The BEST Episodes of The O.C.

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2019

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. 'The O.C.' tells the story of the Cohen, Cooper, and 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.

The Dearly Beloved

#1 - The Dearly Beloved

Season 2 - Episode 24

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.

star 9.00
7 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The End's Not Near, It's Here

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

Season 4 - Episode 16

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.

star 8.73
167 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The Ties That Bind

#3 - The Ties That Bind

Season 1 - Episode 27

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."

star 8.57
7 votes
Directors: Patrick Norris
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The Rainy Day Women

#4 - The Rainy Day Women

Season 2 - Episode 14

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?

star 8.44
200 votes
Directors: Michael Fresco
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't

#5 - The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't

Season 2 - Episode 6

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.

star 8.40
187 votes
Directors: Tony Wharmby
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The O.Sea

#6 - The O.Sea

Season 2 - Episode 23

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.

star 8.27
159 votes
Directors: Michael Lange
Writers: J.J. Philbin
The Power of Love

#7 - The Power of Love

Season 2 - Episode 8

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.

star 8.22
183 votes
Directors: Michael Lange
Writers: John Stephens
The Countdown

#8 - The Countdown

Season 1 - Episode 14

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.

star 8.20
234 votes
Directors: Michael Fresco
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The Graduates

#9 - The Graduates

Season 3 - Episode 25

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...

star 8.18
154 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The Night Moves

#10 - The Night Moves

Season 4 - Episode 15

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.

star 8.10
8 votes
Directors: Patrick Norris
Writers: Stephanie Savage
The Case of the Franks

#11 - The Case of the Franks

Season 4 - Episode 13

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.

star 8.09
118 votes
Directors: Norman Buckley
Writers: J.J. Philbin
The Way We Were

#12 - The Way We Were

Season 2 - Episode 2

The boys are back. Every status is quo. Except: Summer won't kiss and make up, Ryan catches Marissa in a clinch, the DA busts Caleb, Hailey bails and the remodellers are like a wrecking crew. Home sweet chaos.

star 8.09
192 votes
Directors: Michael Lange
Writers: Allan Heinberg
The Distance

#13 - The Distance

Season 2 - Episode 1

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?

star 8.08
207 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: Josh Schwartz
The Best Chrismukkah Ever

#14 - The Best Chrismukkah Ever

Season 1 - Episode 13

It's part Christmas, part Hanukkah and totally a Cohen-family way to celebrate the holidays. But a time out for the holidays doesn't mean time away from Marissa's personal problems or Caleb's business tactics.

star 8.08
254 votes
Writers: Stephanie Savage
The Debut

#15 - The Debut

Season 1 - Episode 4

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.

star 8.08
300 votes
Directors: Daniel Attias
Writers: Allan Heinberg, Josh Schwartz
The Heights

#16 - The Heights

Season 1 - Episode 9

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.

star 8.06
272 votes
Directors: Patrick Norris
Writers: Debra J. Fisher, Erica Messer
The Earth Girls Are Easy

#17 - The Earth Girls Are Easy

Season 4 - Episode 8

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!

star 8.04
130 votes
Directors: Norman Buckley
Writers: Mark Fish
The Chrismukk-huh?

#18 - The Chrismukk-huh?

Season 4 - Episode 7

Sandy is married to Julie. Kirsten is Mrs. Jimmy Cooper. Summer is engaged to Winchester. Seth is in full geek mode. It's a parallel Newport. And Ryan, stuck there after a conk to the head, must change it.

star 8.04
135 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: J.J. Philbin, John Stephens
The Homecoming

#19 - The Homecoming

Season 1 - Episode 11

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.

star 8.04
244 votes
Directors: Keith Samples
Writers: Josh Schwartz, Brian Oh
The Rager

#20 - The Rager

Season 2 - Episode 19

Marissa throws a birthday party for Trey - an event that may or may not smooth things between the two Atwood brothers. Julie gets cozy with Lance, her long-ago lover and recent extortionist.

star 8.03
147 votes
Directors: Tony Wharmby
Writers: John Stephens
The SnO.C.

#21 - The SnO.C.

Season 2 - Episode 5

The winter dance is near and a Ryan-Lindsay hook-up is off, on, off, on, off like a light switch. But all will be smoothed over by the time of the big Newport social event. Or not. Plus: Caleb's secret - revealed!

star 8.02
179 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: John Stephens
The Shower

#22 - The Shower

Season 1 - Episode 25

Kirsten, Marissa. Neither is the hostess with the mostest. But they reluctantly host Julie's wedding shower just the same. Seth's get-acquainted lunch with Summer's dad is a FEMA-sized disaster.

star 8.00
5 votes
Directors: Sandy Smolan
Writers: J.J. Philbin
The Second Chance

#23 - The Second Chance

Season 2 - Episode 11

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.

star 8.00
3 votes
Directors: Tony Wharmby
Writers: Drew Z. Greenberg, Josh Schwartz
The Mallpisode

#24 - The Mallpisode

Season 2 - Episode 15

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.

star 8.00
3 votes
Directors: Ian Toynton
Writers: Stephanie Savage
The Showdown

#25 - The Showdown

Season 2 - Episode 22

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.

star 8.00
3 votes
Directors: Michael Fresco
Writers: John Stephens