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"Do you want to play Grand Theft Auto? It’s pretty cool. You can like, steal cars and… not that that’s cool. Or uncool. I don’t know… um…."
—Seth to Ryan[src]

Seth Cohen was one of the main characters of The O.C., is portrayed by Adam Brody.

Seth was a wealthy teenager from Newport Beach. The young boy is constantly being bullied by his classmates, for not being the classic "Californian boy", namely a - water polo player -. Seth, in fact, instead of going out and seeing other people, prefers to stay in his room, and read comics, his passion. But when Ryan Atwood enters in his living room, his life changes forever. In fact, he will not only become his best friend, but also his brother (Ryan will be adopted by Sandy and Kirsten), and will be thanks to his friendship with Ryan, that Seth, will be able to talk and even conquer, the girl he has been in love with since he was a child, but with whom he never had the courage to speak, because he is considered by everyone a looser nerd. Seth, alongside : Ryan, Marissa and Summer, is part of The Core Four.

Story of the Character

Life Before Season 1

Seth Ezekiel Cohen simply known as Seth Cohen, was born in Berkeley, California, he was the only child of : Sanford Cohen simply known as Sandy and Kirsten Nichol Cohen.

When they were children, Seth went to kindergarten with Summer Roberts, Marissa Cooper, Luke Ward and Taylor Townsend.

Before Ryan's arrival, Seth was ignored by most of his peers due to his awkward nature and unusual hobbies.

Season 1 : from the meeting with Ryan, to his relationship with Summer

Seth Cohen was befriended by Ryan Atwood when the latter was brought home by his father Sandy. They quickly strike a friendship as Ryan did not judge him like other "Newpsies" and Seth was the first to accept Ryan as a member of the household without any reservations. Soon after Ryan's arrival, Seth became friends with Marissa Cooper and has the opportunity to talk to Marissa's best friend, Summer Roberts, the second most popular girl in the school, for whom she has a crush since childhood. The pair grew closer after they traveled to Tijuana together, despite Summer's denial of liking him. She quickly turned him down for a date after seeing a few cheerleaders eyeing the pair. After finally admitting she liked Seth, Summer grew jealous of Seth's friend Anna Stern, whom he met at a cotillion dance practice and he shared many interests with, including comics. They started dating after Seth decided in her favour during a contest for his affection between her and Summer. However, their relationship was short lived as they broke up when Seth made it obvious that he truly wanted Summer instead and had made the wrong choice. Anna soon left to go home to Pittsburgh, but she and Seth remained close friends.

Though Summer and Seth started seeing each other and lost their virginity to each other, Summer still wanted their relationship to be secret. Seth refused to put up with this and declared his love for her atop a coffee cart in front of the school. Seth and Summer's relationship became official and continued until Seth's best and pretty much only friend Ryan Atwood announced he'd be returning to his home neighborhood, Chino, after his pregnant ex-girlfriend declared she wanted to keep the baby and raise it in her hometown. Seth tried to make Ryan stay and was distraught at his departure but tried to appear uninterested by it, although it pained him deeply. He couldn't face the idea of becoming a loner once more, and even though he still had Summer, he decided to sail the oceans for the summer in his boat, Summer Breeze, which was named after Summer. He left a note for her, and for his parents, who were distraught over losing both Seth and Ryan in one day.

Season 2 and 3 : From the "Zack era" to Marissa's death

Early in Season 2, Seth is staying with Luke Ward in Portland, Oregon and working at a kayak rental shack. He refuses to come home despite his parents' calls as he was still resentful of his parents for letting Ryan go back to Chino, forcing Sandy to ask Ryan to accompany him to Portland in hopes of persuading Seth to return. Once Seth returned, Summer had moved on with Zach Stevens. After accepting the fact that his relationship with Summer was over, Seth started dating Alex Kelly, a girl with whom he temporarily worked at The Bait Shop in Newport Beach. He attempts to impress her by putting on a "bad boy" image, even entertaining the idea of wearing one of Ryan's trademark wife-beaters to meet her and "stealing" his grandfather's Aston Martin. Their relationship was short-lived when it is revealed that she was bisexual after he accidentally discovers her making out with Marissa. In the meantime, Seth and Zach became friends as they both had a passion for comics. They created a comic book together titled Atomic County revolving around four Orange County teenagers who have super powers which mirror the "core four". The tension came to a breaking point when Zach, Summer and Seth went on a trip to sell their comic book. Seth subtly admitted his feelings about Summer, who was about to leave on a trip to Italy with Zach a few weeks after, but Seth begged for her to be with him. She couldn't deny her feelings and left Zach for Seth at the airport, sealing the new relationship with a rainy kiss in the style of Spider-Man. Zach ultimately gave Summer up at prom, and Seth swooped in to again tell the school how he loved Summer when she was named Prom Queen. Summer admits to Seth that she loves him for his "little flaws and [his] little quirks". They stayed together and started to apply to colleges, deciding on Brown University, Seth's dream college, because "most importantly, it's 3,000 miles away". Summer decided that if she got into Brown and Seth didn't, she would not attend because she wanted to be with him. Summer got in and Seth did not, but he lied and told her he did because he didn't want her to pass up Brown, which led to their breakup. When he visited Brown, Seth came across Anna and she helped him get an interview for the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In the season finale, Seth surprised Summer with his acceptance to RISD for the spring semester, and they reunited. They happily graduated from high school, but things got difficult when their friend Marissa, died in a car accident.

Season 4 : From the maturity of the character, to his marriage with Summer

Six months after Marissa's death, Seth worked at a comic-book store and had problems with Summer, who turned from materialistic gossip into a tree-hugging Vegan (who later protested against poverty at a Thanksgiving meal at the Cohens) at college and would not answer his phone calls. He left long messages on her answering-machine. When they met in Newport, Summer acted cold towards him. After a visit from Taylor, Summer realized that she was isolating Seth because she couldn't deal with what was in Newport - the memory of Marissa. She visited home for Thanksgiving, and Seth confronted her with this concept, which she eventually accepted, telling him via voice mail as she left to return to Brown to deal with it on her own. Though Summer came to terms with Marissa's death through therapy and seemed to return to her old self, she and Seth quickly discovered that her tree-hugging ways had left a deep imprint. Seth supported her by stepping back and giving her space to pursue her new interests; however, this made Summer realize how important Seth was in her life and their relationship grew stronger. False pretenses led to Summer's semester-long suspension from Brown just as Seth was to start at RISD, but Seth decided he would put off college until the following fall so they could return to Providence together. On the eve of the New Year, a pregnancy scare caused Seth to ask for Summer's hand in marriage. Although the scare was false, plans for their marriage remained. Later, Summer backed out of the engagement, but they were still dating. Their relationship was again questioned when Summer was offered a job at .G.E.O.R.G.E., while Seth had nothing set for him. When Newport was struck with an earthquake, they barely escape a collapsing streetlight and the Cohens, whose house was destroyed, cram together with Julie and Kaitlin Cooper at Summer's house. For the next six months, Seth was in limbo and Summer challenges him to find something he is passionate about and pursue it. She accepted the offer from .G.E.O.R.G.E. but promises to stay in contact. The series concluded four years later in "The End's Not Near, It's Here" with the couple getting married in a Jewish ceremony, with Ryan serving as best man.


Seth is the classic nerd, he likes the comics (his greatest passion) and rock music. Unfortunately despite Seth's family, which is one of the best known in the seaside town where he lives, Cohen is constantly bullied at school, and is considered a loser. Before Ryan joins his family, Seth was an only child, so at first he was quite selfish. But thanks to Ryan's arrival, and their subsequent friendship, as well as thanks to his deep love for Summer and their subsequent relationship, he come to understand that he must also think of others sometimes.


See: Seth Cohen/Relationships

Memorable Quotes

See Memorable Quotes by Seth Cohen


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Other Appearances