Back to the Future Screenwriter Weighs in on One of the Film’s Most Notorious Plot Holes

Lea Thompson and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future (1985).
Lea Thompson and Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future (1985).
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Back to the Future is often hailed as one of the best-written movies ever produced. Time travel is notoriously tricky to navigate in film, but the 1985 blockbuster manages to do so while delivering smart jokes, satisfying pay-offs, and fully developed characters. Despite its many successes, the movie contains at least one potential flaw that's been bugging viewers since its debut: Why do George and Lorraine McFly fail to realize that Calvin Klein and their son Marty are the same person?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn recently pointed out this plot hole while discussing what makes a perfect movie on Twitter. "A perfect film can be different from a favorite film, or a great film," he wrote. "Back to the Future SEEMINGLY could be imperfect (why don't Mom and Dad remember Marty?), but I would still argue it's a perfect film because there are reasons why this could conceivably be the case (time protects itself from unraveling, etc). Or maybe I'm in denial. Who knows."

When Marty travels back to the 1950s, where he stops his mom and dad from meeting but subsequently gets them to fall in love, his parents don't recognize him because he hasn't been born yet. At the end of movie, Marty returns to a new present-day 1985 that's been shaped by his actions in the past. That means, according to some critical viewers, that George and Lorraine would remember the person who introduced them in high school and thus realize he looked identical to their teenage son.

But this plot hole may not be much of a plot hole at all. The Hollywood Reporter gave Back to the Future screenwriter Bob Gale a chance to defend the script, and he said it isn't a stretch to think the McFlys wouldn't connect their son to someone they knew for a week in high school. "Bear in mind that George and Lorraine only knew Marty/Calvin for eight days when they were 17, and they did not even see him every one of those eight days," he told the publication. "So Lorraine and George might think it funny that they once actually met someone named Calvin Klein, and even if they thought their son at age 16 or 17 had some resemblance to him, it wouldn't be a big deal. I'd bet most of us could look through our high school yearbooks and find photos of our teenaged classmates that bear some resemblance to our children."

Gale's statement proves that the screenplay for Back to the Future is hard to pick apart. The movie is filled with details you may have missed on your first viewing—like the deeper meaning behind a famous line spoken toward the climax. Here are some more things to look for the next time you watch the movie.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]

Blue Apron’s Memorial Day Sale Will Save You $60 On Your First Three Boxes

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

If you’ve gone through all the recipes you had bookmarked on your phone and are now on a first-name basis with the folks at the local pizzeria, it might be time to introduce a new wrinkle into your weekly dinner menu. But instead of buying loads of groceries and cookbooks to make your own meal, you can just subscribe to a service like Blue Apron, which will deliver all the ingredients and instructions you need for a unique dinner.

And if you start your subscription before May 26, you can save $20 on each of your first three weekly boxes from the company. That means that whatever plan you choose—two or four meals a week, vegetarian or the Signature plan—you’ll save $60 in total.

With the company’s Signature plan, you’ll get your choice of meat, fish, and Beyond foods, along with options for diabetes-friendly and Weight Watchers-approved dishes. The vegetarian plan loses the meat, but still allows you to choose from a variety of dishes like General Tso's tofu and black bean flautas.

To get your $60 off, head to the Blue Apron website and click “Redeem Offer” at the top of the page to sign up.

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25 Classic TV Series Audiences Most Want to See Make a Comeback

NBC
NBC

There’s definitely no shortage of new television shows to watch these days, but the recent slew of series revivals offers nostalgists the unique opportunity to catch up with their favorite fictional characters without streaming reruns on a loop.

So which TV shows are viewers most eager to see return to screens? To find out, UK-based digital retailer OnBuy analyzed Google search data for a variety of classic series—paired with terms like reunion, new series, and new season—and ranked them in order of average monthly search volume.

Reunion specials or spin-off series have already been announced for some of the shows on the list, so fans could be looking for the latest update on production status or premiere date. For the nearly 90,000 people googling for information about the highly anticipated Friends reunion, which tops the list, we have great news: Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and the rest of the gang will reportedly film it this summer. Game of Thrones came in a not-so-close second, with an average monthly search volume of almost 34,000; there’s been quite a bit of talk surrounding HBO’s alleged four prequel shows for George R.R. Martin’s series, but it looks like the earliest we’ll get to see one is 2022.

Other series on the list have already made comebacks, but some of them left a few loose ends untied or open to interpretation—Gilmore Girls and Twin Peaks, for example—giving audiences a reason to hope there might be yet another season on the way.

And then, of course, there are plenty of perpetually popular shows that still haven’t been (and might never be) rebooted. Steve Carell has said in the past that a revival of The Office, fifth on the list, is a bad idea, and creator Greg Daniels thinks it’s highly unlikely.

See the top 25 list below, and pass the time while you’re waiting for your favorite show to return to TV with these 50 great series to binge-watch.

  1. Friends // 88,390
  1. Game of Thrones // 33,880
  1. Dallas // 24,760
  1. Criminal Minds // 13,620
  1. The Office // 5210
  1. Orange Is the New Black // 3750
  1. Breaking Bad // 3430
  1. Seinfeld // 3120
  1. Gilmore Girls // 2700
  1. Roseanne // 2310
  1. One Tree Hill // 2110
  1. Veep // 1990
  1. Modern Family // 1980
  1. Twin Peaks // 1810
  1. House of Cards // 1710
  1. Gossip Girl // 1360
  1. Cheers // 710
  1. Happy Days // 670
  1. Frasier // 560
  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer // 530
  1. Mad Men // 510
  1. ER // 360
  1. The Big Bang Theory // 320
  1. How I Met Your Mother // 310
  1. The Wire // 300

[h/t OnBuy]