"Criminal Minds" is part of an era of television that really started bringing primetime crime dramas to the forefront of major networks. Its highly original, but somewhat disturbing content, was massively influential. Also, it's hard to not love Matthew Gray Gubler...so here's 30 insider secrets about "Criminal Minds." Enjoy!



1/30. Matthew Gray Gubler never wears matching socks because he thinks it's unlucky. In a few episodes you can actually see his mismatched socks.

2/30. 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 knee injury which was so severe it 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.

3/30. Every character on the show has a personal trauma, and thats not an accident. Its because of the shows crime-of-the-week structure that the personal stories of the heroes are often so dark. The personal story has to have the same emotional weight as the case, Criminal Minds co-executive producer Breen Frazier revealed. They have to match the main story in darkness or intensity. When theres a lighter personal storyline, said producer Rick Dunkle, it usually bookends the episode. Its very hard in the middle of a case, he said. People are dying. Oh, Morgan, are you gonna go on that date? He laughed. Frazier offered Im late for my taxes as another mundane storyline that would seem absurd in the context of the shows murder investigations.


4/30. Writer/producer Rick Dunkle briefly appears as a dead body in Season 4s episode 'Paradise.' It was my dream to be killed by Wesley Crusher, said Dunkle a "Star Trek: The Next Generation fan" explaining why he begged to play the victim of guest star Wil Wheaton.

5/30. 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. Imagine just how different the show would have been without him!



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6/30. Because Joe Mantegna is friends with Ringo Starr in real life, Rossi has a photo of himself and Starr on his desk at the BAU. Hopefully fans can look forward to a cameo by the Beatles drummer sometime in the future.

7/30. Haley Hotchners wig wasnt really for her own safety. When Hotchs wife is in protective custody, she wears a dark wig. This was not because Haley Hotchner was trying to look incognito, but rather because Meredith Monroe, the actress who played her, had changed her hair for a role on "Californication" in the interim, Frazier said. The writers decided to use the change to heighten tension to show he had tracked down Hotchs wife and son, the killer tells him that Haley looks good as a brunette.


8/30. The show runners have said that the FBI definitely does not pay for a BAU jet. The BAU jet is also a point of contention with the real BAU, Frazier said. On the show, they get treated better than real-life FBI agents. Jim Clemente, former FBI agent who works as a technical advisor on the show, estimates he must have gone on 400 or 500 flights in his time at the BAU. We fly coach, he said.

9/30. Lily Kershaw, who played Kelly in Season 4s To HellAnd Back, is also on the soundtrack during JJs wedding in Season 7. Lily Kershaw also happens to be the daughter of producer Glenn Kershaw.

10/30. 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.



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11/30. 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, Chalres Manson, Richard Ramirez ("The Night Stalker"), Theodore John Kaczynski ("The Unabomber"), Timothy McVeigh, Lee Harvey Oswald and Susan Smith.

12/30. 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 just 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.

13/30. In a 2012 interview in New York Magazine, Mandy Patinkin, who has played a handful of roles on violent shows, 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."

14/30. When Rossi shot a duck the first time he appeared on the show, it had a very specific meaning. The show runners revealed that he was trying to fill the spot that Mandy Patinkin, whose character was an avid bird-watcher, left.

15/30. The quotation from Philip Larkin's "This is the Verse" read by Hotchner at the end of the Episode 2 of Season 9, had to be altered in order to pass the censors to be played on TV.



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16/30. Kirsten Vangsness dyed her hair red for a side project, and it mixed up the continuity with the 2011 spin-off "Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior" when she dyed it blonde again. I loved that look, said Frazier, somewhat wistfully.

17/30. Cognitive interviews on the show are not very realistic. Jims done it with us sometimes, like when we cant find our keys, Frazier said. On our show, its basically hypnosis, he continued, saying that this drives him crazy. If you hypnotize a witness, you cannot put them on the stand to testify, Jim Clemente said, adding that cognitive interviews do capitalize on some of the same memory systems as hypnosis. Fraziers key story, he said, is true: Simon Mirren, who was a producer on the show, couldnt find his car keys. Clemente pulled the shades in an office and conducted a cognitive interview. It turned out the keys were in the console of his car and the interview actually worked!

18/30. Garcias character does community theater because Kirsten Vangsness is a real-life thespian. In Season 8, she eventually dates the man she shoots in the play in Season 6.

19/30. Dr. Reid has an MIT degree because of a mistake. Frazier, who wrote Season 7s Painless, confused MIT with CalTech, and the mistake slipped everyones notice.

20/30. Dr. Reid doesnt touch computers or have a smartphone because, despite being a brilliant polymath, he is technophobic. Hed rather use an abacus than a calculator, Frazier said.



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21/30. The professional timelines of these characters are frankly a little impossible. Agent Hotchner, for one, went to law school, worked as a prosecutor, joined the FBI, worked in Seattle, and has now worked his way up to a top position in the BAU, and somehow did this while aging very slowly. Clearly, our guys are the elite, so we just buy that [their achievements] were overlapping, Dunkle said. We try our best to maintain strict continuity. Typically, you have to be in the FBI about 10 years before you can join the BAU, explained Jim Clemente, a former BAU agent who is now a producer and technical advisor on the show.

22/30. Presenting the profile also isnt a real thing. On the show, the BAU agents stand in front of a room full of cops dutifully taking notes, Frazier said. In reality, it would be more of a dialogue. Jim Clemente said the real process is not as formal as it is on the show they might tweak the profile in the field, or sitting around a table, or on the phone. If its a dynamic case, what we do is dynamic as well, he said.

23/30. The actress who plays Agent Gina Sharp is Gina Garcia, who originally worked in the "Criminal Minds" casting department. Garcia has gotten out of casting and is focusing on acting now, so shes only on "Criminal Minds" when Gina Sharp is on "Criminal Minds." But shes in the same theatre company as Kirsten Vangsness. Theyre close friends, she said, and was apparently introduced through her husband that way.

24/30. Most of the playful banter between Morgan (Shemar Moore) and Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) stems from the way the actors talk to each other in real life.

25/30. The character 'Penelope Garcia' was supposed to be in only one episode, but she tested so positive she was added to the main cast.



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26/30. A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster were fired after season 5. According to Brewster, CBS did this to save money. Brewster was brought back for season 6, but her character was written out towards the end of the season. Cook was replaced with Rachel Nichols. Brewster was rehired for season 7 as she still had a season left on her contract. Cook signed a new contract to return, and Nichols was fired. Brewster left after season 7 because she did not like the way CBS treated her.

27/30. In the time between Mandy Patinkin's departure and Joe Mantegna's arrival (a span of only 3 episodes) Thomas Gibson received the "Starring" credit.

28/30. Jason Gideon is the only main character to have died in the series. Although, Gideon didn't die while he was on the show, he died 8 years after his departure. However, there have also been characters that have faked their death or have coded and then brought back to life.

29/30. Jennifer Love Hewitt's character, Kate Callahan left the show after one season. She was replaced on the team by Aisha Tyler's character, Dr. Tara Lewis. Hewitt and Tyler played best friends and co-workers on Ghost Whisperer.

30/30. This fact is for all the Matthew Gray Gubler fans out there - he became an ordained minister in 2014 and performed the wedding of former "Criminal Minds" star Paget Brewster and his best friend, Steve Damstra, in November of 2014.

Sources: 1, 2

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