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Gloria Mendoza

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Gloria Mendoza is an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary, portrayed by Selenis Leyva.  She ends up taking over the kitchen after Red is ousted, but then quit running it in Season Three so she could have more time for visitors. She is also the leader of the Spanish Harlem.

Personality Edit

Gloria is very protective of her girls and her kitchen. She acts as a mother figure to the younger ones. She is not afraid of confrontation but is easily manipulated. ("Low Self Esteem City")

Physical AppearanceEdit

She has short dark hair which she presumably gels down. She also has a tattoo on the left side of her neck. She is usually seen wearing silver hoops.


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

Before Litchfield Edit

Her backstory reveals that she was engaging in food stamp fraud in her corner store. She had also suffered domestic abuse from her boyfriend, Arturo. She forgave Arturo until he hit her son. She then tried to run away with her saved up money, afraid that Arturo would kill them all, but is arrested before she can leave. It is revealed that an unsatisfied customer of the mystic shop called the cops on her. Later, after Arturo returns for the stolen money, he burns to death after accidentally knocking over several candles ("Low Self Esteem City").

Season OneEdit

Red's opposite number among the Hispanic and Latina inmates, though with no organized crime connections. She is a mother of four. She organizes domino games and looks out for the other inmates, either by giving advice or by performing Santeria (which she refers to as "Catholic plus") for them. She is often critical of Daya's inability to speak Spanish but still accepts her as one of her own. Despite this, she tricks Daya into drinking a concoction that makes her feel sick, at the request of Aleida, Daya's mother.

When Red is put under investigation after her smuggling operation's cover is blown, Mendoza becomes the new head cook, and some inmates prefer her breakfast cooking. Red tries to sabotage Mendoza's kitchen operations, but fails to discourage her replacement and damages her own relationships instead. At the end of the first season, it is shown that Mendoza is starving out Red in a similar way that Red did to Piper at the beginning of the season. 

Season Two Edit

Gloria fell for Vee's charms at the beginning of the second season.

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Upon learning that Norma is plotting to poison Vee, Mendoza convinces her to use Santeria to get back at her instead. 

Season Three Edit

Although Gloria and Norma begin practicing Santeria together, eventually Norma sets up shop on her own, which displeases Gloria. Gloria tells her to stop, saying it's neither her story nor her culture, causing Norma to oblige, but to 'go into business' as a cult leader on her own.  

Meanwhile, Gloria starts to become worried over her eldest son Benito when she finds out that he has been acting up at home and tries to straighten him up by forcing him to bring his homework during visiting hours. When she finds out that Sophia's family lives near hers, she asks if Sophia's wife can give Benito rides to the prison, which Sophia agrees to request. However, Sophia takes back the offer when she becomes convinced that Benito is a bad influence on her own son Michael, after Michael gets into a fight with another boy. This creates friction between the two women, especially after Sophia discovers that Benito had nothing to do with the fight. When she tells this to Gloria, she is enraged. The two have a confrontation in the bathroom which ends with Sophia pushing Gloria. Gloria hits her head on the wall, creating a bruise, although this was unintended by Sophia. 

Aleida seeks revenge on Sophia and starts spreading transphobic rumors about her around the prison. Many of Sophia's old friends turn against her, including Taystee, and her salon becomes deserted. Eventually Sophia is attacked in her salon. Gloria is notably shocked by Sophia's bruised appearance, but says nothing. Later, when Sophia is taken to the SHU for threatening to sue the prison if they didn't take action, Gloria is visibly uncomfortable with the situation and lashes out at Aleida when she gives her credit for Sophia's removal (see main article here)

Gloria is suspicious when Red is assigned to the kitchen again, and gives her menial work to do. Shortly afterwards, Gloria excuses herself early from lunch prep for a visit from Benito and during her absence Maritza cuts off the tip of her finger. Caputo blames Gloria for being absent from her post, causing her to become furious and quit her job. Afterwards, Gloria continues working in the kitchen, now under Red. 

Season FourEdit

Gloria is consumed by guilt about being partially responsible for Sophia Burset being thrown in the SHU. Sister Ingalls starts acting out, attempting to be sent to the SHU, so she can communicate with Sophia and retrieve evidence of her presence in the SHU. Gloria stages a fight with Sister Ingalls and successfully gets Ingalls sent straight to the SHU. Since Aleida Diaz is being released from prison, she asks Gloria to look out for her daughter, Daya. Gloria attempts to keep Daya from joining Maria Ruiz's new group, as they are smuggling drugs out of the prison, but Daya pushes back, saying she needs personal freedom to decide who she associates with. When Sophia is finally released from the SHU, Gloria tries to be a friend but is initially rejected. Eventually, Gloria is the only one who can get the Hispanics out of Sophia's salon for her, and helps Sophia put her wig back on. They are later seen sunning themselves in the yard, and Gloria believes Litchfield will now change for the better after Poussey Washington's accidental death. Gloria is not present in the final rioting scene, in which Daya aims a gun at two COs.  

Season Five Edit




  • Arturo (ex-boyfriend, deceased, burned to death)



Memorable QuotesEdit

"The drink that I gave you has helped women in my family dookie for 14 generations."
— Gloria Mendoza
"I'm not gonna get caught up in some whitey-versus-blacky war."
— Gloria Mendoza
"Valentine's Day was invented to make people feel like shit if they're are not part of some perfect couple."
— Gloria Mendoza
"I don't trust any of you crazy bitches. You both fuckin' scorpions."
— Gloria Mendoza
"Why do I always have these conversations with sharp objects in my hand? You need to get outta here, before you add another hundred years to my sentence."
— Gloria Mendoza
"Yeah, well I'd give my left tit for a piña colada and a smoke, but you don't see that on the menu, right?"
— Gloria Mendoza in "Hugs Can Be Deceiving"
""You bet. I'm like Columbo, but with two real eyes and a better ass.""
— Gloria Mendoza


Season 1Edit

Promotional PicturesEdit

"I Wasn't Ready"Edit

Season 2Edit

Promotional PicturesEdit


Gloria1 Gloria7 Gloria8
Gloria2 Gloria3
Gloria4 Gloria5 Gloria6

Navigation Edit

Inmate Navigation
Suburbs Piper Chapman  •  Alex Vause  •  Galina Reznikov  •  Lorna Morello  •  Nicky Nichols  •  Tiffany Doggett  •  Mei Chang  •  Brook Soso  •  Angie Rice  •  Norma Romano  •  Carrie Black  •  Gina Murphy  • Anita DeMarco  •  Jane Ingalls  •  Maureen Kukudio  •  Leanne Taylor  •  Judy King  •  Erica Jones  •  Frieda Berlin   •  Helen Van Maele  •  Kasey Sankey  •  Stephanie Hapakuka  •  Alana Dwight  •  Jennifer Digori  •  Brandy Epps  •  Loretta Fisher  •  Rhea Boyle  •  Shelly Ginsberg
Ghetto Suzanne Warren  •  Tasha Jefferson  •  Sophia Burset  •  Cindy Hayes  •  Janae Watson  •  Alison Abdullah  •  Irma Lerman  •  Reema Pell
Spanish Harlem Dayanara Diaz  •  Maria Ruiz  •  Blanca Flores  •  Marisol Gonzales  •  Gloria Mendoza  •  Carmen Aziza  •  Gerrman  •  Ramona Contrares  •  Cabrera  •  Michelle Carreras  •  Maritza Ramos

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