17 Things You Didn’t Know About “Home Alone”

Today is the 25th anniversary of Home Alone, meaning you are officially old. The movie first premiered on November 16, 1990, and every holiday season (or, pretty much every time ABC Family airs it), you’ve fallen in love with adorable Kevin McCallister, who gets left home alone while the rest of his family prepares to spend the holidays in Paris. (Side note: Mrs. McCallister officially wins “Worst Mother Ever” award; but of all her children, I think only Kevin would be able to pull off such a feat).

So, while you watch “Home Alone” for the 198534098098th time this year, there’s a few fun facts about the movie to consider:

1. The idea for the movie came from a scene in Uncle Buck, also starring Macaulay Culkin and John Candy and directed by John Hughes. In one scene, Macaulay’s character interrogates someone trying to be his babysitter through a letterbox.

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2. Joe Pesci, who played crook Harry Lime, recently played Tommy DeVito in GoodFellas. He kept forgetting he was in a “family friendly” movie and was cursing during filming, so the director had him say “fridge” instead of, well, you know.

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3. There’s a legend that Elvis Presley makes a cameo in the movie. People who believe he is still alive think that the heavily bearded man in the background of the scene where Mrs. McCallister is yelling at the airport desk clerk is Elvis.

4. While Little Nero’s pizza doesn’t actually exist (it was a parody of Little Caesar’s), Uber decided to bring back the nostalgia for the movie’s anniversary, and partnered with Big G’s Pizza in Chicago to deliver personal cheese pizzas for one night only. #ThatllBe1180Sir

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5. Daniel Stern, who plays the other “Wet Bandit” Marv Merchants, agreed to have Buzz’s tarantula on his face for exactly one take. He couldn’t scream because the noise would have scared the spider, so it was later dubbed in.

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6. Macaulay Culkin’s real-life brother, Kieran, plays Kevin’s cousin Fuller.

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7. The image of Kevin screaming after putting on his dad’s aftershave, along with the scream from the movie poster, is based on the painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.

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8. Old Man Marley wasn’t even supposed to be in the script. The director thought the movie needed a “scrooge-esque” character, and really, if it wasn’t for Marley, the Wet Bandits would still be lurking.

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9. The movie was entered into The Guinness Book of World Records as the highest box office gross for a comedy, accumulating $533 million internationally.

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10. It also spent 12 weeks throughout the films release—November of 1990 to May of 1991—at number 1.

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11. The movie’s iconic house at 671 N. Lincoln Ave., was filmed in the Chicago. The former owners, Cynthia and John Abendshien, kept the house in pristine shape, even after Kevin’s elaborate traps. They sold the house for $1.6 million in 2012.

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12. The movie’s house was also the same house used for “Uncle Buck.”

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13. Other nearby locations were used for the film, including Hubbard Woods Park, which is where “The Chase” scene occurred, when Kevin unintentionally stole a toothbrush and was chased through the park; and Trinity United Methodist Church, where Kevin goes for the Christmas Eve scene with Old Man Marley.

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14. The scene where Kevin flees after beating Harry and Marv and to his neighbor’s flooded basement was filmed at New Trier High School’s swimming pool.

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15. Buzz’s “girlfriend” is actually the art director’s son made to look like a girl. #woof

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16. The film spawned three video games, a board game, the TALKBOY and four more sequels. While I’m partial to Home Alone 2 just because Mac gets to hang out at the Plaza Hotel, we can’t just forget the other two happened.

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17. “Angels with Filthy Souls”, the movie that is playing while Kevin is trying to trick the “Wet Bandits”, doesn’t exist either. The gangster footage was created especially for Home Alone and inspired by the James Cagney film “Angels with Dirty Faces.”

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Hannah Gettleman

Hannah Gettleman is a bubbly twenty-something living in Chicago. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Journalism. Don't tell her that print is dying--she's already made the switch to public relations. As a Midwest girl, winter happens approximately 80% of the year, so she knows a thing or two about a good pair of snow boots. She lives for summer weather (even though she can never tan), Boy Meets World reruns, and an unhealthy addiction to dark chocolate and online shopping. She's a die-hard Chicago sports fan, even though she's well aware the Cubs always end up in last place every year.

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