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.