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Heartwarming / Back to the Future

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The kiss heard round the space-time continuum.

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    Part I 
  • Marty is able to enter Doc's house without Doc there - and even though he broke in to the house in the past, there's no indication he broke in this time - indicating that Doc gave him a key.
  • Marty's steady relationship with Jennifer is one of the few stable parts of his life, even early on, and they clearly love one another.
  • Just after George knocks Biff through the wringer, then kindly asks Lorraine if she's all right. It's just so cute.
    George: Are you okay?
    Lorraine: (silently nods)
    • Even better, Marty, for the first time in his life, actually gets to see his dad kick ass for the first time in his life. The look on Marty's face says it all.
    • All of this is preceded by George finally standing up for himself, something he couldn't even do in the original timeline's future.
      George: No, Biff. You leave her alone.
    • What makes it so much better is that Biff bullies George all the time, and this time was no different, threatening to break his arm or not. George didn't even try to fight back, until Biff pushed Lorraine to the ground. Look at George's reaction to that, he sees it happen, he gets not just angry, but enraged, and whirls around, decking Biff in one hit. It's not that George hates Biff, it's that he didn't want Lorraine to get hurt.
  • George and Lorraine's first kiss while "Earth Angel" plays, not only for what it meant for George and Lorraine, but also because it saved Marty and their other children at the very last second. After the kiss, George waves to Marty over Lorraine's shoulder, and Marty waves back, clearly glad to still have a hand to wave with.
  • George's first attempt to talk to Lorraine starts out as hilariously goofy (read from visible notes: "I'm your density!... I mean, your destiny.") but when he corrects himself, she softly mouths "Awwhh..." and gives him a cute smile. It probably was not enough to get her to go dancing with him, but she was taken by him there, just a bit.
  • The text of Marty's warning letter to Doc.
    Marty: Dear Doctor Brown, on the night that I go back in time, you will be shot by terrorists. Please take whatever precautions are necessary to prevent this terrible disaster. Your friend, Marty.
  • After Doc tears up the letter, insisting on not getting warned, Marty sits at the wheel of the DeLorean upset that he's not able to save Doc. Then it dawns on him "I got all the time I want, I got a time machine, I can just go back early and warn him!" and he changes the Return time to 1985 to ten minutes earlier. To hell with the space-time continuum, Marty's gonna save his friend.
    • Too bad Marty returns to 1985 on the wrong side of town, and with the DeLorean zonked out by the trip back.
  • Finding out that Doc really did use Marty's advice.
    Marty: What about all that talk...about screwing up future events? The space-time continuum?
    Doc: Well, I figured, what the hell.
    • The fact that Doc went through the trouble of taping together Marty's letter, and kept it in his possession for all of thirty years (As evidenced by it now being brown and crinkled) is strangely moving, showing that in spite of his earlier objections just how much trust the Doc of the past had in his friend of the future, and decided that that was more than enough to overcome any doubts he had about the risk Marty had taken to save him.
  • Marty's time spent bonding with Past George was surprisingly endearing.
    • Look how excited George is in the cafeteria scene when he describes his stories to Marty; this is probably the first time in his life anyone has shown any interest in his work. Marty, for his part, is immediately charmed that he never knew his father was a creative person. Also leads to a brief moment of heartbreaking when George refuses to let Marty read his work, and Marty completely understands George's reasons for it.
    • It's not remarked upon, but Marty casually helping George with hanging laundry while giving him advice is incredibly endearing.
    • This all culminates in George's goodbye line to Marty before the latter returns to the future: "Well, Marty, I want to thank you for all your good advice. I'll never forget it." And he doesn't.
    • Before leaving, Marty tells George and Lorraine that being with them was "educational", as he learned that they weren't that different from him and he appreciates them more for that.
  • When the Libyans arrive the first thing Doc says is "RUN FOR IT, MARTY!!!" and it's emphasized even further by the Last Words he says: "I'll draw their fire!" Despite how frightened he is (and let's face it, with good reason), Doc cares more about Marty than he does about himself, and is willing to sacrifice himself without a second thought to give his best friend a chance for survival.
  • It's pretty heartwarming to see the Hidden Depths of future mayor Goldie Wilson. In 1985 he's been described as a bad guy simply because he wanted to replace the clock tower despite it being a major part of history. However in 1955 Marty himself sees that he was simply a good guy trying to make a difference. He even tries to advise George McFly to stand up to Biff during his first appearance. Despite not liking his job, he triumphantly marches with his mop in hand saying the following:
    Goldie Wilson: Mayor Goldie Wilson... I like the sound of that!
    • Not to mention the sweet look on the face of the waitress behind Goldie as he proudly boasts his political aspirations to his boss. It's an easily missed moment, but she just stands there and smiles as he proclaims that one day he's going to be somebody important. Who out there wants to bet that she voted for him?
    • Goldie Wilson's story reflects changing racial attitudes after the Civil Rights Movement. In the 50s, the idea of an African-American man like Wilson being mayor is treated like a pipe dream; in the 80s, it's more of a mundane reality.
  • Jennifer writing "I love you!" next to her grandma's phone number for Marty.
    • And before this, the two of them are walking and discussing the possibility of Marty sending his demo tape to a record company (which Jennifer is 100% supportive of while Marty doesn't have that much confidence about his talents), when Marty is distracted by two attractive women walking by. Instead of getting pissed and going into Clingy Jealous Girl mode, Jennifer just nonchalantly turns Marty's head towards her and continues the conversation. They then carry on and are shown playfully flirting as if nothing happened. It's small, but it speaks volumes of what kind of relationship the two of them must have, and how close they must be.
    • Also, as Marty complains about his parents, who we haven't met yet, Jennifer tries to tell him that they mean well, which Marty realizes after spending time with them in 1955.
    • And if you look carefully in Marty's room, you can see he has a big framed photo of Jennifer on the shelf above his bed. D'awww.
    • Finally, when Marty is trying to explain to 1955 Doc why it's so important that he gets back to the future, he tells him that "I got a life back in 1985; I got a girl!" and shows Doc the love note Jennifer wrote on the flyer.
  • 1955 Doc's triumphant yell when he sees the DeLorean go back to the future. Part of that was definitely it finally sinking in that he finally made something that worked.
    • Even before that, after Doc gets over his Oh, Crap! moment of realizing the power cord is unplugged, jeopardizing Marty's time jump, he gets this look of determination on his face - no matter what, he WILL get Marty back to his right time. His unrestrained joy at pulling it off seals the moment.
    • Relating to this, when Doc and Marty first meet in 1955, the latter tells Doc the story of how he came up with the flux capacitor as proof that he really is from the future. Doc then goes with him to where the DeLorean is hidden, and shows him a picture he drew of the flux capacitor. Marty then reaches into the car and switches on the real thing. Doc's gleeful "IT WORKS! I FINALLY INVENTED SOMETHING THAT WORKS!" is a sight to behold.
  • Marty telling 1955 Lorraine that she might regret drinking later in life. Remember that 1985 Lorraine is a bloated alcoholic due to her unsatisfactory marriage. Marty was trying to save her that fate by discouraging her drinking before it got out of hand.
    • And what does Doc do when he finds out he invented (or will invent) a working time machine? He doesn't even consider using it for personal gain. Instead, his first thought after realizing it works is to get it back to the lab so they can get straight to work on getting Marty home.
  • The Johnny B Goode rendition has elements of this, seeing how much fun the kids are having as they're exposed to rock and roll a little earlier than they might have been in the old timeline, and have fun dancing, while Marty is getting to play the kind of music he likes for an enraptured audience and the band members are grinning themselves over getting to play this.
  • George and Lorraine's relationship in the altered timeline, still playfully bantering and flirting with each other like they were teenagers. After being together for 30 years, it's quite clear that they are still very much in love.
    • When Jennifer pays Marty a visit and they embrace, he looks to the front door to see his parents watching them through the screen door and smiling warmly, before leaving them to their privacy.
  • Doc's return to 1985 at the end. He didn't come by just to say hi or anything, he came by because he found out something horrible will happen to his best friend's future family and he wants to set it right.
  • When Marty and Doc are shaking hands at the end before Doc finally goes to the future, you can just feel how much they care about each other. Marty's just saved his life, and Doc is just staring at him with this look that says "thank you."
    • Doc also seems to be a lot calmer in this timeline, and for plenty of good reason: not only does he have the self-confidence that he made something that works and can be used for the greater good, Marty using it to save his life made him less paranoid about knowing too much about the future.
  • 1955 Doc telling Marty that he's sad about the latter returning to the future and that it's going to be difficult waiting 30 years before they can talk about the past week's events to each other.
  • The cherry on top of Marty's 1985 life after altering the timeline is seeing the new Toyota 4x4 he desperately wanted at the beginning of the movie, now under his possession, in the garage, accompanied by the moving Alan Silvestri score. Marty is driven to speechlessness at the sight of the truck. The same scene starts off Part II on a heartwarming note as well.
    • Even better is Jennifer showing up as Marty's admiring the truck. After all he's been through, she's the thing he wanted to see the most. Even if it was for a moment, Marty's life was perfect.
    Jennifer: How about a ride, mister?
    Marty: Jennifer... Oh, you're a sight for sore eyes.
  • Marty being protective of his parents throughout the film even when it could endanger his existence, such as protecting his mom from Biff in the cafeteria and stopping him from hurting his dad at the diner. Made even better by the fact that Marty has had to watch Biff bully his dad his whole life, and could never do anything about it before.
  • Even Biff gets a moment at the end. When the finished copies of George's first published novel are delivered to the McFly house, Biff excitedly brings them inside and actually seems genuinely happy for his old enemy. He even says hi to Marty as he comes in!
  • How much does Einstein trust and love Doc? He sits in a car, on his own, with the door closed, while the car is driving itself, and seems entirely unconcerned on the other end when he returns; Doc subsequently gives him scratches. That is true love.
  • In a weird way, the moment when Lorraine finally kisses Marty but pulls back, not understanding why it feels "wrong" and only able to say that it's like kissing "her brother." She recognizes a powerful familial connection between them without having the context to pinpoint that he's her son.
    Marty: Believe me, it makes perfect sense.

    The IDW comic book 
  • In issue 5, after Emmett tells Clara about the horrors he encountered in 1985-A, she cheers him up by telling him that she's pregnant with their first child, and they're going to become a family. The look of joy on Emmett's face really sells it.
  • "When Marty Met Emmett": the long-awaited story of how Doc and Marty originally met.
  • In the "Who is Marty McFly?" arc:
    • Marty takes Jennifer to the Lone Pine Mall and explains that he saw a Marty — one who grew up with a successful father — fleeing the Libyans and disappearing in the DeLorean. Marty sadly says that he's different from this other Marty, who she'd known before October 26, 1985. Jennifer shuts this down.
      Marty: He was the guy you grew up with — the guy you fell for, the guy who Doc hired to help him out, the guy who—
      Jennifer: MARTY! That guy is you!
      [She kisses him]
      Jennifer: That's all the proof I need. I know you're the same Marty. I can see it in your eyes. The Marty who vanished, that was you! You just—I don't know. It's some weird time thing. That's all it is.
    • Later, Marty is haunted by Professor Irving's insinuation that the current Doc wouldn't care if he faded out of existence and might even be deliberately allowing nature to take its course, since the Marty from the Lone Pine timeline was that Doc's original friend and assistant. (It bothers Marty enough to induce a full-blown Nightmare Sequence.) When Doc, who knows nothing of this aspect of the situation, realizes that the supposed alternate timeline Martys are actually lifelike animatronics and starts gunning them down to defend Twin Pines Marty, he inadvertently clears the air:
      Doc: This isn't what it looks like, Marty. You know I'd never hurt you, whatever timeline you came from.
  • Marty is ultimately able to sympathize with Professor Irving because he's had to deal with the more traumatic side of time travel all by himself, unlike Marty and Doc, who have always been able to depend on each other. The implication is that Irving is a demonstration of the negative effects that all this time traveling might have had on Marty or Doc if they weren't in it together.
  • "Continuum Conundrum" ends by depicting the moment that Doc introduced Einstein to his family after picking him up from the 80s. The dog is instantly smitten with Clara and knocks her right onto the ground.
    Doc: Clara, boys, meet Einstein. I do believe he likes you.

    The Animated Series 
  • The fact that Doc and his family have come back to present-day Hill Valley in this story, and thus see Marty regularly. Whether or not one likes the series in general, it's sweet that the "Partners in Time" on whom the original films focused have not been split apart.
  • The easy acceptance between the other Browns and Marty. Both of them are used to having Doc's full attention but they seem to have bonded easily enough once they got to the same part of the time stream.

A Family Vacation

  • Despite her current frustration with her husband, Clara responds to the local Tannen's proposal with the statement that she's already Happily Married.

Forward to the Past

  • Doc refers to Clara, Marty, and Einstein using the words "the people we love" when he's explaining to the boys how much damage their destroying the meteor caused. The spontaneous words are a third romantic, two thirds platonic, and all heartwarming.
  • After returning from their near-disastrous trip to the Cretaceous period, Jules runs to hug Einstein and Verne jumps into Marty's arms. Verne tells Marty how happy he is to see him, and Marty, despite having seen Verne only two seconds ago (from his perspective), returns the sentiment.
  • Verne is grieving the loss of Donnie, a Pteranodon whom Doc forced Verne to leave behind to be presumably killed by a meteor. Then a parrot that resembles Donnie lands on Verne's shoulder which comforts and excites Verne.


  • Marty apologizes to Jennifer for accusing her of cheating on him.

Gone Fishin'

  • Even though Marty and Verne are enjoying the wealth Emmett’s stunts as Daredevil Brown brought them, their primary concern is Emmett’s happiness in doing those stunts. The two point out to Uncle Oliver multiple times that his nephew doesn't seem to like his new life.
  • A small but meaningful moment occurs when D.W. Tannen is trying to reassure the reluctant Emmett about going over the falls. After he says they'll use a "dummy" in the barrel for the risky part, Marty makes a crack at him. When Tannen turns around to threaten him for the jibe, Marty isn't showing any sign that he just told a joke; he's glaring at the man putting his future best friend in danger.
  • Uncle Ollie finally comes to his senses when he realizes D.W. Tannen has no problem with endangering his nephew's life. He redeems himself for exploiting four-year-old Emmett's newfound fame as a stuntman by diving into the falls to save him, only escaping death himself thanks to Marty's quick action. He then tears up D.W. Tannen’s contract to make Emmett famous, retiring Daredevil Brown and apologizes to Emmett for not taking him fishing like he originally wanted. At the end, Uncle Ollie and Emmett fish together.
  • While Uncle Ollie and Emmett fish, Marty and Jules have a splash fight. It’s cute to see the two acting like brothers.


  • After failing to snap Doc out of his Heroic BSoD, Clara says she's going to call in Marty. Clara doesn't hold any jealousy or suspicion about the pair's close friendship and is totally accepting of Marty possibly being able to help when she isn't, just as long as her husband recovers.
  • Clara, wanting to be sure they can catch Doc and tell him the truth, asks Marty if he's sure Doc will attend the Pinheads' big concert. Marty has absolute faith that Doc will come, because Doc promised he would and he has never broken a promise to him before.

Solar Sailors

  • Verne gives his parents a badly painted portrait of his parents for their anniversary gift, but Jules gives his parents his invention that can print headlines from any era including the future in addition to to tickets for a solar cruise to Mars. Verne is left feeling upstaged, but Doc assures him it's the thought that counts.
  • Thinking it's Marty entertaining the passengers on the MSC Marty, Clara and Doc happily greet him with Doc even about to embrace Marty until Marty reveals himself to be a Celebrity Impersonator.
  • After his gift almost gets his parents killed, Jules apologizes while Clara assures him it's the thought that counts.

Put On Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time For Mr. Wisdom!

  • Verne admires Mr. Wisdom, to the point that he drops in to see him and even brings him into his father's lab when Wisdom claims Doc is an old, dear friend. Yet when Doc tells him the truth (that Wisdom is a fraud and a thief), Verne immediately believes him, rather than assuming his father is lying or mistaken.
  • After spending the whole episode hero-worshipping Mr. Wisdom, Verne calls his father "the coolest scientist of all time."

Hill Valley Brown-Out

  • When the entire town, including Clara and the boys, is angry at Doc for causing a blackout, Marty is the only one who isn’t angry at Doc and helps him disguise himself from the Sheriff who told Doc not to show his face around town. He even offers to get the materials Doc needs to fix things so he won't have to go out.
  • When a couple of boys are tormenting Verne about being Doc's son, spinning him on the merry-go-round very fast at the same time, Jules arrives and tells them to let his brother go.
  • All of the citizens immediately chant a cheer for Doc every time he solves Hill Valley’s electricity problem after spending days jeering at Doc for causing said problem.
  • At the end of the episode, everyone is mad at Doc because they can’t celebrate Founder’s Day without electricity. Clara secretly brings one of the founders to 1991 to remind the townsfolk that the original founders celebrated without electricity. The townsfolk are cheered up and celebrate Founder’s Day like the original founders did. In fact they loved it so much they almost kept the power shut down forever.

  • Bob Gale telling us the story he and Bob Zemeckis came up with behind Doc and Marty's friendship.
    Bob Gale: For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc's lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. When Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc.
    • The 2015 IDW comic book, co-written by Gale himself, makes this canon. Apparently Marty was playing his guitar in the garage one day in 1982, and Needles showed up with his punk friends and insisted on "borrowing" the interocitor tube for his amp, in preparation for their show that night. They broke Marty's, and then dared him to steal one (using the old "chicken" trick). The rest is history.
    • Even if their first meeting didn't make it into the films, the Bobs felt it still worked because they imagined a kid like Marty would naturally be interested in a quirky guy like Doc, and Doc would just be happy to have a friend who's so interested in his work. And they were right.
  • Everything that is Hilarious in Hindsight regarding the second movie's events in 2015. One would think that everyone would laugh so hard at seeing it today or past it, when it is 2015, and make fun of the movie. But because the Back To The Future trilogy is still considered a classic and adored by many even today, they instead embrace the sequel warmly and some companies plan to make the self-automatic-lacing shoes and hoverboards like seen in the movie, so their prediction won't be that off mark.
    • Part II, is usually regarded as the weakest in the trilogy, but in the months preceding 2015, there were probably more jokes and memes related to it than any other year as well as more people watching it, and discussing it more.
    • When October 21, 2015 finally arrived, Christopher Lloyd reprised the role of Doc to deliver this message.
    • USA Today published a "Hill Valley Edition" on October 22, 2015, which Part II noted as the day on which Doc Brown purchased a USA Today reporting on the arrest of Marty McFly Jr. To pad out the front page, it added some stories about other going-ons in 2015 Hill Valley, including one announcing that Robert Zemeckis would direct a Truer to the Text movie adaptation of George McFly's A Match Made in Space.
    • Jimmy Kimmel hosted Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, who showed up in-character in their Part I costumes and in the DeLorean. The two actors immediately receive a standing ovation that lasts for a minute at least; Christopher Lloyd's big smile of appreciation really sells it.
      • In the middle of the segment, Huey Lewis shows up dressed as his Part I cameo character (to the audience's delight), and uses a megaphone to tell the three on stage that they're "too darn loud". Huey later ends the segment by singing "Back in Time" with the show's house band.
  • This documentary is about how Back to the Future fans, Universal Studios, actors that worked on the film, and many more people teamed up to save and restore an original DeLorean used in the movies.

  • One promotional trailer has Christopher Lloyd giving his blessing to the West End Doc Brown. When the latter recognizes him and goes onstage with excitement, Lloyd says, "he'll do."
  • The Comic Relief sketch has Doc Brown saying that in 2020, the greatest minds came together to create life-saving vaccines.
  • The musical gives Doc a fear of heights, which makes the famous clock tower scene even more heartwarming. He's so determined to get his best friend from the future back home that he faces his fears.