Back to the Future

Corrected entry: When Marty pushes the car behind the billboard there's a speed limit sign on the road that says 65mph. The national speed limit in 1955 was 55 mph.

Correction: The National Maximum Speed Law (i.e. the national speed limit) which prohibited speed limits higher than 55 mph, wasn't enacted until 1974. Prior to 1974 states had control of setting speed limits.

Bishop73
3

Corrected entry: In the first scene from 1955, November 6th, where Marty watches the mix of people in Courthouse Square, there is a shot where a boy in mustard yellow pants, standing next to a man, under a tall tree, is "bouncing" down the sidewalk on a pair of spring-laden shoes. These shoes were called "rocket shoes", and were not invented until the late fifties/early sixties, not 1955.

Correction: There were a few different versions of these sprung shoes from different makers, and went by similar names like moon shoes, satellite shows, and rocket shoes. They were all inspired by the space race going on in the 50s and 60s. And they do date from at least 1955, since there is a 1955 pair on display in the Brooklyn Museum.

jimba
3

Corrected entry: When Biff takes Marty out of the car in 1955, he says, "You caused $300 damage to my car, Mcfly!" The only person who knew he was a Mcfly was Doc Brown.

Kenziemama73

Correction: The line Biff says is "You caused $300 damage to my car you son of a bitch", he never addresses him as McFly. The TV-edited version might have changed the line, but that's not a movie mistake.

ctown28 Premium member
3

Corrected entry: Marty's sister stated at the dinner table that grandma hit his dad with the car, but in the 1955 scene it was the grandfather that hit him.

Correction: She says Grandpa, not Grandma.

Thomas Norris
3

Corrected entry: On the DVD version, in the scene where Doc gets shot and then later reveals to Marty that he was wearing a bullet proof vest. A vest does not work in the way shown in the movie. It doesn't repel bullets (as shown in the "impact points" in the vest he displays), it absorbs them. Read how a vest works from howstuffworks dot com and you'll see what I mean. In addition, it looks like he is wearing only a Threat Level 2a class vest. An AK47 or similar weapon with a 7.62mm round would go clean through the vest, through Doc, and out the other side thus killing him and ending the story. The only style of vest that can withstand that sort of impact is a Threat Level 3 class vest (the style that specialized units in the military wear). This style is very bulky and is extremely difficult to conceal like Doc did. In addition, it has a ceramic plate in it which would have shattered upon the first impact and failed to protect against multiple impacts from that kind of weapon, and definitely not show "impact points" of twisted metal.

Correction: Doc is a brilliant scientist as well as an inventor. He had the time and the ability to invent his own special material that works like no other material known to man. If he can invent a time machine, I'm sure a bulletproof material would be easy for him.

Damian Torres
3

Corrected entry: After Marty takes a ride from a jeep to get to the classes he is using his headphones, which disappear outside the school.

oswal13

Correction: When Marty is holding onto the back of the jeep on the way to school, he is shown wearing headphones. After this, the scene ends and it cuts to the next scene, where he arrives at school (without headphones) and some time has gone by. Enough time would have passed in between scenes for him to put the headphones in his bag.

Casual Person
3

Corrected entry: The DeLorean has 'Good Year' tyres - this is a deliberate mistake to create an in joke, as the brand is actually 'Goodyear'.

Correction: All the shots of the tires I see are correct. Goodyear's brand has the winged shoe between the "d" and "y" so that it looks like it's "good year." This is what the DeLorean has.

Bishop73
2

Corrected entry: When Marty escapes the Libyans at the Twin Pines Mall, hits 88mph and ends up in Old Man Peabody's barn, driving in through a large opening in the barn before crashing. However, the cut to the inside of the barn shows no form of entry other than the closed doors the family are entering. In addition the inside of the barn is very small compared to the outside view. (00:30:10 - 00:31:55)

Paul Andrews

Correction: He doesn't enter the barn where the family enters the barn. He enters through the back of the barn and goes all the way through, hence why the family are facing the lights from the door they enter through, not the back of the car.

2

Corrected entry: In the speaker explosion scene at the beginning of the film, a horizontal safety line can be seen attached to the waist of the stunt person as he is knocked backwards.

Correction: This is the guitar cable which connects Marty's guitar to the amplifier.

2

Corrected entry: Steven Spielberg makes a cameo as the jeep driver with a green cap who pulls Marty around the street.

ozwal13

Correction: That is not true. The jeep driver is Walter Scott (who is also credited for his role).

Bishop73
2

Corrected entry: When Lorraine follows Marty back to Doc's in 1955 and Doc goes to answer the door, he says to Marty (before opening it) that it's his mum. Lorraine must have heard them through the door yet she never questions it.

Heather Benton Premium member

Correction: Two possible reasons she never asks about it. First, she simply did not hear him. You're assuming she did, but there's no evidence of it. Second, asking questions would be tantamount to admitting to eavesdropping. It's rude to eavesdrop and so Lorraine would hardly give herself away by asking questions about something she wasn't supposed to have heard in the first place, and which would have sounded nonsensical anyway.

Phixius Premium member
2

Corrected entry: The original DeLorean tops out at a measly 80 miles per hour and that is probably with a tail-wind downhill. However, it is likely the Doc heavily modified the engine to reach 88 miles per hour.

Correction: The DeLorean DMC-12 had a listed top speed of 130 MPH, and Road & Track tested the 0-100 MPH acceleration time. While it's performance figures were criticized as being somewhat disappointing, the DMC-12 could easily reach 88 MPH even without any modifications Doc would've done.

2

Corrected entry: When Marty begins playing "Johnny B. Goode", the guitar tone is suddenly distorted whereas it was clean in the prior song without him ever adjusting the amp or the guitar's volume knob. The guitar also becomes more distorted during the guitar solo.

Phaneron Premium member

Correction: Turning a knob on a guitar takes almost no time at all. He could have easily turned it between shots, or when his back was turned toward the camera.

MasterOfAll
2

Corrected entry: In the original film Doc rips up Marty's letter and then sellotapes it back together at some point, however at the end of the second film Doc faints, so he wouldn't have picked up the letter and should be dead.

Correction: Doc never picks up the letter because he never let it go in the first place. He rips it up and *puts it in his pocket*. Presumably the pieces are still in the pocket when he faints and subsequently wakes up in his home.

JC Fernandez
2

Corrected entry: After Marty changes things and returns to 1985, he finds his brother Dave is more successful and now has an office job. So why is Dave still living at home with his parents?

calidude

Correction: This has already been asked. He never says he lives there. He may be just having breakfast with his sister and parents on his way to the office. Also, if he's living with his parents, it wouldn't be a mistake. Many young adults continue to live with their parents, just because they don't have to spend extra money.

2

Corrected entry: When Marty first enters Lou's cafe in 1955, Lou is visibly angry at Marty just because he won't order something right away. However, he doesn't seem to care that one of his paying customers, George McFly, is being harassed by Biff and his gang and told never to come in there again. You would think Lou would tell Biff and Co. to knock it off or else be asked to leave.

calidude

Correction: George had already paid for his cereal, what does Lou care? Biff and Co. are paying customers on occasion too, he wouldn't want to alienate them either. Especially considering they're likely to vandalize his restaraunt in retaliation.

Phixius Premium member
2

Corrected entry: Lorraine thinks Marty's name is Calvin Klein because she said it was written on his underwear. Actually, it's stitched on, which should tip her off that the underwear was made that way when it was manufactured, not written on.

calidude

Correction: Ever heard of embroidery? It's the process of using a needle and thread to put images or letters on cloth by hand. Lorraine undoubtedly assumed "Calvin's" mother had embroidered his underwear.

Phixius Premium member
2

Corrected entry: Marty gives Goldie Wilson the idea to run for mayor before Goldie thought of it himself. Suppose now that Goldie runs for mayor before he is supposed to and loses the election and it ends his political career, thereby disrupting history.

calidude

Correction: So what? Marty changes lots of things during his time in the past, ranging from the very minor - Twin Pines Mall becoming Lone Pine Mall - to the really quite major - his parents' entire personalities and futures. History's already disrupted to a significant degree, one more thing, particularly one that, as far as we know, didn't happen, is hardly mistake-worthy.

Tailkinker Premium member
2

Corrected entry: The lightning bolt hitting the clock tower should not have stopped the clock because the clock is not electrical, it's mechanical.

calidude

Correction: Electricity arcing between metal parts can melt them.

Grumpy Scot
2

Corrected entry: When Marty shows Doc the flyer from 1985 about saving the clock tower, this gives them the time that the clock will be struck by lightning, 10:04pm on that coming Saturday (11/12/55). However, the main problem here is that the time is only given in hours and minutes, and since lightning moves at the speed of light, an entire lightning strike lasts only fractions of a second. Doc and Marty have no clue as to what second the lightning will strike during that minute, and it isn't given a thought. In reality this would cause a tremendous dilemma if the Delorean had to pass at a precise second. And since the clock on the tower lacked a second hand, they would need a sychronized watch to determine the second the strike occurs, even if they knew it. In the movie it is assumed the strike occurs at 10:04:00, which is fine, but for more realism they could've added a second hand to the clock to eliminate this plot hole. It would have been stuck in place as the other hands after the lightning strike.

polaris

Correction: A second-hand isn't necessary. The second within the minute that the lightning strike occured could have been been determined by an examination of the inner workings of the clock (which stopped functioning after the strike). Such a noteworthy piece of trivia would likely have been included in the Hill Valley Preservation Society's flier. In fact, Doc states as much - that according to the flier the clock is struck at precisely 10:04pm.

JC Fernandez
2

Even if they examined the insides of the clock and reported the precise second of the lightning strike in the flier (which is itself improbable), they would only know the time down to the nearest second (and that's assuming the clock tower kept perfect time). 88 miles per hour is about 129 feet per second-at that speed, even being off by a few milliseconds would cause the lightning to miss the DeLorean entirely.

Continuity mistake: When Biff and his goon friends are in Biff's car, as they chase Marty on his borrowed 'skateboard', the car's rearview mirror repeatedly disappears and reappears, and the side mirror changes from round to square repeatedly. (01:06:50)

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in Back to the Future

Dr. Emmett Brown: Don't worry. As long as you hit that wire with the connecting hook at precisely 88mph the instant the lightning strikes the tower... Everything will be fine.

More quotes from Back to the Future
Back to the Future mistake picture

Trivia: Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty. After filming quite a few scenes they realised his acting style was too dramatic for the humor desired, so they cast Michael J Fox (who they couldn't originally get because he was busy with the TV show Family Ties). Filming was on weekends and nights around his TV schedule and using his double at other times.

Stefanie
More trivia for Back to the Future

Question: How is Marty able to play a 1980s videotape on a 1950s television set? Is this just another example of Doc's ahead-of-his-time inventiveness?

Answer: The video camera was in the DeLorean. With the right kind of adapter, which was common enough in the 80s that Doc might've had it on the camera or been able to jury-rig something in the 50s, it would have been possible to connect it into the antenna screws in the back of the TV and play it directly from the camera.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

TVs in the 50s had a two prong antennae connection (two screws in the back that you put a prong antennae into) TVs in the mid 80s also had this. The coax connection (the one wire that screws in) was starting to become common, but, the two prong connection would have been more likely on any given TV at the time, so, whatever wire they used to preview recordings probably had that. very convenient that Marty brought those cords with him.

An old Atari 2600 RF Adapter would be how one would link a video camera to an old-fashioned television. A simple-enough part that Doc could probably make one with 1950s technology.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member
More questions & answers from Back to the Future

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.