Home Alone

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
HomeAlone.jpg

"Kevin!"

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is an eight-year-old boy from an affluent suburb of Chicago.

During the holidays, his extended family comes into his house with his already large immediate family to prepare for their vacation to France (where some more relatives of theirs are temporarily living). Of course, Kevin causes trouble during dinner, pushing his oldest brother, Buzz, in anger for eating his cheese pizza. As a punishment, Kevin is forced up into the attic where he was intended to sleep with his bed-wetting cousin, Fuller.

Before he goes up into the attic, however, he tells his mother that he never wants to see her or anyone else in the family again. The next day, the family oversleeps due to a power outage, and they hurry to the airport on the way to France.

Kevin, however, was mistakenly left at home, the family having confused him with a snooping neighbor during a head count. He delights in his new freedom, eating junk food and watching a gangster movie. However, he soon discovers that a pair of burglars, named Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) calling themselves the "Wet Bandits" (after the fact that they flood the houses they rob), are planning to put a hit on his house for its valuables.

Kevin works to prevent them from reaching for his house, using mannequins and cardboard cut-outs mounted on moving toy trains and record players. Along the way, he tries to avoid an elderly neighbor, who is said by Buzz to be a serial killer. Later, however, it turns out that the neighbor is harmless, and has simply lived in recluse due to an argument he had with his son years ago. Kevin convinces him to make up for it by calling his son. Later on, Kevin sets up traps in his house to prevent the burglars from reaching for their valuables, and the extensive climax chronicles the slapstick that ensues.

A beloved family comedy, this 1990 film made Macaulay Culkin a celebrity. This movie is also noteworthy for being written and produced by John Hughes, who had previously worked on teen comedies like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Buellers Day Off, as well as being directed by Chris Columbus, who would later direct Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, and the first two Harry Potter movies, among others.

The movie, being such a success (it was the biggest hit of that year and finished its theatrical run only behind Star Wars and E.T. as the 3rd-highest grossing film in history), inevitably was followed by a few sequels.

The first sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, was mainly a rehash of the original, only it was set in New York this time. It's generally considered to be respectful to the first movie and was the second biggest box-office hit of 1992.

The second sequel, 1997's Home Alone 3, had a completely different cast and characters (i.e. Kevin was replaced by Alex Pruitt, played by Alex D. Linz), but was otherwise still similar to the first movie. In fact, many of the characters are very much like the characters of the previous movies, with one exception: the stupid burglars, wanted by the local police, were replaced with intelligent spies wanted by the FBI, making the traps less believable. John Hughes still wrote and produced it, but Chris Columbus didn't return to direct - that role was given to Raja Gosnell, editor of the first two films (and future director of Big Momma's House, the live-action Scooby Doo movies, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua). It was not as successful as the original two (it grossed only $79 million, compared to the $476 million of the first film and the $358 million of the second).

The third sequel, Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House is a 2002 Made For TV sequel (but any continuity is absent). It brought back the original characters, but they were again all recast with actors who often looked nothing like the original ones, with the most Egregious examples being Buzz and Megan (originally late teenagers, now somehow preteens) and Marv (now played by French Stewart, who looks nothing like Daniel Stern, and ironically more like Joe Pesci). Much of the family is somehow missing, and Harry has been replaced with Marv's wife, Vera (Missi Pyle). Not even John Hughes had anything to do with this entry; Rod Daniel of Teen Wolf and K-9 fame took over the director's chair for this entry, which would prove to be the last thing he directed. This one was apparently afflicted by severe Executive Meddling, which heavily altered the original script in the hope of launching a TV series off the back of it. Unsurprisingly, nothing of the sort ever materialized.

A fourth sequel, Home Alone 5: Afraid of the Dark has been confirmed to be in the works, and is going to be released on ABC's 25 Days of Christmas in 2012.

The movies (especially the first two) have become something of a cultural meme in Poland. That's because since the restoration of independence in 1990, each year one of the main TV stations aired 'Home Alone' during Christmas. Today many Poles can't imagine Christmas without 'Kevin'. In the event that no station is planning to show the movie, stations are flooded with mail and petitions until one agrees to broadcast the movie. Eventually, a proverb was coined: "'Kevin' on TV? It must be Christmas coming." It's the Polish equivalent to It's a Wonderful Life in America.


Tropes used in Home Alone include:
  • Adult Child: Marv.
  • Aesop Amnesia: At the end of the first movie, Kevin learns that it sucks to be alone (especially during the holidays), even though he told his Mom in the beginning he never wanted to see her and the rest of the family again following a disastrous dinner. At the beginning of the second one, Kevin does the whole "I wanna be alone" thing again after another catastrophe, and is once again separated from his family. Guess what he learns at the end: it sucks to be alone (especially during the holidays).
    • Not exactly; the second time he just wanted to go somewhere other than Florida for Christmas, and finding he was in New York decided to milk it for all it was worth. It still follows this trope -- he still ends up missing his family -- but he wasn't actually complaining about not being alone, just that their were better places to holiday on Christmas.
  • Affably Evil: Don't piss him off, and Harry can be a perfectly nice person (ironic, given that he is played by Joe Pesci).

Harry: [cheerfully] Sonny?
Kevin: [on the roof] Yes?
Harry: Nothing would thrill me more greatly than to shoot you. Knocking off a youngster on Christmas ain't gonna mean that much to me, understand? But since we're in a hurry, I'll make a deal with you. You throw down your camera, and we won't hurt you. You'll never hear from us again. OK?
Kevin: You promise?
Harry: I cross my heart...and hope to die.

    • Also illustrated in the first movie - when Kevin absentmindedly walks in front of the Wet Bandits' van and almost gets run over, both Harry and Marv make a point of telling him to be more careful in the future, and it's Harry's "Merry Christmas" and friendly smile that tip off Kevin to Harry not being as he seems (showing off a gold tooth that Kevin saw earlier).
  • Amusing Injuries: Practically the basis for the whole film series.
  • Angrish: Harry speaks it often in the third acts of both films, because they couldn't let Joe Pesci swear.
    • You can only make out a few sentences like "That's it, you little..." and "I'm gonna rip his head off!".
    • Director Chris Columbus suggested Pesci focus on saying the word "fridge"; Pesci joined this film after wrapping Goodfellas, where his character set the gold standard for Cluster F-Bomb-ing , and Pesci had a tough time shaking off the word during his Angrish rants.
    • Averted by Marv, who utters an S-bomb at one point (and if you can't hear it, it's in the subtitles on the DVD). It's right around when he loses his shoe through the doggy door.
  • Ash Face: In the second film, after Harry soaks his burning head in a toilet full of kerosene, the entire first floor of the house blows up, but luckily Harry survives with only a burn on his scalp and a damaged hat and ash on his face.
  • Aside Glance: "This is it. Don't get scared now."
    • "I made my family disappear!"
    • Also gives a straight-ahead one of exasperation when his grocery bags split open on the walk home.
    • Also in the sequel, when the passenger next to him on the plane starts speaking French.
  • An Asskicking Christmas
  • Badass Longcoat: Kevin's mom wears one in each of the first two films.
  • Big Applesauce: The second film.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Harry and Marv.
  • Big Brother Bully: Buzz.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Old Man Marley. The pigeon lady even more so.
  • Bigger Bad: The North Korean terrorist in the 3rd film.
  • Big "Never!": Marv, although in a context that just makes him look foolish.
  • Big No: Harry screams one in the second film while Kevin throws a rock through a window to trip the toy store alarm, and expose the Bandits.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When the leader of the bad guys in the third movie learns that Alex took the chip from the toy car, he gets angry and starts yelling at the boy in Polish: "I'm gonna crush you like a cockroach! Where's the disk?" (yes, he actually called the chip "disk").
  • Bland-Name Product: Little Nero's (Little Caesars).
  • Bloodless Carnage: The Wet/Sticky Bandits get hit by all sorts of painful traps, but not a drop of blood appears in the movies. Not really noticeable except for a few cases, like when a nail goes through Marv's foot.
    • In Home Alone 3, one of the spies has a running lawnmower dropped onto his face. We hear agonizing screaming and the scene cuts away. The next time we see him, all he has is a wacky new haircut.
      • And before that, two of them get a desk full of books dropped on them from a floor up. They act more like they were each hit in the head with a single book.
        • "You got hit with a book?"
  • Booby Trap: One of the big draws of the movie is watching Kevin (or Alex) set up some fiendishly ingenious traps for the bad guys. A lot of these traps would likely kill if these were anything other than comedy movies.
  • Boom! Headshot!: One of Kevin's methods of dispatching the Wet Bandits involved him shooting Marv in the forehead with a B.B. gun when he poked his head through the doggie door. Surprisingly, the best it did was leave a stinging sensation on his forehead rather than killing him.
    • ... "Surprisingly"? It's a BB gun.
  • Bowdlerise: Channels like ABC Family and CN seem to love editing out certain parts of the final act of the second film like Kevin hitting Marv three times with bricks for example which was scaled back to one brick being used instead.
    • Not to mention the aforementioned Angrish Harry mutters whenever Kevin injures him.
  • Brick Joke: The first two end with this. In the first movie, Kevin climbs up his brother Buzz's storage shelves, which collapse under his weight, thereby destroying his brother's room and releasing his pet tarantula. He then goes grocery shopping with Buzz's life savings and the movie goes on as planned. At the end of the movie all seems right until the very end of the movie when after the family has come home, Buzz yells "KEVIN!! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY ROOM?!?" The second movie has Kevin, having been lost in New York, uses his dad's credit card to check into the Plaza Hotel, where he enjoys the room service. After Kevin escapes the concierge having called the credit card 'stolen', the movie continues on with Kevin befriending the pigeon lady and his family is given a complimentary suite once they arrive in New York. At the end of the movie after Kevin runs out to give the pigeon lady one of the turtle doves he got from Duncan's Toy Chest (because friendship is valuable), Buzz gets something from the bellhop that is also high in price: Kevin's room service bill. Kevin then hears his dad yell out "KEVIN!! YOU SPENT $967 ON ROOM SERVICE?!?"
    • In the second movie, right before the goons are set to invade the trap-infested house that Kevin has set up, Kevin throws several bricks down at the pair, with all of them hitting Marv. After the pair have made it through the gauntlet to the top of the house, with Kevin now on sidewalk, Marv attempts to get revenge on him by tossing a brick at him.
    • In the first film, Harry chews out Marv when the latter flooded the house again, who counters that, as the "Wet Bandits," they need a Calling Card. In the climax, the Wet Bandits are arrested, and the police tell them they know which houses they robbed due to the floods, with the strong implication of serving a lengthy prison sentence.
  • Butt Monkey: Harry and Marv, Marv more so. Also, Kevin to his family.
    • And the hotel staff in the second film.
  • California Doubling: In the second movie, all the scenes with Kevin's family in Florida were shot in California, as were all the scenes at Kevin's uncle's house, while several more of the New York scenes were shot in Chicago.
  • Calling Card: The Wet Bandits (or rather, Marv, as Harry expresses irritation that Marv would actually resort to such a thing like that) often flood the houses they robbed. This bites them in the butt later in the film when they are arrested for attempted robbery.
  • The Cameo: Donald Trump, then-owner of the Plaza Hotel, appears in the second film as the man who directs Kevin to the lobby. Oddly enough, the directions he gives Kevin are incorrect.
    • In the first film several members of director Chris Columbus' family appears: is mother-in-law and his then infant daughter Eleanor Columbus are both passengers on the plane. His wife Monica Devereux-Columbus is a stewardess and his father-in-law plays the police officer who gives the line "tell them to count their kids again."
    • In the second film: Columbus himself makes a cameo holding his daughter Elenore in the Toy Store.
  • Car Cushion: In the second movie, Kevin tricks Harry and Marv into getting onto a makeshift see-saw, launching Harry into the air and onto a car.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Marv, much to Harry's disgust.
    • "Remember, if this makes the papers, we're no longer the Wet Bandits, we're the Sticky Bandits!"
  • Cassandra Truth: Home Alone 3, in which the spies escape before the police arrive, resulting in a lecture that "false alarms are no joking matter".
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The gangster movie that Kevin watches in the original movie. He first uses it in order to fool and scare away the pizza delivery boy. He later uses it again to scare off the Wet Bandits.
    • Done again in the sequel. This time, he uses it to scare off the hotel staff.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The first movie.
      • You just knew that little tarantula crawling around through the entire movie is going to save Kevin's hide in the end...
      • The "Angels With Filthy Souls" movie.
      • Kevin's dad telling him to pick up his micro machines because his Aunt Leslie stepped on one and almost broke her neck.
    • The second movie.
      • Kevin's Talkboy, along with "Bad guys saying they'll kill me" tape.
      • The inflatable Bozo the Clown.
      • The "Angels With Filthy Souls" sequel.
      • The fireworks Kevin buys in Chinatown.
      • The birds in the park.
      • Most (if not all) of the stuff Kevin records on his Talkboy.
    • The third movie.
      • The pet parrot and mouse were clearly there to assist Alex in his battle against the spies.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Old Man Marley in the first film. The homeless woman in the second.
  • Clothing Damage: In the second film, Harry's coat collar is charred after he soaks his burning head in a toilet filled with kerosene, blowing the house up.
  • The Comically Serious: Harry to a certain extent.
  • Continuity Nod: The same clip of Johnny Carson reading the letter that a little girl wrote to Santa appears in both Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Its appearance in the second film is a bit of an anachronism, since by late 1992 (when Home Alone 2 was released), Carson had since retired and Jay Leno had taken over.
  • Continuity Reboot: Home Alone 4 is an awkward mixture of this and an actual in-continuity sequel, as it actually started out as the latter, but then had a major restructuring of the cast to provide a jump-off point for a TV show. Many noted that it's far less problematic to ignore the references to the first two films and just take it as a total reboot.
  • Creepy Basement: Contains the furnace that is Nightmare Fuel for Kevin. Subverted later on in the movie.
  • Curse Cut Short: Twice in the second movie; the first is when the elevator Kevin is on shuts just before Tim Curry's character can finish calling him a "little shit"; the second is when Buzz is about to say shit, but Mom gives him a glare.
    • Averted in the first one, where Marv actually gets out an S-bomb (which is in the subtitles on the DVD).
  • Darker and Edgier: The first film is fairly lighthearted and family friendly, but the second one is much darker and more serious, with Kevin's traps being much more violent and brutal, and Harry crossing Moral Event Horizon (some people even think he stepped into Complete Monster territory) attempting to shoot Kevin in Central Park.
    • Home Alone 3 takes this trope to whole new levels. The new villains aren't petty house robbers, they're part of a terrorist organization! The female one actually ties an elderly lady up in a garage and then leaves the door open, exposing her to the freezing weather conditions. She's not far from unconsciousness when she's finally rescued.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Earl Unger in Home Alone 3, even when he's literally half-frozen.
    • Harry also has his moments.
    • Kevin himself in several scenes as well.
  • Death by Irony: In the Gameboy version of Home Alone, the player could defeat enemies by knocking an item down onto an enemy by knocking down a bowling ball when they are directly underneath it. Want to know how it's ironic? The item that does them in is more often than not one of the same items that the robbers are intending to steal.
  • Death Trap: What the house are turned into. Amazingly, their victims make it through them with only superficial wounds.
  • Determinator: The Wet Bandits do not give up, that's the best thing that can be said about them.
    • It's also the worst thing that could be said about them. They're not trying to steal some specific MacGuffin hidden in the McCallisters' home, they're just robbing a bunch of houses for valuables. Once they knew someone was there at all, they should have just written it off, and quietly hit the other houses unhindered, but then there goes the plot.
      • Harry states explicitly that the McCallisters' house is the prize of that particular block, and that Harry had wanted to rob it ever since he first laid eyes on it.
        • Plus, once Harry and Marv started falling for Kevin's traps, they became eager to get back at him.
    • Kevin's mom is pretty impressive. She spends both movies trying to get to Kevin ASAP, buying whatever plane tickets she can, pawning her stuff, and hitching rides with strange polka bands.
  • Die Hard on an X: Arguably Die Hard for children. Protagonist accidentally gets left behind, must fight thieves who invade the building on Christmas Eve. He even has a catchphrase from an old movie (no swearing though).
  • Disaster Dominoes: Kevin's shoving of Buzz in the second movie somehow causes an entire choir to collapse as they grab each other while falling. Everyone but Kevin goes down, including those right in front of him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In both films, Harry and Marv are guilty of committing robbery. So Kevin decides that the appropriate punishment is to burn them with blowtorches, hit them with irons, paint cans and snow shovels, shove nails through their feet, pummel them with bricks and pipes, electrocute them, blow them up, and generally put them through as much physical pain as humanly possible. Probably justified in the first film, as Kevin overheard them talking about their plans of robbing the house even with Kevin being home and insinuating that he'd be too scared to hold fort, and after getting some advice from the shovelman, he decides he'll do everything in his ability to ensure they don't enter the house and rob anything, and possibly buy enough time for the police to arrive and arrest them before they succeed in robbing it (since another scene had Kevin calling the police about the robbery, albeit under a false identity).
    • Not the case in the third and forth films given the villains in the third are a few notches above just robbers while in the fourth, both villains don't really get caught up in very much compared to the other three.
  • Double Take: In the second movie:

Kate: Kevin's not here.
Peter: What?!
Kate: *laughs, then gasps* KEVIN! *faints*

  • The Dragon: At times, Marv acts as this to Harry, especially in the second film.
  • Dutch Angle: In the second film, a shot of Harry and Marv getting up from the street is shot this way.
  • Expy: Alex is mostly recycled from Kevin. Also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • The Eighties in the first film, The Nineties in the sequels (technically the first film is from 1990 but the cultural 80s didn't end until 1992 or 1993).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Harry is disgusted by Marv's penchant for leaving the water running in all the houses they have robbed and tells him, "that's a sick thing to do!"
    • Harry is unwilling to follow Kevin into a church, even though he was hiding in the Nativity Scene. So is Marv. Seems more like they were afraid of it, though.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: From the villains' point of view, this is what Kevin's house becomes.
  • Evil Is Petty: In between major heists, Marv either nicks change from a Salvation Army Santa or leaves the water running in the homes they rob.
  • Evil Laugh:

Sleeping man: Watch it, kid! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Face Your Fears: Kevin has to face his fear of his basement furnace in the first movie.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: When Harry tries to shoot the pigeon lady, his gun jams, probably due to the paint and varnish that fell on him after he let go of the burning rope. This was probably the filmmaker's way of reassuring the audience that Harry wouldn't have been able to shoot Kevin even if he tried.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The first two films are full of it, Harry and Marv in the second film in particular should've been dead before the end.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Somewhat subverted; in the first two films, Harry and Marv eventually end up outwitting and catching Kevin, they plan on killing him (really slowly in the first one), and they're only stopped by the sudden intervention of an adult. However, the fact that they didn't just shoot him or at least tie him up at gunpoint to begin with is less than realistic. The lack of swearing from hardened criminals in terrible pain is also quite noticeable. Word is they had to do quite a few retakes because Pesci couldn't shut his filthy mouth.
    • Justified a bit in that Pesci just came from doing Goodfellas, where he elevated F-bombs to an art form.
    • It's also justified both times for why they didn't do the above: in the first film they don't have a gun (which makes sense- they expect to be robbing empty houses on an empty street), and by the time they grab Kevin are too pissed off to worry about tying him up. In the second Harry does have a gun and is prepared to use it...but again, he doesn't get the chance until he's put through hell first, by which point its too late.
  • Fat and Skinny: Harry and Marv, respectively.
    • Joe Pesci really isn't that fat, but he is much shorter and heavier than Daniel Stern.
  • Flanderization: In the second film, Harry is a lot meaner and grouchier and Marv dumber and sillier than in the first film.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Kevin's mother looking for him in the second movie.
  • Genre Blind: Harry and Marv in the first movie - who, under the assumption that This Is Reality, assume that "Kids are stupid."
    • As noted below, in the second movie, Harry and Marv fail to consider that the traps would be modified. For example, Kevin reprises the paint can trick, and they think they only have to wait for two cans to swing by before rushing up the stairs. Kevin does use two paint cans, but also a very large and heavy pipe
  • Genre Savvy: Harry learns to expect some of the traps in the second movie, but doesn't count on them being modified.
    • "Don't you know a kid always wins against two idiots?"
  • Gold Tooth: Harry has a gold tooth, which produces a rare live-action Twinkle Smile. When Kevin recognizes it he realizes Harry was the same man posing as a police officer at the beginning of the film.
  • Gratuitous French: The family (sans Kevin) watching It's a Wonderful Life in French in the first movie...
    • Gratuitous Spanish: ...and then watching it en Español in the second, even though Florida is an English-speaking U.S. state, although Spanish may count as another language in Florida too.
  • Groin Attack: Way too many to count...
    • There's one groin injury per film.
    • One of the ways to dispatch the enemies (specifically the fat fedora man) in Lost in New York's game adaptation involves firing weapons at him, and he's seen clutching down to a certain area upon being hit.
  • Grumpy Bear: Harry and Uncle Frank.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Harry and Marv during the brief scene in the second movie where they try to trick Kevin into thinking they've been hit with paint cans (only for them to be hit with an iron pipe for real a moment later).
  • Heartwarming Orphan: In the second film, one waves to Kevin from a window of the children's hospital and Kevin waves back, just before Kevin sets off to foil Harry and Marv's plan.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When the Wet Bandits are finally caught at the end of the first, the cops are able to identify which houses they robbed since Marv would leave the houses' sinks running as a calling card. Marv was proud of this, while Harry shakes his head.
    • This is also how the Bandits planned to punish Kevin before Old Man Marley intervened - by putting him through his own traps.
  • Hollywood Healing: In the second film, Harry and Marv are electrocuted; set on fire; hit with bricks, tools and other assortments; cut; stabbed; crushed; fall multiple stories (two or three times in a few minutes); hit with a shovel; attacked by a flock of pigeons; hit with paint cans and large metal bar (which was then dropped on them)....and they suffer no serious injuries. At all.
  • Hotel Hellion: Kevin in the second movie.
  • Hot Mom: Kind of a given when your mom is played by Catherine O'Hara. Alex's mom from the third movie also counts as a Hot Mom.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Harry in the first movie dresses himself as a policeman to know when the residents of the neighborhood are going to leave for the holiday.
  • Implacable Man: In the first two films, Harry and Marv are electrocuted; set on fire; hit with bricks, tools and other assortments; cut; stabbed; crushed; fallen multiple stories (two or three times in a few minutes); hit with a shovel; attacked by a flock of pigeons; hit with paint cans and large metal bar (which was then dropped on them)....and they suffer no serious injuries. At all. Even broken noses are instantly fixed. The 3rd film mitigates this a bit with 4 bad guys, meaning the punishment is spread out more evenly.
  • Improvised Zipline: Kevin uses a bike handle to slide from his window to his treehouse.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Harry and Marv.
  • Informed Attribute: Fuller is apparently a bedwetter.
  • Informed Judaism: "Happy Hannukah, Marv."[1]
  • Insult Backfire: In the second movie.

Kate: What kind of idiots do you have working here?
Mrs. Stone: The finest in New York.

    • And this one.

Kevin: You guys give up? Have you had enough pain?
Marv: (triumphantly) NEVER!

  • Iron Butt Monkey: Harry and Marv really shouldn't have survived most of the stuff that happened to them in the second movie. Fortunately, the physical unlikelihood of a ten year old lifting a 70 lbs barbell probably prevented a number of children across the nation killing their older siblings with pranks.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: The hands-on-face scream Kevin became known for; it only happened twice, and only in the first movie. Kevin had just finished shaving (in an attempt to act "grown up"), and applied aftershave. The alcohol burn wasn't something he was prepared for.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: "I made my family disappear!"
  • Jerkass: Harry, Buzz and Uncle Frank. Also, the hotel Concierge in the second film.
    • Kevin an be a bit of a Jerkass too; then again, most of his family are. Apart from Buzz and Frank, his sister(?) calls him "les incompetent", and his older cousins call him "completely helpless" and "such a disease". His younger cousin constantly wets the bed- in the second film, its implied he does it on purpose, or at least finds it amusing that Kevin might have to share a bed with him for that reason.
  • Just Between You and Me: In the second movie, Marv blabs to Kevin their plan to rob the toy store, justifying it by saying they're going to kill him soon anyway. Later when he and Harry are caught, he blabs about the plan to the cops who caught them.
  • Karma Houdini: Buzz in the second. Sure, Kevin pushes him down after the electric candle debacle, but Buzz still gets away with conning the whole family with an insincere apology after the fact, and suffers no retribution.
    • In the first movie, he gets away with taunting him over pizza, which causes Kevin to bum rush him afterwards.
      • He gets his comeuppance in first in the form of Kevin destroying his room and using his life's savings to buy food. Not so much in the sequel.
      • He does redeem himself with a genuinely sincere speech in thanks to Kevin at the end of the sequel, though.
    • A better example is Uncle Frank who is a complete and utter ass to everyone (including his own wife and kids) and never faces any consequences whatsoever, but Kevin did use Uncle Frank's Jerkass-ness to his advantage in the hotel.
    • Also, the North Korean mobster in the third movie.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: In the first movie, Kevin watches an old gangster movie that he was previously not allowed to see. It ends up scarring him but he later uses the audio of that scene to ward off the burglars and the pizza delivery man.
    • Also, in the second movie, Kevin has another sequel to the same gangster movie (which he still wasn't allowed to see). He uses the same movie to ward off the hotel guys and the bellhop that are out to throw him out for trickery into using a paycheck for room service.
  • Large Ham: Marv, mostly in the second movie.
    • Joe Pesci as well.
    • The hotel concierge in the second movie - no surprise, since he is played by Tim Curry.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "All right, enough with this gooey sh...ow of emotion."
  • Laughably Evil: Harry and Marv.
  • Leitmotif: Kevin is usually accompanied by an instrumental version of "Someone in My Memory". Harry and Marv have their respective leitmotif too which we could call him "Harry and Marv Theme".
  • Loose Lips: Marv does this, especially in the second film.

Marv: (to Kevin) At midnight tonight, we're hitting Duncan's Toy Chest, five floors of cash. Then after that we get a couple of phony passports then it's off to Rio...
Harry: Marv! Marv! You want to shut up?

    • Another example, at the end of the film:

Marv: (to the cops who are arresting them) He made us hide out in the store so we could steal all the kiddies' charity money.
Harry: (kicks Marv) Shut up, Marv! You got the right to remain silent, you know.
Marv: He's a little cranky. We just broke out of prison a few days ago.
Harry: (kicks him again) SHUT UP, MARV! Jeez!

  • Made of Iron: Try watching this movie with an EMT, or anyone with basic knowledge of biology. They'll tell you that without this trope the bad guys would be dead hundreds of times over by the end.
    • That kinda depends. Most of the traps in the first movie are survivable, though they'd be horribly painful and leave some nasty scars. Almost all of the traps in the second one, however, would kill you instantly or cripple you for life.
  • Make a Wish: It's not actually a magically granted wish, but Kevin thinks it is when his mother walks through the front door on Christmas morning.
  • Mama Bear: Kevin's mother in the first two movies.
    • The second one especially, which gives us this gem of a quote from Kate:

Kate McCallister: Peter, I'll be fine. The way I'm feeling right now, no mugger or murderer would dare mess with me!

    • Also, the pigeon lady in the second movie.
  • Man-Made House Flood: Deliberately invoked by the Wet Bandits in the first movie. See Calling Card.
  • Match Cut: In Lost in New York, when Kevin is watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and it gets to the part where the Grinch makes his famous smile, the scene fades to the concierge making a similar smile after catching Kevin using a stolen credit card.
  • Mickey Mousing: In the second film, the orchestra plays three stings when Kevin dials each of the numbers in 911.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Old Man Marley in the first film, the Pigeon Lady in the second,both of whom end up saving Kevin's ass in the end. Also to some degree, Mrs. Hess in the third.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Kevin must have had a Cleanup Crew for most of the house (save Buzz's room, evidently), at the end of Home Alone 1. In less than 12 hours (9pm-daybreak the next morning), all of his traps are neatly put away, the crushed Christmas ornaments Harry stepped on as he climbed through the window are swept away and didn't damage the floor's finish, the front doorknob and mechanism were unharmed from being super-heated, thankfully his family doesn't slip on the ice on the front steps.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: In the second movie, Kevin lights Harry's head on fire, Harry puts it out in the toilet, not knowing it is filled with kerosene (which looks like water at first glance), and blows the entire first floor up. Luckily, Harry only has second-degree burns on his scalp (as well as soot on his face and teeth and a damaged hat) to worry about.
  • No One Should Survive That: Oh so many, particularly in the second film, the most Egregious example being Harry surviving an explosion after sticking his burning head in a kerosene-filled toilet.
  • Oh Crap: For Kevin and the audience near the end of the second movie. It turned out Harry wasn't bluffing from an earlier scene; he really DID have a gun in his coat pocket.
    • Marv sticking his head through the doggy door and into the barrel of a BB gun...which he then turns it into an Oh Crap smile.
  • Overly Long Scream
  • Papa Wolf: Old Man Marley.
  • Parental Obliviousness: In Home Alone 3, the parents aren't on vacation, they're just at work. Several of the booby traps were already there when they leave on the final day; in fact, at one point Alex has to fetch his mom's coat so that she doesn't find out about the trap in the closet.
  • Police Are Useless: Particularly in the first film, in which their response to a hysterical mother's report of a child stranded alone for over a day is to try to ignore it, then brush it off when it can't be instantly verified. Averted in the second film when the officer gets annoyed with Kevin's parents laughing about forgetting him, and an officer in New York offers Kate a ride when she realizes where Kevin is.
  • Porn Stash: Having not yet hit puberty, Kevin has no appreciation for Buzz's collection of Playboys.

Kevin: No clothes on anybody. Sickening!

  • Primal Fear: According to Harry, Marv is afraid of the dark. He denies it.

Marv: Kids are scared of the dark.
Harry: You're afraid of the dark too, Marv. You know you are.
Marv: No I'm not.
Harry: Yes you are.
Marv: Not not not!
Harry: You are so.
Marv: Not not not not NOT NOT... !!

    • Marv is also afraid of spiders and creeped out by flocks of pigeons gathering mysteriously.
      • In his defense, who wouldn't be freaked out by a tarantula three or four inches wide landing on your face?
  • Product Placement: Fuller is shown drinking a Pepsi in the first movie, and then drinking a Coca-Cola in the second.
    • Also everyone in the world flies on American Airlines, apparently.
    • The VHS for the first film even contains an AA ad featuring footage from the movie.
  • Protect This House: "This is my house! It's my job to defend it!"
  • Punch Clock Villain: Harry and Marv used to be this, before meeting Kevin.
  • Rear Window Witness: In the third, the protagonist is home sick from school and witnesses the burglary of a neighbor's home, but can't get anyone to believe him.
  • Recycled Premise: The second film was Home Alone in New York, the third film was Home Alone with spies as the bad guys, and the fourth film was Home Alone in a smart house.
  • Refuge in Audacity: What Kevin first uses to get into the hotel in the second movie.

Mrs. Stone: Can I help you?
Kevin: A reservation for McCallister?
Mrs. Stone: A reservation for yourself?
Kevin: Ma'am, my feet are hardly touching the ground. I'm barely able to look over the counter. How can I make a reservation for a hotel room? Think about it. A kid coming into a hotel, making a reservation? I don't think so.

  • Running Gag: In the first movie, a car running into and toppling the oddly-placed statue on the McCallisters' front yard. In the sequel, the first van misses the statue... but the second van still manages to hit it.
    • In the first two movies, the family watches It's a Wonderful Life in a different language while in a hotel: first French, then Spanish.
    • Also, at the end of the first two, one of the other McCallisters would yell at Kevin for something bad he did while they were gone/separated (trashing Buzz's room in the first, and spending "$967 on room service" with his dad's credit card in the second).
    • The movie Kevin watches: an old black-and-white movie about a homicidal maniac who kills his enemies with a tommy gun.
      • That would be "Angels with Filthy Souls." And the sequel "Angels with Even Filthier Souls".
      • "Keep the change, ya filthy animal."
      • Kevin closes his eyes during the shootings. Then he uses the movie to trick people, and he mouths "ya filthy animal."
    • Kevin and his family do not understand how to tip people.
      • Actually, in one scene where the bellboy reveals he still has "some tip left over" (a stick of gum), Kevin flashes a wad of cash and grins, implying that he probably does know how to tip and is just screwing with the bellboy.
  • Same Story, Different Names: The original was so popular that beyond the sequels, John Hughes wrote other family comedies for various studios - Beethoven (1992, though under a pseudonym), Dennis the Menace US (1993), Baby's Day Out (1994), the live-action One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1996), and Flubber (1997) - that all had bad guys getting outwitted by kids, animals, etc. at some point, usually as violently as possible.
  • Sanctuary of Solitude: Kevin is lonely on Christmas night for the first one, so he goes to the church to hear the choir sing.
  • The Scream: Parodied once per movie.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Marv does this in the first movie when Kevin puts the tarantula on his face.
  • The Scrooge: Kevin's Uncle Frank.

Kevin: Oh, wouldn't want to spoil your fun, Mr. Cheapskate!

  • Shout-Out: Harry's last name is "Lime".
    • In the second film, the hotel concierge breaks into a Slasher Smile that matches the Grinch's. Kevin also watches that movie in both films.
  • Show Within a Show: "Angels with Filthy Souls" (made specifically for the movie). It's actually a parody of a real '30s gangster flick, Angels with Dirty Faces. At least the title is. The fake movie scenes don't parody any scene from Angels with Dirty Faces.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Notably averted with Harry Lime, given Joe Pesci's previous roles. In fact, they actually had to do at least one retake of a scene with Harry when Pesci actually did manage to let slip a swear word.
  • Slippery Swimsuit
  • Something We Forgot: "KEVIN!!!"
  • Stupid Crooks: Marv is much more dense than his partner Harry. It was his idea to flood every house they rob as his way of leaving a Calling Card, and when Marv wants to make it clear to cops that he and his partner are the "Wet Bandits," one of his arresting officers makes an observation:

Police Officer: Hey, you know we've been looking for you two guys for a long time. Thanks for leaving the water running; now we know each and every house you guys have hit.

      • Marv smiles with pride at Harry who shakes his head.
    • Every crook in a Home Alone film counts, really.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: An interesting variation in the first movie, where Kevin tells a man dressed in a Santa suit "I'm old enough to know you're not the real Santa Claus, but I also know that you work for him." The Santa actor just goes with it.
  • Take That: Kevin Smith, who loves shout outs to John Hughes movies, put a friendly jab in Dogma. It's stated that the reason this movie was successful is because the writer sold his soul to the devil.
  • Television Geography: In 2, Kevin calls a Limo from The Plaza to be taken to a toy store, which drops him off at Duncan's Toy Chest, a Brand X stand-in for FAO Schwarz (It was even filmed inside). The real FAO Schwarz is right across the street from The Plaza and would be clearly visible from where Kevin got into the car.
  • Tempting Fate: From the second film: "You want to throw bricks? Go ahead; throw another one!" and "You got any more?!" Both of which result in more bricks thrown at Harry and Marv.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: In the first movie, Kevin makes a nice, hot, steaming bowl of mac n' cheese. He brings it to the table, sits down, picks up his knife and fork... and the robbers show up. He promptly leaves it on the table without touching it.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Kevin's realization in 2 that Harry and Marv are planning to rob a toy store that intends to donate its proceeds to a children's hospital on Christmas Day.

Kevin: You can mess with a lot of things, but you can't mess with kids on Christmas.

  • Those Two Bad Guys: Harry, the brains, and Marv, who's Too Dumb to Live and just goes along with Harry's plans.
  • Title Drop: In the first movie, the other McCallisters mention that Kevin is "home alone" at least three times. One of his sisters says so at the airport phones, and Kate says it at least twice to people when trying to get home. Harry says it too.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Both the Bandits have their stupid moments, but especially Marv.
  • Under Crank: Utilized in the first and second films when the families are scrambling to get ready to go to the airport after oversleeping.
  • The Unfavourite: What Kevin seems to be to his family.
  • Villain Protagonist / Hero Antagonist: Yes, Kevin is the main character, but considering the downright sadistic things he does to Harry and Marv, especially in the second film, he may count as one of these.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Marv wanting to go to the Central Park Zoo, while waiting to kill time before the robbery of the toy store.
    • In the first film, since they're not returning to the house until 9 pm, Harry suggests they grab dinner beforehand.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: The hotel staff, especially the concierge. He clearly knows Kevin's story about his father being in New York on business is a lie. And, when the hotel staff confront Kevin about the credit card, it was because Kevin had committed credit card fraud by using his father's card without permission. But the concierge is such a smug jerk about finding out all of this that the sympathy still rests with Kevin.
    • His reaction to finding out an unescorted minor has been committing fraud to stay at the hotel is essentially to chase said minor out onto the streets rather than calling any kind of social services or police.
      • He told Kevin that he was going to call the police, prompting Kevin to run. He probably did, given that Kevin's family knew where he was staying later on. Though, by that point he probably phoned the police because he thought an armed maniac was living in that room, and only allowed Kevin to run onto the streets because Kevin escaped, and he thought the maniac was a bit of a higher priority.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The terrorists' employer in the third movie.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Harry catches on to this in the second movie, but fortunately never gets a chance to.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Harry and Marv aren't this way at first, but after the hell Kevin puts them through, they understandably want his head on a platter. Especially in the second film, when Harry flat out states that he has no problem "knocking off a youngster".
  • X-Ray Sparks: In the second film, Marv uses a sink to wash off the paint Kevin spilled on him... except Kevin hooked up the taps to an electric arc welder.
  • Xanatos Roulette: The positioning of many of the traps qualify, but most egregiously the trick used in the third movie to switch one of the spies' guns for a fake.
    • The only trap in the first film that borders on this is the "ornaments under the window" trick, which requires that the bandit who went into the basement would then try in vain to walk up the tar covered stairs, lose their shoes, give up, and then requires that same bandit to try and enter through that exact same window, only to walk barefoot over the ornaments.
      • Not really, even if he had shoes he could still trip on the broken glass and fall into it.
      • The blowtorch only works if you assume that Kevin knew Harry's exact height and could be sure that he, not Marv, would be the one to come in that way.
      • Since Marv is taller than Harry, it would still burn Marv, just not on his head. It does require not being placed too high to burn Harry, however.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: "Kevin! What did you do to my room?!"
    • And in the sequel: "Kevin! You spent $967 on room service?!"

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. *dakka-dakka-dakka* And a happy New Year. *bang*

  1. Note, Marv said this to himself.