How to watch 'The OC' online

Californiaaaa, here we come! Here's how to watch 'The OC' online so you can dive right back into the dramatic lives of Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa

DONOVAN,BILSON,BARTON,CLARKE,MCKENZIE,GALLAGHER,ROWAN,BRODY,CARMACK, THE O.C., 2003,
(Image credit: AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo)

Captain Oats, Chrismukkah, the Bait Shop, Spiderman kisses, bagel slicers, Imogen Heap-soundtracked slow-mos, "Welcome to the O.C., bitch!"—the cultural impact of The O.C. on the millennial generation cannot be overstated, and if you're like us, you want to revisit the Cohen household often. To do that, however, you need to know how to watch The O.C. online no matter where you are.

The iconic teen soap, which ran for four seasons on Fox from 2003 to 2007, centers on Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), a rough-around-the-edges teen from Chino who gets enveloped in the moneyed and messy world of Newport Beach in California's Orange County. There, he befriends comic geek Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and romances troubled popular girl Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton), and gets the family he never had.

Want to dip into some 2000s nostalgia and all of the Abercrombie halter tops and Death Cab for Cutie songs that come with it? Here's how to watch The O.C. online. 

How to watch 'The OC' online:

How to watch 'The OC' online in the US:

In the US, all four seasons (yes, season four and Taylor Townsend happened, people) and 92 episodes of The O.C. are currently streaming on HBO Max and Hulu. 

In terms of subscription plans, you can get the ad-free version of HBO Max for $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year, or have a commercials-included experience for $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually.

Hulu has a similar split between ad-supported and ad-free subscription models: go commercial-free for $12.99 a month or pay $6.99 every month for a standard subscription. 

How to watch 'The OC' online from anywhere

If you're not located in the US right now, you don't have to get all emo. You can still watch all of The O.C. online with help from a VPN. 

When you're outside the country, streaming platforms like HBO Max will often block you from using your subscription service. But a simple solution is to use a VPN service, which changes your IP address on your computer, or smart device, allowing you to continue to keep up with your favorite shows when you're away from home.

Our go-to VPN service is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), rated as the best in the world by our colleagues at TechRadar. It's simple to use, it's super secure, there's a no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee and, if you sign up for an annual plan, you'll get an extra three months absolutely free...

How to get started with a VPN:

  1. First off, you need to make sure you have an HBO Max account so you can log in once your VPN is set up.
  2. Then, download ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), using the easy-to-follow instructions (you can get 49% off, three months free and there's a 100% risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee).
  3. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the United States
  4. With your ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) installed and your location set to the United States, head to HBO Max, log in and follow the instructions to stream all four seasons of The O.C. 

If it's more wealthy and wild West Coasters you're after, check out the new Selling Sunset spin-off, Selling the OC, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 12 for some IRL California drama. 

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 


More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York


When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.