Gibbs Rules: NCIS' Guide to Life From Our Fearless Leader

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NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, portrayed for over a decade by the incomparable Mark Harmon, lives life by a set of rules. Most of which be abides by.

Gibbs' rules may be fluid, ever-changing and incomplete (many of them have yet to be revealed), but fans of the CBS drama know they've been a staple since Season 1.

The "40s" are said to be especially important, while the list was believed to comprise about 50 rules, with a 51st added with major impact in the Season 7 finale.

However, a 69th rule was dropped out of nowhere in Season 9, and #62 was revealed in a throwaway line in the most recent hour of NCIS Season 11 ... so who knows.

There have been examples of Gibbs and his team breaking them (3, 6 and 12 come to mind), and there are two different rules for #1 and #3, anomalies attributed to Mike Franks.

Rules 1-3 for Gibbs and his late mentor are therefore distinct; Gibbs' #2 hasn't been revealed … we don't think. Other NCIS team members have revealed their own rules as well.

Which rules are your favorites? What do you think some of his yet-to-be-revealed pearls of wisdom might be? Did we miss any or get any of them wrong?

Scroll through TV Fanatic's Gibbs Rules slideshow above and and share your thoughts and comments. We'll make the additions and corrections as needed!

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There is a rule somewhere about agents not having a social life

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@ Eve

I don't think so. The closest rule to that is Rule #12 never date a coworker.

NCIS Quotes

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.

McGee: You know something I don't? Working tonight and tomorrow night?
Tony: No, Tim. It's just that Zoe's parents are in town and they want to have dinner. I'm not ready for that.
Abby: So you deceived her.
Tony: I was put on the spot. I was not prepared.
McGee: Whoa. Hey. What are you afraid of?
Tony: I don't know.
Abby: They're probably really nice.
Tony: I'm sure they are. I've just never had dinner with the parents of a woman I'm seriously involved with.
McGee: That's not true. What about Jon Benois?
Tony: No, technically that wasn't me because I was undercover as Tony DiNardo, professor of film studies. I wasn't myself back then. Meeting the parents for dinner could trigger a whole chain of events.
Abby: It's just dinner, Tony.
Tony: You have dinner yet with Ranger Burt's parents? I didn't think so. Then put down the gavel, take off the robe and stop judging, both of you.
Abby: Okay.