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This page is for references to the Back to the Future trilogy in movies.

Anastasia (1997)

  • Similar to Doctor Brown’s plan to heat up a train’s boiler to gain the necessary speed, Christopher Lloyd’s character, Rasputin, tried to kill Anastasia the same way. He even went as far as to demolish a bridge for good measure. While that plan did not work, the train exploded in a similar fashion to the one in Back to the Future Part III after plunging into the ravine.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

  • The Avengers discuss how time travel might help them save the universe. Tony Stark (Iron Man) argues that "if there is no logical, tangible way for me to safely execute the said time heist. I believe the most likely outcome would be our collective demise." Scott Lang (Ant-Man) decries "Not if we strictly follow the rules of time travel. I mean, no talking to our past-selves, no betting on sporting events...". Tony responds with "I'm going to stop you right there, Scott. Are you seriously telling me that your plan to save the universe is based on, 'Back to the Future?'" "No." "Good, you got me worried there. 'cos that would be horse shit. That's not how Quantum Physics works." Later, after more details are worked out, Scott exclaims "So Back to the Future is a load of bullshit?".

Big Fat Liar (2002)

Big Hero 6 (2014)

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The brain-wave analyzer at the San Fransokyo Tech science expo.

  • At the San Fransokyo Tech science expo when Hiro is presenting his Microbots, Alistair Krei & his assistant admire the project of another contestant, who is wearing the brain-wave analyzer (invented by Doc Brown in 1955, as seen in Back to the Future). Krei examines a second brain-wave analyzer, before he and his assistant leave, having noticed Hiro's Microbots.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988)

  • When Bill & Ted's time machine of a phone booth enters into another time period, it sinks into the ground and leave a ring of fire where it departed, similar to the Delorean leaving flaming tire tracks.

Black Panther (2018)

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The Sneakers designed by Shuri are inspired by the Nike Mag.

  • Shuri designs sound absorbent shoes called Sneakers, which materialize around the wearer's feet. When Shuri shows the Sneakers to her older brother T'Challa, she states that to create the shoes, she was inspired by the Nike MAG power-lacing shoes from Back to the Future Part II. Like the Nike MAG, the Sneakers also have power-laces.

Bolt (2008)

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

  • A scene in this film, where Tommy is tripped at a movie theater is shot similar to the scene in Back to the Future, where Marty trips Biff at Lou's Cafe. Both film feature time travel as a plot element.
  • Eric Stoltz (who was originally cast as Marty McFly in Back to the Future) appeared in The Butterfly Effect, in which he played George, Tommy Miller's father.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

Death Becomes Her (1992)

  • In this film (also directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis) Helen took her magic potion on October 26, 1985, the pivotal date from the first film.

Fanboys (2009)

  • In a film largely referencing Star Wars, Hutch, while making it with a lady in bed in Las Vegas, claims to possess a "flux capacitor" and that the 1.21 gigawatts "don't come cheap".

Ghost Rider (2007)

  • When Ghost Rider's bike breaks the sound barrier, the license plate falls off and spins.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

I Love You, Man (2009)

  • In the scene where the two characters are playing "Rush" in their garage, one of the characters yells out, "Hey, Chuck, you know that new sound you were looking for?" and falls over, before he can finish the quote, while playing a solo on guitar.

Jack and the Beanstalk (2010)

Knocked Up (2007)

  • Ben Stone (played by Seth Rogan), who impregnates Katherine Heigl's character Alison Scott, sits at dinner and begins to discuss Back to the Future with his friend, including references to the DeLorean time machine and the flux capacitor. His fiance's friend then uses similar references to shut him up.

Kopps (2003)

  • In the last scene of this Swedish movie, two guys get into a police car (a Volvo V70) that has been modified into a pizza delivery car; they back up, the wheels come out, and it flies away, swings back and goes right toward the camera. Videoclip

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

  • As Rex (voiced by Chris Pratt) describes his backstory, he talks about how he created a time machine. During the building process, Doc and the DeLorean time machine are shown, and Rex takes apart the DeLorean. Later, as Rex travels to the past, it pans to the flux capacitor, indicating that it is the main source of time travel in his time machine. It is then here that Rex reveals that he is actually an older, wiser and more-hardened version of Emmet (also voiced by Chris Pratt).
  • As Rex begins to fade from existence, he says he is “Back to the Futureing”. Emmet questions what that is, and Rex says that it is an older movie that is very popular among older kids. During this speech, his body parts turn transparent, then disappear, like what almost happened to Marty.

Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh (2008)

  • At a parade, Crazy Steve pulls up to Drake and Josh's float in a DeLorean DMC-12.   Then, the camera makes a close-up examination on the front of the DeLorean similar to the one seen in Back to the Future. When Steve gets back into the car, he immediately drives away. When the car drives away quickly, the license plate falls off and spins around before falling down flat on the roadway.

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

  • When Albert Stark is walking through town at night when he sees strange, bright lights emanating from a nearby barn. He goes to investigate and finds inside the barn -- Doc Brown is fixing the DeLorean and when Stark ask what is he doing, he respond with "weather experiment" (reference to Doc Brown saying "Oh just a little weather experiment")
    • This reference contains two errors: Marty brings the Delorean back to 1885 instead of 1882 (as seen as start of the film) and The Delorean shown in the film is power by Plutonium Chamber instead of Mr. Fusion.

National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (2006)

  • During the Hastings Cup Trivia Challenge, one of the answers to a question is "The Flux Capacitor".

The Pagemaster (1994)

  • When Richard enters the library and meets Christopher Lloyd's character, their interaction is an homage to Lloyd's scene in Back to the Future when Marty meets Doc from the 50's. Doc uses a strange machine on his head to guess what Marty has come to him for, guessing again and again incorrectly and not letting him speak. In The Pagemaster, when Richard meets Lloyd's character (the librarian) he also interrupts him and tries to guess what kind of book Richard has come for, also incorrectly, and not letting him get a word in.

Passenger 57 (1992)

  • During the chase at the fair, a 1985 Honda Civic with the OUTATIME license plate can be seen.

Paul (2011)

  • In one scene of the movie, the characters park their RV behind a sign similar to Lyon Estates sign in 1955.
  • As Paul enters his spaceship to return to his planet, he tells Tara that she is coming with him. Tara hesitates, saying, "I forgot to bring my toothbrush." Paul responds, "Where we're going, we don't need teeth."

Planet 51 (2009)

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The town square of Glipforg is similar to Courthouse Square.

  • During the Humaniacs film which is being watched at the start of Planet 51, the Crew Cuts' cover of "Earth Angel" can be heard playing on a car radio. Also in the Humaniacs film, a girl states that she's never parked before (similar to what Lorraine told Marty, when they parked at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance).
  • The town square of Glipforg is similar in layout to Hill Valley's Courthouse Square, featuring a cinema, a gas station and even a courthouse with clock tower.
  • A cover of Mr. Sandman can be heard playing in the film. The Four Aces' cover of the song was briefly heard in Back to the Future and Back to the Future Part II.

The Polar Express (2004)

  • In a scene in the Robert Zemeckis-directed film, the train stops and the frontal tip of the locomotive comes uncomfortably close to the camera. This is a reference to Back to the Future Part III where the scene is exactly the same, when Clara stops the train.
  • Later, on board the train, Hero Boy (in The Polar Express) pulls the blow horn multiple times, saying "I've wanted to do that my whole life!". This is the same line that Doc Brown delivers after he pulls the blow horn multiple times as well.
  • There is a flux capacitor in the cab of the locomotive.
  • When Santa is flying, when he tilted up he dissapeared, sparks were left, acting as the flying DeLorean Fire Trails

Problem Child 2 (1991)

  • When Junior Healy arrives at his sixth grade class, his homeroom teacher Mr. Thorn (played by James Tolkan) is seen writing rules on the blackboard, and at the bottom it says, "No Slackers." Tolkan, who played Mr. Strickland in the Back to the Future series, was fond of calling both Marty and other young men "slackers".

Rango (2011)

  • Rango enters a saloon and is laughed at when he asks for water. In Back to the Future Part III, Marty McFly also enters a saloon asks for water and is jeered.

Ready Player One (2018)

  • In the OASIS, the DeLorean time machine is the main vehicle of the main character, Parzival, and has a major appearance in the whole movie. Parzival's DeLorean is fitted with the KITT Scanner and AI from the Knight Rider show. Though Parzival's DeLorean can hover above the ground, it has the regular plutonium chamber and not the Mr. Fusion. In the film, Parzival drives the car during the race for the First Key, and during the battle on Planet Doom. The car's windshield is damaged during the battle, after Art3mis falls through it. During battle, the DeLorean is totaled by Nolan Sorrento's Mechagodzilla.
  • Before Art3mis leaves Aech's workshop, she says to Parzival "I'll wave to you from the finish line, McFly".
  • Doc Brown appears in the OASIS by wearing his Back to the Future Part II outfit.
  • Marty's hoverboard appears in Aech's workshop, when Parzival tries out different outfits for his date with Art3mis.
  • When Parzival is chosing outfits for his date with Art3mis, a Mayor Goldie Wilson re-election poster appears when Parzival admires himself in the mirror.
  • Also, when Parzival is trying on different outfits, the time circuits are hanging on the wall in the background.
  • The Zemeckis Cube (a Rubik's Cube-esque device, which turns back time 30 seconds) is named after Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis.
  • Alan Silvestri composed the score for this film. Silvestri referenced the music of Back to the Future in the score of Ready Player One.
  • Ready Player One was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, who also served as executive producer for all three Back to the Future films.
  • A promotional poster for Ready Player One is a parody of the theatrical poster of Back to the Future. On this poster, Parzival copies Marty's pose, the Ready Player One logo is in the style of the Back to the Future logo and the tagline reads "He thought life would never go his way... He thought games were his only escape... He's about to find out...a better reality awaits."

Gallery

Recycle This! (1990)

In this spoofy show, which was performed live in various schools across the USA and shot on video for additional educational use, there's a segment titled "Forward From the Past Part XII" in which Doc (Matt Miller) and Artie (Phil Johnson) find themselves in a future littered with waste that could have been recycled. The segment begins with a mock-up of the iconic logo, underscored by Back in Time and featuring a DeLorean streaking across the screen.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

  • A sequence in this movie is very similar to Back to the Future Part II, but also harkens to It's A Wonderful Life. When Jack Frost tricks Scott into wishing he was never Santa Claus, by holding on to his snowglobe, they both travel back in time 12 years, to the point where Scott killed the last Santa and put on his suit. Jack Frost then becomes the one that distracts the Santa and takes his suit instead, vanishing. Suddenly, Scott is teleported back to the present, but as his old self in a suit and tie, talking to a business associate. His ex-wife no longer talks to him, his son disowns him, and the man who married his wife is now divorced. Scott then finds that the North Pole has been transformed by Jack Frost (now Santa Claus) into a theme park, marketing Christmas for everyone's money (similar to Biff's machinations). After Scott tricks Jack Frost into holding the snowglobe and playing a recording of "I wish I never was Santa Claus", they both return to 12 years prior again. This time, Scott holds back Jack preventing him from stealing the suit, which Scott's younger self finds and wears. After younger Scott takes off in Santa's sleigh, both future Scott and Jack disappear back to the present. When Scott returns as Santa, everything is back to normal.

Teen Wolf (1985)

  • Scott Howard (played by Michael J. Fox) lives in the same house (at 1727 Bushnell Street in Pasadena, California) where the Baines family lived in Back to the Future. The scene where Scott is standing atop the "Wolfmobile" is the same street where Marty would later be hit by Sam Baines's car. Although both films used the same location, the interior of the houses is different.
  • Teen Wolf was actually completed before Back to the Future but shelved for several months before release. This led fans of Michael J. Fox to wonder why he would star in a lower-budget film, not knowing that Back to the Future was shot after Teen Wolf wrapped. The producers of Teen Wolf took advantage of Back to the Future's fame, and the movie posters remarked "he's back from the future" (which would interestingly foreshadow one of the famous quotes from Back to the Future Part II). Fox's character of Scott Howard was even renamed Marty in the Italian language version to capitalize on the huge ticket sales of Back to the Future in Italy.

Tomorrowland (2015)

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The Blast from the Past shop seen in Tomorrowland.

  • In this movie, when Casey Newton tries to fix her Tomorrowland pin, she visits a memorabilia store called Blast from the Past. In Back to the Future Part II, the antique shop where Marty purchases the sports almanac is also called Blast from the Past. The shop is later on destroyed in the film, after its owners (revealed to be androids) self-destruct.

Toy Story (1995)

  • On two occasions in this movie, Rex quotes George McFly, by saying "I don't think I could take that kind of rejection!" and "I don't like confrontations!".

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Yogi Bear (2010)

  • In a scene where Yogi points towards the camera, he says "break the barrier of picnic," this may be a reference to Doc Brown saying "Next Saturday night, we're sending you back to the future!"
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