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22 Of The Best Music Moments On "The O.C."

Imogen Heap for dayz. (Spoilers!)

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22. Bettie Serveert, "Lover I Don't Have To Love"

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Episode: "The Undertow" (Season 3, Episode 18)

Seth and Summer finally get their mojo back. Ryan and Sadie are officially out of the friend zone. And Marissa and Volchuk provide us with one of the hottest hookups of the series. And all the lovin' is soundtracked to this song by Bettie Serveert that makes you feel just as trashy as Marissa does the morning after.

21. The Doves, "Caught By The River"

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Episode: "The Model Home" (Season 1, Episode 2)

One of my favorite episodes of "The O.C." delivers some pretty heartbreaking scenes (we'll get to that later), but also some truly sweet ones, including one of my all time favorite moments: Seth, Ryan and Marissa goof around on the pier to this alt-rock tune by The Doves. It's a rare time in "The O.C." where we get to see these kids innocently acting like kids.

20. Sia, "Paranoid Android"

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Episode: "Chrismukk-huh?" (Season 4, Episode 7)

"The O.C." is known for many things, most notably for punching us in the gut with unexpected tragedy. After the unimaginable accident in the season three finale, we're finally offered a glimmer of hope when Ryan enters a parallel universe where Marissa might still be alive. But just when we think we'll see them reunite, we don't; turns out Marissa would have died in Mexico anyway *sobs*. Sia provides a haunting cover to a pretty haunting scene.

19. The Killers, "Smile Like You Mean It"

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Episode: "The New Era" (Season 2, Episode 4)

The Killers are one of my favorite bands, so this music moment may be a little biased. But how funny is this scene: Seth, Ryan, Lindsay and Alex are on the most awkward blind double date ever. It's one of those novel comic relief scenes that make "The O.C." great, and it also happens during a live performance by a stellar band. Check and check.

18. Nada Surf, "If You Leave"

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Episode: "The Goodbye Girl" (Season 1, Episode 21)

Sure, we were over the moon when Seth finally chose the right girl to be with. But that meant there really wasn't any place for Anna in Newport that didn't include the terrible feeling of rejection. Nada Surf, the unofficial band of teen soap operas, provides an aptly titled song for this tearfully bittersweet goodbye to a beloved character.

17. Super Furry Animals, "Hello Sunshine"

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Episode: "The Heartbreak" (Season 1, Episode 19)

Admit it, toplessness will always come to mind when you hear this song. The multiple moments this song accompanied were just as sweet as the title suggests. Seth and Summer finally do it, but only after he babbles on about her being "the one" and she silences him with taking her shirt off. The second time hilariously plays out the same way. This is prime Seth and Summer adorableness.

16. Beck, "True Love Will Find You In The End"

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Episode: "The Mallpisode" (Season 2, Episode 15)

The Core Four 4eva. Another blissful moment for our favorite couples, including Sandy and Kirsten, soundtracked to the inevitably lovable crooning of Beck.

15. Patrick Park, "Something Pretty"

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Episode: "The Telenovela" (Season 1, Episode 20)

This scene requires no introduction. It's adorable. It's romantic. It's sweet. It's Patrick Park. It's Seth Cohen at his most awkward. It's the best.

14. Jem, "Maybe I'm Amazed"

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Episode: "The Ties That Bind" (Season 1, Episode 27)

The unhappiest wedding there ever was, and not just because Julie is marrying Caleb. But because Ryan is leaving, and that's just the worst. Jem performs a powerful ballad as Ryan and Marissa solemnly dance at the reception, knowing it might be the last time they see each other. Meanwhile, Seth is moping and probably deciding to go through his dumbest plan ever (running away).

13. Jeff Buckley, "Hallelujah" (1)

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Episode: "The Model Home" (Season 1, Episode 2)

This song. I just can't. Every time I hear it. Tears. The first time we get a taste of its heartbreaking power, it's when Ryan reluctantly tells Marissa to leave, knowing that if she stays the night he won't be able to say goodbye. It's the official, tragic beginning to an otherwise tragic relationship.

12. Imogen Heap, "Speeding Cars"

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Episode: "The Graduates" (Season 3, Episode 25)

Imogen Heap! The unofficial singer for "The O.C." She provides many tunes for the show, including the graduation day scene. Taylor delivers her speech impeccably, Sandy Cohen cheers like the embarrassing parent he is, and we see our favorite Harbor School graduates finally take their diplomas. This is the one time I tear up for Julie, only because her swelling pride for Marissa is downright painful to watch when we know what happens later in the episode.

11. Imogen Heap, "Hide and Seek"

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Episode: "The Dearly Beloved" (Season 2, Episode 24)

Imogen Heap! Again! This music moment is probably the most widely known for fans and non-fans of the show. If not for the shocking subject material (Marissa shoots Trey to keep him from killing Ryan!), then most definitely for the hilarious SNL spoof (which remains my favorite digital short of The Lonely Island era). But real talk, it's an amazing song that perfectly fits with this heavy cliffhanger.

10. Coldplay, "Fix You"

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Episode: "The O. Sea" (Season 2, Episode 23)

Crosscutting is the best, especially when it involves murder (well, kind of). Ryan finally shows up to the prom just in time to dance with Marissa outside (the same place they shared a moment after the debutant ball), but interwoven are scenes of Julie contemplating poisoning her husband (lol of course) only to discover that he's had a heart attack and fallen into the pool. To close out this tear-inducing Coldplay ballad, Kirsten falls deeper and deeper into her alcohol stupor while Sandy helplessly watches. If this music moment isn't the definition of feels, I don't know what is.

9. Patrick Park, "Life Is A Song"

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Episode: "The End's Not Near, It's Here" (Season 4, Episode 16)

Speaking of feels, in the final few minutes of the entire series, we see what the futures looks like for our beloved Newport gang. So much is happening in these scenes, most notably Seth and Summer get hitched, Kirsten and Sandy move back to their former home and have an adorable baby, and Ryan is just as successful as we hoped he would be. And he's willing to give a downtrodden kid with a baggy sweatshirt and a bike a little help. I love full circles. Love them. And Patrick Park and this song that pretty much describes the entire show.

8. Imogen Heap, "Hallelujah"

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Episode: "The Graduates" (Season 3, Episode 25)

Sure, some people thought Marissa (and Mischa Barton) were annoying in general, but don't tell me you didn't uncontrollably weep when this happened. Ryan spent most of his time in Newport trying to save Marissa from others, but mostly from herself. It was utterly heartbreaking to see him ultimately fail at this, especially since he carries her out of that burning car just as he always has. When she was drunk and he carried her to the pool house. When she overdosed in Mexico and he carried her out of that alley. Just. Too. Much.

7. Ryan Adams, "Wonderwall"

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Episode: "The Heartbreak" (Season 1, Episode 19)

Ryan Adams provides one of the best covers of the show with Oasis' "Wonderwall." He turns the 90s rock anthem into a slow, romantic ballad that pairs perfectly with Seth and Summer's sweet bedroom slow dance. But even this renowned love song can't save Ryan and Marissa's relationship from falling apart. This is teen soap opera relationship drama at its best.

6. Youth Group, "Forever Young"

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Episode: "The Road Warrior" (Season 3, Episode 16)

I've lost count how many times Ryan and Marissa have broken up over the course of the show, but the last time they do it's a doozy. They essentially end things over the phone in their respective moping places (the pool house and the lifeguard stand). But this music moment is another iconic one; the song is both wildly depressing and beautifully sung as a cover by Youth Group.

5. Matt Pond, "Champagne Supernova"

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Episode: "The Rainy Day Women" (Season 2, Episode 14)

This is such a rom-com moment, and "The O.C." would only allow this with Seth and Summer. Just as she's about to leave for Europe with Zach, she finally realizes that Cohen will always be her destiny. As she races across town in the rain to tell him so, Seth is on the roof trying to fix his satellite dish (of course). What results would put Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst to shame. And this ultimate teen anthem makes it all the sweeter.

4. Phantom Planet, "California"

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Episode: "Pilot" (Season 1, Episode 1)

The first truly memorable music moment of the show features the song that we will forever associate with scenic shots of the beach and the smiling faces of our favorite residents of Newport. Yes, it's "California" by Phantom Planet. As Sandy takes Ryan on his first drive through the town that will later become his second home, this iconic song echoes in the background and we quickly realize that it's an important one. Californiaaaaa, we were caaaahhhhhhme.

3. Finley Quaye, "Dice"

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Episode: "The Countdown" (Season 1, Episode 14)

Ryan and Marissa had very few happy moments together. With them, it was mostly gut-wrenching drama that never seemed to end. But the New Year's Eve episode of season one provided us with a much needed happy ending for the two. This lively, unforgettable tune plays in the wake of Ryan's journey to get to Marissa before the clock strikes midnight. Cue the slo-mo! It's probably my favorite Ryan/Marissa moment. And when I had one of those chunky iPod Minis this song was on it, man. Oh, the 2000s.

2. Mazzy Star, "Into Dust"

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Episode: Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)

I will forever tear up when I watch this scene from the very first episode. There's just so much foreshadow! "Into Dust" will forever be the song of Ryan and Marissa in my eyes. Like the relationship, it's heavy, tragic and overly emotional. But how sweet is this scene: Bad boy Ryan Atwood, an outsider to this town that could potentially be more dangerous than his hometown of Chino, shows us his selfless heroic side as he saves a drunk and unconscious Marissa by carrying her into the pool house. Not only is the scene beautifully shot, but the look on his face when he gently lays her down on the bed... ugh. Emotions!

1. Jeff Buckley, "Hallelujah" (2)

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Episode: "The Ties That Bind" (Season 1, Episode 27)

My mother heard me downright sobbing when I first watched this scene. She thought something truly awful and life-threatening had just happened. Nope, it was just the first season finale of "The O.C." Jeff Buckley's soul-crushing rendition of "Hallelujah" is used once again as we watch Sandy drive Ryan back to Chino (almost exactly the same way as he did at the end of the pilot episode with Marissa watching from the curb) to be with his baby mama. But even more heartbreaking is the fact that Seth is sailing away and Kirsten is crying in the pool house! It's really too much to handle. But even so, it's what "The O.C." does best. It breaks our hearts in all the right places. But this music moment lets us discover just how much we truly care for this family and their friends, because it's shatteringly painful to see them torn apart.

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