From 2003 to 2007, The O.C. was big on relationship drama and California society scandal. The series was as much a prime time soap as it was a teen drama. Despite scandalous stories and hated cliffhangers, there was one thing that fans consistently loved from the series: the core friendships.

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Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood couldn’t be more different from one another, but when Ryan moved in with the Cohens, they became fast friends. Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper, on the other hand, had been friends most of their lives. Both sets of friends made the audience envy their bonds and take note of how great friendships could be.

10 Ryan Was The First Person To Stand Up For Seth

When Ryan came to Newport, the experience was a bit of a culture shock. The “water polo guys” weren’t exactly nice to outsiders, as Seth pointed out more than once. 

Though Ryan and Seth didn’t really know one another at the onset, they were friendly. Seth didn’t hold back from being himself around Ryan, even though Ryan was fairly reserved. When guys at a party harassed Seth, Ryan didn’t hesitate to stand up for him. That was the start of a beautiful friendship.

9 Marissa And Summer Could Tell Each Other Anything

Everyone likes to think they can tell their best friends anything without any judgment, but that’s definitely not true in teen television. Marissa and Summer broke the stereotype of best female friends using private information against one another.

When Summer told Marissa she had real feelings for Seth — after repeatedly acting like she didn’t know who he was. Marissa was amused, but she didn’t tease her about it. Likewise, when Marissa told Summer she developed feelings for another woman, Summer didn’t judge her. They loved one another unconditionally, even if the rest of the Newport social scene might not.

8 Seth Hid Ryan In A Model Home

To be fair in this situation, Marissa helped, and Summer likely would have been involved if given the opportunity. It was, however, all Seth’s idea.

When Ryan originally stayed with the Cohens, it was supposed to be temporary. He tayed with them because he had nowhere else to go, and his only other option was a juvenile detention center. When he was going to be forced to leave, Seth came up with the idea of hiding Ryan in one of the still-to-be-completed model homes in a housing development his mother was working on. He and Marissa would take turns bringing Ryan essentials and keeping him company.

It might not have been the best plan, but it was a thoughtful gesture.

7 Summer Led The Tijuana Search For Marissa

Marissa’s life on The O.C. was always pretty dramatic. Between her father’s illegal financial activities and her mother scheming for social clout, Marissa didn’t really have a chance for normalcy. Her unhappy home life especially led to unpredictable behavior in the first season of the show.

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On a trip to Tijuana, Marissa found out her parents were divorcing and left her friends to drink away her pain. When Summer realized Marissa had gone off on her own, she immediately jumped into action, leading Ryan and Seth on a search for her, trying to get to Marissa before she did anything too risky. Marissa overdosed on pills meant for Summer’s stepmother while she was alone, but Summer, Ryan, and Seth managed to get her medical care in time.

6 Seth Let Ryan Give His Comic Books Away

In order to understand what a huge deal this is, you first have to know how much Seth loved his comic books. Before he and Ryan became friends, he was a loner. Comics and video games were how he spent most of his time.

When Ryan took a trip back to Chino to visit his brother in jail, Seth didn’t simply support Ryan’s visit. Seth also let Ryan choose some comic books to take with him to give to his brother. It’s debatable whether or not Ryan’s big brother was even into comics, but it’s the thought that counts.

5 Marissa And Summer Saved Each Other From Family Drama

The audience spent a lot more time with Marissa’s family than Summer’s, but we did learn a few things. Summer was clearly a daddy’s girl. She talked about him more than the audience saw him. Summer also made it clear her stepmother had a prescription drug habit, and it was evident the two didn’t get along.

Marissa’s father stole money from his clients. Her mother decided to divorce him as a result. While Marissa’s father still carried a torch for his high school girlfriend, Marissa’s mother romanced that same woman’s father. Marissa got along much better with her father than she did her mother, but the drama was there all the same.

It’s lucky Summer and Marissa had each other to run to during their family squabbles. They often met up to do something as simple as get a manicure to steer clear of the drama.

4 Ryan And Seth Always Made Time To Hang Out

As the series started rolling along, Ryan and Seth both had their own obligations in Newport. For Ryan, that meant escorting Marissa to an event. In Seth’s case, it was working on his comic book. But no matter how busy they got, they didn’t forget to make time for each other.

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While Seth and Ryan lived on the same property, Ryan lived in the pool house while Seth lived in the main house. That meant hanging out to play video games might have involved some serious scheduling.

3 Summer Decorated Marissa’s Room

Surprises on The O.C. usually ended with a bottle of alcohol or Ryan punching someone, so surprising a friend took some concentrated effort. Luckily, Summer knew Marissa well enough to know how to surprise her in a way she would actually like.

When Marissa officially moved into her dad’s house, Summer decided to make it feel like Marissa’s house as well. She revealed her handy side by planning and decorating Marissa’s room. Summer did have Seth along to help her, but he was pretty hopeless with power tools, so it’s clear Summer  was the one who got the job done.

2 Seth And Ryan Didn’t Even Have To Talk

Seth was a talker. He typically couldn't let silence fill a room. Ryan was a man of few words. More often than not, he would let Seth dominate the conversation. There were, however, times when neither of them had to say anything at all.

When the two guys were hanging out in the same space, they could convey everything they wanted to say with just a look. That’s a skill usually borne of years sharing the same space, but Seth and Ryan managed it as early as Season 1.

1 Marissa And Summer Never Dated Each Other’s Boyfriends

In teen dramas, there is a lot of couple-swapping among friends. In reality, that kind of thing can make friendships a little uncomfortable if all parties aren’t on the same page. In The O.C., however, Marissa and Summer didn’t have that kind of drama in their lives.

Though Marissa’s boyfriend Luke did cheat on her with some of her friends when the show first began, Summer wasn’t one of them. Even when Summer thought Ryan might have made a fun fling, she didn’t pursue him once she knew Marissa was interested in him. Likewise, Marissa never pursued any of the boys Summer set her sights on. The two kept their romantic interests very much separate.

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