‘NCIS’: Gibbs’ Rules to Live By

by Shelby Scott

“NCIS” just said goodbye to show patriarch Leroy Jethro Gibbs earlier this 19th season. As we continue to navigate the remainder of this season, fans struggle to adjust to “NCIS” without the iconic character. However, while Gibbs is gone, he left a lot of important life lessons behind. And many of those come in a collection of Gibbs’ most important rules to live by. And if you’re a longtime “NCIS” fan like me, then you know it’s probably a good idea to follow them.

According to TV Insider, “NCIS’s” mainstay character possessed a list of 91 important rules, although as we move through the seasons, we begin to skip a boatload of numbered rules.

Essentially we go sequentially up to Rule #16, where the pattern breaks. Gibbs skips to #18, then #20, and so on and so forth. From there, the distance between the numbered rules becomes greater, eventually skipping from #69 to #91.

Regardless of their numbers, however, Gibbs‘ rules don’t only apply to specific “NCIS” situations. Viewers can likely apply a lot of them to real-life situations as well. So I’ll share the Outsider-specific ones here with you.

“Other Rule #1” goes as follows: “Never screw over your partner.”

In the realm of “NCIS,” the rule applies strictly to the workplace. However, I definitely think that “other” Rule #1 could apply in various aspects of our lives. It simply suggests remaining loyal to those friends and companions that remain loyal to you.

Meanwhile, #3 could apply to a vast collection of personal and professional pursuits and challenges. And it goes as such: “Never believe what you are told. Double-check.” As a writer alone, I can think of numerous examples of when Gibbs’ Rule #3 would come in handy.

‘NCIS’ Guidelines for the Everyday

As I said, many of Gibbs‘ rules are “NCIS” team specific. However, others can be applied more broadly to a variety of situations. The remaining rules pertain to a number of challenges we might run into in our everyday lives. Read on to see what else Gibbs has for us.

“NCIS” rule number eight reminds us to “Never take anything for granted,” and I think that’s something important to remember. Especially at this time of year. The holidays often allow for greater family time that we don’t often see throughout the rest of the year. With that said, be sure to embrace your family members this holiday season. Also, try to do your best to remain present in the moment despite the millions of thoughts surely running through your head.

Another important one is, “When you need help, ask.” Coming in at 28 on the list—this rule surely applies to all you Outsiders. While many of us would rather struggle and endure on our own, asking for help is often the best and easiest solution.

Over at TVInsider, there remains a rather large list of important and dynamic “NCIS” rules. However, I’ll let you peruse them on your own.

For now, I’ll follow rule #11: “When the job is done, walk away.”