Film: Home Alone

"Home Alone": A budding young sociopath abused by his wealthy family violently tortures two non-violent criminals.

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is an eight-year-old boy from an affluent suburb of Chicago. He's a normal, active kid, though he sometimes feels like his family notices him only when he's underfoot or in the way.

During the Christmas holidays, his extended family comes to stay overnight with his already-large immediate family to prepare for their vacation to France (where more of their relatives are temporarily living). Of course, Kevin causes trouble during dinner, pushing his oldest brother, Buzz, in anger for eating his cheese pizza. As punishment, Kevin is forced into the attic where he was intended to sleep with his bed-wetting cousin, Fuller. Before he goes, he angrily 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 to catch their flight to France, accidentally leaving Kevin behind. He wakes to find that he has the house to himself. After a brief moment of panic, he exults in his new freedom, gorging on junk food and watching violent movies. However, a pair of burglars named Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), the self-proclaimed "Wet Bandits" (after the fact that they flood the houses they rob), are planning to put a hit on his house for its valuables.

The rest of the movie is about the efforts of the robbers to sack the house and the efforts of Kevin to foil them. Along the way, Kevin befriends an elderly neighbor who is rumored to be a serial killer. And of course his parents, realizing too late that they are missing a member, are frantically trying to get back home to find their son.

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 Bueller's 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 third highest grossing film 1992 behind only Aladdin and The Bodyguard.

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). Though, that was mostly attributed to the five-year gap between movies, where many of its fans had long since grown up. However, the film was still considered a pretty good family flick overall.

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, like 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: The Holiday Heist, was released during ABC Family's Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas in November of 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. Ironically, It's A Wonderful Life shows up in Home Alonenote .

This series is the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier of "Home Alone" Antics.

This film series contains examples of:

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     Entire series (Or, tropes that aren't specific to just one of the movies) 
  • Adults Are Useless: An essential trope here, since each movie is based around a small child outsmarting an array of dim and gullible adults. That said, in both of the first two movies, Kevin will end up getting caught by the pair of thieves angered to the point of murder, only to be rescued by a lone adult that Kevin has befriended earlier in the movie.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Harry and Marv in the first film. When they almost run over Kevin with their car (before they try to break into his house,) they both go out of their way to admonish him to be more careful when crossing the street.
    • 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.
  • Amusing Injuries: The injuries the burglars 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.
  • Angrish:
    • Harry speaks it often in the third acts of both films, because they couldn't let Joe Pesci swear. 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.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas
  • Be Careful What You Wish For
  • Berserk Button:
    • Harry is obsessed enough with trying to do in Kevin, but it gets even worse in the first film after Kevin launches a paint can at his face, knocking out Harry's Gold Tooth.
    • Don't even think about standing in Kate's way when she's looking for Kevin. Bonus points for when she slaps the concierge for advising her against it.
    Kate: The way I'm feeling right now, no mugger or murderer would dare mess with me.
    • Kevin doesn't like it when sick kids are messed with.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Harry and Marv.
  • Big Brother Bully: Buzz.
  • Big Fancy House: The McCallister house.
  • 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 and when he gets hit by a brick. Or when Unger in the third movie gets hit in the head by a running lawnmower.
  • 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.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Keep the change, ya filthy animal."
  • Booby Trap: One of the big draws of the movies 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.
  • Breakout Character: Marv, in spades.
  • Butt Monkey: Harry and Marv, Marv more so. Also, Kevin to his family.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • Chekhov's Gag: In the first movie, it's established that Kevin's cousin Fuller is a notorious bed-wetter, and thus, no one wants to share a bed with him. Toward the end of Home Alone 2, Kevin and most of the other McCallisters (besides Kevin's parents, who have a separate room) are seen sleeping squashed together everywhere other than the bed. Guess who's got that huge bed all to himself (with Coke cans all over it, no less)?
  • The Chew Toy: Harry and Marv.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Marv, especially in the second film.
  • 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.
    • It's A Wonderful Life is watched by the bored kids in both. In the first movie, it's in French (as they were in Paris); in the second, it's in Spanish (as they were in Miami).
    • In both, Kevin is seen watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. In the second movie in particular, as the Grinch smiles evilly, it transitions to Tim Curry grinning the same way.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • A series of these is what leads to Kevin being left alone in the first movie — the fight between Kevin and Buzz spills milk all over the counter and Kevin's plane ticket, which accidentally gets thrown away when it's cleaned up; him getting in trouble and sent to sleep up in the attic room as punishment keeps him out of sight, out of mind the next morning; the windstorm knocks out the power, causing them all to oversleep; the neighbor kid gets mistaken for Kevin from behind during the headcount; the family is rushed on to the plane and given random seats, rather than being seated together.
    • It happens again in the second movie. Kevin gets whisked away to New York City entirely by accident when he follows a man in the terminal who resembles his dad (and is wearing the same coat) onto the wrong plane. Harry and Marv are there too, but they're not chasing Kevin; they've just escaped prison and merely want to score a big heist in the Big Apple. Somehow, Kevin ends up at the exact same toy store that they're casing.
    • From the second movie, a small joke that comes up when Kevin plays the Angels With Even Filthier Souls videotape to fool the hotel staff. Johnny lists off, "Cheeks, Bony Bob, Cliff." Coincidentally, one of the staff in question is named Cliff, and Kevin somehow knows this already so he can pause the tape right after he says Cliff.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Harry also has his moments.
    • Kevin himself in several scenes as well.
  • Death Trap: What the house is turned into. Amazingly, their victims make it through them with only superficial wounds.
  • Death by Irony: In the Game Boy 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.
  • 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 McCallister's 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 as a place that should have been off-limits, and quietly hit the other houses unhindered.
    • Plus, once Harry and Marv started falling for Kevin's traps, they became eager to get back at him.
    • Kate 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.
    Kate: This is CHRISTMAS! The season of perpetual hope! And I don't care if I have to get out on your runway and HITCHHIKE! If it costs me everything I own, if I have to sell my soul to the devil himself, I am going to get home to my son.
  • 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), which is "Keep the change, you filthy animal."
  • The Dragon: At times, Marv acts as this to Harry, especially in the second film.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: invoked
    • Peter and Kate's joke that they never lose their luggage. The head of security's reaction says it all.
    • Kate, Peter and Leslie's reaction when Frank tries to confort them finding out Kevin is home alone by saying he forgot his reading glasses.
  • The '80s: In the first film while it's The '90s in the sequels. Technically, the first film is from 1990, but the cultural '80s didn't end until 1992 or 1993. That said, the original movie inspired a bunch of family movies throughout the 1990s that featured clever kids using booby traps and Homemade Inventions to thwart dimwitted adults.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Harry is disgusted by Marv's penchant for leaving the water running and plughole blocked in all the houses they have robbed, thus flooding them, 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.
    • Marv was a little reluctant when Harry decided to break into the house despite Kevin being in there. Though he changes his mind when he gets hurt.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: From the villains' point of view, this is what Kevin's house becomes.
  • Evil Is Petty: In between big scores, Marv either nicks change from a Salvation Army Santa or leaves the water running in the homes they rob.
  • 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 Marley, and in the second film, the pigeon lady. 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. It's justified both times for why they didn't do the above: in the first film, they don't have a gun (which makes sense, as 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 and the gun's then rendered inoperable from all the gunk Kevin poured on him.
  • 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. That probably makes it more painful if you're a doctor, a police officer, a paramedic, or anyone with basic medical training. For a better idea of just how many times they would have been killed before the credits rolled, watch this video.
  • Fat and Skinny: Harry and Marv, respectively. Joe Pesci really isn't that fat, but he is much shorter and heavier than Daniel Stern.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Harry and Marv each wear a pair.
  • For the Evulz: Marv floods the houses he and Harry rob for no better reason than to leave a 'calling card'.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kevin is phlegmatic, Marv is sanguine, Harry is choleric, Kate melancholic and Peter is phlegmatic.
  • Gambit Roulette: The trick used in the third movie to switch one of the spies' guns for a fake.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Way too many to count... There's at least 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.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Harry.
  • Heel Realization: Kevin has one in each film after he accidentally commits a crime, and another one for wishing ill on his family. Although they're so horrible to him that wanting them to disappear probably wasn't such a bad thing for him to do.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Kevin has shades of this, as pointed out in the Honest Trailers reel.
  • "Home Alone" Antics: Home Alone is the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier. 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.
  • Humiliation Conga: If you're a bad guy, you're definitely going to be on the receiving end of one before the end of the film. Even if you manage to kidnap the boy, there's sure to be a Big Damn Heroes moment waiting in the wings.
  • 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 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.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Harry and Marv.
  • Informed Attribute: Fuller is apparently a bed-wetter. Which leads to a Chekhov's Gag toward the end of the second movie. Though it's hinted at early in the first.
    Kate: (as Fuller chugs a soda) Fuller! Go easy on the Pepsi!
    Fuller: :) (cue pee noises)
  • In Name Only: Any of the films after the second one have only tenuous connections to the ones before them. 3 and 5 feature completely different families and antagonists (a group of international criminals working for North Korea in 3 and a trio of thieves in 5). Home Alone 4 technically has the MacCallisters, but they have little to nothing to do with the MacCallisters from the first 2 movies, nor do any of the new actors look anything like their previous counterparts. Similarly, the Wet Bandits are back (though they're never called that), but Harry has been replaced with Marv's wife. Also, instead of building his own traps, Kevin just relies on a technologically advanced smart home to thwart them.
  • Jerkass:
    • Harry, Buzz and Uncle Frank. Also, the hotel concierge in the second film.
    • It must be a genetic trait in the McCallister family. Apart from Buzz and Frank who are the most obvious jerks, Kevin can be a bit of a Jerkass too; and then there are Kevin's other siblings: Linnie calls him "les incompetent", while Megan and Jeff call him "completely helpless" and "such a disease," respectively. His younger cousin 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.
    • Kate (Kevin's mom) would also qualify before developing into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. At the beginning of the movie, everyone insults Kevin for not being able to pack his suitcase. Then, when his parents order him plain cheese pizza, Buzz eats it and declares that if he wants them back, he's gonna have to barf it up while mocking him. Kevin promptly attacks him and the worst he caused was getting milk spilled on the table on some passports the night before the trip, and causing some dismay and chaos. His relatives call him a "Little Jerk" and a disease. Kate's reaction to all of the abuse? Sending him 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."
  • 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.
    • Kate appears to be quite neglectful at first, but both movies show that she really cares about Kevin.
  • 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.
    • Averted in the first movie, he initially gets away with taunting him over pizza, which causes Kevin to bum rush him afterwards. But he later gets his comeuppance in the form of Kevin destroying his room and using his life savings to buy food.
    • Uncle Frank is a complete and utter ass to everyone (including his own wife and kids) and never faces any consequences whatsoever, though Kevin did use Uncle Frank's Jerkass-ness to his advantage in the hotel.
    • 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 scaring him at first. Then he realizes it has more practical uses: so he orders a pizza, and uses the audio of that scene to scare the pizza delivery man. Later, he reuses the scene again, but adds firecrackers to the bit where Johnny fires his Tommy gun to make it louder and fool Harry and Marv into thinking that someone else has beaten them to the house.
    • 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, by making them get down on their knees and express their love for him, then making them think a Trigger Happy maniac is in the room.
  • Large Ham: Harry and Marv, but mostly Marv.
    Marv: NEVAAAH!
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Both Home Alone 4 and Home Alone 5 differ significantly from the first three, starting with the fact that both are TV movies that were made without John Hughes' involvement. 4 recasts the original characters with different actors and Retcons a lot of the family's original dynamics (the parents are divorced, Kevin's older siblings are closer to his own age), Harry is replaced with Marv's girlfriend, while Marv looks and acts like Harry. 5 was made well after the series was considered finished, and involves an entirely different cast of characters (much like 3, but John Hughes wrote and produced that one).
  • Laughably Evil: Harry and Marv.
  • Leitmotif: Kevin is usually accompanied by an instrumental version of "Somewhere in My Memory". Harry and Marv have their respective leitmotif too which we could call the "Harry and Marv Theme".
  • Made of Iron: Try watching this movie with a police officer, firefighter, 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. This video concludes that in the two films combined, Harry should have died eight times, and Marv thirteen. And of course, any situation where they're not outright killed are situations where they'd probably be maimed at worse or intensive care at best (for comparison, John McClane would only have died three times in his first two movies, and those are all in the first one, since he was judged to just barely survive the second with no deaths).
  • Mama Bear: Kate in the first two movies. The second one especially, which gives us this gem of a quote from Kate:
    Kate: Peter, I'll be fine. The way I'm feeling right now, no mugger or murderer would dare mess with me!
  • Man Child: Marv.
  • The Napoleon: Harry, given Joe Pesci's somewhat short stature.
  • Nice Hat: Harry's wool beanie.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Numerous follies would've been easily avoided if the guys had a modicum of vision.
  • Oh Crap!: Kevin, Harry and Marv all get several over the two films.
    • For Kevin:
      • 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 and fully intended to use it on Kevin. And Harry was also true to his word when he told Kevin flat-out that he had no qualms about knocking off a child on Christmas.
      • When Harry and Marv hang him on the coat hook near the end of the first film and tell him they are going to put him through his own traps.
      • When Mr. Hector declares Mr. McCallister's credit card stolen and plans to bring the police. And later, when Harry rips Kevin's plane ticket, no way of getting home.
    • Harry:
      • In the first film just before Marley hits him with a snow shovel.
      • In the second film when he realizes he is standing on a makeshift seesaw and tries to warn Marv not to step on the other end. Unfortunately, Marv doesn't listen in time, lands on the other end, and catapults Harry into the air, and he lands on and crushes a car.
      Harry: *gasp* Marv— !
      • Later when he looks in the mirror and realizes his head is on fire (again).
      • When he chases Kevin up a ladder and realized the ladder is about to break under his weight.
    • Marv:
      • When he sticks his head through the doggy door and realizes Kevin is about to shoot him.
      • In the sequel, every time he sees Kevin about to throw a brick after the first.
      • After he slips on the soap on the basement floor and sees the paint shelf about to topple on him.
      • When he sees the iron about to fall on him in the first film and when he sees the bag of cement mix about to fall on him in the sequel.
      • When he noticed the pigeons surrounding them as Harry was about to shoot Kevin.
    • Both Harry and Marv:
      • In the first film when Kevin is about to cut the rope to the treehouse on which they are climbing.
      • They each get another in the first film just before they get hit with the paint cans.
      • In the second film when he is about to light the rope down which they are climbing on fire and later after they fall off and see the cans of varnish about to fall on them.
    • Kevin's mom briefly when he has Kevin's ticket and he's not around. Fortunately for her, he was sitting on the front seat. And again, when they lost him. AGAIN.
  • One Steve Limit: Peter McCallister and Peter Beaupre.
  • Overly-Long Scream:
    • Kevin's famous imitation of "The Scream" or Marv's very female-sounding scream once Kevin puts a tarantula on him.
    • Marv's other scream when the pigeons swarm all over him and Harry.
  • Parent Service: The last 3 films all feature attractive female burglars in skintight pants who have various liquids thrown on them.
  • Pet the Dog: Buzz acting nice to Kevin and offering him some credit, in both films. For Buzz, this is quite an accomplishment.
  • 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. In reality, they probably would have actually done something like check inside to see if anyone was there. They did send an officer over to see if anyone was there. But Kevin, who was previously scared by an encounter with Old Man Marley, wouldn't answer the door. He knocked several times, and rang the doorbell several times, but when nobody responded, he thought it was safe to assume the house was empty, and it looked secure.
    • Averted in the second film. An officer at security gets annoyed with Kevin's parents laughing about forgetting him. When the NYPD catch the Sticky Bandits, they waste no time arresting them after finding them with incriminating evidence. Marv doesn't help by revealing their plans and another officer in New York offers Kate a ride when she realizes where Kevin is.
    • Played straight in the third film where the police let the spies get away twice, prompting Alex to take matters into his own hands.
  • Product Placement:
    • Fuller is shown drinking a Pepsi in the first movie, and then drinking a Coca-Cola in the second.
    • American Airlines is the official airline of the McCallister family and large suburban families nationwide.
    • The VHS for the first film even contains an AA ad featuring footage from the movie!
  • Punch Clock Villain: Harry and Marv used to be this, before meeting Kevin.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": In both the first and second movie, there's a Gangster Film Within A Film (Angels with Filthy Souls and Angels With Filthier Souls) in which a 1930s mobster uses his Tommy Gun to gun down various people while he laughs psychotically.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Harry is the red to Marv's blue.
  • Running Gag:
    • In the first movie, a car running into and toppling the oddly-placed statue on the McCallisters' frontyard. In the sequel, the first van misses the statue... but the second van still manages to hit it.
    • In the first two movies, Uncle Frank insults Kevin:
      • In the first movie: "Look what you did, you little jerk!"
      • In the second movie: "Get out of here, you nosy little pervert, or I'm gonna slap you silly!"
    • 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. Likewise, Kevin watches How the Grinch Stole Christmas while alone.
    • 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 Peter's credit card in the second). That would be "Angels with Filthy Souls." And the sequel "Angels with Even Filthier Souls".
    • Kevin covers his eyes when a character gets shot. Then he uses the movie to trick people, and he mouths the "ya filthy animal."
    • Kevin uses both films to fool people who are after him.
    • Kevin and his family do not understand how to tip people.
  • 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 (1993), Baby's Day Out (1994), the live-action 101 Dalmatians (1996), and Flubber (1997) - that all had bad guys getting outwitted by kids, animals, etc. at some point, usually as violently as possible.
  • 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 and again in the second movie when he and Harry are being attacked by the pigeons. This is evidently how Daniel Stern actually screams in real life. He also does it in City Slickers and Bushwhacked!
  • The Scrooge: Kevin's Uncle Frank.
    Kevin: Oh, wouldn't want to spoil your fun, Mr. Cheapskate!
  • Self-Parody: The second film has shades of this with several scenes being very similar (if a bit exaggerated) to the previous film and several characters lampshade it.
  • Series Continuity Error: The second film takes place one year after the original and it is stated numerous times that Kevin is 10 years old. In the original he was 8.
  • Shout-Out: Harry's last name is "Lime".
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Kate "The Mama Bear" McCallister.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: 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.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • In both of the gangster spoofs, Johnny sports one before gunning down his victim.
    • Kevin just before he cuts the rope from the treehouse on which Harry and Marv are dangling.
    • Harry and Marv when Kevin discovers them after sneaking in the neighbor's house from the basement.
    • The concierge in the second movie has one when he discovers that Kevin used his father's credit card to check into the Plaza.
    • Harry and Marv when they find Kevin outside Duncan's Toy Chest.
    • Harry and Marv again after Kevin slips on the ice at the entrance to Central Park.
  • The Sociopath: Harry certainly shows enough signs, especially in the second film.
  • Something We Forgot: "KEVIN!!!"
  • Stylistic Suck: The Angels With Filthy Souls films are clearly intended to be both homages and Affectionate Parodies of 1930s gangster films.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Harry, the brains, and Marv, who's Too Dumb to Live and just goes along with Harry's plans.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Harry gives a couple of these, once in the first film after slipping off the ice-covered steps and landing on his back, and again in the sequel after falling on a car. Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Both the Bandits have their stupid moments, but especially Marv.
  • Undercrank: 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.

     Home Alone 
  • Adult Fear: Discussed, where Kevin talks with Mr. Marley about how being an adult doesn't mean that you're not afraid of anything.
  • Agony of the Feet: Marv stepping on the nail. Also Harry stepping in glass ornaments.
  • Aside Glance:
    • "This is it. Don't get scared now."
    • "I made my family disappear!" (eyebrow waggle)
    • Also gives a straight-ahead one of exasperation when his grocery bags split open on the walk home.
    • There are two scenes in the movie were Kevin runs directly towards the camera and screams into it. The first is when running around the house screaming for joy at being free. The second is after confronting Old Man Marley when he claimed he wouldn't be afraid anymore.
    • The driver of the airport van when Mitch Murphy from across the street bothers him with questions.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Old Man Marley takes his snow shovel to the back of the Bandits' heads when they have Kevin hung up on a coat hook.
  • Bland-Name Product: Little Nero's (Little Caesar's).
  • 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. Unsurprisingly, the best it did was leave a stinging sensation on his forehead rather than killing or even injuring him.
  • Brick Joke:
    • 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, which turns up later at an opportune moment to scare Marv during the climax. 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?!!!!!!?"
    • 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.
    • When Harry gets hit in the face with a paint can, his Gold Tooth is knocked out. Kevin's dad later finds it on the floor, and is understandably confused about it.
  • Broken Aesop: Old Man Marley. It's supposed to be a, "Don't believe everything you hear" aesop, but if a old guy who you heard bad things about just stares at you sinisterly without saying a word, you'd be creeped out, too. Let alone if you were a 8 year old who was by himself.
  • California Doubling: O'Hare International Airport represents itself as well as Charles de Gaulle Airport.
  • The Cameo: Several members of director Chris Columbus' family appears: his mother-in-law and his then-infant daughter Eleanor Columbus are both passengers on the plane. His wife Monica Devereux-Columbus is a flight attendant and his father-in-law plays the police officer who gives the line, "Tell them to count their kids again."
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The gangster movie that Kevin watches. 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • 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.
    • The firecrackers from Buzz's room.
    • A literal one. Buzz's BB gun.
    • In the first basement scene you can see some mannequins before we see the furnace. Kevin later uses these to fool Harry and Marv into thinking the rest of the family have come home after he first encounters them.
    • Peter telling Kevin to pick up his micro machines because his Aunt Leslie stepped on one and almost broke her neck. These come back later.
    • The family took the Friday morning flight, which Kate didn't want to wait for.
    • Averted when Peter warns Kevin to stop making ornaments out of fishhooks with his glue gun. It seems like the setup for a boobytrap, but neither one is used.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Old Man Marley.
  • Completely Different Title: In Italian, Home Alone was renamed Mamma, ho perso l'aereo ("Mom, I lost the plane")
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Old Man Marley and his shovel.
  • Counting to Potato: As the McCallister family wonder about Kevin from Paris, Megan asks Buzz if he's not the least bit concerned about his well being, or something bad happening to him.
    Buzz: No, for three reasons: A) I'm not that lucky. 2) We have smoke detectors. And D) We live on the most boring street in the United States of America, where nothing remotely dangerous will ever happen, period.
  • Creepy Basement: Contains the furnace that is scary for Kevin. Subverted later on in the movie, where Kevin rigs up with traps that Marv must get through — icy stairs in from the outside, and tar-coated steps with an upward nail leading out on the inside.
  • Curse Cut Short: Averted. Marv actually gets out an S-bomb (which is in the subtitles on the DVD). Also Buzz says "ass", which might come off as pretty shocking considering the gangster movie says "keister."note 
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Harry and Marv realize he was luring them into another trap.
    Kevin: Hey, I'm calling the cops!
    (Kevin runs to the Murphys' house. Marv tries to chase him but Harry stops him.)
    Harry: Waitwaitwaitwaitwait! He wants us to follow him. I got a better idea, come on.

    Harry: Hiya, pal. We outsmarted ya, this time. Get over here!
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Linnie uses French phrases to sound intelligent, but she comes off as pathetic. Linnie's actual mistake is using the plural form instead of the singular when referring to Kevin. She should have called him "l'incompetent".
  • Description Cut: While Kevin's siblings show concern for Kevin's well-being, Buzz thinks he'll be right, claiming that nothing remotely dangerous happens on their street. Cuts to the pizza delivery guy hitting the statue in front of the house.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Kevin's vigilante justice against Harry and Marv. Admittedly, also Kevin being chased on foot by a cop for unintentionally shoplifting a toothbrush.
  • Expy:
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: In the scene where Peter tries to call home from his brother's house in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is visible right outside the window.
  • Face Your Fears: Kevin has to face his fear of his basement furnace.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Peter is throwing away some paper garbage, Kevin's ticket is in the pile of shredded paper.
  • Genre Blindness: Harry and Marv - who, under the assumption that This Is Reality, assume that "Kids are stupid."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Harry threatens to snap off Kevin's cajones and boil them in motor oil if he throws another paint can at him.
  • Gold Tooth: Harry has a gold tooth, which produces a rare live-action Twinkle Smile. It's a Chekhov's Gun, since Kevin sees it when he is nearly hit by Harry's van, and realizes that Harry was the same man posing as a police officer at the beginning of the film. Unfortunately, this makes Harry suspicious of him. When, during the climax, Harry gets hit in the face with a paint can, it breaks his gold tooth. Needless to say, Harry's Berserk Button is pressed for sure. In the end, Peter finds it on the floor. That will be hard to explain.
  • Gratuitous French: The family (sans Kevin) watching It's A Wonderful Life in French.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Old Man Marley, who is rumored by many to be a serial killer.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When the Wet Bandits are finally caught at the end, 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.
  • The Homeward Journey: Kate goes through great lengths to get back to Chicago to her son, including hitchhiking with a polka band. Subverted in that the rest of the family manages to get back at the same time by waiting for the next available return flight.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: "I made my family disappear!"
  • Impersonating an Officer: Harry dresses himself as a policeman to know when the residents of the neighborhood are going to leave for the holiday.
  • Improv: John Candy improvised most of his lines.
  • Improvised Zipline: Kevin uses a bike handle to slide from his window to his treehouse.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: The hands-on-face scream Kevin became known for; it only happened twice. 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.
  • It's Personal: After each trap, Harry's malice for Kevin increases but it reaches its climax when his Gold Tooth is knocked out.
  • Just Plane Wrong: There are several plane scenes that are incorrect if you are an aviation expert.
    • American Airlines has no morning flight from Chicago-O'Hare to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Both American Airlines and United Airlines operate flights from Chicago to Paris, but they all depart in the evening, between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM CDT (which, due to the fact that the planes are then passing through seven time zones, allows them to land in Paris sometime between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM local time). However, most westbound flights from Europe to the United States tend to leave in the early morning, say before 10:00 AM local time there. Due to the time zone change, they end up landing in Chicago around lunchtime CST.
    • The plane in the scene of the family's flight departing from O'Hare is a McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10, which was flown by American Airlines up until the early 1990s. Except that it was only used for domestic flights due to its limited range of 3,500 miles. There was a long range version used for intercontinental flights, the DC-10-30. The difference is that the DC-10-30 had three main landing gear bogies (two four wheel bogies and one middle two-wheel bogie). It is clearly visible during the takeoff scene that this plane only has two sets of rear landing gear, so it is definitely a DC-10-10 which could have never made the trip from Chicago to Paris.
    • The stock footage of Kate's flight out of Paris taking off is of a DC-9, which doesn't have the fuel range to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
    • The plane shown landing at the Scranton Airport is a DC-10. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Airport has never had regular service from a DC-10 by any airline. The largest planes to land at Scranton are Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s. DC-10s are far too large to be accommodated by the airport for non-emergency situations.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Kevin steals a toothbrush by accident (due to Old Man Marley showing up in the store before Kevin can pay for it) and despite being chased by a police officer, he gets away scot-free after losing the officer and nothing else ever comes of it.
    • Subverted with Buzz who originally, is not punished at all for eating Kevin's pizza, but afterward there is… KEVIN, WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY ROOM?!.
  • Lack of Empathy: In the first movie, the family shows concern for Kevin's safety — all except Buzz, that is, who thinks that Kevin could use some time in the real world.
    Megan: You're not at all worried that something might happen to Kevin?
    Buzz: No, for three reasons: A, I'm not that lucky. Two, we use smoke detectors and D, we live on the most boring street in the whole United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen. Period!
  • Make a Wish: It's not actually a magically granted wish, but Kevin thinks it is when Kate walks through the front door on Christmas morning.
  • Man-Made House Flood: Deliberately invoked by the Wet Bandits. See Calling Card.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Old Man Marley.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Kevin asks the "guy who works for Santa" for his family back, and lists them by name. "And, if he has time, my Uncle Frank."
  • Never Found the Body: Buzz's story about Old Man Marley being the Shovel Slayer says he wasn't arrested for killing his family because the authorities never found the bodies. Turns out they're just fine and he's always alone because he had an argument with his son years ago.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: In the trailer, when Kevin's buying groceries, he talks to a store manager who's beside a cashier. In the actual movie, it's Kevin and the cashier only.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Marv flooding the houses that he and Harry rob. It later comes back to bite them both when they are arrested.
    Officer: Nice move, leaving the water running. Now we know each and every house that you've hit.
  • Not So Different: When Marley relates to his own family problems after revealing himself to be a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold, Kevin realizes he and Marley are a lot alike and the consequences of not wanting to see their families again.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: Marv does this when he sticks his head through the doggy door and finds himself staring into the barrel of a BB gun.
  • One-Dimensional Thinking: There is no justification whatsoever for Harry to insist climbing the icy stairs instead of going around.
  • The Operators Must Be Crazy: The Chicago police are shockingly lackadaisical when Kevin's mom calls to alert them to his situation.
  • Papa Wolf: Old Man Marley.
  • Plot Hole: Even though the line repairman told Kate that the phone lines wouldn't be back up for a couple of days, the family was depicted as being able to call every house on their street as soon as they landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport, and it's portrayed that Peter called their across-the-street neighbors, the Murphys, multiple times. Why didn't they call their own house to talk to Kevin? Kevin was able to order a pizza and on Christmas Eve was able to call 911 to report the Wet Bandits breaking in, so the house had phone service. If they would have bothered calling the house they could have gotten ahold of him.
  • 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?
  • Protect This House: "This is my house! I have to defend it!"
  • Sanctuary of Solitude: Kevin is lonely on Christmas Eve night for the first one, so he goes to the church to hear the choir sing.
  • Shoot the Money: You'd be amazed to discover that the movie had an incredibly small budget. A number of the visual effects (such as the B.B. striking Marv in the face) were literally done by a teenager in his parents' basement for only a couple of hundred dollars. John Candy's parts were all filmed at once, nonstop, for 23 hours, because that's all the time the producers could afford to have him on the set. The furnace in the basement was achieved by crewmembers hiding behind it with wire and flashlights. Director Chris Columbus and Macaulay Culkin have both joked that production on this movie was akin to attending "Film School 101". Many critics even agree that had this movie been made a decade or two earlier, it'd pretty much have been a B movie.
  • Shovel Strike: Old Man Marley dispatches the Wet Bandits with a blow to the head from his snow shovel.
  • 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.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: An interesting variation, 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. Which has become a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment with Hughes' early death.
  • Television Geography:
    • Averted in that a drive from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Milwaukee, Wisconsin via I-80, I-90 and I-94, would pass right through Chicago and not involve going out of the way.
    • Though the estimated travel times to get from the McCallister family house to O'Hare International Airport are laughable to any native Chicagoan: as they're leaving, Frank tells Peter, "There's no way on Earth we're gonna make this plane. It leaves in 45 minutes." Peter tells him "Think positive, Frank." Indeed, it would take 45 minutes to an hour just to go from Winnetka (their neighborhood) to O'Hare, and that's when there's no traffic. And it would take another half hour for everyone to check in, check their bags, and clear security, and maybe five-ten minutes to rush from security to their boarding gate in Terminal 3 (where American Airlines flights from O'Hare are boarded).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: 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. He's seen eating it by the tree later, though.
  • Title Drop: 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.
  • Two Decades Behind: Peter claims that locks for the doors and electronic timers for the lights is about the best anyone could do for home security. Even at the time the movie was released, home security systems were available, and an affluent family like the McCallisters would be especially likely to have one.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Since they're not returning to the house until 9 pm, Harry suggests they grab dinner beforehand.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happens to Kevin when he doesn't pay for the toothbrush. After he outruns the cop, it's never mentioned again. According to the novelization, this scene exists to explain why Kevin doesn't just call the police to come directly to his own house; not understanding the difference between misdemeanor and felony, he thinks he'll be arrested himself over the toothbrush.

     Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 
  • The Alleged Car: The car Harry lands on top of, which smashes into a million pieces as if Harry was a five-ton statue.
  • Ash Face: After Harry soaks his burning head in a toilet full of paint thinner, 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:
    • Upon finding out that he's in New York, he repeats this to the audience and then grins.
    • Also, when the passenger next to him on the plane starts speaking French.
    • Kevin's parents give one after finding out they overslept again.
  • Big Applesauce: Of course.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The pigeon lady.
  • Big "NEVER!": Marv, although in a context that just makes him look foolish.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Harry screams one while Kevin throws a rock through a window to trip the toy store alarm, and expose the Bandits.
    • Kevin earlier in the movie when he realizes he's leaping right into Harry's hands, complete with a good shot at the burn from the doorknob.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Peter upon finding out that Kevin's not with the family in Miami.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Channels like ABC Family and Cartoon Network seem to love editing out certain parts of the final act.
    • Kevin hitting Marv three times with bricks, for example, which was scaled back to one brick being used instead.
    • The aforementioned Angrish Harry mutters whenever Kevin injures him.
  • Brand X: Duncan's Toy Chest is very obviously meant to be FAO Schwarz, a real-life massive toy store in exactly the same location.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Kevin uses Peter'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 film, Kevin gives the pigeon lady one of the turtle doves he got at 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 Peter yell out "KEVIN!! YOU SPENT $967 ON ROOM SERVICE?!!!!!?"
    • 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 the sidewalk, Marv attempts to get revenge on him by tossing a brick at him.
    • In the first movie, Kevin recounts to Marley how a friend of his got beaten up for wearing dinosaur pajamas. Guess what kind of pajamas Fuller is wearing during the finale?
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Marv is this to Harry and Cedric the bellboy is this to Mr. Hector, the concierge.
  • Butt Monkey: The sequel also has the hotel staff (though to a much lesser extent than Harry and Marv, obviously).
  • California Doubling: 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.
  • Call Back: In the first film, Marv agrees with Harry's plan to attack at night saying "kids are scared of the dark." Here, it's "kids are scared of the Park." (Central Park, specifically.)
  • 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.
    • Chris Columbus himself makes an uncredited cameo holding his daughter Eleanor in the Toy Store.
    • Ally Sheedy as the airport clerk who tells Kevin he's in New York.
  • Car Cushion: Kevin tricks Harry and Marv into getting onto a makeshift see-saw, launching Harry into the air and onto a car.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Kevin watching a gangster movie again. This time, he uses it to scare off the hotel staff. It actually works!
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The inflatable Bozo the Clown.
    • "Angels With Even Filthier Souls."
    • The fireworks Kevin buys in Chinatown.
    • The "Monster Soap" Kevin buys at the toy store.
    • The birds in the park.
    • Most (if not all) of the stuff Kevin records on his Talkboy.
    • The varnish which falls on the crooks and causes birdseed to stick to them and jams Harry's gun, preventing him from shooting Kevin and the pigeon lady.
    • Uncle Rob's house.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The pigeon lady.
  • Clothing Damage: Harry's coat collar is charred after he soaks his burning head in a toilet filled with paint thinner, blowing the house up.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Kevin takes a Polaroid of the crooks as they're robbing the toy store. Harry shouts "He took a picture of us!", and Marv replies, "How was my hair?"
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Overlaps with Revenge Before Reason. Had Harry and Marv not accosted Kevin outside Duncan's Toy Chest, their entire heist would have gone off without a hitch because Kevin wouldn't have known about it.
  • Credit Card Plot: Kevin uses Peter's credit card while on his own. At the end, it's revealed that he spent almost $1000 on room service alone.
  • Curse Cut Short: Twice; the first is when the elevator Kevin is on shuts just before Mr. Hector can finish calling him a "little shit"; the second is when Buzz is about to drop off another instance of the S-bomb, only to be cut off by a Death Glare from Kate.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the first movie, this one is much darker and more serious.
    • Kevin's traps are much more violent and brutal.
    • Harry and Marv plan to rob a gigantic toy store instead of homes.
    • Harry tries to bump off Kevin in Central Park. Even before he does, he said doing so won't mean much to him.
    • Not classically dark, but the fact that Harry and Marv plan to steal charity money rather than just robbing someone's house. Made worse when Kevin has a brief scene where he sees one of the kids in the children's hospital the money is supposed to be donated to.
  • Delegation Relay: When the family arrives in Miami, Peter gives Kevin's bag to Kate...and it is relayed all the way down the chain of children, the camera panning and following it the whole time, (except for Buzz and Uncle Frank) down to Fuller...who then relays the bag all the way back up the chain to inform them that Kevin's not here.
  • 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.
  • Double Take: In the second movie:
    Kate: Kevin's not here.
    Peter: WHAT?!
    Kate: *laughs, then gasps* KEVIN!!! *faints*
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: After Kevin escapes from Harry and Marv, he tells the concierge at the Plaza: "You've gotta help me! There's two guys after me!" The concierge takes it to mean that someone caught onto him using the stolen credit card and takes this opportunity to hand him over to the authorities, not realizing Harry and Marv are after him.
  • Dutch Angle: A shot of Harry and Marv getting up from the street is shot this way.
  • Evil Laugh: "Watch it, kid! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: When Harry tries to shoot the pigeon lady, his gun jams 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.
  • Flanderization: Harry is a lot meaner and grouchier and Marv dumber and sillier. Justified for Harry as the two of them just spent a year in prison due to Kevin's involvement. As for Marv...well getting hit by an iron on top of being shot in the forehead with a BB rifle will do that to a person.
  • Friendship Trinket: Kevin gives the Pigeon Lady (whom he had befriended earlier on in the movie, and even saved him from Marv & Harry's clutches) another Turtle Dove Ornament. Said act is rumored that if one person gives a very special person another Turtle Dove, the 2 who have the turtle dove ornaments will always be friends.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The hotel staff: Mr. Hector is choleric, Mrs. Stone is melancholic, and Cedric the bellboy is phlegmatic/sanguine.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Kevin's mother looking for him. If she had stayed outside of Uncle Rob's townhouse for about 5 seconds longer, who knows how Kate would have reacted seeing Kevin getting chased down by Marv and Harry. Or she might have tripped one of Kevin's traps if she had investigated further into his townhouse.
  • Genre Savvy: Harry learns to expect some of the traps in the second movie, so he is more on his guard than he was in the first movie. Unfortunately for them, Kevin is aware that they won't fall for the same trick twice, and modified his traps. A good example of this is when Kevin reprises the paint can trick. Harry and Marv are aware that Kevin will swing paint cans at them when they start up the stairs. So instead of following him up the stairs they pretend to follow him and wait for the two cans to swing by. They just duck out of the way and laugh as the cans miss them. Thinking they have outsmarted Kevin, they then rush up the stairs... only to be hit with a large and heavy piece of pipe that knocks them down the stairs, into the first two paint cans, through a giant hole in the floor, and into the basement. Kevin then cuts the pipe loose, and it falls down the stairs and lands on them both.
    Kevin: Don't you know a kid always wins against two idiots?
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The family (sans Kevin) watching It's A Wonderful Life en Español, even though Florida is an English-speaking U.S. state, although Spanish may count as another language in Florida too.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Harry and Marv during the brief scene 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: 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. This one's actually the impetus for Kevin going out and opposing this plan to start with, as this is when the pieces fall into place for Kevin and he realizes who Harry and Marv are actually going to be stealing from by robbing Duncan's Toy Chest (and it's not the owner Mr. Duncan). "You can mess with a lot of things, but you can't mess with kids on Christmas."
  • Hollywood Healing: 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. Screen Junkies analysed the first two films to see the real life injuries that Kevin's traps would have caused; Harry and Marv would have been killed 9 and 14 times respectively, with Marv's number of real-life "deaths" being higher in part due to all the bricks that Kevin tosses at his head.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: That homeless pigeon-caretaker woman that Kevin befriends in the second movie.
  • Hotel Hellion: Kevin.
  • Informed Judaism: "Merry Christmas, Harry." "Happy Hannukah, Marv."note  Marv also makes a reference to the Promised Land. considering that Daniel Stern is Jewish and ad libbed a lot of Marv's lines and antics...
  • Inspector Javert: The hotel concierge seems a little over-eager to bust Kevin for allegedly committing credit card fraud. He should have just notified police or child social services and let them take care of the matter.
  • Instant Emergency Response: Kevin calls 911 while being chased, and in only about four minutes, police arrive at the scene to arrest Harry and Marv. That kind of response time in New York City? Doubtful, although it's always possible that some cop cars just happened to be in the area when it was radioed in. It helps that he follows it up by setting off something like 6 to 8 Roman candles all at once near Harry and Marv, drawing a lot of nearby police to the area.
  • Insult Backfire:
    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. Fortunately, the physical unlikelihood of a ten year old kid lifting a 70 pound barbell probably prevented a number of children across the nation killing their older siblings with pranks.
  • Just Between You and Me: 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.
  • King Incognito: Mr. Duncan, owner of Duncan's Toy Chest, poses as an ordinary employee while talking to Kevin, who doesn't wise up until he sees a portrait of Duncan.
  • Large Ham: Mr. Hector. No surprise, as he is played by Tim Curry.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "All right, enough with this gooey sh...ow of emotion."
  • Little "No": Harry gives a particularly sad one when he sees a big pipe is about to fall on him.
  • Loose Lips: Marv does this.
    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!
  • Mama Bear:
    • The pigeon lady.
    • Kate. In her words, she's so mad about the hotel letting her son leave, she will hit the mean streets of New York to look for him because, "Right now, no mugger or murderer would dare mess with me!"
  • Match Cut: 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 Mr. Hector making a similar smile after catching Kevin using a stolen credit card.
  • Mickey Mousing: The orchestra plays three stings when Kevin dials each of the numbers in 911.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Kate knocks on the door to the building where Kevin has set up his traps. Nobody answers, so she hails a cab and exits the scene. Only a few seconds later, Kevin runs up to the building.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The pigeon lady.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Kevin uses fireworks as emergency flares.
    • He uses the variable-speed playback on his Talkboy tape recorder to fool the hotel staff into thinking they're talking with Peter so he can reserve a room. The recorder was originally built only as a non-working prop, but enough kids wrote in asking about it that Tiger Electronics eventually started to produce it.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Except for the paint cans (which lure Harry and Marv into a false sense of security before Kevin throws in a painful twist at the end), Kevin doesn't reuse any of the traps he set in the first movie — many are similar, but not the same (ex. a blowtorch set off by a light switch instead of opening a door). This is why Harry's attempts to avoid setting off traps don't work.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Kevin lights Harry's head on fire, Harry puts it out in the toilet, not knowing it is filled with paint thinner (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, one most egregious instances being Harry surviving an explosion after sticking his burning head in a paint thinner-filled toilet and Marv getting hit with three bricks dropped from a four story height. Likewise, the pigeons should have picked them both clean of skin.
  • Oh Crap!: Kevin's mom has one after realizing Kevin is missing once again.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: This movie hangs lampshade after lampshade about something from the previous film happening again. The family wakes up late again, Kevin gets inadvertently separated from his family again....
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Harry calls out Marv for nicking change in from of a Salvation Army Santa. They've just escaped from prison and they would do well in keeping a low profile rather than committing petty crimes in broad daylight.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I never made it to the sixth grade, kid, and it doesn't look like you're gonna either." Except he doesn't get to actually kill Kevin, although he does come perilously close (see also: Would Hurt a Child and Oh Crap!).
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Home Alone 2 was basically exactly the same movie as Home Alone, just set in New York. Even the scary neighbor got a direct counterpart. This was even lampshaded by Harry, who mentioned that Kevin threw two paint cans the last time they tried to climb up a flight of stairs, and saw it coming. Unfortunately for them, the second time around, a sewer pipe followed immediately afterward. There are also several lampshades hung by way of Oh, No... Not Again!.
  • Refuge in Audacity: What Kevin first uses to get into the hotel.
    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.
  • She's Got Legs: Mrs. Stone and the blonde woman Marv tried to flirt.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: "KEVIN! YOU SPENT $967 ON ROOM SERVICE?!?"
  • Shout-Out: Mr. Hector breaks into a Slasher Smile that matches the Grinch's. Kevin also watches that movie in both films.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Uncle Frank tells Kevin not to ruin the trip because his father's paying a lot of money for it:
    Kevin: Oh, wouldn't want to spoil your fun, Mr. Cheapskate.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the second film, Andy Williams's "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays when the family (sans Kevin) arrives at their hotel in Florida, where it's pouring rain.
    Uncle Frank: It didn't look this bad on our honeymoon...
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In an interesting take on the trope, we see both the setup and the payoff in that order. We first see Kevin recording his end of the conversation into the Talkboy. Then he plays it at a slower speed for the person taking the hotel reservation, and it works.
  • Television Geography: 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: "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. Harry becomes a bit of a Karma Houdini in this instance in that while he is the one taunting Kevin, both of the subsequent brick throws hit Marv instead.
  • Third-Person Person: When Kevin talks to Mr. Duncan about Mr. Duncan, not realising he is talking to Mr. Duncan, Mr. Duncan plays along and talks about Mr. Duncan as if he's a seperate person.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Kevin's realization 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Marv opens a door and does not look at the ground before taking a step....that leads to him falling through a huge gaping hole that nobody with half a brain cell could possibly miss. Justified, Marv had multiple bricks thrown at his head a few moments before opening the door and falling, and likely wasn't thinking straight.
    • The hotel staff, who decide to chase a kid out of their hotel and into the streets of New York, alone, instead of asking him where he got the credit card and just keeping him until a relative could come and get him. Kate is understandably upset when she finds out and actually slaps the concierge for being an idiot.
    Kate: What kind of IDIOTS do you have working here?
  • Two-Faced Aside: Buzz apologizes (insincerely) to the family, then whispers "Beat that, you little trout-sniffer" to Kevin before he tries to do the same... leading to the rant that gets Kevin into trouble in that movie.
  • Villain Ball: Harry and Marv start carrying it the moment they encounter Kevin in front of the toy store. They likely would have gotten away with the heist had they not gotten him involved.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Marv wanting to go to the Central Park Zoo, while waiting to kill time before the robbery of the toy store.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: The hotel staff, especially Mr. Hector. He clearly knows Kevin's story about his father being in New York on business is fabricated. 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 Mr. Hector 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 NYPD because (thanks to Kevin playing the Angels With Even Filthier Souls video with the volume turned all the way up) 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.
  • The Voiceless: The woman Marv flirted, except for the "hmph!".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out what happens to Uncle Rob's house. I mean, when the construction workers get back to remodeling the house once Christmas and New Year's are over, I think they're going to notice that there are bricks (likely with blood marks due to hitting Marv's head as well) all over the sidewalk, a doorknob that's pulled out of the door, a big gaping hole in the entryway, varnish all over the side of the house, paint and silly soap all over the basement floor, a broken ladder, etc.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Harry catches on to this, but fortunately he never gets a chance to.
  • Window Pain: Kevin chucks a brick through the window of Duncan's Toy Chest to set off the alarm, cutting short the Bandits' attempts to rob it.
  • 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 when Harry flat out states that he has no problem "knocking off a youngster". Eventually, the crooks get the drop on Kevin, and Harry puts a gun at Kevin's head, actually coming within a hairsbreadth of pulling the trigger and doing him in once and for all (right before the pigeon lady distracts the crooks by dousing them with birdseed and letting the pigeons do the rest).
  • X-Ray Sparks: In a rare real-life version, Marv uses a sink to wash off the paint Kevin spilled on him... except Kevin hooked up the taps to an electric arc welder. While shaking and screaming in agony, Marv actually becomes a skeleton puppet. When Kevin cuts the juice, Marv is back and collapses on the ground, shaking and smoking.

     Home Alone 3 
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Jernigan and Alice find what turns out to be a distraction involving a toy monkey, Jernigan starts laughing.
  • Affably Evil: Earl Unger.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When Peter Beaupre 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".)
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Burton Jernigan 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, Beaupre and Unger get a trunk 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.
    Alice: You got hit with a book?
    Unger: Books. Plural, a trunk full of books. And a set of weights. We got hit twice, you dumb broad!
  • Cassandra Truth: The spies escape before the police arrive, resulting in a lecture that, "False alarms are no joking matter".
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The pet parrot and rat were clearly there to assist Alex in his battle against the spies.
    • Stan's firecrackers. Possibly also a Shout-Out to the way they are used in the first film by Kevin.
    • Subverted with the real crackers.
  • Darker and Edgier: Taken to whole new levels. The new villains aren't petty house robbers, they're part of a terrorist organization! Alice actually ties Mrs. Hess 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: Unger, even when he's half-frozen.
  • Expy: Alex is mostly recycled from Kevin. Also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The crooks - Beaupre is choleric, Alice is sanguine, Jernigan is melancholic and Unger is phlegmatic.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The North Korean terrorist.
  • Informed Ability: Remember, the Stupid Crooks of this movie are supposed to be veteran master spies and assassins taking on a kid, and the Curb-Stomp Battle being in favor of the kid.
  • Instant Soprano: After Doris the rat climbs up Jernigan's pant leg and Alice tries to club her.
  • Kiss of Death: Alice kisses Mrs. Hess on the forehead, after gagging her and taping her to a chair and then leaving the door open so the winter air will freeze her to death.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Mrs. Hess.
  • No Time to Explain
  • Parental Obliviousness: 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.
  • Rear Window Witness: Alex is home sick from school and witnesses the burglary of a neighbor's home, but can't get anyone to believe him.
  • Rule of Perception: Beaupre can't tell he's holding a toy gun spraypainted black, despite it being about three pounds lighter than the Glock he'd been carrying and having a suction cup sticking out of the barrel.
  • Villain Protagonist / Hero Antagonist: Beaupre and Alex can count respectively, as the main focus seems to be the criminals trying to get the chip.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The terrorists' employer.
  • You Dirty Rat: Averted by Doris, the white pet rat.

     Home Alone: Taking Back the House 
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A weird unintentional case. Kevin is given literally no logical reason at all to suspect the butler is evil, so it comes off like he can hear the film's music.
  • California Doubling: This movie wasn't shot in America at all - this one was filmed in Cape Town.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kevin's brother Jeff and sister Linnie aren't in this movie at all.
  • Continuity Reboot: This 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. It's far less problematic to ignore the references to the first two films and just take it as a total reboot.

     Home Alone: Holiday Heist 

''Keep the change, ya filthy animal."

Alternative Title(s):

Home Alone 2 Lost In New York, Home Alone 2