The WORST Episodes of 8 Simple Rules

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2021

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.

Coach (a.k.a. Tennis Coach)

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

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 5, 2004

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 6.84
170 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Laurie Gelman
The After Party

#2 - The After Party

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 4, 2005

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 6.93
214 votes
Directors: Patricia Doak
Writers: Grant Nieporte, Robert Spina
Goodbye (2)

#3 - Goodbye (2)

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 4, 2003

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

star 6.95
151 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Tracy Gamble

#4 - Closure

Season 3 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 21, 2005

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 6.96
164 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Seth Kurland
Princetown Girl

#5 - Princetown Girl

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 10, 2004

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 6.97
173 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Tamiko K. Brooks
Torn Between Two Lovers

#6 - Torn Between Two Lovers

Season 3 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 11, 2005

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 7.03
222 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bryan Behar, Steve Baldikoski
By the Book

#7 - By the Book

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 5, 2002

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 7.09
346 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Dipietro, Paul F. Ciancarelli

#8 - Volleybrawl

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Jan 28, 2005

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 7.10
193 votes
Directors: Barnet Kellman
Writers: Hayes Jackson
First Day of School

#9 - First Day of School

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 24, 2004

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 7.10
176 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Kathy Ann Stumpe
Old Flame

#10 - Old Flame

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 14, 2005

After sending an email to former college flame Matt (Ed O'Neill) to see how he's been doing over the years, Cate becomes fed up with the unreasonable demands of her family and locks herself in her room for some alone time. But she's shocked when Matt shows up at her window and whisks her off to re-live some adventurous, old times - then she begins to question if his rebel lifestyle is just a front.

star 7.17
163 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: John Peaslee, Judd Pillot
The Sleepover

#11 - The Sleepover

Season 3 - Episode 23 - Aired Apr 8, 2005

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 7.18
186 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: John Peaslee, Judd Pillot

#12 - Halloween

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 29, 2004

Kerry doubts Bridget's ability to put together the school's Halloween party as part of her Student Body President duties. Meanwhile C.J. is hired as the party's security guard and sets his sights on catching Rory pulling off a prank, and Jim finds himself under attack by the neighborhood kids when he refuses to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.

star 7.18
171 votes
Directors: Lynn McCracken
Writers: Bryan Behar, Steve Baldikoski
Mother's Day

#13 - Mother's Day

Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired May 4, 2004

After witnessing some strange behavior from Bridget and Kerry, Cate tries to find out what they are up to -- not suspecting that they might be trying to set up a special Mother's Day getaway for her. Meanwhile, C.J. and Rory doubt Jim's ability to put an engine back together after he falls in love with a classic car -- which is in for a wax job at Rory's new detailing service -- and decides to fix a noise in the motor

star 7.19
172 votes
Directors: Pat Doak
Writers: Grant Nieporte, Robert Spina
Finale Part Deux (2)

#14 - Finale Part Deux (2)

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired May 18, 2004

Part 2 of 2. When Cate discovers that Bridget took the fall for Kerry for organizing the school sit-in, she agrees to have coffee with Principal Gibb in order to set the record straight. But the girls are convinced that their mother's innocent coffee meeting with their principal is really a date. Meanwhile, Kerry is furious when Bridget is elected student body president and wins a trip to Washington, D.C. -- because everyone thinks she organized the school sit-in -- C.J. keeps deluding himself that he's been chosen to be a roadie for Aerosmith over the summer, and Jim agrees to let Rory travel with him to Florida -- where he plans to try and win back his wife's affections.

star 7.20
140 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Callahan, Bill Daly
School Nurse

#15 - School Nurse

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 8, 2004

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 7.22
175 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Rob Hanning

#16 - YMCA

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 6, 2004

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 7.22
170 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Donald Beck
Bake Sale

#17 - Bake Sale

Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired Apr 29, 2003

Bridget begrudgingly becomes a mother when she is assigned to take care of a baby made out of a sack full of flour for school. When Kerry and Rory bake cookies for the Great American Bake Sale to help put an end to childhood hunger in America, Bridget begins to notice that her baby is developing a mysterious loss of weight.

star 7.24
257 votes
The Sub

#18 - The Sub

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 7, 2005

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 7.25
195 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bryan Behar, Steve Baldikoski
Vanity Unfair

#19 - Vanity Unfair

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 3, 2004

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 7.26
172 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Dipietro, Paul F. Ciancarelli
Bridget's First Job

#20 - Bridget's First Job

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 1, 2002

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 7.28
341 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bill Daly
Car Trouble

#21 - Car Trouble

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 22, 2004

Bridget and Kerry are ecstatic when Cate hands them the keys to the minivan, except for one provision -- they are responsible for driving Rory wherever he needs to go. But when the girls fail to deliver on their promise to chauffeur their little brother, he takes matters into his own hands and attempts to drive himself -- and wrecks the car in the process.

star 7.29
166 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Hayes Jackson

#22 - Changes

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 1, 2004

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 7.29
175 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Seth Kurland
The Story of Anne Frank and Skeevy

#23 - The Story of Anne Frank and Skeevy

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 23, 2003

After Cate encourages Bridget to participate in extracurricular activities to beef up her college resume, Bridget shocks the family by landing the lead in the high school production of the story of Anne Frank. But after reading Anne Frank's diary, she doubts her own ability to play the role. Meanwhile, Rory's obsession with a dummy named Skeevy becomes a little unnerving for the Hennessy clan.

star 7.32
176 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Bonnie Kallman, Tracy Gamble
Opposites Attract (2)

#24 - Opposites Attract (2)

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 17, 2004

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 7.32
179 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: David Dipietro, Paul F. Ciancarelli
Out of the Box

#25 - Out of the Box

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 15, 2004

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 7.32
172 votes
Directors: James Widdoes
Writers: Martin Weiss