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Characters: Criminal Minds
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    The Current BAU Team 

Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner (Thomas Gibson)

  • Abusive Parents: It's heavily implied that Hotch's father abused him, and that's why he grew up to catch serial killers.
  • Alone with the Psycho: His encounter with Foyet.
  • Awesome by Analysis: So much that the trope should be renamed "Hotchalanche".
  • Badass Beard: Only in "It Takes a Village". The fandom consensus seems to be that he should grow it back. Apparently others associated with the show liked it, too: a brief clip of the Badass Beard is shown in the Season 7 opening credits.
  • Badass Bookworm: Collected coins as a kid, grew up to be a prosecutor, then took an apparent level in badass and joined SWAT and then the elite unit of the BAU at the Bureau.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Always wears a suit, with the jacket buttoned neatly and a plain white shirt.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening his family is a good way to get yourself a one-way trip to the emergency room. Or beaten to death.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In addition to being this with BAU members, he's this to his little brother.
  • Break the Cutie: Done to him by Foyet.
  • By-the-Book Cop
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: On the rare occasion when a situation requires both him and Rossi to throw their weight around, Hotch is Captain Smooth.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Takes his position as head of his unit very seriously.
  • Cold Sniper: Used to be with SWAT, one of the best shots in the cast, and the BAU agent with the highest killcount.
  • The Comically Serious: Even when joking, he maintains a very serious demeanor.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It's heavily implied that his father who died from lung cancer was abusive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It comes out of nowhere.
    "Did you join a boy band?"
  • Dead Person Conversation: Has one with Haley and Foyet after he's seriously wounded, in a coma, and unsure if he wants to stay with Haley or Jack more. It seems they both want him to return to the living and move on with his life.
  • Death Glare: Look at the picture to the right. That's him on a good day.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Listening to Foyet psychologically torture his ex-wife and son, promising to kill them, hearing Haley shot over the phone, and finding her body in their old home. Hotch loses it and empties his gun into Foyet, then beats him to death with his own hands.
  • Family Versus Career: In season three, Haley makes him choose - her and Jack or the FBI. He chooses the FBI. In season five, after Haley is killed, he must choose between them again. FBI's still winning, though he does work out an arrangement with his sister-in-law to help raise Jack.
  • FBI Agent: And a very good one.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Apparently Haley and Foyet got along in the afterlife (or Hotch's unconscious mind) a lot better than one would expect.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He's a very nice and pleasant guy, off the job and sometimes when on, but he never hesitates to pull the trigger to stop someone. That said, he does try to reason with them when he can.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners / Ho Yay: Hotch and Rossi, who are the only two team members to regularly call each other by their first names and have been very close friends for over fifteen years. Rossi is also able to consistently get a smile from Hotch, and Hotch has been known to joke with and confide in Rossi, something he almost never does with the rest of the team. To top it all off, in "The Pact", Hotch actually calls Rossi sexy, if a bit indirectly:
    Garcia (In reference to Rossi giving away his vacation days.) Altruism is sexy.
    Hotch: Yes it is.
  • High School Sweet Hearts: Hotch and Haley married right out of high school. Apparently, it was love at first sight and Hotch joined a production of Pirates of Penzance as the "worst Fourth Pirate ever" to impress her.
  • It's Personal: Any and all violence against children (especially physical child abuse) and cases that leave children without a father, not to mention his obsession with catching the Reaper. After the Reaper and the events of "100", we can add UnSubs torturing their victims over the phone, and UnSubs who use knives and sexual sadism against their victims.
  • Last Name Basis: Except for Haley and Rossi, everyone calls him "Hotch".
  • The Leader: Type II.
  • Married to the Job: It leads to his divorce.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Doubt", he ends up getting the UnSub's profile completely wrong, directly leading to the deaths of three people. This very nearly destroys his career, and does destroy Gideon's.
  • Not So Stoic: "Mayhem", "Outfoxed", and especially "100". In general, whenever it comes to his family.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Almost everyone calls him Hotch, with occasional exception of Rossi who is an old friend.
  • Papa Wolf: Do not mess with his team. It will end badly. Furthermore, let the fate of George Foyet/The Reaper serve as a cautionary tale against attacking Hotchner's family.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Rarely smiles at work.
  • The Profiler: Along with the rest of the team.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Honestly cares about his team and tries to do right by them.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Hotch tends to think he can save everybody, and actually goes and tries.
    • This is deconstructed in the series twice - first, in "Omnivore", when Rossi gives him a verbal smackdown ("That isn't your conscience talking, Aaron, it's your ego."); and second, in "Hopeless", when he, along with Rossi and Prentiss, leave the group of UnSubs to their intended Suicide by Cop, knowing he can do nothing to stop local law enforcement from enacting revenge.
    • The unsub of "Scared To Death" lampshades this.
  • Second Love: Has this with Beth in season 7.
  • The Southpaw
  • The Stoic: Usually. In Season 7, he's largely gotten over Haley's death and has started dating. He now appears more often in casual clothing, smiles and laughs more, and everyone (especially Rossi) is absolutely delighted to see this.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: As a result of being played by Thomas Gibson.
  • Team Mom: Truly cares about the well-being of all his people.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Given how many bad things have happened to him, its sometimes sad to see moments in early episodes when we see how happy his family made him.
  • When He Smiles: They are few and rare (and occur mainly around his young son), but when they appear, they are stunning.

David Rossi (Joe Mantegna)

  • Amicably Divorced: Above and beyond this with first ex-wife Carolyn, implied to be this with his two other ex-wives as well.
  • Badass Beard: Even grows one. In his first appearance, "About Face", he's clean-shaven and a total jerkass. In the next episode, "Identity", he seems to have taken Hotch's advice to heart along with growing his goatee.
  • Break the Haughty: "Damaged" does a number on him in season three; "Epilogue" does a worse one in season seven. He wasn't so haughty anymore, but "The Replicator" breaks him even more.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Inverted, Rossi spent twenty years obsessing over a case where parents were murdered in front of their children, and expected everyone else to do the same. When he tries to follow up on it, he is genuinely shocked that an isolated cold case has no new information and no one working on it. By the time the series rolls around, even the surviving children tell him to just drop it because they want to get on with their lives.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: On the rare occasion when a situation requires both him and Hotch to throw their weight around, Rossi is Sergeant Rough.
  • The Casanova: Largely in backstory. Apparently, Rossi is the reason behind the Bureau's "no-fraternization" policy.
  • The Chessmaster: His hostage-negotiation in "Minimal Loss" and interrogations in "Masterpiece" and "Zoe's Reprise" teach us that you do not want to try and out-maneuver David Rossi.
  • The Consigliere: Mostly to Hotch, but as of S5, to Morgan as well.
  • Cool Old Guy: Knows enough about Grand Theft Auto to identify characters from it, claims he's played video games, and explains Twitter to Reid.
    • He's also seen playing video games with Ashley at the end of "Coda".
    • Helps Hotch coach Jack's soccer team. It's really kind of adorable.
  • Deal with the Devil: In "Profiling 101" Rossi makes a deal with the Unsub. The Unsub is off death row and he will give Rossi the name and location of the body of one of his victims every year on a certain day. But it has to be on a special day of the Unsub's choosing. He chooses Rossi's birthday.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Among many other examples, he explains Reid by saying "He was left in a basket on the steps of the FBI."
  • Disappeared Dad: He recently learned that he had an adult daughter that he was not aware of by his second wife who gave birth after their divorce. To really add to it, it turns out his daughter is married with a two year old son.
  • Famed in Story: When Manilow's not in town.
  • FBI Agent: And well-known author on the topic.
  • First Name Basis: Hotch is the only one to regularly call him "Dave". Likewise, he's one of the three people who ever call Hotch "Aaron". Rossi also calls Strauss by her first name ("Erin"), usually to piss her off.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Leukine
  • Guile Hero: As one of the most experienced profilers on the team.
  • Heroic BSOD: Suffers from one in "The Replicator" after the titular UnSub kills Strauss. Of course, part of his breakdown (him pointing a gun at Morgan) can be blamed on the fact that he'd been drugged by a deadly combination of ecstasy and other stuff that exacerbated his distrust.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners / Ho Yay: Rossi and Hotch, who are the only two team members to regularly call each other by their first names and have been very close friends for over fifteen years. Rossi is also able to consistently get a smile from Hotch, and Hotch has been known to joke with and confide in Rossi, something he almost never does with the rest of the team. To top it all off, in "The Pact", Hotch actually calls Rossi sexy, if a bit indirectly:
    Garcia (In reference to Rossi giving away his vacation days.) Altruism is sexy.
    Hotch: Yes it is.
  • Honorary Uncle: Jack calls Rossi "Uncle Dave" at least once.
  • It's Personal: The Galen case ("Damaged"), the Butcher case ("Remembrances of the Past"), idol worship/emulation, especially directed toward him ("Limelight", "Zoe's Reprise"), and religion ("Demonology", "Public Enemy").
  • Jerkass: Depending on the writer. Moreso in season three, but there have been episodes in season five where writers of various episodes have him lapsing back into his Jerkass-y ways.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Rossi comes off as an egotistical bastard when he first shows up, baiting UnSubs and insulting a lot of people's intelligence. Turns out he's just kind of crap at this whole "team" thing, and once he realizes that these people have his back ("Damaged", most notably), he's a lot more open and caring toward them.
  • Large Ham: Can pull it off when needed, usually in the course of distracting the press (as seen in "The Performer" and "Painless"). Also, when cooking.
  • Lying to the Perp: Rossi's a master at this - see "Masterpiece" and "Reckoner" for particularly spectacular examples. "Reckoner" deconstructed this, as Rossi tells the somewhat Sympathetic Murderer that he slept with his wife, multiple times, and the unsub dies without learning that it was a lie, which just adds an extra tinge of tragedy to an already fairly brutal episode.
  • Married to the Job: Rossi, in his own words, is "more married to this team than I have been to three wives." He also hates going on vacation.
  • The McCoy: Usually playing this role to Reid's Spock and Morgan or Hotch's Kirk.
  • The Mentor: To Seaver.
  • New Old Flame: It takes until season 7, and it's in heartbreaking circumstances, but we do meet the first ex-Mrs. Rossi, Carolyn.
  • Non-Idle Rich: He could stay retired thanks to being a wealthy best selling author but he just loves the job. He's also used his wealth on one occasion ("Snake Eyes") to help solve a case.
  • Out-Gambitted: Pulls this on Henry Grace fairly magnificently in "Masterpiece", and it's one of his major moments of awesome.
  • Papa Wolf: It takes a bit for him to warm up to the team, but by "Masterpiece", he'll destroy you if you touch his team.
  • Parental Substitute: For Ashley Seaver. Ironically, Rossi captured her real father, a notorious serial killer.
  • Real Men Cook: Turns out to be an excellent cook, especially Italian food.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Acts as the de facto leader when Hotch isn't around; especially when compared with Erin Strauss.
  • Retired Badass: Before he returns to the Bureau. He's not so much retired anymore.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: He does this often. In "Hit", when the FBI Director orders Strauss to sacrifice the UnSubs' hostages in order to take them down, the team immediately protests. Strauss asks them if they plan on defying the Director. Rossi's response is simply "Yes."
  • Team Dad: By virtue of being the oldest and most experienced member of the team.
  • Uncle Penny Bags: A bit more sarcastic than most but he still fits. He's invited his co-workers to his house to drink expensive wine, used his wealth to help victims that he's involved with personally like buying and maintaining a house for some kids ("Damaged") and paying for a victim's funeral ("Zoe's Reprise").

Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore)

  • Bald of Awesome: Does anyone actually remember the last time Shemar Moore had hair?
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Briefly in Season Five.
  • Berserk Button: Touch his "babygirl" Garcia, and you are going to wish for death. Also, does not deal well with sexual abuse cases—it's kind of close to home.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He will put your head on a pike if you DARE to touch a single hair of his surrogate little brother Spencer Reid. Or anyone else on the team, actually.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Averted and subverted with Garcia—she's not technically his "love interest" and he doesn't have a problem at all sexualizing her. She has no problem reciprocating.
  • Clear Their Name:
    • In "25 to Life", when a man Morgan profiled as a rehabilitated offender is suspected of murder.
    • Morgan himself in "Profiler, Profiled", when he is suspected of a series of murders in his old neighborhood.
  • Cool Shades: When it's sunny outside, Morgan is always wearing them.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Watch "Profiler, Profiled" and all of Morgan's issues with authority figures and sexual abuse make sense. Then take a look at "Big Sea" and "The Company" and get a look into how fractured the stalking and disappearance of his cousin Cindy caused the family to be.
  • Fair Cop: Literally. Morgan used to be a cop before he joined the BAU.
  • FBI Agent: His job.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Flanderization: In the first season—particularly the first half—Morgan dressed in suits and other professional attire and was known as an intellectual who just happened to be good at fighting. While his brain hasn't left him, his style of clothing (to a much more casual dress) and the pronouncement of his emotions suggest that the "fighter" part of his persona has shoved his brain to the back seat, though he goes back toward his previous characterization after being promoted to unit chief. See also What Happened to the Mouse? below for more.
  • Genius Bruiser: The most physical of the team, but as highly intelligent as any of them.
  • Handsome Lech: The playful, mostly-directed-toward-Garcia kind. He's mostly smooth with ladies he seriously wants to date, and turns on a more over the top 'lech' attitude with Garcia, older women and/or bums...and it's ADORABLE.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Reid. Although the fandom prefers to forget the "Heterosexual" part.
  • It's Personal:
    • Sexual abuse cases ("Profiler, Profiled"), racism ("Fear and Loathing", among others), and violence against cops ("Brothers in Arms").
    • He's also had the Prince of Darkness ("Our Darkest Hour"/"The Longest Night"), the Reaper ("Omnivore", "Faceless, Nameless"), clearing the name of Don Sanderson ("25 to Life"), and his cousin's disappearance in "Big Sea" and "The Company".
    • He spends almost every waking moment after Prentiss's "death" hunting down Ian Doyle, culminating in going off-grid.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Particularly apparent in "Snake Eyes," where he steps out of a shower dripping wet with a loving pan up his body.
  • The Nicknamer: Can fall into this when talking to Reid ('Kid', 'Pretty Boy', 'Genius') or Garcia (too many to list). His favorite by far is "Babygirl".
  • No One Gets Left Behind: He does this for Prentiss in "Lauren".
  • Parental Substitute: For Ellie Spicer.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Garcia. No one messes with his "Baby Girl".
  • Raised by Dudes: Inverted, with interesting consequences. All of the relatives we've ever met of his are female (his mother, his three sisters, his aunt, his cousin), which reinforces why Morgan treats the women in his life (especially Garcia) so well.
  • Rape as Backstory: Painfully revealed in "Profiler, Profiled".
  • Smarter Than You Look: UnSubs often assume he's just Dumb Muscle. He's not.
  • Token Minority: The only person of color on the team.
  • To Know Him, I Must Become Him: Fun drinking game in the first couple seasons - count the number of times Morgan says "I'm the UnSub".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Not Morgan himself, but his work specializing in obsessional crimes. The fact that he has this specialty hasn't come up in ages, even in episodes such as "The Big Wheel" where the crimes clearly are obsessional.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Blows Lucy away without a second thought.
  • Would Hurt a Child: If that child were a killer, or so he claims to a teenage unsub in "Safe Haven." Fortunately, the unsub ultimately surrenders voluntarily.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: After being promoted to Unit Chief in Season Five:
    Morgan: Thanks, Babygi—Agent Garcia.

Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler)

  • Adorkable: In general, but especially with his giant Nerd Glasses when he was a child.
  • Asperger's Syndrome: According to Word of God. The UnSub of "Broken Mirror" mentioned this as well.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Does all the pattern analysis for the team.
  • Badass Adorable: He's a fully trained FBI agents, but acts like an overgrown puppy at times.
  • Badass Bookworm: If the Boom, Headshot in "L.D.S.K." didn't convince you, his thirteen-minute-long profile from thin air to keep from being killed by Chester Hardwicke in "Damaged" might. When Hotch compliments him on the headshot in "L.D.S.K." however, Reid blushes and jokes he was actually aiming for the unsub's knee.note 
  • Bad Dreams: Nightmares have been plaguing him since childhood.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't tell him that bullying is something some kids have to deal with. If looks could kill...
    • Don't abuse or insult the mentally-ill around the kid whose mother is a diagnosed schizophrenic.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He can shoot straight sometimes, you know. Played for Laughs in "Painless".
    "Never wage a practical joke war against an MIT graduate, because we have a history of going nuclear."
  • Break the Cutie: So many times. It seems the writers like to torture him, lock him up, drug him, infect him with anthrax, tie him up...
    • Prentiss' supposed death could count as well. How did he spend the time while she was away? At JJ's house, crying, and almost relapsing on Dilaudid.
    • He finally gets a girlfriend, a clever geneticist, but they only communicate via handwritten letters and payphones. When he finally sees her face-to-face, she's being held at gunpoint by a jealous woman, then she's killed in front of him by said jealous woman in a single-bullet murder-suicide. Ouch, writers. Ouch.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Reid does this to his own father in 4x7 "In Memoriam", and then to the unsub's father in "The Uncanny Valley".
    • Inverted in 4x20 "Conflicted", when he interrupts Adam/Amanda Jackson's murderous version of this.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Spencer tells hilarious jokes ... if you're a genius speed-reading polymath with an eidetic memory. Otherwise, not so much. He seemed pretty surprised when the villain from "Masterpiece" actually understands a joke he told a university class.
  • The Cast Showoff: The magic tricks.
  • Child Prodigy: Graduated from high school at 12, had two BAs by 16, has an IQ of 187 and an eidetic memory.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet:
    • Poor guy doesn't realize that when beautiful movie stars kiss him it's because he's a babe, not because of 'transference'.
      Prentiss (after interviewing the homeless for information): How'd you guys do?
      Hotch: Well, Reid got propositioned by every prostitute we talked to...
    • Also this (after Morgan teases him about "not being able to get a date") note :
      Reid: Do you think that [being interested in weird things] is why I can't get a date?
      Elle: Have you ever asked a girl out?
      Reid: No.
      Elle: That's why you can't get a date.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Poor kid. Mommy's schizophrenic and Dad abandoned everyone. Biggest brain in the room and usually the one targeted physically by the serial killers.
  • Disappeared Dad: First with his own father, and then with his father figure, Gideon.
  • Disturbing Statistic: He's a veriable fountain of these. If the team needs to know a statistic relating to crime, you can bet he'll know it.
  • Fan Wank: In an in-universe example, Reid has a tendency to bore his colleagues with rants about the specs of the Death Star, that Bill And Ted was a ripoff of Doctor Who, and the nature and "surprising infrequency" of science errors in the original Star Trek.
  • FBI Agent: Though he goes by "Doctor" and not "Agent."
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Flanderization: We all know that athletics are not Reid's strong suit, but failing EVERYTHING involving physical exertion (marksmanship, physical training, the obstacle course, Hogan's Alley, etc) at the Academy? It's a little extreme and it begs the question of how he not only passed the Academy, but continues to pass his field qualifications.
  • Geek Physiques: The skinny kind. Probably as a result of Forgets to Eat.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: If there's junk food around, Reid will find it.
  • Good Counterpart: He has the most Evil Counterpart's and even physically resembles some UnSubs.
  • Good with Numbers: And has been banned from many a casino as a result.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Definitely shows signs of this with Morgan.
  • Hidden Depths: Who'd have pegged Reid as a basketball coach in high school?!
  • Hollywood Nerd: He's played by a former model.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Spence" from JJ, "Kid" and "Pretty Boy" from Morgan, and countless ones from Garcia, 'Gorgeous Grey Matter' being a notable example. "Pipe cleaner with eyes" from a witness.
  • Insistent Terminology: Doctor, not Agent.
  • Insufferable Genius: Unlike most versions, this comes not from arrogance (because he's quite humble) but simply his habit of outshining others with his knowledge, making them look bad by comparison, and his Motor Mouth tendencies.
    Prentiss: (After he puts together a star puzzle) There's a lot to hate about you Dr. Reid.
    Rossi: Play poker with him sometime.
    Morgan: Try playing chess with him.
    Garcia: Or Go.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Reid's school experience - "Being the smartest kid in class is like being the only kid in class."
  • I'm Taking Him Home With Me: He does tend to engender this type of response in some people.
  • James Bondage: Definitely. The most danger-prone agent out of the bunch. Enough said.
  • The Lost Lenore: seems to see Maeve as this in in season 9.
  • Lovable Nerd: Everyone seems to want to take care of him.
  • Motor Mouth: Talks extremely fast, about virtually any subject down the the most pedantic minutiae. A fun drinking game is to count how often Reid is interrupted by an irritated teammate.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Everyone in the BAU appears to like coffee, but Reid's is the only one to have a big point made of it. Probably because of all of the sugar he takes with it.
  • Near Death Experience: Tells the team in "Epilogue" that when he was dying in Tobias Hankel's shed, he felt a warmth and saw white lights.
  • Nerd Glasses: Wears these from time to time.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Lila Archer (1x18 "Somebody's Watching"), Austin (4x9 "52 Pickup"), and various prostitutes (c.f. 2x22 "Legacy" and 4x7 "In Memoriam") seem to think so.
  • Nice Guy: He might have No Social Skills, but Reid compensates by having ample amounts of compassion.
  • No Social Skills: He's VERY awkward around people other than the team.
    Reid: I was able to differentiate between two distinct voices, two authors. I found various idiosyncratic words, phrases, punctuation and orthography within the blog. Entries consistent with each separate person, words like soda and pop. One guy uses dashes while the other guy uses ellipses. (chuckles)
    Detective Linden: ... where'd you find this kid?
    Rossi: He was left in a basket on the steps of the FBI.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Gideon always introduces him as "Dr. Reid" and Hotch does occasionally, leaving Reid to explain that he hasn't been to medical school, but does have three PhDs. Note that this doesn't stop him from trying to use his title of "Doctor" to approve himself for active duty in Season 5 when he disagreed with the notion of taking time off to let his leg fully heal.
  • Older Than They Look: Post 'boy band' haircut, he manages to look about 12, despite the actor being 29 at the time.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Oh god. So much.
  • Photographic Memory: His eidetic memory has been proven to be imperfect - for example, his memories from his very young childhood are murky at best - but, generally, it's reliable.
  • Prank Date: Was victim to this in high school. It was... brutal, to say the least. He was lured to the football field, where he was ambushed, stripped naked and tied to a goal post all night.
  • The Prankster: Do not try and prank an MIT grad, Morgan. Giving Reid's number to a bunch of press leads to a hilarious return-serve of Reid hijacking all of Morgan's electronic equipment (iPod, cell phone, etc) and programming them to play a looped message of him screaming.
  • Precision F-Strike: Reid easily having the cleanest mouth of the team, when he does swear, it means something.
    • Played for comedy in season 7.
      Reid: Loner, invisible, boiling rage—son of a bitch!
    • And played for drama in season 8.
      Reid: Maeve is somebody and this bitch is a nobody!
  • Pretty Boy: Hoo boy. In the words of Shemar Moore (the actor who plays Morgan), 'Matthew's so pretty he's almost a girl.' It's also his nickname. Unsurprising, given that he's a real-life Calvin Klein model.
  • Primal Fear: It's revealed in The Boogeyman that he's scared of the dark.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: It's his default expression.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Switches from a pistol to a revolver as his sidearm in Season 4. This is especially notable when you remember that when Reid was kidnapped by Tobias Henkel, he was forced to play Russian Roulette four times and survives, and later manages to get the same gun (still with only one bullet) away from him and kills him with one shot. It's quite possible he started carrying a revolver for this reason.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Not always, but part of him having No Social Skills means that he often gives sarcastic questions actual answers, hearing a request for information rather than an expression of exasperation. He's actually pretty good at using sarcasm, though.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He uses so many SAT words that it's not even funny.
  • The Smart Guy: Three PhDs, one of them in engineering, check. Difficulty with guns (at least, in "LDSK"), check. Prefers to talk people down rather than risk shoot-outs, check. Badass Bookworm, check.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Inverted and subverted; Reid plays, but is constantly beaten by Gideon, and Prentiss out-thinks him in 2x10 "Lessons Learned." Additionally, in "The Uncanny Valley," it's implied that he stopped playing against people after Gideon left, while playing out every possible game with himself. Until the end of the episode, anyway.
  • Snark Knight: Turns into this towards JJ after he finds out that JJ lied to him about Prentiss' death.
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: Reid has so much apparently useless knowledge that it is, in fact, ridiculous. By contrast, his knowledge of pop culture varies: he knows Siouxsie and the Banshees but not Twilight or Lady Gaga.
    • And some of it does come in handy, such as in "Plain Sight", where he recognizes the literature that the unsub writes quotes from at the crime scenes.
    • Lampshaded by Morgan in "True Night":
      Reid: You should have listened to me.
      Morgan: It wouldn't have saved that much time, Reid, let it go.
      Reid: The interchange between the 405 and the 101 freeways is consistently rated the worst interchange in the entire world.
      Morgan: Why do you know that?
      Reid: The government report.
      Morgan: So what?
      Reid: So you work for the government, you don't read the reports?
      Morgan: On traffic patterns in a city 2,500 miles from where I live?
      Reid: 2,295 miles.
      Morgan: Don't make me smack you in front of all these people.
  • The Spock: An interesting take on this trope. He's usually the most logical team member and the one to come up with the most effective plans, but he's still not even close to handling cases unemotionally.
  • Super Speed Reading: Has been shown reading and rapidly turning the pages.
  • Team Pet: Everyone wants to take care of him.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Holy shit, his classmates in his Backstory. See Prank Date above, and keep in mind he would've been at most twelve.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A few over the course of the show, but a spectacular one in "It Takes a Village".
    Interviewer: Now, calm down, Agent—
    Reid: This is calm and it's Doctor.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: In 3x16 "Elephant's Memory," he's seen attending a meeting of "Beltway Clean Cops" to cope with the Dilaudid addiction he developed in season two.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He is not happy to learn that the fact that Prentiss' death was faked was intentionally hidden from him. He lets go of most of his anger after "Proof", but he still remains somewhat distant from the rest of the team, JJ in particular.

Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness)

  • Adorkable: She is enthusiastic and awkward in equal parts.
  • Awesome by Analysis: She's a technical analyst, which means she sifts through electronic records and finds the good bits, and then puts them all together in a big picture. And remember, she learned at the feat of Aaron Hotchner.
  • Badass Boast: In a slightly nerdy way whenever she answers the phone to the team, for example she's announced herself "the fountain of all knowledge" on one occasion. Also see the quote under Beware the Nice Ones, she could absolutely do that. There's also her CMOA at the end of "The Internet Is Forever".
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    "Girlfriend? Kevin, if you come within 100 feet of Agent Rossi, I will unleash an unrecoverable virus onto your personal computer system that will reduce your electronic world into something between a Commodore 64, and a block of government cheese... call me later!"
  • Break the Cutie: Her shooting in "Lucky"/"Penelope", and the subsequent episodes that show her healing process - "House on Fire" and "Exit Wounds".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Does not look the part of an FBI employee at all, but it doesn't matter because she's brilliant at her job.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Averted and subverted with Morgan - he's not her love interest and she sexualizes him plenty.
  • Characterization Marches On: She's nearly unrecognizable to what she would later become in the pilot, in which she's a Deadpan Snarker who dresses like a stereotypical "working stiff" and who actually easily gives up trying to hack something.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of the sweetest and most justified versions. After spending her days catching murderers, she volunteers one day a week to counsel the families of murder victims.
  • Control Freak: She admits to being one.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Both of her parents died in an automobile accident when she was only 18.
  • Depending on the Writer: Whether or not she's an only child. S2 says she has four brothers. S6 says she doesn't.
    • Mind you, she mentioned having a step-father and that she was 18 when her parents died, so both could be true at once if the brothers were older.
    • It's funny how a character on a show about murders and such that a character can go from four brothers to none and instead of making a plot they just ignore it.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: In "Penelope", Morgan tries to give her one for protection.
    Garcia: I don't believe in guns!
    Morgan: (shoves one into her hands) Believe me, they are very real!
  • Expy: Garcia shares a lot of personality traits with Abby Sciuto, though their precise roles are different. Both shows are on CBS. Funnily enough, this is likely a complete coincidence; Garcia's character was originally going to be a chubby, middle-aged Latino man. Then they met Kirsten Vangsness.
  • Fake Guest Star: In Season 1; they just didn't have the money to put her in the title credits. In fact, she is the only character to be Promoted To Opening Titles who was not a replacement for a departed character. She's credited with "Also Starring" from Episode 14.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Subverted in "Proof". Garcia can bake, but apparently lacks most cooking skills. Rossi ends up teaching her.
  • Fiery Red Head: For one season.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Geeky Turn-On: How she first meets Kevin.
  • The Heart: She and JJ tend to share this role between them.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: She, Prentiss, and JJ are all extremely close - Garcia is even godmother to JJ's son Henry.
  • In-Series Nickname: So, so many from Morgan.
  • Magical Computer: Garcia can do things with computers that are flat out impossible and can deliver instant search results from Omniscient Databases that sometimes contain info that have absolutely no business being online. Months old surveillance footage, sealed court records, records that predate the digital age, etc. Nothing is off-limits or takes any real amount of time to sift through or cross-reference. On the other hand, this saves us from having to deal with months of subpoenas and dead end searches, so Tropes Are Not Bad. The show lampshades this with repeated references to how good she is in that "she can find anything". The Sheriff in "A Rite of Passage" evens says she wants someone like Garcia for Christmas.
  • Meganekko: When she's wearing her glasses.
  • Mission Control: Does all the BAU's computer work and rarely goes out in the field.
  • Morality Pet: To Morgan, but mostly to the entire team as a whole.
  • Multicolored Hair: With more colors than a cotton candy machine. Garcia digs the Manic Panic.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's quite well-built, to say the least, and several of her outfits, particularly the dress she wore to JJ's wedding, seem designed to show it off. Rather blatant in "Snake Eyes," which almost literally opens with a very good look down her nightshirt. May or may not be a coincidence that the same episode had the series' most blatant bit of male fanservice, as well. Considering Garcia would be Hollywood Pudgy on most shows, it's refreshing to see her being treated as one of the most attractive characters on the show.
  • Near Death Experience: In "Penelope", she tells Morgan, Emily, and Reid that she heard the David Bowie song "Heroes" while she was coding in the ambulance, which makes her wonder if David Bowie is God.
  • The Nicknamer; You could count on one hand the number of time she refers to anyone she's talking to by their real name. Made all the more impressive in that she comes up with a new one every time. In fact, this is such an important character trait, that when Reid calls her after he's been infected with anthrax, he can tell how upset she is by the fact that she calls him "Reid".
  • Non-Action Girl
  • Oh, Crap: When she gets a call from Morgan she usually answers in a very flirty way, which leads to these moments when he replies "You're on speakerphone". The crowner has to be Garcia's expression in "In Name and Blood":
    Garcia: Talk dirty to me.
    Strauss: This is Section Chief Strauss.
    • Interestingly enough, "The Internet Is Forever" implies she's not a fan of social networking sites.
    • Goes to a major convention with Reid in "Hit/Run", dressed as the Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Morgan, her "sweet prince" and other assorted nicknames.
  • Playful Hacker: One of the most dangerous in the world, actually.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: From season 2 onwards.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: After she got caught hacking the FBI's database, the choice was pretty much "join the Bureau or we put you in jail". In "The Black Queen" it's implied that she let herself be caught to escape her controlling boyfriend.
  • The Reliable One: Always working away in her office, just a phone call away.
  • Right Behind Me: How she meets Prentiss' replacement, complete with lampshading: "Oh god, I'm doing that thing where I'm talking and they're right behind me..."
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Averted in that any time Garcia takes a role other than computer-related analysis, there's always a good reason and she goes back to technical analyst when it's finished (ex: doing some profiling during "House on Fire" at Hotch's request; becoming the interim media liaison when JJ leaves because she wants to help out).

Jennifer "JJ" Jareau (A.J. Cook)

  • Action Mom: Don't try to go after her son. It will not end well for you.
  • Alone with the Psycho: The Performer and All That Remains.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "Revelations" and kill-shots to three rabid dogs. "Penelope" and one beautiful headshot through a plate-glass window. "The Performer" and a shovel to the back of an UnSub's head. In Nanny Dearest she pops the UnSub in the forehead from nearly a block away with her sidearm. Do not fuck with JJ.
  • The Bus Came Back: In "Lauren" for one episode, then as of "Out of the Night", JJ is officially back.
  • Character Development: JJ's original role on the team was to manipulate the media (and through them the bad guys) as well as deal with people the team came into contact with. Starting at the end of season five her role noticeably expanded until her temporary departure part way through Season 6. As of Season 7's "Proof" she's out pounding the pavement with Reid as well checking out body dumps and talking profiler-speak to the locals with Rossi. Part of this has to do with the fact that in Season 7, she has a different official job. The role of media liaison had already been filled when she returned to the team. The only way she could come back was to fill Prentiss' (then) vacated spot. (When Prentiss came back, she took Seaver's spot, and Seaver left). She's officially one of the profilers now. Hotch had suggested getting qualified for that role years before (back in something like Season 3), but she was happier as a media liaison at the time.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her sister killed herself when JJ was eleven by slitting her wrists.
  • Deadpan Snarker: JJ seems to have absorbed best-bud Emily's penchant for sawdust-dry wit in season 7.
  • FBI Agent: Like all the main cast.
  • First Name Basis: She's the only person besides his mother who calls Reid "Spencer".
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Happily Married: In Season 3's "Lo-Fi", Will LaMontagne tells the team that he's asked JJ to marry him. They are shown living together during Season 7, with Will taking care of Henry while JJ is chasing a serial killer in Tornado Alley, but not officially married until the season 7 finale.

Kate Callahan (Jennifer Love-Hewitt)

  • Ms. Fanservice: Wears a very low-cut shirt in her last scenes.
  • Parental Substitute: After her sister and brother-in-law died in 9/11, Kate became the legal guardian to her 13-year-old daughter Meg.
  • Remember the New Guy: Apparently the team has already met her several times off screen and all comment how great she is.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: A bit more girly than the Bureau's previous brunettes: she tells Garcia about cute animal videos she's seen which astonishes Garcia in that there could possibly be something cute on the internet she hasn't seen before due to her need for Brain Bleach and talks with JJ about what skin treatments are best to help heal injuries.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: In the season premier, we saw her working as an undercover cop before joining the BAU.
  • When You Coming Home, Kate?: At the end of the season premier, she apologizes to Meg for being away for two days. (We learn the details of their relationship later, but their First Name Basis indicates that Kate may not be Meg's mother.)

    Former BAU Members 

Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin)

  • Archenemy: He and Frank.
  • Alone with the Psycho: The Footpath Killer in "Extreme Aggressor" and "Compulsion".
  • Awesome by Analysis: Took a very intellectual approach to the work, compared to the more hands-on approach of some of the team members.
  • The Chessmaster: Could beat Reid in chess.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: One of the main subplots of the pilot episode is Hotch having to decide if Gideon is a risk in the field, due to an incident in Boston where he caused the deaths of six agents and his subsequent nervous breakdown.
  • Defective Detective: Has PTSD from pre-series case.
  • FBI Agent: Of course.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Guile Hero: As an experienced and skilled profiler
  • It's Personal:
    • One Word - Frank.
    • The bomber in "Won't Get Fooled Again" turns out to be a copycat of the imprisoned Adrian Bale, the guy who killed Gideon's original team.
  • Leaving You to Find Myself: The in-series reason for Gideon leaving.
  • Mysterious Past: A lot about him is never revealed. He has a son, but it's never made clear what his relationship with the mother was, and where literally every other main character has had their youth delved into at least a little, his remains a complete mystery.
  • Not So Different: Frank implies the two of them are.
  • Parental Substitute: The closest thing to a father Reid had, which made the abandonment all the more heartbreaking.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The reason Gideon disappears without a trace is because actor Mandy Patinkin couldn't take the constant emotional impact of the horrific cases on the show.
  • Sick Episode: In "Blood Hungry" he's stuck at headquarters due to a skydiving accident.
  • The Stoic: To a lesser degree than Hotch, but capable of keeping cool even when having a shotgun pointed at his face.

Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini)

  • Action Girl: Shows herself to be this not even a minute into her first appearance. Not afraid to take on the UnSubs directly
    Elle What's the matter, Scotty? Can't deal with a woman who's not afraid of you?
  • Brainy Brunette: Very intelligent, in Extreme Aggressor she figures out they are following a decoy due to the way he is driving - and of course intelligence is a given in her line of work.
  • Broken Bird: After the events of The Fisher King she is shot in her own home and brought back from the dead, left with PTSD that is triggered when she goes undercover to catch a rapist, costing the team the case... so she shoots him to stop him from raping anyone else.
  • But Now I Must Go: Something of a darker variant- after getting shot by the Fisher King, she feels that the team let her down, and she dreads the advent of new cases while she used to love them, so she quits the team, knowing that she simply can't do the job anymore.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Raped when she was younger.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The amount of one-line zingers she gets off is amazing. It also helps that she's got the timing and tone down pat as well.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After the events of "The Fisher King", there's at least one scene where she drinks quite a bit.
  • Fallen Hero: As a result of her own trauma. She even gets PTSD.
  • FBI Agent: Like all the team members.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Foreshadowing: In one episode in Season 1, she said that when she worked in Sex Crimes, she saw dozens of offenders get away with it. In season 2, she KNOWINGLY fucks up and a rapist gets away with it- so she follows him home and kills him.
  • Genre Savvy: When she quits, the first thing she says after handing over her badge and guns is "This is not an admission of guilt."
  • Groin Attack: How she gets the unsub from "Broken Mirror" to tell her where the girl he abducted is. When Reid wonders how she got him talking later on, Gideon suggests that its best not to think about it.
  • The Gunslinger: After the events of "The Fisher King", she wears double holsters, totalling two guns in easy reach.
    • She had her double holster as early as "The Fox" (1x07)
  • Important Haircut: Gets one after returning to work after the events of "The Fisher King".
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. After she's shot by the Fisher King, she actually remained lucid long enough to dial 911, and while the King thought he'd killed her, she got through it.
  • I Wished You Were Dead/Never Got to Say Goodbye: The last thing she said to her father before he was killed in the line of duty was "I hate you!", though it should be noted that she was about eight at the time.
  • It's Personal: Violence against women and sexual assaults. After "The Fisher King", it's also people getting attacked at home.
  • Karma Houdini: Rapist or not, she mercilessly killed a man and got away with it. Hell, she didn't even get fired, she quit voluntarily- and she told Hotch that if she had to do it again, she wouldn't change a thing.
  • Made of Iron: See Instant Death Bullet. In addition, the paramedics said 'we might lose her again', implying that she actually died but they brought her back.
  • Moral Myopia: Aside from apologizing at her father's grave, she shows no regret whatsoever for murdering the UnSub in "Aftermath", and argues that the other team members would've done the exact same thing if they had been put in a similar situation. Before that, she blames the local police for not being able to prevent the UnSub from raping a woman in her own home, even though they had no legal reason to break into her house. Finally, she blames the team for being shot because they weren't there for her, even though none of them could be expected to guard her in her own house.
  • Never My Fault: The only reason the UnSub got away in "Aftermath" is because Elle confronted him before he did something that would have given the team legal cause to get his DNA. Despite this, Elle acts like the UnSub getting released is a failure of the system, and never admits that it was her carelessness that allowed him to be released in the first place. She even says that she would do the exact same thing again, apparently preferring to be a murderer to easily putting the guy behind bars.
  • Not So Different: Her unshakeble conviction that she did the right thing in killing the UnSub in "Aftermath", ignoring any alternatives and making numerous leaps in logic to convince herself that it was the only way is scarily similar to how many UnSubs justify their actions.
  • Rape as Backstory: When she was younger. One of the reasons she works sexual crimes.
  • Spicy Latina: Her mother is Cuban and Elle displays many of the qualities that are a part of the trope, especially being able to take care of herself and confrontational tendencies.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Sports one when she comes back to the team.
  • Vigilante Execution: "The Aftermath". After accidentally fucking up and letting the UnSub walk, she follows him home and shoots him.

Jordan Todd (Meta Golding)

  • Heroic BSOD: Her arc on the show is basically her descent into this.
  • Morality Pet: Serves as one to remind the audience (and the team) that most people find what the BAU does to be a horrible job and cannot cope with the constant mental trauma.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Not that Meta Golding was unattractive before, but going undercover in "52 Pickup" gives her a chance to look extremely pretty.
  • Skewed Priorities: In "52 Pickup", Jordan lies to the mother of a victim, telling her that her own sister was killed and her mother wouldn't help the police, pressuring the mother into letting the sister of the victim talk to the FBI. Hotch calls her out on it and delivers a blistering verbal smackdown. She gets herself back on track by teaming up with Prentiss to go undercover and catch the UnSub.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For JJ, while she was on maternity leave.
  • Temporary Substitute: For JJ's maternity leave.

Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols)

  • Character Depth: Quite a bit. We learn a good deal about her in her introductory episode.
  • Emotionless Girl: Comes off as this at first.
  • Expy: Ashley is very similar to Rebecca Locke from The Inside, another young profiler played by Rachel Nichols. Substitute "my daddy was a serial killer and I have issues" for "I was kidnapped by a serial killer and I have issues".

Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster)

  • Action Girl: Not one to sit back and solve issues by analysis alone.
  • Agent Mulder: Especially in "Demonology", where she's the one to bring up the exorcism angle.
  • Big Sister Mentor: Towards Ashley Seaver.
  • Boobs of Steel: She's not as busty as Garcia, but each one is still roughly the size of her head. Fittingly, the episode that shows this off most, "Lauren," is also when she's at her most Badass.
  • Brainy Brunette: Like all profilers, she's highly intelligent.
  • Break the Cutie: All through her story arc involving Ian Doyle. Also, the writers sometimes seem committed to literally breaking her, as she is the team member most likely to have to endure a savage beating.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returned for the 200th episode.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Luckily, only for part of season 6.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Reid, especially after her return from the dead.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Druggie friends, a neglectful mother, disappeared father, and an abortion at fifteen. Not to mention her time as an undercover operative tracking terrorists for Interpol.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the preeminent snarker amongst the cast.
  • Death Faked for You: To deal with Doyle
  • Disappeared Dad: We know a lot about Prentiss's mother, the Ambassador, but her father is never mentioned.
  • Expy: Well, she's not an expy, but she did inspire the BBC to create Yvonne Rippon, a pretty clear-cut Expy of her, on Casualty (played by Rachel Shelley).
  • Fair Cop: Most of the time, but especially when she's undercover in "52 Pickup".
  • Faking the Dead: To deal with Doyle.
  • FBI Agent: Until she leaves for England.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Subverted. We find out in "Demonology" that Prentiss got pregnant in Rome when she was 15, and had an abortion. While she does show regret that she endured that time in her life without much in the way of support, she is never shown to be "damaged" in any way from the decision. Rather, it is the reaction of the Catholic church and the ignorance of her mother that is the problem.
  • Goth: In high school.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. With the exception of JJ and Hotch, the whole BAU team thinks Prentiss died from her encounter with Doyle, and there is a funeral. At the end of "Lauren" however, it is clear that Prentiss is in fact still alive, but in Witness Protection.
  • Honor Before Reason: Some of her behavior in "Valhalla" and "Lauren".
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In "Lauren", she tells Morgan, "Let me go", which prompts a No One Gets Left Behind response from him.
  • It's Personal: Politics ("Honor Among Thieves") and violence against women (especially rapes, as in "Slave of Duty"). "The Thirteenth Step" starts the Ian Doyle arc, which is played out until "It Takes a Village".
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Prentiss's Goth look in high school is played for laughs:
    Prentiss: What'd you do to it?
    Garcia: Do?
    Prentiss: You obviously photoshopped it or something. I mean, that hair!
    Garcia: Oh no, Pussycat, that's all you. Garfield High, class of '89.
    Prentiss: You really didn't change anything?
    Garcia: I hacked it as is. You trying to tell me you seriously don't remember rocking that look?
    Reid: Perhaps your lack of recognition stems from a disassociative fugue suffered in adolescence. Like, say, at a Siouxsie and the Banshees concert?
  • Near Death Experience: Reveals in "Epilogue" that when she coded in the ambulance in "Lauren", all she felt was cold and darkness. Being a very lapsed Catholic, she says she desperately wants to change.
  • Older Than They Look: According to her fake tombstone, she's in her forties, and Prentiss is actually a year younger than the actress who plays her.
  • Parental Substitute: To Declan Doyle, though not at all in the way his father intended.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: Usually directed toward Strauss. Only Prentiss can make the address "ma'am" sound like "fuck you, you soulless bitch".
    • She also gives Hotch a rather icy "sir" in "Sex, Birth, Death" when he touches a raw nerve by accusing her of playing political games.
    • And her response of "And also with you" (to unsub Father Paul's condescending "May God's love be with you") is delivered in a tone that sounds more like a spit to the face.
  • Put on a Bus: But it's a happy ending for her as she's now the head an Interpol team.
  • Ship Tease: For a series that is strictly No Hugging, No Kissing among the main cast, she gets quite a bit with Reid, Hotch, and Morgan. Especially Reid.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Cold and sarcastic towards most people and prefers living alone with her cat to an unsatisfying love life, but definitively caring toward the rest of the team.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Her response to going "undercover" in "52 Pickup".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sure, we always knew Prentiss was badass, but in her Doyle story arc she suddenly becomes a superspy when she turns out to have been an undercover operative for Interpol; over the course of her final episodes she winds up going rogue, staring at the door all night with her gun out, tossing grenades into UnSubs' cars and spraying them with machine-gun fire, and shooting hood rats in the ear. To say nothing of her badass change in wardrobe at the end of "Valhalla".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The scarification shamrock inflicted by Doyle seems to have magically disappeared.
  • When You Coming Home Mom: While it's never really confirmed, Emily Prentiss does not have a good relationship with her mother, and has implied numerous times that Ambassador Prentiss was neglectful toward her (most notably in "Honor Amongst Thieves", when she's surprised the Ambassador would go to her, and in "Demonology", when she says her mother "would have killed" her if she'd found out Emily was pregnant and had an abortion). It really doesn't get much more neglectful than failing to attend your own daughter's funeral.

Dr. Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn)

  • Alone with the Psycho: "The Good Earth"
  • Brainy Brunette: Has a PHD in linguistics.
  • Cunning Linguist: It's her defining characteristic, and it's come in handy several times. The best instance of this was in "The Silencer", when her knowledge of sign language was instrumental in capturing the UnSub, who was deaf. Ironically she is terrible at communicating with her own family and hasn't gone home to Kansas City in five years ( big brother getting killed and mom dying of cancer (in the same hospital no less) can do that).
    Blake's younger brother (paraphrased): You're a big fancy linguist but you don't talk to us!
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Put on a Bus: Resigns from the BAU at the end of "Demons" due to being heavily traumatized by Reid getting shot.
  • Right Behind Me: Her introduction to Garcia.

    Other Characters 

Haley Hotchner (Meredith Monroe)

Jack Hotchner (Cade Owens)

Detective Will LaMontagne (Josh Stewart)

  • Ascended Extra: Originally only meant to appear in "Jones," when A.J. Cook became pregnant, the writers had to create a love interest for her quickly, and remembering her chemistry with Will, brought him back to be her mate.
  • The Big Easy: But not quite avoiding stereotypes.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While "Hit" and "Run" don't focus entirely on him, he plays a huge role in the story and we learn a lot about him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Discussed on British radio
  • Funetik Aksent: Has a thick Louisiana accent.
  • Happily Married: Maybe not married, but certainly living with JJ, and it's kind of adorable. Official, as of "Hit/Run".

Henry LaMontagne (Mekhai Andersen)

  • Cheerful Child: Never shown to be anything but a sweet little boy
  • The Cutie: Cemented when he shows up for Halloween dressed as "his favorite profiler" — his godfather, Reid.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: His entire existence is thanks to this. J.J.'s pregnancy was written in after A.J. Cook got pregnant. Henry is even played by her actual son.
  • Satellite Character: To J.J.

Kevin Lynch (Nicholas Brendon)

  • The Bus Came Back: Shows up again in the 200th episode.
  • Butt Monkey: He is, after all, played by Trope Namer Nicholas "Xander Harris" Brendon.
  • Eleventh Hour Ranger: Joins the team in "Penelope", when Garcia is in the hospital, then again in "100" to help catch the Reaper, and again in "Hit/Run" to run backup for Garcia during the bank takeover. He comes back for "The Wheels On The Bus..." to assist in tracking the disappeared bus.
  • Geeky Turn-On: "Oh, you are NOT seriously trying to backhack me!"
  • Mr. Fanservice: Briefly, in "Damaged".
  • Non-Action Guy: As a computer tech., he mainly hands around to help Garcia.
  • Naked People Are Funny: His... awkward encounter with Rossi in "Damaged".
  • Playful Hacker: Though he admits he's not as good as Garcia.
  • Put on a Bus: He and Garcia break up after she turns down his proposal of marriage; while he probably hasn't actually gone anywhere, we no longer see him very much.
  • Temporary Substitute: For Garcia in "Penelope".

Section Chief Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson)

  • The Alcoholic: Revealed to be one in season seven.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: She has the occasional, very rare Pet the Dog moments. Recently, after her return, she's become much more reasonable.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: At times her interactions with Rossi come off as this.
  • Depending on the Writer: In her first appearances, she's trying to be a manipulative bitch. Then it look like she is A Tyrant Taking The Helm. In her next appearance, she becomes a Bait-and-Switch Tyrant and gets a few Pet the Dog moments. Then she's back to the Obstructive Bureaucrat boss who does things over the team's objections. Now she's politicking while still giving the team a chance to do things their way, and at times seems to be trying to make up for previous jerkish behavior.
  • Expy: A Gender Flip of Henrik Hanssen, same personality traits.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Nope. She's crying and wants her kids and wishes she had died before allowing the baddie to humiliate her.
  • FBI Agent: Of the supervising sort
  • Genre Savvy:
    • In "It Takes a Village", she knows as soon as Emily asks for permission to trade Ian Doyle for Declan that the BAU's already set the plan into motion.
    • In "The Replicator" it is revealed that she already suspected that the UnSub was FBI insider and modified one of her team's reports, knowing that the UnSub would give himself away as having read said reports (the accessibility of which is privy only to a select few) by unknowingly using in one of his recreations the false detail she inserted.
  • Iron Lady: As a supervisor of the team, plays this role.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She comes off as a politically-minded Obstructive Bureaucrat, but there are a great number of instances where it's clear that she's actually just trying to help/protect the team.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Started out as one, before becoming more of a supporter of the team.
  • Pet the Dog: Surprisingly, in "100", after spending the entire episode investigating the events around Haley Brooks Hotchner's death and Hotch going off the rails, interrogating the team and trying to pin the blame on Hotch, she's in tears after Hotch's testimony, and refuses to pursue the matter any further.
  • Put on a Bus: Left for rehab; see The Alcoholic above. She's back and better as of "Hit/Run." Well, before "The Replicator," anyway.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die: After being fatally poisoned by the Replicator, she asks Hotch to stay with her so she won't die alone. He does.

Diana Reid (Jane Lynch)

  • Broken Bird: Severe paranoid schizophrenic who had to be committed to a sanitarium by her then-eighteen year old son. Has just as brilliant a mind as Spencer, under the delusions and medication.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Of the "government is watching me and my son works with fascists" variety.
  • Cool Teacher: Was once a university professor, before the schizophrenia.
  • Mama Bear: The Instincts/In memoriam two-parter makes it very clear that she would never let anything hurt her son. Or have him stay in a mental institution for longer than a one night visit.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Spencer's father left the family when he was very young, so Diana raised Spencer single-handedly. Apparently social services felt that it was totally okay for Spencer's sole guardian to be an unstable paranoid schizophrenic who thought Bob Dylan was spying on her.

Carolyn Baker Rossi (Isabella Hoffman)

Ellie Spicer (Isabella Murad)

  • Boyish Short Hair: Done by Billy so she'll look less like a girl.
  • Broken Bird: Her family was murdered and she was kidnapped.
  • Important Haircut: Billy cuts her hair to make her look less like her description.
  • Little Miss Badass: Stands up to Billy and manages to screw over one of his crimes, mocking him the entire time.
  • Missing Mom: Her mom disappeared for years. And then Billy offed her dad...
  • Morality Pet: To Billy Flynn, who murdered her father, raped her aunt, killed her grandparents...and sees Ellie as a granddaughter figure.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Averted, thank God.

    Notable UnSubs 

Karl Arnold, The Fox (Neal Jones)

Mark Gregory (Andy Comeau)

  • Freudian Excuse: His mother cheated on his father, and his father was too spineless to call her out on it.
  • Making a Splash: He kills his victims by drowning.
  • Master of Disguise: He's the only UnSub whose identity is know by the BAU in advance, but the local authorities need help catching them because he keeps changing his appearance.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed : Well not really a celebrity, but Gregory was clearly based on infamously successful real life serial killer Ted Bundy. Their MO is practically identical, charming and convincing attractive young women into following them to secluded areas and then killing them. Gregory's use of the " cripple carrying groceries " disguise was directly lifted from Bundy. Also, much like Bundy, he devolves from using elaborate plans to plain snatching women, which made it possible to catch him (only whereas Gregory devolves after a couple of days, Bundy, scarily, took years to devolve).
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Charm and Harm"
  • Villainous Breakdown: He starts out luring his victims with a ruse, staging romantic dinners with them, then torturing and drowning them, but eventually devolves to simply abducting and killing them immediately as the BAU closes in on him.
  • Wicked Cultured: As seen when he discusses the qualities of fine Scotch whiskey over a gourmet steak dinner with one of his victims.

Randall Garner, the Fisher King (Charles Haid)

Carl Buford/Mohammed Alam (Julius Tennon)

  • Catch Phrase: "Look up to the sky." In "Restoration" Morgan revealed that this was what he used to say to him as he molested him and possibly many of his other victims too.
  • Karmic Death: After the other inmates discover what he really did they murder him.
  • Serial Killer: He only killed three people but what's worth mentioning is his list of children that he molested in the 80s. According to the Criminal Minds Wiki there are 54 names including Derek Morgan's on that list. With 4 others (one in the 90s and three in the 00s) this makes him the most prolific child molester seen on the show.
  • Scary Black Man: Subverted. He's a friendly and approachable pillar of his community. Which served as the perfect front for his crimes.
  • Token Motivational Nemesis: To Derek Morgan
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Profiler Profiled".
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Known for coaching a football team of troubled youths,

Frank Breitkopf (Keith Carradine)

  • And I Must Scream: Puts his victims in this state via drug that leaves them paralyzed, but fully conscious as he slowly vivisects them... in a room with a mirrored ceiling.
  • Archenemy: Fixates on Gideon as one. It quickly becomes mutual.
  • Big Bad: Of Season 2.
  • Breaking Speech: Loves giving these to Gideon.
  • Calling Card: Taking a right rib bone and making wind chimes out of them.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Downplayed. He doesn't care what gender his victims are and seems to have or at least really want to be in love with Jane. He also thinks Morgan's pretty: "If I had your looks, do you know how much easier my life would be?" "Beauty can cover a multitude of sins, but underneath we all look exactly the same."
  • Driven to Suicide: In No Way Out II: The Evilution of Frank, he jumps in front of a train when he is cornered by the FBI.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted. While he kept his mother's body in a pristine apartment, and surrounded it with flowers, it's heavily implied that she was his first victim.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's polite and soft-spoken, but he's not a nice person at all.
  • Final Boss: Of Season 2.
  • First Name Basis: He always calls Gideon by his first name and introduces himself by his.
  • Freudian Excuse: His mother was a prostitute, who he witnessed perform and have performed on her every indignity imaginable.

  • It's Personal: Killed Gideon's old flame, then started targeting people he had saved in the past.
  • Knife Nut: Uses knives on his victims
  • Meaningful Name: Points out that his name is derived from a type of spear and Gideon shares his with a Greek Hero and a biblical figure.
  • Morality Pet: Jane.
  • Not So Different: Implies that he and Gideon are this.
  • Not So Stoic: The ever so brief look he gives when Gideon mentions they've learned who his mother is, and what his childhood was really like.
  • The Plan: Pulled off successfully in "No Way Out", but he's Out-Gambitted in "No Way Out II".
  • Recurring Character: In Season 2
  • Self-Made Orphan: In "No Way Out II: The Evilution of Frank", the team discovers his mother's corpse in his apartment and it's implied that he killed her.
  • Serial Killer: That goes without saying but Frank took it to a whole new level. He's killed at least 166 people all over the United States for at least thirty years, though it should be noted he's nothing compared to Billy Flynn and a few Real Life serial killers.
  • Smug Smiler: Sees himself as better than everyone else.
  • Smug Snake: The poster boy. He manages to make sitting in a diner drinking a strawberry milkshake look arrogant.
  • The Sociopath: He feels no remorse for the people he kills and is incapable of empathy.

Tobias Hankel/Charles Hankel/Raphael (James van der Beek)

  • Abusive Dad: His father is a contender for worst parent in the entire series. The Charles personality is modeled after him, and compulsively abuses anyone who comes into his power. So bad in fact, that when the BAU informes Tobias' sponsor they believe Tobias killed his father, he replies "Good for him."
  • Archangel Raphael: The Raphael personality believes himself to be the angel in question.
  • Archenemy: Fans tend to see him as Reid's and not without reason. While he doesn't have the arc that Frank, The Boston Reaper, or Ian Doyle recieve, no other UnSub has ever had this sort of impact on Reid. Between traumatising him, getting him addicted to dilaudid, and making DID his personal Berserk Button, Tobias is still with Reid seasons later. That being said, Reid clearly empathizes with Tobias. The Charles and Raphael personalities, not so much.
  • Buried Alive: Charles' plan for Reid, whom he forces to dig his own grave.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Charles beats Reid's soles with a club.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Of Reid.
  • Creepy Monotone: Raphael.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Raphael feeds an adulterous woman to a pack of ravenous dogs, while under the impression that she is Jezebel.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Charles is modeled on Tobias' dead father.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Raphael, who sounds eerily calm as he sentences people to death.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Tobias suffers from a bad case of dilaudid addiction, which he then inflicts on Reid.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Charles. He also has the strongest accent of the three.
  • Extreme Doormat: Tobias who is an unwilling, but spineless accomplice to Charles and Raphael
  • Foil: To Reid. A bright, tortured young man, he's allowed life to break him, instead of overcoming it the way Reid has.
  • Friendly Enemy: Tobias to Reid.
  • The Fundamentalist: Tobias and his father, Charles both, though Charles is an Old Testament/Revelations type, while Tobias prefers the Gospels.
  • Guilt Ridden Accomplice: Tobias to Charles and Raphael.
  • Holier Than Thou: Charles and Raphael.
  • It's Personal: Tobias wants to befriend Reid, Charles wants him to confess, and Raphael wants him to join their crusade.
  • Knife Nut: Slits the throats, arms, and legs of most of his victims with a hunting knife.
  • Knight Templar: Raphael, who honestly believes he's an avenging archangel, and murders people he classifies as "sinners".
  • The Mentally Ill: Tobias is a very, very sick young man.
  • Mercy Kill: Tobias' father forced him to kill him after he became ill. It broke Tobias.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe; the viewers who watched the murder videos Tobias uploaded were excited by them, thinking that they were promotional videos for a horror film, but Tobias is horrified by the positive reactions it gets.
  • Missing Mom: His mother ran off with another man. This caused Charles to spiral into fundamentalism.
  • Monster Sob Story: Poor Tobias.
  • Patricide: Tobias shot his father, at his father's request. It messed him up pretty badly.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: What he believes he is doing.
  • Russian Roulette: Raphael plays it with Reid.
  • Sadistic Choice: Raphael repeatedly tries to make Reid choose which of his victims should die.
  • Split Personality: More accurately Dissociative Identity Disorder.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Tobias.
  • That One Case: For Reid.
  • Villain of the Week: Of "The Big Game" and "Revelations"

Charles Holcombe (Tahmus Rounds)

  • Death Course: The way he has modified the meatpacking plant his family owned. His maze includes such disturbing features as gas vents and vicious dogs to keep victims moving, identical rooms and dead ends to keep victims confused, a room with the floor covered with broken glass, and a room with parts of his previous victims suspended by chains from the ceiling.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Detective McGee. Both suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, both have lost their own father and both are focused on street people.
  • The Faceless: His face is always hidden behind a surgical mask, and isn't shown until after the police gun him down to stop him from killing his latest victim.
  • Hope Spot / I Lied: He offered his victims a way out, only to knock them down with gas if they managed to reach the exit.
  • Jerkass: Is profiled as one and it helps turn his Only Friend against him.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner
    Maggie: I don't have any diseases. I just went to the clinic. I'm clean.
    Charles: You don't even know the meaning of the word. You've been judged and sentenced to death.
  • Kill the Poor: His victims are homeless people, prostitutes and junkies.
  • Knight Templar: Believes he's doing the world a favor by eliminating "undesirables".
    Charles: (as the cops bust into his lair) Just let me do my job!
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Nobody seems to notice his kidnappings since nobody notices his victims in the first place. Lampshaded by Hotch, as these exchanges illustrate:
    Hotch: What do you think happened to them, Captain?
    Capt. Wright: I told you, I don't think anything happened to them.
    Hotch: Oh, that's right. You think they all got houses and jobs.

    Hotch: What if they were cheerleaders?
    Capt. Wright: Excuse me?
    Hotch: Or teachers, or mothers? How did you put it, "Can bums even be missing?" Well, sir, they can. They can be hurt, they can be scared, and they can be killed.
  • Serial Killer: of the homeless
  • Shout-Out: In the opening scene, he's whistling "Johanna". Also, there are a lot of references to the Saw saga.
  • Smug Snake
    Charles: But you will beg, whore. They all do.

Stanley Howard (Michael O'Keefe)

Floyd Feylinn Ferell (Jamie Kennedy)

  • Born Lucky: He is the beneficiary of lucky breaks so implausibly often that even Reid wonders if he might have someone downstairs looking out for him.
  • Cute and Psycho: Part of his background. He was institutionalized when he was only seven years old, after taking a bite out of his nine-month-old sister.
  • Demonic Possession: Part of his delusion is that he believes he is possessed by a flesh-eating demon.
  • Eat the Rich: Started out by targeting prostitutes and junkies, but moved up to more well-off women because his first targets "tasted funny."
  • Eats Babies: His first victim was his infant sister.
  • Evil Chef: He cooks people.
  • Fat Bastard: As a teenager at the mental hospital, due to the harsh side effects of the antipsychotics he was on.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: His homemade cookbook includes recipes with such charming names as "Kobe Girl Steak" and "Skewered She".
  • Number of the Beast: Each of his three names starts with 'F', the sixth letter of the alphabet. Additionally, his names have an average of six letters each.
  • Religion of Evil: His belief system is based on Satanism, but it's all part of his delusion. The BAU classify Ferell as an "Adaptive Satanist", a serial killer who rationalizes his murderous urges by blaming them on outside forces. To quote Rossi, "He doesn't kill because he believes in Satan, he believes in Satan because he kills."
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: His day job is running a BBQ restaurant, and considering the "secret ingredient" in the chili he served to the search party, it's a good bet that some of his customers got a lot more than they paid for...
  • Serial Killer: Of women
  • Slasher Smile: Gives one to Father Marks when he reveals what kind of meat was in the chili he served to the search party.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: His favorite song is "Sittin' in the Dark" by Louie Armstrong.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: Except the "Chick" part of his "Chick 'n' Chili" has nothing to do with chicken...
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: "The skinny ones take drugs. They taste funny."
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Lucky".
  • Wham Line: When Father Marks tells him, "God is in all of us," Floyd responds, "So is Tracey Lambert."

Deputy Jason Clark Battle (Bailey Chase)

  • Boom, Headshot: How he dies.
  • Create Your Own Villain: As it turns out, Garcia has been overstepping her authority by flagging the unsolved murders of loved ones in her bereavement support group. Two of those murders happened to be Jason, who assumed the FBI was onto him and went after Garcia. He was a killer before, but he probably would have stayed hidden and left Garcia alone if she hadn't drawn attention to herself.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Attempts to give this impression.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Uses a large caliber revolver. When Morgan notes the unusual nature of it, Reid muses that it's because it ensures he wont leave bullet casings at a crime scene. A gun shop owner comments that revolvers don't hold many bullets, but he counters that's irrelevant if you don't miss.
  • Suicide by Cop/Taking You with Me: Once he realizes his number's up, the only thing he wants to do is take as many FBI down with him as possible. The only casualty is him, as he didn't count on JJ gunning him down from behind.
  • That One Case: For Garcia.
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Penelope".

Jonny McHale aka True Night (Frankie Muniz)

Jeremy Andrus (Christopher Allen Nelson)

  • Break the Haughty: His preferred victims are women with influential, high-paying jobs, but since he's a misogynist who expects women to be submissive, he's the only one who sees these women as "haughty", and is trying to break them for that reason. Otherwise, no evidence is given that any of his victims were any more stuck up than their male counterparts. The only one who comes close is Agent Morris, who is egotistical and trying to use his case to gain personal fame, but he gets arrested before he can follow through on her.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Acts out "rehearsal fantasies", wherein he wears the clothes of his victims while listening to recordings of their torture and pleasuring himself, so he can relive their pain while preparing to take his next victim.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: During his rehearsal fantasies.
  • Electric Torture: The method he eventually chose when he started killing.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Agent Morris. Both of them are using his crimes to make names for themselves and become famous.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Is motivated by his hatred of women.
  • Narcissist: He intentionally stopped paying the rent on his storage unit so the authorities would find his writings because he not only wanted them to know he existed (he'd been killing for six years straight without anyone noticing), he wanted them to be able to chart his entire killing spree from beginning to end. The attention his case attracts feeds his ego and allows him to relive his murders in a new way.
  • Serial Killer: of women.
  • Torture Technician: Wrote extensively about the various torture methods he fantasized about using.

Owen Savage (Cody Kasch)

  • Abusive Father: His father resented him since he had had to leave the Marines to take care of his son.
  • Adults Are Useless: Given everything that he went through in his life, Owen was basically a time bomb. As Reid pointed out, if the police or school authorities had actually taken advantage of the many chance they had to intervene, he probably wouldn't have gone on his spree. The cop he angrily yells this to tries to disagree but he clearly knows Reid is right.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Reid realises Owen has a undiagnosed learning disabiltiy but is otherwise pretty smart while looking through his schoolwork and grades.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Three of his victims were the guys who had filmed him when he masturbated in the shower room as initiation and posted it on the schools social network from which it presumably reached the Internet.
  • Bully Hunter
  • Kick the Dog: When he stabbed Ike Stratman, though it was to avoid being discovered, and he clearly showed remorse.
  • Missing Mom: She died in a drunk driving accident.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Before the killings started, at least.
  • Monster Sob Story: His life pretty much sucked.
  • Morality Pet: Has one in Jordan.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: His father and Kyle Borden (the guy who had taken advantage of Jordan, Owen's girlfriend with slower learning abilities) were shot in the face at a point-blank range. The team actually profile this when he shoots his already dead father in the face, ignoring the other cop who is still alive.
  • Not So Different: Reid identifies with him because they both went through hell at high school.
  • Suicide by Cop: Attempted. Reid managed to stop him.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: A bullied, abused kid.
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Elephant's Memory".

Henry Grace (Jason Alexander)

  • Awesome by Analysis: Deliberately plays on this, hoping that the team will figure out his pattern without him giving too obvious hints or clues, so that they will walk into his trap and, further, so that he can get Off on a Technicality when Rossi doesn't have any evidence that doesn't sound like a Bat Deduction.
  • Batman Gambit: Draws attention to his own crimes and goads Rossi into staying behind to interview him in order to trick the rest of the team into walking into his Death Trap, while only giving very vague clues to this end so that they have to get themselves killed by their own work and he can reasonably plead coincidence and lack of evidence. He's Out-Gambitted by Rossi who realises what's going on and pulls one of his own to get an Engineered Public Confession.
  • Breaking Speech: A whole episode of these, mostly directed at either Rossi or Reid.
  • Dirty Coward: Always attacks his victims from behind, both because he's a pretty small guy and because women intimidate him. Rossi calls him out on it after he attacks him too; Rossi knew he would do it and knew he would wait for Rossi's back to be turned.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Murders several women just because they reminded him of the fiancee` who dumped him years ago. And plans on killing the entire team to get back at Rossi... for exposing his brother as a Serial Killer.
  • Exact Words: Kidnaps a teacher and four students, and then tells the BAU that in 9 hours 5 people will be dead. The exact wording is used twice. First when he reveals that the traps will kill someone every 2 hours (except not), pointing out that he didn't say they'd all die at once at the ninth hour mark. The second is when it's revealed the 5 man BAU team are the targets, as he never said the 5 hostages would die
  • First Name Basis: With Rossi.
  • The Fettered: The team realises he didn't kill the teacher and kids, even when it looked like he actually started to, because that would have messed up his "perfect" murder pattern.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's clearly smart and incredibly full of himself. But he isn't quite as smart as he thinks.
  • In the Blood: Firmly believes this. Rossi calls it "junk science" and thinks he's just looking for excuses.
  • It's Personal: Blames Rossi for ruining his life...for capturing his Serial Killer older brother.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Mentioned as being a non-teaching professor, to the point where nobody on campus seems to know who he is. Justified in that everyone who he had been on normal terms with didn't want to know him after his brother was exposed as a homicidal maniac.
  • Off on a Technicality: Subverted. When he realises he has lost he tries to pull this off, since he disposed of all his bodies with sulphuric acid and, despite drawing attention to his own killings, the BAU had to simply guesstimate who they thought he might have killed by themselves, while the family he kidnapped never saw him and the team only saved them thanks to highly esoteric and very well hidden clues he left, that border on a Bat Deduction enough that he could plead lack of evidence. But circumstantial evidence along with his Engineered Public Confession are enough to put him away.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Wants to kill the rest of the team in order to hurt Rossi.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: He would be if not such a bastard.
  • Trauma Conga Line: His brother turned out to be a notorious Serial Killer, leading to his fiancee`dumping him and everyone he knows distancing themselves from him and his family, nearly ruining his career in the process, while the man who caught said brother went on to become a wealthy and bestselling non-fiction writer and he had nothing.
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Masterpiece".

Norman Hill, the Road Warrior (Mitch Pileggi)

  • Adult Fear: Watched his youngest daughter die violently right in front of him.
  • Dead All Along: His family.
  • Foreshadowing: Throughout the episode it is offhandedly commented how the other workers have not seen his wife in some time despite her being at home. The Reveal shows that they have been dead since he started this persona and has been hallucinating them.
  • Going Postal: Subverted. It looks like he's about to when his much-younger supervisor asks him about some overdue paperwork, but he decides against it when the supervisor says he actually likes him as a person, and is just worried that the higher-ups will look for any excuse to fire him due to cutbacks.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Feeling unappreciated at work and at home led him to create the Road Warrior persona.
  • The Reveal: He killed his family before the BAU got the case, and he's been hallucinating that they're still alive ever since.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Especially when they've been sawed off and modified so the action can be cycled against the car door.

Megan Kane (Brianna Brown)

  • Daddy's Girl: Averted. Her father is an abusive and violent man, who nevertheless tries to use this trope to get what he wants from her. He fails.
  • Dating Catwoman / Foe Yay: Her interaction with Hotch implies she sees herself this way. Her reaction to Trent claiming that the FBI was in the pocket of the Execs she was exposing with her murders made her feel like Hotch was no better than the people she was trying to hurt. though her mind changed when Hotch stayed with her when she died.
  • Dominatrix: Some of her clients wanted her to play this role.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted. She's interested in foreign literature, can speak and read French and is also very cunning.
  • First Name Basis: Assumes one with Hotch, openly calling him Aaron. Much to the surprise of the team.
  • Go Out with a Smile: More or less. She has finally managed to indirectly destroy her father's career and is relieved to be with Hotch, who she considers "the first man she'd met who didn't let her down".
  • High-Class Call Girl: Though not for money. She wanted to punish the men on her list.
  • Kick the Dog: When she shot Trent Rabner, a childless widower who had always been faithful to his wife until the end. Though it was more due to her disgust at his arrogance that he seemed to believe that they had the FBI under there thumb.
  • Villain of the Week: Of "Pleasure is my Buisness".
  • Worthy Opponent: Has the highest respect for Hotch (though she wishes they weren't opponents), for how he was faithful to his wife and is trying to be present in his son's life. She even wonders "How could your wife have ever left you?".

The Boston Reaper (C. Thomas Howell)

  • Abusive Father: Plus neglectful mother equals screwed up kid. It's implied, or at least believed by Hotch, that he sabotaged their car, leading to the accident that killed them.
  • Archenemy: To Hotch, whom he fixates on as his "nemesis."
  • Back from the Dead: For an appearance in Season 9, when Hotch collapses and hallucinates a trip to the movies with Foyet and his wife.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wears a black trench coat while dressed up as the Reaper.
  • Bigger Bad: In "Nameless, Faceless" and " Outfoxed"
  • Calling Card: The Eye of Providence and/or the word FATE; also had a habit of taking something from his victims and leaving the object at the scene of the next murder.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Hotch and Marshal Kassmeyer.
  • Control Freak: Gets off on controlling and domineering others.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He spent the decade he was on hiatus obsessively prepping for the possibility he would be caught. He created fake identities, stockpiled weapons, and memorized the blueprints of every police station, jail, and courthouse in Massachusetts in preparation for an escape.
  • Criminal Mind Games: He likes to send taunting messages to the press and the cops.
  • Dark Is Evil: Always dresses all in black when he's in his Reaper persona.
  • Disc One Final Boss: In Seasons 4 & 5, where Final Boss credits are taken by Mason Turner and Billy Flynn respectively.
  • Ephebophile: Rossi profiles him as one, due to the disproportionate amount of time he spends with his younger female victims (knifed anywhere from ten to sixty-seven times), as opposed to his male and older female victims (all simply shot, except for Hotch).
  • Evil Cripple: To a degree. The damage he inflicted on himself requires a massive cocktail of drugs to be administered daily if he doesn't want his organs to start shutting down.
  • Evilis Petty: Considering that he had already killed plenty of people and achieved the fame that he desired, and he even could've gotten away if he wanted, it was entirely unnecessary for him to actually kill Hotch's wife; even more so with his plan to murder Jack.
  • Evil Orphan: Adopted by a wealthy family after his parents died. It didn't improve him.
  • False Reassurance:
    The Reaper: Shhh. I'm not going to shoot you. Shhh.
    Nina Hale: Thank you.
    The Reaper: You're welcome. (Takes out a knife and slits her throat.)
  • Faux Affably Evil: He often gains people's trust by pretending to be polite and friendly and even tells Hotch how he's going to kill his family in the same tone.
  • Fingore: Takes delight in cutting off a man's fingers.
  • The Glasses Come Off: He ditches his Nerd Glasses at the end of "Omnivore" after he's revealed as The Reaper. He also shaved his head in his later appearances.
  • Guttural Growler: Used in his debut.
  • The Heavy: For much of Seasons 4 & 5.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Hotch was originally going to stab him to death with his own knife, but they decided to change the cause of death to Extreme Melee Revenge. In a sense, it still counts. He could have easily gotten away from the BAU if he hadn't stayed to see Hotch suffer or threaten his family.
  • In the Hood/Malevolent Masked Men: Combos a mask and hood in his Reaper costume.
  • It's All About Me: Believes that Hotch has no right to hunt him down (despite his being a Serial Killer) and goes out of his way to blame Hotch for his problems.
  • It's Personal: With Hotch.
  • Knife Nut: But also known to use firearms.
  • Wham Line: "You should have made the deal..."
  • Would Hurt a Child: If Hotch hadn't stopped him, he would have probably tortured and then killed Jack.

Adam Jackson (Jackson Rathbone)

  • Asshole Victims: His preferred victims were jerkasses who reminded him of his stepfather. At least one cheated on his girlfriend with no remorse and they all tended to treat women badly. One even shoved him to the ground when Adam tried to stand up for a girl he was bothering.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Adam is, on his own, a pretty nice and likable guy. But when he snaps, he goes into full berserker rage.
  • Freudian Excuse: Was abused physically and sexually by his stepfather when he was a boy. The trauma of the abuse spawned a Split Personality who only comes out when Adam is harassed or bullied by dominant men. Unfortunately for him, he has no clue about any of this.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Amanda eventually buried Adam in an attempt to keep him from harm.
  • More Deadly Than The Male: It's Amanda doing the raping and killing, Adam doesn't know anything about it.
  • Pretty Boy: Notice that it plays an important role in his murders.
  • Serial Killer: Of men.
  • Southern Belle: Amanda is a decidedly mauvaise example.
  • Split Personality Takeover: To protect Adam from anymore danger, Amanda suppresses his presence. Chances are that he will never come back and Amanda will be his replacement.

Danny Murphy (Kendall Ryan Sanders)

Vincent Rowlings (Alex O'Loughlin)

  • Monster Sob Story: His father stabbed his mother to death and he sat by her side for almost an entire day before they were found.
  • Morality Pet: Found one in Stan.

The Turner Brothers (Garrett Dillahunt and Paul Rae)

  • Brains and Brawn: Mason is the brains, Lucas the brawn.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Lucas, who tends to forget just how big he is. This is how Mason got crippled.
  • The Dragon: Lucas to Mason.
  • Drop the Hammer: Lucas's MO. He draws an "X" on the back of his victims' necks with a marker, than smacks it with a claw hammer until they die.
  • Dumb Muscle: The severely handicapped Lucas.
  • Evil Cripple: Mason, a quadriplegic barely kept alive by a ton a of machinery.
  • Evil Genius: Mason is very, very bright.
  • Expy:
    • Mason is based heavily on Mason Verger from Hannibal. Both are sexual sadists (though the latter is a pedophile) who were crippled by a Serial Killer (albeit in very, very different circumstances, and unlike the Evil Genius Lecter the Man Child Lucas wasn't a killer at the time) and seek humiliating revenge on them (of very different sorts though). Both have farms with man-eating pigs, and are verbally and emotionally abusive to their carers- in the novel, Verger's carer is his sister, which only adds to the similarities. Most obviously, both are named Mason.
    • The Turner Brothers as a unit also have some similarities with Charles Holcombe, and his right-hand man, Steven, from Season 2. Both are serial killer teams who prey on the poor, perform surgical experiments on their victims, and believe that the homeless have no value to society. In each case one partner is also manipulating the other.
  • Extreme Doormat: Lucas' low IQ, poor social skills, and the guilt he feels over his brother's injuries makes him one wherever Mason is concerned.
  • Fat Bastard: Lucas, although much more sympathetic than most.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: How Mason views his condition.
  • Final Boss: Of Season 4.
  • For Science!: How Mason tries rationalizing manipulating his mentally handicapped brother into killing the homeless for his experiments, saying that he is searching for a cure for his condition. Earns him a Shut Up, Hannibal! from Rossi, who calls him out as just another sadistic bastard since his farm and equipment are no where near adequate for such a task, and he's arranged mirrors around the house in a way that lets him see his victims suffer from his bed.
  • Gentle Giant: Lucas would be this if not for his bastard brother and his own inability to handle anger well.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Mason, who lies back and smiles before he is shot.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Sorta. Lucas doesn't really seem to mind eating pigs that he's fed a ton of people to.
  • It's All About Me: Mason doesn't give a good goddamn about anyone but himself, even willing to let the FBI kill Lucas, whom he sees as expendable.
  • Karma Houdini: Lampshaded by Rossi, who says that selling the idea that a bed-ridden former doctor is really a manipulative homicidal maniac to a jury is going to be an uphill struggle, especially since Lucas actually did all the killings. One victim's brother solves the problem with a Vigilante Execution.
  • Kill the Poor: They prey on homeless people, prostitues and junkies on the premise that they're useless, and no one will miss them.
  • Lack of Empathy: Mason has no empathy for those they've killed, saying that they should be grateful that they can become a part of something greater than themselves. Subverted with Lucas, who starts empathising with the last victim after the police show up to the farm and he's forced to spend time with her in his old childhood hideaway.
  • Mad Doctor: Mason, with Lucas acting as his hands. He's conducting extremely primitive stem cell experiments.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mason, who convinces Lucas to do the murders, and later tries to manipulate the FBI into killing Lucas and letting him go.
  • Mercy Kill: Mason's take on Lucas' death.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Along with the "useless to society" thing, Mason presumably had Lucas target the homeless because he believed no one would really care or notice.

Boyd Schuller and Tony Mecacci (Lawrence Pressman and Tom Ohmer)

  • Asshole Victim: Mecacci. And all the victims that had got away before.
  • Hanging Judge: Schuller. He could have been it even before his wife's death, if you consider that the victims on his list were supposed to be the worst criminals that had got away when he was in charge.
  • Karma Houdini: Played with. Schuller dies, but he accomplishes everything he set out to do, and goes out the way he wanted to, making him arguably this. Mecacci, meanwhile, is one of the countable-on-one-hand number of UnSubs to elude the FBI completely... but in literally the last couple seconds of the episode, he's gunned down by the surrogate son of a man he recently murdered.

Samantha Malcolm, the Dollmaker (Jennifer Hasty)

  • Abusive Parents: Her father used to molest her as a child. To keep her from telling what he had done, he coached her on what to say, making her get electro shock therapy if she ever got the story wrong, which permantly warped her mind.
  • Accidental Murder: She doesn't want her victims to die. Instead, she does her best to keep them alive, even if the state of paralysis in which they are inevitably leads to their death.
  • And I Must Scream: She uses injections to paralyze her victims so she can dress them up and have tea parties with them.
  • Blonde Brunette Red Head / Token Minority: Her dolls are a blonde, a red head, and an African-American girl.
  • Collector of the Strange: Living dolls.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her abuse.
  • Living Doll Collector: A more human one than most examples, all things considering.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Samantha doesn't seem to have any friends.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother's death was where her troubles all started.
  • Monster Sob Story: Her life is one of abuse and manipulation. She just wants her friends back.
  • No Social Skills: Part of her profile. She's skilled enough to lure her next victim into her van, but generally she behaves in a clumsy and paranoid way.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Said to her last "doll".
  • Replacement Goldfish: Her human dolls.
  • Serial Killer: Not that she's aware of it.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Without Asshole Victims.
  • Villain of the Week: Of "The Uncanny valley".
  • Woman Child: The way she acts and moves puts you in the mind of a five year old. She even has tea parties with her "dolls". Also, when one of her victims dies, she leaves the body in places crowded by children, like parks or carnivals.

Anita and Roger Roycewood (Beth Grant and Bud Cort)

  • Faux Affably Evil: They often pretend to be polite and friendly while actually being cold-hearted monsters.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Their reasons for doing what they do are never explored, unlike with most unsubs. Semi-justified, as the episode focuses more on the victims and their families.
  • Guilt Ridden Accomplice: Roger seems to show slight traits of this, but the interpretation is left open and is very debatable.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Anita tries to do this to Charlie. Bad idea. See below.
  • Kill It with Fire: Anita burns the children alive in a crematorium.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Anita
    Anita: Come on, you gotta be kid... BANG!
  • Murder by Cremation: When the children they've abducted grow out of control, Anita sedates them and burns them in her family's crematorium.
  • Outlaw Couple: Though Roger just seems to be a passive participant.
  • Serial Killer: Anita who performs the actual murders. Roger just helps her bury them.

Billy Flynn, The Prince of Darkness (Tim Curry)

  • All There in the Manual: His name was revealed prior to "The Longest Night", on the "Our Darkest Hour" cast pages of sites like imdb or TV.com.
  • Archenemy: The fandom tends to see him as Morgan's, for obvious reasons. Between his prominence in the show, his humiliation of Morgan in their first encounter, and the way that his murder of Detective Spicer and kidnapping of Ellie turn the entire thing personal there really isn't a better candidate for the title. Morgan himself describes him this way - toward the end of "The Longest Night", when arguing with Hotch about going in to the house Flynn had just broken into, Morgan reasons with Hotch by telling him, "you had Foyet, this one's mine!"
  • Book Dumb: Billy's uneducated and can't spell, but he's smart enough to leave no evidence at his crime scenes, and has been getting away with home invasion, serial rape and murder since 1984.
  • Boom, Headshot: How most of his victims are killed.
  • The Corrupter: To Ellie.
  • Dark Is Evil: Works during a planned blackout
  • Darkness Equals Death: Kills at night
  • Drugs Are Bad: Meth to be exact. It's what lets him stay up all night.
  • Enfant Terrible: Killed his mother and one of her clients when he was thirteen, apparently forcing the latter to beg for his life before shooting him.
  • Evil Brit: Curry can't quite suppress his British accent.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Especially when played by Tim Curry.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly/The Pigpen: Between the drug abuse, the late nights, the high-risk lifestyle, the bad food, and constantly being on the run from the cops, Billy's a wreck, with bad posture, terrible teeth and breath, a distinctly unhealthy looking body, and baggy, bloodshot eyes.
  • Evil Mentor: To Ellie Spicer, teaching her how to lie, steal, and kill with the best of them.
  • Evil Old Folks: Chronologically he's only in his mid-fifties, but looks a lot older thanks to two decades of smoking meth and not sleeping.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Due to being played by Tim Curry.
  • Expy: Of Frank. Both are prolific serial killers, who travel from location to location, have been active for decades, have killed more victims than anyone else appearing in the show, serve as That One Case for one of the agents (and the Final Boss of a season), have one person they can empathise with, and got their start because of their prostitute mothers. Since their modus operandi, appearance, and presentation are radically different, with Frank being a smarter-than-thou Smug Snake with a professorial air, and Billy an uneducated, meth-addicted thug this is harder to notice than you'd think.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Since Detective Spicer only had a kid because he allowed him to live years earlier, Flynn developed a kind of "grandfather delusion" towards Spicer's daughter, who he tries to make his sidekick.
  • Final Boss: Of Season 5.
  • Forced to Watch: If he's in the mood for some rape, he'll force someone (usually the victim's children) to watch. His own mother would force him to watch her have sex.
  • Freudian Excuse/Monster Sob Story: His early life was truly horrible: his mother was a hooker; she made him watch, and later pimped him out to paedophilic clients. This is however defied by JJ. She refuses to empathize with him, and says that as horrible as his upbringing was it doesn't justify what he's doing. In fact it makes it worse, since he of all people knows how bad it is.
  • A God Am I: "I decide who dies, but mostly, I decide who lives. I'm like... God."
  • Heel Realisation: Which prompts his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Large Ham: He has some moments. Being played by Tim Curry surely helps.
  • Mercy Kill: Over the years he eventually came to rationalize his mother's murder as this. However, he's fully aware that this version is a post-rationalization, and actually questions whether he made it up to make himself feel better, showing a level of self-reflectiveness which is really unusual for the murderers on the show.
  • Narcissist: His final crime spree is motivated by a desire to take credit for Detective Spicer's career and he is obsessed with listening to news reports about himself (to the extent that he stops in mid-rape to listen to a news flash on the radio).
  • Not So Different: From Ellie, as invoked by JJ. It works.
  • Parental Substitute: Wants to be a grandparental substitute for Ellie. She's not interested.
  • Pet the Dog: His release of Ellie. Even before that, his treatment of her is surprisingly gentle, given who and what he is. As Billy himself notes, "I was nice to you."
  • Scary Teeth: Courtesy of smoking lots of meth.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his mother.
  • Serial Killer: Up to Eleven, in all likelihood having in the neighborhood of four hundred victims. For the curious, this likely makes him (within the context of the show, of course) either the most- or second-most prolific murderer in human history.
  • Serial Rapist: He rapes the men and women alike.
  • Slasher Smile: It's Tim Curry. Were you expecting any other kind?

Lee Mullens and Colby Bachner (Daniel J. Travanti and Josh Braaten)

  • The Butcher: Lee Mullens (that's even his official serial killer nickname).
  • Electric Torture: Lee used a lexwell on his victims for his pleasure. He also used his job as an electrician for this.
  • Evil Old Folks: Lee Mullens.

Jeremy Sayer (Sterling Beaumon)

  • Knife Nut: Used one to kill fathers.
  • Freudian Excuse: His mother hated him since the day he was born for absorbing his twin while he was in the fetal stage.
  • The Sociopath: Or if you prefer a "Budding psychopath".

Shane Wyland (Gill Gayle)

  • Abandoned Mine: His hideout, which gives him a secluded place to imprison his victims as well as shelter during the winter.
  • An Axe to Grind: Used one to mark trees near his dump sites.
  • Beard of Evil: Though he shaves it off after he successfully escapes.
  • Evil Cripple: Has a degenerative joint disease, which gives him a bad limp.
  • Fat Bastard: Though it's more accurately "Stocky Bastard", since aside from his limp, he's still fit enough to easily navigate the wooded terrain.
  • The Hermit: Abandoned civilization for the woods along the Appalachian Trail to make it easier for him to hunt children (the Trail is a popular family camping destination) and harder for law enforcement to find him (since he knows the terrain better than they do, and nobody expects a child abductor to be operating out in the wilderness).
  • Karma Houdini: One of the only UnSubs to elude the BAU and the only unsub to get away completely scot-free. However, he has a degenerative disease that is slowly and painfully crippling him, and is no longer able to get the pain medication he needs, so he will likely die a very unpleasant death in the mountains.
  • Serial Killer: of chidren.

Raymond Donovan and Sydney Manning (Jonathan Tucker and Adrianne Palicki)

  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Met via an AlAnon meeting. Ray is later seen attending a meeting... which he and Syd promptly shoot up after the organizer irritates Ray.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Syd screws a guy in a parking lot for twenty bucks while Ray is in an Al-Anon meeting, then gets Ray to murder him by claiming the guy got fresh with her.

James Stanworth (Phillip Casnoff)

  • Evil Is Petty: Ruined Don Sanderson's life out of simple jealousy
  • Villainous Breakdown: Morgan induces him into one to trick him into incriminating himself. Has a second one when Prentiss reveals they found the tape proving that he was the murderer.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Murdered Abbey Sanderson and would have murdered Joshua if Mary Rutka hadn't talked him out of it.

Ian Doyle, Valhalla (Timothy V Murphy)

  • Archenemy: Doyle is to Prentiss as The Reaper is to Hotch.
  • Big Bad: Of Season Six.
  • Boom, Headshot: How most of his victims are disposed of, though he's not adverse to knives and poison.
  • The Dragon: A mook named Liam appears to fill this role.
  • Has a Type: Brunettes, Possibly with a ruthless streak considering Emily in her Lauren Reynold's persona and Chole Donaghy.
  • It's Personal: Has quite the grudge against Emily, more so than anyone else he's after.
    • And with good reason, too. She went undercover as a fellow arms dealer, Doyle fell in love with her, proposed what amounted to marriage to her, and expressed a desire for children with her. After his arrest, he found out that she'd been a spy, and believed she was responsible for the death of his son, Declan.
    • And she was, though his death was actually faked. While trying to tell him this she accidentally makes it seem like she actually murdered the boy, which takes this trope Up to Eleven for about 5 seconds, when she explains he's still alive and she had him in hiding.
  • Monster Sob Story: Doyle was led to believe that his painfully adorable son had been executed, as a ploy to help the North Koreans break him.
  • Never Found the Body: A big question fans are all asking—what happened to Doyle and where did he disappear to? Is he dead, or did he escape? As of "It Takes A Village," he's gone. Permanently.

Lucy (Angela Sarafyan)

Chloe Donaghy (Ursula Brooks)

  • Foil: Her desire for revenge on Doyle and the irrationality she displays in trying to get it, more or less mirrors Doyle's desire for revenge on Prentiss.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: A nonhumorous example to Doyle
  • Revenge: Wants revenge on Doyle for preventing her from aborting a child she didn't want to have then chaining her to a bed for seven months, forcing her to carry Declan to term and give brith to him.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Uses Declan to get to Doyle.

Ben "Cy" Bradstone (Andy Milder)

  • Bad Liar: Lies about everything, from his childhood to his non-existent love life.
    • Ironically he does have an active sex life, its just none of the women are willing.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Cy's dumb, but not near as dumb as he pretends to be.
  • The Pig Pen: Doesn't bathe, brush his teeth, or otherwise take care of himself.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He giggles like a kid at a carnival while he tortures his victims with sulfuric acid.
  • The Resenter: Towards his brother Matt, who isn't handicapped, was popular at school, and got the girl Cy was obsessed with.
  • Serial Killer: Differently from Samantha Malcolm (whose brain damage was one of the causes of her delusions), he's actually a serial killer who just happens to have brain damage.
  • Serial Rapist: Rapes his victims in addition to torturing and killing them.
  • Sibling Triangle: His crush on his sister-in-law, Lyla, leads to a very sick one.
  • The Sociopath: Has no empathy for his victims. He likes hurting people.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Lyla Smith.
  • Villain of the Week

Randy Slade and Robert Adams (Hudson Thames and Eric Jungmann)

  • Asshole Victim: Robert Adams's victims were survivors of Randy Slade's massacre who went on to take credit for the tragedy. One of them being Jerry who told them Robert's story of looking Randy Slade in the eye.
  • Catch Phrase: "I AM GOD!" and "Look me in the eye!". The latter was adopted by Robert Adams ten years after Randy Slade's massacre
  • Criminal Mind Games: "Look me in the eye." Robert had one of his own too.
    Robert: Guess my name.
    Hostage: Ralph?
    (Warning shot)
    Robert: Guess again.
  • Flashback: The only thing we see of Randy in the show.
  • Foil: Randy Slade and Robert Adams. Randy Slade (the original bomber) was a high functioning, highly social skilled, a model student and a narcissistic psychopath. While Robert Adams (the copycat) was a socially awkward outcast among outcasts who took revenge on those who stole his story of looking Randy Slade in the eye. Randy Slade and his submissive partner were this too.
  • For the Evulz: There is no logic to why Randy Slade did what he did. The only possible reason was that he clearly thought he was God.
  • A God Am I: Randy Slade himself says it all.
    "I AM GOD!"
  • In the Hood: Robert Adams when he storms the restaurant that Randy's surviving victims were attending for a private gathering. It then strangely seems to disappear.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Robert's first murder wasn't exactly this (Considering that he didn't reenact Randy Slade's massacre) but he used a similar style with a bomb for it. Then he just devolved into savage beatings for his next two murders.
  • Kill 'em All: Randy wanted the whole school and himself dead. For unknown reasons.
  • Long List: Randy's kill list his submissive partner contributed to it too. The list was separated into a Group A and a Group B. Group A was Randy's social circle and Group B was the submissive partner's social circle.
  • Mad Bomber: Randy Slade most definitely. Robert Adams also but not as much as mad as Randy was.
  • Narcissist: Randy Slade never mentioned his submissive partner because he wanted to take all the credit for the massacre himself.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Robert beat his second victim to death with his bare hands.
  • No Social Skills: Implied that Robert Adams suffered from this in contrast to Randy.
  • Revenge: Robert's motivation.
  • Taking You with Me: Randy Slade and all the students that happened to be in the cafeteria. Unfortunately for him he wasn't able to take all of them out and probably as many as he wanted to.
  • Villain of the Week: Only appeared in one episode
  • Who's Laughing Now??: Robert Adams.

The Piano Man (Jay Karnes)

  • Isn't It Ironic?: Why did Regina know he was lying when he said that he learned the song so that he could sing it to propose to his wife? Because the song was "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
  • Oh, Crap: When he realizes that Regina Lampert has recognized him.

The Collins Family (Derek Maygar, William Russ, Kathy Baker)

James Heathridge (Kyle Gallner)

  • Badass: Briefly towards the end of the episode. He manages to hold his own against Hotch with a fire poker.
  • Burn the Witch!: Believes he's on a mission to kill the Brides of Satan.
  • Disney Villain Death: Ends up falling down a well while fighting Hotchner. Also doubles as a Karmic Death, since he'd used that same well to torture his victims.
  • Incest Is Relative: He has a kind of romantic attraction to his sister. He arranges a "Prom" for her after not allowing her to go to the prom that her school is holding. He also kisses her quite passionately when the BAU team are heading towards his residence.
  • In the Blood: His mother had the same delousions and his sister eventually believes she's one of the devils wives.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He keeps his sister almost completely isolated from society, believing that she will immediately be judged for her birth defect, and that allowing her to go off on her own will make her vulnerable to Satan's temptations.
  • Momma's Boy: Was indoctrinated by his mother

Thomas "Tommy" Yates,The Womb Raider (Adam Nelson)

  • And I Must Scream: Removed the reproductive systems of some of his later victims while they were alive and after starving them for days.
  • Cute and Psycho: When he was 15 years old. He snapped after a bully tormented him and stabbed him to death.
  • Evil Laugh: In a flashback sequence after he's done cutting up one of his victims and turns the TV on to see a news broadcast of Rossi being interviewd about him at one of his dump sites.
  • Serial Killer: With a whopping 101 victims (and he remembers all of them).
  • Smug Snake: His demeanor is actually pretty similar to Frank.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Sure he's a monster with a body count of over 100 victims. But with his backstory? It's not hard to see why he's a monster.
  • Tragic Backstory: Ever since the day he was born.
  • Tragic Monster: Though he doesn't act like in a way that will make you feel sorry for him it still counts.
  • Villain of the Week: Only appeared in one episode.

Matthew Downs and the Face Cards (Evan Jones, Seth Laird, Tricia Helfer, and Josh Randall)

  • Abusive Grandfather: Implied for Izzy. His name was Henry and he had blond hair, so Izzy takes her rage at him out on JJ's son.
  • Bald of Evil: Oliver, and Chris has a buzz-cut, as well.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Chris.
  • Designated Girl Fight: JJ vs Izzy, probably surpassed only by Hotch vs. Foyet as the most epic fight the series has had so far.
  • The Dragon: Izzy to Matthew. As The Queen she also plays Dragon-in-Chief to Chris.
  • Femme Fatale: Izzy is an archetypical one. She even wears black leather.
  • Final Boss: Of Season Seven.
  • For the Evulz: The only reason Matthew and Izzy do all the terrible things they do is that it gets them high, essentially.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Queen is easily the most evil member of the group.
  • Harmful to Minors: Izzy does not seem to like children; she shot one at one of her previous robberies, shot a father in front of his daughter in the robbery the episode focuses on, and psychologically screws with poor little Henry LaMontagne.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: All things considered, the Strattons are kind of pathetic, and their caring for each other makes it difficult to properly hate them.
  • It's All About Me: Matthew, whose entire motivation is that he was kicked out of the Marines for being a jackass and feels like the world owes him somehow.
  • Lack of Empathy: Izzy; it's implied all the empathy was beaten, or possibly even molested, out of her by her grandfather. Matthew too, with no known Freudian Excuse.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: And, as Izzy would probably be quick to remind you, one woman.
  • Mauve Shirt: Oliver, who dies less than halfway into the first episode of the two-parter.
  • Morality Pet: The Stratton brothers to each other.
  • Outlaw Couple: Matthew and Izzy
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Matthew
  • The Sociopath: Matthew, who does and orders others to do terrible things while smugly grinning all the while. Izzy has shades of this, too; her favorite method of killing people is shooting them in the stomach, as that's the slowest and most painful place to bleed out from. In-show, Izzy is one of the few characters to actually be profiled as a straight-up psychopath, possessing no empathy, extreme rage, and poor impulse control, beneath a facade of intelligence and charm.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Izzy and Matthew are both disgraced ex-military.
  • Theme Naming: They're the Face Cards: Chris the King, Izzy the Queen, and Oliver the Jack, plus mastermind Matthew, who doesn't take part in the robberies.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Matthew pretends to be a hostage.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Izzy does this to Chris. It's not entirely clear whether this killed him, but she shot him non-fatally in the chest and then abandoned him where he'd have no medical care, so it seems likely.

The Silencer/John Myers (Troy Michael Kotsur)

The Replicator/John Curtis (Mark Hamil)

  • Arch-Enemy: Sees himself as one for the entire BAU.
  • Big Bad: Of Season Eight
  • Catchphrase: "Zugzwang."
  • The Chessmaster: Has a chess theme going on with his love of the word "Zugzwang"; manipulated the Unsub of Carbon Copy to kill and implicate himself as the Replicator to throw the BAU off his trail
  • Fallen Hero: Was an extremely skilled and successful FBI agent (Garcia describes him as a rockstar), but then mishandled the Amerithrax case. Strauss managed to pin the blame on him (and Alex Blake), saving herself. Strauss was fine, Blake recovered, but Curtis was transferred to Kansas. His career never fully recovered, and now he wants revenge.
  • Final Boss: Of Season 8.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He tries to kill the BAU team by trapping them with him after playing with them for a year, but in the end Rossi manages to trick him and leaves him trapped in his own trap.
  • Jack the Ripoff: His MO is to kill his victims in the exact same way as UnSubs the BAU dealt with earlier, copying specifically the victims in Season Eight as well as an unnamed serial killer in Seattle that was active before the events of "The Silencer".
  • Karmic Death: Tries a Taking You with Me on Rossi, but is Out-Gambitted via Chekhov's Gun from the late Strauss and left to die alone.
    Rossi: Zugzwang.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The BAU originally thought Donnie Bidwell was the Replicator, at least until Bidwell was Driven to Suicide.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates both the BAU and Bidwell extremely well.
  • Revenge: Mostly on Strauss.
  • Shout-Out: He likes using Adam Worth as his alias, who as Reid points out, was the inspiration for Moriarty
  • Who's Laughing Now?: But only for Strauss and Blake.

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