YMMV / 8 Simple Rules

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
  • Broken Base: The episodes after John Ritter's death. Some people hated the idea of the show continuing, as the central premise was gone. However some fans feel the other characters gained a lot more depth as a result.
  • Creator's Pet: Kerry arguably, though mostly in season 1. Half the episodes seem to focus on her being moody because of Paul's attempts to relate to her and Paul continually learning to let her have her space. In the episodes after his death, she undergoes Character Development and becomes a little less one-dimensional.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Bridget and Rory.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: From the episode Wings in season one:
    Paul: I don't think I can sleep, Cate, my heart is racing. Here, you're a nurse, feel my heart.
    Cate: There's nothing wrong with your heart, Paul.
    Paul: What do you know, you're not a doctor, you're just a nurse.
    • Also in the episode Trick Or Treehouse Paul says that Kerry "cheated" with the ouija board, he says "I'm pretty sure Paul Hennessy is not dead". Talk about tempting fate!
    • "Sex Ed" has a scene where - after Paul and Kerry talk about the awkward movie they saw together - Kerry says they'll have to wait a few years for their next father/daughter activity. Paul cheerily says "it's a date". He dies two episodes later. It's either tragic or a little funny that the aforementioned movie could have been their last father/daughter activity ever.
    • Kaley Cuoco's leg injury occurred again in The Big Bang Theory but it was almost so bad she would need to amputate it.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The fact that Katey Sagal and Adam Arkin's characters dated certainly seems strange in the light of season 2 of Sons of Anarchy. In that show, Arkin played a white supremacist who ordered his lieutenant to repeatedly rape Sagal's character.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The scene where C.J. mentions having a satellite photo of Osama Bin Laden's hiding place is even funnier now for obvious reasons.
  • Retroactive Recognition: This is Kaley Cuoco's breakout role. She would later get in on the final season of Charmed before playing her best-known role as Penny on The Big Bang Theory.
    • Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester appears as Rory's prom date in a season 3 episode.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The hour long episode which dealt with Paul's death, and the episodes immediately after which showed the family trying to cope all fall under this.
    • In his introductory episode, slacker C.J. is flat out asked by his grandfather why it took him so long to come and pay his respects to his Uncle. C.J. responds that he didn't want to, because Paul was the only person who ever told C.J. he could go on to do great things and he felt that by showing up as a loser living in his van would simply be disrespectful.
    • One episode featured Hennessey's returning to "the Cabin at the lake", a frequent vacation spot of the family prior to Paul's death. Remembering the last time they were there, Paul tried carving "Hennessey" into the wall behind a painting, Cate removes the painting... And finds that all Paul had managed to do was carve "Hi" into the wall. Becomes a CMOF for C.J. when he whispers to his grandfather that he's scared by Paul's apparent message from beyond the grave.
    • There's also an in-universe example that's this out of universe too; Bridget's performance as Anne Frank. The earlier parts of the episode were played for comedy, especially Lacey only getting one line as Miep Gies. During the performance, Lacey's line now shows her begging the Gestapo not to go in.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Kerry in the episode with her video project. She's essentially making a film showcasing her sister's shallowness and is clearly hoping to make it as hate-filled as possible. She delights in watching the clip of Bridget's nose being broken and is clearly hoping that the rest of the students will turn on her when they see her. When they don't she's furious. While Bridget did ruin Kerry's initial project, Kerry was being incredibly mean-spirited throughout the whole episode.
  • Wangst: Kerry was guilty of this early on, though one episode post-Ritter has her defying the trope. She is caught with a bag of weed and Cate assumes she is acting out over Paul's death. Kerry angrily replies that she is sick of people assuming that is her reason for doing anything. She mentions a day when the school food was disgusting so she threw it in the trash - and got called to the principal's office for a talk on how she shouldn't starve herself to feel better after his death.