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The Goldbergs Series Finale Hearkens Back To A Favorite Movie Reference

Contains spoilers for "The Goldbergs" Season 10, Episode 22 — "Bev to the Future"

What is "The Goldbergs" without its multi-layered references back to big moments in 1980s pop culture? There have been whole episodes centered around callbacks to huge hits like "The Karate Kid" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," for instance. And among those many bands, movies, and TV shows the show has tipped its hat to, none have been referenced more than the "Back to the Future" series. 

"Bev to the Future" does more than simply refer to the movie's title. When Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone) realizes his mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is romantically interested in her high school ex George (Rob Corddry), he pulls out all the stops to keep them apart, including playing a flailing guitar solo that's the exact romantic and tonal opposite of Marty McFly's (Michael J. Fox) attempt at getting his parents to dance together in the first "Back to the Future" movie. The references pile up as the episode goes on; Adam rides in a DeLorean whose plate spins off of its axis when he starts the car, then rides off with his girlfriend Carmen (Isabella Gomez), with the lamp lights flaring before him in a visual callback to the film as they pull away. 

But even this wasn't the only time the show has referred to one of the 1980s' most iconic science fiction franchises. "The Goldbergs" called back to the film series twice before during its long run.

The show's Back to the Future references have been myriad

One of the first times "The Goldbergs" referred back to "Back to the Future" was in the episode "I Rode A Hoverboard!" from Season 2.  During the episode, Adam lies that he broke his arm while riding Marty McFly's signature mode of transportation, and when Emmy Mirsky (Stephanie Katherine Grant) stands up for him, Adam finds himself in hot water.  That is, until good fortune results in him actually getting to ride his own mock-up of the board.

A more direct callback to earlier times occurred when the show nodded back to Season 1's "Stop Arguing & Start Thanking," which featured Adam's Uncle Marvin (Dan Fogler) showing up to the holiday in a DeLorean, which was, of course, the mode of transport Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) chooses to modify into a time machine during the classic trilogy. In  "Bev to the Future," it turns out that Pop-Pop Goldberg (Judd Hirsch) still has Marvin's car in the garage, his son having stuck Pop-Pop with the vehicle and left it to molder for years. That just allows Adam to borrow the vehicle to pick up George and help to mend George's newly-blossoming relationship with Bev. 

With its phalanx of family memories and scores of callbacks to the glory days of the 1980s, there's no finer way to say goodbye to everyone's favorite family from the past.