Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Criminal Minds Episodes That Fans Always Skip On A Rewatch

There are few things cozier in this world than rewatching a show you really love. Whether you're doing a full front-to-back binge, or just catching a mini-marathon on a rainy day, there's just something unbeatable about going back to revisit a comfort series. That being said, when one of your favorite shows is Criminal Minds, there are likely going to be a few episodes that you simply can't watch again.

Even the most milquetoast crime procedurals are bound to have some episodes where the case of the week hits a nerve or is just too disturbing for repeat viewing. And Criminal Minds is definitely not one of the boring ones. The series is known for having some of the most twisted and disturbing cases on TV, and although those who love the series are clearly okay with things getting a little freaky, everybody has their limits.

Here are the Criminal Minds episodes that have even die-hard fans hitting "Next" when they do a rewatch.

"Compulsion" is too hot to handle more than once

In a Reddit thread titled "Any Episodes You Can't Rewatch?," user Comprehensive_Ad4689 kicked off the discussion by bringing up the season 1 episode "Compulsion," which they said gave them "nightmares for a solid week." And you don't need to get very far into the episode to figure out why.

The agents of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) are called on to help solve a series of murders by arson. As they learn when they receive a home video of one of the killings, it's a bit more complicated than the unknown subject (unsub) lighting a building on fire and hoping the people inside die. In the video, we see two college bros hanging out in their dorm room when some liquid starts seeping in from under the door. One of them goes to investigate and before he realizes that he's standing in a puddle of fuel, the person on the other side of the door lights a match..

Although the show has certainly featured more horrifically creative murders during its run, the manner of death and the way it's intimately filmed by the victim's hapless friend makes it especially distressing to watch, let alone rewatch.

Fans don't feel the need to revisit the horrors of "Mosley Lane"

The season 5 episode "Mosley Lane" was cited by several Reddit users as the episode they have a hard time making it through on repeat viewings (despite the fact that it was directed by Spencer "And it's 'Doctor'" Reid himself, Matthew Gray Gubler). It starts off intense, with a child getting abducted in plain sight and only gets more harrowing as the BAU team races against the clock to track down the IRL fairy tale villains who they realize have numerous child prisoners, some of whom they've kept for years.

In the Reddit thread, Tarrenshaw cited "Mosley Lane" as their pick, saying, "Great episode but the last five minutes got me too emotional thinking about that one devastating line of dialogue." 

The line of dialogue in question comes after the children have been rescued. That is, the children who survived the ordeal. Sadly, there are many who died in the clutches of Anita and Roger Roycewood (Beth Grant & Bud Cort) throughout the years, including one who was murdered just one day before the BAU was able to intervene. At the end of the episode, the parents of the abductees assemble at the BAU offices to reunite with their children. But for one couple, the only thing they get is bad news. When they're told the circumstances of their son's death, the father does the heartbreaking math and asks, "He was alive yesterday?"

That kind of tragedy will really put a damper on a fun weekend binge watch.

Fans aren't interested in scratching "The Itch"

Anybody who is even a little bit squeamish about insects knows that even imagining them crawling all over your body is enough to trigger a full on meltdown. That's probably why "The Itch" from the series' tenth season has been cited as an episode fans skip right over. In another Reddit thread about episodes fans never watch, user The_Edgemeister wrote, "It's the only episode of Criminal Minds I can't watch. Thinking about it makes my skin crawl."

This episode, about an unsub who is suffering from delusions of having cockroaches under his skin, features numerous scenes of victims being tormented by having bugs and arachnids dumped all over their bodies. Perhaps the worst moment is a scene in which a victim is tied up and put in a hollowed out section of industrial pipe. The unsub then dumps several jugs full of live cockroaches all over him. When he's later found dead by the BAU team, they even find a roach still lodged in his nose. And that's not even to mention the suitcase full of spiders the unsub pulls out for his next victim.

Whether it's because of emotional turmoil or just pure nightmare inducing horror, some Criminal Minds episodes were clearly meant to be one-and-done affairs.