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The Surprising Detail That Criminal Minds Fans Love To See On Screen

CBS' procedural "Criminal Minds" might make the more nervous members of its audience afraid of being home alone or talking to strangers with its gruesome murders and an endless supply of increasingly twisted serial killers, but fans still enthusiastically devour the series' 300+ episodes. Past the exciting mystery of each case-of-the-week, what the fans really come back for over and over again is the excellent roster of characters.

There's a lot to love when it comes to these characters, between the resident nerd Spencer Reid's (Matthew Gray Gubler) fierce protection of his friends and Derek Morgan's (Shemar Moore) emotional confrontation with a child abuser. Over 15 seasons, the group of co-workers grows into an endearing found family, their bonds fueling many of the storylines and maintaining a lightheartedness in an otherwise dark show. It's this casual familiarity between the characters that makes room for a fun small detail that fans adore.

Fans appreciate that the characters eat food together

Reddit user u/Steal_Licks started a thread on the r/criminalminds subreddit, writing, "I love how the characters actually eat on this show." They pointed out that on many TV series, the characters rarely eat unless the plot calls for it. If audiences pay close enough attention, it's obvious to see that sometimes, actors will merely push food around their plate and not actually eat anything. "But in CM," u/Steal_Licks wrote, "the team are often passively munching on takeout when they're going over the case. It's such a little detail but I love it."

User u/crruss agreed, adding, "It makes them seem more like a family when they pan around a table with all of them eating Chinese food or whatever." One memorable scene like this happens early on: While the group is talking, Spencer is absolutely failing at using his chopsticks. It's a small detail that adds to his character, showing that even super-smart Spencer has things he's bad at.

From a behind-the-scenes perspective, including real food often makes a shoot more complicated because the crew needs a food stylist to keep everything looking good, fresh, and safe to eat. Actors eating in a scene usually have to do several takes of the same bite, and the food needs to be rearranged between takes for continuity's sake. Some actors will use a "spit bucket" to just spit out the food instead of swallowing, say, 30 bites of a hamburger, according to Mental Floss.

But food is an essential part of human life, so not depicting it on screen at all might be a little odd. Plus, it builds character. User u/laduquessa pointed out that "JJ is always eating Cheetos," which led to her on-screen nickname, "Cheetobreath." "Criminal Minds" just wouldn't be the cozy murder show it is today without some wholesome snacking.