The BEST Episodes of Criminal Minds

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Network: CBS

Special Agents Jason Gideon and Aaron Hotchner head up the FBI's most elite profiling team - experts in analyzing criminal minds. Each team member has their specialty. There's Elle Greenaway, who has a background in sexual offences; Derek Morgan, who focuses on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid the smart-but-socially-challenged genius; and Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, the rookie. With each mind-blowing case, they put their lives on the line as they match wits with the most ruthless criminals on earth.

Run (2)

#1 - Run (2)

Season 7 - Episode 24 - Aired May 16, 2012

As the BAU team continues to pursue the bank-robbing serial killers, the team determines that the suspects have a bigger target in the nation's capital, and with one of the team still a hostage, they must work quickly to diffuse an explosive situation. Wedding bells ring for one of the BAU. Prentiss ponders her future.

star 8.30
613 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer
200

#2 - 200

Season 9 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 5, 2014

When JJ is kidnapped, the BAU delves into her time at the State Department to find clues to her disappearance and uncover a secret mission that now puts her life in danger. To help with their search for JJ, the team calls upon Prentiss to help in the crisis.

star 8.13
1,518 votes
Directors: Larry Teng
Writers: Rick Dunkle
The Fisher King (1)

#3 - The Fisher King (1)

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired May 10, 2006

While on their vacations, each of the team receives a clue from a psychopathic killer challenging them to save his next victim.

star 8.13
1,683 votes
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero
Penelope

#4 - Penelope

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 21, 2007

As a team member fights for life, the BAU continues the search for an attacker that leads the unit to believe the assailant could be someone close to the investigation.

star 8.12
1,627 votes
Writers: Chris Mundy
100

#5 - 100

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 25, 2009

The BAU team races to help Hotchner find The Reaper and save his family before it's too late.

star 8.11
2,042 votes
Writers: Bo Crese
The Fisher King (2)

#6 - The Fisher King (2)

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 20, 2006

The BAU team continues to unravel the clues given to each of them by a psychopath in order to save his most recent victim. Gideon decides not to focus on the personal aspects of the case. Rather, he tells the team to profile the killer as they would in any other investigation. Reid stays behind to work on a personal connection that could solve the case as one member of the team fights for life.

star 8.10
1,852 votes
Directors: Gloria Muzio
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero
The Replicator (2)

#7 - The Replicator (2)

Season 8 - Episode 24 - Aired May 22, 2013

The Replicator zeroes in on the BAU when the killer targets one of the team as the next victim. The team is also called in to investigate a string of deaths in Manhattan tied to apparent ecstasy overdoses. Hotch discovers that his estranged brother is caught in the middle.

star 8.09
563 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer
Demons (2)

#8 - Demons (2)

Season 9 - Episode 24 - Aired May 14, 2014

The BAU continues its murder investigation in Texas, and clues uncover a deep web of corruption that could be the motive for the killings. As one team member's life hangs in the balance, another concerned BAU member must face a sad secret from the past. Garcia is thrust into action to save a colleague.

star 8.06
1,351 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer
No Way Out (2): The Evilution of Frank

#9 - No Way Out (2): The Evilution of Frank

Season 2 - Episode 23 - Aired May 16, 2007

When the prolific serial killer Frank returns and murders Gideon's girlfriend, Gideon takes off to find him without telling the team where he is going. The BAU must then profile Gideon as well as Frank to find both of them.

star 8.05
1,463 votes
Writers: Simon Mirren
Date Night

#10 - Date Night

Season 15 - Episode 6 - Aired Feb 5, 2020

After a father and daughter get kidnapped, a former foe of the BAU returns with very specific demands for Dr. Reid that give a whole new meaning to the phrase “wheels up.”

star 8.05
298 votes
Directors: Marcus Stokes
Writers: Breen Frazier
Hit (1)

#11 - Hit (1)

Season 7 - Episode 23 - Aired May 16, 2012

When the BAU goes up against a gang of serial-killing bank robbers in Washington DC, the team tries to negotiate the situation unfolding inside the bank, but the stakes rise when one of their own becomes a hostage.

star 8.04
1,785 votes
Directors: Michael Lange
Writers: Rick Dunkle
Carbon Copy

#12 - Carbon Copy

Season 8 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 27, 2013

When victims are found in Philadelphia in a similar style to victims of The Replicator, the stalker who has been tracking the BAU's every move, the team thinks this could be the break they need to try and apprehend him.

star 8.01
1,807 votes
Directors: Rob Hardy
Writers: Virgil Williams
Derek

#13 - Derek

Season 11 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 2, 2016

When Morgan is abducted, the BAU scrambles to find him and save his life.

star 8.00
1,464 votes
Directors: Thomas Gibson
Writers: Breen Frazier
Entropy

#14 - Entropy

Season 11 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 13, 2016

The BAU implements an elaborate strategy to try and take down the “Dirty Dozen” hitmen ring, with Reid playing a central role.

star 8.00
1,437 votes
Writers: Breen Frazier
Omnivore

#15 - Omnivore

Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 18, 2009

Agent Hotchner revisits the first case he worked at the BAU when details come forth that one of the deadliest serial killers in New England's history has struck again after a 10-year hiatus.

star 7.99
1,454 votes
Writers: Andrew Wilder
Red Light

#16 - Red Light

Season 12 - Episode 22 - Aired May 10, 2017

Derek Morgan brings the BAU a lead in the case against serial killer and escaped convict Mr. Scratch.

star 7.99
2,251 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Breen Frazier
The Storm

#17 - The Storm

Season 11 - Episode 22 - Aired May 4, 2016

The BAU is shocked when Hotch is apprehended by a SWAT team and suspected of conspiracy, and as the team scrambles to prove his innocence, they suspect a larger plot is on the horizon.

star 7.98
1,791 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Breen Frazier, Erica Messer
Saturday

#18 - Saturday

Season 15 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 22, 2020

The members of the BAU enjoy a Saturday off in vastly different ways; Rossi and Prentiss help Simmons assemble a new crib; Garcia leads a hacking competition; Dr. Reid strikes up a conversation with a woman named Maxine.

star 7.97
407 votes
Directors: Ed Bernero
Writers: Breen Frazier, Stephanie Birkitt
Last Gasp

#19 - Last Gasp

Season 13 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 14, 2018

Away from the watchful eye of the FBI’s assistant director of national security, Linda Barnes, the BAU meets in secret to investigate an UnSub who appears to be kidnapping and photographing young women.

star 7.97
1,251 votes
Directors: Adam Rodriguez
Writers: Stephanie Sengupta
...and Back (2)

#20 - ...and Back (2)

Season 4 - Episode 26 - Aired May 20, 2009

The BAU tracks a serial killer who chooses junkies, prostitutes and the homeless off the streets of Detroit as his victims and takes them across the border into Canada. An agent's life is in peril.

star 7.96
1,020 votes
Writers: Edward Allen Bernero
Mr. Scratch

#21 - Mr. Scratch

Season 10 - Episode 21 - Aired Apr 22, 2015

When three people implicated in murders claim they were attacked by a “clawed shadow monster” at the moment each crime occurred, the BAU searches for an UnSub who is controlling their minds. Also, the search for the culprit puts one of the team in jeopardy.

star 7.96
1,186 votes
Writers: Breen Frazier
To Hell... (1)

#22 - To Hell... (1)

Season 4 - Episode 25 - Aired May 20, 2009

The BAU tracks a serial killer who chooses junkies, prostitutes and the homeless off the streets of Detroit as his victims and takes them across the border into Canada, and an agent's life is in peril.

star 7.94
1,486 votes
Directors: Charles Haid
Writers: Chris Mundy
300

#23 - 300

Season 14 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 3, 2018

When Reid and Garcia are abducted by Benjamin Merva, it’s up to the rest of the team to find them. The BAU finds surprising clues in their own history to solve why the two heroes have been targeted by a mass murderer. It’s a race to save them before a “Believers” prophecy is fulfilled.

star 7.93
1,085 votes
Directors: Glenn Kershaw
Writers: Erica Messer
A Beautiful Disaster

#24 - A Beautiful Disaster

Season 11 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 23, 2016

When an UnSub targets the BAU, and the team goes into action to find out who is responsible.

star 7.92
1,563 votes
Writers: Erica Messer, Kirsten Vangsness
Riding the Lightning

#25 - Riding the Lightning

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 25, 2006

After interviewing a couple on death row for serial murders, Gideon suspects that the woman is actually innocent. But since she's set to be executed in two days, it's a race against time to prove it.

star 7.92
1,818 votes
Directors: Chris Long
Writers: Simon Mirren