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Fanfic Recs / Back to the Future

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These are recommendations made by Tropers for Back to the Future fanfics, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found here.

You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page. No-name recommendations will be totalled by a freight train. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be.

Do warn when a fanfic may head into non-canon territory. Some people just don't like it, and as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business.

Authors, and Websites

Welcome to the Future

  • Recommended by Tito Mosquito
  • The owner of this site has written a LOT of fanfics that are Continuations of the trilogy, and borrowed certain characterizations from the animated series. The site also includes info from the franchise, such as the early script drafts, the filming locations, and closer look at the props. Also includes an alternate history series that covers what might have happened to Marty if he got trapped in the 19th century by means of the DeLorean being derailed.

General Fics

The Almanac Chronicles by Michael 2

  • recommended by dbz77
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Biff Tannen receives a strange book from a mysterious old man. What does he do with it?

Do Something by squonkfan

  • Recommended by BookHobbit, Kazeto
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A personal loss leads Marty and Doc to reshape their perspectives of one another.
  • Comments: Pre-movie. Really excellent characterization and interaction going on here.


  • Recommended by Troper 9
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Why does 2015 in II look different from our 2015? It's hinted that the Libyans took knowledge of time travel and used it to cause the events afterward.
  • Comments: Post-III. Quite a tearjerker and insight on history.

4am, This Letter by ricebol

  • Recommended by azofafora
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Marty spends his first night at the Brown Mansion. Insomnia's an understatement.
  • Comments: Takes place during the first movie. Marty tries to write a letter to Doc. Great characterization, and it shows that Marty is a bit smarter than the average teenager.

we can't live in the present forever by ideal_girl

  • Recommended by Cass
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Marty wonders if Doc has the same problem; histories overlapping, memories colliding in the space of a single, shared moment. He hopes not.
  • Comments: Takes place post-series, a lovely look at living with a headful of memories from a timeline that no longer exists and where Marty goes from there.

In Flux by Kristen Sheley

  • recommended by dbz77
  • Status: Complete
  • synopsis: Jules and Verne travel to 1982 to catch the premiere of Conan the Barbarian. But when they go back to the future, they find both of their parents dead.

First Impressions by Kristen Sheley

  • Recommended by Dynamite XI
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: This fic fills in the details of Marty's stay with Doc at the Brown Mansion during the events of Part I, as the two characters try to get used to each other.
  • Comments: Kristen Sheley—who is a patron saint of BTTF fan fiction and a published author in her own right—wrote First Impressions as part of a series of interstitial vignettes called "Between-the-Lines" that take their cues from the trilogy's deleted scenes and early script drafts (with a hearty dose of the author's imagination, of course). This one is one of her better ones in terms of character development and storytelling, and it's my personal favorite.

"Another One of These Damn Kids Jumped In Front of My Car!" by Kristen Sheley

  • Recommended by TrueBlue170
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: In which Sam Baines has a most unfortunate accident with a strangely attired kid....
  • Comments: Really well-written fic by the same author of another really well-written fic in the entry above. Another vignette from "Between-the-Lines", it chronicles what exactly happened while Marty was unconscious after becoming "another" victim to Sam Baines's driving. Also shows Lorraine's initial reactions to him - kinda Squicky considering Marty's relation to her, but in a humorous way.

Back to the Future Prequel by FemaleDoc

  • Recommended by bookwormgal
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: About how Marty and Doc first met in 1974. Also a look at Doc's dark past.
  • Comments: Set in the Lone Pine timeline, meaning that Doc knows he'll meet Marty at some point in history, this is a long and yet intriguing story of what might have occurred if their friendship began when Marty was still a child. And how Doc's reputation and the distrust from others in Hill Valley might make such a thing difficult. Now has a page on the wiki.

Dark Half by Flaming Trails

  • Recommended by ladyofthelibrary
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Doc's sadistic twin decides to torture him by kidnapping Marty. But things aren't exactly how they appear. . . A Non Trilogy Story
  • Comments: As stated in the synopsis, the events of the second and third movies didn't happen. However the good writing and the storyline more than make up for it. However this story is very dark and shouldn't be read for the first time at night.
  • Trigger warning: Cold-Blooded Torture

The Story of a Letter by obsessedwithstuff

  • Recommended by mysterykcad
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Have you ever wondered what happened to the letter after Doc handed to the post office in 1885? How the post office reacted to letter with precise instructions of when and where it should be delivered to? How it survived 70 years sitting on the shelves? Have you ever wondered what happened to the man after he handed over the to Marty?
  • Comments: As the title suggests, this fic follows the letter that Doc wrote in 1885, and the impact that such a strange letter would have on the people working in the post office. It's short, but it provides a rather interesting perspective on the story of Back to the Future.

Stranger in a Hat by enigma939

  • Recommended by mysterykcad
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: While preparing to send Marty back to 1985, Emmett Brown meets an oddly familiar stranger at the Town Square...
  • Comments: A short but interesting look at the scene where Doc meets and speaks with his future self. It explores what this would be like from 1955 Doc's perspective, and the eventual realization of just who he was talking to. It's the kind of fic that meshes very well with canon.

Jukebox Hero by Ace in da hood

  • Recommended by TrueBlue170
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The night that Marty realized his love for music was also the night that Dave abandoned him in the parking lot of rock concert.
  • Comments: Set in the Twin Pines Mall timeline, this follows a thirteen-year-old Marty dealing with being left outside in the rain while his brother enjoys a rock concert with his stoner friends. Not only does he reflect on what he hates about his family and life (which is very nice Foreshadowing for the movies), but he also has an epiphany — which is a loose plank and a ripping of soundproof foam away. A very interesting look into Marty's life before a certain time machine came into the picture, along with a believable theory of how he got into music.

The Strangeness of Marty McFly by who is sabrina

  • Recommended by postholer
  • Status: Dead; last updated October 2019
  • Synopsis: A collection of one-shots exploring the strangeness and memorability of Marty, seen through the eyes of many different people over many different times.
  • Comments: This fic tends to go years between updates, but they're always worth the wait.

Atomic Fallout by AzoNintendo

  • Recommended by lalalei2001
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: It's only a matter of time before the bubble bursts. A year after the trilogy, Marty wrestles with feeling out-of-place, coupled with uncertainties about the future and how long it can last, and turns to Doc for advice.

Deceit by Tintern Abbey

  • Recommended by lalalei2001
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Biff wonders why Lorraine's youngest kid looks so familiar.

The Madness of Our Endeavors by The Island Hopper

  • Recommended by TriasSic
  • Status: Dead
  • Synopsis: When a miscalculation threatens the survival of Hill Valley itself, Jules, Verne, Marty and the intrepid Doc Brown must find a solution, or risk their own timelines and their own survival – that is, if the Brown brothers don't destroy each other first.
  • Comments: Set in two different timelines, 2011 and 1998, we see a contrast between an older Jules, Verne, and Marty struggling with adulthood, personal problems, and their place in a world without Doc Brown and time travel, and a younger Marty and Doc who have gotten themselves tied up in yet another time traveling fiasco trapping them in the future. Now their paths just might cross when a desperate Jules tries to reengineer the flux capacitor with disastrous results.

Harborage by Knickynoo

  • Recommended by Audgetrouble
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Marty spends the weekend with the Browns, who have settled permanently in early 1986. While there, he's forced to deal with the impact of his travels through time.
  • Comments: An excellent character-driven fic that really dives into the aftermath of Marty’s changes to the timeline. Excellently written, and honestly, it made me very emotional.

Back to 2020 by majorhtom

  • Recommended by Trevor 807
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A retelling of the events of Back to the Future set 35 years later (2020 instead of 1985), Marty ends up traveling to 1990, and must get his parents to meet before his existence is undone.
  • Comments: Very good modernization of a classic movie. I really appreciate the nice touches the author puts in (musical references, Marty having a prosthetic leg from an accident).
  • Now has a sequel - Part II: It's Only a Matter of Time (Ongoing)

Shipping Fics
CinderMarty by Flaming Trails
  • Recommended by fruitstripegum
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: After the death of his parents, Marty McFly found himself at the mercy of his evil stepfamily, the Tannens. But fortunately for him, a royal ball reveals he has a little magic in his life...
  • Pairings: Marty/Jennifer, Doc/Clara, George/Lorraine
  • Comments: As the title implies, this is a Cinderella story given the Back To The Future treatment. Every major character from the trilogy is here (although there's obviously a few liberties taken with age and family relationships), and there's a couple of Shout Outs thrown in for good measure. All in all, a great fic that is much better than it sounds.

The Future is Past Us by usedusernames

  • Recommended by Cass; seconded hard by Kelliannm
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: AU in which Marty and Doc leave the west early. Sometimes having your present destroyed makes for a better future.
  • Pairings: slight Marty/Doc
  • Comments: Marty doesn't avert the accident that wrecked his hand, but their knowledge of the possible future lead to both him and Jennifer taking different paths.

History Repeats by usedusernames

  • Recommended by Kelliannm
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: On November 16, 1955, Marty McFly had two things: a broken time machine and fake cowboy pants that rode up in a most uncomfortable way. Marty/Doc in which Marty gets trapped in 1955 following the second movie.
  • Pairings: Marty/Doc, handled with just as much grace and tact as in "The Future Is Past Us"
  • Comments: I found out about this story on the blog of one of the writers I'm going to rec next, as well as about "The Future Is Past Us," and both of them tore my heart out in a profoundly memorable way. This pairing needs to be handled with care, and this writer appears to have been one of the first to do it right. They're old stories, but they stand up well.

Like Water Flowing Underground by Kleenexwoman

  • Recommended by Kelliannm
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Marty struggles to fit in with his new reality, but is any other world a better fit?
  • Pairings: Gen with a very slight side of implied Marty/Doc
  • Comments: I also found out about this story on the blog of the writer I'm going to rec next. Subtle, melancholy, and full of beautifully complex implications. There isn't a lot of fic in this fandom generally, but it's surprising to discover that much of the best-written of it is Marty/Doc. Kleenexwoman's BTTF work is strong; they've got around ten or so pieces of it on Archive of Our Own.

I Am Waiting (Should I Be Waiting?) by irisbleufic

  • Recommended by Kelliannm
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: "Life can be short, sometimes brutally so. Why not seize the day and grab your happiness while you can?" —Telltale Games, Back to the Future (Episode 4: Double Visions)
  • Pairings: Young Emmett/Marty (Marty/Doc, but Doc like you've never seen him before unless you've played the game)
  • Comments: It's no secret that I rec irisbleufic's work across a number of fandoms here on TV Tropes. There's a reason for this, and that reason has never been more in evidence than it is here, IMHO. I wouldn't have thought to read BTTF stories until irisbleufic mentioned the works by usedusernames and Kleenexwoman on her Tumblr, at which point I clicked and all bets were off. In the weeks following, she let her anons and readers convince her to try writing some herself, and this story, set in the 1930s, is really just the tip of the iceberg. She's written three other pieces, and each one treats the Marty/Doc relationship like a test-case or an experiment in a different timeline (for example, the remaining three you'll find at that link are 1955, 1985, and 1885). I didn't think it was possible to go explicit with this pairing and have it work, but this is one writer who will consistently prove what you thought before was too hasty a conclusion.

One Step Away / As Hard As Consequence / Open Your Eyes by irisbleufic

  • Recommended by Kelliannm
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: We searched all through the night / I couldn't find it; you couldn't find it (Or: A thing is as hard as its consequences, and Marty McFly should know.)
  • Pairings: Marty/Doc, plus the McFly family, the Tannens, Goldie Wilson, and any number of other Hill Valley OCs engineered by the author to take your breath away (the real star of this writer's stories may be the town itself taken as a whole)
  • Comments: Of the four timelines this writer has created, this one has by and far exceeded the others in every respect.

Hopscotch By Two-Headed Boy

  • Recommended by Bee 123
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Lorrain would like to kiss George again.
  • Pairings: Lorrain/George Mcfly
  • Comments: I love Lorrain and have found no other fic that has her characterication down like this (or even fic that is focused on her at all), and of cause i am weak for the soft (if slightly nsfw) exploration of sexuality and gender. Its a hopeful fic, about people finding their true self and that makes me happy.


Back to the Doctor by Doctor McFly (crossover with Doctor Who)

  • Recommended by lanky
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Following the events of the Back to the Future trilogy, Marty McFly thinks that he can finally settle down and get on with his life. Too bad there are creatures in the universe with an interest in time travelers and the energy they emit. On the bright side, sometimes all you need is a good Doctor to step in and save the day.
  • Comments: Essentially a vehicle to explore the idea of Marty McFly as the Tenth Doctor's companion. What is really fascinating about the whole thing is that Doctor McFly manages to capture the 'voice' of both Marty and the Doctor extraordinarily well, combining the two and generating genuine character interactions which work. With the stories organized into episodes (beginning with Frozen In Time, it makes for a nice, quick read. The author currently plans to write twelve 'episodes' consisting of four or five chapters apiece (and they're into the fourth 'episode' already). Worth a look.
    • There's only nine of these proposed twelve, but what's there already is complete.

The Boy Beyond Time by The Original Marisa

  • Recommended by trimeta
  • Status: Dead
  • Synopsis: After his time-travel adventures, Marty McFly hopes his life in college will be a bit more relaxing. But who is this tweed-wearing professor who calls himself John Smith? Maybe Marty's roommate Rory can help...
  • Comments: Ongoing Back to the Future/Doctor Who crossover, with the Doctor and the Ponds trying to make sense of Marty's unusual timeline. Good character voices throughout.

Rick to the Future - Interdimensional Mind Fuck 7 by R_A_Butler96

  • Recommended by Heroic-FanFiction-Reader
  • Crossover with: Rick and Morty
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Rick and Morty begin to watch the Back to the Future movies in honor of October 21st 2015 but decide to go into the movie. While inside, the two incidentally cause a catastrophe that threatens the entire universe.

'A Jump To The Left by Owlship

  • Recommended by: Silent Stranger, Redandready45
  • Has a trope page.
  • Crossover with: Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: A badly injured Furiosa awakens after the ending of Fury Road, only to find herself in a bed with crisp, clean sheets, treated by machines and medicine that should be lost to nuclear war. Only The Fool by her side is familiar. He is the one to introduce her to a man who's own Fury Road is time itself...