Image Credit: Warner Bros

Everything I Need to Know In Life I Learned From Watching 'The O.C.'

I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’ve had a borderline unhealthy obsession with The O.C. since I first laid my little 12-year-old eyes upon it. You better believe my mother rues the day that I popped into her room, promptly asked her what show she was watching, and was immediately captivated by whatever was happening on the screen. (While I don’t remember exactly, let’s be real: It was maybe, probably, definitely a Seth Cohen monologue.)

The show provided some much-needed comic relief as I went through my ~teenage angst~ years, showing me that, yes, beautiful, ridiculously wealthy people have problems of their own, too — even if a lot of them could be solved if people just… went to therapy.

Since it premiered 20 years ago on August 5 (pssst: don’t forget to use your retinol tonight), The O.C. left a mark on the pop culture landscape as we know it. And no, I’m not just talking about that Dear Sister sketch. I think I speak for a lot of unabashedly basic millennial bitches (betches?) out there when I say that it set the scene for teaching me everything I need to know about love, life, and to not make friends with people named Oliver.

Image Credit: Warner Bros

Every Important Life Lesson I Learned From The O.C.

  • XOXO is an unbeatable combination.
  • Everything is always better when Death Cab for Cutie is playing in the background.
  • If your best friend gets way too drunk at a house party, do not leave her on the sidewalk in front of her house. Wake her parents TF up and get her inside.
  • For the love of god, if you end up in a fistfight with the boyfriend of your current love interest, don’t do it in your soon-to-be mother’s model home — especially if said model home is full of candles that you just lit in order to impress said love interest. Just take it outside, okay?!
  • Don’t pick on the nerdy kid who just so happens to have a best friend who stole a car and spent a few nights in jail. You’ll get punched in the face.
  • Don’t steal people’s money, and if you do, don’t tell them while you’re at cotillion. You’ll also get punched in the face. Are you sensing a theme here?
  • If you overdose in an alleyway in Tijuana (BTW, it’s pronounced Tijuana, mom), everyone will probably talk shit about you at school — high school kids love a scandal. But don’t worry, they’ll forget about it by next week. Most likely.
  • As it turns out, the Summer flu cannot actually be treated with Anna-biotics.
  • Eyebrows are indeed a sign of power.

Image Credit: Warner Bros

  • If your significant other tells you they love you for the first time, don’t even think about saying “thank you.” But if you do, you better make sure you have a plan to do the most romantic thing possible, which is storming into a New Year’s Eve party and telling them you also love them as the clock strikes midnight. Obviously.
  • If you have a weird feeling about someone but none of your friends believe you, it’s only a matter of time until they know you were right. Especially if this person’s name is (you guessed it!) Oliver.
  • I can’t believe I have to say this but don’t sleep with your daughter’s ex-boyfriend. Looking at you, Julie.
  • If you’re planning on running away from home by sailing your little sailboat — which just so happens to be named after the person you’ve had a crush on since you were kids and are currently dating — around the world, make sure you have enough snacks. If you don’t, you might have to sell it to someone who renames it to the “Gimme Sex.”
  • There are going to be times where you just feel like throwing in the towel. Or furniture in the pool. Go with the latter.
  • All of our parents did some weird shit back in the ‘80s. Looking at you again, Julie (and I say that with love).
  • Every family is at least a little bit dysfunctional.
  • If you have an idea for a grand romantic gesture to win the love of your life back, you should shout “EUREKA” while you’re telling your best friend all about said plan.
  • Always take protective headgear with you if you’re planning on changing the TV antenna on top of your house during a once-in-a-lifetime rainstorm in Southern California. Yes, even if it’s a Spider-Man mask. You never know when you’ll end up upside down on your roof, making out with your future spouse. After all, you can’t fight fate.
  • It’s probably not a good idea to make a comic book with the current boyfriend of your ex-girlfriend alongside an attractive literary agent. Probably.
  • If you’re struggling with something, you should confide in your best friend — don’t try to hide it. They love you and they want to help.

Image Credit: Warner Bros

  • No matter how much you hate your classmates, you will regret it if you don’t go to prom. Take it from the guy who invented Star Wars.
  • Even the best of relationships go through rough times. But just because you can bend this thing, doesn’t mean it’s going to break.
  • No matter how heartbroken you are, do not — I repeat, not — get drunk while standing on the top of a cliff overlooking the beach. Things will not end well.
  • Cannot stress this one enough: If you and your girlfriend apply to the same college, and you do not get in — and this is a crazy thought here — but maybe just tell her?!
  • It’s probably not the best idea to get back together with your ex-husband who has a penchant for stealing other people’s money. You may or may not end up in a trailer park for a hot sec.
  • There will come a point where girls like the funny, witty guy who plays video games and listens to indie music more than the surfer guy who doesn’t have a headboard. Trust.
  • While we’re on the topic of surfer guys without headboards… Just steer clear of them entirely. You’ll thank me for this.
  • Running away to Greece and working on a ship sounds way better in theory than it would actually be. This isn’t an episode of Below Deck, sweetie.
  • Illegitimi non carborundum. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Image Credit: Warner Bros

  • You might find love in the most unexpected places and people. Sometimes, they may even go to extreme lengths, like wearing a groundhog suit, to show you.
  • You’re going to grieve — whether it’s something, or someone — at some point, and it’s normal to go through those stages. Don’t push it away (and don’t free the bunnies from the lab or you might get expelled from school).
  • If you ever just so happen to find yourself in a demolished ice cream parlor and think you’re drifting out to sea because of an earthquake, you should absolutely eat all of the ice cream while singing Bob Seger.
  • There will be a day — say, 20 years from now — where you realize everything worked out, and it’s going to be better than you ever could have imagined. Just don’t forget to pay it forward.
Samantha Rosen
Samantha Rosen
Samantha Rosen gets stressed out when she has to write a blurb about herself. She’s the Director of Digital Content and Brand Strategy at Betches, which is a fancy term for saying she oversees our social strategy. You might know her from The Points Guy, and yes, fine, she can help you figure out what credit card to get. Even though she has the math skills of a second grader, she's also currently getting her MBA degree, too. She’s definitely cooler on the Internet.