The first incarnation of Power Rangers and the one non-fans will remember as being all over the place in the mid-1990s. The show uses action footage from three Super Sentai shows: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger (Season 1 and onward), Gosei Sentai Dairanger (Season 2 monsters, Zords, and the White Ranger's costume), and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (most of Season 3; the costumes are only used for the Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers). Lasted a strong three seasons and one movie before Saban decided it would be better to adapt the Sentai formula and start changing costumes every year, although unlike Sentai, the various series exist in the same continuity. The Ranger uniforms were the only consistent thing throughout this incarnation, and that is what made the change to Zeo so major.Long ago, Zordon sealed the evil Rita Repulsa away in a space dumpster on a passing asteroid (a point leaving fans confused because the asteroid was never specified), but some careless astronauts accidentally freed her. Taking up residence on the moon, she declares war on Earth. Unable to fight her himself due to being trapped in a time warp, he asks his assistant, Alpha 5, to summon five "teenagers with attitude" in order to stop Rita. He gave them the Power Coins, allowing them to morph into rainbow-colored, dinosaur-inspired superheroes and proceed to teach lessons of many kinds.Ranger life gets a bit more interesting with the introduction of the villain-turned-heroGreen Ranger, the new kid in school named Tommy Oliver, which shakes up the character dynamics and introduces a new zord to shake up the mech battles. The season was supposed to end after 40 episodes with a Grand Finale, "Doomsday", but was so popular that they commissioned additional Japan-made fight footage to continue the season. It is largely at this point where the series started making plans for a more long-term commitment. Tommy had his powers drained from him before "Doomsday", an adapted story where in the Sentai, the Green Ranger died, only for a time. Afterward, he get his powers back with restrictions in an effort to further ride the popularity of the character. The Toei-filmed action footage made some efforts to reflect the plot and characterizations of Power Rangers (such as the Blue Ranger's tech-savvineess and the romantic relationship between Green and Pink, and is referred to as "Zyu2" footage in fan circles.The second season introduced Rita's superior, Lord Zedd, who decides that he's had enough of her failures and banishes her. The Rangers learn that Zedd is much more powerful and that they need to upgrade their Zords into the mythology-themed "Thunderzords", as a way to justify using Dairanger zord footage instead of continuing to pay for more original footage. It brings up the final end of the Green Ranger powers, only to later introduce the White Ranger. It also featured the first Ranger replacements as three Rangers were chosen to go to a peace conference, while in reality, the actors demanded more money.At this point, the Zyu2-footage started to wear extremely thin as the only way to show the White Ranger with the other Rangers was through American-filmed costume footage; also the monster footage and Zord footage were almost irreconcilable. Rita comes back mid-season and slips Zedd a Love Potion, so they get married; then, the in-laws started showing up in the third season.The new enemies gathering around Rita and Zedd prove to be too much for the Rangers, and their Power Coins are destroyed. Desperate, they go off in search of the legendary creator of the coins, an aloof sage named Ninjor, who forges them new Power Coins based on modern creatures and the art of ninjitsu (but still retains the old suits and weapons).Came to an end when Rita's father, Master Vile, arrived and reversed time, de-aging the teens. This forced Zordon to summon a stand-in team of Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers (the first time we are informed of other Ranger teams) for about ten episodes while the Earth Rangers traveled through time and space to find the pieces of the Zeo Crystal to restore them to the proper time frame. Then as soon as the Earth Rangers returned to normal, the Command Center was blown up. This was the jumping off point for the new season Power Rangers Zeo.While the following three seasons, Power Rangers Zeo, Turbo and in Space featured rotating Big Bads and Rangers themselves, Power Rangers in Space provides a finale for what people call "The Zordon Era" and afterwards Power Rangers followed the Super Sentai standalone season/standalone team format, but unlike Super Sentai, it's all in one continuity.There was also Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie in 1995 that was given a big budget treatment. It doesn't fit into the continuity of the series; the events of the film are repeated/replaced in the third season. Otherwise, it brought up Zordon's homeworld of Eltar, which later became canon with the series.
This incarnation of Power Rangers is the Trope Namer of:
Chest Insignia: Personal dino emblems on the belts (with the White Ranger one on the chest instead). This trope is so strong that these emblems were added to the chest in both the merchandising and the movie.
Chrome Champion: The Metallic Armor in Season 3 ("coincidentally" coinciding with the extra-shiny action figures made for the movie just before).
Humongous Mecha: The Zords, obviously. But there's also Lord Zedd's Zord, Serpentera, who was a Humongous Mecha even to the other Humongous Mechas (The Red Dragon Thunderzord is shorter than where Serpentera's knees are). The Zords from the second and third seasons were from different Sentai shows than the one MMPR was originally based on (Zyuranger). Unfortunately not quite all of the colors of the Zyuranger suits coordinated with the colors of the Kakuranger and Dairanger mecha. They were forced to "cheat" a bit by turning the green Shishi Ranger's mecha into the Black Ranger's zord. Similar problem with the Kakuranger having no Pink Ranger, meaning no pink Shogun Zord either. note Dairanger had a standard green ranger instead of black, while Kakuranger only had five members (excluding Ninjaman/Ninjor) and a female white ranger instead of pink.
Animal Mecha: For all three seasons, save for the Shogun Zords and Battle Borgs and even then, the humanoid forms still had animal-like faces.
Transforming Mecha: Only in Season 2; the Red Dragon Thunderzord, the White Tigerzord, and Tor could all change to humanoid warrior modes.
Leader Forms The Head: Averted with the Ninja Megazord, whose head and torso are formed by the Pink and Yellow Ranger's zords. Played straight by all other Megazords, where the Red Ranger's zord makes the core.
Midseason Upgrade: Inverted in Season 3. Midway through the season, the Rangers gain the new Shogunzords. However, prior to that, the Falconzord is stolen and the other Ninjazords are rendered inoperable, so the Rangers still only have one set of Zords to work with. Only very briefly are the two sets of Zords ever shown alongside each other and by that time, other events render the Ninjazords inoperable.
Also worth noting, is the Ninja Megazord's Japanese counterpart was the Midseason Upgrade and the Shogun Megazord's was their original mecha. Which is part of the reason for the above.
Jason: "If I don't get to the candle in time, he'll lose his powers."
Zack: "If we don't get to him in time, he'll lose his life."
Our Monsters Are Weird: Pudgy Pig, Eye Guy, Terror Toad, Mr. Ticklesneezer, Chunky Chicken, Pineoctopus, Shellshock, the Spit Flower, the Jellyfish, Two-Headed Parrot, Pumpkin Rapper, Octophantom, Lipsyncher, Terror Blossom, Photomare, Artist Mole, Face Stealer, See Monster, Crabby Cabbie, Ravenator, Brick Bully, Globbor... far too many examples to list.
The Fake Power Rangers in "A Bad Reflection on You" were disguised Putties who attempted to tarnish the reputation of both, the Rangers and their civilian counterparts. This included shooting civilians, humiliating their school's principal in front of the other students, and wearing sunglasses all the time.
The Mutant Rangers in "Mighty Morphin Mutants" used their own morphers and wore slightly different costumes (black boots, gloves, and belts) and wielded different weapons (which were actually the same weapons used by the Zyurangers in their civilian forms, plus the Green Ranger's Sword of Darkness).
Lord Zedd's Dark Rangers in "Green No More," which were simply recolored Putty costumes to match the Rangers. They never actually fought their good counterparts, mostly because the suits were so fragile that any fight scenes would have ripped them.
She's a Man in Japan: Trini, whose Japanese counterpart was not only male, but by funny coincidence named "Boi". The show used stock footage of Zyuranger with the male Tiger Ranger as the female Yellow Ranger. It was only after Saban started producing more locally filmed action scenes that the Yellow Ranger would be played by a stuntwoman.
Stock Footage: The morphing sequences and especially Zord summoning were the major time-spenders (the Dragonzord snapping a smokestack in its teeth even became a meme for Gratuitous Stock Footage). Beyond that:
"A Pressing Engagement" and "No Clowning Around" used the same Mook fight footage.
The "Evil Green Ranger trashes the Command Center" sequence was used twice in the "Green With Evil" saga, then again in "Return of the Green Ranger."
Lord Zedd footage included a few scenes which could be used for anything. With his helmet, they used two scenes as "exposition of evil plan" and "rage after defeat" in one episode, and exchanged them in the next one.
Thememobile/Cool Bike: The Shark Cycles in Season 3. The Zyuranger and Dairanger motorcycles appeared in the toyline and merchandising (as "Battle Bikes" and "Thunder Bikes" respectively), but they never made it on the show (save for an unexplained background appearance in "Calamity Kimberly").
Tomboy and Girly Girl: In the unaired pilot, Trini (played by a different actress) was originally supposed to be more tomboy-ish to Kimberly's Girly Girl. Played with because both Trini and Kimberly had short hair, but Trini's was short short, while Kimberly's was shoulder length short.
Adaptation Distillation: Despite varying wildly from the source material and trimming potentially child scarring parts, the core essence of what makes the Super Sentai series so popular was effectively translated into the Americanized version. Later series would be either be closer or further from the original, but this series is what got it started.
Adaptation Dye Job: The toy version of the White Shogunzord from Season 3 was repainted as a Pink Shogunzord. This made little sense as it was shared by both the White and Pink Rangers in the show, and created inconsistencies when the pink version was used for Off-the-Shelf FX for the American-filmed Ninja Ultrazord sequence. The toy versions of the Crane Ninjazord and Lion Thunderzord were also repainted as well; the Crane Ninjazord had its red parts repainted into pink; while the toy version of the Lion Thunderzord had all the green parts (except the dome) repainted black, but these changes are not as obvious.
Adaptation Expansion: The "Zyu2" footage, which featured all new monsters and fight sequences using the Zyuranger suits and mecha, were filmed specifically for Power Rangers and are not actually adapted footage from any Zyuranger sequel (despite the Fan Nickname).
And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Practically standard for a kids show in the 90's. A particularly popular one had David Yost and Amy Jo Johnson as themselves doing a "Reality Check," demonstrating that television is entirely fiction and what they do on the show is just for entertainment. They showed that it can be hard to tell the difference between fake guns and real guns, and also that while Billy was a gawky nerd, David Yost was a skilled gymnast.
A Planet Named Zok: Some of the planets Rita and her goons mention while making monsters in the first season fit this convention.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Alpha when Bulk, Skull, and Kimberly get trapped in a monster cab: "Aye-yi-yi! Lord Zedd and Rita have created a Crabby Cabbie! And he's charging double the going fare!"
Artistic License - History: Er, guys? 18th century Britain colonized the east coast. Like New York, New Jersey and the Carolinas. Not the west coast, like California. Real life wrote this plot, though. They were stuck in Australia because of script and scheduling problems with the movie. But the TV episode schedule caught up to them. So the solution? Film a couple of episodes where the Rangers as students holiday in Australia. While the production crew was in Australia as well, they filmed a couple of episodes in a historical village just outside of Sydney, which gave us colonial Angel Grove. Power Rangers has never attempted to be accurate in anything, science, history, physics, etcve
Though there is a theory that Power Rangers exists in a universe where the british colonized California and not the spanish, hence the name Angel Grove and not Los Angeles.
It's also suggested that Angel Grove started on the East coast and moved during the Gold Rush, like many small settlements did at the time.
The Artifact: The Rangers kept their prehistoric beast-themed costumes for two more seasons, despite no longer piloting the Dinozords after Season 1. Season 2 tried to work around this by establishing that the Thunderzords were really transformed versions of Dinozords, but Season 3 didn't even bother with this pretension, having the Rangers draw their powers from new animals instead.
Badass / Badbutt: Tommy and Jason, mostly, though everyone got their chance to shine at some point (including Alpha, Bulk & Skull and the villains).
Ninjor: "Oh yeah, we bad!"
The Bad Guy Wins: After three seasons of "Good always triumphs and evil never wins," the series ends with Master Vile turning the Rangers into helpless children, Zedd and Rita destroying the Ninja Power Coins, and Goldar and Rito blowing up the Command Center.
"Green With Evil" had Tommy wiping the floor with the good guys until part 5.
"The Green Candle Parts 1 and 2" (temporarily due to Rita's Green Candle) and "The Green Dream" through "Green No More Part 2" (permanently due to Lord Zedd's power stealing monsters and Green Crystal) saw the Green Ranger's Dragonzord powers destroyed.
"Ninja Quest Part 1" saw the six remaining Dino Power Coins and all of the Thunderzords destroyed due to Rito and 4 recreated monsters.
Mid-way through Season 3, Zedd and company managed to steal the Pink Coin, capture the Falconzord (thus rendering the other Ninjazords inoperable) and imprison Ninjor. A good chunk of the season passed before all of these changes were reversed. Two episodes after that though, Master Vile does the time reversal as seen above.
Titanus also pulls this in the Doomsday Part 1, charging onto the scene in attack mode with Zordon's command and blasting the Megazord and Dragonzord free from Cyclopsis' shock cables.
Big Eater: Pudgy Pig (created to eat all the food on Earth, but not as big of an eater as Rita had implied), Terror Toad (who ate the Rangers) and Bulk (well, he was the stereotypical comic relief fat guy...). Oddly, not done much with Squatt, who was only shown eating a couple of times.
Oddly enough, Skull as well, though not as much as Bulk.
Bowdlerise: As part of Malaysia's campaign against drugs, the show is called Mighty Power Rangers or just Power Rangers since "morphin" sounds dangerously close to "morphine", and the Moral Guardians were afraid that kids would get addicted to it if they so much as hear the word. It also extends to the show itself, where utterances or appearances of the word are censored.
Brick Break: Once, when the Rangers made a TV appearance.
The Bully: Bulk and Skull, at least at first. They're actually pretty low-level as far as bullying goes, and the Rangers don't take them seriously at all.
The Cast Showoff: Probably the most memorable examples would be Kimberly's gymnastics, for sheer longevity, but also her singing and guitar playing, Zack's singing and dancing, and a fair amount of Trini, Jason, Tommy, Rocky and Adam's martial arts.
Not to mention that David Yost (Billy) was actually a fair martial artist and talented gymnast, so his "bad" unmorphed fighting falls squarely into Irony As He Is Cast.
Characterization Marches On: Watching the Rangers interact with Bulk and Skull in the original unaired pilot is strange. The bullies’ personalities were reversed, and Skull (played by an Other Marty) aggressively pursued Kimberly, while the Rangers were much more aggressive towards them. They even delivered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the two without provocation, something that would never happen in the actual series.
Also observe Billy; The Smart Guy at first, only good for spouting Technobabble, his first actual fight (unmorphed) had him flee from a single Putty up onto a cliff, forcing Trini to overcome her fear of heights in order to save him from the footsoldier. Fast forward a good 30 episodes and you have in "A Fishy situation" Kimberly calling for help, and not being able to reach the other three, and Billy figuring out a plan in order to beat a gang of Putty Patrollers with just the two of them.
Chekhov's Gun: The Zeo Crystal was a MacGuffin for a handful of episodes, only to later become vital to the resolution of the "de-aging" arc and the basis of their new powers in the following season.
The green candle. Once Zedd fully absorbs Tommy's powers, he has a black candle, a pink candle, a yellow candle, and a blue candle.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Scorpina disappeared from the series in the end of Season 1 after all the Zyuranger stock footage ran out. Although they did get another actress to play Scorpina in Season 2, they couldn't get a hold of her for more than a single episode.
Two other bullies Bulk and Skull frequently hang with only appeared in a couple episodes.
Angela and Richie, Zack's and Trini's respective love interests. When the two of them were replaced by Adam and Aisha, Angela and Richie no longer had any reason to be on the show.
Clark Kenting: The show doesn't spend much time on it but early on in the first season the Rangers plead ignorance on knowing what the Power Rangers are, and in one case start a rumor that they are space aliens.
Classically Trained Extra: Jason Narvy as Skull, who has Shakespeare training and even acquired a PhD in Dramatic Arts years later. That's right, DR. Jason Narvy.
Cliff Hanger: While the show had its share of multi-parters, the most notable cliffhanger came at the end of Season 3, in which Rito and Goldar absolutely level the Command Center, leaving the Rangers without powers and a base. Most notably, the words To Be Continued weren't used in the end title cards for the episode.
Clip Show: The "Island of Illusion" two-parter and "Crystal of Nightmares" in Season 1, as well as the home video releases Lord Zedd's Monster Heads and The Good, the Bad and the Stupid: The Misadventures of Bulk & Skull, both released during Season 3.
Both series were fun, but far from perfect. The Hamilton comics took place in Season 2 but were written like "Season 1, but with Zedd and the Thunder Zords" (Zedd would get headaches, etc), and the Marvel comics were a strange combination of Season 3 and the movie (Rito would be present in one issue, then Mordant the next, etc). Also, neither series got the order of the morph call right.
To be fair, the "Season 1, but with Zedd and the Thunder Zords" bit only happened in the first issue of the initial mini-series, a letter writer called them out on it and they had admitted they had done it prior to Zedd's real introduction.
At one point during the Season 3 comics, there was an interesting bit where they pilot the Ninjazords as Ninja Rangers, but the Shogunzords in their regular suits, albeit designed as the movie suits.
Comm Links: The Rangers' wristwatch-like communicators.
Continuity Creep: The early episodes, especially in the first season, are nearly all one-off battles with Rita's monsters, and extremely simple ones at that. After about fifty episodes of that, the show developed more of a continuing story.
Continuity Error: Quite a few because of Stock Footage; expect things that have not been introduced yet to show up in glimpses here and there, and say hello to quite a few of the Japanese cast in the background shots!
Curb-Stomp Battle: There were quite a few of these over the three seasons, but two rather memorable ones took place in "Doomsday" and "Ninja Quest": In the former, the Dino Zords put up a pitiful fight against Cyclopsis, only for the evil Zord to hack off the Megazord's arm and the Dragonzord's tail. In the latter episode, the Rangers use their new Ninja Zords for the very first time and proceed to beat the living hell out of Rito Revolto, nailing him repeatedly with the Ninja MegaFalconzord's finishing attack and paying him back for his curb-stomping the Thunderzords some episodes earlier.
Cute Kitten: "P.C." ("Park Cat") in Season 3, who was actually Kat under Rita's spell.
The Day The Music Lied: When the Alien Rangers battle Hydro Hog in the Shogun Megazord, "Go Go Alien Rangers" kicks in as the Megazord powers up the Fire Saber for its finishing attack, an attack which no monster has ever survived. The Megazord brings its saber down on Hydro Hog's head... only for Hydro Hog to catch the saber in his hands and quip "You don't get to win like that this time," instantly ending the theme.
Demoted to Extra: Squatt and Baboo had fairly sizable roles for henchmen in Season 1 - each helping jumpstart some episodes' plots. However, with Lord Zedd's introduction in Season 2, their purpose appears to simply be observing his villainous actions or getting yelled at by him. This is somewhat reversed in Season 3, where they take more of a role in episodes again.
Same for Finster in Season 2. Justified in that Lord Zedd makes his own monsters, making Finster obsolete. Finster even Lampshades his status by saying, "I used to be somebody around here. 'Monster-maker extraordinaire.' Now, I'm just old and in the way." The trope is reversed when Rita returns, as he helps her marriage plot. By Season 3, he is making monsters again.
Deus Exit Machina: Zordon drops out of contact right at the beginning of the "Green With Evil" miniseries, lest he solve things in one episode instead of the five that it took. To be fair, Rita and Evil!Tommy spent considerable effort keeping him that way.
Discard and Draw: The Zords in Season 2, and practically everything but the Rangers' costumes in Season 3.
Distressed Dude: Tommy was victim to this several times, if he wasn't off lollygagging or who knows. This is of course because the Sentai Stock Footage didn't involve the Sixth Ranger unless they had no alternative.
Dub Name Change: When adapting Dairanger into Season 2, the Sei-Kirin (Star Qilin) was changed to its closest Western equivalent, the Griffin. Sei-Tenma (Star Pegasus) was also changed into the Unicorn Thunderzord.
Dynamic Entry: In his Green Ranger days, Tommy was known to leap towards enemies crotch-first. (See here, 30 seconds in.) Unsurprisingly, it's been the subject of Memetic Mutation.
Early Installment Weirdness: David Fielding was in the opening credits sequence for the first season of the show for his role as Zordon. This is the only time in the show's history when a voice actor is credited in the opening. Usually, if you play an on-camera human or humanoid main or major recurring character, you're in the opening credits.
Eenie Meenie Miny Moai: In Season 1's "Foul Play in the Sky", the Rangers inexplicably fight a monster in a park with Easter Island heads statues.
Evil Is Hammy: Oh, yeah. Rita and Zedd are some of the hammier Power Rangers villains (Rita especially) but that's part of the fun.
Evil Is Petty: Aside from the evil plots to take over the world, the villains would sometimes devise plans to mess with the Rangers just to be jerks. Like the time they tried to wear Kimberly out just so she would be too exhausted for the gymnastics team tryouts (and Ranger duties).
Evil Laugh: Tommy had a pretty good one as a villain.
Fake Shemp: Jason, Zack and Trini prior to their formal departure. It went on for eight episodes (starting with "Zedd's Monster Mash" and all the way to the second part of "The Power Transfer") before their characters were finally written out, using a combination of reused lines, Stock Footage, voiceovers while in costume, and an impressive amount of tricky editing.
Then there was that very unconvincing "No way!" from Tommy in Green with Evil, part 5 with a voice that was quite clearly not Jason Frank's.
Fakin' MacGuffin: The Power Rangers deceive Lord Zedd and Goldar into getting the fake Lightning Diamond while keeping the real diamond nice and safe so that the Bookala can return to his home planet in "The Great Bookala Escape".
Food Fight: Bulk and Skull turn a food festival into an epic one in an episode called "Food Fight".
Foreshadowing: When Rocky, Adam, and Aisha first show up their clothing has highlights of red, black and yellow, respectively.
Subverted with Kat, in a surprising touch of subtlety you wouldn't expect from this show, most of Kat's pre-Ranger clothes were an almost-white pastel shade of pink◊.
For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Alpha and the Frankenstein monster in "Life's a Masquerade", as well as Bulk and Skull in the same episode, who dressed up as "punks" not realizing that's how they dress normally.
Frankenstein's Monster: Rita creates her own version of the Frankenstein Monster in Season 1's "Life's A Masquerade." As one might imagine, he is incredibly powerful and beats the tar out of the Rangers.
He also clobbers the Megazord, Dragonzord, and Dragonzord Battle Mode. Even though in MMPR he's defeated by the Power Staff, it only causes him to change form in Zyu Ranger to what we know as Mutitis.
And, funnily enough, the Rangers wonder if it's Tommy in costume when in fact it is played by Jason David Frank in the U.S. footage.
Fuel Meter Of Power: The Green Ranger in late Season 1/early Season 2. Oddly enough, he's seen fighting MORE when his power was limited than before he had his power taken away from him.
Genre Savvy: Rita's father, Master Vile, who is described by Zordon as "infinitely older and wiser in the ways of evil." He proves this when, after a few episodes of nearly-successful plots to destroy the Rangers (culminating in the aforementioned age-reversal), each time having victory snatched away at the last minute, he realizes he simply can't win, and returns to his own empire "where evil reigns supreme and the bad guys always win!"
Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: At least twice (in "Big Sisters" and "Green With Evil Part IV"), the latter including a bus between the falling and the hand.
Golem: The Putty Patrollers (which were originally called "Golem Warriors" in Zyuranger). About half of the Season 1 monsters and some from Season 3 were clay figures run through a monster maker, as well.
Halloween Episode: Three: "Life's A Masquerade," "Trick or Treat" and "Zedd's Monster Mash," though only the third actually takes place on Halloween. Also the video release Lord Zedd's Monster Heads, in which Zedd throws his own Halloween party.
Hammerspace: In "A Bad Reflection on You", Bulk has a small lunchbox which his mom somehow crammed a bunch of food into it (including a mustard bottle, ketchup bottle, ham, footlong, pineapple. cream pie, etc.). The Rangers are perplexed.
The Power Sword was either the Red Ranger's main weapon, the Dino Megazord's weapon (occasionally called the Mega Sword) or the Evil Green Ranger's Sword of Darkness.
The Dragonzord Battle Mode was sometimes referred to as the Dragonzord Fighting Mode or the MegaDragonzord (which was also the name of the rarely used Dino Megazord/Dragonzord combination).
The Power Weapons had different names in the episode "Different Drum": Might Mace, Dino Daggers, Battle Bow and Cosmic Cannon (though the Power Sword retained its usual name).
I Need You to Shut Up: During "Green with Evil," the Command Center's console gets trashed for about the thirtieth time, and Billy is tasked with making repairs:
Zack: "Alpha, Billy's trying to concentrate."
Informed Ability: After the villains spent two whole episodes building up Vampirus to be this unbelievably powerful creature capable of annihilating the Power Rangers with little to no trouble, Vampirus turned out to be a complete joke, finding himself on the wrong end of a Curb-Stomp Battle by Ninjor and the newly acquired Ninja Megazord.
Just Take The Poster: Bulk and Skull found an ad offering a reward to whoever returns a lost dog. They ripped it from the wall so nobody else would know about it.
Kamehame Hadoken: Ninjor's finisher. A few monsters have seemingly surrendered after getting hit by it (before getting killed by the Megazord anyway), but with a few monsters it was little more than a distraction (albeit a useful one). Also, the Green Ranger, when he was evil. And the Stag Beetle monster, when he possessed the Green Ranger's powers.
Kick the Dog: In "The Spit Flower", Rita sends a squad of Putties to trash Kimberely's design of a flower float for the big Angel Grove parade, and she starts crying.
The Dog Bites Back: Kimberly's power bow prevented the Spit Flower from further boosting its power by hitting its spit sac so that it couldn't make anymore biting bloomers (but the monster was far from helpless at this point, which is why they assembled the Power Blaster, it took three blasts from it to bring the monster down).
Kirk's Rock: The Command Center/Power Chamber (aka. American Jewish University's "The House of the Book") sat on this rock.
In a couple episodes, when one or two Rangers needed help from the others, they used the excuse that they were scuba-diving and thus could not hear their communicators' summoning them (yes, this excuse was used more than once). In the third season episode "Follow That Cab!" this was lampshaded when Kimberly was trapped inside a taxi cab monster. When Zordon tells Alpha to contact the other Rangers, Alpha quips "I hope they're not off scuba-diving!"
Also in the third season, Finster comes running up to Zedd and Rita, declaring he's done something wonderful, to which Zedd responds "What is it this time, Finster? A monster that blows itself up?"
Again in the third season, Bulk and Skull are patrolling through the park when they come across Rito, Squatt and Baboo, seconds before they teleport away in their usual multicolored flashes. The two begin screaming in their usual fashion, then say the following:
Bulk: "...Uh, why are we screaming?"
Skull: "Because Evil Space Aliens are using their magical powers right in front of us."
They continue screaming.
Back in the first season, in the episode "Grumble Bee," the Rangers in the Megazord summon their Power Sword to aid them in battle. Grumble Bee quips, "I bet that thing isn't even real!"
Laser Blade: The Power Sword and the Dragon Dagger occasionally went into lightsaber mode to deliver a rather powerful blow to a monster, most notably when Jason used both to destroy Cardiatron.
Lens Flare: The command center was sometimes more lens flare than set.
Let's Get Dangerous: A couple of episodes are centered around the monsters picking off the Rangers (or one of Billy's girlfriends) one by one until Billy was the last one left to save them. The perception of nerdy, bespectacled, overalls-wearing Billy being the weakest is aided by some of their taunts and/or Billy having to give himself a little courageous pep talk before saving the day. Because at the end of the day, he's still a freaking Power Ranger and all.
Living Statue: Kind of. Lord Zedd turns the park's "Sentinel Statue" into a monster known as Nimrod, the Scarlet Sentinel.
Long Lost Uncle Aesop: There were a lot, but take for example Billy's girlfriends. One episode was literally about an uncle, when Dark Warrior threatened Trini's uncle.
Love Potion: Used on Zedd by Rita. It later got undone, but it turns out he loved her anyways.
Zedd also tried one on Kimberly in "Beauty and the Beast." It didn't work, but she faked it and abused his minions.
Lowered Monster Difficulty: Monsters such as Eye Guy, Snizard and Pirantishead would often wreck the entire team and come close to victory on their own. But whenever Zedd and Rita would decide to send down "an army of our best monsters," the monsters would more often than not lack all their special powers and engage the Rangers with mere hand-to-hand combat. Furthermore, whereas these monsters usually required the Zords or the Power Blaster to destroy them in their initial appearance, they could now be destroyed by a mere slash from their individual weapons, or even a strong enough punch or kick.
Justified in some cases by the Rangers facing old threats with new abilities, weaponry and/or Zords.
Lucky Translation: The switch to Dairanger Zords for season two could have been a problem because the Dairanger didn't have a Black Ranger but a Green Ranger in it's place. The Green Dairanger Lion zord coloring just happened to be about 50 percent black with a couple of gold and green highlights, making it plausible as a Black Ranger's zord as well. Similarly the White Ranger's suit design was close enough stylistically (animal theme helmet in particular) to match the Zuyuranger costumes, any other suit would have made too big of a contrast. Lastly, Kakuranger had a female White Ranger in place of the Pink Ranger, but whose Zord was white with pink highlights.
Magic Music: Tommy summoning the Dragonzord and it also seemed to be an activation for the golden "Dragon Shield".
Also Season 2 monster Guitardo and Season 3 monster Dischordia.
Don't forget the accordion-using monster from "Different Drum".
Magic Wand: Rita, Zedd and Vile all use magic wands.
Modesty Shorts: The end of Green Candle Pt 2 Tommy lifts Kimberly up high, whilst the latter is wearing a dress.
Monster Clown: Pineapple the Clown, the human form of Rita's Pineoctopus monster.
Motive Decay: Over the course of the three seasons, Zedd and Rita's focus seems to be less on conquering the Earth and more on being Jerkasses to the Rangers. Their plans turn from "This plan will provide us with an unending power source or ultimate weapon that will allow us to take over the Earth" to "This plan will totally ruin Kimberly's chance at joining the Pan Global Games."
To be fair, they weren't so much interested in ruining Kimberly's Pan Global Games dreams. Instead, they wanted to tire her out to the point that she would suffer a horrible injury training. Still a step down from seeking ultimate power or weaponry, but there's something to be said for striking a morale blow against the Rangers.
Plus, by this time, they had taken her Power Coin, which she bonded her life force to, thus slowly killing her. They wanted to wear her out to the point where one good blow would take her out.
Mundane Utility: The Zords are giant robotic dinosaurs, plus a Sabertooth Tiger, a Mastodon, and a Pterodactyl, that can combine into a giant robot. What calls Kimberly's attention when she first boards it? The stereo.
Kimberly: "Nice stereo!"
Mighty Morphin'-Specific Tropes N-Z
Neck Lift: Goldar to Jason in "Green With Evil Part II" and Jason to Evil!Tommy in another episode.
Never Recycle Your Schemes: Subverted because the one time one of Zedd's schemes was reused (the "turn the Rangers into children" plan, this time by Master Vile) it not only worked, but resulted in the end of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and necessitated the creation of the Power Rangers Zeo.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: It seems like every time the Rangers fight in their ninja forms, they unveal new ways to kick Tenga ass, whether it's super speed, teleportation, or growing to the size of a frickin' building! Though, seeing as how they don't have much impact on the plot (only really used in the battles against the Tengas), it can be forgiven.
New Transfer Student: Every Ranger past the original five (though we first met Rocky, Adam, and Aisha before they transferred from the school across town).
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As the Rangers fight off Rito and four other monsters, Zordon informs them that if they keep on fighting, "the flux of power could ultimately strip you of your Ranger powers." Tommy's response is a cocky "That's a risk we'll just have to take!" The end result: Dino Coins fried, Zords fall apart (literally), and Command Center trashed. Way to go, T.O.!
What makes it even worse is that it's not even as if they lost their powers defending the city. Rito's mission was specifically to fight the Rangers and nothing else. A retreat would have actually foiled Zedd and Rita's plan.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Rita recruiting an evil Ranger on her side led to said Ranger defecting and joining her enemies. Zordon even comments in "Green With Evil Part V" that the Green Ranger's Heel Face Turn was prophesied.
Don't forget taking the Green Ranger's powers...only to have to deal with the White Ranger.
The Shogunzords were previously lost, but the villains were the ones to find and activate them. And rather than simply use them themselves, Lord Zedd preferred the irony of blackmailing the Rangers into piloting them. Of course, within minutes of entering the Blue Shogunzord, Billy effectively reprograms the Shogunzords to be under the Rangers' control.
The destruction of the Ninja Coins was quite a victory for Zedd and company, but doing so just forced the Rangers to retrieve and restore the Zeo Crystal. This would make the Rangers even more powerful and able to resist the Machine Empire (which Zedd and company were afraid of). Also, as Power Rangers Zeo showed, Billy using the regenerator to restore his age ultimately led to him rapidly aging. Had the villains not destroyed the Ninja Coins, Billy would've used the regenerator on the whole world, leaving everyone with the same fate.
The Machine Empire showed up right when Rita and Zedd were about to take over the world, the time it took the Machine Empire to set up allowed the Rangers to gain their Zeo powers in time.
Dischordia had used her powers to take control of the Rangers. She was about to force Tommy to hand over his Ninja Coin, but she swatted him aside briefly to mock him. It was only a matter of seconds, but it gave Tommy and the others enough time to summon the Metallic Armor, which blocked out her spell.
When Master Vile arrived, Rito dropped the jar holding Ninjor. He wound up getting recaptured fairly quickly anyway, but not before he was able to warn the Rangers of Vile's plan for the Zeo Crystal. And no one put him back in a jar either, so when he was finally able to break free again, he joined the battle and finished off the Blue Globbor.
Rita's default voice appears to be a constant, shrill scream of some sort.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: While MMPR had a few Wham Episodes the main premise remained the same for about the first 130 episodes with the most of them being stand alone with the Rangers fighting the Monster of the Week with the occasional 2 or 3 episode stories where the Rangers faced a challenge, however by the end the Rangers always succeeded and left with more powers and weapons than they had before, which pretty much reduced the Big Bad to Harmless Villain status. However that changed around the midway point of season 3 with the 3 part Episode Changing of the Zords. While the Rangers did eventually win and get the Shogunzords, Lord Zedd and Rita still had the Pink Rangers powers, the Falconzord, Ninjor trapped in a bottle, plus they came as close to killing a Ranger as they ever would. After that the show became more arc driven with only occasional stand alone episodes and the Rangers playing defense for the remaining 25 episodes of the series.
Off-the-Shelf FX: Rita's shrunken banishment at the start of Season 2, as well as the Ninja and Shogun Ultrazords in Season 3, were all done using toys... with predictable results.
Oh Crap: Rito in "Ninja Quest Part IV," seconds before the Ninja MegaFalconzord slams its finishing attack fists into him.
In "The Mutiny, Part 1," just about everyone has this reaction to Lord Zedd's arrival.
Tommy in "The Green Dream" when he tries to summon Dragonzord to fight Robogoat and nothing happens.
A Running Gag was for Rita to pull away from her huge ass telescope when the Rangers had just summoned the Power Sword or the Ultrazord or something similar with an aversion to her normal Large Ham tendency and just utter an "...uh oh."
One Steve Limit: Meta-subversion. Jason Geiger used the stage name "Austin St. John" to alleviate confusion with his character, Jason Lee Scott, as well as fellow actors Jason Narvy and Jason David Frank.
One-Winged Angel: Scorpina. Unlike Goldar and most other monsters, she doesn't just get bigger when Rita makes her grow, she goes from "Hot Asian chick in armor" to "Grotesque humanoid scorpion complete with giant claw and whip-like tail."
On The Next: "Find out next time, on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!"
Out-Gambitted: Zedd makes the Ninja Zords useless and forces the Rangers to pilot his own evil Shogun Zords, or else Kimberly dies. Just as it seems like he's won, Tommy rescues Kimberly and Billy rewires the Shogun Zords so that they will only respond to the Power Coins, ripping them from Zedd's command.
Zedd: "They broke my staff... They stole my Zords... This job used to be fun."
Hell, Rita did one in "The Green Candle". The Rangers can either get Tommy's powers back (and let Tommy die) or save Tommy (and he loses his powers). By the way, if Tommy tries to get his powers back himself, they just snuff out quicker. And you can't morph in the Dark Dimension...most of the time. Tommy still out-gambits her, by giving Jason the Green Power Coin. Rita is only able to steal the power from Tommy. Then Tommy gets better but only temporarily, and he runs out of power again facing Zedd. But that's okay, because he gets the White Ranger powers, which are better.
Pet the Dog: For Bulk and Skull in "A Ninja Encounter Part I," a baby carriage goes careening out of control and the two make a sincere and honest effort to save the baby inside. Later on they can be seen sitting with the baby and his father during a martial arts competition and even hold him.
Politically Correct History: In "Wild West Rangers," Kimberly goes back in time, wearing almost nothing (although THIS is lampshaded as men can be seen leering at her), with what would be considered a boy's haircut in the 1880s, and finds people who look exactly like her friends, who include a black woman, an Asian and a hispanic. Naturally, nothing is ever said about all these people just walking around.
More justified then you think, the old West had many Fleeing slaves and Asian immigrants, and much of it used to be Mexico.
Previously On: Obviously used during multi-part storylines. The opening title sequences of the later seasons would also serve to recap important recent events in the series, such as the cast changes and new powers.
"Last time, on Power Rangers!"
Punny Name: Kat, who Rita used to spy on the Rangers as, well, a cat.
Also, having the Pink Ranger be named Kimberly Hart, the Green Ranger be named Tommy Oliver, and the Red Ranger be named (not color-related, but still punny for different reasons) Jason Lee Scott.
Put on a Bus: Jason, Trini, and Zack were written off halfway through the second season by sending their characters to "Teen Peace Summit", followed by Kimberly during the third season to pursue her gymnastics career. An in-joke among the cast was that if one of them demanded a raise, their character would be "sent to a peace conference."
Real Life Writes the Plot: The actors playing Jason, Trini, and Zack all left partway through the second season due to contract disputes, and Amy Jo Johnson left in the third season to focus on expanding her career. As a result, storylines featuring their characters' Passing the Torch to their replacements were written.
Also Tommy was likely made the leader because of this as the producers thought that a vetren ranger should be the leader. As Austin St. John had walked out during post production of White Light dialogue was added to make Tommy the leader.
Another notable example happened in Season 2. The actors were stuck in Australia because of script and scheduling problems with the movie (which was being filmed in Australia at the time). But the TV episode schedule caught up to them. So the crew filmed several episodes where the Rangers, as students, holiday in Australia, using a historical village just outside of Sydney to portray colonial Angel Grove for a time-travelling adventure.
Replacement Love Interest: Adam got one in "Return of the Green Ranger." And Kat wound up becoming one for Tommy - not right away, but still.
Role Reprisal: The Power Rangers footage of Rita Repulsa was taken off of Zyuranger villain Witch Bandora played by Machiko Soga. When Power Rangers was dubbed in Japanese, Machiko Soga was hired to re-dub her character.
Aside from Rita, there was also the Face Stealer in Season 3, a demon trapped in an urn that could steal your face and leave you without a soul.
Secret Keeper: Rocky, Adam and Aisha, before becoming Rangers themselves.
Series Fauxnale: The two-part episode "Doomsday" was intended to be the series' finale, since Saban exhausted almost all of the original Zyuranger footage. But when MMPR proved to be a surprise sensation, they revised the episode at the last minute, editing out the ending from Zyuranger where Rita Repulsa and her henchmen are sent back to the dumpster.
Shout Out: In one scene in Season 3, the Rangers (in their Ninja Ranger outfits rather than their Ranger suits) decide to go all Super Sentai, doing a team roll call (which IIRC they'd never done before - all previous uses of roll call footage had been adapted into either different speeches or Zord calling) followed up with a team pose - specifically, the signature pose of Dai Sentai Goggle Five!
One episode involved a Monster of the Week named Shellshock who was a turtle-creature. When he grew to giant size, he exclaimed, "Just wait until those teenage mutants find out what a full-grown turtle can do!" The reference couldn't have been more obvious.
In "A Chimp In Charge," as Finster attempts to transform a chimpanzee into the Sinister Simian, he asks "Don't you want to be a big gorilla like King... what's his name?"
"May the Power protect you." I know I've heard something like that somewhere before.
"Trick or Treat": Skull (dressed in a prisoner costume) has "24601" written on his chest.
As Rita Repulsa is being shrunk down by Zedd in "The Mutiny", she exclaims "I'm shrinking! What a planet!", a reference the Wicked Witch of the West's final words in The Wizard of Oz.
Smooch of Victory: Zedd comedically gives Goldar one of these when Master Vile finally leaves.
Goldar: "For the love of Mike...!"
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Season 1 we meet Rita who's suppose to be pretty bad, then season 2 introduced the true emperor Lord Zedd who was far worse than Rita. Near the end of season 3 we meet Rita's dad Master Vile who is described as been infinitely more evil than Zedd.
Strictly Formula: Most notably in the first season, where more often than not, it took a multi-part episode to indicate that there would be any appreciable plot beyond fighting the Monster of the Week.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Rocky, Adam, Aisha, and Kat were this to varying degrees when Jason, Zack, Trini, and Kim respectively left the show. They weren't complete clones of the originals - the Yellow and Black Rangers were given a race switch, Rocky and Adam were more like Zack and Trini than Jason and Zack, respectively - but there are still vibes of this. Especially with how Kat later became Tommy's love interest, like Kim was.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: In Happy Birthday Zack when Zack comes to the Youth Center looking for the other rangers Ernie says he hasn't seen anyone and then adds "it's just been me and my stack of papers, bowl of popcorn, a couple of chairs..." before he is cut of by Zack whose Genre Blindness prevents him from spotting the denial.
Team Rocket Wins: The villains would occasionally get their act together and really stick it to the Rangers.
"Green With Evil": Rita creates her own evil, Green Ranger, which results in the Command Center getting trashed, loss of communication with Zordon and the temporary destruction of the Megazord.
"The Green Candle Parts 1 and 2": Rita uses the Green Candle to steal the Green Ranger's powers but Tommy gives his Dragon Power Coin to Jason which just results in a temporary loss of his powers.
"Doomsday": Rita creates her own Zord, Cyclopsis, that completely overwhelms the Dino Zords and, at one point, hacks off the Megazord's arm and Dragonzord's tail.
"Green No More": Zedd uses a magic crystal to destroy the Green Ranger's powers forever.
"Ninja Quest": Zedd and Rita send a group of monsters that ambush the Rangers, destroying their Dino Power Coins and the Thunder Zords.
"Changing of the Zords": Zedd and Rita kidnap Ninjor and steal both Kimberly's Ninja Power Coin (almost killing her) and the Falconzord (rendering the other Ninja Zords useless for a good chunk of the season).
"Rangers In Reverse": Master Vile summons the Orb of Doom which renders the Rangers powerless and turn them into helpless children. It's worth noting that the effects from this one stuck, as it was this plan that put an end to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Zedd tried it before in "Rangers Back in Time" (lampshaded by Goldar saying "Been there, done that") with the Rock of Time. Key difference being that the Orb of Doom activated itself by its own self-destruction, so while the Rangers could obliterate the Rock of Time with the Power Cannon, they had no defenses against something that operated by its own self-destruction.
"Climb Every Fountain": Zedd and Rita personally destroy the Ninja Power Coins.
"Hogday Afternoon": Goldar and Rito destroy the Command Center.
Jason also tossed his Power Sword a couple times: In "Green With Evil, Part 5" it's how he knocked the Sword of Darkness out of Tommy's hand so he could destroy it and break Rita's evil spell. In "Two for One", he threw it at the human-like Lipsyncher monster, leaving a bloody scar on her face.
Daggers (close enough) were used in Season 2's "Bloom of Doom", as Trini tossing her daggers at a 90 degree angle saved Kimberly from being permanently trapped in an alternate dimension.
Tommy does this in Season 3 with Saba when trying to free Kimberly from Lord Zedd's life-draining machine, destroying Zedd's staff in the process.
Took a Level in Badass: Billy's job in the fights early on was mostly running and dodging the Putties. After a few episodes he took martial arts lessons from Trini's uncle and by the second season was a bonafide Badass.
Valley Girl: Kimberly. Aisha, too, especially once Kimberly left.
Villain on a Bus: Rita Repulsa became one during most of Season 2 when she was overthrown by Lord Zedd. When she returned, Rita was played by an American actress and the writers had to handwave her different appearance by giving her a magical makeover.
Video Inside, Film Outside: Saban shot the inside scenes with the American actors on video. When it cuts to the Japanese footage, shot by Toei on 16mm film, the quality difference is really noticeable.
Villain Teleportation: In the first season, the villains and monsters would often just fade away. But once the second season started, they began teleporting with fancy, colorful flashes.
Goldar appeared and disappeared with rising flames.
Squatt and Baboo were absorbed into expanding blue spirals.
Rito's body would spin around into nothingness, and his head would bounce around until it blasted off-screen.
Master Vile's snake-heads would turn into energy, wrap around him, and he'd disappear.
Rita, Zedd, and Finster never really teleported all that much, so they never had a set special effect. However, Rita used a pretty sweet pair of spiraling fireballs a couple of times in season three.
Doomsday was supposed to be the final episode with the rangers graduating and retiring from ranger duty after defeating Rita, but the show continued after it was a hit. Tommy's cameo was a relic of this original plan as...
Jason David Frank was going to be in VR troopers and shot a pilot of it. After Power rangers was picked up for more episodes Brad Hawkins was cast as Rocky the White Ranger, Saban decided that it was to risky to replace Frank now that there was the opportunity to bring him back, so Hawkins went onto VR troopers and Frank returned to Power Rangers.
Tommy was supposed to die similar to his counterpart but this was scrapped and he lost his powers instead.
Ernie was going to be Zordon taking another form to keep ans eye on the Rangers, but this was scrapped early on.
And Billy was afraid of fish after one bit him as a kid. Using this to her advantage, Rita sends a fish monster and cast a spell on Billy to make his phobia grow. He got over it and even lampshaded it in a later episode with another fish-themed monster.
Also, the episode "Water You Thinking?" features a literal wicked witch named Witchblade (no, not that one), an old friend of Lord Zedd's. She calls the Alien Rangers "my pretties," the Battle Borgs their "tin men," and when she is finally destroyed by the Shogun Megazord, she cries "Oh no, I'm falling... falling... what a world...!"
William Telling: The monster of "Foul Play in the Sky" was the Snizzard, a Snake-Lizard monster whose weak spot/power artifact was a golden apple atop his head. This was a Kimberly-centered episode, and Kimberly's weapon is a bow. Cue Twang Hello + Blasting It Out Of Their Hands, and then an arrow to the apple.
Yeah Shot: In "Day of the Dumpster," "Green With Evil Part V," and "Doomsday."
Youkai: The Season 3 monsters, as Kakuranger had this as a theme (though Power Rangers didn't draw much attention to it). Funnily enough, the only monsters that are obviously Youkai are the American-created Tenga Warriors.
A "reversioned" version of this series was aired at the end of the Disney Era in 2010, following Power Rangers RPM. Consisting of only the first 32 episodes out of the original 60 of season 1, the new version adds a number of visual effects but generally leaves the audio and editing untouched. Both Disney and Saban number this as the show's official eighteenth year, though most fans prefer to ignore that.
2010 Re Cut Tropes
Boss Subtitles: For the villains ("Rita Repulsa: Evil Sorceress") and Zords ("Red Ranger: Tyrannosaurus!").
Dinosaurs Are Dragons: By this point, a longtime staple of the toyline were figures that transform into a beast mode. Most of the time they stick to established Animal Motifs pretty well, but the 2010 figures turned into dragons instead of dinosaurs (appropriate for Tommy, not so much for anyone else).
Eye Catch: Kind of. Each episode has unique ones, often using later events in that episode's footage.
In an interview, the man who was in charge of the reversioning said that standards were made in no small part because of the show itself. It seems like the first seasons "got away" with a little more because there really wasn't a group in place to stop them.
Retronym: The newer toy versions of the original Megazord was given the name of the "Dino Megazord" to distinguish it from its successors.
Schedule Slip: Because sports always pre-empted the show (in some time zones at least), the "Green with Evil" airing inserted long hiatuses between episodes - the five-episode miniseries lasted over two months. And then the FIFA World Cup put the show on hiatus for yet another month.
The last four episodes were pre-empted on the West Coast for Little League. They can't be shown at a later date, because Nickelodeon took over the broadcast rights before the episodes could be re-scheduled.