‘NCIS’: The Hilarious Way Gibbs Destroyed His Phone and How He Got a New One

Gibbs isn’t great with phones—or technology for that matter. Here’s how the NCIS agent destroyed his phone at the beginning of the series and how he got a new one.

Gibbs isn’t a big fan of technology

Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs | Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs | Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images

Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is stuck in a time warp. He’s critical of new technology and doesn’t like to have high-tech gadgets in his home. During NCIS season 1, episode 2 (titled “Hung out to Dry”), we see he has a rotary phone and an old, boxy television (he calls it an “idiot box”) in his basement. He also uses hand tools to make his boat instead of power tools. When DiNozzo offers Gibbs his power sander, Gibbs declines and says he likes to use his hands. DiNozzo mutters under his breath that Gibbs is a “weirdo.”

How Gibbs destroyed his phone

Gibbs can usually be found in his basement, working on his boat. |  Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images
Gibbs can usually be found in his basement, working on his boat. | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

During that same episode, viewers get a glimpse of Gibbs’ basement. One thing you’ll notice is a jar of paint thinner. Another thing inside that jar is a cell phone. Gibbs placed his phone in paint thinner so it would stop ringing. Ducky later explains to DiNozzo that Gibbs gets a phone call from his third ex-wife every year on their anniversary. Apparently, she keeps calling throughout the day, so the only way Gibbs can find relief is by destroying his phone. Gibbs is so out of touch that he isn’t aware he can just block his ex-wife’s calls.

The only problem with Gibbs wrecking his phone is that no one can get in touch with him to give him updates on the latest case. That’s why DiNozzo has to show up at his house to let him know there’s a new development. Luckily, the NCIS finance department (Ducky calls them the “bean counters”) comes to the rescue when they send Gibbs a brand-new phone. The phone comes with a note from Ducky, who tells Gibbs to familiarize himself with the call-blocking features.  

This isn’t the first phone Gibbs destroyed

Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon | Colleen Hayes/CBS via Getty Images
Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon | Colleen Hayes/CBS via Getty Images

Gibbs is no stranger to destroying phones. In NCIS Season 17, Episode 15 (titled “Lonely Hearts”), Gibbs threw away a phone his friend, Retired Captain Phillip Brooks, gave him. Phil was trying to encourage Gibbs to get back into the dating game by setting up an online dating profile, so he gave him a smartphone (Gibbs loves his flip phone). Phil went through the trouble of creating a profile for Gibbs and posting it on a Navy dating site called Fleet date.

“You don’t have to use the app now, just think about it,” Phil says to Gibbs. “If you ever get lonely, just hit that button, OK? Who knows, maybe you’ll find love, too.” Gibbs doesn’t look convinced, but he takes the phone.  However, as soon as Phil leaves, Gibbs throws the phone into his fireplace. There was also a time earlier in the series when Gibbs threw a flip phone into DiNozzo’s drink. It’s clear he doesn’t trust technology.

Read more: ‘NCIS’: 3 Reasons Gibbs and Sloane Would Never Work

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