Sylvia Miskin McFly
Biographical information
Date of birth1903
Age (1931)28
Age (1955)52
Age (1985)82
Age (2015)112 (most likely deceased)
Physical description
Hair colorBlonde
Eye colorGreen
Behind-the-scenes information
Voiced byMelissa Hutchison

Sylvia McFly[1] (née Miskin[2]), a.k.a. Trixie Trotter, was the mother of George McFly. She lived on Sycamore Street with George and her husband Arthur. Her grandson, Marty McFly, elected against going into George's house in 1955 because he worried about upsetting her. "Granny had been very close to him and he felt this closeness would betray him. Somehow, even though Marty had not yet been born, he felt she would sense who he was and be terribly frightened by it."[3]

Later, on a mission to August 1931, Marty and Emmett Brown attempted to get Arthur together with Sylvia, though they were unclear as to who she was then.[4] Incidentally, solving the mystery of Sylvia's whereabouts and identity was secretly the major reason why Doc came to 1931 in the first place (as he was putting a book together titled The McFlys of Hill Valley as a graduation gift for Marty).[2]

In 1876, there was a picture of a woman named Delores Miskin in Beauregard Tannen's Palace Saloon. Her relation (if any) to Sylvia, and thus the McFly family, is unspecified.[2] In the fourth issue of Harvey Comics' non-canon Back to the Future series, "Retired," Emmett implies that "Mishkin's Mattress Emporium" is a store present in Hill Valley in the early 1990s.[5]

As Trixie Trotter[]

Prior to arriving in Hill Valley, she grew up in Manitoba, Canada, where she posed for scandalous photos used as postcards, as the "The Winsome Wench of Winnipeg".[6]

Marty unknowingly met her as Trixie Trotter, a lounge singer in 1931 that was the girlfriend of Irving "Kid" Tannen. She sang in his speakeasy El Kid, in the basement of the Sisters of Mercy Soup Kitchen. While she was subservient to Kid, she planned to reveal information on him that he had committed felony tax evasion, an offense that would surely put him behind bars for some time.[4]

On August 25, she encountered a young man claiming to be of J. J. Valenti's Sacramento Mob. The man, who was really her future grandson Marty McFly from 1986 in disguise, convinced her to meet with Officer Danny Parker, pending his sobriety at El Kid's bar and present the information to him. Upon turning in Kid, Parker and his men fought and arrested Tannen, and Trixie was able to meet up with a man who tutored her in accounting earlier, Arthur McFly.[4]

On October 12, she welcomed visitors of the science expo in the role of Techne, Muse of Progress, a character from Greek mythology. When Marty spoke with her, she expressed some displeasure with him for the distress she felt over Artie's supposed murder but had forgiven him considering the results. Due to Marty's interference, it was discovered that she was a Canadian citizen, leaving Artie no choice but to fire her.[6] However, he took her to Reno that night to marry her, making her a U.S. citizen, so he could give her the job again. Arthur's father William McFly was enraged when he heard his son had married overnight, but instantly liked Trixie when he met her on October 13.[2]

In the original timeline, these events would have taken place eventually as well, albeit later, as Marty mentioned that they were not supposed to get married until 1936.[2]

Also in 1931, a photo of Trixie was used in the mind map test for the Mental alignment meter. Due to Edna Strickland's disapproval for her (due to her former association with Kid Tannen), she was supposed to prompt a negative response from a Model Citizen.[7]

Before realizing Trixie's true identity, Marty referred to his grandmother Sylvia in the present tense, suggesting that she was still alive in the original timeline in 1986.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

  • George McFly's mother is not seen or referred to, in the film trilogy. In an earlier draft of the film, Marty's conversation with George at Lou's Cafe is not immediately interrupted by Goldie Wilson and Marty says, "Your birthday's August 18, and your mother's name is Sylvia?". The dialogue, which might have been used when the scene was filmed before Michael J. Fox was signed, is repeated in the novelization.
  • In Back to the Future: The Game, the model for Jennifer in Episode Three is the same model as the one used for Trixie/Sylvia.
  • Upon learning of Sylvia's true identity as his grandmother, Marty is incredulous because she was "So... thin!" Implying that she will have gained a considerable amount of weight by the time he knows her. This is also a reference to the time Marty first meets his mother in 1955 as he says the same line.
  • Her Canadian nationality could be a reference to how Marty McFly's actor, Michael J. Fox, is also Canadian.


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Notes and references[]

  1. Back to the Future novelization, p91
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 5: OUTATIME
  3. Back to the Future novelization, p96
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 2: Get Tannen!
  5. Reed, Peyton, Mark Cowen, and Dwayne McDuffie. "Retired." Back to the Future, June 1992: 20. Harvey Comics.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 4: Double Visions
  7. Marty makes this speculation if the cursor is clicked on the photo.