ByJonathan Sim, writer at Creators.co
I'm a writer/film theorist. Follow for stuff on Pixar, Harry Potter, Back to the Future, and more!
Jonathan Sim

Out of all the Back to the Future theories that I've posted about and read, this theory is the coolest one I have ever seen. Basically, this theory says that all three movies are one big chiasmus.

What is a chiasmus? Well, let's take a look at the nursery rhyme, "Hickory Dickory Dock."

See how that works? Basically, the beginnings and ends are always either very similar or exact opposites. Then, it just goes on like that until we reach the middle, which, in the poem, is "C." The theory states that Back to the Future is a chiasmus.

This theory was created by Robert Lockard. All ideas and picture credit belong to him. And MASSIVE SPOILERS starting in the next paragraph and until the end of the post.

A. Blown Back

In the first film, Marty discovers a mess on the floor and is then blown back by Doc's amplifier. Doc then gives Marty instructions.

In the third film, Marty and Jennifer discover a mess on the ground and they are then blown back by Doc's time train. Doc then gives Marty and Jennifer advice.

B. Marty Overcomes Insecurities

In the first film, Marty expresses his worry to Jennifer that maybe he wasn't cut out for music and maybe his band wouldn't be successful. Then, he sees a truck that he would like to have someday.

In the third film, Marty picks up Jennifer in that truck and when Needles calls Marty chicken, Marty learns not to care what he said.

C. He Goes Home To Find His Family

In the first film, Marty returns home, passing the Lyon Estates sign and finds Biff bullying George.

In the third film, Marty returns home, passing the Lyon Estates sign and finds a nice Biff.

D. The DeLorean's Debut And Demise

In the first film, the DeLorean time machine is introduced. It time travels and then, the license plate spins on its corner and falls.

In the third film, the DeLorean time machine is destroyed. It is hit by a train and then, the license plate spins on its corner and falls.

E. Marty's First And Last Time Travels

In the first film, Marty is about to hit a ticket booth, when he accelerates to 88 mph and is sent 30 years to the past.

In the third film, Marty is about to hit a wooden sign, when he accelerates to 88 mph and is sent 70 years to the future.

F. Marty Changes History

When Marty gets to 1955, he runs into a pine tree, which would eventually cause the Twin Pines Mall to be named the Lone Pine Mall.

In 1885, he defeats Buford Tannen and many believe that he died trying to stop outlaws from stealing a train and was such a hero that he caused the Shonash Ravine to be named the Eastwood Ravine.

G. Looking For Doc

In the first film, Marty goes to Lou's Café to find Doc's house and attempts to call him.

In the third film, Clara goes to Doc's shop to find Doc's whereabouts.

H. McFly Vs. Tannen

In the first film, Biff arrives at the café and begins pushing around George, telling him to get his homework done for him.

In the third film, Buford arrives in the town center and is fought by Marty, who punches him into a gravestone and then a truck full of manure.

I. Marty Sacrifices Himself For Someone He Cares About

In the first film, George is about to be hit by a car, but is saved by Marty, who pushes him out of the way, and is hit by the car as a result.

In the third film, Doc is about to be shot by Buford, but is saved by Marty, who arrives at the town center, and is shot in the chest as a result.

J. Expressing Love For Someone

In the first film, Lorraine shows romantic feelings for Marty, which Marty does not return, being her son.

In the third film, Doc shows romantic feelings for Clara, which Clara does not return because she does not believe Doc is a time traveler.

K. Making Plans, Moving DeLorean

Pictured scenes do not depict actual event
Pictured scenes do not depict actual event

In the first film, Marty arrives at Doc's house, they move the DeLorean there, and begin a plan to return home.

In the third film, Doc arrives at the train tracks, they move the DeLoreon onto them, and this kickstarts their plan to return home.

L. Marty Protects People He Cares For From Harm

In the first film, Biff is harassing Lorraine and Marty stands up for her, grabbing Biff and nearly starting a fight. However, Marshal Strickland breaks it up.

In the third film, Doc is about to get shot, but Marty throws a plate at Buford's hand, causing him to miss. Then, Mr. Strickland breaks it up.

M. Chase Scene

In the first film, Marty is chased by Biff and his gang after he angered them. They catch up to him, but right when they do, Biff's car is damaged.

In the third film, Clara is chased by Doc and Marty after snakes scared her horses. They catch up to her, but right when they do, Clara's horse carriage is destroyed.

N. Girls Find Marty And Doc

In the first film, while Marty is at Doc's place, they hear someone at the door. Doc looks through and sees that it is Lorraine. They quickly cover the DeLorean and Lorraine asks Marty to the dance.

In the third film, while Marty is at Doc's place, they hear someone at the door. Doc looks through and sees that it is Clara. They quickly cover the DeLorean and Clara invites Doc to the festival.

O. Marty Warns Doc About His Impending Death

In the first film, Marty warns Doc about his death by writing and giving him a letter telling him about it.

In the third film, Marty warns Doc about his death by giving him a picture of his tombstone.

P. Tannen And His Friends Attack Marty

In the first film, Biff grabs Marty and throws him toward his friends. They pick Marty up and lock him inside a car truck. However, he is saved by Marvin.

In the third film, Buford ties a rope around Marty and then a noose around his neck. They lift Marty up and attempt to hang him. However, he is saved by Doc.

Q. Marty Sees His Future Take Flight

In the first film, Marty sees George and Lorraine fall in love, which would mean that Marty will be born 13 years after.

In the third film, Marty sees Seamus and Maggie as a couple, which would mean that Marty will be born 83 years after.

R. Marty Time Travels To Save Doc

In the first film, Marty goes from 1955 to 1985 to save Doc from being shot by terrorists.

In the third film, Marty goes from 1955 to 1885 to save Doc from being shot by Buford.

S. Is Doc Dead?

In the first film, Marty is horrified as he looks at Doc's apparent lifeless corpse, and then Doc wakes up.

In the third film, Marty is horrified as he looks at Doc's gravestone and then the 1955 Doc arrives to see what Marty was looking at.

T. Being Driven Home

In the first film, after Doc's successful time travel plan, Doc drives Marty to his home so he can sleep.

In the third film, after Doc's successful time travel plan, Marty drives Doc to his home so he can recover.

U. Appearing From The Future

In the first film, in 1985, Doc suddenly appears and tells Marty that they had to go back to the future.

In the third film, in 1955, Marty suddenly appears and tells Doc that he had come back from the future.

V. Doc About The Future

In the second film, Jennifer begins to ask questions about her future, but as a result, Doc knocks her out with a sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator.

Later, Doc tells Marty that he was in 1885, and is okay with telling Marty and 1955 Doc about his future.

W. Doc Leaves Marty Behind

In the second film, Doc leaves Marty behind in 2015 as he leaves in the DeLorean to intercept Marty Jr.

Later, Doc leaves Marty behind in 1955 as he is transported to 1885 in the DeLorean.

X. The Sports Almanac

In the second film, Marty sees the Almanac in the store and buys it, which creates an alternate timeline.

Later, Marty destroys the Almanac by setting it on fire, which reverts the timeline.

Y. Marty Defeats Tannen

In the second film, Marty fights with Griff and eventually, he escapes on a hoverboard. Griff begins to go after Marty on his hoverboard about to hit him with a bat. At the last second, Marty jumps into the water, and Griff ends up colliding into the clock tower.

Later, Marty fights with Biff and eventually, he escapes on a hoverboard. Biff begins to go after Marty in his car about to hit him. At the last second, Marty is saved by Doc, and Biff ends up colliding into a truck full of manure.

Z. Biff Takes The Almanac

In the second film, Doc isn't happy when he hears of Marty's plan to use the Almanac. Doc puts it in the trash, but later, Biff finds it and takes it, planning to use it.

Later, Doc is happy when he hears that Marty had gotten the Almanac. Marty puts it in his jacket pocket, but later, Biff finds it and takes the book, planning to use it.

AA. Remaining Unseen

In the second film, Jennifer tries to remain unseen by her future family because meeting her future self could create a paradox.

Later, Marty tries to remain unseen by his past self because if Biff's goons were to jump him, it would create a paradox.

BB. Old Biff's Plan

In the second film, we see old Biff steal the DeLorean in order to give the book back to his past self.

Later, we see old Biff give the book to his past self, having just gotten out of the DeLorean.

CC. Doc And Marty Enter And Leave 1985A

In the second film, Marty and Doc go 30 years into the past, arriving in an alternate 1985, in which Biff is powerful and married to Lorraine.

Later, Marty and Doc go 30 years into the past, leaving the alternate 1985.

DD. Marty Escapes Home

In the second film, Marty escapes his old home after finding out that an African-American family lived there now and then avoids attack from Strickland's gun and a group of "slackers."

Later, Marty escapes his new home after finding out when Biff got the Almanac and then avoids attack from Biff's gun.

EE. Explaining The Alt. Timeline

In the second film, Doc explains to Marty what the alternate timeline meant, showing him the bag of the almanac and a newspaper photo with Biff and the almanac in his pocket.

Later, Biff explains to Marty what the alternate timeline meant, showing him the actual almanac.

And That's It!

Wow. This is my longest post I have ever done. As of now, this is my 1900th word and it says the reading time is 6 minutes and 21 seconds. So, this theory was created by Robert Lockard and I think it is a great theory. It has few holes and is done very well.

All picture and theory credit belongs to Lockard and right now, I'm just saying a lot of stuff because I'm trying to get to 1985 words.

Just wait till you see what happens when this baby hits 88mph:

Tell me what is your favorite Back to the Future theory in the comment section below.