Teen drama shows aren't just here to tell stories. They're also here to sell stuff to teenagers, and what better thing to sell than music. Not only are shows like these crammed wall to wall with today's hottest iTunes hits, the characters will often drop musical references as elegantly as cartoon characters drop grand pianos on each other.
Peyton's (Hilarie Burton) love of NOFX and the Ramones on One Tree Hill probably wasn't the result of an endorsement, but it allowed her to pump pop punk and emo of the day from her headphones and straight into the ears of a generation.
There are two notable exceptions to this trend, as the classic rock of Freaks and Geeks and the Explosions-in-the-Sky-dominated soundtrack of Friday Night Lights were less marketable than the shows themselves.