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.
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. (Season 4, Episode 11)Rule #4
Never, ever involve a lawyer. (Season 6, Episode 7; Gibbs is said to have other rules involving lawyers, but according to Tony, this is the "umbrella" one)Rule #13
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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!