The Best Episodes of 8 Simple Rules

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2018

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

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 8.30
6 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Flebotte, Martin Weiss
Cool Parent

#2 - 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.

star 8.20
70 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Kerry's Big Adventure

#3 - 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.

star 8.09
80 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble, Martin Weiss
The First Thanksgiving

#4 - The First Thanksgiving

Season 2 - Episode 8

While Cate plans to raise the family spirits with a special Thanksgiving dinner, Rory takes it upon himself to be the man of the house by looking after Bridget and Kerry when he learns that they are planning to attend a party with their boyfriends on the holiday. Meanwhile, Laura's visit to the Hennessy household ignites sparks between her and Jim.

star 8.09
58 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman
Come and Knock on Our Door

#5 - 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.

star 8.01
77 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Philip Wen, Bill Callahan
Queen Bees and King Bees

#6 - Queen Bees and King Bees

Season 1 - Episode 24

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 8.00
6 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Opposites Attract (1)

#7 - 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.

star 8.00
4 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Let's Keep Going (1)

#8 - Let's Keep Going (1)

Season 2 - Episode 18

Cate sends Bridget and Kerry to their grandmother's house for a visit after the Hennessys decide against vacationing at the family cabin. But while on their road trip to grandma's, the girls are shocked to find Cate at their father's favorite saloon with a mysterious stranger. Meanwhile, Kerry makes Rory's life miserable when she discovers that he has a crush on her friend, Rachel.

star 7.93
61 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
School Nurse

#9 - School Nurse

Season 3 - Episode 3

After Cate accepts the position of school nurse from Principal Gibb (Adam Arkin, ""Chicago Hope""), Bridget and Kerry are convinced that she only took the job to spy on them -- while Rory is ecstatic that his mom might be able to protect him from a school bully. Meanwhile, after Bridget inadvertently spills the beans about Kerry losing her virginity in Europe, a shocked Cate accidentally switches on the school's P.A. system and lets the whole student body in on their ensuing conversation.

star 7.92
63 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Rob Hanning
Premiere

#10 - Premiere

Season 2 - Episode 1

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 7.92
84 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble
Out of the Box

#11 - Out of the Box

Season 3 - Episode 4

Kerry is livid when Bridget unintentionally makes a mockery out of her art project at the mall. But she quickly forgets about Bridget when fellow artist and young hottie Tyler asks her out on a date. However Tyler's intentions may not be completely genuine. Meanwhile, while C.J. finds himself striking out at speed dating, Jim discovers that he's a hit with the ladies-which further humiliates his socially inept grandson.

star 7.92
59 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
All I Want for Christmas

#12 - All I Want for Christmas

Season 1 - Episode 12

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 7.90
7 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Christy Jacobs White
The Doyle Wedding

#13 - The Doyle Wedding

Season 1 - Episode 26

After reluctantly inviting socially inept neighbors Fred and Mary Ellen Doyle (""Cheers'"" John Ratzenberger & Shelley Long) and their kids over for dinner, Paul and Cate are shocked when the entire Hennessy clan is asked to take part in the Doyles' daughter's wedding. Meanwhile Kerry neglects to inform Bridget that geeky Donny Doyle (Thad Luckinbill, J.T. Hellstrom on ""The Young and the Restless"") has grown up to be a hunk, and Rory takes a part in a play as a cross-dresser in order to meet girls. Cate (Katey Sagal) sings the jazz classic, ""At Last,"" at the wedding reception.

star 7.89
66 votes
Directors: Lynn McCracken
Writers: Rosalind Moore
Sex Ed

#14 - Sex Ed

Season 2 - Episode 2

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 7.89
82 votes
Directors: Robby Benson
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Drummer Boy (2)

#15 - 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.

star 7.80
4 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Janis Hirsch
Let's Keep Going (2)

#16 - 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.

star 7.80
4 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Daddy's Girl

#17 - Daddy's Girl

Season 2 - Episode 16

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 7.80
4 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble, Dave Flebotte
What Dad Would Want

#18 - What Dad Would Want

Season 2 - Episode 7

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

star 7.80
5 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly
Consequences

#19 - Consequences

Season 2 - Episode 12

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 7.80
4 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan
Princetown Girl

#20 - Princetown Girl

Season 3 - Episode 11

Bridget is ecstatic when she learns that tennis scouts from Princeton are coming to her school to watch her play for a possible scholarship. But when Bridget's school forbids her to play because of a poor grade, Cate has to decide whether to use her clout as school nurse to help her daughter out. Meanwhile, Jim promises a nervous C.J. that he'll give up his room if he can spend one night alone in the attic.

star 7.80
59 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tamiko K. Brooks
Freaky Friday

#21 - Freaky Friday

Season 3 - Episode 18

Following a viewing of ""Freaky Friday"" in which she fell asleep, Cate awakens to find that she and Bridget have switched bodies, as have C.J. and Grampa along with Rory and his hamster. While Kerri sits back and enjoys their predicament, Bridget begins enjoying having her mother's voluptuous body while Cate can't stand her being in her daughter's body all of the time.

star 7.77
56 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: W. Bruce Cameron
Vanity Unfair

#22 - Vanity Unfair

Season 3 - Episode 10

After Bridget is turned down for a role in a sports car commercial, Jim discovers that the head of the modeling agency who rejected her is his old flame Jackie (Raquel Welch). When he tries to persuade her to reconsider his granddaughter, Jim soon finds himself reminiscing over old times -- and possibly rekindling their romance. Meanwhile, Kerry and Rory discover a secret about C.J.'s past modeling experiences.

star 7.75
60 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Bridget's First Job

#23 - Bridget's First Job

Season 1 - Episode 3

After seeing how much money Bridget spends on keeping up with the latest fashions, Paul tells her to go out and get a job to learn how to be fiscally responsible. But when she lands a job at a trendy mall clothing store that offers its workers a 40% discount, Paul and Cate begin to worry that she may not be learning the true value of a dollar.

star 7.75
142 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly
By the Book

#24 - By the Book

Season 1 - Episode 8

In an effort to win back the love and respect that his daughters used to show him when they were young, Paul turns to a parenting book for some quick advice. But when Bridget and Kerry discover Paul's teaching tool, they try to use it to their advantage to get their father to let them go to a rock festival.

star 7.72
99 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Career Woman

#25 - Career Woman

Season 1 - Episode 23

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
6 votes
Writers: Rosalind Moore