About 25 years ago, the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa emerged from the moon and immediately set out to conquer Earth. To protect the planet, the wise alien Zordon summoned five California teenagers to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In 1993, a pop culture phenomenon was born on the Fox Kids network, and this year the heroes return in Saban’s Power Rangers, a reboot movie from director Dean Israelite.
While fans who never stopped watching the TV show — currently in its 24th season on Nickelodeon — travel far and wide to hang at conventions, it’s safe to say most people haven’t thought about Megazords and Power Coins in over decades. And there’s just as many who haven’t watched Power Rangers at all. For those curious about the new movie and the TV show that inspired it, here are the best — and for fans, iconic — episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. And lucky for them: These are all on Netflix.
1. “Day of the Dumpster”
The very first episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will be the template for the new movie in March. In short, five teens from Angel Grove are summoned by the alien Zordon to defend Earth after Rita Repulsa returns after a 10,000-year imprisonment. This is only the beginning.
2. “A Pressing Engagement”
Jason (Austin St. John) flexes his muscles as the leader of the Power Rangers when he fails to break a weightlifting record. He tries to regain his mojo when the buff King Sphynx steps up to challenge him.
3. “Food Fight”
One of the most memorable monsters in Power Rangers history is the Pudgy Pig, giant pig who threatens to consume all the food in the world. But amidst the destruction, the Rangers uncover a weakness.
4. “Happy Birthday, Zack”
For whatever reason, “Happy Birthday, Zack” has become a fan-favorite episode despite the low stakes of the plot. In short, the other Rangers plan a surprise birthday party for Zack (Walter Jones), the Black Ranger. They pretend to forget to throw him one, but because Zack thinks his friends don’t care for him, he fights the Knasty Knight — another iconic monster — alone.
5. “Green With Evil”
Tommy (Jason David Frank), a new kid at Angel Grove High, becomes Rita Repulsa’s brainwashed soldier and inherits her Green Ranger powers. Everything great about Power Rangers people remember today comes almost exclusively from the “Green With Evil” saga.
6. “The Green Candle”
What Rita gives, she takes away. In this two-part episode, Tommy’s Green Ranger powers are drained by Rita from an enchanted candle. When it burns out, so will Tommy. And for once, the good guys lose here, a rarity in kid’s television.
7. “A Bad Reflection on You”
Rita’s new monster, Twin Man, creates evil doubles of the Power Rangers. (And you know they’re bad because they wear sunglasses.) Of significance is that Twin Man is voiced by Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston who is playing Zordon in the new movie.
Rita Repulsa arms Goldar with his own Megazord, Cyclopsis, and in this two-part episode, the Rangers put up the fight of their lives. Meant to be the show’s finale, the ratings were so high that Power Rangers would be renewed for a second season — and it hasn’t stopped since.
9. “Return of an Old Friend”
With their backs against the wall, the Power Rangers seek help from Tommy with Zordon restoring his Green Ranger powers from a temporary source. Tommy’s time is limited, but for now, it’s good to have him back.
10. “Mighty Morphin Mutants”
Power Rangers used “evil double” plots almost every other week, but “Mighty Morphin Mutants” is arguably the best one. Goldar trains five exceptional Putty Patrollers and recruits Commander Crayfish to become the Mutant Rangers.
11. “The Mutiny”
As Mighty Morphin Power Rangers became a phenomenon, Season 2 premiered on primetime and introduced Lord Zedd, a superior to Rita Repulsa. Zedd makes a hell of an impression by taking control of the Dinozords, forcing the Rangers to pilot new robots, the Thunderzords. Power Rangers never stopped being fun, but in “The Mutiny,” things felt as dark as ever.
12. “Green No More”
This is it: the end of the Green Ranger. Tommy’s powers give out one last time as Lord Zedd powers up his (laughably awful) Dark Rangers. And in “Green No More,” Tommy embarks on his final mission.
13. “Missing Green”
In “Missing Green,” an underrated episode, Jason is wrecked with guilt for failing to save Tommy from the events of “Green No More.” The episode treats Tommy like he’s dead — he’s just chilling on vacation — but there’s a morose feeling throughout the episode.
14. “White Light”
Like the phoenix, Tommy rises again. Season 2 of Power Rangers toyed with red herrings for a new Power Ranger as Tommy’s powers gave out. But the show pulled a fast one and revealed the new White Ranger would be Tommy himself. It’s Tommy’s triumphant return to the good guys, for good.
15. “Beauty and the Beast”
Lord Zedd kidnaps Kimberly to become his new queen and replace Rita Repulsa, which is fine, but you need to see Amy Jo Johnson’s Rita impression. It is I-C-O-N-I-C.
16. “The Power Transfer”
In “The Ninja Encounter,” the Power Rangers meet three new teens from Stone Canyon: Rocky (Steve Cardenas), Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch), and Aisha (Karan Ashley). Though they aren’t Power Rangers, the three show enough bravery and grace under fire that Zordon recruits them to replace a departing Jason, Zack, and Trini in “The Power Transfer.” It’s the latter group’s final mission before handing their powers to new allies.
17. “The Wedding”
After being exiled for so long, Rita Repulsa returns and tricks Lord Zedd into marrying her, thereby becoming the galaxy’s most feared power couple. While it’s fun to watch rubber monsters celebrate Zedd and Rita’s Jewish (!!!) wedding, the best segments are when the Power Rangers are trapped in a haunted house and stalked by some of their most famous old monsters.
18. “Return of the Green Ranger”
A monster summons a ghostly specter of Tommy’s old evil Green Ranger identity, blowing every kid’s minds in 1994. Tommy squares off one-on-one with his old Green Ranger identity while the other Rangers are thrown back in time to colonial Angel Grove. It’s historically inaccurate, but who cares: It’s White Ranger vs. Green Ranger!
19. “Wild West Rangers”
Another time travel episode, Kimberly is thrown back in time to the Old West and meets the ancestors of her friends. Although it’s unnecessarily a two-part episode, it’s all worth it to see these 19th-century folks morph into Power Rangers costumes with neck bandanas and fringes.
20. “A Friend in Need”
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe would bank on spin-offs, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers spawned its own: Masked Rider. The three-part Season 3 opener “A Friend in Need” served as a backdoor pilot as it introduced Dax, alien prince of Edenoi and the Masked Rider, as a hostile ally who eventually comes to Earth to pursue his own mission. Traveling to alien planets is one thing. Introducing a whole new superhero made Power Rangers that much bigger.
21. “Ninja Quest”
A four-part episode that begins with the Thunderzords getting wrecked to debris, “Ninja Quest” is the canonical, TV show-sized version of the 1995 movie. And instead of a dreamy Amazonian warrior to mentor the heroes with their new powers, it’s a big blue doofus ninja named Ninjor. He’s not as attractive, but he gets the job done.
22. “A Different Shade of Pink”
Fan-favorite Kimberly moves on to fulfill her dream of competing in the Pan-Global games. To that end, the Rangers recruit an old foe turned ally, Kat (Catherine Sutherland) to become the new Pink Ranger.
23. “Rangers in Reverse”
The very last episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ends in despair: The trump card of Lord Zedd and Rita turns the Rangers into young children, forcing them to find the fabled Zeo Crystals to reverse the process and restore their age. Like “Day of the Dumpster” back in Season 1, this was only just the beginning for a new era.
Saban’s Power Rangers feature film will be released March 24.
Photos via Shout! Factory