Any television fan familiar with The O.C. knows three things: every wealthy family has skeletons in their closets, Phantom Planet sings a catchy theme song, and Seth and Summer were meant to be. Seth Cohen had a crush on Summer Roberts since forever. In high school, she finally gave him a chance as they became friends. She found his nerdiness adorable and he found it amusing when she argued with him. They were relationship goals — or were they?
The truth is, even though these two characters were clearly meant to be, they both did pretty horrible things to one another during the run of the show. For every scene that made audiences swoon, there was another that made them shake their heads.
10 Goals: When Seth Named His Boat After Summer
When The O.C. first began, Seth revealed to Ryan that he had his own sailboat named Summer Breeze. Ryan thought Seth named the boat after his girlfriend. But at the time, Seth didn’t have a girlfriend.
Instead, he had a crush on Summer...since he was 11 years old. He named his boat in honor of her, which was sweet. It’s a far cry from the young adult route a lot of shows take with guys memorizing a girl’s schedule and creepily spying on her between classes.
9 Not: When Seth Couldn’t Choose Between Summer And Anna
Seth got his chance with Summer pretty early in the first season of the show. The trouble was, just as Seth thought he was getting the girl of his dreams, he realized he might have another dream. His new friend Anna was also interested in him.
Seth didn’t tell either girl about the other’s interest, and actually hid them from one another on Thanksgiving as he went back and forth between the two. When they did find out, they were both angry, but decided they could both date him until he made a choice. Seth made the situation worse by being unable to choose between them.
Let’s also note that he got them both the exact same set of gifts for the holidays (which were all things he liked), which he ended up giving to his parents when the girls got tired of him delaying his decision.
8 Goals: When They Taught Each Other About Their Interests
Even during times when Seth and Summer weren’t dating, they still took an interest in one another’s hobbies and tried to find common ground.
Summer, for example, decided to try and find out what was so great about comic books. While hanging out at the Cohens' house, she let Seth teach her about different characters and even borrowed comics to take home. She also tried her hand at his video games.
7 Not: When Summer Refused To Tell Anyone About Seth
While Summer was still trying to figure out her feelings in Season 1, she adamantly refused to even acknowledge Seth in public. If someone started talking about him, she would pretend she didn’t know him. Dark corners and behind closed doors were the only places she would talk to him.
Even when they started officially dating, Summer ignored him at school, going about her normal routine. Summer was afraid of what would happen if he got tired of dating her and publicly dumped her. She didn’t realize that by shutting him out at school, she was actually making him think she was embarrassed to be seen with him.
6 Goals: When Summer Dressed As Wonder Woman
The first holiday season when Summer was sure of her feelings for Seth, she decided to give him a gift that spoke to his interests. It certainly surprised him.
Summer dressed in a Wonder Woman costume (from the Lynda Carter era), leaving him pretty much speechless. It probably would have led to a sweet date for the two of them, but it was when Summer and Anna were both dating Seth, and Anna witnessed the costume change, leaving the exchange a little awkward after the fact.
5 Not: When Seth Left Without Warning
Ryan was Seth’s new best friend thanks to legal troubles and needing a place to stay. That was great for Seth — as long as Ryan stuck around. When Ryan returned to Chino to figure things out over the summer, Seth took it pretty hard. He took it so hard, in fact, that he decided to go on a solo sailing trip.
He left Summer a note saying he didn’t want to stay in Newport without Ryan, and didn’t speak to her for the next few months. That was a pretty horrible way to leave your girlfriend behind, especially since they had just reached a good place in their relationship. Seth also expected the two would pick up right where they left off when they returned, but Summer moved on while he was gone, not sure if he was breaking up with her when he left town.
4 Goals: When Even Their Horses Were Soulmates
Summer and Seth were clearly very different. While Summer was interested in parties, the beach, and fashion in the early days of the show, Seth was interested in comics, video games, and genre movies. We learned about other hobbies over time, like Seth’s sailing and Summer’s knack for home improvement. They did, however, have one thing in common.
Both Seth and Summer had a penchant for toy horses. Seth kept a horse named Captain Oats on his nightstand. Summer kept one on hers as well. Hers was more akin to a My Little Pony design, and she was named Princess Sparkles. A lot of fans took it as a sign that the two characters were meant to be together.
3 Not: When Seth Lied To Summer About His Comic Book
Seth’s interest in comics paid off when he wrote, and Zach drew, a comic book story inspired by their friends in Newport. (Ryan became Kid Chino and Summer became Little Miss Vixen, for example.) The drawback was that Seth didn’t exactly tell Summer the truth about their publisher.
The person responsible for Seth and Zach’s comic book was an attractive young woman with an androgynous name — Reed Carlson. Seth allowed Summer to believe they were working with another man instead of a woman, trying to avoid confrontation. It would have been simpler if he’d just told her the truth.
2 Goals: When They Found Their Way Back To Each Other After High School
Seth and Summer were on and off almost as much as Ross and Rachel in Friends, which is saying something, since The O.C. only lasted for four seasons. The two went their separate ways after high school.
Of course, since the final season was set after the high school days, fans got to see Seth and Summer eventually find their way back to one another. After growing up, they realized they were still right for each other. They married in the series finale.
1 Not: When Seth Resented Summer’s Intelligence
Summer wasn’t painted as very smart in the early days of The O.C., but it gradually became apparent that she just hadn’t been interested in applying herself before. Anna helped her with her schoolwork in Season 1 and Summer gradually became more interested in certain subjects. She even did well on her SATs — better than Seth.
Finding out that Summer’s score was higher than his had Seth treating her pretty poorly. He’d clearly always thought of himself as more intelligent. Seth also convinced Summer to apply to the universities he was interested in, though he didn’t reciprocate her gesture when she did. He could have just been proud of her