- "So, you're my Uncle Joey. Better get used to these bars, kid."
- —Marty McFly
- " [Eleven-month-old] Joey, about to take the first steps in a long unlucky life, was holding the bars of his playpen and salivating wildly. Marty looked at him, shook his head. So you're my Uncle Joey, he thought; get used to those bars, kid. / "He seems to enjoy being there," he said to Stella. "It's like he belongs." / "Oh, yes," she replied, unaware that Marty was being mildly sarcastic. "Little Joey loves being in his pen. He actually cries when we take him out. So we leave him there most of the time. It seems to make him happy and certainly quiets him down." / He's become institutionalized already, thought Marty, laughing inwardly. "
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 105)
- "Lorraine McFly turned her attention to Linda, who was finishing her pudding. "You didn't have to eat that, you know," she said. "We've got cake." / Linda raised her eyebrows. "What cake?" she asked. / Lorraine pointed to the three-layer cake on the kitchen counter. On the top was written WELCOME HOME UNCLE JOEY. Above the letters was a tiny black bird flying out of a barred window. It wasn't exactly subtle, but Uncle Joey's situation wasn't a secret. / "It looks like we'll have to eat this cake by ourselves again," Lorraine smiled grimly. "Uncle Joey didn't get a parole." "
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 36)
- "But, nice as his [Marty's] mother was, there were still a few things that she just couldn't be realistic about. Like this party she kept going on about. / "Mom," Marty Senior replied patiently, "before we throw a party for Uncle Joey, let's see if he makes parole." "
- —From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 84)
However, on June 24, 1972, Joey wanted to join Biff's gang. Biff wanted to break into the home of Sarah Ellsworth, Emmett Brown's mother. Biff assumed that Doc hid the fortune he inherited from his father, and he believed that the fire that burned down Doc's mansion was caused by Doc himself for the insurance money. Wondering why Doc would need money, he thought that Doc must have given his inheritance to his mother. When Carlton Ellsworth died, Biff stated that he was even more wealthy than Judge Brown, and because he couldn't find any evidence of a large deposit from Mrs. Ellsworth or Doc Brown, he assumed that Mrs. Ellworth must have held on to the money herself. When she moved back to Hill Valley, Biff decided to use Joey as a patsy.
He sent Joey, alone, to get the money. However, Joey was caught and was arrested for stealing $85,000 from Mrs. Ellsworth's house. Marty bragged about his uncle's arrest to his kindergarten class, but he later would forget about the good times he had his uncle Joey, and would come to distrust him due to his criminal past.
Joey was convicted, and, because he never revealed that Biff and his gang were involved in the theft, he was given a long sentence.
In the timeline where Marty and Professor Marcus Irving traveled from 1986 to 1972 to discover why Joey was arrested, Marty was caught spying on Joey at the Baines residence. Joey dragged Marty to Biff's gang, as he didn't believe his story that he was a friend of the McFly family. Biff Tannen recognized Marty as "Calvin Klein", the name Marty used when he was in 1955. Marty said he was Calvin Klein's son, and said that Calvin and his girlfriend left town in a hurry because of the scandal created by giving birth to a child at such a young age.
Biff wanted to pay Calvin Klein back for getting manure in his car, and for causing him to get punched by George McFly. He decided to get payback through Calvin's "son", and sent Marty into Mrs. Ellsworth's house, with Joey, to find and steal the money.
When Marty McFly traveled back to November 5, 1955, he met his Uncle Joey at age 1 behind the bars of a playpen wearing a black and white striped shirt. Stella noted that he enjoyed being in his playpen, as every time they took him out he would cry.
In the alternate timeline where all lawyers were abolished in the United States by the 21st century, USA Today ran an article on Joey Baines in their October 22, 2015 issue. The article, Parole denied again, mentioned that this was Joey's twelfth consecutive parole hearing to end in denial. He was serving a twenty year term at Folsom for racketeering and had spent some ⅔ years of his life behind bars.
In the alternate timeline where Emmett Brown married Edna Strickland and ran Hill Valley as a gated community, Joey never ended up in prison and instead worked at the Brown Institute (the Brown Mansion of that reality). After escaping from the Citizen Plus ward, Citizen Brown convinced Joey to help him and Marty in finding the DeLorean. Though he cooperated with the two, Edna Brown punished him with an electrical rod, albeit set to stun.
In the timeline where Doc Brown built asecond DeLorean time machine, Joey Baines was awarded parole and was released from prison in 1986. When Dave, Linda and Marty McFly were discussing Joey's release, Biff Tannen became nervous, due to the fact that he had set Joey up for the fall.
Behind the scenes
- An early script of Back to the Future Part II showed that Joey, in his early teens in 1967, enjoyed locking himself in his room and eating nothing but bread and water.
- In the Back to the Future novelization by George Gipe, Joey is not one year old in 1955 but eleven months (page 105).
- In a deleted scene from Back to the Future Part II, which was reinstated for the novelization (see third Quote above), Marty of 2015 says to Lorraine, who is planning to throw a party for Joey: "Mom, let's wait and see if Uncle Joey makes parole."
- Back to the Future
- Back to the Future Part II (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
- Special "front page wrap" for real life October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today (see 'External links' below)
- Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #4
- Early script of Back to the Future Part II. Lorraine: Where's Joey? Ellen: He locked himself in his room again.
- Early script of Back to the Future Part II. Ellen: Mom, you know he only eats bread and water when he's up there.