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Back to the Future (1985) Poster

Goofs

Continuity 

The wheels on Marty's skateboard when the Doc backs the DeLorean out of the truck change from yellow to pink.
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Anachronisms 

Ridiculing Marty's jacket, one of Biff's friends in 1955 refers to Marty as "this dork." The word "dork" as a name for a stupid person first appeared in 1967.
The Honeymooners: The Man from Space, which Lorraine's family watches in November 1955, wasn't shown until 31 December 1955.
The guitar Marty plays in 1955 is a Gibson ES-345 with a retrofitted Bigsby vibrato (you can still see the studs on which the original stop tailpiece had been fitted); both the guitar and vibrato were introduced after 1955. The ES-345 was first produced in 1958 and it uses humbucker pickups invented by Seth Lover of Gibson in 1957.
The dinner plates used by the Baines family in the 1950s were not made until the 1970s.
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The Awards on the Cub Scouts uniform in the scene after Biff car runs into the Manure truck are wrong for that time period. Progress beads were not introduced till much later.
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During the clock tower chase, disability signs are visible. These were first used in the 1970s.
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Marty goes back to November 5, 1955. At the movie theater on in town, it shows Cattle Queen of Montana as the feature currently playing. That film was released on 18 November 1954, and would not still be playing almost a year later.
The "keys" on the basketball court where the dance takes place are the newer keys which are 12 feet in width and were not used till around the 1970s. The old keys in the 1950s were much narrower.
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The Pepsi thermometer just inside the door of the diner was first produced in 1956.
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When Marty completes the improvised guitar ending for "Johnny B. Goode," he kicks over the guitar amplifier. The amplifier makes the electronic "splash" sound like a guitar amplifier that has a reverb tank. Guitarist Dick Dale and Leo Fender developed the first prototype reverb unit in 1961. Fender's Fender Musical Instruments Corp. introduced the first reverb units in 1962, seven years after the dance, which takes place in 1955.
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In 1955, the record shop has a Chordettes CD cover from the 1980s, and Eydie Gormé's album 'Eydie In Dixieland' from 1959. There's also Patti Page's album 'In The Land Of HiFi' (1956) and 'Nat King Cole''s album 'Unforgettable' (1954), the only record released before 1955.
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The Pepsi "Bottle" sign directly above the Pepsi vending machine outside the gas station is from 1936, and not likely to be still hanging around in 1955.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

The sound and volume of Marty's singing never changes, even when he moves way back from the mic.
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When Marty is playing "Johnny B. Goode" in the dance, George pushes the guy dancing with Lorraine aside yet has not kissed her. Marty takes his hand from the fretboard, yet the sound of a guitar strumming can be heard even though Marty is the only guitar player on stage.
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When Marty hits the final note of Johnny B Goode, you can hear the note being sustained with vibrato, yet Marty isn't applying any.
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In the "save the clocktower" scene, the can for donations makes the sound of a few noisy coins inside, but when Marty donates a quarter, it makes the sound of only one coin dropping into an empty can.
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When Marty plays "Johnny B. Goode", the double bass sound is the sound of a slapped double bass (the string pulled and knocked on the wood to give it a percussion effect), while the musician plays normally with his fingers. At the end of Marty's solo, the drums can still be heard, but a shot of the drummer shows that he is not playing the drums.
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When Marty watches George ride his bicycle past Lou's diner, the bicycle bell is rung several times. There is no bell on George's bicycle (even clearer later when we see the bicycle leaning up against the tree).
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Character error 

When Biff returns George's wrecked car. Biff opens the refrigerator, and says "I have your car towed all the way to your house, and all you got for me is lite beer?" There are clearly 3 cans of regular Budweiser on the door to his left.
Marty tells the band at the dance that the song is in B, but when he plays, it's in B flat.
The "Libyan" driver wears a Saudi headdress.
Doc Brown considers traveling to the birth of Christ, which he enters as "DEC 25 0000". There is no year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D, and it is also believed that Christ was actually born in Spring or Summer of 6 or 4 B.C. (although Robert Zemeckis has claimed that this was meant to be a joke). Furthermore, the DeLorean would still have arrived in California in the "year 0000" with no way to get to the Middle East.
When Marty wakes up in his bed in 1985, in the bookcase behind his head there's a yellow magazine named "RQ". This stands for "Reference Quarterly", a trade journal of reference librarians. In the DVD commentary track by producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton, they admit that the set dresser made a mistake in putting it in, as a teenager would have no reason to have a copy of "RQ".
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At the diner in 1955, Marty wants something without sugar but asks for a "Pepsi Free." In 1985, Pepsi Free was the name of caffeine-free, not sugar-free, Pepsi. If Marty wanted Pepsi without sugar he should have asked for "Diet Pepsi" or "Diet Pepsi Free." Presumably the filmmakers ignored this in order to get both the "Tab" and "Pepsi Free" gags into the scene.
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Doc cautions Marty to not lose "those tapes", yet there is just the one videotape in the camera.
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Doc Brown considers visiting the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was not signed on July 4, 1776. It was printed and distributed on that date. The actual signing happened later.
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Doc's 1955 house has a doorbell; the button is clearly visible on the right side of the doorframe as Doc opens the door. Yet Marty knocks on the door instead of ringing the doorbell.
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When he finds that his machine gun is ineffective in stopping the DeLorean, the terrorist gunner is shown leaning down and speaking through the open sunroof to someone else in the back of the van, telling him to help him get out the grenade launcher. Yet in the other close-up shots of the van, just the gunner's legs are visible inside the van, there is nobody else visible in the van besides the driver.
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Continuity 

When Doc is telling Marty how his time machine works, he says, "Never mind that now, never mind that now." When he says this, Marty has the camera down by his side and isn't filming, yet later in the film when Marty shows the film to Doc in 1955, the film starts out with the camera on Doc saying, "never mind that now, never mind that now..."
In the "save the clock tower" sequence, the same man rounds the corner in the background twice in the same direction.
When the DeLorean goes 1 minute into the future, the fire goes between Doc's legs but when the camera switches angles, it no longer does.
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When Marty hitches a ride on the back of a truck, as he waves to the girls in the fitness center you can see he has a watch on his left hand. But when he meets Jennifer in school moments later, it has gone.
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During the initial test run at the beginning of the film when the Delorean returns from its one minute trip into the future it is completely caked in ice and extremely cold to the touch. When Marty goes back to 1955 it doesn't happen but when he returns to the future the Delorean is again caked in ice.
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When George opens a bottle for Marty he has very disheveled, but a few moments later when they are out of the cafe George's hair is perfectly styled.
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A picture on the table below Biff, and the candy in Biff's hand when he is talking to George about his car in 1985.
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The sign atop Red Thomas' campaign car in 1955 changes direction as it turns the corner and one of the large loudspeakers disappears (the rear one).
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During the Enchantment Under the Sea dance the left speaker is atop a box, but when Marty gets on stage and kicks over the speaker the box is gone.
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At the dance, the picture under the strings at the head of Marty's guitar disappears in long shots.
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When Doc is talking about the significance of November 5 1955, Marty's camera alternates from his side to his eye between shots.
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Just after Marty tells Biff to "Get your meat hooks... off..." he and Biff grab each other's lapels, poised to punch. In the next shot, Marty is no longer holding him and his collar is neat.
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In 1955, Doc tries to read Marty's thoughts with a huge device on his head. After Marty says he's from the future, Doc starts saying "Do you know what this means? It means that this damn thing doesn't work at all". During his sentence, he tried to untie his strap under his chin and it's obvious he's struggling. He doesn't finish untying it, but in the next shot the device is in mid-air.
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When the lady from the Hill Valley Preservation Society hands the flyer to Marty, the text that Jennifer writes on its back later is already visible.
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At the end of the movie after Marty is dropped off by Brown, Brown travels to the future after leaving Marty's driveway. The next morning, when Brown comes back for Marty, Marty tells Brown that there is not enough road to make it to 88 miles per hour, but he stood on his driveway and watched Brown do exactly that the night before.
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Odometer in the DeLorean throughout the movie. During the chase scenes with the Libyans, it is first shown as 33061 (When Marty says "C'mon move! Dammit!"), then it drops to 32994 (when Marty makes a sharp right turn and the speedometer drops significantly), then back up to 33062 (just before jumping to 1955), and finally towards the end of the movie , back down to 33051 (just before going back to 1985).
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When Marty is escaping from the Libyans, the time circuit is already on when he moves his hand from the ignition to the gearshift. But when he shifts the second time, the time circuit seems to be off until he bumps its power switch.
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When talking to George at the clothesline, both of Marty's shirt pocket flaps are out, but in the next shot one of them is tucked in. Shortly after that, both pocket flaps are out again.
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When Marty is pretending to be Darth Vader, the hair dryer in his belt appears and disappears (some extra footage, wherein Marty moves the hair dryer, was cut from the final version).
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In the beginning of the film, the 1985 Marty is in his house discussing the wrecked car with George and Biff. A glass candy jar is shown, filled to the top with candy. In the next scene, the candy jar is only half full.
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When Doc dislodges the cable from the lamppost you can see the minute hand on the clock tower advance, yet one moment later when he looks over his shoulder the minute hand advances again.
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The "Save The Clock Tower" flyer that Marty shows to Doc Brown in 1955 is smooth and pristine when he first unfolds it; in later shots it alternates between being wrinkled and smooth before Doc Brown wads it up.
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Marty shows Doc the letter that Jennifer wrote to him on the back of the "save the clock tower" flyer. Moments later, when Doc has the flyer and is reading the print, there is no writing on the back from Jennifer.
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The key bunch Marty used to try starting the stalled Delorean, shortly after he mounted the cable hook at the back of the car in 1955, was different from the bunch he used to start the again-stalled car shortly after his return to 1985. In fact, the one he used in the later scene consisted of just one key in a metal hoop.
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In 1955, when Biff loses control of his car and crashes sideways into the manure truck, the position of the car in conjunction with the truck changes from one shot to the next. When the car hits the truck, only the back seat area is in a position to be dumped on, but when the camera angle changes, the entire car is now in a position to have manure dumped on it.
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Outside the gas station when Marty attempts to build George's courage, they purchase a soda from the Pepsi machine. After Marty's futile attempts to twist off the cap, George takes it to the side opener and pops off the top. Just before the cutaway you will notice the soda is about to overflow, and when they turn around the soda is under control, but still completely full.
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The door pull strap on the DeLorean driver's door repeatedly alternates between being entirely absent, present, and present but installed incorrectly.
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When Marty crashes into the barn he drives right through the open gate of the barn. But when we see him getting out of the car the gate behind him is closed or has miraculously been replaced by a wall.
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When the lady approaches Jennifer and Marty about saving the clock tower, the can of coins in the lady's hand changes position in between shots.
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When Marty shows the Doc of 1955 the videotape, the Doc of 1985 says "the flux capacitor stores it and then releases it", something he didn't say at the original scene at the mall. There are other differences between the two scenes.
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The time circuit displays used in the car before and after Einstein's 1 minute trip are different. Before the trip the months are shown as two decimal numbers (this can be clearly seen when Doc is strapping Einstein in). After the trip the months are displayed as abbreviated month names ('Oct','Nov').
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During the skateboard chase, just as Biff is about to ram Marty, an ice-cream salesman can be briefly seen who appears and disappears between the next cuts.
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In the diner scene in 1955, Marty explains to young George McFly and Goldie Wilson that Goldie will be mayor in the future. Right after Marty says this, Goldie pauses and George looks at Marty. In the very next shot, George is looking at Goldie.
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When Marty crashes the DeLorean into the barn, both headlights are working. But when Marty escapes the barn, one headlight is busted out. And in the next shot after that, both headlights are working again.
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When Strickland is by George after he was kicked by Biff and his gang, the "kick me" sign goes from the back of George to Strickland's hands without being taken off.
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When Marty first arrives in Hill Valley and the kid is jumping past with his spring shoes, Biff's car is parked next to the light post outside the record shop. Moments later, as Red Thomas' campaign car goes by, Biffs car is back one parking spot from the light post.
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When Marty is showing the tape to Doc in 1955, 1985 Doc (in the recording) says his line about the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity needed. When the Doc of 1955 says "what did I just say?", Doc in the recording is still talking, but when the tape was recorded, Marty is talking about plutonium immediately after the gigawatt line.
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During the first experiment where Marty first sees the DeLorean, the ramps on Doc Browns van lower. In the first shot, the ramps have wet tire marks as if the car has just been driven into the back of the van from the wet parking lot, but on the next shot of the ramps coming down, they have been wiped clean of tread marks.
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When you first see the band playing on the stage, the amplifier on the left is sitting on top of a Pepsi container. When Marty starts playing the guitar and he knocks the amplifier down, there is no Pepsi container anymore.
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After Marty lands in 1955, when he stops the DeLorean in front of Lyon Estates, his hair is parted to one side in the close up shot, and to a different side in the wider shot.
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At the end when Marty is driving the DeLorean during the thunder storm, the street changes between shots of the street and closeups of the car. When the whole street is shown, it is cobblestone, but when the DeLorean is shown in a close up, the street is a normal asphalt street with yellow markers down the middle.
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When Doc is rushing down a hill towards his laboratory while he's saying "I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady!", Marty is trying to catch up with him but he's real fallen behind. But the next shot when Doc gets to the door, Marty is now right behind him.
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When Marty and the Doc first encounter George McFly in the hallway at school and they are watching him being kicked, a girl with a blue sweater and skirt with a red band around the hem comes down the stairs and walks around them. Seconds later, the same girl with the same clothes makes the same entrance.
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The menu in the diner when Marty talks to George after talking to Biff.
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After Marty has been thrown into the bookshelf after the amp explodes, he is lying on the floor with his left leg bent at the knee. In the very next shot, he has not moved but both legs are straightened and on top of each other.
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Length of Marty's hair before he runs into Lou's Diner.
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When George and Marty are in the diner the first time, being accosted by Biff, George is looking at one of them in one shot, and when the shot changes, his gaze cuts sharply to the other one.
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Marty's skateboard suddenly gains modern wheels and trucks.
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Strickland holds his hands over his ears then puts them down after Marty plays "Johnny B Goode", then in the wide shot of the crowd Strickland has his hands over his ears again.
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When Marty is "hitching a ride" on the back of a jeep, he passes the aerobic center (formerly Lou's Diner) three times. Each time is a different angle.
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The amount of debris on Marty after he blows out the amplifier and the shelf falls on top of him.
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At the beginning of film when Marty realizes he is late for school and rushes out of Doc Browns place, he closes the gate and places his skateboard at his right foot. The long shot then shows him skating away on the left foot.
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When Marty is being chased by the Libyans the Trip Meter which is below the Odometer reads 88 miles traveled, then in the next shot the trip meter reads 86 miles traveled, then in the next shot as Marty slows down the trip meter reads 19 miles traveled, then in the next shot as Marty says "Let's see if you bastards can do 90" the trip meter reads 87 miles traveled.
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When Marty catches onto the Jeep on his way to school. The Driver turns around several times, even talking to him while they're driving. Although he is only shown to turn around once, when he shakes his head at him.
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Biff's car changes quickly when he is chasing Marty on the skateboard.
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When being chased by Biff, Marty's grip on the truck momentarily changes from the back to the side.
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In the coffee shop in 1955, when Marty and George are first seen sitting next to each other, we see Biff's black car outside, parked in the sunshine. When Biff enters the coffee shop, the car in the background is in the shade.
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When Marty is freaking out after arriving in 1955 and fleeing the Peabody farm, the stock footage outside the car window is full of trees. Yet, when Marty stops and gets out to see the Lyon Estates construction site, we see that there are no trees, only open fields.
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In the first test run scene, Doc insists they wear radiation suits, because of the tube of plutonium. However, when he says 'Safe now' and places the empty plutonium holder back in the case, both Marty and Doc Brown remove their protection and Doc opens the case containing 14 other tubes of plutonium!!!
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When Marty arrives in 1955, it is dark outside, but presumably minutes after his confrontation with the Peabodys, it is bright daylight as he speeds up to the future entrance of Lyon Estates.
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When Lorraine is in the bedroom with Marty in 1955, Lorraine asks Marty "Well that's your name isn't it? Calvin Klein?," Marty's arms change position in between shots.
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At the Twin Pines Mall. When Doc shows Marty the two stop watches, in the wide shot they are off. In the next close shot they are on.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Reflected in Marty's sunglasses after he is thrown across the room by the amplifier.
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In the parking lot at the mall, Doc uses a remote control to drive the car after putting Einstein in the driver's seat. As Doc backs the car away from himself and Marty, the stunt-driver's hands wearing black gloves can be seen turning the wheel from underneath a dog suit.
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During the first time travel experiment in the mall parking lot, when the DeLorean reaches 88 miles per hour, it is shown beginning to glow and throw blue sparks. As it does so, it drives past crewmembers with lighting equipment and a generator.
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In some overhead shots of Doc hanging on the clock tower, a pair of stage lights can be seen resting on the ground.
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When Marty is waving to the girls in the aerobics gym (which used to be Lou's Diner) the camera truck is reflected in the large window.
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After the DeLorean takes its first trip in the parking lot of the mall, you can see a lens hood in the left side of the screen as we see Marty and Doc immediately following the fire trails.
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Errors in geography 

After Marty arrives in downtown Hill Valley in 1955, you can see some road markers on the side of the road behind him. These markers are for US Highway 8 and US Highway 395. While US-395 does pass through the state of California, US-8 does not and never had, even back in 1955. US-8 runs through the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
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After Marty arrives in 1955 early in the morning and leaves the barn, he drives what should be a short distance but when he arrives in front of his neighborhood the sun is quite high in the sky. Although we were never told the distance between the mall {Formerly Peabody farm) and Hill Valley, Marty went to the Twin Pines Mall on his skateboard in a matter of only a few minutes in 1985.
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Factual errors 

When the Libyans are chasing Marty, the AK-47 the shooter is using jams not once, but twice. One of the most well-known qualities of this weapon is that it almost never jams, even when filled with water or sand.
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When Marty is getting ready to play guitar through the huge amplifier in Doc Brown's house, he switches on the amplifier, turns all of the gains and overdrive up, plugs the cable into the amplifier, then proceeds to plug the other end of the cable into the guitar. The moment the cable touches the guitar's output jack should have been the moment the amp blew up. Most guitarists will plug the cable into the guitar and amp, THEN turn the amp on. Doing so will avoid making all of the noise that results from the cable and guitar jack making contact.
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The JVC camcorder requires constant pressure to operate the rewind feature, not just a single push and release.
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The DeLorean in the film is normally a manual transmission (you see Marty shift when escaping the Libyans), making the doc's remote-control device impossible.
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The Seeburg remote-selection wall-boxes seen in the diner are incompatible with the Wurlitzer 1015 jukebox.
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Bulletproof vests sufficient to protect against assault rifle fire are heavy and could not be concealed under clothing.
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When Doc is at the Twin Pines mall and tests the DeLorean with Einstein, it appears that the car runs with an automatic transmission: Doc doesn't move any shifter mechanism or clutch on the remote. When Marty gets into the car shortly thereafter and for the rest of the movie, the DeLorean has a manual transmission.
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In the movie Doc says that the time machine is electrical, yet he uses a nuclear reaction to generate power. There is but one type of nuclear reaction that directly generates electrical energy called beta decay, and it is predominantly used for long-term low power output, unlike the high-yield output required by the time circuits. All other nuclear power sources generate heat that is only later transformed into electricity using heat engines and alternators.
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George tells Marty that he can't go to the dance because he will miss his favorite TV show, Science Fiction Theatre. The dance was on a Saturday night while the TV show aired on Fridays.
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The AK-47 that the terrorist uses only has a standard 30-round clip, so there is no way it could fire so many shots without being reloaded.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Although not widely used until after the establishment of the SI in 1960, the metric prefix "giga-" was invented in 1951, so Doc could indeed have known it in 1955.
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While it is true that no consumer televisions were available in 1955 with "baseband" audio and video inputs (and the 1985 camcorder lacked an RF output), many video enthusiasts of the 50s and 60s added baseband audio and video inputs to television sets of that era. With most models of old TVs with discrete circuit components, this was a very easy modification for most electronic tinkerers, and certainly within Doc's capabilities. So it is entirely possible that Marty could connect the camcorder to a TV.
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In the opening scene, Doc's invention overflows Einstein's food bowl. When Marty enters, you see an empty bowl, but that's the water bowl.
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As George is approaching Lorraine in Lou's Diner in 1955, a customer nearby asks for a Cherry Coke. While Cherry Coke wasn't sold as a ready-made drink until 1985, Coke flavored with cherry or vanilla syrup was standard soda fountain fare in 1955.
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It can appear to viewers that Einstein the dog is alive in both 1955 and 1985. Back to the Future Part III retroactively explains that the 1955 puppy is Copernicus, Einstein's predecessor.
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Since most pre-1965 silver coinage was out of circulation before 1985, Marty shouldn't have been able to pay for his coffee. However, the coffee Marty purchases only costs a nickel, a coin which did not change its metallurgical configuration during the transition. Some problems might have come up from the nickel likely having a post-1955 date, but Marty hadn't been warned of this yet.
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DeLorean speedometers only go up to 85 miles per hour, but the one used in the movie goes up to 95 miles per hour. However, Doc presumably "doctored" it.
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After the car returns from its one minute trip, Doc remembers to put some new Plutonium in the receptor. So he places a larger container which contains water and inside is a smaller container containing the Plutonium. The smaller container gets sucked inside the mechanism. But the container from the previous time travel effort would still be in there. Technically he would have had to remove the empty container first and the insert the new one.Since we didn't see Marty and Doc put the Radiation suits on, it is possible that we also weren't shown them removing the spent radiation rod.
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When Doc is walking across the ledge of the clock tower when the camera is looking up towards the ledge, you can see that the section Doc breaks off is clearly marked (it's darker than the rest of the ledge). However, this just indicates that the ledge was in disrepair and only adds to the believability that it would crack under his weight.
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Doc's house number in 1985 is 1646 (no street name indicated), numbers are visible on the fence. When Marty arrives in 1955 and looks for Doc's house, he pinpoints 1640 Riverside in the telephone book. However, in the opening sequence, the camera focuses on a news print claiming "Brown Mansion Destroyed". In 1955, Doc clearly lives in a large mansion, not the one story, half garage he lives in during 1985. It is conceivable that the mansion burned down between 1955 and 1985. Besides that, if Doc lived in the same place in 1955, Marty would not have to look him up, would have have no problem finding his home, and would not be surprised by the size of it as he is shown in the film.
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Although the configuration of the gull wing doors on the DeLorean would make it impossible to open the doors once it was inside Doc's truck, he has a remote control for the car, so he wouldn't need to be inside the vehicle to load or unload it.
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The guitar cord Marty plugs into the amplifier in 1985 is a "stereo" TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) plug-equipped cable; it has 2 dark insulator bands going around the plug. The plug which Marty plugs into his guitar is a "mono" (1 band around the plug) right-angle-plug instrument cable. It is commonly thought that if Marty had been using a TRS cable he would have had another single-banded-plug cable hanging from his guitar (y-cable) but this is not necessarily the case, as a TRS plug can be wired with the ring and sleeve shorted together making the ring and sleeve assembly appear to the jack-socket as being connected electrically and mechanically, and so the plug's two separate contacts will now act as the same electrical contact, just like the right-angled prong that Marty plugs into his guitar.
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During the opening scene, if you watch the clocks carefully, you can tell that not only are some of them not synchronized properly, but some are not even running. However, in becomes obvious that Doc performed some sort of Time Travel experiment on the clocks because of his statement to Marty on the phone that "It worked" and the fact that the clocks were expected to be wrong. His experiment may have affected analog clocks differently, and since Doc hasn't been home for a while, some may have lost the energy by not being wound.
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Plot holes 

When Marty arrives at Twin Pines Mall, Doc Brown drives the DeLorean out of the truck. However, the configuration of the gull wing doors on the DeLorean would make it impossible to open the doors once it was inside Doc's truck. This means that Doc drove the truck to the mall, used the remote control to remove the car from the truck, got inside the car, drove it back in the truck, closed the door of the truck and waited there for Marty to arrive where upon he drove it out of the truck again. Though this is possible, it is illogical.
When Marty arrives in 1955 and crashes in to the barn, the DeLorean does not appear to be covered in ice, like it does on other occasions when it travels in time such as following Doc's 'one-minute experiment' in the parking lot.
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Doc needs 1.21 GW to power the time circuits, and he needs plutonium to generate such an amount of power. While it is possible, it isn't necessary to use a nuclear power source. 1.21 GW is power, not energy, meaning that it's the rate at which the time machine uses energy. Presumably Doc needs the time circuits to be pulling such power for a fraction of a second (as the time jumps in the film are almost instant). So Doc could have built it with either a huge capacitor or a battery, which he would've charged to however much energy the time machine needed (by the DeLorean or through a plug), and then the time machine would use that energy to make a time jump, still pulling 1.21 GW of power. This is analogous to a camera flash, which pulls a lot more power than camera batteries can handle, yet only needs to work for a short amount of time. Doc could have used the same idea for the time circuits.
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Despite all of the DeLorean's collisions with objects or buildings (i.e. the barn, the theater by the clock tower, the trash can, etc.), there is still no visible damage to the car whatsoever. Even stainless steel is not scratch-proof. There would at least be a broken headlight, turn signal, damage to the time travel cables on outside of the car, or some other such thing. But there isn't even a scratch on the metal or windows.
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Doc and Marty know that the lighting bolt that they're going to use to get Marty back to 1985, strikes the clock tower at 10:04 p.m., but they have know idea what second it hits, so there would be no way that they could precisely time that, since no bolt of lighting would consistently strike in the same place, for an entire sixty seconds.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Marty is being chased by terrorists, Eric Stoltz is playing Marty. Michael J. Fox was later chosen over him, but they kept the driving scenes at the mall with Stoltz in, since the shots were fairly distant and the driver's face is not particularly visible.
In 1955, when the DeLorean is approaching the wire to receive the 1.21 Gigawatts from the lightning bolt, the Flux Capacitor starts to work, spreading the tell-tale blue flashes of light around the vehicle, yet the Flux Capacitor has not received any electricity from the lightning yet.
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When doc is using the remote control for the time machine at the start, a close up of the remote control shows that the voltmeter for the battery is reading zero - the unit is off.
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When Marty gets thrown back by the giant exploding amp, he goes into motion a split-second before the amp blows.
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Obvious stunt double for Biff when he and his thugs are chasing Marty around the town square.
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Obvious stunt double when Marty is walking all over Biff's car to avoid the manure truck.
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When Marty and Jennifer arrive late at school, you can see through the windows at the end of the hall that it's dark outside.
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In 1955 when Marty is playing the JVC video camera for Doc Brown, one of the wires falls off but the picture keeps playing.
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While Marty is running from Biff in 1955, he takes a scooter/skateboard contraption from one of two kids, removes the top part, and skates away, sharply rounding a sidewalk corner on the way. Multiple scratch marks can clearly be seen on the concrete consistent with repeated takes of this stunt.
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When young George McFly is hanging some laundry on the clothes line in his backyard the clothes hang like they are dry, blowing in the weak breeze.
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In the bedroom where Marty first wakes up to meet Lorraine, the stormy early morning light from the window can barely light the end of the bed. She turns the light on and thereafter you can see the light from the rainy window throws clear shadows onto the wallpaper at the back of the room, even though the bedroom light is now on.
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When Marty first meets the Doc he is wearing his mind reading hat. He takes the sucker from the dog and turns on the main machine and attaches the sucker to Marty's forehead. Behind Marty and to his left can be seen a Jacob's ladder electrical spark tube. This was turned on by the Doc using a switch at the top right of the main machine as we see it. Marty later pulls the sucker off his forehead, and the Jacob's ladder spark stops. Neither of them touched any switches to enable that.
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When Doc is strapping Einstein in for his first trip 1 minute into the future, the time circuit readouts clearly show x1-05-1xxx 05:35, x1-05-19xx 05:35 and 10-26-1xxx 01:31. Yet the Destination time (topmost readout) should be "10-26-1985 01:21" (as can be seen in a later scene).
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The alarm setting on Marty's clock-radio is for ten minutes past the hour, so it would not come on at 10:28.
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Although he had a remote unit for the DeLorean at first, Doc is actually inside the DeLorean as it backs out of the van. With its gull wing doors, there is no way he could have gotten into the DeLorean inside the van.
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When Marty looks up Doc's address in the phone book in the diner in 1955, the close-up shot of the hand scrolling the page is clearly that of an older man with age spots, and not the hand of someone of Micheal J. Fox's (or the character Marty's) age.
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(at around 32 mins) There are no shadows around the car, which still has its headlights on. (By 0:32:33) The headlights are still on the car, but there is a very strong sun shadow from about an hour before or after midday.
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When Marty is looking up the Doc in the Phonebook in the Cafe 50's he finds the Doc's info on the left side of the page, and then Marty later rips out the right page and when he is asking Lou Caruthers where the location is you can see the tear on the left side of the page which means that he tore the wrong page out.
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Einstein's "one minute" trip actually takes two minutes, 17 seconds.
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When the fire trails pass from behind under Marty and the Doc at the mall, Marty's and Doc's feet aren't flat on the ground. They are seen floating between the fire trails. The visual effects on this scene weren't done properly.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Marty is getting ready to be sent back to 1985 and the DeLorean won't start, his foot isn't on the clutch. When he bangs his head and it finally starts, we see him taking his foot off the clutch.
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Continuity 

In the latter part of the scene where Marty is accelerating to return to the future, there is a shot of the front of the time machine. To the right of this shot, the sign for the Bluebird Motel is seen, which is about where the "START HERE" line was.
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Continuity 

At the end of the movie, as Marty drives the DeLorean to the start line and then begins the trip up to 88 MPH for his attempted journey back, the street is alternately wet/dry between shots.
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Continuity 

At the end of the film, when Marty is back in his house but everything has changed, his mother is asking him if he's going to the lake with Jennifer. There are two shots of her, one before she asks Marty the question, and one after. In one shot, she has a teacup and saucer in her hand. In the other shot, the teacup and saucer are on the table.
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Continuity 

The letter we see Marty writing in 1955 is not the same letter that Doc pulls out in 1985 after being shot. One noticeable difference is that the 'd' in "disaster" (at the end) is upper case in 1955, but lower case in 1985.
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Continuity 

When Marty returns to 1985, he crashes the DeLorean into the church (that was a theater in 1955), yet he pulls it out and the body of the car is flawless.
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Continuity 

At the end when Doc Brown comes to Marty's house and tells Marty and Jennifer that they need to go back with him and grabs him by the shoulders, Marty's arms are on the outside of Doc's arms but in the next shot, they're on the inside.
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Continuity 

When Lorraine hands George the book out of the box at the end of the film, the box is filled with packing material, but in the next shot, the packing material is gone.
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Continuity 

When Doc is trying to grab the cable dangling from the lightning rod after the ledge breaks, he misses it twice. In his second attempt, he hits it, sending it swinging widely. In the next shot from below, the plug is just barely swinging. Then in the next shot (close on Doc), you can see the cable swinging widely again as he is timing his third attempt to grab it.
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Continuity 

On the night that Marty leaves 1955 and travels back to the future, the swirling storm that generates the crucial lightning bolt instantaneously ceases once he has departed and Doc is seen walking the street with an expression of delight.
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Continuity 

In the "new" 1985 after Marty exclaims the car has been wrecked, George opens the front door to see Biff waxing their BMW. Biff's yellow truck is parked right next to the BMW. When Marty goes out to the garage to see his new truck, Biff's truck is nowhere to be seen. It is also not seen when Doc comes flying into the driveway in the DeLorean and smashing into trash cans.
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Continuity 

When Doc looks in bewilderment at the smoldering cable after Marty returns to the future, we see Doc's car on the left of the screen. While previous scenes show his car to be a convertible, the car in this scene is clearly a hardtop.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the DeLorean backs up before lifting off at the ending of the movie, the camera is reflected on the rear license plate.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Right before the DeLorean makes contact with the wire to send Marty back to the future, you can see another person sitting in the passenger seat of the DeLorean.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Marty and Jennifer are surprised by Doc driving the Delorean up the driveway at the end of the movie, pay attention to the area around Jennifer's left shoulder as Doc steps out of the time machine. The shadow of a microphone boom is clearly visible for almost 3 seconds.
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Factual errors 

Near the end, when Doc makes the jump to the future, he drives up the road from Marty's house, turns around, and accelerates to 88 mph. All this takes exactly 10 seconds from the moment the car starts moving (in the wrong direction) to the moment the flash indicates the temporal jump, which is highly unrealistic even for a race car driven by a professional trying to set a record, let alone a DeLorean driven by a scientist, who wasn't in any hurry. Also, during the jump from 1955 to 1985 it took Marty about two minutes to accelerate to 88 mph (he was already above 60 mph when the clock's handle moved to 10:03), making the 10 second period even less plausible.
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Factual errors 

After Marty returns to 1985, Doc Brown, forewarned by Marty's note, manages to survive being shot by wearing body armor. In 1985, there was no ballistic vest in existence capable of protecting against a long burst of 7.62mm rifle fire from an AK-47 at a range of a few meters.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

At the beginning of the movie the name of the mall was Twin Pine Mall. When Marty arrives back to 1985, the sign at the entrance of the mall parking lot reads Lone Pine Mall. This is due to the fact that Marty knocked down one of the twin pines when he crashed into it when arriving back in 1955. Therefore, when history is changed because of this, there's only one pine tree on the spot where the mall is built, making it The Lone Pine Mall.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

After Marty gets back to 1985 and sees his parents, they don't say anything about how much he looks like Marty from 1955. However, this obviously isn't the first time they've seen their son. They may have noticed the resemblance and may have mentioned it earlier. Alternatively, there is no reason to think they would notice how their son looks like a person they met 30 years ago for one week who they never saw again after that and whom they have no photographs of.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Marty went to the past wearing Nike trainers. When he was being chased by Biff he was wearing Converses. Then when he went back to future he was wearing Nikes again. Marty brought no other clothes with him, but it's conceivable that he obtained a pair of Converse with his other period-correct clothes.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Doc Brown had to determine exactly which moment the lightning would strike the clock tower. 10:04 pm isn't accurate enough to set up the alarm clock in such a way as to make the DeLorean intersect with the cable the exact moment the lightning strikes. However, according to Doc, the flier says that the lightning strikes at "precisely" 10:04, presumably up to the second, which is what really happened. How the "historical preservation society" determined the precise moment of the strike is never explained, but they could have conceivably determined that by studying the clock's mechanism.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Doc is touching the wire when the lightning strikes the clock tower, but he doesn't seem to be electrocuted. However, most of the lightning's energy was absorbed by the flux capacitor (otherwise the time machine wouldn't have worked), and most of the remaining energy went into the ground. Electrical current prefers to move through the most conductive material in its path, which, in this case, would be a thick metal cable and not a human body (this is how the birds can sit on the power lines). Plus, Doc was wearing gloves, which made him even less electrically conductive. Still, even after all these reductions, the current which passed through his body was powerful enough to knock Doc off his feet.
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Plot holes 

When Marty returns to 1985, in under 10 minutes he runs a distance shown as 2 miles on a 1955 sign.
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Revealing mistakes 

At the end of the film when Doc drives into Marty's driveway and knocks over the trash can, the driver (an obvious stuntman) is not wearing the futuristic sunglasses that Doc removes in the next shot.
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Revealing mistakes 

According to the clock tower, it takes about 2 minutes for Marty to get the DeLorean up to 88 mph to catch the lightning, even though he appears to be flooring the gas pedal.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Doc is on the ledge of the clock tower near the end of the movie, he pulls on the wire very hard to get it connected, but you can see when he yanks it, it goes well beyond the point where he could easily connect it to the plug, before it even detaches on the other end at the lamp post. The wire then appears very taut after catching the branch, yet he has more than enough slack left on the wire to wrap it around the big hand of the clock twice and zip down it.
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Revealing mistakes 

Near the end of the movie, Marty positions the DeLorean and realizes he can go back earlier and warn Doc. However, Marty seems to press the buttons 458708 which have no correlation to 10/26/85 0124am.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Marty realizes he can save Doc by going ten more minutes into the past than originally planned, he actually resets the Time Circuits to go eleven more minutes into the past.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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