If you're like a lot of people, watching Home Alone might be on your annual to-do list every time the holiday season begins. But, even and perhaps especially if you've been watching it since you were a kid, there are bound to be some things you ever noticed in Home Alone. Unless you're one of those sharp-eyed viewers with a near encyclopedic knowledge of the '90s classic, you likely missed a few details or never thought too much about the actors in the background.
When you watched as a young kid you were probably too busy wondering if aftershave really does actually sting your face that badly — and you may or may not have imagined a few dastardly plans to leave your younger sibling home during the next family vacation. Then, when you became an adult viewer, be honest. You probably became preoccupied with questions like how much money that big, beautiful Chicago suburban house costs and whether you could ever afford it.
So, when you and your loved ones gather by the television screen to laugh at Kevin McCallister's antics this December, chowing down on pizza and milk, make sure to point out these fun factoids to the less informed.
1. Macaulay Culkin's Real Brother Kieran Played One Of His Younger Cousins
There are a ton of kids running around the McCallister house, but one particularly hammy younger cousin, the Pepsi-loving, bed-wetting Fuller McCallister, played by Kieran Culkin, stood out. Though his part was small, his expressive face and his physical comedy was a winning combination — guess it runs in the Culkin family.
2. That's A Real Tarantula On Marv's Face
Actor Daniel Stern was so fully committed to playing his villainous character that he agreed to let a real spider crawl on his face. According to Complex, they did the shot in one take. To avoid startling the arachnid, Stern mimed the scream and the sound was added later.
3. The Gangster Movie Kevin Is Watching Doesn't Actually Exist
You'd be forgiven if you assumed that Angels With Filthy Souls is the real deal. Though scenes of it were created just for Home Alone, there was a great deal of thought and attention put into making the film-within-a-film that inspires Kevin to take on the Wet Bandits seem real. According to Vanity Fair, director Chris Columbus even went as far as to shoot the sequence "using the techniques and black-and-white negative film stock of movies from the 40s."
4. There Is A Lot Of Product Placement
This is a movie that doesn't shy away from using giant brand names. Whether it's the aforementioned Pepsi, Tic Tacs, Playboy, or Budget rental trucks, you're likely familiar with the items and services in Kevin's life, for better — or for worse. As AV Club points out, American Airlines sponsored the VHS release of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, even though the airline wasn't exactly shown in the most glowing light in either the first or second film.
5. That Playboy issue Kevin finds in Buzz's room is a real edition of the magazine.
It was the issue that came out July of 1989 in case you were wondering.
6. That's A Boy In The Picture Of Buzz's Girlfriend
As Kevin rifles through his older brother's belongings he comes across a framed picture of a very excited looking young lady. Kevin says, "Buzz, your girlfriend... WOOF!" According to Buzz actor Devin Ratray in an interview with Yahoo!, the producers thought such a line would upset any girl in the picture, but, luckily, "the art director had a son who was more than willing to volunteer for the part."
7. Kevin's Mom Doesn't Notice He's Missing At The Airport Because She Doesn't Have His Boarding Pass
Ever wonder why it took so long for Kevin's parents to notice he was missing? It took a genius Reddit user (via Slash Film) to discover this hidden plot point in the movie. After Kevin spilled the milk all over the passports, his dad throws out Kevin's ticket out with the mess. We see the boarding pass with "Kevin" written in sharpie for one fleeting second in the trash can before it's covered by other material. Since Kevin's mom wouldn't have a ticket with his name on it she wouldn't have noticed she was one short when the family got to the boarding gate.
8. There’s No Way The Wet Bandits Could've Left The McCallister Home Without Serious Injury
The violent injuries the Wet Bandits sustain are not just cartoonishly over-the-top; they also likely would have sent both robbers to the ER within minutes. Early on, Kevin hits them hard, Marv with an iron to the face and Harry with a piping-hot door handle. The Week spoke to Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College about these physical traumas and the ones that followed, and the doctor was convinced they "both suffered potentially crippling hand and foot injuries" and would possibly need facial surgery as well.
9. There's A Home Alone Theory That Elvis Made A Cameo From Beyond The Grave
Ever since Elvis Presley died in 1977 he's been "spotted" countless times around America. Yet the proof some people point to directly that the singer faked his death is this 1990 film. During the scene where Heather McCallister is pleading with the airline company to get her on a plane going back to Chicago, one extra in the background looks a fair amount like the king. Noisey does a thorough job investigating this fan theory, but you can compare the actor's likeness to Elvis for yourself with this video.
10. The Ornaments That Marv Stomps On Are Actually Candy Glass
When Marv sneaks into the house through the window and steps on the ornaments with Stern's actual bare feet, the baubles are made out of candy glass, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
11. Kevin's Older Sister Megan Is A Judo Champion
OK, not sure how you would "noticed" this per se when watching, but it's a fun fact. Megan is played by Hillary Wolf who, according to NBC Olympics, was part of the American Summer Olympic Judo Team in 1996 and 2000.
12. The Snow Outside Wasn't Even Real
According to the Sun, flakes of mashed potato were blown around to make the viewers think that they were watching a blizzard. To make it even grosser, The Sun reports that, "the flakes clumped together and became exactly like mashed potato" after just a few takes.
Let's be real. This movie is perfect and there's always something new to discover about Home Alone.