The Music of One Tree Hill: An Everlasting Musical Moment
Every song selected for an episode of “One Tree Hill” plays a major role, but just like the scenes of an episode lead up to the grand last few moments, every song leads to the finale tune — also known as the “CODA”. If you don’t know what the “Coda” is, it’s the Italian term for “tail.” In music, it’s the tail end, the final movement… the end of the musical piece. On One Tree Hill, as well as any other television series, it’s the final song in the episode.
CODA’s are usually the songs that stand out the most for us because, outside of an occasional montage of scenes in various episodes, it’s the song that draws all of the scenes together. Sometimes words between the characters aren’t even spoken, we’ll just see a medley of how their day is ending in Tree Hill.
When I think of the CODA songs that have stood out the most to me, I’m instantly drawn to our first winter hiatus in the first season (episode 1×0 on OTH-Music.com) when the song “Re-Offender” by Travis closed out the show.
That first time the show went on break for the holiday season and we were left with the ultimate staring contest between Lucas, Brooke, and Peyton. It was the beginning of the “love triangle” that plagued the show for many seasons. Peyton went over to Lucas’ place after the big Ravens game to pour her heart out to him — only to find out that he and Brooke were embarking on an intimate night. Ah, the boy hiding his feelings for one girl while starting a relationship with her best friend, the party girl only interested in physical relationships developing real feelings for said boy, and the emotional best friend standing back while her best friend moves in on the guy she won’t confess her feelings for.
I always loved how that scene was set up; Peyton, Lucas, and Brooke were having the ultimate ‘awkward moment’ and it lasted the last few moments and even continued into the beginning of the return episode the following year.
The lyrics playing in the background were so perfect too, it totally described the relationship between the three characters for the rest of the series. “You say you love me, and then you do it again. You say you’re sorry, and then you do it again“.
Meanwhile at the James house…
Nathan had been taking amphetamines to amp up his game, but after a hostile day with Haley and passing out at the Ravens game, he left the hospital and escaped to Haley’s house to apologize and spill his deepest, truest feelings to her. Wow, there was a whole lot of that going on that night!
I always loved this moment between the two of them — I must have replayed it ten times. Anywho…
He didn’t want to go home, so he asked Haley if he could stay the night. Haley, who wanted to remain a virgin until marriage, said nothing but shut the door to the camera. That left Naley fans watching in the “oh my Gosh, did they? Or didn’t they?” mentality for a month! They didn’t, but what a suspenseful few weeks that was.
Another major moment in this CODA was the result of Deb telling Dan to get out of the house. Yup, Nathan’s mama was finally fed up with Papa Scott driving Nathan to be the best so much that it caused her son to pass out due to drug use at a basketball game. She told him — in so many words — ‘to get to steppin’.
Actually, I believe her exact words were “Pack a bag and get out or so help me God, I will stab you in your sleep.”
Chills. I loved that moment.
And as the haunting melodies of “Re-Offender” played… Dan packed that bag and took off.
I couldn’t have selected a better song to play in the backdrop of these truly memorable scenes, and that’s why “Re-Offender” will always be one of the most stand-out songs in “One Tree Hill” history.
Let’s relive that memory today by listening to it one more time.
BONUS: Re-Offender by Travis