- Marty: "Oh, this is heavy, Doc. I mean, it's just like I was just here yesterday."
- Doc: "You were here yesterday, Marty, you were!"
- — Marty and Doc returning to 1955
Traveling in the DeLorean time machine, Marty McFly spends approximately three weeks of his life visiting different time periods on a spectrum of 130 years. Because the trilogy is seen from Marty's perspective, audiences follow a sequence that starts on a Friday morning and ends about 48 hours later on the last weekend of October, 1985.
Day One: Marty stops by at Doc's laboratory at about 8:20 am on Friday, October 25, arrives late to school, has a disappointing audition, spends the afternoon with Jennifer Parker, comes home to find the family car has been totaled, has supper and falls asleep.
Day Two: About an hour into the next morning, Marty is woken up by Doc Brown's phone call at about 1:00 am on Saturday, October 26. Marty arrives at the Twin Pines Mall at 1:16 am and spends under 20 minutes with Doc as they complete the world's first temporal displacement test. After Doc is shot by Libyan terrorists, Marty goes through time at 1:35 am and travels instantly to Saturday, November 5, 1955 at 6:15 am. A little more than two hours later, Marty arrives in downtown Hill Valley and hears the clock tower at 8:30 am local time. While Marty is using the payphone at Lou's Cafe, an alarm on his wristwatch (apparently set or mis-set for 4:00 in the morning his time) goes off and comes to the attention of Lou. Marty encounters George McFly, then loses him, before finding him again later that morning in front of Lorraine Baines's home. Marty is struck by Sam Baines's car and knocked unconscious. Having had only a little bit of sleep in the past 24 hours, and with his body clock off by four hours and forty minutes, Marty sleeps "for almost nine hours" and awakes shortly before suppertime at the Baines home. At supper, Sam adjusts the family's first television in time to catch part of The Honeymooners (which was telecast from 8:30-9 that Saturday night in California) . For Marty, it's been 14 hours since he left 1985 at 1:35 in the morning. Before the show is over, Marty leaves and goes to Doc Brown's house, and spends the rest of the day there.
Day Three: (Sunday) While Doc's original advice was for Marty not to leave the house, the timeline must be repaired. Though not seen in the film, Marty apparently spends Sunday adjusting to life in 1955, acquiring suitable clothing for the purpose.
Day Four: (Monday) Marty is taken to Hill Valley High School and poses as a student named Calvin Klein, and attempting to introduce George and Lorraine. With George refusing to miss Science Fiction Theater to go to the Saturday dance, Marty decides to pose as "Darth Vader, from the planet Vulcan".
Day Five: (Tuesday) Marty sneaks into George's house and threatens to melt his brain. In a scene deleted from the film, George is chloroformed and stays home from school that day. Marty's plan to get George to ask Lorraine out is frustrated by the sudden appearance of Biff Tannen. After a chase around Courthouse Square and Biff's collision with the manure truck, Marty goes back to Doc's house. Doc shows Marty the plan for sending him back to the future, and Lorraine comes by to ask if "Calvin" will take her to the dance. Marty makes new plans.
Days Six (Wednesday), Seven (Thursday) and Eight (Friday). Marty describes the fake fight plan to George while the two are hanging laundry on a clothesline, and refines the plan for the rest of the week.
Day Nine (Saturday): November 12, 1955. Marty goes with Doc to Courthouse Square, writes the "Do not open until 1985" letter, takes Lorraine to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, ends up playing guitar on the same stage where he had been denied the week before, and leaves 1955 at 10:04 that Saturday evening, arriving at 1:24 am on Saturday morning, October 26, 1985. He arrives at the Lone Pine Mall in time to see himself depart into the past.
Day Ten (Saturday): October 26, 1985. Marty returns home, goes to bed, and sleeps until 10:28 am, and wakes up to find that he and his family are all better off than before he left. Over the next few minutes, he finds his 4 by 4 in the garage, sees Jennifer for the first time in more than a week, and is about to take her out when Doc Brown returns from the future. Marty, along with Doc, Jennifer and Einstein, leave and arrive on a Wednesday afternoon in Hill Valley, October 21, 2015, at 4:29 pm. After spending about three hours in 2015, Marty leaves at 7:28 pm. Though Marty has been awake for a little more than 3 hours, the time of his arrival is 9:00 pm in the alternate 1985. Marty is knocked unconscious by Biff's gang, awakes at Biff's hotel suite two hours later, learns how Biff got the almanac, and leaves after almost six hours at 2:42 am to travel to 1955. Having been awake for 9 hours, Marty arrives at 6:00 in the morning on November 12, 1955. He comments that it seems like he was there yesterday, and from his perspective, he was.
Day Eleven (Saturday): November 12, 1955. Marty and Doc spend the next 16 hours trying to get back the Almanac. After more than 24 hours awake, Marty prepares to return with Doc to 1985, but at 9:44, the DeLorean is struck by lightning. Marty receives the telegram from 1885, and returns to downtown Hill Valley at about 10:05 pm, then takes the 1955 Doctor Brown home after Marty's return scared him into fainting.
Day Twelve (Sunday): November 13, 1955. Marty catches up on his sleep at the Brown Mansion, and presents the letter from 1985 Doc to 1955 Doc.
Day Thirteen (Monday): November 14, 1955. After Doc has purchased blasting supplies and rented a tow truck, he and Marty travel to the site of the Delgado Mine and unseal it, locating the DeLorean and finding Doc's tombstone at Boot Hill Cemetery. Presumably, they bring the DeLorean back to the Brown Mansion the same day. That night, Doc and Marty head to the Hill Valley City Archives to look up any information on Buford Tannen or Doc's death. When they find Doc's photograph from 1885, Marty decides to go back to rescue him.
Day Fourteen (Tuesday): November 15, 1955. Doc continues working on the DeLorean, with Marty's help. Doc buys suitable replacement parts for time travel, as well as new equipment for the car (including four whitewall tires), and clothing for Marty that he guesses to be appropriate for the Wild West.
Day Fifteen (Wednesday): November 16, 1955. At 10:00 am, Marty departs 1955 and arrives on Wednesday, September 2, 1885 at 8:00 am. After the DeLorean's fuel line is ripped, Marty runs from a bear and falls, being knocked unconscious for the third time in two weeks (see Day Two and Day Ten). He recovers at the McFly farm.
Day Sixteen (Thursday): September 3, 1885. Marty walks the railroad tracks to reach Hill Valley, nearly gets killed by Buford Tannen, and finds Doctor Brown and shows him the 1955 photo of his tombstone. From Marty's perspective, it's been a little more than four days since he saw 1985 Doc, while from Doc's perspective, it's been eight months.
Day Seventeen (Friday): September 4, 1885. Doc and Marty try to repair the DeLorean, and saves Clara.
Day Eighteen (Saturday): September 5, 1885. At the Hill Valley Festival, Marty saves Doc from being killed by Buford Tannen, but ends up being challenged to a showdown.
Day Nineteen (Sunday): September 6, 1885. Doc and Marty continue to prepare for their return to the future.
Day Twenty (Monday): September 7, 1885. At 8:00 am, Marty defeats Buford in a duel, works with Doc to send the DeLorean back to the future, leaving at 9:00 am and arriving on Sunday, October 27, 1985 at 11:00 am. Moments later, the DeLorean is destroyed by an ongoing locomotive. That afternoon, Marty chooses not to race against Needles, and returns with Jennifer to the Eastwood Ravine railroad crossing, where he speaks with Doc one final time. Although only a day and a half has passed in Hill Valley since the DeLorean left from the mall parking lot, and the weekend is not yet over, more than 19 days have passed from Marty's perspective. From Doc's perspective, about ten years have passed between his October 26 first time experiment, and his October 27 meeting with Marty.
- ↑ "Looking and Listening", Long Beach Press-Telegram, November 5, 1955, pA-9