"The Living Years" is the eleventh episode of the first season of One Tree Hill and the 11th produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on January 27, 2004. Unable to handle the pressure from Dan, Nathan decides to quit the basketball team and looks to Haley to help him fill his free time. Meanwhile, Brooke becomes increasingly jealous of Lucas and Peyton's growing friendship.
As Deb suggested, the Scott family are attending family counselling. Obviously not as happy about the idea, Nathan and Dan make it known to the therapist that she is unwelcome and don't respond to her questions other than simple statements and are not communicating at all. Throughout the therapy, Dan begins turning the whole situation round on Deb and the two begin arguing. Once the situation has calmed down, Nathan is asked about basketball, about whether he likes basketball and if he wants to play. Never being asked this before, Nathan responds by telling the therapist he does not know whether he wants to continue playing basketball, making Dan furious and calling the therapy a breakthrough. On the way out, the parents start arguing again and Nathan is forced to pick a parent to go home with. Obviously aware that who he chooses will be seen as the favourite, Nathan decides to walk home due to him being so sick of the situation. Meanwhile, Lucas and Brooke are in the library together. Doing something Lucas finds enjoyable, they pick up the book human bondage, where Brooke instantly relates it to sex. Eventually Brooke gets bored and persuades Lucas to do something she likes to do. Brooke takes Lucas to a jacuzzi in the back yard where she begins stripping. Lucas hears something from the house and thinks Brooke's parents are home. Brooke then lets Lucas know that this isn't actually her jacuzzi and they are in a stranger's jacuzzi.
Returning home from their less than successful therapy session, Deb goes to do a shift at the cafe. Clearly distracted, Keith asks Deb what's wrong and she tells him about the therapy session and everything that has happened between her and Dan and how it is affecting Nathan. As she is doing so, Dan walks into the cafe. He teases Keith about flirting with his left overs before telling Deb to make Nathan meet him tonight. Deb threatens Dan with lawyers if he doesn't stay away from Nathan but Dan is persistent in his orders and walks out telling her to make sure he is there. Realizing the stress that Nathan must be going through, Keith offers Deb to send Nathan to him and he can help Nathan deal with what is going on with Dan and her. Deb thanks Keith and intends on telling Nathan when she gets home. Visiting Peyton, Lucas sees the front door of her house is open and there is obviously someone inside rummaging through her kitchen. He picks up the rake and creeps into the kitchen. He then shouts at the man in the house asking who he is, he turns around and tells him he his Peyton's dad. Lucas is suddenly embarrassed and Peyton and her father find it hilarious when she walks into the room to see the situation.
At highschool, Brooke has decided that her and Lucas need to connect more. She asks Peyton for advice if it is not overstepping the line, and Peyton happily agrees. She gives Brooke a CD by the band Travis and tells her to say tracks 8 & 11 remind her of him. Brooke follows rules and takes the CD but then checks that it isn't Peyton who thinks of Lucas, but Peyton reassures Brooke by telling her they are just friends. Finding Lucas, Brooke gives the CD to Lucas and completley messes up the line. She refers to Travis as a man and tells him to listen to tracks 8 & 13, which we eventually find out aren't even on the CD. Realizing what has happened, Lucas returns the CD to Peyton. Whilst doing so, he asks Peyton about how she feels about her father being back. Peyton loves it when her father's back because she misses him when he is away, so much so she has to make up pretend stories in emails to make it sound as though she is having fun. But she would never tell him how much she misses him as he is doing something he loves and since her mom is dead, she can't take that away from him too.
Keith is at the garage, when the unexpected visitor, Nathan arrives. Keith offers any help he can give to Nathan and Nathan takes it. He asks Keith about when he used to play basketball, if he just walked away when he was tired of it. Keith tells Nathan he used to love how fun basketball was, but once Dan made the team, he meade it competitive and he didn't enjoy it so much he left the team and never looked back. He tells Nathan that it is just a game, not a life. The following day, Haley goes to Peyton for advice as Nathan told her that he doesn't know if he wants to play basketball and that he isn't going to practice. She wants to know what to do, but Peyton can't give her that advice because they never got as close as Haley and Nathan are now. As he said he would, Nathan misses practice and Whitey tries to find out why, but there is no sign of Nathan. Brooke confides in Peyton that her and Lucas have nothing in common and is sick of it. At practice, Jake arrives with Jenny and Peyton offers to look after her.
After highschool, Nathan and Dan are out having a meal. Dan flirts with the waitress, much to Nathan's disgust and Nathan tells him it won't help the situation. Dan responds by telling him that everything will be back to normal soon, showing he is still in denial about the whole situation. Nathan then comes clean to Dan about not going to practice and getting advice from Keith as he doesn't know what he wants anymore. Dan gets angry and goes to see Keith. He tells him to stay away from Nathan and stay with Lucas, the bad offspring. Lucas is writing to his mom when Brooke barges in and distracts him. She has a plan to get to know each other. As they did with their first date, Lucas will share an interest with Brooke and then they will switch around so they get to know everything about each other.
The next day in highschool, Nathan bumps into Lucas who tries his best to persuade Nathan to go to practice, but Nathan doesn't give in and is a bit weirded out at the idea of Lucas being so nice to him. Haley is also confused when she sees the two boys standing together. Jake catches up with Peyton in the corridor and gives her back the keys Jenny took from her, Peyton and Jake show the beginnings of a relationship. Nathan decides to skip a period and wants Haley to go with him. Haley, though reluctant at first, eventually agrees and they have a trip to the beach in one of Dan's show cars. At the beach, the two get drunk, especially Haley and she has to be helped up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, Dan catches them and drags them into his car to take them home. Haley tries to stop Dan to say something but Dan won't let her and just as they get in the car, Haley throws up on Dan's leg. Back at the cafe, a hungover Haley is serving everyone, including Peyton and her father. Larry tells Peyton that he has a new job that requires him to go away for 3 to 4 months and Peyton pretends to be ok with it. Lucas then walks in the cafe and begins lecturing Haley who tells him to talk to her when he has his tattoo removed. Larry then calls Lucas over and the 3 of them sit and talk at the table. Meaning to meet up with Lucas, Brooke approaches the cafe. She sees Peyton, Larry and Lucas all sat together and stares at them through the window, without going in.
The next day, Brooke is not happy with Lucas, she thinks that it seemed more Peyton and Lucas as the couple rather than Brooke and him last night and this makes her even more paranoid about their relationship. Nathan gets Haley to miss more school, not before seeing that she missed an exam the previous day and therefore got an F on her paper, very unlike Haley. Peyton goes to see her dad, after getting advice off Lucas, and is about to tell him how much she misses him and doesn't want him to go away again, when her Dad gives her a really expensive art set to tell her he has accepted the job. Deb and Dan return to the therapist alone as the therapist believes there are underlying issues between the couple. The two argue over Nathan as usual but then the therapist tells them to take Nathan out of the equation and talk about each other, who they are. The two adults look at each other and realize they are nothing without Nathan. While his parents are at the therapist, Nathan confides in Whitey about his loss of interest in basketball. Whitey tells him that the question is whether he likes the game or not. Nathan tells him he does but not in the situation he is in. Whitey then tells him he may have just been given the answer.
Still paranoid over her relationship with him, Brooke is convinced that Lucas is like every other boy and using her and Peyton. Peyton for emotional stuff and her to just use her. Peyton tells her not to be so paranoid and that Lucas really likes her, but Brooke remains unconvinced. At Peyton's, her dad is looking at her artwork as Lucas walks in. He tells him that Peyton doesn't want money from him, she just wants him. He shows her the comic strip she publishes of a boat pulling away with a girl stood at the deck. Realizing what he has done, Peyton gets home to get told that her dad is staying with her and only going away for short periods of time. Meanwhile, Nathan apologizes to Haley for making her skip classes. He tells her that it is not her to do such a thing and he doesn't want to change her as he loves her for exactly that.
After convincing Peyton's dad to stay, Lucas returns home to see Brooke waiting on his doorstep. Ready to break up with him, Brooke tells Lucas that they are too different, but Lucas tells her that he likes that about them and Brooke realizes that there is nothing wrong with being different. The couple make up as Brooke reveals she has never felt this way towards any other person before. Nathan finds Lucas at the river court later on and tells him that he is quitting basketball, and that Lucas should be the first to know. He then goes to the high school and rips his badge off his locker as Whitey watches in the distance, obviously devastated by his star player's decision.
- "Oh, he's trying to rake me to death"
- "All work and no Brooke, make Luke a boring boy"
- "I told you, I don't know what I want"
- "I don't mind you playing daddy to one of my offspring, but leave the good one alone"
- "Let me ask you a question, lets take your father out of the picture. Lets take out all the pushing, the pressure, the training that you got to do to be as good as you are and ask yourself one simple question, do you really love this game"
- "I don't want to see you change, I like you and I like the fact that somebody like you sees something in me"
- "I'm not sure if we have a problem, or I have a problem...In a nutshell, you're you and I'm me"
- "It's just you're the first great guy I've ever dated and that scares me because I never gave a rat's ass before, ok, but I do now"
- "I give a rat's ass about you too"
"And the little prince said "Grownups never understand anything by themselves and it is tiresome for children to always be explaining things to them"
-The Little Prince
- "Harder To Breathe" - Maroon 5
- "Simple Again" - Buva
- "I Met A Girl" - Wheat
- "Everywhere She Goes" - Across The Sky
- "She's So Pretty" - Kyf Brewer
- "Ship Of Fools" - World Party
- "Avalanche" - Ryan Adams
- "The Shadowlands" - Ryan Adams
This episode's title originated from the album The Living Years, originally sung by Mike + The Mechanics.
- Karen does not appear in this episode.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Peyton's dad.
- Nathan's line to Lucas, saying "you want my world, you got it" was also said after he joined the Ravens. ("The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most")