Sometimes, pieces of childhood follow you into adulthood, like a six-year-old who won’t quit poking you in the head no matter how many times you complain about it. Odd comparison? Probably. Anyway, you can love a TV show with all of your young heart, then step away once you decide you’ve outgrown it. Still, you think about it off and on, like a parasitic gem that won’t leave you be while you live your life post-show obsession.
Then one day, you cave to watch it again and realize you still enjoy it. Like a kid with a candy addiction they’d overcome, you’re now sitting in the living room the day after Halloween surrounded by candy wrappers—or with Netflix playing episodes of your long-forsaken show like there’s no tomorrow.
With something like Power Rangers, this re-entrance can be a commitment since the overall theme has lasted from 1993 to present day with little time taken between different series of the show. That means there’s almost a quarter of a century’s worth of episodes, so you better get ready to say “yes” a few times when Netflix goes pushy and asks if you’re “still watching!”
But while you might assume this show and these heroes are as wholesome as you could expect, the truth is at times, the Power Rangers world got a little dark and a whole lot bizarre. Need proof? Here are the 15 most evil acts committed on Power Rangers.
15 Bad Guys Capturing Children
In the Power Rangers world, villains frequently use children to bring their vile plans to pass. An example occurs as early as seven episodes into the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers lifespan when Rita Repulsa kidnaps Maria in “Big Sisters” so she can use the child to get the Power Eggs. This particular episode starts an arc where three out of five consecutive episodes involve children being in danger, including another child abduction in “I, Guy” and Trini’s cousin being turned into cardboard during “No Clowning Around.”
This all happens before we even get to the 12th episode of MMPR, the first series in the Power Rangers world. As Alpha-5 might say, “Ai, yi, yi, yi!”
14 Good Guys Capturing Children
It would be easy to label the previously mentioned examples as writers wanting to make their villains as villainous as they could be, but the horrid truth is that the good guys aren’t altogether clear of this charge either. During the 1994 special, Alpha’s Magical Christmas, Zordon teleports children to the Command Center just to cheer his friend up—no parents included—and let’s not forget that the Power Rangers became the Power Rangers in the first place after Zordon and Alpha decided to teleport them in and tell them they had to save the world. Sure, they were teenagers, but it still qualifies. They’re taken against their will to a strange place where the weight of the world will be dropped on their shoulders.
Coming from a villain, this could seem horrible, but from the good guys, it’s an odd twist, at the very least!
13 Attempts to Make Children Orphans
On more than one occasion, the villains use parents as distractions or bargaining chips in their malicious plans. In the episode “Return of an Old Friend,” Rita Repulsa kidnaps the heroes’ parents and sends them out of the dimension to convince the Rangers to hand over their power coins. As evil as this plan is, it becomes more grotesque when the Rangers do hand over their coins, but find that Rita still isn’t willing to return their parents. If you’re counting, that’s abduction, ransom, and betrayal all rolled into one—and that’s evil!
Parents are also put in harm’s way during the first Power Rangers movie when Ivan Ooze forces them into a catatonic state to work for him, and then tells them to go kill themselves. That scene includes parents walking blank-faced toward a steep drop-off while children try desperately to push them back to safety.
12 Disregard for Non-Rangers…By the Rangers
This idea is evident if you think of nothing beyond the Rangers’ general battle strategy. They fight a monster. The monster grows. They get their Zords. They fight the giant monster. Can you imagine the carnage two bigger-than-building sized combatants would have while they throw punches—and each other—around the city? It’s realistic to imagine that buildings would be bashed into, cars would be stepped on, and maybe a person or two would be hurt in the scenario. Perhaps someone should’ve brought Zordon the Angel Grove Accords?
This disregard is not limited to property damages that happen during a Zord/monster fight. Rather, there’s plenty more evidence of it in more subtle ways, including Aisha abandoning her parents—without telling them—to live in the past (“Hogday Afternoon”) and a RPM Ranger using a baby in a stroller as a weapon in “Ranger Red.”
11 Brainwashing the Heroes
It’s obvious why brainwashing like this would be evil. To suddenly have your mind become a stranger to you is horrific, but it’s something that comes up again and again for the Rangers. The most prominent example is Tommy Oliver since he has his mind taken over for the five-episode “Green with Evil” story arc in MMPR, and then suffers through similar mental scrambling during the Zeo years (“King for a Day”). This Zeo occurrence is arguably worse than the well-known MMPR instance since, by this time, he has strong friendships with each of the Rangers he turns against. But if he can’t remember them, he can’t know to trust them—and that’s evil!
But brainwashing isn’t only for villains in Power Rangers. Let’s remember that in Time Force, Alex—not the villain—tries to erase the memories of the other Rangers. Even if it’s standard procedure, it’s harsh!
10 The Rangers Get a Little Lazy
The Mystic Rangers have magic at their fingertips, but unfortunately, the prospect of using it as a solution for problems is too enticing in “Dark Wish.” Instead of ordering pizzas, they make them with magic. Rather than make a cake for a party, they magically conjure one. Seems like a great party trick.
The situation worsens when their reliance on simple solutions keeps them from finishing their own battle, and they decide to use Jenji, a genie, to fight a pair of monsters for them. One thing leads to another, and eventually the Mystic Rangers have been wished away. The world is without color—literally—and the Rangers have failed because they caved into the temptation of using Jenji to fight their battle for them. Not good, guys!
9 The Magic Tribunal Doesn’t Help
While the Mystic Rangers are wrong to use Jenji in “Dark Wish,” they try to fix things by pleading their case to the Tribunal of Magic, who can erase the wish. Unfortunately, the heroes’ efforts seem in vain since the magical trio refuses to help, though they admit they can change the wish and restore the Earth’s light magic. Instead, the Tribunal watches as the Rangers struggle with the dilemma and the world exists in dark disarray.
It’s only when the Tribunal feels the Rangers have proven themselves that they vote to change the wish, which is a tainted helping hand because of the wait. Whether that wait is because the Tribunal is willing to let the world forever suffer in consequence to the Rangers’ poor decision or just for a while as the Rangers are tested, innocent lives are affected by their delayed decision—which is harsh and evil.
8 Manipulation of a Theft Victim
Squatt and Baboo are creatures aligned with Rita, though they’re usefulness is questionable. In “The Yolk’s on You,” they make a meal out of a what’s intended to be a different monster’s feast—Fang, who becomes the Power Rangers’ major opponent in this episode. Fang is outraged at losing the eggs, and rather than face that outrage themselves, the group of villains redirect their fury at the Rangers by telling him they have the eggs he wants. All he needs to do is face them to get more eggs. Rita, in turn, toys with Fang by reassembling the eaten eggs in front of him and breaking them apart again, with instructions that he if wins against the Rangers, he won’t want for more eggs.
Essentially, Fang is a victim of robbery, and he’s manipulated into fighting on the side of the creatures who made him a victim. Evil? Yes!
7 Dark Specter (Nearly) Takes over the Universe
Any time a villain is on the brink of taking over everything, it’s an evil moment. When that villain is a monstrous creature that looks like he’s made of magma, the situation becomes more gruesome. This is what happens in Power Rangers in Space when Dark Specter instigates his plan to take over the universe—and almost succeeds with the help of his ally, Astronema.
Worse, Astronema is Andros’s sister (Red Space Ranger) who’s been manipulated into fighting her own family to conquer the world, and the only way to defeat Dark Specter is for Zordon to die. It’s family against family as citizens are scared and in danger, and a Ranger must destroy the founder of the Rangers to win. In all of the Power Rangers shows that have come and gone, finding a darker moment than this Power Rangers in Space one could be a real challenge.
6 Zordon Gets Trapped in a Time Warp
This one happened before MMPR, but it’s easy to see how it would still make the list. The battle between good and evil began before the world was introduced to the original Rangers in 1993, and carnage was real on both sides. Rita Repulsa was imprisoned for 10,000 years (it says so right in the MMPR credits), but Zordon’s fate was worse.
In consequence to the pre-series battles, Zordon was fated to live in a time warp, which is why he is an almost liquid-looking head inside of a tube. What’s even crueler is that Zordon primarily uses this method of communication with humans to direct the Power Rangers in fighting evil. Even though he’s doomed to a harsh fate then, he hasn’t forsaken his stance for good. That loyalty and strength are enough sprinkles on top of the bad-tasting cupcake to put Zordon’s time-warp fate on this list.
Serpentera is a deadly machine, through and through, and its massive size is only matched by its power—abilities so intense that Serpentera is able to obliterate the Deserted Planet in MMPR’s “The Power Transfer.” Fortunately, the machine essentially runs outs of gas the first time Zedd tries to use it on the Rangers’ home planet, and the needs-to-be-recharged aspect saves the world on more than one occasion in future episodes—even when the Rangers’ abilities to combat the beast fall short.
If you want an example of how real this threat is in the PR universe, realize that one of the primary reasons for the gathering of Red Rangers in the epic Wild Force episode, “Forever Red,” is so those Rangers can take out Serpentera before Serpentera takes out the Earth. That’s ten Red Rangers, assembled from numerous PR recreations, to end one very powerful, very evil monster.
4 Alex’s Willingness to Let Wes Die
Most likely, you read that right, and no, it doesn’t sound very heroic. Still, that’s what happens in “The End of Time” when Alex decides to erase the Rangers’ memories instead of informing them that without help, Wes will die. Or, rather, did die in the past. Time travel is so complicated! The point is that Alex is aware that Wes dies in a past battle and he keeps the Rangers in the dark on that detail until he's pushed into telling them. It’s only through their insistence on going back that Wes survives and Alex is nowhere to be seen during this valiant rescue.
Granted, this seems to be Time Force protocol—as I said, time travel can be complicated—but it’s a harsh end to hand to a hero for the sake of protocol. Leaving a heroic man to die when you can stop it = evil.
3 The Gold Ranger Meltdown
In Zeo, the Rangers find a new ally in the Gold Ranger, Trey of Triforia. He's three parts in one—Courage, Heart, and Wisdom—but he can’t keep those pieces together because of battle injuries. Until he can, he needs to relinquish his powers and Jason's willing to help by temporarily taking them.
Eventually, Jason starts showing signs of illness and it’s discovered that the Gold Ranger powers are literally killing him. Trey never hinted the transfer could have such an effect, and when he’s told Jason is dying, he doesn’t immediately reclaim his powers because he himself isn’t ready to handle them—as if Jason’s gradual death isn’t evidence that the former Red Ranger can’t handle them either. Whether or not Trey knows beforehand what these powers can do, he puts his life and powers above Jason’s well-being when Jason is trying to help good soldiers in crisis mode.
2 Rito and Goldar Blow up the Command Center
One of the core elements of the early Power Rangers universe is the Command Center where Alpha 5 first teleported the original five Rangers and Zordon gave them guidance as they fought evil. So when Rito Revolto and Goldar blow it up just before the Zeo era, it’s huge news. Though they aren’t the first to try to destroy the Command Center—Tommy as the evil Green Ranger did a pretty good job of vandalizing it—they’re the first to fully succeed.
Zordon had the foresight to prepare for this kind of catastrophe, so he and Alpha 5 not only make it out of the Command Center, but have the Power Chamber ready for business. Still, it’s the end of a piece of Power Rangers history, and it was a blow that could have destroyed Zordon and Alpha—and the Rangers had Zordon not insisted they be evacuated. Evil!
1 The Possession and Sacrifice of Kimberly and Jason
Again, yes, you probably read that right! In Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, two former Rangers are brought into the story line: Kimberly and Jason. This might sound fantastic, but unfortunately, they’re taken prisoner by Divatox for the purpose of lowering them into a Pit of Eternal Flame to bring back Maligore. The former Rangers come out of the pit as soldiers for evil, and they don’t hesitate to fight the Turbo Rangers, red-eyed and ruthless.
What makes this act stand out so much is the presentation and core concept. Viewers actually watch as Jason and Kimberly are lowered into a fiery pit, and they can see evil blazing in their eyes while they fight against those who should be their allies. For such a brutal scene and a forced evil upon two of the original Rangers, this moment takes the spot as the top evil moment in Power Rangers history.
Do you have a favorite insanely evil Power Rangers moment? Let us hear about it in the comments!