The opening bars of The O.C. theme song and the words “California, here we come, right back where we started from” are enough to make any fan of this teen drama feel very nostalgic. While this series, which aired for four seasons, had traditional storylines about the characters’ love lives, the friendship pairings are what fans really appreciate about it.
Whether two characters have been best friends for a long time or are connecting with one another despite being from very different social circles, there are some interesting friendships in every season of this show. Here are the five best and five worst friendships on The O.C.
10 Best: Kirsten And Jimmy
Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan) and Jimmy Cooper (Tate Donovan) were romantically involved a long time ago. Now they’re all grown up and both have teenagers who go to the same high school in Orange County.
The friendship between Kirsten and Jimmy is one of the best on The O.C. because it’s sweet and there are no ulterior motives. In a wealthy town, it can be tough to know who your true friends are since everyone cares about reputation and status. Jimmy basically ruins his whole life because he gets into a ton of financial trouble, but Kirsten is there for him as best as she can.
9 Worst: Marissa And Johnny
Marissa and Johnny Harper’s friendship isn’t all that great, either. Played by Ryan Donowho, we know that he’s into surfing and is also really into Marissa. His past also kind of mirrors Ryan’s since he doesn’t come from a pleasant background.
It doesn’t make any sense why Marissa and Johnny are even friends in the first place. She has other friends and definitely has good friends, and plus, she’s in a relationship with Ryan, so there’s no reason to mess anything up.
8 Best: Ryan And Theresa
Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) turns everyone’s worlds upside down upon his arrival in Orange County, and one of his good friends from childhood is Theresa Diaz (Navi Rawat). Ryan and Theresa’s friendship is one of the best on The O.C. because fans get to learn more about his background through the lens of their relationship. He grew up super poor and in stark contrast to everyone that he is now involved with in his new life.
Sure, there are some romantic sparks flying between the two of them, but since most fans ship Ryan and Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), it’s fair to say that no one really thinks that Ryan and Theresa are going to go the distance as a couple.
7 Worst: Seth And Alex
Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) meets Alex Kelly (Olivia Wilde) because of his love for music. It’s honestly not super clear if he wants to be friends with her or be in a relationship with her since sometimes, Seth can be really awkward (but you have to love him for it).
Seth and Alex have one of the worst friendships on the show because he wants her to go out with Ryan, and that’s way too pushy of him. He should chill out and let her find her own people to date. These two just never seem to mesh well together and it’s awkward watching scenes of them together.
6 Best: Taylor And Ryan
Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser) and Ryan appear to come from two different worlds at first. She’s rich, privileged, and a joiner, and he’s from a broken, poor family and has never really been told that he could do anything.
When Taylor and Ryan become friends, it’s surprising but in a really good way. Their friendship is one of the best on the show since it helps them both be more compassionate about how other people live.
5 Worst: Summer And Ché
It’s super awkward when Summer and Ché Cook (Chris Pratt) become good friends when she goes off to college on The O.C. Everyone loves watching Chris Pratt on screen, but this character was really crunchy, and it was weird to watch Summer become just like him.
It was just plain confusing to watch these two become pals, and this friendship only served as a reminder that Summer and Marissa tragically weren’t BFFs anymore.
4 Best: Summer And Marissa
Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) and Marissa have been best friends since forever and they definitely have one of the greatest friendships on the show. At first, Summer is more of a ditzy valley girl and it’s clear that Marissa is a bit deeper than that, but they do love each other and they’re always there for one another. They’re the kind of best friends who can go shopping together but can also stay up late and share secrets.
It’s clear that it’s really painful for Summer to watch Marissa suffer so much and of course, losing Marissa is really hard on Summer.
3 Worst: Oliver And Marissa
It’s a bad sign when Marissa becomes friends with Oliver Trask (Taylor Handley) since, if this was a fantasy or horror show, he would be the villain. But since it’s a teen drama, Oliver’s just the guy who wants to date Marissa, steal her away from her friends and family, and make her think that he’s going through a lot of pain and suffering.
Oliver’s a truly bad influence on Marissa, making this one of the worst friendships on the show.
2 Best: Seth And Ryan
Could anyone watch The O.C. without thinking that Seth and Ryan have a truly epic friendship? It just doesn’t seem possible. The two of them share a very tight bond that begins as soon as Ryan starts living with the Cohen family.
Of course Seth is more of a nerd than Ryan could ever be, so there are some growing pains at the beginning of this friendship, but they help each other through everything that high schoolers go through. They become family by the end of the series and it’s beautiful to watch.
1 Worst: Seth And Anna
Seth and Anna Stern (Samaire Armstrong) have another friendship on The O.C. that just isn’t any good. Honestly, Anna isn’t one of the greatest characters on the show since she’s always annoyed and just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the group. When she goes back to Pittsburgh, it’s a relief.
Seth and Anna become involved in an awkward love triangle with Summer, the person who everyone knows he’s actually supposed to be with. It feels like Seth and Anna’s friendship always has an ulterior motive behind it since she wants to go out with him. Of all the friendships on this popular show, this one is the absolute worst.
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