TV viewers love watching characters do bad things. Villains are infinitely more entertaining than heroes. Their monstrous actions are key to fueling Monday morning water cooler conversations—"Can you believe what Walter White did?", "I can't even with Don Draper anymore." Most of these evil protagonists are aware of their villainy and go about their actions anyway.
Then there's Piper Chapman. At the beginning of Orange is the New Black, the viewer feels terrible for Piper, the sweet if bougie blonde who looks like somebody you'd want to do brunch with. You fear what horrors will befall this perky prison virgin...until we meet the other inmates. Then it's apparent that everybody else has real problems and Piper, though not in an enviable situation, does not. But as delusional as she is annoying, Piper thinks she has it just as bad as everyone else. Or worse. The further into her sentence, the more she goes from entitled princess to Disney Villain without the charm. Here is Orange is the New Black: 10 Times Piper Chapman Was The Show's Biggest Villain.
10 Beat the tar out of Pennsatucky
Of all her crimes, nobody blames Piper for this one. Pennsatucky attacks her with a shank, so what's Piper supposed to do? Bow and say "namaste"? Forget that. Piper knew Pennsatucky was out for blood so ever the good student, Piper learns some fighting moves from her fellow bunkmates. They come in handy, as Piper swiftly gets the upper hand from the raving Pennsatucky.
By all means, when a hillbilly dressed an angel tries to "smite" you, defend yourself. It doesn't make you a villain. But after Piper incapacitates Pennsatucky, she keeps wailing on her to the point where Season 1 ends and the viewer doesn't know if Pennsatucky is alive or dead. All that pent-up prison rage exposed Piper's true villainous colors. Pennsatucky survives the beating, but she doesn't mess with Piper again.
9 Was mean to Soso
In all fairness, Soso's pretty grating. Within meets of meeting somebody, she's dispensing quotes she must have read from a book called A Bougie Guide to Elightenment. Soso is so busy talking, she fails to notice people's eyes glaze over. In other words, she's Piper 2.0.
That makes Piper's distaste for her pretty hilarious. It's like holding up a personality mirror. Anyone with an ounce of self-awareness would recognize this, and maybe take Soso under their wing. Together they could both work on not being so mind-numbingly cloying. But no. Despite being welcomed to Litchfield with open arms by Lorna and others, Piper doesn't show Soso that kindness. Even her half-baked attempt at comforting a crying Soso involves Piper telling her she can't say her name with a straight face. Piper's attempts at being nice aren't even so-so; they downright suck.
8 Failed to recognize her privilege
All things considered, Piper has it pretty good. Her life in prison is more comfortable than most of her fellow inmates', even upon their release. While she's worried about her artisanal soap business, other women worry about how to feed their children. Piper would do well to remember that she's not at a day spa with her sorority sisters when humble-bragging about all the finer things in life she's experienced. She doesn't need to be telling Daya, who grew up in a tiny apartment crammed with siblings, that she grew up in a five bathroom house. Even Lorna, who's always so chipper and friendly, looks at Piper with dismay asking, "Do you hear yourself sometimes? Like, when you speak?"
No, Piper doesn't and that's what makes her one of the most clueless villains ever.
7 Ratted out Alex...
There are two theories about Piper's motivations for ratting Alex out to her parole officer and getting her thrown back in prison. The first: sweet revenge. Alex is responsible for Piper being in prison in the first place. Also, Alex broke her pact with Piper by telling the truth at Kubra Balik's trial when both women agreed to lie. It makes sense for Piper to be angry,but you know what they say—if you love someone, never get mad at them for not committing perjury. Hurting Alex, essentially for doing the right thing, is a low blow.
But Theory #2 is even worse. Simply put, Piper doesn't want to be alone. She's like a narcissistic puppy—she needs love and attention at all times. And if she doesn't get it, someone has to pay. In twisted Piper logic, that someone is usually someone she "loves".
6 ...And subsequently ditched her for Stella
Piper should know more than anybody that if you get thrown in prison by somebody who rats you out, you tend to hold a grudge. So naturally, nobody but Piper is shocked that Alex is a tad salty upon her return to Litchfield. But to Piper, every cloud has a selfish lining. She pulls on Alex's rage strings and the two enjoy impassioned, hate-fueled sex.
But then Alex has to go and be a big, fat party-pooper because one of Kubra's guys is trying to kill her. Or, as Piper sees things, no more good sex. So after Piper gets Alex thrown in the slammer, she turns her back on her in favor of shiny new inmate, Stella. Stella later gives Piper a tattoo that says "trust no b*tch". Alex would do well to follow that advice.
5 Self-proclaimed "gangsta"
It's an age-old business adage: prison panties bring out the worst in people. That's certainly applicable to Piper, who steals wares from Litchfield's new panty factory. She gets her fellow inmates to wear them, return them, and Piper then slips them to her brother who sells them to randos on the Internet. It's actually a brilliant idea. But intelligence has never been Piper's problem. Rather, her problem is her power-mad delusions of grandeur. She thinks inmates are running away from her in droves, when in actuality there's a hole in the prison's fence.
This misunderstanding could be adorable, but Piper has to go and add her own Piperiness to the situation. Viewers are still cringing after she smugly refers to herself as a "gangsta". All she is is annoying...like with an "a".
4 Treated Hapakuka like the help and threw her to the wolves
Seeing how Piper now fancies herself as Tony Soprano Barbie, it's only fitting that she have a bodyguard. So she enlists the help of Hapakuka, her new bunkmate whom Piper cruelly refers to as "Skinny". Hapakuka bemusingly takes the job. Why not? It's a paycheque and she gets to laugh at Piper behind her back.
But when the white supremacists rally around Piper, she no longer has any use for Hapakuka and discards her like last night's meatloaf surprise. Adding insult to injury, Piper condescendingly tells Hapakuka she'll be "rooting for her". This would come back to burn Piper in more ways than one...
3 Fired Flaca
Fat-Cat Piper is literally running a sweatshop. She's able to turn a cool profit from her employees' sweaty undergarments and in turn pays them in...ramen noodle flavor packets. When Flaca has the audacity to ask for—gasp!—a wage, Piper agrees...then turns around and fires Flaca.
This panty-smuggling business may be a fun prison distraction for Piper, but it could make a real difference in other inmates' lives. Flaca, for example, has a mother living with lymphoma, who could use any little bit of money at all. When Flaca appeals this to Piper, the ever-benevolent entrepreneur hires Flaca back—for a reduced wage. Looks like someone has their panties in a twist.
2 Got Maria's sentence extended
The prison panty game is a real rat race. When Piper's success becomes an open secret, she finds herself a competitor in Maria. What's worse is that Piper does this to herself by refusing to hire any Dominican workers. Had she done so, Maria would never have been galvanized to start her own rival business.
It's as if Piper's playing prison Monopoly and Maria's trying to steal Boardwalk. So Piper's response is to send Maria to jail without collecting $200. Or the real world equivalent, which is to tattle on her to Piscatella. The result is Maria getting more time on her sentence. Seeing as how Piper is still locked up with Maria for the foreseeable future, this is as boneheaded as it is villainous.
1 Started a white power movement
Only Piper Chapman could accidentally start a racist prison group. All she wanted is to stop Maria from moving in on her territory. Things start off innocently enough with Piper racially profiling the Dominicans to Piscatella, who gives her the go-ahead to form a "safety task force". Her first meeting boasts an excellent turnout...of only white inmates. When the meeting quickly devolves into a rousing racist chant, Piper looks on in horror as she realizes she's created a monster.
Of course, that hardly stops her from using said monster to her own advantage. The white supremacists offer protection and also spy on her competition. Their intel is instrumental in Piper taking down Maria. That's right. Piper Chapman incited a hate movement all in the name of being the sole panty proprietor of Litchfield. Has anything ever sounded so petty and disturbing at the same time?
But Piper gets her grisly comeuppance. With the help of Hapakuka, Maria and her crew get Piper alone. They hold her down as Maria brands a swastika into Piper's arm. A permanent reminder that Piper Chapman is the show's biggest villain.