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The Surprising Connection Between Criminal Minds And The Beatles

Describing hidden-in-plain-sight messages as "Easter eggs" dates all the way back to 1980, when Steve Wright, Atari's director of software development at the time, first used the term in that context (via Huffpost). Forty years later, our culture has become obsessed with finding these little gems in movies, TV, and video games. Fans of comic book movies from studios like DC and Marvel spend hours watching and re-watching the films to compile a list of Easter eggs.

Viewers have become so trained to examine every frame that now, whenever we watch pretty much anything, our eyes search each inch of the screen with the same dedication of Gold Rush prospectors hoping to find shiny specks of yellow. Thus, Easter eggs are now being discovered in media that pre-date the current Easter egg boom. Some eagle-eyed viewers have found an interesting Easter egg in CBS' dark drama "Criminal Minds" – one that links a major character to The Beatles.

Rossi and Ringo - Best Friends Forever

Joe Mantegna joined the cast of "Criminal Minds" as David Rossi, who was brought in to head the Behavioral Analysis Unit after the departure of Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) in Season 3. Rossi is introduced as a frequently divorced, Vietnam veteran who had retired from the FBI to pursue a lucrative career as a novelist. Decorations in his office include photos from his service as well as the medals and commendations he earned. There is, however, another photograph in his office that Easter egg hunters spotted, one that stands out from the others: a picture of Rossi and music legend Ringo Starr.

It would be easy to dismiss the photo as a fake, a prop created only for the series, but the photograph is very real. The thing is, it's not real in the sense that Rossi met Starr in the "Criminal Minds" canon and the character keeps the photo framed on his desk; the photo is from real life. According to Screen Rant, Mantegna and Starr met at the Grammys years ago and struck up a lasting friendship, so the photo on Rossi's desk is an Easter egg shout-out to Mantegna's real-life friendship with the former Beatle.