Nicole "Nicky" Nichols is a main character on Orange is the New Black. She is an inmate at Maximum Security. She was sent to Maximum Security in Season 3 and returned in Season 4 only to be sent back to Max in Season 6 because of the riot that took place in Season 5.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Nicky is sarcastic and tough on the outside, but also profoundly smart, kind, wise, and down-to-earth. Her impulsivity and her loud mouth get her into trouble in earlier seasons, but she is able to sand down some of her rougher edges and become more stable by the end of season seven. Dubbed the 'Junkie Philosopher' by Yoga Jones, she is perceptive and fiercely intelligent, and is able to provide the other prisoners with good advice. She has a considerable sexual appetite, and seems to use sex to cope with her addictive personality (In "Low Self Esteem City", she even competes with Big Boo to have sex with as many inmates as possible). Notably, she is almost exclusively seen giving oral or digital sex, not receiving. 

Despite her hardened, jokester exterior, Nicky has a sensitive and vulnerable side, seen in her love for Lorna and her fierce loyalty to Red, going great lengths to keep them safe. She is still affected by her past as a drug addict. Though she is clean when we meet her, Nicky continues to struggle with addiction and relapses in Season 4 after being sent to Maximum Security. She has struggled with addiction her entire adult life, and harbors some deep self-hatred because of her repeated failures to quit. However, once she gets clean again with the help of Red, she is able to stay clean for the remainder of the series, and the finale indicates that she is able to do so even without her support system of Red and Lorna, indicating her profound growth since the beginning of the season, when she was just barely managing to stay sober.  

Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]

Nicky is short, at just 5'3". She has big eyes and a wide face. Her hair is copper blonde and curly/wavy, and usually unkempt. She also has five tattoos; one on her lower left arm, which resembles a pyramid shape of the Illuminati, a star shape above her right elbow, a cross on her right arm (even though she is Jewish), a trident on her left wrist and a group of teardrops on her right arm. Nicky is mostly always seen wearing mascara and eyeliner below her eyes, rolled up sleeves, and a St. Joseph necklace of the Catholic church (the patron saint of the Universal Church, unborn children, fathers, workers, travelers, immigrants, and a happy death), although she is Jewish. In "I Wasn't Ready", Nicky reveals that she used to have a gap in her front teeth, but that they were knocked out and replaced with fake teeth. 

As of Season Five, she has bangs and a fringe from a haircut from Flaca and Maritza. In Season Six and Season Seven, she does not wear her pendant, mascara, or eyeliner, as all are classified as contraband.

Biography[edit | edit source]

For a list of episodes featuring Nicky's flashbacks, see here.

Before Litchfield[edit | edit source]

Nichols was born into a Jewish family in 1983 and grew up in New York City. From a young age, she was estranged from her mother, Marka Nichols, a wealthy but extraordinarily selfish socialite who now lives in Brazil. Nicky was mostly raised by a nanny, Paloma, whom Marka blames for the divorce of her and Les Nichols, while she herself lived in a separate house with her boyfriend, Paolo, who does not enjoy the company of children. At her bat mitzvah, Nicky expresses her frustrations with her parents' lack of love and support for her in front of the entire congregation ("I'm the Talking Ass"). Her speech results in both parents arguing in front of her about who should take her home (neither parent wants her). Nicky makes several throwaway jokes in Season 6 which suggest that she was sexually abused by her Uncle Peter and that the abuse was ignored by her mother. ("Who Knows Better Than I", "Chocolate Chip Nookie").

In Season Five, Nicky states to Alex that her mother would catch her father cheating, and would have sex with his brother, Ray, in retaliation. Nicky also comments that Marka would leave her at day camps when she was as young as three, and that she drank alcohol on a weekly basis while pregnant with Nicky ("Storm-y Weather"). Nicky's mother is never seen visiting Litchfield. Nicky harbors resentment towards both parents for their emotional neglect throughout the entire show. 

Due to and enabled by this parental neglect, Nicky turned to heroin and became a junkie. Her addiction resulted in multiple near-death experiences, including open-heart surgery due to bacterial endocarditis, which can be caused by the use of a dirty needle. Surgeons also found traces of cocaine in her blood ("WAC Pack")

Her first attempt to get sober was after she was so high that she knocked on the elevator and, when it didn't open up, pooped in the hallway. She woke up and realized she had sold her whole Beanie Baby collection for one hit. She decided to attempt to go sober that day ("Break the String") but ultimately relapsed. Nicky has attempted sobriety at least seven times before coming to Litchfield, each time going to a different rehab center. She jokingly refers to these as "rehab number four", "rehab number five", etc.  

While she was in her twenties and living in New York City, Nicky was surrounded by junkies. On one occasion, she and her friends, Drew and Jade, stole a taxi in order to get to a dealer's home on time before he left the city. Nicky, who didn't know how to drive and may have been high at the time, collided with another car at high speed, wrecking the stolen taxi. Her two friends were arrested for stealing the taxi. 

A young Nicky Nichols ("Mother's Day").

Later, Nicky and Jason broke into the apartment of Nicky's neighbor, Monica, who owned many expensive antique books. Their plan was to sell the books in order to buy more heroin. She was subsequently arrested for breaking and entering while also carrying heroin on her person.   She later met with her mother and an attorney to work out the finer details of her case and possible sentence. After harshly rejecting the attorney's initial offer, Nicky berates her mother for being neglectful and setting her on a path of self-destruction ("Empathy Is a Boner Killer").  

Nicky at a discussion with Marka and her lawyer about the possible sentence time and outcome of the case.

Life at Litchfield[edit | edit source]

Almost three years prior to season one, upon first arriving at Litchfield, Red supported Nichols through her cold turkey and detox. She helped her remain clean during her first years at Litchfield, and continues to do so. For this reason, Nicky now looks up to Red as a maternal figure, even openly calling her "Mom,"Ma," or "Mommy" in the presence of other inmates. Red, in turn, openly treats her as if she were her daughter. She is known to be Red's best girl.

Season One[edit | edit source]

Nicky's scar from open heart surgery, shown in WAC Pack.

At the start of season one, Nicky has just returned from the SHU, having been sent there for insulting a guard, telling them to "kiss her ass." She swiftly befriends both Piper and Alex, expressing curiosity about what happened between the two of them outside of prison.

At the start of the season, Nicky was in an ongoing sexual relationship with Lorna Muccio. Morello called it off under the guise of it not being fair to Christopher, her supposed fiancé, which made Nichols bitter for quite some time. Nevertheless, Nicky continues to make numerous attempts to get back together with Lorna throughout the series, later confirming that her feelings for Lorna are in fact romantic; however, the two remain firm friends throughout the first season.

In Moscow Mule, Nicky is under orders from Red to tell Tricia that she has to confess to taking drugs. At first she refuses, claiming that "drugs make people do things they don't wanna do", to which Red replies, "So do I". Nicky, fiercely loyal to her Ma, obeys.

As of "Imaginary Enemies", Nicky has two years left of her five-year sentence. 

Season Two[edit | edit source]

Season Two shows Nicky lusting after many other women in Litchfield, and it is revealed that she likes to "collect orgasms" and write them down in her notebook. She and Big Boo start a competition over how many women they can have sex with, with points given for more challenging conquests, such as prison guards. Nicky tries to proposition CO Susan Fischer, but is rebuffed. There is rivalry between her and Big Boo over Brook Soso upon her arrival, with Nicky triumphing and having sex with her in the Litchfield chapel. The competition is judged by Mei Chang, who announces a draw. Nicky and Boo eventually tire of the competition, and agree to settle for the draw.

Having seen the developing situation between Taystee, Vee and Poussey, Nicky advises Poussey to make nice with Vee, comparing the situation to being in love with a straight girl in high school who then gets a boyfriend: Comic Sans. Poussey takes Nicky's advice, and is later horrified to see Taystee giving Nicky a baggie of heroin in a bid to get her using again and buying from Vee ("40 Oz. of Furlough"). Vee had targeted Nicky after watching an AA meeting in which Nicky describes heroin as her "best girlfriend," her "soulmate" who she misses "every single day". Nicky is clearly very shaken when she is handed the heroin. After holding on to it for a few days

Nicky gives the heroin to Red

, during which she is shown staring at it with both fondness and fear, she ultimately takes it to Red because she knows she can't trust herself not to take it. After Boo betrays Red by telling Vee how Red gets contraband in, Nicky insists that Big Boo inform her where Vee stashes the heroin, as retaliation against Vee. She steals the baggies and smuggles them into a hiding place in laundry.

Season Three[edit | edit source]

Nicky collaborates with Luschek, with whom she enjoys an adversarial friendship, to sell the heroin stolen from Vee in season two. When Angie and Leanne discover the stash hidden in the laundry and begin using, Luschek retrieves it and threatens them so that they don't tell anyone. Even so, Angie and Leanne alert CO Ford of Luschek's activities, and after he does nothing, tell other COs and finally Caputo. This prompts Caputo to search Luschek's desk. After Caputo finds a bag of heroin that Nicky had stashed there, Luschek snitches on Nicky to save himself, and Caputo sends her to Maximum Security.

Season Four[edit | edit source]

Nichols is being held in Max, working as a cleaning lady. Nicky goes to an AA meeting and receives a chip for being clean for three years, and she seems to be doing well and to be genuinely proud of her hard-earned sobriety (Piece of Shit). Nichols speaks with Stella, and it is revealed they had a brief sexual relationship in Max, but when Nicky sees that Stella is taking heroin, she tells Stella to stay away from her. She briefly talks to Sophia in the SHU, slipping her a magazine to read to pass the time. While Nichols is in max, Luschek receives many angry letters from her and begins to feel guilt for what he has done. While doing her regular rounds in SHU, a guard tells Nicky to clean an empty cell covered in blood. Nicky looks down to realize it was Sophia's cell, and that Sophia likely slit her wrists with the magazines Nicky gave her. Luschek, feeling guilty for sending Nicky to Max, visits her and gives a half-hearted apology, which elicits indignation and tears from Nicky, who reminds him that she is completely alone with no family or friends because of him, and storms off. Shaken by what she saw in Sophia's cell and by the visit from Luscheck, Nicky finally breaks her sober streak for the first time since her arrival at Litchfield. Nicky has sex with a female guard in exchange for heroin.

Nicky returns from Max and is reunited with Lorna, Red, Piper and the rest of the family in the common room.

Nicky and Lorna in Friends in Low Places.

In "It Sounded Nicer In My Head", Nichols is warmly welcomed back into Minimum Security but is focused on scavenging around to find more drugs. At one point, she smokes crack in the corn crops with Alex and Piper. Nicky vows to get clean after Red expresses pure heartbreak and despair at her relapse ("Turn Table Turn"), but fails to do so, lying to and stealing from Red for her highs. Red, for her part, tries to get rid of all the drugs in the prison so that Nicky will get clean. Later, in "People Persons", Nichols finally goes cold turkey and Pennsatucky helps her through her withdrawal. Throughout the season, Nichols tries to restart her sexual relationship with Morello but, because she is now married, Morello repeatedly turns her down. Nichols concludes the season clean.

Season Five[edit | edit source]

During the riot, Lorna and Nicky decide to hide out in the pharmacy, with Nicky acting as a sort of therapist to the inmates and using her knowledge of drugs to hand out medication when needed. During this time, Nicky and Lorna resume their flirtatious friendship, but Lorna strongly rebuffs Nicky's advances in the first episode, "Riot FOMO". In "Pissters!", Nicky indirectly says, whilst in the presence of Soso and other inmates in the Pharmacy, that she has fallen hopelessly in love with "an incredible, insane, beautiful woman who's never going to love [her] back" - while looking at Lorna's back. Lorna, visibly caught off guard by Nicky's confession, blinks back tears as she continues tending to another inmate's medical request.

In "Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally", Lorna and Nicky have sex in the pharmacy after Lorna persuades her to do so, claiming that she has been feeling very aroused lately and needed release after her "sexy dreams." Afterward, in the cafeteria, Lorna reveals to Nicky that she is pregnant. Nicky, knowing that Lorna is prone to delusions, asks Lorna if she had taken a pregnancy test. Lorna admits that she hasn't, because "she knows" she's pregnant. A visibly frustrated Nicky begins to laugh and a confused Lorna tells her that she is being serious. Lorna apologizes for having led her on, and blames her hormones. Nicky tells Lorna that she loves her, but that she [Lorna] cannot continue playing with Nicky's emotions, because she can't do it anymore. Nicky says that Lorna needs the kind of help that Nicky herself is not able to provide, and ends their conversation by storming off.

Nicky and Alex after their makeover

In order to cope with her broken heart, Nicky has a makeover. Flaca and Maritza straighten her hair, give her a manicure, false eyelashes, and makeup, and put her in a dress. At Poussey's memorial, Nicky is seen making out with an unknown inmate, while also making brief eye contact with a grief-stricken Lorna. Satisfied with Lorna's reaction to what she had just seen, Nicky smirks and proceeds to have sex with the unnamed inmate.

In "The Tightening", Red takes an unnamed upper which makes her paranoid and hyperactive, and Nicky takes care of her as she comes down from the drugs. In a touching scene, the two comment on the role-reversal of this moment, and Red notes that "every parent becomes the child eventually," foreshadowing Red's cognitive decline in the final season. While she is getting ice for Red, Nicky is kidnapped by Piscatella, and is seen tied up in a room with Blanca Flores, Piper, Alex, Big Boo, and Red.

In The Reverse Midas Touch, Nicky, along with Piper, Alex, Boo, Blanca, and Red, are physically, verbally and psychologically tortured by Piscatella, who cuts off Red's hair along with parts of her scalp, cuts her clothes, breaks Alex's arm, threatens everyone with a knife, and slaps Nicky, threatening to make her the next "example" after Red. This is clearly traumatizing for Nicky, who screams and cries as Piscatella tortures Red. Fortunately, they are all saved by Frieda, Yoga Jones, and Gina.

In "Tattoo You", Nicky decides to visit Lorna in the medical cage after being freed. Lorna immediately notices that Nicky isn't doing very well, but Nicky says that she would rather not talk about it, opting instead to just sit in Lorna's presence. Lorna tearfully shows Nicky the 12 positive pregnancy tests she just took, assuming that she is actually just imagining that the tests are positive. Nicky, flabergasted, confirms that the tests are actually positive, but Lorna remains sceptical, recalling how Nicky had told her earlier that she was just being delusional. Nicky confesses to Lorna that she originally didn't believe her because she was scared at the thought of Lorna possibly having a baby, but now that her pregnancy is confirmed, Nicky tells Lorna she is happy for her. Lorna tells Nicky that Vinnie doesn't want anything to do with the baby, but when Nicky reassures her that she herself would help her out with the baby, Lorna also expresses melancholy at the thought of missing out on her baby's first year of life. Nicky comforts Lorna, and their friendship is healed. 

Later on, Nicky acquires Vinnie's phone number from Lorna's file and contacts him, confirming the legitimacy of Lorna's pregnancy to him. When Vinnie angrily retorts that he "didn't sign up for this", Nicky sternly tells him that he actually did do so, as he made the decision himself to look for an incarcerated romantic partner. Nicky tells Vinnie that she is fully aware of how overboard Lorna can go with her actions sometimes, but she will only do so when she really loves someone. Nicky lists off the insane things that Lorna will do for someone that she loves, but says that it will be worth it to be loved by her, which is something that "a lot of people" would do anything for. Her facial expression begins to darken and her voice begins to break, and it is clear that she herself would do anything to be loved that way by Lorna. Nicky ends the phone call by telling Vinnie to do the right thing.

In the thirteenth and final episode of Season 5, "Storm-y Weather", Nicky rushes to the medical cage to inform Lorna that the police are coming and that they have to get her out of there. Lorna expresses her fear of SWAT harming her child. Nicky comforts Lorna, and her voice cracks as she tells Lorna that her baby will be great because Lorna herself is great. Although Nicky knows they should get out of there, Lorna begs Nicky to sit with her for just a little while longer, and Nicky agrees, holding Lorna's head on her shoulder and calling her "kid". As Taystee and Black Cindy wheel in an unconscious Suzanne into the medical cage seeking help to wake her up, SWAT can be heard approaching. Coming to the conclusion that they need to flee, Nicky reveals to them that she knows a place to hide, but implores Lorna to surrender herself to the SWAT team with her hands up whilst announcing that she's pregnant so that they do not harm her when she is apprehended. Lorna, although hesitant to leave Nicky behind at first, listens to the plan, and with one final hug between the two, goes on her way. Right before Lorna turns around a corner, she takes one last look back at Nicky, who leads Taystee, Black Cindy, and Suzanne in the opposite direction. At the sound of Lorna's voice shouting to SWAT that she is pregnant, Nicky also looks back, but with a saddened and determined look on her face, continues rushing the other three to the hiding spot.

The last time we see Nicky is when she is in the hidden pool area with Frieda, Red, Piper, Alex, Gloria, Blanca, Taystee, and Black Cindy. They are all seen holding hands when SWAT blows up the door.

Season Six[edit | edit source]

Nicky is held in Ad-Seg at the beginning of season six, along with Piper, Daya, Red, Taystee, Cindy, Blanca, Suzanne and Frieda. During a ten-minute phone call, she calls her father, Les Nichols, with a request for

Nicky on the phone with her father

an attorney to defend her innocence. During this call, she learns that she has a half-sister named Sammi that she was previously unaware of, and it is clear that she is angry with her father. Upon reuniting with her father and her attorney, Michelle, Nicky also learns that they are engaged and have two children together, Atticus and Sammi. Infuriated, she decides she made a mistake in calling them and storms out. Later, Red gets the message to her that Piscatella has been found dead. Nicky asks again to speak to her father and his fiancee, who instruct her to give up Red. When she refuses, they tell her that breaking into the prison pharmacy and handing out drugs during the riot racked up what could amount to 70 years in drug charges, which would be waved if she gave up Red. She arranges for Red to get on the same call time as her so that she can tell Red what she's facing. She begs Red to understand, but Red doesn't give her permission. Although she feels profoundly guilty, she ultimately gives up Red's name and is taken out of AdSeg to gen pop. At this point, we see flashbacks of Nicky's fateful bat mitzvah speech during which she humiliated her parents and was told that some

Red forgives Nicky

things are "unforgivable." In the present, Nicky is released into gen pop, and on her way out Red bangs on the glass of her cell and mouths, "it's okay." A shot of Nicky's face shows relief and gratitude for this unconditional love that she never had before.

In gen pop, Nicky embarks on a humorous mission to help Blanca get pregnant, because she learned how to inseminate cows at one of her rehabs and wants to help bring some good into the world. She arrives at C-Block and drops off the supplies needed to inseminate Blanca, and then shares a hushed and affectionate conversation with Red. It is clear that Red has already forgiven her. While Nicky is inseminating Blanca in the library, they get beat up by BrockCharlene TengAkers, Creech and Shruti Chambal for inter-block sales of drugs (required to get ahold of Diablo's semen).

They end up in the hospital ward, but Flores is released early to make room for Barbara, who OD'd on bath salts. Barbara and Nicky end up bonding over their shared experience with addiction. Nicky encourages Barbara to get sober ("Break the String").

After they are released from the hospital ward, Barb spends time with AnnalisaLorna and Nicky. She shows them her bottle trick and Lorna is completely amazed. Nicky gives her a 30-day sober chip. Deitland arrives and Barb allows the 3 to order whatever they want from the commissary. Nicky gets 3 honey Buns. She also states she wants to have sex with someone, and she eyes an unnamed inmate.

Nicky goes to C-Block to clean, and calls Red over. Red asks about Nicky's bruises, and Nicky says she got attacked as part of the inter-block warfare. Red is furious, but blames the attack on Badison because Red has become close with Carol. They argue about Carol and Barbara. 

Barb sets up a plan to kill Carol while she's getting a haircut in the salon, alongside Red who has become Carol's confidante due to their mutual hatred of Frieda. She tells Nicky, much to the dismay of Annalisa and Daddy. Nicky, visibly emotional, tries to discourage her from doing it, but is unsuccessful. ("Chocolate Chip Nookie")

Nicky comes into Lorna's cell and tries to explain the situation, but Lorna has bought into the gang warfare and thinks that Red deserves what's coming to her because of her affiliation with C-Block. Nicky seems frustrated by this, but also somewhat resigned to Lorna's stupidity. Nicky thinks of a way to save Red without Lorna's help. She hides a note in a bottle cap and tries to kick it towards Red, but it is picked up by Copeland instead. Inside is a warning about Barbara's plan, so Copeland takes Carol into custody for her own protection and clears the salon. Later, Nicky is summoned by Barbara and Annalisa, and Barb interrogates her. Using her quick wit and convincing nonchalance, Nicky convinces Barb and her minions that she's not the mole. Barb apologizes, hugging Nicky and saying she loves Nicky's company and that she's funny. Once outside, Nicky exhales, shaken. ("Well This Took a Dark Turn")

On the day of the kickball game, Nicky officiates Piper and Alex's wedding, in a scrappy but nonetheless touching ceremony, complete with Nicky's humorous quips and Lorna's tearful remarks about love. Afterwards, Nicky points out to Lorna that she just witnessed a C-Block wedding, which finally makes Lorna realize how ridiculous the war is. The two of them head in the opposite direction of the field. They hide in a utility closet in the laundry room. Annalisa shows up, and Nicky is forced to reveal herself after Lorna accidentally makes a noise. Annalisa shoves her against the washer and asks her what she was doing. Nicky lies and says that she was there to grab a weapon. Annalisa pins her against the wall, saying she's done with her bullshit and asks where's Nicky's weapon. Nicky brings out Lorna's shiv. As the two of them head out to the field, Nicky glances back nervously at Lorna, who is now alone in the closet ("Be Free"). Once Nicky has left, Lorna begins to go into labor in the closet. 

Out on the kickball field, Maria gets the guard to mix up the teams. Annalisa says that Barbara isn't going to like this, but Nicky points out that Barbara isn't out there with them. Daddy says that doesn't change anything. As they play the game, Annalisa says that they should rush the other girls now, but Nicky tells her that she doesn't have beef with any of these girls. Daddy even agrees. She continues to play the game and the gang war doesn't come to pass. ("Be Free").

Season Seven[edit | edit source]

At the start of season seven Nicky is happy, spending her time joking around with Alex and looking at photos of Lorna's new baby. In "And Brown Is The New Orange, " Nicky is reunited with Red, who has been in SHU. She and Red, along with Lorna and several other characters, have been assigned to work in the kitchen of an ICE detention center. The two chat about Lorna's baby, and Nicky walks with her arms around Red. In "How to Do Life," Nicky and Red chop onions together in the kitchen, but something is off. Red seems to be cutting the onions rather slowly and deliberately, as if she has forgotten how to do so. Nicky exchanges a glance with Gloria, but doesn't seem too worried. She then seems to forget Flaca's name. In the van back to Litchfield, Nicky and Red joke around, and Nicky says, "there's my favorite straight-shootin' Soviet!" 

The next time Nicky is at the detention center, she sees Shani for the first time and is immediately attracted to her. Back at the prison, Nicky sits on Lorna's bed and looks at the Instagram Lorna is making for her baby. Unbeknownst to Nicky, Lorna's baby is dead, and Lorna is taking photos of babies from the internet.  

In "Minority Deport," Shani comes to work in the kitchen with Nicky and the gang. The two instantly strike up a witty and flirtatious banter. In the meantime, Red drastically oversalts the food, but is in denial about her mistake and blames Gloria. Nicky seems confused and worried, but doesn't say anything. Later, Red mixes uncooked pasta into a casserole, with a confused and frightened look on her face. When the other inmates point out her mistake, she lashes out at everyone, including Nicky. 

In "Me as Well," Nicky and Shani share their first kiss in the kitchen. Later, they kiss again in the freezer. Their kissing begins to escalate, and Nicky begins to touch Shani, but Shani stops her. Nicky

Nicky and Shani have sex for the first time

backs off, saying, "You're in the driver's seat. You wanna just kiss, we can just kiss," to which Shani responds, "No, that's not all I want," pushing Nicky against a wall. When Shani starts to go down on Nicky, Nicky protests, saying, "That's very nice, but, I'm a giver." Shani kisses her and proceeds to go down on her anyway. Nicky gets flustered, insisting that she's going to pass out and die if Shani keeps going. Shani comes back up and softly tells Nicky that she's not going to die, and asks Nicky to trust her. Nicky agrees and Shani goes back down. The music softens as Nicky exhales with pleasure and tosses her head back, moaning softly. 

At the end of Episode Seven, Nicky and Shani go back into the freezer and start kissing, only to find Red sitting on the floor of the freezer, shivering. Nicky kneels down and asks Red if she is ok, to which Red says in Russian, "Forgive me." Nicky rubs Red's shoulders and hugs her. In "Baker's Dozen," Nicky and Red go back to camp, and Nicky asks Red what happened. Nicky says she is worried about Red, but Red doesn't want to talk about it. The next day, Red asks Nicky to mail a letter for her. The letter doesn't have an address, but Red asks Nicky to look up the woman's address on her phone. Nicky seems hesitant, but agrees to send the letter.    

In the kitchen, Nicky tells Shani about the letter, and Shani begins telling her about how it was when her own grandmother first got sick with dementia. Nicky insists that Red is totally fine, but Shani says that, even though Nicky can't see it, she (Shani) can, because she cares for Nicky. This admission of affection changes the subject, and Nicky distracts herself by flirting with Shani. 

Back at camp, Nicky finds the phone number of Red's contact, and reads the letter aloud to her over the phone. She later talks to Red and explains that Red sent the same exact letter to the woman ten years ago, and that she still doesn't forgive her. Red doesn't remember sending the letter before, and Nicky asks Red to go see a doctor. This angers Red, who lashes out at Nicky. Nicky begins to cry, and says, "I am only saying this because I love you, Ma," placing a hand on Red's cheek. 

In "The Hidey Hole," Nicky and Shani are kissing again, but when Nicky tries to touch Shani's crotch, she pulls away, and offers to touch Nicky instead. This confuses Nicky, who wants to return the favor, and Shani asks Nicky why "this isn't enough for you." They start kissing again, but Shani gets upset and insists they have "too much work to do," and turns away. Nicky finally learns the truth when Shani meets Nicky as she's flattening boxes, and explains that she experienced Female Genital Mutilation when she was twelve years old in Egypt. Shani says she's sorry, because her mutilated body means that she can't be with Nicky "in that way," even though she desperately wants to. Nicky wraps her in a hug, and the two stand there for a moment. 

Later, Nicky returns to Shani in the kitchen and says she's been doing some research, and she wants to try to pleasure Shani despite her FGM. They kiss passionately. Meanwhile, Lorna disappears from the prison in a psychotic episode triggered by a visit from her husband in which he tells her that he wants a divorce. 

In "The Thirteenth," Nicky is once again in the kitchen with Shani. She asks Shani to relax and promises to be gentle, before kissing her and slowly placing a hand down her pants. However, Nicky pulls away when Shani gasps sharply in pain, telling Nicky that "sometimes it even hurts when I pee." Nicky comforts Shani, telling her that they're still just working out the mechanics of sex, and that "this is about you, feeling amazing. Yeah?" They kiss and hug.

Nicky and Shani's moment is interrupted when Red suddenly cuts her hand with a cooking knife. Nicky runs to her and wraps her hand, and walks with her to medical. She tells the nurse there to get a doctor, because Red has been experiencing memory loss and mood swings. When Nicky looks into the medical room, she spots Lorna, asleep in one of the beds with a cut on her cheek. The CO tells her that Lorna was sedated after she ran off, and guides Nicky away from medical. Nicky stumbles away, emotional and shaky. 

The next day, a CO asks Nicky to come with him to medical. There, she is brought to Red's bedside, where a doctor informs Red and Nicky that Red has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

After Red's diagnosis

As the doctor goes on to describe how her time in SHU and an untreated UTI accelerated the dementia, and the changes that are soon to come, the camera focuses on Red, but Nicky can be seen just behind her, sobbing audibly. Nicky places her head on Red's shoulder and cries, saying "I'm here" softly, as Red stares out into space. 

Lorna returns to camp, and Nicky, still distraught after the diagnosis that same day, helps a glassy-eyed and weak Lorna back to her bunk and tucks her into bed, beginning to cry. Nicky tells Lorna she's sorry, because "I should have been there for you." She says she's been failing everyone lately, and asks Gloria to let her stay here with Lorna instead of going to the kitchen, and to tell Shani she's sorry she can't be there because she's on a "dissapointing-people spree." 

In "God Bless America," Nicky talks to Vinny and finds out that Lorna's baby died in the hospital. Vinny also tells her that Lorna is going to be transferred to Florida, but Nicky loves her too much to let her go, and wants Lorna with her in the same block so that she can take care of her. When Nicky is about to talk to Lorna about the truth, Flaca arrives with a letter for Nicky from Shani. The letter reveals that Shani has been deported, and Nicky breaks down. She lies down on the bed with Lorna, broken and exhausted. 

In "The Big House," Nicky confronts Lorna with the truth about what happened to her baby. This infuriates Lorna, who accuses Nicky of making things up because she's jealous that Lorna is happy with someone else. Lorna begins to yell at Nicky, who tearfully begs her to calm down so that she doesn't get moved to Florida. Lorna sits down again when a CO intervenes, but seems confused and dissociated. 

Nicky speaks to Red and asks for advice about being a Prison Mom. Red tells her how important it is to just keep going and not wonder how you're doing, until you hit a wall. Nicky asks Red what to do when you hit a wall but you just can't let something go, referring to her love of Lorna. Red tells Nicky that "there's strength in admitting what you can't do." When Red asks Nicky to go get characters who are no longer in the same prison as them because it's time to make dinner, Nicky asks Red if they can just sit a while, and Nicky rests her head on Red's shoulder. 

At dinner, Lorna argues with one of the junkies, and stands up to attack her. Nicky, knowing what is coming, tells Lorna she loves her, kisses her on the head, and runs to get a CO, who takes her to Florida. As she is dragged away, Nicky stares off at her sadly. 

In "Here's Where We Get Off," Alex tells Nicky that she is being transferred to Ohio. Though Nicky is visibly upset that the last person that she cares about in the prison is being taken away from her, we can see that she is doing better, and even laughs and jokes around with Alex. 

Nicky's final scene in the show finds her working as chef of the ICE kitchen, wearing red nail polish and bright red lipstick that is reminiscent of Lorna's. She is confident and in control, ordering a prisoner to "make magic with these spuds." She is also seen helping an inmate going through withdrawal, telling her, "you're gonna be okay."           

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Sexual/Romantic[edit | edit source]

  • Lorna Morello (in love with; were friends with benefits; best friends; have shared romantic feelings) - Nicky and Lorna had a relationship that ended in Season One. The two are close friends, but their friendship is strained after Nicky returns from Max. In Season 5 the two have sex again and Nicky declares her love for her, however, she lets Lorna go in the season finale for the sake of her safety and unborn child. 
  • Shani Abboud (girlfriend) - Shani volunteers to help Nicky and the other Max inmates at the ICE detention center kitchen. The two have reciprocated feelings for one another, and have kissed and had sex. Nicky offers to help Shani to try and overcome the issues caused by her female genital mutilation. Nicky is away from the kitchen when she finds that Shani has been deported back to Egypt.
  • Alex Vause (one known time (Season 1), now just friends)
  • Brook Soso (one known time (Season 2) )
  • Stella Carlin - During her time in Max, Nicky was sexually involved with Stella at least once. (Season 4)
  • Unnamed High school best friend crush (refers to when having a conversation with Poussey Washington about straight girls)
  • Several other sexual encounters with unknown inmates.

Friends[edit | edit source]

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

"There’s always hope tomorrow is taco night!"
— Nicky Nichols to Alex Vause
"I always miss you until you're here. Then I realize the mom I miss must have been someone I invented when I was a kid."
— Nicky Nichols to her mother

 

"Please tell me that Fig keeps a vibrator in her desk. 'Cause I have this crystal-clear image of her there, feet up, high heels knocking over the pen cup while she just goes to town on her clit with a pocket rocket."
— Nicky Nichols to Piper Chapman
"Straight girls. They'll fuck you up every time. "
— to Alex Vause ("F*cksgiving")
"It's like the Hamptons, only fuckin' horrible."
— Nicky Nichols to Piper Chapman, about the SHU ("Imaginary Enemies")
"How about we both say a little prayer that she gets fat and stops shaving her legs?"
— Nicky Nichols to Alex Vause
"You know how some people have imaginary friends? I think you might have some imaginary enemies."
— Nicky Nichols to Piper Chapman
"You can only run against the race of your group. Look, just pretend that it's the 1950's, it'll make it easier to understand."
— Nicky Nichols to Piper Chapman
"I'd've made a terrible mule. I would've done all of your drugs."
— Nicky Nichols to Alex Vause
"I'm like Icarus, whose wings melted before he could fuck the sun."
— Nicky Nichols to Lorna Morello
"I am a sexual Steve Jobs. And that bitch is worth 10 points."
— Nicky Nichols to Carrie "Big Boo" Black
"I'm not the one who started a Negro League tobacco shack."
— Nicky Nichols
"I appreciate your concern, but I'm actually well covered on the menstruation front."
— Nicky Nichols to Taystee
"Can you turn that down just a little? Cause you see, I'm trying to hear the little suicidal voice in my head, so."
— Nicky Nichols
"Next time, just sit on her face. It shuts her right up."
— Nicky Nichols to Sister Ingalls, about Brook Soso
"You're one Cheerio in the bulk box of life."
— Nicky Nichols
"Maybe it was my mother's fault, you know. A classic narcissist. How many narcissists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Just one! Well, you see, she holds the light bulb and the whole world revolves around her."
— Nicky about her mother. ("Who Knows Better Than I").
"Now, Norma, I'll remind you again. It's a secret, so don't go blabbing all over camp."
— Nicky Nichols to Norma Romano ("Can't Fix Crazy")

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Season 1[edit | edit source]

Promotional Photos[edit | edit source]

Season 2[edit | edit source]

Promotional Photos[edit | edit source]

Others[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Navigation[edit | edit source]

Inmate Navigation
Maximum Security Galina Reznikov  •  Lorna Morello  •  Tasha Jefferson  •  Nicky Nichols  •  Frieda Berlin  •  Irene Cabrera  •  Marisol Gonzales  •  Dayanara Diaz  •  Rosalie Deitland  •  Antoinetta Kerson   •  Annalisa Damiva  •  Raquel Munoz  •  Tina Swope  •  Alana Dwight  •  Nicole Eckelcamp  •  Beth Hoefler  •  Maria Ruiz  •  Suzanne Warren  •  Adeola Chinede  •  Charlene Teng  •  Lolly Whitehill  •  Shruti Chambal  •  Elsie  •  Cathy  •  Marie Brock  •  Gail Abbot  •  Silka Webb  •  Aimee Sandoval  •  Amy Roth  •  Kelly Lee Glenna  •  Calloway  •  Claire St. John  •  Mandy Walsh Baker  •  Sally Jo  •  Juanita Vazquez  •  Crystal Tawney  •  Gladys Watkins  •  The Brown Twins  •  Alice Hutton  •  Claudette Pelage  •  Taslitz  •  Aleida Diaz  •  Tali Grapes
FDC Cleveland Alex Vause  •  Carrie Black  •  Carmen Aziza  •  Helen Van Maele  •  Erica Jones  •  Leanne Taylor  •  Angie Rice  •  Janae Watson  •  Alison Abdullah  •  Kasey Sankey  •  Brook Soso  •  Anita DeMarco  •  Gina Murphy
Metropolitan Detention Center Corrine Hill  •  Joyce  •  Felicia  •  Araceli  •  Darius McRae  •  Mazall
Unknown prison Michelle Carreras  •  Brandy Epps  •  Jennifer Digori  •  Stephanie Hapakuka  •  Rhea Boyle  •  Shelly Ginsberg  •  Lea Guerrera  •  Randolita  •  Reema Pell  •  Jeanie Babson  •  Jayne Cooke  •  Emily Germann  •  Ramona Contreras  •  Madison Murphy
Last seen in Minimum Security Irma Lerman  •  A-Rod  •  Annie Valdez  •  White Cindy  •  Loretta Fisher  • Voth  •  Danita
Released inmates Piper Chapman  •  Stella Carlin  •  Mercy Valduto  •  Sara Rice  •  Linda Ferguson  •  Sophia Burset  •  Jane Ingalls  •  Jimmy Cavanaugh  •  Judy King  •  George Mendez  •  Cesar Velazquez  •  Cindy Hayes  •  Gloria Mendoza  •  Blanca Flores
Deceased inmates Poussey Washington  •  Yvonne Parker  •  Tricia Miller  •  Maureen Kukudio  •  Carol Denning  •  Barbara Denning  •  Rosa Cisneros  •  Dominga Duarte  •  Tiffany Doggett
Deported inmates Maritza Ramos  •  Karla Córdova  •  Shani Abboud  •  Swapna Majumdar  •  Dario Zuniga
ICE inmates Santos Chaj  •  Mei Chang  •  Efua Onagbeboma
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