There are few movies that hold up to the test of time as well as Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. This absurd teen comedy starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, and George Carlin is goofy and fun as hell. The 80's style dates it a bit, but its entertainment value has been so enduring that yet another Bill & Ted sequel, Bill & Ted Face The Music, is slated for release next year - more than 30 years after the release of the original film.
But just like any other film, there are things about Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure that just did not age well. Whether it's the characters' antiquated technology or behaviors, there are some elements of this classic comedy that will just not resonate with today's audience. So here are 10 things about Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure that didn't age well.
10 The San Dimas Mall
After the recent mall-centric season of Stranger Things, there is an argument to be made that places like the San Dimas Mall have gone so out of style that they're back in style again. But with so much of the drama in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure taking place in the mall automatically dates it by decades.
Malls themselves are a relic from the past, especially the one we see here. The place is packed and it looks to be the size of a small skyscraper, which works for the scenes here but obviously didn't age well.
9 Missy, I Mean Mom
One of the running gags of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is Bill's new "mom," Missy. Missy is a girl who is barely a few years older than Bill and Ted. In fact, they all attended high school together for a few years.
The idea of a creepy dad marrying a new woman his son's age is a trope that has been used for years before and after Bill & Ted, but the fact that Missy is so insistent about being called "mom" by Bill is a weird plot point that feels very antiquated in this Modern Family-style era.
8 Watch Winding
Ted is one of the most lovable idiots in all of cinema, and the much maligned (often unfairly) Keanu Reeves absolutely sells his California dude stupidity better than anyone else would have.
His absent-mindedness is highlighted whenever he forgets to wind his watch, so he and Bill lose track of time. This despite him reminding himself multiple times. Losing track of time is totally understandable, however almost no one who watches Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure today will have much experience wearing a watch, let alone realize that old school watches needed to be wound.
7 Bros Not Hugging Bros
One of the more offensive and shockingly dated moments in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is after the two share a sincere hug. After a moment of tenderness, they release their grasp and refer to each other using a word that shouldn't be said to anyone, period.
Homophobia sadly is not a thing of the past, but we'd like to think that most dudes have grown past the notion that they need to wear basketball shorts in 30 degree weather and sit at least four seats away from their bros just to prove how super straight they are.
6 The Phone Booth
When any movie incorporates time travel, the writers usually find creative and interesting ways to facilitate it. When it comes to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, their time machine is literally a phone booth. It definitely works as a comedic gag, but there are few things in the world that could date the movie so obviously as a phone booth would.
Phone booths don't even exist anymore unless they're a relic that hasn't been removed, so the idea that a futuristic time machine would be taking on such a period-specific appearance definitely stands out in this day and age.
5 The Phone Book
As if the whole time traveling phone booth didn't date Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure enough, they had to throw in the phone book for good measure. Obviously no one could have predicted how far technology would advance between 1989 and today, especially when it comes to phone technology.
But now that everyone seems to be walking around with a smartphone, it's bizarre to imagine that in some unknown future they'd make a directory for time travel look like a phone book. Even if it were just a regular book, it wouldn't feel quite so dated.
4 The "Future"
One issue of time traveling movies that Bill & Ted actually avoids is putting the future too close to the current era to be believable. I mean, a lot of movies that took place in the "future" when they were initially released would have been theoretically taking place now, or even possibly before our current time.
Bill & Ted places its future in 2688, so they're pretty much covered, right? Sure, except for the fact that the styling and technology of their "future" looks so hilariously dated that it makes even the late 80's setting seem modern in comparison.
3 The Special Effects
A lot of the elements of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure that didn't age well gives the film its retro charm, and its ridiculously low-rent special effects are definitely one of those things that has become charmingly bad. It's a safe bet that this teen comedy didn't get much money to blow on special effects. And it certainly shows.
The time traveling effects look incredibly goofy and have not stood up to the test of time, and it's possible that they didn't even look very modern at the time that Bill & Ted was released.
2 One Good Report To Pass A Class
One thing that undoubtedly sticks out to anyone watching Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure who has attended or been involved with a school in the past two decades is the idea that these two bozos could just do one particularly impressive oral report and salvage their failing grades.
It was undoubtedly exaggerated for comedic effect, but the notion that any school would be this lenient is just absurd. And Bill & Ted is always good for a laugh, but today's overworked students may not muster a chuckle at such a comparatively easy education.
1 Wyld Stallyns
Becoming a famous and beloved musician is the kind of teenage dream that will always be universally understood, but the particular musical interests of Bill and Ted obviously didn't age well because their band, Wyld Stallyns, is a wannabe 80's hair metal style band.
Clearly that's a musical trend most viewers today have never experienced, and while it wouldn't be hard to write it off as something that is just era specific, the crux of Bill & Ted's story is that the Wyld Stallyns will define the world's culture for more than half a millennium in the future.