After directed and writing a series of acclaimed teenage drama-comedies, John Hughes shat out the script for Home Alone in less than a week. It was directed by Chris Columbus of Rent fame, and the rest is history. Both Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York starred Macaulay Culkin as the troublesome tot Kevin McCallister, defended is respective homes from the Wet Bandits.
I’m going to rank the traps from the first two Home Alone flicks from least to most painful. Load up your BB Gun and slather on your aftershave: it’s time to sink into the top 26 torturous Home Alone traps!
26. Spider Surprise
Marv grabs onto Kevin’s ankle. Kevin responds by grabbing a spider and tossing it onto Marv’s face. The spider does not harm Marv at all. It does, however, cause him to scream like a little girl.
25. Face Full of Feathers
Harry follows Kevin through an open door. Flypaper slaps him on the face. Once Harry removes it, a fan blows a metric shitload of feathers onto his face. He looks like a chicken, but nothing is hurt but his pride.
24. Troublesome Toy Cars
After reuniting, Harry and Marv proceed to run towards the stairs and trip over toy cars. The Home Alone series is no stranger to pratfalls involving the baddies falling onto their backs, but this one is on a wooden floor — downright comfy compared to what we see further down the list.
23. Crunchy Ornaments
Marv stumbles barefoot through an open window by Kevin’s Christmas tree, and he steps on glass ornaments. Painful, sure, but it’s not likely to send one into a coma.
22. Pinned by a Toy Chest
The Sticky Bandits pull on a doorknob hooked to a rope. This triggers a Craftsman Tool Chest to fall down a flight of stairs and pin them against the wall. But Kevin’s latent sadism only gets worse as this list continues.
21. Staple Gun to the Butt
Marv yanks and yanks on a doorknob, setting off the trigger on a staple gun. He gets staples in the butt, crotch, and nose. I’m not asking for anyone to do this to me, but I’d mind it less than other traps.
20. Paint Can to the Head
A pair of paint cans attached to ropes smack Harry and Marv in the head as they ascend the stairs of the McCallister abode. There’s a callback to this gag in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, but this is the classic, so much so that the recent five-film box set comes in paint-can packaging.
19. Icy Stairs
Both Harry and Marv slip on ice on the stairs when trying to break into the McCallister house. Anyone who’s seen an icy winter has suffered this trap in real life at least once. Landing on your tailbone is no fun, trust me.
18. Iron Man
Marv pulls on a light switch, causing an iron to fall through a laundry chute onto his head. The mark on his head lasts the whole movie. At least the iron wasn’t on!
17. Pipe Dreams
After dodging two paint cans in a reference to the original film, Harry and Marv get smacked by a large pipe attached to a rope. One has to admire Kevin’s magical ability to predict that he’d need a third item to toss at the crooks.
16. Slimy Ladder
Harry climbs up a few wooden pallets and makes a leap onto a ladder to get into Kevin’s uncle’s house in New York. Of course, the bottom ladder rung is covered in goop, causing Harry to lose his grip and fall onto his back on the snowy concrete. You’ll find that most of these traps cause the Wet/Sticky Bandits to fall on their backs as the punchline.
15. Broken Ladder
Harry tries to climb a ladder after Kevin, but Kevin has already cut the bottom out, causing it to collapse under Harry’s weight. The whole ladder tips over, falling on the ground. Given that the ladder breaks Harry’s fall, we’re in somewhat safe territory here.
14. Electric Screams
Marv tries to clean some paint off, but Kevin has rigged the faucets with electricity. Then the little bastard keeps jacking the electricity up. Although this might kill a man, the over-the-top cartoon nature of the scene makes it less painful to watch than what lies further down the list.
13. Slip and Slide
Marv slips on some slime in the basement and crashes into a shelf full of paint cans. Of course, the shelf and paint all fall on good old Marv. I can’t tell if Kevin meant for the shelf to fall on him though.
12. Swing into a Brick Wall
Harry and Marv are in hot pursuit of Kevin. They shimmy across a rope towards his tree house. Sadly, Kevin takes a pair of garden shears and cleaves the rope in two. Harry and Marv swing right into a brick wall and fall onto the comfy snow.
11. Burning Doorknob of Doom
Harry tries to go open the front door of the McCallister house, only to burn the fuck out of his hand. Joe Pesci really sells the moment here with his screams.
10. Four Brick Special
Kevin taunts the Sticky Bandits as they approach his uncle’s New York home. He tosses four bricks, all of which hit Marv in the face. Harry doesn’t even take a brick for his friend. To quote Jar Jar Binks, “How rude!”
9. Car Landing
In perhaps the most unbelievable gag of the first two Home Alone films, Marv leaps on a makeshift see-saw that Harry’s already on. This launches Harry high into the air and right onto a car, crushing the roof and blowing the glass out of the windshields.
8. Tool Time
Once Harry enters the New York house from the rear, he causes a bag of tools to open right above him. A dozen metal pieces clank onto his head. Good thing one of them wasn’t a hacksaw.
7. Floor Fall
Marv enters the New York house and falls right through the open floor into the basement. The Sticky Bandits fall through this house all the way to the basement over and over again in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
6. BB Gun to the Crotch
Kevin McCallister’s very first trap for the Wet Bandits in the original Home Alone is a shot to the balls. He slides a BB Gun through the rear doggy door and blasts at Harry’s crotch at point blank range. It a wonder Harry’s bruised and/or bleeding dick doesn’t immediately stop his robbery attempt.
5. 100 lbs. of Plaster
Marv is once again foiled by an errant light switch, as a 100 lb. bag of plaster conks him in the head. I really think Kevin is trying to murder Marv here. Wouldn’t a 20 lb. bag be bad enough?
4. Flaming Head
Harry barges through a door and sets off a flamethrower, lighting his head on fire. His screams are unworldly. The way his wool hat sticks to his burnt skin is a nice touch.
3. Burning Rope
Harry and Marv shimmy down a rope towards Kevin. Sadly, the rope is soaked in kerosene, and Kevin sets it ablaze. The Sticky Bandits try to escape, can’t, let go of the burning rope, and fall all the way to the basement. A three-story fall onto concrete from a flaming rope should have paralyzed these bad guys.
2. Even More Flaming Head
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York has a callback to the flamethrower trap from the original. Harry once again opens a door and lights his head on fire. It’s more painful this time around, because it causes a small explosion when Harry cools off his head in rigged toilet water. He somehow survives.
1, Nail Through the Foot
Marv steps up a tar-covered staircase onto a nail in his bare feet. Above all other scenes in the first two Home Alone films, this one makes me wince every single time. I wonder if the nail was rusty?
Article by contributor Mat Bradley-Tschirgi.