8 Simple Rules (2002–2005)
"8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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The Hennessy clan -- mother Cate, daughters Bridget and Kerry, and son Rory -- look to one another for guidance and support after the death of Paul, the family patriarch. Cate's parents lend a hand.


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3   2   1  
2005   2004   2003   2002  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Cate Hennessy / ... (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
 Bridget Hennessy / ... (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
 Kerry Hennessy (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
 Rory Hennessy (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
 Jim Egan / ... (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
 C.J. Barnes / ... (39 episodes, 2004-2005)
 Paul Hennessy (31 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Kyle (31 episodes, 2002-2004)


The Hennessy clan -- mother Cate, daughters Bridget and Kerry, and son Rory -- look to one another for guidance and support after the death of Paul, the family patriarch. Cate's parents lend a hand.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

8 Simple Rules  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(76 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 8 Simple Rules are:
  • Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as heck not picking anything up.

  • Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

  • Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.

  • Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.

  • Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."

  • Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.

  • Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

  • Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places lacking parents, policemen, or nuns. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her chin. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay.

See more »


In several episodes, characters drink "Safeway Select" colas. The Safeway Brands are only available in Safeway Company Stores in the Western US and Canada, in and around the Chicagoland area and at some select convenience stores in the Eastern US. The show takes place in Detroit, Michigan. No Safeway Company Stores exist in or around Detroit. See more »


[Paul has a dream and is in the "Three's Company" house]
Paul: This looks strangely familiar.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence of the first season featured Kerry, Kate, Bridget and Paul each looking at Bridget's or Kerry's new date one at a time (the scene is viewed from the latter's perspective), the camera panning down to the doormat with the show's title, and finally Rory taunting the date. Rory's taunt changed in every opening sequence (although they were often repeated between non-consecutive episodes). See more »


Referenced in 8 Simple Rules for Doing My Son (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

One Of Disney's Best Comedies
12 October 2004 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

This has to be one of the best comedies on the television at the moment. It takes the sugary-sweet idea of a show revolving around a close family and turns it into a quite realistic yet funny depiction of a typical family complete with sibling and parent spats, brat brothers, over-protective fathers and bimbo sisters. I'm almost surprised it's Disney!

To its credit, '8 Simple Rules' knows it's a comedy and doesn't try to be more. Too many shows (eg, 'Sister, Sister' and 'Lizzie McGuire') think just because its lead characters are now teenagers then they should tackle social issues and end up losing their humour by being too hard-hitting. This is a trap '8 Simple Rules' has avoided; it does tackle some issues (such as being the school outcast) but it has fun while doing so. In fact the only time it has really been serious was understandably when it sensitively handled the tragic death of John Ritter and his character.

And I think, although John Ritter will be sadly missed since he was the reason the show made its mark, '8 Simple Rules' can still do well if it remembers its humour and doesn't make Cate's father a second version of Paul Hennessy.

36 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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