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  • Acceptable Targets: Pretty much any relatively harmless modern subculture that seems scary or dangerous to the general public or the target audience. See the Internet Backdraft example below.
    • Gamers and gaming in "Hitting for the Cycle". For the love of all that is holy...
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Justin Bieber's character's death brought some real life rejoicing.
    • When Grissom returned in a guest spot in Season 11, and the rumours that he'll be back in Season 12 for Catherine's exit.
      • Although he didn't return, the PT Bs feared it would take too much focus off Catherine.
  • Anvilicious: The episode centered around internet bullying, though possibly a case where this needs to be brought to the public eye but it does get a bit egregious when Nick basically tries to say anyone who ever looked at the mocking videos, even if they did nothing about it or thought it was in bad taste, deserved to be put to the court system.
  • Base Breaker: Sara is either one of the most compelling and woobieish characters on the show, or just plain crass and annoying.
    • Ray Langston...either he was a great character or Creator's Pet and really overused and given too much to do for a CSI 1.
  • Broken Base: Dear Lord. Some fans insist the show Jumped the Shark after Season 5. Others say it happened when Grissom was shown in bed with Sara in the season 6 finale. Some say it didn't happen until Season 8/9 with Warrick's death and Grissom leaving. Some declare Season 11 the worst due to it dragging out the Ray/Haskell storyline. Ray leaving and two new characters entering is only causing more divides in the fandom.
  • Canon Dis Continuity: Sara says in one ep she has a brother, then in season 12, she says she was an only child.
    • Sort of with the original bios on the CBS website. Catherine was said to have been born in Bozeman,Montana (likely recycled to CSI: NY's Lindsay) and Grissom's father was said to have been involved in smuggling. The first guidebook, covering the first three seasons, has this information as well.
  • Complete Monster: Most of the killers on this show.
    • And some non-killers, like the S1 guy who raped his daughter and granddaughter, or one prison guard that got the location of a body from the killer before he committed suicide, and then demanded money from the victim's parents in exchange for sharing the info with them.
    • The Klinefelds. Good. Gravy. The Klinefelds.
  • Creator's Pet: Ray Langston. Many fans either dislike him or thinks he's So Okay It's Average, yet in his run he had three season finales, the 200th episode and two season long serial killer arcs dedicated to him and his problems.
  • Critical Research Failure: "Fur and Loathing" makes some gross exaggerations, misinterpretations and otherwise wrong turns in the Furry Fandom.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Greg and Hodges in earlier seasons; when they were promoted to main characters the other lab rats got the same treatment, with Archie and Mandy in particular being well loved by the fans.
  • Ho Yay: Nick and Greg. In fact, such a pairing has a large following, especially due to the subtext that occurs in their interactions.
  • Jumped the Shark: Two words. Justin. Bieber.
  • Internet Backdraft: Never mention the episode "Fur and Loathing" to Furry Fandom.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A lot of secondary guest stars eventually found fame after their appearance on CSI. Rainn Wilson and John Krasinski both had guest spots before their own hit show, with Wilson having a memorable bit in one of the more popular episodes ("The Strip Strangler") as a possible suspect. And CSI: NY 's Carmine Giovinazzo was a guest star on here before becoming a regular on the spinoff series. But, Word of God says the guest appearance wasn't an influence in casting him. A.J. Buckley, also from CSI NY, appeared on this show before becoming a regular on the spinoff.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: Investigating a death during a high-stakes poker game, the heroes discover that the waitress put eyedrops in the victim's drink as payback for him being a lousy tipper. She'd meant to give him diarrhea and force him to leave the game early, but he died before they kicked in.
  • The Scrappy: Kevin, "Hitting for the Cycle". How on earth did he get hired? He bites the dust at the end of the episode.
  • Tear Jerker: The end of "Homebodies".
    • "For Warrick". Just damn.
    • Grissom's exit
    • Catherine's exit
  • Unfortunate Implications: The resolution of the case in "Go To Hell" is a pretty classic exercise in blaming the victim, even allowing for the fact that in this instance the "victim" wasn't exactly innocent. They even play the whole "she came on to me" excuse straight, for crying out loud...
  • The Woobie: All of the main cast have their moments, but Nick, Greg and arguably Sara get hit with it the most.
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