Once in a while, a #fantheory comes along that will turn your world upside down. In the case of the Home Alone movies, there are quite a few floating around on the internet. None of the them are exactly Kevin-McCallister-scream-inducing, but there are multiple theories out there that really show us just how imaginative people can be. Eight of them, in fact!
1. Gus Polinski Is Satan
Let's just jump right into the darkness, shall we? Remember that scene when Mama McCallister is at the airline ticket counter explaining to the clerk how desperate she is to get home to her son? Something about selling her soul to the devil himself? Guess who is perched on her right shoulder right after she utters those words? Gus Polinski! Complete with a deal, a nice big van, and instruments to celebrate yet another soul added to his collection. This one was dreamt up by Redditor drewgarr and the commentors on his post. It's pointed out that Kate McCallister would have gotten home at the exact same time as the rest of her family had she not sold her soul to Satan for that ride. It's a cruel, ironic little twist of fate that usually accompanies striking deals with the damned.
Or, you know, so I've heard.
2. No, Gus Polinski Is Actually Kate McCallister's Guardian Angel
With every shadow, there is a ray of sunshine. Or something like that. This one suggests just the opposite of number one, with Gus being an angel perched on/behind Kate's shoulder. Hearing a madwoman screaming that she would sell her soul to the devil gets his attention, and he comes to her aid before a deal-making demon can. Redditor Flandangle gets the credit for this more uplifting theory.
3. Kevin McCallister Grew Up To Be Jigsaw
Hope you didn't think all these theories were going to be glorious junk food and wonderful rubbish movies. This is one of the more popular theories out there, due in part to freakishly large fandom that the Saw movies have. It goes something like this: Kevin, picked on by his family, is a particularly rebellious kid, who one night has a throw down with two burglars. He devises all manners of traps, snares, and more traps that help him defeat the bad men, but he's left a little scarred by the whole ordeal.
And son of a...then it happens again in New York.
According to Redditor Jordoom, we fast forward to Jigsaw's reign, and you have a madman devising all sorts of traps and games, designed to free people of their inner demons, much like his traps as a youngster helped Harry and Marv not be burglars any more.
Kinda freaky! Not only the theory, but the fact that all these geniuses and/or crazy people are on Reddit.
4. Harry & Marv Are Christmas Spirits
This one is a little cute. From Redditor sumojoe: in the first Home Alone, Kevin goes from being a sheltered, spoiled brat in the beginning of the movie to a kid who isn't afraid of nothin' at the end. The reason? Two bumbling burglars, who sumojoe postulates are actually Christmas Spirits. In the second movie, Kevin is once again confronted by his Christmas Spirits, and his eyes are opened to the poor and downtrodden when he befriends the Pigeon Lady, and the possibility that some kids might actually get their toys stolen on Christmas.
It was a formative experience for Kevin, who had always been well off and lived in a nice house full of nice stuff—despite his huge family and his father's, well, his father's unknown source of...income...
5. Peter McCallister Is Into Something Illegal
How does Papa McCallister afford that huge house and that huge family? Reddit user cubanesis proposes this theory. Judging by the way Peter gets all defensive when fake cop Harry is in his house, and the fact that Harry refers to the McCallister house as the house he's always wanted to rob due to all the nice shit they have (not completely verbatim there), it seems like something is up. At no time is it mentioned where mom and dad work or if they even do work, so there's only one possibility: Peter was most likely breaking the bad long before Walter White.
Not convinced Peter was the bad guy? Turns out someone else close to him might have been.
6. Uncle Frank Was The Mastermind Behind The Entire Thing
Outrageous! Incredible! The theory is pretty good, too, but the fact that this suplot theory comes from Rob Fee (Crave Online) instead of Reddit is just amazing. He points out Uncle Frank doesn't help pay for the pizza. He slyly has the other kids eat all the cheese pizza, knowing it'll send Kevin into a rage. He sets the milk near the tickets, which makes Peter throw Kevin's away after it spills. He most likely broke the limb that killed the power. He probably even got the neighbor kid to come over and act like Kevin, knowing that his little nephew was still snoozing away upstairs. Basically, it was his plan all along to rob the house and have Kevin killed.
Uncle Frank wasn't just an jerk. He was a professional jerk.
7. The McCallisters Are Actually A Cult
This one was dreamt up by one of our very own Movie Pilot staff Mona Torgerson, and the full theory is here. It involves training the youngsters to fear what they don't know (Old Man Marley), a house with a huge family, and breaking down the name McCallister. Alistar, besides sounding like “Callister” means “enlist” in Spanish, and MC is the abbreviation for a number of things, including “master of ceremonies.” Enlisting people in ceremonies. Yep. Cult.
Plus, if you're a Supernatural fan, you know damn good and well who Alistair is.
Let's wrap this up with a good old-fashioned time traveling tale.
8. Old Man Marley Is A Time-Traveling Kevin McCallister From The Future
We're back to Reddit again, this time from a user named spookycookies. Love that name, by the way. In Spooky's post, they go on a very long trip through time and space. The theory in a nutshell (a very large nutshell, anyway): In the original storyline, there is no Old Man Marley. Everything else happened, though, starting with the moment Kevin goes outside to scream, “I'm not afraid anymore!” In the movie, Marley scares the crap out of him, and the police officer coming to check on him gets no answer, since Kevin is too busy cowering under the bed. No Marley? That equals Kevin coming to the door and the policeman taking him somewhere safe.
Harry and Marv end up robbing the place without Kevin and Marley there to thwart their plans, and this has a snowball effect on Kevin and his family. Financially, especially; their beautiful house had been cleaned out and flooded by the Wet Bandits.
Kevin never truly heals from these events, and when he's an old man, his relationship is strained with his son, especially around Christmas time. The son and his wife have a daughter, see, and in the past they got mad enough at Marley, a.k.a. Old Kevin that they cut off contact with him completely. Not able to take it anymore, Marley forces his son and his son's wife to travel back in time with him in order to change the events of the past.
Cue the movie storyline. Fast-forward through a fixed timeline, where Young Kevin defeats the Wet Bandits, Old Kevin is reunited with his family and will never be able to travel back to the now non-existent original timeline (why would he want to, anyway?), and you have yourself one hell of a time traveling subplot.
I'm pretty sure this covers every possibly theorized subplot ever dreamt up for Home Alone. Can you think of anymore to add to the mix? Let me know below!
Here are more some more fan theories to wet (bandit) your appetite: