Movies & TV Shows

12 Hidden Details You Missed About Spencer Reid

In Criminal Minds, Dr. Spencer Reid—a Supervisory Special Agent in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)—has had some weighty character arcs during the 15 seasons in which he appeared on the CBS crime drama. These include being on one of the tensest Tinder dates of all time and getting captured by the serial killer Tobias Henkel.

As the most prominent character on the show, Reid has been in a good number of memorable storylines, hence viewers are much more familiar with him. Despite most things about the highly intelligent FBI agent being easily noticeable, there’s still a wealth of information about him that remains hidden.

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Updated on July 14, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: Despite Criminal Minds ending years earlier, fans have continued to clamor for a sequel series or another spinoff to allow them to spend just a bit more time with the characters they love. There have been rumors of reunion series for most of the main cast from the show’s 15-season run, including that Matthew Gray Gubler’s Spencer Reid might not appear if it does go forward. While that’s sure to disappoint some fans, there are still plenty of Reid storylines to watch and details to notice in the original show, which can be found on streaming services like Hulu and Paramount+.


Reid Isn’t Quite A Rookie In The Pilot Episode

Reid, Hotch, and Morgan together in the first Criminal Minds episode

Though he’s treated as a rookie in season 1 because he’s significantly younger than his coworkers, Spencer Reid isn’t exactly brand new to the world of the FBI. He’s clearly valued for his contributions to the team in the pilot episode but often treated like a kid because he’s only 24 years old.

RELATED: 10 Best Episodes Of Criminal Minds (According To IMDb)

According to information slowly revealed over the course of the show, Reid joined the FBI at 22 years old. The show’s premiere is set in 2005, with Reid joining in 2003. By the time he is introduced, he has two years with the FBI under his belt.


Reid Is A Libra

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr Reid in Criminal Minds

Considering how analytical Spencer Reid is, he likely wouldn’t believe in astrology. He’d likely be fascinated by how it’s been adapted over the years, though, which is why he wouldn’t be averse to finding out that he’s a Libra. Fans can figure that out based on his birthday, which is stated in the show as October 12.

Libras are charming and able to adapt themselves to new situations similar to a Gemini. They can also play devil’s advocate well, seeing multiple sides of any issue. Libras even tend to have a strong sense of justice based on their own moral compass. All of those traits are present in Reid and actually help him in his role as a profiler and investigator.


How Many Qualifications Does Reid Have?

As per details laid out in Season 4’s “Masterpiece,” Reid holds PhDs in chemistry, mathematics, and engineering and BAs in sociology and psychology. In season 6’s “Big Sea,” he also demonstrates knowledge in forensic anthrolopoly by accurately determining the races and sexes of skeletal remains.

RELATED: 15 Best Quotes In Criminal Minds

Reid has always been portrayed as intelligent and dedicated, so his numerous qualifications aren’t surprising. While he might appear focused only on the sciences, that’s not the case. His general knowledge is vast; at some point, he had considered studying literature. But in typical Spencer Reid fashion, he had read all the course books so he opted to do something different.


Reid Has A High Level Of Intelligence

Dr. Spencer Reid has an eidetic memory and an impressive IQ of 187. This detail is revealed Hotch first introduces him to Woodland. The latter thinks that Reid is too young to have gone to medical school but Reid clarifies that his “doctor” title is from having three PhDs. He also reveals his IQ and adds that he can read 20,000 words per minute.

It takes a smarter person to read the minds of criminals and at 187, Reid’s IQ is way higher than that of Albert Einstein whose figure stood at 160. Reid’s IQ is also equal to that of another popular TV character. In The Big Bang Theory, one of the hidden details about Sheldon Cooper is that he also has an IQ of 187. However, they both have nothing on Evangelos Katsioulis, who has the highest IQ (198), according to the World Genius Directory.

Reid Wears Unique Socks

Spencer Reid's mismatched socks in Criminal Minds

Reid never wears matching socks. This behavior is actually linked to Gubler himself. He revealed in an interview that his grandmother once told him that wearing mismatched socks brings good luck.

It’s not a superstition that’s only confined to the show. In the real world, a number of people also believe that mismatched socks actually attract Lady Luck. Fans of the show might want to attempt wearing their socks like Dr. Spencer Reid to see whether they’ll be lucky in different areas of life.

Reid Has The Most Appearances In The Opening Sequences

Reid goes on a date with JJ in the finale of Season 14 in Criminal Minds

The BAU Supervisory Special Agent is the only character to appear in the opening sequences of every single episode of the show. That’s a total of 324 episodes.

This is proof of just how important Reid is to the proceedings. Without his expert analysis and perception, most cases that land at the BAU’s offices would stall. The intense use of the character is justified given actor Gubler’s salary of $100,000 per episode (as reported by Deadline), making him the highest-earning cast member.

Reid Is Multilingual

Spencer Reid chases after the serial killer Abel inside an abandoned building in Criminal Minds

Reid understands Russian so well that he manages to watch a five-hour movie in the language without subtitles in season 6’s “Sense Memory.” And in season 10’s “Rock Creek Park,” he understands a woman who’s speaking Yoruba.

This ability is part of Reid’s brilliant character development since, in season 2, he confesses to not knowing Spanish or Russian. That he is able to master Russian so quickly shows his level of intellect. It’s not explained how exactly he learned either language but there’s a possibility that he is self-taught.


Reid Has A Childhood Nickname

Spencer shows his mother Diana his past photos n order to jog her memory in Criminal Minds

When Reid takes his mother home from a clinical study in season 12, she lets it slip that his childhood nickname was “Crash.” This is because he used to crash into things when he was younger.

RELATED: 15 Criminal Minds Episodes Based On Real Cases

Reid’s relationship with his mother Diana has never been a smooth one. On the bright side, she is said to be as intelligent as him, so it’s no surprise that she’d grant him a plain yet fitting nickname. Even in adulthood, Reid hasn’t escaped labels as he has been dubbed Sir Percival and Junior G-man by his colleagues.

Reid Has A Distinctive Residence

Spencer Reid inside his apartment in Criminal Minds

The Special Agent resides at Capital Plaza Apartments, specifically Apartment Number 23 on the second floor. These details are noticeable in season 8’s “Magnum Opus” and season 9’s “Demons.” The apartment is most likely located in Washington DC since his cars usually have DC plates.

It’s weird that Reid would live in DC, given that the headquarters for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is located in Quantico, Virginia. The plates could also be a recurring filming mistake. Even though the BAU team is based in Virginia, part of the show gets filmed in Washington DC. In season 10, Reid gets a new car with the Virginia license plate 478 591 though it’s never suggested that he has moved houses.

Reid’s Leg Injury Was A Real-Life Addition

In season 5’s “Nameless, Faceless,” Reid gets shot in the leg while trying to protect Dr. Barton. It takes a while for him to recover and this is all tied to real life.

RELATED: 10 Storylines Criminal Minds Dropped

According to Looper, Gubler actually got a knee injury that required three surgeries. He was thus forced to walk with a cane. Instead of halting filming, the writers decided to include a new injury storyline for Reid. This marks one of the many times that TV shows have included real-life developments such as pregnancies into the storylines.

Reid Is Responsible For Some Unsub Deaths

Reid in Criminal Minds: Elephant's Memory

Dr. Spencer Reid might appear nerdy and innocent but he is actually responsible for the deaths of eight unsubs during his time on the series. These include Phillip Dowd, Chloe Donaghy, Tobias Hankel, Daniel Milworth, John Bradley, Andrew Meeks, and Casey Allen Pinker.

Reid’s intentional killing spree is one of the ways Criminal Minds changes throughout the seasons. His job description doesn’t require him to constantly fight criminals like some of the other agents in the BAU. He is almost as comfortable as Penelope Garcia but given the dangerous nature of his work, he has found himself facing off against them on a few occasions. Most of the lives he has taken have been due to self-defense.

Reid Has One Character Inconsistency

The BAU team hunts down one of the most memorable unsubs in Criminal Minds, Robert Johnson, a.k.a. “The Internet Killer,” in season 5’s “The Internet Is Forever.” In the episode, Reid claims he doesn’t have an email address. However, just a few episodes later (“Cradle To The Grave”), he has one.

Normally, inconsistencies occur over several seasons since the writers themselves can forget little details from past seasons. However, this one happens rather quickly, making it all the odder. It’s never mentioned that Reid stopped being a technophobe and decided to open an email address after encountering Johnson so it’s right to conclude that it’s indeed a character inconsistency.

NEXT: 10 Hidden Details You Missed About Penelope Garcia In Criminal Minds

 

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