Bob Gale Explains The Back to the Future Catchphrases

I love Back to the Future, I think it’s one of the best films ever made. I know more about the film than a person probably should. However, today I thought (while preparing to write this article) to myself, “Great Scott!” I have no idea where Doc’s famous catchphrase comes from and what does it mean. Knowing the answer is at my fingertips I then wondered why I had never looked it up. A quick bit of research and the consensus appears to be General Winfield Scott, who was said to tower over his soldiers.

Sorry, I got sidetracked. On with the article. Co-writer Bob Gale recently spoke with CinemaBlend and was asked about Doc’s catchphrase, as well as Marty McFly’s, “Nobody calls me chicken.” You can check it out below,

“Well, ‘Great Scott!’… I think [Robert] Zemeckis came up with that, just thinking that Doc needed sort of a signature expression. He was going to use ‘Great Caesar’s Ghost!’ because that was in the Superman TV series that we both grew up on. There was some other character somewhere who used to say “Great Scott!” I don’t remember who it was.”

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Gale continues below, explaining why Marty loses it when someone calls him a chicken.

“Nobody calls me chicken!’ Well, when it came time for us to do the sequels, we realized that we needed to give Marty a character flaw that he was going to have to correct. And we didn’t really establish a real character flaw in the first movie because the character who experiences growth in the first movie is George McFly. But we did establish Marty’s a bit of a hothead, and that it seems like he’s kind of quick to mix it up with Biff in the scene in the school cafeteria and the scene in the cafe when Biff just kind of towers over him. So we thought, ‘You know what? Let’s use that. Let’s use that as Marty’s character flaw, that he’s a hothead. And so we can verbalize that by having him say “Nobody calls me chicken!” For anybody calling him chicken, that’s his Achilles’ heel.”

Back to the Future is responsible for two of my obsessions. Film and time travel. It was one of the first films I watched over and over and over again. It also played a part in me playing the guitar, excessively rewinding to try to match McFly’s hand position.

While Doc’s, “GREAT SCOTT!” is synonymous with Back to the Future, I never really considered the chicken line to be Marty’s catchphrase. How many times does Marty say holy s**t throughout the trilogy? It has to be more than once, and if so, I like that better.

Is it me, or has Back to the Future been in the news more over the last few months than a 35-year-old film should be? Is something brewing? I’d like to think so. And in most other cases I would speculate a little more on that possibility, but Bob Gale is pretty adamant about no more adventures in the DeLorean.

I’m probably asking for trouble, but what’s your catchphrase? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Source: CinemaBlend

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----- GenreVerse Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcast feed yet The Genreverse Podcast Network? This includes our premiere podcast The Daily CoGBreaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, Nerd Flix & Chill, Marvel Multiverse Mondays, Anime-Versal Review Podcast, and our Star Wars dedicated podcast The Cantina. Check it out by listening below. It's also available on all your favorite podcast apps! Subscribe on: Apple PodcastsSpotify |  SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play Grow Generation

Seth McDonald

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