Replica of the Flux capacitor


Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the Eighties, is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean "time machine" invented by slightly mad scientist. During his often hysterical, always amazing trip back in time, Marty must make certain his teenage parents-to-be meet and fall in love - so he can get back to the future. Written by Robert Lynch

Errors and ExplanationsEdit

Internet Movie DatabaseEdit


  • Marty goes back to November 5, 1955. At the movie theatre on in town, it shows Cattle Queen of Montana (1954) as the feature currently playing. That film was released on 18 November 1954, and would not still be playing almost a year later. There’s nothing to indicate it was shown in Hill Valley straight after release, Besides, some films have had continuous runs at the same cinema lasting much longer than this. According to the reference book Film Facts by Patrick Robin son, South Pacific ran continuously at the Dominion in Tottenham Court Road for 4 years 22 weeks from April 1958 to 30 September 1962, The double bill featuring Young Frankenstein and The Rocky horror picture Show ran at the Time Centre at Baker Square fror 4 years 9 months from January 1981 to October 1985, and Emmanualle ran non stop for 10 years at Paramount City in Paris from 26 June 1974 to 26 February 1985. (Page 223). In addition, Screen 6 of Atlanta’s CNN Centre 6 shows Gone With the Wind twice a day on every day of the year^. (Page 225)
  • When Doc Brown is on the clock tower, there is a close-up of his shoes, with the cable hanging on them. He appears to be wearing shoes with a Velcro strap. Velcro had been invented, but wasn't yet in commercial use. The shoes are obviously inappropriate for 1955. Doc could have modified his shoes with his own version of Velcro.


  • When Marty hitches a ride on the back of a truck, as he waves to the girls in the fitness center you can see he has a watch on his left hand. But when he meets Jennifer in school moments later, it has gone. He could have chosen to take it off between waving to the girls and meeting Jennifer.
  • When George and Marty are in the diner the first time, being accosted by Biff, George is looking at one of them in one shot, and when the shot changes, his gaze cuts sharply to the other one. He could have shifted his attention between them.
  • When Marty is pretending to be Darth Vader, the hair dryer in his belt appears and disappears According to the IMDB entry, some extra footage, wherein Marty moves the hair dryer, was cut from the final version.
  • Strickland holds his hands over his ears then puts them down after Marty plays "Johnny B Goode", then in the wide shot of the crowd Strickland has his hands over his ears again. Probably making sure his hearing is undamaged.
  • When George opens a bottle for Marty he has very disheveled, but a few moments later when they are out of the cafe George's hair is perfectly styled. George could have quickly combed it between shots.
  • The key bunch Marty used to try starting the stalled Delorean, shortly after he mounted the cable hook at the back of the car in 1955, was different from the bunch he used to start the again-stalled car shortly after his return to 1985. In fact, the one he used in the later scene consisted of just one key in a metal hoop. He probably removed the others and hid them in the car.
  • When Marty returns to 1985, he crashes the DeLorean into the church (that was a theatre in 1955), yet he pulls it out and the body of the car is flawless. The car probably has modified bodywork to protect it from any damaging effects of time travel.
  • In the diner scene in 1955, Marty explains to young George McFly and Goldie Wilson that Goldie will be mayor in the future. Right after Marty says this, Goldie pauses and George looks at Marty. In the very next shot, George is looking at Goldie. George could be switching attention from Marty to Goldie to see Goldie’s reaction.
  • On the night that Marty leaves 1955 and travels back to the future, the swirling storm that generates the crucial lightning bolt instantaneously ceases once he has departed and Doc is seen walking the street with an expression of delight. The bolt could have been from the tail end of the storm.

Factual errorsEdit

  • The JVC camcorder requires constant pressure to operate the rewind feature, not just a single push and release. Doc Brown could have modified it for some reason.
  • When the Libyans are chasing Marty, the AK-47 the shooter is using jams not once, but twice. One of the most well-known qualities of this weapon is that it almost never jams, even when filled with water or sand. Maybe the ammo is slightly incompatible?

Errors made by characters
(possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers)

  • The "Libyan" driver wears a Saudi headdress. Most likely a disguise to allow entry into the United States, due to Libya being hostile to the United States at the time, as opposed to Suadi Arabia.
  • When Marty wakes up in his bed in 1985, in the bookcase behind his head there's a yellow magazine named "RQ". This stands for "Reference Quarterly", a trade journal of reference librarians. In the DVD commentary track by producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton, they admit that the set dresser made a mistake in putting it in, as a teenager would have no reason to have a copy of "RQ". Doc Brown could have arranged for Marty to have the magazine.
  • When Marty stays at the Baines house he asks where Doc Brown lives. Mister Baines tells him the directions. Marty then refers to the "John F. Kennedy Drive". Mr. Baines replies "Who the hell is John F. Kennedy?", even though JFK was already a prominent heir, a WWII Naval hero, and a US Senator from Massachusetts. (IMDB) Apparently Mr. Baines is not into politics.
  • When Doc Brown is running out of the house after hearing that Ronald Reagan is the president in 1985, he assumes that Jane Wyman is the First Lady. While Jane Wyman was Ronald Reagan's wife, they divorce seven years before the film takes place. By 1955, Reagan was already married to Nancy Davis. The Doc probably doesn’t approve of divorce, and would therefore still regard Jane Wyman as Ronald Reagan’s 'legitimate' wife.
  • In the movie Doc says that the time machine is electrical, yet he uses a nuclear reaction to generate power. There is but one type of nuclear reaction that directly generates electrical energy called beta decay, and it is predominantly used for long-term low power output, unlike the high-yield output required by the time circuits. All other nuclear power sources generate heat that is only later transformed into electricity using heat engines and alternators. (IMDB) It is possible this power source was in fact invented by Doc.
  • Doc's 1955 house has a doorbell; the button is clearly visible on the right side of the doorframe as Doc opens the door. Yet Marty knocks on the door instead of ringing the doorbell. Perhaps Marty believes the doorbell either doesn’t work, or would be too quiet.

Incorrectly regarded as goofsEdit

  • In the opening scene, Doc's invention overflows Einstein's food bowl. When Marty enters, you see an empty bowl, but that's the water bowl.
  • Although not widely used until after the establishment of the SI in 1960, the metric prefix "giga-" was invented in 1951, so Doc could indeed have known it in 1955.
  • As George is approaching Lorraine in Lou's Diner in 1955, a customer nearby asks for a Cherry Coke. While Cherry Coke wasn't sold as a ready-made drink until 1985, Coke flavored with cherry or vanilla syrup was standard soda fountain fare in 1955.
  • Despite the more popular pronunciation of giga being 'giga,' 'jigga' is also an acceptable pronunciation.
  • Although the configuration of the gull wing doors on the DeLorean would make it impossible to open the doors once it was inside Doc's truck, he has a remote control for the car, so he wouldn't need to be inside the vehicle to load or unload it.
  • Since most pre-1965 silver coinage was out of circulation before 1985, Marty shouldn't have been able to pay for his coffee. However, the coffee Marty purchases only costs a nickel, a coin which did not change its metallurgical configuration during the transition.
  • When Marty Arrives in 1955 and crashes in to the barn, the DeLorean does not appear to be covered in ice, like it did a short while before, when returning to 1985 following Doc's 'one-minute experiment' in the parking lot. Since it's all imaginary, we can assume it has different settings.
  • DeLorean speedometers only go up to 85 miles per hour, but the one used in the movie goes up to 95 miles per hour. However, Doc presumably "doctored" it, or fitted a different one.
  • When Doc is at the Twin Pines mall and tests the DeLorean with Einstein, it appears that the car runs with an automatic transmission: Doc doesn't move any shifter mechanism or clutch on the remote. When Marty gets into the car shortly thereafter and for the rest of the movie, the DeLorean has a manual transmission. However it would clearly be within Doc's engineering abilities to retool the transmission or replace it with a custom one similar to a "manumatic", capable of going from manual to automatic depending on conditions. An automatic would be more suitable for a remote controlled vehicle. But a manual would be superior for someone in the driver’s seat when precise speed control is essential, especially in the scene when you see Marty shift when escaping the Libyans.
  • The guitar cord Marty plugs into the amplifier in 1985 is a TRS cable (tip, ring, sleeve), it has 2 bands going around the plug. The plug Marty plugs into his guitar is a right angled instrument cable (1 band around the plug). It is commonly thought that if Marty had been using a TRS cable he would have had another single banded cable hanging from his guitar (y-cable) but this is not necessarily the case as a TRS jack can be wired with the ring and sleeve shorted together making the ring and sleeve assembly appear electrically and mechanically to the jack socket as the same electrical contact like the right angled jack he plugs into his guitar.
  • SPOILER: When Marty returns to 1985, in under 10 minutes he runs a distance shown as 2 miles on a 1955 sign. That sign shows the distance by road, and he took a short cut.
  • SPOILER: It can appear to viewers that Einstein the dog is alive in both 1955 and 1985. Back to the Future Part III (1990) retroactively explains that the 1955 puppy is Copernicus, Einstein's predecessor.
  • SPOILER: At the beginning of the movie the name of the mall was Twin Pine Mall. When Marty arrives back to 1985, the sign at the entrance of the mall parking lot reads Lone Pine Mall. This is due to the fact that Marty knocked down one of the twin pines when he crashed into it when arriving back in 1955. Therefore, when history is changed because of this, there's only one pine tree on the spot where the mall is built, making it The Lone Pine Mall.
  • SPOILER: After Marty gets back to 1985 and sees his parents, they don't say anything about how much he looks like Marty from 1955. However, this obviously isn't the first time they've seen their son. They may have noticed the resemblance and may have mentioned it earlier. Alternatively, there is no reason to think they would notice how their son looks like a person they met 30 years ago for one week who they never saw again after that and whom they have no photographs of.
  • SPOILER: Marty went to the past wearing Nike trainers. When he was being chased by Biff he was wearing Converses. Then when he went back to future he was wearing Nikes again. Marty brought no other clothes with him, but it's conceivable that he obtained a pair of Converse with his other period-correct clothes.
  • SPOILER: After Marty returns to 1985, Doc Brown, forewarned by Marty's note, manages to survive being shot by wearing body armor. In 1985, there was no ballistic vest in existence capable of protecting against a long burst of 7.62mm rifle fire from an AK-47 at a range of a few metres (and presumably, he had not yet traveled into the future and found one that was). However, Doc could have invented it himself.
  • SPOILER: Doc Brown had to determine exactly which moment the lightning would strike the clock tower. 10:04 pm isn't accurate enough to set up the alarm clock in such a way as to make the DeLorean intersect with the cable the exact moment the lightning strikes. However, according to Doc, the flier says that the lightning strikes at "precisely" 10:04, presumably up to the second, which is what really happened. How the "historical preservation society" determined the precise moment of the strike is never explained, but they could have conceivably determined that by studying the clock's mechanism.
  • SPOILER: Doc is touching the wire when the lightning strikes the clock tower, but he doesn't seem to be electrocuted. However, most of the lightning's energy was absorbed by the flux capacitor (otherwise the time machine wouldn't have worked), and most of the remaining energy went into the ground. Electrical current prefers to move through the most conductive material in its path, which, in this case, would be a thick metal cable and not a human body (this is how the birds can sit on the power lines). Plus, Doc was wearing gloves, which made him even less electrically conductive. Still, even after all these reductions, the current which passed through his body was powerful enough to knock Doc off his feet.

Revealing mistakesEdit

  • When the Libyans first fire upon the van, the bullets do not inflict any visible marks, leaving the van looking as if nothing had happened to it. The motion of their van could have caused the Libyans to miss.
  • Despite all of the DeLorean's collisions with objects or buildings (i.e. the barn, the theater by the clock tower, the trash can, etc.), there is still no visible damage to the car whatsoever. Even stainless steel is not scratch-proof. There would at least be a broken headlight, turn signal, damage to the time travel cables on outside of the car, or some other such thing. But there isn't even a scratch on the metal or windows. Doc could have modified the car to provide extra protection.
  • SPOILER: When Marty realizes he can save Doc by going ten more minutes into the past than originally planned, he actually resets the Time Circuits to go eleven more minutes into the past. He probably added another minute for luck
  • SPOILER: When Doc is walking across the ledge of the clock tower when the camera is looking up towards the ledge, you can see that the section Doc breaks off is clearly marked (it's darker than the rest of the ledge). Probably a botched repair of wear and tear.

^The thetre closed in 2008