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"Home Alone" Antics
And wacky antics ensued!

Named after, popularized by, though not started by, Home Alone, Home Alone Antics are an unusually specific trope. At its most well-known form, a kid sets traps in or around a house, and bad guys who are after the kid (or the house or something in it) end up getting hurt by the traps.

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

A subtrope of Slapstick. This is the Lighter and Softer version of Protect This House, and a variant of the Humiliation Conga. Related to Home Field Advantage, as the kid is probably setting up the traps in his own home or some place he's more familiar with than his opponents.


Examples include:

Comic Books
  • One Archie Comics story has Archie and Jughead house-sitting for Mr. Lodge. Although the mansion has a sophisticated security system, the boys decide to play it safe and add some extra anti-burglar defenses, involving the usual buckets of water, tin cans, flypaper, etc. Of course, Mr. Lodge comes home and walks into all the booby traps.

Film
  • 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.
  • The Richie Rich live action movie turned into this near the end, as the house's traps were used against the bad guys. This time it was a group of kids using them. This example might be an Actor Allusion too, since Macaulay Culkin starred as Richie as well as the first two Home Alones.
  • 3 Ninjas included a scene early on where kidnappers were tripped by traps set by the brothers. It's actually a double subversion since the kids' first plan was to call the police, especially since the robbers have guns, but decide to do it anyway to convince their dad that their grandfather is a good teacher.
  • Blank Check is mostly about a kid who lives it up with money he obtained dishonestly, but near the end, he suddenly knows how to use the layout of his castle to stop the bad guys who are out to get him.
  • Ping is about a dog that manages to trip up two dumbass robbers who are attempting to rob the house.
  • Alone in the Woods involves a boy tricking and tripping up two bad guys as he tries to rescue a kidnap victim.
  • Too Much: The Robot With a Heart has Susie and a Japanese boy escape bungling kidnappers/robotnappers by setting traps that they comically fall for, resulting in them making a huge mess of a fish market.
  • Averted in Spy Hard: A bunch of secret agents chasing a Captain Ersatz of Kevin McAllister through a house simply evade and defuse all of the traps.
  • Some could make an argument that the climatic battle in Skyfall turned out like this with M setting up explosive traps all around Skyfall Manor for when Silva's men invade the estate.

Live-Action TV
  • Comedy series Cousin Skeeter had an episode where the main characters worked in a toy store that was later robbed by a couple criminals. They use the toys to fight them off.
  • In an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show while Rob is away Laura watches a scary movie on TV and is afraid that someone will break into the house. Milly comes over and they set booby-traps at the front door etc. so that whoever might break in will make a loud noise so they can bean him with a baseball bat. Naturally, Rob comes home earlier than expected and trips the homemade alarm.

Newspaper Comics
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip has Calvin's parents come home to find a house full of booby traps, because Calvin watched a scary movie while they were out and then rigged up defenses against a monster attack.

Puppet Shows
  • The episode "Home Alone Sweep" from Sooty and Co has Sweep left home alone. He hears sounds outside and starts setting traps for the burglars. However, it turns out that the 'burglar' was actually Matthew, who ends up falling into all of his traps.

Video Games
  • Alone In The Dark 2: During the part you play as Grace you must put in play several traps against the zombies, since you can't attack them directly.

Western Animation
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • In the first act of the episode "Shop Around The Clock", Bogus sets up a series of tactics and scenarios in order to stop Jake and Butch from stealing a priceless crown from the department store. These include controlling a pair of fishing pants, dressing himself up as a conductor to use music instruments to attack Butch, and controlling a fisherman dummy to chase away the two baddies.
    • Used again in the first act of the episode "Bogunda, Bogetta & Bogus", this time in the Anybody residence when Jake and Butch return. This time, Bogus is able to keep them deterred by firing light bulbs from a lamp, using a toy mouse to grab them on the nose, and using his shadow projected on the wall to scare them out of the house.
  • A regular occurance on Scooby-Doo after a Let's Split Up, Gang when Scooby & Shaggy are on the run from the monster of the week, then set up some kind of elaborate scenario in order to confuse the monster.
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Tails in Charge", Tails sets traps for Scratch and Grounder to get back at them for turning Sonic to stone.
  • The Simpsons:
    • A Discussed Trope (and giving a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer) yet averted on the episode "Homer Badman". Homer wants to leave the kids alone to go to a candy convention, only for an understandably horrified Marge to say no and call the babysitting service-which sets up the rest of the episode's plot.
    • Played straight on the earlier episode "Some Enchanted Evening", where the Simpsons kids are left with a Babysitter from Hell (a serial, Springfield's Most Wanted-caliber thief called "The Babysitting Bandit") while Homer and Marge are out celebrating their anniversary and they knock her out.
    • In "Marge on the Lam", Homer decides to go out in the town on his own (after Marge left with Ruth). When Lisa suggests he should hire a babysitter, Homer thinks the kids should be alone so when any robbers come it'll be "a very humorous and entertaining situation", using the movie as an example.
  • Parodied in a cutaway gag in the Family Guy episode "Christmas Guy", showing what would happen if the robbers in the trope namer were smart. The results aren't pretty.
Hollywood DatelessComedy TropesHomemade Inventions
Home AloneImageSource/Live-Action FilmsProtect This House

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