How "Home Alone" Destroyed Your Childhood

We re-watched this holiday classic. How did we miss the suicide joke?!

Home Alone hit theaters in 1990, when we — Erin and Leonora — were just five years old. It starred Macaulay Culkin as the “Ahhh!”-faced Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who’s left alone on Christmas when his parents (Catherine O’Hara and John Heard) and extended family forget him at home when they head to Paris for the holidays… Whoops!

Since it’s Christmas time, and we were feeling nostalgic before our company holiday party, we decided to re-watch the film. It’s really quite violent.

Our thoughts before starting the film…


Leo: As a child, I had a fear of being left alone places. It never occurred to me that it could be because of Home Alone, but now… I think… maybe? I always like to blame Hollywood whenever possible. What do you remember?
Erin: I remember all of the food scenes. Like, I was a fat kid, so every time a pizza was ordered, and that scene where he eats all of the ice cream… those were really important to me.
Leo: Awww, you were a fat kid?!
Erin: Yeah.
Leo: Like… how fat?
Erin: I was fat enough that my pediatrician had to have to have a diabetes talk with me. So, ya know, pretty fat!
Leo: On that note… Home Alone time.

Leo : Why do you think that “e” in Home Alone is lowercase?
Erin: ::Excitedly claps hands:: Maybe because it’s the only letter that’s out of place, like, he’s the only one that’s home alone?
Leo: Oh. Right. Uh. That seems pretty obvious now. Just ignore me.

Leo: So they’re rich, right?
Erin: Yeah, that house is a mansion. I want to go to there.
Leo: And to support that many children must cost a billion dollars. And they’re about to take a trip to Paris?! The funny thing is, I remember seeing this movie before my family moved to Massachusetts and we were still living in Manhattan, and I remember seeing this house as a kid and thinking, “Oh, this must be a normal family’s house,” because I had no conception of houses. Now that I am obsessed with real estate, I’m like, That house was probably a very wise investment.

Leo: I don’t think I could ever relate to this movie because I kind of grew up an only child. My sister is 14 years older than me, so I never had siblings my age to torture.
Erin: I have a little brother who I tortured mercilessly. But my cousins lived too far away to make any intense family trip like this happen.

::Random coworker peeks his head into our conference room::
Random: Are you guys really just watching Home Alone in here?
L&E: Yes.
::Random coworker chuckles, and walks out::

Erin: Buzz is like, a really fucked up dude. There’s a gun on his wall.
Leo: Oh God, Buzz. He’s the worst one. So creepy.
Erin: OK, F/M/K: Glasses kid, Buzz, or the spider?
Leo: Are you high? Whyyyy the spider?
Erin: The spider is the only other dude in the room! Sorry, spider.
Leo: I mean, I guess F Buzz (ew, ew, ew), marry the nerd; he looks like he might start some fancy software company. And kill the spider. You?
Erin: Well, I can’t fuck the spider. That’d just be awkward.
Leo: This is weird, Erin.
Erin: OK, I’ll fuck the spider, thereby killing it; I’ll kill Buzz; and I’ll marry the nerd. And yes, I regret suggesting this game.

Erin: Did you ever do this? Make up stories about neighbors? I used to do that all the time, to torture my little brother.
Leo: I’m so gullible; I would totally believe those stories. But, I mean, the old man guy isn’t doing much to combat his evil/creepy image. Like, don’t give children menacing stares — smile or something!
Erin: And probably don’t shovel your sidewalk in the middle of the night while wearing knee-high rubber boots.

 

Leo: Oh right, this is the whole bit where Kevin spills the milk and it’s, like, A HUGE FUCKING DEAL. “Maybe you should ask Santa for a new family”? That’s cruel.
Erin: It’s super vicious. Though, to be fair, I think my mom and I used to throw threats like that at each other. But I’d end up sobbing. She wears the pants in my house too.
Leo: Kevin will probably go through years of therapy just because his mother said this one thing.

Leo: Oh, the power goes out… so they oversleep.
Erin: The car is coming to pick them up at 8. And 8 is sleeping pretty late, actually.
Leo: I wake up at, like, the exact same time every day.
Erin: And as a kid, you wake up even earlier than that.
Leo: Yeah, in a house full of people, I feel SOMEONE would have been up early and making noise or at least waking other people up.
Erin: What the hell was in that milk?

Leo: Oooh, first class for the adults. Yeah, these people are rich. I mean, you figure 11 coach tickets, 4 first class tickets, Paris to Chicago… you’re looking at at least 10 grand right there. That’s a super low estimate, too.
Erin: I’ve never flown first class.
Leo: I have.
Erin: You have? What’s it like? TELL ME ALL OF THE THINGS.
Leo: I’ve done it a couple times, but doing it occasionally is kind of worse because once you fly first class, going back to coach is the worst. Because then you know what it’s like on the other side of the curtain.
Erin: What do you get?
Leo: Like, alcohol. Warm brownies. Warm nuts. And the staff is super nice to you.
Erin: I want someone to be nice to me. ::Sad puppy face:::
::Leo hands Erin a gluten-free cracker::

Leo: Now Kevin is “home alone.”
Erin: This would have terrified me as a child — your parents are just GONE.
Leo: Yeah, for sure. I’d probably run barefoot to a neighbor’s house screaming, “Help!” Then I would just go through all my parents stuff, probably.
Erin: I’d be shaking in a corner, praying for a swift death.
Leo: Sorry to change subjects completely, but one thing: this kitchen. It’s so ’90s in there. It’s making me uncomfortable.

Erin: This is a really scary basement.
Leo: Oh, right, he’s afraid of that thing.
Erin: I remember not knowing what this was as a kid. I’m from Florida, and we don’t really have furnaces. Or basements. We just have sand.
Leo: I related to this as a kid because I definitely had fears of certain inanimate objects. I used to be afraid of the lights in swimming pools.
Erin: So, just swimming pools?
Leo: No. I like swimming. But lights, on the side, or grates at the bottom. So scary.
Erin: I was afraid of vampires. I thought they’d come to bite me in the night. I used to sleep with the covers up around my throat because I thought that would protect me from the potential threats lurking outside my window.
Leo: That seems healthier.

Erin: Oh my god, food! Look at that ice cream! And whatever the hell Crunch Tators are! We weren’t allowed to have desserts as a kid.
Leo: I’m sorry.
Erin: Me too.
Leo: I bet you loved Hook as well.
Erin: Oh my god! Yes! The food fight scene! All of those pies… so many pies.
Leo: Ha! I knew it!

Leo: I mean, John Hughes does a really good job of creating obstacles for all the simple answers to this problem. The phones are out. ALL of the neighbors are out of town. Not one of their friends picks up the phone. Bravo. Bravo.
Erin: This movie almost couldn’t exist today. Like, you know Kevin would have a
cell phone. And email. Everything would’ve been fixed in a few hours. I mean, look at the phone she’s using… do pay phones even exist anywhere outside of prison now?! Yes, I learned that from watching Orange Is The New Black.

Leo: You know, I still don’t get what aftershave is.
Erin: And why does it burn? And if it burns, why use it? There must be a better way, men!

::A new random coworker walks in::
Random 2: Hey, what are you guys watching?
L&E: Home Alone
::Random coworker number 2 chuckles, and walks out::
Leo: Why do people keep laughing when we say that?
Erin: I don’t know, but it’s starting to freak me out.

 

Leo: The Wet Bandits sounds like a porn. Sorry.
Erin: The word “wet,” in general, is not OK.

Erin: How did he figure out how to do this? Like, seriously.
Leo: Yeah, he’s real smart.
Erin: And where did they get all of these dummies?!
Leo: I love how he’s just controlling everything by dancing and flailing his arms. I mean. What do you think Kevin becomes when he grows up? Because he’s kind of a genius: He has critical thinking skills, engineering, great intuition. He’s creative. I feel like, he’ll either be a psychiatrist, an engineer, a film editor, or a spy.
Erin: Jonah Peretti.

 

Erin: Now Old Man River isn’t so scary.
Leo: Ha, Old Man River.
Erin: His actual character name is Old Man Marley! I’m not too far off.
Leo: I feel like Old Man River is arranging a set-up between his granddaughter and Kevin? Speaking of which, how do you feel about all the gingers in this movie?
Erin: God, they LOVE redheads in this movie. They have Catherine O’Hara, and that kid from Pete & Pete. Bless John Hughes.
Leo: I like this scene. The calm before the big storm.
Erin: Yeah and Kevin is so wise.
Leo: Seriously. I felt really worried about him at the beginning of the film, but now I feel like he’s shockingly emotionally stable.
Erin: Old Man River is a baby because he won’t call his son, and Kevin is a therapist in training. Maybe that’s what Kevin grows up to be: a therapist, thanks to Old Man River.

Leo: I mean, this is sick now. These robbers have an obsession with this house and Kevin. Any other normal criminal would’ve moved on by now.
Erin: And you have to be pretty bad at your robber job not to assume that, at some point, this kid will call the police. I mean, they’re whispering to him about coming in and killing him, basically. Like, I’m no robber, but that seems pretty dumb.

::Random coworker No. 3 knocks on the door::
Random 3: Are you guys just watching a movie?
Erin: …Yes.
Random 3: Hahaha.
::Random coworker exits::
Leo: I’m so confused.

 

Leo: This is the part where I get bored. I never liked these slapstick moves.
Erin: No, this is where it gets good! I was laughing like a MANIAC as a kid.
Leo: Yeah, see, I never find this funny. But it is giving me anxiety.

::Erin laughs for the next 20 minutes of the movie. Leo does not::

 

Leo: Whoa! This is totally a homoerotic moment!
Erin: Oh, for sure.
Leo: They are just like a married couple.
Erin: They’re the Bert and Ernie of the crime world.
Leo: It’s weird, the things you pick up on as a grown-up. Like, also, that suicide line? What the hell? That’s legitimately dark.
Erin: Yeah, I don’t think I ever noticed it as a kid. John Hughes… what gives, man?

 

Leo: How is it SO clean in there? Didn’t Kevin tear apart the house last night? I mean, if he cleaned all that up, that’s so nice and thoughtful. He’d totally be the type of boyfriend who has no issues buying you tampons.
Erin: I appreciate that he’s a little neat freak. I was like that as a kid. Well, I’m still like that. That house would be SPOTLESS if I was there too.

 

Leo: So, do you think he ever tells his parents what happened? I think he just keeps it to himself. Kevin is classy.
Erin: I think he writes about it later in life. Oh my god — what if this is John Hughes’ autobiography?! Kevin is John Hughes. John Hughes is Kevin.

::Earth explodes::

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