MTV’s 2004 series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County was ahead of its time in the reality TV game. It spawned spin-offs like The Hills and The City, and as a result is responsible for introducing the world to Spencer Pratt. It’s been 10 years since Kristin and Lauren competed for the attention of local heartthrob Ste-phen, and while they might be over it today, their simple yet addicting series has left us with a handful of moments we still can’t shake.
In addition to the SoCal slang we picked up — Ex: We were so amped on this gnarly series we cried when it was dunzo — and enviable West Coast lifestyle that included weekend bonfires and hotel parties for underage attendees, there were moments from the drama that we remember more clearly than our own high school experience. Check out the defining moments of Laguna Beach season one, below.
Lauren always keeping one eye on Stephen
A central figure in the series’ main love triangle, girl next door L.C. was always down to hang with her childhood friend Stephen… and swoop him away from on-and-off girlfriend Kristin whenever possible. It’s been 10 years, and you still think it was a coincident they both ended up in San Francisco?
Stephen discussing his relationship problems at work
Stephen was featured at local surf shop (his “workplace”) throughout season one. But the majority of his time on the clock seemed to be spent making personal calls on the store’s landline and venting about his female troubles to colleagues MTV clearly didn’t deem interesting enough to feature as series regulars.
Kristin’s style and Trey’s trucker hats
Denim skirts and Ugg boots have a soft spot in the hearts of all female millennials, and a black North Face fleece was the uniform for those not quite winter nights when the agenda was still being determined. But an accessory we did not endorse then and still won’t endorse now? The black choker necklace Kristin wore in almost every episode (including the opening credits).
Stephen’s best friend was the forward thinking member of the group, who dedicated his time to causes his friends would rather give money to then show up at to support. He was also a huge trucker hat fanatic, giving Ashton Kutcher a run for his money. While his massive collection of hats may seem regrettable in retrospect, today he works at Vera Wang. So, the joke’s on the us.
Morgan getting rejected from BYU
Like any high school guidance counselor wouldn’t advise, Morgan decided to put of all her eggs in one basket with a lone application to Brigham Young University. She was determined to get out of the “party scene” of Laguna and find her people in the promised land of Provo. She also didn’t care about opening her mail in front of the cameras — especially when that mail was a small business envelope instead of the enlarged packet that typically symbolizes college acceptance. It’s a good thing her BFF Christina had just gotten into college and was there to make things less awkward!
Christina’s Broadway “audition”
The Reverend’s daughter strolled into a New York casting director’s office with a dream and a song in her heart (“Only Hope,” from another early ’00s cultural touchstone, A Walk To Remember). Thanks to her mom pulling a few strings, she “auditioned” in the big city for a woman who has worked with smash hits like Wicked and Hairspray (cue L.C. and Lo’s clueless faces). We’re just grateful said casting agent had so much time on that fateful day, and wasn’t afraid to hold back on the constructive criticism.
Elaborate prom asks
Why just ask a girl to prom in between calculus and history classes when you can use flowers, candles, and ginormous signs? The over-the-top prom invitations of the Laguna crew made those hard-to-decipher text messages of your high school experience look so much worse.
The confrontation at the Blink 182 concert
Trey seems like a pacifist, but he will throw down when a little person threatens his platonic female friends. The girls of Laguna should have been paying more attention to him for this reason alone.
Kristin dancing on the bar in Cabo
Underage kids flocking to a perpetual vacationland with zero parental supervision. What could go wrong? Like any party you went do before the age of 25, there were tears, there were girls dancing on things people eat off of, and there was rampant drunk shouting.
Lauren and Lo watching The O.C.Before producers planned for meta moments that questioned the concept of reality television, Orange County residents Lauren, Lo, and friends sat happily watching a fictionalized version of their homeland.
Stephen picking Lauren up from the airport
The show that started with a love triangle ended with a circumstantial break-up and unconventional Prince Charming rescuing his damsel in distress. Kristin was too strong and independent of a young woman for Stephen, who knew Lauren would appreciate his finale-worthy Grand Romantic Gestures. More than anything else, we’ll always remember the sweet sounds of Adam Levine as Stephen and L.C. drove over the Golden Gate Bridge in his white pick-up truck, towards their new, parentless life. Oh, young love. Or something.
[Photo Credit: MTV]