- "I have had to fight for this all my life, dad. All my life. Strangers, girlfriends. Fuck, even my own parents, all asking me to be something that I am not. Do you have any idea what that feels like? Like your whole fucking existance is being denied? Like "Oh, you'd be better off if you were invisible." I refuse to be invisible, daddy."
- — Carrie Black to her father after he asks her to change her appearance for her dying mother.
Caroline "Carrie" "Big Boo" Black is a former main character and inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is currently in another prison facility in Cleveland because of the riot that took place in Season 5. She is portrayed by Lea DeLaria.
Big Boo's character's is based on Big Boo Clemmons 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. Despite this, she grooms her eyebrows well and always has a fresh haircut, either spiked or sweeped to the side.
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.
During the fourth season, she continues her friendship with Tiffany, but she becomes angered when Tiffany proposes forgiving Coates for raping her. This continues after the riot, but despite that, she agrees to defend Tiffany in the "inmate court" that took place after she allowed Coates to escape, with Leanne getting her finger shot off in the process. She takes an interest in Linda Ferguson, believing her to be an inmate, and has several sexual encounters with her. However, she looks through Linda's phone and sees pictures of her with Caputo. She attempts to blackmail Linda for $5,000 in exchange for her silence, and when that fails, she outs her to the other prisoners as an MCC executive. When the CERT has the prisoners rounded up, she leads other inmates in repeating Linda's declaration that she is an MCC employee to prevent her from getting away.
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 briefly 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.
- 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)
- Piper Chapman
- Yoga Jones
- Alex Vause
- Norma Romano
- Blanca Flores
- Frieda Berlin
- Anita DeMarco
- Gina Murphy
- Charlie Coates
- Desi Piscatella
- Linda Ferguson (after learning who she really was)
- Shelly (Ex-Girlfriend) - As explained by Red in Imaginary Enemies, the week before Shelly's release date, Boo had a girl jump her. The fight caused Shelly to get two more years added to her sentence and to be transferred to Litchfield Max.
Promotional Photos Edit
- The actress who portrayed her 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.”
|Orange Is the New Black: Season One|
|"I Wasn't Ready":||"Tit Punch":||"Lesbian Request Denied":||"Imaginary Enemies":||"The Chickening":||"WAC Pack":||"Blood Donut":|
|"Moscow Mule":||"Fucksgiving":||"Bora Bora Bora":||"Tall Men with Feelings":||"Fool Me Once":||"Can't Fix Crazy":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Six|
|"Who Knows Better Than I":||"Shitstorm Coming":||"Look Out for Number One":||"I'm the Talking Ass":||"Mischief Mischief":||"State of the Uterus":||"Changing Winds":|
|"Gordons":||"Break the String":||"Chocolate Chip Nookie":||"Well This Took a Dark Turn":||"Double Trouble":||"Be Free":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|