Beautiful people. Beautiful places. Seth Cohen. In the words of Marissa Cooper's ex-boyfriend/resident O.C. puka shell wearing bad boy, Luke Ward, "Welcome to the O.C., b*tch!" Fox's soap opera drama for teens of the mid '00s was the bread and butter of my generation and perhaps the catapult for my TV obsession. Even years after The O.C. has ended, I still think about those four young, overprivileged hoodlums, and all the possible ways their stories could have gone. One of my favorite characters to ponder over (read: aspire to become) is Summer Roberts. Like, what if Summer Roberts had never gone to Brown?
Summer had more of a character arc than nearly anyone else on that show, including Sandy Cohen's eyebrows. She started out as your typical ditzy, hot girl with a pouty mouth and affinity for halter tops. It was everything. Until she wound up falling in love with the "nerd" of the school, Seth Cohen. The two had a love story that rivaled every Nicholas Sparks film ever in terms of chemistry and self-inflicted drama. For instance, at the end of Season 3, when Seth was not accepted to Brown, but his GF Summer was (thanks to being a surprise genius), it really hit the fan. Summer headed off to Seth's dream college, and the duo called it quits. (Spoiler: They end up together in the end. It's OK, guys.)
But what would have happened, my friends, my fellow O.C. aficionados, if Summer hadn't ever gone to Brown? In a move that would have been possibly sadder than L.C.'s Paris fiasco, let's take a look at that bizarro world timeline.
1. She Would Have Mourned Marissa's Death In A Healthier Way
Trust me when I say that I mourned the death of Marissa Cooper like she was my own best friend (read: in an unhealthy obsession with television/probably should go outside more so my mom stops worrying about me kind of way), so I can't even imagine the kind of pain and shock Summer Roberts must have been in post Marissa's accident. I am no psychologist, but I am pretty sure that running away from your problems usually doesn't work in your favor. Perhaps Summer would have been able to see a therapist (just please, not Dr. Anne Sullivan), and deal with her emotions.
2. Summer Never Would Have Saved All Those Rabbits
In an effort to cover up the emotional trauma of losing her BFF and being away from her one true love, Summer went the altruistic route and decided to become an environmental activist. In one episode, she and her new environmental activist friend, Che, release rabbits from a testing lab. I'd like to think that Summer Roberts single handedly began the trend of cruelty free products thanks to this power move.
3. Pancakes Wouldn't Have Existed
If Summer hadn't gone to Brown, then she wouldn't have let those rabbits free with Che, and Pancakes would have never been her pet/partner in crime. This would have been very upsetting to me. Mostly because there's nothing cuter than a floppy eared rabbit being named after a delicious breakfast item.
4. Summer Would Probably Be in A Job She Doesn't Like
Because Summer went away to Brown, she was able to find herself and find half of her destiny: to become involved somehow in environmental activism. She's lucky in the sense that most 18 or 19-year-old young women don't have epiphanies like this and instead spend a good portion of their young twenties trying to figure it out. Summer was offered a job with G.E.O.R.G.E. (Global Environmental Organization Regarding Greenhouse Emissions) two times, but finally decided to take the op in the series finale. Without her leaving Brown, this job opportunity probably wouldn't have presented itself.
5. Summer & Seth Would Have Been Married Sooner
Although Summer was no doubt a woman of great strengths and autonomy, there's something to be said about the pitfalls of staying in your home town forever with your high school sweetheart. This plan works for some (and kudos to them!), but it never felt quite right for Summer, in my opinion. She was destined to accomplish a few more things before she settled down.
6. She Would Have Had Kids Right Away
Plus, without all the ego issues Summer's acceptance to Brown brought out of Seth, the two might have had an easier go at it after high school. If they got married sooner, they might have had kids right away, too.
7. The Earthquake Might Not Have Happened
I have two theories for this. First, with Summer being around and not being into environmental activism, perhaps the writers wouldn't have found the earthquake scenario to be a fitting storyline for her at that moment. Second, the butterfly effect, people. It's a real thing.
What I'm really trying to say is: Summer, I'm proud of you and all the choices you've made, girl. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; theorangecountygdr, butnewyorkcares/Tumblr; Giphy (6)