CSI: NY

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Csiny.jpg

Spin-Off from CSI: Miami itself spun from CSI (2004- present) set in New York City. The show's character work is probably its strongest aspect, with multi-season arcs for several of the characters, particularly Mac, Danny, and Lindsay. The cast is full of slightly messed up characters, all the way from Mac down to Adam. In fact, the coroner is probably the most well-adjusted person in the lab. In general this is handled well and doesn't devolve into Wangst territory.


Tropes used in CSI: NY include:
  • Absolute Cleavage
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • Abusive Parents: Adam. And the Victim of the Week a time or two.
  • Actor Allusion: In one episode the perp is an aspiring actor, and to catch him off-guard Mac pretends to be trying out for Of Mice and Men; Gary Sinise played George in the 1992 remake.
    • Detective Mac Taylor shares last names with his most famous role, Lieutenant Dan Taylor of Forrest Gump. Gary Sinise says he gave the character his last name in tribute to that character.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: It looks a lot like the lab.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Both Stella and Jo
  • Alpha Bitch: She pretended to be homely girls' friends, doll them up, have her boyfriend have sex with them, rated the experience online, and give the girls a big necklace so everyone would know. The sister of her victims strangled her and then part of her house fell on her. Her name was Libby.
  • And Another Thing: Detective Flack did this once. When he made to leave, the door gave him a Eureka Moment ? he realised that the victim's door had been locked from the outside, so whoever killed him must have had a key.
  • And I Must Scream: "Blink."
  • And Starring: Eddie Cahill gets an "And", Hill Harper the "With". Also, Melina Kanakaredes must have one brilliant agent as any piece of promo stuff seems to mention Stella Bonasera as a given.
  • Asshole Victim: In Who's There?, the victim was purposefully destroying his family's company, liquidating every cent they had, destroying the future of his own daughter, just to spite his estranged wife.
  • Audit Threat: Flack does this a fair bit.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Danny probably qualifies after the season 6 opener.
  • The Bet: Danny and Lindsay in "Snow Day."

Danny: There's no way you're gonna make this shot, too, Montana.
Lindsay: A Benjamin says I do. (shoots the billiard in the hole) Now you owe me $100.

    • Danny and Mac in "Fare Game". Danny bets Mac $5 that Lindsay won't eat the bug cuisine he brought back after a case involving it. Lindsay eats it and Danny has to pony up to Mac.

Lindsay Never bet against a country girl.

    • Part of the second episode of season 8 was a betting pool about when Mac would return to the lab
  • Beware the Nice Ones: After Danny jokingly asks Lindsay how she'd get away with killing him and suggests that she used her forensic know-how to clean up the scene, she responds that she wouldn't clean up and claim that Danny was a Domestic Abuser. Her "performance" is kind of eerie, to say the least.
    • Another time they're discussing what to do if the other dies: Danny wants a two-week long wake (first week for mourning, second week for partying) and Lindsay "jokingly" declares that she'll haunt him and any future girlfriends forever while eating all of his cannolis.
  • Big Eater: Lindsay
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The car jacker's three daughters (blonde and brunette went into the family business, redhead went to law school).
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger
  • Booby Trap / Death Trap: An inventor's house, designed to gruesomely off his enemies. Stella narrowly avoids getting skewered by one of the traps.
  • The Boxing Episode
  • Brats with Slingshots
  • Break the Cutie: Danny and Flack have both gone through this; Danny's involved several fights with Mac, being implicated in the shooting of another officer, and having his brother put into a coma while trying to save him from (another) murder rap. Flack got blown up, had to participate in the investigation and arrest of his mentor, had problems with his sister, and his gir lfriend died. Adam came pre-broken but hides it well most of the time, but has also been held hostage and roughed up, among other things.
  • Breast Plate: in some episodes, Stella wears a rather low-cut Bulletproof Vest, exposing part of her cleavage--and the heart area.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mac, Danny, and Flack have all had former partners turn up again and turn out to be bad.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Danny, at times. He's settled down a little since becoming a family man, but his short temper can still get him into trouble.
  • Bullethole Door: The third season finale featured a group of robbers breaking into the lab vault in this way. Done slightly more realistically than most of the examples of this trope, involving a .50BMG sniper rifle (i.e. a BFG) and taking most of the episode.
  • The Bus Came Back: Peyton
  • Car Fu: Lindsay takes out a suspect with her Avalanche when he runs off. She doesn't kill him, though.
  • Catch Phrase: Danny has "Boom," and Adam knows he says "What up!" a lot.
  • Clear My Name: Danny (twice -- see Break the Cutie), Hawkes, and Mac.
  • Comatose Canary: Subverted - it only looked like a Comatose Canary.
  • Comforting the Widow: Danny has sex with the mother of Ruben Sandoval, a kid who was accidentally shot during a robbery and died. Not exactly a widow, but a single mom- although it's close enough.
  • Counterfeit Cash: Central to the first season finale.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Lampshaded when Mac finds blood on a suspect's cuff:

"Is this the point where I say I cut myself shaving?"

  • Cyberspace: a 2007 episode took place half in Second Life
  • Dark Secret: Often the motive for many of the crimes.
  • Darker and Edgier / Shiny vs. Gritty: Initially, and especially compared to CSI: Miami (currently it's only slightly gorier then the Law & Orders).
  • Death by Falling Over: It appeared that a main character kills another just by pushing them over, onto a rug. It even going so far as to have them arrested for the murder and even having them admit it. Later, it's revealed that the victim was just fine and got up after the other character left, only to be killed by someone else immediately after, in a decidedly more fatal way.
  • Death in the Clouds: "Turbulence"
  • Die Hard in a Crime Lab: The third season finale.
  • Defective Detective/Dysfunction Junction: Let's take it from the top, shall we?
    • Mac: 9/11 widower, has been framed for murder, seems to attract serial killers like flies to honey,shot nearly to death.
    • Danny: Has been framed for murder twice. The second time, his brother ended up in a coma while trying to clear Danny's name. He's gotten in trouble more than once for losing his temper with suspects, for a while he was suspected of shooting an undercover cop and it caused problems between him and Mac for almost a season. His neighbour's son got shot while Danny was looking after him. Was in a wheelchair from a motive-less shooting. Had his wallet (with ID, credit cards, and badge) stolen by Shane Casey. And then Shane Casey tried to kill him, fell to his death (not!),broke into his and Lindsay's apartment and theatened to kill their daughter, only stopped by Lindsay's shot. Later, he became a sergeant, only to have one of his rookies shoot the wrong man when two guys threatened the group, which had gone out for a drink.(One guy had a gun, but the rookie cop shot the other one.) On top of that, he was accused of having an affair because the same rookie was cozying up to him in a survelience camera tape. She then lied and said Danny told her to lie, nearly costing him his job, though he was cleared when Lindsay pressured the rookie to tell the truth.
    • Stella: Orphan, with lingering if mostly well-hidden issues as a result. Had to shoot a stalker ex-boyfriend and had her apartment burnt out by next-door neighbor.
    • Lindsay: Witnessed her friends' murder and has been dealing with the lingering trauma ever since. Married Danny who kept secrets from her and was in a wheelchair, and later became traumatized after killing Shane Casey in her own home. Had to listen to accusations Danny was cheating on her after the incident with Danny and his group of rookie cops, though it was untrue.
    • Flack: Alcoholic sister, had to arrest his mentor for tampering with a crime scene, which caused problems between him and Mac and between him and the rest of the PD. Got blown up. Girlfriend shot and killed, leaving him mentally screwed up for at least the first part of season 6.
    • Adam: Has hinted at past abuse (definitely psychological, possibly physical as well), and was held hostage and tortured so the criminals could get access to the lab. In the episode "The Party's Over," it's hinted that he may have OCD. His job also seems to be perennially in danger, first from budget cuts and then from one of the other lab techs. He also happened to be playing street hockey when a car bomb went off right next to him. His very secret shame is he slept through 9/11. He made up for it by going to "The Pile" the next day, although depending on how long he was there he could now be susceptable to cancer.
    • Sid: Changed careers for unknown reasons. Inhabits a "creepy place" with dead body trivia. The woman he treated like a daughter was murdered after her husband, a former colleague, had to be fired, murdered drug addicts, and turned out to have been stealing organs from corpses while he worked at the lab. And let's not forget having to go to the hospital: once for an allergic reaction, another for getting radiation poisoning while examining a body, and the exploding bullet to the face that would have blinded him if it weren't for his glasses.
    • Sheldon: Lost a series of patients on the table, accused of murder, friend tried to bribe him to change evidence. Lost most of his savings in an insurance scam, resulting in him losing his home and having to sell a lot of his stuff until Mac offered him his spare room to give him time to get back on his feet. His sister was murdered, and his girlfriend left him some years back because she was raped and he ended up not being there like she needed. Got called for having marijuana in his system after his girlfriend was using it and spent time with him, causing him to breathe it in off her.
    • Jo: Forced out of the FBI after turning in a dirty agent that got a rape case she was working thrown out, attacked by the rapist after the victim's father tried to get him caught by framing him, and forced to shoot said rapist in self defense.
  • Defenestrate and Berate: One episode opens with a jilted boyfriend throwing his ex-girlfriend's belongings out of the window at her and her new boyfriend. The last item is her pet dog. When the new boyfriend's legs are covered in blood, the viewer is led to believe that the dog has just splattered on the sidewalk. The camera then pulls back to show the boyfriend has safely caught the dog and the blood has come from a passing truck that was spreading salt on the icy street.
  • Did Not Do the Research: There's no such thing as Crime Scene Investigations in New York City. They have a Crime Scene Unit.
  • Dirty Cop: Repeatedly. Danny,Mac and Flack have all had former partners or mentors revealed as this.
  • Disguised Hostage Gambit: Snow Day.
  • Eureka Moment: Hawkes watches a Jennifer Lopez video during his lunch break. While admiring her, um, assets, he remembers they are insured, helping him figure out the case - it's an insurance scam.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: A hitman turns himself in and spills the beans on his client when said client switched targets from a man to a woman. This hitman doesn't do women.
  • Executive Meddling: Killing off Angell due to budget cuts Also probably the reason season 6 has dropped the Two Lines, No Waiting format in favor of one case per episode only.
    • Not quite executive meddling but Melina Kanakaredes' departure in season 7 is due to a pay cut that CBS had to offer.
  • Face Palm: At the end of "Oedipus Rex", when the Suicide Girls strut away and Danny realizes what he's lost out on by turning down one's offer for a date, you can see his arm rising toward his face. It's hard to credence that he's just waving goodbye, so this trope seems likely, even if it fades to black before we see it.
  • Fan Boy: Mac apparently idolizes Ronald Reagan judging by the framed picture and "eight-hour documentary [he's] always watching".
  • Fan Service: Certain features of Stella are on display a bit, Danny ends up shirtless or in a vest a lot and Lindsay once took a walk in the rain.
    • Also, Mac kicking ass while soaking wet in the season three finale.
      • Angell in Flack's button down shirt with a pair of handcuffs. This straight female troper will be in her bunk.
    • The episode about the lingerie football league. Pretty much designed for the Male Gaze.
  • A Father to His Men: Mac.
  • Fatal Attractor: Stella Bonasera
  • Finger in the Mail: An episode dealt with the heir of a wealthy family who'd been abducted at a young age with his brother. When the family was slow with the ransom money, his brother's ear was cut off and sent to the family; later, the brother was killed. The surviving man kept the ear in a jar of preservative.
  • Finger-Licking Poison: In "Page Turner", the killer coats the pages of a book in thallium to poison his victims.
  • Fingore: Danny getting his fingers stamped on and broken in the season three finale.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flashed Badge Hijack: Flack does it in the beginning of the episode "You Only Die Once"
  • Flatline: Mac in 'Near Death'.
  • Foreshadowing: A few episodes after Lindsay's introduction and after impressing him with sports trivia, Danny jokingly remarks that he'll have to ask her to marry him if she keeps that up. Three seasons later...
    • In the same vein, in a season 1 episode, Mac says something about how Danny could fall in love one day. Danny laughs it out, but then Lindsay shows up in the next season and...
  • Foster Kid: Stella
  • Frame-Up: Hawkes in "Raising Shane".
    • Also the serial rapist from Jo's FBI past.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: Starting in season 7, CSI:NY will be airing Friday nights at 9.
  • Gone Horribly Right: A cage fighter was so afraid of a stalker harming his family that when his friend, a homeless veteran, died after an accident he decided to set the body on fire and fake his death. The fighter is eventually found, but he burned the body so throughly that there's no proof the homeless vet wasn't murdered and the cops will be forced to charge him, although Mac would try to put in a good word (he also got the vet a military funeral).
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Danny gets beaned with one while having a drink with his band of rookies.
  • GPS Evidence: many times played straight, once subverted because an enemy of one of the investigators figured out that the team chased this sort of evidence.
  • Happily Adopted: Jo's daughter Ellie (Not to be confused with Ellie Brass from regular CSI)
  • Happily Married : Danny and Lindsay
  • Harmful to Minors: As a teenager, Lindsay witnessed the murder of several friends. In season three, she is called to testify at the trial of their murderer.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: "Bad Beat"
  • Heroic BSOD: After seven episodes of teetering on the brink, Flack finally has one in "Cuckoo's Nest."
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: When actress Anna Belknap, who plays Lindsay, became pregnant, they used the close-up method with varying success. The second time around, they wrote it into the storyline.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Came up as a plot point relevant to the motive in one episode. An Xbox used in a Gears of War 3 tournament had been hacked to give one player a hitbox half the size it should have been, and everyone else a hitbox twice the normal size.
  • Homage: The season three finale is clearly a Die Hard homage. It is also highly awesome.
  • I Can't Feel My Legs: Danny, almost word for word, though since he was just shot in the back, it was justified.
  • I Have This Friend: Lindsay got pregnant, she used this in a spectacularly transparent attempt to ask Stella if she needed to worry about any of the chemicals in the lab affecting the baby.
  • Implausible Synchrony: The 333 killer will time certain events to happen exactly at 3:33, and he can rest assured that Mac will be freaked out when he looks at his watch.
  • Initialism Title: Two initialisms for the price of one!
  • In the Back: Danny, in the season 5 finale, and Mac in the season 8 finale.
  • It Is Not Your Time: Mac, with Claire telling him so.
  • It's Personal: Mac was in the Marine Corps; once a Marine, always a Marine, and he takes that very seriously.
    • Also the reason why Flack killed Angell's murderer in the Season 5 finale
    • The reason why every member of the team is out for justice first after Aiden is killed,and then in the season 8 finale. She shot Mac, and when you do that, they all come after you. Luckily, they didn't kill her over it.
  • Just One Little Mistake: The only mistake the second killer in "Criminal Justice" makes is he planted the evidence after Hawkes had sprayed for footprints at the scene, and the distribution of chemicals on the evidence alerts the team to the fact the evidence was planted after. Otherwise he nearly commits The Perfect Crime. Which makes sense, because he's a DA, and has fifteen years of experience with criminals and the crime lab to know how they work. Also a case of Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • Killed Off for Real: Aiden Burn in season 2, and Angell at the end of season 5.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Just about everyone.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: One episode had Danny and Stella investigating the death of a millionaire inside his mansion's panic room. Danny accidentally trips the room, locking himself inside without a forensics kit. While he's waiting to be rescued, he uses the items found in the room to finish processing the crime scene.
    • Lampshaded by Danny addressing Stella as "Mrs. MacGyver" as she's walking him through said processing.
    • A later episode has Mac and Stella stuck fighting robbers who are trying to steal the Lab's confiscated drugs. Thank god Mac can build a bomb and laser trip wires from the stuff found in the lab.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Sid knows he has a tendency to find weird things while doing autopsies.
  • Let Me At Him: Danny, when he sees Mac with the guy initially suspected of killing Aiden (although it was really a recurring serial rapist/killer and not even him.) Mac warns Danny off, telling him they had to do it right.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Slightly sideways example; the biological son of Mac's dead wife, who she gave up for adoption, comes looking for her. She died on 9/11, but he and Mac establish a sort of tenuous (Mac's not a people person) father-son relationship when Mac opens up and shares some memories of her.
  • Mad Bomber: "Charge of this Post"
  • Mama Bear: Not a great idea to threaten Lindsay's husband and infant daughter.
  • Married to the Job: Mac, mainly. Stella too sometimes.
  • Mile-High Club
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Danny. When one of his rookies shot an unarmed man rather than the gun carrier who confronted them,she deflected attention from herself by saying Danny was cheating with her and told her to lie. A video from the bar shows her cozying up to Danny and makes Internal Affairs more suspicious,though Danny denies it and insists she came on to him. Lindsay eventually pressures the rookie to admit the truth and clear Danny.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Hawkes. His girlfriend was the actual user; he just inhaled marijuana residue from her while they were getting it on. But it showed up in his random NYPD-mandated drug test and Mac was anxious to know what was going on.
  • Monster Clown: He's just trying to protect himself from a hitman.
  • Mood Lighting: The show started out rather dark and gloomy. After taking a lot of flak (although not a lot of Flack) for it, the lights were turned up for the second series.
    • Added to this is the harsh blue lighting used for the first season (used to make New York look slightly 'colder'), which was eventually found to be too cold and phased out for the second season.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Sort of, with Lampshade Hanging. When they find a victim wearing an "I ♥ NY" t-shirt, they immediately assume it's a tourist. They're right.
  • Murder.Com: Subverted.
  • Mutually Fictional: To NCIS (and Hawaii Five-0 via Crossover)
  • Myth Arc: Shane Casey.
  • Name's the Same: A guy stalks and kills several people named Mac Taylor the name being the only clue as to who killed his girlfriend in a hit-and-run; he very quickly realizes that Det. Taylor isn't the guy he's looking for.
  • Near-Death Experience: Mac.
  • Never Found the Body (Or Even DNA): Mac's wife Claire along with hundreds of other real-life 9/11 victims although the fall 2011 premier revealed she escaped her tower...
  • Never Suicide: Stella is very (bordering on insanely to the rest of the cast) certain that a young woman who had been searching for her missing twin brother for over a decade didn't kill herself the fact that she shot herself in the stomach rather then the head is a telling clue.
  • Night Swim Equals Death: Too many episodes to list. It's usually signaled by finding the body floating in the swimming pool.
  • Not My Driver: The MO of the "Cabbie Killer".
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Averted with Hawkes, who was an MD before changing careers.
  • Not with the Safety On, You Won't: 'All Access'. Frankie doesn't know enough about guns to take the safety off when he tries to shoot Stella, giving her the chance to grab it, take off the safety, and shoot him as he continued to try attacking.
  • Official Couple: Danny and Lindsay
  • Oh Crap: The look on the face of the rapist whose case ruined Jo's FBI career when he realizes he left a bullet in the chamber of Jo's gun before tossing it back to her as a taunt.
    • Danny also does this in 'Food For Thought' when Lindsay's wanting a ton of food and Danny thinks she's pregnant again.
  • One of Our Own: Stella shooting her boyfriend and Aiden's murder, two episodes apart.
  • Only Barely Renewed: Getting season 9 came down to it being cheaper to make than CSI: Miami and wanting it for a New York themed night of programming.
  • Or So I Heard: Adam gives an in-detail explanation of what a "sploshing" party is before playing this trope hilariously straight. Adam does this a lot.
  • The Other Darrin: A variation of sorts. Mac's wife Claire was played by the same actress during both of her onscreen appearances (the flashbacks of 'Indelible' and Mac's Near-Death Experience in 'Near Death'), but the pictures of Claire that Mac showed Reed in season 4 were of a different woman. Probably justified, as the show makers couldn't know then that they'd need someone to actually play her onscreen down the road.
  • Paintball Episode: "Consequences"
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe (and probably real life) example in the form of Cabbie Killer.
  • Percussive Pickpocket: An episode has Mac catching a pickpocket (who manages to hide his stash before they grab him) just before running into the Victim of the Week. They later find a security camera video of said pickpocket bumping into their suspect and realise that he stole a camera with vital evidence on it.
  • Perma-Stubble: Danny seems to have settled into this after losing the Beard of Sorrow.
  • Phrase Catcher: By fifth season, every other character has picked up Danny's "Boom!" Catchphrase.
  • Police Brutality Gambit: Subverted, a suspect slams his head into the table and says he'll sue. Mac cheerfully explains why his injuries could only be self inflicted and says he injured himself for nothing.
  • Pregnant Hostage
  • Prison Episode: "Redemptio"
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Sid and Adam in season 5.
  • Put on a Bus: Peyton in the season four opener.
    • Stella in the season 7 opener.
  • Quip to Black: Usually Mac or Stella (now Jo) but everyone has their turn
  • Rags to Riches: Sid. He wasn't exactly poor before, but he wasn't wealthy either. Now he's made a bundle on his pillow invention.
  • Rank Up: Danny, briefly.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Like all the CSIs, it uses a song by The Who, in this case "Baba O'Riley".
    • Unlike the other two shows in the franchise, this show has adopted a remixed version of the song (from the fourth season onwards).
  • Rear Window Witness: "Point of View" pays homage to the Rear Window where Mac Taylor is severely injured during the pursuit of a suspect and is confined to his apartment, observing the neighbors. Mac witnesses a shady deal similar to L.B. Jeffries and his suspicion of his murderous neighbor.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: Mac is horrible about letting people in, even Stella, his closest friend. This has come back to bite him in the ass more than once, including being a huge factor in the failure of his relationship with Peyton, and the huge disaster that resulted after he was implicated in a murder (see Taking You with Me). Stella calls him on it in the season six premier, when he's obsessing over trying to figure out who opened fire on the team at the end of season five and acting as if he's the only one on the case. It does seem though that he's improving a bit by the time Christine starts romancing him.
  • Rise from Your Grave: The opening of "Boo".
  • Room Full of Crazy: "Jamalot", "The Ride In". Mac turns his office into one while trying to figure out who's behind the shooting that happened at the end of season 5.
  • Run for the Border: Season Five premiere had the perp try to escape to Canada before Mac caught up with him. Needless to say, he failed.
  • Serial Killer: Several. Mac seems to attract them somehow.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: In "Page Turner", the killer poisons his wife with thalium and then coats a book in the library where she works, knowing that others will be exposed to it. After another two people die, he launches a law suit against the city and the library.
  • Series Fauxnale: The format of the finales of seasons 7,8, and presumably 9 are this, because of the uncertainty over renewals now.
  • Sex Equals Death: It was blissful, unwed and not in the missionary position. Of course Angell was going to die.
  • Sexy Coat Flashing: Hawkes' girlfriend Camille does it at the end of "Food for Thought".
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Not Stella or Lindsay, but the mother of Ruben Sandoval
    • Also Angell with Flack's
  • Shallow Love Interest: Dr. Peyton Driscoll has hints of this. She had the potential to be a great character, as an ME she was obviously smart, but the writers ruined this by making her very first scene one of her in bed with Mac. Later on, it seemed virtually every scene with her had to be connected to Mac in some way.
  • Shirtless Scene: Danny on occasions, Mac at least twice
  • Shopping Cart Antics: In "Obsession", one of the murders centers around a race run using shopping carts and where it is customary to sabotage the other teams.
  • Shout-Out: An episode involving "a time machine" had the TARDIS materialization sound effect in and a Doctor Who reference.
    • The fourth season Halloween episode involves a "zombie" whose cause of death is a cricket bat to the head.
    • Several to The Matrix and Oz in an episode that featured Harold Perrineau as an inmate who's spared from execution when a guard dies. He also killed Sheldon's sister a decade ago, although he wasn't on death row for her murder since it's officially unsolved who helps Sheldon escape when Edward Furlong's character sets off a prison riot (he even gets to say a variation of "Come with me if you want to live!") while the rest of the Five Man Band uses computerized blueprints on a touchscreen table aid Sheldon.
    • Possibly the overly-serious head of, essentially, the guild of New York clowns.
  • Shower of Angst: Stella
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The Carver siblings: The brother became Chief of Detectives (I think) while the sister became an abusive, drug-addicted prostitute who was eventually murdered by her own son who got away with it since he was trying to save his younger siblings.
  • Sick, Sad Subculture of the Week
  • Sinister Subway
  • Spiked Wheels: The team ran into such a car (using Frickin' Laser Beams to evade the police), and James Bond is explicitly referenced.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Jo's ex-husband, while he loves her and their kids very much, would rather she be a stay-at-home-mom and they're both too stubborn to give in.
  • Stepford Smiler: Detective Flack after Angell's death.
  • The Stoic: Mac is the embodiment of this trope.
  • Stuffed in The Fridge: Aiden
  • Sundial Waypoint: "Manhattanhenge"
  • Sympathetic Criminal: Two boys trying to pay the rent, who are themselves robbed by a much more conventional robber.
    • Carver's nephew, who killed his abusive mother when she started beating his younger siblings.
    • The guy who stole a clown's costume to kill the drug producer who sent a hitman after him. He even gave the clown his day's pay.
  • Taking You with Me: When Mac corners a serial killer on a rooftop, the guy jumps off rather than go back to prison. But he does it in such a way that it looks like Mac pushed him, and since Mac didn't wait for backup, there's no one who can say that he didn't.
  • Team Dad: Mostly Mac to Hawkes, including letting Hawkes stay at his place when Hawkes lost all his money to an insurance scam. Mac to Danny at times too.
  • Ten-Minute Retirement: Mac's retirement at the beginning of season eight. Danny's promotion to police sergeant (and thus away from the crime lab) also only lasts four episodes before he voluntarily demotes himself and goes back to being a detective.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Aidan manages to make her murder into one of these.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: first season, even worse than usual.
  • Viewers are Morons: Everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING has to be explained to the viewer, especially during the autopsy scenes. While this is normal for a show about forensic science, the writers like to go a little to far to explain stuff that's common sense to even the average, non-CSI viewer.
  • Where They Were: "Oedipus Hex"
  • Workout Fanservice: The "My Name Is Mac Taylor episode has a scene were Mac is doing his lap swim exercise.
  • Written-In Absence: Lindsay was written out for a few episodes during Season 3, so Anna Belknap could go on maternity leave.
    • Done again in Season 5, where Lindsay ended up pregnant with Danny's baby.
  • Zero-G Spot: Not quite genuine Zero-G, but a couple in one episode got busted for public indecency because they were having sex while bungie-jumping. It's strongly implied that this is the female jumper's personal favorite kink.