In Back to the Future Part 2, when they are in 2015 Doc tells Marty:

Pull out your pants pockets. All kids in the future wear their pants inside-out.

I was wondering, is this actually true in-universe?

I always thought it was, but as I got older I realized maybe only Marty's idiot son Marty Jr did this, and Doc felt like he had to tell Marty this to go along with it. I dont recall seeing anyone besides Marty Jr dressing like this. I know Griff and his gang dont have any of their pockets out.

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


It seems like a bit of a generalisation that all kids in the future would wear the same style. Doc is trying to make Marty look as much like his son as possible, has clearly observed that Marty Jr wears his pants like that, and that it is a recognised fashion. Doc saying that "all" kids do this plays to the stereotype that older people make generalisations like this in real life (eg "kids like loud music").

You're right that Biff's gang don't wear inside-out pants, but as a gang of 'hoverboarders' they may follow the style of that particular subculture, just as skateboarders in various real-world eras have had a recognisable style - for example, Biff's pants have knee-pads on them; another of his gang has longer shin pads worn with short pants. They also appear to be styled slightly after heavy metal or biker gang styles of the time the movie was made with metal spikes on Biff's leather boots. There are various other styles seen on the extras walking around the future town that would seem to be based on sports and surfing styles, and they also represent all ages, so not all are "kids".

However, in the first shot before Marty walks into the future Hill Valley, there does appear to be one extra walking with his pockets on the outside. The screenshot makes it look a little like it could be his shirt tails, but when viewed in motion it does look like it could be his pockets:

An extra in the distance appears to have his pockets on the outside of his pants

Although wearing pants inside out is not a real-world fashion I'm aware of, arguably it is a 'typical' youth style in that it takes an existing fashion and changes it beyond normal use. There was a brief fashion in Japan for having jeans that were 1/3 longer in the leg so that they could be turned-up to the knee. In a similar way, one of Biff's gang does wear braces (what US English speakers call 'suspenders') dangling from his pants instead of over the shoulders to keep his pants up.

  • The braces/suspenders dangling is a thing that has been around for eons. While it stems from the practicality of not needing them on your shoulder while you are getting dressed/un-dressed, there is a fashion aspect to it. I found this random website by searching for "Dangling suspenders": How to Wear Suspenders Hanging Down at Your Sides
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 29 at 14:30
  • 2
    And for fun, while not a part of BttF, the hip hop duo Kris Kross has a signature fashion style of wearing their clothes backwards.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 29 at 14:33
  • Around the time this came out, high school age kids (and under) had a style of hiking up their underwear above the pants waist so it was in plain view. This may have been a mockery of old/young viewpoints toward trends like those. Commented Jan 29 at 19:30

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.