How many “what they got right” and “what they got wrong” articles have you read this year about Back to the Future? It seems as if the same items keep making an appearance on those lists. We get it. At this point, it’s pretty clear we don’t have flying DeLoreans and fax machines. What about things the film makers kinda predicted? Not every forecast in the movie was 100% accurate, but some of the concepts weren’t far off there.
Here are a few things Back to the Future kinda got right about 2015.
8 – Diminishing Demand for Physical Media
Doc lands the time machine in an alley way filled with piles of discarded LaserDiscs. A lot of “what they got wrong” articles poke fun that the film makers seemed to think we would still be using LaserDiscs in 2015. What if the intent was simply to show a diminishing demand for physical media? Suddenly, it’s an accurate prediction. It could have been any format in the garbage – VHS, DVDs, CDs – it just happened to be LaserDiscs that served as the example. With the rise of streaming media and downloadable content, suddenly having an entire wall in your basement covered in CD racks seems like a waste of space.
7 – Attached to Electronics at the Table
Phones are at most dinner tables in the year 2015.
When’s the last time you really enjoyed a nice meal with someone? It’s at least been before smart phones were a thing. I can’t recall the last time I went out to lunch and every single person at the table left the cell phones in their pockets. Electronics and entertainment followed the future McFly children to the dinner table in Back to the Future Part II in the form of video phone glasses. Yeah, that’s pretty accurate.
6 – Pizza Hut as Takeout
A look at how relevant Pizza Hut is in the future, err, now.
On family dinner night, the McFly group gets together for a delicious pizza. Do they dine-in at a Pizza Hut restaurant? No, instead the grandparents bring over some miniature take-out and rehydrate it at home. Many Pizza Hut locations are now carry-out only, so this seems like another accurately predicted scenario of the year 2015.
The irony here is that a movie tie-in commercial for Pizza Hut depicts two 1980s teens going to the future and wondering about “that place that used to deliver” as they walk past a Domino’s Hardware store. Should they have come across a Used-to-be-a-Pizza-Hut building instead?
5 – Inconsistent Pronunciation of “2015”
What other predictions did the trailer kinda get right?
Why haven’t we yet reached a consensus on how we pronounce years in this decade? Even the Back to the Future crew knew this would be an issue. If you catch the trailer for the second film, Doc pronounces the year as “twenty-fifteen”. In the movie itself, it’s “two-thousand-fifteen”. Later, Back to the Future: The Ride would revert to the “twenty-fifteen” pronunciation. This is a real issue people are really having and they knew it would be a problem.
4– Bar Codes
The hover-converted DeLorean sports a futuristic barcode license plate. Does every car on the highway have one of these? No, obviously not. Is there more use of scan codes today than in 1985? Yes! Next time you get one of those coupon books in the mail, check out the QR codes for all the restaurants. I’m thinking they called this one, too.
3 – Social Media Profiles
Needles is a fan of Slamball and tennis, apparently.
When Marty McFly takes a couple video calls from co-workers, he finds himself in a great position to learn a little more about their lives. Part of the on-screen display includes the same kind of information you would find on someone’s social media profile, such as where they work, hobbies, and the like. We aren’t all making phone calls via TV, yet, but that kind of information comes along with every day online socializing now. Close enough.
2 – 80s Nostalgia
The best spot for a Pepsi in all of Hill Valley is, of course, the Cafe 80s. Doc recommends the restaurant as being “one of those nostalgia places” as if to indicate 80s nostalgia is a big trend in the year 2015. Well, 80s nostalgia is a big thing right now! How do we know? Uh, well, we have some experience in the department of rewinding to 1980s pop culture.
1 – Back to the Future: The Ride Clearly Doesn’t Exist
How great would it be to ride the flying DeLorean one more time in 2015? Ah, well.
In the 1990s, you didn’t visit California without stopping by Universal Studios Hollywood to jump on Back to the Future: The Ride. When Doc brings his pal Marty to the future, that’s the first place they should’ve gone… but they didn’t. That’s a big red flag we all should have caught. They really didn’t have to close down the ride just for the sake of another accurate prediction. No, really.
PopRewind.com: We’ll take you back!