As someone who is quite obsessed with Home Alone (I may or may not have written a couple of details posts, a random prop deep-dive, quizzes, and even a 2015 reimagining), I was thrilled to come across this thread on Reddit from like-minded fans.
There, Reddit user Mst3Kgf mused to the good folks of r/movies, "There's two things in Home Alone that unfailingly make me laugh every time, and neither of them are the obvious choices like Culkin or the trap-related slapstick..."
"...One is the nonsensical rage noises Joe Pesci makes in lieu of swearing. Pesci is, of course, one of the patron saints of cinematic cursing, so him being limited due to the confines of a family-friendly film is hilarious. You can see he so badly wants to drop F-bombs like he does in Scorsese films, but instead, he sounds like Yosemite Sam throwing a fit. It just adds to the frustration and rage for his character that he can't just lose it like he usually does.
The other is the conversation between Catherine O'Hara and John Candy in the polka van. I was not surprised at all to learn that was completely improvised by those two, as it must have been like old times for the friends/SCTV costars. The funeral story alone would be funny, but Candy's matter-of-fact, almost cheerful way of telling it, plus O'Hara's reaction, make it arguably the funniest scene in the movie."
And this in turn inspired others to share their favorite ~subtly hilarious~ moments in Home Alone (and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York), and even I missed some of these brilliant moments! Check it out:
1."The funniest part of Home Alone that doesn't involve Macaulay Culkin or slapstick for me is uncle Frank trying to console Kevin's mom by saying he forgot his reading glasses."
2."A new line I just noticed this week after decades of watching that cracked me up is during the pizza scene. When Uncle Frank says all his money is tied up in traveler's checks, Kevin's dad mutters, 'You've probably got the kind of traveler checks that don't work in France.' I love it. It's obviously adult humor, but I don't recall hearing it before. And it has always struck me as odd that the adults never called him out on being a cheapskate like the kids."
3."When Buzz is explaining why he doesn’t care that Kevin got left for 'three reasons,' and then lists them as reasons: 'A, 2, and D.'"
4."I always crack up when Kevin’s buying groceries and tells the clerk the Army men toys are, 'for the kids.'"
5."In a similar vein of Kevin sounding like an adult, I always laugh at the part where he's talking to the old man in the church, and the old man says, 'I can't come here tonight,' and Kevin innocently asks him, 'You have plans?' I don't know why I just find it so funny to hear an 8-year-old say that."
6."The 'we sold about 623 copies of that' gets me every time. Not just the low number but that Gus is pretending to not know exactly how many copies he sold before coming up with the exact number."
7."I have such a love for the scene toward the beginning as they're preparing to leave for the airport, and the neighbor kid is asking all the inane questions to the taxi drivers. 'Did you know the McCallisters are going to France? Do you know if it's cold there? Do these vans get good gas mileage?' Destroys me every time to the bafflement of my wife and children."
8."'I know you're not the real Santa. I'm old enough to know how this works...but I also know you work for him.'"
9."I love when Kevin uses a fork and knife with his mac & cheese dinner."
10."'Hyper on two!' is a catchphrase in our house."
11."I love Joe Pesci’s delivery of 'Calling the cops...from a TREEHOUSE?!'”
12."Daniel Stern’s scream when Kevin puts the tarantula on his face is, for my money, the greatest onscreen scream in the history of cinema, and it never fails to crack me up."
13."Okay, this one probably counts as slapstick, BUT, my absolute favorite moment in the movie is when Harry is trying to open the basement door and he keeps slipping on the ice. That scene has made me belly laugh since I was a child."
14."'Why did you take your shoes and socks off?' 'Why are you dressed like a chicken?' I don’t know why, but that bit gets me every time!"
15."My favorite bit in Home Alone 2 is when Harry reads the newspaper in Central Park, and out of the blue, he starts whacking away at a pigeon nearby. I crack up every time."
16."I also love in the second movie, where Catherine O’Hara and the dad are at the police station explaining it isn’t the first time they’ve lost Kevin, etc., but they also never manage to lose their luggage (LOLz), and they both laugh and knock on the desk/wood. The look on the cop’s face is priceless!"
17."I love how the movie (Home Alone 2) doesn't shy away from how ridiculous the premise of doing a sequel actually is."
18."I love the part in the second one where Marv says, in a very nasal voice, 'That was the sound of a tool chest, falling down the stairs.'"
19."Kevin's line 'Nice night for a neck injury' in number two cracks me up every time."
20."For me it's two scenes in the second one. When Marv falls down the hole in the house, stands, looks up, and says, 'Wow, what a hole!' Then when he says, 'Suck brick, kid!' and misses by, like, eight feet. 😂"
21.And, "I just love Kieran Culkin's grin when Kevin hears he may need to share a bed with him. *Sips more Pepsi*"
What about you? Do you have a favorite random or subtle moment from Home Alone or Home Alone 2 that always cracks you up? Tell us in the comments below!