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- "Can't Fix Crazy" - Flaca saving Gina's life and extinguishing her arm from the oven grease fire Red had caused the night before, and Norma later giving Red a silent What the Hell, Hero? by ripping her secret santa slip and throwing it at her. To top it off, Gloria's Genre Savvy enough to put the pieces together and starve Red out, just how the latter starved out Piper in the beginning.
- Fig of all people gets one when she puts an end to Healy's infatuation over Piper."Healy, if you ever contact an inmate's family again out of your lesbian witchhunt shit, I will destroy you. Your mail-order bride will leave you, and you'll never work again. Get some fucking therapy, man."
- Later on, when Suzanne freezes up during the play on her part, Norma earns herself another CMOA by breaking her silence to save Suzanne and the show.
- Fig of all people gets one when she puts an end to Healy's infatuation over Piper.
- In "Blood Donut", When Watson antagonizes Yoga Jones about her accidentally murdering a kid, Yoga ''slaps the everloving shit out of her!
- When you find out why Claudette is in prison. She killed the man who was abusing the girl who worked as his maid.
- Following her unfair stint in solitary confinement (during Fucksgiving, season 1, episode 9) thanks to jealous prison guard Healy and manipulative hick Pennsatucky, a determined Piper heads straight for her ex-girlfriend Alex and leads her away into the chapel. Once there, the two finally relieve some of their obvious Unresolved Sexual Tension since reuniting at the end of the pilot episode. Also may count as a The Big Damn Kiss moment.
- In the same episode, Piper chews Healy out over it from her cell.Piper: The only sicko here is you. And under different circumstances, what? I'd be your girlfriend? Is that it? Did I make you jealous? You put me in this hellhole for no reason. Wake up, Healy! Girls like me? We don't fuck ignorant, pretentious old men with weird lesbian obsessions! We go for tall, hot girls, and we fucking love it! So, that leaves you on the outside, living your sad, sad little life. You don't get me! Ever! So, go fuck yourself!
- When the prisoners meet the juvenile girls, Suzanne quotes Shakespeare at them. It's amazing and terrifying.
- Piper scaring a girl straight without acting, exaggerating, or threatening her. All she does is give an honest, disturbingly calm assessment of what prison can do to your emotional well-being and sense of self-worth, and it's enough to render not just the girl she's talking to but all the other students, inmates, and staff members in the vicinity completely speechless.
- Chapman: I'm like you, Deana. I'm weak too. I can't get through this without somebody to touch, without somebody to love. Is that because sex numbs the pain, or because I'm an evil fuckmonster, I don't know. But what I do know, I was somebody before I came in here. I was somebody with a life that I chose for myself. And now? Now it's just about getting through the day without crying. And I'm scared. I'm still scared. I'm scared that I'm not myself in here, and I'm scared that I am. Other people aren't the scariest part of prison, Deana. It's coming face to face with who you really are. Because once you're behind these walls, there's nowhere to run, even if you could. The truth catches up with you in here, Deana, and it's the truth that's gonna make you her bitch. (walks out)Washington: Damn, you cold.Chapman: Bitches got to learn.
- It should be noted that Piper wasn't even supposed to be helping with Scared Straight, she just happened to be in the bathroom at the same time and is the only person to take it seriously.
- Sophia not bowing to Pornstache's attempts to extort her into sex for her hormones, despite the personal hell waiting for her when she goes through withdrawal and then a complete lack of hormones.
- In the season 1 finale when finally getting dumped by both Larry and Alex (her fiance and girlfriend, respectively), ostracized by almost every other prisoner, then backed into a corner by an armed Pennsatucky before eventually getting ignored and left to die by a vindictive Healy, a desperate Piper snaps on her Knight Templar nemesis, who'd been planning to kill her for the last several episodes. The resulting No-Holds-Barred Beatdown is truly an epic sight to behold.
- Piper ends up sharing a cubicle with Claudette, one of the oldest convicts there who is extremely strict about the conduct of her roommates. After having a bad day, Piper finally tells her to lay off. She launches into a tirade about all of the things she's had to deal with since coming to prison, and asks her to cut her some slack. As she walks off, Claudette slowly smiles to herself.
- In 'Tit Punch', even though it landed her in jail, Red punching the woman who made fun of her in her breast implant.
- Piper accidentally insults Red's cooking, and Red's response is to make sure that she slowly starves, using her connections to deny Piper any food whatsoever. It's both terrifying and incredible how far Red's reach extends throughout the prison, and teaches Piper a valuable lesson about respect.
- Piper figuring out how to get back on Red's good side is pretty impressive too. She creates a home-made remedy by bartering for various items around the prison, which includes cutting off strands of her hair. There's one moment where it looks as if she's crying in her bunk, and Pornsatche stops by to mock her and the situation she's found herself in, but it turns out her eyes are just watering because she's chewing jalapenos for Red's balm. The balm doesn't exactly work, but Red appreciates the hard work that Piper put into making it, and forgives her.
- The finale has a few:
- Caputo finally getting one over Fig with a Bait the Dog moment, consoling her over her cheating husband, then allowing her to attempt to buy his silence about her embezzlement in exchange for oral sex, and then admitting that he had already noticed the warden.
- Norma goes Beware the Quiet Ones in her attempt to avenge Red's beating by Vee, by formulating an arsenic made out of apple seeds. When Gloria points out the flaws and lack of necessities to succeed with this plan, she offers her help. Still gotta give Norma props for trying.
- Sister Ingralls' "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Caputo and how their "compassionate release", referring to the system sending a still-senile Jimmy off into the world alone to fend for herself and without nearby or known relatives.
- "What are you going to do about the quality of senior care in this prison? The elderly are the fastest growing population in this prison, and they have special needs. So-called "compassionate release" in lieu of care is completely unacceptable. You can't dump sick, old ladies on the streets. It's unconscionable, inhumane...and illegal. You must meet your obligations."
- In Episode 8, when the black inmates (and everyone) verbally hound Piper about her receiving furlough to see her dying grandmother and other special privileges for her ethnicity, Piper snaps once again and voices that she's aware of her white privilege, but also lets the girls have it.Piper: Yes, I am white! We have established that, and I got furlough, too. I guess white privilege wins again, and as a speaker for the entire white race, I would like to say I'm sorry you guys got the raw deal, but I love my fucking grandmother. And yeah, she may be a whitey too, but she's also a fucking person, and she needs me. So you all can shut the fuck up.
- In Episode 4, When Piper is reassigned to room with Red, who denies Piper permission to move Red's belonging to her side of the room, the two have a standoff. Just as you think a fight is about to break out, Piper shatters Red with a witty low blow referring to back when Red starved her out and eventually lost her position as head chef.
- Piper: What are you going to do? Not feed me?
- In the same episode, Soso shows that she's more than just a flat Asian Airhead as she quickly realizes Piper is trying to sell her to Boo, and calls her "seriously fucked up."
- Suzanne's adoptive mother giving an epic speech about Suzanne (age 10) being rejected from the birthday party for being four years older, and how other children are rejected for simply being different.
- "You know which children suffer in this world, Melanie? The ones that are told they are different, the ones that are never given the chance to succeed alongside any other kid their age, and I'll be damned if I label my child less than so the rest of the world can put her in a box and dismiss her before she's had a chance to succeed in life."
- After several occasions when a (sometimes well-meaning) Alex screwed Piper over, Piper finally gets a pretty twisted revenge: she gets a freed Alex thrown back into prison with her. On the one hand, this is very decent revenge for Alex coercing Piper into perjuring herself while Alex made a deal and was set free, and on the other hand, Piper can justify it by claiming that she was saving Alex's life by getting her out of reach from a man who wanted her dead, which is in fact true. It's deliciously messed up and should quite an interesting dynamic going forward.
- Adding to the CMOA is that Piper enlists Polly and Larry into getting Alex thrown back into prison. Larry rightly guesses that part of Piper's motivation is to get Alex back in with her, and it's not quite a reconciliation between them, but Piper points out that it gives them a chance to screw over someone they don't like.
- Cal and Neri's surprise wedding. The sincerity in their relationship is a clear contrast to the lack of it in any of Piper's.
- Piper's verbal beatdown of Polly and Larry said what some of the audience was thinking at that moment.
- On the other hand, Polly's deflection reflects an already-twisted message of the show: that we can't choose who we love and it just sort of happens (which, as we've already been shown, is true for Piper and Alex). And her vagina ''did'' bounce back.
- Healy's forged paperwork that "proves" what he knows to be true: Suzanne was not responsible for Red's beating.
- Morello cursing Vee to her face;
- Morello: "May you never have a minute a' peace."
- Taystee, Poussey, Janae and Cindy all turning on Vee, berating her and letting her know that she's now in a prison full of people out to get her, with no one to back her up.Black Cindy: We about to recant our shit.
- The Karmic Death of Arturo, Gloria's abusive boyfriend, who's trapped in a room after he knocks over a candle and is burned to death.
- Rosa's final escape, especially when she makes roadkill out of Vee.
- Pornstache manages to score one, when he is escorted out of the prison for getting an inmate pregnant (well, not really, but everyone thinks so): he is completely unmoved by the fact he's getting arrested, leaves the prison with his head held high and only cares about the woman he loves and "his" unborn baby, yelling in front of the staff and inmates that he is not ashamed of Daya, he loves her and will take care of her and the baby when he returns. Even better — that was exactly what Daya wanted from Bennett, the actual father of her baby.
- Mendez's reintroduction to the show starts with him pulling up in his car, squealing the tyres, dramatically slamming open the doors and power-walking through the corridor while giving out no less than three shots. An asshole through and through, but damn if he doesn't have style.
- The Golden Girls muscling everything they need out of the kitchen, simply by reminding Gloria and her crew that they're the most hardened criminals in the place.
- Finger in the Dyke, when
CarrieBoo gives her father an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech for not accepting her as she is.
Oh you think thats funny? You listen to me. You think you hot sh*t? You think cuz I messed up that youre going to follow in your mothers footsteps? Well, let me tell you something; youre dead wrong. From now on youre gonna come here every week. Youre gonna bring your homework. And if you dont, I will make your life a living hell, even from in here. Try me. Ill call my brothers from Washington Heights, and theyll hang your a** over that bridge until you piss on yourself and it comes running down your body into your mouth.
- From the same episode: "Suck my big, fat, DYKE, DICK, YOU FUCKING, HATEFUL, PIECE, OF, SHIT!!!!"
- Boo is pretty much made of Awesome in Season 3, especially the way she stands up for Doggett after a guard rapes Pennsatucky.
- Glorias son has come to visit with her mother. Hes a typical teenage bad boy, and Glorias mother is sick of his attitude. Gloria then turns threatening towards him and states the following:
- From the same episode: "Suck my big, fat, DYKE, DICK, YOU FUCKING, HATEFUL, PIECE, OF, SHIT!!!!"
- Norma finally asserting a degree of independence after a lifetime as a perpetual Shrinking Violet by quitting her long-held position as Red's underling.
- Chang's character development. Until this season, we know her as the Lady Looks Like a Dude introverted Chinese woman who occasionally opened her mouth to make crass remarks. Well: she was a Chinese immigrant who spoke no English, was pushed around by her family too much- even to the point where her own family attempted to coerce her into an arranged marriage just for their own personal gain. She took to illegal sales with a friend of hers, and after one night of being ripped off, grew a fucking spine and made it her initiative to take no prisoners and fuck up whoever got in her way. Beware the Quiet Ones, indeed.
- Red is asked by Healy to be a translator between him and his wife and ends up giving the latter a "The Reason You Suck" Speech when she hears how conceited and deliberately difficult she's being.
- A rather dark example, but Piper taking revenge on Stella for stealing her money by filling her bunk with contraband. And then placing a tip in with the guards, ensuring that she gets sent to Max. It's a vicious and cold-hearted move and Piper's unemotional stare while showing her new "Trust No Bitch" tattoo really sells it.Piper: I don't fuck around. Let the people know.
- The ending of "We Can Be Heroes." The veteran guards are discussing creating a union and Caputo comes to confront them at the bar. After he goes on about all the union-busting tactics that corporate is going to use, they ask him to be their union rep, to which he agrees. It ends with O'Neil starting to sing "Do you hear the people sing?," which then goes into a full-blown cast recording over the credits.
- During the Season Three finale, when DEA agents arrive to bust Cesar. Not only do they take him down swiftly and smoothly, but he shows a skewed Papa Wolf sensibility in trying to protect his children.
- Healey tries to take advantage of the fact Soso is still recovering from her attempted suicide by drug overdose, by getting her to testify against her counselor, Rogers. Soso's response is a deadpan "You're really bad at your job, you know that?"
- In the opener, one of last season's cliffhangers is resolved in a brutally awesome manner. Alex is being choked to death when Lolly comes in and single-handedly beats a professional hitman to death (well, almost death). Lolly's calm manner is rather disturbing, but the fact remains that she saved Alex's life.
- Caputo runs into one of the guards from the prison that walked out on him last season and when you think he's going to offer an apology, he instead unleashes a pretty epic The Reason You Suck speech.
- Sister Ingalls punching Gloria in the face to get sent to SHU in order to obtain proof that Sophia is there. Even Gloria praises her for it.
- And when Sister Ingalls's plan fails, it's Caputo who takes a photo of Sophia and smuggles it to a journalist.
- The journalist in question being Danny Pearson.
- And when Sister Ingalls's plan fails, it's Caputo who takes a photo of Sophia and smuggles it to a journalist.
- Blanca lasting several days into her Jane Eyre-esque punishment of standing on a table instead of letting herself be broken.
- Not to mention that the only reason she got down off the table was because the prison was forced into full lockdown. Even with the guards' sadism, they completely failed to break her.
- In "The Animals", after a series of horrible and inhumane actions inflicted upon the inmates by the guards, all of the inmates stand together in peaceful protest against the guards. Everyone.
- In the finale, after hearing that Poussey's killer won't be arrested, Taystee creates a riot involving all the inmates that sweeps through the entire prison in only a couple of minutes. Then, if things couldn't get any better, all the inmates convene on Humphrey, Mc Collough, and Judy King. Humphrey attempts to pull out his hidden pistol, only to have it knocked out of his hands and land at Daya's feet. Daya then picks it up and takes control of the situation, forcing Mc Collough to the ground and pointing the gun at Humphrey's head. The camera then spins around, centered on her, letting us see the rage and blood lust of the inmates surrounding her. Epic cliffhanger.
- Even better, the inmate who knocks the gun out of his hands is Maritza, who he terrorized and made eat a baby mouse.
- Caputo puts Piscatella in his place after Poussey's death, and the big, scary guard takes it. At that moment, Caputo's almost like a white Sisko.
- After starting the riot by knocking Humphrey's gun away, Maritza gets a further revenge by kicking him right in the bullet wound, followed by a few others. No tears were shed.
- Taystee heads straight for Caputo after the riot starts to tell him off for his announcement about Poussey's death. She ends up making clear just how south things have gone by punching him in the face.
- Frieda getting herself and the Aryans out of the pantry by bluffing that she shot the guards with poison darts.
- On that note, props to the guards. They managed to take down the Nazis and Frieda, all four serious badasses in their own right. They then hold the kitchen for some time until Frieda bluffs them.
- Boo acting as Penn's lawyer, marching up while playing the Law & Order theme song and then catching Angie in a lie about Saved by the Bell.
- The ladies burning the attempted snack bribe, including Piper finally being driven to take a stand over how little they're being taken seriously.
- CO Coats may well be a rapist scumbag, but he becomes the only guard to evade the roundup and manages to get into the ceiling. He remains loose for two days, with only a handful of Twizlers, before Angie and Leanne find him. And then, with a little help from Pennsatucky, he escapes the prison
- "Tied to the Tracks":
"You fucked her up for twenty three years, how was I supposed to undo all that in just a week?"
- Gloria shutting down Aleida, letting her know that Daya shooting Humphrey is but the culmination of her bad parenting.
- Daya realizing that following her mother's advice had done nothing but lead to trouble for her, and owns up to her actions. She turns herself in, and when Aleida sees her and tries to yell out for her, Daya simply ignores her.
- Frieda's gang taking down Piscatella, while stoned off their asses. "Teamwork!"
- Gina having the foresight to film Piscatella ranting and threatening Piper and the others. She gets a forehead kiss from Red and Nicky for her troubles and she looks delighted.
- Flaca and Maritza doing one final vlog was heartwarming in itself, but doing it live during the SWAT raid was pretty awesome.
- The Nazis and Hispanics led by Ouija joining forces for an awesome Last Stand against the incoming SWAT team. Obviously a lost cause at this point but in no way was it not cathartic to see them deliver such an impressive opposition to the armed and trained officers.
- Dixon punching out a homophobic punk that calls Coates and Penn (in disguise) faggots.
- Nicky warns the guards of an assassination attempt, at great risk to herself, to save Red.
- Piper resolves to "make prison suck less" and does so in grand fashion by bringing back kickball...which helps end a thirty year bloc war. By accident.
- The final blow to the war sees several characters step up:
- Maria, desperate to avoid war, manages to Taking A Third Option to avert the imminent brawl without snitching and convincing a nervous McCullough to go with the mixed teams, which finally brings the blocks together to cheer for teams, not blocks.
- McCullough deserves props as well, overcoming her paranoia and PTSD long enough to back Maria's call.
- Blanca wins the season (and arguably the entire series) by beating the legal system at its own game. She gets her riot conviction thrown out, keeps her green card, and avoid deportation. Then she leaves the country anyways to be with Diablo.
- Figueroa's character development comes full circle as she gives up her dream of having a child via IVF to secure an abortion drug for a raped detainee.
- The theme by Regina Spektor. Doubles as an Ear Worm.
- Uzo Aduba winning back-to-back Emmys, first as Outsanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series then as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She's the first performer since Edward Asner to win an Emmy for playing the same character in a Drama and Comedy.