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"It Sounded Nicer in My Head" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Orange Is the New Black. It is the forty-sixth episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 17, 2016. It was written by Nick Jones and Jenji Kohan, and directed by Mark A. Burley.


Paranoia strikes deep for Lolly and Judy, aggravating an already tense situation. Red sticks to a Russian tradition for an important occasion.

Plot []


Nicky Nichols returns to minimum security and reunites with all her friends. In particular, Galina 'Red' Reznikov, takes several shots just so she can hug Nicky for longer. She gets permission to throw a welcome back party. Nicky is taking drugs again and Red is aware.

Lolly Whitehill is spotted sifting through the trash by Sam Healy. He doesn't concern himself too much with it and instead takes her to Nicky's party, to help her fit in more. However, she is having a bad time with her mental health and she hears voices in her head telling her nobody likes her. She runs out of the party, and when Healy finds her, he discovers she’s sitting in a cardboard box with pieces of random garbage attached. She calls it her time machine. Rather than punish her, Healy gets in with her and says everyone wishes they could go back in time sometimes, but all they have is now. “I know they’re not real,” Lolly says, of the voices in her head. “But that don’t mean they have nothing to say”.

After receiving a compliment on her manicure from Judy King, Aleida Diaz is inspired to open a nail salon when she is released. Meanwhile, Taystee and her friends are trying to get a picture of Judy. When they see ‘80s news footage of her hosting a racist puppet show, they become even more committed to profiting from her. Joe Caputo's training program was approved — except the board took out math, science, and english and replaced them with construction work. He is unimpressed and tells Linda Ferguson it's not what he had envisioned for the inmates, comparing the new "training" to a chain gang. 

Piper Chapman's former bodyguard, Stephanie Hapakuka, gives her up to the Dominicans. While Nicky's party is in full swing, they gag her and take her to the kitchen. Maria Ruiz is waiting there and punches Piper in the face. The inmates take her to the stove and proceed to brand a swastika into her arm while she hysterically cries and screams. No-one else can hear over the loud music from the party. Stephanie sits in the party, unnerved by what she allowed to happen.


Note: Flashbacks are arranged in chronological order, not the order in which they occur on the show.

Lolly Whitehill[]

As a young adult, Lolly worked as a journalist for a free weekly newspaper. Despite her job role, she continued writing stories the editor did not assign to her, usually about conspiracy theories.

After she was let go from that job, her friend from work tried to find her a placement in a group home with other mentally-unwell people, but it was an unpleasant place and the triggering effect that the other residents had on her delusions, plus the threat of violence, meant that she ran away.

Ultimately, she ends up homeless, selling cups of coffee out of a shopping cart she wheels around Seattle and living in a shanty town with other homeless individuals. She carries a stick with bells attached to help her when the voices in her head get too loud. One day she finds out her space will eventually be built over. As she makes her way through Seattle, her trolley wheel jams. She is approached by two police officers who tell her she can't be selling coffee illegally and the pressure of the situation causes her voices to start up. As she reaches for her stick, the police assume she's reaching for a weapon and arrest her, while she screams about conspiracy theories. 

Memorable Quotes[]

"I don't think racism should be a group activity. It's private."
Lorna Morello
"They brought in the military and then they cracked down on the Jewish presence. And now they got cameras and drones monitoring our every activity. Plus, we are ruled by a Fascist bearded giant!"
Lolly Whitehill





Main Cast[]

Guest Starring[]


  • Emily Tarver as CO Artesian McCullough
  • Elizabeth Alderfer as Ann-Marie
  • Demosthenes Chrysan as Jordan Hammington
  • Steven Cooper as Seattle Bicycle Cop #1
  • Carla Corvo as 2009 Professional Looking Girl
  • Nick Jones as Chitlin' Joe (voice)
  • Rey Lucas as Editor John
  • Ray Marshall as 1993 Mentally Ill TV Watcher
  • Jason Martin as Mac
  • Patrick Noonan as Officer James
  • Victor Pagan as Rocky
  • Ryan Shibley as Seattle Bicycle Cop #2
  • Brandhyze Stanley as Jayne Cooke





Lolly's Flashbacks
It Sounded Nicer in My Head

Episode Navigation
Season 1 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
Season 2 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.
Season 3 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
Season 4 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
Season 5 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
Season 6 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
Season 7 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