‘Criminal Minds’: Why David Rossi Once Referenced a Grand Theft Auto Character

Criminal Minds may have come to a close, but it still hasn’t stopped fans from talking about the series and rewatching their favorite episodes. After 15 seasons, the monumental show about the Behavioral Analysis Unit ended with its final episode on February 19, 2020. However, it’s still a much beloved series, and fans can be found talking about the show on Reddit.

One of the main characters, David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), once referenced a Grand Theft Auto character, and it’s a hilarious situation to say the least.

David Rossi is an integral part of ‘Criminal Minds’

Joe Mantegna in 'Criminal Minds'
Joe Mantegna in ‘Criminal Minds’ | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Rossi is a Supervisory Special Agent of the BAU. He works well with his fellow agents, and he’s been known to take the cases to heart. A former Marine, Rossi has helped lead the team to catching countless unsubs in the past. He’s an integral part of the team, and he always has interesting knowledge to add to the case at hand. According to the character’s Fandom page, Rossi took his retirement early, but returned to work at the BAU, and is now the Senior Agent of the team.

Fans have grown to love Rossi over the years, especially the way he interacts with his fellow team members. He’s proven himself to be a friend to each of the agents, and he is known to host his popular dinner parties with the team. The final episode even includes a dinner party at Rossi’s in a sweet and memorable moment.

Why Rossi once referenced a Grand Theft Auto character

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In season 6, episode 5 called “Safe Haven,” Rossi references a Grand Theft Auto character in a hilarious moment. A serial killer is murdering families in similar attacks involving gruesome escalations, and it leads the team on a hunt for the killer. They soon realize that it’s a teenager named Jeremy Sayer (Sterling Beaumon) who’s committing the violent murders. He was dropped off at a hospital and abandoned there by his mother. When the team visits one of the victim’s homes, they hear a voice message left by a woman named Nancy Riverton (Mare Winningham) who found the murderer thinking he’s innocent and needing help getting home. He ties up her kids and leaves the house with a knife and Nancy.

One of the first victims, Monica Archer, called her friend at a children’s hospital about a boy who was abandoned. She was going to bring him in the very next day. Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) finds out and calls the friend who said the kid’s name is Niko Bellic with a hometown in Newton, Iowa. It turns out that’s the name Jeremy gave Monica, but it wasn’t exactly correct.

When someone asks Garcia to repeat the name, she tries to respond. “The thing about that, is that…” Garcia says as she is cut off by Rossi, who clarifies who Niko really is.

“Niko Bellic is the name of a main character in Grand Theft Auto 4,” Rossi tells them. When everyone looks at him with puzzled amusement, Rossi says, “What? I know things.”

According to the character’s GTA Wiki Fandom page, Niko Bellic is the main character in GTA 4. He’s from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and he has worked as a contract killer in Liberty City. He also was a part of the conflict during the Yugoslav Wars when he was only a teenager, fighting and flying a helicopter. The character is a notable one for fans of the game, who probably knew exactly who it was on first reference. 

The team eventually tracks down Jeremy, who had Nancy drive him to his neighborhood where he stabs her, but she survives. He then heads to his old home where his mother, Kendra Sayer (Kerry O’Malley), lives. They track him down after his sister was hurt 10 days prior when Jeremy broke her arm. Kendra left Jeremy at a hospital, and when he gets his sister and puts a knife to her throat, Jeremy eventually lets her go and the team takes him into custody.

Fans recently discussed the interesting moment

The GTA reference by Rossi has obviously been talked about on Reddit. It might surprise fans that David Rossi would know the name of a character from a game like Grand Theft Auto, but he does. Maybe he’s a gamer? The series doesn’t explain it further, so we’ll never know. A Reddit post was recently shared with a video clip of the memorable scene.

“Rossi sass is the best!” a fan said about Rossi in the moment. “Him and Emily’s relationship is probably my fav.”

One fan points out that the “dramatic music” seems to stop just after Rossi makes the comment. “Isn’t it hilarious how the dramatic music stops when he says it, and everyone looks at him surprised? …” they wrote.

Another fan calls it a “great delivery,” and we’d have to agree. “So great. Wonderful writing. Great delivery. What? I know things,” a fan said.

The moment makes one fan want to “start watching” the series again. “This makes me wanna start watching again! …” they said.

David Rossi seems to know a lot of information, including when it comes to a GTA character. Criminal Minds has many surprising moments, and this is just one of them.