Film: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey


The popularity of the first Bill & Ted film prompted Nelson and Orion to release a sequel two years later. Chuck De Nomolos (Joss Ackland), a rebel from Rufus' utopian future, wants to replace it with a militaristic Crapsack World. He plans to accomplish this by sending Evil Robot duplicates into the past, where they will kill the boys, then deliver a disparaging speech worldwide at a "Battle of the Bands" concert contest and destroy Wyld Stallyns' reputation forever.

With a minimum amount of effort, the robots succeed in killing off the two titular protagonists. However, their spirits refuse to go quietly into the good night and face off against the Grim Reaper (William Sadler). While the evil robots make time with the guys' princess babes, the ghosts of Bill and Ted need to find a way to resurrect themselves, defeat the evil robot "us-ess" and stop Chuck De Nomolos. To do so, they must go through Heaven and Hell (literally, plus Kirk's Rock) to face their personal demons and gather allies to their cause.

The second movie features the following totally metal tropes:

  • All Part of the Show
  • And That's Terrible: Bill and Ted have to mug some people in Heaven, and they admit it was not a good thing.
  • Bald of Evil: De Nomolos
  • Best Out of Infinity: The Reaper is a poor loser, apparently.
  • Burger Fool: Off-screen, Bill and Ted work for "Pretzels and Cheese" in order to support the band.
  • Butt Monkey: Death of all people. He is repeatedly humiliated, first when Bill and Ted wedgie him to escape. Then he undergoes a series of embarrassing defeats at board games, is forced to appear before God in drag, suffers repeated comedic injuries on Earth, and finally he can't even catch a break when he becomes part of the band that saves the world (It Makes Sense in Context). His solo albums fail spectacularly.
  • Call Back: After Missy divorces Bill's father and marries Ted's, Bill can't think of anything to say, so he just repeats his Running Gag "Shut up, Ted" line from the first movie.
  • Chess with Death: Parodied by having several events, most board games, that Death keeps losing until he finally admits defeat.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: When made to believe that the princesses have broken up with them, Bill describes the situation as "non-non-heinous", i.e., heinous. He later calls his personal hell "non-non-non-non-heinous" which, yes, still adds up to heinous.
  • Continuity Nod: When the camera pans down from the Builder's Emporium sign, you can see a sign further down for Oshman's Sporting Goods- the store that Genghis Khan "totally ravaged" at the mall in the first movie.
  • Counter Zany: "How do we defeat evil robot usses?" "By building good robot usses to fight them!"
  • Covers Always Lie: Parodied when they complained that rock albums inaccurately portrayed hell.
    "We got totally lied to by our album covers, man."
  • Creation Sequence: Station assembling the Good Robot Usses in the back of a moving van.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The end credits resolve the story, showing their rise to fame, and ending with the band heading off to perform on Mars.
  • Creator Cameo: Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon appear as members of the seance.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: subverted in the sequel, where we learn that not everyone is happy to live in a future founded by a pair of hard rockers.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The "Good Robot Us'es" created by Station own the "Bad Robot Us'es" created by Chuck De Nomolos. They uppercut their heads off their bodies, and a follow-up punch to the torso causes them to explode.
    Evil Bill: Evil Ted, I think we may have met our match.
    • In a less literal sense, their Battle of the Bands entry also counts. They had the most insane intro in the history of rock music, with robots and time travel, and their band has aliens, robot backup dancers, and Death himself. Which was everyone, as it had been specifically stated that Wyld Stallyns would be the last to perform that night. One could assume that the other bands would go on to either be Blessed with Suck or Cursed with Awesome depending on how they looked at it, as they would forevermore be known as "the opening acts of the greatest band in the world".
  • Darker and Edgier: Whilst Excellent Adventure is a feel-good romp, Bogus Journey has the title characters a) facing robot terrorists from the future and b) dying and going to hell, even if it is still played for laughs and they get better eventually.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Bill & Ted in between the time they die and go to Hell.
    • At times you can tell they're just wearing grey paint and greyscale versions of their clothing.
    • Also with Colonel Oats in hell.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: "I can't believe we Melvined Death."
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Bad attitude? Yes! Evil? No!
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Colonel Oats, the head and namesake of Oats Military Academy where Ted's dad is threatening to send him in the first movie. He's only mentioned in the first film, we first meet him in the sequel at a party and he's still offering a place for Ted at the academy. However, when the duo goes to hell, the first punishment they go through is being at military school where he's this trope in full force and demands that they "get down and give me infinity". Then again, they are in HELL...
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Mocked when Bill and Ted ask God for help in protecting their girlfriends, and are sent to meet the smartest man in the universe... who turns out to be two squat, large-nosed Martians. Or one big one, depending....
    Death: Did you assume that the most brilliant scientist in the entire universe would be from Earth?
  • Embarrassing First Name: At the end of the film, De Nomolos' first name is revealed as "Chuck".
  • Evil Knockoff: The duo's robot duplicates.
  • Evil Mentor: Subverted with De Nomolos, although the viewers are meant to think he was this to Rufus for most of the film, as Rufus calls him "my old teacher" in the opening scene and the villain responds by calling him "my favorite pupil". As Rufus later explains at the end of the film, however, De Nomolos was actually his old gym teacher.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Station.
  • Fantastic Time Management: How Bill and Ted actually end up learning to play.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: This is how hell appears when they first arrive: breaking rocks eternally under the watchful eye of Satan, as well as a chamber filled with many forms of Ironic Hell.
  • Flowery Insults: Colonel Oats throws some fairly bizarre ones at them in hell.
    "You petty, base, bully-bullocked bugger billies!"
    "You're not strong, you're silky boys! Silk comes from the butts of Chinese worms."
    "I'll eat you up like the warm, toasty little buttercakes you are!"
    "No-nosed salamanders!"
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Well, more "Plastic Fluorescent-Backlit Clouds" Heaven, which the duo describe as "Most atypical".
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: De Nomolos apparently went from a gym teacher to a terrorist leader and would-be world-conqueror, who planned to alter history so that the future would match his own - likely dystopian - political structure. A pretty big jump.
  • Funny Background Event: At the Builder's Emporium, Death tells a smoker "See you real soon". After he passes by, you can see the smoker (played by the director) do a Double Take and quickly stub out his cigarette.
  • Fusion Dance: The Stations can body-slam each other to form a larger, muscular STATION.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Sort of; the duo quickly become afraid of what they think are their future selves, before it's revealed that they're actually evil robot doubles.
  • Future Slang: "Station" is used as both a greeting and a positive adjective (in the fashion of "awesome"). Though at the concert at the end of the film, Ted says it can mean anything.
  • God: Appears as a bright light in a roughly anthropoid shape who says very little.
  • God Is Good: When Bill and Ted ask for help, he directs them to Station without question, even after they admit to mugging three people who had just ascended to heaven for their clothes.
  • God Test: Double subverted; when the heroes' Evil Twins arrive, Ted is suspicious, but Bill convinces him to trust them. Then Ted trusts his robot counterpart after it passes a How Many Fingers? test.
  • Graceful Loser: Evil Bill and Evil Ted of all people, when the Good Robot Usses charge them in the climactic concert.
    Evil Bill: Evil Ted, looks like we've met our match.
    Evil Ted: Yeah! (cheerful) Catch you later, Bill and Ted!!
    Bill and Ted: Catch YOU later, Bill and Ted!!
    (Good Robot Usses punch heads off Evil Robot Usses)
  • The Grim Reaper: Starts off as a minor antagonist, but soon joins the guys. Later wins the Indy 500 on foot and gets caught in a lip-syncing scandal.
  • Groin Attack: Variant: Bill and Ted use a Melvin, a front-side wedgie, on The Grim Reaper. Later the Reaper does it to De Nomolos.
  • Happily Ever After: The end credits of the film feature a montage of newspaper headlines chronicling Bill & Ted's rise to fame and their music bringing about world peace and a new scientific renaissance while playing the song "God Gave Rock And Roll To You" by KISS. It's a very happy ending.
  • Homage: The second movie parodies the Ingmar Bergman film The Seventh Seal where a Knight plays chess with the Grim Reaper for his soul. Bill and Ted play him with classic board games and Twister.
  • Homemade Inventions: The Good Robot Usses.
  • I Fell for Hours: Bill and Ted's long fall to Hell, which takes so long they begin playing "20 Questions" to pass the time. To be fair, it was a pretty short game:
    Dead Bill: Hey, you wanna play Twenty Questions?
    Dead Ted: Okay! I got one!
    Dead Bill: Are you a mineral?
    Dead Ted: Yeah!
    Dead Bill: Are you a tank?
    Dead Ted: Whoa! Yeah!
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff
    Dead Bill: Ted.
    Dead Ted: Yeah?
    Dead Bill: If I die, you can have my Megadeth collection.
    Dead Ted: But, dude, we're already dead.
    Dead Bill: Oh. Well then they're yours, dude!
  • Ironic Echo: "Catch ya later, Bill and Ted!" First by the Evil Robots to Bill and Ted, then by Bill and Ted to the Evil Robots. Both times, the party spoken to is about to die.
  • Ironic Hell: Both boys experience this after passing through Fire and Brimstone Hell for a bit.
  • It's Been Done: The plot is a blend of Terminator and, of all things, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park - which featured Kiss battling Evil Robot Kiss. Seriously.
  • Kick the Dog: Evil Bill and Ted repeatedly try to kill animals.
    • The Evil Robots' groping of the heroes' (rather chaste) princess girlfriends also counts in various ways
  • Killed By The Adaptation: De Nomolos is simply hauled to jail at the end of the movie version, but what happens to him at the end of the comic book adaptation is much worse. Not only doesn't he survive (the two protagonists use the heads of the robot imposters like bombs) but his own Ironic Hell is to spend it with the two robots, who are just as annoying - to him - as the originals.
  • Kirk's Rock: Lampshaded: Just before the boys meet the Evil Robots, they're watching that particular episode of Star Trek on TV. When the Robots drag the boys up to the rock to kill them, we even get a recreation of the dramatic zoom out from Trek.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Evil Bill changes his voice to one of the medieval babes to give Bill and Ted a fake breakup call, in order to lead them into the trap where they will be killed.
  • Losing Your Head: The Evil Us's version of basketball.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Chuck De Nomolos' motive.
  • May-December Romance: Missy and Ted's father, who's even older than Bill's father from the first movie. And then she hooks up with Chuck De Nomolos at the end of that movie. The girl Really Gets Around.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Bill and Ted's apartment in the second movie is a showcase of this trope.
  • Mirror Match: The Evil Robot Bill and Ted vs. the Good Robot Usses.
  • Monochrome Apparition: When B & T are dead, they're grayish-blue.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ties in with the Stable Time Loop. Chuck De Nomolos decides to broadcast his defeat of Bill and Ted live to the world. After he's defeated, this only ensures that Bill and Ted broadcast their first performance live all over the world, hence beginning the cycle of their music creating the future Utopia.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Rufus mentions to the protagonists that De Nomolos was the sit-up champion of the 27th Century. (At least that seems to be a compliment.)
  • Overly Long Gag: When they get sent to hell.
    "Dude, this is a totally deep hole."
  • Overly-Long Scream: Bill and Ted fall down a pit to hell, screaming the whole way, but the pit is so deep that they eventually get tired of repeatedly screaming and start playing 20 questions.
  • Our Founder: Bill and Ted, in The Future.
  • Out-Gambitted: The climax of the film. Both sides' plans rely on the premise that they won the current battle in the present, which would allow them to manipulate time afterwards and rig the battle in the present to their favor. "The future belongs to the winner."
  • Perfect Pacifist People: Bill and Ted's future society appears to be one of these.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Stations use the word "Station" for everything.
  • The Power of Rock: Taken Up to Eleven, as the effects of Wyld Stallyns' music are shown via a newspaper montage at the end of the film (set to KISS's "God Gave Rock 'n Roll To You"):
    Wyld Stallyns Tour Midwest; Crop Growth Up 30%
    Bill & Ted Tour Mideast; Peace Achieved
    Stallyns Use World Nuclear Arsenal to Fuel Amplifiers
    Air Guitar Found to Eliminate Smog
    Bill & Ted Named Sportsmen of the Decade
    Rumored W.S. Split; DOW Drops 600 Points
    W.S. Split A Hoax - DOW To Record High
    Bill and Ted: The Movie
    Wyld Stallyns to Play Mars - "Station!"
  • Really Gets Around: Missy was married to Bill's Dad in the first film, but has left him and married Ted's Dad by the sequel. She also flirts with Col. Oats, and the end credits reveal that she has left Ted's Dad for Chuck De Nomolos.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The Evil Robot Bill and Ted, who can apparently get "full-on robot chubb[ies]" from looking at a picture of the guys' girlfriends.
  • Robotic Reveal: Bill punching his robotic evil twin.
    "Oww! You're totally metal, dude!"
  • Robot Me: There are Bill and Ted's evil robot copies from the future, and then Station improvises another robot Bill and Ted to counter them.
  • San Dimas Time: Interestingly, the sequel seems to throw this out by allowing Bill and Ted to spend 16 months to get guitar lessons, then return to the present to win the concert. This could be explained by assuming that Bill and Ted have to jump 16 months into the future after they win the concert.
    • Plausible explanation: Bill and Ted take the booth sixteen months into the future, get out, and allow Future Bill & Ted (who have been in intense training ever since the concert) to get in and take the same booth back to the Battle of the Bands, while Bill and Ted wait in the future. Once their set is over, Future Bill & Ted get back in the booth, go back to their own time, and let Bill and Ted have the booth back, whereupon Bill and Ted travel back to their present San Dimas and begin sixteen months of intense training.
    • First movie they had to "dial one number higher" to get to the right day. So presumably, they jumped to some other point in time, and had to dial "16 months worth of numbers lower" to get back to the same point.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Chuck De Nomolos is this for writer Ed Solomon.
  • Shout-Out: Death is a pretty direct parody of Death from The Seventh Seal.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring"
  • Sore Loser: The Grim Reaper when he initially loses. It take several losses to the boys for him to finally give into their demands.
    Death: You must play me again!
    Bill: WHAT???
    • (Later, after Bill & Ted have won three out of three...)
    Bill: Best of seven?
    Death: Damn right! The boys best him at Battleship, Clue, Electronic Football (with magnetized players on a metal field) and finally Twister, after which Death finally gives up.
  • Spinning Paper: Seen during the end credits.
  • Squick: An in-universe example; Death gets jealous of all the praise Station is getting and starts fishing for compliments. When Ted says he has "an excellently huge Martian butt", Death asks "What about my butt? Reaping burns a lot of calories, you know." Bill and Ted visibly shudder at this.
  • Stable Time Loop: Chuck De Nomolos is basically responsible for Wyld Stallyns' world fame, broadcasting their Battle of the Band appearance to the world by accident in his attempt to Take Over the World. Also used tactically in the fight.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Station, despite his (their?) goofy appearance. (See Earth Is the Center of the Universe above.)
  • Tagline: "Once... They Made history. Now... They Are History."
  • Technology Porn: Station's assembly of the Good Robot Usses is a Homemade Inventions version of this trope.
  • That Poor Cat: "Aim for the cat, dude! Aim for the cat!"
    Evil Bill: I'm trying, Evil Ted! I'm trying!
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Despite his Butt Monkey status, Death finds himself enjoying the company of Bill and Ted and being part of the band.
  • To Hell and Back
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the end of the movie, Bill and Ted use the time machine to take 16 months of intensive guitar training, going from being bad on a horrendous level to astonishingly good.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Parodied. Early on, Chuck De Nomolos is recognized by Rufus and calls him his old teacher. Turns out, he was a gym teacher.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: The main characters face off against the Big Bad, each telling their plans and how they enacted them, resulting in weirdness out-of-flashback as Bill, Ted, and DeNomolos, all have time travel devices.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody finds it odd that the princesses are celebrating their 527th birthday?
    • It's California. People probably figure they're counting all their past lives or something.
    • There's also Death and two aliens wandering a hardware store, rarely getting even a second glance.
  • Uranus Is Showing: Bill and Ted pull this when complimenting God.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Even in a Darker and Edgier movie played for laughs, De Nomolos is far more evil than something you'd expect from it. (He has a little humor potential, but it's all Black Humor.)
  • Visual Pun: Bill and Ted echo back "Catch ya later, Bill and Ted!" to the Evil Robot Usses... and a few seconds later, do in fact catch the robots' flying heads.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted in the comic and novel adaptation. Rather than the Xanatos Speed Chess battle with DeNomolos, the boys simply find the Self-Destruct Mechanism in Evil Robot B&T's heads and throw them to DeNomolos, killing him.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The final confrontation between Bill and Ted and DeNomolos.
  • You Already Changed The Past: The entire climax is Bill, Ted, and Chuck De Nomolos performing dueling versions of this. Except that, as Bill points out, only the winner can change history, so all the things the villain thought he planted were just decoys B&T placed to lull him into a false sense of security.

Alternative Title(s):

Bill And Teds Bogus Journey