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  • Anvilicious:
    • 'Yarzheit'
    • 'Clean Sweep' (Mixed with a bit of Author Avatar as well)
  • Base-Breaking Character: Lindsay is either one of the most interesting characters of the show or one of the least interesting.
  • Broken Base: Danny and Lindsay's relationship in general.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Designated Evil: Being a cop show, anyone who breaks the law, especially a murderer, is automatically in the wrong despite the fact that on occasion, the victims were complete jerkasses who deserved to be killed.
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  • Designated Hero: In-Universe example in "The Thing About Heroes" as after revealing himself to be the 333 Stalker, Drew tells Mac that he didn't deserve to gain a hero status for his actions in the season three finale, all because he couldn't save his older brother Will.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Mac and Stella. You can literally hear the hearts of many Smacked fans shatter into a million pieces after Melina Kanakaredes decides to not return for season 7.
    • Mac/Jo has replaced it, though it causes Ship-to-Ship Combat with the Smacked shippers and the fans of Mac's girlfriends (first Peyton, then Aubrey and finally Christine).
  • Fridge Logic: If Adam and Lindsey were in "The Pile" for weeks after 9/11 and around chemicals the rest of the time wouldn't their health be a lot worse?
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Season 9 features an episode where a little girl dies by her friend accidentally shooting her. He'd already removed the magazine, so assumed it would be safe. Cut to a previous episode featuring Jo finally taking down a rapist she's been trying to catch since her days in the FBI. Her words at that time may echo in your head watching the scene with the kids. "They always forget the [bullet] in the chamber."
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    • Sid being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins' lymphoma becomes this when you realize that Hawkes' actor Hill Harper battled thyroid cancer at one point and did a book about it, but thankfully has since gone into remission.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Lindsay finding Danny out of his wheelchair and taking care of the baby.
    • Another is when Mac is shown footage of a Holocaust survivor his father saved.
    • Mac proposing to Christine. The guy's been through so much that it's a very happy moment.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Mac’s kidnapping in season 4’s finale didn’t scare most fans since Gary Sinise had another season in his contract.
    • Christine in the crossover episode. Most fans didn’t really feel she was in any danger especially with the feeling the series probably wasn’t getting a 10th season.
  • Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize:
    • Subverted; an episode features a case of a guy who looks like retired tennis champ John McEnroe and then brings the man himself on to clear things up.
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    • Also subverted in "Some Buried Bones." You'd think that Nelly Furtado is the killer since she plays a professional thief who removes security tags on stuff she steals and becomes a suspect for a murder that occurred at a department store that she was stealing a purse but it turns out that she isn't the killer and in fact, only became a professional thief after suffering Domestic Abuse from her husband and took part in a propranolol medical trial for women who were victims of domestic abuse. As a result, Stella compassionately suggests the woman reveal her past abuse at the hands of her husband to get leniency from the judge, and offers Ava her card if she wants to talk, given the fact Stella was a victim of domestic abuse in the season before at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Frankie.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The show's first official episode, "Blink," involved a real condition known as "Locked-in Syndrome," where a person is fully conscious but unable to move a single muscle except for maybe an eyelid or certain facial muscles. (communication can be facilitated with computer equipment). The French name for this translates literally to "walled in alive." Oh and if this happens to you, there is no cure (although a few patients have partially or fully recovered on their own). Think on that a while and try sleeping soundly tonight. Bonus points for it being in the first episode, too.
    • The inventor's 'House of Death' in season six is pretty damn creepy. Spikes that swing from the ceiling to impale you, a room that can either roast you to death or smush you, and the list goes on. All concealed in what appears to be an ordinary penthouse.
    • Another episode showed a dead man hammered to a tree. Through his empty eye sockets. With railroad nails. But that's not all. Mac then finds the missing eyeballs in the man's front pocket, and we get a lovely close-up of them.
    • In one episode, one of the victims was embalmed in a particularly crude way: one needle vacuuming out the blood, one needle replacing it with household cleaner. The victim was jabbed both times in the neck. He was also still alive.
    • Another episode involved a magician murdering his victims in ways based off of his three new, high-profile tricks. The start of the episode shows him sticking his ex-assistant in a box and sawing her in half for real, using your run of the mill hand saw. Not only do they give you a lovely shot of the bloody stump where half her body used to be, but they make it explicitly plain that she was still alive as he sawed her in half.
    • The episode with the guy who cut off his victim's eyelids before killing her.
    • 'Tanglewood'. The gang members used a workshop-type sander to *sand off* the wannabe's fake tattoo before offing him. Yikes.
    • The guy who got his head slammed in the door of a burning hot oven.
    • The woman who was locked in the elevator and basically cooked to death in 'Where There's Smoke'
    • In universe example-getting that tongue in the mail in 'Seth and Apep' was definite nightmare fuel for Mac, who retreats to his office and can't keep from imagining what might have happened to Christine, and though he's still unsettled when she calls him, at least he knows she's still alive and intact.
    • 'Charge of This Post': Detective Flack's injuries and all those close-ups.
  • Only Barely Renewed: Getting season nine came down to it being cheaper to make than CSI: Miami and wanting it for a New York themed night of programming.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The game wasn't as good as the others in the franchise. It isn't totally awful, but for some reason was mostly puzzles and hidden item stuff as opposed to the more detailed evidence collecting, tests, interviewing etc of the other two shows. Plus, the puzzles can frustrate to no end, especially the "draw a line without touching the non matching items" one and the "draw the outline" one for some. Plus, each case was short and Mac and Stella were the only player characters, as opposed to either all of the team at various points or a original player character like the rest. And fans tend to view it as yet another example of the show getting the short end of the stick.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Jo is this to Stella fans after her first episode.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Chadwick Boseman appeared in one episode of season 2 before playing the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Misha Collins appeared in the season 4 premiere before playing Castiel.
    • Frank Grillo appeared in the conclusion of the 333 Stalker storyline as the brother of said stalker before playing Crossbones.
    • Before appearing in Suits and later engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle appeared in one season 2 episode and also appeared in an episode of CSI: Miami.
    • Before playing Abraham in The Walking Dead, Michael Cudlitz appeared in a season 2 episode.
    • Before appearing in The Twilight Saga, Rachelle Lefevre played Flack's then-girlfriend in one episode of season 4.
    • Shailene Woodley appeared in one episode of season 3.
    • Jamie Chung appeared in the penultimate episode of the 333 Stalker storyline.
    • T.J. Thyne played a rare book dealer and killer of the week just a year before starting his regular role on the other side of the police, er, FBI tape as Dr. Jack Hodgins on Bones.
  • Shipping:
    • Danny/Lindsay, referred to as "M&M" (Monroe & Messer) and probably should now be called "3M" or "M cubed" (Messer Monroe Marriage-or possibly 3 Messers, as in Danny, Lindsay and Lucy.) Of course, once the second baby arrives, it could be 4M...you get the picture.
    • Flack/Angell has a pretty vocal contingent as well (including many shippers who are royally pissed at the season 5 finale).
    • Mac/Stella is also a favourite among fans. However, many shippers are either sad and/or angry because Melina Kanakaredes isn't coming back for season 7.
      • Mac/Jo is quickly taking that ship's place now.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Mac is in the middle of most of it. Some want him with Stella, others with Jo, and others say no one can take Claire's place. A few slash ships get in too. Turns his girlfriends into The Scrappy sometimes. Very few people wanted him with Peyton, but Christine, his canon girlfriend as of season 8, isn't hated as much and adds another layer to it. However, in all the cases, no extreme hostility is usually evident.
      • May intensify a bit with Mac marrying Christine. Expect a few fics to show up trying to get rid of her in favor of the other ships.
    • Sometimes, other ships gang up on Danny/Lindsay; most often, these are shippers of Danny/Aiden, Danny/Ricki (the woman whose son was killed on Danny's watch), and especially Danny/Flack. These shippers perceive Lindsay to be The Scrappy and accuse her of changing Danny too much from his previous "bad boy" persona, inhibiting his character development, and having "too much" screentime. They would like to see Danny with "anyone but Lindsay."
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Aside from the typical complaints about new characters, this popped up when the producers overhauled the storylines after a few seasons to replace some of the dark, gritty, weird stories with more upscale rich characters and settings. Eventually, new ones tended to get "What, another rich victim?" every time one was announced.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans felt that it would've been interesting to have a CSI: New Orleans spin-off focusing on Stella, following her departure between season six and seven.
  • What an Idiot!: The criminals from time to time. Susan from "Turbulence" is a prime example. She very easily could have gotten away with murder, if only she had stuck with the lie that Greenway was a hijacker and her actions saved the plane.
  • The Woobie: Adam. Possibly Danny as well, although he doesn't have the kicked puppy thing going like Adam does—he just can't catch a break.
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