Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) are cool dudes, but to their teacher, they're high school no-hopers. They fantasise about forming a rock band called 'Wyld Stallyns'; one day they'll pull themselves together and learn how to play guitar. Unless he achieves the seemingly impossible and passes a history presentation, Ted will be shipped off to military school; end of friendship! A figure from the future (Carlin) appears in the nick of time, providing a time-travelling phone booth. The two jump in and out of different epochs, collecting historical figures (from Socrates to Billy the Kid) and confronting them with West Coast culture. This is extremely silly, good natured, superficial stuff; a lot depends on whether you take to Bill and Ted's unique lingo (which contorts surfers' expressions) and their gormless behaviour. The funniest scenes involve Napoleon (Camilleri) adrift in Southern California: pompous and power-hungry, he devours the menu in an ice-cream parlour and hogs the rides in a waterslide park.