8 Simple Rules Wiki

8 Simple Rules (originally known as 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter) is an American television sitcom that originally aired on ABC from September 17, 2002, to April 15, 2005, with 76 episodes in three seasons.

It was loosely based on humor columnist W. Bruce Cameron's self-improvement book of the same name. The show starred John Ritter until his death on September 11, 2003. Katey Sagal took over the show's starring position for the rest of the series's run. Veteran actor James Garner and David Spade also joined the show.


8 Simple Rules is about an American married couple with three children and is set in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. The father, Paul Hennessy (John Ritter), was a sportswriter who is prompted by his wife Cate's (Katey Sagal) return to nursing to take a more active role in raising their two teenage daughters, Bridget (Kaley Cuoco), and Kerry (Amy Davidson), and son Rory (Martin Spanjers). He is soon overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the father of teenage daughters and misses being a sports writer. Paul begins writing a column from home about his struggles with his children and offers advice to people who are in his same position.

Paul's teenage daughters are dating, which sparks the use of the "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter". The show, created by veteran comedy writer Tracy Gamble, 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. If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you're sure not picking anything up.
  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.

The third season took a creative turn, revolving more around cousin C.J. and Jim, the grandfather, than the immediate Hennessy family, more specifically not revolving around the raising of the Hennessy girls. After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the show shortly returned to its roots.

Main Characters[]

See also: Full list of characters

  • John Ritter as Paul Hennessy, Cate's late husband, Bridget, Kerry & Rory's late father, C.J.'s late uncle
  • Katey Sagal as Cate Hennessy, Paul's wife/widow, Jim's daughter, Bridget, Kerry & Rory's mother and C.J.'s aunt
  • Kaley Cuoco as Bridget Hennessy, Paul & Cate's daughter, Kerry & Rory's older sister, Jim's granddaughter and C.J.'s cousin
  • Amy Davidson as Kerry Hennessy, Paul & Cate's daughter, Bridget's younger sister, Rory's older sister, Jim's granddaughter and C.J.'s cousin
  • Martin Spanjer as Rory Hennessy, Paul & Cate's son, Bridget & Kerry's younger brother, Jim's grandson and C.J.'s cousin
  • James Garner as Jim Egan, Cate's father and C.J., Bridget, Kerry & Rory's grandfather
  • David Spade as C J Barnes, Cate's nephew, Bridget, Kerry & Rory's cousin and Jim's grandson


See also: Episode Guide

8 Simple Rules originally aired on ABC from September 17, 2002, to April 15, 2005, with 76 episodes in three seasons.