NCIS - Los Angeles Database
Abby Sciuto    

Abigail "Abby" Sciuto was the forensic scientist assigned to the NCIS: Major Case Response Team in Washington D.C. although it's possible that she presumably does work for other Agents in the agency.

She's well-known around NCIS for her Gothic style of clothing, her addiction to the high-caffeine beverage "Caf-Pow," and her high-energetic personality which has her often hugging everyone, sometimes going off to topic much to Gibbs's annoyance and talking fast while waving her hands.

Occasionally she assists other divisions or agents who request her assistance including the NCIS: Office of Special Projects located in Los Angeles.


A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Abby is a hearing child adopted by deaf parents and likes her music loud which can often hear blaring from the stereo in her lab although she has been known to get annoyed if anyone messes with her music or switches it off.

Like Leroy Jethro Gibbs, her boss, Abby seems to thrive on caffeine but unlike Gibbs, who drinks a lot of coffee, she prefers her caffeine in the form of a soda called "Caf-Pow" which gives her the caffeine high she needs to complete her tasks.


Abby graduated with full honors from Louisiana State University with a triple major in sociology, criminology and psychology. She earned her master's degree from Georgia State University in criminology and forensic science. (Perrette likewise has a Master's Degree in Criminology, and has toured the real NCIS offices to meet with the real forensic specialists, the source of her interest in forensics is the same as her character's; living near a wrecking yard and being intrigued by the cause and effect of the wrecks) which was revealed during the NCIS Season 1 episode, Hung Out to Dry (episode).


Abby is known for her gothic style of dress and her pigtailed dyed hair, with at least nine tattoos on her neck, arms, back, ankle and other places which are only hinted at. Her style of clothing includes black dresses and t-shirts, mini-skirts, and goth jewelery. She often wears anklets and toe rings.

She has stated several times that she sleeps in a coffin, and in the episode "Hiatus", she says she has a hearse that has flat tires all the time. At one time she also owned a Harley and revealed that her then-boyfriend tried to run over her with it while she was sleeping.

Abby has a happy-go-lucky attitude and a sweet personality, often giving her colleagues hugs. But she can get very techy or annoyed with others if she feels someone is betraying the agency or if Gibbs whom she considers a father-figure is insulted.

Abby's one known phobia, is a fear of Los Angeles, which, she attributes it to the assassination of the former Director of NCIS, Jennifer Shepard, who was killed in a gunfight in an abandoned diner after attending a funeral in Los Angeles.

This phobia manifested itself when she admitted to Special Agent Gibbs in Legend Part One that she was scared because, the last time someone connected to the Washington D.C. station went out to L.A., they did not come back alive. She also has called herself a perfectionist.

Her best friend in her lab is a stuffed hippo named Bert that farts whenever it is squeezed, often providing comic relief in otherwise tense situations.


Despite her eccentricities, Abby is a top-class and highly dedicated forensic scientist who has described herself as a perfectionist on more than one occasion. She is almost never fazed by the problems the MCRT throws at her lab, and handles its work almost entirely by herself, often relying on Caf-Pow to help her get through the work although in the NCIS Season 5 episode, Leap of Faith (episode) and the Season 7 episode, Obsession (episode), it's shown that she tends to get very annoyed if her colleagues keep on nagging her for evidence.

In the first few episodes of Season 1 and Season 2, Abby regularly voiced her desire to have an assistant assigned to her lab due to the overwhelming amount of work that was usually given to her but that never came to pass, possibly due to the fact that it was not in the NCIS budget at the time.

However, in Season 3 and shortly after Jenny Shepard was appointed Director of NCIS, she became alarmed by Abby's work habits and level of caffeine consumption, hired an assistant Charles Sterling to help Abby despite Abby herself and Gibbs protesting against the decision.

Unfortunately, despite attempting to work together, their working relationship did not last long and came to an abrupt and permanent end when Sterling was exposed for trying to frame Anthony DiNozzo for murder, and arrested, having originally attempted to kill Abby after his true intentions were finally revealed. But she got the better of him and hog-tied him with duct tape before asking the team if she could work alone now.

After that, Jenny took the point and let Abby work alone from then on, a trait that Abby continues to do to this day although in Worst Nightmare, it was revealed that she was still suspicious of new people being assigned to her lab, presumably after the Chip incident.

As revealed in "Leap of Faith", Abby hints that she has received several lucrative offers from private firms, but has always elected to remain with NCIS, because of her devotion and strong loyalty to the agency as well as her affection for Gibbs and the rest of the team.

She was briefly attached to a top-secret government project that was code-named "Tarburst," ostensibly to fill the gap left by the project's chief scientist, Dr. Phillip Heller who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances. Tarburst's stated goal was to cure Afghanistan War Syndrome, but was later revealed to be aimed at developing biological weapons that could be used to perform assassinations of any kind without even exposing soldiers or other assets to life-threatening or dangerous situation.

Upon learning the truth, Abby, furious at how she had been manipulated into creating a biological weapon eventually quit the project for good and returned to NCIS where she helped the team solve the case, arresting the true criminal responsible although afterwards, she lured McGee, DiNozzo and Palmer to her lab under the guise of Gibbs so that they could clean her lab which the three men had rather carelessly ruined during their attempts to fill in for her while she was off working on the project. (Toxic (episode)).

During the hunt for the terrorist cell in Los Angeles, Abby's findings regarding Private First Class Nick Chandler, USMC were the key to finding the link between the middleman, an arms dealer and supplier named Liam Patrick Coyle and Chandler which formed the basis for the NCIS: Los Angeles pilot episodes, Episode:Legend (Part 1) and Episode:Legend (Part 2).

She even helped uncover the identity of Mossad spy, Michael Rivkin who was Ziva David's former boyfriend. During the search, Abby was even sworn to secrecy by Anthony DiNozzo who wanted to talk to Ziva, believing that she knew something before heading off to Ziva's apartment where he met Rivkin, not Ziva. The two later got into a fight after DiNozzo attempted to arrest the Mossad operative which ended with DiNozzo being forced to shoot Rivkin in self-defense. Despite Ziva's best efforts, Rivkin soon died from his injuries and Ziva decided to stay in Israel, choosing Mossad and her father over her NCIS colleagues and friends although she was later rescued by NCIS which in turn prompted her to resign from Mossad for good where she was later accepted as an NCIS Special Agent.

NCIS: Los Angeles

Abby accepting a call from Vance who seeks her help in regards to the case that he and OSP are currently investigating.

Abby's first appearance in the spin-off series came in the Season 1 episode, Episode:Killshot where NCIS Director Leon Vance rang her for help in regards to the murder of a scientist with possible connections to a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) projects. Vance did this after learning from Kensi Blye that the crime scene examination would not take place until the next day, a move he regarded as being too long to wait for and set about calling for Abby's help instead.

When Abby accepted the call, she was seen in her lab, performing an experiment regarding darkness and some night-vision goggles. After talking with Vance, she agreed to help, promising to call when she found something from the photos of the crime scene. She even had a brief talk with Eric Beale, the OSP's Tech Operator and one of her friends before hanging up. In that same call, it was also shown that Abby had finally gained the right to call Vance by his first name, Leon whereas Eric failed miserably.

Abby explaining her findings to Vance.

She later contacted Vance again, stating that her findings had revealed that a different crime scene also determined that Jimmy Su's wife, Aimee Su had murdered his late brother's business partner, Sally Morris, not Lee Wuan Kai as originally thought.

Abby in Ops, talking to the OSP team.

Abby's second and final appearance to date in the NCIS: Los Angeles series was in the Season 1 episode, Episode:Random On Purpose where Vance sent her to Los Angeles to help the OSP team investigate the death of a Navy Commander and engineer which Abby believed was the work of a serial killer known as the Phantom although NCIS and the other police agencies didn't even believe that the killer existed.

While she was at OSP, Abby formed strong friendships with the rest of the team and reconnected with Eric while also regarding the OSP's headquarters as being "seriously cool".

Later on in the evening, during a "date" with Eric at a bar named Steampunk, Abby while in the parking-lot looking at some cars was later ambushed and kidnapped by the Phantom. During her abduction, Abby was injected with a chemical restraint, temporarily paralyzing her and dragged her to a waiting van before imprisoning her in a home-made dungeon.

Upon receiving word from Vance that Gibbs and the Washington D.C Major Case Response Team were heading for Los Angeles, OSP began searching for her in hopes of finding her before it was too late.

Thanks to their efforts, Abby was rescued and Smith who had been about to decapitate with Abby with an axe was killed. She was later seen in the Ops Centre, telling an unseen/unheard Gibbs and McGee about her experiences while rambling on about how cool the OSP team and their building was.

However, it's presumed that her appearances on NCIS: Los Angeles were just a one-off solely centered around Season 1 as she has not been seen, heard from or even mentioned since "Random on Purpose" although she left a lasting impression on the team as Kensi Blye used the term, "hinky", one of Abby's own words during Episode:Hand-to-Hand.

The other reason for Abby not returning to LA could also be due to the fact that Gibbs and the rest of the team are unwilling to let her return to Los Angeles given the danger she found herself in the last time she went there.


Behind the Scenes

Abby is played by American actress Pauley Perrette. Perrette shares many similarities with her character: she was born in New Orleans, and likewise has a Master's Degree in Criminology. Abby's claimed reason for her interest in forensics was borrowed from Perrette's life: both women lived near a wrecking yard, and becoming intrigued by examining the wrecks and guessing the causes of the damage done to them. Perrette studied for her character by touring the real NCIS offices and meeting with its forensic specialists.

It should be also noted that while Abby's hair is black, Perette is a natural blonde in real life.

One significant difference is that some of Abby's tattoos are Perette's own, but most of the others are fake, which require Perrette to spend at least forty-five minutes in make-up for a typical episode.

Among the confirmed fakes are the large cross that is sometimes seen on her back and the spider web on her neck which Perette has admitted to disliking in interviews and she also wishes for the writers to have a storyline where the tattoo is finally removed but it hasn't happened yet.

The cross is applied only in the episodes when Abby's bare back is exposed (such as "Silver War" and "Witch Hunt") while the spider web was added because Donald Bellisario wanted the character to have a tattoo that would be visible (almost) all the time.

However, now that Perette has gotten the tattoo of a flower on her back, the cross has stopped being used altogether as the flower has been regularly seen in various episodes of Season 8 and 9 of the original NCIS series.

In addition to being an actress, Perrette is also a civil rights activist, and a published poet.


  • Despite Abby being in her late twenties as revealed in Episode:Random On Purpose, Pauley Perrette, the actress who plays Abby on the show was actually forty years old when the episode was realisted.
  • Abby is also the only NCIS character to have appeared on all three shows: JAG, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles which also extends to the actor who plays her, Pauley Perrette
    • Other characters have appeared in three series however:
      • Kensi Blye appeared in NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and the second season of Hawaii Five-0, followed that same season by G. Callen and Sam Hanna.
        • Eric Beale appears in NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, and Sam briefly talks to him on the phone in Hawaii Five-0, but he is not seen or heard. 
      • Leon Vance has appeared in NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and NCIS: New Orleans.  
      • Gibbs has appeared in JAG, NCIS, and NCIS: New Orleans (and Abby spoke to him via camera in NCIS: Los Angeles, but he is not seen or heard).  
      • Actress Alicia Coppola appears in JAG, NCIS, and NCIS: Los Angeles, just like Pauley Perrette, but her character in NCIS: Los Angeles is changed from her LCDR Faith Coleman character from the first two series.

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