- "This is heavy."
- —Marty McFly's catchphrase
- "Nobody calls me chicken!"
- —Marty McFly
Martin Seamus "Marty" McFly Sr. is the main protagonist of the trilogy. He is the world's second time traveler, the first to travel backwards in time and the first human to travel though time. He was also a high school student at Hill Valley High School in 1985. He is best friends with Dr. Emmett Brown, who unveiled his first working invention to him.
Marty was born on June 12, 1968 in Hill Valley, California. He was the youngest of three children to George and Lorraine McFly. He had a brother Dave, who was born in 1963, and sister Linda, who was born in 1965.
Little is known about Marty's childhood, except for the fact that he set the living room rug on fire when he was eight years old and that he got a scar on his left knee from skateboarding down the courthouse steps when he was twelve.
Meeting Doc Brown
On October 2, 1982, Marty was playing his guitar in his garage when he was suddenly confronted by Needles and his gang, who wished to "borrow" Marty's interocitor tube. Needles was scheduled to play with his band, The Tabascos, that night. However, he had blown the interocitor tube in his guitar amplifier. Marty was willing to rent his Interocitor tube to Needles for 5 dollars, but Needles replied that he would pay tomorrow when he would bring the tube back. However, Marty accidentally caused Needles to drop the tube when he forcefully grabbed Needles' arm and insisted to be payed upfront.
Marty was then told by Needles that he had to get him a new tube and bring it to the clocktower by four o'clock, or else Needles would beat him up. Marty was initially hesitant to agree, citing his lack of money and unwillingness to steal. However, he agreed when Needles goaded him by calling him "chicken". Needles then took Marty's guitar and told him he'd give it back when he got him a new tube.
Marty went to a music store and tried to buy one, but was told by the shop attendant that all of the stock was sold to ELB Enterprises. Marty left to go to Doctor Brown's garage to ask for one, but the attendant warned him that Doctor Brown was a real nut case.
Doctor Brown set a series of traps which Marty had to overcome to gain entrance to the garage. After getting an electrical shock after using the keypad on the electrified gate around the garage, a recording stated that he was not "one to foresee" that happening. Realizing that the wording was unusual, Marty picked up that it was a code, and punched in 1-2-4-C on the keypad. He tried to knock on the door, but no one answered. After deciding not to break the window, he attempted to find more clues and found a key underneath an unusual "know entry" sign. Once inside, he set off elaborately set up series of objects that caused chain reaction resulting in him being captured in a net. He pushed his skateboard at the reset switch, which then released the net.
Einstein, Doctor Brown's dog, then playfully jumped up on Marty, and Doctor Brown himself then entered to greet his guest. He told Marty to call him Doc, as in "What's Up Doc?", and asked him if he was here to apply for the assistant position that he said he had advertised. Marty told him that he had, and Doc told him that he was impressed that he made his way through the traps, especially his decision to release the net with his skateboard.
Marty then admitted that he hadn't come to apply for a job, but had instead come for an interocitor tube. After Marty assured him that he hadn't intended to rob him, Doc admitted that he had never put out an advertisement for an assistant, but offered Marty the job anyway.
Doc told Marty that he threw out all of the tubes, as he only wanted the box for his Static-O-Matic electric hair chair. Marty then grabbed the tubes out of the box, and went back to Needles. He gave Needles one of the tubes, and told him that he had stolen the tube from Doctor Emmett Brown. This resulted in Needles being scared, as he knew that Emmett Brown worked on the atomic bomb, and there were rumors that he was radioactive.
In September, 1984, Marty was in Doc's garage looking through boxes of inventions, and pulled out a pair of eye drop glasses, which Doc invented to make using eye drops easier for jittery people. Doc entered the lab with Einstein, carrying a book by Jules Verne, surprised to see Marty there. It had been a busy week, and he hadn't expected him that day.
Marty told Doc that he had been busy with band practice and he had a science project due the next day. He was hoping that Doc had something that he could use. Doc told him that he was not going to do his work for him, but said that he was free to borrow anything that he found in the lab.
Marty found a life sized statue of Neptune, which Doc said he picked up for a giant fish tank that he never got around to building. Around the statue's neck was an umbrella necktie, which Marty doubted would impress his teacher, Mrs. Zawadski.
Marty then picked up an electric hoe and a car battery. Doc told him that it was perfect for weeding, but since it used a lot of power, the user had to wear the battery. Marty put the battery on the floor and askws Doc what he was doing with the wire. Doc told him that he was disentangling it, which he found relaxing.
Marty then pricked his hand on a barbed alarm clock, which he guessed was barbed to prevent someone from hitting the snooze button. After Marty put on Mr. Sneeze, a wearable tissue dispenser on his head, he asked Doc for a tip on what he was looking for, which Doc said would defeat the point, as the essence of science is discovery.
At that point, the alarm went off, Einstein jumped on Doc, and the wire wrapped around the metal bar fell on the battery. It began to attract tools lying nearby, and Marty realized it was a magnet. Doc began to tell Marty that magnetism and electricity were thought to be two separate things until Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. However, Marty interrupted him to ask if he could borrow them for his school project.
Marty left Doc's garage and Doc told him that he would see him on Thursday. Doc also reminded Marty to bring a case of oil when he arrived.
Starting a relationship with Jennifer
On November 26, 1984, Marty re-introduced himself to Jennifer Parker, whom he hadn't been acquainted with since fourth grade. However, their conversation was interrupted by Needles, who pulled up in his Ford F-150 and then asked Jennifer out on a date. However, Jennifer refused his offer and Needles drove off after being slapped by his girlfriend, who was sitting beside him in the truck.
Marty was then told by Jennifer to look at the car, and, distracted, he told her that it was really something. This caused Jennifer to walk off in disgust, leaving Marty confused.
Marty made his way to Doc's garage, where Doc (unbeknownst to Marty) was working on the DeLorean time machine, which he hid from Marty when he arrived. Marty told Doc that he was having trouble talking to Jennifer, and that he was worried about what she thought of him, as Needles had a car and a license, and Marty let him walk all over him. Doc told Marty not to worry about what anyone thought of him. He said that advice had worked out for him, as he had everything in life that he needed, his dog, Einstein, and his inventions. Marty looked curiously at the car under the tarp, and left the garage.
The next day, Marty was playing Wild Gunman at 7-Eleven. He turned around, with the lightgun aimed at Jennifer. She jokingly raised her hands in the air, calling him Clint Eastwood, and telling him not to shoot. Marty was surprised that she likes Clint Eastwood, and the two began to bond, just as Needles entered.
He saw Marty and Jennifer together, and teased Marty, telling him that it was a classy place to take a date, as they had a combo deal on hot dogs and nachos.
Marty told Needles that he was not on a date, and Needles told him that he knew it was not a date. He told him that he was going to drive his girlfriend somewhere, bragging that he had a car and then left. Angered by Needles, Marty told Jennifer that he needed to go.
Marty headed to Doc's garage, intending to steal the DeLorean to try to impress Jennifer. When he arrived there, however, he had a change of heart, realizing that what he was about to do was wrong and started to head back. However, Needles was there with his girlfriend and a member of his gang. He thanked Marty for unlocking Doc's lab, and let him know that it was his intention to do so all along.
Marty tried to stop Needles, only to be punched in the eye. Fortunately, Doc arrived. He tipped a domino, setting off the elaborate security system, which dropped a bucket of paint on top of Needles.
Marty apologized to Doc for intending to take the DeLorean. Doc told him that he knew all about the troubles faced by the young, and told him that he knew that people needed to keep secrets. Marty asked Doc if his secret was a flying car, and Doc responded that it was not a bad idea, but it wasn't important, as what was important now was for Marty to not hide his feelings about Jennifer. Marty was afraid of rejection, but decided to follow Doc's advice.
Marty asked Jennifer out, and she said yes. They went to see a Clint Eastwood movie at the theater.
First trip to 1955
Late for School
On October 25, 1985, Marty visited Doc's garage, only to discover that neither Doc nor Einstein were there. Marty then proceeded to hook up his guitar to the giant amplifier that Doc had constructed. Marty then turned up the volume and overdrive knobs all the way and played a single "power chord", which resulted in him being suddenly thrown backwards into a bookcase and the speaker being blown out.
Immediately afterwards, Marty received a call, which turned out to be from Doc. He told Marty to meet him at Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 AM in order to assist him with his major breakthrough. He also warned Marty not to hook up into the amplifier due to a "slight possibility of overload", unaware that Marty had already done so. As Marty agreed to meet with Doc, all of the clocks in the garage started chiming 8 AM. Doc then revealed that this was part of an experiment and that the clocks were all exactly 25 minutes slow. Upon realizing that the time was actually 8:25 AM, Marty responded to Doc that he was late for school and headed out the door.
Shortly after arriving at school, Marty met up with Jennifer, who told him not to go through the main entrance as principal Strickland was looking for him and, if he got caught, it would be his fourth tardy slip in a row.
However, as they were trying to sneak their way to class, they got caught by Strickland, who presented them both with tardy slips. After finding out this was because Marty was at Doc's garage, he warned Marty not to hang around with Doc because he believed that Doctor Brown was a "nutcase". Then he noted that Marty's band, The Pinheads, were auditioning for the dance after school. Strickland informed Marty not to waste his time, calling him a slacker and telling him that "no McFly has ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley." Marty responded by saying that history was going to change.
A failed audition
After school was over, Marty and his band auditioned for the Battle of the Bands front of three adults and one student in the Hill Valley High School gymnasium. Their audition song was a hard rock version of The Power of Love, but the head judge told them to stop after playing just a short time, saying they were "too darn loud".
After failing the audition, Jennifer tried to convince Marty to send a tape of his band's music to a record company, reminding him of what Doc always said, that if he put his mind to it, he could accomplish anything. But Marty doubted that he could take another rejection, lamenting that he was starting to sound like his father, George. Jennifer, however, insisted that his father wasn't that bad, pointing out that he was letting Marty borrow his car tomorrow night in order to allow them to go camping by the lake that weekend.
At that moment, Marty saw a Toyota 4X4 being delivered to Statler Toyota and vowed that someday, he would purchase that car. They briefly discussed how romantic it would be to ride in that car up to the lake. Jennifer then asked Marty about whether he had told his mother about their plans, to which Marty replied that he did not. Instead, he told her that he was going camping with friends, in order to avoid another lecture about how she didn't do such things in her youth, jokingly remarking that his mother was born a nun. Jennifer stated that his mother was just trying to keep him respectable, to which he responded by saying that she wasn't doing a good job and closing in for a kiss.
However, before they could kiss, they were interrupted by a lady who represented the Hill Valley Preservation Society, who asked them for a contribution to keep the broken clock tower as is and impede Mayor Wilson in his plans to replace the clock. An irritated Marty donated a quarter to appease her and was, in turn, handed a flyer.
After the woman left, Marty and Jennifer tried to kiss again, only to be interrupted once more. This time by Jennifer's father, who had come to pick her up. As Jennifer prepared to leave, Marty promised to call her. Jennifer was going to be at her grandmother's house that evening, so she wrote down her grandmother's telephone number (555-4823), along with "I love you!", on the back of his "Save the Clock Tower" flyer.
Dinner with the family
Upon arriving back home, Marty discovered that his father's car had been totaled by George's supervisor, Biff Tannen, who had wrecked the car whilst drinking and driving. Biff, however, blamed George by claiming the car had a blind spot, and forced him to pay up to have his suit dry-cleaned as he had spilt beer over himself in the crash.
After telling George to finish up Biff's reports and hand them over to him the following day, Biff left. Marty confronted his father about the fact that his plans for tomorrow night had been ruined and that Biff was to blame. George conceded that Marty was right, but stated that Biff was his supervisor and that he wasn't very good at confrontations. All he could say was that he was sorry.
Later, at dinner, Marty was told by George that he was better off without having to worry about all the aggravation and headaches of playing at the dance, to which his brother Dave agreed. Marty and his siblings were then informed by their mother that their uncle, "Jailbird" Joey, didn't make parole again and she said it would be nice if they all dropped him a line. After Dave left for work, Marty was told by his sister Linda that, while he was outside pouting over the car, Jennifer had called him twice.
This prompted their mother Lorraine to remark that she didn't like Jennifer, stating that any girl who called a boy was just asking for trouble. After Linda asked how she was supposed to meet someone, Lorraine replied that it would simply just happen, retelling the story of she fell in love with their father after he was hit by her father's car and how they had their first kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance the following week.
The World's first temporal displacement
Shortly after midnight, a sleeping Marty was awoken at 12:28 AM by a phone call from Doc, who asked whether Marty had fallen asleep, which Marty denied. Doc then told Marty that he had forgotten to bring his video camera and asked Marty to pick it up on his way to the mall, which he agreed to do.
Upon arriving at the mall at 1:16 AM, technically one minute late, Marty saw Doc's van at the parking lot and made his way towards it. After petting Einstein, who was sitting near the van, Marty witnessed the van open up and a DeLorean DMC-12 emerge from it. Doc, after exiting the DeLorean, was happy see that Marty had made it to the mall. Doc explained that his latest experiment was "the big one", the one which he had been waiting for all his life. Although Marty had several questions, Doc promised to answer them all later and told him to start filming the demonstration.
After introducing himself, the location and the exact date and time, Doc placed Einstein into the car and showed Marty that his and Einstein's clock were the same time (at that moment 1:19 AM). With a remote control device, Doc operated the car from a distance and sent it to the far end of the parking lot. Marty and Doc then ran to a spot where the car would intersect them. He then revved it up to 62 mph with the brakes on and released the brakes. As the car accelerated towards them, Marty began to step out of the way, but was then pulled back by Doc, who told him to "watch this". At precisely 88 mph, at precisely 1:20:00, the car seemingly exploded into dust and fire trails blazed around Doc and Marty at their feet.
Marty looked in shock as the license plate, OUTATIME, spun and landed, believing that Einstein was vaporized. Doc explained to him that Einstein was fine and had just become the world's first time traveler, having been sent exactly one minute into the future. Marty then questioned the idea of building a time machine out of a DeLorean, to which Doc replied that if one was going to build a time machine into a car, then why not do it with some style. Doc also mentioned that the stainless steel construction of the vehicle was beneficial in some way to the flux dispersal, but didn't get to fully explain as his watch beeped, signaling that the DeLorean was going to return in a few seconds.
The car suddenly appeared where Marty and Doc had been standing and screeched to a halt as a frozen shell. Supercooled from traveling through time, the gullwing door was troublesome for Doc to open while using his hands. Inside the car, Einstein was unharmed, much to the surprise of Marty. The two clocks were exactly one minute in difference as well (1:20 and 1:21 AM) and Einstein's was still ticking. Doc then showed Marty the interior and its controls.
While inputting dates on the keypad, Doc used July 4, 1776 (the date the American Declaration of Independence was signed) and December 25, 0000 (the date of the birth of Christ) as examples, before inputting "a red-letter date in the history of science", November 5, 1955. Doc then explained that, on that day, he was hanging up a clock whilst standing on the edge of his toilet, slipped on the wet porcelain, hit his head on the sink and, when he came to, had a revelation, a picture in his head of the Flux Capacitor, which is what made time travel possible. From there, he left the cockpit of the DeLorean and reminisced about the past, particularly about Old Man Peabody owning the land that was now Twin Pines Mall and his pine tree farm.
Marty then asked Doc whether the car ran on regular unleaded gasoline, to which Doc replied that the car required something more powerful, namely plutonium. Marty, slightly panicked, then asked Doc if the car was nuclear, which Doc denied, saying that the car was electrical, but that a nuclear reaction was required in order to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity needed for time travel. Marty then pointed out that one couldn't just walk into a store and buy plutonium and asked Doc whether he had ripped it off. Doc revealed that he had, from a group of Libyan Nationalists. He explained that they wanted him to build them a bomb, but instead he gave them a shiny bomb case filled with used pinball machine parts. Afterwards, Marty and Doc donned radiation suits and inserted another vial of plutonium into the plutonium chamber in preparation for Doc's own jump into the future.
Upon learning that Doc intended to travel 25 years into the future, Marty asked him to come look him up when he got there, which Doc promised he would.
Escape to the Past
However, before Doc got the chance to depart, Einstein's barking alerted him and Marty to an approaching van in the distance, revealing that the Libyans had found him. As the Libyans opened fire on them, Marty was told to run for it whilst Doc would draw their fire. Unfortunately, Doc's pistol jammed and he was subsequently shot with an assault rifle by the terrorists.
Horrified by Doc's death, Marty inadvertendly drew the terrorists' attention towards himself by yelling at them and was nearly gunned down. Fortunately, the terrorists' gun jammed, giving Marty enough time to run into the DeLorean and try to escape.
During the chase, Marty accidentally turned on the time circuits (still set to November 5, 1955) while shifting, and, as he avoided being destroyed by a rocket-propelled grenade, he sped up to 88 and entered temporal displacement. Suddenly, Marty went from a mall parking lot in 1985, to a field in 1955, and the DeLorean crashed into a scarecrow and then the Peabodys' barn.
For a moment, Marty was stunned, and the Peabody family ran from their house to the barn to investigate. Believing that the vehicle was from another world, they screamed in horror as Marty lifted the gullwing door and stepped out, dressed in a radiation suit. Marty was almost shot from the buckshot of Peabody's shotgun, ran back to the safety of the time machine, floored the accelerator, and smashed through the doors of the barn. After escaping from Peabody's shotgun, the car ran over one of the two pines that Peabody had been growing. This was the first effect of Marty's trip into the past that would alter the future ("Twin Pines Mall" would become "Lone Pine Mall").
Marty pulled the DeLorean onto a highway that ran by the future site of Lyon Estates. He immediately stopped and viewed the undeveloped land stretch far out into the distance, questioning whether or not it was a dream. A meter in the DeLorean indicated that it was out of plutonium, and the car shut down. Marty failed to get it running again and decided to hide the DeLorean behind the Lyon Estates sign, covered by a few shrubs, and walked the two miles to town.
Upon arriving into town, where he discovered the date on a newspaper, Marty went inside Lou's Cafe. After a brief exchange in which Lou mistook Marty's down vest for a life preserver, Marty said he wanted to use the phone, and Lou pointed him towards the back. After finding Doc's name and address in the phone book, Marty ripped out the page. However, when he tried to ask Lou for directions to the address, an annoyed Lou asked him whether he was gonna order something. Taking a seat, Marty first tried to order a Tab, but Lou mistakenly thought he wanted a restaurant bill. Marty then tried to order a Pepsi Free, and Lou misinterpreted it as him asking for a free Pepsi. Frustrated, Marty simply asked for something without any sugar in it.
At that moment, Biff Tannen and his gang entered the cafe and started bullying George, who had been sitting next to Marty. Marty witnessed a very familiar conversation in which Biff made George promise to finish Biff's homework and hand it over to him the following morning. During this exchange, one of the members of Biff's gang, Skinhead, noticed Marty's vest and, thinking it was a life preserver, mockingly suggested that Marty thought he was gonna drown. After Biff left, Marty stared at George, prompting George to ask him who he was. However, their conversation was interrupted by Goldie Wilson, one of Lou's employers, who told George to stand up for himself. Goldie used himself as an example, stating that he was going to night school and, one day, be somebody. This prompted Marty to accidentally say that Goldie was gonna be mayor, which seemed to inspire Goldie. Marty then noticed that George had left the cafe and was riding away on his bike, and chased after him.
Marty eventually managed to track George down and found him up a tree, watching Lorraine Baines undress through his binoculars. Marty remarked disapprovingly that George was a "peeping tom" and watched as George lost his grip and nearly fell. George then dropped to the street in the path of an oncoming car. Marty then ran towards George and pushed him out of the way, getting hit by the car instead and falling unconscious.
Marty woke up almost 9 hours later, initially assuming that he was back at home and that his recent time traveling had been a dream. However, he quickly discovered that he really was in 1955 when a young Lorraine turned on the lights and referred to him as "Calvin". After briefly making note of Lorraine's thinnes and discovering that she had removed his pants, Marty asked her why she kept calling him Calvin. She stated that she saw the name "Calvin Klein" printed all over his underwear and assumed it was his name. He stated that people called him Marty, which made Lorraine assume that "Calvin Marty Klein" was his full name. Over the course of their conversation, Lorraine had been repeatedly flirting with Marty, much to his alarm. Fortunately, Lorraine's mother, Stella, called out to her, prompting Lorraine to toss Marty his pants and run out of the room, allowing him to put them back on.
As Marty came downstairs from Lorraine's bedroom, her mother asked how long he would be in port, and that she guessed he was a sailor because he wore a life preserver. Since she was the third person that day who had mistaken his red down vest for a life preserver, Marty mentioned the Coast Guard as an alibi.
During dinner with Lorraine's family, Marty confused them by first by saying that his family owned two television sets, which was unusual in 1955, and then by claiming to have already seen the episode of The Honeymooners ("The Man from Space") on TV even though it was brand new. When Lorraine's mother remarked that he looked very familiar, she asked him whether she knew his mother. Marty claimed that she did indeed know his mother, but when she suggested calling, he said that nobody was home. Marty then asked for directions to Riverside Drive. Upon being told the directions, Marty remarked that the street's name was "John F. Kennedy Drive", which confused Lorraine's father.
Lorraine then suggested that, since Marty's parents were out of town, he should spend the night at their house. However, when she suggested that he could sleep in her room and started stroking his leg, Marty quickly got up, told them he had to go, thanked them for their hospitality and then left.
Upon arriving at Doc's mansion and knocking on the door, Marty was dragged inside the house by a young Doc, who wished to test his latest invention on him. Although Marty tried to explain who he was, Doc insisted that he not tell him anything about himself in order to test the effectiveness of the device. After Doc had made several guesses regarding where Marty came from and why he was here, Marty finally explained who he really was and that he needed Doc's help to return to 1985.
However, Doc, after expressing frustration at his invention seemingly not working, did not believe Marty's claims of being a time traveler. Marty tried to convince him by showing that the expiry date of his driver's license was 1987 and that, according to his birthday, he hadn't even been born yet. Marty then showed him a photograph of him and his siblings, pointing out that his sister's sweatshirt read "class of '84". Unfortunately, Doc dismissed the picture as mediocre "photographic fakery", stating that they had cut off his brother's hair.
When Marty insisted that Doc believe him, Doc asked who was gonna be President of the United States in 1985. Marty answered that it was gonna be Ronald Reagan, but Doc scoffed at the idea that an actor was gonna be President. Marty then pursued Doc as the latter ran towards his garage, mockingly suggesting that various celebrities would similarly be in government positions by 1985.
Fortunately, Marty finally managed to convince Doc by telling him the story of how he got the bruise on his head earlier that day and had a vision of the Flux Capacitor. The two then went out to recover the DeLorean. After Doc showed Marty the picture he drew of the flux capacitor after he hit his head, Marty opened the car door and turned on the flux capacitor, which resulted in Doc being overjoyed at the knowledge that he had finally invented something that worked. The two then snuck the car back into Doc's laboratory and started formulating a plan to get Marty back home.
Discovering a Paradox
Upon returning to Doc's lab, Marty hooked up his camcorder to Doc's television and they watched the tape of the events at Twin Pines Mall. Whilst watching the tape, Doc asked what his older self was wearing, which Marty explained was a radiation suit, causing Doc to incorrectly assume that it was due to fallout from atomic wars. Shortly after, Doc was horrified when the recording of his future self explained that the flux capacitor required 1.21 gigawatts to function and ran into his study.
Marty followed Doc, who was sitting in his chair and lamenting his carelessness in making the flux capacitor require so much electricity. Marty remarked that all they needed was a little plutonium, but Doc stated that plutonium was hard to come by in 1955 and regretfully told Marty that he was stuck in this time period. Marty, however, refused to accept that, informing Doc about his girlfriend Jennifer and showing him the back of his flyer on which she had written her message and her grandmother's phone number.
Doc replied that the only source of electricity capable of generating that much power would be a bolt of lightning, but lamented that nobody ever knew when or where lightning would strike. Marty then remembered that the flyer also featured the news story about a bolt of lightning that would strike the clock tower on Saturday night, November 12, 1955, on 10:04 PM.
Doc believed that he could find a way to harness the bolt's power, channel it into the flux capacitor and ultimately send Marty back to 1985. An excited Marty then suggested that Doc could perhaps show him around town while he waited. However, Doc stopped him mid-sentence and insisted stay inside of his house during the week ahead. He explained that Marty had to avoid contact with anyone else, as everything he did could have serious repercussions on future events. After Doc asked Marty if he had interacted with anyone else that day besides him, Marty admitted that he had run into his parents. Doc then rechecked the photograph of Marty and his siblings, and realized that the head of the firstborn son Dave, was missing, having been erased from existence.
The following day, Marty and Doc went to Hill Valley High School in order to think up a plan to get George and Lorraine to fall in love. After Marty remarked that the school was cleaner and looked brand new compared to his time, Doc explained his theory that Marty's interference in his parents' first meeting had resulted in his existence being jeopardized, with Dave disappearing first, then Linda and finally, Marty himself if they didn't think of a plan. Marty remarked that the situation was "Heavy", confusing Doc, who remarked that weight had nothing to do with it.
They later saw George in the hallway, being bullied by his classmates and subsequently berated and called a slacker by Principal Strickland, who, Marty remarked, didn't seem to have ever had hair, aside from a small fringe which he no longer had by 1985.
- "My name is Darth Vader...I am an extra-terrestrial from the planet Vulcan."
- —Marty McFly
Marty devised a plan to scare George into taking Lorraine to the dance. He donned his radiation suit, a hair dryer, and his Walkman with a tape of Eddie Van Halen. Only after Marty visited George in the night, as "Darth Vader", did George agree to take out Lorraine, having been threatened with the melting of his brain. Marty used chloroform to put out George for most of the rest of the next day. That afternoon, a shaken George found Marty in Courthouse Square, told him of his encounter and that he had overslept. Marty told George to keep the "Darth Vader" story to himself and pointed out Lorraine in Lou's Cafe. When he saw Biff move in on George, Marty tripped Biff and escaped to the square. He ran to a couple of kids on makeshift skateboards, and borrowed a "board on wheels" to avoid Biff and his gang. Marty led the gang completely around the square, avoided getting killed, and sent the gang crashing into a manure truck. Over the next few days, Marty would practice with George on their plan to get him Lorraine next Saturday night; that Marty would become physical with Lorraine and, upon seeing George, would feign defeat.
On the night of November 12, 1955, Marty took Lorraine to the 'Enchantment Under The Sea' dance (or "a rhythmic ceremonial ritual", as Doc amusingly titled it). He and George agreed to a plan that would allow George to win Lorraine's heart by "saving" her from Marty's staged aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, Marty made an enemy of high school bully Biff Tannen, and Biff showed up at the dance looking for revenge. Marty was taken away by Biff's goons and locked in the trunk of Marvin Berry's car. The musicians chased them off and attempted to pry open the trunk which had the keys locked inside. When George came to "rescue" Lorraine, he found that instead of having to pretend to save her from Marty, he now had to really save her from Biff. Biff began to twist his arm attempting to break it, but was foiled by Lorraine, whom he pushed to the ground. In anger, George knocked Biff out with a punch to the face, standing up to a bully for the first time in his life, and George and Lorraine fell in love.
Marty joined the dance band onstage to ensure his future existence after Marvin Berry cut his hand open, in order to provide a romantic atmosphere for his parents so they could kiss. It was almost lost, however, when Mark Dixon jumped in between George and Lorraine, with Marty forgetting how to play the guitar and eventually fading away much like his brother and sister in the photo. George, returns and pushes Dixon away restoring everything between him and Lorraine and finally kiss.
His existence assured, Marty finished the song, and followed up with "Johnny B. Goode" including his own Chuck Berry/Jimi Hendrix/Pete Townshend/Eddie Van Halen-like guitar solo, which, in 1955, left the audience speechless. And also, given the year he plays the song, it is mistaken for his own work (although the guitarist of the onstage band, named "Marvin Berry", phones his cousin, Chuck Berry (the real-life artist who released "Johnny B. Goode" in 1958), who at the time is said to be looking for a "new sound". Marvin held the phone out for Chuck to hear his future hit being performed).
As the storm began to move in, Marty rushed to get back downtown. Marty tried to warn Doc about the night the terrorists come to kill him but Doc refused to listen and tore up the letter given to him. The lightning struck and knocked down a tree which severed the connection between the clock tower and the poles that would channel the lightning into the flux capacitor. While Doc fixed the line, Marty jumped in the DeLorean and headed to the starting line. He set the arrival time for ten minutes earlier to save Doc. When the alarm went off signaling him to hit the gas, the car died. Marty managed to get the DeLorean back running and took off. In a race to reach the poles, Doc connected the line at exactly 10:04pm and Marty attached to the line, sending him back to 1985.
Arriving back in 1985, Marty began to celebrate his arrival, but the DeLorean died on him again. The Libyans passed him on their way to Twin Pines Mall (now Lone Pine Mall). Doc was shot just the same, but when his other self traveled to 1955, he found that Doc was wearing a bulletproof vest. Doc had read the note all along and figured "what the hell".
That next morning, Marty nearly fainted at the sight of his parents' house, and discovered that his family's lives had turned out very differently because George learned to assert himself by standing up to Biff. They were more confident, richer, and Marty even had his own truck, the Toyota that he had been eyeing previously. Jennifer comes over, but before the two can fully reunite, Doc returns in the DeLorean from the future. He pleads with Marty and Jennifer to come with him to the future over an urgent matter involving their children. Doc refuels the DeLorean with an almost empty can of Miller beer (can and all), a banana peel, and other pieces of trash. A new futuristic generator called Mr. Fusion is planted where the plutonium power system was, and the three of them travel forward to 2015. The DeLorean is now upgraded with hovering wheels.
Into the futureJust as Marty and Doc headed to October 21, 2015 to save Marty's future son Marty Jr., from going to prison. Marty pretended to be Marty Jr. in order to stand up to Griff Tannen, grandson of Biff. Marty's "chicken" problem became apparent - whenever someone called him a chicken, he became offended and felt he had to prove he was not afraid. Marty succeeded in preventing his son from going to prison, by causing Griff and his gang to crash into the Hill Valley Courthouse, causing them to be arrested, thereby changing the timeline, and acquired a hoverboard. Afterward Marty entered the Blast from the Past and purchased Grays Sports Almanac, with the intent to use it and the time machine for financial gain. Doc discovered the almanac clearly stated that "I didn't invent the time machine to win at gambling, I invented the time machine to travel through time." He disposed of the almanac in a nearby trash can. Biff overheard Doc's statement, came out of the alley, and took the almanac from the trash can.
While in the future, his girlfriend Jennifer Parker discovered that in 1985, the day after he arrived back from 1955, Marty was involved in a car accident after auto racing a classmate, Douglas J. Needles, on a "chicken" dare. Marty broke his hand and was sued by the driver of the Rolls-Royce he crashed into. He had to give up a career in music and spent many years feeling sorry for himself. He married Jennifer in the 1990s in the Chapel O' Love, and his parents were the only witnesses. The couple had two kids — daughter Marlene, and son Martin Jr. (born 1998). By 2015, Marty and Jennifer were living in Hilldale, a planned community established in 1985 which had deteriorated over the last 30 years in similar fashion as Lyon Estates had between 1955 and 1985. They were having marriage difficulties, and Marty was stuck in a dead end job at CusCo, where his co-worker was his former classmate Needles, who pressured Marty into unwise decisions, much like the way George McFly was bullied by his supervisor, Biff Tannen, in the original 1985.
The 1985 version of Marty, visiting 2015, does not find out any of this, but the 1985 Jennifer. This future version of Marty fell victim to another "chicken" dare from Needles, who convinced Marty to go along with some shady in-company deal. However, the supervisor above Needles, Ito T. Fujitsu, or "The Jitz", had been listening in on the pair making the deal by video telephone, and fired Marty for cooperating with Needles (it is not clear what Needles' fate was as a result of this incident). The 1985 Jennifer did not witness all of this exchange, but did acquire a copy of a printout sheet with the words "YOU'RE FIRED!!!' on it, as every fax machine in the McFly residence printed out the phrase.
1985A and back to 1955
Doc and Marty headed back to 1985, only to find that an elderly Biff Tannen, in 2015, had stolen the time machine and gone back to 1955 with the sports almanac, which he had given to his younger self. As a result, Biff knew the results to all future sports events for the rest of the century. Using this knowledge, Biff was able to bet on the winner every time, becoming an extremely powerful multi-millionaire. Subsequently, Hill Valley became a corrupt, crime-ridden city ruled over by Biff, where he owned the police and had influence towards national politicians. Additionally, Marty learned that his father was murdered, Biff was now his stepfather, and that he had "been attending" a boarding school in Switzerland. Marty had apparently attended, and been thrown out of, other boarding schools in the past.
After confronting Biff about the almanac, Biff revealed how he obtained it, as well as admitting to murdering Marty's father while attempting to shoot Marty with a handgun. Marty now had to steal back the almanac in 1955, so he and Doc quickly headed back to put history back on track, whilst avoiding their younger selves from the first trip. They eventually succeeded (saving Marty's father and returning Hill Valley back to normal), but the lightning storm that struck the clock tower arrived, and struck the DeLorean in mid-air while Doc was inside alone, scrambling the time circuits and sending Doc to the year 1885. At that very moment, a letter from Doc in 1885, which had been in Western Union's possession for 70 years, 2 months, and 12 days, arrived for Marty, explaining everything that had just transpired. Determined to rescue his friend, Marty rushed off to find the 1955 Doc, who was just sending the other Marty back to 1985.
The Wild, Wild West
Marty found the 1955 Doc Brown celebrating his success in sending his counterpart back to 1985 the first time, but shocked him into fainting. He drove Doc back to his residence where Doc began to record the experiment but found Marty there again.
Marty showed Doc the message his counterpart sent him, directing them to the Delgado Mine where the DeLorean was buried. After the DeLorean is fixed, Marty traveled back to September 2, 1885 to find Doc and bring him home. Marty, now using the name "Clint Eastwood", found Doc, but the time machine once again needed repairing after ripping a fuel line by getting caught in an Indian attack. When Doc started romancing Clara Clayton, Marty became weary of his friend's companion and tried distracting Doc from Clara so he could fix the time machine and they could go home. He often cleared his throat to break the silence when Doc and Clara were locking eyes.
- "Eastwood ... Clint Eastwood."
- —Marty McFly
Once again, he encountered a Tannen, this time it was Biff's great grandfather Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen. Buford called Marty "yellow" and Marty ended up facing Buford in a duel. His great great grandfather Seamus alongside wife Maggie told Marty the story of his brother, also named Martin McFly, who was stabbed in Virginia City while trying to prove he was not a coward. Marty managed to overcome his complex and told Buford that he did not care what anyone thought about him. But Buford didn't give up easily without a fight. Holding Doc hostage, Marty was forced to use a Clint Eastwood trick from A Fistful of Dollars and defeated Buford in combat.
Marty managed to get back to the future and found out that everything is back to the way it was after the first trip back from 1955. Upon returning, the time machine was destroyed by an oncoming train, just as Marty leaped from the vehicle. He picked up Jennifer and went go out in his new truck. At an intersection, they met Needles who challenged them to a race. It isn't clear if Jennifer realized that this was the car accident that ruined Marty's life but she did encourage him to say "no". Marty appeared to be ready to race Needles but, when the light turned green he shifted into reverse, speeding backwards as Needles took off. Marty tells Jennifer that he had no intention of racing "that asshole." Needles, now down the road, narrowly avoided hitting a Rolls-Royce, and the car accident was avoided. Marty apparently learned his lesson and Jennifer's future changed to a supposedly better but unknown one. Marty and Jennifer returned to the scene of the DeLorean's wreckage, believing that Doc would be lost in time forever. Suddenly, Doc and Clara show up in a new time machine fashioned from a locomotive. Doc explained to Marty and Jennifer that nobody's future is written yet and that they should make the best of it. Marty and Jennifer watched as the train lifted off the tracks and disappeared in a flash of light.
Family (Original Timeline 1885-1985)
- Lorraine Baines McFly (Mother)
- George Douglas McFly (Father)
- Dave McFly (Brother)
- Linda McFly (Sister)
- Seamus McFly (Great-Great-Grandfather)
- Maggie McFly (Great-Great-Grandmother)
- William McFly (Great-Grandfather)
- Sam Baines (Grandfather)
- Stella Baines (Grandmother)
- Toby Baines (Uncle)
- Joey Baines (Uncle)
- Milton Baines (Uncle)
- Ellen Baines (Aunt)
- Sally Baines (Aunt)
- Arthur McFly (Grandfather) (Game)
- Trixie Trotter A.K.A Grandma Sylvia (Grandmother) (Game)
Family (Original Timeline 2015-Future)
- Lorraine Baines McFly (Mother)
- George Douglas McFly (Father)
- Marty McFly Jr (Son)
- Marlene McFly (Daughter)
- Jennifer Jane Parker McFly (Wife)
Family (Alternate Timelines 1985-Future)
- Lorrain Baines McFly Tannen
- George Douglas McFly
- Dave McFly
- Linda McFly
- Jennifer Jane Parker McFly
- Marlene McFly
- Marty McFly Jr
- Biff Tannen
The Marty McFly of 1986B attended a Math and Magic Competition at the lake in May of that year, while Marty from the original timeline was taking his place. The 1986B Marty also used to date Jennifer but she left him for Leech. The 1986 Marty won back Jennifer afterwards during a guitar battle with Leech.
Marty and Jennifer ended up at Hill Valley College after graduating from the high school. Marty spent a lot of time visiting the Brown house where Doc, Clara and their sons lived. He accompanied the family on many of their time travel adventures.Marty still had his "chicken" problem, as seen when Bifficus Antanneny taunted Marty into a chariot race by calling him a "pullus", the Latin word for "chicken". But he still backed down, when Doc informed him that he has to lose the race, so the fall of Bifficus Antanneny's empire will succeed. Marty did lose and the fall of Antanneny succeeded as planned.
In 2091, Marty's music became famous to Elvis-like proportions, as there are Marty impersonators mimicking his act on stage. However, a quote from his great-granddaughter Marta ("If only my great-grandfather was still alive to see that his music continues on...") Marty's music did live on and become a great successful musician in the early 21st century. That is why he has his own Marty like impersonators.
- In the Back to the Future novelization, Marty is trapped in detention with Mr. Strickland and devises a plan to escape to catch his band's audition. After Strickland destroys his Sony Walkman in a vise, he grabs a lens from a projector. Marty applies some gum to the back of a matchbook and shoots it up to a smoke alarm on the ceiling. He then focuses sunlight at the matchbook but is forced to hurry before Strickland closes all the blinds. Marty succeeds in igniting the matchbook and setting off the fire alarm and sprinkler system, escaping out the door to audition.
Personality and traits
Marty was an easy going adolescent most of the time. In the first film he had a bit of an attitude problem towards disrespecting adults. However, Marty is well-meaning, kind, loyal, music-loving teenager, He was not the best student academically but his grades were fairly good, although he did have a tendency to be late for school. This was not always his fault, however, as shown when Doc set all his clocks 25 minutes slow, causing Marty to arrive late for school. Marty is a very loyal guy, he is always sticks up for the little guy when he ask his help. He is also very loyal to Doc Brown, as a number of adults, including his parents, have said he's very dangerous to be around, but Marty knows that he really isn't.
Marty played lead guitar with The Pinheads and liked listening to Huey Lewis and the News and Eddie Van Halen. He is also a talented skateboarder. Marty was also shown to be good at singing, as shown in his performance of "Johnny B. Goode" at the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance.
When faced with danger, Marty was always brave and could be very resourceful and clever. His only major character flaw was his persistent desire to show others that he wasn't a coward, which sometimes caused him to take unnecessary risks. He couldn't abide to be called "chicken", a trait he shares with James Dean's character Jim Stark from Rebel Without a Cause (coincidentally made in 1955). However, Marty realized that he doesn't need to constantly prove his bravery and avoids one of the greatest tragedies in his life, a collision with a Rolls-Royce that would have ruined his ability to play the guitar.
Behind the scenes
- Although Marty McFly is 17 years old as of October 25, 1985, his birthdate is not referred to in the film series. Novelty items, such as a California driver's license in Marty's name, often include a birthdate of "06-12-68" and an address "9303 Lyon Drive", neither of which is mentioned elsewhere. There are different versions of the "license" that have been manufactured, as can be seen on sites such as eBay. June is a logical choice for a novelty license, since the photo is of actor Michael J. Fox, who was born on June 9, 1961.
- If Marty's birthday has ever been thought of at all, it was when Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis wrote an early draft for a sequel to Part I. In that script, Marty mentioned that his birthdate was June 20, 1968. The plot point became important when Marty traveled to September 20, 1967, nine months before his birthdate, and again put his existence in danger. As with Marty's middle name (which was "Hopkins", than "Seamus", in the draft script), the idea was dropped before filming.
- Eric Stoltz was originally cast to play the role of Marty McFly. Fox was the first choice of Zemeckis and Gale, but was committed to NBC's hit television show, Family Ties. When the show's producer, Gary David Goldberg, was approached in 1984, he was not willing to let Fox appear in a movie while also shooting Family Ties. After Zemeckis and Gale had filmed a large portion of the scenes with Stoltz, and were not happy with the results, they approached Goldberg again. Goldberg agreed to let Fox work on both the show and the film at the same time, with the condition that the show had to come first.
- A draft script for the first film states that a couple of years ago Doc turned up at Marty's garage one day and offered him $50 a week, plus free beer and use of his record collection, to clean his garage. This explanation is not accepted by most fans, however, as it contradicts the characterizations of Marty and Doc we see in the finished film. Co-writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale say they once considered expanding on their relationship, but decided against it, reasoning that children and adolescents are often attracted to eccentric or mysterious neighbors.
- Ralph Macchio (actor known for his roles in The Outsiders and in the first three The Karate Kid movies) was turned down for the role of Marty.
- Back to the Future trilogy
- Back to the Future novelizations
- Back to the Future: The Story
- Back to the Future (video game)
- Back to the Future Part II & III
- Back to the Future Part III (video game)
- Back to the Future: The Ride (Archive footage)
- Back to the Future: The Pinball
- Super Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future: The Card Game
- Back to the Future: The Game
- Back to the Future: The Animated Series
- "Forward to the Past"
- "Roman Holiday"
- "Time Waits for No Frog"
- "Batter Up"
- "Solar Sailors" (Mentioned only)
- "Dickens of a Christmas"
- "Clara's Folks"
- "Mac the Black"
- "Put on Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time for Mr. Wisdom!"
- "A Friend In Deed"
- "Marty McFly PFC"
- "Bravelord and the Demon Monstrux"
- "The Money Tree"
- "A Verne by Any Other Name"
- "My Pop's an Alien"
- "Super Doc"
- "St. Louis Blues"
- "Verne Hatches an Egg"
- Back to the Future (Harvey Comics)
- LEGO Dimensions
- Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
Notes and references
- ↑ "Witchcraft"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Back to the Future
- ↑ In "Get Tannen", after arriving in 1986A, when Marty was asked by his father to tell him something only he would know, telling the story of how he got his scar is a possible response.
- ↑ In "OUTATIME", upon asking him to give Emmett more time to make it to his exhibit, Arthur refuses, prompting Marty to make a comment about how he refused to take him to the zoo at one time.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines 4: "Peer Pressure"
- ↑ Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines 1: "When Marty Met Emmett"
- ↑ Back to the Future Co-Creator Bob Gale Explains How Doc and Marty Became Friends
- ↑ Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines 2: "Science Project"
- ↑ Back to the Future novelization
| 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