Carrie "Big Boo" Black is a former inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is currently in another prison facility in Cleveland because of the riot that took place in S5. She is portrayed by Lea DeLaria.
Big Boo's character's is based on Big Boo Clemmo in the memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.
"Big Boo" is a confident and sarcastic inmate who uses her size to intimidate the other women, but she shows moments of tenderness from time to time. At first offended when her most recent former prison "Mrs. Boo", Mercy Valduto, gives away one of her old t-shirts with just days left in her sentence, Boo threatens to mess up her leaving date. In the end, though, she takes Red's advice and backs down, wishing Mercy well at her goodbye party.
She bunks in "The Suburbs" and generally socializes with the white inmates— more specifically "Red's Girls". Though initially wary, she agrees to let Nicky invite Piper Chapman and Alex Vause into their annual Secret Santa exchange when Nicky brings up the bonds of family. Having stolen a screwdriver from Piper's bunk just weeks into her arrival to use as a masturbation tool, she regifts it to her for Christmas knowing she needs protection from Pennsatucky.
Boo has control issues, and she reveals early in the second season that "an incident" caused her to lose custody of her therapy dog. She most often comes off as aggressive and competitive, and wants to be seen as powerful. She engages in a "pussy race" with Nicky in season two, judged by Chang, which gets increasingly competitive until it ultimately ends in a draw. Her ego causes her to betray Red's greenhouse smuggling operation to dangerous new inmate Vee Parker, resulting in Red's near-death and disfigurement at Vee's hands. Red's Girls know that Boo was the snitch and they all turn on her, but ultimately Red tells Boo she's forgiven.
Boo is heavyset with short black hair and green eyes. She does not wear make-up and has a "butch" appearance. She is often seen wearing her white prison-issue tank top. She has many coarse tattoos including the word "BUTCH" on her forearm.
For a list of episodes featuring Big Boo's flashbacks, see here.
Before Litchfield Edit
Big Boo had a very strained relationship with her mother. She grew up dressing in traditional boys' clothes, which her parents never understood and her mother was appalled by. As a child Boo was told to "dress up" in feminine clothes (rather than the clothes from the boy's side) in order to please her mother; this was encouraged by her father. Years later, after a long period of estrangement, her mother is on her death bed. Boo, after encouragement by her girlfriend at the time, enters the hospital to visit her mother where she finds her father waiting. Her father once again encourages Boo to "remove her costume" and to visit her mother in "proper" clothing as he doesn't believe her mother could take seeing her as she is. Boo decides not to say goodbye as she fought all her life to be accepted for who she is.
She is very defensive about her appearance as a "butch" lesbian, e.g. once she assaulted a boy because of some snide homophobic comments towards her. The reasoning behind this is that Boo believes she fought all her life in order to finally be herself, "butch" - that word is also tattooed on her right arm.
She ran a gambling ring before she was incarcerated.
She is presumably in her early-to-mid 40s, and she struggles with trust, anxiety, and anger issues. She is given custody of a service dog during season one, which she names "Little Boo" to train as a service dog.
The precise details of how she came to be incarcerated are unknown. However, she has referred to herself as a "thieving dyke," so her offense presumably involved some kind of theft or fraud. She also said "Did you think I was in here because I made an honest living?" ("Tattoo You")
Big Boo is first seen in the dining room when she asks Red for a yogurt. Red refuses, saying Boo hasn't done what she promised yet, which is to get her a board from maintenance that Red can sleep on due to her back problems.
Black is often accompanied by a therapy dog she named "Little Boo".
Black has Piper helping her write a letter for her appeal and takes the missing screwdriver from Piper's bunk unbeknownst to Piper, which she uses to aid in masturbation.
She later returns the screwdriver to Piper when Piper becomes stressed over the fact that Pennsatucky is threatening to kill her.
Big Boo got rid of the dog, saying things were getting "weird". It is implied Big Boo used Little Boo to stimulate herself sexually.
She later participates in a competition with Nicky, judged by Chang, to see who can have sex with the most inmates.
Black has little loyalty to anyone and, trying to ingratiate herself with the powerful Vee, betrays Red by telling Vee about the tunnel. As a result, she is shunned by Red's family, and Vee rejects her for snitching.
Afterwards, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with "Pennsatucky" Doggett and, when Red is hospitalized following an assault by Vee, helps Nicky locate and hide Vee's drug stash.
Big Boo tries to team up with Nicky to sell the heroin stash to the drug-addicts and threatens her when the stash goes missing.
After finding out about how the evangelical church pays for Pennsatucky's commissary, Boo gets a makeover and tries to convince the Reverend Lawlor that she is a reformed lesbian who has seen the light. However, his hateful comments on the gay community spark her anger and she rejects his help, cursing him in the process.
The relationship with Pennsatucky deepens when she notices bruises on her wrists, and the two plot revenge against the rapist Coates, eventually leading to Doggett faking a seizure to relieve herself from van duty.
Boo initially guards the commissary with Pennsatucky but moves back into the prison when Pennsatucky begins chasing Coates again. She becomes enamored with Linda Ferguson and eventually romances her. When Pennsatucky shoots off Leanne's middle finger, Boo becomes her lawyer, but grows tired of it once things get moving with her and Linda. While looking for a spot for the two of them, Boo is kidnapped by Piscatella and held in a small room, forced to watch as he tortured Red and others but eventually escapes unharmed with the help of Gina and others. She is angered when she discovers Linda's true identity as an employee of MCC and exposes her to the rest of the inmates. She is shown being arrested by SWAT team members at the end of the season.
Boo is seen only brefely in season six, during Look Out for Number One, where she is shown to have been sent to Ohio with Linda Ferguson , Helen Van Maele, and other former Litchfeild inmates. She and others are in line to have their heads shaved due to an outbreak of lice.
- Mercy Valduto (ex-girlfriend) - The two dated some time before season one. In season one it is shown that Boo still had feelings for Mercy, even though Mercy was in a relationship with Tricia. Boo was visibly sad about the fact that Mercy was going to be released, and they shared one last kiss at her good-bye party.
- Little Boo (therapy dog; sexual acts) - Big Boo had performed sexual acts with Little Boo, resulting in her losing custody of the dog.
- Amelia Von Barlow (ex-lover) - While Linda was still posing as an inmate, she was Boo's "bitch." Boo even expressed to Pennsatucky that she might be in love with Linda. However after finding out who Linda actually was, the fling quickly ended.
- Nicky Nichols
- Lorna Morello
- Tiffany Doggett (best friend)
- Little Boo (therapy dog) - She is a therapy dog in training and was given to Big Boo, who suffers from anxiety and anger issues. Later, Big Boo lost the custody of the dog, because she sexually abused the dog.
- Piper Chapman
- Yoga Jones
- Alex Vause
- Norma Romano
- Blanca Flores
- Frieda Berlin
- Anita DeMarco
- Gina Murphy
Promotional Photos Edit
- The actress who portrayed Black aged 13 was 23 at the time of filming.
Big Boo Clemmons, a three-hundred-pound "bulldyke" the most attractive three-hundred-pound woman Kerman have ever seen”) and her girlfriend Trina, “a bitch on wheels.”