THUMB ep 14
"Mac the Black"

Back to the Future: The Animated Series




1 (14 in series)


John Loy and John Ludin


John Hays


September 19, 1992

Episode chronology
Previous episode

"Clara's Folks"

Next episode

"Put on Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time for Mr. Wisdom!"

"Mac the Black" is the first episode and season premiere of second season of Back to the Future: The Animated Series, and the fourteenth episode overall. It aired on September 19, 1992.

Brief synopsis[]

When Marty lies to Jennifer about the concert, Verne wants to get an earring, but Doc and Clara forbid it. Marty later accompanies Verne on a trip to the Caribbean in 1697 in a quest to get an earring. Though when seeking the attention of the ladies, Marty ends up telling everyone he is the famous pirate Mac the Black and things only become worse when the real Mac the Black finds the impostor. Marty and Verne must now find a way back to the future before Mac and his gang of pirates chop them into shark bait. At Jennifer's house, Marty apologizes and tells the truth to Jennifer.


  • This episode contained a Back to the Facts segment:
    • "The dollar sign is actually a modification of the number 8 which was stamped on the Spanish coins known as 'pieces of eight'... and now, Back to the Future!"
  • As with all of the animated series episodes, Christopher Lloyd, as Doc Brown, would introduce each one as a story, to be recounted in animated form. The opener to "Mac the Black": "At one time, my son Verne wanted to be a pirate. But what he really wanted was an earring... or was it a tattoo? This one's a bit complicated, so I'll let Marty explain it."
  • Cartoon elements - Produced and directed by BTTF co-creator Bob Gale, the series combined clever writing, a faithfulness to the characters, and lessons in science and history... and, in the retelling of a story to children, things that could happen only in a cartoon. After Doc getting compressed into a glass container by a malfunctioning canning machine, he comments, "THAT was a jarring experience!". Verne runs up the side of the mast and into the crow's nest and exclaims "Wow! I thought you could only do that in cartoons!" And a cannonball shot straight up into the air comes back down a full minute later, sinking the pirate ship in seconds.
  • With the help of Bill Nye, Doc demonstrates a homemade cannon using a 2-liter container, a cork, and diluted vinegar and baking soda to produce carbon dioxide.
  • No Tannens appear in this episode. As this is the first episode of the second season, you don't even see Biff in the closing segment.
  • As of this episode Clara undergo a character change as her appearance became more feminist with a face change.


(Clara forbids her son from getting an earring)

Verne: "But if I get an earring, the cool kids will stop making fun of my coonskin cap!"
Jules: "Why don't you cease wearing the coonskin cap?"
Verne: "Are you kidding? All the cool kids love it!"

(Verne reconsiders having his ear pierced, as the tattoo artists brings out a chisel and a mallet)

Verne: "Is this earring going to hurt?"
Man: "No. But your ear will."
"Attention all shoppers! Big sail on pirates!"
—Marty cuts the ropes to the ship's sail


By type
Characters Creatures Events Locations
Organizations and titles Vehicles Weapons and technology Miscellanea



Organizations and titles

  • Spanish Navy (First appearance)


Weapons and technology

  • Automatic hair washer (First appearance)
  • Automatic tooth brusher (First appearance)
  • Automatic tomato canner (First appearance)
  • Television
  • Cannon (First appearance)
  • Cannonball (First appearance)


  • 1697 (First appearance)
  • Accordion (First appearance)
  • Barrel
  • Barrel of gunpowder (First appearance)
  • Diamond (First mentioned)
  • Earring (First appearance)
  • Gesundheit (First appearance)
  • Gold (First mentioned)
  • Husband's dirty socks (First appearance)
  • Landlubber (First appearance)
  • Number 2 washer (First appearance)
  • Pair of size 8 1/2 boots (First appearance)
  • Pieces of eight (First mentioned)
  • Scalliwag (First appearance)
  • Tattoo (First appearance)
  • Telescope
  • Wench (First appearance)