In Back to the Future Part II, when Marty and Doc return from 2015 to 1985, Marty asks Doc:

Did we make it? Are we back?

Why did he ask that? Did he have doubts that the time machine was working? They had used it successfully a couple of hours before to jump into 2015. What could have been wrong with it?

I know this may sound as a silly question but still it disquiets me.

  • 2
    "What could have been wrong with it?" - for some reason I thought this whole film series was about people who said this exact thing at some point... May 25, 2017 at 7:37
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    May have just been conversational, or relief that the previous ordeal was over, or it may have been to foreshadow what was to come - i.e. they weren't really home as such. Maybe it looked a bit different and it just gave Marty a bad feeling...
    – komodosp
    May 25, 2017 at 7:56
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    When Doc and Marty return to 1985 from 2015, they get to the wrong timeline, where Biff is mighty and powerful. The line quoted in the question is a hint to that.
    – TimSparrow
    May 25, 2017 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


Pure speculation on my part but I think Marty said that because of the sheer ease of time travel when flying as compared to driving the time machine.

When Marty goes with Doc from 1985 to 2015, immediately as they appear in 2015 they almost get hit by a taxi cab in the skyway. Marty is immediately aware he has traveled through time. However when they go back to 1985 they appear in a silent black sky for several seconds until the airplane passes overhead. Since the time travel process is so quick when flying, Marty barely even notices the fire trails or even the flashes as compared to driving on the ground and accelerating up to 88 mph gradually.


The official novelisation indicates that Marty was genuinely unsure that they'd returned to 1985. He noted the lack of 'sky markers', but beyond that he couldn't see the city below him in any detail.

Marty looked out the window. Wherever they were, the floating lane markers were gone. It was night, and all he could see were tiny lights far below. ‘Did we make it?’ Marty asked.

As if in answer, a 747 jumbo jet roared much too close overhead. The DeLorean shook violently for a moment before Doc stabilised it again.

‘We’re back,’ Doc agreed. ‘Now let's get Jennifer home.

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