When one of TV’s most beloved couples falls in love offscreen, it’s easy for fans to conflate the fictional and real-world relationship — making the latter’s breakup particularly hard to swallow. We’ve had over 14 years to process The O.C. co-stars Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson’s breakup, but apparently, Bilson still feels the need to apologize for breaking fans’ hearts.
Brody and Bilson skyrocketed to fame on their teen drama, where they portrayed Seth Cohen, Newport’s resident comic book geek, and Summer Roberts, an Orange County princess prone to “rage blackouts” and the longtime object of Seth’s affection. The couple is one of the most cherished of television, and Brody and Roberts were just as adored as a unit offscreen: The two got together right around the time The O.C. premiered in 2003, and remained a couple for three years before splitting up. The show, which ended with Summer and Seth’s marriage, bowed out in 2007.
Brody married Leighton Meester, who portrayed Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl — essentially the Summer Roberts of her respective teen drama — in 2014.
Still, Bilson and Brody may never be forgotten. On Instagram, InStyle posted a throwback photo of Bilson and Brody, as a part of their “Breakups That Broke Us” weekly column. According to the magazine’s caption, the split essentially “ruined high school for us.” Bilson is apologetic.
“IM SORRY!!!! He fared really well!” Bilson responded in the comments.
Hmm...does this mean that Bilson was the one to call things off with Brody, or are we reading far too much into this jokey caption? Either way, things seem pretty good between the exes, who saw each other last year — while headed to California, no less. Bilson shared a photo on Instagram, revealing she had run into Brody at the airport in New York.
Don't be sad that it's over. Smile because Brody and Bilson happened.
Refinery29 reached out to Brody and Bilson for comment.