Power Rangers are usually a cut above the rest – hence they’re chosen to be the defenders of the universe and all. Most series will have the mentor, the MacGuffin, the big boss or just a plain old ancient prophecy designate these individuals as the Power Rangers, because of their great bravery or perfect teeth or some such.
And yet, in a franchise that’s been running for nearly 25 years with well over 100 Rangers on the roster, past and present… there are gonna be duds. They can’t all be Tommy Oliver, Greatest Power Ranger Ever™, and a few are either left in the dust by their comrades, written with no character, or just plain bad at their jobs for whatever reason.
With the franchise coming up on a quarter of a century, in NO particular order, here are the 15 Worst Power Rangers Ever.
15. The Psycho Rangers/SPD A-Squad
Obviously these guys need to be front and center, what with them being bonafide evil Power Rangers and all.
The Psycho Rangers might get more of a pass, considering they were created purely to destroy the Space Rangers and are 100% nuts. They can’t really help the way they were born, plus they did make for some fearsome and effective villains, only brought down by their tendency to squabble and a lack of teamwork.
The SPD A-Squad? They’re just the worst, plain and simple. An insult to the name of Power Rangers, this bunch of sellouts all decide off-screen that this ‘protecting the innocent’ shtick is overrated, and swing over to the side of evil. All the evil Rangers before that had been brainwashed, but not these guys. Nope, they’re just plain old Rangers gone bad, complete with a horrible design that recycles the In Space helmets and tops it off with boring black body armor. Try adding a bit of color next time, you soulless hacks.
14. Madison – Mystic Force
It might not make for a stunning start to this list, but Madison wasn’t a bad Power Ranger. She wasn’t even a bad character, being mostly sweet with a shy, understated personality, keeping the team civil and always looking to quell the team quarrels.
So why’s she on this list? Mostly because that really is all you can say about Madison. She was shoved into the background so hard that it’s easy to forget, outside of a couple of interesting moments, that the Mystic Force even had a blue Ranger. In terms of memorable moments, Madison has a grand total of three: once where she kissed a frog (which then turned into Daggeron; magic!), once when she got turned to stone for the majority of an episode, and finally an actual badass moment where she alone out of her defeated team stood up and destroyed a monster with her water magic.
It’s a real shame, since Melanie Vallejo put in a decent performance, even while her character and budding romance with Nick were eventually stifled by her lack of screen presence. There’s a good reason ‘Who’s Madison??’ became an unfortunate meme during the show’s run.
13. Tyzonn – Operation Overdrive
Ah, Tyzonn. The poster child for the sixth ranger fading to irrelevance once their backstory was done.
Tyzonn didn’t actually have such a bad backstory, even if it came out of left field. A former member of a search and rescue team, he had to watch his entire team die at the hands of the Fearcats, later finding his way to Earth and becoming reluctant at the thought of joining another group.
He does join, of course, becoming the Mercury Ranger. His eye-scaldingly awful suit design is just the tip of the iceberg, as after Tyzonn’s past issues are wrapped up, he mostly just hangs around in group shots with a vaguely perplexed look, as if he’s wondering if he left the stove on way out in space. All of his personality traits were tied to his introduction, and once that arc concluded Tyzonn was left with nothing but your stock-standard alien naiveté about the curious ways of earthlings. Needless to say, that stopped being cute real quick. Mostly, Tyzonn just hangs around the Overdrive Rangers for the sake of filling a sixth spot, aside from when he develops an unhealthy man-crush on one of his teammates.
12. Dax – Operation Overdrive
To steal a memorable quite from Linkara: “SHUT UP, DAX.”
This particular Blue Ranger apparently came into being when the writers decided to take that one goofy comic-relief supporting character present in every single series and promote them to full Ranger status.
Remember how often said characters skate the edge of unbearable? Imagine one of them as part of the main cast, with focus episodes and everything. That’s how we got Dax, the ‘funny’ one of the Overdrive team who mostly excels in bad puns, rambling explanations and attempts at jokes that miss the mark by several miles. Also, super jumping abilities. Have a guess how often these actually come in handy.
The Overdrive team as a team aren’t the best the show has to offer, and Dax carries the torch in that regard. He does have his moments, especially the ones where he comes across as the most normal character on a team full of extreme professionals, but he’ll always be remembered for his inability to just shut up and leave the jokes so someone else. Anyone else.
11. Udonna – Mystic Force
We’re back to Mystic Force, and once again, Udonna isn’t a bad character. As mentors go, she’s actually one of the franchise’s best, giving actual advice, having genuine character arcs and tying directly into the overarching plot, unlike some mentors. Yes, we’re talking about Gosei.
Problem is, Udonna gets only a few minutes at the starts of the series as the White Mystic Ranger…where she gets stomped, her power stolen. We’re not holding it against her for losing one battle, especially when the Power Rangers lose constantly as a team. But that battle happens in episode 2. When does Udonna finally get her powers back? 27 episodes later. For reference, that’s within spitting distance of the finale.
Seriously, Udonna? The Snow Staff that fueled her powers was just hanging on the wall in the evil lair for most of the series, gathering dust while she did nothing to get it back. The one time Udonna makes a grab for it (after the bad guys decide to imprison her about five feet away, in the same room. Cunning!), she’s thwarted, and it’s only through the plucky comic relief villain-turned-good that she ever gets it back at all.
10. Rocky – MMPR
We know, it’s tough. Just think really hard. He was that red blur you often couldn’t see because Tommy was standing in front of him, or couldn’t hear because Tommy was getting all the lines.
Rocky just came into the series at a really bad time, when ultimate fan-favorite Jason was leaving behind the role of the Red Mighty Morphin Ranger for good. Not only was Rocky one of the only red Rangers who never got to lead the team, his character was just awful. A masterclass in character neglect and how not to correct it, his focus episodes were scarce, threadbare, told us nothing about him as a person and served only to highlight just how much of a disappointing replacement he was next to Jason.
Most of Rocky’s character could be summed up with ‘idiot’. He might’ve made the jump to ‘lovable idiot’, if he ever got any character development outside of moving to a blue suit, and then to a hospital bed, where he got shafted and replaced by a twelve-year-old in Turbo.
And then Rocky being the only Red Ranger to miss out on the massive Forever Red team-up? Unfortunately, that really says it all.
9. Justin – Turbo
Speaking of Turbo and its magic act of making ratings mysteriously disappear, everyone remembers Justin.
What you might NOT remember is how his actor actually put in a decent job and did his best with the material. All power to him, but a smart creative decision it was not. A kid character was shoved into the Turbo team with no rhyme or reason in-universe, besides Zordon’s morals lapsing even further into recruiting an actual pre-teen. It was obvious pandering to the kids watching- you can be a Power Ranger too!- but the result was an unsettling mess.
Unmorphed, there were always the creepiest of implications with twelve-year-old Justin hanging out with the rest of the crowd, now pushing their late twenties. Then when morphed, Justin grew to adult size because of magic or whatever, which just raised even MORE questions, mostly about why Zordon thought it was okay to induct a child into his secret alien war and screw around with his DNA.
8. Troy – Megaforce
When it comes to Red Rangers, Rocky’s non-entity status is somehow a step up from Troy. See Saban, this is why you cast for talent and not looks.
It’s hard to tell how much of this was the poor writing, but Andrew Gray is not a good actor…or at least, wasn’t. Not trying to be mean; it’s an observable fact. Blank-faced, uninterested and more robotic than Robo-Knight, the fearless leader of the Megaforce team always seems to be treating this whole Power Ranger business like an algebra class on a sunny day, gazing into the distance as if he’d rather be anywhere else. It doesn’t help that Troy was given almost no personality or character arc, leaving us wondering just how they managed to screw this up so badly.
Andrew Gray does get one scene where he lets loose with his emotions, but even then the pendulum swings way back in the other direction, resulting in Troy screeching at the top of his lungs and delivering an inexplicable super-saiyan plot punch. His facial expression really has to be seen to be believed, particularly since that’s usually the face of sheer boredom.
7. Jayden – Samurai
There’s a pattern emerging here, and it’s that a lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Red Ranger to carry the team. They don’t need to be the quirkiest pranksters around, but they do need solid motivations and character. A decent backstory helps a lot.
The Neo-Saban era finally seemed to come around to this idea, which gave us the bubbly, personable Tyler in Dino Charge. But before him, and even before Troy? We got Jayden Shiba, head of the Shiba clan despite being 100% not Japanese. He’s determined, you guys. He’s has so much determination. And he…trains a lot.
That’s it. Jayden’s backstory consists of a few flashbacks to him training as a nightmarishly-acted child, and the fact that his dad was a Ranger is barely touched upon. The Jayden of the present is a stoic paragon of samurai prowess, although he’s yet to master the ancient art of smiling like a normal human. He might be able to lead to team with efficiency, but as a character? Jayden doesn’t have much going for him, making it all the more jarring when his competently-acted sister sweeps in and shows everyone what a real Red Ranger is supposed to look like.
6. Gem and Gemma
Gem and Gemma are not on this list because of a lack of Ranger prowess.
No, they’re here because working with them would be an absolute freakin’ nightmare, as we see repeatedly in their introductory episodes. We’re willing to cut them some slack, since the pair were stolen away at childhood to live in a government think tank, never being taught how to interact with anyone else and thus growing up thinking that being bubbly and explosion-happy was all totally fine. Their maturity is actually an important part of their character arc, as Gem and Gemma learn to be part of a team.
Still…every second working with the pair looks to be an exercise in patience as they disobey orders, charge into every fight, blow things up at random and don’t even properly understand when they’re called out on their actions. It makes for a sobering morality tale on the dangers of letting kids grow up without proper socialization, but as Power Rangers on a team? Gem and Gemma took far too long to learn that their actions have consequences.
5. Albert – Dino Charge
This guy is only in the show for a grand total of one episode, when the Dino Charge Rangers travel to New Zealand in search of the Purple Ranger. Turns out that it’s an elderly chap in an ill-fitting purple costume, with no fighting skills or desire to be a Power Ranger at all! He’s a nice guy, sure, but we can’t help feel that the almighty, sentient purple Energem might have screwed the pooch on this one.
Albert is deathly afraid of monsters and bad guys, which means he only has a brief stint as a Ranger battling street-level crime before gladly surrendering his powers to Keeper. Not really sure what they were going for here, since Albert doesn’t have much of a character arc and is never seen again, with his powers going to a slightly more worthy candidate. Still, it’s worth showing that, despite having heroic qualities, not everyone is cut out to be a Power Ranger.
4. The Megaforce Team
Part of the reason that Megaforce/Super Megaforce were so disappointing were its leads, at least when taken as a whole. While they could be charming as individuals (sans Troy), the team were mostly intended as homages to the original MMPR team – the focused leader, the smart guy, the girly girl, the tomboy and the goofy athletic guy- but it really just came across as the series trying to sell a bunch of stiff, carbon copies as the real deal.
The acting across the board wasn’t that strong, though Samurai had the same problem, and they at least gave their characters unique quirks. Meanwhile, the every quirk they gave the Megaforce bunch failed to give them any depth, leaving them with…well, just stuff we’d already seen a thousand times.
Emma was apparently a closet psycho who wanted the human race gone so the environment could flourish. Gia got no focus and was just blandly confident, while Jake spent most of his time creeping on her when she wasn’t interested. Noah is your stock-standard TV nerd, and Troy…well, we’ve covered him.
3. Zack – MMPR
Rewinding right back to the very beginning, we have our very first Black Ranger, Zack Taylor. It’s a reasonable assumption that that whole ‘black guy as Black Ranger’ thing was an accident, but that doesn’t excuse Zack’s entire personality, which was one big walking stereotype.
Yes, you’re remembering correctly: he’s a funky dude who break-dances and fights using ‘hip-hop kido’, a martial arts style of his own creation that no one would ever want to learn. While Zack at least got a bit more personality than Trini, most of that ends up being ‘team black guy’. What else can you honestly say? He’s friends with Jason, afraid of snakes in one episode and apparently a huge fan of world peace, wink wink.
2. Sam – SPD
Apparently the result of the writing team suddenly remembering that SPD didn’t have a sixth ranger planned, Sam the Omega Ranger came out of absolutely nowhere and was just kind of…there. Disney’s tightwad-attitude towards the series meant that they couldn’t be stuffed paying an adult actor, so we only ever see Sam as a child (except a two-second cameo in the finale).
His adult form is from the future, and that’s the grand sum of everything we know about him. His de-morphed form is a glowy ball of light (so he never even morphs properly), he mostly hangs around as an extra suit in fight scenes and the plot of a Power Ranger travelling back from a devastated future is never explored. His personality is that of a cardboard box, since he’s never given any opportunity to expand it through focus episodes or, you know, interesting lines. This all makes the Omega Ranger the ultimate example of wasted character potential. So much could’ve been done with the premise, but writer fumbles and cheap studio executives wouldn’t allow it.
1. Zhane – In Space
Alright, first of all: you’re not fooling anyone, Zhane. Metallic white is still white, so stop trying to pass yourself off as the ‘Silver Ranger’.
Dubious suit colors aside, Zhane suffers from the MMPR Green Ranger problem of just vanishing for episodes at a time, except this time he doesn’t have such a good excuse. Every now and then the ‘Silver’ Ranger would swagger into a fight, help out for a bit and be gone before you could say ‘teamwork’. Zhane just never seemed to care all that much about the team, with a confusing character arc involving him leaking energy and fooling his team into thinking he was dying. What a wacky prankster!
His loner tendencies meshing with his smug personality tended to grate on the nerves, especially with the show’s focus on team spirit and such. Eventually Zhane would vanish from the universe altogether, being the only one to not bother showing up for the big Lost Galaxy team-up episode. We’re sure he had a great reason.