Guest Post by Irene Chen: Which Home Alone Booby Traps Are Most Dangerous and Deadly?

Is it even Christmas without Home Alone? Guest blogger, Irene rates Kevin’s iconic traps. You know, just in case you were thinking about trying them out.

image_ed8d7a4eThe booby traps from Home Alone are some of the elements that have had the most cultural impact. When you mention Home Alone to someone, one of the first things they’ll probably think about are the booby traps; even though the movie celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020, the booby traps live on in the cultural conscience. However, because it’s a comedy movie, the booby traps are more slapstick than they are realistic. What would be the deadliest booby traps in the McCallister house in real life?

Icy Steps – 2/5 Deadliness

As one of the first attempts to keep the so-called “wet bandits” from infiltrating his home, Kevin pours water all over the home’s steps. The cold Chicago winter ices these steps over pretty quickly, and Marv and Harry almost immediately fall down them. In real life, people do sustain injuries because of falling down the stairs; though it’s unlikely, this could be dangerous for them.

Fake Lightbulb – 5/5 Deadliness

In one of the deadliest booby traps in the movie, Marv makes his way down to the basement and pulls what he assumes is a switch to turn on the overhead light. However, it’s actually attached to an iron, which falls down the laundry chute and hits him in the head. This could absolutely shatter the bones in his face, causing long-term vision damage.

Red-Hot Doorknob – 3/5 Deadliness

While Marv is in the basement, Harry has decided to try and enter the home through the front door. Kevin has heated up the doorknob from the inside, causing the doorknob on the outside to get so hot that it’s glowing red. That would mean the doorknob would have to be at around 750 degrees Fahrenheit, almost enough to cause Harry’s hand to burst into flame. This would likely cause third-degree burns, which could create complications as they heal.

Tar-Covered Basement Steps – 2/5 Deadliness

As Marv attempts to leave the basement, he makes his way up basement steps that Kevin’s covered in tar. These pull off his shoes and socks, then cause him to step on a nail. This is relatively less dangerous, even though a puncture wound is always important to handle. However, what might cause serious problems is the possibility of tetanus if the nail had rust on it and Marv isn’t up to date on his vaccinations.

Blowtorch – 3/5 Deadliness

Harry decides to go around to the back door instead of the front door. He opens the door and triggers a booby trap that sets fire to his hair with a blowtorch. The main reason that this isn’t as deadly as it could be is because of the height of the trap. If it were any lower, Harry could have found himself in a truly dangerous situation.

Paint Cans – 4/5 Deadliness

Harry and Marv meet up in the home and go up the stairs to try and catch Kevin. As they go up the stairs, Kevin swings some paint cans down, hitting them in the head. Although this could absolutely cause a huge amount of damage if the paint cans were full, erring on the side of caution and assuming they’re not full would probably still lead to fractures in the facial bones.

Treehouse Rope – 5/5 Deadliness

The last booby trap in Home Alone is also potentially the deadliest. Kevin moves to the treehouse, which has a connection to the rest of the home with a simple rope. Marv and Harry attempt to follow him, but he thwarts their attempts by snipping the rope with pruning shears. They swing down and crash into the brick wall of the home. That impact would almost certainly be tremendous, likely breaking many of their bones.

Don’t Try this at Home

As you can see, these Home Alone traps aren’t just fun and games. They’re a truly dangerous bit of warfare that gets a slapstick makeover for the movies. Think about how crazy these booby traps would seem without the slapstick aura; your next Home Alone viewing will probably be very different.

Irene Chen

Irene Chen is the head editor for Content Geek, which showcases interesting, inspirational, and thought-provoking content. publishes infographics and articles across a wide range of topics, sourced from a community of designers, writers, and creators.


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