From Abe Lincoln to ZZ Top: a most triumphant A-Z of Bill & Ted

Abe Lincoln

Potus 16, Emancipation Proclamation issuer, ill-advised theatregoer. But, most importantly, gives a rousing speech – not dissimilar to the Gettysburg Address – for Bill and Ted’s history report … even though they kidnapped him.

Bill S Preston Esq

One of our titular heroes, played by Alex Winter. Noticeable for a Valley accent, and prone to wearing crop tops (so in right now) in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989).

Circle K

Strange things are afoot here. A chain of convenience stores in the US, this is where our protagonists first encounter Rufus, their future selves and a certain phone box.

The cast of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

The cast of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Photograph: Ronald Grant


If there’s a villain in Excellent Adventure, it’s this guy. Officious and unsupportive, he threatens to send Ted to military school if he doesn’t pass History. Heinous.

Evil Robot Us’s

The evil henchmen of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), they – spoiler alert – totally kill Bill and Ted, and take their place in order to alter the future.


The father of modern psychology – pronounced “Frood”. He offers to psychoanalyse Bill, who politely refuses, self-diagnosing a “minor Oedipal complex” (see Missy).

Grim Reaper

Soul collector of the recently deceased, really bad at board games, and most excellent double bass player for Wyld Stallyns.


Not a nice place – looks a bit like a Megadeth album cover. Where worst fears are realised and traumas are relived for all eternity. Basically, Ikea on a Sunday.

Bill and Ted with their daughters, Billie and Thea, in Bill & Ted Face The Music.

Bill and Ted with their daughters, Billie and Thea, in Bill & Ted Face The Music. Photograph: Entertainment Pictures/Alamy

Iron Maiden

Not the heavy metal band, rather the medieval torture contraption from which they took their name. Some Royal Ugly Dudes order Bill and Ted be placed in one after catching them.

Joan of Arc

Warrior, martyr, wannabe aerobics instructor. Another one of B&T’s kidnappees.

King Edward IV

The most likely king for the medieval time period in which our heroes land.

Ludwig van Beethoven

He’s 250 years old this year yet surprisingly adept at 80s synthesisers, “Beeth-oven” provides the musical interlude during the history report.


Bill’s young stepmom, and the source of his Oedipal complex. Missy marries Ted’s dad in Bogus Journey and then, in Face the Music, someone else we know.


Bill and Ted’s first abductee is babysat by Ted’s younger brother, Deacon. Bonaparte proceeds to throw tantrums at an ice-cream parlour, a bowling alley and a waterpark. There’s no pleasing some dictators.


The producers and distributors of the first two movies. Sold to MGM in 1997, the Orion “vanity card” still appears at the start of the new movie.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Phone a friend … Billy the Kid joins Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Photograph: Allstar/Orion

Phone box

Our heroes’ mode of transport, not in any way stolen from Doctor Who. Simply find your required time period in the phone book, dial the number, and make sure to close the door.


What is a hero without one? In the first movie they must pass history class to stop their band splitting up; in the second they must stop being dead; and in the third they must save the universe with one song.


Mentor, snappy dresser,and calming presence. Rufus is sent from the year 2688 in order to guide the Wyld Stallyns to greatness. Played by the much-missed George Carlin, Rufus’s successor in the new movie is his daughter, Kelly, played by Kristen Schaal.

San Dimas

Satellite city of LA and home to our protagonists.

Theodore ‘Ted’ Logan

That guy from Speed.


Its very future is at stake if Wyld Stallyns don’t write the prophesied song that will save … y’know … existence. No pressure, lads.

Vasquez Rocks

Where B&T are thrown to their deaths in Bogus Journey. Other users of this location include Hot Shots! Part Deux, Blazing Saddles and Star Trek.

Wyld Stallyns

Bill and Ted’s band. Their music helps put an end to war and poverty, and aligns the planets and brings them into universal harmony … which is more than East 17 ever did.


Look, it’s hard to find a decent entry starting with an “X”, OK? (E)xcellent is the positive adjective most regularly deployed by our protagonists, shortly before some air guitar.

You sunk my battleship

Death’s exclamation after he loses the first board game to which Bill and Ted have challenged him to win back their lives. Other games played include Twister and Cluedo.

ZZ Top

Bands featured on the soundtracks include Megadeth, Kiss and Weezer, but ZZ Top sneak in here, not only because it’s a very useful “Z”, but because our heroes emerge looking exactly like them for the finale of Bogus Journey … and then proceed to play a Kiss song.

Bill & Ted Face the Music is in cinemas today

The Guardian

Leave a Reply