One Tree Hill

TV review by Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
One Tree Hill Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Teen soap has all the questionable ingredients.

CW Drama 2003

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 74 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

My Comfort Show

I’ve been watching this since middle school and I’m now in my 20s. I’m so glad I found this show, because when I was in middle/high school, One Tree Hill would make me feel like I wasn’t alone. I’d often live vicariously through the characters to fill some type of void in me. This show was ahead of its time when it came to topics such as sexism, homophobia, and mental health. It also showcases other hard hitting topics such as teen pregnancy/marriage, substance abuse, consent/peer pressure, death, and gun violence. Could some things have been portrayed better? Yes, but for the first few seasons of this show being released in the early 00s it’s nice to see how a lot of the messages stand strong today. Not to mention the soundtrack introduced 11 year old me to some really great music, and the main characters are all very lovable. Since you grow with them throughout the show, it feels like you have a personal connection to them in a way. The characters with seemingly loose morals at the start of the show reveal what’s under the surface and develop into genuine people, I think that’s one reason I related to Brooke as a character so much. Tying into that, this show even has a way of making a complex relationship between the viewer and the main villain, which I find really interesting. Should you empathize with him, or hold his past against him? Things like that make this show much deeper, and you end up getting invested emotionally. Another thing I like about this show are the lessons it tries to teach. It helped me see the importance of sacrifice, honesty, healthy coping mechanisms, maintaining relationships, safe sex, feminism, and self improvement. Things parents should watch out for are themes of underage drinking, language (however the only ones I can think of being used are bitch, whore, slut, damn, ass, and dyke), drug use, physical violence, sexual activity/promiscuity, cheating/lying, and certain crimes (shoplifting, trespassing, stalking, assault, and murder). However all of these are mostly in moderation, and characters do get punished for most of their poor behavior as to not glorify those scenarios. All in all, a tween could watch this with supervision, and a high school aged ge world be fine watching on their own.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 14+


I think that you should let teens watch it. Yes there is sex, and drugs but these are important topics. Make sure you only let your teens if you believe that they can handle it.

This title has:

Too much sex

TV Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • South of Nowhere Poster Image

    South of Nowhere

    An eye-opening portrayal; OK for mature teens.

    age 14+
  • Degrassi Poster Image


    Superb, socially conscious drama deals with tough issues.

    age 14+
  • My So-Called Life Poster Image

    My So-Called Life

    Mature teen angst at its best.

    age 14+

For kids who love stories about teens

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate