Suzanne Warren, also known as "Crazy Eyes", is a main character and an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary, portrayed by Uzo Aduba. She was a recurring star for Season One and a series regular in ensuing seasons.
She was introduced in Season One where she wanted Piper to be her "prison wife", but Piper was not interested.
Suzanne, better known by her prison nickname "Crazy Eyes", can become very emotionally attached to people and this often deters the other inmates from interacting with her. She is easily upset and is quickly frustrated, usually resulting in her hitting herself on the head and calling herself "stupid". She sometimes demonstrates a serious lack of empathy, e.g. when beating up Poussey or when Soso is found unconscious in the library after a failed suicide attempt. She also has an odd affection for obscure things and death.
Suzanne is on medication which calms her down, and is able to go to the psych ward as needed. She curbs her own sorrow and anxiety by cleaning the bathrooms at night. Despite what seems like a tendency to devote herself blindly to others, Suzanne does not respond well to perceived unkindness, and states at the end of Season One that Piper is a mean person. Her blind devotion to other people like Vee shows that she desires more than anything to be accepted and loved.
When getting to know her better, her compassion and thoughtfulness become apparent, like when she provides peppers for Piper to make amends with Red. She enjoys reciting literature and poetry, and often writes her own compositions, e.g. poems for Piper in Season One. She is also often seen using poetic phrases and underlining her words with fitting gestures. She has a vast imagination, and her creative writing is enjoyed by many other inmates.
There is strong evidence suggesting that Suzanne has a mental illness (delusions, hallucinations, emotional deregulation, poor boundaries, aggressive outbursts, difficulty understanding social cues, etc.). Aside from the medication she has been prescribed, a specific diagnosis has not been revealed on the show. Counselor and psychologist Berdie Rogers mentioned in reaction to her erotic fiction that Suzanne "is in the mental state of a 6 year old" (referring to her emotional maturity, not her mental age). Although lacking in judgement (and personal restraint), she has consistently demonstrated above average intelligence. For example, she understood the concept of a mutation when other inmates seated at a table with her did not.
The casting call for Suzanne described her as "like a child, except children aren't scary." as revealed by Uzo Aduba.
Suzanne has big, bulgy eyes, which many inmates believe to be very scary and crazy, earning Suzanne the nickname "Crazy Eyes". She also has short black curly hair that she keeps rolled up into Bantu knots on her head. In "Hugs Can Be Deceiving", it is shown that Suzanne took on this hairstyle as a result of the nurse who was in the hospital when Suzanne's mother was giving birth to her sister Grace. Her hairstyle changes after Vee alters it in Season Two, and she keeps it this way long after Vee is gone. In season five Black Cindy describes Suzanne as being built "like a brick house."
For a list of episodes featuring Suzanne's flashbacks, see here.
Before Litchfield Edit
Suzanne was adopted by the childless couple Pat and Dennis Warren sometime before her sixth birthday, possibly due to them not being able to have children themselves up to this point, but the real circumstances which led to her being adopted are unknown. When she was five years old, her adoptive parents had a biological daughter named Grace who they referred to as their "miracle" and to whom Suzanne quickly developed a close link right from the moment she first saw her, wanting to be her "best friend".
During her childhood, Suzanne didn't have the same social development as other children. When she was 10 years old, she hadn't any friends of her own age, which resulted in her having to play with Grace and her friends that didn't accept her due to her odd behavior. Her adoptive mother insisted that Suzanne was allowed to attend a slumber party at Grace's friend Isla's house, despite the other girls all being younger than her and Isla's mother not really wanting her there. Grace tried to be nice to her sister, but begged her not to act "weird". When Isla began a game of creating a story together, Suzanne took the predictable story line of a pretty girl living in a big house and changed it to include a dragon that burnt the pretty girl alive, disgusting the others.
Her adoptive mother was very protective of her, always wanting her to succeed in life regardless of her being different, and pushed Suzanne to do things she didn't want to do, which left emotional and mental scars on her later in life. For example, she encouraged Suzanne to perform a solo at her high school graduation in 2000. Suzanne froze up and ran off stage amid the laughter of the other students, hysterically blaming her mother for always pushing her into doing more things ("Hugs Can Be Deceiving").
As an adult, Suzanne becomes a greeter at a local store and is very good at her job, earning 'Employee of the Month' for September. Suzanne goes home to inform her sister Grace, and Grace's boyfriend about being named 'Employee of the Month' and they are both very proud of her. Suzanne notices that Grace is packing a suitcase and Grace tells her that she is going out of town with her boyfriend for the weekend. Suzanne is very nervous about being at home alone all weekend, telling her sister that she is, "A young 28," but Grace begs Suzanne to let her have just one weekend away with her boyfriend since she and Suzanne spend every weekend together, to which Suzanne hesitantly agrees.
Suzanne goes to a park that weekend to try to make friends, and sees a young boy whom she recognizes as a part of the family from her job, named Dylan. After talking about their favorite toys, Suzanne invites him back to her apartment for popsicles, unaware that it was kidnapping; it is implied that Dylan's parents are unaware of his whereabouts. The two play video games together at Suzanne's apartment. Suzanne mentions that she expected Dylan to stay the weekend with her, which scares Dylan. She goes to her collection to bring out some of her capes, to where Dylan is on the phone to the police. Suzanne tells Dylan to only call the police in an emergency, and begins to yell at him. Dylan tries to escape the flat, but an agitated Suzanne blocks the entrance and tells Dylan, "You don't run away from your friends!" A frightened Dylan exits through the fire escape, where Suzanne tries to get him to come back inside. As Suzanne screams for Dylan not to run away, he falls over the edge of the fire escape and presumably dies.
Suzanne is introduced as a slightly unhinged inmate who develops an obsession with Piper. Suzanne is a lesbian prisoner who, according to Healy, has been a problem prisoner with a violent history and several prison wives before Piper's arrival, which caused many problems. She follows Piper around the prison and refers to her as "Dandelion" and the relationship she imagines with her as "chocolate and vanilla swirl". After Warren puts a request in with Healy to bunk together, Piper confronts her and rebuffs her advances. This causes Warren to retaliate by urinating on the floor of Piper's cubicle while she is sleeping. As the season progresses, she starts to leave Piper alone and a more vulnerable side of Warren is revealed. It is shown that she is hurt that everyone calls her "Crazy Eyes". She also confesses to Piper that she came back from the psych ward, something few inmates do, as her adoptive parents have an arrangement with the prison management. She is shown to have a flair for reciting literature and poetry, often writing her own compositions.
In "Hugs Can Be Deceiving", it is revealed that Suzanne got stage fright at the Christmas play at the end of Season One and was subsequently ridiculed by Flaca and Maritza. During Piper's altercation with Pennsatucky, Suzanne came outside in the midst of a panic attack and, mistaking Piper for her adoptive mother, attacked Piper violently. This inadvertently made it look like a more even fistfight, saving Piper from severe punishment. Suzanne approached Piper upon Piper's return from MDC and apologized for attacking her.
Suzanne falls under the new inmate Vee's superficial maternal influence and charms, eventually becoming Vee's "muscle", violently beating or threatening any inmates who cross her (e.g. Poussey). Later, Vee attempts to convince Suzanne that she is to blame for Vee's attack on Red, to cover herself, and Suzanne is blamed by the prison administration. Suzanne is seen to be very confused and believes that she is possibly responsible. Suzanne is left distraught when Vee comes up missing from prison, as she believed that Vee could do no wrong, and that Vee genuinely loved her, as opposed to the truth which is that Vee manipulated Suzanne for her own ends.
Suzanne has a difficult time accepting the loss of Vee, often saying that she is "coming back" to Litchfield. Taystee, who had a mother figure in Vee starting before their incarceration, eventually helps Suzanne come to terms with Vee's death. They share a touching scene where they both mourn her together.
Suzanne begins attending Berdie Rogers' drama class. She writes a science fiction erotica series named "Time Hump Chronicles" that, in her mind, is actually homework for Berdie's class. This series gets passed around Litchfield and attracts many fans, including Poussey, Frieda, DeMarco, Babs, Valdez and Maureen Kukudio. While discussing her series, Suzanne apologizes to Poussey for assaulting her in the previous season whereon the two make up. Maureen tries to encourage Suzanne to continue her story with a self-written poem and advises her to include more "girl-on-girl stuff", even implying to be helpful with making homosexual experiences with her for that purpose. Maureen states that she would wait for her in the broom closet at night and gives her a kiss on her cheek. But even though Suzanne writes erotic stories, she has no experiences with sex at all and does not know how it works. When she later approaches the broom closet door after having a talk about sex with Lorna, she does not have enough courage to enter and eventually just passes by ("A Tittin' and a Hairin'").
Later, Suzanne reveals that one of the series characters, "Admiral Rodcocker", is based on a correctional officer at Litchfield, Wade Donaldson. The prison staff eventually gets their hands on Suzanne's erotica series. Sam Healy, who has a personal vendetta against newcomer Berdie Rogers, blames the erotica on Berdie's drama class. This puts Berdie on temporary leave while the prison investigates the situation.
At the beach of the lake behind Litchfield, Suzanne and Maureen are seen flirting and holding hands, implying a future relationship ("Trust No Bitch").
After they walk to some abandoned cabins in the woods near the lakes, Suzanne refuses to escape from the prison with Maureen Kukudio, feeling too pressured and rushed by her. She returns to the prison and, after Maureen is recovered too, they don't talk again until Suzanne realises she might not have a chance to be intimate with anyone else. Suzanne offers to hook up with Maureen in the broom closet again and Maureen accepts. They initiate sex but Maureen stops halfway through and walks out, to make them "even" for Suzanne abandoning her in the woods. Maureen then tries to act like they're back to normal again, because they're even, but Suzanne is confused by the back and forth, and requests space away from Maureen per Taystee's relationship advice. When the prison guards go rogue and try to pressure inmates into a fight, Maureen offers to fight Suzanne. She provokes her by taunting her with cruel insults and is brutally beaten by Suzanne. After Maureen is taken to the medical ward, Suzanne is traumatized and zones out for the rest of the day. She participates in the peaceful protest, helped onto a cafeteria table by Poussey Washington. When the guards begin pulling inmates down, Suzanne panics and becomes violent towards herself and the guards. In the chaos, Poussey tries to get to Suzanne but is tackled to the ground by Baxter Bayley, who leans all his weight on her while Suzanne attacks him, accidentally suffocating Poussey to death. In her grief afterward, Suzanne tries to put enough weight on herself using random objects so she can feel what it was like to suffocate. The other inmates are disturbed by this and try to make her stop. Eventually, she topples a library bookshelf onto herself. Brook Soso hears the crash and finds help for Suzanne. Suzanne is wheeled to the medical ward, where she is placed in a room next to Maureen Kukudio.
At the beginning of season five, Suzanne is seen recovering in Medical with Maureen. Eventually, Humps is placed in the bed between them and later has a stroke. Suzanne and Maureen leave Medical, and rejoin the rest of the prison, who are involved in a riot. Suzanne is angry that the place in the cafeteria where Poussey died is not being respected, and clears the area, making a circle around it. Later, she and Brook Soso believe that Poussey's spirit is present and attempt to hold a seance which angers Taystee.
Eventually, the disruption in the prison's schedule starts getting to Suzanne and Taystee is unavailable to help. Black Cindy and Alison put on guard uniforms and attempt to give her a sense of normalcy, the plan is failing so they buy the guard hostages with candy bars, and set them up as Suzanne's bunk mates. It works for awhile, but while Cindy and Alison are gone, Ouija and Pidge take back the guards. This greatly upsets Suzanne, so they handcuff her to the bed, the guards look on horrified as she begs them not to. While she is stuck there, Leanne and Angie begin raiding bunks, stealing other inmates things. Suzanne tried to convince them to stop, so they cover her face in baby powder and makeup.
She remains there like this until Lorna, who has been in charge of the prison's phramacy, brings her her medication. After talking to Suzanne about their shared experiences of being seen as "crazy," she decides that medication for mental health issues only exists to dull interesting people, and she tells Suzanne she doesn't need them anymore, before setting her free.
Suzanne washes the makeup an powder off her face in a bathroom, while repeating that "black is beautiful." While she's in there, she finds Maureen in a stall, having been sick. Her injuries have become infected and Suzanne tells Maureen they need to get her help. They walk to medical, but there are no doctors or nurses there, since Leanne and Angie forced the remaining nurse to come with them. Humps is still there, but Maureen and Suzanne realize he's not breathing. This freaks Suzanne out, so she puts him in a wheelchair and takes off down the hall. Black Cindy and Alison once again try to deal with the situation, but it becomes obvious that she needs her mediation. Since Lorna refused to give them up, Cindy grabs a bottle of lithium and gives a few to Suzanne, and sings to her until she falls asleep.
We don't see Suzanne again until riot officers are storming the prison. Cindy, Alison, Taystee and Janae are all unable to wake Suzanne. Cindy rushes to the closet where Humps' body was left and takes his wheelchair to put Suzanne in. They bring her to the phramacy where Nicky tells them to come with her, bringing them to the room Frieda and the others are hiding in. They revive her using an EpiPen Frieda finds and is immediately returns to her normal self. Things are fine until the riot officers come back looking for the ten missing inmates.
Suzanne and the others stand up and hold hands, waiting for the officers. The last thing we see before the screen fades to orange are them blasting open the door.
- Piper Chapman (former crush)
- Maureen Kukudio (ex-girlfriend) See Mauranne for more information.
- Unnamed ex-girlfriend (Suzanne mentions she had a Mexican ex-girlfriend who gave her peppers that she then gives to Piper in "Tit Punch")
- Vee (questionable) - When Vee arrived in prison, she showed a lot of interest in Suzanne to make her trust Vee and become her muscle.
- Lorna Morello - Lorna and Suzanne both work in janitorial together. In Season Four, they work together to find the inmate who defecates in the shower to retrieve heroin she has swallowed in the visitation room; this is revealed to be Angie Rice. Suzanne and Lorna are also both seen as "crazy" by other inmates and have on occasion comforted each other over this.
- Piper Chapman - When Piper first arrived in prison, Suzanne developed a crush on Piper, after their "relationship" was terminated, Piper and Suzanne became friends when Piper slipped and fell and Suzanne helped her.
- Tasha Jefferson - New "mother" of the Black Girls after Vee's death, she helps her to get over Vee's loss and acts as a maternal figure to Suzanne.
- Poussey Washington - Poussey and Suzanne became friends when Suzanne became more involved in the "Black Girls" group, even though it was hard to accept her at first after what happened between them while Suzanne was under Vee's influence. She tried to protect Suzanne in season 4 when she became violent with the guards. Suzanne was very upset by Poussey's death and tried to hold a seance in season 5.
- Cindy Hayes - Cindy comforts Suzanne on the fact that she thinks she doesn't have a soulmate. She also takes over looking after her in season five while Taystee is busy with negotiations.
- Janae Watson
- Brook Soso
- Alison Abdullah
- Maureen Kukudio
- Thomas Humphrey
- Gloria Mendoza
- Nicky Nichols
- Frieda Berlin
- Carmen Aziza
- Maria Ruiz
- Sankey - Racist, calls Suzanne a "retard" but refuses to hit her when told by Humphrey to do so
- Leanne Taylor
- Angie Rice
- Pat Warren (adoptive mother)
- Grace Warren (adoptive sister)
- Dennis Warren (adoptive father)
- Unnamed grandmother
- Several cousins
- "Everyone seems to forget we was all new here once."
- — Suzanne Warren to Piper, "Tit Punch"
- "Before I met you, the sun was like a yellow grape. But now, it looks like fire in the sky.
Why? Because you light a fire inside me."
- — Suzanne Warren to Piper, "Lesbian Request Denied"
- "I threw my pie for you."
- — Suzanne Warren to Piper, "Lesbian Request Denied"
- "Chocolate and vanilla swirl-irl swirl-irl."
- — Suzanne Warren
- "If you were my Prison Wife I'd tell you how much I like your titties, because girls love that shit!"
- — Suzanne Warren to Piper
- "How come everyone calls me 'Crazy Eyes'?"
- — Suzanne Warren to Piper
- "I used to think you was a yellow dandelion but... you all dried up with the puff blown off."
- — Suzanne to Piper, "Fool Me Once"
- "What is love? It's like you become more you. Which normally is like... *funny faces*. But now it's okay... because the person, like, whoever, they chose to take all that on. All that weird stuff. Whatever's wrong or bad or hiding in you. Suddenly, it's alright. You don't feel like such a freak anymore."
- — Suzanne Warren, "You Also Have a Pizza"
- "It's not just sex, it's love. It's two people, connecting. With four other people, and Aliens."
- — Suzanne Warren, speaking about Time Hump Chronicles to Berdie Rogers
- "Lesbians...am I right?"
- — Suzanne Warren to Brook and Poussey, "Turn Table Turn"
- "Little honour to be much believed..."
- — Suzanne Warren quoting Shakespeare to Piper Chapman, "Bora Bora Bora"
- "Your skin is beautiful like walnut wood, and soil, and Western cornflowers, and old metal, and dark maple syrup in brown jars."
- — Suzanne to herself after cleaning the baby powder and lotion from her face. ("The Reverse Midas Touch")
- Her character is based on a real life inmate the author of the memoir, Piper Kerman, met in prison, but her race, backstory and her interest in Piper aren't accurate.
- She once had a Mexican prison girlfriend that left behind the chili peppers Suzanne gives Piper in "Tit Punch".