- "Why wouldn't you be? I'm awful. All of my siblings are talented or smart or both. And I'm just Taylor. Nobody likes Taylor.
- ―Taylor and Lydia James
Taylor James was the second daughter of Jimmy and Lydia James, the younger sister of Vivian James, and the older sister of Quinn and Haley James. She is also revealed to be the girl to whom Nathan Scott lost his virginity to. Fun-loving, carefree and never wanting to make plans or stay in one place for too long, Taylor was the polar opposite of her sister Haley. They often clashed over their differences despite having a deep, emotional connection that made sure that their sisterly relationship was maintained through any problems they faced (such as the revelation that Taylor and Nathan slept together). In the end, however, she proved her loyalty to Haley by forcing Nathan to realize that he still loved her after she left to go on tour. She later returned to Tree Hill with Quinn's recently divorced husband, David although their relationship soon ended. Taylor then had to face losing her mother.
Taylor was born on August 31st, 1983 and was raised in a crowded and hectic household by her parents alongside her sisters Haley, Quinn, Vivian and three other brothers. Taylor was seen as the failure of the family, and underachiever and she soon developed a reputation among the family as being an irrational, promiscuous screw-up. Taylor was close to her sister Quinn as they were both more fun-loving and free spirited, and would often pull pranks on their straight-laced younger sister Haley such as unknowingly getting her high with Taylor's "special brownies". She also pulled several pranks on Haley, such as when Haley got her first period, Taylor tried to convince her that she was dying. Despite their differences, she was also had a very good relationship with Haley and saw her as a dependable person, in spite of Haley sometimes disagreeing with Taylor's actions. While she was closer to Quinn, Taylor still constantly tried to steal Quinn's boyfriends. She never had motivation for doing it, and presumably just tortured them for no reason. She often slept with Quinn's ex-boyfriends, or offered them sex to break up with her. ("The Heart Brings You Back") ("I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight") ("Family Affair")While a senior in high school, Taylor attended a party at Nathan Scott's parent’s beach house after Nathan made the varsity team from the freshman team and she slept with him, taking his virginity. Both Taylor and Nathan saw their encounter as meaningless, both unaware that they would eventually become in-laws when Nathan fell in love with, and married, Haley. ("The Heart Brings You Back")
When her sister Haley was in her freshman year, Taylor graduated Tree Hill High School and left for college but after she slept with her professor and was caught by his wife. This, coupled with her being caught cheating on an exam, caused Taylor to be kicked out of college and, without anywhere to turn, she returned to Tree Hill. At some point in her life, she got a tattoo of a scorpion claiming that it represents her "paralyzing her victims", but in reality she got the tattoo because of the story she heard about scorpions stinging themselves to death. ("The Heart Brings You Back") ("Between Order and Randomness")
Upon arriving home, Taylor returned and, with her parents home deserted, she turned to Haley, but came at an inopportune time as Nathan and Haley's marriage was starting to fray as her passion for music and her desire to follow her dreams with the help of Chris Keller, caused the two to grow distant. She arrived to find Nathan alone in the house who initially didn't recognize her - confusing her for Vivian and Quinn. However, after he saw her scorpion tattoo he started to remember who she was. Haley then returned and was reunited with her sister and discovered that Nathan had invited her to stay despite him starting to remember the past they shared. With his relationship with Haley strained (something which Taylor soon picked up on) Nathan started to bond with Taylor to escape his troubles with his wife, and he believed that Taylor didn't remember their past. However, after running together they stopped at Dan's beach house and Taylor soon told Nathan that she remembered them sleeping together. She, however, made a deal with Nathan that they would keep each other’s secrets - she wouldn't tell Haley about them sleeping together if Nathan didn't tell Haley about her real reason for coming to Tree Hill. Feeling that Nathan and Taylor were getting too close, Haley tried to kick Taylor out but, as per their deal, and Nathan came to Taylor's defence and made sure that she stayed. ("The Heart Brings You Back")Taylor continued to come between Nathan and Haley, taunting Nathan about their shared history despite her promise to keep what happened between them a secret. In spite of her loyalty to Haley, Taylor started to meddle in her personal life by both flirting with Nathan, making advances towards him, and instant messaging Chris, posing as Haley, telling him that she was thinking about him - causing Chris to unknowingly reveal his and Haley's kiss to her. Worrying that Taylor would reveal the truth to Haley or continue to hold it against him, Nathan decides to tell her about sleeping with her sister. Haley returned home, just as Taylor discovered her kiss with Chris Keller and Haley immediately confronted her but Taylor fought back by telling Haley she knew about Chris. Agreeing to keep quiet about Chris, Taylor convinced Haley to let her stay. That night, Taylor and Haley made up revealing the deep emotional bond between the two that keeps them together despite their differences. Taylor then came to her sister's rescue, messaging Chris again as Haley telling him to stay away having recognised her sister's love for Nathan. ("Between Order and Randomness")
When Nathan and Haley discovered that Taylor had been messaging Chris on Haley's behalf, Haley told Nathan that Taylor was just trying to cause trouble as usual dodging Nathan's question asking if she kissed Chris. Testing Haley to see if she was telling the truth, Nathan asserted that they should kick Taylor out for this, and not wanting to ruin her marriage, Haley maintained her lie and agreed. Taylor, however, revealed to Nathan that she didn't make the kiss up but Nathan refused to believe her and kicked her out. Taylor agreed to be a scapegoat for Haley and take the fall, but reminded her sister that she couldn't undo the kiss. After Nathan discovered the truth about the kiss, and Taylor tried to support Haley and encouraged her to not let Nathan get away but Haley didn't take her advice and chose to follow her dream and leave for the tour with Chris, and Taylor was forced to break the news to Nathan before leaving Tree Hill. ("The Hero Dies in This One")
After Nathan went to visit Haley on the tour, and subsequetly made his way back to Tree Hill having argued with her upon seeing her, he made a stop at the Swinging Donkey Bar where Taylor worked after Taylor called him. The two immediatly started their flirtations again as Nathan tried to drown his sorrows regarding Haley and agreed to stay the night with her. While drinking together, Taylor noticed Nathan wasn't wearing his wedding ring yet, recognizing that Nathan was hurting, Taylor continued to flirt with him anyway. While playing a game of arcade basketball, Nathan and Taylor made a deal that if he scored the next shot they would go upstairs - and he put the ball through the hoop. Upon arriving at Taylor's bedroom, however, Nathan found himself unable to sleep with her and Taylor then revealed that they were never going to have sex, she was just trying to prove to him that he still loved Haley. The morning after, Nathan and Taylor said goodbye and she encouraged him to live his life, with or without Haley, telling him that if she did come back then it would be his choice as to whether or not they would be together. ("The Lonesome Road")
Taylor briefly returns to Tree Hill along with her parents and sister Quinn to celebrate Haley's graduation and the subsequent birth of her nephew, James Lucas Scott. (The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance)
In the years that followed, little is known of what happened to Taylor other than that she stayed in contact with all her sisters. However, she would make a big return to Haley and Quinn's lives after Quinn's divorce to her husband David was finalized. Taylor returned during the final show of Haley's concert, suprising Nathan by asking him to let her and her new boyfriend to stay at their house. Nathan reluctantly agreed and, that night, Taylor showed up at their house with David by her side revealing to a stunned Quinn that she was now dating her ex-husband. ("Weeks Go By Like Days")
Taylor and David's relationship wasn't well recieved by Haley, while Quinn decided to be at peace with it because David deserved to be happy after she lied to him. Taylor continued to wind Haley up, knowing that she was having an effect on her sister. When Haley confronted her to kick her and David out of the house, Taylor revealed that she was putting a dinner on and, despite Haley's inital refusal, Taylor said that it was happening. At the dinner, Taylor flaunted her relationship with David in a bid to irritate Haley and Quinn forcing Haley to publicly reveal that she thought their relationship was "sick" and "whorish". After dinner, by the pool, the tension between the three sisters erupted when Quinn finally snapped and let down her calm facade, yelling at Taylor for all the selfish things she has done in her life. When Haley tried to force Taylor to admit that was she was doing was wrong, the fight turned physical and all three sisters ended up in the pool. After Nathan stopped the fight, Quinn gave Taylor her blessing on the condition that she wouldn't hurt David like she did.
Taylor remains at Haley's house and is visited by Lydia, their mother. But when Taylor discovers her Mom came to say goodbye she gets angry and leaves because she feels the Mom is giving up. She dies later, but after the two are able to reconcile, along with her younger sisters. ("Family Affair")
After Taylor's second youngest sister Quinn was shot all the family came down to see her the week after the attacked to look after her and to see if she was alright and most of them stayed for the first week before returning to their regular lives in the care of her baby sister Haley. Quinn mentions to her partner Clay that it was a good thing that he was unconscious during the visit from her family. But she later helped Quinn to search for a kidney for Quinn's partner Clay Evans to little success. ("The Space Inbetween")
Taylor is part of a big family, having seven siblings - Haley, Quinn, Vivian and three other brothers. She developed a reputation among her sisters as being the family screw-up after she often disappointed her parents and she also gained notoriety as being the most promiscuous James sister. Despite this, she was exceptionally close to Haley and Quinn. Being an outgoing and fun-loving person, Taylor would often play games with people including her sisters such as her messaging Chris while posing as Haley to stir trouble. However, she always came through for her sisters in the end, showcased when she continued to message Chris telling him to stay away from Haley, showing her deep-seated loyalty to her family despite her defensive personality.
Her relationship with her parents, Jimmy and Lydia James wasn't as good as the relationships between her parents and her sisters because she never really made them feel proud of her, instead being seen as a disappointment.
In her senior year, Taylor slept with Nathan Scott and believed it to be a non-consequential encounter but was then surprised to find that he was her new brother-in-law after his marriage to Haley. While staying with Haley and Nathan, Taylor's flirtatious behavior was focused onto Nathan causing tension in her sister's marriage, which was already tense after they were strained by Haley and Chris Keller's relationship. After flirting with Nathan and threatening him to reveal the truth about their past relationship to Haley but the truth eventually came out and Taylor realized how much Nathan and Haley loved each other and backed off.
Taylor's meddling ways didn't end after she agreed to back off from Nathan as she continued to persue anyone she wanted, regardless of how it may affect her family. After her sister Quinn's divorce to David, Taylor and David started a relationship and revealed it to the family, stunning Haley and Quinn. Although after spending time with Haley and Quinn and their partners David sees that their relationship is wrong and Taylor and David split up, leaving Taylor upset to the amusement of her sisters.
Taylor was educated at Tree Hill High School, like her sisters, and graduated when Haley was in her freshman year and left for college. She, however, was kicked out of college after she cheated on a test and was caught sleeping with her professor. After leaving Tree Hill, she took a job at the Swinging Donkey as a waitress but claimed to Nathan that she wouldn't stay there long because staying in one place wasn't her style.
- Taylor has a tattoo of a scorpion on her lower back because scorpions sting themselves to death when in trouble. ("The Trick Is to Keep Breathing") ("The Heart Brings You Back")
- Taylor is three years older than Haley, as Taylor was a senior at Tree Hill High when Haley was a freshman.
- Of the three James sisters to appear in the series, Haley is the youngest, Quinn is the second and Taylor is the oldest. Taylor is three years older than Haley and Quinn was born somewhere in between the two.
- Her mother created the adjective Taylor-ish for her ("The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance")
- Taylor was similar to Brooke Davis and Rachel Gatina.