After Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) made several changes during his chaotic misadventures in the past, he returned to a very different 1985 at the end of Back to the Future. Robert Zemeckis’ time-traveling comedy revolves around a high schooler accidentally getting sent back in time to 1955 and having to figure out a way to return to the present. Not only did he have to make sure his parents got together after unwittingly interrupting their first meeting and erasing his own existence, but he also had to avoid Hill Valley’s biggest bullied, Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), who he had several altercations.

The whole time Marty was back in 1955, the younger and richer Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) repeatedly warned him not to do anything that could change the past, because it could have ramifications for the future. But, despite his best efforts, Marty ended up making alterations that had massive consequences for the future. Before he even met up with Doc and received that warning, he’d already bumped into his parents and prevented them from meeting each other. When Marty defied the odds to return to 1985, he found that he’d made huge changes to his family and his hometown of Hill Valley.

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Marty Saved Doc Brown’s Life

Doc checks his bulletproof vest in Back to the Future

On the night that Marty first went back to 1955, Doc Brown was gunned down by terrorists he scammed to get the plutonium he needed to make the time-traveling machine/DeLorean work. During his trip to 1955, Marty wrote a letter to the Doc, warning him about the shooting. However, he refused to listen to anything about the future as it could alter the course of history. Just before heading back to 1985, Marty made one last effort to warn Doc about his impending doom by writing it in a letter, but Doc found the letter and tore it up.

Marty decided to go back to 1985 a few minutes earlier, but the DeLorean broke down upon his return. By the time he ran across town and reached Doc, the Libyans already arrived and shot him. But Doc revealed he was wearing a bulletproof vest, because he’d pieced Marty’s letter back together and anticipated the attack. It may have broken a big rule, but some things are more important than maintaining the balance of the space-time continuum (even if it means creating new Back to the Future timelines).

Twin Pines Mall Became Lone Pine Mall

The Lone Pine Mall sign in Back to the Future

Doc and Marty first tested out the time machine in the empty parking lot of Twin Pines Mall. Doc mentioned that the land used to be owned by a farmer named Old Man Peabody. When Marty accidentally revved up the DeLorean to its time-traveling speed of 88mph and went back in time to 1955, he suddenly found himself trespassing on Peabody’s farm. As the car sped across the land, Marty ran over one of two pine trees at the entrance to the farm. When Marty returned to the mall in 1985, it was called Lone Pine Mall, because the other pine was destroyed.

George Became A Successful Science Fiction Author

George's debut novel in Back to the Future

When Marty went back in time and befriended a younger version of his father (played by Crispin Glover before he was recast in Back to the Future II) as a teenager, he was surprised to learn that his dad was once a budding science fiction writer. George didn’t have the confidence to share his stories with anybody because, like Marty, he was afraid of rejection. But the extra confidence that George gained when he stood up to Biff inspired him to let other people read his writing, including publishers. When Marty came back to an alternate 1985, George was awaiting the publication of his debut novel, A Match Made in Space.

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A box arrived in the mail containing a first-edition copy of A Match Made in Space. The cover art of a spaceman in a yellow suit talking to a young man in his bedroom insinuates that it tells the story of George and Lorraine falling in love thanks to Marty’s intervention under the guise of “Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan.” In the original 1985, George was stuck in a dead-end job. But thanks to Marty going back in time and giving his dad the kind of care and attention no one else at the time would, the new George went on to pursue his dreams.

Marty’s Siblings Have Prosperous Careers

Dave and Linda in the kitchen in Back to the Future

Marty almost erased himself and his siblings, Dave and Linda, from existence. As he struggled to make sure his parents would get together in 1955, Marty carried around a photo of himself, his brother, and his sister, and they were sporadically fading out of the image. In the original 1985, Dave and Linda weren’t up to much. It was implied that Linda had graduated from high school with no plans to go to college or get a job. Dave was working at Burger King with no drive or ambition to do anything else. But when Marty returned to the alternate 1985, Dave and Linda’s lives were drastically different.

In the new version of 1985, Linda had a job at a boutique and Dave had an office job that required him to wear a suit to work. He was so successful within his company that he had the connections to send Marty’s demo tape to a big record label. The improvements in Dave and Linda’s lives were presumably a result of being raised by more confident and self-assured parents. The George and Lorraine of this timeline inspired their kids to become confident and self-assured like them.

Biff Works For George

Biff working for the McFlys in Back to the Future

In the original timeline, George was still being bullied and harassed by Biff, his supervisor at work who forced him to do his paperwork for him. In the alternate timeline, the tables were turned and Biff was working for George, waxing his car and collecting his mail. This is one of Back to the Future’s many controversial plot point, as Bill had sexually assaulted Lorraine when they were younger. It may have been an economical way to show the poetic justice of George turning out much more successful than Biff, but it doesn’t feel right that the McFlys would keep Biff in their lives (or that he was never punished).

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Marty Has A Toyota 4×4

Marty's new car in the garage in Back to the Future

The morning after he went to 1955 in Back to the Future, Marty was planning to take his girlfriend Jennifer on a road trip up to the lake. However, the plans were put on hold when Marty found that the family car had been wrecked by Biff, who claimed he was never informed about the car’s “blind spot.” When Marty returned to an alternate 1985, he didn’t need to borrow the family car because he had a car of his own. The car was a Toyota 4×4 from the Statler-owned Easter egg dealership. Car ownership is everything to a teenager; this is the best outcome Marty could’ve hoped for.

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