Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / NCIS

Go To

When you have a show spanning 20 years and counting, there are bound to be a few awesome moments.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

    open/close all folders 
    Season 1 
  • "Yankee White": They steal Air Force One. And that's just one of the antics that establishes how ballsy these "cowboys" are.
    • Gibbs is shot at by the murdering turncoat Secret Service Agent in the climax of the episode with a machine gun from the plane's armory. The man's aim is absolutely pathetic. Gibbs doesn't even flinch and immediately shoots him dead with just a Double Tap from his handgun.
  • At the end of "Sub Rosa", Gibbs realises that the eco-terrorist who committed suicide knew that his corpse would be put in the freezer due to protocol, so he ingested his gas canister so it can set off inside of him after being chilled by the freezer. How does the submarine crew get rid of the body in a hurry? Shoot it out of the sub like a torpedo!
  • In "One Shot, One Kill", a sniper is killing Marine recruiters, so Gibbs goes undercover as his next potential target (which means pulling out his old uniform from his days in the Corps). When a newscaster asks him why he was selected to man the office under such dangerous circumstances, Gibbs replies, "I wasn't selected. I volunteered." Undercover op or not, that is exactly the sort of thing a Marine like Gibbs would say.
  • In "Bete Noire", Ari takes control of autopsy. One of the things that Ducky says to him is, "I can't wait to weigh your liver." That threat was just so creative and fantastic, and it was delivered is such a terrifying voice.
    • When Ari threatens to shoot Gerald if Ducky tries to deceive him, Ducky immediately asks that Ari shoot him instead. Even better, he's completely calm and collected, not showing a trace of fear or panic.
  • "Dead Man Talking": Chris Pacci getting an off-screen Dying Moment of Awesome: bleeding to death and with only seconds to live, he has the presence of mind to swallow a key piece of evidence, keeping his killer from getting it, and knowing that Ducky will find it and give it to Team Gibbs, and that they'll use the information to find his killer.
    Season 2 
  • "See No Evil": Sandy, the little blind girl in this episode, has stronger-than-normal senses of smell and hearing due to the absence of her sense of sightnote . She's able to give the NCIS agents details about the vehicle she was taken in, and picks up sub-audible sounds in the audio of a video that help them determine where her mother is being held captive. The latter is especially impressive because the video is of the kidnapper tormenting and threatening her mother. Even after the trauma of being kidnapped herself, Sandy volunteers to listen to the audio and pick out the clues among some deeply upsetting content. No one can argue that she doesn't deserve the mini NCIS badge pin that she receives at the end of the episode.
    • This moment of diversionary tactics:
      McGee: This is the FBI, Grayson. Come out with your hands in the air. You didn't think you'd get away with this?
    • And later:
      Perp: I know the FBI's SOPnote . I want a cell phone and a negotiator. Now!
      Gibbs: We're not the FBI, dirtbag!
  • Gibbs, in "The Bone Yard", pulls a successful plan on not only a bunch of mobsters, but on the FBI and his own team, which involves him holding the mob boss's son hostage in exchange for the identity of the mobsters' mole in the FBI. Gibbs brings the actual mole as backup, and proceeds to briar patch the mob boss into killing his own mole. To cap it all off, the episode ends with Gibbs and Fornell walking out of the elevator to the astonished looks of the NCIS team - Gibbs faked Fornell's death.
  • Everything the team does in "Call of Silence" concerning Ernest Yost, culminating in Gibbs in the interrogation room with him, triggering a flashback so that they can prove him innocent of murder, and let him keep his Medal of Honor.
    • The greatest scene was when Gibbs reads Yost's citation for the Medal of Honor, in a narrative fashion, describing the unimaginable heroics as a stooped old widower walks down a hall. Tear Jerker as well.
      "Corporal Ernest Yost, U. S. Marine Corps, First Battalion, 28th Marines, Fifth Marine Division at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 4 March 1945. The terrain studded with caves and ravines, Corporal Yost was standing point forward of our lines when he spotted Japanese troops attempting to infiltrate under the cover of darkness. He immediately waged a fierce battle during which a grenade gravely wounded his right hand and fractured his thigh. Near exhaustion from profuse bleeding, he continued to defend his forward position, engaging in hand-to-hand combat when he was out of ammunition. At dawn Corporal Yost was found amid the bodies of 26 Japanese soldiers he had killed in his self-sacrificing defense of his forward position."
    • When Kate asks Gibbs what the worst thing that can happen to Yost (who is too old to be sent to prison) will be, Gibbs deadpans, "dishonorable discharge, and loss of his Medal of Honor." But the true awesomeness is when Gibbs says that that isn't the worst thing that would happen: the worst thing is that Yost, a genuine war hero, would die believing himself guilty of murdering his best friend, and Gibbs will not allow that to happen.
    • Yost himself, a true Humble Hero:
      Yost: The real heroes never came back. [indicating his Medal] They deserved that, not me. Not me. I was scared to death. I don't even remember doing what they said I did.
      Tony: You don't remember killing all those Japanese soldiers?
      Yost: No, it's like someone else did it. Maybe somebody else did, I don't know.
    • The scene where Lt. Cmdr. Coleman of JAG, with two Marine escorts, arrives to formally arrest Yost and take him to Quantico. Yost is willing to go, but Tony and Kate attempt to stall; as the argument gets more heated, Tony reaches over to Yost and moves his tie to the side to reveal his Medal of Honor. Coleman shuts up fast and she and the Marines immediately snap to attention and salute. Disrespect of the Medal of Honor or one of its recipients is pretty much heresy to the military. While there is no military regulation that requires a salute, it has been a long standing military tradition to render a salute first to a Medal of Honor recipient, regardless of their rank.
      Gibbs: You don't "win" the Medal of Honor...You're awarded it, for conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty.
  • "The Meat Puzzle": This episode is Palmer's original CMOA as he's the one who actually solves the case and proves that the suspect isn't really dead just in time for the team to rescue Ducky from the murderous family.
  • "Forced Entry": As Gibbs, Tony, and Kate confront the Outlaw Couple responsible for everything, Gibbs calmly stands there without saying a word or drawing his gun, showing that for all his snarking, he has complete faith and confidence in the latter two.
  • In "Chained", McGee, after being repeatedly harassed by the Deputy Secretary of State, verbally slaps her down and basically hangs up on her. The three people operating the video link in the room applaud. Making the scene slightly more awesome for McGee is the fact that one of the three people there, and the first to start applauding, is played by Don S. Davis—General Hammond of Stargate SG-1
  • While investigating the murder of an ROTC officer on a college campus in "Red Cell", Gibbs realizes that the commanding officer of the course is the killer. The guy surprises him and a fight ensues while Kate and Tony try to break inside the room, which Gibbs locked at the start of the interrogation. We see Gibbs on the floor with the killer holding his hands on Gibbs's head, ready to break his neck as he had the victim. By the time Kate and Tony break the lock by shooting it out, Gibbs has knocked the guy out.
  • "Caught On Tape": Gibbs uses his Right Behind Me abilities exactly as he's meant to when a suspect flees into the woods. The man pauses to snicker about what "idiots" Gibbs and Kate are, only to freeze in terror at the sound and feel of Gibbs' gun at the back of his head.
    Runyon: How did you-
    Gibbs: -sneak up on you like that?
    Runyon: Uh-huh.
    Gibbs: Used to do it for a living. Back then you'd be dead instead of under arrest. Anymore questions?
    Runyon: Uh-uh.
    Gibbs: Didn't think so.
    Season 3 
  • "Kill Ari (Part I)": Ziva's first scene. She walks into the NCIS bullpen to find Tony fantasizing about their recently departed teammate, Kate. She sizes up the situation, and with a few well-placed questions manages to knock Tony completely off his game. He never quite recovers.
  • In "Kill Ari (Part II)", when Ari has Gerald call Ducky to ask a favor (i.e., arrange a meeting), Ducky almost casually offers him a free autopsy. Again it's the tone and delivery that makes it awesome. Plus, his Papa Wolf moment:
  • At the end of "Mind Games", unrepentant Serial Killer Kyle Boone tries to get the best of Gibbs and receive a stay of execution. Boone is being led away, laughing tauntingly about Gibbs' apparent failure to find the kidnapped Agent Cassidy. That's when Team Gibbs reveal to Boone that his plans have utterly failed; Cassidy managed to overpower and kill his accomplice, and she got out of that situation with only a few minor injuries. In fact, she was actually behind the one-way mirror watching the interrogation the whole time, so Gibbs was simply putting on an act to lull Boone (who is still scheduled to be executed the following day) into a false sense of security. The crowning moment comes with Gibbs' simple goodbye to the killer:
  • "Under Covers": When the team rushes to Tony's rescue, only to find that he'd already kicked the ever-living hell out of the mook who was about to shoot him, despite being tied to a chair.
    • "I didn't say it was a perfect plan."
  • "Frame-Up": Tony is a murder suspect. In his cell, he interrogates himself, including amateur psychoanalysis. Also a Moment of Awesome for Michael Weatherly, who acts the hell out of the whole scene.
    • Arguably topped by Gibbs, who watches silently, and when DiNozzo doubts himself, gives DiNozzo his patented Gibbs Slap to return him to reality.
    • In the same episode, Abby goes on a monologue that "I know that forensics was just testing me. And I will rise up, and I will find the man who did this to Tony and I will crucify him!!!" Cue her assistant turning away very slowly in fear. Mostly because he was the man that did it.
    • And she does what she said she was going to do! Not only did she find evidence exonerating Tony, when the assistant, Chip, corners her in the lab, it cuts to the rest of the team in the squad room figuring out it's him and rushing down to rescue Abby. By the time they get there, Chip is tied to an office chair, gagged, and soaked in Caf-Pow.
  • In "Boxed In", when Tony and Ziva are trapped in the shipping crate and are surrounded by gun-toting smugglers, Ziva yells for them to speak up, drawing one of them closer to the opening. She shoots him in the foot through a small crevice in the door. Great aim and just awesome in general.
  • In "Deception", McGee is tasked with interrogating a teenaged Jerk Jock. He comes into the interrogation room and banters with the suspect about how it's easy to pick on nerds and geeks, and the jock laughs and tells McGee about some of his exploits. Then McGee coldly smiles and says that he was one of those nerds in high school, and now he has a badge, a gun, and the paperwork expertise to make the jock's life very, very unpleasant unless he cooperates and tells him where he found the victim's phone. The look on the suspect's face is priceless.
  • The end of "Ravenous", involving an obsessed stalker that doesn't know the new identity of his old girlfriend, so he's been killing women that look like her. After he's found out he holds a gun pointed at Gibbs, who couldn't get his own gun up in time. He repeatedly yells at Gibbs to drop his gun. Gibbs tosses it at him, distracting him long enough to tackle him. The guy manages to throw him off and starts running, but Gibbs calmly picks up his rifle and shoots the guy in the butt, bringing him down. Then as he walks over to the guy, he calmly slings his rifle over his shoulder, smiling a bit.
  • Another one for Tony and Gibbs in the episode "Bait": Gibbs ever so calmly leaves his gun behind outside the classroom one student is holding several others hostage and goes inside - and stays there. Now, we all know Gibbs is badass, so this doesn't come as much of a surprise (even if it is awesome). He does, however, leave Tony in charge (namely by calling him "Boss"), showing that while Ziva and Jenny don't have faith in him, Gibbs does. Tony proceeds to do almost all the right things, even when Ziva snaps at him "not being Gibbs", figuring out a clever way to tell Gibbs the student's mother is dead (saying that "Special Agent Todd is looking for her") and in general being a good leader. What makes this even better however is the fact that when the team finally find the truth, Gibbs and DiNozzo are the ones to bust the real threat in a surprise attack. Gibbs makes a smart remark. Cue DiNozzo's shit-eating grin. Awesome.
  • In "Iced", the team determines that a Marine was murdered as part of a hood's plot to take over leadership of a gang, but can't put together enough proof to go to court. Gibbs essentially says "No. We're not losing another one." He brings the guy in anyhow, and while Ziva, McGee, and Tony each take turns interrogating him, Gibbs brings in several other members of the gang, takes them through the evidence they've collected and explains how the guy they thought was relaying orders from their gang leader had actually murdered the leader and three of his lieutenants by using the Marine as bait. But, gosh, it's a shame NCIS will never get a conviction. Then he collects the perp from the interrogation room and drives him back to his gang's hangout. Cut to the next morning and a news report about the perp's body being found in a dumpster, killed gang execution-style. Gibbs walks by and asks the team, "What are you all lookin' at?"
    • It didn't help the gangster that he made the monumental mistake of threatening Gibbs' team. Any viewer knew he was a dead man walking from the second he said Shame If Something Happened.
    • Each member of Team Gibbs interrogates the gangster in their own unique way, but McGee manages to impress Tony with his:
      Ziva: McGee is a capable interrogator. He can be quite intimidating when he wants to be.
      Cesar: You can't keep me in here like this!
      McGee: No, actually I can. You see, La Vida Mala has suspected ties to al-Qaeda. So all I have to do is say the word "terrorist" and I can keep you in this room until you grow old and die.
      Tony: That... actually was intimidating.
  • "Bloodbath": When Gibbs meets Abby's stalker ex-boyfriend, he shows just how much of a Papa Wolf he is to his team with just one line.
    Gibbs: The only reason you're still able to walk is because I never heard about you until today.
    • Abby dispatches her other stalker with her stun gun and reduces him to a sniveling little boy:
      Abby: And don't look up my skirt! *TAZE*
    • At the episode's conclusion, Abby and Gibbs both get one simply by Gibbs turning off a light, revealing to Abby's stalker ex-boyfriend that, contrary to what he believes, she is not watching his interrogation, shattering his illusions that she reciprocates his obsession with her.
  • In "Hiatus (Part 1", Shephard manages to get into the ICU to visit Gibbs by calling then Secretary-of-State Condoleezza Rice. What tops it all off is this:
    Head Nurse: Calling the president's not gonna work.
    Jenny: The president? Now that would be overkill. [...] Condi? Jenny.
    • Moments after that, a completely distraught Abby walks up to the nurse and nearly has a nervous breakdown, begging to see Gibbs and showing her a driver's license as ID, babbling that she looks different from her photo but that's her, honest, and the exasperated nurse just waves her through.
    Season 4 
  • "Shalom": Ziva has been framed for murder, the FBI are hunting her, and she has to take the real killer alive or she'll never able to clear herself. She tracks the guy down, only to find out the person who hired him killed him just before she arrived. She lets herself appear to get beaten in a fight so that the Iranian agent responsible will villain monologue and give away to Ziva her identity and who she works for and why they did it. She tells her it was easier than she thought to get her to talk, beats the crap out of her. Then she pulls up her shirt, takes off the recording device taped to her abdomen, and announces, "I'm not just a killer any more, I'm an investigator!" to the rest of Team Gibbs after they arrive. This is the climax of her gradually learning how to be an investigator over the course of the last year. Huge character moment and totally awesome.
  • Ducky gets one in "Dead and Unburied", where he manages to catch the murderer by spotting a quick facial expression, then unraveling his entire motivation and plan. Not only does he spot it, he anticipates it and has McGee record it as evidence against the murderer.
  • Another for Ducky: "Release the captives, Mr. Palmer!" in Halloween episode "Witch Hunt". The "captives" referred to are a pair of masked teenagers dressed as ninjas who'd made them late to the crime scene by egging the forensics van. Ducky had gone after them, subdued them and locked them in the back of the van. Once Jimmy lets them out, Ducky marches up, hands them paper towels and cleaning liquid, and tells them to get to work cleaning their mess. Everything is clean and the teens are gone before Ducky gets back. The icing on the cake is Ducky's commentary after setting them to work.
    Ducky: Oh, please. It's not that impressive. It's not as if they were real ninjas...
    • The victim of the week gets one too. Her daughter had been kidnapped, and one of the kidnappers had remained with her, posing as her sister. The instant she gets word that her daughter is safe?
      Mother: (punch) She's NOT my sister! (punch) She's one of them! (knocks her to the ground) Told me if I didn't lie to you, they'd kill my baby! (kicks her) All they wanted was the stupid money! (kicks her again)
    • Even Gibbs takes a few steps back before restraining the Mama Bear to prevent her from killing the kidnapper.
  • In "Once a Hero," Agent Lee - previously known mostly for sneaking off to have trysts with geeky assistant ME Jimmy Palmer - goes undercover to help the team bust a slave trader who kidnaps Chinese girls and pimps them out. She keeps her cool, even when the trader uncovers her bug, and when the rest of the team bursts in, she does her part by ruthlessly and efficiently beating down The Dragon and taking his gun. Magnificent.
    • Gibbs at the end:
      Lee: (translating from the criminal's Chinese) The bum tried to be a hero.
      Gibbs: (to the criminal) Bryan Wright. Sergeant Bryan Wright. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, United States Marine Corps. He was a hero!
  • Jeanne Benoit gets her badass moment in "Angel of Death". Being forced at gunpoint to open the body of a guy who died while body-packing heroin, she pisses off the bad guy by tearing open the dead guy's intestines and spilling the heroin. She then stabs the bad guy with her scalpel, causing him to drop his gun. Cue Tony with the assist, grabbing the gun and forcing the bad guy to surrender.
    Season 5 
  • In "Ex-File", the DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency) sends a tech over to oversee Abby in her investigation of the victim's laptop; said victim having been a member of the DIA. The tech turns out to only be there to erase all the evidence, which makes Abby very angry. She asks twice for permission to kick the ever loving crap out of the guy, before getting her wish on the third try. Best part of this: the guy tries to make a deal with Gibbs. Gibbs responds with "... Abby." Abby then punches him in the face. Abby 1, Bad guy nil.
  • Special Agent Courtney Krieger in "Identity Crisis". She and Ziva are dropping off an "innocent" delivery boy and get the call to stop and bring him back. The guy steals Courtney's gun and starts shooting at Ziva. Courtney, previously a petite, shy, somewhat clumsy greenhorn, then proceeds to surprise-attack him from behind, disarm him, and slam his face into the car repeatedly until he stops fighting.
    Courtney: "Can we hug now?"
    • Gibbs and Fornell interrogating the "delivery boy". Fornell's demeanor is oddly heartwarming, given that he hasn't thought​ much of Courtney up until now.
      Gibbs: The worst mistake you made...
      Fornell: You tried to shoot our agents
      (Cue the Oh, Crap! look on the suspect's face as Fornell removes his jacket and Gibbs hangs it over the security camera. The two proceed to make it quite clear that they will beat the shit out of the guy if he doesn't give them the information they want)
  • Tony has his own CMofA in the pre-credits teaser of "Requiem". Seeing Gibbs drive a car off a dock and into the water to escape gunfire from two mooks, Tony charges the gunmen head-on, shooting them both without missing a beat and then tossing his pistol aside to dive in after the car, then hauls Gibbs and a civilian up and out of the water.
  • Palmer himself gets one in "About Face". After spending most of the episode in a deep funk over not being able to identify a man who surprised him at a crime scene and shot at him, when he finally does remember enough for the team to roll out to make the collar, he follows them to the scene only to be ordered by Gibbs to stay in the car. When he happens to catch sight of the shooter about to drive away, he takes off his glasses, floors his car, lets out a berserker yell and rams the gunman's truck, stopping him long enough for the team to get there and make the arrest. When Gibbs asks him what the hell he thought he was doing, he replies (somewhat dazedly) that "I did NOT leave the car". Gibbs even pays him a characteristically oblique compliment for his atypical badassery.
  • In "Judgment Day (Part 2)", the team's new boss actually understanding McGee's Techno Babble. "So, actually, you haven't done anything!"
    • Also, Jenny dying in pretty much the most awesome fashion not involving an explosion. She takes, what, four guys with her?
    Season 6 
  • In "Murder 2.0", the murderer had made Gibbs into his nemesis, the one he had to "defeat". As it continues, they manage to learn the identity of the fourth victim was someone who they had briefly met and the friend of the roommate of the first victim, who was the killer. Turns out the "victim" was the actual murderer, planning to use the NCIS team, specifically Gibbs, to be the weapon killing the real fourth victim. That is pretty clever, but Gibbs figures out the camera, which always shows the victim, isn't aimed at him but at the girl believed to be the murderer. At the end, the murderer is giggling about how they'll be famous because of this. Everyone would know their name, but not Gibbs'. So what does NCIS do? They withhold the killer's identity (claiming national security over a terrorist suspect) so that they would go down as a nobody forever, only known by their handle, and Gibbs ends up the one well-known, at least in NCIS. And in the end, Gibbs doesn't even attend the ceremony to award him a medal. The fact that he's humble enough to not take that award is what truly tops this crowning moment.
  • The awesome moment of "Collateral Damage" goes to trainee NCIS agent Dwayne Wilson; after being treated with amused contempt and polite disinterest by the rest of Team Gibbs, and outright hostility from Gibbs himself, Wilson is left, unarmed, to "guard the car" while the rest of the team apprehends a robbery crew at a funeral. The crew manages to give the team the slip and is about to escape, when Wilson blocks their getaway car with his, posing as a clueless bystander picking up his grandmother (using a confused elderly bystander as a prop). This few seconds' delay is enough time for Gibbs and the team to capture them, while Wilson shields the old lady from gunfire. Even Gibbs has to admit Wilson has potential.
  • Lee gets another awesome moment in "Dagger" when, after being revealed as the mole and being held hostage by the Big Bad of the arc, she gives Gibbs the nod to shoot through her.
  • McGee gets one when he stands up to a prison full of (female) convicts in "Caged":
    "I've never hit a woman before, but you come at me with that thing and I will drop you!"
  • "Dead Reckoning": Ziva and Tony have an important subject at a safehouse apartment. They know that two assassins are on their way up. While Tony takes the subject into a back bedroom, Ziva calmly plants herself in the middle of the living room, takes up a gun in each hand, and points each at two doors, both on separate walls entirely, leading in from the hallway. Outside, the two assassins take up positions in front of each door and, at a silent count, burst in, guns at the ready. They don't even have time to be surprised that Ziva's already opening fire on them before they're dead. Doubling the awesome, she is on the phone to Gibbs at the time—she tells him to wait a moment, sets the phone down, dispatches the assassins, then calmly picks up the phone and tells him the problem was dealt with.
  • "South by Southwest" has Gibbs shooting down a helicopter with nothing but an old fashioned rifle.
  • In "Legend", in order to plant a hidden camera in an auto shop, LA NCIS agent Kenzie pulls her cute little sports car over, finds a piece of pipe on the sidewalk, and bashes in a headlight. When this attracts the attention of a number of nearby thugs, she backs them down by pulling her gun, and gets back into the car to drive it to the shop where she manages to fast-talk the owner into taking it in, giving her the few seconds she needs to duck inside as well and plant the camera.
  • "Aliyah": Tony turning Obfuscating Stupidity into a Moment of Awesome when he gets Eli David to admit to something he really doesn't want to admit to, while TONY is the one being interrogated. The Oh, Crap! look on Eli's face, coupled with the very subtle-but-still-there "did I just see that?" on Vance's face just cements the awesome.
    • Even Eli smiles, realizing he's been neatly manipulated by a juvenile smartass like DiNozzo. Considering Eli's position, and his long experience with manipulating others, this is one hell of a compliment.
     Season 7 
  • In the season 7 premiere, Tony is captured by terrorists, goes through a rough interrogation under the effects of a truth serum, swearing his captor will die. After telling the terrorists all about his team in NCIS, he makes this remark vis-a-vis a True Lies reference:
    Tony: You have thirty seconds to live, Salim.
    Salim: You're still bound! You're lying!
    Tony: I can't lie, and I didn't say I was gonna be the one to kill you. Remember when I told you my boss was a sniper?
    • The whole episode is one giant Moment of Awesome for Tony, starting off with "I'm here to kill ya" all the way through the end.
    • It's a actually the culmination of a series of Moment of Awesome for Tony starting with surviving hand to hand combat with and subsequently killing Ziva's boyfriend, a Mossad assassin (which gets subverted when Ducky discovers he was drunk), after almost singlehandedly discovering the real reasons of his presence in the US and then managing to trick the director of Mossad, Ziva's father, into revealing critical information while the director was interrogating him, all live on camera for his daughter to see.
    • And of course, Gibbs sniping two armed terrorists from a cliff a half-mile away through a sand-covered window into a basement, then a third at close range just for good measure.
    • Not to mention the fact that he gives no useful information to Saleem, while pissing him off.
  • In "Good Cop, Bad Cop", when Mossad Officer Malachi Ben-Gidon comes to bring Ziva back to Israel, Gibbs yells at him to tell Eli David that she's off limits.
  • Gibbs in 7x09, "Child's Play", when he asks the savant girl the episode has revolved around to calculate the odds that Ziva will miss a shot at the bad guy...who's holding a gun to the girl's head. She calmly works it out at 97.6%. Gibbs gives the bad guy one more chance to surrender. He doesn't. Big mistake.
  • 7x11, "Ignition": who's more awesome - the bad guy who tries to escape by jetpack, or McGee, who's built a custom-made remote control to take control of the pack and bring him back?
  • In 7x22, "Borderland," Abby's presenting at a law enforcement symposium in Mexico. One woman insults her fashion sense by asking her who told her that the Day of the Dead was in May. Abby retaliates by providing very detailed facts about the woman based solely on observing her, leaving said woman speechless.
  • The show as a whole earns some kind of awesome-ness award for the fact that the big mid-season event in Season 7 was not some big plot event or game changer but just seeing Gibbs' living room.
  • In season five, we met Damon Werth, a marine who took steroids to counter a form of anemia that would have prevented his serving. He repeats in season seven's "Outlaws and In-Laws," working as a mercenary. His team has been hired to abduct Mike Franks' daughter-in-law and granddaughter, being told they'd been kidnapped and needed a rescue. The minute he recognizes Ziva, who points out that he just broke into Gibbs's living room, he knocks out his partners and quits.
  • "Rule 51". Gibbs staring down the children of Pedro Hernandez without a trace of fear.
     Season 8 
  • Score one for Jackson Gibbs in the season eight premiere. Confronted by the Mexican drug lord who's been seeking revenge against his boy, what does he do? Fires off a round with his Winchester, gets her to leave his shop, and retreats to said shop's storm cellar before the bitch and her cronies attempt to gun him down.
    Paloma: You're just like your son.
    Jackson: No ma'am... He's just like me. (fires a warning shot out the window as Paloma reaches for her pistol)
    • Same episode. Gibbs needs to resolve the whole Reynosa mess without giving up the evidence report that says he's a murderer, and needs to keep his team, father AND mentor safe. He nails both siblings, by having one murder the other, in a well-constructed Gambit Roulette / Batman Gambit.
  • Score one for Anthony DiNozzo, Sr., in "Broken Arrow". Ziva gets a hand in kicking two killers' asses with the help of Tony's father. He takes down one of them WITH ONE PUNCH (Ziva needs a punch and a kick to drop the other). Old men really kick ass on NCIS.
  • In Enemies Domestic, a rogue ex-NCIS veteran who'd been setting Leon up to die since 1991 comes to the man's sick bed and tries to get him overdosed with morphine. Out of the blue the rogue's face changes, from smug grin to Oh Shit. The camera pans out, revealing that Vance has stabbed his chest with the switchblade Gibbs gave him.
    • Gibbs gets an assist on this since he anticipated that Vance would need it.
    • Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.
  • In "Kill Screen", Gibbs stops a computer mainframe from breaking through the Pentagon's firewalls and wiping out every military computer on the shooting it. When the computer comes back on, Gibbs shoots it in the monitor to finish it off.
    • In that same episode, Palmer's random babbling about how the purse the murder victim's fingertips and teeth were found in is a knockoff proving to be useful information—Tony sincerely tells him "Good catch, Gremlin. It might help us trace it back to the killer."
  • Mike Franks goes out the only way he ever could or should.
  • "Pyramid". Gibbs, Vance, and SECNAV track Serial Killer Cobb to where he's taken Kort, Barrett, and Jimmy. During the standoff, Gibbs and Jimmy exchange the briefest of looks and Jimmy gives the tiniest of nods, indicating that his years with the team made him know what to expect—indeed, when the shooting breaks out, he instantly dives to the floor and escapes harm.
  • "Worst Nightmare". Paired with "Funny", Abby makes her intern wear bells because she's paranoid about what mischief he might do (although considering the last intern she ended up with tried to frame Tony for murder and attempted to kill her, it's hard to blame her). Gibbs gets annoyed by the sound and gives the guy his classic Death Glare... and the guy doesn't even flinch, telling him, "I'm more scared of her (Abby) than you.". Pretty impressive considering how many hard-core criminals have wilted under that same look, yet this wimpy guy isn't fazed in the slightest.
    • The moment is doubly awesome in that Gibbs appears to concede the point, acknowledging that Abby can be way scarier than he is.
    • The intern has his own moment of awesome in managing to win Abby over, becoming her "new number one" when he helps to find a critical piece of evidence that identifies their killer. By the end of the episode, he's lost the bells and shares a hearty High Five with Abby.
     Season 9 
  • In "Psych Out" Gibbs periodically spars with the head of Psychological Warfare. Halfway through the episode, Gibbs shows up unexplainedly at her kid's middle school (which is classified info, since her kid is her one weakness). He then smiles without saying a word, while the U.S. secretary of mind games proceeds to completely lose her shit. EPIC.
  • "Secrets"
    • The people who dress up as superheroes and fulfill the role of a Neighborhood Watch are pretty nerdy. That doesn't invalidate the fact that they put themselves in danger constantly in order to keep crime down and protect kids in the DC area and can actually be pretty badass.
    • One of the most Awesome Moments to come from a one-shot character shows up in this episode. When Gibbs, Tony, and Ziva come to arrest the slumlord who's been killing off the Real-Life Superheroes because their charity work has been raising property values, his bodyguard, who is a former Bronze Star Marine and his accomplice, rushes forward to attack them. The thin, extremely nerdy-looking Clarence Tobett and one of the Real-Life Superheroes One Hit KOs the guy with AN UPPERCUT before he can reach any of the agents. It even impresses Gibbs, the In-Universe Memetic Badass.
  • In episode "Engaged: Part 2", Tony interrogates an Israeli Extremist, alone. No jokes, no jabs, just... plain, stone-cold determination that would impress Gibbs to the extreme.
  • In "Newborn King":
    • Tony and McGee interrogate a prisoner and use Christmas cookies as a lie detector. The guy is a tough Russian criminal so they know he will not easily give up any information. In the interrogation room they offer him some cookies a coworker baked. While he is eating the cookies, they start asking him simple questions and watch his reactions. When he hesitates after one question they use this as an opening and start asking more serious questions about the case. When they reveal to the guy that they know who really hired him, he chokes on a cookie. Frustrated the guy takes the remaining cookies and smashes them on the table. He is so angry that he reveals what his partners are up to.
    • In that same episode, "Newborn King", Palmer finally snaps at his cynical, disrespectful father-in-law.
      Palmer: (to Tony and Tim) Good luck.
      Ed Slater: Yeah... good luck.
      Palmer: ...Why in the world would you say it like that?
      Slater: W-why? The weather, the road closures, cause they're never gonna make it?
      Palmer: How the hell would you know? They're trained agents!
      Slater: Well...
      Palmer: You might not respect me, or what it is we do here, but you have got to respect the fact that these people, my people, are risking their lives.
      Slater: Well, if you're gonna put it like that...
      Palmer: There's no other way to put it. Until you can figure that out, we're not going anywhere. Sit down, and shut up.
    • Sure enough, when Tony and Tim are speeding towards the service station where Gibbs and Ziva are fighting for their lives, the car skids on the ice, and Tony winces, but both of them keep their eyes fixed straight ahead and neither of them even thinks of turning back.
    • Before the climactic gunfight, while Gibbs is saddled with the Marine in labor:
      Ziva: Gibbs? (checks her backup revolver, then calmly draws her SIG) It's okay. Got this covered.
      • And she does.
  • In "Housekeeping", Gibbs, Ziva and McGee pursue ex-Green Beret Casey Stratton all the way into an ambush set up by FBI agents.
     Season 10 
  • "Phoenix": Ducky (who has been given lead in the investigation) interrogates the main suspect, a one-hit wonder rock star now working as a janitor, and "breaks" him by repeating a few lines from the man's song; the man is charmed and flattered, and since the song lyrics are about being a man and facing up to the truth, he takes the lesson to heart and confesses everything.
  • Ducky facing down the Deputy Director of Mossad and throwing him off.
    Bodnar: Excuse me. And whose grandfather would you be?
    Ducky: Well that depends...who's your grandmother?
  • One for the villains. Harper Dearing has the unique distinction of never getting outmanoeuvred by the good guys. From start to finish, up and including becoming the most wanted man in America, the president himself ordering every agency to take him down "with extreme prejudice" after the bombing of NCIS headquarters and even his own death happened in his own terms and following his script to the letter. And that's not even mentioning how he managed to kidnap Director Vance just to make a point (and as distraction to place the bomb in latter's car), play mind-games with the head of DoD PsyOps Division and beat her so bad she had to quit the investigation (and the series), and kill an entire FBI assault team despite being a 61 years old business man with no combat training whatsoever by using their ambush plan against them on the fly. Team Gibbs themselves pointed out that the only reason any of them survived this terrorist's attacks in the end is because of luck.
  • "Canary". Cyberterrorist Ajay Khan (Vik Sahay) is arrested by the team, all in disguise—McGee as a maintenance man, Gibbs pretending to be homeless, and Ziva acting like a bimbo, while Tony hides in the dumpster and awaits his chance to spring out and cuff Khan from behind. Then they put him on a plane and tell him he's going to Gitmo, where people he's worked with before are being kept. Still he doesn't talk—until a sudden security breach causes the cell doors to unlock, and a bunch of Arabic-speaking men jump out, shoot Tony in the leg, and then proceed to bang repeatedly on Khan's cell door. When Khan finally gives in and tells Tony and Ziva what they need to hear, it's finally revealed that the whole thing was just a really, really elaborate ruse faked with the help of the IT guy who's into improv comedy. Viewers might have picked up on that early on, but the scene feels so real...
  • "Detour", also known as Ducky and Jimmy's Crowning Episode of Awesome: To escape from the woman holding them hostage and forcing them to autopsy a dead Navy officer they were supposed to be taking back to NCIS, Ducky and Jimmy create an IED out of surgical gauze, rubber gloves inflated with methane gas from the corpse's stomach and a lit cigarette all stuffed in the cabin's camp stove. It even manages to kill one of her two mooks.
    • And how do they get the alone time needed to plan their escape? Ducky and Jimmy use the autopsy to purposely Squick out their captors so they vacate the cabin to get away from the smell.
    • Then, after they escape into the woods, Ducky pretends to separate from Jimmy in order to draw out the surviving mook so that Jimmy can shoot him. It doesn't kill the mook, but it puts him down long enough for Gibbs and the team to move in.
    • And then, for an encore, the woman got away with a key to the storage location for where the dead Navy officer hid some stolen documents, or so she thinks. Gibbs arrests her while she's looking for the documents in Palmer's gym locker.
      Ducky: (last line) You've been played.
  • Ziva's fight with Ilan Bodnar, who Killed Her Father. Two Badass Israelis who have every reason to hate each other in an incredibly destructive fistfight, culminating with Ziva throwing Ilan to his death. She may have mellowed considerably but god help you if you piss Mrs Former Mossad Assassin off, as she shows, she's still a lethal combatant.
  • "Seek": Dex the military dog growling the moment he realizes he's in the presence of his handler's killer and proceeding to both avenge him and take the bullet for Gibbs. It's capped off by him recovering from his injuries, successfully being retired, and being given to his handler's widow.
    Tony: "You know, I've been thinking about getting a dog."
    Gibbs: "That's not a dog. That's a Marine."
    • The final shot is of Dex sitting at his handler's casket, paying his respects.
    • Dex being awarded an (unofficial) Bronze Star.
  • In "Squall", McGee's estranged father, a Navy Admiral who was up for a Presidential cabinet post, shows up and has little problem being verbally demeaning to Tim. When the admiral is being interrogated about his wherabouts during the current murder case, Gibbs doesn't hesitate to defend McGee from his insults.
    Gibbs: You make him think he's nothing. You're the one worth nothing.
     Season 11 
  • In "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," there's an intruder in autopsy. He knocks Ducky aside and Palmer struggles with him. Then Ducky brains the intruder with a scale, knocking him out.
  • In "Under The Radar", an Air Force washout rigs a small airplane with a homemade C-4 bomb for revenge against the military for kicking him out. It's flying under the radar, so the military and the FAA can't find it, and nobody knows who or what the target is. So what plan does McGee come up with? He asks Abby, who's good friends with the drummer of a famous In-Universe band, to ask them if they could put a picture of the washout's plane on their Twitter page so their fans could be on the lookout and tweet their location when they see it with #FindThisPlane. The plan is so successful that Vance and the I.G. office decide to let McGee off the hook for losing his badge and ID the previous day.
  • In "Devil's Triad" Emily Fornell is kidnapped by a money launderer that the team is trying to track down so he can ransom her for a money stash they found at one of his hideouts. Not only does she quickly describe the vehicle she's in during the "Prove I have your daughter" call to Agent Fornell, she plants her Bluetooth-equipped watch in her kidnapper's bag so that he can be tracked down after he's gone on the run. She's thirteen.
    Emily: Oh, he didn't get away. My last name is Fornell after all.
    • Adding to it is a mix of Heartwarming Moment, but Fornell punching the launderer's lights out is a thing of beauty after he insulted his daughter.
  • In "Anonymous Was A Woman" Gibbs, with an assist from McGee faces down an angry mob of religious zealots in Afghanistan who want to burn a woman's shelter, mostly just using the power of his Death Glare.
  • "Alleged": Agent Maureen Cabot throat-punching a rapist so quickly, it's a Moment of Awesome that you might miss if you blink. Catharsis Factor at its finest.
     Season 12 
  • "So It Goes": Ducky is cornered by a killer, and all he has to defend himself with is an antique scalpel. Ducky makes a feeble, ineffective swipe, that barely makes a small cut on the killer's sleeve. The killer mocks him... and then collapses. Ducky informs him that he'd just nicked an artery, and if he wants Ducky to save him before he bleeds out, he'd better spill everything he knows.
  • In the episode Semper Fortis a Navy Hospital Corpsman is detained by police for aiding in saving the lives of two passengers in a hit and run crash. Despite being medically trained, she is not considered to be a certified EMT; they even point out the Double Standard in that the Army and Air Force medics are both certified EMTs but not Naval. Even though she was going to be breaking the law, she still stopped to help them live. Gibbs and co make it their mission to help get the charges dropped, in Gibbs words: "...we're going after the law itself." The best part, they succeeded. The NHC is given community service rather than jail time, she is credited as a hero by the families of the crash victims, the survivors of the crash, and she is urged to go to medical school to gain her EMT status.
  • "The Searchers": Bishop calling Gibbs out over the fact that he's been going easy on her since she joined the team (which he had been, blaming his methods for the loss of Kate and Ziva), and asking him to treat and train her the same way he does Tony and McGee.
  • 'Cabin Fever' is full of Awesome Moments, with the episode revolving around Fornell struggling with his grief, and Gibbs getting far too close to the Mishnev case. After a visit from Emily Fornell, where she laments how bad her father has gone; coupled with Tobias forcing himself into the case of the week, Vance has no choice but to go over Fornell's head to his FBI counterpart. Gibbs gives him an alternate choice, culminating in Fornell getting revenge on Mishnev for killing Diane. Bonus points for Gibbs pulling an absolutely epic Magnificent Bastard in the process.
    • The scuffle between Gibbs and Fornell after Fornell finally loses his temper and slugs Gibbs square in the face. Gibbs calmly brushes it off and snarks, "That all you got, Alice?"
  • McGee and Delilah are taken hostage by a terrorist. McGee tries to save the day and fails, causing Delilah to chew him out about ruining her plan. When asked what it was, she simply pulls a knife out of her boot and stabs the terrorist. Please note that Delilah is paralyzed from the waist down and was out of her wheelchair at the time.
  • Dorneget's Dying Moment of Awesome in The Lost Boys, where he singlehandedly saves countless lives from a terrorist attack in Cairo at the cost of his own and only a few casualties. Bonus points for him taking a few levels in badass in the interim between appearances and becoming a full agent; not to mention heading the Cyber investigation, being the liaison between agencies on said op and gaining Gibbs' respect.
     Season 13 
  • Tony's Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Daniel Budd:
    Tony: You're not a Bond villain, Daniel. You're a fraud. And frauds don't get to speak like Bond villains. They do get to die like them.
  • "Lockdown" is basically Abby going Die Hard in a Pharmaceutical Lab. From staying one step ahead of the bad guys to signaling Gibbs despite the communications lockdown to figuring out that her cowardly new friend is in on it.
  • "Dead Letter": Emily Fornell's Badass Boast to a doctor who wants to pull the plug on her father:
    Doctor: Please calm down-
    Emily: I am calm. You aren't bleeding.
  • Team Gibbs killing the traitorous Trent Kort in "Family First." Bonus points as he's the last dirtbag that Tony helps take down before retiring from NCIS.
    • While it probably falls under excessive force, the sheer amount of bullets that go flying when Kort goes for his gun, entirely on the part of Team Gibbs (Gibbs, Tony, McGee, Bishop, Reeves, and Monroe) is DEEPLY cathartic, considering how much of a Smug Snake Kort had always been AND his responsibility for the attack on Ziva's farmhouse. No tears are shed for him, and even the potential for cheers.
     Season 14 
  • "Rogue": Nick Torres shows his Balls of Steel in his first episode when he calmly tells Gibbs that he's sitting in a chair that's rigged to explode if he stands up (and has been sitting there with no reaction for a few minutes already). Not many people can be that nonchalant about sitting on a live bomb.
    • Another Torres moment from the same episode. After they get him out of the chair, a congresswoman discovers a bomb in her car. Torres lands three shots on the bomber’s motorcycle, knocking him over as the others save the congresswoman.
    • His very first scene. He is undercover, hanging out with his girlfriend (and the target's daughter) in a nightclub. One of the target's henchmen confronts him at the bar, revealing that his cover has been blown, and attempts to stab him. Torres catches the knife and, after a short struggle, drives it into his attacker's chest instead. What adds to this is the fact that the entire fight is so subtle, none of the people around them even notice it happening, and Torres leaves the dying man slumped over on a bar stool, looking like he's just had too much to drink.
  • The Cold Open of "Being Bad" features a pair of nerds at a high school reunion being hassled by their old bully. One nerd beats a hasty retreat when the bully threatens to get physical, but the second easily takes the bully down with a controlled throw.
    Nerd: So, what did you end up doing after high school? I joined Special Forces. Got my CPA on the GIs' bill.
  • Torres and McGee go to get information from a guy the former knowes from his undercover days in "Philly". The guy (and his bodyguard) is none too pleased to learn that his old acquaintance has brought along a federal agent. So, in a Refuge in Audacity moment that crosses over with Funny, Torres suddenly jumps onto the guy's table and starts dancing to the music playing from another room. Both men draw their guns on him, and don't pay McGee any mind until Torres reminds them of his presence, by which point Tim has a gun trained on each of them.
    • Later, the same guy is in interrogation, and refers to McGee as the Good Cop, and Torres as the Bad Cop. McGee's response is to violently pin the man's arm to the table. The guy begs Torres to get him to stop, to which Torres replies "I would, but he's actually scaring me, too."
  • McGee gets one in "Pandora's Box Part 2" when he rouses the New Orleans office into rescuing Torres, red tape be damned.
  • "Keep Going" is a whole episode of Palmer's third individual Awesome Moment. Though he self-admittedly climbed onto the apartment ledge without thinking and is proper scared of how high up he is, he is able to stay positive for at least 3 hours Talking Down the Suicidal Ryan. Even Gibbs and Torres wisely step back to let the autopsy gremlin do his thing when it's clear that the victim's son won't trust anyone else to get closer. The fact that Palmer succeeds in talking Ryan out of it makes it even more awesome.
    • There's also the fact that Palmer is the first member of the NCIS team to notice Ryan on that ledge, and he immediately drops everything and rushes up the apartment stairs to grab him before he jumps a full minute before anybody else notices what's going on.
  • "Nonstop"'s moment of awesome goes to Anthony, Sr., when, as the probationary new member of the "Sherlocks", he notices the vital clue that breaks the case. Particularly awesome when he earlier admitted to Gibbs that he joined the Sherlocks because he was at a loss what else to do and wasn't sure he was a good fit for them.
     Season 15 
  • Despite the hell they've undoubtedly been put through, Gibbs and McGee stick together to get out of captivity. Even when it seems like McGee has cracked under pressure and betrayed Gibbs, it turns out to be an act for them to overthrow the bad guys and break free. Back home, we see the remainder of the team doing everything they can to find and rescue the two, and when they do finally get out, Gibbs hugs Bishop and tells her he's proud of her.
    • One of the terrorists becomes sympathetic to Tim's monologue of what he is missing being trapped on their ship, and offers him food in exchange for fixing tech on board the ship. Later, he tells him that he is only there for the money, not the cause the terrorists fight for; and if he had his chance, he would take out the boss himself. At the end of the episode, as Tim and Gibbs are fleeing, he takes the boss from them, presumably to torture and kill him for the deaths of his family.
  • "Ready or Not": After spending the entire episode knuckling under to the demands of the terrorist who'd taken a hospital emergency room hostage, Gibbs gets informed that Reeves and Torres had found and disarmed the bomb the terrorist had planted elsewhere. The terrorist and his partner are promptly taken down in a matter of seconds.
  • McGee sensing Gibbs' presence without the latter saying a word—"Dead body, boss?", to the point that Gibbs seems slightly unnerved.
  • Abby pulls off one last gambit in "Two Steps Back" when she forces Robert King to confess to putting the hit on her by saying she poisoned his drink and when he feels the effects, he confesses and Abby gives him the antidote to the poison. And then, it turns out there was no poison - it was CafPow pills and suggestion that made King feel like he was poisoned.
    • Not to mention Gibbs's typical functional mute retort when a bad guy gets caught is replaced with an INFINITELY more satisfying retort:

     Season 16 
  • "She": Ziva is alive.
  • "Daughters":
    • We get to see Ziva in all her Israeli glory.
    • Separately, Vance is telling Gibbs that NCIS has no jurisdiction to handle the investigation into what happened to Emily Fornell, and they legally can't get involved. Gibbs, knowing that Vance would have to draw that distinction, has Ducky just waiting outside the office, offering how they can Loophole Abuse their way into being in the clear. And, to cement it all as a Heartwarming Moment, Vance gives his approval once Ducky's offered enough information to clear the way.
    Vance: You had me at iuris dicende causa."

     Season 17 
  • "Out of the Darkness":
    • The opening scene of the episode.
    Gibbs: *Hijacks a car from a petty criminal*
    Gibbs: Let's go!
    Ziva: *Rushes over and shakes her head 'no' at someone off screen before getting into car*
    Gibbs: Get what you needed?
    Ziva: *Slams two chopped off fingers on the dashboard*
    Ziva: Drive.
    Queue opening credits
    • Ziva confidently declaring her name in a calm and cool tone to the eccentric crime boss Mr. Rogers.
    Ziva: My name is Ziva David.
  • "Someone Else's Shoes"
    • The killer of homeless veterans turns out to be a man who was just trying to earn more money for his private enterprise. He tries to run but keeps finding his path blocked by a veteran, each one rattling off their name and rank. The last one is a vet who had long been claiming "I'm no longer a Marine" but proudly states his rank before punching the guy out.
    • And Sloane catches the whole thing on video, getting 17 million likes in just three days and exposing the killer's scheme to the public.
  • Ziva goes to interrogate a perp in "The North Pole." The guy tries to be a smartass, until Ziva pulls out her knife and makes a Badass Boast about where that knife has been. The guy immediately realizes who she is and all but wets his pants in fear. That's right; ever since her "death," Ziva's name has become known to terrorist cells and their cohorts... and she's become a Name To Run Away From Really Fast.
  • In a conversation between Ziva and Gibbs, Ziva reveals that after Tony left NCIS with Tali, he tracked her down in Cairo. This was after being told by everyone he knew she was dead and he should deal with that, and her going underground so far that it took Sahar years to find her.
  • The final confrontation between Ziva and Sahar in "The North Pole."
    • The cherry on top? In a Call-Back to "Kill Ari", Gibbs saves Ziva from Sahar the same way she saved him from Ari.
  • At the end of the episode "In the Wind", Phineas helps saves himself from being kidnapped and trafficked to Libya by Victor so he can sell the kid to his birth uncle by hiding a pocket knife in his sock. When the TSA finds it during the security line, Phineas claims that his "dad", who Victor is posing as to get both of them out of the country through the airport, told him to hide it in there. While it helps the TSA agents start getting suspicious of Victor and his intentions, it also buys enough time for NCIS to show up and save Phineas.
    Phineas: [Upon reuniting with Gibbs] Rule nine; always carry a knife. Just like you told me.
  • In "Blarney", Jimmy and Kasie get held hostage in a diner by three thieves who had a robbery across the street go awry. The two of them manage to stay calm throughout the whole three hours of the situation, from keeping the other hostages safe from any further danger to tricking the two thieves that they were suffering from internal bleeding, allowing the police to come in and end the hostage situation.
    • Even before the whole hostage situation, they got an awesome moment against the thieves when Kasie told them off for being rude to the waitress who was serving them their breakfast. Then when two of the men get in Jimmy's face until the leader "told them they got better things to do", Jimmy tries defuses the situation by telling them to just stop making a scene about it and let everybody else enjoy their breakfast. After the three men leave the diner, the other patrons and the diner employees appalud both of them.

     Season 18 
  • "Sturgeon Season": Gibbs, Torres, Bishop, Vance, McGee and Agent Tyler (played by Victoria Platt) chip in to look for Tyler's daughter who's been kidnapped by Chunk who kills Colonel Darby for a safe filled with around 150 thousand dollars in cash and kidnaps Tyler's daughter to make Tyler covering up any evidence leading back to him. It's nice to see them willing to help look for someone's, especially if it's a NCIS agent's kid.
    • Fortunately they rescued Tyler's daughter who turned out to be tied up under the trapdoor. Good job to the entire NCIS cast.
  • Ducky's/David McCallum's return in "Everything Starts Somewhere". Welcome back, Ducky! We missed seeing you.
    • Gibbs at first declines McGee's offer for drinks, but at the end of the episode, he calls McGee and gladly said he wanted to go for drinks with his squad team. The team's reaction? "Oh yeah, baby! Gibbs is coming!" Cue Gibbs smiling and laughing. Doubles as Heartwarming.
  • "Head of the Snake": Just the fact that Fornell was able to handle an undercover operation by himself for three months straight. And he's in his 70s.
    • Bishop going full Action Girl on one of Merriweather's goons despite being injured and tied up.
    • That Cold Open in the first episode? It comes full circle when Gibbs has to find a way to get McGee to stop moving towards jet rigged with bombs. What does he do? Shoot McGee. Twice. 18 years in the game and they still manage to create a scenario that is suspenseful from start to end that also ties in with an opening that was shown a little over four months ago.

     Season 19 

  • Gibbs saving Kasie's life when she got held hostage by LeMere, a contract killer, by shooting LeMere in the back, ultimately saving Kasie. Everyone in the squad room is stunned by this.
    • Later, Parker gives Gibbs a piece of mind for shooting LeMere as LeMere is the only lead for the murders. Gibbs says it wasn't a kill shot but Parker isn't having it... until it turns out LeMere will live. It turns out that the bullet only nicked his subclavian artery; One millimeter higher and it would've killed him. Parker's reaction after hearing this?
      Parker: Nice shooting.
  • The villain of the following two episodes did such an awful job attempting to cover up her ass with LeMere's serial killings for the sake of the Sonova company's mining rights that she doesn't even get a dramatic chase sequence or a gunman defending her. After gaining easy access to her company's dirty laundry and their willful ignorance to attempted environmental destruction, Gibbs and McGee act like red tape is keeping them from arresting her.. only for Parker to pretend to be her getaway driver, jam her cell phone she was going to call her co-conspirator with, and arrest her formally.
  • The departure of Gibbs from the series isn't about action or how much of a badass he is, but how determined he was to see things through even if he was brought to an arrest for it. His acknowledgment of McGee as taking his position as team leader and all he's done as an agent in 18 years is bound to invoke Manly Tears, and a lot of deep feelings for the long-time viewers, but one can't say Gibbs didn't finally earn his peace.
  • "First Steps": Vance's daughter Kayla, now an NCIS probie, talking down the man holding her hostage.

     Season 20 

  • Any scene with Gibbs and Tobias Fornell drips of awesome. "And people say we're bastards?" "Only because they know us."
  • The fact that the show is still in the air since 2003. NCIS never seems to slowing down anytime soon.
    • Kudos to Sean Murray and Brian Dietzen, as they’re the last cast members from season 1 still on the show as of this writing (January 28, 2024), making them the longest serving cast members on the show, with Murray being on the show the longest. And they’re not even original main cast members from both JAG backdoor pilot and this show’s first season!
      • It goes without saying Mark Harmon did 19 seasons and 418 episodes before departing after the first four Season 19 episodes and David McCallum did 20 seasons and 372 episodes before passing away in September 2023. Worth noting they’re the last original cast members from the backdoor pilot still making appearances before their respective eventual departures. What an amazing run.
      • Murray even surpassed Harmon’s, McCallum’s and even Dietzen’s episode count!
    • Not to mention, Joe Spano (who plays Tobias Fornell) still make appearances on NCIS from season 1 onwards, making him the only recurring NCIS actor to still making appearances from season 1.
    • When Mark left the show while season 19 is in production, the executive producer assures fans that this isn't the last time we see Gibbs. Looks like there's a chance we might see Gibbs again in the future.