‘NCIS’: Why Some Fans Call Gibbs By His Full Name

by Shelby Scott

There are many mysteries and questions which surround “NCIS” patriarch, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. One of many concerns his name, his full name that is. Redditors recently got into a discussion about why certain characters in the show call Agent Gibbs by his various names.

Most commonly, as we “NCIS” fans know, the special agent simply goes by Gibbs for the majority of the show. However, one Redditor pointed out that all of Gibbs’ previous girlfriends/partners/ex-wives, etc. refer to him as Jethro. Besides Gibbs’ friend, colleague, and frequent counsel Dr. “Ducky” Mallard, his romantic partners are the only individuals who refer to Gibbs as Jethro.

Additionally, the same post highlighted that the only person to ever call Gibbs by his first name Leroy is his father, Jack.

Gibbs’ Names Represent Different Relationships

Reddit discussed and came up with two conclusions. One Redditor wrote that Gibbs is possibly referred to by different names, apparently including LJ and Jay. “NCIS” does this throughout his various relationships as a way to show how lost he was between the time he lost Shannon and Kelly (his first wife and only daughter) and his third divorce.

Another interesting comment pointed out that “NCIS” does in fact move in eras. The Redditor wrote people who knew him as a child call him Leroy. Those who knew him from before his time as a NIS agent call him Jethro. Following that, everyone else calls him Gibbs.

While those points are all valid, there are definitely other possibilities. Gibbs’ father calling him Leroy lies in the fact that he is, simply, his son. However, Jethro and Gibbs convey different tones and relationships based on who uses which name when. Overall, it seems that the quick, finite sound associated with “Gibbs” commands attention and authority.

On the other hand, Jethro has a softer sound. Those who identify him by this name have more personal experience with the “NCIS” agent. The people who call him Jethro know him as an individual with a past. They also know he is someone who frequently carries a lot of trauma. They know him as more than simply “Special Agent Gibbs.”

Gibbs’ Names Are Not the Only Thing Being Debated in ‘NCIS’

While Reddit debates the usage of Gibbs’ various names during which occasion, other “NCIS” fans are debating other pressing plotlines.

A July 27th Tweet from the official “NCIS” Twitter account shared a message of simply three boat emojis. You can check out the cryptic message here. The season 18 finale saw the destruction of Agent Gibbs’ boat. However, a snippet showed that Gibbs survived, and fans went wild with theories behind the reasoning for the post.

Many fans came to an agreement that they believe Gibbs decided to wreck his own boat. One theory is that the explosion has something to do with Gibbs wanting to help Bishop.

Other fans have theories surrounding the idea that because of Gibbs’ agreement to minimal appearances throughout season 19, this is a way for writers to still include the actor while making sense of his absence.

Only the September 20th season 19 premiere will start to provide us some clues.