14

So, in Back to the Future II, we see that when 1985 Jennifer sees 2015 Jennifer, they go into shock as predicted by Doc Brown. Yet, when old Biff sees young Biff, they don't go into shock. Why this inconsistency?

13
  • 1
    Why did someone downvote this question? If Gale and Zemeckis thought it was worth addressing in the FAQ, presumably it's a good question...
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 20, 2015 at 22:56
  • 4
    The guidelines in the help center explicitly encourage people to answer their own questions, and to ask questions they already know the answer to for the purpose of having the answer be "on the record" so to speak.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 20, 2015 at 23:24
  • 1
    Perhaps, I say perhaps, even though asking questions that you know the answer to is encouraged, answering it yourself before anyone has a chance to post an answer gives people a cheated feeling? I suggest letting the pixels dry prior to closing the loop. Oct 21, 2015 at 1:31
  • 2
    If any downvoters are reading this, I'd say that if you respect the rules of the site, you shouldn't vote based on personal likes or dislikes that aren't relevant to the quality of questions/answers themselves--as explained in this part of the help center, the point of voting is that the more people vote, "the more certain future visitors can be of the quality of information contained within that post", and that "voting down a post signals ... that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information".
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 21, 2015 at 2:30
  • 3
    There is nothing wrong with answering your own question. You are providing a service to everyone by sharing your knowledge, and both the question and answer are great. "Having the chance to answer" is not the point of the site. The point of the site is to build up a bank of knowledge, in a Q&A form.
    – Praxis
    Oct 21, 2015 at 14:26

1 Answer 1

13

Two key differences

  • Intention: the two Jennifers weren't expecting to see each other. Conversely, old Biff had every intention of seeing his younger self
  • Recognition Where the two Jennifers recognised themselves, remember that young Biff didn't recognise old Biff as himself:

    Old Biff: You always did have a way with women.

    Young Biff: Get the hell out of my car, old man.

    As pointed out by Hypnosifl in the comments below, this is verified in the Official BTTF FAQ:

1.14: Why is it that Jennifer faints when she sees her future self, but Biff has no problem when he meets his older self?

A: Jennifer definitely realizes she is seeing herself 30 years older and that puts her into shock. Young Biff, however, has no idea who old Biff really is — he thinks it's just "some old codger with a cane."

(Script)

3
  • Exactly ... <sigh> Oct 20, 2015 at 22:53
  • 2
    On the "recognition" explanation, this idea is endorsed by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis in the Official BTTF FAQ, question 1.14 asks Why is it that Jennifer faints when she sees her future self, but Biff has no problem when he meets his older self? and their answer is Jennifer definitely realizes she is seeing herself 30 years older and that puts her into shock. Young Biff, however, has no idea who old Biff really is — he thinks it's just "some old codger with a cane."
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 20, 2015 at 22:53
  • The recognition bit is helped by the fact that the Biffs were sixty years apart, but the Jennifers were only thirty. Mar 16, 2016 at 20:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.