(Written: May 2010)

As we all know, Gibbs has many rules - 'about fifty' he once told Ziva and these rules are not written down anywhere; it's a case of learning by breaking them or by being told them in relation to a case or simply by osmosis.


As with so many things NCIS related, quite how these rules came about is inconsistent. When we first come across Mike Franks and Gibbs has flash backs to his Probie days, we learn it is Franks who teaches Gibbs the rules. However, later in Heartland when we get to see Gibbs and Shannon's first meeting, suddenly the idea of rules become something that Shannon teaches Gibbs. Personally, I stick with the idea that it was Franks who taught him them and maybe Gibbs expanded on them, added some more, etc.


Again with the inconsistency thing over the seasons we have ended up with two rules for some numbers. We still don't know them all, but picked up several news ones during Season Seven and one thing we did learn in Season Seven was the the 40s mean something really bad is going down. Also in Season Seven, in the very final episode, these rules got added to when Gibbs introduced Rule Fifty-One.


These are the rule we have, thus far. I shall keep this updated as and when we learn any new ones.


Rule #01: Never let suspects sit together. (Yankee White: episode 1)
Rule #01: Never screw over your partner. (Blowback: episode 84)
Rule #02: Always wear gloves at a crime scene. (Yankee White: episode 1)
Rule #03: Never believe what you are told. (Yankee White: episode 1)
Rule #03: Never be unreachable. (Deception: episode 58)
Rule #04: Best way to keep a secret is to keep it to yourself. Second best way is to tell one other person if you must. There is no third best. (Blowback: episode 84)

Rule #05: Don't waste good. (Baltimore: episode 184)
Rule #06: Never say you’re sorry. (Flesh and Blood: episode 150)
Rule #07: Always be specific when you lie. (Reveille: episode 23)
Rule #08: Never take anything for granted. (Probie: episode 56)
Rule #09: Never go anywhere without a knife. (One Shot, One Kill: episode 13; Missing: episode 20; Probie: episode 56)
Rule #10: Never get involved personally on a case. (Obsession: episode 159)
Rule #11: Walk away when the job’s done. (Semper Fidelis: episode 137)
Rule #12: Never date a co-worker. (Enigma: episode 15)
Rule #13: Never involve lawyers. (Collateral Damage: episode 119)
Rule #15: Always work as a team. (Leap of Faith: episode 99)

Rule #16: If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it. (Pyramid: episode 186)
Rule #18: It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. (Silver War: episode 51)
Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in Interrogation. (Smoked: episode 80)
Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee if you want to live. (Forced Entry: episode 33)
Rule #27: There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you. (Jack Knife: episode 153)

Rule #35: Always watch the watchers. (Baltimore: episode 184)

Rule #36: If you think you're being played, you probably are (Nature Of The Beast: episode 187)
Rule #38: Your case, your lead. (Bounce: episode 129)
Rule #39: There is no such thing as coincidence. (Obsession: episode 159)
Rule #40: If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are. (Borderland: episode 160)

Rule #42: Never accept an apology from someone who's just sucker punched you. (Psych Out: episode 202)

Rule #44: First things first. Hide the women and children. (Rule Fifty-One: episode 162)

Rule #45: We aren't told exactly. But it's something like: Never leave a mess behind (Rule Fifty-One: episode 162)

Rule #51: Sometime - you are wrong (Rule Fifty-One: episode 162)

Rule #69: Never trust a woman who don't trust her man (Devil's Triangle: 193)


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