The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered on American television on August 28, 1993, and the next morning, children on playgrounds across the nation were fighting to see who would get to be the Red Ranger. Based off the Japanese Super Sentai franchise, the show mixed footage from the original program with American teenage antics. Every episode took place in the fictional town of Angel Grove, California, and followed a formula of throwing a giant monster into the lives of Jason, Kimberly, Trini, Zack, Billy, and later on, Tommy. The monsters are sent to Earth by Rita Repulsa; an evil alien witch with the imagination of a pinecone. Each monster was special in its own way, but special in the way that a mother will tell her jackass son that he’s special. So Topless Roboteers, observe the viewing globe and bear witness to the worst of the worst of Rita’s “special” sons.
10) Lizzinator from “Enter the…Lizzinator”
Rita makes things personal when she kidnaps Kimberly’s cousin, Kelly, who is failing miserably at making the Angel Grove Jr. High cheerleading squad, then sends down the Lizzinator to destroy the Power Rangers, although the two evil deeds have nothing to do with each other. Please note this isn’t the first or last time we find Rita hatching two completely unrelated schemes in one episode. The Lizzinator is a chatty Russian dragon who bears a striking resemblance to Drizzt Do’Urden; his main method of attack is pushing and throwing shit around like an incorrigible two-year-old. He manages to put up a good fight until the Green Ranger shows up and plays his queer dagger flute which summons the Dragonzord. The other Rangers summon their spirit animals and assemble the Megazord. All of this is very time-consuming and takes about two minutes, meaning the Lizzinator was forced to wait patiently while all this was going on. He uses his stink breath attack and the Rangers have no choice but to have Zord-sex and form the ridiculous Titanus Carrierzord. They unleash an epic barrage of colored lights and its curtains for Lizzinator. I know what you’re wondering, and yes, Kelly does eventually make the cheerleading squad.
9) Polluticorn from “Clean Up Club”
After unleashing immeasurable carbon emissions into the atmosphere using their Zords, the Rangers give a shit about the environment all of sudden and decide to clean-up Angel Grove. They wander out with some trash bags and come across a section of Angel Grove that looks like Boston after the Sox won the series in 2004. Zack proves how good he is at multitasking by dancing like an asshole while picking up litter (which, if you look close enough, includes a fish sticking out of a pizza box). This green movement inspires Rita to unleash the Polluticorn; a monster not sculpted by Finster, it just sort of is already there. Polluticorn attacks the Rangers and it takes them about 30 seconds to realize that his horn in the source of his power. So while the other Rangers are busy battling Goldar and Scorpina (who could honestly murder the Rangers themselves if Rita wasn’t such a control freak), the Red Ranger summons his Dragon Shield and cuts off Polluticorn’s horn. Why not, right? Just like in every other battle, Rita goes to plan B and biggie-sizes Polluticorn. And just like in every other fight, the Rangers summon their Zords, form the Megazord, and use the Power Sword to make the monster blow the fuck up. Every time! This fight ends unusually early in the episode so the Rangers can cram more environmental awareness dribble down our throats. If we wanted this rigarimorale, we’d watch Captain Planet, thanks.
8) Goo Fish from “Something Fishy”
Add scuba-diving to the list of things Jason is wicked good at. Billy refuses to go diving and in a very tender moment, he explains to Kimberly that when he was but a boy, a fish bit him and now he’s terrified of them. Why is this pussy a Power Ranger again? The omnipotent Rita Repulsa overhears Billy’s anecdote and casts a spell on him which makes him go uncontrollably loco in the presence of a fish. Finster then constructs the Goo Fish to spook Billy and destroy the Rangers. The design of Goo Fish is really awesome, but you sort of forget about all that when he shoots silly string out of his mouth, causing the sound of fireworks to ring out. It’s really an alarming image and ruins a great monster design. The fight that follows is pretty standard except that Goo Fish actually manages to knock down Megazord – we know it’s down because they use a Dutch angle. The Rangers than pull some new magic out of their hat’s and convert Goo Fish’s venomous silly string into energy and…huh? Yeah, Jason punches a button or two and the venom converts to energy for the Megazord. Then you can probably guess what happens but in case you can’t, they summon the Power Sword and blow Goo Fish up. Fin.
7) Grumble Bee from “Grumble Bee“
This episode starts out with Billy getting a ‘B’ on a test and after that, the B-related jokes never stop coming. “Hey Billy, wouldn’t want to B ya!” This all inspires Rita to make a Bee monster while Billy is studying Bees. Sigghhhhhh. This episode is another example of how Goldar could seriously execute every Power Ranger if given the chance by Rita. He manages to wrap the Rangers up in a Wonder Woman lasso and is then forced to leave them there so the Grumble Bee can finish the job. The GB can shoot stingers out of his fingers and spit ultrasonic booms and yeah, he’s got some silly string too (maybe this was left over from the Goo Fish episode, I dunno). The Rangers defeat him in the usual formulaic manner that should be familiar with you all by now: Rita makes him big — summon Megazord — Megazord punches him in the chest — Rangers summon the MegaSword — Billy wishes he could bang Kimberly — call it a night.
6) Socadillo from “Second Chance”
Just to get his out of the way right off the bat: Skylar Deleon is in this episode. Skylar is the dude currently on Death Row for tying a couple to an anchor and hucking them into the Pacific. He may have also tried to cut his own penis off while in jail. Before he did all this, Skylar was on Power Rangers and he sucked at soccer. Rita decides to riff off of this and summons the Socadilllo. It’s unclear what exactly what the Socadillo’s power is, but it seems that he can absorb energy and when he rolls around, the Rangers do crazy gymnastics. He gangs up against the Rangers with a grip of Putties and following the formula of the later first season episodes, the Green Ranger steps in and beats the shit out of everything wearing earth-tones. Rita enlarges Socadillo, Rangers summon the Megazord and Dragonzord, stab him with the Power Sword, and that’s that. Future-lunatic Skylar makes the team in the end, laying out his future of privilege and murder.
5) Pudgy Pig from “Food Fight”
The Rangers host a cultural food festival at school because they’re not busy enough fighting monsters every fucking day. Bulk and Skull do what their characters were born to do and decide to ruin the festival by instigating the longest food fight in television history. Rita once agai, finds inspiration in the extra-curricular activities of the Rangers and sends the Pudgy Pig down to Angel Grove. The Pudgy Pig consists of a giant pig’s head with arms coming out of its mouth, topped with a Trojan helmet. Awesome! Zordon assembles the Rangers and warns them that if Pudgy Pig is not stopped, he will “consume the entire supply of food on earth in 48 hours.” I call bullshit on this because every time they show Pig, he’s sitting on his ass groaning about how hungry he is. The fight has an pretty cool twist with a retarded solution. Pig eats the Rangers’ weapons and they run away, defenseless. Please note that every time he eats a weapon, they cut to a shot of his ass. The Rangers get their Sherlock on and figure out that Pig always leaves behind spicy foods. So to get their weapons back, they trick him into eating a spicy radish which makes him vomit. Since this is a kid’s show, vomiting is implied by having Pig shoot sulfuric gas out of his mouth and the weapon-eating being shown in reverse. He’s destroyed by the Power Blaster and never given a chance to grow big.
4) Chunky Chicken from “Big Sisters”
Trini and Kimberly become Big Sisters to a little girl named Maria who may or may not be a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her father; she’s never given a chance to explain her family problems because she’s kidnapped by some Putties. See, Rita needs Maria to unlock a chest containing the ancient Power Eggs; eggs possessing the power of good and evil hid centuries ago by the Morphing Masters. Apparently, the mythology of the Power Rangers universe goes far deeper than a floating head. The eggs can only be unlocked by the touch of an innocent child, so Rita, in her infinite wisdom, kidnaps a child being watched by the Rangers. Makes perfect sense. To distract the Rangers, Rita sends down Chunky Chicken, a colorful poultry with a voice that sounds like Tracy Morgan doing a chicken impression. Rita arms Chunky with a pair of scissors so he can threaten to cut the rope holding Maria over certain doom. By now, you can guess the formulaic final battle.
3) Gnarly Gnome from “Different Drum”
One of Kimberly’s dance students, Melissa, is deaf, which is crazy because how can she catch the beat? Anyways, Melissa saves the day later on when Rita sends down her latest idiotic creation: Gnarly Gnome. Gnarly Gnome uses his magic accordion — terrifying, I know — to cast a spell on the children of Angel Grove. And by “children of Angel Grove” I mean like five kids. But Gnome’s dirty tricks don’t work on Melissa because she’s deaf, remember? The kids who aren’t handicapped are led to that goddamn cave Rita loves so much where they are forced to dance like beatniks while Gnome stuffs his face. What a plan! Melissa warns the Rangers about the cave-party and guess what? Rita makes Gnome grow! Rangers summon Megazord! They punch him in the chest! He falls down! The stab him with the Power Sword! Yes!
2) Mr. Ticklesneezer from “For Whom the Bell Trolls”
Mr. Ticklesneezer sounds like the alter-ego of Maria’s sexual abusive father, but it’s not. It’s the name of Trini’s elf doll that she brings in for show-and-tell. Because that’s what you do in high school. Rita loves Mr. Ticklesneezer so much that she decides to bring him to life and have him suck random shit into his “goody bottle” — cars, buildings, whatever. He has the mannerisms of Woody Allen with the face of a hideous Precious Moments figurine. Billy and Trini manage to get sucked into the “goody bottle” and the other Rangers come to rescue them. Mr. Ticklesneezer is a total sissy and hides behind some oil drums while some Putties get their asses kicked. Rita then…drum roll please…makes Mr. Ticklesneezer grow. The Rangers snatch his “goody bottle” and Mr. Ticklesneezer goes into full alcoholic withdrawal; tremors, mumbling, scratching. “I don’t have my bottle anymore,” he says. Seeing the goodness in his heart, the Rangers decide not to stab him with the Power Sword. Instead, they simply turn him back into a doll, ending this very special episode of Intervention.
1) Pumpkin Rapper from “Trick or Treat”
The amount of nausea-inducing moments in this episode are ridiculous, the apex being at 4:40 in the above video. Following the formula of two completely unrelated storylines, Kimberly is a contestant on a game show called “Trick or Treat.” The object of the game is to stump the host by asking him trick questions which is the type of game autistic nine-year-olds play. Cut to Tommy walking past a field of rotting pumpkins. He’s ambushed by some Putties and he beats the shit out them while a ’90s jock jam (possibly by Ugly Kid Joe) plays in the background. Zordon summons the Rangers to warn them of Pumpkin Rapper, a monster who, bear with me guys, raps and then wraps his vines around you. As Zordon puts it, “He will try to distract you with his clever raps and rhymes.” An example of these distracting, deadly lyrics? How about: “Pumpkin rappin’ is about to happen.” On par with Biggie? I think so. But the Rangers won’t sit by idly and let this mac daddy-wannabe spit his lyrics. They retaliate by rapping at him. Literally, there’s a brief rap battle going on. For a second I checked to make sure I hadn’t accidentally put on 8 Mile. Like most legendary rappers, Pumpkin Rapper was killed too young. So sad…he had Def Jam potential.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.