Anna Stern Was Totally Underrated On 'The O.C.'

by Mary Grace Garis

It seems sacrilegious for any O.C. fan to denounce the union that is Seth Cohen and Summer Roberts, but it worth mentioning that said union was rattled by one Anna Stern. She showed up on the scene as a pixie from Pittsburg who earnestly loved nerd culture and crushed hard on, well, the biggest nerd Newport could offer. We sometimes sideline her and the first season-long Seth-Anna-Summer arc because we love to think of our OTP as pure, untouched. But Anna deserves more credit, and probably more story time than doing a bunch of favors before being flown back to the East Coast.

If this wasn't already clear from the opener, I actually like Anna, and, in any other WB drama the, lead would've ended up with her. She's pretty, witty, thoughtful, and meshes seamlessly with our fair Cohen. The only glaringly awful thing about her (besides her confusing decision to awkwardly layer tank tops) is that she isn't Summer. Womp womp.

But Anna, in her own right, is definitely a charming addition to The O.C. fam during her brief tenure. You can re-watch Season 1 all over again to get a refresher, or just relive some delightful Anna Stern moments by scrolling down.


When She Slams Seth For Thinking A Girl Can't Enjoy Comics

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Also, she refers to them as graphic novels, thank you very much.


When She Encourages Ryan To Go Save Marissa

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She's kind of good-naturedly sassy about him ditching her, too. This is very much her entire brand.


When She Tells Seth He Isn't A Man

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Because, as much as we love him, yeah. Also, "Confidence, Cohen" is a great mantra, regardless of what your last name actually is.


When She Confesses She Likes Seth

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But that, while Seth sees Summer and sees boobs and lips, Seth sees her as just a lab partner. #labpartnerzoned


When She Tries To Go Bold And Kisses Seth

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And he's clueless, because he's Seth. "Is this... all part of the plan?" He asks. Baby, no.


When She Shares Her Floss With Summer

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And says she couldn't possibly like Seth because of the way he treats women.


And Then Helps Her Study, Forming A Precious Albeit Temporary Alliance

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They're wearing color-coordinated outfits. Honestly, I 'shipped this relationship so hard.


When She Presents Seth With A Handmade Comic

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So precious. This is the kind of creative, thoughtful gesture that I myself have pulled. Unfortunately, Summer throws in a Wonder Woman costume, and poor Anna doesn't have a chance.


When She Bonds With Summer Over 'Golden Girls'

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She's Rose, Summer is Blanche, they sing the theme song, and it's such a happy bubble that's about to burst.


When She And Seth Show Up In Accidentally Matching Outfits

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I love how they agree that they need to switch up their routine and then finish making date plans with a high five. It's kind of how you know that this is not endgame, cute as it is.


When She Tells Seth She Loves Him "As A Friend" And Closes With One More "Confidence, Cohen"

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"I think you're an amazing guy," She says. "A little self-absorbed, maybe." Oh yeah. But this is still a perfect scene, a classic subverted rom-com ending, so great job to everyone involved.


When She Works Some Sort Of Miracle And Gets Seth An Interview At RISD

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OK, maybe Seth also happens to be a talented artist. I'm just saying that that isn't how college applications work, and that sure as hell isn't how RISD works (I had to draw a bicycle, it was a whole thing).


And Then She Flies A Plane For Prom Because She's The Best Friend Of All Time

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You have to give serious snaps for someone who's still willing to help Cohen get the girl.

Hell, who knows if there would even be a Seth and Summer without Anna?