Sam Baines
Biographical information
Date of birth1910
Age (1885)Not yet born
Age (1925)15
Age (1931)21
Age (1955)45
Age (1985)75
Age (2015)105 (Deceased)
Age (2045)135 (Deceased)
Physical description
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Behind-the-scenes information
Played byGeorge DiCenzo
"They [Stella, Lorraine and Marty] entered the living room, where four children and Sam Baines, Marty's future grandfather, were relaxing. Sam, a gruff man of forty-five, stood next to the black and white television set, adjusting the rabbit ears. He didn't look their way until the picture locked in."
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 104)
" "Oh, don't mind him," Stella said. "He's just in one of his moods." She started to lead Marty towards the dining room, calling back to Sam over her shoulder. "Quit fiddling with that thing. It's time for dinner." / Sam, studiously ignoring her, continued adjusting the rabbit ears until the picture was completely unwatchable. "
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, pages 104 and 105)
"Lorraine, you ever have a kid who acts that way, I'll disown you."
—Sam Baines

Sam Baines was the husband of Stella Baines and the father of six children, including their oldest daughter, Lorraine. He is the maternal grandfather of Marty McFly.


Original Timeline[]

Sam Baines was born in 1910 to his father Albert Baines who had been a judge in the 1930s, and his unnamed mother in Hill Valley, California.

Sam married Stella Baines in the early 1930s and had six kids, Lorraine Baines (born 1938), Milton Baines (born 1943), Sally Baines (born 1949), Toby Baines (born 1951), Joey Baines (born 1954) and Ellen Baines (born 1956).

On November 5, 1955, Sam, while driving to his home, struck George McFly with his automobile. Apparently, it wasn't the first time as Sam mentioned that George was "another damn kid" who had jumped in front of his car. George had fallen from a tree limb while "birdwatching", landing in the middle of the street in front of Sam's car. Lorraine felt sorry for George as a result of the accident, and took him out to the Enchantment Under the Sea on the 12th. She eventually married him on December 7, 1958, giving Sam three grandchildren. One of Sam's grandchildren, Marty McFly, would travel back in time to 1955 and alter the events of that day. Sam, however, would be unaware that the "idiot" was one of his descendants. When Marty traveled to 1955, he was present as George fell in the path of Sam's car. Marty pushed George out of the way, and was himself struck by Sam's car.

Alternated Timeline[]

Thus, on the morning of November 5, 1955, Sam Baines was driving his Chevrolet Bel Air to his home, when two teenagers suddenly appeared in his path. Though it wasn't the first time that kids had run out in front of his vehicle, on this occasion, Sam was unable to stop soon enough. The car knocked down one of the kids. As Sam demanded, "Hey wait, wait a minute! Who are you?", the other teen ran off. The accident victim was unconscious, but did not appear to be injured. Sam called for Stella to help him take the kid in the house, and then went on to other errands that Saturday. Sam, a fan of Jackie Gleason, had made the decision to purchase a television set and a rolling stand  to place the set upon. He was assembling the stand that evening as Stella called the family together for dinner, and looked up to see that the kid was awake. "Sam, here's the young man you hit with your car out there," said Stella, "He's all right, thank God." Sam started interrogating their guest, who was oddly dressed and badly in need of a haircut; "What were you doing in the middle of the street, a kid your age?!" Before the kid could answer, Stella interrupted and said, "Don't pay any attention to him, he's in one of his moods," and told Sam to come to dinner.

With the stand assembled, Sam triumphantly rolled the television set over to the head of the table so that the family could watch TV while they ate. He was eating his meat loaf, drinking a beer, and following Jackie Gleason when he heard the young stranger ask where Riverside Drive was. When Sam gave some helpful directions, the kid started arguing with him, making smart aleck remarks that there was a street called "John F. Kennedy Drive". Irritated, Sam fired back, "Who the hell is 'John F. Kennedy?'" Lorraine changed the subject and began suggesting that the visitor should "spend the night", and Stella started to agree. Fortunately, the kid suddenly got up from the table, mumbled a thank you, and left. Stella commented that "He's a very strange young man." Sam had a stronger opinion: "He's an idiot." It wasn't entirely the kid's fault, of course. Sam knew of plenty of idiot parents who didn't care about the upbringing of their children, and he took the moment to remind his oldest child, Lorraine, that if she had children, they had better not "act that way". He also threatened Lorraine with disinheritance if she ever bore any children like that. Not knowing the full story of Marty McFly, Sam did not realize that Marty was of his own bloodline.

Sam was probably not pleased when the Klein kid — whose name was either "Calvin" or "Marty" — took Lorraine on a date to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance the following Saturday; and he probably was not surprised that a teenager like that left it to another boy to bring Lorraine home on time. Luckily, the idiot kid never asked Lorraine for a date again, and Lorraine's new boyfriend, George McFly, was more acceptable, as Sam presumably gave his blessing for George to marry Lorraine in later years.


Sam in 1972.

In 1972A, Sam and Stella were present when their daughter Lorraine was awarded the 1972 'Mother of the year' award. The event was being hosted at Biff Tannen's recently built mansion, and Sam voiced his regret for the fact that Lorraine had not married Biff and become rich. He lamented the fact that he had hit Calvin Klein with his car instead of Biff.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Marty's final on-screen remark to Sam, "I will see you later, much later", suggests that the entire family was still alive in 1985 and Marty was introduced to a younger version of his grandparents and his maternal aunts and uncles.
  • The part where Sam yells to his wife, Stella, after he hits Marty with his car was a reference to the 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Originally, Sam was to make another appearance in the early draft of the second movie, set in 1967, when Marty again has dinner with the Baines family. The script depicts him as a conservative parent in support of the Vietnam War and at odds with Lorraine over her involvement in the anti-war protests. Also, he chastises Ellen for eating too fast when she wants to see "Lost in Space" in 5 minutes, telling her that "we don't run our lives by television in this household", as opposed to having put the television set on rolling stand 12 years ago so that the family could watch Honeymooners while eating. After encountering his grandson-to-be again, this time as Marty DeLorean, a draft resister Lorraine bailed out, he again express his disapproval of Marty. When Marty offers Lorraine that she take him back to jail and get her bail money back, Sam agrees with the idea. Marty then leaves, to which Sam tells him "Don't hurry back". He was later intended to also appear at the anti-war rally in a very dour mood, telling Lorraine that he only came at Stella's insistence, saying that he'll listen to the speeches, but won't change his opinion. However, upon hearing Marty speak at the rally, he would end up impressed.