Home Alone moments only adults seem to notice

There are quite a few Home Alone moments that only adults seem to notice. The film has been a Christmas classic ever since it hit theaters in 1990, and to this day, it’s a family movie that anyone can enjoy on television in the glow of their brightly lit trees. However, your favorite film may warrant a re-watch; it turns out there are quite a few scenes that aren’t so appropriate for little eyes.

Additionally, there are moments in Home Alone that have us wondering why we never noticed them ourselves as kids. As 8-year-old Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) says, “I’m a lot smaller than you. I don’t know how to pack a suitcase” — so it only makes sense that he wouldn’t understand how big of a deal it was that practically every adult in the movie lets him run around the Windy City on his own.  

It’s clear that Kevin matures a lot over the course of the Home Alone, and we have too after watching it a second time (or a third or fourth or 46th). Here are a few Home Alone moments that only adults seem to notice.

Who let in the cop during the opening scene of Home Alone?

With everyone busy packing for their big trip to Paris at the beginning of Home Alone, no one notices the stranger standing right in their house. A policeman (Joe Pesci) — who we later find out is actually a burglar in disguise — seemed to magically appear inside.

When the so-called policeman asks Kevin’s dad (John Heard) if they’re prepared for burglaries with Christmas quickly approaching, he answers, “We have automatic timers for our lights, locks for our doors. That’s about as well as anybody can do these days, huh?” Well, they should also actually use those locks. Who’s to say the cop didn’t just let himself in?  

Then when the “policeman” lets the pizza boy (D. Danny Warhol) inside, it further shows that the McAllisters aren’t very concerned about locking their doors. Later on in the movie, Kevin runs inside in horror, and also doesn’t bother to lock the door himself. It seems no one in the movie is really concerned about safety, something only adults notice, and they should be; burglaries are always reported much more often around Christmastime, according to CNN.

In Home Alone, Kevin doesn't eat dinner very often

At the beginning of Home Alone, the family quickly devours the pizza that the delivery boy brings over. With little Kevin as the last to know, he completely loses it when he realizes everyone has already eaten his favorite flavor. He attacks his brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) and, as his punishment, their mother (Catherine O’Hara) sends Kevin upstairs — where it’s really scary. He even apologizes for his misdoings, but his mother still makes him stay up in the attic. Because of that, the poor little boy misses eating dinner altogether. 

Surprisingly, Kevin misses meals more than once in the movie, which only adults notice. For example, when Harry and Marv (Daniel Stern) are about to break into Kevin’s house, he’s just sitting down to enjoy a delicious plate of macaroni and cheese. Unfortunately, he makes dinner only minutes before the burglars are about to enter his home, so he doesn’t get to take a single bite of his meal.

For that reason, we don’t blame Kevin for snacking on so many different things while his parents are away. The poor kid never gets a chance to ever eat dinner!

Mitch Murphy's parents in Home Alone don't supervise him very well

The whole reason that Kevin gets counted as one of the kids headed to the airport in Home Alone is because of the neighbor boy, Mitch Murphy (Jeffrey Wiseman). It seems like he has nothing better to do than to snoop around at Kevin’s house. So before the McAllisters bring their bags out to the minivan driver, Mitch has made his way into their driveway and pelts him with questions. Were his parents not watching him from across the street?

Even after the driver tells Mitch to beat it, he jumps into the minivan too. Not only is he talking to a stranger — which we all teach our children not to do — but he’s also gotten into a strange man’s van. The parenting throughout this film is far from admirable, which only adults notice.

Luckily, little Kevin seems to know he shouldn’t talk to strangers. Later on in the movie, while he’s alone at the supermarket, he cuts off the cashier (Tracy J. Connor) when she asks where his parents are. “You’re a stranger,” he tells her, and that’s something she just can’t argue with.

Uncle Frank is a terrible influence in Home Alone

Oh, Uncle Frank (Gerry Bamman). This bad, bald man is bad news. In fact, this is made apparent before we’re even introduced to him in Home Alone, which is something only adults notice. When Kevin first comes into his parents room, he complains that Uncle Frank won’t let him watch a movie. It’s not even rated R, so how bad can it be? “If Uncle Frank says no, it must be really bad,” his mom tells him, which is proof that not even she thinks he’s a good person.

In addition to that, one of the first phrases that comes out of Uncle Frank’s mouth is calling Kevin a “little jerk.” It seems especially rude to yell at an 8-year-old kid.

If that’s not enough to sway you, then you should watch Frank while he’s soaring the skies. It’s obviously his first time flying first class, where he’s served a drink in real crystal. “Put it in your purse!” He tells his wife, hoping they can steal it. Who’s to say he’s never stolen anything from the McAllister’s house too? He’s certainly not someone we would want our kids around.

Kevin cares an awful lot about his teeth for an 8 year old in Home Alone

For a kid who spends his time snacking on loads of sugar while his parents are away, Kevin seems to care an awful lot about his teeth in Home Alone. While you might have missed that as a kid, you can’t help but notice it as an adult.

To keep his pearly whites nice and bright, Kevin makes his way to the supermarket to purchase a new toothbrush. While most kids are concerned about the color of the toothbrush they’re buying — if they’re even concerned about something as simple as a toothbrush at all — Kevin, instead, asks the cashier (Ann Whitney), “Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?” She’s completely thrown off-guard just like the rest of us. Not only is Kevin concerned about proper dental health, but what 8 year old has ever heard of the ADA?

While Kevin’s parents may not seem like the most responsible people, they’ve obviously been on top of him about following dentist recommendations.

In Home Alone, the pizza delivery boy should have called the police

It quickly becomes evident that Kevin loves pizza in Home Alone. We see the delivery boy stopping by his home often, and every time, he hits the statue out front with his car. Whoops! By this point, his route to their house has become routine, so when he shows up for a second time and hears an unrecognizable voice, he should have wondered what was up — that and the fact that he thought he was being shot at. Shouldn’t he have called the police? Adults certainly notice that he should have!

While it’s a silly scenario if you know what’s happening inside the house, the delivery boy has no idea what’s going on behind closed doors. Sure, he could have called in the incident off-screen, but police officers never show up to the McAllister’s home, so he most likely didn’t.

All in all, it’s odd that an old black and white movie fits the dialogue with the delivery driver perfectly. Unfortunately for fans, Angels with Filthy Souls, the gangster film that Kevin watches, is a fake movie. It was made specifically for Home Alone (via Vanity Fair).

Kevin does laundry after only two days in Home Alone

The creepy boiler in the basement scares Kevin quite a few times while he’s by himself. But as he matures over the course of Home Alone, Kevin gets to the point where he is no longer afraid of it. He turns away from drying his clothes and demands the boiler stop tormenting him. 

While we no longer question that Kevin is afraid anymore, adults may wonder, why is he downstairs washing his clothes in the first place? For starters, Kevin is only by himself for a few day, so he shouldn’t be out of clean clothes already. Considering he was prepared to leave for Paris, he should have plenty of things to wear in his suitcase that was also left behind. And even if he is out of clothes, an 8 year old wouldn’t normally choose to do laundry. With no adults in sight, it’s safe to assume they’d rather stay up late, eat tons of sweets, and definitely not care about chores.

There’s only one possible answer that only adults notice: Tide paid for product placement.

In Home Alone, Santa leaves Kevin unattended at night

We can’t have Christmas without Santa Claus (Ken Hudson Campbell), so of course, Kevin goes searching for him in Home Alone; since it was Kevin’s Christmas wish to have his family disappear, Santa seems to be the only one who can make them come back.

When Kevin finally finds Santa, he has an important message for him to pass along to the real Santa up at the North Pole. “Would you please tell him that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back?” he asks. Without any other explanation, it seems as though Santa assumed Kevin’s family has passed away. Yet, even with that in mind, old Saint Nick lets Kevin walk away, out into the dark, all by himself. Are there any responsible adults in this movie at all?

However, as soon as Kevin walks away, adults notice that Santa has his own set of problems: he’s been fined with a parking ticket, and on top of that, his car won’t start. Santa could have saved himself some money if only he had driven his sleigh. It would have been on the house — get it?

Kevin's mother could have rented a car to drive to Chicago in Home Alone

Kevin’s mother tries everything she can to make it home to Chicago in Home Alone. With all airlines sold out around Christmastime, she lucks out when a man in the airport offers her a ride to the Windy City. Without even thinking, she hops into his van so she can get home. However, adults notice this isn’t the safest solution to her problem.

For all of us watching, we understand that Kate will do whatever it takes to make it to Kevin. “I don’t care if I have to get out on the runway and hitchhike, if it costs me everything I own, if I have to sell my soul to the devil himself,” she proclaims. But considering she lives in the biggest house on the block, it’s safe to assume she could’ve afforded her own rental car.  

Instead, Kate flies from Paris to Dallas to Scranton, and loses precious time arguing with airlines. Luckily, she has only a 10-hour drive with the Polka King (John Candy), according to Google Maps, but she should definitely know not to get in a car with a stranger.

How does Old Man Marley know he won't run into his son in church in Home Alone?

Kevin is afraid of two things: the basement boiler and his murderous neighbor, Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom). When he runs into him — in church of all places — Kevin again has his classic terrified look on his face. However, the old man is just there to see his granddaughter sing that afternoon. “I can’t come here tonight,” he says, because that’s when his son will be around, someone he’s avoiding due to an argument. Well, why isn’t his son watching his daughter rehearse, too?

While it’s clearly a rehearsal, there’s no way that Old Man Marley can be sure his son won’t be stopping by, something only adults notice. In an era without cell phones, it’s not like his granddaughter could warn him, either.  

Furthermore, in the background, the church is filled with many older people watching the young performers. It could be a coincidence, but it seems there are a lot of grandparents there that won’t be attending later that night. After all, “this is the place to be if you’re feeling bad about yourself,” Old Man Marley says.

There are a lot of very violent moments in Home Alone

For a family film, Home Alone is pretty violent, something only adults notice. Between being burned with a blowtorch to falling out of a two-story window, Kevin could have easily killed the Wet Bandits with all of his booby traps. The two burglars seek revenge too, so when they get ahold of Kevin, they want to torture him. This Christmas movie could have gotten really scary really quick if Old Man Marley hadn’t come along to save Kevin.

While Kevin’s neighbor has given us enough of a violent backstory — considering there’s a rumor going around that he murdered his entire family — he ends up being the hero in Home Alone. Lucky for Kevin, the old man must have been headed home from church when he saw him. 

However, come to think of it, Kevin’s escape would have been way past the 9:00 pm burglary, which is much too late for Old Man Marley to be leaving church. Perhaps he ran into his son there, and the two of them made up? In that case, Kevin is the true hero for inspiring him to do so.

The mess Kevin made in Home Alone would take forever to clean up

It’s evident in Home Alone that Kevin is a very clever 8 year old, as the traps he sets up are ingenious. From laying tar down on the basement stairs to setting up a fan to fly feathers around, Kevin knows how to lay down a booby trap. However, if you’re an adult watching, you’ve probably noticed the same thing we did: that mess would have not only taken forever to set up, but it would be an even bigger pain to clean up! 

For that reason alone, Kevin should have just called the police to begin with, but of course, that wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining. Besides, Kevin was more than confident that he could handle things on his own. “This is my house,” he states as soon as he gets home. “I have to defend it.” The bravery he’s gained from overcoming his fear of the basement has definitely gone to his head. It only makes sense, though, considering his home has been the only thing that’s stuck beside him all along.

In Home Alone, Kevin's parents could have been charged for leaving him so long

When Kevin’s parents return from Paris in Home Alone, they could have faced some serious charges, something only adults noticed. Abandoning a child is a class four felony in Chicago, according to the Illinois General Assembly. Additionally, not only was Kevin left alone for more than 24 hours, but his parents were more than 4,000 miles away. He was also left without any way of calling anyone in case of an emergency since the phone lines were down.

Technically, Kevin’s parents do turn themselves in for it. Once the McAllisters land in France, they fight to use a public telephone to call and let the police know of their situation. However, it seems like the police officer (Larry Hankin) isn’t very understanding. “You want us to go to your house just to check on him?” he asks.  

Even so, a police officer ends up heading over to the McAllister’s house. But when Kevin doesn’t answer the door, the officer reports, “There’s no one home.” So it’s no surprise that no one shows up to press charges against Kevin’s parents.

Santa never comes on Christmas morning in Home Alone

In Home Alone, Kevin sets out milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, as anyone who’s excited the day before does. But when he wakes up the next morning and goes downstairs, the milk and cookies haven’t been touched. No presents — or family members — have arrived either. This is a parent’s worst nightmare, though it’s also something only adults noticed.

However, to end the movie on a high note, Kevin’s mother appears behind him, and his troubles seem to wash away as he runs to receive a hug. Santa had made his Christmas wish come true after all, as the rest of his family comes rushing inside.

In the big guy’s defense, the whole McAllister family was supposed to be waking up in Paris on Christmas morning, so it makes sense that he never stopped by Chicago to enjoy some milk and cookies. It’s either that or Kevin is really bad at baking. Give him a break. He’s only 8!

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