Home Alone: 15 Deadliest Traps Kevin Ever Made, Ranked

Summary

  • The traps in the Home Alone movies are unrealistic and would likely result in serious injuries or death in real life.
  • Despite their implausibility, the traps remain beloved and iconic to fans of the movies.
  • The Home Alone movies are family comedies and can be enjoyed on Disney+.


The Home Alone traps are a big part of the reason that the Christmas movie has become a beloved staple, even three decades after its release. The first movie arrived in 1990, focusing on the 8-year-old Kevin McCallister after he’s left home alone and forced to protect his household from burglars known as the Wet Bandits. The second movie saw him in a hotel in New York City, once again alone, and once again protecting himself from the same burglars. In both cases, Kevin put together a series of impossibly intricate traps to stop the burglars every step of the way.

It is important to recognize that the Home Alone movie franchise is a family comedy. The traps that Kevin sets have enough in them to kill a person in real life, but in the case of both of the first two movies, the Wet Bandits are scarred, bruised, burned, and hurt, but they don’t die nor do they suffer enough injuries to end up hospitalized or in a coma. In the real world, almost all these Home Alone traps would either kill a person and the chances of them being concocted and successfully deployed by a child the age of Kevin is slim. However, all the traps remain beloved and a big selling point for fans who watch the movies every year when Christmas rolls around.

The Home Alone movies are available to stream on Disney+.

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15 Staple Gun

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Marv glaring angrily at the staple in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York.

This Home Alone trap may not seem all that lethal and, for the most part, that is correct. However, judging by their size when Marv is removing them from his face, they are definitely construction staples — which means not only are they big but the gun firing them is powerful. These staples could have easily punctured something vital, even going right through Marv’s skull and into the brain. The wounds seen in the second Home Alone movie are dangerous on their own, even if they are hilarious thanks to Daniel Stern’s well-delivered reactions.

14 Frozen Stairs

Home Alone (1990)

Harry and Marv are quite fortunate that they land in just the right ways to keep them alive. Simply falling down stairs can lead to a person’s death, especially in this case where the stairs are made of cement and brick. One wrong landing of the head would have caved in their skulls. Marv was especially lucky to survive this Home Alone trap, since he had a much longer flight of stairs whereas Harry only had to contend with a few. If Marv had rolled in any way, it could have been the end of the road for him before ever getting into Kevin’s home.

13 The Paint Cans

Home Alone (1990)

Harry and Marv on the stairs suffering through the paint can trap in Home Alone (1990)

When the bandits try to follow Kevin up the stairs, he launches a pair of paint cans over the banister and directly hits both of them in the face. In the real world, paint cans are not only durable metal or hard plastic, but they are quite heavy. These items could have resulted in fractured skulls and far more damage than Harry losing his golden tooth. In the end, however, these paint cans would become arguably the most famous of the first Home Alone traps. They were featured in the trailers and many other slapstick comedies of the time would feature similar moments, including in the sequel.

12 Falling Onto A Car

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Harry crash landing onto a car in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Ignoring the fact that the seesaw trap that Kevin sets would never create as much force as it does, this first Home Alone trap in the second movie comically sends Harry flying into the air before crashing into a car, making the roof cave in. If Harry had generated that much force to cause such an effect, he would not have been getting back up. Cars, especially the roofs, are designed to be sturdy, so causing the roof to collapse would also result in Harry breaking his ribs, spine, and even his skull as soon as he landed on it.

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Harry & Marv’s Worst Injuries In The Home Alone Movies, Ranked

Harry and Marv, known as the Wet Bandits, endure some serious torture in the Home Alone movies, and here are their worst injuries, ranked.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Harry and Marv being crushed by a tool chest and door in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Realism is already gone from the Home Alone traps when the tool chest falls down the stairs perfectly upright the entire time during the second movie, although even with suspended disbelief it’s difficult to see how Harry and Marv could have survived. Then it rams both Harry and Marv into a wall, crushing them.

If this had happened and the tool chest generated that much force, the impact would have done more than break their noses. If anything, the realistic scenario would have been the tool chest tumbling down to the door and slamming said door downward to crush the burglars. Either way, Harry and Marv are going to the hospital at the very least after this Home Alone trap.

10 The Blow Torch

Home Alone (1990)

This is a case where Kevin is lucky that the shorter of the two villains tried opening the door. Harry getting hit with the blow torch is brutal, especially since he decides to just sit there and scream as the torch continues to burn his scalp in a hilarious fashion that helps turn Home Alone into a classic slapstick movie. However, Harry will just need major treatment for his head at the most. Now, imagine for a moment if the much taller Marv had attempted to enter through the back door. Marv’s entire face would have been enveloped in flames, resulting in very possible death or permanent disfiguration.

9 Swinging Zipline

Home Alone (1990)

Harry and Marv swinging on a rope in Home Alone (1990)

This classic bit of slapstick became an iconic visual used in all the trailers with Harry and Marv swinging like Tarzan right into a stone wall. This Home Alone trap has several variables that don’t immediately guarantee death, such as Harry and Marv using their legs or shoulders, or even their backs to soften the blow, which would still be painful.

With that said, the amount of force that Harry and Marv gain from the swing would have resulted in a deadly hit due to them landing face-first. Crushed skulls, fractured jaws, and major injuries would have been the result of this trap had it been deployed in real life. Thankfully for Harry and Marv, the laws of physics and biology in family movies are slightly more forgiving than reality.

8 Crowbar To The Chest

Home Alone (1990)

This Home Alone trap wouldn’t have necessarily resulted in a fatality, but there is a high chance of it depending on where Marv hits. It’s hard to blame Marv for his arachnophobia, but slamming his best friend with an iron crowbar is a bit much, even if it results in some of Harry and Marv’s greatest quotes in the series. In the movie, it just results in a humorous squeal from Harry, but in reality, it would be a different story. With the amount of strength Marv put into his swing, Harry is easily looking at fractured ribs and collapsed lungs. If Marv had aimed just a little to the side, the crowbar could also have easily stopped or ruptured Harry’s heart.

7 The Clothing Iron

Home Alone (1990)

Marv looking at the camera after the hot iron trap in Home Alone (1990)

As much as this is a classic slapstick pratfall, it is also unrealistic. Marv gets hit with a hot iron from a long fall down the laundry chute and all that happens is that he gets a red print of the iron on his face. It’s one of Marv’s most famous traps, but the real result of such a trap would be far more lethal. The clue is in the name of the item: iron. It’s a hard piece of metal with multiple components inside and even has a pointed tip. Similar to the bricks seen in the sequel, the Home Alone iron to the face trap would immediately kill Marv by driving itself deep into his skull.

6 Double-Strike With A Pipe

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Harry and Marv getting hit with an iron pipe in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Harry and Marv should be dead with this Home Alone trap in the second movie. It’s a clever trap with Harry and Marv trying to use their knowledge of the first movie to outsmart Kevin, but unfortunately for them, he’s always one step ahead, so after throwing the paint cans, he throws an iron pipe which sends the two flying back into the basement.

First off, there’s no way Kevin would have been able to pick that up. Second, the impact alone would have killed Harry and Marv, possibly even decapitating them by the way it hits them. Thirdly, Kevin takes it even further by cutting the pipe down, which sends it falling to the basement where it lands on Harry and Marv’s faces.

5 Bricks From Above

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Marv looking terrified of the bricks in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Never mind the fact that Kevin has the best aim in the world with a brick, as even an indirect from this Home Alone 2 boobytrap could have been fatal. A real brick is extremely heavy. It’s essentially a rectangular rock and Kevin hilariously throws it into Marv’s face multiple times as the bandit’s first trap in Home Alone 2.

It should be no surprise that realism is not involved here because even one brick would have killed Marv. The most likely outcome would have been the brick embedding itself into Marv’s brain; meanwhile, four bricks would have been overkill. The traps have almost become attempted murder by this point.

4 100 Pounds Of Cement

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

For this Home Alone trap in the second movie, Kevin drops 100 pounds of cement plaster and compacted powder on Marv. For something of this kind, it is already something that can hurt a person very badly. So, it makes it hilarious that Marv barely reacts when 100 pounds of powder falls multiple stories to collide with his face. In the real world, this would have resulted in an instantly broken neck as well as some fracturing of the skull. Still, the reaction Marv gives makes the whole trap a nice hark to two traps from the first Home Alone.

3 Falling 30 Feet Onto Cement

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Harry and Marv being covered in varnish in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Kevin stepped up his pyromaniac skills in the second movie by luring the Wet Bandits to the roof and then coaxing them to climb a rope back down to catch him. As soon as the already battle-worn burglars start shimmying down, Kevin ignites the kerosene-soaked rope, causing the duo to let go and plummet to the concrete, which should have killed them on impact. Adding more injury, Harry and Marv become covered in varnish and its original cans. At that point, Harry and Marv really should have just given up, but they continue to chase after Kevin, even though most of their bones should be shattered.

2 Electrified Sink

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Marv turning into a skeleton in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Oddly enough, this is not the most deadly electric trap in this franchise — that honor goes to the traps featured in Home Alone 3. Still, it is rather twisted that Kevin not only rigged for Marv to get covered in paint but also knew he would go for a sink, which Kevin electrifies. It’s arguably the most famous trap of Home Alone 2, with Marv’s screams continuing to get more and more extreme as Kevin cranks up the voltage. It even results in Marv turning into a skeleton in a cartoonish fashion. Of course, had this happened to Marv in real life, the chances of his survival would be slim-to-none.

1 Kerosene Explosion

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1991)

Harry looking burned after an explosion in Home Alone 2 Lost In New York (1991)

Obviously, a movie intended for the whole family is not going to have Harry explode into a flourish of blood and gore. However, that would be the real result if Harry had dipped his flaming head into a toilet bowl filled with kerosene and caused an explosion. Instead, Harry comes out with a tattered look and his body smoking, similar to the first film but with far more damage. It just goes to show that all it would take is a few tweaks in the script, and Home Alone would be on the same R-rated level as a Saw movie. Interestingly, there are theories that Kevin eventually grew up to become Jigsaw.

Home Alone 2 Lost in New York Movie Poster

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a holiday comedy film directed by Chris Columbus and written by John Hughes. Preparing for another family trip, the McCallister family heads to Florida – but in the enormous family holiday hustle, young Kevin is separated from his family and redirected to New York City alone. Set loose on the town, Kevin looks to have the time of his life – but his former enemies have escaped prison and made their way to the Big Apple.

Release Date
November 20, 1992

Director
Chris Columbus

Cast
Macaulay Culkin , Joe Pesci , Daniel Stern , John Heard , Tim Curry , Brenda Fricker , Catherine O’Hara , Eddie Bracken

Rating
PG

Runtime
120 Minutes

Distributor(s)
20th Century Fox

  • Home Alone Movie Poster

    Home Alone

    Summary:
    An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

    Release Date:
    1990-11-16

    Budget:
    18 million

    Cast:
    Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, John Heard, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara

    Director:
    Chris Columbus

    Genres:
    Family, Comedy

    Rating:
    PG

    Runtime:
    103 minutes

    Writers:
    John Hughes

    Studio(s):
    20th Century

    Distributor(s):
    20th Century

    Sequel(s):
    Home Alone 3, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Home Alone 4

    Franchise(s):
    Home Alone