The Power Rangers were a staple of childhood for anyone who grew up in the’ 90s or ’00s. They were a massive phenomenon of pop culture and have managed to keep various Power Rangers series going ever since they got started in the early ’90s. But over the years, they’ve been known to do some pretty whacky things. They were what one might call a “quirky” kids’ show – before the likes of Adventure Time came along, the Power Rangers were there to provide you with stories and ideas that were funny, weird, and completely random.
But within that vast territory there are bound to be a few moments that leave audiences a bit confused, to say the least. And with Power Rangers, there are certainly moments that make us pause and wonder what we’ve just witnessed. But let’s be honest, with any show the best moments are the craziest ones.
And so to celebrate the release of the new Power Rangers movie, it seems fitting to look at the 15 Most WTF Things That Happened On Power Rangers.
15. Zordon kidnaps children
Now kidnapping children is never really cool, but if a villain did it then you wouldn’t be too shocked. When the good guys in the show are kidnapping children… then it definitely creates a WTF moment. Especially if no one even acknowledges that someone has just kidnapped a child.
The surprising culprit behind this crime was Zordon, and while he may have had good intentions, the ends don’t really justify the means. The story behind these bizarre goings on is that Zordon wanted to cheer up Alpha 5, who was trying to throw a holiday party, and decided that a good way of going about that would be to kidnap a group of children and have them sing Christmas carols for him.
14. The Power Rangers watch “Power Rangers”
Saban obviously felt that by Power Rangers Dino Thunder, they had a big enough cultural impact to start self-referencing and getting meta. Either that or the writers got a bit lazy for this episode, because it’s literally an entire episode called “Lost in Translation” where the Power Ranger team all sit down and watch Power Rangers. It all sounds very Inception.
The way it panned out was that their favourite Internet Cafe just got a new cable system, and they found out that their adventures have been adapted into a Japanese show and decide to sit down and watch it. They literally spend an episode watching and critiquing the show that their show is based on, except in the show it’s based on them instead. Anyone still following?
13. The PSAs
Firstly, no one ever likes Public Safety Announcements. Especially kids. Educational videos are awful, and when they intrude into the territory of your favorite TV shows, they’re all the more annoying. And unfortunately, Power Rangers seemed to have a bad habit of presenting us with PSAs that literally nobody asked for. As if a group of kids who put on weird costumes and constantly get into fights should be the ones telling us what’s good or safe for actual children. You know what would be safe for them? If they just pretended to be Power Rangers in the playground like the rest of us – much less life-threatening, unless a grazed knee could be considered fatal.
Some of the PSAs from the Power Rangers still bug us to this day. Ones that were particularly annoying include when Tommy got all righteous and had a go at Bulk and Skull for eating unhealthily. Seriously, stop preaching and go back to what you’re good at – fighting robot, dinosaurs, and whatever else the writers come up with.
12. The bad editing when they lost actors
One thing that the Power Rangers series became infamous for was the poor treatment of their actors. Apparently, being a Power Ranger doesn’t necessary pay well. But that wasn’t the only complaint. Actors who wore the Power Rangers suits complained of unreasonable work hours and poor working conditions. Not to mention, actor David Yost quit midway through a day of filming and cited the constant homophobic abuse as the reason. The poor treatment of actors (as well as other unfortunate circumstances, like illness) meant that on multiple occasions actors would drop out mid-season.
This put the production in a difficult situation, and they came up with one of the most hilariously bad solutions. Instead of recasting or writing characters out, they decided to try and carry on with what they already had. They edited in stock footage, dubbed the rangers with previous dialogue, and used lots of back-of-the-head shots from look-a-likes to try and get away with it. The result was pretty disastrous, and we would strongly recommend re-watching it for the comedic value.
11. The Rower Rangers are here to toss your salad
Thanks to the internet, our generation have been forced into realizing (at the expense of our childhood’s being ruined) just how packed with adult humor our children’s TV actually was. And of course, Power Rangers is no different. Although surprisingly, there’s less adult humor we could find than in most kids’ shows. But this one moment that we did find is quite the gem.
When arriving to battle Mad Mike the Pizza Chef (we told you the villains were ridiculous), the Red Ranger somehow thought it would be a good idea to say “we’re here to toss your salad.” And just to be clear, there was not a single lettuce in sight. What they obviously meant by it was they were here to beat up Mad Mike, and they clearly were searching desperately for a food pun that would work. Here’s the thing, though, that phrase can mean something very different – and with no salad in sight, the dirty play on words seems very out of place.
10. The wedding of Zedd and Rita
Power Rangers gave Zedd and Rita’s wedding the full celebrity wedding treatment, with three episodes dedicated to it, as if it was a big event on a low-brow reality show. Their wedding was the event of the century, and was big enough to make Prince William and Kate Middleton jealous (they’re big Power Rangers fans for sure). There’s only one problem: literally no one asked for it.
Power Rangers is a show people watch to see colorful ninjas fight weird creatures; it’s certainly not a show people watch for the romance. And yet for some reason, the writers went all rom-com on us and made a wedding between two villains a major love story in the show. Three entire episodes were dedicated to this wedding – a wedding that the Power Rangers weren’t even invited too.
9. Lothor stars in his own sitcom
The plot of this episode is ridiculous, even for the Power Rangers. The idea behind it is that the main villain, Lothor, is told by his two young nieces that the people of Earth would willingly accept him as their alien overlord if he was a bit more popular, so they film a sitcom about him. They also dose the Ninja Rangers with a love potion so that they end up fighting for each other’s affections and then proceed to hit the entire city with the love potion to make them fall in love with Lothor, too.
It’s the sitcom that you really want to see, though. The producer is a giant robot rat and it features Lothor looking friendly in a knitted sweater whilst being surrounded by sexy ladies. The dark twist comes when Lothor announces that his master plan is to get popular enough to tell them all to kill themselves. Because hey, why not throw in the topic of mass suicide into a kids’ TV show?
8. Galaxy Warriors, the intergalactic game show
Some of the Power Rangers seasons have had strange premises. They’ve been on Earth, in Space, and in Earth-like Space. One thing that they have never done before, until now, is have an entire season that is happening solely because of an intergalactic game show. Yeah, for real. This entire season is centred around an intergalactic game show. Not just any intergalactic game show, though; the most popular one in the universe.
The basic back story is that villain Galvanaz is reigning champion of the game show Galaxy Warriors, but wants the Ninja Nexus Prism so he can become invincible. He sends contestants to Earth to try and get the prism, and broadcasts each of their attempts on televisions across the universe. It’s a very strange premise, and we can only assume that they were trying to make an intergalactic Hunger Games type of thing, but with the Power Rangers thrown in. It’s a bit too complicated, and sometimes it’s better to just keep it simple – just have a show where the Power Rangers beat up some bad guys.
7. All the villains
Oh boy, where do we start? If there’s one things Power Rangers became notorious for, it’s the bizarre villains. The writers seemingly pointed to anything they saw and said “yep, let’s make that a villain.” How else would you get Purse Head, a villain whose head is a literal purse? And let’s not forget the villain made of bricks, who turns you into bricks and also eats bricks (we’re thinking the writers room had some exposed brick decor going on).
But then there are some that we genuinely have no way to imagine how they came up with it. For instance, the See Monster had a flasher’s coat (made of his own flesh) that he would pull open (meaning he’s showing us his insides) to reveal a series of eyes that would zap ythe Rangers. If that isn’t way too creepy for a kids show, then we don’t know what is.
On the slightly lighter side, some of them are just plain funny. A pumpkin creature who raps to the Power Rangers, a time-travelling oversized chicken complete with oversized scissors., and a turtle creature with traffic lights sticking out its head. If this isn’t evidence that Power Rangers isn’t stoner TV, we don’t know what is.
6. The ninja turtles cross over
Crossovers are always a good idea on paper, but often can pan out quite poorly. The perfect example of this? Exhibit A: the Power rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover. In theory, it sounds awesome. And yeah, if you were young enough at the time, it could pass as being quite cool. But don’t you dare rewatch it as an adult, because it certainly doesn’t age like wine – more like milk.
We’re fairly certain that anyone who wasn’t so young at the time probably realized how much it sucked back then. And today, in a world where the likes of Marvel have built shared cinematic universes with crossovers like The Avengers, it certainly doesn’t hold up.
The whole thing came because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were trying to regain popularity, with a series that followed a similar format to Power Rangers but achieved little success. Heard of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation? We thought not. To try and give it some extra success, they threw them into an episode of the then current Power Rangers series. The result was something cheesy, cheap, and not-so-cherished.
5. A 12 year old power ranger
Power Rangers typically fall into a pattern of being teenagers played by actora who definitely don’t look like teenagers. Okay, not always, but there have certainly been a fair few “teenagers” who look like they don’t get carded anymore, but also don’t go out anymore because of the wife and kids. Anyway, they’re usually teenagers because it’s a kids’ show, but they aren’t actually kids because — kids generally don’t do well in battles against monsters. Well, except for Justin, apparently.
Justin managed to become a Power Ranger at just 12 years old in the Power Rangers Turbo series and its subsequent film. Firstly, why? Teenagers have always worked well in the series. They’re a believable match for the Super Sentai body-doubles that are used in battle footage, and the actors just dub over the dialogue for those scenes. Meaning that Justin has to morph into a fully grown man and the actor playing him dubbed his child’s voice over a grown man fighting.
4. When Scott put a baby in danger
If you and your baby were in trouble, you might feel comforted by the sight of a Power Ranger. You might think that they’ll protect you. You certainly wouldn’t expect them to use your baby stroller as a weapon while your baby is still inside it. But apparently, that’s a very real possibility. In what we can only assume was a moment of insanity, Scott from RPM thought that risking a baby’s life by using its stroller to hit a bad guy was a totally cool idea. And he didn’t just hit one guy with the stroller, he repeatedly spun it round midair to take out multiple robots.
How this idea was even allowed to make it on screen is another worry. To make matters worse, the mother is screaming for the baby – no longer worried about the evil robots, but about the guys that were supposed to save her. To make matters worse, the bad guys soon get hold of the baby. Scott’s response? Sweep-kick the robot and send the baby flying 20ft into the air. Luckily, he catches it, and decides not to use the baby itself as a weapon.
3. When Kim and Billy turned “punk”
Sometimes superheroes turn evil. Sometimes it’s because they’ve seen too much, or because they’ve been manipulated. In the series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Billy and Kim went bad for an episode, simply because they’d been given a “punk potion”. Queue cheesy “bad teenager” stereotypes” they wore leather jackets (or sleeveless denim jackets, oh the nineties), chewed gum, and wore sunglasses to look intimidating. They wore chains and chokers just to be extra edgy and, get this, they pushed kids into lockers. You couldn’t get two more cliché bad teenagers if you tried.
But we have to say, we kind of expected something a bit more dramatic to happen. Power Rangers going bad could end in all sorts of disasters – they could team up with villains, or start fighting each other in epic battles, or they could cause chaos around the world. But no, they just picked out a store-bought “Angry Teenager” outfit and probably stole some nerd’s lunch money. Ah Power Rangers, your silliness never fails to amuse us.
2. Carlos gets blackmailed
When a superhero is blackmailed about their secret identity, it’s usually by a mastermind supervillain and there’s usually a lot at stake. We understand that things are a little less extreme on Power Rangers, given that it’s a children’s TV show and the main characters are a bunch of teenagers. What we don’t understand is why a Power Ranger would put up with being black mailed by a regular kid. Also, why is a kid blackmailing them? Wouldn’t a kid be excited to find out they knew a Power Ranger, rather than see it as an opportunity to blackmail someone?
But firstly let’s think about this. If someone blackmails a Power Ranger, why wouldn’t they do what they do best and just fight back? It makes no sense that they would just put up with it from a kid, and yet that’s exactly what Carlos did in Power Rangers In Space when a little girl started blackmailing him because she found out he was a Power Ranger. Come on, Carlos, get it together man!
1. The Dragon Zord and T-Rex Zord fist-bump
Forget for a moment that the Dragon Zord and T-Rex Zord are essentially glorified action figures, and instead focus on the insane encounter between the two… A certain encounter that was epic enough to stay planted in our memories since childhood. An encounter between the two that was bizarre enough to give these two one of the most awkward on-screen secret handshakes in TV history – especially between two action figure-esque robots. Whether it was intended to be a high-five or a fist bump or a handshake of sorts, we’ll never know. But what we do know is that it’s hilarious to watch.
No matter how many times we watch this we’ll still never get over the creepy smiling, satisfied look on both of their robot faces as they attempt to fist bump each other and reflect on their glorious robot camaraderie. The stiffness of it all makes it even better. Not to mention that they both spring into what are seemingly meant to be martial arts poses after, but what it actually looks like is them trying to shake the awkwardness off of their silly robot arms.
Are there any other ridiculous and hilarious moments in Power Rangers that we missed? Share them in the comments!