It's hard to think that a couple of characters who were born in an improv class in 1983 ended up being the focus of two most excellent Hollywood comedies: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. The recurring bit was about two music-obsessed teenagers who talked about history while knowing nothing about history. Throughout the sketch, their father would come upstairs and ask them to turn their music down.
The characters created by Ed Solomon and and Chris Matheson went on to become the subject of their own comedy that was released in 1989, starring Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as Bill and Ted, respectively. The rest, is, well, history.
The incredibly successful film spawned a sequel that is actually as good as the original (a rarity), a cartoon series, merchandise, and heck, even its own breakfast cereal. Fans are also excited that, 30 years later, Keanu and Alex are reprising their roles for Bill and Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the series.
So what keeps a franchise going strong for decades? Unforgettable performances don't hurt, and neither does the fact that it's genuinely funny. In fact, it's packed with tons of quotable and meme-worthy moments that hold up in any era.
Buy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure here.
Like when they quote "Dust in the Wind" to Socrates.
Telling the world's greatest philosopher a quote from the world's greatest band named after Kansas is quality cinema, ladies and gentlemen.
Or when they met themselves from the future, but needed some proof.
It's the only way they could be sure. Classic.
This hole-in-a-bucket scenario.
Ted, while I agree that, in time, our band will be most triumphant. The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar.
Yes, Bill. But, I do not believe we will get Eddie Van Halen until we have a triumphant video.
Ted, it's pointless to have a triumphant video before we even have decent instruments.
Well, how can we have decent instruments when we don't really even know how to play?
That is why we NEED Eddie Van Halen!
And THAT is why we need a triumphant video.
Or when Bill and Ted got excited about the wrong Iron Maiden.
Evil Duke: Put them in the iron maiden.
Ted "Theodore" Logan: Iron Maiden?
Bill S. Preston: [With Ted] Excellent! [both play air guitar]
Evil Duke: Execute them.
Bill S. Preston: [With Ted] Bogus!
Sigmund Freud striking out.
He may be a master of psychology, but he can't talk to women.
Girl at Mall: Oh, my God! [laughs with her friend at Freud's introduction]
Sigmund Freud: You both seem to be suffering from a mild form of hysteria.
Girl at Mall: You are such a geek! [walks off with her friend]
Billy the Kid: Way to go, egghead!
Socrates: GEEK! [laughs]
Sigmund Freud: What is a geek?
Bill is worried about his academic future.
Bill: We're in danger of flunking most heinously tomorrow, Ted.
I don't know why these two lovable dummies using selectively highfalutin language is so funny, but it just is. Most hilarious indeed.
"Whoa. He didn’t even card us, dude."
When Bill and Ted saunter up to a Wild West saloon in order to wrangle Billy the Kidd for their history project, they are shocked the bartender doesn't ask for ID. Such an honest and funny moment.
Ted, with excellent deductive reasoning.
These dudes might really stink at history, but I have to give it up to Ted here for giving this one a real try.
When they put their heads together to solve a most puzzling conundrum.
Bill: Okay, wait, if we were one of Europe's greatest leaders, and we were stranded in San Dimas for one day, where would we go?
Bill: [pause, then with Ted] Waterloo!
Napoleon had a blast at that waterpark. Excellent historical pun usage here, I might add.
Bill and Ted get mad at Deacon.
Ted's younger brother, Deacon, was supposed to keep an eye on Napoleon. When he doesn't, the following most excellent exchange occurs:
Bill: You ditched Napoleon!?
Ted: Deacon, do you realize you have just stranded one of Europe’s greatest leaders in San Dimas?
Deacon: He was a d**k!
When Bill and Ted finally come to school to rock their presentation, they invite Mr. Khan himself to the stage.
Bill: It is indeed a pleasure to introduce to you a gentleman we picked up in medieval Mongolia in the year 1269.
Ted: Please welcome, the very excellent barbarian...
Ted: [with Bill] ...MR. GENGHIS KHAN! [All the students applaud wildly for Khan]
Ted: This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman's Sporting Goods.
Or when Bill got emotional when he thought Ted was killed.
He shouts: "You killed Ted, you medieval d**kweed!" and then charges for some vengeance. Most honorable.
"Bogus Journey" is filled with some gems as well.
Like this exchange about Bill's Megadeth collection:
Ted, you know, if I die, you can have my Megadeth collection.
But dude, we are already dead.
Oh. Well then they're yours, dude.
Or how about this wonderful rhyme scheme from the Grim Reaper.
Grim Reaper: You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the reaper.
Murderer Robert Alton Harris also uttered a similar line before he was executed, but Bill and Ted did it first.
This wonderful little exchange between Colonel Oats and our heroes.
Trapped in Hell, they're forced to face their greatest fears, like Colonel Oats:
Get down and give me infinity.
There is no way we could possibly do infinity push-ups.
Well maybe if he lets us do them girly-style...
Or when Bill and Ted played 20 questions to pass the time.
Hey Ted? Wanna play 20 questions?
Okay! I got one!
Is it a mineral?
Are you a tank?
Or when they learned first hand that Hell is a living hell.
Of course, we can't forget this epic piece of advice.
So good even Honest Abe was all about it. The world would be a much better place if we all just did this. Amen.