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Tobias Fornell is played by Joe Spano

Occupation/Title: FBI Senior Special Agent

Personality type:

Signature look: suit and tie. Dapper beard from season 7.

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s):

Tobias Fornell - NCIS


Family members: Daughter, Emily.

Romance(s): Diane

  • Fornell and Gibbs have worked a lot of cases together and are considered at least friends... maybe best friends. But it's in a rivalry, gonna-get-ya style. Outdoing each other and needling each other is one of their joys in life.
  • "I know how sad this sounds, but you're the closest thing I have to a friend, Gibbs."
  • Gibbs after Kate's death with Fornell by his side. They maintain an outward appearance of hostility which they discard when in private:usually in the NCIS HQ lift which they stop between floors to have no chance of being overheard. They ride shotgun for each other against the idiots higher up in the command chain and feed each other's hard man image with their subordinates, to create a greater mystique than they deserve. They are both proud of being considered bastards by their underlings, such that they have instant authority over them and get the work out of them that they want.
  • Each has a feel for what is needed in a situation, each is willing to bend the rules as far as possible to give the other the break needed to get the job done (for example, holding Tony in custody but not charging him in Frame Up, or Fornell advising Jethro to "go watch a movie" so that he twigs to the key issue that Fornell is not allowed to disclose. Fornell advises which movie to watch.)

Enemies: Mafia boss Napalitano,

Character Backstory:

Season 1:

  • Shared wife: Fornell married Gibbs' second wife and he has a daughter with her, Emily. He is divorced from her, just as Gibbs' had warned him. Gibbs' gets Fornell's attention in one episode by telling an agent to tell Fornell that he is "about to make the second biggest mistake of his life!". When Fornell inquires what the first one was, Gibbs says "Marrying my second wife." Fornell: "You could have warned me." Gibbs: "I did! I told you she would leave you and wipe out your bank account before she goes", at which point Fornell turns to the young agents avidly listening to this and says, ruefully, "In my own defence, I thought he was exaggerating. He wasn't.". This banter sets the tone of his relationship with Gibbs: they can both be brutally honest and both have the same tastes.
Season 2:

  • Wily coyotes: Gibbs goes to bat for Fornell when F is arrested by his own FBI colleagues. But we see F hanging in his cell. (Oh no!). Gibbs solves the crime. Then, to the surprise of the Giblets and us, Fornell walks through the NCIS office as is nothing had happened. Gibbs worked out whodunit but G and F leave us to wonder how they dunnit. Just like we wonder how Gibbs gets those boats out of his basement...

Season 3:
  • Fornell takes Tony into custody after all the evidence leads to him.
  • He helps Gibbs to find Ari after he kills Kate
  • He helps with the assassin undercover mission in "Under Covers".

Season 4:
  • Loving doting fathers: Fornell and Gibbs are similar in that Fornell has a daughter around the age that Gibbs' daughter was when she died. They both dote on their girls: Fornell has a girly spare room so that his daughter can stay with him on access visits, and puts Gibbs up for the night when Gibbs' house needs fumigating. Both are oddly comfortable in a Raspberry Shortcake decor room. Fornell invokes Gibbs' aid when a villain pursues Fornell's daughter: Fornell's cry that "this goes beyond need" is what gets through to Gibbs, even though at the time, Gibbs was retired, cheesed off and not interested in doing any police work.

Season 5:
  • Fornell has been bumped upstairs into a more supervisory role. Gibbs goes to him in "Identity Crisis" when they have a problem with another FBI agent.
  • Fornell is appointed to investigate the team when the body of Rene Benoit (aka The Frog) is discovered.

Season 6:
  • In the episode "Nine Lives" we learn that Fornell still speaks regularly with his ex-wife Diane. Going so far as to talk his problems out with her. After the shooting of a Mafia boss by a witness, Diane tells him that he won't face his Director alone. Gibbs will be there for him, and he is. The episode ends with an announcement that Stefano DelMar is going to take over the from Azari's shoes.
  • In "Semper Fidelis", Fornell works with ICE Agent Foster-Yates and Gibbs' team to investigate the attack on a bodyguard for the Secretary of the Navy's house.

Season 7:
  • In "Jack-Knife", Fornell grows a beard and helps Gibbs and Worth take down a man doin' interstate traffiking with semi's and also arrests another one for a hit and run in Oklahoma and also murdering the marine who witnessed it.
  • In "Moonlighting", Fornell comes to NCIS after Stefano DelMar is found executed along with a Navy Petty Officer. DelMar had turned into witness protection after he agreed to be state-witness for the FBI.
  • In "Obsession",

Season 8:



  • What Ducky says about Fornell:
    Sometimes we get a visit from our old friend Agent T Fornell; He huddles in the lift with Gibbs but what they say, they never tell; He married one of Gibbs’ ex-wives: it caused a lot of strife one time; But now they both have learned to live on pennies ‘cause she took their dimes.
  • What Tony, Ziva and McGee say about Fornell
    Tough minded Ag-gee-ents, Quail at Gibbs' and Fornell Taking them to Fed hell, But their integrity is something we'd all like to share.
    They get on very well (Often they wont show it, But we agents know it)
    They like to act like bastards But we know they're ***** cats.



Tobias Fornell - NCIS
3.02 - Kill Ari II
Emily Fornell, his daughterEmily Fornell

1.15 - Enigma - Tobias Fornell

S1 Ep.1 Yankee White. Tobias Fornell.
1.01 Yankee White - Tobias Fornell.

S4 Ep.2 Escaped Gibbs and Fornell.
4.02 - Escaped.
3.08 Fornell Gibbs Jenny...Under Covers
3.08 Under Covers.

More Photos of: Tobias Fornell

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Latest page update: made by callerbear , Jan 30 2014, 11:36 PM EST (about this update About This Update callerbear Moved from: Recurring Characters - callerbear

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