Season {{{Season}}}, Episode 9
Air date: November 16, 2004
Written by: James Storeraux
Chad Fiveash
Directed by: John Asher
Episode Guide
Truth, Bitter Truth
Don't Take Me for Granted
Gallery Cast

"The Trick Is To Keep Breathing" is the ninth episode of the second season of One Tree Hill and the 31st produced episode of the series. It was broadcasted on November 16, 2004. Although Lucas takes Anna as his date to the Tree Hill High Formal, he finds himself with Brooke at the end of the night. Meanwhile, Haley's musical obligations to Chris cause her to arrive late to the formal, which angers Nathan. Peyton finds herself struggling with the growing temptation to turn to drugs.


209 l waits for felix

Lucas asks to take Anna to formal

In a new morning at Tree Hill, Haley brings Nathan breakfast in bed, knowing his wife well, he asks what she is after and Haley asks if he will come to formal with her. Even though he doesn't really want to go, as his emancipated parents are chaperones at the dance, Haley persuades Nathan to attend the formal. Brooke and Peyton are shopping at the mall, as usual, Brooke is looking at the clothes she can't buy anymore, she picks up a blue dress she really wants which Peyton tells her she can't afford. Then, as Brooke walks away, Peyton grabs the dress and goes to buy it, realizing what she is doing, Brooke begins yelling at Peyton in the middle of the mall, Peyton tells her that it is for her and Brooke is soon to forgive her. As they leave, Brooke tells her that Felix is getting too sweet for her just as he spots her outside the mall, Felix asks if he can't take Brooke to formal, even though it would be breaking the rules, Brooke refuses and tells him it's who you go home with that counts. As his plan failed, Felix returns home to find Lucas sitting on his doorstep, he asks Felix if he can take Anna to formal, but Felix is curious as to why he didn't use the pictures of them together for dare night. Lucas tells him it is because Anna is not a game and convinces Felix to let him take Anna to the formal. At the Scott household, Dan is exercising as Deb walks in, he quickly gets back up and pretends to be unable to exercise, Deb lets him know that Karen is chaperoning tto, but Dan doesn't mind. Dan apologizes for telling Karen about his wife and Keith sleeping together.

After skipping the test for the genetic heart disease Dan has, Lucas receives a call from the doctor, but Lucas tells him it is because he would rather live a full, short life, but the doctor offers him a full, long life with the treatment available. As he does, he tells Lucas to look at how well his father is doing as Lucas realizes his Dad has been lying all along to Deb and that he is perfectly healthy. Rick visits Peyton at the club, he tells her that they can still work together, just around Karen. He gives her a bunch of CDs to listen to for possible performances at the club and as she goes through them, she finds some drugs he left in for her. Trying to avoid using Rick anymore, and to stay away from drugs, Peyton visits Haley and asks if she will play a set of songs at the club one night, Haley refuses as it is too much for her, but as Chris Keller walks in, he agrees to do so, if Haley plays with him. He tells her to come and rehearse with him that night, but Haley says she can't as it is formal. But Chris persuades her to if she wants to be any good with her
209 b n mou hav first dance

Brooke and Mouth have the first dance at the formal

music. Meanwhile, Lucas and Nathan are talking, Nathan tells Lucas that he has been told that Haley is going to be crowned the queen of the night so he has arranged the perfect night for her as he is so excited for her, Lucas backs up that excitement not believing that this time last year he was with Haley playing golf and skipping formal. At her house, Peyton checks for messages from Jake and finds there is none as Brooke comes in, she sees the dress she will be wearing for the formal and Peyton tells her it is her mom's. As Brooke plans their night together, as they will be going together, Anna arrives to get ready for Lucas picking her up, ruining part of Brooke's plans. Nathan is at his apartment waiting for Haley and finds the track she recorded, he listens to her singing for the first few lines and gets the song to use at the formal, unaware she has worked with Chris on it. Haley gets in and tells him she needs to go record, she promises they won't be too late and runs out the house.

As the formal begins, Lucas and Anna arrive to see the theme of 'Dreams do come true.' Brooke and Peyton also arrive and as they see Anna and Lucas have saved them seats, they are unsure whether to sit with them as it might be strange. As Mouth and Felix arrive together, Brooke gets Mouth to have the first dance with her and slags Anna off to him as Mouth pretends to understand. At the studio, Haley is trying her hardest on the vocals, Chris tells her that it isn't good enough and tells her to focus more, he forces Haley to ring Nathan and tell him she will be there later and to just meet him there. As Nathan finds out, he cancels the horse drawn carriage he booked for her. As Nathan arrives, Tim and him start the plan to get the keys to his parent's beach house for the after party. He gives Deb the first dance and awkwardly tries to make conversation as Tim goes through her bag for the key, which he eventually finds. Mouth is still annoyed at Felix after Brooke tells him that it was Felix that looked after her after the all ages night, when it was actually him. Felix confides in Mouth and tells him that he cares about Brooke more than usual and wants more than friends with benefits. Haley is still recording as she begins to get better at recording, as she finishes, she finds Chris had unplugged the clock she was watching and is extremely late, she rushes out to meet Nathan.

209 n n h argue

Nathan and Haley argue after the formal

Back at formal, Anna asks which bag is Peyton's so she can use her lipstick, as she goes through, she finds the drugs Rick gave her and worries about her friend. At the other side of the wall, Nathan gets the flask of alcohol and begins drinking. Lucas and Dan end up talking and his dad asks him why he backed out of the test, Lucas tells him he doesn't want to know and then asks why he is lying to Deb about being ill. Lucas asks for him not to tell his mom but Dan says he will eventually, but Lucas should tell her first. At the tables, Peyton compliments Anna on how gorgeous she looks and overhearing, Felix calls her a lesbian, freaking out, Anna tells her to stop being so gay and walks away from her. As she goes up, the music starts and everyone gets a partner to dance with, except Peyton. She goes to the bathroom crying and sees Karen. Karen finds out it is her mom's dress and tells her how proud her mom will be of her. As they dance, Mouth drags Brooke to one side and tells her the truth about the doll house, that Felix bought it and that it was him that looked after her. Shocked, Brooke has a go at Mouth asking why he lied and that he is just like all the other guys. Haley arrives at the formal just in time for her crowning, Nathan and Haley go on stage as her song plays as they walk up, as Chris begins singing on the track, Nathan gets a shock at the track and they slyly begin to argue on stage as they are crowned.

209 p gets dress stained

Peyton is devastated as her dress is stained

After the formal, Nathan arrives home with everyone at the beach house, they begin the party. Nathan and Haley meet on the balcony and begin arguing with each other. He is disappointed that he put so much effort into the night and all she did was spend it with Chris. Haley asks him to leave Chris out of the argument and furious, Nathan asks if she has feelings for him. Haley is hurt, but Nathan insists she isn't as hurt as him. Lucas finds Anna drunk in the bedroom, she asks him to sleep with her, but Lucas refuses saying he wants to get to know Anna more and to fall in love with her before sex. Embarrassed, Anna goes home. Brooke takes Felix into a room as Peyton looks for her, Mouth assumes they are back together and is furious with her decision. As she goes to leave the house, a boy spills a drink on her mom's dress and Peyton is devastated with the left stain. Meanwhile, Brooke confronts Felix about the doll house and Felix admits the truth, Brooke breaks up with him, upset with his actions. Peyton, returns home to clean her dress in the bathroom and is devastated to the point of nearly taking drugs, but eventually she fights the temptation and throws them away. Nathan and Haley continue to argue and Haley admits she didn't tell him about Chris because she knew he didn't like him. She then tells him that it isn't fair that he is trying to stop her dream as his was with High Flyers. Furious, Nathan tells Haley to look in his top drawer at the letter from High Flyers.

209 b n l get home

Brooke and Lucas decide to share a friendship together

Peyton rips up the photo of Jake giving up hope of his return as Anna comes in to see if Peyton is ok and apologizes for how she behaved at the party. She asks about the drugs but Peyton assures her she didn't use them and has only done them once. Anna confides in Peyton telling her about Lucas and her and wonders why relationships are so hard, but Peyton says it's harder being alone. Lucas finds Brooke alone on the beach, Lucas tries to cheer her up saying that she is a really clever person, not the idiot she thinks she is as she knows herself. He offers Brooke a lift home and she refuses, but quickly changes her mind realizing she has no car. Dan packs his bags at Debs and tells her he lied to keep her close, he goes to leave as Deb tells him he can stay to get their family back together. Haley returns home to read the letter from High Flyers and that Nathan did actually get in, she calls Nathan, ashamed of her argument but Nathan rejects her call. Anna tells Peyton it is hard to be herself when they continually move and Peyton offers her a place to stay for the night, so they aren't alone. Brooke and Lucas arrive at her house and they get along like friends, Brooke offers to be proper friends again and Lucas happily agrees. As they hug and Brooke leaves the car, Felix watches them from his window.

Memorable Quotes

"Well, you know what they say, it's not who you take to formal, it's who you take home"
- Brooke Davis

"I guess I'd rather risk a short, full life than have a long, empty one"
- Lucas Scott

"That's why I love you Mouth, you totally get me, you're not like the rest of the guys here"
- Brooke Davis

"So how long we gotta hang here before operation reach-the-beach?"
"Until you finish operation what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about"
- Tim Smith and Nathan Scott

"That sounded better"
"Better than good?"
"No, better than crap"
"Oh that's nice, that's what I'll name my first album, better than crap"
- Chris Keller and Haley James Scott

"I think she looks gorgeous"
"Wow, I didn't know this was a lesbian mixer"
"Yeah, don't be so gay Peyton"
- Peyton Sawyer, Felix Tagarro and Anna Tagarro

"You know, I don't know what it's like to have a daughter, but I do know what it's like to be a mother and your's would be so proud of the woman you've become"
- Karen Roe to Peyton Sawyer

"So you both lied to me?...Mouth, I cannot believe you, I thought we were friends. I guess I was wrong. Oh, and by the way, congratulations, you got your wish. You're just like every other guy"
- Brooke Davis to Marvin McFadden

"I spent the whole night waiting for you, planning everything, dodging my parents, all while you were with Chris"
"Can we leave him out of this please?"
"Why, are you into him?"
"You know what, it really hurts me that you even have to ask me that"
"Not as much as it hurts me"
- Nathan Scott and Haley James Scott

"Why do relationships have to be so hard?"
"Because, the only thing harder is being alone"
- Anna Tagarro and Peyton Sawyer

Why does everybody lie? You know, the bad guys lie to get in your bed, and the good guys lie to get in your heart, and I'm the idiot that falls for it every time"
"Brooke, you're not an idiot, not even close. You know who you are, most people don't. I mean, that's why they lie, they're afraid people might find out who they are before they figure it out themselves."
- Brooke Davis and Lucas Scott

"We should do this more often... be friends"
"We are friends"
"But, we should be friends ...but no benefits"
- Brooke Davis and Lucas Scott


No Voiceover


  • "Shining Stars" - Morella's Forest
  • "(I'm Gonna) Steal Your Girlfriend" - Teen Machine
  • "Higher" - Vegas De Milo
  • "When The Stars Go Blue" - Bethany Joy Lenz and Tyler Hilton
  • "What You Waiting For?" - Gwen Stefani
  • "Hope Springs Eternal" - John Gold
  • "Let's Go" - The Rag City Dolls
  • "You're A Day" - Mitchell
  • "The First Single" - The Format
  • "A Lot Like You" - Pete Droge
  • "All My Life" - Vegas De Milo
  • "Be Be Your Love" - Rachel Yamagata
  • "Trying" - Master Source
  • "Runaway" - Trailer Park Pam
  • "Start It Over Again" - Thornhill Broom Exp.
  • "Rowing Song" - Patty Griffin

This episode's title originated from the song The Trick Is To Keep Breathing, originally sung by Garbage.


  • Whitey and Keith do not appear in this episode.
  • When Anna was trying to figure out a hairstyle for the formal, she said "curly or straight?", referring to Lucas' ex-girlfriends Brooke and Peyton. Her hairstyle at the formal was curly, and it could foreshadow how Lucas chose Peyton instead of Brooke.

Episode References

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