The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were definitely a product of a simpler time. They came before the onslaught of many well-written and incredibly performed superhero television programs, and in that space, they thrived. Power Rangers was never trying to be the next Emmy award-winning children’s program, and it didn’t have to. It kept an entire generation of kids locked in their house on Saturday mornings, glued to their television sets.
Recently the show was adapted into a major motion picture that actually has some smart direction, a competent cast, and a passable plot (albeit cookie-cutter). The ’90s series was a collection of cheesy one-liners, horrendous acting, and poorly-constructed set pieces that sometimes were even a little much for the young children enjoying the show.
However, the show was incredibly popular, and at this point with its nearly 10,000 spin offs, it seems like the craze might finally be dying down. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at some of the moments that just made us roll our 8-year old eyes and decide to begrudgingly go outside for a change.
So for all of the Power Rangers fans out there, here are the 15 Most Cringe-Inducing Moments On Power Rangers.
15. Villain Grooms The Blue Ranger
There are a lot of moments in the Power Rangers universe where characters engage in some “odd” behavior. In the series Power Rangers Time Force, the Blue Ranger gets set up with the daughter of the season’s main villain, Ransik, by Ransik himself.
However, in classic high school drama fashion, the Blue Ranger isn’t necessarily privy to this information, and he’s stunned (rightfully so) when the villain pulls him aside in the middle of a fight to make sure he’s looking dapper. Fr a brief moment in time, the villain’s hands start to move a little too far south, and the camera focuses in on the villain caressing the Blue Ranger’s “no-no” area.
This seems to be one of those moments in which the actors, the director, a writer, or a food service worker would point out that this shouldn’t be shown to children, but luckily for this list (and unfortunately for the scarred children), that didn’t happen.
14. Rangers Tossing Salads
Some dialogue should simply not be written down, and if it is, it definitely shouldn’t be filmed and shown to children. This entry ignored that golden rule and introduced some very peculiar phrasing to the Power Rangers series. This one instance could be chalked up to not being totally aware of a particular phrase, but still, it’s pretty hilarious that it made it past the cutting room floor.
Basically, the team arrives on the scene prepared to take on Mad Mike the Pizza Chef (actually the villain’s name), and the Red Ranger decides to open with an intimidating line (mistake number one). He tells the monster, “we’re here to toss your salad,” and don’t worry, there’s no salad in the scene. Of course, course phrase has two completely different meanings, and Google is your friend if you don’t understand the reference.
13. Toy Tommy And His Dragonzord
It’s difficult for shows with smaller budgets to attain the kind of magnificent special effects that film or even primetime television shows are known for. Power Rangers was never a show with a big budget, despite the fact that its very premise should have made it clear that a decent budget was pretty pertinent. However ,the show runners decided to work with what they had, and nowadays a lot of the effects can look pretty worn out.
There wasn’t a single moment more exciting in the entire run of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers than when Tommy was able to summon his Dragonzord. Tommy was easily the coolest Ranger, and his Megazord followed suit. The problem was that whenever Tommy was shown riding the top of the Dragonzord, it appeared to be a tiny action figure glued to a bigger action figure– but it was pretty glorious all the same.
12. Danny Sleeping With A Teddy Bear
Power Rangers are supposedly the warriors who protect the world from devastation, but apparently they need their own little warriors to whisk them off to dream land.
Danny Delgado is the Black Bison Ranger from Power Rangers Wild Force. He’s the most physically imposing member of the Wild Force team, but he’s also the most sensitive member, and spends most of his time working at the flower shop in town.
In one episode, we can even see Danny fast asleep with his teddy bear by his side. It just seemed like an odd decision creatively, but tonally perhaps a teddy bear-loving Ranger isn’t too odd for a show with so many cringe-inducing moments. Thankfully none of the villains ever found out about Danny’s teddy bear obsession, because they might have threatened to kidnap his little buddy.
11. See Monster
Suggestive monsters and themes appear a lot throughout Power Rangers, and the fact that it became as popular and beloved as it was is pretty surprising. But there are few instances throughout the series that are as creepy or cringe-inducing as the See Monster, or the Trench Coat Monster.
Not only does the monster wear perhaps the eeriest article of clothing ever invented, but the monster also manages to “flash” the Rangers, which adds to the strange factor. The See Monster had a red and flesh-like body that would capture and ensnare the Rangers with its thought waves.
When designing a monster, creators tend to go for creatures that will strike fear in their viewers, and we can confidently say they nailed it, because this monster appeared in every child’s nightmares. Not only is the See Monster incredibly creepy, but it also has some strong sexual implications.
10. Random Giant Kid
Power Rangers was pretty hit or miss with its giant monster brawls, especially when it seems like the showrunners never took a second look at their product. In one scene in particular, a normal kid (probably a background extra) can be seen standing next to a Megazord, and they’re basically the same height.
This is a problem, seeing as a Megazord is supposed to be bigger than skyscrapers. Now we can’t necessarily count out the fact the kid might have superpowers, but the episode never made that explicit, so money is on the fact they never noticed he was in the shot.
Television shows have to be checked numerous times, (especially children’s programs) to make sure that there isn’t any offensive or suggestive material, but the fact checkers on Power Rangers must have been asleep on the job, because this list wouldn’t exist if they had been awake.
9. Zordon Kidnapping Children
This entry would easily be the most surprising single element in any television program that isn’t Power Rangers.
In the Christmas episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Zordon actually goes through with kidnapping an entire group of children. However, the whole event could be chalked up to Zordon not understanding what kidnapping is (he does kidnap a group of teenagers after all) and being out of love for his robotic servant, Alpha.
In the episode, Alpha droned on about how he’s so lonely being cooped up with Zordon for all this time, and Zordon’s solution is of course, kidnapping. All seems fine when the kids are actually pretty excited to be spending their time within the Power Rangers’ secret lair, but outside in the real world their parent must be freaking out.
8. Rita’s Eye Through Her Telescope
Power Rangers continually forces its audience to throw basic logic, and at times, even the laws of physics out the window for entertainment purposes. But sometimes there are logical leaps so huge that we, as an audience need to point them out and make fun of them.
Rita staring through her telescope while she’s on the moon, and hearing that the Rangers are on to her from Earth is just plain ridiculous. In the Power Rangers series, whenever Rita would hear the Rangers fighting her minions, she would force them to grow, and then the Megazord would proceed to demolish her monster.
7. Baby Stroller Weapon
This is one of the all-time classic Power Rangers moments, and it’s not because it’s action-packed or full of high school drama; it’s because it’s ridiculous. Power Rangers are warriors who are supposed to protect the weak civilians that are in danger from Rita’s forces, but in this instance, they puts one of them in danger.
In this episode of RPM, Scott, the Red Ranger, attempts to attack some of the grinders (the season’s villains). When pressed for time and a weapon to help him win the fight, Scott reaches for the nearest thing: a baby stroller with an actual baby still inside. Then he begins to swing the stroller around recklessly, while paying no heed to the living, breathing, child that is in the stroller.
6. Mike Breathing In Space
This is yet another entry that represents the Power Rangers series’ inability to follow the natural laws of the universe. In the episode, “Escape the Lost Galaxy”, Mike’s Zord and powers are removed from him when he is attempting to keep a portal open long enough for the Rangers to go through it and save themselves. Later in the episode, the Rangers find Mike unconscious, floating through space, and they’re actually able to recover him alive.
This makes absolutely no sense, and it’s never established throughout the series that Rangers can breathe in space. It’s yet another moment that completely demolishes the realm of believability for a show the show, and instead of sitting and enjoying what ir has to offer, the viewer just quits watching. This is both cringe-inducing and neglectful on the part of the show’s crew.
Lokar is perhaps the lamest use of computer generated imagery in the whole Power Rangers series, simply due to the fact that it’s just a lazy effect.
Lokar, for those who aren’t aware, is a villain that appears as a giant human head, with spikes sticking out where his hair is supposed to be. In the show, it looks as though they put some random guy in front of a green screen, taped a bunch of silver pencils to his head, and attempted to make him sound intimidating, which he definitely does not.
In a series that revolves around men wearing rubber suits and making terrible puns, Lokar is easily one of the cheesiest villains, and definitely the most boring. It’s impossible to imagine a writer’s room scenario in which this is the best idea for a villain based around an entire season’s arc.
4. Surfing Ninjas
It’s hard not to laugh when you hear the phrase “surfing ninjas”, and when you hear of the context for this entry, it will only make it more difficult to restrain from doing so.
In this episode of Ninja Storm, the Red Ranger and the Yellow Ranger decide that the only way to defeat their enemy is to have the Yellow Ranger lay flat on her belly and the Red Ranger stands on top of her, like a surf board. Then they proceed to hack and slash their way through the minions, as the Yellow Ranger slides along the pavement.
How this is relevant to ninja techniques, fighting in general, or pertinent to have in this episode, is beyond any fan’s comprehension, but perhaps this really was the only course of action that the Rangers had (it wasn’t).
3. Pumpkin Rapper
The Pumpkin Rapper is perhaps the most infamous Power Rangers villain ever, and he’s easily the cheesiest of them all, which is very hard to accomplish. The Pumpkin Rapper talks only in rhyme, and then forces the Rangers to do it as well. There’s only one thing worse than Power Rangers villain dialogue, and that’s villain dialogue being rapped along with terrible dance choreography.
Oddly enough, the pumpkin costume was actually one of the only designs that made sense, but the novelty of the costume as made irrelevant with the terrible rapping. Rapping takes a lot of talent and a sense of rhythm. This episode definitely shows that not everyone in the world can do it, and not everyone in the world should even attempt to do it.
2. Sticks And Stones
This episode featured what is perhaps the worst powers for a Power Rangers villain: the power of insults. In this episode, the monster would find something from the Rangers’ pasts that could hurt them, and the mere words uttered by him would send them flying through the air.
Some of the greater lines include, “your bike had training wheels until you were 10,” “you’re just boring,” “lousy cook,” and “you’re a red faced, liar-liar, pants on fire.” The scene is so downright bad that it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious to watch, but if you were a die-hard Power Rangers fan, it would be insulting to have to sit through.
1. Dance The Night Away
“Dance the Night Away” is the sixth episode of Power Rangers: Jungle Fury, and it also has the most cringe-inducing fight sequence in all of Power Rangers.
At the end of the episode, after Casey and Theo have worked out their differences over Lily, and the Rangers have an all-out dance off with the villain and her minions. There is a lot of terrible choreography, some terrible slow-mo, and the Red Ranger even says “it’s time to dance to a different groove,” before showing off the worst dance moves of all time.
Then what can only be described as a Beastie Boys-esque musical cue that plays while the Rangers dance fight the bad guys, and not in a cool way like in Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s awful, it’s hard to watch, and it sends shivers down the spines of everyone who views it.
There are so many unnervingly lame moments throughout Power Rangers, that it’s not easy narrowing it down to 15, so if you have any that stick out to you, make sure to mention them in the comments below!