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The Best Criminal Minds Episodes 

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Updated April 18, 2020 44.6k votes 9k voters 687.7k views 93 items

List Rules Vote for your favorite episodes, no matter how popular they are.

If you're a big fan of the show, you'll love this list of the best Criminal Minds episodes, as voted on by other fans of the series. With so many memorable episodes of the show, it's hard to trust just one person's opinion of what the top episodes of all time are. Fans are extremely passionate about the show, and there is often debate over which episodes are better than others. That's why this list exists- so you can vote for your favorites and we can find out once and for all what everyone thinks the best episode is.

Currently at 14 seasons and still running, Criminal Minds is one of the most-watched police procedural dramas on TV.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
100 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 9, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 5

Original Airing: Nov 25 2009

The BAU team races to help Hotchner find The Reaper and save his family before it's too late.
2
Revelations is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 15, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 2

Original Airing: Feb 07 2007

In this conclusion of a special two-part episode, finding the serial killer becomes critical to the BAU when the team realizes Reid is being held captive and a live feed of him being tortured is ...more
3
Hit is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 23, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 7

Original Airing: May 16 2012

When the BAU goes up against a gang of serial-killing bank robbers in Washington, D.C., the team tries to negotiate the situation unfolding inside the bank, but the stakes rise when one of their ...more
4
Penelope is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 9, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 3

Original Airing: 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.
5
Mosley Lane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 16, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 5

Original Airing: Mar 03 2010

The BAU is called by local authorities in Ashburn, Virginia, to profile a predator who may have been abducting children for at least eight years.
6
Zugzwang is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 12, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 8

Original Airing: Jan 16 2013

When Reid discovers that his girlfriend has been kidnapped by her stalker, he and the BAU team band together to find her before it's too late.
7
Riding the Lightning is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 14, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 1

Original Airing: 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
8
Mayhem is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 1, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 4

Original Airing: Sep 24 2008

When an SUV carrying members of the team explodes, the rest of the team fights to save them and catch the terrorists responsible for the bombing.
9
Amplification is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 24, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 4

Original Airing: May 13 2009

When a new type of chemical warfare is released into the open air, the BAU must act quickly to find the source before any more innocent people are exposed.
10
Seven Seconds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 5, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 3

Original Airing: Oct 24 2007

The investigation turns to the family as the BAU and local authorities race against time to locate a young girl who has disappeared from a local shopping mall.
11
Profiler, Profiled is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 12, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 2

Original Airing: Dec 13 2006

Morgan is arrested as a serial killer after he goes home to Chicago to visit his family. Because the detective making the arrest had used a profile provided by Gideon, the team travels to ...more
12
Minimal Loss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 3, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 4

Original Airing: Oct 08 2008

Reid and Prentiss are taken hostage when they go under cover to investigate possible child abuse at an underground cult.
13
Demons is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 24, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 9

Original Airing: 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.
14
North Mammon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 7, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 2

Original Airing: Nov 01 2006

After a man kidnaps three teenaged girls and locks them in a cellar, he tells them only two of them will live and they must choose which one will die. The BAU team takes the case when the mother ...more
15
Lauren is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 18, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 6

Original Airing: Mar 16 2011

As Prentiss faces off against Ian Doyle, JJ receives a call and returns to help them find Prentiss and capture Doyle before it's too late.
16
Somebody's Watching is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 18, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 1

Original Airing: Mar 29 2006

Reid finds himself in danger when he falls for a starlet whose stalker has turned into a killer.
17
The Fisher King, Part 1 ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 22, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 1

Original Airing: 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.
18
L.D.S.K. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 6, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 1

Original Airing: Nov 02 2005

The BAU is asked to identify a killer who is shooting at victims in broad daylight, and the team works with local law enforcement officers to recreate one of the shootings.
19
Masterpiece is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 8, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 4

Original Airing: Nov 19 2008

When a narcissistic psychopath confesses he has killed seven people and more will die, the team must locate his latest victims before it is too late.
20
Omnivore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 18, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 4

Original Airing: 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.
21
Lo-Fi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 20, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 3

Original Airing: May 21 2008

The BAU faces one of its toughest cases when the team is called to New York City to determine if a series of random shootings is the work of one serial killer or a team of killers working
22
Lessons Learned is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 10, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 2

Original Airing: Nov 22 2006

Gideon, Reid and Prentiss travel to Guantanamo Bay to interrogate the leader of a terror sleeper cell being detained there after a chemical weapons dispersal device is discovered during a raid ...more
23
No Way Out, Part II: The... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 23, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 2

Original Airing: 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 ...more
24
To Hell...And Back Part ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 26, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 4

Original Airing: 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 ...more
25
Run is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Episode: 24, Season: Criminal Minds - Season 7

Original Airing: 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, ...more