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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Marv somehow actually dumber in the 2nd film (possibly due to the head injuries he sustained in the first film and/or additional head injuries he sustained in prison), or is he drunk?
    • Is Kevin a good kid simply trying to defend his home, or are his actions a sign that due severe neglect from his family, coupled with the trauma of being left behind (twice), he's on the verge of becoming a violent sociopath? Especially in the second film, when he has ample time to alert the police to what Harry and Marv are up to, Kevin instead leads them through the house full of traps, delighting in their pain, and then calls the police once it's over. He's also pretty mean to the poor pizza delivery guy, who is just doing a job that he was asked by Kevin to do.
      • Word of God has it this is exactly what John Hughes originally wanted to do with the third movie (had 20th Century Fox allowed 3 to be filmed immediately after 2).
      • As of this video, he's already there. note 
      • And he's tracked down Marv.
      • Kevin's family in both movies treat him like an idiot and something they stepped in, only developing consciences after realizing they've left him behind. One can chalk Buzz's abuse up to that of an older brother, but all his cousins and uncle either treat him like an idiot or as persona non grata, despite them being the visiting parties. Jeremy from CinemaSins posits that they might have been actively trying to leave him behind.
      • On one other side, consider the amount of abuse Harry and Marv go through. They're repeatedly bruised, beaten, stabbed, burned, electrocuted, and thrown down several stories, yet walk away with injuries nowhere near as severe as they should have received. In fact, when Harry's gold tooth is knocked out, he doesn't even seem to be bleeding. Are Kevin's traps in the sequel overkill, or does he recognize they should not be able to shrug off such injuries as they do and upped the stakes to try and hold them off? There's also factoring in Kevin's justified outrage in knowing the two were trying to rob money that was specifically collected for the sake of giving sick and needy children a good Christmas. Alongside the fact that they already tried to murder him way earlier in the film and long before he'd devised any traps.
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    • In light of the video above it puts Kate McCallister's parenting in question. Her leaving Kevin behind in the first movie was an honest mistake but after repeated offenses, and constant favoritism among the older kids, we have to wonder if she's just a bad parent?
    • In light of the displays of intelligence Buzz shows in Home Alone 2, was his "A, 2, and D" moment in the first film a case of him just being sarcastic rather than Book Dumb?
    • In Home Alone 3 were Beaupre and his team going to kill Alex since they were holding guns once they were in the house. Or did they only pull out their guns because they wanted to just scare him into giving them the chip.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: According to Chris Columbus, during an interview with Alec Baldwin on Baldwin's podcast "Here's the Thing", John Heard was unhappy about working on the film, feeling that the film was going to be terrible. However, upon seeing the finished film and its subsequent success, Heard apologized to Columbus when they were shooting his scenes on the film's sequel, having broken character before his first take to tell Columbus. Columbus says he still had footage of Heard's apology on video tape.
  • Awesome Music: For the first two movies, two words - John Williams.
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    • The Nutcracker Suite-type music for the family racing to the airport. A suitable hurry-up theme.
    • The Trap Preparing music just scream Let's Get Dangerous!.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Uncle Frank is an Ensemble Dark Horse for some, and The Scrappy for others. His jerkassery is played for laughs and it makes him memorable despite his limited screentime, but his quips rubs some fans the wrong way. It may help to be aware that he was originally written to be the main villain of the first film and hired the burglars himself; his villainy was excised from the script but his jerkassery stayed in.
  • Cargo Ship: Johnny and his tommy gun.
  • Contested Sequel: Although every movie after 2 can count, 3 is easily the most contested- some, like Roger Ebert, consider it the strongest movie, others like The Nostalgia Critic loathe it. Then you have a middle ground, who concede that it's still a good movie and the main actor is pretty good, but not as strong as the Kevin movies.
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  • Critical Dissonance: Despite being box office successes, the first two films have received mixed reviews from critics (the third film, meanwhile, was the only one to get a single Thumb's Up from Chicago-based Siskel & Ebert, with the latter giving that Thumb's Up).
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Kate is in shock after learning they left Kevin behind. Frank tries to comfort her by reminding her it could have been worse. He forgot his reading glasses.
    • Gus's story about leaving his kid in a funeral parlor.
      "You know, we went back at night, and apparently he had been alone all day with the corpse. He was okay, though. After six, seven weeks, he came around and started talking again."
  • Designated Villain:
    • Natalie from Home Alone 4 is supposed to be hated because she is a rich stepparent who is dating Kevin's divorced father and does not want Christmas ruined. There is nothing inherently bad about the aforementioned traits; the only "bad" thing she is described as doing is overworking Prescott, but this behavior is never actually shown to the audience. Made ever worse at the end, he leaves her right before Christmas and she bursts into tears right in front of everyone. We are meant to cheer at this but its pretty hard not to feel bad for her instead.
    • Subverted with the Concierge in Home Alone 2. Initially he and the rest of the hotel staff have every right to be wary of a ten-year-old checking into a four-star hotel by himself. However the Concierge crosses into actual villainous territory by sneaking into Kevin's hotel room to spy on him, gloating about calling the police over a stolen credit card just to frighten Kevin and generally behaving as though he's eager to catch Kevin out of spite. When Kevin's parents confront the Concierge and hotel staff on how poorly they handled the situation (ie. scaring off an unsupervised child, instead of keeping him safe within the hotel until the police arrived), it immediately dawns on them how poorly their actions look in a rational light.
  • Ear Worm: "Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Sing the song for the glorious season! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Sing the song for a Happy New Year!"
    • 'My Town', the montage song from Home Alone 3
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tim Curry steals the second film as the smarmy Mr. Hector. It helps that he isn't a Expy from the first film and many of the funniest scenes centers around him, especially the shower prank.
    • Gus Polinski. Even people who don't like the film enjoy John Candy's performance.
    • Jimmy, the stock boy at the pharmacy. He's on screen ten seconds tops but is widely remembered for being told to "Stop that boy!" and his one line: "Hey! Hey! Shoplifter!"
    • Johnny from Angels With Filthy Souls, purely due to his Ax-Crazy nature and his penchant for Bond One Liners. Quite a few people didn't realize on first viewing that the clip isn't an actual old time film noir and was made for this movie.
  • Escapist Character: In the first two films, Kevin gets to live out many a kid's dream by getting to live alone and do whatever he wants be it jumping on the bed without consequence or riding a limo to a toy store while eating all the unhealthy food he can. A lot of kids also wished they could have his treehouse zipline.
  • Fanon: Kevin's (unintentional) theft at the pharmacy is never brought up again despite lingering probability that the police might be able to identify and send him to juvenile detention as he continues to roam around town, unsupervised. It's a generally accepted theory among fans that Marley, who most likely understood why Kevin ran away, was the one who paid for his stolen toothbrush, apologized on his behalf, and begged the store lady not to press charges. Given what's later revealed about the old man, this isn't far-fetched at all.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The fourth and fifth movies, universally agreed on there. The third film also gets this to an extent, though not as much as the fourth.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: The writers of the fourth film seem to have had a bad case of this, particularly in regards to Natalie. Take the scene where she's mad at Kevin. We (The Audience) know he was trying to stop the burglars, but he provides no evidence and no one at the party saw anything (which the film itself acknowleges). As such, Natalie is well within her rights to think he ruined the party on purpose because he wants to sabotage her relationsip with Peter.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The movies (especially the first two) have become something of a cultural meme in Poland. That's because since the restoration of independence in 1990 (it was one of the first Western films shown in the country and it being released at around the same time that Lech Walesa was elected President, the Polish population has come to associate it with the fall of the Soviet rule), each year one of the main TV stations aired Home Alone during Christmas. Today many Poles can't imagine Christmas without "Kevin." In the event that no station is planning to show the movie, stations are flooded with mail and petitions until one agrees to broadcast the movie. Eventually, a proverb was coined: "'Kevin' on TV? It must be Christmas coming." It's the Polish equivalent to It's a Wonderful Life in America. Ironically, It's a Wonderful Life shows up in Home Alone.
      • This also happens in a similar manner in Portugal, albeit without the mail and petitions, because it's easier to complain on Facebook.
    • The two movies have a sizable and loyal fanbase in Latin America, at the point that the translated title of the movie, "Mi Pobre Angelito", became trending topic in several countries in 2015 after the release of Macaulay Culkin's viral video in which he reprised the role of Kevin. It became a Christmas tradition in the region, too.
    • It is also a Christmas tradition in Portugal (with either the first one or the second one being usually aired on the afternoon of the 24th or the 25th).
  • Genre Turning Point: This made family-oriented film-making a much more attractive proposition for studios, in tandem with the animation revival the previous year's The Little Mermaid inspired.
  • Glurge: The Bird Lady's reason for being homeless can come off as, at best, unintentionally funny and at worst manipulative.
  • Ham and Cheese:
    • Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern felt indifferent about the movie's potential during shooting, so they intentionally gave over-the-top performances, neither one of them believing the film would become a massive success.
    • Tim Curry in the sequel, per usual, is hamming it up playing his role in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the second movie, there is a scene where Kevin explores the World Trade Center and takes pictures from the observation deck. Even if it doesn't make one uncomfortable or sad, it definitely dates the movie.
    • Buzz's comment in the first movie about how they live in the most boring neighborhood in America, where nothing remotely dangerous will ever happen. The movie takes place in Winnetka, IL, and there was a famous school shooting at Hubbard Woods Elementary School around the time the movie was made.
    • Macaulay Culkin appeared in Jack Dishel's :DRYVRS web series, effectively playing a much older Kevin, who clearly never heard the whole story about what happened in the first film, and has turned into somewhat of a sociopath... almost mirroring what John Hughes wanted to do with Kevin's character in the first place.
    • In the first film when talking to Old Man Marley who mentions his strained relationship with his son, Kevin says that no matter how mad he were at his father, he'd still talk to him, especially around the holidays. In real life, Macaulay Culkin has had a very strained relationship with his infamous Stage Dad to the point that the two men no longer speak.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first movie, the family remarks on their tab for the pizza they ordered: ten pizzas, twelve bucks each... ironically in this day and age (taking price hikes and inflation into consideration), twelve bucks is essentially what you pay now for a delivery pizza (depending on the chain).
    • Kevin's famous Catchphrase "You guys give up or are you thirsty for more?" comes off a bit different now that "thirsty" has become slang for "horny."
    • Seeing Harry angrily swat away some pigeons that were sitting nearby him in the second film becomes this once you watch the "Goodfeathers" segments on Animaniacs.
  • Ho Yay: Nothing graphic, but you might say that Harry and Marv bicker like an old married couple, and you might also note that (aside from the made for TV sequel, which ignores continuity in many ways, and removes Harry from the story) neither of the thieves mentions having a girlfriend or a wife. (Harry wears a wedding ring, but this could be handwaved as his wife being dead or in jail, or as the ring being stolen.) This would also explain why Harry puts up with Marv, since he is certainly not the brains of the operation and not much use for brawn either, being defeated by a child. Marv does go "Well, hello!" to the woman who gets her skirt pulled by Kevin in the second movie, and if you wanna count Home Alone 4 at all, he has a wife named Vera that he officially met in prison, but he could be bi.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Reaches this in the second movie. Harry tells Kevin that he has a gun and also says that knocking off a youngster won't mean much to him. Then when Harry and Marv bring Kevin into Central Park, we learn that Harry wasn't bluffing: he did have a gun and fully intended to shoot Kevin with it! Thankfully, the Pigeon Lady saves Kevin and it turns out the gun was jammed after he and Marv were covered by a thick coat of varnish.
  • Idiot Plot: Home Alone 2 demands that Kevin inexplicably stop in the middle of a crowded airport, while running to catch his airplane, to get new batteries in his recorder, so that he can confuse his father ahead of him with a stranger wearing similar clothes and follow him to the wrong flight. While it's understandable that Kevin would live it up in New York alone while he could, once the hotel staff send him on the run Kevin is homeless and penniless in New York and never tries to go to the police and explain himself (not to mention if the hotel staff hadn't been Jerkasses in confronting him about his father's credit card, he probably wouldn't have run from them). Additionally, he knows about two criminals that have escaped from jail, are planning to rob a famous toy store and use the money to flee the country, and have declared intent to kill him if they get the chance, but he never tells anyone. Even if you presume the "stolen" credit card plot point has scared him off from going to the police directly, an anonymous tip-off (just like he does in the climax) to either the police or the toy store would do the trick.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The ending of the third film reveals that Alex passed his chicken pox to all four of the criminals. The disease can only be caught once or twice in your whole lifetime, and though it's typically not a big deal as most usually get it in their childhood, if someone manages to never catch it and is then exposed as an adult, it's a very serious condition.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A major criticism of the second movie is that it's too much like the first Home Alone apart from the setting switching to New York rather than being secluded to a house.
  • Informed Wrongness: It's debatable as to how wrong Uncle Frank was meant to be, but at the beginning of the first movie, him not letting Kevin watch a violent gangster movie is treated as another example as to why he's a terrible uncle even though Kevin later watches said movie and ends up getting the fright of his life. It can come off less like another example of Uncle Frank being a Jerkass and more him trying to prevent Kevin from being traumatized.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Harry is a hot-tempered burglar who tries to bite off Kevin's fingers in the first film and tries to shoot Kevin in Central Park in the second film but considering all the sadistic and nasty things Kevin does to him (and Marv), especially in the second film, few people wouldn't feel sorry for him.
    • The concierge in the second film, meanwhile, is a little overeager to bust Kevin for "credit card fraud" and is an all-around smarmy jerk; but watching him get outsmarted and humiliated by Kevin, and later slapped in the face by Kevin's mother, makes him pitiable.
    • The thieves in the third movie have a valid excuse to get back the chip: if they fail, their boss will have all of them killed.
    • The criminals in the fifth movie, especially Sinclair who has a valid reason for wanting to steal the painting.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many of the people are watching the series mainly only because of the traps at the second half of the film.
    • A number of people only watch the second movie for Tim Curry.
    • Similarly, since his 2016 presidential bid and victory, many people watch Home Alone 2 just for Donald Trump's cameo.
  • Love to Hate: Harry and Marv. Yes, they're bad guys, but they completely steal the show.
  • Memetic Badass: If one were to ask the internet, Kevin can defeat literally anybody with prep time.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Uncle Frank, especially in the deleted "Frank's Yank" scene.
    • Harry for some people.
  • Memetic Mutation: See here.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Kevin, who is often seen as a sadistic sociopath as an Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Harry and Marv in Home Alone 2. They intend to steal money from a kid's charity and later try to shoot Kevin when they capture him, as well as the Pigeon Lady when she intervenes.
    • The spies in the 3rd movie were going to invade Alex's house and possibly kill him since he had the chip they were looking for.
  • More Popular Replacement: Finn Baxter for Kevin McCallister in 5, replacing him as The Protagonist which fans approved of, having gotten sick of Kevin in the (poorly received) previous film, especially since his original actor was too old to reprise the role and ended up retconning his previous portrayal. This is ironic considering the first time he got replaced in Home Alone 3, his then successor Alex Pruitt attained Replacement Scrappy status simply because he was a new character.
  • Nausea Fuel: Buzz telling Kevin that someone would have to barf up his pizza because it's been eaten already. Then he pretends to throw it up.
  • Never Live It Down: Kate is perpetually known for acting acting ignorant towards Kevin's problems at the beginning of the first movie in addition to acting as if the disaster over dinner was entirely his fault. This is in spite of the fact that she fought tooth and nail to get back to him after realizing that they accidentally left him behind as well as apologizing to him when she returned.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
  • Ron the Death Eater: While Kate isn't really Parent of the Year material and didn't do much to help Kevin at the beginning of the first movie, a lot of fans overlook the fact that she felt remorse for acting so neglectful and did everything she possibly could to get back to him and apologized to him.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Alex from 3 gets a lot of this. Finn from from 5 not so much, because his movie came after the Canon Defilement that was the retcon-happy 4, convincing most viewers that cast reboots might be a good thing after all.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Buzz at the end of the second film, considering that he was the one to acknowledge the fact that it was because of Kevin that the McCallister family is able to have a hotel room full of wonderful Christmas presents and insists that Kevin opens the first one.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Admit it. Some of you wouldn't have minded so much if Marv had conked Kevin with that brick in 2.
    • Sinclair and his team in the fifth film, not only are they all Affably Evil Jerkass Woobies, but Sinclair actually has a valid reason for wanting to steal the painting.
  • Sequelitis: While the third film was relatively decent (for some), the fourth and, to an extent, fifth were just plain bad. The second is an aversion, considered to be just as good or even better than the original in spite of largely copying the first movie's plot note-for-note.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The third and fifth movies.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The ending of the first film is considered to be basically a kid-friendly Die Hard. Need some proof? Take a look at this article from Cracked, and also consider that "Home Alone" Antics is a Sub-Trope of Protect This House, which itself is a Sub-Trope of "Die Hard" on an X.
  • Stoic Woobie: Marv.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Uncle Frank commenting that they won't catch the plane in time, as it leaves in 45 minutes. While it's meant to demonstrate his pessimistic and cynical nature, he's right. It takes at least 30 minutes to get from where they live to O'Hare Airport, not counting the heavy traffic on the road and at the airport because it's Christmas. If this was real life, he would be right.
    • The police officer who goes to the McCallisters' home to check on Kevin simply makes a cursory evaluation of the house, declares it to be secure, and says that the family should count their kids again. But if one is tempted to call this officer an idiot for thinking that these parents had somehow miscounted their children, one should remember that the McCallisters actually did do that when they were travelling to Paris.
    • Mr. Hector disadvising Kate for looking for Kevin by herself. While he's just as sleazy as he was towards Kevin, he's right in that it wouldn't be a good idea for a wealthy woman unfamiliar with the city to wander the streets of New York alone at night. The film doesn't treat it as such and he gets slapped by her.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While it still wasn't on the same level as the first two films, the fifth movie is a noticeable improvement over the fourth, and actually feels like a Home Alone film.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Home Alone theme "Somewhere in My Memory" sounds similar to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Kevin is going to sleep in his parents' bed, and gazes longingly at a portrait of his family - Kevin, his four older siblings, and their parents. Still believing that he had somehow magically made his family disappear, Kevin says that he didn't mean it, and promises to never be a pain again if his family would just come back to him. One of the Deleted Scenes is a longer and even more touching version of this, combining Kevin's desperate plea with shots of his father and older siblings in Paris, all unable to sleep because they are so worried about Kevin (except for Buzz, who is sleeping like a log). In particular, Megan looks like she has been crying.
    • After his encounter with "Santa," Kevin walks by a house and sees a family enjoying Christmas together, causing him to stare at them longingly. And all while "Somewhere In My Memory" plays in the background.
    • Kevin waking up on Christmas morning eagerly hoping to find his family back home, only to be heartbroken to see that the house is still empty. The scene quickly bounces back into heartwarming, however, as Kate comes in through the door just a few seconds later.
    • Any scene in the sequel that has "Christmas Star" playing in the background.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: French director, René Manzor believes they ripped off his 1989 horror movie, 3615 code Père Noël.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Kevin in the first movie is supposed to be painted as a Bratty Half-Pint for his behavior, but you can't really fault him considering that the majority of his family seem to actively bully him for no real reason, especially Buzz and Uncle Frank, while his parents either do nothing about it, or punish him for acting out as a response to the bullying.
    • Harry and Marv, especially in the sequel. The pain and humiliation from the traps is supposed to be Laser-Guided Karma for their villainous deeds, but many of them are so violent and over the top that you can't really blame them for wanting to kill Kevin.
    • Natalie from the 4th film's a Rich Bitch but did that really prompt having the royal family she had invited to spend Christmas with her abandoning her to spend Christmas with her ex-boyfriend's family and being left in tears by said ex-boyfriend because he loved his wife and kids more then he loved her, not to mention she loved him despite him being middle class. Doesn't help that the movie was originally supposed to end with Peter staying with her.
    • The thieves in the 5th movie are meant to be seen as bad guys but they had no intention of hurting anyone. Sinclair only wanted the painting but sadly he along with Jessica and Hughes are arrested after numerous pranks and traps finn set up.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Kate in the aftermath of the pizza scene. She's meant to be written as a fair parent who's simply punishing Kevin for acting like a brat. But she snaps at Kevin after freeing him from Buzz's headlock, she doesn't get mad at Buzz for eating Kevin's pizza and taunting him afterwards, doesn't defend him when Uncle Frank and Jeff call him a "little jerk" and a "disease" respectively, tells him it's too late when he tries to apologize and sends him to bed without any dinner. And when Kevin says that he believes that everyone in the family hates him, Kate offhandedly tells him to "ask Santa for a new family". She instead just comes off as being an oblivious and inconsiderate mother who's acting unfair towards Kevin. She does get better when she feels remorse over what happened.
  • Values Dissonance: If you're a parent, Kate harassing the airport employees and patrons in the first film (not so much the hotel employees in the second, as they actively antagonized Kevin) is acceptable because she just wants to get home to her son. If you work with the public, she's an asshole, with or without a vulnerable kid stuck at home.
  • Wangst: Harry at times, especially in the second film.
  • What an Idiot!: Has its own page.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Was there any legitimate reason to cast French Stewart as Marv in the fourth movie?
  • The Woobie:
    • Kevin, at the beginning of each movie.
    • Marv and Harry, although the latter is more of a Jerkass Woobie (while the former is a Stoic Woobie). Sure, they're robbers, but it's hard not to feel some pity on them having to endure all the brutal traps.
    • Old Man Marley in the first film and the Pigeon Lady in the second.
    • Alex in the third movie.
    • Natalie is an unintentional example. She is supposed to be some kind of Rich Bitch Wicked Stepmother but, mainly due to bad writing, it doesn't work, and so when Peter breaks up with her in front of everyone and she bursts into tears you will most likely just want to to give her a hug more than anything.

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