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Back to the Future Day refers to the date October 21st, 2015, which the characters Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown travel to in the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The date is commonly changed in photoshopped images used to trick others into thinking the date from the movie has arrived.
Back to the Future Part II is a science fiction comedy film released on November 22nd, 1989, as the second installment in the Back to the Future trilogy. In the film, Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly travel from 1985 to 2015 in a time machine made out of a silver DeLorean sports car. In 2015, the characters find themselves in a time period with highly advanced technology, including hovering skateboards and flying cars.
On July 5th, 2010, the film magazine Total Film posted a tweet claiming that day was the same date from the movie, and later followed with a photoshopped picture of the timeclock as confirmation. Although fans of the films quickly mentioned how this was incorrect, others were fooled by the photoshopped image.
Great Scott! It’s Future Day! In Back To The Future, Doc Brown sets the time circuits for 25yrs in the future..that day is today! #futureday
— Total Film (@totalfilm) july 5 2010
In the coming days, the hoax was mentioned on various news sites, including Buzzfeed, The Week, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Age, Perthnow and News.com. On July 6th, 2010, Total Film published a blog post on their website explaining how they executed the hoax and noting a new hoax image for July 6th had begun circulating online (shown below).
On July 11th, 2012, a photoshopped image began appearing on Facebook with the caption “Today is the day Marty McFly arrives when he travels to the future” (shown below). The image was subsequently posted on the hoax investigation site Snopes, which revealed that the image was a fake.
On June 27th, the mobile checkout company Simple Tap made a post on their Facebook page with a picture of the time clock edited to read “June 27, 2012” (shown below). The picture was reposted on various other Facebook accounts, including the page of the craft company Colour Me Fun where it was shared over 10,000 times. The hoax was subsequently covered by numerous news sites and blogs, including The Telegraph, Slate, Buzzfeed and NME. Also on June 27th, Simple Tap’s social media manager Steve Berry was interviewed by the tech news blog Mashable, revealing that he made the post on purpose to promote a Back to the Future trilogy Blu-ray box set for one of his clients. According to Berry, the hoax was a inspired by the Total Film hoax two years prior and was done under the assumption that nobody would fall for the same joke twice.
The hoax by Simple Tap triggered the creation of various single-serving websites. On June 27th, the website October212015 was launched, which displays the Back to the Future timeclock with correct date from the film next to the current day’s date. On the following day, the website istodaythedaymartymcflyarriveswhenhetravelstothefuture was launched, featuring the message “NO!” in large capital letters. Also on June 28th, the website itsbacktothefutureday.com was created, which contains a generator that creates custom time clock images.
Derivative: Dear Scientists
Image macros have been created in anticipation of the actual date of October 21st, 2015, by demanding scientists create hoverboards or flying cars within the time frame. Many of these images have been shared on Internet humor sites, including Cheezburger, Memerial and Funny Wall Photos.