Throw on your Nikes, pop in a VHS and rev up your DeLorean because October 21 is Back to the Future Day! First celebrated in 2015 (a significant year for serious fans), the original “Back to the Future” is a 1985 sci-fi classic that grossed nearly $400 million worldwide!
When is Back to the Future Day 2023?
Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and all the other memorable characters of the iconic “Back To The Future” trilogy are celebrated on October 21.
History of Back to the Future Day
Today, where we’re going, we don’t need roads. The iconic, nay, epic Back to the Future series gave millions of people in 1985 a glimpse of what the future could be like. Sure, we didn’t invent time travel (or hoverboards for that matter, we’re still salty about that one) but we did get an interesting look at the future that has actually come to pass. More on that later. Back to the Future day is celebrated on October 21, because that is the date Marty McFly originally travels to the past and sets in motion his undoubtedly existential adventure.
In the original film, there are various plot twists and turns but what really makes the film worthy of its own honorary day, is the vision of early prototypes of today’s tech, like large flat screens, virtual reality eyewear, video conferencing, computer tablets and biometric scanners.
A 2015 CNN Back to the Future Day anniversary article tells us that, ironically, the most innovative part of the film was the VistaGlide motion-control system which allowed Fox to share scenes with himself. Bottom line, Back to the Future Day not only gives the audience of 1985 a glimpse into our current techno-packed lives; but “Back to the Future” lets you time-trip with a very cool movie!
The date for Back to the Future Day, is itself, doubly significant. According to the “Business Insider”, October 21, 2015 is the day the screenwriter, Bob Gale, chose for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series, something, Gales says, “was the most absurd thing we could think of” in 1985 (turns out he was a year off, the Cubs won the series in 2016). The idea of the Cubs’ winning the Series gives Marty McFly something to bet on as a “hook” for the film’s second story line. In the sequel, “Back to the Future Part II,” Fox’s character, Marty McFly, travels to the future in 2015 to save the children that aren’t even a “twinkle in their dad’s eye.”
Back to the Future is required viewing for nearly every science fiction fan and continually holds up as a fun, energetic jaunt through time with some memorable characters and truly great catch phrases. So this October 21, pop in this film and say “Great Scott.”
Back to the Future Day timeline
The creators of the movie, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, decided to use a DeLorean as the car that enables Marty McFly and Doc to time travel; after the film’s release, Zemeckis and Gale received a thank-you letter from John DeLorean for using his car in the movie.
As part of their Back 4 the Future campaign, Nike auctions 1500 pairs of limited edition MAG Replica shoes with proceeds going to Michael J. Fox’s foundation to fight Parkinson’s Disease.
The very first celebration of the day Marty McFly became the second time traveler in history (we love you Einstein) was held in 2011.
In honor of Michael J. Fox, who plays Marty McFly in the movie, by 2015 Fox was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and all proceeds from the Back to the Future Day activities go into his foundation.
“Back To The Future” is a classic franchise that has a cult following. The much-loved movie trilogy is celebrated zealously today by fans around the world. The most common tradition is to watch the movies, whether by yourself or with friends. Movie discussion forums buzz with topics on “Back To The Future,” with fans voting for their favorite movie from the trilogy, and discussing fan theories.
By The Numbers
1985 – the year when the first “Back To The Future” movie was released.
40 – the number of times the original script was rejected.
$1.99 – the price of the solar shades sold by Pizza Hut as part of the movie’s promotions.
2015 – the year to which Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled.
3 – the number of months it took to film the movie.
3 – the number of “Back To The Future” movies.
96% – the Rotten Tomatoes rating for the first movie in the “Back To The Future” series.
$210 million – the total revenue of the movie at the box office.
No.1 – the ranking of the movie in 1985.
Back to the Future Day FAQs
What is Back to the Future Day?
It’s a day honoring the fictional story of Marty McFly and his companion, Doc’s, time travel back to October 21, 2015 in “Back to the Future II,” the sequel to the original 1985 film, “Back to the Future.”
Why is there a backwards 99 in Back to the Future II?
When the DeLorean reaches 88 mph and time travels it leaves behind a trail of flames. In the scene in BTTF II, the DeLorean is flying when it is struck by lightening, causing it to spin on it’s axis and distorting the normally straight flame trails into the shape “99.”
Will there be a Back to the Future 4?
In 2016 when director Robert Zemeckis was asked about a Back to the Future 4, Zemeckis replied that, “There will be no more ‘Back to the Future’.”
Back to the Future Day Activities
Create a time capsule
Just like you did back when you were a kid and if you have kids they’ll love doing this, too. Fill a box with items you’d want your future self to enjoy opening like pictures, tickets from a concert or items from your wedding. Once your box is full, put it in your basement, in the back of a closet or, if you know you’ll be living in the same house for awhile, bury it in the backyard. Don’t forget to include a letter to your future self with all your goals and aspirations written down.
Hold an "Enchantment Under the Sea Dance" Party
You may not be able to get Marty McFly to shred on the stage but you could invite some friends to don their best bobby sox, make some punch (spiked if you're of age), and boogie to some oldies like they did at that iconic dance. Who knows, maybe you'll come up with something "that really cooks."
Try to invent time travel
We've all got a little "wild-eyed scientist" in us and what better way to let that flag fly than by trying to emulate Dr. Emmet Brown? Ok, we know this one's a little out there but it's fun to dream, and who knows, maybe you'll surprise yourself (and, ya know, the entire world).
5 Reason To Rewatch "Back To The Future."
The film predicted three technological advances
Although most of the futuristic details in the movie have not come true, it did include communication similar to FaceTime, voice recognition, and thumb print technology.
It wasn’t a popular script
Major movie studios passed on the original screenplay.
Some executives hated the movie title
A Universal Pictures executive wrote a memo saying he wanted the title of the movie changed to "Spaceman From Pluto," to which director Steven Spielberg responded by thanking him for the “joke memo.”
President Reagan used a quote from the movie.
President Reagan liked the fact that he was mentioned in the movie several times. He used the quote “Where we’re going, we don’t need cars” in his 1986 State of the Union speech.
Royalty attended the premiere
Princess Diana made an appearance at the movie’s premier in 1985.
Why We Love Back to the Future Day
It’s your time to reflect on the past
Because Back to the Future Day celebrates a movie that’s related to the past and the future, it makes you reflect on just about everything. Take time to ponder things you’ve accomplished over the past few years, as well as things you regret and may want to improve upon.
It’s an opportunity to set goals
As the name suggests, Back to the Future Day is about the future, so it’s the perfect time to set goals. Use this day to write down hopes and dreams that your future self will be proud of.
It’s an excuse to watch the movie
Whether you’ve seen it a million times or not, there’s no better day to watch the movie than Back to the Future Day. So on October 21, start streaming!
Back to the Future Day dates