ByLily Masco, writer at
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." -Walt Disney
Lily Masco

An upcoming One Tree Hill convention in Chicago was recently announced, meaning it's time to indulge in one of our favorite guilty pleasures: a nostalgia-filled walk down Tree Hill's memory lane. In doing so, let's remember the villain we all loved to hate, all while hating how much we loved him. Who else could we be talking about other than the infamous Dan Scott?

How His Hatred For Keith All Started...

Daniel Robert Scott (Paul Johansson) was Keith Scott's (Craig Sheffer) younger brother, born to parents Royal (Gerald McRaney) and May Scott (Tess Harper) — who had their own set of problems. Danny boy always had an inferiority complex in regards to his older brother, whom everyone else loved so much.

The two were heavily encouraged to play basketball by Royal, but Keith pretty much sucked at it. Dan was given the opportunity to show up his brother on the field and he never missed a shot. His basketball skills basically became the main source of his massive ego.

How Fathering Two Kids At Once All Started...

In high school, Dan dated Karen Roe (Moira Kelly), a Tree Hill High School cheerleader. The two were not only Prom King and Queen, but they were in love and planned on spending the rest of their lives together. Karen even became pregnant with his child, whom she decided to keep.

However, Dan had already moved on in college with someone else, Deb Lee (Barbara Alyn Woods). It only took a few months before he had her knocked up too, except this time he got married and raised the child.

How The Lucas Abandon All Started...

Karen named her son Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray), choosing to keep his father's last name in spite of her hatred for Dan. The name was (obviously) the same as Keith's, which was her rationale in doing so. Lucas's uncle stepped into the role as father to compensate for his brother's unethical doings. This worsened the already rocky relationship between Keith and Dan.

We later find out that Dan had initially fought for custody of Lucas, but since the baby daddy was obviously not much of a role model, Karen refused. Dan took it out on her by both ignoring Lucas and making his life a living hell. This was particularly the case when Lucas joined the basketball team, posing a direct threat to his half-brother, Nathan Scott (James Lafferty).

How The Real Isolation All Started...

Well Dan was kind of a manipulative class-A jerk, so it didn't take much more than a word or two to drive people away. As Nathan and Lucas eventually bonded, their father's conniving ways grew more and more apparent to one another. Nathan got emancipated and married Lucas's BFF Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz), who Dan originally disapproved of.

Deb and Karen's friendship also grew, leading Deb to finally leave Dan. Danny boy did not make this easy, so his wife attempted to poison him as a means to get her divorce. Lucas rescued him in spite of everything, but Dan was unconscious so couldn't remember. Dan Scott was driven mad with paranoia, trying to guess exactly who was to blame for his attempted murder. During his investigation, he isolated one person after the other.

How His Initiation As A Proper Villain All Started...

From the start of the show, it has always been clear that Dan was the bad guy. As in every show, you'll have fleeting competitors of evil, such as jealous girls, insane babysitters, or murderous impostor brothers... But Dan Scott takes the cake in the long run. In case there was ever any doubt, he did something unforgivable to make sure he'd remain the all-time villain of One Tree Hill.

He murdered Keith Scott. During a school shooting, Dan took advantage of an opportunity in which he could shoot his brother in cold blood. He picked up Jimmy Edwards's (Colin Fickes) gun, after the latter committed suicide. Dan aimed it at his big brother and just shot Keith out of nowhere, pinning it on Jimmy. He would have gotten away with it too, if there hadn't been a hidden witness who reached out to Lucas.

How His Likability All Started...

Dan was haunted by the guilt, particularly after he found out that Karen had been pregnant with Keith's child. Dan grew closer to Karen and they even started to develop romantic feelings for one another in her period of grief.

He was there for many of the protagonists in ways he never had been and started to show his surprising good side. In a rare moment of purification, he came clean about Keith's murder and turned himself in. We even find ourselves pitying him during a scene in which he attempts to commit suicide in prison, but fails.

How His Redemption All Started...

After his release from prison, Dan dedicated his new life to redemption. He even had a successful talk show about it. Dan had a heart condition and knew his time was limited. He wormed his way into Haley and Scott's family in an effort to meet his grandchildren.

Although he managed to get a heart transplant, he still built a relationship with Jamie and Lydia Scott. He even helped out with Karen's café after it was taken over by Haley and Brooke (Sophia Bush). In a series of events, Nathan was kidnapped, so Dan teamed up with Haley and came to the rescue. He even took a bullet for his son in the process, leading to his ultimate downfall.

How It All Ended...

After saying his goodbyes, Dan passed away in the hospital peacefully, surrounded by family. The only person who did not come to say his final words was Lucas Scott. Dan was not surprised by this as he had come to terms with the fact that he was never there for his estranged son. So why expect anything else in return? Well there's that and the fact that he murdered Lucas's replacement father, Keith. So yeah.

While dying, Dan saw Keith, who somehow managed to forgive him — because it's the angelic Keith. The big brother encouraged Danny to embrace death because he wouldn't be going to hell after all. Fortunately for Dan Scott, he was able to find his way into heaven as Keith Scott's "plus one."


Do you think Dan Scott was a villain after all?


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