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It's not always necessary to question how some great on-screen teams first came together. With movies like The Goonies or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, a combination of shared interests and school and/or the proximity of their homes is likely to explain the start of their friendship. The real story is in the adventure. Knowing how they met seems far less important as appreciating that their friendship led to something really great happening. That certainly applies to Marty McFly and Doc Brown, which is why I wouldn't exactly consider their origin story to be one of the great movie mysteries of all time. But given their age difference, and the fact that they don't seem to have any friends or family members in common (not counting Einstein), it's fair to wonder how these two people found each other. What's a high school slacker doing hanging out with a weird scientist, anyway?
MentalFloss.com put that question out into the universe and the universe answered back. Or Back to the Future co-writer/co-creator Bob Gale did, anyway. Here's what the writer had to say about what he and Robert Zemeckis came up with to explain how Marty and Doc got together…
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…
Going under the assumption that this is legit (and a later post at MentalFloss.com verifies it with a photo), it's a pretty great piece of BTTF trivia, especially when you factor in the pre-established bond between Doc and Marty at the beginning first movie. The film starts with Marty showing up at Doc's lab to mess around with this speaker equipment. He lets himself in like he's been there a million times, which in itself suggests a close relationship with the Doc. But what I really like about this explanation is that it's consistent with their characters. Marty meeting Doc sounds like it was due to an act of rebellion, rather than an interest in science. The connection was made. Lightning struck. And the rest was history (and future, then more history).