Back to the Future Censored for TV?

Back to the Future is an American science fiction comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It was first released theatrically by Universal Pictures on July 3, 1985. Television channels targeting families have censored broadcasts of the film.


USA censorship[]

When aired on NBC on November 13, 1998, some language and other minor scenes were censored. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, further cuts were made to remove terrorist references. This "edited for television" version was also used for later re-broadcasts by ABC Family (now known as Freeform), Nickelodeon/Nick@Nite, and Cartoon Network (during part of the ACME Night block).[1]

  • (Radio Spokesman): "Statler (Toyota) is making the best deals of the year on all 1985 model (Toyota)s." ("Toyota" is cut from the ad but not blurred on the banner on the side of the truck.)
  • On the television in Doc's lab they cut out " A Libyan terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the alleged theft. However, officials now attribute the discrepancy to a simple clerical error."
  • (Marty): Geez, I'm starting to sound like my old man. (instead of "Jesus")
  • Jennifer's grandmother phone number is changed to 555-0123 instead of 555-4823.
  • Dave: Damn it. I'm late. (instead of "Goddamn it")
  • George's line at the dinner table is shortened: "What, Lorraine?" (instead of "What, Lorraine? What?")
  • Lorraine's line, "Anyway, your grandpa hit him with the car and bought him into the house. He seemed so helpless, like a little lost puppy. And my heart just went out to him," is shortened to "He seemed so helpless, like a little lost puppy. And my heart just went out to him."
  • (Doc): "If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're going to see some serious stuff" (instead of "shit")
  • (Marty): "Geez Louise! Geez Louise, Doc, you disintegrated Einstein!!" (Instead of "Jesus Christ".)
  • (Marty, when he sees the Libyan terrorists): "Holy jeez"! (Instead of "shit".)
  • Marty before time traveling: "Holy jeez! Let's see if you bastards can do 90." (Instead of "shit".)
  • Marty after Doc actually invented something that works: "Yeah it works" (Instead of "Bet your ass it works".).
  • (Biff's gang, before crashing into the manure truck): "Aaaaaa!" (Instead of "Shiiiiit!".)
  • (Biff, after crashing into the manure truck): "I'm gonna get that stinkin' punk!" (Instead of "son of a bitch".)
  • (Marty): "Yes, definitely, damn it, George, swear!" (Instead of "goddammit".)
  • (Marty reading his letter): Dear Dr Brown, on the night I go back in time you'll be shot. Please, please take ...." (The words 'by terrorists' are not spoken, and have been digitally erased from the letter when it is seen on-screen.)
    • It is likely that the line wasn't redubbed and instead, the first "please" was played twice.
  • (Biff, grabbing Marty): "You caused 300 bucks worth of damage to my car, you son of a butthead, and I'm gonna take it out of your hide." (Instead of "son of a bitch" and "ass".)
  • In 3-D's line, "Beat it, spook. This don't concern you," the word 'spook' is muted. In Marvin Berry's response ("Who you callin' spook, peckerwood?"), 'spook' is also muted or the response is taken out entirely.
  • (Marty): "What happens to us in the future, do we become like jerks or something?" (Instead of "assholes".)

UK censorship[]

When aired on ITV in the United Kingdom on 9 October 2011, the scene in which Marty's girlfriend Jennifer gives him her grandmother's phone number was removed. Adult language and some violence were also removed.[2]


  1. Edited for television, Futurepedia, the BTTF Wiki. Accessed 2022-11-11.
  2. Back to the Future (Comparison: itv (UK) - DVD)] by HuZim MayXX, Movie-Censorship.com. 2013-04-11.

External links[]

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