Any soap about misbehaving SoCal teenagers has to include at least one trip to Tijuana. The city just beyond the Mexican border has a reputation amongst tourists for being a place to really let loose and get wild — which is why it was the perfect place for Marissa, Seth, Summer, and Ryan to have what would become the most infamous weekend trip in The O.C. history. What started off as Seth's one foray into rebellion quickly escalated into a vacation that was more disaster than adventure (just ask Marissa) and was solidified as one of the most iconic O.C. episodes ever aired. The episode, titled "The Escape," didn't exactly provide the escape that these four teens were looking for — but it did make for what could be considered television's most memorable weekend trips of all time.
The stakes were already really high when the gang decided to head down to TJ for the weekend. Seth desperately wanted a shot at Summer; Ryan wanted to patch things up with Marissa; and Marissa just wanted to forget about her parents' marital problems. Instead, the episode ends with Marissa overdosing and Ryan carrying her unconscious body through the streets. That's definitely not the way to end any vacation, but this O.C. trip was actually doomed from the start. Here are nine reasons we should have known from the start that this vacation was going to end with one of the most iconic and dramatic twists imaginable:
1. Seth Missed Comic-Con For The Trip
Seth is someone who has always wanted to go to Comic-Con, so the fact that he chooses to ditch his long-held tradition to follow Summer, the girl he can see any other day of the year, is fairly tragic. Yes, the TJ trip did solidify the "will-they-won't-they" nature of Seth and Summer's early relationship, but Seth missing out on that nerdy goodness should have signalled that things were about to get so, so dark.
2. The Phrase "Donkey Show" Is Uttered
Specifically, Summer references the fact that Luke and his buddies make a freshman see one. Nothing good can happen after the "Donkey Show" is invoked.
3. The Drive To Mexico Could Not Be More Awkward
Marissa got back with Luke because she thought Ryan was "unavailable." Both somehow end up feeling rejected, leading to a very uncomfortable four hour drive. And we all know uncomfortable drives lead to future drama, OK?
4. Seth And Summer's Fighting Leads To An Accident
It's all fun and games until someone drives the Range Rover into a ditch. And considering this happens early on, you know things are going to get way harder to watch.
5. The Motel Is Disgusting
Summer may be a bit of a princess, but let's be real: there's no way any of them left that motel room without a rash. That icky feeling we all had about this motel should have told us a little something.
6. Holly And Luke Are Awful The Entire Time
Luke doesn't get any brownie points for rejecting Holly 20 times, only to give in on the twenty first try. You don't pressure Marissa into going to TJ only to hook up with the world's worst friend hours into your trip. But this was a clear sign that Marissa was not going to be OK this ep.
7. Marissa Deals With Heartbreak On Top Of Heartbreak
Finding out that your parents are splitting up is bad, but it's worse when it's coupled with the fact that your boyfriend has been "hooking up with everyone." Oh the feels.
8. Marissa Goes MIA
Which is probably the worst thing to do in a foreign country, especially when you swipe a bottle of your BFF's painkillers and head to the nearest bar. MAYDAY, YOU GUYS.
9. Marissa's Friends Find Her In An Alley
Marissa's awful TJ experience was definitely a wakeup call for her, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't one of the most heartbreaking moments in O.C. history.
Images: Warner Bros. Television (10)