ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
"Zombies, exploding heads...creepy-crawlies and a date for the formal - This is classic, Spanky." Wah-hoo-wah! Twitter: @Scodonnell1
S.C. O'Donnell

Christmas is just around the corner, and it's the perfect time to watch your favorite Christmas movies to get you into the yuletide spirit. Whether you watch It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, or Die Hard, everyone has their favorite winter classic that has become a part of their holiday traditions. In my household, the film I always equated with Christmas was Home Alone.

Home Alone [Credit:20th Century Fox]
Home Alone [Credit:20th Century Fox]

is a cherished film for many millennials; however, it does push the boundaries of physics, and the amount of abuse the human body can handle. If you're anything like me, you just accepted the extreme violence in Home Alone as comedy — not horrific acts that might cause serious bodily harm to another human. However, YouTuber Jake Roper (Vsauce) decided to test what would actually happen to a person subjected to the classic Home Alone traps. Needless to say, what he found wasn't pretty.

Need some help getting into the spirit of the holidays? Check out:

Could You Survive Home Alone?

Before you gaze upon the awesomeness of the video, remember that we were once small children that totally believed that these traps were hilarious. Sure, the two criminals did break into a house with the intent to rob it, but based on the findings of the video, they may not have walked out of that house alive.

Mr. Roper only tested 3 of the traps from Home Alone, but they were more than enough physical force to take down any robber in town (except if you are a Wet Bandit- in that case, they are just flesh-wounds). First, let's take a look at the sizzlin' hot doorknob that poor Harry grabs in the film.

The Doorknob From Hell

Home Alone [Credit:20th Century Fox]
Home Alone [Credit:20th Century Fox]

The team at Vsauce demonstrates that in order for the doorknob to glow, it would have to be heated to 1000°F (537.77°C). That's pretty fucking hot, and it will certainly cause the door to warp — if it doesn't burst into flames first. The problem with this "trap", is that doorknobs are not a single unit. They are connected through a latch mechanism, thus making it hard to transfer heat from one to the other. Because of this, the exterior doorknob fails to heat up when the interior knob is heated.

Despite proving the trap was thoroughly implausible, in the spirit of the holidays, the Vsauce team did test what would happen if you touched a doorknob that was heated to 1400°F (760°C). Shockingly, touching something that hot would definitely land you in the hospital with severe burns. With the red hot doorknob taken care of, let's move on to one of the more classic bits: the paint can to the face!

Improper Use Of A Paint Can

Home Alone [Credit:20th Century Fox]
Home Alone [Credit:20th Century Fox]

This is one of the most iconic scenes in the film, and also the most dangerous. As the wonderful Mark Rober explains, the standard 1 gallon paint can weighs about 13lbs (5.9kg). Due to the height at which Kevin McCallister drops the can, the gravitational potential energy is converted into kinetic energy, resulting in the can traveling at roughly 17mi/h (27.3km/h). Given the little bit of a shove Kevin gives the can before releasing it, the paint can is traveling roughly 20mi/h (32km/h).

The overall force of impact is 12kn - that is equal to 2697.71lbs of force! This is certainly enough force to shatter several bones in your face. When your head snaps back, you're looking at 266g's, which could definitely cause some serious whiplash. As demonstrated, the impact dummy's neck tears apart, leaving us to believe that this could be a potentially fatal trap. Since we have a burnt hand and a broken neck, let's move on to our final Home Alone trap: a crowbar to the chest.

That's Not How You Kill A Spider!

This is the most ridiculous scenario that the boys over at Vsauce tested. Any logical person could guess that if you hit someone in the chest with a crowbar, you are going to do some serious damage - although in the movie Harry just walks it off. This test basically demonstrates the extent of the damage, and the results are devastating.

In reality, if you swing a 5lb (2.26kg) crowbar at around 35mi/h (20.9km/h), it would hit the target with a total force of 15,000n (4.5 times the amount of force needed to break a rib). In the demonstration, the crowbar penetrates the skin of the dummy, breaks 7 ribs, and punctures the lungs and heart. Now I'm not a medical doctor, but I can safely surmise from the video, that a crowbar to the chest would kill you (R.I.P. Harry, I loved you in Goodfellas).

Final Thoughts

So what did we learn today? Well, we learned that you shouldn't rob people's houses (doubly so during Christmas time). Also, if you come across a kid setting traps, leave wherever you are immediately — because cartoon violence does not translate well into real life!

We can also say with certainty that the Wet Bandits wouldn't have walked out of the McCalister house alive. If they stuck around after receiving 3rd degree burns to their hands, they certainly wouldn't survive the paint can to the face. Then even if by some miracle they did survive, the crowbar to the chest would finish the job. Make sure to check out the Vsauce YouTube channel for all their latest videos, and happy holidays ya filthy animals!


Will you ever be able to look at 'Home Alone' in the same way again?


Latest from our Creators