10 Surprising Home Alone Facts That Will Hit You Like a Paint Can in the Face (2023)

It’s been nearly three decades since Kevin McCallister’s family left him home alone for the holidays and an instant movie classic was born. But even if you watch Home Alone every holiday season — or many more times throughout the year —there are probably some things you still don’t know about John Hughes and Chris Columbus’ joint masterpiece.

Home Alone first hit theaters on Nov. 16, 1990 and skyrocketed Macaulay Culkin to child stardom. Since then, the story of 8-year-old Kevin’s successful foiling of Wet Bandits Harry Lyme (Joe Pesci) and Marv Murchins’ (Daniel Stern) plan to rob his family home has become one of the most beloved holiday movies of all time.

Here are 10 surprising facts about Home Alone that you can use to impress your friends and family this holiday season — as long as you don’t forget to invite them over.

That tarantula was real

A lot of horrible things happen to the Wet Bandits when they try to break in to the McCallister home, but the booby trap that elicits the strongest reaction is when Kevin puts his older brother Buzz’s (Devin Ratray) pet spider on Marv’s face to distract him long enough to escape. That likely has to do with the fact that Daniel Stern agreed to let a real tarantula crawl across his face — as long as they nailed the scene in just one take.

Marv’s hilariously bloodcurdling scream had to be dubbed in later though, as they didn’t want to risk frightening the spider by having him do it in real time.

Cousin Fuller is now your favorite Succession sibling

Remember in the beginning of Home Alone when Kevin doesn’t want to share a bed with his cousin Fuller (played by Culkin’s real-life younger brother Kieran Culkin) because he’s afraid Fuller will “pee all over” him? Well, turns out the McCallister family’s notorious bed-wetter was destined to grow up to be the snarkiest member of Succession‘s first family: Roman Roy.

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That’s right, the kid who refused to go easy on the Pepsi is now the Chief Operating Officer of Waystar Royco. Dream big everyone.

The script came together in less than 10 days

According to James Hughes, the son of beloved screenwriter John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles), his father wrote the script for Home Alone in less than 10 days after traveler’s anxiety sparked the idea for the movie ahead of the family’s first trip to Europe in 1989.

“Two weeks later, after returning home, he revisited the premise: What if one of the kids had been accidentally left behind?” James wrote in a 2015 piece for Chicago magazine. “Over the next nine days, he completed the first draft of Home Alone.”

James added that John knocked out the final 44 pages of the screenplay in just 8 hours. “Before finishing, he’d expressed concerns in the marginalia of his journal that he was working too slowly,” James wrote.

The McCallister house is now worth over $1.5 million

(Video) Home Alone (1990) - Thirsty for More? Scene (4/5) | Movieclips

The 4,250-square-foot, red-brick, Georgian-style house in Winnetka, Ill., that director Chris Columbus picked to be the titular home in which Kevin would be left alone sold for $1.585 million in 2015 after nearly a year on the market, according to the Chicago Tribune. However, its owners were clearly expecting more for the iconic property; its original listing price was $2.4 million.

It’s a 27-year world record holder

Home Alone took the domestic box office by storm during the 1990 holiday season and continued to dominate throughout the first half of the following year, maintaining its No. 1 spot for 12 weeks and remaining in the top 10 until June 1991. In the process, it earned $285,761,343 and became the highest grossing movie of 1990 as well as the highest-grossing domestic live-action comedy ever. It held onto that world record until 2017 — 27 years after its release — when the Chinese blockbuster Never Say Die knocked it out of the top spot.

Joe Pesci accidentally really bit Macaulay Culkin

According to Culkin, while rehearsing for the scene near the end of the movie when the Wet Bandits finally manage to catch Kevin and threaten to bite all his fingers off, Pesci accidentally really did bite him. As of a 2004 interview with Rule Forty Two, Culkin still bore the scar from his co-star’s mistake.

“In the first Home Alone, they hung me up on a coat hook, and Pesci says, ‘I’m gonna bite all your fingers off, one at a time,’” Culkin told Rule Forty Two. “And during one of the rehearsals, he bit me, and it broke the skin.”

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Robert de Niro could’ve been a Wet Bandit

10 Surprising Home Alone Facts That Will Hit You Like a Paint Can in the Face (3)

Robert De Niro attends the Premiere of Netflix's "The Irishman" at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on October 24, 2019.

FilmMagic—Getty Images

According to Mental Floss, before Joe Pesci was cast as Harry Lyme, the role was offered to another famous mob movie star: Robert De Niro. In fact, Pesci wasn’t even second in line. After De Niro turned down the part, Saturday Night Live‘s Jon Lovitz also passed on it. Thankfully, Pesci was the perfect man for the job.

It spawned its very own Elvis conspiracy theory

Although Home Alone didn’t hit theaters until 13 years after Elvis Presley died of a heart attack at his Graceland estate, upon watching the movie, some Elvis-is-still-alive conspiracy theorists became convinced that the King had made a cameo. If you pay close attention during the scene in which Kevin’s mom Kate (Catherine O’Hara) is arguing with a ticket agent at the Scranton airport, a bearded man wearing a sports coat and turtleneck that bears some resemblance to Elvis can be seen behind her .

However, others claim the extra was a man named Gary Grott who appeared in a number of Chris Columbus’ movies. We’ll let you come to your own conclusion.

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Buzz’s girlfriend is actually a boy in costume

When Kevin takes advantage of Buzz’s absence to go through his stuff, he finds a framed photo of Buzz’s girlfriend that he’s, let’s say, less than impressed by. His exact words: “Buzz, your girlfriend…Woof!”

But according to Devin Ratray, the girlfriend in question was actually a boy in costume. Ratray told Yahoo in 2013 that the producers thought that casting a girl in the role would be just plain cruel, so they opted for a boy instead.

“They decided it would be unkind to put a girl in that role of just being funny-looking,” he said before explaining where they found the perfect man for the job. “The art director had a son who was more than willing to volunteer for the part. I think if he had known it would become the highest-grossing family comedy of all time, he might have had second thoughts about it.”

Old Man Marley originally wasn’t in the movie at all

John Hughes’ first draft of the script didn’t include Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom), the neighbor who Kevin originally believes is a serial killer but turns out to be a kindly old man who saves him from the Wet Bandits. Hughes added the character, whose name is a nod to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, after Columbus suggested that the story could do with some more heart.

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How many times does the Statue get knocked over in Home Alone? ›

The statue in the front of the house was hit four times. Twice by the pizza delivery man, once by the airport shuttle, and once by a police officer.

Did the tarantula get hurt in Home Alone? ›

Ouch. A quarter of a century later and the actor has revealed what we all wondered – yep, it really did hurt. The actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he suffered a fair few injuries on the set of the best loved Christmas film of all time.

What kid wets the bed in Home Alone? ›

Kieran Culkin got a big surprise when he watched Home Alone for the first time! The 37-year-old actor and younger brother of Macaulay Culkin appeared in the beloved 1990 holiday classic as Fuller, the bed-wetting cousin of Macaulay's character, Kevin McCallister.

Did they actually do the stunts in Home Alone? ›

The stunts were real — and one was even named in honor of "Home Alone." Though Culkin, Pesci, and Daniel Stern weren't responsible for all of the falls and hits their characters took throughout the film, their stunt doubles did them for real.

How much tip did Kevin give the pizza guy? ›

After a long wait, Kate (who is about to take Kevin to the third floor after accidentally fighting with Buzz) finally gives the pizza guy $122.50, then he leaves.

What does Kevin's sister say to him in French? ›

Before they head to France without him, Kevin's siblings and cousins are constantly teasing and mocking him. While he's going around trying to figure out what to pack in his suitcase, one of his sisters tells him that he's "what the French call les incompétents."

Can you survive a brick to the head? ›

The Bricks Booby Trap: You would die. It would cause multiple fractures to the skull and brain matter would have been exposed – all from just being hit with one brick.

What does Kevin put on his face? ›

According to director Chris Columbus' recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kevin's scream after he puts cologne on his face was a total accident, despite its resemblance to Edvard Munch painting "The Scream." The scream wasn't written that way in the script, but Culkin clearly had good instincts as it became one ...

What letter got burned into Harry's hand after touching the door handle? ›

After burning his right hand on the heated doorknob the letter "M" is visible on the hand and in New York also. He got his head burned with a blowtorch in both films. He has lost a tooth and used to wear a golden replacement until it was knocked out by one of Kevin's booby traps.

Should I wake my 5 year old to pee? ›

Don't wake your child up to pee when you go to bed. It doesn't help with bedwetting and will just disrupt your child's sleep. When your child wets the bed, help them wash well in the morning so that there is no smell.

Why do I pee the bed when dreaming about peeing? ›

“Sleeping in a wet bed could engender the dream, just like—as we often assume—a dream of urinating could trigger the bed wetting.” He explained that enuresis can occur at any stage of sleep, not just REM sleep, “when the more vivid and elaborate dreams occur.”

Why is my 4 year old peeing the bed all of a sudden? ›

Bedwetting that begins suddenly or happens with other symptoms can be a sign of another medical condition, so talk with your doctor. The doctor may check for signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), constipation, bladder problems, diabetes, or severe stress.

Did Marv actually step on a nail? ›

He intended the tar to inconvenience anyone walking on them by forcing them to remove one piece of their footwear with each step. To further the discomfort, Kevin used it to glue a nail in place. Marv Murchins walked through this tar and soon ended up with tar-covered bare feet.

Did anyone get injured filming Home Alone? ›

Joe Pesci bit Macaulay Culkin for real

The Home Alone behind the scenes reveals that led to an injury in one case. During the rehearsals for a scene where Harry hangs Kevin on a coat hook and threatens to bite his fingers off, Pesci bit Culkin for real, breaking the skin and leaving a permanent scar.

Was that real snow in Home Alone? ›

11. The movie wasn't budgeted for fake snow – but then there was a blizzard. As associate producer Mark Radcliffe explained to Chicago Magazine, a blizzard on the second day of shooting meant that the rest of the movie had to have snow in the background throughout.

Is 20 percent a good tip? ›

For the wait staff at sit-down restaurants, the tip should be 15 to 20 percent of the pretax bill. Tips are not necessary when you pick up your order or at fast-food restaurants.

How do you tip? ›

People generally tip 15-20% of the bill. To calculate tip multiply the total check by 1 plus the decimal percentage tip you'd like to leave. If you wanted to leave a 20% tip, you would add 1 to 0.20 to get 1.20. Multiply the bill by 1.20 to get the total amount you'd leave including tip.

How much do u tip a driver? ›

Company Matches
Taxi driver:Varies depending on locality. Assume 15% will be enough; an extra $1 to $2 for help with bags.
Food delivery person:*10% of the bill (excl. tax), at least $1 for bills up to $10. Should tip 15%-20% for a difficult delivery.
10 more rows

What does Linnie call Kevin? ›

Megan McCallister : Kevin, you're completely helpless! Linnie McCallister : You know, Kevin, you're what the French call "les incompetents". Buzz McCallister : Kevin, I'm going to feed you to my tarantula. Jeff McCallister : Kevin, you are *such* a *disease*!

What does les incompetents mean in English? ›

Word forms: incompétent, incompétente. adjective. incompetent ⧫ not competent.

What happened to old man Marley's hand? ›

At a drug store trying to find a toothbrush (that is recommended by the American Dental Association), he is interrupted by Old Man Marley himself who has cut his hand and buying Band-aids. This terrifies Kevin and he runs off, accidentally stealing the toothbrush.

What happens if you hit yourself on the head? ›

Head injuries may cause bleeding in the brain tissue and the layers that surround the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma). Symptoms of a head injury can occur right away or may develop slowly over several hours or days.

How many times should Harry and Marv have died? ›

In the Screen Junkies video Honest Action - Home Alone, it was determined that the injuries sustained in Home Alone and Home Alone 2 would kill Harry eight times over and kill Marv thirteen times over.

What burns Harrys head in Home Alone? ›

It released heat, light, smoke, and other reaction products from a burning object. Kevin McCallister was familiar with fire. He set Harry Lyme's head on fire twice with his booby traps and used matchsticks on fireworks and a kerosene-soaked rope.

Is Duncan's Toy Chest a real store? ›

Duncan's Toy Chest doesn't exist in real life, but it is based on the actual toy store, FAO Schwarz. According to Lonely Planet, Duncan's Toy Chest is based on the toy store, FAO Schwarz. But the store wasn't used for filming. Filming for these scenes took place in Chicago.

Why does Kevin Mcallister scream? ›

Director Chris Columbus has revealed that Home Alone's most iconic image of Kevin McCallister screaming was completely improvised. According to an interview with Insider, Columbus directed the eight-year-old actor Macaulay Culkin to move his hands away from his face before screaming from the cologne burn.

What are all the Home Alone traps? ›

Here are the top 13 traps from across all the Home Alone movies.
  • Sesame Spinner (Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House) ...
  • Burning Doorknob (Home Alone) ...
  • Trampoline Fake Out (Home Sweet Home Alone) ...
  • Door Flame Trap (Home Alone) ...
  • Sweet-Tooth Sabotage (Home Alone: The Holiday Heist)
24 Dec 2021

Why should you wrap your doorknob in aluminum foil when home alone? ›

All it says is aluminum foil can be used as an alternative to tape to cover doorknobs and hardware while painting. It has nothing to do with safety and the inclusion of the phrase "when you're home alone" was only used as clickbait to make the ad seem more important. Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc.

Why should you put foil on a doorknob? ›

Protect knobs from grimy fingers.

Wrap foil over sink handles and doorknobs to avoid fingerprints.

What does Kevin put on the doorknob? ›

To prevent the crooks from getting in, Kevin hangs a red-hot charcoal starter over the inside of the knob on his front door. When Harry grabs the outside of the doorknob, his hand gets so hot that it begins to smoke.

Should you punish a child for wetting the bed? ›

(Reuters) - Punishing children for bedwetting won't solve the problem and may make it worse, researchers say. In a new study, children who were punished for wetting the bed at night were more likely to be depressed and had worse overall quality of life overall compared to bed-wetters who were not punished.

Why does my 10 year old still wet the bed? ›

Bedwetting causes

Most older children who wet the bed are very sound sleepers, so the signals of a full bladder aren't strong enough to wake them. Some children have small bladders or don't produce enough of a hormone (vasopressin) that reduces urine production during sleep.

How long do boys wet the bed? ›

Most kids are fully toilet trained by age 5, but there's really no target date for developing complete bladder control. Between the ages of 5 and 7, bed-wetting remains a problem for some children. After 7 years of age, a small number of children still wet the bed.

Why do female adults wet the bed sometimes? ›

Bed-wetting that starts in adulthood (secondary enuresis) is uncommon and requires medical evaluation. Causes of adult bed-wetting may include: A blockage (obstruction) in part of the urinary tract, such as from a bladder stone or kidney stone. Bladder problems, such as small capacity or overactive nerves.

What does it mean if you pee without knowing? ›

Urge incontinence

Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder. Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright.

Why do I keep dreaming that I'm pregnant? ›

“Pregnancy dreams are typically connected to something else in your life that is in a growing and development phase,” says Lauri Loewenberg, a professional dream analyst and author. “Plans that are in the works, or maybe a degree that's in the works, that will, when it comes to fruition, result in a new life for you.”

Why do boys wet the bed more than girls? ›

Sometimes the link between the bladder and the brain isn't fully developed yet, he said, and more boys than girls tend to be bedwetters because girls mature faster. But by age 15, 99 percent of kids outgrow it, Barone, who did not work on the Journal of Pediatrics study, told Reuters Health.

Why does my 11 year old wet the bed? ›

There are 2 types of nocturnal enuresis:

Secondary enuresis in older children or teens should be evaluated by a doctor. Bedwetting in this age group could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other health problems, neurological issues (related to the brain), stress, or other issues.

How do you stop wetting the bed at age 13? ›

To combat bedwetting, doctors suggest:
  1. Shift times for drinking. ...
  2. Schedule bathroom breaks. ...
  3. Be encouraging and positive. ...
  4. Eliminate bladder irritants. ...
  5. Avoid thirst overload. ...
  6. Constipation may be a factor. ...
  7. Don't wake children up to urinate. ...
  8. An earlier bedtime.
25 Jan 2022

Whats the Statue of In Home Alone? ›

Arriving at the airport, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) got on the wrong plane and left for New York. He stays at the Plaza and goes exploring the city to pass the time. He thus finds himself in Battery Park and observes the majestic Statue of Liberty, even through a telescope.

What statue is in front of Home Alone house? ›

12. Oh, and it'll run you the same amount as a couple of pizzas – just $25. The house looks much like it did in the 1990 holiday film – the lawn jockey statue standing outside, a candlelit dining room for eating mac and cheese and planning how to fend off burglars, paint cans dangling above the staircase.

What car did Santa drive in Home Alone? ›

15. The Santa impersonator that shares his Christmas Tic-Tacs with Kevin drove an unreliable 1980 Honda Civic hatchback that stalls out. The car really was a p.o.s. and stalled out during filming of the scene.

What does les incompetents mean in English? ›

Word forms: incompétent, incompétente. adjective. incompetent ⧫ not competent.

What happened to old man Marley's hand? ›

At a drug store trying to find a toothbrush (that is recommended by the American Dental Association), he is interrupted by Old Man Marley himself who has cut his hand and buying Band-aids. This terrifies Kevin and he runs off, accidentally stealing the toothbrush.

Why are there so many mannequins in Home Alone? ›

The mannequins were there because of a scene in the original script. Have you ever watched Home Alone and wondered, "What's with all the mannequins?" Cauley answers, "In the original script, the mannequins were part of a scene where they came alive and scared Kevin when he went down into the basement.

What building is Duncan's toy Chest? ›

Duncan's Toy Chest is based on the FAO Schwartz store. Formerly on Fifth Avenue, the store provided the setting for the famous Tom Hanks piano scene in the movie Big. FAO Schwartz relocated to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 2015.

Where is the McCallister's house? ›

Trivia. The house's address is 671 Lincoln Ave and is located in Winnetka, IL 60093.

Where is the real Home Alone house located? ›

The house was a perfect fit for the McCallister family

If you're wondering where you'd find it in real life, the real Home Alone house's address is 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 (though we're pretty sure the new owners would rather not have fans lingering outside, so please respect their privacy).

What car does Uncle Buck? ›

Mercury Marquis Brougham, Uncle Buck

In the case of Uncle Buck, The Beast is a Mercury Marquis Brougham, and an especially ugly one at that. Like most of the vehicles we're spotlighting, it wasn't just background noise.

What was wrong with Uncle Buck's car? ›

Blown head gaskets, no shocks left whatsoever, rusted out and trashed body work; Uncle Buck's (John Candy's) totally beat 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham is the true definition of a Jalopy car for sure!

Who Turned Down Home Alone? ›

John Candy was offered a slice of the Home Alone profits for his cameo in the film – but he chose to turn it down. Throughout the 1980s, the much-missed pairing of writer/producer/director John Hughes and star John Candy brought us much-loved movies such as Planes, Trains & Automobiles and Uncle Buck.


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