A few weeks ago, we hit a major milestone in my house: My youngest child is finally old enough to watch Home Alone. When I was a kid, I loved holiday movies like The Grinch and The Muppet Christmas Carol, but there was just something special about Home Alone. It celebrated being a kid, making mischief, and the idea that you could do everything adults warn you not to do and still end up with a happily ever after.
I think all of us have lived vicariously through Kevin McAllister at some point in our lives, especially as we grow up and face even more rules, routines, due dates, and deadlines. But, even though Home Alone is a heartwarming and hilarious holiday classic, it still has its fair share of WTF moments. The whole premise of the movie is that a kid somehow gets forgotten by his family and then takes on two criminals singlehandedly, and wins. It’s bound to be a little far-fetched.
Here, 20 nagging questions I have after re-watching Home Alone as an adult.
1. What the hell did the McAllisters do for a living?
The McAllisters live in, like, a 12-bedroom house. Kevin’s dad is supposedly footing the bill for the uncle to fly to Paris. (A trip to Paris for this whole freakin’ family in 1990 would’ve cost over $30K.) Plus, they spent $122.50 on pizza. I don’t like to hurl baseless accusations at people, but I’m pretty sure this entire family is selling drugs out of their picturesque mansion.
2. No one else finds it weird that a “police officer” is just standing around in their entryway?
What police department sends cops to random houses to ask if they’re going on vacation? That’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one. This family needs to watch more terrifying true crime shows about people impersonating cops. They’re way too trusting.
3. Milk and pizza? Really?
I don’t care if Mrs. McAllister wants to get rid of all the milk before they leave town. Just thinking about washing cheese pizza down with a Solo cup full of 2% is giving me wicked heartburn.
4. Why is everyone so mean to Kevin but no one calls out Buzz for being a huge dick?
Kevin’s mom tells him, “There are 15 people in this house, and you’re the only one who has to make trouble.” Um, no. Buzz is King Of The Assholes. He’s terrible to everyone, and I’m pretty sure he’s actually the one who deserves to be left at home in the attic and then terrorized by weirdly persistent burglars.
5. How does Kevin not hear everyone rushing around in the morning?
They’re, like, screaming and yelling and throwing suitcases down the stairs. Plus, kids always wake up at the crack of dawn. Unless someone spiked Kevin’s milk with Ambien, he totally shouldn’t be sleeping through that shit.
6. Why the fuck is the neighbor kid outside digging through the McAllisters’ suitcases at, like, 7am?
Kevin somehow sleeps through everything, but his neighborhood look-a-like is randomly awake at dawn to harass the airport shuttle driver and screw up the family headcount. Seems legit.
7. None of the kids notice an empty plane seat where Kevin should be?
The kids are sitting in coach together, and they spend approximately 150% of their time picking on Kevin. None of them notice Kevin isn’t on the plane? Didn’t the parents make sure their kids were all seated and bucked in before take-off? I could see forgetting Kevin is sleeping in the attic, and even messing up the official headcount before they left for the airport, but once they’re all on the plane it should be pretty obvious that there’s a vacant seat where there should be an 8-year-old human.
8. How does Kevin sled out the front door when it clearly does not align with the stairs?
Even if he can sort of “steer” the sled, there’s no way he’s negotiating that door frame. That sequence should have ended with Kevin crashing into the wall and getting knocked out. Maybe it did and the entire rest of the movie is a dream, and his parents come home to find him passed out on his sled in the entryway with frostbite. ~Conspiracy.~
9. Why can’t the airline bump someone off a flight for a mom with a missing son?
“Can you bump someone?” “No, sorry, we can’t do anything like that.” You sit on a throne of lies, airport lady. They bump people due overbooking all the fucking time. Surely getting someone back home to get their kid before he accidentally drinks bleach or starts a fire (or sets up an obstacle course for some local criminals) is an acceptable reason to move people around.
10. How are the police so calm about Kevin being home alone?
First, they act like Kevin’s mom is nuts for being worried about him. They start passing the call back and forth calling her “Crazy on line 2.” Then, a cop finally rolls up to the house to check on Kevin and he’s like, “I knocked once and the lonely, scared child didn’t immediately answer the door, so I’m just going to give up.” WTF, cops? I am seriously questioning your judgment right now.
11. Why does aftershave burn even though Kevin can’t shave?
Dude has no facial hair, so he didn’t actually shave. Furthermore, why does he continually use the aftershave even though it supposedly burns his face to the point of screaming? I feel like Kevin just likes to yell.
12. Was that toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association or what?
Was it? It’s 26 years later, and we still want to know, Diane.
13. Why is an 8-year-old obsessed with an old black and white gangster movie?
I’m assuming Kevin has watched this movie before. I mean, most kids don’t stop on the random, old black and white show when they’re flipping through channels. Kevin chose this movie, and he plays it again and again. He even uses it to freak out the pizza guy, who somehow doesn’t call 911, even though he thinks someone just tried to “pump his ugly, yellow no-good keister full of lead.”
14. Why doesn’t Kevin ever call the cops?
Yes, the phones are out for part of the movie, but if he can go grocery shopping, stop by a church to chat with the old dude with the shovel, and booby trap his entire mansion, surely he can figure out how to use a pay phone to tell the cops he’s being stalked and burgled by two aggressive weirdos.
15. Why don’t Marv and Harry ever give up?
They’re getting their asses kicked just to steal a few TVs and get revenge on a third grader. Is whatever TF you want to burglarize worth nails in your feet, third-degree burns on your bald head, and getting your teeth knocked out? What are you guys even doing with your lives?
16. Couldn’t Kevin’s mom just rent her own car instead of riding with the Polka Kings?
John Candy’s character seems like a nice enough guy, but if the Polka Kings can rent a truck, so can Mrs. McAllister. There’s no need to spend 8 hours in the back of a truck with a clarinet shredding your ear drums. You’ve been through enough, woman.
17. If the old man with the shovel didn’t show, was Harry legit going to bite Kevin’s fingers off?
Because this looks pretty serious, TBH.
18. Why didn’t the cops keep Kevin at the station until his parents got home?
The kid was just traumatized, yet somehow he’s back at home by himself when his mom finally shows up. They didn’t take him somewhere safe or even try to contact his parents. At this point, I wouldn’t trust these cops to write a parking ticket, let alone stop actual crimes.
19. How did Kevin clean all that shit up?
He wakes up the next day, and his house is totally spotless. What, was he cleaning as he went along? Picking up each booby trap after he was done? For someone that gets made fun of and called “incompetent” all the time, Kevin is better at life than most adults I know.
20. How does Kevin not immediately start crying and tell his parents what happened?
When they ask what Kevin’s been up to, he says, “Nothing much.” What? Are you shitting me, Kevin? You got abandoned by your entire family, grocery shopped, did laundry, staged a fake Christmas party with mannequins, counseled the old dude with the shovel through his family drama, and then rigged your entire house with traps to stop bandits from chewing your fingers off. You need to tell your parents what happened, because you’re probably going to need therapy to work through some of this stuff.