- "Gramps, I told you two coats of wax on my car, not just one! What the hell do I pay you for?"
- —Griff at Biff
Griff Tannen was the grandson of Biff Tannen, son Biff Tannen Jr., and grandfather of Ziff Tannen. Griff was very similar to his grandfather at a younger age. Like most of the Tannen family throughout its existence, Griff was a bully, and bullied people to get what he wanted. Unlike Biff though, Griff was a lot more violent and unpredictable. Griff was usually accompanied by his gang of three, Rafe "Data" Unger, Leslie "Spike" O'Malley and Chester "Whitey" Nogura, and was the first Tannen to allow a female into his gang. Not many people stood up to Griff, and he was surprised when Marty McFly, pretending to be his son Marty Jr, did so.
Griff had a car (a heavily modified 1976 BMW 633CSi) which he had his grandfather wax for him, and appeared to be an expert hoverboarder, having in his possession a "Pit Bull" hoverboard ("Pitboard") which was jet powered.
According to an offhand comment by Emmett Brown, and further evidenced by the mechanical sounds every time Griff moved, Griff had bionic implants. These implants were shown to give him enhanced strength, make him taller on command, and automatically block a punch thrown at him despite Griff not seeing it coming. A newspaper from 2015 implied these implants were illegal, although proposals were around to legalize them. The circumstances of his acquiring the implants remain unknown.
At some point he met Marty Jr. and started bullying him.
On the afternoon of October 21, 2015, Griff and his gang met Marty Jr. at the Cafe 80's (formerly Lou's Cafe in 1955 and Lou's Aerobic Center in 1985). They "persuaded" Marty Jr. to join them in the early hours of the following morning to rob the Hill Valley Payroll Substation. Marty Jr. reluctantly agreed, but accidentally set off the alarm. Marty Jr. was caught and sentenced to 15 years, whilst Griff and his gang managed to distance themselves by saying they would not hang out with a "low-res like McFly".
Luckily for Marty Jr., Doc Brown arrived from 1985 in his DeLorean time machine and with the help of Marty from 1985, managed to avoid this. Marty from 1985 (aged 17) managed to pose as his future son and said "no" to Griff. Griff, surprised and angered at this, got his gang to chase Marty around the Courthouse Square after Marty exited the Cafe 80's and "borrowed" a hoverboard. Griff smashed his BMW's taillight after trying to hit Marty with a baseball bat, swinging furiously as he hovered past.
- "I was FRAMED!"
- —Griff during apprehension.
Marty ended up above the pond in front of the Hill Valley Courthouse Mall, but his board did not have the power to float above the water. Griff got out his Pit Bull, which allowed his gang to be pulled behind him, and they tried to get Marty. Marty jumped into the water at the last minute, causing Griff to bump on a rock and hurl him and his gang into the courthouse. He was captured and was arrested in the end after crashing into the Hill Valley Courthouse. Griff went to jail and thus Marty Jr. never went with him on that robbery.
Griff appeared again on December 15, 2091. His grandson Ziff was sent to jail after trying to sabotage Marta McFly's (Marty's great grand-daughter) space cruiser, sent to where Griff was also in jail.
Behind the scenes
- Although Griff is seen as an old man in 2091 in the animated episode Solar Sailors, he appears to be shown in the opening sequence in the series, chasing Marty on a hoverboard on May 19, 2015.
- Since the animated series establishes a "Biff Tannen, Jr.," it is possible that Griff could in turn be Biff Jr.'s son, though unlikely; Griff was born in 1996, while Biff Jr. is established as being Verne's age (9) in 1992. The canonicity of the animated series as an extension of the films' storyline is unclear, but does not speak to Griff's parentage.
- In an interview where they answered "Frequently Asked Questions" , Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale noted that "Griff could be the son of Biff's daughter." The animated series showed Biff, Jr., but didn't offer clues as to other Tannen children or to the mother of any of Biff's offspring. In the episode that featured an elderly Griff in 2091, Solar Sailors, the question was not answered.
| The McFly Family|
Marty McFly | George McFly | Lorraine Baines McFly | Jennifer Parker | Seamus McFly | Maggie McFly
Dave McFly | Linda McFly | Martin McFly, Jr. | Marlene McFly | Arthur McFly
| The Brown Family|
Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown | Clara Clayton Brown | Jules Brown | Verne Brown | Einstein
| The Tannen Family|
Biff Tannen | Buford Tannen | Griff Tannen | Irving "Kid" Tannen
| The Strickland Family|
James Strickland | Roger Strickland | Irene Strickland | Edna Strickland | Gerald Strickland
Match, Skinhead & 3-D | Goldie Wilson | Douglas J. Needles | Marcus Irving