Otis peabody
Otis Peabody
Biographical information
Date of birth1910[1]
Age (1885)Not yet born
Age (1931)21
Age (1955)45
Age (1985)75
Age (2015)105 (most likely deceased)
Physical description
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Behind-the-scenes information
Played byWill Hare
"It looks like an airplane — without wings."
—Otis Peabody comments on the DeLorean time machine
" Marty, his vision blocked by the hood's limited field, walked toward the three people in front of him, oblivious to Pa Peabody. As he moved forward, he reached up to take off the hood. / "Look out, Pa!" Sherman shouted. "He's going for something!" / "Take this, you mutated son of a bitch!" Pa yelled, squeezing the trigger of the shotgun. / A spray of buckshot whizzed past Marty's ear, cracking into the barn wall behind him. / Undeterred but still quite nervous, Pa squeezed off a second shot. It kicked up dirt in front of the creature, missing clearly, but caused it to turn and race back into the barn. / Comforted by the fact that the alien experienced fear, Pa broke the shotgun and started reloading. Moving cautiously forward, he looked into the barn. "
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 74)

Otis Peabody was the "Old Man Peabody" referred to by Dr. Emmett Brown in 1985 while on the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall.


Early Life[]

Otis Peabody was born in 1910, to the Peabody family and was raised in "Peabody Farms"[2], he married Elsie Peabody in 1938, and had two kids: Martha (born 1941) and Sherman Peabody (born 1944).

Otis was the owner of a farm which he planned to convert into a ranch for breeding pine trees in the 1950s. This plan was never fully realized, as the land was later sold and developed into the mall. Otis was regarded as a bit crazy for this idea. The Twins Pines mall was named in honor of this dream, after the two pine trees he started off with.

History Rewritten[]

On the morning of November 5, 1955, Peabody's son Sherman, who read science fiction magazines, mistook the DeLorean time machine for a hostile craft from outer space. Peabody, along with his wife Elsie and daughter Martha, were convinced that they were under attack. Otis fled back inside, grabbed a shotgun and promptly fired at Marty, under the impression that he was an alien disguised as a human.


November 6, 1955

Marty McFly escaped from the ranch in the DeLorean, inadvertently destroying one of Otis's two prize saplings with which he had hoped to start his pine breeding ranch. After destroying his mailbox while firing after the car, Peabody reported it to the police, who believed him to be insane and sent him to the County Asylum the next day.

Eventually, his children leased the land to a real estate developer to build a mall. The mall ended up being named the "Lone Pine Mall" in the revised timeline, in honor of Otis's original dream.

Before being converted into a ranch for breeding pine trees, the ranch was apparently a regular farm. In Back to the Future: The Game by Telltale Games, a crate marked "Peabody Farms" can be seen in the flatbed of a truck driven by young Emmett Brown in the year 1931. Another crate, or possibly even the same one, could be seen at Doc's garage sale in the year 1986.

Behind the scenes[]

Peabody and policeman near Lyon Estates billboard

Otis Peabody meets a police officer near the Lyon Estates billboard.

BTTF2- Doc, Peabody & Policeman

In a deleted scene from Back to the Future Part II, Otis Peabody and a policeman confront Doc Brown.

  • The names Peabody and Sherman are used in a cartoon that was part of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. There was an anthropomorphic canine professor named Peabody, and a young ward of his named Sherman who traveled into the past via a time machine of Peabody's design known as the "WABAC Machine". The premise of the series consisted of the duo going back in time to discover the comical "real" situation behind famous events in history. Often they had to assist famous historical figures in order to keep history on track. They also sometimes explained Aesop's fables. Each adventure ended in the trademark Rocky and Bullwinkle-style pun. The naming of the characters as Peabody and Sherman is likely a nod to these cartoon characters, due to their association with time travel fiction.
  • In a deleted scene from Back to the Future Part II, which was reinstated by Craig Shaw Gardner for the novelization, after having narrowly avoided coming face-to-face with his younger 1955 self in Courthouse Square, Doc came across Peabody and a police officer near the Lyon Estates billboard where the DeLorean time machine is hidden.
  • Mr. Peabody's first name is not mentioned in the film. In the closing credits, he is listed as "Pa Peabody".
  • Originally, Mr. Peabody was to reappear in the first draft of the second movie, where his name is finally given as Otis. This time, Marty and Doc travel back to September 20, 1967, the day he is finally released from the county asylum, as Elsie (named Maybelle in the draft) drives him home in their truck from the asylum. Otis and Maybelle would then witness the DeLorean descending from the sky, landing in front of the barn and driving in, upon which they speed away in the truck. Later, they return to the farm, Maybelle saying they should report it to the police, to which Otis agrees but decides to "disable" the DeLorean first so it wouldn't go away - by shooting at the DeLorean with the shotgun, destroying Mr. Fusion in process, causing it to emit sparks and smoke. It wakes up Dr. Brown, who is sleeping in the DeLorean's front seat, and he opens the car's gullwing door, which scares Otis and Maybelle and they flee again. Otis and Maybelle then reappear near the end, as they're camping out at the canyon floor in a tent by the campfire, just as Marty and Doc are attempting to travel back to 1985 by hooking the DeLorean to power lines above the canyon. Otis and Maybelle witness the flaming trails and sparks, and then notice a knapsack that Marty had thrown out of the DeLorean. Otis then opens the knapsack, finds Grays Sports Almanac there and flips through it, but finds it boring: "Numbers. A whole lotta numbers." and throws it into the campfire, but keeps the knapsack. In 1985, just as a tour group is at the Canyon Museum, looking at the DeLorean's door Marty removed earlier from the car, Otis appears again, now 75 and using a cane, introduced by the tour guide as a "noted UFO expert and discoverer of the door". It is then revealed that he wrote a book "Trash Dumps of the Gods" based on the encounter. Just as he is about to explain what he witnessed back in 1967, he sees the flying DeLorean without the door heading back towards Hill Valley through the window behind the tour group, and cuts his explanation short: "Of course, that's just a theory. Next question?"