The WORST Episodes of 8 Simple Rules

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2019

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.

First Day of School

#1 - First Day of School

Season 3 - Episode 1

Knowing that Kerry is dragging her feet over breaking up with Kyle, Bridget takes it upon herself to do it for her sister, which only makes matters worse for Kerry. Meanwhile, Cate is offered the position of school nurse by Principal Ed Gibb, and Rory's first day of high school proves embarrassing when he has to hit the showers after gym class.

star 7.54
69 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Kathy Ann Stumpe
The After Party

#2 - The After Party

Season 3 - Episode 21

After turning down Bridget's request to throw a ""harmless"" after-prom party in a hotel room, Cate decides to throw a school- sanctioned party at the house – which totally embarrasses her kids. Meanwhile, Kerry tries to make a political statement by inviting a girl to the prom, and Rory is overjoyed when a hot senior asks him to the dance.

star 7.55
55 votes
Directors: Patricia Doak
Writers: Robert Spina, Grant Nieporte
Torn Between Two Lovers

#3 - Torn Between Two Lovers

Season 3 - Episode 19

Valentine's Day finds C.J. in a predicament when he commits to two different Valentine's Day dates - Principal Gibb's ex-girlfriend, Cheryl (Pamela Anderson), and Bridget and Kerry's uptight math teacher, Mrs. Krupp. Meanwhile, Bridget's excitement over being elected to the court of the Valentine's Day dance -- with a chance to be crowned Queen of Hearts -- quickly turns to shock when she discovers that Cheryl is also in the running.

star 7.58
63 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bryan Behar, Steve Baldikoski
The Sleepover

#4 - The Sleepover

Season 3 - Episode 23

After Principal Gibb (Adam Arkin, ""Chicago Hope"") and Cate fall asleep at the house while watching a movie, the family catches them and falsely assumes that the two are having a relationship. Meanwhile, Bridget, Kerry, Rory and C.J. are forced to go ice-fishing with Jim in order to spend quality time with their grandfather - but unbeknownst to them, Jim would much rather be left alone and is forced to keep up a happy fagade.

star 7.66
53 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Judd Pillot, John Peaslee
Vanity Unfair

#5 - 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 7.67
64 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Freaky Friday

#6 - 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 7.68
61 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: W. Bruce Cameron
Princetown Girl

#7 - 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 7.70
64 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tamiko K. Brooks

#8 - Changes

Season 3 - Episode 2

The kids question Cate's motives when they return from their summer getaways and discover that she has bought a new bed and changed her hairstyle. Meanwhile, after traveling through Europe over the summer, Kerry met and had a fling with a boy - which leaves Bridget jealous and Kerry wondering what to do about boyfriend Kyle; new high school Student Body President Bridget is convinced even further that life is a popularity contest after taking a trip to Washington, DC over the summer; and after a depressed Jim fails to win back the affections of his wife in Florida, Rory attempts to help him quit smoking -- which is complicated by Jim's discovery that C.J. was responsible for their irreconciliation.

star 7.71
68 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Seth Kurland
Thanksgiving Guest (a.k.a. Thanksgiving)

#9 - Thanksgiving Guest (a.k.a. Thanksgiving)

Season 3 - Episode 9

While the family prepares Thanksgiving dinner for Cate to give her some much needed time off, she's left with nothing to do until she brings home an unexpected guest while on an errand -- Principal Ed Gibb (Adam Arkin, ""Chicago Hope""). Meanwhile, while C.J. deep-fries the turkey, Bridget and Kerry spar over pie recipes; Jim disassembles the TV in a shocking attempt to repair it; and Cate finds herself with an insurance adjuster the day after the holiday to find out who was responsible for burning down the garage.

star 7.71
61 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Rob Hanning, Seth Kurland

#10 - Son-in-Law

Season 1 - Episode 5

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 7.71
130 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tracy Gamble, Martin Weiss
C.J.'s Party

#11 - C.J.'s Party

Season 2 - Episode 20

Cate banishes C.J. and grounds Bridget for going to C.J.'s college keg party; Jim has to take a written drivers exam after being pulled over with an expired license.

star 7.72
67 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
Bridget's First Job

#12 - 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 7.72
153 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly

#13 - Volleybrawl

Season 3 - Episode 17

Cate's alleged antics at Kerry's volleyball game threaten to make her team forfeit the match. Meanwhile, C.J. has a crush on Kerry's volleyball coach (former Pro Beach volleyball player Gabrielle Reece), and Bridget becomes upset when one of her friends begins dating her ex-boyfriend.

star 7.72
61 votes
Directors: Barnet Kellman
Writers: Hayes Jackson
By the Book

#14 - 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
107 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Paul Ciancarelli, David Dipietro
C.J.'s Temptation

#15 - C.J.'s Temptation

Season 3 - Episode 14

While Cate finds herself becoming jealous of Principal Ed Gibb's (Adam Arkin, ""Chicago Hope"") new girlfriend, Cheryl (Pamela Anderson), C.J. is asked by Ed to help tutor Cheryl for her G.E.D.s -- and finds himself unwittingly being hit on by her. Meanwhile, Rory feels awkward after Cate accidentally interrupts him during a private moment.

star 7.72
58 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bryan Behar, Steve Baldikoski
Queen Bees and King Bees

#16 - 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 7.73
66 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss
Career Woman

#17 - 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 7.76
77 votes
Directors: Mark Cendrowski
Writers: Rosalind Moore
Opposites Attract (2)

#18 - Opposites Attract (2)

Season 2 - Episode 14

Bridget decides to make a move on her brainy tutor, Jeremy, but discovers that he may have his sights set on her debate team opponent. Meanwhile, after accidentally setting fire to C.J.'s van, Jim is not-so-thrilled when Cate forces him to share his basement room with his now homeless nephew.

star 7.76
70 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Dipietro, Paul Ciancarelli
The Sub

#19 - The Sub

Season 3 - Episode 13

Cate is shocked to discover that Principal Gibb (Adam Arkin, ""Chicago Hope"") has hired C.J. to be a substitute teacher at the high school. But when C.J. catches Rory cheating on a test, he is torn about reporting it when Cate tries to persuade him to look the other way. Meanwhile, when Bridget breaks her leg because of Kerry's blunder, she makes her little sister's life a living nightmare.

star 7.76
62 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bryan Behar, Steve Baldikoski
Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (1)

#20 - Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (1)

Season 1 - Episode 27

Having learned that her sister, Maggie (Cybill Shepherd), is having marital problems, Cate is nevertheless not too thrilled when Paul invites Maggie to stay at the house -- the sisters have a long history of sibling rivalry. Meanwhile, Paul and Cate are impressed with how mature Bridget has become after they agreed to let her go out with neighbor Donny Doyle (Thad Luckinbill), who is home from the Naval Academy; and Bridget and Kerry wonder if Kyle has ulterior motives when he befriends Rory.

star 7.76
68 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Heather MacGillvray, Linda Mathious
Wall of Shame

#21 - Wall of Shame

Season 1 - Episode 2

Paul is left home alone with the kids while Cate is at a seminar on the day of the big Michigan/Ohio State football game. But much to Paul's dismay, the game soon takes a backseat when Bridget is accused of shoplifting and Kerry gets upset over her latest cause.

star 7.78
166 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Mike Langworthy

#22 - 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 7.78
64 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan
Coach (a.k.a. Tennis Coach)

#23 - Coach (a.k.a. Tennis Coach)

Season 3 - Episode 7

Bridget is psyched to join the high school tennis team when she develops a crush on Coach Scott (Dan Cortese, ""Veronica's Closet,"" ""MTV Sports""). But her infatuation soon turns to disgust when she learns that Scott has a crush on Cate. Meanwhile, Kerry and Rory begin to question the authenticity of Jim's war stories while rummaging through his war chest.

star 7.79
61 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Laurie Gelman

#24 - Closure

Season 3 - Episode 16

When Cate and C.J. discover that Kerry has been e-mailing Bruno -- the boy she had a fling with in Europe -- they secretly try to snoop in her computer to find out what the two have been up to. But unbeknownst to them, Bruno is in the house and hidden in the attic by Kerry, while Bridget tries her best to talk her little sister out of doing something she may regret. Meanwhile, Jim discovers Rory's clandestine poker game and decides to deal himself in to teach Rory and his friends a lesson about gambling.

star 7.80
56 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Seth Kurland
Opposites Attract: Night of the Locust (3)

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

Season 2 - Episode 15

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 7.80
66 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan, Bill Daly