Orange Is The New Black: Main Characters Ranked By Likability

Orange is the new black If the show had stuck with the original plan for Danielle Brooks’ character Taystee Jefferson and only had her appear in two episodes, it would have looked a lot different. Thankfully, Brooks wowed producers with her performance, and Taystee landed a major role in “Litchfield.”

But for every likable character like Taystee, there’s an equally unlikable character, like former CO Sam Healy. From extroverts to toxic mother figures, unlikeable characters make infuriating decisions that affect more than just themselves, while likeable characters touch the hearts of viewers through their journeys and growth.

16 Natalie “Fig” Figueroa

Natalie “Fig” Figueroa is a completely unlikable character. She was mean and cruel to the prisoners, unable to put herself in their shoes. For much of the series, she is selfish and ignores the poor treatment of prisoners and the conditions of the prison.

Fig embezzles the prison’s budget and becomes more caring after starting a relationship with Joe Caputo, but it’s too late for the audience to change their impression of her.

15 Sam Healy


Sam Healy is a chauvinistic homophobe who actually says gay prisoners should be separated from the straight population. His distorted view of women stems from his childhood, but that doesn’t mean he has a free pass.

Healy is just a villain who gets away with it too easily. However, his softer side occasionally comes out. His friendship with Rhett blossomed when Rhett helped him with his marriage. Even though she’s just using him, he gets a lot out of these interactions and proves that he’s a man who can change.

14 Aleida and Dayanara “Daya” Diaz

Aleida yells at Daya in the library in Orange Is the New Black

Aleida and Daya’s relationship is not successful. Mother and daughter never saw eye to eye and often argued. Aleida thought she could make a decision for Daya, but she lacked forethought. Initially compliant, Daya becomes the leader of a drug gang and falls down a rabbit hole of horrific choices.

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These women are just not lovable. It’s infuriating that neither seems to have learned enough from their actions to improve their lives.

13 Piper Chapman

Piper Chapman calls from jail.

Piper gets worse. Ultra NB. Initially, she has a moral compass, but as she adjusts to prison life, she becomes a completely different person who will do anything to survive. She became a cruel, conniving liar.

As her status among the prisoners grew, so did her ego – Piper thought she could do anything she put her mind to. The further her sentences go, the more she goes from approachable to irritating.

12 Nicky Nichols

Orange is the new black - Nichols

Nikki Nichols is cute, but she’s also done some terrible things. She put real effort into her sobriety, but after relapsing, she lied and stole from Red to fund her habit. Red views Nikki as an adopted daughter. She was protective and didn’t deserve Nikki’s disrespect.

But Nikki’s kinder side comes out when she vows to help Lorna with the kids, even calling Vinnie to tell him to do the right thing. Nikki is most lovable when she’s taking care of herself, because that in turn allows her to take care of her loved ones, which is one of her core values.

11 Alex Voss

Alex Vause in Orange Is the New Black

Alex Vause is one of the smarter prisoners, but this makes the storyline less compelling. She is skilled at manipulating others, especially Piper, and using others for her own personal gain. However, as strategic as Alex is, she doesn’t have much of a personality and mostly stays under the radar.

Alex and Piper’s on-again, off-again romance passed quickly. The two were terrible at each other and were only stuck together out of nostalgia, which made for an unsatisfying series finale when they were together.

10 Joe Caputo

Orange is the new black - Joe Caputo

Joe Caputo saw real growth throughout the series and became likeable. In the beginning, he was selfish and out of touch, but still considered himself a good person. However, by the end, he spoke up for Taystee and encouraged Sofia to press charges for a transphobic attack.

His time at Lichfield shaped him. He is one of the few staff members willing to help prisoners. Caputo showed real remorse for the treatment of these women, whereas people like Feige and Healy did not.

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9 Cindy “Black Cindy” Hayes

Orange is the new black - Black Cindy

Cindy Hayes transforms from a selfish, outspoken prisoner into a wise, down-to-earth woman. After lying about being Jewish in order to get a kosher meal, she discovered the religion and actually converted to Judaism. This completely changes her character; she cares less about herself and more about the well-being of others, which makes her more likable.

She begins to show a softer side to Susan, which is exactly what her friend needs.Cindy has a fitting Ultra NB Eventually, she turned her life around and found a job working as a home care provider for the elderly.

8 Tiffany “Pensatucky” Docter

Pennsatucky with an orange hood is the new black.

Tiffany Doggett grew up very mature in Litchfield. At the beginning of the series, she is an emotionally unstable fanatic, but her friendship with Boo changes her personality and perspective. She rarely loses her temper and even becomes a relaxed, lovable joker.

Trying to better herself through her GED was admirable, but her overdose after the test was tragic. Tiffany needs someone to support her in order to succeed. She’s proven she’s capable of making change, and she’s proving her critics wrong.

7 Gloria Mendoza

Gloria prays in Orange Is the New Black

Gloria Mendoza was one of Litchfield’s most caring prison mothers, protecting not only her prison family but other inmates as well. Rather than treating her imprisonment as a vacation, she used her time to work in the kitchen and raise her family outside to the best of her ability.

Gloria is likable because she doesn’t get involved in a lot of drama. She tries to keep a low profile while still being an important part of the other prisoners’ lives.

6 Lorna Morello

Lorna Morello in Orange New Black Wedding Dress

Lorna Morello has struggled with her mental health, and it has been deteriorating throughout the series.Baby Lorna’s death is one of the saddest events Ultra NB In an instant, it was difficult for her to recover. Yet, she’s still likable.

She is a woman who has a lot of love to give and just wants love in return. She is a great and loving friend and welcomes new prisoners with the same kindness as she did Piper. Lichfield’s inability to provide Lorna the mental health help she needed demonstrates the failure of the system.

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5 Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales and Maritza Ramos

Maritza and Flaca in Orange Is The New Black

Flaca Gonzalez and Marissa Ramos are an interesting duo. From working in the kitchen to helping Piper’s prison panty business, the women are best friends. They kept things lighthearted and joked a lot. They excitedly yell at the delinquents, scare them, and plan Daya’s wedding to Bennett.

These women are likable because they don’t take themselves or their situations too seriously. They make the most of their time at Litchfield and know that nothing lasts forever.

4 Galina “Red” Reznikov

Red chef uniform with orange is the new black

Red Reznikov rules her cell and is the ultimate mother hen figure for prisoners. She’s charismatic and easily puts others in their place for much of the series. As Rhett develops dementia, her mental abilities decline because she was once so independent, but she becomes dependent on others.

Red’s protectiveness and intolerance of drugs is commendable. She strives to keep her daughters on the straight and narrow. She sets standards for inmates to stay sober, but they know they can come to her if they relapse.

3 Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren

Susan's Crazy Eyes Talk to Orange Is the New Black

Suzanne Warren is compassionate and thoughtful. She doesn’t understand her differences and strives to be like everyone else. She is creative and gradually able to control her emotions and violent outbursts.

It’s heartbreaking when Susanna is treated poorly by the other prisoners. The jokes at her expense weren’t funny, and the show wisely dropped the use of the “Crazy Eyes” moniker. Suzanne had a lot to give, but most people didn’t give her a chance. Her enthusiasm and creativity in overcoming her fears make her extremely likable.

2 Percy Washington

Orange Percy Washington is the New Black

Poussey Washington is loving, funny and smart. Arrested for trespassing and intent to sell marijuana, she seemed the least likely to go to jail compared to the other inmates’ crimes. Poussey’s friendship with Taystee is supportive and protective as she works to protect Taystee from Vee. Pusey is lovable for her outgoing attitude and caring for her friends.

Pusey didn’t deserve to die, but her legacy lives on as she inspired Taystee to pursue prison reform and commemorate her life through the Pusey Washington Fund.

1 Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson


Taystee Jefferson is very likable. She is a fun extrovert who can easily make friends with anyone. Her ambition grew, especially after Pusey’s death, when she realized her voice could make the world a better place.

She was a complete victim of the system, which made her goals all the better, including bettering herself, studying for her GED, and starting a fund to help released inmates. Taystee is a natural leader and smarter than she lets on.

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