To keep this resource free, is compensated by certain providers listed below. Learn More To keep this resource free, is compensated by certain providers listed below. Learn More
A man smiles as he looks up in this image from Warner Bros. Studios
Seth Cohen (Adam Brady) and his trademark humor resurface in “The O.C.” Season 4 — thank goodness! (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

Welcome to “The O.C.,” Seth (Adam Brody)! Or I should say, welcome back. When I wrote about Seth’s funniest lines in Season 1, I had no idea that he would ever stop being the funniest character on the show, but his sense of humor took a grim, unfunny turn in Season 3 (luckily, our favorite flame-haired firecracker more than filled the void).

But now he’s back, baby! Seth’s trademark humor returned almost immediately in Season 4, and I couldn’t have been more pleased as I rewatched the final season. Read ahead for the triumphant return of the Seth Cohen we know and love in the form of my picks for his funniest lines (and one tear-jerker) in the last season of “The O.C.”

‘It’s not toothpaste. Tell us another!’

A man laughs as he sits between two women on a couch in this image from Warner Bros. Studios
The entrance of Seth (Adam Brody) in Season 4 is hysterical. (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

When we first see Seth in Season 4, it’s among a most unexpected group, but at the same time, it’s a setting he fits into most naturally: a Newpsie lunch with his mom’s friends. He gives a masterfully funny but dry voice-over that fades into him yukking it up with a group of women more than twice his age.

Seth (voice-over): “Big news, the other day I went roast beef, he went turkey. Roast beef wasn’t as rare as I like, but he’s really turned me on to the spicy mustard. And my mom, she’s more of a honey mustard gal, which I discovered the other day when she invited me to join her for a Newpsie luncheon. They’re actually not that bad if you take the time to get to know them. And that Taryn, one of the great dry wits.”

Taryn: “And I said, ‘Honey, that is not toothpaste.’”

Seth: “It’s not toothpaste. Tell us another!”

‘You know how stealth I can be.’

A man sits in the passenger seat of a car and looks toward the other side in this image from Warner Bros. Studios
Can Seth (Adam Brody) and his humor turn things around for Ryan (Ben McKenzie) after the loss of Marissa (Mischa Barton)? I’d take that bet. (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

I laughed out loud when I heard Seth’s callback to being “stealth.”

Seth wants to go to Mexico to help Ryan (Ben McKenzie) find the fugitive Volchok (Cam Giganet) in the second episode of the season (and I was so excited to see a road trip — we didn’t get a single one last season!). He tries to convince Ryan that he’d be a good partner for this mission by reminding him, “You know how stealth I can be.”

Last time we heard Seth claim to be “stealth,” he was drunkenly rolling across the hood of a car in Season 2. Needless to say, he isn’t very “stealth” at all.

‘Go Ryan Atwood on his a**.’

A man talks on a cellphone in this image from Warner Bros. Studios.
Does anyone buy a tough act from Seth (Adam Brody)? (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

In Episode 6, “The Summer Bummer,” Summer (Rachel Bilson) gets suspended from Brown University because Che (Chris Pratt) sold her out in The Great Bunny Escape. When Seth finds out, he declares to Summer that he’s about to “go Ryan Atwood on his a**.”

Even as someone who generally doesn’t like seeing physical fights on screen, I think I might have liked to see these two very nonaggressive guys have a go! At the very least, maybe it would’ve made Che a more interesting new character.

‘Dude, the flashback did not take that long.’

A man interrupts another man in this image from Warner Bros. Studios.
Seth (Adam Brody) gets meta! (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

In Episode 13, Seth tells the story of when he first met Summer almost a decade before, and we lapse into a flashback. When we resurface in the present day, Seth makes a little jokey joke about the show’s use of the device.

Seth: “This, my friend, marks the first moment that I fell in love with Summer Roberts. It was the spring … 1998.”

Ryan: “Is this a long flashback? Because my break is almost over.”

Seth: “Bear with me. It was the spring, 1998.”

*Flashback starts*

Young Seth: “Hey, Luke … Good news. Only 11 months and six days until ‘The Matrix’ comes out.”

Young Luke: “Eat it, nerd brain.”

Teacher: “We’re going to start today with more readings of your original poems. Who are we up to? Summer Roberts. Summer?”

Young Summer: “I wish I was a mermaid and was friends with all the fish / A shiny tail and seashells, that would be my wish.”

*Flashback ends*

Seth: “And that is when I knew Summer Roberts was the one.” [Realizes Ryan is gone.] “Dude, the flashback did not take that long.”

‘At least I leave you funnier than when I found you.’

Two men hug this image from Warner Bros. Studios
Seth (Adam Brody) is unusually sentimental in his final exchange with his surrogate brother. (Image: Warner Bros. Studios)

Full disclosure: This quote isn’t actually funny. It’s emotional. I couldn’t even type it without tearing up again, but I maintain that it’s Seth’s best line in the show’s final season.

When the series started, Ryan didn’t crack a smile and barely spoke in anything but grunts. Ryan never would’ve found his inner comic without the example Seth set over the following years. So, it was my hope that it would be Seth’s humor that brought Ryan’s own humor back around in Season 4 since, when the season opens, Ryan is consumed with grief and anger over Marissa’s death.

My wish came true! Over the season, Ryan (and everyone else) heals from the loss of Marissa, and he slowly regains his voice and wit, which Seth recognizes in their very final exchange of the entire series (yep, I’m crying again).

Seth: “At least I leave you funnier than when I found you.”

Ryan: “Yeah, I’m a lot better off than when you found me.”

Seth: “Me too.”

Their brotherhood proves something very moving that Summer noted earlier in the season: “You make your own family.” *insert crying emoji*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.