7. Fighting The Libyans – Back To The Future

Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown in Back to the Future and a Libyan pointing a gun at him

Back to the Future is perhaps the most beloved sci-fi franchise of the 1980s. With its (mostly) family-friendly brand of time-travel hijinks, the well-written, well-acted films of the trilogy have stood the test of time and continue to be broadly enjoyed across the globe even decades after their release. However, the first film also features a glaringly bad decision on the part of the supposed genius (and the inventor of time travel), Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown.

The franchise’s story revolves around Doc Brown’s invention of a working time machine, and him traveling through time with his young friend, Marty McFly. However, much of the first film’s plot is driven by Doc’s supposed death at the hands of Libyan terrorists, who he cons out of plutonium off-screen before the events of the film. Angry at Doc’s deception, the Libyans arrive just as Doc begins testing his time machine, gunning him down just before Marty narrowly escapes.

However, upon noticing the Libyans’ approaching vehicle, Doc opts not to hop in his primed and ready-to-travel time machine and disappear, instead picking up a revolver and standing his ground to fight the well-armed terrorists off. This is perhaps the stupidest thing Brown could have done, as he could have simply hopped into the DeLorean with Marty and Einstein, traveled a day or so into the future, and escaped the terrorists with much less risk to his own person. In the revised timeline at the film’s end, Doc still decides against saving himself properly, and simply wears a bulletproof vest. It’s lucky the Libyans didn’t aim for his head, at least.