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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 hotel concierge in Home Alone 2. He is depicted as a bad guy from the get-go just for being suspicious of Kevin when, in fact, 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. So that's why the second film has him cross into actual bad guy territory by sneaking into Kevin's hotel room to spy on him while he showers, scaring him by threatening to call the police instead of kindly asking Kevin why the credit card is reported as stolen, and generally behaving as though he's eager to catch Kevin out of spite.
      • Whom was justifiably called out on by Kevin's parents
  • 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.
    • 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 Axe Crazy nature and his penchant for Bond One Liners.
  • Epileptic Trees: 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 Communist 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. 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.
  • 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).
    • Donald Trump's cameo has sparked a meme where it's noted that giving a lost child wrong directions makes him unsuitable to be president.
  • 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, but he could be bi.
    • If you wanna count Home Alone 4 at all, Marv has a wife named Vera that he officially met in prison
  • 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.
  • 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 humilated by Kevin, and later slapped in the face by Kevin's mother, makes him pitiable.
    • The thieves in the third movie have valuable excuse to get back the chip. If they fail their boss will have all of 'em 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.
    • Keep the change, ya' filthy animal!
    • Harry, I've reached the top!!
    • 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.
  • 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: Donald Trump's cameo in the second film.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The Angry Video Game Nerd lampshades these two video games based on the first two films, in two separate reviews. One time in the first NES game review on Home Alone the Nerd sees that Kevin McCallister moonwalks, and says, "He must have spent way too much time with Michael Jackson."
    • The Game Grumps have played the SNES version of the game - which really isn't much better.
    • And on that note, JonTron made a video about the franchise's tendency to suffer the trope, although he did admit the games for the Sega Genesis were pretty decent.
    • If you wanna see two friends play it with one newcomer and a guy who got it in his childhood can you see Stephen Plays' video on it here.
  • 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.
  • So OK It's Average: The third and fifth movies.
  • Spiritual Licensee: If this Cracked.com article is any indication, it's basically a kid-friendly Die Hard.
  • 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 noticable 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.
    • Any scene in the sequel that has "Christmas Star" playing in the background.
  • They Just Didn't Care: Or, more accurately, they cared about the wrong things. Since Home Alone 4 was meant to lead into a TV series, the focus was on setting that up rather than being a faithful sequel to the first two films. As a result, most of the subplots go nowhere (since the family has to get back together at the end), and Kevin and his siblings had to be cast with very young actors who could be kept for several seasons of the show.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kevin in the sequel, who confronts Harry and Marv head-on again, knowing that they are armed and want him dead, instead of staying safe and calling the cops. Of course, if he had done that, the movie would've been a whole lot shorter and more boring.
    • Sort of justified in that he was afraid that he would be summarily arrested for credit card fraud. Considering that he is summarily assigned 100% of the blame for two incidents by his parents over the course of two films, with no opportunity to have his side of things heard, how could he have expected the police to act otherwise?
  • Wangst: Harry at times, especially in the second film.
  • What an Idiot:
    • In the sequel, Marv stealing many things in broad daylight, swiping coins from a sidewalk Santa's coin tray. He doesn't get caught, but considering he just broke out of prison, he might want to be a little more careful.
      • Harry does point this out, and though Marv responds by giving the duo their new nickname; Harry does not look impressed.
    • Also, Marv is the one that pushed for the "Wet Bandits" motif in the first movie. After being arrested, a cop jokingly thanks him for that, saying, "Now we know which houses you hit."
    • In the first, after falling on the broken glass, he then walks on it instead of simply clearing the way.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Was there any legitimate reason to cast French Stewart as Marv in the fourth movie?
  • The Woobie:
    • Kevin, so much 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).
    • Old Man Marley in the first film and the Pigeon Lady in the second.
    • Alex in the third movie, so very, very much.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/HomeAlone