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The Only Criminal Minds Character In Every Episode

Criminal Minds was on the air for 15 seasons, and for anyone keeping track at home, that's a long time. Over the course of its 323 episodes, the series was a bit of a revolving door for guest stars, recurring characters, and leads alike. Some members of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) at the center of the show stuck around for all 15 seasons, but quite a few moved on before the final episode. Many, fans feel, left too soon.

If you've watched every episode of Criminal Minds, you know that it largely focuses on the team traveling around the United States, and even sometimes the world, to track down some of the most dangerous people imaginable. Since it wouldn't ever make sense for the whole team to pack up and hit the road, it's no surprise that sometimes, the main characters weren't present for an episode or two. 

What may be surprising is that very few Criminal Minds characters managed to log more than 300 episodes throughout the series' tenure. In fact, just three did — and only one was present in every single episode. Let's take a look at the characters who featured the most on the series and find out which one managed to snag the unique distinction of being the only one to appear in every episode.

A fan favorite was the only Criminal Minds character to appear in every episode

Before we see which character was in all 323 episodes of Criminal Minds, it's worth mentioning those that came close. Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), the BAU's sassy technical analyst, was present in all but two of the episodes, which is a pretty impressive feat. Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer "J.J." Jareau (A.J. Cook) also logged 302 appearances on Criminal Minds — though, to be fair, some fans would have liked to have seen her less.

However, genius Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) was the singular BAU agent who managed to appear in every single episode of Criminal Minds. Given that he was at the center of many of the show's most memorable plotlines involving BAU members — from his drug addiction to his strange relationship with a serial killer — this isn't a huge surprise. Still, it's an impressive feat, and one that few TV characters ever pull off. 

Part of the reason that Spencer was on screen so much had to do with his unique skill set. As a Special Advisory Agent, his encyclopedic knowledge of both his field and the world at large was always something his fellow agents could put to good use. His social awkwardness and endearing personality also made him one of the most lovable characters for many fans — so it's probably a good thing that he was the one holding down the fort for all 15 seasons.