Back to the Future

Question: What does the saying "Why don't you make like a tree, and get out of here", mean?

Chosen answer: It's a way of saying "scram" or "get lost." But Biff is so dim, he doesn't realize he's saying it wrong; the expression is "make like a tree and leaf", with the joke being that "leaf" is meant to sound like "leave."

Cubs Fan

Question: Can you please explain to me how Doc got into the DeLorean from within the truck? Clearly the internal width of the truck is not capable of handling gull-wing doors whilst parked inside. He would have had to push the car out, get in, drive it back in, then remotely close and open the hydraulic door/ramp on the back of the truck. This is one of the things which really sticks out in the film for me.

Chosen answer: The side clearance of the DeLorean DMC-12's doors is actually only 11 inches (less than a regular side-hinge car door). The truck would be around 7.5 feet wide inside, the DeLorean is just over 6 feet 1 inch wide so if it was driven in 4 inches to the right it would be possible to open the driver's door.

Sierra1

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?

Chosen 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

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.

DenizenZERO

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.

Question: I'm not sure if I must ask this in BTTF 1 or 2 but can anyone explain me why the mall is called 'twin pine mall' and 'lone pine mall' in the other movie?

Loesjuh1985

Chosen answer: In BTTF 1, when Marty goes back to 1955, it's revealed that there used to be a farm where the mall was located, and there were two pine trees on the farm, hence the Twin Pines Mall name. But while Marty was escaping the farmer, he runs over and kills one of the trees, thus altering the course of time and leading to the Lone Pine Mall name.

Jeff Swanson

Question: What is the make/model of the car that Biff wrecked, that is being towed into the McFly's driveway near the beginning of the film?

Chosen answer: The car being towed into the driveway is a 1979 Chevrolet Nova.

Question: One thing I have wondered is how Marty was able to cram so much into the final hour before the lightning bolt at the clock tower which was Marty's ticket home to 1985? Just after 9:00pm George stands up to Biff, we know this because we see the clock on the wall just before George proceeds to the car where Marty and Lorraine are parked. The next time we see the time is 9:30pm with Doc standing in front of the clock noticing the storm is coming, just after 9:30pm Marty plays "Earth Angel" at the Dance followed by Johnny B Goode, Marty arrives back at the clock tower at 9:56pm. So basically in 26 minutes Marty was able to play 2 songs at the dance, wish George and Lorraine the best for the future, change out of his Zoot suite and then drive back to the clock tower to go home. The whole sequence gets even better in Back to the Future Part 2, between 9:30pm and 10:04pm Marty manages to stop Biff's goons from jumping Marty up on stage playing Johnny B Goode, he then witnesses Marty from part 1 talking to his parents and having a confrontation with Biff. Marty and Doc then chase Biff what looks to be through the outskirts of Hill Valley and eventually get the Almanac from Biff, and see Biff crash into another manure truck. Marty and Doc then have time to fly down to the future location of Lyon Estates to burn the book, and then for Marty witness the time machine be struck by lighting and the man from Western Union to turn up with the letter for Marty.

Blair Howden

Chosen answer: Both songs are less than three minutes long, so there's six minutes of actually playing plus, say, four minutes of chatter in between songs. That's ten minutes. Five minutes to change brings the total up to fifteen minutes. At this point, he's till got eleven minutes to wish George and Lorraine a happy life and book it to the clock tower a few blocks over. He's barely got to hurry.

Phixius

Question: When Marty wakes up in the new 1985, the clock changes from 10:27 to 10:28. Why would his siblings be eating breakfast and preparing to go to work this late in the morning?

geezer

Chosen answer: It's Saturday. A lot of office jobs, if you're going to them on the weekend, would start later and end earlier.

Phixius

Question: Just wondering out loud. Since Marty showed Doc the drawing of a flex capacitor in 1955, I think this would have caused some infinite loop in the universe. I'll explain it better. Wouldn't Marty have destroyed the universe because he showed Doc the time machine in 1955, meaning Doc wouldn't have had the machine tested out in 1985 because the design was already "completed" in 1955, meaning Marty never would have went back in time in the first place to show Doc the time machine, meaning that Doc would test it out in 1985, meaning that Marty would have gone back to 1955 and showed Doc the time machine, meaning Doc wouldn't have tested it out in 1985, meaning Marty wouldn't have gone back in time and showed Doc the time machine, meaning etc.

Chosen answer: Jeez, take a deep breath already. Yes, as a result of Marty's jaunt back in time, Doc now knows more about the design of the time machine, but that doesn't mean that he has the capability to build it in 1955. He needs all sorts of high-tech equipment, plus, let's not forget, some plutonium from somewhere. Regardless of his additional knowledge of the systems, it may simply be impossible to build until 1985. You also have to consider that Doc's not stupid - he knows that he completes the time machine in 1985, starting the whole thing off. He's not going to risk a temporal disruption by completing it early.

Tailkinker

Question: There's an all black band playing at an all white school in the 50's - is that likely?

AidanN

Chosen answer: Why not? Even though segregation was in effect, we never see them do anything but play on the stage. They even take their break outside, away from all the white folks at the dance. They are never shown using any of the "white" facilities, or fraternizing with any of the students. In fact, when they are "on break" at their car, it is behind the building, where there are no other cars, or even any people, anywhere around at all.

Jazetopher

Question: Why do Marty's brother and sister get erased from top to bottom, and Marty just fades? Why can't they just all fade?

DeathGawd

Chosen answer: The way I understand Doc's explanation, Dave and Linda were both erased completely because Marty interfered with their parents' meeting; thus the three children were erased from existence, from oldest to youngest. Marty only begins to fade because the timeline corrects itself before he gets erased completely.

Cubs Fan

Question: Not sure if this is a mistake or if it is because of the movie's time travel rules, but when Marty goes to 1955, he's there for a whole week so when he comes back to 1985, why does his family and Jennifer never question where he's been for a whole week?

Chosen answer: He arrives back to the same night he left, specifically he arrives ten minutes earlier so he can rescue Doc. As far as his family and Jennifer were concerned, he was never gone.

Serious B

Question: Since the probability of having three children is greater than the probability of having two children, shouldn't Marty (as the youngest) disappear from the photograph first rather than last?

kingjames

Chosen answer: Probability has nothing to do with it. The changes in the timeline are rippling out from the initial point of disruption. As Marty's brother and sister were born before him, their respective births are closer to the point where the alteration happened. As such, they're erased from the timeline first, so they fade out before he does.

Tailkinker

Question: I've noticed that Eric Clapton's "Heaven is One Step Away" is on the movie soundtrack. Does it appear in the film, and if so, where?

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: The song is playing on the Red's radio while he is lying on the bench outside the Courthouse when Marty arrives back in 1985.

Question: Why does Lorraine suddenly call Marty by his regular name not Calvin Klein, did I miss something?

Chosen answer: During the scene where Lorraine sees Marty's underwear and assumes Calvin Klein is his name, Marty tells her most people call him Marty. She still thinks his name is Calvin, but she tries to make him happy by using his preferred "nickname".

Jason Hoffman

Question: When Marty comes back to a "new" 1985, his family has money, his siblings are now successful, they treat Marty like he never left (except to go to the lake). But before he supposedly went to the lake, didn't Marty act normal? Didn't Marty grow up with this new and improved family and have different experiences that didn't happen when they were poor? If so, why does he have no memory of this? If Marty grows up with money, has a successful father, a sister that's popular, what happens to "this" Marty? The one that grew up differently now that he was born into a richer family? (This can't be the same Marty that goes back in in time that we see at the end of the movie, because if that Marty will do everything we saw in the movie, hes the same Marty before anything changed. Like when he said his dad never stood to to Biff in his life).

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: Yup, that's what happens in time travel movies. All sorts of paradoxes pop up. You could sit and ponder this for the rest of your life. Or you could just enjoy the goofiness of it all. If you get a chance, look up an old article called "Back to the Future with the Other Marty McFly." It theorizes that there are, in fact, two Marty McFlys whose lives intersect with the competing timelines. But if you're seriously trying to figure out the complexities of all this, take the advice given in Austin Powers II and just enjoy the movie.

K.C. Sierra

Question: When Marty arrives back from the past, but a bit earlier to try to save Doc's life he sees himself disappear into the past. So for a few minutes we have two Deloreans and two Martys. What happens to this Marty who obviously goes back to 1955? Is he going to relive the whole film?

Chosen answer: Basically, yes. We never see the looping effect, but we have to assume that's what happens. The Bill and Ted argument of "time is always running" doesn't seem to apply in the BTTF films - the Marty who goes back to 1955 is about to do exactly what we've seen Marty do throughout the film.

Jon Sandys

Question: If Doc doesn't want to know what's going to happen in his/the future, then why did he tape the letter Marty gave him in 1955, which he tore up, back together instead of throwing it away? Also why did he have it on him at the end to give to Marty, if he had no idea Marty would show up at Lone Pine Mall after coming back to 1985?

Heather Benton

Chosen answer: It's not stated directly in the movie, but it's easy to infer that Doc Brown was subject to the one thing that just about all scientists fall victim to... Curiosity. You can guess that after Marty vanished back to the future, Doc became too curious to resist and assembled the paper back together to read it. In turn, this would give him the information he needed to save himself with a bulletproof jacket, and know the important of why Marty would go back in time when it is 85. And he would have kept the note on him because he DID know Marty would come back to that point. After all, he did send him back off 30 years prior, with the intent of going back to that very day. Doc is intelligent, and would have expected things to turn out that way given the unwritten laws of time travel and paradox.

Quantom X

Question: Whats the name of the song that's playing on the radio while Marty is asleep, just before Doc calls him to pick up the camcorder and head to the mall?

Chosen answer: "Time Bomb Town" by Lindsey Buckingham.

The_Iceman

Question: If Marty and his brother and sister are fading from the photograph because they are being erased from existence, wouldn't that mean that the moment when the photograph was taken would also be erased from existence? If so, why doesn't the photograph itself disappear instead of just the people in it?

dan coakley..

Chosen answer: The photo itself didn't disappear while the people were fading because the people in the photo were still in the picture. First, Marty's brother was erased, followed by Marty's sister, followed by Marty himself. Since, Marty's brother was erased, his sister and himself would have remained in the photo until they were erased. So really, the photo wouldn't have disappeared until all the people had been erased, since no-one would have been in the picture.

Casual Person

Question: I'm really confused, and need help with this. I saw the second BTTF, so I saw the scene when Doc explains the two timelines and changing the future, but I'm still confused. If what Doc said was true, when Marty got hit by the car, he would have changed the future by preventing his parents from marrying. Therefore, there are now several timelines in the movie all going off at the same time. According to the movie, the first one is a timeline where Marty goes into the time machine back to 1955, and he has a loser for a father. There is also a timeline just like the first one, but George punched Biff, making him cool in the future. Another, alternate timeline is also present where Marty's parents haven't married, Marty doesn't exist, and none of the events from the first two timelines happen in this timeline. However, if this were true, all three timelines would have to be there, as Marty jumps from timeline to timeline in the movie and then in the end, watched himself do it again. First he would be in the regular timeline, then as he prevents his parents from meeting, he is in the other timeline. As he puts his parents back together and goes to 1985, he is now in the "cool father timeline". That is how I see the movie. Can somebody help shed some light on the subject for me?

Chosen answer: To be honest, it sounds like you've got a reasonably good handle on the situation. Initially Marty's in a 1955 where his parents will marry after George is hit by the car, but his father will be the loser we see in Marty's original 1985. The moment that Marty gets hit by the car, the future is changed and he's now in a timeline where his parents will never get married and thus he will not be born. The timeline begins to slowly alter (time is shown to have a resistance to change in the series), giving Marty enough time to reengineer his parents' meeting before he's erased from existence as the new timeline exerts itself. The way he handles it creates a third timeline where his parents do get married and go on to be cool and thus when he returns to 1985 at the end of the first film, that's the timeline he's in. The other Marty that he sees there is one who grew up in that third timeline, with the cool parents, and thus may be a bit different, but who still met Doc at some point, rendezvoused with him at the mall and ultimately went back in time after encountering the terrorists, where he'll encounter the young loser version of his father and will have to turn him into the cool, confident man that he grew up with. In the second film, old Biff goes back in time and gives his younger self the sports almanac, which changes the timeline again, now creating a fourth timeline where George and Lorraine still marry and are cool, but George will subsequently be murdered by this timeline's rich and powerful version of Biff, leading to the 1985 we see in the middle section of the second film. When Marty and Doc go back to 1955 from there, they arrive in the same timeline, the one where Biff will go on to be rich and powerful. As a result of their actions there, stealing the almanac from young Biff and destroying it, they technically create a fifth timeline, one where events in 1955 played out slightly differently but which is otherwise effectively identical to the third timeline, where Marty's parents are cool and successful in the present day. It is quite a complicated situation, with several different timelines involved, and I have no idea how well I explained it, but hopefully that helped a little bit, at least.

Tailkinker

Question: What did the cafe server mean when he said to Marty "I can't give you a tab unless you buy something"? I know that Marty was referring to the Tab soda (which didn't exist then), but what was the other guy talking about?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: A tab is the same as a bill. The server guy thinks Marty wants a bill for whatever he's ordered, although because Marty hasn't eaten or drunk anything yet, he can't give him one. Even though a bill for a restaurant meal can be referred to as a "tab", this term is more commonly used in bars. When someone "runs a tab," it means they pay the total cost as they're about to leave, rather than pay for each drink separately.

raywest

Question: In the bar scene, after Marty asks for a Pepsi Free, the barman tells him that "You want a Pepsi, pal, you're going to pay for it". I know there is a reason for it, but isn't it obvious that if Marty wants a Pepsi he must pay for it?

Isaac.BTTF

Chosen answer: The counterman had never heard of Pepsi Free as it didn't exist yet. He therefore assumed that Marty was asking for a Pepsi Cola free of charge. Also, Biff and his cronies frequent this bar. The counterman might have assumed that Marty was some snot nosed punk that thought he could bluff his way into free drinks.

Grumpy Scot

Question: When Eric Stoltz was in this film, did he dye his hair black? It looks black in behind the scenes footage.

EK8829

Chosen answer: No, Eric Stoltz's hair was about the same color (dark reddish-auburn) as that of Michael J. Fox, who replaced Stoltz. Director Robert Zemeckis had a very specific look in mind for lead character Marty McFly, so both Eric Stoltz and Michael J. Fox were costumed and made-up almost identically. Some of the available outtake footage of Stoltz has been copied several times and is not the best footage, so the brightness and contrast are a bit off, making his hair (and other elements in those scenes) appear very, very dark. But, if you look at Michael J. Fox in some of those same scenes, his hair appears quite dark, also.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: When Biff and his gang are first chasing Marty on the skateboard in 1955, Marty escapes by grabbing the tailgate of a passing pickup truck which tows him around the corner. The gang jumps into Biff's convertible to continue the pursuit, and Biff's convertible actually has a rear-end collision with the pickup truck, barely missing Marty. How is it that the truck driver doesn't even react to all this insane activity and the rear-end collision? Rather than stopping and demanding an explanation, the truck driver continues away from the scene without even slowing down.

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: It's likely any answer would be speculation at best, so it's hard to say. We can start with the fact that Biff barely taps the guy's bumper. He's seen stopping when Marty moves out of the way, although not enough, but I would not call it a "collision." Second, the style of the truck's metal bumper would have absorbed the impact to the point the driver didn't feel anything. In terms of if he actually felt an impact, in an era where you can't just call 9-1-1 on your cell phone to get police help, the man probably thought it prudent not to confront a car full of crazy teenage boys who just wildly rammed him for no reason. And if he did pull over, Biff had already turned the corner and so the man in the truck would have been off camera, so perhaps he does get out and inspect the damage and even sees Biff hit the manure truck, after which we don't know what happened.

Bishop73

Question: In BTTF 1 when the family are around the dinner table, Marty is drinking Diet Pepsi, his mother is drinking vodka and his sister has some other soft drink. Who is drinking the Bud Light in front of these 3? It's too far away from his brother and George.

Chosen answer: Considering that Lorraine was alcoholic, the beer was likely hers as well. It is what is known as a "beer chaser."

raywest

Question: During the clock tower scene at the end, why is it necessary for the DeLorean to be going 88mph at the exact moment lightning hit the clock tower? When the Delorean was struck by lightning while it was in mid air at the end of the second film, it wasn't going 88mph at all, yet it was still shot through time. Seems the Delorean could have been parked in the street in front of the clock tower connected to the wire and just wait to be struck by lightning and sent back to 1985, no?

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: The DeLorean was spun on its axis at 88mph when it got struck by lightning, that's what caused the backwards 99 and the time jump. Unbeknownst to Doc he'd accidentally switched on the time circuits.

Question: This shouldn't be bothering me as much as it is, but somewhere within the first twenty minutes of Back to the Future when Doc wakes Marty up by calling & ask him to pick up his camera, what does Marty begin to eat?

Chosen answer: Marty eats a piece of chocolate - you can see on his nightstand a bar of chocolate with a chunk on top. It's this chunk he eats when Doc calls him about collecting the video camera and meeting him at Twin Pines Mall.

Heather Benton

Answer: Marty is eating chocolate cake.

Question: What is the make and model of the car that belongs to the McFly family, that Biff wrecks and had towed to the McFly house at the beginning of the film - not the 1941 Ford that 1955 Biff owned.

Chosen answer: The wrecked car towed back to the house was a '78 Nova.

Question: If Marty goes back to the future and sees a duplicate of himself go back to the past, would the duplicate see the Marty that had just got back to the future watch him (the duplicate that goes to the past), thus 3 Deloreans and infinitely more Deloreans as it continues...and so on and so forth, or is that the the universe rewriting his timeline to prevent this time loop of paradoxical events?

Craig Celestin

Chosen answer: There wouldn't be infinitely more Deloreans, as versions of Marty would keep having to leave in order to appear at a different point in the timeline to watch himself. There's no real limit on how many there could be at once though - at one point on November 12th 1955 there are four Deloreans in Hill Valley at the same time (brought there by Marty from the first film, Marty from the second film, Biff from the second film, and the one Doc buried from 1885). They're all the same car, just travelling from different points in time.

Jon Sandys

Question: What's the Van Halen song Marty plays to his dad when he tells George he's Darth Vader?

Chosen answer: The song is called "Out the Window," not much longer than what you hear in BTTF. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmc6f2kCyLU.

Question: What happened to the original timeline to cause such a dramatic change in Marty's mom? In the original timeline, Marty's mom was 'born a nun' as Marty described her to Jennifer. But when Marty goes back to 1955, Lorraine is a drinking, smoking, parking with boys kind of girl. In the original timeline, what would have made it to where Lorraine thinks it's inappropriate for a girl to make advances on a boy? She seems to already be a boy chaser before Marty even gets there.

unicorngoddess

Chosen answer: Actually, nothing happened to the original timeline to change Marty's mom. It's Marty, like many children, who had a rather unrealistic view about what Lorraine was actually like when she was a teenager. He always believed (and was deliberately given the impression) that she was extremely shy and proper, when in fact, she was a boy-crazy flirt, though she apparently changed after falling in love with George. Parents are often evasive regarding their own youthful behavior.

raywest

Question: Since Marty's actions led to him not existing, shouldn't no Marty mean that there would have been no Marty to get hit by the car in the first place, meaning that Marty would have just reappeared when he ceased to exist?

Chosen answer: The simple answer is NO. According to the time travel rules established in the films, alternate realities are created when changes are made to the past. Marty continues to exist as long as there's the possibility that he exists in 1985. Small changes don't affect him. Marty only begins to disappear after the past has been altered so significantly that he would *never* exist in the present. But at the time he gets hit by the car, Marty hadn't impacted the timeline enough to assure his non-existence.

JC Fernandez

Question: Doesn't anybody think that when the Star Wars movies were released, that the name of the enemy, Darth Vader, would get George McFly a little suspicious? After all, he had to have remembered the name of the spirit that "came down to him from planet Vulcan" since it is on the cover of his book at the end.

Chosen answer: Suspicious of what? He never finds out Doc Brown has a time machine or that Marty affected his past. It might make him believe in some sort of "The truth is hiding in plain sight" conspiracy theory. Oh and BTW, he'd see Star Trek in 1966 (with the Vulcan reference) before he sees Star Wars.

Grumpy Scot

Marty says that he is "Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan", and unless George doesn't remember "meeting him", he might think back to it and be like "wait a minute..." Regardless of when Star Trek and Star Wars would come out, a nerd like him would be able to put two-and-two together and see that they don't add up, unless he thinks that it's just a coincidence.

Question: At the end of the film Marty gets out of the DeLorean sees the bad guys and runs after, what ever happens to the DeLorean?

Chosen answer: After he has "seen the bad guys", he discovers that Doc was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and that he had read Marty's letter from 1955. Both he and Doc then return to their homes, so presumably Doc picked up the DeLorean on his way or right after this, before going into the future.

Twotall

Question: What exactly did Biff do to George McFly's car? It is strongly suggested, but I couldn't understand what caused the accident.

Chosen answer: He mentions spilling beer on his shirt so it's inferred that he was somewhat less than entirely sober, and he also refers to the car having a blind spot. Based on this, my assumption has always been that he was tipping his head back to take a drink from a can of beer, which means his eyes left the road, and he struck another vehicle; most likely at an intersection where the other driver had the right of way.

Phixius

Question: Is it just me or is "Power of Love" playing in the background after Marty's audition?

Chosen answer: Marty is playing a heavy metal version of 'Power of Love' FOR his audition. Immediately after the audition, a short excerpt of a March plays, for Mayor Goldie's election. The original Huey Lewis version plays at the end of the next scene.

ChiChi

Question: I heard that at one point during the part where Marty's being sent back to the future, Doctor Brown is seen putting the letter from Marty in his pocket. Is this true?

Movie_Freak 1

Chosen answer: In the scene where Doc tears it up, he stuffs the pieces into his jacket, because he is distracted by the tree limb that falls and "unplugs" the cable from the Clock Tower. He was likely going to throw the pieces away, but did not have time. We are then led to realize that when Doc got home after Marty left, he found the pieces in his pocket and became curious, thus taping it back together and following Marty's instructions in 1985. On a side note, since Marty comes back to that spot at the end of BTTF 2 to get Doc's help to go back to 1885, Doc had even more time to spend with Marty in 1955, and even more reason to become curious as to the contents of Marty's letter.

Jazetopher

Question: I have seen a different ending to this film. Every now and then when it airs on TV the movie ends with Doc in 1955, standing at the site where Marty just went back to 1985, and then Marty comes running up to him and says "I'm back" (or something similar). I seem to remember that this is the standard ending to the second film. Why is it occasionally used to end the first one?

Chosen answer: That's actually the beginning scene in Back to the Future 3. It would make no sense to end the first film with that sequence, as at that point Marty hasn't returned to 1955 after getting home the first time.

Jason Hoffman

Question: What is the song called that Marty plays in the "Enchantment under the sea" dance?

Chosen answer: "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, hence the bit where the lead singer Marvin Berry phones up his cousin Chuck during the song.

Tailkinker

Question: In the "first timeline", Marty's father is a loser. He has never hit Biff. Marty goes to the past, and when he's going to 1985, he says that to Doc. He returns to the "new" 1985, where his father is successful, and he has hit Biff. He sees himself going to 1955, and that Marty is about to do everything that Marty did in the movie. But here's a question: that Marty lives in the "second timeline", where his father has hit Biff. Why then, in the past, he would say that his father has never hit Biff in his whole life?

Chosen answer: I see two possible explanations. One is simply that the improved George McFly never told Marty the story about how he clocked Biff, perhaps to keep Marty from getting into fights himself. The other explanation is that the 1955 Marty went back to had not yet changed before he came back to the improved 1985. As the slowly-changing photograph illustrates, changes in timelines can be very gradual. Therefore, the only version of 1955 we are able see is the 1955 that the Marty of the original 1985 went back to.

Matty Blast

Question: I always wondered: Is there any footage of Eric Stoltz playing Marty McFly available somewhere?

Chosen answer: The release of the DVD was delayed because of legal issues over the Eric Stoltz footage, which was eventually removed. Stoltz can, in fact, be glimpsed in the final film: in the scene where Marty jumps into the DeLorean to escape the Libyans, that's actually Stoltz.

Sierra1

Question: When Marty is playing "Johnny B. Goode", he is doing guitar moves from different performers. What performers is he imitating?

Chosen answer: It seems to me that he is imitating the following: Chuck Berry (which makes sense), Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and Pete Townsend (the kicking the amp bit.)

Daniel Wilkie

Question: Shouldn't Doc have been severely electrocuted because he touched the lighting bolt when he connected the wires?

Chosen answer: He probably got a good shock, but there have been recorded instances of people being struck by lighting and lived with little or no injuries.

Mark English

Question: Why did they cast Eric Stoltz when they knew they wanted Michael J. Fox? (I know Fox was doing Family Ties)

Chosen answer: Due to his scheduling on Family Ties, Michael J. Fox was not originally available, so they went with their second choice of Eric Stoltz. The studio, however, permitted Fox to film the movie only if it didn't interfere with his obligations to them. So, he filmed Back to the Future at night and on days he wasn't needed at the Family Ties set.

Reformed Dispatcher

Question: When Marty returns to 1985, we see that the "Twin Pines Mall" sign has changed to "Lone Pine Mall," but then Marty sees himself travel to the past. Wouldn't we see it alter the instant the DeLorean vanishes, not before he goes back (because technically, he hasn't changed the past yet)?

Chosen answer: This is a time loop type of question that could be argued for a lifetime. Basically, he did already change the past in the "universe" the movie is set in, so seeing the sign is correct.

Grumpy Scot

Question: When, where, and how did Doc and Marty meet?

Moclava

Chosen answer: It only took me a couple of seconds to find a fan site with a credible answer. Apparently, in an early draft, Marty mentions in passing that Doc hired him to clean out his garage for fifty bucks and total access to his record collection. This scene was presumably never shot, thus the backstory was lost to time. See www.kristensheley.com/bttf/bttfuniverse.html for more extensive info.

Reformed Dispatcher

Question: At the beginning of the movie, the brother is a loser who works at Burger King. At the end, he wears a suit and work at an office. As a presumably successful business man, wouldn't he have moved out of his parents' house?

Chosen answer: Who says he didn't? Perhaps he lives close enough to come over for breakfast each morning. There isn't enough information in the scene to show that he still lives there; he is simply sitting at the table.

Reformed Dispatcher

Question: I'm not going to list this as a mistake since apparently it didn't happen, but George obviously changed his, his wife's, and Biff's future (at least) when he knocked Biff out in 1955. Since right there the timeline would have changed, what are the odds that Marty would still have been in the parking lot driving from the Libyans and going back to 1955? Couldn't Marty have accidentally caused a paradox to destroy the universe?

Chosen answer: Yes, he could have. But some theorize that the function of the universe itself cancels out paradoxes. For example, Larry Niven proposed that time travel can never be developed because by its nature it would constantly cause paradoxes, so natural accidents and twists of fate prevent time travel from being discovered. In this case, it's possible that Marty's life was rewritten to insure that he was in the right place at the right time to prevent a paradox.

Phoenix

Question: I'm intrigued if anyone knows what the experiment was that Doc refers to at the start. He says "my experiment worked - all the clocks are exactly 25 minutes slow". The only thing I can think of is that Doc loaded them all into the time machine or something similar - is there any official answer, or is it just a random comment?

Jon Sandys

Chosen answer: It's just a random comment, and I suppose is also an early indicator that Doc Brown is performing experiments involving time. Whatever, it's certainly nothing that bears any relevance to the rest of the film.

Gaz

Question: In the scene where Marty is being chased around Twin Pines mall by the Libyans why is Marty driving straight towards the 1hr Photo Booth? I'm assuming he doesn't realise the time circuits were on, as he accidentally engaged them when changing gear. If he DID know, why drive 88+ mph knowing you don't have enough plutonium to get back from 1955?

xx:xx:xx

Paul Andrews

Chosen answer: He could have been planning on veering aside at the last second, hoping the Libyans would crash. In any case, it provides a convenient solution to the problem of the Libyans threatening our heroes when Marty returns from the future. :)

Krista

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Quotes

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.

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Mistakes

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.

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Trivia

The farm where Marty arrives in 1955 belongs to a man called Peabody, and he calls his son Sherman; both names are a tribute to "Sherman and Mr. Peabody", two cartoon time travellers.

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