Each decade has produced a handful of fantastic shows, but the 2000’s were a great one for teenage dramas. Think about Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The O.C., Vampire Diaries and Veronica Mars. As addictive as they all were, The O.C. had to be one of the best. It was the show that we had to race home from the mall to watch. And the next school day was spent dissecting the drama that unfolded between Seth, Summer, Marissa and Ryan.
A whopping 14 years after The O.C. first premiered, the show still holds its own. Sure, we may have addictive new shows like Game of Thrones, House of Cards and The Walking Dead, but The O.C. will always hold a special place in our California dreams.
1. The fashion
The drama was amazing, but the outfits were just as good. Who didn’t see Summer and Marissa’s latest outfits then run to the mall to try and copy them? Without the ladies of The O.C., we would not have owned as many polos, flippy skirts and beaded flats as we did.
2. All of the hair inspiration
The hair was as good as the preppy California fashion. We can thank The O.C. for side braids and for making everyone want sunkissed, California beach babe highlights.
3. Seth and Summer
Seth and Summer were — and still are — the dream couple. If the #relationshipgoals hashtag was around back in 2005, we would have been using it every single episode. Admit it: They are still the couple that you judge your own relationships by.
4. The drama
Where do we even begin? You never knew what was going to happen on the show. The bad boys! The moments of instability! Caleb! Julie! Tijuana! We were shocked, we cried, yet we still wanted more.
Chrismukkah, aka the best holiday ever, showed that when you combine holidays, they become twice as good. It also helped that Chrismukkah was championed by the adorable Seth Cohen. Which brings us to…
6. Seth Cohen
Ryan may have had the hottie bad-boy-turned-good-guy thing going on, but Seth Cohen was the one who really stole our hearts. The one-liners, the hair, the way he was adorably in love with Summer even before she knew he existed. Seth was the guy real boys had to live up to.
7. Ryan’s man tanks
There are few men in this world that can make a white undershirt look hot, but Ryan could. And he even managed to do it while wearing that random necklace and hoodie. Dang.
8. The scenes of California
We may not have had the pleasure of going to a posh high school in SoCal or having the beach on our doorstep, but at least we could pretend we did during those 60 minutes of watching The O.C. We had no shame about living vicariously through Summer and Marissa.
9. The theme song
California here we come, right back where we started from. Admit it: You sang along to the theme song every time you watched the show. You probably still do it. Phantom Planet‘s catchy song was probably on every playlist you created in the 2000’s…we’re sure it’s probably still on a few.
10. “Welcome to the O.C. bitch”
When a show delivers a classic line right out the gate, you know it’s going to be good. The line has been used on so many occasions. And to prove its relevance today, it has even been turned into a meme. Thank you, Chris. You may have been mean, but we still thank you for this classic one-liner.
11. The fancy parties
How many of us will ever go to a Cotillion Ball? The fanciest we’ll probably get is a wedding at a golf club. While most of us will never get the chance to roll up to a party in a sweet designer gown, we still loved every minute of watching the glitz and glamour of Orange County, California. We totally ate up all of the ridiculous traditions.
12. The pop culture references
We can thank Seth for giving us a lot of references, but pop culture devotees knew there were always going to be some good refs in every episode. That said, the famous Spider-Man kiss between Seth and Summer has to be one of the best moments in all four seasons of the show.
13. The evil characters
Oh, how we loved to hate them. We’re looking at you, Julie Cooper and Caleb Nichol. They were so bad, but we’d be lying if we said we’d be as invested in the show without them.
14. The amazing music
Phantom Planet’s theme song was just the beginning of the great soundtracks The O.C. gave us. Known for displaying the best new indie tunes, we would not know Death Cab for Cutie without The O.C. And we would not have felt compelled to buy every CD that went along with the TV show if it wasn’t for how phenomenal the songs always were.
15. Sandy Cohen
There have been some pretty epic TV dads in history, but Papa Cohen is at the top of the list. And it’s not just because he had a luxurious pair of eyebrows. He was the dad who looked out for everyone, gave the best advice, and he was cool without being creepy.
16. The cameos
We appreciate this one even more when we binge-watch The O.C. now. Some of the people who had guest appearances went on to have massive careers. Remember Olivia Wilde? What about Shailene Woodley? Hands up if you remember Chris Pratt? Erm, Paris Hilton? Yeah, that was a thing…
17. Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson were dating IRL
Even though Adam is now happily with Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester and Rachel and Hayden Christensen are going strong, we all loved the chemistry between Seth and Summer, which was only emphasized by the IRL BTS relaysh between Adam and Rachel. Sure, it was heartbreaking when news circulated about their split, but it’s nice to know there were real feelings when re-watching those classic episodes.