Doctor Emmett Brown should have been gunned down for stealing plutonium from a gang of terrorists. Marty McFly never should have kissed his mother outside the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. And Lone Pine Mall should still be Twin Pines Mall, because there's no way that a DeLorean could have reached 88 miles per hour in the parking lot.
At least, that's the claim of a commenter over at Jalopnik's "Opposite Lock" blog, who took the time to do some math that apparently no one else ever wanted to do. First, he pulled up a map of the actual location for the scene, a mall parking lot in Industry, California. Then, using a map of the DeLorean's two routes (one when Doc sent Einstein the dog a minute into the future, one when Marty was being chased by the terrorists), Google Maps' measurement tool, and these things called "mathematic equations," he arrived at the conclusion that — even with a running start — Marty McFly didn't have enough room to reach that magic time-traveling speed of 88 miles per hour. Instead, he should have crashed into the Fotomat stand at about 70 miles per hour along with the lousy terrorist caricatures who were chasing him.
What good is the internet if we can't overanalyze everything?
The commenter's claim is based on a number of assumptions, the biggest being that Doc Brown didn't make any modifications to the engine of the DeLorean. (He went through the trouble of turning it into a time machine, so why wouldn't he have tweaked a few things in the engine?). And obviously we're committing the unspeakable sin of applying real world physics to Hollywood logic. But what good is the internet if we can't use it to overanalyze tiny problems instead of using it to make the world a better place?
There's more math in the original post, which has already ignited a pretty furious debate. One thing can't be argued; if Marty didn't reach 88 miles per hour, then Einstein the dog had no chance, and likely would have met his doom. But, as Clickhole once rightly pointed out, he wouldn't be alone.