In Back to the future part two Marty travels to the year 2015 and takes the place of his son after he's thrown over a counter by Griff.

Marty looks so much like his kid that he's mistaken for him by everyone there.

Now I know they're identical because Michael J. Fox plays both characters, but is there an in universe reason for this similarity?

I'm looking for either something from the films or the people that produced them. If there's nothing like this then I'll also accept answers based on real life biology.

  • The same thing is true in Scooby doo... Shaggy is a spitting image of all his ancestors. This seems to be a rather common theme, and I would guess it has to do with reinforcing the connection between characters.
    – user11521
    Nov 7, 2013 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


It is not unheard of for a son to very closely resemble his father (or daughter her mother).

When you consider how much his daughter looks like him (yes I know it is the same actor) there is an argument to be made that the McFly genes are quite strong.

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In fact the whole town of Hill Valley has a somewhat pecular stroke of luck with strong look alikes. You have the McFlys (going back to Seamus McFly, and his creepy look alike wife of Marty's mom), The Tannin's, and the Stricklands. Maybe it is something in the water.

For a real life example, take the winner of the 2011 Father/Son Look alike contest

enter image description here

I would wager that when the dad was the same age as his son he could have passed for a twin.

  • Heck - just look at The Beatles & their sons. Almost every son looks darn near identical to his dad.
    – Omegacron
    Jun 16, 2015 at 16:45
  • Similarly Damon Wayans and Damon Wayans Jr. Jul 16, 2015 at 8:46

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