I admit I was a little late getting on the NCIS bandwagon. My husband introduced me to the show this past summer and I’ve been spending my time trying to catch up on the past seven NCIS seasons. There are a few shows that my DVR hasn’t yet recorded but I’m confident that I’ll be almost caught up by the season 8 premier on Sept. 21st.
One aspect of NCIS that I have been desperately noting is the rules according to Gibbs. Apparently lead NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs has a set of 50 rules (now he’s up to 51) that he lives by and proceeds to teach them to his team. He only lets one or two rules out at a time. These rules have become iconic because not all of them have been revealed.
What caught my attention regarding Gibbs’ rules was that I saw an episode that gave rule #1 as “Never let suspects stay together.” Since I have been watching multiple episodes at once I noticed that Gibbs has two #1 rules. I looked for the origin of both rules and found out that according to Executive Producer Shane Brennan that the duplicate rules were intentional.
“Gibbs lives his life by a set of rules that took root from the first day he met Shannon. Over time, Gibbs added to the rules. When he joined NIS, Mike Franks told him he didn’t need dozens of different rules to be an agent… just three ‘golden rules.’ And this is why we have double ups on rules #1 and #3. Three of them are Gibbs’ rules; three of them are Mike Franks’ rules. We are still to reveal the double-up on rule #2. And it’s up to the fans to guess which of the rules were Mike Franks’ three golden rules and which were Gibbs’.”
At the end of season 7, Gibbs added one more rule. Here are the 51 rules that have been revealed so far on NCIS: The Rules According to Gibbs:
Rule #1: Never let suspects stay together.
Rule #1: Never screw over your partner.
Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene.
Rule #2: *Unknown duplicate rule.*
Rule #3: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check.
Rule #3: Never be unreachable.
Rule #4: The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person – if you must. There is no third best.
Rule #5: You don’t waste good.
Rule #6: Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.
Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie.
Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.
Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.
Rule #10: Never get personally involved in a case.
Rule #11: When the job is done, walk away.
Rule #12: Never date a coworker.
Rule #13: Never, ever involve a lawyer.
Rule#14: Bend the line, don’t break it.
Rule #15: Always work as a team.
Rule #16: If someone thinks he has the upper hand; break it.
Rule #18: It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.
Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation.
Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live.
Rule #27: There are two ways to follow someone. — First way they never notice you. — Second way they only notice you.
Rule #35: Always watch the watchers.
Rule #36: If you feel like you’re being played, you probably are.
Rule #38: Your case, your lead.
Rule #39: There is no such thing as coincidence.
*According to Abby in the season 7 finale, “Rule Fifty-One”, the forties are for emergency use only!
Rule #40: If it seems someone is out to get you, they are.
Rule #42: Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you.
Rule #44: First things first, hide the women and children.
Rule #45: Clean up the mess that you make.
Rule #51: Sometimes – You’re wrong.
*This rule was written on the back of Rule #13*
Rule #69: Never trust a woman who doesn’t trust her man.
The Unspoken Rule: You do what you have to for family.
*Mike Franks gave Gibbs this rule in the season 8 Premier, “Spider and Fly”. Gibbs repeated this rule to his father while helping him fix his store.*
I did need some help with a few of these rules because I haven’t yet seen every episode. This site helped me and it will also give you which episode each rule appeared in.