The character "Penelope Garcia" was supposed to be in only one episode, but she tested so positively that she was added to the main cast.
Most of the playful banter between Morgan (Shemar Moore) and Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) stems from the way the actor and actress talk to each other in real life.
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.
Matthew Gray Gubler does not wear matching socks, because he thinks it's unlucky. In a few of the episodes, you can see his mismatched socks.
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.
David Rossi has mentioned he knows Ringo Starr. There is even a picture of him and Starr on Rossi's desk. Joe Mantegna and Ringo Starr are friends in real life.
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.
J.J.'s children are played by A.J. Cook's actual children, Mekhai Andersen and Phoenix Anderson. Thomas Gibson's son Travis Gibson appeared in an episode that he directed. Joe Mantegna's daughter Gia Mantegna made a few guest appearances.
In the show's opening credits, mug shots of real-life serial killers and mass murderers are shown. Among the killers shown are John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez ("The Night Stalker"), Ted Kaczynski ("The Unabomber"), Timothy McVeigh, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Susan Smith.
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.
Dr. Spencer Reid has an I.Q. of 187, an eidetic memory, and can read up to twenty thousand words per minute.
During filming, Paget Brewster would often stash things in her boots, such as her phone, scripts, and cigarettes.
Kirsten Vangsness is the only main cast member to also be in the main cast of the short-lived spin-off, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011).
Before joining the BAU, Derek Morgan was a highly decorated member of the Chicago Police Department's bomb squad, and is an expert at defusing explosives.
The original title for the show was "Quantico", and the pilot was filmed in Vancouver, Canada. In the "Quantico" script, Jason Gideon was named Jason Donovan.
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.
Kirsten Vangsness isn't formally included in the main cast until the second season.
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.
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.
Rossi's full name is David Stephen Rossi. Gideon named his son Stephen after Rossi.
The entire cast have mentioned that they are like one big family. Joe Mantegna calls Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler his "golden boys".
Reid writes a letter to his mother every day so he doesn't feel so guilty about not visiting her.
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.
Matthew Gray Gubler was once photographed by famed photographer Mia Grace, who had a small part in the series' pilot episode.
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.
Elle Greenaway is fluent in Spanish. Emily Prentiss and Spencer Reid are both fluent in multiple languages.
As of 2019, Kirsten Vangsness holds the record for appearing in more episodes than anyone in the entire cast, having only missed one in season 1. Matthew Gray Gubler comes in 2nd as he started taking time off in season 11. The episodes where he was absent are "credit only".
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.
Many fans have been asking when season 13 will be available on streaming services. According to reports it was supposed to release summer of 2018 on Netflix but never did. It hasn't been released anywhere and was removed from CBS All Access. As of March 2019, CBS hasn't announced when or if it will ever be added to streaming services or why there is a delay.
Kate Callahan (Jennifer Love Hewitt) left the show after one season. She was replaced on the team by Dr. Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler). Hewitt and Tyler played best friends and co-workers on Ghost Whisperer (2005).
Throughout the series, we learn that Dr Spencer Reid is from Las Vegas, NV. In reality, Matthew Gray Gubler was actually born in Las Vegas, NV.
It was the network's decision to cast Damon Gupton for the show. Producer Erica Messer had to create the character for him to play.
Mandy Patinkin's characters in this show and Dead Like Me (2003) have many similar interests. They are both shown to be capable and enthusiastic chefs, and have an affinity for art.
Derek Morgan is from Chicago, and has Northwestern University football memorabilia on his office shelves.
Both Paget Brewster and Aisha Tyler have appeared on the TV show "Friends". Both played characters who were initially Joey's girlfriends but shortly fell in love with Joey's friends and became their girlfriends. Paget's character was Kathy who fell in love with Chandler and Aisha's character was Charlie who fell in love with Ross.
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 only series in the "Criminal Minds" franchise without an Oscar nominee in the top-billed role. Forest Whitaker (Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011)) won Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland (2006), and Gary Sinise (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2016)) earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Forrest Gump (1994).
M-VAC is a DNA collection system which vacuums up "touch DNA" from porous surfaces.
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 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).
Joel Murray, who plays the Attorney General in episode 3 of season 4, "Minimal Loss," co-starred with Thomas Gibson in Dharma and Greg as Greg's best friend and law partner.
Matthew Gray Gubler's birthday is March 9th and Paget Brewster's is the day after on March 10th.