The cast of 'The O.C.' and their jaw-dropping before and afters
Oliver Trask? Still smug
By Samantha McMeekin
January 21 2021
There are few ‘00s TV shows that had as many iconic fashion and beauty moments than The O.C.
If you didn’t want a choppy side fringe like Marissa Cooper or all-around eyeliner like Summer Roberts in 2004, you must have never sung (nay, screeched) along with “California here we come'' at 8:30 pm on a Tuesday night (FYI, The O.C. soundtrack still slaps).
And that was all before the side characters started streaming in. Alex was single-handedly responsible for every person who decided to dye a purple streak in their hair in high school, and Johnny’s sweeping surfer hair happened long before One Direction was even a thing.
But while it may be hard to believe it’s been 17 years since Ryan Atwood told us what he likes about rich kids (nothin’) our beloved Orange County characters sure look a whole lot different now...
Peter Gallagher (Sandy Cohen)
Let's start with the man who started it all, or 'brought in the stray' if you will. Sandy 'Eyebrows' Cohen is still as handsome as ever, now just with a little salt sprinkled in that pepper hair.
Kelly Rowan (Kirsten Cohen)
Rowan hasn't attended a public event since 2015 but was last spotted with the chic, blonde lob she became synonymous with in later seasons.
Ben McKenzie (Ryan Atwood)
He may have ditched the grey hoodie and choker combo, but Ben McKenzie still looks like the tough kid from Chino we all know and love. Perhaps just a little less broody.
Adam Brody (Seth Cohen)
Adam Brody swapped polos and patterned sweaters for facial hair and a beaded necklace during an appearance in the sitcom Single Parents. We're not sure if this look would be Blair Waldorf-approved.
Mischa Barton (Marissa Cooper)
From The O.C. to The Hills: New Beginnings, Mischa Barton switched faux drama for reality TV in 2019 (same-same though, right?). And while she dabbled as a brunette for a while, she's back to her Marissa Cooper honey hue, only cropped shorter into a shoulder-grazing lob.
Rachel Bilson (Summer Roberts)
As Summer's character developed, so did Rachel Bilson's chic beauty sense. Look, we know the red lip and blue eyeshadow combo was for a ploy as Wonder Woman in season one, but this sophisticated centre-part pony and sharp brown liner flick shows serious growth.
Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper)
Trust Julie Cooper to have hardly aged a day. If it weren't for the blonde highlights from the pilot episode, we'd have to do a double-take. All those jogs around the trailer park worked wonders.
Tate Donovan (Jimmy Cooper)
Tate Donovan is embracing his greys and honestly, if ours were as even and gorgeous as this, we would too.
Samaire Armstrong (Anna Stern)
Don't get us wrong, Armstrong is as stunning as ever, but we feel a return to the pixie cut of her character wouldn't be a wrong move.
Alan Dale (Caleb Nichol)
Our favourite (and only) Kiwi cast member has remained unchanged since his days as Caleb.
Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend)
Whether you hated her bossy attitude or loved her tryst with Ryan, Taylor Townsend had the best hair on set. These days Reeser wears it in a lob, but it's still shiny as hell.
Chris Carmack (Luke Ward)
Chris Carmack may have moved on to Greys Anatomy, but his floppy Orange County 'do constantly reminds us where he came from.
Shannon Lucio (Lindsay Gardner)
Ok, so we know this pic couldn't be more 2020, but it was the only one that showed off Lucio's new pixie cut. Ain't it cute?!
Willa Holland (Kaitlin Cooper)
When Kaitlin Cooper came home from boarding school all grown up, it was all about super-straight hair and statement eyeliner. And it seems Holland held tight to the liner, adding some smokey shadow to soften. We also love her most recent chin-length chop.
Logan Marshall-Green (Trey Atwood)
Choosing a favourite brother in the show was a no-brainer but damn, Marshall-Green is making his case in 2021.
Michael Cassidy (Zach Stevens)
Noooo! RIP to Zach's adorable mane of hair. Sorry Cassidy, please bring it back. Think of the '00s nostalgia.
Ryan Donowho (Johnny Harper)
Johnny's long hair lives on, though Donowho prefers a moody wet-look mop over fluffy, flicked-out ends.
Cam Gigandet (Kevin Volchok)
Kevin Volchok: responsible for killing Marissa Cooper. Cam Gigandet: responsible for piercing our hearts with those blue eyes.
Taylor Handley (Oliver Trask)
You can change your hair all you want Handley but we'll NEVER FORGET.
Navi Rawat (Theresa Diaz)
Maybe it's the pink turtleneck or maybe it's the lighting, either way Rawat got younger and we want ANSWERS.
Chris Pratt (Ché)
We used to think Summer's *enlightened* University pal Ché was world's away from a Guardians of the Galaxy Chris Pratt. However, his recent moustache is bringing us right back to that baggy-capped relationship decoy.
Nikki Reed (Sadie Campbell)
Ok, seriously, how many love interests did Ryan Atwood have? Nikki Reed may have been a fleeting one, but we maintain it set her up for Twilight.
Shailene Woodley (Young Kaitlin Cooper)
Before she magically grew up five years in the space of two seasons, Kaitlin Cooper was played by none other than Shailene Woodley.