* ActorAllusion: Reid finding Morgan and Rossi watching ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless'' in his hotel room is an allusion to Shemar Moore's tenure on the show.
* TheCastShowoff: Matthew Gray Gubler does magic tricks in RealLife; they incorporated it into his character on the show. Not to mention his talent for artwork, which has also been used in several episodes.
** As is usual for him, Creator/MandyPatinkin got to show off his real-life skills as a home-taught chef in at least two episodes.
** Guest star [[Film/TheLastKingOfScotland Forrest]] [[Film/RepoMen Whitaker]] got to show off his awesome stick-fighting skills.
* CreatorBacklash: Creator/MandyPatinkin has gone on record saying he considers his tenure on the show the biggest mistake of his acting career, due to how disturbing he found its content, despite critics widely praising his performance.
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: In the Season 7 episode "There's No Place Like Home" which aired in late 2011, a newscaster says a recent tornado was rated an F2 on the Fujita Scale. Except the Fujita Scale was replaced by the Enhanced Fujita Scale in February 2006 and the rating scale changed to [=EF0-EF5=].
* TheDanza: Subverted. Although A.J. Cook jokes that the character was named JJ so she'd be able to remember it (being a blonde), the producers swear they came up with the name before Cook was cast.
* DevelopmentGag: Gideon was originally going to be named "Jason Donovan". In "Extreme Aggressor" that name appears on the cover of a book Gideon finds in a suspect's room.
* DirectedByCastMember: Recently Matthew Gray Gubler got to take the directing skills he's honed on other projects and direct episodes of the show ("Mosley Lane", "Lauren").
** Thomas Gibson directed episodes "Gabby", "Boxed In" and "Lockdown".
** Joe Mantegna directed the episodes "The Road Home" and "Anonymous" (which serves as a tribute to his good friend Meshach Taylor, who played Rossi's former sergeant Harrison Scott).
* ExecutiveMeddling:
** JJ was written out and Prentiss' screen time was reduced for season six, due to budget cuts, leaving Garcia as the only regular female cast member. Naturally, the fans were not pleased. Especially the female fans. And neither is the entire cast and crew, as expressed with, among other things, pointed double-meaning lines in "JJ". It was made worse by bringing in [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute a new female lead]] to replace JJ (though she doesn't have the same job). Thanks to the fans, they were brought back as regulars for season seven and the ReplacementScrappy went bye-bye.
** In light of the producer's comments about always intending to bring JJ and Prentiss back, an alternative explanation from industry workers has appeared on several sites. That explanation being that the producers wanted to more heavily focus on Prentiss for at least part of the season and explore her mysterious past. As part of this they needed someone to have the access that JJ's new job gave her for story reasons. However, experts in union contracts say that AJ Cook was cut as a regular because keeping her at that rank would mean paying her for all episodes of the season even if she was not in them, at a huge expense. Same with cutting back Paget Brewster's contracted number of episodes given that they knew she would be missing from several. But they had always left open a way to bring back Emily at any time both in story and contract.
* FakeAmerican: Jayne Atkinson, a British actress - from Holdenhurst, Dorset, England - playing German-American Erin Strauss - [[MindScrew confusing]]! Of course, "Strauss" is probably her married name.
** [=AJ=] Cook, who plays [=JJ=], is Canadian.
* FanNickname: Agent Mary Sue for Ashley Seaver, by the fans who don't like her.
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** [[Series/{{TwentyFour}} President John Keeler]]/[[Series/{{Dexter}} Captain Matthews]] is Gideon's mentor.
** Gideon himself is [[Film/ThePrincessBride Inigo Montoya]].
** [[Series/TrueBlood Andy Bellefleur]] is a hostage taker on a train in season one.
** [[Series/TwentyFour Ira Gaines]] apparently became a serial killer.
** [[Series/TwentyFour Syed Ali]] is a mob boss in season one.
** Before becoming an agent for a shadowy government organization, [[Series/PrisonBreak Gretchen]] worked for the FBI's Child Crimes Unit.
** [[Film/SpyKids Juni Cortez]] shows up in the second episode of season two as a young kid with strange connections to pedophiles.
** [[Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle Malcolm]] is a graphic novelist in Season 3.
** [[Film/TerminatorSalvation Young Kyle Reese]] is a young boy with fantasies about murdering prostitutes, and [[TrueBlood Nan Flanagan]] is his mother.
** [[Film/TheTerminator Adult Kyle Reese]] shows up later as well, in season 4 as a detective.
** [[Series/{{Dexter}} Lundy]] apparently got his skills as a profiler by being a serial killer for over thirty years! [[Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet Sgt. Kay Howard]] was nearly one of his victims.
** [[Series/DawsonsCreek Dawson Leery]] is a serial killer with multiple personalities, and [[Series/PrisonBreak Charles Westmoreland]] gives the team some information on him and his father.
** [[Film/ConAir Billy Bedlam]] is a war veteran whose brother suffers from PTSD.
** Reid is an old friend and rival of [[Series/TwentyFour Sean Hillinger]].
** The kid with homicidal fantasies in "Sex, Birth, Death" grew up to be [[Film/StarTrek Pavel Chekov]].
** [[Series/TrueBlood Hoyt]] is a human-hunter towards the end of season 2.
** [[Film/{{Brick}} The Pin]] is the Footpath Killer.
** Erin Strauss is possibly better known as [[Series/TwentyFour Karen Hayes]].
** A murder victim in season 3 is [[Series/LieToMe Emily Lightman]], and her best friend's father [[Series/{{Lost}} arrested Kate]].
** [[Series/LieToMe Jimmy Doyle]] and Ian Doyle are not only played by the same person, but are [[{{Expy}} very, very similar characters]].
** [[Series/LieToMe Gillian Foster]] is another serial killer.
** It would appear [[Series/TwentyFour Ryan Chappelle]] took a job as a detective.
** Hey, that's [[Series/TwentyFour Abu Fayed]] in the Season 4 premiere!
** [[TrueBlood Holly]] is the admirer of a serial killer.
** A cult that captures Prentiss and Reid is lead by [[BeverlyHills90210 Dylan McKay]]. [[Series/{{Lost}} Frank Lapidus]] is an old associate of his.
** [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Wesley Crusher]] is a serial killer, and [[Series/{{Lost}} Ethan Rom]] is one of his targets.
** The kidnapped boy's mother in "The Instincts" is [[Series/TwentyFour Lisa Miller]].
** Xander Berkeley, [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay one of]] [[Series/TwentyFour the most]] [[{{Film/Taken}} notable]] "That Guys" [[{{Film/AirForceOne}} of all time]], is a detective, and amazingly [[spoiler: he actually isn't the bad guy]]
** [[Series/{{Lost}} Jacob]] moonlights as a cop in his spare time.
** [[Series/TheXFiles Assistant Director Skinner]] as the [=UnSub=] in "Normal", with [[MurphyBrown Corky Sherwood]] as his wife and [[Series/{{Firefly}} Zoe Washburne]] as the Cop of the Week.
** Back in 2004, Dr. Rowling from "House On Fire" [[Series/{{Lost}} crashed on an island and was separated from his wife]]. Heather Vanderwaal from "Reckoner" was in the same section as him.
** [[TheOutsiders Ponyboy]] is now a serial killer. [[ETTheExtraTerrestiral ET]] would be so disappointed in him.
--> "Yep. I got stabbed by Ponyboy. So much for staying gold." --C.T. Gibson
** Alternatively, the experience with John Ryder really warped up [[Film/TheHitcher Jim Halsey]].
** Guess who joins the team in season 10? That's right, [[Series/GhostWhisperer Melinda Gordon]].
** [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander Harris]] apparently really does like smart girls.
** [[Series/MadMen Duck Phillips]] is the head of the congressional committee investigating the team at the start of season seven, proving that he's a schmuck across all time periods.
** [[Series/{{Glee}} Sue Sylvester]] is also Reid's schizophrenic mother.
** Jackson Rathbone, who plays Adam Jackson, is mostly known for his roles in ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' and ''Film/TheLastAirbender''.
** Alex O'Laughlin, a.k.a., Vincent Rowlings, is now the lead on another CBS crime drama, Series/HawaiiFive0. He's also [[Series/{{Moonlight}} Mick St. John]]
** You'll surely recognize Bud Cort if you've seen ''HaroldAndMaude''. Beth Grant has appeared in various movies, including ''Film/{{Speed}}'' and ''NoCountryForOldMen''.
** And this isn't the first time Joe Mantegna has played a [[Series/{{JoanOfArcadia}} no nonsense law enforcement officer who "doesn't work with psychics"]]
** [[Series/{{Bones}} Wendell Bray]] apparently rapes and kills strippers in his free time.
** [[Series/{{Heroes}} Noah Bennett]] is a manipulative child abductor.
** [[Film/DeathstalkerAndTheWarriorsFromHell Deathstalker]] shows up as the dad of a young psychopath.
** Creator/RobertEnglund shows up in "Heathridge Manor" ... [[PlayingAgainstType as a detective.]]
*** Same with [[Series/BuffytheVampireSlayer Drusilla]]... as a mentally unstable woman yet again, though she's not a vampire this time.
** The [=UnSubs=] from "Dorado Falls" and "Closing Time" used to [[Film/{{Contact}} work at SETI helping Jodie Foster talk to aliens]].
** [[Series/RaisingHope Frank]] apparently not only has a model of Natesville with dolls of the townspeople, but has a thing for taxidermy and collecting human eyes.
** Both [[Franchise/MassEffect Garrus Vakarian and Kaidan Alenko]] have appeared as [=UnSubs=] in Season 8.
** It seems [[Series/{{Leverage}} Parker]] is Reid's mystery girl with a stalker.
*** And that stalker is [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Dawn]], gone completely batshit. Maybe the First Evil got to her?
** [[Franchise/StarWars Luke Skywalker]] is the Replicator, though his manner is much more like [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Joker]].
** Prentiss used to work for [[{{Series/Supernatural}} Balthazar.]]
** [[Film/ChildsPlay Chucky]] shows up as...wait for it...an unsub in Season 8.
** [[Franchise/{{Saw}} Jigsaw]] and [[Series/{{Maude}} Carol Traynor]] have a rather complicated relationship in "Blood Relations".
** [[Franchise/Left4Dead Rochelle]] survived the zombie apocalypse, got a job as a doctor, and is now dating Morgan in Season 9.
** [[Machinima/RedVsBlue Caboose]] left the UNSC and became a detective in Kansas, possibly inspired by a vigilante [[YouAllLookFamiliar he heard about while in New York]].
** [[Film/IronMan Raza]] takes JJ hostage in episode 200.
** [[Series/TheOfficeUS Kevin]] gained a few dozen IQ points and became the unsub in "Fatal"
** [[Film/DeathRace Lists]] plays the unsub [[spoiler:and his twin]] in the first two episodes of Season 9.
** [[Film/RealGenius Lazlo Hollyfeld]] is a spree killer in "The Road Home".
** [[Series/DesigningWomen Anthony Bouvier]] is Rossi's good friend Harrison Scott.
** [[Series/LoisAndClark Clark Kent]] lost his job, became a gambling addict, and found a new superpower: super-luck, triggered by murdering people.
** [[Series/{{House}} Dr. Amber Volakis]] diverged sharply from her medical training and became an unsub in search of unorthodox cures; the delusions and hallucinations probably didn't help.
** [[WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdman Judy Ken Sebben]] got tired of running a law firm and joined the FBI.
* HideYourPregnancy: Subverted - both of AJ Cook's pregnancies were written into the show proper (JJ's son Henry is even played by Cook's own real-life son), and the same rules were applied to Jennifer Love Hewitt's pregnancy (and her going on a year-long maternity leave) towards the end of Season 10. The one variable is that the characters became pregnant at a later point than their respective actresses, but this is excusable given the time needed to write them in (and the fact that early pregnancy can vary to an extent in how much it shows).
* {{Jossed}}: During the summer between Season 4 and 5, a small number of fans proposed the theory that the person that shot Hotch in Season 4's final moments was not George Foyet, due to the fact that he wore his signature mask, an unnecessary measure considering that Hotch already knew his identity. The theory went that it would be revealed in the Season 5 premiere that the Reaper we saw was actually a copycat, and possibly that the real Reaper would show up as well. Of course, the shooter really was Foyet, and he gets away again.
* NamesTheSame: Billy Flynn, serial killing [[Theatre/{{Chicago}} tap-dancing lawyer]].
* TheOtherDarrin: Randall Garner (the Fisher King) is played by Charles Haid (Part 1) and Charley Rossman (Part 2), though due to the make-up and dubbing, you can't actually tell.
* RealitySubtext: "JJ". So much it practically bleeds into the context.
* RealLifeRelative:
** The victim the team is working to save in "3rd Life" is played by Gina Mantegna (who now credits herself as Gia Mantegna), Joe Mantegna's (Agent Rossi's) daughter in RealLife.
** The two oldest Galen children from the episode "Damaged" are played by real-life twin brother and sister Nicholle Tom and David Tom.
** JJ's son Henry is played by Mekhai Andersen, AJ Cook's son and the actual result of the pregnancy that put JJ into maternity leave in the first place.
* RecycledScript: Billy Flynn's origin is nearly identical to Frank's, and he has a lot of similarities to Karl Arnold/The Fox.
* RoleEndingMisdemeanor: Jeanne Tripplehorn was let go after two seasons, [[http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/08/19/jeanne-tripplehorn-tells-off-mandy-patinkin-after-slammed-criminal-minds-for/ due to publicly criticizing Mandy Patinkin's remarks on the series.]] Patinkin may have abandoned the show, but apparently he's still respected amongst the cast and crew.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: The reason J.J. left. And the bitch of it is that in the episode directly preceding her exit, "The Longest Night", A.J. Cook does some of the best work of her career. She was even more screwed than usual: Cook wasn't let go because of ratings or a dispute with the cast or crew; she was let go because CBS was pinching pennies to make a spinoff (which failed) and was too cheap to renew her contract.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** The show was originally going to be called ''Quantico'' and Gideon was originally named Jason Donovan. An early version of Hotch was described as a "blond haired, blue eyed Mormon" and Lukas Haas (the guy who played The Footpath Killer) originally auditioned for the part of Reid, and might have even got it if he hadn't begun expressing doubts about doing a series.
** When Creator/MandyPatinkin left the show, the producer's first choice for a replacement was Creator/HarveyKeitel.
** A tweet by the creators mentions that Reid was originally intended to be bisexual. It was scrapped by the fourth episode.
** Originally an episode which revealed Elle had been raped when she was younger was planned, but the actress decided to leave. This was hinted at twice and explains further why she [[spoiler: went crazy and shot the Unsub.]]
* TalkingToHimself: Elisabeth Harnois in "Broken Mirror", when the Davenport twins briefly talk on the phone.
* TheWikiRule: [[http://criminalminds.wikia.com/wiki/Criminal_Minds_Wiki The profile indicated that there would be one.]]
* WordOfSaintPaul: Matthew Gray Gubler says that Reid is mildly [[http://tvdramas.about.com/od/criminalminds/a/matgraygubint.htm autistic]].
* WriterRevolt:
** In "JJ", listen very closely to the dialogue. AJ Cook was let go from the show for purely financial reasons, a decision that the cast and crew obviously reviled, and the subplot is about how her promotion is being forced by "people above their pay grade" (the network). She really lays into them in her closing monologue in place of the usual ending quote.
** Considering how the writers, the cast and the ''entire'' fanbase '''hated''' [[ScrewedByTheNetwork what the network executives did]], there is a general consensus that the TakeThat against them was entirely justified[[note]]and cathartic[[/note]] (and one of the few times when a WriterRevolt has been fully supported by more than just fanbase splinter groups).
** Fortunately there is a happy ending to all this as Cook became a series regular again at the start of season seven. The main reason she was let go was so the execs would have money to do that [[Series/CriminalMindsSuspectBehavior spin-off]], [[LaserGuidedKarma but it got cancelled after only 13 episodes]]. With their funds now freed up, CBS soon rehired Cook, perhaps knowing that there would be a good chance of a sharp drop in ratings if they didn't bring her back.
** [[http://www.tvguide.com/news/criminal-minds-kirsten-vangess-aj-cook-may-be-leaving-1065089.aspx Old habits die hard, though.]] But, fortunately, it was resolved before the season began.
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