|Date(s):||September 22, 2005-April 13, 2020 (323 Episodes)|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||Official CBS Site|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Criminal Minds was an American crime show about a team of profilers in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, which specializes primarily in catching serial killers. There were 323 episodes over 15 seasons and the show had two spin off series: Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.
The show first began airing on 22 September 2005 and was renewed for a 15th and final season in 2019. The final line up of the BAU was:
- Emily Prentiss, played by Paget Brewster: As of of Season 12, the BAU's Unit Chief, taking over from Hotch. Was not part of the main cast from season 8 - season 11, but returned later.
- Spencer Reid, played by Matthew Gray Gubler: youngest member of the team, and a certified genius with "an IQ of 187, an eidetic memory, and can read 20,000 words a minute." Original member of the team.
- Jennifer Jareau, played by A.J. Cook: Also known as JJ, the team's communications liaison until season 7, at which point she begame a profiler. Original member of the team.
- Penelope Garcia, played by Kirsten Vangsness: The team's tech geek. Original member of the team, but started as a recurring character in season 1.
- David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna: one of the founders of the BAU and popular author. Came out of retirement in season 3 to rejoin the BAU
- Luke Alvez, played by Adam Rodriguez: Used to be part of the FBI Fugitive Task Force, joined the team in season 12
- Tara Lewis, played by Aisha Tyler: profiler and forensic psychologist, member of the team as of season 11
- Matt Simmons, played by Daniel Henney: originally a character on the Criminal Minds spin-off series Beyond Borders, which only lasted two seasons. Originally introduced as a guest star in a crossover episode in season 10, he later became a full member of the BAU in season 13.
Past main characters are:
- Jason Gideon, played by Mandy Patinkin, Season 1-2
- Elle Greenaway, played by Lola Glaudini, Season 1-2
- Ashley Seaver, played by Rachel Nichols, Season 6
- Alex Blake, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Season 8-9
- Kate Callahan, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, Season 10
- Derek Morgan, played by Shemar Moore, Season 1-11
- Aaron Hotchner, played by Thomas Gibson: Also known as Hotch, former unit chief, season 1-12
Important recurring characters are:
- Diana Reid, played by Jane Lynch: Reid's mom
- Jordan Todd, played by Meta Golding: The replacement communications liaison while JJ was on maternity leave
- Kevin Lynch, played by Nicholas Brendan: Garcia's boyfriend. Not seen since season 10 following their breakup.
- William LaMontagne, Jr., played by Josh Stewart: JJ's husband
The fandom is notable for having a lot of femslash as well as slash and het, partially due to the fact that the women in the main cast are usually as well-developed as the men in the cast. Character/Reader fics are also incredibly popular. While Spencer Reid is by far the most popular character (possibly because he's an extreme Woobie), all the main characters have active fans and enthusiastic fan fic-writers. The fandom can be found in different iterations on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr and in 2020 it gained popularity on Tik Tok despite the show having ended earlier that year. This may have something to do with the fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic Criminal Minds was the third most streamed show in the US.
Notably, everyone in the current team has been shipped with someone else on the team. Popular pairings include Spencer Reid/anyone (though especially Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid and Derek Morgan/Spencer Reid), Aaron Hotchner/Emily Prentiss, Emily Prentiss/David Ross, Aaron Hotchner/David Rossi, Aaron Hotchner/Derek Morgan, Jennifer "JJ" Jareau/Emily Prentiss, and Penelope Garcia/Derek Morgan. Penelope Garcia is a popular character just for being generally awesome, but she's shipped less often than the other team members.
- Casefic: Like many fandoms based on procedural television, quite a few pieces of fan fiction take the form of a case story.
- Clooney the dog: In the episode "Secrets and Lies" it is revealed that Derek Morgan has a dog named Clooney; though the dog was never again mentioned on the show, he is quite popular in fanfic.
- Everyone is Gay: As mentioned above there is a lot of slash and femslash in the fandom and it is not uncommon to have multiple secondary couples among the team alongside the ship that is the main focus.
- Fix-it: There were some storylines considered contentious in the fandom and so Fix-it fics are popular around certain narrative arcs.
- Acute Angles by Smittywing: Aaron Hotchner/Emily Prentiss/David Rossi, ~40,000 words, rated Explicit. When Hotch said things have changed, he meant for all of them.
- Cause of Snow Verse by wojelah and Smittywing: Emily Prentiss/David Ross, rated Explicit.
- Compatibility by trancer: Jennifer "JJ" Jareau/Emily Prentiss, ~32,000 words, rated Explicit. Vampire AU. Emily Prentiss was different. A new breed of vampire. One with all of their strengths, none of their weaknesses. Now, Jennifer Jareau, the BAU’s newest Communications Liason, was to become Emily‘s. But, Jareau has secrets of her own. When a case suddenly throws the two together, the secrets between them will either tear them apart, or bring them closer together.
- Evidently Unaware by travelinthedark: Aaron Hotchner/Spencer Reid, ~9,000 words, rated Mature. “So,” Reid says, eyeing Hotch warily, “I’m going to leave you here to freak out as you slowly realize that we’ve been dating for a while and you just didn’t know it.” Featuring oblivious!Hotch and aggressive!Reid.
- how i liked you best by zarathuse: Derek Morgan/Spencer Reid, ~7,000 words, rated Teen and Up. in which morgan and reid go undercover in a gay bar. the end.
- Is This Your Card? by MerryArwen: Spencer Reid/Austin, ~10,000 words, rated Teen and Up. A series of shorts, written to mesh with a friend's personal canon, wherein Spencer Reid and Austin (the bartender from "52 Pickup") have been quietly dating since that episode.
- Many Paths by tigerlady: Aaron Hotchner/John Blackwolf, ~19,000 words, rated Explicit. There is an old Apache saying: You can take many paths to get to the same place.
- Strength of the Pack by Welfycat: Aaron Hotchner/Derek Morgan leading to Aaron Hotchner/Derek Morgan/Spencer Reid. ~87,000 words, rated Mature. Werewolf AU.
- Valkyrie (Fanfiction) by IllegalCerebral: A Spencer Reid/Reader casestory that spans from before the series to season twelve. the reader character is a vigilante unsub whose path constantly crosses Spencer's. 50k+ words, rated Mature.
Criminal Minds Chibi, by Elixia-Dragmire
"Penelope Garcia," graphite drawing by Joey Rodrigues
Criminal Minds, by thatsnotmyname
"Spencer Reid," graphite drawing by Joey Rodrigues
Caricatures: Criminal Minds, by rotten-apples
|"Hotch," graphite drawing by Joey Rodrigues
Criminal Minds, by Avrilando
- 21 guns by Haydenluv
- Hallelujah by FaithHIM
- Hero by michyc27
- How to Save a Life by BigSmiley1986
- Lighter side of the BAU by Hotchpotch08
Archives & Communities
Fan Fiction Archives
- Appointment in Georgetown
- Criminal Minds Profiles (non-fiction)
- Our Solemn Hour
- Take or Give - Sonia
- BAU Inbox (newsletter)
- Criminal Minds Fanfiction Finders
- HP_CM, Criminal Minds/Harry Potter crossovers