15 Best Quotes That We’ll Always Remember


Criminal Minds is a series that deals with heavy topics in every episode. It is pretty much the opposite of your average light-hearted sitcom, and because it deals with such dramatic content, the show puts quotes of wisdom at the beginning and the end of nearly every episode. A handful of these opening and closing quotes from the series truly stick with the audience. Sometimes, the agents catching the serial killers also drop some pearls of wisdom while working the case. Here are some quotes from Criminal Minds that the audience will always remember.

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Updated on June 12th, 2021 by Amanda Bruce: When a series runs as long as Criminal Minds, it’s clear that it has a dedicated – and massive – fanbase. The draw for every member of the audience is different; while some like the mystery of the cases, others like the relationships of the team, and still others are curious about watching this group of people deal with darkness and still come out the other side. Whatever the reason someone is interested in the show, there’s a quote for that. Criminal Minds did a great job at incorporating some famous lines into the themes of its episodes, and also made a few famous ones themselves.

15 “TRY AGAIN. FAIL AGAIN. FAIL BETTER.”

Criminal Minds Elle Greenaway

Just as in real life, not every case the Behavioral Analysis Unit takes on has a happy ending. Sometimes, they don’t catch the bad guy in time, and sometimes, the murderer gets away to go after someone else. That’s evident even in the first season, in which this Criminal Minds quote, courtesy of Samuel Beckett, appears. Though plenty of the stories in the series are unrealistic, the idea of learning from failure, of taking lessons from mistakes, is one that certainly applies to real life.

14 “FAIRY TALES DO NOT TELL CHILDREN THAT DRAGONS EXIST. CHILDREN ALREADY KNOW THAT DRAGONS EXIST. FAIRY TALES TELL CHILDREN THAT DRAGONS CAN BE KILLED.”

Hotch and Jack put roses on a memorial in Criminal Minds

One of the criticisms of Criminal Minds is just how dark some of the subject matter is – especially in episodes that concern kidnapped children. That criticism is aimed at a lot of fictional crime dramas. That idea isn’t lost on the writers, who include this G.K. Chesterton quote in an episode’s closing. The idea is that no matter how dark or scary the stories get, the show is a reminder that in nearly two decades worth of episodes, there is a supreme effort to make sure that the good outweighs the bad and that there are ways to bring people to justice.

13 “I NEED TO KNOW THAT I CAN BE HUMAN.”

Criminal Minds Emily Prentiss

This particular line doesn’t come from a scholar or philosopher at the opening and closing of the show. Instead, this is one of the few Criminal Minds quotes here from an agent in the series – Agent Emily Prentiss.

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Her judgment on a case is questioned because she doesn’t remain impartial, and Emily responds with this line. In the face of so much death and destruction, it’s difficult to not bring emotions into the job, no matter how methodical and careful an agent is. That’s part of what makes the characters so compelling for the audience.

12 “DEATH ENDS A LIFE, NOT A RELATIONSHIP.”

This quote is by Mitch Albom. It indicates that just because someone passes away, it doesn’t mean the relationships that they shared during their time in this world suddenly disappear. This quote carries a lot of weight and it can be relatable to anyone who has lost a loved one before whether it be a romantic partner, a parent, or a sibling. Those bonds and connections don’t just go away once someone leaves this earth. They stick with individuals forever and they are just as meaningful in death as they are in life. With the amount of loss present in the series, this has become one of the most iconic Criminal Minds quotes.

11 “THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THE WORLD CANNOT BE SEEN OR EVEN TOUCHED.”

When most people think of the word “beauty”, visual images usually come to mind. Whether it be a beautiful sunset or beautiful eyes, it is something society tends to associate with the physical aspects of reality.

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This quote, which was famously said by Helen Keller, sheds light on the fact that the most beautiful things in the world aren’t tangible. Feelings are not something everyone can see or touch, yet they are the most lovely things this world has to offer. This certainly makes for one of the most popular quotes used in Criminal Minds.

10 “MY LEAST FAVORITE WORDS STRUNG TOGETHER: I DON’T KNOW.”

It’s hard to be someone who is incredibly detail-oriented, used to solving puzzles, and always ready to pick apart the facts, in a world where so many answers are hard to track down. That description applies to every single character in the BAU over the course of the series, but this line from Penelope Garcia highlights their struggle when stumped on a case. No one likes to be lost or unsure of themselves, which makes the quote just as relatable as it is appropriate to the show.

9 “LOVE IS GIVING SOMEONE THE ABILITY TO DESTROY YOU, BUT TRUSTING THEM NOT TO.”

The author of this quote is unknown, yet it carries a whole lot of wisdom and truth. It can be terrifying to love someone because the more you care about a person and the more passion you hold for them, the more likely you are to get hurt. It is so much easier not to mess with love because that way you can never experience heartbreak, but romance is all about taking chances and trusting the other person to stick by your side. If a relationship doesn’t have trust, then there is no point in trying to make it work. Trust is the glue that keeps two people together.

8 “NOTHING IS SO COMMON AS THE WISH TO BE REMARKABLE.”

Shakespeare said this quote. It is a simple theory, yet it is so very accurate to how most humans feel. Nobody on this earth wants to be anything less than extraordinary. As a society, people often push each other to become the best versions of themselves so they can leave their mark on the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from.

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Everyone wants to have an impact. Perhaps this has to do with the human ego. Whatever the case may be as to why people want to be remarkable, it is never a bad idea to have faith in yourself so that you can one day make a change.

7 “HOW MANY MORE TIMES WILL THEY BE ABLE TO LOOK INTO THE ABYSS? HOW MANY MORE TIMES BEFORE THEY WON’T EVER RECOVER THE PIECES OF THEMSELVES THAT THIS JOB TAKES?”

Just as Prentiss wants to retain her humanity in a cruel world, Hotch wonders how long his team will be able to do just that. It’s clear that the entire team – no matter which iteration of the team it is – doesn’t just love their job, but feels a need to do it. Some team members do get burnt out, like Elle and Gideon in the early seasons, but ultimately, this is a group that seeks out justice. That doesn’t mean they can face the world unchanged. It might be one of the longer quotes from Criminal Minds, but it’s still incredibly memorable.

6 “WHAT WE DO FOR OURSELVES DIES WITH US. WHAT WE DO FOR OTHERS AND THE WORLD REMAINS AND IS IMMORTAL.”

This was said by Albert Pine. It is an extremely valuable Criminal Minds quote because it helps people understand the importance of selfless behavior. If people spend their days only thinking about themselves and if they tend to act out of human greed rather than doing things for others, it will fail to leave an impact on the world. If they instead put their energy into benefiting those around them, it will be remembered forever. One person alone has the ability to change humanity if they put other people’s needs before their own.

5 “IN THE END, IT’S NOT THE YEARS IN YOUR LIFE THAT COUNT. IT’S THE LIFE IN YOUR YEARS.”

Abraham Lincoln said this. This beautiful quote expresses how it is not about the number of years you live, it is about how much you have lived during those years. It is better to die at a young age while having done a lot for the world than to pass at an older age while not having done much for yourself and others. Therefore, Lincoln is saying the quality of your life is much more important than the quantity. After all, what is the point of life if you’re not living?

4 “THERE IS NO TERROR IN THE BANG OF THE GUN; ONLY THE ANTICIPATION OF IT.”

This quote was said by Alfred Hitchcock. It emphasizes the fact that the biggest fear of all is fear itself. Once someone lets go of that feeling of fear that comes from the anticipation, there is nothing left to be afraid of. It isn’t the act of shooting that scares us; it is the moments leading up to it that cause us to tense up. While this is a great film theory in regards to creating suspense, it also makes a fantastic life quote because it teaches people where the terror in their minds really rests.

3 “I REMAINED TOO MUCH INSIDE MY HEAD AND ENDED UP LOSING MY MIND.”

Edgar Allen Poe said this. This quote is meaningful for those who spend too much time inside their heads. While it is important to have an inner world and to make use of your imagination, it is equally important to spend some time outside of your own thoughts and instead listen to what other people have to say.

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This is one of the Criminal Minds quotes that teach the importance of finding a balance in life. In this case, the balance is between time spent alone with your own thoughts and time spent with the outside world.

2 “THE CLOCK TALKED LOUD. I THREW IT AWAY. IT SCARED ME WHEN IT TALKED.”

This quote was said by Tillie Olsen. It emphasizes how much society places so much value on time. When it comes to time, people either always want it to go backward or forward. They are almost never satisfied with the current time and this is a classic example of wanting what you can’t have. It is important to live in the present instead of just sitting around waiting for things to come or wishing for things to go back to the way they were.

1 “LIFE IS A HELL OF A THING TO HAPPEN TO SOMEONE.”

Rossi, JJ, Emily and Spencer on a case in Criminal Minds.

This is another of Criminal Minds’ quotes that comes from an agent: David Rossi. Rossi hits the nail on the head with this quote which is filled with positivity and mystery. If you really stop to think about it, human beings are so lucky that they have been granted a life to live. Just being born alone is a tremendous thing to happen to a person, so we should all learn to appreciate and cherish the time that we are given.

NEXT: The 20 Best Criminal Minds Episodes, Ranked

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