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Claudette Pelage (known as Miss Claudette) is a former main character and an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She was introduced when Janae Watson was assigned to a bunk and is currently in Maximum Security as far as we know.
Claudette is an elderly Haitian woman who is strict with rules and the appearance of her cubicle.
She is based on Natalie in the memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Claudette is strict, tidy and keeps to herself. She wants nothing to do with "drama" among the other inmates. As her friendship with Piper Chapman grows stronger, she shows a kinder and more motherly side. When Larry Bloom does his radio show talking about all the people Piper has met at Litchfield, Claudette is hurt by the things he says about her, and returns to being cold and reclusive.
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
Claudette is an older woman. She has gray curly hair. She wears violet-red lipstick and has well groomed eyebrows. She also is very stern.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Before Litchfield[edit | edit source]
For a list of episodes featuring Miss Claudette's flashbacks, see here.
As a child, Claudette began working at a live-in maid service run by a Creole woman called Tessa in order to pay off her parents' debts. She met Jean Baptiste, the man that introduced her into the maid service (and received a Finder's Fee from Tessa for doing so).
Claudette grew up and became a manager of the same maid service company she had worked for, Clean Makers. Jean Baptiste came to visit her after not seeing each other for some time. He revealed that he had married a woman named Josephine, and he introduced Claudette to her. Claudette was seemingly disappointed when she discovered he had married.
Josephine seemed suspicious of Claudette, saying that Baptiste spoke of her often. She pointedly asked Claudette if it was hard looking after other people's children when she was unable to have any of her own. Claudette replied by saying she had made her peace with it.
She later discovered that one of her girls, Odette, was brutally attacked and/or raped by a customer, after the girl refused to bathe in front of the other girls due to the bruising. Claudette was horrified. She attended the man's house, saying that Odette couldn't make it and that she would clean in her place. Once inside, she murdered him with a butcher knife, meticulously cleaning the weapon and the house before exiting ("Imaginary Enemies").
In the very first episode, Miss Claudette is seen walking outside. Lorna Muccio greets her, Miss Claudette just gives out a stern "Morello." and moves away ("I Wasn't Ready"). Morello responds by saying to Piper to "watch out for that one" and continues by saying "don't get me wrong she's a good woman, but you don't wanna get on her bad side".
Claudette is seen helping Red out in the kitchen after "Betty" the freezer dies. She finds a frozen cat, Red pleads Claudette not to ask about it. Claudette is a little disturbed, and tells her she wasn't going to ("Tit Punch")
Claudette is reintroduced again when Janae Watson is assigned to her bunk. Miss Claudette lays down all the rules about clutter, mess, sleep schedules etc., to which Janae gets infuriated by "I sleep whenever I want old lady... i don't know what busted ass country you come from but ... this is America..." Later on upon returning, Janae is moved out by Miss Claudette who stares at her while the guard escorts her away, Janae shouting "You had me moved?"
After leaving the transfer cells, (and space being available again by Janae), Piper Chapman is assigned to bunk with Claudette in the "ghetto dorm". Miss Claudette lays down many rules for Piper. On her first night, Suzanne's urine smell wakes up Miss Claudette and Piper, she makes Piper clean up Suzanne Warren's urine after she urinates over her bunk for ignoring her. Claudette aggressively whispers "how are you going to disinfect?" to which Piper responds "I don't know... I've never cleaned another human's pee before" sarcastically, Miss Claudette replies "Oh poor you... what a priveleged life you've lived."
Poussey Washington alerts Claudette and Piper by telling them that they're "doing a sweep". Piper reveals a screwdriver out of her pocket and Claudette helps Piper out with the screwdriver she accidentally stole from the electrical shop by putting it in her saucepan. Mendez searches the bunk for contraband he messes it by throwing items all over the room, flipping mattresses, etc. He stops at Miss Claudette's Saucepan and stares and smells it. Claudette and Piper manage to get past the bunk check. Claudette implores Piper to fix her mess. ("Imaginary Enemies")
Sam Healy informs Claudette that her case could be re-opened due to some changes in immigration laws, and that re-opening the case stood to shave a lot of time off of her sentence. At first Claudette refuses the help, "stating it will be allot of fuss for nothing"
Miss Claudette is in her dorm when John Bennett asks why she wasn't at Mail Call, Claudette responds by telling him that she never gets any mail. John tells her "you did today," giving her a letter. He leaves her bunk and Tricia Miller is seen running towards Mercy's bunk. Miss Claudette runs after her and holds her at stranglepoint asking her what she's doing, (She was trying to steal Mercy's date), continuing, Miss claudette scolds "You can't play with someone's life like that!" and hastily leaves the bunk. She goes back and reads the letter, which is revealed to be from Jean Baptiste, her romantic interest. In the letter it states that Josephine has died and that he would like to see Claudette.
She arrives at Healy's office "do you have a minute?" She states she changed her mind about not reopening the case and asks Healy to re-open it, due to Jean-Baptiste likely.
Nicky tells Piper that Claudette won't hurt her, mentioning that the murder she commited was only a rumor and she was arrested for Human Trafficking.
Miss Claudette attends the WAC Campaigning and tells PIper that she admires their effort and that every single inmate is here. Piper runs off when she realises this,
Miss Claudette is given a pad-mask by Piper, to prevent the spread of sickness. Miss Claudette scoffs but appreciates it. Later on, she is seen in the library reading law books.
Miss Claudette attends Taystee's going away party and helps comfort Taystee when Taystee is in doubt of being let out. Telling her she's a smart girl, Poussey tells Taystee to listen to "Voodoo mambo"
Miss Claudette returns to the kitchen were Red responds that she sees her nose deep in law books.
Claudette's court appeal did not end up working out. Immediately after receiving the news, CO Fischer's attempt at disciplining her for no good reason sent her into a fit of rage, and she attacked by trying to strangle her in a hallway with multiple witnesses, which got her sent to Maximum Security ("Fool Me Once"). She does not reappear in subsequent seasons.
Despite not appearing since season one, she is mentioned by Taystee in a flashback that she can have a room in Taystee's imaginary mansion if "she act's 'right"
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Romantic[edit | edit source]
- Jean Baptiste (in love with) - Claudette and Baptiste have known each other since she was a child. It is implied she has had romantic feelings for him. After Jean's wife passes away he writes to Claudette, asking to see her.
Friends[edit | edit source]
- Red (colleague) - The pair both work in the kitchen and enjoy each other's company.
- Piper Chapman (former bunkmate, friend) - Piper and Miss Claudette have a rocky beginning until Miss Claudette and Piper get close. Piper then offends Miss Claudette when Larry reveals how she thinks of Miss Claudette for the prison to hear. They make up again and Piper is visually saddened when Miss Claudette goes to Max and originally refuses to hand over her stuff thinking she'll come back
Enemies[edit | edit source]
- Janae Watson (former bunkmate) - Janae doesn't like all the rules put in place immediately as she enters the cubicle. She lashes out at miss claudette and is moved by her later.
- Susan Fischer (attacked) - After Miss Claudette is put in a foul mood after her appeal is denied, Fischer simultaneosuly tries to toughen up on inmates and starts yelling at Miss Claudette. Miss Claudette sees red and begins choking Fischer.
- Josephine Baptiste (disliked) - When Baptiste introduces Josephine to Claudette, he leaves briefly. Josephine (perhaps unintentionally) offends Claudette deeply by pointing out the fact that she has no children.
- Mr. Jones (victim) - After Odette shows Claudette her bruises after being beaten by Mr. Jones, Claudette takes it upon herself to deal with him by brutally stabbing him to death.
- Tricia Miller - Caught Tricia trying to steal Mercy's date.
- Gloria Mendoza - Kicked her out of the bunk when seeking legal advice from Piper
- Poussey Washington - Kicked her out of the bunk when seeking legal advice from Piper
- Gina Murphy - Kicked her out of the bunk when seeking legal advice from Piper
Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "Love is not an excuse!"
- — Miss Claudette to Tricia Miller.
- "Hope is a dangerous thing."
- — Miss Claudette
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Miss Claudette is a Taurus.
- Kerman’s “bunkie,” Miss Natalie, was the inspiration for Miss Claudette. In the memoir, Kerman and Natalie get along and become close friends, but she never finds out what Miss Natalie’s “in for.”
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|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":|