The Big Brother Rule Book (or simply, the House Rules) is a handbook of rules and regulations created by Big Brother for houseguests during their stay in the house. It plays a major part in the show, and it can affect a houseguest's stay inside the house if he or she violates one or more of the rules, as each violation results in a corresponding punishment.
Big Brother's House Rules may vary throughout each country and season, and are enforced at the sole discretion of production. Some countries may have stricter house rules while others have more lenient ones. Some twists can also alter the season's respective rules and regulations.
International House Rules
The following house rules are the most important rules in the Big Brother House and must be followed by contestants all around the world. If a houseguest were to violate these rules, he or she could face a punishment or ejection.
- Housemates shall have no contact with the outside world.
- All housemates must wear microphone lapels at all times, except when swimming or sleeping.
- Conversations in the Diary Room should always stay confidential. No one should ever share such conversations with other houseguests unless told to do so.
- Whispering inside the house is strictly prohibited. (Whispering is defined as talking too softly for a microphone to detect)
- Housemates should never intimidate, threaten or act violently towards any other housemate.
- Tasks are compulsory, but housemates may be permitted to refrain from participating where health or other reasons are accepted by Big Brother.
- Speaking in another language aside from the official language used by the show is strictly prohibited.
- The housemates should never deliberately break anything inside the house.
- The housemates should never discuss anything related to the outside world. (Selectively enforced)
- Covering or tampering microphones or cameras, writing secret messages, talking under hidden places (such as bedding, tables and beds) are strictly prohibited.
- The Houseguests must leave the house immediately (after brief goodbyes) once evicted and immediately experience an interview with the host on live television.
- Production has the sole discretion over what to broadcast and what not to broadcast.
- The following items are forbidden inside the house:
- Drugs and narcotics
- Personal medication (except in consultation with Big Brother)
- Money, check books, or credit/debit cards
- Mobile/cell phones
- TVs, Computers, or Gaming Devices
- PalmPilots or electronic organizers
- Agendas or diaries
- Books, aside from official religious texts
- Pens or any similar writing implements (unless provided by Big Brother)
- Paper or writing pads (unless provided by Big Brother)
- Musical instruments (allowed in some countries)
- Any ready-made games, such as playing cards (unless received from production)
- Any item requiring electrical or battery power
- Radios or walkmans
- CDs or CD players
- Clothes entirely white in colour, with prominent commercial logos (unless authorized), or messages to the outside world.
- These items will not be returned until the end of the game/if you're evicted from the Big Brother house.
Pinoy Big Brother
In Pinoy Big Brother, the Big Brother rule book was published on the show's website from 2005 to 2012. The Philippines' Big Brother is very strict when it comes to his house rules so all houseguests are expected to be mindful of the rules at all times.
|Pinoy Big Brother Rulebook|
Welcome to the Pinoy Big Brother house!Big Brother invites you to live together with other people in a house filled with cameras and ambient microphones. You will be the centre of a unique television program. Life in the Big Brother house is an extraordinary experience and the rules in this book are what will create this extraordinary experience. Read the book carefully because it will give you lots of good ideas about how to best prepare for your time in the house. Big Brother is much more than a television show. In the years since its first broadcast, it has become a worldwide phenomenon, one that relies on a tightly- structured format. It follows some simple principles.
THE KICK OFFYour arrival at the house will be filmed as part of a two-hour launch show where you will be introduced to the Big Brother audience. The on-cam interviews made on you, which will be part of the video portraits will also be broadcast in this program.
HOTEL STAYWhen you arrive at the hotel, you will be given your Big Brother suitcase. You will be asked to pack this suitcase and on Saturday morning, it will be taken away and checked. If there is anything in the cases that is not allowed in the Big Brother house, it will be taken out and returned to you after you leave the house.The suitcase won’t be returned to your room, so you have to take out what you need for the LAUNCH SHOW. The person who accompanies you can take these items home or Big Brother will look after them for you.
WHAT CAN YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
All housemates of the Big Brother house can bring one suitcase and one small bag (provided by Big Brother). You can pack clothing, shoes and toilet things in the small bag. You may also bring other personal luxuries and photos of loved ones. All suitcases are the same size for all housemates and Big Brother checks the suitcases before entering the house. An inventory of each suitcase is made; if a housemate leaves the house, all belongings that were brought in have to be taken back out. Nothing can be left behind!
YOU CANNOT BRING IN:
Big Brother will provide toothpaste, soaps, shampoo, conditioners, sunblock, insect spray, panty liners, sanitary napkins and feminine wash. Some of these products are sponsored and will be the only ones allowed inside the house. All housemates are required to use these products and should refrain from mentioning competitive brands. In the case of chillers, only the products corresponding to the brand on the chiller can be stored. Housemates should not put other products in a branded chiller. Any additional items needed must be purchased out of the weekly budget.
The housemates are welcome to bring into the house a musical instrument, but only one that does not require amplification. Any hobby that doesn’t require electricity can be brought in if it is cleared beforehand by Big Brother.
ARRANGEMENT OF THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE
The following furniture and soft furnishings, within the confines of the Big Brother House should not be moved at anytime:
THE CONFESSION ROOM
It is permitted for more than one housemate to be in the room. The Confession Room is the only place where you can speak to Big Brother. You cannot communicate through the cameras in the house. If you try there will be no response from Big Brother.
You are FORBIDDEN to use these visible cameras to:
Everyday, you are required to clean the one-way mirrors through which we film and we will provide the appropriate cleaning fluids for this. Cameras in the toilet and bathroom are for security reasons. Footage from the toilet and bathroom will be broadcast if Big Brother deems it necessary.
If you attempt to communicate without the cameras or microphones recording the communications such as:
The above mentioned are considered violations. Big Brother may disqualify the housemate or housemates involved. When you communicate with Big Brother in the Confession Room you must first turn off your microphone. Forgetting to turn on the microphone, deliberately or not, is an offense. Big Brother only gives you 30 seconds to remember to turn on your mic. Committing this offense will be considered a violation, and may put you up for automatic nomination. Make sure your lapel microphones are not covered at all times, keep pillows and cushions away from the microphones.
THE HOUSEKEEPING BUDGET
The basic budget of the house will be P500.00 per person per week for every person in the Big Brother House. You will be provided with a select staple that you can use the entire week.
You do not have to buy the following products with the budget:
Please note: If the products are gone before that time, they will NOT be given an extra delivery. However, you can purchase these with your weekly budget. Keep an eye on the supplies.
INCREASING YOUR BUDGET
You can increase the budget by winning the weekly task. It will be all or nothing. The passing or failing of this assignment means you win or lose the whole amount. If you win the weekly task, you will get the full amount allocated for your budget. BUT, if you lose the weekly task then you will get nothing. You will have to survive the week with the select staple food that will be given to you. The budget will be adjusted each week as each housemate leaves.
There will be a designated time for cooking and eating. You will be given 1 hour to prepare, cook and eat your food. Big Brother will inform you if you can start cooking your meal and he will also tell you when your time is up. You cannot cook or eat (except for snacks) outside this time.
BACK TO BASICS
The budget was consciously kept to a minimum in order to stimulate you and the other housemates to use the budget as sensibly as possible. You may be tempted to spend more money than you should on luxuries, but in doing so you may run short of food. Big Brother wants you to live in the most environmentally friendly way. Big Brother puts you in a world where life’s little luxuries have a much higher price and have to be earned. You decide how you will do that.
LEAVING THE HOUSE
Housemates enter the Big Brother House voluntarily. They can leave the house in three ways. They may be nominated and evicted. They can leave of their own free will. Or, in extreme cases, Big Brother could decide to disqualify them from the program. If they leave voluntarily, they have to report to the Confession Room and give their reasons. They must also give Big Brother time to prepare for their exit. They must also appear on our weekly live show to discuss it. The housemate gets enough time to say goodbye, pack their belongings and leave.
A new housemate may be called in to replace any person who leaves voluntarily or who has been disqualified by Big Brother. This replacement could be a former housemate who had previously been evicted.
When this happens, and when a new person comes in, the following rules apply:
Another way to leave the house is through the voting-out-procedure.
1. A housemate cannot refuse to nominate
Every Sunday, the housemates get a weekly assignment they have to accomplish together. After reading the assignment, the housemates have to decide how they will perform the assignment.
On Sunday the housemates receive the assignment of the week. This will be read out loud by one of the housemates, so that it is clear to everybody. The assignments will have physical and psychological elements that will last the whole week. All the materials you need will be placed in the storage room. By Friday, the assignment has to be accomplished. In addition to the weekly tasks, Big Brother will also set shorter challenges some of which are compulsory, and some which are optional, in order to win smaller, group or individual prizes. If a task is deemed compulsory, any participant refusing to take part may be ejected. The rules of all tasks are non-negotiable. Big Brother will also set discussion topics for the group and small one-off games for them to play. Again, if these games are deemed compulsory all participants must take part or they become eligible for eviction.
There are tasks/assignments which are sponsored by clients. All housemates are required to participate in these activities. However, should there be instances where some housemates are endorsers of the competing brand of the sponsor, Big Brother has the option to exclude these housemates. But housemates should keep in mind not to make fun, malign or make derogatory remarks about the sponsors/clients.
There is no privacy in the Big Brother house. The cameras can see everything. There is a camera in the toilet, and the door cannot be locked. There is a camera in the bathroom. There are infrared cameras in the bedrooms that can also film in the dark. Bedroom doors should never be locked as well. In short, Big Brother is always watching. The reason for the presence of the cameras is not only because of the concept of the program, but also because of security reasons. This is also why the toilet and the bedroom doors cannot be locked. The only place where the housemates have privacy is the Confession Room, which can be automatically locked. Here, there are also cameras and Big Brother is also watching.
The program will be broadcast daily on ABS-CBN, Big brother updates throughout the day on ABS-CBN. There will be a 24/7 channel on cable and broadcasts in Studio 23. You are not allowed to ask Big Brother any questions about how you are being shown on the television nor to any other people/guests that will come inside the house.
Big Brother will also be broadcast on the Internet. Cameras feed the Internet 24 hours a day. The images on the Internet have the same rules as the images on television. The images of the toilet and the Confession Room will not be broadcast on the Internet, unless your actions in either of these rooms is contrary to their normal usage. You are not allowed to ask Big Brother any questions about how you are being shown on the Internet.
The Pinoy Big Brother house promotes cleanliness and hygiene. We are strongly encouraging the housemates to practice waste management through the proper segregation of waste products inside the house.
Please be guided by the following:
OTHER IMPORTANT RULES
SAFETY PROTOCOL / EMERGENCIES
You have to obey the orders of Big Brother at all times. This is for your own safety. All housemates will be given a written plan for emergencies before they enter the house, which is included in this rulebook. They should read this and become familiar with the house emergency procedures. If Big Brother asks occupants to move to a particular room they must do so immediately. In the event of an emergency housemates will be advised how to react by Big Brother who will speak to them over the public address system. The housemates must obey the orders of Big Brother at all times for their own safety, failure to do so may result in eviction. The door to the house will be remotely locked, but can be opened at a moment’s notice.
Any Housemate who becomes violent will be removed from the house immediately.
ACCIDENT AND ILLNESS
In case of an accident, there is always a first-aid kit available for use by the housemates. The Confession Room is 'open' 24 hours a day, and can always be visited to indicate that medical help is needed. If a Doctor, Nurse or Dentist is required for minor treatments, they will enter the house and treat the patient in the Confession Room. If a Housemate needs hospital treatment, Big Brother will judge whether the housemate may return to the house. If a hospital visit is necessary, a member of the production team will accompany the Housemate to ensure that there is minimal contact with the outside world. In cases where a housemate has to be hospitalised, Big Brother will have to impose the 24-hour rule. That is, if the housemate is not able to return to the Big Brother House within 24 hours due to health considerations or otherwise, he or she will have to be forced evicted. A Psychologist will be available to all the housemates for counselling, either on request or more, if Big Brother feels it is necessary. Counselling sessions will not be filmed or listened to by Big Brother. Although we will not breach client confidentiality, the Psychologist working with Big Brother will feed back to Big Brother to make them aware of any issues or vulnerabilities of the housemates. There will also be support for housemates once they have left the house.
In the event of any emergency, housemates will be advised how to act by Big Brother speaking over a PA system. The housemates must obey the orders of Big Brother at all times for their own safety. There will be fire extinguishers in the house, which may be used by housemates to extinguish small fires. In case of a serious fire hazard, housemates are instructed to go into the garden and Big Brother will advise further.
It is possible that people try to reach the house unannounced. This can be done in different ways. Always wear your microphone so Big Brother can hear you at all times. You should consider the Big Brother house as your house – you would not want to have strangers in it. If there are uninvited guests around the house, Big Brother will ask you to go to the Confession Room or storage room immediately. Always follow the instructions from Big Brother. Always ignore and never acknowledge people shouting from outside the Big Brother house. Communicating with these people is considered a violation and will merit a consequence and may eventually lead to an automatic nomination.
The audition and screening process that every housemate has gone through is strictly confidential and should not be discussed, in any manner, inside the house. You must not mention anything about the processes you went through, the people you have met during the said processes, and names of the production staff and technical people you may have met and known, including the producers and the story editors.
Rules for Teen Housemates
Since the Philippine version produces Teen Editions, there are certain rules that are enforced specifically to the teen housemates, whose ages range between 13 to 18 years old. However, these are unwritten rules as they aren't included in the official rulebook. Some of the unwritten rules that have been mentioned in the show are the restriction of liquor and cigarettes. Other legal rules concerning housemates under the age of 18 are also observed in the show, in accordance with the national laws and censorship rules set by the MTRCB.
Big Brother UK
|Big Brother UK Rulebook|
Big Brother US & Canada
Some of these rules that appear specifically on the North American version include the following; the houseguests are allowed to talk about nominations, as well as influence others to vote; the houseguests aren't given a weekly house budget. Instead, certain houseguests go on slop for a week, determined by either a challenge or the Head of Household.
|Big Brother U.S. and Canada Rulebook|
Rule Violations & Punishments
A violation is an unlawful action made by a Housemate/Houseguest that is considered as improper conduct in the Big Brother Rule Book. Every violation made has a corresponding punishment.
Most international versions of Big Brother enforce house rules strictly and in the event that a housemate has violated the rule book, he/she would receive a violation strike from Big Brother. The number of strikes would determine which punishment the violator should receive. However, in rare cases where all housemates committed multiple rule violations, Big Brother would give serious punishments to the entire house as disciplinary measures.
Typically, each housemate can only have three strikes of violations which means they can only receive three warnings within their whole stay inside the Big Brother House. Once they had three or more strikes, they automatically face forced eviction.
- 1st Strike: Violators may have a light punishment, usually, punishments that hinder their normal lives in the house such as being tied together for a certain amount of time or giving up important and sentimental objects.
- 2nd Strike: Violators may receive an automatic nomination.
- 3rd Strike: Violators will have to be forcibly evicted out of the house.
Despite having three strikes, there are rules that if violated may result in ejection regardless of the strike count. Some of these grave violations include; violent and threatening behavior, abusive & offensive remarks, and failure to observe the 24-hour Rule.
Announcement of Violation Reports may vary from season to season or even different countries. Usually, Big Brother will inform the housemates in the Living Room of those who had a violation for the week. The violators will be shown on television with their committed violations. They will be receiving the punishment afterward.
If the punishment is a "Forced Eviction/Ejection" the violation is usually announced privately inside the Diary Room. Depending on the season, the ejected housemate may leave the house immediately and unannounced, or during a specific day within the week.
In Pinoy Big Brother, a loud heartbeat sound will be heard in the entire house, just for only two reasons. Either signifying upcoming nominations or signifying that someone committed a violation. They must immediately gather around the Living Room for the announcement. The announcement process may vary from each week, depending on Big Brother himself. After announcing the violations, Big Brother will then talk to the violators one by one or sometimes in a group inside the Diary Room and a video clip of what they did that is deemed unlawful in the Big Brother Rule Book will be shown to them. Afterward, their punishments will be given to them.
- Big Brother (U.S.) is the first-ever franchise to revise some of the major house rules in Big Brother due to the changing of the format in Big Brother 2 (US). Revised rules include; the allowing of discussions about Nominations and influencing others to nominate other contestants. Those are considered major violations in the original format as contestants were strictly prohibited of talking about nominations, and doing so may result to either automatic nomination or ejection.
- Pinoy Big Brother 2 introduced a very controversial new rule called 5 Pound Rule. The housemates must not gain more than 5 pounds every week. They will be weighed at end of the week. If they gained more than the limit, the housemate will be receiving an automatic nomination.
- It was brought back for Pinoy Big Brother: All In.
- The current Australian format seen on Big Brother Australia 12 adopted some elements of the American rules, allowing its housemates to talk about nominations and influence others to nominate other.
- PBB Housemates' Rulebook. ABS-CBN Pinoy Big Brother (18 January 2012). Retrieved on 20 June 2020.