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List of references to Back to the Future (Movies)

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This page is for references to the Back to the Future trilogy in movies.

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

  • When Albert Stark is walking through town at night when he sees strange, bright lights emanating from a nearby barn. He goes to investigate and finds inside the barn -- Doc Brown is fixing the DeLorean and when Stark ask what is he doing, he respond with "weather experiment" (reference to Doc Brown saying "Oh just a little weather experiment")
    • This reference contains two errors: Marty brings the Delorean back to 1885 instead of 1882 (as seen as start of the film) and The Delorean shown in the film is power by Plutonium Chamber instead of Mr. Fusion.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988)

  • When Bill & Ted's time machine of a phone booth enters into another time period, it sinks into the ground and leave a ring of fire where it departed, similar to the Delorean leaving flaming tire tracks.

Bolt (2008)

Death Becomes Her (1992)

  • In this film (also directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis) Helen took her magic potion on October 26, 1985, the pivotal date from the first film.

Fanboys (2009)

  • In a film largely referencing Star Wars, Hutch, while making it with a lady in bed in Las Vegas, claims to possess a "flux capacitor" and that the 1.21 gigawatts "don't come cheap".

Ghost Rider (2007)

  • When Ghost Rider's bike breaks the sound barrier, the license plate falls off and spins.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Jack and the Beanstalk (2010)

I Love You, Man (2009)

  • In the scene where the two characters are playing "Rush" in their garage, one of the characters yells out, "Hey, Chuck, you know that new sound you were looking for?" and falls over, before he can finish the quote, while playing a solo on guitar.

Knocked Up (2007)

  • Ben Stone (played by Seth Rogan), who impregnates Katherine Heigl's character Alison Scott, sits at dinner and begins to discuss Back to the Future with his friend, including references to the DeLorean time machine and the flux capacitor. His fiance's friend then uses similar references to shut him up.

Kopps (2003)

  • In the last scene of this Swedish movie, two guys get into a police car (a Volvo V70) that has been modified into a pizza delivery car; they back up, the wheels come out, and it flies away, swings back and goes right toward the camera. Videoclip

Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh (2008)

  • At a parade, Crazy Steve pulls up to Drake and Josh's float in a DeLorean DMC-12.   Then, the camera makes a close-up examination on the front of the DeLorean similar to the one seen in Back to the Future. When Steve gets back into the car, he immediately drives away. When the car drives away quickly, the license plate falls off and spins around before falling down flat on the roadway.

National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (2006)

  • During the Hastings Cup Trivia Challenge, one of the answers to a question is "The Flux Capacitor".

Rango (2011)

  • Rango enters a bar and is laughed at when he asks for water,  In Back to the Future III. Marty McFly also asks for water and is jeered.

Paul (2011)

  • In one scene of the movie, the characters park their RV behind a sign similar to Lyon Estates sign in 1955.
  • As Paul enters his spaceship to return to his planet, he tells Tara that she is coming with him. Tara hesitates, saying, "I forgot to bring my toothbrush." Paul responds, "Where we're going, we don't need teeth."

The Pagemaster (1994)

  • When Richard enters the library and meets Christopher Lloyd's character, their interaction is an homage to Lloyd's scene in Back to the Future when Marty meets Doc from the 50's. Doc uses a strange machine on his head to guess what Marty has come to him for, guessing again and again incorrectly and not letting him speak. In The Pagemaster, when Richard meets Lloyd's character (the librarian) he also interrupts him and tries to guess what kind of book Richard has come for, also incorrectly, and not letting him get a word in.

The Polar Express (2004)

  • In a scene in the Robert Zemeckis-directed film, the train stops and the frontal tip of the locomotive comes uncomfortably close to the camera. This is a reference to the finale of Back to the Future Part III where the scene is exactly the same.
  • Later, on board the train, Hero Boy (in The Polar Express) pulls the blow horn multiple times, saying "I've wanted to do that my whole life!". This is the same line that Doc Brown delivers after he a pulls the blow horn multiple times as well.
  • There is a flux capacitor in the cab of the locomotive.
  • When Santa is flying, when he tilted up he dissapeared, sparks were left, acting as the flying DeLorean Fire Trails

A Christmas Carol (2009)

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

  • A sequence in this movie is very similar to Back to the Future Part II, but also harkens to It's A Wonderful Life. When Jack Frost tricks Scott into wishing he was never Santa Claus, by holding on to his snowglobe, they both travel back in time 12 years, to the point where Scott killed the last Santa and put on his suit. Jack Frost then becomes the one that distracts the Santa and takes his suit instead, vanishing. Suddenly, Scott is teleported back to the present, but as his old self in a suit and tie, talking to a business associate. His ex-wife no longer talks to him, his son disowns him, and the man who married his wife is now divorced. Scott then finds that the North Pole has been transformed by Jack Frost (now Santa Claus) into a theme park, marketing Christmas for everyone's money (similar to Biff's machinations). After Scott tricks Jack Frost into holding the snowglobe and playing a recording of "I wish I never was Santa Claus", they both return to 12 years prior again. This time, Scott holds back Jack preventing him from stealing the suit, which Scott's younger self finds and wears. After younger Scott takes off in Santa's sleigh, both future Scott and Jack disappear back to the present. When Scott returns as Santa, everything is back to normal.

Teen Wolf (1985)

  • Scott Howard (played by Michael J. Fox) lives in the same house (at 1727 Bushnell Street in Pasadena) where the Baines family lived in Back to the Future.   The scene where Scott is standing atop the "Wolfmobile" is the same street where Marty would later be hit by Sam Baines's car.   Although both films used the same location, the interior of the houses is different.
  • Teen Wolf was actually completed before Back to the Future but shelved for several months before release. This led fans of Michael J. Fox to wonder why he would star in a lower-budget film, not knowing that Back to the Future was shot after Teen Wolf wrapped. The producers of Teen Wolf took advantage of Back to the Future's fame, and the movie posters remarked "he's back from the future" (which would interestingly foreshadow one of the famous quotes from Back to the Future Part II). Fox's character of Scott Howard was even renamed Marty in the Italian language version to capitalize on the huge ticket sales of Back to the Future in Italy.

Yogi Bear (2010)

  • In a scene where Yogi points towards the camera, he says "break the barrier of picnic," this may be a reference to Doc Brown saying "Next Saturday night, we're sending you back to the future!"

Problem Child 2 (1991)

  • When Junior Healy arrives at his sixth grade class, his homeroom teacher Mr. Thorn (played by James Tolkan) is seen writing rules on the blackboard, and at the bottom it says, "No Slackers." Tolkan, who played Mr. Strickland in the Back to the Future series, was fond of calling both Marty and other young men "slackers".

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