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!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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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.

Palmer: I take it you heard?
Gibbs: Mmm hmm.
Palmer: Yeah, she saw the baby and just....I guess she felt the same way we felt when we first saw him. Can't fault her for that, right?
Gibbs: You should go home.
Palmer: I will. Yeah Breena and I, we just wanted to get all this stuff out of the house. You know, we wanted to give it back as soon as possible.
Gibbs: We.
Palmer: Me. She's hurting too, but she is so much stronger. She's ready to try again. And me - I feel like I can't breathe. I never felt this bad in my life, Gibbs.
Gibbs: Well, just wait until it's 3:00 in the morning, and your kid's running 104. You're just getting started.
Palmer: That's the point. I'm not starting, you know? Maybe I never will.
Gibbs: Well then fight for it, Palmer! That's what you do. You fight for your family. And sometimes, you fight like hell just to have one.
Palmer: You want me to fight, I feel like I just went ten rounds with Joe Louis.
Gibbs: Do you want to be a dad, Palmer? Because right now, this is being a dad.
Palmer: Maybe I'm not ready.
Gibbs: You wouldn't feel the way you feel, right now, if you weren't ready.