These are the best behind-the-scenes stories we've ever heard about The OC. Producers hated Adam Brody's first audition - apparently he didn't bother to learn his lines. Rachel Bilson was only supposed to appear as a guest on the show. So was Melinda Clarke aka Julie Cooper. It's only in the 14th episode that Bilson and Clarke are actually in the opening credits NOT as guests. The actress who played Kirsten, Kelly Rowan, is actually only 14 years older than Adam Brody in real life.
You know when Taylor realises she likes Ryan, and he tells her they should just be friends? She says to him, "Ryan Atwood, mon ami, sounds terrif"? The Cohen's name was originally going to be 'Needleman'.
It was supposed to be kept a secret, but Mischa Barton revealed Marissa would die in the final episode… One hour before it aired.
In the episode Family Ties, Seth refers to himself as vomiting "like that girl from the Sixth Sense" - that girl was played by Mischa Barton!
The actors had to film any scenes in the pool standing on their knees. Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody dated for the entire run of the show.
For a bit, Josh Schwartz was planning to write a spin-off show focussed entirely on Anna. The inspiration for Princess Sparkle? Josh Schwartz's dad worked at Hasbro. Schwartz also kept Princess Sparkle and Captain Oats as a souvenir after the show ended.
Adam Brody is actually petrified of boats. Like, has a serious phobia of them. So that scene where Seth sails off into the sunset? That's a 40 year old stunt double. In the very last episode where Taylor meets Summer in the arrival room, there's man with a sign saying "Schwartz". That's a reference to writer Josh Schwartz. Josh Schwartz has Seth's comic book Atomic County framed on his wall.
Chrismukkah was almost called Hannamas. Arcade Fire refused to appear on The OC because they didn't want to licence any music. When Seth learns that Lindsay is his half-aunt, he says "You're a Cohen. Welcome to a world of insecurity and paralysing self-doubt"… He also used this line when he welcomes Ryan into the family in The Debut.
In the episode The Rainy Day Women, Sandy asks Rebecca whether she wants "ding dongs or cheese sticks" when they're stranded in a cheap motel. Ryan offers Marisa the exact same options in The Escape, when they're also stranded at a cheap motel.
Writers were initially going to make Seth part of the popular crew. But they changed their minds and decided to make him the outcast. When Kaitlin Cooper leaves in season 1 to head off to boarding school, she is years-old. When she returns in season 3, she is So she aged four years in 18 months. Shailene Woodley plays younger Kaitlin! She is only 5 months younger than Willa Holland, who ended up playing the older Kaitlin. The waiter in the pilot episode and "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" is also the same guy who lives in the Cohen's house in the last episode.
Can you imagine Ryan being played by anyone else? Garrett Hedlund almost got the role. This is Garrett Hedlund: Writers thought Wilde was too strong to play the emotional wreck of Marisa, so they brought her back as Alex. Must run in the family… In the alternate universe episode, a poster in the shopping mall says Johnny Harper is the "Pacwest Surf Star".
Johnny was Marisa's friend who was run over because of Ryan, and therefore couldn't compete in the surf tour. Ryan didn't exist in the alternative world though, so Johnny was never run over, and thus the surf star. When the show was first written, Ryan was originally going to be Sandy's illegitimate child.
That iconic song by Phantom Planet almost wasn't used for the intro. Written By Emily Whitham.