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The Cringe-Worthy Rossi Lines That Criminal Minds Fans Love To Hate

In season 3 of CBS' grisly crime drama Criminal Minds, the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) experienced a big shakeup. One senior supervisory special agent, Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), departed suddenly, but another quickly stepped in to take his place. David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) had all the experience and talent of Gideon, but he also possessed a very special skill that his predecessor lacked — the ability to tell really, really bad dad jokes.

While it's not exactly known for its humor, there are moments of levity throughout the series that fans love. But when it comes to Rossi's cringe-inducing comments, it's more of a case of "so bad you can't look away." One fan of the series, with the username srahela, even took to Reddit to post some of their favorites. They pointed out that especially in later seasons of the series, Rossi "started to fit the crime scene puns-stereotype of like 90s crime shows." Other fans chimed in to agree.

Here are some of the Rossi lines that are so terrible fans can't help but love them.

"The Edge of Winter" is a dad joke bonanza

Listen, everybody loves an occasional good bad joke, but there's a time and a place, and perhaps a briefing about a spate of brutal murders isn't that place. In the notoriously upsetting season 9 episode "The Edge of Winter," things kick off as they usually do with the BAU team gathering to be briefed on the case of the week. While Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) fills them in on the bodies that have been turning up all over a small town in upstate New York with strange stab wounds, Rossi is working on his Friars Club material.

After Garcia shows the team an image of the latest victim, who was found strung up in a field like a scarecrow, Rossi glibly declares, "Dorothy we're not in Kansas anymore." Now, insensitivity to the recently murdered aside, could he really not come up with something more original?

Careful what you wish for. A little later in the briefing, when another agent speculates about what kind of psychosis might be driving the unsub to commit such heinous murders, Rossi pipes in to say, "Could be a combo platter — with a side order of psycho." Woof.

Rossi offered some uncomfortable color commentary during "Angels"

Criminal Minds often focuses on exceptionally grim crimes. Even against the high bar set by other investigations of the series, the season 9 episode "Angels" features some pretty sensitive subject matter that nobody would want to joke around about. Well, unless you're Rossi, that is.

The episode opens with the BAU team learning about the murder and mutilation of several sex workers in Texas. While diving into the particulars of the case, the team tries to figure out why, in addition to the female sex workers, a man with a history of arrest for soliciting sex work was found murdered and bearing the same distinct markings that the killer left on their other victims. When one of the team members notes that the killer appears to be targeting both sex workers and the people who hire them, Rossi chooses that somber moment to declare, "At least he keeps it in the family."

We're not sure which is worse on this one, the weird allusion to incest, or the unpleasant humor at the expense of people who were horrifically murdered. Take your pick!

Rossi's jokes in "Outlaw" go from bad, to worse

Another classic Rossi corker came during the season 11 episode "Outlaw," in which the BAU investigates a brutal robbery and murder at a New Mexico diner that bears a striking resemblance to a similar crime that happened in the same town years before. Rossi begins the investigation on thin ice. While they are taking the BAU jet to New Mexico, Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) details how the town they are going to had a bad reputation in the days of the Wild West thanks to the large number of outlaws who passed through. After hearing that factoid, Rossi declares, "The more things change, the more things stay the same." Not exactly a cringe-fest, but we're clearly not in steady hands, and unfortunately, it gets worse.

A few moments later, Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) speculates that the unsubs the team are trying to track down might have learned the tricks of their nefarious trade while in prison. Here, Rossi interjects and says, "Crime U. Best education taxpayer money can buy." This has the distinction of being both a real groaner of a dad joke, while also weaving in some classic Boomer hand wringing at the idea of wasted taxpayer money. It's quite the insult for someone riding in a private jet paid for by tax dollars to hurl.

Those are just a small sampling of the cringe-worthy Rossi lines from throughout the years. The upside to it all is that he's a famous FBI criminal profiler, and not a standup comic.