The Power Rangers, whether they are of the Mighty Morphin or the Super Megaforce variety, have faced many a monstrous foe. Armed with all manner of animal and dinosaur-themed weaponry, along with a never-say-die attitude and an unparalleled resolve, the Power Rangers are usually able to fend off any threats that come their way. However, while the theme song to Mighty Morhpin’ Power Rangers would have you believe no one can ever bring them down, there are multiple instances when Power Rangers have suffered awful losses. Though eventually, it being a kids’ show and all, our heroes successfully pull back from the jaws of defeat.
From having their command centers destroyed by the forces of evil to getting the floor wiped with them in overwhelming fights, some of the beat-downs the Power Rangers have received have been nothing short of brutal. While oftentimes the foes they face are goofy and easily vanquished, there are those with power and attitude, greater than the Power Rangers could ever fathom. Here at CBR, we’re going to look at 15 moments of pure destruction from across the Power Rangers franchise, when being a teenager with attitude was not enough, and the Power Rangers dug deeper than ever before just to survive.
15. LORD ZEDD
When Lord Zedd first appeared in the second season of Mighty Morhpin’ Power Rangers, he forever changed the landscape of the show. While it was rare that he would ever deign to fight the Rangers on his own, his reason for showing up on this list is because he does something no one had ever done before. He destroys the Megazord; or rather, he destroys all of the zords themselves, and by proxy the Megazord. By splitting the earth apart, the Zords fall into lava and are vaporized. Why he never did this again with the Thunder Megazord is curious.
Despite this, Zedd jumpstarted a new era of Power Rangers in the process; accidentally making them stronger. Lord Zedd’s victory, albeit short-lived, was one of a kind for the period; the Power Rangers had never before suffered such an absolute and soul-crushing defeat. For audiences, it was shocking.
14. IVAN OOZE
Easily one of the strongest villains to ever go against the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Ivan Ooze is a threat unlike any other. Appearing in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie, upon his arrival, he defeats Lord Zedd and Rita Repula in seconds, before moving on to Earth. He all but destroys Zordon and the morphin grid in just moments, depowering the Power Rangers in the process.
With the ability to create an endless supply of winged bird monsters and giant robot monsters that he can then inhabit and control, his ooze even zombified the planet’s (or at least the whole of Angel Grove’s, since they’re apparently the only place that matters in this universe) adult population, nearly getting them all to commit suicide. All of this he does dressed as a goopy purple space wizard.
If anyone thought the Knasty Knight was tough, they haven’t met Rita Repulsa’s Frankenstein. A ridiculously powerful creature, the Frankenstein monster pushes the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to the limit. Taking many of their best shots and shrugging them off, Frankenstein keeps coming like a tidal wave of power.
The combined might of the Megazord and Dragonzord are all but helpless before Frankenstein. Even the Megazord’s Power Sword bounces harmlessly off his chest. Frankenstein is faster, stronger, and capable of lifting the robots and throwing them into buildings. In fact, the feat is so impressive, that as the audience watches, the Megazord being hoisted in the air, you can see the stage the scene was being filmed on. Apparently Frankenstein’s power merges into our reality as well. Only through the power of the Dragonzord in Battle Mode do they prevail, and even then, the Rangers barely hold their own.
Every so often, a Ranger loses confidence; never was it more debilitating than in episode #25 of Power Rangers In Space, “Always A Chance.” After Carlos, the Black Ranger, accidentally injures the Pink Ranger in the middle of a fight, his confidence is all but shattered. It doesn’t matter to him that the monster they were battling tricked him into hurting his friend. Carlos is all but ready to stop being the Black Ranger.
Help comes from Adam Park, the second Black Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. Though no longer able to wield his Mighty Morphin power, he serves as a mentor, re-training Carlos in a super training montage that screams 1990s. Towards the end of the episode, with Carlos still shellshocked, Adam is forced to morph, nearly dying in the process. His willful display is enough to shock Carlos back into action. Better luck next time, bad guys.
11. SCARLET SENTINEL
When Lord Zedd appeared in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the teenage superheroes encounter a threat they are ill-prepared for. With putties and monsters stronger than anything Rita ever created, it’s everything our heroes can do to stay ahead of Zedd. In the two-part episode “White Light,” it looks like Zedd might triumph.
In creating the monster Nimrod, the Scarlet Sentinel, the Rangers have seemingly met their match. Despite wielding the awesome Thunder Megazord, Nimrod all but destroys the Rangers, forcing them to retreat. Only through Zordon’s creation of the White Ranger, adding the White Tiger Zord to the Power Rangers’ ranks, are they able to merge, becoming the Mega Tigerzord, claiming victory. So essentially, Zedd’s monsters are so powerful it requires the making of new Rangers and Zords for our heroes to stand a chance.
10. RITO REVOLTO
Towards the beginning of the third season of Mighty Morhpin’ Power Rangers, both the viewers and the Power Rangers were introduced to Rita Repulsa’s brother, Rito Revolto. Debuting in episode #116 in “Ninja Quest” part 1, Rito took everyone by surprise. Despite appearing like a bumbling moron, and though he’s not the strongest villain on this list, he accomplished what Zedd and Rita could not: destroying the Thunder Megazord.
Rito is on this list on account of creating the most visually traumatic of all Power Ranger defeats. Viewers were forced to watch their fan-favorite Zords, the ones they’d grown up with, get annihilated. It was heart-breaking then and even looking back, it’s heart-breaking now. As the Zords broke apart piece by piece, it was all the Rangers could do to cry out in anguish as their mechanical friends met a painful and fiery end.
9. KNASTY KNIGHT
In “Happy Birthday, Zack,” the tenth Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers episode, not only is it Zack’s birthday, but also the Rangers encounter their strongest opponent yet: the Knasty Knight. Up until now, the Rangers haven’t had any real challenges (except, strangely, for Goldar), but the Knight gives them a beating unlike anything they’d previously received, nearly defeating the Rangers.
Destroying their weapons and reflecting their attacks back at them, the Knasty Knight was one of the most relentless and ruthless foes the Power Rangers ever faced. He easily takes on the Megazord, as well as shorting out the Power Sword. It’s thanks to Zack’s fast thinking in realizing that they could reflect the Knasty Knight’s power back at him that they are able to win the day. Despite emerging victorious, it set a precedent for being one of the first times the Megazord took such a pounding, especially this early in the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ career.
At the end of Power Rangers Turbo, the final two episodes, called “Chase Into Space,” marks a significant moment in Power Rangers history. When Divatox hires Goldgoyle to destroy the Turbo Rangers, it’s a battle as costly as any the Rangers have experienced. Despite defeating the Goldgoyle, their Zords are completely destroyed in the process.
Already battle-weary, the Turbo Rangers’ fight continues at an unrelenting pace. The moment they back it back to their base, Divatox orders for wave after wave of henchmen to lay siege to the Power Chamber. Despite the Power Rangers’ resolve, their fortress is blown up and they’re left powerless. After losing the Power Chamber and their powers, the Turbo Rangers are left utterly defeated. There’s no coming back from this loss for our heroes and in turn, the next chapter carries on into the next series Power Rangers In Space.
In episodes #37 and #38 of Power Rangers Ninja Storm, parts one and two of “Storm Before the Calm,” the Rangers experience one of their worst losses. They first have to contend with the monster Vexacus. Taking on the combined might of the Mammoth Zord and the Thunderstorm Megazord, destroying both completely; the day goes from bad to worse for the Rangers.
Lothor’s machinations escalate; he infiltrates the Ninja Rangers’ lair, laying waste to their fortress, before moving on to summon many old enemies the Rangers previously destroyed. Totally outmatched, the Rangers are on the losing end of the battle until the Thunder Rangers and the entirety of the ninja students show up. Even then, Lothor alone takes the Power Rangers apart, obliterating their Ranger powers, cutting them off from the morphin grid. The Rangers only win by combining their inner ninja powers into one final attack. Despite the win, their Ranger powers are gone forever.
In the two part-episode “Doomsday,” episodes #39 and #40 more specifically, the strongest enemy to face the Power Rangers in the first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers appears. A seemingly unbeatable opponent, Cyclopsis is a Zord by Rita’s own design. Cyclopsis attacked Earth 10,000 years earlier; upon his latest return, Goldar pilots him.
Defeating the Power Rangers over and over again, even cutting off the Megazord’s arm and Dragonzord’s tail, Cyclopsis adapts to each new strategy the Power Rangers throw at him. The combined might of the Megazord and Dragonzord are nothing to him and even the Dragonzord in Battle Mode is incapable of defeating him. Pushing the Rangers to the brink, both emotionally and physically, it requires the full onslaught of the Ultrazord, the fusion of all the Power Ranger’s Zords, to finally bring Cyclopsis down.
5. EMPEROR MAVRO
It’s rare we see multiple Power Ranger teams join forces. It’s rarer still when every Power Ranger in must come together to battle an evil no single Ranger team can defeat. In episodes #19 and #20 of Power Ranger Super Megaforce, titled “Legendary Battle,” that’s exactly what happens. Already capable of utilizing powers from every other Ranger before them, the Super Megaforce Rangers are among the most powerful of all Ranger units.
When Emperor Mavro assaults the Earth with literally millions of warships, the Megaforce Rangers pull out all the stops to take him down. Utilizing nearly every Zord in Power Ranger history and thinking quickly on their feet, the Rangers seem close to victory until they’re just overwhelmed, their Megazord is destroyed, and our heroes are left for dead; it’s a startling defeat. Only in the next episode, with every Ranger ever returning to help, does good defeat evil.
4. PSYCHO RANGERS
The dark reflection to the Space Rangers, the Psycho Rangers from Power Rangers In Space are significantly stronger and faster than the good guys. A rare breed of supervillain, the Psycho Rangers first appeared in episode #31, “Rangers Gone Psycho,” and remained the primary antagonists to the Space Rangers for an incredible 10 episodes; it’s a testament to their ridiculous might that they lasted so long.
Over the course of each episode, the insane doppelganger Rangers beat the Space Rangers repeatedly, even sending the Blue Ranger to the infirmary. Each Psycho Ranger is nearly capable of taking on the entire team by itself, but together, they absolutely crush the Power Rangers. There’s not much our heroes can do. The Psycho Rangers are so powerful that eventually the Power Rangers team from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy has to team up with the Space Rangers; even then, it’s barely enough.
3. THE GREEN RANGER
The Green Ranger is arguably the most iconic of any Power Ranger in the franchise’s history. When he appeared in episode #17 of Mighty Morhpin’ Power Rangers, his presence forever changed the series. One of Mighty Morphin’s celebrated story arcs, “Green With Evil,” starting in episode 17 and concluding in episode 21, the Power Rangers finally met the opponent they couldn’t beat: a nightmarish version of themselves — another Power Ranger. Nearly each and every encounter with the Green Ranger devolves into the Power Rangers barely making it out with their lives.
The only villain to not grow, but still requiring the Megazord to combat, the Green Ranger was also the only bad guy to infiltrate the Megazord’s cockpit and literally punch the Rangers out of their giant robot. Luckily, despite Rita’s machinations, the Red Ranger destroyed the Sword of Evil that controls Tommy, adding a new ally to their ranks.
2. MASTER XANDRED
The Nighloks’ leader and the main villain in Power Rangers Samurai, Master Xandred is a terrifying and incredible adversary. Fighting the Rangers in episodes #19 and #20, “The Sealing Symbol,” Xandred’s power is otherworldly. Literally letting himself get hit to prove his might, he’s capable of destroying the Power Rangers at any second; Xandred delights in toying with them.
The Sealing Symbol, an attack specifically designed to defeat Xandred, is entirely ineffective. Attacking his one weak spot with the Shiva Fire Disk proves futile; Xandred laughs it off and knocks the Ranger power out of them in retaliation. The legendary Shogun Mode can’t beat him and he is able to go toe-to-toe with the Samurai Gigazord (the fusion of every Samurai Zord). The fight nearly ends in a draw, with Xandred coming closer to killing the Rangers than anyone ever has. If this wasn’t a children’s’ show, Master Xandred would, and should, have claimed victory.
1. RITA REPULSA AND ZEDD’S SON (THRAX)
In the Power Rangers Operation Overdrive episodes “Once A Ranger,” Thrax, the son of Lord Zedd and Rita Repula, creates an alliance with the other four Corona Aurora (a powerful magic crystal)-seeking factions of bad guys. Finally working together, the four villains are all but unstoppable. The Overdrive Rangers hurry to the scene, but find they are terribly outmatched.
Despite having slightly greater numbers, Thrax and company defeat the Overdrive Rangers completely, even severing their connection to the Morphin Grid, robbing them of their powers. That would have been the end for the Overdrive Rangers, if not for the Rangers from previous teams and histories that are summoned to do battle. While it served as fan service to see old Rangers return, especially Adam Park (the second Black Mighty Morhpin Ranger, who stayed a Ranger through Zeo and Turbo), it shows the villains’ potential should they get their act together more often.
Can you think of any other Power Ranger villains who mopped the floor with the Rangers? Let us know who in the comments!