The Worst Criminal Minds Episodes According To Fans

With over 300 episodes, watching all of the CBS procedural "Criminal Minds" is no easy task. It simply takes a lot of time to watch it all, but there's the added complication that the quality isn't consistently good across every episode.

So, when embarking upon a watch of the serial killer-focused show — or a rewatch, as the case may be — it can be helpful to check out which episodes are the best, according to fans. Some episodes you just can't miss because it's "Criminal Minds" at its most interesting, memorable, and compelling levels. However, some episodes are memorable for another reason. They're so bad that they may be worth a skip. The reasons for disliking an episode are as diverse as the show's approach to unpacking the motivations of the criminals under investigation. It can be an unpopular plot development, a case that is too strange, or a story that simply drags on without a solid conclusion.

Of course, it's all subjective; some fans love an episode that others hate. Here are some of the worst "Criminal Minds" episodes, according to the many dedicated fans of the CBS series.

From annoying to ridiculous, these episodes miss the mark

A popular choice for the worst "Criminal Minds" episode is Season 6's "The Thirteenth Step" (via IMDb), which follows a brutal killing spree enacted by young lovers (Jonathan Tucker and Adrianne Palicki). Reddit user u/Psychological_Bat865 posted a thread to r/criminalminds with the bold headline, "What's the worst episode and why is it S6E13 The Thirteenth Step??" and said they would "just spend the entire time cringing" as they watched the episode. They also stated their particular distaste for how much the episode sexualized the two unsubs during their crime spree.

The initial Reddit comment was mostly met with agreement. Redditor u/hufflepuff1987 wrote, "I have always wanted to say this. They were so effing annoying. It was also very forced." Additionally, u/cedarsaplink remarked, "I feel you. I don't like the constant flipping between the main camera and the couple's camcorder."

Another contender for the terrible episode trophy is the Season 15 episode "Rusty" (via IMDb), which has the bonkers plotline of an unsub beheading people at the request of an imaginary goat man with the goal of opening a parallel universe. User u/MungotheSquirrel nominated this episode in another r/criminalminds thread, writing that it was an "absolute nonsensical episode that included a bargain basement goat costume with glowing red eyes?" and said they were too distracted by the "absurd costume" to focus on the episode.

Also on the list is Season 11's "Awake" (via IMDb). This episode centers on an unsub who abducts men at a rest stop and then tortures them with sleep deprivation because he believes one of them kidnapped his daughter. User u/mccabebabe called it out as their least favorite because of its "ridiculous procedural mistakes."