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12 Questions We Have About ‘Home Alone’

12 Questions We Have About ‘Home Alone’

If you’ve heard the new RELEVANT Podcast, the cast plays a March Madness-style game to crown the No. 1 Christmas movie of all time. And while you’ll need to listen to see which one took the trophy, the segment got us in the mood to rewatch some of our holiday favorites this week.

Until we put on Home Alone.

There’s no doubt Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are goto holiday classics. The mischievous Kevin McCallister‘s fight with two bumbling burglars is the epitome of Christmas magic for many. But Home Alone has a lot of holes. Like, a lot.

Watching with fresh eyes, we have questions. Here are 12 of them. 

1. Why does everyone hate Kevin so much?

Let’s not pretend, kids can be annoying at times. But it seems like every single member of Kevin’s family can’t stand him. Sibling rivalry is one thing, but even his aunt and uncle disdain him, too. Kevin has plenty of redeemable qualities — in the movie he’s able to turn the scary elderly neighbor into a friend and charms adults into not questioning his actions — so why is his family so insistent on making him out to be the bad guy? Have they met Buzz? It’s weird.

2. What does Mr. McAllister do?

This is one of the greatest mysteries of our time. From the McAllister mansion, to flights around the world and back again, it’s clear money is not an issue for the McAllisters. Internet sleuths have estimated over the two movies alone, the family spent upwards of $113,890, adjusted for inflation. So what exactly did Mr. McAllister do to afford such a luxurious lifestyle? There’s theories out there that he could be something as simple as a businessman or as complex as a criminal. We want to know!

3. How did a dozen people make it from their house in the suburbs to O’Hare airport and their gates in 45 minutes during the holidays?

The drive from the McAllister mansion to O’Hare Airport takes roughly 45 minutes on its own. You’re telling us they not only made the drive, but also loaded and unloaded their luggage, checked their bags, went through security and made it to their gate right on time? Zero chance. ZERO.

4. Why does Kevin never try to get help?

We’re pro-independence, but at a certain point you have to know when to ask for help. Being 8 years old, stuck at home for the holidays while your family and most of your neighbors are all gone seems like a pretty good time to make a phone call. He went to the grocery store. Why didn’t he alert someone there?

5. Did the elderly neighbor not notice Kevin was home alone?

By the end of the movie, we’re supposed to believe that the mean old neighbor was actually a kind but misunderstood man. And we might be willing to believe that, if he actually helped Kevin out once he realized he was home alone. For days, the neighbor would have noticed that the only person coming and going was a tiny boy. There’s a dozen people in his family, surely one other person would have come out of the house. Either he truly didn’t notice — and if that’s the case, we have even more questions — or he did know but didn’t care enough to do anything until the eleventh hour.

6. What 8-year-old knows how to clean a house properly?

From what we can tell, Kevin grew up without having to lift too many fingers. In fact, his family even makes fun of him for it in the beginning, when they belittle him for asking for help packing. (Side note: figuring out what to pack for a Parisian adventure could be difficult for anyone at any age, so we must ask again, why does the family hate on Kevin so much?) Yet when he’s all by himself, he does his laundry properly, cleans the dishes and even cleans up the entire house after a night of shenanigans and hijinks. Don’t buy it.

7. How did the burglars meet?

Director John Hughes didn’t give much backstory on the burglars, but we wish he had. How did the two dumbest criminals end up together? They look nothing alike so they can’t be related. Perhaps they met on the school playground and hatched their half-brained schemes in their childhood. Maybe they met in prison while serving time for other crimes. After all, Marv does have an odd affinity for flooding houses. Speaking of, how many names did Marv try out before landing on “The Wet Bandits?” Perhaps a Home Alone prequel is in order.

8. Why did the elderly couple at the airport not take Mrs. McAllister’s offer of two first-class tickets, a ring, a watch, a pocket translator, a pair of earrings and $500?

There’s been plenty of arguments made about the true villains of Home Alone: the burglars, the parents, even Kevin himself. But there’s a strong argument to be made that the elderly couple Mrs. McAllister tries to persuade in the Paris airport are the meanest of them all. The wife seemed intrigued by Mrs. McAllister’s offer, so we’ll spare her. But her husband was Ebeneezer Scrooge in the flesh! Being home for the holidays is great, but the season is also about helping others. Could he really not have spent another day or so in Paris with his wife spending free money so a mother could get home to her lonely child? We’re on to you, old man.

9. What happened to the spider?

This is the question that keeps us up at night. Buzz’s pet spider saves Kevin’s life, but after that it crawls off to… well, we’re not really sure. It’s never seen again, which makes us wonder what damage it’s spun in the McAllister mansion.

10. How did Harry and Marv not succumb to their injuries?

Paint cans to the face. Hot fire on the head. Slippery steps on the pavement. Broken glass on the ground. The list is endless for the ways that Kevin caused major physical (and psychological) damage to the burglars. And yet, they continued to endure like cartoon characters. No broken bones, no concussions. It’s like they’re invincible. There’s zero chance any actual human would be standing after the beatings they took.

11. Why are the parents the only ones concerned about Kevin missing?

This movie is arguably one of the best examples of gaslighting in modern cinema. Once everyone realizes Kevin is missing, his parents go into full panic mode. They’re looking into flights, trying to haggle a deal for plane tickets, fighting a French woman for a phone — you know, normal reactions. But they are the only ones expressing this level of concern. His siblings couldn’t give a single care about their little brother being home all by himself. Uncle Frank offers completely useless advice. Even the airport personnel don’t seem to be concerned for this vulnerable child. And don’t get us started on the older couple at the airport again. The only one who seems to show any care is an eavesdropping stranger, Gus Polinski (John Candy). And if the Polka King of the Midwest is the only stranger who cares, our society has much bigger problems.

12. At what point do Kevin’s self-defense tactics turn into attempted murder?

Kevin gets a pass in the first film because he’s a scared kid defending his home and well-being. We get that. Sure, he was sadistic, but the burglars chose to trespass and Kevin’s actions are technically defensible. But we need to briefly bring up Home Alone 2 because that’s where things take a darker turn. While lost in New York, Kevin runs into the burglars after they recently broke out of prison. He discovers their plan to rob his new favorite toy store and decides he can’t let them get away with it. But instead of alerting the police, he decides to take matters into his own hands. He proceeds to chase them through the streets of New York, luring them to an empty house where he has set up numerous booby traps and throws bricks on their heads before tricking them onto a kerosene-drenched rope that he lights on fire. After a while, there’s a case to be made that Kevin is no longer acting in self-defense; he’s actually trying to murder these men. Yet we’re supposed to root for him?

Merry Christmas indeed, you filthy animals.

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