Ever watch Back to the Future and wonder how a high school kid like Marty McFly came to be good chums with an eccentric scientist like Doc Brown? Was Mr. Brown Marty’s zany high school science teacher at one point? Did Marty befriend Doc while the former was volunteering at a veterinarian hospital and the latter was bringing Einstein in for a checkup? Was Marty hired to mow Doc’s lawn during a hot summer day and hit it off over a cool glass of lemonade?
Co-creator Bob Gale shoots down all of your theories as he reveals to Jason English of mental_floss about the origins of Marty and Doc’s odd friendship.
“Okay, from the horse’s mouth (yes, I’m the horse — er, co-writer, co-creator): We never explained it in the movie. But the history of the characters that Bob Zemeckis and I created is this…”
“For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc’s lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. when Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc.
And that’s the origin of their relationship.
— Bob Gale”