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Series / CSI: Miami

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In a World… full of nasty crimes, only one man can ensure that the women of Miami continue to be able to wear bikinis and sunbathe without corpses washing ashore. That man...


( •_•)>⌐■-■


...wears sunglasses.


Welcome to the CSI Spin-Off set in Miami. Horatio Caine (played by David Caruso) takes the role of the guy spouting the Quip to Black, which he often does after putting his sunglasses on - wonderfully parodied by Weebl & Bob here and here by, of all people, Phineas and Ferb. Horatio differs from Gil Grissom by being a complete and utterly unrepentant dick, unless you're under 15 and/or a woman and/or have just survived a horrible crime — in which case, he's your best and most compassionate friend (and your best line of defense if the bad guy comes back to get you).

The show uses its Miami setting to tell different stories from its Vegas counterpart; due to its coastal setting, the show features more water-based mysteries (e.g., stories involving dead people on boats and people fleeing Cuba), as well as dropping the 'pure science' angle of its parent series for a more direct 'police procedural' concept (meaning that Horatio Caine is primarily a police officer, rather than a scientist). One of its oddities is Alexx, The Coroner, who likes to say, "Oh, poor baby" or words to that effect over the corpse of the week (it's established early in the series that she does it to give the deceased a sense of 'reassurance'). Other characters include Calleigh Duquesne, known as the "bullet girl"; Ryan Wolfe (always referred to by Horatio as "Mr. Wolfe"); and Eric Delko, whose intensely drippy sister was briefly married to Mr. Caine before getting introduced to the business end of a firearm.

Probably what would result if the writers of Starsky & Hutch were told 'Stop that! This is serious, dammit!'.

The actors have mentioned that they believe the show to be a comic-book world that happens to be filmed in live-action, which... explains an awful lot, actually.

Strictly speaking this is an ensemble show, like the other CSIs, but one character dominates the show. The show also tends to have a far more, for lack of a better term, surreal, tone than its predecessor.

The series ended its run in 2012 after 10 seasons.

This show provides examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: At least two.
    • A mean girl gets stoned to death by her victims' parents, who only wanted to show her how cruel she was being. Unfortunately she didn't know when to shut up ("Your kids are losers, I just pointed it out (by setting up a gangbang for your daughter and driving your son to attempt suicide).") and the moms went berserk.
    • A pair of sorority sisters make a young woman's life complete hell even after she leaves college so her father kills them both and "brands" them with the sorority's letters. Hilariously, they made life for each other hell too since one was seeing the other's husband behind her back.
  • Amoral Attorney: Vogel (Malcolm McDowell), who is not only very good at helping his clients but also threatening his clients to help his other clients.
  • Ambition Is Evil: The motive behind many, many crimes.
  • And Starring: Adam Rodriguez gets this in Season 9 after returning to the full time cast.
  • Animal Assassin:
    • A vicious attack dog is used as a murder weapon in "At Risk."
    • In "Match Made in Hell," the Victim of the Week is devoured by an alligator the killer lured into his pool.
    • The Victim of the Week in "A Grizzly Murder" was a hunter who was mauled to death after the episode's killer slathered him in bear lure.
  • Army of Lawyers: One episode has an actor as a suspect. Horatio calls him in for questioning, but his entourage of lawyers and other representatives show up in his stead. After the man's agent introduces the whole lot, Horatio remarks to her that "someone is missing." Cut to the guy sitting across from H; he was outside waiting in the car the whole time.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In-universe Miami has mountains, but real-life Miami has none.
  • Artistic License – Space: "Sunblock" has a full solar eclipse in the morning and a full moon the same afternoon.
  • Asshole Victim: Regularly. Noteworthy examples are "Stoned Cold" (see first spoiler under Alpha Bitch above), "Spring Breakdown", and "Last Straw".
    • It's hard not to start cheering when high school mean girl and all around sociopath Blair Hawkins is stoned to death by angry parents, one of whose children was nearly driven to suicide by her bullying.
    • Mr. Durning and the abusive ex-boyfriend, who are both mentioned under the Berserk Button entry, definitely fit the bill.
  • Batman Gambit: The judge in the video game, who is responsible for EVERY murder in the game through this way, and even tries to use his suicide this way to frame a man.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Featured in "A Grizzly Murder" and "Bone Voyage". Surprisingly, no one bothers to point out that they're grizzly bears, which don't naturally occur in the 'Glades, or anywhere else in Florida for that matter.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Marisol Delko - the healthiest looking dying woman on TV. She's had six months of chemotherapy for a tumor that, according to her brother, is bad enough that she apparently only has months to live, and yet, no makeup or clothing effects are used to hide the fact that her actress is perfectly healthy.
  • Berserk Button: Abusing women or children may earn you some abuse from Horatio.
    • "Wheel's Up": When a roller-derby player is found inside a bathroom, dead from internal bleeding due to a broken rib from a back-attack severing a number of blood vessels, her ex-boyfriend Jake McGrath comes up as a suspect due to his history of Domestic Abuse towards her. It turns out that the attack in the bathroom was done by the woman's jealous roommate, but the rib in question had been previously broken during a fight with the ex-boyfriend, with the consensus that had it not been for that beating, she could have survived the bathroom attack. The ex, in a one-on-one talk with Horatio, shows no remorse for his abusive history. Horatio promptly locks the office door and closes the window shutters. Cut to "Executive Producer" credits while the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown commences.
    Horatio: It'll take 20 minutes for your lawyer to get here.
    Jake McGrath: I can wait.
    Horatio: So can I. (shuts door and window shutters; beatdown begins)
    • Child abuse example: "Mr. Durning, you are...resisting arrest." "No, no I'm not, I'm not resisting arrest." "Not yet. Let's long that lasts."
  • Big Brother Instinct: The oldest brother in "Slaughterhouse" gets his toddler sister to a safe place outside when the murderer comes through the house shooting the family members. He's also able to injure the shooter and tries to get the infant sibling out too, even after he gets shot and is bleeding, but the shooter manages to catch up and kill both of them. However, the shooter's injuries were severe enough that they couldn't finish the job, so they never got to look for the toddler sister.
  • Big Damn Hero: Horatio has a glorious instance, in which after being shot and bleeding from his abdomen, he still gathers enough strength to dive off a pier, swim to the submerged car that Natalia is locked in and rescue her, before passing out from blood loss.
  • Big Storm Episode:
    • In "Crime Wave," as a huge tsunami heads directly towards Miami, a ten-hour warning gives citizens just enough time to evacuate the city. In the chaos, two people are killed in a parking lot and the evidence leads Horatio to discover a plot to rob a bank timed to take advantage of the evacuation. In the wake of the storm, Ryan and Alexx discover bodies washed up from a local cemetery; however, there are 13 bodies though only 12 were buried there.
    • "Hurricane Anthony" focuses on the aftermath of a hurricane hitting town with the team realizing a few deaths were actually murders.
    • Likewise, "Blown Away" has Ryan and Walter caught in a tornado with the team finding a murder committed by some "storm chasers" using the event as a cover to rob a house.
  • Big "YES!": YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! (taken from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again")
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: A pregnant woman who's beaten and left for dead gives birth on the day Horatio planned to visit Marisol's grave, which happens to be her birthday.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Season 4 episode "48 Hours to Life": Tobey, who has at last been cleared for the murder he falsely confessed to, but now claims to have murdered his cellmate, is revealed to have done so after multiple counts of Prison Rape. Horatio tells him that he should plead self-defense and that being honest will set things right, but the episode ends without revealing Tobey's fate. And either way, the judicial system has already failed to protect an innocent man.
    • The last episode: Ryan goes to confront Sam's state attorney boyfriend about his evidence tampering for literally criminal defense attorney Vogel and he's nearly beaten to death. Sam comes along, kills her boyfriend, and leaves Ryan to die and/or take the blame for the murder. Ryan lives, Sam is arrested, and Vogel is ruined but Sam's betrayal is a huge blow and all her and her boyfriend's tampering might even derail the Miami Taunter case. On a happier note, Calleigh is able to become a foster parent in spite of her unusually action-packed work hours.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: One episode has a gun that shoots around corners.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Calleigh, Sam, and Boa Vista (auburn).
  • Bloodless Carnage: In many of the show's shootouts, when characters get shot, nobody seems to spray blood upon being hit.
  • Body in a Breadbox: It's a CSI show, so yeah. Bodies are found in such odd places as a freezer, a peep show booth, the cargo area of a private plane, for starters.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Season 8's finale. The lab is gassed and everyone there passes out before the screen fades to black. Everyone lives, save Jesse.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • In "Guerillas in the Mist," a smug and condescending former Marine/mercenary spends nearly an entire episode boasting that every time he hinders the CSI investigation he is protected by the "Patriot Act," making his actions completely legal, all with a shit-eating grin. That is until H points out that in his attempt at assassinating their prime suspect in the murder, he mistakenly killed an innocent man; therefore, he isn't protected by any law. Cue the man's confident smile melting away into a look of horror and guilt when H proves this by showing him pictures of his crimes.
    • In "Down To The Wire" the CSIs, while looking into a case of SWATing (someone sicking a SWAT team on an innocent man), constantly find themselves at odds with a sleazy big shot wannabe Private Investigator who, in his feeble tough guy attempts at trying to scare Horatio, threatens to release all the Lab's secrets to the public. When the team receives evidence that the P.I. was behind the attack, Horatio sends in a man wearing a wire, which the P.I. finds. Cue him gloating to Horatio that he's won as his confession is inadmissible with the destroyed recording. Cue Horatio revealing a second wire hidden in a pepper grinder; cue P.I.'s smug face turning to horror while the police arrive to arrest him as Horatio calls him a nobody.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • When high school mean girl and budding sociopath Blair Hawkins is kidnapped and tied to a football goalpost by the vengeful parents of the classmates she bullied, her first instinct is to start gloating over how it's their kids' fault for being losers. The parents immediately stone her to death.
    • Suspects in general have a tendency to taunt Horatio and his team when being interviewed/interrogated, only to find out seconds later why that's such a bad idea.
  • Butt-Monkey & Chew Toy: Eric Delko. The universe hates him. His sister gets shot to get at Horatio, and dies. He gets shot in the head (Again someone trying to get to Horatio, Feeling a pattern yet?) but survives, albeit with several side effects. He's been in trouble with Internal Affairs over his sister's use of medicinal marijuana, had a girlfriend who was the jealous clingy type who wanted to snipe his sister (she got beaten to it by another sniper). He goes to a nightclub, the place burns down while he's there - and no, he doesn't manage to save everyone. A bank he's in gets robbed and when he tries to be a hero, three people end up getting shot. For kicks, he was only in the bank because his account was overdrawn and the ATM machine outside ate his card. Every lawyer in Miami tries to have him seen as incompetent after his bullet to the head incident. Said bullet made him forget his sister's death, meaning he had to grieve all over again. His badge gets stolen and is used to commit a murder. If crap is going to happen to a member of the team, there is an 80% chance it will happen to Eric.
    • Even when it's not happening to Eric, odds are he'll be the person most affected after whoever is unlucky in the episode. While Speed's fate (Death) is worse for Speed himself, Eric is his best friend. And when Wolfe gets a nail shot in his eye, he's only working that day because Eric had shown up to work late (making Eric feel responsible for Wolfe getting an eyeful of nail).
    • He is also purposely sued to fleece him of his money. The woman who sues him makes no bones of living the high life off someone else's misery.
      • Essentially, if you're a male member of Horatio's team, there's a 100% chance you'll get shot by something (either bullets or nail). Jesse should've asked for the statistics before signing up.
    • And where's Eric now? He gets shot again, this time by his own girlfriend while helping his father escape the mob. There is also some question as to the legitimacy of his US citizenship. No wonder he finally decided to leave.
    • He comes back to investigate the lab and nearly gets blown up by a car bomb, and just when he decides to stay for good, everyone in the lab (including his girlfriend Calleigh) is "killed" (?) by a "virus" that turns out to just be gas.
    • Horatio himself could also qualify. He's never had a healthy relationship (Yelina was his brother's wife and then Stetler's girlfriend; both Marisol and his lawyer girlfriend were murdered (and he was framed for the second one)), he killed his father after watching him kill his mother; and he later gets shot himself.
  • Car Cushion: "Miami, We Have a Problem" opens with a carjacking that is foiled when a dead body falls out of the sky and impacts on top of the car.
  • Caretaking is Feminine: In "CSI: My Nanny", the parents of a middle-school boy and a five year old girl have two live-in nannies for their children, both women. They originally had three, the other being a man, but they fired him after their son told the man that he loved him. They were afraid the guy was grooming the boy to try and entice him into a physical relationship. Turns out the kid was just grateful to have someone to hang with and do "guy stuff" together, and thought of the man as a big brother.
  • Caught Up in a Robbery: In "Lost Son," Horatio and Speedle discover that some recovered stolen jewelry is actually fake, so they go to the jewelry store that cleaned the pieces and get caught up in a robbery while there. One of the robbers shoots Speedle, killing him, partly due to the fact that Speed was notorious for not cleaning his gun and it jammed when he tried to return fire.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Speedle's gun, which he doesn't keep clean and misfires on him once (and earns him a stern talking to from Calleigh) before his fatal shooting.
    • Gets a Call-Back later, when Horatio is considering Ryan as Speed's replacement. One of the first things he does is ask to check over Ryan's gun to see how it has been maintained (turns out Ryan's a bit OCD about keeping his gun clean).
  • Children Are a Waste: The episode "Happy Birthday" has a guy who, while not opposed to monogamy, really dislikes sharing his wife with another creature to the point of hiring three people to give his wife a Convenient Miscarriage via carjacking (one for surveillance, one to hit her rigged car, and one to steal it and possibly frame his son from his first marriage, who works at a chop-shop). It doesn't work and mother and child live.
  • Chute Sabotage: In "Terminal Velocity," the investigation into the death of a skydiver who had his control lines dissolved with acid uncovers a multitude of suspects when the team finds out he was a regular sperm donor.
  • Citywide Evacuation: Miami was evacuated twice, for "Hurricane Anthony" in season 2 and a tsunami in season 3's "Crime Wave." Naturally, crimes occurred during both episodes, forcing the team to remain behind.
  • *Click* Hello: Horatio's favorite method of executing a Stealth Hi/Bye on a perp.
  • Clothing Combat: In "Wheels Up," the Victim of the Week is killed by a blow from a weighted elbow pad.
  • Cold Equation: In "Miami, We Have a Problem," when a micro-meteorite breaks the oxygen line of a Space Plane, the owner reveals there is an emergency oxygen supply...for three people, which causes problems as the Space Plane has four occupants.
  • Cold Opening: Often featuring some of the most intense techno beats ever.
  • Color Wash: Everything is orange. Because it's in Miami.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Eric during Season 8, due to his actor appearing in the final season of Ugly Betty at the time.
  • Contraception Deception: There's one episode where the victim turns out to have about a hundred children via sperm donation. He'd had a secret vasectomy and told his wife he was infertile; she finds out the truth after she is too old to have children, so she kills him.
  • Cool Shades: Horatio Caine...*puts on shades* that is all.
    • The production team have 100 sets of H's shades.
    • And the Season 8 opener is a Flashback telling the origin story of H's shades (among other things).
    • A&E's promos of the show, when they aren't showing clips, simply have a set of sunglasses on a table. Other networks that carry the show often have snarktastic references to the Sunglasses of Justice.
  • The Con: One neighborhood murder turns out to be connected a plot to lower property values in the area.
  • The Coroner: Alexx Woods, Tara Price and Tom Loman take turns acting as the lead Medical Examiner.
  • Corrupting Pornography: A porn star in "Innocent" is strangled to death by an obsessed fan who then brings his girlfriend to the scene so he can keep the body in sight while they have sex. He had been unable to "perform" while with her due to having been desensitized from watching so much porn.
  • Covered in Gunge: The victim in "Identity" who is regurgitated by a boa constrictor.
  • Creepy Gym Coach: "At Risk" revolves around a tennis coach who is revealed to have been molesting his male students for years.
  • Crime and Punishment Series: Pretty straight forward.
  • Crossover:
    • The series' introduction is actually a crossover with the original CSI with Catherine and Warrick following clues from a murder in Las Vegas to a suspect in Miami.
    • With CSI: NY in the latter's second season when a serial killer commits murders in Miami before doing the same in NYC.
    • Another Crossover with CSI in a later season, as part of a trilogy having the original CSI cross over with both of its spin offs.
  • Curse: Right there in the title of Curse of the Coffin. After Ryan unintentionally defiles a crime-scene dealing with Santeria, he seemingly brings a curse upon the CSI's as spooky incidents begin happening around the lab. While most of them are explained, when it seems like the cases perpetrator will be getting off scot free, Ryan mentions the coffin is missing from evidence, to Calleigh and Eric's surprise. Flash to the killer relaxing on a beach somewhere in the world, but as the camera pans down, the missing coffin is sitting in the sand below her lounger.
  • Death by Falling Over:
    • Out of all the people who faint when the gas hits the lab in "All Fall Down," only Jesse gets a fatal head injury.
    • An "immersive reality" game turns real when one of the actors dies of a broken neck when she's accidentally pushed over a piano.
  • Death Glare: Horatio and Delko both give the evil eye a lot while Perp Sweating.
  • Death in the Clouds:
    • In "Golden Parachute," an insurance agent's accountant is pushed out of his private plane mid-flight.
  • Did Not Think This Through: In Urban Hellraisers, one of the suspects thinks he thought things through. He is completely smug, doesn't care about the death of his friend, lacks remorse and refuses to cooperate as it would cost him "500 points" in the "game" he's playing. He then goes on to say that with good behavior he'll be out of prison in ten years and that "30 is the new 20." What he has not considered is that he's facing felony murder charges during a bank robbery and kidnapping. On the Federal side, he's facing charges related to the bank robbery and the attempted robbery of the U.S. Federal Reserve. So, assuming he doesn't plead it out, he'll be doing time at a State prison and then a Federal one. This is in Florida where it's established in-universe that their prisons are neither fun nor safe places to be in. Prior to sentencing, the victims and next-of-kin can and will make impact statements and the judge is going to hear from law enforcement about that interview and take all that into consideration. So, even with good behavior, he's not going to be out in ten years. His expulsion from college for his actions is also a given. So not only will he be a convicted felon, but his education has been severely disrupted and any dreams he had of a career are likely destroyed. When he gets out, rebuilding his life is going to be tough. Sadly, we don't see his comeuppance happen on screen but it's highly likely it'll happen.
  • Dirty Bomb: An episode has the team trying to prevent one from being detonated.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: In the second part of the Crossover with CSI:NY, Mac Taylor reacts this way to the killer's pathetic Freudian Excuse that he went on a murder spree killing many innocents all because he feels his biological father didn't give him enough attention, giving him an epic "Reason You Suck" Speech and telling him to rot in hell.
  • Disconnected by Death: In "Match Made in Hell," a young woman calls the Victim of the Week on his cell phone and is talking to him when he is grabbed by an alligator lured into his pool by the killer. His phone drops on the pavers next to the pool and she hears his screams as he is torn to pieces.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: "Forced Entry" is about the murder of a burglar who rapes his victims to stop them from talking. The CSI team are sympathetic to why one of his female victims would have killed him, but show no such sympathy when his victim (and killer) turns out to be a man who he brutally raped.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Speed's death, which comes out of practically nowhere and is in no way relevant to the case. The people who kill him aren't even connected to the episode's main perp. His death was to accommodate Rory Cochrane's decision to leave the show.
    • Jesse Cardoza's death is directly tied to the case being followed in the Season 8 finale, and serves as the main plot of the Season 9 premiere. Since everyone else survives the attack on the Lab, the audience isn't expecting it.
  • Drugs Are Bad: After Horatio's son, Kyle, begins working in the coroner's office, Horatio suspects he's stealing drugs. It turns out that Dr. Tara Price (the coroner) is an Oxycontin addict. When a grenade goes off in the lab, Wolfe notices her grabbing her spilled drugs: "Your pills are more important than your safety?"
  • Drunk Driver: The B-plot of the episode "Addiction" starts with medical examiner Alexx showing a group from an alcoholic treatment program victims of drunk driving accidents in the morgue. She offers one member, Derek, who demonstrates taking recovery very seriously, a temporary job as one of her handlers, but when a half-filled flask of alcohol goes missing from another victim's belongings, she immediately suspects Derek. He denies it but she doesn't believe him until it's revealed the flask was stolen by one of the other medical examiners. She apologizes to Derek and offers his job back, but while he forgives her and isn't mad, he turns down the offer for a different field. At the end of the episode, a drunk driver and the victim they killed are brought into the morgue, with Alexx devastatingly recognizing the driver. Alexx is then seen with another treatment group and shows them the two bodies, revealing the other medical examiner was the driver.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Caine's signature Quip to Black pun after putting on his sunglasses doesn't become a thing until around Season 3, puzzling viewers who watch earlier episodes.
    • Early on, the MDPD headquarters clearly mimic the cold, clinical blue tone of the Las Vegas lab. This is later changed to the signature orange Color Wash that permeates the entire building, giving the impression it's always sunrise or sunset, even if it's the middle of the day.
    • Unlike the original CSI and the further spinoff CSI: NY, Miami never seemed comfortable with having more than one case per episode, and did away with the dual-case format pretty early, unlike its sister series, who stopped trying them much later into both of their runtimes.
    • There's also the case of Kim Delaney's Donner, who despite serving a major role in the first half of Season 1, fails to capture the same dynamic with Caine as Grissom and Willows have from the original CSI, leading to her unceremonious firing from the series and no further acknowledgement of her time on the show except for a one-off mention in Season 8.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: In one episode, a teenage girl disappears from her bedroom in the middle of the night and the only sign of a struggle is a small pool of blood on the sheets. It takes the CSIs a disturbingly long time to figure out that the girl had started her period during the night.
  • "Everybody Helps Out" Denouement: There's an episode where an older Cuban shop owner's store is severely vandalized and he is injured. At the end, the man's community comes together to help him rebuild. Some of the CSIs show up as well, including Eric who helps unveil a new awning with the store's logo. It is larger and much nicer than the original. Horatio looks on approvingly as the man is moved to tears.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Tim "Speed" Speedle is almost always addressed and referred to by his nickname.
  • Evil Matriarch: The "Miami Taunter's" grandmother killed her husband and had her then-14-year old son bury his body and is a "Well done, son!" Mom ever since. When her husband's body is found along with her grandson's victims, she kills her son, exposes her grandson, and flees to a tropical island with no extradition.
  • Expy:
  • Extra Y, Extra Violent: In the Season 5 finale "Born to Kill," a couple knows that their son has this condition and constantly treat him with suspicion because of it. When their oldest daughter accidentally kills their other daughter by pushing her down the stairs, she claims he did it on purpose; this is what actually turned him violent.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: The awesome holographic interface and other software the CSIs get to play with.
  • Eye Scream: Wolfe getting a nail gun to the eye. Owww.
  • False Confession: The Season 4's "48 Hours to Life" has a black man named Tobey confess to a murder on a boat he had actually merely discovered, because Frank continues to badger him (and even admits later that he could just tell Tobey was a bad apple after their cellmate gets stabbed).
  • False Widow: One episode has a Rare Male Example: a group of con artists posing as a widower and his two children (actually a 30 something married couple) murder a man in order to use his wife as a means to get into a yacht club and steal gold from another of its members.
  • Fanservice: The regular shots in the pre-title sequences of scantily-clad women, or every outfit in Calleigh's and Natalia's (and occasionally Alexx's) wardrobes.
  • Fashion Show: One episode opens with a fashion show that gets interrupted by machine gun fire while two models are on the runway. Turns out to all be a part of the show. When the noise dies down, one model asks loudly, "Do I have your attention now?"
  • Feet-First Introduction: "MIA/NYC Nonstop," which served as the backdoor pilot for CSI: NY, introduces Mac Taylor by initially focusing on his shoes as he exits a police cruiser when the action shifts to NYC.
  • Flanderization: Caine used to have moments when he would actually emote. He also used to have moments where he worked in the lab, like, you know, a CSI, but if Caine did lab work, what would everyone else do?
  • Flock of Wolves: Minus the infiltration part, the cast of "The Boroughs." The two "party girls" are straight-A students the victim is married and her killer (who wanted a social life in the worst way) graduated from MI-frickin'-T, one guy is going to become a priest (he wants to "reach out to sinners"), and apparently none of them is actually from New York.
  • Forced Miscarriage: One episode revolves around finding out who is the one responsible for attacking a pregnant woman (rear-ending her car, then pulling her out and giving her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown) to the point she nearly loses her child (and nearly dies herself when this forces the doctors to prematurely deliver the baby). It eventually turns out that this is the machination of the woman's lover, who already believed that Children Are a Waste because he has to pay alimony in a disastrous (for him) divorce and brutally refuses to spend a single dime on another one.
  • Foreshadowing/Tempting Fate: When walking into a jewelry store with Horatio, Speed discusses expensive cars, disdaining them in favor of his bike. Caine mentions that he might need "something with doors" some day. Speed says he has plenty of time. He is fatally shot not 5 minutes later.
  • Freak Out: Randy North in "Mayday": He gets out on parole, but then his former cellmate, Jack Toller, forces North to help him get rid of evidence. This causes North to lose his kids, who are then separated. He shoots Caine, shoves Boa Vista (whom he blames for not helping him enough) into a car trunk, then sends the car off a dock into the ocean. Cut to credits.
  • Friend to All Children: Don't mess with kids in Miami. There is nowhere you can hide from Horatio Caine.
  • From Dress to Dressing: In "Hunting Ground," the Body of the Week is found nailed to a tree by an arrow, with a makeshift tourniquet made from his pants leg wrapped around his arm.
  • Gambling Ruins Lives: In "Burned," a bookie to whom Ryan Wolfe owes $10,000 from poker debts turns up in an unrelated case. Ryan gets caught on camera giving him cash, but when Horatio askes him about it, Ryan denies it having anything to do with gambling and says it's a personal matter. When the truth comes out, Stetler from Internal Affairs fires Ryan on the spot.
  • Glasses Pull: Horatio Caine, Trope Codifier.
    Horatio Caine: Only I...*puts on shades* make it cool.
    • Best exemplified in Season 5's "Curse of the Coffin." The SUV in the evidence lab has a bomb in it, with four minutes left on the timer when Horatio and Frank discover it. Caine puts on his glasses as he gets in to drive it away. Cut to Horatio driving, glasses still on, onto an isolated stretch of beach, parking, taking his glasses off, then exiting the car, only to put them on again moments later as the SUV explodes behind him and he walks away from the blast saying "Burn, baby, burn."
  • Glass Smack and Slide: In the Cold Open of "And We're Offed," a wealthy racehorse owner is shot inside his luxury suite overlooking a racetrack while he's using binoculars to watch his prized horse in a race. The original shot of him hitting the glass is just that - shown from the outside, he hits the window & his bullet wound is seen. Later, it's re-shown with a bit more detail. Because the floor-to-ceiling window is angled outward, he doesn't fully slide down it, more like slumps over onto it, dropping his binoculars.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Compare and contrast the way Horatio is with victims of crime compared to suspects.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: In "Habeas Corpse," corrupt ASA Josh Avery is killed by a blow to his head with a wine bottle.
  • Gut Feeling: Horatio. In fact, one wonders why the Miami-Dade Police Department even needs Crime Scene Investigators, given the guilty party always turns out to be the person H doesn't like.
  • Hand Sliding Down the Glass: Episode 3.05, "Legal," features a popular club whose restroom walls are clear until the door is closed, when they become opaque. A young woman is stabbed to death inside the ladies' room and the camera's POV is from the outside, showing only her hand hitting the wall and leaving a bloody smear as it slides down the glass.
  • Hazmat Suit:
    • Horatio and Wolfe wear hazmat suits while removing evidence from an abandoned house that's being used as a meth lab.
    • Hazmat suits are worn in another episode involving a woman who is dying of radiation poisoning.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Natalia when first introduced, is actually a mole for the FBI, reporting on the Lab's activities while posing as an assistant Genetic Analyst. After getting to know and befriend all of the CSIs and seeing them all as the good cops and even better people that they are, she reveals her status to Horatio, and sides with her friends, quitting her job at the FBI and becoming a CSI herself.
  • Hillbilly Moonshiner: A pair of moonshiners become suspects when the body of a hunter turns up dead near their illegal still in the Everglades in "Slow Burn."
  • Homage: The description of one episode made it sound like the suspect's whole life is a charade but actually he is unwittingly caught up in The Game (1997).
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: A horrific example in "Blood Lust" which features a mousey, dowdy looking woman so jealous by the attention other women would pay her devoted and incredibly handsome husband, she convinces him to seduce and lure women into their plot, where she would go as far as to pretend to be one of the victims, and play up a rescue only to dash their hopes, by pulling back her hands while her husband would drag them to their deaths, all so she could see the look of terror in their eyes, while her husband would kill them with a loving gaze fixated on his wife.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Walter whenever he's partnered with Callie or Natalia.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Hunting Ground" involves illegal imigrants being hunted for sport.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: How Wolfe ends up with a nail shot into his eye; the shooter is the fiancee of a man whose ex-wife and building contractor she just overheard plotting to kill him, and when Wolfe opens the closet she is hiding in, armed with a loaded nail gun, she thinks he's the contractor coming to make sure there aren't any witnesses. When she attempts to claim self-defense, however, Horatio points out that that's off the table since she callously left Wolfe there in pain instead of attempting to render aid or calling 911.
  • I Love the Dead: In "Spring Break," the autopsy reveals that the Victim of the Week had been raped post-mortem. When they question a suspect, he's shocked by the accusation of necrophilia, and explains that he found her lying on the beach and took advantage because he assumed that she was passed out drunk...not realizing that he's confessing to rape.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Pops up briefly as part of a suspect's backstory in a particularly complicated episode involving a Phony Psychic.
  • Idiot Ball: The CSIs don't even have cameras in their interrogation rooms, allowing suspects to beat themselves up on the table and claim police brutality. What makes this even worse is that said interrogation room is basically made entirely out of glass, meaning pretty much anyone else within 200 yards of would be able to see the suspect smashing their head into the table while Horatio is standing on the other side of the room.
    • The sad part is that the suspect beating himself up to claim police brutality ploy happens not once, but twice. Seems that while they can afford holographic interfaces, cameras for the interrogation rooms are still way too expensive.
    • Horatio, at the end of "Manhunt." Horatio doesn't kill the guy like he usually would in similar circumstances (and in this case, absolutely SHOULD have), because the man's daughter is nearby and he wouldn't want her seeing it and being traumatized, thus letting him get away in a car with a hostage. This is a murderer who escaped from prison who likes shooting people in the head with no warning, and has already killed several people in that one episode alone. One guess as to what happened to the hostage he took off with, and the episode ends with him still at large. Nice work, Horatio! Of course, the hostage was an Asshole Victim endangering the girl's welfare for profit, so Horatio may have thought it justified.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: A common sight, with street criminals running around with cutting-edge or rare hardware every other episode, whereas real criminals tend to gravitate towards small, cheap handguns in common calibers like 9mm and .40. One episode starts with the team finding 10mm slugs at a shootout and concluding that the shooters are gang-bangers because it's their preferred caliber. In reality, the 10mm Auto is a cult round that was popular for about two years in the 1980s then was relegated to being used only by hunters, enthusiasts, and people with tastes stuck in the 1980s.
  • Improvised Screwdriver: In "See No Evil," Delko is searching the cell of a prisoner to discover how he was able to escape from prison to perform a kidnapping. He finds the cover of a hardback book with two holes burned through it. Further investigation reveals that the holes are the exact size to fit over the bolts holding a metal plate in the wall, and he has been using the cover as a wrench to unscrew the bolts so he can remove the plate and access the pipework behind it.
  • Initialism Title: The first half, at least...
  • Instant Sedation: A tranquilizer dart drops a charging grizzly (see Misplaced Wildlife) in its tracks: something even a sniper rifle probably couldn't do.
  • Intoxication Ensues: In "Dispo Day", Calleigh winds up high on cocaine after she digs a bullet out of a 'marble' tile for evidence. The tile is actually compressed cocaine and she inhales a copious amount of dust as she is working the bullet out.
  • It's Always Sunny in Miami: Of course it is! The two notable (and plot-driven) exceptions are "Hurricane Anthony" and "Crime Wave," which involves a tsunami.
  • It's Personal: Horatio chases the man that ordered the hit on Marisol, Antonio Riaz, all the way to Rio in Brazil, and then exacts justice upon the Corcovado.
  • Karma Houdini: Esteban Navarro aka The Miami Taunter escapes justice several times simply because of his upbringing and having followers who take the blame for him.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Until his final appearance, downplayed however since we never get to see it on-screen.
  • Kinky Role-Playing: In the episode "Extreme", the investigation on the death of a rich teen girl leads to the investigators discovering an "extreme" roleplaying company that specialized in fake kidnappings with the idea of getting an adrenaline rush of going through the motions of a hostage thriller (this was done with full consent of all parties and things ending on the couple doing "rescue sex" was seen as just a natural result). Unfortunately, mid-rescue sex, the girl's boyfriend (already a crazy adrenaline junkie as it is) decided to see how it felt to murder someone and suffocated her.
  • The Lab Rat: Originally Natalia, later shared by Maxine and Travers, who is very...British.
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • Horatio to Ryan. It's never explained why Ryan is the only one to get this treatment from Horatio, but he's always "Mr. Wolfe."
    • Speedle was mostly referred to by his last name, or nickname thereof, "Speed."
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: A woman who's been trying for three years to get pregnant is understandably angry when her friend gets pregnant without trying and then asks her to host a baby shower. Neither of them knows the lengths the pregnant woman's husband would go to in order not to have to deal with "another parasite" screwing up his perfectly good second marriage.
  • Layout of a Season: Horatio Caine's trip to Brazil in "Rio" opens the 5th season with a game-changing blast.
  • Lifesaving Misfortune: In "Time Bomb," a seasonal arc has the team being suspicious of their returning teammate Eric Delko's behavior, not knowing he has also been sent as a mole by Internal Affairs for half the season. Calleigh follows and confronts him just before he is about to secretly meet with the state attorney, Rebecca Nevins. It ends with them tensely parting ways, but just before he reaches the meeting spot, Delko turns back to go after Calleigh, making him just far enough away when a bomb explodes mere seconds later at the spot, knocking him to the ground while killing Nevins. Eric states to Horatio that had Calleigh not confronted him he would have been killed too. In addition, the evidence he was about to give Nevins ends up being beneficial information towards the case about who has been framing the team for misconduct.
  • Lighter and Softer: As opposed to the mothership.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: A variation when a sunbathing man's throat is slashed by someone taking advantage of a total eclipse.
  • Lodged Blade Removal: Discussed in an episode when the friend of a stabbing victim attempted to help by pulling out the blade. It's explained to him that pulling the blade out was the absolute worst thing he could have done, and that it should have been left in place until a proper medical professional could have removed it.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Caine discovers he has a son he didn't know about. The mum is Jessie of Saved by the Bell.
  • MacGyvering: When Calleigh gets kidnapped, she uses her l33t forensic skillz to give the team the identities of her kidnappers and her location, which Catherine had also done, on CSI years before.
  • Made of Iron:
    • At the end of an episode, Ryan is kidnapped by a group of Russians and tortured brutally all night long, including multiple blows to the head and chest. The next morning he goes home, cleans up, and proceeds to climb thirty flights of stairs to get to a crime scene, without even breaking a sweat.
    • Then in the Season 10 premiere, despite having been shot, Horatio leaps into the water to save Boa Vista, spends a few minutes underwater rescuing her. Then despite being taken to the hospital, he doesn't get treatment and spends the entire show chasing down the bad guys. Sure, he doesn't look that great, but still.
      • He actually passes out underwater and has to be dragged to the surface by Natalia, while hallucinating he's in heaven with Marisol. He spends the episode hearing Mari's voice and looking like he's about to keel over at any moment (pale, weak and sweating). Could be an example of the Determinator.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: While not as bad about this as the original, this show definitely falls into this category. For starters, while in real life most CSIs actually are police officers (meaning having badges and guns is not much of stretch), they would not be doing lab work or interrogating suspects. A CSI's job is simply to obtain and document evidence from crime scenes, and then they move on to the next. Horatio Caine holds the rank of Lieutenant, a supervisory position that would keep him in the lab for the most part (doing administrative work, not lab work) in real life. If he were going to show up at a crime scene he would not be the first to get there as he more than likely would have been called in by the investigators already on the scene. In reality, Detective Sergeant Frank Tripp is the only person in the main cast that would be doing the investigating.
  • Manchild / Father of a Thousand Young: A victim who is a sperm donor and has 103 children; unfortunately he's a jerk to three of them and not interested in having legitimate children with his slightly older wife, who married him because she wanted children.
  • Man on Fire: The fate of at least two Corpses Of The Week, both related to siphoning gasoline out of the tank (but in different episodes).
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "Curse of the Coffin", the team find themselves dealing with a case surrounding Santeria Mysticism, when it appears Ryan has been cursed for defiling a crime scene, a majority of his symptoms are proven to be backed by science. In the end when it appears that the perpetrator is going to be a Karma Houdini, a shot of her lounging on the beach blissfully on her lounger, the camera pans down to reveal a coffin beneath her.
  • Medication Tampering: "Paint it Black" features an artist who pays an accomplice to replace the contents of his protege's anti-psychotic medication with sugar, believing that it is her mental condition that makes her brilliant. However, the medication causes her to suffer a psychotic break and murder her roommate.
  • Meta Guy: In Season 7's "Dead on Arrival," the producer of the TV show the victim is on is interrogated. When he's shown a photo of a piece of evidence with a matched fingerprint on it, he says "My show's lead-in is a crime drama. Is this the part where you tell me this is my print?"
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • "Bone Voyage" has the CSIs wander in on a Grizzly...around Miami...
    • "A Grizzly Murder" centers around a guy being mauled to death because he'd been slathered in bear lure. No one even raises an eyebrow that the bear in question looks like it came down from Kodiak Island for a vacation in the 'Glades.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Caine and Delko both comment on the fact that missing women are more likely to attract media attention if they're white.
  • The Mole:
    • Sam's (the straight-haired brunette ex-lab rat) boyfriend, an Assistant State Attorney, is actually working for Vogel, a very Amoral Attorney who blackmails his own clients. He doesn't seem to be enjoying it, though.
    • Delko returns in Season 8 now working for the State Attorney partly so he can be a mole for them to the CSI team.
  • Motive Rant: Played straight most of the time, but defied at least once.
    Sniper Suspect: Don't you want to know why?
    Horatio: You just killed four innocent people, you're evil, you enjoy death, I hope you enjoy your own.
  • Mood Lighting: Because it's always easier to find forensic evidence in a darkened room.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Natalia and Calleigh share this duty with their low-cut tops and dresses. Reined in later in the show's run.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
  • Native American Casino: In the episode "Bloodline," a gaming official accused of trying to dip into Indian casino profits is found scalped to death.
  • Nautical Knockout: In one episode, a woman dies as a result of getting struck with a boom, rupturing her breast implants. No, really.
  • Near-Death Experience:
    • Horatio has one after being shot and left to bleed to death, has a meeting with his dead wife Marisol, in what is heavily alluded to be heaven, before being told by her he needs to return as Natalia is close to dying and he must save her.
    • Calleigh in an episode, after suffering from Smoke Inhalation from her and Ryan being trapped in a burning house, finds herself in a place between life and death, is assisted by the ghost of a victim to gather evidence on who started the fire that killed him, and nearly killed her.
  • Never Found the Body: The fate of at least one nemesis who has escaped the long arm of the law.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Wolfe, when he gets a little overenthusiastic about spraying the contrast agent on a piece of evidence to bring it out better under UV for a cameraman.
  • Night Swim Equals Death: Too many episodes to list. It's usually signaled by finding the body floating in the swimming pool.
  • No True Scotsman: In "Spring Break," Alexx is examining the Victim of the Week and tells Horatio, "Sunburn says she's a tourist," suggesting that any true Miami resident would know how to properly put on sunscreen.
  • Not Proven: One episode rests on avoiding this. The CSIs have evidence linking a person to a drive-by, but the key evidence is a testimony from the victim's son, who is a child and whom no one wants to put in front of a jury. They race to find more evidence to make up for the kid. They fail and he walks free from killing the kid's mom...Though he is immediately arrested for the murder of his accomplice, and this time it's an airtight case.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • "Slaughterhouse", features a bloodied but otherwise unharmed toddler walking alone on the street, the result of her mother, two older brothers, and infant being shot dead. The father slaughtered them because he couldn't handle fatherhood anymore and the toddler only survived due to the oldest brother getting her to a safe place before the father could find her.
    • A guy hires two carjackers, a surveillance photographer, and buys a new (sabotaged) car in order to cause a Convenient Miscarriage and possibly (or accidentally; it's not clear) frame his son for it because he doesn't want "another parasite" screwing up a perfectly good childless marriage as the first one did.
    • In "Mommie Deadest", the victim's children reveal her abusive behaviors, including forcing their late five-year-old brother Bradley to drink lighter fluid because she thought he burned the couch. The older sister accidentally burned it with her lighter so she blames herself for Bradley's death.
  • Only in Florida: When it's not Only in Miami.
  • Only in Miami: The show is pretty much built around this.
  • Only One:
    • The Miami cops cannot do ANYTHING - SWAT interventions, bomb disposal or police chase - without Horatio's direct presence and involvement.
    • Hilariously, later seasons regularly have Horatio showing up first when a crime is in progress, or there's a 911 call. And by showing up first, we mean he gets there before patrol cars.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Calleigh is haunted, Ghost Whisperer-style, by a young boy who is killed in a fire (not surprisingly, they're both rather confused about this). It turns out Calleigh "saw" all this while in an out-of-body-experience/coma dream.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • "Dude, Where's My Groom?": The bride's dad really disapproves of the groom and at the first sign that he had hurt his daughter (emotionally, by going to a strip club after swearing he wouldn't - BTW this was during his bachelor party), he bribes a stripper to bring him out back, hogties him and leaves him to die at sea in a tiny inflatable raft.
    • See Alpha Bitch above. Unfortunately finding out what her father did causes the daughter to blame herself and commit suicide by hanging; fortunately Horatio arrives just in time to save her.
  • Painful Adhesive Removal: Episode 3.23, "Vengeance" does not play this for laughs. After a Jerk Jock is murdered at a 15 year high school reunion, it's learned he cocooned a boy in duct tape and left him overnight back when they were in school. Removing the tape left the victim with horrific, disfiguring skin graft scars over his whole body, causing him to drop out of school.
  • Parachute in a Tree: In "Terminal Velocity," a skydiver is killed when his parachute is tampered with. His diving partner ends up dangling from a tree after he tries to save him. Horatio and Tripp interview him while he is still hanging from the tree.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Horatio, quite a few times. Most notably in "Rio" (As described in It's Personal above), "To Kill a Predator," and "Wheels Up."
  • Perp Walk: Once per Episode, in super dramatic Slo Mo.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: The parcel delivery driver in "Special Delivery" is having affairs with many of the housewives along his route. It is thought this might have been the reason he was murdered. It wasn't.
  • Police Are Useless: In this case, it ties in with The Only One.
  • Police Brutality Gambit: Oh, the problems they could save themselves if they invested in a camera for the interrogation room.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Miami spinoff's first "episode" occurrs in CSI when Catherine & Warrick fly to Miami when it turns out that a suspect escaping Las Vegas ended up there. (The Miami spinoff would further provide a Poorly Disguised Pilot for CSI: NY when a case spills into Mac's jurisdiction.)
  • Prison Changes People: One episode deals with a young man being tossed in prison because of a Miscarriage of Justice, and while he is inside he is constantly given Prison Rape by an older prisoner, to the point the young man shanks him to death to make it stop and becomes more emotionally dead in general. The investigation eventually leads to the correct criminal and thus the young man is presumed to be set free (with the murder he committed waived away as self-defense), but Horatio really can't do more for him than apologize for the whole mess.
  • Prison Rape: Occurs to Tobey in the Season 4 episode "48 Hours to Life."
  • Propping Up Their Patsy: In "All Fall Down", when Professor Bob Starling's mistress, Melissa, is accused of a murder he committed and he is presumed to be her next target, he dismisses the possibility of her being a threat to throw suspicion off of himself.
  • Pun
    • This:
    "That gives a new meaning to the term 'fried hard drive'."
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Just about every line out of Horatio's mouth. The other lines are One-Liner, Name... One-Liner.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Horatio's son Kyle enlists in the Army at some point; naturally his shore leave consists of his Arab-American buddy possibly being dead, then the guy being accused of murder he's innocent, but his girlfriend's parents are rather messed-up. At the end of the episode, Kyle is literally put on a bus.
    • Alexx leaves the morgue in Season 6 to become an ER doctor. She's occasionally appeared since then, usually when one of the team have been injured in the line of duty.
  • Quip to Black: Quite often.
    • Subverted in "Losing Face," which starts with Horatio's old friend on the bomb squad being killed in an explosion while he's outside. Caine, stunned, actually takes off his shades and says absolutely nothing.
    • Due to the sheer amount of mocking the character has received for his One-Liner style, Caine has pretty much stopped doing it.
    • Horatio is known so well for this, CBS did a "Horatio Caine Impression Contest" at one point.
  • Really 17 Years Old: Played with in "Innocent." The victim is a pornographic actress who, while she was eighteen at the time of her death, had been performing for over a year beforehand - and the management of her company had found out. It turns out to be unrelated to her death, however.
  • Recognizable by Sound: While at a crime scene, Calleigh is approached by someone behind her who holds a gun to the back of her head and pulls back the hammer. In the Lab's gun vault, she has Eric do the same with a series of firearms, and she determines which type the unknown person had by listening to the number and sharpness of the clicks as Eric pulls the hammers. She encounters the gun-holder again, they have a conversation, and as she walks away, she hears the tell-tale clicks and turns around just in time to see the person commit suicide.
  • Recycled In Space:
    • The climactic Brazilian episode is CSI: Miami...IN RIO DE JANEIRO!
    • One episode, "Miami, We have a Problem," was literally in space. The murder, at least.
  • Resigned in Disgrace:
    • Sam accidentally ruins some crucial evidence in a case. Natalia reads her the riot act and bluntly says she should resign, though they later reconcile.
    • Then in the finale we learn that Sam, along with her violent boyfriend, Josh, have been intentionally tampering with case evident to help an Amoral Attorney discredit the CSI team. Not only that, but when Josh works Ryan over and turns on her, she kills him and leaves Ryan to take the blame. He doesn't and she gets arrested for murder. Whether or not she's allowed to resign on her own accord in lieu of being disciplinarily stripped of her badge and duties isn't shown but it's a safe bet that one or the other happened.
  • Rhyming Title: The episode "Freaks and Tweaks."
  • Ripped from the Headlines: A closer example than most: The story about Boa Vista's sister appearing in a Serial Killer's trove of photos really happened to her actress, Eva La Rue's sister, who fortunately is still alive and even had a cameo (though not as her sister's sister).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • The entire end of Season 4 brings the wrath of Horatio down on the Mala Noches when they carry out a hit on his wife of only one day, Marisol, ultimately killing her.
    • Combined with Disproportionate Retribution: A chubby girl gets revenge on the three douchebags who humiliated her by first slimming down and then killing them over spring break.
  • Rule of Cool: Everything Horatio thinks, says, and does.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: A boat is suspected to have been hit by pirates, but careful investigation turns out that it was a white supremacist militia group, and one of the crew was in on the attack.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: In "Dispo Day", the mastermind behind the drug heist uses the alias 'Nedir Kire', which is his original name 'Erik Riden' spelled backwards (although he is now going by the name of 'Enirique Rameriz'.
  • Searching the Stalls: In "See No Evil," a blind man in a public bathroom overhears an abduction taking place. The blind man accidentally makes a noise that the kidnapper hears and hides in a stall. The kidnapper then pushes open all of the stall doors till he finds the blind man. On discovering he is blind, he decides to leave him alive.
  • Second-Face Smoke: In "Addiction", a flashback shows the Victim of the Week having lunch with her brother-in-law. He lights up a cigarette as she preparing to leave, and she asks him to blow the smoke in her face for old times sake (she is taking fertility drugs and is not allowed to smoke). He obliges her and, as she is inhaling, she palms his lighter.
  • Secret Other Family: A victim turned out to have been murdered by his own son after the son discovered that he had been dating his half-sister. They fell in love and were having a baby together.
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: "The Score."
  • Sherlock Can Read:
    • In "Dude, Where's My Groom?", Ryan and Walter discover a stolen painting hidden underneath a valueless one. Walter, who studied art history, is trying to identify it from style and color choice. He says that it could be a Cézanne, or someone from the Fauvism movement:
    Ryan: It's a Matisse.
    Walter: You studied the French Masters too?
    Ryan: No, it's signed.
    • In "By the Book," the crew is examining a bizarre crime scene. Dr. Tom Loman is examining the corpse when Ryan tells him that they don't have an ID yet. Tom casually says that she is Andrea Edison. Ryan looks amazed and asks Tom how he knows. Tom calmly replies that he found her ferry pass in her pocket and hands it over to Ryan.
  • Ship Tease: Eric/Calleigh gets a big one when Calleigh dons a wedding veil while attempting to recreate the crime scene. The episode's ad was specifically cut to obscure the fact that the two were still wearing their normal clothes otherwise.
    • They were an official couple for a while, although the fact that Eric may have been wearing a wire all that time may have put a strain on that.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Megan Donner (played by Kim (Beat) Delaney) was a central character for the first 10 episodes, and featured heavily in the original promotion before the series started. She was then Put on a Bus, supposedly due to a lack of onscreen chemistry between Delaney and Caruso.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Averted, as Horatio is good enough to shoot the hostage taker.
  • Shovel Strike: In "Nothing to Lose", one Victim of the Week is a convict firefighter who is nailed to a tree with a folding shovel by an escaping convict during a fire in the Everglades.
  • Sixth Ranger: Technically First Ranger Jesse Cardoza, who is introduced in flashback retiring just as Calleigh joins the lab; he rejoins just in time to replace Eric after he decided to leave, and dies just in time for him to stay.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Very much on the shiny side.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: In "Identity", a boa constrictor being used as a drug mule crushes, swallows, and vomits up a woman before she's discovered at a party (the crushing, vomiting, etc. happened prior to the start of the episode and are shown in the forensic recreations).
  • Sniping the Cockpit: A variation when a civilian takes down a small engine plane by blinding the pilot with a laser pointer.
  • Snobby Hobbies: In one episode, a group of women who'd belonged to a prestigious sorority in college are still friends, all belong to the same country club, and go horseback riding together.
  • Spanner in the Works: As with every CSI series, so many attempts at the perfect crime are undone by everything from weather to an unexpected passerby to some other factor that allows the team to find the truth.
    • A bank manager and his lover trick a pair of armored car guards into swapping their money for fake bills, figuring by the time it's uncovered, they'll be long gone with the cash. As fate has it, another pair of thieves pick that exact same armored car to rob, killing one of the guards. When they're caught, it doesn't take long for the team to discover the fake cash and unravel the scheme.
    • A set of identical triplets might have pulled off their murder of one sister's rich husband...had they not been unaware the guy they killed was actually his Body Double.
  • Split Personality: One episode has a woman with three personalities, one of which is male. They aren't all aware of each other and the one that isn't is very confused.
  • Split Screen: Common in Season 5.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jesse seems to be this towards a woman who moved from Los Angeles to Miami, but he's just keeping tabs on her since her husband got away with murder.
  • Start to Corpse: In one example of many, a pool-side tourist's throat is slit during a total eclipse as "Sunblock" begins. The body is discovered as soon as the sun reappears.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Horatio is a master of the Stealth Hi, particularly when pulling a *Click* Hello on a perp.
  • Stimulant Speedtalk: In "Dispo Day" Calleigh begins talking non-stop after accidentally inhaling cocaine while working a crime scene where the drug has been hidden. She even answers a polygraph examiner who asks if her name is Calleigh Duquesne with "Yes. And my nickname is 'Lambchop'. But only my Dad calls me that!" then apologizes, saying she knows she's only supposed to give "yes" or "no" answers.
  • Stock Footage: The aerial establishing shots over Miami.
  • Suicide by Assassin: A computer billionaire gave one of his prototype guns to a former associate of his and asked him to kill him with it (as mentioned before, he was dying of cancer and the other executives all shown themselves to be corrupt enough to endanger people's lives by selling a weapon they knew was faulty), telling him that he would have all of his shares on the company (and thus would legally own it) as payment.
  • Super-Deformed: The CSI: Miami Heat Wave Facebook game, where you are a new member to the Miami CSI team. Not only do you find and process evidence, but you must also question evidence-related witnesses to either advance in the case or put the witness behind bars.
  • Superstition Episode: "Curse of the Coffin." Ryan inadvertently defiles a crime scene linked to Santeria by collecting a tiny coffin as evidence and, after a series of mishaps, begins to believe he's been cursed. Most of the incidents are explained, but after it appears the Villain of the Week has gotten away with murder by fleeing the country, the coffin is discovered missing from the evidence locker. Cut to a beach scene with the coffin in the sand underneath the killer's chair.
  • Suspiciously Clean Criminal Record: Double Subverted. When they check on a suspect, his record has a collection of normal, petty offenses and complaints, but the team notices that the other civilians involved with the complaints are all related to police officers. They explain that witness protection programs deliberately include minor criminal records with new identities to avoid this trope, and that pattern is enough for them to realize that the identity has been manufactured by the government.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jessie Cardoza replacing Eric Delko; now a moot point.
  • Take Five: In one episode Eric wants to talk to Calleigh about a possible corrupt cop, but some low-level techie is in the room with them.
    Eric: "Hey, why don't you go get a cup of coffee?"
    Techie: "No, I'm good."
    Eric: -glares at Techie-
    Techie: "Oh, um... I guess I did need to take a break."
  • Taken Off the Case:
    • Horatio took himself off a case in which a woman he'd been out with two nights prior was found dead and he was the last person known to have seen her alive.
    • H told Eric to stay out of the case of Marisol's marijuana purchase.
  • Talking to the Dead:
    • Alexx can sometimes take this to creepy extremes.
    • Then again, on at least one occasion a "corpse" was still alive!
  • Team Dad:
    • Horatio to his team members, though he doesn't really go into full berserker mode unless Alexx, Natalia, or Calleigh are in danger. Meaning if you're a male member of Horatio's to be you.
    • Justified with Alexx, given that she's the only member of the main cast who isn't a cop, therefore the most vulnerable.
  • Team Mom: Alexx, who'd even act motherly to the corpses.
  • Team Power Walk: One episode opens with Horatio in a confessional. There's some commotion in the cemetery right outside, which happens to be gunmen disrupting a funeral. After an exchange of gunfire, Caine, Alexx, and Frank are all standing around while the other three CSIs, each in their own car, all arrive. They walk towards the crime scene in slow motion while Alexx, H, and Frank talk about the murder. All told, they cut back to the Power Walk five times before they actually arrive.
  • Terminology Title: Several.
    • "MIA/NYC Nonstop": Airline term for a direct flight from Miami to New York City. This is the Back Door Pilot for CSI: NY in which Horatio Caine enlists the help of Mac Taylor to apprehend a killer operating in both their cities.
    • "Pro Per": Legal shorthand for the Latin phrase, "in propria persona," used to describe a defendant representing himself at trial. A former inmate who spent his incarceration studying law does just this after being arrested for another crime.
    • "10-7": Police code for being "out of service" or otherwise unavailable. One undercover officer surfaces, only to disappear again, and two others leave the team.
    • "Double Jeopardy": Legal term meaning that once someone has been tried and found innocent, they cannot be retried for the same offense. After a man whose wife has been missing for years is acquitted of her murder, her body turns up and evidence now points to his guilt. What's the team to do?
    • "Collateral Damage": Originally a military term, but it's use has expanded into other fields; meaning unintentional injury, death, etc. to individuals or property not specifically involved in a conflict. A hand grenade is used in a crowded restaurant, killing and maiming more than its user's target.
    • "F-T-F": Internet-speak for a face-to-face meeting between people who, up until then, have never met in person. An underage girl sets up such a meeting with a person she believes to be a boy her age, but who is actually a grown man.
    • "Mayday": Internationally recognized radio distress call. Horatio and Frank are returning an escaped prisoner back to Miami but discover mid-light that their plane has been hijacked.
    • "Friendly Fire": Term for being fired upon by someone on your own side. An inventor is killed by one of his own creations.
    • "Terminal Velocity": The maximum speed reached by a falling object. A skydiver dies after his parachute lines snap mid-air.
  • Terrifying Pet Store Rat: The "lethal box jellyfish" in the tank from "Kill Clause" are obviously moon jellies, one of the least-toxic or aggressive jellyfish types.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: In "Dispo Day", ambitious reporter Enrique Ramirez's real name is Erik Riden: he changed to appeal to the Hispanic audience in Miami.
  • Toyota Tripwire: In "F-T-F", Horatio and Delko are undertaking a stakeout in a parking garage. Delko confronts the suspect who flees, only to be flattened when Horatio opens the door of his Hummer.
  • Trapped In a Tanning Bed: In "Last Straw", a killer takes out one of their victims by padlocking her in a tanning bed once she's lying there with her eyes closed and earbuds in, thus cooking her to death.
  • Tricked into Another Jurisdiction: In "Blood Brothers", Horatio is unable to arrest two brothers for a pair of murders because they are the sons of Baracan's Ambassador General Antonio Cruz and thus have Diplomatic Impunity. However, one of the victims was a Canadian citizen drowned in the swimming pool at the Canadian consulate, meaning she was murdered on Canadian soil. When the brothers take their boat into international waters, Horatio arranges to have the Bahamian authorities waiting for them. As their boat has Bahamian registration, in international waters, it is under Bahamian jurisdiction and the brothers don't have diplomatic immunity in the Bahamas.
  • Unflinching Walk: Horatio doesn't look at explosions. Although, it does raise the question of what happened to Frank? He was in the car with Horatio, but is never seen getting out.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Happily Married couple who kidnapped women (with the wife posing as a fellow victim in order to relish the sight of hope dying in the victims' eyes) in order to strengthen their marriage. Interesting in that it was the wife who "infected" the husband with the idea.
  • Vapor Trail: In the episode "Dishonor," the killer ignites the gasoline-soaked victim by dropping a lit match into a trail of gasoline.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In "Terminal Velocity," before being murdered, the Victim of the Week had his classic car vandalized by someone pouring bleach into the oil.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Horatio has a tendency to repeat himself for emphasis. Repeat For Emphasis.
    • Every episode, my friends...Every episode.
    • He'll also phrase half his statements in the form of a question, you understand?
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Every computer, every episode.
  • Vigilante Execution: A common hazard, and not just at the end of the episode, either - sometimes it happens halfway through and they discover some additional twist in the case.
  • Vitriolic Best Friends: Eric and Ryan. They constantly snark and snipe at one another, especially in the earlier seasons, but when push comes to shove they've got each other's backs. Ryan having to be physically restrained from the man who shot Delko, all the while screaming "You Shot My Friend!", and Eric showing extreme concern and guilt after Ryan is shot in the eye with a nail gun to name a few examples.
  • Walk It Off: To ridiculous degrees in the Season 10 opener, Horatio, who had been shot, even having a near death meeting with Marisol, his deceased wife, and Natalia, who nearly drowned in the locked trunk of a submerged car, after being taken to the hospital both agree that their case is too important, and casually strut out of the E.R. together, as a multitude of doctors try to stop them.
  • We Are Everywhere: Subverted on at least one occasion when Horatio answers back that he'll be using the evidence they found in the Perp Of the Week's stuff to hunt down every last member of this "We."
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Not even burying his father's body when he was a teen could appease the mother of "The Miami Taunter's" dad.
  • Wham Episode: As of the Season 9 finale, Horatio's been shot (for real this time), and Natalia's been locked in the trunk of a car which has just been shoved off the pier. The episode ends with her screaming and pleading for someone, anyone, to answer their phone as she frantically calls for help (but gets nothing but busy signals).
  • White Male Lead: White male David Caruso portrays Catholic lead investigator Horatio Caine for the whole series.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
    • "Dude, Where's My Groom?" was explicitly inspired by The Hangover, except Bloodier and Gorier (naturally) and the groom might be dead. The commercial even uses a few lines from the film.
    • Another episode featured a guy who very nearly loses his mind to The Game (1997).
  • Wood Chipper of Doom: One perp disposes of a body through a wood chipper parked in a driveway and, of course, the landscaper who had walked away from it for a bit becomes the first suspect.
  • Yakuza: Featured in an episode, but only called "Sakiru" for some reason. This is the least of the episode's factual inaccuracies.
  • You Are Too Late: When a child disappears from a Chuck-E-Cheese type restaurant, the moment the mother starts screaming, one of the employees hits a button and locks the place down. Sadly, the kidnapper had already killed child in the restroom and had left the restaurant before anyone even noticed.
  • You Are What You Hate: Reggie Mastell says this about himself. He became so determined to clear up a rape case he blew off years ago that he kills an innocent woman and plants evidence on her to place attention on the suspect whom he is certain committed to previous crime. Said suspect turns out to be completely innocent and Reggie gets arrested for murder and hangs himself in his cell.
  • You Can See Me?: A teenage boy who suffocates in a house fire in "Backfire'' is surprised to find that Calleigh can see and hear him. Not realizing that she herself is unconscious due to smoke inhalation, she doesn't realize that he's dead either, and thinks that the two of them are interacting with (and/or just being ignored by) her co-workers.
  • You Wake Up on a Beach: Season 1's "Spring Break" opens with two hungover college guys waking up in chairs on the beach as the tide is coming in. One looks around and asks the other, "Dude, where's our car?'' Laughing as they walk away, they spot a bikini-clad young woman lying nearby. Attempting to awaken her so she won't be caught by the tide, they are horrified to discover her neck has been broken.

YYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAA— *gets shot...again*
Looks like The Stinger...*glasses pull*...just got stung.


Video Example(s):


CSI photo examination

In the episode "Kill Zone", two detectives examine ATM footage and find a baseball logo in the reflection of a man's glasses.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

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