Marty McFly

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Marty McFly
Back to the Future character
Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future, 1985.jpg
Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly
First appearanceBack to the Future (1985)
Last appearanceBack to the Future Part III (1990)
Created byRobert Zemeckis
Bob Gale
Portrayed byMichael J. Fox
Voiced by
In-universe information
Full nameMartin Seamus McFly
  • Student
  • Singer
  • Musician
  • Lab Assistant for Dr. E Brown Enterprises
FamilyGeorge McFly (father)
Lorraine Baines-McFly (mother)
Dave McFly (brother)
Linda McFly (sister)
Stella Baines (grandmother)
Sam Baines (grandfather)
Milton Baines (uncle)
Toby Baines (uncle)
Joey Baines (uncle)
Sally Baines (aunt)
Ellen Baines (aunt)
Biff Tannen (stepfather; alternate timeline)
SpouseJennifer Parker McFly
ChildrenMarty McFly Jr. (son)
Marlene McFly (daughter)
RelativesSeamus McFly (great-great grandfather)
Maggie McFly (great-great grandmother)
William McFly (great-grandfather)
HomeHill Valley, California
NationalityIrish American
  • Vocals
  • Electric guitar
Associated acts
  • The Pinheads
  • Marvin Berry and the Starlighters
Time travel
Original time1985
Years visited1885, 1955, 1985 (alternate timeline), 2015

Martin Seamus "Marty" McFly is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Back to the Future franchise. Canadian actor Michael J. Fox portrays him in all three films. McFly also appears in the animated series, where David Kaufman voices him. In the video game developed and published by Telltale Games, A. J. Locascio does his voice; Fox does the lines for McFly's future counterparts at the end of the game, too. Olly Dobson played him in the original stage musical adaptation (the West End production), and Casey Likes will play in the upcoming Broadway production.[1] In 2019, Empire magazine selected McFly as the 12th Greatest Movie Character of All Time.[2]


Marty McFly is the Back to the Future protagonist. Born in Hill Valley, California, he is a part of the McFly family of Irish descent. Little is known about the character's life before the first Back to the Future film, except that he set fire to the living room rug when he was 8 years old (in a statement of Marty's to his future parents).[3] Despite never explicitly being explained in the film, Bob Zemeckis confirmed that Marty met his friend Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown when he was around 14 after hearing that Brown was a dangerous lunatic. Marty wanted to go and see what it was all about for himself. He snuck into Doc's lab and was fascinated by all his inventions. When Doc caught him, he was glad to have someone interested in his work, and their friendship began.[4]

In the first film, in 1985, Marty plays guitar with his group The Pinheads[3] and likes listening to Huey Lewis and the News, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Halen, and Michael Jackson. In the film, he is also a talented skateboarder and proves to be an excellent pistol shot, a skill he has honed by playing shooting games such as Wild Gunman at his local 7-Eleven.[5][6]

In an alternate timeline shown in Back to the Future Part II, a hand injury has left Marty unable to play the guitar. This injury occurs in 1985 after Marty accepts his school nemesis Douglas J. Needles' challenge to a road race after being labeled a "chicken" and crashes into a Rolls-Royce. In 1885, Biff Tannen's great-grandfather, Buford, goads Marty into a showdown, which Marty wins despite refusing to draw a gun against Buford. Once he returns to 1985, he remembers this event and his great-great-grandfather Seamus McFly's advice and drops out of Needles' challenge, avoiding the collision that would have ruined his prospects for success as a guitarist.

Movie events and time travel[edit]

In the first film, Back to the Future, Dr. Brown shows Marty the time machine, in the form of a DeLorean, which he had invented after stealing plutonium (used as fuel for the vehicle's time circuits) from Libyan terrorists, who wanted him to build a nuclear weapon. During this exchange, the enraged terrorists shoot the doctor, and Marty escapes from them in the time machine, accidentally traveling back to 1955. There, he encounters his teenage parents and disrupts how they meet. Marty contacts the 1955 Dr. Brown and, with his help, reunites his parents and travels back to an alternate 1985, where his father, George, is a novelist, and Biff, his father's high school bully, becomes their caretaker. He also discovers that Dr. Brown is still alive because he had worn a bulletproof vest after Marty warned him about his fate in 1955.

In the second film, Back to the Future Part II, Dr. Brown brings Marty and Jennifer to 2015. They had married, and their teenage son, Marty Jr, was arrested, costing the whole McFly family. Jennifer is knocked unconscious by Brown, and Marty (from 1985) disguises himself as his son and comes into contact with the elder Biff. His son is supposed to meet Biff's grandson, Griff, who forces him to commit a crime with Griff and his gang. The disguised Marty prevents this from happening and gets into a hoverboard dash, resulting in Griff and his crew getting arrested instead of Marty Jr. Jennifer, who was left behind, is taken back to her 2015 home by the police after tracing her there using her fingerprints. Marty and Dr. Brown rescue her while, unbeknownst to them, Elder Biff steals their time machine and returns to 1955, where he gives his younger self an Almanac from the future to use for gambling. When they all return to 1985, they discover that Hill Valley is now a dystopia, with Biff becoming extraordinarily rich and corrupt. He had forcefully married Marty's mother, Lorraine, and secretly murdered Marty's father. He also legalized gambling in the process of becoming known as the 'Luckiest Man on Earth.' Marty and Dr. Brown return to 1955 again to steal the Almanac from 1955 Biff, in which they succeed. Dr. Brown, however, is sent to 1885 after lightning strikes the DeLorean. Marty receives a letter from Brown, written on September 2, 1885.

In the third film, Back to the Future Part III, Marty re-contacts 1955 Dr. Brown and informs him of everything that has happened. Together they discover that someone killed the doctor six days after he wrote the letter and that he had hidden the DeLorean in a cave. Marty goes back to 1885 and meets his great-great-grandparents, Seamus and Maggie, and their son, his great-grandfather. He searches for Dr. Brown and finds out he has become a blacksmith. Marty crosses paths with "Mad Dog" Tannen, Biff's great-grandfather, and gets into a brawl with him. While they plan their escape, Marty and Dr. Brown meet Clara Clayton, a teacher, and the doctor falls in love with her. During the festival, "Mad Dog" and Marty agree on a one-on-one showdown the next morning; however, that is the day Marty is meant to travel back to 1985. During the showdown, Marty defeats "Mad Dog" and proceeds the plan with the doctor. Finally, Dr. Brown decides to stay in 1885 with Clara while Marty travels back to 1985. The time machine is destroyed by an oncoming train, with Marty barely escaping. He reunites with Jennifer and decides not to race Needles, which would have cost him his music career.


In the Back to the Future film franchise, Marty McFly is the youngest of three children of George McFly and Lorraine Baines-McFly. He has a brother, Dave McFly, and a sister, Linda McFly. In addition, he has uncles Milton, Toby, and Joey, as well as aunts Sally and Ellen (Ellen was born in 1956, so the first movie did not feature her). Joey served a prison sentence in 1985, and the court denied his parole again. In the first movie, Lorraine is 17 (nearly 18), Milton is 12, Sally is 6, Toby is 4, and Joey is 1. Ellen was born a year later.

Marty's secondary entourage consists of his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, and best friend, Emmett Brown, a scientist Marty and Jennifer call "Doc." There is an implication that Marty is ashamed of his family and does not spend much time at home, preferring to hang out with Doc, Jennifer, or the guys in his band, The Pinheads.[3] However, Marty's relationships with his family change after he returns from 1955, with him no longer being alienated by his parents and his father working as a local college professor and a successful novelist in the alternate timeline he inadvertently created. Marty meets his great-great paternal grandparents, Seamus and Maggie, too, when stranded in 1885. He also meets their infant son William, Marty's great-grandfather. Through his interaction with Seamus and Maggie, Marty discovers that Seamus had a brother named Martin, thus Marty's great-great-granduncle, who died after being goaded into a fight and killed in Virginia City, Nevada.

By 2015, Marty married his girlfriend Jennifer and had two children, Martin "Marty" Jr. and Marlene.


Marty has had many aliases throughout the Back to the Future series, usually because of meeting his relatives in the past, such as Lorraine mistakenly thinking his name is "Calvin Klein" due to that being Marty's brand of underwear. In the first film, Marty uses the alias "Darth Vader, an extraterrestrial from the Planet Vulcan" while wearing a radiation suit to attempt to coerce George into asking Lorraine out to the dance. In Part III, Marty uses the name "Clint Eastwood" when asked by Maggie McFly and later by Buford Tannen. In Back to the Future: The Game, he uses one of three aliases; "Sonny Crockett," "Harry Callahan," or "Michael Corleone."

Other appearances[edit]


Morty Smith of the American animated series Rick and Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland) began as a parody of Marty McFly.[7]

Japanese pro wrestler Kushida dresses as Marty McFly as part of his ring character.[8]


  1. ^ "Casey Likes Will Star in Back to the Future On Broadway". March 1, 2023.
  2. ^ "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  3. ^ a b c Back to the Future (DVD). 1985.
  4. ^ "How Marty McFly and Doc Brown Became Friends". Mental Floss. 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  5. ^ Back to the Future Part II. 1989.
  6. ^ Back to the Future Part III. 1990.
  7. ^ Plante, Corey (2017-04-26). "'Rick and Morty' Exists Because Its Creators Are Huge Trolls". Inverse. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  8. ^ Toro, Carlos (2022-10-04). "KUSHIDA: Back to the Future in Japan". Monthly Puroresu. Retrieved 2023-01-21.

External links[edit]