Throughout The O.C., Seth and Ryan have an unstoppable bromance. The men have vastly different interests; Seth is obsessed with sad indie rock and comic books, while Ryan is into architecture and has a bit too much experience throwing punches. But the guys still form an instant bond from the moment they meet, due to similar struggles of being outcasts. And all during the show, they fiercely support each other during tough moments. There is one moment that stands out, though: the Season 4 O.C. episode when Seth saves Ryan after the earthquake.
The earthquake episode is the second-to-last episode of the series, and one of the all-time scariest. After an earthquake hits Newport, Ryan sacrifices himself to save Taylor after having a conversation about how much they care about each other. Taylor believes Ryan is unscathed, but he's actually hiding a serious injury that might cost him his life. After he meets up with Seth and Summer, though, Seth notices the injury and decides to help.
The issue, however, is that the car doesn’t work. Seth, who knows nothing about cars, asks Ryan to tell him what to do. While attempting to fix things, Seth tells Ryan that as a worrier, he was prone to making lists to cope with his anxiety when he was a kid. Ryan picks up on Seth’s anxiety over getting him to the hospital safely, and encourages him to make a list. And Seth, trying to find comedic relief during this tough situation, begins to list everyone who Ryan has beat up since moving to Newport. Ryan joins along while trying to fight through passing out.
When fixing the car is a bust, Seth proves he’s willing to do anything to save Ryan. He decides to instead walk to the hospital while carrying his friend and in order to not let Ryan pass out, he begins asking him questions about random things, like making him choose between servers at restaurants and people he’d rather be stranded on a desert island with. Soon, Ryan realizes he cannot walk any further, even though he’s being held by Seth. He sits by the side of the road and puts his full trust in Seth to find help quickly enough to get him to the hospital safely. So Seth asks a homeless man to trade his cart for his car. He then races with the cart to get to Ryan, but Frank, Julie, and Kaitlin spot him, thankfully giving them a ride to the hospital.
Seth’s desire to do anything to get Ryan to the hospital isn’t the only amazing thing he does in this episode, though. Once Ryan wakes up at the hospital, Seth tells him they’re “blood brothers,” and informs him that even though he hates needles and fainting, he donated blood to make sure Ryan would be OK. This touches Ryan, since he knows this wasn't easy for Seth to do. Even though both of them aren’t the best at expressing their feelings, they share a tender moment, with Ryan thanking his friend. Seth assures him that after all the times Ryan has saved him, it was about time for him to pay back the favor.
Throughout The O.C., Seth has many selfish moments where he is unable to understand others’ needs. We see this in his relationship with Summer, which is filled with plenty of questionable moments that don’t portray Seth in a favorable light, to say the least. But, in his friendship with Ryan, Seth learns how to be selfless, and becomes a better person overall thanks to his buddy's arrival in Newport.