Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Much Time Actually Passes Between Criminal Minds Seasons

Not every TV show gives its viewers explicit information about how much time is passing between scenes, episodes, and seasons. However, many offer clues that can help viewers piece together the timeline. For example, at the beginning of "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," it is Sabrina's (Kiernan Shipka) 16th birthday, and in the final season, her 17th birthday comes around. So, fans are able to figure out that the show's four seasons take place over one year.

"Criminal Minds" is one of those shows that doesn't provide clear timestamps, so viewers are unsure of how much time passes between episodes and seasons. The series follows a team of FBI profilers as they work through murder cases across the US, and, aside from some notable exceptions, each episode focuses on a new case for the Behavioral Analysis Unit to solve. And since a new case is opened in almost every episode, viewers know that some time has passed since the last time they tuned in, even if that time is just one day. 

Through some discussion, fans on Reddit have proposed some solid theories regarding just how much time passes on "Criminal Minds."

Fans believe each season covers roughly one year

In the "Criminal Minds" subreddit, a fan asked the very question at hand: "how much time passes between seasons and episodes?" Fans discussed the question, adding their theories and supporting evidence. Through their discussion, some light has been shed on the possible timeline for "Criminal Minds" seasons.

Redditor u/blacktruffle_18 proposed the sensible theory that each season takes place over roughly one year. "I think I've generally assumed it's a year per season," they wrote, "with each episode about a fortnight apart. ~22 episodes per season (up til s14 & s15 at least) , so about 22 episodes per 52 weeks, and about 1 ep every 2 weeks."

This makes a lot of sense and the math checks out, especially because viewers can't assume that the team is solving these cases in a matter of days. The user also added that the time gap is most likely to skip the team doing boring paperwork. While other users proposed different general timelines for the seasons, user u/peacelilyfred offered the most likely answer to the larger question: there simply isn't a set-in-stone timeline that the show follows. They wrote, "I always have trouble with this. I always assume it is day to day, but it clearly is not. I think there isn't a set time between episodes or seasons."

While the exact timeline for "Criminal Minds" remains unknown, it appears fans do have some sound theories that help piece it together.