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Gibbs’ Rules

1. Never screw over your partner.
1: Never let suspects stay together.

Abby’s #3: Never lie to Abby.

2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene.

3. Never be unreachable.
3: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check.

DiNozzo’s #3: Never underestimate your opponent.

4. Best way to keep a secret: keep it to yourself. Second best: tell one other person, if you must. There is no third best. (Rule #1 supersedes all the others.)

5. You don’t waste “good.”

6. Never say you are sorry.

7. Always be specific when you lie.

8. Never take anything for granted.

DiNozzo Corollary: Never assume anything.

9. Never go anywhere without (always carry) a knife.

Abby’s #9: Always keep a spare.

10. Never get personally involved on a case.
11. When the job is done, walk away.

12. Never date a coworker.

13. Never involve a lawyer.

15. Always work as a team.

18. It is better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.

22. Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation.

23. Never mess with a Marine’s coffee – if you want to live.

27. There are two ways to follow someone. The first way they never notice you. The second way they only notice you.

35. Always watch the watchers.

38. Your case, your lead.

39a. There’s no such thing as a small world.

40. If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are.

42. Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you.

44. First things first. Hide the women and children.

45. Clean up your own mess.

51. Sometimes – you’re wrong.

69. Never trust a woman who doesn’t trust her man.

70. McGee

Unlisted Rules:

You never work the system when you can work the people.

The secret of a good bluff… is not to bluff.

Never apologize. It is a sign of weakness. Except between friends.

DiNozzo unlisted: Once is a tragedy, twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern.

Explanation of doubled Rules 1, 2, and 3 from Shane Brennan, NCIS Executive Producer (original interview & article possibly with TV Guide, but Brennan’s statement below can be found here):

“Gibbs lives his life by a set of rules that took root from the first day he met Shannon. Over time, Gibbs added to the rules. When he joined NCIS, Mike Franks told him he didn’t need dozens of different rules to be an agent… just three ‘golden rules.’

“This is why we have double ups on rules #1 and #3. Three of them are Gibbs’ rules; three of them are Mike Franks’ rules. We are still to reveal the double-up on rule #2. It’s up to fans to guess which of the rules were Mike Franks’ and which were Gibbs’.”

Based on Brennan’s statements, I have added the italic emphasis to the rules I believe to be Franks’ “golden rules.”

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