Before The Hills, there was Laguna Beach. Often like the forgotten little sister to LC’s adventures in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach was arguably more dramatic and way more entertaining than it’s successor.
All I have to say is THANK YOU LIZ GATELEY for creating the show that not only dominated my teen years, but spawned The Hills and general semi-scripted reality TV, the best genre of all. Someone give Liz entry to the Academy Awards hall of fame, tbh.
Laguna Beach was originally inspired by The OC, but quickly we realised the real lives of Orange County teens were even better than their fictional counterparts. From break ups to friend fights to prom, it was just heaven, tbh. Let the rain fall down friends – we’re coming clean. With the best moments, of course.
13. Kristin Showing Up To The Black & White Party
This is the OG of OG – season 1, episode 1, when we realised Kristin was gonna be 100% That Bitch and fuck shit up whenever possible. She starts it all off by coming to LC’s black and white party in a white tube dress, which shouldn’t be D-R-A-M-A but all the other gals wore black
12. LC Is A Sad Loner On The Catalina Trip
Who can forget LC moping around without her BFFL Lo on the Catalina trip? Stephen and Kristin were more in love than ever, so it was pretty rough watching LC fly solo amidst their romance.
11. Kyndra & Cami Crash Rocky’s Party
Kyndra was a way better Laguna Bitch than Kristin – fight me on this.
10. Morgan Doesn’t Invite LC & Lo To Her Party
Ohhhh shit, honestly this show came out with the sparks from the get-go, did it not? This is legit just episode 4 of the first season, and it’s one of the most dramatic moments in the show’s history – primarily because it’s just SUCH high school drama.
Basically, Morgan (god how drippy and beige were Christina and Morgan) has an 18th and doesn’t invite (!!!!) LC & Lo. They find out, of course, and there’s a tense stand-off in the nail salon, which is a sentence you just don’t think you’ll write as a journalist.
9. Christina Botches Her Broadway Audition
I have never cringed as hard as I did watching Christina try and sing ‘Only Yours’ to reputable Broadway producers who only allowed her audition, I assume, due to the TV coverage it would garner.
8. Alex M Takes Jason To Winter Prom
The Alex M / Jessica / Jason love triangle was the beeeeeest, was it not? One of the best moments was when Jessica waited too long to ask Jason to Winter Prom, and Alex M gets in before her. Cue awkward group limo ride and so on, until Jason and Jessica have a 3am limo fight which leaves Alex M feeling pretty alone.
7. Cami Takes Jason To Prom But Not For Long
Alex M and Jason are through, and newcomer Cami (a junior who will go on to star in the next wave of Laguna Beach) asks her permission to take him to prom. She says fine, but the whole time Cami is like this awkward outsider – which reaches peak levels when Alex M and Jason hook up at the end of prom in front of her.
6. Alex Breaks Up With Rocky
Alex breaking up with Rocky was MAJOR – especially since she’d just said “I love you”. IMO Rocky was really intense, but Alex was also a douche. When he asks LEXI OUT like minutes after the breakup at the bonfire!? Fucking iconic douchey behaviour.
5. Kyndra Gets Back With Tyler But Hooks Up With Cameron
Kyndra / Tyler was a car crash and a half, but when Kyndra hooked up with Cameron behind Tyler’s back? and Tyler’s sister Nikki found out? And Kyndra was like PLEASE DON’T TELL HIM? Wild stuffffff.
4. Alex Gets Jealous Of Rocky At A Gig
When Alex sees Rocky flirting with a dude at a gig right after he, by the way, dumped her, he loses his shit Stephen-style (more on that later) and calls her a slut. GOOD ONE. What a douche that guy was. Rocky, understandably, is broken by this and cries in the carpark, and we all cried along with her.
3. Jason Flirts With Jessica While Dating LC
“The fashion parade, what a night that was” says my Editor Josie as I relay these dramatic moments to her against her will. As she says, LC was trying to run a fashion show WHILE dealing with the betrayal of her sort-of bf Jason flirting with his ex Jessica! This was primo LG bullshit – privileged white kids holding expensive fashion shows for landslides that affected rich people, and then crying over other shit in the process.
2. Jessica & The Hickeys
Cabo was a guaranteed drama-creator, but this was the second biggest moment in Mexico – when Jessica rocked up with hickeys on her neck c/o an alleged hookup with Jason… who was dating Alex M by then.
A huge confrontation at ~the clerb~ ensued, with Alex M famously bullying Jessica into saying “I’m a slut” (the Cabo episodes in particular from this show seem to have aged v badly) before then laughing in her face and saying “You’re one low chick dude”. Yikes.
1. That Cabo Moment
Oh. My. God. In 2019, remembering the moment Stephen lost his shit at Kristin and called her a slut makes me insanely uncomfortable, so I’m sure you feel similarly. At the time we were just like SPIIIIIIIICE but now it’s like HOW ABOUT NOT ASSOCIATING WOMEN BEING CONFIDENT AND SEXY WITH BEING SLUTS OR JUST NOT SAYING SLUT IN GENERAL!
Even though it’s aged terribly, this is absolutely, without a doubt the most dramatic moment in Laguna Beach history. This fight led to Stephen hooking up with LC. What happens in Cabo clearly doesn’t stay in Cabo, and instead is broadcast across the globe, right?