Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Movie Poster

Trivia for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

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  • The scene when Napoleon slides down the water slides at "Waterloo" was filmed at the Golfland/Sunsplash water park in Mesa, AZ.
  • The Circle K in the film is in San Dimas, CA, at the corner of Walnut and Bonita Avenues. The convenience store scenes were at least partially filmed at the Circle K in Tempe, AZ, at the northwest corner of Southern and Hardy.
  • The number that Rufus dials to take Bill and Ted to Austria in 1805 is 1-323-459-4303. The 323 area code split off from the 213 area code on June 13, 1998.
  • 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.
  • Keanu Reeves' character addresses himself as Theodore Logan III, meaning his father's full name was Capt. Theodore Logan Jr.
  • The exterior shots of Bill and Ted's high school are of Coronado High School in Scottsdale, AZ. The striking mosaic on the school's auditorium facade was designed by art teacher Mr. Gatti and the students in the early 1960s. The auditorium was torn down during renovations, between 2005 and 2007. The mosaic and roof, visible when Bill and Ted leave school in a red Mustang, were saved and moved, piece by piece, to the new auditorium.
  • The picture on Ted's T-shirt is the cover photo for Van Halen's "Why Can't This Be Love?" single, sold during the Van Halen 5150 tour, and very popular with Van Halen fans in the late 1980s. It was Sammy Hagar's first tour with Van Halen after replacing David Lee Roth.
  • Bill and Ted began as a stand-up act, in which the characters would discuss current events without knowing what they were talking about. It originally included a third character named Bob, but the comedian who played him lost interest after a few performances.
  • The punk band The Ataris wrote a song based on Ox's report. It's titled "San Dimas High School Football Rules!", but it has nothing to do with the film.
  • 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." He is actually diagramming Napoléon Bonaparte's most disastrous defeat, the French invasion of Russia.
  • In the original script, the time machine was a 1969 Chevy van. The filmmakers thought that was too similar to 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 a time machine). Bill and Ted picked up more historical figures than they did in the final film.
  • 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.
  • Stevie Salas is the "guitar hand double" for Rufus during the jam session at the end of the movie.
  • This is one of three productions in which Genghis Khan and Abraham Lincoln appear together as characters, even though Lincoln was born 582 years after Khan died. The others are The Savage Curtain (1969) and Clone High (2002).
  • Originally, Alex Winter auditioned for the role of Ted, and Keanu Reeves auditioned for the role of Bill.
  • Principal photography was completed in 1987, but 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 in 1988, and released it in 1989.
  • Napoleon "pigs out" on a Neapolitan sundae at Ziggy Piggy's that he calls "La glacé". Despite the similarities between the ice cream and his name, the dessert originated in Naples, Italy. Historically, Napoléon Bonaparte was fond of it.
  • Lincoln's speech at the end is a paraphrase of the real Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
  • In the book "The Producers: Profiles in Frustration," producer Scott Kroopf recalled pitching the script to Dino De Laurentiis. According to 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.'"
  • The phone booth time machine was given away as a contest prize by Nintendo Power magazine, which was promoting Bill & Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure (1991).
  • The film features Extreme's song "Play With Me." Soon after, Alex Winter directed the video for Extreme's follow-up hit, "Decadence Dance."
  • Pauly Shore and Josh Richman auditioned for the role of Ted.
  • When Bill and Ted leave Napoleon with Deacon, a balloon in the background says "Party On Dude".
  • The Australian band "Space Desert's" EP "Forrest Gump II" is about Bill and Ted. It quotes lines from the film, and includes a snippet of an interview with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter explaining the meaning of the word "Bodacious".
  • All of the figures that Bill and Ted pick up through history are shown on the blackboard on the opening scene.
  • When filming began, Keanu Reeves was 22 and Alex Winter was 21, much closer to high school age than typical Hollywood productions.
  • Originally, the plot was to have Bill and Ted visit, and accidentally cause, all of history's greatest tragedies, including the sinking of the Titanic and the crash of the Hindenburg.
  • In a 1991 interview, Ed Solomon said the characters of Bill and Ted were originally envisioned as "14-year-old skinny guys, with low-rider bell-bottoms and heavy metal t-shirts" who were despised by the popular kids at school. Casting Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter changed the filmmakers' images of the characters. "Once you cast Alex and Keanu, who look like pretty cool guys, that was hard to believe."
  • In April 2013, Alex Winter called casting George Carlin "a very happy accident. They were going after serious people first. Like Sir Sean Connery, and someone had the idea, way after we started shooting, of George. That whole movie was a happy accident. No one thought it would ever see the light of day."
  • In 2010, the city of San Dimas, CA celebrated 50 years of incorporation. The celebration's slogan was "San Dimas, 1960-2010 - An Excellent Adventure."
  • The bowling alley was a Fair Lanes during filming. It's now the AMF Tempe Village Lanes, on Rural Road at U.S. Highway 60, three miles south of Arizona State University.
  • The mall scene was filmed at the Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, Arizona, between Peoria and Dunlap Avenues at Interstate 17. It has since been renovated, and no longer looks as it did in the film. Some of the extras were students from Cortez High School on their lunch break. Cortez High School is Alice Cooper's alma mater.
  • According to Alex Winter, filming in the phone booth was so unpleasant that he and Keanu Reeves nicknamed it "The Death Box."
  • In the original script, Babe Ruth was a character.
  • Screenwriters Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson discovered Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves when they were messing around in a queue outside McDonald's in front of them.
  • Alex Winter claimed that he gets two types of letters from teachers; positive ones from history teachers for encouraging students to learn about history, and negative ones from English teachers for affecting the way students speak.
  • During filming, Dan Shor was 31, and Jane Wiedlin was 29. In real life, Billy the Kid was killed at 21, and Joan of Arc was executed at 19.
  • Bill says "Let's reach out and touch someone" before they use the booth for the first time. It's an old slogan for Bell System Phone Company, associated with the advertising campaign that introduced push button telephones in the 1960s. It resulted in massive sales, which coincided with a major upgrade to telephone systems throughout the U.S., and eventually the world.
  • Bill's "philosophy" to Socrates, "All we are is dust in the wind, dude", is a line from "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas. Socrates' response is, "Like sands of the hourglass, such are the days of our lives." For decades, that was the opening credits voiceover for Days of Our Lives (1965).
  • For years, Keanu Reeves lamented that his epitaph would be "Here lies Keanu Reeves. He played Ted."
  • Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson wrote the script by hand, on note paper, during a series of meetings at local coffee shops. They finished in 4 days. The 2005 box set, Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection, features some of their handwritten notes.
  • In an interview with Starlog Magazine, Chris Matheson said he didn't intend for this to be a science-fiction movie. "I try to consciously fight it, out of a desire to break away, but maybe I have a predilection toward that because of my dad," Matheson said of the fantasy elements that emerged. "He's a great writer and craftsman, and always has suggestions." In fact, it was his father Richard Matheson's idea that the time travel story be its own movie. "We were going to write a sketch film, with this as one of the skits, but my dad said, 'That sounds like a whole movie,'" Matheson recalled, "And he was right!"
  • The film was originally going to end with Bill and Ted taking the princesses to the prom. When they first meet, Ted asks them to the prom. A photo on a British VHS cover from 1997 suggests this scene was filmed but deleted.
  • Most of the historical figures Bill and Ted brought back with them died horrifically. Several, including Socrates, Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, and Abraham Lincoln, were either executed or assassinated. Sigmund Freud died by assisted suicide. Some people believe Napoléon Bonaparte's death under house arrest was the result of arsenic poisoning. Historically Genghis Khan and Ludwig van Beethoven died of natural causes
  • The film takes place in 2688, May 1988, 1805, 1879, 410 BC, the 1400s, 1901, 1810, 1429, 1209, 1863 and 1,000,000 BC.
  • Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, Esq.), Keanu Reeves (Ted "Theodore" Logan), George Carlin (Rufus), Hal Landon, Jr. (Captain John Logan), Amy Stoch (Missy) and J. Patrick McNamara (Mr. Preston) are the only actors to reprise their roles in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991).
  • When Bill and Ted get Beethoven, the film shows they are in Kassel, Germany, in 1810. At the time, Kassel was the seat of the court of Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoléon Bonaparte's younger brother.
  • At the beginning, Mr. Ryan asks Ted who Joan of Arc was, and Ted replies "Noah's wife." In the German dubbed version, he asks who Hannibal was, and Ted replies "The uncle of Football."
  • The bar fight scene is parallel to the girl scout fight scene in Airplane! (1980). Both begin over a poker cheat (extra ace), have the same punches and bar stool hit, and end with one being slid across the bar until breaking through a wall or juke box.
  • The German dub has gained cult status in Germany. It's credited with coining the words "Hoschi" (for "dude") and "granatenstark" (for "excellent"). The quote "Be excellent to each other" is replaced with a more philosophical line which translates as "Colorful and excellent is the being." Some of the German-dubbed catchphrases (ex. "volle kanne, hoschi") became so popular that they became part of the language.
  • Terry Camilleri who plays Napoléon Bonaparte, is actually Australian with Italian heritage, and was born in Malta.
  • The textbook used by Bill and Ted in the film was a real high school history textbook used in California schools in the late 1980's.
  • The song "Two Heads are Better Than One" is credited to Power Tool. It's actually the work of Matthew Nelson and Gunnar Nelson, sons of rock and roll icon Ricky Nelson, who would later form their own band, Nelson. Coincidentally, the film was released by Nelson Entertainment.
  • Steve Jackson Games released Bill & Ted's Excellent Board Game in 2016 based on the movie characters.
  • Sean Penn and River Phoenix auditioned for the role of Bill. Phoenix would appear with Keanu Reeves a year after the release of this film in I Love You to Death (1990) and My Own Private Idaho (1991).
  • When Bill, Ted, and Billy the Kid escape from the wild west saloon, a cowboy is carrying a sack and moon walking as they run to the phone booth.
  • In an April 2019 interview for the Sway's Universe podcast, Brendan Fraser said that contrary to popular rumor, he never auditioned for the role of Bill.
  • When Abraham Lincoln emerges on stage during Bill & Ted's history report, his opening line of "Four score...and seven minutes ago" appears around the 87-minute mark of the film ("Four score" equals 80 + seven).
  • The keyboard shown in the ending scene is an ARP Omni 2. The Omni 2 is an analog synthesizer that was manufactured by ARP Instruments, Inc. from 1978 and 1981.
  • Napoléon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, and Billy the Kid were all previously featured as characters in different episodes of The Time Tunnel (1966).

Spoilers

  • The original ending had Bill and Ted delivering their history report in class, with all of the historical figures displaying their views via blackboard.
  • The "Ziggy Pig" in the ice cream parlor is a reference to a comic book character created by Timely Comics (now Marvel) during World War II. In 1987, the character was public domain. The award put on Napoleon's chest is based on the ribbon patrons of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor received if they ate an entire "Pig Trough," a double-sized banana split. Farrell's was a large restaurant chain in the 1970s, but few remained by 1988.
  • 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 seems to be from a deleted high school prom scene, which would have appeared at the end of the film.
  • When Bill and Ted leave Napoleon in Ted's younger brother Deacon's care, an electric football game is in the background. Assuming Ted grew up playing the game, it helps explain why Bill and Ted are good at it, and beat the Grim Reaper when they play in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991).
  • Rufus never introduces himself to Bill or Ted. The future Bill and Ted introduce him to their past selves at the Circle K.
  • Characters say "dude" 70 times, and "excellent" 30 times.
  • In Germany, one piece of dialog has been altered in the scene when Bill and Ted meet their future selves. They are asking "If you guys are really us, of which famous toothpick (celebrity) are we thinking right now?", and their future selves reply "Arnold Schwarzenegger!".
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