8 Simple Rules

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 17, 2002 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
92 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Paul had grown accustomed to 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 undertakes the responsibility of helping out with the kids. Although not new to fatherhood, Paul is just a bit rusty on day-to-day interaction and discovers that he's grown a little out of touch with his kids – especially his daughters. His value has been reduced to a wallet and a ride to the mall. Sixteen-year-old Bridget (Kaley Cuoco, "Growing Up Brady," "Ladies Man") has matured into a beautiful and popular teenager, with a different boyfriend each week and a taste for fashion that tends to be a little too revealing for her father's taste. By contrast, 15-year-old Kerry (Amy Davidson, ABC Family series "So Little Time") is intelligent and cute, but her lack of self-confidence has led her to hide behind a mask of sarcasm. Thank goodness for 13-year-old son Rory (Martin Spanjers, "Daddio"), fondly referred to as "The Boy" by Paul and Cate, who remains on the sane track…at least for the time being. No matter what they do, Paul has one major rule that will never change – "If you make my daughters cry, I'll make you cry." In the premiere episode, "Pilot," Cate goes back to work and Paul has to contend with Bridget dating his co-worker Tommy's (Larry Miller) son, Kyle (Billy Aaron Brown) -- whose roving eyes threaten to break his daughter's heart. Meanwhile, Paul and Cate are shocked when honour student Kerry is suspended for ditching school.moreless

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  • Pilot

    When this pilot aired the family sitcom was still something TV tried to fight for. You could see this show had some kinks to work out, but overall it actually was fresh and original, despite lacking uniqueness. It was funny too.

    Not an all-time great pilot, but you saw why people liked this show from the get-go.
  • Great start to a great series.

    The Pilot episode for 8 Simple Rules was well done. It introduced the characters well, showing Paul (John Ritter) - an over-protective father of his children, especially his daughters Bridget (Kaley Cuoco), and Kerry (Amy Davidson) and overwhelmed with his new role as "mom" as his wife Cate (Katey Sagal) has decided to return to work. Bridget is introduced as the typical "dumb blonde" type teenager, and Kerry is introduced as the smart but un-confident daughter. However the son Rory (Martin Spanjers) and Cate's characters aren't developed much until the next few episodes. Overall a great first episode that lays down the formation for a great sitcom.moreless
  • A great beginning! Sans Cate, who really isn't in this episode... Let me explain:

    Pilots are usually shown to execs, who give it the green light for full production.

    Knowing that, and with execs probably knowing Katey Sagal (Cate) was known as Peggy Bundy in the most dysfunctional show ever, "Married with Children", keeping her on the backburner wasn't unwise a move to make.

    Having said that, future episodes readily prove WHY she was chosen to play Cate. Katey's performance does NOT make people equate her with Peggy B, with Cate being an actual caring mother, while still allowing her to exhibit a sardonic wit that she, as an actress, is known for doing well. Later episodes present more of Katey, which only solidifies how right the producers were in casting her. A brave decision, which paid off immensely. She truly is a wonderful actress.

    The casting in this show was simply perfect. The actors are all of high quality and professional. I know I've been Katey-centric, mostly because I'm tying general show comments in with the pilot; an episode which sets up the family dynamics with aplomb. The confidence is assured. The writing in this show was simply perfect. The usual tropes exist, but the end-runs and creative workarounds show what creativity is meant to be, and proving television is not a dead industry. Then add in the occasional moment where the parent sees the teenager as a little girl and it knows how to emote without wallowing in it either.

    A first class family show, "8 Simple Rules" was. For those and many more reasons.

    A shame ABC killed it by moving the show into a Friday time slot (which only assures a ratings drop because nobody's home to watch it!); while the dynamic changed because of John Ritter's untimely death, the incorporation of it into the show was a stroke of brilliance, and the characters created to fill the void work -- and were wonderfully cast too.moreless
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  • A great opening to a good show!

    So Ritter for me makes this show. And It seem's sad that a show is made by one single actor cause (RIP) when Ritter leaves the show doesn't have much going for it.

    Although this episode is a very good example of how he makes it. It see's him struggling to cope with teenage girls and if he is anything like my father, which he is from this show, he doesn't find it easy at all!

    It see's the foundations of the personalities of all the kids. Rory the quiet boy which seems to be a bit of a sly one, Bridget the maneater and perfect at everything and kerry the girl who is the smart one but doesn't have that confidence!

    An average episode - a great foundation for a good show!moreless
John Ritter

John Ritter

Paul Hennessy (2002-2003)

Katey Sagal

Katey Sagal

Cate Egan Hennessy

Martin Spanjers

Martin Spanjers

Rory Joseph Hennessy

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

Bridget Hennessy

Amy Davidson (I)

Amy Davidson (I)

Kerry Hennessy

Mo Gaffney

Mo Gaffney

Mrs. Connelly

Guest Star

Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal


Guest Star

Edward James Gage

Edward James Gage

Security Guard

Guest Star

Larry Miller

Larry Miller


Recurring Role

Billy Aaron Brown

Billy Aaron Brown


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Bridget: Mom says I'm ready to drive.
      Paul: Mom also thought I was ready for fatherhood.

    • Bridget: (about Kyle) I cannot date someone who works at the multiplex! Why can't he work somewhere cooler, I don't know, like a music store?
      Kerry: Or a bookstore.
      Bridget: Kerry, being serious here.

    • (After finding Rory spying in Kerry and Bridget's closet)
      Rory: What? I come in here to think sometimes!
      Paul: Get out!

    • Cate: You're the one who wanted to keep going until we had a boy.
      Paul: The boy is fine, it's the girls!

    • Cate: Paul, what's wrong?
      Paul: This is a bad place.

    • Paul: You have to stop that behavior over there right now!
      Security guard: They are holding hands.
      Paul: Can I borrow your pepper spray for a minute?

    • Tommy: In fact, I think he's friends with hot...
      Paul: Bridget!
      Tommy: Yeah hot Bridget.

    • Paul: This is nice.
      Bridget: What?
      Paul: You usually don't let me put my arms around you in public.
      Bridget: Oh my god!

    • Paul: You and I are officially not friends.
      Tommy: We were never friends.

    • Paul: Girls! Don't make your mother come up there!

    • Kerry: It must be casual sex day at school.
      Bridget: At least I get...(Realizing Paul is here) look good.

    • (Bridget comes downstairs wearing revealing clothes)
      Paul: Bridget, why are you dressed like that?
      Kerry: It must be casual sex day at school.

    • Rory: Dad, do you think I'm pretty?

    • Paul: Kerry, sweetie.
      Kerry: What?!!
      Paul: Problem in the coven?

    • Rory: Where are you going?
      Paul: Out.
      Rory: Mall?
      Paul: Yeah.

    • Paul: You've got teenagers.
      Tommy: Yeah but I've got the good kind, boys.

    • Rory: Hey, Dad, did you know Bridget's got underpants with leopard spots?
      Bridget: Hey what are you doing snooping in my underwear drawer?
      Rory: Showing my friends.

    • Bridget: We're the thong generation.
      Paul: Well maybe that's why your generation is so angry. You're always walking around with a wedgie.

    • Paul: Okay, Cupcake, I think you missed the word "under" in "underwear" because I can see your bra and that slingshot you're wearing under your pants.
      Bridget: It's a thong.
      Paul: It's floss.

    • Paul: Good morning, Care Bear.
      Kerry: Yeah, prove it.

    • Paul: You know this is a really bad day for me. I've got a huge deadline. Ed needs 800 words on the boat show at Auburn Hills.
      Cate: I'll just tell the guy without a liver to hold on because there's a boat show.
      Paul: I owe you.

    • Paul: You have other girlfriends Kyle and that's fine with me.
      Kyle: Sweet.
      Paul: As long as it's okay with my daughter. Otherwise you will continue to date her and only her until she's finished with you. Because if you make her cry, I will make you cry.

    • Paul: (introduced to Kyle) Kyle, right. Just so you know Kyle, if you ever pull into my driveway and honk, you better be delivering a package because you're sure as hell not picking anything up.

    • Paul: I'm mad at you -- something you said.
      Cate: What?
      Paul: "Let's start a family." It was a bunch of years ago.

    • Bridget: Did he just say 'scamming?'
      Kerry: He also says 'chill.'
      Bridget: Ew... Look at his pants.
      Kerry: I know.

    • Paul: So you never really planned on going to the library, did you?
      Kerry: Sure, she did! Right after her Mensa meeting.

    • (Paul finds a little white case in Kerry's room and thinks it is birth control)
      Paul: Are you using these?
      Kerry: My retainer? Yes. No, I'm not using birth control.
      Paul: Good.
      Kerry: I don't need birth control.
      Paul: Better.

    • (Paul is driving the kids to school)
      Bridget: Stop here.
      Kerry: Ugh, do not drop us off out front.
      Bridget: After we walk away, do not roll down the window and shout something out at us.
      Bridget: Or honk.
      Bridget: Or wave.
      Bridget: And don't ever say 'you're welcome' like you're making some sort of brilliant point because we didn't say 'thank you.'

    • Cate: No, you're in charge of the kids today.
      Paul: Oh, right! That starts today!
      Cate: Actually, it started when they were born.

    • Paul: Rory, what's do you like about James Bond?
      Rory: I like that he has a license to kill.
      (car horn honks outside)
      Paul: Yeah me too.

    • Paul: Bridgie! Care Bear! You forgot your lunches! You're welcome!

    • Paul: You should have seen the way my daughter dressed this morning.
      Tommy: Which one? The hot one?
      Paul: No! You can't call her that!

    • Kerry: Will you stop calling me that? Jeez, one Halloween costume at five and it sticks for life. Do I call you "Man with ax in head?"

    • Kerry: I just think it's funny that you're worried about me when Bridget says stuff like "I'm going to the library."

  • NOTES (9)


    • The show derives its name and some of its elements from W. Bruce Cameron's book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The rules are:
      1. Use your hands on my daughter and you'll lose them after. 2. You make her cry, I make you cry. 3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health. 4. Bring her home late, there's no next date. 5. Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once. 6. No complaining while you're waiting for her. If you're bored, change my oil. 7. If your pants hang off your hips, I'll gladly secure them with my staple gun. 8. Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.

    • Paul: Someone's not getting any Mickey Mouse pancakes today.

      Mickey Mouse, created by Walt Disney, is the most recognizable cartoon character in the world. He has became the trademark for the Disney corporation.

    • Rory: He has a license to kill.

      This is a reference to James Bond 007, a fictional British agent created in 1952 by writer Ian Fleming. Bond is featured in twelve novels and is arguably the most famous & most recognizable fictional character ever, due to the unparalleled success of his 21 films (1962-2006) including A License to Kill.

    • Paul: If you ever pull into my driveway and honk, you better be delivering a package because you're sure not picking anything up.

      This quote is Rule #1 in the original "10 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter" book.

    • Paul Hennessey: "...boat show in Auburn Hills"
      Since Paul is a sports columnist from Detroit, he could be covering a boat show in Auburn Hills. Most likely at the Palace of Auburn Hills, where the NBA's Detroit Pistons play.