[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Criminal_Intent_7388.jpg]]

->''"In New York City's war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. These are their stories."'' '''''DONG DONG'''''

Second SpinOff from the popular ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' series, ''Criminal Intent'' basically shows the viewer what is happening from the criminal's perspective as well as the ongoing police investigation. Basically, what happens when ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' is brought into the ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' universe, complete with a quirky genius detective - Robert Goren ([[Creator/VincentDOnofrio Vincent D'Onofrio]]), an anti-social, twitchy detective in the NYPD Major Case Squad who has a very sharp mind for piecing together details and lateral thinking. Together with dryly sardonic partner Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe), they investigate the most serious crimes that occur in New York (most of which seem to be murders or end up in murders), whilst the show also gives us the perspective of the people responsible for it (or at least people who are connected to the people responsible for it).

In 2005, Mike Logan (Chris Noth) - formerly of the [[Series/LawAndOrder original series]] - joined the cast when D'Onofrio began to suffer from exhaustion. The episodes alternated between Goren and Eames one week, and Logan and his partner the other from that point. In 2009, Logan was replaced by Zach Nichols (Creator/JeffGoldblum), though Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) has stayed. In 2010, Goren and Eames left the show at the conclusion of the second half of season 9's two-part premiere. Eric Bogosian also left the show and was replaced as the Major Case captain by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Nicholson's character, too, has left the show and was replaced by Saffron Burrows as new detective Serena Stevens.

The show was renewed for a tenth season that brought back D'Onofrio and Erbe for eight final episodes. ''Criminal Intent'' aired its finale on June 26, 2011, ending its run after ten years and 195 episodes.

!!Additional Pages:
* [[Recap/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent Episode Guide]]
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!!Provides examples of:
* AbusiveParents: An ''abundance'' of them, most of them seen to be something other than physically abusive and who usually end up being a KarmaHoudini:
** [[ManipulativeBastard Psychological abuse]]: ''The Saint'', ''Sibboleth'', ''Magnificat''.
** [[ParentalNeglect Neglect/Indifference]]: ''Shrink-Wrapped'', ''Tru Love''.
** [[JerkAss Verbal abuse]]/ [[ParentalFavoritism Preferring one child over the other]]: ''Beast'', ''Wrongful Life'', ''Unrequited'', ''Bedfellows'', ''Saving Face''.
** [[ParentalIncest Sexual abuse]]: ''Death Roe'', ''Playing Dead''.
** Other: The father from ''Homo Homini Lupis'' who embezzled from his company and took money from a loan shark to pay it back [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom which caused his family to be kidnapped for collateral and his elder daughter to be raped]].
** The biological parents from ''The Good Child'' who killed their daughter's foster parents to get their life insurance and then [[MoralEventHorizon tried to kill her as well.]]
** Gorenís older [[spoiler:half-]] brother, Frank, is implied [[GlorifiedSpermDonor to have little to nothing to do with either of his children]].
* AllWomenLoveShoes: From "Ex Stasis":
-->Eames: "No woman with a 40-slot shoe rack willingly walks around in a pair of crappy shoes."
* AlwaysMurder, even though the real Major Case Squad does not handle murders.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Goren, he's all sorts of crazy, has multiple quirks and ticks, but avoids any specific disorder or symptom set.
* AndAnotherThing
* [[spoiler: AndTheAdventureContinues: How it all ends.]]
* AnywhereButTheirLips: In the season 9 opener, after [[spoiler: Goren is fired, he and Eames are saying goodbye as partners for the last time. They full-on embrace for the first time in the series, and Goren presses a rather intense kiss to her cheek for several seconds.]]
** May be [[JustifiedTrope justified.]] Despite his excellent skill at understanding homicidal maniacs, Goren is seemingly awkward in interpersonal relationships. Something as personal and intimate as kissing her on the lips would be difficult for him.
** It had all the intensity of a more obvious kiss, but without the non-shippers' outrage.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Used all the time to break perps.
* AssholeVictim: Subverted in "Contract", where the victim is a gossip columist who was blackmailing [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed a Bill O'Reilly-esque]] newsman when he was killed. After the credits, we learn that he only turned to blackmail to provide for his kid sister. [[spoiler:It eventually turns out that he was murdered for trying to expose the man who raped her.]]
* BadassAdorable: Eames is five-foot-two, adorable, and blonde. And she is just as terrifying as Goren when she gets going, if not ''more'' so.
* BecauseImGoodAtIt: From "Rock Star":
-->Zach Nichols: "I like it, and I'm good at it... and that kid's a killer."
* BestFriendManual: Eames for Goren.
* BerserkButton:
** Never, ever, ''ever'' threaten or harm Eames. Goren will hunt you to the ends of the earth.
** Word of advice: Do not mess with Goren's mother or he will rip your head off.
** Don't disrespect your own mother in Goren's presence, either.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Goren is probably the sanest member of his family. That should tell you a lot.
* BoringButPractical: Thrill at the wonders of ''Forensic Accounting''!
* TheBoxingEpisode
* BrainsAndBrawn: Funnily enough, ''Eames'' is the muscle in her partnership with Goren. She's no slouch in the intellect department - she's shown to be much more computer-savvy than her partner - but she's physically very tough despite her size.
** Though it must be said that Goren himself, being both a police officer ''and'' a former military man, has proven to be more than capable of handling himself in a fight.
* BreakThemByTalking: a favorite tactic of Goren's is to either play psychological mind games or confront the perp of the week with evidence of what a truly pathetic and inadequate person they really are until they crack.
* BrokenBird: Alex's husband was a cop killed in the line of duty.
* BrokenPedestal
* TheCastShowOff: In "Rock Star", Jeff Goldblum's first episode, he has a scene where he gets to demonstrate his skill as a pianist.
* ChekhovsGun: Actually, Chekhov's brick in "Untethered", as part of [[spoiler:Goren's plan to get into Tates]].
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Carver and Barek both left the series after Season Five without explanation, and each were mentioned exactly once afterwards.
* ChurchOfHappyology: The villain of "Con-Text" runs one of these, which he calls [=GraceNote=].
* ClearMyName: The Season 7 finale has Det. Goren being framed for the murder of his brother by his ArchEnemy Nicole Wallace and mentor Declan Gage.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** Goren's mannerisms really give off this impression (especially when he tilts his head).
** Nichols is Jeff Goldblum doing his Jeff Goldblum thing, so he counts too.
* ColdOpening
* ComatoseCanary: [[spoiler:Subverted]] in the episode based on the Terry Schiavo case.
* ComplexityAddiction: Several of the perps seem to suffer from this. For example, in the episode "Grow," a killer sets up a fake mugging to murder his brother, but kills him with an injection of poison under his tongue (to fake a heart attack), rather than just shooting or stabbing him like a mugger would do.
** Actually, the killer was the significant other of the victim's brother [[spoiler: and Goren's ArchEnemy Nicole Wallace]].
* CopKiller: Occasionally dealt with. In particular, Alex's first husband was a police officer killed in the line of duty.
* CrimeTimeSoap, though perhaps not as much as ''Special Victims Unit''.
** Only since Rene Balcer left after Season Five.
* CrossOver: With the original series, three times in the first season.
** One episode had a brief cameo by the lead character from ''Series/InPlainSight''. Strangely enough, a criminal later taunts that said character's expectation that he'll break down and confess was a product of her having watched too much ''CSI''. Such confessions are more or less ''Criminal Intent'''s trademark.
* CrazyPeoplePlayChess: The villain in the season 4 episode 'Gone' was this.
* DaChief: Captain Ross, who is rather obviously outclassed by Goren, though he isn't shy to call Goren out on more blatant shenanigans.
* DeadpanSnarker: Detective Eames is made of this trope.
** Goren has his moments.
** And Wheeler gets her moments as well.
-->'''Detective Nichols''': "How's the, uh...how's the body?"
-->'''Detective Wheeler''': "Dead."
* DefectiveDetective: Goren, although Logan has his issues as well.
** Again, Goren has degenerated since creator Rene Balcer left.
* DepravedBisexual: Nicole Wallace. To be fair to the show, her bisexuality isn't actually portrayed as a negative, and they make it clear [[AntiVillain she's just plain messed up, period]]. Also, it appears [[ManipulativeBastard her only confirmed lesbian relationship may have been simply a means to an end]] rather than due to any actual desire.
** Karl Atwood, the bad guy in the very first episode ("One"), had a girlfriend and an old prison buddy with whom he was intimate. Goren theorizes that he uses anal sex as a means of dominating others, but the girlfriend refuses to comment.
* DetectiveDrama
* {{Determinator}}: "Consumed" is about two married Determinators going head-to-head during their divorce. The husband has hidden fifteen million dollars in an offshore account. In order to avoid giving any of it to his wife, he spends ''six years'' in jail for contempt of court, which Goren says is a record for New York. The wife, meanwhile, has a secret life as a private investigator trying to track down the money. Goren and Eames find a storage unit (which Goren calls her "Batcave") filled with disguises, photography equipment, and even ''adult diapers'' that she uses on stakeouts because she can't risk missing anything. The detectives are stunned at the lengths to which these two will go to get the better of the other. (And it turns out [[spoiler:the wife, by committing the murders that open the episode, had gotten access to the money, but she burns the notebook with the bank account numbers because she doesn't care about the money; beating her husband was all that mattered anymore]].)
* DeusAngstMachina: Goren qualifies, if anyone does. Let's see.... his schizophrenic mother hates him, even though he's the only one who takes care of her; his drug-addicted brother gets all the love from their mother; his father - who treated him like shit anyway - turned out not to be his real father; and his biological father turned out to be a murderer, who then gets executed, which on the show NEVER HAPPENS. He gets persecuted by the FBI, ends up in a mental hospital, gets fired, not to mention his health and good looks go to shit, too. This is only a partial list of all the shit that goes down. If anyone can be accused of provoking the wrath of the writer-deities, this character would be definitely be it. The unrelenting, unceasing suffering that occurs was enough to make many fans stop watching the show, out of sheer disgust; quite literally, Goren's relationship with his partner (however you choose to interpret it) was the ''only'' thing he had going for him -- no wonder she became his BerserkButton! If anyone earned a happy ending they never got, it's Goren. ShootTheShaggyDog, already.
** Even his relationship with Eames was messed with- When Goren goes undercover in season 7 (without her knowing beforehand), Eames almost shoots him in the face when the police raid the apartment. The resulting shouting match puts a strain on their partnership.
* DisabilityAsAnExcuseForJerkassery: Most of the deaf people in "Silencer". Not only did they consider themselves superior to hearing people, but the one man, considered a "hero" to his other deaf students, was nothing more than a bitter, antagonistic asshole who hated when one of "his" people associated with those who could hear.
* DistaffCounterpart: Carolyn Barek was a female version of Goren.
* DonutMessWithACop: Terrorists wire a car door to high explosives with a box of donuts in clear view inside the car. Nichols breaks the glass, confirms his suspicions, and tells a cop on-scene to call the bomb squad.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Several in-universe examples in "Seizure."
-->'''Eames''': Serial killer groupies... And I thought I was pathetic with my {{ABBA}} fan club card.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler: Captain Ross]]
* EmptyCopThreat: Carried out. A killer Goren interviewed [[spoiler:(who was later proven to have been his biological dad)]] was executed. In Pennsylvania, where it was still legal.
* EngineeredPublicConfession: Often used to get one suspect to turn on another. Mostly accomplished by use of the one-way mirror in the interrogation room.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler:In "Delicate", bitchy ballerina Alona may have had a fierce rivalry with Jessalyn, but even she was disgusted with how [[CuteAndPsycho Paulette]] put glass in Jessalyn's shoes to give her (Alona) the edge.]]
* ExecutiveMeddling: In-universe example in "Faith," in which an autobiography written by a LittlestCancerPatient had to be tightened up a bit by an editor for publication. [[spoiler:It's eventually revealed the editor did more to improve the story than even she realizes, which gives Goren the psychological tools he needs to manipulate her into confessing to the episode's murder.]]
* ExplosiveLeash: "Pas de Deux."
* FairCop: Eames; all of Logan's partners, arguably. And Capt. Deakins. And now Saffron Burrows.
* FalseFlagOperation
* FingerInTheMail: Inverted/subverted in a season finale episode when Goren receives a human heart while investigating the death of his brother Frank and possible kidnapping of his nephew. Turns out [[spoiler: it actually belongs to serial killer Nicole Wallace, who had killed Frank and was subsequently killed by Goren's unhinged mentor, who wanted to remove himself, Nicole and Frank from Goren's life in one fell swoop]].
* FlawExploitation: In "The Saint", this is the criminal's motivation: [[spoiler: he believes the church was taking advantage of his mentally ill mother, who insisted on donating everything she could to their cause, to the point of completely cleaning out their bank account because she thought the church needed the money more]].
* FocusGroupEnding: A blatant and unashamed example in the episode "Great Barrier." Viewers were asked to vote on which would be the true ending on NBC's website. The losing non-canon ending had Goren shooting his nemesis Nicole Wallace.
* FriendlyLocalChinatown: "Chinoiserie."
* GilliganCut: In the episode "Weeping Willow". "Who's going on camera?"
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Happens (on a small scale) with Goren, showing a day and a half in solitary in about 5 minutes. It was a long five minutes to watch, and when the guy comes to release him Goren practically rips his head off saying "I told you just the weekend!" Cue the guard saying "It's Sunday evening."
* GoodCopBadCop: Goren and Eames ''love'' to play this, switching roles as needed. You can tell that Goren is winding up to be the bad cop when he adopts a [[BrooklynRage really exaggerated Brooklyn accent]]. Eames, meanwhile, is liable to take on a StrawFeminist persona.
* GuileHero: Arguably the entire premise of the show. The criminals are the most extraordinary collection of {{magnificent bastard}}s and [[TheChessmaster Chessmasters]] you can imagine. But when Goren's on the case, they don't stand a chance.
* HandyCuffs: Used at least twice
** A former military suspect asks to be cuffed in front out of respect for his family. He grabs a gun off one of the officers and kills himself. This immediately after attempting to kill himself and being stopped by the officers who arrested him. One wonders why they thought that was a good idea.
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] when the police handcuff a deaf man with his hands in front, since handcuffing him with his hands behind his back would be akin to gagging him.
* HannibalLecture:
** [[spoiler:Leslie Lezard]] when she lectures Goren about his self-destructive behavior ruining his and Eames' careers.
** Zigzagged by Nicole and Goren as they tear into each other over the years.
* HollywoodGameDesign
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: The 6'4" Goren is much, ''much'' taller and brawnier than the petite and slender Eames.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison
* InTheBlood: Eames comes from a family of cops.
** More disturbingly, [[spoiler:Goren's real biological father turned out to have been a serial killer.]]
* FromBadToWorse: [[spoiler:Goren's mentor killed everyone he knew and loved because he thought Goren would have fun trying to find out who did it. It was also done so Goren would be "free" of the two biggest burdens in his life: his druggie brother Frank and Nicole Wallace.]]
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY Ms. Nobile insists it is pronounced "no-bee-lay", not "no-beel". It's seldom pronounced right except to her face.
* ItsAllAboutMe
* ItsPersonal: The episode where they finally solved Joe Eames's murder.
* JurisdictionFriction: Goren, Nichols, and Eames vs. the FBI during the investigation of [[spoiler: Captain Ross' murder.]]
* LastNameBasis: Goren and Eames. [[YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious Usually.]]
** Actually, Eames calls her partner "Goren" and "Bobby" pretty much with the same frequency. He, on the other hand, almost ''never'' calls her Alex, to the point where it's noticeable on the rare occasion he does.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Goren tells his season 10 therapist that this is his relationship with Eames (the therapist doesn't seem convinced).
** Vincent D'Onofrio has also stated that this is the real life relationship between himself and Kathryn Erbe.
* LittlestCancerPatient: In "Faith"... [[spoiler:except she's not actually real. (It's based on the story of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Godby_Johnson Anthony Godby Johnson]].)]]
* LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard: A serial killer binds, gags and locks [[spoiler: Eames in a basement with an electronic door lock. She escapes using wire, nails, electricity and a ''giant hook'' left laying around the place.]]
* MadArtist: The killer from "The Posthumous Collection".
* MafiaPrincess: In "Maledictus."
* MeaningfulName: Mr. Devildis, the insane fundamentalist Christian, crossed the DespairEventHorizon and tries to save his family and friends by murdering them. Hilariously, his name isn't commented on.
* MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome: Lampshaded. In one episode, the media doesn't become interested in a series of murders until a white girl is killed. The mother of one of the other victims coldly tells a journalist that she is aware of this trope, and she'll still accept their help, but they are not to mistake her desperation for any kind of gratitude.
* MonochromeCasting: An unintentional example. After ADA Carver was [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse written out in 2006]], the remaining five years of the show became this, unlike the other series in the ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' universe (or at least, the English-speaking ones, and no, Creator/JeffGoldblum does not counter this trope.)
* MonsterFangirl: From "Seizure":
-->Eames: "Serial killer groupies... And I thought I was pathetic with my ABBA fan club card."
* MoreThanMindControl: This is the M.O. of two different villains, Randall Fuller in "Con-Text" and Bernard Fremont in "Slither" (scarily, both are at least [[RippedFromTheHeadlines partially based]] on real people).
* MotiveRant: Inducing these are Goren's specialty.
** Averted on occasion, when he breaks a suspect who then confesses to a crime they haven't committed.
** [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] another episode (where the overbearing nature of her husband causes a woman to kill three of her four children in a failed mass-suicide attempt) where Goren sucessfully caused the husband to break into a motive rant, but it ends up being all for naught because despite the husband being a world-class JerkAss, nothing that he did was technically illegal.
* MurderDotCom: The episode "Weeping Willow," although here the crime is kidnapping, not murder.
* MyBelovedSmother: This being Law and Order, it's played every way imaginable.
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler: Nicole Wallace, though what is believed to be her heart was found. Interesting case, as Goren refuses to believe that she's dead despite proof.]]
* NewYorkCityCops
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The episode "Collective" centers around the fandom of an author named Carlotta Francis, whose works are quite clearly inspired by those of Creator/AnneRice.
** TV reporter "Faith Yancy" bears a striking similarity to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Grace Nancy Grace]].
* NoEnding: ''Criminal Intent'' doesn't indulge in this as much as ''SVU'', but there are several episodes that end this way, one of the most notable being "Flipped". Logan and Wheeler get the perp, a cop killer, but he is [[spoiler: murdered by an undercover cop while the guards at Rikers turn the other way. The episode ends with the cop walking away.]]
* ObfuscatingDisability: "Inert Dwarf" had a Stephen Hawking {{expy}} who still had more mobility than he let on.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Goren has a tendency to do this at times.
* OddFriendship: Milton Winters and Dempsey Powers in "Cuba Libre." An AmbiguouslyJewish clothing store magnate and a MalcolmXerox drug kingpin.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: In "Chinoiserie", Goren and Eames immediately identify a supposed British lord as a fake by his atrocious accent which keeps jumping around the UK. The outraged impostor, an actor unknowingly hired to play the role as part of a con, keeps insisting that it is "a perfectly valid British musical hall accent".
* OpeningNarration
* ThePlan:
** EvilPlan: Each criminal has one and it frames the episode's plot.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Goren and Eames.
* PlayingGertrude: Creator/TonyGoldwyn played Vincent D'Onofrio's older brother. Goldwyn is a year younger than D'Onofrio.
* PrettyInMink: Some of the guest characters, including a witness being identified by her Russian sable coat.
* TheProfiler: Goren.
* PutOnABus: All of the detectives who have exited the series over the years.
** TheBusCameBack: Goren and Eames returned for the tenth and final season!
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: When Kathryn Erbe became pregnant with her second child, a pregnancy arc was written out for Eames in which she acted as the surrogate mother for her sister's child. This of course resulted in an ObviousPregnancy later that season.
** Also the case with Julianne Nicholson; her first pregnancy was avoided by having the character PutOnABus for the first half of Season Seven, but the second time they wrote it in.
** When Jamey Sheridan was affected with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_Palsy Bell's Palsy]], so was Deakins (who donned an EyepatchOfPower). At times it was obvious the poor guy was visibly struggling with it and was having a hard time saying his lines.
* RequiredSpinoffCrossover
* {{Retool}}: Started out focused entirely on the exploits of Goren and Eames until Vincent D'Onforio began suffering exhaustion. After this the show was retooled with Mike Logan (Chris Noth's character from the orignal ''L&O'') being added in and alternating every other episode with Goren and Eames. Things stayed this way (though with Noth being replaced by Creator/JeffGoldblum in season 8.
** This is until a WhamEpisode that [[spoiler: [[PutOnABus writes out]] [[TurnInYourBadge Goren]], [[UndyingLoyalty Eames]] and [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Captain Ross]] in one fell swoop,]] which causes the show to return to the original format but with Creator/JeffGoldblum in the lead role, however, Goldblum decided to [[PutOnABus leave the show at the end of season 9]]. This in turn led to [[TheBusCameBack Vincent D'Onforio and Kathryne Erbe both returning for the 10th a final season]] thus bringing the show full circle.
* ReverseWhodunnit: Each episode begins with the foul deed being done, and then goes back and forth between the perps' perspective(s) and the cops'.
** The early episodes, at any rate. As the series went on, more and more episodes would just be straight whodunnits.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Subverted in "Weeping Willow"; Willow, unlike [[LonelyGirl15 Bree]], turns out to be an actual girl. [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]] when it turns out the kidnapping was a fake that had simply spiraled out of control.]]
** One noteworthy episode ("Want") was based on Jeffrey Dahmer, and included things like the killer being employed in a candy-related job, his longing for a permanent companion, cannibalism of body parts, boiling water being poured into holes drilled in the victim's head, and [[spoiler: the killer being murdered in prison while on work detail]]. NeilPatrickHarris even looked scarily similar to Dahmer in the episode.
** "Smothered" is based on the murder of [[http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/classics/dd_maternal_instinct_du_pont/1_index.html Pati Margello]].
** The killer from "Gone" is a murderous version of Bobby Fischer.
** In the episode "D.A.W." the killer is an American version of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_shipman Dr. Harold Shipman]].
** The [[YouLookFamiliar first]] character played by Jay O. Sanders was obviously based on famous mob hitman Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski.
** The last two episodes are based on ''[[Theatre/SpiderManTurnOffTheDark Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark]]'' and the [[{{Facebook}} Zuckerberg-Winkelvoss controversy]], respectively.
** The murderous group from "Slither" are based off the the Manson family. The episode even lampshades this.
** "The Good Doctor" was based off of Dr. Robert Birenbaum.
** First season episode "Poison" is strongly inspired by the Stella Nickell case.
** "The Saint" is based on Mark Hofmann who sold forgeries to the Mormon church. Said forger is played by Creator/StephenColbert
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: "Delicate," which is also an {{homage}} to ''Film/HeavenlyCreatures'' (itself based on a true story). The two girls' names begin with the same letters, and the nuttier of the two even has the PortmanteauCoupleName of Paulette (Pauline/Juliette).
* RuthlessModernPirates: In "Loyalty".
* SadisticChoice: Holy hell, "Able & Willing." [[spoiler: The one forcing the choice is ''the son of a Holocaust survivor'' whose own father and grandparents had to choose (father and grandfather survived), who's also a therapist.]]
* SelfHarm: The daughter of one episode's suspect.
* SerialKillingsSpecificTarget: In "Poison", Trudy Pomeranski uses poisoned [=OTC=] painkillers to murder her husband and slips the extras onto store shelves to allay suspicion and set up a lucrative class action lawsuit.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Goren's mother [[NotThatKindOfPartner doesn't understand that Eames is her son's partner]], and demands to meet his new girlfriend (Goren's reaction is adorably bashful).
** Goren's mother got the wrong impression from his brother Frank, who assumed partner meant domestic partner; Bobby weakly tries to correct him, but it doesn't sink in.
* ShipTease: Man, Goren and Eames have a lot of fun posing as a married couple, don't they? There's also an episode where they pretend to be strangers, and he walks up as she's having her portrait drawn by the murder suspect and talks about how pretty she is. Her reaction seems like she's genuinely charmed by the compliment.
* {{Sleepwalking}}
* SpinOff: From ''Series/LawAndOrder''
* StrawConservative: The killer from ''Family Values'' is a religious man who's beliefs drive him to kill a lesbian drama teacher, and later try to kill his daughter because she had a part in a school play where she had a less than wholesome outfit.
* {{Stripperific}}: {{Lampshaded}} in "Shandeh." Goren and Eames are talking with a suburban mother of two about her involvement with a strip club. She says she helped with the decor and with hiring the staff. Goren asks if she means the strippers, and guesses she has had some experience in that area. She just glares at him, but Eames points out that her (rather revealing) clothing doesn't really fit the "Westchester soccer mom" she's trying to present herself as.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Logan's multiple partners. One was more or less a female version of Goren.
** There was also a period when Goren got a new partner who acted ''exactly'' like Eames.
* SympatheticMurderer: All over the place.
* ThereAreNoTherapists
** And if there ''are'' therapists, watch out. One episode ''had'' two married therapists, but they used their job skills to emotionally abuse and manipulate each other.
** Finally averted in Season 10, with mandatory therapy sessions being a condition of Goren's reinstatement.
** Back in Season 6, Eames also had to attend therapy sessions after [[spoiler: being kidnapped by Jo Gage.]]
* TheyFightCrime: He's a quirky detective with an uncanny ability to read human behavior. She's a normal, well-adjusted human being. They fight crime.
* TheyWereHoldingYouBack: In a rather bizzare twist on this, [[spoiler: Declan Gage]] intended to get rid of ''himself'' for this reason, [[spoiler: along with Frank Goren and Nicole Wallace.]]
* TooDumbToLive: The perp in "Contract". [[spoiler:He assumes that Logan isn't lying about his willingness to drop his investigation for a bribe, brags about the details of his "amazing" plan to Logan, tries to claim his rape of the victim's sister was consensual (even though she was a minor) and the perp makes repeated death threats against Logan when the police show up to arrest him, ruining what little chance he had to get acquitted.]]
* {{Transplant}}: Logan, from ''Series/LawAndOrder''.
* TryingNotToCry: Eames barely manages to hold it together in court when a lawyer springs an old request for another partner on her.
* TurnInYourBadge: Goren gets hit with this several times, most notably when he goes undercover in a prison without permission.
* UndyingLoyalty: In the Season 9 opener, not only does Eames fight with Nichols about investigating Goren over the murders, but [[spoiler: she accepts the captain's post only long enough to ensure that she's the one who fires Goren (so she knows he will be treated well in the exit interview). Once he leaves, she resigns rather than stay without her beloved partner.]] The episode is even called "Loyalty," a reference both to the MCS detectives' loyalty to their captain and the partners' loyalty to each other.
* TheUnfavourite: Despite Bobby being the only one of her two sons who takes care of her and is always there for her, Frances Goren makes it clear that his brother Frank is the one she really loves. This causes a lot of issues for Goren. This might stem from [[spoiler: Bobby's true parentage. Mrs. Goren told him that "she just never knew for sure".]]
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Finally acknowledged in one episode by Goren's brother Frank, who irritably told his brother to "take Eames to a motel and get it out of your system." Bobby's reaction was... [[BerserkButton not pretty]].
* VillainousBreakdown: OnceAnEpisode. Inducing these is Goren's shtick.
* VomitingCop: A twist on the trope in this series; in one episode, Wheeler has been pregnant for a while and has been throwing up every day. The crime scene she visits is one of the less disturbing ones she's seen, but in her condition it's enough to bring her breakfast back up.
** Well, to be fair, she didn't get sick until she realized that the victim had been scrubbed inside and out with bleach. That's pretty disturbing.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: An explosive example (albeit shot from a distance away) from a realtor in "To the Bone."
* WaifFu: Eames is five feet and two inches of pure {{badass}}. And ''she's'' the senior detective in her partnership with Goren.
* WatchingTheReflectionUndress: One killer was a voyeuristic doctor who strategically placed a stainless steel cabinet door in his office so he could watch his patients change in the reflection.
* TheWatson: Eames seems to be an interface between Goren and the rest of the world, much as the TropeNamer is for his partner-in-crimesolving. Her main function is to help him interact with the rest of humanity, and to maneuver the suspect into a position where Goren can let loose with his Goren brilliance.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: ADA Ron Carver. He left without explanation.
* WhatTheHellHero: For the entire ''unit''; a black drug dealer suspect points out that the crime they're investigating wouldn't be "high priority" if a white tourist hadn't gotten caught in the crossfire.
* WheresTheFunInThat: In the episode "The Unblinking Eye"
-->'''Detective Alexandra Eames:''' [while observing a suspect in the interrogation room] She could confess, but where's the fun in that?
* WhodunnitToMe: "30."
* WillTheyOrWontThey: The season 9 opener, where [[spoiler: Goren and Eames both left the show]], was left a bit open-ended in this regard, making this a case of NoRomanticResolution. It was definitely stated that they would see each other outside of the workplace, but the exact direction the relationship would take was not clarified. This was done so that those who [[DieForOurShip ship them]] can believe that they will, and those who don't want them together romantically can believe that they won't.
** Of course, then TheBusCameBack and proved that they did not become a couple.
*** And then season 10 (and the series) ended with an equally open-ended possibility of them eventually getting together. Eames later guest-starred on ''[[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit SVU]]'', where it was [[spoiler:implied that they weren't together, although she did take on some of Goren's personality traits]].
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: The show's very last perp.]]
* WorldOfHam: "The Unblinking Eye". Despite it revolving around a murdered aspiring actress and those in her life being aspiring actors trying to become famous, all of the would-be actors' skills ([[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement In-Universe!]]) ranged from [[InformedAbility unseen,]] [[{{Narm}} cheesy]] or in the case of the murderer [[spoiler: and fiance of the murder victim]], just plain ''[[BadBadActing terrible.]]''
* WrittenInAbsence: Both Eames and Wheeler had absences from the series due to their actresses' respective pregnancies.
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: Eames occasionally addresses Goren as "Bobby," but he very rarely calls her "Alex." When he does, it gets her attention fast.
** Also worth mentioning that they call each other "Detective" when they're ''really'' miffed.
* YouGotMurder
* YouLookFamiliar: [[Series/TrueBlood Carrie Preston]] has appeared in three different episodes as three different characters.
** So has Susan Misner.
** Jay O. Sanders played a memorable killer-of-the-week in one episode back in 2002; he plays Capt. Hannah in the final season.
* YoureInsane: ''[[AvertedTrope Averted]]'' in the episode "Gemini", where the perp [[spoiler:manipulated his schizophrenic brother into murdering people]]. The final interrogation included this memorable exchange:
-->[[spoiler:'''Spencer Anderson''']]: "None of this is true. You said so yourself. He's crazy."
-->'''Detective Goren''': "Yeah, he may be crazy, but you're ''evil''."
* YouWontFeelAThing: In the episode "Death Roe":
-->'''Beatrice Mailer''': This won't hurt a bit. [Holding her father's bleeding hand, she squeezes lemon juice onto an open knife cut as he silently flinches] [[ParentalIncest Remember the first time you told me that?]]
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