We have to assume Macaulay Culkin just goes into some kind of isolation tank this time of year, since Home Alone continues to be one of the most overplayed movies of the holiday season. Sure, worthy challengers like Elf and Bad Santa have made their respectively giddy and grim way into the seasonal viewing cycle. And while a drinking game for either would be easy enough, it seems a bit wrong to match the bright cheery story of Buddy the Elf with booze. And, well, Bad Santa’s plenty boozy enough.
So—Home Alone. A movie most of us know and, by choice or not, grew up with.
Fair warning, what you choose to drink for this game will make a big difference in how far you get. If you decided to toast the hijinks of Kevin McCallister, Marv, and Harry with whiskey, well, good luck getting through the toothbrush theft scene (a pivotal moment, where the movie almost turned into a dark drama about Kevin’s descent into street crime). Sipping Champagne might get you a bit farther along, say, to where little Kev makes some pre-battle mac n’ cheese—though at that point you’ll probably stumble up to go make yourself some mac n’ cheese.
If you want to make it all the way to the final battle scene (a Christmas movie must) we recommend having some water nearby. That said, a few ways to toast the physical and psychological marathon that is Home Alone…
Drink to Specific Scenes:
When Kevin McCallister makes his first appearance.
Take a look at that cherubic face, Katherine O’Hara. How could you leave it behind?
When it becomes clear the McCallister Parents may be getting a visit from Child Protective Services.
Like when they don’t notice one of their 5 children is missing as they run through the airport. Or when they’re worried they forgot something, realize it was closing the garage doors—and then realize, no, it was leaving their youngest born child behind. For this you may need to also watch Home Alone 2. Because at that point, the cops are investigating the entire family.
When Buzz talks about Old Man Marley’s salt and its use in seasonal mummification.
Specifically do a shot of tequila with salt and lime. Just make sure it’s not salt from Old Man Marley.
When Buzz shoves pizza into his mouth while apparently thinking about the emptiness of life.
Really, look into his eyes. They’re empty.
When Kevin scares the pizza delivery guy into thinking he’s going to be murdered.
And the pizza guy, for some reason, doesn’t call the cops.
When a young Hope Davis does her best French accent.
To be fair, this was a while before About Schmidt. Early acting days.
When Kevin says “all my major crevices” while talking about his bathing routine.
Not sure who let that line through. Optional—do a shot and smack your face and scream when he applies aftershave.
When Harry and Marv think that figures gliding gently back and forth, or spinning in a circle, are actually human beings dancing.
It’s like they’ve never seen “Chandelier.” (‘Cuz that’s how most people dance.)
French “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
When you realize Kevin McCallister might be a sociopath.
Why does he know so many ways to hurt people with household appliances?
Any of the kids tells “Policeman Harry” their parents don’t live at the house.
“All kids, no parents, probably a fancy orphanage!”
Kevin looks directly at the camera
E.g. “Pack my suitcase?,” “I made my family disappear.”
Kevin cheekily insists “I don’t think so!”
This happens more often than you remember.
The tarantula makes an appearance.
Apparently that tarantula’s estate is still fighting to get paid.
It’s mentioned that Fuller wets the bed.
Poor, misunderstood Fuller.
There’s a good and/or devastating old school kid-to-kid insult.
E.g. “Excuse me, pukebreath, I’m a lot smaller than you!” “Don’t you know how to knock, flemwad?” “What am I supposed to do? Shake his hand and say congratulations you’re an idiot?” “I wouldn’t let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass.” Etc.
There’s an Old Man Marley sighting.
And for some reason Old Man Marley absolutely looks like he does want to murder Kevin. Also, that dude is never done salting.
Uncle Frank acts cheap.
This happens a ton, so drink something light.
You see Harry’s gold tooth.
Or every other time. This happens a ton, too.
You see an airplane.
Aaaand this also happens a ton. Maybe a sip of water?
Anytime neighborhood kid Mitch Murphy (aka Fake Kevin) asks the airport pickup guy a question. Again, drink light—he asks a bunch of questions.
Kevin does his weird scream.
Seriously, what’s with that weird scream?
Someone says something incredibly intense for a family holiday movie
E.g. “You’re such a disease,” or “You’d be pretty sad if you woke up tomorrow morning and you didn’t have a family.” “How you feel about your family is a complicated thing.” “You’re never too old to be afraid.” “Basements are like that.” “Santy Claus don’t visit little kids in the funeral home.” “Maybe he committed suicide.”
Whenever the fates align to ensure Kevin is left behind
E.g. the clocks go out, Mitch Murphy shows up looking like Kevin from behind, the McCallister parents neglect to realize a child is missing, etc.
Whenever Harry gets…weird about the McCallister house.
“Ever since I saw that house, I wanted it…”
There is a fun/frantic musical montage
E.g. “We slept in!,” the Airport Sprint, or Kevin’s giddy celebration of, well, successfully wishing his entire family into non-existence.
Katherine O’Hara has a thousand-yard stare.
“What kind of mother am I?” A question worth considering.
The police are grossly incompetent.
Like when a grown man can’t chase down an 8-year-old. Or they’re dismissive about a serious missing child case. “You want us to go to your house just to check on him?” Yes, I’d like you to go check on the small child who is currently alone and terrified… “There’s no one home. The house looks secure”—cuz that’s how cops work. “Tell ‘em to count their kids again.”
When Old Man Marley finally looks at Kevin like he doesn’t want to murder him.
Because what the hell, man?
Whenever hilariously significant harm befalls Marv or Harry, which are:
- Harry’s shot in the groin with a bb gun, rendering him infertile (we’re guessing)
- Marv’s shot in the face with a bb gun, changing nothing
- Everyone slips on icy stairs and somehow doesn’t break their hip bone
- A hot iron falls onto Marv’s head (silver lining: the iron gets rid of unsightly wrinkles)
- Harry burns his hand on the doorknob, forever emblazoning the letter M. (He will never forget the McCallister house.)
- Marv gets a rusty nail, and probably tetanus, in his foot
- Harry’s head in set on fire. What an annoyance!
- Harry gets feathers to the face. Not sure how this is a deterrent against crime, but he does look silly.
- Marv steps on Christmas ornaments. At this point, foot-wise, he’s basically John McClean from Die Hard.
- They both slip on Micromachines, a callback to the beginning of the movie (if you were paying extremely close attention, which we all were…).
- Paint can to the face for Marv—looks like a sort of dark taupe.
- Paint can to the face for Harry—this one’s a bit peachier, nice, neutral tone.
- Harry trips over a wire and falls flat on his face. The most benign assault of the night. Besides feather humiliation.
- Marv gets a spider to the face. Seriously, the Tarantula family’s been in court for decades.
- Harry takes a crowbar to the solar plexus.
- They both smash against a brick house. (Silver lining: Some kind of physical satisfaction for Harry, being so close to the house he was weirdly obsessed with. )
- Both take a shovel to the back of the head, and, we assume, would be mummified with Old Man Marley’s salt but for the cops, who finally appear competent.
When Harry actually tries to bite off Kevin’s fingers.
Sure, we’d be pissed, and a bit snackish after that whole encounter. But cannibalism?
Whenever they mention the “Wet Bandits.”
By the end of the movie, if you’ve been playing along, drink as much water as is currently flooding the Murphy house. And damn, we’d love an epilogue, or at least an insurance estimate for water damage.