Is there an explanation why Marty McFly is a 17 year old senior, on Oct 25, 1985?

I’m sure others have picked up on this question. Is there an accepted retcon?

Marty’s parents attend the high school, Enchantment Under the Sea, dance Nov 12, 1955.

Seems reasonable to assume Marty was born between 1957-60. He would have finished high school by the mid to late 1970’s.

Why is Marty a high school senior, Oct 1985? He should have finished college by then.

A mistake like this is more noticeable because the movie provides specific dates. Returning to Oct 1985 is a plot point of the movie

Because he wasn’t born until 1968? Seems a simple explanation to me.

Birth control wasn’t available in 1955. Marty’s parents were celibate until 1968?

That’s a long time to wait. Lorraine seemed pretty eager in that car in 1955.

I realize they wanted to make a movie set in 1985. I just wondered what the retcon was for ignoring the gap in time.

Birth control certainly was available many places in the US in 1955, in the form of condoms. Some places required a doctor’s prescription, but more places only required that you ask the pharmacist.

And despite the stereotypes about sexuality in that decade, there were a lot of folks who indulged in alternative sexual practices like oral and manual techniques, etc. which gave satisfaction yet avoided conception.

Wasn’t Marty the youngest of the three McFly kids? He had an older brother and older sister…which means he could’ve been born in '68 or '67.

Marty had an older brother and sister.

And married couples, even Catholics in the 50s, didn’t just keep having children every 11 months until they went infertile. My Catholic parents were married in 1952, yet I, their 4th child, wasn’t born until 1967! Is that a plot hole in reality?

(ETA: Yes, I know gestation is 9 months. But even parents trying to churn kids out as fast as possible have to wait a bit before starting up again.)

I’d forgotten Marty’s older brother.

I thought Marty had a younger sister? It’s been awhile and I probably mixed it up.
DOB in 1968 makes more sense if Marty is the youngest of three.

This is exceptionally ignorant. Condoms in some form or another had been around for centuries. Diaphragms date to the Nineteenth Century.

Reliable birth control.

Happy now?

No one I know questions the dramatic significance of the pill. It launched the 1960’s sexual revolution.

There’s an entire section on the pill here.

Why are you assuming he was born between 1957 and 1960? That’s an odd (and oddly specific) assumption to make. He had older siblings. But even if he hadn’t, there is nothing remotely strange about the idea that he was 17 in 1985.

Both siblings older. Here is a quick refresher on the movie.

Mom liked it in the can?

When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective.

Heck, even without any birth control at all, it’s possible for a fertile, sexually-active couple to go years without having kids, just by luck. Not every act of intercourse leads to conception.

Remember when he first shows the picture to Doc Brown he points out that his sister’s shirt has “Class of '83” on it, meaning she’d already graduated, so definitely older than him. And Marty’s siblings were disappearing from the picture he brought back first because they were impacted by his interaction with his parents first. If we assume that George graduated in 1955 and went to college, then married his high school sweetheart in, say, 1960 after graduating and getting a job, the ages make sense.

Yeah, there’s people trying to have kids who wait for years before it happens.

The basic rhythm method is more reliable than it’s usually given credit for (~85%). Withdrawal is ~80% effective. Can also, of course, combine them.

I see now that Marty’s age makes sense because he’s the youngest child.

Marty was actually in his late 20s, and the oldest of the siblings. Like the actor playing him, Marty stopped growing at the age of 11. For the next 10 years on his birthday his parents would tell him he was turning 11. Finally at the age of 21 they were afraid he’d figure out his real age and started counting again from that point.

Thought the thread would be about age cutoffs for grade levels. I was 17 for my entire senior year (born in July).

Yeah, I was thinking of one of my aunts, who, after two or three years with no kids, got a prescription for fertility drugs. And then it turned out that there wasn’t anything wrong with either of them after all, just luck, and bam, triplets. Fortunately they wanted a big family anyway, and went on to have two more (without pharmaceutical assistance) after the triplets.