"Leaving the latest of his inventions [the brain-wave analyzer] on his head, he [Doc] got up and paced. Where had he gone wrong? Was it the machine or himself? A slight twinge of pain in his head reminded him that the fault could be in his own mind. That morning, while hanging a clock in the bathroom, he had fallen from the toilet and sustained a violent knock to the skull. The brain being being a complicated mass of electrical impulses and energy, it was indeed possible that the blow had caused a short circuit powerful enough to make his tests invalid."
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, pages 113 and 114)
" Racing after Doc Brown, he [Marty] began to speak in a rapid-fire patter. "Doctor Brown, listen to me!" he said. "That bruise on your head — I know you got it! It happened this morning! You were hanging a clock and fell off your toilet and hit your head on the sink..." / Doc Brown whirled to look at him. / "What have you been doing — spying on me?" he demanded. "Haven't I even got privacy in the bathroom? When I sit down now, do I have to worry about some idiot with binoculars looking at me?" / "No," Marty assured him. "I didn't spy on you. In 1985, you told me about this morning. You said after the fall, you had a sort of vision about the flux capacitor, which is the heart of the time machine." "
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 119)

A toilet was a device upon which an individual could deliver personal waste to either a septic tank or a sewer system.

Toilets were at first a luxury item for many people in the early 20th century, however had become more commonplace by the 1950s. They were usually made in porcelain.


On November 5, 1955, Dr. Emmett Brown was hanging a clock while standing on his toilet. The porcelain on the toilet was wet and he slipped, hitting his head on the sink. When he came to, he had a vision of his flux capacitor and drew up a schematic diagram of what would become the key to making time travel possible.

In 2015, Old Biff Tannen remarked to whom he believed was Marty McFly, Jr. that his father, Marty Sr., had "flushed his life completely down the toilet".

Behind the scenes[]

  • The toilet from which Doc fell is later seen in his mansion when Marty returns to 1955 for the second time.