YMMV / The O.C.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Seth really in love with Summer, or does he only view her as a trophy? Notice how he only seems to be interested in her when he can't have her or while he's dating someone else, which is something even Summer mentioned to him while she was dating Zach, delivering a brilliant "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him during one of his attempts to win her back.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Ryan doesn't really seem all that bothered about Theresa losing the baby at the start of the second season. Or when he finds out she lied about it.
    • No-one other than Marissa is really bothered by Johnny's death.
    • Justified at the start of season 4 following Marissa's death - the season starts six months after the death, so the only people still struggling to move on are those who were closest to Marissa, i.e. Ryan, Summer, and Julie.
  • Badass Decay: Ryan Atwood for most of Season 2.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Taylor Townsend, post-Heel–Face Turn. She's either loved for her personality post-Character Development and promotion to the main cast in Season 4 (and for replacing Marissa as Ryan's One True Love), or hated for those exact reasons.
  • Crack Pairing: "The Chrismukk-huh?" explores Sandy being married to Julie who is having an affair with Che
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: One episode usually consists of about five indie-rock gems, but "Hide and Seek", "Hallelujah", "Dice", "Life's A Song", "Something Pretty", "Running Up That Hill", "A Bad Dream", "If You Leave", "Champagne Supernova" etc. "California" is a given.
  • Designated Hero: Jimmy Cooper. The show repeatedly has characters talk about how good he is, and he's portrayed as the Reasonable Authority Figure in Marissa's home life, but he's still a white collar criminal who embezzled millions from his clients.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Taylor Townsend went from a minor villain, to a recurring friend of the main characters, to a main character herself, to Ryan's girlfriend.
    • Oddly, Summer Roberts. She was originally just suppose to have a small role in the pilot, and ended up being the main female lead of the entire series.
    • Alex Kelly is definitely one of the most popular characters but Executive Meddling made her go away.
    • Kaitlin, even people that hate Marissa seem to love her.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • While Official Couple(s) Ryan and Marissa and (especially) and Seth and Summer are very popular in the fandom, many fans continued to ship Marissa with her short lived bisexual love interest Alex, long after she had dropped off the face of the Earth. It is also never made clear whether or not Taylor and Ryan ended up together, but the fans are nearly unanimous that they did.
    • Seth/Ryan eclipsed any het pairs in popularity at several points during season one and two. This was addressed within the show as well as outside. Addressed as in nearly confirmed.
    • Ryan and Summer have become more popular in recent years.
    • Sandy & Kirsten are arguably the most popular pairing on the show, with anyone who dared to try & come between them being hated by the fandom.
  • Fridge Brilliance: If Harbor is such a prestigeous school, why don't they have uniforms? It's not hard to imagine that parents had the uniform abolished so their kids could wear their expensive wardrobes, considering the type of society Newport is generally depicted as.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Chris Brown's three-episode guest spot in Season 4 as the young fifteen-year-old Kaitlin Cooper's nerd boyfriend is slightly odd to rewatch now.
    • Of course this is nowhere near as bad as seeing the late Johnny Lewis who possibly murdered someone as nerdy Chili
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Taylor's "I would like to take a moment of silence to remember Marissa Cooper." in "The Shape Of Things to Come"
    • Johnny falling to his death, when Johnnie Lewis who played his best friend, did die by falling.
    • Summer once told Anna that Seth would eventually dump her because all guys eventually get bored of her. The sad part is, she was right. Seth had a mental breakdown when Ryan left to take care of Theresa and the baby, and instead of leaning on his girlfriend for support, he sailed away to Oregon to go live with Luke. And he didn't tell her.
    • Any scene featuring Kirsten drinking, especially in times of stress, before her alcoholism story line in season 2
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Lucy Hale appears as a girl who calls all of her friends bitch.
    • Luke'sgay jokes now make a lot more sense.
    • Seth's love of comic books becomes this when you find out that his best friend is Batman.
    • As of Season 2 of Arrow, Marissa's sister basically grew up to become Hetero!Alex.
    • Chris Brown being was upset that Kaitlin offered him weed. Let that sink in for a minute.
    • In one of the final episodes of the series, Seth comments that he should become a critic since he loves watching movies & telling people how bad they are. A few years later, there would an explosion of internet critics who watch bad movies purely to riff on them & tell people how bad they suck; with Seth's snarky personality, it's not hard to imagine him being one of them.
    • Ryan & Marissa's fathers are both Hercules - Tate Donovan (Jimmy Cooper) voiced the character in Disney's 1997 animated film, whilst Kevin Sorbo (Frank Atwood) played him in the unrelated live-action Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. It gets even funnier when you realise Julie Cooper had children with both of them.
    • Back in Season One, there was a bit character played by Wilson Bethel who was co-running the kissing booth with Summer. Considering that the two played love interests on Hart of Dixie, this is hilarious.
  • Ho Yay: Seth and Ryan.
  • Jerkass: Quite a few examples.
    • Seth for his treatment of Summer on some occasions. Leaving his girlfriend to go live with Luke after Ryan had to return to Chino also counts.
    • Anna for dating Seth behind Summer’s back when they both agreed they were over him.
    • Luke. Constantly gay bashing Seth and picking on Ryan. He even lampshades how much of a tool he’s been when he sees his tires were slashed. Ironically enough, it was because he is now getting gay bashed because of his father. Leads to his eventual Villain Decay.
    • Marissa for selfishly setting up Summer with Seth during the debutante ball, knowing she wanted Ryan as a partner, even though she had a boyfriend at he time.
      • There’s also a slight moment in season 1 where Marissa asks if Theresa is going to raise her and Ryan’s baby alone and she actually looks happy at the thought of her doing so!
    • Holly for hooking up with Luke behind Marissa’s back.
    • Julie Cooper dated her daughter’s teenage ex, which also has an element of Squick to it. Then there’s all the times she took advantage of Kirsten, unfairly blamed Ryan for Marissa obvious mental illnesses, shameless gold digging, conspiring to kill Caleb, attempting to commit Marissa after her suicide attempt and telling Jimmy he couldn’t see Marissa when it was obvious she preferred to live with him. Pretty sure there’s more.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kaitlin is kind of a bitch but she goes through a lot including being excluded from her own family for nearly two years and having her mom forget her birthday. That's not even counting the the deaths of Johnny and Marissa.
  • Les Yay: When Summer discovers Taylor in her bed at Brown, Taylor's first question is "Wanna snuggle?"
  • Memetic Mutation: Overdramatizing murder scenes with slow motion and Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek." Explanation 
  • Narm:
  • No Yay: Despite how close they are, there is very little Marissa/Summer fanfiction.
  • Older Than They Think: The theme, Phantom Planet's "California", is loosely based on a 1921 Broadway number "California, Here I Come".
  • One Episode Wonder: Alex's ex-girlfriend Jodie is quite popular in fanfiction despite only being in one episode (with a cameo in the previous episode)
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater: Ryan gets this treatment in many a Malex fic.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Marissa Cooper to a good part of the fanbase.
    • Oliver Trask, who bypassed being a Love to Hate villain & became outright hated. Whilst it was in part because, after roughly half a season of build up to the Ryan/Marissa relationship it was promptly torn apart by Oliver, his hatedom extends beyond the Marissa/Ryan shippers. This is largely because the entire Oliver arc reduced the general intelligence of the entire cast (Marissa, especially) so they wouldn't believe Ryan's skepticsm and draw the arc out for 6 episodes, and Taylor Handley's portrayal of the character wasn't subtle enough for the Manipulative Bastard he was supposed to be. And he had stupid hair, too. It's telling that over a decade after his last appearance on the show, Oliver is still appearing in "Worst Character" polls.
    • Johnny Harper. He was introduced at the start of the third season and began falling for Marissa, with the writers clearly hoping fans would take to him & create a Ryan/Marissa vs. Johnny/Marissa shipping war. However the fandom didn't take to him, and began to turn against the character as it seemed that was he receiving more screentime each week. In the years after the show's cancellation, Johnny's arc has become the scapegoat for the third season's drop in quality & is ultimately blamed by some members of the fandom as what ultimately killed the show.
    • Jimmy was supposed to be the cool parent for Marissa, but he generally came off as bland and unlikable. The writers took note and started featuring him less and less, before writing him out midway through the second season after he spent the majority of the season just floating around on his boat.
    • Most of Ryan's love interests get this treatment, except for Taylor. Marissa is probably the most-liked of them. Theresa is probably the most-hated.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 2 is considered to be weaker than the first season, whilst Season 3 is widely derided by the fandom. If you watched the show for Mischa Barton or the Ryan/Marissa romance, Season 4 could also count.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Some fans like to use Jodie and Summer as a Beta Couple to Marissa and Alex. They may have met during the week that Jodie stayed in Newport, even though this usually isn't a factor. This is probably because (at the time *After Anna and before Taylor*) Summer was the only other prominent female teen character.
  • Sophomore Slump: Many, but not all, thought Season 2 felt increasingly lackluster and in some cases desperate (especially with Marissa's Suddenly Sexuality) in comparison to season 1, and Word of God even stated that the number of plotlines they used for the previous season created a bit of a black hole for season 2. The gloomy Season 3, however, was even more universally derided.
  • Squick: Julie continuously sleeping with Luke counts as statutory rape.
  • Also, Ryan and Caleb's Season 1 twenty-something girlfriend hooking up.
    • Hailey and Jimmy's entire attempted relationship. Hailey even admitted to having a crush on him when she was 8. Jimmy was heading to college at that time. Even worse when you consider he proposed to Hailey.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Marissa dies, and then... Season 3 promptly ends. Season 4 picks up several months later, skipping out the funeral & everyone's reactions to the news.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Jimmy Cooper. The viewer is supposed to feel sorry for Jimmy, as they watch his life rapidly falls apart in the first half of season one; however, the reason this happens is that Jimmy had mismanaged his family's money on the stock market, and then embezzled from his clients to keep up appearances & try to get back the money he lost in the first place. Subsequently, it's hard to disagree with Julie when she decides to divorce him & outright tells him that maybe he belongs in jail. It gets even worse retroactively, since Jimmy's actions are eerily similar to the actual stock market crash that occured a few years after the show finished.
  • Marissa during Season 1. This troper wanted to scream every single time she ignored her boyfriend's, best friend's and ex's pleas to be concerned about Oliver's behavior. Seeing the following episodes where her efforts to get Ryan back are repeatedly rejected seem satisfying.
  • Wangst: Marissa, Johnny, Oliver and Hayley.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Season 4 for bringing back the comedy, focusing back on the core characters, and being without the acting talents of Mischa Barton. Ultimately, the damage was already done & the show was cancelled before the end of the season.
  • Woobie: Summer. Marissa set Summer up with Seth for the debutante ball, knowing full and well she was interested in Ryan. To make matters worse, Marissa was in a relationship with Luke at the time. Then, when she befriends Anna under the guise that neither girl is no longer interested in Seth, Anna sneaks off to his house on New Year's Eve and hooks up with Seth. Summer had to pretend to be ok with it. Then, when Summer finally relents and decides to date Seth after telling Anna that he'll eventually get bored of her, Seth runs out on her without even telling her, not only leaving her sad all summer until she met Zach, but proving that she was right. Even when she was with Zach, Seth was essentially stalking her and manipulating her into trying to get back with him. Also, whenever Marissa has a boyfriend, she completely ignores Summer, who is supposed to be her best friend. It seems as though Summer's dad is literally the only person in her life who cares about her.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheOC