Follow TV Tropes

Following

Headscratchers / Back to the Future Part II

Go To

  • How did Biff get SO powerful in 1985-A? Even if he was the richest person in the world it doesn't seem like he would be able to take over the whole city (or maybe even the whole state) without the federal government stepping in.
    • Money, Dear Boy. Biff hasn't literally taken over the city / state with an army like a warlord or anything, but he is hugely wealthy, and money buys influence. He buys off the cops so that they'll turn a blind eye to his crimes and he buys off officials to get them to do things that will give advantages to him and his business. As for the federal government, if there's one institution on Earth which is far from immune to the influence of extremely wealthy people with deep pockets, it is the U.S federal government. My guess is that Alt Biff has donated quite generously to the campaigns of numerous congressmen, senators and Presidents over the years.
      • The Biff to the Future comics confirm this. Not only that, but Biff unwittingly saves Richard Nixon's career by buying the Washington Post and firing Woodward and Bernstein, thereby strangling the Watergate investigation in its cradle. Nixon is forever indebted to him, and as a result, Biff's rise to power is greatly expedited thanks to having President Nixon as his ally.
      • Also, I think you're taking too literally that he owns the city, he probably meant that he's the most powerful man there and when he says he owns the police, the same, he probably meant that he can bribe them easily which sadly is Truth in Television in many real life cities. All that indicates he exerts a lot more power than just being a rich guy.
      • Biff managed to build a massive hotel-casino AND a toxic-waste reclamation plant in a residential area. Plus, we saw that he has armed thugs riding on tank in plain view patrolling around his hotel.
      • The dad from that family that lived in Marty's house yells that they are not going to sell, no matter how much the "company" (which must be BiffCO) terrorizes them. While Biff may not literally own the city, it seems he is at least attempting to do so.
  • In the beginning of Part II, Biff sees the DeLorean take off and vanish into thin air, and is clearly baffled and disturbed by this. But the next time we see this version of Biff at the end of (which is chronologically one day later from his POV), he's being all nice and subservient to Marty like everything is normal, and doesn't seem to have remembered the flying car at all. Obviously everything by that point was already wrapped up with Biff's storyline, but it is a minor plot hole. They could have at least inserted a quick exchange such as "Say Marty, did you know that there was a flying DeLorean here yesterday?" And Marty could shrug or make up some funny explanation.
      Advertisement:
    • An unidentified flying object? People tend to look at you funny when you bring those up. And not believe you.
      • People believed him over the Comet Kablooey incident in the cartoon.
      • Which isn't exactly taken as essential canon to the film series or even is that well-remembered, let's face it.
    • The human mind is actually pretty good at wiping away 'inconsistencies'. Sure, it would have thrown Biff immediately afterwards, but it's not like he got that good a look at it before it disappeared, and it took him another thirty years to join the dots together. Chances are, since no one else saw it, he probably reasoned away with "actually, was probably just a weird-looking helicopter" or something.
  • Granted, it would've taken away from the drama, suspense and humor, but wouldn't it have been easier to take the Almanac from Biff the day after the dance, or just break into his house when he falls asleep?
    • I think they wanted it to be over with quickly, and probably didn't want to risk spending too much time on the task lest something go wrong (like, for example, Biff becoming onto them and taking greater security measures which would make it more difficult for them). Besides, since they already knew a lot about where Biff would be and what he would be doing during the time frame of the first movie, that gave them some knowledge as vantage ground.
    • Advertisement:
    • It would be too late. Note that Biff took his first serious look at the almanac after the prom, and odds are, he'd be more than obsessive to keep it — or its valuable information — in his possession. He could've copied a few pages, hid them, and used them to become rich. It would be a bigger mess to solve if that was the case. It is not the almanac per se that Marty and the Doc need, but to prevent 1955 Biff from gathering too much information from it.
      • He brought the almanac with him to sporting events. In one of the articles where Biff wins big at horse racing, he's got the almanac in his pocket!
      • Just because he has it with him doesn't mean he doesn't have a "backup" in some form hidden somewhere. He easily could have hand-copied information from it and stashed it in a safe place just in case anything happened to the actual Almanac. Or for all we know, it's just another copy of Ooh La La with the Sports Almanac jacket on it.
      • Also, Old Biff told his young self to get a safe and keep it in there. Though this probably didn't occur to Marty or Doc before their mission (we briefly see 1985 Biff take the almanac out of the safe he eventually bought, which may or may not have been before he made his first bet).
  • Another example that would have taken away even more drama, suspense and humor by never giving 2015 Biff the chance to steal the DeLorean in the first place: Marty and Doc could have stopped the police from taking Jennifer "home" to Hilldale; all Marty had to do was claim to be Marty of 2015, his thumbprint scan would have verified it, and surely the police would have left Jennifer in her "husband's" custody.
      Advertisement:
    • Marty had been in the future for just a few minutes and probably didn't know that or was too disoriented.
    • It was risky enough, according to Doc, for them to have been in 2015 at all in the first place, in situations where they might create a paradox by running into their doppelgängers.
    • And it'd be pretty odd for a visibly teenage Marty to just appear out of nowhere and give a thumb scan identifying himself as a 47-year-old man—especially since, if you look closely at Doc's newspaper, there's a bit in the news-line about "thumb bandits" (which are presumably the identity thieves of 2015). The police simply assumed Jennifer had gotten a really good facelift; to see her supposed spouse show up and appear to be the exact same age would raise some big questions.
      • Hold on then...What about Doc getting the procedure to look years younger? If he could do that, why wouldn't the police assume that Jennifer and Marty had both just done the same? Even if it's an expensive procedure that's not common for middle class folk or whatnot, there must still be a lot of people who would be willing to shell out bucks to look younger again.
      • It should be noted that for all Doc's hype about the procedure making him look years younger, he doesn't actually look any different when he finally reveals himself. Presumably the procedure doesn't work that well or is mostly hype; kind of like how skin creams which claim to take "years off" don't make you look incredibly different to how you did before you put them on. In any case, reverting an older man to a (slightly) younger man is different to reverting an older man to a teenager; it's presumably still not good enough to revert a 47 year old man to a point in his life where he was (presumably) still going through the latter stages of puberty.
      • Technically Doc did look younger. In the first film, Christopher Lloyd wore old age makeup as 1985 Doc to make him look older, while the 1955 Doc was Lloyd without makeup, just as with the actors playing George, Lorraine, Biff, and Strickland, since for the majority of the first film, they were playing the 1955 versions of the characters, with the 1985 versions only appearing at the beginning and end of the film. However, for the sequels, Christopher Lloyd was predominately playing the 1985 Doc, with the 1955 Doc only appearing at the end of Part 2 and beginning of Part 3, so rather than have Lloyd wear old age makeup for the majority of the films, the writers wrote in the rejuvenation, in which Lloyd literally ripped off the old age makeup, so he could appear as is. Doc noticeably has more wrinkles before he takes off his disguise than after.
      • Okay, but still: if Marty walked up to them claiming to be Marty Jr. Yeah, the thumb print would say he was 47, but since he and his father have the same name, he could explain it as a mistake.
      • Even assuming an anti-aging procedure could have worked that well, it would be more believable (stereotypically speaking) for the wife alone to have got such a procedure done than the husband as well.
      • The cops that find Jennifer unconscious are not *that* surprised that the scan shows she is 47. Arguably, it is entirely possible in that timeline to look 30 years younger if you spend lots of money in the top of the line antiaging stuff.
    • IIRC, by the time Doc and Marty realize that Jennifer's missing, they're pretty much just in time to see the police officers drive off
      • No, you're not remembering correctly. Doc and Marty see the cops find Jennifer, ID her, and drive off with her. Doc also has time to talk to explain to Marty how they're IDing her and how a paradox could arise.
    • It might have made the cops suspect that Marty tranqed her and left her in an alley. Even if he's her husband, that would still qualify as spousal abuse and Marty could be hauled off to jail.
      • But if they suspected that, they shouldn't have just taken her home (except insofar as the new lawyer-free, non-adversarial justice system may somehow disincentivize the cops to actually arrest people). And the suspected abuser showing himself to the cops would probably make him a little less suspicious. Although a hypothetically-abusive Marty might know that the cops would know that an abusive Marty wouldn't do that…
      • If he wasn't there, then they had no reason to suspect that she'd been abused and dumped in that alley for possibly suspicious reasons; they might just assume she'd gotten tanked and fallen asleep in the garbage. Her (much younger than he probably should be) husband suddenly showing up to nervously laugh it off and tell them that it was okay, he knew that his wife was unconscious in the alley for reasons he'd probably be a bit cagey about (since he's hardly going to tell them that they've both just travelled in time and she's been drugged because she was getting a bit too excited about it) is probably going to make them a bit more suspicious as to his intentions. Particularly since if she's unconscious in an alleyway, then he has no real reason to object to them helping her get home that probably isn't at least a little bit suspicious to a police officer.
    • What about this? When the cops drop Jennifer off at "home," Marty could have gone in and Doc could have stayed with the car. Marty could have just waltz in with the thumb key then explain the situation to Jennifer and haul @$$ back to the DeLorean. If at that exact moment, Lorraine and George showed up, he could pretend to be Marty Jr on his way to a date. If Marty Jr showed up while that was going on... um... HEY LOOK!!!
      • That would involve Marty getting to go inside of his future home, something that Doc was adamant about him not doing, presumably because he doesn't want him finding out about the car accident that would befall him.
      • Also, there's no way Marty could be aware of the fingerprint-entry systems that appear to be in common usage in 2015.
    • Marty suggests exactly this ("Right, so we got back to the future and stop Biff from stealing the time machine,") and Doc shoots him down ("We can't. Because if we travel to the future from this point in time it will be the future of this reality.") In which Biff has no need to steal the time machine to deliver the Almanac to himself, because he's already rich. Of course, that would create a paradox in which didn't give himself the book, so didn't become rich, in which case he does steal the time machine and make himself rich, but then doesn't need to. . . oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.
  • Doc gets accidentally set back in time to 1885, he had the power necessary from the bolt, and he had the flux capacitor which was in the DeLorean, but he wasn't moving at 88 MPH ... What gives..?
    • Possibly the car span round so fast that its angular momentum was 88mph. Presumably the wheels didn't have to move that fast as the car was flying.
      • Since we don't know why the 88 miles (141.62 km) per hour was necessary, no one can say for sure. Since the time car always arrives at its destination cold, implying that it can absorb heat as well as direct kinetic energy, maybe the molecular motion of the lightning's heat was enough to make up for the lack of momentum?
      • Word of God says that it spun that fast, and that's why the vapor trails formed the reversed 99.
    • It's actually all explained in Doc's letter in Part III. The flux capacitor already had 1.21 gigawatts stored up, as Doc loaded the fusion generator prior to meeting Marty at the school. The extra power from the lightning caused an overload that scrambled the time circuits and caused the flux capacitor to spontaneously activate.
      • Of course, a watt is a unit of power not energy so you can't "store" 1.21 gigawatts. Presumably the capacitor had stored enough energy that it could discharge it at a rate of 1.21 gigawatts for however long is necessary to work it...
      • And that's ''exactly'' what Doc Brown has in mind! When he's despairing over where to find the McGuffin electricity, he talks to Edison's photograph: "Tom, how am I gonna generate that kind of power? It can't be done, can it?"
  • Why did Marty have to go to the future to prevent his son from taking part in the robbery? From Marty's point of view, the robbery wouldn't happen for 30 years. All Doc had to do was tell him exactly when it was going to happen, and in 30 years, Marty could prevent it without having to time travel.
    • Completely agree. What's the harm in Marty Jr. doing a little of jail time or whatever the punishment is? It's not ideal but neither is disrupting the space-time continuum.
      • As Doc says, the event starts a chain reaction which completely destroys Marty's entire family.
    • Of course, Marty would have to remember this for 30 years. But surely he would remember something this important, no? Also, in the next 30 years, he could have just raised his son to be a bit less vulnerable to peer pressure and avoided the whole mess.
      • My theory is that this was all The Plan by Doc to improve Marty's life by having Marty choose to improve himself. Note that Doc doesn't mind actively telling Marty the mistakes his "son" will make, but he refuses to tell him a mistake that Marty will make; i.e., racing Needles because he called him chicken. The end of the third movie implies that once Marty changes, the future becomes a blank slate.
      • The only reason they go into the future to help Marty's kid is because that's how they ended the first one, and the ending was meant to be a joke. When the sequel happened, they had to start with the hook they'd already set up.
    • And of course, kids don't always do as you say. I guess Doc used a more direct method which would be easier to get result.
    • A Mary Jean Holmes fanfic titled "Waiting" offers a possible explanation, Marty asks Doc that if his future hasn't been written yet, what good would it be for him to into the future to change his kid's futures? Doc's answer: "Ah... no good whatsoever actually." He goes on to explain that at that particular point in his travels, he was still as much a novice to time travel as Marty was, and didn't understand how the effects worked and he simply felt he had to do something to improve things. He later admits his actions were ultimately wrong. He was also afraid that flat-out telling Marty about the accident could've made things worse. Marty would've avoided that particular accident, but that would not have solved the root cause of it: his Berserk Button. So you can ultimately chalk up the whole time-traveling calamity in the three films as Marty growing up and learning how to handle himself in ways that no one could've planned for or taught him.
  • It surprises me that no one's bought this up yet. Gray's Sports Almanac. It was supposed to have the results of every major sporting event from 1950-2000. Did anyone think that book was just a little too thin to have all that history in there? A book with that much sports history in it would probably be the size of an unabridged dictionary! Plus, each sport would have to have its own section. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, boxing, horse races, etc. Never mind the fact that it wouldn't be just the results, there would have to be information such as MVPs, in-game and historical records set (and broken), expansion teams, and so on. Plus, we never really find out if ALL sports are covered in the almanac. Do the Olympics count? What about professional wrestling? MMA? Nascar? And what if some new sport was invented and implemented between 1950 and 2000? There would have to be a whole section on the creation of that sport, and then all the above information (MVPs, records, teams). And then in 1955, old Biff manages to open the page up to the exact game that's playing on the radio. I understand that it was easier to make the book thin so Marty could try and steal it later (and the mistaken identity when Strickland takes it), but couldn't they have come up with something else, like maybe a book that only detailed certain sports for the 50's only? Or certain sports only, like just baseball, football and basketball maybe?
    • The almanac could have been part of set. Marty might have only bought a volume with certain sports, either not realizing there were others or the shop didn't have them.
      • Indeed, only the set could have been organized a different way. The implication of the dialogue does * seem* to be that it's complete, though, and on the commentary track Zemeckis and Gale admit to the absurdity. Really, though, if it just contains the bare, basic statistics, which fill most every page in tiny print and in many columns, using lots of abbreviations, they could probably fit a hell of a lot more in there than it would appear by glancing at the cover and page number.
      • The first draft of the BTTF2 script mentions that the pages of the almanac are super-thin, and that the almanac is composed of 5000 pages.
      • It's the future. They probably found some technology to make it small.
      • Or holographic in a controllable way, so that it's like several pages in one for each page. Or...something.
      • See, for example, Paul Atreides' copy of the Orange Catholic Bible given to him by Dr. Yueh: about palm-sized, but has thousands of pages. Has its own inbuilt magnifying device.
    • I just assume the shopkeeper (and the book itself) were exaggerating to make a sale.
    • Word of God: Bob Gale addressed this issue in the DVD commentary. The writers were aware that a book with that many years of stats for that many sports would probably be 50 times thicker, but they had to make the book thin enough to fit into Marty's pocket. Neil Canton hand waves it by saying "maybe it's just really small print."
    • Now, here's something to ponder. Isn't it highly possible that Biff's bets and his actions would probably eventually have a serious effect on the sporting world itself, and thus begin altering the actual results from the timeline that the book was from?
      • Then the results in the book would change, too, like the newspapers.
      • Nope, they wouldn't - the almanac comes from a different timeline, one that isn't influenced by Biff's actions. However, just a few big wins would get Biff filthy rich in a short enough time that the inevitable eventual variations wouldn't be a problem for him.
      • The events of the movies directly contradict you. It doesn't matter if it comes from a different timeline — it's shown directly and explicitly that artifacts taken from the future will and do change when the present changes. This is a constant thing that happens in every one of the movies.
      • Eventually it wouldn't matter. Biff was making and celebrating his bets extremely publicly. So when the "Luckiest Man Alive" makes a bet, regardless of the odds, any gambler worth their salt should also make that bet, which would then drive the odds up to the point where they're not worth making a bet to begin with. This happens with sure-thing horse racing all the time.
      • All Biff would have to do to avoid this is place the bets after he became famous through a proxy, or use a bookie who didn't advertise that Biff was betting with him.
      • If he placed bets through a proxy, he wouldn't have gotten the credit. There must have been a balance somewhere. He likely also learned to lose a few just to be convincing.
    • "Every major sporting event" might also just be marketing hyperbole. For all we know, it only has the results for a (comparative) few particular kinds of sports.
    • If the almanac has information on who the sponsors are for the teams, or what the names of the stadiums are, then he's basically got a cheatsheet for which companies are going to have a lot of disposable income in the future. Easy for a cunning man to turn thousands into millions.
  • Why does Marty get blamed for the Sports Almanac fiasco? Isn't it at least partly Doc's fault for inventing a time machine that doesn't require keys or a password or at least some sort of security measure, and then leaving it completely unguarded? All Marty did was give Biff the idea.
    • Actually, it'd be more Doc's fault for talking so loudly - that other people can overhear him.
    • Marty didn't get blamed. He just declared that It's All My Fault and Doc changes the subject.
      • Well, that's all in the past.
      • You mean the future.
      • Whatever.
    • It was kind of Marty's fault that Biff was able to steal the DeLorean from Hilldale, as he was supposed to be watching it whilst Doc was retrieving Jennifer, but instead wandered off looking at self-walking dog leashes. A split-second was all Biff needed.
      • Wanders off and leaves the door to the DeLorean wide open. Password be damned, if you walk off and leave your car door open you deserve to have it pinched.
    • Arguably, Marty is more at fault because he had greedy intentions when he bought the Almanac. Doc had more noble intentions when he invented the time machine.
      • So I guess Doc wanting to find out who won the world series for the next 25 years was just curiosity? I'd find it hard not to place a bet when I knew the outcome...
      • Probably; the guy sold his mansion and lived in a garage in pursuit of science and inventing time travel as a higher calling. Given that acquiring material wealth doesn't seem a big priority to him anyway, it's not hard to believe that he'd want to find out who won the next twenty-five World Series purely out of curiosity.
      • How does that make it Marty's fault? He may have had greedy intentions, but that doesn't mean he intended that outcome any more than Doc did. If it wasn't for Doc taking the almanac away from him and causing a fuss about it, Marty would have been the one to get rich, presumably with much better consequences. A Rules Lawyer (err...actually, make that a regular lawyer) would say he technically isn't even defrauding anyone, as long as the betting contract is a typical one that doesn't prohibit time travel.
      • Doc was mainly opposed to Marty using it for personal gain and he might have thought that Marty might want to continuing messing with time travel, the effects of which could blow up in his face.
    • It's really ultimately Biff's fault; he's the one who stole the time machine. Not implementing those security measures was certainly a foolish move (or lack thereof) for anyone with concerns like Doc's (not to mention anyone with any property they care about of that value) but that doesn't mean it's his fault if someone steals it and does something bad with it. If someone enters a house that was accidentally left unlocked, steals a firearm, and uses it for a mass shooting, the shooter is still the only one guilty of the crime.
  • If Biff going back to 1955 created another timeline (and that's why going back from the alternative 1985 is useless unless they get things back to normal), how could he get back to his own 2015?
    • There is a deleted scene in which Old Biff fades away the way Marty almost did in the first movie. This suggests that the timeline was in the process of repairing itself to make sense. We know this can't happen instantaneously, or Marty would have started fading the moment he interfered with his parents' encounter. The scene was trimmed however, and we never actually see Old Biff fade away (although he does seem to be in pain upon returning).
      • He returned to the old time line because young Biff has free will, and until he decides to use the almanac the old time line is in place.
      • Time hadn't changed when old Biff left 1985, bit it had changed when he arrived in 2015 and was trying to repair itself.
      • Exactly - a later entry on this page (not mine) says more or less that the ripple effect doesn't fully kick in until a critical event's been reached; old Biff wouldn't be erased from existence until then. By time-traveling forward to 2015, he skips forward past the critical event and into a timeline he's no longer compatible with.
      • It should be notice also that, Old Biff doesn't really disappear, just changes. Of course we see him die but if such heart attack didn't happen the real change once Young Biff chooses to bet using the almanac would be to see him change from a middle class old man to a rich old man in a more dystopian future, not cease to exist all together.
    • Zemeckis and Gale proposed that Biff did indeed return to 2015-A, which we saw on-screen after Biff returned, and which happened to be just that similar to the original 2015 for Marty and Doc to still carry Jennifer out.
      • Somewhere I read (DVD commentary? Novelization?) that Lorraine murdered Biff in 1996-A.
      • I figured it was the same reason they could leave Jennifer and Einstein in 1985-A; time transforms around them.
      • You're confusing effects that occur in time with effects that occur in metatime. When Biff used the almanac, and 1985-A overwrote the original 1985, 2015-A also overwrote the original 2015. Timelines aren't "parallel universes": only one version of a given time period exists at a given point in metatime.
      • How do you know how time travel "works"? Maybe there are alternate timelines coexisting, and the only reason Marty started fading out in the first film was that he was in the wrong one.
      • Gale & Zemeckis wrote a "Back to the Future FAQ"[1] in which they explained that when old Biff returned to 2015, the original version of 2015 "transformed around Marty, Doc, Jennifer and Einstein" into an altered 2015-A, the future of 1985-A, just as suggested by the earlier "I figured it was the same reason..." comment (also, they mention the thing in another comment about how Lorraine killed Biff in 1996-A, hence the deleted scene where old Biff was shown fading away shortly after returning to the future). That would seem to suggest G & Z were assuming a "single changing timeline" model rather than a "multiple coexisting timelines" model. I suppose you could imagine that Biff's return caused Marty, Doc, Jennifer and Einstein to jump "sideways" to a different time-track while the original 2015 they had just been in continued to exist, but if G & Z had been imagining that I suspect they wouldn't have said the world "transformed around" the characters.
      • My personal theory is that touching the time-stream (ie time traveling) grants some kind of paradox-resistant armor, in that for the rest of your existence, timeline changes and the like alter you less than your non-time-traveling companions. Marty, Doc, Jennifer and Einstein all have this armor, and as such, having the timeline change on them allows them to remain as they originally were... to a certain degree. Obviously, Marty and Biff screwing up their ability to exist isn't something the armor allows them to 'walk off', and thus if they don't take action to rectify their error, they will eventually be erased, paradox-resistant armor be damned. But for minor infractions, caused by other time-travelers, they will be the only ones present to notice: note the game, where Marty and Doc are the only ones to recognize the sudden disappearance of Hill Valley. A similar case could be made for this instance, with Hilldale changing very little.
    • Also, the old Biff could meet the young Biff in 1955 perfectly comfortably, with neither of them falling unconscious or even the Universe imploding. Perhaps it is because the young Biff did not recognize the old Biff as being himself?
      • It's exactly because of that. The young Biff thought of the old Biff as "an old codger with a cane", and nothing more.
      • That, and young Biff was really dumb.
      • Exactly. Essentially a variant on Tricked Out Time with them avoiding the paradox through the power of dumb.
      • To elaborate, the reason the Jennifers fainted was because the young Jennifer had recently woken up from being knocked out and was shocked by the notion that she was in the future and seeing her older self, whom she knew was her older self, was the final straw in her confusion, while the old Jennifer apparently doesn't have any recollection about traveling to the future, so she was shocked upon coming home and seeing herself 30 years younger. Conversely, old Biff wasn't shocked to see his younger self since he knew that he traveled back in time and had deliberately sought his younger self out, so he probably would have internally prepared himself for any shock, while young Biff doesn't realize that the "old codger with a cane" is his future self, so neither of them faint.
    • How in the heck did Old Biff know how to use the DeLorean in the first place? He wasn't around when Doc explained it to Marty in BTTF.
      • Everything is labeled. You see, Doc is an Absent-Minded Professor, so I've no doubt he could lose track of what some of the buttons do.
      • Yeah, but how did he know to turn the time circuits on? And power up Mr. Fusion? And how did he figure out that he had to speed up to 88 mph to travel through time?
      • Maybe there's an Owner's Manual in the glove box.
      • In regards to powering up Mr. Fusion, the device was billed as a "home energy reactor", and probably a common household implement in the BTTF 2015. This doesn't explain how he knew about the other requirements to correctly operate the time machine, though.
      • Doesn't old Biff say something like "So, old doc brown finally made a time machine"? He's worked out it's a time machine, all he has to do is figure out the buttons. The time circuit panel with the date display is labeled, so he probably just kept pushing the buttons until he got it right. Given that he's 'from' the future, he'd know how to fly a hover conversion car.
      • As to knowing to accelerate and all, remember that he remembered seeing the car take off, accelerate, and then disappear back in 1985. He even notes it with "A flying DeLorean! Haven't seen one of those in... thirty years...?", planting the idea he remembers. Doc probably already had the time circuits on and Mr. Fusion powered up a certain amount... all Biff would have to do is punch in the date before flying off and speeding up.
      • And the digital speedometer says "Set to 88," a good indicator of the speed needed to initiate time travel.
      • Um, it's a time machine. He could have taken a month to figure out how to work it as long as he comes back soon after he stole it.
      • Except he would have had to figure out how it worked before he stole it. He didn't sit in it for a month in 2015.
      • You missed the point. Say he backed it away, spent a month in 2015 figuring it out, traveled back to 1955, then set the time circuits to return to 2015 a minute after he stole it. At that point, there's 2 Biffs and 2 time machines, and one of them drops off his time machine where he stole it, as we see in the movie, making Doc and Marty none-the-wiser.
      • The comic shows that Biff initially didn't do it right and ended up in prehistoric times. Maybe he tested it out several times until he got it right.
      • Building the time machine is complicated, but looking at pictures of the control panel it's actually fairly easy to use. Doc's clearly labelled the times for when you're going, when you've come from and what your local time is, there's a pretty simple numerical keypad and a some helpful coloured lights next to it to give some clues for what you need to do. True, it might require some trial and error, but even a fairly dull-witted person like Biff Tannen would be able to figure it out eventually with some trial and error. As for how he figures out how to use Mr. Fusion... Old Biff is from the time that Mr. Fusion comes from. That should make it pretty simple.
  • In Part II, why are Doc and Marty in such a rush to get the sports almanac back on November 12, 1955? Since both have their past duplicates they have to avoid, it seems rather risky. Since Doc states they need to wait for Old Biff to give Young Biff the almanac, it's obvious they just need to get the almanac back sometime before Biff starts actively using it to bet on horse races, which he can't do until he's 21. Thus, they have several years in which to get it back, so why not wait until even just the next day to attempt to steal back the almanac? This way they wouldn't risk interfering with the events of the first movie.
    • Because Hell Valley Doc had been institutionalized, preventing him from building the time machine in the first place. The fading of the time machine would create a paradox so great that it would no doubt have a catastrophic impact on the universe. The only reason the time machine still existed was because the ripple effect had yet to catch up with it. Doc did not know how long they would have before before the time machine was erased. Every second counted.
    • Biff didn't need to be in possession of the Almanac to bet on sports events: he needed to know the results. If they had waited they were running the risk of him reading the book and memorizing certain results, possibly jotting them down, or even tearing out pages and hiding them somewhere.
      • I think you're giving 1955 Biff a little too much credit, he wasn't smart enough to try anything like that until several years later. Nevertheless it's still important to get that book away from Biff as soon as possible, there's nothing to stop him form placing smaller bets on other sport events illegally until he turns 21.
      • On the other hand, he was smart enough to respond to a $300+ repair bill on his car by realizing that he could be the person making all that money, and starting his own auto detailing business.
    • As Biff receives the book, he's skeptical. We see Biff casually flicking through the book though, and the more he does so, the more he realizes how important that book is. The longer they leave it, the tighter of a grasp Biff will have on it, the more he'll fight to keep it. Even by the evening he's swapping the covers to other books. The longer it's left, the harder it'll be to get back. At least on that day, they know exactly where Biff will be.
    • And all he has to do on November 13-onward to completely screw over Doc and Marty is to buy a safe or put it in a bank's safety deposit box or bury it somewhere that only he knows about.
    • November 12 1955 is also the last day that Marty and Doc have a reasonably accurate knowledge of Biff's movements and whereabouts.
  • In the first film, the DeLorean's exterior ices up after each trip through time. Why didn't that happen in the subsequent films?
    • Modifications made in the future, perhaps, although it does ice up in the Telltale game. It could have something to do with the ice not forming when the car is airborne, and it was hot enough in late summer in the Wild West in Part III that the ice wasn't noticeable.
    • Actually it does every time (though it thaws out relatively quickly). It's just not pointed out. The ice is probably most noticeable when Marty and Doc return to 1955.
  • Why in the world would Doc have Marty take Jennifer out of the time machine and leave her in an alley? What, was she in his way or something?! Sometimes Doc is the dumbest smart person in the world.
    • She probably was in his way. There's not a ton of room in that car if you watch, Jennifer pretty much has to sit in Marty's lap when all three of them are in there. He probably got her out so that he could get out all the stuff he needed without risking groping his young friend's girlfriend in the process, and didn't think it was worth it to try and wrestle her back in when they only planned to be there for a few minutes anyway.
    • He had to take the car out in broad daylight to intercept Marty Jr. He probably didn't want to have to explain to people why he's got a teenage girl unconscious in his front seat.
    • Actually the Bobs never planned for a sequel so they had to have Jennifer in the car but never actually planned for her to do anything, and they didn't know what to do with her so they knocked her out because of Plot Connivance.
    • Because the Doc needed room for Einstein, he went to go pick him up from the kennel while Marty was doing his thing.
  • What kind of place must Hill Valley be in 2015 that a gang could assault a teenage boy in a cafeteria without anyone uttering a word of protest?
    • Probably the same sort of place it was in 1955 where they did the same thing? Or the same sort of place New York is today? Most people don't want to step up and defend total strangers. (Especially nerdy white male strangers, who probably rank somewhere just above "big fat hairy bikers" and "people with flattops wearing very fashionable brown uniforms" for generating sympathy from onlookers.)
    • It's called the Bystander effect. This happens in Real Life all the time - you can have a gorgeous girl getting pummeled in broad daylight at a tourist trap. People will just sit back and watch.
    • It's worth noting that the folks on the cafe's stationary bikes start to get up after Griff tosses Junior over the counter, and Griff hollers at them: "Keep pedaling, you two!" I kinda thought the implication was that people wanted to help, but were too terrified by the psycho with bionic implants.
    • There's also Deliberate Values Dissonance- it's heavily suggested that the 2015 of the movie is a Crapsaccharine World full of unhinged and crazy types (as well as a tyrannical lawyer-less justice system to deal with them). Chances are that people like Griff and gang are a dime a dozen and people are used to them.
  • Interesting weather they're having in 1955: Immediately after the DeLorean gets struck by lightning and is seemingly destroyed, the storm ends! And then a few seconds later it starts raining down heavily, with no lightning!
    • That's not completely impossible under ordinary circumstances in real life. Also, in-universe, it may be the case that the storm was sort of "tugged at by causality", a la Rubber-Band History, with the purposes of aiding the time travel of both first-movie-Marty and second-movie-Doc.WMG 
    • Rainstorms often work like that; it's dry when the thunder and lightning happens, and then the heavens open. On a personal note, it's happening where this editor is currently sitting and writing right now.
  • So, if you meet a version of yourself from another time, you either pass out, or a universe-destroying paradox occurs. Why would you pass out? What's so shocking in seeing yourself? Sure, it'd be weird, but there are perfectly natural explanations, like it's your lost twin sibling or just an accidental double (I think I've heard somewhere that it's possible even between strangers), or somebody has assumed your appearance with cosmetic surgery for some reason.
    • Who said those are the only two options? All we really see is that's how Jennifer reacts. One data point does not equal a pattern or a standard or even a trend.
      • Doc Brown says that in rather no-nonsense terms. And Jennifer's reaction reinforces my point. Why does she pass out?
      • And Doc Brown then says, "That's a worst-case scenario." He doesn't say those are the only two options, he's saying those are the two far points on the 'bad reaction' spectrum. Jennifer passed out because she, personally, was shocked at seeing her older self. Not because passing out is the default response to anyone encountering their other self. This is evidenced by Marty and Doc Brown both running into their own past and future selves and nothing happening.

        All that happened was that Jennifer wasn't mentally prepared for it, and passed out.
      • It should perhaps be noted — in Jennifer's defense if nothing else — that neither Marty nor Doc met their past / future selves face to face (notice how, in the one scene they encounter each other, Future Doc is very very careful to make sure that Past Doc never gets a look at his face), Marty only meets another version of himself in passing and, unlike Jennifer, Marty never gets a good look at what he looks like when he's thirty years older. For all we know, direct face to face contact would overwhelm them similarly as well.
      • Plus Jennifer doesn't know nearly as much about time travel as Marty and Doc, so she was overwhelmed by all this time travel stuff.
  • How did Biff know how to operate the DeLorean? Only the Doc and Marty knew how to use it.
    • Pretty sure this is already answered elsewhere, but basically, the time-travel controls are ridiculously clearly-labeled and easy to use. Other than that, it's a car. Biff remembers from seeing it work in the past that you've gotta drive it nice and fast to make it travel in time, so he just gets in, sets the time, then takes off and floors it.
  • I know there's probably plenty of possible answers, but I think this every time I see the movie lately: under what circumstances would what's essentially a TV repairman call his customer a "chicken"?
    • Maybe he offered to hook up free premium channels for a bribe, and Marty was scared of getting caught?
    • Perhaps he could have offered that Marty buy a new TV, Marty said he was unsure of the benefit of getting a new one instead of fixing the old, and the repair guy said something along the lines of "Come on, you have to take some chances, don't act like a chicken." Cue dramatic cord.
  • Why would Marty and Doc leave the DeLorean unattended, unlocked, with the keys in it? My car doesn't travel in time, I don't live in a high crime area and I don't even do that.
    • Doc left it with Marty. Marty got distracted and wandered off. Sometimes he's not that bright.
  • Strickland takes the almanac (actually just a porno mag with the dust jacket around it) from Biff. Did he not notice how the cover boasted statistics from years up to the next century?
    • He didn't take that close of a look at it at first - he just saw "Sports Almanac," and opened it right up to the porn. He didn't look at the cover much at all.
      • And even if he had, once he saw what was really inside the book he might have thought Biff or one of his friends had created a fake cover to hide the fact that they were bringing pornography to school.
  • When Doc and Marty arrive in 1985-A, Doc explains they cannot go back to the future and prevent old Biff from traveling to the past, cause they would be moving into that timeline's future, aka 2015-A. Yet earlier, Biff traveled to 1955, gave himself the Almanac (thus triggering the change in history), and was still able to go back to the original 2015. He does die, perhaps reflecting the fact that Lorraine-A killed him in 1996-A, but why doesn't the whole 2015 timeline collapse around Marty and Doc? This would imply the possibility of multiple timelines being able to coexist. And now the thing that's been bothering me: Doc and Marty take Jennifer from 1985 to 2015, then leave her in 1985-A before going to 1955 and restoring the original 1985. Doc says the present will restore itself around her, but this doesn't make sense if we take into account the existence of multiple timelines. You have just left 2 Jennifer's in 1985-A (supported by the fact that there is a Doc-A, in a mental institution, and a Marty-A, studying abroad) and no Jennifer in 1985, and seeing as the alternative timeline is restored, Doc basically killed Jennifer.
    • More to the point, how could the DeLorean be built if Doc is committed? That seems the universe-ending paradox right there. If there's no DeLorean, Marty never goes back in time and never comes back to the future or goes into the future. How would he have bought the almanac? How would he have even been able to go back to 1985A? ...This makes my head hurt.
    • This is why they absolutely had to get the almanac back ASAP—if they didn't, the paradox caused by the DeLorean not being made into a time machine would have caused the universe to implode. As to the OP's question, we don't know for sure it really was the original 2015 Old Biff went back to. Higher up the page it's theorized that 2015-A just happened to look a lot like the original 2015, and in fact Word of God says that he went back to the original 2015, and that the reason he died in the deleted scene was because time was changing around him as the changes he caused caught up with him. Ergo, he went back to the original 2015 because it hadn't changed yet, and after it did it had become 2015-A, not a parallel timeline. The reason it didn't collapse around Marty and Doc was either because it simply changed into the new timeline, or because when they left 2015 the changes hadn't arrived yet, but by the time they got back to 1985, they had. Which means that they left Jennifer in 1985-A and after they fixed things back in 1955, the changes rippled forward again and turned 1985-A back into the original 1985. So only one Jennifer, and she's safe.
    • One possibility as to why 2015 doesn't change dramatically: if Lorraine murdered Biff in 1996, the city would have had nineteen years to recover from what Biff did to it. So it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the neighborhood they're in would have ended up looking about the same as if the bad 1985 had never happened. Unlikely, but not as unlikely as a time machine made out of a DeLorean.
    • Marty's photo from the first film is absolute proof that the delayed ripple effect is in operation here as we see the photo slowly erasing the people from it as the changes made their way towards the future.
  • Why did the paperback Gray's Sports Almanac have, or even need, a dust jacket? That's never really made sense to me at all, even as a joke.
  • Why did Old Jennifer faint upon seeing her younger self? Wouldn't she remember that 30 years ago she traveled through time to 2015?
    • She didn't remember. The next movie, when she wakes up and Marty checks up on her, she seems to have initially decided that everything that happened was just a really weird dream (which is not entirely surprising, considering her experiences in the future are pretty much limited to repeatedly getting rendered unconscious). Her memory is only kick-started when Marty avoids the accident that turns him into a loser in 2015, by which point that future has apparently been negated anyway, so presumably in that timeline she'd have just continued believing it was a dream and forgotten all about it. And as for why she faints, coming face-to-face with a thirty year-older / younger version of yourself has to be a bit of a shock at least.
    • Also, BTTF doesn't have a Stable Time Loop. Most likely the 2015 Marty and Jennifer whom we see hadn't seen the Doc for 30 years, after he disappeared to the future and Marty never told her about the time machine.
    • Exactly. The Old Jennifer of the first 2015 has no memories of her traveling to the future because the Teen Jennifer of 1985 just at that momento made the trip, and meet herself face to face. After that if no further changes would have done, Teen Jennifer would go back to 1985 and then she did would remember the encounter 30 years in the future. But that didn't happen because the timeline was further modified and everything that happen in 2015 is different after Marty choose not to run and the crash didn't happened.
  • When Griff chases Marty over the water feature in 2015, why do his cronies hook on? They serve no purpose in beating McFly, they'd only slow Griff down, and even if they did hit Marty, they'd be sent flying into the courthouse either way (I assume Newton's First Law still applies to Pit Bulls). And the cronies being arrested has little to no impact on the plot, so it's hardly a story reason.
    • Because he told them to. Griff isn't the kind of guy you argue with. That gets you a retractable baseball bat in the face.
  • Okay, so Doc wants to stop Marty Jr. from taking part in a crime. Just walk up and knock him out with his stunner, then toss him in the DeLorean and go forward in time a few hours until the crime that gets him imprisoned is over with. Then drop him off on his front step. This is pure Occam's Razor, people!
    • That presumes that Griff was going to do the crime with or without Marty. Doing that doesn't stop Griff from just finding Marty later. Having "Marty Jr." rebuff Griff and refuse means that Griff's not going to keep coming after him about it.
  • Incidentally, did they ever explain why Griff needed Marty Jr. for this crime so much?
    • No. Given that Marty Jr.'s the one who gets arrested, though, it might've been as a fall-guy.
  • "Something inconspicuous!" - cut to Marty wearing a laughably conspicuous outfit for the 1950's. Why? Marty knows perfectly well how to blend in 1955, he just finished a weeklong visit there, as Doc points out. And it's not like Doc's admonition is just paranoia - Marty's joke of an outfit does get him in trouble, in the sense that it makes him stand out to Biff and his thugs when they're looking for him.
    • Marty isn't recognized because of his clothes, he's recognized in spite of them. One of the things Biff's gang wonders is how he keeps changing his clothes so fast.
    • Rule of Funny, my friend, Rule of Funny. Although it's not like he has time or money to buy a whole new wardrobe to immerse himself in the culture or anything; Marty needs to find Biff ASAP before he meets Old Biff so that he knows exactly when the Almanac swaps hands, so he likely just ran into the first men's clothing store he found open, grabbed the first things that he thought would basically prevent anyone from recognizing him on first glance, and ran out again.
    • Because Marty wasn't trying to be inconspicuous during that week, he was trying to blend in. If Doc had told him to "blend in" he probably would have dressed normally, but he had a different idea of what "inconspicuous" meant. Plus, y'know, the Rule of Funny thing.
    • Also, look at what Marty's wearing. A wide-brimmed hat, a pair of sunglasses and a leather jacket (which is likely the closest thing to a trenchcoat he could find). Marty's basically dressed as what a kid who's probably watched a few too many bad action-thrillers thinks a spy or detective wears when they want to go about unnoticed. As noted above, Rule of Funny.
  • So, it's established that Hill Valley's high school was torched by vandals in 1979-A. The CinemaSins video on Part II asked something along the lines of, "did Hill Valley ever build a new high school to replace the original one or not?" If not, where would high schoolers attend classes in 1985-A?
    • If the powers that be didn't build a new school (not unlikely, given that in Hell Valley education is unlikely to be a priority), then kids probably get bussed to a school or schools in a different town. Plenty of kids probably just drop out and join a gang, however.
    • The exact point of the movie is that the high school wasn’t rebuilt and they live in a dystopian, gang-torn, society.
  • Marty and Doc get back from 2015 into 1985A it is late October 26th, 1985A, however wouldn't earlier in that very day, a Marty from 1955 have shown up, just after he traveling back to the future using the clocktower lightning strike? That event is unchanged, so a Marty from 1955 must have appeared in Hell Valley, scared and confused in the DeLorean. Yet no mention to the possibility of this occurs? Did 1955 Marty get himself killed or something?
    • Any Marty from 1985A wouldn't meet Doc, so wouldn't travel back to 1955, so wouldn't return to 1985A. Beyond that... it's a time travel paradox, it's all messed up.
  • Something someone on another site mentioned: Why are there no Halloween decorations up in October 21, 2015? Is there no Halloween in the future or something?
    • The 1985 segments (all of them) are set in October 25-27, even closer to Halloween. Not a Halloween decoration in sight. The future might be ridiculous, but they still wait for a sensible time to put up decorations (like October 31, or if they're busy, October 30).
    • Given that this is the weird, zany future of hover-boards, nineteen Jaws sequels, lawyers banned from the justice system, incredibly powerful anti-aging treatments, instant dry-cook pizzas, and so many other unlikely-bordering-on-impossible things, it's entirely possible that Halloween has somehow been banned or otherwise disappeared to the point where it's no longer celebrated between 1985 and 2015.
      • A-HA! Simple answer: 2015's Halloween decorations are holograms and things, which take less time to put up than physical decorations.
  • In the "bad" 1985's Hill Valley there's a toxic waste reclamation plant. Yes, we get it, it's a horrible place now, but there's also a luxurious hotel just a few steps over. Wouldn't having the plant nearby be bad for Biff's business?
    • He might not really care. By this point Biff's business holdings would have diversified enough that he makes money either way. Even if the hotel is a wash (which let's face it, is more for himself than anyone else) the plant still makes plenty of money for him to keep it open.
  • How is it that Marty's kids look exactly like him and nothing like Jennifer?
    • Rule of Funny
    • What do you mean they look nothing like Jennifer? Marlene is clearly blonde!
  • When Marty is trailing Biff at the dance, Biff sends his goons off to find Marty. In Part I, Biff finds Marty at the car with his goons, which according to the timeline presented in the second movie was only about 2 minutes after Marty followed Strickland. How did Biff meet up with his goons and find Marty that quickly?
  • Why are virtually all of the police in 2015 female?
    • We see, like, two. And they were probably female to emphasize that it was the future, since when the movie came out it was (and still is) a male-dominated profession.
      • The cops who collared Griff n' gang at the courthouse seemed to be mostly female as well. But, good second point.
  • Doc specifically stated universe-destroying paradoxes if Crapsack 1985 Marty ever ran into Johnny B. Goode Marty. But just earlier we see 2015 Biff hitting 1955 Biff in the head and grabbing his butt pocket in order to shove the almanac into it. Even Doc took his time tiptoeing through scenery he knew very well, the clock tower area, instead of rushing on or avoiding it completely knowing that his 1955 counterpart would be there setting things up for Marty's run. Why bother with the whole paradox angle, then? Doc could just have told Marty that if he ran into Johnny B. Goode Marty, he could endanger that timeline and therefore his existence now.
    • Because Doc didn't see any of what 2015 Biff did, and he's saying outright that he's describing a worst-case scenario. He's speculating and being overly cautious.
    • Technically, he didn't say a paradox would arise if his younger self saw him, it would arise if Biff's goons beat him up, because then that version of Marty wouldn't make it to the lightning bolt at the clock tower on time, and if this Marty doesn't go back to the future, then he won't go to 2015 and give Old Biff the idea to use the almanac, etc.
  • For all of Doc's talk about being careful with time travel, why did he think it was a good idea to loudly talk to Marty about not using the time machine for gambling in public at the town square? If he hadn't done that Biff might not have been able to find out that they had a time machine.
    • It's not like Doc planned to have that conversation; he was annoyed at Marty and venting a head full of steam at him. People sometimes speak a bit too candidly when they're emotional. Besides, it's not like they're in the middle of a huge crowd at the time or that Doc's aware Biff is listening nearby; they're off to one side of the street near an empty alleyway with seemingly no one nearby. Biff only overhears because he's eavesdropping from hiding; had Doc known he was there he would likely have been a lot more circumspect.
  • How was it that no one in the McFly house heard the sounds of the Delorean arriving at the beginning of the film/end of the last film? The machine gave off loud sonic booms, yet despite the fact that George and Lorraine were at the front door just seconds before Doc's arrival, they didn't hear it. Even Biff only found out about the time machine because he saw it take off, yet he didn't hear it before.
    • Who says they didn't hear it? They're inside at the time, so it's not like they've gotten a glimpse of the Delorean in flight, so they probably thought what most people think when they hear loud noises coming from the sky roughly above them and don't have a clear view of the sky at the time; "Huh, must be a plane or a helicopter or something flying overhead."
  • Where did Doc get the money for the hover conversion, Mr. Fusion and rejuvenation surgery? Also, money from different time periods? It's unlikely that he had big amount of money in the first place (spending a lot on building the time machine), and he wouldn't steal it from anyone either.
    • Keep in mind that we don't know how much hover conversions, Mr. Fusion and rejuvenation surgery costs in the far-flung future of 2015. For all we know, all of that could have set him back roughly the price of a decent cup of coffee. Doc's spent a lot of his personal fortune on the time machine, but that doesn't mean he's completely destitute either.
      • A hover conversion costs $39,999.95 according to an advertising billboard that Marty stares at. Remember though that the man stole plutonium from terrorists and owns a handheld device capable of putting you instantly to sleep. There is literally nothing that is off the table as to what he'll steal if he needs to.
    • Also he has a briefcase of different periods' dollar bills, those might worth a lot.
  • How did Biff manage to get so unspeakably wealthy with that almanac? Sooner or later people will realize that he almost never loses, and will stop accepting bets from him, possibly also going on to alter the odds whenever he tries.
    • As someone's mentioned above, Biff could use proxies to place his bets if that became an issue. And there's clear evidence in-universe that Biff doesn't make all his money from betting - enough that he became known as the luckiest man in America, but from memory we see that he runs a (presumably somewhat profitable) energy corporation, a hotel/casino, a waste processing plant or something...
  • If Marty goes back to 1985 after saving his kids in the future, wouldn't that undo everything he and Doc did in the future?
    • Why would it?
  • In the first movie, Doc sent Einstein on minute into the future, resulting in the dog ceasing to exist in the present for one minute. So, when Marty and Jennifer go to 2015 with Doc, how come they meet their future selves? Shouldn't THEY have been removed from the timeline until 2015?
    • No, because they were always intended to go back. They just never put Einstein "back."
      • Even if they intended to go back, there's no guarantee that they will until they actually do so.
      • The more into the future people go, the longer it takes until reality changes to fit a timeline where they don't return. It's basically the same principle that makes Doc afraid they don't have much time to undo the changes caused by the almanac.
  • Why did old Biff return the DeLorean to 2015? All it did was give Doc and Marty a chance to undo what he's done.
    • Because Biff isn't the type of guy who considers every angle and probably was more focused on returning home than anything else. Besides, Doc and Marty didn't notice anything was wrong until long after they had gone to 1985-A.
    • And he doesn't know if not doing so would cause a big paradox and/or if Doc made other time machines, the latter been a particular logical assumption thus his best bet is to make things look like nothing happen so it will give time to his young self to put things into motion before Doc realizes something is wrong.
    • He probably expected to return to the alternative timeline he created, where his younger self would've amassed a huge fortune for him to enjoy. He would've ended up filthy rich AND in possession of a time machine!
    • We don't know how long he had the Delorean before he travelled back in time; he'd have needed some time to figure out how to control it. He also doesn't know how long Doc and Marty are going to be away from the Delorean, and he doesn't know how long it'll take for any changes he makes to time to take effect. If they discover it's gone before he figures out how to work it, there's a chance they could come looking for it, find him with it, and blow his whole plan apart. If he returns it exactly where and when he found it, however, then they'll just go about their business not suspecting a thing until it's too late.
  • Doc says "assuming we succeed in our mission this alternative 1985 will be changed back to the real 1985, instantaneously transforming around Jennifer and Einie. Jennifer and Einie will be fine, and they will have absolutely no memory of this horrible place!" How does he know that would happen?
    • Because by that point in his travels, Doc was aware of the effects that changes to the timeline had. My guess: the time machine he built stays within the same quantum universe and doesn't branch off and create new ones when you change something. That would explain how they're able to notice changes and act to fix them before said changes caught up with them.
  • Before Marty finds out that George is dead in 1985A, he asks Lorraine, "How could you leave Dad for [Biff]?!" Why did he think Lorraine willingly left George, considering that he just saw her get furious when Biff insulted George?
    • In Marty's defence, he's a bit overwhelmed by the whole situation and isn't really thinking straight (and also probably doesn't want to jump straight to the whole "OMG my dad's dead" scenario).
  • Old Biff is meant to be the future of Cowardly Biff, not Bully Biff. So why is his personality more in line with the latter rather than the former? The man we see at the end of the first film is not a man who would walk around with a fist at the end of his cane rapping people on the head. And bear in mind that he is attacking George's grandson here, is he not even remotely scared that George is going to come around and beat him up?
    • There isn't a "cowardly Biff" or a "bully Biff." They're not different characters. They're just Biff. Biff seems "cowardly" because we only see him around George in 1985; but he's got his own car detailing shop, which implies he's still driven enough and confident enough to run his own business, in an industry that thrives with 'manly men.' And he's not "attacking" George's grandson, just harassing him a little. He and George are both way beyond the age where they're going to be beating people up. George isn't some roving strong man — he's an elderly author.
    • Plus Biff could have gotten crankier in his old age.
    • He only bullies people who wouldn't hit an old person.
  • Doc leaves 1985 with Marty and Jennifer in the afternoon, so why does he return to 1985 at night, given how in Part I, he intended to send Marty back at the exact same time he left?
  • Consider the events from 1955 Biff's perspective. A crazy old man gives him a book containing information about the future. Later, he has the book stolen by 'Calvin' after being beaten up. Biff catches up with him and retrieves it. 'Calvin' inexplicably shows up outside Biff's moving car, gets the book back and is saved from being run over thanks to a flying car. Biff then crashes into a manure truck for the second time. Biff's not going to forget about all this. You'd think he'd figure out in the 1980s that Marty McFly really, really looks like the guy that ruined everything in 1955.
    • Even if he does put two and two together and doesn't just chalk it up to a coincidence, what's Biff gonna do? Marty's father is the same guy who punched his lights out all those years ago when he tried to rape the woman who is now Marty's mother. Chances are, George isn't going to react any better towards Biff trying any funny stuff with one of his kids, and this Biff doesn't own the cops in this timeline. Even if he does figure it out, Biff has little choice but to suck it up.
    • Perhaps Biff, and a number of others who knew 'Calvin', think that Marty is the result of Lorraine Cheating with the Milkman. The fact that 'Calvin' vanished means nothing - they'll just assume he moved and kept in touch with Lorraine.
      • This is why Biff is such a cowed bastard around the McFly's. Because of all of this he is really, really scared of them. At the same time he probably has chalked all his weird memories about the book and everything up to just being a nervous breakdown, which probably precipitated a real nervous breakdown.
  • When Marty and Doc get back into the DeLorean after Biff used it, why didn't they notice that the time circuit readout had changed? There's a readout for telling the time traveler when the time machine had been last, and after Biff used it, that would have read "November 12, 1955" when before it had read "October 26, 1985." And considering from there they got back on the skyway, they had plenty of time to notice before they jumped back to 1985.
    • Later on in the film, the readout is shown malfunctioning. Doc may have thought this was the first time the time circuits glitched out, or the time circuits had already been malfunctioning, and was showing a readout of 1955 for whatever reason.
  • Just where the hell is Biff going after the dance? He gets on the highway and drives out of town, which means he can't be going home (his house was close enough for him to walk to the garage where his car was being repaired, which was in downtown Hill Valley).
    • My only guess is that he is going for a nice long drive to clear his head after being punched by George. The event does radically shift his personality after all so he may be in a state of shock.
    • Biff is taking the same route he took to the dance from his house, as he goes through the same tunnel. Most likely he is going home and only walked earlier because he didn't have a car then. Plus he was driving from the school, which was farther away from his house than the town square.
  • In 1985-A, when Marty reaches what is his home in every other timeline's 1985, why does the fence door has a padlock on the outside if the family who lives there was inside? Did Biff's goons lock them in as part of a plan to force them to sell?
  • Why does Biff take the almanac out with him out in public? People would be onto him really, really quickly if they read just the cover.
    • He's not very smart, plus people probably wouldn't notice the dates unless they looked closely, which they would have no reason to, since he kept it in his back pocket and wasn't reading it at the dance.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report