Is there anything as excessively family-friendly as the Power Rangers? Well, yes, plenty of things, but of all the colorful kid shows on television, the spandex-clad teens with attitude are famous for their sanitized super-heroism.
Bright colors, awful puns, teamwork, and friendship are synonymous with this long-running series. Even the violence is G-rated — no blood or real damage to be soon. The American cousin of Super Sentai is all fun and games, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
However, on some occasions, Power Rangers can get a little dark. It might be rare, and certainly difficult to imagine, but the show is not averse to pushing its own limits. For this list, we’ll be taking a look at all different seasons of the show and its feature films to find moments that aren’t so suitable for children. These range anywhere from serious themes to the most emotionally traumatic events young fans have had to endure.
Keep in mind, we’re discussing the Power Rangers here, so if you’re expecting something horrific or adult, you probably have no idea what this show is like. These moments are dark in contrast to the tone of Power Rangers. It’s a children’s show, after all.
Here are 16 Times Power Rangers Was WAY Too Dark For Kids.
16. Tommy Get Brainwashed (Zeo)
Evil schemes are a dime a dozen on Power Rangers: never that intimidating and rarely successful. However, when the greatest ranger to ever live gets captured and brainwashed in an episode of Power Rangers: Zeo, things got surprisingly unsettling.
In the two-part episode “King For A Day”, Tommy was kidnapped by the Machine Empire so that he could be brainwashed into forgetting the Rangers. While the episode consists of show’s typical camp, Tommy’s brainwashing sequence is way creepier than it should be.
Tommy is strapped to a chair in a dark room, forcibly outfitted with some bizarre helmet-device. The camera spins around him as he struggles to get free, grunting and flinching as the device goes to work. At one point, the brainwashing device is attached to another monster simultaneously, who happily screams and laughs as Tommy writhes in pain. For a kids’ show, it’s genuinely disturbing.
15. Kendrix’s Sacrifice (Lost Galaxy)
One of the darker seasons in the franchise rightfully earns more than one spot on this list, but this is arguably one of the darkest moments in Ranger history. In “The Power of Pink”, the crossover episode between Lost Galaxy and the prior year’s In Space, actually sees the death of a Ranger.
Kendrix and Cassie, the pink Galaxy and Space Rangers respectively, have to defeat Psycho Pink, an evil Ranger doppelganger. The fight does not go well as Cassie gets badly injured. In the hopes of saving Cassie, Kendrix valiantly destroys Psycho Pink’s magic sword, which results in a deadly explosion. Kendrix dies, though not before making a Force-ghost farewell.
This marks the first time a Ranger is killed in battle and it’s actually pretty heartbreaking — only made darker by real life trivia. Valerie Vernon, Kendrix’s actor, was written off the show because she was diagnosed with leukemia. Fortunately, Vernon made a full recovery and reprised her role at the end of the season, as Kendrix was fittingly resurrected.