When David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) joins the team, he makes a comment that their offices are better than "that bunker" out of which the BAU used to work. 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, Virginia.
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 several more auditions, Gubler was eventually given the role.
The character of Special Agent Reid was a child prodigy, having graduated from high school at age twelve. 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 is schizophrenic herself.
Penelope Garcia was hired by the F.B.I. 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.
As of season thirteen, Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness are the only two cast members to have remained on the show since its inception, with other members having left the show (and return in some cases), or be fired. However, because Penelope Garcia was a recurring role during the first season, it is Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid) who holds the record as the longest-running main cast member of the series.
Dr. Spencer Reid holds doctorate degrees in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering, as well as Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology and Sociology. He is studying for a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy as well.
Agents Kate Callahan and Elle Greenaway are the only agents on the team to always be referred to by their first names. The other agents throughout the series, Jason Gideon, Aaron Hotchner, Emily Prentiss, Derek Morgan, Spencer Reid, Ashley Seaver, Jennifer Jareau, Penelope Garcia, Alex Blake, Tara Lewis, Luke Alvez, and Stephen Walker, are almost always referred to by their last names. However, Agents Hotchner and Jareau are always called by their nicknames: Hotch and J.J., respectively.
In a 2012 interview, in New York Magazine, Mandy Patinkin said that he greatly regrets ever having accepted his role on the show: "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 (2011) (on which Patinkin began appearing in 2011) is the antidote. It asks why there's a need for violence in the first place."
Jason Gideon and David Rossi were the two Agents who formed the basis for the B.A.U. The characters, as young men, were featured in the story "Nelson's Sparrow". But the older characters were never featured together, and the actors who played them (Mandy Patinkin and Joe Mantegna) have never acted together.
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 (for example, 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.
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.
On this show, Keith Carradine played Frank Breitkopf, a serial killer that had been killing for thirty years. On Dexter (2006), he played Frank Lundy, who hunted a serial killer that had been killing for thirty years.
The third Touchstone, later ABC Studios-produced show not to be aired on ABC. The other two ABC Studios-produced shows that have aired and/or still airing on CBS are: The Amazing Race (2001) and Ghost Whisperer (2005).
Jennifer Love Hewitt, Aisha Tyler, Jamie Kennedy, and Camryn Manheim all played roles in Criminal Minds. Hewitt as SSA Kate Callahan; Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis; Kennedy as Floyd Feylinn Ferell; and Camryn Manheim as Carla Hines. All four of them played main roles in the television show, Ghost Whisperer.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the beginning of season five, Dr. Spencer Reid was 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, he was once again able to walk unassisted.
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 (1973)). This is a reference to Shemar Moore (Morgan), who had a recurring role on the show.
At the beginning of filming season twelve, Thomas Gibson (Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner) was suspended from the show after a confrontation between him and a producer. After an internal investigation, and due to the fact that this was not his first altercation with a co-worker, he was terminated.
Jason Gideon and Stephen Walker are the only main characters to have died in the series. Although, Gideon didn't die while he was on the show, he died eight years after his departure. Walker joined the team halfway through season 12. His death was the first episode of season 13.
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 season one, episode three, "Won't Get Fooled Again", is digitally altered, so that Glaudini does not appear.