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Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin)
- "This is my house, I have to defend it!"
- Adorably Precocious Child: In both movies Kevin is shown to be very smart for his age and capable of great maturity and insights, but he still has a childish (and occasionally bratty) streak; he's just a kid and often acts like one.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: This is how his older siblings see him. To be fair, all of them are jerks.
- Badass Adorable: You bet your sweet ass he's this trope. This kid goes through (and helps instigate!) more chaos in two movies than some people see in a lifetime. And he's just so damn cute.
- Butt Monkey: To his family. Both movies show him being picked on and insulted by his jerks siblings (not to mention his uncle) and treated like The Scapegoat and The Unfavorite by his neglectful parents.
- Deadpan Snarker: Often.Frank: You better not wreck my trip, you little sour puss, your dad's paying good money for it.Kevin: Oh, wouldn't want to spoil your fun, Mr. Cheapskate!
- Freudian Excuse: The way his family treats him.
- Good Is Not Soft: He has a good heart deep down and still loves his family, despite their constant abuse of him, and can be very compassionate and helpful. When it comes to his enemies, however, he's downright ruthless.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Kevin has shades of this, as pointed out in the Honest Trailers reel (manipulation, talking to himself, trapping a pair of non-violent criminals in a sadistic world of torture, from which there is no escape...)
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Kevin's home life is pretty much this.
- Hotel Hellion: In the second movie.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kevin is the first to admit he's not always the best kid and can be a pain sometimes, but he does overall have a good heart. Especially seen in his interactions with Old Man Marley and the Pigeon Lady.
- Kid Hero
- Manipulative Bastard: And a pretty good one at that.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Kevin has two brothers, two sisters and lots of cousins.
- Mouthy Kid: He's not afraid to speak his mind.
- Parental Neglect: Kevin's parents don't seem to be particularly mean, but they often ignore him and don't care about his feelings. Plus, what kind of parents would forget about their 8 year-old kid and leave him home alone on Christmas? Although, in all fairness, the home was in chaos with the extended family there. We have no reason to believe his parents are like this all year round.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: All the sadistic things he does to Harry and Marv. They are the bad guys, anyway.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Plain cheese pizza.
- Trap Master: Taken Up to Eleven in the sequel.
- The Unfavourite: What Kevin seems to be to his family.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Big time. He's an 8-year-old boy who's perfectly able to take care of himself and outsmart adults, including professional burglars.
Harry and Marv
Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern) and Harry Lime (Joe Pesci)
- "We're the Wet Bandits, the W-E-T-""Shut up, Marv!"
- Affably Evil: Especially Marv. When they nearly hit Kevin with their van, they both take time to admonish him to be more careful when crossing the street. It was only Kevin reacting at Harry's gold tooth (which he remembered from when Harry came to his house posing as a cop,) that caused the duo to become suspicious and start following him.
- All There in the Manual: Their last names are only given in the credits.
- Amusing Injuries: The injuries they sustain make up most of the movie's comedy, despite the fact that several of them are pretty extreme for a kid's movie series, and should have killed Harry and Marv several times over if used even semi-realistically.
- Arch-Enemy: After all the pains and injures they suffered thanks to Kevin it becomes personal.
- Big Bad Duumvirate
- Bully and Wimp Pairing: Harry and Marv, respectively.
- Butt Monkey: If you're a bad guy, you're definitely going to be on the receiving end of a horribly painful Humiliation Conga before the end of the film.
- Determinator: They do not give up and that's the best thing that can be said about them.
- Fat and Skinny: Harry and Marv, respectively, although Joe Pesci really isn't that fat, but he is much shorter and heavier than Daniel Stern.
- Fingerless Gloves: They both wear them.
- Flanderization: In the second movie, Harry is noticeably more grouchy, while Marv is noticeably dumber. Both can be justified by going to prison and all those head injuries in the first movie, respectively.
- Genre Blind: In the first movie.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: In the second film, Harry mentions that they share a photo album.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: They used to be just nonviolent thieves who simply prefer stealing and not hurt anybody. Since Kevin could have just called the police and had them arrested, his violent treatment towards them could be considered a Disproportionate Retribution.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Both, but especially Marv. It got even worse in the sequel!
- Kick the Dog: In the second film, Marv is seen nicking change from a salvation army Santa, and later, both he and Harry knowingly try to steal money from a children's charity.
- Laughably Evil: They are so bumbling and ineffectual they totally steal the show with their antics (and all the Amusing Injuries they suffer).
- Made of Iron: Without this trope these two would be dead hundreds of times over by the end. According to Honest Action, Harry would have been killed 8 times and Marv would have been killed 13 times over the course of the first two films.
- Punch Clock Villain: They used to be this, before meeting Kevin.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Harry is the red to Marv's blue.
- Shorter Means Smarter: Harry (the short one) isn't smart at all, but he's not nearly as silly and idiotic as Marv (the tall one).
- Stupid Crooks: Both of 'em. While Marv is the dumbest of the two, Harry is equally stupid himself.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Harry, the brains, and Marv, who's Too Dumb to Live and just goes along with Harry's plans.
- Too Dumb to Live: Both the Bandits have their stupid moments, but especially Marv.
- Villainous Friendship: A type 1. Although Harry often gets annoyed with Marv for his stupidity, he does seem to consider him a friend.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With each other.
- Would Hit a Girl: Both of them were willing to shoot the Pigeon Lady in the second film. Thankfully she incapacitates them with her birdseed before they can do anything (it helps that their gun was jammed with tar at the time).
Tropes associated with Harry
- Angrish: That's what happens when you put Joe Pesci in a PG movie.
- Badass Longcoat: His typical getup, along with the Wool Beanie, and the Fingerless Gloves he and Marv wear.
- Bald of Evil: He might have had hair once, but two incidents with a blowtorch has scorched off any hair he might have had.
- Boisterous Weakling: Harry clearly thinks of himself as a tough guy and often picks on Marv, but Kevin's traps reveal Harry to be every bit as big a wimp as his co-burglar.
- The Comically Serious
- Deadpan Snarker
- Even Evil Has Standards: Harry draws the line at flooding people's houses and chasing a kid into a church (although the latter may have been out of superstition or simple Pragmatic Villainy of not getting caught).
- Freudian Threat: After the paint can trap in the first movie, he threatens to snap off Kevin's cajones and boil them in motor oil.
- Grumpy Bear
- Hair-Trigger Temper: After all, he is played by Joe Pesci.
- Jerkass: Especially towards Marv.
- Knight of Cerebus: In the second movie, where he has a gun and fully intends to use it on Kevin.
- Nice Hat: Harry's Wool Beanie. It gets burned off in both movies.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain:
- Harry actually manages to get information from the neighbors by disguising himself as a policeman.
- At the end of the first film, he outsmarted Kevin and caught him. He would have bitten Kevin's fingers off if Marley hadn't shown up. At the end of the second film, he pulls a gun on Kevin and is about to shoot him in the face when the pigeon lady appears.
- Red Right Hand: His golden tooth in the first movie which he loses after being hit with a tin can by Kevin. By the end of the first film, there's his "M" scarred right hand from touching the booby-trapped doorknob, which is kept in the second.
- Scars Are Forever: In the first film, he tries to open a door, not knowing that Kevin had heated up the doorknob on the other side. He burns his right hand and cools it off in the snow. In the second film, it is revealed to have left a burn scar in the shape of an M on his right palm that he still has a year later. One of the few injuries in any of the films that is actually depicted realistically.
- Shout-Out: The credits list his last name as "Lime". There was another villain named Harry Lime in The Third Man.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He's a lot crankier and more irascible in the second film. Justified perhaps in that he's just spent a year in jail thanks to Kevin.
- Verbal Tic: He frequently mutters angrily to himself regarding Kevin.
- Would Hurt a Child: Strongly implied by the second film. He tells Kevin that "knocking off a youngster on Christmas Eve wouldn't mean much" and later goes as far as to hold him at gunpoint.
Tropes associated with Marv
- Alliterative Name: Marv Merchants.
- Bumbling Sidekick: At least in the second film. In the first film, he seems to be about on par with Harry in terms of intelligence and they also seem to have more of an equal partnership.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Much to Harry's disgust."Remember, if this makes the papers, we're no longer the Wet Bandits, we're the Sticky Bandits!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Especially in the second film.
- The Ditz: At times, Harry looks downright smart compared to him. In the second movie, he had trouble spelling "sticky", and stopped after the t.
- The Dragon: To Harry in the second film.
- Dumbass Has a Point:
- In the second movie, he warns Harry they should leave when he notices all the pigeons. He proves right when the pigeon lady appears.
- In the first movie he thinks that Harry's plan to try to rob the McCallister's house even with Kevin inside is not a good idea. Given what happens next to him and Harry he surely was right.
- In the first movie, when Harry says the McCallister's house is "the one", Marv says there could be toys worth stealing inside. Some toys can be valuable collector's items.
- Expy: Marv is based on James Woods' worthless thief (yes, that James Woods) in an early episode of Kojak. "We don't leave clues, we leave dead-ends. We're the Dead-End Kids, remember!"
- Greedy Jew:... well, he is a thief.
- Informed Judaism: He has a few lines that likely come from how Daniel Stern, who is Jewish himself, improvised a lot of Marv's lines and antics.
- "Merry Christmas, Harry." "Happy Hannukah, Marv."note
- In the second movie, he threatens Kevin by saying "American don't fly to the Promised Land, little buddy".
- Large Ham: Especially in the second movie.
- Man Child: In the first movie, Harry states that Marv is afraid of the dark. In addition, Marv wanted to steal toys (though he could have been planning for him and Harry to sell them, which may not be as stupid as it may seem). That's on top of him wanting him and Harry to have a criminal calling card. In the second movie, he's practically giddy to go ice skating.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Marv leaves a makeshift calling card for the police, much to Harry's dismay.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Particularly when a tarantula gets put on his face.
- Stupid Crooks: Harry isn't all that smart himself (he never made it to the sixth grade in fact), but Marv is much, much dumber. His idiot moments include:
- Flooding all the houses they rob just to leave a Calling Card, which allows the police to tie all their thefts together.
- After stepping on broken glass and cutting his feet, instead of clearing the rest of the glass out of the way, he walks over the rest of it.
- Stealing many things in broad daylight after he just broke out of prison.
- Admitting to the police that they tried to steal from a children's charity, despite Harry telling him they have the right to remain silent.
- And perhaps his biggest idiot moment of all, in the second film, he walks into a room and does not notice a large gaping hole in the floor in front of him that anyone with half a brain cell would see.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: In Home Alone 2, he is a lot dumber than in the first film, possibly thanks to the head injuries he sustained in the first film (and/or additional head injuries he might have sustained in prison).
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: If his major freakout with Buzz's tarantula is anything to go by, he has a bad case of arachnophobia.
Kate McCallister (Catherine O'Hara)
- Badass Boast: "Right now, no mugger or murderer would dare mess with me!"
- Determinator: Given the measures she goes to in order to find Kevin, you can bet your bottom dollar she is.
- Easily Forgiven: Justified - come on, it's Christmas! Kevin's just happy to see her at all.
- Happily Married: To Peter.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Before developing into a protective Mama Bear she was pretty bad to Kevin. She barely notices all the abuse he receives from his older siblings and doesn't even defend him when Uncle Frank (another adult!) calls him "little jerk" in front of everyone. All her reaction is sending Kevin to the attic, telling him "it's too late" when he apologizes and declaring "You're the only one in this family who causes trouble".
- Mama Bear: Both times Kevin is separated from the family, the sub-plots follow Kate doing everything humanly possible to get to him.
- Must Make Amends: At any cost.
- My God, What Have I Done?: All she's trying to do is discipline Kevin, and it winds up leaving him alone in Chicago. Not so much her fault in the second movie, but she takes it pretty hard nonetheless.
- Parental Neglect: To Kevin. When she realizes she left Kevin at home, it absolutely eats her up inside for the rest of the movie."What kind of a mother am I?"
Peter McCallister (John Heard)
- "Kevin! You spent $967 on room service?!"
- For Want of a Nail: In the second movie. He lets Kevin rummage through his bag to get batteries for just a moment, and it leads to them getting separated and dealing with an even bigger catastrophe than last year.
- Happily Married: To Kate.
- Only Sane Man: In relative terms, anyway. In Home Alone 1, Peter tried to talk Kate into waiting for the next flight from Paris to Chicago instead of hopping from airport to airport. She didn't listen, but he turned out to be right. He and the whole family arrive home exactly when she does.
- Parental Neglect: Accidentally, to Kevin. He seems to handle it a lot more reasonably than Kate does, however.
- The Stoic: Mostly by comparison. Kate is a whirlwind of panic when trying to get to Kevin; meanwhile Peter is just calmly trying to get everything in order.
Frank McCallister (Gerry Bamman)
- "Look what you did you little jerk!"
- Evil Uncle: He's not evil, but treats Kevin quite poorly, and shows no emotion when his parents leave him behind accidentally. In the sequel, he hasn't changed much, although he does mellow slightly by the end.
- Grumpy Bear
- Happily Married: To Leslie.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: One of the more memorable scenes in the second movie involves him in the shower, busting out a... truly stunning rendition of the Capitols' "Cool Jerk." Thanks to Kevin's Talkboy, this becomes a major Chekhov's Gun later on.
- Jerkass: None of the other members of Kevin's family are very nice, but he takes the cake.
- The Scrooge: Frank is regularly portrayed as a penny pincher; He avoids paying for his share of pizza, tries to steal airline champagne flutes in the first film, and it's heavily implied that he is only taking his family to Paris because Peter and Kate are paying. Kevin outright calls him a cheapskate in the sequel.
- Shower Scene:"Get outta here, you nosy little pervert, or I'm gonna slap you silly!!!"
Leslie McCallister (Terrie Snell)
- "Fuller, go easy on the Pepsi!"
Buzz McCallister (Devin Ratray)
- "I wouldn't let you sleep in my room, if you were growing on my ass!"
- Big Brother Bully
- Deadpan Snarker: Even moreso in the second movie.Buzz (after Kevin blows up at the family): What a troubled young man.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As mean as he can be to Kevin early in the movie, he does have something genuinely nice to say to him at the end.
- Karma Houdini: In the second movie. 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.
- Pet the Dog: Although he does redeem himself with a genuinely sincere speech in thanks to Kevin at the end of the sequel.
- Precision F-Strike: See the quote.
- Tempting Fate: He claims that Kevin will be fine because they live on the most boring street in America, where nothing remotely dangerous will ever happen.
Jeff McCallister (Mike Maronna)
- "Kevin, you're such a disease."
- Big Brother Bully: Though Buzz gets more focus, he's not very nice to Kevin, like the rest of the family.
- Pet the Dog: A deleted scene shows that he can't sleep in Paris because is worried about Kevin.
Megan McCallister (Hillary Wolf)
- "Kevin, you're completely helpless!"
- Alliterative Name: Megan Mccallister.
- Pet the Dog: In the first movie she shows concern for Kevin's safety, unlike Buzz.
Linnie McCallister (Angela Goethals)
- "You know, Kevin, you're what the French call les incompetents."
- Gratuitous French: See quote.
- Pet the Dog: Deleted scenes show that she, like Megan and Jeff, is worried about Kevin's well-being.
Fuller McCallister (Kieran Culkin)
- Annoying Younger Sibling: More like, an Annoying Younger Cousin to Kevin.
- Bratty Half-Pint: He constantly wets the bed - in the second film, it's 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. And during the dinner at the start of the first movie, we see Fuller drinking a Pepsi, but then he briefly stops and gives a smug look at Kevin.
- Informed Attribute: Fuller is apparently a bed-wetter. Which leads to a Chekhov's Gag toward the end of the second movie.
- Potty Failure: This is why Kevin hates sharing a bed with him.
- Troll: Look at that smirk. Seriously. And they say Kevin's the troublemaker.
Characters Specific to "Home Alone"
Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom)
- "Come, let's get you home."
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Kevin in the first film by attacking Harry and Marv with his snow shovel.
- Cool Old Guy
- Hero with Bad Publicity: He's rumored to be a Serial Killer. He's not.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Don't be fooled by that menacing stare; Marley's just a lonely old man who has no one in his life.
- Parental Abandonment: Years ago, he had a fight with his son, which ended with him telling his son that he didn't want to see him anymore. They manage to reconcile at the end of the movie.
- Papa Wolf: Towards Kevin.
- Shadow Archetype: Like Kevin, he got into an argument with family and refused to reconcile for years. As such, he illustrates how lonely Kevin's life would be if he got his wish.
- Shovel Strike: According to Buzz, he's rumored to have murdered his entire family with a shovel. While the rumors are patently untrue, he does use his shovel to take down Harry and Marv.
Gus Polinski (John Candy)
- Disappeared Dad: In a sense. He's not really proud of this, but he and the boys are on the road constantly, and it really cuts down on time spent with family. And that goes for all the members of his band, too: according to Gus, one of the boys has never even met his kids.
- Expy: Of Del Griffith from Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Same happy-go-lucky sort of demeanor, except with a polka band.
- Nice Guy: He is nice enough to offer Kate McCallister a ride back to Chicago.
- Parental Abandonment: He once accidentally abandoned his son at a funeral parlor.
- Red Baron: The Polka King of the Midwest! Awkwardly, Kate has never heard of him.
Characters Specific to "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York"
Pigeon Lady (Brenda Fricker)
- "Let him go! Kevin, run!"
- Big Damn Heroes: When she steps in and saves Kevin literally just before Harry is about to shoot him.
- Crazy Cat Lady: Eccentric pigeon lady, at any rate.
- Expy: She serves the same role that Old Man Marley did in the first film.
- Mama Bear: Towards Kevin.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Much like Old Man Marley in the first film.
- Nice Hat: She wears one.
- No Name Given: She's either called the Pigeon Lady or the Bird Lady, but we never get an actual name out of her.
Mr. Hector (Tim Curry)
- "What's the matter? Store wouldn't take your... stolen credit card?"
- Butt Monkey: Along with the hotel staff, he's outsmarted and humiliated by Kevin.
- Inspector Javert: He's the only one suspicious of a boy staying all by himself in a hotel in New York.
- Jerkass: Is a overall smug jerk.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite being established as a smarmy jerk, he do have a point when he's disadvising Kate to look for Kevin in New York at night, alone.
- Large Ham: As can only be expected, given who plays him.
- Punch Clock Villain: Downplayed. He's doing his job and is right in what Kevin did was credit card fraud, but is overly eager in having him arrested.
- Smug Snake: Is very proud in discovering the credit card "thievery", but Kevin got away. Oops. He still tries to take credit for his discovery while talking with Kevin's parents.
E.F. Duncan (Eddie Bracken)
- You see, turtle doves are a symbol of friendship and love. And as long as each of you has your turtle dove, you'll be friends forever.
- Friend to All Children: Regularly donates charities to children, and his store even allows kids to come in and play with the toys.
- King Incognito: He's posing as an ordinary cashier when Kevin meets him.
- Nice Guy: He perfectly understands why Kevin had to break the window of his store, and secretly sends him and his family tons of gifts in gratitude for Kevin saving the charity fund.
- Third-Person Person: Justified as he's pretending to be a cashier in employ of Mr. Duncan.
- Wealthy Philanthropist: Plans to donate the proceeds his toy shop makes a children's hospital. Unfortunately, Harry and Marv plan on stealing it all.