- " He [Doc] leaned against the shiny frame of the DeLorean, his eyes misted in happy nostalgia. "I remember it [November 5, 1955] vividly," he said. "I was standing on the edge of my toilet, hanging a clock. The porcelain was wet. I slipped and hit my head on the sink to my left. And when I came to, I had a revelation — a vision that was absolutely perfect — a picture in my head of everything I needed to do and how I could do it." / He gestured to the car. "Believe it or not, I saw this," he continued. "My dream or hallucination or whatever it was contained a picture of this." / "Amazing," Marty said, his eyes wide with sincerity. He knew the feeling. Once he had awakened during the middle of the night with the lyrics and melody of a new song literally playing inside his head. All that he had to do was find paper and take dictation. That was small potatoes compared to a scientific breakthrough such as the invention of time travel, but the emotional impact was similar. "
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 54)
The following events occurred on November 5.
- Marty McFly used the DeLorean time machine to escape Libyan terrorists and accidentally traveled back in time to the very day Dr. Emmett L. Brown conceived of the possibility of time travel: Nov. 5, 1955. Where the Twin Pines Mall would someday stand, Marty arrived at the Twin Pines Ranch and crashed into Otis Peabody's barn.
- Marty escaped gunshots and ran over one of the two pines at the entrance of the farm. Apparently, this caused the Mr. Peabody to rename his ranch as the "Lone Pine Ranch", and the mall to be renamed "Lone Pine Mall").
- Marty drove onto a highway that passed by the future Lyon Estates.
- Marty hid the DeLorean behind a sign and walked two miles to town.
- Marty attempted to call Doc at Klondike 5-4385 and got no answer (and, fortunately, did not inadvertently disrupt Doc's revelation concerning the flux capacitor)
- Marty ordered a coffee at Lou's Cafe and encountered his father George McFly.
- Marty tracked George down and saved him from being hit by Sam Baines's car.
- Marty was hit by the car instead of George, changing history.
- While hanging a clock in his home bathroom, Dr. Emmett Brown slipped and hit his head on the porcelain sink and had an epiphany: a vision of the flux capacitor, which he theorized could make time travel possible. He was only able to realize his dream after 30 years of toil and, in 1985, he built a time machine out of a DeLorean.
- Marty woke up later that day in Lorraine Baines's bedroom and became known as "Calvin Klein".
- Marty had dinner with the Baines family while they watched the premiere of The Honeymooners episode "The Man From Space", and found the location of Doc's mansion.
- Marty convinced Doc that he was from the future and they recovered the car.
- First Citizen Brown finishes repairing the DeLorean and travels back to May 16.
Behind the scenes
- Writer Bob Gale's father, attorney Mark R. Gale of St. Louis, was born. In his commentary to the first film, Bob Gale said that the choice of this date in the film script was just a coincidence. His father would have turned 33 years old on the day his film character Doc Brown discovered time travel in 1955.