The BEST episodes of The O.C.

Every episode of The O.C. ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of The O.C.!

The O.C. is an idyllic paradise, a wealthy, harbour-front community where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities, of kids living secret lives hidden from their parents, and of parents living secret lives hidden from their children. Cohen, Cooper, Nichol families, and Ryan Atwood, a troubled teen from the wrong side of the tracks, who is thrust into this world, and who will forever change the lives of the residents of The O.C.

Last Updated: 12/30/2022Network:FOX
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The End's Not Near, It's Here
star
8.78
329 votes

#1 - The End's Not Near, It's Here

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/22/2007

Six months after Mother Nature grabbed everyone by the neck and shook, events return to normal. Very normal. But complacency is never the Cohen or Cooper way. Time to follow the head and heart to what's right.

Directors: Ian Toynton
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Dearly Beloved
star
8.53
342 votes

#2 - The Dearly Beloved

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired 5/19/2005

Familiar faces show up for a final farewell to Caleb. Meanwhile, Sandy takes action to help Kirsten. And when Ryan learns about the Trey-Marissa incident, a showdown - if not a tragedy - is inevitable.

Directors: Ian Toynton
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The O.Sea
star
8.20
234 votes

#3 - The O.Sea

Season 2 - Episode 23 - Aired 5/12/2005

Heads: Seth takes Summer to the prom. Tails: Zach does. Whoever's dateless takes a meeting with George Lucas to discuss Atomic County. That'll settle things, right? The Julie-Caleb union ends...not the way anyone expected.

Directors: Michael Lange
Writer: J.J. Philbin
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Rainy Day Women
star
8.17
337 votes

#4 - The Rainy Day Women

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired 2/24/2005

Rain - and it seems there are as many problems as raindrops. Kirsten, Sandy...and Rebecca. Julie, Marissa...and Alex. Lindsay, Ryan...and Chicago. Summer, Seth...and Italy. Can't rain forever, can it?

Directors: Michael Fresco
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't
star
8.14
325 votes

#5 - The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/16/2004

Friends, festivities, 8 days of gifts, another day with a whole lot of gifts. Seth's formula for the perfect Chrismukkah may come undone when Caleb's confession rocks the Cohen world.

Directors: Tony Wharmby
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Ties That Bind
star
8.11
369 votes

#6 - The Ties That Bind

Season 1 - Episode 27 - Aired 5/5/2004

Summer is near and that means sun, surf and rejuvenation. Or to Ryan, Seth and Marissa, it may mean none of the above as each faces a critical crossroad. Just the same, Newport society rises to the occasion when Caleb and Julie do the "I do."

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Heights
star
8.01
405 votes

#7 - The Heights

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/5/2003

Calculus. AP Enlgish. History. The ways of the human heart. Not everything learned at Harbor High is on the schedule of classes. The Cohen casa is a house divided when Sandy takes an environmental case against Kirsten's father.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Power of Love
star
7.98
294 votes

#8 - The Power of Love

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/13/2005

Sandy didn't forget his 20th anniversary. Honest. Just ask him. And just watch him squirm as he tries to make things right. Also, Seth and Ryan are grounded; DJ calls it quits with Marissa.

Directors: Michael Lange
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Graduates
star
7.95
312 votes

#9 - The Graduates

Season 3 - Episode 25 - Aired 5/18/2006

Graduation: A time for friends, family, celebration, remembrance, letting go, and moving on to tomorrow. Odd man out in all the events is Volchok. Then, it happens...

Directors: Ian Toynton
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Countdown
star
7.91
423 votes

#10 - The Countdown

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired 12/17/2003

As the New Year looms, Ryan doesn't know how to respond when Marissa says those three meaningful words. Sandy and Kirsten are wallflowers at a swingers' party. And at home, Seth thinks of what might have been.

Directors: Michael Fresco
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Distance
star
7.83
342 votes

#11 - The Distance

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/4/2004

Come home, Seth! If Sandy can't persuade his alienated son to return to the family perhaps Ryan can. Meanwhile, Theresa realizers her relationship with Ryan is on life support. Time to pull the plug?

Directors: Ian Toynton
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Lonely Hearts Club
star
7.83
243 votes

#12 - The Lonely Hearts Club

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired 2/10/2005

Happy Valentine's Day! Seth's feelings for Summer destroy their comic-book pitch meeting, Ryan turns pool-table hustler in hopes of winning approval for his romance with Lindsay, and Kirsten distrusts Sandy.

Directors: Ian Toynton
Writer: J.J. Philbin
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Cold Turkey
star
7.82
196 votes

#13 - The Cold Turkey

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/9/2006

Julie is no longer invited. But guess who is coming to dinner: Homeless men, recruited by Summer, show up for the Cohen Thanksgiving. Ryan will be there, too - if he doesn't first commit murder when he learns where Volchok is.

Directors: Michael Lange
Writer: J.J. Philbin
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Night Moves
star
7.82
319 votes

#14 - The Night Moves

Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired 2/15/2007

Everything's okay. As okay as anything can be after a major earthquake. Now come coping, staying calm, helping...and somehow getting Ryan to the hospital before he bleeds to death.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Showdown
star
7.82
251 votes

#15 - The Showdown

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired 5/5/2005

Dynamite with a lit fuse: Kirsten goes on a bender now that Carter's gone, Ryan can't figure what's up with Marissa, Caleb hits Julie with divorce papers, and the Seth-Zach rivalry turns into War of the Weirds.

Directors: Michael Fresco
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Mallpisode
star
7.81
285 votes

#16 - The Mallpisode

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired 3/10/2005

The Seth/Summer plan to help Ryan shake his Lindsay blues is...a mall visit? Hey, it can work. Because Marissa comes along. And everyone gets locked inside the place. An extortionist targets Julie.

Directors: Ian Toynton
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Debut
star
7.79
503 votes

#17 - The Debut

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/26/2003

Ryan promised to stay out of trouble. But trouble finds him as he, Seth, Marissa and others take part in one of the biggest events on the Newport social calendar: the Debutantes Ball.

Directors: Daniel Attias
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Family Ties
star
7.78
316 votes

#18 - The Family Ties

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/6/2005

Time to move on: Jimmy decides to relocate to Maui. Time to make a move: Ryan and Lindsay wonder about a first kiss. Time to bust a move: Seth turns bad boy in an attempt to impress Alex.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Escape
star
7.78
464 votes

#19 - The Escape

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 9/16/2003

What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico. But the secrecy surrounding a summer's-end teen trip to Tijuana can't stop Marissa from feeling the way she feels when she sees Luke with Holly.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Earth Girls Are Easy
star
7.78
202 votes

#20 - The Earth Girls Are Easy

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 12/21/2006

Seth is clueless about what to do for New Year's Eve. Solution? Crash the Ryan-Taylor road trip to Vegas. Now add pregnancy tests, a space alien rave, thefts, misunderstandings, pursuits and a marriage proposal and it's time to welcome 2007!

Directors: Norman Buckley
Writer: Mark Fish
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Homecoming
star
7.77
422 votes

#21 - The Homecoming

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 11/19/2003

Used to be Seth couldn't find a girl. Now he has two - Anna and Summer show up for Thanksgiving. Ryan also has double trouble, as he and Marissa visit his old neighborhood and encounter an ex-flame.

Directors: Keith Samples
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Perfect Storm
star
7.75
274 votes

#22 - The Perfect Storm

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/3/2005

Is Ryan shipping out? Sandy's mind-meld persuasion skills fail to convince him to stay. But where there's a will, there's another Cohen way. Charlotte now zeroes in on Julie; Summer outwits Taylor.

Directors: Tony Wharmby
Writer: Mike Kelley
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Premiere
star
7.74
793 votes

#23 - Premiere

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 8/5/2003

Just a freeway's drive away. And yet worlds apart. Rejected by his parents after a brush with the law, Ryan Atwood moves temporarily into the pool house of his attorney's posh Newport Beach home...and finds both friends and foes among the privileged O.C. youth.

Directors: Doug Liman
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Second Chance
star
7.73
277 votes

#24 - The Second Chance

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 2/3/2005

Try try again. A cardiac crisis gives Caleb a new outlook. Seth and Summer struggle to deny their attraction. And if, as Sandy says, Rebecca is dead, why does Kirsten find her in Sandy's office? Uh-oh.

Directors: Tony Wharmby
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Case of the Franks
star
7.73
221 votes

#25 - The Case of the Franks

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired 2/1/2007

Julie and Gordon? Or Julie and Frank? Summer and Seth? Or Summer and George? No, make that GEORGE. Mysteries of the heart (and the meddling of others) unfold as Valentine's Day nears.

Directors: Norman Buckley
Writer: J.J. Philbin
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes

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