- "What are you looking at, butthead?"
- —Biff to Marty on several encounters
"Butthead" was a word used by Biff Tannen repeatedly to describe anyone that he disliked.
History and Usage
Marty McFly heard this expression used a total of 11 times. Biff inflicted the insult on Marty in 1985 and 1955 in parallel situations when asking what he was looking at. Then, 2015 Biff used that word three times, once when addressing his younger self in 1955. In 1985A, Biff used that expression once. Biff used that word three more times in 1955, twice when protesting his older self's use of that expression. Finally, on Marty's return to 1985, Biff used that word once, before realizing that it was Marty who approached him.
In 1986, Marty is about to play his guitar only for Biff to interrupt and calls him Chuck Butthead.
In the 1986B timeline, a brainwashed Biff tells Marty that he used to be a real butthead.
While in 1864, Verne Brown noticed Beauregard Tannen's use of "buttocks brains" and corrected him with the more proper "butthead". Tannen liked how it sounded and so his family lineage began its usage of the term.
Behind the scenes
Animator Mike Judge, who created the series Beavis and Butt-head in 1993, stated in a 1994 interview that he had based the character's name, not on Biff's experession, but on two persons whom he knew in college at the University of California at San Diego, one of whom was nicknamed "Butt Head". Judge graduated in 1985, prior to the release of Back to the Future.
The adjective "butt-headed" was applied to goats (who would butt heads when fighting), as well as to rams and cows whose horns were curled back over their head. In the 1950s, "butt-headed" was used as a synonym for "stubborn". Less commonly, a "butt-headed" cow would sometimes be described as a "butthead", although it is more likely that Biff meant the expression as a synonym for a "butthole" or "asshole".
In the edited for television airing of Back to the Future Part III, Marty's response to Jennifer about says "Do you think I'm stupid enough to race that Butthead?", rather than asshole.
- Back to the Future
- Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future Part III
- Back to the Future: The Animated Series
- Back to the Future comic series
- Back to the Future: The Ride
- Back to the Future: The Game