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Home Alone (1990) Poster

(1990)

Trivia

Daniel Stern wore rubber feet for his barefoot scenes, similarly to Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard (1988).
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Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (4)
Joe Pesci deliberately avoided Macaulay Culkin on-set, because he wanted Culkin to think he was mean.
Catherine O'Hara revealed in 2014 that Macaulay Culkin still calls her "Mom".
The picture Kevin finds of Buzz's girlfriend was a picture of a boy made up to look like a girl, because director Chris Columbus thought it would be too cruel to make fun of a girl like that. The boy that was used in the photo was art director Dan Webster's son.
The line "You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?" was improvised.
Joe Pesci was used to adding profanity to most of his scripts, and kept forgetting that he was filming a family movie during his character's on-screen outbursts, so director Chris Columbus advised him to say "fridge" instead of the "f" word. A lot of Pesci's unintelligible pained mutterings were his way to avoid cursing.
The pages on the Playboy Magazine Kevin looks through were taped together so young Macaulay Culkin wouldn't see any nudity. The cover was from the July 1989 issue.
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Macaulay Culkin drew the map that his character uses to set up the traps.
Although John Hughes was fiercely defensive of his screenplay and insisted that everyone deliver his lines as written, he allowed his friend John Candy to improvise. This was actually a trademark of writer and producer Hughes, who also had the five students in The Breakfast Club (1985) improvise when they told one another why they were in detention. In the film, almost all of Candy's dialogue is improvised.
Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern felt indifferent about the movie's potential during shooting, so they intentionally gave over-the-top performances, neither one of them believing this movie would become a massive success.
Marv's lines "Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?" and "Maybe he committed suicide" were improvised by Daniel Stern.
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Many of the shots that focus on Kevin in the beginning of the movie are filmed from above his head, making him seem small and helpless. At the end of the movie, Kevin is mostly shot from below, making him seem taller and more confident.
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John Candy shared all of his screentime with Catherine O'Hara. The two previously worked together on SCTV (1976), and were good friends. Candy died on O'Hara's 40th birthday, and O'Hara gave a tearful eulogy at his funeral.
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Macaulay Culkin's stunt double was a very short 30-year-old man.
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The movie originally had more scenes of the family in Paris, France, but test audiences wanted to get back to Kevin.
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Everyone on-set was amazed with how mature and professional Macaulay Culkin was. Joe Pesci told Entertainment Weekly, "Mac is not like a nine-year-old. He's an old man already."
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Writer and producer John Hughes was worried that mothers would never believe a family could forget one of their kids. Chris Columbus recalled, "John really filled in every possible logic hole, and the audience always bought it."
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This movie was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Highest Box-Office Gross - Comedy", grossing $477 million worldwide.
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The scream that Daniel Stern belts out during the tarantula scene was filmed live on-set, after Stern was assured by the animal handlers that tarantulas do not have ears. The tarantula's poison was not extracted, as some have thought. This was all confirmed by Stern in a December 24, 2015 post on his Facebook page.
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The movie that Kevin watches on video tape is not a real movie, but footage specially created. It was called "Angels with Filthy Souls". Along with other similar era references in the movie, this is a play on Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) starring James Cagney.
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John Candy filmed his part in only one day, albeit a twenty-three-hour day. Almost all of his dialogue was improvised. His part was potentially partly inspired by the character he played in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), also written and produced by John Hughes.
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John Williams stepped in when the original composer backed out. The filmmakers jokingly suggested Williams even though they never thought they could get him, but after he saw an early cut of the movie, he was "enchanted" and happily stepped in.
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Roberts Blossom considered this movie one of the high points in his career after its release. Blossom said kids would often recognize him from playing Old Man Marley and ask "Aren't you the guy . . .?"
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Director Chris Columbus' biggest fear as a kid was burglars. It's part of why he wanted to make this movie.
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The ornaments on which Marv steps were actually candy.
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In the scene when Kevin walks past the driveway just as Harry and Marv are driving down it, and stop just in time to avoid hitting him, was achieved by having Macaulay Culkin walk backward as the van was driven in reverse away from him. The film was then shown backward.
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During rehearsal for the scene where Harry attempts to bite off Kevin's finger, Joe Pesci actually bit Macaulay Culkin, leaving a small scar.
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Macaulay Culkin became sick during filming with a cold. He was given a break from filming while he recovered, except for one scene in particular. When Kevin is being chased by the police officer for accidentally shoplifting the toothbrush, Macaulay's voice is very hoarse, his face is pale, and his eyes were red and puffy.
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John Candy played the role of Gus Polinski as a favor to John Hughes, and was paid scale (Screen Actors Guild minimum wage). The character was inspired by real-life Jan "Polka King" Lewan, who lived in Pennsylvania, and whose polka band really did do tours around the world.
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When nine-year-old Macaulay Culkin got tired on-set, he would just lie down on the ground and sleep between takes.
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The concept for this movie originated during the filming of a scene in Uncle Buck (1989) in which Macaulay Culkin plays a character who interrogates a would-be sitter through the letter opening in the front door.
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When Kevin is jumping up and down on his parents' bed while munching on some popcorn, there were actually several crew members lying on the floor on both sides and at the foot of the bed. They had been instructed to lie there and be ready to catch Macaulay Culkin in case he accidentally jumped or fell off the bed.
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Macaulay Culkin was only allowed to work on-set five hours a day because of child labor laws. The crew planned out the scenes around his schedule, putting him on camera alone a lot.
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Although the part was written especially for Macaulay Culkin by John Hughes, several hundred other boys were auditioned by Chris Columbus. According to the DVD commentary, Columbus was hesitant to cast Culkin because Hughes had so recently cast him in Uncle Buck (1989), and didn't want to appear as a pushover in the film community. It was only after auditioning all the other young actors that he realized Culkin was, in fact, the best choice for the part.
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The scene in which Harry's head gets scalded with the blow-torch was achieved via a technique known as "Pepper's Ghost", with the help of a pane of glass placed at a forty-five-degree angle and a blow-torch (again at a forty-five-degree angle) in a darkened area off-screen blowing the actual flame onto a black head sculpture. The flame visible on-screen is actually the reflection of the flame on the pane of glass. If you look carefully you can occasionally see parts of the edge of the head sculpture due to the positioning of Joe Pesci's head being just a little off.
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Director Chris Columbus would ask Joe Pesci to do his "How am I funny?" speech from Goodfellas (1990) on-set. In fact, Pesci was to have a similar scene with Daniel Stern, defensively questioning him about having an edge. This scene was deleted.
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The scene in which Kevin is buying a toothbrush was the first scene that was shot for the movie.
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When the filmmakers had initially cast Daniel Stern for the role of Marv, Stern agreed to shoot for six weeks. When producers later said they needed him for eight weeks but the studio was not willing to pay him more, Stern declined the offer. At the recommendation of the studio, Daniel Roebuck was then cast from a tape as Marv, as he was willing to work for a lower price than Stern. According to Roebuck, after two days meeting with producers, who were "cold" towards him, Roebuck was then told he was no longer needed, citing a lack of chemistry with Joe Pesci in their screentests. The studio finally caved to the producers' wishes and brought back Stern, since he and Pesci had been friends since they had both appeared in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982) and had a great chemistry. Roebuck earned a hefty paycheck for his troubles, but could only receive it if he agreed not to be hired for any other acting jobs until this movie had been completed. Though he was able to put a down payment on a house with the money he received for not working on this project, Roebuck took the rejection as a huge blow to his ego, remaining bitter for a long time about his experiences with this movie.
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The last scene filmed was the one in which Kevin is running through the water-filled basement. Because a flooded set always spills water, the set was purposely built inside the local high school's swimming pool, so that all the water would be immediately drained.
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The sled that Kevin uses when sledding down the stairs, which can also be seen next to the television when Kevin is watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), is in Chris Columbus' office. The entire cast signed it.
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(At around fifty-three minutes) Despite filming a family movie, Daniel Stern once slipped in the "s" word, which can be heard when he is retrieving his boot through the doggy door, as well as being shown in the English subtitle.
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The movie is considered a traditional Christmas movie in Poland. It has aired on national television during primetime Christmas season every year since 1990. In 2010, the movie was scheduled not to air in Poland, but was broadcasted after over 90,000 people protested. In 2011, the movie aired on December 23, with an audience of over five million, making it the most popular show aired during the Christmas season in Poland.
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At the end of the movie where it snows outside Kevin's house, the snow was actually mashed potato flakes.
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According to Chris Columbus, during an interview with Alec Baldwin on Baldwin's podcast "Here's the Thing", John Heard was unhappy about working on this movie, feeling that the movie was going to be terrible. However, upon seeing the finished product and its subsequent success, Heard apologized to Columbus when they were shooting his scenes for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), having broken character before his first take to tell Columbus. Columbus says he still had footage of Heard's apology on video tape.
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To promote a stronger Christmas feel, red and green are major reoccurring colors throughout the movie, appearing quite conspicuously in almost every scene. This includes furniture, clothing, food containers, and all wallpaper.
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Chris Columbus was previously hired by John Hughes to direct National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). After meeting with Chevy Chase, however, it became clear to Columbus that the two of them would not get along, so he asked Hughes if there were any other projects he could work on instead. This movie was one of the options presented to him.
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The poster and video box image of Kevin with his hands on his face and screaming was improvised by Culkin. He had forgotten to pull his hands away as he screamed. This became the most famous shot of the movie.
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Soon after this movie, Hillary Wolf (Meagan) quit acting, and became a member of the U.S. Olympic Judo team.
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The car that ''Santa'' (to whom Kevin talks about wanting his family back) starts before it stalls out is a 1980 Honda Civic hatchback. It really did stall on-camera as the actor was driving it away.
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The trailer featured deleted and alternated scenes: a television anchorman warns viewers to be on the lookout for the Wet Bandits. In the supermarket scene, the manager of the supermarket stands behind the check out girl and asks Kevin the questions check out girl asks him in the theatrical cut, and there's additional dialogue between Harry and Marv just before they go to Kevin's house, which Marv says "Kids are stupid. I know I was", to which Harry replies "You still are, Marv."
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The role of Uncle Frank was written for Kelsey Grammer.
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A deleted scene has a shot of Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Joe Pesci) singing their own demented version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".
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The major success of this movie and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) allowed Chris Columbus to move on to other more successful projects like Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and the first two Harry Potter movies.
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When Devin Ratray was asked what happened to Buzz later in life, he said he probably went to prison.
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Some scenes were shot in a three-story single-family house, located at 671 Lincoln Avenue, in Winnetka, Illinois. The kitchen in this movie was shot in the house, along with the main staircase, basement, and most of the first floor landing. The house's dining room, and all of the downstairs rooms (excluding the kitchen) were built on a soundstage. The house was built in 1921, and features five bedrooms, a fully converted attic, a detached double garage, and a greenhouse. "Kevin's tree house", in the backyard, was built specifically for this movie, and demolished after principal photography ended.
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In May 2011, the house in Winnetka, Illinois used in this movie was listed for sale at $2.4 million. It sold in March 2012 for $1.585 million. The house is promoted as a tourist attraction, and cited as an example of "How to Get Your Home in the Movies".
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The "evil furnace" in the basement was done by two guys with fishing line and flashlights.
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The wax-and-plastic snow used in this movie was given to the Lyric Opera of Chicago when shooting finished. It has since been used in numerous opera productions.
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Despite Kevin being home alone, he is never seen in his own room.
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A fake burnt head was used for the blowtorch scene. Chris Columbus still has it in his office.
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In December 2018, Macauley Culkin reprised his role, and certain scenes from this movie, in a television advertisement for the "Google Assistant" product. Although Culkin previously went through a rather public bad period in his private life with people concerned about his health, in the advertisement, he appears as just a virtually identical, just older version, of Kevin.
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Director Chris Columbus' least favorite booby trap in this movie is Harry getting doused with feathers, because it was too "soft" compared to the other ones throughout the sequence.
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Old Man Marley was not in the original screenplay.
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Robert De Niro turned down the role of Harry. Joe Pesci, who worked with De Niro on Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), The Good Shepherd (2006), and The Irishman (2019), got the part instead.
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After securing Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern, Chris Columbus felt confident enough to cast actors and actresses who were his heroes growing up, like Catherine O'Hara, after seeing her work on SCTV (1976), as well as John Heard, and then later Tim Curry and Rob Schneider in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), because they were all open to the movies.
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The look for Marv and Harry was based on Fagin, the thief in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.
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Chris Columbus wanted the booby trap with Marv getting hit in the face with a household object sent down the laundry chute, but he couldn't think of one to use, so his brother-in-law suggested a clothes iron.
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Chris Columbus' previous movie had not done well at the box office, and he was worried he would never direct again, but then John Hughes sent him the script for this movie. Columbus said it was one of the best he had ever read.
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Chris Columbus cast Joe Pesci because he was one of his heroes, although he didn't think he'd get him for such a broadly comedic role.
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Chris Farley auditioned for Santa Claus.
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The boy who played Kevin's cousin Fuller is Macaulay Culkin's brother Kieran in his feature film debut.
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Jeffrey Wiseman, who played the inquisitive neighbor, Mitch Murphy, auditioned for the role of Kevin McCallister.
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There is a legend that Elvis Presley (who died in 1977) made a cameo in this movie. Many of those who believe that Elvis is still alive maintained that the heavily bearded man standing in the background of the scene where Mrs. McCallister is shouting at the desk clerk (just before she meets John Candy) is Elvis. They asserted for years that the man is in the correct age range (Elvis would have been around 55 at the time), makes a head movement that Elvis frequently made during concerts, and that no record has ever been found about this particular actor's participation in the movie. The theory was finally debunked in 2018, when investigative journalists identified the extra as a man called Gary Richard Grott, who had passed away from a heart attack in February 2016. Grott's family was able to confirm that it was Grott in the movie, and also revealed that he had been working regularly as an extra on several Chris Columbus' movies, although Home Alone was the first one that he actually appeared in.
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When the McCallisters are running through the Paris airport toward the arrivals section, Uncle Rob and his family can be briefly glimpsed on the other side of the glass doors holding a large paper "Welcome" sign. Originally, there was a scene (featured on DVD and Blu-ray) with the McCallisters ignoring the sign and tearing it in half by running right through it, but it was cut from this movie.
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The highest-grossing movie of 1990 domestically. Ghost (1990) was the year's highest-grossing movie worldwide.
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Almost every piece of furniture and decor in the McCallister home (including the wallpaper, carpet and tile) contains the colors red and green.
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The statue in the front of the house was hit four times. Twice by the pizza delivery man, once by the airport shuttle, and once by a police officer.
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The police station was actually a high school office.
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In the extended version of the scene in which the family are in Paris. When Frank (Gerry Bamman) serves shrimp to the children, Frank calls Fuller (Kieran Culkin) a "punk" and tells him to get off of the sofa and sit on the floor, and Megan (Hillary Wolf) confronts Buzz (Devin Ratray) about Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), and Megan calls Buzz "cruel" as Buzz is not concerned about Kevin being left at home on his own, and when Buzz says that Kevin deserved to get left behind. The extended version of shows how mean-spirited Buzz and Frank really are, and that Frank also treats Fuller poorly like Kevin.
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The novelization, written by Todd Strasser, gives away some details not revealed in this movie, notably the name of Buzz's pet tarantula as "Axl", while Peter's job is given as a successful businessman, and Kate is a fashion designer, somewhat explaining mannequins in the basement, the two sewing machines, and the money that is used to pay for pizza in this movie and used to order room service by Kevin in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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According to Chris Columbus, Kevin Nordine did all of the effects for this movie in his parents' basement in Chicago by drawing all of the effects onto the film. He also did the effects for only a few hundred dollars at a time.
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Mr. Marley's hand wound may symbolize his relationship with his son. In his first scene with Kevin, his hand is heavily wrapped in gauze. At this point in time, he and his son are not on speaking terms. Their next scene is in the church, where he confides in Kevin the falling out they had. In this scene, he is wearing only a band-aid. In his last scene, while hugging his granddaughter, his hand is completely healed.
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Old Man Marley is a nod to Jacob Marley, Scrooge's dead partner in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
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Kevin's homemade inventions may reflect Chris Columbus' love of inventions, which cropped up in movies he wrote like Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), which were all produced by Steven Spielberg. He and Columbus are big fans of the James Bond films, perhaps because of the inventions in there too.
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Several of Chris Columbus' family members made cameos in this movie: His mother-in-law and his daughter Eleanor Columbus were passengers on the plane. His wife Monica Devereux-Columbus was a stewardess, and his father-in-law played the police officer who gives the line "tell them to count their kids again."
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This movie was put into turnaround by Warner Bros. because of the budget, so 20th Century Fox snatched up the rights, and it went on to make $477 million worldwide, a colossal amount for such an inexpensive movie.
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Ralph Foody and Michael Guido were originally cast in the opposite roles of Snakes and Johnny respectively, but Foody was recovering from knee surgery at the time of the shoot and was unable to perform the fall to the floor, so the roles were swapped. Guido often joked that this swap meant he was one of the few actors who was unable to return for the sequel due to his character being dead.
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Director Chris Columbus revealed in a Nov. 2020 interview that John Candy, who was a huge star at that point, did his airport cameo as a favor to the movie's producer and screenwriter, John Hughes, and improvised almost all of his lines. Although he agreed to be paid to scale, he wasn't happy with the fact that they only paid him $414 for his efforts; even the guy who played the pizza delivery boy earned more.
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John Candy's role as a polka musician is a reference to a skit he did for SCTV (1976) called The Shmenge Brothers, featuring him and Eugene Levy as polka-playing brothers Yosh and Stan Shmenge. Catherine O'Hara co-starred with them in the mockumentary movie The Last Polka (1985).
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Chris Columbus envisioned a scene in which the furnace comes to life, gets up on all fours, and chases Kevin to the stairs. The scene would have cost over $1 million, so it was trimmed down to the furnace simply lighting up and groaning Kevin's name.
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The fake movie "Angels with Filthy Souls" was the first thing to be filmed, when the budget wasn't very big, so everyone liked starting out on something with cardboard sets.
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Foreshadowing: when Kevin attacks Buzz and spills milk all over the counter, Peter tries to clean up the spill to save the passports and tickets. As he throws a wad of wet napkins away, he also throws a plane ticket away by mistake. The ticket can be seen in the garbage with Kevin's name written in black marker. The next morning, also by mistake, he was left home alone.
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In 2015, Macaulay Culkin reprised his iconic role of Kevin McCallister in the first episode of the Internet comedy series "DRYVRS". In that show, Kevin has grown up and become a long-haired, messed-up, foul-mouthed, bitter, and mentally unstable psychopath, who tells Jack (Jack Dishel) about the events of "Home Alone", and then kidnaps the carjacker who tries to steal his car, ties him up, and tortures him. The episode ends with a bloody-faced Kevin making his signature scream at the carjacker.
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Joe Pesci's character, Harry Lime, was named after Orson Welles' character from The Third Man (1949).
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According to a Wall Street Journal article, the owners of the McCallister house said they were first approached by a location scout who worked with John Hughes. First they were asked if Uncle Buck (1989) could shoot at a house they owned, before they owned the one featured in this movie. At the time, they were trying to sell it, and declined the offer, because they didn't want to take it off of the market for several months during the shoot. After they moved into their house, the couple was approached about a second movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), which they decided to turn down, this time because they were renovating.
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Chris Columbus sold Steven Spielberg the scripts for Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985), but his career didn't really take off until the massive success of this movie.
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Little Nero's Pizza is a parody of Little Caesar's Pizza. Caesar and Nero are famous names in Roman history.
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Sandra Macat, who played Santa's Elf, played a Flight Attendant in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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Originally, Danny DeVito was considered for the role of Harry.
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Chris Columbus had storyboarded a few scenes in which Kevin would have dreams where the house comes to life. One included the evil furnace in the basement, which would come to life and chase him to the stairs on all fours, and another where several toy nutcrackers would come to life, along with the house. The scenes, however, were too expensive on such a tight budget, and the ideas were dropped.
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The exterior of the McAllister residence was filmed in front of a house in the outskirts of Chicago. Because it was too small for filming inside and Chicago didn't have large movie studios, the interior was completely built inside an abandoned high school. The crew also set up their offices in there.
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John Williams' score for this movie is a song called "Somewhere In My Memory". It is used mainly on the soundtrack for the first two "Home Alone" movies. However, he did a couple of different recordings of the song. The full song, done with vocals, is on the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) music track with Bette Midler.
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Practically the entire crew from this movie also worked on Only the Lonely (1991) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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The heating implement Kevin used to heat the doorknob was an electric charcoal starting tool for barbecue grills.
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On the set, Macaulay Culkin would jokingly direct the movie for Chris Columbus.
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The church that Kevin goes to is actually two locations. For the exterior it is Trinity Methodist Church. And for the interior it is Grace Episcopal Church. Both located in the Chicago area.
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Cinematographer Julio Macat used A Christmas Story (1983) as inspiration for the look of this movie. It was also one of the last major productions to use carbon-arc lighting, which Macat felt gave a warmer and richer light. These lights fell out of use due to the fact they could only operate for around 20 minutes at a time, and required an exhaust system when used indoors.
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On the airplane, John Heard can be seen reading a novel by Thomas McGuane. McGuane and Heard were previously married to Margot Kidder.
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Producer John Hughes originally brought on Chris Columbus to direct Christmas Vacation (1989), but even before cameras could roll, Columbus came to the realization that he just could not work with the difficult Chevy Chase after meeting him. So even though he desperately needed the job at that point in his career, Columbus decided to quit the project. He was worried it would end his career, but then Hughes brought him in to direct this film, which became a massive hit a year later, earning over 6X the amount of money Christmas Vacation did with a budget of almost $10 million less.
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According to William Goldman, this movie's success prompted the creation of a Hollywood verb: "to be Home Aloned", meaning to have a movie's box-office revenue reduced by the impact of this movie.
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This movie was initially a Warner Brothers production when the makers said that they could make it for $10 million. However, during pre-production, it became quite clear that they couldn't do it for less than $14.7 million. While Warner was deliberating whether they would approve the budget or not, director Chris Columbus was already secretly meeting with Twentieth Century Fox studio executive Tom Jacobson and studio head Joe Roth, who loved the story and said that they would immediately approve the budget. When Warner wouldn't go any further than $13.5 million and shut down the project, Fox immediately stepped and took over the project. Executive producer Scott M. Rosenfelt actually walked behind the Warner executive who walked past all the offices to announce the shutdown to assure the crew that they were already picked up by another studio. The takeover made the budget grow to $17 million. After the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox by Walt Disney Pictures in March 2019, the first three Home Alone films are available to watch on Disney+.
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The lady at the airport in Paris using the payphone speaks in French to Kate, saying "Que faites-vous" which means ('What are you doing?'), then she says "Que se passe-t-il?" ('What is going on?'), when Kate grabs the phone from her she says "Rendez-moi le telephone", ('Give me back the phone.') upon which the McCallisters finally take the phone from her.
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'Angels with Filthy Souls' did not originally have a title (it was simply referred to as 'Gangster Film' in the script). The title was knocked up during filming in homage to Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) when they realized they needed a title for the label of the video cassette Kevin puts in the VCR.
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In the rumored original draft of the screenplay, Uncle Frank is revealed as the real villain, and as the villain behind the villains, and that Harry and Marv work for him, and that he hired them to rob the McCallister house and other houses in the neighborhood, and also to kill Kevin.
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Christopher Lloyd reportedly turned down the role of Marv.
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Near the start of this movie, Kevin's brother Jeff puts a toothbrush in his pocket. During the famous aftershave scream scene, Kevin claims he is unable to find his toothbrush. This could strongly suggest the toothbrush Jeff took was Kevin's and not his own.
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The issue of Playboy that Kevin finds in Buzz's room is from July 1989, with Erika Eleniak as Miss July. It was the same issue shown in Under Siege (1992), which featured Erika Eleniak playing a major role.
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The McCallister Family consists of three brothers Peter, Frank, and Rob with their wives and respective children. The families break down as the follow: Peter and Kate McCallister live in the Chicago suburb of Winnekta and have the five children: Buzz, Linnie, Megan, Jeff, and Kevin. Frank and Leslie McCallister hail from Ohio and have the five children: Tracy, Rod, Brooke, Sondra, and Fuller. Rob and Georgette McCallister are the least seen family. They are seen fleetingly in the first movie with the exception of their eldest daughter Heather who is traveling from Chicago to Paris with the other two McCallister families to meet up with her parents after her fathers job has temporarily relocated them there. Most of their scenes ended up on the cutting room floor but they are shown in addition to Heather to have three younger kids, twin girls whose names are not revealed, and a younger son Stefan whose name is only revealed in the film's script and never on camera. It's revealed in Home Alone 2 that the family resides in New York when they are in the United States. The children breaks down as the following: Heather, twin girls, and Stefan.
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This movie was still playing in theaters when director Chris Columbus' next movie, Only the Lonely (1991), was released into theaters. This movie finished eleventh, while the latter movie finished fifth during its opening weekend.
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In an interview with Roger Ebert, Richard J. Firfer commented on his deleted role from the film stating; "In the original "Home Alone," I had a brief role as a grocery store manager. I was in the background at a computer while the cashier spoke to Macaulay Culkin. Then the scene was reshot with me standing next to the cashier and speaking the lines. The latter version was used in the movie's trailers, and as a lead-in for TV interviews with cast members. It was even shown on the Academy Awards, as a lead-in to Culkin as a presenter. But it was not in the movie. Whatever their reasons for doing this, I am grateful to the producer and director; the speaking part enabled me to join the Screen Actor's Guild."
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When casting the role of Kevin McCallister, Chris Columbus had already seen Macaulay Culkin in Uncle Buck (1989), but he wanted to audition some other kids first, while John Hughes had his heart set on Culkin. So Columbus met Culkin in New York City, and was very charmed by him, and thought he was fantastic. Columbus auditioned five other kids, and none of them shaped up to Culkin. Columbus went with Culkin because he was not as picture perfect, and he had an instant bond to the kids in the audience. Columbus knew the cameras would love him, and he was immensely funny.
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Old Man Marley, played by Roberts Blossom, is rumored to be a serial killer. Blossom's most notable role prior to this movie was the lead role in Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) as a fictionalized version of serial killer Ed Gein.
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Rowan Atkinson auditioned for the role of Harry. Bob Hoskins also turned down the role.
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The role of Marv was written with Daniel Stern in mind. Michael Richards was also considered for the part.
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Included amongst the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the five hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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While director Chris Columbus was staying at his wife's parents' house in Chicago after the birth of their first child, he was sent two scripts by writer and producer John Hughes, one was for this movie, with which he fell in love, and struck a chord with him, and he felt he could make a really strong movie out of it. He and Hughes hit it off instantly, so Hughes gave him the job to direct.
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Jon Lovitz turned down the role of Harry Lime.
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Filming began on February 14, 1990, and ended on May 16, 1990 after 3 months, 13 weeks or 91days of filming.
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During the "I've made my family disappear" montage scene, Kevin imagines several members of his family saying horrible things to him. All of his memories appear as scenes in this movie, except for his brother Buzz threatening to feed him to his tarantula, which isn't seen anywhere in the standard edit of the movie.
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The "Oh-Kay Plumbing" van that Harry and Marv drive has a slogan that says "Your flood control experts." This is funny because Marv wants them to call themselves the "Wet Bandits" and leaves the water running after robbing houses.
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Al Pacino was offered to play Harry or Peter McCallister, but turned both of the roles down because of schedule conflicts.
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A scene was filmed, but cut, in which Peter (John Heard), Heather (Kristin Minter), Linnie (Angela Goethals), and Jeff (Michael C. Maronna) are seen lying in bed and are unable to sleep because they are worried about Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and they miss him.
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The B.B. that hit Marv in the face was hand-painted.
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Buzz was voted the second-greatest movie bully of all time by Entertaintment Weekly.
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On the plane where Kate and Peter are trying to think of what they forgot to do, Peter mentions that he forgot to close the garage. In a few scenes before, when Kevin discovers he's home alone, he runs outside and finds the cars, with the garage doors indeed open.
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The McCallister doorknob burn on Harry (Joe Pesci) at the beginning of the house raid is an homage to the main poster used to advertise M (1931).
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Alan Rickman was considered for the role of Harry. Rickman worked with Macaulay Culkin's aunt, Bonnie Bedelia, in "Die Hard" (1988).
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The ornaments on which Marv steps after climbing through the window were made of sugar. Daniel Stern insisted on walking on them barefoot. His screaming reaction in this movie is acting.
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While the kids in the main McCallister family (Buzz, Megan, Jeff, Linnie, and Kevin) are all different ages, with Buzz being the eldest at thirteen or fourteen and Kevin the youngest at eight. In real-life, the actors and actresses who played Buzz, Megan, Jeff, and Linnie are all the same age being born in 1977, while Culkin is still the youngest being born in 1980. In this order, it is Devin Ratray (Buzz) born in January, Hillary Wolf (Megan) born in February, Angela Goethals (Linnie) born in May, and Michael C. Maronna (Jeff) born in September.
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Michael Richards and Christopher Lloyd were considered for the role of Marv, but were too busy with other projects at the time.
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Kirstie Alley was considered for the role of Kate Mccallister based on her performance in Look Who's Talking (1989). But Alley turned it down, because she was working on Look Who's Talking Too (1990).
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Chris Columbus said Macaulay Culkin was an incredibly charming kid.
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The iron and the blowtorch are the only traps Kevin isn't shown setting up.
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When Kevin first wakes up and notices his family has left him, he turns on the television in the kitchen to Miracle on 34th Street (1947). You see Maureen O'Hara in one of her first scenes from that movie. The year after this movie, Chris Columbus directed O'Hara in her first on-screen appearance in twenty years, in Only the Lonely (1991). That movie was also produced by John Hughes, starred John Candy, and featured Macaulay Culkin in a cameo role.
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When Heather does the head count she says there are 17 people in total. That odd number means the group will be split 8-9 between two vans. Since Kevin is missing, both vans have eight people. Thus each group assumes they're on the 8-person van and doesn't suspect a thing.
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Macaulay Culkin and John Candy appeared in Uncle Buck (1989), also written and produced by John Hughes.
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Jeremy Irons, known for frequently playing villains, was offered to play either Harry or Marv, but turned down both roles due to schedule conflicts.
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The airport attendant who took the family's plane tickets never questioned why there was a person missing from the group. This is because Peter had unknowingly thrown away Kevin's ticket while wiping up the milk on the counter the night before, so the attendant counted as many people as she'd been given tickets for.
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There is a cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan in this movie. Jordan was Macaulay Culkin's favorite basketball player.
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While appearing on a 2018 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Macaulay Culkin admitted that one huge plot hole has always bothered him about this movie: Why didn't Kevin just call the cops when the burglars tried to break in?
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Besides burglarizing, Harry commits another crime at the beginning of this movie: impersonating a police officer.
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A board game based on this movie was published in 1991.
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John Heard was cast because Chris Columbus liked his work in Cutter's Way (1981).
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At the beginning of production, Bruce Broughton was attached as the original composer, having previously worked with Chris Columbus on Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). The first printing of the posters had his name on them. Broughton turned down the offer to work on The Rescuers Down Under (1990) instead.
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When Kate meets Gus Polinski, the Polka King of the Midwest, they are in the Scranton Airport. According to the lyrics of the "Pennsylvania Polka", the Pennsylvania Polka started in Scranton.
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Peter tries speaking in French to the operator in Paris saying 'Parlez anglais' ("Speak English?"), then says 'Est-ce que un person qui parle anglais la?' ("Is there a person who speaks English?") Before giving up and saying in English, "I'm looking for my son, do you know where he is?"
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Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix were considered for the role of Buzz. They had appeared together in I Love You to Death (1990) and My Own Private Idaho (1991).
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In the beginning of this movie, the audience notes that Kevin has been banished to the sleeper sofa in the attic the night before the trip. The attic, which has no noted insulation in the rafters, which without insulation would leave the attic at sub-freezing temperatures, especially in Chicago in mid-December, wouldn't be an ideal place to sleep, let alone for an eight-year old kid.
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The Nero's pizza chain featured in the movie has a slogan: "No Fiddlin' Around". This is a reference to the Roman emperor Nero who reportedly played his fiddle as Rome burned in 64 AD. This is impossible, however, as the violin was not invented until the fifteenth century.
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When Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) turns on the television in the kitchen, Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is playing. Writer and producer John Hughes co-wrote (with George Seaton) and produced Miracle on 34th Street (1994).
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In early August 2019, the new owners of Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, announced that this movie would be one of the first batch of existing Fox movies to be remade, intended for the Disney+ streaming service. Fans of this movie joked that it would only be a short movie, as Kevin only needed to call using a mobile/cell phone. It's currently unknown if it will be a sequel or a reboot. Additionally, it's unclear how Disney will approach the comedic violence, especially as many doctors have said that the Wet Bandits injuries would actually be life threatening or fatal in reality. In fact, one fan theory suggests that the character of Kevin grew up to become the character of Jigsaw in the violent Saw series of movies.
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In the scene in which Kevin gets into fight with Buzz, when Buzz eats Kevin's pizza, Frank rudely and nastily calls Kevin a "little jerk" when Pepsi gets spilt over his lap. If you watch this movie again carefully, Peter is seen knocking over the bottle of Pepsi, spilling it on Frank's lap.
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Despite the theme song, "Somewhere In My Memory", as played by in the score and select choir versions, there are actually two verses that can be heard. The version of the song with the second stanza is featured on the original soundtrack release.
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On the Home Alone Family Fun Edition DVD, 26-year-old Macaulay Culkin and director Chris Columbus BOTH gave this piece of trivia on a commentary: In spite of Kate's objections, she would have been better off just waiting with the rest of the family. Because as seen in the movie, she arrives not too long before the rest of the family arrived.
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Before Kevin was going to eat his macaroni and cheese dinner, he crosses his chest after praying, implying he and his family are Catholic.
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The only screen time Joe Pesci (Harry) has with Kevin's family in this movie and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) is at the beginning of this one, when he is at the McCallister house impersonating a police officer. His co-star, Daniel Stern (Marv), does not have any screen time with Kevin's family in either movie.
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Kevin ends up letting his macaroni and cheese get cold while enacting his one-boy defense of the house, leading to many people questioning what happened with it and if Kevin even got to eat the macaroni. Apparently, Google thought the same thing; in 2018, they released an ad where Macaulay Culkin is about to eat the same dish, only to see the clock ring nine times and hearing Harry and Marv drive up. Culkin just asks Google Home to run Operation Kevin -- lock all the doors, turn on the lights, and run the Roomba with a basketball athlete cutout -- and happily finishes his meal.
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Harry (Joe Pesci) wears a wedding ring throughout this movie. You can see it for the first time when he's dressed as the police officer, and he has it on throughout the rest of the movie, as well. His possible wife is never mentioned during this movie, though so it is implied that he is likely divorced.
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Joe Pesci and Catherine O'Hara appeared in Betsy's Wedding (1990). That movie featured Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, who were frequently directed by John Hughes.
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This film was such an unexpected massive financial success throughout the world that its distributors, Twentieth Century Fox, postponed the release of their other Christmas 1990 release 'Edward Scissorhands' (1990) as they were worried it could suffer financially due to the huge success of Home Alone and the competing Disney film 'Honey I shrink the Kids' (1990). Although the latter has already been released to US movie theaters, the release to the rest of the world was changed. Edward Scissorhands was given a staggered release in other territories starting in March 1991 all the way through to July 1991.
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The flag on top of Kevin's bed in the third floor is the city flag of Chicago, where the scene was filmed.
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Uncle Frank is similar in character to the famous Charles Dickens character Ebenezer Scrooge, as both are tight-fisted with money. Frank refused to give money to the pizza delivery driver, using the excuse that it was not his house; he takes advantage of getting free champagne; and did not pay for the trip to Paris, nor Florida in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). Kevin even calls him "Mr. Cheapskate" in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). Also, like Scrooge, Frank is in general a grumpy and mean person.
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In the box, where Buzz keeps his money, we see a 1989 Fleer baseball card of All-Star Fred McGriff.
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Harry and Marv's van is a 1986 Dodge Ram.
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When Kevin asks the shop owner if the toothbrush is "approved by the American Dental Association" she inspected it and Instead, she says "I don't know hun, it doesn't say". The ADA seal has been applied to products, such as toothbrushes, since 1931. She was looking for a seal and should've have told him that if the seal wasn't there, it wasn't approved.
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The scene in which Megan talks to Buzz about Kevin was longer with extra dialogue in which Heather berated Buzz, and called him cruel, which Buzz then said that Kevin deserved to get left behind, and that he asked for it, and that he is not concerned about Kevin.
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In the beginning, the 10 pizzas cost $122.50. This is an average of $12.25 per pizza not including tip. Later Kevin's plain cheese pizza costs $11.80 and he pays $12. This is approximately a 1.7% tip.
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Frank and Buzz are the members of Kevin's family that treat Kevin the worst as they bully, antagonize, and are mean to him. In a deleted scene, Frank pranks Kevin by telling him that everyone in France will call him "yank", and then he pulls Kevin's trousers down. When Peter accidentally spills soda on Frank's lap, Frank nastily calls Kevin a "little jerk". Buzz refuses to allow Kevin to sleep in his room, Buzz eats all of Kevin's cheese pizza and threatens to vomit it all over Kevin. In a deleted scene, Buzz threatens to nail Kevin to Marley's front door if he doesn't leave his bedroom, and Buzz calls Kevin a "gutless butterfly".
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Funko released Pop! toys of Kevin, Harry, and Marv from this movie.
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Dudley Moore and Phil Collins were considered for the role of Harry.
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Gus Polinski, cousin Heather, Old Man Marley, the Pizza Boy, and Mitch Murphy (the boy from across the street) are the only characters from this movie that were not in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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Theatrical movie debut of Hope Davis (French Ticket Agent).
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On the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Daniel Stern said he wished Jack Lemmon would have played Harry because he always wanted to work with Jack.
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The makers tried to make the stunts look as painful as possible, as per John Hughes's philosophy that pain is funny. However, when it came time to filming, the stunts looked so realistic and painful that the crew didn't dare laughing or even look at the camera monitor, afraid that the stunt men had really hurt themselves (which never happened). The stunt team tried so hard to fall backwards through the air as high as they could that for years afterwards, such stunts were called the 'Home Alone stunt'.
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Many people think that the film is unrealistic in its portrayal of how the police would have acted if a "home alone" incident did occur. The writers and directors had actually consulted with a local police officer Jeff Jefferson and co wrote all police scenes with him. The writers and directors were confident with their plan and confused with the audience reaction. 5 years later Jeff Jefferson was himself arrested for child neglect having left his own children alone for the previous 6 years.
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The McAllister's house is a larger version of Neil Page's house in John Hughes' other popular motion picture, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."
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From 1993 to 1996, and again in 1998, NBC aired this movie during the 8 p.m. time slot on Thanksgiving evening, as part of their holiday promotion (Jurassic Park (1993) aired in its place in 1997, and this movie aired on NBC a week before Christmas). This movie aired on NBC until 1999, when it aired the Sunday after Thanksgiving weekend in 1999, when it was the last time it aired on NBC. This movie also aired on Thanksgiving for twenty-four hours on FX in 2009.
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31 years after the movie's release, Devin Ratray was arrested on December 23rd 2021 when it was alleged that he tried to strangle his girlfriend in a hotel room; Devin Ratray denied the accusation. Devin Ratray's character in the movie Buzz is an evil bully who cruelly bullies Kevin.
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Joe Pesci wasn't the first choice for the role of Harry. Many other actors were considered for the role including Robert De Niro, Jon Lovitz, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins, Dudley Moore, Phil Collins, Danny DeVito, Kevin Pollak, Rowan Atkinson, Michael Biehn, James Caan, Kevin Kline, Tommy Lee Jones, Ray Romano, Jack Nicholson, John Stamos, Brad Garrett, Gene Hackman, and Kurt Russell.
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Joe Pesci and John Candy appeared in JFK (1991). The director's cut of that film featured John Larroquette, who worked with Macaulay Culkin in Richie Rich (1994).
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Buzz (Devin Ratray) tells Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and Rod (Jedidiah Cohen) that Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom) murdered his family in 1958, which is the same year Chris Columbus was born.
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A scene was filmed but cut which the family in Paris are sleepless and are worried about Kevin and all feel bad for the way they treated him all except for Buzz whom is seen snoring loudly and obviously isn't worried about Kevin and doesn't care about him.
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In the scene when Kate realizes they've forgotten Kevin. The book Peter is seen reading is "Nobody's Angel" by Thomas McGuane.
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Gilbert Gottfried and Kevin Pollak were considered for the role of Harry.
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Kevin says that he "had a friend who got nailed because there was a rumor he wore dinosaur pajamas." The previous year in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), also written by John Hughes, there is another reference to dinosaur pajamas when Clark wears pajamas covered in little dinosaurs.
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In the scene when Kevin is browsing through Buzz's private stash, a box of Junior Mints can be seen. In Seinfeld (1989), season four, episode twenty, "The Junior Mint", the "Home Alone" movies were mentioned by the main characters.
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The van that Harry (Joe Pesci) drives has "Oh-Kay Plumbing" on the side of it. Pesci is remembered for his character, Leo Getz, saying "OK, OK, OK, OK" in the Lethal Weapon films.
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The movie Home Alone was released in November 1990, but the events in the movie take place in December 1990. So the movie came out prior to the actions of the movie. We know it's December 1990 because a calendar is shown when Kevin shoots toys with his rifle.
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John Heard and Daniel Stern appeared in C.H.U.D. (1984).
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Kevin shooting Marv in the forehead with Buzz's air rifle. The caps weren't real and were animated in post-production.
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The movie is considered to be a kid's version of Die Hard (1988). Both films are about the main protagonists who are left alone after family disputes and acting alone to fend off thieves committing a robbery.
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Frank says in French, 'Attention, attention' then says 'Mes petits enfants' ('My little children') then says in English 'Do you want a little shrimp, huh?'
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Warren Beatty was considered for the role of Peter McCallister.
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Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Bryan Cranston, Ted Danson, Richard Gere, John Lithgow, and Christopher Reeve were considered for the role of Peter McCallister.
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Leads Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern each appeared in films inspired by the life of mobster Henry Hill in 1990, the same years as the release of this movie. Daniel Stern appeared in "My Blue Heaven", which is inspired by Hill's life in witness protection while Joe Pesci starred in "Goodfellas", a more direct adaptation of Hill's life.
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In the original draft of the screenplay, Harry and Marv worked for Uncle Frank who hired them to rob Kate and Peter's house and also to kill Kevin and Kevin getting left home alone was deliberate and that Uncle Frank had Buzz eats Kevin's pizza so Kevin got sent to the third floor and cut the powerline so the family could forget about Kevin in the chaos. It wasn't used in the final draft.
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At the end of the movie, the rest of the family walks in exactly 1 minute and 20 seconds after Kate McCallister opens the front door to the house making her early departure from Paris and traveling with the polka band pointless.
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In Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Doc Dalton (Roberts Blossom) cuts off his own fingers out of protest. In this movie, Mr. Marley (Blossom) saves Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) from getting his fingers bitten off by Harry (Joe Pesci).
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It's theorized Kevin's cousin Fuller's name isn't Fuller and could be just a cruel nickname given to him by Frank because Fuller doesn't go easy on the Pepsi and wets the bed. Like Kevin, Fuller is always treated badly by Frank.
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When Chris Columbus scripted Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Watson believed Holmes obsessed over a case because, unlike other boys his age, he had no family to which go home, like Harry Potter and Kevin McCallister. Columbus has ties to both franchises.
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The 1991 UK VHS of the movie featured the trailer of another comedy from 20th Century Fox Big (1988). Both films starred John Heard.
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Daniel von Bargen was considered for the role of Uncle Frank.
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Robin Williams (who was one of the actors considered for the role of Peter McCallister) appeared in Chris Columbus' Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Nine Months (1995), and Bicentennial Man (1999).
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Chris Columbus previously directed Adventures in Babysitting (1987), in which the heroine opens the movie by lip-syncing to The Crystals' "And Then He Kissed Me." Earlier in 1990, Joe Pesci appeared in Goodfellas (1990), in which that same song was used in the entrance to the Copacabana scene.
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Catherine O'Hara and John Heard appeared in After Hours (1985) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill were considered for the role of Peter McCallister, but were too busy with other projects at the time. Goldblum and Neill appeared in Jurassic Park (1993).
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Uncle Frank and Marv call Kevin a "little jerk".
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In the first film, when talking to Marley, who mentions his strained relationship with his son, Kevin says that no matter how mad he were at his father, he would still talk to him, especially around the holidays. In real life, Macaulay Culkin has had a very strained relationship with his dad, to the point that the two no longer speak.
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James Ryan plays a stock boy. His character is referred to by the cashier lady says to him, "Jimmy, stop that boy." This is actually his name.
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John Candy (Gus Polinski) played brother to Tom Hanks in Splash (1984). Catherine O'Hara (Kate) played mother to Tom Hanks' son, Colin Hanks, in Orange County (2002). John Heard (Peter) worked with Tom Hanks in "Big" (1988).
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This is one of two movies in which Joe Pesci and John Candy consecutively appeared (in year terms), with John Williams as the composer. The other being JFK (1991). In addition, Pesci also appeared in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), also composed by Williams.
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Harry, Marv, Buzz, and Frank are this movie's antagonists. Harry and Marv bid to rob Kevin's house, and Buzz and Frank bully Kevin, and are horrible to him. However, after some of the family get back home, Buzz kindly admits to Kevin that it's "pretty cool he didn't burn the house down" while he was home alone.
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Deidre Hall was at one point considered for the role of Kate McCallister.
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Kevin's father, Peter McCallister (John Heard), shares his character's name with the main villain in Lethal Weapon.
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This film unites two regular German dubbing voices from the Simpsons. Norbert Gastell and Sabine Bohlmann. Sabine Bohlmann is the German Voice for Lisa Simpson and Norbert Gastell was for nearly 26 years, until his death, the German dubbing voice of Homer Simpson.
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Along with this movie, Twentieth Century Fox was also filming Marked for Death (1990) in Chicago at the same time.
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Tim Robbins was considered for Marv.
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When Kevin's family is in the van for the airport, Kevin's middle brother Jeff is seen playing with a Gameboy.
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The total at the grocery store is $19.83. This is perhaps a nod to the late Roberts Blossom, as 1983 was the year that Christine (1983), featuring Blossom, came out, and the Christmas classic, A Christmas Story (1983), came out.
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Jon Voight was considered the role of Peter McCallister
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Catherine O'Hara and John Candy were on the TV show SCTV (1976) together. This the only movie they were ever in together.
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John Heard, Ralph Foody, and D. Danny Warhol all appeared in The Package (1989).
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This is the 2nd movie in which Joe Pesci plays a plumber. In the 1983 classic "Easy Money" with Rodney Dangerfield, Pesci plays Nicky Cerone. He was the owner of "Nicky's Royal Flush Plumbing." He had the line, "Who am I? I'm the guy who put the bathrooms in this joint!"
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In this movie and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), exists the line "It's Christmastime". The former was directed by Chris Columbus, and the latter written by him.
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Paula Newsome's debut.
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Favorite film of President Gerald Ford.
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The McCallister's neighbor tells the shuttle driver that his family (The Murphy's) are going to Florida for their christmas vacation, The McCallister's go to Florida for their christmas vacation in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
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Trailer narrated by Don LaFontaine.
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John Hughes is often believed to have been the one responsible for directing the first three films. In reality, he was only the screenwriter. The actual directors were Chris Columbus (in the case of 1 and 2) and Raja Gosnell (in the case of 3).
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Kristin Minter's debut.
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Two years after the first movie, Hillary Wolf (Megan) would star in another film about a dysfunctional family, Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even. In that movie, she's the butt-monkey of a dysfunctional family and runs away.
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During the staged Christmas party scene, Kevin is wearing an orange speaker-like device around his neck. This is a 1970's novelty item known as a "laugh box" and is the source of the laughter that's audible throughout the scene. (The laughter is difficult to hear over the music, but is especially noticeable when the camera focuses on the mannequin spinning on the record player.)
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Cameo 

Raja Gosnell: This movie's editor is the voice on the answering machine when Harry and Marv are robbing their first house. He later made his directorial debut with Home Alone 3 (1997).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the original script, the movie ended in a freeze frame when Peter asks Kevin what he did while the family was away. Kevin witnessing Old Man Marley reconciling with his son was added in because Old Man Marley taking Kevin's advice to reconcile with his son wasn't resolved.
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The home where most of this movie was filmed is actually located at 671 Lincoln Ave in Winnetka, IL just outside of Chicago. Therefore, the filmmakers used the house's real address when Kevin and Harry reference the location. However, the house has since been blurred out on Google Maps street view along with several other houses in the neighborhood (including the "Murphy" house across the street) because local residents have had to deal with thousands of people driving by and/or walking around taking pictures. The crowds are reportedly much worse around the holiday season.
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Kevin and Old Man Marley share a similar character arc in the movie. Kevin gets into a fight with Buzz, and later an argument with Kate, wishing that he didn't have a family and that he doesn't want to see them again for the rest of his life. He subsequently is accidentally left behind at home. Old Man Marley tells Kevin that he is estranged from his son after an argument. The movie ends with Kevin reuniting with the family and reconciling with them, and Old Man Marley reunites and reconciles with his son.
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It's theorized that why Buzz doesn't get punished for eating all of Kevin's cheese pizza is because he could be manipulating Kate and Peter into taking his side over Kevin and make them think Kevin is the bad guy, not him.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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