8 Simple Rules

Season 2 Episode 3

Donny Goes AWOL

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 07, 2003 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
60 votes

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Episode Summary

Donny Goes AWOL
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.moreless

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  • The last episode with John Ritter, that made this episode extra special.

    This is quite a funny episode!


    1) The plot flowed smoothly together, I love how Donny just dropped out of Navy school for Bridget after Bridget breaks up with him on a tape. (Hence, Donny going AWOL)

    2) Bridget breaks up with Donny on the Doyle's tape, this creates a lot of problems, but i thought it was funny how Bridget broke up with him on a tape.

    3) It was really funny! I love the thing with the toilet scrub brush Paul used for whacking Donny with thinking it was a robber. "Oh my god Mr. Hennessey! You beat me with a toilet brush!" XD


    1) Well, i was never a huge fan of Kerry being popular, and in this one, Kerry played herself up like Bridget and that disapointed me, because Kerry is usually the one against that kind of stuff.

    Overall, it really was a good episode.moreless
John Ritter

John Ritter

Paul Hennessy (seasons 1-2)

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Cate Egan Hennessy

Martin Spanjers

Martin Spanjers

Rory Hennessy

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

Bridget Hennessy

Amy Davidson (I)

Amy Davidson (I)

Kerry Hennessy

Sheldon Candis

Sheldon Candis

midshipman #1

Guest Star

Eric Chase

Eric Chase

midshipman #2

Guest Star

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger

Fred Doyle

Special Guest Star

Thad Luckinbill

Thad Luckinbill

Donny Doyle

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Donny: Oh my God! Mr. Hennessey, you beat me with a toilet bush?

    • Bridget: You were in a fight with my dad?
      Donny: It wasn't so much a fight as-
      Bridget: That is so cool.
      Donny: -a battle to the death

    • Bridget: Daddy thinks I'm fickle!
      Cate: Oh sweetheart...you are fickle.

    • Rory: Well Bridget broke up with him [Donny] on that tape.
      (everyone looks shocked)
      Rory: Oh no! I thought everyone knew!
      Fred: Your daughter broke up with our Donny...
      Mary Ellen: ...On our video tape?
      Paul: You stole Donny's harmony part?!

    • Bridget: That was close! What if I'm not so clever next time?
      Kerry: It is a high level to maintain.

    • Paul: Donny, you went AWOL? This could have serious consequences!
      Donny: I don't care! I'd face a thousand firing squads for Bridget!
      Paul: And you realize I'm going to have to tell your parents about this.
      Donny: Oh no, don't do that! They'll kill me!

    • (Paul is checking messages on the answering machine)
      First One: Hey neighbor! Fred and Mary Ellen Doyle...
      Second One: Hey neighbor! Fred and Mary Ellen Doyle...
      Third One: Hey neighbor! Fred and Mary Ellen Doyle...
      Cate: You know, you could return one of Fred's calls!
      Paul: I can't talk to you when you're like this! I swear, he would keep calling even if I changed the outgoing message to, "Doyle, you idiot, stop calling!"
      (Doorbell rings,Paul answers it)
      Fred: Hey neighbor! Kept trying to call, but I think something's wrong with your machine.
      Rory: There's something wrong with the answering machine? (starts to play Fred's message)
      Paul: Rory,you fixed it!
      Rory: But...
      Paul: I said, YOU FIXED IT!!!

    • (Bridget sneaks back home)
      Paul: Bridget, I thought you were in bed.
      Bridget: I was studying.
      Paul: Without books?
      Bridget: Ever heard of the Internet?
      Paul: The computer's here and you don't have a laptop.
      Bridget: And who's fault is that?

    • (Cate thinks someone broke into the house)
      Paul: I'll take care of it. (returns with a toilet brush)
      Cate: A toilet brush? Are you going to scrub him to death?
      Paul: Would you want to be touched with this?

    • Donny: Bridget you look beautiful. I am so glad I dashed my childhood dreams to be with you.

    • Mrs. Doyle: Maybe you could spend more time with your daughters, so Kerry won't turn out to be a boy-wrecking hussy like Bridget.
      (Kerry walks by wearing a miniskirt and go go boots.)
      Mr. Doyle: Whoa, too late.
      Paul: Hey, my daughter is not a....(looks at Kerry) Okay, I can't defend that.

    • Paul: Which sounds better? The Lone Eggman, or the Neighborhoodlum?
      Cate: Why don't you try something simple, like the Oakland Vandal?
      Paul: The Oakdale Vandal? Who's gonna crack the case, the Hardy Boys?

    • Rory: So, have you decided?
      Donny: What?
      Rory: Hanging or firing squad?
      Paul: Rory!!

  • NOTES (6)

    • For the first 3 episodes of this season, John Ritter was nominated for the 2004 Emmy Award for "Oustanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series".

    • Although this was the last episode featuring John Ritter to air on ABC, the season opener, "Premiere", was the last episode to be filmed with the veteran actor before his untimely death.

    • In some (maybe all) of the international airings of this episode, the 'Off you go...' clip was actually cut out.

    • On Disney Channel UK, This is the first episode to be shown, although it is in fact the third episode of the season.

    • Drew an average of 17.45 million total viewers.

    • This episode ends with clips of John Ritter's 8 Simple Rules past, and then closes with him saying 'Off you go...' and saying John Ritter 1948 - 2003: We will never forget you.