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Small But Accurate Details In 'Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure'

September 15, 2020 971 votes 142 voters 8.7k views12 items

List RulesVote up the little details that 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' got surprisingly right.

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure may not be touted for its accuracy, but it offers a fun ride through history. Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves), with the help of Rufus (George Carlin) and his time-traveling phone booth, venture back to Ancient Greece, explore the Wild West, and offer up acts of chivalry in Medieval Europe.

While snagging major historical figures, causing a bit of trouble, and even taking a brief trip to the future, Bill and Ted actually impart more historical knowledge than even they would have realized. Numerous subtle and fascinating details in the comedy classic may actually make you reevaluate your overall assessment of Bill and Ted's historical accuracy.

Take a look - which detail is the most excellent? Vote up your favorites.

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  • 1

    Sigmund Freud Is Holding A Corn Dog At The Mall - A Nod To His Fixation On The Phallic Shape

    As Sigmund Freud watches on, Billy the Kid and Socrates flirt with two women at the San Dimas Mall. Freud, known for his theory of psychosexual development, holds a not-so-subtle phallus in his hand - in the form of a corn dog.

    Throughout Freud's work, a phallus represented internal conflicts related to desire. The third stage of Freud's theory of psychosexual development, called the "phallic stage," involved recognition of one's genitals as erogenous zones. Freud was convinced that the inability to effectively reconcile the sexual desires and castration anxiety that took place during the phallic stage could result in ongoing intimacy issues.

    It's worth noting that, as Freud diagnoses the giggling young women with a "mild form of hysteria" - another topic he wrote about extensively - the corn dog tilts forward.

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  • 2

    The Period Costumes In The Beethoven Parlor Scene Are Incredibly Accurate

    When Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure came out in 1989, it was criticized for its "sketchiest attempts to draw their historical characters," and for "reduc[ing] some of history's great minds" to the titular characters' intellectual level. In the midst of criticism for the film's presentation of historical figures, at least one observer saw a remarkable amount of accuracy in the film.

    Hilary Davidson, an Australian fashion historian and consultant, still uses Bill & Ted as her litmus test for Regency costuming. According to Davidson, the styles, fabrics, and overall presentation of Beethoven's audience during the parlor scene are "really, really good."

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  • 3

    Napoleon’s 'Waterslide' Military Strategy Foreshadows His Disastrous Russia Campaign

    When Napoleon Bonaparte visits the water park in San Dimas (an establishment appropriately named Waterloo), he shows his aggressive nature, moving children aside to get to his next descent down the slide. Bonaparte brings back the water park motif as part of Bill and Ted's final project, showing them his plan to invade Russia.

    Bill and Ted look at the French leader's mapped out plan to invade Russia, complete with waterslide-like directional arrows. After getting a glimpse of Napoleon's strategy, Ted tells him he doesn't think it's going to work - and it doesn't. It was ultimately a massive failure for Napoleon.

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  • 4

    Beethoven Can Still Hear In The Movie; While He Did Eventually Go Deaf, He Probably Wasn’t Totally There In 1810

    Ludwig van Beethoven was baptized in 1770, but his date of birth is unknown. At the age of 28, Beethoven began to lose his hearing, a slow progression that took place throughout the rest of his life. Scholars still debate whether or not Beethoven went completely deaf, noting he was able to hear voices and talk with friends as late as 1812

    Beethoven was roughly 40 years old when Bill and Ted pick him up. Beethoven's ability to hear the music he plays at the store in the San Dimas Mall accurately reflects some level of hearing - with synthesized notes providing immense entertainment for the musician.

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