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SYFY WIRE Back to the Future

Back to the Future screenwriter slams DeLorean door on McFly family plot hole

By Andrea Ayres
Christopher Lloyd Back to the Future

Great Scott! We finally have the answer as to why Marty McFly's parents don't remember him as their pal Calvin Klein in Back to the Futurethanks to the film's screenwriter Bob Gale.

In the 1985 film, Marty's parents George and Lorraine have no recollection of their son, played by Michael J. Fox, as their dear friend Calvin Klein. As Klein, Marty was responsible for setting his parents up on a date when he traveled back in time to the 1950s. How could George and Lorraine not recognize their son as the same person who played matchmaker all those years ago? That question has been the source of fan discussion for over 30 years, and the decades-long dispute was yet again revived on social media recently, with the popular Twitter hashtag #5PerfectMovies.

The hashtag asked people to rank their top five "perfect" films. Perfect naturally being in the eye of the beholder. The trend quickly took off, garnering attention from celebrities like Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and his lead actor, Chris Pratt.

Gunn brought up the infamous Back to the Future plot hole as he dove into a larger discussion over what makes a perfect film. For Gunn, a film doesn't need to be technically flawless in order for him to consider it perfect. In fact, he gave the top spot to Back to the Future.

Pratt responded to Gunn on Twitter with his own reason why Marty's parents may not remember him ...

According to Gale, Pratt's got the idea.

The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Gale to clear up this mystery once and for all. According to Gale, George and Lorraine only knew Marty/Calvin for six days when they were 17 years old, and they didn't even see him for every single one those days. The screenwriter then challenged us all to try to recall a specific kid from high school we only knew for a short period of time, especially after 25 years! 

"... I would ask anyone to think back on their own high school days and ask themselves how well they remember a kid who might have been at their school for even a semester. Or someone you went out with just one time. If you had no photo reference, after 25 years, you'd probably have just a hazy recollection," said Gale.

"Lorraine and George might think it funny that they once actually met someone named Calvin Klein, and even if they thought their son at age 16 or 17 had some resemblance to him, it wouldn't be a big deal. I'd bet most of us could look thru our high school yearbooks and find photos of our teen-aged classmates that bear some resemblance to our children."

Back to the Future costar Lea Thompson couldn't help but weigh in on the closing of the long-discussed Marty McFly mystery. Taking to Twitter, Thompson invoked one of Doc Brown's most famous catchphrases ...

Well, that settles it! 

Until the next great plot hole mystery emerges, we'll be powering up the flux capacitor with 1.21 gigawatts and venturing off into the great unknown future ... or is it past?