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The Story Behind The With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept Episode Of One Tree Hill

"One Tree Hill" premiered back in 2003 and went on for a total of 9 seasons. The series starred James Lafferty, Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz. However, there is one episode of the series that viewers will never forget: Season 3, Episode 16, "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept." 

After years of bullying, we see Jimmy Edwards (played by Colin Fickes) bring a gun to school, leading Nathan (Lafferty) and Lucas (Murray) to put their lives on the line to save their friends. Mark Schwahn, who created the series, recalls that executives were frightened when the episode was suggested, fearing it would have the opposite effect and actually encourage violence, but that didn't change his mind. "For me, the episode's not about gun violence as much as it's about violence. Full stop. And kindness. And a broken kid who couldn't see past his very real and very immediate pain," he expressed.

So what is the real story behind this memorable and devastating episode?

What inspired the hard-hitting storyline

There's one word: kindness. "At the time that I conceived of the episode, the Columbine High School tragedy was the most significant recent tragedy and people used to whisper when they would refer to it," Schwahn explained. "I wanted to talk about it loudly and remind kids that their time in high school amounted to about 700 days, all in — ask them to believe that it gets better and urge them to look past their struggles."

He continued to say, "If television and the stories we tell can truly make a difference, if Hollywood can actually influence someone sitting in the dark somewhere who is struggling with real world problems, shouldn't we be in that kind of business?" The creator claims that is what he was chasing when he wrote the episode, wanting the young people watching to realize how important kindness truly is.

Since the iconic series in the YA genre ended, BurtonBush, and other members of the cast, specifically the women, have shared some problematic situations they faced during their filming experience with Schwahn. Burton left with her co-star Murray after the two got married and had a baby on the show in Season 6. She did not return, but Murray did before "One Tree Hill" came to an end.