The 10 Best Marty McFly Quotes In The Back To The Future Trilogy, Ranked


  • “Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads.” – Marty McFly, Back to the Future Part II (1989)
  • “Great Scott! We Mustn’t Interfere With The Timeline!” – Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future (1985)
  • “Hey, Doc, I’m All For That. What’s Wrong With Making A Few Bucks On The Side?” – Marty McFly, Back to the Future Part II (1989)

The Back to the Future franchise is filled with memorable lines from its eccentric cast, especially protagonist Marty McFly. The archetypal “radical” teenage boy, Marty McFly is the plucky hero of the franchise, joining Doc Brown on his adventures through time across the three Back to the Future movies. Along the way, McFly has let off some iconic one-liners and prescient bits of dialogue that sum up his character and the series as a whole very succinctly.

What makes Marty McFly’s dialogue so great is mostly the young Michael J. Fox’s flawless delivery, conveying confusion, rebellion, and determination in equal measures. McFly is the everyman between the duo of himself and Doc Brown, and his best lines are indicative of that, putting to words thoughts many might have while watching the trilogy for the first time. It’s no wonder that many of the best quotes of Back to the Future can be attributed to Marty McFly.

Marty playing the guitar in Back to the Future. Related Michael J. Fox Gives Back To The Future Vibes As He Joins Emotional Coldplay Performance

Michael J. Fox exudes Back to the Future vibes upon joining an emotional performance Coldplay’s “Fix You” at their Glastonbury concert.

10 “If You Put Your Mind To It, You Can Accomplish Anything!”

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future George and Marty McFly

One of the best lines in Marty’s entire repertoire of dialogue in the trilogy is a wholesome full-circle moment he shares with his father. Sent back to the year 1955, Marty is forced to ensure his own conception by playing matchmaker to teen versions of his mother and father. Two problems — His mother has a disturbing infatuation with him, and his father is a nebbish geek with no backbone.

As George McFly continues to display signs of self-doubt over his own confidence and ability to woo Lorraine, Marty gives him a pepe talk, telling him “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!” George tells Marty the same thing in the present day, bringing the story full circle in a great roundabout way, as Marty hears the saying from his dad, but his dad hears it from Marty. Even if the quote is a little generic, it’s a nice full circle moment that demonstrates the circular logic of Back to the Future’s time travel.

9 “Eight O’Clock. I Do My Killin’ After Breakfast!”

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Marty McFly's Frisbee in Back to the Future Part III

The third installment of the Back to the Future trilogy might not be as fondly remembered as its predecessors, but it still managed to leave fans with some new amazing quotes by Marty McFly. This time around, Marty and Doc have both traveled far back into the past, cutting their teeth on the frontier of the Wild West. As Marty attempts to maintain a disguise as a toughened cowboy, he gets into a confrontation with some dangerous characters.

When Biff Tannen progenitor Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen challenges Marty to a duel, he pencils him in for 7:00 AM, claiming he always does his killing before breakfast. Marty’s retort is a hilariously defeated counter-attempt to sound intimidating while really putting off the bout by one hour so that he and Doc can have escaped already, leaving Buford far behind in the past. Mixing in Marty’s inability to be seen as cowardly with his practical sly tricks, this quote is a comedic encapsulation of his best and worst traits.

8 “Hey, Doc, I’m All For That. What’s Wrong With Making A Few Bucks On The Side?”

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Back to the Future Part II Marty with sports almanac book

In Back to the Future Part II, the series takes a turn to the actual future, setting its sights on the then far-off year of 2015. Joining the ranks of “futuristic” science fiction movies set in modern years, Marty attempts to escape with a souvenir, an almanac containing the results of major sporting events from the year 1950 to the year 2000. Clearly attempting to profit off the knowledge, Doc chastises Marty for the idea.

Whereas Doc Brown insists that he invented his time machine for the advancement of the human race and the greater scientific good, Marty fails to see why they can’t take advantage of their unique position to make some money, too. This quote is a great example of Marty’s more practical mindset compared to Doc’s lofty ideals. It’s too bad his idea ends up causing drastic damage to the time stream by the time the two of them return to the 80s.

7 “Hey, Doc! Where You Goin’ Now? Back To The Future?”

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Back to the Future III Doc and Clara on train ending

Between the two main characters, it’s fitting for Marty McFly to be the one to get the title drop in the Back to the Future franchise. All the better that it takes place in the poignant final scene that he shares with Doc Brown. Just as it seems Marty and Jennifer will never see Doc again, he returns to their time to give one last goodbye aboard a high-tech time-traveling train, alongside Clara and their children.

The final goodbye surmises the film’s themes of self-determination, with Doc encouraging Marty and Jennifer to fully enjoy their now undetermined future. As Doc responds that he won’t be going back to the future, as he’s “already been there!“, it’s implied that he’ll continue to eke out a modest living in the old west. This quote is a little cheesy, but its the perfect note to end the series on.

6 “Silence, Earthling! My Name Is Darth Vader…”

Back to the Future (1985)

Marty impersonates Darth Vader in Back to the Future

If there’s one thing Marty McFly appreciates, it’s a good pop culture reference. Whether he’s using the legendary Western actor Clint Eastwood as a disguise in the American West or a pretending to be an extraterrestrial when invading the 50s, Marty finds some creative ways to put his pop culture knowledge to good use. He does the latter in the first film, when first appearing before his own father clad in a scary-looking hazmat suit.

Marty McFly seems to mix-up his franchises, claiming to be from planet Vulcan of
Star Trek

Shocking his father awake with unheard of rock music, Marty reveals himself to his Dad, pretending to be Darth Vader from the Star Wars series. Of course, later, Marty McFly seems to mix-up his franchises, claiming to be from planet Vulcan of Star Trek fame while even mentioning a “supreme Klingon” in the extended version of the scene. It’s a good thing neither series had released by 1955, allowing Marty to use their far-fetched sounding names for his short-lived disguise.

5 “I’ve Seen This One, This Is A Classic!”

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future Marty watching TV with his mom

Many of Marty’s best lines come from when he is first getting to grips with the dizzying concept of time travel. While watching TV over his mother’s house, his family not realizing they’re speaking to one of their descendants, Marty comments on an episode of The Honeymooners claiming it to be a classic. His young uncle quickly catches this discrepancy, pointing out that the episode they’re watching is a new release.

It’s a wonder Marty wasn’t able to blow his cover with slip-ups obvious enough to be caught by a child, even commenting on the fact that his grandmother knows his own mother while looking directly at her. The best part of this line, however, is the memes it was able to spawn, Marty’s words becoming a mouthpiece for pointing out recycled content. Either way, the quote is an instant classic thanks to Michael J. Fox’s excited delivery.

4 “Shark Still Looks Fake”

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Michael J Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Emmett Brown in Back to the Future Part 2

As wowed as Marty McFly becomes by the far-off future of 2015, he realizes that the more things change, the more they tend to stay the same. Marty begins to uncover the many quirks of the future, from the odd fashion sense to the unwieldy hoverboards. One thing that does look familiar, however, is the advertising, as a holographic ad for “Jaws 19″ assaults his senses.

Marty has a subdued reaction to the seemingly life-like add, flatly commenting that the “Shark still looks fake.” This is a toungue-in-cheek jab at Back to the Future Part II producer Stephen Spielberg, who began the Jaws franchise with an animatronic shark puppet that became less and less believable as the series went on. Luckily, the Jaws movies had the good sense to end after the fourth installment, despite what the 3D advertisement of the future might have claimed.

3 “Woah…This Is Heavy”

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future Doc and Marty this is heavy

Marty McFly’s usage of slang is the source of no end of trouble for him as he journeys throughout the decades. That being said, his informality is quintessentially Marty, always willing to color his dialogue with some fun verbiage much to the dismay of Doc Brown. Meeting up with Doc Brown’s 1955 self, the two of the make the shared realization that Marty’s mom, not knowing she’s just met her teen son from the future, is more romantically attracted to him than his own dad.

Recognizing the uncomfortable implications of this, all Marty can do is let out “Woah…This is heavy,” causing no end of confusion for Doc. The resulting bit of banter is one of the best moments of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd’s potent chemistry, and it’s all thanks to Mary’s one line. It’s no wonder Marty makes a point of referring to things as “heavy” often enough in the series for Doc to start saying it, too.

2 “Nobody Calls Me Chicken!”

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Marty Mcfly back to the future 2 chicken

One of the best running lines in the franchise, Marty McFly’s assertion of his fearlessness is something that continuously gets him into trouble. The line first appears in Back to the Future Part II, when Griff provokes McFly with the avian insult after he refuses to partake in Griff’s crime on behalf of his son. However, he’s easily goaded into going on an elaborate chase through the futuristic world after Griff sets him off, setting a precedent for the line going forward.

In the film’s 1955 timeline, McFly once again is successfully provoked with the line, resulting in the same response accompanied by the exact same musical sting. The line re-appears in a sense in Back to the Future Part III as well, with the variation “Nobody calls me yellow!” Considering how cowardly George McFly is, it’s no wonder Marty McFly truly hates being called chicken, willing to do anything to prove he isn’t a pushover like his dad.

1 “I Guess You’re Not Ready For That Yet…But Your Kids Are Gonna Love It!”

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future Johnny B Goode prom scene

It’s revealed that Marty ends up inspiring the official recording of the song, creating yet another time loop in the series

The most fun parts of the Back to the Future franchise arise from pointing out how much culture can change in just a few short decades, as best exemplified by the climax of the first film. After he’s forced to sub in for the guitar player of his parents’ prom band, Marty decides to break out a hit from the future, Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode. It’s revealed that Marty ends up inspiring the official recording of the song, creating yet another time loop in the series.

The subject of countless meme, this line might be the best at summing up the fun of the Back to the Future series, forcing people displaced in time to interact with elements unfamiliar to them. It helps that the line is preceded by an energetic cover of one of the greatest classic rock and roll songs of the genre’s early formation. Of all of Mary’s dialogue throughout the Back to the Future series, this single line is easily one of the most impactful and hilarious.

Back to the Future Part II PG Where to Watch

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Taking up where the first movie left off, Back to the Future Part II sees Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the year 2015, where their efforts to fix the future end up causing even bigger problems as Biff Tannen wreaks havoc across the timeline with the help of a stolen sports almanac. Martin J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd return in Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale’s second installment of their iconic trilogy.

Director Robert Zemeckis Release Date November 22, 1989 Studio(s) Universal Pictures Cast Lea Thompson , Elisabeth Shue , Christopher Lloyd , Michael J. Fox , Thomas F. Wilson Runtime 108 minutes

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