7.2
533 votes
8 Simple Rules

8 Simple Rules

ABC 2002

8 Simple Rules is an American sitcom television series originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy, raising their three children. Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson and Martin Spanjers co-starred as their teenage kids: Bridget, Kerry and Rory Hennessy. The series ran on ABC from September 17, 2002, to April 15, 2005. The first season focused on Paul being left in charge of the children after Cate takes a full-time job as a nurse, with comedic emphasis on his often strict rules concerning his daughters and dating. The series' name and premise were derived from the book 8 Simple Rules by W. Bruce Cameron. While 8 Simple Rules was renewed for a second season and production had begun, Ritter's sudden death in September 2003 left the series in an uncertain position. After a hiatus, the series returned with killing off his character. James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as Cate's father Jim Egan and her nephew C.J. Barnes.

Warning: the following content contains spoilers!

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The 10 Best Episodes of 8 Simple Rules

8 Simple Rules - S1E19

#1 - Cool Parent (Season 1 - Episode 19)

When Paul has to pick up Bridget and Kerry from a party that's been broken up by the police -- and "supervised" by co-worker Tommy (Larry Miller) -- Paul chastises his friend and unwittingly volunteers to host the next one. But when Paul falls asleep during the party and it gets out of control too, the kids think of him as a "cool parent," while the neighborhood parents think he's just as unreliable as Tommy.

The episode was rated 8.25 from 72 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S1E14

#2 - Career Choices (Season 1 - Episode 14)

Paul and Cate are shocked when they are called into the principal's office and informed that Bridget wants to skip her college prep classes in order to become an esthetician. Meanwhile, Paul is so impressed with Kerry's sketches of ""The Incredible Boring Woman"" that he gets the principal to print them in the school newspaper -- not realizing that the principal is the boring woman in question.

The episode was rated 8.20 from 86 votes.

8 Simple Rules - S2E13

#3 - Opposites Attract (1) (Season 2 - Episode 13)

In need of a tutor to boost her grades, Bridget hires Jeremy, hoping to make her chance of getting into a good college better. However, after her boyfriend gets sick, Bridget tries to persuade Jeremy to take his place. Meanwhile, Kyle treats Kerry to an very un-corporate Valentine's Day celebration. Rory gets pointers about the perfect gift for his new girlfriend Missy. Jim sends C.J. on an errand to get a ""special drug"" in Canada, which ends up just being Tylenol.

The episode was rated 8.19 from 68 votes.

8 Simple Rules - S3E8

#4 - Secrets (Season 3 - Episode 8)

Everyone in the Hennessy family fears the ringing of the phone when they all find themselves keeping secrets from one-another. Rory refuses to divulge the identity of the student responsible for bullying and beating him up at school, which leads Principal Gibb (Adam Arkin) on a mission to find the culprit and tell Cate; Bridget and Kerry use fake IDs to get into a club, where Bridget meets a cute guy and gives him her phone number -- before discovering that he's a cop (Colby Donaldson, ""Survivor""); Cate doesn't want the family to know that Bridget's tennis coach, Scott (Dan Cortese), is in hot pursuit to get her to go out on a date with him; and C.J. is distracted and forgets to pick up Rory's pain medication, which leads the pharmacist to call the house to find out if Rory's OK

The episode was rated 8.16 from 62 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S2E4

#5 - Goodbye (1) (Season 2 - Episode 4)

The Hennessy famly must deal in their own way with the unexpected death of Paul. Cate's separated parents, Jim and Laura, come to visit and try to console the grieving family.

The episode was rated 8.13 from 86 votes.

8 Simple Rules - S2E3

#6 - Donny Goes AWOL (Season 2 - Episode 3)

When Fred and Mary Ellen Doyle ask Bridget to be a part of a video message they are sending to Donny at the Naval Academy, they are shocked to discover that Bridget has broken up with their son on the tape - and Donny goes AWOL to try and patch things up. Meanwhile, Paul is asked to help give a nickname to a neighborhood prankster who has been terrorizing the block, not realizing that the culprit may be living under his own roof.

The episode was rated 8.09 from 85 votes.

8 Simple Rules - S2E5

#7 - Goodbye (2) (Season 2 - Episode 5)

The family finds Paul's last written article, and reads it just before going to sleep.

The episode was rated 8.07 from 43 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S2E19

#8 - Let's Keep Going (2) (Season 2 - Episode 19)

Upon discovering Cate in the arms of Artie - Paul's successor at the newspaper - Bridget and Kerry decide to blow off their planned trip to their grandmother's and take to the open road to sort out their feelings. But after meeting up with C.J., the girls find themselves at a familiar location that was beloved by Paul. Meanwhile, Rory continues to pine for Rachel Sharpe, who confesses her true feelings for him.

The episode was rated 8.06 from 64 votes.

8 Simple Rules - S1E13

#9 - Rory's Got a Girlfriend (Season 1 - Episode 13)

When a proud Paul lets 13-year-old Rory go out on his first date, Bridget and Kerry accuse him of unfairly changing the rules because they were never allowed to date at that age. Meanwhile Kerry is shocked when Bridget receives a higher score then she did on a state aptitude test.

The episode was rated 8.06 from 85 votes.

8 Simple Rules - S1E11

#10 - Paul Meets His Match (Season 1 - Episode 11)

After meeting his new editor Nick, Paul becomes quick friends with the man when he discovers they both have a common bond-being married fathers of teenage girls. But Paul soon learns that he may have something else in common with Nick-having the reputation of being an overprotective ""psycho dad."" Meanwhile, Paul wants to make Thanksgiving a family affair, and forbids Bridget and Kerry from inviting their boyfriends to the festive feast.

The episode was rated 8.04 from 90 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S1E16

#11 - Come and Knock on Our Door (Season 1 - Episode 16)

After discovering that boyfriend Kyle kissed Kerry at a party (the previous episode, ""Kerry's Big Adventure,"" airing Jan 21), Bridget gives her sister the silent treatment which is anything but quiet for Paul. But real life merges with fantasy when Paul has a dream that lands him in familiar territory, showing Kyle as a swinging bachelor living with Paul's two beautiful daughters in an apartment straight out of the 70s. The set of the classic comedy ""Three's Company"" was recreated down to the last detail for this episode.

The episode was rated 8.02 from 83 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S1E15

#12 - Kerry's Big Adventure (Season 1 - Episode 15)

After Kerry and her boyfriend break up, Paul tries to cheer up his blue daughter by getting Bridget to take her little sister with her to a party. But while talking to Kyle at the party, Kerry is shocked when a spark is ignited and the two share a romantic kiss. Meanwhile, Paul and Cate try to discover what is hidden in Rory's secret box.

The episode was rated 8.01 from 87 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S1E18

#13 - Drummer Boy (2) (Season 1 - Episode 18)

Bridget takes the car and follows her older boyfriend, drum instructor Ben (Nick Carter, Backstreet Boys), to his college dorm. Conclusion of a two-part episode.

The episode was rated 8.00 from 69 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S3E22

#14 - The Teachers Lounge (Season 3 - Episode 22)

Officially a full-time teacher, C.J. is overjoyed to finally get access to the teachers' lounge. But he soon finds himself being bullied out of the room by the school's overzealous Home Ec instructor, Mr. Edwards. Meanwhile Rory wants to impress a girl, so Bridget and Kerry take it upon themselves to give him a full-fledged makeover.

The episode was rated 8.00 from 49 votes.

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8 Simple Rules - S1E20

#15 - Every Picture Tells a Story (Season 1 - Episode 20)

When Paul is asked by race car driver Carter Tibbits (Jason Priestley, "Beverly Hills 90210") to write a book about him, Paul brings the family to Tibbits' mansion to meet the driving legend and his sarcastically dry-witted butler, Cody (Robert Guillaume, "Benson", "Sports Night") -- who used to be Carter's crew chief. But a misunderstanding leads Rory to steal a photo from Carter's room, and it's Paul who's under suspicion when a security camera catches him trying to return the item.

The episode was rated 7.99 from 74 votes.

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Last updated: nov 18, 2022

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