Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) Poster


The "Ziggy Pig" dish in the ice-cream restaurant is a reference to a comic book character put out by Timely Comics (later Marvel) during World War II. By the time this movie was made, it and its image (which appears on the badge they place on Napoleon's chest) were public domain. The award itself is based on the ribbon that could be won at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor restaurants upon completion of their "Pig Trough," a double-sized banana split. Farrell's was a large restaurant chain in the 1970s, but few remained by 1988.
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The phone booth time machine in the film was given away as a contest prize in Nintendo Power magazine, as the magazine was promoting a then-new Bill and Ted game for the NES.
When Napoleon finishes his "waterslide" presentation at the end of the movie, Ted looks up and says, "I don't think it's gonna work." If you look closely at the maps, you can see that Napoleon is actually diagramming the French invasion of Russia, Napoleon's most disastrous defeat.
When Bill reads the assignment to Ted, he says, "Express to the class how an important historical figure from each of your time periods would view the world of San Dimas, 1988." His lips are actually saying, "San Dimas, 1987" and the "1988" was dubbed later because of a delay in the movie's release.
Bill and Ted began as a stand-up act in which the characters would discuss current events without knowing what they were talking about. Originally there was a third character named Bob, but the comedian who played him lost interest after a few performances
In the film, Bill and Ted claim that they need Edward Van Halen in their band to make it better. After the film was released, he jokingly said he would have joined their band if they had asked.
In the original script, the time machine was a 1969 Chevy Van, but the filmmakers thought that it would be a rip-off of Back to the Future (1985). So, they changed it to a phone booth (apparently unconcerned that Doctor Who (1963) uses a police telephone box as its time machine). Also, when they used the van, Bill and Ted picked up more historical figures than they did in the final film.
Principal photography was completed in 1987, but the release was delayed because the film's original financiers, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, went bankrupt. The film was in danger of being dumped onto cable television, until Nelson Entertainment bought the rights to the movie in 1988, and it was released in 1989.
During the report at the end, Bill mentions that he has an Oedipus Complex. This is a term first used by Freud to describe a child's desire to possess the parent of the opposite sex. This is a reference to Bill's confused sexual desire over his new stepmom, Missy.
The original ending had Bill and Ted delivering their history report in class, with all of the historical figures displaying their views via blackboard.
On the cover of the British VHS re-release of the film (by BMG Entertainment International U.K. and Ireland Ltd. by Canal+ distribution) in 1997, there is a picture of Bill and Ted wearing tuxedos, linking arms with the Princess Babes. This is clearly from a deleted high school prom scene, which would have appeared near the end of the film.
The mall scene was filmed at Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, Arizona in 1987. Some of the extras in the scene were kids from a local high school, Cortez, while they were there on their lunch break.
Napoleon "pigs out" on a Neapolitan sundae at Ziggy Piggy's that he refers to as "La glacé". Even though there are similarities between the ice cream and his name, the dessert originated from Naples, Italy. Historically, Napoleon Bonaparte did in fact have a fondness for it, when he arrived in that country.
The rescue scene of Bill and Ted (their comrades pretending to be executioners and escaping on a horse-drawn carriage) is the same way that D'Artagnan is rescued in The Three Musketeers (1993), which was also directed by Stephen Herek.
Stevie Salas is the "guitar hand double" for Rufus during the jam session at the end of the movie.
Originally, Alex Winter auditioned for the role of Ted and Keanu Reeves auditioned for the role of Bill.
The band Extreme's song Play With Me is featured in the film. Appropriately, not long after the film, Alex Winter directed the video for Extreme's follow-up hit, Decadence Dance.
In the original outline for the movie, Rufus was a 28-year-old high school sophomore who befriended Bill and Ted. There was also a character named John the Serf, whom Bill and Ted picked up in medieval England.
In the book "The Producers: Profiles in Frustration," producer Scott Kroopf recalled pitching the idea of "Bill & Ted" to Dino De Laurentiis. Quoted Kroopf: "Dino had no idea what the film was about. He didn't understand what dudes were until someone said to him that 'dudes' meant guys who had big dicks. Then he said 'Oh, great, now I get it.'"
Though the film is PG, almost no cursing is heard in it, except for one quick spot that can easily be missed, and it's a whopper of a curse. At the end of the scene where Ted is enticing Genghis Khan into the phone booth with the Twinkie, right after Genghis walks off screen, you hear him yell, "You mother fucker" (with the last word sounding muffled). One of the other being when Ted asks Bill if they know where they're going, and after responding he doesn't know, Bill yells, "Shit!" while Ted just shouts.
This is one of four productions in which Genghis Khan and Abraham Lincoln appear together as characters, in spite of the fact that Lincoln was born 582 years after the Khan's death. The others are Star Trek: The Savage Curtain (1969), Clone High (2002) and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009).
The punk band 'The Ataris' wrote a song based on Ox's report. The song is titled "San Dimas High School Football Rules!" but has nothing to do with the film.
Rufus never introduces himself to Bill or Ted. The future Bill and Ted introduce him to their past selves at the Circle K.
The scene when Napoleon slides down the waterslides at "Waterloo", was filmed at Golfland/Sunsplash waterpark in Mesa, Arizona.
The picture on Ted's t-shirt is the cover photo for Van Halen's "Why Can't This Be Love" single, for sale during the Van Halen 5150 tour and very commonly seen on Van Halen fans in the late 1980s. This was Sammy Hagar's first tour with Van Halen after replacing David Lee Roth.
The lesson Socrates is teaching in Athens uses the opening words from the popular American soap opera 'The Days of Our Lives.'
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The Circle K is in San Dimas at the corner of Walnut and Bonita Ave. The scenes at the convenience store were at least partially filmed at the Circle K at the northwest corner of Southern and Hardy in Tempe, Arizona.
The exterior shots of Bill and Ted's high school are of Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. The striking mosaic is featured on the school's auditorium facade and was designed by art teacher Mr. Gatti and the students in the early 1960s.
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The number that Rufus dials to take Bill and Ted to Austria in 1805 is 1-323-459-4303.
All of the figures that Bill and Ted pick up through history are shown on the blackboard on the opening scene.
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Abraham Lincoln's speech at the end is a paraphrase of his own Gettysburg Address.
At the time some of the German dubbed catch phrases (ie. "Volle Kanne, Hoschi") became so popular that they were adapted by many people and used as common language.
In the scene where Bill & Ted leave Napoleon with Deacon there is a balloon in the background that says "Party On Dude".
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Pauly Shore and Josh Richman auditioned for the role of Ted.
The historical figures Bill & Ted pick up for their presentation are: Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Socrates, Sigmund Freud, Genghis Kahn, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, and Beethoven.
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Keanu Reeves' character (in the script) addresses himself as Theodore Logan, III. Meaning his father's full name was Captain Theodore Logan Jr.
Australian band "Space Desert" have an EP called "Forrest Gump II", but none of the songs are about Forrest Gump. It is in fact about Bill and Ted, and even quote lines from the film, and include a snippet of an interview with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter explaining the meaning of the word "Bodacious".
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One of the few profanity words spoken in the movie are by Ted's younger brother Deacon. When confronted about ditching Napoleon Deacon states "the guy was a dick!"
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The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

During the scene where Bill & Ted are leaving Napoleon in Ted's younger brother Deacon's care, you can see an electric football game in the background. Assuming Ted grew up playing the game, it helps explain why Bill & Ted are good at it and can best the reaper when they play in the sequel.

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