Tessa Roy ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Editor
The second season of Orange is the New Black has been streaming on Netflix for a mere month, but if you’re like most fans of the show, you binged the entire season within days of its release. Don’t worry, we here at Emertainment Monthly aren’t judging – a lot of us did the same thing. So while you anxiously await the release of season three, which feels SO FAR AWAY, check out our definitive ranking of every Litchfield inmate (slightly inspired by this sassy piece on Beamly). Some spoilers ahead, but no major give-aways.
34. Angie Rice
Angie was a Pennsatucky follower. Now she’s a Leanne follower. Does she ever have any independent thoughts? The Edward Pizzahands line was pretty clever, though. Guess we can give her that.
33. Leanne Taylor
Leanne spent most of season 1 clinging to Pennsatucky’s every word. But in season 2, she turned on her precious ‘Tucky and was just plain mean. Not an admirable change.
32. Brook Soso
While she scores a few points for her attempts at activism, Soso is generally VERY unlikeable. Her incessant chatter is incredibly grating, and what’s worse is she doesn’t seem to realize she’s in PRISON, not at summer camp.
31. Aleida Diaz
The textbook definition of a terrible parent. Trying to sleep with your daughter’s – who mind you, is also in prison – boyfriend is just unacceptable.
30. Blanca Flores
Should we like Blanca for smartly managing to smuggle in that phone, or should we resent her for doing it and having a connection with the outside world that none of the other inmates have? It’s tough to say. Plus, Piper found the phone, so perhaps she’s not as smart as we thought.
29. Maritza Ramos
Maritza has attitude for days. Sometimes her sass is fun, but other times it’s just mean spirited. We’ll take her or leave her.
28. Maria Ruiz
It’s obviously hard for her, but Maria’s really trying to be a good mother. She isn’t always the most interesting character, but her heartwarming visits with her baby make up for her lack of excitingness.
27. Anita DeMarco
Anita is valuable in the sense she didn’t throw Piper to the wolves upon her arrival. She has a lot of knowledge about the way the prison works, and she wasn’t shy in sharing that information with Piper.
26. Cindy “Black Cindy” Hayes
So maybe that whole stealing from suitcases thing wasn’t okay…But Cindy as a TSA Agent is priceless.
Killer dance moves. Enough said.
24. Flaca Gonzales
Flaca’s attitude is similar to Maritza’s, except she’s a bit more tolerable. Plus, she would have made a great member of Piper’s newsletter if it hadn’t been shut down.
23. Miss Claudette
While the fact she tried to strangle Fischer totally sucks, it’s even worse that all the gossip about her caused her to lash out at the person who deserved it least. We feel for her.
22. Golden Girls
Red’s gardening buddies are far from your typical old lady bunch. They’re whip smart, funny, and will do anything for each other. But poor, poor Jimmy…Her slow soup slurping will be sorely missed.
21. Big Boo
There’s only one way to describe Boo: Loud and proud. She’s a genius, sarcastic piece of comic relief.
20. Janae Watson
Janae probably spends more time in SHU than any of the other inmates, and it hurts every time she gets sent back. We prefer the scenes where she’s beaming on the running track or having a heart to heart with Yoga Jones.
19. Dayanara Diaz
Daya is often called annoying. This can be true, but one can’t really blame her considering who her mother is. Oh, and she’s coupled with the utterly adorable Bennet. That helps too.
18. Gina Murphy
Gina was rightfully pissed when Red indirectly set her on fire, and she waited a good, long time before she decided to forgive her. Her ability to forgive and remain loyal, even under this circumstance, is incredibly admirable.
17. Norma Romano
Norma doesn’t speak. She doesn’t really need to in order to make herself heard. But when she does vocalize, it’s completely magical.
16. Tricia Miller
Poor Tricia. She wasn’t with us for nearly long enough. Hopefully someone will expose what REALLY happened to her in season three.
15. Sister Jane Ingalls
Sister Jane might be the coolest nun ever. She is, after all, the Pope’s homie. Also, it’s impossible not to love her friendship with Sophia.
14. Yoga Jones
Yoga only lost her cool once throughout both seasons, which is pretty amazing considering her circumstances. Everyone could learn from her incredible sense of self control.
13. Gloria Mendoza
Gloria’s kitchen takeover made her a whole lot more important, and she knows it. She kept her steely resolve through all the pressure Red laid on her which, knowing Red, is very hard.
12. Piper Chapman
Piper doesn’t always do well when it comes time to take responsibility for her actions and sometimes, she can be quite whiny. However, she’s starting to come around and is realizing she only has herself to blame for the things that have happened to her.
11. Alex Vause
Piper’s ex is a very polarizing character; some love her, some loathe her. Alex is a terrible person, but she exudes coolness and is therefore attractive to many viewers. It’s arguable she shouldn’t be ranked above Piper. However, she’s the reason Piper is in prison in the first place, so she has to stand one spot higher.
10. Vee Parker
Ugh. Vee. Just her name puts a bad taste in the mouth. While her behavior is reprehensible (manipulating pretty much everyone and assaulting Red TWICE was NOT OKAY) and her personality purely evil, season two just wouldn’t be as amazing without her.
9. Miss Rosa
Can’t really explain this one without MAJOR season two spoilers. All we can say is Miss Rosa becomes a much bigger player than she was in season one. And we wouldn’t have her any other way.
8. Tasha “Taystee”Jefferson
She lost herself for a while, but what a relief is was when Taystee was able to pull away from Vee and rekindle her fabulous friendship with Poussey. Her confidence, when she has it, is delightful and inspiring.
7. Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett
‘Tucky seems like someone we shouldn’t like. She’s intolerant, rude, and bigoted. But…it’s still so hard to not love her, especially in season 2 where she softens up and isn’t quite so brash with the Bible. Plus, we can’t help but be excited with her when she gets her new teeth.
6. Poussey Washington
Poussey gets props for being a truly great friend, but also because she immediately sniffs out Vee’s manipulative nature. She never falls into that trap, which just goes to show how resistant she really is.
5. Lorna Morello
Lorna. Freaking. Morello. Is. EVERYTHING. She’s sweet, hilarious, endlessly quotable, and completely unpredictable. She’s the one with the heartbreaking back story nobody saw coming and as a result, the one everyone wants to protect the most. Seriously…it almost physically hurts to see her sobbing in Nicky’s arms after that dreadful encounter with her “fiancé.” But Lorna is a lot tougher than anyone, including she herself, realizes. Remember THAT scene in the van with Pornstache? He never expected her to shut him down the way she did. That speaks volumes for her character. She might need a little encouragement here and there, but Lorna does have the ability to stand up for herself. Hopefully, she’ll be able to recognize this as time goes on.
4. Nicky Nichols
Nicky is famous for her brutal honesty, but she has one of the biggest hearts imaginable. Her family and friends essentially abandoned her when she needed them most, leaving her to cope with her serious addiction issues all on her own. She could have easily decided to become a bitter lone wolf. Instead, Nicky uses her emotional intelligence and excellent listening skills to ensure no one is stranded the way she was. She’s always there for anyone, especially Lorna, who needs a comforting presence.
3. Sophia Burset
We REALLY missed Sophia in season two. She might not get as much screen time as we’d like, but she ranks so highly because of her loyalty, wisdom, and refusal to be anyone but herself. Sophia could teach us a thing or two about life…and hair, of course. Let’s hope she makes more appearances in season three.
2. Suzanne “Crazy Eyes”Warren
There are countless ways to love Suzanne. She’s an incredibly complex character who breaks our hearts with her past and then patches them up again with her wisdom. *Insert joke about throwing our pie for her here*
1. Galina “Red” Reznikov
Is Red an obvious top pick? Yes. But is she a necessary top pick? More yes. Even when she’s not running the kitchen, it’s no secret the old Russian woman with back problems is still running Litchfield. Even the guards don’t make changes or decisions without wondering if Red will approve. She isn’t perfect; there have been times where she’s had to recognize her wrongdoings and apologize. But in the end, Red is a fierce leader who always finds a way to protect the things she loves most. The top spot on this list is definitively hers, and we’re pretty sure she’ll defend that with all her might, too.
Are these rankings right on target, or way off the mark? Let us know!