- "On Marty's left [at the dinner table] sat Linda, nineteen, who was cute in a kind of sleazy way, partly because she invariably wore too much eye shadow. Marty tried to remember when he had last seen her without either purple or green eyelids, and he finally gave up."
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 34)
Linda McFly is the middle child, and only daughter, of George and Lorraine McFly. She was born in 1966 in Hill Valley, California and is the younger sister of Dave and elder sister of Marty. She graduated from Hill Valley High School in 1984.
Linda took after her mother in that she liked boys, and was always wondering how to get a boyfriend. She liked wearing eye shadow — a lot — and had thick glasses. She did not like to be the "answering service" for her family on the phone, but otherwise very little is known about her.
By 1985, she did not appear to be doing much with her life. It is unknown whether she was in college or if she had a job, but she did not have a boyfriend as of 1985. Linda had heard the story of how her parents fell in love "a million times", judging the circumstances around how they first met ridiculous due to her maternal grandfather hitting her father with a car, yet still could not remember the name of the dance, which she recalled as the "Fish Under the Sea" dance, which is somewhat understandable as the dance occurred three decades ago and her expression of "a million times" is likely intentional sarcasm at being subject to hear redundancy of the romance of her parents. However, she did correctly state that the dance was the same night as the infamous electrical storm that hit the clock tower, which seemed more plausible to remember than the dance as the storm made its mark in Hill Valley history, and was a key point for the Hill Valley Preservation Society.
After Marty changed the events of the past and returned, her parents were much more confident, and so was Linda. She now had a job at a boutique, and had gained the attention of multiple boys —— including Paul, Greg and Craig. She appeared a lot happier, she no longer wore glasses (presumably wearing contact lenses instead), and her dress sense was much improved in this reality.
Marty did not see Linda during his few hours in 1985A, but heard Biff refer to her in an argument with Lorraine. In the alternate 1985, Biff had been stepfather to the McFly kids after George's death in 1973. Biff threatened that if Lorraine left him, his revenge on Linda would be to "cancel all her credit cards" (he implied that she had financial problems as he said "she can solve her problem with the bank by herself"), as well as to have her put in jail. It was implied that Linda was likely living beyond her means having a rich stepfather; however, Biff did not care for Linda the same way her true father, George, did and would easily threaten to cut her off. The statement about her problems with the bank meant Biff was probably bailing her out, albeit grudgingly, in 1985A.
Marty restored the second timeline by taking the almanac from Biff in 1955, but did not see Linda again until his return to 1985 (after spending several more days in 1955 and in 1885). Marty spoke with his sister briefly as she and the rest of the family were on their way to Sunday brunch. Linda was surprised to see Marty's cowboy outfit and wondered why he had worn it "to the lake", where had been Marty's original plan for spending the weekend.
In the 1986B timeline, George mentions that Linda left the oppression of First Citizen Brown's Hill Valley and moved into an all women's boarding house. (This was a likely in-joke reference to Wendie Jo Sperber's time on the TV show Bosom Buddies. Another idea had been to say she became a flight attendant in reference to her lesser known film Stewardess School.)
Behind the scenes
- Linda McFly was portrayed by the late Wendie Jo Sperber (1958-2005), who had worked with Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis in their three prior films. Sperber died of breast cancer at the age of 47.
- In the commentary for Back to the Future Part II, Bob Gale suggested that had Linda appeared in 1985A, she would probably have been a hooker. However, Sperber was unavailable for work when Part II was being filmed in 1988, because she was pregnant.
- Linda was more prominently mentioned in the draft script for Part II, where she would have been seen in 2015 and in 1967. Notes in the draft script describe her as "21/2" in September 1967, making her 21 rather than 19 in October 1985, suggesting that she was twenty years old when she graduated high school in 1984.
- Back to the Future
- Back to the Future Part II (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future Part III
- Back to the Future: The Card Game
- Back to the Future: The Game
- Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 2: Get Tannen! (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 3: Citizen Brown (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
- Harold McFly (paternal medieval ancestor)
- Jennivere McFly (paternal medieval ancestor)
- Martin McFly (paternal great-great-granduncle)
- Pee Wee McFly (paternal great-granduncle)
- Seamus McFly (paternal great-great-grandfather)
- Maggie McFly (paternal great-great-grandmother)
- William McFly (paternal great-grandfather)
- Arthur McFly (paternal grandfather)
- Sylvia McFly (paternal grandmother)
- Sam Baines (maternal grandfather)
- Stella Baines (maternal grandmother)
- Milton Baines (maternal uncle)
- Sally Baines (maternal aunt)
- Toby Baines (maternal uncle)
- Joey Baines (maternal uncle)
- Ellen Baines (maternal aunt)
- George McFly (father)
- Lorraine Baines McFly (mother)
- Mr. Parker (uncle-in-law)
- Dave McFly (brother)
- Marty McFly (brother)
- Jennifer Parker (sister-in-law)
- Marlene McFly (niece)
- Marty McFly Jr. (nephew)
- Marta McFly (great-grandniece)
Notes and references
| The McFly Family|
Marty McFly | George McFly | Lorraine Baines McFly | Jennifer Parker | Seamus McFly | Maggie McFly
Dave McFly | Linda McFly | Martin McFly, Jr. | Marlene McFly | Arthur McFly
| The Brown Family|
Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown | Clara Clayton Brown | Jules Brown | Verne Brown | Einstein
| The Tannen Family|
Biff Tannen | Buford Tannen | Griff Tannen | Irving "Kid" Tannen
| The Strickland Family|
James Strickland | Roger Strickland | Irene Strickland | Edna Strickland | Gerald Strickland
Match, Skinhead & 3-D | Goldie Wilson | Douglas J. Needles