The BEST Episodes of 8 Simple Rules

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

Paul Hennessy has grown accustomed to his stay-at-home wife Cate taking care of their son and two daughters. His job as a sports writer kept him on the road a lot during the kids' formative years. But when Cate decides to return to work as a hospital nurse, Paul takes a job as a columnist and agrees to make the duties of raising the kids a shared experience. Paul fondly remembers the days when his daughters would sit on his lap singing silly songs, and he was their hero for scaring away monsters from under the bed. But those days are long gone.

Goodbye (1)

#1 - Goodbye (1)

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 4, 2003

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.

star 8.24
248 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Flebotte, Martin Weiss
Opposites Attract (1)

#2 - Opposites Attract (1)

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 10, 2004

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.

star 8.07
176 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Come and Knock on Our Door

#3 - Come and Knock on Our Door

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 28, 2003

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.

star 8.01
191 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan, Philip Wen
Kerry's Big Adventure

#4 - Kerry's Big Adventure

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 21, 2003

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.

star 8.01
195 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss, Tracy Gamble
Queen Bees and King Bees

#5 - Queen Bees and King Bees

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired Apr 8, 2003

Bridget and Paul are surprised to find themselves in similar situations when they are both alienated in their social circles. But they devise a plan to settle the score, leading Paul to crash a poker game with co-worker Tommy (Larry Miller) to get closer to boss Nick (Patrick Warburton), and Bridget trying to break up ex-boyfriend Kyle and her nemesis, Jenna.

star 7.93
226 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Let's Keep Going (2)

#6 - Let's Keep Going (2)

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 6, 2004

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.

star 7.90
172 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Drummer Boy (2)

#7 - Drummer Boy (2)

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 11, 2003

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.

star 7.88
177 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Janis Hirsch
All I Want for Christmas

#8 - All I Want for Christmas

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 10, 2002

Paul discovers that he has his work cut out for him for the holidays when he tries to find perfect gifts for the family to make up for last year's Christmas fiasco. Kerry also finds a stray dog during the holidays. Meanwhile, Cate is overjoyed when she is asked to sing a solo at the church's midnight service, but fears that seeing her family there will make her nervous

star 7.87
277 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Christy Jacobs White
Daddy's Girl

#9 - Daddy's Girl

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 2, 2004

On the advice of the family therapist, Cate is encouraged to pursue a once-thought-unobtainable dream of becoming a singer. Meanwhile, C.J. and Jim find themselves trying to bond in a bar when Cate encourages C.J. to take his grandfather out after he is dumped by his wife – in a letter -- and Kerry angers Bridget by dying her hair blonde after she complains that the romance is fading from her relationship with Kyle.

star 7.83
175 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Dave Flebotte, Tracy Gamble
What Dad Would Want

#10 - What Dad Would Want

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 18, 2003

Cate persuades Rory to try out for basketball because that would've made his dad proud.

star 7.81
206 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly
No Right Way

#11 - No Right Way

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 11, 2003

Cate is unprepared for the diverse reactions exhibited by Bridget and Kerry on their first day back to school since their father's death. Meanwhile, Jim tries his best to be helpful by making some questionable home improvements to the Hennessy home.

star 7.78
249 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Consequences

#12 - Consequences

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 27, 2004

Rory steals a police dog when he hears about CJ's glory days of stealing his old school mascot, but Cate is shocked when the dog finds marijuana in Kerry's backpack. Cate thinks Kerry's using drugs because of her father's death, but it's really just teenage rebellion. Meanwhile, Bridget gets brought home by the police for not wearing a helmet on her boyfriend's motorcycle, after Cate telling her she has to.

star 7.78
173 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan
Wings

#13 - Wings

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 8, 2002

Bridget takes drastic measures when an overprotective Paul keeps coming up with excuses to delay her from taking her driver's test. Meanwhile, after convincing a less-than-confident Kerry that she has the talent to enter an art competition, Paul is shocked and Kerry is devastated when her submission is rejected, on ""8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.""

star 7.76
322 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly, Bonnie Kallman
Pilot

#14 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 17, 2002

Paul had grown accustomed to Cate taking care of their son and two daughters. His job as a sports writer kept him on the road a lot during the kids' formative years. But when Cate decides to return to work as a hospital nurse, Paul takes a job as a columnist and undertakes the responsibility of helping out with the kids. Although not new to fatherhood, Paul is just a bit rusty on day-to-day interaction and discovers that he's grown a little out of touch with his kids - especially his daughters. His value has been reduced to a wallet and a ride to the mall. Sixteen-year-old Bridget (Kaley Cuoco, ""Growing Up Brady,"" ""Ladies Man"") has matured into a beautiful and popular teenager, with a different boyfriend each week and a taste for fashion that tends to be a little too revealing for her father's taste. By contrast, 15-year-old Kerry (Amy Davidson, ABC Family series ""So Little Time"") is intelligent and cute, but her lack of selfconfidence has led her to hide behind a mask of s

star 7.76
540 votes
Directors: Gil Junger
Writers: Tracy Gamble
Sex Ed

#15 - Sex Ed

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 30, 2003

Bridget is horrified when Cate is asked to fill in as the sex ed instructor in her daughter's class. But Cate is in for a shock when she tries to answer a student's written question about being pressured to have sex -- and realizes it may be from Bridget. Meanwhile, Paul and Kerry are too embarrassed to look each other in the eye after watching a foreign film together that contains a sexually explicit scene.

star 7.75
248 votes
Directors: Robby Benson
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Opposites Attract: Night of the Locust (3)

#16 - Opposites Attract: Night of the Locust (3)

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 24, 2004

After being told that she's fickle when it comes to relationships, Bridget is afraid that she may end up hurting Jeremy's feelings when her ex-bad boy boyfriend, Damian, returns to town. Meanwhile, Kerry is outraged and plans revenge when "provocative" dancing has been banned from the high school formal, which is being chaperoned by Cate and Jim; C.J. partners with Rory to broadcast school scandals over the internet, and Jim falls for Ms. McKenna, a member of the high school's PTA committee.

star 7.74
147 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan, Bill Daly
Two Boys for Every Girl

#17 - Two Boys for Every Girl

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 12, 2002

Paul's plan backfires when--after telling Bridget to tell Kyle the truth about her date with another boy -- Kyle breaks up with her. Meanwhile, Kerry's first date turns out to be a dream, but she is devastated when the boy doesn't call her back.

star 7.70
314 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan, Philip Wen
Give It Up

#18 - Give It Up

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 19, 2002

When no one can agree on where the family vacation should take place, Paul challenges the Hennessey clan to give up their bad habits for a week and the winner gets to choose the vacation spot. But the family's vices soon get the better of them, and secret collaborations and clandestine alliances threaten to foil the contest.

star 7.70
294 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Career Woman

#19 - Career Woman

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired Mar 28, 2003

Paul's job as parental guardian becomes more of a full-time position when Cate is up for a promotion and has to spend more time at the hospital. Meanwhile, after Paul introduces the boy to the hobby of baseball card collecting, Rory trades the cards for something not exactly associated with the sport.

star 7.70
237 votes
Directors: Mark Cendrowski
Writers: Rosalind Moore
Son-in-Law

#20 - Son-in-Law

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 15, 2002

A sports-struck Paul lets Bridget do whatever she wants when she breaks up with Kyle and begins dating high school basketball wonder Travis ""The Rainman"" Smith - whose father just happens to be Michigan baseball legend Steve ""Canned Heat"" Smith (Terry Bradshaw). Meanwhile Kerry resents the fact that Paul still thinks of her as a little girl and not as a budding teenager ready to take on the dating world.

star 7.69
290 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss, Tracy Gamble
Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (2)

#21 - Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (2)

Season 1 - Episode 28 - Aired May 20, 2003

The sibling rivalry between Cate and Maggie (Cybill Shepherd) comes to a boiling point when Maggie gets a sexy, new makeover and gives Bridget a water bra as a gift. Meanwhile tensions between the Hennessy sisters mount when Kerry and Kyle begin dating, while Bridget's popularity takes a nosedive after she dissed her friends for Donny (Thad Luckinbill); and Paul becomes concerned when he finds an empty pregnancy test kit.

star 7.69
201 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Janis Hirsch
Get Real

#22 - Get Real

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 13, 2004

The Hennessy household and Jim are thrown for a loop when Cate's wayward nephew, C.J., stops by to pay his respects to Paul and generally keep them company. But the irresponsible C.J. can't seem to resist getting himself into trouble when he advices Rory on techniques about kissing a girl and takes the blame when Kerry - driving with a learner's permit -- accidentally dents Cate's car driving Bridget on a late-night errand.

star 7.65
175 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Ric Swartzlander, Seth Kurland
Mall in the Family

#23 - Mall in the Family

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 16, 2004

After Kerry is promoted to assistant manager at a fast food restaurant in the mall, Jim is hired to handle the register. But when she witnesses his disdain for the customers, Kerry is faced with the dilemma of having to fire her grandfather. Meanwhile C.J., who has been employed as a mall cop, busts Bridget for sneaking into a movie without paying, and Cate catches Rory selling worthless family items on the internet under false pretenses.

star 7.61
176 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Christy Jacobs White, Tamiko K. Brooks
Career Choices

#24 - Career Choices

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 7, 2003

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.

star 7.61
248 votes
Directors: Terry Hughes
Writers: Amy Engelberg, Wendy Engelberg
Premiere

#25 - Premiere

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 23, 2003

Bridget finds her popularity waning because of her exclusive, long distance relationship with Donny, while Kerry's social status skyrockets because of her relationship with Kyle. But Bridget's eyes begin to stray when she meets Damian - a sexy new kid at school. Meanwhile, as she waits for the results of her pregnancy test, Cate is stunned when Paul, Bridget, Kerry and Rory seem more concerned about how the baby could disrupt their lives than the blessed event itself. In fact, the only support Cate seems to be getting is from her nosy neighbors, the Doyles, who share a well-kept secret about their own family.

star 7.60
303 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble