Did You Know Spencer Reid Was Supposed to Be Bi In Original Criminal Minds?

Did You Know Spencer Reid Was Supposed to Be Bi In Original Criminal Minds?
Image credit: Paramount+

We were robbed of a perfect queer role model.


  • Though missing from the revival, Spencer Reid remains the fan-favorite Criminal Minds character.
  • Reid was a perfect role model, representing people on the autism spectrum in the early 2000s.
  • But as it turns out, he could have been so much more.
  • Creator Jeff Davis once revealed that Reid was originally written as bisexual, but that part of his arc was cut early on by CBS.

If there is one major flaw in Paramount+'s Criminal Minds: Evolution, it is the absence of fan-favorite character Spencer Reid, who was part of the original show from day one and became a role model for an entire generation of police procedural fans.

As unrealistic as a socially awkward genius with a high IQ, eidetic memory, three PhDs, and a troubled background is on paper, Criminal Minds' writing and Matthew Gray Gubler's brilliant portrayal made the character of Reid highly relatable to some of the least represented groups on television in the 2000s.

Reid is on the autism spectrum

Spencer Reid is widely considered to be one of the biggest television characters on the autism spectrum. Although it is not directly stated in the show, the various quirks and twists of the profiler lead fans to this conclusion.

Even Matthew Gray Gubler himself confirmed this theory in an interview with LiveAbout.

'He's an eccentric genius, with hints of schizophrenia and minor autism, Asperger's syndrome. Reid is 24, 25 years old with three Ph.D.'s and one can't usually achieve that without some form of autism,' Gubler said (via Looper).

The lesser known fact is that there was originally another part of the character arc that could have made him relatable to a different group of viewers. Unfortunately, it was cut by CBS at the very beginning of the show.

Reid could have been bisexual

Back in 2012, Criminal Minds' creator Jeff Davis opened up about his original vision for the character of Reid.

'Fun fact for Criminal Minds fans. I was originally planning for Reid to be bi. That got shut down by 4th episode with his crush on JJ,' Davis wrote on his Twitter account (via ET).

When you think about it, the idea of Spencer Reid being bisexual makes tons of sense and fits well with his personality. The character could still crush on JJ, and if anything, many viewers would prefer some subtle queer romance to the Season 14 finale storyline with JJ's awkward love confession.

Considering that CBS also cut the scene where Paget Brewster's Emily Prentiss woke up next to a woman, the studio apparently went the heteronormative route. And not all fans were happy about it.

Even though Criminal Minds is a crime drama and doesn't focus on the personal lives of the profilers, some kind of LGBTQ+ representation feels missing. The revival added it with Tara Lewis and Rebecca Wilson's relationship, but the fact that we were robbed of the bisexual Reid is still devastating.

Who knows, if one day Gubler agrees to reprise his fan-adored role, Evolution may fix the CBS mistake and give the character a queer relationship, making our favorite autistic role model a bisexual one. How would you feel about that?

Sources: Looper, ET..

If Spencer Reid returns to Criminal Minds, would you like the writers to make him bisexual?