For a certain generation, Home Alone is the definitive Christmas movie. The story of a young boy defending house and home against robbers after being accidentally left at home over Christmas is a staple of so many people's holiday viewing schedule that it's difficult to believe that there could still be new ways to look at it but we're going to give it a try.
1. Kevin's mom did all that traveling for nothing
20th Century Fox
Kate McCallister (Catherine O'Hara), better known as "Kevin's mom" is a woman ridden with guilt as she makes the journey home from Paris after discovering that she's left her son behind. With no direct flight from Paris to Chicago for two days, she is able to book a flight to Scranton, Pennsylvania before making her way to Winnetka, and then Chicago. Along the way, she spends thousands of dollars and gives up her jewelry to make it all happen, only to have the rest of her family show up just moments after she got there herself. Knowing this fact doesn't change her fierce mamabear desire to protect her son but it does add an extra layer of tragedy the next time you watch the movie.
2. The answer to that meme you keep seeing
It's never mentioned in the movie but apparently the novelization of the movie states that Peter McCallister (John Heard) is a "successful businessman" while Kate works in fashion (which would explain the mannequins Kevin uses in his traps).
3. Old Man Marley has terrible self-awareness
Legend has it that Old Man Marley murdered his whole family back in 1958 with a snow shovel. Step 1 in improving your reputation is to stop dead-eyeing children as you drag a shovel behind yourself before demanding service at a store by slamming your bleeding hand down on the counter. Listen man, I get that you're lonely and that you're sad about your family but try to get a little perspective and maybe people will feel comfortable talking to you again.
4. The police situation is appalling
It's no wonder that Kate felt like she had no choice but to get back to Chicago herself. She knows full well what kind of service the Chicago PD provide. When the call is made to report that Kevin is still at home, the police eventually send out an officer to investigate. His thorough analysis of the situation is to tap on the door a few times before giving up and suggesting that the McCallisters count their kids again. Sure, let's just write off child endangerment as a clerical error on the parents' side.
This isn't the first time the McCallisters show disdain for the Chicago police. When Harry (Joe Pesci) dresses up as a cop to case the McCallister house, hardly anyone bats an eye. By this point, the family knows that nothing good can come from anyone from this police force, so they just ignore him as they get on with the flurry of their day.
Even Kevin has accepts this grim reality. He waits until very close to the end of the movie to call the police himself and even then feels compelled to disguise his voice, pretending to be a neighbor, so that he'll be taken seriously on the call. It may seem odd but Kevin's decision is eerily prescient of the second sequel, Home Alone 3 where Alex (Alex D. Linz) tries (twice) to get the police to help him but they ignore him, thinking he's just some kid messing around.
5. How bad does a toothbrush have to be to have a kid question its quality?
The American Dental Association lists 24 different brands of toothbrush having their seal of approval. Given an hour and no distractions, I could probably name two brands. So, I feel like you'd have to be going out of your way to stock your shelves with such off-brand toothbrushes that Kevin would feel the need to question the situation. What is that thing made out of? Yak hair and recycled tire rubber?
6. Waste not, want not
Kate is very very concerned about making sure the milk gets polished off so that it doesn't spoil while the McCallisters are away in Paris. Fair enough. But then the question becomes: If you're that worried about spoiled dairy, why would you order 10 pizzas for 15 people the night before leaving? Based on how big these slices look, we're talking 8 slices per pizza, so unless everyone is knocking back 5+ slices each, there's going to be a ton of waste happening here. Also, something like 20% of North Americans are lactose intolerant so between all that milk and pizza, those bathrooms are going to be very busy tonight. Speaking of which...
7. Fuller apparently likes peeing on people?
Kids can be weird. To Chris Columbus' credit, he does a good job of having each of the kid characters be their own person. Fuller, though, has fully embraced his peculiarity. When Kevin is told he's sharing a bed with Fuller, he's warned that his suspendered cousin is sure to wet the bed if he has anything to drink. Apparently, this isn't a point of shame for Fuller, as he locks eyes with Kevin after sipping a Pepsi, and a creepy smile sneaks onto his face. As far as we can tell, Kevin's never done a thing to Fuller and yet Fuller can't wait to pee all over him.
8. The Wet Bandits should probably be dead
I know, I know, "it's supposed to be a live-action cartoon" but the way I see it, everybody else is a normal, fragile human being in this movie. Kevin fears for his life and Old Man Marley injures his hand shoveling snow. The only people for whom the cartoon rules apply are Harry and Marv (Daniel Stern). The first time I encountered this take on the movie was in Mick Foley's book Have a Nice Day where he was arguing that Home Alone should be more offensive to parent groups than pro wrestling. In the video above, real physicians and nurses take a look at the injuries that Harry and Merv sustain, and the prognosis isn't good.