The third film in the Bill and Ted movie series, Bill and Ted Face the Music, was released in 2020. The first in the series, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, is one of the most essential stoner movies according to Rotten Tomatoes. But, with the recent release of the third film nearly 30 years after the second film, controversy has been raised as to whether Bill and Ted really are stoners.
Keanu Reeves said himself that Bill and Ted are technically not stoners. Despite what Reeves said, this series has been infamously known as a stoner film since its premiere in 1989, though neither Bill nor Ted is seen consuming cannabis by any means in the film franchise. This begs the question: why do we consider this a stoner movie if there isn’t any cannabis or associated paraphernalia in the film?
Ultimately, a stoner film is a comedy subgenre meant to represent cannabis culture. Typically, stoner films are buddy comedies that follow a couple of close friends on their misadventures to accomplish a crazy task. This usually comes along with elements and themes such as rejecting authority, familial disapproval, and a carefree life of leisure.
With absurdist humour, a hint of sci-fi, an unsuspecting and bumbling yet dynamic duo, and their shared mission, Bill and Ted check the most important boxes of film elements when it comes to categorizing the series as stoner films.
The film follows Bill and Ted in their high school years using time travel, discovering the successes of their future selves, meeting historical figures and ultimately ensuring their present selves are equipped to achieve what they must in order to someday inspire and create a utopian society. The loopy, profound moments, silly bromance, and overall insane concept make it a great movie to enjoy with your favourite cannabis strain.
To some people, it may come as a surprise that “stoner movies” are significant enough to be a popular subgenre. But cannabis comedy exists because the culture surrounding cannabis is so vast and nuanced. So, maybe there are no shots of Bill and Ted getting high together. Maybe Bill and Ted aren’t stoners. But, to me, that doesn’t make this any less of a stoner film, and it should definitely be on your list to watch if you have any interest in cannabis and comedy.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure isn’t the only non-stoner-stoner movie on Rotten Tomatoes’ stoner essentials list. Films such as Cats, Inherent Vice, and Alice in Wonderland are even on the list! On that note, there are plenty of “canon” stoner films that have intentional cannabis content such as Pineapple Express, Up In Smoke, and Ted.
Bill and Ted may not technically be stoners, but the franchise will inevitably live in the hearts of stoners forever by way of its wacky, heart-warming, and somewhat trippy elements. And the film is definitely in good company under that category and in the good hands of cannabis enthusiasts who love to laugh.