Video glasses

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Marty Jr. and Marlene wearing their video glasses during dinner.


Marlene wearing her video glasses around her neck. The orange illuminated word PHONE can be seen across the front of the glasses.

"He [Marty] turned to his son. 'Junior! Dinner time!' / Junior didn't budge. / 'But I'm watching TV!' he shouted over his shoulder. / 'Well, get your glasses,' Marty Senior insisted. 'We eat at the table when your grandparents are here.' / Junior got up as slowly as he could. / 'Aw, Dad!' he whined. 'I can only watch two shows at once on my glasses!' / Marty Senior laughed and shook his head. 'Yeah, you kids really have it tough! When I was your age, if I wanted to watch two shows at once, I had to put two sets next to each other!' "
—From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 77)
"Somebody's beeper started to chatter as red lights went off on both of the kids' vidglasses. Marty looked down at the flashing light in his pocket. / It was his beeper. / 'Dad!' Junior and Marlene yelled together. 'Telephone! It's Needles!' / Marty stood up and flipped off his signal. Suddenly his throat was very dry. He felt like everybody at the dinner table was watching him — even the kids behind their vidglasses. If this call was what he thought it was, he'd need a little privacy. / 'I'll take it in the den.' He walked from the room, sliding the door closed behind him."
—From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 85)

Video glasses were glasses that contain screens where television programs and video telephone calls could be shown. they were used in 2015, to view television programs without a large screen. Marty McFly, Jr. wore a pair of JVC video glasses while eating dinner with his family; it was while heading to his chair in front of the TV beforehand, he passed 1985 Jennifer and commented on her pants ("Hey, Mom. Nice pants") — completely failing to notice that she was thirty years younger.

While at dinner with his family, Marty Jr. complained that the glasses only allowed him to watch two channels. (When he was Marty Jr.'s age, Marty had to put two television sets next to each other in order to watch two shows at once, so Marty Jr. should have considered himself lucky.) One of the two channels Marty Jr. was viewing was ESPN - Channel 211-D, in which the Chicago Bears were playing the Spacers in football.

His sister, Marlene, appeared to have a different set of video glasses that apparently allowed her to talk on the video telephone, and which displayed the orange illuminated word PHONE across the front while she was doing this. The McFlys only had one phone line, so Marlene had to interrupt her conversation when Needles called.

Behind the scenes

  • In the Back to the Future Part II novelization, video glasses are referred to as vidglasses (page 85).
  • On page 85 of the novelization (see second Quote above), a misprint resulted in the line Somebody's beeper started to chatter as red lights went off on both of the kids' vidglasses reading the grammatically incorrect 'both of the kid's vidglasses' instead. This error has been corrected here.


  • As of 2013, this technology exists in real life for Google Glass, Sony Glasstron, and previously models of iPhone.


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