Back to the Future II has a place in America’s heart despite being inferior to the first film in pretty much every way aside from Elisabeth Shue. That much is clear from all the coverage evaluating what the 1989 movie got right and wrong about 4:29 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2015—the precise date and time when Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and Shue’s Jennifer Parker arrive in the future at the start of the sequel. Whether we love this third-rate movie out of respect for the outstanding original, or some shared Gatsbyan lust for the perfect tomorrow, or a totally-not-author-specific-boyhood-interest in Elisabeth Shue, it’s in the cultural canon to stay.
In any event, October 21, 2015, is upon us. Robert Zemeckis and company evidently didn’t care much about making accurate predictions, but in many cases they did a remarkably good job spotting what was to come. What the film couldn’t possibly have predicted, perhaps to its credit, is just how much the Internet loves lists. We couldn’t quite crank it up to 88 in the spirit of the speed that breaks the space-time continuum, but here goes nothing: