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The Real Reason Mark Harmon Grew A Mustache On NCIS

It seems like some people were destined to have glorious mustaches. From fictional characters — Ron Burgundy, Borat, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook — to real-life facial hair icons like Tom Selleck and Steve Harvey, a well-maintained 'stache is appreciated by all. On the other hand, not everyone is so fortunate in the hair-growing department. Try as they might, their upper lip adornments don't quite fill out as planned or simply don't look that great.

Take Mark Harmon from "NCIS," who plays Leroy Jethro Gibbs. When he suddenly sported a mustache a few seasons into the show, fans were perplexed. What was the reason for the furry addition? It also didn't seem to make the impact that the showrunners intended, as he was back to his clean-shaven self only a few episodes later. Let's take a look into the mystery that was Harmon's mustache and see just why the out-of-nowhere under-the-nose hair was a thing.

Mark Harmon's mustache was a rebrand

After retiring from the NCIS at the end of Season 3, Season 4 opens with Gibbs living in Mexico. He's sporting a light beard (which mostly just looks like he's been relaxing and hasn't cared to shave), and it honestly doesn't look bad! He rocks the disheveled look for a couple of episodes, but things take a turn when he decides to shave off all of his facial hair except for his mustache. Fans were confused, and years later, some even went on Reddit to ask when it would go away — though no one seemed to understand why he grew it in the first place.

According to Two Red Dots, the producers wanted Gibbs to look gruffer, so they told Mark Harmon to stop shaving. The end result was a look that screamed "substitute teacher" more than "no-nonsense cop," which ended in him shaving it only a couple of episodes later. Though its life was short, the mustache lives on in infamy.

It wasn't Harmon's first mustache backlash

Long before he starred on "NCIS," Mark Harmon was on the medical drama "St. Elsewhere" as a plastic surgeon named Dr. Robert Caldwell. His role led him to winning recognition, including the title of People's Sexiest Man Alive in 1986. However, it also spawned the actor's first controversial mustache.

Fans on Twitter have commented on both attempts at making Harmon a part of the mustache club. One user showed their lack of support for his "NCIS" look, writing, "Watching @NCIS_CBS reruns.. Gibbs/Mark Harmon with a mustache just can't be unseen... #justwrong #nightmares." Someone else noted that Harmon achieved success despite his unfortunate facial hair, pointing out that "Mark Harmon's career survived the mustache he sported during his first season on St. Elsewhere."

Whether you loved it or hated it, it looks like Mark Harmon's mustache days are a thing of the past. We can't say we'll miss it.