|Family|| Unnamed mother (deceased)|
Unnamed stepfather (deceased)
Four unnamed brothers
Henry LaMontagne (godson)
|Job||BAU Special Agent/Communications Director|
|Portrayed By|| Kirsten Vangsness|
Rebecca Egender (young; age 20)
Christina Gabrielle (young; age 9)
Maddison Davis (young; age 5)
|First Appearance||Extreme Aggressor|
Penelope Garcia is the BAU's Technical Analyst and also the team's Media Liaison Officer since Jennifer Jareau's promotion to Supervisory Special Agent; the latter is a job that she shares with Aaron Hotchner.
Recruited to the BAU as their Technical Analyst in 2004, Garcia is an eccentric, yet friendly and kind-hearted woman who enjoys playing online games, specifically MMORPGs. She is very dedicated to her job as one of the FBI's technical analysts. She has said that she can run U.S. Central Command from her office whilst also playing online poker. She is extremely protective of her computers and the FBI database, although a budding serial killer was able to access the database while having her laptop connected to the FBI's network (to play an online RPG). Prior to her recruitment, she was a criminal hacker mentored by Shane Wyeth, who would hack into companies and other businesses whom she felt were engaged in criminal activities, which attracted the attention of the FBI. Her hacker nickname was "The Black Queen", likely due to her habit of dressing in black, Gothic clothing and makeup.
On the JobEdit
Garcia seems to share a playful, flirtatious relationship with Derek Morgan. When working together, they refer to each other by such names as "sweet cheeks" or "baby girl" (later revealed because the first day on the job, Derek couldn't remember her name and shouted "baby girl" to get her attention). There hasn't been an actual romantic relationship, though Derek seemed a little jealous when Garcia told him about a cute guy (Battle) she had met in a cafe. Garcia has also acted jealous, such as when Derek decided to grab a drink with a civilian he and the BAU met on a case. It is clear that the two of them care very deeply for each other, and share a sibling-type love.
Some cases seem to eat away at Garcia, as she often gets nervous or upset when analyzing video or sound recordings of murders or other serious crimes, as she has to listen to and watch them over and over again. In "Sex, Birth, Death", she showed a fondness for Reid, offering to take him out on the town to distance himself from a subject, only to have it interrupted by the subject's attempted suicide.
In "100", Garcia is instrumental in narrowing down George Foyet's location, with the help of Kevin Lynch. She cross-referenced all of the medications that Foyet required and found out that he was back in the D.C. area. Reid would later discover his alias (Peter Rhea).
In the episode "Penelope", Garcia is rushed to the hospital after the gunshot. She quickly recovers, but is attacked again after she is released from the hospital. The aggressor targeting her is revealed to be a sadistic cop with a "hero homicide complex", putting people in danger in order to save them for his own glory. She recovers from her attack and helps JJ kill the cop while he held an Internal Affairs agent hostage.
In the episode "Compromising Positions", she wishes to take on JJ's old job. Although Hotch is reluctant at first, he agrees. However, the pressure brought from juggling between the two jobs in the wake of the current case takes a toll on her mind, and she begins to stress out. At the end of the episode, Garcia agrees that she should remain as Technical Analyst.
In "The Black Queen", Garcia is forced to revisit her old past as a hacker after the BAU revisits a case on request by Shane Wyeth and his hacker group Starchamber. As a result, she visits Shane at the Starchamber headquarters, appealing to him by dressing up in her old clothing. He is able to give her some information, but winds up arguing with her and stating his disapproval of her new life. Later, Garcia confronts Shane online, where he reveals that he had been following her life ever since she joined up the BAU, consequently misinterpreting her relationship with Morgan as an actual romantic relationship. After Shane survives a near-fatal attack by the unsub, Garcia approaches him and reconciles with him.
In the episode "200", she assisted in the search for JJ (who went missing), by hacking into a database containing information relating to JJ's time at the U.S. State Department. Garcia also manages to deduce JJ's location after receiving a distress alarm triggered by JJ.
Garcia's parents died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver when she was eighteen. She now helps to counsel the families of murder victims in her spare time. During a group meeting in Hope, she reveals that she initially blamed herself for the death of her parents because they were out looking for her after she had broken her curfew. Garcia has stated that after her parents died, she dropped out of CalTech and went "underground" but continued to teach herself computer coding. She had been placed on one of the FBI's lists that concerned a small handful of extremely talented yet dangerous hackers in the world, and the FBI recruited her from there (Penelope). It has also been mentioned that when Garcia was not allowed to travel with the team to Langley, she was on the CIA's "lists" as well (Secrets and Lies). JJ joked that Garcia belonged to that list when she unsuccessfully tried to hack the CIA for information on Princess Diana's death and other alleged government conspiracies (namely, she found Prince William's phone number, but couldn't find a pen to write it down before killing her computer).
Garcia is into online games, specifically MMORPGs, as she was once seen playing a game about Camelot on the BAU network, constantly virtually meeting with "Sir Kneighf", an online alter ego who turns out to be Randall Garner, who is keeping a young woman prisoner while sending the team several clues that, with tremendous help from Reid, they use to catch him and save the woman (The Fisher King, part 1). Garner hacked into Garcia's computer and accessed files about the BAU, then used the personal information to find out their whereabouts so he could send the clues there. Hotch states at one point that when Garcia applied for her position, she submitted her resume on "pink, homemade stationery."
At the beginning of Season Three, she meets Kevin Lynch and eventually becomes romantically involved with him. In Season Seven, Kevin tried to propose to Garcia, but didn't get the chance to do so. Garcia later figured it out by hacking into his computer and finding out that he was looking for rings. As a result, she turns him down, and their relationship appears to have ended (I Love You, Tommy Brown). Garcia eventually becomes involved with an old flame, Sam.
- Penelope reveals that she is from San Francisco, California, and that she is a dropout from Cal Tech, a school Reid also went to.
- She refers to a public restroom as a loo.
- She exclusively uses a Linux based operating system on her computers.
- She likes to "remove herself" from the images she sees on her computer screens, which is why she has toys and other items she likes around her in her office.
- She doesn't speak Spanish even though her last name is Spanish. She mentions in Machismo that it is her stepfather's name, who is Hispanic.
- She can speak French and is seen trying to learn Italian.
- She maintains a strict adherence to "The Hacker Code" of conduct.
- Prentiss refers to Garcia as "the world's sexiest hacker". (The Performer)
- She suffers from coulrophobia, a fear of clowns. This stemmed from an incident that occurred when she was twelve; a clown at a birthday party grabbed her breast and made a honking sound. She has been afraid of clowns ever since, commenting, "Apparently making it funny makes it okay."
- Her name, Penelope, is actually an homage to Moneypenny (from the Bond films). She is seen as Morgan's Moneypenny.
- Garcia became a goth after her parents' deaths. She reveals this to Chris, a Gothic boy in Risky Business.
- At the end of Memoriam, JJ names her godmother of her recently born son Henry.
- She buys many gifts for her godson Henry, claiming that it is her rightful duty as a godmother since he is at the age to properly enjoy the act of opening gifts.
- She rarely travels with the team, but when she does, she tends to express her love for the jet accommodations.
- She applied for her job at the BAU with a resumé written on pink homemade stationary paper.
- She mentions four brothers in "P911", but in "Safe Haven" says she is an only child. As she has a stepfather, they may be from his previous marriage.
- JJ is her best friend.
- Her car is named Esther.
- Her hobbies include knitting and making soup. (Suspect Behavior episode Lonely Heart)
- She is a fan of the book The Emerald Sea of Dreams (3rd Life) and apparently also of the graphic novel Ghost World (Penelope)
- Her favorite author is mythologist Joseph Campbell. (Hope)
- She is a fan of sci-fi sitcom Small Wonder. (Roadkill)
- She may be a vegetarian. (Proof, Bully)
- She is a fan of movies by Federico Fellini. (Proof)
- She is in a survivors' support group (though with everything that happened in the episode, it may have disbanded). (Hope)
- She called Hotch by his first name during (Charm and Harm), but in the other episodes, she calls him "sir".
- She had dyed her hair red before (The Uncanny Valley) and wore a blonde wig during (Reflection of Desire) for a press conference. Returned to her red hair again and kept it like that until (Today I Do) where she dyed it back to blonde, her original hair color, which she has kept to this day.
- She has a philosophy that "the world is just teeming with awesome people". (House on Fire)
- She likes conspiracy theories, which likely stems from her previous activities as an anti-government hacker. (Final Shot)
- She is left-handed.
- She was mistakenly referred to as "SSA Garcia" by a police sergeant who wrote her an email giving verification of a suspect's alibi. (Final Shot)
- She has held a gun (not hers) twice in her career with the BAU, first during a second attempt on her life by Jason Clark Battle in Penelope (in which Morgan equips her with his backup gun while he wards off Battle), then during an attempt on Reid's life by an undercover nurse in Demons (in which she quickly grabs Reid's gun).
- During the second example, she has also used the gun to shoot someone for the first time in her life (the undercover nurse trying to kill Reid).
- Garcia: (to Kevin Lynch) "If you ever come within one hundred feet of Agent Rossi, I will unleash such an unrecoverable virus on your personal computer, it will reduce it to something like a cross between a Commodore 64 and a block of government cheese... call me later."
- Garcia: (to Aaron Hotchner) "You, my fine, furry friends, are welcome."
Hotch: (to the rest of the team) "Remind me to have her drug-tested."
- Garcia: "Believe me when I tell you the 1980s just called. They want their security system back."
Behind the ScenesEdit
In the "Making Of" documentary for Season 3, Vangsness stated that Garcia's bullet injury was moved from her chest to her stomach between the episodes Lucky and Penelope since a chest injury would mean there would be a large scar on her chest for several following episodes that would require make-up and also meant that Garcia wouldn't be able to show any cleavage.