Orange Is the New Black Facts

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Now that we’ve binged the much-anticipated fifth season of Orange Is the New Black, we’re in need of a distraction to help us forget that new episodes are still a year away. Bummer, right? While we can only speculate at this point about what’s to come, there are a few things we know for sure about one of the most loved Netflix series of all time. So, to hold you over until season six: here are 12 things you never knew about OITNB.

  1. Jodie Foster has directed two episodes of the series. The legendary actress directed the third episode of season one (where Crazy Eyes falls for Piper) and the first episode of season two (when Piper is moved from Litchfield.)
  2. Katie Holmes almost played the role of Piper Chapman. But she was too busy. Creator Jenji Kohan said at the time that Holmes “had other things to do.” But to be fair, she also added that “in the beginning, no one knew what this was.” Oh, and Laura Prepon was almost Piper too.
  3. The actress who plays Yoga Jones is the voice of Patti Mayonnaise. If you close your eyes, you can almost pretend that she’s the legendary love interest in the classic cartoon Doug.
  4. In the episode where Piper first meets Larry, he’s watching Weeds — another show created by Jenji Kohan — and you can see it on the TV in the background. Seriously, go back and look for it. It’s there.
  5. The real-life Larry actually did write a Modern Love column in the New York Times. And you can read it here.

  1. Nicky’s scar from her post-overdose surgery is the real deal. Actress Natasha Lyonne suffered from the same issues with addiction as her character in the show.
  2. Laverne Cox’s twin brother played Sophia in her pre-transition flashbacks in season one. Cox wanted to play the role herself, but “Jodie Foster, who directed the episode in which Sophia’s backstory is explored, didn’t think it would work.” Cox’s brother, M. Lamar, is a musician who described himself to The New York Times as being of the “gothic-devil-worshiping-free-black-man-blues tradition.”
  3. The real-life Piper made a blog in 2003 about her time in prison. It’s called The Pipe Bomb. Kerman ended up writing a memoir (also titled Orange Is the New Black) that inspired the show.
  4. All of the women in the opening credits were formerly incarcerated. There isn’t a single actress in the entire sequence — and if you look really closely, you can see Piper Kerman in there too.
  5. Flaca has kissed Kourtney Kardashian. Yes, Jackie Cruz was on Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2009.
  6. The same inmate is always crying behind Piper when she’s on the phone. You didn’t imagine it — Gerrman is always there, and most of the time she’s weeping over her wrestler son.
  7. We still have no idea what the meaning of the eggplant joke really is . . . And we’re still holding out hope that we’ll find out in the future. But in the meantime, here’s a pretty solid theory.