How Did Marty and Doc Become Friends Before 'Back to the Future'?
Watching the film hundreds of times throughout my life, I've been one of those viewers who's come to wonder about an unknown detail concerning our two protagonists in the Back to the Future trilogy. Obviously Dr. Emmett L. Brown and Marty McFly are good friends when we begin our story, but it's never really explained how a young, awkward and somewhat rebellious high school kid hooked up with a wacky, scientist which many find to be nothing more than a crackpot around town. Thankfully co-writer Bob Gale noticed this question at Mental Floss and came through with info on Marty and Doc's friendship.
Here's what Gale revealed as to how Marty and Doc became friends before the film begins:
Okay, from the horse's mouth (yes, I'm the horse—er, co-writer, co-creator): We never explained it in the movie. But the history of the characters that Bob Zemeckis and I created is this…
For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc's lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. When Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc.
And that's the origin of their relationship.
So it may not be the most exciting information, but at long last, fans of the series now know why a teenage kid and a brilliant but cooky scientist became friends. Surely there's been some wild theories out there, but now we can lay them all to rest. Either way, the dynamic between these two characters on screen for no less than three films is just so fantastic, it really doesn't matter all that much why/how they became friends. Of course, cinephile like myself just have to know everything about their favorite movies. And knowing is half the battle.