* AngstWhatAngst: Ziva. Though we do get shown some moments, most of the time she's surprisingly chipper considering everything that's happened to her.
* BadassDecay: Every time Kort shows up after season 4, something worse happens to him. It's no surprise that [[spoiler: he ends up getting killed]] no matter what the circumstances.
* BaseBreaker: One don't hear much about it but there's one camp that think that Ziva and Tony's relationship is LikeBrotherAndSister (making Gibbs' team like siblings with him as [[TeamDad Daddy]] [[PapaWolf Gibbs]]) and then there's the ones that think of it as BelligerentSexualTension. And then there's [[http://saisoto.deviantart.com/art/NCIS-BedTime-336416553 they]] who can't make up their minds. Even the series switched back and forth a lot.
* CompleteMonster: See [[Monster/{{JAG}} here]].
* CounterpartComparison: Shown in the S2 Ep12 episode "Doppelgänger", with the team working with civilian law enforcement, which are all extremely similar to the characters.
* CriticalResearchFailure: In "Anonymous was a Woman", Lieutenant Gorman mentions the presence of UN peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan, which is not true entirely since [=ISAF=] is the only international force that provides peacekeeping to help Afghan police/soldiers in securing the country.
** After conjecturing that a computer has a twelve-core processor by glancing at its ''monitor'', a character is described as having the "the high score in virtually every massively multiplayer online role-playing game", a feat that would be unachievable in a human lifetime if most MMORPGs even '''had''' high score tables.
** The entire ''plot'' of "Semper Fortis" proceeds from a CriticalResearchFailure. A former Navy Hospital Corpsman is arrested (and ''charged'') for practicing medicine without a license. The team laments how NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished and how wrong it is. The thing is, it '''''is''''' wrong. Besides being a long-standing principle of common law, most states have some form of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law "Good Samaritan Law"]] that offers protection to people who render aid in emergencies. Virginia (where the episode takes place) has Code [[https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+8.01-225 § 8.01-225]] specifically protects "Any person who in good faith, renders emergency care or assistance, without compensation, to any ill or injured person at the scene of an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency". Not only would the Corpsman ''not'' be charged, she would be even ''more'' protected. Her record would ensure that the idiot that arrested her would be tossed out on his ear.
* DesignatedHero:
** MemeticBadass though he may be, Gibbs can definitely be seen as this, given his occasional penchant for assholish behavior, bending or even ''breaking'' the very laws he's supposed to be enforcing, and utter hypocrisy in how he interacts with agents/officers from outside the team who're working on the same case. The series has shown that he could be ''running'' NCIS, if he had more patience for the politics. Plus there's [[DopeSlap the regular physical abuse of his subordinates]].
** Anthony Dinozzo can be seen as this too, with sexual harassment towards women (notably Kate) and his bullying of [[TheSmartGuy computer tech]] [=McGee=], such as constant insults, cruel pranks, and even convincing most of the women in the NCIS headquarters [=McGee=] was gay[[note]]Which, depending on your definition, also counts as sexual harassment.[[/note]]. He also has the same lack of regard for laws and hypocrisy toward agents/officers outside the team as Gibbs. It's all but outright stated that he's being groomed as Gibbs' successor. [[spoiler: Which in the end doesn't happen]]
* EarWorm: It seems like such a simple little ThemeTune, but just ''try'' getting it out of your head.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** People who dislike and/or outright hate every other character on the show will ''still'' love Ducky. But hey, it is [[Series/TheManFromUNCLE Ilya Kuryakin]]...
** CGIS Agent Abigail Borin, played by Diane Neal, has a popularity with the fanbase all out of proportion to the number of times she has actually been on the show, to the point where she made two consecutive appearances on ''Series/NCISNewOrleans'' and eventually made a third. Many are clamoring for her to be a full time addition to the NCIS universe and some blatant hints have been made on ''NCIS'' and ''NCIS: New Orleans'' that the powers that be may be seriously considering the idea.
* EvilIsSexy: Agent "Pouty Lips" [[spoiler:Lee.]]
* FoeYay:
** Between Kate and Ari in the first two seasons, even acknowledged by the other characters.
** Arguably, Tony and Trent Kort, the CIA agent who tried to kill him once.
** Gibbs and M. Allison Hart.
** With bonus [[HoYay Les Yay]] in "The Curse". A female suspect (Melora Hardin) smiles at Kate and says "Come on home with me, honey." [[http://mormonlesbian.blogspot.com/2010/10/sasha-alexander-and-curse.html Kate does]].
** Vance and that North Korean spy. Ducky explicitly explained how to her Vance is the closest thing to a lover she's had.
* FollowTheLeader: Abby is one of many quirky technogeeks inspired by the ''Franchise/The X-Files'' Lone Gunmen trio. One episode even features sailors named after TLG's creators, Glen Morgan and James Wong, as a ShoutOut.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Early jokes about "why Gibbs has three ex-wives" seem a lot less funny when [[ReplacementGoldfish the real reason]] becomes clear.
** A {{Crossover}} fanfic with ''Series/LawAndOrderUK'' that had Matt and Ronnie of the latter show venturing to DC became this (1) once Creator/JamieBamber began a recurring role as Bishop's husband, and (2) an upcoming storyline will in fact have the NCIS team working with UsefulNotes/BritishCoppers.
** In "Page Not Found", Tony and [=McGee=] remark that a corrupt CIA agent is "worse than [[SmugSnake Trent Kort]]". Come "Dead Letter", [[spoiler: Kort is revealed to have been traitor for years.]]
* GottaShipEmAll: Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, [=McGee=], Kate, Abby, and, to a lesser extent, Jenny, are each shipped with all the others by fans. The Ziva/Kate ship is particularly jarring, considering [[spoiler:Ziva didn't even come on the show until after Kate had died.]] This leaves only Ducky, Palmer, and Vance who aren't commonly shipped with anyone (though you do occasionally see Ducky/Gibbs or Palmer/someone), perhaps because Ducky is about thirty-five years older than almost everyone else, Palmer doesn't have a substantial amount of interaction with anyone other than Ducky, and Vance [[spoiler:was married until very recently.]]
* HilariousInHindsight: The final line of "Twisted Sister," in which [=McGee=]'s sister thinks she may have killed someone, has Gibbs saying "Sometimes, [=McGee=], a little lie is good for the soul." Sis is played by Creator/TroianBellisario, who four years after the episode first aired would start to build [[Series/PrettyLittleLiars evidence to the contrary.]] [[spoiler: P.S.: She didn't do it.]]
* HarsherInHindsight: Any scene with Jake and Ellie, courtesy of the revelation that [[spoiler: he's been cheating on her]].
** In one episode, a mob boss says that if Gibbs is screwing him around, he'll kill his entire family, and then him. Gibbs jauntily replies that everyone in his family is dead, though he would be willing to give the boss the names of his ex-wives. Later on, we learn that he does have a living father, Jackson Gibbs, who appears in several episodes...and eventually dies of a stroke.
** Tony's comments to Jimmy and Breena in We Build, We Fight become this after Family First, [[spoiler:when it is revealed that Ziva had their child without telling him. Victoria Palmer was not the first NCIS baby.]]
** In "Dead Letter," Kort mentions that he was the best man at a dead agent's wedding. Tony doesn't believe him. Either Kort's lying to gain sympathy and seem less guilty, or he just killed his friend (of which he does have very few).
** In "Hiatus, Part 2", an amnesia-stricken Gibbs is being caught up on history:
--> '''Doctor''': "It doesn't surprise you that [[Film/TheTerminator The]] [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger Terminator]] is the governor of California?"
--> '''Gibbs''': "Not at all. [[UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan The Gipper]] was President."
--> A little over ten years from that episode's airing, we got an even '''''more''''' shocking presidential election result. Even odder, the episode was rerun on the USA network a few days after Election Day 2016.
* HesJustHiding: [[spoiler: Ziva. This is even supported by producer and co-writer of the episode, Gary Glasberg, who stated it's left open to interpretation whether or not Ziva is dead for real.]]
* HoYay:
** In earlier seasons Gibbs and Tony have their moments.
** [=McGee=] and Tony get in many awkward situations.
** Tony and crook-of-the-week Jeffrey White in the episode "Chained." (Technically doesn't qualify as FoeYay, since Jeffrey didn't know they were enemies until the last five minutes.)
** In Season 12, [=McGee=] and [=DiNozzo=] reaction to Jake and Gibbs' friendship can only be described as jealousy--the latter relentlessly pumps Ellie for information and all but flips out when she mentions their biweekly racketball game.
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt:
** In one episode, Gibbs is "shot" as part of a sting. In the season 5 finale, [[spoiler:killing Jenny Shepard offscreen.]] Subverted, as they darn well ''would''. [[spoiler:She takes four baddies with her, though.]] And the serial killer's plan to get himself shot and ruin Gibbs' life...[[spoiler:it fails. Badly.]] "Requiem" opens with Gibbs having apparently drowned.
** Like you would really [[spoiler:blow up Tony and his old flame with an RPG. [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle Your Target Is In Another Safe House]].]]
** Like you would really [[spoiler:blow up Gibbs, Abby, Tony, Ziva AND [=McGee=], and give Ducky a heart attack at the news. Yep, that's the season nine cliffhanger [[note]]all the actors have had their contracts renewed[[/note]]...]]
** Like you would really [[spoiler:kill Tony and Ziva off in a car crash 3 episodes before the end of season 10.]]
* MagnificentBastard: Ari starts off as one of these ([[spoiler:shooting Gerald and managing to escape]]), then does a HeelFaceTurn [[spoiler:when he saves Presidents Bush and Sharon]], then crosses the MoralEventHorizon in his final appearance [[spoiler:when he murders Kate and tries to kill Abby]].
* MemeticMutation:
** The famous DopeSlap. Apparently, the show had to tone down the use of it, as fans of the show were frequently doing it to Michael Weatherly in public.
** "Get your hands off my man, you [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch bitch]]!" from Season 10's "Canary"[[note]] The team is undercover as ordinary citizens to catch a hacker, and Ziva is pretending to be a call girl talking on her phone[[/note]].
* {{Misblamed}}: There's [[{{Narm}} an infamous scene]] where Abby and [=McGee=] try to type on the same keyboard to try and out-code a hacker. What ''{{Cracked}}'' left out is that they're clearly ''panicking'' and not thinking straight, it doesn't work, and Gibbs just [[CutTheJuice unplugs the computer]] and looks at them like they're idiots, while they look embarrassed about how dumb they were being.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Ari [[spoiler:shoots Kate and tries to shoot Abby]] to deliberately cause Gibbs grief, despite the fact that he could have easily shot Gibbs instead at the time and Gibbs was a more tactically valuable target.
** Ari believes that the missile strike that killed his mother was ordered by Eli David, in order to "harden" him into a better killer. Keep in mind that Ari was a child at the time, and Eli was [[AbusiveParents his father]]. If that wasn't enough, he [[spoiler:orders his daughter Ziva to kill Ari, her half-brother, after Ari proves to be disloyal]].
* MorePopularSpinoff: ''NCIS'' has far outstripped its parent show ''Series/{{JAG}}'', to the point that many viewers haven't even heard of the latter.
* {{Narm}}:
** The climax of the ChristmasEpisode ''Newborn King''. A pregnant Marine is giving birth while Ziva holds off the mercenaries who are trying to kidnap the baby...but all dialogue and sound effects are muted, with the soundtrack playing "Silent Night." Painfully overdone.
*** Given that "Silent Night" was probably an intentionally {{iron|y}}ic use of SoundtrackDissonance, it could qualify as NarmCharm.
** Abby's "crucify him!" speech.
** The infamous [[HollywoodHacking "2 idiots, 1 keyboard"]] scene.
** The [[CriticalResearchFailure depiction of Marseilles]] in "The Admiral's Daughter", especially the restaurant signs that make no sense and the ''accordion background music'', more fitting the 1910s than the 2010s.
* NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize:
** In the episode "Dead Reckoning," an international crime lord is played by some guy you've probably never heard of before. Meanwhile, the timid accountant who turns informer against him is played by Emmy Award winner Christian Clemenson. [[spoiler:If you guessed just by reading that sentence that Clemenson is, in fact, TheManBehindTheMan, you win a cookie.]]
** The episode "A Weak Link" had guests [[Series/{{Firefly}} Adam Baldwin]], [[Series/{{Angel}} Julie Benz]] and [[Series/MelrosePlace Doug Savant]]. [[spoiler: Subverted - None of them did it, it was a suicide]].
** Creator/{{Misha|Collins}} [[Series/{{Supernatural}} Collins]] guest-starred as someone who gets "Singled Out" as a kidnapping/murder suspect. [[spoiler: He did steal the car, but did not kill the navy lieutenant]].
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: The video game wasn't very well received. For starters only one voice actor from the actual show was in it, it was near impossible to lose, simple plots, poor visuals, etc.
* ReplacementScrappy: Averted with Ziva, as she is far more popular and liked than Kate. Viewers who often get introduced into the show from the third season on often don't know who Kate is until they either stumble across an episode where she's mentioned or view one of the first two seasons later on.
** Definitely not averted with Bishop, who is still on the receiving end of a lot of vocal fan hate after her second season.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: Director Vance wasn't well liked until [[spoiler:it was revealed there's more to him than meets the eye, and he very likely isn't Vance at all.]]
** After she was poorly received for being overly quirky in Season 11, Season 12 cast Eleanor Bishop as a probie taken under [=DiNozzo=]'s wing and attitudes towards her improved as well.
* {{Squick}}:
** In one episode, [[spoiler:a woman and her son with a vendetta against Ducky kidnap him, strap him to an autopsy table, and try to kill him by bleeding him out through a huge needle in his neck.]]
** Don't forget [[spoiler: when Gibbs find the husband-wife toe-eating team.]]
** The ColdOpening of "Murder 2.0". [[ShowerScene A woman turns on her shower]], [[SorryILeftTheBGMOn her husband puts on mood music]], [[DressHitsFloor Bra Hits Floor]], [[spoiler: [[NightmareFuel blood starts spurting from the shower head.]]]]
** "Angel of Death". A drug dealer and his addict girlfriend try to retrieve the body of a mule, who had the package burst inside him. While the stand-off happens, the addict [[spoiler:gets on the table and begins snorting straight out of the opened corpse]]. Bonus Squick for the corpse in question being '''her brother!'''
** The exploding bodies in the crypts in "Skeletons."
** Some of the dead bodies, before and/or during the autopsy scenes, obviously count. Those makeup artists have no shortage of fake blood and guts.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: The show started using some extremely cheap looking [=CGI=] in lieu of practical effects in later seasons. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtfo43yV8rA Watch the car's transformation in this scene.]]
* StoicWoobie: Gibbs, Ziva.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Eli David. Every so often the writers make him look like he is misunderstood, that he is some sort of a ultra-dedicated patriot, and therefore Ziva should try to make amends with him. All these ring hollow, however, because Ziva herself has once explicitly stated that, after abandoning her to death in Somalia, for all intents and purposes, Eli is dead to her.
* TheUntwist: Bishop thinks her husband might be cheating on her until she realizes that the woman she saw him with was from NSA's Internal Affairs department and thus concludes that he's in trouble at work. When she tries talking about him with it, he reveals that he ''is'' actually cheating on her with the woman from Internal Affairs.
* TheWoobie: Various characters have been this at times. Tony sometimes skirts into JerkassWoobie territory.

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