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7(ish) Things I’ve Always Wondered about: Back To The Future

When Chris posted Doc Brown’s Open Letter to Marty McFly, I was inspired, NAY, determined to share with you, my fellow nerds, 7 things that have always bothered me about one of our all time favorite movies.  However, when looking closer at Back to the Future… I found a little more than 7 so please enjoy the following…

7(ish) Things  I’ve Always Wondered about: Back To The Future

Next up: a nickels worth of "FREE" advice. Seems to me that advices just cost him a tardy.

1: Im not even going to ask the obvious question of what a 17 year old is doing at the 70 year old scientists house at 8AM on a school-day, no that would be too easy. The first question is and must be, what kind of experiment is Doc running to see if his clocks are all running precisely 25 minutes slow?  None, if you ask me.  I think he was just trying to mess with Marty.  I mean, great, all of your clocks are slow.  Did your entire garage/apartment/lab travel 25 minutes into the future? Or did you painstakingly put each clock into the Delorean one at time?  No.   I’ll tell you what you did, you took every clock in your garage/apartment/lab and turned them 25 minutes back.  Like a dick. You knew all along that would make 4 tardys in a row for Marty. Didn’t you!?By the way what happens after 4 tardys in a row?



Why Does original George McFly have his shit together enough to Dye his hair? Yet new and improved George lets the gray loose like an old fart. Perhaps its a discovered self confidence that comes with punching your wife’s attempted rapist.  But I chalk it up to pure laziness.

2: Marty agrees to meet his pal Doc in the parking lot of the Twin Pines mall at 1:30 in the morning. Now, a question I have been asking for 24 years must be addressed.  How does Doc get in contact with Libyans? The 1985 equivalent of craigslist aka the Sunday classifieds in the Hill Valley Gazette? “Libyan terrorist sect seeks scientist with knowledge of physics and a love of laughter to build us a large nuclear device. You supply the smarts we supply the plutonium, and laughs ; ) No fatties: replies without pics will be deleted”  I invite you all to write your own versions in the comments section.  Flip it around if you like.  Wide eyed scientist seeking plutonium…

I said "NO FATTIES!"

3: OK, so I buy Emmit L Brown as a scientist with a wonderful imagination and the deep knowledge of general sciences and temporal theory necessary  to create time travel in his garage/apartment/lab. That brings us to the explanation of the time vehicle and what dates one could travel to, if so inclined.  Doc claims Nov 5, 1955 is a red letter date in Science, then, has a pause and laughingly remembers falling off the toilet and coming up with the Flux Capacitor…  Seems like he knew exactly what happened.  Nice acting “oh my god now I remember how great I am, inventing time travel and all.” Dick.

I almost forgot to tell you how fucking awesome I am!

Side note:

Jump to Doc is lying dead:  Thanks again, Terrorists. Marty is on the run.  In the only available vehicle (that just happens to be a time traveling DeLorean)  As you can see from the provided still, Marty makes no attempt to avoid hitting the photo developing booth, 87 miles per hour right past Doc’s lifeless body.  Lucky for him, he goes back in time just quick enough for it to turn into an old harmless albeit frightening scarecrow.  Nice “accidental” Time travel there Marty.

Turn Right? Nahhh.

4: In 1955 Marty sets in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his family. Nov 5, 1955 is not only the day that Doc had a vision of the Flux Capacitor, but also the day that George and Loraine were to meet and fall in love. However, with Marty in 1955, he tries to save his dad from being hit by his grandfather’s car only to wind up under it himself.  Something to wonder: Mr Baines says “another one of these damned kids jumped in front of my car.”  Does that mean that guys were always in the tree peeping at Leah Thompson? (A plausible theory, she was über hot in the 80’s and known to take her top off. See:”All the Right Moves” ’83) Or was Mr Baines a closeted alcoholic that often ran over teenage boys? I think the latter is the more likely.

Ah, the days of the drinking lunch.

5: Biff just tells George to go away so he can rape the shit out of his future wife…. Yes Folks RAPE.  Last I  checked, rape was one of those “horrible” crimes.  You know the kind we put people in jail for long long periods of time. Now, I’m no science guy,  but in the future Im not going to let the guy who attempted to rape my wife hang around and wax my BMW Let alone my kids super sweet 4×4.  The rapist is spending as much time AWAY from my wife and 3 kids as possible.

Hey, Let's hang out in 30 years, I'll wax your car!

6: Upon his return to 1985 Marty wakes up on a seemingly average Saturday morning only to find everything has changed. Marty asks “What are you wearing dave?”  and Dave says “Its a suit Marty, I always wear a suit to the office”   Really Dave? well its Saturday. No one goes to the office on a Saturday.  Where are you really going Dave? And why did you look at your brother like you were better than him just because he fell asleep in his clothes again. Who are you anyway? You still live at home and share the car with your parents.

What are you wearing, asshole?

7: Apparently Biff is no longer mid-level management requiring “reports” to be written by George McFly only to be retyped by Biff.  I mean do you realize what would happen to Biff if he handed in a report in George’s handwriting?  Me either.  Well, apparently the 300 bucks damage to his car caused by Marty’s trip to 1955 and subsequent skateboard chase through Hill Valley square, made him so enraged and upset, he started his own auto detailing company to stop these cutthroat price gouging car detailers.  In this new 1985, Biff has spent the last 30 years trying to pass the savings onto you!  Who cares if he tried to rape someone once?  Obviously not George, thanks to the 2nd coat of wax on his 84 BMW 535i.

Passing the savings onto you!

Bonus observations:

-Yes he is a scientist but i still maintain there is no way to connect a 1985 video camera to a 1955 television.

-Who unplugs the juke box when Biff walks in, only to plug it in as soon as Marty books it out of Lou’s? Isn’t that the best time to run outside and watch some shit go down? not stand inside and listen to the rest of  “Mr. Sandman.”

-Marty now has to make out with his mother to save his future, Just before Biff returns  to the story to rape Lorraine. I guess 300 bucks damage to his car means “time for  a rapin’”

-Biff’s  friends don’t wanna mess with no reefer addicts,  and quite frankly neither do I.

-If I’m Doc Brown, I’m not chancing Marty returning to the future in an 84 (I mean 82, as Rob points out in the comments DeLorean shut down in 83) DeLorean hitting a cable at the precise moment a bolt of lightning hits a metal rod.  I’m making a really, really long cable.  side note, i was bored so i timed it, the DeLorean takes 45.3 seconds to get to 61 mph.

-Upon his return to 1985 Marty has about 200 feet to go from 88 to 0 on slick pavement…  He’s not merely putting the front end of the Delorean through the Movie theatre/church of christ,  the Delorean would be imbedded in the distant hills  behind the town square….

Final side note:

I would also like to see the 2 off camera mental breaks George McFly suffered In 1966 and 1977 respectively when  the Planet Vulcan appeared in Star Trek and Darth Vader showed up on screen in Star Wars.  Wouldn’t you be confused after Darth Vader came down from the planet Vulcan and said he would melt George’s brain if he didn’t ask Lorraine out to the enchantment under the sea dance, If I were George I would sue the pants of Gene Rodenberry and George Lucas.

Get out of my head, Roddenberry!

Images: Universal

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  1. snowSensei says:

    I always believed that George assumed that Darth Vader had visited other earthlings (such as George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry) and influenced events in the same way that he did for him. Thus, George would write Star Wars and Gene would write Star Trek in the same way that McFly was influenced to write A Match Made in Space… in fact… the success of Star Wars and Star Trek might have even encouraged George to write about his own adventures with Darth Vader.

  2. Hoog says:

    Why would Doc keep running his automated dog feeding contraption if he had his dog with him? And also…why is Huey Lewis not around as much anymore?

  3. bribig says:

    No one mentioned the most disturbing discrepancies in the movie. Doc had an automated system in his lab that had been running for, apparently, days. There were many dog food cans in the trash and a great big pile of dog food. Where had Doc been for days and why didn’t Marty know about it, since he spent a lot of time with him? Also, how did the dog food can lid get removed from the can opener?

  4. spiffster says:

    Did George at any point get suspicious that Marty not only had the name of her old flame, but looked just like him?

  5. Beep says:

    why would george and lorraine name their kid after a guy that lorraine was interested in for a while………..

  6. Lana says:

    The twin pine mall, lone pine mall question… Did you ever notice Doc mentioning Old man Peebody and how he remembers when where the mall was it was all Old man peebody’s tree farm? and his crazy idea about breeding pine trees? Well when Marty goes into the past to the farm and almost shot by the farmer, he peels out of the farm he runs over ONE of the TWO pine trees at the end of old man peebodys driveway……. hmmmmm, 😉

  7. Josh says:

    Wait, was Mary’s plan to sexually assault his own mother? that’s really screwed up.

  8. Boba Fett says:

    I dont understand why folks keep on with the “attempted rape” crap. The movie was rated PG, in no way were they ever going to infer that rape was going to occur, sexual harassment at best, not to mention that George clocked biff which in his and Lorraines eyes was enough. Also, since Lorrain was caught ofguard and cornered in a small space in the car, i would hav eonly given her a matter of time before she opened a can of whoop-ass on biff like you see her do othe rtimes in the movie.

  9. amy says:

    Nice try, but “reefer” is not addictive, nor does it make you dangerous. I would be more worried if they had been drinking than if they had been smoking something that would make you relaxed and friendly. Biff and his gang were living in the time of reefer madness – which is why Biff’s gangs respose was so uninformed and laughable – I take it you are not.

  10. b-rye says:

    ^^ At the end, he showed Marty that he had retaped the note and said “I figured ‘what the hell!'”

  11. Zoe says:

    lol these are good arguements. Here’s another one- How did Doc know to wear a bulletproof vest? He ripped up the letter after all.

  12. Kyle Bown says:

    “Sometime I’ve always wondered. If George prevented the rape in the altered (Lone Pine Mall) time line did he fail to do so in the original Twin Pines Mall time line?”

    I don’t think it happened at all in the original timeline. In the original timeline, Lorraine’s dad hit George with the car. George stuck around (when Marty got out of there ASAP). Therefore Biff doesn’t run into Lorraine getting her dress and may not even show up to the dance. There’s too many unknowns and too many small things that wouldn’t have happened. So my take is, no, there is no rape (or attempted rape) in the original tiemline.

  13. -Di. says:

    FYI: updated link to Chris’ letter:

    On a side note: I wonder if anyone enjoys anything just for its own sake. These are all valid points.

    I still like the movie. Perhaps it is a guilty pleasure of mine?

    @Aaron: I think people tend to forget things over time. It makes sense that they would not recognize Marty of 1955 in their son.

  14. Aaron says:

    I have always thought that if Lorraine and George go ahead and name their kid Marty (after all it is the name of the guy who helped them meet) there would ultimately be some point as he grew up that they would start to realize that their son looks exactly like a guy that they once knew and was a really important person in their lives as a couple.

  15. Gerwalk says:

    Something, not Sometime…yesh!

  16. Gerwalk says:

    Sometime I’ve always wondered. If George prevented the rape in the altered (Lone Pine Mall) time line did he fail to do so in the original Twin Pines Mall time line?

  17. Bandido says:

    Here’s another one : Why didn’t the Doc die when he was plugging the cables and the lightning threw him to the floor ?

  18. Phill says:

    I just now listened to Chris’s appearance on Comedy And Everything Else and came over here to read this article, which is great and I mostly agree with. My only quibble is that it is 100% possible to connect a 1955 television to a 1985 video camera.

  19. matt says:

    in response to the final side note, i believe since Marty claims to be Darth Vader from planet Vulcan, giving George the mental push he needed and thus allowing him to write the SciFi novel he had always wanted to, featuring Marty’s “creation”, both Star Trek and Star Wars cease to exist in 1985 when Marty returns.

  20. tony richard says:

    If you remeber the begining of the movie when Marty goes to Docs and sees the drasticly over filled dog bowl and papers for days….Then when he meets up with Doc at the mall Marty asked Doc where he had been…Well building a time machine of course. How long to you think it takes to build a time machine???

  21. Chuck says:

    In regards to ‘why was Marty at Doc’s at 8am?’
    The question is answered by the unasked one: Why would a scientist be building a giant guitar amplifier?
    A guitarist will tell you that you need to practice almost daily to keep your skills proper. Marty seems to like really loud amplifiers, so he was probably referred to Doc by a guitar shop as the guy to see.
    Then, it opens up the question of, if Marty and Doc had been hanging out, how or why had Doc never revealed to Marty about the Delorean?
    This is, of course, referring to:
    Doc #1 (dead Doc) who had no note, didn’t know Marty before 1985. Just a helpful mad scientist helping Marty build a really loud guitar amplifier.

    Doc #2 (bulletproof Doc) had a note, knew Marty from the past, and indeed would have kept the project secret.

    And of course, there’s the matter of November 6th, 1985, where there’s a mall parking lot with a crashed van full of (dead?) Libyans,
    Doc Brown’s work van nearby, and a elevated amount of background radiation (and the lead-lined radiation container)

    No wonder Doc took off to the future almost immediately. He was wanted for questioning.

  22. Jeff says:

    “No. I’ll tell you what you did, you took every clock in your garage/apartment/lab and turned them 25 minutes back. Like a dick.”

    LOL, amazing!

  23. Grommon says:

    Yup, it’s official… my childhood has been molested by bears.

  24. Grover says:

    To add to the geekery, if Marty came back to the future in a 1984 Delorean then he definitely changed the future for more than his family and their immediate contacts. Deloreans were only produced from 1981-1983.”

    Which would only be meaningful if they also went out and found all the existing Deloreans and crushed them into cubes when they closed down the production plant. Existing cars don’t cease to exist once they stop producing new ones. He could have bought it used, or bought it back in 82 and been working on it for two years. Or is there a deleted scene of them on a Delorean car lot I missed?

    another one of these damned kids jumped in front of my car.

    See, I always assumed this was a classic 50’s cranky dad joke that purposefully doesn’t make sense. It’s actually one of my favorite lines.

  25. Matthew Mira says:

    As far as why they didn’t recognize Marty? I think George did, In fact, I think he was very suspicious that Calvin Klein blew through Hill Valley for a passionate night in the late 60’s with Lorraine, and resented her ever since, hence them only having 3 kids.