Terror Toad is a frog-like monster from the American live-action series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It is one of the many monsters created by Rita Repulsa to destroy the Power Rangers.
Characters Consumed Edit
In "Power Ranger Punks", episode 12 of the series, Terror Toad is created by Rita Repulsa's servant Finster. Rita’s demand follows an attack on the unmorphed Power Rangers that allows Baboo, another servant, to spike the teenagers’ drinks with a potion that turns Billy and Kimberly, the two rangers to drink the poison, into nasty bullies, ostensibly “punks”. Finster explains, in a typically understated manner, that the monster is “large, hungry, and quite mean”. Rita hurriedly insists on preparing the monster, aware of the window of opportunity that Baboo’s “punk potion” has opened.
Zordon, the mentor of the rangers, recognising the issue with Billy and Kimberly as serious, transports all of the teens without warning from the school into their command centre, the two rebellious rangers into a transparent force field. Zordon assesses the situation and begins to formulate a plan, but although a cure is identified, Terror Toad has been successfully prepared for battle and unleashed on Earth before any action can be carried out. The monster is shown on the viewing globe, a sight that impresses the spellbound teens. With a warning of the toad’s evil nature and its appetite (although not what it has an appetite for), Zordon sends Trini, Jason, and Zack to do battle with the monster.
They prove to have little success. Jason leads the rangers in a combined pin attack, which the toad easily repels with its strength, sending the rangers flying back. The rangers get to their feet, and then move in and attempt individual attacks, which are also dealt with comfortably by the monster. The monster demonstrates surprising speed and agility to deal with the onslaught, and appears to be enjoying the ease with which it either prevents or absorbs each attack, laughing and taunting his opponents. After putting down Zack and then Jason with particularly heavy blows that left them temporarily unable to stand, Trini is isolated and gains the full attention of the toad, who charges at her and strikes her twice, sending her flying backwards through the air. Despite landing heavily, Trini rolls away and is seen to be slowly recovering, unlike her teammates. The Terror Toad is temporarily unchallenged, and selects Trini, the most likely ranger to re-engage the monster, as the target for the most devastating attack in its arsenal.
With a roar, the toad reaches for its horn, from which emerges a yellow ball of energy with eyes and a mouth that immediately opens and emits a lively dextrous beam of yellow energy resembling a tongue. The energy tongue extends rapidly to just above Trini's position, reaching her just as she has gotten to her feet. The Yellow Ranger can do no more than raise her arms in instinctive defence as the energy tongue swoops down and encircles her twice. The coils of the beam constrict down to Trini's waist, causing her whole body to jolt as she cries out in pain and fear, and her uniform flickers and starts to glow. The free end of the energy tongue arcs up and licks her helmet twice, causing her to clutch at her head. After the brief struggle, Trini is cut off and engulfed in a flash of white light which quickly dissipates, revealing her to have been transformed into a sphere of pure energy about the size of a therapy ball, sat upon the now unwound energy tongue. The only resemblance of the sphere to the teenager is its yellow colour. The energy tongue flicks the sphere back towards the monster before dissipating. The sphere flies into the Terror Toad's mouth and Trini is swallowed whole with a loud gulp. The toad visibly and audibly enjoys the experience, complimenting Trini's taste. The toad pats its stomach, where an image of the Yellow Ranger's helmet subsequently materialises, as a stark demonstration to everyone that Trini is within the confines of the stomach. This display confirms to the remaining opposition that it has an appetite for humans, and following a salvo of retaliatory Blade Blaster fire that is reflected back at the rangers by a yellow energy shield that emerges from the toad’s stomach, Jason realises the threat posed to the rangers and orders Zack to retreat with him.
The rangers regroup, and attack the toad simultaneously with their power weapons, striking the toad on the head. However, this attack is also repelled by the toad, who taunts the rangers. The battle evidently having taken its toll, this is enough for the rangers to abandon their cohesive attacks and charge in individually. As with the previous attempt to take on the toad singularly, a ranger is left isolated, Jason having again been struck down quickly, leaving Zack exposed. Struck twice, Zack falls down and rolls away. Jason, having recovered quickly, jumps to Zack's aid, and looks up at the toad, who reaches for its horn. As earlier when used to defeat Trini, the yellow ball of energy emerges, that immediately opens and flicks out the yellow energy tongue. Unlike earlier, the ball bares a set of sharp white teeth, and this time the energy tongue works much more quickly. Jason decides against protecting his teammate and does a diving roll away. A single loop is made around Zack's waist before the tongue licks the Black Ranger's helmet. Both of the ranger's hands seem to be caught in the beam, seemingly preventing him from clutching at his head in the way Trini was compelled to. More quickly than the Yellow Ranger had been, Zack is transformed into a sphere of energy, which is purple, and swallowed whole by the Terror Toad. An image of Zack's helmet appears on the toad's stomach, further over from Trini's helmet and tilted at a different angle. The toad clutches the helmet images on its belly and rubs them perversely, enthusiastically praising the taste of the rangers. Jason engages the toad alone, his friends having been devoured.
The ingredients to the antidote for the potion that had rendered Billy and Kimberly ineffective as rangers, identified earlier by Zordon, have been retrieved by his robotic assistant Alpha 5. The robot prepares the antidote and gives it to the two teens. After their curse is lifted, Billy and Kimberly are briefed by Zordon about the need to remove the toad's horn before trying to locate the weak spot, (information not given to the trio that had sallied earlier). They arrive to help fight the monster with Jason, who summarily briefs them on the fate of Trini and Zack (without mentioning that the toad's horn was what was being used to eat the rangers). After dodging some explosive projectiles fired from the horn, Billy and Kimberly leap simultaneously at the Terror Toad, with Billy cutting off the monster's horn. Infuriated at having its main artillery detached, the Terror Toad nevertheless takes the rangers by surprise with a previously unseen attack, for which team leader Jason is the selected target. It opens its mouth, and a long, red, physical tongue is launched from its mouth. The tongue wraps around Jason's torso, binding his upper arms. As if having caught the Red Ranger with a lasso, the toad tugs hard on the end of the tongue still attached to the inside of its mouth. Jason flies through the air towards the toad, and lands head first into the gaping maw of the toad. Trying to resist, he manages to get his arms free in mid-flight, but is unable to halt his descent as the toad tilts its head back to allow gravity to assist. Jason kicks and thrashes his legs in futile panic as the toad gulps and chews, before his boots are seen disappearing entirely as he is swallowed whole. The toad chewing on Jason reveals a weak spot, which Kimberly spots. The Red Ranger's helmet is seen on the stomach of the toad as it dives at the rangers, and is situated between the Yellow Ranger and Black Ranger helmets, slightly lower down.
Billy starts to formulate a plan, before the pair are dive-punched by the surprisingly agile toad. Against Kimberly's protests, Billy then attempts to attack the Terror Toad on his own, but the monster launches its tongue, snagging him in mid-air. Without needing to tug on its tongue thanks to the ranger's trajectory, the toad easily pulls him into his mouth. Billy barely has time to kick and wail as the toad gulps and sucks him further in and swallows him whole. He proves to be more easily and quickly consumed than Jason. An imprint of the Blue Ranger's helmet appears on the toad's stomach alongside those of his fallen comrades. Alone against the monster, Kimberly attempts to fire her Ptera Bow against the monster, but is pushed over by an uncharacteristically bold Baboo. Rita’s bumbling servant is rarely seen on the battlefield and isn't warrior material, and can do little to stop Kimberly simply getting up and again aiming her weapon at the Terror Toad, this time successfully unleashing a barrage of arrows directly into the toad's weak spot, causing it to fall back and regurgitate four ranger-coloured energy spheres that distend outwards and retake human form in mid-air, the warriors falling to the ground. The rangers lay down a series of successful blows in twos and ones, before Kimberly destroys the Terror Toad with an explosive homing arrow from her bow, while Baboo flees.Trini is seen the next day doing some gymnastics practice with Kimberly, and Billy and Zack engage in some volleyball. The rangers display no symptoms of any after-effects or concern about having been transformed and eaten, although Billy is shown to have nightmares about the experience in the “Crystal Of Nightmares” episode later in the show's run, and Kimberly, who wasn't even eaten, later reflects upon the Terror Toad with particular disgust during the second of the flashback-ridden pair of "Island Of Illusion" episodes.
Method of Consumption Edit
The Terror Toad had two methods of consumption. First, he was able to fire an energy tongue from the horn on his head that would wrap around his victims and turn them into a small energy sphere. The sphere would then fly into his mouth and he would swallow it. After his horn was cut off, he used his second method in which he simply launched his long tongue out and ensnared his victims with it. He would then pull them into his mouth and swallow them whole. Since all the consumed Rangers are spit out as energy spheres, including Jason and Billy who were swallowed whole, it is assumed that those who are swallowed whole by the Terror Toad are turned into energy inside his stomach. Whenever the Terror Toad swallowed one of the Power Rangers, an image of their helmet would appear on his belly.
- Terror Toad's Zyuranger counterpart is Dora Boogaranan
- The episode was turned into a children's book in 1994, authored by Jean Waricha. Although the level of detail in the book is very low due to the target audience and therefore a disappointing read to anyone older than about six, one difference of note is how the Terror Toad eats Trini. Rather than the horn emitting an energy tongue that envelops the Yellow Ranger and condenses her into an orb of energy, a beam of light shines from it onto her after she has been knocked down, and it has the effect of paralysing her. It shines brighter and begins to pull her towards the toad, acting as a sort of irresistible tractor beam that draws Trini's body into the monster's mouth. It is hard to envisage how this would have been able to be filmed, but could have been interesting to see what kind of struggle that Trini would have been able to put up or vocalise, as well as giving the opportunity to see her eaten whole without being shrunk down into anorb of energy.
- "A beam of light shot out of the toad's horn. The beam shone directly on Trini. “Hey, what's going on?” yelled Trini. She tried to roll out of the beam, but she couldn't move. The beam grew brighter. Trini was being pulled forward into the gaping mouth of the Terror Toad! In an instant, the monster swallowed her whole. Trini's face magically appeared on the Terror Toad's fat stomach, then she disappeared completely."
- Photography of the filming set suggests that further peril for the Yellow Ranger at the hands of the toad may well have been initially scripted and possibly even filmed, before being cut from what was aired.
- No unmorphed humans are eaten by the Terror Toad, so it is not certain whether demorphing back into civilian clothing prior to being eaten would have put Trini or Zack at further risk of harm, such as all of their energy being used up by the monster or being permanently absorbed. This action may have denied the monster much of the power that it gained by eating the morphed rangers, but Trini in particular would not have had the time or information to be able to come up with this possible tactic.
- The Terror Toad made a big show of how much it enjoyed eating Trini, complimenting how she tasted, and slapping and rubbing the Yellow Ranger tattoo that it gained after eating her. The toad rated Zack similarly after eating him, but showed slightly more muted enthusiasm after eating Jason and Billy. It is unclear whether Trini or Zack would have tasted any better or worse to the toad if they had been swallowed intact in their spandex ranger uniforms, rather than being distilled into pure energy before landing in the toad's mouth.
- The Pac-Man-esque ball on the tip of the toad's horn that fires the energy tongue bares teeth when it attacks Zack, which it didn't when Trini was eaten. The tongue also turned Zack into an energy sphere slightly more quickly than the conversion that Trini underwent. It is not known whether this is because the toad has grown in power, something it warned the rangers would happen when it eats rangers. If so, this might be the only evidence that the monster was telling the truth, and using the Yellow Ranger's power against the remaining rangers.
- Trini appears to be completing a cry or scream as she regains her bodily form after being freed, and immediately asks what is happening. Given that she could be heard crying out as she was transformed, this implies that she is rendered unconscious as an energy sphere, and is kept in a kind of stasis until released. It also suggests that her senses are not in some way connected to the imprint of her helmet that the Toad displays on its stomach, so she can't see out or feel any of her teammates' attacks on the toad. The helmet image appears mainly to serve as a threatening reminder that the Terror Toad has defeated and devoured a powerful warrior in Trini, and has room for more.
- There doesn't appear to be any obvious logic to the order from left to right that the helmets appear on the Terror Toad's stomach, despite Trini, the first victim, having her two-dimensional effigy placed on the extreme left of what the other rangers can see of the stomach, foreboding the toad's intention of eating more than one ranger. This is due to the Black Ranger and Red Ranger helmets being swapped from what would have been chronological order of being eaten. All helmet images are slightly tilted such that the bottom lean towards the centre, with the exception of the Blue Ranger helmet that tilts away. The only discernible pattern, which may be coincidental, is the vertical height of each helmet relative to the survival of a ranger against the toad. The Red Ranger helmet, with Jason having resisted being eaten the longest, is lower down than the others, closest to between the toad's legs. By contrast and not entirely through her own fault, Trini spent the least time battling the toad. Just 28 seconds had lapsed between Trini morphing into the Yellow Ranger and the heroine having been reduced to pure energy and swallowed whole by the monster. Her helmet is situated higher up, much closer to the roof of the red-toothed "mouth" on the toad's stomach.
- The Terror Toad appeared to be making strategically sound decisions early in the battle, such as targeting and eating Trini first when she was the quickest of the three rangers on the battlefield to recover from its physical blows. Later, the toad chose to use its surprise physical tongue attack to eat the leader Jason rather than Billy or Kimberly in spite of the fact that the latecomers were clearly more well-informed about the toad's weaknesses and hadn't suffered a beating from the monster. This mistake may have been what cost the Terror Toad victory against the Power Rangers. Had the toad targeted Zack or Jason to eat first, Trini was the only one who was physically able to intervene, which she likely would have done (Jason made the decision not to save Zack with the benefit of having already seen the energy tongue make short work of his female cohort). However, given that the toad didn't take a particularly long time to launch its energy tongue, it is likely that all Trini would have had the time to do would be to dive in front of whichever prone ranger was being targeted. This would surely have resulted in her being caught up in the beam, and eaten anyway.
- Just prior to being eaten, Trini appears to lock her blade blaster with the Terror Toad's horn, which is later cut off by Billy's blade blaster. It can only be speculated that Billy was more successful due to having been told by Zordon to target the horn. It is not known whether Zordon acquired this key information while analysing the battle as it unfolded, or had prior knowledge and neglected to tell the three battle-ready rangers. Had Trini successfully removed the toad's horn, the toad could not have used it to turn her into an energy ball and eat her, although she would have almost certainly have been the victim of the toad's secondary attack. It's easy to speculate that, having removed the toad's horn, Trini would not anticipate a physical tongue shooting out and binding her torso, and she would be unable to prevent herself from being reeled in and swallowed whole in her organic form, in spite of any struggle she put up. Regardless of Zordon's knowledge and actions, Trini's fate was to be eaten by the Terror Toad, and eaten first.