Back to the Future

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.


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.


Corrected entry: Wouldn't Marty's parents and Biff Tannen be amazed and freaked out that their son Marty is identical to Calvin, the kid that played a major part in all their lives, and who they would definitely remember?


Correction: It's 30 years later, I doubt they remember a guy who they only knew for a few days back when they were teenagers well enough to recognise him as Marty.


Besides they don't know about the time machine. To them, it is a coincidence at best.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film, when Marty gets to the Doc's place he is wearing a watch, so he could easily know about the right hour in spite that the clocks are wrong.


Correction: 3 possibilities from the top of my head: 1. He wears the watch but never checks it, it's just a fashion statement for some people, next to that he just entered a home with a wall full of clocks, no need to check your watch as well. 2. The watch isn't working (it's digital). 3. The watch could be on the wrong time as well.


Corrected entry: The camera that Doc Brown used was a JVC GR-C1, (produced in March 1984) (Also, this particular camcorder was the first built in camera also to feature a tape deck built in).


Correction: A perfectly legitimate camera for someone to have in the year 1985.


Corrected entry: At the end of the movie when Marty's alarm goes off, it is 10:27 am. His brother and sister are at the dining room table eating breakfast. They are both dressed in business attire. It doesn't make sense that two business persons would be eating breakfast at home at 10:30am.

Correction: It's also Saturday. Dave may have had a weekend business meeting, so it wouldn't have required him to come in at his regular time.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Doc is on the clock tower in 1955 during the storm, a closeup of his feet is shown. He is wearing shoes with velcro straps in this shot. Velcro did not yet exist in 1955, and Doc had not yet traveled into the future.

Correction: The concept behind Velcro was conceived in 1941, the idea was submitted for a patent in 1951, and the patent was granted in 1955. Not impossible that Dr. Emmett Brown, a member of a wealthy family and fellow inventor, could acquire some.


In a deleted scene the Doc is shown going through his future self's belongings and finds the Velcro shoes in his luggage along with the hairdryer that Marty uses as "Darth Vader." Doc simply "stole" the shoes from himself.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the movie, when Lorraine is telling her children about the dance, she turned to George and said it was the same night as the terrible storm. At the courthouse, the storm was fierce - wind, thunder, and lightning. At the dance, however, it was a pleasant evening. No evidence of a storm whatsoever.


Correction: "Same night" doesn't mean "at the exact same time". The dance and the storm both happened the same evening.


Correction: The school is some distance away from the courthouse, and the storm simply hadn't arrived there yet.


Corrected entry: When Marty is trying to prove his futureness to Doc, he says that his sister was in the class of 1984 and then shows Doc a picture. Whenever the picture is shown however, the shirt says class of '81.

Correction: There's a vertical fold in her sweatshirt causing the '4' to be compressed so it looks like a '1' if you don't look too closely.

Corrected entry: This one is tricky but important in view of Doc's concern about doing anything that will alter the future. The lightning rod on the clock tower would have been connected to ground with a thick cable. Doc would have had to disconnect this cable to allow the current from the lightning to flow into his cable instead and hence to the time machine. We now know that a lightning strike is a result of a complex interaction of electric potentials between charges in a cloud and charges in the ground below. By disconnecting this grounding cable this interaction would have been disrupted, causing the lightning to strike at a different time or strike a different object on the ground.

Correction: If you touch a lightning rod while lightning strikes it, you will still get electrocuted. So, just like the energy would travel into your body, it traveled through Doc's cable. No need to disconnect the ground. If grounding a power source kept it from charging any thing else, no electrical appliance would ever function.


Correction: "VODKA" (at the bottom of the label) is not spelled backwards. I think you're confusing it with the brand of vodka, POPOV. Only the last few letters are visible in the shot. ("-OV").

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Doc is having the DeLorean do the burn out to get the car up to speed, the car is spinning its wheels up to 65 mph and Doc releases the brake. Now the car takes off, but the car would lose most of the speed the tires had built up as it is starting from essentially a dead stop even though the speedometer still shows 65 mph. Think of it this way, the back tires may be moving at 65 mph but the front tires are not. There is no physically possible way for a car to jump from 0 to 65 mph instantaneously using only its tires no matter how fast they were rotating. Even an F/A-18 needs a catapult to get that kind of speed so quickly. (00:21:35)

StopNGo & Girls

Correction: If the speedometer was hooked up in such a way as to show 65MPH as the speed before the brake was released, it would still show it afterward. The car was never going 65, true, but the tires were telling the speedometer it was. For whatever reason this is how Doc wired it all together. The tires wouldn't slow down suddenly just because the brake was let up, they'd continue to skid until the car's speed matched their own.


Corrected entry: When Loraine tries to kiss Marty in the car and he pulls away, she asks if something is wrong, but instead of calling him "Calvin" (as in Calvin Klein) she calls him "Marty."

Correction: When Marty first met her, and she thought his name was Calvin Klein, he told her his friends called him Marty. She referred to him as Calvin and then Marty in the scene in Doc's garage, and she calls him Marty in their last scene before he goes back to 1985. Clearly she's getting used to calling him Marty.


Corrected entry: When Marty is plugging his guitar in to the mega amp, the amplifier end of the cable is stereo (like you would use for headphones) and the guitar end is the correct mono connector.


Correction: This is obviously something Doc Brown built himself, not an "off-the-shelf" item. For whatever reason he wanted, needed, or settled on a stereo connection in the amp.


Corrected entry: When Doc is on the clock tower attempting to reconnect the cable, he pulls it and disconnects the other end (indicating the cable has just enough slack to touch the ground from point A and then be inches short of point B). Doc then connects the cable and then ties the cable around the clock hands. The other end of the cable is only held by a fallen branch, if he were to really propel down the cable, he would have gone completely vertical down. When he lands, the cable would have been shorter due to him tying it to the clock hands. Also a shock of 1.21 gigawatts would have landed him in the hospital if not the funeral home.

Correction: Several "mistakes" in one entry, that alone should have gotten this entry rejected. The cable is more than long enough in a more or less straight shot from one end to the other. The branch is keeping from being a straight shot. That's why, even though it's wrapped arond the clock hand, it's still long enough after Doc disentangles it form the branch. If all of Doc's weight, and whatever more leverage he gained by pulling against the clock hand, wasn't enough to move the branch, him rapelling down the cable wouldn't have moved it either. It was stuck in place. The jolt he got wasn't a full 1.21 gigawatts either. The cable was surely insulated and he was wearing gloves, also certainly insulated, if I remember that small bit correctly.


Correction: Untrue. There was an MCA entertainment exec, noted for his often odd studio notes, who suggested (during post-production) that this should be the title of the film (as this is the title of the comic young Peabody shows to his folks when Marty arrives in 1955). But it was never given serious consideration and was certainly never a used title.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: The license plate of the time machine is spinning on the road in the middle of the fire tracks - further down the track than where Doc and Marty stand. But the car (and therefore the license plate) was never there. It had already 'jumped'. Otherwise the license plate had to pass through Marty.

Jacob La Cour

Correction: Having just watched the scene in question, I can confirm that that is incorrect. It may be confusing because they turn their bodies to look at where the car would have been. They then turn back forward to the last place that they saw the car which is what Marty was then focusing on. After it shows the plate spinning, the next shot shows Marty and Doc facing the camera, and also the plate.


Corrected entry: Towards the end of the movie when Marty is driving down the street in 1955 to go back to 1985, Doc is trying to get the electricity cables back together for the lightning needed to send Marty back to the future. Doc then slides down the cable to connect the cable to the other one over the street. As he's about to connect the cable, the lightning strikes. He then has at least half a second to connect the cable and he does. But the lightning takes at least two seconds to get from the tower to the car. This is way to slow for electricity. Electricity can move around the world four times in a second.


Correction: The velocity of electric current depends very much on the insulation of the wiring being used. For instance, in open air (such as lightning) electricity is very fast, but within rubber-insulated wiring, it is slower.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Marty goes back to Nov. 5, 1955, the time is set for 8:30 AM. When he arrives he walks around a bit in amazement and then heads towards Hill Valley. The sign he passes says "Hill Valley 2 miles." When he gets there, look at the clock tower, the time is about 8:30 (give or take). He couldn't have run the two miles in under a minute even without hiding the DeLorean.

Correction: No such thing occurs. When he's being chased by the Libyans at the mall, the display reads the destination time at sometime during the 6 o'clock hour (the minutes are not visible). This is the last time we can see the precise time on the time circuit display until the night of the storm. Regardless, in the scene in question, the time circuits are out of power and malfunctioning so they could have given a false reading.

JC Fernandez

Which scene, the storm or the Libyan attack? Also, "the time circuits were out of power and malfunctioning"? I'm pretty sure they weren't properly failing until part II.

Corrected entry: In the beginning, when Doc awakens Marty in the beginning he tells him to meet him at "Lone Pine Mall" (the altered name of the mall after the movie) but when Marty arrives at the mall the sign still reads "Twin Pines Mall". How come Doc is referencing the new name that hasn't changed yet? And this scene occurred just before any time traveling took place so it's definitely not a paradox (most likely a script error).

Correction: I think you need to check again. First of all, Doc does not "awaken" Marty. Marty is visiting Doc's house, and has been trying out the gigantic loudspeaker (knocking himself backwards). Second, Doc clearly says "Twin Pines Mall", and has done so in every version of the movie I have ever seen.


Corrected entry: In 1985 When Doc is recording himself as he sees the terrorists come with their trucks. Marty is supposed to say, "who, who found you?", or something like that. But as Doc is watching the tape in 1955, Marty never says anything.

Correction: Doc stops and rewinds the tape before Marty says anything.

Back to the Future mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When we first see the machine in action, the travel is shown from three different angles. In the second, a line of fire passes directly between Doc's legs, but in the third angle, they pass to the left of both of his legs. (00:21:00)


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

Trivia: The farm where Marty arrives in 1955 belongs to a man called Peabody, and he calls his son Sherman; the names are a tribute to "Sherman and Mr. Peabody," two cartoon time travellers from a 1960s American TV show.

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 like an old Atari and play it directly from the camera.

Captain Defenestrator

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

Answer: Video tape system back then could output an NTSC video signal, just like broadcast at the time, and up to HD in the 2000s. Usually there was a switch on the video device to change the output frequency between channels 3 or 4. Depending on what was an open channel in your area.

Answer: Doc is smart and eccentric enough to probably have such a thing randomly rattling around in the Delorian as old burger wrappers would rattle around inside a normal car. And Marty could also conceivably have such a thing at his or Doc's domicile for his own video gaming convenience.


More questions & answers from Back to the Future

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