The challenge of making villains for Power Rangers time after time, week after week, is that eventually, you start running out of ideas.
While it was easy to throw monsters together during the early days of the show, the Super Sentai television series has been running for decades in Japan, and the premise of spandex-clad, motorcycle helmet-wearing heroes fighting mutated Godzilla wannabes was old long before the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers took the Western world by storm.
This, of course, means that the first iteration of the show to reach America is filled with some absolutely fantastic lazy monster designs. Whether it’s a case of the Japanese costume designers throwing together whatever castoffs they had left from old episodes, to the localization writers jotting down the most uninspired names and backstories imaginable, these early Mighty Morphin episodes are filled with dumb, lazy, or ridiculously bad villains.
Here are The 17 Laziest Power Rangers Monster Ideas:
17. Eye Guy
A good pair of evil eyes can be genuinely creepy and disturbing. Whether they be large and bulbous, or shadowy and creased (or, in the case of Emperor Palpatine, both), eyes can provide the window into the evil that lies within many villains’ souls.
This isn’t the case with Eye Guy. A creature that’s covered head to toe in enormous eyeballs, the result of a lazy day at the creature workshop for Super Sentai leaves us with one of the most ridiculous villains the Power Rangers have ever faced. It doesn’t help that the costume looks like someone stuck a load of foam balls on a morph suit and called it a day.
Aside from everything else, this monster should be worthless in battle. Have you ever been poked in the eye? It really hurts. With this many weak spots, it’s a wonder the fight with Eye Guy lasted for more than twenty seconds!
16. Pumpkin Rapper
This monster is a classic example of Saiban’s writing department working feverishly to create a plausible, logical story for a character that the Japanese source material clearly knocked together in a couple of hours based on an old Halloween costume (something that’ll prove to be a trend on this list).
The Pumpkin Rapper is completely true to its name. It’s an upside down giant pumpkin, who raps.
Hey, it was the nineties, sometimes that was all the characterization that was necessary to make a character a standout hit with the kids.
The problem, aside from the fact that this monster is literally a giant pumpkin, and therefore about as deadly and imposing as any garden vegetable, is that the Pumpkin Rapper isn’t even very good at its gimmick. Rap music has seen a lot of punishment over the years, but this monster’s greatest achievement is really lowering the bar on the art form as a whole.
15. Magnet Brain
Now, we’re not in the position to suggest that magnetism is a stupid super power. We’ve all seen Magneto kick the stuffing out of cops, prison guards, soldiers, and diamond lingerie models, so we know that there’s a lot of potential for destruction when a villain with powers over the Earth’s core gets going.
Sadly, though, Magnet Brain is a complete waste of an excellent power. It seems like someone was tasked with creating a magnetic monster, and literally created the first costume idea that jumped to mind – a villain with a horseshoe magnet for a face.
What’s even more hilarious is that, having been presented with the footage from Super Sentai and needing to dub it for an English speaking audience, the writers at Saiban were feeling just as lazy. Magnet Brain will do for a name, they all agreed, before taking an early lunch.
14. Slippery Shark
Do you remember the episode of Power Rangers where the heroes fought a background dancer for Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl Half Time show?
Yeah, this is a thing that happened. The team of Power Rangers were called upon to use their mighty superhuman abilities to defend Angel Grove from a guy in a shark costume.
There’s no attempt at making the shark unique or particularly villainous here. It’s simply a shark. One which, if the name is any indication, might be particularly slippery – an attribute which hardly makes it a threat to society at large.
Perhaps this is a monster which hasn’t aged particularly well in hindsight. While now we have movies like Sharknado and Sharktopus which have done significantly more with the premise of fighting a mutant shark threat, back in the nineties all audiences had to compare this with was Jaws, and most of the children in the audiences had (hopefully) never even heard of that movie.
This villain gets some points for, if nothing else, at least providing some character-based storytelling. Rita Repulsa, eager to destroy the Power Rangers, but ever unwilling to get her own hands dirty, steals Pink Ranger Kimberly’s lipstick for use in her evil scheme, in what was no doubt an early draft for Mean Girls.
This lipstick is then mutated into a giant monster, as you’d expect from a Power Ranger episode, but this doesn’t really disguise the fact that it’s still just a big red lipstick. What exactly Rita Repulsa hoped to achieve with this diabolical plot isn’t clear, but short of ruining Kimberly’s makeup, the monster is about as effective as any other creation that gets sent up against the Power Rangers.
But this isn’t entirely the writers’ fault, when they were presented with a monster than very clearly was created by a designer who’d simply looked around a drug store for some quick and easy inspiration. Slapping a few beauty products together doesn’t exactly create a compelling monster design.
12. Pudgy Pig
This creature design has the joint honor of both being utterly uninspired, and being completely horrifyingly terror-inducing. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and when it comes to creating the perfect horror monster, there’s no better solution than a humanoid pig with a giant head and empty, soulless eyes.
Pudgy Pig wears a Roman Centurion helmet for reasons that aren’t entirely explained in the plot (at least not in the American dub of the show), and has a deflated look to it, as if it was supposed to be a festival blimp before it was accidentally fired at Homer Simpson’s abdomen. Of all the creatures on this list, none are more disturbing than Pudgy Pig, whose wobbly body often seems to be in active rebellion against its tiny, spindly limbs.
If ever you wanted to terrify a six year old to the point of inducing bedwetting nightmares, this is the Power Rangers monster that’ll help you achieve your goal.
11. Pipe Brain and Tube Monster
It’s time for a two-for-one monster design that was so lazy, it got used twice.
Pipe Brain is, as you can imagine, just a mess of pipes that seems to have been made by a guy who really likes pool noodles. It’s not a particularly inspired villain, as it lacks any kind of detail, facial feature, or distinguishing characteristic that sets it apart as being particularly special.
What is really impressive, though, is the fact that its designers figured that it was so bland that they could get away with reusing the costume for another monster. Pipe Brain is exactly the same as Tube Monster, a slightly different colored creature who is in other way completely identical.
You’ve got to admire the guts it took for the designers on Super Sentai to try and pass these off as two distinct, separate villains. Clearly they felt that their first attempt at the character was uninspired and forgettable, but rather than taking that as a sign of failure, they realized that very few people would notice if they just did exactly the same thing again.
Just so we’re clear, this isn’t some new, wacky, alternate Power Rangers universe spin on the classic Frankenstein formula. It’s also not a parody or a reimagining of the character which tries to do anything original whatsoever.
Nope. In one episode of Power Rangers, Jason and his team of colorful, ethnically diverse teenagers with attitude actually fight the real Frankenstein, in what must have been a case of the writers running low on steam.
This episode, by the way, is absolutely incredible. Finster (Rita’s assistant) creates an exact replica of the classic Frankenstein’s Monster (because apparently the moon has no shortage of Hammer Horror VHS tapes) who then attends a costume party in Angel Grove. He then beats up the Power Rangers, because somehow the writers have to stretch this paper-thin premise into a full episode.
There’s a good chance that, discovering this footage within the Super Sentai archives, the writers for Power Rangers had a field day. Finally, a monster so bland and generic that they could expand upon their limited source material by just buying a costume at Walmart!
9. Knasty Knight
Now we’re getting into the real dregs of the unimaginative Power Rangers villains. What do you do when you start running out of ideas? You slap together a knight in armor, and pretend that it’s not just a case of grasping for straws.
Knasty Knight is a knight. It wears a suit of armor, has a fancy sword, and is basically as cliché as you’d expect. To the English writers’ credit, they did come up with a vaguely interesting backstory involving the Knight stealing its sword from one of Zordon’s ancient warriors, but that’s the most basic origin myth they could possibly have come up with.
What makes this particular monster particularly egregious, though, is that it’s another case of the Power Rangers fighting the same monster in multiple episodes, as the writers hope that nobody notices the repeated footage. Knasty Knight terrorizes Zack’s birthday celebrations before being destroyed, only to show up later on during the multi-part introduction of the Green Ranger. Presumably the writers needed additional padding for the ongoing story that introduced Tommy Oliver to the team.
8. Wizard of Deception
If some of the other monsters on this list seem like they were thrown together with bits and pieces from a cheap costume shop, then the Wizard of Deception wins the award for the laziest, cheapest costume of them all.
This particular monster is made entirely from new material for Power Rangers, and was created by a costume designer in the West. If you think that the mask looks suspiciously like an offbrand Predator Halloween costume, you’re not alone, as many fans have theorized that the Wizard of Deception is made out of leftovers from the prop cupboard.
The good news is that because this costume was made in America, there’s more opportunities for the Wizard of Deception to interact with the cast members than is possible in an episode cut together with chunks of Super Sentai. Comic relief losers Bulk and Skull run afoul of the Wizard and are used as part of his evil scheme, which goes about as well as you can expect, but at least it means the pair have more to do than just playing buffoons.
7. Mighty Minotaur
As you might have been able to guess based on its name the Mighty Minotaur is actually just a minotaur.
In fairness, there are a lot of creatures throughout Super Sentai that take inspiration from Greek myths, but none are quite as blatant and uninspired that this one. The Mighty Minotaur is simply a big bull-shaped creature that swings a club and carries a shield, without any kind of original twist or idea brought in to flesh out the monster and make it unique or interesting.
To make matters worse, this creature doesn’t even tangle with the Megazord, which is the standard climactic end to a Power Rangers episode. Instead, the Rangers spend some time bashing it with their individual zords before using the power of teamwork to defeat it using their Power Weapons. In other words, this guy might look like a mythical creature, but it goes down like a chump.
In spite of this, the Mighty Minotaur is best known for appearing in the Power Rangers video game for the Sega Genesis – after its lackluster appearance in the show, at least it gets recognition for being one of the only villains from the show to make it into another form of media.
If Eye Guy lacked originality for featuring too many eyes, then Cyclops has the opposite problem. It’s pretty clear that the creators of Super Sentai hit a sweet vein of mythical creature ideas and decided to run with it for as long as they could, rather than have to come up with any new concepts.
While you might think that a creature which looks like the Michelin Man crossed with Mike Wazowski is already lazy enough, it gets better – the Cyclops can also, inexplicably, shapeshift into other forms, including the Green Ranger’s Dragonzord. This makes for a convenient opportunity to reuse existing footage of the Dragonzord fighting the Megazord from a previous episode.
Then (and it’s incredible that the writers got away with this) it morphs into the Megazord and fights the real Dragonzord, meaning that the same footage can be reused for two episodes in a row. That’s some next level laziness, and it would deserve a medal if anyone could be bothered to award a prize for television apathy.
Despite having a name that’s brimming with potential, there’s not much going on with Rockstar that lives up to its promise.
Rockstar is a rock. Plain and simple. The Power Rangers spend an entire episode fighting a rock.
Well, okay, only one Power Ranger actually has to fight it. The Red Ranger runs up against this incredibly dull creature, and discovers its hidden power – it has the ability to launch rocks out of its stomach which stick to opponents, making them heavier and slower.
That’s all this thing does. It doesn’t actually harm the Power Rangers in any way, but instead makes the Red Ranger run a little slower while on a solo mission – something which is also achieved by virtue of the fact that his younger cousin is tagging along for the ride.
Rockstar is particularly frustrating because of the wasted potential. With just a little more ingenuity, the Power Rangers could have faced off against an enormous Golem type creature who could be impervious to attack and who could pound opponents into dust. Instead, though, Rockstar is just a rock, and barely worth taking notice of.
4. Vase Face
Sometimes all the Power Rangers’ villains want to do is mess with their teenage enemies and make life more difficult for struggling students.
Such is the case when Lord Zedd uses his evil powers to bring Tommy’s art project to life, creating Vase Face, an uninspired monster whose soul achievement is giving Tommy one of the weirdest excuses for missing homework in the history of television.
After a while, it’s possible to see where Power Ranger villains are made by just slapping fresh pieces of rubber over existing costumes. This is definitely a case of this kind of laziness, but Western audiences got off lighter.
In the original Japanese Super Sentai episodes, Vase Face is one of many similarly designed creatures that are being controlled by an evil ventriloquist, meaning that this single lazy design is stretched over multiple episodes. Production value doesn’t count for an awful lot on this show.
3. Terror Toad
Kudos have to be given to the design department for at least trying a little bit with Terror Toad. The creature has some distinctive design elements, such as markings on its stomach and plenty of sharp teeth, but they do little to disguise the fact that, ultimately, this is just a big toad. There’s very little about this creature that’s terrifying in any way.
The most exciting part of the episode that features Terror Toad is the fact that Kimberly and Billy are infected by a “punk potion” and turn into narcissistic whiners who refuse to do anything to help the team. Perhaps this silly premise was cooked up out of a need to punch up a weak villain, but considering that this was one of the first Power Rangers episodes to air, it’s strange that Saiban decided to adapt this creature when there are far more eye-catching monsters among the Super Sentai rogues gallery.
2. Snow Monster
When it comes to lazy naming, none are quite as bad as Snow Monster. It’s literally the first thing that comes to mind when considering a yeti-like creature who lives among the snow. No originality or thought whatsoever went into naming the Snow Monster.
Sadly, the creature’s design isn’t much better. Snow Monster is basically just the abominable snowman, meaning that the general premise took very little time to come up with once the writers of Super Sentai had decided they were going to make an episode set in the snow.
The Snow Monster isn’t even an original costume – it’s a painted Primator which features additional patches of fuzzy white fur in a desperate attempt to disguise the fact that the Power Rangers have seen this guy before.
So what’s the Power Rangers’ most uninspired foe of all time? Giant.
Yes, Giant is its name. Yes, it’s a giant. That really didn’t take a lot of work for the writers, did it?
The Giant is fairly uninspired in general. The costume looks like it could have come from a costume shop, as is the case for many of the monsters on this list, and for all that you might think a giant would be a good match for the Megazord, this Arthurian creature is defeated after fighting one-on-one with the Red Ranger’s Dinozord.
All in all, this particular monster is a lazy waste of time, brought in to provide filler in an episode that actually features a second monster for most of the fighting anyway. This creature lasts for only a few minutes before it’s beaten back and destroyed.
What’s most disappointing, though, is that in the original Zyurangers series of Super Sentai, this villain is crucial to the plot, appearing in both the first and second episodes of the story. The Giant proves that by the time its creators had gotten around to what we know as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, they’d long since run out of steam, and were happy to stretch a bland villain out over a two-part series premiere if they could get away with it.
As fun as it is to point out the failings of Power Rangers this long after the fact, there’s no denying that the show has captivated generations of children by this point, who don’t care if they’re watching recycled footage or repainted monster costumes, as long as the show contains its core elements: fighting, costumes, and grown adults pretending to be high school students.
That said, while the series can be forgiven for its eccentricities, here’s hoping that none of the creatures on this list make it into a rebooted Power Rangers movie. There are plenty of more imaginative monsters out there, and we don’t need to see the likes of Rockstar or Pudgy Pig on the big screen.
Let’s all cross our fingers that, this time around, we get something a little more inspired for a final battle, and a group of engaging villains that audiences can enjoy watching as they attempt to take a chunk out of the Power Rangers and their zords.