‘NCIS’ Fans Reveal the #1 Best Gibbs Rule

While several NCIS cast members have come and gone — Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, Cote de Pablo — one mainstay is in it for the long haul. One guy has been fully committed to the show, showing no signs of departure, since its days as a wee Jag spin-off, and he has come to represent the show and the entire franchise. Mark Harmon is not only Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs; he is the face of NCIS. He is the man people tune in to see every Tuesday night. 

Mark Harmon of NCIS
Mark Harmon as Agent Gibbs in ‘NCIS’ | Erik Voake/CBS via Getty Images

If there is one character fans have grown intimately familiar with it’s Gibbs and, across sixteen seasons and a bit more, NCIS enthusiasts have several of his precious rules memorized. 

From “never let suspects sit together” to “never involve lawyers” and “never be unreachable,” Gibbs has a stockpile of rules he yearns to align with and expects his subordinates to obey. Every so often, rules must be broken. However, there is one Gibbs rule that stands the test of time. One Gibbs rule seems to rank above all the others. 

NCIS fans took to Reddit to discuss the “Best Gibbs” rule, and one trend quickly emerged. One rule seemed to garner most of the attention and, if you know anything about Gibbs, you may already have an idea. 

The #1 best Gibbs rule revealed  

While many Gibbs rules show the man’s wisdom, years of experience working as an agent, and grasp on the complexities of life, one rule stands above the others. When push comes to shove, many fans agree that “never go anywhere without a knife” tops the charts. Fans stated:

I have 2 favorites and they are back to back. #8 Never take anything for granted and #9 Never go anywhere without a knife. I quote number 9 the most.

Reddit User

I quote number 9 the most as well. “Never go anywhere without a knife.”

Reddit User

Of course, #9. My little brother (16) will be struggling to open something and I’ll just look at him and say “Rule 9″…

Reddit User

Rule #9 is the reason I always carry a knife.

Reddit User

Many fans chimed in noting the practicality inherent to rule number nine, as well as how well it simply captures who Gibbs is and the overall context of the show; however, it was not the only Gibbs rule that fans favor. Below, you will find a few honorable mentions that came up in the fan discussion surrounding Gibbs’ rules. 

Honorable mentions 

  • Rule #27: Two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you.
  • Rule #8: Never take anything for granted
  • Rule #51: Sometimes, you’re wrong. 

As for rule number 51, Gibbs is rarely, rarely wrong; however, he is not too arrogant to admit when he is. As for #27, if you’re on the NCIS team, you better know how to follow someone. And as for #8, this season has definitely taught the agents (and fans alike) to never take anything for granted. Ziva may not be back forever. Who knows … her return may be bet with more danger.