We Settle The Greatest 'O.C.' Debate Of All Time: Who's Hotter, Seth Or Ryan?

Way back when, when I was just an impressionable, frizzy-haired, yet still somehow hypocritically shallow girl of about 12 years old, I fell in lurve with a fictional, shaggy-haired, broody dude named Ryan Atwood. And, if you were an OC watcher, I think you can sympathize with me on this. What wasn't there to like, you know? He had a great face, an even better body, and he was the epitome of the angst that my pre-teen self was learning to embrace. Most of all, he was mysterious. A bad boy with a good heart. The O.C. may have had two heartthrobs, but there was only one for me. If you were to ask me back in the mid-2000's who I thought was the hottest guy on The OC, hands down, it would have been Ryan. There was no contest. But, time passed, as it does, and now I have to award that crown to Seth Cohen. Sorry, Ryan.

As I got older and wiser(ish), I realized that hotness wore off. I realized, through personal life experience, that "mysteriousness" that I once found sexy was, in actuality, just confusing. I realized that there were other more important attributes that I had initially overlooked back when I was too busy flipping through magazines that had Ben McKenzie flexing in various tight T-shirts. Of course, these things didn't detract from how handsome I think Ryan was and still is. But the initial charm I found in that Ryan Atwood aloofness? It had no power over me anymore. The more important attributes I'm talking about? They all belong to Seth Cohen.

Things like...

Wit

Intelligence

Thoughtfulness

That Hair

The more I thought about it, the more that Seth Cohen became the babe. I even had one of those '90s rom-com epiphanies where Brian McKnight played in the background. At first, it had everything to do with his aforementioned winning personality. I was wooed. But then, once I paid more attention to his quips and heartfelt declarations and him, I realized that I was blind to his own notable boyish good looks because of my youthful oversight of the token "nerd" character. Forgive me, Seth (and Adam Brody), for I had sinned. You were and always will be a looker.

But, attraction epiphanies based on surface traits aside, what made me finally decide that Seth was the hotter of the two was the combination. He had this overarching charisma. He was funny. He was smart. He was self-deprecating, but self-assured. He was mature. He was family oriented. He was emotionally available. He was sensitive. He was well-read (in comic books, at least). He was romantic, and it was because he wanted to be. He wasn't this unreachable, constantly forlorn enigma. He was real. Well, as real as you can get when you're fictional.

And, being genuine? Turns out, that's pretty damn hot.

Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (7)