Back to the Future Predictions So Accurate They’re Scary

Photo by Kate Perkins

Back to the Future was a widely popular set of movies released in the late 1980s. The trilogy chronicled a classic tale of friendship, adventure, and — spoiler alert — time travel. Even if you never watched the movies as a kid, you’ve probably stumbled upon a “Great Scott!” meme at least once in your lifetime.

The second movie in the series, Back to the Future Part II, begins with Doc Brown and Marty McFly traveling, you guessed it, back to the future. For those of you who haven’t seen the movies, their mission is to pull off some sweet hoverboard stunts, I mean save the fate of the universe from bad guy Biff.

Why our sudden interest in vintage fantasy films? Well October 21, 2015 just so happens to be the day that Marty and Doc traveled to from 1985. That’s right everyone, it’s officially the future! 

great scott

In honor of this momentous day, Valley thought it would be fun to revisit our favorite ’80s trilogy and see how many of their predictions actually came true.


Tight jeans, high-top sneaks and a funky snapback all sound like they belong in the closet of a modern skater teen. Marty McFly, the 80s epitome of skater punk, donned that exact combination only moments after traveling to the future. The rest of the cast was a little over dressed in their wild prints, metallic hats and graphic facial tattoos. But McFly’s sense of style has stayed true throughout time.  


3D Movies, an alien concept in 1989, are so common today they are all but cliche. When Marty first wanders into town to track down his nemesis he is confronted by a holographic shark. The animation springs from a movie theater to promote the new movie “Jaws 19.” While movie posters aren’t quite as engaging today, 3D technology is still quite commonplace. Plus, our dedication to sequels is almost as intense as the movie predicted.  


Since the invention of Skype and FaceTime, video calls have become an everyday sight. At one point in the movie, Marty’s future self receives an astonishing call on his big screen TV. An impossible feat in the 80s, this style of calling is now available through laptops and smartphones with the press of a button.  


One thing this movie got really right was technology — everywhere. Flat screen TVs, small digital cameras, smart homes, voice commands and virtual reality were all impossibilities when the movie was created. However, today’s world is dominated by screens and technology is just about as advanced as was predicted, if not even more futuristic.


This prediction is yet to be proved, but chances are looking good for the Chicago Cubs. In Back to the Future II, Marty overhears a news broadcast announcing that against enormous odds, the Cubs would win the World Series. The real Chicago Cubs have had some tough luck over the years. According to this ESPN article, the team hasn’t won the World Series in over 100 years. However, on this fateful date, their luck may finally turn for the better. The baseball team is currently playing one of its best seasons in decades and remains in the running for the final World Series game in November.   


Unfortunately, flying cars that travel through time are not quite available for sale. Although, we’re sure NASA is working on one as we speak. What has come true is another form of transportation we’ve always dreamed of: hoverboards. A little tamer than the flying board Marty rides in the movie, the hands-free Segway is now a familiar sight around campus. Whether a board with wheels counts as a true hoverboard is still up for debate, but we think anything that can get you across campus without lifting a toe should receive at least partial hoverboard credit.   

That’s our breakdown of Back to the Future’s 2015 forecasts. We plan to celebrate today by throwing on some hightop Nikes, rooting for the Cubs and playing on our smartphones like the futuristic society we are.