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Martin Seamus "Marty" McFly
Played By: Michael J. Fox
Voiced in the Telltale Games series by: AJ LoCascio
- Action Survivor: Doc seems to have this impression of him, at least after the first movie. It should tell you something that, in Part II, Doc's plans for Griff and 1955 basically boil down to "tell Marty what to do and let him handle it".
- Adorkable: Not on his father's levels, but he still has his moments. Like in Part III when he realizes that he's alone with a gun, and decides to start pointing it to his reflection and mimics Robert De Niro and Clint Eastwood. All while he's wearing pajamas.
- Anti-Hero: The Telltale game turns him into one, given all the morally-ambiguous things he ends up doing in order to set the timeline straight, including (but not limited to) nearly suffocating young!Doc to death, preventing one (from a bad timeline)!Doc to disappear from existence, and so on.
- Berserk Button: "Nobody calls me chicken!" This ends up getting him into an accident the day he returns from 1885. (May also qualify as a Noodle Incident, since it didn't appear in the first movie. Though that may just be a coincidence, or alternate parenting from the "new", self-confident George, who took Marty's lessons a bit too much to heart when passing them on.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's very sweet and friendly, but he still has a hell of a right hook and won't hesitate to use it.
- Big Brother Instinct: He forms one over his own father in 1955, protecting him whenever he needs help. Thanks to that and Character Development on George's part, the latter becomes a better, more assertive person.
- Book Dumb: Seems to actually need the exposition Doc gives... but it seems to have been him that hooked that 1985 video recorder up to Doc's 1955 TV. Maybe Doc's been teaching him?
- Buffy Speak: In the Telltale game:Marty: (looking at a bathysphere) It's some kind of... deep-sea diving thingy.
- Bully Hunter: Granted, since he's grown up seeing Biff as his father's tormentor, it's not too big a surprise that he doesn't like bullies.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: In his case, Refusal of the Call means he disappears from existence or is stuck in the past, so he doesn't have much choice but to comply. Come Part III, he finally has the opportunity to choose without being so railroaded by the plot, and he goes with... Guile Hero.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Nobody calls me chicken!" Cue Trope Namer.
- "This is heavy!"
- "Holy SHIT!"
- (every time he tries to distract his enemies) "Hey, what the hell is that?!" or "Hey, what's that?!"
- "Here goes nothing." (In the video game)
- He also tends to mutter "perfect..." when things aren't going well for him.
- "Wait a minute..."
- Character Development:
- Character Tics: His, erm... unusual sleeping position.
- Chekhov's Skill: Skateboarding, guitar shredding, and (later) arcade shooters.
- Combat Pragmatist: Kind of necessary when facing guns and men twice your size (sometimes both at once).
- Compressed Vice: Again, his dislike of being called a chicken. In the second movie, his parents reflect on how this was always his Fatal Flaw. Would be normal if it weren't for the fact that he isn't shown to have this trait in the first movie; he has a quick temper and some Determinator aspects, but no one calls him out on anything directly. Although the fact that he takes a sip from the liquor after Lorraine tells him he's being a square might be a subtle sign of it.
- Cool Board: Apparently to make up for the fact that he doesn't have a car, originally. Due to this, and how skateboarding wasn't quite as popular in 1985, we never see him doing any tricks on it.
- Cool Loser: Supposedly. The only person we see treating him this way in the original timeline is Strickland, though.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: In the game, to save the future, Marty pretty much obliterates Emmett's life in the span of two minutes.
- Determinator: Particularly in Part II, and especially during his second time in 1955. Dude just will not quit in trying to get the Almanac back.
- Dork Knight: To the extent that a high schooler could be reasonably expected to be, anyway.
- Fanservice: A split-second shot of him in purple Calvin Klein underwear. Plus in the third movie you get a nice shot of his butt.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Takes an unusually long time to get fully acclimated to being in 1955. Perhaps because his father wasn't a novelist in his original upbringing?
- Flanderization: Into The Ditz in Back to the Future The Animated Series.
- Fragile Speedster: Necessary considering that Mc Fly men are just not too built by nature. He combines this with Combat Pragmatist to outsmart the various villains (read:incarnations of Biff, his relatives, and his cronies) that he encounters throughout his adventures. If he ever allows himself to be drawn into a fight due to calling a chicken, he tends to go down after a really good punch or two.
- Future Badass: If the ending to the Telltale game can be trusted.
- Future Loser: Part II reveals that Future Marty gave up guitaring and ended up a lowly salaryman, stuck working for his high school enemy (à la George). Luckily in Part III, Marty manages to avert the event that led to this timeline, with the implication that he has a better future.
- Go Look at the Distraction: It's a Running Gag in the 2010 game for Marty to quickly distract someone by pointing behind them and shouting, "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!"
- Guile Hero: He uses his wits as much as his physical ability to solve his problems.
- The Gunslinger: Thanks to an arcade light gun game, he is an accomplished Quick Draw artist. Though, he does refuse to kill Buford so as not to mess up the timeline.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Lampshaded by being called a "hothead" by many throughout the trilogy. This is especially true if you call him a chicken, which will make hell break loose and he'll try to punch you out. He seems to have grown out of this by the game, however, after his Character Development in the third movie.
- Hard Head: It's something of a Running Gag that Marty loses consciousness this way.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Doc. In the first film, Doc sacrifices himself to save Marty from the Libyans, and Marty returns the favor by ensuring that he gets the news of his impending death. Throughout the entire trilogy, they're by each others' sides, protecting each other and providing the fandom with many crowning moments of heartwarming.
- Hidden Depths: He's a lot smarter than he seems.
- High School Hustler: Downplayed. He's not really a trickster as usually seen in this trope, but he's no less lucky and helpful. Played straighter in the early drafts for the movie, however.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Learned how to sharpshoot from playing an arcade game.
- Indy Ploy: He's quick at coming up with ways to get himself out of a bind.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: He seems to have this reaction to "parking" with his future mother - right after he takes the liquor bottle off of her, he takes a swig of it himself (leading to the Spit Take described below).
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Not really innocent, per se - but his big blue eyes do give off the vibe of "Flabbergasted Fish Out of Temporal Water".
- Intergenerational Friendship:
- With Doc throughout the trilogy. It's clear that they've been friends for some time by the beginning of the first film.
- With his parents in Part I, and his great-great-grandparents in Part III, although they're all his age or close to it at the time that these friendships form.
- Kid from the Future: In Part I. Technically a "Great-Great-Grandkid from the Future" in Part III.
- Look Behind You: Not only does Marty love this, but it almost always works!
- Loser Son of Loser Dad: In the first film, Strickland sneers that Marty comes from a long line of SLACKERS. (Which is unfair, as he's clearly more outgoing than George ever was in the original timeline.)
- Love at First Sight: Says that this happened with him and Jennifer when Doc scoffs at the idea.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- In Part II, it's his plan to use the almanac that older Biff overhears and goes back in time to tell his 50's self. Leading into the conflict for the rest of the film.
- In the game, his plan to get Kid Tannen arrested, and his interactions with Edna Strickland and young Emmett makes them fall in love with each other. This little error throws the timeline into jeopardy and prevents the events of the movies from ever happening, creating the Alt!1986 Citizen Brown timeline.
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: In one timeline, this flaw ruined his life.
- Only Known by Their Nickname/In-Series Nickname: His actual name is Martin, but everyone calls him Marty.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's only 5'4" but is able to knock out 6'3" Biff and Buford with a few punches.
- Pride: The proper name for his Fatal Flaw. He feels he can't back down from a challenge when called "Chicken", but as the series goes on this turns out to have serious and by Part III, near fatal consequences. Eventually he learns to overcome it after some sound advice from his ancestors. Which inadvertently saves his future in the process.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Doc's and George's blue.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: For a skateboarding rockstar wannabe, he's surprisingly down to earth.
- Scars Are Forever: In the game, when trying to prove to his parents that he really is their son in an alternate timeline note it's revealed that he has a scar on his left knee that he got in a skateboarding accident when he was twelve.
- Spit Take:
- After confiscating Lorraine's liquor bottle, he sees her lighting a cigarette - just as he takes a swig...
- A Real Life example happened in a blooper of the same scene - as a prank, the prop bottle was replaced with an identical one with real alcohol in it, causing Michael J. Fox to spray it all over himself and hilarity to ensue.
- Supporting Protagonist: Word of God views him as this in the first and third movies, with George and Lorraine getting the most development in Part I, and Doc getting it in Part III.
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: Marty often reacts like this when stuff happens with his young mother and grandmother too in the game, for similar reasons.
- Tragic Hero: Narrowly subverted; his Fatal Flaw nearly causes him to break his hand and ruin his rock star dreams in a race with Needles or get shot by Buford, but he learns to overcome those flaws and therefore doesn't fall into tragedy.
- True Companions: Marty and Doc have a very strange but very strong bond. They are separated by interests and age, but they would sacrifice themselves for each other without a second thought. That's during the films. It gets more flagrant after the video game. This trope being more flagrant in the video game could be justified by the fact that Marty befriended a teenage Emmett Brown in 1931 like he did in 1955 with his parents and in 1885 with his great-great-grandparents.
- Undying Loyalty: Shows this towards anyone he cares about:
- No matter how much his parents' actions in both the past and present annoy or upset him, he will never let anyone get away with hurting George or Lorraine in the long run.
- Shows this towards Doc as well. In the first movie, he tried everything he could think of to make sure that Doc found out about his death in the future, and in the third movie, he refused to go straight home to the future once he found out that Doc was killed in 1885, insisting on going back to rescue him despite Doc's explicit directions to the contrary and saving Doc repeatedly from Buford once he got there.
- The Watson: Neither unskilled nor unintelligent, but can't hold a candle to Doc.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out on by Doc for trying to bring back a Sports Almanac listing all the winners from 1950-2000 in the sequel so he can win money and become a billionaire.
Dr. Emmett Lathrop "Doc" Brown
Played By: Christopher Lloyd
- Absent-Minded Professor: He has the look, but Doc is otherwise fairly on the ball.
- Adorkable: Especially in Part III, when he sees Clara at the dance.
- Age Lift: Christopher Lloyd was only 48 when he filmed the role for the 71 year old Doc Brown. Probably done on purpose so when Marty goes back to 1955 and meets the 41 year old Doc Brown they look the same, except for aging make-up in 1985, which was dropped in the other parts as Doc underwent a rejuvenating process. They also replaced his spleen and colon.
- Badass Longcoat: He wears a long coat in Part III and also does some rather impressive things.
- Big Good: He has only good intentions with time-traveling, wants to set the timeline's right so no one suffers, and is genuinely helpful to Marty in all three movies and sees him as a close friend.
- Bungling Inventor: Strictly speaking, the time machines are the only inventions of his that worknote . He is apparently a gifted scientist otherwise, enough that he works as a freelance science troubleshooter.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be eccentric but he's also on par with his scientific heroes in terms of intelligence.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: All it takes is a single shot of whiskey, and he's out like a light.
- Catch Phrase: "Great SCOTT!!"
- Celibate Eccentric Genius: He finds the idea of Love at First Sight ridiculous... until he meets Clara in the third film.
- Character Development: Goes from believing at the start of the trilogy that "no man should know too much about his destiny" to saying that "the future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it!" at the end.
- Character Tics: He often makes grandiose hand gestures while talking. Christopher Lloyd said he based his portrayal of Doc, in part, on conductor Leopold Stokowski, i.e. Doc is conducting the world.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He is famous for his quirky and eccentric personality.
- Cool Old Guy: The guy's built a Time Machine out of a rather poor car, for starters.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's rare, but he has his moments.(Marty points out his father, who has a "kick me" sign on his back)Doc: Maybe you were adopted?
- Deuteragonist: Although, Doc is arguably the main character of the third film.
- Einstein Hair: How did he get his hair to stick out like that? The game expends on this. During the 1931 HV Science Expo. Young Emmett is driving his flying rocket powered car, which explodes violently. When Emmett exits the expo, his hairs became like his movie counterpart, as a result of the explosion (which he didn't have before). He comments that after that incident, he got banned from the expo for at least 50 years.
- Fan of the Past: Doc is a a fan of the Old West, and gets to live in it by the time Part III rolls around.
- For Science!: Though he's quick to see the problems time travel might cause, and has no problem ordering Marty to destroy the time machine.
- Friendless Background: At the time of the films, he has only Marty and his pet dogs, because no one in Hill Valley wants to come near "crazy old man Brown."
- Gadgeteer Genius: He's quite adept at adapting technology to the limitations of the time period he's in.
- Gentleman Adventurer: Has shades of this. (Though he had the foresight to not try to alter historical events.)
- Going Native: Fits right in with 1885 California.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Played with. Doc is rarely seen without a tacky luau shirt, and he is a tourist.
- Herr Doktor: Doc technically falls under this, as his father is German.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Marty. In the first film, Doc sacrifices himself to save Marty from the Libyans, and Marty returns the favor by ensuring that he gets the news of his impending death. Throughout the entire trilogy, they're by each others' sides, protecting each other and providing the fandom with many crowning moments of heartwarming.
- If My Calculations Are Correct: When Doc's baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit.
- Indy Ploy: More subtly than Marty, but Doc can be surprisingly pragmatic when he needs to be.
- Intergenerational Friendship: It's a credit to the actors that we, as viewers, don't question why a skater punk and some old guy would hang out together.
- The original script had a line by Marty explaining that Doc hired him to clean his garage. Marty, being a music aficionado, was impressed with Doc's vintage record collection. The rest is history.
- The screenwriter decided it wasn't necessary to explain how they first met. Doc is a local pariah and a weirdo, and Marty is clearly a rebel. It's inevitable that Marty would snoop around Doc's garage at some point.
- Bob Gale himself finally gave a rather heartwarming explanation over on Mental Floss.
- Another explanation could be drawn from the movie - that their friendship is a Stable Time Loop. Marty and Doc are friends because Marty helped him in the fifties (and in the game, saved him in the thirties) so Doc knew who he was in the eighties and became friends with him, thus leading to him once again do all of those things.
- Large Ham: What would you expect from Christopher Lloyd?
- Literal-Minded: This comes up a couple of times in the first movie, where he takes Marty's use of slangnote at face value in 1955. (In context, this takes place in an era when nuclear war between superpowers was starting to look more likely. It's not the stretch it would be now to have worried that we'd be slingin' around bombs to the point of affecting Earth's gravity.)
- Love at First Sight: Though skeptical of it, it comes true when he meets Clara, which is reciprocated. Becomes a bit of a problem when he and Marty need to get back to the future.
- Mad Scientist: Although he's well-meaning, both to Marty and humankind.
- May-December Romance: Played with. Historically speaking, Clara was around 60 years older than him, but biologically speaking, Doc was about 30 years older than her when they first meet.
- Meaningful Name: His first name is "Time", pronounced backwards. His ambition is to travel in time.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold:
- He has the rumors of being a "crazy old man", and Marty was even warned not to go near him, but did so anyway and befriended him, according to Word of God. His main purpose with time-traveling is to help mankind with their problems; he refuses to alter it for personal gain, which he calls out on Marty for trying to do in the sequel.
- Subverted in 1885, where as the town blacksmith he seems to be well-liked by the town, where he's on a first name basis with the saloonkeeper and the mayor.
- Mysterious Middle Initial: What exactly the L stands for isn't stated until the animated series, when an Evil Former Friend of his refers to him as "Emmett Lathrop Brown."
- Older Than They Look: He's nearly one hundred years old in the game, yet still looks like a man in his sixties. Justified by the fact that he took advantage of future medicine to rejuvenate himself and increase his lifespan. They also replaced his spleen and colon.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Aside from inventing a time machine with an on-board nuclear reactor, he's also managed to build a working refrigerator (well, it can produce ice, anyway) using 1885 componentsnote , and a second time machine that runs solely on steam power (again, using components available around 1885). Also, when he meets Clara and lets slip that he's a scientist, he mentions that he's a student of all sciences.
- Only Friend: Marty is all Doc has except for his dogs. Doc is a decent and loyal man who happens to have the reputation of being a Mad Scientist. Marty feels out of place himself, but nonetheless knows enough about making friends to have the fellow members of his garage band.
- The Professor: In the original draft, he'd been called "Professor Brown" before it was recommended that he'd be called "Dr. Brown" or "Doc". This new nickname became so iconic that during the filming of The Frighteners years after BTTF, Michael J. Fox kept calling the Judge character "Doc".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Marty's red.
- Sdrawkcab Name: His first two names. His first name Emmett is "time" pronounced backwards, and his middle name Lathrop is "porhtal", as in "time portal".
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Especially in the animated series. In the DVD commentary, it's lampshaded that Doc will use a bigger word when he could easily use a smaller word, such as calling a dance "A rhythmic ceremonial ritual" even though the word "dance" was clearly written.
- Sophisticated as Hell: "If My Calculations Are Correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit."
- Symbol Motif Clothing: He's wearing a shirt decorated with locomotive trains in Part II. The same shirt becomes his bandanna in Part III.
- Took a Level in Badass: His first appearance in Part III involves him rescuing Marty from being hanged by shooting the rope holding him up, then proceeds to get Buford and his goons to run off.
- True Companions: Marty and Doc have a very strange but very strong bond. They are separated by interests and age, but they would sacrifice themselves for each other without a second thought. That's during the films. It gets more flagrant after the video game.
- The Von Trope Family: In Part III Doc explains that his family use to be the "Von Brauns". He goes on to explain his father changed it to Brown because of World War I.
- Word of Dante: Bob Gale guesses that Doc was involved with the Manhattan project, but became an outcast and spent the remainder of his life trying to invent something beneficial for humanity. Hence the portable nuclear reactor which he sank his entire fortune into. This would also explain his cynical predictions for the future in 1955 ("Of course! Because of all the fallout from the atomic wars!") Became (semi-) canon on the IDW Publishing BTTF comics (written by Gale).
Played By: Lea Thompson
- Broken Bird: The Lorraine of 1985-A is a shattered woman, trapped in an abusive/loveless marriage to Biff, staying with him only so that her children can live in relative comfort.
- Former Teen Rebel: Rebel might be pushing it a bit, but she's clearly a little rougher in 1955 than the nice girl image would have you believe.
- Gag Boobs: Biff-A made Lorraine-A get some by 1985-A; she doesn't enjoy them.
- Happily Married: To George. Disappointed with him in the original 1985, but clearly their relationship is in better shape after Marty 'fixes' things.
- High School Sweethearts: With George.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Very much. Marty is shocked by Lorraine's real attractiveness when he meets her in 1955. She ages much more gracefully in the "improved" 1985 that Marty returns to in the first film.Lorraine: My name's Lorraine, Lorraine Baines.Marty: Yeah... but you're ho... you're so h... you're so... thin!
- Lady Drunk: In the original 1985. Even more so in 1985-A. And in the Citizen Brown timeline in the game.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The 1985-A Lorraine was modeled after various female televangelists from The '80s, particularly Tammy Faye Meissner (aka Bakker).
- No Doubt The Years Have Changed Me: The difference between the Lorraine of 1973-A and 1985-A is downright jarring.
- Parental Incest: Has a crush on Marty in the first film - much to his horror. Becomes a major problem.
- Playing Gertrude: Lea Thompson is just nine days older than Michael J. Fox. Though it does make perfect sense, as for most of the first film (intended as a one-shot story at the time) she's the same age as Marty. Stranger is that she's actually three years younger than Wendy Jo Sperber, who plays her teenage daughter in the film series.
- Seemingly Wholesome '50s Girl: Played this trope straight to a tee in her youth. At 17, she drinks, smokes, and "parks" with boys casually. In the original, unaltered 1985, she falsely insists to her kids that she was a genuinely wholesome 50's girl.
George Douglas McFly
Played By: Crispin Glover, Jeffrey Weissman
- Adorkable: A nerd who is more comfortable watching or writing sci-fi than he is with social interaction and who takes notes on what to say to the girl he likes. As he introduces himself to Lorraine as her "density", she seems amused by it. This probably would've succeeded if Biff hadn't shown up.
- Berserk Button: In issue 3 of the comic book, 1958!George hates it when you call what he writes "sci-fi," which he equates with "cheap junk." He writes "science fiction."
- Beware the Nice Ones: After decking his lifelong tormentor, George becomes one that you do not want to mess with.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Earlier on in the movie, in 1955, he's spying on Lorraine through the window as she undresses (Marty: "He's a Peeping Tom!"). However, his fire is lit if you try to touch Lorraine inappropriately. It drove him to overcome his insecurities and stand up to the person who has bullied him his whole life by punching him out, saving Lorraine from Attempted Rape in the process. After he has saved her, he asks if she's okay, and helps her up to her feet. His chivalry is what makes him win her heart. When Marty returns to the "corrected" 1985, George's follow-up to Marty's incredulous observation that Lorraine is "thin" is to pinch her butt, showing he's ultimately still this trope.
- Eating Lunch Alone: George sits by himself at the cafeteria during lunch in 1955, writing ideas for his stories.
- Extreme Doormat: He is often pushed around by Biff until he Took a Level in Badass towards the end of the first film.
- Fake Shemp: In the sequels, especially Part II.
- Flashback with the Other Darrin: It may not be particularly noticeable most of the time due to clever camera work and tech, but the shots with George in Part II that aren't stock footage are played by Jeffrey Weissman.
- Happily Married: He and Lorraine are very happy together after Marty fixes the time stream.
- Hollywood Nerd: To the nth degree, before time got altered, at which he veers into Nerds Are Sexy.
- Kick Me Prank: George is the victim of a kind cruel prank when some of Biff's friends tape a sheet of paper with the words "KICK ME" on it on his back.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Even after the big 1955 makeover, he's still a bit of a nerd (he did, after all, write and publish what appears to be a pretty hardcore sci-fi novel). However, unlike before, he's an attractive and self-confident nerd rather than a stereotypical Hollywood Nerd.
- The Peeping Tom: In 1955 and the Citizen Brown timeline of the game.
- Playing Gertrude: Glover is actually 3 years younger than Michael J. Fox. (averted with Weissman, who is 3 years older). Justified for the same reason this trope is listed in Lorraine's list.
- The Southpaw: An early draft had George discover he could punch very strongly with his left hand. The final film has George's desire to protect Lorraine cause him to unleash his inner strength, but close observers might notice he knocked out Biff by punching him with his left hand.
- Took a Level in Badass: Marty basically helps him rise to this point. As soon as Lorraine is shoved to the ground by drunken Biff, the fire is lit.
- You Leave Her Alone: Said word for word by George.
Biff Howard Tannen
Played By: Thomas F. Wilson
- Arch-Enemy: To the McFly Family in general, but mostly Marty in the first movie.
- Barbaric Bully: Big (lampshaded), dumb (says certain things grammatically incorrect, although he's smarter than his grandson), and Obviously Evil (attempts to rape Lorraine in their high school years, as well as his old self going back in time to turn the present-85 into a hellhole), three out of three.
- Berserk Button: He really hates manure. When Marty told him he heard about the manure incident in 1985-A he seemed more angry than confused.
- Big Bad: In Part II. His alteration of the timeline turns Hill Valley into a dystopia, —with him at the top— that should be set right.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
- The new "nicer" Biff that appears at the end of the first Back to the Future is pretty much an act given that he returns to being a massive Jerkass when he's an old man (in context, he seems really bitter about how Marty Sr. turned out). It's unknown if he's still this way in Part III, after the timeline's fixed.
- The Biff of 1985-A cultivates a philanthropist image in his rise to power.
- Book Dumb: He's not good at school, but is a major gear-head as shown in Part II.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Biff is constantly, err, biffing his attempts at wordplay with lines like "Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here"note and "That's as funny as a screen door on a battleship."note Presumably everyone is too afraid of him to correct him. He is berated for this by his older self in the second movie.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Hello! Hello! Anybody home?! Hey, think, McFly, think!"
- "Hey McFly!"
- "How about you make like a tree and get out of here?"
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: In 1985-A, as the founder of Biffco. He apparently has a head for business, as he's basically a small business owner in the 'fixed' 1985 timeline.
- Evil Is Petty:
- Exhibit A — Stealing a ball from some neighborhood kids and hurling it onto a nearby roof. And then he strolls away cackling to himself.
- In the alternate present, we see a headline describing George's murder; Biff, the actual gunman, crows that the police would never arrest him. The article explains that George was headed for a meeting to protest the environmental policies of Biffco.
- Evil Laugh: Icing on the cake.
- Expy : Word of God says Future Biff is based on Donald Trump.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: In 1985-A, thanks to Grey's Sports Almanac.
- Freudian Excuse: His grandmother sounds like a case. In the Telltale game, his father is revealed to be a notorious bootlegger.
- Future Loser: The altered timeline had him waxing cars, most often for the McFly family, in contrast to his supervisor job in the original timeline. Seems to be aware that he's this by 2015.
- I Hate Past Me: The elderly Biff is quite embarrassed about how dimwitted the younger Biff is.Old Biff: It's LEAVE!! You idiot! 'Make like a tree and leave.' You sound like a damned FOOL when you say it wrong!
- I Have Your Children: The gist of his blackmail on Lorraine in 1985-A. If she tries to leave, he'll cancel Linda's credit cards and stop covering her debts, have Dave's probation revoked, and get Marty (plus Linda and Dave, if he feels like it) jailed.
- In the Blood: Descended from an outlaw, he's pretty much more of the same. No word about how his son turned out, but his grandson Griff's at least as bad as he ever was if not more. And in the game, it's revealed that his father was a notorious bootlegger.
- Jerkass: He's has a callous personality up until George stands up for himself, anyway. And he seems more bitter than jerkass in 2015 - given the opportunity to go back in time, he opts to make himself rich rather than do anything to the McFly family.
- Jerk Jock: 1955!Biff is a textbook example.
- Large Ham
- In Part II:Young Biff: [to old Biff] Now why don't you make like a tree and get outta here?!
Old Biff: ([slaps young Biff]) It's "LEAVE", you idiot! "Make like a tree and LEAVE". You sound like a damned FOOL when you say it wrong!
- Also in Part II:Biff: That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship.
Marty: (hiding in Biff's car) That's a screen door on a submarine, you dork.
- And in Part III, we find out that it runs in the family:Buford: I'll hunt you and shoot you down like a duck!
Buford's Henchman: It's "dog", Buford, "shoot him down like a dog".
- In Part II:
- Man Child: As an adult in the original timeline, he acts exactly like his teenage bully self from 1955, having no reason to ever mature. In Part II, this crosses over to Psychopathic Man Child in 1985-A, when he's still just as bratty and immature, but now has the wealth and power to get everything he wants.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Thomas F. Wilson based Biff on his own experiences being bullied. In high school, he was more like George McFly.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: In 1985-A, he kills George McFly.
- Never My Fault: He totals the McFly car while illegally drinking behind the wheel, and blames George for it because the latter never told him it had a blind spot.note
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Word of God says the 1985-A version of Biff was inspired by Donald Trump. The portrait in Biff's office was even based on one of Trump.
- Not a Morning Person: Biff is implied to be this. Whenever George offers to go to Biff's home with the reports for Biff to copy and pass them as his own, Biff tells George not to show up too soon for this very reason.
- Older and Wiser: 2015!Biff. He formulates a surprisingly effective plan to make his past self rich, after listening to Doc talking about the risks of meeting an alternate self, and even figures out how to make the time machine work.
- Our Founder: Has a wax statue of himself standing in 1985-A's museum.
- Outdated Outfit: In 1985-A, he and his gang seem to fit in more with the The '70s than The '80s.
- Reformed Bully: Biff is a subverted example in the best timeline of the trilogy. He never becomes a great guy, but years of being under George's thumb have made him give up his meanest habits. However, him calling Marty "butthead" before he recognized him in the third film, and the behavior of his older self in the second might cast doubt on whether he's reformed or just scared of George.
- Retgone: A deleted scene from Part II shows Old Biff fading away when he returns to 2015. 1985-A Lorraine apparently shot him some time in the mid-90s.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: In the original timeline, he's still at it, holding power over George. In 1985-A, he has power over Hill Valley, as well as California itself. The fixed timeline subverts this, to the point that George apparently trusts him to do a good job... eventually.
- Villainous Breakdown: After the second time he crashes into a manure truck. He screams about how he hates manure, and looks like he's about to cry.
- Villain with Good Publicity: In 1985-A, he's even got his own museum dedicated to his life story.
- Would Hit a Girl: In the first film, he pushes Lorraine to the ground, and in the alternate 1985 of part 2, he abuses her along with Marty, among other things making her get breast implants.
- You Killed My Father: He killed George, Marty's father, in 1985-A.
Jennifer Jane Parker
Played By: Claudia Wells, Elisabeth Shue
- Agent Mulder: At the start of the second movie, when she learns that the DeLorean is a time machine, she doesn't question it once (although she does sound pretty freaked out when she asks if they're in 2015).
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: In the alternate!1986 in the Telltale game, she's dating an ugly, stupid tool rather than Marty - just because he plays electric guitar in a band (the Marty in the alternate timeline is apparently a grade-A nerd who plays the ukulele rather than guitar). This trope is how the real Marty wins her back, along with showing off his guitar talents.
- The Cheerleader: Averted. It's implied in Part II that she may have been a cheerleader in high school (a maroon and white school jacket can be seen in the closet she's hiding in in 2015, with the name "Jennifer" and an emblem consisting of a megaphone over the "HV" letters), but she's a Girl Next Door type, and doesn't seem like an Alpha Bitch or The Ditz as is usually seen in this trope. This is a possible Actor Allusion - in The Karate Kid, Elisabeth Shue's character, Ali, is a cheerleader.
- The Chick: You get the feeling that there's more to her, but the plot of Part II forces her into this role.
- Childhood Friend Romance: According to the comic book, she and Marty knew each other in fourth grade, fell out of contact for a few years, then reconnected and fell in Love at First Sight in 1984.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the game. Well, the punk-rock delinquent version of herself, anyway.
- '80s Hair: Especially with her first actress. In alternate 1986, this becomes Delinquent Hair.
- Flashback with the Other Darrin: It's even the page image!
- Good Girl Gone Bad: In the game, she's a bitchy, sarcastic, delinquent rocker in the alternate-1986; this is implied to be a form of rebellion against Citizen Brown's rule.
- Guest Star Party Member: Her most significant role was in the second film. Which involved her running around her future home in a controlled panic. The Bobs have noted that if they'd intended on making a sequel, they would not have had Jennifer go to the future with Marty and Doc as they had no idea what to do with her.
- Hidden Depths: The "Continuum Conundrum" arc in the comic shows Jennifer taking a more active role in the plot than she did in the movies, and consequently displays sides of her that we didn't previously see.
- For instance, she shows some remarkable sci-fi savvy, mentioning how she wishes that Doc had a "time phone" or similar, and she even theorizes that the version of Doc that they've encountered might somehow be from the original (Twin Pines) timeline, or even an Alternate Universe. She says this comes from reading George's sci-fi novels.
- The comics show that she's also quite organized and clever in her thinking, such as when she gains the trust of Goldie Wilson, Jr. in order to get the location of Doc's secret lab. She also chastises Marty for relying too heavily on Indy Ploys rather than coming up with an organized game plan, and is able to get him to focus on the task at hand.
- High School Sweethearts: Is this with Marty, and we see that they're married with kids in 2015. But the original timeline isn't very happy, though maybe not to the extent of George and Lorraine in their original timeline - they appear to actually be Happily Married. Lorraine even says that she thinks that she married her son out of pity (and this is to her own granddaughter)! Fortunately, it's heavily implied that her and Marty's future becomes much better/happier after Marty prevents the incident that ruined his life from happening thanks to his Character Development.
- In-Series Nickname: Is called "Jen" a couple of times by Marty in Part III and in the game.
- In the comic, Needles attempts to flirt with her and calls her "Jenny". She isn't impressed.
- The Load: Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale never had a character development in mind for her, stating that had they planned to make a sequel to the original film, they would not have put "the girl" in the car at the end. Sure enough, less than five minutes into Part II, she's sedated and pretty much spends the rest of the series that way. Her actresses aren't even given top billing in the film credits, even though those who play even smaller roles are.
- Locked Out of the Loop: It's quite clear that she has absolutely NO idea what's going on when she climbs into the DeLorean with Marty. Catches up fast, though.
- Love at First Sight: With Marty, according to him when explaining that the trope is possible to Doc.
- Satellite Love Interest: She appeared very little in the first movie and apparently existed only so that Marty would have someone to spill exposition on in the opening scenes. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale tried to write her out of the sequels, but the way they ended the first movie made that difficult; she did get some development in the second and third movies.
- Secret Keeper: She becomes this once Marty tells her about (and shows her what's left of) Doc's time machine.
- Static Character: Through no fault of her own, she comes off as this.
Played By: Mary Steenburgen
- Born in the Wrong Century: In the "Clara's Story" section of the comic book, Clara muses about how she and Emmett are like this, with Emmett fitting in better in the past, and her own desire to leave the past and visit (or live in) the future.
- Love at First Sight: Becomes rather flustered when she first lays eyes on Doc after he saves her life.
- Geeky Turn-On: "You've read Jules Verne?", "I adore Jules Verne!" Doc's science background also intrigued her.
- Plucky Girl: She's crazily determined enough to climb all the way to the train's engine room, despite all the explosions.
- Schoolmarm: She is Hill Valley's new schoolteacher in 1885. She still dresses like this even in the present.
- Woman Scorned: When she believes Doc is toying with her, she calls him out, slaps him, and slams the door in his face.
- Wrench Wench: At the end of one comics story, Clara is seen adjusting the armature of the Jules Verne train with a wrench, and other stories imply that she had some hand in assisting Doc with the train's construction.
Jules Eratosthenes Brown
- Ascended Extra: His only appearance in the original films is a brief, non-speaking appearance at the end of the third film. However, he becomes a main character in the animated series.
- Free-Range Children: He (and his brother) frequently take the DeLorean and gallivant around the time stream. Sometimes it's zigzagged when Marty is along on a particular adventure.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: "The Money Tree" has Jules growing tired of being an outcast due to his high IQ and inventing the tree of the title to get attention.
- Kid from the Future: He and Verne meet past versions of their parents in multiple episodes.
- Named After Someone Famous: His first name is, of course, a reference to Jules Verne.
- Not So Above It All: As demonstrated by "Retired"; Jules may be a Child Prodigy, but as proven by his cheerfulness as he and his brother are setting up their tricks at the beginning, he still enjoys childish pranks.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In the animated series, he's even more prone to using long words than his father.
- Sibling Rivalry: His and Verne's fights kick off a lot of the episodes.
Verne Newton Brown
- Ascended Extra: His only appearance in the original films is a brief, non-speaking appearance at the end of the third film. However, he becomes a main character in the animated series.
- Black Sheep: Verne does not have the same scientific interests or intelligence as his father, though he does have the blond hair (and a bit more common sense). His brother Jules likes to tell him he was adopted. However, it's mostly Verne that feels this way (encouraged by his brother); Doc and Clara love him every bit as much as Jules.
- Embarrassing First Name: In "A Verne By Any Other Name", after being bullied about his name, Verne went back in time to convince the real Jules Verne to change his name; failing at that, he travelled back to his own birth to convince his parents to name him something else.
- Expy: He wears a coonskin cap like one of Lorraine's younger brothers from the first movie.
- Free-Range Children: He (and his brother) frequently take the DeLorean and gallivant around the time stream. Sometimes it's zigzagged when Marty is along on a particular adventure.
- Kid from the Future: He and Jules meet past versions of their parents in multiple episodes.
- Named After Someone Famous: His first name is, of course, a reference to Jules Verne. It becomes a plot point in one episode, in which teasing makes him perceive it as an Embarrassing First Name.
- Sibling Rivalry: His and Jules's fights kick off a lot of the episodes.
Vice Principal Gerald Strickland
Played By: James Tolkan
- Bald of Evil: "Jesus, didn't that guy ever have hair?" (Nope.)
- Catchphrase: "Slacker!"
- Embarrassing Old Photo: In the game, Marty finds an old photo of him as child — dressed like a girl — in Strickland's sister's apartment.
- Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Averted. He's down to the last few dregs of his hair in 1955 and completely bald in 1985. Played for laughs with his grandfather who had extremely long hair.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: In 1955 at least he kept a bottle of liquor concealed in his office.
Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen
Played By: Thomas F. Wilson
- Badass Mustache: He was shown with a Beard of Evil in the 1985-A Biff's Museum video in Part II, because it was an early makeup test. Word of God said if they had the time, they would've switched that image with one featuring his final appearance.
- Berserk Button: Calling him by his nickname "Mad Dog" has apparently been Buford's for a long time as the moment Marty says it in the Palace Saloon, every single person in the saloon either silently runs away or makes themselves scarce.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the third film.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's first mentioned in the video playing in Biff's Museum in 1985-A.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Originally, he shoots Doc in the back over a matter of 80 dollars, involving a horse that threw a shoe (which Buford shot) and the bottle of whiskey that broke as a result. He also shot a newspaper editor who printed an unfavorable story about him in 1884, which made everyone stop keeping track of his kills.
- The Dreaded: He terrifies the people of 1885 Hill Valley. So much so that the newspapers stopped keeping track of all his kills after he'd shot an editor who printed an unfavorable story about him.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He thinks hanging Marty and later shooting him are funny.
- Greater Scope Villain: for the first two films, and the Telltale games, being the earliest Tannen shown.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: One of the reasons he's nicknamed "Mad Dog", and a major reason why everyone is scared of him.
- In the Back: How Buford kills Doc in the original timeline. In a deleted scene, Buford does the same thing to Marshal Strickland when the marshal tries to stop him as he heads into town to duel with Marty.
- Identical Grandson: A bit tricky to pin down the usual features of a Tannen through that mustache, but he has 'em.
- Jerkass: Well, he's a Tannen. What else would you expect at this point?
- Malaproper: "I'll hunt you and shoot you down like a duck." "It's dog, Buford."
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Again, he's played by Thomas F. Wilson, so Biff's character traits are seen with Buford.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Mad Dog" Tannen...you think this is a bad guy?
- Never My Fault: Just like his descendant. Buford shot his $75 horse dead, but blamed Doc for it because the latter fitted the animal with a shoe that was thrown off. And which Buford didn't pay him for.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: "He once bragged that he'd killed 12 men, not including Indians or Chinamen."
- He also doesn't seem to like Irishmen, if telling Seamus never to come to the saloon is anything to go by. Thus beginning the McFly-Tannen feud.
- Would Hit a Girl: And did it to Clara, which roused Doc's ire considerably.
Douglas J. Needles
- Played by: Michael "Flea" Balzary
- Adaptational Villainy: Needles, whose deeds in the movies included the card scam in 2015 and the car race in 1985, is much more antagonistic in the comic book, threatening to beat up Marty on multiple occasions and attempting to steal equipment from Doc's lab.
- Casanova Wannabe: Needles tries "flirting" with Jennifer (in front of his own girlfriend, no less) in the comics. It fails, naturally.
- Celebrity Paradox: According to the comics, he's a big fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Needles' actor in the movies is Michael "Flea" Balzary, who is RHCP's bassist.
- Karma Houdini: It isn't clear whether he was punished for his illegal scan in Part II.
- Last Name Basis: He is only referred to as "Needles."
- Small Role, Big Impact: He doesn't have a lot of screen time, but his goading Marty into a drag race was responsible for wrecking his life in one of the timelines.
The 2010 Game
Sister of Gerald Strickland. A Crazy Cat Lady Marty meets in Episode 1. Because Marty interacts with her and young Emmett in 1931 they both fall in love, this little mistake throws the timeline into jeopardy and prevents the events of the movie from ever happening.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: In the game finale, with Kid Tannen, of all people.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the game.
- Catch Phrase:
- "It's a fact, look it up."
- Crazy Cat Lady: The original 1986!Edna and Crazy, Old 1931!Edna.
- Cloudcuckoolander: By the time Episode 5 rolls around, Marty exclaims, "Jeez, that lady was always a loon!"
- Epic Fail: While in 1876, Edna tried to burn down Hill Valley's saloon since her grandfather wouldn't do anything about it. ...this ended up burning down ALL of Hill Valley.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Whenever Edna gets a drop of power, there are always serious consequences.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: She aged considerably better in the timeline where she married Emmett.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: However, her song is quite effective when it was sang by others.
- Knight Templar: Her views of justice are... Petty, to say the least.
- Love Redeems: Hooking up with Kid Tannen results in both of them mellowing out a lot.
- Loving a Shadow: After Marty talks with young Edna about the nature of her relationship with Emmett, it becomes apparent that she loves what his scientific genius can do for her causes than Emmett as a person.
- Pyro Maniac: Burning down buildings is her go-to method of fighting against vice and corruption, and her Crazy!1931 incarnation shows that she absolutely revels in it.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Young Edna lays this trope on Young Emmett, provoking a hilarious attempt at a smile.
Emmett Lathrop "First Citizen" Brown
An alternate Emmett Brown created by Marty's errors in the game. As different from the original Doc as you can get. Considering who First Citizen Brown is, he embodies similar tropes, but to avoid redundancy, the following are either exclusive to First Citizen Brown or ones significantly changed from Doc.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Less than the original Doc Brown. Thanks to or because of Edna's influence on him.
- Big Brother Is Watching: In Episode 3, "Big Brother" is Citizen Brown. Though it's really Citizen Edna who pulls the strings.
- Face–Heel Turn: See What the Hell, Hero? below.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: See his My God, What Have I Done? entry below.
- Ink-Suit Actor: The hairstyle design changes reflect Christopher Lloyd's real-life baldness.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Once he realized his wife Edna used him and his science to try to turn Hill Valley citizens into mindless robots.
- Refusal of the Call: Never became the scientist Doc Brown became, instead ruling Hill Valley with an iron fist. But it's Citizen Edna who pulls the strings.
- Science Is Bad: He blames his science for turning Edna so corrupt in the future. He's wrong, of course, but he's unlikely to listen to reason...
Irving "Kid" Tannen
Biff Tannen's father and a famous mob boss in 1931's Hill Valley. Owner of the Speakeasy that was blown the same year.
- Disc One Final Boss: He's kinda like the Big Bad in episode 1 & 2, but his role is limited to cameos in the other episodes.
- Jerks: He's a Tannen, what would you expect?
- Malaproper: "Make like a tree and die, rat!"
Kid Tannen's singer and girlfriend.
- Dumb Blonde: Though less than she initially seems, she's certainly no genius.
- Gainaxing: If your proclivities lead you to be mammarily distracted, you might notice some slight... inertia.
- Good Bad Girl: We realize who she is in the end of episode 5...
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: She's Marty's paternal grandmother and she's quite a stunner.
- Heel–Face Turn: Thanks to Marty who managed to trick Trixie into thinking Arthur was killed by Kid Tannen.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: She's Marty's paternal grandmother, "Grandma Sylvia".
- Mysterious Past: What CueBall knows about Trixie but never really tells.
Marty's grandfather and George's father. Almost George's spitting image.
- All There in the Manual: The novel says that Arthur went to World War I but was discharged for fraudulent enlistment because he lied about his age before he got the chance to see combat. Arthur returned home without even firing a single shot and became a laughing stock. This event destroyed his self-confidence.
- Extreme Doormat: Like George, his future son, but overall, his life is less miserable than George's was.
- Generation Xerox: He looks exactly like George.