 2004
Written by: Jennifer Cecil
Mark Perry
Directed by: David Carson
Episode Guide
What Is And What Should Never Be
The Games That Play Us
Gallery Cast

"The Leaving Song" is the twenty-first episode of the first season of One Tree Hill and the 21st produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on May 4, 2004. Lucas is shocked to learn that Dan once asked Karen for joint custody of Lucas when he was a baby. Meanwhile, Peyton panics after Nicki kidnaps Jake's baby while she is babysitting.


121 l n n train together

Lucas and Nathan train together.

It's 6am and there is a knock at Lucas' door. Waking him up, Lucas stumbles to the door to find Nathan waiting for him. He drags Lucas out on a run to get him ready for the playoffs. Being asked why, Nathan says it is so that he is good enough to win and also because he owes him for standing up to his Dad the other day when he was arrested. Lucas confides in Nathan telling him he is worried about what Dan said about his mom and doesn't know whether to ask her about it or not. Nathan dismisses it and says it is probably just one of his father's mind games. Peyton wakes up to find her Dad's bags at the front door. Larry tells her he is leaving, but only for 6 weeks. Noticing her webcam is back on, Larry asks Peyton if she would be alright if him and Karen started dating, Peyton thinks it is a good idea and is alright with them dating.

As it has been playing on his mind for a while, Lucas asks Karen what Dan was talking about when he told him to ask her what really went on when he was little. Karen tells Lucas that, in his best interests, she denied Dan joint custody which he asked for when him and Deb returned back after the first semester of college. He tried to sue her, but the lawyers said there was no chance of winning the trial. Seeing Dan in a different light, Lucas storms out the house. At highschool, Peyton is still not happy with Lucas after learning he slept with Nicki, as she walks away from him, Brooke asks her if they can be friends again considering Lucas has messed both their love lives up. Surprised, Peyton agrees to be friends, back to the way they were. At practice, Whitey announces to the team that he will not be there for their first playoff match as he has to have eye surgery, but another coach will take over, a bad coach.

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Haley finds porn on Nathan's computer.

Disappointed with the day so far, Lucas goes to see Keith. He tells him he knows about the custody that Dan applied for, but Keith does not have a clue what he is talking about. Surprised that Karen lied to Keith, Lucas tells him that he has started seeing Dan in a different light as maybe he turned so evil because of him being denied custody and they may be viewing him in the wrong way. In his apartment, Haley uses Nathan's computer to find out some information for her essay. On the internet, she finds a load of bookmarked porn pages that Nathan has been going on, insulted and upset, she waits for Nathan to return home. Dan goes to see Whitey, he suggests that he should be coach as he knows the team as well as Whitey, but he is denied the opportunity by Whitey who laughs in his face. Lucas and Nathan are playing basketball at the rivercourt, getting along, Nathan tells him about how he used to hear his parents arguing about him and that's why he grew to hate Lucas, Lucas then tells Nathan about Dan's offer for custody.
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Nicki takes Jenny after Peyton is distracted.

Keith goes to see Karen and they begin arguing about her not telling Keith about Dan's custody bid. Karen told him she lied because she was scared she would lose Keith, proving to him how little she knows him as he would never leave her. Dan pays Whitey another visit and tells him that he is now in charge of the team as he went to the athletic committee. An unimpressed Whitey has no option but to let Dan take over until he is out of surgery. Peyton and Brooke take Jenny to the mall. As they look in the shop windows together, they turn around to see Nicki holding Jenny. Terrified, Peyton tells her to give her back, but Nicki says that she isn't safe with the two girls. Brooke goes to get the security as Peyton tries to follow her, unsuccessfully and she is forced to call Jake and tell him what happened. Nathan gets home to find an upset Haley confronting him about the porn. She says she can't compare to these women on the site. Nathan thinks she is just overreating about the whole thing, but Haley is afraid enough to show herself naked to him, never mind living up to the standards of porn stars.

Jake arrives at the mall annoyed at Peyton telling her that she can never take her eyes of a child as that is all it takes. As he gets more angry at Peyton, Nicki returns with Jenny. She tells Jake that she doesn't know if she can trust him with her child if people as careless as Peyton are looking after, so she is going to get custody of Jenny, whether Jake likes it or not. After having slept together the previous night, Deb gives Dan his watch back embarrased with what happened. As Karen catches Dan in her cafe, she drags him to one side of the cafe and tells him that he should never had said anything to Lucas and the only reason he did, was because he can't handle the fact that she won and he lost. Telling him to stay away from Lucas, Dan tells her that will be hard as he has got the coaching position for the Ravens while Whitey is in surgery. Haley goes to see Peyton. She tells her about the porn she found on the computer and how they can't compete to the girls on the computer. Peyton tells her she doesn't need to compete as Nathan loves her for who she is. Nathan confides in his new friend, Lucas about the porn who, after providing some advice to apologize, begins teasing him about it and the two get on, just as Dan spots them getting on well together.

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Dan pushes Lucas too far.

Arriving home, Karen apologizes to Lucas but he can't see past what she has done and won't accept her apology, partly because it is her fault he has started seeing Dan in a new light and questioning whether he should like Dan if he offered joint custody. At practice, Dan is much tougher than Whitey ever was. He bans Jake's special treatment for his daughter and pushes Lucas too far. He is pushed so far that he throws up while running as he is too weak to be doing that much exercise at once. After practice, Lucas is with Haley collapsed on his bed, unable to move. Lucas tells Haley he knows about the porn situation, as Nathan and him now get on really well, much to Haley's surprise, and asks her to cut him some slack. Peyton goes to see Jake to apologize for not looking after Jenny properly. Jake says it is alright, but he was just disappointed. He tells her that if he goes to court against Nicki, the court are more likely to go with the mother as it was they normally do. He wants to run away to Savannah, where his cousin lives, so he can keep Jenny with him, as he can't financially support the court fees and there is no other way out.

Back at Nathan's apartment, Haley is back on Nathan's computer and finds pictures of Peyton on her webcam, saved to his desktop. As Nathan walks in, Haley questions why he has got them on as Peyton is a real person, not like the women on the sites. Nathan asks for some privacy once in a while, but Haley gets even angrier at his request. She tells him that she is really self conscious and that she doesn't know what happened to sex being this amazing, magical experience with two people who love each other. She tells Nathan she can't be Peyton, she gave him her heart and that is all she can do but if that isn't enough, then she is not enough and walks out leaving Nathan alone in his apartment.

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Peyton says goodbye to Jake and Jenny as they leave for Savannah.

Peyton goes to see Jake and offers him a way out. She tells him her Dad is leaving tomorrow and he can go to Savannah, where is cousin lives, as his Dad stops off there. If he does go with him, it will be by boat so there is no way Nicki can follow him. Undecided, Jake hesitates to give an answer, but Peyton says she will be down there tomorrow whether he is or not. Deb and Dan's divorce papers come through, and strangely, Deb is unhappy about it and upset that it is all going to be over. Dan unhappily, sees the brothers training together once again. The following morning, Jake and Jenny go to meet Peyton at the harbor. He has decided to go and Peyton kisses him just before he departs. She returns home upset just as Lucas visits her. He apologizes for not being a better person, but he is trying, Peyton tells Lucas she can't do anything for him, he has to do it himself. Lucas tells her is going to be making a few changes.

Karen goes to see Keith and tells him that she doesn't want Keith to move. But Keith is adament he is moving, telling her that the lies she told him has changed the situation. He then tells Karen that he realized that her and Lucas have got everything they wanted out of their lives so far, but he has not. Lucas then walks in on them and thanks Karen for keeping Dan away for all them years. He then tells his mom he wants to start over, by going away and leaving Tree Hill with Keith.

Memorable Quotes

"Lucas, you know that I have had your best interests at heart since day one, you believe that right?...well, erm, after you were born, Dan asked to be in your life...He didn't show up at first, but when he moved back to town with Deb, he told me that he'd like to help raise you and he asked for joint custody. And I said no."
-Karen Roe to Lucas Scott

"So now that Lucas has outslutted the both of us, are we back to hoes over bros?"
-Brooke Davis to Peyton Sawyer

"It's hard enough that I have to compete with the girls at school that just give it away, now I've got to be a porn star?"
-Haley James to Nathan Scott after finding porn on his computer

"I was over at Nathan's, and I was on his computer and I came across all this creepy porn"
"How creepy? Like she-male midgets?"
-Haley James and Peyton Sawyer

"Most fathers would be happy to see that, but I'm guessing it's your worse nightmare, coach"
-Whitey to Dan Scott whilst watching Nathan and Lucas getting along

"You said they weren't real people, I am a real person. I have feelings, I have problems, I feel so vulnerable and so self conscious and I'm just like every other person...well, whatever happened to sex being this magical and this amazing experience of how much you love someone?...These cyber girls, they're all like triple jointed and waxed and always turned on and it's just a lie"
-Haley James to Nathan Scott about the porn and pictures of Peyton Sawyer she found on his computer

"I gave you my heart and that's all I can give you and if that's not enough for you, then I'm not enough for you"
-Haley James to Nathan Scott about not losing her virginity to Nathan

"I just wanted to apologize, again, for not being a better person lately, I'm trying Peyton"
-Lucas Scott

"I wanna go with Keith, Mom. I wanna leave Tree Hill"
-Lucas Scott

"Whitey, you know I know this team as well as you do. Every game, every player."
"You ought to, you're daddy to half of 'em."
Dan Scott and Whitey Durham


No Voiceover


  • "I Can't Steal You" - Matthew Ryan
  • "Through The Blue" - Evan & Jaron
  • "No Tomorrow" - The Blackouts
  • "Revelry" - Sea Ray
  • "I Have Found Mine" - The Blackouts
  • "Time And Time Again" - Chronic Future
  • "Thrown Away" - VAST
  • "Once In Awile" - Gigolo Aunts
  • "Suffering" - Satchel
  • "Don't Take Your Love Away" - VAST

This episode's title originated from the song The Leaving Song, originally sung by AFI.


Episode References

  • According to Bethany Joy Galeotti, the script for this episode said "Kiss Nathan, preferably with tongue." It is in the scene where Peyton drives Haley home in the rain and Nathan is apologizing for having pictures of Peyton on his computer.

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