Bill and Ted (film)
|This page needs some cleaning up to be presentable.|
Needs to be turned into a Franchise page, with separate work pages for each film, the animated series, the comic book series...
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
The first film features Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) as two air-headed rocker kids from San Dimas, California. They're so focused on their wannabe rock band Wyld Stallyns (and so dumb) that they're in danger of failing History class and being held back. To make matters worse, Ted's authoritarian police chief father says that if that happens, Ted will be shipped off to a military academy in Alaska, breaking up the band.
Things look bleak for the two until they meet Rufus (George Carlin), a time traveler from a utopian future built upon the teachings of Wyld Stallyns. Rufus offers them the use of his time machine -- disguised as an ordinary phone booth -- so they can do the research needed to pass their final assignment. When a brief trip to France causes Napoleon to follow them back to the present, Bill and Ted decide to stage the ultimate oral report by getting the historical figures themselves to present it.
The movie ended up being an unexpected comedy classic, credited with launching Keanu Reeves' career (a more snarky troper might contend that the dopey Ted is his best role ever). Because of this, as well as the contrast between this and Reeves' later roles, Bill and Ted is frequently used to mock other movies: The Matrix is quite comedic when you redub Neo with dialogue that sounds like Ted.
It is also noteworthy for being one of the few buddy comedies where the friends don't get mad at one another and split up for some amount of time. Also for an unexpected level of internal consistency, despite the wacky attitude.
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
The popularity of the first film prompted MGM to release a sequel two years later. Chuck De Nomolos (Joss Ackland), a rebel from Rufus' utopian future, wants to replace it with a militaristic Crapsack World. He plans to accomplish this by sending Evil Robot duplicates into the past, where they will kill the boys, then deliver a disparaging speech worldwide at a "Battle of the Bands" concert contest and destroy Wyld Stallyns' reputation forever.
With a minimum amount of effort, the robots succeed in killing off the two titular protagonists. However, their spirits refuse to go quietly into the good night; while the evil robots make time with the guys' princess babes, the ghosts of Bill and Ted end up going through Heaven and Hell (literally) to resurrect themselves, save their ladies, and stop De Nomolos. Along the way, they must face off against their personal fears, Death (William Sadler), and even God Himself. Lucky for the duo that they manage to get the help of a few unlikely allies...
The first film was followed by an Animated Adaptation by Hanna-Barbera that was fairly faithful (and even had Winter, Reeves, and Carlin reprising their roles), while the second was followed by a forgettable live-action Recycled: the Series that featured none of the original cast (this new cast voiced the characters when the animated edition moved to Fox and DiC took over production). There was also a surprisingly well-made Comic Book Adaptation written and drawn by Evan Dorkin and published by Marvel Comics; several video games; and even a little-known stage musical which had a pretty short run but featured a couple of decent songs.
Since 1992, the Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando and Hollywood have used Bill and Ted in their annual Halloween Horror Nights event as Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure, parodying that year's pop culture and entertainment. The 2009 event, for example, featured Twilight, Megan Fox (well, a male impersonator), Watchmen, X-Men Origins, Star Trek, and G.I. Joe, among many others.
Bill & Ted Face the Music (202?)
Their most excellent adventure continues...
In September 2010, it was announced that work had begun on a third movie (source). Winter and Reeves are signed on for it, as are the series' creators and writers, Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon.
According to Winter, the movie will evoke the spirit of the originals without succumbing to "retro cynicism", and that they've found a way to continue the story beyond the apparent Happily Ever After at the end of Bogus Journey. Early information suggests that the plot will revolve around the fact that Bill and Ted haven't changed the world yet and are trying to write the song that will create Rufus' utopian future.
Wikipedia says: "By May 2018, a distribution deal had been secured and the film entered pre-production, with filming officially commencing on July 1, 2019." While that page gives a release date of August 21, 2020, all movie release dates in 2020 are subject to change depending on the progress of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The following most triumphant tropes appear in multiple Bill and Ted works:
- Air Guitar: Every ten seconds whenever Bill and Ted think of something EXCELLENT!
- In the second film, the evil B&T develop a "stealth" version (twiddling their fingers as if strumming) after De Nomolos shoots them a Death Glare for doing the real thing. They continue to use it throughout the movie.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The time machine. In its original form, it's basically some sort of polished metal monolith. It then turns into a phone booth, presumably so as to be something vaguely understandable by two not-too-bright teenagers from the eighties.
- Bald of Evil: Chuck De Nomolos.
- Bare Your Midriff: Male version. Bill's customized sweatshirt.
- Buffy-Speak: Bill and Ted have a rather unique vocabulary and speaking style.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Excellent!" often followed by an Air Guitar duet.
- The two will gasp "Bogus!" when something bad happens.
- Also, Bill's "Shut up, Ted!" whenever Ted makes a comment about Missy's attractiveness.
- "I am Bill S. Preston, Esq.!" "And I am Ted 'Theodore' Logan!" "Together, we are Wyld Stallyns!!" This is to the point of being Once an Episode in the cartoon series.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Ted's full name is Ted "Theodore" Logan. Ted is the shortened name of the name Theodore.
- The Eighties
- Either or Title: The Hanna-Barbera animated episode "The Birth Of Rock And Roll, or: Too Hip For The Womb."
- The Fool: Bill and Ted... totally.
- Full-Name Basis: Bill and Ted always introduce themselves as "Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted 'Theodore' Logan".
- Garage Band: Wyld Stallyns.
- Garfunkel: Alex Winter, though this is largely because he retired from acting in 1993 to begin a directing career.
- Genius Ditz: Despite being uncomplicated slackers, Bill and Ted have a natural instinct for mastering the causal and paradoxical effects of time travel. Also, while their use of the English language is most unconventional and egregiously unorthodox, their vocabulary does seem to be more well developed than most teenagers, or for that matter most anyone.
- Try reading that in their voices. IT FITS.
- Heck, when the booth gets damaged, they manage to repair it by themselves. In prehistory. WITH A BACKPACK OF PUDDING CANS AND CHEWING GUM!
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Wyld Stallyns are the Myspeld Rokband variety.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Bill and Ted do everything together. Including proposing to their girlfriends.
- Hot Mom: Bill (and later Ted's) stepmom, Missy. It helps that she's only three years older than Bill and Ted. Ted even asked her to the prom. It's lampshaded in the first movie, when Freud offers to psychoanalyze Bill during the history report, and he responds, "Nah, just got a minor Oedipal complex."
- Idiot Heroes
- Ink Suit Actor: In "The Birth Of Rock And Roll" animated episode, Little Richard voices himself.
- May-December Romance: Missy definitely seems to have a thing for men who are old enough to be her father; first marrying Bill's dad, and later Ted's dad.
- Myspeld Rokband/Xtreme Kool Letterz: WYLD STALLYNS! *air guitar*
- Nice Guys: Stupid as Bill and Ted may both be, it's hard to deny that they are both sincere, decent and kind-hearted kids when push comes to shove.
- Parody Sue: The founders of a Utopian future are these guys.
- Retroactive Preparation
- Rule of Funny: Much of the films.
- San Dimas Time: Trope Namer.
- Shout-Out: The poster for the upcoming sequel seems to finally Lampshade Hanging the unintentional similarities with the TARDIS.
- Arguably the first film did this with the absurd number of people they cram into the thing, subtly drawing attention to the fact that it is most assuredly not Bigger on the Inside.
- Shallow Female Love Interest: The princesses again.
- Surfer Dudes: Bill and Ted are from Southern California, so their speech includes a lot of So-Cal surfer slang even though they're not surfers and San Dimas is a fair distance inland.
- Take That: In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Bill and Ted run into Rufus at a record store, where a Take That to then-hot teenybopper group New Kids On The Block (who had a cartoon show then as well) is delivered:
Rufus: I was just checking out this new album by New Boys On The Corner.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
The first movie demonstrates these non-heinous tropes:
- Accidental Hug
- All Part of the Show
- All Psychology Is Freudian: A given since one of the figures Bill and Ted capture is Sigmund Freud himself.
- Ancient Greece: It looks like the cover of the Led Zeppelin album "Houses of the Holy". (Allegedly.)
- It was also "most tranquil."
- And you'll never guess where it got the "like sands from the hour glass" expression.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Bill and Ted are to be executed for trying to rescue the princesses, who better than Billy the Kid and Socrates to bust them out, disguised as the executioners.
- Big "Shut Up!":
Ted: "Now your Dad's getting it on in your own room!"
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Rufus addresses the audience directly at the start of the film to explain the situation, and again at the end to reassure us that Bill and Ted "do get better" vis-a-vis their terrible music skills.
- California Doubling: Strangely inverted. The first movie is set in California, but was filmed primarily in Phoenix.
- Chekhov's Gun: The keys that Ted's Dad lost at the beginning of the movie turns out to have been stolen by Ted who came back from the future after the movie.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Napoleon when he flubs a shot in bowling: he goes "Merde, merde, merde, merde!" (lit. "Shit, shit, shit, shit...!") practically nonstop.
- Still true in the TV edit: "Zut, zut, zut, zut!" (lit. "Damn, damn, damn, damn...!")
- Creator Cameo: Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, who created the characters and wrote the script, appear as the annoying waiters serving ice cream to Napoleon.
- Critical Psychoanalysis Failure: The police interrogator assigned to Sigmund Freud gets progressively more irritated as he talks to him. (One probably wouldn't go so far as to say he's going crazy, though.)
Policeman: "What makes you think that you are Sigmund Freud?"
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Suggested, though not really shown.
- Eternal English: Averted with Beethoven, Joan of Arc, Socrates, Napoleon, and Genghis Kahn being unable to speak a word of English.
- Invoked when they visit England 1501 and meet the Royal Princess Babes, however. While both sets of characters technically spoke English, you have sixteenth century Britons speaking to modern American valley-guys. While a handful of references and words were misunderstood on either side, in reality, they would sound like they were speaking in a bizarre Stage Irish accent -- see Shakespeare in original pronunciation.
- Also, Joan of Arc's lines are in standard modern French, when she actually spoke the Limousin dialect which is somewhat different.
- Everything's Better With Royal English Babes:
Bill: "We gotta go. It's a history report, not a babe report."
- Exty Years From Now: Rufus dates the future scenes to 2688, just about 700 years after the movie came out.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Both figuratively and literally. The topic of the history report is trying to interpret how famous historical figures would feel about San Dimas today. While most students are supposed to just write and read out what they think, Bill and Ted take the topic to the Nth Degree and actually bring historical figures to San Dimas of today. The figures react in their own ways to the modern wonders, from Joan of Arc being fascinated by Jazzercise and Aerobics to Beethoven fascinated by modern musical instruments.
- Freudian Excuse: In-universe, invoked by Freud himself. But to summarize: Bill and Ted's fathers are both pretty much complete ass at being parents. Ted's father blames him for everything and absolutely can't wait to send him to military school as far away as possible. Bill's father doesn't care about anything but his hot practically teenage wife, ignoring his son and kicking him out of the house so he can have sex romps.
- The Full Name Adventures
- Funny Background Event: Billy the Kid and Socrates toss around the ol' pigskin (actually something like a Nerf football) while Bill and Ted see the princesses for the first time.
- In something of a Funny Foreground Event, Napoleon begins to sidle closer to Missy (likely intending to hit on her) in her car while Bill and Ted make their way back to it. Napoleon promptly pulls back when they appear beside the passenger's side window.
- Gay Moment: Bill and Ted hug after Ted turns out to have not been killed by that medieval dickweed, then promptly let go and jokingly yell "Fag!" to one another.
- God Test: Invoked when Bill and Ted challenge their future selves:
Ted: "If you guys are really us, what number are we thinking of?"
- It seems to be a common ability here. Where did Billy get the lariat he used on Freud? Kind of hard to say. Another example, Genghis Khan enters the booth carrying only a club, which he later discards; in an even later scene, he has a pole-axe weapon, and no explanation where it came from. Also, Joan of Arc is somehow able to change out of her armor before she and the others are arrested, and then change back into it after the duo spring them, with no explanation of where she put it; similarly, it's not clear where Napoleon stashes his uniform at the water park, despite changing back into it later. Hammerspace is really the only explanation.
- Of course, there's also the booth itself. Not exactly something that could fit nine (and later ten) people easily (although Ted did say they were "running out of room" when there were only nine). They eventually tilt the booth onto its back and travel through time standing up through the open door in order to fit everyone comfortably.
- Hidden Depths: Billy The Kid. When he first meets Bill and Ted, he saw them as suckers that would help him cheat at poker. Upon Bill and Ted bailing him out of a deadly bar fight, he not only says he owes them his life, but seems to like the two in general. He also gets along well with Socrates and at one point they rescue Bill and Ted from execution. He is later shown to have tremendous stage presence when introducing the two in the history report.
- Historical Domain Character: Including Abraham Lincoln, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Billy the Kid, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, Sigmund Freud, Socrates...
- Hollywood History: Consciously and unashamedly.
- How We Got Here: The most epic example. The beginning of the adventure has Bill and Ted meeting their future selves who offer them advice and wish them luck. Near the end of their adventure they end up doing the exact same thing, only this time we see what Rufus needed to talk to them about.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Bill and Ted get drafted into Billy the Kid's poker game, Bill gently admonishes Ted to "have a poker face, like me". Not ten seconds later he looks at his cards and exclaims "Woah, three Aces, dude!"
- Improbable Weapon User: Genghis Khan is impressed by the military potential of modern sporting equipment. He dons some football armor, arms himself with an aluminum baseball bat, and charges off on a skateboard.
- Informed Ability: Played for laughs. Bill and Ted are supposed to be the greatest musicians of all time. They stink.
- Lampshaded by Rufus - Who pulls off a stunning solo and then assures us in a fourth-wall breaking moment that they do get better as Bill and Ted make horrific noise whilst their new girlfriends from the past awkwardly test their own instruments.
- I Owe You My Life: Billy the Kid, who later returns the favor.
- It's Been Done: Amusingly Double Subverted in the film's production. The time machine was originally going to be a 1969 Chevrolet van, but when they realized the similarities to another science fiction film, they decided to change it... to a phone booth.
- A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll"
- Logic Bomb: Wyld Stallyns won't be a good band until they have Eddie Van Halen, and they won't have Eddie Van Halen until they have a triumphant music video, and they won't have a triumphant music video until they have good instruments, and they won't have good instruments until they know how to play, and they won't know how to play until they have Eddie Van Halen...
- Man Hug: See Gay Moment, above.
- May-December Romance: Missy and Bill's father.
- The Middle Ages: Briefly.
- Mistaken for Profound: Socrates mistakes song lyrics for wisdom.
- The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: The guys enthusiastically embrace the King's order to "put them in the Iron Maiden" with a positive "EXCELLENT!"
King: "Execute them!"
- Odd Friendship: Billy the Kid and Socrates. An outlaw and a philosopher respectively seem to get along well. When Bill and Ted make eyes to the Princesses, the two historical figures are seen in the background tossing a Nerf football to each other. They work together to rescue Bill and Ted from execution. When they run amok in San Dimas Mall, Socrates is seen trying to emulate Billy's trademark shooting the ceiling with a water gun. It's not so odd when you realize that William Bonney has been rumored to be a well educated man and even at one point studied philosophy.
- The Power of Rock: And how -- the music of Wyld Stallyns ushers in a worldwide golden age of peace, harmony, and awesomeness.
Rufus: "San Dimas, California, 2688. And I'm telling you, it's great here. The air is clean, the water's clean... even the dirt, it's clean. Bowling averages are way up, mini-golf scores are way down. And we have more excellent water slides than any other planet we communicate with."
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Bill lapses into one when he thinks a medieval dude killed Ted.
- Royal Ugly Dudes Are Bogus
- Shout-Out: Numerous references to 80s culture.
- Bill and Ted dress up in knightly armor and swordfight to mock lightsaber noises.
Ted: I'm Darth Ted!
- After they tell Socrates that "All we are is dust in the wind, dude", he quotes the tagline for Days of Our Lives.
- Stable Time Loop:
- If Wyld Stallyns would have broken up without Rufus' intervention, how did his timeline come into existence in the first place?
- Rufus never divulges his name. Bill and Ted learn it from their future selves. Maybe it was in that phonebook?
- Stockholm Syndrome: Taken Up To Eleven, as none of the historic figures seem to object to being abducted by a pair of nutty teenagers - but then, that's part of the movie's humor.
- Stylistic Suck: Bill and Ted's guitar skills.
Rufus (to viewers): "They do get better..."
- Tagline: "History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can't spell."
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Parodied like everything else. Okay, the boys have to leave on their journey, but their time moves at the same pace as them so they can't just spend comparatively weeks worth of preparation using time travel when they have to accomplish their history report by the next day. And when they are in a jam trying to get that accomplished, they figured that they could use the time booth to manipulate things to their advantage now, which they would have to recreate after they finished their history report... And it works.
- Title Drop: Abraham Lincoln refers to Bill and Ted bringing them on "a most excellent adventure."
- Earlier at the Circle K, Future!Ted tells Present!Ted that they're about to "embark on an excellent adventure through time."
- Totally Radical: Tongue-in-cheek about it, and subverted in that it actually caught on.
- The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer: Most of the historical people adapt pretty quickly to the twentieth century, such as Beethoven mastering electronic synthesizers.
- Billy the Kid picks up the intricacies of time travel pretty quickly, for which the boys praise him when they arrive in ancient Greece.
- Visual Pun: When Sigmund Freud is trying to chat up the girls at the mall and being shot down in the process, you can see the corndog he's holding go from being 'erect' at the beginning of the conversation to being 'limp' at the end.
- Genius Bonus: It's frikkin' Freud using a penis standin.
- Waxing Lyrical: "All we are is dust... in the wind, dude."
- The Wild West
- Ye Goode Olde Days: Our heroes travel to -- and pick up hitchhikers from -- ancient Greece, ancient Mongolia, and medieval Europe (among other eras), yet any and all unpleasant hygienic issues are ignored.
- You Already Changed the Past: One of the signs that Bill and Ted are clever if not book smart is their recognition of this trope; they realize that to solve a problem in the present, they can use their time machine to plant helpful items in the past, and then they'll be there for their present selves to discover - and they keep reminding each other "Once this is over, we have to go back and place all that stuff!"
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
The second movie features the following totally metal tropes:
- All Part of the Show
- Best Out of Infinity: The Reaper is a poor loser, apparently.
- Burger Fool: Off-screen, Bill and Ted work for "Pretzels and Cheese" in order to support the band.
- Chess with Death: Parodied.
- Confusing Multiple Negatives
Bill: "That was non-non-non-NON-heinous!" 
- Counter Zany: "How do we defeat evil robot usses?" "By building good robot usses to fight them!"
- Covers Always Lie: Parodied when they complained that rock albums inaccurately portrayed hell.
"We got totally lied to by our album covers, man."
- Creation Sequence: Station assembling the Good Robot Usses in the back of a moving van.
- Creative Closing Credits: The end credits resolve the story, showing their rise to fame, and ending with the band heading off to perform on Mars.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: subverted in the sequel, where we learn that not everyone is happy to live in a future founded by a pair of hard rockers.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The "Good Robot Us'es" created by Station own the "Bad Robot Us'es" created by De Nomolos. They uppercut their heads off their bodies, and a follow-up punch to the torso causes them to explode.
Evil Bill: Evil Ted, I think we may have met our match.
- In a less literal sense, their Battle of the Bands entry also counts. They had the most insane intro in the history of rock music, with robots and time travel, and their band has aliens, robot backup dancers, and Death himself. I honestly feel sorry for everyone who had to play before them.
- Which was everyone, as it had been specifically stated that Wyld Stallyns would be the last to perform that night. One could assume that the other bands would go on to either be Blessed with Suck or Cursed with Awesome depending on how they looked at it, as they would forevermore be known as "the opening acts of the greatest band in the world".
- In a less literal sense, their Battle of the Bands entry also counts. They had the most insane intro in the history of rock music, with robots and time travel, and their band has aliens, robot backup dancers, and Death himself. I honestly feel sorry for everyone who had to play before them.
- Darker and Edgier: Whilst Excellent Adventure is a feel-good romp, Bogus Journey has the title characters a) facing robot terrorists from the future and b) dying and going to hell, even if it is still played for laughs and they get better eventually.
- Dead to Begin With
- Deliberately Monochrome: Bill & Ted in between the time they die and go to Hell.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: "I can't believe we Melvined Death."
- Do Not Adjust Your Set
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Bad attitude? Yes! Evil? No!
- Combines with Waxing Lyrical after the two beat Death and he has to lead them to Heaven.
Dead Bill: "Hey, Ted -- Don't Fear the Reaper!"
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Colonel Oates, the head and namesake of Oates Military Academy where Ted's dad is threatening to send him in the first movie. He's only mentioned in the first film. He first appears in the sequel and doesn't seem too bad initially. However, when the duo goes to hell, the first punishment they go through is being in military school with him where he's this trope in full force and demands that they "get down and give me infinity".
- Then again, they are in HELL...
- Earth Is the Center of the Universe/Humans Are Special: Mocked when Bill and Ted ask God for help in protecting their girlfriends, and are sent to meet the smartest man in the universe... who turns out to be two squat, large-nosed Martians. Or one big one, depending....
Death: "Did you assume that the most brilliant scientist in the entire universe would be from Earth?"
- Evil Twin: The duo's robot duplicates.
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: Station.
- Fantastic Time Management: How Bill and Ted actually end up learning to play.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: This is how hell appears when they first arrive: breaking rocks eternally under the watchful eye of Satan, as well as a chamber filled with many forms of Ironic Hell.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Well, more "Plastic Fluorescent-Backlit Clouds" Heaven.
- Frank Welker: Voices the Stations/Station and the Easter Bunny.
- Funny Background Event: At the Builder's Emporium, Death tells a smoker "See you real soon". After he passes by, you can see the smoker do a Double Take and quickly stub out his cigarette.
- Fusion Dance: The Stations can body-slam each other to form a larger, muscular STATION.
- Future Me Scares Me: Sort of; the duo quickly become afraid of what they think are their future selves, before it's revealed that they're actually evil robot doubles.
- Future Slang: "Station" is used as both a greeting and a positive adjective (in the fashion of "awesome").
- Though at the concert at the end of the film, Ted says it can mean anything.
- God: Appears as a bright light in a roughly anthropoid shape who says very little.
- God Test: Double subverted; when the heroes' Evil Twins arrive, Ted is suspicious, but Bill convinces him to trust them. Then Ted trusts his robot counterpart after it passes a How Many Fingers? test.
- Graceful Loser: Evil Bill and Evil Ted of all people, when the Good Robot Usses charge them in the climactic concert.
Evil Bill: "Evil Ted, looks like we've met our match."
- The Grim Reaper: Starts off as a minor antagonist, but soon joins the guys. Later wins the Indy 500 on foot and gets caught in a lip-syncing scandal.
- Groin Attack: Variant: Bill and Ted use a Melvin, a front-side wedgie, on The Grim Reaper.
- Happily Ever After: The end credits of the film feature a montage of newspaper headlines chronicling Bill & Ted's rise to fame and their music bringing about world peace and a new scientific renaissance while playing the song "God Gave Rock And Roll To You" by KISS. It's a very happy ending.
- Homage: The second movie parodies the older film The Seventh Seal where a Knight plays chess with the Grim Reaper for his soul. Bill and Ted play him with classic board games and Twister.
- Homemade Inventions: The Good Robot Usses.
- I Fell for Hours: Bill and Ted's long fall to Hell, which takes so long they begin playing "20 Questions" to pass the time.
- To be fair, it was a pretty short game:
Dead Bill: "Hey, you wanna play Twenty Questions?"
Dead Bill: "Ted."
- Ironic Echo: "Catch ya later, Bill and Ted!" First by the Evil Robots to Bill and Ted, then by Bill and Ted to the Evil Robots. Both times, the party spoken to is about to die.
- Ironic Hell: Both boys experience this after passing through Fire and Brimstone Hell for a bit.
- It's Been Done: The plot is a blend of Terminator and, of all things, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park - which featured Kiss battling Evil Robot Kiss. Seriously.
- Kick the Dog: Evil Bill and Ted repeatedly try to kill animals.
- The Evil Robots' groping of the heroes' (rather chaste) princess girlfriends also counts in various ways
- Kirk's Rock: Lampshaded: Just before the boys meet the Evil Robots, they're watching that particular episode of Star Trek: The Original Series on TV. When the Robots drag the boys up to the rock to kill them, we even get a recreation of the dramatic zoom out from Trek.
- Larynx Dissonance: Evil Bill changes his voice to one of the medieval babes to give Bill and Ted a fake breakup call, in order to lead them into the trap where they will be killed.
- Losing Your Head: The Evil Us's version of basketball.
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right: De Nomolos' motive.
- May-December Romance: Missy and Ted's father, who's even older than Bill's father from the first movie. And then she hooks up with De Nomolos at the end of that movie. The girl Really Gets Around.
- Men Can't Keep House: Bill and Ted's apartment in the second movie is a showcase of this trope. It gets worse.
- Mirror Match: The Evil Robot Bill and Ted vs. the Good Robot Usses.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ties in with the Stable Time Loop. De Nomolos decides to broadcast his defeat of Bill and Ted live to the world. After he's defeated, this only ensures that Bill and Ted broadcast their first performance live all over the world, hence beginning the cycle of their music creating the future Utopia.
- Overly Long Gag: When they get sent to hell.
"Dude, this is a totally deep hole."
- Overly Long Scream: Bill and Ted fall down a pit to hell, screaming the whole way, but the pit is so deep that they eventually get tired of repeatedly screaming and start playing 20 questions.
- Our Founder: Bill and Ted, in The Future.
- Out-Gambitted: The climax of the film. Both sides' plans rely on the premise that they won the current battle in the present, which would allow them to manipulate time afterwards and rig the battle in the present to their favor. "The future belongs to the winner."
- Perfect Pacifist People: Bill and Ted's future society appears to be one of these.
- Pokémon-Speak: The Stations use the word "Station" for everything.
- The Power of Rock: Taken Up to Eleven, as the effects of Wyld Stallyns' music are shown via a newspaper montage at the end of the film (set to KISS's "God Gave Rock 'n Roll To You"):
Wyld Stallyns Tour Midwest; Crop Growth Up 30%
- Really Gets Around: Missy was married to Bill's Dad in the first film, but has left him and married Ted's Dad by the sequel. She also flirts with Col. Oates, and the end credits reveal that she has left Ted's Dad for De Nomolos.
- Ridiculously-Human Robots: The Evil Robot Bill and Ted, who can apparently get "full-on robot chubb[ies]" from looking at a picture of the guys' girlfriends.
- Robotic Reveal: Bill punching his robotic evil twin.
"Oww! You're totally metal, dude!"
- San Dimas Time: Interestingly, the sequel seems to throw this out by allowing Bill and Ted to spend 16 months to get guitar lessons, then return to the present to win the concert. This could be explained by assuming that Bill and Ted have to jump 16 months into the future after they win the concert.
- Plausible explanation: Bill and Ted take the booth sixteen months into the future, get out, and allow Future Bill & Ted (who have been in intense training ever since the concert) to get in and take the same booth back to the Battle of the Bands, while Bill and Ted wait in the future. Once their set is over, Future Bill & Ted get back in the booth, go back to their own time, and let Bill and Ted have the booth back, whereupon Bill and Ted travel back to their present San Dimas and begin sixteen months of intense training.
- Sdrawkcab Name: De Nomolos is this for writer Ed Solomon.
- Shout-Out: Death is a pretty direct parody of Death from The Seventh Seal.
- Something That Begins With Boring
- Sore Loser: The Grim Reaper when he initially loses. It take several losses to the boys for him to finally give into their demands.
- Spinning Paper: Seen during the end credits.
- Squick: An in-universe example; Death gets jealous of all the praise Station is getting and starts fishing for compliments. When Ted says he has "an excellently huge Martian butt", Death asks "What about my butt? Reaping burns a lot of calories, you know." Bill and Ted visibly shudder at this.
- Stable Time Loop: De Nomolos is basically responsible for Wyld Stallyns' world fame, broadcasting their Battle of the Band appearance to the world by accident in his attempt to Take Over the World. Also used tactically in the fight.
- The language of the second movie even forms a Stable Time Loop. STATION!
- Tagline: "Once... They Made history. Now... They Are History."
- Technology Porn: Station's assembly of the Good Robot Usses is a Homemade Inventions version of this trope.
- That Poor Cat: "Aim for the cat, dude! Aim for the cat!"
- To Hell and Back
- Took a Level in Badass: At the end of the movie, Bill and Ted use the time machine to take 16 months of intensive guitar training, going from being bad on a horrendous level to astonishingly good.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody finds it odd that the princesses are celebrating their 527th birthday?
- It's California. People probably figure they're counting all their past lives or something.
- There's also Death and two aliens wandering a hardware store, rarely getting even a second glance.
- Uranus Is Showing: Bill and Ted pull this when complimenting God.
- Visual Pun: Bill and Ted echo back "Catch ya later, Bill and Ted!" to the Evil Robot Usses... and a few seconds later, do in fact catch the robots' flying heads.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: When Evil Bill and Evil Ted have Good Bill and Good Ted hanging over a Cliff, they try to invoke this on hopes it would spare them. Too bad Evil Bill and Evil Ted react in the exact same way Bill and Ted would react.
Bill: Ted, we gotta do something.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted in the comic and novel adaptation. Rather than the Xanatos Speed Chess battle with DeNomolos, the boys simply find the Self-Destruct Mechanism in Evil Robot B&T's heads and throw them to DeNomolos, killing him.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: The final confrontation between Bill and Ted and DeNomolos.
- You Already Changed the Past: The entire climax is Bill, Ted, and De Nomolos performing dueling versions of this. Except that, as Bill points out, only the winner can change history, so all the things the villain thought he planted were just decoys B&T placed to lull him into a false sense of security.
- i.e. it was heinous