In case you’ve been living under a rock – or have been busy traveling in a DeLorean – Wednesday is Back to the Future day. It is the day Marty McFly arrived in the future alongside Doc Brown in the sequel, and gave fans a fun glimpse into what Oct. 21, 2015 would really look like to those in the late ’80s.
In one of the film’s most famous scenes, Marty alters history after saving his future son from arrest and, instead, causes a hoverboard race to end with Griff Tannen getting thrown behind bars. To show how the series of events will alter his life, Doc holds up a copy of USA Today which shows the headlines changing right in front of his eyes. (The paper is dated Oct. 22, 2015 since the events occurred on the previous day.) To commemorate the iconic scene and celebrated day, USA Today will wrap Thursday’s edition with a mock version of that exact cover from the film.
At first glance, we see that Marty McFly Jr. was supposed to be arrested for theft. But upon closer look, the paper is full of fun finds for avid fans of Robert Zemeckis’ time traveling trilogy. Though many of the headlines that will appear in the newsstand version remain the same as those onscreen, one historical reference has since been altered. In the film, the top right corner of the paper had the headline “Washington prepares for Queen Diana’s visit,” a reference to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. (There was also a second reference in the left sidebar.) The headline now reads “3D billboards: Free speech or traffic hazards?”
Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the newspaper’s jokes and hidden gems for what those in the ’80s expected in 2015, shall we?
1. Newspapers are delivered via compu-fax satellite
Whoever said print was dead?
2. “Slamball” is a sport
According to Back to the Future: The Official Book of the Complete Movie Trilogy, it’s a ball sport in which players wear electronic shoes that light up when they touch the anti-gravity magnetic field.
3. Cubs wins the World Series. Sorry, Mets fans!
(Relax New Yorkers, it’s a fake headline!)
4. In the reel 2015, humans can run FAST
In the real 2015, four minutes is considered fast. Time to catch up, Usain Bolt!
5. Due to the upsurge in biometric technology, “thumb bandits” are now a thing
Apparently so is amputating the fingers of hospital patients?
6. Littering literally kills
There are Litter Bugs on the streets for a reason, people!
7. There are now Swiss terrorists
Carrie Mathison is on the case.
8. In 2015, we (finally) have a female president
Hmm… anyone have any ideas on who that would be?
9. Kelp is the new kale
During the McFly family dinner, Marty asked his daughter Marlene to “pass the kelp tea, please.”
10. Forget steroids, the MLB has bionic arms to worry about
And you thought A-Rod had problems…
11. Shocker: the 19th sequel to Jaws is full of chum
12. People are still hurting themselves over fashion choices
As if wearing skinny jeans isn’t enough, women are now asphyxiating themselves in self-adjusting jackets.
13. We’re also easily offended by everything
People in (fake) 2015 want to ban alphabet soup for containing “slurs and profanities in every can.” You know, because there’s nothing else to worry about.
14. Whether it’s cars on the ground or in the air, people are still drunk driving.
15. Move over, YouTubers! Dogs are the new stars.
It’s about time!
16. Marty’s uncle, Joey, is still a jailbird
Remember when Marty traveled back to 1955 and saw his uncle Joey as a baby in the crib, dressed in black and white stripes? Yeah, he’s still behind bars.
17. BTTF2 accurately predicted USA Today’s newsstand price would be raised to $2
18. Judges have it easy in 2015 now that there are “data-fax courts”
But seriously, who still faxes today?
19. Getting fat may cure cancer
In addition to the many studies that claim guilty pleasures like red wine, coffee and chocolate may cure cancer, we can now add cholesterol to that expanding list.
20. Microwaving food with tin foil = re-hydrating food
Just don’t do it.
21. We still haven’t learned how to get red wine stains out of our clothes.
22. George McFly is now a Hollywood hotshot
The book that George wrote of his personal tale of being awoken in the middle of the night by an extraterrestrial (who was actually Marty wearing a radiation suit from the future) is getting the Hollywood treatment – by BTTF director Robert Zemeckis, no less!
23. The secret past of (fake) newspaper reporters, revealed!
Michael Klastorin, who served as the unit publicist on the film’s second and third installments, can add his (faux) USA Today byline to his resume, which includes his new book Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History.
24. Darth Vader’s name in 2015 is apparently Garth D’Vader
In the first film, Marty used the name of the Star Wars villian when he tricked George into thinking he was an alien in the middle of the night.
25. Travis Pietsch, Senior Graphic Designer at USA Today, is quite a funny writer.
For those who may be confused when reading Thursday’s paper, this was all a joke.