Shows come and go, but every once in a while there's one that sticks with you -- and sometimes you 're not even sure why. In 2003, a little show called One Tree Hill debuted, attempting to fill my deep void from the loss of my beloved Dawson's Creek. From the moment I was introduced to Brooke, Peyton, Lucas and Haley (Nathan had to grow on me), I knew I had made lifelong connections to each of these characters.
"The time that we've spent together over the years has meant so much and without you we would not be here tonight," Haley tells those gathered at Tric's 10-year anniversary. But faithful viewers know, she may as well been talking to us.
Throughout the final 70 minutes, we got to help send off our favorite characters as they continued on their journeys. Nathan told his son there's more to life than basketball, Haley performed at Tric, Brooke successfully launched Baker Man and Julian gave her the home of her childhood dreams. Clay and Quinn married minutes before they adopted Logan, Chase and Chris Keller became best buds, and Mouth received a $500,000 dollar check from Dan Scott's estate and used it to start the Edwards/Scott scholarship fund.
We got winks and nods to moments past, too. Nathan gave Haley a bracelet hidden in a Cracker Jack box and said, "Don't ever say I didn't give you anything." Jamie learned about Haley and Lucas' secret predictions box just as his mom said, "There's only one Tree Hill, Jamie Scott, and it's your home" — the same thing Karen told her son Lucas in the Season 1 finale. Chris and Nathan joked about their first encounter, water balloons were thrown from the roof, books were reintroduced into Karen's Café and Julian recreated Peyton's room for his show.
Finally, Gavin DeGraw performed the show's breakout hit "I Don't Wanna Be."
But it was in the show's final moments, that the series truly came full circle and my tears started flowing — not because the series was ending, but because the characters I love were living the life they deserved. The last moment was perfection: Brooke, Julian, Haley, Nathan, Mouth, a now pregnant Millicent, Clay, Quinn, an adolescent Logan, Skills, Bevin, Chase, Chris Keller and twins Jude and Davis stood in the Tree Hill high bleachers to cheer on the town's now all-time leading scorer... Jamie Scott.
What did you think of the One Tree Hill series finale? And how many tissues did you need?