Proof That Nanny Carrie Was The Most Underrated Villain On 'One Tree Hill'

by Savannah Walsh
Warner Bros.

As any devoted One Tree Hill fan will tell you, the '00s TV series loved a good villain. There was Nicki, who tried to reclaim custody from Jake after abandoning her child; Chris, the oh-so-broody musician who tried to break Nathan and Haley up; and Dan Scott, the ultimate love-to-hate-him patriarch of both Lucas and Nathan (when he cared to acknowledge Lucas' existence). But the most deliciously villainous character of them all was Nanny Carrie, played by Torrey DeVitto. Often, though, Nanny Carrie — who entered the series in Season 5 — gets lost in the shuffle of other splashy storylines. That's a real shame, because the calculated, vicious babysitter was one of the most underrated One Tree Hill villains of all time.

To recap, Nanny Carrie's venture into Tree Hill began innocently enough. Hired to take care of Nathan and Haley's son Jamie after Haley decided to return to teaching, she formed an instantaneous bond with the Mini Scott. Carrie even offered up a sympathetic backstory that made her ripe with complexity, and later an even more layered antagonist. The product of a deceased father and after losing a son of her own, she was the type of poor damaged soul no one suspected could become a legendary baddie.

But then, she tried to break up Nathan and Haley. This alone qualifies Carrie as one of the most evil characters on OTH. Nathan and Haley were the show's most stable couple and after beating the odds of teen marriage, they started a loving family while supporting each other's careers. Just when they decided to trust someone else with their kid, Carrie had to go and wreak havoc on their union. After shamelessly flirting with Nathan, she straight up got in the shower with him before Haley found the two of them and got the wrong idea. This crossed the line on so many levels and jeopardized an entire family, if for only a moment.

And that's not all Carrie did. Once her plan to take over the Scott family through Nathan crashed and burned, resulting in her firing, she moved on to her next target — none other than their young son, Jamie. Carrie continued to keep an eye on Jamie, stalking and scheming in order to kidnap the kid at Lucas and Lindsey's wedding.

Seriously, in so many ways, Carrie was the worst — she even convinced us all to root for Dan! He may have had own set of ups and downs, but next to Carrie, he looked nearly angelic. Not only was Dan the one to save little Jamie from Carrie's grip, but he had to endure her abuse when she first ran him over with a car and then terrorized him in a homemade hospital room. (OTH definitely went to some weird places, guys). When a man as problematic as Dan came out smelling like a rose in Carrie's presence, you know the girl had some problems.

Once Dan escaped, Nanny Carrie went full-on The Shining/Children of the Corn when she trapped Haley and Jamie in a cornfield and began taunting them both with an axe. DeVitto herself once told Bustle that the writers were inspired by the Kathy Bates character in Misery while writing Nanny Carrie's storyline, and it makes total sense. Who could forget her odd corncob speeches before Deb and Dan came in hot to save the day, Dan yielding a gun and Deb a wine bottle? (Dan ended up delivering the final blow, of course.)

After meeting her end on One Tree Hill, DeVitto found success playing another semi-shady character: Melissa Hastings on Pretty Little Liars. As Spencer's older sister, Melissa could be morally murky, such as that time she, uh, casually buried a girl alive. The PLL team was probably so scarred by DeVitto's turn as the world's most conniving caretaker that they knew she could take on another mean girl role and knock it out of the part.

But One Tree Hill fans will always remember DeVitto best as Nanny Carrie, a villain for the ages.