Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Why are Back To The Future's Marty McFly and Doc Brown friends?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Though probably long since explained away by fan-fiction we implore you not to find, the specific nature and origin of the relationship between Marty McFly and Emmett “Doc” Brown has been one of the Back To The Future series’ most persistent mysteries-that-don’t-really-matter. After all, why would a teenaged, school-shirking, skateboarding “slacker” like Marty McFly spend so much of his time in the company of an old man scientist, let alone one as unpredictable and potentially dangerous as the Libyan terrorist-fraternizing, plutonium-juggling Doc?

The question was posed yet again yesterday on the blog Mental Floss, inspiring the usual round of theories that mostly involve pedophilia jokes. But then, along came a man claiming to be producer Bob Gale to deliver the truth. Granted, some particularly devoted BTTF fan could have been masquerading as Bob Gale, but the response he gives certainly sounds reasonable—which is to say, sort of dull and obvious:

“For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc’s lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. When Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc. And that’s the origin of their relationship.”


Thus solved, you can now enjoy the Back To The Future series without the distraction of any lingering mysteries, except for the one about how Marty’s parents end up breeding an exact replica of the guy who brought them together and changed their lives back in high school and apparently think nothing of it. [via Movieline]