Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series that airs on Netflix. The show chronicles the experiences of Piper Chapman, a woman sentenced to fifteen months in prison for her part in a drug smuggling operation in 2003, ten years before the start of the first season.
Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) - Piper is a bisexual woman who is sentenced to 15 months in Litchfield Penitentiary for helping her former girlfriend Alex Vause smuggle drug money in Europe, some 10 years previously. The series shows Piper's journey through the prison system, beginning with her rough first week, during which she accidentally makes several enemies and struggles to adapt to life on the inside, as well as reuniting with Alex. In prison, she acquires several other nicknames throughout the series. "Crazy Eyes" calls her "Dandelion" because she is tall and blonde, "Pennsatucky" refers to her as "College" and Tricia refers to her as "Brain" because she is more educated than most of the inmates. Piper is assigned a bunk with Claudette, who treats her rudely at first, but eventually warms up to her. Piper is assigned to the Women's Advisory Council (WAC), despite not running and asking Healy not to put her on it. She works in the electrical shop at the prison and inadvertently takes a screwdriver from the tool crib and loses it. Her ambiguous sexuality is a source of amusement to her best friend Polly, and of frustration to her fiancé Larry. She is initially considered non-threatening by most of the other inmates. Although she does her best to have empathy and be helpful to others, she is often accused of being profoundly self-obsessed, and she only comes to realise that this might be true after being sent to prison. In the second season, after perjuring herself at the trial of Alex's former boss, Kubra Balik, Piper is returned to Litchfield to serve the remainder of her sentence. After learning her grandmother is dying, she is granted furlough by Healy to visit her, and then to attend the funeral, which aggravates some of the other inmates. She is also commissioned by a journalist and friend of Larry's to secretly investigate the prison's books, and later collaborates with Caputo to expose Figueroa's corruption, preventing Piper from being transferred to a prison in Virginia.
Alex Vause (played by Laura Prepon) - Alex is a former drug smuggler for an unspecified international drug cartel. Years prior to the beginning of the series, she took a sexual interest in Piper after meeting her in a bar, and gradually integrated her into the drug trade while they traveled the world living in luxury. Vause once convinced Piper to smuggle cash through customs at an airport in Europe, the crime for which Piper is doing time. Vause specifically named Piper during her testimony, which is what led to Piper's later arrest. After Piper broke up with her, Vause began using heroin, but cleaned up in prison. She states during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that being in prison is her "rock bottom" experience. Vause's mother had worked four jobs, and her father was a washed-up rock star. Alex tracked down her father and, facing bitter disappointment, struck up a friendship with his drug dealer who subsequently became her industry contact in a drug cartel. Alex is not particularly broken up about being in prison, since she at least managed to free herself of drug addiction. She admits to Piper and Nicky that she isn't sure what she'll do with her life when she gets out, as her only life skill is "moving massive amounts of heroin". She appears to have moments of depression, telling Nicky that she can no longer "get past the swirling darkness in her brain long enough to land on anything" and mentioning to Piper that upon entering prison, she was on anti-depressants, which she now trades for black eyeliner. Alex is good at reading people and is perceptive, quite often surmising Piper's true feelings and intentions. In Season 2, she double-crosses Piper and gives incriminating evidence at the trial of her former boss (after advising Piper to lie), earning herself an early release. When Piper calls her on the phone, she reveals that that her boss had walked free, and she is now in fear of her life. To Piper's dismay, when Alex visits, she reveals that she is planning to skip town and go into hiding. Wanting to get her old girlfriend back in prison with her, Piper secretly asks Polly to tip off her probation officer, causing her to violate her probation when he turns up to check on her, to find her brandishing a gun.
Sam Healy (played by Michael J. Harney) - Sam Healy is an old prison guard and supervisor at Litchfield Penitentiary who has a Master of Social Work and acts as prison counselor to Piper and several other inmates. Healy is outspoken against lesbians and has a strange personal vendetta against them, cautioning Piper at the beginning of the series not to be involved with them. He is initially presented as someone who, though rigid, avoids confrontation and so is contemptuously referred to as "Samantha" by Caputo, who feels that Healy is not tough enough on the inmates. Healy generally appears weary and often tells the inmates what they want to hear so they will leave him alone. Early on, he appears particularly sympathetic towards Piper and even acts biased in her favor. However, he increasingly dislikes her as he hears rumors of her alleged lesbian activities. His hatred of lesbians, first presented as a quirk, is later revealed to be a deep-seated pathological problem when he explosively sends Piper to solitary confinement purely because she was dancing closely with Alex. Healy is in a troubled and apparently loveless marriage with a Ukrainian mail-order bride who speaks little English and has two years left until she gets her green card. He also has a hobby of collecting plastic bobblehead figurines that he displays on his desk, and when Sophia grabs and swallows the head of one, he is seen purchasing a replacement via an online shopping site in a later scene. His increasing disdain of Piper culminates in his acquiescence to Pennsatucky's attempt to murder her in the Season 1 finale. In Season 2, Healy makes amends with Piper, supporting her idea of a weekly prison newsletter, and getting her a furlough to visit her dying grandmother. He also attempts to start a counseling program with Pennsatucky. He later admits to a regular counselor that he is dissatisfied with his job, having gone into it with such idealistic notions of changing the world, and that his experiences have left him cynical. Despite this, he still shows a sense of justice, forging evidence to show that Suzanne, who was going to take the fall for the assault on Red, was in fact innocent. He also deals with anger issues.
Miss Claudette Pelage (played by Michelle Hurst) - Sharing the same cubicle with Piper, Miss Claudette is a woman who is very strict and feared at the prison. She treats Piper rudely when they are first assigned to live together due to her obsession with cleanliness and dislike of the messy situations Piper brings with her, but softens to her over time. Miss Claudette was inducted into forced child labor and sent to the United States to pay off a familial debt. She later ran her own illegal cleaning service using child labor. She killed a customer who beat and abused one of her cleaning girls, which is the basis for the rumor amongst the prisoners that she is in prison for murder. It is not clear if she was convicted for her business, the killing, or both. She never gets mail, has not received a visitor in a decade of being incarcerated, and initially refuses help with her case as she has nothing to live for outside. However, when she receives a visit from an old friend, she decides to appeal her conviction. After her appeal is denied, she nearly strangles a prison guard to death in anger and is immediately transferred to a maximum security prison with an extended sentence.
Galina "Red" Reznikov (played by Kate Mulgrew) - Galina "Red" Reznikov is a prison trustee who runs the prison's kitchen as the Master Chef and is the behind-the-scenes leader of the prison's white population. In her earlier life, she and her husband ran a restaurant and got involved with the Russian mafia. Red drew the ire of the mob bosses by punching one of their wives in the chest (rupturing a breast implant), but later impressed the same boss by offering sound advice that allowed her to swiftly climb the ranks of the organization. Red is feared and respected by most of the prisoners, and has a lot of influence with Healy. She is the closest to Nicky, with whom she has a mother-daughter relationship, and is always accompanied by Norma and Gina who cater to her needs and work with her in the kitchen. Red runs a smuggling business out of her kitchen, but refuses to import drugs of any kind. When Mendez begins to force her to use her connections to bring in drugs, she hatches a plan to have him removed from the prison. She also uses her resources to help some of the inmates overcome drug addictions, although they have only "two strikes" before she abandons them, as she "doesn't play baseball". She is initially nice to Piper until Piper unknowingly insults her cooking, and in response Red punishes her by starvation in order to force her to appreciate her food. Piper eventually repairs their relationship by making a lotion to help soothe Red's injured back. Red also has an odd obsession with a chicken that is allegedly seen on the prison grounds from time to time, as she wants to cook "real food" and also wants to absorb its "power". Towards the end of season 1 she's decommissioned from the kitchen by Caputo (after discovering Mendez's drug smuggling operation, which is blamed on Red) and assigns Gloria as the new Master Chef. In an attempt to take Gloria and her "girls" out of the kitchen she sabotaged one of the ovens causing Gina to get injured thus straining her relationship with her "daughters". In Season 2, she becomes Piper's new roommate, and befriends her. At the same time, she attempts to come to terms with her loss of friends, and status, in the process befriending the "Golden Girls". Upon discovering a disused sewage drain in an abandoned greenhouse in the prison grounds, restarts her smuggling business and reunites her shattered circle of friends. Red has history with Vee, a returning prisoner who had befriended her when Red first went to prison years before the series began, only to violently beat her and try to take over her nascent smuggling operation. It is Vee's appearance in the prison that prompts Red to pull herself together and resume her business. She soon finds herself in competition with Vee, which quickly escalates to violence. Following repeated threats made by Vee against Red's girls and her family outside prison, Red attempts to strangle Vee during a blackout, but can't bring herself to finish the job and instead agrees to a truce. However, the truce was a fake and soon after Vee sneaks up on Red in the greenhouse and beats her violently with a slock (a sock with a padlock inside), sending her into the prison hospital. She at first keeps her silence about Vee as her attacker (preferring instead to plot her revenge), but has a change of heart after speaking with Sister Ingalls. Throughout Season 2, visits from her son reveal that Red's family business is failing and the family itself is having money troubles. When Piper is granted furlough, Red asks her to stop by the shop to check on how things are doing. Piper sees the business is closed down, and the space is for lease, but upon returning to prison lies and tells Red that the business is doing well.
Larry Bloom (played by Jason Biggs) - Larry is a Jewish freelance writer trying to establish a journalismcareer, and Piper's insecure, somewhat selfish fiancé. He is blindsided at the beginning of the series when his then girlfriend Piper reveals to him her former life as a lesbian who smuggled cash for a drug cartel 10 years ago. Larry is initially very supportive of Piper, and proposes marriage to her before she goes inside. As the series progresses, he begins to cool toward her, becoming upset when he learns that Piper's former lover is in the same prison and that she didn't tell him about it. Later on, he begins writing a newspaper article titled "One Sentence, Two Prisoners" about the experience of having a fiancée in prison. This article is published in The New York Times and allows him to move up in the journalistic world. He is close to his parents, who are strongly opposed to his marriage plans. After a conversation with Alex, Larry's latent insecurity gets the better of him, and he breaks off his engagement with Piper, ending their relationship. In Season 2, he begins an affair with Piper's best friend Polly after becoming a more supportive partner than her husband.
Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren (played by Uzo Aduba) - A mentally unstable inmate who develops an obsession with Piper. Suzanne is a lesbian who, according to Healy, has been a problem in the past, with a violent history. She refers to Piper as "Dandelion" and follows her around the prison. After Warren puts a request in with Healy to bunk together, Piper confronts her and rebuffs her advances. This causes Warren to retaliate by urinating on the floor of Piper's cubicle while she is sleeping. As the season progresses, she starts to leave Piper alone and a more vulnerable side of Warren is revealed. It is shown that she is hurt that everyone calls her "Crazy Eyes". She has a flair for reciting literature and poetry, often writing her own compositions. In Season 2, it emerges that she gets stage fright, and on the night of Piper's altercation with Pennsatucky, had come outside in the midst of a panic attack and, mistaking Piper for her adoptive mother, had punched her in the face, inadvertently making it look like a more even fistfight, saving Piper from severe punishment. It is revealed that she grew up in an adopted white family, who tried to provide her with the best care growing up, but despite their love, Suzanne felt pushed by her mother to accomplish things that she was afraid to do. She falls for Vee's charms and maternal influence, eventually becoming her "muscle", violently beating or threatening any inmates who cross her, becoming colder and more fearsome in the process. Later, Vee attempts to coldly trick her into taking the fall for Red's beating but fails, and Suzanne is left distraught.
Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson (played by Danielle Brooks) - An inmate and the black representative on the WAC, she works in the prison library and sports a weave made of blond hair given to her by Piper. With coaching from Poussey and a makeover from Sophia, Taystee is paroled from the prison. However, as she has been in institutions her whole life and finds it hard to adapt to the rough life she finds outside the prison walls, she re-offends in violation of her parole and is subsequently sent back to prison and is assigned to the recently vacated bunk of Miss Claudette as Piper's roommate. Due to the time spent in the library, she is rather well-read and considers herself to have a large knowledge base when it comes to law. Her childhood was a rough one, spent in foster homes, and she was eventually taken in by Vee, once she demonstrated her business abilities, to help with her heroin dealing ring. She has known Vee on the outside for 15 years, and becomes a member of her prison gang in Season 2. Eventually, when Poussey's actions damage Vee's business, Vee decides to cut her losses and appease her by expelling Taystee from the group. Finally seeing Vee for what she really is, Taystee later rallies the other African American inmates to turn on her former idol.
Nicky Nichols (played by Natasha Lyonne) - A former drug addict, now Red's most trusted assistant, Nicky has a loud mouth. She swiftly befriends both Piper and Alex, expressing curiosity about what happened between the two of them outside of prison. Her mother, a wealthy socialite, lived in a separate house and Nicky was raised by a nanny. This was what initially led to Nicky's drug addiction. Upon arriving in prison, Red had helped her through her worst bouts of cold turkey. For this reason, Nicky now looks up to her as a mother figure, to the point where she actually refers to her as "mom" in the presence of other inmates. Nicky was involved in a sexual relationship with Lorna until Lorna broke it off, which Nicky is bitter about for some time, but she later develops an interest in Alex. Nicky has a scar on her chest from having heart surgery as a complication of a bacterial infection in her heart, which came from using a dirty needle. Having been clean for two years, Nicky uses sex with the other inmates as a coping mechanism, becoming something of a nymphomaniac in the process - in Season 2, she and Big Boo stage a sex-based point scoring competition, during which Nicky even makes advances on Officer Fischer. She gets revenge on Vee for Red's slocking by stealing her stash of heroin, causing her to once again come face-to-face with her addiction.
Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett (played by Taryn Manning) - A former drug addict who frequently preaches about God, Tiffany suffers from very bad teeth. She was sent to prison for shooting an abortion clinic worker in broad daylight. The local press believed that it was because of her religious beliefs - leading to her receiving funding, support and even a fan base from the religious right - but her actual motivation was because the worker had made a snarky comment about Tiffany's having had five abortions at the clinic, and Tiffany reacts violently to people "disrespecting" her. Tiffany's religious rants are often laced with racism and hostility. She causes the ceiling of the chapel to collapse when she hangs an oversized cross from an overhead pipe and it tears the pipe down. Tiffany dislikes Piper after Piper is placed on the WAC committee, despite not running for the position. Tiffany also has a long-running hostile relationship with Alex, the two of them clashing frequently. After an incident where Tiffany locks Alex in a clothes dryer, Alex gets her revenge by convincing other inmates to make Tiffany believe she is capable of faith healing. The scheme culminates in Tiffany trying to heal a visiting juvenile in a wheelchair and subsequently being locked up in the psych ward. Although it is Piper who gets Tiffany released from the psych ward, Tiffany declares a violent vendetta against Piper, eventually attempting to kill her, and ending up being brutally beaten in a fistfight with her. In Season 2, Tiffany loses her religious fervor and becomes more easy-going after attending regular counseling sessions with Healy. Nevertheless, her old friends are now unafraid to stand up to her, and abandon her, leaving her on her own. Ultimately, she finds an unlikely friend in Big Boo, who has also been abandoned by Red for her betrayal, and subsequently cuts her hair short on her advice. She appears to have gotten over her vendetta towards Piper, presumably because Piper's beating had knocked out all of her bad teeth, allowing her to get a new set at the expense of the prison. This is made clear when, after Caputo calls the two into his office to ensure that they have put the fight past them and suggests they hug it out, she unhesitatingly does so, in contrast to Piper's obvious reluctance.
Sophia Burset (played by Laverne Cox) - Sophia is a transgender woman who went to prison for credit card fraud. Originally a firefighter named Marcus, Sophia was unhappy with living as a man and transitioned with the support of her wife Crystal. Sophia committed fraud to finance her operation and hormone therapy. She has a young son named Michael, who had difficulty with her transition. It is implied in the first season, and revealed in the second, that he turned her in to authorities. In the prison, she works as a hairdresser and spends the first half of Season 1 railing against a reduction in her hormone dosage, which is stated to be over concerns about liver damage, but she is convinced it is discrimination (in fact, it is hinted at being due to Figueroa's budgetary cuts). She becomes a friend of Sister Ingalls, originally in an attempt to convince the nun to give her some of her hormones. Sister Ingalls convinces her to try to reconcile with her son, and also to let Crystal move on. Sophia is, overall, kind and understanding. Early on, she trades with Piper for a lock of hair, in return for some cocoa butter Piper needs to create her lotion for Red. They later develop an amicable relationship, often trading gifts or advice. She, like Piper, also seems to be more educated than many of her fellow inmates, being concerned about issues such as healthcare and benefits. In Season 2, she is shown being visited by her son in prison for the first time, and they are seen making amends. Sophia also develops friendships with Red, who goes to her for a makeover when she learns Vee has returned, and surprisingly, Doggett, who has mellowed out considerably.
Dayanara "Daya" Diaz - She is serving time alongside her mother and it is shown that they were both sleeping with her mom's drug dealer boyfriend. Her relationship with Aleida has been strained for years, as her mother often ignored her and her sisters in favor of going out and partying. She is criticized by her fellow Hispanic inmates because she cannot speak fluent Spanish. Daya develops a relationship with prison guard John Bennett by whom she becomes pregnant. Knowing that Bennett could be imprisoned if it is discovered she became pregnant by him, Daya willingly joins forces with Red to trick Mendez into having sex with her so that he can be blamed for her pregnancy. In Season 2, she is shown to be increasingly hormonal and emotional due to the pregnancy, a contrast from her sweet demeanor in Season 1. She is of a pure heart, as she tells Bennett she wishes her child to grow up with the truth of his/her parentage. She believes that he should serve time for her pregnancy to allow them to be together rightfully. As also shown throughout the series, she likes to draw in a somewhat anime style.
Lorna Morello (played by Yael Stone) - A hyperfeminine and often racist Italian-American inmate, still hopefully planning for a wedding whose fruition is mocked by her fellow inmate, friend, and casual sex partner, Nicky Nichols. She speaks with a strong accent that inexplicably mixes regional features from both New York City and Boston. Lorna is the first inmate that Piper talks to, since she is in charge of driving the van that transports inmates, and she helps Piper acclimate in her first few days. She finally breaks off her lesbian relationship with Nicky after feeling that she has been cheating on her "fiancé" Christopher. It is later revealed that he has never visited her. Red picks her to run for WAC as the white representative stating that she is "pretty and unthreatening, she likes her lipstick, and she listens". During the campaigning for the WAC, Lorna expresses both excitement and nervousness over the upcoming election, although everyone states that she is guaranteed to win. When Pornstache is searching for how Red smuggles contraband into the prison, he has Lorna drive him into the middle of the woods and tries to intimidate her into telling him, Lorna cries and claims she can't tell him what she doesn't know. She expects Pornstache to carry out his threats, but he instead tells her to drive the van back to the prison. It is revealed in the second season that Christopher was not actually her fiancé, but rather a man she started stalking after a single date, at one point attempting to kill both him and his actual girlfriend with an explosive. It is not clear whether she was imprisoned for this, or for the mail scam she was running at the time she met him. After she breaks into his house while on a driving errand, Christopher visits her in prison and threatens to kill her if she ever comes near him or his fiancée again, before exposing to everyone how all of her stories of him as her fiancé are lies. He is eventually escorted from the premises by one of the guards.
Poussey Washington (played by Samira Wiley) - A prison inmate, she has been in prison for two years at the start of the series and has four years left. Her mother died while she was in prison. Poussey is a good-natured jokester and is often seen with her best friend "Taystee" (whom she helps out in the library). During the season finale, she is revealed to have a great singing voice, and performs an improvised rendition of Amazing Grace. Flashbacks during the second season revealed that her father, who was a major in the United States Army, moved her family to Germany where he was stationed. In Germany she had a romantic and physical relationship with the German base commander's daughter. When the relationship was revealed, the commander had her father reassigned to a post in the United States, leading her to try and kill him. It is also implied that she is in love with Taystee, who does not return her feelings on account of being straight, but does make an effort to be gentle with her about this. After failing to get her to market her moonshine, Vee begins to antagonise Poussey, mostly out of jealousy of her closeness to Taystee, and partly out of implied homophobia. She separates Poussey and Taystee, causing a rift in their relationship. She is one of the few black inmates not to fall for Vee's charms, and begins a long campaign to fight her throughout the season. Vee's numerous efforts to force her to back down, including gentle coaxing, threats and even a violent beating from Suzanne are unsuccessful. Eventually, Poussey causes irreparable damage to Vee's tobacco business by smashing up an entire batch of tobacco and pouring bleach on it, and Vee, realizing that no amount of intimidation will stop her, and killing her would merely bring unwanted attention from the CO's, decides to remove her reason for fighting her by ejecting Taystee from the gang. The two later make up after a physical fight in the library, and work together to turn the other African American inmates against Vee. She was named after the town of Poussay in North-eastern France, where her father was stationed when she was born, and often finds herself on the receiving end of mockery by the other inmates because of its alternative pronunciation.
Gloria Mendoza (played by Selenis Leyva) - Red's opposite number among the Hispanic and Latina inmates, though with no organized crime connections. She is a mother of four. She organizes domino games and looks out for the other inmates, either by giving advice or by performing Santeria spells (which she refers to as "Catholic plus") for them. She is often critical of Daya's inability to speak Spanish but still accepts her as one of her own. Despite this, she tricks Daya into drinking a concoction that makes her feel sick, at the request of Aleida, Daya's mother. When Red is put under investigation after her smuggling operation's cover is blown, Mendoza becomes the new head cook, and some inmates prefer her breakfast cooking. Red tries to sabotage Mendoza's kitchen operations, but fails to discourage her replacement. At the end of the first season, it is shown that Mendoza is starving out Red in a similar way that Red did to Piper at the beginning of the series. In Season 2, her backstory reveals that she had suffered domestic abuse. As she was planning to run from her abusive boyfriend, she was arrested for fraud for allowing customers to exchange food stamps for money at the store she ran and keeping some of the money for herself. She is shown as compassionate and easily susceptible to other's feelings, as she forgave her boyfriend time and time again, and fell for Vee's charms at the beginning of the season. Upon learning that Norma is plotting to poison Vee, Mendoza convinces her to use Santeria to get back at her instead. She also spends the initial part of the season competing with Aleida to be a motherly figure to Daya, but after embarrassing her in front of Bennett, realise that it is a job they both do well.
Janae Watson (played by Vicky Jeudy) - A gifted former high school track star arrested after she became involved with a criminal boyfriend and was caught robbing a check-cashing establishment. Flashbacks reveal that her downward spiral was mostly her own fault, as her boyfriend's superior, the local gang leader, had made numerous efforts to persuade her to stay out of the criminal life, and to take advantage of her college scholarship, including ejecting her from his parties, and it was her cockiness, arrogance and self-centredness that motivated her to carry on. She is initially very rude and standoffish toward Piper and has problems with authority, confronting Miss Claudette and the prison guards. Watson is assigned to the tool crib in the electrical shop and loses a screwdriver on her first day. After refusing to be searched by a male prison guard, Watson is sent to the Special Housing Unit (SHU) by Caputo. She blames Piper for this since Piper lost the screwdriver that started the whole confrontation. Piper is able to make it up to her later by convincing Susan to reopen the running track so that Watson can run again. After getting out of SHU, Watson takes out her anger on Yoga Jones who slaps her in the face after a confrontation when Watson mocks her about why she is in prison. However they later talk it out and are able to form a trusting relationship. In Season 2, she joins Vee's gang as she gets a cut of the cigarette money. She is sent down to SHU again after being caught with the cigarettes in her bunk. She is visibly affected by her second time in the SHU, and once again her relationship with Yoga Jones becomes strained when she rejects Yoga Jones' compassion. Later, she is convinced by Vee to pin Red's beating on Suzanne, but has a change of heart and attempts to recant her testimony along with Black Cindy.
Tricia Miller (played by Madeline Brewer) - An inmate who grew up on the streets and one of the youngest inmates, Miller is a drug addict and lesbian who sports a tattoo on her throat and trademark blonde cornrows. While outside prison, Tricia showed kleptomaniac tendencies, often taking things that she promised herself she would later pay for. She kept a list of all the things she ever stole with the intention of settling all her debts when she had the money. She is caught by Miss Claudette attempting to plant drugs in her girlfriend Mercy's bunk so she would get more time, but ultimately backs down and lets her girlfriend get released. She asks Piper to help her in writing her letter of appeal so that she can get out faster and be with Mercy, although she has not been able to contact her. Miller gets her drugs from the prison guard Mendez in exchange for sexual favors. When he is late with his deliveries, she goes into drug withdrawal and is taken to SHU. Because Red does not tolerate drugs and it is her "second offense," Tricia is ejected from Red's "family". Red later admits that she had only intended Tricia's ejection to be temporary, in order to force her to learn her lesson. Mendez tries to blackmail her into selling drugs for him again, though she tells him she wants to be clean again. Miller then eats all of the drugs, and it is implied she knows that she will die, but did so to protect Red and her family. Miller dies of a drug overdose in a utility closet when Mendez locks her in there when he sees that she is drugged out, and might reveal the presence of drugs in the prison. After discovering she was specifically requested for a Scared Straight visit with delinquent kids, he returns to release her, and discovers that she had died. In a panic, he manipulates the situation to make it look like a suicide by hanging. The truth is never discovered by the administration.
Carrie "Big Boo" Black (played by Lea DeLaria) - A prison inmate and lesbian, she has had several "wives" during her incarceration. She and Miller have had problems in the past fighting over a girl. Black has Piper helping her write a letter for her appeal and takes the missing screwdriver from Piper's bunk unbeknownst to Piper, which she uses to aid in masturbation. She later returns the screwdriver to Piper when Piper becomes stressed over the fact that "Pennsatucky" is threatening to kill her. In Season 1, Black is often accompanied by a dog she named "Little Boo". In Season 2, she gets rid of the dog, saying things were getting "weird". It is implied Black used or considered using the dog to stimulate herself sexually. She later participates in a competition with Nicky to see who can have sex with the most inmates. Black has little loyalty to anyone and, trying to ingratiate herself with the powerful Vee, betrays Red by telling Vee about the tunnel. As a result, she is shunned by Red's family, and Vee rejects her for snitching. Afterwards, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with "Pennsatucky" Doggett and, when Red is hospitalized following an assault by Vee, helps Nicky locate and hide Vee's drug stash.
Yoga Jones (played by Constance Shulman) - An older white inmate who teaches yoga. She once was a marijuana farmer, but accidentally shot and killed a child thinking he was a deer eating her crop. Jones displays extreme calm in all of her demeanor, until being taunted by Watson for killing a child, causing Jones to slap Watson in the face. Jones later confides in Watson about the child she killed, and they are able to become friends. In Season 2, she is seen participating in a hunger strike with Brook Soso, to protest prison conditions. This is also her attempt to protest Janae having been thrown in the SHU, but her efforts are met with indifference by Watson herself, who coldly rebuffs her.
Brook Soso (played by Kimiko Glenn) - An inmate of Japanese and Scottish descent who first appeared in the second season, and landed in prison due to political activism. Chatty and somewhat ditzy, Soso attempts to befriend a non-reciprocating Piper, who had been kind to Soso on her first night in prison. Piper attempts to sell out Soso to Boo for her blanket back, but Soso is eventually taken by Nicky in the sex game. She annoys many of the other inmates due to her constant chatter and her refusal to shower. During the second season she becomes an activist and attempts to stage a hunger strike to protest the prison's cruel treatment.
Yvonne "Vee" Parker (played by Lorraine Toussaint) - The main antagonist of Season 2. Described as a street-tough inmate who used to run a drug business, using kids as runners, she returns to jail after a long stint outside. She has a long history with many of the inmates, particularly Red, whom she had had beaten ruthlessly when attempting to take over her smuggling business, and Taystee, whom she had taken under her wing from an early age. Vee is ruthless and manipulative, more than willing to take on any naive young inmate or criminal and drop them when they are no longer of use to her. Upon returning to prison, she builds up a gang amongst the African-American population, many of whom are manipulated by her charming and maternal influence, with the exception of Poussey, who is one of the only inmates with the courage to take her on. She then forms a tobacco operation, and after Red rejects her attempted takeover of her smuggling operation and one of her friends attempts to kill her, begins a gang war with the Caucasian gang. Red almost succeeds in killing her by strangling, but she relents at the last minute and decides to call a truce. However, Vee was only pretending to give up, and instead violently beats Red with a slock (a lock in a sock), sending her to the prison infirmary. Her arrogance and ruthlessness ultimately leads to her downfall, however, when Nichols, Red's second-in-command, steals her supply of heroin, causing her to become paranoid. Her attempt to frame Suzanne, who has been her most loyal supporter, for Red's beating causes all of her girls to turn on her, and she attempts to escape through Red's supply tunnel. When Vee reaches the main road, Miss Rosa, who has just hijacked a prison van, sees her at the side of the road and, remembering an earlier incident with her, deliberately veers off the road and runs her over, killing her.
Rosa Cisneros (played by Barbara Rosenblat) - An older Latina inmate who has been diagnosed with cancer. In the second season episode "Appropriately Sized Pots", flashbacks, played by Stephanie Andujar, reveal that as a young woman, Rosa was part of a ring of professional bank robbers. After making clean getaways from three successive heists, she made the mistake of impulsively robbing a fourth bank at random which ultimately sent her to prison. She believes that she has a curse that all the men she loves in her life will die unexpectedly, with the curse specifically kicking in when she kisses them after a successful job. Throughout the second season, she routinely goes to the nearby hospital for chemotherapy, and befriends a teenager who is also on chemo. Eventually, she is told that her cancer is aggressive, and she has between three and six weeks left to live. Noting her bitterness at dying in prison, rather than going down in the "blaze of glory" she so desperately wanted, Lorna gives her the opportunity to steal the prison van and escape. As she drives away, Rosa sees the escaped Vee at the side of the road and runs her over in revenge for having treated her so rudely.
Gina Murphy (played by Abigail Savage) - A member of Red's crew in the prison kitchen, it is implied that she was incarcerated for murder and embezzlement. She is often seen with Norma Romano. When Red's scheme to sabotage Mendoza backfires, Gina's arm is set on fire when an oven which Red had sabotaged explodes in flame. In Season 2, she is seen with shorter hair, several severe burn marks on the side of her neck, and a more sullen demeanor. She angrily rebuffs several of Red's attempts to win back her friendship, but eventually forgives her when Red finally realizes that she hasn't given her the one thing she was looking for, an apology. Later, she notices Nichols contemplating taking a hit of heroin that she got from Vee's gang, and harasses her about it for days, eventually pressuring her to take the heroin to Red.
Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes (played by Adrienne C. Moore) - She is seen often with the other black inmates. During Taystee's time on the outside, she is seen more frequently joking around with Poussey. Her back story is explained more in the second season, where it is revealed that on the outside she had a job working for the TSA and occasionally stole items from the luggage of travelers. It is shown that she also had a nine-year-old daughter named Monica who was raised by her mother under the pretense that Cindy was her older sister. She is shown to shirk her responsibilities; in one instance, she took her daughter out for ice cream, only to leave her in the car for hours after she spontaneously decided to hang out with some friends.
Sister Jane Ingalls (played by Beth Fowler) - She is a nun who helps with services in the prison chapel. When Burset finds out she is getting hormone pills, she tries to cozy up to the Sister to obtain some. Instead, the Sister tries to convince Burset to reconnect with her son. Jane is in prison for chaining herself in place at a nuclear weapons base during a political protest. In line with her faith, Jane accepts Sophia as a close friend and strongly dislikes Pennsatucky's religious fundamentalism. She is shown to be rather modernistic and "hip" in her faith and views. The second season reveals her past as a nun who became an activist but seemed more interested in her fame than doing genuine good works. It is revealed that she was defrocked by the Church for her actions, but that she has neglected to tell any of the other inmates. After joining Soso's hunger strike, Ingalls gets carried away and takes over, cutting out Leanne and Angie, before being hospitalized. After the incident, word gets out and a number of nuns gather at the prison and stage a sit-in while Caputo tries desperately to negotiate with Ingalls. She only relents after reaching an agreement with Red in the prison hospital—she would eat, but only if Red told the truth about the attack against her.
Aleida Diaz (played by Elizabeth Rodriguez) - Daya's incarcerated mother. She was involved with a man who had her cutting and bagging drugs in her kitchen. In flashbacks, it is shown that she had little concern for her children and was obsessed with her boyfriend. She says during a visitation that she took a fall for him and is upset that he won't visit her. She treats Daya rudely in the prison, and goes so far as to attempt to seduce Bennett to make Daya angry. She later shows a softer side and advises Daya to have her baby, even going so far as to concoct a plan to allow Bennett to keep his job. She also finds herself competing with Gloria to care for Daya during the more difficult times of her pregnancy, finally forcing her to take on a maternal role in her daughter's life. She has high status among the other Hispanic inmates. In Season 2, she battles with Gloria to be a mother to Daya, and manipulates Bennett to bring in contraband from the outside hidden in his prosthetic leg.
Norma Romano (played by Annie Golden) - Norma is a member of Red's crew who doesn't speak. She works in the prison kitchen, and a flashback reveals that she was the first inmate Red interacted with upon her own arrival. She is often seen with Gina Murphy, as the two of them work in the kitchens together and cater to all of Red's needs. In the season finale, Romano steals the show at the Christmas pageant, revealing a beautiful singing voice for the first time in anyone's memory. After Red's attempt to sabotage Mendoza hurts Gina, Norma expresses frustration and angrily storms away from Red, leaving her in tears. She and Red eventually reconcile, and she attempts to create arsenic to kill Vee after Red's beating. Mendoza convinces her that it's a futile effort and that they should hex Vee instead.
Leanne Taylor (played by Emma Myles) - An inmate who is often seen with Pennsatucky. She almost fanatically follows everything Pennsatucky says and is her groupie or right-hand woman. She is also addicted to drugs and has been seen exchanging sexual favors with Mendez. In Season 2, she stands up against Pennsatucky and is shown to break off into her own character with her friends, leaving Pennsatucky by herself.
Angie Rice (played by Julie Lake) - Leanne's friend, and another former follower of Pennsatucky.
Loretta (played by Cristina J. Huie) - Leanne's friend, and another former follower of Pennsatucky.
Maria Ruiz (played by Jessica Pimentel) - A pregnant inmate who acts as the Hispanic and Latina representative for WAC. When she goes into labor she is taken to a hospital, and later returns to the prison after having her newborn taken away from her, which elicits sympathy from her fellow inmates. She describes Daya and Aleida's relationship as a "cautionary tale" and states that a minute with them is better than Plan B, as she would never talk to her daughter the way Aleida does toward Daya, or allow her daughter to talk to her the way Daya does Aleida. In Season 2, she is visited several times by her stoic, quiet boyfriend and her child. When it appears she will be transferred to a prison in Virginia, she begs him to be a good, proactive parent and speak to their child more, and later confides in Piper that she is afraid he will be too weak to be faithful during her entire sentence. However, in the Season 2 finale, she is last seen being visited by her boyfriend and her daughter, happy to see that he is taking a deeper role as a father and apparently plans to stay true to her.
Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales (played by Jackie Cruz) - One of the Hispanic inmates, she is shown to be rather misinformed, if not totally dim at times, genuinely believing that black people cannot float due to their bone density. This leads to Maritza stating that her head is full of "caca" and Aleida referring to her as "Flacaca". She appears to be a goth, wearing gothic makeup and being obsessed with such bands as The Smiths and Depeche Mode. She is also somewhat aggressive, getting into a brawl with Taystee over an ice-cream cone. She and Maritza have a very close friendship, and on Valentine's Day in Season 2, the two kiss in the kitchen while having a conversation about their lack of love in the prison, and although they laugh it off, Flaca becomes upset and begins to cry, while Maritza consoles her.
Maritza Ramos (played by Diane Guerrero) - A Hispanic inmate. Her defining physical trait is that she, in contrast to the majority of her cellmates, is strikingly beautiful by conventional standards. She is often seen with Flaca with whom she has a rivalry and close friendship; she is generally portrayed as somewhat more intelligent than her friend. She and Flaca kiss at the Valentine's Day party while having an intimate conversation, but laugh it off. Flaca then breaks down, and Maritza consoles her. She has a baby on the outside.
Anita Demarco (played by Lin Tucci) - An older Italian-American inmate who was one of the first to befriend Piper. Piper learns that when DeMarco first arrived in prison many years earlier, she had a heart attack, and now sleeps with a face mask and CPAP machine. DeMarco is a constant roommate of Miss Rosa, and they seem to have a steady stream of newbies who stay in their room until the newbies are assigned permanent bunks.
Blanca Flores (played by Laura Gomez) - A Hispanic inmate. The other inmates thought she was insane, as she appeared to have animated romantic conversations in Spanish with the Devil while inside a restroom stall. Piper later discovered that Blanca is actually of sound mind, and had actually been speaking to her boyfriend, "Diablo", with a cell phone that she had hidden behind a tile in the stall, while feigning madness so they would not expect anything. Upon discovering the phone is missing, however, her subsequent violent reaction is confused for a breakdown, and she is taken away to Psych. She has finally returned by season 2, and later attempts to blackmail Bennett into getting her a new phone..
Mercy Valduto (played by Katie Iacona) - Tricia Miller's girlfriend and Big Boo's ex-girlfriend. During the week of her release she antagonized Big Boo, but they still departed on good terms. Tricia was prepared to plant drugs on Mercy to extend her sentence so they could stay together, but Miss Claudette talked Tricia out of it, determined not to let her screw up Mercy's life. Mercy leaves the prison intending to stay out of trouble and stay in contact with Tricia. Tricia later reveals she has lost contact with Mercy, but remains optimistic.
Chang (played by Lori Tan Chinn) - A middle-aged, highly irritable Chinese woman who runs the commissary.
Jimmy Cavanaugh (played by Patricia Squire) - One of the "Golden Girls", Jimmy is an elderly woman with severe dementia or Alzheimer's. She wanders out of the prison and is seen at a bar by Caputo, whereupon she is returned to the prison. Later, she jumps off the raised stage in the chapel, thinking she is jumping into a swimming pool, and breaks her arm. The prison system decides that her care is too expensive and grants her a "compassionate release", which amounts to their dropping her off at a bus stop to be left to her own devices, completely senile and incapable of caring for herself.
Frieda, Irma, and Taslitz (played by Dale Soules, Yvette Freeman, and Judith Anna Roberts) - "The Golden Girls" are a group of elderly women in the prison who befriend Red. They help Red set up the greenhouse and help to grow the plants and with Red's smuggling. Despite appearing to be harmless old ladies, they walk into Gloria's kitchen, calmly threaten the staff with homemade weapons. They mention how the staff is in for drug offense while Frieda mentions being in for a "real crime" after having cut off her husband's penis causing the staff to back off in fear allowing the three walk out with supplies—commenting that it's so disappointing being underestimated as they age. Later, when Red abandons the greenhouse they feel it's because of Vee so they plot to shank Vee as she leaves the shower, but Taslitz stabs the wrong person and goes to the SHU.
Weeping Woman (played by Tamara Torres) - This unnamed inmate is frequently seen hogging the phones at Litchfield while crying.
George "Pornstache" Mendez (played by Pablo Schreiber) - A corrupt, perverted and seemingly psychopathic prison guard who frequently abuses his authority. He seems to be the most ruthless of all the COs, and is seen sexually assaulting and humiliating the inmates at every opportunity. His personality can be both laughably exaggerated as well as frightening. Mendez uses his position as a guard to smuggle drugs and contraband into the prison until the prison begins to search the guards as well. He tries to strike a deal with Red to use her connections to smuggle drugs in, but she refuses him. He often trades for sexual favors with the inmates and is the one who supplies Miller with the drugs that eventually kill her. He covers up his drug smuggling and Miller's death to look like a suicide. He is put on unpaid leave after being set up by Daya and caught having sex with her. Mendez is shown to be in love with Daya and often sends her love letters anonymously after he leaves Litchfield. In Season 2 after Susan is fired, Figueroa rehires Mendez and he immediately continues his arrogant and antagonizing demeanor toward the prisoners. When Bennett tells Caputo that Daya is pregnant, Caputo assumes Mendez is the father and uses it as an excuse to have him arrested and taken away in front of the inmates and reporters.
John Bennett (played by Matt McGorry) - A prison guard and former soldier who is in a secret relationship with Daya. He has an artificial leg which Daya discovers while performing oral sex on him in a utility closet. Although the other inmates believe he lost his leg while in combat, he later admits that it got infected when he cut it in a dirty hot tub. He confides to Daya that he is under a lot of pressure to be tougher on the girls, and occasionally fakes reprimanding her in front of everyone while secretly putting a note in her pocket. He cares deeply for her and his child, but is stressed by their differing approaches to her pregnancy. In Season 2, when Mendez is returned to the prison after his suspension for having sex with Daya, Bennett is outraged and uncharacteristically takes out his rage on Vee's gang, tearing apart their living space while conducting a search, before being dragged off by Mendez. He then drags one of Daya's friends to the SHU when she tries to blackmail him. He attempts to continue his relationship with Daya in secret, but she often rejects his advances due to her misgivings about their complicated relationship - whereas he would like to use his position as a guard to help support the baby, Daya believes that he should confess everything and serve time in prison for it, so that they may be together rightfully. Regardless, the two share a number of sweet and romantic moments together, despite the situation. In an attempt to rid Mendez permanently from Litchfield, he confesses to Caputo Daya's pregnancy without her permission. Eventually, under pressure from Daya, he also confesses to being the father of her child, but Caputo, not wanting another scandal just days into his trial period, threatens to have Daya dragged off to SHU for the remainder of her pregnancy if he ever says anything to anyone else.
Joe Caputo (played by Nick Sandow) - One of the prison counselors and an administrative official just below Natalie Figueroa, whom he despises and whose job he desires. Although his exact title is never made clear in the show, in the final episode of Season 2, he introduces himself to visiting SIS investigators as "Captain Joe Caputo" and they tell him they will interview him "along with the other COs"; it thus appears that is CO of Captain rank. Caputo is a sleazy character who believes in keeping the inmates dehumanized and who masturbates in his office immediately after his first encounter with Piper. Caputo dislikes Healy, who he feels is not tough enough on the inmates. When the screwdriver disappears from the electrical shop, he is the one who orders Watson sent to the SHU, and who threatens the other inmates. He appears to have romantic feelings for the new recruit to the staff, Susan Fischer. However, when she does not return the feelings, Caputo becomes upset and ends up firing her during an argument. Despite his sleazy personality, he seems concerned with running the prison properly and ethically, showing outrage at corruption, inefficiency, and sexual exploitation. He is easily the most competent of the prison staff, being more than capable of dealing with crises without being appeasing or oppressive - on one occasion, upon finding out that there is a hunger strike in the prison, he goes to the strikers directly and tells them straight that most of their demands are either unreasonable or are being resolved independently, without then sending them to SHU. In addition, he is unafraid to challenge people who are being unreasonable, routinely lashing out at Figueroa for her austere methods, and Healy for his 'lesbian witch hunt.' He also plays electric bass in a band called "Side Boob", and attempts to grow plants as a therapeutic hobby. Caputo is also seen to be very ambitious, and desires to move up the ladder to eventually become warden. When Piper finds evidence of Figueroa embezzling funds from the prison, Caputo uses it to force her resignation and he becomes the new assistant warden.
Natalie "Fig" Figueroa (played by Alysia Reiner) - The corrupt executive assistant to the as-yet-unseen warden. Figueroa claims to be a women's advocate for the prisoners but is generally unconcerned with them and refuses to get involved in their problems. Arrogant and condescending, she puts on a tough facade to disguise her own insecurities and somewhat fragile personality. Sometimes she shows odd displays of humanity and sensitivity, usually when the rest of the prison staff are being insufferable. Figueroa tries to avoid any scandals or media attention about goings-on at the prison, and her desire to cover up incidents allows Mendez to get away with his schemes, although it later works in favor of the inmates. She is revealed to have been embezzling funds from the prison's budget for her husband's state senate campaign, a secret which is in danger of being exposed due to the publicity the prison is getting from Larry's articles and radio interview. She spends the second season a step ahead of Larry and a reporter's hunt, focusing on her husband's campaign to become state senator and on getting pregnant. She is shown to be particularly uncaring in Season 2, brought on by the stress of keeping the embezzling under wraps, and her marriage is generally loveless and lacking physical affection. She is devastated and heartbroken when she sees her husband kissing his male campaign manager, and she is taken completely by surprise that her husband is a closet homosexual. Shortly after, Caputo confronts her about having evidence of her embezzlement. She performed oral sex on him in an attempt to buy his silence, only to find out afterward that Caputo has already given copies of the evidence to the warden. Natalie manages to avoid being fired, resigning with a commendation for her services by the warden because he didn't want a scandal from the embezzlement and didn't want to make a political enemy of her husband.
Susan Fischer (played by Lauren Lapkus) - A rookie prison guard hired onto the prison staff during Piper's time at Litchfield, Fischer used to bag groceries at the store where Piper and Larry shopped, and recalls how Piper used to be a difficult customer. However, she is friendly toward Piper, informing her that she does not think any less of her for being in prison, since the only difference between them is that Fischer didn't get caught making mistakes. Piper appreciates her kind words and convinces her to reopen the prison track. She displays a perpetually naive and cheerful demeanor, which endears some (especially Caputo) and irritates others. She struggles to come across as authoritative and strict, and her attempts to appear tough do not appear to intimidate any of the inmates in the slightest; on occasion, they even admonish Susan in return. Caputo seems to have a romantic interest in her but it is revealed in the Season 1 final episode that Susan has a boyfriend. In Season 2, she is taken aback when Nichols hits on her, and initially reacts angrily when she suggests they have sex. Caputo, meanwhile, tries repeatedly to impress her with things like his hobby of playing in a band, but when he realizes she will never return his feelings, he becomes vindictive and angrily fires Susan during an argument. Before she leaves, she has one final conversation with Nichols, admitting that she did consider her suggestion, but that she would never have had a shot with her anyway. Nichols, in turn, advises her that getting fired may be the best thing that happened to her, since being a prison guard did not suit her. She is encouraged by Nicky to move on to better things with her life now that she had been fired from Litchfield.
Scott O'Neill (played by Joel Marsh Garland) - An overweight and generally good-natured prison guard in a relationship with Wanda Bell. He is frequently shown eating, despite claiming to be on different fad diets. In the Season 2 finale, he is assigned to watch a group of nuns protesting outside the gate and taunts them with songs and insults about his own unhappy Catholic-school upbringing.
Wanda Bell (played by Catherine Curtin) - A prison guard, Bell is gruff and displays a general apathy to others. Nonetheless, she tends to be the most professional of the guards and takes her work seriously, especially the occasional visits from the Scared Straight program. During these visits, she displays a much deeper insight into individual inmates' histories and personalities than the other guards. For example, she specifically requests Miller and later Piper to scare an unusually resistant, wheelchair-bound delinquent adolescent, aware that their more philosophical natures will be more effective in reaching the girl.
Joel Luschek (played by Matt Peters) - The sarcastic, uncaring and barely competent young prison guard who runs the electrical shop. He displays blatant racism, and generally doesn't care what the women in the shop do as long as they leave him alone, though he develops a friendship with Nichols. His method of teaching repairs tends to consist of handing his inmates a printed manual for the broken appliance and giving them a few minutes to read before sending them off. He buys a new screwdriver and replaces it in the tool crib to cover up his mistake in failing to properly train Watson, thus ending the search for the missing screwdriver, and endangering the prison population by allowing a dangerous object to remain at large. In Season 2 he enters a relationship with fellow staff member Fischer, but his nonchalant attitude toward her causes it to end.
Polly Harper (played by Maria Dizzia) - Piper's best friend of many years on the outside. Polly and Piper started a business together, which Polly runs while Piper is in prison. Polly is pregnant at the beginning of the series and is upset at Piper for getting herself locked up. She begins cutting Piper out of their business after Piper ignores a conference call they were supposed to make together. Flashbacks reveal that Polly was supportive of Piper exploring her sexuality, but disliked Alex and found Piper's taste in romantic partners of either sex horrendous. After Piper and Larry's break-up, she is seen to spend more and more time with Larry, as her husband Pete leaves her alone with her newborn. She eventually has sex with Larry, and she leaves Pete for Larry.
Carol Chapman and Bill Chapman (played by Deborah Rush and Bill Hoag) - Piper's affluent, appearance-conscious parents. Carol, catty and seemingly humorless, doesn't seem as supportive as Piper thinks she should be, and their visitations are usually awkward. She is rather formal and conventional, treating Piper's prison stay as a shame upon the family (and herself). On the other hand, Bill is outwardly supportive of his daughter but causes a rift with Piper when he refuses to visit her in prison, because "he doesn't want to see his daughter that way". In Season 2, it is revealed that Bill had an affair with another woman during Piper's childhood, but the family glossed it over and he remained married to Carol.
Howard Bloom and Amy Kanter-Bloom (played by Todd Susman and Kathryn Kates) - Larry's parents. Though he is her lawyer, Larry's dad dislikes Piper and feels that Larry is making a mistake by being with her. They own the home where Larry is living, and let him slide on the rent. Howard wants Larry to find a real job and encourages him to lie to Piper about who really named her in her criminal case. In Season 2, Howard advises Piper to tell the truth about the kingpin in her and Alex's case, but she does not heed his advice, and instead lies for Alex.
Jean Baptiste (played by James McDaniel) - Jean originally brought Miss Claudette to the US and set her up at the cleaning company. He later broke her heart by marrying another woman but briefly reconnected with Miss Claudette after his wife's death.
Crystal Burset (played by Tanya Wright) - Sophia's wife Crystal was supportive of Sophia's transition into a woman, but encouraged her not to have sex reassignment surgery. In any case, Crystal felt it was better that her son have a father who was there for him, even if it was in a dress. She sometimes visits Sophia in prison and updates her on their son. Crystal refuses to smuggle in hormones for Sophia when the prison cuts her dosage. Later on, Crystal becomes close to the new pastor of her church, sparking Sophia's jealousy. Sister Ingalls convinces her that this is about Crystal's needs and not about Sophia or their son, and Sophia eventually gives her blessing for Crystal to act on her interest.
Pete Harper (played by Nick Stevenson) - Polly's Australian husband and a friend of Larry and Piper. A running gag is that most characters dislike him to varying degrees and are confused about why Polly married him. He is seen to be somewhat annoying, selfish, and flighty, especially when he leaves on a trip of self-discovery shortly after his son was born. He also has a macho streak, shown when he punches Larry for having sex with Polly. Soon afterward, he leaves Polly, who states that Pete is happy to be relieved of the responsibilities of marriage and fatherhood.
Cesar (played by Berto Colon) - Aleida Diaz's boyfriend and a drug dealer. He is shown using Diaz's kitchen to cut/package drugs for sale. It is implied that Aleida is in prison after taking the rap for him, at which point Daya started an affair with him. Aleida contacts him about Daya's pregnancy, prompting him to come upstate and vet John for fatherhood.
Cal Chapman (played by Michael Chernus) - Piper's younger brother. Their parents long favored the high-achieving Piper and let Cal become a sarcastic, underachieving slacker. Since Piper's incarceration, their parents have begun expecting more of him, much to his dismay. He is friends with Larry, who often visits him at his trailer in the middle of nowhere, which he eventually shares with his hippie girlfriend (and later fiancée) Neri. In Season 2, he and Neri marry at his grandmother's funeral.