Since it began way back in 1993, Power Rangers has been one of the most amazingly successful franchises ever. It has withstood several changes, multiple versions and tons of cast overhauls. It remains an iconic hit with a recent big-screen reboot and still successful on TV and selling toys. But while there have been a lot of notable women on the show (both Rangers and villains), one stands above the rest. Amy Jo Johnson was 22 when she was cast in the pilot for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers but looked young enough to pass as a teenager. Kimberly Hart was a gymnast (which Johnson had experience in for real) and a bright gal into shopping and some humor. Johnson imbued her with a great style that made her a huge breakout among the cast.
In 1995, Johnson left the show after two and a half seasons and the big-screen movie. Since then, she’s been very busy as a singer and recording artist. She’s also kept busy on television with a major role on the hit Felicity; playing a rookie cop on the Lifetime series The Division; a bed-hopping party-girl jockey on Wildfire; and most notably tough cop Jules on the long-running Canadian series Flashpoint. She’s also moved to being a writer and director with the upcoming The Space Between. But it’s Power Rangers that Johnson is best known for and she provided the property with some great moments. Slews abound but some stand out better than others. Here are 15 of the most memorable Power Rangers moments by Amy Jo and why the first female Ranger is still the best for fans.
15. Power Couple
It was love at first sight. In the five-part “Green With Evil” epic, Jason meets Tommy at a karate competition where they fight to a draw. From the start, Kimberly was smitten by the handsome newcomer, especially when he helped her out from the jerks Bulk and Skull. It took a hit when Tommy was hit by a spell from Rita to become the evil Green Ranger with Kimberly helping the Rangers break the spell on him. From there, they danced around for a bit before a kiss although it was affected by Tommy losing his powers. But he returned as the White Ranger for more as their romance had good spots.
There were so many notable moments such as when Kimberly is having a horrific morning, drenched by rain but Tommy insists she looks beautiful. It was a wonderful thing to watch as Johnson truly gave her all and fans loved seeing this romance blossom. It ended when Kimberly left for a global competition and then dropped Tommy with a “Dear John” letter. However, the bond was clear and proven when the duo reunited for a cameo in the big-screen 2017 movie to remind fans how Kimberly and Tommy were the first, and best, “power romance” of the series.
Lord Zedd was hardly what one could call a strategic genius but he had his moments. In “When is a Ranger Not a Ranger?” Zedd transforms a kaleidoscope into Scatterbrain, a monster who sends out a blast that causes Billy, Tommy and Kimberly to lose their memories. Johnson is good playing off Kim’s confusion and some funny stuff like when Aisha talks of Kim loving going to the mall every day for no reason. “Really? Wow, how pathetic is that?” She also channels her early Valley Girl style when seeing Zordon and trying to roll with all this.
Scatterbrain actually manages to get all the Rangers which promises to finally gain victory. However, incredibly, it’s the dimwitted Bulk and Skull who save the day and restore the Rangers’ memories. When they’re laughed at by the kids, Kimberly actually sticks up to them to say how she’s sure the Rangers are proud although she makes it clear she still doesn’t want to date Skull. Even when she’s not herself, Kimberly is still the best part of the show.
13. Piloting Ace
In “Foul Play in the Sky,” Kimberly accepts a plane ride from her Uncle Steve but is annoyed when Bulk and Skull tag along. Thanks to a spiked drink, Steve passes out and Bulk and Skull are soon after him fainting out of fear. At first, Kim doesn’t handle it very well (“Keep calm…keep calm…keep calm– we’re gonna crash!”) and calls Alpha for some quick flying lessons. This has a funny bit of Bulk and Skull waking up, seeing her flying, scream in terror and faint again.
In the end, Kimberly is able to land the plane safely with her uncle waking up confused to all this. As the topper, Kim races out to help the Rangers, who have been defeated by the Snizzard (yes, a snake crossed with a lizard voiced by none other than Bryan Cranston) and about to be crushed. Enter Kimberly to take it down and fire an arrow at the apple at its head to blow it up. It was a fun showcase of how tough Kimberly could be and how well Johnson sold it.
12. Body Switch
It was always clear Johnson and David Yost (Billy the Blue Ranger) had a good bond among the cast. That led to good chemistry on screen, the best being “Switching Places.” Billy talks Kim into helping with his latest invention, meant to boost up brain power which Kimberly can enjoy. But Squat sabotages the device so it instead switches the duo’s bodies. The two brilliantly manage to mimic each other with Yost capturing Kimberly’s Valley Girl speak and saunter. Meanwhile, Johnson perfectly nails Billy’s technobabble speaking and pushing glasses up her nose.
The fun continues at school as Kimberly in Billy’s body messes up a demonstration and explodes a computer. Meanwhile, Billy tries to give a makeup job that leaves Kimberly looking like the Joker as they bicker at each other. They even have to keep it up in a fight with the actors doing a good job. It’s set right in the end but it shows Johnson’s talent capturing her fellow Ranger so well.
11. Being Evil
In 2005, midway through the show’s third season, Johnson told producers she wanted to leave. It was basically just a career move as she wanted to stretch and take on different roles so they agreed. However, Johnson remained mostly on good terms and so for the 2007 Turbo movie, she returned as Kimberly with former Red Ranger Jason. The movie is infamous for cutting out nearly 45 minutes of footage with rumors that one subplot would have revealed Kim and Jason both dating. As it was, they were captured by villainess Divatox and used as leverage against the Rangers.
The two are tossed into a volcano pit to revive an ancient monster and emerge now pure evil. Johnson is truly wicked with this, taking down both Tommy and Kat (“Pink is out.”) and stealing the entire film. It’s a brief bit before she’s set to normal and was her swan song to the Power Rangers universe but Johnson showed Kimberly could be just as good being bad.
10. Playing Rita
This was one of the single funniest episodes of the entire series and it was all thanks to the actress. In “Beauty and the Beast,” Goldar kidnaps Kimberly as Zedd wants to transform her into her evil Queen. It doesn’t take but Kimberly knows she has to bide time until the Rangers can rescue her. So she proceeds to do an absolute spot-on impersonation of Rita Repulsa at her worst. It’s obvious Johnson is having the time of her life imitating the villainess’ screeching tones and scaring Goldar, Squat and Babboo. That’s followed by her storming around in full costume and staff, including replicating Rita’s famous “I’ve got a headache!” line. She drops the act when the Rangers show up to show how she was faking it but it’s a beautiful scene.
Indeed, Amy Jo Johnson publicly said she would have loved to play the role of Rita in the 2017 Power Rangers reboot. This scene showcases she might actually have been able to pull it off nicely and in a fun way.
9. Singing In Costume
For a while after leaving the show, Amy Jo Johnson wanted to put it behind her. She didn’t show up at conventions and seemed embarrassed by it being mentioned in interviews. But as time has gone by, Johnson has accepted her fame and rewarded fans by showing up at some conventions and doing videos talking about the show. The best example of her enjoying it was in 2014 when Johnson used Kickstarter to help fund an independent movie she wanted to write and direct called The Space Between. After the Kickstarter goal was met, Johnson lived up to her promise by donning a Pink Ranger costume to perform publicly. She did a video of going to shops to find the right costume and joking about how odd it felt to be doing this. But she did a great job singing some of her original songs and the crowds in Toronto loving the sight. It proved how, in so many ways, Johnson is still the most beloved female Power Ranger and a great lady in her own right.
8. Passing The Mantle
The show had a major twist in season three when Johnson decided she wanted to leave to pursue other acting opportunities. The writers set it up slowly as into town came Kat, an attractive blonde from Australia. But things got weird when it was shown Kat was able to shape-shift into an actual feline and later attacking Tommy in secret. She then stole Kimberly’s power coin, leading to her captured and her powers partly drained. At first, Kat appeared to be pure evil but as the episodes grew, it was soon clear something was off as she could remember being a swimmer until an injury ended her career. When Kimberly injured herself in a fall practicing in private, Kat suddenly remembered she’d been a good person put under a spell by Rita.
Kat worked to redeem herself by getting back Kimberly’s coin and rescuing the Rangers from danger. She confessed the truth to them but they understood as she wasn’t herself. When Kimberly was accepted to a global competition, she gave Kat her status as Pink Ranger, thinking the girl was worthy. It was a good send-off for Johnson to pass the torch and bid farewell to her signature role.
7. Terror Toad
Power Rangers famously used the majority of its footage from the Japanese Super Sentai show Zyuranger developed in 1992. Thus it was always fun to see how they could adapt the original footage for American audiences with the voiceovers. The original show could be much darker and violent (not to mention downright bizarre) but MMPR was good making it work. A key example in “Power Ranger Punks,” as the Rangers face the Terror Toad, one of the more disturbing monsters of the series. Not only does he swallow each Ranger whole but their faces appear on his stomach after he does.
In the original series, the Pink Ranger lures the Toad into the woods and gets him into a trap to pierce him with multiple stakes. But MMPR has it more awesome as, on her own, Kimberly launches a series of arrows that nail the Toad four times before he can even blink. It causes him to vomit out the Rangers as Kimberly fires one more arrow. The camera follows it as it hits the Toad and blows it to pieces. A great shot by a great lady to save the day.
6. Pink With Jealousy
While she was great as the heroine of the show, it was always fun when Kimberly got to show off a bit of a dark side. In “Bloom of Doom,” the Rangers are working to get kids to join their various clubs. Kimberly sets up one for gardening but almost no one wants to join it while Trini gets several into her own volleyball club. Taking advantage, Lord Zedd sends down a cactus that Kimberly pricks her finger on. It infects her with massive jealously at Trini and Kim lambasts her best friend and shows a harsh attitude.
A fun bit is when Kim is given a special arrow to take down the Bloom monster and gives a wonderfully snarky “It’s Morphin Time” to the camera. Her jealously overwhelms her reason as she ends up shunned to another dimension by the Bloom which breaks the spell. Trini rescues her and it turns out that the school principal simply wrote the wrong address for where to find Kim’s club in the first place. Still, the view of Kimberly being a little more wicked than usual was a fun sight.
5. Punk Ranger
One of the nuttier plans by Rita is in “Power Ranger Punks” as Squat is sent to put a potion into some lemonade that Billy and Kimberly drink. It turns them into punks who show up at school with new attitudes and wardrobes. Billy is in jeans, a torn jacket, studded collar and shades. Kimberly outdoes him by showing up in a leather jacket over an ultra-tight pink bodysuit that shows off her legs, a spiked collar of her own and hair and makeup that look like something out of a 1980s music video. Kimberly then proceeds to flirt with Skull while Billy actually terrifies Bulk by shoving him against a locker.
The show plays it straight which just makes it funnier as the gang react to them “going punk on us.” The payoff is when Alpha gives them a potion to undo the spell and the two are baffled and appalled at what they’re wearing (“Who did my nails?!”) Kimberly is naturally thrown when Skull tries to return her “feelings” the next day and moaning over her outfit yet it remained a pretty unique look.
4. Love Struck
Kimberly and Tommy were clearly the power couple of the show but in “The Potion Notion,” we got a view of a very different romance. With Zedd and Rita taking a second honeymoon (let that image sink in), Rita’s idiot brother Rito Revolto is left in charge. Naturally, it doesn’t take long for Rito to mess things up by unleashing a monster that casts love spells all over town. It hits Kimberly and causes her to fall head over heels for Skull and wanting him as her date to a dance. The sight of her swooning over the jerky bully is hilarious as are his reactions given his long-standing crush on her. This includes a bit in the Command Center where Kimberly is musing over being “Mrs. Kimberly Ann Hart Skullovitch” and Aisha letting out a “thank goodness” when Zordon declares she’s under a spell.
Tommy is able to get it broken with Kim stunned and confused at her mooning over Skull. But the truly great part is at the dance when Kimberly is with Tommy but seeing Skull sitting by himself. She goes up to apologize and then shares a dance with him. It was a wonderful scene that showed how great a girl Kimberly was and some heart among the humor.
3. Old West
It’s almost a rite of passage that a TV show does an episode of some sort with a Wild West theme. In the two-part “Wild West Rangers,” Kimberly falls through a portal and lands in the Old West version of Angel Grove. Naturally, a teenage girl in shorts and a loose top gets strange looks as Kimberly wanders the town and soon runs into Old West versions of her various friends with Tommy as the “mysterious White Stranger.” There’s even versions of Bulk and Skull who are bumbling bandits. Of course, a monster chases her so Kim goes to where the Command Center will be to explain the whole time travel thing to a confused Zordon.
This leads to the various teens given early Ranger powers (with some Wild West motif to the outfits) to save the day. It’s a great episode for Kimberly as it shows her taking a leadership role to teach the rookies and her outfit not bad to shine in a wild story.
2. Political Fighting
Politics can be ugly, even between best friends. Now toss in some evil alien wizards and it can get nastier. In “Best Man for the Job,” Tommy and Kimberly both decide to run for class president and take it in a friendly way. Never one to pass up an opportunity, Zedd gets them hit by a spell that turns them against one another. Soon, the two are defacing the other’s campaign posters, hassling kids to vote for them and sniping at one another. This leads to a hysterical bit where the two spend a fight with the Putties arguing with each other. One Putty actually looks up at the camera as if saying “can you believe this?” Even Goldar is thrown when the two totally ignore him to argue and grumbles on how ridiculous it is.
Zordon is able to get the spell broken (with flowers no less) as the team handles the monster of the week. It then turns to the debates as Tommy announces he’s bowing out as he believes Kimberly is the best person for the job. She wins the election and nice to see the Pink Ranger taking charge in school as well.
1. Interviewing Successor
When the Power Rangers reboot movie was announced, fans were wary but some excitement. The casting of Naomi Scott as Kimberly had some discussion as she did look the part and did well with it. In the film, Kimberly is a former “queen bee” of the school but when she sends an intimate pic of a cheerleader out, she realizes how bad she’s gotten. Scott was cited as one of the best parts of the film with a good vibe and even showing her body in a swim scene. Fans had asked Johnson about her feelings on the movie and she said she was excited. What Johnson didn’t relate was that she and Jason David Frank had a big cameo in the final battle scene.
When the stars of the movie took part in a press junket, they figured they would have the usual reporters like one from the Daily Hive Vancouver. Instead, Johnson surprised them by entering and the actors thrown by the original Pink Ranger there. She had a good talk and clearly giving the rub to Scott to showcase how Johnson was as excited to see a new take on Power Rangers as anyone else.