13 Life Lessons We've Learned From Criminal Minds

BAU: Best Advice Unit

BAU: Best Advice Unit

We've learned countless lessons from the BAU over 11 seasons of Criminal Minds. We've seen firsthand the importance of friendship, the magnitude of loss, and the power of family. Click through for some of the best pieces of advice to live by.

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Mourn, but focus on the memories.

Mourn, but focus on the memories.

Sergeant Scott had a huge influence on Rossi. Scott, who led Rossi's platoon in Vietnam, reappeared during a case in Los Angeles. Rossi helped the homeless alcoholic get clean, find a home, and foster a relationship with his previously-estranged son.

When Scott lost a battle to lung cancer, Rossi organized a military funeral with full honors. Before leaving the gravesite, Rossi placed a photo of their old platoon and a Purple Heart atop Scott’s casket—celebrating Scott’s life amidst the pain of his loss.

"Anonymous" (Episode 12, Season 10 of Criminal Minds)
No one is invincible.

No one is invincible.

Dr. Reid is notorious for spouting facts and figures, but losing the love of his life, Maeve, was almost too much to bear. He may be the BAU's resident genius, but that doesn't mean he's impervious to pain.

"Zugzwang" (Episode 8, Season 12 of Criminal Minds)
It's OK to be different.

It's OK to be different.

Dr. Spencer Reid has an IQ of 187, holds numerous degrees in a variety of subjects, and speaks multiple languages. He confessed that school was hard and isolating for him because of his talents, but he found a family with his team—a family that appreciates his work and loves him for who he is.

Test your knowledge of Dr. Reid with this quiz!

"Extreme Aggressor" (Episode 1, Season 1 of Criminal Minds)
Face your fears.

Face your fears.

In Season 10, Penelope Garcia faced her own fears to see the execution of a man who almost killed her and Reid during the Season 9 finale. She desperately didn’t want to go, but knew it was important to face her past in order to let go of the trauma.

"Burn" (Episode 2, Season 10 of Criminal Minds)
Don't be afraid to ask for support.

Don't be afraid to ask for support.

The loss of Maeve took a devastating toll on everyone’s favorite doctor. The BAU came together to do anything and everything to help Reid—proof that they're more than just a team, they're family.

"Zugzwang" (Episode 12, Season 8 of Criminal Minds)
Don't judge a book by its cover.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

While working a case in Texas, Dr. Reid felt a personal connection with the UnSub—a high school student killing people who bullied him. When Reid shared a traumatic story from his own past with Morgan, he was surprised to learn that the confident, tall, and handsome agent had his own story to tell. Don't assume that people can't relate—or, at the very least, be empathetic.

How well do you know SSA Derek Morgan? Take this quiz and find out!

"Elephant's Memory" (Episode 15, Season 3 of Criminal Minds)
Service to others gives life meaning.

Service to others gives life meaning.

During a particularly tough case in Virginia, the BAU connected child-kidnapping cases spanning over a decade. The team was able to save three missing children and bring closure to dozens of parents.

When asked by one of the children’s mother why the team does what they do when there is so much pain surrounding them, Agent Emily Prentiss simply replied, "It’s days like these that make it worth it."

"Mosely Lane" (Episode 16, Season 5 of Criminal Minds)
Keep your word.

Keep your word.

Early in David Rossi's career, he had a case involving the murder of parents of three young children. The children's grandmother gave Rossi a charm bracelet with the children’s names inscribed on it to always remind him of the case.

Twenty years later, the BAU helped Rossi finally close the case. Though the three now-adult children had long since lost faith in Rossi solving their case, he kept his promise and brought them closure.

"Damaged" (Episode 13, Season 3 of Criminal Minds)