8 Simple Rules

Watch 8 Simple Rules

  • TV-PG
  • 2002
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.0  (27,234)

8 Simple Rules is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from 2002 to 2005. The show stars Kaley Cuoco, Katey Sagal, Martin Spanjers, James Garner, David Spade, John Ritter, and Amy Davidson, and is based on the book "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" by W. Bruce Cameron.

The show revolves around the Hennessy family, which consists of father Paul (John Ritter), mother Cate (Katey Sagal), and their three children: Brianna (Kaley Cuoco), Kerry (Amy Davidson), and Rory (Martin Spanjers). The family is dealing with the tragic loss of their father, who was a columnist for a local paper, when the show begins. Paul was beloved by his children and wife, and his death has left a huge impact on the family. Cate is trying her best to hold the family together, while also dealing with her own grief.

The show follows the family as they navigate the ups and downs of life. Brianna, Kerry, and Rory are all teenagers, facing typical teenage problems such as peer pressure, school, and relationships. Cate, as a single parent, is trying to balance work and home life, while also dealing with her own grief over her husband's death. The family is also dealing with the arrival of Cate's nephew, C.J. (David Spade), who moves into the house following his own personal crisis.

The show is known for its humor, which is often as heartwarming as it is hilarious. John Ritter was especially known for his comedic timing, and the show frequently made use of his talents. There is also a lot of heart in the show, as the family struggles to come to terms with their loss, and also with their own flaws and shortcomings. The show is often poignant and touching, as the characters learn more about themselves and each other.

The show has a number of running gags, including Paul's "8 Simple Rules" for his children's relationships, which include such gems as "If you make my daughters cry, I'll make you cry" and "Don't touch my daughter in front of me." The show also makes use of Cate's career as a nurse, with frequent appearances of her co-workers and patients.

Throughout the series, the family faces a number of challenges, from the typical teenage problems to more serious issues such as alcoholism and drug use. The show does not shy away from these topics, and instead tackles them head-on, with a mix of humor and seriousness. The show also does a good job of showing the characters learning from their mistakes and growing as individuals.

Overall, 8 Simple Rules is a heartwarming and hilarious family sitcom that deals with serious issues in a thoughtful and authentic way. The show features strong performances from its cast, and is a great example of how good writing and a talented ensemble can come together to create a truly memorable television series.

8 Simple Rules is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (76 episodes). The series first aired on September 17, 2002.

8 Simple Rules
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Ditch Day
24. Ditch Day
April 15, 2005
Cate doesn't want to tell the family that she is dating Principal Gibb, and she finds it even harder when she's confronted at every angle at school...even though it is Ditch Day and hardly anyone else shows up!
The Sleepover
23. The Sleepover
April 8, 2005
After Principal Gibb 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.
The Teachers Lounge
22. The Teachers Lounge
April 1, 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.
The After Party
21. The After Party
March 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.
C.J.'s Real Dad
20. C.J.'s Real Dad
February 18, 2005
C.J. is shocked and delighted when his biological father - a motivational speaker and "little person" - reveals himself for the first time to his wayward son. But Jim doesn't trust the man and thinks he may have ulterior motives for the visit.
Torn Between Two Lovers
19. Torn Between Two Lovers
February 11, 2005
CJ gets a date with Ms. Krupp against Cate and the kid's wishes. But everything is changed when Cheryl surprises him in a sexy outfit in his classroom. Now he is torn between two lovers, both inviting him to dinner on Valentine's.
Freaky Friday
18. Freaky Friday
February 4, 2005
After watching the film Freaky Friday, Cate awakens to find that she has switched bodies with Bridget, C.J. has changed places with Jim, and Rory has swapped places with his hamster. The only one not affected is Kerry - who begins to find the entire mishap amusing.
17. Volleybrawl
January 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, and Bridget becomes upset when one of her friends begins dating her ex-boyfriend.
16. Closure
January 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.
Old Flame
15. Old Flame
January 14, 2005
After sending an email to former college flame Matt 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.
C.J.'s Temptation
14. C.J.'s Temptation
January 7, 2005
While Cate finds herself becoming jealous of Principal Ed Gibb's new girlfriend, Cheryl, 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.
The Sub
13. The Sub
January 7, 2005
Cate is shocked to discover that Principal Gibb 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.
A Very C.J. Christmas (a.k.a. A Very Cool Christmas)
12. A Very C.J. Christmas (a.k.a. A Very Cool Christmas)
December 17, 2004
To keep C.J. from spending Christmas alone in Las Vegas, the Hennessy household bends over backwards to recreate one of Cate's first holiday memories to entice him to stay. Meanwhile, Rory decides to break up with his wealthy girlfriend when he fears that he won't be able to buy her a Christmas gift worthy of her upper class status.
Princetown Girl
11. Princetown Girl
December 10, 2004
Bridget breaks the news that she has the chance to go to Princetown with a Tennis scholarship. The only trouble is, she has a D in Ms. Krupp's class, and she needs a C for the scholarship. Cate helps Bridget out by bribing her without a flu shot unless she can help. All this really makes Kerry mad because she was the one who was supposed to go to an Ivy League school, and when Cate helps Bridget, it proves Kerry's point on Bridget always being given the easy way out of things.
Vanity Unfair
10. Vanity Unfair
December 3, 2004
Bridget does not get the job as a model that she was hoping for and Jim won't take no for an answer. To his surprise, the director of the agency was an old girlfriend years ago. It now looks like Bridget will get another chance to be the model that she knows she can be.
Thanksgiving Guest (a.k.a. Thanksgiving)
9. Thanksgiving Guest (a.k.a. Thanksgiving)
November 26, 2004
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. 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.
8. Secrets
November 12, 2004
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 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; Cate doesn't want the family to know that Bridget's tennis coach, Scott, 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.
Coach (a.k.a. Tennis Coach)
7. Coach (a.k.a. Tennis Coach)
November 5, 2004
Bridget is psyched to join the high school tennis team when she develops a crush on Coach Scott. 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.
6. Halloween
October 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.
Car Trouble
5. Car Trouble
October 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.
Out of the Box
4. Out of the Box
October 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.
School Nurse
3. School Nurse
October 8, 2004
After Cate accepts the position of school nurse from Principal Gibb, 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.
2. Changes
October 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.
First Day of School
1. First Day of School
September 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.
Where to Watch 8 Simple Rules
8 Simple Rules is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch 8 Simple Rules on demand at Disney+.
  • Premiere Date
    September 17, 2002
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (27,234)