To say I love The OC would be an understatement of the highest degree. At 13, I asked for a Marissa-certified Care Bear (Share Bear, to be specific) for Christmas. At 15, I kissed a boy because he had decidedly Seth Cohen-ish hair. At 26, I traveled to California for the first time and insisted on changing our road-trip route so I could spend a night in Newport only to arrive and find that it wasn’t even where show was filmed. (The disappointment was palpable.) At 28, I have a Death Cab for Cutie poster hanging in the living room of my apartment.
Beyond my love of the show’s ballet flats and spaghetti straps, my obsession with the music of The OC was—and still is—unwavering. I own all six of The OC soundtracks on CD and love each equally with the exception of the first, which was obviously the best. Growing up in rural Australia, this meant many trips to my hometown’s only music store to check when the next one would be in stock. Just as The OC changed the relationship between music and television forever, the music of the series changed me forever. Those CDs were the soundtrack of my youth and the foundation of my adult music taste.
Which is why, last week, when I saw that Australian musician Mallrat had compiled all The OC soundtracks into one Spotify playlist, two emotions moved through me: pure, unadulterated joy, and mystification that I hadn’t done it first.
Friendly but firm reminder that I’ve compiled every single song from The O.C. season 1 to 4 into a single convenient playlist. It only takes seconds to retweet https://t.co/z8Uda7GLLC
— mallrat (@lilmallrat) August 13, 2019
I spent all weekend listening to the playlist. I abandoned my podcasts, audiobook, and every other song in my Spotify library, and dove right into the deep end of my nostalgia. Not only was I overwhelmed by memories of my own teenage years, I was overwhelmed by my memories of the show itself. By the specific, iconic scenes that imprinted upon my memory simply because their soundtracks were superb.
So, without further ado, five scenes from The OC that I will never forget, care of the songs that made them perfect, in order of least to most dramatic.
5. The Scene Where Summer and Seth Kiss
The song: “Something Pretty” by Patrick Park
Everyone has a favorite Seth Cohen quote and mine is from this scene: “Acknowledge me now, or lose me forever.” I’m not ashamed to say past-me reblogged this exact quote on Tumblr many times. As for the song, I think it might just be one of my favorites from the whole series.
4. The Scene at the End of the First Episode Where Sandy Drives Ryan Back to Chino
The song: “Honey and the Moon” by Joseph Arthur
What a journey the pilot episode took us on! This scene starts with Marissa standing right where she was when she met Ryan for the first time, at the end of her driveway waiting for Luke to pick her up. Sandy is driving Ryan back to his home in Chino, only to get there and find that Ryan’s mom has totally abandoned the house and, consequently, her son Ryan, who now has no choice but to go live with the Cohens. (Yay.)
3. The Scene Where Ryan Makes It to Marissa Just in Time for Midnight
The song: “Dice” by Finley Quaye
Ugh, remember Oliver? He was the worst. Thankfully, Ryan made it to his New Year’s Eve party just in time to tell Marissa that he loved her. I’m also pretty sure I have these lyrics written out in full in my teen diary. I’m also equally certain this scene has effectively ruined every New York NYE for me. Oliver may have been evil, but it looks like he knew how to throw a party.
2. The Scene Where Marissa Realizes She’s Standing in the Infamous Model Home
The song: “Paint the Silence” by South
Honestly, I’m mainly including this scene because it’s pretty much how I feel whenever I listen to any music from The OC. What a ride.
1. The Scene Where Marissa Shoots Trey
The song: “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap
Never before had I been so shaken by an episode of television. I have an incredibly vivid memory of calling my friend Shannon on my landline home phone to scream about how traumatized I was because TREY WOULD HAVE KILLED RYAN IF IT WEREN’T FOR MARISSA. This song remains Imogen Heap’s most played song on Spotify and I have no doubt this scene is the reason why. I still get chills watching it.
And now, of course, here’s the playlist in full. Enjoy!