Needles's gang

Needles and his gang.

"Before Marty could answer [Jennifer's question as whether her dream about the future was just that], a souped-up red racing truck pulled up next to them [at the traffic light]. Jennifer looked over, and saw the truck was full of guys from their high school."
—From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 208)

Needles' gang were a group led by Douglas J. Needles in 1985.


The gang consisted of three unnamed guys from Hill Valley High School

The gang played as The Tabascos in the Battle of the Bands. In 1982, Needles needed an interocitor tube for his guitar amplifier so that his band could play. He bullied Marty McFly to get one, taking his guitar as ransom until Marty could get him a new tube.

On October 27, the gang rolled up to Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker in Marty's Toyota Hilux at a red traffic light, and dared him to drag race against them. As they sped off when the light changed to green, Marty put his truck in in reverse and watched as Needles' truck nearly collided with a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I that had just pulled out of a side street. By electing not to race against Needles, Marty averted an event that had been ruinous in another timeline.

One of the boys in the gang, who was in the truck's passenger seat, resembled Stubble, and may well have been his great-great-grandson. Another boy, in the back of the truck, looked like Skinhead, although he had long hair instead of a crewcut, and quite possibly could have been his son. The other boy in the back of the truck resembled Rafe "Data" Unger, and may well have been his father in 2015. (See Behind the scenes below.)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Each of the three actors who accompanied Needles had each portrayed a Tannen gang henchman in another era during each of Marty's travels in time. They were billed in the closing credits of Back to the Future Part III as 'Needles' Gang Member #1', 'Needles' Gang Member #2' and 'Needles' Gang Member #3', which is how they will be referred to in the following identifying info:
    • Needles' Gang Member #1 (in the truck's passenger seat) was played by Christopher Wynne, who had also played Stubble, a member of Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen's gang in 1885.
    • Needles' Gang Member #2 (in the back of the truck, and wearing an athlete's jacket) was played by J.J. Cohen, who had played Skinhead, a member of Biff Tannen's gang in 1955 and 1985A.
    • Needles' Gang Member #3 (also in the back of the truck) was played by Ricky Dean Logan, who had played Rafe "Data" Unger, a member of Griff Tannen's gang in 2015.
  • In the novelization (see Quote above), there is no mention at all of the three members of Needles' gang resembling Tannen gang henchmen from the different eras to which Marty has traveled in the now destroyed DeLorean time machine. They are referred to simply as "guys from their [Marty and Jennifer's] high school".