June 18, 2004 (2004-06-18) – August 19, 2006 (2006-08-19)
Phil of the Future is an American sitcom that originally aired on Disney Channel from June 18, 2004 to August 19, 2006 for a total of two seasons. The series was created by Tim Maile and Douglas Tuber and produced by 2121 Productions, a part of Brookwell McNamara Entertainment. It follows a family from the future that gets stranded in the 21st century when their time machine breaks down. The series returned to the US on May 9, 2013 as part of Disney Channel: Throwback Thursday. It also currently airs in select countries such as Canada (Family Channel).
While on a time travel vacation, teenager Phil Diffy and his seemingly average family from the year 2121 get stranded in Pickford, California in the present day (2004 at the start of the series). While waiting to return home, the Diffys struggle to keep their actual identities secret, while Phil and his incorrigible little sister Pim, adjust to a new home. Phil finds a trusted friend and neighbor Keely Teslow, and together they navigate their school campus, grappling with the same thing that teenagers from all time/space's must face — fitting in.
The first season focuses around the Diffy family's attempt to fit into the society of 2004 and to repair the time machine to return to 2121. Vice Principal Neil Hackett attempted to discover that the family is from the future. Fortunately for the Diffy family though, Hackett failed.
Phil Diffy (born 2107) is the main character in the series. He is a freshman in season 1 and sophomore in season 2, at H.G. WellsJunior/Senior High School. He seems to be the most "in tune" with how things work in this century. Phil frequently has to make up excuses to hide the fact that he is from the future. He is the best friend and eventual boyfriend, of Keely Teslow. Phil is two years older than Pim.
Keely Teslow (born March 1990) is Phil's best friend and eventually his girlfriend. She is the only person who knows Phil and his family are from the future. Keely is an energetic and bubbly girl who aspires to be a news reporter. She starts to harbor romantic feelings for Phil during season 2. She sometimes uses Phil's gadgets as a shortcut for schoolwork. She is notable on the show for her numerous hairstyles and colorful clothes. In the later episodes of the series, she hosts her own daily news program on the school's closed-circuit television broadcasting system. In the episode "The Giggle", she gets to look ahead at her own future and learns that she does, in fact, become a successful news reporter. It is also noted that she is wearing a wedding ring, but turns down the chance to see who her husband is. In the final episode she and Phil finally reveal their feelings for each other and start dating after being voted "Cutest Couple" by their school. However, shortly after they begin dating, Pim helps Lloyd finally repair the time machine. Keely asks Phil to wait for her in the future, which he agrees to. It is implied that Phil and his family soon come back, however.
Pim Diffy (born 2109) is Phil's younger sister. She is two years younger than Phil. She is a 7th (season 1) / 8th (season 2) grader at H.G. Wells Junior/Senior High. Pim is a mischievous girl who is constantly up to no good and is even prone to megalomania. Pim is especially known for liking to pull pranks on people, mainly on Phil, Debbie Berwick and Vice Principal Hackett. In the second season, she hangs out with a young boy "Li'l Danny" Dawkins. She also tries to avoid Debbie Berwick and Candida. Repeatedly in the show, she looks for ways to dominate the world and universe. Even though Pim often causes trouble for Phil and has a tough attitude, she cares about her brother but keeps it hidden most of the time.
Lloyd Diffy (born 2074) is Phil and Pim's goofy dad, who is working on repairing the time machine. He was an engineer in 2121, and loves "older music". He is paranoid about the government (and Vice Principal Hackett) figuring out that he and his family are from the future. During the Diffys' stay, Lloyd and Curtis get jobs at the Mantis hardware store. Lloyd is two years older than Barb.
Barbara Diffy (née Speckle; born 2076) is Phil and Pim's mom. She is very interested in how things work in this century. Unlike other mothers, though, Barbara seems to let her kids figure things out on their own. She loves to cook the old fashioned way; however, her food usually ends up with something being wrong, because in 2121 they spray food out of a can. Before the show premiered, it was said that she had an artificial body, but none of the episodes ever proved this. She forces Pim to be friends with Debbie even though Pim hates Debbie. Her maiden name is revealed in the episode "Not So Great-Great-Grandpa". Barb is two years younger than Lloyd.
Curtis (born c. 30,000 BC) is a caveman (Cro-Magnon, as mentioned in the episode "Dinner Time") who stowed away in the Diffy's time machine when they went back to visit the Stone Age. The Diffys struggle to make Curtis seem like a normal person, and often pretend he is Phil's uncle. Throughout the episodes, he learns more English.
Vice Principal Hackett (born 1969) is the Vice Principal at Phil, Keely and Pim's school, H.G. Wells Junior/Senior High School. In the school, he is Phil's teacher in science and Pim's teacher in history. He is often found snooping around the Diffys' house as he tries to figure out where they are really from, though he believes that they are aliens. He is the main antagonist of the series.
Debbie (born 1991 or 1992) is the complete opposite of Pim and she has a very happy attitude towards life. She hardly ever gets mad and is very nice. Debbie also considers Pim to be her best friend. Because of this Pim likes to take advantage of Debbie's good-natured personality. She doesn't like raisins or chihuahuas or naughty nibblers. She lives with her grandma and her curfew is 6:00 pm. Debbie also teaches a yoga class. Her other friends are Neckbrace Lana and Silent Judy. Debbie used to date Bradley until Pim broke them up by changing Debbie's personality but Debbie went back to normal. Debbie enjoys singing and is in the school band. It was revealed that she can hold a note for a very long time when Pim tried to sabotage her as revenge for removing her in the band. Her plan backfired because Debbie instead got a standing ovation.
She is written out of the show in season 2. It was revealed in the Halloween special that she was a "happy" cyborg made by a cyborg-making company. She was intended to only do good and be always happy, until finally having a malfunction and turning evil and attempting to "nicely" enslave the world (starting from her schoolmates) into baking cupcakes for charity. At the episode's conclusion, Phil was forced to melt her.
Neckbrace Lana (Carlie Westerman)
Lana is a girl who did the school news and was in Pim's grade. She and Pim hated each other. She always wears a neckbrace, as having pinched a nerve at some time in the past, although it is never shown happening.
Keely's best friend. She is popular and friendly. She also seems to be rich. Though she can be spoiled and snobby sometimes, she is friendly and described as the girl next door by Phil. Replaced by Via in season 2, due to Brenda Song leaving the show to star in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Phil and Keeley's teacher who has the certain pleasure for giving extremely difficult assignments for most students to actually fail. He has a sister named Bettina (also played by Brooks) and a nephew, Nathan (Josh Flitter) who both shockingly carry the same family trait of having a mustache. He reveals in the episode "The Giggle" that his parents were acrobats.
Olivia ("Via") (Juliet Holland-Rose)
Via is a girl from England, transferred because her father's in the military. She became friends with Keely after Tia moved. In the episode "Get Ready To Go-Go", Phil went to a Sadie Hawkins dance with her, after a near-miss in returning to the future ruined his plans to go with Keely.
Owen (Michael Mitchell)
Phil's friend who replaced Seth. He is not that smart and is laid-back, also constantly trying to hit on girls (though he never succeeds).