Watching a movie

There are few Christmas movies as enduring as Home Alone. Even as the movie celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020, there are plenty of families all across the country that are going to be watching the movie to celebrate. One of the biggest reasons for Home Alone’s success is the fact that the booby traps Kevin lays are truly outstanding. Many of them are surprisingly complicated, especially for a young child to plan out. Here are a few of the more complicated and intelligent booby traps all around the McCallister house.

Tar-Covered Basement Steps

When Marv is in the basement, he decides to try and get into the home through the interior steps. Assuming that Marv would do this, Kevin is able to cover the basement steps in tar. That tar pulls off Marv’s shoes and socks, causing him to then step on a nail barefoot. Although Kevin didn’t necessarily have to do too much for this one, it is pretty impressive that a young child was able to manage tar that easily.


Harry attempts to enter through the back door after the front doorknob burns his hand. When he opens the back door, it triggers a blowtorch, which causes his head to light on fire. Aside from the technical wizardry that Kevin would have to display to be able to create the booby trap in the first place, it’s impressive that this trap was able to do what it was supposed to do without potentially killing Harry. Even a few inches lower, and Harry’s face would have been toast.

Chicken Suit

This one is probably the most complicated trap of all in the McCallister household, and it’s genuinely pretty impressive that Kevin is able to pull it off. First, he smears caulking glue all over some plastic wrap. When Harry opens one of the doors, he walks right into it. As he continues to walk, he triggers a giant fan, which blows feathers all over him. This one-two punch is an impressive setup for anyone, but especially for a very young child.

Paint Cans

Harry and Marv reunite inside the home and attempt to go up the stairs to get Kevin. However, Kevin has attached some paint cans to the top railing. He’s able to throw them down, using the trajectory of the string to hit both Harry and Marv in the face. This one is mostly surprising because of how well it works. Kevin would have to be able to understand the trajectory of the paint cans and how they would likely swing, as well as the speed at which they would swing, to make sure it hit each burglar and caused the maximum amount of impact.


One of the final booby traps occurs when Harry has made it to the top of the stairs. Blinded by rage, he lunges toward Kevin, attempting to grab him. However, Kevin backs away, causing Harry to fall right into another one of Kevin’s traps: a tripwire that he’s strung across the top of the stairs. One of the reasons this one is so clever is because he needed to make sure that Harry wouldn’t notice the tripwire, or he would have been able to just step over it. Its efficacy is partially because he’s made Harry so angry.


Home Alone is famed for its booby traps, and there’s clearly a reason for that. These booby traps are nothing if not truly interesting. However, the complicated nature of some of these booby traps definitely showcases how a young child probably couldn’t make them by himself. Regardless, the complexity is one of the reasons audiences loved these booby traps so much, and it’s probably a reason you’ll love it this year as well.