- "He [Doc] reached into another one of his pockets and pulled out a newspaper. It was a USA Today: 'Hill Valley Edition'! / LOCAL YOUTH JAILED IN ATTEMPTED THEFT! the main headline screamed, and below that, in smaller letters, 'Youth Gang Denies Complicity'. / But Marty's eyes were drawn to the color picture immediately beneath, a photo of a kid who looked exactly like Marty!"
- —From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 22)
USA Today was a national publication that by 2015 created city-specific editions for communities across the nation. At Hill Valley, USA Today replaced the Hill Valley Telegraph as the primary source of news information.
When Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived in 2015, the October 22 issue read YOUTH JAILED — Martin McFly Junior Arrested for Theft. However, after Marty encountered Griff Tannen and his gang, resulting in their havoc on the Courthouse, the story altered to GANG JAILED — Hoverboard Rampage Destroys Courthouse. A hovercam bearing the USA Today logo was seen taking the photograph that would accompany the changed story.
Behind the scenes
- 'Satellite' is spelled incorrectly as 'satelite'.
- In the main text bodies under the titles, the article about Marty Jr.'s arrest repeats itself. As the text body would have been too illegible on television, the designers of this newspaper did not consider it important to make unique stories for every different headline that did not pertain to the protagonists.
- USA Today must have an extensive worldwide circulation by 2015 in order for 3 billion readers to read it as population projections for the United States are put at about 325.7 million by 2015.
- Unless considerable efforts are made for the English language to be learned by 3 billion people by 2015, it could be assumed that USA Today is available in many languages.
- When Doc first gets the paper in 2015A, as shown in Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines - Issue 5: "Clara's Story", it is titled U.S. Now. This is because IDW Publishing did not have the rights to use the name USA Today. However, in the context of the story, as this takes place in the timeline before the events seen in Back to the Future Part II, it is possible that Doc heading to the past to make himself a millionaire caused a ripple in the timeline causing the name of the paper to be changed.
- The price for the issue is $6.00, whereas in real life in 2015 it cost $2.00.
- The usatoday.com website URL is noticeably absent, as the movie makers had obviously not foreseen the rise of the internet. In its place is the caption "VIA COMPU-FAX SATELITE." Compu-Fax was a program used by hovercams to write automated stories for the paper, but in real life this is not a known piece of technology.
- USA Today has yet to create city-specific editions such as the 2015 HILL VALLEY EDITION seen in Back to the Future Part II. Also in real life, the futuristic-looking USA Today logo has not appeared, other than on the 22 October 2015 issue (see following footnote); and the main news story on the front page is not enclosed in a boxout with thick red borders.
- USA Today did, however, create a special "front page wrap" for October 22, 2015 issue of the newspaper, closely resembling the one seen in the film. Instead of repeated filler texts used in the film, the articles were actually rewritten based on headlines. And since only the top half of the front page was visible in the film, new articles about pizza rehydration accident, A Match Made in Space receiving a Hollywood remake, and an article on the public's gullibility — a meta article notifying uninformed readers of the fictional nature of the front page — were added. However, the prominent headline for Queen Diana visiting Washington was replaced with a headline about 3D billboards, and entirely omitted in the newsline section. A final change was the cost of the paper — while listed as six dollars in the film, that price is replaced with the regular two.
- Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future: The Card Game (As World Tomorrow)
- Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines
- Issue 5: "Clara's Story" (As U.S. Now)