15 Things ‘Back to the Future Part II’ Promised vs. What We Actually Got in 2015

October 21st, 2015 is finally here! Yes, that’s right, after years and years of Internet memes promoting the wrong day, today really is the day that Doc and Marty travel to the future in the classic film Back to the Future Part 2. In the film, which came out in 1989, our heroes travel to today, October 21st, 2015. At the time, today was considered the future.

When contrasted with 1989, when the film itself was released, the 2015 portrayed in Back to the Future Part 2 might seem a little odd when watched by somebody today.

Yes, this is how the world was supposed to be today:

The future has definitely arrived, but we appear to be on a some sort of alternate timeline where flying cars don’t actually exist, but smart phones do. Here are 15 things the movie promised vs. what we actually got in 2015.

15. Nike Power-Lacing MAG Shoes

What we were promised: In the film, Marty McFly is surprised to find that shoes in the future (the Nike MAG in particular) lace themselves. Simply put them on, the power laces activate, and you’re done.

What we actually got: If you’re like most people (all people), you’re still tying your own shoes. Nike has announced plans to release their power-lacing shoes from the movie by the end of this year, however. Sadly, the shoes do not appear to be available today, and as a result, Nike is late in achieving the future (even with a 26 year heads up).

14. Black & Decker Food Hydrator

What we were promised: In the futuristic time period of 2015, we are supposed to be able to put cookie-sized pizzas and perhaps even other food into a fancy Black & Decker Hydrator, only to see it come out moments later as a full size hot and ready to serve pizza. It’s even already cut into slices.

What we actually got: Honestly, we really didn’t get anything instead of this. This is one area where today, the future, really has failed to deliver. At least pizza delivery is still around, if that video put you in the mood for a warm slice or two, that is.

13. 3D Hologram Advertisements

What we were promised: We were supposed to literally have advertisements that jump out and threaten to bite our heads off through futuristic hologram technology even better than what Star Wars could conjure up a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. In the film, this is demonstrated when a giant shark appears out of thin air in front of Marty as a promotion for Jaws 19.

What we actually got: While hologram technology has been used to “resurrect” music legends such as Tupac, we haven’t really experienced ads of this nature in Times Square and other advertising hubs. We do, however, live in a culture saturated by advertisements. From animated billboards, to pop-up ads on websites, it’s safe to say that if hologram technology did exist as it did in Back to the Future, advertisers would have most certainly taken advantage of this to further bombard us with product branding ad infinitum.

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12. Flying Cars

What we were promised: When Doc and Marty arrive in 1985’s future’s version of today, they nearly get obliterated by a flying taxi. In this future, this is perfectly acceptable and normal. Flying versions of the coolest concept cars 1989 had to offer were practically everywhere.

What we actually got: Well, basically, we have normal cars that drive on the road still. To be fair, we do have cool things like Google’s self-driving cars and incredibly efficient electric and hybrid cars, but flying cars don’t appear to be anywhere in sight. Furthermore, with how strict the laws behind flight have become, flying cars become less likely every day, even if the technology is one day affordable.

While flying cars didn’t quite happen, you have to admit, this footage of a self-driving race car posted online earlier this year is incredible.

11. Fax Machines Absolutely Everywhere

Fax machines are everywhere in 2015. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.
Fax machines are everywhere in 2015. Image Copyright © Universal Studios.

What we were promised: In the future, fax machine technology is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread. When Marty is fired in the future, for example, he gets half a dozen faxes on every fax device in his home, all letting him know in no uncertain terms “YOU’RE FIRED”, printed using ancient 1980’s dot-matrix fax technology.

What we actually got: Thankfully, this prediction was wrong. With the Internet not really coming around until a few years after the movie was made, and it’s popularity not skyrocketing until the late 90’s and even the early 2000’s, the film’s producers would have been far-fetched to accurately predict today’s use of smart phones and the Internet in general. We’ll take our version of the future in this case, thank you very much. So you got fired in the future? An email or text will do just fine, thank you very much.

10. Hoverboards

What we were promised: This is a big one, and quite honestly, what most people think about when they think about the future as seen through the narrative of Back to the Future Part 2. We were supposed to have epic wheel-less skateboards that hovered. While these weren’t promised to work on water (as is very clear in the film), the more expensive Pit-Bull brand had power, and could hover on water just fine.

What we actually got: While most of us would have been happy just to get a normal hoverboard without the capability of working on water, instead we really got nothing at all. Sure, there were a few impressive efforts by Lexus and Hendo Hoverboard, but really this isn’t something we’re going to see in Toys”R”Us anytime soon.

9. Video Conferencing and Wearable Phone Devices

What we were promised: In the future, video conferencing is going to be everywhere. You’ll even be able to wear a visor-style system that lets you talk on the phone in more of a virtual reality manner.

What we actually got: On this one, the producers actually didn’t quite come far enough. The technology we have today in FaceTime, Skype, etc, is far superior to the technology predicted in the movie. We also have cool new head-mounted systems such as the Oculus Rift. It’s also worth mentioning Google Glass, which was around for a few years, but never quite took off. Apparently, it’s still around, but not for consumers.

8. Pepsi Perfect

What we were promised: In the future, Pepsi bottles are ultra-slick and cool. They even come up right out of the counter.

What we actually got: Pepsi actually came through on this one to a select group of fans. 6,500 collectors edition Pepsi Perfect bottles filled with actual Pepsi were supposed to be sold today online. Sadly, Pepsi failed with this campaign and released the bottles a few hours early, leaving most anxious fans outa time. The bottles were sold for $20.15 (get it?) and are already going on eBay for hundreds of dollars. Pepsi even produced a cheesy 1980’s/2015 hybrid commercial to promote the product.

Written by Andrew Fischer

Andrew Fischer is the Head Writer and Editor-in-Chief of PopMalt. He is an avid follower of all things pop and Internet culture, and works as Creative Director at NURV, a boutique creative multimedia and digital marketing company. He is also the founder of The Jericho Joe.