I am a HUGE fan of NCIS on CBS. I have watched it from the beginning, all 120 years of it. No, seriously, all in all this is the 12th season for the show. I have some fun information from it to share with you today. Agent Gibbs has a set of rules he not only works by, but lives by. His deceased wife Shannon is apparently responsible for most of the list. When they met she stated that everyone needs a code they can live by. Every rule exists for a reason. Gibbs lives by them, the rest of his team are suppose to as well.
If you’ve never watched the show, give it a try! It has a lot of humor in it, some thought provoking episodes as well as a mystery to solve. Check out this link for a list of the quirky characters, they all are top raters for me but I especially love Abby Sciuto, the forensic specialist. Ducky is great, Tony is fun and smart, McGee is the McGeek of the group, and you can’t forget Gibbs. Check them all out when you can. In the meantime, learn the rules!
*Three years ago I shared a post about these rules, and today I am sharing this updated and better version for you. Also I have some new information I found about the duplicate rules, so look for the asterisk near the bottom for that!
Rule #1: Never let suspects sit together. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 1 – “Yankee White.” *
Rule #1: Never screw over your partner. This rule supersedes all other rules. First mentioned in Season 4, Episode 14 – “Blowback.”*
Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 1 – “Yankee White.” *
Rule #3: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 1 – “Yankee White.” *
Rule #3: Never be unreachable. (again, for whatever reason there are two number 3’s…) First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 13 – “Deception.” *
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. First mentioned in Season 4, Episode 14 – “Blowback.”
Rule # 5: You don’t waste good. First mentioned in Season 8, Episode 22 – “Baltimore.”
Rule #6: Never apologize – it’s a sign of weakness. (but Gibbs also said that its ok to say you’re sorry to a friend.) First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 12 – “Flesh and Blood.”
However Gibbs has made at least six exceptions to Rule #6:
1. His apology to Kate for being late to her funeral.
2. His apology to McGee for not backing him up when he was interrogated (and arrested) by the DC Metro Police.
3. His apology to Franks because of his amnesia.
4. His apology to Ducky following his return from Mexico.
5. His apology to Joann for not being able to protect Shannon and Kelly.
6. His apology to Abby in the Season 7 Finale, Rule Fifty-One for frightening her and not being able to tell her what she wants to hear.
Also, Gibbs tells Ducky when Ducky feels the need to apologize to Gibbs that an apology isn’t a sign of weakness if it’s between friends.
Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 23 – “Reveille.”
Rule #8: Never take anything for granted. First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 10 – “Probie,” although Gibbs also quotes it as being “Never assume” during the Season 9, Episode 21, “Rekindled.”
Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 13 – “One Shot, One Kill.”
Abby’s rule #9, “Always keep a spare” (Said while pulling a spare Caf-Pow from her fridge.)
Rule #10: Never get personally involved on a case. It’s the rule Gibbs says he’s always had the most trouble with. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 21 – “Obsession.”
Rule #11: When the job is done, walk away. Season 6, Episode 24 – “Semper Fidelis.”
Rule #12: Never date a coworker. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 15 – “Enigma.”
Rule #13: Never, ever involve a lawyer. Tony says this is the umbrella rule for all 7 lawyer rules. First mentioned in Season 6, Episode 7 – “Collateral Damage.”
Rule #14: Bend the line, don’t break it. First mentioned in Season 11, Episode 4 – “Anonymous Was a Woman.”
Rule #15: Always work as a team. First mentioned in Season 5, Episode 5 – “Leap of Faith.”
Rule #16: If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it. First mentioned in Season 8, Episode 24 – “Pyramid.” This was also season 8’s finale.
Rule #18: It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 4 – “Silver War.”
Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation. First mentioned in Season 4, Episode 10 – “Smoked.”
Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine’s (or Angela’s) coffee if you want to live. First mentioned in Season 2, Episode 9 – “Forced Entry.”
Rule #27: Two ways to follow: first way – they never notice you, second way – they only notice you. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 15 – “Jack Knife” and remembered in “Rule Fifty-One.”
Rule # 35: Always watch the watchers. First mentioned in Season 8, Episode 22 – “Baltimore.”
Rule #36: If it feels like you’re being played, you probably are.First mentioned in Season 9, Episode 1 – “Nature of the Beast.”
Rule #38: Your case, your lead. First mentioned in Season 6, Episode 16 – “Bounce,” placing Tony in temporary charge of the team and in the season 10, episode 3 – “Phoenix” with Ducky as the leader.
Rule #39: There is no such thing as coincidence, but we do believe in bad luck. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 21 – “Obsession.”
According to Abby, the 40’s are used for emergency only!
Rule #40: If you think someone is out to get you, they are. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 21 – “Rule Fifty-One.”
Rule #42: To get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. (I know this is a rule, but I cannot remember or find which episode it is in. When I figure it out, I will update )
Rule #42: Never accept an apology from somebody who just sucker-punched you. First mentioned in Season 9, Episode 16 – “Psych Out.”
Rule #44: First things first, hide the women and children. This rule number was mentioned in “Patriot Down,” (from Season 7, Episode23) but was not stated until “Rule Fifty-One.”
Rule #45: “Left a mess I’ve got to clean up” – I’m not exactly sure on the actual rule, but that’s what Gibbs said. First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 24 as “Never leave behind loose ends,” then Gibbs makes the former statement in Season 7, Episode 24 – “Rule Fifty-One.”
Rule #51: Sometimes you are wrong. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 24 – “Rule Fifty-One.” Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in this episode, as this was when Gibbs created it.
*So why are there two No. 1s, and two No. 3s? Since I first noticed this ‘glitch’ I wondered if they were continuity errors, or, giving the writers the benefit of the doubt, if Gibbs’ list was simply meant to be malleable. It’s turns out to be more of the latter. Executive Producer Shane Brennan revealed that the duplication was actually intentional in his surprising explanation for the minor puzzle regarding the rules:
“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’.”
I’m assuming the other duplicates are also because there is a blending of Gibbs and Shannon’s or someone else’s rules.
For those of you not familiar with the show, Gibbs has been known to offer a slap or two to the back of the head of his team, mainly as a consequence for not following the rules, or not doing your job right. Unless you are Tony. Tony has a bad habit of being a flirt, and not taking the matter at hand very seriously in the first few years of the show. Per Gibbs: A slap to the face is an insult. A slap to the back of the head is a wake up call. So Tony, get ready to wake up! There’s a few Gibb’s smacks coming your way! For a clip of these moments watch this Hit the Head montage. I also found an expanded version on YouTube to share below.
Boyfriend, reminding me of the rules: “Rule #44: First things first, hide the women and children. Now, sweetie, where am I going to hide you?”
My reply: “Rule #51, Sometimes you are wrong. You would be wrong to try and hide me.”
Hope you enjoy this as much as I have! Have a wonderful day! Angela
PS: I wrote an additional post about unofficial NCIS rules, you can find it here. Enjoy!
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