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Power Rangers is a long-running children's action franchise composed largely of Stock Footage from its Japanese counterpart, Super Sentai.In 1993, Haim Saban decided to do an American adaptation of the previous year's Super Sentai program, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, after an unsuccessful prior attempts to adapt previous Sentai programs such as Choudenshi Bioman. In a style not dissimilar to Carl Macek's treatment of Robotech, the action sequences from Zyuranger were intercut with new footage and a new storyline, producing Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, the first entry in the franchise's history.The original story followed the adventures of five "teenagers with attitude", selected by an alien being called Zordon to fight his eternal enemy Rita Repulsa who was recently released from containment. Naturally, she came with her own army of Monsters of the Week. Zordon gave each teenager a Transformation Trinket to "morph" into costume as well as powerful Humongous Mecha shaped like dinosaurs, called "Zords" (obviously, named after Zordon).In the show's fourth season, it would rename itself as Power Rangers Zeo, utilizing the Sentai tradition of using new costumes every year; as the second and third season continued to use the Zyuranger suits, despite Zyuranger no longer being the main source footage.It was not until the seventh season (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy) that they took the final step to replacing the entire cast (both heroes and villains) each year. Henceforth, each season would end with the entire team retiring, and the next season would begin with an unrelated group in a different city with a different set of powers with no direct connection to the previous series. In addition to keeping the show "fresh", this excused the writers to recycle episode plots. ("Red Ranger learns how to be a good leader", for example)The extent to which each Power Rangers incarnation resembles its Super Sentai counterpart varies from season to season. In most cases, the general premise is preserved, but its interpretation is greatly changed - for instance, Lightspeed Rescue added the US-exclusive "Titanium Ranger" to the team since its counterpart, GoGoV did not include a traditional Sixth Ranger. However, some series have closely followed the plots of their counterparts, even borrowing entire episodes (Time Force, Wild Force, SPD, Samurai). In other cases, the original premise is all but discarded (Lost Galaxy's setting was changed from a Lost World-style forest to a space station, and RPM took a goofy parody series with the mecha as Robot Buddies and turned it into a story set After the End). A main difference with Power Rangers and Super Sentai is the that Power Rangers has one continuity with all series set roughly in the same year it aired (with RPM an Alternate Universe) while each Super Sentai season is typically treated as its own Continuity Reboot (barring Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, which uses nearly all prior Sentai series as backstory in some form).During production of its ninth season (Time Force), the show was acquired by Disney as part of a Saban Entertainment package deal for the purchase of what is now known as the ABC Family channel and thus Wild Force would be the first season produced under Disney and the last to be produced by MMPR Productions in California. During its eleventh season (Ninja Storm) production moved to New Zealand and Village Roadshow Productions took over production of the show until 2009. As of 2010, Saban has repurchased the series and all rights to it from Disney under a new umbrella venture called Saban Brands, effectively uncancelling Power Rangers... again.The First Saban Era:
2002: Power Rangers Wild Force (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger)note Some consider Wild Force to be the last Saban-era show. Pre-production began before being sold to Disney, and the first half of the season aired on Fox Kids before switching to ABC/ABC Family, with the crew largely remaining the same as the Saban era, with Disney not taking full control until the middle of the season, and not hiring their own crew until Ninja Storm. The fact that management changed mid-season actually led to an instance of Getting Crap Past the Radar: the writers were allowed to show two bloodless-yet-gruesome deaths, but only because they promised the characters would be shown to be alive later. However, they made that promise to the Saban management; Disney didn't hold them to it.
Sixth Ranger: Once a Season, and the Disney years wound up adapting Sentai that had multiple extra rangers. It went to the point where Lightspeed Rescue made its own Sixth Ranger: The Titanium Ranger. Coincidentally enough, Zyuranger was the first to have a recurring sixth member and where it became a series staple for Super Sentai, thus they can be considered co-Trope Namers.note Subverted by various mysterious protectors and/or am Aloof Ally who don't join the team and Double Subverted if they pass on the powers to someone who does.
Adaptational Curves: For both genders in the comics. The live-action shows have relatively thin stunt actors; the comics give each male Ranger a Heroic Build and each female Ranger lots of curves.
Likewise in the toyline, although the extent varies.
Adaptation Distillation: It really depends on the season. The single continuity of Power Rangers means that they are more inclined to stay in the middle of goofy comedy and serious drama, whereas the Alternate Continuity nature of Super Sentai allows them to swing across the extremes. There are times when, despite the looser Moral Guardians on Super Sentai, Power Rangers has been better received than their Sentai counterpart.
After the end of the Zordon Era (Season 6, Power Rangers in Space) the Humongous Mecha are still called Zords.
Also related to Zordon, way back in the very first episode he laid down ground rules for the Rangers: keep a Secret Identity, never escalate a battle unless forced, and never use powers for personal gain. While Zordon is no longer around to enforce such things and most Rangers haven't even heard these rules, the principles are still followed most of the time (while the secret identity rule often goes out the window depending on the season, "no personal gain" is only occasionally violated and the escalation rule almost never is).
Badbutt: Most Sixth Rangers. Whether or not some elevate to full Badass - and just which ones - is an exercise best left to the viewer.
Batman Can Breathe in Space:Or rather anyone really. We see training grounds ON THE MOON in Lost Galaxy with no sort of space suit. The Turbo season ends with the Rangers going up in space with no concerns for oxygen.
Before that, Rita, Zed, and the henchmen had a base on the moon, with a big, open balcony. When Tommy was taken there during his Evil Phase, he didn't seem affected. This could be explained as magic (Rita's a witch), though whether this is the case in other seasons is a point of contention. Relevant is the fact that the series opens with a moon landing, which lets Rita out of her prison dumpster, and the astronauts are in full space suits.
Little girls can breathe in space: Carlos takes a little girl named Silvy for a ride on his Galaxy Glider. She makes it all the way to Saturn and back with no ill effect.
Cole uses the Falcon Rider and morph only (no spacesuit or anything) to duel Serpentera in Wild Force.
Befriending The Enemy: Due to a growing friendship Bulk and Skull become subtly less antagonistic toward the rangers while they're in civilian mode over time. This becomes more blatant in an episode of Power Rangers Turbo where T.J. not believing Bulk and Skull would steal helps them find the thief who framed them. Afterwards Bulk says "T.J. is pretty cool", and Cassie replies that T.J. thinks the same of them.
Big Bad: A series staple; there's always one main villain directing the others.
Power Rangers Dino Thunder's Mesogog, while still black, was a particularly grey shade of black, as he is the sole villain of the series to not carry an evil business card. He was a dinosaur hybrid who wanted to wipe out us filthy mammals and restore dinosaurs to their rightful place as the dominant creatures, and so thought what he was doing to be right, although his methods and manner make it dark enough to still be evil. Its grey, but only in comparison to the villains whose goals are stated to be "to be as evil as possible, nyahaha".
The grayest Power Rangers villain is Ransik of Power Rangers Time Force. He wanted to take over the world in the present, because in the future, the mutations that result on rare occasion from the genetic engineering process that normally allows for perfect Designer Babies for all are shunned to a degree that would make the mutants of X-Men count their blessings. Ransik's entire gang is gathered from the homeless mutants. He cackles as much as any past villain whose title is "Your Evilness" when causing mayhem, but he's got a reason for his hate and his motivation isn't simply greed or the evulz like many of the others.
Bowdlerise: Of the original sentai counterpart. Any violence, dark or sexual is completely rewritten, removed or replaced. Notable is the "skimpy" villainess. Then again, here they got Astronema, Tenaya etc.
Brought Down to Normal: Most post-Zordon-era seasons end with the Rangers being depowered; either by having the power source run dry, willingly giving them up, or losing them. (Similar things happened during the Zordon era, but since the casts carried over and soon got new powers they qualify as Discard and Draw.)
By the Power of Grayskull!: Each team has their own phrase they say before transforming. Whether or not this phrase is required varies. For instance, "It's morphing time!" was not required but saying the name of their dinosaur was explicitly required.
Briefly Australia doubling while the movie was being filmed, though most of the episodes filmed there were actually set in Australia.
Calling Your Attacks: It's most common for the name of the weapon to be called, rather than the effect. "Delta Max Striker!" "Power Sword!" However, there were a few situations where they'd name the attack too — which made the use of more tricked-out weapons painful to watch. "Lunar Cue!" [Takes out weapon] "Break mode!" [Re-forms it] "Laser Pool!" [Creates phantom pool table, puts Power Crystals on it] "Lunar Break!" [Launches them] Can we say overkill? It's part of the show's Merchandise-Driven nature: gotta make sure everything gets its name announced so the kids know what to beg the 'rents to go buy.
Has been taken to the extreme in the seasons under Bruce Kalish where even the guns are voice activated. That's right. Whether you call them guns or blasters or anything else, these weapons with quite noticeable triggers (y'know, devices which are operated via the finger) require the user to shout: "LASERS!" in order to make them fire.
Camera Abuse: Starting to see use as of the 2000s, enemy explosions generally cause the battlefield "camera" to shake violently, in an attempt to hide the twitches and slight movements by Rangers and Zords during finisher poses.
Camp: The entire franchise qualifies to varying degrees.
Card-Carrying Villain: The franchise is one of the most noticeable examples of this, particularly in its earlier years, where each season's villains would refer to themselves as "[insert title here] of Evil". This culminated in season 6, where all the preceding villains were revealed to be members of a "United Alliance of Evil."
The only thing the UAE was ever seen doing was throwing celebration parties for themselves, complete with streamers and conga lines. That's one awesome organization.
And launching a massive, coordinated attack on the entire universe in the In Space finale. So... throwing parties for themselves and nearly conquering the entire universe. Still pretty cool.
The Cast Show Off: Many hobbies and skills of the actors are integrated into their characters. Amy Jo Johnson's gymnastics training and Walter Jones' Dance Battler skills are the more famous. Jason David Frank's martial arts training also allowed him to preform more risky combat stunts than the other Rangers at times.
Cast the Expert: The show usually seeks out people with martial arts or other athletic backgrounds to start with.
Cerebus Rollercoaster: A cycle drifting between serious and silly; undoubtedly helped by the fact that things start from scratch each season:
Cerebus Syndrome: In Space skewed the franchise more seriously, and ever since it's never been quite as goofy as the earliest seasons. RPM can be considered a half-Cerebus; its After the End setting is darker than any before, but plays franchise tropes with a wink and a nudge that keep you from taking it too seriously.
Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Ninja Storm brought a level of silliness and self-awareness back to the series (though not quite to the level of Mighty Morphin). Samurai does this in contrast to RPM's darker elements.
Character Magnetic Team: There's always at least one Sixth Ranger, but the Disney seasons tended to pile them on - Operation Overdrive is the only one of those that got away with a single Sixth Rangernote Not Disney's fault, blame Super Sentai. This is partly because a lot of those seasons started with reduced Power Trios and had more room to expand. Dino Charge is another bad offender.
Strangely, the toy versions of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had chest logos that showed their chosen animals... when the TV versions did not.
The chest insignas become rather humorously ironic when you remember that Wild Force was the first season to have chest insignias of the team's Zords in it. For clarification, Wild Force came at the 25th anniversary of Super Sentai. This means that MMPR's toys came a full 9 years before Gaoranger/Wild Force aired.
The Chosen Many: The franchise developed this as new teams were added every year, to the point that there's a bit of Fridge Logic that if things got bad enough the current Rangers could always call for support. However, it gets subverted when previous Rangers are brought up in Dino Thunder; as it's noted that most former Rangers can't help them because they're retired, depowered, and/or out of contact. Ultimately, each Ranger team is largely on their own. (Then again, the Megaforce team was backed up by everyone in its finale...)
City of Adventure: Angel Grove for the first 6 seasons; after that each season has its own city. Specifically:
The space colony Terra Venture in Lost Galaxy.
Mariner Bay, California in Lightspeed Rescue.
Silver Hills, Washington in Time Force.
Turtle Cove, Colorado in Wild Force.
Blue Bay Harbor, California in Ninja Storm.
Reefside, California in Dino Thunder.
Newtech City in SPD.
Briarwood, California in Mystic Force.
San Angeles, California in Operation Overdrive.
Ocean Bluff, California in Jungle Fury.
Corinth in RPM.
Panorama City in Samurai and Super Samurai.
Harwood County, California in Megaforce and Super Megaforce.
Clip Show/Recap Episode: One in every season starting with Lost Galaxy, though earlier seasons occasionally had them too, especially shortly before or after a power switch in the Mighty Morphin to Zeo days.
Collectible Card Game: Two of them: the Power Rangers Collectible Card Game which was released before RPM, and the Power Rangers Action Card Game released alongside Megaforce.
Colorblind Casting: There's a mandate to make the team a Five-Token Band, but generally nobody cares which token wears which Ranger color. (Though it did take them until Dino Charge to put a dark-skinned actress in a Pink Ranger suit, but part of that has to do with the general lack of black actresses cast in the Disney seasons.)
Color-Coded Characters: Every Power Ranger will dress exclusively in their Ranger color. Former Rangers will usually dress in neutral colors like black, gray or brown. Family members or love interests of specific Rangers will also often dress in their relevant Ranger's color. Every now and then, you'll get a side character, like Emily in Zeo, who dresses exclusively in orange.
Comm Links: The Mighty Morphin' Rangers had communicators that also happened to tap into their mentor's teleportation system. Later teams had communications built into their morphers (and many of those are cell phones anyway).
Composite Character: Back before they started adapting Sentai's annual cast change method we could get one Ranger in Power Rangers representing 2 or more different characters in Sentai. Tommy takes the cake though representing 5 completely unrelated Sentai characters.
Creator Provincialism: Most of the Cities Of Adventure are based in California, and the rest also appear to be in the western US. RPM has a couple hidden references to Boston (the hometown of its first executive producer Eddie Guzelian).
Cross Over: From Lost Galaxy on, there's a recurring tradition of the seasonal team-up, a two-parter where the previous season's cast meets up with the current Rangers to deal with a threat that requires their combined powers.
The conversion of Gingaman to Lost Galaxy. The Big Bad Captain Zahab was split off into Scorpius and his more direct counterpart, Captain Mutiny.
And then there's borderline example Furio: He has the costume of Dr. Hinelar's final form, but Sanbash's role in the story. Sanbash's costume, not available at the time, was later used for a new character named Villamax.
Twice when converting Timeranger to Time Force. The costume of Big Bad Don Dolnero was used for comic relief character Gluto, and the Big Bad with some of Dolnero's role was original-design Ransik. Meanwhile, the Rangers' commanding officer Captain Ryuya was split into Captain Logan and, more directly, Alex.
Fanservice: Of the non-sexual kind; it's the only reason for the anniversary episodes "Forever Red" and "Once a Ranger".
Meanwhile, the exceptional number of Beach Episodes in both Mighty Morphin and Ninja Storm count in the normal way (at least Ninja Storm had an excuse, as Tori was a surfer). Lost Galaxy's Yellow Ranger, Maya, also had a rather fanservicey outfit.
And Karone, the reformed Astronema, who had suddenly turned all simple and demure after missing out on her own childhood, is always wrapped up in a tight black leather outfit for no apparent reason.
Speaking of tight black leather, Jen in "Reinforcements From the Future".
For the ladies or some guys, a Shirtless Scene with Jason or Tommy (or both) was a common occurrence.
Panty Shot: Ashley from Turbo/In Space has one, but it was probably unintentional. That said, they do match her Ranger color, so the production team must have at least considered the possibility of it happening.
Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Due to its many seasons, the show has had many different types of characters, including wizards, witches, space police, animal spirits, aliens, gods, demons, robots, cyborgs, and computer viruses... and they're ALL in the same universe (Well, for the most part).
Red: The Hero and Standardized Leader. Usually Hot-Blooded to a degree and often a newcomer (there's a reason for the trope Rookie Red Ranger). Too many Red Rangers fit this description to count, with Cole and Jack arguably being the most glaring examples. However, there are more calm, serious, and stern Red Rangers such as Andros and Jayden.
Black: The cool guy of the team; confident and independent if not outright rebellious. Tends to be The Lancer. (See Zack, Carlos, Will, Dillon). Or can be The Big Guy as a strongman (See Danny, Tommy).
Teams usually have Green or Black Rangers in the core team but not both; often making Blue, Black, and Green character traits shuffle ("Black" characters include Blue Ranger Lucas and Green Rangers Carlosnote before becoming an actual Black Ranger, Xander, and Mike; "Greens" include Blue Rangers Rocky, Max, and Dax and Black Ranger Jake; and "Blues" are Adamnote as both a Black and Green Ranger and Black Ranger Danny.)
Yellow and Pink: Both Action Girls. Usually Tomboy and Girly Girl, respectively, but reversals (e.g. Ashley and Cassie) are not uncommon. A couple times the "Pink" girl actually wears White (noticeably Alyssa, whose Ranger uniform had pink accents), but other than wardrobe it's the same thing. In teams with one girl, her color defaults to Yellow but she can be either character type.
Twice (Ninja Storm and Mystic Force) Blue and Yellow were worn by opposite the normal genders. When this happened, the girl's character type remained the same but the male Yellow Rangers (Dustin, Chip) filled the quirky Green role.
Five-Token Band: Every season, although there are often two Caucasians but one of them is always a girl.
Samurai comes closest - two Caucasians, male (Jayden) and female (Emily), one African American (Kevin), one Asian (Mia), one Latin American (Mike), and one Mexican American (Antonio).
Some of it matters in the details, but Samurai might take a second place to Zeo. Tommy was Native American (it was around the time of Zeo that they started playing up his Native American Heritage), Adam was Asian, Rocky was Hispanic, Tanya was African, and Kat was Caucasian (and even then she was an Australian living in America).
Some seasons have also averted tokenism by having multiple actors from the same ethnic background, such as by having two people of Latin American descent on one team (Turbo through In Space, Mystic Force) and two people of Asian descent on the same team (Ninja Storm, Operation Overdrive and RPM). Jungle Fury averts it in an entirely different way by simply not having enough tokens - one Asian (Theo) and four white guys.
Fleeting Demographic Rule: The seasonal themes; recycled ones include dinosaurs (eleven years between the first season of Mighty Morphin and Dino Thunder, ten between Dino Thunder and Dino Charge), ninjas (eight years between the third season of Mighty Morphin and Ninja Storm), animals (six years between Wild Force and Jungle Fury) and Cool Cars (twelve years between Turbo and RPM).
Gendered Outfit: Female Rangers tend to wear skirts along with their uniforms (but not always, thanks to...)
Gender Flip/She's a Man in Japan: The Yellow Rangers up to Wild Force; occurrences of Yellow Ranger gender synchronicity prior to Wild Force (in Zeo, Turbo, and in Space) were because it was a rare case of the Super Sentai show having two girls as well.
An exception was made with Ninja Yellow from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, whose American counterpart (the Yellow Alien Ranger) was also male, although the Alien Rangers were not used that much.
Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, and Jungle Fury were also exceptions, being able to have only one female team member through the whole show (unless you count Camille in Jungle Fury who pulled a Heel-Face Turn near the end). This is probably because those shows started with a Power Trio which included the female ranger, making her a more consistent presence on the team than the males who came later.
These shows have created a meta-example of this. To further make use of the Merchandise Driven nature of the show, the number of Humongous Mecha have expanded in recent years. Wild Force is seen by many as the start of it, with 22 Wild Zords, all of which were released in toy form.
However, there are times when the plot really is 'collect the six whatevers.' Operation Overdrive revolved around the five jewels to a magical crown (other artifacts empowered by them were clues, but also powerful themselves.) The Mighty Morphin' Rangers also once had to go collect the pieces of the Dismantled MacGuffin (which they broke and scattered. Didn't want the bad guys to get the Zeo Crystal; didn't realize they'd actually be needing the thing).
Got the Call on Speed Dial: Tommy Oliver is the Most Triumphant Example of this trope as all the incarnations of his powers could form a full five-man team (with TWO Red Rangers no less!), although Adam and Kat give a run with both having three different Ranger identities. Though Adam only has two different colors (black and green) and Kat is Pink for all three.
Grand Finale: Despite not being the actual finale for the show, "Countdown to Destruction" did manage to finish the storyline for the first six seasons.
Great Offscreen War: Several. Throughout the various series extremely numerous references are made by various unrelated characters in unrelated seasons to significant battles 10,000 years ago and 3,000 years ago. Other than that, we got nothin' on 'em.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: Most every Rangers vs. Monster of the Week battles easily fall under this.
Dillon: Right, because nothing says "covert" like bright red, yellow, and blue spandex.
The Time Force crew stuck out pretty badly in their uniforms before Wes hooked them up with 21st century civilian clothes. Later team civilian uniforms would subvert this, and RPM itself would avert it with their "uniforms" being leather jackets and jeans.
Dana is a paramedic at age 18, and a full-fledged doctor less than a year later.
Rose is a college professor at a similar age, but at least she's a genius!
Dr. K created the RPM Ranger powers and is no older than 19... and then we find out her past, and suddenly her immense technological skills make more sense.
Then there's "Spike" Skullovich, who had to have been born during Zeo to be 15 during Samurai.
Improv Fu: The use of the playgrounds and improvised weapons like trash cans and brooms is insanely common in almost all of the shows, most blatantly with Ziggy in RPM.
Instant Emergency Response: It's their job, so they always get to the monster of the week quickly, usually by teleportation or some type of ranger power to let them run fast to the scene.
Instant Expert/Upgrade Artifact: Nearly every Ranger knows how to fight and pilot Humongous Mecha once they use a morpher; though the fighting ability is often justified by training for some time before. Subverted by Billy, who could only fight while morphed, and Ziggy, where not even morphing helps.
A Jerkass-Of-The-Week doing something jerky, usually to one of the rangers in civilian form, and learning a moral lesson that coincides with a monster attack is a standard filler episode plot.
Keep It Foreign: Played straight in the Mexican dubs with the names of the Rangers and Zords until Dino Thunder, since Disney bought the franchise and the Spanish dubbing was switched from Mexico to Argentina due to cost reasons. Due to complicated cultural reasons unrelated to the trope, Argentinian translators translated them back to Spanish. When Saban bought back the series from Disney, the dubbing work returns again to Mexican hands.
Kid-Appeal Character: Fred in Mighty Morphin': The Movie and Justin in Turbo are definite ones; but other than that, generally averted. The Rangers appeal to their young audience well enough most of the time without resorting to a childlike Audience Surrogate.
Kung-Foley: Whenever the Rangers are morphed, it doesn't matter whether they're throwing a punch in battle or just sticking their fist in the air in a dramatic pose, the rotation of their arm will inevitably produce a loud WHOOSH.
Limited Wardrobe: Most seasons have this, though they're often justified by being some sort of uniform related to Ranger duties. Some seasons do avert it by letting the Rangers have multiple outfits, though they're still in signature colors.
The Juice Bar in Mighty Morphin'. Replaced by the Surf Spot in in Space.
Ninja Storm had Storm Chargers, the sporting goods store where Dustin (and later Hunter and Blake) works.
Dino Thunder had Hayley's Cyberspace Cafe (where we first meet Trent).
Mystic Force had Rockporium, Toby's music store, where Xander works and Vida sometimes spins.
The Home Base of Jungle Fury, Jungle Karma Pizza, could double as this.
Megaforce has Ernie's Brain Freeze.
Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Only Bulk and Skull lasted the entirety of the six-season Zordon Era, and after that the casts started being replaced wholesale every year.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Often the Long Lost Sibling version: Andros and Astronema (siblings), Leo and Magna Defender - sort of (siblings), Dana and Ryan (siblings), Cam and Lothor (nephew-uncle), Marah, and Kapri (cousins), Trent and Mesogog (son-father), Nick and both Koragg and Udonna (son-parents), Dillon and Tenaya (siblings).
Mystic Force averts it due to lazy editing: the Magiranger button-pushing footage is seldom altered, so the proper spell is never entered, and you'll even have three magic words said as four buttons are pushed. (Necrolai even once said "hold!" while freezing a crowd people with a mystic phone made from Koragg's magic; the phone doesn't have a hold button! However, Rule of Cool is the main defense for things like that.) A lot of fans wished Magiranger's spell system had been kept.
It seems they learned their lesson in Samurai. Even though many of the Symbol Power-drawn kanji are different from those used in Shinkenger, their function is consistent with their meaning.
Magic Knight: Many characters slot into this whenever their power source is based on magic rather than technology. Most notable is Power Rangers Mystic Force, which made the biggest emphasis on Magic.
The Mentor: A regular stock character is someone older and wiser who helps guide the Rangers in their battles. Some even get to take the field and fight alongside the Rangers themselves.
Merchandise-Driven: In addition to the action figures and mecha, each season now adds motorcycles, a "battlizer" armor, and, in a couple seasons, a semi truck "mobile command center" not present in the Japanese version to justify additional toys. Jungle Fury took it to extremes, creating new Rangers based on extra zords and giving them as many variations as the original Rangers. (RPM has Canon Foreigner Rangers too, but only one basic figure apiece compared to Jungle Fury's deluge.)
Environment-Specific Action Figure: Makes up the majority of the toyline; only a small sample makes it to the show. But only for the male Rangers; the girls get shafted in this department. Samurai is notable in that an armor variant has displaced the normal suits in the merchandising.
Meta Casting: It can be argued this is where the popularity of the franchise comes from. The vast majority of actors involved across the years are skilled martial artists in their own right, some even owning their own Dojo. Aside from the Sentai costume footage, they apparently perform many of their own stunts (even in costume) and choreograph many of their own fights. This adds a level of authenticity that even more serious action dramas lack.
In particular Jason David Frank (Tommy, the first Green Ranger) is undefeated in his MMA career, and Blake Foster (Justin, the Blue Turbo Ranger) has beaten opponents in tournaments who want to fight "the blue Power Ranger."
Meta Origin: The Morphin' Grid: hinted at in Mighty Morphin, Dino Thunder and SPD, confirmed in Operation Overdrive. They finally explain the grid in RPM, though they don't call it by name and that's an Alternate Universe.
Monster of the Aesop: Some monsters had a tendency to be directly linked with whatever Aesop the Rangers were learning. The trope is played with in "A Monster of Global Proportions", where the monster was a statue represented the Aesop but didn't have anything to do with it.
Next Tier Power-Up: Lord Zedd's introduction resulted in the zords being upgraded. Later seasons have Super modes.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Many, but Lord Zedd's utter curbstomping of Tommy in the original series' third season is widely considered the most famous, particularly because it happened after Zedd was "toned down" by the executives.
Not as You Know Them / Same Character, but Different: More often than not, despite adapting elements from its source material, Super Sentai, each ranger will be dramatically different from their Japanese counterparts, in nearly every possible way.
Not Quite Dead: A few major villains have had several "final" encounters. Bonus points if the villain is someone who resurfaced after having been thought dead before the season began.
One Steve Limit: Mostly played straight, but it makes the occasional repeat name stand out all the more. "Venjix" in particular caused a bunch of Epileptic Trees when it was reused.
Other violations of the limit include two Kats and a Katie (MMPR-Turbo, SPD, and Time Force respectively) and two Mikes (Lost Galaxy and Samurai). Incidentally, both "Kat"s are Meaningful Names for the samereason.
With regard to Ranger titles, the show did a fine job of never repeating a Ranger name for different powers when considering the full, team-specific names. Come 2011 and Samurai's Green Samurai Ranger, echoing the exact name of Ninja Storm's Sixth Ranger. Come 2012 and he can access a Super Samurai Mode, just like his namesake previously did. Incidentally, he's one of the Mikes noted above, sharing his name with yet another Sixth Ranger.
Zords in particular have been saddled with repeat names; we have two sets each of Dinozords (Mighty Morphin Season 1 and Dino Thunder), Thunderzords (Mighty Morphin Season 2 and Ninja Storm), Ninjazords (Mighty Morphin Season 3 and Ninja Storm), Rescuezords (Turbo and Lightspeed Rescue), and Omegazords (Lightspeed Rescue and SPD; though the latter is properly the Omegamax Megazord)
Mondo the Magician, a villain from Season 2 of Mighty Morphin, is unrelated to King Mondo, the ruler of the Machine Empire from Zeo.
Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Richard Brancatisano in Mystic Force; eventually handwaved as Xander being a native Aussie. Some other minor characters don't bother either, but they don't get enough lines to be intrusive.
Lothor and Mora/Morgana. Mora/Morgana not bothering makes sense from an outside standpoint considering they needed to come across as the same person, but Lothor in a flashback didn't have a Kiwi accent and neither does his brother despite being played by the same actor.
Particularly amusing in RPM, in which New Zealander Ari Boyland must (hilariously) try to maintain a Scottish accent as Flynn.
RPM might take a backseat to Samurai. The show frequently will show a Ranger's relatives or even flashbacks of them as children, and bless them, the child actors just can't do American that well. Emily's big sis Serena and the child versions of Jayden and Antonio were especially obvious.
Pale Females, Dark Males: Seen on Blue Rangers; compare Tori and Madison to just about every male Blue Ranger ever. The only exception is Aquitian Ranger Cestro, who wore a lighter shade of blue in his uniform.
The Mystic Force Battlizer armor was made from a magical European-style dragon.
In Mighty Morphin, Goldar had wings, and he was the most powerful dragon on the show. When he lost his memory and joined Rito as a member of a second Plucky Comic Relief duo in Zeo, he lost his wings. Finally, later in the season when Rita restores his memory, Goldar's wings magically return along with his sword and, as we can likely assume, his powers.
Power Trio: Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, Jungle Fury, and RPM start with these instead of a Five-Man Band. Technically SPD also started with one, but it was up to a Five-Man Band by the second episode. Each trio also inevitably fills the subtropes:
Precursor Heroes: Several teams (Galaxy, Wild Force, Mystic Force, Jungle Fury) are successors to previous non-Ranger groups of heroes. Samurai is a rare instances of the previous generations also wearing the spandex.
Put Down The Powers And Step Away: In Mighty Morphin' they play this trope painfully straight whenever they take hostages. Other seasons have examples of this as well.
Put on a Bus: Technically, everyone! But more traditional examples include Tommy (in seasons 1 and 2 when he lost his Green Ranger powers) and Ryan (returns for finale). Kendrix is something between this and a Disney Death.
Long Bus Trip: Characters rarely if ever show up again once their season's over (or the equivalent in the Zordon era). Some really blatant examples are Jason, Zack, and Trini, shipped off to Switzerland for a Teen Peace Conference; Jason took two years to return and Zack and Trini, as far as we know, still haven't gotten back; and Rocky didn't even go anywhere but still disappeared.
Character Outlives Actor: Unfortunately, Trini's actress, Thuy Trang, died in a car accident in 2001, so we won't be seeing her again.
Ranger: Pretty inevitable for obvious reasons, though whether they really do suffer Badass Decay or not varies by season.
Recap Episode: Generally one per season. The only noteworthy one being Dino Thunder's "Legacy of Power", which featured a compilation of clips from the entire franchise in honor of the show's 500th episode.
Recursive Import: Power Rangers regularly gets dubbed back into Japanese, often with the voices of people who played their Japanese counterparts to begin with, and shown on Japanese TV, with the exceptions being Mystic Force and Samurai voice-wise (as in not played by their Sentai counterparts).
Recycled IN SPACE!: Most seasons recycle a lot of the same plots and tropes, only dressed up in different themes such as dinosaurs, ninjas, cars, etc. Believe it or not, Power Rangers in Space is not one of these, as it didn't have very many recycled elements.
Reinventing the Telephone: It's there, but justified or averted a surprising amount of the time if you think about it - earlier seasons were before cell phones were common, and in many later ones the morphers are phones.
Required Spinoff Crossover: It was a tradition, though the Disney era phased it out, for the current Rangers to have an episode or two joining forces with last year's team.
Reunion Show: The current team joining forces with the previous years' is a yearly tradition going back to Lost Galaxy (even if many Disney seasons skipped it), plus the Milestone episodes and a couple scattered ones in Zeo and In Space.
The biggest reunion show so far is in the Super Megaforce finale. Over 10 past Rangers from different teams appeared, including none other than Tommy Oliver. And those are just the actual actors; with Fake Shemps, everyone shows up.
Hate Master: "Would you give in already?! Doing this is no snap! It really isn't easy talking all the time in rap!"
The Rangers also had an ally who did this, Quagmire from the "Isle of Illusions" two-part episode. (Although, not all his rhymes made complete sense. For example, he referred to Madame Woe (a Monster of the Week who appeared in a previous episode) as a "nightmare queen" who Billy fought in a "realm of dreams", which really didn't describe Madame Woe or the actual battle at all.
Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Sometimes the Rangers survive only because of bickering and backstabbing on the villains front. The best example was the Psycho Rangers, who were stronger, faster, and better than the Rangers in most ways... except they hated each other and their bosses as much as the rangers. The arguing between Psycho Pink and Psycho Yellow in particular.
Robot Buddy: Alphas 5 and 6 for the Zordon era plus Lost Galaxy, Circuit in Time Force, RIC in SPD, and Tensou in Megaforce. Ninja Storm's Cyber Cam might fit by proxy, since he's a computer-generated duplicate of Cam, but pretty solid for a holographic counterpart.
Rule of Cool: There's a lot of plot that doesn't make sense, but the action is so cool, does it matter?
Secret Identity: In most series, but averted when the team is officially sponsored by the government (or in Operation Overdrive, a private corporation).
Sentai (Considering the source material is titled Super Sentai...)
Sequel Number Snarl: Disney and Saban once considered the Mighty Morphin' Re Cut to be Season 18 and Samurai was Season 19. Fans generally didn't count the Re Cut, considering Samurai to be the true Season 18 even before Saban followed suit. Samurai has also been described as two roughly 20-episode seasons. Megaforce is even more complicated, though the official count now holds Samurai as 18 and 19 and Megaforce as 20 and 21.
Series Fauxnale: Twice. Doomsday part 2 was written to work as a finale just in case the show wasn't a success didn't get picked up for more episodes; it was and it did. RPM's season finale "danger and destiny" would have been the finale for the franchise but the show got picked up by Saban Brands. Contrary to popular belief "Countdown to destruction" although closing up six seasons worth of continuity was never going to be a series finale as Lost Galaxy was already in commission.
The Smurfette Principle: Virtually every seasonal roster consists of three guys and two girls. That is, until the invariably male Sixth Ranger showed up. A few seasons instead start with a Power Trio of two guys and one girl, and are then joined by multiple (still invariably male) extra rangers.
None of the shows ever had a female character in Red until Power Rangers S.P.D.'s Charlie, but she was fighting for the villains. The first heroic female Red Ranger appeared in Power Rangers Samurai (and even then, she got minimal screentime/development/relevancy/etc).
Power Rangers RPM, sadly, took this a step backward; Gold and Silver became Single-Minded Twins, so the girl basically amounted to half a character. Though it did make up for it by having the mentor character be female and get plenty of focus.
The Something Force: Time Force, Wild Force, Mystic Force, and Megaforce. Foreign dubs add more.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: In the Zordon era. First there was Rita, then there was her boss Lord Zedd who was way worse than her, then Rita's Master Vile who Zordon described as more "wiser in the ways of evil than Lord Zedd" than The Machine Empire who Master Vile described as the only ones in the galaxy more evil than himself. Than finally Dark Specter, the grand monarch of evil who ruled over all the villains.
Space Friction: Any season with space travel, but especially in Space and Lost Galaxy.
Cole's Wildforce Rider screeching on turns and leaving sparks while in space in "Forever Red".
The 1995 movie subverts this by having the suits made of PVC and metal plating to give them more of an armor-like feel.
Samurai also has armored versions for Megazord piloting, to match the toys created to only sorta resemble the show's outfits when it was thought there wouldn't be a new American season.
The A-Squad in SPD wore what essentially amounted to modified motocross suits; it actually doesn't look half bad, especially considering they're supposed to be an elite police squad. The main team's SWAT Mode went on to somewhat resemble them.
Spared by the Adaptation: With the exception of the first Magna Defender don't expect good guy deaths in Super Sentai to carry over to Power Rangers.
Star Trek Movie Curse: Interestingly, they had this pattern for a while. Every fifth season are the ones considered the worst: Turbo, Wild Force, Operation Overdrive, and Super Megaforcenote technically Season 21, but it and not Megaforce had the bulk of the anniversary elements.
Stock Footage: Arguably, the entire point behind the American series.
Stock Poses: Rangers gets a lot of mileage out of a few kinds of poses:
Stock Superpowers: Rangers sometimes have extra powers that they can access as civilians. Sometimes they're justified as the Rangers are primarily training in a supernatural art which the Ranger powers are a further extension of. Other times they're just tacked on for little reason. Predominantly a Disney-era trope, where just about every Ranger on every team had some special power, but the occasional other Ranger has an ability, too.
Strictly Formula: The first couple seasons (before they left Earth), outside of season premieres and finales, generally followed a fairly strict formula. A minor dilemma involving the civilian identities of the rangers pops up, the Big Bad (Rita/Zedd/King Mondo/Divatox/whoever) takes inspiration from it and have their monster creator design the Monster of the Aesop around it, a Mook attack occurs for whatever reason (no morphing just yet), this escalates into the Monster of the Aesop attacking (requiring the Rangers to morph), Big Badmakes it grow (sometimes without bothering to wait for the Rangers to fight it on foot), the Rangers call forth their Humongous Mecha, Monster of the Aesop gets squished by Stock Footage, and the plot ends with the Rangers solving their civilian issue. Sure, sometimes it swaps things up (some episodes have the Rangers defeat the monster on foot), but it almost always followed that general formula.
Stuff Blowing Up: Always there in Power Rangers, but taken to extremes during Bruce Kalish's time on the series, where simply announcing their arrival would cause color-coded explosions behind the Rangers. Particularly Egregious explosions are known as "Kalishplosions" in the fandom.
It goes Serial Escalation during the Kalish years (though it seems Koichi Sakamoto is the one who was really fond of them, evidently, someone was reining him in for the first 13-ish years of the franchise.) At one point in "Operation Overdrive", Mack and Moltor pointing their weapons at each other caused enormous explosions. It got to the point where it was less epic because when the background's never not on fire, you never say "whoa, that attack was powerful" or something.
This came under some incredibly heavy lampshading in ''RPM's'' episode "Ranger Blue". When given the opportunity to ask questions about the Ranger tech, Ziggy asks:
Ziggy: Sometimes when I morph, I can't help but notice this gigantic explosion right behind me for no apparent reason.
This, combined with the fact that gratuitous booms were a Chekhov's Gag brought up later in the episode, has earned them the second nickname of "Ziggysplosions".
Superhero Packing Heat: Almost no Ranger is adverse to using (inevitably Family Friendly) firearms if they've got them, but the trope really comes into play with sanctioned law enforcement teams like Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force, and SPD.
Super Mode: There are some power-ups that have accumulated over the years. in Space introduced the "Battlizer" mode, which includes some heavy weapons, armor and usually flight capability. The Battlizer mode is in nearly every following Power Ranger series and (surprisingly) is an American-only creation. Many series also have a lighter Super Mode available to the whole team; these usually originated in Sentai. Of course, the very first was in MMPR season 3. Metallic Armor, power up!
Though, interestingly, the Super Sentai team up between Dekaranger and Magiranger had Deka Red use SPD's Battlizer, and had characters comment on it as being a new device built for him after Dekaranger ended.
Supernatural Phone: There have been several iterations wherein their cellphones have been incorporated with their morphers.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Mostly the early seasons when they would rotate actors mid-season. Katherine was a reformed mole and was much different then Kimberly, but when she became the second Pink Ranger she took over as a Romantic Interest for Tommy. Others did manage to stand out, most notably Adam when he came on board.
Sweeps: The Power Rangers season usually airs in spurts from February to November, so the premieres and finales are typically promoted as prime sweeps material.
Take Over the City: Whatever ambitions towards World Domination they may have, every villain up until in Space and some after only ever focused on the town the Rangers themselves lived in. Partially justified, as managing to subdue the Rangers in their own turf would in turn mean they'd have less trouble taking over everywhere else. A few seasons are fully justified, giving the villains specific reasons to target that city and only that city.
Taste the Rainbow: Multicolored spandex jokes aside; there's a Ranger team for just about every category that could fall under a young boy's Rule of Cool: dinosaur Rangers, ninja Rangers, car Rangers, beast Rangers, wizard Rangers, and so on and so on...
Techno Wizard: A recurring character type, who can usually be counted on to bring out new gear occasionally. See Billy, Miss Fairweather, Trip, Cam, Hayley, Kat Manx, Dr. K, and Antonio.
Terrible Trio: Bulk and Skull from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers are Team Rocket minus one — they're a pair of comically stupid henchmen (one big and fat, one little and weasely) with no brainy leader. They later had something of a Heel-Face Turn when they became cops in MMPR Season 3 and met with their new leader Lieutenant Stone. And later again in Power Rangers in Space when they worked for Professor Phenomenus.
Samurai seems to support this the most as series staples such as the morphing grid are never mentioned not even hinted and the series seems to contradict the fact that The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers were earth's first Power Rangers team by having the team be the 18th generation of samurai rangers, same as its parent series Samurai Sentai Shinkenger.
Thememobile: Even ignoring the zords, there's still the Rangers' vehicles. And a ton more in the toys that never make it to the show. Variations include:
Theme Naming: Probably unintentional, but the first five Pink Rangers are, in order: Kimberly, Katherine, Cassie, Kendrix and Karone, although it seems the writers noticed this and have avoided K-or-C names since: the next Pinks were Dana, Jen, Syd, Vida, Rose, Mia and Emma. Of course, later Yellow Rangers include Katie, Kelsey, and Kira, while Kat Manx had a brief stint as a Ranger, too.
Those Two Guys: Bulk and Skull, who incidently are the longest lasting cast members from Season 1 to Season 6, longer than any individual Power Ranger. The dynamic was recreated in Samurai with Bulk returning and Skull's son Spike taking his dad's place. Cassidy and Devin in Dino Thunder also fit this trope.
Tiered by Name: Individual zords combine into a Megazord, and if all zords that year are used in a single formation it's an Ultrazord. The earlier seasons had more of a formula to it before the combinations got fancier names: [X]zords merged into [X] Megazords, combining the [X] Megazord with the Sixth Ranger's [Y]zord made the Mega [Y]zord, and adding the carrier zord made the [X] Ultrazord.
Title Theme Tune: You will never see a season whose theme song does not constantly say the words "Power Rangers" in its lyrics.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Just for starters: Daredevil Kelsey and paramedic Dana, abrasive Air Force sergeant Taylor and gentle, borderline SueishTeam Mom Alyssa, streetwise orphan Z and rich model/pop star Syd, outgoing DJ Vida and shy filmmaker Madison (noticeably, these two are sisters). Most seasons with this dynamic will have an episode where the girls, who are always best friends, disagree about something and get into an epic catfight before they learn An Aesop about how much they mean to each other. Wannabe rockstar Cassie and girly cheerleader Ashley, who started the "tradition", had two. Oh, and don't forget Lethal Chef Mia and naturally elegant Emily.
Super Wrist Gadget: Most early morphers. Dino Thunder was the last to have this type as the main morpher, though SPD, Operation Overdrive, Jungle Fury, and RPM all had one or two Rangers with one.
Cellphone: Most later morphers are styled like this. in Space was the first, although it was only for the Sixth Ranger. Wild Force was the first to have the whole team's morphers be phones.
A bunch of these are half-phone, half-something else, making for some weird crosses at times. The list of other halves include cop badges (SPD), magic wands, a ticket punch (both Mystic Force), and calligraphy brushes (Samurai).
The only morphers that don't fall under either category are Mighty Morphin (belt buckles), Ninja Storm (an amulet ball for the Sixth Ranger), Jungle Fury (sunglasses for the core trio), RPM (flight sticks for the Sixth Rangers), Megaforce (handheld card reader-things for the core team), and Dino Charge (guns). The Sixth Ranger's morpher being very different lately often means someone will fit into this category if not everyone.
Translation Matchmaking: Korea airs a Power Rangers series, but for the past several years it's been a Super Sentai dub unrelated to the American production.
For extra confusion points, the first two of these seasons have the exact same names as the US versions (Dino Thunder and SPD) and the third is really really close (Mystic Force vs Magic Force).
True Companions: Every Ranger team becomes one of these eventually, although some take longer than others to cement.
Two Girls to a Team: The series pretty much enforced this in the Saban era; while some Super Sentai seasons had two girls to begin with, others had The Smurfette Principle in effect, which was mitigated by making the male Yellow Ranger female (though they haven't had to do this since Wild Force thanks to Sentai following this trope themselves). This practice is dropped for Power Trio seasons.
Uncanceled: Five times, firstly because MMPR was originally only commissioned for 40 episodes, but proved popular enough to be brought back, then it was supposed to end with In Space, but improved ratings saved the show, then after Wild Force, the show was saved by a change to a cheaper shooting location and new production company, and after Jungle Fury, when European investment got it another season, after it would've been cancelled due to low ratings. RPM had production problems, and should've been the final end. But then Saban bought the franchise back!
The first time is debatable as it's typical for TV series to originally be picked up for a small number of episodes, usually 8-10 for prime time series, and be extended if successful. It no different with Power Pangers as the show was given a 'trial' of 40 episodes. Since it was successful it was picked up for more.
Really only the final true is a true case of uncanceled. Though there were intentions to end in space improved ratings early on meant that they knew the show would get more seasons long before in space actually ended. As for after Wild Force, Disney had intentions to cancel it but were convinced to just move filming location to New Zealand to save cost. Disney canceling at RPM is the only true example of officially being cancelled with an entire year just being a rerun of the first season with reversions only to sell the old toys.
Unflinching Walk: Besides its repeated use with poses, the show also does the version with walking through enemy fire on occasion. Done right in the Jungle Fury season finale, with a single Ranger marching into the evil base, knocking mooks back like flies with a swatter.
Unfortunate Implications: Zack (the darkest-skinned of the original Rangers) and Trini (the most Oriental-esque of the original Rangers) were given the Black and Yellow Ranger powers, respectively, by Zordon. Whoops. And then, in Zeo, Tommy, the Native American, becomes the Red Zeo Ranger. Whoops. Saban said the unfortunate casting was an accident, and that at the time they hadn't realized the implications of casting the Rangers this way, so it's understandable.
The Unmasqued World: After "Countdown to Destruction" (for the most part, some of the public are in denial), SPD especially so.
We Are as Mayflies: Particularly noticable. Aliens keep pretty quiet about how old they actually are, but Shayla still looked young after a 3000 year nap, Zordon was an old fogey when he was sealed in a pocket dimension 10,000 years ago, and the Sentinel Knight was already active and powerful when the continents were one, roughly 250 million years ago. Things get even more unfair when we see Thrax, a member of whatever long-lived species Rita and Zedd belonged to (10,000 years did nothing to them, age-wise) grow to full maturity within nine years. It's so pervasive that it was rather jarring to see non-humans that didn't live for pretty much ever in Mystic Force, where they lived on a human timescale. The Great Offscreen War wasn't 10,000 or 3,000 years ago... more like 20.
Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Subtly played with; Angel Grove, Mariner Bay, Blue Bay Harbor, Reefside, San Angeles, and Ocean Bluff are either confirmed or stated to be in California, Silver Hills in Washington state, and Turtle Cove in Colorado. Newtech City, and Briarwood are not known, but are somewhere on the west coast. Corinth appears to be on an east coast (many believe Boston based on Easter Eggs).
Oddly, in "Return of the Green Ranger", Angel Grove's past appears to have British Redcoats running through town.
Panorama City in Samurai is an odd mashup of America and Japan, and we couldn't even confirm its name until three-quarters of the way through the season. On top of that, it's in a fictional state abbreviated "PR" (which I think we can all agree does not mean Puerto Rico as in real life) and has a six-digit zip code.
Harwood County from Megaforce. It doesn't take place in the County of Harwood, the city's name literally has "County" in it, further confusing things.
You Look Familiar: Repeatedly since the move to New Zealand. Notably, Kelson Henderson has played or voiced the Plucky Comic Relief character in every season between SPD and Jungle Fury. Ironically, one reason the show features so many Fake Brits is to avoid hiring SAG actors.
... And pretty much every other trope you see in kids' shows. This show has been on for a long time.
Statler: Did you know this show has been cancelled five times and brought back? Waldorf: What, is there an hermit fanboy as a network executive? Both Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!