* CompleteMonster: [[AmoralAttorney Phillip Stroh]] is the most personal, depraved, and recurring foe the Major Crimes division ever faced. When first encountering the team, Stroh is using his position as a defense attorney to draw attention away from the fact that he is a SerialRapist who has raped over 6 women, having killed his latest target. After ditching his client to take the fall, Stroh returns after being ousted as a SerialKiller who has raped and murdered five women by strangling them to death with a chain, and though trying to stab the teenaged Rusty and his ArchEnemy Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson to death, Stroh is captured. Though locked in prison, Stroh's evil continues as he uses two men he assisted in becoming serial killers to kill specific targets for him, including his own minions, and attempt to broker a deal for a better life in prison for himself. Escaping confinement by murdering several innocent people, Stroh goes on a bloody rampage while tracking down his mother to acquire her fortune, butchering numerous people from his childhood including his step-parents and first girlfriend. Stroh is revealed to have been truly wicked since birth, as he tortured his step-sister, tried to burn his family alive, and raped and murdered three young girls while [[TeensAreMonsters only a teenager]]. In the end, Stroh leaves a teenaged girl to slowly be strangled to death so he may escape, and uses his final moments to plead for mercy, only to try to strike down his enemies in return for their mercy.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Nobody expected Raydor to be popular, let alone popular enough to helm the spinoff series ''Major Crimes''.
* HilariousInHindsight: Actor and politician Eric Garcetti, who portrayed Los Angeles Mayor Ramon Quintero on the show, would go on to be elected Mayor of LA in RealLife in 2013.
* LesYay: Now that they've (reluctantly) admitted admiration for each other, Brenda and Captain Raydor have been having moments. Especially in "Last Woman Standing", with Raydor giving Brenda pep talks and fashion hints (ItMakesSenseInContext). This only gets turned UpToEleven during the seventh season, as Brenda and Raydor go from {{Worthy Opponent}}s to unlikely but extremely effective allies - and, possibly, even friends. Suffice it to say the 2011 summer finale "Fresh Pursuit" left Brenda/Sharon fans hoarse from the {{squee}}.
* MagnificentBastard: [[spoiler:Dr. Navarro]] in "Heart Attack." [[spoiler:Disgusted with his {{Asshole Victim}}s' actions and tired of so many good people dying in hospitals, he starts an OrganTheft racket that doubles as a vigilante group -- all while managing to shift the blame toward drug-cartel activity. And when Brenda and co. finally come to arrest him -- in the middle of performing a VigilanteExecution operation, no less -- he casually shoots down all of their attempts to break into his chamber and invokes ShutUpKirk against their KirkSummation of his KnightTemplar actions. And in the end, he surrenders with a sense of satisfaction, and the cops are forced to let the stolen organs be used exactly how he intended.]]
* NeverLiveItDown:
** Brenda's adulterous affair with Pope. Even though she has since married Fritz, he's not above mentioning her affair with Pope when he feels that she is putting her ex-lover before their marriage or her own career.
** Frit Howard's drinking problem; besides nearly destroying his career, Fritz (prior to the start of the series) regularly drove while shitfaced drunk, to the point that he wake up in strange places with no memory of driving there.
* TearJerker: "Maternal Instincts."
** Brenda's mom's [[spoiler: death, oh god.]]
-->Brenda: [[spoiler: Momma? Momma? ''MOMMA!'' FRITZ! FRITZ! ''FRITZ!'']]
* GrowingTheBeard / JumpingTheShark: Depending on if you think Brenda having to take responsibility for her less-than-professional actions was a good thing or if you think [[StatusQuoIsGod she should have kept getting away with it]]/they deserved it (and also whether or not you like overreaching arcs), you might think the show either grew the beard or jumped the shark with the lawsuit and the hunt for the leak within Major Crimes.