When David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) joins the team, he makes a comment that their offices are better than "that bunker" the BAU used to work out of. The comment isn't metaphorical. The actual BAU (in its many earlier incarnations and titles) used to operate out of a bunker former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had built below FBI headquarters in Quantico, VA.
The character of Special Agent Reid was a child prodigy, having graduated from high school at the age of 12. Matthew Gray Gubler, describing what may form his character's genius, has said that Reid may have Asperger's syndrome and perhaps even be mildly schizophrenic. Reid's mother was schizophrenic herself.
In the beginning of season 5, Dr. Spencer Reid is shot in the leg. This injury was unplanned but had to be written in because of Matthew Gray Gubler's real-life severe knee injury which left him unable to walk for over four months. After a third surgery, Gubler started using a cane but was unable to walk normally for the next five months. As of December 2009, Gubler was once again able to walk unassisted.
When Matthew Gray Gubler initially auditioned for the show, he was told that he was not right for the part. However, he was called back to audition again a few more times and was consistently told that he wasn't right for the part. After a number of auditions, Gubler was eventually given the role.
Despite the fact that he is a genius, Dr. Spencer Reid is technophobic. He very rarely uses a computer, he doesn't have email, he doesn't have a smart phone and he would rather use an abacus over a calculator. Peneolpe Garcia was able to give each team member a tablet, however continues to give Reid paper files.
Dr. Spencer Reid holds doctorate degrees in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering as well as Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology and Sociology. He is currently studying for a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy as well.
In a 2012 interview in New York Magazine, Mandy Patinkin said that he greatly regrets ever having accepted his role on "Criminal Minds": "The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place. I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again. I'm not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals]. But I'm concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn't what you need to be dreaming about. A show like Homeland [on which Patinkin began appearing in in 2011] is the antidote. It asks why there's a need for violence in the first place."
One of the signature images of this show is the brief shot of a business jet flying the team to a crime scene. Often these shots are paired as book-ends at the beginning and end of an episode, with voice-over of a cast member reciting a famous quotation. The jets shown are always Gulfstream products, including models G-IV, G-V, and G-450. Occasionally the shots are reversed left-to-right (e.g., episodes "A Thin Line" and "I Love You, Tommy Brown"). The tail numbers shown are often registered to Gulfstream Corporation, indicating that the shots are taken from Gulfstream publicity materials.
In the time between Lola Glaudini's departure from the show and Paget Brewster's arrival, footage is used in the opening credits that originally featured Glaudini. The footage, from episode 1.03, is digitally altered so that Glaudini does not appear.
CBS aired an episode after Super Bowl XLI (2007) in the hopes of transforming the series from a relatively modest hit into a top ratings performer. The episode featured cameos by Super Bowl announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.
Penelope Garcia was hired by the FBI as a technical analyst after she was arrested for illegally hacking into their computer database. She was given the choice of working for the Bureau or being sent to federal prison.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster were fired after the fifth season. According to Brewster, CBS did this to save money. Brewster was suddenly brought back for the sixth season but her character was written out towards the end of the season. Cook was replaced with Rachel Nichols. Brewster was rehired for the seventh season as she still had a season left on her contract. Cook signed a new contract to return and Nichols was fired. Brewster left after the seventh season because she did not like how CBS treated her.
In an episode when Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) is looking into a case that could involve his father, he returns to his hotel room to find Rossi and Morgan watching a soap opera (The Young and the Restless). This is a reference to Shemar Moore (Morgan) who had a recurring role on the show.