One of the best parts of Robert Zemeckis’ beloved Back to the Future franchise is, without a doubt, the unlikely friendship between its main characters: Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown.
How exactly a smooth, suave and sociable teenager ended up becoming best buddies with a reclusive old scientist is never explained explicitly, but their dynamic is so delightfully genuine that fans never really felt the need to know anyway. That said, this new theory going around the internet may be something they’d appreciate.
According to Reddit user Primetime22, who explained his theory in an elaborate online thread, Marty and Doc met through a business arrangement. In need of a lab assistant, Doc presumably put out an ad in the paper. Marty, in need of some extra allowance, took up the offer and, unlike other candidates, was not repelled by the scientist’s eccentric personality and way of life.
Given that Zemeckis’ script is often cited as one of the finest ever written, Primetime22 believes that he found several clues in the writing that confirm his suspicions. He mentions how, at the start of the film, Marty is tinkering with an amplifier in Doc’s lab. And since Doc tells him to be careful, it’s implied Marty isn’t just snooping around, but actually doing some sort of chore.
Later in the film, another character asks Marty about the mix tapes he’s been working on. If Primetime22 is to be believed, these tapes were recorded in Doc’s lab as part of their deal. Because Doc is said to have wasted all his money on his countless inventions, it’s safe to say he doesn’t have much money left to pay his assistant.
Marty, in turn, may have proposed to use Doc’s equipment in exchange for his services. This, Primetime22 maintains, was the basis on which their relationship started out. Of course, by the time the film begins, Marty and Doc are hanging out with each other not necessarily because of favors, but because they’re friends.
Tell us, though, how do you feel about the fact that Back to the Future never really explained such a seemingly important plot point? Let us know in the comments below!