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Posted at 4:45 PM ET, 10/25/2010

10 things we learned from 'Back to the Future'

By Jen Chaney

Those who have a firm grasp of their "Back to the Future" mythology already know what tomorrow is: Oct. 26, a date that marks the first time Marty McFly traveled back in time in the 1985 movie, otherwise known as the greatest flux capacitor film ever made.

To get a jump-start on what clearly should be a government holiday, I put together a list of the 10 things that this beloved time travel saga taught us -- about life, ourselves and the awe-inspiring powers of 1.21 gigawatts. More "Back to the Future" goodness -- including my review of the 25th anniversary "Back to the Future" trilogy DVD and Blu-ray box set that releases Tuesday and an interview with "Future" star Lea Thompson -- will appear tomorrow in Celebritology.

Because -- "Hello, McFly?" -- one can never have too much Hill Valley, Huey Lewis or clock tower-saving in their lives.

Update: The Lea Thompson interview and the review of the DVD/Blu-ray release are now live.

1. When traveling back in time, try to stake your claim on as many pop cultural phenomena -- Darth Vader, the skateboard, the Calvin Klein brand -- as possible.

2. If you steal plutonium, there is a very good chance that Libyan terrorists will hunt you down in the parking lot of a shopping mall.

3. If you steal plutonium and decide to go to the parking lot of a shopping mall where Libyan terrorists could, theoretically, find you, wear a bulletproof vest.

4. When ordering milk at a restaurant, there is only one way to do it: "Give me a milk. Chocolate."

5. The flux capacitor is what makes time travel possible. Although most of us already knew that long before we saw the movie.

6. No matter what your mother says, when she was young, she totally was a cigarette-smoking, booze-drinking chick who put out.

7. All inventors come up with their most genius ideas after trying to hang pictures in their bathrooms, falling off their toilets and hitting their heads on sinks.

8. When doing preliminary testing on a time-travel-by-lightning-strike scenario, it is vital to build an extraordinarily detailed model replica of your entire town.

9. If a very dorky guy who can't pronounce density destiny punches a bullying, borderline rapist in the face, he always, always gets the girl.

10. What defines success? Becoming a wealthy, best-selling author of science-fiction novels who forces his former high school nemesis to become his personal slave. That, and creating one of the most beloved chronology-skipping stories of all time.

By Jen Chaney  | October 25, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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11. Trying to bang your mom is always a bad idea.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"9. If a very dorky guy who can't pronounce density "

George could pronounce density. He couldn't pronounce DESTINY.

Posted by: makeham98 | October 26, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

12. When time traveling, always bring a family photo to ensure your actions do not affect the births of future family members.

13. If you do happen to affect future events which result in your family being a lot wealthier, be prepared to go back to the same house, in the same neighborhood, with the same junk in your room.

Posted by: tbantug | October 26, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The Johnny B. Goode performance has always been my favorite scene in any movie. I smile every time I see it.

Posted by: justmike | October 26, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

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