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The Complete List of Gibbs Rules - NCIS

Updated on November 18, 2017

Jethro Gibbs and His Rules

On the TV show NCIS, Jethro Gibbs provides words to live by in the form of Gibbs Rules. There are many different Gibbs Rules, some are based on being an agent like rule #9 - "Don't Go Anywhere Without a Knife". Others are based on being in the Marines like rule #23 - "Don't Mess With a Marines Coffee, If You Want to Live". Some are based on life like rule #44 - "First Things First, Hide the Women and Children". At one point, Dinozzo revealed there were seven rules that dealt with lawyers, to date, we've only heard one of the seven.

In season 3, episode 4, Zeva ask Gibbs how many rules he has, and Gibbs states 50. In the final episode of season 7, when Gibbs turns over rule #13 and writes rule #51. Since then, Rule 69 was revealed, indicating, the fearless NCIS leader has been adding to his list.

In total, only 31 of Gibbs 69 rules have been revealed.

The latest Gibbs rule, Rule #62, Leave room when someone gets off the elevator, was revealed during episode 12 of season 11.

The Complete List of Gibbs Rules - 1 thru 25

  • Gibbs Rule #1 - "Never Let Suspects Stay Together" Gibbs Alternate Rule #1 - "Never Screw Over Your Partner" - No one is sure why the writers had two Number 1 rules, however, they probably weren't keeping track at the time. In NCIS Season 8, Episode 11 (Ships in the Night), Magee acknowledges that there were two Number 1 rules when Gibbs decides to break Rule #1, Never Let suspects stay together.
  • Gibbs Rule #2 - "Always Wear Gloves at a Crime Scene"
  • Gibbs Rule #3 - "Don't Believe What Your are Told, Double Check" and Gibbs Alternate Rule #3 - "Never be Unreachable"
  • Gibbs Rule #4 - "The Best Way to Keep a Secret, Keep it to yourself" - Corollary 1 to Rule #4 - "The 2nd Best Way to Keep a Secret, Tell One Other Person, if You Must" Corollary 2 to Rule #4 - "There is no Third Best"
  • Gibbs Rule #5 - "You Don't Waste Good" - Season 8, Episode 22
  • Gibbs Rule #6 - "Never Say Your Sorry"
  • Gibbs Rule #7 - "Always be Specific When you Lie"
  • Gibbs Rule #8 - "Never Take Anything for Granted"
  • Gibbs Rule #9 - "Never Go Anywhere Without a Knife" Mentioned in Season 8, Episode 9
  • Gibbs Rule #10 - "Never Get Personally Involved on a Case"
  • Gibbs Rule #11 - "When the Job is Done, Walkaway
  • Gibbs Rule #12 - "Never Date a Co-Worker"
  • Gibbs Rule #13 - "Never Ever Involve Lawyer" It is also mentioned that there are 7 rules that involve lawyers. Currently, this is the only rule about lawyers that has been revealed.
  • Gibbs Rule #14 - "Bend the Line, Don't Break It" Season 11, Episode 3
  • Gibbs Rule #15 - "Always work as a Team" Season 5, Episode 5
  • Gibbs Rule #16 - "If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it" - Season Finale, Season 8.
  • Gibbs Rule #17 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #18 - "It's Better to Seek Forgiveness than Ask Permission" - Season 3, Episode 4, revealed by Director Shephard
  • Gibbs Rule #19 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #20 - Hasn't been revealed - "Always Look Under" - Season 12, episode 17 revealed by Special Agent Barrett
  • Gibbs Rule #21 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #22 - "Never Ever Bother Gibbs in Interrogation"
  • Gibbs Rule #23 - "Never Mess with a Marine's Coffee, If you Want to Live"
  • Gibbs Rule #24 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #25 - Hasn't been revealed

The Complete List of Gibbs Rules: 25 thru 50

  • Gibbs Rule #26 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #27 - "Two Ways to Follow: First way they never notice you...Second way they ONLY notice you"
  • Gibbs Rule #28 - "When you need help, Ask" - Season 9
  • Gibbs Rule #29 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #30 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #31 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #32 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #33 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #34 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #35 - "Always Watch the Watchers" - Season 8, Episode 21
  • Gibbs Rule #36 - "If you feel like you're being played, you probably are" - Season 9, Episode 1
  • Gibbs Rule #37 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #38 - "Your Case, Your Lead" First said to Tony Dinozzo by Gibbs in season 6, episode 16. In season 10, episode 3, Gibbs said it again to Dr. Mallard.
  • Gibbs Rule #39 - "There is no such thing as coincidences" and Gibbs Rule #39A - "There is no such thing as a small world" - Season 10, Episdoe 14
  • Gibbs Rule #40 - "If it Seems Like Someone is Out to Get You, They Are"
  • Gibbs Rule #41 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #42 - "Never accept an apology from someone who has just sucker punched you." Revealed during Season 9 on Feb 21st.
  • Gibbs Rule #43 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #44 - "First Things First, Hide the Women and Children"
  • Gibbs Rule #45 - "Clean Up Your Own Messes"
  • Gibbs Rule #46 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #47 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #48 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #49 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #50 - Hasn't been revealed

Gibbs Rule #51 - "Sometimes You're Wrong"

The Complete List of Gibbs Rules 51 thru 75

Gibbs seems to use rules 51 and over for his personal life. They seem to be made up on the spot and as normal, the rules are not necessarily in order.

  • Gibbs Rule #51 - "Sometimes you're wrong"
  • Gibbs Rule #52 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #53 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #54 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #55 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #56 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #57 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #58 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #59 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #60 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #61 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #62 - "Always give people space when they get off the elevator" - said by Abbie to Gibbs, Season 11 Episode 12
  • Gibbs Rule #63 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #64 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #65 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #66 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #67 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #68 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #69 - "Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man."
  • Gibbs Rule #70 - Hasn't been revealed - In Season 11, McGee or was it McGibbs tried to make up his own rule. Will acknowledge the effort, but we won't write it down as an official rule.
  • Gibbs Rule #71 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #72 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #73 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #74 - Hasn't been revealed
  • Gibbs Rule #75 - Hasn't been revealed

Most of Gibbs Rules and the Clips they came from

What is your favorite NCIS episode or moment?

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    • DFYcontent profile image

      DFYcontent 3 years ago

      That's like asking which one of your kids you like best ;-)

      The one that springs to mind right now is Stakeout (5x12). Loved the crime, the team interactions,... just a very enjoyable and fun episode to watch (again and again).

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      when Abby and Ziva slap each other

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      #37 has been revealed. Tony gave McGee Gibbs's coffee......#37 never mess with a marines coffee. And then of course they mentioned something about "dead man walking" :D

    • GrowthSpark profile image

      GrowthSpark 5 years ago

      Thanks for pulling all the rules together, I hear them on the program and often wonder if they are duplicated as I don't keep track. I just love the NCIS humor.

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      Kate: What did Ducky look like when he was younger?

      Gibbs (smiling slightly): Illya Kuryakin.

      I'm a David McCallum fan. This is a great lens.

    • profile image

      ssalunkhe 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the lens. I would love to live my life by Gibbs rules.

    • DesignedbyLisa LM profile image

      DesignedbyLisa LM 5 years ago

      I was looking for this list! Thanks for keeping track.

    • Nightcat profile image

      Nightcat 5 years ago

      This is awesome, I was hoping a list of his rules would come out some day. Angel Blessings!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I loved seeing these 50 Jethro Gibbs Rules. I love all the NCIS episodes and have probably seen each of them at least 3 times. I can't think of my favorite right now.

    • MyFairLadyah2 profile image

      MyFairLadyah2 5 years ago

      Love this show - Can't think of a favorite episonde/moment - Nice Lens!

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @Gail47: Our whole family gathers around the TV on Tuesday nights to watch NCIS. Kids must have their homework done first though, Dad's rule #2.

    • ijbgraphics profile image

      ijbgraphics 5 years ago

      when they go to rescue Ziva and Gibbs snipes the terrorist :) Nice lens btw

    • profile image

      Gail47 5 years ago

      Tony and Ziva in Paris - those to actors have great charisma! Love all of NCIS and have watched every NCIS on USA there is. Family knows when "Gibbs" is on, I'm rarely available. Wonderful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm glad to find your lens. I now know what to get my sister-in-law for Christmas. She is the biggest NCIS fan in the state of Alabama. She DVRs every episode and watches them over and over. I didn't know there were NCIS tee shirts...I've put this lens in favorites and will have to get her one for Christmas...she will love it! Cool lens!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I love his grumpy character on NCIS. I think the best scenes are when he is interacting with Abby.

    • APackageAtTheDoor profile image

      APackageAtTheDoor 6 years ago

      We just recently started watching NCIS, and I think what hooked me was a scene from one of the first episodes I saw, "Twisted Sister" about McGee's sister. It's a scene with Gibbs, Jenny and Abby. Abby starts imitating Gibbs and Jenny and then says something like, "The kids don't like it when the parents argue." My jaw just dropped and I howled with laughter. I knew I was going to love this show!

    • bernie74 lm profile image

      bernie74 lm 6 years ago

      Oh My, there are just too man to choose from. I could sit and re watch them all. But I must admit I do love the episode where Tone and Tim a caught and Tony is injected with truth serum and they find out that Ziva is still alive. and the look her and Gibs exchange when she is being recued is awesome.But there are many others

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 6 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: I had to go back and look at the episode again because I had originally marked it as Rule 16. After watching the episode I did verify it was Rule 16.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Gibb's Rule #14 was revealed in the last episode of this season (May, 2011). Tony said:"If the suspect has the upper hand - break it."

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Canada

      I love Gibbs Rules and Head Slaps (though these seem to be dwindling). Twilight is the episode that sticks out and S.W.A>k. I also like the McGee heavy episodes. He's my favorite character. Rule 3 and Rule 8 seem similar to me. I wonder if they noticed that in hind sight.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      I dont have any favourite NCIS moment but I love any moments with Abbey or McGee in them. I think they are both very smart. I hate DiNozzo always puttin McGee down - especially when he calls McGee Probie - that is just plain nasty.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I love ALL NCIS episodes and have many favorite moments. But my favorite 'Line' was said by Tony - "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got!" The many NCIS fans in my family quote that line to each other frequently, in appropriate moments. It should be a Gibbs RULE! :)

      Gibbs Rules are a part of NCIS that I look forward to in each episode. Keep waiting to hear more. Such fun to read them altogether here. And, am absolutely crazy about the 'bloopers' - hadn't seen them before! Good job putting this together. ~~A SquidAngel NCIS fan is leaving a Blessing~~