This page is for references to the Back to the Future trilogy in television.
- In the episode "The House That Dick Built", Harry is seen reading the Tales from Space comic.
- In the episode "Back to Our Future", Alvin, Simon and Theodore travel in a time machine back to 1957 when their group recorded their first song, and the 1950s Chipmunks take their places in the 1990s. Although the 1990 Chipmunks' slang and singing are seen as strange in the 1950s, the 1957 Chipmunks don't want to leave 1990, until a "Battle of the Bands" between the two groups convinces them they belong in their own time periods. Among the songs in the episode is The Chipmunks rendition of Back in Time.
- See main article: American Dad!
- In Episode 33, a Sharkwoman barfs out a California OUTATIME registration plate.
- In the twelfth season episode, "On This Spot", Francine and Buster were riding on hover scooters which resemble Mattel hoverboards. Also, Arthur Read mentions "1885" on the Sitting Bull performed by Buffalo Bill in Mill Creek.
At the Movies
- See main article: At the Movies
- On The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert is said to "believe Back to the Future is a documentary".
- In Episode 201 "Anthropology 101", Abed wakes up in his room, where a Back to the Future Part II teaser poster can be seen. His first words are "And we're back."
- In Episode 204 "Basic Rocket Science", Abed places a cardboard box around him like a vehicle and an image of a flux capacitor and "1.21 gigawatts" can be seen drawn on the back sheet.
- In Episode 205 "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples", Abed compares Jesus Christ to "Edward Scissorhands and Marty McFly combined".
- In the episode "Chuck Versus the Gravitron", before the Thanksgiving dinner, Morgan tells Ellie that Chuck Bartowski would come walking right through the front door, and at that moment it happens. Wondering what else might come through the door, he wishes for a "flying DeLorean".
- Two episodes later, the title of the episode is "Chuck Versus the DeLorean," and the car features prominently in the plot.
- In the episode "Chuck Versus the Ring", Jeffster gets on stage at Ellie's wedding, and before playing "Mr. Roboto," Jeff tells one of the band members to "watch me for the changes", just like Marty did before playing "Johnny B. Goode" in Back to the Future.
- The ending of "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension" (Episode 12/Season 2) cuts to a screen of a "To Be Continued" card in the fashion of Back to the Future's.
- In the cartoon Danny Phantom episode "Double Cross My Heart," a scene in a bookstore shows a book by George McFly. If Danny's voice sounds similar to that of Marty McFly from the animated series, it's because David Kaufman has done both roles.
- An episode of DH shows Felicity Huffman's character's oldest son reading the Tales from Space comic on their couch.
- In the episode "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist", when the producer fires up his helicopter, it makes the "time circuits on" sound.
- In the episode "Captain Girl", Wooldoor Sockbat takes off in a time traveling car called the Wooldelorean. Right after the car disappears leaving fire trails, another Sockbat, clad in Western gear, runs up behind where the car was, then fades out of existence. When Wooldoor arrives at his destination, the car is covered in ice, just as it was after making its first time travel trip in the first movie. He also runs over a male and female Sockbat, implying that their deaths erased the first Sockbat.
- In the episode "A Tale of Two Cows", Toot Braunstein attends a dance called the Enchantment Under the Seafood dance, a reference to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in the first film.
- In the episode "The Drawn Together Clip Show", clips from past episodes are featured which are displayed with fake airdates which represent some historical or cultural event. One clip is stamped with the date November 5, 1955, the date of Marty's first time travel trip.
- In the episode "The Shakespeare Code", while trying to explain to Martha how the whole world could end in 1599, if they don't stop the Carrionites, the Doctor tells Martha how the situation is changeable, "like in Back to the Future." Martha incredulously asks "The film?" The Doctor sarcastically replies "No, the novelization. Yes, the film!"
- In the Doctor Who spinoff audio "The Kingmaker," the Doctor's companion, Peri, uses Doc Brown's method of sending a letter into the future, mentioning she got the idea "from a film." The idea is reused (and spoofed) throughout the story.
- In the episode "Blink", Sally Sparrow gets a message delivered to her by her best friend Kathy Nightingale's grandson. The message reads that Kathy has been transported back to 1920, and is reminiscent of the one Marty receives at the end of Part II.
- In the episode "The Day of the Doctor", the 11th Doctor says "Right then. Back to the future." as they board the 10th Doctor's TARDIS.
- See main article: Family Guy
- In one episode, the characters are watching Back to the Future on a television.
- In the episode "1977 2000" Chris is idly wondering which of many options for time travel he should use to fix his friend Gus' past. One of the potential time machines he considers is his friend Steve's DeLorean, but he decides not to use it because the left blinker is out, and a hand signal at that speed would ruin his Lee Press-On nails. Instead, Chris chooses to make a drink he calls "time juice", and one of the ingredients is a lock of Michael J. Fox's hair.
- In the episode "Amish Anguish", when the Martins are leaving the Amish town, Glenn says "Jackie, let's take this thing up to 88mph. We're going back to the future!", after which the RV leaves a trail of fire and the license plate spinning, imitating the Delorean Time Machine's first travel.
- In the episode "Back to the Present" (the title being a reference to Back to the Future) has The Jetsons traveling to the past in 2004 from the futuristic year of 2002 (which is a joke referring to how technology in The Jetsons is ironically outdated) to sue the planet for environmental damage. As the family takes leave at the end, they return to the future with the aid of the Delorean.
- See main article: Heroes
- When the family travels back in time to the old west, Wayne Szalinski is asked his name by the town's inhabitants, to which he replies "John Wayne". When his wife Diane gives him a look of disbelief, he asks that if Marty could be Clint Eastwood in Back to the Future Part III, why could he not be John Wayne? Diane remembers the film, and mentions that she didn't like it.
- One of the "Johnny Bravo" logos shown, just as the theme song starts, is a spoof of the Back to the Future logo, complete with backward-pointing arrow.
- In the episode "Old School Johnny", Johnny (who is voiced by James Arnold Taylor) and his two sisters travel back in time to 1845, and discover they don't have a power source to return them home. After several attempts, at generating enough energy, fail (including lightning striking a clock tower, and using a speeding locomotive), they are able to return home. Johnny then discovers, when he fails his history test in school, that they had changed their town's history.
- In the episode entitled "Nocturnal Omission," Kevin James's character, Douglas, finds out from his wife that the wife of his friend Deacon is planning to move back to New Jersey, and reunite with Deacon after two years of separation. Deacon had been rather depressed over the separation, but when Douglas goes to tell Deacon the good news to lift his spirits, he finds Deacon very happy to have recently met a stewardess from London who wanted to come over that night. Douglas decides not to tell Deacon about the wife's impending return, and goes back home, where Douglas's wife confronts him when she finds out that he didn't tell Deacon the news. In the argument, Douglas states that they have no right to go back in time and change destiny and adds "If we learned anything from Back to the Future, it's that!"
- In the episode "Tank", Stitch takes Mertle for a ride in his car. At one point, the car takes off into the air with the wheels folded down in a manner similar to the flying cars from 2015 seen in Back to the Future Part II.
- In Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, a flux capacitor is mentioned by H.G. Wells when repairing his time machine.
- In the episode "The Constant," Desmond's consciousness repeatedly time travels between his 2004 (the present) self and his 1996 self. The 2004 version of Daniel Faraday tells Desmond to seek out his 1996 counterpart for further instruction, and gives Desmond a series of equations to convince 1996-Daniel that he is from the future, in the same manner that Marty convinces Doc Brown.
- In the fifth season, several characters physically time travel to 1977. Hurley checks his hand in the same manner as Marty, because he fears his actions will somehow erase him from existence. An agitated Miles explains that time travel in their universe does not work the same way as Back to the Future.
- The team renovated a DeLorean, and shouted "Save the clock tower!" He later gets a model used in the film.
- In an episode of 'Malcolm in the Middle', Hal cashes in his life insurance policy to spend at Vegas and tells Lois he got a bonus from work for an idea to outsource flux capacitors, saving the boss a lot of money.
- In the episode "TransBOREmores 3: Dark of the Blue Moon/The Walking Fred", one of the things listed on the portal list was 1955, which is a reference to the first movie in the trilogy.
- In the episode "Frost/Undercover Clause", a Flux Capacitor can be seen in both of the time machines in one of the show's sketches.
- In the episode "Betty White & the Huntsman/Ancient Greek MythBusters", Perseus uses the DeLorean Time Machine to travel and spends time on a hoverboard in the 2015 Hill Valley.
- In the episode "Men in Black to the Future/Pokémon of Interest", Back to the Future gets spoofed along with Men in Black 3.
- In the Spy vs. Spy sketch in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Icarus/Adjustment Burro", the Black Spy uses the DeLorean Time Machine to alter the past in order to defeat the White Spy.
- In one episode, Jesse and his crew attempted to build a hovercraft topped with the frame of a DeLorean. The vehicle was not a success, and was crushed by an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) at the end of the episode, not too dissimilar from the destruction of the time machine at the end of Back to the Future Part III. In truth, the night before the wrecking, the parts had been traded out for scrap ones.
- In one episode, Gonzo imagines he's driving the DeLorean time machine. The episode has similarities to the film, where the Babies accidentally spill hot chocolate on a 1955 picture of Nanny when she worked as a carhop waitress, so they figure they ought to travel back to 1955 to take a replacement picture. Their replacement picture actually turns out to be a reenactment of Piggy serving Kermit in a car, but Nanny appreciates their thoughtfulness and adds it to her 1950s collection, and reveals she was able to save the original photo from damage. The outro scene shows Gonzo wearing a radiation suit, and having wild hair very similar to that of Doc Brown.
- In the 15th episode of Season 2 "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000," Flim accuses Granny Smith of being a chicken. Granny Smith has a similar reaction to what Marty McFly has when people call him a chicken.
- In the 22nd episode of Season 5 "What About Discord," when Twilight Sparkle is looking for a way to experience the previous weekend from a different perspective, Pinkie Pie suggests the use of time travel while dressed in Marty McFly's wardrobe and makes the pose seen on the movie posters.
- In Episode 105 (Viral Hour) of the seventh season, Adam mentions a hoverboard as a future test.
- Adam apologizes for the crudity of his models as he has not had time to make them to scale or to paint them.
- In the Season 2 episode "Valentine's Day," Michael Scott makes a video presentation for a corporate meeting. At the end of the video, a logo flashes up that reads "Great Scott Productions" and a voice says "Great Scott!"
- In the episode "It's About Time!", Candace asks, "You mean to tell me, you built a time machine that has to be plugged in?!", which references the BTTF line "Are you telling me you built a time machine.. out of a DeLorean?"
- The episode "Journey to the Bottom of Buford" focuses on the kids retrieving Buford's pet goldfish, named Biff. The fish's name and Buford's possibly refer to Biff and Buford.
- In the episode "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted", Phineas and Ferb change their mother's station wagon into a flying car entitled "Flying Car of the Future Today". Later on that episode, Candace drives that car, and the Back to the Future theme song can be heard.
- In the episode "Phineas and Ferb's Quatom Boogaloo", when they use the time machine and travel to the future, they see flying cars. When they go inside Candace's future house, the door automatically opens and Phineas says "The Future", similar to what Marty McFly does when he visits 2015.
- In the episode, "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World", when the two toy monster trucks appear from light speed, they appear in a similar manner to the DeLorean, with flaming tire tracks and the flash of blue light.
- Early on in the Power Rangers Zeo episode "Revelations of Gold", detectives Bulk and Skull were reading comics in their downtime. The latter was reading Tales from Space.
- In January 2013, in Season 3, the series ran a Back to the Future-themed episode ("Credit Where Credit is Due") featuring Christopher Lloyd.
Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja
- There is an episode in the series titled "Stank'd to the Future", and a student is thawed out from the 1980's. Also, in the episode there is a song called "The Thing About Stuff", which is an obvious parody to "The Power of Love ".
- In the episode "Skips vs. Technology", Skips rides in a Delorean.
- In some episodes, there is a mall called the "Two Peaks Mall", a parody of "Twin Pines Mall"
- In the episode "Skips' Story", Skips helped set up a dance which was called "Enchantment Under the Sea."
- See main article: Robot Chicken
- Michael J. Fox was the host for the episode of March 16, 1991, and the subject of a skit  based on the recently completed trilogy. The premise: Fox is giving the opening monologue, and the jokes are terrible. Doc Brown (played by Kevin Nealon) rushes in and shouts "Michael! Michael! Don't do it!" Doc is accompanied by Michael "from 90 minutes in the future!" (played by Dana Carvey), and they warn Fox that the show will be terrible, which will cause a chain reaction which will ultimately ruin Fox's acting career. The three of them leave the stage and (with the help of an animated DeLorean) arrive at NBC Studios a week earlier, to warn the earlier Michael (played by David Spade) not to do the show. Lorne Michaels does not know what to make of this, particularly not after seeing three Michaels, and remarks "I do not know who to give this gigantic bag of money to." The sight of a giant comical money sack convinces Doc and three Michaels to accept fate and do the show, so they fly back to March 16 in the DeLorean. The monologue ends with Fox, Carvey and Spade saying in unison "We've got a great show! Black Crowes are here, so stick around, we'll be right back!"
- In The Wild Brood, the runaway train scene appears to be a parody of the train scene on Back to the Future III (1990); the scene of the runaway locomotive derailing off the damaged trestle and graphically exploding among impact resembles the train explosion from the same movie.
- In one episode, they mention many refenernces to the trilogy, like Mcfly, Flux Capiciror, Enchatment under the Sea, hoverboards, the "Roads" quote.
- In the Smallville episode Reckoning, Clark re-lives one day twice. When he explains this to his friend Chloe, she says "Hold on, McFly!", before asking him to give her the full details of the experience.
- In the episode "Goobacks," humans from the future time-travel to the present. Their time-travel method is declared to follow "Terminator rules, that is it's one way only and you can't go back. This is in contrast to, say, Back to the Future rules, where back-and-forth is possible, and of course Timerider rules, which are just plain silly."
- In the Stargate Atlantis episode "Before I Sleep", Major Sheppard brings up the DeLorean in a discussion about time travel, to which Dr. McKay responds, "Do not get me started on that movie!" Later, when they find out about a time-travelling puddle jumper, Sheppard calls its added component the "flux capacitor."
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "200", when Carter reels off a string of technobabble to explain why the gate isn't working, Martin Lloyd mishears "capacitors" as "flux capacitor."
- In season 1 episode 7, Eli Wallace talks about his top 5 movies and mentions Back to the Future.
- See main article: Star Trek
- In the season 4 episode "In the Beginning" Dean Winchester is taken back in time to the year 1973 by the Angel Castiel, causing Dean to question whether the angels "got their hands on some DeLoreans". In 1973 he encounters a younger version of his father, John Winchester, in a cafe much like Marty's encounter with George. Furthermore, someone also calls out "Hey, Winchester!" causing both to turn, echoing the "Hey, McFly!" moment. Finally, when Dean reveals that he is from the future, the demon Azazel calls him "Future Boy" referencing 1955 Doc's name for Marty.
- In the season 5 episode, "The End" Dean is transported to the year 2014 from 2009 by the angel Zachariah. When this is revealed to Dean, he retorts "I thought I smelled your stink on this 'Back To the Future' crap!".
- In the season 5 episode "The Song Remains the Same", both Sam and Dean Winchester travel back to 1978 to save their parents from the angel Anna, who wishes to prevent the birth of Sam and Dean. When fellow angel Castiel discovers when she is, he explains that there may be some difficulty in taking the brothers with him. Dean references this being like "a DeLorean without enough plutonium".
- In the season 6 episode "Frontierland" Sam and Dean travel to 1861 to collect the ashes of a phoenix, which can be used to kill the mother of monsters, Eve. The need for the specific time was due to the fact that phoenixes are rare and the death of one had been documented at this date. Here, Dean uses the alias "Clint Eastwood" as a reference to both the actor and Marty's choice. Later in the episode, the brothers were unable to claim the ashes of the phoenix after its death, Sam receives a parcel in the mail, which had specific instructions for the date and time of delivery, much like the ending of Back to the Future Part II. In the parcel Sam receives his phone that he accidently left in 1861, a note explaining the parcel and the phoenix ashes.
- In the season 7 episode "Time After Time" Dean is transported to 1944 by Chronos, the god of time. Whilst in 1944, Dean notices that Chronos has been taking note of the winners of certain races, calling it the "Biff Strategy" as a reference to Biff Tannen and the almanac. Later in the episode, when Dean comes to the realisation that he may be stuck in 1944, he notices a pile of letters and says "Back to the Future 3" in reference to the letter that Doc wrote to Marty. The date that Dean wrote the letter is November 5th 1944, which is the same day, 11 years earlier than Marty's first visit to 1955.
- In the season 8 episode "As Time Goes By" Henry Winchester, the brothers' grandfather, arrives in 2013 from 1958 whilst escaping the demon Abaddon. To achieve this, Henry used a blood spell, which harnesses the power of the soul. Upon discovering that he was not meant to return to 1958 and that his son, John, grew up without his presence, Henry escapes from the brothers. Dean guesses that Henry was going to "whip up another one of those blood spells and Marty McFly himself back to the 1950s."
- Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunite in an episode entitled "Back to the Future Part IV: Judgement Day", which aired February 23, 1999.
- In the episode, Lloyd plays Mike's old political mentor who claimed to be the son of God. This episode had several references to time, and the film trilogy for which both of them are remembered; for instance, when they greet at the start of the show Fox remarks "It's just like stepping back in time." Lloyd then tells Fox: "The past is prologue, Michael. Men like us have got to keep looking.... to the future."
- "The Nerdvana Annihilation": Leonard Hofstadter, feeling like he needs to give up his comics and other geek memorabilia to impress Penny, tells Sheldon Cooper that guys with a time machine (referring to him and his friends acquiring the time machine prop from The Time Machine) generally don't get women. Sheldon responds with several movie examples including how Marty had a chance to hook up with "his extremely attractive young mother" because of the Delorean.
- "The Hofstadter Insufficiency": The episode starts with Sheldon Cooper having a dream where he is calling to ask Leonard (who is on a ship) if he put the Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III DVDs in the wrong cases.
- "The Focus Attenuation": Sheldon, Leonard and their friends, Howard Wolowitz and Raj Koothrappali decide to have a science retreat to come up with ideas for inventions. Sheldon brings up how some scientific inventions have been inspired by science fiction, with Raj eventually bringing up how several ideas in 2015 from Back to the Future Part 2 haven't been invented as 2015 is a year away. The four decide to watch the film with the opening theme briefly playing before they pause as Howard is confused how Old Biff returned to the future that he left, despite altering the timeline. Sheldon gives an explanation, though his use of past and future tense results in confusing Leonard and Howard. Raj understands the explanation and agrees with Sheldon, as well as thinking that Biff is a weird name and stating that it sounds more like the noise made when a Pillsbury Dough Box is opened.
The Earth Day Special
- See main article: The Earth Day Special
- In the episode "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker", after Timmy Turner time-travels to the 1980s, the DeLorean time machine is seen. In the same episode, it is revealed that the worst day of Mr. Crocker's life, when he loses his godparents, happened March 15, 1972, one year before Biff shot George McFly in Part II.
- In the episode "Moooving Day", Timmy gets on a Segway, he turns it on and it displays stuff on a screen. The last thing it shows before he moves is Flux Capacitor with a graph under it.
- In the episode "Land Before Timmy," the gang is stuck in prehistoric times and the fairies' wands are out of power. Wanda says that the wands need "1.21 wish-o-watts (jigowatts) of power to power their Wish Capacitors.
- In the episode "Dread and Breakfast," Timmy, Cosmo, Wanda and Poof come through a portal, into Timmy's room, in the DeLorean, with the flaming tire tracks and everything. However, a portal was never used in any of the films.
- At the end of the live-action telefilm adaptation A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!, as Timmy, Tootie, and the fairies drive off in their van, it takes off into the sky and flies at the camera the same way the DeLorean did at the end of Part I.
- In the episode "Timmy's Secret Wish", when everyone becomes younger again, we see Timmy's parents change, and it says "Back to Normal", in the same style of the Back to the Future logo.
- See main article: The Simpsons
- In "Hero of the Rails", Hiro said to Thomas "That's a very long story." This was the same sentence what Marty uses.
- In the episode "Toby's New Whistle", Toby's bell is broken, and as there are none spare, he has to make do with a whistle instead. Toby is even more put off when James explains that it is a very loud 3-chime steam whistle (which is the same whistle as Locomotive 131), as the old tram engine hates loud noises.
- The third episode is titled "Track to the Future".
- In an episode of Animaniacs, Plucky Duck learns to perform a flashback, and flashes back to the era of World War II, then to prehistoric times, along with Buster Bunny. Buster replies to the situation with "You shouldn't mess around with time too much. Remember what happen in Back to the Future?" His reply also happens to be a reference to a previous episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, "A Ditch in Time".
- In the Season 1 episode "ReTRUEnion," Ryan is trying to prove that a computer technician (who uses gibberish so people will think he is real) is a fraud. When the "technician" says "If I didn't know about computers, would I know how to rewire a flux capacitor?", Ryan replies "That's from Back to the Future!"
- In "Too Many Fergys", Les Galagoogoo puts away the time machine in his van and leaves fire trails in disappearence.
- In 2014, Phones 4U used the DeLorean time machine to help sell phones by showing customers their improved lives in the future.
- In 2015 the government of the Australian state of New South Wales utilized the Delorean time machine as part of an advertising campaign to discourage drink driving.