September 15, 1984

The following are excerpts and annotations outlining the differences between the original script and the final movie.

The date in the future was originally 2684 A.D.  This changed as the years changed while the script was being developed.

A 1969 black Chevy van was originally the time machine instead of a phone booth.  This was changed to avoid drawing comparisons with Back to the Future.  Oddly enough, Ed and Chris originally had a character in the script named Biff who was one of the burly jock-type bullies.  Back to the Future didn't come out until July 1985.

Started with panning across desert with date and place titles over pan . . . futuristic domes shimmer in the distance, one larger and more ornate than the other.  The van appears, rolling across the desert to the domes.  Stops in front of large dome and figure (Rufus) steps out and goes inside.

The dome is described as a magnificent, crystalline structure – like a vast, futuristic cathedral.  Soaring arches tower over a long, spacious floor.  Everything about it implies grandeur, solemnity and importance.

Rufus is described with, "And he is the personification of everything that is, has been, or will be cool, hip, and fashionable.  He is dressed in black and grey and wears ultra-cool sunglasses."

Rufus addresses the Three Most Important People, says "It is time," then leaves to go back to the van, passing the two towering portraits.  We see him drive away across the desert . . . right before it goes out of frame it blurs and disappears.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure title comes up.

First scene of Bill and Ted is at the school bus stop.  They are playing air guitars.  Bill’s original last name was Smith and Ted’s original last name was Williams.

Bill & Ted are introduced in a scene which begins "Ext. Street - Day - where Bill and Ted – long hair, low rider jeans with boxers pulled out the back, Iron Maiden T-shirts – stand at the school bus stop, spasmodically playing their air guitar . . .  as they reach their air-instruments-shattering conclusion, the SCHOOL BUS pulls up in front of them.

Int. Bus - Moving: Bill and Ted crash into one of the back seats.  As we will soon see, they are not hard guys.  They are, in fact, remarkably benign and good-natured.  Bill is a bit shorter and quicker: the brains.  Ted is a bit softer: the heart.  The exchange about Eddie Van Halen happens on the bus instead of the garage and they are talking about design of t-shirts instead of their first video.

Ext. San Dimas High School Parking Lot - Morning: Typical before-school activity.  Students chat and walk to class as the school bus rolls into the lot and stops.  The doors open and students get off.  Among them are Bill and Ted, who bound off and start toward school.  Elsewhere in the parking lot is the "popular group" – a half a dozen nice looking students who sit on and around a Trans-Am.  Their leader, RANDOLF – athletic and handsome – is seated in the center.  Bill and Ted approach on their way to class.

TED
(to handsome blond)
How’s it goin’, Biff?

No response.  Bill and Ted continue, never getting resentful or angry.

BILL
(to a large jock)
How’s it goin’, Ox?

Again, no response.

TED
(to cute preppy)
How’s it goin’, Buffy?

Again, as always, no response.

BILL
(to Buffy’s friend)
How’s it goin’, Jodie?

No response.  They reach Randolf, who has been eyeing them with disdain.

TED
(still friendly)
How’s it goin’, Randolf?

RANDOLF
(nods, superior)
How’s it going, miscreants?

BILL
Excellent.  Thank you.

As Bill and Ted leave the group and continue toward school:

TED
Bill, we’re miscreants.

BOTH
(beat)
Excellent.

AIR GUITAR.

Ext. Locker Area - Bill and Ted are at their respective lockers, which are adorned with lots of heavy-metal posters and stickers.  Bill looks through some old, crumpled notes.  Ted flips through a couple of books, not exactly sure what to do with them.  BUFFY and JODIE, the two cheerleader-types we saw in the parking lot, approach their lockers, chatting.  Their lockers are between and below Bill’s and Ted’s.  Bill looks at Ted, indicates the girls, and urges Ted to do something.  Ted shakes his head.  Bill nods.  Ted shakes his head again.  Then, as the girls get up to leave:

BILL
Buffy.  Excuse me.  Ted would like to know if you would be
his date for the Prom this weekend.

TED
And Jodie, Bill would like to know if you would be his
date for the Prom as well.

BUFFY / JODIE
("are you kidding")
Thank you.  No.

The two pretty girls walk away, giggling.  As they move out of earshot:

TED
(calling out)
How about if Buffy goes with Bill?

BILL
And Jodie goes with Ted?

Beat.  No response from the girls, who have now rounded the corner and are out of sight.  Ted turns to Bill – 

TED
Bill, are there any other possible combinations we missed?

– But Bill has already turned back to his locker, where he is now reacting to a piece of paper he has found inside it. He pulls back from the locker and turns ominously to Ted.

BILL
Ted.  We are in big trouble.

TED
Why?

BILL
We have a history test.

TED
When?

The bell rings.  Bill and Ted look at each other, shocked.  Then they look around them.  They are the only ones left in the hallway.

Mr. Ryan is much harsher on them in the classroom scene.

Bill signs his name "Bill S. Smith, Esq." all over his test paper in different handwriting styles.

Ted’s test paper answers are exactly the same as Bill’s, and he’s written Ted W. on his paper plus the Wyld Stallyns logo.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Bill and Ted glance up from their papers and look at each other.

TED
(whispering)
Who’s So-crates?

BILL
I dunno.  Who’s Henry V-I-I-I?

TED
I dunno.
(looking at his test)
Who’s Ted W.?
(beat)
Oh, that’s me.

Randolf coughs and gets Mr. Ryan’s attention toward Bill and Ted, who asks them to bring their test papers to his desk.

Exchange with Mr. Ryan is exactly the same except the Joan of Arc line is at the end.

Ryan rips the tests up he sends them to Mr. Rowe, who makes them beat erasers after class.  They get a buzz from the chalk dust.  Exchange outside school while carrying books is carried on here.

Ted’s dad comes and picks them up after school.  He drops them off at Bill’s house, warns Ted that he’s going to call Colonel Oats.

They first meet Missy in the kitchen of Bill’s house.  Mr. Smith goes for her in the kitchen.

Scene of them studying in Bill’s bedroom is essentially the same except his dad doesn’t come in and Missy leaves.

Additional material about Washington:

BILL
Okay, good.  What else about him?

TED
Rode a horse.

BILL
Threw a dollar bill across the Atlantic.

TED
Named after the state where Seattle is.

They look at each other, grin.  Bill makes a large check next to Washington’s name on the checklist.

BILL
We got him.

TED
Triumphant.

After Missy leaves their room . . .

BILL
Dude.  This is not the way to spend one of our last nights together . . .
studying for a report we are destined to flunk.

TED
You’re right.  Let’s go to 7-11.

BILL
(perking up)

Yah, maybe someone will buy us a beer!

TED
Yah!

They go to the 7/11 instead of the Circle K.  At 7/11 they ask a guy if he’ll buy them a beer.

OLD MEAN DUDE
No I will not but you a beer!  And the next time I see you here,
I’m gonna whip your asses good, and don’t you think I can’t.

Woman who works there is asked if she’ll buy them a beer.  When she says she works there Bill asks if she’ll give them a beer.

Rufus arrives in the van.  They ask him if they’ll buy them a beer.  The rest of the scene plays about the same.  The interior of the van is described this way: A standard 1969 van with shag carpeting, panelling, a stereo . . . and one or two subtle hints at the van’s futuristic origin.  MUSIC PLAYS on the STEREO (great HEAVY METAL ROCK – but we don’t know the band . . . yet) as Bill and Ted climb in and look around, impressed.

Different dialogue:

Rufus just stares, patient and confident. Bill and Ted shift, uncomfortable.

TED
What do you want, dude?

BILL
Yah, leave us alone, you fag.

RUFUS
I’m here to help you.

Pause.  Rufus continues to stare.  Finally –

BILL
(to Ted)
Let’s blow, dude.

The paradox of Rufus not introducing himself but them knowing his name exists in this first draft.

Section about the watch goes like this:

NEW TED
(turning also)

Oh – and Ted – don’t eat those HoHo’s.  They’ll make you sick.

The Old Mean Dude who wouldn’t buy them a beer exits the store . . .

OLD MEAN DUDE
(not missing a beat)

I don’t care if there’s a four of you, I don’t care if there’s eight of you,
I don’t care if there’s eight of you, I don’t care if there’s a hundred of you,
I’ll whip all your asses . . .

Bill’s line after the New Bill and Ted drive away in the van:

BILL
That was a most puzzling occurrence.

They leave in the van.  Ted eats a HoHo as they leave. Rock music plays whenever the van is time traveling.  They arrive in Egypt as the Pyramids are being built.

BILL
Where are we, dude?

RUFUS
Egypt.  Four thousand B.C.

TED
(blown away)
It looks like a Yes album cover.

A slave driver is driving a line of slaves hauling rocks from behind the van.  Bill sticks his head out the window to ask what’s going on and a whip cracks near his head.  Rufus floors it and they leave Egypt.

They stop at a fifteenth century castle and first catch sight of the Princesses in a beautiful garden.  As their father shows up and the princesses are running away the van takes off again.

The guys are elated.

BILL
That was excellent, Rufus!  Can you do it any time?

RUFUS
(Nods)

Yup.  Now you guys go home, figure out what you
need to know, and we’ll take off.

BILL
Outstanding.  Ted, I do believe we were most fortunate to have
met Rufus – Ted, are you okay, dude?

Ted, who has started to look very queasy, is holding his stomach.

TED
I think I’m gonna ralph, dude.

RUFUS
We’re almost home.

TED
I’m gonna ralph now.

This is when they stop in France where Napoleon is fighting.  Ted jumps out of the van to be sick and Bill notices the two opposing armies on opposite hills ready to charge with the van sitting between them.

Rufus can tell where they are by obscure meters on the dashboard.

The General’s horse is shot out from under him and he’s catapulted into the van.  Rufus has floored it and Bill and Ted try to tell him what’s happened but it’s too late.  They arrive back at the 7/11 and park in the handicapped spot, then Rufus pulls out and parks it in another space.  Bill and Ted are staring at Napoleon.

RUFUS
Qu’est-ca que vous appelez?

FRENCH MAN
(groggy)

Je suis General Bonaparte.
Qui etes-vous?  Et ou . . . sont . . .

And he passes out.  Rufus explains it is Napoleon.  Ted says to the unconscious Napoleon "Hey, dude, you’re famous!"

They drive to Ted’s house to leave Napoleon with Deacon.

The description of Ted’s room is that it’s similar to Bill’s, but not as messy.

They put a shaggy blonde wig on Napoleon as a disguise.

When Officer Williams stops them in the living room (note that Ted has a mother in this version . . . a fat woman in the next room):

OFFICER WILLIAMS
Where were you last night, Ted?

TED
Last night?  We were with this guy Rufus.

BILL
Yah, he’s this totally excellent dude
with this outstanding van that –

OFFICER WILLIAMS
(interrupting)

You know your teacher, Mr. Ryan called.
Seems you boys missed class today.

TED
(itching to leave)

We were working on our report, dad.

OFFICER WILLIAMS
Hold it, Ted.  Where do you think you’re going now?

TED
It’s very simple, dad.  Rufus is gonna take us in his van back –

BILL
– back to the library, Mr, Williams.

OFFICER WILLIAMS
I want you back here in three hours, Ted!

MRS. WILLIAMS (O.S.)
(from the next room: a fat, shrill voice)

Three hours, Ted!

TED
Yes, sir.

And they head out the door.  As the guys bound toward the van:

BILL
You mom’s so fat she couldn’t even come out.

TED
It’s a glandular problem.

BILL
Yah, she has flat glands.

TED
At least my parents aren’t divorced.

BILL
Shut up, Ted.

TED
And at least my mom didn’t go to high school with us.

BILL
(shoving him)

Shut up, Ted!

TED
She is cute, though.

BILL
Did you see her when she bent over the stove?

They enter the van, the music starts and they take off again.

 

Continue . . .