If you live your life by the creed of Orange County (have effortlessly great hair, make quips several times a minute), you presumably worship at the altar of one important friendship. That's why I'm asking you to take five minutes out of your day to stroll down memory lane with me. Namely, to explore some epic Ryan and Seth O.C. moments that no fan could ever forget. It's easy to dwell on the showier friendships, like Summer and Marissa, for example, or Julie and Kirsten (which is extra wonderful for being so unlikely). But just because Ryan and Seth have less ups and downs than some of the other friendships on the show, or feel more natural and pre-destined, doesn't mean their friendship isn't important.
Quite the opposite. At times, the bond between them feels like the pulsing heart of a show that always keeps us moving between humor and drama. It also condenses the show's ethos into one pairing, showing us that cliques and interests are irrelevant to what sparks a relationship (whether a friendship or affair) between two people: natural chemistry.
As the below testifies, this duo have it in bucketloads from the first time they set eyes on each other.
1Ryan Meets Seth
Love at first sight. Who can forget Seth's foot-in-mouth Grand Theft Auto reference, which he makes shortly after Ryan gets out of juvenile hall, where he's been sent for stealing cars?
2Ryan Looks Out For Seth
Ryan stops Seth from getting his ass handed to him by a gaggle of irate water polo players by defending him. It shows that, while Sandy's only kid is doing all the talking in this pilot episode, Ryan isn't just being polite. He really does have his new friend's back.
3Seth Loses His Virginity And Tells Ryan About It
You know someone's your real friend when you can not only tell them about losing your virginity, but come clean about how seriously terrible it was in way, way too much detail ("I was like a fish, flopping around on dry land, Ryan, I was Nemo and I just wanted to go home.").
4They Form Their Own Comic Book Club
Sure, this clip mainly focuses on the much-underrated character that is Zach Stevens. But don't get distracted by Zach's appearance from what's so cute about this short: that Ryan won't let Seth seem like a complete dweeb at school and so volunteers to join his comic book club, even if it's just the pair of them.
5Seth Makes A Comic Book Origin Story For His Best Friend
I mean, if you haven't yet had an attack of the feels, check this out.
6Cap'n Oats Gets A New Friend
A true BFFship is one in which friends make time for the important people in their pal's life. Thus, Ryan gets some one-on-one time to befriend Cap'n Oats.
7They Have Girlfriends Who Are Also Best Friends
It's a series-long situation (OK, with lots of break ups and misunderstandings), and so, so great.
8Ryan Leaves For Chino, And Seth Gets Out Of Newport, Too
This Season 1 finale scene is a tearjerker. When Ryan leaves Newport to head back to Chino to help Teresa care for her as-yet unborn baby, his soul sibling can't stand staying in his hometown without him. Instead, he sets sail on his boat, Summer Breeze. Not even the real life Summer is compensation for life without his best friend.
9Ryan Persuades Seth To Go Back To Newport
When Sandy can't convince his son to come home from Portland, he turns to Ryan for help. Well, who else could convince him? Seth loves his parents and Summer, but nobody had as much sway over one Mr. Cohen Jr. as his vest-addicted best friend.
10Seth Introduces Ryan To Chrismukkah
If friendship is all about letting that person you're closest to see all parts of you, including your weirder sides, then this is peak Seth-Ryan time. Seth explains Chrismukkah, and Ryan reacts appropriately with a charmed smile.
11Ryan Takes The Fall For Seth Abandoning Summer
When Summer's ex-beau is melancholy and can't get over her in Season 2, his best friend is there to try and argue his case for him, stating that Seth's failings were, at least partly, thanks to his own behavior the previous summer. Ryan always has his friend's back.
12They Become More Than Friends
Nope, not lovers: blood brothers. After bringing a seriously injured Ryan to the hospital, Seth donates his blood despite his fear of needles so Chino's most popular ex-resident can get better.
13Ryan's The Best Man At Seth And Summer's Wedding
If you've managed to retain a certain level of detachment from all these clips, try this one on for size. I dare you to watch this dry-eyed.
The lovable pair are friendship goals for a reason. Throughout thick and thin, relationships with one beautiful glossy-haired woman after another, they have each other's backs.