Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) is the only one of the original core characters in “One Tree Hill” not to end up with someone she met in high school. Throughout the series, she dated a handful of men, but not all were the best fit for her. Of the guys she dated, four stand out as Brooke's best love interests on the show — two from high school and two from life after college. I've ranked them here, leading up to my choice for the best pairing for the Clothes Over Bros founder.
Are you #TeamBrucas or #TeamBrulian? Tell us which Brooke Davis love interest gets your vote in the comments below.
4. Lucas Scott
No teen drama is complete without a love triangle, and for “One Tree Hill,” that complicated dynamic was best portrayed between Brooke, Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray), and Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton Morgan). While there was some attraction between Lucas and Peyton early on in the series, Brooke was the first to date the basketball player, with their relationship being dubbed “Brucas.”
The first time they dated in Season 1, their relationship was a bit tumultuous and ended when Lucas cheated on Brooke with Peyton. But their romance wasn't finished yet, as the two dated again in Season 3. Frankly, back in Season 1, I wasn't a big fan of Brooke yet and didn't care for her dating Lucas. By Season 3, however, she had long won my heart over, and I truly enjoyed Brucas as a couple during that time.
But considering how messily their time together ultimately ended, I now have some mixed feelings about this pairing. Brooke and Lucas definitely had affection for one another, but their relationship could be toxic, filled with jealousy and trust issues. While I enjoyed parts of their romance, their love story isn't ranking No. 1 for me.
3. Owen Morello
Brooke and Owen Morello (Joe Manganiello) were incredibly flirtatious together from the start. The two certainly had an attraction and a palpable chemistry that can't be denied. Their dalliance was also the first time audiences got to see Brooke engage in a relationship after the show's four-year time jump, and it was quite exciting to see this older version of the character set her sights on someone.
In Season 5, Owen gave Brooke a run for her money that was unlike anything fans had seen with her before. He played a bit hard-to-get, and though she pulled out her bag of tricks that worked with men in the past, he wasn't responding. They were quippy and fun and a joy to watch on screen, especially when Owen tried to win Brooke back in Season 6.
Despite being fun to watch, however, I'm not sure Brooke and Owen could've made a relationship last for the long haul. They certainly seemed to be on different pages when it came to starting a family, as Brooke was ready for that far earlier than Owen was.
2. Chase Adams
Admittedly, Brooke and Chase Adams (Stephen Colletti) didn't start their Season 4 relationship on an honest footing, but when they found their way, they were a beautiful couple. Brooke's timing with Chase was nearly perfect, as she had deeply stepped into her independence and was a much different character than the one audiences met in Season 1. Chase had a softness and sincerity to him that we'd never seen Brooke experience with a love interest before.
Audiences never saw the end of her relationship with Chase as they broke up in the lost, unseen years between Seasons 4 and 5, but I assume Brooke's villainous mother Victoria (Daphne Zuniga) insisted they break up so Brooke could focus on building her fashion business. Chase returned and became a bigger part of the cast in the show's last few seasons, but while his relationship with Brooke was mentioned, there was never an inkling of the two rekindling their romance.
I strongly believe the writers should have at least given Brooke and Chase another chance. One thing that has always irked me about Brooke ultimately ending up with Julian Baker (Austin Nichols) is that he dated Peyton first. In an alternate universe, there's a part of me that would've loved to see Brooke find a lasting love with someone who was all her own. That person could have been Chase, but, as it turned out, Julian was perfectly suited for her, regardless of the Peyton factor.
1. Julian Baker
While I wasn't enthused that Brooke ended up with someone Peyton dated first, I can't deny that she was destined to be with Julian. Brulian, as the couple is nicknamed, is one of my favorite ships on “One Tree Hill” because they became true partners in their relationship. Julian took such a huge interest in who Brooke was, eager to know all about her — the good parts and the bad.
Both characters struggled to discover who they really were after being raised by less-than-great parents and constantly feeling like they weren't enough. Not only did they forge a connection through that, but they found safety within each other to let their true selves shine. When they got together, the characters let loose a little bit more and let some of their oddities come through in a really beautiful way.
In Seasons 6 through 9, the couple faced some major challenges together, both in their careers and in struggling with infertility. They handled their difficulties strongly as a team, remaining by each other's sides no matter what, and it was gratifying to watch as a fan. This was truly one of the first times audiences saw Brooke receiving the love and grace she so deserved with a relationship that could stand the test of time. Julian was, without a doubt, Brooke's best love interest on “One Tree Hill.”