14 Couples That Hurt Orange Is The New Black (8 That Saved It)

Netflix has many original shows on their streaming service. but none are quite like Orange is the New Black. First coming to Netflix in 2013, the show focuses on Piper Chapman who was incarcerated for a year and a half after she was convicted of transporting substance money for her friend and former lover Alex Vause.

The show may have a lot of fictional elements, but Orange is the New Black is based on the novel Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. The book was written by Piper Kerman, who Chapman is based on in the show.

Considering the fact that the book was a New York Times bestseller, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the novel was adapted for the screen.

The memoir depicts Kerman’s time inside a Danbury, Connecticut correctional facility and details all of the women she met and experiences she had while inside the prison.

The show created by Jenji Kohan-creator of Weeds stars Taylor Schilling as Piper and Laura Prepon as her on again, off again girlfriend Alex.

Piper and Alex no doubt have a complicated relationship, there are several other inmates and correctional officers who have relations on the show.

While some of these relationships are touching, others are can be depicted as downright disturbing. Likewise, some of these couples helped the progress of the show while others hurt the overall development of the program.

With that said, here are the 814 Couples That Hurt Orange Is The New Black (8 That Saved It).

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Piper and Stella in Orange is the New Black
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22 Hurt: Piper And Stella

Piper and Stella in Orange is the New Black

Stella Carlin is first seen in season three while she and other inmates are sewing panties for the company Whispers as part of a job at Litchfield.

The two immediately start to become close. However, things escalate after Stella agrees to be part of Piper’s used panties business.

Eventually, the two begin to have an affair, which results in Alex breaking up with Piper.

Their relationship seemed to be blossoming with Piper even agreeing to get a tattoo from Stella; however, this came to an end when Stella stole Piper’s money from the used panty business.

It was a shame to only see actress Ruby Rose in one season of the show, but she has moved on to better things most notable Batwoman in the Arrowverse. 

21 Hurt: Norma And Mack

Norma and Mack in Orange is the New Black

Norma is seen as one of the sweeter inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is partially mute and has only spoken a few times on the show.

Norma is a good friend of Red and becomes a religious leader within the prison after accidentally creating a religion based on her spiritual guidance.

While she seems like a sweet person, her backstory ruined her facade once they introduced her husband Mack Romano, who is the leader of a spiritual cult.

Eventually, Mack admits to Norma that he is a fraud after they are the only two members left in the cult.

After convincing Norma that she wasted her life on him, Norma proceeds to shove him off of a cliff. Norma may be quiet, but she is a force to be reckoned with. 

20 Saved: Blanca And Diablo

Blanca Flores doesn’t have a huge role at the beginning of the series, but later has a much larger role in the show.

In season four, Blanca begins to become a more prominent character and even receives her own flashback episode.

In this episode, it is revealed how Blanca met her boyfriend Diablo and that she was sentenced to Litchfield for elder abuse.

Even though it was fun seeing Laura Gómez as a crazy inmate, it was much more satisfying to see her character become a stronger inmate and even incite a riot.

Part of her motivation is no doubt Diablo, which means that her character would never have developed if not for her relationship with her boyfriend.

In season six, we even see them excited to have a baby together.

19 Hurt: Lorna And Christopher

Lorna and Christopher in Orange is the New Black

From the very first season, Lorna was seen as soft-hearted character who got along well with most of the other inmates. While she is still seen this way on the show, her character was somewhat tarnished after we met her ex-boyfriend Christopher.

Christopher and Lorna met in a post office and only went on one date, but things didn’t end there for Lorna.

Lorna began stalking Christopher and even attempted to end the lives of Christopher and his new fiancé Angela, which landed her in prison.

While it was a good twist to have it revealed that she didn’t have a fiancé waiting for her on the outside initially, it got overplayed, especially in season three when Lorna tricked her new beau Vince and his friends into beating up Christopher even though he didn’t do anything wrong. 

18 Hurt: Pennsatucky And Coates

Doggett and Coates in Orange is the New Black

Tiffany Doggett, typically referred to as “Pennsatucky,” has been one of the main characters of Orange is the New Black since season one.

She was initially seen as a religion crazed enemy to Piper, but her character has developed quite a bit throughout the show.

One of the biggest developments of her character is also one of the most heartbreaking couples of the show. In season 3, Doggett meets Charlie Coates, a corrections officer hired by Caputo due to a staff shortage.

His main job is to ride with Doggett when she drives the prison van, but the two quickly begin to have feelings for each other.

Their relationship quickly becomes abusive, resulting in Coates taking advantage of Doggett.

What makes their relationship even worse is that they become friends again later on in the series and even try to run away together in season six.

17 Saved: Nicky And Lorna

Nicky and Lorna in Orange is the New Black

Lorna may have a complicated love life, but her relationship with Nicky Nichols is one of the most sincere relationships on the show.

Early on in the show, it was revealed that Lorna and Nicky had a previous romantic relationship together but it was broken off when Lorna began to feel guilty about cheating on her fake fiancé Christopher.

Even though they often had an on again, off again romantic relationship, they always remained best friends - even when they were not a couple.

There are several women who are shown to be in cliques with other inmates, but Nicky and Lorna have always had a special kind of relationship. The two always seem to love each other even throughout the huge mistakes that they have both made.

16 Hurt: Larry And Polly

Polly and Larry in Orange is the New Black

Larry Bloom and Polly Harper had a short and awkward fling in season two. Polly and Piper were best friends in college and even started a soap-making company together prior to Piper’s incarceration.

Larry, on the other hand, also has an intimate relationship with Piper, as he is her ex-fiancé.

Both Larry and Polly became lonely in season two since Piper was in prison and since Polly’s husband Pete was in Alaska.

The two begin to hang out together and eventually things become intimate.

Piper finds out, which ends her friendship with Polly. When Pete finds out, he punches Larry in the face.

It was a short and awkward affair that really didn’t do anything for the plot of the show. 

15 Hurt: Alex And Piper

A lot of Orange is the New Black is built around Piper’s relationship with Alex Vause. After all, Vause is partly responsible for Chapman being in prison in the first place.

The couple often turn on each other and do things that nobody would consider healthy in a relationship.

Despite this, Alex and Piper have stuck together throughout the series and are now even prison married on the show.

The couple obviously has a complicated history, but this is no reason for them to stay together.

Vause is based on Piper Kerman’s real-life ex-girlfriend Catherine Cleary Wolters. Wolters has stated that even though Vause’s character is based on her, most of what viewers are seeing is fiction. 

14 Saved: Diaz And Bennett

Daya and Bennett in Orange is the New Black

The relationship between Daya Diaz and John Bennett was an example of a couple that really kept the show’s story moving along for the first few seasons.

The couple start to have feelings for each other early on in the first season and things escalate after Diaz receives a piece of gum under her pillow from Bennett.

The pair become intimate soon after and end up sleeping together, which is, of course, against the law given Bennett’s authoritative control over the inmates.

Despite the rules, Diaz and Bennett had a blossoming relationship even though he was a guard and she was a prisoner.

However, things became complicated after Diaz became pregnant with Bennett’s child.

Even though Bennett hasn’t been seen since season three, their relationship was initially one of the most interesting parts of the show. 

13 Hurt: Maureen And Suzanne

Suzanne and Maureen in Orange is the New Black

Given Suzanne Warren’s insane personality, not very many people expected her to form a romantic relationship with another inmate.

Her nickname, "Crazy Eyes," is given to her partly because she often gets frustrated with herself and becomes extremely attached to certain people and objects.

Suzanne initially had a big crush on Piper, but Suzanne became romantically involved with Maureen Kukudio after she was introduced in season three.

Even though the pair clearly had mixed feelings for each other, the two characters were never really given the opportunity to have an actual relationship like the other inmates.

The opportunity to have a romantic relationship officially ended when Maureen passed away from infected injuries inflicted by Suzanne in season four.

This is just one example of a relationship that should have been more developed but never was. 

12 Hurt: Larry And Piper

Larry and Piper in Orange is the New Black

Piper’s ex-fiancé Larry Bloom is a freelance writer who was a big part of the first season of the show. The show, after all, begins showing Piper’s life outside of prison with her soon-to-be husband.

Larry drives Piper to Litchfield to surrender herself, and for a while, things remain positive between the couple. However, things then eventually go south.

He cheats on Piper with her best friend named Polly and they eventually break off their engagement.

Larry was completely absent from the show for seasons three and four and was only seen in a flashback for one episode of season five. Even though the show has derailed from actual events, it would have made sense to feature Larry more since Piper Kerman is still married to Larry Smith in real life. 

11 Saved: Poussey And Soso

Poussey Washington and Brook Soso were in the same boat when it came to their feelings about being in prison.

Both became depressed due to loneliness although they both handled their condition in different ways.

Poussey depended on drinking and Norma’s spiritualism to deal with her depression, while Soso turns to Norma as well as anti-depressants.

While their relationship began to grow in season three, they don’t begin dating until season four.

They began to have an intimate relationship in season four, but things were cut short after Poussey passed away at the end of the season.

Even though they were a short-lived couple, they were just what the other person needed and provided the show with a much needed healthy relationship. 

10 Hurt: O’Neill And Bell

Wanda and Scott in Orange is the New Black

With as many couples as there are on Orange is the New Black, the one that struck between Wanda Bell and Scott O’Neill was really an unnecessary one.

Both characters were correctional officers at Litchfield but abandoned their jobs at the beginning of season four when they realize that all of the inmates are escaping.

While it was probably a smart move for them to leave their horrible jobs, the characters were absent for the rest of season four and most of season five.

They only made an appearance in the fifth season where it was revealed that they were married and expecting a child.

There isn’t anything wrong with O’Neill and Bell becoming romantically involved, but their relationship just seemed like filler for the show. 

9 Hurt: Caputo And Linda

Caputo and Linda in Orange is the New Black

Joe Caputo and Linda Ferguson are two people viewers probably never expected to see in a relationship, but it happened anyway.

Just because it was a twist on the show, doesn’t make it a positive aspect of the series, however.

Linda was often seen putting the finances above the well being of the prisoners, which Caputo was clearly against. After hiring veterans to replace current correctional officers, Caputo and Linda begin to date even though their personalities are vastly different.

Their relationship is strained when a prisoner passes away at Litchfield, which obviously effects Caputo.

Their relationship continued to break apart during season five when the inmates break out.

Linda blames Caputo for being incarcerated during the riot in season six.

8 Saved: Lorna And Vince

Lorna and Vince in Orange is the New Black

While Nicky and Lorna share a special bond, some may argue that their relationship would never work outside of prison.

After Nicky is sent to Maximum Security, Lorna begins to write to several pen-pals in order to scam them for money.

At one point, she falls in love with a pen-pal named Vince Muccio. Vince also falls in love with Lorna - even after finding out that Lorna was initially going to scam him for money.

Lorna proposes to Vince in season three and the couple is wed in the visitation room soon after.

While Lorna may have a crazy side, it's heartwarming that she eventually found someone who loves her as much as she loves them. 

7 Hurt: Luscheck And Fischer

Luschek and Fischer in Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black has several relationships between inmates, prison workers, and an inappropriate mixture of the two.

Having Susan Fischer and Joel Luschek date in season two is just a common example of the show trying to fill up time for a full-length episode.

There was really no reason for Luscheck and Fischer to become romantically involved, but it happened for a brief time.

Thankfully, the two realized that they were just too different to have a romantic relationship and decided to call it quits.

Fans of the show were probably just as happy to see this relationship end as Caputo was, since he had a huge crush on Fischer. 

6 Hurt: Nicky And Alex

Alex Vause and Nicky in Orange is the New Black

Even though Nicky and Alex were never truly categorized as a couple, they did have one intimate encounter with each other in the episode “Can’t Fix Crazy".

Nicky and Alex both have a lot of screen time since they are two of the biggest characters on the show; however, it was pointless for them to have any type of intimate relationship.

Granted, Nicky was seen comforting Alex at a few points when she was having trouble with Piper, but it seems like Nicky and Alex’s relationship was just included to throw more romance into a show that is already filled with adult content.

Their relationship may have not severely damaged the show in any way, but it certainly didn’t positively impact the show either. 

5 Saved: Caputo And Figueroa

Caputo and Natalie in Orange is the New Black

The relationship between Joe Caputo and Natalie Figueroa was just as unlikely as Caputo’s relationship with Linda Ferguson. That being said, the dynamic between Caputo and Figueroa was much more interesting than Caputo and his other lovers.

Caputo and Figueroa were often seen at each other’s throats in the first couple seasons, but they begin to have a relationship in season three.

Figueroa and Caputo have an affair after Figueroa continues to have marital problems with her secretly gay husband. Their relationship continues throughout the following seasons despite Caputo seeing Linda Ferguson.

The two may have initially been seen as enemies, but the writers did a good job of evolving their characters into a romantic couple. 

It's obvious in season six just how much the two care for one another.

4 Hurt: Judy And Luscheck

Yoga Jones, Judy, and Luschek in Orange is the New Black

Judy King was formally a TV celebrity after starring on her own cooking show called Judy King at Home. Unfortunately, her time in the spotlight was cut short after she was admitted to Litchfield for tax evasion.

With the inmates watching her sentencing on TV, Judy was already a popular gal before she even arrived in prison.

That being said, she was also popular with Joel Luschek, with whom she forced into an intimate relationship.

The two slept together twice - once in order to get Nicky out of max and once when they were high on illegal substances. The second time Judy and Luschek became intimate, Yoga Jones was also part of their relationship. 

However, their relationship was never healthy.

3 Saved: Daddy And Diaz

Daddy and Daya in Orange is the New Black

Dominga Duarte, commonly referred to as “Daddy,” is a new character introduced in season six. Being incarcerated for selling women, Daddy still doesn’t follow the rules once inside prison.

She is very involved in the substance trade, which takes place inside the prison and almost starts a gang war with other inmates.

She also comes off as very confident and flirty, especially towards Daya Diaz.

While she does seem to genuinely care for Daya, she also gets her addicted to Oxycontin, which she gives to Daya after Daya is repeatedly beaten by guards.

Though this no doubt was not a healthy part of their relationship, their relationship does grow over time.

It also develops Daya’s character since Daddy was her first real love interest since the Bennett and Mendez drama in prior seasons. 

2 Hurt: Red And Healy

Red and Healy in Orange is the New Black

Galina “Red” Reznikov and Sam Healy no doubt have chemistry between them, but it is none the less irksome.

Early on, Red would help Healy communicate with his wife Katya who was a Ukrainian mail-order bride. By doing this, Healy would do special favors for Red.

While their relationship initially was professional, during season three, they began having intimate feelings towards each other, which allowed Red to get her job back in the kitchen.

Though they are cautious about their relationship, Healy of all people should know what happens to prison workers who have romantic relationships with inmates.

After Mendez was fired and arrested for assault, Healy should know better and shouldn’t even think about becoming romantic with Red. 

1 Saved: Tricia And Mercy

Tricia And Mercy in Orange is the New Black

Tricia Miller and Mercy Valduto were one of the earlier relationships depicted in season one. However, the couple is short lived since Mercy was released from Litchfield early on in the season.

Tricia was terrified of losing Mercy even though Mercy promised to keep in touch even after she left the prison.

Tricia was so scared of not having Mercy around that she had planned to stash substances in Mercy’s bunk so that she would serve a longer sentence, but Miss Claudette convinces her not to.

Even though Mercy was only in one episode, she made Tricia’s overdose that much more dramatic, since Tricia had lost the one woman she loved. 


Are there any other relationships that you think saved or hurt Orange is the New Black? Sound off in the comment section!

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