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Dr. Gilbert "Gil" Grissom (William Petersen)

  • Adorkable
  • Alliterative Name
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Berserk Button: Drug dealers, especially those who sell to young people, and scientists who sell their integrity for personal gain.
    • And anyone who tries to hurt Sara
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: He quotes Shakespeare, loves crossword puzzles, and races cockroaches for fun.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings for Sara in the first couple of seasons, even being so unsure about a possible commitment to the point where he rejects her initial advances.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • A Father to His Men: His paternal leadership style, especially visible with Greg, Nick and Warrick especially right before Warrick gets killed, and afterwards.
  • Flanderization In regards to his stoicism. In the first season, he was prone to bouts of anger (once slapping a coffee pot of Ecklie's hand, enraged) and happiness (even--gasp--smiling! With teeth and all!). By Season 3, his character was shaped into being level-headed at all times, even in normal conversation. Justifiable in that he starts to retreat emotionally during his struggle with his hearing loss.
  • Game of Nerds: He likes baseball
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Especially in the earlier seasons. Despite his intelligence and expert grasp of human nature, Grissom lead a very isolated life, and rebuffed most opportunities of interaction outside of the workplace. He even turned down Sara's initial dating requests in Season 3.
  • Married to the Job : For most of the series, at least until he married Sara. Catherine used to tell him to take his head out of his microscope once in a while.
  • Memetic Mutation: Grissom literally Growing the Beard. It's arguably second to Chuck Norris.
  • Nice Hat: Seen sporting a straw sunhat in more than one episode. It was once complimented by a hooker.
    • And that hat belongs to Petersen himself acquired from his own travels.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor
  • Papa Wolf: Pretty much the only way to get him riled up is to either threaten one of his teammates, especially Sara, or do anything to endanger children
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Catherine. They are obviously best friends, but there's also no hint of sexual chemistry between them.
  • Put on a Bus: If he comes back...
    • He did have a cameo in season 12's "The Two Mrs.Grissoms"
  • Quip to Black: Famous for it -- used to be the Trope Namer
  • Sarcasm Failure: When he doesn't use the above
  • Science Hero
  • Seeker Archetype
  • Serious Business: Racing cockroaches. One of the first time we see him take some time off and puts Catherine in charge is when he goes to a conference to race his vermin. It doesn't go so well ("Stage fright.")
  • Silver Fox: Despite his nerdiness and aloofness, he still gathers a lot of female admirers (in-universe and out), even when he shies away from the unwanted attention.
  • The Smart Guy
  • The Spock
  • The Woobie

Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger)

Nick Stokes (George Eads)

Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan)

Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox)

  • Alliterative Name
  • Berserk Button: Domestic violence, especially spouses murdering each other.
  • Broken Bird
  • Commuting on a Bus: As of season 10, she's on the line...she's listed as a series regular, but only appears in a certain number of episodes per season.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her mother killed her father, who was abusive to both her and her mother. She ended up in foster care.
  • Freudian Excuse
  • Hint Dropping: Tries this as a tactic while trying to court Grissom. She once told Hodges (who was fretting about a possible grey hair) that she finds grey hair rather sexy, while standing next to Grissom. Eventually, she point-blank asks him out, which he refuses. After a couple of more years, he eventually comes around to Glad You Thought of It.
  • Hot For Supervisor
  • The Lancer
  • The Maiden Name Debate: She still uses "Sidle" now that she is married to Grissom
  • Married to the Job: At least until she married Grissom
  • May-December Romance: with Grissom; the actors are 16 years apart in real life. Not that it matters to Sara, who as mentioned above, has a thing for silver foxes.
  • Put on a Bus: She's taken a round trip, having come back to assist the team when they're short-staffed in the most recent season.
  • Relationship Reveal: with Grissom
  • Second Episode Introduction: Comes in to help the team per request of (who else?) Grissom in the second episode following the death of the Naive Newcomer and stays on board.
  • UST: For YEARS with Grissom before Season 6 ended with the above trope.

Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda)

Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne)

  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: He is not Grissom's replacement, instead coming in on the bottom rung. Though that doesn't explain why he got to be first in the opening titles, something his character really hasn't earned.
    • It's Laurence Fishburne.
    • He's a Renaissance Man; he's only a Level 1 CSI (though he works his butt off to get quickly promoted to Level 2) but he used to be a medical doctor (so he assists in autopsy's more than most) and a criminology lecturer (so he occasionally provides a criminal profile). He's underqualified as a crime scene investigator but he makes up for it with a broad range of skills. Plus he's Laurence Fishburne.
  • Enemy Within
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Does this to Haskell in "In A Dark, Dark House."
  • Freudian Excuse: Played with. His father was apparently violent, and Raymond worries that he may become that way himself. He also has a gene that has been associated with violent behaviour. On the other hand, when faced with Serial Killer Nate Haskell, who has the same gene and his own abusive father, he testifys in open court against his attempt to use this card, and afterwards Haskell admits to him that he decided in his youth he'd blame it on those things if he were ever caught.
  • I Am Not My Father
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Inverted, he is that kind of doctor (or rather, he used to be).
  • The Professor
  • Put on a Bus
  • Token Minority

Riley Adams (Lauren Lee Smith)

D.B. Russell (Ted Danson)

Morgan Brody (Elisabeth Harnois)

  Greg: That's Ecklie's daughter?

Julie 'Finn' Finlay (Elizabeth Shue)

Dr. Albert "Al" Robbins (Robert David Hall)

David Phillips (David Berman)

David Hodges (Wallace Langham)

Wendy Simms (Liz Vassey)

Mandy Webster (Sheeri Rappaport)

Archie Johnson (Archie Kao)

Henry Andrews (Jon Wellner)

Bobby Dawson (Gerald Mc Cullouch)

Ronnie Litra (Eric Stonestreet)

Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle)

  • All of the Other Reindeer: A Bullet Runs Through It, where the other cops shun him at the dead officer's funeral.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Deadpan Snarker: On Vegas' staggeringly-high murder rate: "We're very competitive!"
  • Dirty Cop : Originally a big subversion of this, stating how he refused to be bought or get dirty, but now drifting into that territory as of the end of season 11. He covered for Ray when Ray killed Nate Haskell, and was reluctant to help catch a killer who was killing other killers.
  • Jerkass In Season 1.
  • Mr. Exposition: He's the man who gives both the team and the audience information on the latest victim of the week.
  • Parental Issues: He still loves his daughter despite knowing that she's not his. Her... not so much, to the point that when Brass is shot he gives power of attorney to Grissom rather than to her.
  • Twitter: He tweets.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He and his ex-wife mutually cheated on each other before their divorce, and he knows that his daughter isn't actually his.

Sofia Curtis (Louise Lombard)

Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann)

  • A Day in the Limelight: The B-plot of one episode featured Ecklie handling the investigation himself when the main characters were unavailable.
  • Ambition Is Evil: The real reason he was such an ass to Grissom and the team was because he thought that Grissom had the same ambitions he did. Once he realized that Grissom and the team wouldn't keep him from fulfilling his goals, he eased off considerably.
  • Big Bad: Arguably, of season five. He never does anything illegal, but his antagonistic actions drive the overarching plot of that season.
  • Da Chief: He starts out as the day shift supervisor, then becomes director of the lab, and is later promoted to undersheriff of the entire department.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Supplies a rather nasty and completely out-of-nowhere one in "Fracked".
  • Jerkass: Definitely one pre-Season 6. Since then he's become more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: He's extremely ambitious, and saw Grissom as competition. At different points, he would try and undermine the team's work.
  • Rank Up: To Undersheriff
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: When Nick was Buried Alive, Ecklie pulled some strings to gather the ransom his kidnapper, and relations between him and the night shift have mostly thawed since then. Ecklie came into his own as Asst. Director, where his talent for juggling the top brass and news media have proven to be an asset to the team.
  • The Rival: To Grissom, who deplores Ecklie's careerism.
  • Smug Snake: Pre-"Grave Danger." He took utmost pleasure in seeing Grissom's team humiliated, and even worked to get Nick convicted of murder once purely out of spite.
  • Parental Abandoment: He left when Morgan was 14

Jeffrey McKeen (Conor O'Farrell)

Heather Kessler (Melinda Clarke)

  • Brains and Bondage: A licensed therapist... who also happens to run an S&M club.
  • Dominatrix
  • Driven to Suicide: Sort of. In one episode, she hires a guy to kill her because she lost custody of her granddaughter. She lives, though.
  • Drop in Character: Cases have a weird way of tracing back to her.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: In a series that conforms to this trope to an almost unfortunate degree, she remains the one notable aversion. Her practices still make her dark and troubled, however.
  • Hot Mom: When we first meet her, she already has an adult daughter, looks about 25 tops, and makes the until-then-completely-asexual Grissom's eyes bug out of his head. In later seasons, she becomes a grandmother without losing much of her good looks.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Strangely enough, she apparently took her husband's name.
  • Mama Bear: Do not mess with her daughter.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Wearing one when we first meet her.
  • Official Couple: Almost. See What Could Have Been below.
  • Ship Tease: With Grissom, constantly.
  • The Vamp: Used for good! In her third appearance, she sleeps with Leon Sneller, the guy who killed her daughter to get evidence from him to give the team.
  • What Could Have Been: Reportedly, William Petersen (who is also Executive Producer of the show) once wanted her and Grissom to end up together.
  • Whip It Good: Used horrifyingly in "Pirates of the Third Reich" when she captures Sneller, ties him to her car, and proceeds to try to whip him to death. Grissom talks her out of it.
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