The first time you watched The O.C., Seth Cohen probably seemed like the perfect boyfriend. He was dorky, alternative, funny, charming, and on top of all that, he was played by dreamy dreamboat Adam Brody. But if you've indulged in a nostalgic re-watch of the show, you might have come to a jarring realization: Seth Cohen sucks.
Seth is manipulative. Seth is a narcissist. Seth bites the head off anyone who dares change the conversation topic from him and his romantic woes. His neurosis is eating him up inside. But Seth is genuinely convinced he's a nice guy. He's basically a proto-f*ckboy from before society had the word to describe that particular personality type. Still not convinced? Bast the Phantom Planet and dive into this roundup of all the reasons Seth Cohen is the worst.
Even though Seth spends most of his life pining over Summer, he hitches his wagon to the pixie-cut sporting, comic-book loving, sailing enthusiast Anna – just as Summer is coming around to the idea of dating him. Seth compares the two women and makes out with them both at Thanksgiving. He eventually settles on Anna, only to break up with her because his feelings for Summer are just too strong. Charming.
Sure, Seth is funny and snarky, but he's also so self-absorbed. All he ever wants to discuss are his problems, and if anyone tries to change the subject, he has a tendency to shriek and yell in protest. Ryan becomes something of a sounding board for Seth, which means he's constantly bombarded with his grievances. Like Ryan doesn't have enough to worry about in his own life.
Seth is dating both Anna and Summer during The O.C.'s classic Chrismukkah episode, and rather than choose one woman (because there's no choosing on Chrismukkah), he makes them both the same gift: the Seth Cohen Starter Pack. This gift is beyond narcissistic. It's full of all the movies and albums he likes, because heaven forbid he get you something you might like.
Seth definitely loves Summer – that’s not up for debate. But at times, he treats her like a beautiful dummy. Summer has depth, though, and it turns out she's incredibly intelligent. She got an amazing SAT score that was better than Seth's, a fact that's met with derision and condescension on his part. Sure, he comes around, but his initial reaction is bitterness that he isn't better than her at something.