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|Portrayed by||Paul Johansson|
|Last appearance||Danny Boy
|Created by||Mark Schwahn|
Daniel Robert "Dan" Scott is a fictional character on the WB/CW television drama series One Tree Hill who is the primary antagonist for the first four seasons before becoming a tragic fallen antihero and is played by Paul Johansson. He is the father of Lucas Scott (by Karen Roe) and Nathan Scott (by Deborah Lee), the grandfather of James Lucas Scott and Lydia Bob Scott (via Nathan) and Sawyer Brooke Scott (via Lucas) and the uncle of Lily Roe Scott.
Every good story needs a villain Lucas. I'm sorry but I'm yours.— Dan Scott
Fictional character biography
Dan grew up in Tree Hill, NC and attended Tree Hill High, where he was the star of the Ravens basketball team. Towards the end of senior year, Dan got his girlfriend Karen Roe pregnant, but abandoned her to take a basketball scholarship to North Carolina. At college he met Deb Lee, who also became pregnant by him. Dan returned to Tree Hill on the night his and Karen's son Lucas was born but, on seeing Keith with Karen at the hospital, Dan left without Karen seeing him. Dan and Deb married and moved back to Tree Hill with their son Nathan. Dan tried to get joint custody of Lucas, but Karen refused and Dan gave up on trying to be part of Lucas's life. He later became a successful car salesman having set up his own business with Deb's money. Dan is a man with big dreams and expectations, especially regarding his son Nathan, but he doesn't handle it very well when they're not fulfilled.
Dan is a controlling father to Nathan, who is now the Ravens' star player, but has nothing to do with Lucas. When Lucas joins the Ravens, Dan encourages Nathan to give his half-brother a hard time. Dan puts so much pressure on Nathan that Nathan takes drugs to enhance his basketball performance, leading to him collapsing on the court. When Deb finds out, she asks Dan for a divorce. When Dan's parents come to town for Dan's birthday, it is revealed that Dan's father Royal put similar pressure on Dan and that Dan faked the extent of an injury he suffered in college in order to give up basketball. Dan also has an uneasy relationship with Keith, due to Keith's continuing friendship with Karen. When Keith crashes the car he is driving with Lucas inside, Dan pulls Lucas from the car and saves his life, leading to a temporary truce with Karen. Keith is left in financial difficulty due to Lucas's medical bills and Dan offers to buy Keith's garage from him while Keith continues to run it. However, it soon becomes clear that Dan will be running the garage in his own way and Keith quits. After being rejected by Karen, Keith turns to Deb for comfort and they have a one-night stand. On walking in on them in bed together, Dan tells Keith that he is no longer his brother. Dan is about to sign his divorce papers to Deb when he suffers a heart attack. When Deb finds Dan on the floor, Dan tells her "you'd better hope I die."
After his heart attack, Dan claims to be a changed person and tries to get closer to Lucas. Dan and Deb are united in their disapproval of Nathan's marriage to Haley. Dan claims to have forgiven Deb and Keith for their fling and a guilty Deb allows Dan to live with her while he recovers. It becomes clear that the new Dan is an act when he lies to Deb after being given a clean bill of health and it is revealed that Keith's new girlfriend Jules was actually hired by Dan to seduce his brother. On discovering that he has the same heart condition as Dan, Lucas agrees to move in with Dan on the conditions that Dan pays for Lucas's medication and keeps this from Karen, and also that Dan leaves Keith and "Jules" alone. Dan keeps his promises but Karen discovers the truth about Jules and threatens to tell Keith, leading to Jules leaving Keith at the altar. Dan is delighted at this result and, after knocking down the groom on the wedding cake, looks at Deb saying "one down, one to go". On discovering what Dan did, Keith confronts Dan at the dealership and attacks him. Before leaving town, Keith tells Dan that he has nothing left to lose, but Dan does. When Nathan and Haley's marriage is in trouble, Dan is quick to pounce, and gets Nathan to sign annulment papers and move back in with him and Deb. However, Deb wants Dan out of their lives for good, especially after learning that Dan told Nathan that it is his fault that Deb is now addicted to pills. Lucas continues to live with Dan in order to bring down his father once and for all. He finds cash and an incriminating ledger in the attic of the dealership and discovers that Dan has been making money illegally by changing the amounts on bills and pocketing the extra cash. However, Dan has made Deb the co-owner of the dealership, meaning that she would be incriminated too. Dan then reveals he left the cash and ledger for Lucas to find as a test of Lucas's loyalty, which Lucas failed, and so Dan severs all ties to Lucas, even cutting off his son's heart medication. Dan also sabotages Karen's relationship with her business lecturer Andy by walking into one of Andy's classes and telling everyone that Andy is sleeping with Karen, which leads to Andy losing his job. Dan then tries to have Andy deported back to New Zealand. When Karen angrily confronts Dan at the dealership, Dan grabs her and forcefully kisses her, saying "isn't that was this is really about?" At the end of the season Dan falls unconscious after drinking a poisoned bottle of whisky that was left for him with a note saying "for everything you've done". The dealership is then set on fire with Dan inside.
Dan survives the fire, but the dealership is destroyed. Dan at first thinks it was Lucas who tried to kill him when he remembers seeing him in the fire, but it is revealed that Lucas saved him. Wanting access to the fire investigation, Dan runs for mayor of Tree Hill. His family-based campaign includes having Deb pretend to love him in exchange for a final divorce. This ploy works and Dan is elected mayor. As mayor, Dan gains access to CCTV showing Keith buying the whisky used to drug Dan, and when Keith returns to town Dan has him arrested on suspicion of his attempted murder. Although the police release Keith due to lack of evidence, Dan still believes that Keith was the perpetrator, and things become worse when Keith announces that he is going to marry Karen and adopt Lucas. One day at Tree Hill High, Jimmy Edwards takes a gun to school and fires it, causing a lock down. Keith persuades Dan as mayor to let him go into the school to talk to Jimmy, but Jimmy commits suicide by shooting himself in front of Keith. Dan then gets into the school, picks up the gun and shoots Keith, killing him. Jimmy gets the blame for Keith's death as it is assumed that he shot Keith before turning the gun on himself. Dan convinces himself that Keith deserved what he got as he started the war with Dan. Nevertheless, Dan becomes haunted, seeing visions of Keith as a child everywhere, and this has a profound effect on him. Realizing he has to change his ways he tries to get closer to Nathan, telling his son that he is proud of him and that he loves him. Haley then gives Dan a second chance by inviting him to her and Nathan's second wedding. At the ceremony Deb tells Dan that it was her, not Keith, who tried to kill him in the fire. Dan goes to Keith's grave and breaks down. Dan then apologizes to Karen for how he treated her and Lucas and she reveals that she is pregnant with Keith's child. Dan takes her in his arms promising to be there for her this time. He then goes home and discovers that someone has written "MURDERER" on his wall.
Dan tries to make amends for Keith's death by looking after Karen. However, he still sees messages everywhere calling him a murderer, and wonders if it is all in his head. Meanwhile, Nathan is in deep debt and asks Dan to help him. Dan refuses and Nathan goes to a loan shark, Daunte, instead. Daunte forces Nathan to shave points in a basketball game and then demands that Nathan lose the State Championship. On discovering the trouble that Nathan is in, Dan confronts Daunte and offers to pay him off, but Daunte gets Dan to back down by threatening Nathan, Lucas, the pregnant Haley and Karen. When the Ravens win the State Championship, Daunte runs Haley over and crashes into a construction site. Nathan pulls Daunte out of the car and beats him, before realizing he is dead. Dan takes the fall for Nathan and is arrested. Dan plans to plead guilty to Daunte's murder in order to be punished for Keith's death, but the coroner's report shows that Daunte was already dead when Nathan pulled him out of the car. Dan is released and the experience brings him and Karen closer together, as Karen admires what Dan was willing to do for his son. Dan and Karen begin to come together romantically, attending the school prom together as chaperones, but Dan continues to receive text messages and notes accusing him of killing his brother. Dan discovers that the person sending the messages is Abby Brown, a student who witnessed the shooting. Dan then visits Abby and her mother and tries to explain why he killed Keith, saying "Karen was mine, she was supposed to be mine". Abby leaves Tree Hill for good, but not before telling Lucas what she knows. Lucas walks in on Dan and his mother kissing and attacks Dan, shouting that he killed Keith, but Karen refuses to believe him. Lucas then goes to the police, but Dan has got there first and told them that Lucas is just trying to sabotage Dan's relationship with Karen. On learning from Haley that Deb has a gun, Lucas steals the gun and confronts Dan in front of Karen, causing her to collapse. Lucas fires a warning shot to make Dan leave, before rushing the unconscious Karen to hospital. After learning from Deb that Dan killed Keith, Nathan confronts Dan and tells him that he will never be a part of his grandson's life. After Karen's daughter is born by c-section, Dan visits his new niece in the hospital, before turning himself in to the police.
Two weeks later, a recovered Karen visits Dan in his cell and tells him that she has a daughter, Lily, who will never know her father because of Dan, before spitting at him. Dan is so distraught by this encounter that he tries to hang himself in his cell with his bedsheet. The sheet unravels after a few seconds, and Dan falls to the floor, left to agonize over what he has done.
Four and a half years later, Nathan visits Dan in prison, and tells him that he will never be like him. Nathan then tells Dan that Jamie found a picture of him once and Nathan told him that his grandfather was dead. Later, a prison guard tells Dan that Nathan left behind an envelope, which contains a picture of Jamie. A parole hearing is held for Dan and despite Lucas pleading with the board not to be fooled by Dan, he is released. Soon after, Dan goes to a store to buy a basketball for his grandson and ends up sleeping with the cashier later that night. At Lucas's wedding, Dan sits outside in his car and is confronted by Haley, who tells him to stay away from the family. When Jamie is abducted during the ceremony by his evil nanny, Carrie, Dan saves him and threatens Carrie, telling her that he killed his brother and would have no problem doing the same to her. Dan then returns Jamie to Nathan and Haley's house and is attacked by Lucas and Nathan. On Jamie's 5th birthday Dan goes to drop off a gift and has a confrontation with Deb. After the party Nathan goes and tells Dan to stay away and Dan reveals he only has six months to live due to his HCM. However, after the man in front of him on the heart transplant list dies, he becomes number one. Excited, he leaves the hospital and helps an old man retrieve his cane before suddenly getting hit by a car. Ironically, seconds later his beeper goes off because a heart has been found for him.
When he wakes up from the accident, it is revealed that Carrie, Jamie's former nanny, was the one who ran him over, as revenge for interfering with her taking Jamie as her son. He finds himself in a "hospital room" but when he tries to escape (Carrie is torturing him) he discovers that he is not in a hospital room, but in her house, in a room which Carrie designed to confuse him by disguising it as a hospital room by putting medical equipment and painting the room, as well as adding hospital-style curtains. Carrie devises a plan to get Jamie by telling Haley that Dan is dying, so that she'll bring Jamie to see him. Carrie goes after Jamie, then Haley too. Dan shoots Carrie once she attempts to kill Haley and Deb. Carrie wakes up later that night, and reminds Dan that he promised he'd kill her if she came near his family again, prompting him to keep his word and shoot her again, this time killing her. As a result, Nathan and Haley let Dan see Jamie, but Nathan quickly reminds his father that he still hates him for killing his uncle. Unfortunately, Dan still finds himself without a heart transplant and has to wait longer. In the mean time, he tries to be a father to Nathan by advising him on his basketball and has a talk with Lucas about the day of the school shooting to help with the Ravens movie. His relationship with Jamie also grows and he finally has a blowout with Deb about Keith. When his heart transplant does come, the man who delivers it trips over a dog's leash and the dog eats it. Dan ultimately loses all hope and attempts to drown himself at a beach. He then goes to tells Jamie goodbye. Jamie becomes upset and asks him who killed Keith; and Dan admits that he did it. Dan leaves Tree Hill, but not before saying some last words to Lucas and Nathan. At the end of the season we see Dan as a broken man. He hates his life and wants to die. To make amends he goes to visit Coach Durham to whom he confesses that when he looks back on his life it all went wrong when he refused to play at the state championship. He tells Coach Durham that he should be dead but he isn't and that he realizes "this is my hell". He has to see his family experience the happiest moments of their lives but he can't feel them. To this Coach Durham replies "you created that, Danny". Dan then turns a gun on himself but can't bring himself to pull the trigger. He then forces the gun into Coach Durham's hand and begs the latter to shoot him. Later, after Dan cries in his arms, Durham adds, "there is still time for redemption, son". Nathan shows up and tells Dan that he has made it to the NBA. Later Peyton lets Dan hold his other grandchild, Sawyer Scott. At the end of the episode he tells the audience that when he looks in the mirror he sees that he was supposed to be someone else, but fell short of that person.
Fourteen months have passed since the season six finale, and Dan is now a motivational speaker. He has his own TV show called Scott Free Redemption. He has also written a book with the same title. It is then revealed that he is married to Rachel Gatina. Dan reached out to his son Nathan when he read about him and Renee Richardson, who he meets, asking her to speak on his show. Dan reveals that Renee Richardson was lying about Nathan's alleged affair and exposes her on his show. It is also revealed that Dan did in fact have a heart transplant as he quotes Renee Richardson's con as "Takes a Con to Know a Con." About a year earlier, Dan traveled to Mexico to have a heart transplant. His new wife Rachel Gatina paid with his money for a family to pull the life support plug on their young son. The heart was then given to Dan. Dan returns to Tree Hill and tries to ask forgiveness from Nathan. Nathan will not forgive Dan, but only "tolerate" him for Jamie's sake. Dan then meets Clay, who he shakes up (by throwing him in the ocean), telling him not to give up on being an agent. On the eve of Nathan and Haley's departure, Rachel gets Dan to do a live broadcast from the school hallway where he killed Keith. Dan then runs into Jimmy's mother, who tells him she will never be able to forgive him. So instead of reading his script, Dan talks about his life and tells his audience that there is no forgiveness for him, only what comes next. He gives everything that he has to charity as well as divorce papers to Rachel. As he is preparing to leave Tree Hill, Nathan meets up with him to tell him that he's back with the Bobcats, and says thank you. He then says goodbye to Jamie.
Dan has moved to a diner, and reappears again when Quinn visits him to help her to kill Katie Ryan, and he convinces her not to do it. In the finale, Nathan visits him and gives him a photo of Lydia and a baseball from Jamie's first game and Dan thinks that there is a chance for forgiveness.
Dan burns down his diner and returns to Tree Hill and asks Haley for a place to stay, initially resistant, she offers him money, but he says that he doesn't want money. He moves into Nathan and Haley's house, to the delight of Jamie, who is excited to spend time with him. Nathan tells him that he is going to Europe and that when he comes back he wants him to be gone. When Nathan does not return from Europe, Haley and Jamie blame Dan. He rents out the sound stage from Julian and uses it to find Nathan. Dan, Julian, and Chris Keller save Nathan. However, Dan is shot while rescuing Nathan and dies in the hospital surrounded by Nathan, Haley, Deb, Jamie and Lydia. When he dies, he sees a vision of his brother Keith, who brings him to the hallway where Dan shot Keith and he tells him that he forgives him. When Keith goes into the light, Dan asks him "I know where you're going, but what about me?" and Keith says "Don't worry little brother, You're my plus one."
- One Tree Hill Episode 5.10: Running to Stand Still
- One Tree Hill Episode 5.11 You're Gonna Need Someone on Your Side
- One Tree Hill Episode 5.17 What Comes after the Blue