When Adam Brody left the fictional “Gilmore Girls” town of Star’s Hollow, Massachusetts, for the sunnier climes of Orange County, California, I happily followed him from one show to the other — and I was not disappointed. Brody’s portrayal of Seth Cohen on “The O.C.” is masterful, and he nailed Seth’s trademark deadpan humor out of the gate. Even better, his new “brother,” Ryan (Ben McKenzie), served as the perfect foil.
The familial connection between Seth and Ryan was evident from the very first episode. As I recently rewatched the show’s first season in anticipation of its 20th anniversary, I wasn’t sure Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) would have been so apt to take in Ryan if it weren’t for Seth being a loner despite his zany personality. They knew their son desperately needed a friend, and Ryan became more than that. Lucky for us viewers, having a new brother gave Seth and his hilarious sense of humor endless scene-stealing opportunities.
Here are my picks for the funniest Seth-to-Ryan lines in Season 1 of “The O.C.”
“Wow. You just got your butt kicked. You didn’t even fight back. Dude, you really are a Cohen.”
In the fourth episode of Season 1, Ryan’s early adversary, Marissa’s (Mischa Barton) boyfriend Luke (Chris Carmack), gets the last punch, leaving Ryan lying on the ground. Seth, always able to find the humor, says to Ryan, “Wow. You just got your butt kicked. You didn’t even fight back. Dude, you really are a Cohen.”
“I liked it so much better when you had no sense of humor.”
When Seth finds himself in the improbable conflict of having to choose between two women after having gone 16 years without a single girlfriend, Ryan, feeling comfortable in his growing bond with his new brother, teases him about having such a “tough problem.” Seth retorts, “I liked it so much better when you had no sense of humor.”
“It’s what I do best.”
On New Year’s Eve, Seth and Ryan go into panic mode, wanting to get to Oliver’s party — and, more importantly, to Marissa — by midnight. First, though, Ryan tells Seth, who’s hyperventilating into a paper bag, that they have to do something about Aunt Hailey’s unwelcome party guests who are trashing Sandy and Kirsten’s house: “Let’s go, we gotta clear this party out.” Seth takes a beat from his paper bag to say, “It’s what I do best.”
“I am this way for a reason.”
When Sandy goes into problem-solving overdrive and quizzes Ryan incessantly on all the logistics regarding Theresa’s move to town, Ryan looks to Seth for help. Instead, Seth just smiles and says, “I am this way for a reason.”
“The Nana never cared for The Kirsten.”
Employing his tried-and-true linguistic twist of unnecessarily using “the” in sentences, Seth explains to Ryan the tension in the room when they learn Sandy’s mother, Sophie (Linda Lavin), is coming to visit: “The Nana never cared for The Kirsten.”
“My grandma wears Uggs.”
Toward the end of the season, at the wedding shower for his grandfather Caleb (Alan Dale) and the much younger Julie (Melinda Clarke), Seth marks the occasion with a simple realization: “My grandma wears Uggs.”
As my rewatch of “The O.C.” continues, be sure to check out my favorite Ryan-to-Seth quips from Season 2!