Premiering on August 5, 2003, the four season run of 'The OC' brought many memorable moments, but the 5 best 'The OC' season 1 moments drove the show into popularity. The family drama revolves around the upper class Cohn family taking in a troubled Ryan from the wrong side of town, and trying to turn his life around. The best 'The OC' season 1 moments revolve around the troublesome relationship of Ryan and his new neighbor Marissa, and the Cohn's funny and likable son Seth, who always seems to get himself into trouble.
- Ryan vs Luke Fight. During the pilot episode, Summer invites Ryan to an after-party, and Ryan in turn invites Seth. The sex, drug, and alcohol filled party made both Ryan and Seth feel out of place, and the boys end up separated. Ryan notices Seth being hassled by Luke and his friends, so Ryan runs to save Seth from getting beaten up. Luke and Ryan start shoving each other back and forth, and it escalates into a fist fight. As Luke's friends pin Ryan in the sand, Luke gives Ryan a kick in the side and says the now iconic line, "Welcome to the OC bitch," making it one of the best 'The OC' season 1 moments.
- Ryan rescues Marissa in Tijuana. During season 1, episode 7 "The Escape" Ryan, Seth, Marissa, and Summer drive to Tijuana, Mexico together to surprise their other friends. Marissa gets a phone call about her parents divorce in the same night she catches her boyfriend Luke, and friend Holly hooking up on a dance floor in Tijuana. Marissa takes a bunch of pills with alcohol, and wanders around alone. Ryan finds her in the alley passed out, and he picks Marissa up and starts to carry her, which is one of the best 'and most dramatic The OC' season 1 moments.
- The Introduction of Chrismukkah. During season 1, episode 13 "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" Seth introduced 'The OC' fans Chrismukkah. Seth explaining Chrismukkah to Ryan is one of the best 'The OC' moments because it became so popular, it was brought back again in future seasons. Explaining to Ryan, Seth says, "So I raised myself. And in doing so, I created the greatest super holiday known to mankind. Drawing on the best that Christianity and Judaism have to offer. You see, for my father here, a poor struggling Jew growing up in the Bronx, well, Christmas, it meant Chinese food and a movie. And for my mom over here, Waspy McWasp, well it meant a tree, it meant stockings and all the trimmings."
- New Years Eve Kiss. Season 1, episode 14 "The Countdown" revolves around New Years Eve and the on again, off again romantic relationship of Ryan and Marissa. Oliver, a new friend to Marissa invites her and Ryan to his New Years Eve party and Ryan is at first not able to attend. Oliver obviously likes Marissa and is trying to win her over, but last minute Ryan attempts to make the party. One of the best moments during 'The OC' season 1 is when Ryan is running up the apartment stairs in order to make it to Marissa seconds before midnight, so they can share a New Years Eve kiss together.
- Season 1 Cliffhanger. During 'The OC' season 1 finale "The Ties That Bind" has another best moment with the cliffhanger ending. Following Julie and Caleb's wedding Ryan decides he is definitely moving back to Chino with Theresa, who is pregnant with his child. Seth does not cope well with Ryan moving away, and the final scene shows Seth sailing away to Tahiti on his boat, and Ryan sitting in the passenger seat of Theresa's car leaving Newport. The reason why this is one of the best 'The OC' season 1 moments is because Marissa is standing on the sidewalk in the exact same place where she first saw Ryan when he was moving to Newport.