Trivia: Orange Is The New Black

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Nicky complains that she thought she was Red's Spock; Red is Captain Janeway.
    • In an early episode, Maria Dizzia's character Polly includes the secret ingredient of blueberries in her soap, which is one of the things that makes Piper so excited about going into business. This may be a subtle allusion to Dizzia's character Dolores on Louie, who has a penchant for blueberries.
    • Alex and Piper are called into Healy's office after Pennsatucky trapped Alex in the laundry dryer; Healy's only concern is whether they've been using the dryer for lascivious purposes. Alex responds, "I'm more of a dishwasher kind of gal, sir." This is an allusion to Donna Pinciotti, the character Laura Prepon played on That '70s Show, who mentioned being aroused by dishwashers.
    • Between him referring to the "webcam incident" and the "penis-shaving horror" in the first episode and the scene with him attempting to "edge," the show doesn't shy away from references to Jason Biggs' breakout role in American Pie.
    • Nicky refers to Gina as "Squirrel." This could be a reference to Abigail Savage's role as Bunny.
    • Norma is revealed to have been the loyal wife of a guru/cult leader in the 1970's. This could be a reference to the fact that Annie Golden originated the role of Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme in the musical Assassins
  • Actor-Shared Background: Both Nicky and Natasha Lyonne are estranged from their mothers and have had issues with substance dependency. Also, Lyonne actually did have a heart infection; the scar is real.
  • Breakthrough Hit: One of Netflix's first major successes with original programming, along with House of Cards, and easily their most popular original show before Daredevil.
  • Dawson Casting: Many of the actresses play their younger, even teenage versions in flashbacks. Some, like Samira Wiley (Poussey) or Emma Myles (Leanne), are more convincing, some, like Taryn Manning (Pennsatucky) less. Also Daya, a character in her early twenties, is played by an actress in her early thirties (and very close in age to the actress playing her on-screen mother), Dascha Polanco, admittedly a definite Older Than They Look case.
  • Fake American: Brooklyn-Italian Lorna Morello is played by Australian Yael Stone.
  • Fake Russian: Galina "Red" Reznikov is played by the Irish-American Kate Mulgrew
  • Genius Bonus: Morello mistakes the name of Bora Bora for "Bora Bora Bora." She's apparently confusing the country's name with "Tora Tora Tora," the Japanese codeword announcing the successful sneak attack of Pearl Harbor, which served as the namesake of the war film Tora! Tora! Tora!
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
    • Pornstache is Nick Sobotka and William Lewis.
    • Nicky is certainly embracing her attraction to women after being in an ex-gay camp.
      • Now we know how Nicky spent her teen years.
      • Everyone knew Jessica was a lesbian, but it must be awkward for Jim to see her in jail.
    • It goes without saying that Donna figured out what she wanted to do with her life after graduating. Alternatively, Karen's gotten a lot less pretentious, though she's still rather rude.
    • Captain Janeway is taking her holodeck program a bit too far. Alternatively, Flemeth somehow ended up in jail and picked up a Russian accent while serving her time.
    • Larry has already had some experience with *ehem* unconventional methods of self love.
    • Bennett is Asher Millstone.
    • Chang's mother or mother-like figure who deals in the flashbacks is Madame Gao. Both characters are so similar in appearance, tone of voice, manner of speech, body language and other facets, one begins to wonder if OitNB is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Chang herself was on Roseanne, as Iris, one of Roseanne's co-workers at the hair salon in Season 2.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
    • Yoga Jones is Patti Mayonnaise.
    • Livewire apparently lost her lightning powers, changed her name to Lolly, and ended up in jail. Again.
  • I Am Not Spock: A few interviewers have made the mistake of equating the personalities of some of the actresses with those of the characters they play. Danielle Brooks and Samira Wiley have gotten it more than once; in reality, both are educated, well-spoken and professional women. However, confusions such as this only speak to the quality of the show's performances.
  • Killer App: One of the reasons to get a Netflix account if you don't have one already.
  • Meta Casting:
    • Natasha Lyonne does have a scar on her chest, like her character Nicky, and for the same reasons: a bacterial heart infection caused by using a dirty needle.
    • Stella Carlin, Piper's new love interest for a chunk of season three, has an androgynous appearance and identifies as female "for lack of a better option". In real life, actress Ruby Rose identifies as nonbinary/genderfluid.
  • Playing Gertrude: Elizabeth Rodriguez, who was 33 years old when the series started, plays Aleida who is a mother of the 24 year old Daya.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The reason that Nicky is Put on a Bus to Hell in Season 3 is that Natasha Lyonne no longer wanted to be on the show.
  • Star-Making Role: For most of the main cast...except for Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Biggs, and Laura Prepon; in their cases, it is Career Resurrection.
  • What Could Have Been: Uzo Aduba originally auditioned for the part of Watson. Watson was also intended to be the most prominent character of the black group, but gradually became the least prominent one.