20 Lessons Learned Through 20 Years of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Do you wanna feel either really old or really young right now? It’s the 20th anniversary of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiere today! This was either a show you watched religiously about a ragamuffin group of teens fighting intergalactic evil clad in differing shades of spandex or that show you never watched because a) you weren’t born yet or b) you had adult things to do. Much like all afterschool specials, they wanted to teach you about friendship and cooperation in addition to the latest marketing techniques. Even though the show proclaims its own list of values and life lessons the rangers taught and abided by, those of us that did watch those neon ninjas managed to learn something slightly different.

Spellin is for chumps. Just because it was an afterschool program, didn’t mean they needed to fuckin teach you anythin. Drop your extra g’s.

Always trust random robots. Alpha 5. C-3PO. Kevin. They’ve all got your back. Robots are here to help, so if you come across an exceedingly befuddled or stressed out mechanical buddy, it means you should follow them without question. Robots never want to kill the human race.

Alpha5

Much like Sailor Moon, teenaged superheros don’t have curfews. If you want to be a superhero, you need to have really trusting and/or inattentive parents.

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I am terrible at time management. So the Rangers go to school full time, participate in a bajillion extracurriculars, nurture PG romances and fight evil on a regular basis? I think I missed a lesson in Planning class.

Colours

Don’t be worried by your friends suddenly switching to a monochromatic wardrobe. They’re not goths or punks, they’re just secret superheroes. (Also pink is girlie. If you hadn’t figured that out already, here, have a skirt.)

Be nice to the new kid in town or new kids in general. Because if you don’t play nice they may get recruited to the dark side and attempt to vanquish you and everyone you hold dear even though you think they’re really dreamy.

Sodreamy

But you can mean to the bullies. As soon as they mock or make fun of you, you get the green light to start mocking their physical appearance.

Spandex is invincible. You can make it a good 2/3 through battle without showing any rips, burns or tears. Unless of course you’re in a skyscraper sized tank, in which case your suit will get singed.

Flip

Bobble your head to indicate you’re talking. If you’re ever in a situation where your mouth is covered, your head will naturally shake to prove you’re the one speaking.

The moon is constantly above California, regardless of the hour. If you’re on the moon waiting to send your evil minions to California, you’re in luck! Just beam ’em down and you don’t even have to wait to sync up rotations! Faster than Bluetooth.

All strong women need a good cone bra. Rita Repulsa and Madonna. Does the bra make the lady or does the lady make the bra?

Conebra

Dubbing is a thing. I was always confused why Rita’s mouth would continue moving even when she was done talking. Six year old Kristen just figured she was a weird space person.

Your enemies will always fight you one by one. Enemies are really polite that way.

Battles are a step-by-step game. Even if you have a trump card (ie. turning into a sky-scraper sized robot with a giant sword), it’s more important to honor your promise to a floating head (not escalating a battle unless provoked) than winning the war outright. It’s kind of like agreeing to not flip the  board during chess.

Morph

Physical combat is super easy. Most of your enemies can be taken out with a single blow. And they’ll probably throw off sparks as they’re going down.

…Unless you’re seven. In which case your Yellow Ranger self will inevitably be pinned by your older sibling, resulting in a rug burn that goes all the way up to your neck.

There’s strength in numbers. If you’re ever put in a dangerous situation, rely on your friends for help. More specifically? Climb on top of them to become more menacing, thus defeating your enemies by being taller. ( This approach has really come in handy when it came to building beeramids.)

Zord

Robotics doesn’t have to make sense. Even though the Megazord was made out of five or six distinct Zords, all of the Rangers seemingly piloted from the chest cavity without exiting their vehicles.

California cannot be destroyed. Megazords and giant monsters can duke it in the forest, in the desert or in the middle of downtown Angel Grove and the goddamned city and will be no worse for wear the following episode.

Cards

You shouldn’t look to the toy store for investment advice. Just because a trading card is marked Premium does not mean it’ll ever garner a premium price. Better to wait a year and invest in Beanie Babies.

 

Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 140 articles for us.

38 Comments

  1. THIS IS SO MAGICAL. Also I feel like this is a safe space to announce that once when I was five I strong armed the local video store into carrying power rangers episodes and they were such a big hit i got free rentals until the place eventually closed.

    I also have a lot of feelings about the pink/yellow rangers.

  2. There are no words to describe the gloryessness of this article. In fact I had to make up gloryessness just to make it this far.

    I guess I’m going to have to go and watch the original season on netflix to see if i can come up with something better!

    “Make my monster grow!” – it’s a good thing when role playing MMPR as kids the boys never used this line.

  3. I remember defending a kid in my 2nd grade class who was Billy/the blue ranger for Halloween when other kids called him gay (I didn’t even know what that meant at the time), and my little brother & I named our black & grey cat Zack.

    Wowza I really do feel old. How has it been 20 years?!?

  4. I wanted to be the Red Power Ranger and I had a massive crush on the Amy Jo Johnson Pick Ranger. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a little Red Power Ranger figurine that I got when I was like 11 and to this day is on my bedside table, with a Riddler – circa Batman Forever – figurine.

  5. Power Rangers is still on the air too btw. I always joke that it’s the show that will never get cancelled because they continue to make new seasons every year.

    The 20th series, Power Rangers Megaforce is the current one. The new season premieres on September 8th.

  6. So ridiculously perfect. Thank you for this blast from the past.

    I used to despise my younger sister because my parents named her Kimberly after I had expressed my mad crush on the first gen pink ranger and wanted her name instead.

    Glad I didn’t get the name, because I can now forever crush on the original pink ranger.

    I mean…c’mon.

  7. My brothers and I watched Power Rangers religiously!True story – for my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday we dressed up as each of the power rangers and went to a rave (which was rather conveniently at a the only gay club in town)

  8. I love this article! Power Rangers was my religion as a kid (and every now and then I’d revisit it as a teenager… and also as a twenty-something every now and then… *ahem* moving on…)

    Also, Tommy was totally dreamy. 7-year-old me hero-worshipped him. 27-year-old me also kinda hero-worships him, but fails to see why he doesn’t realise that he’s totally gay for Jason.

  9. So many memories! I wanted to BE the pink ranger, and I wanted to be WITH the yellow ranger. When I was little, the cute girl next door would dress up as the yellow ranger and I would dress as the pink ranger and we would pretend to get married. Totally instigated by my little gay self.
    True story.

  10. The biggest fight I ever had with my mother had to do with her buying me a yellow ranger costume for Halloween when I wanted a pink ranger costume. She did buy me some Power Rangers jewelry though, which I will never throw away. A gold plastic charm bracelet with tiny megazords goes with every outfit.

  11. The only time I ever actually liked/was comfortable with my underwear until my late teens was when I had Power Rangers underwear around kindergarten/1st grade or so…I wanted to wear boys underwear because it was not frilly and not pink and didn’t have disney princesses on it, which usually came in pink or lavender. I was also jealous of all the boy designs, like MMPR or TMNT or Batman…stuff I actually liked instead of some of the things they put on girls underwear in the 90s.

    While I myself despised wearing pink, I too had a mad crush on Kimberly as a kid…

  12. “This was either a show you watched religiously about a ragamuffin group of teens fighting intergalactic evil clad in differing shades of spandex or that show you never watched because a) you weren’t born yet or b) you had adult things to do.”
    Or c) you thought it was a stupid boy show, and you were very disinterested in such things.

    I kind of regret my small-child prejudgments now, though, because my friends often wax nostalgic about the Power Rangers. Also, this post was awesome and now I feel like little!me missed out.

  13. Let’s not forget the most important lesson. If you’re a total lifelong asshole and then suddenly have a change of heart, you get the girl. Also, slacking off until the very last minute because “something just came up” while your friends are getting rolled is perfectly acceptable, it will all work out just fine because shoulder pads.

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