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Janae is quite guarded, having spent most of her years feeling like an outsider because of her exceptional athletic ability. She doesn't appear to have had a great deal of experience with men. She is very angry and confrontational, but calms down as her friendship with Yoga Jones develops.
Janae is a black woman with brown eyes and black curly hair. She has muscular legs and a trim athletic build due to her training as a track star.
For a list of episodes featuring Janae's flashbacks, see here.
Before Litchfield Edit
Janae was a gifted track star at Van Buren High School whose talent for running started when she was young. Unfortunately, she was ostracized by boys who often told her to "quit showing off". In her high school years, although Janae attracted much attention from college scouts and her coach, she was not noticed by boys. Her parents, her father in particular, are conservative Muslims. Being raised in a strict Muslim household, she was forbidden from dating boys, and her father initially forbade her from running track, since the track uniforms are not Islamically modest. She often looked longingly at the other girls on her team who had boyfriends.
In college, she attended a party hosted by Haley Ricci. The gang leader, Three-D, urged Janae to focus on school, telling her that she had a chance to better her life. However, Janae ignored his advice when a member of the gang, Donte, expressed romantic interest in her. She became involved with his criminal activities and helped him rob a check-cashing establishment
During their escape, Janae was a faster runner which caused Donte to yell for her to "stop showing off" as he fell behind. This momentarily distracted her and allowed a police officer to corner Janae. Donte ran off and let her take the fall for him. It is unknown if he was eventually arrested as well.
She arrives at Litchfield the same day as Piper and Dayanara. She is initially very rude and standoffish toward Piper and has problems with authority, mouthing off to Miss Claudette and the prison guards. Watson is assigned to the tool crib in the electrical shop and loses a screwdriver on her first day. After refusing to be searched by a male prison guard, Watson is sent to the Security Housing Unit (SHU) by Caputo. She blames Piper for this since Piper lost the screwdriver that started the whole confrontation. Piper is able to make it up to her later by convincing Susan Fischer to reopen the running track so that Watson can run again.
After getting out of SHU, Watson continues to pick fights with other inmates. Yoga Jones attempts to calm her down but Janae mocks her pacifist nature and accuses her of killing a child. Yoga Jones slaps her and later, Janae apologizes to her and learns about Yoga Jones's past. The two strike up a friendship.
Janae joins Vee's gang to get a cut of the cigarette money. She is sent down to SHU again after being caught with the cigarettes in her bunk. She is visibly affected by her second time in the SHU, and once again her relationship with Yoga Jones becomes strained when she rejects Yoga Jones' compassion. Vee coldly tells Janae that it was her own fault for getting caught. Later, she is convinced by Vee to pin Red's beating on Crazy Eyes, but has a change of heart and attempts to recant her testimony along with Black Cindy.
- Donte (likely ex after Janae's incarceration)
- Yoga Jones
- Cindy Hayes
- Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
- Poussey Washington
- Suzanne Warren
- Brook Soso
- Alison Abdullah
- "You ain't got shit."
- — Janae Watson
- "You're just like the Wizard of Oz. Just a bunch of show, and nothing behind the curtain."
- — Janae Watson
- "Yeah, keep that up. Gonna throw some shit at you, cracker."
- — Janae Watson
- "Jibber, jibber, jabber, jabber; lay hands, bitch!"
- — Janae Watson to Pennsatucky in "Bora Bora Bora"
|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|