Behind-The-Scenes Facts About ‘Home Alone’

If you always have Home Alone at the top of your holiday movie list, then you probably think you know the movie inside out. You might be able to quote entire scenes, but we bet there are a few things you don’t know, so check out this slideshow to up your Home Alone knowledge. There’s one famous actor that you’ll be surprised to learn turned down being in the movie.

It’s The Dad’s Fault

That’s right. If not for Peter McCallister, there would be no ‘Home Alone.’ Remember the scene where Kevin causes a ruckus over pizza and knocks over the soda? When Kevin’s dad cleaned up the mess, he accidentally threw away Kevin’s boarding pass. Take a close look at the trash can and you’ll see the pass.

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal

If you ever hoped to relive Kevin’s man-of-the-house scene by watching Angels With Filthy Souls and gorging yourself on ice cream, you’ll be disappointed to know that Angels With Filthy Souls isn’t a real movie. The clips we saw were shot just for Home Alone.

What The Bleep?

Joe Pesci, the actor who played Harry, had to regularly be reminded that he couldn’t curse in the movie. Home Alone was the first family movie that Pesci, who was known for playing wiseguys, starred in. Did you know that Pesci wasn’t the first choice for Harry? Read on to find out which A-lister was.

Anxious Parents

The plot for Home Alone was born of producer and writer John Hughes’ anxiety. Many parents experience anxiety when it comes to their kids, and Hughes was no exception. One thing he regularly freaked out over was the possibility of forgetting his kid somewhere, which led to one of the best Christmas movies ever.

A Reunion Of Sorts

And speaking of John Hughes, did you realize that Home Alone wasn’t the first time he worked with Macaulay Culkin? Just a year earlier, Culkin had a part in another movie Hughes wrote and directed, Uncle Buck. John Candy, who made a cameo appearance in Home Alone, was also in the film.

Could’ve Been Bobby D

Believe it or not, Joe Pesci wasn’t the first choice to play Harry — it was Robert De Niro, another actor well known for his mob roles. De Niro turned it down, obviously, and the rest is history. Pesci made an interesting decision in how he interacted with Macaulay Culkin — read about it in an upcoming slide.


As funny as it is to watch Harry and Marv be victimized by Kevin’s booby traps, did you realize that in real life their injuries would be so severe that there’s no way they would’ve lasted more than halfway through their heist? Hello, third-degree burns and facial fractures!

Notice The Resemblance?

The next time someone challenges your Home Alone knowledge, impress them by telling them that the inspiration for Kevin’s scream face on the movie poster was the painting ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch. Not only will you wow your friends with your Home Alone knowledge, you’ll also sound a bit cultured. Win, win.

Scary Harry

Remember how disturbed Kevin looks when he interacts with Harry? That might not have been just acting. Joe Pesci said that he avoided Macaulay Culkin on the set to make Culkin feel intimidated during filming. Clearly, it worked. One actor in the film thought the movie was going to be awful — keep reading to find out who.

Arachnophobia, Much?

Yes, that is a real tarantula. Daniel Stern, the actor who plays Marv, agreed to do the tarantula scene with the stipulation that they get it in one shot. We’ve gotta say, he’s much braver than us! As a bonus factoid, Marv didn’t actually scream during the scene; it was dubbed in later.

Nailed It

And speaking of Marv, he suffered a lot of injuries while trying to rob the McCallister household, and his feet took the brunt of the pain. You may be relieved to know that Daniel Stern was wearing rubber feet during those scenes. That knowledge won’t make us wince any less during those scenes, though.

It’s [Not] Too Late To Apologize

John Heard, the actor who plays Kevin’s dad, wasn’t sold on Home Alone at first. He thought the movie would be ridiculous, but he later admitted to being wrong and apologized. Did you notice another Culkin in the film? Read on to find out which actor was actually Macaulay’s brother in real life.

It Was Just Candy

Any parent who has ever stepped on their kid’s toys winces extra hard when they see Marv step on the glass ornaments while coming in through the window. You might be interested to know that the ornaments weren’t really made out of glass, though — they were made out of candy.

It Was Really A Staycation

The Home Alone scenes that were supposed to be in France were filmed in Chicago. Even the scenes in the Paris airport were filmed in another part of Chicago O’Hare airport. One cool thing, though — the scenes in the McCallister household were shot in a real house that you can take a tour of today.

A Not So Uncanny Resemblance

Did you ever notice that Fuller and Kevin favor each other? There’s a reason for that — they’re brothers. The actor who plays Fuller is Kieran Culkin, who is just one of the eight Culkin siblings. One character in the movie was left with a scar — find out who on an upcoming slide.

Old Man Marley

As creepy as Old Man Marley was in early scenes, he ended up saving the day. But did you know that originally he wasn’t supposed to be in the film? The character and lines were added later. Thank goodness, since that shovel upside the Wet Bandits’ heads was so satisfying.

Buzz, Your Girlfriend, Woof

If you cringe a little during the scene where Kevin ransacks Buzz’s room and makes fun of the picture of Buzz’s girlfriend, you might be happy to that is actually a boy. To avoid being cruel with a real photo, a boy on the set dressed up like a girl for the picture.

Scarred For Life

Remember when the Wet Bandits catch up to Kevin and Harry threatens to bite off his fingers one by one? Well, Joe Pesci actually did bite his finger. Accidentally. And that accidental bite left Macaulay with a little scar. This probably didn’t help make Macaulay feel any less intimidated by him.

Improv That

Believe it or not, John Candy completely winged the lines for his ‘Polka King of the Midwest’ character. That’s right — the whole story about leaving his kid at the funeral parlor all day wasn’t scripted at all — they were completely made up off the top of Candy’s head.

Feel The Burn

The part of the movie where Kevin puts on aftershave and screams is one of the most famous parts of the movie. According to director Chris Columbus, the scene wasn’t written that way. Apparently, Macaulay was supposed to drop his hands and scream, but didn’t, which obviously worked out very well.