Back to the Future

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Back to the Future poster.jpg

Back to the Future is a film trilogy directed by Robert Zemeckis that has been referenced multiple times on Supernatural, mainly by Dean, who appears to be a big fan of the franchise.

The first film, Back to the Future (1985), introduces the characters of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc (Christopher Lloyd). Doc has made a time machine out of a DeLorean, and Marty accidentally ends up stuck in the year 1955. There, he meets his high-school-aged parents and has to play matchmaker to get them together. With the help of a younger version of Doc, he is able to get back to 1985.

In the second film, Back to the Future Part II (1989), Doc takes Marty 30 years into the future to October 21, 2015. There they experience a future complete with flying cars, hoverboards, and self-drying clothes. After Marty successfully saves his future teenage son from going to jail, he again goes back to 1985, where he quickly realizes things are very wrong. He and Doc figure out that his father's high school bully, Biff, took the DeLorean from 2015 and traveled to 1955, where he gave his younger self a sports almanac containing statistics and results of everything from horse races to boxing matches between the years of 1950-2000. With this, Biff was able to become the wealthiest man around, creating a casino empire with the money he was able to make from gambling on the sports that he knew the results of. Doc and Marty go back to 1955 to get the almanac back, which they then destroy. Right after this, a bolt of lightning strikes the DeLorean, which Doc had been flying overhead. The DeLorean disappears, leaving behind a thoroughly confused and worried Marty. Before he can start freaking out too much, a car pulls up and delivers a letter to Marty. The bemused deliveryman tells Marty that the letter had been sitting around for 70 years, and that it was supposed to be delivered to this exact spot, at this exact time, to a man named Marty. Curious, Marty opens the letter and realizes it is from Doc, who has gotten stuck in 1885.

The story concludes in the Old West setting of Back to the Future Part III (1990), when Marty goes to 1885 to rescue Doc and ends up stuck there himself when the gasoline leaks out of the DeLorean and they have no replacement fuel. Without gasoline, they have no way to get the car up to 88 miles per hour, which is the speed at which time travel is possible. While he and Doc work on devising a plan to somehow get a steam locomotive to push the DeLorean up to speed, Marty meets his great-great grandparents, as well as Biff's great grandfather, Buford Tannen. He immediately gets on Buford's bad side, and ends up in a duel. Marty refuses to fight, and Buford shoots him. Everyone thinks he is dead, but at the last minute Marty reveals he survived because he was wearing a cast iron oven door around his neck that worked as a bullet-proof vest. He and Doc manage to get the DeLorean going fast enough, pushed by a train, but at the last minute Doc decides to remain behind in 1885 to stay with Clara, a woman he had fallen in love with. Marty goes back to 1985 alone, but it's not long until Doc shows up again with Clara and their two sons, in a new time machine that he built out of a steam locomotive.


4.03 In the Beginning

The scene where Dean meets a young John Winchester is very similar to the scene where Marty meets a teenage version of his father, George McFly. Both scenes take place in a diner. Dean and Marty sit at the bar next to their fathers, not yet aware of this.

In Back to the Future, Biff comes into the diner saying, "Hey McFly!", and both Marty and George turn around to look. In Supernatural, an older man comes in and says, "Hey Winchester!" and Dean and John both turn to see who it is. The way the two scenes were shot is almost identical, with closeups of Marty and Dean respectively, showing their shocked and disbelieving reactions as they realize they are looking into the younger faces of their fathers.

After Dean leaves the diner to follow John, he runs into Castiel, who is the one who transported him back in time to 1973. "Okay, so what?" Dean asks him. "Angels got their hands on some DeLoreans? How did I get here?" The DeLorean is the car that Marty and Doc turned into a time machine in the films.

5.04 The End

After being transported to the future year of 2014 by Zachariah, Dean tells him, "I thought I smelled your stink on this Back to the Future crap."

5.13 The Song Remains the Same

Sam and Dean tell Castiel that they want to go to 1978 to stop Anna from killing their parents. Castiel warns them that because he doesn't have the full powers of Heaven at his disposal, time travel will be especially difficult. To this, Dean says, "So, what, you're like a DeLorean without enough plutonium?"

In Back to the Future, plutonium is one of the components the DeLorean needs in order to be able to time travel.

5.18 Point of No Return

The second paragraph on the letter Dean writes to Sam and Bobby contains the line "Where I'm going, we don't need roads." This is a reference to the last line of dialogue spoken by Doc Brown in the end of the first movie.

6.18 Frontierland

When Dean and Sam go back in time to 1861, Dean decides to tell people his name is Clint Eastwood. This is the same alias that Marty uses in Back to the Future III.

At the end of the episode, when they are back in the present, Sam receives a package from Samuel Colt, much in the same way that Marty got the letter from Doc in Back to the Future II. The courier who delivers it tells him that it had been sitting around since "ever", with a note on it saying to "bring it here today."

There are other similarities, as well. Both Dean and Marty try to blend in before going by dressing up in what they think is accurate period clothing. However, when they arrive, they are both made fun of because of what they are wearing. They also both have a bit of trouble ordering the right thing at the saloon bar - Dean tries to order "top shelf whiskey" only to be told that there is only one shelf. Marty tries to order ice water and is promptly laughed at.

Visually, many of the shots are similar to those in Back to the Future III, such as Dean and Marty entering the saloon, pushing the saloon doors half-open, and the close-ups of their hands and faces in the duel scenes.

7.12 Time After Time

When Dean and Eliot Ness go to Chronos' house, Dean finds a book which details horse races that Chronos has been betting on. "He's using the Biff strategy," Dean says, looking amused. "Chronos is betting on races he already knows the outcome of." In Back to the Future Part II, this is how Biff becomes a wealthy casino tycoon.

Later, when Dean sees some mail sitting on a counter, an idea occurs to him. "Back to the Future III," he says, referring to how Doc wrote Marty a letter from the past. He writes Sam a letter and hides it in the house where they are squatting in the future. He dates the letter November 5, 1944. This is a reference to the day that Marty arrived in 1955, which was also November 5.

8.12 As Time Goes By

After Henry Winchester disappears, Dean says, "He broke into the trunk, stole an angel feather. I'm guessing he's gonna whip up another one of those blood spells and Marty McFly himself back to the 1950s."

15.19 Inherit the Earth

The scene when Sam, Dean, and Jack leave Chuck is a mirror opposite of the ending of Back to the Future III:

In the movie, Jennifer is holding a blank piece of paper that she brought back from October 21, 2015, which was originally a fax sent by Ito T. Fujitsu when he fired Marty. Doc Brown says that it's blank since their future hasn't been written yet, that it's whatever they make it, and he encourages them to make it a good one. He leaves Jennifer and Marty as he prepares to travel through time with his family again with his steam-powered time-traveling locomotive.

However, Chuck's Death Book is blank since only Death can see its contents and Chuck is less receptive of the concept of not knowing what happens next and limps towards the Impala calling out to them as they drive away.

Outside of the Show

Misha Collins in the DeLorean on October 21, 2015.

On October 21, 2015, the day that Doc and Marty arrived in the future, Misha Collins tweeted this picture, with the caption, "I decided to drive to work today because my hover-skateboard is in the shop. #BacktotheFutureDay"

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