Why do we love the Bill & Ted movies so much? Those time travel films captivated an entire generation, which is even more impressive if we think that, as recently revealed by writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson in an interview with Yahoo! News, the characters originated from comedy theatre improv sessions. Said characters – the titular Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) – were conceived as “really, really ignorant teenage boys who know nothing about anything,” and that is pretty much who they are.
The Bill & Ted movies essentially tell the story of two teenagers whose main preoccupation is rocking with their work-in-progress band, the “Wyld Stallyns,” but who suddenly find themselves in need of a perfect history paper, as they will fail the class if they don’t produce it. But Bill and Ted are in luck, as they stumble upon a time-traveling phone booth, belonging to a man named Rufus (George Carlin), who comes from the year 2688, that would seem to be the solution to all their problems. And so, our favorite slackers embark on an “excellent adventure” to meet a series of figures from the past, from Billy the Kid to Napoleon and many more, hoping to include their findings into their paper.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) was so successful that a sequel (1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) was soon released, followed by a third film (Bill & Ted Face the Music) in 2020. But what are some great scenes from the Bill & Ted Movies? Read our list of 5 scenes from the films that capture the silliness and charm of this universe!
5. Meeting the Grim Reaper
(Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey)
Just like the first movie, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey sees our protagonists go on an adventure after meeting a man from the future. This time, it’s a villain named De Nomolos (Joss Ackland) who sends evil robots that look exactly like our heroes, as their first trip to the future was so successful that it resulted in an entire utopian society being built around their music. Though Bogus Journey doesn’t manage to replicate the success of the first film, there are still some wonderfully silly scenes that make it worth a watch.
One of those scenes sees them play a game against the Grim Reaper (William Shatner) in the afterlife, to win their souls back, but our two geniuses aren’t very good at it. If the scene reminded us of a similar one in The Seventh Seal, it immediately takes a different turn when Bill and Ted think of a game they might have a chance of winning: not strategy games like chess or fun bingo games, but something even simpler: battleship. And not only that, but Death is a sore loser, and demands they play more: needless to say, they end up winning even more games, from Clue to Electric Football and even Twister. While these scenes are not as good as most of what we watch in the first film, they still manage to capture Bill and Ted’s personalities and provide for a fun, entertaining watch.
4. The Wedding Song
(Bill & Ted Face the Music)
Some of the scenes in Bill & Ted Face the Music are – to quote our hilarious duo – a little bit “bogus”, but there are also many truly “excellent” moments! One of those moments is the film’s opening scene, which reunites us with Bill & Ted and immediately establishes that, even if they look much older, they haven’t changed one bit. We are at Missy (Amy Stoch) and Deacon’s (Back Bennett) wedding, and, being the great singers that they are, they perform a song. The song’s catchy title? “That Which Binds Us Through Time: The Chemical, Physical, and Biological Nature of Love; an Exploration of The Meaning of Meaning, Part 1,” of course. And, needless to say, it’s hilarious.
Think random noises, throat singing, bagpipes and general mayhem involving various childish objects, while Bill and Ted remain extremely focused. The contrast between their concentration and the pure silliness of the performance will have you clap in delight, and the perfect way to reunite with our duo.
(Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
Out of all the historical figures Bill & Ted meet in the first movie, it’s difficult to choose a favorite. The Billy the Kid (Dan Shor) scenes are wonderful subversions of the western genre, and Socrates’ attempts to educate our protagonists on philosophy are truly hilarious. But there’s a character who stands out even more, perhaps because he has not one, but many memorable scenes in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Napoleon (Terry Camilleri). While many people’s favorite scene is the one at the bowling alley, our favorite is his discovery of ice cream at the Ziggy Pig Restaurant, because it has plenty of that Bill & Ted charm we’ve come to love.
2. The Mall Scene
(Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
If you’re looking for a scene that captures just how insanely silly these movies are, look no further than the mall scene in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure! After successfully time traveling, our leads bring some historical figures to our modern times. And where should they take them if not the ultimate meeting place? That place is the mall, and we get to watch Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron), Beethoven (Clifford David), Gengis Khan (Al Leong), Joan of Arc (Jane Wiedlin), Socrates (Tony Steedman) and even more historical figures do the most unlikely things, in a wonderfully crazy montage you’ll want to watch all over again when it’s over. Think aerobics classes, baseball bats, skateboards, fun choreographies, and, of course, rock music. The mall scene is one of the coolest, most insane scenes in the Bill & Ted movies, and yet another reason to watch them.
1. Bill & Ted Meet Themselves
(Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
You knew this was coming. Our favorite scene is the universally beloved moment at the very start of the first movie, when our unwitting protagonists have just met the time-travelling Rufus and soon end up face to face with their future selves. And what do they ask them to check if they’re not impostors, if not the silliest, most meaningless question of all times? We’ll let you discover both question and answer on your own, but it perfectly captures the essence of the movie.
Screen Rant reports that Bill & Ted Face the Music was also supposed to have a scene where Bill and Ted meet alternate versions of themselves, as it involved them travelling to the past and meeting their younger selves at the Circle K. In the end, it didn’t happen due to CGI issues, but perhaps it was for the best, as it would have been extremely difficult to replicate the success of the first one. The meeting scene in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure shouldn’t work on paper, and yet it does, thanks to the sheer personality of both screenplay and leads, acting as the perfect start to our adventure.
There are so many great scenes in the Bill & Ted movies, and the humor is so subjective and specific that each viewer will have a different favorite. The 5 great scenes listed above are just a few “excellent” moments in the beloved franchise, and we hope they’ll make you want to revisit the Bill & Ted films. Happy watching, and “party on, dudes!”