Back to the Future – Plot Hole


So I know we’re all familiar with this movie and its glorious plot. But I’ve always had so much fun discussing this particular flaw with people – and when I say ‘discussing’ I really mean me talking to someone as they stare into space, eyes slightly glazed – that I just had to write a post on it.

So Marty McFly goes back to 1955. No worries there – time travel in a Delorean is perfectly acceptable, but what about when he comes back to 1985, having now met his younger parents in the 1950s?

Do neither of them recognise their own son as the guy who hung out with them in high school?!



I mean Marty (Calvin Klein) got his parents George and Lorraine together as a couple – he played a huge part in their lives. Don’t all of us remember those special people from high school who made a difference? Not to mention his mum’s eerie crush and the sensational rendition of Johnny B Goode at the school dance.


Who could forget this? Seriously.

And so when George and Lorraine’s own son Marty got to be a teenager, I’m pretty sure one of them at least should have noticed that their son also happened to be the guy they hung out with in high school.



About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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52 Responses to Back to the Future – Plot Hole

  1. alfredsalmanac says:

    I feel so dumb! Cant believe I never spotted that.

  2. kooliebear says:

    Hey! Nice post! I think if we look at it as a viewer your plot hole makes perfect sense, but if you imagine them as parents seeing Marty grow up everyday then he would just be their son. Its like when your friends have children and you may not see them often and everytime you do they look a bit different, but the parents don’t notice the changes. So with Marty, they would think nothing different because they have seen him grow! You don’t suddenly say, “Oh! Now look at him he looks like that guy we met at high school!”. Whereas we can! Couple in the fact they are older, have fading memories….but clearly the writers never thought in this much detail!

  3. table9mutant says:

    Yeah. I’ve always thought that but it doesn’t bother me since, you know, Back to the Future is one of the best movies EVAHHHHHH! 😉

  4. Laura says:

    Seth MacFarlane must have thought the same thing

  5. movierob says:

    I actually just rewatched the trilogy today, had that planned even before I saw your post 🙂

    Truth is, I have though about this and I never saw it as a complete plot hole. They do acknowledge that they like the name Marty; and when we are all 47, the question is how much will we recall from 1 night 30 years prior where it was more important for them to think of about how they fell in love because of Biff.

    It’s not like they can pop the video in the recorder and see how similar their son looks to that mysterious guy from 30 years ago.

    Besides, there are worse plot holes in these films than that one, but it’s a great trilogy and also fun to watch.

    Keep an eye out for my reviews of all 3 hopefully later today….

    • emmakwall says:

      I bet you had fun watching 🙂
      Writing this post really made me want to watch the movie again!! It’s such a great movie.

      I will keep my eyes peeled for your reviews, promise!

      Oh don’t take me too seriously 🙂 (you probably don’t anyway haha) I don’t care about the plot hole (or lack of plot hole, whatever) in this movie or any movie really. It’s a great film and so is The Shawshank Redemption (and the Raquel Welch poster COULD have stuck back down again if he only unattached it at the bottom!)

      I don’t have a problem with this movie at all, in fact I love it. It’s just a silly anecdote / explanation that I’ve always enjoyed for its silliness 🙂 🙂

      But thanks very much for your great comment, I like what you said about them not being able to check on video how alike he looks – that is a very good point.

      • movierob says:

        actually upon rethinking, maybe they had a yearbook with pictures from the Enchantment Under The Sea dance, so maybe someone took a picture of that weird kid playing that loud music and kicking the amplifiers all over the place 🙂

        Regardless, Biff recalls seeing Marty in ’55 after seeing the hoverboard chase in 2015, so maybe Biff has a better memory than Lorraine and George do. 🙂

        I actually never thought abt the Racquel Welsh poster tidbit, so now you’ve ruined two classics for me 🙂

        • emmakwall says:

          Haha noooooo – I’m a ruin-er of classics!

          What else could I destroy?!

          Ahh another good point, well thought out! A year book reference. And I love ‘that weird kid playing that loud music and kicking the amplifiers all over the place’ sentence 🙂 🙂

          Have your reviews gone up yet? Or I guess I could just check 🙂

          • movierob says:

            Been up since last night 🙂 s’ ok, The Big Bsng theory destroyed my opinion of Raiders last year, so u’r in great company 😀

            Im sure plenty of other of my favorites can be ruined quite easily too!

  6. theipc says:

    You know what??

    I just watched this for the FIRST time about a year ago and thought the EXACT same thing!!!

    Love it!

  7. Tom Schultz says:

    I think if some guy at my high school had played guitar like Chuck Berry/Eddie Van Halen/Jimi Hendrix wrapped up in one, I prolly would’ve remembered him. 🙂 This movie will never be the same to me now. Lol.

    • emmakwall says:

      Yep me too!! 🙂 🙂 I think everyone would have remembered that!

      Hope I haven’t ruined the movie for you!!
      It’s amusing to me ha ha.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      • Tom Schultz says:

        Au contraire! Your question just makes the movie more interesting. I think it’s amusing, also 🙂

        • emmakwall says:


          Next time you watch it perhaps it will cross your mind 🙂

          Writing the post made me really want to watch the film again actually, so that’s a good thing!

          I have a silly sense of humour sometimes and this is one of those typical little things that makes me laugh. It’s just silly I know, but like we both also think – amusing!


  8. romeorites says:

    I thought this as well but then I remember reading an SF time travel book (or it may have been a Doctor Who episode) and i came to this conclusion. When Marty meets his parents and is an integral part of them getting together, then returns to 1985, he has changed the time streams therefore the existence of Marty as far as his parents are concerned are as they were before he went to the past. The changes in streams means that if say Marty went to the past and did as before, but stayed in the past his existence would be obvious to his would be parents but also they wouldnt be his parents as he is already in existence this changing the would be future and opening it up to an infinite of possibilities. I bloody love a time travel paradox. I could be wrong, but thats what I came up with.

    • emmakwall says:

      Doctor Who!!! Love it 🙂

      Honestly, I read your comment twice and because I’m a thicko I still can’t really understand it, but I do love your thinking and enthusiasm!

      I bet Stewie Griffin would understand.

      Plus “I bloody love a time travel paradox” is the best sentence I’ve heard all day. Or maybe all week!

      P.S before pressing ‘reply’ I read your comment a third time and do kinda understand 🙂

  9. Emma just shhhh. Haha xD

  10. Horrorville says:

    Or maybe George thought it was Calvin Kleins kid 😮 lol

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