Back to the Future

Corrected entry: In order for the time machine to stay in the same place geographically, it would have to move with the Earth's revolutions over the years. Otherwise, even a small time jump could leave the person miles from where he started. So the Doc is wrong in saying that it can't move through space as well as time.

Correction: In fact it would not only have to move with the Earth's revolutions, but with its orbit around the sun and the sun's movement through the Milky Way as well. However, it is a long accepted science fiction convention that this is not taken into account in time travel stories. Time travel is impossible anyway, so you just have to accept the fantasy elements of the whole thing.

Corrected entry: To get Marty back to 1985, Doc has to time the Delorean's trip just right to have its hook hit the wire when the lightning strikes. Putting aside the wild notion of timing something to the exact millisecond, the alarm in the Delorean goes off while the car is stalled. Marty takes several seconds to get the car started again, which is going to throw off all of the calculations required to get the Delorean to the lightning strike and make Marty miss it.

Correction: They were based on Marty accelerating at a specific rate; all he has to do is accelerate faster to catch up, though of course he has no idea how much faster and gets lucky.


Corrected entry: After the Delorean goes back to 1985, it crashes into the building in front of it (a newsagents, or some kind of store). If it was going at 88MPH, shouldn't it be totally wrecked? No wonder it doesn't start. (01:37:55)

Correction: We see (from Einstein's trip) that the time machine can stop very quickly after the jump. It possible that Marty stopped very quickly after the jump to the future and wasn't going very fast when he hit the building.

Corrected entry: When Doc and Marty are confronted by the Libyans in the Mall, the Libyan who is driving curses when his van won't start. As he curses, you can see he is not actually saying anything at all.

Correction: In the scene described, it seems like the words being said are being made by the guy driving. But if you watch that scene with the commentary (from the dvds), you find out the line is actually "damn soviet gun", being said by the terrorist who is standing trying to shoot (and his gun won't work), rather than the one driving who is in the shot. Before I saw the commentary, I thought it was the man driving who was supposed to be saying "damn son-of-a-gun" as well.

Corrected entry: Near the beginning when Biff returns George's crashed car, after the discussion about who will pay for it etc., Biff goes to the fridge and gets a beer. He complains that George only has 'Lite' beer for him, but if you look on the fridge door it seems there are 3 cans of what appears to be 'regular' Budweiser. (00:13:05)


Correction: He just didn't look in the door and just assumed there was only lite beer.

Vernon Gilmore

Corrected entry: When Marty saved his father from being run over by his grandfather, he had automatically altered the future. Shouldn't he and his siblings have disappeared altogether?

Leonard Hassen

Correction: The timestream, as portrayed in the films, is quite resiliant and resistant to change, which is why Marty doesn't vanish immediately. As time passes in the new configuration, that resilience is overcome and things begin to disappear from the timeline, beginning with his older siblings (who are closer to the point of disruption) and ending with Marty himself. Fortunately Marty is able to get the timeline back onto a course that includes him and his siblings before that happens completely.


Corrected entry: Marty calls out to the band, "Alright, this is a blues riff in 'B'..." however, the recording (both the one present in the film and Chuck Berry's) is in Bb (B-flat). Also Michael J. Fox's hands are playing the song correctly in Bb (B-flat).

Correction: Actually, B flat is referred to as 'B', and B as 'H', by many musicians, especially educated blues players.

Corrected entry: In the first scene, when Marty enters Doc's lab, you see him kicking the keys back under the mat, but at the end of the scene, you see him tossing the keys onto the table.

Correction: The keys that Marty tosses are part of the amplifier equipment that he has just blown up.

Corrected entry: The first time that we see the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, the speaker on the left of the stage is sitting on an upturned pepsi crate, but in later scenes, including when Marty kicks the speaker over at the end of 'Johnny B Goode' the crate is gone. (01:25:45)

Correction: There is more than enough time for the band members to move the Pepsi crate-there are scenes in between when the Pepsi crate is there, then disappears, and they could have removed it then.

Corrected entry: Near the end of the film when Doc is sending Marty back to 1985 Doc says "Which will be in exaclty 7 minutes and 22 seconds when this alarm goes off you hit the gas." From the time Doc sets the alarm to the time the lighting hits the tower is actually over 8 minutes.

Correction: Yes, you see more than eight minutes on your TV, but some shots take place at the same moment and some things are not even shown (like Marty driving along the road to the start line) so you can't tell how much time exactly passes between Doc setting up the alarm and the lightning striking.

Corrected entry: After the DeLorean arrives in 1955, the speedometer shows the car is decelerating. However, just before crashing into old man Peabody's barn, the speedo shows it go down to 49, then start going up again. (00:30:15)

Correction: After the shot of the speedometer going up again, you can see a wide shot of the DeLorean, and you can see that it has just gone over a lump in the ground. It began accelerating again because it went down the lump.

Corrected entry: In the beginning when Marty is blasted to the other side of the room by the huge speaker, the shelves behind him tilt over, spilling all the papers onto him, leaving the shelves completely empty. In a closeup though, another stack lands on his head from nowhere. (00:04:00)

Correction: Look closely at the tippy-top of the shelf. When the papers fall, the edges continue up.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Marty traveles back in time and crashes into the barn, the DeLorean is facing the opposite way from where it crashed in from. And furthermore, the barn doors were already open when he drives into the barn, but when the family enters the scene, the barn doors had to be opened. (00:31:33)

Correction: When the DeLorean goes into the barn, it could have hit the side of the barn and swerved around, which explains it facing the other way. As for the door having to be opened, it wouldn't have taken much for the door to simply swing back by itself and latch itself up.

Corrected entry: Wouldn't the Doc have a problem breathing in the beginning of the movie when the Delorean is backing out of a smoke filled semi-truck? And why is there so much "fog" coming out of the car when the Doc first gets out? (00:18:25)


Correction: Just because there's smoke in the truck it doesn't mean the car is actually full of it. Also, it could well be some form of coolant as we see how hot the car gets, which explains why there is "smoke" there. Plus depending on the type of "smoke" it wouldn't necessarily affect his breathing.

David Mercier

Corrected entry: In the opening scene of the enchantment under the sea dance, If you look at the sax player's fingers, they aren't moving the slightest bit, yet he is playing loud and clear. (01:15:10)

Correction: The sax player is holding the sax with two hands, so if the submitter was only looking at the top hand, they wouldn't have seen that the bottom hand was moving when the top one wasn't.

Corrected entry: In the clock tower scene at the end of the movie, just as the Doc is about to jump off the clock tower and slide down the cable, the clock above his head changes to 10:04. This shouldn't happen until Marty hits the wire with the DeLorean. (Please note: This is not the same mistake as the one where the the clock changes split seconds before Doc looks up at it-it is the scene when he is about to jump off the tower and slide down the wire). (01:36:30)

Correction: Although the clock showed 10:04, the clock doesn't show a second hand. There are therefore 60 seconds to play with after the clock changes until the clock hands would move again to 10:05. During this period, Doc can slide down the cable, detach and replug in the cable and allow for the DeLorean to come down the street and hit the cable when the lightning strikes, all still as the clock hands show 10:04.

Corrected entry: When George and Marty are at the gas station getting ready to confront Lorraine about the dance, George's hair is messy and ungroomed, when the shot changes to him walking away, his hair is nice and combed. (00:43:00)

Correction: Just before Marty and George go into the cafe, Marty says "can you take care of that?", and he is looking at George's hair, as George is running his hand through it. We can therefore assume that Marty was talking about George's hair, so just before they go into the cafe, George combs his hair.

Corrected entry: When Doc is trying to fix the wire on the clock tower, its caught under the tree and doesn't reach. Yet then he twists it up twice and slides down it to fix the part on the ground. If it wouldn't reach when it was stuck under the tree, how on earth would it fit if it's wrapped twice around the arm on the clock?

Correction: In the initial attempt, the wire is caught under the tree but still attached to another wire (the one the Delorean will hit). Doc then breaks that connection, so the wire moves and the connector at the end of it gets stuck to the tree. Even though the wire is still under the tree, he has more wire to wrap around the arm of the clock.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the movie the spilt second after the Amp blows up and Marty is jolted back, you can see the cable that is hooked to him.

Correction: This is probably just the cable that connects the guitar with the amp. Also, the speaker blows up, not the amp.

Corrected entry: In the beginning of the film Doc's address is 1646. When Marty is at Doc's house in 1955 his address is 1640. (00:05:35 - 00:47:25)

Correction: In the present Doc is living in his garage not his house. The garage is further down the street from where his house was, so the number is higher. Why? His house burned down. You can read about it during the opening scene, when we pan through Doc's garage.

Continuity mistake: When Marty chases after Biff on the borrowed 'skateboard', Marty is wearing a dark grey belt and a red/blue print shirt under his red/beige jacket. However, when Marty is hanging on to the front of Biff's car as they turn a corner (and in another shot), Marty (stunt double) is wearing a light brown belt and solid tan shirt. (01:07:00)

Super Grover

More mistakes in Back to the Future

Marty McFly: Calvin? Why do you keep calling me Calvin?
Lorraine Baines: Well, that is your name, isn't it? Calvin Klein? It's written all over your underwear.

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

Trivia: In the battle of the bands scene, when Marty introduces The Pinheads, Huey Lewis, who provided "The Power of Love" for the film's soundtrack, plays the second judge from the left, and is the one who eventually says, "You're just too darn loud." (00:07:40)

More trivia for Back to the Future

Question: Right when Marty gets back to Doc before he goes back to 1985, he's praising his dad's actions of the night. One line that's bothered me ever since I can remember is "My dad laid out Biff. He's never stood up to Biff in his life." And then the Doc pauses for a second and gets a strange look on his face and says, "Never?" To that, Marty says, "No, why?" and the Doc shrugs it off saying, "Nevermind." What's Doc thinking? The best I can come up with is that he's wondering what effects it'll have on the future, but that's a rough guess. If anyone out there knows, I'd be happy to hear it.


Chosen answer: I think that is *exactly* what he is thinking. He realizes that by standing up to Biff, George may have irrevocably changed his personal future, and therefore affected Marty's future as well. This is exactly the sort of thing Doc was so eager to prevent by refusing to hear any information about the future.

Phil C.

Answer: It would have had to be something that would have happened anyway without the interference, otherwise Marty wouldn't have originally existed.

terry s

Answer: In the novel Marty adds that George is also thinking about college now. Doc says that this might delay Loraine and George having kids for awhile and adds that Marty might find himself like 10-14 years old when he gets back to 1985.

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.