‘NCIS’: Gibbs or Pride? Fans Weigh-in and the Answer Might Surprise You

The NCIS franchise exploded when it expanded from the original to NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans. Each division has different people in charge. The longest-running chief of his team at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), is a fan favorite. However, the NOLA team has the ever-reliable, Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula). Who fares better among the NCIS world as a whole?

‘NCIS’ is on season 17 and Leroy Gibbs runs the show

'NCIS'
Creator/producer Gary Glasberg, producer Jeffrey Lieber, actor/producer Mark Harmon, and actors Zoe McLellan, Scott Bakula, C. C. H. Pounder, and Lucas Black speak onstage at the ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ panel | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

While both Gibbs and Pride answer to a higher being such as Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll) in the D.C. headquarters, the majority of the NCIS team answers to Gibbs.

The special agents, who form the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, solve crimes that involve the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. 17 seasons in, fans might not remember that NCIS was a spin-off of the 1995 legal drama, JAG.

Gibbs is a former U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper, a fantastic marksman, and an extremely private man who doesn’t like to talk about his past (which is heartwrenching) or his personal life. Gibbs has a penchant for discipline, using his instincts and patriotism to guide him.

And, while Gibbs isn’t the guy interested in background checks or anything technical, he lives and breathes by a specific set of [69] rules that many fans have come to also live by.

One of his rules, “Never get involved personally on a case,” was mentioned in season 7. Ironically, it’s the rule NCIS: New Orleans Dwayne Pride breaks most often.

‘NCIS: New Orleans’ is on season 6 and Dwayne Pride is the man of the hour

Pride’s character was introduced on NCIS in 2014. Fans loved his essence so much, the NOLA spin-off was a success before it ever got off the ground. Pride, who is based on the real-life hero, D’Wayne Swear, is a former Jefferson Parish deputy sheriff who runs the NCIS Resident Agency in New Orleans.

Pride’s nickname is “King” for good reason. Though he and Gibbs are longtime friends from their days in the “Fed Five,” which is a group of NCIS agents who arrested “The Privageled Killer.” Pride runs the NOLA streets and southern region and does so with “pride (no pun intended)”.

Where Gibbs is a “by-the-rules” kind of guy, Pride juxtaposes that idea, but not just for the sake of breaking rules. There’s always a reason for Pride’s choices, and they usually involve protecting his loved ones.

As the man with the second-highest arrest record in the history of Jefferson Parish’s Sheriff’s Office, he’s a loving father and loyal friend. There’s an ease to Pride that makes others feel safe, where Gibbs has a bit more of a wall in place.

Which ‘NCIS’ leader do fans love more?

The two characters are drastically different, held to the connective tissue that is NCIS. Still, fans have major opinions about who does it better.

“Of the 3 NCIS, he’s (Bakula) the leader that shows more equilibrium and empathy. The piano is a plus,” one fan tweeted. “Love him! An absolute hero and a favorite since Quantum Leap,” another echoed. Another simply said, “Dwayne Pride.”

On the other hand, “You can always count on Gibbs Finely,” one dedicated NCIS fan tweeted. “Gibbs will do anything for the ones he loves if this asks for it!” another said. And finally, words that sound eerily similar to Pride’s way of being, “I love how Gibbs turns into Papa Bear when it comes to a member of his team.”

It’s clear there is no one favorite. Gibbs and Pride operate differently, but one is no less important than the other. Fans seem to appreciate them both equally, for different reasons. Maybe we can agree that they’re both spectacular and the NCIS franchise would be nothing without them. #gride #pribbs