|Portrayed By||Kirsten Vangsness|
|First Appearance||The Fight|
Garcia is into online games, specifically MMORPGs. She has said she can run U.S. Central Command from her office while also playing online poker. She is extremely protective of her computers and the FBI database, although a serial killer was able to access the database while having her laptop connected to the FBI's network (to play an online RPG).
It is revealed in the Criminal Minds episode "Penelope" that when Garcia was eighteen years old her parents were killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. In the aftermath of their deaths, she went underground and began learning computer code as a way to deal with their loss. It is also revealed that she is considered by the FBI as one of the most dangerous hackers in the world, and, when she was finally arrested after several years of mercenary hacking, they offered her an expunged record and amnesty if she agreed to join the FBI.
Penelope was once shot at near point blank range by Jason Clark Battle. While lying prone after the gunshot, she held her breath while Battle looked for any signs of life. She nearly died at the hospital but a surgeon was able to save her. The entire BAU team was there for support. While she was recovering, another hacker was brought in to cover for her while the team investigated her shooting. Garcia and the new hacker, Kevin Lynch, made friends while collaborating and would later begin a romantic relationship.
Like most characters of her type (Abby of NCIS, for example), Penelope has a very eccentric and eclectic personal appearance. Though her clothing style varies, her basic theme could be described as a blend of goth and hippie culture. As of the end of season four, she has added black and red streaks to her blond hair. Shortly before The Uncanny Valley, she dyed her hair red.
- Refers to a public restroom as a loo.
- Uses an entirely 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.
- Doesn't speak Spanish even though her last name is Spanish. She mentions in the Criminal Minds episode Machismo that it's her step-father's name, who is Hispanic.
- Speaks French and is seen trying to learn Italian.
- Maintains a strict adherence to "The Hacker Code" of conduct.
- Agent Prentiss refers to Garcia as "The world's sexiest hacker" in The Performer.
- Suffers from Coulrophobia, a fear of clowns. 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. She said "Apparently making it funny makes it ok."
- Her name, Penelope, is actually homage to Moneypenny (from the Bond films). She is seen as Derek 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 the Criminal Minds episode 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 applied for her job at the BAU with a resumé written on homemade stationary paper.
- She mentions four brothers in the Criminal Minds episode P911, but in Safe Haven says she is an only child.
- Her hobbies include knitting and making soup. (Lonely Heart)