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So get your drinks ready, and follow this handy guide--trust us, you'll be sporting a good buzz before the first note to "California" even plays.

1.) Ryan tosses out his patented sideways look - 1 DRINK
If you've seen the show, you know what we're talking about--the squinty wannabe-Eastwood look to the side that either says "watch it pal" or "what you talking 'bout Willis?". Whenever Ryan does it, you take a drink. Some nights, this alone will account for a 6-pack.

2.) Marissa in miniskirt - 1 DRINK
This is 1 drink per miniskirt, and not per miniskirt-appearance. If you took a drink everytime they showed Marissa in a miniskirt on camera, you'd be passed out by the 15-minute mark.

3.) Summer says "ewwwww" - 1 DRINK
Another one that could kill a sixer quickly on the right night. And go ahead and drink double if "ewwwww" is said in conjunction with a poor person, bum, or Inland Empire native (see also number 5).

4.) Prescription drug mention - 1 DRINK
Whether its Valium or Xanax, seems like pill-popping is all the rage in the OC. So take 1 drink whenever you hear some sort of prescription medication referenced.

5.) Derogatory inland empire statement - 1 DRINK
This could come in the form of a "Julie Cooper's from Riverside" call, or the standard-issue "Chino" trash-talk. Anytime the Newps kids talk smack on the 909 (or any inland destination), drink up.

6.) Luxury car screen time - 1 DRINK
Anytime a BMW, Range Rover, Jaguar, Porsche, or Mercedes is shown or mentioned, you can go ahead and have another drink. If it's a Bentley or a Rolls, make it two drinks.

7.) Hard drug use - 1 DRINK (or comparable alternative)
When the kids of The OC tap into the hard stuff (cocaine, heroin, oxycontin), join the debauchery with yet another drink.

1.) Two-timing and other sluttiness - 2 DRINKS
Whether it's Ryan cheating on Marissa with an older woman, Seth juggling Anna and Summer, or any of the other characters getting scandalous, take two drinks in the name of infidelity. (If it's a slow night, just go ahead and drink anytime ANY of the kids gets some)

2.) Someone from Ryan's past makes an appearance - 3 DRINKS
Whenever someone from Ryan's past, be it his mother, an old girlfriend, a brother, or just an old Chino chum turns up on the show, go ahead and take 3 drinks. (Yes, we know, the Thanksgiving episode would have taken out many a 12-pack)

3.) Same sex smut - 5 DRINKS
According to Vanity Fair, TV is experiencing a "gay heatwave", and "The OC" is no exception. We've already gotten our first dose of hardcore same-sex love with last week's episode, but seeing as being gay on TV is as popular these days as belly-button rings on teenage girls, there's undoubtedly more to come. 5 drinks for any girl-on-girl or guy-on-guy kissing shown.

4.) Character loses his/her virginity - POUND YOUR BEER
Sadly, this isn't as common of an occurence as it was with "90210" and "Dawson's Creek". Unlike those shows, kids in the OC don't spend whole episodes (or even whole minutes) contemplating their virginity. Still, doesn't mean turning in the V-card shouldn't be treated with reverence when it does go down. The coming-of-age deflowering episode is a rite of passage as old as drama itself. So show some respect and finish your beer.

5.) Old 90210 cast member makes appearance - :10-MINIMUM KEGSTAND
Where would "The OC" be without its FOX drama-ancestor "Beverly Hills 90210"? So open wide and drink it down in honor of the Walsh clan, The Peach Pit, and all things 9-0.

1.) Seth Cohen, The Hopeless Loser? - 2 DRINKS
Has teen angst ever been so much fun? We all had our awkward periods in high school, but did any of yours include having two of the hottest women at your school fighting over you? Yeah, we didn't either. But why question it? Propose a toast to living vicariously and take 2 drinks everytime Seth makes any sort of derogatory reference to himself (comic book & Magic the Gathering references count).

2.) Someone is wearing a bikini at a party - 4 DRINKS
Trust me kids, you'll never attend a night party in Orange County and see girls dancing around in bikinis. Of course, in "The OC" it's a regular occurence. Take 2 drinks in the name of creative liberties.

3.) Oliver Trask, distant relative of John Edward - POUND YOUR BEER
The Christmakah episode saw the introduction of Oliver Trask, a smart-talking creep Marissa met in therapy (God I already hate him so much). Of course, like so many dark, mysterious slimeballs, he has the ability to formulate shockingly accurate psychological profiles after only knowing someone for a matter of seconds. Pound your beer whenever Oliver makes one of his Miss Cleo-style character assessments.

1.)The seemingly-inevitable fisticuffs - 1 DRINKS
We caught plenty of grief for omitting this one the first time out. So from here on out, make sure you take a swig everytime a punch is thrown (drink 2 on the rare occasion that Ryan is actually shown taking a punch).
-- Stuart, N.Y.

2.) Sandy Cohen, the Surfer & Stoner - 2 DRINKS
Sure, he's a lawyer now, but we all know at one time Sandy Cohen dreamt of nothing more than long surf sessions and doobies the size of your wrist. So let's all take 2 drinks (or something comparable) whenever Sandy's surfing and/or pot smoking are mentioned. -- Kevin, Santa Barbara, CA

3.) Anna Stern uses a big SAT word - 2 DRINKS
Don't get us wrong, we love Anna. But sometimes her dialogue borders on Dawsonesque. Yes, she's a smarter-than-average high school student--but when The O.C. starts to go over our heads, a serious panic sets in. So take 2 drinks everytime Anna demonstrates of her mastery of the English language. -- Rachel, N.Y.

4.) O.C. Soccer Moms love their saunas - 3 DRINKS
Ok, we've harped on some of the faux-reality of The O.C., but this is dead-on. Wealthy O.C. housewives really do spend about half their time at the gym, and of course, they don't really spend their time working out (that's what plastic surgery is for). So in the name of documentary-style realism, take 3 drinks anytime one of the moms of The O.C. is shown getting into or out of a sauna. -- Andrew, LBAIM Controller, Scarsdale, NY

1.) Ryan discovers a secret - 3 DRINKS
This guy is to secrets what John McLane was to hostage takeovers--he has an uncanny knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. Whether it's Julie Cooper hooking up with Caleb Nichol, sister Hailey's money problems, or Luke's dad's sexual orientation, Ryan always seems to be there whenever the O.C.'s secrets are revealed--so toast his serendipitous timing with 3 drinks.

Has anything been more classic than the NYE episode, when Ryan was rushing to find Marissa by midnight, and he comes out of the stairs, and straight into SUPER DRAMATIC SLOW-MO? As if the song lyrics cued up perfectly with the action weren't enough, they went for the gold medal with the McG-inspired variable rate slow-motion shot. They've used some stylish slow-mo before, but never for such dramatic effect. Simply put, it was PURE BRILLIANCE. So from now on, we drink for the duration of any slow-mo shot, however long it may be.

1.) Captain Oats mention - 2 DRINKS
Quite a few readers have requested a Captain Oats score, but one made an even more startling realization--both Summer and Anna took an interest in Captain Oats before jumping Seth. Could this be indicative of Orange County women's draw towards plastic toys? I'll leave that for you to ponder, but let's go ahead and take 2 drinks whenever the world's most famous plastic horse gets his name dropped. -- Ceanne, Edmonton, Alberta

2.) Jimmy Cooper hesitates - 2 DRINKS
After all he's been through, it's understandable if Jimmy Cooper has a bit of residual nerves and hesitation in his day-to-day life. But in all honesty, some nights this guy has more nervous energy than Kramer did in season 6 of Seinfeld. Whenever Jimmy Cooper makes a sheepish, worried-smile (You know the one, where he looks kind of constipated) or does his patented "ehh, I don't know" move, go ahead and take 2 drinks for him--in the hopes of calming his nerves. -- Erin, Austin, TX

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