Spencer Reid

Spencer Reid

    Criminal Minds
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… with his father and mother. His mother was a professor of literature, who read classic books to him from an early age. Unfortunately, she also has paranoid schizophrenia, which caused his father to leave the family. Reid grew up quickly, too, graduating from public high school in Las Vegas at the age of 12.

Living… in Washington D.C, although he spends a lot of time in Quantico, where he works with the FBI. He also travels a lot because of his job.

Profession… genius. He works for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, where his eidetic memory, IQ of 187, and three PhDs allow him to make connections between disparate data to help track down criminals. It’s a good thing he’s so smart, too – he failed everything that wasn’t book-related when he went through FBI Academy. Which he entered at age 22. After graduating from Caltech and MIT.

Interests… reading and learning. He’s working on another bachelor’s degree, and once, when he was having a bad time of it, he "only" read five books in a week. Reid is also a committed nerd, even dressing up as the fourth Doctor Who for a convention. He made the scarf himself, too.

Relationship Status… single. Reid is unfortunately not so great with the ladies. Even when he does meet a potential special-someone, he tends not to follow up.

Challenge… catching criminals, not geting killed, and battling his own mind. Reid’s job is dangerous – he deals with serial killers almost every day, and he’s not well-qualified in the combat department. But even more frightening to him is that his mother’s schizophrenia could manifest in him as well.

Personality… absolutely brilliant, but not with people. Reid was bullied as a child, and while he has good friends now, his social skills are a little stunted. He has a tendency to go on about things he finds interesting, often to the dismay of other people who aren’t quite as fascinated. Although Reid is physically weak, he is brave and focused. He even says, “I find that I do some of my best work under intense terror.”


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