I just rewatched Back to the Future the other day. I hadn’t seen it in years, and I swear there was a small scene cut from the movie. It was when Marty was hooking the camcorder to the TV at Doc's house in 1955.

I could have sworn there was a small part where Marty was having trouble getting it to work, and when Doc looked at the camcorder he saw it said “made in Japan” and said something like “well there’s your problem, it’s made in Japan”. Marty replies something like “all the best stuff is made there”, and Doc does his "Great Scott" line.

It was not in the version we watched. Am I just misremembering it, or was I possibly watching an edited version?

  • 3
    I believe you were watching an edited version as I'm pretty sure that scene is in the normal cut. Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 5:43
  • 1
    They cut lots of movies for TV, I think sometimes just to fit it in the time slot. I've noticed it a lot, it's annoying.
    – n00dles
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 19:13

3 Answers 3


It's from Back to the Future Part III. It happens in 1955 when 1955-Doc and Marty retrieve the DeLorean from the mine where 1985-Doc-in-1885 had hidden it.

Here's a clip of the scene on Youtube:

Doc Brown
(Inspects the failed circuit) "Unbelievable that this little piece of junk could be such a big problem."
(Turns it over) "No wonder this circuit failed, it says made in Japan."

"What do you mean doc, all the best stuff is made in Japan."

Doc Brown

  • 6
    Whoa! I could have sworn that line was from the scene in the first movie where they were working with the camcorder too. Mandela Effect?
    – Seth R
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 6:16
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    @KodosJohnson no, it's the Doc from 1955. At the end of BTTF2 / start of BTTF3, the Doc from 1985 gets transported to 1885 by a lightning strike, leaving Marty stuck in 1955, so he has to seek the help of the 1955 Doc. (Which, from the Doc's point of view, means that Marty reappears immediately after the events of the first movie, when Doc sends him back to 1985.)
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 10:40
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    @JAB It held true for pre-WWII Japan also: I remember a fiction written in 1926, with a plot involving wars and revolutions in the nearest future, having "Japan used the moment to hurriedly try and push its cheap and lousy goods to the US's colonial markets" passage in it. I would even guess it was the case with pre-WWI Japan as well!
    – Joker_vD
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 19:57
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    I also imagine that in 1955 a lot of WWII propaganda may have left a lasting negative impression on some of the population. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 0:06
  • 8
    I was a kid in the 60s. At that time "Made in Japan" was a punchline whenever some Scooty-Puff-Jr thing in a movie failed or broke easily. The reputation of Japanese goods started improving by the early 70s, IIRC. The 90's equivalent to the early Japanese exports would have been cheap, poor-quality Chinese stuff. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 20:57

You may be conflating the scene in the third movie with a scene in the first where Doc Brown is admiring the camcorder and observes (paraphrasing):

A portable television studio! No wonder the President has to be an actor; he has to look good on television.


Yes, the scene was from "Back to the Future 3".

Doc Brown's response wasn't the result of WW II propaganda. It was due to widespread American experience with Japanese products after WW II. But the Japanese listened to W. Edwards Deming and his principles of quality management, and in the 1980s it was AMERICAN car manufacturers who turned to him in desperation, because their products had the reputation the Japanese had "enjoyed" after WW II.

Edit: for a commenter who said I should show proof the scene was in the movie, here's a link to the clip on YouTube.


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