Home Alone Viewers Are Only Just Realising How Kevin Got Left Behind

Home Alone is one of the best Christmas films ever - yet fans are only just realising how little Kevin McCallister got left behind.
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Home Alone has to be one of the best Christmas films ever – yet fans are only just realising how little Kevin McCallister got left behind.

With the festive season upon us, many people are kicking back and watching holiday classics.

For many, Home Alone is a go-to film at this time of year, despite it being released more than 30 years ago.

It follows an eight-year-old boy named Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin), who gets left home alone when his family go on a festive trip to France. 

It then shows Kevin being forced to defend the family home against burglars Marv and Harry (Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci), who think they’re breaking into an empty property.

After watching the film, many fans have questioned how his parents could forget him and it turns out, it’s subtly implied for eagle-eyed viewers.

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While many presume Kevin is forgotten because he sleeps in the loft on the night before the trip as a punishment for his bad behaviour, there’s actually more to it. 

The movie shows that during this very night, a storm occurs, causing a power outage in the house, which results in the family’s alarm clocks all being reset. 

When the airport transport service knocks on the door in the morning, the family rush to leave and Kevin’s mum Kate (Catherine O’Hara) asks her niece, Heather, to do a headcount of all the kids.

Macaulay Culkin as Kevin in Home Alone.
Fans are only just realising how little Kevin McCallister got left behind in the movie Home Alone. Credit: 20th Century Fox

As it transpires, Heather isn’t all that good at headcounts.

Kevin’s older brother, Buzz, throws Heather off by shouting random numbers.

The McCallisters’ neighbour, Mitch Murphy, then approaches the family and comes to chat, which leads Heather to mistake him for Kevin. 

Thinking they’ve got everyone in tow, the family speeds to the airport to catch their flight to Paris.

However, surely the McCallisters would have had a spare ticket for the flight when checking in – leading them to realise they’d left Kevin behind?

This is the point where eagle-eyed viewers think they’ve cleared up the confusion.

So, the night before the flight, Kevin gets in trouble after fighting with his brother over cheese pizza.

The argument results in milk spilling across the table, soaking the pizza boxes, family and most importantly, tickets for the flight.

While Kevin’s dad Peter (John Heard) dries up the mess with paper, he accidentally throws one of the plane tickets away – hence the family not realising Kevin is missing until they’re halfway to Paris.

Watching the film again this year, one viewer spotted the tiny – but very important detail – and couldn’t believe they’d missed it so many times before.

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They wrote on Twitter: “I’ve seen Home Alone 25 times and it wasn’t until this most recent time I realised the dad threw away a plane ticket when cleaning up spilt milk at the beginning.

“That’s why they never had an extra ticket.”

A second added: “I have watched Home Alone 100 times and this year my husband and I both noticed for the first time that Kevin’s dad throws his plane ticket into the trash with the napkins.”

“I’ve just realised that when Buzz and Kevin fight and Peter throw away napkins HE THROWS AWAY KEVIN’S PLANE TICKET. I’ve seen this a million times and never realised,” someone else said.

As it turned out, Kevin being left home alone was actually pretty beneficial for his family.

Had he been remembered and collected, the McCallister home would have been ransacked at the hands of Marv and Harry, aka the Wet Bandits.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.