In many ways, pop culture in the 2000s can be summed up with one iconic phrase: “Welcome to the O.C., bitch.” Exactly 15 years ago, Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) pulled up to Newport, befriended his soon-to-be BFF and brother Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), met Marissa Cooper, and very very quickly got into a beachside fist-fight with rich water polo player, Luke Ward.
When teen drama The O.C. began airing on FOX in 2003, it didn’t just introduce us to the messiest teens on primetime. It was a juggernaut that brought us Laguna Beach—and by extension, The Hills—and an onslaught of increasingly wild teen dramas, the likes of which continue today over on The CW.
But while the series was overrun with dramatic subplots and straight-up bonkers twists, it was also one of the most popular shows for a reason: It was so quotable. From Seth’s sarcastic quips to Summer Roberts’s (Rachel Bilson) aggressive threats, the series was almost as quotable as it was messy—which is really saying something.
In honor of the fifteenth anniversary of The O.C.’s premiere, here are 15 of the most memorable quotes from the series:
1“Welcome to the O.C., bitch.”
Right from the start of the show, Luke Ward clued us in on the chaotic mess we’re getting into, in what arguably became the show’s most iconic line.
2“So, who are you?” “Whoever you want me to be.”
Before we really got to know the sensitive, sad Ryan Atwood, he fooled Marissa and us into thinking he was a bad boy with game.
3“It’s fate. It’s destiny. We both like burritos.”
Even before we knew that Summer and Seth were The O.C.’s ultimate OTP, we were rooting for them, knowing they had the most important thing in common: a love of burritos.
4“I suffer from rage blackouts.”
It’s true. Even when Summer was threatening Seth, their chemistry was undeniable.
5“I’m just having an allergic reaction to the universe.”
With the exception of Marissa Cooper, nobody on The O.C. was quite as dramatic as Seth.
6So, sarcasm’s like breathing for you.”
Seth is to sarcasm what Sandy Cohen is to eyebrows: you can’t have one without the other.
7“God! Dad, those eyebrows are out of control.” / “It’s a sign of power, you know.” / “Well, then you must be the most powerful man in the world.”
Because Peter Gallagher’s spectacular brows deserve all the shoutouts.
8“You’re a Cohen now. Welcome to a life of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt.”
Ryan may have arrived in Newport the “bad boy,” but underneath his puka shell necklace and wife beater shirt was a sensitive inner Cohen.
9“Maybe you’ve got the Summer flu.” / “Yeah. It’s November, but it’s possible.” / “Maybe you need some Anna–biotics.”
Ryan Atwood was not especially known for being funny, but every so often, he reminded us that he’s got jokes.
10“Sometimes I think you talk just to make sounds.”‘ / “Sometimes I do.”
Seth and Ryan’s relationship in a nutshell.
11“Allow me to introduce you to a little something I like to call Chrismukkah.”
In December 2003, Seth Cohen introduced to arguably the most important holiday of all time. Festivus could never.
12“My friend Ryan, he’s really cool, okay? He’s very anti-establishment. He enjoys sunset walks on the beach, punching people, and not smiling.”
He may have been comparing Alex (Olivia Wilde) to his broody BFF, but in this moment, Seth proved he had the chops to be Ryan’s wingman.
13“Oh, I get it. I’m just here for the comic relief.”
Whether it was necessary or not, Seth always added something to the conversation, which is honestly an underrated quality.
14“Do not insult Journey, all right?”
Just when you thought Ryan’s only hobbies were brooding and fighting, he revealed an unbridled passion for Journey. Death Cab, who?
15“You’re my destiny, Cohen.” / “Go Save the world, Summer Roberts.”
Sure, we were initially meant to be more interested in Ryan and Marissa’s fiery train wreck of a relationship, but by episode six of Season 1, it was clear Seth and Summer were meant to be–and they had by far the less toxic relationship. Seth and Summer in The O.C. series finale made an entire generation of teens believe in true love.
Because you know you need to rewatch it, The O.C. is currently streaming on Hulu.