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Out Of Every Gibbs Rule On NCIS, This One Stands Above The Rest

Any "NCIS" fan worth their salt knows that longtime series protagonist Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) isn't just a stoic team leader and ace crime solver. He's also a wellspring of life advice that he isn't afraid to dispense to anyone who crosses his path (even if some people don't actually heed his words). Gibbs' Rules, an ever-expanding collection of his nuggets of wisdom, has been a fixture of the series since the very beginning, and cataloging its dozens of entries has become a popular pastime among fans.

While everyone will have their own pick for the rule that resonates with them the most, there is one, in particular, that is usually in the conversation regarding which of Gibbs' Rules is the best of them all. Rule 39: "There is no such thing as a coincidence" is certainly worth keeping in mind as you move through life, as is Rule 51: "Sometimes you're wrong." However, there's a different entry on the list that is often front of mind for fans of the show and even Harmon himself.

During an interview with Larry King, Harmon fielded a fan question about his knowledge of Gibbs' Rules. While Harmon stated that he didn't have the full list committed to memory, there was one particular rule that seemed to spring to mind immediately: Rule 9: "Never go anywhere without a knife."

Why Rule 9 resonates with NCIS fans

Harmon is far from the only person who cherishes the practicality of always having a knife on hand. On a Reddit thread dedicated to discussing Gibbs' Rules, several fans cited it as one of the most essential of them all.

User u/ccarter1378 declared it as one of their two top choices, but clarified, "I quote number 9 the most." Meanwhile, u/Saracat2012 said it was their favorite of all the rules and added, "My little brother (16) will be struggling to open something and I'll just look at him and say 'Rule 9.'"

While the rule may seem very specific to crime-fighting agents who might need to quickly slice and dice their way out of a sticky situation, when you really think about it, Rule 9 is actually just good practical advice. In a separate Reddit thread, user u/Frankjc3rd wrote, "I am of a certain age. I actually followed rule number nine, never go anywhere without a knife, before the show even started. I'm a walking tool kit."

Whether you need to slice an apple, open a package, or make quick work of a tricky knot, a knife really does have a wide range of practical applications. That's what makes Rule 9 the piece of Gibbs advice that stands above the rest.