- "On Marty's right [at the dinner table] was dear old Mom, who was once very attractive and bright. Now, at forty-seven, she was overweight, drank more than was good for her and had more food on her plate than anyone else."
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 34)
- "Your father kissed me for the very first time on that dance floor."
- —Lorraine to Marty and Linda
- "Biff! Leave him ALONE! Let him go! Let him go!"
- —Lorraine furiously trying to help George McFly, by attempting to pry an attacking Biff off the latter.
Lorraine Baines McFly is the mother of Dave, Linda and Marty McFly and the wife of George McFly. Lorraine liked the attention of boys when she was in school, and lots of them were attracted to her, including both George McFly and Biff Tannen. Lorraine was not afraid to get what she wanted and often parked in cars with them. Lorraine could stand up for herself and the people she cared about, yet despite this she liked her men to be strong and able to protect her. She liked thinking back to the "old days", often telling the story of how she originally met and fell in love with George. Lorraine liked to play tennis with her husband and they have been tennis club champions for the past six years by 1985. Lorraine's best friends at school were Betty and Babs, and she could often be found in Lou's Cafe gossiping with them.
Lorraine Baines was born in 1938 in Hill Valley, California, the eldest child of Sam and Stella Baines. She had five younger siblings: Milton (born 1943), Sally (born 1949), Toby (born 1951), Joey (born 1954), and Ellen (born 1956).
When Lorraine was in elementary school, she witnessed Biff Tannen punching George McFly, and told a teacher, Miss Hodges, about it. She threatened to send him to a military school in Idaho, but a young teacher named Stanford S. Strickland intervened. He believed that Biff could be reached with understanding and guidance, but he was proven wrong and later became a very hardened and strict discipliner.
Little else is known about Lorraine's life prior to 1955. What is known is that she had been smoking and drinking for a while, and had "parked" in cars with several boys. As such, George was probably not her first boyfriend, Lorraine also caught the attention of local bully Biff Tannen but she never took a liking to him.
Original 1955 to 1985
Lorraine originally met George McFly on November 5, 1955, when her father Sam Baines almost ran him over with his car. She felt sorry for him, before falling in love with him. They had their first date a week later at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance at school, which happened the same day as the famous Hill Valley Thunderstorm. Lorraine originally had an addiction to alcohol, which she developed as a teenager and carried into her adulthood.
Lorraine and George married on December 7, 1958, and moved into Lyon Estates where they had three kids, Dave in 1963, Linda in 1965 and Marty in 1968. By 1985, she was depressed at how her husband could not stand up for her or himself infront of people like Biff, she had also turned to tobacco smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages on an everyday habit. She would always tell her children not to park in cars with members of the opposite sex, under the false pretense that she never did that when she was their age.
Her life changed in 1955 when "Calvin Klein" showed up in town. Unaware it was her future son Marty, who had traveled back in time in the DeLorean time machine and had accidentally interfered with her first meeting with George, as Marty had pushed George out of the way of her father's car and George ran away with his bike. She developed a crush on him. Marty knew he had to get his parents together to prevent himself, as well as his elder siblings, from being erased from existence.
- "He's an absolute dream!"
- —Lorraine Baines about Calvin Klein (Marty)
After finding out that Lorraine wanted a man who would stand up for her and protect her, these being qualities which George lacked, he came up with a plan where he would pretend to take advantage of Lorraine at the Dance, and the wimpy George would "rescue" her from him. Marty was shocked when he found that Lorraine liked parking in cars with boys as, in 1985, Lorraine had told him that she found it terrible when girls did so. Lorraine noticed that Marty was nervous and told him not to be in the situation of dating. Lorraine then kisses him incestuously, much to Marty's shock. However, Lorraine stops kissing him on the sudden realization that the kiss somehow felt wrong. While still unaware of who Marty truly was, Lorraine said that it did not make sense and it felt as if she was kissing one of the men of her family, such as her grandfather or one of her brothers. Marty clarifies her reasons of the kiss feeling wrong, assuring her that his feelings for her are purely platonic. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Biff Tannen showed up instead and tried to force his affection on Lorraine. Biff's underlings overpowered Marty, hitting him then forcing him into the trunk of a car. Immediately afterwards, George arrived, and delivered his rehearsed lines for Marty not to get fresh. George was then shocked that the faked rescue had become real. Biff ordered George to beat it. George was about to do so, but momentarily remembered a lesson in "standing tall" from a soda jerk at Lou's Cafe. George then stated (albeit shakily) "No Biff, you beat it. You leave her alone!" This enraged Biff to the point he then grabbed George's left hand. After initially being overpowered, George's grimace of pain turned to one of anger when he saw a laughing Biff knock Lorraine to the ground when she tried to help him. An enraged George clenched his free hand into a fist, then bashed Biff in the face, knocking him out, and Lorraine fell in love with the newly-confident George. They kissed for the first time that night and history was back on track. By 1985, she was much healthier and happier than she had been in the original 1985.
By 2015, Lorraine was still happily married to George after more than 50 years. The couple have now retired and appear to be quite wealthy, possibly due to George's writing career taking off after 1985. Like most mothers, Lorraine still worried about her children even when they were adults and left home. By 2015, Marty was stuck in a dead-end job at CusCo and was having marriage problems with his wife Jennifer, and Lorraine wanted to make sure everything was okay.
As much as she loved her son though, she felt that his life could have turned out much better and wondered to her granddaughter Marlene if Jennifer married Marty because she felt sorry for him. Ironically, this was why she fell in love with and married George in the unaltered timeline. She blamed a car accident on October 27, 1985 for making Marty's life the way it was, as he broke his hand in the accident and was left unable to play the guitar again.
A third version of Lorraine was created in an alternate 1985 after Biff Tannen had received a sports almanac on November 12, 1955 from his 2015 self (who had "borrowed" the time machine to deliver it to his younger counterpart), and had become rich from betting on sports events. Biff had secretly murdered George on March 15, 1973, though the exact circumstances are not revealed. Biff and Lorraine married soon thereafter, and a likely theory assumed is that Lorraine only married him because he could provide for her children. (Ironically, in 1955, Lorraine told off Biff by saying she would never marry him, not even if he had a million dollars. However, her transition later in life from a carefree teenager to a destitute widow with children caused her to rethink that.)
By 1985, Lorraine was still unaware that it was Biff who had murdered George. The marriage was a living hell. Lorraine missed George every day and was often verbally and physically abused by Biff. She was usually alone as her children were sent to boarding schools, and she was living mostly by herself on the 27th floor of their casino hotel, built on top of the Courthouse, and had succumbed to alcoholism (as in the original timeline) to cope with the stress. However, her alcoholism was somewhat limited by the relative poverty of being married to George in the original timeline, whereas in this timeline Biff could afford to buy her an unlimited supply of liquor, which he supplied (likely to placate her nagging). Lorraine also had breast implants, which Biff had forced her into getting. It was unknown if Biff also forced Lorraine to dye her hair blonde like his prior two wives, or if she wanted a change. Marty, however, noticed his mother had an overall unnatural appearance, with her bleached blonde hair and jumbo boobs, and in particular that alcohol had affected her face even more adversely than it had in the original timeline.
Lorraine had tried on numerous occasions to leave Biff, but stayed with him purely so her children would not suffer. Biff often threatened to cut them off or to withdraw his immense political clout, forcing the kids to own up to their own lives; in the case of Dave, would have his probation revoked for some scrape with the law, in the case of Linda, having all her credit cards repossessed and that she would be on her own to pay her debts. Biff did not know how to scare Marty, but threatened that he would send all three of the kids to be imprisoned with her brother: "one big happy jailbird family". This was enough to cow Lorraine into not leaving Biff.
In 1986, Marty, who had been in Switzerland, returned to Hill Valley, and was contacted by Dr. Emmett Brown. Using a prototype time machine, they enacted a plan to trick Biff into causing his own demise by sending him back to 1884 and get shot by his great-grandfather Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen upon returning to the present. Now that Biff's reign of terror was finally over, Lorraine and the other citizens of Hill Valley hoped for a brighter future by using his massive wealth to put Hill Valley on the right track by shutting down the casino hotel, the museum, biffco toxic waste plants, bars, strip/nightclubs, sex shops, and porn theaters and turning them into regular/pure businesses. Lorraine also makes sure that Goldie Wilson becomes the mayor of Hill Valley.
Luckily, Marty and Doc went back to 1955 and stopped Biff from using the almanac, with Marty burning the book so that the 1985A timeline would never happen in the first place. When Marty managed to avoid the car accident in 1985, the future of the entire McFly family became a lot happier.
A version of Lorraine is heard but not seen in Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 2: Get Tannen!, during yet another compromised timeline which the Tannens reign supreme. Marty at first fails to convince her and her husband that he is indeed their son, as, in that timeline, he was run out of town. After Marty convinces Lorraine of a facet of his childhood, she accepts him as Marty and implores her handicapped husband to admit Marty to the McFly residence. The McFly residence, like most houses in Hill Valley, have heavy home security systems and have seen better days. Like the 1985A of the films, this Hill Valley is in a state of anarchy, with the Tannen Crime Family, which includes Biff and two new brothers as well as a never-jailed Kid Tannen, as the de facto leadership. However, lacking the future gambling knowledge of 1985A, Biff Tannen is poorer and appears to not be much better off than most of the frightened natives of the poverty-blighted high-crime community, save for his crime connections. Biff is also less bold, but still vicious. Biff enacts his revenge on George by way of a severe mafia beating rather than outright murder, but does not pine for Lorraine in this timeline, as he accepts that Lorraine married George, albeit in a twisted way.
Marty met her while she was driving into the Courthouse Square and then spoke, learning much about the fate of their family in this timeline in the process. He subsequently described her as "gray". She remarked that her graying appearance was due to her husband's job, where he was a security officer and watching over her and everyone else in the town. She was polishing the statue of Citizen Brown in Courthouse Square. Much like the other timelines, she suffered from alcohol dependency. However, her drinking was limited as she had to be secretive in this case, hiding it in a hip flask as alcohol was forbidden in Hill Valley, and her husband was responsible for catching anyone using it (and likely did not appreciate her drinking on a personal level).
This version of Lorraine was barely different from the original timeline. As Doc Brown had yet to invent time travel, Lorraine met George as she had originally done. Their personalities were changed only to the extent that they lived in a repressive society which was controlling of peoples' conduct.
Behind the scenes
- Lorraine was originally called Eileen in the Back to the Future first draft screenplay.
- In a scene cut from the final version of Back to the Future Part II, Biff vanishes in 2015 after he returns in the time machine following his delivery of the fateful Grays Sports Almanac to his 1955 counterpart. It is speculated by Kirk Cameron in The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy that Biff is shot and killed by Lorraine "sometime in the mid 1990s" (presumably with the murder weapon used to kill George), thereby erasing his existence come 2015. This was suggested by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, although not mentioned in the film itself. In the finished film, as soon as the 2015 Biff disembarks from the DeLorean, he suddenly clutches his chest in pain and doubles over, breaking off the top of his cane, then staggers away and slumps to the ground behind another parked car — although due to Zemeckis and Gale's suggestion, Biff appeared to have the same symptoms as Marty when he was fading from existence in the first film.
- Harold McFly (medieval ancestor-in-law)
- Jennivere McFly (medieval ancestor-in-law)
- Martin McFly (great-granduncle-in-law)
- Seamus McFly (great-grandfather-in-law)
- Maggie McFly (great-grandmother-in-law)
- Pee Wee McFly (fifth-cousin-twice-removed-in-law)
- William McFly (grandfather-in-law)
- Arthur McFly (father-in-law)
- Sylvia McFly (mother-in-law)
- Sam Baines (father)
- Stella Baines (mother)
- Milton Baines (brother)
- Sally Baines (sister)
- Toby Baines (brother)
- Joey Baines (brother)
- Ellen Baines (sister)
- George McFly (husband)
- Dave McFly (son)
- Linda McFly (daughter)
- Marty McFly (son)
- Jennifer Parker (daughter-in-law)
- Marlene McFly (granddaughter)
- Marty McFly Jr. (grandson)
- Marta McFly (great-great-granddaughter)
- Biff Tannen (husband in alternate universe)
- Back to the Future
- Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future Part III
- Back to the Future novelizations
- Back to the Future: The Story
- Back to the Future (video game)
- Back to the Future: The Pinball
- Super Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future: The Card Game (Mentioned only)
- Back to the Future: The Game
- Back to the Future (IDW Publishing)
- Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines 3
- Back to the Future: Continuum Conundrum
- Back to the Future: Who Is Marty McFly?
- Back to the Future: Citizen Brown
- Back to the Future: Biff to the Future
Notes and references
|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