Tony:What have you heard? That suspects would rather confess than be interrogated by him? That his steely gaze can cool a room by five degrees? That he can only be killed by a silver bullet, like a werewolf? Well, it's all true, except the silver bullet part. Might give him indigestion or heartburn, but I don't think it'd kill him. Any other questions?
Not to be confused with Ludicrous Gibbs, though he does pull some pretty crazy stunts to get the bad guys. The team leader, a former Marine sniper, and interrogator extraordinaire.
Always Gets His Man: Highlighted in Mind Games: The serial killer featured in that episode was the boogeyman of D.C. when he was active, evading metro cops and terrorizing the female populace. When explaining the case to McGee, Tony and Paula Cassidy finished by saying "But he made one crucial mistake: He killed a Petty Officer."
Amnesia Danger: In "Hiatus", a bomb blast knocks Gibbs back to his Marine days. He has critical information that he doesn't remember. Luckily, remembrance is just a Dope Slap away.
Bad Boss: Gibbs leans toward this when he's really angry or upset, as his already-considerable impatience skyrockets, his tolerance for the team's personality quirks goes right out the window, and he gets a lot snippier and Drill Sergeant Nasty-ish.
Berserk Button: Do not insult, desecrate or harm the US Marines or anyone associated with them to the Nth degree. Do not hurt any member of his team or anyone else he cares about. And seven thousand times never hurt Abby (though Abby usually has the situation well in hand).
People who do harm to kids, especially their own.
Messing with his coffee, although his reaction to this is fairly minor in comparison to the others.
Born In The Wrong Decade: Fairly consistent throughout the series. Example: he tried to get a USB drive to work by biting it.
He also refers to computer chips and the like with terms such as "doo-da" and "deweywhacker."
It's hard to keep track of how many cell phones he's destroyed during the run of the series, either because they malfunctioned or just generally annoyed him. One even wound up in a jar of paint thinner. His agents now keep plenty of spares in their desks, ready to hand to him at a moment's notice. When the stash ran out, the tech department went crazy.
When a Roomba vacuum cleaner was about to suck up some of the evidence from a crime scene, he didn't even bother picking it up or trying to turn it off. He stomped it to pieces.
Broken Bird: He has never fully recovered from the murder of his wife and child. Three ex-wives and dozens of girlfriends that didn't go anywhere are what remains of his love life.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In a more dramatic than comedic fashion. He has some serious quirks that if not for the fact he gets the bad guys and never gives anything but his best, he wouldn't be employed. For instance, in early seasons, he once interrogated some people by talking with them in autopsy as Ducky was working on their alleged victim. It's acknowledged that except for his impatience for dealing with politics, he could be the Director.
Catch Phrase: "Ya think?", "What's the point, McGee?", "Yeah, Gibbs" (default phone answer), and "That's a good question, [Character]. Why don't you find me an answer?", "Grab your gear."
Chest of Medals: Subverted, he's Badass enough to have earned numerous medals and citations to be this if he wanted but he doesn't care for medals, Tony apparently keeps track of his accomplishments. He even gave away his Silver Star which is the second highest honour that a US serviceman can get for valour in the face of the enemy.
Cold Sniper: Marine sniper previous to his current employment.
Harpo Does Something Funny: Gibbs' strong-but-silent characterization comes from Mark Harmon deciding early on to not say his lines as written in the scripts and simply reacting with facial expressions as other actors say their parts of the dialogue. Writers have since started doing what they call a "Gibbs pass" on their scripts and cutting or reassigning Harmon's lines until all he's left with are the bare bones to work with.
It's Personal: He has a tendency to do this. As said, anything involving children (or otherwise reminding him of Shannon and Kelly) automatically becomes this. Hurting anyone from his team also pushes him to this point. But every criminal that is disgusting enough to him can trigger this.
Papa Wolf: Do not endanger his people. Just don't. Epecially Abby.
Abby:(telling Gibbs why she didn't tell him about an ex she got a restraining order on) "I wanted him restrained, Gibbs, not beaten to a bloody pulp."
He extends these tendencies in the episode "Requiem" to his deceased daughter's now grown friend Maddie. Twice he's asked if he's her father. He shrugs it off. But ultimately, it's evident he views her in the same light as the rest of his team...as family.
The Quiet One: Remarkably reticent for the lead character of a TV show. There are entire scenes where he doesn't say a word but is clearly in control and directing the conversation through facial expressions alone. See Harpo Does Something Funny, above, as to why.
"Never let suspects stay together" is not actually a Gibbs rule, or at least not exclusive to Gibbs. It's generally considered by investigators to be rule number one when interrogating suspects. Gibbs still includes it in his rules.
The ones shown tend to be consistent: Never let suspects stay together, Never go anywhere without a knife, Never involve lawyers, Never get personally involved, Never screw over your partner. Rule 44 was sent to Mike Franks to get him away from his house before he was attacked. We only see 15 out of 51 rules for the most part.
Tony mentions that any situation that requires Gibbs to invoke any rule in the 40s is serious business.
Ultimate Job Security: The man is a maverick and doesn't have the patience to play nice when prudent but he gets results, meaning that his job is safe.
And, now Vance and Gibbs are friends of a sort, and Vance knows that Gibbs has the unaltered copy of Vance's personnel file - even if he's never opened it. Yet. Nope, Gibbs has yet again armor-plated his job security in adamantium.
When Gibbs "retired" at the end of season 3, it later was revealed that Director Shepard had "neglected" to file his retirement. His job security is so great he can't quit even if he wants to!
It has been implied on occasion that before Vance, and possibly even during Vance's tenure, Gibbs would be Director if he ever decided he wanted the job; the sheer havoc he could cause if denied means only a fool would try to stop him.
It has been implied more than once that Gibbs knows how to deal with politics and how to act as a proper Director. He just doesn't care to do so. The one time Gibbs acted as Director while Jenny was away we found out he doesn't the patience for the politics.
Director Shepard: Jethro's a great field agent, a great team leader, and he deals more efficiently with difficult politicians than I do. Captain Todd Gelfand: Then why isn't he the... Director Shepard: He shoots them.
Working with the Ex: Once had to deal with one of his ex-wives, his ex-lover, and his current lover at the same time. All he could do was awkwardly stand there as the three women took pot shots at him.
Diane, the ex-wife he shares with Fornell, has become a recurring character. Most of Diane's venom is directed at Fornell, though, so Gibbs is free to silently snark as they argue. Any episode that features Diane is titled "Devil's Tri-"
Senior Special Agent Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo Jr.
Played By: Michael Weatherly
Ziva:Tony, your dying words will be 'I've seen this film'.
Accidental Misnaming: Of course, there's the McNicknames, but Tony gets his own share of this from Fornell, who pronounces his name DiNotso (he says the double z's like 'pizza') and occasionally McGee calls him DiNosey.
Oh... and don't try to kill him and then think you can work with him.
And for the love of all things military, leave Ziva alone.
Beware the Silly Ones: Do not let the Cassanova-like personality with all the jokes and snark fool you. He is a trained interrogator and can break anyone given the right leverage.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Very often Gibbs catches him apparently slacking off, only to then reveal all the investigation and work he's been doing.
Butt Monkey: In the early seasons, this was his position for the most part. In the pilot, he was thrown out of a car onto a highway and in the second he was thrown out a plane, he had a parachute in this case.
The Casanova: Especially in early seasons, he was seen as wooing a lot of women. After his time with Jeanne, it slowly stopped.
Clear My Name: Twice. First the lab assistant Chip hated him for getting him fired in the past and sought out a complicated, nearly forensic-proof case. Second Jeanne Benoit claimed to have seen him kill her father, the arms dealer René Benoit ("La Grenouille").
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a clown, but he's a clown who can trick the head of Mossad into confessing to illegal activities and can beat up a mook while tied to a chair.
Distressed Dude: Generally, Tony is the resident dude in distress, but he usually manages to get himself out of his situations by himself.
Exasperated Perp: His preferred method of interrogation. Most prominent when he doesn't ask questions, but just sits there, chewing on his tie and playing Tetris on his phone.
He once inverted the trope, pulling it off while he was the one being interrogated. By the director of Mossad, who he successfully aggravated into admitting that he had sent the agent Tony had killed to spy on a meeting of several law enforcement agencies, which were discussing an operation regarding Israel.
Freudian Excuse: One that's something of a Tear Jerker: It turns out the reason Tony's such a movie buff is because his mother took him to movie theaters a lot when he was a kid before her death; they were even watching a movie when she passed away in the hospital. Ziva notes the irony that this is the first time Tony's ever mentioned his mother to her.
Genre Savvy: He's a big movie buff, and will very often find a way to compare the current case to a movie he's seen.
KATE: "Your mind, DiNozzo, runs the gamut from 'X' to triple 'X'."
Hey, You!: Calling McGee Probie or one of many McNicknames.
Jerk Jock: He was a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team when it went to the NCAA Final Fournote In Baltimore, where he rescued a young boy from a house fire. The incident led to his becoming a cop. He also graduated with a degree in Phys Ed.
Limited Advancement Opportunities: Director Shepard offered him the chance to lead his own team in Rota, Spain, in Season 4 but he turns it down in favor of keeping an eye on Gibbs in the wake of Gibbs' accident. Shepard warns him that such chances are few and far between. He hasn't been offered a chance to move up in the agency in the eight years since.
Spanner in the Works: Tony is often so unpredictable that he can screw over the best laid plans of the villains by simply being his annoying self. This is also his preferred method of interrogation, thinking so far out of the loop that rehearsed defenses are useless, and being so annoying or weird that the suspect is unable to think clearly. This methodology also proves useful when he is being interrogated by the FBI or the Director of Mossad. He even called himself one in the season 7 opener:
Tony: I'm the wildcard. I'm the guy that looks at the reality in front of him and refuses to accept it.
Former Teen Rebel: DiNozzo finds out that when she was a university student, she once engaged in (and won) a wet T-shirt contest. This also falls under Blatant Lies/Hypocrite since she lied to Tony about what she did during Spring Break.
Horrible Judge of Character: She thinks she is a good one but has helped more than one murderous psychopath because they look sympathetic. One nearly kills her, another actually does.
Ari comments on her freakish observation skills - but the next episode Gibbs corrects her recreation of room. And on a different occasion this former Secret Service agent couldn't kill Ari because his eyes looked kind...
Not to mention the time she was so sure Gibbs hadn't seen a bomb she told him he needed glasses. It was a delayed-explosive.
Intimate Marks: Never seen or described but apparently Abby talked her into getting a tattoo on her butt.
She once threatened Agent Lee that she's one of the few people in the world who can kill someone and leave absolutely no forensic evidence.
And a couple times people tried to hurt Abby, the scene cuts to agents running to help her, and when they arrive, Abby has taken her attacker down, and is clearly coming down from a major adrenaline rush (see Badass Adorable).
She can verbally dress you down as well as Gibbs, and in a way it's even more harsh just because it's coming from her.
Characterization Marches On: Go back and watch some Season 1 episodes, and you'll see that Abby isn't nearly as bubbly or talkative as she would later become. She's also gotten something of a Girliness Upgrade over time.
Cheek Copy: Admits in "Left for Dead" (Season 1, Episode 10) that she did this once.
Cheerful Child: In a flashback we see she was an extremely cheerful tomboy with a knack for science and detective work.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Abby plays the halves of the trope title separately with McGee. The "clingy" can kick in when she's upset or worried. The "jealous" can kick in if there's a non-team member around who pulls McGee's attention away from her (e.g. an ICE agent played by Jaime "Hustle" Murray). You'd swear at times that they were still dating...
Despair Event Horizon: When she thought she isn't doing enough good to counteract all the bad she was horribly detracted and even called in sick. Triggered when she was reminded of her very first "case": When she was a child she found a little girl's teddy bear and went to return it, but due to family drama (the girl's dad hated his father-in-law who had given her the bear) the girl couldn't take it back; she even found the girl's grandpa who told her it was impossible. Eventually Abby secretly gave her one of her own toys instead and kept that bear until it fell apart.
Fake Food: The giant cup of the Caf-Pow soda that Abby frequently drinks is actually sugar-free cranberry juice; it was orginally Hawaiian Punch up until around the fourth season, when Pauley Perrette gave up eating or drinking anything that contained refined sugar.
First Name Basis: Besides his wife and Gibbs, she's the only one who calls Director Vance "Leon".
Sherlock Scan: When Abby's teaching a class on forensics for the Mexican government, one of her students looks at her and snarkily asks if she forgot when The Day of The Dead is. Abby proceeds to tell the woman that she has a cat. When the woman isn't impressed, Abby reels off a list of things she's observed that range from the woman having three cats of two different breeds, all the way to the fact that she's currently ovulating. The woman quickly shuts up.
McGee: Now, you stay here and don't answer the door, or I will tie you up!
Tsundere: On any given episode she can be the sweetest, most loving and caring ball of fluff on the series and turn around to threatening anyone with the fact that she can kill them and leave no forensic evidence. Witness her Dere to Tsun turn around in the season 5 episode "Dog Tags" with McGee when she first sees McGee hurt, only to wanting to never have met him when she realized he shot a dog. Never mind that It Was Self-Defense.
Will They or Won't They?: Rather, will they or won't they again; she and McGee used to date, and still have chemistry, up to and including being jealous of whoever the other one is currently seeing.
Berserk Button: In "Seadog", Ducky goes ballistic on a local LEO who contaminates a crime scene so he can get in good with the news reporter on the scene. Later in "Conspiracy Theory" we see him going at a psychiatrist whose poor standards led to one of his patients being murdered.
Broken Bird: OK, he's not a woman. But goodness, that was even the actual name of the episode when we see just a glimpse of his past.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His tendency to go on long speeches during work is lampshaded by Palmer when he does his first dissection. "I'm suddenly overcome with the desire to share a story of only a peripherally relevant nature."
Clear My Name: Subverted, Ducky didn't want to clear it, but Gibbs did.
Combat Medic: he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was stationed in Afghanistan and Bosnia.
Creepy Mortician: A very lovable kind of creepy, but still damn creepy. Gibbs finds it a useful way to break some suspects by showing them what will happen to their bodies if they refuse to cooperate and end up dead as a result. It works too.
He is kidnapped and nearly killed by one, who begins to drain his blood before Gibbs and company arrive to save him.
Gentleman and a Scholar: Rarely has he ever raised his voice in anger or struck someone. He uses non-physical forms of intimidation.
Shown Their Work: A meta-version. To prepare for the role, David McCallum went to coroner and medical examiner's conferences to learn the trade. He became so good the producers were tempted to pay him a consulting fee.
Affectionate Nickname: He's originally addressed as "Probie" by Tony as an epithet but it morphs into something friendlier and even somewhat affectionate as Tim gains more experience and starts standing up for himself. Tim learns to accept it when he learns that Gibbs is still called "Probie" after 20 years and that it eventually becomes a reminder of the mentor-mentee relationship some agents share.
Beware the Silly Ones: Don't let the husky size and geek-personality fool you, he is a skilled interrogator, hacker, and an excellent shot.
Big Brother Instinct: Will do some irrational things to protect his college-age sister, some of which have jeopardized his career once.
Who loves the outdoors and has various skills from the scouts, including tracking abilities.
Hollywood Nerd: He plays role-playing games online, prompting the others to occasionally call him "Elf Lord."
Somewhat justified in that his online character is named "Elflord".
Idiot Ball: When his sister showed up to his apartment obviously drugged, in a stupor saying she killed someone, and covered in blood, the seasoned investigator grabs this with a dose of Big Brother Instinct as he doesn't take her to NCIS or even the hospital. He lets her shower and by the time she does get her blood tested, the drugs had metabolized. The Director calls him out on this, hoping it would trick him into resigning.
Intimate Marks: In season 1 he gets a tattoo on his butt to impress Abby. Later it's revealed that it's the word "Mom".
Most Writers Are Writers: He's a successful author of novels inspired by his workplace and coworkers, which he writes under the name "Thom E. Gemcity." (It's an anagram of Timothy McGee.)
Mr. Fixit: "Special Agent Goodwrench," season two, episode four.
Mystery Writer Detective: McGee is a special agent, who wrote a best selling novel... that he would have preferred his coworkers never found out about. Later on, he was able to use his fame to get into a club that other undercover agents couldn't get in to.
Not so Above It All: After years of protesting against Tony's treatment of him, McGee's just as eager to break in Ziva and Bishop when they join the team as probies. He insists, however, that his treatment of probies is nowhere near as bad as Tony was to him.
Properly Paranoid: McGee never tells anyone where he works. He'll give out cell numbers, pages, etc, but he never mentions NCIS. Which is how he knows, when his new girlfriend shows up to pick him up after work, that she's not who she says she is. Overlaps with I Never Said It Was Poison.
Took a Level in Badass: Between seasons six and seven. Big time. Most exemplified in the episode "Need To Know" when he was giving the young Special Agent Dorneget tips onto how he could possibly join the Major Case Squad as well as some of Gibbs' rules.note And then Dorneget reveals he forgot his service weapon.
The extra levels in badass arguably started with the sixth season episode "Caged", where he has to solve a murder case in a women's prison pretty much on his own. Compare the phone calls he has with a car mechanic at the start and at the end of the episode.
Badass: Early on in Ziva's tenure at NCIS, she is not allowed to participate in taking down suspects. Another woman comments on the presumed chauvinism of this. Ziva replies that Gibbs is actually afraid she'll kill the suspect by mistake.
Then it happened. Several times. First Once when chasing an overweight suspect who has a heart attack when climbing some stairs. She's chastised despite it not being her fault, but mostly out of frustration at losing a lead and it doesn't last the scene.Second And again, much more serious, when she punches an obnoxious suspect in the neck, causing him to drop dead despite her insisting that she does know her own strength and couldn't have killed him. Ducky finds a blood clot in his brain that could have been released and gotten lodged there by the punch, but ultimately rules Natural Causes.Third Ilan Bodnar, but whether that was accidental is debatable.
Becoming the Mask: It is suspected by Leon Vance at the end of season 6 and confirmed by Ziva in early season 7 that she was ordered by her father to kill Ari in order to gain Gibbs' trust and spy on the team. By the end of season 3, her crying over Gibbs' life threatening condition shows she has become closer to her targets than a cold assassin ought to be.
Broken Bird: Considering she was held captive in Somalia and tortured for months, she covered it extremely well. In the season 11 opener, she finds that she no longer can, and this leads to her leaving NCIS for good.
Clear My Name: The first episode of season 4 dealt with this issue.
Conflicting Loyalty: As of the end of season 6, she is torn between her loyalty to Mossad and her father, and Gibbs and NCIS. She picked Mossad and ended up caught by a terrorist and tortured to be saved by Gibbs and the team. In retrospect, she realizes she made the wrong choice, and decides to stay in the United States from then on and becomes a US Citizen so she can become a bonafide NCIS agent.
Informed Judaism: Though considering her former profession as a Mossad operative, strict adherence to almost any religion would be tough. Pointedly, she has on occasion turned down food allegedly because it's not kosher, but she has no problem with pepperoni pizza.
Improbable Age: Ziva David is less Improbable Age and more Impossible Age. She joins the show in her early twenties, supposedly after she's graduated high school, served her two years in the IDF, attended college, applied for Mossad, become immediately tapped for inclusion into an elite and highly competitive special operations unit with a training period of several years, and still have enough time to become "an experienced agent" with multiple missions under her belt. And this is at a age the youngest CIA intelligence officers would be beginning training. (It's worth pointing out, however, that she is the daughter of the Director of Mossad, and it is heavily implied that she was all but raised from the cradle to be a Mossad operative.)
Ms. Fanservice: Sort of. She's had some big moments, but much less frequently than Abby.
My Nayme Is: "David" has the earlier pronunciation (just as it appears, and as an iamb), rather than the Anglicized, trochaic "Dei-vid."
New Meat: Although she was attached to NCIS for several years and was essentially an equal to Tony, she had to start at the bottom when she formally joined the agency as a probie. Tony and McGee gleefully give her all the paperwork and Gibbs adds to the pile. From then on, she's seen being occasionally frustrated because she goes from being somewhat senior to being the most junior member of the team (even becoming subordinate to McGee, whom she used to boss around) and has to go through the hazing process all probies go through.
Put on a Bus: Cote de Pablo left the series after season 10, unable to come to terms with her contract. Ziva, emotionally torn up by the attempt on her life, decided to leave NCIS and stay in Israel off the grid.
Scrabble Babble: Subverted one time she played McGee in Scrabble. With the last Q at a corner of two Is, she makes Qi twice, read 'Chi'. Doubles as Underdogs Never Lose as she came back from a 50 point deficit earning 62 points.
It's Personal: Her possibly unwarranted hunt for René Benoît is this, since she believes Benoît killed her father. Benoît claims that he had actually been bribing her father and that he killed himself out of shame.
Her father's still alive. Apparently. It is heavily implied that CIA was taking advantage of AFIS to make her father appear to be alive, thus discrediting her and preventing her from further ruining The Dragon's operation.
Dead Person Impersonation: It's heavily implied in one episode that he is not the real Leon Vance, but an old boxing acquaintance thereof, and that the two switched identities at some point in the past.
It's Personal: Twice he has caused an interrogation to get out of hand because someone close to him was murdered and a suspect was in the hot seat.
Scary Black Man: He can be absolutely terrifying when he wants to be, which is probably one of the reasons he gets to boss Gibbs around. Taken to severe extremes when he put a fire safety axe through a metal table in the interrogation room to intimidate a teenage suspect who was suspected of killing one of Vance's friends.
The Uriah Gambit: Vance is revealed to have been originally recruited to NIS in 1991 almost specifically for his expendability. Obviously, it didn't go as planned.
Medical Examiner's Assistant Jimmy Palmer
Played By: Brian Dietzen
"Is it just me or does anyone else wonder how they get IUDs in there? That probably sounded a lot more inappropriate than I meant."
Butt Monkey: If there's a chance for a character to be insulted or put-upon in any given episode, there's at least a 75% chance it'll be Palmer.
The Consigliere: It's revealed in one episode that whenever Tony is left in charge of a case, he secretly has meetings with Palmer to help point him in the right direction whenever Tony feels that he's lost on what to do next.
Fake Guest Star: Might as well be a Trope Codifier. Dietzen was credited as a recurring guest star for the first 5 seasons and as "Also Starring" from season 6 onwards. Is even on the cover art for the Season 8 DVD but wasn't made a main cast member until Season 10.
Hidden Depths: He trained as a medical examiner and is presumably being groomed to replace Ducky in the future, but he also demonstrates significant knowledge of criminal activity when he acts as Tony's secret consigliere.
Loved I Not Honor More: He tells his love that while he loves her more than anything, his True Companions were in trouble and he needed to go and help them, even if it meant moving the wedding up to a sooner date (within the hour) and then come back for the honeymoon. She completely understands.
My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: His story about spending time in France features a downplayed example: He was trying to tell some French friends of his how his mother used to hunt squirrels when he was a child, but he mixed up the French word for "squirrel" with the word for "shark".
Ducky:(chuckling) "How they must have imagined your strange homeland with your shark-hunting mother."
Ducky, whose military training may be decades old, is smart enough to carefully push the gun away from his face and avoid being accidentally shot.
Retirony: Subverted. One moment, Jimmy's talking with Agent Barrett about his recent engagement. Seconds later, the Port-to-Port Killer is loose and violently kidnapping Jimmy and Barrett. However, Gibbs saves the day, and Jimmy ends up surviving the episode with only a few scratches.
Too Kinky to Torture: When he helps Abby solve a problem, Gibbs gives Abby a peck on the cheek and Jimmy a Gibbs slap. He looks just as pleased at this as Abby. Though that might have been because the slap meant that Gibbs considered him part of the team.
In an earlier episode, Ducky mentions that his attempts to emulate the "Gibbs' Slap" on Palmer were ineffective, as he seemed to enjoy it.
"I wrote it my third day at the NSA. It was a wednesday morning, I'd just finished a box of Coco Pebbles."
An NSA analyst brought to joint duty with NCIS. Gibbs says that he wants to keep Bishop around after she helps the team solve a case involving high level security leaks, which she predicted in a paper years ago. Now officially the newest Probie on Team Gibbs.
Action Girl: Having had three older brothers, Bishop is fairly adept at grappling with opponents who are much larger that her. On the other hand, she has little experience with gunfights and hasn't done well in those she participated in so farnote In her first shootout, she fired one shot that appeared to cause a major explosion and incinerated a suspect (later revealed to be not her fault). In her second, the first shot fired hit her in the vest and she is left groaning on the ground while the rest of the team return fire..
Big Eater: She loves to snack and uses food as a device to help her recall details. The first thing she asks about the NCIS New Orleans office is if they have a junk food machine which completely dumbfoundsSSA Pride.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Tends to create "nests" where she works, which is often on the floor rather than a desk (or sometimes on her desk). Also associates key details of situations and her surroundings with foods she was eating at the time.
Dumb Blonde: Inverted. She's a brilliant NSA analyst who predicted several security breaches years in advance.
Happily Married: She's married to a man named Jake, who she's known since they were in college together. Her new job as an NCIS agent appears to be causing some strain on her marriage, however.
Never Gets Drunk: Claims this is the case, though it hasn't been shown on screen. She apparently learned this during a Noodle Incident at college with her future husband.
New Meat: Has to bear the brunt of Tony and McGee's ribbing and hazing and does all the dirty work the senior agents don't want to do. Her first day as an agent involved sifting through buckets of human excrement and climbing up a rickety fire escape even though she isn't good with heights.
The Mole: Framed Langer for her crimes and kills him.
Nerds Are Sexy: She definitely felt this way about Jimmy Palmer during their fling.
Redemption Equals Death: She became the Human Shield in a standoff for the culprit that kidnapped her daughter and made her the mole. Once she knew her daughter was safe, she gave Gibbs a non-verbal signal to shoot her and by proxy, shooting him as well, killing them both.
Sympathetic Murderer: Despite killing and framing Langer, it's possible to feel bad about the situation she was put in. Even Ziva and McGee (to an extent) agreed that they may have done the same thing.
Heroic BSOD: The Khobar Towers bombing in '96, as well as the lukewarm response to it, prompted him to retire.
Incurable Cough of Death: One of the hints of him having some kind of illness. It would probably have killed him even if Jason Cobb wouldn't have, since Gibbs was already in the process of making a coffin for Mike.
Heroic Sacrifice: In a split second decision, she saw a suicide bomber come out from behind a hidden passage way. Without hesitation, she jumped onto the man, keeping him in the passage as the door closed. She saved the rest of Team Gibbs and the clerics they were protecting.
Neat Freak: Played with. Nikki is a Germaphobe and always using wipes to clean her hands and things she touches, but (as revealed in the episode In The Zone) is a slob when it comes to leaving stuff lying around.
Clear My Name: He goes into hiding after being framed for stealing microchips from the bodies of Watcher 8 fleet members. Tony ends up pursuing him, leading to Cade getting shot and killed by the true thief, Jonathan Cole, who frames Tony for the murder.
An up-and-comer in the DoD Office of the Inspector General. He has Gibbs arrested for his questionable methods, hoping to use his prosecution as a launching pad for his own career.
Blackmail: Engaged in lots of it to worm his way into his current lofty position.
Condescending Compassion: To Ziva in the tenth season finale. He tells about how much he "sympathizes" with her over the murder of her father right before taunting her about his about his ultimate goal of bringing down Gibbs, who he acknowledges is the only father figure she has left.
Evil Counterpart: Tony quips that he's like McGee's evil twin. He turns out to be less "evil" and more "too ambitious for his own good".
Filler Villain: For all the threat he was played up to be, he's quickly overshadowed by a larger threat within the CIA and reduced to this. That was prior to his Heel-Face Turn.
Heel-Face Turn: After he gets a front row seat for the bomb that killed SecNav Jarvis and seriously injured DHS Secretary Morrow.
I Shall Taunt You: One of his ways of getting information from the subjects of his investigation. Notably, he goads Tony by insulting Ziva in his first episode.
Obfuscating Stupidity: So freaking much. He starts off seeming nice but comically annoying. He quickly shows that he is not to be taken lightly and stays one step ahead of the team.
Out-Gambitted: Gibbs is conveniently sent on assignment abroad before having to testify, and his team all turn in their resignations to accept responsibility for him. Documents about Mike Franks and the murder of the drug lord that killed Shannon and Kelly are burned and shredded, effectively yanking the rug out from under Parsons' case.
The Friend Nobody Likes: Not too surprisingly, when he does decide to help and not hinder Gibbs, the rest of his team gives him the cold shoulder.
Tony DiNozzo's first onscreen partner; appeared only in the two-part pilot on JAG. It's generally assumed that she was fired after blowing the operation they were on, as Gibbs didn't like her and she's never been mentioned since.
Girl of the Week: Subverted; she appears to be this at first, but it takes her and Gibbs two episodes to get together and they remain together for almost a year. In fact, she's easily the most long-term love interest Gibbs has had on the show.
Hands-On Approach: Gibbs does this to her in "Grace Period." She doesn't seem to mind that much.
Expy: This is an extreme case of Actor Allusion, but Borin is pretty much ADA Casey Novak as a cop, minus the emotional trainwreck but it looks like she could be headed that way. It's more than likely some of her lines are recycled. Bonus points for the softball playing and commentary on her swinging.
Ziva's boyfriend and near-fiancee in seasons 8 and 9, and also a CIA field agent. DiNozzo refers to him as CIRay. Ziva dumps him after he kills someone in the process of trying to finish up a hit he botched overseas, and Ray is arrested for the murder.
At work, a creepy-as-hell DoD psy-ops expert who's almost a match for Gibbs in the mindgames department. At home, a single mother with a divorce from an abusive husband in the past. Needless to say, she and Gibbs hit it off very well. As of the end of season 9, in hiding after CEO-turned-terrorist Harper Dearing got her abusive ex sprung from prison.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Gibbs. They match very well, but they put each other on the defensive so frequently that some of their interactions can be quite angry.
Gaslighting: What Ryan does for a living, and not just to military targets.
Riddle Me This: She always tells Gibbs what she thinks he needs to know, but for some reason always does so in the most infuriatingly roundabout ways possible. (One tip was delivered on the inside of a pizza box.) Gibbs does not like this.
Silver Fox: Jamie Lee may be the most triumphant example for women right now.
Ziva's father and head of the Mossad. He is utterly ruthless in his pursuit of Israel's enemies, often using the same illegal tactics as them to hunt down and kill them.
Abusive Parent: He uses his own children as tools in his schemes. One (Ziva) ends up killing another (Ari Haswari). On Eli's orders.
Accidental Public Confession: Performs one because Tony goaded him not just on Ari turning traitor but an apparent habit for his agents to go rogue in general. He admits none of his men ever do something without his say, including the one Tony just killed in self-defense. The second worst part for Eli, first being Ziva saw this, is Tony was originally being interrogated by him and the guy turned it around without Eli realizing it.
Moral Myopia: He has repeatedly violated Israel's treaties with the USA by ordering operations on US soil, which have resulted in Mossad agents killing a number of American federal agents. When Tony is forced to kill a Mossad agent who resisted being arrested for the murders he committed under Eli's orders, Eli treats it as a horrible offense against Israel by the USA and tries to have Tony extradited.
Sibling Rivalry: Played with. Though Bodnar isn't actually related, Ziva always resented him because she felt like he was trying to be Eli's son.
Played By: Marina Sirtis
Eli David's replacement as the head of Mossad. She doesn't get along with Gibbs right out of the gate.
Your Cheating Heart: Had an affair early in her career with Eli David that led to David's divorce from his wife, and years of bad feelings from Ziva. Ziva had considered Elbaz to be sleeping her way to the top, but reluctantly admitted that she may have genuinely loved him when she came to the US to see what was going on with the murder investigation.
Gone Horribly Right: His father raised him to be a monster... who hated him for it and did everything he could to destroy what his father had worked for.
Hero Killer: The series' first. He even killed Kate to prove it.
Revenge by Proxy: He stuffsKate into the fridge and tries to do the same to Abby, aware that it's the best way to make Gibbs suffer. He also tries to kill Jenny, snipes at McGee (who lucks out by unknowingly moving out of the way at the last second), and tries to kidnap Ducky. The only member of Team Gibbs he doesn't single out is Tony.
Faking the Dead: Tries this to escape NCIS in the premere of season ten by blowing up a car with his brothers remains inside. Gibbs doesn't buy it and manages to uncover the truth.
Misplaced Retribution: Blames NCIS for transferring his son to another Naval ship, and the Navy itself for a flaw in their systems (which they were correcting) for his son's death. Instead of, yaknow, the terrorists who actually killed him.