American Horror Story Wiki


344pages on
this wiki
"Play with me!"
Portrayed by
  • Human
  • Performer of Elsa Mars's Freak Show (Formerly)
Cause of death
Asylum Characters Freak Show Characters
Pepper is a microcephalic woman that has been committed to Briarcliff Manor. She is a supporting character in American Horror Story portrayed by Naomi Grossman. She appears first in Asylum, and earlier in life in Freak Show.


As described by Sister Mary Eunice, Pepper is anything but harmless. Prior to her commitment, she was convicted of drowning her sister's baby and cutting off his ears.[1] She later refutes this to Arthur Arden.[2]

Personality and appearance

She seems gentle and playful but has been accused of a violent crime.

During the course of Asylum, she is abducted by Extraterrestrials and returned significantly altered. Her intelligence is augmented significantly.

In Asylum

  • Welcome to Briarcliff - When Lana Winters first arrives at Briarcliff, Pepper hands her a flower, saying "Play with me!" Sister Mary Eunice asks Pepper to leave Lana alone, but Lana insists that Pepper is just trying to make friends. Mary informs Lana that she is anything but harmless, having drowned her sister's baby and cut off his ears. Pepper can later be seen chanting "Fight!" during the brawl between Spivey and Kit Walker.
  • Tricks and Treats - Pepper is chastised by Sister Jude for hoarding food in her cell. When quizzed about the purpose of this rule she gleefully replies, "Rats!"
  • Nor'easter - During movie night, Pepper leaves the common room in a hurry to pee. She doesn't return in time to prevent Sr. Jude from mistaking her for one of the three escapees.
  • The Coat Hanger - Pepper reappears in a cell following the bright lights and the arrival of the aliens, where she tells Dr. Arden that she will take care of the pregnant Grace, who has miraculously been revived. 
  • The Name Game - Pepper has been charged with Grace's protection, claiming that Arden's experiments couldn't impair the child's safety. Pepper claims that she was falsely accused with murdering and mutilating her nephew. It is believed that the humanoids have given significant augmentation to her intelligence. She also seems to have information regarding the humanoids.
  • Spilt Milk - Pepper is seen alongside Grace when Oliver Thredson comes into the common room. Pepper defends her charge and tells Thredson that she knows what he is really up to. Thredson tells the orderlies in the room to take Pepper in for hydrotherapy.
  • Continuum - Pepper and Jude become friends and look out for each other after Kit and Lana leave Briarcliff.  Two years later Jude has forgotten most of what happened and is informed that Pepper had passed away in the Winter of 1966.

In Freak Show

  • Monsters Among Us - Pepper polishes Elsa's nails while Salty files Elsa's nails as she has a conversation with Ethel and helps cleans the table after the group eats their meal before the first performance
  • Massacres and Matinees: She is seen walking into a crowded diner in broad daylight with her fellow performer and order meatloaf. She also witnesses the fight between Dell Toledo and his son Jimmy Darling outside the diner. She also presents when Meep is wrongfully arrested and his body was dumped in front of the freak show.


  • Pepper (Asylum): "Play with me!"
  • Pepper (Freak Show): "Meat loaf!"


  • Pepper is the first character to be featured in more than one season (the second will be Mary Eunice). She was first featured in Asylum and later in Freak Show; even though she died in Asylum, Freak Show is set before the events of Asylum.
  • An unidentified person affiliated with American Horror Story has emphatically stated prior to Freak Show is that each story is in a discrete universe, befitting an anthology.) If this was indeed the case before, it may not be any longer.
  • Ryan Murphy has stated that Salty, another microcephalic, was in the same orphanage as Freak Show Pepper, whereas Asylum Pepper is known to have lived with her sister. These do not directly contradict each other though, as it is possible to live with your sister at one time and in an orphanage at another time.
  • Ryan Murphy stated that they are a shared universe, per 31 October 2014 reports from Entertainment Weekly and Popsugar:
    "This is the first year where we begin to tell you that season two is connected to season four which is connected to season one."
  • In an interview at FX Naomi Grossman (Peppers actress) confirmed Pepper in Freakshow is the same Pepper in Asylum as quoted "you'll see Pepper 10 years earlier" despite the show being an Anthology show, It could be seen as although Asylum and Freakshow are in the same universe, they are different timelines and settings.
  • Pepper's augmentation in The Coat Hanger and later is similar to scenarios in Flowers for Algernon and other works.
  • In The Coat Hanger, Pepper stated "that's what happens to us Freaks" which could be taken as a reference or clue to Freakshow.



  1. Episode: Welcome to Briarcliff
  2. Episode: The Name Game

Start a Discussion Discussions about Pepper


    19 messages
    • Ryan Murphy has said that they are all connected but they are only now starting to show how they are all connected.[[1]] throughout the seri...
    • And such is being developed. see American Horror Story/Timeline. It is being merged in a staged way to accomodate this.
  • Flowers for Pepper

    16 messages
    • Ah. Forgive me, I wasn't particularly familiar with Pepper's condition. I thought the physical and psychological aspects were separate - i.e., ...
    • There's little doubt that she has suffered maltreatment. It probably affected her psychologically and led to the infanticide.

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki