Like most people who were kids in the late 80s or early 90s, the movie Home Alone has a lot of sentimental value to me. I've posted before about how it's the official start of the holiday season for me. So, as Thanksgiving approaches and we start heading more and more into Christmas territory, I decided to put together a few trivia facts that I always found interesting and share them. Of course I have to acknowledge IMDb and Chicago Magazine for confirming most of these, and of course, so you can complain to them if any of these end up being false (they won't, don't worry).

 

1.) Kevin's plane ticket got thrown away

  • If you've ever wondered how they didn't notice Kevin's absence by having an extra ticket, pay closer attention to the pizza-cleanup scene. Amongst the napkins thrown into the trash during the beverage spill is a plane ticket with Kevin's name on it.

 

2.) Chris Farley auditioned for the role of Santa Claus

  • The iconic scene in which Kevin McAllister is given a tic tac by Santa--or Santa's representative--could have been very different, as a young Chris Farley could have played ol' Saint Nick. This would have just about coincided with his debut on SNL in the Spring of 1990 (Home Alone came out in November of the same year).

 

3.) Save your time, ya filthy animal: don't go looking on Netflix for the gangster films Kevin watches in the Home Alone series

  • They're not real. They were filmed specifically for the movie. But if you're looking for something similar, check out any of the James Cagney films of the 1930s, as they're based on those--Angels With Filthy Souls, the title of the film Kevin watches, is pretty obviously an homage to Angels With Dirty Faces from 1938.

 

4.) Chevy Chase is responsible for Chris Columbus directing the film

  • Columbus, who had always dreamed of doing a Christmas film, originally had the opportunity to direct Christmas Vacation. He felt Chevy Chase treated him so badly during their first two meetings that he couldn't work with someone who "treated [him] like dirt."

 

5.) The entire movie was based around screenwriter John Hughes' travel anxiety

  • According to his son, John Hughes so thoroughly feared leaving one of his kids behind on a trip that, upon returning home from a family trip to Europe, he wrote the film in 9 days.

 

6.) The role of Uncle Frank was written for Kelsey Grammer.

  • It's not hard to see how the surly, kid-averse, cheapskate uncle could be portrayed by Kelsey Grammer, but to me it's an absolutely perfect portrayal by Gerry Bamman of the prototypical cranky uncle.

 

7.) Buzz, your boyfriend. Woof!

  • The photo of Buzz's girlfriend that Kevin finds when rooting around through his trunk is actually of a boy in girls' clothes. Director Chris Columbus' compassionate side came out as he felt it would just be too cruel to make fun of a girl.

 

8.) The movie topped the box office until February 10, 1991

  • It came out in November. This movie crushed everything at the box office for three whole months.

 

9.) John Candy's lines in the film were improvised

  • Apparently the unforgettable character John Candy played of a traveling musician--excuse me, as The Polka King of the Midwest--was entirely conceived by John Candy and filmed in one day. Yep, the story about leaving the kid in the funeral parlor was all John Candy.

 

So there you go! This year, you can hang out for an evening, watch the movie, and impress your family with your vast knowledge of the film and its history. Just make sure you don't drink too much Pepsi; you don't want to wet the bed.