The 9 Most Romantic Crime Procedural Drama Episodes

'Bones,' 'NCIS: Los Angeles,' and 'Criminal Minds'
FOX; Sonja Flemming/CBS; Monty Brinton/CBS

When you think of crime procedural dramas, chances are the first thing that pops into your head is not romance. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t have some of the best relationships on TV! What better way to get ready for Valentine’s Day than finding love where you might not expect to find it… amidst crime?

Now, due to the nature of the genre, episodes don’t tend to focus too much on the personal lives of law enforcement officers. But even just a few scenes or a big moment can lead to you remembering or loving an episode because of a development made for a favorite couple. In some cases, it’s the more obvious, such as a couple finally getting together (such as on NCIS: Los Angles and Castle) or sharing a first kiss (The Rookie and, with a twist, Bones). But sometimes it’s the little things, like what could have been (NCIS).

Below, we take a look at those and more of the most romantic episodes in crime procedurals (in alphabetical order by show).

Vanessa Ray and Will Estes in 'Blue Bloods'
John Paul Filo/CBS

"My Aim Is True," Blue Bloods (Season 8 Finale)

What better way for the police family drama to put Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) together, finally, than with her saving his life on the job followed by an emotional hug in the street, then quite the surprise for everyone (the Reagans, fans) at the end at Sunday dinner? Jamie was late — but he wasn’t alone: Not only had he brought Eddie with him, but they also announced that they were engaged! They completely skipped the dating part of their relationship.

Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in 'Bones'

"The Parts in the Sum of the Whole," Bones (Season 5 Episode 16)

The 100th episode went all the way back to the beginning for Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz), with the forensic anthropologist and FBI agent telling Sweets (John Francis Daley) of the first case they worked together … and surprising him with the reveal that they kissed back then! Then, in the present, Booth kissed Brennan again, wanting to give them a shot. “When you talk to older couples, who have been in love for 30 or 40 or 50 years, it’s always the guy who says, ‘I knew.’ I knew, right from the beginning,” he told her. “I’m that guy. I know.” But it wasn’t meant to be … yet.

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic in 'Castle'

"Always," Castle (Season 4 Finale)

With Beckett’s (Stana Katic) focus entirely on a case connected to her mother’s murder, Castle (Nathan Fillion) tried to protect her. And in the course of that, we got declarations from both of them. First, Castle told her he did what he did because he loved her, something he knew she already knew. “Four years, I’ve been … just waiting for you to open your eyes to see that I’m right here, and I’m more than a partner. Every morning I bring you a cup of coffee just so I can see a smile on your face because I think you are the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I’ve ever met. And I love you, Kate, and if that means anything to you, if you care about me at all, just don’t do this.” She didn’t respond in kind at the time … but then she went to him at the end of the episode and admitted she wanted him, kissing him. “He got away, and I didn’t care. I almost died, and all I could think about was you. I just want you,” she said.

Jesse Lee Soffer and Tracy Spiridakos in 'Chicago P.D.'

"Tender Age," Chicago P.D. (Season 8 Episode 3)

As Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) faced a major job decision — joint level task force with the FBI (and great pay) — she and Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) finally crossed the line from partners to more. She revealed that, despite what anyone else might think, fear of change wasn’t holding her back. “I don’t want to take it because of you,” she told him. “I’m better with you as my partner.” It could have ended there, with P.D. continuing to draw out the slow burn, but then Upton admitted, “it’s been a long time since I saw you as just my partner” … and Halstead kissed her! Sure, things are rough for Upstead right now, but that episode was the beginning of their relationship.

AJ Cook and Josh Stewart in 'Criminal Minds'
Monty Brinton/CBS

"Run," Criminal Minds (Season 7 Finale)

The second of a two-parter ended on a mostly happy note, with JJ (AJ Cook) and Will’s (Josh Stewart) wedding in Rossi’s (Joe Mantegna) backyard. All it took for her to accept his proposal (he’d been asking since they learned she was pregnant in Season 3) was for him to get shot and strapped to a bomb. And leading up to that were two hours of great stuff for the couple, from Will surrendering himself to a group of bank robbers to a kickass fight for JJ.

Kelli Giddish and Peter Scanavino in 'Law & Order: SVU'

"Wolves in Sheep's Clothing," Law & Order: SVU (Season 22 Finale)

The episode might not have featured a wedding like everyone expected — though Fin (Ice-T) and Phoebe’s (Jennifer Esposito) reasoning for that, they’re happy as they are, was romantic for them — but it did end on a note that “Rollisi” fans had been waiting years to see. Carisi (Peter Scanavino) spent so long working on his speech as officiant that Rollins (Kelli Giddish) offered to listen, during which you could see her have a lightbulb moment. “A partnership is a lot like a marriage: You fight, then you make up. But at the end of the day, you always have each other’s backs. And if you had to, you’d take a bullet for each other. A bond like that, that never goes away,” Carisi said, Rollins got emotional, and they kissed!

Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo in 'NCIS' - 'Past, Present & Future'
Sonja Flemming/CBS

"Past, Present, and Future," NCIS (Season 11 Episode 2)

Ziva (Cote de Pablo) left behind NCIS, for the time being, in this episode, but not before she and Tony (Michael Weatherlyfinally acknowledged their feelings onscreen. (And don’t worry: They end up together.) She opened up about how she felt about what she “made of [her]self,” which wasn’t what she wanted to be. He tried to convince her to come home with him, offering to change with her. “I’m fighting for you,” he said … but left without her, after the two shared a kiss at the airport.

Daniela Ruah and Eric Christian Olsen in 'NCIS: Los Angeles'
Sonja Flemming/CBS

"Humbug," NCIS: Los Angeles (Season 6 Episode 11)

After years of Kensi (Daniela Ruah) and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) only calling what was between them a “thing,” this Christmas episode saw them plan a trip together (before getting together!) then finally go “all in” while out ice skating with the team. They were “safe” together, up to that point, she said, but “I want to be bold with you.” And so with that, they agreed, “no more games” and kissed.

Eric Winter and Melissa O'Neil in 'The Rookie'

"Day in the Hole," The Rookie (Season 4 Episode 22)

What better excuse for a will they/won’t they pair to go undercover as a couple than lookalikes? Such was the case in this episode for Bradford (Eric Winter) and Chen (Melissa O’Neil) and that meant figuring out their backstories and preparing for the “elephant in the room,” a.k.a. PDA. “We’re professionals, let’s just get this done with,” he said as they hesitated to kiss so it wouldn’t look like they were doing so for the first time while undercover. “Well, that’s romantic,” she replied. “I’m not trying to be romantic,” he argued. But it still was, especially since after he pecked her, she grabbed his face and really kissed him.