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Top 10 Orange Is The New Black Characters

Script written by Savannah Sher Here are our picks for the Top 10 Orange is the New Black Characters! This show has an amazing cast so it was hard to pick one. We’ve included Piper Chapman, Alex Vause, Lorna Morello, Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett, Nicole ‘Nicky’ Nichols, Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson,Poussey Washington and more!

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Top 10 Orange Is the New Black Characters

While we’d like to include them all, we only have room for 10. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Orange Is the New Black Characters.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most memorable and most nuanced characters this show has to offer.

#10: Piper Chapman

 In the grand scheme of things, Piper isn’t exactly the show’s most compelling character. However, as its primary protagonist she garners more than her fair share of screen time. Actress Taylor Schilling has done an excellent job of creating a character that’s both relatable and highly entertaining. While she may not make the best decisions on an episode-to-episode basis, she’s still a lot of fun to watch. While there are plenty of awesome ladies – and men – to choose from, a list of the best “Orange Is the New Black” characters wouldn’t be complete without Piper.

#9: Alex Vause

Say what you will about this character, but the fact remains that without her “Orange Is the New Black” as we know it wouldn’t exist. It was Vause’s relationship with a young Piper that served as the catalyst for the events of the show; as Vause was the one who got Piper tangled up in an international drug smuggling ring. Portrayed by TV vet Laura Prepon, Vause is as manipulative as they come, which makes her one of the show’s most captivating characters. While she may not always do or say the right things, her sharp wit makes her a blast to watch.

 #8: Lorna Morello

How can anyone not love Lorna? The fact that she is locked up has done little to dampen her spirits, and she acts as a ray of light in an otherwise dark setting. Sure we found out that her supposed fiancé was actually just some dude she was stalking, but it only made her less of a caricature and more of a real person; one who – just like the best of us – has had a tumultuous love life. Lucky for Lorna, she put all that behind her and eventually married her pen pal Vince. Tack on the fact that she has arguably the best accent on the show and you have one awesome character.

#7: Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett

Great shows have the ability to turn villains into heroes, creating characters that that’ll make your blood boil one minute only to have you overcome with sympathy the next. Pennsatucky is the perfect example of this. While she was initially introduced as an antagonist, Pennsatucky cleaned up her act in season two, leading to a heartbreaking revelation about her past in season three. While she may have started as a walking stereotype for Appalachian Christians, Pennsatucky has turned into a well-rounded and deeply moving character. She’s come a long way since trying to kill Piper with a cross-shaped shiv. 

#6: Nicole ‘Nicky’ Nichols

If Lorna has the best accent on the show, Nicky’s is a close second. From season one onward ,Nicky has been one of “Orange Is the New Black’s” most interesting characters. She has a deep understanding of how things work at Litchfield and isn’t afraid to speak her mind when something doesn’t seem right. While she has had her struggles – being a recovering heroin addict in prison can’t be easy – she’s a good listener with a down to earth personality, which allows her to make friends with ease. Actress Natasha Lyonne did such a good job in the role that she was nominated for an Emmy in 2014.

#5: Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren

What kind of list would this be without a shout out to one of “Orange Is the New Black’s” most layered characters? When we first meet Suzanne in season one she is Litchfield’s resident weirdo, looked down upon by her fellow inmates and bestowed with the unfortunate – albeit apt nickname - “Crazy Eyes”. However, as the seasons progressed we got to learn a little more about Suzanne's past and she slowly transitioned from comic fodder to one of the show’s most beloved characters. Played to perfection by Uzo Aduba, the actress won two Emmys for the role in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

#4: Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson

Smart, well-read and fiercely loyal to those she cares about, it’s not hard to see why Taystee is such a popular “Orange Is the New Black” character. From winning mock job fairs and standing up to Vee in the show’s second season to scoring a cushy position as Caputo’s secretary and later taking charge of the prison riot later in the series, Taystee has found herself at the center of some of the show’s biggest story arcs. Which isn’t exactly surprising considering how talented actress Danielle Brooks is.

#3: Sophia Burset

 In a show known for its diverse cast of characters, few shine quite as brightly as Sophia. A trans woman locked up for stealing credits cards as a way to pay for her sex change, Sophia is one of Litchfield’s friendliest inmates…just as long as you pay her the respect that she deserves. As the prison’s resident hairdresser, Sophia gets to interact with many of the show’s characters; making her one of the few people who can hop in and out of pretty much any scene. We love Sophia because she’s forthright with her feelings and doesn’t let anything get in the way of her relationship with her son.

#2: Poussey Washington

Of all the shocking things that have happened over the course of the show’s run, few can hold a candle to Poussey’s death. It was a brutal end to one of “Orange Is the New Black’s” most beloved characters and we’re honestly still in mourning. Her time on the show was filled with great moments between her and her fellow inmates, most notable of which was her relationship with Taystee. Poussey stands out for us because of her strong moral compass and easy going personality. She loved to joke around with her friends and always stood up for what she believed in and for that, we’ll always hold her in the highest regard.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Dayanara ‘Daya’ Diaz

Carrie ‘Big Boo’ Black

Yvonne ‘Vee’ Parker


#1: Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov

From the first moment you meet her, Red is a force to be reckoned with at Litchfield. While she isn’t afraid to dish out her own unique brand of justice, she’s also an extremely sensitive and caring woman who acts as a mother figure to those around her. The best characters are the ones who can make us laugh, cry and cheer all in the same episode; something Red is more than capable of. While she’s had her ups and downs – her feud with fellow Litchfield mother figure Gloria stands out – she always finds a way to land on her feet.

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