YMMV / Home Alone

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Marv somehow actually dumber in the 2nd film (possibly due to the head injuries he sustained in the first film and/or additional head injuries he sustained in prison), or is he drunk?
    • Is Kevin a good kid simply trying to defend his home, or are his actions a sign that due severe neglect from his family, coupled with the trauma of being left behind (twice), he's on the verge of becoming a violent sociopath? Especially in the second film, when he has ample time to alert the police to what Harry and Marv are up to, Kevin instead leads them through the house full of traps, delighting in their pain, and then calls the police once it's over.
    • In light of the video above it puts Kate McCallister's parenting in question. Her leaving Kevin behind in the first movie was an honest mistake but after repeated offenses, and constant favoritism among the older kids, we have to wonder if she's just a bad parent?
    • Buzz's nonchalant attitude towards Kevin being left home alone. Was it because he actually doesn't care about Kevin's well-being or was it because he honestly believes Kevin can take care of himself and nothing dangerous will happen to him?
  • Awesome Music: For the first two movies, two words - John Williams. Especially the Nutcracker Suite-type music for the family racing to the airport and the cue for Kevin laying the traps.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Uncle Frank is an Ensemble Darkhorse for some, and The Scrappy for others. His jerkassery is played for laughs and it makes him memorable despite his limited screentime, but his quips rubs some fans the wrong way. It may help to be aware that he was originally written to be the main villain of the first film and hired the burglars himself; his villainy was excised from the script but his jerkassery stayed in.
  • Contested Sequel: Although every movie after 2 can count, 3 is easily the most contested- some, like Roger Ebert, consider it the strongest movie, others like The Nostalgia Critic loathe it. Then you have a middle ground, who concede that it's still a good movie and the main actor is pretty good, but not as strong as the Kevin movies.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite being box office successes, the first two films have received mixed reviews from critics (the third film, meanwhile, was the only one to get a single Thumb's Up from Chicago-based Siskel & Ebert, with the latter giving that Thumb's Up).
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Kate is in shock after learning they left Kevin behind. Frank tries to comfort her by reminding her it could have been worse. He forgot his reading glasses.
    • Gus's story about leaving his kid in a funeral parlor.
      "You know, we went back at night, and apparently he had been alone all day with the corpse. He was okay, though. After two, three weeks, he came around and started talking again."
  • Designated Villain:
    • Natalie in Home Alone 4. We're supposed to hate her just because she's rich, is dating the dad after he divorced the mom, and doesn't want her Christmas ruined. The only "bad" thing she does is overworking Prescott, which we never actually see.
    • Averted with the Concierge in Home Alone 2. Initially he and the rest of the hotel staff have every right to be wary of a ten-year-old checking into a four-star hotel by himself. However the Concierge crosses into actual villainous territory by sneaking into Kevin's hotel room to spy on him, gloating about calling the police over a stolen credit card just to frighten Kevin and generally behaving as though he's eager to catch Kevin out of spite. When Kevin's parents confront the Concierge and hotel staff on how poorly they handled the situation (ie. scaring off an unsupervised child, instead of keeping him safe within the hotel until the police arrived), it immediately dawns on them how poorly their actions look in a rational light.
  • Ear Worm: "Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Sing the song for the glorious season! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Sing the song for a Happy New Year!"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Harry and Marv, obviously.
      • To the point that the duo were going to star in their own spin-off but that idea got nixed. See What Could Have Been for further details.
    • The hotel concierge. Partly for being played by Tim Curry and for being the center in many funny scenes, particularly the shower prank.
    • Gus Polinski. Even people who don't like the film enjoy John Candy's performance.
    • Jimmy, the stock boy at the pharmacy. He's on screen ten seconds tops but is widely remembered for being told to "Stop that boy!" and his one line: "Hey! Hey! Shoplifter!"
    • Johnny from Angels With Filthy Souls, purely due to his Ax-Crazy nature and his penchant for Bond One Liners.
  • Fanon: Kevin's (unintentional) theft at the pharmacy is never brought up again despite lingering probability that the police might be able to identify and send him to juvenile detention as he continues to roam around town, unsupervised. It's a generally accepted theory among fans that Marley, who most likely understood why Kevin ran away, was the one who paid for his stolen toothbrush, apologized on his behalf, and begged the store lady not to press charges. Given what's later revealed about the old man, this isn't far-fetched at all.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The fourth and fifth movies, universally agreed on there. The third film also gets this to an extent, though not as much as the fourth.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The first film is so popular in Poland that watching it has become a cultural tradition during Christmas. This is largely because due to it being one of the first Western films shown in the country and it being released at around the same time that Lech Walesa was elected President, the Polish population has come to associate it with the fall of the Soviet rule.
    • The two movies have a sizable and loyal fanbase in Latin America, at the point that the translated title of the movie, "Mi Pobre Angelito", became trending topic in several countries in 2015 after the release of Macaulay Culkin's viral video in which he reprised the role of Kevin. It became a Christmas tradition in the region, too.
  • Genre Turning Point: This made family-oriented film-making a much more attractive proposition for studios, in tandem with the animation revival the previous year's The Little Mermaid inspired.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the second movie, there are two brief scenes during the montage of Kevin exploring NYC that are uncomfortable nowadays: One has Kevin walking between the Twin Towers, and another has him taking pictures on top of one of the World Trade Centers. Even if it doesn't make one uncomfortable or sad, it definitely dates the movie.
    • Buzz's comment in the first movie about how they live in the most boring neighborhood in America, where nothing remotely dangerous will ever happen. The movie takes place in Winnetka, IL, and there was a famous school shooting at Hubbard Woods Elementary School around the time the movie was made.
    • Macaulay Culkin appeared in Jack Dishel's :DRYVRS web series, effectively playing a much older Kevin, who clearly never heard the whole story about what happened in the first film, and has turned into somewhat of a sociopath... almost mirroring what John Hughes wanted to do with Kevin's character in the first place.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the first movie, the family remarks on their tab for the pizza they ordered: ten pizzas, twelve bucks each... ironically in this day and age (taking price hikes and inflation into consideration), twelve bucks is essentially what you pay now for a delivery pizza (depending on the chain).
  • Ho Yay: Nothing graphic, but you might say that Harry and Marv bicker like an old married couple, and you might also note that (aside from the made for TV sequel, which ignores continuity in many ways, and removes Harry from the story) neither of the thieves mentions having a girlfriend or a wife. (Harry wears a wedding ring, but this could be handwaved as his wife being dead or in jail, or as the ring being stolen.) This would also explain why Harry puts up with Marv, since he is certainly not the brains of the operation and not much use for brawn either, being defeated by a child. Marv does go "Well, hello!" to the woman who gets her skirt pulled by Kevin in the second movie, and if you wanna count Home Alone 4 at all, he has a wife named Vera that he officially met in prison, but he could be bi.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Reaches this in the second movie. Harry tells Kevin that he has a gun and also says that knocking off a youngster won't mean much to him. Then when Harry and Marv bring Kevin into Central Park, we learn that Harry wasn't bluffing: he did have a gun and fully intended to shoot Kevin with it! Thankfully, the Pigeon Lady saves Kevin and it turns out the gun was jammed after he and Marv were covered by a thick coat of varnish.
  • Idiot Plot: Home Alone 2 demands that Kevin inexplicably stop in the middle of a crowded airport, while running to catch his airplane, to get new batteries in his recorder. It also demands that his parents not check to make sure everyone got on the plane after boarding. Once in New York, Kevin never goes to the police or tries to explain himself to anyone to ask for help with the armed bandits planning to rob a toy store and also kill him if they get the chance.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The ending of the third film reveals that Alex passed his chicken pox to all four of the criminals. The disease can only be caught once in your lifetime and is typically not a big deal as most usually get it in their childhood, but if someone manages to never catch it and is then exposed as an adult, it's a very serious condition.
    • Actually, if you only have a mild case of it, you can have chicken pox twice. It's unusual, but it happens, and yes - it is much more serious for an adult.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: A major criticism of the second movie is that it's too much like the first Home Alone apart from the setting switching to New York rather than being secluded to a house.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Harry is a hot-tempered burglar who tries to bite off Kevin's fingers in the first film and tries to shoot Kevin in Central Park in the second film but considering all the sadistic and nasty things Kevin does to him (and Marv), especially in the second film, few people wouldn't feel sorry for him.
    • The concierge in the second film, meanwhile, is a little overeager to bust Kevin for "credit card fraud" and is an all-around smarmy jerk; but watching him get outsmarted and humiliated by Kevin, and later slapped in the face by Kevin's mother, makes him pitiable.
    • The thieves in the third movie have a valid excuse to get back the chip: if they fail, their boss will have all of them killed.
    • The criminals in the fifth movie, especially Sinclair who has a valid reason for wanting to steal the painting.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many of the people are watching the series mainly only because of the traps at the second half of the film.
  • Love to Hate: Harry and Marv. Yes, they're bad guys, but they completely steal the show.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Uncle Frank, especially in the deleted "Frank's Yank" scene.
    • Harry for some people.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • KEVIN!!!!
    • "Buzz's girlfriend, WOOF!"
    • "I'M! LIVING! ALONE!"
    • Marv's girly scream was the basis for a popular YTMND fad. Sites with unsuspecting titles would reveal itself with Marv's spider scream turned up to speaker-shattering levels. The name of the fad? "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
    • And of course, Kevin's hands-on-cheeks scream, which is apparently a must for any Home Alone parody.
      • Kevin screaming in general qualifies.
    • Many lines from short scenes of fictional movies, Angels with Filthy Souls and Angels with even Filthier Souls:
      • "Leave it on the doorstep and get the hell outta here!"
      • Keep the change, ya' filthy animal!
      • "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!"
    • Harry, I've reached the top!!
      • Wow, what a hole!
    • LOOK WHAT YA DID, YOU LITTLE JERK!
      • GET OUTTA HERE, YOU NOSY LITTLE PERVERT, OR I'M GONNA SLAP YOU SILLY!
    • At the time of the third movie's release, kids all across America were saying, "Do not - I repeat - do not draw attention to yourself" at the drop of a hat.
    • Harry's incoherent sputters of rage every time he suffers a mishap at Kevin's hands. Basically what happens when you put Joe Pesci in a PG film.
    • Skull fracture with epidural hematoma. Marv is dead. *1-Up sound* Explanation 
    • Donald Trump's cameo sparked a number of memes during and after the 2016 election. The first was that him giving a unsupervised kid the wrong directions would make him unsuitable for presidency. Later, when the infamous «grab 'em on the pussy» clip leaked, that line was dubbed in after he says «down by the hall» in some Youtube clips that went viral. However, after he was elected, a third meme said «you didn't see Hillary helping Kevin.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Kevin, who is often seen as a sadistic sociopath as an Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Harry and Marv in Home Alone 2. They intend to steal money from a kid's charity and later try to shoot Kevin when they capture him, as well as the Pigeon Lady when she intervenes.
    • Uncle Frank during the fiasco at the Christmas pageant in the second movie. Even if you did find Buzz's behavior funny and can't help but laugh with the majority of the audience, you might stop once you realize that after the poor pianist is hit with a piece of scenery and falls off the stage back-first, piano stool and all, we can see Frank pointing and laughing at her as well.
  • Nausea Fuel: Buzz telling Kevin that someone would have to barf up his pizza because it's been eaten already. Then he pretends to throw it up.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Real estate mogul turned U.S. President Donald Trump's cameo in the second film.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
  • Replacement Scrappy: Alex from 3 gets a lot of this. Finn from from 5 not so much, because his movie came after the Canon Defilement that was the retcon-happy 4, convincing most viewers that cast reboots might be a good thing after all.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Buzz at the end of the second film, considering that he was the one to acknowledge the fact that it was because of Kevin that the McCallister family is able to have a hotel room full of wonderful Christmas presents and insists that Kevin opens the first one.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Admit it. Some of you wouldn't have minded so much if Marv had conked Kevin with that brick in 2.
    • Sinclair and his team in the fifth film, not only are they all Affably Evil Jerkass Woobies, but Sinclair actually has a valid reason for wanting to steal the painting.
  • Sequelitis: While the third film was relatively decent (for some), the fourth and, to an extent, fifth were just plain bad. The second is an aversion, considered to be just as good or even better than the original in spite of largely copying the first movie's plot note-for-note.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The third and fifth movies.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: It (or at least the ending) is basically a kid-friendly Die Hard. Need some proof? Take a look at this article from Cracked, and also consider that "Home Alone" Antics is a Sub-Trope of Protect This House, which itself is a Sub-Trope of "Die Hard" on an X.
  • Stoic Woobie: Marv.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While it still wasn't on the same level as the first two films, the fifth movie is a noticeable improvement over the fourth, actually feeling like a Home Alone film.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • After his encounter with "Santa," Kevin walks by a house and sees a family enjoying Christmas together, causing him to stare at them longingly. And all while "Somewhere In My Memory" plays in the background.
    • Kevin waking up on Christmas morning eagerly hoping to find his family back home, only to be heartbroken to see that the house is still empty. The scene quickly bounces back into heartwarming, however, as Kate comes in through the door just a few seconds later.
    • Any scene in the sequel that has "Christmas Star" playing in the background.
  • Values Dissonance: If you're a parent, Kate harassing the airport employees and patrons in the first film (not so much the hotel employees in the second, as they actively antagonized Kevin) is acceptable because she just wants to get home to her son. If you work with the public, she's an asshole, with or without a vulnerable kid stuck at home.
  • Wangst: Harry at times, especially in the second film.
  • What an Idiot: Has its own page.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Was there any legitimate reason to cast French Stewart as Marv in the fourth movie?
  • The Woobie:
    • Kevin, at the beginning of each movie.
    • Marv and Harry, although the latter is more of a Jerkass Woobie (while the former is a Stoic Woobie). Sure, they're robbers, but it's hard not to feel some pity on them having to endure all the brutal traps.
    • Old Man Marley in the first film and the Pigeon Lady in the second.
    • Alex in the third movie.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/HomeAlone