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Strickland with Marty and Jenniifer

Mr. Strickland holds his tardy slip pad between his index and middle fingers as he gives Marty "a nickel's worth of free advice", while Jennifer looks on.

"A tardy slip for you, Miss Parker... and one for you, McFly. I believe that makes four in a row."
—Mr. Strickland, as he gives tardy slips to Jennifer and Marty

A tardy slip (also sometimes referred to as simply tardy) was a slip of paper given to students of Hill Valley High School caught arriving late by principal Stanford S. Strickland.


Both Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker were given tardy slips by Mr. Strickland on October 25, 1985. The presentation of this particular tardy meant that Marty had achieved a record of “four [tardies] in a row”.

The tardy slip had HILL VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL TARDY SLIP printed at the top, and that for Marty gave the following details: 'Date' (10/25/85); 'Time' (8:40 am); 'Name' (Marty McFly); and 'Has been tardy for the following reason' (Slacker). At the bottom of the slip, where it read KINDLY ADMIT PUPIL TO CLASS, were two boxes to be checked, 'Excused' and 'Unexcused' (Mr. Strickland checked the latter); and a line for the signature of 'Superintendent or Principal' (Stanford S. Strickland).[1]

On October 26, 1985A, when being threatened by Mr. Strickland wielding a pump-action shotgun, Marty mentioned how he was always being given tardy slips, as well as having been given detention by Mr. Strickland — who claimed never to have seen Marty before — "last week", before being told the high school had burned down six years before.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The tardy slips which Mr. Strickland gives Marty and Jennifer in Back to the Future are pale yellow, whereas that presented as an insert in Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History is pink. As with Marty's driver's license or the text of the articles in the Hill Valley Telegraph, it would be unusual for such a prop to be created with the amount of detail seen in merchandise. The prop itself, however, is never seen in detail on-screen during the scene, other than as a slip of paper that is peeled off a pad by Mr. Strickland and handed to Marty.



  1. Information taken from the Hill Valley High School tardy slip insert which appears in Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History.

External links[]

Note: This tardy slip is slightly different from that featured in Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History: the heading at the top omits the school's name, reading simply TARDY SLIP; there is an additional 'Room #' line between 'Date' and 'Time'; the line KINDLY ADMIT PUPIL TO CLASS has the word 'pupil' replaced by 'student'; and the tardy is also blank — i.e. minus Mr. Strickland's handwriting.