Marty was the third child of George and Lorraine McFly and lived in Hill Valley, California, his parents’ hometown. They lived a dull, mediocre life that Marty dreamed of escaping. He loved rock and roll and skateboarding. Despite being smart, he didn’t excel at school. One day, he was able to impress Doc Brown with his intelligence. Marty’s guitar was stolen by local bully, Needles, who forced him to steal an interocitor tube from crackpot, Doc Brown. Doc Brown was expecting an assistant candidate for a job interview and set up a complicated set of puzzles. After Marty solved them, Doc forgave him for the attempted burglary and offered him the job of assistant.
Marty McFly was first created for the 1985 movie, Back to the Future, written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale and directed by Robert Zemeckis. He was played by Michael J. Fox.
Major Story Arcs
Back to the Future Part 1
In 1985, Marty was pretty down on himself. His band was rejected during auditions for his school’s Battle of the Bands and his family’s lone car was wrecked by his dad’s jerk manager, Biff Tannen, ruining his weekend getaway plans. Later that night, he meets Doc in a mall parking lot to test his new invention, a time machine he created out of a DeLorean. Much to Marty’s surprise it worked, but when they are attacked by Libyan terrorists who had supplied Doc with the plutonium needed to power the time circuits, Doc is killed and Marty is forced to escape in the DeLorean, accidentally travelling to November 5, 1955.
While searching for the younger version of Doc to help him get home, Marty runs into both of his parents as teenagers, ruining their first meeting and winning the infatuation of his own mother, thus altering the timeline. After convincing the young Doc that everything he said is true, Doc panics upon realizing that the time circuits require 1.21 gigawatts, more than he is capable of generating. Luckily, Marty knows exactly when a bolt of lightning will be hitting the Hill Valley clock tower, a historical event still talked about in his present.
This gave the two a week to plan Mary’s return trip and get Marty’s parents back together. Their plan was for Marty to take Lorraine to the school dance where his mother always said she fell in love with George for the first time. Marty would make an aggressive move on Lorraine so that George could show up and play the hero. Standing in their way was Biff, who at this time was the school bully. He was infatuated with Lorraine and stole her from Marty at the dance, against Lorraine’s wishes. When George showed up as planned, he had to confront the much stronger Biff instead of playing pretend with Marty. Luckily, George was successful in beating Biff, impressing Marty.
Marty raced to the center of town where Doc had installed power lines from the clocktower to the DeLorean. Marty tried writing a letter explaining how Doc died so that he could prepare for the attack, but Doc refused it, believing it was irresponsible to alter the future anymore than they already had. Instead, Marty decided to change the destination by a few minutes so that he could intervene on the terrorists before they ever get a chance. However, after successfully making it back to the future, the DeLorean’s engine died and Marty was late to the mall attack. He watched Doc die again and saw himself race into the past. While grieving over his dead friend, Doc suddenly sat up. He revealed his bulletproof vest and taped-up letter. They shake hands and thank each other for their friendship before Doc uses the DeLorean Marty returned in to tour the timestream.
Back home, Marty found that his present had been altered. After confronting Biff, George was now a confident stud and successful novelist. His family all had productive, happy lives, and Marty had his own dream car and his parents’ approval of his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker. Nothing could go wrong until Doc showed up in a flying DeLorean with dire warnings from the future.
Back to the Future Part 2
Marty was taken to the year 2015 by Doc with Jennifer, although Doc used a futuristic device to put her to sleep as he didn’t intend for her to come. According to Doc, Marty’s son was going to agree to participate in a crime and get caught, ruining his life. Marty, being the spitting image of his teenage son, was given identical clothes to wear so that he could take his place and turn down the bully, Griff Tannen, grandson of Biff. It mostly went according to plan with Griff and his gang getting arrested in the ensuing chase and fight. Unfortunately, some police found the unconscious Jennifer and using her fingerprint to find her identity returned her to the future McFly home, believing her to just be drunk.
Marty and Doc are forced to sneak over to Marty’s future home and snag her. However, when they returned to the present, it had changed. They were now in an alternate 1985, where George McFly was dead, Lorraine had remarried Biff, and Biff was the richest man in town. The town had become crime-ridden in the shadow of Biff’s hotel and casino. Doc found evidence in the DeLorean that elderly Biff from 2015 had stolen and returned a second later to deliver a Sports Almanac that Marty had bought for sure-fire bets in the present.
This forced Marty and Doc to go back to 1955, so that they could locate the Sports Almanac and fix the present. Marty had to sneak around the school dance where Biff had the magazine and not be seen by either the younger versions of his parents or the earlier version of himself. He ultimately fails to grab it from Biff and has to chase him down in his car. Between the flying DeLorean and the hoverboard Marty snagged from the future, they were able to out-maneuver Biff.
They get to a secluded location where Marty burns the almanac fixing their present, but the DeLorean is struck by lightning in the same storm that hits the clock tower, sending Doc into the timestream. Shocked, Marty stands in the middle of the street in the rain when a man from Western Union approaches him with a letter they’ve been hanging on to since 1885. Doc was in the Old West and he begged Marty not to come find him. Marty still needed to get home though, so he ran to the center of town where his earlier version of himself just traveled back to 1985 and surprised the younger version of Doc, causing him to pass out.
Back to the Future Part 3
Marty got the 1955 Doc back home and explained to him what happened in the future and the new present. He shows him the letter, but as they do more research to find Doc in the past, they learn he was murdered. Marty can’t help but go into the past to rescue him, despite his warnings. Thanks to future tech in the time circuits, plutonium is no longer needed. 1955 Doc just needed to get it up and running for Marty to make it to 1885. Unfortunately, the fuel line is cut, which is still required to run the engine.
He hikes to town with a little help from his Irish immigrant ancestors and gets into a fight with outlaw Buford “Maddog” Tannen, Biff’s ancestor. Marty is about to be hanged by the gang when he is rescued by Doc, who had settled into a nice life as the town blacksmith. Although he was mad Marty disobeyed his request not to follow him, he was happy to see his old friend, and, after learning of his eventual fate, he agrees with Marty that they should figure a way back to the present. Their only solution was to supercharge a steam engine to get the DeLorean moving fast enough.
While scouting an unfinished railroad bridge, they saw Clara Clayton on an out of control horse drawn carriage heading for the canyon. Doc saved her before she fell in, causing the two of them to become romantically interested in each other. Marty knew Clara though as the school teacher who died from falling in the canyon, and Doc admonished himself for changing history. He couldn’t deny his feelings towards Clara though. The two of them went on a date at the town fair, where he also was confronted by Buford and challenged to a duel, a duel they knew he would lose.
They had no other choice but to leave now, except Doc got drunk and slept in after breaking it off with Clara. This caused Marty to take his place in the duel, where he outwitted Buford and ended the challenge without anyone dying. Soon after, as they raced down the railroad, they realized Clara had snuck aboard their train and was trying to get Doc’s attention. Marty used his hoverboard to get Doc and Clara to safety, which unfortunately meant he was the only one to make it back to 1985.
The DeLorean was then destroyed when it was hit by a train in the present, meaning Marty could never go and rescue his friend. However, after reuniting with Jennifer, they are visited by a flying, time-traveling locomotive driven by Doc with Clara and their two sons, Jules and Verne. Doc wanted to make sure that Marty knew he was safe, happy, and appreciative of their years of friendship.
Marty is finding it difficult to re-enter normal life, thirsty for more adventures, when another wild west letter is delivered to him in high school. This one was from Clara Clayton informing Marty that Doc had disappeared. Excited for a new adventure, Marty immediately got Jennifer involved, who suggested if Marty never saw the DeLorean being worked on, Doc must have had a second lab. Tracking Doc's original family name (Von Braun) led them to it, where Marty planned to leave a note for Doc to find in any future he might find himself in. Instead, they found an amnesiac Doc in an old diver suit.
All he seemed to remember was that he crashed a car, so Marty and Jennifer checked the impound for the least conspicuous car they could find. However, between the attendant of the tow yard and Needles both giving them trouble, Marty ended up stealing the tow truck that still had the “Steam Time Car” tied up. When the coast was clear, Doc started getting some of his memories back, but according to the time circuits, he came from the future not the past. To get more answers, they need to head to the year 2035, using Doc’s time parachute.
While trying to lay low and get some food, they are confronted by Griff Tannen, who is now a police officer and has been looking for Doc since he lost his memory. Using a stolen hoverboard, they make their escape but are followed to Doc’s secret lab, where Doc finally got all of his memories back. With Griff using more than necessary force to bring them in, time was of the essence. Using a time travel prototype that Marty turned on in 1986 and had been charging ever since, they sent Doc back in time with time circuits and a flux capacitor to install in the DeLorean that Jennifer was driving around.
Finally rescued and back in his own time, Marty and Jennifer were dropped off at Jennifer’s house by Doc, who still needed to get back to the old west. He offered Marty another trip, but Marty is starting to think he’s had enough adventure for a while.
Who is Marty McFly?
Reality started to set in for Marty. Over time, he realized that his memories did not match those of his friends and families. He felt guilt that he possibly replaced a variant version of Marty, and that the time stream might correct itself by purging Marty. This feeling was taken advantage of by a rival temporal researcher of Doc’s, Pr. Marcus Irving. He tricked Marty into using Doc’s messaging service to trick Doc into a meeting. This gave Irving the chance to steal the time circuits and flux capacitor.
To cover his escape, Irving unleashed what Marty believed to be variants of himself from alternate timelines angry with him for erasing their timelines or taking their place in a better universe. However, they proved to be robot doubles that were just meant to capture Marty and Doc. They were sent by an older Irving who was scared that “a pair of time cowboys” would track him down and ruin a future he is content with. To ensure they never change anything anymore, the older Irving abandons them in 19,654 BC, but Doc is able to convince him that leaving them there would alter the timeline. Instead, he brought them to the 90s and left them in a clean room with his robot doubles of them to be killed with no evidence.
Luckily, Doc had a remote hidden in his shoe to call the DeLorean and help them escape. Marty wanted to head into the time stream and stop Irving from ever getting his hands on the flux capacitor. Doc was afraid this would create a reverse time race with Irving following them and constantly disrupting each other’s lives. Instead, now believing that there are no alternate timelines, they went back to when Irving first snagged the time circuits so that older Irving would follow and reveal himself to his younger version, who was ashamed of the villain he had become. By helping stop the robot doubles from attacking civilians, Irving made his first friends, causing the older Irving to fade away.
Apprehensive about his uncle, Jailbird Joey, finally getting out of prison and staying with his family, Marty realizes he never found out what he was arrested for in the first place. He tried asking around, but no one gave him a straight answer, including Doc, who told Marty to just stay out of his business. He hit the library with Jennifer and finally found that he was arrested for breaking and entering a mansion and stealing $85,000 that is still unrecovered. When he returned home to greet Joey, he found a package addressed to him. When he opened it, he found a damaged painting and a note from an anonymous writer telling Joey it wasn’t too late to find the missing money.
Sleep-deprived and confused, Marty went to Doc’s lab to get some advice and some shut-eye. Doc was out, but Irving lent his ear. While Marty napped, Irving moved him into the DeLorean and headed for the 70s so they could possibly avert Joey’s arrest. A reluctant Marty decided to check out the mansion only to find that it was owned by Doc’s mother. After nearly getting caught snooping around, they race back to the DeLorean, only to find it missing. Irving thinks his small interaction with Doc Brown may have turned his attention away from time travel to anti-gravity, causing the time machine to never be invented. So, while Irving tries to set Doc right, Marty goes to check in on his uncle.
Joey found Marty following him almost immediately. He tried to pretend to be a friend of his parents, but Joey didn’t buy it. He believed Marty was a spy for Joey’s criminal friends, Biff and his old high school gang.
Suspicious of Marty, Biff and the gang roped him into their planned robbery. They wanted to steal the Brown Fortune, lost by the Widow Brown when she remarried an even richer man. They think Doc being strapped for cash is proof that the money is hidden. Biff forces Marty and Joey to break into the mansion on their own, but Doc was suspicious of his previous encounters with Irving that he brought his anti-gravity machine to stand guard at his mother’s place. Joey found the supposed box that had the money, while Marty stole random items, including the painting Marty saw in the present, to make it look like a regular burglary. They were chased away by Doc, causing Biff and the others to abandon Joey to be arrested and Marty to be picked up by Irving.
In the escape, the painting was ripped, with the frame in Biff’s possession. On the back of the ripped portion was a treasure map to the lost money, created by Doc. Their Doc, from 1986, showed up with the DeLorean. He had used his remote to bring the car back to his present. With the full story, both Doc and Marty help Joey get a semblance of closure.