main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Video Game: Back to the Future

In December of 2010, over twenty years after the last Back to the Future film came out, Telltale Games had developed an episodic Point-and-Click game series — which involves both Bob Gale and Christopher Lloyd, the latter of who would be reprising his role as "Doc" Emmett L. Brown. The first episode, which begins a new chapter in the Back to the Future series, was released on PC and Mac in December 2010 to solid reviews, and subsequent episodes have been equally well received. Its plot revolves around working with a young Emmett Brown to save Doc from Prohibition-era Hill Valley and how Marty's efforts accidentally create a new timeline.

Not to be confused with the Nintendo Entertainment System game, which is In Name Only.

This provides examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: How Marty wins back alt-1986!Jennifer. In this timeline, she thinks Marty is a complete tool.
    • And, in the final episode, Edna of all people: We see four different versions of an elderly Edna. One is mildly out-of-touch with reality. One is completely out of touch with reality. One turns Hill Valley into a complete police state. The only genuinely happy and well-adjusted version of her? The one who winds up marrying the gangster.
  • Angrish: Judge Brown's lecture to Emmett near the climax of Episode 1 is nonsensical as one puzzle sequence (trying to make fuel for a rocket powered drill while 1931!Emmett tries to give directions to Marty indirectly by enunciating certain words and phrases in his conversation - for example, "Can't you see the PRESSURE I'm going through?", refers to letting pressure of a valve) begins. As it advances, you start hearing Judge's Brown's voice more clearly- while also enunciating most of the same words - which is designed to confuse and disorient you into unintentionally listening to both of them- thus making a mistake.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The explanation of how the DeLorean that comes for Marty isn't destroyed.
  • Arcadia: Edna perversely views the 1800s as this, even burning down Beauregard Tannen's saloon (after which the fire winds up spreading to the rest of Hill Valley) to preserve it.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Kid Tannen is arrested in Episode 2 for kidnapping, attempted murder, tax evasion, and smelling like a piece of crap.
    • Edna Strickland is arrested in Episode 5 for arson, resisting arrest, and being a general all-around pain in the ass.
  • Bag of Holding: Marty is able to carry everything in his pocket, even a full sized guitar!
  • Big Bad: Kid Tannen in the first two episodes. Edna Strickland starts out as something of an annoyance, but then assumes this role from Episode 3 onwards.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: In Episode 3, "Big Brother" is Citizen Brown. Though it's really Citizen Edna who pulls the strings.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Episode 2, Doc drops Marty off at his house and drives away in the DeLorean — only to come back and knock Kid Tannen's limo away just before the old gangster can shoot Marty dead.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Douteux" means "doubtful", foreshadowing Jacques Douteux's diving suit being used as a disguise by Citizen Brown.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The implications of erasing an alternate timeline — along with Citizen Brown's life experiences — are explored in Episode 4. Not to mention all of the underhanded things Marty does to preserve history.
  • Bland-Name Product: There is a scene at the mall in the first episode, but one of the stores there is "JPPinney."
    • Also, 1986!Biff's Jumpsuit has an "Adods" logo.
    • In Episode 3, George McFly has a "Pepson" brand printer.
    • A guard in Episode 4 is seen drinking from a can of soda named Alt (as opposed to Tab).
    • In Episode 5, Marty's hoverboard has an "Attell" logo on it.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: In Episode 2, alt-1986 Biff intimidates Marty with a gold pistol. Subverted when it turns out to be a novelty lighter.
  • Blown Across the Room: Same scene as the first movie, this time Biff does it. Marty tries it again in Episode 4, but it doesn't have the expected effect.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: (Episode 3) The "Citizen Plus" program makes people physically incapable of bad behavior (they become nauseous if they even think about alcohol, violence, etc); they can also be turned into mindless drones acting on Edna's orders, as Biff demonstrates.
  • Brutal Honesty: Marty uses this on young Emmett to break him out of his depression.
  • Buffy Speak:
    Marty: (looking at a bathysphere) "It's some kind of...deep-sea diving thingy."
  • Burger Fool: Soup kitchens never went out of style in alt-1986. Marty's rival for love, Leech, works here as an attendee.
  • But Thou Must: Episode 4: There's no way to avoid telling Citizen Brown that Edna will be sad and lonely in the true timeline, and thus making him do a Face-Heel Turn.
    • Episode 1: When trying to get young Emmett to build the rocket powered drill for you, the dialogue tree gives you the options of "I need that rocket drill," "I REALLY need that rocket drill," and "I REALLY REALLY need that rocket drill." Regardless of what you pick, the scene plays the same.
  • Call Back / Continuity Nod: Episode 1 begins with the first time travel trip of the DeLorean from the first film, recreating it line by line before ominously deviating from the film. The player can still alter some of Marty's dialog during this sequence.
    • Though you miss a Trophy if you do this.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Emmett does this to his father, Judge Brown, at the end of episode 1 and mid-way in episode 5.
  • Came Back Wrong: At the start of Episode 4, it appears that Citizen Brown's personality has reverted to the Doc that we're all familiar with. As the episode progresses however, it turns out that for one thing his scientific knowledge isn't at the same level it was previously, resulting in him making defective repairs to the DeLorean, and more problematically he's still in love with Edna, to the point where he's willing to rewrite his own past to ensure that they still end up together.
  • Canned Orders Over Loudspeaker: "RELAX! WE'VE GOT EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL."
  • Catapult Nightmare: Marty awakening in bed after the prologue.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Despite expressing his dread of "Scary Mary", Willie McFly turns up to rescue Marty and Doc at Crazy!Edna's shack, grabbing her shotgun barrel before she can fire.
  • The Chanteuse: Trixie Trotter.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The paddy wagon tire iron from Episode 1 and the speakeasy panic button from Episode 2 both make surprise reappearances in Episode 3.
    • Marty's guitar briefly shows up as part of a quickly-forgotten puzzle in Episode 1. It pops up again in Episodes 3 and 4.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Art and Trixie, to allow her to work at the Expo. It's implied that it was a convenient excuse to get married, since they were falling in love during the previous episodes anyway.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Edna. By the time Episode 5 rolls around, Marty exclaims, "Jeez, that lady was always a loon!"
  • Close Enough Timeline: After all is said and done, the only real changes to the timeline are that Doc never went to the Speakeasy in 1931 because the Arsonist (Edna) was caught; has set up semi-permanent residence in Hill Valley in his lab, and Edna and Kid Tannen, despite both being a Big Bad of the adventure, are Happily Married.
    • Also the fact that Doc's set up said residence instead of living elsewhere; because Marty's meddling in his past allowed him to better reconcile with his father. He's there to run a foundation set up in his father's name for young inventors.
  • Continuity Cameo: MICHAEL J. FOX as Marty's great-grandfather (and future selves) in Episode 5.
  • Continuity Porn: There are a great number of references to the movies, ranging from the dialogue and details of locales from the movie, to references to events that occurred but were never shown or showcased.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Episode 3, and HOW.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Edna early (late?) in Episode 1.
    • And Episode 5.
  • Crossdresser: Vice Principal Strickland, apparently.
    • It should be noted, he only did this as a child. Though he did do it more than once.
    • And it should be also noted that back as late as in the early 20th century it was normal for little boys to wear dresses.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: To save the future, Marty pretty much obliterates Emmett's life in the span of two minutes.
  • Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: As shown in Episode 1, Doc ends up in jail in 1931 after being knocked out during the speakeasy explosion. The whole reason he traveled back to 1931 was to figure out who started it, to satisfy his curiosity. And also to find information on Marty's grandmother, who he figured he'd find in that era, for a scrapbook.
  • Curse Cut Short: Suspecting Marty of being a snitch, Alt-1986 Jennifer threatens to shove her spraycan up...somewhere.
    • Biff in episode 3: "What the Faauuugh!"
  • Dark Reprise: The BttF instrumental theme has an imperious tone in the alternate Hill Valley.
    • Emmett's sad rendition of "I Don't Care" on the roof of the courthouse.
  • Darker and Edgier: Episode 3, "Citizen Brown", from start to finish. Up to Eleven in Episode 4
  • Deconstructed Trope: Citizen Brown!Doc's speech to Marty serves as one to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, as he makes Marty seriously think if what he's doing is really right if getting the timeline back to normal involves destroying the life of someone who was better off in the altered timeline.
    • Decon-Recon Switch: Ultimately though it becomes obvious that the overall situation very much warranted changing it back, especially since said person was dangerously insane even before the point of divergence. The fact that the Close Enough Timeline was better even for her because she ended up having to be rehabilitated in jail was a happy accident on Marty's part.
  • Development Gag: Not a gag relating to the development of the game, but to Back to the Future Part III. In Episode 1, Marty can find an old photograph of Marshall Strickland in Edna Strickland's home. Edna states that he had been shot and killed by Buford Tannen. Marty (who, of course, had been to 1885 when Strickland was alive and who was instrumental in Buford being sent to prison) states that he doesn't remember that occurrence. While there's an in-story reason for this (he wasn't there when it happened nor informed of the events), the joke is actually a meta-joke about how the scene depicting Strickland's death was cut from the film.
    • Episode 1 references a gag from the aborted Number Two script, wherein Marty is arrested, and chooses the alias "Marty DeLorean" to get Doc's attention through the newspapers. In the video game, however, it's the other way around: Doc is arrested, and chooses the alias "Carl Sagan" to get Marty's attention through the newspapers.
    • In Episode 3, George has a box of peanut brittle on his desk by the monitors. This refers to a deleted scene in the original Back To the Future where George displays what a wimp he is by being bullied into buying tons of peanut brittle. The only remnant of this in the final film is a shot of him pouring some into a bowl.
  • Dirty Cop: Officer Danny Parker starts working for Kid Tannen in Episode 2 after getting demoted and dumped by his girlfriend.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Kid Tannen serves as the main antagonist for the first two episodes of the game. Then after his arrest, episode 3 comes in and proceeds to reveal Edna as the real Big Bad of the game's storyline. Not only is she now threatening Hill Valley's existence, but she's also the one that caused the speakeasy to burn down, inadvertently resulting in all the crap that Marty and Doc had to go through with Kid Tannen in the first place.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Young Emmett's white suit, a gift from Edna. Zig-zagged by his invention of a surefire method to remove dirt stains, which Marty then converts into acid.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 3, "Citizen Brown". Even for a cliffhanger, it's pretty dark. And there's Episode 4.
  • The Dragon: Biff to Citizen Edna, against his will.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In the game's prologue, Marty reenacts the Twin Pines mall scene in his dreams — only this time, the DeLorean carrying Einstein doesn't come back, and the mall's fixtures start disappearing. This doesn't make sense until Episode 5, when Edna Stickland erases Hill Valley from history.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Marty dressing up as a diminutive gangster and (later) in riot gear.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Danny in Episode 2. See Dirty Cop above.
  • Dumb Blonde: Trixie Trotter, Kid's moll.
    • More of a subversion. She turned in Kid Tannen and her plan to get 1931!Edna to break up with Emmett was pretty clever.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After repeatedly altering history, creating worse and worse timelines up to the point of causing Hill Valley to cease to exist, the final timeline at the end of Episode 5 mirrors the state of things at the beginning of the series for the most part, and the noteworthy differences cause those involved to be better off.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Principal Strickland as a baby.
    • Trixie, the "Winsome Wench of Winnipeg". (Canadian porn is kinda weird.)
  • Enhance Button: Played embarrassingly straight in episode 4.
  • 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.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: There's a reason Einstein is seen harassing Edna Strickland in 1931 and 1986-Alternate, although we don't find out why until well into Episode 3.
  • Evil Old Folks: Edna Strickland, and how.
  • Exact Words: After the DeLorean gets stuck a billboard, Marty cries at alt-1986!Jennifer to "Give me a hand!" She responds with a golf clap.
    • While riding alongside the stolen DeLorean, Marty claws his way onto one of gull wing doors and demands that Edna open up. "You want in? FINE!" she snarls back, then elbows the door open, sending Marty flying.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Doc's Hand Wave for why he didn't recall meeting Marty in the thirties.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Emmett's success (sort of) at the science expo results in him gaining his trademark electrified 'do.
  • Exty Years from Now: Downplayed; it's Exty-Five Years From Now. Marty travels back 55 years to 1931 throughout Episodes 1 and 2 and it was hinted that he'd travel forward 25 years to 2011, the year of the final episode's release. Sadly, that didn't pan out. Then you have 1876, which is 55 years before 1931.
  • Face-Heel Turn: In Episode 4, Citizen Brown voices his dissatisfaction with Marty's plan to "fix" the timeline since it means Edna ends up a Crazy Cat Lady. Episode 5 shows that he blames science and not Edna for the Orwellian 1986, and he teams up with 1931! Edna to try and sabotage Marty's efforts and his own younger self's interest in science to ensure that he married Edna after all. He kidnaps his younger self and traps him inside a bathysphere while Edna gets Officer Parker to shut down young Emmett's booth and try to arrest Marty.
  • The Faceless: Jacques Douteux.
  • Fair Play Whodunnit: Several clues are given throughout all five episodes that hint to the true identity of the Speakeasy Arsonist.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: The bootlegging ring definitely qualifies, as does the "Tannen Mob" in Marty's corrupted present. Public enemy no.... five.
  • Fictional Counterpart: There is a "Soupmo" in alternate 1986 in Episode 3.
  • Foreshadowing: For example, there's a Frankenstein (1931) poster in Marty's room in Episode 1.
    • Almost every objects in Doc's garage in Episode 1 will be used in some way.
    • Doc's mind reading helmet from the original film makes a reappearance in his lab, but it turns out to be more than just a Mythology Gag.
    • Edna Strickland of 1986 in Episode 1 spies on all the activity of the townspeople from her apartment. When Marty returns her shoe, she sighs happily, "Ah, so neat and orderly."
    • Some of the newspapers that Marty flips through in Episode 1 before he finds the right one talks about a soup kitchen being exposed...
    • Also in Episode 1 at the same place, if you examine Edna's candy in 1986 you will notice one interesting book... George Orwell's 1984, foreshadowing Episode 3
    • It's hard to not expect the events of Episode 2 and Episode 3 when the existence of photographs of certain individuals or their possessions are repeatedly called attention to in preceding episodes. In particular, Doc's ticket stub for Frankenstein and the photo of George McFly.
    • The opening sequence in Episode 1: Doc disappears from existence. This happens at the end of Episode 2, sort of. In Episode 5, Doc does disappear - but the "wrong" Doc. At least he "dies" happy seeing "he" got The Key to the City".
    • There is an old teapot in Doc's fishtank in Episode 1. You see the same teapot in Edna's apartment, but fresh and new. This indicates that the teapot will play a role in Episode 5. Turns out to be a Red Herring, sort of.
    • In Episode 5, Trixie tells Marty that he's "kind of like family." Turns out she's his future grandmother Sylvia.
    • When Citizen Brown tries to convince Marty that Edna had good intentions, Marty replies: "So did Nero!" And Edna burns down a city, too.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: See Not-So-Harmless Villain below.
  • Gainax Ending: Admit it, that was pretty weird.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A nasty one in Episode 5. Giving the recording to Officer Parker before doing the Glass House results in Marty being stuck in the Glass House with no exit and no way to do the puzzle.
    • Although this can be fixed by reloading the game's auto-save before entering.
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Though apparently not a fan of Frankenstein, Alt-1986!Edna definitely rented A Clockwork Orange at some point.
  • Gilligan Cut: When Marty and Doc take Arthur into an alley near the new speakeasy in Episode 2.
  • Good Ol' Boy: Willie McFly.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Marty successfully breaks Biff's brainwashing near the end of Episode 3. When he comes around though, it turns out that his pathological hatred of the McFly family has returned in this timeline, and he's even more pissed off by the fact that Marty exploited his brainwashing in order to retrieve a videotape.
    • Crops up once again in Episode 4. Because Marty never really thought of the effects his changes would have to the timeline, he has to go back to the past multiple times, each time making pretty much everyone's lives a little bit worse.
    • Marty and Doc make the mistake of showing pity to Crazy!Edna. Like Biff, however, she proves just as unstable as her other incarnations and pulls a shotgun (!) once her memory is restored.
  • Good Bad Girl: Trixie Trotter And when we realize who she is in the end of episode 5...
  • Good Feels Good: Cue Ball says that it feels good working on the right side of the law in Episode 5.
  • Go Out with a Smile / Redemption Equals Death: After Edna runs him down in the DeLorean, Citizen Brown (while also in the middle of fading out, no less) invokes this trope after seeing that "he" was given the key to the city (via newspaper).
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Marty encountering a post-op Jennifer in the Citizen Plus facility.
    Jennifer!A: "I don't think it's a good idea for us to see each other until you've undergone your first Citizen Plus treatment."
    Marty: "Why not?"
    Jennifer!A: "Because your gosh dang hormones are out of control, Martin!"
    • Dropping a barrel of pickle juice on Edna issues this hollow cry: "WHAT THE FRUG!??"
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: (Episode 3) Citizen Edna Strickland in 1986-Alternate is about as pretty as a septuagenarian can get.
    • And a quite literal one when we find out who Marty's grandma is in Episode 5.
  • Grumpy Old Woman: Edna Strickland in Episode 1. And Episode 5, in 1931.
  • Hacker Cave: Alt-1986!George has a wall of monitors squirreled away in his garage. Though he begins by spying on his neighbors, Marty convinces him to use his camera network against the regime.
  • Half Truth: Cue Ball's personal spin on testifying against Kid Tannen in court.
    "I prefer to think of it as exhibiting an admirable sense of self-preservation."
  • Hammerspace: Well, where does Marty carry his sizable inventory — when he's walking around town?
  • Handwave: The appearance of the original DeLorean in Episode 1 is justified with the explanation that one of the lightning bolts that hit it in 1955 (likely the latter since that was when the DeLorean's Destination Time was on the fritz) created two copies; the one we know about, and one sent seventy years forward to 2025, and later found by Doc with his time train. Lampshaded by the fact that the PS3 version awards a Trophy titled 'A Plausible Explanation' for learning this.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Lampshaded in Episode 5.
    Crazy!Edna: [sobbing] "I'M A HOOLIGAN!!"
  • Heel-Face Turn: Cue Ball in Episode 4.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Episode 5, Citizen Brown pushes Marty out of the way from being ran over by Edna, resulting in Brown getting fatally wounded instead.
    • Not that it mattered much, as he was already starting to fade out of the timeline.
  • Heroic BSOD: In episode 3, Citizen Brown goes through one after he discovers the truth about Edna and the dystopia he helped her create.
    • Officer Parker has one of his own after Marty's first set of actions in 1931 cause him to get demoted and have his girlfriend (Jennifer's grandmother!) leave him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Marty ignites a barrel of Kid Tannen's own moonshine to smoke him out. Double points for using the handgun lighter, swiped from Tannen's crime family in alt-1986.
    • Alt-1986!Biff gets conked out by a rotating roulette table, a relic from his father's old speakeasy.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Edna Strickland's rendition of "You Should Care" in Episode 2. In Young Emmett's words, "You know what represents a clear and present danger to public safety? Your singing voice!"
  • Hope Spot: Episode 3, Marty convinces Citizen Brown he really is a time traveler trying to set the timeline right. Citizen Edna has no intention of letting that happen.
    • Episode 4, Marty goes off to help Young Emmett with his invention and finally fix the timeline. The ending shows Citizen Brown wanting to foil Marty's plans in order to help Edna.
  • Hot Scoop: Played with. 1931!Edna Strickland in Episodes 1 and 2 is an attractive young reporter who's involved with various charities. She's also a self-righteous prude who isn't as influential or talented as she'd like to think she is. By Episode 3, her self-righteousness and prudishness become a serious problem.
  • Humiliation Conga: Marty ends up invoking one in Episode 4, with poor Young Emmett as the subject to it. Citizen Brown calls Marty out on it shortly before the plan reaches completion.
  • I Call It "Vera": Kid Tannen's six-shooter, "Kid Junior". He's still packing it in 1986.
    • Biff's car is named "Sheila".
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Edna Strickland as a young woman in 1931 is significantly easier on the eyes.
    • Trixie turns out to be Marty's grandmother, Sylvia. Marty is completely shocked when he finds out.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Episode 1, 1986!Edna calls Marty a nosey busybody at the same time she's being one.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: The alternate Doc Brown is motivated to make his Face-Heel Turn by this belief after learning that Edna became a bitter spinster in Marty's original history. Eventually, he realizes his mistake.
  • Identical Grandson: Continuing in the grand tradition of the movies. George and Biff are both the spitting image of their fathers, Arthur McFly and Irving "Kid" Tannen, respectively. Also, Jennifer's father clearly takes after his own father in the looks department. All in all, a very clever excuse to re-use character models.
    • Lampshaded in Episode 4, when Marty sees a picture of a seemingly random man, only for him to point out that he looks pretty much the same as all the other Tannens, concluding that he must be an ancestor.
      • In Episode 5, Marty's great grandpa Willy shows up. Ironically, he looks more like Michael J. Fox, who is voicing said character than Marty.
  • Idiot Ball: (Episode 1) One moment the Doc is incredulous when he thinks Marty interacted with his grandfather, the next he urges Marty to work with Young Emmett, who isn't even an inventor yet, to get him out of prison. What could possibly go wrong? (Although to be fair, they have little choice in the matter.)
  • I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference: This time, both Marty and Doc use it. And when Marty does, you can choose the name yourself.
    • Then Edna Strickland gets in on the act in Episode 5, taking the alias Mary Pickford upon arrival in 1876.
    • Gets a brief lampshade in Episode 4 when Marty confuses Citizen Brown by telling him he's supposed to be "Carl Sagan".
      Brown: "The "billions and billions" guy?"
      • Both Edna and Doc lampshade this during their argument under the chandelier in Episode 5.
  • Identity Amnesia: Justified with Crazy!Edna, who is understandably scrambled at having traveled back in time (not to mention burning Hill Valley to ashes, thus erasing its very existence).
  • In-Joke: Gale, Zemeckis, and Fine Law Office
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Played straight with Doc Brown, but subverted with Marty; he looks the same (heck, even sounds the same), but it isn't Michael J. Fox.
    • Double Subversion: Marty's Great-Grandpa Willy Mc Fly looks a lot like the present-day Michael J. Fox, who voices him.
    • Played with in the case of Citizen Brown, who more closely resembles Christopher Lloyd (i.e. bald head and spectacles).
  • Ironic Echo: "It's a fact. Look it up." has reappeared 3 times so far: twice from Edna, and once from Citizen Brown.
    • This ends up mixed with Foreshadowing in "Get Tannen!": When Emmett is testing his flying rocket car, a mishap ends up stranding Einstein on the courthouse roof and said car crashed through a billboard on top of the soup kitchen. After roughly re-entering 1986 ( The Citizen Brown version, anyway...), Marty ends up pulling this stunt as well.
    • A darker version of this appears in "OUTATIME": When Marty is walking to the Expo with 1931!Doc's static accumulator, he is almost hit by Citizen Brown driving the DeLorean. Citizen Brown himself gets hit (after pushing Marty out of the way) by Edna driving said DeLorean while escaping from Officer Parker.
    • Marty provokes a club patron in 1931 by feebly calling him "chicken", getting him bounced out of the building.
  • Ironic Hell: Crazy!Edna lives in a shack in 1931-A, surrounded by the "pure simplicity" she sought to preserve - a desolate wasteland where Hill Valley no longer exists.
  • Just the First Citizen: Done literally with Citizen Brown. Subverted when he turns out to be a Decoy Leader to Edna, his wife.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In 1931-A, Willy points out the In-Joke that "Hill Valley" makes no sense, being contradictory terms.
  • Licked by the Dog: Edna Strickland is snobbish, controlling, mean-spirited, annoying, and becomes a maniacal dictator in a bad future. However, the Emmett Brown of said future likes her, even after her older self tortures and tries to brainwash him, so she can't be all bad...or can she?
    • The second example, though, is straight-Edna Tannen walking Einstein, who doesn't mind the arrangement.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: (Episode 1) Marty asks Doc if his plan to tell Young Emmett the solution to the math problem he's been working on in his head will negatively affect the future. Doc answers in big words, but his response, summed up in normal English, is that it shouldn't hurt anything unless it turns out the world in which they live is a form of media displayed on a screen (such as a video game).
    • As it happens, it's also an actual scientific theory. It has been suggested recently that the universe may indeed be a "hologram" very similar to Doc's explanation.
    • Early in Episode 4, if Marty asks his father to override the security systems, George responds that this isn't a science fiction movie. He's right; it's a computer game based on a science fiction movie.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: "Speakeasy?? You're mistaken, officer! This is an ice cream parlor."
  • Loophole Abuse: Marty exploiting Trixie's iffy U.S. citizenship to get her canned from her hostess job.
    Artie: "You know I don't like to pry, but...what state where you born in?"
    Trixie: "Province, Manitoba. Why?"
    • And done again to give Trixie her job back by using another loophole by getting married to Artie.
    • As Crazy!Edna prepares to execute Marty and Doc for their supposed crimes (actually, hers), Willie McFly turns up in the nick of time. When she smugly points out that she can just as easily kill all three of them, Willie points out that she has no legal reason to do so. "And you never break the law."
  • Love Redeems: Edna is happy with Kid Tannen in Episode 5.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: "Trixie Trotter", aka Silvia Miskin - Marty's grandmother.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Seemingly subverted at the end of Episode 2, regarding the Delayed Ripple Effect and Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. When visiting alternate present timelines, namely the two Tannen-dominated ones in Part II and Episode II, time-traveling Marty doesn't become that timeline's Marty; but Doc apparently disappears from the DeLorean right after the jump to become Citizen Brown for Episode III.
    • However, 2015!Biff suffered the same fate upon his return to 2015 after screwing with the timeline (shown in Back to the Future Part II), so there's precedence for such an occasion. As stated in the films' DVDs' FAQs, Lorraine ended up shooting the 1985A!Biff, thus ending his existence earlier. Word of God is that the original Doc faded out because he prevented his own existence by preventing time travel, as he only lived to his current age because of his body enhancements he got in the future, only possible due to time travel. So because he can't exist at this age, he fades from existence. Presumably, the same was also true of the original Einstein (the dog, not the physicist).
  • Man in White: First Citizen Brown.
    • Also, in the following episode Young Emmett (who at that point is on a course to become Citizen Brown) is wearing a white suit which formerly belonged to Edna's grandfather — and part of Marty's plot to get Edna to dump him involves ruining the suit.
  • Mayor Pain: Citizen Brown is 1986-A's equivalent of Mayor (he demands that Marty address him as "your Honor"), and cultivates the image of a Type A. When Edna's plans unravel, he turns out to be a benign Type B.
  • Mexican Standoff: Between Edna and Beauregard Tannen in Episode 5. If Edna drops the torch and sets the saloon on fire, Tannen shoots her. If Tannen shoots her, Edna drops the torch and sets the saloon on fire. However, the situation is weighted somewhat in Tannen's favor, as he can wait for her torch to burn out, and then just shoot her anyway. Naturally, it's up to Marty to find a way to disarm them both simultaneously
  • Mind-Control Device: The Citizen Plus Wristwatch.
  • Mind Screw: See the You Didn't See That entry below.
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: Yep, it's back in episodes 1 and 3, complete with period-appropriate music and Marty almost getting hit by a car.
    • Parodied somewhat in Episode 4. 1931 is familiar territory to both Marty and the player by this point, but it's new to Citizen Brown. The latter goes through a mini-MSS of his own, near car accident included.
  • Moral Dilemma: (Episode 1) Emmett asks Marty when he should expect to hear back from the patent office regarding the Rocket-Powered Drill. The game speech options lists various times, but ultimately Marty ignores whatever the player chooses and reveals to Emmett he isn't from the patent office at all and just needs the invention to help a friend out (but refuses to say who).
  • Multicolored Hair/Delinquent Hair: Alt-1986!Jennifer. Rowr.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: (Episode 3) Citizen Brown's reaction after hearing Citizen Edna's true intentions for, and use of, his CitizenPlus program.
    • Danny in Episode 2 after Marty convinces him that working for Kid Tannen is wrong.
  • Mythology Gag: Left and right.
  1. Episode 1:
    • Marty sees a sign for a production featuring a real shark, echoing his experience with Jaws 19 in Back to the Future II.
    • The Sisters of Mercy Soup Kitchen is located where the cafe and saloon were in the films. And it wouldn't be complete without a "HEY, McFLY!!"-scene with similar lines.
    • Marty's mother waking him up at the start of Episode 1, which makes it a Good Morning, Crono
    • Marty's experience with the amplifier, except that in this example, he uses it against Biff. Meanwhile, Biff using the amplifier mirrors Marty's actions from the first film. Marty even mentions that it took him forever to fix it after the last time he blew it out.
    • Marty arrives at 1986!Edna's apartment being towed on his skateboard by a pickup truck, like he does in the first film.
    • The first scene in the Soup Kitchen is the per-requisite bar scene, complete with "Hey McFly!", a Tannen scolding a relative McFly for his incompetence, and even a reference to the original scene by having Kid Tannen look towards Marty and say "What are you looking at, punk?". It's also notable that the McFly relative, as in 1955, is minding his own business and simply eating at the start of the scene.
      • It also has a Tannen making an incorrect statement that is corrected by a person nearby. "I don't think Babe Ruth plays baseball anymore, boss."
    • Marty clinging onto a vehicle being driven by Tannen mirrors the similar scene in Back to the Future Part II, down to trying to secretly snare an important plot point without his noticing.
    • If Marty turns on the TV in Doc's garage, he watches a short clip from Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage in which Carl wonders whether nature would allow a time traveler to prevent his own conception. Cue Marty looking over to his dad and smiling.
    • Marty's dad mentions that sometimes, you gotta go out on a limb for the ones you love. Apt, given that he met his wife after falling from the tree branch from which he was spying on her.
  2. Episode 2:
    • One area of this game has Marty having to avoid interaction with himself, much like he did in Back to the Future Part II.
    • In 1986:
      • When going to the side door, Marty decides to "try the front door, just in case" something like in 1985-A (BTTF Part II) happens.
      • Marty telling something only he would know to his dad George: what he did when he was eight, or how George met Lorraine.
      • During the Biff scene, a reference is made to when George punched Biff, and when Biff crashed into a manure truck - apparently a more recent crash than the one in 1955, prompting a confused Marty to ask, "Which one?"
    • Looking at the gazebo in the daytime in 1931 has Marty mention his band, the Pinheads, from the first film.
    • Young Emmett mentions requiring 1.21 kilowatts for an experiment. Later, when preparing to use his prototype flying car, he says a line similar to one that Doc says in the first film (and in Episode 1).
    • Emmett says that his flying car could make accidents and traffic jams a thing of the past. He's completely wrong; as seen in the second movie, the airways could suffer from accidents as almost caused by the DeLorean spontaneously appearing in traffic, and one look at a billboard told Doc it would take them "forever" to reach Hilldale because the skyway was jammed.
    • In the new speakeasy:
      • Marty tries to sing "Johnny B. Goode" on the microphone.
      • Marty almost orders a Pepsi at the bar.
  3. Episode 3:
    • Marty lampshades that he's destroyed the car again, and really shouldn't be allowed to drive it anymore. Note also that when Marty asks alt-1986!Jennifer for a lift into town, she drives past him — just like the elderly couple in the first film.
    • When Marty finds his dad George, he says, "He's a peeping tom!" There is also a box of peanut brittle (referencing a deleted scene from the first film).
    • Marty mentions the time he set fire to the living room to his mom Lorraine.
    • Marty can say: "Rock n'roll is my density— er, destiny!"
      • This is just one of several possible random lines of dialog from that scene, the best being, "He might be good with the guitar but I invented Rock and Roll!"
    • Biff messes up a turn of phrase and gets corrected by someone else (who calls him an idiot in the process).
    • Biff stands up tall against Marty as in the films.
    • When talking to Citizen Brown about the DeLorean time machine, Marty says "You built a time machine... out of a DeLorean!" identically to the way he said it in Back to the Future (and subsequently Episode 1's opening), emphasis and all.
      • Not to mention that Marty tries to restate what Doc meant to tell him about the DeLorean's steel frame being perfect for time travel, also from Back to the Future... except he doesn't know exactly what that is.
    • Citizen Brown derisively calls Marty "Time Travel Boy" before kicking him out of his office. He is imitating 1955!Doc, who mocked Marty by calling him "Future Boy".
  4. Episode 4:
    • Jennifer notes Marty is wearing Calvin Klein underwear.
      Jennifer: "Really?"
    • George decks a security guard harassing Lorraine, as Marty commends, "Alright, Dad!"
    • Marty has to hide Citizen Brown from his past self, giving him a technobabble explanation similar to the one Doc gave Marty so long ago.
    • When Marty picks up a can of leftover chemicals from the rocket car in Emmett's lab:
      Marty: "Gross!"
      Emmett: "Accounting doesn't enter into it!"
    • After Citizen Brown took six months to fix the time machine and went back to get Marty, he mentions that the time machine repairs involved his family fortune and "a sketchy deal with some Libyan nationalists". The same things used to build the time machine originally.
    • Marty, his guitar, and giant amps once again play a part in the story.
      • Not to mention that the final puzzle of the episode involves Emmett, the clocktower, and an oncoming lightning storm.
    • The Mind Map card on top of the stack is one taken from Red Thomas, Hill Valley's mayor-turned-bum. There's also a poster asking people to re-elect him at the Science Fair.
    • Emmett's photo album is titled "Von Braun Family", which Doc said was his family's name when they came to the U.S. before changing it to "Brown" during WWI.
    • One of Emmett's boxes for the expo is a Peabody apples box. Peabody was the farmer in the first film who was obsessed with pine trees.
    • Marty, at the "Hill Valley of the Past" diorama, looks at a T-Rex model and mutters, "If this thing is called a Tannenosaurus..." The animated series did feature a dinosaur Biff.
  5. Episode 5:
    • For starters, the title: The other four titles have been straightforward in their explanations, but the finale is simply called 'OUTATIME'. It makes sense when you remember that's what's spell out in the DeLorean's License Plate.
    • Marty wakes up in his trademark sleeping pose from the movies. Once again, it's Emmett Brown's phone call which jolts him awake.
    • One of the exhibits at the science fair is "Enlightenment Under the Sea".
    • Great-grandpa Willy makes an appearance - voiced by Michael J. Fox!
      Marty: "Hey! That was my great-grandpa Willy! He peed on me!"
    • "He stole his wallet! I think he stole his wallet!"
    • Art says you have to go out on a limb for the ones you love. His son took that to heart.
    • The final scene of Episode 5 pays homage then outright goes Up to Eleven in its parody of the final scene of the first film.
    • Crazy hermit Edna's primitive alarm system includes a couple of Frisbie pie tins. Marty of course uses one of these as a frisbee to disarm Buford Tannen in 1885.
    • The final playable sequence involves Marty clinging to a vehicle from the outside once again. It's not driven by a Tannen this time, but the hoverboard makes a triumphant return!
      • A final conflict without a Tannen? MADNESS. Actually not, Edna Strickland, the driver, is destinated to become one in the final timeline shown when we go back to 1986, and a happy one too for the bonus.
    • Speaking of Tannens, Beauregard Tannen is actually a Tannen from the animated series!
    • Doc mentioned Verne having a 21st century video game console cache, which included an Xbox 360. This alludes to how, in The Animated Series, Verne was a huge video game addict.
  6. Throughout the series:
    • Once per Episode, Marty using the classic "What the hell is that?!" and pointing behind who he's talking to.
      • In Episode 5, Edna pulls it off. Marty actually falls for it. Officer Parker lampshades, "One of these days, I really should stop falling for that!"
    • Kid Tannen winds up going into a pile of manure, of course. No "I hate manure" line, though.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer for Episode 4 that's found at the end of Episode 3 shows Marty telling alt-1986!Jennifer that he's from an alternate timeline. This never happens in the actual game.
    • Not to mention three other aspects of that trailer: Citizen Brown talking to Edna, Marty still wearing his regular outfit in 1931, and the Science Expo not being hinted at once.
      • Really, though, the entirety of that trailer should be ignored.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Villain: Edna's efforts in trying to burn down Beauregard Tannen's saloon end in utter disaster. Namely, the destruction of Hill Valley itself.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Doc Brown's father looks strikingly like Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Not So Different: Marty's playing mediator between Young Emmett and Judge Brown eventually reveals that the Judge went through the same thing with his father, except it was about his decision to come to America rather than Emmett's pursuit of science. This realization is what gets the Judge to let his son take his own path in life.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Edna Strickland, who goes from being a batty old kook in Episode 1 and Doc's love interest in Episode 2 to becoming the Big Bad in Episode 3 and beyond. Making the transition so awesome is that the game drops constant hints that are easily missed, and replaying the game brings an new appreciation for Edna's character.
    • A few scenes near the end of Episode 2 imply that she was the one responsible for the speakeasy explosion Doc got framed for in Episode 1. She denies having to do anything with it when asked, but in Episode 5, it's revealed she was indeed responsible - AND pinned it on "Carl Sagan".
  • Off The Wagon: Alt-1986!George suspects Marty's mom of this.
  • Oh, Crap: Both Marty and Doc have a huge one in Episode 5 when Edna changes the timeline.
    • Don't forget the end with 3 Future Alternative Marty's!
    • Earlier on, Episode 2 sees Doc have one as he realizes that his past self is now getting romantically involved with Edna, which in turn is drastically changing history... leading him to disappear and Marty to appear in a new 1986 where Hill Valley is now in a totalitarian state.
  • Opposites Attract: Edna and Kid Tannen end up together.
  • Our Founder: In the alternate Hill Valley, Emmett's "heroic" triumph over Kid Tannen is immortalized in a bizarre art deco statue. Marty adjusts it to block a security camera's line of sight.
  • Persona Non Grata: Emmett's Diesel Punk DeLorean gets him banned from the Science Expo for fifty years. Which, as it turns out, would be 48 years longer than Hill Valley had a Science Expo left to ban him from.
  • Pet the Dog: A literal example in Episode 5. How happy is Edna? She loves Einstein and is Emmett's dogwalker!
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: After the DeLorean is fixed in Episode 4, Marty and Citizen Brown reenter 1931, and learn instead of August, they landed on October, right before the Hill Valley Expo, the only reason why they don't just go back to an earlier date is the same reason why they have this current problem: the time circuits are broken... only now more so.
  • Police State: The alternate universe's Hill Valley.
  • Pyro Maniac: In Episode 5, we learn Edna was... aroused by the sight of the speakeasy in flames.
  • The Power of Rock: A few guitar licks is all that's needed to snap Jennifer!A's brain back to normal.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Edna lays this trope on Young Emmett, provoking a hilarious attempt at a smile.
  • Quick Time Sequence:
    • One is cleverly implemented in Episode 1, in which Emmett hints which gadget to use to create the fuel for the Rocket-Powered Drill.
    • Two more are each at the beginning and end of Episode 2. Marty must move around the DeLorean before Danny Parker reaches him, and later must close young Emmett's flying car's top at the right time.
    • Episode 3's final scene.
  • Race Against the Clock: This happens in Episode 4. On the Courthouse summit, Young Emmett is stuck on a rope that prevents him from falling to his death. It's up to Marty to save Doc once again.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Marty has to deliver one to Emmett in order to motivate him and set his life back on track. Goes with the "Cruelty Is the Only Option" example up above.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Det. Parker.
    • Surprisingly, First Citizen Brown seems intent on getting to the root of Marty's sudden rule breaking and tries to be friendly with him, rather than being the iron-fisted dictator the previews and most of the episode implied. He's reluctant to believe Marty's story, but can't argue when Marty points out the facts. Edna, the real iron-fisted dictator, even complains about his softness. Ultimately, this results in the two of them turning on each other.
    • 1931's Officer Parker becomes this in Episode 5.
  • Red Scare: Edna uses fear of Anarchists to blackmail the police, dubbing Marty Yakov Smirnoff.
  • Refusal of the Call: In Episode 1, Emmett at first refuses to go along with Marty's attempts to get him to work on his Rocket-Powered Drill for fear of his father, Judge Brown, finding out his love of science and distaste for law.
  • Reverse Psychology: Towards the end of Episode 4, when Emmett is sitting on the clock tower ledge and thinking about giving up on science, Marty starts to hurl insults at him, hoping that Emmett will be provoked into reconsidering his stance. It works perfectly.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: Several, starting with Marty's family photo.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Marty crashes right through the billboard sign in Citizen Brown, punching a hole where the clock was on the billboard along with having broken the timeline, he remarks to himself, "Subtle. Real subtle, Marty."
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: First Citizen Brown, as he's depicted in his propaganda posters.
    • A picture in Citizen Brown's office shows them on Judge Brown, too.
  • Science Is Bad: Citizen Brown blames his science for turning Edna so corrupt in the future. He's wrong, of course, but he's unlikely to listen to reason...
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Marty and Doc's reaction to the three different future Marties is to jump in the Delorean and bolt.
  • Script Swap: Marty has to engineer two simultaneous variants in Episode 2, one with sheet music for various piano songs and one with lyrics to one of those songs.
  • See You in Hell: Spoken to Beauregard Tannen by Edna.
    Beauregard: "You first, lady."
  • Sequel Hook: Besides the classic "To Be Continued", the game ends with three future Marties showing up. Telltale did not announce a sequel, but hasn't ruled it out - so the "To Be Continued" could actually be followed up on, or it could simply be a nod to the VHS release of the original film that included the same Sequel Hook.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: A continuing plot for the series. The story opens with Marty trying to rescue Doc, but this leads to further problems as Marty's interactions in the past just cause the present to break down even further. A major case happens in Episode 3, where almost all the events from the movies never happened.
    • Completely deconstructed in Episode 4, where Citizen Brown calls Marty out on the fact that, according to his "right" timeline, Edna winds up alone and miserable. Citizen Brown goes off to save Edna with his own Set Right What Once Went Wrong plan by making sure that Young Emmett winds up with Edna, but she doesn't corrupt him.
      • It gets reconstructed by the end of Episode 5, though; in the final timeline, Emmett and Edna aren't together, but the latter is neither alone nor miserable.
  • Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: Marty almost ends up on the business end of this trope in Episode 2 when he pulls out a gun-shaped lighter in the middle of Tannen's speakeasy, and immediately finds himself staring down the barrels of several guns simultaneously.
    Matches: "Don't. Even. Blink."
    Marty: (puts his hands up) "It's not a real gun, it's not a real gun, I swear!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Episode 1:
      • The Weird Science poster on Marty's wall.
      • Marty also has a "Greetings from the Moon" postcard on his wall.
      • Mario Bros. Charity.
      • Marty's choice of an alias are Sonny Crockett, Harry Callahan, and Michael Corleone, all names of famous characters in crime fiction. On top of that, Marty also has the option of quoting said Callahan before giving his name.
      • Doc has the alias Carl Sagan in 1931. Additionally, the TV in Doc's garage plays a clip from Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.
      • Edna screams out the window, "Jack! Diane! I know what you're doing behind that tree!", a reference to the song Jack and Diane.
      • The next thing Young Emmett says after introducing himself is that he's "a law clerk, not a doctor!", and Marty later threatens to award the patent for the rocket-powered drill to one Dr. McCoy.
    • In Episode 2:
      • Doc mentions having hidden the DeLorean in a DeSoto lot, keeping it safe because no one is buying cars in the Depression-era economy.
      • When trying to get into the speakeasy, Marty can say that he's "selling these fine leather jackets."
    • In Episode 3:
      • When Alt-1986!Jennifer spots Marty's DeLorean in a billboard, she asks whether he's Luke or Bo.
      • Helter Skelter is mentioned by Alt-1986!Jennifer.
      • Marty can have this exchange with any security box:
      • Also, the PS3 trophy for diving into the decycling bin is called "Into the garbage chute, McFlyboy".
      • If you examine Marty's guitar in his inventory, he'll say "This is my axe. There are many like it, but this one is mine."
      • The "Citizen Plus" program is eerily similar to the brainwashing in A Clockwork Orange, as seen with Biff (who becomes physically ill at the mere thought of "bad behavior") and Doc (who ends the episode strapped to a chair with his eyes pried open).
      • A box of floppy disks includes one labeled WOPR. Another is labeled "LOGO" and features an image of a turtle; LOGO is a programming language used for "turtle graphics" that was used by many educational facilities in the 1980s.
      • A portrait of Citizen Brown and Mrs. Citizen Brown resembles American Gothic.
      • When examining a noteworthy (but ultimately useless) brick for the first time, Marty exclaims that it's just another brick in the wall.
      • When you go down the garbage chute and land in the dumpster, one of the items that flies out is a Banang bottle.
    • In Episode 4:
    • In Episode 5: Marty is called Yakov Smirnoff, while Edna herself goes by Mary Pickford, which makes perfect sense since Pickford was a famous actress in 1931 whose name no one would recognize in the 1870's.
  • Shown Their Work: The environments are mostly extremely detailed reproductions of classic scenes from the movie, such as Doc's lab (complete with the speaker that Marty blows up in the beginning of the first movie) and the Lone Pine Mall in the first episode. Even the flying DeLorean has the flashing green lights underneath it, which were only seen once in the second film.
    • Doc tells Marty that his inspiration for deciding to become a scientist was seeing Frankenstein (1931) for the first time. When he goes on a date with Edna instead he sees The Virtuous Husband instead. This was a real movie released in the same year as Frankenstein. (It was a comedy about how a man marries at a young age and bases all of his marriage decisions on advice written in letters from his dead mother. The wife can't stand it and eventually burns them, and the man grows more tolerable.)
  • Shoot the Hostage: In Episode 5, 1986A! Citizen Brown has hidden 1931! Emmett Brown inside a bathysphere and poses as Jacques Doutoux, and wouldn't let Marty near the bathysphere. Marty steps on the bathysphere's hose, cutting off oxygen to Emmett in order to get Brown, who begins to painfully fade away, to release him.
  • Sigil Spam: The "human with arms raised" symbol in alt-1986. When Citizen Brown sees the notebook, he realizes the similarity to the Flux Capacitor, suggesting that he may have subconsciously based one on the other.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: As soon as Emmett and Edna start hurling vitriolic insults at each other, you know there's going to be trouble.
    • Inverted with Edna and Kid Tannen in the finale.
  • The Slow Path: Edna!1800's.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Edna Strickland is arguably a Deconstruction. Her protests and general prudishness are harmless enough as a teenager, but when she gets older...
    • ...well, it depends on the timeline. In the normal one, she becomes an absent-minded Crazy Cat Lady who lives by herself in a second-story apartment and is always using a megaphone to yell at hooligans from her window.
    • Although she wasn't as harmless as a teen/young adult as she initially lets on...
  • So Was X: Though Citizen Brown admits Edna's methods were horrible, he reminds Marty that she started with good intentions. Marty retorts, "So did Nero!"
    • Foreshadowing: Edna does burn down a city despite having good intentions!
  • Start X to Stop X: Though not deliberately, Edna Strickland winds up destroying Hill Valley in an attempt to "save" it!
  • Stealth Pun: The "Plant Recorder"? It's a listening device you plant someplace!
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Arthur McFly looks and sounds just like George McFly (both being based on Crispin Glover's performance in the film). Artie's father, William, is once again played by Michael J. Fox, who had previously portrayed him in a photo shown in the third film (even though Marty himself is actually voiced by AJ LoCascio). This leads one to believe that if the pattern continues, since Marty's son will end up looking like Michael J. Fox, his grandson and great-grandson will look like Crispin Glover, and so on.
    • Also, Kid Tannen is basically just Biff with a moustache and zoot suit.
  • A Storm Is Coming: A thunderstorm rolls in during Marty's premonitory dream in Episode 1.
  • Super Multi-Purpose Room: Kid's concealable speakeasy.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The character of Leech was originally intended as Needles, but was altered for budgetary reasons (presumably, they couldn't afford to use Flea's likeness).
    • In addition, the voice actor just wasn't able to get the voice of Needles down, but could handle Leech properly.
  • Take a Third Option: Episode 4. Citizen Brown doesn't want Edna to end up old and alone, which hints at his Face-Heel Turn.
  • Take My Hand: Doc hoisting Marty back into the DeLorean at Episode 5's climax. The geezer's got a pretty strong arm.
  • Taking the Bullet: When Edna carjacks the DeLorean, a fading Citizen Brown shoves Marty out of the way. The camera cuts away, revealing that he's been fatally struck by the car.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Doc's tape in Episode 1 and the billboard PA in Episode 3.
  • That Didn't Happen: Check the You Didn't See That entry below.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: A part of "Back In Time" is on the jukebox at Doc Brown's estate. The entire first verse can be played in-game, and the entire song is played during the end credits of Episode 5.
    • Only problem with trying to play it on the jukebox is that Biff constantly gets in the way. It isn't until you get Marty to talk to George about how he can take care of himself that you're able to play it in the background, as Biff is now generous enough to turn it on for you.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: Marty's realization that he's seen his future grandmother naked.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: Kid is undone by a loose barrel of alcohol, whilst Edna is apprehended with a barrel of pickles.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Young Emmett's rocket-powered drill in Episode 1. In a subversion, it completely fails at its intended purpose and just explodes when Marty tries to use it, but the rocket segment remains intact. Marty attaches the rockets to a bicycle in order to chase down Kid Tannen, and this application of Tim Taylor Technology does work.
    • Then there's Emmett's flying car in Episode 5. KABOOM!
  • Time Travel Tense Trouble:
    Marty: "Marty McFly A dork? He can't be a dork!"
    Jennifer!A: "OK, anyone who talks about himself in the third person is a dork!"
  • Timeshifted Actor: Young Emmett is voiced by James Arnold Taylor; also, Young and Old Edna each have their own voice actress.
    • AJ LoCascio plays Marty throughout the game. In Episode 5, Michael J. Fox finally joins in as William McFly, in addition to the three older future Martys at the very end of the game.
  • Title Drop: Subverted when Crazy!Edna acts like she's in the past.
    Crazy!Edna: "Here they come! The lights! I'm being transported!"
    Doc: "Where?"
    Crazy!Edna: "BACK! *steps out of broken DeLorean* the past."
  • Took a Level in Badass: (Episode 3) Punk rock Jennifer in 1986-Alternate is far hotter than her "normal" timeline counterpart.
  • Trapped in the Past: Doc in Episode 1, before Marty comes to 1931 to rescue him. Unfortunately, Marty has his work cut out for him since Doc is trapped in jail.
  • Triple Entendre: The Episode 1 title "It's About Time", which can be interpreted as Marty's reaction to seeing Doc again, as well as the widespread reaction to news of a new Back to the Future game. (Or a good one anyway.)
  • Uncle Sam Wants You: YOU could be a Citizen Plus!
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Episode 3, "Citizen Brown", and HOW. Edna Strickland convinces Emmett Brown of this, though she goes even further than he would.
  • The Voice: Judge Brown in the first episode. Even in the Browns' family portrait, you can only make out his silhouette.
    • He does appear in Episode 5.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Judge Brown.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Citizen Brown, especially by the end of episode 4.
    • In Episode 5, Edna reveals she was the speakeasy arsonist, and did it out of moral outrage. Upon traveling back to the 1800's, she unhesitatingly burns down a saloon for similar reasons, accidentally taking the rest of Hill Valley with it. If that's not well-intentioned AND extreme, nothing is.
  • Wham Line: Episode 4: "How much do you know about *insert Marty's alias here*?"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In episode 5, what happened to the French diver after Doc stole his outfit?
      • Presumably he was hidden somewhere in his booth, because it'd be kind of hard for Doc to drag an unconscious body through a crowded expo hall without drawing attention.
      • You mean like he presumably dragged his younger self TO that booth?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Episode 4, Citizen Brown makes Marty feel really bad about the fact that reverting history will leave Edna lonely and unhappy. Can also double as What the Hell, Player?.
    • Also in the next episode where Marty has to threaten Citizen Brown with suffocating Young Doc to death in order to free him from imprisonment. It might've been a bluff, but Citizen Brown only gives in a few minutes after he's started.
  • What Year Is This?: Marty ends up resorting to this in Episode 3, despite the time display still working. Likely the result of denial due to the severe differences between the alternate 1986 and the original timeline.
    • And then again in Episode 4, because the time display isn't working as well as he thought.
  • Which Me?: The trio of bickering Martys in the pre-credits scene. Sequel Hook?
  • Who's On First?: In Episode 1:
    Marty: "Nice bike. Huffy?"
    1931 Edna: "Huffy? I'm not huffy, I'm passionate!"
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Edna is petrified of dogs; Naturally, Marty sics Einstein onto to her at every opportunity. In the alternate Hill Valley, she responds with a pitch-perfect Donald Sutherland impression.
    • [points] "...doooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOG! EEEEEEEK!!!!"
    • However, the "Good" Edna in the ending of Episode 5 gets along great with Einstein and even takes him out for walks.
  • You Bastard: Young Emmett uses this verbatim against Marty, when he realizes that he's the one who's been messing up his entire life from the start. Also, Marty even plays up the role, making himself out to be a sadistic Jerkass, so Young Emmett will snap out of his depression.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: No matter what marriage Doc chooses with Edna, it turns out badly. If Doc is pushed into leaving science, he becomes a successful industrialist and still has an acrimonious divorce with Edna, according to the newspaper.
  • You Didn't See That / That Didn't Happen / Mind Screw: The ending of Episode 5.
    Doc: "Don't say anything. Let's just walk quietly into the lab and hope there are no more surprises."
  • You Make Me Sic: While on her bullhorn, Edna corrects a vandal's misspelling of his graffiti.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Practically every episode has at least one occurrence of this. To be fair, this is par for the course with Telltale games, but still!
  • Zeerust: At the Hill Valley Science and Technology Expo in Episode 4, Marty sees a "Hill Valley of the Future" tent speculating what Hill Valley will be like in 1981. (The scene takes place in 1931. Marty's from 1986.) The exhibit predicts underground cities, very Zeerust-esque architecture, and artificial rain and sunshine. Marty's comment: "I don't think I've visited THAT timeline yet..."
    • Zeerust Canon: The ending of Episode 5: Marty asks where did he and Doc get those headsets, which are quite obviously those of the Xbox 360 (Verne had them in his 21st century video game console cache), which hints that our contemporary times are canon. A second later, Marty gets his hoverboard from 2015, which proves that their 21st century is still like in the films. Either it somehow survived an unintended alteration of history that resulted in our own present-day, Doc picked up a new hoverboard from later in the future, or something advanced the world's technology, and quickly. Sometimes, handwaves are better...
      • Or, you know, Xbox 360s exist along with Hoverboards in the BTTF 2015 but just weren't seen.

Back to the FutureFranchise/Back to the Future    
Attack Of The MutantLicensed GameBatman Arkham Series
Alan WakeHumble BundleHector: Badge of Carnage
B-17 Flying FortressWebsite/GOG.comBad Mojo
Assault On Vampire IslandAdventure GameDeadly Premonition
Rule of RoseThe Great DepressionMonsieur Charlatan
Azure Striker GunvoltScience Fiction Video GamesBarkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden
Assault on Dark AthenaUsefulNotes/Apple MacintoshBarkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden
Arc Rise FantasiaUsefulNotes/WiiBackyard Sports
AwesomenautsUsefulNotes/SteamBad Rats: the Rats' Revenge
Azure Striker GunvoltVideo Games of the 2010sBanzai Pecan
Poker Night at the InventoryCreator/Telltale GamesJurassic Park: The Game

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy