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Film / Home Alone

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"This is my house, I have to defend it."

"Yesterday, he was just a kid. But tonight, he's a home security system."
Don LaFontaine, trailer for Home Alone

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is an eight-year-old boy from Winnetka, Illinois, 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). 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 Lime (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern), the self-proclaimed "Wet Bandits" (after the fact that Marv likes to 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. Kevin's parents realize 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. It was written and produced by John Hughes, known for his teen comedies, and directed by Chris Columbus, with the most Christmas-ish soundtrack ever by the one and only John Williams.

The movie was followed by a few sequels, as well as a licensed game:

  • The first sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, is mainly a rehash of the original, only it's set in New York.
  • 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).
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  • 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 ironically looks more like the original Harry). Much of the family is somehow missing, and Harry has been replaced with Marv's wife, Vera (Missi Pyle).
  • A fourth sequel, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, was released during ABC Family's Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas in November of 2012. Much like Home Alone 3, it focuses on a completely different family, but sticks to the standard formula.

Culkin (unofficially) reprised the role of Kevin in 2015 for the first episode of the webseries :DRYVRS, "Just Me In The House By Myself", then reprised it more blatantly for a Google Assistant commercial on Christmas 2018, which saw immense popularity on the Internet.

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

The Home Alone film series contains examples of:

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     Tropes That Apply to Two or More Movies 
  • 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. Richie Rich, anyone?
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • An essential trope here, since each movie is built around a small child outsmarting an array of dim and gullible adults.
    • Subverted (briefly) by Harry and Marv, who do manage to catch Kevin in both movies. Kevin is rescued by Marley in the first film and the Pigeon Lady in the second.
  • Adult Fear: The whole premise, really, of a young child being left unsupervised right after they had a big fight with their family, and encountering dangerous criminals. Kate is especially frantic because as the mother she feels the most responsible, and she doesn't even know that two strangers are trying to rob her house.
  • Aerith and Bob: Both McCallister families. The first has Buzz and Linnie along with Kevin, Jeff and Megan. The second has Fuller mixed with Tracy, Sondra, Rod and Brooke.
  • 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 up Goodfellas, where his character set the gold standard for Cluster F-Bomb-ing. Pesci had a tough time shaking off the word during his Angrish rants; it apparently took him a single day to fill a Swear Jar Columbus brought on set.
    • 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: Most of the films happen in Christmas (with the first film even having Kevin putting some presents under the tree after cleaning up and before going to bed, and the second film having the toy man that Kevin befriended delivering a surprise bundle of presents to the McCallisters' hotel room.)
    • Oddly averted by the third film. The plot does have some holiday trappings; the airport is decorated for Christmas, and the plot is set in motion by a gift Alex receives. Despite this, the movie is explicitly set on and shortly after January 8th.
  • Badass Longcoat: In each of the first two films Kate wears a badass full-length overcoat that subtly underscores her Determinator/Mama Bear nature. Likewise, the burglar Harry's getup in each film consists of a grungy calf-length overcoat, which along with a thick scarf and a wool beanie, is a nice look for him, despite him being a bumbling crook.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • The night before he's left home alone, Kevin becomes completely fed up with his family treating him like trash and hollers that he wishes to be left alone. His mother actually points this trope out before he insists that he wishes to live alone and goes to sleep in the attic. Even if he manages to fend off for himself, he points out to his neighbor that he still misses them.
    • By the time of the second movie, Kevin has gotten enough Aesop Amnesia that he wishes the same thing again and Kate points out what happened the first time he made a wish of that kind. Kevin seriously seems to be regretting it when he has to wander through Central Park at night surrounded by hostile hobos.
  • 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.
    • The thing which sets Kevin off in Home Alone 2 is learning that the money Harry and Marv are planning to steal from Duncan's Toy Chest is intended for a children's hospital.
      Kevin: You can mess with a lot of things, but you can't mess with kids at Christmas!
  • Big Brother Bully:
    • Buzz to Kevin in the first two movies. The reason why the family gets mad at Kevin at the beginning of both movies is because of something Buzz did to pick on Kevin and make him mad; eating Kevin's cheese-only pizza in the first movie and pulling a prank on him at the school's Christmas concert in the second. Even after Kevin is accidentally left behind, everyone shows concern for him being alone at home. Everyone except Buzz, who is still entirely unsympathetic to him.
    • While Buzz gets more focus, Kevin has other older siblings and none of them are very nice to him. Linnie calls him "les incompétents", while Megan and Jeff call him "completely helpless" and "such a disease", respectively.
    • Alex's two older siblings from the third movie aren't that much better. Stan and Molly pick on Alex, especially after the police fail to catch the spies twice.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In both first movies, Kevin gets caught by Marv and Harry after having put them through the wringer. Before the two crooks could deliver retribution on Kevin, he gets saved at the last second from them. In the first movie, Old Man Marley bashes Marv and Harry in their heads with his snow shovel. In the second movie, the Pigeon Lady mobs them with a flock of pigeons after splashing birdseed on them.
  • Big Fancy House: The McCallister house is certainly appealing to a burglar, and Harry states outright that he wanted it from the second he laid eyes on it.
  • Big "YES!": Kevin would often drop a gleeful "YES!" after inflicting his latest amusing injury on Harry and/or Marv.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The Wet/Sticky Bandits get hit by all sorts of painful traps, but the only thing close to bleeding are some internal hemorrhages/bruises, mostly seen on their faces. 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 Jernigan in the third movie gets hit in the head by a running lawnmower.
    • In Angels With Filthy Souls, Johnny the gangster uses his Tommy Gun liberally on pretty much anyone who pisses him off, usually at point-blank range. No blood whatsoever, when in reality the person would pretty much be shredded and you'd need a mop for the clean-up.
  • Booby Trap: Part of the appeal of the series is during the final segments of the movies, watching Kevin set up some ingeniously nasty traps for Harry and Marv to stumble into. A good number of these traps, particularly in the second movie, would probably kill those who stumbled into them, but Harry and Marv are Iron Butt Monkeys, so apart from getting banged up, neither of them gets fatally hurt.
  • 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.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: A Trope Codifier for recent times. Kids and teenagers might find it funny at the time, but after growing up and watching it as an adult, the knowledge of all that bodily harm sets in. This article, written by an ER doctor, details the horrific injuries the burglars would sustain from Kevin's traps if they weren't slapstick comedy characters.
  • 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're in Paris); in the second, it's in Spanish (as they're 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.
    • The 'M' burn mark on Harry's palm, which he received when he grabbed the red hot doorknob in the first movie, is still visible in the second.
  • 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.
    • A few more keep Kevin home alone for three days, as there's not a single responsible adult on hand who might be able to help him. While the McCallisters' entire extended family are in Paris, everyone in the neighborhood is either on holiday or doesn't check their answer machine messages (or even look out of the window to notice that Kevin is still around while the rest of his family aren't). In fact the only local resident even sighted is a creepy loner who Kevin thinks is a serial killer. Meanwhile the local police can't help either as they're so incompetent/nonchalant that the officer who visits the McCallister house to follow up a reported case of a minor left home alone just knocks a couple of times before deciding there's no one home.
    • Several coincidences also help set up the plot of the second movie. The family's alarm clock is unplugged and replugged, disabling the alarm and causing the family to oversleep and rush to the airport to make their flight again. Because the family is rushing through the airport, Kevin is separated from them, and 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 in New York too, but they're not chasing Kevin; they've just escaped prison and merely want to score a big heist in the Big Apple. They bump into each other on the street, and Kevin ends up visiting the exact same toy store that they plan to rob.
    • From the second movie, a small joke 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".
    • To escape from the bandits, Kevin pinches a woman to make her think the bandits did it. The woman turns out to be the same one Marv had earlier tried to make a move on.
  • Counting to Three: Happens and played with in both of the first two movies, through the films Kevin watches (and plays back to unsuspecting people he's trying to convince to leave). The first movie has a count of ten that goes: "One... two... ten! *gunfire*" and the second, a count of three: "One... two... *gunfire* three."
  • Crappy Holidays: The first two films both begin with Kevin being mistreated by Jerkass relatives as they gather for Christmas, followed the next morning by a stressful scramble by the family in order to barely make it on a plane for a holiday trip.
  • Creepy Basement:
    • The first installment contains the furnace that is scary for Kevin (at first).
    • The most recent installment (...The Holiday Heist) also has this when Finn thinks the house is haunted.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Johnny from both Angels With Filthy Souls films gets a kick out of shooting his victims and he's implied to have a vast fortune from organized crime. No wonder Uncle Frank objected to Kevin watching the first.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Harry also has his moments.
    • Kevin himself in several scenes as well.
    • Buzz delivers this gem: "Don't you know how to knock?" towards Kevin.
    • Most of the characters especially Kevin's family make a deadpan remark such as one of Kevin's cousins complaining with so many people in Kevin's house there is no shampoo and Kate sarcastically telling Peter to grow a goatee.
  • Death by Irony: In the Game Boy version of Home Alone, the player can defeat enemies by knocking an item down onto an enemy 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: While always minor characters, the first film did at least try to give Megan, Linnie, and Jeff some screen time and establish them as individual characters. In the second film, they are all reduced to extras. If you didn't have a cast list in hand, you probably wouldn't even be able to tell which of the children were Kevin's siblings and which were his cousins. The only McCallister children (apart from Kevin himself) who got any significant lines are Buzz and possibly Fuller.
  • 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 McCallisters' 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. In the second movie, Harry outright says that even the possibility of getting the death penalty won't stop him from killing Kevin.
    • 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.
  • Deuteragonist: Old Man Marley in the first film, The Pigeon Lady in the second, and Mrs. Hess in the third, with Kevin as the protagonist in the first two and Alex in the third, and their parents as the tritagonist.
  • "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."
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Harry and Marv both lecture Kevin about road safety when they almost run him over by accident... Although they were the ones too distracted arguing with each other to watch where they were going.
    • 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!" That's not breaking a rule of decorum, though, so much as it's a stupid move on Marv's part, as this M.O. would help the cops track them easily (as noted when they are arrested at the end of the film).
    • 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 is 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.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • In the first movie, Kevin's mom, Kate, has a horrible feeling that they forgot something, and after going through a small checklist of things, she remembers they left Kevin behind.
    • The first sequel features a more heartwarming example. Kate is on the streets of New York City, one of the most heavily populated cities on the planet, looking for Kevin, and a police officer she gets to help tells her to put herself in Kevin's shoes, where he would go, what he would do, etc. After thinking out loud for a minute, she remembers his fascination with Xmas trees and where the biggest one around is.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In their haste to capture the kid, the robbers will often enter rooms without taking a second to check for traps first. Taken to an extreme in the second movie, where Marv doesn't notice that the room he's entering lacks any kind of floor.
  • 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.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Harry and Marv each wear a pair.
  • Freudian Threat: Kevin finds himself on the receiving end of a few of these.
    • In the first movie, Harry is pissed after taking a paint can to the face.
      Harry: You bomb me with one more paint can, kid, and I'll snap off your cojones and boil them in motor oil!
    • In the second movie, Uncle Frank warns that if Kevin sees him in the shower, he'll "grow up never feeling like a real man".
  • Gambit Roulette:
    • The traps in some of the movies require knowing what the thieves will do precisely, far beyond "try to steal X object." This is particularly bad since the maker of the traps is a child. Of course, if it was more realistic, the villains would only have to get caught in one or two of the many traps to be either killed or crippled horribly. Although looking at Kevin's floorplans in the first two movies, it's clear that he put booby traps throughout the house, so that wherever the burglars struck, they would find a trap.
    • A particular example in the third movie is the trick used to switch one of the spies' guns for a fake.
    • Also, in the first film, Kevin's idea of using the gangster movie to scare off the pizza boy relies on the pizza boy saying things that the movie's dialogue would work as a response to.
  • Geo Effects: All of the movies give the preteen protagonist a massive home-field advantage as they trap their house.
  • 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.
    • Kevin implies in the second film that if he walked in the bathroom while Uncle Frank was taking a shower (he left his tie in there), Uncle Frank would give him one for seeing him naked. In Kevin's words, "He says if I walked in there and saw him naked, I'd grow up never feeling like a real man. Whatever that means."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Kevin has shades of this, as pointed out in the Honest Trailers reel.
  • 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.
    "Skull fracture with epidural hematoma. Marv is dead."
  • "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 to buy food, trick 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.
  • I'll Kill You!: Harry and Marv in the first two films, mostly when they fall for Kevin's traps.
    • After Marv steps on glass ornaments barefoot, he screams "I'M GONNA KILL THAT KID!"
    • When Harry discovers his Gold Tooth has been knocked out, he gets off Marv and says "I'll kill him!" twice.
    • Marv when a bag of cement falls on him: "I'm gonna murder that kid."
    • Just before Harry and Marv climb up the roof of Uncle Rob's house, the former says "I don't care if I get the chair, I'm killing that kid!"
  • 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 injuries... at 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.
  • In Name Only: The MacCallisters in Home Alone 4 have little to nothing to do with the MacCallisters from the first 2 movies. 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 incompétents", 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, Buzz deliberately eats Kevin's plain cheese pizza (knowing he hates other toppings) and mockingly offers to barf it up. 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, "There are fifteen people in this house, and you're the only one who has to make 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. (He does later sincerely say Kevin got them a great room).
    • Uncle Frank is a complete and utter ass to everyone (including his own wife and kids) and never faces any consequences whatsoever, though Kevin does use Uncle Frank's Jerkass-ness to his advantage in the hotel.
    • The North Korean mobster in the third movie.
    • Johnny, the Ax-Crazy mobster in the Show Within a Show Angels with Filthy Souls apparently survives, given that he was able to appear in a sequel Kevin watches in the second movie (unless it was a prequel) and isn't shown being killed or arrested in that one either.
  • 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 (although Kevin does pay for the pizza). Later, he reuses the scene again but adds firecrackers in a pan 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 misrepresenting himself using his father's credit card 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.
    • In the fifth movie, Finn's internet friend initially thinks he's imagining things for watching too many horror films.
  • 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, two of Kevin's older siblings are closer to his own age and the other two aren't seen or mentioned), 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).
  • 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."
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Kevin says a line of resolution before preparing his traps.
    • In the first film:
    Kevin: This is my house. I have to defend it!
    • In the second film:
    Kevin: You can mess with a lot of things, but you can’t mess with kids on Christmas.
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    • In the first movie, Marv slips down concrete basement stairs. When he hits the bottom, he lets out a simple "Ow." before he tries to get back on his feet.
    • In the third, Alice falls down the dumbwaiter shaft from the attic all the way down into the basement. She lands with a huge thud and utters a monotone "Ouch."
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The McCallisters all have large families. Peter and Kate have five children (Buzz, Megan, Linnie, Jeff, and Kevin). Uncle Frank and Aunt Leslie also have five (Tracy, Rod, Sondra, Brooke, and Fuller). Uncle Rob and Aunt Georgette have four (Heather and three younger children who are not named).
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: In both Angels films that appear on the first two movies, Johnny the gangster utterly annihilates whoever pissed him off (another gangster that is asking him for money in the first, a two-timing girlfriend in the second) by shooting them for about a minute straight with a Tommy Gun, while laughing like a madman the entire time. The girlfriend gets it even worse — Johnny gives her two Bond One-Liners ("Merry Christmas, you filthy animal!") and then another burst ("...and a Happy New Year!") and then one last bullet for kicks.
  • No One Should Survive That: The first film had a variety of traps that would either inconvenience the burglars, or seriously injure them. The sequel however, takes this to absurd heights, when Kevin throws not one, but four clay bricks from several stories up straight at Marv's head. This is not a case of Anthropic Principle or Acceptable Breaks from Reality. A clay brick WILL kill you.
    "Skull fracture with epidural hematoma. Marv is dead." (repeat three times)
  • No Peripheral Vision: Numerous follies would've been easily avoided if the guys had a modicum of vision.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • For Kevin:
      • Played for Laughs at the beginning of the first film when Kevin is told to pack his suitcase.
      • Not so funny later on when Kevin wakes up hearing the Wet Bandits' van door slam shut and seeing their silhouettes through the curtains for the first time.
      • Kevin when he sees Harry in the van smiling with his gold tooth glinting, making him realize he was the same “police officer” in the beginning. Unfortunately, this clues Harry in that Kevin knows about him.
      • 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. And before that, when Kevin goes through the door at the top of the basement stairs only to run straight into Harry and Marv.
      • At the end of the first film, when Buzz yells from upstairs: "KEVIN! WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY ROOM?!" Uh-oh...
      • When he's standing outside Duncan's Toy Chest and hears "Hiya, pal!" from Harry, realizing Harry and Marv are behind him.
      • 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, leaving him no way of getting home, with Marv throwing in a not so Implied Death Threat just to drive it home.
      • Similar to the one at the end of the first film, Kevin gets another at the end of the second when Buzz alerts Peter to his very expensive room service bill.
    • 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.
    • Kate briefly when she 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. There is also the scream after a nail goes through Marv's foot on the tar-covered basement steps.
    • Marv's other scream when the pigeons swarm all over him and Harry.
  • Parent Service: The last three films all feature attractive female burglars in skintight pants who have various liquids thrown on them.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • In the first film, the police's response to a hysterical mother's report of a child stranded alone for over a day is disinterest and to keep passing Kate on to other (equally uninterested) colleagues. Eventually they grudgingly send an officer round to the McCallister house, but after knocking on the door a couple of times and getting no answer he decides no one is home and suggests the family re-count their children. In reality, they probably would have actually done something like check inside to see if anyone was there. Averted in the climax when Kevin calls 911 while fending off the Wet Bandits; multiple squad cars show up minutes later to apprehend them.
    • Averted in the second film. An officer at the Miami PD takes the McCallisters missing persons report very seriously and gets annoyed with them for joking about forgetting Kevin. He also suggests using Peter's credit cards to locate Kevin if he uses them, and that successfully leads the family to New York. When the NYPD catch the Sticky Bandits, they waste no time arresting them after finding them with incriminating evidence (though Marv doesn't help by revealing their plans). 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!
    • When Kevin goes grocery shopping in the first installment, the viewer can see Kraft Macaroni and Cheese microwaveable dinner, Wonder Bread, and Tide laundry detergent.
    • In the first movie, Kate hitches a ride on a Budget rental truck.
    • The second movie had Kevin tipping the Plaza Hotel bellhop with a stick of Fruit Stripe gum.
  • 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 Even 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, the fourth film was Home Alone in a smart house, and the fifth film was Home Alone set in Maine.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation:
    • In the first, Kevin McAllister uses a VHS of the gangster film Angels With Filthy Souls to pull this on a pizza delivery guy—both to hide that he's alone in the house, and to screw with the guy. When the delivery shows up, Kevin plays the movie, pausing or fast-forwarding where appropriate to sound like a conversation with the gangster Johnny... ending with the bit where Johnny pulls out a full-auto rifle and threatens to "pump your guts fulla lead!"
    • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin pulls the same trick, this time using the sequel Angels With Even Filthier Souls to scare away hotel staff who realized he was paying for the room with a stolen credit card.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Harry is the red to Marv's blue.
    • Peter is the blue to Kate's red and to Frank's red.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Basically the only reason for Harry and Marv to go after Kevin as much as they do, despite knowing that the kid is fully prepared for them with an array of very painful booby traps.
  • 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).
    • Regarding the gangster movie 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.
  • Say My Name: "KEVIN!!"
  • The Scream: Parodied once per movie.
  • 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:
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: The last three films feature female criminals who get beat up just as much as the males.
  • 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.
  • Something We Forgot: "KEVIN!!!"
  • Stylistic Suck: The Angels with Filthy Souls films are clearly intended to be both homages and parodies of 1930s gangster films.
  • 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.
  • Undercrank: Utilized in the first and second films when the families are scrambling to get ready to go to the airport after oversleeping.

     Home Alone 
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: There is no justification whatsoever for Harry to insist on climbing the icy stairs instead of going around.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: Little Nero's has a twenty-minute guarantee. The delivery boy Drives Like Crazy to fulfill this, especially the first time as he's delivering $100 worth of pizza.
  • Accidental Theft: Kevin goes to buy a toothbrush at the pharmacy. While there he runs into old man Marley. Kevin backs away in fear, then runs away while still holding the toothbrush, leading to one of the employees calling him a shoplifter. It's never indicated or shown if this ever gets resolved.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Harry and Marv's van says "Oh-Kay Plumbing and Heating", an allusion to Joe Pesci's character, Leo Getz, in the Lethal Weapon sequels, whose favorite catchphrase is "Okay, okay!"
    • Old Man Marley, played by Roberts Blossom, is rumored to be a serial killer. Blossom's most notable role prior to this film was the lead role in Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile as a fictionalized version of serial killer Ed Gein.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Discussed, where Kevin talks with Marley about how being an adult doesn't mean that you're not afraid of anything when Marley discusses seeing his granddaughter in the choir after a fight with his (then) estranged son.
    Old Man Marley: You can be a little old for a lot of things. You're never too old to be afraid.
    • Megan is worried about her little brother, especially since "he's so little and helpless". As she puts it, the family is "rotting" in an apartment with no news of whether Kevin is okay.
    • Part of the reason Kate is rushing to get home is because she and Kevin had a nasty fight the previous night and she feels guilty that she forgot all about him in the rush.
    • Played for dark laughs when Gus tells Kate about how a similar incident with his son (leaving him alone all day in a funeral home) traumatized him so much he didn't speak for several weeks. It only made Kate feel worse about herself.
  • Agony of the Feet: Marv stepping on the nail, and then stepping in glass ornaments not long afterward.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization reveals that Peter is a successful businessman and Kate is a fashion designer, explaining how the family could afford the trip to Paris as well as the presence of the mannequins and sewing machines Kevin uses to thwart the Wet bandits. Also, Buzz's spider is named Axl.
  • And You Thought It Was Real: Kevin tricks both a pizza delivery boy and the Wet Bandits into believing that they overheard a murder by playing the soundtrack of a violent gangster movie.
  • Ankle Drag: Marv manages to grab Kevin by his ankle until the latter places a tarantula on his forehead.
  • Answer Cut: After the McCallisters board the plane, Kate says "I hope we didn't forget anything." Cut to Kevin opening the door from the third floor.
  • 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 where 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.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: As Harry and Marv sidle their way across the rope towards Kevin's treehouse, Kevin holds out a pair of clippers to cut the rope. In reaction, the duo tries to sidle back, but Kevin cuts the rope, swinging the rope away and slamming the two into the wall.
  • Audible Gleam: Made by Harry's Gold Tooth Twinkle Smile.
  • Badass Boast: Attempted by Kevin when he shouts "I'm not afraid anymore" (after coming out from hiding under the bed when he first is aware of the Wet Bandits). Subverted afterwards when he sees Old Man Marley shortly afterward.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Kevin tells the "Santa" he meets that he knows he's not actually Santa and that he's old enough to know how it works. He then says he knows that the actor actually works for the real Santa, which the actor goes along with.
  • Bang, Bang, BANG: Played With when Kevin tricks Harry and Marv into thinking they've overheard a violent murder in progress when in reality it's a gangster-movie soundtrack and a packet of firecrackers to amp up the noise. Bear in mind, Kevin uses the same "gangster-gunfire-turned-all-the-way-up" trick to fool the pizza delivery boy earlier.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Harry poses as a police officer to find out when the McCallisters will be away and what home security measures they have.
  • Be Careful What You Say: Megan is feeling regretful that she called Kevin helpless when he's at home on his own, and he's the youngest.
  • 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.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Kevin to Jeff after he's been told to go upstairs for spilling milk over the passports, and Jeff calls him a disease.
  • Bland-Name Product: The McCallisters have pizza delivered from "Little Nero's" instead of Little Caesar's. This actually had a brief Red Stapler moment when, on November 6, 2015, UberEATS ran a promotion allowing fans to order pizza from local restaurants but delivered them in Little Nero's boxes by drivers wearing Little Nero's hats.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Inverted with Harry and Marv's van. It's blue, but they are the antagonists and use it to store their stolen goods.
  • 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's father tells Kevin that "If he needs something to do, he should pick up his Micro Machines, mentioning that his aunt almost slipped on them near the beginning of the movie. Much later, Harry and Marv slip on those same Micro Machines.
    • When Kevin wakes up and finds himself alone in the house, he runs outside and sees the garage open with his family's car still inside. Later on, when Peter and Kate are trying to figure out what they forgot to do in their haste to leave, Peter realizes he forgot to close the garage.
    • 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, Axl, who turns up later at an opportune moment to scare Marv (almost to death) 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?!"
    • Kevin rhetorically asks his father if he burned down the house after using the glue gun to make ornaments. When the family returns from Paris, Buzz praises Kevin for not burning the house down.
    • Harry chews out Marv when the latter floods another house, 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, Peter later finds it on the floor, and is understandably confused about it.
    • Marv tells Harry there could be toys worth stealing in Kevin's house. In the first house they rob later on, Harry plays with a remote-controlled car.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Keep the change, ya filthy animal."
  • Broken Aesop: Old Man Marley. It's supposed to be a "Don't believe everything you hear" aesop, but if an old guy with a notorious reputation just stared at you sinisterly without saying a word, you'd be creeped out, too. Let alone if you were an 8-year-old who was by himself.
  • Call-Back: Harry demonstrates knowledge about the holiday light timers on all the houses on the McCallisters' street; he's not afraid of them. On the night Harry and Marv seek to rob Kevin's house, Kevin hurries home to ready his battle plan. The camera catches all of the holiday lights on Kevin's street turning on. It's a warning to the audience that Harry and Marv will be arriving shortly.
  • 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 and the cops tell them that thanks to the floods, they know all the robberies they were responsible for which will result in a longer prison sentence.
  • The Cameo: Several members of director Chris Columbus' family appear: 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."
  • Cardboard Pal: Kevin uses several tricks, one of them a cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan, to fool the bandits into thinking the house is occupied and having a party.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • The ending shows Kevin happy to be with his family and forgiving his mom for what she had done. This video shows an adult Kevin (played by Macauley Culkin) is actually traumatized from being left by himself for a week at age 8 and having to defend himself against psychopathic home invaders. He also ignores his mom's calls due to a grudge against her for supposedly not caring about him and having become a groupie with a traveling polka band rather than try and save him (he apparently never heard the whole story mind you). He also seems to have pretty much become a sociopath as a result.
    • Daniel Stern made a video in response where it's implied that Kevin has hunted down Marv and done something very unpleasant to him.
  • Chaos of the Bells: The song plays as Kevin booby-traps his house in preparation for the villains' arrival, short on time and meticulously planning.
  • Character Development: In the beginning, Kevin is established to be rather sheltered and pampered at times, such as when he asked if anybody could help pack his suitcase, and is legitimately appalled at the idea of packing his own suitcase. But during his ordeals throughout the movie, he learns to be independent and self-reliant. Towards the end, he even surprises his own family when he tells him he bought groceries all by himself.
  • 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 Axl 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.
    Kevin: Cool, firecrackers! I’ll save these for later.
    • A literal one. Buzz's BB gun.
    • In the first basement scene you can see some mannequins before we see the furnace. The ones that Kevin later uses to fool Harry and Marv into thinking the rest of the family have come home after he first encounters them. The Michael Jordan poster from Buzz’s room fulfills the same purpose.
    • The laundry chute. Kevin shoots sports figurines down it early on, then it's used for the iron trap.
    • 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 morning flight home from Paris. Kate doesn't want to wait for it, but in the end, the rest of the family used it to get home.
    • The Murphy house. Harry and Marv break into it, and it’s where they almost run Kevin down with their van shortly after. Finally, Kevin leads Harry and Marv there at the end and it’s where they are arrested.
    • Old Man Marley's snow shovel.
    • 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 the fishhooks are never used, and the glue gun is only used for easily the mildest booby trap in the series (the fan blasting feathers onto Harry). This scene does serve as an Establishing Character Moment, however, as it shows Kevin as being resourceful and capable of using tools.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Harry is introduced as a policeman who checks if the family has taken precautions against burglary. He is later revealed to be a burglar.
    • Old Man Marley.
  • Cherubic Choir: The scene inside the church features a children's choir singing. One of the singers is Marley's granddaughter.
  • Closest Thing We Got: An example that's funny and nice at the same time. Santa gives Kevin some Tic-Tacs since he's all out of candy canes, but he still says "Everyone who sees Santa should get a little something."
  • Color Motif: To promote a stronger Christmas feel, red and green are major reoccurring colors throughout the movie, appearing quite conspicuously in almost every scene. This includes furniture, clothing, food containers, and all wallpaper.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Marv and Harry: "We know that you're in there and that you're all alone..."
  • Comically Missing the Point: Kevin looks at Buzz's Playboy collection and declares: "No clothes on anyone. Sickening!" Justified as he's only eight years old.
  • Confiscated Phone: The family, in a panic, forces a woman at an airport off the phone.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The doorknob is hot enough to glow red, but Harry doesn't feel the heat that should come off it before he touches it.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Old Man Marley and his shovel.
  • Cool Pet: Buzz McCallister has a tarantula (Grammostola rosea) as a pet.
  • Counting to Potato:
    • When Heather is counting off the family (with neighbor Mitch Murphy unwittingly standing in for Kevin), Buzz attempts to trip up her count by shouting: "Eleven, Ninety-two, twelve."
    • In Angels With Filthy Souls, Johnny counts off one, two, ten before pumping Snakes's guts full of lead.
    • As the McCallister family members 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.
  • Creepy Uncle: A deleted scene revealed Frank to be (possibly) one of these, as he gets enjoyment out of pulling Kevin's pants down. Which would be ironic, since in the sequel he accuses Kevin of being an inversion of this, calling him a "nosy little pervert" for recording him singing in the shower.
  • Crosscast Role: The picture that Kevin finds of Buzz's girlfriend is actually a picture of a boy (the son of one of the crew members) in drag—director Chris Columbus thought it would be too mean to use a picture of an actual girl.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • Averted several times. 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 
    • Played straight after Kevin talks to Santa. Santa then drives away in his car and after it stalls, he pounds on the dashboard and yells "Son of a" with the camera cutting to the next scene before he can complete it.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Double-subverted with Old Man Marley. He dresses in dark clothing for much of the film and is rumoured to have murdered his family years before, but it turns out the rumours about him are not true and he's not on speaking terms with his family because of an argument he had with his son.
  • Death Course: The villains are forced to cross one, designed by the protagonist. Amazingly, they make it through them with only superficial wounds.
  • Death Glare:
    • On the first night, Fuller takes a gulp of Pepsi and looks gleefully at Kevin. Kevin gives him one, knowing that now Fuller will wet the bed and he will have to sleep in it.
    • Shortly after that, Kevin gets one from everyone else for him bum-rushing Buzz and causing milk to be spilled over the passports.
    • What Kevin thinks Old Man Marley is giving him before Marley tells Kevin about the falling out with his son years ago.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: Can be heard during the first three times we see Mr. Marley.
  • 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'incompétent".
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Kevin gets angry at Buzz and shoves him into some drinks which spill over, creating a mess in the kitchen. Chaos thus ensues among the family, and everyone directs their anger towards Kevin. As a result, Kate makes him sleep in the attic (Kevin is scared of the attic) without dinner.
  • Description Cut: While Kevin's siblings show concern for Kevin's well-being, Buzz thinks he'll be alright, claiming that nothing remotely dangerous happens on their street. Cut to the pizza delivery guy hitting the statue in front of the house.
  • Disapproving Look: Uncle Frank tries to console Kate after she realizes that they left Kevin behind by comparing that to him forgetting his reading glasses, earning a scowl from his wife, Leslie.
  • Disorganized Outline Speech:
    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 have smoke detectors and D, we live on the most boring street in the United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen. Period!
  • 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.
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Child: When Kate laments that she's a bad mother to the leader of the polka band, he answers that she's surrounded by bad fathers, citing that one of them forgets the names of his children half the time.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: One of the policemen that Kate calls is busy eating a donut while she tries to explain the situation.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: The movie depended on this trope as a setup. Not that this would be terribly unrealistic for Christmas in Chicago, a city known for its occasional blizzards (although actual white Christmases are bit hit-and-miss).
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Little Nero's delivery guy, because he only has 20 minutes to fulfill each order or else it's free. He also does this after Kevin plays Angels With Filthy Souls to when receiving the delivery while by himself.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: When Kevin's parents realize they left him behind, Uncle Frank attempts to cheer them up by telling them he forgot his reading glasses. His wife and Kevin's parents then give him this reaction.
  • Easter Bunny: An actor playing Santa Claus gets served with a parking ticket on Christmas Eve. "What's next?" he grouses. "Rabies shots for the Easter bunny?"
  • 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.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Buzz eats Kevin's pizza on the first night, and not only does he get away with it, but for losing his temper and bum-rushing Buzz, Kevin is sent to the third floor and doesn't get anything to replace his pizza. No wonder he thought everyone in the family hated him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even Uncle Frank is at least responsible enough to not let his eight-year-old nephew watch a violent gangster movie.
    Kevin: It's not even rated R. He's just being a jerk.
    Kate: Kevin, if Uncle Frank says no, then it must be really bad.
  • Evil Laugh: When doing laundry, Kevin seems to hear one coming from the furnace.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Kevin opens the window at the right moment to overhear the baddies outside talking about their plan to rob the house and the time they intend to start. Doubles as Acoustic License for the fact that Kevin is able to understand the burglars from quite a distance away.
  • Exact Words: Defied by Kate.
    Kate: Get upstairs.
    Kevin: I am upstairs, dummy!
    (Kate opens a door, revealing stairs to the third floor)
  • Expy:
  • Face Your Fears: Kevin has to face his fear of his basement furnace. He manages to overcome this fear, and incorporates the basement into his battle with Harry and Marv at the end of the movie.
  • Fearsome Foot: When Kevin is in the pharmacy, there is a lingering shot of Old Man Marley's snow boots as he enters, as well as when he comes up behind Kevin (Kevin still thinks he is a Serial Killer at this point).
  • Fingore: Harry attempts this on Kevin as payback for the many injuries from Kevin's traps, before Marley knocks him out cold.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: As Kevin climbs up Buzz's shelves to reach the baseball tin, the second shelf creaks when Kevin steps on it. Ten seconds later, just as Kevin reaches the baseball tin, all the shelves come crashing down.
  • Floating Advice Reminder: Played Straight when Kevin at first reacts with anxiety when he believes that "I made my family disappear!" But then a series of floating heads of various family members remind him that they had said hurtful things to him the night before (including a fake one of Buzz threatening to feed him to his tarantula) - and he repeats, with a broad smile, "I made my family disappear!"
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Kevin's fit about living alone when he grows up. He will be living alone for the next few days thanks to the power outage.
    • Kevin's brother Jeff throws his bag down the stairs and just barely avoids hitting Harry standing at the front door. The next time something comes down the stairs to meet him, he isn't so lucky.
    • Viewers familiar with the Chicago area will notice that the uniform worn by the police officer visiting the McCallisters has several inconsistencies with the ones actually worn by the local police. Turns out the uniform was just a disguise.
    • When Old Man Marley is first seen, Buzz tells Kevin and Rod that he murdered his family, which is why they're no longer around. As it turns out, he's not on good terms with his family because of an argument he had with his son years before.
    • In Paris, Peter says the only thing they have is a booking for the whole family on Friday's morning flight. Kate doesn't want to wait for it. However, at the end it's revealed this is how everyone else managed to get home.
    • Marv suggesting they could steal toys from the McCallister house. In the second film, the two set up a plan to rob Duncan's Toy Chest.
    • In the beginning, Peter tells Kevin to pick up his micro machines because Aunt Leslie almost broke her neck stepping on one. Later on, Kevin uses his micro machines as one of the traps.
  • For Want of a Nail: All the events of the movie can be traced back to Buzz playing a prank on Kevin (by eating his pizza), which results in Kevin being sent to sleep in the attic and being forgotten the next morning.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Peter is blotting up spilled milk, Kevin's plane ticket can be seen in the wet napkins he throws in the trash bin.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Spider: Buzz McCallister has a tarantula (Grammostola rosea) as a pet, which gets released after Kevin is left home alone. This is eventually used as one of Kevin's Improvised Weapons against the Wet Bandits. In fact it could be argued that the spider, like the cellar was part of Kevin's childhood fears which he had to overcome in order to rely on himself more and protect his home. And what better overcoming is there other than using the once source of mortal terror into a weapon of defense against the real enemies? In the end, the tarantula does not receive damage and it was found by Buzz when he came back home with the rest of his family (or at least is implied).
  • Frozen Dinner of Loneliness: Kevin's meal before he enacts his plan to defend his house against the robbers is a plate of frozen macaroni and cheese. He treats it as a fancy meal, to show that he's, well, home alone and doesn't know anything more complex.
  • Genre Blindness: Harry and Marv—who, under the assumption that This Is Reality, assume that "Kids are stupid."
  • Gonk: Kevin recoils at a photo of older brother Buzz's girlfriend. We see the picture too and she is very much this trope. Her "actress" was actually a boy in drag; this way, director Chris Columbus could play up "her" ugliness as much as he wanted without humiliating an actual girl.
  • Gratuitous French: The family (sans Kevin) watching It's a Wonderful Life in French.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Impressed that Kevin went grocery shopping by himself while the rest of the family was in Paris, Peter asks him what else he did while they were gone. Instead of telling them about his experiences with the Wet Bandits and Marley, Kevin tells the family he just hung around the house.
  • Heel Realization: Kate asks "What kind of mother am I?" in movie one, giving a Thousand-Yard Stare. Pete tries to stay calm and reassure her that it wasn't her fault.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: When Kevin wakes up and finds the family missing, after he flashes back to bad things the other family members said about him, he has one of these, consisting of him gleefully saying, "I made my family disappear!", and an eyebrow raise.
  • 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 is proud of this, while Harry shakes his head. This is also how the Bandits plan to punish Kevin before Old Man Marley intervenes—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.
  • Hurrying Home for the Holidays: After the family leaves home without Kevin, his mom tries to get home to be with him for the holidays.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Harry and Marv chew out Kevin about road safety after they nearly run over him, but that only happened because they were too distracted arguing with each other to watch where they were going.
  • Idiot Ball: Harry and Marv probably could have gotten away with their crimes a lot longer and avoided a ton of unnecessary physical punishment if they'd simply just left Kevin alone in the first two films.
  • 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 Weapon: Buzz's tarantula becomes one for Kevin during the battle inside the house.
  • Improvised Zipline: Kevin uses a bike handle to slide from his window to his treehouse.
  • Innocent Innuendo: While combing his hair after showering, Kevin mentions washing “everywhere between my toes and my belly button, which I never did before but sort of enjoyed”.
  • Irony:
    • The Wet Bandits drive around in a plumbing van, and their calling card is to leave their victims' water running.
    • While posing a police officer in order to get information on the McCallisters security systems and when they will be leaving, he claims the reason he's asking is that he's checking to make sure that people are taking proper precautions due to the high rate of burglaries around the holidays, when he in fact is a burglar himself intending to rob the house.
  • It's Personal: After each trap, Harry's malice for Kevin increases, but it reaches its climax when his Gold Tooth is knocked out.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Peter has a right to be annoyed with Kevin for using his new fishing tackle to make Christmas ornaments. Besides the obvious — they're brand-new — it's also not safe for a child to use them.
    • At the start, Kevin complains that Uncle Frank won't let him watch the gangster movie with the older children. Considering Kevin is only 8, and the film has at least one violent murder scene (which terrifies Kevin the first time he watches it), Frank did have a point.
  • 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 Central Time (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.
    • 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.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Buzz initially gets away with taunting Kevin over pizza, which causes Kevin to bum rush him afterward. But he later gets his comeuppance in the form of Kevin destroying his room and using his life savings to buy food.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Kevin when tricking the bandits would previously use illusions to make them think the house is occupied. Then when he finds out they're coming to rob the house anyway, he decides that he must protect it with everything he's got. And does he deliver!
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Kevin was apparently never told the family would be using a van service to get to the airport. When he sees all of the cars are still in the garage, he takes it as evidence that they didn't leave for Paris and their disappearance is a result of his wish.
  • Man-Made House Flood: Deliberately invoked by the Wet Bandits. See Calling Card.
  • Mistaken from Behind: Mitch Murphy, who bears somewhat of a resemblance to Kevin, has his back turned to Heather when she adds him into the McCallister family headcount.
  • Monochrome Casting: The only non-white character in the movie is a staff member at the airport gate.
  • Mugging the Monster: The climactic burglary scene can qualify.
  • 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."
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Kate has one when, still on the plane to Paris, she suddenly realizes they've left Kevin at home. Throughout the movie, she repeatedly beats herself up for being a bad mother. In the novelization, Kate is terrified that, because they had punished Kevin the previous night, he would think that his family had left him home on purpose.
    • Kevin has one after accidentally stealing a toothbrush, after he gets away from the officer chasing him.
    • Old Man Marley admits that he regrets fighting with his son and saying that he didn't want to see him anymore.
  • 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. (Fun fact: The man who played the manager later wrote a letter to Roger Ebert, explaining that, even though his scene didn't make the film, his role in the trailer allowed him to join the Screen Actors Guild.)
    • The "Jingle Bells"-themed trailer shows Kate shouting "Pick up!" into a pay phone. Taken out of context, it looks like Kate is calling their house and shouting for Kevin to answer the phone. In the film, she is actually calling the police, asking them to send an officer to check on Kevin. After being put on hold for the second time, she is shouting for somebody at the police station to pick up the phone.
  • 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.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Buzz thinks his family lives on "the most boring street in the whole United States of America", so there's no chance of anything dangerous ever happening to Kevin. Of course, Kevin ends up getting attacked by the Wet Bandits.
  • 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.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: In the scene where Kevin rope-slides to the treehouse, the stunt double is noticeably older than Macaulay Culkin.
  • "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.
  • The Operators Must Be Crazy: The Chicago police are shockingly lackadaisical when Kevin's mom calls to alert them to his situation.
  • Parting Words Regret:
    • Kate remembers that the last thing Kevin said to her was that he didn't want to see her or anyone in his family again for the rest of his life. Kevin regrets it after scaring the crooks off with the dinner party display. Kate also regrets that she essentially told Kevin he should ask for another family if he doesn't like this one, and all he does is cause trouble. Kate apologizes to Kevin when she returns and doesn't expect one in return, because causing a dinner fight seems small in hindsight to leaving your child alone for three days.
    • Old Man Marley describes the argument he had with his estranged son years ago after they both lost their tempers and agree they do not wish to see each other anymore. Thankfully Kevin advises Old Man Marley to call him.
  • Plot Hole: A big plot mechanic is that the McAllister phones are down due to a power line accident in the middle of the night, and Kate is told it would take "at least a week" to sort it out. This creates the conflict that the family can't reach Kevin by phone, but Kevin is able to call out to the pizza guy in one scene and the police during the climax. One possible theory is that the phone lines could still work locally but unable to take long-distance calls due to the multiple communication transfers, but is not addressed in the film proper.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • An officer comes by to check if Kevin is home but fails to announce himself and only scares the child off with his heavy pounding on the door.
    • A heavy-weight police officer chases Kevin for shoplifting but is easily shaken off on a slippery ice track.
    • The fact that the burglars have free rein for days to rob the street.
  • Poorly Lit Pareidolia: Kevin envisioning the furnace in the basement as a monster.
  • Porn Stash: Having not yet hit puberty, Kevin has no appreciation for Buzz's collection of Playboys.
    Kevin: No clothes on anybody. Sickening!
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: When the Wet Bandits show up at Kevin's house at nine pm on Christmas Eve, Kevin walks to the back door, cocks the BB gun and says: "This is it. Don't get scared now."
  • Protect This House: "This is my house! I have to defend it!"
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Kevin tries this on Kate to avoid being sent to the third floor. It doesn't work.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Marv thinks that flooding the houses that they rob is an immensely clever Calling Card. This means that when they're arrested, the cops easily identify which houses they hit. (And no doubt add destruction-of-property charges to the burglary charges.)
    • Harry and Marv scream loudly outside several times, owing to Kevin's pranks. This raises a ruckus; the only reason no one calls the cops sooner is that the neighborhood has cleared out, excepting Old Man Marley. Old Man Marley comes home from his granddaughter's choir rehearsal and sees the antics. This motivates him to go rescue Kevin.
    • For all of Kevin's ingenuity, he is a young child facing off against two adults, who get angrier and angrier with every trap they fall into and suffer injuries as a result. Unsurprisingly, the burglars end up getting the upper hand, and were it not for Old Man Marley's intervention at the end, Kevin would have been in very real danger.
  • Red/Green Contrast: The film packs nearly every scene with red and green objects to make the whole movie feel more like Christmas. This doesn't just include the in-story Christmas decorations: even the wallpaper and furniture are often red and green. (In Cinema Wins' video on Home Alone, Lee counts 237 unique red and green objects over the course of the whole film.)
  • Red Is Heroic: Kevin wears a red jumper for much of the film. Additionally, he wears a red scarf in the scenes he is outdoors.
  • Repeat After Me: After Kevin gets in trouble for retaliating against Buzz's taunting, his mother forces him to go to bed early:
    Kate: Say good night, Kevin.
    Kevin: Good night, Kevin.
  • Revealing Reflection: When Harry comes to peer in the window of the house, Kevin sees him reflected off a glass ornament and pretends to call for his dad. Harry isn't fooled, and realizes he's there by himself.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The state of Old Man Marley's right hand throughout the film may well symbolise his relationship with his son, and by extension, the rest of his family. When he appears in the pharmacy, his hand is heavily wrapped in a bloody bandage, because at that moment, he hasn't spoken to his son in years and there is no sign of this changing. When Marley shakes hands with Kevin in the church, there is only a Band-Aid on his hand, because he is there to see his granddaughter sing in the choir, he has just told Kevin about the falling-out he had with his son years earlier, Kevin has just advised him to reconcile with his son, and Marley decides to give it a shot. And in the final scene, Marley has indeed reconciled with his family and his hand is seen to have completely healed.
  • Running Gag: The statue in front of the McCallisters' house getting knocked over repeatedly.
  • Safe Under Blankets: Subverted then played straight. After the thieves come the first night, we see the bed in the master bedroom in the morning with a child-sized lump on it. Then the camera pans down to show Kevin under the bed. He then decides he's not going to be afraid and marches outside... where he runs into Old Man Marley. Kevin runs screaming back into the house, into the bed and pulls the covers over his head. He stays there, refusing to move, even when a police officer comes by to check on him.
  • Sanctuary of Solitude: Kevin is lonely on Christmas Eve night, so he goes to the church to hear the choir sing.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Kate's subplot of her getting back home on her own. She refuses to wait for the first available flight out of Paris and barters her way onto a late-night flight while the rest of the family stays behind in Paris to leave together. It falls out of padding since Kate's Mama Bear determination redeems her sympathetically after the opening sequence doesn't portray her in the best of lights, but after a draining journey including hitching a ride from Pennsylvania to Illinois through another night, she arrives home a mere sixty seconds from the rest of the family.
  • Shout-Out: This isn't the only Christmas story with a spooky character named Marley...
  • 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). The title is actually a parody of a real '30s gangster flick, Angels with Dirty Faces, though the fake movie scenes don't parody any scene from that film.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Mitch Murphy, the neighbor from across the street. If he was not there during Heather's headcount, the family would have understood that Kevin was not there and would not have left without him.
  • Snow Means Love: Although there's snow in the yards, the weather is mild until the ending. Fresh snow is falling when Kevin's family return and he reconciles with them, and when Old Man Marley notably reconciles with their family out in the crisp-white snow.
  • Spotting the Thread: Kevin sees a van in the Murphy's house, though they're supposed to be out of town, but shrugs. When the van nearly runs him over, however, Kevin recognizes the driver as the cop that visited his house, and seems to put two and two together. Then when the van chases him to church, he realizes they were the robbers from the night before.
  • Stealth Pun: Kevin was left behind because milk was accidentally spilled the tickets and his was accidentally thrown away, all while he had an argument with his family. It all began because the family cried over spilled milk.
  • 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.
    • When the Wet Bandits taunt Kevin from the back door, Marv says, "It's Santy Claus and his elf!" Harry laughs at this and plays along.
  • Teeth Flying: The blow from the paint can knocks out Harry's Gold Tooth.
  • Television Geography: 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." Even taking the fastest route (Willow Road to I-294 to I-190), it takes about a half hour at minimum, and more if there's 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). Not to mention that on international flights, American requires bags to be checked in no less than one hour to departure.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Not in the movie itself, but in Angels With Filthy Souls, Johnny empties the Tommy Gun on Snakes, even after Snakes is clearly on the floor and no longer moving.
  • 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 are 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.
  • Unbuilt Trope: This was the movie that kickstarted the "kid empowerment" genre of the 1990s, but at the same time, it felt like a deconstruction. Instead of having wild and improbable fantasies like most other kid-empowered films, Kevin does mostly rather mundane things around the house, such as... jumping on the bed, sledding down the stairs, or eating tubs of ice cream while watching (somewhat) violent films. Also, because he was, well, home alone, he needed to find food and steal Buzz's money to survive. Furthermore, Adults Are Useless not because of plot stupidity but because Kevin refused to trust them: he hated his extended family (especially Uncle Frank); he was scared that the police — who were trying to help — would arrest him after he (accidentally) stole a toothbrush; the Wet Bandits were constantly stalking him; and he was downright terrified of Old Man Marley. And despite all the traps and hilarious injuries Kevin inflicted on Harry and Marv, he actually failed to stop them in the end, and would have been killed if it weren't for Old Man Marley coming in to rescue him.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Mitch Murphy, the neighborhood kid. By poking around the van the McCallisters take to the airport and digging through their luggage while the family was taking a roll call, he gets mistaken for Kevin at the deciding minute before they rush off, leaving the real Kevin behind.
    • Goes a little further back during the dinner scene. After Kevin rushes Buzz during the disastrous pizza prank, the confusion and cleanup causes Peter to accidentally throw Kevin's boarding pass in the trash.
  • Van in Black: The baddies operate out of a blue van, disguised as a plumbing and heating business.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A discussed and an implied example:
    • Since they're not going to return to the McCallister house until 9 pm, Harry suggests they grab dinner first.
    • Also, Kevin scares off Marv by playing the shootout scene from Angels with Filthy Souls and lighting firecrackers. Marv says that the voices sounded familiar, suggesting that he's seen that movie too and because it's obviously decades old, it may have been too long for him to instantly remember it.
  • Wham Line: "Merry Christmas." It's from Old Man Marley, revealing he's not as bad as he was previously made out to be.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out where Axl the tarantula went after he scared the two crooks, either. Though it looked like he crawled back to Buzz's room. Fortunately for most arachnophobes, he does not appear in the second film.

     Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 
  • 555:
    • It's brief, but when Kevin looks up Uncle Rob's address, his phone number in the book has 555 in it. There's also a dumpster near his house with a 555 number.
    • Averted with the phone number Kevin calls to reach the Plaza Hotel: 1-800-759-3000. However, the Plaza's real area code is 212, rather than being a toll free 800 number.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • When Kevin tells his parents that Uncle Frank told him that if Kevin saw him in the shower, he'd "grow up never feeling like a real man", Peter chuckles and immediately clams up when Kate shoots him a disapproving look.
    • Kevin tells the Pigeon Lady that if she wants to meet other people, she should not wear something covered in pigeon poop. The lady laughs and says, "I have been working very hard at keeping people away, haven't I?"
  • Adult Fear:
    • Kate and Peter have this reaction when the concierge is forced to tell them the full story. As they put it, in full You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me! mode, the supposedly-responsible adults at the hotel chased their preteen son out into the streets on Christmas Eve. Oh, and no one knows where Kevin is or how to reach him, so for all they know he could be mugged or dead. Kate determines that she needs to at least try to search for him despite the bad weather and the uncertainty, because she's his mother. 
    • Discussed between Kate and a police officer in Times Square. The cop tells Kate that he's also a parent and that he'd be in a frenzy just like her if one of his kids went missing.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Marv apparently learned nothing from the first movie.
    • Kevin's parents didn't learn either. They try to be Genre Savvy a few times, but they didn't learn the most important lesson: to hold onto Kevin's hand like a vice until they see him sitting in a plane seat.
    • Neither did they learn to set several alarm clocks, at least one of which should not depend on mains power.
    • When Kate confronts Kevin in the attic after the choir debacle, she uses the exact same passive-aggressiveness that she did with Kevin in the first film, even knowing how well that had worked out before.
    • Double Subverted with Kevin, since he says he wants to be on his own again (partly because he was still mad at Buzz and partly because didn't want to spend his Christmas in Miami), but later attempts to find his family when he gets separated at the airport, and even acknowledges that the whole ordeal from the first film nearly wrecked his Christmas. However, he later enjoys how he is far away from his family, and eventually has to learn all over again that being on his own, with his family nowhere to be found, isn't all fun and games like it seems to be at first. At the end, he is, just like in the first film, desperately wishing for a chance to be with his family again.
  • The Alleged Car: The car Harry lands on top of, which smashes into a million pieces as if Harry was a five-ton statue.
  • The Alleged House: Uncle Rob's townhouse is a dirty wreck, which is why it's being renovated. This works out in Kevin's favor since he's able to use the building's problems and construction supplies in his traps.
  • Answer Cut: Marv wonders why anyone would soak a rope in kerosene. Cut to Kevin lighting a match. Also, after Peter wonders whether Kevin would know enough to see if his brother Rob was in town since he had a home in New York City, and in the next scene, Kevin is indeed at his uncle's house.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Hardly anyone reacts to Harry and Marv chasing Kevin through the streets during the day, or at night.
    • The infamous Christmas pageant scene. Buzz humiliates Kevin, unbeknownst to Kevin, causing the entire audience (save for Kate, Peter and Aunt Leslie) to erupt in laughter. It could be arguable why they could be doing this, either they think Buzz is just doing something funny, or are personally demeaning Kevin, but either way, it seems pretty sadistic that this would occur in a school performance. Apparently, everyone was just too polite to violate the (ostensibly) formal atmosphere of the Christmas pageant.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The film has several instances of this, as detailed in this article:
    • When Kevin arrives in New York, at LaGuardia Airport, he looks out the terminal's window and sees the Midtown Manhattan skyline for the first time. While the direction is accurate (facing west from LaGuardia across the East River to Manhattan), the film makes Manhattan appear to be much closer to LaGuardia than it actually is (in reality, the airport's Central Terminal is about 5 miles from Midtown as the crow flies).
    • Shortly after Kevin arrives in New York City, the film presents a montage of his sightseeing adventures that attempts to cram in every interesting location in Manhattan. Kevin is seen taking a picture outside of Radio City Music Hall, which is in Midtown Manhattan, and then at the Empire Diner in Chelsea. Next, he is shopping in Chinatown (which is in Lower Manhattan), and then looking at the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, which is all the way on the southernmost part of the island, and heading up to the World Trade Center's observation deck. Then, he visits Central Park (back near Midtown), and finally arrives at the Plaza Hotel. And Kevin somehow manages to do all of this in just a couple of hours.
    • Duncan's Toy Chest is a stand-in for the real life F.A.O. Schwarz toy store. While the exact location of Duncan's isn't specified, at the time of the film, F.A.O. Schwartz was located directly across the street from The Plaza hotel on 59th Street. Unless Kevin was doing some sightseeing, he wouldn't need a limo to go there.
    • The bandits chase Kevin from Duncan's (presumably on 59th Street, or somewhere nearby in Midtown) to his uncle's house on West 95th street on the Upper West Side. The distance between F.A.O. Schwartz and his uncle's address is about 2.5 miles in real life.
    • Initially, and at the very end of the film, the Pigeon Lady is shown roaming around the southern end of Central Park (near West 59th Street), which is close to the Plaza Hotel and Carnegie Hall (on West 57th Street), where she is shown to live. However, at the climax of the film, when Kevin flees from from his uncle's house on West 95th Street, he runs inside the park and ends up at the Inscope Arch (which is in real life located on East 62nd Street, on the east side of the park and a few miles away from West 95th St), and the Pigeon Lady happens to be there to save him from Harry and Marv. After they are subdued, Kevin seemingly walks from West 95th Street down to the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, a distance of almost 3 miles.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Prior to apprehending Harv/Marry, one of the cops fires his gun in the air to scare away the pigeons. A real cop (hopefully) wouldn't do this, that bullet is going to come down somewhere in the vicinity and would potentially be fatal.
  • 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.
  • Bannister Slide: Kevin goes down the emergency exit stairs to the Plaza this way.
  • Behind the Black: Marvin becomes very susceptible to this, missing both a ten-foot hole that should be illuminated from Christmas and street lights coming through the door and an equally large bright-green area of slippery goo, even though he can see a rope hanging across the room...
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: How Aunt Leslie tries, and fails, to stop Uncle Frank from laughing during the Christmas pageant.
  • Big Applesauce: Of course.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Mr. Hector poses a rather significant threat to Kevin, but it's Harry and Marv who serve as the primary villains.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The pigeon lady has Marv and Harry let Kevin go just as they are about to kill him.
  • Big "NEVER!": Marv, although in a context that just makes him look foolish.
    Kevin: You guys give up? Have you had enough pain?
    Marv: Nevah!
    Harry: (shakes head at Marv)
  • 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 "OMG!": One of the police officers when he sees the pigeons attacking Harry and Marv to the point where he fires his gun to scare them off.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Harry keeps yelling at Marv to shut up when he keeps blabbing to the cops.
    Marv: He made us hide out in the store so we could steal all the kids' charity money.
    Harry: (elbows Marv) Shut up, Marv! We have the right to remain silent, you know!
    Marv: He's a little cranky. We just broke out of prison a few days ago.
    Harry: (elbows Marv again) SHUT UP, MARV! Geez!
  • Big "WHAT?!": Peter upon finding out that Kevin's not with the family in Miami.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The French tourist sitting next to Kevin on the flight to New York. His response to Kevin's question is "What's that? I'm from France and I'm a tourist here, it's my first time coming to America. Do you know a good restaurant? Or maybe your parents, they know a good place? Why aren't you responding? You speak a bit of French right? I don't speak English at all, give me a bit of help at least. My name is Andre, what's your name?"
  • Bitch Slap: Kate, already thoroughly pissed that Mr. Hector and his staff literally chased her 10-old son out onto the mean streets of New York, smacks Hector across the face when he attempts to advise her against looking for Kevin alone on said streets.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Channels like ABC Family and Cartoon Network seem to love editing out certain parts of the final act.
    • Marv getting hit on the head with five bricks, for example, was cut down to only one.
    • 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?
    • The gangster movie Kevin watches mentions Cliff as one of the men Johnny's girlfriend hangs out with. When Kevin uses the movie to scare the Plaza hotel staff, one of the security guards happens to be named Cliff. Even better, Kevin pauses the movie right after Johnny says his name so the staff can react.
  • 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).
  • 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 scene where Kevin records his Uncle Frank taking a shower was meant to be a call back to this creepy as fuck deleted scene from the first film.
    • In the first film, Marv points out that some of Harry's teeth got knocked out. In this one, he says, "Hey! You didn't lose any teeth."
    • The paint cans on the stairs get a Lampshade Hanging:
    Harry: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Don't you remember what happened from last year?
    Marv: (beat) No.
  • California Doubling: While some of the film was shot on location in New York, the scenes with Duncan's Toy Chest were filmed in Chicago, and Kevin's uncle's house was set on the Universal Studios backlot in Los Angeles.
  • The Cameo:
    • Donald Trump, the then-owner of the Plaza Hotel, appears in the second film as the man who directs Kevin to the lobby.note  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.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The film is still pretty light in the first half, up until Harry and Marv finally discover Kevin is in New York with them and his credit card fraud is exposed, thus forcing Kevin to flee from the hotel and be on the run from his two old enemies. After that the Darker and Edgier aspects start becoming much more noticeable.
  • Character Development: Kevin in the first movie was a bit cool when his mother returned, having figured out that they went to Paris without him. When they reunite here, Kevin is the first to apologize, for everything. Kate's smile and apology in turn signals that she appreciates it, even though she's relieved Kevin isn't hurt and that he didn't need to say sorry. 
  • 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 Gag: 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, 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)?
  • Chekhov's Gun:
  • Most (if not all) of the stuff Kevin records on his Talkboy ends up being used later.
  • The conspicuously-shown Plaza Hotel commercial that Kevin watches. When he ends up in New York, he winds up getting a room there.
  • 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.
  • Kevin's love of Christmas trees. It's how Kate knows where to find him at the end.
  • Peter's credit card, which helped the Miami police to find Kevin when it was used.
  • Chekhov's Gunman
    • The blonde woman that Marv keeps trying to flirt with. She later saves Kevin by punching out the bandits when it was Kevin who actually touched her.
    • The pigeon lady. At first Kevin sees her as some "sick" creep, but she later saves him from the bandits' attempt on his life.
  • 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 our picture!", and Marv replies, "How's my hair look?"
  • Credit Card Plot: Kevin uses Peter's credit card while on his own. In the end, it's revealed that he spent almost $1,000 on room service alone.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Kevin, Harry and Marv just happen to unintentionally meet a few times in the densely populated New York City.
    • Harry and Marv also keep bumping into the blonde lady who slaps Marv.
    • One of Kevin's relatives just happens to have a household in New York. Played doubly as it also just happens to be under renovation when he needs a house to load his dangerous goodies to get the bad guys with.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Kevin eventually befriends a bird lady that turns out to be not so scary after all.
  • 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. Buzz says the following instead:
    Buzz: All right, enough of this gooey sh... show of your emotions...
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the first movie, this one is much darker and more serious.
    • Almost all of Kevin's traps are now deadly, and obviously so.
    • 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 visits the children's hospital where the money is supposed to be donated, and he exchanges waves with a patient in a window.
    • At one point Kevin ends up wandering the streets of New York alone at night, where he encounters some creepy adults, including two trashy women who mockingly offer to "read him a bedtime story", a homeless man who yells and laughs at him and a scary-looking cab driver. At least Kevin always had his warm and (relatively) safe house in the first movie.
    • In the first movie, while Kevin was left home alone, his family at least knew exactly where he was. Here, Kevin actually gets to the airport with his family. It’s not until they’re collect their baggage in Miami that they realise he’s missing and, after the Miami police confirm he's not at O'Hare, they can only sit around and wait for them to find his location. No wonder Kate fainted this time.
  • Delayed Reaction: Once the rest of the McCallister Family touched down at the Miami airport, Peter hands Kevin's bag down the line of relatives to pass on to Kevin. Once it's noticed Kevin isn't there, the bag is passed back up with the message "Kevin's not here." Then once Kate says it...
    Kate: Kevin's not here.
    Peter: (Beat) ... What!?
    Kate: Ah hahahahaha! (Beat) ... KEVIN!!! ([[Faint in Shock Faints)
  • 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 (the second time) 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.
  • Description Cut: Kate tells the Miami police officer she doesn't think Kevin knows how to use a credit card, only for the scene to cut to him using Peter's credit card to check into the Plaza hotel.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Played With. Harry predicts that Kevin will reuse the paint can trap from the first movie, and he and Marv successfully dodge the attacks. They just don't count on Kevin upgrading the trap with a sewer pipe.
    Marv: Oops.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Peter and Kate receive an icy glare from a security officer when they crack a joke about losing Kevin. Peter tries to explain what he meant, prompting Kate to grab him in an effort to get him to stop.
  • 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.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: The black/white mafia movie that Kevin watches (and includes in the security system) has one of the criminals claim that they're convinced the other character is innocent... except the gun they have isn't convinced and opens fire on them.
    "Alright, I believe ya. But my Tommy Gun don't!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In a house full of children, Uncle Frank takes a shower without even shutting (let alone locking) the bathroom door and also implies to Kevin that he has a big penis. And in a creepy deleted scene from the first movie, he plays a prank on Kevin by pulling down his pants, leaving Kevin standing in his underwear. Probably best they left that one out.
  • Double Take: Donald Trump directs Kevin to the lobby, goes on about his business, and then pauses to stare after Kevin. Doubles as a Funny Background Event.
  • Dramatic Drop: When Harry greets Kevin in front of Duncan's Toy Chest, Kevin drops his pocket knife and map of New York City.
  • 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 seizes the opportunity to hand him over to the authorities, not realizing Harry and Marv are after him.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Kevin says Uncle Frank told him not to go into the bathroom while he's taking a shower, because "he says if I walked in there and saw him naked, I'd grow up never feeling like a real man." Peter laughs at this, but his smile disappears when Kate glares at him.
    • Kevin gets on the wrong plane and his parents find out while checking their baggage. They report to security where Peter jokes that at least they don't lose their luggage. Kate laughs but the head of security answers with a disapproving stare.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: At the climax, Marv warns Harry that they should leave when he notices all the pigeons. He proves right when the pigeon lady appears.
  • 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!"
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Kevin does an opposite one.
    "(panicked) Oh no. My family's in Florida and I'm in New York. (calming down) My family's in Florida... and I'm in... New York." (smiles cleverly and waggles his eyebrows as he starts getting cool vacation ideas)
  • Faint in Shock: Kate faints at the airport when she realizes that her entire family has somehow neglected to bring Kevin along on their trip for a second time.
  • 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 nine months 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.
  • For Want of a Nail: Kevin chooses to change the batteries to his Talkboy while on the way to the gate instead of waiting until he is seated on the plane. In doing so, he follows somebody else to the wrong gate.
  • Foreshadowing: While Kate is handing out the plane tickets, Megan notes that none of them will be sitting together. So naturally, when they realise Kevin is missing, no one can say he was with them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • George Washington Slept Here: Cedric the bellboy tries to impress Kevin with the history of the hotel by telling him Herbert Hoover once slept there. In fact, Kevin doesn't know who Herbert Hoover was and assumes from the name that he was the inventor of the vacuum cleaner but he still seems pretty impressed by that.
  • Gilligan Cut: When learning that Kevin has all of Peter's credit cards, Kate expresses that she thinks Kevin doesn't know how to use a credit card. Camera cut to Kevin completing a transaction.
  • Gratuitous French: Marv attempts to flirt with the blonde woman when they bump into each other the first time by speaking to her in French. She smacks him.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The family (sans Kevin) watching It's a Wonderful Life en Español. Justified as Florida has a considerable Spanish-speaking population.
  • Groin Attack: One of the traps Marv encounters is a fake doorknob with a string attached to it and a staple gun. Marv first gets a staple to the butt, then to the groin, and finally one to the nose.
  • 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 patient 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."
  • Here We Go Again!: Like in the previous movie, Kevin is forced to spend Christmas going up against Marv and Harry.
    Kevin: (takes out messaged brick) This is it. No turning back. Another Christmas in the trenches.
  • Heroic Bystander:
    •  Kevin in the first movie was defending his house. Here, he decides to foil Harry and Marv's attempts at robbing Duncan's Toy Store, knowing that the money was going to charity. To seal the deal, he tosses at brick at the window, with a note apologizing to Mr. Duncan and saying if the store has no insurance and he makes it back to Chicago, then he'll pay for the damage. 
    •  The pigeon lady pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment when she sees two strange men threatening Kevin at gun point. She shouts You Leave Him Alone!, tells Kevin to run, and empties her whole bag of birdseed on them. Then she and Kevin split before the cops come.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: That homeless pigeon-caretaker woman that Kevin befriends in the second movie.
  • Hotel Hellion: Kevin.
  • House Squatting: Kevin briefly stays in his uncle Rob's townhouse, which is vacant as he's on vacation in Paris.
  • How Many Fingers?: Provides the page quote. After Kevin hits Marv with the first brick, Harry holds up two fingers and a thumb and asks Marv this.
    Marv: Eeiiiiigggghhht?
  • Hypocritical Humor: Mr. Hector attempts to advise Kate against looking for Kevin alone on the mean streets of New York, in spite of him and his staff having just chased the boy out onto those very streets. Kate righteously smacks him for his idiocy.
  • I Have Just One Thing to Say: Buzz at the end, who points out that if Kevin hadn't screwed up again, they wouldn't have gotten to spend Christmas at the Plaza Hotel with tons of free gifts from Duncan's Toy Chest. He then decides that Kevin should open the first gift.
  • 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...
    • That and the "right in the schnooz" comment.
  • 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, the 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. Helped by the fact he made a point to tell the dispatcher that the call was about the guys who robbed Duncan's Toy Chest — there were certainly cops out already investigating the burglar alarm, so when Kevin called in a tip on their exact location, a sign of how to find them ("watch for fireworks"), and warned they were armed with a gun, it makes sense the police would respond as soon as possible.
  • 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 from killing their older siblings with pranks.
  • Irony: Kevin's family wanted to spend Christmas in Florida to enjoy gorgeous weather, only to arrive in the middle of a bleak tropical rainstorm worse than whatever kind of weather they would've had in Chicago.
  • It Only Works Once: Harry and Marv tried to invoke this when they remembered Kevin smacking them in the face with paint cans in the first movie, only for Kevin to up the trick with a large barbell...which he then dropped on their privates.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: In the first movie, Uncle Frank stops Kevin from explaining why he went after Buzz by yelling "Look what you did, you little jerk!" No one calls Frank out on it, and Kevin is sent to the third floor. Kevin finally gets back at Frank in this movie by calling him a cheapskate, all but proving that Frank is using his parents just so he can score a free trip to Florida. As an added burn, the vacation's a total disaster thanks to the nasty weather.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Kevin thinks he's been terrible over Christmas and decides to stop the Duncan's Toy Store bank robbery both to do a good deed and protect the kids in the hospital. He even leaves a note to apologize to Mr. Duncan for breaking the window, so as to trip the burglary alarms. Mr. Duncan eyes the paper, noting that it's Plaza stationary, and he's grateful to Kevin for saving the donation money. So he sends enough presents to fill several bedrooms to the Plaza, to the suite where the family with the surname McCallister will be staying. Kevin wasn't expecting any presents, let alone one as a reward for doing good.
  • King Incognito: Mr. Duncan, the 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The cast loves to remind the audience just how much of what happened in the first movie is happening again.
  • Large Ham: Mr. Hector. No surprise, as he is played by Tim Curry.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kevin's negative feelings about the family vacation in Florida get vindicated and serves as their karma when everyone (sans Kevin) discover the weather's completely miserable and they're forced to stay in their hotel watching a TV that only gets Spanish-language channels. Considering how obnoxious and unsympathetic Kevin's siblings and extended relatives tend to act towards him, it's hard to feel bad for their trip being a total bust.
  • 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. When Marv and Harry are preparing to shoot Kevin in Central Park, she approaches them with a bucket of pigeon feed and throws it on them, which causes the nearby pigeons to fly at them and pick at the feed stuck to their bodies.
    • 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. Then again, Kate couldld have easily set off the booby traps and gotten injured.
  • Mistaken from Behind: Kevin loses track of his father in the airport and follows someone wearing the same coat, which is how he winds up on the plane to New York.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The pigeon lady.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The moment where Kevin is walking the streets of New York on Christmas Eve, stopping by the children's hospital. It's a heart-rending Tear Jerker as he and a young patient wave to each other while "Christmas Star" plays in the background—and then Kevin remembers that Harry and Marv are planning to rob the money that is to be donated to the hospital. Cue "Setting the Traps" as Kevin prepares for battle.
    • The ending. Kevin shares one of the turtle doves with the pigeon lady, and the two hug. Cut back to the Plaza Hotel, where Buzz gets the hotel bill that Kevin racked up. Cut back to the park, where Kevin's dad is heard yelling from the hotel: "KEVIN! YOU SPENT $967 ON ROOM SERVICE?!"
  • 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Marv blabs his and Harry's entire plan of robbing the toy store (escape plan included) to Kevin. When the latter breaks free from them in the park, he forgets about the two thugs until he visits the hospital where the money is supposed to be donated. If Marv had stayed quiet, Kevin would've spent the rest of the night wandering the streets of New York (and would've likely fallen prey to the more unsavory characters), or gone to Rob's place and broken in to spend the night there. Either way, he wouldn't have bothered antagonizing the thugs any further which probably would've let them get away with robbing the toy store.
  • 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, the most egregious instances being Harry surviving an explosion after sticking his burning head in a paint thinner-filled toilet, Marv getting electrocuted by an arc welder connected to a sink, and Marv getting hit with four 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.
    • Kevin himself when Harry and Marv spot him and decide to say hello.
      Harry: (approaches Kevin from behind) Hiya, pal!
      Kevin: (gasps and drops his map)
  • 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, he faces off against Harry and Marv again, and so forth.
      Peter and Kate: WE DID IT AGAIN! AAH!
      Kevin: Yikes, I did it again!
    • Harry has clearly learned to anticipate some of Kevin's traps from the previous movie, such as a blowtorch to the head. He's actually on guard for this one...but when his guard slips and he looks in a mirror and sees his head on fire, he shouts "AHH! AHH! HE DID IT!"
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Peter is normally the laid-back parent who tries to keep Kate calm and did so last year when Kevin went missing. He goes full Papa Wolf at the concierge and the staff for endangering his son over a "fraudulent" credit card, telling them off for their ego trip. Last time he was that angry, Kevin had messed up his fishing ornaments.  
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Kevin escapes the Plaza Hotel staff pursuing him for credit card fraud, only to run straight into Harry and Marv.
  • Police Are Useless: Heavily averted in this movie. Unlike the ones in the first movie, who showed indifference when Kate explained to them her situation and made little effort to resolve the matter, the police officer whom Peter and Kate meet within Florida is a completely different story. Not only is he highly sympathetic to them about their plight, but when he learns that Kevin has Peter's bag containing his wallet, he comes up with the idea of notifying the credit card companies so that they can get a location on Kevin when he uses them and notifies the family immediately upon discovering that he is in New York. A cop in New York at first doesn't want to help, but he goes Reasonable Authority Figure when Kate points out he understands as a parent and drives her to the Rockefeller center.
  • 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!).
  • Reality Ensues:
    • This trope is the reason Harry and Marv plot to rob Duncan's Toy Chest in the first place. They need cash, but since they just broke out of prison they don't have the resources to rob high security places like jewelry stores. Harry then shoots down Marv's suggestion to rob hotel rooms as they have no way of knowing what the guests are keeping there. Duncan's makes the most sense for them to rob as it sees a high volume of sales on Christmas Eve and won't be able to deposit the cash due to shortened bank hours for the holiday.
    • Given that Kevin did mess up Buzz's room in the first movie (and didn't clean it up before everyone got home), it's little wonder their rocky relationship is back to square one.
    •  The concierge suspects Kevin of having stolen a credit card from his father, and confirms it by entering the number into his register. He calls the cops and confiscates the card from Kevin, who is asking for help and saying two men are chasing him. As a result, Kevin runs into the streets with only some cash, cookies and his backpack. This essentially means he endangered a minor over a power play. Kate and Peter, freshly arrived in New York, go You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me! when the concierge is forced to fess up and trying to cover up by offering them the best suite. As Peter angrily puts it, they scared a minor with no money on one of the coldest nights of the year, in one of the largest and busiest cities. That's not just irresponsible, it's stupid.
    • This is also mentioned by Peter and the concierge; even if Kate has her wits and money at hand, it's unlikely she'll find Kevin just by wandering around on one of the coldest nights in New York. Kate retorts that she has to try because she's Kevin's mother, and no one else would look out for him. She does at least have the sense to go to Uncle Rob's place first to see if Kevin went there and leaves when she realizes the area is vacant. (This is fortunate for her since Kevin booby-trapped the whole area and she could have easily fallen prey to the traps.) Sure enough, it takes a "Eureka!" Moment and a hunch for her to go to the Rockefeller Center, where Kevin is praying to see his mom again.  
    • "Good thing I have my own ticket, in case you guys try to ditch me". Of course, Kevin would be (if slightly) bitter about what happened last year, compounded with what happened the night before.
  • Re-Cut: A few scenes were removed for some television broadcasts. The most prominent was the scene where Kevin goes to the top of the World Trade Center, which was taken out for obvious reasons. Also, some of Kevin's tricks (the three extra bricks hitting Marv, the staple gun door handle, and the tool chest on the stairs) were removed, presumably for time.
  • 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!.
  • Red Stapler: Kevin's Talkboy tape recorder; it was originally a non-working prop made for the movie, but Tiger Electronics made a real version which hit store shelves on Black Friday the same year the movie was released.
  • 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.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Harry and Marv have successfully walked out of prison and given that they're burglars and not mass murderers or anything like that, probably no one would give them a second look if they saw them on the street if their ability to move freely in a New York crowd is any indication. Their plans to stay free and rob a ton of money promptly go to hell once they see Kevin and decide to pay him back for the punishment he put them through in the previous film.
  • Self-Parody: Has shades of this with several scenes being very similar (if a bit exaggerated) to the previous film with several characters lampshading it.
  • She's Got Legs: Mrs. Stone and the blonde woman Marv tried to flirt with.
  • 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.
  • Silence of Sadness: Referenced. The Polka singer who gives Kate a ride back to Chicago tells her about how he once left his son alone at a funeral parlor all night. The kid was okay... after about six weeks, at which point he finally started speaking again.
  • Singing in the Shower: Kevin records Uncle Frank doing this, which comes in handy later...
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The man whose coat is identical to Peter's. If not for his presence at the airport, Kevin wouldn't have boarded a plane to New York.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Home Alone 2 takes place a year after the events of the first film, and naturally we'd expect the returning characters to look more-or-less the same. Yet Kevin has slightly deeper voice, Buzz is noticeably taller, skinnier, and has a really deep manly voice, and Kate is sporting wrinkles around her eyes, things that don't just spontaneously happen within year. In Real Life, it's because the film was made in 1992, two years after the making of the first film.
  • So Last Season: Exploited by Kevin in the film's climax. He uses the paint can trick from the first film to lull Harry and Marv into a false sense of security when going up the stairs. After he uses the paint cans, he tosses a steel pipe at them when they're off guard. Also, instead of setting up a blowtorch to be activated by opening a door, he uses a light switch. Harry gets torched again specifically because he was expecting a door to activate it.
  • 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 and the hotel is looking rundown.
    Uncle Frank: It didn't look this bad on our honeymoon...
  • Tap on the Head: Marv is clearly concussed by all those bricks Kevin throws at his head, but he completely recovers in less than five minutes.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kate gives one to the hotel staff for actually believing Kevin's obviously fabricated story and for basically terrorizing him when they thought he had stolen the credit card.
  • 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). At the time the film is set, the real FAO Schwarz was right across the street from The Plazanote  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.
    • Marv says that at least this time, Kevin doesn't have a house of dangerous goodies to get them with. Turns out he does in fact have access to one, and the "goodies" are far more dangerous than before.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: When Buzz starts using his electric candle to mock Kevin during the school Christmas Pageant, the entire audience (except Kevin's parents) think the equivalent of giving Kevin "bunny ears" is hilarious and start laughing at Kevin.
  • 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 Gonna Suck: The family's (sans Kevin) look on their faces to see the hotel they are staying at in Miami apart from Frank who implied to pick the hotel due to staying there for his honeymoon.
  • 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 and Peter are understandably upset when they find out, and the former actually slaps the concierge for being an idiot.
    Kate: What kind of IDIOTS do you have working here?
  • Trip Trap: Kevin makes one of the invaders trip over a rope taut across the upper corridor.
  • 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. And earlier, before he and Harry discuss their plan to rob the toy store, Marv is ice skating in the park.
  • 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 confronts 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 essential 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.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Takes place a year after the first movie, yet at one point Kevin says that he's ten years old rather than nine.
  • X-Ray Sparks: In a rare live-action 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.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Doris the white rat doesn't have any cage-mates to live with. Fancy rats (and any brown rat for that matter) are extremely social animals that, barring temperament problems, should never be kept as solitary individuals.
  • Batman Gambit: Many of Alex's traps rely on either A) the crooks underestimating him because he's a kid B) noticing a more obvious trap and trying to circumvent it and/or C) being fed up enough from triggering previous traps that they will act hastily on a chance to capture him.
  • 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?"note  (Yes, he actually called the chip "disk".) It helps that Beaupre's actor Aleksander "Olek" Krupa was born in Poland.
  • 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, ya dumb broad.
    Alice: Excuse me, Mr. Unger. I didn't get taken down by an infant.
    • That being said, it did look as if they might have deflected some of the impact with their arms.
  • Bound and Gagged: Alice binds and gags Mrs. Hess with white duct tape to a loan chair in a garage.
  • Cassandra Truth: Alex gets blown off by the police officers when he tries to tell them about the spies after they escape for the second time.
  • The Cavalry: Essentially Defied since Alex has things pretty well wrapped up by the time Agent Stucky arrives. However, the fact that he arrives with a convoy consisting of two snowplows, his own car, four police cars, Alex's family in their car, and a fire engine with all sirens blaring definitely invokes this image.
  • 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.
    • Played for Laughs with Beaupre eating a single cracker from a pack of two and slips the other in his pocket. When the parrot begins to light the firecrackers and give him away, he offers it the cracker as a bribe, but the parrot has been trained to respond to treats with "double or nothing." When Beaupre admits he only has one, "we have ignition!"
  • Chickenpox Episode: The main character Alex gets chickenpox (which he discovers after scratching himself silly in public), and while staying home from school, he discovers North Korean spies outside his home, kickstarting the plot. The spies end up catching his chickenpox at the end of the movie.
  • Child Hater: Unger. This is best seen when he fails to catch Alex hiding in a closet, and in his anger, he punches a picture of Stan, Molly and Alex, breaking the glass.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Happens to Alice when her pantsuit rips.
  • 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.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Alice is terrified of Doris the rat.
  • Expy: Alex is mostly recycled from Kevin. Also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • Eye Scream: Alex sprays black paint over Beaupre's eyes through the front door's letterbox (mail slot).
  • Fanservice: The scene where Alice's pants rip, exposing her underwear.
  • First-Name Basis: Alice is always referred to by her first name, as opposed to her surname like her male compatriots.
  • Food as Bribe: The brother's parrot only plays along with the scheme if you have TWO crackers.
    "Double, or nothing"
  • Four-Element Ensemble: This may be completely unintentional, but the Amusing Injuries the four spies suffers at the film cover are related to the four elements. Unger is electrocuted, which made his suit (and farts) burn (fire); Jernigan is sprayed with freezing hoses (water); Alice is covered in dirt after several incidents in mud (earth); and Beaupre has black paint in his face, coming from a gas-powered spray can (air).
  • 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.
  • Groin Attack: Beaupre gets one from a boxing glove in the foyer's closet, causing him to fall on his gun.
  • Hastily Hidden MacGuffin: The MacGuffin is a stolen computer chip that the villains hid in a remote control car to escape suspicion. After a mix-up at O'Hare, Mrs. Hess ends up with a car and gives it to Alex as payment for shoveling her drive.
  • Hero Antagonist: Alex can count, as the main focus seems to be the criminals trying to get the chip.
  • Hollow-Sounding Head: Alice. Any of the many times she hits her head or is hit in the head by something the audience hears a loud, suspiciously empty sounding *thunk*.
  • I Can See You: When the thieves reach the attic, Jernigan finds the television and cameras that Alex had been using.
    Jernigan: He's been watching us the whole time.
    (his colleagues groan)
    Jernigan: Got a camera on us.
  • I Fell for Hours: Jernigan enters through a second-story window in search of Alex and falls through holes in the floors to the basement. While that should be three stories, he appears to go down seven floors.
  • 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 is in favor of the kid.
  • Instant Soprano: After Doris the rat climbs up Jernigan's pant leg and Alice tries to club her.
  • Jaw Drop: When Agent Stucky relates to Alex's family what is going on, his brother's, sister's, and the police chief's jaws all drop.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, Stan and Molly like to pick on Alex. However, when he's placed in a dangerous situation, their Big Sibling Instincts kick in. Shown when they refuse to let the Feds leave without explaining why Alex is in danger.
    Karen: Why is Alex in danger?
    (Stuckey doesn't respond)
    Stan: She asked you a question, sir.
    FBI Agent Stuckey: I'm not at liberty to discuss it, son.
    (Molly runs over and slams the door shut)
    Molly: The "it" you're referring to is my little brother.
    (Stuckey realizes he has to tell the truth, even if it is a matter of National Security)
  • 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.
  • Last-Name Basis: Beaupre, Unger and Jernigan are all referred to as "Mr. (surname)", or by their surnames alone. Only Jernigan gets a single mention of his given name (Burton). The former two's first names are revealed by Stuckey to be Peter and Earl, respectively.
  • MacGuffin: The microchip that the North Koren terrorists are after.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Mrs. Hess fills the role this time, though unlike her two predecessors, who just have undeserved reputations, she's rude and surly until the chips are down and she realizes there's real danger. From her point of view, Alex is this; she sees him as a brat and his entire involvement in the plot starts when she gives him the car because she doesn't want it and didn't want to properly pay him for shoveling the walk, but as she tells him later, "you're a very sweet young man, I just never took the time to know you."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Regardless of her mean spirit - Alice is a highly attractive woman. Admirers should be pleased with with the sight of her rear end in form-fitting pants. It’s most noticeable when she’s running in yoga pants while pushing a phony baby stroller, and again when she bends over to pick up a hat and rips her pants. A red thong is seen underneath. A less appealing example occurs when she squeezes into a dumb waiter. Her butt hovers directly over the camera for a brief second.
  • Mood Whiplash: After the spies suffer through most of the traps which is humorous, Alex's mom Karen calls him. The film gets a little tense because at this point Alex is trying to get her to not come home while Alice, Jernigan and Unger begin to search the house. Also Beaupre listens to the conversation between Alex and Karen using the basement phone so he can plan his next move.
  • Mythology Gag: Alex, when he discovers that he has the chicken pox, lets out a scream that gives Kevin a run for his money.
  • No Time to Explain: Alex ends up doing this a lot near the end, since he's spent days by this point giving full explanations to the authorities but are quickly dismissed.
  • Oddball in the Series: The only Home Alone film that doesn't take place on Christmas. Jernigan mentions that it is January 8th early on, so Christmas has come and gone.
  • Only One Name: Subverted. The full names of all four of the bad guys are revealed by Stuckey: Peter Beaupre, Earl Unger, Burton Jernigan and Alice Rivens.
  • 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 one trap in the closet.
  • Properly Paranoid: After suffering through several of his traps, the mercenaries pull their weapons and start clearing the house for Alex, though they end up grabbing the Idiot Ball toward the end.
  • Reality Ensues: When the police arrive and notice that the spies have disappeared, they warn Alex that false alarms about the thieves are "no joking matter." That would lead to legal consequences in real life.
  • Rear Window Witness: Alex is home sick from school and witnesses the burglary of a neighbor's home. Unfortunately for Alex, the authorities disregard his explanations.
  • Rule of Perception: Beaupre can't tell he's holding a toy gun spray-painted 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. Granted, Alex apparently stores this particular toy gun in what looks like an actual gun case, so barring the suction cup ammunition it may have been modified to be much more realistic than most toys.
  • Schmuck Bait: Alex's homemade electric fence is overlayed with red yarn and a very deliberately childish sign warning everyone that it's an electric fence and not to touch it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: After the police fail to catch the spies twice, Alex decides to deal with the burglars himself by using his remote control car to film their next burglary in the act. When that eventually leads to the discovery of the chip, he calls an Air Force recruiting office (which then alerts the FBI). When he realizes the spies know where he lives, then he sets up the booby traps.
  • Sequel Escalation: Big time! In the previous two movies, the stakes were that the Wet Bandits might pull off a robbery (either the Mc Alister House or a Toy Store). In this one, North Korea might blow up the world!
  • Sneeze of Doom: Subverted. Alex hides in the closet but avoids detection by Unger, even after he sneezes.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Practically all of the initial Amusing Injuries the crooks suffer are a direct result of dismissing Alex as Just a Kid.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The spies get angrier and angrier the more they suffer the traps to the point that they pull out their weapons once they are inside Alex's house. Beaupre tries to remain calm but when he finds out the microchip is not in the toy car he starts to yell at Alex in polish and threatens him with his gun (which was the fake one).
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Subverted when three out of four of the terrorists are captured by the police at the end, but it seems like Beaupre got away. However, it turns out he was just hiding inside a mini-igloo in the backyard when the snarly parrot exposes him.
  • Villain Protagonist: Beaupre and his team can count, as the main focus seems to be them trying to get the chip back.
  • Villain Respect: Beaupre listens in on a call between Alex and his mother. During the call, Alex talks his mother into not returning home quickly and therefore keeping her out of harm's way, to which he remarks:
    Beaupre: What a brave little fellow. (grins)
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Beaupre speaks with the terrorists' employer, the latter disappears and is never seen or mentioned again.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Averted by Doris, the white pet rat.

     Home Alone: Taking Back the House 
  • Amicably Divorced: Subverted, Kate and Peter are in the middle of getting divorced, but still seem to get along after their seperation, likely leading to them getting back together at the end of the movie.
  • 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.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kevin's brother Jeff and sister Linnie aren't in this movie at all.
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: Or rather, midquel. Along with the early 2000s aesthetic, the film shows obvious technological advances (mainly Natalie's remote-controlled house) that were either not around or common in the early 90s.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Apart from forgetting to cancel her appointment with a tree decorator, Natalie doesn't exactly do anything too mean until she threatens to kick Kevin out of the house for ruining her and Peter's engagement party.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Come on, who didn't figure out that Peter and Kate would get back together?
  • Friendly Enemy: Marv and Kevin seem to be on first-name basis with one another. Also, once their first attempt to break into the house fails, Marv casually introduces Vera to Kevin.
  • Left the Background Music On: Kevin, Peter, and Natalie decorate the tree while "Jingle Bells" plays in the background. When Natalie gets a phone call, she needs someone to turn down the music.
  • The Mole: Kevin suspects someone in the house is letting Marv and Vera into the house. He's right, but it's the last person he suspected: Molly the maid who happens to be Marv's mother.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Vera, Kate, and Natalie are all beautiful women.
  • Outlaw Couple: Vera and Marv.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Again, this is the main reason Natalie is seen as a bad guy: Kevin wants Peter to get back with Kate and doesn't want him to be with someone else, Kevin is the protagonist, ergo, Natalie is bad.
  • Rich Bitch: Natalie has shades of this.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: An extremely weird example: Kevin is only 9 in this film even though he was 8 in the first one and 10 in the second. There's no sign this is meant to be a prequel or anything (indeed, if it were, it would raise a bunch of other issues such as where is Harry? and where did Vera go between movies?) as such, we can only assume it was some sort of bizarre oversight on their part.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Since the original actors would have been too old to reprise their roles, they had to recast everybody. The worst offender has to be Marv, played by French Stuart. Rather than look like Daniel Stern, who declined the offer to reprise his role in the film, he looks a lot more like Harry.

     Home Alone: Holiday Heist 
  • Affably Evil: All three villains.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Finn and Alexis, once the latter is informed about the main villains trying to break into the house.
  • Human Snowman: What Mason, the family's neighbor, turns Jessica (one of the art thieves) into when it is all over (minus the face, which remains exposed).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alexis picks on Finn and pranks him and is sometimes a bully, but despite all that, she truly loves him deeply and cares about him.
  • Lethal Chef: One of the booby traps that Finn uses against the art thieves are "gingerbread men" baked with spicy mustard, spicy horseradish, salt, sour vinegar, and jalapeño peppers.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: What Simon's (Finn's online gaming buddy) conversation with Mrs. Baxter sounds like when Simon tries to warn her that Finn and Alexis are in danger when the art thieves are breaking in.
  • Mistaken for Undead: While Finn thinks the house is haunted, he interprets the Art Thieves' first break in attempt as a ghost coming in. Later on, the art thieves think Finn's traps are the ghost working against them (at first).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Debi Mazar as the female burglar is rather good-looking.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When Finn asks for advice on how to handle the villains, his web friend thinks he's talking about a new game.
  • Parental Bonus: Appropriately for this series, the painting is said to have been by Edvard Munch. As the ending points out, he was behind The Scream painting.
  • Too Many Halves: When Sinclair's accomplices believe the house they're breaking in is haunted, they demand a bigger share than the initially agreed 25% for each of them. Hughes suggests 50% for him, 50% for Jessica, and 25% for Sinclair. They eventually settle for one third each.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Once the villains grab Finn, they just lock him in their car rather than threaten him or hurt him like Harry or Marv would have.

"Keep the change, ya filthy animal."

Alternative Title(s): Home Alone 2 Lost In New York, Home Alone 2, Home Alone 3, Home Alone 4, Home Alone The Holiday Heist


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