Red the Bum
Biographical information
Date of birth1920s
Age (1931)10s or younger
Age (1955)30s
Age (1985)60s
Age (2015)90s
Physical description
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Behind-the-scenes information
Played byGeorge Buck Flower
"Crazy drunk driver..."

Red was a street bum who resided in downtown Hill Valley in 1985, and was known to spend the night listening to the radio while lying on a bus stop bench with an advertisement for California raisins on it.


On October 26, 1985, after Marty McFly drove back to his present day in the DeLorean time machine and crashed into the Assembly of Christ, Red woke up, saw this and commented on him being a "crazy drunk driver". Marty apparently knew him, as he addressed him by name when he saw him.

In the alternate reality where Biff Tannen traveled from 2015 to 1955 to make his younger self rich, Red was still a bum. After Marty ran into Red, Red commented "crazy drunk pedestrian."

The Hill Valley Telegraph reported on Red's arrest in 1973A.

In 1973, Biff used the fact that Red was a bum to his advantage. He had one of the members of the Hill Valley Police Department, which he owned in this ABC timeline, plant George McFly's wallet on Red. This made it look like Red had killed George in the alley, rather than Biff.

By 1985, Red was again on a bench as a street bum. In this alternate reality, Marty bumped into him outside a nightclub (named Sin) and Red, not recognizing him, yelled "Watch where you're goin', crazy drunk pedestrian!!"

By 1986, in the timeline where Dr. Emmett Brown built a second DeLorean time machine, Red stayed in the Hill Valley Public Library during business hours.

Behind the scenes

  • It is disputed whether this is former mayor Red Thomas, but has been generally accepted that he is not. According to Bob Gale's commentary on the Back to the Future DVD set, the name of the bum was ad-libbed by Michael J. Fox. Gale also commented that the photo of the mayor in 1955 on the side of the campaign van was that of set decorator Hal Gausman, whereas the bum was played by George Buck Flower.