The BEST Episodes of 8 Simple Rules

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2019

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.

Opposites Attract (1)

#1 - 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 8.29
66 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Career Choices

#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.

star 8.21
85 votes
Directors: Terry Hughes
Writers: Amy Engelberg, Wendy Engelberg
Goodbye (1)

#3 - 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 8.21
86 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Flebotte, Martin Weiss
Secrets

#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

star 8.18
61 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman
Cool Parent

#5 - 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 8.18
73 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Let's Keep Going (2)

#6 - 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 8.13
62 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Donny Goes AWOL

#7 - 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.

star 8.10
84 votes
Directors: Robby Benson
Writers: Seth Kurland
Kerry's Big Adventure

#8 - 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 8.07
83 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble, Martin Weiss
Rory's Got a Girlfriend

#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.

star 8.06
84 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly
YMCA

#10 - YMCA

Season 2 - Episode 10

Cate decides the family isn't active enough and takes them to join the YMCA where Bridget works. Jim is overprotective of her at the YMCA and doesn't think she should be working there. Meanwhile Rory deals with a coming-of-age issue that keeps ""popping up"" at the worst of times.

star 8.06
58 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Donald Beck, Bonnie Kallman
Drummer Boy (2)

#11 - 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 8.03
68 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Janis Hirsch
The First Thanksgiving

#12 - 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 8.02
62 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman
No Right Way

#13 - No Right Way

Season 2 - Episode 6

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 8.01
87 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Gayle Abrams
Come and Knock on Our Door

#14 - 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 8.00
80 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Philip Wen, Bill Callahan
Ditch Day

#15 - Ditch Day

Season 3 - Episode 24

After C.J. discovers that Cate may be starting a clandestine relationship with Principal Gibb, he blabs it to Bridget. An angry Cate gets even by having Gibb put C.J. in charge of the detention of students on Ditch Day, and C.J. gets even by detaining Bridget. Meanwhile, because she is stuck in detention and can't complete the ditch day prank herself, Bridget convinces Kerry and Rory to steal the rival school's mascot. Nicole Richie (""The Simple Life"") guest stars as one of Bridget's fellow detainees.

star 8.00
49 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Jeremiah Leibowitz
Good Moms Gone Wild

#16 - Good Moms Gone Wild

Season 1 - Episode 22

While vacationing in Florida at Cate's parent's home, Paul and Cate catch Bridget and Kerry on the evening news partying with a group of Spring Breakers. But before a punishment can be implemented, the news runs archival footage that features a young, wild Cate letting loose in a bar. Meanwhile, a jealous Paul meets Byron (Ed Marinaro, ""Hill Street Blues,"" ""Sisters"") -- the man that Cate went out with during her college sophomore year -- and Rory befriends an elderly gentleman (Tom Poston, ""Newhart,"" ""Mork & Mindy"") whose stories about World War II turn out to be more fiction than fact.

star 8.00
66 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Philip Wen, Bill Callahan
Paul Meets His Match

#17 - 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.

star 7.99
88 votes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Martin Weiss
Kerry's Video

#18 - Kerry's Video

Season 1 - Episode 21

Kerry devotes her school video project to sister, Bridget, to illustrate the hypocrisy that life is much easier for the ’beautiful people.' But when Bridget discovers that the video makes her look shallow, she takes Paul's advice to enrich her life by taking up tennis again -- and ends up with a broken nose.

star 7.98
70 votes
Directors: Terry Hughes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman
Goodbye (2)

#19 - Goodbye (2)

Season 2 - Episode 5

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

star 7.98
42 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Tracy Gamble
The Teachers Lounge

#20 - 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.

star 7.96
50 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Daddy's Girl

#21 - 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 7.96
65 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble, Dave Flebotte
Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (2)

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

Season 1 - Episode 28

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 7.95
64 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Janis Hirsch, Bonnie Kallman
Cheerleader

#23 - Cheerleader

Season 1 - Episode 6

Bridget is ecstatic when the cheerleading squad has an opening for a new member. But after telling Kerry that she is not cut out to be a cheerleader, Bridget is completely dumbfounded when her sister tries out and is chosen for the team. Meanwhile, Paul tries in vain to wean Rory off video games and introduce him to the world of books

star 7.94
111 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Finale Part Un (1)

#24 - Finale Part Un (1)

Season 2 - Episode 23

Part 1 of 2. Cate finds herself once again in the awkward position of having to deal with Principal Gibb when she forgets to turn in a health form for Kerry's trip to Europe. Meanwhile, Cate is resentful of Jim's relationship with Tina because she still hopes that her father will reconcile with her mother, and Rory plays a nefarious joke on C.J. when he sets him up with girlfriend Missy's already engaged sister, Sissy.

star 7.93
60 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Martin Weiss
Get Real

#25 - Get Real

Season 2 - Episode 11

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 7.92
64 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Seth Kurland, Ric Swartzlander