The O.C. Cast Mark The Show’s 20th Anniversary In The Cutest Way

Can anyone else hear the opening bars of Phantom Planet’s California right now?
Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Benjamin McKenzie, pictured in 2003
Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody, Mischa Barton, and Benjamin McKenzie, pictured in 2003
Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images

The stars of The O.C. are heading right back where they started from to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary.

Yes, somehow it has been two whole decades since the first episode of the much-loved 2000s teen drama aired on Fox in the US, featuring the iconic line “Welcome to the OC, bitch!”

The pilot episode took us to Newport Beach to introduce viewers to troubled teen Ryan Atwood, played by Ben McKenzie, who is taken in by the more socially awkward Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and his family. Then there was the popular, privileged Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) and her best friend Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson), who’d become the boys’ respective on-off love interests.

To mark the show’s milestone birthday, Ben shared a photo of him and Adam at the beach during filming, both wearing sunglasses and clutching plastic cups.

“The OC premiered 20 years ago today,” he wrote. “I keep showing my kids pics to prove how cool I used to be, but for some reason they don’t seem to get it.”

His co-star Rachel shared her approval of the throwback photo, commenting with three heart emojis, while Melinda Clarke, who played Marissa’s mum Julie Cooper, wrote: “Still cool.”

The show’s creator Josh Schwartz, who would go on to develop another legendary Noughties teen drama, Gossip Girl, added: “Same.”

Rachel also posted a still from the show, showing her in character as Summer, and simply captioned it: “Twenty.”

Melinda marked the anniversary with a photo of her and Peter Gallagher, who played Seth’s father Sandy Cohen

“Wait Whut?! We’re how old?,” she wrote alongside it, adding the hashtags #20yearstoday and #foreveryoung.

Don’t Worry Darling director Olivia Wilde also got in on the nostalgia, reminiscing about her stint playing Alex, a love interest for both Seth and Marissa, during the show’s second season.

“Ok I see it’s (The OC) having a moment because it premiered 20 years ago,” she wrote on her Instagram Story, sharing a photo of her and Mischa.

Mischa = one of the most beautiful faces I’ve ever seen,” she added. “I remember just being like WHOOOAAAA.”

Olivia wasn’t the only soon-to-be famous face that enjoyed a guest role on the show. The Fault In Our Stars actress Shailene Woodley appeared as Marissa’s younger sister Kaitlin in the first season, while the likes of Chris Pratt, Ashley Benson and Amber Heard also made brief appearances.


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