Earlier this year, Netflix's original series Orange is the New Black wrapped up its seventh and final season with some gut-wrenching conclusions. The Emmy award-winning series told the stories of a variety of female inmates at fictional Litchfield Penitentiary in upstate New York. Loosely based on real-life inmate Piper Kerman's memoir Orange is the New Black, the show explores the themes of justice and prison reform through the eyes of a diverse set of women (and some men).
With so many different characters on Orange is the New Black, it's hard to notice every single detail thrown in. For that reason, we've rounded up some of the hidden details you probably missed, unless you were paying attention or re-watching every episode over and over again.
10 THERE IS NO CHARACTER THAT APPEARS IN EVERY SINGLE EPISODE
With such a wide range of diverse characters, it's inevitable that there just isn't room in each episode to show everyone. In fact, there is no single character that has appeared in every episode of the show. Even Piper, the star of the show, is no exception. This allows each character to develop and get their own time to shine and we to get to know a little bit more about their individual backstory. It lets us see the human side of everyone instead of just seeing them as Piper's fellow inmates.
9 EVERY TIME PIPER USES THE PHONE, THE CRYING WOMAN IS IN THE BACKGROUND
This becomes more of a running gag, but in the beginning, you don't really notice her until you really pay attention to it. The character's real name is Emily Germann. But she's mostly known as Weeping Woman. Later on, she actually gets a bit more screen time, but in the beginning, we only see her when Piper is on the phone. In Season 7, she gives Piper a tissue when she's crying on the phone, telling her it's two-ply. She also exclusively wears the blue nightgown until Season 3.
8 ONE OF BLACK CINDY'S POSSESSIONS IS A PICTURE OF DENZEL WASHINGTON
We're not really sure why she bothered carrying it around with her in jail, but you can see it in early episodes sticking out of her pile of things. Later on, you can see her looking at it and making sexual comments. At one point, the official Orange is the New Black Twitter account actually Tweeted that the photo was missing. This prompted Daya to reply that she saw Miss Claudette sneaking into the chapel with it.
7 ALL OF THE WOMEN IN THE OPENING CREDITS ARE REAL INMATES
The show's opening sequence is arguably one of the most iconic on TV — at least on Netflix. Regina Spektor's song "You've Got Time" plays over a montage of closeups of about 52 different women's faces. At first glance, you may just assume these are the main cast members. However, all of these women are real-life inmates. One of them is actually Piper Kerman herself. Her eyes are the blue ones that blink. Kerman is an activist for prison rights and reform and was adamant that the show would be about telling many stories, not just her own. That's where this idea came in.
6 NICKY'S CHEST SCAR IS REAL
Natasha Lyonne, who plays the lovable but troubled Nicky Nichols, actually has a history of opiate abuse. So there's a reason she played that character so well. In fact, on the show, Nicky's chest scar is there because she had surgery due to a heroin overdose in the past. That scar is actually real, and Lyonne got it for that exact reason. She got open-heart surgery due to past drug abuse. Lyonne has been public about her past struggle with drugs and how she's used it to connect with her character. Thankfully, she has been doing really well since her surgery.
5 EACH CHARACTER WEARS HER PRISON UNIFORM SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT
According to the show's costume designer Jenn Rogien, there was a bit of a challenge with designing costumes. You'd think with everyone wearing the same thing she'd have an easy job, but her goal was to make each character just a little bit unique. That meant finding ways to make the way they wear their uniform just that much more reflective of their characters. However, they also had to make sure it would be something that a real-life inmate would be able to get away with. So, that's why you see some of them with cuffed sleeves or minor alterations.
4 THERE'S A REFERENCE TO KATE MULGREW'S STAR TREK PAST
Kate Mulgrew, who plays Red, used to play Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. There's a tiny nod to this in one scene, where Nicky tells Red, "I thought I was, like, your Spock." Of course, Red does not know who Nicky is talking about. Nicky then has to explain that she thought that she was Red's right hand. This is something you may have missed if you didn't make the connection to Mulgrew's acting history.
3 LARRY REFERENCES JASON BIGGS' AMERICAN PIE CHARACTER
Jason Biggs plays Larry, Piper's fiance for the first few seasons. The actor is most known for his breakout role in American Pie. In the first season, he's talking to Piper after the news about her past breaks. He says, "I tell you everything! The webcam horror, the penis shaving incident." These incidents are actually things that his American Pie character did, making a subtle nod to the actor's past that you may have missed if you didn't pay attention.
2 LAVERNE COX'S TWIN BROTHER PLAYS PRE-TRANSITION SOPHIA
Flashbacks of Sophia's life show her before her transition. Cox originally wanted to play the part as well, but since she's already transitioned in real life, the producers thought she wouldn't be masculine enough. So, who could be masculine and still look almost exactly like her? Her twin brother, of course. The brother, M. Lamar, is actually a musician himself and not an actor. But since he looks so much like Cox, it was the perfect solution.
1 DASCHA POLANCO'S DAUGHTER PLAYS YOUNG DAYA
Speaking of family members playing past versions of themselves, you've probably noticed the uncanny resemblance between Daya (Dascha Polanco) and the actress who plays her younger, flashback self (Dasany Kristal Gonzalez). If you did notice this, you're not alone. The reason the younger actress looks so identical is that she's Dascha Polanco's 15-year-old daughter in real life.