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THUMB ep 23
"My Pop's an Alien"

Back to the Future: The Animated Series




10 (23 in series)

Guest star(s)

Joe Alaskey, Brian Michell, Carlos Carrasco, Linda Gary, Paige Gosney, Billy O'Sullivan, Deb Lacusta, Johna Stewart, Conan McCarty, Benji Gregory, Arthur Burghardt, Dustin Morgan, Anndi McAfee, Susan Silo, Adrienne Alexander


Mark Hoffmeier (story)
Mary Jo Ludin


December 5, 1992

Episode chronology
Previous episode

"Hill Valley Brown-Out"

Next episode

"Super Doc"

"My Pop's an Alien" is tenth episode of the second season of Back to the Future: The Animated Series, and the twenty-third episode overall. It first aired on December 5, 1992.

Brief synopsis[]

Marty does his parallel parking on the DeLorean time machine outside the store that Jules and Verne Brown are in. As the Comet Kahooey is about to pass the Earth's orbit, Biff declares that aliens are coming and causes the residents of Hill Valley to panic. Biff finds a "space craft" behind Doc's oleander bushes — an alien craft he recognizes from 25 years earlier and the last time comet Kahooey appeared. Biff has the military, police and assorted agencies believing that Doc is an alien. With Doc in serious trouble, Marty, Jules and Verne travel back to 1967 to straighten out the mess. Marty and the boys find that Doc has built a flying craft to view the comet and that Biff has mistaken it for an alien space ship. When Marty, Jules, and Verne appear in beekeeper suits and the DeLorean while confronting him, they make Biff promise that he won't say anything about the "visit" from the aliens — now and in the future. Biff promises and Marty, Jules and Verne head back into the future in 1992, early 1993. When they arrive, Doc is fine and Biff is trying to peddle some cheesy "alien" souvenirs without much luck.



"192 dollars?!? That's my allowance for the next... (long pause while counting) a long time!"
—Verne to Wally
"Sorry about your ship, Doctor Brown."
—Marty to 1967 Doc, mirroring what he said upon crashing into the Peabody family's barn
"You do sorta look like that J. Michael Fox guy."
—Verne to Marty
Jules as alien: "We wish to study the least intelligent creature on Earth."
Biff: "No.. no.. there's gotta be somebody dumber than me. In school, I got a F plus."
Verne: "We're gonna use your brain for a very small pencil eraser."
— Interrogation by Marty, Jules, and Verne

Behind the scenes[]

  • The episode is inconsistent with the continuity established in the films.
    • When Marty, Jules, and Verne travel to 1967, they see Doc jump out of his "spaceship" and towards his mansion. However, the mansion had burned down in 1962, and Doc had then sold most of the land to developers, as shown by newspaper clippings visible in the opening moments of the film Back to the Future.
    • In the film, Doc noted that it had taken his entire family fortune to build the time machine. Not only is the rebuilding of the mansion inconsistent with spending all of his spare time and money to realize the vision of time travel, so too is the construction of a spaceship capable of ascending into orbit.
      • Also in "The Doc Who Never Was", it is established that Doc put all of his energy into inventing time travel after he sent Marty back to 1985 from 1955. In the new timeline, Doc had already invented time travel in the form of the temporal field capacitor in 1962, and had built an improved version, the temporal field generator Mk II prior to 1985. Since he's ahead of schedule in inventing time travel, and knows that he'll be successful, it's possible that he's willing to spend his remaining money on something other than inventing a time machine in this timeline.
    • As Marty, Jules, and Verne leave 1967, the clock on the Courthouse can be seen moving, however according to the films, after November 12, 1955, it would never move again.
    • Since Marty, Jules, and Verne arrive in 1967, 12 years after Doc helps Marty get back to 1985 in the movie trilogy, Doc should have recognized Marty.
      • Doc has a history of not believing what he sees. When he saw Marty return in 1955 after he had sent him back to the future, he refused to believe that he was there, even though saw Marty with his own eyes, and even talked to him. He wouldn't listen to reason until Marty convinced him that he really was there by giving him the letter that he wrote for Marty in 1855. Since Marty never admitted who he was in 1967, Doc was able to successfully refuse to believe what his eyes were seeing.
  • Marty, Jules and Verne pretend to be aliens in order to manipulate Biff, an homage to the "Darth Vader" scene in the original film.
  • An earlier draft of the script for the first film called for Marty to pose as an alien to scare Biff, rather than George. And the original draft for the script to Part II, had Marty going to Hill Valley in the year 1967 in order to prevent Biff from causing problems in the present.
  • "Comet Kahooey" is likely a humorous takeoff of the name of Comet Kohoutek, which approached Earth in 1973. Predictions, by some scientists, that Kohoutek would be brighter than the 1910 Halley's Comet, were spectacularly wrong.
  • The time display is not shown in the episode, although Marty has chosen to go to 1967 because Biff says that he saw the alien "25 years ago". The episode was first broadcast in 1992, which was 25 years after 1967.
  • Doc accesses Section O of the Video Encyclopedia for Optical Illusions.

Dramatis personae[]

New continuity[]

New individuals[]

  • Aliens signholder
  • Barney (First appearance)
  • Michael J. Fox (Mentioned only)
  • Hairdresser and Hairdresser customer
  • News reporter
  • Elderly man at bus stop
  • Magnetized dog
  • Manhole worker
  • Man mailing letter
  • People at newsstand
  • Pet shop owner
  • Rich tea drinkers
  • Rioting Hill Valleyans
  • William Shatner (Mentioned only)
  • Shriners
  • Wally

New locations[]

  • 24 hour Bike Hut
  • Alaska (Mentioned only)
  • Biff's alien souvenir stand
  • Bus stop
  • Newsstand
  • Jupiter and Mars (Mentioned only)
  • North Pole (Mentioned only)
  • Pet shop
  • Swamp
  • Wally's World of Wonderment
  • VFW Post No.
  • Yogurt shop

1967 locations[]

  • Bookstore
  • Coffee shop
  • Doughnut shop
  • Fish store

New years[]

New organizations[]

  • Air Force (Mentioned only)
  • National Guard

New technology[]

  • Doc's flying observatory
  • Doc's tractor
  • "Galaxy Viewfinder 500"
  • Hill Valley Bus
  • Megascreen television
  • Street light
  • Telescope
  • Telescope hat

New objects[]

  • Aliens Who I Have Known and Loved
  • Comet Kahooey
  • Fish
  • Jupiter juice
  • Magnetized car
  • Mailbox
  • Monster truck
  • Popcorn (Live-action)

New society and culture[]

  • Alien
  • Flattops
  • Hippie, mistaken for an alien
  • Iron Butterfly
  • Monster Teletheater
  • Parallel parking (with the DeLorean)
  • Regular or unleaded
  • Shanghaied into outer space
  • Spaceship
  • War of the Worlds (Live-action)

New slang and phrases[]

  • Cross my heart and hope to live
  • Geez it!
  • Holy Baloney!
  • Jarhead
  • Jiminy Christmas
  • May the Force Be With You