Whether it's your first or your fifth time watching Netflix's Outer Banks, there's plenty to absorb while tagging along with John B. and his friends on their epic treasure hunts. But it's not just the drama, romance, and adventure that makes the show so great. It's the life lessons Outer Banks reinforces that turn everyday viewers into Pogues for life.
The series, which is set in the Outer Banks area of North Carolina, might not seem relatable to non-beach dwellers at first. If your afternoons aren’t spent repeatedly escaping from your girlfriend’s murderous dad, hunting down historic treasure, or almost dying at least once per season, the sun-kissed life of the OBX teens might seem far-fetched... because it high-key is. Thankfully, most viewers aren’t faced with the type of drama John B., Pope, JJ, Kiara, and Sarah deal with on a daily basis.
Upon closer look, however, you’ll realize there are plenty of important and highly relatable lessons to uncover while watching this show, as long as you know where to search. So, as you’re gearing up for another rewatch (no judgment) in hopes of a Season 3 renewal, keep these tried and true lessons in mind, so you, too, can become a Pogue for life.
1. Sometimes Blood *Isn’t* Thicker Than Water
While it’s nice to think your family will always be by your side, if there’s one thing the Pogues prove, it’s that the fam you’re born into isn’t always the one that’ll have your back. Many people have complex relationships with their parents and/or siblings, and if the interactions are toxic or unhealthy, you by no means have to put up with it. Once Sarah realized being a Cameron was so treacherous, she clearly found and chose a new family amongst the Pogues.
2. Marriage Is A Big Freaking Deal
Speaking of Sarah’s new family, it turns out getting married — even if it’s not technically legal — is kind of intense. Even though Sarah exchanged romantic moonlit vows with John B., she was hesitant to share the news of her unofficial marriage with her ex, Topper. FWIW: If you don’t want someone to know you’re married, you’re probably not ready to be married… just sayin’!
3. Don’t Mix Vodka With Crystal Light
It seemed like a no-brainer in college when you wanted a cheap mixed drink. After a few hours of sipping on the concoction, however, ending up face-first in the toilet just like Sarah's younger sister, Wheezie, in Season 1 was usually how the night would go down. If you've never done it, just rest assured this is one of those "never again" party drinks — and don't try it at home.
4. Keep Your Friends In The Friend Zone
Of course, this isn't a one-size-fits-all rule, and most teen TV shows teach the exact opposite. Still, when you have a close group of friends and feelings get involved, about 110% of the time, things will get messy. And that's to say nothing about what happens once a relationship ends; staying friends after dating, especially after dating multiple people in a group, can be pretty tricky. Sometimes, the most loving thing to do is keep your friends just friends — especially if you're Kiara and you aren't going to end up with JJ.
5. Popcorn Is A Hot Person Snack
I had a feeling in middle school when all of the popular kids would eat White Cheddar Smartfood that it was the snack of champions. When Sarah gave John B. a bag of SkinnyPop in Season 1 and said, "It's your favorite," after he blamed her for ratting him out for using Ward's scuba gear, it was confirmed. Fun fact: Popcorn has been associated with having a good time since The Great Depression, so maybe that's why attractive people gravitate toward it.
6. Communication Is Key
You've read it in pretty much every single relationship advice article to ever exist: The most important aspect of every great relationship is communication. Naturally, this is something most people know but tend to forget when the going gets tough. After Sarah and Kiara spoke about their past and after JJ finally broke down his walls and talked to his friends about his struggles in Season 1, the evidence is only more apparent — talking it out is the answer. This continues into Season 2 when Sarah and John B. talk through their relationship struggles while Kiara and Pope worked to get on the same page.
7. Learn Your Cardinal Directions
Someone once told you it's important to know your cardinal directions, whether it was your Girl Scout leader or your parent before a family camping trip. While I have the whole "the sun rises in the East and sets in the West" thing down, North and South are a little trickier. After watching the Pogues navigate the water to find gold (and to literally save their lives), this lesson is finally sinking in: I really need to learn my cardinal directions. After all, you never know when the cops, a Kook, or a Cameron might be on your tail.
8. VW Vans Will Always Be Cool
This should go without saying, but it's an important lesson and I'm pretty sure John B. would be devastated if I didn't mention it. Volkswagen vans were groovy when they were released in the '50s, and they're still cool now. It's the epitome of a surfer vehicle (with plenty of space for a board and a few pals), and few things exude the laid-back yet inexplicably hot vibe of a vintage Volkswagen. John B. driving one just further drives this point home.
9. Stand By Your Besties
While Outer Banks had a lot of life lessons to discover, the most important is that friendship is key. Few onscreen bonds have been stronger than those of the Pogues, and while the treasure and the romances are great, it's the true friendship aspect that really strikes a chord. Whether it's Kiara comforting JJ in a hot tub he can't afford or the entire group rallying around Pope in an effort to secure what’s rightfully his, the biggest takeaway of Outer Banks is that the true treasure is the people who are there for you, no matter what.
Outer Banks is streaming on Netflix now.
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