Melinda Clarke, Rachel Bilson, Ben McKenzie, Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan and Adam Brody

1. Creator Josh Schwartz was only 25 when he started writing The O.C. and the series premiered the day before his 27th birthday. This made him the youngest primetime TV creator at the time. 

2. The producers hated Adam Brody’s first audition because he hadn’t come in prepared. 

3. Kelly Rowan, who played Kirsten, is only 14 years older than Adam Brody – he played her teenage son Seth.

4. In season 2, Seth said that he was vomiting “like that girl from The Sixth Sense”. That girl was played by Mischa Barton, aka Marissa Cooper.

5. Chad Michael Murray was offered a role on the show. But he turned it down to star in One Tree Hill

6. The famous Cohen swimming pool was only four feet deep. The actors had to film pool scenes on their knees.

The women of The O.C.

7. Colin Hanks was the star of a TV show within the show, The Valley. It was like their version of The O.C.

8. Divergent actress Shailene Woodley played the young Kaitlin Cooper. But Kaitlin returned from boarding school in season 3 as Arrow’s Willa Holland. What a transformation!

9. The creators of Laguna Beach and The Real Housewives told Josh Schwartz that their shows were inspired by The O.C

10. He was also told that no-one called Orange County, the O.C. It was a controversial title and people didn’t like it at first. 

11. In fact, The O.C became an ongoing joke in Arrested Development. Whenever a character called Orange County, The O.C., Michael Bluth would say, “don’t call it that”.

Olivia Wilde as Alex in The O.C.

12. The two shows launched at around the same time and there were plans for the stars of The O.C. to appear as themselves as a joke in Arrested Development. But it never panned out.

13. As an insult, the characters called popular guy Luke ‘Abercrombie’. This was a reference to the fact that the actor Chris Carmack also worked as a model for Abercrombie & Fitch.

14. George Lucas appeared on an episode in season 2 because his teen daughter was a huge fan. He gave Josh Schwartz a Strom Trooper helmet to thank him.  

15. Olivia Wilde auditioned for the role of Marissa, which ultimately went to Mischa Barton. But Wilde was then cast as Alex, who became Marissa’s girlfriend in season 2.

16. Summer was only supposed to be a guest character. Thankfully she stuck around and Rachel Bilson was made a series regular part-way through season 1.

17. Berkeley Law School created a Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship, or ‘The Sandy’, inspired by Peter Gallagher’s do-gooder, lawyer character Sandy Cohen. 

Stream all four seasons of The O.C. right here.