With every fresh season of Love Island – and the subsequent fresh batch of Islanders that emerge from it – we tend to learn more about the elusive and endless rules that keep the popular ITV2 dating series standing strong in 2023.
You don't need us to tell you that Love Island is a, let's say, heavily and frequently oiled machine these days and in order to keep those boxes ticked producers must enforce an array of rules on production and cast.
Most of these rules are pretty underwhelming, but every now again a former Islander lets slip some serious tea about one we've never heard of – and it's often bizarre.
Let's take a look at all of the Love Island rules from the obvious to the obscure...
Love Island: what are the rules?
Love Island: What are the rules?
Ron Hall from winter Love Island 2023 admitted that he MAY have told a few people he was heading into the villa even though we all know that is definitely not allowed. Chatting on the Not my Bagg podcast the finalist confessed, "I told quite a few of my boys that I was going in which obviously I know you're not meant to."
EVERYONE knows you're not allowed to tell people, Ron, it's the most important rule on the show.
The Islanders are only allowed to get out of bed when the lights come on
We've all seen the Islanders wake up in the morning and immediately slip on their shades due to the bright lights in the bedroom and now Love Island 2022 star Chyna Mills has revealed the Islanders can only get out of bed in the morning when the lights have been turned on. In a recent Instagram Q&A, she admitted it was one of the "worst parts" of villa life.
No microphones in the pool
During an appearance on the Red Flags podcast, Luca Bish not only revealed that microphones aren't allowed in the pool (for obvious reasons) but also that producers walk around the villa. He explained, "I think at one time me and Jacques [O'Neill] were in the pool and a producer was coming to tell us off because we were talking – there's no microphones in the pool. So that was where we'd talk a lot of rubbish.
"A producer just came in – his name's Harry, he's a really nice guy to be fair – cause they can come in if they want to come in, they're not just dotted around the Villa hidden. They've got their own place and they can walk up and he came in while we were in the pool and was like, 'What are you guys doing?'
"As soon as he came we just went under water and just stayed under, and then came back up for some air and then looked at him and just went straight back down again. He was just so unhappy."
No speaking about the outside world
In a chat with Closer Online, Indiyah Polack revealed that the rule that the 2022 Islanders broke the most involves talking about the outside world. She said, "I would say the most broken rule was speaking about the outside world because we weren’t allowed to do that. But when you’re coming into that environment all you know is the outside world – what else do you talk about? I got in a lot of trouble for that as I’m quite a chatty Kathy."
No halloumi (lol)
Greek bombshell Antigoni Buxton revealed to Closer that she tried to smuggle her favourite cheese halloumi into the villa to satisfy her obsession. The halloumi wasn't allowed, so she ate it with her chaperone before entering the villa.
No chewing gum
In an exclusive chat with Closer's Secrets Love Island edition, Amber Beckford revealed that Ikenna Ekwonna had snuck gum into the villa and shared it amongst his fellow Islanders. Islanders are banned from bringing unauthorised food and drinks into the villa. Sorry, Ikenna, we love you and all, but we're glad they confiscated your gum - we couldn't be doing with that kind of chewing ASMR on our screens night after night.
No sharing drinks
In a recent TikTok, Love Island 2019 star Amy Hart revealed that if you don't decide to drink one night, you can't give your drinks to someone else and if you do, the whole villa will be banned from drinking for a certain amount of days. She said, "If you do get caught giving your drink to anyone everyone gets banned for like five days so you'll let everyone else down. So yeah, don't do that."
It is suggested that one of Love Island's main rules is that contestants follow the strict alcohol policy. Love Island 2018 star Eyal Booker exclusively told Closer about the villa's very strict drinks policy. When asked about how much the Islanders were allowed to drink, he told us, "it was very, very limited. Max two glasses of wine a night and that's max!"
Not allowed phone in lockdown
Love Island is all about finding 'genuine' connections in the most romantic villa in the world and that means no phones and no connections to the outside world. From the beginning, the original Islanders have their phones taken away from them before they go into isolation, so they have no clue who they are going in.
However, 2021 Islander Shannon Singh, who was brutally dumped from the villa after just two days, has revealed that there were certain Islanders who broke this rule, as bombshell contestant Lucinda Strafford was allowed to 'keep her phone'.
Speaking to The Scottish Sun, Shannon said, "I've done three weeks on my own in isolation. I didn't have a phone like a lot of the Islanders, like Lucinda, people like that, when they were in the isolation. They had their phones and things like that for at least a week. I had no phone and there was a really big build-up just for that."
Eating is monitored
According to Love Island 2018 star Alexandra Cane, one of the Love Island rules insists that contestants food intake is monitored. Viewers are always wondering when the contestants eat as we never see them sit down for meals unless they leave the villa to go on dates. Alexandra Cane revealed to Closer, "We do have to be monitored on what we eat. This is to make sure everyone in the house is eating sufficient amounts of food and no one is going to get ill."So, lunch and dinner times were never shown because we had to eat certain amounts."She added, "Sometimes we would be split up so the girls would sit on their own and the boys would sit on their own to eat food, but it was mainly for monitoring purposes".
Smoking area removed
In the first few seasons of Love Island, smoking was openly seen on camera and the smoking area seemed the most popular hotspot for the best conversations and gossiping. However, the show then faced backlash as it was seen to encourage and glamourise the habit. So in 2018, the ITV2 show introduced strict rules which meant Islanders could only smoke off screen. Smokers now have to ask for a cigarette and enter the designated area one at a time, it's said. The 2018 smoking ban inside the villa grounds seems to have become a staple.
Health checks throughout their time on the show
Love Island bosses recently revealed that the 2019 cast had to pass mental health checks before entering the villa. This rule comes after the reality show received criticism for its aftercare in the wake of the deaths of former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon from 2018. Niall Aslam left the villa just days into the series and later shared his daily struggles with Asperger's syndrome and mental health. Each Islander now follows a continuous duty of care process which covers pre-filming, filming and aftercare.
Kady McDermott recently claimed that she was punched and left with a bleeding nose during her time on Love Island. Kady came third during Love Island 2016 alongside her then boyfriend Scott Thomas, but has now admitted her feud with fellow Islander Malia Arkian extended far beyond what was shown on TV. Kady shared an apparent extra insight into the infamous fight as she shared a video of the altercation on her Twitter page. At the time viewers were told that Malia had "shoved" Kady and subsequently been removed from the house. It seems that the no-fighting policy on the ITV2 show is very strict and those who break it, are removed from the villa immediately.
Microphones need to be worn always
We are assuming that Love Island has one quite obvious rule - keep the microphone packs on at all times. The producers like to capture every conversation that takes place on the show and Dani Dyer revealed that while everything on the show is real, some things are tweaked. She told the Capital Breakfast show, "The only direction you have is just on your conversations, so that they space them out a little bit because you can't have like 10 conversations going on at once so they'll be like, 'just wait a little bit longer' or 'leave it 'til the morning'."
No nudity in the villa
This rumoured rule has definitely been broken in the past...It's claimed that Love Island's apparent no nudity policy means contestants are not allowed to be fully naked in front of each other or even in the shower, as the villa is a public place.
One of Love Island's rules apparently includes a ban on solo sex acts. We are assuming that masturbating, along with full nudity, is banned for contestants so others are not made to feel uncomfortable in the villa. According to The Mirror, "Despite islanders being told to get frisky whenever they wish, this must be with a partner. No solo acts are permitted on the premises". However Elma Pazar hinted that all the boys broke this rule in the villa.
Former Islander of Love Island 2017,Simon Searles, told The Sunabout Love Island's strict booklet, that is given to each contestant on the show. He told the publication, "They give you a bit of a handbook before and it's in regards to consent, nakedness, condoms, what's right and what's not."You never really get a lot of drink but they do say if someone's had too much to drink do not have sex with them."
Language banned in the villa
Sherif Lanre was kicked out of the Love Island 2019 villa on day 9 after he play fought with Molly-Mae and described it as a "c--t punch". However the TV star admitted that it wasn't the first time he was told off for saying something controversial. He explained to The Sun, "There were so many things I was pulled aside on. The first was calling Amber 'lighty,' which I know is a poor choice of words but she did not get offended. I asked them, 'Can you give me a list of the words I can use?' They said, 'No, but you cannot use that one.'" Arabella Chi also revealed that she saidsomething deemed controversial.
In an exclusive chat with Closer Online, Amy Hart told us that singing 'commercial' music – pop songs, to me or you – was against the villa rules. They worked a way around it by singing songs from Disney films and musical theatre, instead.