The Real Cost of Kevin’s Pranking in Home Alone

Home Alone. We’ve all seen it, it’s a Christmas classic! It has all the right elements: a smart and funny kid, two unlikable bad guys, and a heartwarming ending. But when we watch Home Alone we can’t help but cringe at all the damage that is caused to not only Harry and Marv’s bodies and faces, but to the house where Kevin stages his pranks and booby traps. We’re all rooting for Kevin here, but we gotta ask ourselves: what’s the real cost?

Besides all of the slipping and yelling and getting hit in the head, here are the 5 pranks Kevin pulls on his would-be burglars that would actually require some definite cleanup, if not total repair.

Falling Iron

When Marv heads down to the basement to look for a way inside the house, his immediate need is to turn on a light. He pulls the string to do so, but surprise, Kevin got him! Kevin had attached a string to an iron and dangled the end of the string out of what (we think is) the laundry shoot in their home. When Marv pulls that string he instead yanks that heavy iron down right onto his face!

What repair is required?

This one isn’t a super huge mess, fortunately for Kevin’s parents. The iron, when falling, might have caused a few dents in the metal inside of the laundry shoot, and possibly dented the floor upon bouncing off Marv’s face. The only cleanup required from this prank would be to replace any small amount of flooring, and if Kevin’s parents are super concerned about their laundry shoot, inverting those new dents inside it.

Off to the next painful stunt!

Burning Doorknob

Another prank Kevin pulls, and a truly smart one, is heating up the front doorknob to his home. He gets it so hot that he actually burns the letter M on the doorknob onto Harry’s unsuspecting hand. We had to know, how did he do it?

Well, in order to super-heat the doorknob without actually setting anything on fire, Kevin had to use a device that was invented in the 80’s and mostly used during that time. What Kevin used was the heating element for an Electric Hibachi, which was used by sticking it in coals to heat them up for grilling. Kevin simply looped this around the inside doorknob, and due to conduction, the outside knob was also super-heated.

What repair is required?

Well, that depends. If you’ve seen the movie recently, you’ll have noticed that after Kevin successfully burns Harry, he just leaves the heating element wrapped around the doorknob and runs off to pull more hilariously painful traps.

We figured that if Kevin didn’t return to the door until let’s say, the end of the movie, then that’s a long time for that thing to be burning. By the time he went back for it, it likely would have either caught the door on fire, or charred the wood near the handle enough to either require a new door entirely, or a repair of the handle and doorknob area.

After Harry cools his hand in the snow, he heads to a separate entrance. Meanwhile, Marv is dealing with other traps…

Tar/Nail on Stairs

Now that he’s recovered from his stint with the iron, Marv notices that there’s quite a lot of tar on the stairs heading into the home. Of course, he didn’t notice this until after he had taken several steps and lost both shoes and socks. How did Kevin get his hands on that much tar? Who just has a ton of tar in their home? Of course, it could be glue, but when you watch this scene, you can see that the substance is very black. Either way, Marv’s in for trouble. Ever-persistent, he continues on, only to step on a 5′ nail that’s been glued pointy side up. This one really is cringe-inducing.

What repair is required?

Okay well considering how hard it is to remove tar from anything, this one is going to take a lot of work. First we would need to use a metal scraper to get off as much of the tar as we could. Then, we would need to use a solution to see if we could remove the rest.

Ultimately though, we decided it would be easier to just replace these stairs. As you can see in this image, the stairs’ tops could simply be removed and new wooden tops could be installed.

What a costly repair Kevin has caused.


Homemade Blow Torch

This one seemed a little extreme to us. And we gotta say, Harry didn’t really seem to be that bothered by the results as the movie progressed. Surprisingly (and probably for the best), we were unable to find out how Kevin accomplished this particular trap. So instead here’s a YouTube video of that scene, where you can pause it to have a look at what Kevin rigged up (pause at 0:03).

What repair is required?

Yikes. Realistically, a lot more would have been set on fire than Harry’s head here. Because the torch was so close to a door, there are curtains right there, and the home was likely more than a few decades old, that door would be toast. So that’s a replacement door. Additionally, Kevin hung his contraption on a cupboard with what looks like nails and rope, which would likely cause minimal, but necessary, repair on the cupboard door and any other places with nails. If nothing caught on fire, then this repair probably consisted more of Kevin needing to explain what the heck he was doing while his family was away.

Glue and Feathers

Here we have the classic prank: make someone all sticky with glue or honey and then blow a bunch of feathers on them. It’s hard to get off and definitely annoying. Poor unsuspecting Harry waltzes into Kevin’s perfectly planned saran-wrap-trap. Though not too difficult to accomplish, this one would take a lot of cleaning up.

What repair is required?

For this one we would need to get a solvent to remove whatever sticky substance Kevin used to essentially tar and feather our friend Harry. If any of it dried while he was off doing other things, we might need to repair any paint or varnish damage from removing the feathers. Relatively simple if not extremely detailed.

Honestly, how did no one know what Kevin was up to?


At Brock Restoration, we are prepared to repair any level of damage. Even Kevin level of damage. Again, we fully support everything that he did to protect himself from these jerks, but we couldn’t help but notice just how much damage was caused. If you ever need help restoring any aspect of your home, give us a call at 513-214-3879!