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A Definitive Ranking Of The Romantic Relationships On "The O.C."

Ryan and Marissa 4eva.

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Disclaimer:

The couples included on this list are ones that went beyond flirtation, mistaken kisses (i.e. Kirsten and Carter) or one-night stands (i.e. Ryan and that waitress). Past relationships that didn't play out on the show were also excluded (i.e. Kirsten and Jimmy). They either had to have an ongoing sexual relationship or a committed relationship.

26. Marissa & Volchok

Truly a terrible, terrible relationship. Sure, we had that one nice moment where we found out he rented The Sound of Music and their sex scene was crazy intense, but it ends there. He was a terrible boyfriend who partied aimlessly, stole money, and kissed another girl on senior prom night. And, oh yeah, he kind of murdered Marissa. So this relationship was most definitely the worst.
Fox

Truly a terrible, terrible relationship. Sure, we had that one nice moment where we found out he rented The Sound of Music and their sex scene was crazy intense, but it ends there. He was a terrible boyfriend who partied aimlessly, stole money, and kissed another girl on senior prom night. And, oh yeah, he kind of murdered Marissa. So this relationship was most definitely the worst.

25. Trey & Jess

This Bonnie and Clyde relationship wasn't much better than Marissa and Volchok. But at least it didn't end with manslaughter charges, right?
Fox

This Bonnie and Clyde relationship wasn't much better than Marissa and Volchok. But at least it didn't end with manslaughter charges, right?

Oliver & Natalie

LOL JK.
Fox

LOL JK.

24. Theresa & Eddie

Initially we liked Eddie. He seemed like the right fit for Theresa and he was the excuse we all needed for Ryan to move on and get Marissa back. But then he started to hit her. Yeah, no thanks.
Fox

Initially we liked Eddie. He seemed like the right fit for Theresa and he was the excuse we all needed for Ryan to move on and get Marissa back. But then he started to hit her. Yeah, no thanks.

23. Julie & Caleb

She married him for his money and he married her for...I really have no idea. But their relationship really drove Marissa and Kirsten off the rails and Julie even tried to poison him at one point, no big deal.
Fox

She married him for his money and he married her for...I really have no idea. But their relationship really drove Marissa and Kirsten off the rails and Julie even tried to poison him at one point, no big deal.

22. Taylor & Dean Hess

They were evil co-conspirators who tried, and succeeded, in kicking Marissa out of Harbor. And at this point we really didn't like Taylor so it was just plain gross watching them make out. All in all, they were a poorly executed take on the teacher/student forbidden love trope.
Fox

They were evil co-conspirators who tried, and succeeded, in kicking Marissa out of Harbor. And at this point we really didn't like Taylor so it was just plain gross watching them make out. All in all, they were a poorly executed take on the teacher/student forbidden love trope.

21. Julie & Luke

This was sad because (for whatever inexplainable reasons) Luke really did seem to love her! But this was wrong on all accounts: Julie was legit sleeping with her 16-year-old daughter's ex-boyfriend, who she subsequently drove out of town after he wrapped his car around a telephone pole. Good job, Julie.
Fox

This was sad because (for whatever inexplainable reasons) Luke really did seem to love her! But this was wrong on all accounts: Julie was legit sleeping with her 16-year-old daughter's ex-boyfriend, who she subsequently drove out of town after he wrapped his car around a telephone pole. Good job, Julie.

20. Kaitlin & Will

Lol remember when Chris Brown was on "The O.C."? He was kind of jerk who dumped Kaitlin because she made fun of him. OK, Mr. Sensitive. But it was sad seeing that happen after we knew she sincerely liked him.
Fox

Lol remember when Chris Brown was on "The O.C."? He was kind of jerk who dumped Kaitlin because she made fun of him. OK, Mr. Sensitive. But it was sad seeing that happen after we knew she sincerely liked him.

19. Marissa & Luke

He cheated on her multiple times and slept with her mom. She pined for another guy the minute the show started. This was just a cliche teenage romance that really wasn't meant to last.
Fox

He cheated on her multiple times and slept with her mom. She pined for another guy the minute the show started. This was just a cliche teenage romance that really wasn't meant to last.

18. Julie & Bullit

I don't really know if they ever actually had a "relationship," but they were engaged at a certain point so it counts! There wasn't much romance unless you count Bullit showering her with gifts and never taking no for an answer. Julie was totally not into it, but she liked how well he treated Kaitlin so points there.
Fox

I don't really know if they ever actually had a "relationship," but they were engaged at a certain point so it counts! There wasn't much romance unless you count Bullit showering her with gifts and never taking no for an answer. Julie was totally not into it, but she liked how well he treated Kaitlin so points there.

17. Julie & Jimmy

Their marriage was a disaster, and their affair wasn't much better. While we sometimes found ourselves rooting for the Cooper's to be a happy family, it was inevitable that Julie and Jimmy were terrible for each other. But they had their moments.
Fox

Their marriage was a disaster, and their affair wasn't much better. While we sometimes found ourselves rooting for the Cooper's to be a happy family, it was inevitable that Julie and Jimmy were terrible for each other. But they had their moments.

16. Seth & Alex

Another pair not well-suited for each other, but it counts because the word "boyfriend" was thrown around! Alex helped Seth get his shit together after his first break-up with Summer. And that moment where she comes to his rescue after Zach punches him was pretty adorable.
Fox

Another pair not well-suited for each other, but it counts because the word "boyfriend" was thrown around! Alex helped Seth get his shit together after his first break-up with Summer. And that moment where she comes to his rescue after Zach punches him was pretty adorable.

15. Marissa & DJ

I think they may have lasted, like, three episodes but in that short timespan it was evident that DJ actually cared about Marissa (even though she treated him horribly and dated him just to annoy her mom). But they ended on good terms so no major drama.
Fox

I think they may have lasted, like, three episodes but in that short timespan it was evident that DJ actually cared about Marissa (even though she treated him horribly and dated him just to annoy her mom). But they ended on good terms so no major drama.

14. Dawn & The Guy In The Diner

We literally never hear this new boyfriend speak but we learn secondhand that he's a good guy who is helping Dawn stay sober.
Fox

We literally never hear this new boyfriend speak but we learn secondhand that he's a good guy who is helping Dawn stay sober.

13. Jimmy & Haley

She really helped brighten up Jimmy's view on life when they got together. He had just gotten divorced and, yes, lost all of his family's money but deep down he was trying his best. Seeing him with Haley was one of the rare times we saw him truly happy. (I will admit, I don't particularly like the character of Jimmy, but I didn't mind him here.)
Fox

She really helped brighten up Jimmy's view on life when they got together. He had just gotten divorced and, yes, lost all of his family's money but deep down he was trying his best. Seeing him with Haley was one of the rare times we saw him truly happy. (I will admit, I don't particularly like the character of Jimmy, but I didn't mind him here.)

12. Ryan & Theresa

Yeah, yeah they grew up together and went to school dances and did musicals. But Theresa will always be associated with that heart-wrenching Season 1 finale in which she pulls Ryan away from his real family. But she was still a nice change of pace post-Marissa drama.
Fox

Yeah, yeah they grew up together and went to school dances and did musicals. But Theresa will always be associated with that heart-wrenching Season 1 finale in which she pulls Ryan away from his real family. But she was still a nice change of pace post-Marissa drama.

11. Julie & Dr. Roberts

Their growing romantic relationship was sweet, especially after how much Dr. Roberts helped with Marissa when Julie was having money problems. But then he kind of gives up on her after Marissa's death and goes back to his ex-wife, aka "The Step-Monster." But I think this was still one of the more honest relationships Julie had throughout the show.
Fox

Their growing romantic relationship was sweet, especially after how much Dr. Roberts helped with Marissa when Julie was having money problems. But then he kind of gives up on her after Marissa's death and goes back to his ex-wife, aka "The Step-Monster." But I think this was still one of the more honest relationships Julie had throughout the show.

10. Ryan & Lindsay

Again, she was another good choice post-Marissa/baby mama drama. But Ryan and Lindsay really didn't have that much chemistry. Although she did invent the "yama-clause," so her relationship with Ryan gets a relatively high ranking.
Fox

Again, she was another good choice post-Marissa/baby mama drama. But Ryan and Lindsay really didn't have that much chemistry. Although she did invent the "yama-clause," so her relationship with Ryan gets a relatively high ranking.

9. Seth & Anna

Lack of chemistry was also fatal to this short-lived relationship. But Anna was Seth's rock long before that. She taught him confidence and made him his own comic book adventures with Captain Oates. Obviously everyone in the world is Team Summer, but Anna wasn't so bad.
Fox

Lack of chemistry was also fatal to this short-lived relationship. But Anna was Seth's rock long before that. She taught him confidence and made him his own comic book adventures with Captain Oates. Obviously everyone in the world is Team Summer, but Anna wasn't so bad.

8. Marissa & Alex

This relationship was unexpected. But The O.C. did something different and I applaud that. Plus, the episode where they road trip to LA to steal back Alex's necklace from her ex was sweet. But Marissa never really had any deep feelings for her. Poor, Alex.
Fox

This relationship was unexpected. But The O.C. did something different and I applaud that. Plus, the episode where they road trip to LA to steal back Alex's necklace from her ex was sweet. But Marissa never really had any deep feelings for her. Poor, Alex.

7. Summer & Zach

Zach was legit the perfect boyfriend. Like, almost too perfect. No guy in their right mind would be as calm and rational as he was when he let Summer ditch him at the airport. Despite the sword (Seth) hanging over their heads, the relationship was still pretty cute. They had nicknames for each other!
Fox

Zach was legit the perfect boyfriend. Like, almost too perfect. No guy in their right mind would be as calm and rational as he was when he let Summer ditch him at the airport. Despite the sword (Seth) hanging over their heads, the relationship was still pretty cute. They had nicknames for each other!

6. Julie & Frank

I wasn't necessarily thrilled with the drastic character change for Ryan's supposed monstrous father, but it seemed like Julie had finally found her perfect match in Frank. They came from the same world after all. And he rescued her and Kaitlin after the earthquake so obviously he's the best choice.
Fox

I wasn't necessarily thrilled with the drastic character change for Ryan's supposed monstrous father, but it seemed like Julie had finally found her perfect match in Frank. They came from the same world after all. And he rescued her and Kaitlin after the earthquake so obviously he's the best choice.

5. Ryan & Sadie

To me, Sadie was the perfect fit for Ryan on paper. She was kind and down-to-earth, something Ryan desperately needed after Marissa Drama Round 2. Ryan was genuinely happy when he was with her, but sadly it just wasn't the right timing in either of their lives.
Fox

To me, Sadie was the perfect fit for Ryan on paper. She was kind and down-to-earth, something Ryan desperately needed after Marissa Drama Round 2. Ryan was genuinely happy when he was with her, but sadly it just wasn't the right timing in either of their lives.

4. Ryan & Marissa

Even through all of the terrible drama they put each other through, Marissa and Ryan were still a pretty solid couple. They were always there for each other and made us feel some of the most intense emotions throughout the series' run. Only a really great TV couple can do that. But, like I said, they still put each other through some pretty horrible stuff that inevitably led to a tragic end.
Fox

Even through all of the terrible drama they put each other through, Marissa and Ryan were still a pretty solid couple. They were always there for each other and made us feel some of the most intense emotions throughout the series' run. Only a really great TV couple can do that. But, like I said, they still put each other through some pretty horrible stuff that inevitably led to a tragic end.

3. Seth & Summer

There really wasn't a more unique couple on The O.C. than Seth and Summer. Their relationship arguably left a huge mark on popular culture, turning geeky into sexy. They had some of the cutest moments on the show (the coffee cart, the upside down kiss in the rain, etc.) and together were a welcome comic relief in between the melodrama. Sure, Seth had his diva moments and Summer had her rage blackouts, but they always cared about each other more than anything.
Fox

There really wasn't a more unique couple on The O.C. than Seth and Summer. Their relationship arguably left a huge mark on popular culture, turning geeky into sexy. They had some of the cutest moments on the show (the coffee cart, the upside down kiss in the rain, etc.) and together were a welcome comic relief in between the melodrama. Sure, Seth had his diva moments and Summer had her rage blackouts, but they always cared about each other more than anything.

2. Sandy & Kirsten

As the rock and guiding light of The O.C., Sandy and Kirsten provided a needed moral compass throughout all four seasons. Their relationship was always the model for others on the show; they stood by each other through thick and thin and respected and made time for one another. Their marriage is almost up there with Coach Taylor and Tami's on Friday Night Lights. Almost.
Fox

As the rock and guiding light of The O.C., Sandy and Kirsten provided a needed moral compass throughout all four seasons. Their relationship was always the model for others on the show; they stood by each other through thick and thin and respected and made time for one another. Their marriage is almost up there with Coach Taylor and Tami's on Friday Night Lights. Almost.

1. Ryan & Taylor

Before you roll your eyes and violently X out of this browser window, I must present you with my argument. Everyone on The O.C. was lost after Season 3, no one more so than Ryan. I mean, the guy literally held the love of his life in his arms as she died. But then Taylor, who had just undergone a plausible and effective character rehabilitation (remember how much you hated her at the beginning of Season 3?), came into his life. Their sparks were off the charts and their bantering instantly became one of the best things about Season 4. But more than that, she single-handedly saved him from that dark hole and helped him transform into himself again. I really think their relationship grew the most on the show out of all of Ryan's relationships and it wasn't cheesy (Sadie) or melodramatic (Theresa) or tragic (Marissa) or boring (Lindsay). And out of every relationship on the show, they sincerely brought out the best in each other more than anyone on the show.
Fox

Before you roll your eyes and violently X out of this browser window, I must present you with my argument. Everyone on The O.C. was lost after Season 3, no one more so than Ryan. I mean, the guy literally held the love of his life in his arms as she died. But then Taylor, who had just undergone a plausible and effective character rehabilitation (remember how much you hated her at the beginning of Season 3?), came into his life. Their sparks were off the charts and their bantering instantly became one of the best things about Season 4. But more than that, she single-handedly saved him from that dark hole and helped him transform into himself again. I really think their relationship grew the most on the show out of all of Ryan's relationships and it wasn't cheesy (Sadie) or melodramatic (Theresa) or tragic (Marissa) or boring (Lindsay). And out of every relationship on the show, they sincerely brought out the best in each other more than anyone on the show.

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