Once you've watched the Back To The Future movies a few times, you start noticing all the cool little details hidden in them -- like how Marty's reckless driving renamed a mall, or how Doc Brown's son probably peed himself in the last scene. Apparently, the filmmakers knew nerds would still be obsessing over their work 30 years in the future, so they made sure to pack the trilogy with as many cinematic Easter eggs as possible. It's almost like they had some sort of time ma- whoa.
Not all those hidden plot points are so innocent, though. The more you rewatch Back To The Future, the more you become aware of the dark truths lurking under its fun-filled surface, such as ...
7Doc Likely Burned His Own House Down For The Insurance Money
Right after the fact that his best friend is a 17-year-old boy, the weirdest mystery surrounding Doc Brown is: What the hell happened to his sweet house? In 1955 he's living in a palatial mansion, but by 1985 he's shacked up in a garage in a Burger King parking lot, like a common Burger King assistant manager.
Doc's 1985 digs suck so much he's forced to live out "The Humpty Dance"
every time he has a woman over.
Thanks to Doc's serial-killer-like penchant for decorating his room with old newspaper clippings, the audience is informed that his house burned down -- but it's never explained how that happened. All we know is that after the fire Doc sold his property to developers, presumably working for Burger Duke.
Ah, yes, remember when you went through that devastating tragedy and then
framed the newspaper articles about it?
Here's where things start to get suspicious: The news article also describes Doc as a "bankrupt inventor," which is weird, because earlier in the movie he told Marty that he'd spent his entire family fortune building the time machine. The paper is dated 1962 -- so Doc must have used up all of his money in just seven years, leaving him bankrupt and desperate. Since Shark Tank didn't exist in 1955, torching the Brown mansion may have been the only way Doc could think to raise the funds for his time machine.
In doing so, Doc would get the insurance money as well as the money from the sale of the property. And he needed both, because even after getting all of that money, by 1985 his bachelor pad/filthy garage is full of "past due" bills. It doesn't help that a big part of his budget goes to buying dozens of clocks for no apparent reason.
Most of those bills are from the clock store.
It's also not outside Doc's character to break the law to get what he wants: In a deleted scene he bribes a cop, and let's not forget that his go-to plan to obtain plutonium is to masquerade as a bomb-maker for Libyan nationalists. That's pretty fucked-up. It's a good thing the DeLorean didn't run on kitten blood and children's tears, otherwise Doc's life would have taken an even darker turn.
6A Creepy Stranger Might Be The Most Important Character In The Entire Trilogy
The stated philosophy of the Back To The Future movies is that the future is whatever you make of it. That's bullshit. In reality, your future depends on the whims of some old guy named Terry who scoops crap out of cars for a living. Don't remember him? He's the random "save the clock tower" dude from Part II who, through a seemingly offhand comment about the Chicago Cubs, gives Marty the idea to buy the sports almanac that turns the second movie into a clusterfuck of alternate timelines and recycled footage.
Among the things Back To The Future Part II predicted: Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8.
It's weird to have a character in crappy old-age makeup when we don't see him in the past -- except we do see Terry in the past. When Old Biff steals the DeLorean and travels to 1955 to give himself the sports almanac, Terry shows up again as Young Biff's mechanic/shit remover.
The Tannen family has single-handedly kept Hill Valley's shit remover industry afloat for generations.
At first glance it seems like just a crazy coincidence, the same person appearing in 2015 and in 1955 on the exact day that Old Biff travels back to. Of course, they never really explain why Biff picked that specific date, other than the producers presumably wanting to reuse the sets from the first movie.
Well, a deleted scene explains the connection and reveals that this random man might be the most important character in the whole franchise. Terry actually interacts with Old Biff in 2015: He complains that the cheap bastard never paid him for his work 60 years ago, even mentioning the exact date. It's this little spat that inspires Biff to go back to that particular day, because getting out of paying an auto mechanic is apparently the greatest achievement of his life. This means that Terry the clock tower guy is secretly responsible for all the major events of Back To The Future Part II and, by extension, Part III. He's not a mechanic; he's a Doctor Who villain.
Which might explain why he looks 10 years older than Biff in 1955 and 10 years younger in 2015.
Oh, and since Terry is working to preserve the clock tower, it's safe to assume that he's part of the Hill Valley Preservation Society -- you know, the people that give Marty that plot-essential flier at the beginning of the first movie. Did Terry orchestrate everything that happens in these films while trapped in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop? Seems like the only plausible explanation.