The Back to the Future film trilogy presents a detailed local history of the fictitious city of Hill Valley and the genealogies, information, and histories of its residents.

Each event described in this timeline is either depicted in the films (or on other artifacts such as newspapers depicted in the films), in the novels, in screenplays to the films, or described in interviews by the Bobs (director/co-writer Robert Zemeckis and producer/co-writer Bob Gale). Additionally, some dates (e.g. Verne's birthdate and Clara's birth year) are derived from episodes of the animated series, although whether or not that information is canon is subject to dispute by fans. Information from fan fiction is not included.

According to Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future Part II, whenever a time traveler alters key events occurring in the past, they effectively bring an alternate timeline into existence at their point-of-entry, and their original timeline is erased, even though its events are not forgotten by the time-traveler. Thus, every time travel jump into the past depicted in the Back to the Future saga "destroys" a current timeline and "creates" a new one, although Doc Brown often uses the phrase "erased from existence" to describe the deleterious effects of this process. Because of this, events from later timelines do not make their way backward into previous ones; for example, Bob Zemeckis has specifically denied the presence of a second Marty at Twin Pines Mall in Timeline 1.[1]

As a time traveler acquires multiple recollections of these altered timelines, a fourth-dimensional latticework begins to emerge which can be expressed graphically, as Doc Brown actually does for Marty McFly (in a crude blackboard drawing) in Back to the Future Part II. Doc further explains that the new timeline causes the world to "change around" the time traveler (e.g. Jennifer and Einstein in 1985A), leaving him or her unaffected unless the new timeline precludes the time traveler's existence (e.g. Old Biff, in a scene deleted because, according to Bob Gale, the audience likely would not understand the reasoning behind it).[2] Accordingly, there is no second version of the time traveler, as had been suggested by Imagineer Bob Gordon in issue #108 of Starlog Magazine, years before the second film was released.[3]

Chart of alternate timelines[]


The multiple Back to the Future timelines.

In the graphic above, the term Timeline 1 describes the original timeline. The blue stars represent the ensuing jumps by Doc’s DeLorean depicted in the trilogy. The resulting timelines, from 2 to 8, are represented by each successive horizontal arrow. Some timelines, such as Timeline 5 in which the events of 1985A take place, are drastically different in terms of their respective events and effects. Accordingly, the events within each timeline are listed (chronologically) as they are understood to have occurred, but most often where they differ (often radically, or else subtly) from those of their "parent" timelines. For instance, permanently unaltered events in Timeline 1 during the 1960s are common to all BTTF timelines and are listed only once. Events that occur prior to a timeline split date are of course identical to those described in the lower-numbered timeline.

Timeline 1[]

This is the original, unaltered timeline. In this timeline, Biff Tannen becomes George McFly's supervisor and continues bullying him.





  • Buford Tannen and his gang stop by the Palace Saloon, and ask the bartender Chester, that he wants to order some whiskey.
    • Friday, September 4:
      • A train pulls into Hill Valley Station, carrying the new clock for the Hill Valley Courthouse[10] - and Clara Clayton (who had been commissioned to be the new teacher at the schoolhouse near Carson Spur, outside Hill Valley) aboard as a passenger. With no one to meet Clara upon her arrival, she rents two horses and a wagon buckboard from Joe Statler, then sets out to find the schoolhouse on her own.
      • A snake spooks the horses pulling Clara's wagon. They then ride madly into Shonash Ravine, killing her instantly. The ravine where she dies is renamed Clayton Ravine in her memory. [11]
    • Saturday, September 5: The Hill Valley Festival. As part of Hill Valley’s anniversary festivities, the new courthouse clock is started at exactly 8:00 p.m. PST. Photographs with the clock are offered to townspeople wishing to pose with the new timepiece. The clock will remain in faithful service to Hill Valley for the next seven decades.
    • Sunday, September 6: Buford Tannen and his gang, rob the Pine City Stage
    • Tuesday, September 8: Hill Valley holds a funeral for Clara Clayton.
    • Tuesday, December 1: Shonash Ravine is renamed Clayton Ravine.
  • 1886
    • Date unknown: Scheduled completion of the railroad bridge over Clayton Ravine.[12]





  • 1930
    • Final year covered in A History of Hill Valley, 1850-1930.
    • Saturday, May 31: Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr., American film actor, director, producer, and composer (and Marty's alter ego in 1885 Timeline 8) is born. [15]
  • 1931



  • 1950
    • Date unknown: 12-year-old George McFly tries standing up for his friend Billy Stockhausen, but fails to do so.
  • 1954
  • 1955
    • Date unknown: Otis Peabody tries to breed Pine trees on his farm, Twin Pines Ranch. He grows a pair of twin pines.[21]
    • Saturday, November 5:
      • Doc Brown slips off his toilet whilst hanging a clock and has a vision of the flux capacitor.[22]
      • Biff Tannen and his gang pick on George McFly at Lou's Café, warning George to never go into the café again. The café's busboy, Goldie Wilson, gives George advice on standing up for himself, but George ignores it.
      • While 'birdwatching', i.e. spying on a girl (Lorraine Baines) changing through her window, George McFly slips and falls out of a tree into the street right in front of Sam Baines's car. After hitting him with the car, Baines takes him in, and his daughter Lorraine takes care of George. The two fall in love. [23]
    • Monday, November 7: On the first day of school after George was hit by Sam Baines's car, Lorraine is infatuated with George as a result of the Florence Nightingale effect. With his attentions focused on Lorraine, George stops writing science fiction stories and having missed Science Fiction Theatre on the 5th (due to his injury), apparently has no problem missing the show scheduled for Saturday the 12th - the night of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. George then asks Lorraine to the dance, and she accepts. Biff, meanwhile, apparently leaves them alone for awhile.
    • Tuesday, November 8: Biff and his gang stop by Lou's Cafe to make sure that George McFly isn't there, then drive off, perhaps commenting on a manure truck that is parked nearby.
    • Saturday, November 12:
      • Doc continues to think about the vision he had had a week earlier about the flux capacitor. If Doc is conducting an experiment, it is probably in his home rather than in Courthouse Square.
      • Lorraine, accompanied by her friend Babs, goes to Ruth's Frock Shop in downtown Hill Valley to pick up a dress she had made for the dance later that night. There is nobody else present.
      • The Enchantment Under the Sea dance takes place at the Hill Valley High School gym. Marvin Berry and the Starlighters play a set of music, taking a break at 9 o'clock.
      • Biff and his gang spend the evening drinking, but avoid going to the dance.
      • During Marvin Berry and the Starlighters' second (and final for the night) set, George and Lorraine share their first kiss on the dance floor. It is at that moment that Lorraine realizes that she is going to spend the rest of her life with George.
      • 10:04 p.m.: The Hill Valley Courthouse is struck by lightning, stopping its clock after 70 years, 2 months, 7 days, 2 hours and 4 minutes of continuous ticking. Despite repeated attempts over the intervening years, the clock is never successfully repaired; in fact, most Hill Valley residents voice a desire for its preservation as is to memorialize the unusual occurrence.




  • 1981
    • Date unknown: The DeLorean car that Doc Brown ends up buying is first manufactured.
    • Date unknown: Biff Tannen Jr. is born to Biff Tannen and an unknown woman.
  • 1982
  • 1983
    • Date unknown: Marty and Doc meet and become friends. According to the original Part I script, Doc shows up at Marty's house and hires Marty to sweep his garage in the year 1983. Doc gave Marty total access to his record collection, and they became friends.
    • Sunday, May 22: Ronald Reagan announces he will run for a second term in office. Although a newspaper headline, seen in Timeline 2, mentions that Doc Brown is commended and wins an award, it is unknown whether this happened in the original timeline (because in 1985, Dr. Brown is described by Stanford S. Strickland as "a real nutcase").
  • 1984
  • 1985
    • Saturday, October 12: Libyan terrorist steal plutonium from the local power plant so Doc can build them a nuclear weapon.[22] It is dismissed by the FBI as a "simple clerical error". [34]
    • Friday, October 25:
      • 8:18 a.m. Opening titles of "Back to the Future": all the clocks in Doc's lab are set 25 minutes slow, displayed incorrectly as 7:53 a.m.
      • 8:25 a.m. Doc asks Marty to meet him at Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 a.m. next morning.
      • Marty arrives to school late then fails his audition with his band, The Pinheads, later after school.
      • Marty admires a black Toyota Hilux 4X4 on a flatbed truck at the Texaco gas station.
      • A woman asks Marty for a donation to preserve the non-functioning clock tower, handing him a flyer containing specific date and time details about the lightning strike to the clock. Marty puts the flyer in his pocket.
      • Biff borrows George's car. He crashes it while drinking and driving (at the same time!), and the two get into an argument about whether or not George knew about a blind spot.
      • Lorraine's brother Joey fails to make parole again.
    • Saturday, October 26:
      • 12:28 a.m. Doc calls Marty to stop by at his garage to pick up his JVC camcorder.
      • 1:16 a.m. Marty arrives at Twin Pines Mall.
      • 1:18 a.m. Doc demonstrates Temporal Experiment #1.
      • 1:20 a.m. Temporal Experiment #1 proves to be a success. Einstein becomes the world's first time traveler by departing one minute into the future. (This time jump does not create a new timeline; timelines are only created by going back in time. Einstein merely moves one minute forward on Timeline 1. The Doc states this is the case with timelines in the blackboard scene in Part II.)
      • Time Circuits BTTF

        The DeLorean's time circuits as they appeared one minute after the first demonstration.

        1:21 a.m. Einstein arrives at one minute into the future.
      • 1:33 a.m. Emmett Brown is shot dead by Libyan terrorists.
      • 1:35 a.m. Marty flees from the Libyans in the DeLorean and accidentally departs 1985 for 1955 by accelerating to 88 m.p.h. His arrival there brings Timeline 2 into existence, and Timeline 1 fades from existence.

Timeline 2[]

This is the timeline brought into existence by Marty's accidental time journey into 1955. It is the timeline that is current at the end of the first movie, before Doc takes Marty and Jennifer into 2015. In this timeline, George becomes an author and Biff becomes an auto detailer.


  • 1955
    • Saturday, November 5:
      • 6:15 a.m. Marty McFly arrives in 1955 from Timeline 1, on Old Man Peabody's farm, and knocks down one of Otis Peabody's twin pine trees. After fleeing from an angry Old Man Peabody, Marty drives over to Lyon Estates, only to discover it under construction. Immediately after, the DeLorean gets depleted of plutonium, rendering it useless for time travel. Marty then hides it behind the Lyon Estates signboard, then makes it to Hill Valley on foot.[35]
      • 8:29 a.m. Marty arrives in downtown Hill Valley, and steps into Lou's Cafe, where he meets George McFly. Biff Tannen and his gang enter shortly afterwards. As they pick on George, Marty directly witnesses his future father's inability to stand up to them, even as Biff warns George not to come back into the cafe. Goldie Wilson gives George advice on standing up for himself, but George ignores it, even as Marty hints about Goldie running for Mayor (which inspires Goldie to go for it, much to the amusement of his boss, the cafe's owner Lou Carruthers).
      • Marty pushes George out of the way of Sam Baines's car and gets knocked unconscious, thus interfering with George's first meeting with Lorraine Baines. After a 9-hour sleep, Marty wakes up in Lorraine's care. She then invites him to dinner with her family. Just as they are about to offer Marty a night's stay, he suddenly runs off, leaving Lorraine's mom Stella to regard him as a "strange young man", and her dad Sam threatening to disown Lorraine if she ever has a kid acting like him.
      • Marty finds the young Doc Brown and shows him the time machine from thirty years in Doc’s future.
      • After Doc tells Marty that only "a bolt of lightning" could provide the power to make the time machine function, Marty shows him the flyer with the details of the clock tower lightning strike (which he got in 1985). The two then devise a plan to channel the lightning exactly one week from this date.
    • Sunday, November 6: Doc learns that Marty has interfered with his parents' first meeting and that he and his siblings will be “erased from existence” unless Marty can get his parents together.
    • Monday, November 7: Marty, assuming the name "Calvin Klein", goes to Hill Valley High School to try and get George and Lorraine together, but she has developed a crush on Marty instead of George. Biff is not amused by this development.
    • Tuesday, November 8:
      • 1:21 a.m. Marty, in a radiation suit as "Darth Vader from the planet 'Vulcan'", visits George to try and make him take Lorraine to the dance that Saturday.
      • George reports his weird alien experience to "Calvin," telling him that Darth Vader said he would melt his brain if he failed to ask out Lorraine. After George helps Marty open a Pepsi bottle, they go into the cafe, where George talks with Lorraine. The plan is successful at first, until Biff and his gang interfere. Biff and his gang chase Marty around Courthouse Square, and Marty improvises a skateboard to escape. Lorraine ignores George in favor of Marty. Biff’s car has its first recorded encounter with a manure truck.
      • After fitting the DeLorean with a detachable pole and hook (directed into the flux capacitor when attached), Doc uses a model of the town — plus a wind-up toy car and a live electric cable — to demonstrate to Marty the plan on getting him back to the future. Immediately after, Lorraine arrives, having followed Marty, asking him to take her to the dance, much to Marty's empathy.
    • Wednesday, November 9: George and Marty come up with a plan for Saturday night that will see George become a "fighter" for Lorraine Baines.
    • Saturday, November 12:
      • Afternoon. Biff picks up his car from Western Auto, and is billed $302.57 — much to his shock. After an argument with Terry the mechanic, Biff approaches Lorraine, who, accompanied by Babs, has just picked up her dress for the dance from Ruth's Frock Shop (near Western Auto). As he boasts to her that he will marry her someday, she rebuffs his advances: "I wouldn’t be your girl even if you had a million dollars". Biff then jumps into his car to drive home and get ready for the evening. There is nobody with him.
      • Marty observes that Dave, and then Linda, have disappeared from his photograph from the future, indicating that the current timeline has already changed into a timeline in which they will never be born. He looks noticeably concerned.
      • 9:00 p.m. Marty borrows Doc’s car to take Lorraine to the dance, but Biff steals her away. As 3-D, Match and Skinhead lock Marty inside the trunk of Reginald's car, they have a brief altercation with the band. Given the keys fell inside the trunk, Marvin is forced to use a screwdriver to open it, cutting his hand in the process. George arrives while Marty is suddenly absent. George punches Biff before he has his way with Lorraine, but she hasn’t fallen for him quite yet. George and Marty have more to do before Marty’s future is restored, and Marty’s photo proves it. Marty himself begins to be "erased from existence."
      • 9:28 p.m. As Marvin's injured hand prevents him from playing guitar, Marty subs up for him on stage. While George and Lorraine are finally beginning to enjoy themselves at the dance, Dixon cuts in. George nevertheless takes what is rightly his and the future Mr. and Mrs. McFly finally share their first kiss. The timeline in which George's and Lorraine's three children were never born has been averted, as Marty observes from his photo. Marvin asks if Marty would like to do one more number, and he plays "Johnny B. Goode" (leading Marvin to phone his cousin Chuck about "that new sound you've [Chuck] been looking for"). Before parting with his young future parents, Marty offers them additional advice in order to assure he will have a nice life back in 1985.[36]
      • 9:57 p.m. A gust of wind blows down a tree branch, snapping the lightning cable.
      • 10:00 p.m. As Doc Brown tries reconnecting the cable, Marty attempts to tell him about the future, only to be interrupted by the clock striking 10 (for the last time!). With less than 4 minutes left, Doc then tells Marty to get into the DeLorean and drive it to the starting line, where Marty attaches the hooked pole into the flux capacitor.
      • 10:02 p.m. While reconnecting the cable, Doc breaks part of the Courthouse building's ledge just below the clock face.
      • 10:04 p.m. Lightning strikes the Hill Valley Courthouse, sending Marty in the DeLorean back to 1985 via a complex utilization of the energy of the lightning strike itself devised by Doc Brown, and thanks to Marty’s precise foreknowledge of this local historic event. There are no reported immediate witnesses to this event. Doc celebrates sending Marty back to the future.
      • 10:05 p.m. The young Doc Brown returns home, unnoticed, having witnessed the earliest successful demonstration of time travel in human history. He is carrying a note Marty has handed him in lieu of verbal information about his own future, but is hesitant about reading it. While he has torn it up, he does not discard it. Doc must wait almost three decades before acquiring the technology required to build the device he has just seen with his own eyes, and is careful enough not to further interfere with McFly family events as they unfold over the next decades (see Timeline 1 above for these events, which are for the most part unaltered (although the McFly family is more affluent as a result of George being more assertive over the next 30 years); and will also occur as part of Timeline 7 below).


  • 1973
    • Thursday, March 15: George McFly wins an award for his writing.
  • 19761977
    • Date unknown: 8-year-old Marty accidentally sets fire to the living room rug. His parents supposedly do go easy on him in this timeline.


  • 1985
    • Saturday, October 26: It should be noted that for a period of 11 minutes on this date in this timeline, there are two Martys and two DeLoreans present: Marty A and DeLorean A being the ones who depart for 1955 at 1:35, 11 minutes after their B counterparts arrive from 1955.
      • 1:24 a.m. Marty B arrives from 1955 in DeLorean B, crashing into the front of the Assembly of Christ church (formerly the Town Theater). Immediately after, the DeLorean's engine fails, forcing Marty to run from Courthouse Square over to Lone Pine Mall — just as the Libyans drive by on their way there.
      • 1:33 a.m. Doc is shot by the Libyans in front of Marty A. Witnessing this and hearing his A counterpart's scream, Marty B is even more horrified at having arrived too late to save Doc.
      • 1:35 a.m. Fleeing from the Libyans, Marty A accelerates DeLorean A to 88 m.p.h., disappearing through time for 1955. Blinded and disoriented, the Libyans lose control of their van, crashing into and totaling a Fox Photo stand.
      • Marty B, much to his relief, finds out Doc survived because he was forewarned by the note Marty gave Doc just moments ago in 1955 about the Libyans (and that Doc finally had the courage to read in his long interim). (Before anyone comes to investigate the crash of the Libyans' van into the Fox Photo stand, Doc drives his truck away from Lone Pine Mall, taking Marty to Courthouse Square for him to retrieve the DeLorean from the Assembly of Christ building before any witnesses arrive downtown. With no charges lodged, Marty and Doc then drive the DeLorean and the truck, respectively — back to the lab.)
      • Sometime later that morning. Doc takes Marty back to his home, and then travels with Einstein to 2015 on this timeline. As Doc and Einstein travel forward 30 years along this timeline, the next 30 years of timeline 2 are revealed below.
      • 10:28 a.m. Marty awakes from a badly-needed night’s rest to discover he has a much-improved family life and circumstances, including ownership of a black Toyota 4X4. His father also seems to have become an author (see below).
      • Jennifer arrives to see the new 4x4. Marty and Jennifer finally kiss and presumably take it up to the lake.
      • Biff wants to show Marty his new Biff's Auto Detailing matchbook he has just had printed. Marty and Jennifer may or may have not left at that point.
    • Sunday, October 27: Marty races Needles and crashes into a Rolls-Royce, causing his future to be rotten (see entries below).
    • October/November: George McFly's first novel, A Match Made in Space, is published. The cover alludes to young George, young Lorraine, and "Darth Vader" (Marty's radiation suit, utilized as a costume in 1955).




  • Date unknown: Statler Toyota moves to another location in Hill Valley. Their former spot in Couthouse Square becomes a Pontiac dealership.
  • 2009 or 2013
  • 2015
    • Doc spends an unknown amount of time in 2015 and later. While he's there, he places Einstein in a suspended animation kennel, outfits the time machine with a Mr. Fusion and a hover conversion, undergoes personal rejuvenation surgery, and learns as much as he can about Marty Jr.'s meeting with Griff on the 21st. Eventually, Doc leaves for 1985 to fetch Marty and Jennifer. This creates Timeline 3 which begins at the Doc's entry point of 1985 and timeline 2 fades away.
    • Date unknown: Jaws 19 debuts at the theater: this time, it's really really personal.
    • Wednesday, October 21:
      • The Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
      • Marty Jr. is pushed by Griff to participate in robbing the Hill Valley Payroll Substation on 8th Street.
      • The 47-year-old Marty, dared by Needles, illegally lets Needles scan his CusCo credit card, and subsequently is fired by Ito Fujitsu in typical real-estate mogul fashion: "Read my fax!"
    • Thursday, October 22:
      • 1:28 a.m. Marty Jr. attempts to rob the Hill Valley Payroll Substation and is apprehended by police.[37]
      • Two hours later: Marty Jr. is tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
    • Friday, October 23: Queen Diana visits Washington.
    • Wednesday, October 28: Marlene McFly attempts to break her brother out of jail. She is sentenced to 20 years in prison.


Timeline 3[]

This is the timeline which Doc brings into existence by traveling to 1985 to seek Marty and Jennifer's help. In this timeline, the fate of the McFly children ought to have been greatly improved. Unfortunately, "Old" Biff's stealing the DeLorean and traveling back to 1955 retroactively changes the events of this timeline and bring Timeline 4 into existence instead. Biff quickly returns the DeLorean to 2015 undetected (before any past alterations have taken place), and Doc, Marty and Jennifer depart moments before it fades away. It is implied that Doc would bring both Marty and Jennifer back to 1985 after the future excursion, due to their future selves still existing and appropriately aged in 2015.


  • 1985
    • Saturday, October 26:
      • Doc returns from 2015, sans Einstein, and crashes the DeLorean into the garbage cans in the McFlys' driveway. Doc then informs Marty that "something has got to be done about (his) kids." Doc then proceeds to take Marty (and Jennifer by circumstance) forward along this new timeline to 2015.
      • Biff Tannen, wanting to show Marty the matchbooks he had printed for his auto detailing business, witnesses the DeLorean hovering briefly before taking off for the future. He will remember this for the next 30 years.


  • 2015
    • Wednesday, October 21:
      • 4:29 p.m. Doc, Marty and Jennifer arrive in 2015 to save Marty Jr. from Griff. Marty poses as Marty Jr. and turns down Griff's proposal. After the hoverboard chase which ensues, only Griff and his gang are arrested for damaging the courthouse. At some point Marty acquires a Grays Sports Almanac with the intention of using it to his advantage once he returns to his own decade.
      • Doc returns to pick up Marty, having retrieved Einstein from his suspended animation kennel, and witnesses Marty's success in changing his family's future, as indicated on his newspaper changing due to the ripple effect.
      • Old Biff, age 78, who has been waiting for this opportunity for three decades, steals the DeLorean and heads back to 1955 with Marty’s sports almanac, which Doc angrily threw into a convenient trash receptacle, bringing Timeline 4 into existence six decades in the past.
      • Jennifer, rendered unconscious due to her non-necessity in saving Marty Jr., is taken to her future home. There, she hides in a closet and witnesses Marty's future family life. She witnesses Marty getting fired from his job and receives a fax about it. She attempts to escape the house, but encounters her 2015 counterpart and faints. Doc takes her out of the house safely.
      • Biff returns the DeLorean to 2015 shortly thereafter without Doc and Marty immediately noticing. He is able to do this because his younger self is not immediately able to act on the knowledge contained in the almanac, so the past remains unchanged until 1958 arrives. However, Timeline 4 has been brought into existence between the time Biff leaves 1955 and returns to 2015, and collapses in pain. He fades from existence (as seen in a deleted scene) after having been presumably murdered by Lorraine in 1996. (see below)
      • 7:28 p.m. Doc, Marty, Einstein and Jennifer depart 2015 for the "alternate 1985", bringing Timeline 5 into existence.
    • Date unknown: Doc returns to the suspended animation kennel to retrieve Einstein.

Timeline 4[]

This is the timeline Old Biff brings into existence in 1955 by arriving from 2015 in the stolen DeLorean, almanac in hand. It is replaced with a virtually identical Timeline 5 on October 26, 1985 when Doc, Marty, Einstein and Jennifer arrive from 2015, and observe the damage Biff has accomplished.


  • 1955
    • Saturday, November 12: It should be noted that for a few hours on this date in this timeline, there are two DeLoreans present: one with depleted plutonium, which Marty brought here from 1985 the week before (into which Doc is preparing to channel the lightning bolt from the Clock Tower, bringing Marty back to 1985 - see Timeline 2 above), and one with hover-conversion and powered by Mr. Fusion, which Biff brought here from 2015 (Timeline 3).
      • 1:40 p.m. 78-year-old Biff Tannen arrives from 2015 with Grays Sports Almanac in hand. After hiding the DeLorean in an undetermined location, he then ventures into town to locate his younger self, who has just had an automotive encounter with a manure truck, creating a lasting memory. As old Biff recalls correctly, his younger self will have to pick up his car from Western Auto later that afternoon.
      • After an argument with Terry over the $302.57 bill, young Biff approaches Lorraine, who, accompanied by Babs, has just picked up her dress for the dance from Ruth's Frock Shop. As he boasts to her that he will marry her someday, she rebuffs his advances. Biff is then about to jump into his car to drive home and get ready for the evening, when he encounters an elderly stranger occupying the driver’s seat. Although the stranger is mysteriously able to start the car (which young Biff claims nobody can do except himself), Biff apparently fails to recognize him as his older self, who then informs him that "Today’s your lucky day."
      • Old Biff, entirely in secret, demonstrates the power of the almanac and convinces his younger self to hold on to it and "keep it locked up". He also informs him to kill anyone who has knowledge about the almanac, specifically "some kid" or "a crazy, wild-eyed old man who claims to be a scientist" (referring to Marty and Doc, respectively).
      • 6:38 p.m. Old Biff departs 1955 to return the DeLorean undetected, not realizing his younger self might eventually lose the almanac. Doc Brown will fail to notice Old Biff’s departure time on the time readouts in the DeLorean, having distracted himself with thoughts of women and the old West.
  • 1958
    • Thursday, March 27: Biff Tannen, now at the legal age of 21, wins his first million on a horse race using the sports almanac, which he has managed to hold on to successfully.[26]
  • 1959
    • Wednesday, October 14: Biff Tannen wins another large sum of money at a sports event. He is seen smiling on the cover page of the next day's edition of the newspaper, with the almanac partially visible in his pocket.[38]
    • Date unknown: Biff Tannen wins again and again, gaining the nickname, "The Luckiest Man On Earth."[26]

Unknown dates[]

As Biff's wealth tremendously increases by his continuous betting on winnings noted in the almanac (but heeding his older self's advice to keep it a secret), he invests his winning streak into a financial empire he names BiffCo, which builds, operates, and maintains nuclear power plants, toxic waste disposals, and chemical process facilities (dioxin plants, among others) in and around Hill Valley. By this, he gains power and influence over the people of Hill Valley, even acquiring the Hill Valley Police Department and taking over Lyon Estates as a BiffCo subsidiary.

During this period, Biff also attempts romantic relationships with (and even marrying) two unknown women. However, both of these marriages end in divorce (because in 1973, when a reporter asks Biff about his marriage to Lorraine McFly, he proudly states "Third time's the charm!").

Biff's former high school gang members, Match, 3-D and Skinhead, become his bodyguards.


  • 1973
    • Thursday, March 15: George McFly, apparently against BiffCo's policies[38], is shot dead by Biff Tannen on his way to pick up his award for writing. Survived by his wife Lorraine and their children Dave, Linda, and Marty, he is buried at Oak Park Cemetery.
    • Date unknown: Biff marries Lorraine and becomes stepfather to Dave, Linda, and Marty. (They then move out of Lyon Estates; an African-American family - who chase Marty away in 1985, see Timeline 5 below - moves in possibly soon afterwards.) Having been twice-divorced from both of his previous wives (see "Unknown dates" above), Biff is convinced that his marriage to his former high school rival's widow is the one that will last. However, Lorraine - missing George terribly - is not entirely thrilled with this idea.
  • 1979
    • Date unknown: Biff Tannen's lobbying is successful as the state of California (or perhaps all of the United States) legalizes gambling.[26]
    • Date unknown: The Clock Tower, described as "Hill Valley's dilapitated courthouse", is re-built as Biff's Pleasure Paradise Hotel and Casino.
    • Date unknown: Hill Valley High School is burnt down.


  • Date unknown: As Marty enters High School, Biff, his stepfather, ships him off to boarding school in Switzerland.
  • 1983
    • Sunday, May 22: Doc Brown is committed after being declared legally insane. Richard Nixon announces he will run for a fifth term in office, vowing to end the Vietnam War by 1985. BiffCo's representatives announce that the company is going to build a new dioxin plant in Hill Valley.[38]


  • 1996
    • Date unknown: Something causes Biff's death, but exact details are unknown. (A theory suggested by the Bobs says that Lorraine found out Biff had killed George, and shot him out of revenge.) This would seem to have the effect of erasing Old Biff from existence in 2015, as depicted in a scene deleted from BTTF Part II.

Timeline 5[]

This is the alternate timeline brought into existence when Marty, Doc, Jennifer and Einstein return from 2015. This is referred to by Doc as 1985A, which is depicted in BTTF Part II. The key difference between this timeline and Timeline 4 is the simultaneous presence of two Martys (his doppelganger overseas at boarding school), two Docs (his doppelganger committed to a mental institution and unable to invent the time machine) and the alternate Einstein and Jennifer, the latter whom is still unconscious from what she has witnessed in 2015 (their 1985A doppelgangers, if they have any, are never seen or mentioned).


  • 1985
    • Saturday, October 26:
      • 9:00 p.m. Doc, Marty, Einstein and Jennifer arrive back from 2015. As Doc and Marty leave Jennifer on her porch swing, Marty's first indication of something not being right are the bars he notices on the Parker residence's windows. (There is also a wrecked car in the driveway, which neither he nor Doc notice.)
      • After Doc drives Marty to (what are thought to be in the "normal" timelines as) his home, Marty is chased away by an African-American family living there. Immediately afterwards, he ventures into another part of town, only to discover the ruins of Hill Valley High School, which had been destroyed by fire 6 years before (see Timeline 4 above). Then after a not-so-pleasant (and violent) encounter with (former) Principal Strickland, Marty finally discovers the biggest radical change into Hill Valley: Biff's Pleasure Paradise Hotel and Casino built over the Clock Tower courthouse - complete with the Biff Tannen Museum: dedicated to "Hill Valley's #1 Citizen and America's Greatest Living Folk Hero". Marty also runs into his older brother Dave, now a heavily-drinking bum.
      • Upon discovering even more nightmarish changes to the town - and now his family's - history, Marty is caught by Match, Skinhead and 3-D, who then knock him unconscious.
    • Sunday, October 27:
      • 12:00 a.m. After a 2-hour sleep, Marty wakes up with a shock at how his mother Lorraine had also changed with the time - and is even more horrified to discover that she was now married to Biff. Not understanding what has been going on and upset at no one being able to explain anything, Marty then asks his mother where his father George is: he had died 12 years before and is buried at Oak Park Cemetery. The only relief Marty gets from this "nightmare" is Doc arriving at the cemetery to pick him up.
      • In his now-abandoned and messy lab, Doc explains to Marty what has happened in the past with Biff and the almanac from the evidence Biff has carelessly left behind, but he has no way of knowing when and where the transfer occurred.
      • Returning to Biff's Casino undetected, a courageous Marty confronts Biff about his secret document and easily extracts the needed information from the smug mogul. Biff, recalling the advice given by his future self, grabs his gun to kill Marty. A chase with Match, Skinhead and 3-D naturally ensues. Marty successfully evades them, only to be cornered by Biff, who then admits having murdered George (using the same gun with which he intends to kill Marty). Doc then arrives with the DeLorean just in time, knocking Biff out and rescuing Marty.
      • 2:42 a.m. Doc and Marty then head back to 1955 to put back on track the history they remember. Much to Marty's worry, they leave Jennifer asleep in her porch and Einstein in Doc's lab, but Doc assures Marty that they will not be erased when 1985A is. At this point, Timeline 5 fades away, to be replaced by the nascent Timeline 6.

Timeline 6[]

This is the key timeline brought into existence when Doc and Marty arrive in 1955 to relieve Biff of his newly acquired almanac from the future, thus preventing Timeline 4 and Timeline 5 from coming into existence, but without disturbing Timeline 2 as Marty has previously accomplished. This is the timeline that is depicted in the "1955" part of Back to the Future Part II. For purposes of clarification, this timeline can be thought of as a "patched" version of Timeline 2, with double Docs and Martys. It bears noting that for several hours during this day, three instances of Doc’s DeLorean are present in Hill Valley simultaneously.


  • 1955
    • Saturday, November 12:
      • 6:00 a.m. Doc and Marty arrive from 1985 (Timeline 5) in a DeLorean technologically improved than the one (with depleted plutonium) in which the younger Marty has already arrived (Timeline 2). Doc advises Marty against interfering with young Biff’s initial acquisition of the almanac, so that old Biff will return the DeLorean to 2015 thinking he's succeeded.
      • 1:40 p.m. Old Biff arrives (in yet another instance of the DeLorean) from 2015 (Timeline 3) with the almanac. He then locates his younger self later that day at Western Auto, picking up his car - and having an argument with Terry over the $302.57 repair bill. As this goes on, Marty smuggles himself into the back seat of Biff's car.
      • Lorraine, accompanied by Babs, picks up her dress for the dance from Ruth's Frock Shop. As young Biff boasts to her that he will marry her someday, she rebuffs his advances. Biff is then about to jump into his car to drive home and get ready for the evening, when he encounters an elderly stranger occupying the driver’s seat. Although the stranger is mysteriously able to start the car, Biff apparently fails to recognize him as his older self, who then informs him that "Today’s your lucky day."
      • Marty, hiding in the back seat of the car, is an intimate witness to Old Biff’s demonstration of the power of the almanac, but he heeds Doc's advice not to interfere. Young Biff tells his older self he’ll "...take a look at it."
      • 6:38 p.m.: Thinking he’s done enough to change the future, and intending to escape detection, Old Biff departs in the DeLorean to the same moment he departed in 2015.
      • 9:28 p.m. Marty retrieves the Sports Almanac from an unconscious Biff (after having been punched by George - see Timeline 2), while Doc departs the Lyon Estates construction site to fly towards the roof of Hill Valley High School.
      • A more mature and foreknowledgeable Marty fights off Match, Skinhead and 3-D and keeps them from jumping the naive Marty (from Timeline 2), allowing the events of that timeline to occur as they had before (i.e., as Marty recalls it from his point of view). Marty avoids any direct contact with his day younger self, until he loses the almanac to Biff again.
      • After much wasted time and effort, Marty ultimately retrieves the almanac from Biff’s car. Biff, who has not paid for the $300 repairs after his first wreck, crashes his '46 Ford a second time, an event that has never happened in any previous timeline. Burning the almanac causes this timeline to fade back to closely match Timeline 3, making Old Biff's visit to the past mostly inconsequential, except for Biff's extra encounters with Marty. Marty and Doc are able to visually confirm the erasure of 1985A from items they’ve retrieved from that alternate future.
      • 9:44 p.m. The hover-converted DeLorean from 2015 and 1985-A, with Doc on board, gets unexpectedly struck by lightning just outside Lyon Estates and sent back to January 1, 1885 due to an on-board malfunction Doc neglected to correct. This brings Timeline 7 into existence, seven decades further in the past. [39]

Timeline 7[]

This is the timeline Doc and Marty exist in, separated by 7 decades of time, at the end of Back to the Future Part II and the beginning of Part III (before Marty’s trip back to 1885). It is a timeline in which Doc lives in 1885, without Marty, for only eight months and almost seven days, and is shot by Buford Tannen.

It seems the careful Doc's presence has little impact on known history (until 1955 when his DeLorean is unearthed), this timeline is nearly identical to Timeline 2 with Timeline 6.

Because of Doc's unintended trip to 1885, there are four DeLorean time machines that exist on November 12, 1955 in this timeline, because this is a timeline where a DeLorean has been stored in a mine for more than 70 years. Even as 1955 Doc is planning to send DeLorean "A" back to the future, 2015 Biff has brought DeLorean "B" with an almanac inside, and 1985 Doc and Marty have brought DeLorean "C" to retrieve the almanac -- there is DeLorean "D" inside the Delgado Mine.


  • 1885
    • Thursday, January 1
      • 12:00 a.m. Dr. Emmett Brown accidentally arrives from 1955 (Timeline 6). The DeLorean's time circuits have been scrambled and shorted out by an overload caused by the lightning bolt, rendering the car useless for time travel and stranding Doc in the past. The overload also permanently damages the car's flying circuits, disabling its hover-conversion feature for good.
    • Stranded in 1885, Doc settles in Hill Valley, where he sets himself up as a blacksmith. He then tries improvising methods in attempting repairs on the DeLorean, only to realize that most of the technology he needs will not be available until the next century (i.e. suitable replacement parts for the time circuits yet to be invented around 1947 at the earliest.) Nevertheless, Doc becomes adept at shoeing horses and repairing wagons, alongside his own experiments using the primitive technology available for the time.
    • Date unknown between January 1 and September 1
      • With the DeLorean's time circuit control microchip shorted out by the lightning bolt, Doc writes detailed instructions (including drawing schematic diagrams) on rebuilding it with 1955-era vacuum tubes and transistors. (In a sense, 1985 Doc teaches his younger self how to repair the time machine.) He then places these in the DeLorean before burying it in the Delgado Mine, where he hopes it will remain undisturbed and preserved until his younger self and Marty unearth it 70 years hence.
      • Blacksmith Emmett Brown is hired by Buford Tannen to shoe Buford's horse, but is not paid. After getting thrown off his horse and breaking a bottle of whiskey, Buford blames Doc for the accident and demands a total of eighty dollars from him; five dollars for the whiskey and seventy-five dollars for the horse, which was shot.
    • Saturday, July 4: Doc passes out after drinking one shot of whiskey at the 4th of July celebrations.
    • Saturday, August 29: There is a meeting of the townspeople over who will pick up the new schoolteacher on September 4. Doc volunteers.
    • Tuesday, September 1: Having lived in 1885 for 8 months[20], Doc writes a letter to be delivered personally by Western Union to Marty McFly on November 12, 1955 exactly at 9:45 p.m. to the exact stretch of road he was hovering above when he was struck by lightning.
    • Friday, September 4: A train pulls into Hill Valley Station, carrying the new clock for the courthouse - and Clara Clayton aboard as a passenger. Doc meets her at the platform and brings her to the schoolhouse, where the two fall in love. Unknowingly, Doc also prevents Clara's death that day, and Shonash Ravine is never renamed Clayton Ravine in her memory.
    • Saturday, September 5: The Hill Valley Festival. A photographer takes a portrait of Doc posing next to the new courthouse clock (this photo is discovered by Marty and young Doc in 1955 at the library). While Doc dances with Clara, Buford Tannen shoots Doc in the back because he never paid Buford the eighty dollars.
    • Monday, September 7: Doc dies of the bullet wound Tannen caused, and is buried in Boot Hill Cemetery - which is fittingly adjacent to Delgado Mine, where the DeLorean (with repair instructions) is safely buried. Clara, grief-stricken over the loss of her man, erects a headstone on his grave in eternal memory of him.


  • 1955
    • Saturday, November 12: In this point of the timeline there are now four instances of the DeLorean present simultaneously (the one Marty brought here to create Timeline 2, the one Biff brought here to create Timeline 4, the one Doc and Marty brought to create Timeline 6, and finally the one that Doc hid in the mine in the past after he created Timeline 7)
      • 9:45 p.m. A vehicle driven by a Western Union agent arrives at the entrance to Lyon Estates. The agent delivers to Marty, on time at that specified location, in the pouring rain, the letter Doc dispatched in 1885. (This event in Timeline 6 is created by a ripple effect transforming Timeline 6 into Timeline 7)
      • 10:05 p.m. Lightning having just struck the clocktower, Marty scares the young Doc by "returning" on foot seconds after Doc sent the younger Marty back to the future, in effect creating an unexpected closed loop (from the young Doc’s point of view). Doc utters "Great Scott!" and suddenly faints. Marty drives the unconscious Doc back to his house in Doc's car.
    • Sunday, November 13:
      • 7:01 a.m.: Young Doc reads the soggy old letter his 30-year-older self wrote seventy years in the past.
    • Monday, November 14: Marty and Doc uncover the DeLorean with repair instructions and his walkie talkie from the Delgado Mine near Boot Hill Cemetery, where the older Doc Brown was buried in 1885. As fate would have it, they also find Doc's grave and learn about Buford Tannen. They elect to photograph the headstone, as it will serve as a "ripple-effect" indicator of Marty’s success in 1885.
      • Marty insists on going back to 1885 to rescue his friend.
    • Tuesday, November 15: Doc repairs and "soups up" the unearthed DeLorean, building a new time circuit with vacuum tubes and transistors. He also fits the DeLorean with new whitewall tires, and installs fresh oversized batteries on his and Marty's walkie talkies.
    • Wednesday, November 16
      • 10:00 a.m. Marty leaves 1955 and heads back to 1885 to rescue Doc. This would be the DeLorean's last trip through time on its own power. This act initiates the ultimate timeline, Timeline 8. Young Doc is left behind in this timeline undisturbed to wait a few decades until the DeLorean is built, and avoids further contact with the McFlys until the 1980s as outlined above (Timeline 1 and Timeline 2). [40]

Timeline 8[]

This timeline comes into existence when Marty arrives in 1885, to try to prevent the events that led to Doc's death in Timeline 7 at the hands of Buford Tannen. It is this timeline in which Doc and Marty appear for most of Back to the Future Part III. It is also the final timeline depicted in the trilogy, as the DeLorean will no longer travel backwards in time. Since Marty chooses not to race Needles upon his return to 1985, the future is changed once again, and the alternate futures Doc and Marty have experienced in Timeline 2 and Timeline 3 are erased by this timeline. Note: Two DeLoreans exist in this timeline for five days in 1885, from September 2 when Marty arrived, until September 7 when he departed for 1985.


  • 1885
    • Wednesday, September 2:
      • 8:00 a.m. Marty McFly arrives in 1885 to rescue Doc from impending doom. Native American Horseback-archers, who were on the run of the Federal Forces, shoot the DeLorean's fuel line, damaging it and leaving the car with no fuel at all. Marty then hides the DeLorean in a cave, but on fleeing from an angry bear living there, he runs across the desert, then falls down a hill, getting knocked out upon hitting a fence outside McFly farm.
      • Later that day. After a 6-hour sleep, Marty wakes up in the care of his ancestors Seamus, Maggie, and William McFly, assuming the name "Clint Eastwood". Seamus and Maggie invite Marty to stay for dinner, then offer him a night's stay.
    • Thursday, September 3:
      • After riding out with Seamus down the railroad track, Marty arrives in Hill Valley, and upsets Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen, great grandfather of Biff Tannen, at the Palace Saloon, causing Tannen to nearly hang Marty. Doc saves Marty in time. Marty informs Doc of his impending death involving Buford and his infatuation with Clara Clayton. Aware that he will fall in love with Clara and worried about changing his future, Doc decides not to pick her up, as he has already volunteered to do five days ago. He and Marty then decide to leave 1885 and go back to 1985, but Marty notes about the DeLorean's damaged fuel line, realizing that there's no way to get the car up to 88 mph without gasoline, which will not be available until the next century.
      • With 6 horses, Doc and Marty ride out to the cave where Marty hid the DeLorean. They attempt to get it to up 88 mph on the way back to Hill Valley, but this proved unsuccessful as Doc explains that even the fastest horses in the world can reach nowhere near that speed.
    • Friday, September 4:
      • Doc tries using whiskey as fuel for the DeLorean's engine, but this only blows the fuel injection manifold, rendering the car completely powerless. He and Marty then think of various alternative methods to get the DeLorean up to 88 mph, but none of them seem practical.
      • A train pulls into Hill Valley Station, carrying the new clock for the courthouse - and Clara aboard as a passenger. This gives Doc and Marty the idea of borrowing the locomotive to push the DeLorean. (They fail to recognize Clara standing behind them at the platform, waiting to be picked up. With no one to meet her, she then rents two horses and a wagon from Joe Statler, then sets out to find the schoolhouse on her own.)
      • Doc and Marty ride out to Carson Spur, near the incomplete Shonash Ravine Bridge, ultimately deciding it is the perfect stretch of level track on which to push the DeLorean up to 88 mph with the locomotive just before they reach the edge of the ravine (over which the completed bridge would then exist upon arriving back in 1985).
      • As Doc and Marty survey the bridge (which is scheduled for completion the following year), Clara's wagon runs away after a snake spooks the horses pulling it. Doc then comes to her rescue, saving her life. It is love at first sight. Much to Marty's horror, he and Doc realize that they unknowingly altered future history, resulting in Shonash Ravine not being re-named in memory of Clara. Marty nevertheless insists on getting the DeLorean ready to get them back to the future.
    • Saturday, September 5:
      • After fitting the DeLorean with flanged steel railroad wheels, Doc uses a makeshift model railroad to demonstrate to Marty the plan on getting them back to the future. Immediately after, Clara arrives, asking Doc to repair her telescope, which had been damaged when it fell off the wagon during the rescue the day before. Doc, agreeing to perform the repair job without charge, becomes even more smitten with her.
      • Evening. The Hill Valley Festival. Doc and Marty have a photograph taken, posing next to the new courthouse clock (this photo is given to Marty in 1985 by Doc at the spot where the DeLorean was destroyed by a locomotive near Eastwood Ravine). Later on, while Doc and Clara dance, Buford Tannen arrives and attempts to shoot Doc, but Marty interferes and saves him. Buford, angered by Marty's action, calls him "yellow", challenging him to a duel on Monday morning. Aiming to prove himself to Buford that he isn't "yellow", Marty agrees to the face-off, setting it for 8 a.m. that morning.
    • Sunday, September 6:
      • 7:00 a.m. Marty wakes up. After being confronted by Doc about the dangers of fighting Buford, Marty checks his photograph of the tombstone from 1955, and gets a shock. The future of timeline 8 in which Doc is killed is replaced by one in which Marty, aka "Clint Eastwood", is likely to be killed.
      • Evening. Doc and Marty haul the DeLorean out to Carson Spur, where they unload the car onto the tracks in preparation for their trip back to the future. Later that night, while an exhausted Marty sleeps, Doc tells Clara the truth and says goodbye to her, but she doesn't believe him. Both are broken-hearted: Doc heads back to town and gets a drink at the Palace Saloon, while Clara prepares to leave Hill Valley.
      • Buford and his gang rob the Pine City stage.
    • Monday, September 7:
      • 8:00 a.m. Marty has a showdown scheduled with Buford Tannen outside Palace Saloon. Marty and Doc escape through the saloon's back door when Buford spots Marty, and again calls him "yellow". Marty still decides not to face Buford, showing an incredible amount of growth from a mere day earlier, and is about to walk away when Buford and his gang get a hold of Doc and threaten to shoot him.
      • A train pulled by Locomotive 131 pulls into Hill Valley Station. Clara, deeply upset over losing Doc, then boards it before it departs for San Francisco.
      • Marty decides to face Buford, who then shoots Marty in the chest. Using a trick learned from the Clint Eastwood movie A Fistful of Dollars (which was being watched by Biff in 1985A, in timeline 5), Marty survives, much to Buford's surprise. Marty then throws several punches at Buford, finally knocking him face-first into a manure cart, to the delight of the townspeople.
      • Buford and his gang are arrested for the robbery of the Pine City stage.
      • Taking one last look at the photo of the tombstone, Marty and Doc are relieved as it disappears (after having been damaged from Marty's punch-out with Buford). The future of timeline 8 in which Marty is killed is replaced by one in which both Doc and Marty survive. They then head off to the railroad line to follow the train that had just departed.
      • Meanwhile, on board the train, Clara overhears a passenger talking about the heartsick Doc; her belief restored, she stops the train and jumps off to find him. She discovers clues at the blacksmith shop and rides on horseback towards Carson Spur. She must reach Doc before he vanishes forever.
      • Doc and Marty ride after the train which had just left Hill Valley earlier that morning. They then stop it just before it hits the switchtrack with Carson Spur, then hijack its locomotive to push the DeLorean up to 88 mph toward Shonash Ravine so they may both go back to the future (1985). Marty succeeds in doing so, but Doc, who has gone to Clara's rescue on the accelerating locomotive, is forced to stay behind with her - keeping the hoverboard and one of the walkie talkies. Since "Clint" was observed stealing the locomotive and is presumed to have gone down with it, he enters the town's folklore as the man who beat Mad Dog Tannen, and Shonash Ravine is renamed Eastwood Ravine.
      • 9:00 a.m. Marty finally departs 1885. This is the DeLorean's last ever trip through time.
    • Tuesday, December 15: Doc and Clara are married. [41]
  • 1886
    • Date unknown: Doc and Clara's elder son, Jules Eratosthenes Brown, is born. [42]
  • 1888


  • 1895
    • Date unknown: Doc finishes building his second time machine, out of a steam locomotive, and he, Clara, Jules and Verne make a trek to 1985.


  • 1985
    • Sunday, October 27:
      • 11:00 a.m. Marty McFly returns from 1885. Almost immediately after, Marty jumps out of the stopped DeLorean just before it is demolished head-on by a diesel locomotive approaching the Eastwood Ravine Bridge in the opposite direction.
      • On foot, Marty returns to Lyon Estates to see everything - his home, his family and all - back to normal (as per Timeline 2), much to his delight! He then drives over to Jennifer's house in his Toyota 4x4 to check on her: she is just as Doc predicted.
      • In a virtuosic display of uncharacteristic self-restraint, Marty decides not to race Needles, and avoids crashing into a Rolls Royce, thus erasing the future experienced in Timeline 2. Jennifer surprises Marty with the fax she retrieved from 2015 in that very timeline, and as it "ripples" into a blank sheet of paper, she discovers the hidden truth about time travel, exclaiming: “It erased!”
      • Marty takes Jennifer to the DeLorean's crash site. Shortly after, Doc, Clara and their sons arrive in their time locomotive to briefly check up on Marty and Jennifer, to retrieve Doc's dog, Einstein (who was not erased by the timeline as Doc predicted), and to present them with a souvenir: the Courthouse Clock photo (with Doc AND Marty together!). As Jennifer shows Doc the blank fax, he dispenses some sound advice about its significance. Then finally, after giving Marty and Jennifer a parting advice on making their future a good one (with Marty promising they will), Doc activates the locomotive's time circuits, flux capacitor, and hover-conversion - and then he, Clara, their children, and Einstein depart for times and places unknown. This is where the Back to the Future trilogy's depiction on film ends.

Marty's Timeline[]

From the moment Marty steps into Doc's lab at the beginning of BTTF 1 until the moment he arrives on the railroad tracks at the end of BTTF 3, the "real world" of Hill Valley experiences an elapsed time of 2 days, 3 hours and 42 minutes*. But Marty, in a whirlwind of time travel spanning a century, experiences an elapsed time of 18 days, 8 hours and 51 minutes*.

*On October 27, 1985 at 2:00am PDT, the clocks were turned backward 1 hour to 1:00am PST.

Event Timeline Date/Time Marty's Elapsed Time
Marty arrives at Doc's lab to find all the clocks set 25 minutes slow. 1 10/25/1985 8:18 AM 0d 0:00
Marty flees the Libyans in the DeLorean and accidentally travels back to 1955. 1 10/26/1985 1:35 AM 0d 17:17
Marty McFly arrives in 1955 at Old Man Peabody's farm. 2 11/5/1955 6:15 AM 0d 17:17
Lightning strikes the clocktower, and Marty travels back to 1985. 2 11/12/1955 10:04 PM 8d 9:06
Marty arrives in 1985, crashing into the front of the Assembly of Christ church. 2 10/26/1985 1:24 AM 8d 9:06
Doc takes Marty and Jennifer in the now flying DeLorean to 2015. 3 10/26/1985 10:28 AM 8d 18:10
Doc, Marty and Jennifer arrive in 2015 in a flying expressway. 3 10/21/2015 4:29 PM 8d 18:10
Doc, Marty, Einstein and Jennifer depart 2015, unaware of Old Biff's interference in past events. 4 10/21/2015 7:28 PM 8d 21:09
Doc, Marty, Einstein and Jennifer arrive in the "alternate 1985." 5 10/26/1985 9:00 PM 8d 21:09
Doc and Marty head back to 1955 to put the history they remember back on track. 5 10/27/1985 2:42 AM 9d 3:51*
Doc and Marty arrive in 1955 above the future site of Lyon Estates. 6 11/12/1955 6:00 AM 9d 3:51
Marty leaves 1955 from the Pohatchee Drive-In and heads back to 1885. 7 11/16/1955 10:00 AM 13d 7:51
Marty McFly arrives in 1885 in the midst of the Pohatchee tribe being pursued by U.S. Cavalry. 8 9/2/1885 8:00 AM 13d 7:51
Marty departs 1885 from the railroad tracks leading to Shonash Ravine. 8 9/7/1885 9:00 AM 18d 8:51
Marty arrives at 1985 on the railroad tracks over Eastwood Ravine. 8 10/27/1985 11:00 AM 18d 8:51

Notes and references[]

  1. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Q&A, Back to the Future [DVD], recorded at the University of Southern California
  2. Bob Gale, "Deleted Scenes", Back to the Future Part II [DVD]
  3. Template:Cite magazine
  4. Back to the Future Part II: The money was visible in Doc's suitcase.
  5. Historical fact. See From the Earth to the Moon for details. The book is mentioned in Back to the Future Part III.
  6. based on an 1885 issue of the Hill Valley Telegraph that commemorates the 20th anniversary of the event
  7. Clara mentions this in conversation with Doc in Back to the Future Part III
  8. Historical fact. See Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea for details. The book is mentioned in Back to the Future Part III.
  9. Back to the Future Part II: Doc and Marty read the newspaper in 1955.
  10. Back to the Future Part III: The clock was seen in the background at the train station in 1885.
  11. Back to the Future Part III: Marty McFly tells the tale to Doc in 1885.
  12. Back to the Future Part III: A sign reading "scheduled completion summer 1886" can be seen next to the unfinished bridge in 1885.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Back to the Future Part III: Doc tells Marty about it in 1955.
  14. based on a mention in the BTTF novel that in 1985, Doc is 65 years old.
  15. Historical fact. See Clint Eastwood for details.
  16. as established in Back to the Future Part II, which recounts Biff's life story and "how a trip to the races on his 21st birthday made him a millionaire overnight," and shows a newspaper dated March 28, 1958 reporting on the previous day's events
  17. as seen on George's tombstone in 1985A in Back to the Future Part II; names of parents are from the BTTF novel at page 91
  18. from DVD commentary by Bob Gale in Back to the Future
  19. Historical fact. See Calvin Klein for details.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Back to the Future Part III: Part of Doc's letter.
  21. Back to the Future. Doc tells Marty about this in the parking lot of Twin Pine Mall in 1985, and the farm is seen when Marty gets in 1955.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Back to the Future Part I. Doc tells Marty about this in the parking lot of Twin Pine Mall in 1985.
  23. Back to the Future. Lorraine tells her kids part of this story in 1985. The rest is witnessed by Marty in 1955.
  24. Historical fact. See history of Toyota for details.
  25. Historical fact. See Johnny B. Goode for details.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Back to the Future Part II. Mentioned in the video presentation on the life of Biff in the Biff Tannen museum, in the alternate 1985.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Back to the Future Part I. According to newspaper clippings framed on the wall of Doc's house.
  28. Historical fact. See Tab (soft drink) for details.
  29. Historical fact. See Studebaker's exit from the auto business for details.
  30. Historical fact. See A Fistful of Dollars for details. The film is depicted in Back to the Future Part II and homaged in Back to the Future Part III.
  31. As shown on Marty's driver's license
  32. from Back to the Future
  33. Historical fact. See Caffeine-Free Pepsi for details.
  34. Back to the Future. According to a TV news program heard in the background.
  35. There are two ways to deduce the exact time Marty arrives to 1955. Short answer: The 2002 DVD features an animation showing 6:15am. Long answer: Using a sunrise calender, the sunrise for Los Angeles on Nov 5th 1955 was at 6:16 am. The entire Peabody scene plays for 2 minutes, and by the 2 minute mark when Marty leaves the ranch, the sky is already glowing from the sunrise. Although Hill Valley is set in North California, the sunrise time for Los Angeles is used. This is because in BTTF2 when Doc & Marty arrive to Nov 12, 1955 at 6:00am, Doc says "sunrise will be in approx. 22 minutes" This coincides with the actual sunrise time in Los Angeles for that date (06:22am.) However, the sun does not rise in Northern California for another 30 minutes.
  36. The timestamp can be evidenced in Back to the Future II while Doc is heading towards the high school roof.
  37. Timestamp taken from Youth Jailed newspaper in Back to the Future II
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Back to the Future Part II. According to a newspaper Doc showed to Marty.
  39. Page 42 of the Back to the Future part III novel shows the Last Time Departed display as 9:44 pm while Doc prepares to send the DeLorean to Sept. 2 1885.
  40. 10 AM is the time given in page 41 of the Back to the Future III novelization
  41. from the animated episode, Solar Sailors; Doc and Clara are celebrating their anniversary on December 15, 1991, and Doc jokes that they've been married almost 106 years.
  42. conjecture from Jules being two years older than Verne, and apparently being about 9 years old when the family first leaves 1895, and conceived after his parents' marriage
  43. from the animated episode, "By Any Other Name"

v - e - d
Back to the Future film series logo
Films: Back to the FutureBack to the Future Part IIBack to the Future Part IIIBack in Time

Music: Back to the FutureBack to the Future Part IIIThe Back to the Future Trilogy (soundtrack)
Video games: Back to the Future (1985 computer game)Back to the Future (video game)Back to the Future Part IIBack to the Future Part IIIBack to the Future Part II & IIIUniversal Studios Theme Park AdventureBack to the Future: The GameLEGO Dimensions
Other media: Back to the Future: The RideBack to the Future: The Animated SeriesBack to the Future (musical)Back to the Future: The Pinball

Marty McFlyEmmett BrownBiff Tannen
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