Home Alone Antics
A kid sets traps in a house/hotel/castle/whatever for bad guys to trip on. Hilarity Ensues.
Description Needs Help Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2013-08-28 06:30:23 sponsor: BonsaiForest (last reply: 2014-01-09 17:15:24)

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Named after, and probably started by, Home Alone, Home Alone Antics are an unusually specific trope. At its most well-known form, a kid sets traps in or around a house, and bad guys who are after the kid (or the house or something in it) end up getting hurt by the traps.

There can be variations on the concept. It doesn't have to be a kid who sets the traps or tricks the bad guys - in fact, in one movie, it was a dog. The traps don't always need to be "set"; they can be part of the architecture/environment. However, the one required aspect is dumb/goofy villains being tricked into falling for the traps in comedic manner.

(I'll improve the description later; I'm in a hurry)

(If I have to rename the trope, the new name should somehow involve stupid bad guys falling for traps set by, or set off by, a kid or something similar. Any alternate name suggestions? I do want to avoid Trope-Namer Syndrome if it'll be a problem, though I always thought Home Alone was quite infamous for having invented this style)

(picture to go with the article will likely be of one of the burglars in Home Alone tripping/falling on a trap, to illustrate the trope at a glance)

Examples include:

  • Home Alone is the Trope Namer, Trope Codifier and Ur Example. While the majority of the film is actually about a boy's attempts to live on his own after accidentally being left behind by his parents, and how he manages buying food, tricking people into thinking there are others in the house, and so on, the movie was overwhelmingly remembered for its ending, which consists of the boy setting traps for robbers that are planning to rob his house, and them getting caught in them. The traps only get more violent and extreme in the second movie.
  • The Richie Rich live action movie turned into this near the end, as the house's traps were used against the bad guys. This time it was a group of kids using them.
  • 3 Ninjas included a scene early on where kidnappers were tripped by traps set by the brothers.
  • Blank Check is mostly about a kid who lives it up with money he obtained dishonestly, but near the end, he suddenly knows how to use the layout of his castle to stop the bad guys who are out to get him.
  • Ping is about a dog that manages to trip up two dumbass robbers who are attempting to rob the house.
  • Alone in the Woods involves a boy tricking and tripping up two bad guys as he tries to rescue a kidnap victim.
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • In the first act of the episode "Shop Around The Clock", Bogus sets up a series of tactics and scenarios in order to stop Jake and Butch from stealing a priceless crown from the department store. These include controlling a pair of fishing pants, dressing himself up as a conductor to use music instruments to attack Butch, and controlling a fisherman dummy to chase away the two baddies.
    • Used again in the first act of the episode "Bogunda, Bogetta & Bogus", this time in the Anybody residence when Jake and Butch return. This time, Bogus is able to keep them deterred by firing light bulbs from a lamp, using a toy mouse to grab them on the nose, and using his shadow projected on the wall to scare them out of the house.
  • Comedy series Cousin Skeeter had an episode where the main characters worked in a toy store that was later robbed by a couple criminals. They use the toys to fight them off.
  • The episode Home Alone Sweep from Sooty and Co has Sweep left home alone. He hears sounds outside and starts setting traps for the burglars. However, it turns out that the 'burglar' was actually Matthew, who ends up falling into all of his traps.
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip has Calvin's parents come home to find a house full of booby traps, because Calvin watched a scary movie while they were out and then rigged up defenses against a monster attack.
  • In an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show while Rob is away Laura watches a scary movie on TV and is afraid that someone will break into the house. Milly comes over and they set booby-traps at the front door etc. so that whoever might break in will make a loud noise so they can bean him with a baseball bat. Naturally, Rob comes home earlier than expected and trips the homemade alarm.
  • One Archie Comics story has Archie and Jughead house-sitting for Mr. Lodge. Although the mansion has a sophisticated security system, the boys decide to play it safe and add some extra anti-burglar defenses, involving the usual buckets of water, tin cans, flypaper, etc. Of course, Mr. Lodge comes home and walks into all the booby traps.
  • Too Much: The Robot With a Heart has Susie and a Japanese boy escape bungling kidnappers/robotnappers by setting traps that they comically fall for, resulting in them making a huge mess of a fish market.

Any more examples, or improvements to the description?
replies: 33

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