There will never be another show quite like The O.C.. Once you’re let into the lives of the powerful, rich families of Newport Beach, California, and a tough kid or two from Chino, you don’t go back. We can’t believe that it’s been over ten years since the first season aired, and so many juicy scandals were packed into those four delicious seasons that it’s easy to forget half the things that went down. We all remember the basics: Marissa died in Ryan’s arms, Seth and Summer got married, Kirsten got pregnant, and the dreamy Cohen house was devastated by an earthquake. But what about the smaller, exciting details? Ryan, Marissa, Seth, Summer, Sandy, Kirsten, Julie, and the gang went through a lot of BS, and dammit, they deserve our recognition! We bet you forgot about the following 15 O.C. moments that totally made your jaw drop back in the day.
15 Seth Gets Schooled By Religious College Guys
This moment happened so quickly that you definitely forgot about it. You might have even missed it to begin with! When Seth, Ryan, and Sandy travel to Florida to visit the Nana, Seth meets the beautiful Mary-Sue, who is also visiting her grandmother. Mary-Sue has a strong southern accent, long luscious blonde hair, and a religious boyfriend who’s followed her down to Florida, and is not okay with her entering the whipped cream competition. She doesn’t tell Seth this though when he agrees to eat whipped cream from her body on national television. Ryan tries to stop him but doesn’t quite make it in time. After the competition, scary boyfriend and his bible group encircle Seth, and the next thing we know, he’s walking through the streets of Miami covered in whipped cream. Add that to the fact that Summer watched the whole thing on TV, and it was a bad night for Cohen.
14 The Awesome Foursome Get Stuck In The Mall
Admit it: after watching the mall episode, you secretly wished you and your friends would get stuck in a closed mall after hours too. We all did! While Seth and Summer are together, and Marissa and Ryan aren’t but totally should be, the awesome foursome accidentally get locked in the mall. They do a whole bunch of exciting things in there, including playing hockey with roller blades, stealing snacks from the confectionary section, and setting up comfy sleeping spots in the camping section. Soon enough, a security guard almost catches them, but they run away just in time. Realistically, this could never happen. There are way too many cameras and alarms to even think about getting stuck in a mall without being found out in two seconds. Even if you do manage to get away, security would be able to identify you from the footage on said cameras. This made for great television, though!
13 Seth Pushes Ryan
This moment was somewhat overshadowed by Luke’s iconic “Welcome to the O.C.” line, but it deserves a spot in our memories! In the first episode, Ryan and Seth head to a beach party after attending Marissa’s fashion show. At this point, Seth is in love with Summer but hasn’t ever spoken to her, and Summer is curious about Ryan. Ryan is just stumbling around, minding his own business, when Summer approaches him, and from Seth’s point of view, it looks like the two are canoodling. Such a thing is obviously heartbreaking to Seth—his first real friend and his secret crush getting together. So in anger, he actually pushes Ryan! Now Seth is a comic book nerd, he’s charming, he’s brainy, he’s witty, but he isn’t a pusher. If anything, Ryan is the violent one. As you get to know the characters, the concept of Seth pushing is outrageous. What’s next? He puts on a wife-beater?
12 Marissa Melts Down By The Pool
To call Marissa troubled would be an understatement. Nobody in Newport is totally without issues, but Marissa might just have the rest beat when it comes to personal problems. Her dad was a thief and his actions led to her losing her family, several family friends, and a stable life. Then her mom married Caleb Nichol, Newport’s resident evil rich guy, and forced her to move into a lonely mansion. Her boyfriend cheated on her with one of her best friends, which led her to overdose on prescription drugs, become addicted to alcohol, and spiral out of control. Later, her mom sleeps with her ex-boyfriend, who cheated on her, and then has an affair with her dad. In the midst of all this, Marissa opens up to her mom by screeching until her throat burns and throwing her pool chair into the pool. This is the meltdown to end all meltdowns!
11 Summer’s Dad Hates Seth
Let’s face it: we were all really excited for Seth to meet Summer’s dad. Seth is one of the smartest and most hilarious guys we know, and he loves Summer more than anything, so we couldn’t see how this could go wrong. Seth has lunch with Summer and Dr. Roberts at a restaurant in the first season, and in short, it’s a total disaster! Seth doesn’t stop rambling the whole time and Dr. Roberts clearly thinks he’s too weird for his daughter. The worst part in all of this is that Summer really cares about what he thinks, and this almost breaks them up. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, since Seth takes off on his boat shortly after during the biggest tantrum of all time. Interestingly, when Summer meets her next boyfriend Zach’s family, they are less than impressed with her. At least the Cohens have always loved her!
10 Marissa Dates Alex
Remember when Marissa liked girls? The show’s writers have since stated that this was a bit of a rating booster, but the Marissa and Alex plotline did add some variation to the show. We also loved the character of Alex, so although it was brief and couldn’t top Marissa and Ryan, we approve of this relationship! Alex began as Seth’s almost girlfriend while Marissa was with DJ, but then Seth realized he was never getting over Summer and Marissa started hanging around the Bait Shop more and more to get away from her family, and lo and behold, these gals fell in love. We thought that Marissa moving straight into Alex’s without a job while she was still at school was a bit premature. Marissa also seemed more curious while Alex was passionate and serious. But still, they ended up parting ways on a positive note, and both girls were better for the experience!
9 Julie’s Video Is Released
Julie Cooper has more than a few skeletons in her closet, and when we found out that one of them involved a tape, we just about died. While Julie is married to Caleb, and their relationship is heading downward after the whole fiasco with his long-lost daughter Lindsay, her old friend Lance shows up to blackmail her with her tape. Julie gets Caleb to pay him off, but being Caleb Nichol, he has Lance beaten up and takes the tapes. Lance’s actions were disgusting so we were more than happy with this, however, it resulted in Lance debuting Julie’s video at the launch for her magazine with the Newport Group. Dead! Julie is supposed to be one of the villains of the show, but we can’t help but love her and feel sorry for her here. This also led to her divorce from Caleb, and her being fired from the Newport Group.
8 Ryan Burns Down Caleb’s House
This moment happened in the very first few episodes of the series, so you’re forgiven for forgetting it. It’s no secret that Ryan and Caleb never got on, and it all started when Ryan was camping out in one of Caleb’s unfinished houses, had a fight with Luke and his friends, and then accidentally started a fire. This was an epic moment, mainly because we were totally worried for Ryan’s well-being for a while there. He is unconscious amongst the flames for a hot second, but thankfully it ends up being okay. Both he and Luke are then arrested for their involvement in the fire, and Ryan seems like a much worse kid than he is. From here, he sort of develops a reputation as the kid from Chino who burns down unfinished mansions, but in the wacky world of Orange County, this is quickly forgotten. By the next scandal, he has a fresh slate!
7 The First Chrismukkah
As O.C. fans, Chrismukkah has become so ingrained in our psyches that it’s hard to remember the very first time we were introduced to it. For those who have forgotten, Chrismukkah is a holiday invented by Seth, which merges Hanukkah and Christmas into one awesome event. The first Chrismukkah we see is important because it marks Ryan’s first Christmas with the Cohens, and the first time he’s spent the holidays in a normal, healthy family environment. That doesn’t mean the first Chrismukkah is scandal-free though! Marissa has trouble dealing with her family problems and lashes out by shoplifting from the mall and then getting drunk at the Chrismukkah party. Ryan is annoyed at having to deal with alcohol-related issues once more over the holidays, and Seth tries to string both Summer and Anna along without committing to either. This is also when we sees Summer dress up as Wonder Woman!
6 The Horror Weekend In Tijuana
This is another moment that happened so early in the series that you probably forgot about it, even though it’s totally epic! Before school starts, the gang head to TJ for a bit of low-key partying. Imagine your parents letting you drive to TJ alone when you were sixteen for unchaperoned partying! Anyways, Seth and Summer argue the whole drive down there, which ends up in a car accident that leaves the foursome having to sleep in a sleazy hotel for the night. This is the first time Seth and Summer sleep in a bed together, and this is when Marissa finds out her parents are getting divorced. The drama isn’t over by the time they actually get to TJ, and Marissa catches Luke cheating on her with Holly. Marissa then drinks alone in a bar, takes some pills, and collapses in an alley while the others look for her. Fun times!
5 Marissa Shoots Trey
A lot of guest stars have made their way to Newport, but one character who left a lasting impression was Ryan’s brother, Trey. Unlike Ryan, Trey was a bit of a lost cause. He spent time in jail, and just couldn’t break out of his illegal ways, no matter how much he wanted to. When Trey comes to Newport, Marissa being Marissa can’t see that he’s dangerous, and proceeds to hang out with him alone. While the two are on the beach, while under the influence Trey forces himself on Marissa, who gets away by bashing him in the head. Eventually, Ryan finds out what Trey did, and in typical Ryan fashion, heads over there to attack him. The two get into such a big fight that Trey nearly kills his brother, and the only way for Marissa to save Ryan’s life is to shoot Trey. He doesn’t die, but still. Pretty intense stuff!
4 Oliver Goes Crazy
We doubt that anybody actually forgot Oliver all together, but you might have forgotten the breakdown he had in the hotel room. Oliver is probably the most-hated character to set foot in Newport—he’s a pathological liar who tries to break Ryan and Marissa up, and nobody can see the truth except for Ryan. The whole arc is totally frustrating! It all ends with Oliver losing the plot when Marissa says she wants to leave. He pulls a gun on her, and holds her hostage as he tells her that he’s in love with her. TBH she is a bit silly for not having realized this before now, but whatever. Of course, Ryan charges in with Sandy and the hotel staff to save the day, but by now Marissa’s actions have caused a permanent tear in her relationship with Ryan. We were definitely glad to see the last of Oliver though!
3 Johnny Falls Off A Cliff
Poor Johnny! Compared to some of the other guest characters, Johnny is relatively easy to forget. He’s the cute surfer that Marissa meets when she’s kicked out of Harbor, and unsurprisingly, he ends up falling in love with her and then getting depressed when she doesn’t love him back. He first sinks into sadness when he gets hit by a car and hurts his leg, stopping him from surfing. Things with him move pretty slowly, but it all erupts when he climbs his way to the top of a beachside cliff, gets drunk, and then stumbles off to his death. Yes, Ryan does try to save him, because would it really be an O.C. emergency if Ryan weren’t there to be a hero? But unfortunately, this time not even Ryan can change things. Aside from being sooky, Johnny was a likable character and we hated seeing it end this way!
2 Jimmy Cooper Is Beaten Up At Cotillion
When we first meet Jimmy Cooper, he’s a financial planner who’s stolen money from his friends, and is hoping the problem will just go away on its own. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fix itself up, and Jimmy’s clients soon discover that he’s lost their money. Holly Fisher’s dad finds out that his life savings are gone at the girls’ cotillion, and he punches Jimmy in the face in front of the entire Newport community. Obviously this is horrifically embarrassing for Julie, but she should get used to it. This happens early in the first season, and bless her, she has so much more public humiliation to go through! At the time it seemed like Jimmy would never recover from this, but he went through several other ups and downs that made us forget about it pretty quickly. We’re glad he moved to Maui in the end! Orange County was never for him.
1 Summer And Seth Kiss In The Rain
Our top O.C. moment that you probably forgot about is when Seth and Summer share their Spider-man-like reunion kiss in the rain. The two are broken up because Seth ran away to Portland, and Summer moved on to Zach. Summer is about to go to Italy with Zach, where Seth is worried that the two will finally sleep together. At the airport, Summer sees a little curly-haired kid playing with a horse that suspiciously resembles Seth’s own Captain Oats, and decides once and for all that she loves Seth. Zach takes this surprisingly well (although he turns into a douche in the next few episodes) and Summer runs back to the Cohen house to look for Seth. It’s raining, and he puts a Spider-man mask on to protect his Jew-fro, and then as he’s hanging upside down from the roof, the two kiss and get back together. Easily our favorite forgotten moment!
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